Welcome to Sports Model Analytics!

Our mission is to provide users with the tools and data they need to make more informed sports betting decisions and ultimately become more profitable.

Feel free to browse around and thanks for stopping by!

Models

The nucleus of our site is our predictive modeling. We've built advanced models in several of the major sports and are continually improving each and expanding to other sports. The wealth of data and analytics available in all of the major sports allows our models to formulate a projection of the outcome of these sporting events.

The oddmakers are the best at what they do, and simply betting off your feel/hunch or the eyeball test won't give you an edge against their sharp lines (although you might have some short-term success). The benefit of a predictive model is that the projections are completely objective and free of bias.

Tools

In addition to our predictive models, we also provide a set of tools to aid you in becoming a smarter bettor. One of those is the Sharp Play Identifier, which analyzes line movement and public betting data to identify which plays the "sharps" are backing. This is sometimes referred to as the "smart money." Not only does the tool automatically identify where the sharp action is, but it measures the amount of sharp action on a play (either Light, Moderate, or Heavy).

This is currently available for NBA and CBB.

RESULTS

All of our model's projections are tracked against the spread when applicable (MLB is tracked by moneyline). Past results can be viewed day-by-day, or backtested with a variety of custom criteria.

CBB

Our college basketball model, the CBB Lockatron, formulated projections for just under 2000 college basketball games during the 2016-2017 season. It was its first season and with almost 2000 projections in the books, there's a lot of encouraging data and profit to look back on.

When the model's projection differed from the spread by at least 5 points, the model went 223-180 (55%) against the spread.

The model was most profitable when identifying value in the underdog. When the model liked the underdog to cover and the projection differed from the spread by at least 4.9 points, it went 149-103 (59%). The model also tracked public betting percentages. If you "faded the public" and only took the aforementioned plays (underdogs at 4.9+) that 40% or less of the public was on, the model's record was 62-38 (62%). At the very top segment of projections (the ones differing from the spread the most), the model was spot-on with underdogs. At a difference of 6.7 or greater, it went 68-45 (60%) with underdogs. Again, fading the public (40% or less) improved this record to 33-16 (67%).

When the model found significantly more value in the favorite's spread (5.2 difference or greater), it had moderate success, as long as it wasn't a play the public was absolutely hammering (85% action or less on the favorite). Its record was 73-62 (54%).

Not many CBB models can claim ATS (against the spread) win rates of 59%+ at their highest value points. We're excited for the 2017-2017 CBB season!

NBA

The NBA Lockatron formulated projections for just under 500 games during the 2016-2017 season. When projections differed enough from the spread to meet optimal criteria for underdogs or favorites, the model has spit out plays at a 65% win rate (50-27), and went on a 26-11 run against the spread from 03/10/17 through 04/19/17, before finally slowing down in the playoffs.

The model was revamped during the off-season and is back for the 2017-2018 season with a vengeance. In the first couple weeks of NBA action, the model has already started 9-1 on picks at a 6.6+ value.

MLB

You can view every historical projection made by the model by checking out the model backtester.

By setting value "cut-off" points to bet depending on how much action/volume you want, you can achieve a positive return on investment. Our 2 recommended "cut-off" points are below, but you can play with the backtester and determine your own.

Standard plays: 2.41%+ value = 13.5% ROI (about 260 plays this year)

Heavy plays: 4.34%+ value = 76.42% ROI (only 12 plays this year)

If the model can keep churning out a 13.5% ROI on "standard plays," it will finish a fantastic 2017 season. We've also recommended risking a bit more than usual on plays that reach 4.34% and higher value. This has only happened 12 times this entire MLB season, and we're over 1800 games in, so consider how rare that is.

The value assessed on every pick this season has not yet reached over 7%, which is an indication the model is projecting games closely to oddsmaker projections. That's a good sign and hopefully success continues.

Methodology

CBB

College basketball teams only play about 30 games with the same player group before the season is over and turnover begins, so interpreting the right metrics is important for any model. How we generally interpret basketball here at SMA is by putting more weight into metrics with less volatility than whether or not the ball falls into the hoop.. (or, for example, measures that'll predict FG% better than FG%). Shot proximity is important in this regard, so for example, the model doesn't like long two point jumpshots. They're the most inefficient shot in basketball, and as such, our model penalizes teams who take a lot of them, regardless of the FG% outcome. The college three-point line is about 2 feet closer than the NBA's (depending where you shoot along the arc), so the most efficient teams need to be taking threes or taking high-percentage, close-proximity shots. Team passing abilities are important along these lines of thinking too, and so is offensive rebounding ability.

Our CBB model is not a four-factor (http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/factors.html) model. There's just not enough of a sample size to develop a reliable regression equation for 1 team (with new components every year) in one 30-ish game season.

While every model acknowledges defense as important, in many of them it's being slightly undervalued. It's also another area where FG% allowed can be something a model can get too wrapped up in. Yeah, effective FG% allowed over the course of a season is important to look at, but we'd rather look at turnover and defensive rebounding metrics.

Free throws are important in college basketball, and anyone that's ever had action on a game on watched some of these kids in the 4th quarter knows that. Teams get into the bonus and double-bonus quick, and poor free throw shooting is an easy way to give away possession after possession. Losing a cover because an 18 year old kid can't make free throws is infuriating.

In line with free throws, fouls are important too, but also volatile because you're talking about a different crew of striped shirts and whistles in every game. That being said, we do consider top/bottom fouls committed rate and fouls drawn rate to be a big factor in our model.

I put a heavier weight on recent play. College teams "gelling" is a real concept with such high year-to-year turnover.

NBA

At the core of our NBA model is PIE, a metric first introduced by NBA.com in 2013. It's a stat that takes a stab at measuring overall efficiency on both the player and team level. From NBA.com:

A high PIE % is highly correlated to winning. In fact, a team's PIE rating and a team's winning percentage correlate at an R square of .908.

We also believe recent team play is a better predictor of a team's future performance than their play from several months ago, and as such, recency is more heavily weighted.

Our NBA model doesn't care about a team's record. It objectively measures a team's efficiency throughout each game, from start to finish, possession by possession - regardless of whether it ended as a win or loss. A team being on an 0-4 slide doesn't mean much if they played top teams competitively. Conversely, a team being on a 4 game win streak where they barely beat the Lakers/Nets/Suns/Magic doesn't paint the whole picture either. Objective measures of efficiency are what gives our model the ability to find value in over and underpriced lines in the betting market as a result of the general betting public's ignorance.

WNBA

Much like our NBA model, our WNBA model is based on an advanced metric called PIE, a stat that takes a stab at measuring overall efficiency on both the player and team level. Our WNBA model objectively measures a team's efficiency throughout each game, from start to finish, possession by possession - then develops projections based on that efficiency. Objective measures of efficiency are what gives our model the ability to find value in over and underpriced lines in the betting market as a result of the general betting public's ignorance.

NCAAF

Our new NCAAF model uses the public Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) as the core of its projections. FEI is a college football rating system based on opponent-adjusted drive efficiency. Kind of like college basketball, with so many teams in college football of varying talent levels, it's important to weigh each performance only as much as the opponent's team strength dictates.

Approximately 20,000 possessions are tracked each year in college football. FEI filters out first-half "clock-kills" and end-of-game "garbage time" drives and scores.

From http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/fei:

"Unadjusted game efficiency (GE) is a measure of net success on non-garbage possessions, and opponent adjustments are calculated with special emphasis placed on quality performances against good teams, win or lose. Offensive FEI (OFEI) is value generated per offensive non-garbage possession adjusted for the strength of opponent defenses faced. Defensive FEI (DFEI) is value generated per opponent offensive non-garbage possession adjusted for the strength of opponent offenses faced. Special Teams Efficiency (STE) is the average value generated per non-garbage possession by a team's non-offensive and non-defensive units."

This method of advanced evaluation of college football teams is then poured into our equations, allowing our model to produce specific game projections.

NFL

Our new NFL model uses an advanced stat concept known as DVOA, founded by the Football Outsiders research/analysis group. DVOA measures a team's efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.

DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10 percent better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20 percent worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative.

This method of advanced evaluation is then poured into our equations, allowing our model to produce specific game projections.

MLB

While most MLB models make projections based on how a team's been hitting as a whole, our offensive projections are based on each and every player included in that particular team's lineup for the day. This means our model waits for each lineup to be posted (usually within a few hours before first pitch), then analyzes it on a player-by-player basis. This method is to ensure the highest accuracy in predicting a team's performance.

The pitching/hitting evaluation component of the model uses advanced MLB metrics that go way over the casual baseball fan's head. Exit velocity, batted ball profiles, splits, plate discipline metrics, park factors, performance with or against certain pitches/velocities (combined with pitch usage rates), BABIP, FIP/xFIP, SIERA, and wRC+ are among the many metrics incorporated in the model. The challenge of MLB is analyzing advanced data to determine which players have been lucky and unlucky in relation to their actual performance. This is something that public/square bettors are very poor at figuring out, leaving a lot of value on the table in the betting market. Much like a player projection system, our model identifies a "true" performance level for players and projects games accordingly.

ABOUT US

Insider is our predictive modeling engineer who you may know of as insiderlocks at reddit. He's the stats fanatic and analyst behind constructing each of our models and tools.

Gortva is our wizard of development and web design. He automates the process of data collection and processing for each model with his expertise in web development and data scraping. From the data collection phase of the model through the projection and tracking process, he codes the framework for the model to be self-sufficient.

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