Technical sports analysis is a method of evaluating teams by analyzing the statistics generated by team activity, such as past winning percentages and point margins. Technical analysts do not attempt to measure a team’s intrinsic value, but instead use charts and other tools to identify patterns that can suggest future activity.
Just as there are many analysis styles on the fundamental side (DVOA, Sabermetrics, Sagarin), there are also many different types of technical methods. Some rely on chart patterns, others use technical indicators and oscillators, and most use some combination of the two. In any case, technical analysts’ exclusive use of historical wins and scoring data is what separates them from their fundamental counterparts. Unlike fundamental analysts, technical analysts don’t care whether a team is undervalued – the only thing that matters is a team’s past scoring data and what information this data can provide about where the team might move in the future.
The field of technical analysis is based on three assumptions:
1. The standings discount everything.
2. Scoring moves in trends.
3. History tends to repeat itself.
1. The Standings Discount Everything
The main criticism of technical analysis is that it only considers scoring movement, ignoring the fundamental factors of the team. However, technical analysis assumes that, at any given time, a team’s trend reflects everything that has or could affect the team – including fundamental factors. Technical analysts believe that the team’s fundamentals, along with broader competition factors and league psychology, are all evaluated into a team’s won-lost record, removing the need to actually consider these factors separately. This only leaves the analysis of scoring movement, which technical theory views as a product of the competition for a particular standing in the league.
2. Scoring Moves in Trends
In technical analysis, scoring movements are believed to follow trends. This means that after a trend has been established, the future scoring movement is more likely to be in the same direction as the trend than to be against it. Most technical analysis strategies are based on this assumption.
3. History Tends To Repeat Itself
Another important idea in technical analysis is that history tends to repeat itself, mainly in terms of scoring movement. The repetitive nature of scoring movements is attributed to league psychology; in other words, league participants tend to provide a consistent reaction to similar league stimuli over time. Technical analysis uses chart patterns to analyze league movements and understand trends. Although many of these charts have been used for more than one hundred years, they are still believed to be relevant because they illustrate patterns in scoring movements that often repeat themselves.
I want to finish this page off with a little about this site. In October of 2005 I posted my first blog post over at footballprofessor.blogspot.com, and 250 posts later I decided that WordPress could provide a better platform with its more useful designs. You can reach this site at the web address www.thefootballprofessor.com. Someday I’ll complete the transition from TFP to BVSB…someday.
In addition to my web-based content, I am also the NFL Insider at WSBA 910 AM in York, PA. My spot can be heard every Tuesday morning at 7:20 AM during football season. 2008 will be my second year on the air.
2008 also marks the first year that I am producing a real, honest-to-goodness preseason publication. The book is called the NFL 2008 PREDICTOPOTAMUS (the name is a hybrid between Pro Football Prospectus and the Hiphopopotamus from Flight of the Conchords) and is available on this site for $14.99.
Many thanks to those of you who have brought this site to where it currently stands, amongst the top blogs on the web.