2014 MVP Odds and Historical QB MVP Performance

July 11, 2014 Vegas

On July 8th, Bovada released some early MVP odds, so I figured it would be fun to take a few minutes and examine which players seem like the best and worst bets. Bovada listed odds for 40 players. For example, Peyton Manning has odds of “3/1″ which implies that he has a 25% chance of […]

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Not-Entirely-Awful NFL Futures Bets

July 10, 2014 Vegas

In the 1990s, there was a hedge fund called Long Term Capital Management that almost brought down the world economy. LTCM made enormous bets on very arcane things such as the spread between two kinds of bonds. Their whole reason-for-being was that they would find small inefficiencies in prices and borrow like crazy to take […]

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Up, Up, and Away: The Most Recent Vegas Futures Odds

July 9, 2014 Statistics

A few days ago, I was in Vegas with friends and without a car. So I took the chance to shop NFL futures odds to the extent that I felt it was worth it to walk to a given sportsbook. I decided the 3+ mile walk to the Superbook was not worth the opportunity cost […]

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The Smarter (Sigh) Football Betting Market

June 19, 2014 History

Economists (I am one) have historically been trained to believe in the efficiency of markets. The simplest way to think of this is that market prices capture all relevant information. Of course, this is sometimes not quite right, or even close to right. All the mortgage-backed securities that helped bring down our economy were horrendously […]

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Implied SRS Ratings of College Football Teams in 2014

June 16, 2014 College

The Simple Rating System is a set of computer rankings that is focused on only two variables: strength of schedule and margin of victory. I publish weekly college football SRS ratings each season, and you can read more about the SRS there. Last year, I took the Las Vegas point spreads for over 200 college […]

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Previewing the World Cup by NFL Divisions

June 11, 2014 Uncategorized

The Super Bowl is a football competition decided by a series of single-elimination playoff games played after 32 teams attempt to qualify from eight groups of four teams each. That’s the World Cup, too! And just like the NFL, there are some not-so-good AFC South-ish groups and some very good NFC West-like groups. So let’s […]

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Vegas Has The Seahawks As the Best Team in 2014

May 27, 2014 SRS

Last year, I derived implied SRS Ratings for each NFL team based on the initial Vegas point spreads. Well, lines have been set for the first 240 games of the year — i.e., every week but week 17 — which means we can re-run the exercise for 2014. So how do we use point spread […]

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Bill Belichick And Coaching Records Against The Spread

May 1, 2014 Coaches

Last week at Five Thirty Eight, Nate Silver noted that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has produced an excellent record against the spread. He also checked in football’s version of Pop, Bill Belichick, and came to the same conclusion: Belichick hasn’t just been great, but he’s been great against the spread, too. My […]

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Comparing 2014 Vegas Projections to Estimated Wins

March 28, 2014 Vegas

Three weeks ago, Vegas released the first set of 2014 win totals for all 32 teams. I immediately wondered how those win totals compare to the estimated wins I created based on 2013 DVOA ratings. I tweeted a request for someone to write such an article, and Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) was kind enough to oblige. […]

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Does Vegas undervalue bad teams and overvalue good teams?

March 8, 2014 History

The prevailing view is that Vegas is an example of an efficient market. If there were obvious trends that oddsmakers ignored, it would be easy for people to make money gambling on football, and we know that’s not the case. But I thought it would be interesting to investigate some claims I’ve heard over the […]

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Why is the Over/Under So Low In Super Bowl XLVIII?

February 2, 2014 Vegas

The Over/Under for Super Bowl XLVIII was just 48 points for most of the last week, although it went up to 48.5 on Thursday and may be at 49 by kickoff. In any event, such a low number should strike Broncos fans as really odd, since the average over/under in the team’s first 18 games […]

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How Likely Or Unlikely Was Each Super Bowl Winner Since 1978

January 25, 2014 Super Bowl

Earlier this week, I looked at how likely or unlikely the playoffs were in each of the last 25 seasons. Today, we look at each Super Bowl winner since 1978, and calculate their odds of winning each playoff game, and by extension, how likely (or unlikely) it was that that team wound up winning the […]

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The 2013 Playoffs Were Not Very Random

January 22, 2014 Vegas

In September 2012, Neil wrote that the NFL playoffs had become more random. And that was three months before Joe Flacco turned into Joe Montana. This year, however, feels like one of the least random playoffs in recent memory. And there’s a good reason for that: it is. If you know the points spread for […]

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The Patriots are 10-3 But Just 6-7 Against the Spread

December 13, 2013 Checkdowns

If you look at the Patriots’ PFR page, you’ll see that the Patriots are a 10-3team that’s played like an 8-5 team that has a 6-7 record against the spread. I wondered how often a team with such a good record was below average against the spread. The answer: pretty frequently. Which I suppose isn’t […]

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New York Times: Post-Week 3, 2013

September 25, 2013 Current Events

This week at the New York Times, I examine the disappointing San Francisco 49ers. From the moment Coach Jim Harbaugh arrived in San Francisco in 2011, the 49ers have been one of the N.F.L.’s best teams. In Harbaugh’s first two seasons, the 49ers ranked third in combined wins (24) and points differential (275), trailing only […]

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Favored to win or lose every game?

September 22, 2013 Vegas

On Monday and Tuesday, I looked at the teams that had the longest streaks as either a favorite or an underdog. In the comments, James asked if I could put together a list of teams that were favored to win or lose every game in a single season. Six teams — the ’98 Broncos, ’95 […]

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Longest streaks as an underdog

September 17, 2013 Vegas

Yesterday, I looked at the longest streaks as a favorite. The ’99 to ’02 Rams were the record holder, as the team was favored in an astounding 57 consecutive games. Unfortunately for the franchise, things weren’t so great in the post-Kurt Warner era. In fact, five years after that streak ended, the Rams started a […]

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Longest streaks as a favorite

September 16, 2013 Vegas

On its own, this week five game against San Francisco doesn’t stand out as anything special. The 0-4 Rams were traveling to San Francisco with Jamie Martin at quarterback, who led the team to just 10 points the previous week in Dallas after Kurt Warner broke his pinky finger. The 49ers were coming off of […]

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NFL Futures

July 19, 2013 Vegas

I’m in Las Vegas, and thought I would solicit suggestions before placing bets. Tweet

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Buffalo Bills website complains about team’s schedule

June 24, 2013 Random Perspective On

Chris Brown of buffalobills.com is not happy with the way the Bills’ schedule shakes out. Again. Last year, this is what Brown wrote after examining the 2012 schedule: After playing what is expected to be a physical contest with the 49ers in San Francisco in Week 5 [Chase: In retrospect, not that physical], the Bills […]

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Implied SRS Ratings of each NFL Team

May 10, 2013 SRS

On Wednesday, Jason Lisk came up with a set of power rankings based on the point spread for nearly every game this season (spreads for the games in the final week of the season have not yet been released). We can use the SRS to come up with the implied ratings for each team (this […]

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Super Bowl XLVII Prop Bets

January 24, 2013 Checkdowns

I don’t advocate betting on football games and neither does Football Perspective. However, as a person who spends lot of time trying to measure events that are difficult to measure, as an academic exercise, I find this list of Super Bowl Prop bets pretty interesting. MVP and First to Score a Touchdown Odds SUPER BOWL […]

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Super Bowl History

January 21, 2013 History

Now that the Super Bowl matchup is set, I thought I’d start the two-week period with some Super Bow history. The table below lists some information from each of the first 46 Super Bowls. With Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick facing off, that ends five-year streak where at least one of the two quarterbacks in […]

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A guide to Saturday’s games

November 10, 2012 College

The game of the day is in Tuscaloosa, as the #4 team in the SRS tries to ruin the perfect season of the best team in the country. Here’s a look at the weekly results for Alabama and Texas A&M, sorted from highest to lowest SRS score: Both teams blew out Arkansas in September and […]

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Monday 11/05/12)

November 6, 2012 Checkdowns

Here’s my weekly set of power ratings, according to a weighted version of the Simple Rating System: KEY: Talent – Regressed WPct talent for 2012; Talent = (W + 5.5) / (G + 11) PWAG – Probability of Winning Any Game Off – Offensive SRS (positive = better) Def – Defensive SRS (negative = better) […]

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Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame look undervalued this weekend

November 2, 2012 College

November 3rd has been circled on the calendars of college football fans for nearly a year. Unfortunately, the two biggest games of the day — Alabama/LSU and Oregon/USC — will compete for the eyeballs of the nation. The Ducks and Trojans kick off at 7PM on the East Coast, with the Crimson Tide stealing our […]

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There is only a 10% chance Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame all go undefeated

October 28, 2012 College

Neil once pointed out, that you can approximate a team’s odds of winning a game by using the point spread and the following formula: p(W) = 1 – (1-NORMDIST(0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE))+0.5*(NORMDIST(0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE)-NORMDIST(-0.5,SPREAD,13.86,TRUE)) For college football games, there is research by Wayne Winston and Jeff Sagarin that the standard deviation in the above formula should be 16 instead of […]

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Sunday 10/21/12)

October 22, 2012 Checkdowns

Here are the current SRS Ratings, weighted for the recency of each game, along with each team’s quarter-by-quarter Win Probability Added (WPA) so far this season: Tweet

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Checkdowns: Weighted NFL SRS Ratings (through Thursday 10/19/12)

October 19, 2012 Checkdowns

Here are the current SRS Ratings, using the recency-weighted system I described on Monday: Also, just for fun, here’s how SRS sees this weekend’s games going (with the Vegas lines and over/unders for comparison’s sake): Tweet

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College Football BCS odds

October 13, 2012 College

Before today’s games, I figured we could take a second to look at the latest odds to win the BCS Championship: Tweet

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