Skip to main content

Kansas City Chiefs Official Team Website |

Harvard Believes Chiefs Will Make the Playoffs

The brilliant minds at Harvard like the Chiefs chances in 2015


According to this article by Kurt Bullard of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, the Kansas City Chiefs have a 66 percent chance of making the playoffs in 2015.

Here's a brief synopsis from that article on how these numbers came to happen.

I converted the aggregated AV for each team into an ELO rating so that I could later use that value to calculate the win probability of each team in each game this season. With the mean ELO rating set at 1500, I set the possible range of ELO values between 1320-1900, since the standard deviation of ELO ratings has traditionally been 90 points.

But ELO ratings don't paint the whole picture, as teams who finish with worse records the previous year tend to benefit from easier schedules.  I therefore ran a Monte Carlo simulation of each team's season, calculating win probabilities based on the ELO ratings using the following formula: 1/(10^(Opponent ELO – ELO)/400) 1).  Using **Benjamin Morris’ conversion table* from wins to playoff odds, I then calculated the odds that a team would make the playoffs for the upcoming year.  I then normalized it so an average of 12 teams would make the playoffs every year.*

Now do you understand?

Me either, but any analysis coming from a place like Harvard predicting good things for the Chiefs is alright by me.

Per this article, the Denver Broncos have a 62 percent chance, the Chargers are at 33 and the Raiders come in with an NFL-low 1 percent chance of making the playoffs in 2015.

Hard to argue with the minds at Harvard, which just made some friends in Chiefs Kingdom.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content