Your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, each Saturday at 10am Eastern.
The Bookmaker perspective – John Sheeran, the Director of Trading at FanDuel, made an appearance on The Football Analytics Show podcast. In breaking down the NFL Wild Card Playoff games, he discussed
- His liability for a tie between the Chargers and Raiders
- The possible injury that might set the Niners back
- The offense in which he is losing confidence
John and host Ed Feng also shared a light hearted moment (one minute video) at the expense of two teams playing in one of the later games.
Weather Report – Meteorologist Kevin Roth says there are three playoff games that may be affected by the weather.
- Patriots at Bills: A kickoff temperature is expected to be approximately 5°.
- Eagles at Buccaneers: There could be rain, but for now it is expected to clear out by kickoff. However, sustained winds at 15-20 mph with potential gusts up to 30 mph may affect the passing games.
- Raiders at Bengals: Below freezing with 10-15 mph winds.
Injuries – These are double checked with the ESPN NFL injuries page.
- Arizona DE J.J. Watt is trending in the right direction to play against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. He has not played since week 7 against Houston.
- Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill was limited in practice Thursday with a heel issue. RB Darrel Williams is questionable with a toe injury, and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out with a shoulder injury.
- Los Angeles Rams S Jordan Fuller was placed on IR this week. S Taylor Rapp didn’t practice Thursday due to a concussion. These two players led the Rams in coverage snaps this season.
- The New England Patriots have a large number of regulars dealing with injury issues. These players are questionable against Buffalo unless otherwise noted: WR Jakobi Meyers, S Kyle Dugger, LB Dont’a Hightower, DT Christian Barmore, S Adrian Phillips, and RB Damien Harris, LB Jamie Collins Sr., OT Isaiah Wynn (out).
- New England CB Jalen Mills is on the COVID list and won’t play. He had the third highest number of snaps on this defense.
- Pittsburgh WR Juju Smith-Schuster returned to practice Thursday despite a shoulder injury and will likely play, the first time since week 5 against Denver.
- Pittsburgh CB James Pierre was placed on the COVID-19 list Friday and won’t play against Kansas City.
- Tampa Bay CB Richard Sherman will not return for the playoffs because of an Achilles injury.
- Tampa Bay running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II may both not play because of a hamstring and ankle injury, respectively. Fournette is a game-time decision while Jones was not spotted during the media portion of practice Friday.
- Tampa Bay’s defense has three other players questionable against Philadelphia: CB Carlton Davis (back), CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (hamstring) and LB Lamonte David (foot).
Passing grades in a clean pocket – PFF assigns grades to NFL quarterbacks based a detailed analysis of each and every play. However, they have found that their grades in a clean pocket are predictive, while grades under pressure are volatile.
Here is a sample of three QBs by passing grade (out of 100) in a clean pocket.
- Patrick Mahomes, 82, 16th (surprisingly low)
- Jalen Hurts, 77, 21st
- Ben Roethlisberger, 63, 31st (grade is 6 points worse than next worst QB)
These PFF grades are part of the analysis in The Power Rank 2022 NFL Playoff Report.
Props! – Playoff-long props are available where you can bet on the quarterback with the most passing yards in the playoffs or the running back with the most rushing yards.
All of the payouts are plus money. If you are interested, the obvious approach is to find a player from a team playing on Super Wild Card Weekend that can advance all the way to the Super Bowl.
For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs are +175 to win the AFC on the FanDuel Sportsbook. However, Mahomes is +250 to have the most playoff passing yards.
If you have Packers/Chiefs as a projected Super Bowl matchup, Mahomes’ passing prop may have the best payout. There are also other paths for Mahomes to miss out on the Super Bowl but still finish atop the leaderboard.
More SEC Talk – The all-SEC college football title game might make SEC basketball chatter seem excessive, but two league teams are worth your attention: Auburn and Arkansas.
Auburn knocked off #24 Alabama in Tuscaloosa Tuesday. They are also the only team to hand LSU a loss this season, thanks to an asphyxiating defense (5th in The Power Rank’s adjusted points per possession).
Per hoop-math.com, the Tigers are one of the best teams in America at blocking shots at the rim (26.4%). In fact, they are nearly five percentage points better than second place. The Power Rank has Auburn by 9.3 points on the road.
As for Arkansas, Haslametrics has them as one of the most improved teams of the week. They play at one of the faster paces in the sport (24th) and do an exceptional job getting to the line, with an overall free throw rate of 37.4 (27th in America).
Arkansas has a tough test as road dogs against LSU. Assuming the line has the Tigers -6.5, the Power Rank sees little value betting on this game.
Wordle – It’s the craze that’s sweeping the world (perhaps it should be called Worldle).
Wordle is a word game in which you guess the game’s five-letter word. You get six tries and are told with each attempt which letters in your guess appear in the word and in the correct place. Reportedly, more than 2.7 million people play this game daily.
There are ways to crack the code by getting the most information out of your first two guesses. This blog post features R code to determine what you should begin your game with.
Paul Sabin also suggested your second guess should not be an attempt to get it right. It’s better to acquire as much basic information like vowels before going after the correct answer.
Data driven betting information
These nuggets were sent to The Power Rank’s email newsletter. This is a free service that strives to be:
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