Tony Miller, Director of the Sportsbook at the Golden Nugget, joins the show to talk about bookmaking. He starts with some great stories of meeting Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra when he started working in the industry in the 1980's. Tony then describes setting the line at the Golden Nugget, and how this involves pencil and paper power ratings across all sports. He talks about two NFL games in which his spread differs from market consensus. Finally, Tony gives two other NFL games with value.
Edward Egros, a professor at SMU and Pepperdine, joins the show to talk about predictive football analytics. He describes how his model works for college football and the NFL but why betting the two levels of football is much different. Edward reacts to the first college football playoff rankings before giving a bet he likes. For the NFL, he discusses Packers at Chiefs and the impact of the absence of Aaron Rodgers. Edward also talks about Titans at Rams and an NFL bet he likes.
Andy Molitor, co-host of the Deep Dive Podcast and Director of Content at Betsperts, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation. He talks about his NFL model and a week 8 bet he likes. During the conversation, he discusses Kansas City, Arizona and Dallas among other teams. At the end, the conversation shifts to brown liquor, Steinbeck and food.
Bob Stoll, a long time pioneer in the use of analytics for football betting, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation. He discusses the details of his college football and NFL models and how they differ due to data availability. Then Bob gives a bet he likes for both college football and the NFL. Throughout the conversation, he talks about player statistics and how to make adjustments for injuries.
George Chahrouri, CXO at Pro Football Focus (PFF), joins the show for a wide ranging conversation on NFL analytics and betting. He talks about going from teaching calculus in Compton to working on football analytics at PFF. George works on the production team for Sunday Night Football on NBC, and he describes the challenges of explaining analytics to the football public. Then he gets into Week 6 of the 2021 season: Chargers at Ravens, Cardinals at Browns and Bengals at Lions.
Rob Pizzola, professional sports bettor and partner at BetStamp, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation on NFL betting. He describes how his betting has evolved over the years and the most important model he uses in 2021. Rob breaks down Arizona, Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Chargers before providing a bet that he likes for week 5. Along the way, he talks about the QB and head coach duo that he's excited about, the defense that might be the NFL's worst, and the strange way in which running backs matter.
Dr. Eric Eager, Vice President of Research and Development at PFF, joins the show to talk about football analytics. Eric talks about early insights from the player grades that PFF creates by watching every play of every game. He also describes two of his recent studies: how offensive line continuity affects the point spread and how to better predict sacks and interceptions. Eric also discusses whether rushing actually matters in the NFL and the betting value on two week 3 NFL games.
Preston Johnson, professional sports bettor, joins the show to talk about college football and the NFL. He outlines how he uses analytics and market data in his betting process. In college football, he talks about Ohio State, Michigan, USC and UCLA. In the NFL, Preston discusses how to react to one week of games and adjustments he has made to teams like Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. Preston also shares a college football and NFL bet he likes and describes his new media venture BetsTV.
Dr. Ben Baldwin, football analytics expert and writer for The Athletic, joins the show to talk about the NFL. He describes his amazing site rbsdm.com, how it came about and the passing tendencies and QB statistics that it displays. Then Ben breaks down Seattle, the team he covers for The Athletic, and their rivals in the NFC West (Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Arizona). Finally, he gives a surprising prediction for the 2021 season.
To predict which NFL quarterbacks will succeed in 2021, Edward Egros looks at metrics such as expected points added. In particular, he looks at the depth of throw that matters most in predicting a QB's overall performance.
Ed Feng breaks down college football's most interesting division. While Ohio State has dominated in the past, Penn State and Michigan should rebound from awful 2020 seasons. In addition, Indiana might be the most interesting team in the division.
Analytics suggests two simple ways to make an NFL offense more efficient. First, call more play action. Second, throw on early downs in neutral game situations. Ed Feng looks at how one Super Bowl contender has evolved in these two areas as well as other aspects of the team.
The transfer portal gives college football teams a way to add proven players. Edward Egros quantifies the relationship of talent obtained through the transfer portal and winning, and then looks at how certain transfers could impact USC, Texas, Georgia and SMU.
While a previous episode of this preview series looked at interceptions, this episode reveals another critical area in which NFL quarterbacks play a role. Tom Brady and Drew Lock show the skill that you might have thought depended entirely on the offensive line.
Ed Feng uses his market preseason rankings and other factors to identify 3 overrated teams in the preseason AP college football poll. He ends with thoughts on how these predictions can go awry and the differing market opinion on conferences.
How has play calling evolved in the NFL? Edward Egros looks at the numbers behind:
and talks about what play calls might offer an advantage in 2021.
Edward Egros dives into the historical odds to determine a strategy for betting the winner of the Heisman Trophy. He then looks at some recent trends to come up with suggestions for the 2021 season.
In the last 3 years, only 6 different teams have made the college football playoff. To predict which teams might join this elite group, Edward Egros looks back history, evaluates tactics and uses analytics.
Ryan Tannehill has been fantastic since he took over as Tennessee's QB in 2019. However, there are some warning signs for Tannehill going into 2021. This episode explores bad ball rate and Bayesian updating.
Phil Steele, college football expert and long time publisher of his college football preview magazine, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation. He describes the role that analytics plays in his previewing of teams and gives examples based on turnovers and yards per point. Then Phil gives 3 teams that could join the college football playoff regulars like Alabama and Clemson. He ends by giving an overrated team, an intriguing team and the team he thinks will win the national championship.
Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders and ESPN+ joins the show for a wide ranging conversation on analytics and the NFL. He tells the story of the Football Outsiders Almanac and how words and analytics mesh in this excellent resource. He reveals the two teams that should expect regression at QB. He also gives an overrated team that didn't help themselves on defense. Teams discussed include Minnesota, Cleveland and Buffalo among others.
Bill Connelly, college football analytics expert and writer at ESPN, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation on college football. He describes his preseason model and the data that goes into it. Then he breaks down teams such as Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina among others. Finally, Bill gives his thoughts on college football conference realignment, a potential super league and US soccer.
Mike Craig, a long time professional sports bettor, joins the show to talk about his craft. He describes how he got into the industry thanks to the generosity of his wife. Mike uses analytics but also subjective analysis in his betting, and this depends on the sport. Finally, Mike talks about the importance of closing line value and the toughest market to beat.
Adam Levitan, founder of Establish the Run, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation on the NFL. As a daily fantasy sports (DFS) expert, Adam gives his top advice for game selection and lineup construction. Then he describes his process for making season-long player prop bets. Finally, we talk about the analytics developed at Establish the Run, his ebook Skin to Fur and Sam Hinkie.
Brendan Kent, Senior Business Data Analyst at DraftKings and host of the Measurables podcast, joins the show for a wide ranging discussion on sports analytics. He describes how he got a job with the Portland Timbers as an undergrad. He tells us about the educational work he has done, both as an adjunct professor at Linfield University and on his website. Brendan has also created Office Hours, an opportunity for underrepresented minorities to talk with someone who works in sports analytics.