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.
Mike Goodman, Senior Soccer Editor at CBS, joins the show to talk analytics and Euro 2020 played in 2021. He explains expected goals (xG) as a tool to analyze players and teams before discussing new frontiers in soccer analytics. Then he breaks down the top 4 contenders to win Euro at the quarterfinal stage: Belgium, Italy, Spain and England. Finally, we talk about a sleeper Euro team and the long term prospects for the US men's national team.
Bud Elliott, national recruiting analyst and betting expert at 247Sports, joins the show to talk college football win totals and futures. He describes the objective and subjective process he uses in evaluating college football win totals. He also talks about his indispensable tool in looking at national championship futures. Among other teams, we discuss Florida State, Penn State, Oregon and Michigan as well as impact freshmen for the 2021 season.
Dan Szymborski, baseball analytics expert and writer for FanGraphs, joins the show to talk about his work in data analytics. As a baseball fan, he started doing calculations at the age of 10 and was active on Usenet groups in the 1990s. This later led to his ZiPS projection system for baseball players, and Dan describes how this works. He also talks about more recent work with StatCast data and which team will win the 2021 World Series.
Sarah Bailey of the Los Angeles Rams joins the show to discuss her work in football analytics. She describes her transition from a Masters of Statistics at Simon Fraser University to working for an NFL team. Then she talks about the three different areas she has worked on for the Rams. Other topics include baseball analytics, the NFL lifestyle and running.
Matt Waldman, creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio (RSP) and senior writer at Footballguys, joins the show to talk about the 2021 NFL Draft. In creating the RSP, he watches hours of tape, which gives him a strong take on the QB that should be the 3rd overall pick. In addition, he describes why a surprise QB is rated better than Zach Wilson, the presumed 2nd pick in the draft. Finally, he tells some great stories about the reach of his RSP.
Julian Packer, a professional sports bettor and founder of BetStamp, joins the show to discuss how to bet props in basketball and football. He describes how he uses his software background to model props. Then he talks about how he avoids getting his bets limited by sports books, a common problem for winning bettors. Finally, he tells us about BetStamp, his app for tracking bets.
Colin Davy, data scientist at Facebook and two time winner of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Hackathon, joins me to talk about his custom golf model for the Masters. He describes how he uses Markov Chains to predict the outcome of golf and how this differs from the Strokes Gained approach. He predicts which golfers have the highest probability to win the 2021 Masters. Finally, Colin talks about how he used data to become a Jeopardy champion.