Your weekly dose of sports betting tips and news, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Live predictions for the US Open – While Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen sit atop the leaderboard at -5 after two rounds, neither golfer has the highest odds to win this major.
Data Golf gives pre-tourney favorite Rory McIlroy (-4) a 16.9% chance to win. The golfers with the next highest win probabilities are Jon Rahm (-4), Scottie Scheffler (-3) and then Morikawa.
In the markets, Circa has Rahm as the favorite but Morikawa has the second best odds at +460 (17.6% break even probability). Morikawa has major wins at the PGA Championship in 2020 and The Open in 2021, and this might explain the discrepancy between the predictive models and the markets.
Conn Smythe – While many are focused on Stanley Cup series results and puck lines, let’s discuss the MVP of the Final. As with any player future, you want to pick someone on the winning team, giving you value if a team is trailing in the series (e.g. Nikita Kucherov at 6/1 on FanDuel).
Analyzing which positions have won the award in the past could also be useful. Centers have won it most frequently (34%), followed by goalies (30%), defensemen (20%) and wingers. Even though defenseman Cale Makar is the favorite, that position breakdown could mean value taking center Nathan MacKinnon.
Braves Bets – The longest winning streak in MLB this season belongs to the defending world champion Atlanta Braves. They have cut their division deficit in half and are also in the running to earn a first-round bye if they surpass the Mets in the NL East.
In my latest article for FOX Sports, I explained why the new MLB playoff structure is a reason to back the Braves in any futures market. I also suggest investing in Spencer Striker to win NL Rookie of the Year.
How to make golf predictions – On an episode of Deep Dive Gambling Podcast, pro sports bettor AbnormallyDist (AD) asked how a newcomer could use data to win at betting golf. He suggested it was unlikely this person would make a better model than Data Golf, so a different approach is required.
As an example, AD noted how The Open course tends to hurt golfers that miss fairways to the right but not left. Digging further into the data, he found Xander Schauffele as a golfer that might struggle on the course.
AD was most likely talking about The Open in 2019, and Schauffele finished +2 for 41st. Any interview with AD is worth your time, and this episode of the Deep Dive Gambling Podcast is no different.
Why NBA Models Fell Short – Friday, I wrote a Twitter thread about why models like FiveThirtyEight’s and ESPN’s could be drastically off by forecasting the Celtics to win the NBA Finals comfortably.
One key lesson was the difficulty of predicting injuries. When it comes to NBA futures for next season’s championship, this factor should be taken into account. Is it safe to assume the Warriors and Celtics will remain healthy for the next playoffs, or is it better to assume other teams that were unlucky with injuries will enjoy positive regression?
If you believe in this Plexiglass Principle, then back teams like the Clippers (+850 on FanDuel), Nuggets (+1700) and Lakers (+2600).
How to get sports betting accounts – Back when he got started around 2009, Mark Scalley would walk into a sports bar and chat up anyone who looked like they had action on the game. In some cases, this led to a new sports betting account.
Scalley and his long time betting partner Mike Craig made an appearance on The Football Analytics Show to discuss how relationships lead to betting accounts. They compared and contrasted the process in 2009 and now in an enlightening conversation.
J.J. Watt Hits Hard – Omar from The Wire gave the world one of the more enlightening lessons in human interactions: “You come at the King, you best not miss.”
The folks at DraftKings should have heeded that advice.
J.J. Watt has done more than enough to deserve a place of royalty, so when DraftKing’s official Twitter account decided to tease him about throwing a football saying his pass would be intercepted, Watt added to his highlight reel:
Free copy of The Logic of Sports Betting
In their foundational book, Ed Miller and Matthew Davidow provide the ultimate introduction into the sports betting world. Among other topics, they write about:
- The crucial concept of a no hold market
- The surprisingly simple procedure that market making sports books use to determine the spread (it’s not analytics)
- The truth about parlays
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