Over the next two weeks, Ed Feng brings you 10 episodes of spoken word episodes to get you ready for the 2019 football season.
Josh Hermsmeyer of FiveThirtyEight joins me for a wide ranging conversation on the NFL. He tells us why he considers himself an analyst more than a data scientist. Then we get into play action and whether running it more times reduces its effectiveness. Finally, we discuss the 2019 prospects for Oakland, Chicago and Arizona.
Bill Connelly of ESPN joins me for a wide ranging conversation on college football. He tells us which parts of his preseason model gets broken down into offense and defense, and which doesn't. We discuss whether any team can catch Alabama and Clemson in 2019. Finally, Bill breaks down the contenders in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. Our apologies, as the audio quality is not has high as usual due to technical difficulties.
Jim Sannes, senior writer and analyst at numberFire and FanDuel, joins me to talk the upcoming NFL season. We discuss how he ranks NFL offensive lines from 1 to 32. Then he tells us about an offensive line that isn't ranked well but has a high upside and could power a Super Bowl contender. Jim ends with a quarterback that could have a remarkable 2019 NFL season.
Gadoon Kyrollos, who goes by Spanky on Twitter, joins the show. He's a professional sports bettor who was recently profiled on The Ringer. We discuss his approach to sports betting and how sports books treat sharp bettors like himself. He also gives us a hilarious criteria for whether you're doing well as a sports bettor.
Host Ed Feng discusses his new sports betting podcast called Covering the Spread.
Evan Silva, formerly of RotoWorld, joins the show to talk predictive analytics. He begins by telling us why he's leaving RotoWorld to start his own site Establish the Run. Then we discuss the NFL team that might not win many games but you should consider for fantasy football. Finally, Evan gets into his 2 sleeper Super Bowl teams and ends with a value choice for NFL MVP.
Ed Miller, an MIT educated data scientist and writer, joins me to discuss his new book The Logic of Sports Betting. He tells us about his journey from the corporate world to poker to sports betting. Then we get into why parlays aren't necessarily bad bets, how sports books set the market and the key concept of a no hold market.
Professor Cade Massey of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania joins me to discuss the NFL draft. We talk about his research into how NFL teams overvalue the top draft picks. While this implies that teams should trade down for more picks, Cade offers revisions to this rule in light of the importance of the QB position. Cade's research focuses on judgment under uncertainty, and he tells us how NFL teams could learn from the system they use for Wharton admissions.
Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated joins the show to talk about his book Astroball. He tell us about convincing Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow to open up about his methods. Then he discusses the synergy that allowed the Astros to become one of the best at player projections. Finally, Ben tells us about the frontier in analytics that will keep the Astros ahead.
In this second of two episodes, Adam Stanco of the Pac-12 Network continues to educate us on college basketball national title contenders. We talk about Virginia and the key player that makes them a championship threat, no matter what happened last season. Then we get into Gonzaga's talent, both inside and outside. Finally, Adam reveals the team with more NBA talent than any team, even Duke.
Adam Stanco of the Pac-12 Network joins me to break down college basketball teams for the 2019 NCAA tournament. We get into Duke, with and without Zion Williamson, whether Michigan has enough offense to make a deep run, and whether Michigan or Michigan State has a higher ceiling.
Joe Peta, author of the books A 2019 Masters Preview and Trading Bases, joins me to discuss his recent work in golf analytics. He tells us about the Strokes Gained framework to evaluate players. Then he digs into his methodology for predicting the 2019 Masters. Finally, we discuss how variance plays a bigger role in golf than in team sports.
Four years ago in the Deflategate scandal, data suggested that New England might have deflated footballs to reduce their fumble rate. Host Ed Feng looks back at the real surprise in New England's turnover data. Then he updates the numbers to see if New England's performance on fumble has changed since then and how it might impact the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams.
Chris Andrews, director of the South Point sports book, joins the show to discuss the Super Bowl. He talks about being aggressive as a bookmaker, with New England in the Super Bowl as an example. He also gives his view on Super Bowl props, analytics in bookmaking and putting out early college football win totals.
Dr. Eric Eager, data scientist at Pro Football Focus, joins me for a wide ranging conversation on football analytics. We break down the two NFL conference title games by the numbers, but also get into the QB statistic that makes interesting predictions for Tom Brady vs Pat Mahomes. Throughout the conversation, Eric provides many insights, such as whether pass rush or secondary is more important, or how to do better than sacks in evaluating pass rush.
Whale Capper joins me to discuss how he uses seismic engineering to model the outcome of NFL games. Then we go through the 4 games of the NFL Divisional Playoff Round with predictions and analysis.
Host Ed Feng digs into the Alabama versus Clemson match up for the college football title game, and how this game is different from last season. Then he discusses the team with the best chances to win the Super Bowl, and whether their defense can hold up. Finally, he talks about a sleeper team to win the Super Bowl, and how the system is working against this team.
Dave Bartoo, who goes by CFB Matrix, joins me to talk college football predictions. We start by discussing his metrics for coaches and coordinators, and which teams made good or bad hires this off season. Then he gives us two bowl games with value in the markets. Finally, we discuss whether any team can catch Alabama and Clemson at the top of college football.
Host Ed Feng digs into his research on how to win your bowl pool and offers his 3 best tips. To explain the first tip, he uses Steph Curry as an example. The second tip relates to whether you want to enter a pool with confidence points or not. The third tip asks you to think contrarian and uses Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati as an example.
Data is a powerful tool for making sports predictions. However, it can also get you in trouble. In this special story telling episode, you'll see how small sample size affects Redskins fans, a Nebraska fan down on his team and a sports bettor. We'll also discuss the factor that makes the curse so much worse.
Bud Elliott, college football writer at SB Nation, joins me for a wide ranging conversation. We discuss how context can make football analytics even better. Then he talks about his process for picking college football games for his weekly betting column. Finally, we discuss the college football playoff, and how we could have narrowed the field of contenders 3 months ago.
Host Ed Feng talks about the great Michigan vs Alabama debate, and why it's not much of a debate. He previews Michigan at Ohio State, and then finds humor in the numbers for Oklahoma at West Virginia.
Jake Williams, Head of Legal at Sportradar and host of the Business of Betting podcast, joins me to talk sports data and betting. He highlights new opportunities that the legalization of betting in the United States will bring. With his work at Sportradar, Jake gives his perspective on sports data for both media and sports books. Finally, he ends with lesson from hosting his Business of Betting podcast.
Michael Lombardi joins the show to discuss his new book Gridiron Genius. He starts with lessons learned from working with Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick on building a culture. This leads into a discussion of the NFL teams with the best culture and Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Then we talk about how information and analytics inform decision making across an NFL franchise. As a part of this discussion, Michael reveals the overlooked traits of successful offensive linemen and cornerbacks. We end with his NFL insider perspective for bettors.