How should sports teams spend their money to win more games?

Professional sports teams drop serious cash to try and secure the very best talent, and the dough can really pile up. But is all that money well spent? Conventional wisdom says that teams with higher payrolls ought to perform better than those with more modest means. Some leagues have even instituted limits on spending in order to make games more competitive.

But do higher-spending teams really do better, and do salary caps actually level the playing field? In this lesson, students look at data for four major pro sports leagues and try to answer the question: Can you buy wins?

- Use technology to calculate linear regressions for wins versus team salary for major professional sports
- Compare relative strengths of linear associations using correlation coefficients
- Interpret the slope of a linear regression function in context
- Discuss the effects of salary caps on the relationship between wins and team salary
- Given regression functions and correlation coefficients, examine the relationship between wins and several other variables
- Discuss the difference between correlation and causation

- Graphing and regression technology

MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, Andy Rooney