Your curated list of sports betting tips, analytics and humor, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Dallas Cowboys – On the Move The Line podcast, SharpClarke made the case for Dallas to win the NFC East. While Philadelphia is the primary competition, the Eagles might not fly as high after a Super Bowl run bolstered by the following:
- a soft schedule
- a lack of injuries to the supporting cast of Jalen Hurts
- positive results in high leverage moments such as 3rd and 4th down
Dallas ended its season with a disappointing playoff loss to San Francisco. However, the recency bias towards this last game might be improving the value on the Cowboys. SharpClarke sees value in Dallas to win the NFC East (+190 on DraftKings)
Wimbledon – While Gill Alexander has a full schedule as host of A Numbers Game on VSIN and the Beating the Book podcast, he also handicaps tennis. He notes that Mirra Andreeva has elite grass return numbers (46.8%) in a small sample size.
The 16 year old Andreeva had a Slam dry run at the French Open, so the stage at Wimbledon won’t be too big for the young Russian. In addition, she is coming off a dominant performance against Barbora Krejcikova.
Andreeva faces fellow Russian Anastasia Potapova. While Potapova is solid on grass, she won’t have the answers in this match. Gill likes Andreeva +124, available at FanDuel for this Saturday morning start Eastern time.
Women’s World Cup – The United States is the favorite, and my numbers support this. These are my top women’s teams based on taking the results of international matches and adjusting for opponent with my ranking algorithm (the rating gives an expected goal differential against an average opponent).
- United States, 2.83
- England, 2.76
- Germany, 2.67
- Netherlands, 2.47
- France, 2.39
My algorithm tends to give diminishing returns for large margins of victory. With results like United States 13-0 over Thailand in the last World Cup, this feature seems particularly important for the women’s game.
It’s not surprising that the main competitors to the United States come from Europe. England won Euro 2022. In addition, France ranks 2nd in a different calculation based on xG in the last World Cup and Euro.
Justin Fields – Judah Fortgang of PFF made an interesting visual of decision making versus accuracy for NFL QBs. Decision making by percentage of throws to open receivers is on the x-axis, while accuracy by percentage of accurate throws is on the y-axis (last season is on the left panel).
The NFL’s worst occupy the bottom left corner, and Chicago’s Justin Fields did poorly on both accounts (although his accuracy was better than Tampa Bay’s Baker Mayfield). This supports my numbers, as Chicago’s offense with Fields was expected to have a passing success rate of 35.8%, much lower than the NFL average of 42.8%.
While Fields has produced by rushing the ball, he must improve his passing before Chicago contends for a playoff spot.
Baseball humor – The New York Mets have MLB’s highest payroll but a 42-46 record, a performance almost as bad as Twitter’s limits on reading tweets.
To add insult to injury, on July 1, the New York Mets paid Bobby Bonilla $1.2M, a payment he gets every year. Bonilla hasn’t played for the Mets since 1999.
Quick programming note – I’m on vacation next week, so 5-Nuggets will contain my recommendations on shows, podcasts and other media over the past year. I’ll get back to these curated lists for sports betting on July 22.
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