Carlton C

Who Will Win the Big Game? Applying quant facts and sports analytics.
Who Will Win the Big Game? Applying quant facts and sports analytics.
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Remembering The 1980 Miracle On Ice (40th Anniversary)

Illustration for article titled Remembering The 1980 Miracle On Ice (40th Anniversary)
Image: Associated Press (AP)

With this being the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, some of our research and Monte Carlo analysis in this area has resurfaced. We originally worked with the New York Times on this piece below. In addition to quant analysis, we reviewed Herb Brooks’ efforts in sports psychology — that were a major factor in triggering the “miracle.”

Using quantitative methods and Monte Carlo simulations, we studied the magnitude of the 1980 victory. Sport psychology played a big role in the Americans winning the gold medal and helped bridged the gap from 1,000-to-1 odds, down to a more manageable level of a 17-1 long-shot.

The Soviet Union was the heavy favorite to repeat as gold medal champions in 1980, while the United States was seeded seventh out of 12 teams. We calculated the odds of the U.S.S.R. winning the gold medal at about 77 percent. 

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Read more at NYTimes.com here:

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Recently, the Action Network, a content partner of ESPN, reviewed money line odds for the “1980 Miracle” and asked us to revisit our work in this area. There are several nice quotes.

Using comparable upcoming games from international hockey markets like the KHL (since the gap in talent is much wider than the NHL), a 3.5-goal gap in relative ability between two teams will lead you to odds of about -2,200 on the favorite and 10-1 to 12-1 on the underdog. That’s in line with Chin and Granat’s simulations.

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Read more here:

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Related Articles

Here are related articles that include a computer simulation we ran several years ago.

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Carlton Chin holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from MIT. He is a fund manager and quant researcher focused on portfolio strategy and sports analytics — and has worked with various sports organizations, including the Sacramento Kings. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and ESPN.

Dr. Jay Granat is a psychotherapist and founder of StayInTheZone.com. He has worked with athletes of all levels, including high school athletes and Olympians. He was named one of Golf Digest’s Top Ten Mental Gurus and has been on Good Morning America, the New York Times, and ESPN.

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