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Cincinnati at Dallas, NFL Week 2 – Dallas QB Dak Prescott will not play in this game, but professional NFL bettor Rob Pizzola thinks that Dallas has problems on offense beyond the quarterback position.
Rob notes that the Cowboys will not have OG Connor McGovern due to injury. This compounds the issues on the offensive line, as OT Tyron Smith didn’t play week 1 due to injury. WR Michael Gallup will not play.
On Rob’s appearance on The Football Analytics Show, he said his model made Cincinnati almost a 10 point favorite at Dallas. He sees value in Cincinnati -7, a number widely available on Saturday morning.
Check out all the sports betting content on Rob’s new company The Hammer.
NFL passing success rate – At The Power Rank, I calculate success rate on passing plays based on the play by play data. Here is sample of values from week 1 (the NFL average was 43.2%).
- Buffalo, 60.6% at the Los Angeles Rams.
- Green Bay, 47.6% at Minnesota despite the 4 sacks Aaron Rodgers took.
- Denver, 43.2% in the Nathaniel Hackett time management Mount Rushmore game.
- Pittsburgh, 29.0% in a win fortuitous win at Cincinnati.
- Dallas, 26.1% with Dak Prescott against Tampa Bay, an NFL worst in Week 1.
I define success on a play if the offense gets the following fraction of yards towards the next first down:
- 50% on 1st down.
- 70% on 2nd down.
- 100% on 3rd, 4th down.
I’ve found this definition of success rate as predictive for NFL passing as the definition that considers positive expected points added (EPA).
Interested in having raw NFL passing success rates on the public part of The Power Rank? I’ll post these numbers if we reach a certain threshold on this tweet.
Injuries – Unless otherwise noted, this information is from USA Today for college football and ESPN for the NFL.
- Dallas QB Dak Prescott needs at least 7-10 days to deal with a thumb issue.
- Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert has fractured rib cartilage after taking a hit Thursday night and is “day-to-day” at this stage.
- New Orleans QB Jameis Winston is listed as questionable with a back injury, but he should play against Tampa Bay.
- Pittsburgh QB Kedon Slovis didn’t play in the second half against Tennessee last week due to injury and is listed as questionable. QB Nick Patti finished the game against Tennessee but is questionable against Western Michigan due to a leg injury.
- Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Drew Pyne takes over as the starter.
- Texas QB Quinn Ewers sprained his shoulder against Alabama and will reportedly miss four to six weeks. However, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian would not say which of three QBs will start against UTSA.
Michigan State at Washington – The markets have moved in favor of Washington this season. While my numbers would have favored Michigan State on the road this preseason, the markets have Washington -3.5.
A big reason is QB Michael Penix Jr. The transfer from Indiana has led a pass offense with a success rate of 57.0% this season (college football average of 40.4%).
The Huskies have not faced the best competition though. However, as I noted on Covering the Spread, Penix led Indiana to 17th best pass offense by adjusted success rate in 2019. While he wasn’t as good the last two seasons at Indiana, Penix has shown a high ceiling.
NFL overreaction week? – Usually, the NFL markets overreact to a one game sample from the opening week. However, Fabian Sommer and Matt Landes noted that there seems to be less of an overreaction in 2022.
For example, San Francisco lost to Chicago, a team contending to be the worst in the NFL. In contrast, Seattle, the 29th team in The Power Rank’s member rankings this preseason, pulled off the upset against Denver.
Despite these results, the markets have favored San Francisco by as many as 10 points this week. Catch Fabian’s insights every Wednesday on the Props and Hops podcast.
Wisdom of crowds – Right Angle Sports is the gold standard in selling picks (yes, there are actually two honest services that win in the long term). How do they do it?
In a recent Q&A, long time employee MikeRAS discusses how RAS has an entire team that contributes to the picks. Some of these bettors have been betting for over a decade and seen almost everything.
This is the wisdom of crowds at work. While no one bettor is perfect, the combined wisdom of many bettors makes for a powerful predictor. This concept also drives the predictive power of the preseason AP in college basketball and football.
In the interview, MikeRAS also discusses his journey from finance to sports and how life as “one of the most gifted originators on earth” isn’t always smooth.
Mayhem in college football – The week 2 slate of college football games didn’t seem that exciting. However, Texas came within a few plays of beating Alabama, a favorite that fared better than Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
As always, SEC Shorts puts a hilarious spin on a wild second full week in college football.
Football betting with a PhD edge
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