How Do I Get My Best Friend To Stop Micromanaging My Breakup?

Welcome to Survey Says, FiveThirtyEight’s advice column. In each installment, our two advice-givers will take a reader question, debate what he or she should do and then survey a panel of people about what the best course of action is. Need our advice? Send us your quandary!

I recently had a short, four-month relationship end with someone because they had to move away. It was a tough decision, because I got along really well with this person and saw us being together for a long time. We broke up over a month ago and both agreed it would be best to see other people but keep in touch. I am actually happy with everything going on with this part of my life, and I am moving on in my own way even if we text every day. The problem is with my best friend, who won’t quit asking me about it. He was initially sad for me when we broke up and asked how things were going, which I appreciated. However, he thought our plan to stay in touch was a bad idea and that I should “cut her loose.” I told him that both her and I are fine keeping in touch and don’t want to stop. Ever since then he wouldn’t stop asking how things were going and insists it’s a bad idea to text each other. Now I’ve started to lie about it to get him to stop. I don’t know how to tell my closest friend that I don’t want him to ask for updates anymore. Ethan

Walt: This person just wants to gossip, and it’s way too close to home for Ethan.

Morgan: I don’t understand why this friend would be so obsessed with Ethan’s dating life unless he has experienced and been hurt by a similar situation. Then again, often times there are people who want to “save” others. They have paternal/maternal tendencies, and they think they know what’s best for their friends.

Walt: I get the vibe that Ethan doesn’t date much. That’s not a bad thing at all! It strikes me that the friend came into this with the best intentions though, given that “Ethan in a relationship” was a new thing, and now the friend does not really know what to ask next.

Morgan: Right. I think the friend’s intentions are good and he really cares for Ethan. But sometimes people have to learn when to dial it back and let others learn and mature in their own way.

Walt: I haven’t encountered a case of someone caring so much about a four-month relationship since Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock broke it off.

Morgan: LOL! A four-month relationships can be significant. I’ve dated men for three months and felt very intensely. This usually happens for people who don’t date much, and that may have been the case for Ethan.

Walt: What if Ethan’s friend is stirring up drama for its own sake though? He’s second-guessing Ethan’s decision to keep in touch. He’s goading him over the following weeks until he’s so exasperated, Ethan’s lying just to get him to stop. That, or Ethan’s friend is asking on someone else’s behalf? I don’t know.

Morgan: But drama for what reason? Because he’s so bored with his own life? I’m also wondering if Ethan’s friend may be asking on someone else’s behalf. If he’s not romantically interested in Ethan, then why does it seem like he has such an investment in all of this?

Walt: Some people just like to gossip.

Maybe Ethan’s ex is back-channeling through Ethan’s friend?

Does Ethan’s friend feel threatened by Ethan’s relationship with his ex? As Ethan later added, “I literally text and call this girl every week and am perfectly happy with how it has gone so far.”

Morgan: Wait … I think that’s exactly it. He feels threatened.

Walt: Ethan needs to ask his buddy what the real problem is — because there’s some other level to this we (including Ethan) are not picking up.

Morgan: Right. Or he can continue to lie to his friend about the relationship status.

Walt: Lying. Brilliant. Always my favorite answer.

FiveThirtyEight commissioned a SurveyMonkey Audience poll that ran Aug. 9-12 and received 1,009 responses. We presented respondents with Ethan’s question and asked them what the best advice is, given the situation. They were allowed to choose only one option.

  1. Stop talking with the friend about keeping in touch with the ex.


  2. Ask the friend if he feels threatened by the ex.


  3. Tell the friend to stop creating drama.


  4. Continue lying to the friend about keeping in touch with the ex.


  5. None of the above is good advice.


Walt: No decisive answer here! Wow!

Morgan: This one was a bit complex, though. I’m not surprised that confronting the friend or declining to talk about it are the two most popular responses.

Walt: Right. However, this is somewhat surprising:

Stop talking with the friend about the ex 44% 33%
Ask if the friend feels threatened 22 28
Tell the friend to stop creating drama 13 18
Continue lying about the friendship 2 3
None of the above is good advice 19 19

Morgan: I’m trying not to be gender essentialist here, but I’m surprised that fewer men than women thought it was a good idea to decline chatting about the friendship.

Walt: I too was not trying to be a gender essentialist but came to a similar “huh?” Men? Turning down an opportunity to avoid a conversation? This is madness.

Morgan: Yeah, OK, that’s surprising to me. When stuff is going down in our relationships, we usually talk.

18-29 30-44 45-59 60+
Stop talking with the friend about the ex 27% 40% 43% 44%
Ask if the friend feels threatened 28 24 23 23
Tell the friend to stop creating drama 17 17 14 13
Continue lying about the friendship 5 3 1 0
None of the above is good advice 23 16 19 19

Walt: The older someone was, the more likely they were to just shut it down.

By a lot.

Morgan: Would you say that the older you get, the less bullshit you put up with?

Walt: I would say so, yep. I am super not shocked on that front!

Morgan: Neither am I, friend.

Walt: So anyway: Talk it out, guys! There’s no need to feel threatened. Unless you’re over the age of 60, in which case never speak about your feelings ever again.

More of our advice:

  • My Roommate Keeps His Bodily Fluids In Our Fridge. What The Hell?
  • I Got Promoted, And My Work Buddy Didn’t. Now Things Are Weird.
  • My Neighbor Uses Me As A Free Baby Sitter — How Do I Deal With This Mooch?

Emergency Politics Podcast: Flake Is Out



The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast team gathers to discuss the news that Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona will not seek reelection, as well as what his departure means for the GOP Senate primary in 2018, the general election and the Republican Party as a whole.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Politics Podcast: Could A Democrat Actually Win In Alabama?



The highest-profile 2017 elections are not far off. The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast team takes stock of the candidates, polling and strategies in the Virginia governor’s race and the Alabama special Senate election.

In Virginia, Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is a modest favorite over Republican Ed Gillespie. In Alabama, controversial former judge Roy Moore, a Republican, is leading Democrat Doug Jones, but the race looks surprisingly competitive given that President Trump won Alabama by 28 percentage points.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Beside The Points For Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Vegas gets another team

The San Antonio Stars will move to Las Vegas under its new management of MGM Resorts International. This makes them the second professional team to open up in the gambling town with the Oakland Raiders soon to follow. With the No. 1 pick in the draft next year, this is an exciting time for the WNBA team. [ESPN]

Browns allegedly superior to other teams

The Browns’ crew of quarterbacks — a squad of personnel I am unfortunately well-acquainted with — is not the worst in history. We’ve had the statistic Total QBR since 2006, and in the period of time since them there have been three teams — the 2010 Panthers, 2008 Raiders and 2007 49ers — who have a total QBR less than the 21.9 Cleveland currently sports. [ESPN]

Clemson and Washington are not totally screwed

Last week the Clemson Tigers and Washington Huskies suffered upset losses that made them fall out of the AP Top 5. Clemson is down from a 55 percent chance of making the playoff to a 29 percent chance, and Washington fell from a 43 percent chance to a 24 percent chance. Realistically, the best way to make the playoff is to win out: doing so would give them a 97 percent and 87 percent chance, respectively, of making the playoff. Clemson’s Week 10 game against N.C. State will be the decisive game, while Washington’s test will be in Week 11 at Stanford. [FiveThirtyEight]

Happy Sports Equinox!

Thursday, Oct. 19 is the Sports Equinox, the day when all four major U.S. sports leagues play at least one game. There have only been 17 in history. Should the Cubs force a game 7 in the NCLS, Sunday will be a second one of 2017. Fair warning, with 14 different games, it’s going to get weird tonight in even the most amply-screened sports bars. [FiveThirtyEight]

Yes, let’s keep saying nice things about the Eagles

Oh wow the Eagles are real good this year! No reason at all to mitigate expectations, Eagles fans: You guys are going to win the Super Bowl for sure this time. Believe it! I’m in no way attempting to pump up expectation thus making the eventual and inevitable playoff catastrophe all the more panful for you to bear, not at all, we here in New York love you, Philly. Realistically though, the Eagles are solid, and have a somewhat easy route to the playoffs from here on out: Their next 10 adversaries have an average Elo rating of 1484, which is below the league average 1500. [FiveThirtyEight]

Balto got high

For the first time ever, several Iditarod sled dogs from one team tested positive for a prohibited substance. The race began testing for doped-up doggies back in 1994. It’s been described by a race board member as an isolated incident. [ESPN]

Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!

Big Number

-10 wins

Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia five minutes into the first game of the NBA season. For Hayward, this means a difficult recovery over the course of the season. For the Celtics, it means their anticipated 47-win season drops to 37 wins, all of which is way below Vegas’ expected 53.5 wins. [FiveThirtyEight]

Leaks from Slack:


@heynawl-enten FYI, Yankees are likeable now. So keep that in mind.


Just tweeted it

WTF is this?


this is provably false

the yankees are the yankees

the yankees are not likable



Curious what it would take for a hated team to become a likable team. A goliath to an underdog if you will. Possible?


Oh, and don’t forget
The robots fought and it really really sucked.

How Clemson And Washington Can Still Make The College Football Playoff

Each week in this space, we examine all the things a certain contending team needs to have happen in order for it to make the College Football Playoff. This week’s edition is a double feature starring the Clemson Tigers and Washington Huskies, each of which fell out of the AP Top 5 after suffering upset losses last week.

Current situations: After Clemson and Washington lost to Syracuse and Arizona State, respectively, the two teams’ College Football Playoff odds were dented pretty badly. According to FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model, the Tigers now have just a 29 percent chance of making the playoff (down from 55 percent going into the weekend), and the Huskies are at 24 percent (down from 43 percent). Six teams are currently ahead of the Tigers and Huskies in our CFP probabilities, and Clemson isn’t even the favorite to win its conference anymore. (Miami has slightly higher odds of winning the ACC.) The relatively straightforward paths for both teams to return to the CFP have now run into major complications.

What the Tigers and Huskies can do: As always, winning out is paramount to getting into the playoff. If Clemson runs the table — which our model gives a 20 percent chance of happening — it will have a 97 percent probability of making the CFP, a near-lock. The Tigers’ trip to NC State on Nov. 4 is easily their biggest obstacle to that; they win that game in 95 percent of our simulations that have them going to the playoff, while they only win it 49 percent of the time in sims where they don’t make the CFP. (That 46 percentage point difference makes it the highest-leverage game left in Clemson’s season.) It should also be noted that these numbers assume that Clemson’s star QB Kelly Bryant is healthy; he was knocked out of the Syracuse loss but seems to be progressing quickly in his recovery.

For Washington, the odds of winning all its remaining games are a bit higher (21 percent), although the Huskies also have a less guaranteed playoff path — only 87 percent CFP odds — even if they do win out. Washington’s most important game comes at Stanford on Nov. 10, a matchup the Huskies win 96 percent of the time in their playoff-bound simulations but only 40 percent of the time in universes where they don’t make the playoff.

Which of Clemson and Washington’s remaining games hold the most weight?

Remaining 2017 matchups, ranked by the amount of leverage on each team’s playoff chances. Based on two sets of simulations: one where the team makes the playoff and one where it doesn’t.

10 North Carolina State 94.6% 48.5% +46.2
11 Florida State 93.5 62.3 +31.2
13 South Carolina 90.1 67.3 +22.8
9 Georgia Tech 93.6 75.0 +18.6
12 Citadel 100.0 99.9 +0.1
11 Stanford 95.6% 39.5% +56.1
13 Washington State 98.0 73.4 +24.7
10 Oregon 94.5 78.4 +16.0
12 Utah 96.7 82.0 +14.7
9 UCLA 95.2 82.0 +13.2

Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding.

Where they need help: As mentioned above, Clemson doesn’t need much in the way of outside help — as long as the Tigers win, they’re still almost guaranteed to make the playoff. They could benefit slightly from anything that boosts their odds of winning the ACC, however, including losses by NC State and Miami. And any wins by Auburn will automatically help Clemson because of its head-to-head victory against those other Tigers in September.

Washington, on the other hand, could use more of an assist from afar. There are two categories for these kinds of games: Some — like Stanford losing to Cal in Week 12 — tend to be entangled with implications about the strength of a team’s own opponents.For instance, consider a situation in which Team A and Team B are conference rivals. Team B might be less likely to win an unrelated game in a simulation where Team A makes the playoff, because Team B is also likely to be weaker in a universe where Team A beats them head-to-head.

“>1 (Arizona State beating USC also fits this category, because it makes Washington’s loss to the Sun Devils look less bad.) But the more interesting ones come where the connection isn’t obvious: Georgia Tech beating Georgia, for instance, helps Washington because it hurts an undefeated Bulldogs team that currently sits ahead of the Huskies in our playoff odds.

Which other games need to go right for Clemson and Washington?

The non-Tigers, non-Huskies matchups that have the most leverage on each team’s playoff chances

12 Wake Forest def. N.C. State 44.6% 38.2% +6.4
10 Virginia Tech def. Miami 36.8 32.5 +4.3
11 Boston College def. N.C. State 26.6 22.3 +4.3
13 North Carolina def. N.C. State 18.1 14.5 +3.6
11 Auburn def. Georgia 47.8 44.4 +3.5
11 Notre Dame def. Miami 49.5 46.5 +3.0
12 Virginia def. Miami 17.2 14.4 +2.8
12 Michigan def. Wisconsin 28.3 25.7 +2.6
12 California def. Stanford 17.9% 14.3% +3.6
13 Georgia Tech def. Georgia 30.2 27.2 +3.0
9 Arizona State def. USC 34.5 31.7 +2.9
13 South Carolina def. Clemson 28.2 25.5 +2.8
13 Notre Dame def. Stanford 48.9 46.2 +2.7
10 Washington St. def. Stanford 40.5 37.8 +2.7
10 Arizona def. USC 28.2 25.6 +2.6
8 Notre Dame def. USC 66.5 63.9 +2.6

Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding.

One good piece of news for both Clemson and Washington is that, of the six teams ahead of them in the CFP probabilities, all but likely Big 12 winner TCU hail from just two conferences: the Big Ten and SEC. Since the playoff selection committee puts an emphasis on conference championships, some of those teams will by definition see their odds plummet before the Final Four is chosen — we just don’t know which ones yet. So there aren’t many universes where both, say, Alabama and Georgia make the playoff, or both Ohio State and Penn State (to say nothing of Wisconsin).

But Washington and Clemson may also find themselves as enemies down the season’s final stretch; with one loss apiece, they could very likely be competing for the same CFP slot. Indeed, Clemson only makes the playoff in 23 percent of the simulations where Washington is in, versus 31 percent of the sims where Washington misses out. (That same split is 18 percent versus 25 percent from Washington’s perspective.) With only four teams standing at the end of the season, every loss counts — a lesson the Tigers and Huskies might have learned the hard way last weekend.

Check out our latest college football predictions.

Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss On Working With Magic Johnson And Drafting Lonzo Ball

By Chris Herring


In this bonus episode of The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s NBA podcast, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss joins FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring to discuss the upcoming Lakers season. She talks about why she chose to fire her brother — and put longtime friend Magic Johnson in charge — just two days before last season’s trade deadline, plus discusses her initial response to the NBA’s tampering fine against the Lakers and how she still wonders how things might have been different had the Lakers brought Phil Jackson back to the team as a coach in 2012. Click the play button above to hear the interview. We’ll be back with another episode of The Lab later this week.

Don’t Give Up On Ben Roethlisberger Just Yet

The Steelers may be 3-2, but the mood in Pittsburgh is dour. Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a five-interception fiasco against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the latest and worst in a run of lukewarm performances this season. Plenty in Steeler nation are beginning to question whether the 35-year-old Roethlisberger has hit the wall. One of those people is the actual Ben Roethlisberger.

The numbers are definitely not pretty, especially when compared to his career averages. That interception festival he hosted in Week 5 torched his passer rating, which has sunk to 75.8 and is way below his 94.1 career rating entering the season. More alarming than the spate of picks is that Roethlisberger’s yards per attempt, which for his career prior to this year stood at a near all-time-best 7.9, is a career-low 6.5 so far this season.

But a closer look at the numbers shows there’s good reason to believe that this bad stretch is just that: a bad stretch. Here are the key reasons Steelers fans should still have hope — regardless of what Roethlisberger himself is saying or thinking.

History is on his side

We identified several quarterbacks who struggled in the first five games of their age-35 seasons when compared to what they did through age 34.We looked at quarterbacks going back to 1978 to make sure all of them had played in the merged NFL for a decent amount of time. To qualify for the list, each quarterback needed to have a minimum of 125 pass attempts through five games.

“>1 In almost every case, these QBs bounced back to something much closer to their established levels. To be sure, there’s some selection bias at play here — most of these quarterbacks are generally excellent, because erratic and unreliable passers do not usually last in the NFL until they are 35.

Struggling 35-year-olds mostly rebounded nicely

Quarterbacks who posted subpar numbers in their first five games during their age-35 season and how they fared in rest of that year, 1978-2017

Dan Fouts 1986 SD 81.8 7.8 55.4 6.3 84.0 7.7
Jim Hart 1979 STL 70.6 6.9 49.0 5.7 59.0 6.0
Ben Roethlisberger 2017 PIT 94.1 7.9 75.8 6.5
Jim Kelly 1995 BUF 85.8 7.5 67.8 6.3 87.0 7.1
Trent Green 2005 KAN 87.9 7.7 80.5 6.9 94.3 8.3
Drew Brees 2014 NOR 95.3 7.5 91.8 7.2 99.6 7.7
Brett Favre 2004 GNB 86.9 7.1 86.0 7.1 95.4 7.8
Matt Hasselbeck 2010 SEA 83.3 6.9 74.8 6.4 72.3 7.0
Ken Anderson 1984 CIN 82.0 7.3 68.0 7.7 96.1 7.6

*Through age-34 season.
Minimum 125 passes in first five games, with a QB rating worse than career numbers prior to that season.


Among the passers on this list, the average QB rating improved from 71.2 in the first five games to 86.0 for the remainder of the season. Their yards per attempt also rebounded, from a pedestrian 6.7 to a solid 7.4, on average. If Roethlisberger improves at the same rate, his passer rating for the rest of the year would be 88.4 and his yards per attempt would bounce up to 7.2. But Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and Jim Kelly beat those averages, so it’s certainly possible that Roethlisberger could outperform them as well.

Roethlisberger is still doing Roethlisberger things

While the box scores have been ugly, many of Roethlisberger’s underlying numbers have been typical for his career. His accuracy hasn’t declined significantly: Only 17.5 percent of his throws have been off target, which is only a shade worse than the 16.9 percent rate he posted in the regular season from 2014 to 2016. And on deep passes,More than 10 yards.

“>2 Roethlisberger has actually been a hair more accurate, 28.2 percent of his throws have been off target this year compared to 28.3 percent in the past three years.

You would think that as Roethlisberger ages, he would start to lose his trademark ability to move outside the pocket on broken plays and find something down the field. But in a limited sample so far this year, he has still been effective when chased from the pocket — he has posted a 101.2 passer rating on just nine dropbacks in these situations this year compared with 124.2 on 93 dropbacks in the prior three seasons.

One logical explanation for Roethlisberger’s poor start would be that something was amiss with his offensive line. Perhaps he’s under more pressure than usual? But in fact, the Steelers QB is tied with Oakland’s Derek Carr for the least pressured quarterback in the league this year — both have been under threat on just 15.1 percent of dropbacks. And that’s the way it has been for a while in Pittsburgh; Roethlisberger had the second-lowest pressure rate in the league (behind Peyton Manning) from 2014-16.

So if Roethlisberger hasn’t suddenly become inaccurate and he’s not suddenly facing more pressure, the Steelers’ offensive problems may extend beyond the QB and O-line.

Bell and Brown are not helping matters

The real explanation for Roethlisberger’s poor start may be the decline in efficiency of his two top targets, wideout Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell.

On Roethlisberger’s 62 targets to Brown this year, his passer rating has dropped to just 71, down from 112.2 on 480 targets in the past three years. And while it’s hard to tell from a passer rating whether the quarterback or receiver is more to blame, other stats provide some evidence that the 29-year-old Brown is not quite himself this year. According to the NFL, defenses are playing Brown much more tightly at the snap — his average cushion has declined from 5.2 to 4.5 yards, one of the lowest among all receivers. But he’s not making defensive backs pay by running by them, as his average separation is unchanged (2.9 yards).

Bell’s receiving ability, meanwhile, is downright ordinary this year. The prior three years, Roethlisberger had 105 passer rating when throwing to Bell. This year, it’s 85.4. Bell is averaging 3.85 yards before contact and just 1.48 after. The prior three years, those figures were 6.64 and 2.20. It’s hard to blame Roethlisberger for Bell being unable to get open and make defenders miss.

Bell’s ineffective performance so far has also meant that Roethlisberger can’t use him as a safety valve, which has crushed the QB’s stats against the blitz. In the past three seasons, Roethlisberger had a 96 rating on 381 dropbacks against blitzing defenses — mostly because the underneath pass to Bell was so effective. This year, his rating on those plays is down to 54.6, the lowest in the league.

Sunday, Roethlisberger travels to Kansas City to face the unbeaten Chiefs, who have been winning more with offense than defense, which may mean his receivers will be able to find a little more space. And Roethlisberger’s attitude about his ability to perform has undergone a 180-degree turn. “They can question me. I don’t question myself,” he said, three days after his “Maybe I don’t have it anymore” interview. “I think you guys are much more panicked than we are.”

And unless Roethlisberger is a huge outlier and suddenly craters at age 35, or Bell and Brown have completely lost their ability to be dominant receiving threats, it seems there actually is little reason for Steelers fans to panic.

2017-18 NBA Predictions

UPDATED SEP. 14, 2017 AT 1:50 PM

2017-18 NBA PredictionsBased on “CARM-Elo,” a mix of team Elo ratings and our CARMELO player projections. Updated after every game.

More NBA:  CARMELO projections   Every team’s Elo history


1707 1741 -88 Warriors1-2 West 61-21 +8.1 >99% 53% 30%
1618 1641 -16 Cavaliers2-1 East 56-26 +6.3 98% 47% 14%
1534 1612 +48 Timberwolves2-0 West 52-30 +4.8 88% 10% 6%
1530 1608 +9 Thunder1-0 West 51-31 +4.1 83% 8% 6%
1621 1605 +24 Clippers1-0 West 50-32 +4.3 83% 7% 5%
1597 1596 +43 Rockets2-1 West 50-32 +4.3 82% 7% 5%
1526 1593 -10 Raptors1-1 East 50-32 +3.6 93% 18% 7%
1586 1591 -26 Spurs0-1 West 48-34 +2.8 76% 5% 4%
1560 1582 -16 Jazz1-1 West 49-33 +2.7 78% 5% 5%
1550 1577 +11 Trail Blazers1-1 West 47-35 +2.7 72% 4% 3%
1507 1548 +12 Bulls1-0 East 47-35 +2.0 84% 11% 3%
1552 1539 +81 Hawks2-0 East 46-36 +2.5 85% 10% 3%
1467 1509 +44 Magic2-1 East 42-40 +1.2 72% 4% 2%
1475 1503 +31 Mavericks1-2 West 39-43 -0.3 36% <1% <1%
1449 1494 -40 Hornets1-1 East 41-41 -0.4 66% 3% 1%
1578 1490 +21 Wizards2-0 East 40-42 +0.2 63% 3% <1%
1524 1487 +37 Grizzlies2-0 West 39-43 -0.5 36% <1% <1%
1531 1480 -6 Nuggets0-1 West 39-43 -0.8 35% <1% <1%
1454 1471 -91 Celtics0-3 East 37-45 -2.6 48% <1% <1%
1533 1450 +43 Bucks1-1 East 37-45 -1.4 46% 1% <1%
1426 1448 -30 Pistons0-2 East 36-46 -2.2 41% <1% <1%
1395 1436 -9 Knicks0-1 East 34-48 -2.9 35% <1% <1%
1417 1434 -15 Kings1-1 West 33-49 -3.9 14% <1% <1%
1461 1428 -24 Pelicans0-2 West 31-51 -4.2 10% <1% <1%
1465 1417 -31 Pacers0-1 East 32-50 -3.7 25% <1% <1%
1511 1398 -18 Heat0-1 East 31-51 -4.4 21% <1% <1%
1374 1396 -14 Suns1-1 West 29-53 -4.6 6% <1% <1%
1385 1382 +3 76ers1-2 East 29-53 -4.9 16% <1% <1%
1391 1353 +3 Lakers1-1 West 26-56 -6.9 2% <1% <1%
1421 1334 +24 Nets1-0 East 25-57 -6.2 6% <1% <1%

Forecast fromTodaySept. 14 (preseason)

How this works: This forecast is based on 50,000 simulations of the season and accounts for team fatigue, travel distance to games, and home courts with higher altitudes. Elo ratings are a measure of team strength based on head-to-head results and quality of opponent, while our CARMELO projections estimate a player’s future performance based on the trajectory of other, similar NBA players. Our CARM-Elo ratings, which power the forecast model, blend these two metrics to measure a team’s quality based on both its game results and its roster. Full methodology »

By Jay Boice, Ella Koeze and Nate Silver. Additional contributions from Neil Paine. Illustration by Elias Stein.


The Timberwolves Might Have Too Many StarsLeBron And The Cavs Could Make Dwyane Wade Young AgainHow Will Porzingis And The Knicks Cope With Life After Melo?Carmelo Anthony Makes The Thunder WholeThe Celtics Didn’t Mortgage Their Future — They Insured It


Get more FiveThirtyEight

  • Newsletter
  • Podcasts
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • GitHub
  • RSS
  • Contact
  • Jobs
  • Masthead
  • Privacy and Terms of Service
  • About Nielsen Measurement