The 2021 NFL season starts tomorrow and we’re here to stopyour wallets from running dry. This year’smodel is largely unchanged from last year’s iteration, leveraging the sameresources and process that brought us success last year.
Fancy technical recap: we use Football Outsider’s DVOA statistic combined with our own power rankings as features in a random forestregression that predicts SRS, which is basically a lavish net points statistic. We take the difference between two competing teams’ SRS and run it through a subsequent regression that allows us to adjust for trends between underdogs and favorites and determine a reasonable home field advantage.
Last year was notable because 1) we bet heavily on underdogs, who were consistently undervalued and had a strong ROI, and 2) homefield advantage got absolutely crushed.
We start this year with the same bias towards underdogs, but home field advantage has been adjusted from the incredibly low 1.3 points to a somewhat healthier 1.75. We’ll reevaluate both our underdog bias and our feelings about home field advantage after week 4, but for now we’re taking a “best guess” as to what home turf is worth.
We kick the season off with a recommended wager, Dallas getting 8.5 points at Tampa Bay. The Bucs will likely shape up to be incredible this year, but the only thing I love more than a good team is a lot of points. And 8.5 is a lot.
Good luck. You won't need it. -Dom