About

The Oracle method is a mathematical ranking method to evaluate paired comparisons. The Oracle takes into consideration only basic data about each match: The two teams that played, the outcome, and the points each team scored.

We are currently working on NFL, College Football, NBA, and our method is now used by TYFA (Texas Youth Football Association). If you have questions, comments, or leagues requests please contact us.

About the method: The Oracle views the tournament as a network where the flow of information flows from one team to another. The Oracle automatically consider information about each team opponents, their opponents, and so on. Network methods are a natural extension of SOS (Strength of Schedule). The main innovation of the Oracle is the addition of a customizable node in the network that does a better job evaluating upsets. For complete details, the original method was published in the following article:

Balreira, E. C, Miceli, B., and Tegtmeyer, T, “An Oracle method to predict NFL games”, Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Vol. 10, Issue 2, Pg 183–196, 2014.

About me: My name is E. Cabral Balreira, and I am currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Trinity University. My main research are is in global dynamics and differential topology, but my passion for sports has led me to think a lot about Sports Analytics. For the past few years, I am teaching a Sports Seminar and consulting with different organizations about data analytics.

The Oracle method has also been used in mathematical biology. In 2016, we published the following article:

Jordan M. Bush, McKenzie M. Quinn, E. Cabral Balreira, and Michele A. Johnson, “How do lizards determine dominance? Applying ranking algorithms to animal social behaviour”, Animal Behaviour, Vol. 118, Pg 65-74, 2016.

For more information on the biology project visit Dr. Johnson’s site and for information on lizards, we recommend the Lizard and Friends site

 

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