Dave Mason from BetOnline.ag joins me to talk about college football and the NFL. He tells us how his sports book sets market each week and the advantages of putting out lines before others. He talks about how NFL results have impacted his company this season and the importance of Bitcoin. After the interview, I tell a story that answers the question: what is sports analytics good for?
When host Ed Feng was doing his research on how to win your college football bowl pool, he realized the ideas also apply to NFL pick 'em pools. In this episode, he shows how to win your NFL pool this week by picking the winners in games and assigning confidence points. This is done through his analytics. Then he goes through his procedure for finding contrarian games for people in larger pools.
Ed Feng explains his quantitative research on college football bowl pools. Based on 4 years of data, he explains why there is value in entering bowl pools. He then explains which types of bowl pools to enter. You should avoid pools in which randomness decreases your win probability. Then you should consider using contrarian strategies, or fading the choices of the public. However, this only works in certain pools. Ed closes with a few market based NFL predictions for teams with quarterback injuries.
Dave Bartoo, college football number cruncher that goes by CFB Matrix, joins me for a wide ranging conversation. He tells us why he likes to be wrong. We break down the 4 big championship games with college football playoff implications. Finally, he tells us the significance of Fresno State for the college football playoff. The Football Analytics Show is brought to you by The Power Rank (@thepowerrank on Twitter).
Which match up matters most in Alabama at Ohio State? Can Georgia Tech upset Georgia at home? How can Michigan stay in the game against Ohio State? Ed Feng breaks down the analytics behind these games.
Peter Jennings, two time world champion in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and cofounder of Fantasy Labs, joins me to discuss analytics in DFS. He tells us how his poker background helps him get started, and what times of year you'll find the most value in DFS. He also contrasts different sports and which ones require subjective adjustments from watching the games. After the interview, host Ed Feng discusses his new research on college football bowl pools and whether there is any value in these contests.
Kevin Cole, data scientist and founder of Predictive Football, joins me to talk about his points added model for NFL skill players. He explains how this new method considers how far a pass travels in the air, and how it evaluates the differences between quarterbacks and running backs. We also discuss Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and the 2018 QB class based on some of his new work. After the interview, host Ed Feng has his own segment on the total in Oklahoma State at Iowa State, and the story behind why its so low.
The first part of the show assigns a point value to player absences such as Ezekiel Elliott and Aaron Rodgers in the NFL. The second part talks about The Power Rank's probability that each college football team makes the playoff. There's a story behind why Penn State has the highest probability. Finally, host Ed Feng answers questions from listeners.
Bob Stoll, founder of Dr. Bob Sports and a true pioneer in using numbers in handicapping, joins the show. He talks about the analytics of his college football model and how he makes adjustments for situations and injuries. He also tells us about the machine learning methods of his new NFL model and gives us some college football teams to track based on this numbers. After the interview, host Ed Feng has his own segment on his primary Super Bowl contender. Follow Ed and The Football Analytics Show on Twitter @thepowerrank.
Dan Frabrizio, the founder of Sports Insights, joins the show for wide ranging conversation on sports analytics and betting. He tells us why he started Sports Insights back in 1999 and how to get an edge with reverse line movement. Then we discuss the NFL in 2017 and the recent acquisition of Sports Insights by The Chernin Group, a large media company. After the interview, host Ed Feng has a segment on the randomness of explosive plays, and Michigan at Penn State. Follow the Football Analytics Show on Twitter @thepowerrank.
Matthew Holt, COO of CG Technologies and the guy who sets the market in Nevada, joins me for a wide ranging conversation. He tells us how far gathering injury information has come in the past 12 years, as well as how sportsbooks use analytics to set the market (or at least as much as he could). We also get into the difficulty of making predictions for football teams on a steep rise or fall. After the interview, host Ed Feng discusses The Power Rank's prediction for total points in Texas Tech at West Virginia.
Joe Fortenbaugh, host of the new podcast The Sharp 600 and San Francisco sports radio personality, joins the show for a wide ranging conversation. He tells us the amazing story of how he broke into the sports world, a must listen whether you want to follow in his footsteps or land a date after getting a number. He then discusses his new podcast as well as thoughts on the NFL season. After the interview, host Ed Feng does a segment on The Power Rank's NFL pass rankings and what we can learn after 4 weeks.
Rufus Peabody, professional sports bettor and creator of Massey Peabody football analytics, joins the show to talk football analytics and predictions. He tells us how his numbers balance preseason expectation with incoming data from the current season. Then he breaks down Oklahoma State and USC, two college football teams that numbers find overrated, as well as the surprising Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. I discuss my new college football totals in a segment after the interview.
Brian Fremeau, creator of the FEI college football rankings and writer for ESPN Insider and Football Outsiders, tells us how he started doing college football rankings way back in 2003. He uses points per possession adjusted for starting field position to evaluate teams on offense and defense. He's also a Notre Dame fan and previews the game at Michigan State. After the interview, I discuss balancing data from a small sample size of games with preseason expectations early in the season.
I welcome Drew Martin of Sports Book Review to talk about handicapping small school college football. He takes us on his journey from all county QB in high school to JP Morgan to the sports world. We discuss how he handicaps games, and how the show Man vs Machine that he does with me came about. After the interview, I discuss small sample size and how it relates to football predictions.
Bill Connelly, college football analytics expert and SB Nation writer, joins me for a wide ranging college football discussion. He describes how he writes a preview for every FBS team each off season 7 years running. Then we give predictions and analysis for Oklahoma at Ohio State, Stanford at USC, Auburn at Clemson and Georgia at Notre Dame.
Jonathan Bales, Daily Fantasy Sports player and founder of Fantasy Labs, joins me to talk analytics. We talk about the unique product that Fantasy Labs offers, and he makes an unanticipated product announcement on the show. We also talk about books, writing and counter intuitive way to break into the sports analytics world.
Aaron Schatz, founder of Football Outsiders, joins me to discuss his predictions for the upcoming 2017 NFL season. We discuss the significance of passing over rushing in the NFL, and how it's been that way for 30 years. Then Aaron gives us an underrated and overrated team for the upcoming 2017 season.
Professor Ryan Rodenberg from Florida State explains the legal status of betting on games, which culminates in the Supreme Court's recent decision to hear a case from New Jersey. I was particularly intrigued by the role of the NBA in the case, who seeks to prevent New Jersey from legalizing betting but has also publicly endorsed betting on games. Throughout the conversation, Ryan keeps the conversation jargon free and accessible for those without a law degree.
Nik Bonaddio, the founder and CEO of numberFire, joins me to talk about football analytics and venture capital. Topics include the core idea behind their fantasy football projections, the type of companies that get venture capital funding, and the sports book Nik has read at least 10 times. The show ends with a segment about the one thing that will go wrong for Alabama in 2017.
Stewart Mandel is starting a new subscription based college football site called The All-American, and he joins me to discuss how analytics will play a role in their content. We also discuss the surprising conference that ended up last in his coaching talent rankings, and the team that could shake up the ACC. Last, he gives a template for how to pitch writing for him at The All-American.
With the football season fast approaching, I discuss my preseason college football rankings that have predicted the winner in over 70% of games the past three seasons. The first story looks at 3 teams that may have been one hit wonders last year. Then I transition into the blue blood program that should bounce back from an awful 2016 campaign. Finally, I talk about a troubling team that might be ranked too high.
Gill Alexander, host of A Numbers Game on the Vegas Stats and Information Network, joins me for a wide ranging conversation on sports analytics and media. We discuss the book that inspired him to leave a successful music career to get into sports, the real, non-betting reason he loves doing his Beating the Book podcast, and the non-book work of art we both obsess over.
Chase Stuart, founder of the site Football Perspective and 2016 panelist at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, joins me to discuss the analytics of the NFL draft. We dissect how he uses Approximate Value to assign a number to each selection in the draft. We also compare this draft chart to the Jimmy Johnson chart and talk about the surprising admission of the Patriots in making the Brandin Cooks trade.
Kevin Cole, data scientist and writer for Roto Viz and Fantasy Labs, joins the show to discuss his predictions for the 2017 NFL Draft. Among other topics, we discuss his unusual path to sports analytics, how to predict running back success, and what small sample size say about Deshaun Watson versus Mitch Trubisky.