Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, news and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
College football game winners straight up – Andrew Percival has tracked my member predictions this season, and he notes that they have been particularly good picking games straight up compared to the markets.
To do this, a model has to identify games in which the underdog by the market will win. Andrew looked at midweek lines, and found 44 games in which the market underdog was favored by The Power Rank member numbers. While you would expect the market underdog to win less than half the time, these teams favored by my numbers won 54.5% of these games.
This is particularly useful in bowl pools that require picking the winner of games straight up. To learn more about getting these numbers, check out a membership to The Power Rank.
Tampa Bay at San Francisco – Professional sports bettor Rob Pizzola has questions about the transition from Jimmy Garappolo to Brock Purdy for the Niners. He notes two things:
- By his research, San Francisco’s offense has dropped off significantly in terms of EPA per play and red zone TD percentage without Garappolo.
- Tampa Bay HC Todd Bowles is a defensive mind more likely to have a strong plan to stop a Purdy led offense.
These factors, in addition to my analysis earlier this week, suggest value in Tampa Bay +3.5.
Joe Burrow – This week’s Take The Points podcast episode explores the Bengals’ upward offensive trajectory, crediting much of the improvement to Joe Burrow’s elimination of negative plays.
Co-hosts Arjun Menon and Tej Seth note stats such as pressure rate and time to throw — which relate directly to sacks — tend to be very stable for QBs, even as the circumstances around them change (case in point: Carson Wentz). Burrow has bucked the trend, cutting down significantly on sacks and increasingly using his check-downs.
On the same episode, PFF betting analyst Judah Fortgang notes the offensive line is also helping; the unit with several new faces has developed well during the season, as there has been a substantial spike in perfectly blocked plays over Cincinnati’s last six games compared to the first six. This has helped Joe Burrow have just one turnover-worthy play since week 6.
Something to monitor for in-game betting: If the Bengals jump out to an early lead, their increasing ability to limit negative plays, coupled with Deshaun Watson’s current form, could make it an uphill battle for the Browns.
College basketball – This is a sample of predictions available to members of The Power Rank.
- Arizona will beat Indiana by 0.2 points. Arizona lost Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko, two players getting significant minutes as rookies in the NBA. However, they still have the players to be competitive with a very good Indiana team in Las Vegas.
- Purdue will beat Nebraska by 9.1 points on the road. Purdue lost Jayden Ivey to the NBA, but they might be better this season. They already have wins over Gonzaga and Duke and are 2nd in my public college basketball rankings based on margin of victory in the current season.
- Kansas will beat Missouri by 3.9 points on the road. The Jayhawks renew an old Big 12 rivalry on the road. Wing Jalen Wilson has emerged as the leader for a Kansas team off to a 8-1 start.
To get these predictions the day before games are played and take advantage of soft early lines, learn more about a membership to The Power Rank.
Houston at Dallas – The Cowboys have been on a roll, and Houston has continued to be in a funk after switching to QB Kyle Allen the last two games. Even so, it seems incredible that the markets have Dallas -17.5 at home.
However, my metrics support this. My market model takes past closing point spreads and adjusts for opponent. The prediction with Dak Prescott and Kyle Allen has Dallas by 17.5 points.
Key injuries and opt outs – The NFL information is obtained from ESPN.
- Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is doubtful against Pittsburgh due to a knee injury.
- Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence is questionable with a toe injury at Tennessee. A market spread of Tennessee -3.5 that is close to my member prediction suggests that he will play.
- San Francisco QB Jimmy Garappolo has a broken foot, but it won’t require surgery. He will miss the remainder of the regular season but could come back for the playoffs.
- Florida QB Anthony Richardson and Kentucky QB Will Levis will opt of bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft. 247Sports has a nice list of bowl opt outs.
- Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba will not return for the playoff semi-final against Georgia and enter the NFL draft. He was excellent last season but has barely played this season due to a hamstring injury
SEC Shorts humor – “They are trying to keep Alabama from the college football playoff. Join me in my riot.” Crickets.
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 offer analysis of college football and NFL games that founder Ed Feng has bet.
To get this free service delivered straight into your inbox, enter your best email address and click on “Sign up now!”