Welcome to the Saturday pour over, a collection of sports betting insights written by Edward Egros.
Homefield Advantage. Dr. Eric Eager has pointed out on his podcast PFF Forecast the difficulty predicting homefield advantage early in the season. In 2019, homefield advantage was almost non-existent. Then last year, empty stadiums and COVID concerns also wiped away that edge.
Will homefield advantage in 2021 mean almost nothing (e.g. a 0.5-point boost) or something closer to normal (e.g. 2-2.5 points)? Dr. Ed Feng is currently using 1.84 points for NFL homefield advantage based upon 2015-2019 regular-season data (he discusses this number on his podcast “Covering the Spread”).
Betting on Week 1 in the NFL. Drew Dinsick mentioned on his podcast Deep Dive w/ Andy and the Whale that he believes Week 1 lines have been driven into the ground, because of the lengthy offseason, so much that it is near impossible to find market efficiencies.
Drew added it would be better to look at Week 2 in college football to find where the market has not caught up to reality. However, late movement may still happen (e.g. Washington going for a 1-point dog to a 1.5-point favorite against the Los Angeles Chargers).
Is the Pac-12 THAT Bad? With nearly every team in the Pac-12 North losing, the reputation for the entire conference has been tarnished. But, if you break up conferences into divisions and rank those, the Pac-12 South has a lot of value.
Jeff Sagarin did this exercise and has the Pac-12 South as the 4th toughest in the country. UCLA’s win over LSU helps, USC’s offense is off to a solid start and Arizona State currently ranks 3rd in America in EPA/Play (granted, with one data point).
Heisman Futures. As I pointed out on BetQL Daily, because overall attention for Group of Five teams has lessened over time, it has become more difficult for some elite players to get a proper shake for the Heisman trophy. On cfb-graphs.com, the top two offenses belong to Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina, each led by a quarterback with proven track records.
However, Desmond Ridder is 6th in Heisman odds per FanDuel Sportsbook and Grayson McCall is near the bottom at +20000. As great as these quarterbacks are, the national college football landscape revolves around playoff teams and seemingly nothing else.
Valuable Resource. Dr. Ben Baldwin has created an incredible resource in rbsdm.com, a site that has advanced NFL QB statistics, 4th down decision making and pass percentage in neutral game situations. Ben talked about his work on The Football Analytics Show.
Ed Feng, host of the podcast, didn’t understand and couldn’t remember the name of the site. Dr. Baldwin had to educate him, a light hearted moment that you can catch on this minute long Twitter video.
September 11th. As we observe the 20th anniversary of one of the more devastating events in American history, the PBS series Frontline detailed how that day has affected how we live and how we interact with each other as fellow Americans.
This is a new experiment at The Power Rank. Please let us know what you think in the comments.