Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, news and humor. Happy New Year!
Ohio State vs Georgia – On the Right Angle Sports bowl podcast, pro sports bettor Eddie Walls notes he would have made this game a pick most of the season. The question then becomes how you adjust Ohio State after their meltdown against Michigan.
My answer: not that much. Ohio State had a success rate of 47.4% compared to 37.9% for Michigan. The Buckeyes lost because they allowed five long touchdowns. The research of Bill Connelly shows that randomness plays a big role in explosive plays.
In addition, late market movement pushed Ohio State to a 9 point favorite at home against Michigan. While this could reflect information that Michigan RB Blake Corum wasn’t 100%, it might also show confidence in the Buckeyes.
While Ohio State +7 was available, the markets offer +6 as of Saturday morning. I talked more about Ohio State in The Secret to Predicting the College Football, NFL Playoffs, a premium audio episode available for less than the price of a latte.
Carolina at Tampa Bay – Pro bettor Rob Pizzola notes that Tampa Bay has failed to register more than 23 points in a game since a 41-31 loss to Kansas City on October 2nd. That is almost a three month stretch!
The Bucs offense ranks 25th in non-garbage time EPA per play. Carolina actually ranks slightly ahead of Tampa in this metric despite having the corpse of Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker at QB for the majority of the season.
With their struggles on offense, Tampa Bay is not suited to cover a large spread. Now that the market has moved to Tampa Bay -4, Rob sees value in Carolina +4. Catch all of the great work Rob and co-workers do at The Hammer.
Cincinnati Bengals and explosive plays – These nuggets have heaped praise on Joe Burrow and the pass offense this season. The pass offense ranks 2nd by The Power Rank’s adjusted success rate, a significant improvement from the 11th after their Super Bowl run last season.
We still might not have seen the best of this unit. I looked at how often pass offenses generate explosive plays of 20 or more yards. While randomness plays a big role in explosive plays, teams more successful at throwing the ball should more often generate these game changing plays.
However, Cincinnati has generated gains of 20 or more yards on 8.7% of pass attempts, right at NFL average this season. This is in contrast to their 10.9% last season, 4th in the NFL.
I also used this analysis to look at Philadelphia and Buffalo in The Secret to Predicting the College Football, NFL Playoffs, a premium audio episode.
Michigan vs TCU – On the Right Angle Sports bowl podcast, pro bettor Mike Craig noted that TCU had a win total of 6.5 this preseason (-125 on the over at Circa). They also didn’t get a single vote in the preseason AP or Coaches poll.
Under new coach Sonny Dykes, TCU has had a great season in going undefeated until the Big 12 championship game. However, Mike thinks there is a significant talent gap to Michigan.
The Power Rank member numbers like Michigan by 8.8 points, and the markets have Michigan -7.5 as of Saturday morning.
Injuries and key absences – The NFL information is from ESPN.
- Ohio State RB Miyan Williams is expected to play against Georgia. The Buckeyes will not have RB TreVeyon Henderson, but Williams had a better yards per carry (6.5) this season.
- Arizona QB Colt McCoy is still out with a concussion. With the struggles of Trace McSorley last week, the Cardinals will go with former Detroit QB David Blough.
- Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson is out vs the Steelers. Tyler Huntley will start again.
- Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa is out, as it seems extremely unlikely he would play with a concussion after what transpired earlier this season. Teddy Bridgewater will start for Miami at New England.
- Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts is doubtful against New Orleans. Gardner Minshew would start in his place.
- Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence is listed as questionable with a toe injury, but he played the entire game against the Jets last week and should play.
Twitter and Elon Musk – You might have gotten your news about this acquisition on Twitter. However, the actual story deserves much more than a cursory look.
On the Risk of Ruin podcast, host John Reeder tells the full story of the acquisition, as he looked to buy Twitter stock before the deal closed. The lessons from this almost two hour episode have deep implications on separating signal from noise in any market.
Chess humor – In September, upstart American Hans Niemann beat world champion Magnus Carlsen. There were accusations of cheating through wireless anal beads.
Niemann has since offered to play naked. You can’t make this up.
Football betting with a PhD edge
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