Your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, each Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Beating a Team Three Times in One Season – Technically, the question should be if San Francisco can beat the Los Angeles Rams for a seventh straight time. However, let’s focus on the conventional wisdom that it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season.
Based on an article by Chase Stuart at Football Perspective, there have been 22 teams that have swept the two games in the regular season and faced the same foe in the playoff since 1970. Of these 22 teams, 14 won the third game in the playoffs and beat a team three times in a season.
San Francisco swept the regular season series versus the Los Angeles Rams. There are statistics that suggest the Niners will have the edge again. For example, San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo has an EPA per drop back of 0.37 versus the Rams and 0.09 versus all other opponents.
However, the Rams are at home, and The Power Rank has a 59% chance that they get their first win against San Francisco and move on to the Super Bowl.
Burrow pass attempts – Adam Levitan of Establish the Run wrote about Burrow under 39.5 attempts earlier this week. When Adam writes about a prop bet, the market usually moves by a significant amount in that direction (for example, Cam Akers over 57.5 rush yards has moved to 61.5).
However, the Burrow number of pass attempts prop has only dropped one attempt to 38.5. Burrow had more than 38 attempts in four of 19 games this season, one of which was their first meeting against Kansas City.
In addition, the consensus of three numerical models at fantasypros.com has Burrow at 36.5 attempts. Take the under here and hope Cincinnati doesn’t spend the entire second half down two touchdowns.
Injuries – These are double checked with the ESPN NFL injuries page.
- Kansas City S Tyrann Mathieu is listed as questionable but was a full participant in Thursday’s practice. Chiefs coach Andy Reid expects Mathieu to play.
- Cincinnati DT Larry Ogunjobi will miss his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. The Bengals have a number of other defensive players on the injury list, but except for Ogunjobi, these players seem like rotation players based on snap counts.
- Los Angeles Rams S Taylor Rapp has missed the last two playoff games with a concussion. He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice. WR Van Jefferson (knee) is questionable, and OT Joe Noteboom (pectoral) is doubtful.
- San Francisco OT Trent Williams (ankle) is questionable.
Analytics vs haters – Gill Alexander of VSIN made an appearance on The Football Analytics Show, and he talked about how analytics versus the haters have evolved over time. He and host Ed Feng had a light hearted moment at the expense of Boomer Esiason.
Gill also broke down the conference championship match ups between Cincinnati at Kansas City and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams. As always, time stamps are available for Gill’s appearance at The Power Rank.
Million dollar golf challenge – In late December, Abnormally Distributed challenged Rufus Peabody to a golf challenge to run the entire season. On the Circles Off podcast, Rob Pizzola and Johnny Cabo dove deeper into this tiff between two highly respected professional bettors.
In addition to explaining how the challenge emerged, Rob and Johnny made two key points:
- Abnormally Dist made it easy for acceptance as he offered to put the money in escrow but didn’t ask the same of Rufus.
- Rufus had many good reasons to decline, including that he doesn’t want his bets out in public.
Circles Off is a great podcast for the sports betting community.
Late Movement – In previous installments of these Nuggets, we’ve discussed how closing line value has… well… lacked value this season. One possible reason is an influx of public money that could overwhelm the sharp money.
As more states go online, this reason might become more important for huge events like the AFC and NFC Championship games. From page 120 of The Logic of Sports Betting by Ed Miller and Matthew Davidow:
…for a normal, run of the mill game, if the weight of public money begins to skew a line at a market maker, sharp bettors have plenty enough in reserve to blast that line back to where they think it should be. But if there is enormous public interest, eventually the weight of the public money will overwhelm all the sharp bettors…
For what it’s worth, Kansas City was originally at -7 but has since moved to -7.5 in some places. The Los Angeles Rams have been bouncing around between 3 and 3.5-point favorites.
A pdf of The Logic of Sports Betting comes with a membership to The Power Rank.
College Basketball’s Glue Guys – One of the tougher things to quantify in basketball is the impact of an individual player. Basic plus/minus, which tabulates point differential when a player is on the court, does not account for a player’s specific contributions.
Evan Miya takes a Bayesian approach to answer this question. For example, on offense, his method considers not only the player’s individual efficiency metrics but also the offensive metrics of his four teammates and the defensive metrics of the five opponents on the court.
One player that stands out is Oscar Tshiebwe, a 6’9″ junior forward for Kentucky. The Wildcats travel to Kansas as a 5 point underdog.
For a full list, click on Player Ratings at evanmiya.com.
Data driven betting information
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