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'Scorecasting' by Moskowitz and Wertheim

'Scorecasting' by Moskowitz and Wertheim

Sports holds many truths to be self-evident: Defense wins championships. It's smart strategy to bench a player who is in foul trouble. Teams perform better at home than on the road. When a basketball player gets a hot hand, it's best to feed that shooter.

But how many of these axioms stand up to exhaustive statistical scrutiny? Two boyhood pals – Toby Moskowitz, a finance professor at the University of Chicago, and Jon Wertheim, a writer at Sports Illustrated – set out to separate myth from reality, poring over mountains of statistics for a book with an unfortunate title, "Scorecasting."

Their findings validate some widely held beliefs and refute others.