Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Champions League predictions – These predictions are based on xG (expected goals from FBRef.com) adjusted for opponent with a least squares algorithm. The calculation includes data from the top five leagues, Portugal (to get more data on Benfica), the Champions League and Europa League.
- Manchester City hosting Bayern Munich – Manchester City has a 59.2% chance to win. Bayern Munich has a 20.5% chance to win. There is a 20.4% chance for a tie.
- Benfica hosting Inter – Benfica has a 50.2% chance to win. Inter has a 27.5% chance to win. There is a 22.2% chance for a tie.
- Milan hosting Napoli – Milan has a 33.1% chance to win. Napoli has a 42.8% chance to win. There is a 24.1% chance for a tie. Napoli top scorer Victor Osimhen is questionable with an injury.
- Real Madrid hosting Chelsea – Real Madrid has a 51.6% chance to win. Chelsea has a 25.0% chance to win. There is a 23.4% chance for a tie.
In the past, I’ve tried doing Europe rankings based on goals, but the results from a single season didn’t make sense. There are a limited number of Champions and Europa League matches to connect the top clubs.
xG is a more stable metric than goals, and these predictions based on xG are close to the markets. This is promising.
Portland at Los Angeles Clippers – Sharp quantitative bettor Drew Dinsick notes how hard Portland is trying to tank. However, this huge Clippers spread is absurd given how well some replacement players have been shooting. (Was that a Kevin Knox sighting?)
This spread gets even tougher to defend if Kawhi Leonard and other key Clippers see reduced minutes with the playoffs on the horizon. Either a surprisingly competitive game or a back door cover are reasonable outcomes.
Drew runs a player based model, and an assumption of 32 minutes for Kawhi coming off a 42 minutes against the Lakers gives the Clippers by 13. Drew likes Portland +17.
Follow Drew on Twitter for all of his NBA, NFL draft and tennis insights.
Will Levis draft position – QB Anthony Richardson lit up the NFL combine, and his draft stock has soared in response. The former Florida QB is the favorite to get picked third.
With the rise of Richardson, the stock of Kentucky QB Will Levis has plummeted. Benjamin Robinson puts together a wisdom of crowds estimator at Grinding the Mocks, and this tool has an average draft position of 11.4 for Levis. The Player Charts feature on Grinding the Mocks show the decline of Levis over time.
In addition, sharp NFL mock drafters like Daniel Jeremiah have Levis going to Tampa Bay with the 19th pick. Maybe the world has realized Levis can’t throw a football with any kind of accuracy. This all suggests value on over 7.5 draft position, and you can get +140 at DraftKings.
The Masters – Brooks Koekpa is on fire with a -12 over two full rounds at Augusta National. However, DataGolf has a different golfer with the best probability to win.
Based on their predictive analytics, Jon Rahm has a 36.7% chance to win compared to 33.1% for Koepka. It helps that Rahm has only completed 11 holes from Round 2, as weather delayed the completion of the round on Friday.
Ann Arbor Analytics Meetup – Tej Seth and I will be hosting a gathering this upcoming week. Come connect with like minded people at Ashley’s at 338 South State Street from 7-10pm on Friday, April 14, 2023.
Golf humor – “Hey look, it’s the Aaron Rodgers of golf,” says Patrick Reed to Rory McIlroy. Yeah, kick a guy when he doesn’t make the cut as the favorite. Annie Agar transitions from putting NFL teams to golfers in an uncomfortable meeting.
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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