Published: Jun 14, 2011 09:03 PM
Modified: Jun 14, 2011 09:03 PM
The Carolina RailHawks do not need to worry too much about whether or not they will qualify for the North American Soccer League playoffs, according to a sports statistics website.
Part of that is because six teams in the eight-team NASL make the league's playoffs.
And if you think those are good odds, wait until you see the numbers the probability-calculating website has produced.
According to sportsclubstats.com
, the RailHawks (9-1-1) have a 99.9 percent chance of making the playoffs after Friday's 1-0 win at FC Edmonton (5-4-1).
There are two ways in which sportsclubstats.com
calculates a team's chances to make the playoffs - weighted and 50-50.
The 50-50 system is the conventional way of thinking about playoff odds. It calculates all win-loss-tie probabilities and makes no distinction between any two teams' talent level. So it recognizes the possibility - as unlikely it may be - that the RailHawks could lose the 17 remaining games on their schedule, or that the last-place Atlanta Silverbacks win out.
That's where the 99.9 percent chance to make the playoffs comes from. The 50-50 model also says the RailHawks have almost a 68 percent chance to win the regular season and have home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the NASL playoffs.
The weighted method takes into consideration the results that have already taken place in the league - and because of the way the RailHawks have dominated the NASL thus far, this method considers Carolina a 100 percent lock to reach the playoffs. This formula also says the team has an 86 percent chance to win the regular season title.
Edmonton figures to be one of Carolina's top challengers for the NASL title, but the RailHawks came back with another win after midfielder Matt Watson scored in the 53rd minute.
Watson's first goal of the season led to the franchise's first-ever trip to Edmonton.
Star forward Etienne Barbara seemed to have added a second goal for the RailHawks in the 56th minute, but the goal was disallowed after an inadvertent whistle from the stands was ruled to have affected the Edmonton players from defending Barbara on his run.
Despite protests from the coaches and players, the call was not reversed.
The RailHawks, winners of a franchise-record seven straight games, have 28 points this year - which is an 11-point lead over second-place NSC Minnesota Stars (4-2-5).
Carolina returns home Saturday to play FC Tampa Bay, where a win might push those 99.9 percent odds to 100. The first 500 fans to enter the stadium will receive a 2011 RailHawks Jersey Tee.