Podcast: Aaron Schatz on predicting the NFL in 2019

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I’m joined by Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. Each year, he and his team put out the Football Outsiders Almanac, an indispensable resource for my NFL preparation.

Among other topics, we discuss:

  • the most interesting frontier in football analytics (2:55)
  • the defensive statistic that is least stable from season to season (5:34)
  • the surprising fact about play action (7:53)
  • the team that will be Jacksonville 2.0 in 2019 (19:36)
  • the team from the NFC North that might surprise you (24:15)

Aaron also discusses Cleveland, Green Bay and Seattle in our wide ranging discussion.

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Preview #2: Nebraska

Why preview a Nebraska team that went 4-8 last year?

First, they were better than their record in 2018, and looking at their season warns us about the perils of small sample size.

Second, Nebraska has interesting upside for 2019.

To listen to the second episode of the 2019 preview series, click on the right pointing triangle.

To listen on Apple Podcasts, click here.

To get every episode of the 2019 preview series of The Football Analytics show, you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Members: College football preseason rankings from market win totals

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Podcast: Jim Sannes on predicting the NFL in 2019

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I’m joined by Jim Sannes, senior writer and analyst at numberFire. Among other topics, we discuss:

  • How Jim has won the past two March Madness pools at numberFire (2:03)
  • His process for ranking NFL offensive lines 1 through 32 (7:46)
  • The offensive line so good you should consider their back up running back for your fantasy team (16:22)
  • The offensive line not ranked that high in Jim’s rankings but has high upside (17:26)
  • The quarterback due for a remarkable season in 2019 (23:30)
  • Jim’s process for doing a daily podcast on baseball DFS (27:15)

Jim is incredibly knowledgeable and well spoken. I know you’ll enjoy our conversation on the 2019 NFL season.

To listen here, click on the right pointing triangle:

To listen on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Jim and I also host Covering the Spread, a new sports betting podcast. To check it out, click here.

Predictive analytics for the 2019 College Baseball World Series

Who should win the 2019 College Baseball World Series? Analytics and markets can help answer this question.

Ken Massey tracks a number of baseball rankings. However, only some of these numbers are predictive going forward.

My research in college football has shown that using margin of victory is essential for predictions. A method like RPI on the Massey site is immediately not considered.

A method like Elo can be predictive, but only if margin of victory is used in the calculations, not just wins and losses.

Two methods I know use margin of victory are Dokter Entropy and Massey Ratings. Here are the ranks of the 8 World Series teams by these two numbers (Dokter, then Massey).

  • Vanderbilt: 1st, 1st
  • Mississippi State: 3rd, 2nd
  • Arkansas: 4th, 4th
  • Texas Tech: 6th, 8th
  • Louisville: 8th, 5th
  • Michigan: 30th, 17th
  • Auburn: 35th, 11th
  • Florida State: 37th, 10th

The top 5 teams (Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas Tech and Louisville) are the primary contenders, as they rank in the top 10 by both metrics. Michigan, Auburn and Florida State are on the outside looking in.

The markets agree with this assessment. These are the odds at Caesars.

These odds translate into these implied win probabilities.

  • Vanderbilt, 21.0%
  • Arkansas, 21.0%
  • Mississippi State, 18.7%
  • Texas Tech, 9.3%
  • Louisville, 9.3%
  • Florida State, 7.6%
  • Auburn, 7.6%
  • Michigan, 5.3%

These odds have probably moved since June 10th.