Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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January 21st, 2020 at 12:41:29 PM permalink
Quote: aceofspades

While I also believe that the 49's will win, I am hesitant to claim that KC's rushing defense cannot stop Mostert when I just saw them basically shut down Henry (who is an MVP candidate)



San Fran has two strong backs and an animal for a TE. It will be tough to stop all the options. Their weak link is at QB, but he only needs to hand it off or dink and dunk.
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Wizard
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aceofspades
January 21st, 2020 at 9:25:33 PM permalink
Here is my usual simplistic handicapping of the Super Bowl. First, I present the following table of the 2019 regular season points scored and allowed.

Team Avg Pts Scored Avg Pts Allowed Exp. Pts
KC 28.19 19.25 23.78
SF 29.94 19.38 24.59


The expected points scored is the average of the points per game scored and points allowed by the opposing team.

By this method, SF is a 0.8-point favorite, but let's just round that up to one point.

The over/under is the total of both teams expected points scored, which comes to 48.375. Normally this method comes very close to the actual over/under. However in the Super Bowl it is 54. This suggests that the under is a very good bet. However, I don't think this simple math is superior to the market. My question is why is the over/under so high?
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EdCollins
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January 21st, 2020 at 11:56:33 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

My question is why is the over/under so high?

One of the reasons the over/under is higher than a normal game because, for whatever reason, many of the past Super Bowls have gone over the average number of points scored in an NFL game... and the public remembers those occasions.

The average number of points scored in an NFL game is what... probably 47 points? (I don't know offhand ... that's just an educated guess.) I know it's not as high as 50 and yet 50 or more points have been scored in seven of the last eleven Super Bowls.

55-10, 37-24, 52-17, 49-26, 35-21 have been other final scores from Super Bowls of the past... far more points than the average.

For this game the over/under directly reflects the Chiefs and their ability to score, of course. The Chiefs scored 35 this past Sunday and 51 the week before and the public naturally knows and remembers this.

If you include the two playoff games for the Chiefs and 49ers in your Expected Points formula, it's not much different... but it is a full one point higher. (24.36 for KC and 25.17 for SF for an expected total of 49.52.)

As you know, recall the over/under isn't a prediction... it's just a number hoping to generate equal action for each side. If the books know the average Joe Q Public is going to be betting the Over, they know they have to set it and keep adjusting it accordingly, hoping to draw more action on the other side.

If we throw out last year's Super Bowl, which happened to be the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever (many called it a snooze fest but to me, a low scoring game can be just as exciting, if not more so, than a high scoring game), the prior nine Super Bowls averaged 53.33 points per game... and none of those contests featured these Chiefs. :)

Even knowing I'm getting "value" if I were to take the Under, I think I'd be hard pressed to actually bet on it. I'm just leery to do so knowing KC averaged 43 points over their past two games and SF averaged 32 points over their past two games. If I don't do the entire math to arrive at an expected total by also including the points given up, and I just look at the points they are scoring, I'm looking at a total of 75 total points scored with the two teams... and that's way more than 54. Maybe the general public is doing this too.

Anyway, just my two cents.
Wizard
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January 22nd, 2020 at 3:08:26 AM permalink
That's a good point that I should at least mix in the playoff games.

I disagree that Super Bowls on average have significantly more point scored than regular season games. In making such points, one can cherry pick his data to make his argument. For example, I recently was in an argument about which is a better investment -- DOW index fund or silver. One can cherry pick a starting date to make a case for either. It is certainly an abuse to throw out one game from the sample because it's an outlier.

If the public were a full 5 or 6 points off, there would be a significant advantage on the under. I do agree that the masses, especially on the Super Bowl, like to bet the over. As the sports books push up the spread, at some point the sharp money will come in on the under. I think this square money argument probably only explains about one point of this.

I respect your ideas, Ed, but I think there's something we're both not seeing.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
unJon
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January 22nd, 2020 at 5:24:22 AM permalink
I plan to see if the line hits 55.5 then jump in on the under. 55 is a decently chunky total number per the Wizís page.

https://wizardofodds.com/games/sports-betting/nfl/
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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SOOPOO
January 22nd, 2020 at 7:09:14 AM permalink
The Chiefs main offensive weapon, QB Patrick Mahomes, was out with an ankle injury for a few games during the regular season, and even after returning to start took a few weeks to get his offense together. With a sample of less than 20 games each season, the missing games keep the average artificially low.

What about "strength of schedule"? Should the fact that some teams played more opponents with low scoring losing records be factored in?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
DRich
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January 22nd, 2020 at 7:25:48 AM permalink
I always lean to the under in the Super bowl because the public enjoys betting the over and very few of them will bet the under.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
unJon
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January 22nd, 2020 at 7:28:10 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

I always lean to the under in the Super bowl because the public enjoys betting the over and very few of them will bet the under.

I saw it reported that about 90% of the money bet so far is on the over.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
Wizard
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Wizard
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January 22nd, 2020 at 8:09:21 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

The Chiefs main offensive weapon, QB Patrick Mahomes, was out with an ankle injury for a few games during the regular season, and even after returning to start took a few weeks to get his offense together. With a sample of less than 20 games each season, the missing games keep the average artificially low.



There are 16 games per team in a season only. However, I feel going back a season the data gets a bit stale.

Quote:

What about "strength of schedule"? Should the fact that some teams played more opponents with low scoring losing records be factored in?



I think over 16 games, that averages out. I recall AFC vs. NFC bets on the Super Bowl before the season started and the point spread was low, like 2.5. I don't recall who it favored. My point being both conferences are about equally strong.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
DRich
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January 22nd, 2020 at 8:13:12 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

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I think over 16 games, that averages out.



I would disagree because you know they will be playing one of the better teams in the super bowl. I would only factor in the scoring against the other "good" teams.
Living longer does not always infer +EV

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