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What can a win streak tell us about a team?



I am in no way willing to acknowledge that any team in particular has a streak they haven't beat since 2008. But what information does a winning streak tell us about what the expected win % is for a team?

Horribly bad assumptions upfront:

  • Win expectancy is constant throughout the season, I know this is not true.
  • Win variance is constant throughout the season.

Our Null Hypothesis, Ho, is that the teams win % is W%.

Our Alternative Hypothesis, Ha, is that the teams win % is > W%.

  • Given that the season is 56 games long so far, n = 56.
  • Given that the max streak for that team so far is k.
  • We will reject Ho for P less than 5%.

P =1-((1-W%*X))/(k+1-(k*X))(1-W%) *1/X^(n+1) ;

X=1+((1-W%) (W%)^k)+(k+1) ((1-W%) (W%)^k )^2

So if a teams current streak is 7 games in a season only 56 games old we would expect them to have a win % of at least 40.14% or higher. Which means we would expect that team to lose no more than 97 games in the entire season.

Not that these results apply to any team in particular, or that I would update them if needed tomorrow.


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