Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Dan Szymborski, creator of the ZiPS baseball projection system, likes Arizona to go over their win total. The Diamondbacks won 74 games last year despite not having full season contributions from the following young players.
- Left fielder Corbin Carroll
- Starting pitcher Drey Jameson
In addition, top pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt was sent down to the minors but should make a contribution at some point this season.
Depending on assumptions, Dan’s ZiPS system has projected 80 to 83 wins all winter. This suggests value on Arizona over 76.5 wins, available at Caesars.
Follow Dan on Twitter for all this projections and content.
Florida Atlantic vs San Diego State – Legendary college basketball bettor Alan Boston notes that San Diego State was fortunate to win their first tourney game, as Charleston could not make a shot.
In addition, San Diego State has two starters in Darrion Trammell (Seattle) and Micah Parrish (Oakland) that transferred from lower level programs. They will not overwhelm athletically.
Florida Atlantic has been strong on the boards despite not having size or athleticism. Alan has been impressed with the offensive tweaks by coach Dusty May.
Alan posted that he likes FAU +3, -115 big. This presumably means he would also bet +2.5, a number widely available on Saturday morning.
Alan has been posting his thoughts on many games, so follow him on Twitter to get his insights.
Final Four player prop – Miami has struggled on defense all season, as they rank 88th by my points per possession adjusted for opponent. Connecticut wing Alex Karaban has scored with ruthless efficiency, making 60% from two and 40% from three as a freshman this season.
Karaban’s points prop moved from 8.5 to 9.5 against Gonzaga, a team that struggles on defense like Miami. In addition, Karaban has averaged 9.5 points this season.
Jordan Hawkins missed practice on Friday due to an illness. If he is not 100% against Miami, that might mean more shots for Karaban.
This suggests value on Karaban over 7.5 points (-141 is available on Caesars). I would also bet over 8.5 points but please shop for the best price.
3 point defense – Jeff Haley started hoop-math.com to understand the impact of various schemes. This led to a fascinating conversation about 3 point defense on The Football Analytics Show podcast.
While the analytics suggest a huge element of randomness in 3 point percentage allowed, teams like Houston and San Diego State are usually better than college basketball average. Jeff notes that these teams tend to make all shots difficult, and Synergy data suggests a 5% difference in 3 point percentage allowed between contested and open threes.
Jeff contrasted these defenses that allow a low percentage with others that do not allow opponents to shoot the three. He also broke down all Final Four teams in an excellent episode of the podcast.
Sports betting humor – Chris Fargis might work at Fanatics, but he couldn’t help making fun of the entire industry.
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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