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Beside The Points For Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Vegas gets another team

The San Antonio Stars will move to Las Vegas under its new management of MGM Resorts International. This makes them the second professional team to open up in the gambling town with the Oakland Raiders soon to follow. With the No. 1 pick in the draft next year, this is an exciting time for the WNBA team. [ESPN]

Browns allegedly superior to other teams

The Browns’ crew of quarterbacks — a squad of personnel I am unfortunately well-acquainted with — is not the worst in history. We’ve had the statistic Total QBR since 2006, and in the period of time since them there have been three teams — the 2010 Panthers, 2008 Raiders and 2007 49ers — who have a total QBR less than the 21.9 Cleveland currently sports. [ESPN]

Clemson and Washington are not totally screwed

Last week the Clemson Tigers and Washington Huskies suffered upset losses that made them fall out of the AP Top 5. Clemson is down from a 55 percent chance of making the playoff to a 29 percent chance, and Washington fell from a 43 percent chance to a 24 percent chance. Realistically, the best way to make the playoff is to win out: doing so would give them a 97 percent and 87 percent chance, respectively, of making the playoff. Clemson’s Week 10 game against N.C. State will be the decisive game, while Washington’s test will be in Week 11 at Stanford. [FiveThirtyEight]

Happy Sports Equinox!

Thursday, Oct. 19 is the Sports Equinox, the day when all four major U.S. sports leagues play at least one game. There have only been 17 in history. Should the Cubs force a game 7 in the NCLS, Sunday will be a second one of 2017. Fair warning, with 14 different games, it’s going to get weird tonight in even the most amply-screened sports bars. [FiveThirtyEight]

Yes, let’s keep saying nice things about the Eagles

Oh wow the Eagles are real good this year! No reason at all to mitigate expectations, Eagles fans: You guys are going to win the Super Bowl for sure this time. Believe it! I’m in no way attempting to pump up expectation thus making the eventual and inevitable playoff catastrophe all the more panful for you to bear, not at all, we here in New York love you, Philly. Realistically though, the Eagles are solid, and have a somewhat easy route to the playoffs from here on out: Their next 10 adversaries have an average Elo rating of 1484, which is below the league average 1500. [FiveThirtyEight]

Balto got high

For the first time ever, several Iditarod sled dogs from one team tested positive for a prohibited substance. The race began testing for doped-up doggies back in 1994. It’s been described by a race board member as an isolated incident. [ESPN]

Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!


Big Number

-10 wins

Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia five minutes into the first game of the NBA season. For Hayward, this means a difficult recovery over the course of the season. For the Celtics, it means their anticipated 47-win season drops to 37 wins, all of which is way below Vegas’ expected 53.5 wins. [FiveThirtyEight]


Leaks from Slack:

gfoster:

@heynawl-enten FYI, Yankees are likeable now. So keep that in mind.

https://sports.yahoo.com/alcs-game-5-new-york-yankees-actually-likable-042520640.html

heynawl-enten:

Just tweeted it

WTF is this?

colleen:

this is provably false

the yankees are the yankees

the yankees are not likable

QED

larue:

Curious what it would take for a hated team to become a likable team. A goliath to an underdog if you will. Possible?


Predictions


Oh, and don’t forget
The robots fought and it really really sucked.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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