Your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Remembering Your Priors – As far as Super Bowls go, a spread hovering around -4 is somewhat lopsided. Only three times in the last decade has a Super Bowl spread been more than four (per oddsshark.com).
One reason may be where the underdog Cincinnati Bengals started the season. Sports Odds History had Cincinnati at 150-1 to win the Super Bowl before the season kicked off.
For perspective, let’s look at the preseason odds for a few other long shot Super Bowl champions (the year denotes the regular season).
- 2017 – Philadelphia, 40-1
- 2007 – New York Giants, 30-1 (12-points underdog to an epic New England team)
- 2001 – New England, 60-1 (Tom Brady’s first championship)
The last champion with odds as high as Cincinnati in 2021 was St. Louis in 1999 at 150-1 (win total of 5.5). With records dating back to 1977, a champion never had longer odds than 150-1.
Based on The Power Rank’s preseason metrics, the Rams would be favored by 7.6 points over the Bengals.
The Pressure Is On – On the Covering the Spread podcast, we discussed if Joe Burrow will likelier suffer the nine sacks he did against Tennessee or the one sack he shook off against Kansas City.
The research stresses the importance of looking at quarterback pressures for predictions instead of sacks. First, with the help of Next Gen Stats, some perspective: this season, the team that generated the highest QB pressure rate was Las Vegas at 33.6%, the median was 27.15% and the lowest belonged to Atlanta at 19.4%.
During Cincinnati’s playoff run, the highest pressure rate predictably belonged to the Titans at 32.6%. Kansas City’s was lower at 28.2%, but these marks represent going from elite to just above median.
However, against the best pressuring defense, Las Vegas only mustered 16.7% and two sacks. Joe Burrow did suffer games where the pressure rate was higher than Tennessee (San Francisco at 46.2%), but he was elusive against Pittsburgh (15.4% and 5.6%).
Among quarterbacks with at least 250 pass attempts, Joe Burrow had the 14th-highest pressure rate faced (28.5%), further highlighting the volatility of predicting defensive success. For the record, Matthew Stafford was 26th-highest (22%).
How to find sports betting value – Betscope is a new tool that does two things:
- aggregates market data to find pricing discrepancies to exploit in your betting
- a correlation engine that lets you bet your beliefs based on analytics in the best possible market
Founder Colin Davy made an appearance on The Football Analytics Show to discuss the details of his new Betscope product.
Wooden Award – Picking the Most Outstanding Player in men’s college basketball would normally begin with who already had preseason attention. Of the last 12 winners, only once was a winner not featured on the Top 50 Preseason Watch List.
However, the favorite per the FanDuel Sportsbook was not on the list: Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe. Even though he’s averaging more than 16 points and 15 rebounds a game, Wooden Award winners tend to score more.
The second-lowest odds belong to Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, and even though he’s averaging more than 22 points a contest, he’s missed a few games because of a concussion. Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji is +650, and given his 22 points/game and that his Jayhawks currently lead the Big XII, betting on the senior guard may have value.
How to model Super Bowl props – Rufus Peabody, a professional sports bettor, talked about his analytics for betting Super Bowl props. He starts by projecting game level quantities such as number of pass attempts, and he discussed how these projections depends on game state (ahead or behind in the game).
Then Rufus digs into each player individually and projects quantities such as number of routes run and target percentage. Then he looks at the distribution for receiving yards in coming up with a yardage total.
His appearance on The Football Analytics Show might be the best 5 minutes of audio for how a professional sports bettor goes about his business; listen at 17:39.
Analytics for the Los Angeles Rams – This past offseason, Sarah Bailey, Analytics Manager for the Los Angeles Rams, made an appearance on The Football Analytics Show. She described the three primary areas in which she helps the team:
- sports performance in her early days
- personnel and scouting, which includes the NFL draft
- coaching and the usefulness of code that can save even 5 minutes a day for a coach
Now that the Rams are playing in the Super Bowl, it’s a good time to revisit the entire conversation with Sarah.
Beyond Wordle – 7-Nuggets prides itself in sound Wordle strategy. There’s a way to use the R programming language to practice for the main event.
If you are bored of five-letter words, fear not! There are other games with similar rules. Nerdle is a math game where you come up with the equation of the day. Just like Wordle, with every guess you are told if the number or mathematical symbol is in the puzzle and if it’s in the right position.
There are also a host of other games.
- Gordle features a lexicon of five-letter hockey names, past and present.
- Phordle is a Phish-themed Wordle based upon the progressive rock band.
- Airportle has you guess the three-letter airport code.
- Dordle has you guess two words simultaneously.
If you need something to do besides betting on Super Bowl props, you have options!
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 include analysis of Super Bowl props that founder Ed Feng has bet and March Madness bracket advice.
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