Kostya Medvedovsky joins the show to discuss DARKO, a well respected NBA player projection system. He begins with how a lawyer developed the data and math skills to develop DARKO. Then Kostya describes the two predictive systems that form the basis of DARKO, one of which was initially used in rocket science. Then he talks about how machine learning techniques combine these two factors. He uses Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans as an example of how the system works. Finally, Kostya discusses the applications of DARKO to sports betting.
Matt Metcalf, the sports book director at Circa sports, describes his journey from sports book to professional bettor to the sports book at Circa. Matt takes us inside his head as he adjusts his college football ratings based on game results. This is the work that allows Circa to open the first college football spreads and totals on Sunday. He contrasts booking college football with the NFL. Matt also describes the role of analytics in his work, why Circa welcomes sharp sports bettor and the one thing he would change in the industry.
Matt Waldman, creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio (RSP), joins the show to talk about the 2022 NFL draft. He describes his year long process for watching film and evaluating hundreds of college players in creating the RSP. Matt talks about how Dak Prescott and others have helped him improve his process. While others talk about the intangibles for a player, Matt has a very specific definition for the It factor. He relates this It factor to improvisation music. The markets have Malik Willis as the favorite to be the top QB selected in the 2022 NFL draft, but Matt explains why he differs from this consensus.
Drew Dinsick, a sports bettor and co-host of NBC's Bet the Edge podcast, joins the show to talk about professional football and basketball. He describes how the NFL draft market has changed this year and a few bets that he likes. Drew talks about the top players at edge rusher and quarterback. Then Drew gets into his process for betting the NBA, which includes data from the markets and player performance models. He also has some fascinating insights into predicting totals in basketball.
Dr. Eric Eager, Head of Research, Development and Strategy at PFF, joins the show to discuss the NFL and the 2022 draft in particular. He talks about how he approaches betting the NFL draft from multiple perspectives. Then Eric breaks down the scenarios for the top three teams to pick: Jacksonville, Detroit and Houston. He also gives a few of his favorite bets on the 2022 NFL draft. Finally, we dig into NFL free agency season, and Eric describes the team he finds the most intriguing over the next few seasons.
Matthew Freedman, the Director of Content at FantasyPros and BettingPros, joins the show to talk about betting the NFL draft. Matthew talks about the primary tool that he uses to make bets and the best time to use this tool. He also encourages you to change your position when new information becomes available, and he provides examples from 2021. Finally, Matthew talks about his NFL draft bets for 2022.
George Chahrouri of PFF joins the show to break down NFL free agency. The conversation begins with quarterbacks, which includes Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns and Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. George then decides whether the Miami Dolphins in Tyreek Hill or the Las Vegas Raiders in Davante Adams got a better wide receiver. Finally, George identifies three NFL teams that had a great free agency campaign.
This episode has Sweet 16 predictions usually saved for paying members of The Power Rank. Ed Feng also adds his analysis on three games: Arizona vs Houston, Purdue vs St. Peter's and Kansas vs Providence.
While the NCAA tournament selection committee has gotten better over the years, they made some seeding mistakes this year. Ed Feng identifies the reason for these mistakes before identifying the most difficult region, the easiest region, and the team with a very kind path.
Before getting into the two teams that could win the 2022 NCAA tournament, Edward Egros asks whether point guard play still matters. This leads into a breakdown of the top players for Arizona and Auburn.
The preseason AP poll is a surprising predictor of tournament success, and this episode looks at three top 10 teams from this poll. Duke has a load of NBA level talent, while Purdue thrives in one phase of the game but not the other. Finally, Kentucky is not the typical team that John Calipari puts together.
During the NCAA tournament Selection Show, Ed Feng and Edward Egros did a live stream. This episode of Bracket Wisdom captures three highlights from this conversation: 1. Illinois, Houston and whether injuries matter, 2. the second best team after Gonzaga, 3. two mid-major teams that thrive on offense and can win some games.
The only thing better than watching upsets in the NCAA tournament is predicting them. This episode first asks whether underdogs play at a slower pace or shoot more three pointers. Then the real reason that large underdogs in college basketball pull off the upset is revealed.
Points per possession is the gold standard for evaluating college basketball teams. However, you can sometimes do better than this standard by isolating one element with a lot of randomness. This episode uses Alabama and Kansas as examples of this extra edge in analyzing the 2022 NCAA tournament.
The Big 12 features three teams that could contend to win the NCAA tournament in 2022. This episode discusses:
In 2021, Gonzaga had their undefeated season foiled by Baylor in the national championship game. In 2022, Gonzaga will most likely be the top seed again, and this episode looks at their chances to win a championship.
Bracket Wisdom is a daily podcast series to help you win your March Madness pool. This first episode gives the top 3 tips for winning your pool. While the first two rely on analytics, the third focuses on strategy.
Ken Pomeroy joins the show to talk college basketball analytics and the 2022 NCAA tournament. He describes the methods behind his college basketball rankings at kenpom.com, and how this has changed over the past 20 years. Ken then talks about how he would select teams for the NCAA tournament. Finally, he breaks down the top 5 teams in his rankings: Gonzaga, Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona and Duke.
Alan Boston, the college basketball betting legend who was featured in the book The Odds, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation. He says he doesn't use analytics, but his process suggests otherwise. Examples of this include home court advantage and using program history to rate teams. Alan also talks about why he doesn't seek closing line value. During the discussion, he breaks down Gonzaga, Arizona, Kentucky and Baylor among other teams capable of winning the 2022 NCAA tournament.
Spanky, a professional sports bettor, joins the show to talk about his craft. He describes his top down approach to sports betting and how his goal is closing line value (CLV). In particular, he discusses whether CLV mattered in the NFL during the 2021 season, and whether CLV is different as the season approaches the Super Bowl. Spanky also evaluates sports betting in the United States, and how it might be changing for the better. Finally, he discusses the key to starting new projects like the Bet Bash conference and the Be Better Bettors podcast.
JJ Zachariason, founder of Late Round Fantasy Football and formerly of FanDuel, joins the show for a wide ranging NFL conversation. He describes his journey from an ebook to FanDuel to working for himself at LateRound.com. Then he breaks down the Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, and offers a bet on the game. Finally, JJ provides his reasoning behind two Super Bowl props.
Colin Davy, a Jeopardy champion through analytics and former director of data science at The Action Network, joins the show to talk about finding sports betting value. His Betscope tool aggregates data to find the best markets on a single game. In addition, the tool allows you to act on your beliefs by changing certain input parameters. Colin also discusses the analytics behind player props and how this impacts Super Bowl props.
Gill Alexander, the host of A Numbers Game on VSIN and the Beating the Book podcast, joins the show for a wide ranging NFL conversation. He first describes the debate between those who follow analytics and those who hate it, and which side is winning 2022. Then he breaks down the two conference championship games:
The conversation also touches on the New Orleans Saints, the Washington Football Team (Gill's team), and the future of sports betting.
Fabian Sommer, a football analyst who uses analytics and data in his handicapping, joins the show to discuss the NFL Divisional Playoffs. First, he describes the variety of metrics he uses in evaluating match ups in NFL games. He also discusses closing line value and the curious case of Philadelphia. Then he breaks down the NFL Divisional Playoffs, which includes:
We end with a great discussion of books.
John Sheeran, the Director of Trading at FanDuel Sportsbook, joins the show to discuss the NFL. First, John discusses the Chargers vs Raiders game that could have ended in a tie and how FanDuel uses an analytics based model to help set the market. Then, John breaks down these Wild Card games: