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Using Strength of Schedule to Handicap the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs

01.05.2016     07:57 AM     Printer Friendly
The theory is actually quite simple; since 2002, teams with a higher Strength of Schedule (using Sagarin’s Ratings) are a remarkable 37-15 straight up and 37-14-1 against the spread (73% winners) regardless of price and location. Even more amazing is that teams with a SOS differential of 10 or more went 23-4 SU, 22-4-1 ATS (85% winners). Taking it step further, teams with a better SOS that are underdogs went 15-11 SU, 19-6 ATS. Underdogs with a SOS rating of 10 or better went 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS. This is not a perfect science when it comes to grading plays. For example, two years ago, the Colts opened -2.5 but closed +2. The 49ers also closed -3.5 at a number of shops which would have resulted in an ATS loss. That said, with 13 years of results, this is one of the strongest publically known NFL trends available.

NFL Wildcard Playoff Strength of Schedule Betting Trend 2002-14
Year
Away (SOS)
Home (SOS)
Score
SOS SU
SOS ATS
2014
Arizona (10)
Carolina (22) -5.5
CAR 27, ARI 16
Loss
Loss
2014
Baltimore (29) +3
Pittsburgh (30)
BAL 30, PIT 17
Win
Win
2014
Detroit (23) +6
Dallas (31)
DAL 24, DET 20
Loss
Win
2014
Cincinnati (18)
Indianapolis (24) -3.5
IND 26, CIN 10
Loss
Loss
 
 
 
 
 
 
2013
Kansas City (26)
Indianapolis (11) +2
IND 45, KC 44
Win
Win
2013
New Orleans (8) +3
Philadelphia (28)
NO 26, PHI 24
Win
Win
2013
San Diego (19) +6
Cincinnati (27)
SD 27, CIN 10
Win
Win
2013
San Francisco (7) -3
Green Bay (30)
SF 23, GB 20
Win
Push
 
 
 
 
 
 
2012
Cincinnati (31)
Houston (27) -4.5
HOU 19, CIN 13
Win
Win
2012
Minnesota (6) +8
Green Bay (8)
GB 24, MIN 10
Loss
Loss
2012
Indianapolis (32)
Baltimore (18) -6.5
BAL 24, IND 9
Win
Win
2012
Seattle (5) -3
Washington (15)
SEA 24, WAS 14
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2011
Cincinnati (23) +3
Houston (32)
HOU 31, CIN 10
Loss
Loss
2011
Detroit (4) +10.5
New Orleans (31)
NO 45, DET 28
Loss
Loss
2011
NY Giants (6) -3
Atlanta (21)
NYG 24, ATL 2
Win
Win
2011
Denver (8) +8
Pittsburgh (26)
DEN 29, PIT 23
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2010
New Orleans (25)
Seattle (28) +14.5
SEA 41, NO 36
Loss
Loss
2010
NY Jets (8) +1
Indianapolis (21)
NYJ 17, IND 16
Win
Win
2010
Baltimore (12) -3
Kansas City (32)
BAL 30, KC 7
Win
Win
2010
Green Bay (9) +1
Philadelphia (16)
GB 21, PHI 16
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009
Philadelphia (13) +3.5
Dallas (14)
DAL 34, PHI 13
Loss
Loss
2009
Green Bay (32)
Arizona (28) +2.5
ARI 51, GB 45
Win
Win
2009
NY Jets (4) +2.5
Cincinnati (17)
NYJ 24, CIN 14
Win
Win
2009
Baltimore (10)
New England (6) -3.5
BAL 33, NE 14
Loss
Loss
 
 
 
 
 
 
2008
Baltimore (3) -3.5
Miami (26)
BAL 27, MIA 9
Win
Win
2008
Indianapolis (10) -1.5
San Diego (17)
SD 23, IND 17
Loss
Loss
2008
Philadelphia (5) -3
Minnesota (14)
PHI 26, MIN 14
Win
Win
2008
Atlanta (24)
Arizona (16) -1.5
ARI 30, ATL 24
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2007
NY Giants (2) +3
Tampa Bay (24)
NYG 24, TB 14
Win
Win
2007
Washington (1) +3
Seattle (35)
SEA 35, WAS 14
Loss
Loss
2007
Tennessee (18)
San Diego (6) -10.5
SD 17, TEN 6
Win
Win
2007
Jacksonville (13) -2.5
Pittsburgh (27)
JAX 31, PIT 29
Win
Loss
 
 
 
 
 
 
2006
NY Jets (8)
New England (4) -9.5
NE 37, NYJ 16
Win
Win
2006
Kansas City (17)
Indianapolis (5) -7
IND 23, KC 8
Win
Win
2006
NY Giants (9) +6.5
Philadelphia (21)
PHI 23, NYG 20
Loss
Win
2006
Dallas (23) +2.5
Seattle (30)
SEA 21, DAL 20
Loss
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2005
Carolina (24)
NY Giants (17) -3
CAR 23, NYG 0
Loss
Loss
2005
Washington (3) +1
Tampa Bay (32)
WAS 17, TB 10
Win
Win
2005
Pittsburgh (4) -3
Cincinnati (13)
PIT 31, CIN 17
Win
Win
2005
Jacksonville (25)
New England (8) -7.5
NE 28, JAX 3
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2004
Denver (14)
Indianapolis (11) -10
IND 49, DEN 24
Win
Win
2004
NY Jets (4) +7
San Diego (18)
NYJ 20, SD 17
Win
Win
2004
St. Louis (22) +3.5
Seattle (29)
STL 27, SEA 20
Win
Win
2004
Minnesota (21) +6.5
Green Bay (26)
MIN 31, GB 17
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2003
Dallas (18)
Carolina (13) -3
CAR 29, DAL 10
Win
Win
2003
Seattle (27)
Green Bay (23) -7.5
GB 33, SEA 27
Win
Loss
2003
Denver (19)
Indianapolis (4) -3
IND 41, DEN 10
Win
Win
2003
Tennessee (6) -1
Baltimore (28)
TEN 20, BAL 17
Win
Win
 
 
 
 
 
 
2002
Cleveland (17) +8
Pittsburgh (20)
PIT 36, CLE 33
Loss
Win
2002
Indianapolis (28)
NY Jets (5) -6
NYJ 41, IND 0
Win
Win
2002
NY Giants (30)
San Francisco (11) -3
SF 39, NYG 38
Win
Loss
2002
Atlanta (6) +7
Green Bay (27)
ATL 27, GB 7
Win
Win
Results
 
 
 
37-15 SU
37-14-1 ATS


In 2002 the NFL expanded to its current format of 32 teams; eight divisions with four teams each. There wasn’t much upheaval as the league added the Houston Texans to the AFC and Seattle switched to the NFC. Two new divisions were created as the league kept the integrity of the established divisional rivalries pretty Read more



Tags: NFL Kansas City Chiefs Houston Texans Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals Seattle Seahawks Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers Washington Redskins




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL quarterback situations late season theme for bettors

12.14.2015     10:35 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and QB play (both good and bad) was the difference in the vast majority of games played this past weekend.  In this week’s Wiseguy Report, I’ll take an overview of some of the ongoing QB situations in the NFL.  The goal?  Identify undervalued and overvalued quarterbacks (and therefore, teams) to wager on or against during the stretch run of the season. 

Let’s start with the biggest injury of the weekend, when Cincinnati Bengals star Andy Dalton went down with a thumb injury after making a tackle following a red zone interception on the Bengals first drive.  Dalton has developed a well-deserved reputation as a bet-on QB in the regular season, despite his repeated postseason failures.  This has been, by far, his best year as a pro.  Dalton had a 106.3 QB rating when he got hurt, well above his previous career best of 88.8.  He’d thrown a career low seven interceptions and averaged a career high 8.4 yards per attempt, spreading the ball around to Cinci’s bevy of skill position weapons.  It’s an impact injury, for sure!

Former Alabama QB AJ Read more



Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




NFL Gambling News: Manziel to start vs. Cincinnati

11.04.2015     07:19 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
It's clear that Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine doesn't want Johnny Manziel under center as Josh McCown's corpse remains -- in Pettine's eyes -- the better option. But heading into Thursday's divisional game vs. Cincinnati, it looks as if Manziel will get the defacto nod with McCown (ribs) downgraded to doubtful. The Bengals have been bet up from -10.5 to -11 with the total down from 47.5 to 45.5.


"On the short week, we realized that Josh just wasn't going to be able to get to the point where he could go," Browns coach Mike Pettine said in a statement. "Johnny has worked hard to prepare himself. He is excited about his opportunity and we are all looking forward to the challenge."






Tags: NFL Cleveland Browns Cincinnati Bengals




NFL Gambling Alert: Roethlisberger expected to start vs. Bengals

10.28.2015     07:07 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
According to reports, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (knee) is expected to start Sunday's home game against division rival Cincinnati. He missed the last four games of which the Steelers went 2-2 (2-1-1 ATS). The Bengals opened -3 but were bet down to -1.5 following the announcement.


"We don't have any reservations or limitations about his ability," coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday. "As I sit here today, we're comfortable where he is in his overall ability. We're going to need him, obviously."






Tags: NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Breaking down the NFL's five unbeatens

10.26.2015     07:59 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
We’re nearing the halfway point of the NFL season and five teams still remain undefeated; an unusually high number of perfect teams at this stage of the campaign.  There’s not much debate with the betting community about how to rank the five remaining unbeatens.  The New England Patriots are power rated at least a field goal higher than any other team in the league right now.  Behind the Pats come the Green Bay Packers, followed closely by the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Denver Broncos rank #4 on this list; with Peyton Manning’s ongoing struggles carrying more weight than the Broncos elite level defensive stats in the current betting markets.  Last on the list is the Carolina Panthers, still searching for market respect even after their win and cover against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football.

My goal of this week’s Wiseguy Report is to break down these five teams in terms of my probability of them producing a profit over the final ten weeks of the regular season.  Is it possible to make money with ANY of these teams moving forward, or have the betting markets eclipsed any semblance of future value?  Read on to find Read more



Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




NFL Handicapping: Buffalo slated to start backup EJ Manuel vs. Cincinnati

10.14.2015     07:19 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor (knee) won't be available for Sunday's game against Cincinnati. Taylor currently ranks seventh in the league in QB Rating (103.9). The Bills will instead go with backup EJ Manuel. Manuel hasn't thrown a pass in a regular season game since Week 4 of last year. In four games, Manuel posted a 80.3 QB Rating. The game opened a pick 'em but we've seen nothing but Bengals money with the line as high as -3.5 at various offshore sportsbooks.




Tags: NFL Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals




NFL Gambling Preview: Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

10.13.2015     08:25 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Alex Smith

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Carolina at Seattle
Sunday, 1 pm PT - FOX
CRIS Opener:
Seattle -6.5 O/U 41.5
CRIS Current: Seattle -6.5 O/U 41
Recommendation: Carolina

One of the last unbeaten teams in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers have a huge task this week as they head out west to take on the Seattle (2-3) in a conference rematch of last year's Divisional Playoff game, won by Seahawks, 31-17. Seattle is coming off a tough overtime road loss last Sunday to another unbeaten club in the Cincinnati Bengals. Seattle yielded 419 yards of total offense in the 27-24 defeat, with 331 of those yards coming through the air. Running back Marshawn Lynch has missed the last two games and is questionable for this game. His production has been sorely missed with the bulk of the carries going to Thomas Rawls, who was third on the depth chart at the beginning of the season.

Carolina has been getting things done with its defense, holding teams to a measly 92 yards rushing per game and 17 points per game. It’s even more impressive when you take into account that they’ve done it without All-Pro LB Luke Kuechly, who still has yet Read more



Tags: NFL Carolina Panthers Seattle Seahawks Alex B. Smith




NFL Handicapping: Baltimore to take shots in passing game vs. Oakland

09.18.2015     08:10 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
A week removed from producing only 117 yards in the passing game, the Baltimore Ravens are looking to open things up against Oakland. And you'd be hard pressed to find a better opponent to do so against as the Raiders allowed Cincinnati's Andy Dalton to post one of the best stat lines of his career in Week 1: 25-of-34, 269 yards, 2 TDs.


"I can understand the frustration. Even some of the offensive players ourselves, we're leading the protests of having a better offense," Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said Thursday. "I got my pitchfork, too, saying that we need to be better. I understand that. We're right there side by side with the fans. We understand their frustration."






Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens Oakland Raiders Cincinnati Bengals




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL Power Ratings 1-32

09.07.2015     08:57 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
The NFL regular season starts on Thursday.  Here’s how I have the 32 teams ranked heading into the campaign, with a quick blurb each squad.

1. New England Patriots - With Tom Brady set to open the season as the starting quarterback, the defending champs are the team to beat, worthy of my #1 ranking heading into the regular season.

2. Seattle Seahawks - Seattle enjoyed the best yards-per-rush differential between offense and defense last year, but they’ve got significant offensive line question marks as they head to St Louis for Week 1.

3. Green Bay Packers - The Packers passing game was second to none in the NFL last year, but the loss of Jordy Nelson leaves Aaron Rodgers without his top target for the entire season.

4. Indianapolis Colts - Most elite contenders face a tougher than average schedule because they’ve got to face other contending teams.  Indy, however, plays only four games against playoff teams from last year.

5. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning is the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL by a wide margin, and he’s coming off a season where his arm strength noticeably declined down the Read more



Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: How to bet NFL Season O/U Wins Part II

08.10.2015     10:17 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Last week in this space, I looked back at last year’s final NFL standings and discussed the impact of strength of schedule models on those results.  I differentiated between mainstream widely available numbers for the 2014 strength of schedule (simply adding up wins and losses for every opponent) and my own formula, relying on power rating numbers from the week that the game was played. 

The goal was simple -- getting more accurate numbers to properly assess last year’s results in strength of schedule context as a starting point for 2015.

We’re done with last year now. This week, I’ll focus on the 2015 NFL strength of schedule as they relate to season win totals.  Once again, my goal is to differentiate between the mainstream numbers and the meaningful ones.

Google ‘2015 NFL Strength of Schedule’ and you’ll find countless charts exactly like this one.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (.579)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (.563)
3. Read more



Tags: NFL Teddy Covers Las Vegas



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May

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