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Does a Database determine a game’s result? It doesn’t determine it, but it certainly goes a long way in pointing you in the right direction. That is the nature of math, history, tradition, comparisons, trends, statistics and a chronology of past events that are the potential paradigm for the outcome of future ones. Nor does the database influence the performance of the athletes who will read about what they are supposed to do in a given instance but pay little attention to it.

But, the individual team database statistics and side-by-side team comparison, together forming the match-up, is infinitely better as a benchmark than the opinion of your best buddy or some handicapper who is playing the same guessing game that you are accustomed to every weekend. The journalists who write about the teams and pretend to be prognosticators are certainly not the final word and, 99% of the time, have nothing at stake…not even their reputations. They just spew forth their rather inane commentary on why one team should beat another and then follow up their miscalculations of the day before with rather benign remarks about all the coulda, woulda, shoulda and mighta been situations, forgetting that the contest is over, etched into the record books and dug from your pockets. And all the hyperbole and conjecture in the world will not change that.

This brings us to the statistical match-ups that just might help you.

If you can combine common sense with the postulate that “the figures don’t lie [most of the time],” you just might have something cooking on the front burner. A good sports news service like The Sports Network (TSN) ( ), ESPN ( or for European sports, ( , whether across their wire services or on their web sites almost always provide pre-game analysis, historical trends, weather reports, injury updates and everything else deemed a helping hand to forecast the probable outcome of a particular sporting event. Most of you then mix in your gut feelings, favorite teams, hunches, opinions of friends and family, slight consideration given to the pundits in the papers, sports talk show hosts, irreverent touts and Tarot cards predictions when available.

It is a hell of a concoction.

The trick is to try and take as much guesswork out of the formula as possible. That brings us back to game match-ups. Some of the easiest to read are available at , in the sports book section. They have match-ups in place for NFL and NBA, Major League Baseball and, in the Fall college football and basketball. Will they guarantee the winner? Not hardly. Predict the outcome? No. Point you in the right direction? Most assuredly.

Some samples have been depicted with this feature. They contain all of the content that the TSN experts have determined to be more than sufficient for proper analysis. That is the key, analysis and determination, factors whose final result might very well be to pass and move along to the next contest. That is a result, a conclusion reached when you have studied all of the key elements.

Sports results are predictable but that does not mean that they can be accurately forecast. A conundrum, an oxymoron in the making. Not intended as such. Your world includes the line, the point spread, the final score taking that into consideration. The New York Giants over the Philadelphia Eagles at the Meadowlands is predictable. Whether or not they will win by the posted 3, 3½, or 4 is another matter altogether. That brings us to the proverbial and enduring, “Nice game but did they cover?” consideration that accompanies every contest in which a player, as we know the term to denote, has a financial interest.

The various categories of comparison are carefully selected for their effect upon the outcome of the game. The intangibles, such as injuries taking place during a game, a sudden change in weather that is not forecast, technical fouls or flagrant penalties that remove a key player from the game, totally inept officiating and a cold or hot hand, among so many other “control items,” cannot be anticipated. They just come with the territory.

But, your decided advantage is the study of the influencing factors that you can see and hold in your hand and head. That is what comes out of a database that looks into recent history and is able to pit one team against another in the categories that will determine the final score. The technology of today has not only made this possible, it has necessitated it.

Too much to read and study? Not an approach that we can accept. Investment in the outcome of the game, done in a sporting manner whether through the sportsbooks of Nevada or online, should be treated as a serious venture, one where you are determined to win and one which will add to your personal coffers. If it is done for pure fun, skip the study and head right to the Ouija board. Or easier yet, toss a coin. But, I think it is safe to presume that the object of some 3-4 hours of stress, agony, cheering, booing, casting expletives that you did not know were in your vocabulary, savoring the win, and knowing that it is better to receive than to give is to achieve a winning result.

The fact of the matter is that a good database does all the groundwork for you. The database at The Sports Network has looked at key elements of the contests and determined how to present each for the easiest read possible. TSN has gone back in time, about three years -just far enough for a true analysis. What the two combatants did against each other ten or twenty years ago is relatively meaningless for the present evaluation. But, you do have to know how they have fared in recent years, with the same players, at each other’s venue and with the same coaches and managers. The course of each game over that chosen period is very, very important. Similarities will stand out as much as differences with a greater than average distance between them.

You cannot pile up every comparison and analysis, opinion and forecast, trend and historical archive, handicapper and newsletter that is available to you to reach a calculated summation and forecast. It would be akin to reading ten of the world’s greatest novels over the weekend. Evelyn Woods couldn’t do that.

It does well to point out that the most simplistic explanation of a solid database is one that it is the compilation of just about every fact involving a particular team’s recent history against all of its opponents and then taking both into consideration – the team and its opponent – to permit a detailed match-up in each category that will play a role in determining the outcome of the game.

Putting that together with the judgmental offerings of your favorite sports journalists and you have the necessary tools to influence your choice.

A database is precisely that – a base of data gathered and sorted to fill pre-determined categories of performance. It is then a matter of team A’s performance against team B’s, historically and this season. Also brought into play is the general performance of each team of late in the same categories chosen.

The data is not the final factor or determinant. It is a helpful one. And since they are so easy to find on the internet, you should take the time to use one.
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