Happy Holidays! This is your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, usually every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
The King is Dead, Long Live the King – There’s a new NFL MVP favorite: Aaron Rodgers (+140 per FanDuel Sportsbook). He has replaced Tom Brady who got shutout last week against the Saints. It looks like a two-man race with just three games left in the season.
Timo Riske of PFF has a model predicting who will win based upon team wins, divisional position and EPA/play. You can read more about his methodology and predictions here. Betting value in this market may be tough and this article was written before the Packers’ latest game from Christmas Day, but it’s an informative read nonetheless.
Rutgers in the Gator Bowl – Texas A&M pulled out of their bowl game against Wake Forest because of a lack of available players. The Aggies were dealing with opt outs, transfers like QB Zach Calzada and a COVID outbreak.
Rutgers at 5-7 this year replaces Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl. This is good news for Wake Forest. My numbers made them a 5.5 point underdog against Texas A&M but a 10.5 point favorite over Rutgers.
With 27 college football games remaining this season, you can get $15 off The Power Rank 2021 Bowl Season Report with the code playoff.
Injuries – This list is double checked with the ESPN NFL injuries page.
- Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson will not play against Cincinnati because of an ankle injury. Back up Tyler Huntley tested positive for COVID, so Josh Johnson will get the start.
- Carolina QB Sam Darnold will return from a shoulder injury against Tampa Bay. Cam Newton will start, but coach Matt Rhule said Darnold will play.
- Chicago QB Justin Fields didn’t practice Thursday because of ankle and is questionable against Seattle.
- Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater won’t play against Las Vegas because of a concussion, so Drew Lock will start. Bridgewater may return in their next game.
- Detroit QB Jared Goff test positive for COVID and won’t play against Atlanta. Tim Boyle will likely start.
- New Orleans QBs Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian are on the COVID list. Rookie Ian Book will start against Miami.
- New York Giants QB Daniel Jones is on IR and out for the season due to a neck injury.
Even More Fourth Down Talk – By reading this newsletter, it’s safe to assume you are pro-analytics and pro-going-for-it-on-fourth-down more often (sorry for all of the hyphens). You’re probably also sick and tired of trying to explain the prudence of this approach to the less intellectually curious.
NFL director of data and analytics Michael Lopez (@StatsByLopez) spoke to the Score about how analytics is supposed to function within an NFL team and how to convince others to embrace these tools.
Trouble with Tanking – Because of the value of the quarterback position, it might make sense for lackluster NFL teams not to try their hardest in these final games so that they are likelier to draft a prized gunslinger in the upcoming draft. However, early projections suggest this is not the draft with a lot of talented options.
Aside from Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, this draft seems to have more defensive talent than anything else.
It’s hard to say if the betting market believes that bad teams will tank. For example, The Power Rank makes the Los Angeles Chargers a 8.9 point favorite over the Texans, a team likely wanting a new franchise QB. The markets have the Chargers -10.5 on the road.
Hockey Resources – This week on Bally Sports West, I analyzed what has made the Los Angeles Kings’ power play so successful and which players have propelled the Anaheim Ducks into Western Conference contention.
There are many resources I use to compile these segments. Fortunately, @hayyyshayyy posted a thread with some of the better advanced hockey stat websites and Twitter accounts worth following.
A betting challenge – Abnormally Distributed, a former academic turned professional bettor, challenged Rufus Peabody to a $1M golf betting contest. Rufus, widely considered one of the best golf bettors in the world, has declined, as he doesn’t know anyone who has ever met his challenger.
Abnormally Distributed’s appearance on the Circles Off podcast is one of the best betting interviews ever.
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.
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