Every season all sports are an enriching experience in sports betting. I constantly reflect and critique myself, evaluate what modifications have been implemented by the oddsmakers and how the alterations in the sports landscape affect handicapping.
High on the register of strategy refinements many football seasons ago was the understanding that I stumbled upon a football handicapping Holy Grail about a quarter of a century ago yet let it slide through my fingertips.
In the pre-Internet days, one of my top sources for data was the Sports and Gaming Newswire, one of Jim Feist’s enterprises. I believe that was the first time I encountered the yards per point statistic.
On offense it is calculated by yards gained divided by points scored. On defense, its yards allowed divided by points given up. The supposition is it measures efficiency on both sides of the ball.
A low number on offense is good, meaning a team does not waste yardage or leave points on the field so to speak.
A high number on defense is good, meaning a lot of successful defensive stands. However, conventional thinking (handicapping’s ultimate oxymoron) would say bet on the efficient teams and against the inefficient.
The stat proved not only worthless, but if anything one would be better off fading the stat. That is, one should bet on the least efficient team. Here is that magic phrase yet again: regression to the mean.
In fact, based on net yards per play (offensive yards per play-offense yards per play allowed) favorites with a net edge of at least two yards per play are a go-against of 248-208-7. We have a subsystem in our database that is even better.
That being said, such teams that are underdogs despite an efficiency edge 43-32-1. Perhaps this 57.3 angle, albeit with a low sample size, suggests a team is what the stats say they are. That is, when the statistically better team is getting points, take the dog.
I’ve typed countless articles and recorded sports betting podcasts on how we measure the accuracy and validity of a team’s performance. In summation, I exploit net yardage record (a team that gets more yards wins) where others use straight up won-loss record. We use net yards per game comparisons where the squares employ points per game.
Others rank teams by total yards per game in passing, rushing and overall both offensively and defensively. In lieu of that, we use the more reliable yards per rush, yards per pass and yards per play relative to the cumulative average of their opponents to date. Foxsheets is quite good for that.
For elaboration, visit the archived sports betting strategy articles at OffshoreInsiders.com, but our supposition is that these stats demonstrate which teams outplay or underplay their stats and hence, which teams have the biggest upside and which have the biggest downside. Insert the terms overvalued and undervalued.
Remember, a team’s Vegas/offshore value is most affected by their performance. But the teams that have the best, yes we said best yards per point stats are teams that are going to be overvalued and teams with the worst undervalued.
Why? The most efficient teams can only improve by maintaining the high bar they have set for themselves while increasing actual production.
The squads that, for example, waste offensive yardage by not converting them into points (bad yards per point rating) have demonstrated they are capable of more than their bottom-line production has shown.
There is little debate that poor efficiency is more correctable than poor production. Remember, it’s not like one can retroactively bet stats. The more efficient teams will have the best spread records to date for the most part. As gamblers, we want to know beforehand which teams will have a reversal of fortune–literally.
Many years ago, I beta tested (tracked but did not bet) the theory. Voila. Yes, the teams that were wasting yards did have the biggest upside and the least wasteful teams did have the bigger downside. Essentially, it proved to be a great a great way to buy low and sell high and apply it to handicapping.
Best of all, the more the previously referenced stats: net yardage, yards per rush/pass/play and yards per point theories corroborated each other, not surprisingly, the stronger the play. If the data contradicted, of course it meant there was no statistical angle to exploit.
The sharpest bettor thanks to facts-based proven systems and theories is Joe Duffy, CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com