By HCR Staff | December 26, 2020
If you follow our site, you know that our primary objective is to judge every NFL head coach’s in-game performance pursuant to a proprietary algorithm. The algorithm produces a numeric grade for every head coach, in every regular season game, on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being best.
NFL official statistics provide a ‘passer rating’ for every quarterback’s performance; we’re essentially doing the same for head coaches.
In a sport that’s full of new metrics, we couldn’t find one that measured every head coach’s in-game effectiveness, so we invented our own. And as American football’s the most highly orchestrated sport, the in-game judgments and choices of a head coach has a more direct bearing on the outcome than the performance of any player.
As we began rating the head coaches, it occurred to us that perhaps our ratings could be used to help sports bettors. Bettors have a plethora of information available to them to assist them in making their betting choices – home/away data, injury data, turf/surface data, weather conditions, etc.
But we realized one thing was missing, and we felt, the most important thing: the head coach’s in-game abilities to make good judgments and choices.
So we came up with two algorithms, both separate, that bettors could use separately, or in tandem, to help them with their gaming choices. Neither algorithm considers any other information other than our own proprietary HCR rating for each head coach. In other words, we don’t look at home/away records, injuries, weather, surface, etc.
We just look at the head coach’s in-game effectiveness.
One algorithm is for Moneyline bets; here, and subject to a few other conditions, we simply favor the higher rated coach, at that moment in time.
The other algorithm is for Against-The-Spread (ATS) bets; here, our HCR ratings for each coach in a particular matchup interact with the early-in-the-week Wednesday consensus line. Subject to few other conditions, our algorithm simply spits out a recommendation.
This is where we have to emphasize: we are not a sports book, we are not a wagering site, we are not mathematicians, etc. We are people who just like football – a lot – and we follow it closely.
Given what we aren’t, and as you try to understand our two separate algorithms for betting suggestions, it’s important to keep in mind that the algorithms are not designed to act in concert.
We are simply advising bettors what our separate algorithms recommend for Moneyline and ATS wagers. A bettor can choose to follow one, neither, or both – and on the occasions that the algorithmic results for a particular game are in conflict, a bettor could take that as a signal to simply avoid the game.
We’ve had experienced gamblers, far smarter than us on these topics, passionately point out the conflicting results in our algorithm for certain games. Yes, it happens, but not often.
But we just want to remind our readers and bettors following our site that we’re not a sports book – there isn’t a single person making the lines here and making them consistent. We’re a site that simply has developed two separate algorithms, and we just relay what the game to game suggestions are, and we will let you decide what you want to do with the suggestion.
Since we publicly debuted our betting algorithms halfway through the 2017 regular season and the Moneyline and ATS suggestions each week, we are, to date, 63% on Moneyline and 56% on ATS wagers. That’s the objective data.
When we debuted, we had no idea whatsoever how our algorithms would hold up. To date, however, they’ve held up well. When we consider we’re only looking at our own HCR ratings for each head coach, and not any other variable, we think our algorithms have held up remarkably well.
Whether you choose to use our ratings in making your betting selections is up to you. But if you’re an educated football fan or bettor, you probably do feel, to some degree, that the quality of the head coach has an effect on the outcome of every game. That’s all we’re trying to help you with.
One last thing to share: NFL teams have visited our site. Apparently, their analytics people are curious about what we think of their head coaches too.