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.