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Quick Guide To The NFL Simulator

Jack Andrews
May 11, 2024
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Welcome to our NFL Simulator at Unabated. We believe this will be the best-in-class application for simulating out the rest of the NFL season. In this brief on-boarding video, I’m going to give you a quick tour of how you can utilize the simulator.

Let’s get started…

If you’ve never used the simulator before, your only option is to start designing your first sim. If this isn’t your first, you’ll see a list of previous sims that you can access, revisit, and modify.

Let’s start designing your first sim…

You’ll have three modes to choose from. Basic, Advanced, and our unique Unabated Mode.

In Basic Mode, you are providing just one overall power rating for each team in the league.

In Advanced Mode, we allow you to break down your power ratings by offense and defense.

In Unabated mode, we allow you break down the offensive power rating even further by providing a power rating for the starting QB and the backup QB. This allows for more precise effect of removal if the starting QB goes down.

Not all users have power ratings, so we also allow you to preload some of the popular power ratings available out there. Basic has the most publicly available ratings, Advanced a few less, and when you get to our Unabated mode, currently the only publicly available set of ratings comes from our exclusive partnership with Massey-Peabody Analytics.

Once you choose your mode, and choose the ratings you wish to preload, you’ll then have the ability to modify the ratings as well as some other variables. Let’s go over how the ratings work.

In Basic Mode, the single rating represents the number of points this team is better than an average NFL team. A positive rating is higher than a negative rating. If a team was +5.2, they would be a 5.2 point favorite over the league average team given no other variables.

If you are in Advanced Mode, you will have the team rating broken into Offensive and Defensive ratings. In both columns, a positive rating is better than a negative rating.

And then in Unabated mode, you break down the offensive rating even further with ratings for the starting QB and their backup

The other variables on the design grid are the same across all modes of the simulator.

First up is the Home Field Advantage. By default we list the default home field advantage as provided by the rating system. Of course home field is worth more to some teams than others. So feel free to modify this per team if you’d like.

Next is the Starting QB Injury percentage. This represents the odds per each start that the starting QB will get injured and miss at least one game. These numbers were developed by Massey-Peabody Analytics using 20 years of NFL data to determine the risk factors that contribute to potential QB injury. Factors such as age, experience, size, and previous injury history all contribute to these numbers.

In Basic & Advanced mode we allow you to adjust how an injury to the starting QB affects the team’s power rating. By default we use a league average of -3 points, but as with home field advantage, it can vary by team, and you can adjust that if you’d like. In Unabated mode, we use the specific ratings presented between starting and backup QB.

Lastly is our Rating Update Function slider which helps model the effect of dynamic uncertainty week to week in the modeling process. You can use the slider to decide if you want to influence the simulator to use more of the prior ratings as laid out, or more of the in-season results of simulated games to dictate how the power ratings evolve over the course of the simulated season.

Once you have all your settings as desired, you can run the simulation. Our servers will take your data and run monte carlo simulations of the rest of the NFL season 10,000 times. This may take about a minute to complete. When finished, you will be presented a probability matrix of each team’s average number of wins, and aggregate odds of winning their division, conference, or Super Bowl. You can then also view these results matched against live odds from a large selection of sportsbooks to find ways you can turn your opinions into wagers.

That should be everything you need to get started – go ahead, give a try.