Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Toronto vs Tampa Bay, NHL playoff series – Pro bettor Rob Pizzola notes that Tampa Bay ended the season rather poorly. A expected goals share of 48.8% at 5v5 since the NHL Trade Deadline is the third worst amongst all playoff teams.
Tampa Bay has the edge between the pipes but only due to Andrei Vasilevskiy’s pedigree. Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov has a 21.24 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected) this season, the eight best mark in the league.
Despite his hometown bias, Rob likes Toronto +1000 to sweep Tampa Bay. While it is difficult to bet this kind of long shot, weird and random things happen in hockey all the time. Look no further than Columbus sweeping Tampa Bay in the first round at 40 to 1 a few years ago.
Rob’s NHL model also likes Toronto -150 (DraftKings) to win the series against Tampa Bay, which starts on Tuesday. You can get more of Rob’s hockey wisdom on Edge Work, the Hammer’s NHL betting podcast and YouTube channel.
European soccer/football predictions – These predictions come from xG (expected goals at FBRef.com) adjusted for opponent with a least squares algorithm. Let’s first look at two Champions League matches in quarterfinals that are still competitive.
- Inter hosting Benfica (Inter leading 2-0) – Inter has a 38.2% chance to win. Benfica has a 38.4% chance to win. There is a 23.4% chance for a tie. Benfica at 1.6 xG at home compared to 1.4 for Inter; a large chunk of Inter’s xG came from a penalty shot that was hardly earned.
- Napoli hosting Milan (Milan leading 1-0) – Napoli has a 56.1% chance to win. Milan has a 21.6% chance to win. There is a 22.3% chance for a tie. Napoli’s leading goal scorer Victor Osimhen missed the first match and is questionable with a abductor injury.
Let’s also look at an interesting Europa League match.
- Sevilla hosting Manchester Utd (tied 2-2) – Sevilla has a 18.4% chance to win. Manchester Utd has a 59.8% chance to win. There is a 21.7% chance for a tie. Sevilla got quite lucky to equalize in the first match, and ManU had a 1.7 to 0.6 xG advantage.
Golden State at Sacramento, NBA playoffs – Long time winner NBA Guru notes that Sacramento coach Mike Brown knows Golden State inside and out, as he was their lead assistant last year. Teams that know each other often result in low scoring games.
Higher totals tend to go under in the NBA playoffs. Going back 25 years, totals at 230 or higher are 26-15 to the under. These games go under by an average of 6.9 points per game.
Andrew Wiggins will return for this game, which gives Golden State a much needed defensive presence. Sacramento point guard De’Aaron Fox will play his first NBA playoff game, and NBA Guru expects some nerves from him early in the game.
NBA Guru likes under 237 in Golden State at Sacramento. Check out his long term winning record over at Dr. Bob Sports.
Bijan Robinson, NFL draft – Benjamin Robinson isn’t satisfied. Grinding the Mocks, his wisdom of crowds tool to predict the NFL draft, has led to consulting work with NFL teams. However, he is looking to do even better.
On an episode of The Football Analytics Show, Benjamin discussed future plans to include NFL big boards into his draft predictions. These big boards look at talent, not the position at which a player will be taken.
Without this big board information, Benjamin thinks his estimate on Texas RB Bijan Robinson’s draft position of 20.4 is too high. He has the talented running back at 8th in his mock draft, and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has Robinson at 14th to New England.
Keep this in mind when Robinson’s draft position appears at the bigger sports books.
Soccer humor – Despite an abundance of money, Chelsea is 11th in the Premier League table and has had the consistency of three managers this season.
Chelsea got thumped 2-0 at Real Madrid last week. With the return match at home, Chelsea has a 12.5% break even probability to advance at Pinnacle. Chelsea is +700 to advance (12.5% break even probability).
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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