Your weekly does of sports betting tips and news, each Saturday at 10am Eastern.
College basketball predictions – These predictions are based on an ensemble of predictors from The Power Rank.
- Gonzaga will beat St. Mary’s by 9.6 points on the road. St. Mary’s is considered a 7 seed according to Bracket Matrix, so this large spread on the road shows the strength of Gonzaga.
- Baylor will beat Kansas by 2.7 points at home. Baylor guard LJ Cryer has hit 47% of this 3 point shots this season but is questionable for this game with a foot injury.
- Duke will beat Syracuse by 6.6 points on the road. Duke might have five players drafted in the 1st round of the next NBA draft.
For the 20 days leading up to Thursday, February 24, the rms error of these predictions has 10.90 compared to 10.93 for the opening market as tracked by KO STATS (0.3% better than the markets). The predictions are 53.9% against the opening spread (446-331 with 14 pushes) over this period.
All predictions are available to members of The Power Rank the day before the games.
NFL Broadcasting and Futures – Friday, Adam Schefter reported that Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay will not go into broadcasting next season. Instead, he will get a raise from his current employer after winning Super Bowl LVI.
Andrew Marchand reports on the sports media landscape, and his stories should have an impact on the futures market. Coaches and players can make as much money in the broadcast booth as on the sideline or field. Keeping up with broadcasting news should be weighed, especially when it impacts certain teams indirectly.
For instance, if Aaron Rodgers were to join the broadcast booth instead of playing for Green Bay, betting on Minnesota to win the division may have value. Taking that extra step beyond looking at teams immediately impacted is an important tool in analyzing the futures market.
Working for Billy Walters – While Alan Boston is known for college basketball, he has also handicapped college football. In an episode of Be Better Bettors, Alan Boston said that betting legend Billy Walters paid him a $12k salary for the season and let him bet $12k a game for his services. This relationship lasted 15 years.
For a great perspective on working with a syndicate, listen to Alan Boston on Be Better Bettors with Spanky starting at the 45 minute mark.
NBA MVP – On this week’s More Ways to Win, the crew gave their best value bets for Most Valuable Player in the NBA. While I believe there is value in Memphis point guard Ja Morant (+1900 per FanDuel Sportsbook), one projection argues it might be a travesty if it isn’t DeMar DeRozan (+1000).
Mike Beuoy runs inpredictable.com, one of the better resources for advanced NBA stats. This data visualization shows the win probability added that a player has provided his team, based upon point differential, game time, etc.:
MVP awards are often based more on narratives than statistics, but it is hard to imagine the Chicago Bulls sitting among the best in the Eastern Conference without DeRozan.
Gonzaga dominance – The narrative that Gonzaga can’t win the NCAA tournament because they play in a weak West Coast Conference will pop up more than once as March Madness approaches. Just look at what happened against Baylor in the finals last year, folks will say.
However, college basketball analytics guru Ken Pomeroy points out that Gonzaga has the best record against the top 6 conferences since the 2016-17 season. Their 39-11 record implies a 78% winning percentage.
Gonzaga has played fewer of these games than the other top teams (e.g. Virginia is 103-33 through February 8th). However, Ken refuses to accept the small sample size argument when Gonzaga’s sample is larger than an entire college basketball season. In his own words: “And while I can appreciate a nihilistic view of the world from time to time, that’s going a bit far.”
Hockey Analytics – One of the more public hockey analytics reporters is Alison Lukan, who covers the Seattle Kraken. Recently she was on the Evolving Hockey podcast to discuss not only her start in data science but also her approaches to making advanced stats more accessible to the public.
The Evolving Hockey website is also a great resource for the aforementioned statistics. A quick sort of its expected goals table will only further enrage Edmonton fans as to why the Oilers are not leading the Western Conference.
Wordle Workout – There are folks who believe the New York Times has ruined Wordle, and one reason is that the game has gotten harder. These folks may want to read this Twitter thread on confirmation bias. Since the newspaper purchased the game, it has actually gotten easier because a reduced the number of possible solutions.
Still, additional practice to maintain your streak or start a new one is available to you. Some R code can help you prepare for your daily challenge by providing possible solutions given the current constraints.
Data driven betting information
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