Your weekly digest of sports betting news and tips, every Saturday morning at 10am Eastern.
The Rodgers Rate – Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will miss the game against Kansas City due to a positive COVID test. On Friday, he addressed his status on the Pat McAfee Show.
For Sunday’s game, the spread has moved from roughly a pick to Chiefs -8.5 and now Chiefs -7. The Power Rank adjusted Rodgers’ absence by seven points, which is roughly what the market has done. Capitalizing off of an overcorrection on the reposted spread was perhaps the best move in betting this game.
The soonest Rodgers can return is November 13th, one day before Green Bay’s next game against Seattle. However, during that interview, Rodgers mentioned having minor symptoms.
As Lindsay Jones is reporting, symptomatic unvaccinated players must isolate for ten days and meet the following requirements: test negative twice, 24 hours apart, be symptom-free and receive clearance from the medical team. If these criteria are not met, Rodgers could be out for longer than one game.
Championship problems – For a $10k entry fee, the DraftKings 2021 Sports Betting National Championship offers $2M in guaranteed prizes this weekend. However, the playing field doesn’t seem to be level.
Abnormally Distributed, a professional sports bettor with an academic background, reported a limit of $25 on his NBA bets for the contest. Not surprisingly, this caused outrage on Twitter on Friday night.
As a side note, many people in the sports betting world have referred to Abnormally Distributed’s appearance on Circles Off as the best podcast episode ever.
Injuries – Unless otherwise noted, this list is checked with ESPN’s NFL injuries page.
- Houston QB Tyrod Taylor will start against Miami after getting injured earlier this season.
- Arizona QB Kyler Murray didn’t practice on Friday. He is considered a game-time decision at San Francisco.
- Carolina QB Sam Darnold is in the concussion protocol and is a game-time decision against New England.
- Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford has missed practice time with a back problem but is expected to play against Tennessee.
- Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa was limited in practice and is questionable to play against Houston.
- New Orleans utility man Taysom Hill is expected to play, but Trevor Siemian will start at QB.
- Dallas WRs Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb were limited in practice and are both expected to be available against Denver.
Houston at South Florida – On The Football Analytics Show, host Ed Feng got me talking about the American Athletic Conference and how I like Houston to cover a big number over South Florida (-12.5 at FanDuel on Saturday morning). This is because of Houston’s defense, a unit that ranks 8th in The Power Rank’s adjusted success rate.
Other topics of discussion included the NFL, the playoff rankings and EPA per play. Time stamps for these various segments are available here.
Beckham’s Conundrum – On Thursday, Cleveland released star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. after more than two seasons. There were attempts to trade him before the deadline, but those possibilities fell through.
The pairing with Baker Mayfield never seemed to work. In 2019, Mayfield’s passer rating when targeting OBJ was a paltry 69.0 with a catch rate over expected of -3.0% per Next Gen Stats. Last year, Beckham missed part of the season to repair a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Browns have largely managed this season without him; he’s recorded just 17 catches for 232 yards. The Browns are 2.5-point underdogs against Cincinnati but the Power Rank sees clear value in this game if they can continue their passing efficiency without OBJ.
As for which teams could use OBJ’s services, nfl.com considered these teams: the Saints, Raiders, Patriots, Bills, Falcons and Packers (because Green Bay hasn’t been in the news enough lately). It’s worth noting most of these teams are at or near the top of their respective divisions.
Why Alabama? Why Not? – The first College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday, and among the many controversies was having one-loss Alabama ranked second, early in November, ahead of several undefeated squads.
However, if you look at cfb-graphs.com and specifically EPA/Game, the Tide come in eighth in the country ahead of Wake Forest, Oklahoma and Michigan State. You can debate if #2 is appropriate, given Alabama is behind Ohio State and Cincinnati in this metric, but Alabama currently deserves to be in the Playoff.
Star struck – In a light hearted moment, Dallas coach Mike McCarthy reacts to the presence of Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach (jump to :23 for a good laugh).
Data driven betting information
These nuggets were sent to The Power Rank’s email newsletter. This is a free service that strives to be:
Other emails offer analysis of college football and NFL games that founder Ed Feng has bet.
To get this free service delivered straight into your inbox, enter your best email address and click on “Sign up now!”