Your weekly dose of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Champions League, FA Cup predictions – Manchester City has locked up the Premier League, but can they also win these other two trophies? These predictions come from expected goals (xG at FBRef.com) adjusted for opponent with The Power Rank algorithm.
First, the Champions League final in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10th.
- Manchester City vs Inter – Manchester City has a 56.0% chance to win. Inter has a 20.4% chance to win. There is a 23.6% chance for a tie.
The markets on higher for Pep Guardiola to win his first Champions League with Manchester City, as Pinnacle has a 69.3% break even probability for the win in regulation.
It will only be slightly easier against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final at a neutral site in London on June 3.
- Manchester City vs Manchester Utd – Manchester City has a 57.4% chance to win. Manchester Utd has a 20.2% chance to win. There is a 22.4% chance for a tie.
The markets see this as a closer final than against Inter, as Pinnacle has a 64.9% break even probability for a Man City win in regulation.
Boston at Miami, Game 6 – The total for this game is 210, the lowest of the series. As Drew Dinsick explained in a previous 5-Nuggets, possessions become longer late in a series as teams become more familiar with each other.
In addition, stars like Jimmy Butler and Jason Tatum take more shots late in the series. This means that I’m looking to bet the under on points for role players.
In this series against Boston, Miami’s Caleb Martin has made a healthy 45.2% of this threes and a ridiculous 75% of his twos. With increased minutes, he will not regress to his regular season average of 9.6 points. However, I do think there is value in under 13.5 points for Martin in Game 6 as the stars take over (-128 at FanDuel).
Nascar Coca-Cola 600 – Ross Chastain has yet to win a race this season. In addition, he has managed to piss off his opponents; for example, his aggressive driving at the Goodyear 400 ended in a wreck.
However, Jim Sannes of FanDuel notes that Ross Chastain has done well in Nascar Cup Series races similar to the Coca-Cola 600. Jim likes to look at average running position, since the finish is only one snapshot during the race. Average running position provides a larger sample of data to predict the future.
In the previous five races with the intermediate rules package, Chastain’s average running position has never been worse than 7th. Jim’s model has his odds to win at greater than 10%, which suggests value at Chastain +900 to win.
Predictive analytics story – John Sears, a special advisor to the Los Angeles Dodgers, came on The Football Analytics Show and told a fantastic story about his time with Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers.
John and co-workers spent months working on a player model for the 2015 NBA draft. The Sixers ended up picking Jahlil Okafor, a big from Duke that didn’t work out.
However, John doesn’t regret the model or the decision to take Okafor. Instead, he thinks they missed out on the macro NBA trend that devalued big men. The story is a must listen whether you want to work for a team or develop a betting model (listen for five minutes starting at 33:50).
John also talked about working at the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis and the fascinating data sets the Dodgers are looking to hire people to work on in a fabulous episode of The Football Analytics Show.
Golf humor – Michael Block, a non-professional, blew up the golf world with a hole in one and 15th place finish at the PGA Championship last weekend. Michael Jordan texted him after the event.
However, regression is a bulldog that bites you in the ass. Block had the worst score at the Charles Schwab Challenge this week and didn’t make the cut. Andy Molitor captured the moment with perfection.
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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