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My name is Matthew Davidow and I run the oddsmaking company Huddle, formerly Deck Prism. Ed Miller and myself wrote the book, The Logic of Sportsbetting. Before all that, I was a very serious NFL bettor.

Any good predictive model requires both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Don’t be afraid to lean on the work of others! Here’s what I used for this win total analysis:

Quantitative

  • Deck Prism proprietary stats, algorithms, and simulations
  • Unabated season-long sim (used to use our own, but what’s the point when theirs is so good?)

Qualitative

 

With the sports betting market as sharp as it is today (with the exception of individual player props), I like to be able to pinpoint where my edge is coming from — which part of the equation for any one bet I’m doing better than the market. I’ll do that below.

 

Denver under 10 wins -110 (Caesar’s)

With this choice, my advantage comes from better qualitative analysis. With new coaches and a new quarterback, there’s not much quantitative to go on. Here, three strong opinions converge:

Russell Wilson is not as good of a quarterback as the market rates him. He used to be better, but he has not improved as he’s aged. He’s a top 10-15 quarterback, but no better.

Vic Fangio is a great coach. His defenses consistently outperform their talent. Denver has a decent coaching downgrade to the new coaches this year.

Pat Shurmur is a very good offensive coach. I believe he’s better than Nathaniel Hackett. This is a downgrade whereas I believe the market considers it a coaching upgrade.

 

Detroit over 6.5 wins -125 (DraftKings)

Here, I’m relying on others. Thorn rates the Lions’ offensive line fourth best, way above the market. Jared Goff is an accuracy cheat code with time to throw, and not starter-quality without it. This unit should be nicely upgraded from last season. Furthermore, the fantasy experts at ETR are very high on Lions skill players.

This is also a spot where having a great analysis tool was key. The Unabated season simulator showed me a big edge using my predicted inputs, likely due to a weaker schedule.

 

Green Bay under 11 wins -110 (Caesar’s)

A little of both on this one. Deck Prism models show a gigantic drop-off without Davante Adams on the field. This loss is bigger than the market thinks, especially with the targets that will replace him.

Qualitatively, I think this is the year we see a drop-off from Rodgers. He dropped off considerably last year, including possibly the

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