Trinity mathematician picks Spurs to win

Math model developed at Trinity predicts Western Conference Title win for Spurs

By Ursula Pari - Anchor

Dr. Eduardo Cabral Balreira, along with Dr. Brian K. Miceli and Thomas Tegtmeyer, created what they call an "Oracle Method" to predict the outcomes of sporting events, and in the process, may have taken some of the fun out of the rest of the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City by predicting a Spurs win.

The Trinity University math professors have managed to use the method to predict game outcomes for the 2002-2013 NFL seasons with 64.1 percent accuracy, which is better than comparable methods such as the ESPN Power Rankings.

Dr. Cabral, as his students call him, said getting to do mathematics with sports is the best of all worlds.

He explained the method as simple, yet complicated.

"We focus just on the schedule, matches, home and away, and how many points you score. We don't look at individual players, yet," he said.

With dry-erase boards filled with symbols and arrows, Cabral said it's basically an infinite loop of numbers that all point to a Spurs win by a conservative estimate of 54 percent. Riskier models put the chances of a win at 66 percent.

He also expects the Spurs to finish off the Thunder and reach the NBA Finals, predicting, "The Spurs should win the series at 58 percent. They are a very good team, but we are better."

His model has already picked the Heat as the winner of its series against the Pacers, but said until he can punch in the numbers from the remainder of the Conference Finals games, he wants to wait before putting the Spurs in the winner's circle as NBA champions.

However, he does hint that given the numbers currently available, the Spurs should take the NBA championship.

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