Podcast: Evan Silva on the NFL Conference Championship Games

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I talk with Evan Silva, senior NFL editor at RotoWorld. He writes a weekly NFL match up column that DFS big shots like Peter Jennings read every week.

Among other topics, we discuss:

  • The very simple definition of analytics that guides Evan
  • The one weakness in Jacksonville’s defense that New England might exploit
  • The change on offense Minnesota made last week that could impact the game at Philadelphia
  • Two players to buy in your DFS contest this week
  • The book that Evan reads each off season

Evan offers a ton of other insights from both analytics and watching games that you don’t want to miss.

After the interview, I have my own segment on the surprising player that has propelled Jacksonville’s defense, and how that impacts the game against New England. Listen at 33:30.

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Podcast: Cade Massey on predicting the NFL Divisional Playoffs

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, Professor Cade Massey from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania joins me to talk the NFL playoffs. We have a wide ranging discussion that includes:

  • The predictor that gets the most weight in the Massey-Peabody model
  • The surprising predictor that still gets included this late in the NFL season
  • How New England’s defense excels, and how they’re really terrible
  • How to adjust for absence of Carson Wentz
  • The game in which Massey-Peabody takes a different side from The Power Rank’s prediction

You can check out all the good work Cade does at Massey-Peabody. We also discuss this fine article by Bill Connelly on the randomness of big plays.

After the interview, I have my own segment on passing and rushing in the NFL, and the statistic with which 8 of 12 playoff teams really struggle. Listen at 34:23.

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Podcast: John Ewing on NFL Wildcard Playoff, CFB title game

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I talk with John Ewing, data scientist at BetLabs and The Action Network. Among other topics, we discuss:

  • The true reason behind his trends, such as NFL teams coming off a 20 point loss to a good team are 62.1% against the spread
  • The NFL playoff game this weekend in which our predictions straddle the markets
  • Two Super Bowl futures that John likes
  • Whether Philadelphia could be a home underdog next weekend (remember, Carson Wentz is out)
  • The hidden factor that affects the total in the Georgia vs Alabama championship game

I really enjoy all of John’s insight on Twitter. To follow him, click here.

After the interview, I have my own segment on my spread prediction for Alabama vs Georgia. But it’s really a story about the uncertainty in making these predictions.

I use an insight from Matthew Holt of CG Technologies, who tells me what the spread would have been for an SEC championship game between these two teams. Listen at 34:38.

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Podcast: Dave Mason on how sports books view the NFL, college football

On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, Dave Mason from BetOnline.ag joins me for a wide ranging conversation. Among other topics, we discuss:

  • How a bartender changed his life
  • The similarities between breaking into a new field and wagering on sports
  • How the NFL has treated sports books in 2017
  • How BetOnline sets the markets, usually with the earliest football lines
  • The difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas for volume of wagers

The sports markets are quantitative by nature, and I always enjoy hearing from those that run the sports books. Dave is a great follow on Twitter, as more than 30 thousand people can’t be wrong.

After my interview with Dave, I do my own segment that answers the question: What is sports analytics good for?

The answer has to do with sports science and college basketball. Listen at 30:32.

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Podcast: How to Win Your NFL Pool, Week 15, 2017

When I was working on my research on winning your bowl pool, I wondered if the same strategies apply to NFL pools. You would need one which requires picking game winners straight up and assigning confidence points.

I sent an email to my newsletter list, and I was surprised how many people said they were in an NFL pick ’em pool. On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, I describe how you would go about winning an NFL pool in week 15, 2017.

In the show, I describe:

  • How to assign confidence points to the 16 NFL games
  • The 3 games in which you should have a lot of confidence this week
  • How to find contrarian choices, essential for pools larger than 30 people

The inefficiencies in picking games based on Yahoo data are insane, as I discuss in the last part about making contrarian choices. Remember, this is the same logic that goes into college football bowl pools.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

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The following gives the confidence points for each game based on my member numbers. The number in parentheses is the win probability for the favorite.

16. (79.6%) New Orleans will beat New York Jets.

15. (75.4%) Minnesota will beat Cincinnati.

14. (74.2%) Jacksonville will beat Houston.

13. (69.0%) Philadelphia will beat New York Giants.

12. (67.6%) Washington will beat Arizona.

11. (67.6%) Detroit will beat Chicago.

10. (64.8%) Baltimore will beat Cleveland.

9. (62.7%) Atlanta will beat Tampa Bay.

8. (62.1%) Carolina will beat Green Bay.

7. (60.0%) Seattle will beat Los Angeles Rams.

6. (59.1%) Kansas City will beat Los Angeles Chargers.

5. (58.5%) Buffalo will beat Miami.

4. (57.3%) Denver will beat Indianapolis.

3. (56.6%) Tennessee will beat San Francisco.

2. (52.5%) Oakland will beat Dallas.

1. (51.9%) Pittsburgh will beat New England.