Podcast: Jake Williams on sports data and betting

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I talk with Jake Williams, head of legal at Sportradar and host of the Business of Betting podcast.

Among other topics, we talk about:

  • the legal landscape for sports betting in the United States
  • how legalization will impact DFS
  • the new frontiers for sports data, both in media and for sports books
  • the primary lesson from interviewing guests on his Business of Betting podcast

Jake was an awesome guest with wide knowledge inside and outside sports.

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

Podcast: Michael Lombardi, former NFL GM, on winning in the NFL

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, Michael Lombardi, former GM of the Cleveland Brown and assistant coach in New England, joins me to discuss his new book Gridiron Genius.

Among other topics, we discuss:

  • The lessons he learned from Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick on building a culture (2:43)
  • Jim Harbaugh’s overwhelming personality trait, and how he’s doing with the culture at Michigan (5:53)
  • How information and analytics get used for decision making in the NFL (8:50)
  • The overlooked traits in evaluating offensive linemen and cornerbacks (15:54)
  • How bettors can use his book to find an edge (17:22)

I highly recommend reading Gridiron Genius, a well written book from an NFL insider.

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

Big Ten Division Win Probabilities after week 10, 2018

Based on 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the season, here are my odds to win the divisions of the Big Ten.

Big Ten East

1. Michigan 77.8%
2. Ohio State 21.3%
3. Michigan State 0.7%

Ohio State has struggled this season, especially on defense.  They are a 3.5 point favorite at Michigan State.  If Ohio State loses, it all but clinches the division for Michigan.

Big Ten West

1. Northwestern 77.0%
2. Wisconsin 10.1%
3. Purdue 9.8%
4. Iowa 3.1%

Purdue’s win over Iowa this past weekend essentially ended the chance that Iowa wins the West.

Northwestern’s odds jumped from 58.3% last week to the current 77.0% because of Iowa’s loss to Purdue.  Northwestern is a 10 point underdog at Iowa, but they are also 2 games ahead of Iowa.

Northwestern already has wins over Wisconsin and Purdue, which gives them a head to head tie breaker over both of these teams.

Early season NBA rankings for 2018-19

I like to look at NBA rankings about this time of the season as we reach a crossover point with football.  NBA, college football and NFL have all played about 10 games.

Here are my NBA team rankings through games on Monday, November 5th, 2018.  The rating gives an expected margin of victory against an average NBA team.

1. Milwaukee, (7-1), 11.57
2. Golden State, (9-1), 9.21
3. Toronto, (9-1), 8.39
4. Denver, (9-1), 7.26
5. Boston, (6-4), 5.45
6. Portland, (7-3), 5.39
7. Charlotte, (4-5), 2.52
8. Indiana, (7-4), 2.30
9. Oklahoma City, (5-4), 1.94
10. Utah, (4-6), 1.25
11. Memphis, (5-4), 1.14
12. New Orleans, (3-6), 1.12
13. Los Angeles Clippers, (5-4), 0.90
14. Los Angeles Lakers, (4-6), 0.63
15. Sacramento, (5-4), -0.09
16. Miami, (4-5), -0.11
17. San Antonio, (6-3), -1.15
18. Minnesota, (4-6), -1.38
19. Houston, (4-4), -1.43
20. Philadelphia, (6-5), -1.52
21. New York, (3-7), -1.64
22. Washington, (2-6), -3.23
23. Orlando, (4-6), -3.48
24. Chicago, (3-7), -4.24
25. Brooklyn, (4-5), -4.58
26. Detroit, (4-5), -5.12
27. Dallas, (2-6), -6.50
28. Phoenix, (2-7), -7.75
29. Cleveland, (1-9), -9.28
30. Atlanta, (3-6), -9.66

From only early season results, we would conclude that top ranked Milwaukee is better than Golden State, the dynasty that has won 3 of the last 4 NBA titles.

We might give up on LeBron, as the Lakers aren’t even the best team in Los Angeles.  The Lakers are ranked 14th, right behind the Clippers.

Of course, these results reflect small sample size.  Remember this when you look only at football numbers from this season. 

Follow along with my NBA rankings, which get updated daily, to see how the season plays out.

Podcast: 3 predictions from the first college football playoff rankings

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I look at the odds for teams to make the college football playoff based on the first committee rankings.

Alabama and Clemson were at the top of the committee rankings, and they have the best odds to make the playoff.

LSU and Notre Dame came next, but the numbers don’t favor these teams compared to one loss teams ranked lower.

In this episode, I dive into Michigan (3:56) and Oklahoma (7:12) and explain why they have better playoff probabilities than teams above them. In addition, I identify the top 10 team with almost no chance to make it (9:50).

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.