Assume Team A and Team B are in the same division. In the first regular season matchup, Team A plays Team B at home, and wins. If this is all you know, how likely would you say Team A is to win in the rematch?
On one hand, we now know that Team A has to travel on the road for the rematch, and road teams win about 43% of the time. But we also have some evidence that Team A is better than Team B, so how does that impact things? And what about the idea that it’s hard to sweep a team — does that play into things?
I looked at all division matchups from 1970 to 2015. There were 1,297 times when the home team won the first matchup among division opponents — let’s call that team, Team A. What was Team A’s record in the rematch on the road at Team B?
Take a second to think about it.
If you’re so inclined, post your thoughts/guesses in the comments before clicking. But now if you are dying to know the answer…
Now, what if Team A loses at home? Well, that changes things, obviously. Now we have evidence that Team A is worse than Team B *and* Team A has to play on the road in the next game. About the only thing in Team A’s favor would be the “tough to sweep” idea. So what do you think the record of all Team As have been in this case?
There have been 1,018 such cases. What is the winning percentage of Team As in the rematch?
Again, if you are interested, post your thoughts/reasoning in the comments before clicking.
Finally, there have been 40 instances where Team A tied Team B at home. What is Team A’s record in the rematch?
Anyway, I don’t know why, but these sorts of things interest me. Let me know if there are queries in this area of the football universe that interest you, too, and I’ll see if I can run them.