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Michigan vs Washington, College Football Championship Game – On The Football Analytics Show podcast, Tej Seth, a data scientist at Sumer Sports, notes that Michigan tends to run the ball. According to college football analyst Parker Fleming, Michigan has a rush rate +6.1% over expected.
Tej expects Michigan to take advantage of Washington’s poor rush defense, which will limit possessions in this game. He likes under 56.5 points in Michigan vs Washington.
A run heavy Michigan offense also has implications on player props, as this strategy will reduce receiving yards. On DraftKings, Cornelius Johnson has a receiving yards prop of 40.5 yards (-115), and he has gone under this total in 9 of 11 games since the start of Big Ten play. There is value on the under.
Tampa Bay at Carolina, NFL Week 18 – On the Forward Progress podcast, pro bettor Rob Pizzola noted that Tampa Bay closed -3.5 at home against Carolina earlier this season. Tampa Bay won that game by 3 points.
With a division title on the line, the markets have Tampa Bay -4.5 on the road against Carolina. For Rob, this seems like too much of an adjustment based on the motivation of a division title.
In addition, Rob said that Carolina’s offense has gone from a nightmare to just bad, as QB Bryce Young has started to stretch the field. This matters against a banged up Tampa Bay defense that might be without CB Charlton Davis.
In addition, Carolina’s defense is at full health after struggling through injuries during the middle of the season. Rob likes Carolina +4.5, the biggest edge by his numbers this week.
NFL rushing prop – On the Move The Line podcast, Connor Allen of 4for4 Football talked about Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts. He noted that Zach Moss will return, which could take carries away from Taylor.
In addition, Houston has had a great run defense this season, as they rank 4th in my adjusted rushing success rate. Indianapolis could also face a second half deficit, as Houston is now favored in the game.
Connor discussed Jonathan Taylor under 72.5 rushing yards. While the market has moved to 69.5, Connor would bet this rushing total in the high 60s.
Dan Campbell and two point conversions – Down by a point against Dallas, Detroit coach Dan Campbell went for a two point conversion to win the game. Since the start of 2020, NFL offenses have converted 49.3% of two point attempts, which gives Detroit’s win probability.
The referees called a penalty, saying that tackle Taylor Decker didn’t declare as an eligible receiver. (A billboard in Michigan disagreed, stating “Decker Declared” this week). Then, instead of kicking an extra point to almost surely send the game to overtime, Campbell decided to go for the two point conversion from the 7 yard line.
Based on the NFL play by play data, offenses convert 3rd and 4th down with 7 yards to go at a 36.4% rate in 2023. If you assume Detroit had almost a 50% chance to win in overtime, Campbell didn’t make the right call by analytics.
Campbell should be given a pass, as he was probably too angry to consult with his analytics team in real time.
College football humor – “Turns out, you don’t need to steal signals when the other team’s only play is quarterback scramble.” The callers from Iowa and Ohio are even better in this Big Ten episode of SEC Shorts.
Smarter sports betting in less than 5 minutes
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