Can Baylor bounce back from a COVID stoppage? How has coach Scott Drew built this team that has won the Big 12 regular season and looks like a 1 seed? Edward Egros breaks down Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and Baylor.
Two years ago, the NCAA tournament selection committee adopted the NET rankings to select and seed teams. No one liked the old RPI system, but is NET any better? Stanford PhD Ed Feng explains the ideas of machine learning and Team Value Index that go into NET and how it has impacted seeding.
Kelvin Sampson's teams play great defense, and Houston has a star in Quinton Grimes. Can the Cougars make a deep run in March? Edward Egros breaks down Houston in this episode of Bracket Wisdom.
If you get this wrong, you might as well light your entry fee on fire. Edward Egros examines the long odds of winning large pools, and provides concrete advice about the size of pool you should enter.
Live by the 3, die by the 3. Alabama likes to chuck it from the cheat seats. But will this prevent them from winning March Madness? Edward Egros breaks down head coach Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Part 1 looked at the difference between predictability and skill. For NBA players, 3 point shooting percentage is not predictive but a skill. In Part 2, Ed looks at the skill in 3 point shooting for college basketball teams. This leads to a discussion about using 3 point shooting percentage to evaluate the top teams that can win March Madness.
In college basketball, 3 point field goal percentage is not predictive. This means that a team like Baylor that shoots 44% from 3 will see regression to the college basketball average of 34%. However, this feels wrong, as 3 point shooting seems like a skill. In this episode, Ed Feng explains how to isolate skill from luck in 3 point shooting.
Edward Egros takes over hosting duties to interview Ed Feng, the usual host of The Football Analytics Show and founder of The Power Rank. Ed talks about the changes he has made in his algorithms during the pandemic, how he got into sports analytics and why context matters even more during this time. Then he gets into March Madness, and topics include the analytics and strategy behind how to win your pool. Finally, Ed and Edward debate the virtues of the game ending buzzer in basketball.
Adam Stanco, hoops expert and host of the Rejecting the Screen podcast, joins the show to talk college basketball. He tells us whether the numbers are right in having Gonzaga and Baylor as the two best teams in the nation. Then we talk Michigan and the NBA draft stock of Hunter Dickinson. Adam gives his thoughts on Duke and Kentucky before talking about other teams that could win the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Rufus Peabody, professional sports bettor, joins the show to talk about the Super Bowl. He describes his NFL model and what it says about the spread for Tampa Bay vs Kansas City. Then he discusses his process for predicting player props and what his numbers say about the Super Bowl.
Matt Freedman of the Action Network, a fantasy sports expert, joins the show to talk about the Super Bowl and player prop bets. He gives his 3 top tips for how to approach the prop market, and then talks about a few bets that he likes. Then we talk about the game between Tampa Bay and Kansas City in terms of the spread and total. Finally, Matt tells us how he started doing an Ask Me Anything on Twitter every day.
Drew Dinsick, an NFL bettor who goes by Whale Capper on Twitter, joins the show to discuss the NFL. He describes how he uses his background in earthquake engineering to build an NFL predictive model, and how the inputs to the model have changed over the years. Then we get into the Conference Championship games. Tampa Bay visits Green Bay, and Drew lays out how the game will likely evolve. Buffalo visits Kansas City, and he identifies the injury that everyone should be talking about, not the one everyone is talking about. We end with a discussion of Mexican food, rocket science and closing line value.
Chris Andrews, the director of the sportsbook at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, joins me to talk about the NFL. He describes how he sets the market, and how numbers play a role. Then we dig into the four Divisional Playoff games:
We end with a discussion of poker, books and Winston Churchill.
Fabian Sommer, an NFL handicapper, joins the show to discuss the NFL Wild Card weekend. First, he describes this three part approach to evaluating games, the first of which involves analytics. Then he breaks down Rams at Hawks, Ravens at Titans and Browns at Steelers before giving another game with value. Throughout the conversation, he divides the contribution of an offense's success into quarterback vs coach and other players.
Professor Edward Egros of SMU joins me to talk football analytics, both college and pro. He tells us about the tools he uses and produces for college football, and how his NFL model differs. We get into the College Football Playoff and discuss Clemson vs Ohio State and Alabama vs Notre Dame. Finally, Edward discusses the Dallas Cowboys and their chances to win the NFC East.
Peter Bukowski, who hosts the Locked On Packers podcast and covers the Packers for SB Nation, joins me to talk NFL analytics. He tells us about how analytics informs his coverage and the model he has built to write his betting column. Then he gives us the key to transforming Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense from mediocre to great. Analytics also plays a role in the defensive philosophy, which frustrates many fans. Finally, we talk about Tennessee at Green Bay in week 16 and the two teams Green Bay would least like to face in the playoffs.
Richard Johnson, a college football writer whose work appears on the SEC Network, Washington Post and FiveThirtyEight, joins me to break down championship week. First, he tells us how analytics informs his coverage, and his beautiful description applies quite generally. Then Richard describes how to fix the lack of black head coaches in college football. Next, we break down Clemson vs Notre Dame, Alabama vs Florida and Ohio State vs Northwestern. Finally, we find a common love for the same cuisine.
Ben Fawkes, Vice President of Digital Content at VSIN and formerly of ESPN, joins me to talk about analytics and sports betting. Based on over a decade of experience, he offers his perspective on data and analytics in the sports betting industry. We also talk about Pittsburgh at Buffalo and Minnesota at Tampa Bay on the Week 14 schedule. Ben also offers advice for people looking to break into the industry.
Drew Martin is a sports bettor known for his appearances on many outlets, including The Power Rank YouTube channel. He tells us about how he handicaps college football games based on his background playing QB. Drew talks about his alma mater Auburn, and whether they should fire Gus Malzahn. As a small school specialist in college football, he breaks down Liberty at Coastal Carolina in week 14.
John Sheeran, the director of trading at FanDuel Sportsbook, joins the show to discuss football analytics. He tells us how he learned to set a market and started doing it for horse racing. Then John describes how analytics plays a critical role for his team, and how the analytics division works at FanDuel. He then talks about taking a stand against market consensus, dealing with teams in seeming free fall (Michigan, New York Jets) and the US presidential election markets.
Kevin Cole, a data scientist at Pro Football Focus, joins me to discuss the 2020 NFL season. He tells us about the metric he uses to predict the Most Valuable Player, and what this model says about Russell Wilson. Kevin also discusses why Kansas City might be better this season than during their Super Bowl run in 2019. Finally, he provides two surprising teams that might make the playoffs.
Nick Saban and Alabama have won 5 national championships over the past 11 seasons. How does a team get through Alabama to win a title? A quick look through history reveals the one thing a team needs. However, it might not be enough anymore.
Rob Pizzola, who uses analytics as a professional sports bettor, joins me to talk about the 2020 NFL season. He describes how he combines the objective and subjective in this work, and how this applies to the New York Jets. Then he talks about his research into the increased scoring this NFL season. We then discuss Super Bowl contenders from both conferences before Rob gives us a game he likes for week 8.
Michigan opens their season at Minnesota in a prime time game. Host Ed Feng looks at Jim Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan and how that impacts his prediction for this game. Then he projects Michigan for the 2020 season.
Offense has surged in the 2020 NFL, as teams have averaged 50.8 points per game the first 6 weeks of the season. This is a significant increase from the 45.7 points per game in 2019. Host Ed Feng looks at how the markets have responded and whether the increased scoring will continue.