Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, news and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Fading Argentina in the World Cup – While the markets have Lionel Messi and Argentina as the second favorite behind Brazil, the numbers disagree. It doesn’t matter whether you look at team based metrics like my rankings at The Power Rank or player based metrics like those of Twenty First Group.
You can fade Argentina by betting another team to win Group C. Mexico has a high floor but low ceiling as an international team; they have made it out of their group and lost in the Round of 16 in the last seven World Cups.
Poland is a solid European team, well organized and 22nd in my rankings. They have the luxury of goal scoring machine Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona.
My numbers give Mexico and Poland a 18.2% and 19.5% chance to winning the group. This suggests value in betting both at +550 at FanDuel to win Group C.
Washington at Houston, NFL Week 11 – Pro bettor Rob Pizzola notes that Washington QB Taylor Heinicke has had 10 turnover worthy plays in his last 4 starts. Only half of those plays turned into actual turnovers. His 6.9% turnover worth play rate is highest among all QBs starting this week by a 1.3% gap.
Rob isn’t high on Houston QB Davis Mills but notes that he protects the ball well. Mills has produced a 100.5 QB rating in 11 career home starts, a massive improvement from his 71.3 QB rating away from home. Houston comes off of a very misleading loss in which they made six trips into the Giants red zone and came away with one touchdown.
Rob likes Houston +3 at home. You can check out all of the great work Rob and his team do over at the sports betting media company The Hammer.
College basketball predictions – This a sample of predictions available to members of The Power Rank.
- Gonzaga will beat Kentucky by 3.4 points at home. Gonzaga got beat down by 19 points at Texas as a 2 point underdog. They are favored to get back to their winning ways at home against Kentucky.
- Michigan will beat Ohio by 15.8 points at home. Michigan lost to Arizona State by 25 as a 7 point favorite in Brooklyn this week. That’s what happens when a team goes 4-22 from three. They should rebound against a MAC opponent at home.
- Indiana will beat Miami (OH) by 25.8 at a neutral site. Indiana got a tough 2 point road win at Xavier on Friday night as Trayce Jackson-Davis had 30 points. It should be much easier against Miami Ohio at neutral site in Indianapolis.
College basketball predictions get posted the day before games for members of The Power Rank to take advantage of opening lines.
USC at UCLA – The total in this rivalry game opened at 82.5, but it has since moved to 76.5 as of Saturday morning. There is more to this drop than the sticker shock of a total in the 80s.
On Wednesday’s Bet the Board podcast, Brad Powers notes the abysmal field conditions at the Rose Bowl as an undercover factor that may limit both dynamic offenses. Brad has watched more than 100 games at the Rose Bowl over three-plus decades and has never seen the field as sloppy as it was in UCLA’s upset loss to Arizona last Saturday.
If we see similar conditions tonight, it’ll be an uphill battle for the Trojans and Bruins to light up the scoreboard, regardless of the edges the offenses will have over the defenses.
- Arizona QB Kyler Murray is a game time decision because of a hamstring injury against San Francisco (game in Mexico City on Monday night). Back up Colt McCoy, who played last week against the Los Angeles Rams, has been limited in practice this week because of a knee injury.
- Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is questionable against Carolina because of an illness.
- Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford is off the injury list (concussion) and will play against New Orleans.
- Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson is probable to play against Mississippi after missing last week against LSU with a shoulder injury.
- Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan is questionable against Iowa with an upper body injury.
- Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders has missed the last two games. While he is listed as questionable against Oklahoma in the Bedlam rivalry game, Sanders told the media that he will play.
Limiting sharps – The Washington Post ran an excellent profile of the difficulties faced by professional sports bettors, as online sports books have gotten more aggressive with limiting sharp bettors. The article calls out DraftKings, BetMGM and PointsBet as the books most likely to limit sharps, while Caesars and WynnBET offer the highest limits.
While you should have some healthy skepticism over how main stream media covers sports betting, the Post did speak with pro bettors Rufus Peabody, Rob Pizzola and Spanky and book maker Chris Andrews of South Point. This article is definitely worth your time.
NFL humor – First and 10 deep in enemy territory. What play should you call? How about having a running back throw to a 45 year old QB? What could possibly go wrong?
Football betting with a PhD edge
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