Tailing Aaron Rodgers (part three)

It’s time to update two of our ongoing projects. First, to revisit the idea of Aaron Rodgers throwing less than 38.5 touchdowns. The point in parts one and two were to not think specifically about what might happen but think about the states of what could happen. We reasoned there were a lot more things that would influence Rodgers to throw fewer touchdowns rather than more.

Well, no one predicted this. Rodgers now has three games (with the snowy Seahawks showing) with zero touchdowns.

Another idea to update is ‘or the field?’ Are certain events more or less predictive than others? The Wharton Moneyball hosts note that the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament odds are out.

“We need to do our calculation, how many teams do we have to go down until the odds get to about fifty percent? You probably have to go down six or seven teams, I think I’m still taking the field. I’ll give you Gonzaga, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, UCLA, and Duke and I’ll take everyone else.” – Eric Bradlow, Wharton Moneyball, November 2021

Well, here’s how the different sports stack up.

November field update

In the EPL and Men’s tennis the top three favorites have a larger cumulative expected odds than NCAA Football and the NBA which have larger cumulative odds than MLB, NFL, or NHL while NCAA basketball seems to be the most unpredictable. The larger the favorites, the thinking goes, the more predictable the skill and the less influential the luck.


Tom Brady continues to chug along contra to the Rodgers reasoning, needing to average 180 passing yards in his remaining games or even just 240 if he misses two. One explanation here is that positive early variance (four games over 375 yards passing) changes things a lot. Prior to this year, Brady only had 23 games with that many yards or more.