Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Kentucky Derby – On this week’s Deep Dive Podcast, guest Mike Somich of VSIN suggests value on Mage to win the Run for the Roses. Mike notes that while Mage is a high-variance horse, his tactical speed puts him at around 5-1 if he successfully breaks.
Mage’s current price point is in the middle class of horses, which could be a sweet spot as many bettors will look to back the top favorites and the biggest underdogs. This leaves value on overlooked horses in the between.
FanDuel Racing has Mage 17-1 to win the Kentucky Derby, which shortened from 20-1 on Saturday morning.
Golden State at Los Angeles Warriors – Draymond Green of Golden State continues to be a defensive force at the age of 33, as he held Anthony Davis to 11 points in game 2 of the series.
Draymond also excelled in the box score, as he had 11 rebounds and 9 assists. However, he has averaged 14.0 rebounds and assists for the season, and has gone over 14.5 rebounds and assists in only three of eight playoff games.
There’s also the chance that he stomps on an opponent’s chest, which limits his minutes. There is value in Draymond Green under 14.5 rebounds and assists (-104 at FanDuel).
Champions League predictions – These predictions come from xG at FBRef.com adjusted for schedule with The Power Rank algorithm.
- Real Madrid hosting Manchester City – Real Madrid has a 30.5% chance to win. Manchester City has a 47.0% chance to win. There is a 22.6% chance for a tie. This is spot on with the markets. Real Madrid has struggled in La Liga, losing two of their last three matches and falling to 3rd. However, they might be saving their effort for Champions League.
- Milan vs Inter – Milan has a 32.3% chance to win. Inter has a 41.4% chance to win. There is a 26.3% chance for a tie. These two teams share a stadium, and a neutral site assumption makes this much closer to market (40.8% break even probability for Inter at Pinnacle).
While Real Madrid versus Manchester City seems like the final, Inter and Real Madrid are rated essentially the same by my adjusted xG.
Detroit Lions – The analytics nerds in the greater Detroit area flipped out during the NFL draft. The Lions showed a superior understanding of positional value as they took a running back, linebacker and tight end with their first three picks.
However, Kevin Cole doesn’t think they did that bad. In his Unexpected Points newsletter, he assigns a monetary value to each team’s draft class based on three factors:
- Trade value. Trading down for more picks is a good thing, and this made Arizona first in Kevin’s rankings.
- Positional value. QB is the most important position in football, and it makes sense to draft players at more important positions.
- Reach value. Research shows that it’s a problem when a team takes a player way ahead of his consensus big board projection.
The Lions failed on the last two, but they did well on trade value, as they traded down from the 6th to 12th. Overall, Kevin has the Lions at 21st in the NFL, as they lost $9.1M in surplus value based on their choices.
NFL humor – Roger Goodell reiterated today he plans to start the NFL season on time even if the writers strike.
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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