AFL Round 8 Tips | Best Bets and Predictions | BettingPro

Don’t let betting ruin footy for you.

Sorry for the long post and I’m not sure if this sub is this best place for it, but it’s something I need to get off my chest.
Betting on sport is getting more and more common in my circles and it’s starting to get a bit scary. I’m not a stranger to it, and for a good 6 months a few years back it had a pretty good hold on me, fortunately I had a moment of clarity. I was doing it every week because I had built up myself a decent kitty and I saw it as playing with “virtual money” and it was making even the most dull games of the round interesting. NHL, NBA and MLB have like 10 games a day, shit yeah that’s so many potential multis! Hell, it was even allowing me to watch NRL which I’d never taken an interest in. It wasn’t until I came to the realisation that it’s not virtual money it’s real money! And realised, hey that’s 400 bucks in there and I can just withdraw it. I ultimately stopped though because I realised it was ruining one of my favourite past times, watching sport.
My best friend on the other hand, who I’ve discussed afl with every week since we were collecting and swapping footy cards back in grade 2 is so hooked on betting he doesn’t realise it. Like I had, he put a deposit down once upon a time and is just playing with his built up winnings, and to be fair he’s doing pretty well for himself considering the odds are in the houses favour. But from my point of view it’s scary to just see the typical red flags of gambling addiction. It’s now rare for him to not have money on a game, as it used to be rare for him to have money on a game. It’s not 10 dollar bets, it’s 100 dollar bets. What you used to be a multi for laughs because it was ridiculous are now serious and he can’t believe how often he loses because “if only one of the legs didn’t fall it would of been given a huge cash out option”. I’ve had a few small chats with how I think it’s crazy he’s always got around 50 on most matches but to him there’s no problem because he’s not losing any money, it’s play money! My fear is what happens if he puts a huge bet on, and loses the kitty. There’s no way he will stop there. Another example of how it spoils your entertainment, not enhances it, last night we were hanging out while cats and tigers were on, at quarter time he goes “cmon cats get it together”. I was like wtf since when do you want Geelong to win. (He’s always hated Geelong, sorry cats fans). And he’s like I’ve got some cash on a multi and they’re the first leg. It’s so weird to see someone cheer on a team they’ve loathed their whole life because now they put some money on them because they are “easy money”.
It’s prevalent in my workplace too. So many of the young apprentices coming through straight out of school and getting their first bit of proper income in their life and they are almost budgeting to gamble on sport. The amount of advertising and the insane amount of different companies with flashy addictive apps out there, I can’t really blame these young blokes and gals.
Honestly it’s heart breaking to see my friends obsessed with odds and multis, and no longer watching games with their love or hatred for team pouring out of them, but rather a tense few hours and hoping their bets pay off.
It probably sounds like I’m announcing a pandemic is happening, it’s not the case. It’s just a strong notable shift towards pro betting on AFL, I thought for awhile it was just because I was getting older, but it’s not, and no secret Australia is plagued with betting adds.
If you’ve got a kitty of “virtual money” in your betting account, why not withdraw some of it today, take your partner out to lunch, spoil your kids, buy your parents a random gift for no reason, buy yourself something you’ve had you’re eye on but can’t justify the purchase, or start that savings account you’ve not been able to commit to. And watch today’s games with clear eyes and barrack for the team your heart wants to win, not your betting account.
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Another bet the sub might like to get behind (FIBA World Cup 2019)

After our incredible journey on the 5 day cricket test match, I would completely understand if you didn't want to put yourself through the emotional rollercoaster again. I wouldn't post on here unless I had done some research and determined that I really liked this bet. I'll preface the write-up by saying that this is no "lock of the century," but I do think the bookies have underrated this severely. I will explain my reasoning below.

Format:
(1) The pick
(2) The odds + bookmakers
(3) Reasons why this bet could LOSE
(4) Reasons why I really like this bet
(5) TLDR

(1)
Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the 2019 FIBA World in total points scored

(2)
I got in at 5.00 (decimal)/ +400 American on Bet365, however, regrettably this has gone down to 4.5/ +350.
On other Aussie bookmakers, you can fetch:
I'm sure my international friends can find comparable odds at your respective betting sites.

(3)
It's always important to consider how the bet can fall apart. Only considering the positives lends itself to making biased decisions, nit-picking only the information which helps your argument. So, here's where things can go wrong:

(4)
These are the reasons why I think this bet is tremendous value, with the final point being the real kicker.
(5)
TLDR: Bet on Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the 2019 FIBA World in total points scored at odds of about 4.5/ +350 because the changed format means that it is very likely Greece will play the maximum of 8 games, and if that comes to fruition, Giannis will be the overwhelming favourite to outscore everyone else.

EDIT: There is also a classification round for teams 9-16 and 17-32, but I do not know if these games will count towards the official tournament statistics. If they do, then I think this bet is even better, but I am not relying on it. If anyone knows the answer I'm keen to hear.
submitted by youngbuckman to sportsbook [link] [comments]

11/20 Ben Badler 2020 Blue Jays Top Prospects chat

Q: Thanks for chatting with us today Ben! There was a lot of chatter that Jordan Groshans was on his way to becoming a top 20 prospect in all of baseball before his foot injury sidelined him for the rest of 2019. After the loud tools and production he showed in LoA this year, do you think he's a prime candidate to break into that truly elite top 20 tier with a healthy 2020?
Ben Badler: I do. I love Jordan Groshans. We have him at No. 37 on our Top 100 right now, and if he had stayed healthy all year, I think there's a good chance he would already be top 25. All the reviews on him since he signed going back to last year in the GCL and this year in an admittedly brief time on the field in the Midwest League were excellent.
Q: Initially, I was surprised Eric Pardinho didn't make your projected 2023 starting rotation, then shocked that he's not even in the Top 10. Aside from his elbow issues, why did his stock drop so far?
Ben Badler: A lot of Eric Pardinho questions. The big concern with Pardinho was that, when he came back from the injury, his stuff was down. He was sitting 88-92 mph, whereas last year he was sitting more in the low-90s and getting it up to 96. So pro scouts who went in and saw a smallish, relatively filled out RHP with that type of stuff were pretty down on him. Now, obviously he was coming back from the injury, so there's certainly hope that he can come back fully heathy in 2020 and the stuff returns, but the stuff being down and the extra injury red flag that added to his profile this year does create more risk. So it's harder to put him in the top 10 ahead of the position players who performed better like Martinez, Moreno and Hiraldo, or pitchers like Kloffenstein where the now stuff is better or Kay where he's so much closer to being MLB-ready.
Ben Badler: So basically it's the combination of strong years from the players who jumped ahead of him, combined with the extra risk Pardinho showed this year with his injury and the stuff being down. I do think he can bounce back to where his stuff was in 2018, but there's just more risk because of how it backed up this year.
Q: I know he's far away, but is Alberto Rodriguez a tweener-type or could he evolve into something more? Thanks.
Ben Badler: A little bit of both? Right now it is sort of an in-between profile, but he has good bat-to-ball skills and can make hard contact, it's just more of a line drive, low trajectory type approach rather than someone who's geared to hit for power.
Q: Is there any hope for Anthony Alford still? Health has been a major issue and he's a bit later to baseball because of his football history but time is running out. Could he be a post-hype sleeper or is it time to cut bait? Thank you.
Ben Badler: Aflord's in a difficult spot. He's strong, he's athletic, he has fast bat speed ... a lot of physical attributes you want. But his swing needs adjustments. His barrel doesn't stay in the zone for very long, so there are holes in his swing and issues with his timing. The problem is it's difficult to make those adjustments when you're in the big leagues and the results matter, and really for him as a 25-year-old in Triple-A, where the performance matters as the clock ticks. I think it's possible he can make the changes necessary for things to click, but I think the odds are against it happening.
Q: Orelivs Martinez gets all the hype between the Blue Jays' main two J2 prospects but how far is the gap between he and Miguel Hiraldo. Their tools and profile actually seem pretty similar. Both look to be bat first IF who will have to move off of SS. Can you see both having a chance at cracking the top 100 in 2020?
Ben Badler: Certainly possible, though maybe more likely with Orelvis. He's got better breaking ball recognition and plate discipline than Hiraldo and I think his swing is more conducive to putting up big power numbers long term as well.
Q: Who's your favourite under the radar Blue Jays prospect that most fans wouldn't know?
Ben Badler: Estiven Machado, a shortstop they signed out of Venezuela this year, is someone who jumped out to me. And Sam Robberse, a deep sleeper they signed out of the Netherlands this year. His stuff has ticked up quite a bit, heard some good things on him from people who saw him in the GCL. Should have a lot more on both of those guys up on our site soon.
Q: Griffin Conine came back from suspension and immediately went on to hit 22 home runs in 80 games. I know the strikeout rate is astronomical, but can you see a path to him being a big league regular corner OF?
Ben Badler: Yes, because it's 70 raw power, and he's at least getting to it in games for now in the Midwest League. But like you mentioned, the swing-and-miss component of his game where he's missing balls in the strike zone is a major red flag. It's a pretty straightforward profile--humungous raw power, but he's going to have to cut down on the holes in his swing and be able to draw enough walks to offset what is always going to be a lot of strikeouts to go with that power.
Q: Hi Ben! How does Kirk vs. Moreno vs Danny Jansen play out - this sort of depth and potential at C is just fascinating. I noticed on the 2023 lineup, it has Kirk at DH and Danny Jansen at C - will Moreno be pushing Jansen by then? Do you see improvement in Jansen's future? Also, Kirk is such a unique profile - is there anyone that you would compare him to?
Ben Badler: I think Kirk ends up their catcher of the future. He's a polarizing player, in large part because of his body, but I'm a big believer in his bat and I think he's better defensively than people initially give him credit for. I think there's some similarities to Pablo Sandoval, who I was a big fan of when he was a catcher coming up in the Giants system, although Kirk has better strike-zone discipline.
Ben Badler: I also tend to be higher on players with body/athleticism questions like Pete Alonso, Rhys Hoskins, Panda, etc. if I love the bat enough. Sometimes it doesn't work out (like AJ Reed), but I think Kirk has a lot of high-level hitting components in his game.
Q: Kevin Smith obviously had a difficult 2019, both at AA and the AFL. Why did he struggle so with the bat? Is he still considered a solid defensive SS?
Ben Badler: Ouch. Yeah, one of the most disappointing seasons in the minors given the strides he made in 2018 and how hard he fell this season. He started poorly, and he kept trying to make different adjustments and tinker with things, and over the course of the year it just seemed to get worse and worse. The fact that he's not THAT far removed from having a a really strong season in 2018 is the glimmer of hope you're looking for, that he can just get a mental reset in the offseaon and hopefully get his swing back to where it was a year ago, and the power is still there. But obviously you don't need me to tell you it's not trending in the right direction.
Ben Badler: Defensive reviews were more mixed... some scouts didn't like him at SS, thought he should go to 3B.... others said he was fine at shortstop and liked him there. But obviously the bat is the biggest concern right now.
Q: Would it be best for all concerned to move Hector Perez to a relief role? Does he have closer potential, or is his lack of command too limiting a factor?
Ben Badler: I think that will probably happen in the near-ish future. Throws hard, not elite enough stuff (or control) to be a closer, but someone who has a chance to carve out a middle relief role if he can throw more strikes.
Q: Barring any setbacks, do you see Martinez, Hiraldo and Jimenez all breaking camp with Lansing and rotating between 2nd, 3rd and SS?
Ben Badler: I'm not sure, and I don't think the Blue Jays know yet. Martinez is the youngest of the group, so you could justify keeping him back in extended, but if you didn't have those other two there, I think he would most likely be headed to Low-A. Hiraldo and Jimenez both got a taste of Lansing last year, and Jimenez may be the most polished of them all, but he's also physically the weakest too, so I could see him staying back and maybe heading to Vancouver. Kind of a long way to say we don't know yet, but just walking through some of the possibilities on a good logjam to have.
Q: How would you describe Orelvis' current frame? Do you think he has room to grow into more power, especially considering how young he is?
Ben Badler: It's a strong frame, built like a 3B, but definitely not maxed out, plenty of bat speed and more space to add strength and see that power continue to grow.
Q: What's stopping Nate Pearson from being the best pitching prospect in baseball? He seems to have everything: velocity, command, stuff.
Ben Badler: We have him at No. 7 on our Top 100 and the only pitcher ahead of him is Padre LHP MacKenzie Gore, so he's not far off, and you can certainly make a case that Pearson is better. Potential No. 1 or 2 SP upside.
Q: I know you guys haven't done the Top 10 for every team, but the system seems quite deep despite many graduations this season (not to mentions elite prospects like Bichette and Vlad). Where does it rank in the top farm systems?
Ben Badler: I think it's one of the better farm systems in the game. Which, like you alluded to, is pretty impressive for an organization that just graduated two of the top 10 prospects in baseball, plus Gurriel and Bichette as well. You can go at least 20 deep into the system and feel pretty good about those players, and they added another pretty deep wave of international players in their 2019 class that people mostly don't know yet but definitely stood out when I saw them a couple months ago.
Q: Who are the outfielders in the Blue Jays system worth being excited about? Seems like that's a definite weakness. Not a pure prospects question, but do any of the not-yet-established OFs that have reached the big leagues offer any hope? (Hernandez, Fisher, McKinney?)
Ben Badler: Yeah, they're definitely light on outfielders at the full-season level. Alford and Conine are there, but they both have pretty big red flags. The lower levels have riskier players, like their GCL outfield of Albert Rodriguez, Dasan Brown and Jhon Solarte, but they're a long ways away. My deep sleeper in their OF is Cristian Feliz, who they signed out of the Dominican Republic this year for $200K. 6-5 lefty bat with vicious bat speed and monster power potential. Super risky, but definitely one to watch in the DSL in 2020.
Q: Who were the guys that just missed the cutoff? Hard to believe Eric Pardinho didn't get ranked.
Ben Badler: Pardinho was close, touched on him and the issues with his stuff backing up this year earlier. Patrick Murphy is a tough one to peg because of what happened with his delivery this season, but he's not far off. Otto Lopez, Leo Jimenez, Griffin Conine, Kendall Williams, those are all guys knocking on the door of that top 10.
Q: Hi Ben do you think Otto Lopez can become a top 100 prospect ? His numbers have constantly been very good at every level so far. Thank you
Ben Badler: Top 100 might be tough, but he's definitely put himself on the map as a prospect. The tools don't wow anyone, but he's an instinctive/gamer type with a knack for putting the ball in play with an aggressive approach, sometimes to a fault. For me one of the more interesting things about Lopez is the untapped power potential that may still be in there. You wouldn't think that necessarily from a guy with a .101 ISO, but he makes hard contact, he can drive the ball with impact in BP, it's just his approach in the game is more line-drive oriented. He has the bat-to-ball skills, so if he can take an approach in games where he looks to drive the ball for extra-base hits, you could see a jump in that SLG at some point.
Q: Is there a sleeper in the organization who even the diehead fans haven't heard of? Maybe a backend top 30 type or someone who just missed?
Ben Badler: Mentioned a few players already, but I'll roll another name out there... Victor Mesia. A catcher the Blue Jays picked up out of Venezuela this year, didn't get a ton of buzz as an amateur but he's definitely trending up and looking like one of the better overall catching prospects who signed out of the 2019 international class. Big arm and power in a compact swing.
Q: What do you think of Dasan Brown? Will he be able to hit and where does he start the 2020 season?
Ben Badler: Outstanding athlete, quick twitch, 80 runner, a lot of bat speed and I think more raw power than he got credit for coming out of the draft this year. As a hitter, he's raw, even relative to his age. A lot of the raw clay athleticism and explosiveness you want, but the pure hitting ability lags behind right now. I would think he'll stay back in extended and go to either the Appy League or the Northwest League in the summer.
Q: Hi Ben, Jarred Kelenic has clearly distanced himself as the best pick of the 2018 draft. However, would you rather have Groshans or Gorman long-term? Gorman has more power but Groshans seems to have a higher ceiling with every other tool. Agreed?
Ben Badler: Groshans easily for me over Gorman, better hitter and more defensive value. I actually think it's closer than that on Kelenic vs. Groshans too, and I'm probably in the minority camp on this because of how much I like Groshans, but you could make a case for Groshans over Kelenic, and I wouldn't be surprise that happens by the end of 2020. That would be a tough call to make right now after what Kelenic did up through Double-A this year while Groshans was hurt most of the season, but I think a healthy Groshans would have put up comparable numbers, and he offers more defensive value than Kelenic as well.
Q: Are there a couple players from the 19 draft that you are excited about and that we should be following in 2020?
Ben Badler: After the obvious one in Alek Manoah, I think Kendall Williams is the main one to watch. He'll probably follow the Kloffenstein development path this year. Tanner Morris, their fifth-round pick out of Virginia, he's shown a keen eye for the strike zone and simple swing from the left side with the ability to drive the ball the opposite way. He's another name to watch from that draft class.
Q: I've heard concerns about Simeon Woods-Richardson's lack of projectability. Is that much of a concern, or does his present stuff offset some of that?
Ben Badler: It's a relatively filled out frame, but he pitched the entire season as an 18-year-old, there's room for him to still get stronger and potentially see his stuff kick into an extra gear, but his fastball is already low-to-mid 90s right now with excellent control and a knack for missing bats. If he never gains another mph of velocity, he still has the stuff for midrotation potential, with a chance for more.
Q: Thanks for the chat. Do you think Alejandro Kirk profiles as a MLB catcher or to get to the show, will he have to switch positions or mainly be a DH?
Ben Badler: I do. I think he needs to get in better shape to be able to catch a full season's workload as a starting catcher, and that is a legitimate risk with him, but the technical components and tools for catching, I think he has those.
Q: Manoah and Pearson at two big prospects with top of rotation stuff. Do you have concerns that Pearson will be relegated to bullpen duties in the show and do you feel Manoah will reach ML before his 24th birthday?
Ben Badler: No, the only way Pearson ends up in the bullpen is if he has some major durability issues. He has frontline starter stuff.
Q: The Jays 2017 draft was thought to have several impact players. Pearson has more than lived up to the hype, but #1 Logan Warmoth and #3 Hagen Danner and #4 Kevin Smith had brutal years. Are any of them in the 11-20 range or have they totally fallen off the radar?
Ben Badler: I wouldn't put any of those three in the 11-20 range in the Blue Jays system. Warmoth has looked very vanilla throughout his time in pro ball. Danner has struggled a lot offensively and is another example of the riskiness in high school catchers that Kyle Glaser has astutely pointed out. Smith's stock has fallen hard, but of those three, I probably have the most hope for him because he's at least had some recent success in pro ball, but Toronto's system has enough depth that I wouldn't put him in their top 20.
Q: I know he wasn't in the Top 10, but what are the chances that TJ Zeuch sticks as a back of the rotation starter? His sinker looks really good, albeit his secondaries seem to lack that bite.
Ben Badler: Maybe a fifth starter, but more likely an up-and-down, sixth starter type. It is a heavy sinker from an uncomfortable angle, but it's hard to get by against major league hitters without a offspeed pitch you can use to reliably miss bats, and it's not like he's an elite command guy either.
Q: Joey Murray had quite a great season and moved quickly through the system. Can you give us any thoughts on him and his 'invisiball'?
Ben Badler: Invisiball is a good label, he's extraordinarily deceptive. He's barely cracking 90 mph, but he gets an incredible amount of swing and miss on his fastball because he has so much deception and excellent spin on the pitch too. It's a tough profile to bet on, but he does throw a lot of strikes, the curveball is effective for him at times and he's had success now at Double-A. He might get hammered when he gets to Triple-A, but if he can have success there, who knows, he might be able to be a deception RHP who is able to make it work.
Q: Any under the radar names to watch for next season?
Ben Badler: I'll give you another way under-the-radar name I like: Dahian Santos. Young Venezuelan RHP, arrow-up guy.
Ben Badler: Did I mention the Blue Jays had a deep international class this year?
Ben Badler: Thanks for all the questions today, I appreciate all the interest in these players and your support for what we do at BA. We've got more Top 10s coming soon, our International Reviews are right around the corner and I think are going to be deeper than ever with information, and the Prospect Handbook work is in full gear. Enjoy the rest of the day.
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[OC] Lost Leagues: History of the Professional Spring Football League (1992)

Competing football leagues in the offseason is all the rage right now. The Alliance of American Football started up this year, and promptly ended this year without even finishing its first season. And, the XFL is starting up again in 2020 (it’s almost impossible for the league to be as big of a failure as it was in 2001, when it flamed out in a blaze of glory).
Here’s the thing with other football leagues- I love getting my football fix at all times of the year. I was glued to my TV during AAF season, and watched practically every Orlando Apollos game. And when then XFL starts again in 2020, you can bet that I’ll be watching with a keen eye. There’s big names attached to the XFL, there’s financial backing, there’s a TV contract that is nothing short of impressive (half the games on network TV), and the rule changes look interesting.
But here’s the thing with other football leagues- 99 percent of them don’t work. In terms of outdoor professional football leagues in the United States, the only two outside of the NFL that worked were the AFL and the AAFC; they don’t exist anymore because they combined with the NFL. It’s extremely hard to get a pro football league up and running and give it any kind of success. There’s tons of leagues that have fallen by the wayside.
Case in point- the Professional Spring Football League.
Now seems like as good of a time as ever to revive the Lost Leagues series, where I take a look at failed professional football leagues. Some leagues, such as the United Football League post that kicked off the series two years ago, you may recognize. Others, like this one, you’ve probably never heard of. In fact, this league made such little of an impact that if you do a Google search for “Professional Spring Football League”, every link on the first page of results has absolutely nothing to do with the PSFL that I’m talking about.
With all of that said, let’s take a look at the incredibly short-lived existence of the Professional Spring Football League.
Part I: A Puzzling Formation
The league announced its existence on October 1, 1991, less than a year before the league was set to play in 1992. Already, you might be able to spot a major problem with this. There was already a pro football league in the spring in 1991, and that was the World League of American Football. That league had a lot of things that the PSFL would not wind up getting. For starters, it had the backing of the NFL. The league owners wanted to create a developmental football league in the spring that would also give the sport popularity overseas. The WLAF also had a television contract; not only were games shown on ABC and USA Network, but those networks actually paid the WLAF for the TV rights.
There were so many failed spring football leagues, and now, the PSFL was going to directly compete against a spring football league that actually had the backing of the NFL. Let’s put that in perspective. Professional hockey in Atlanta has not worked. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in part because of low attendance, and the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in part because of low attendance. Imagine if the NHL decided, for whatever reason, to go back to Atlanta. Now imagine that after this announcement is made, a competing hockey league (and I use competing very loosely) announces that they’re going to be putting a team in Atlanta, and the season is going to run at the same time as the NHL. Why would that make any sense for the competing hockey league to do? Already, the league was behind.
But let’s take a look at that other pro league that was playing in the spring, and is still somewhat remembered to this day. The WLAF, in its inaugural season, averaged 25,361 fans per game. On its surface, that’s really good. However, if you take out the three European teams (London Monarchs, Frankfurt Galaxy, Barcelona Dragons) and the one Canadian team (Montreal Machine), you’re left with six American teams. Here’s the average attendance of those American teams:
Team Average Attendance
New York/New Jersey Knights 32,322
Birmingham Fire 25,442
Orlando Thunder 19,018
Sacramento Surge 17,994
San Antonio Riders 14,853
Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks 12,753
AVERAGE 20,397
Why do I bring this up? Let’s be very clear- an average attendance of 20,397 for a football league’s inaugural season is still extremely good… but only two of the six teams cleared 20,000. Remember that this was the league with the NFL’s backing and a relatively lucrative TV contract (it was in the eight figure range according to some reports). In the PSFL, a league with neither the league’s backing nor any TV contract to speak of, they needed each team to average 20,000 fans per game to stay afloat. Per the article:
[President] Vince Sette and the other league organizers figure each team will need to average just 20,000 fans per game to make this endeavor work. And they're not counting on television revenue to bail them out.
Each team needs to average just 20,000 fans per game? That’s all it’s going to take? A number that four out of six teams in the WLAF couldn’t reach? A number that, in the final season of the USFL, 8 out of the league’s 14 teams couldn’t reach? That seems like a fantastic business model that can’t possibly fail. You can probably already see some of the inevitable failures and red flags with this league just based off of the model.
But remember when I said that the PSFL did not have a TV contract? That doesn’t mean that they didn’t get some exposure on TV, in the form of an introduction video that aired on SportsChannel New York in 1991 (even though the league did not have any teams in New York). The video is… well, let’s just take a look at the video, because there’s a lot to dissect.
Part II: An Even More Puzzling Video
LINK TO THE VIDEO
I have no idea how I found this video, seeing as it has a grand total of 398 views on YouTube, two likes, and two comments. However, this is an absolute gold mine. This was a half-hour special aired on SportsChannel a few months prior to the launch of the league, and man, is it a weird video in all its early-90s cheese and glory. The first thing you’ll notice is that the commissioner of this league is Rex Lardner. About a quarter century later, he would try launching another pro football league in the spring. Considering the fact that the league has 195 likes on Facebook and the only video on the league’s website is literally five seconds long and is just a horribly-done Microsoft Word logo, I’m guessing that league is dead and that he learned nothing from the failures of this league.
After a shot of a logo that looks somewhat similar to the USFL logo, we get an introduction by a man who, literally less than one minute into the video, tries to stop skepticism of fans. In the first minute, they acknowledge that every other attempt has failed. That’s rather comforting. However, they explain why this league is different and won’t fail, and it’s because Vincent Sette (the founder and president of the league) said that he researched the other leagues. Checking in on what happened to Sette after the league’s demise, and it turns out that he’s doing great.
The founder of the league was also known Vincent Setteducate. There appear to have been no criminal charges filed in the aftermath of the PSFL. Five years later, he was charged by the SEC in a wire fraud case, and pleaded guilty, sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution in another business venture. He has had other brushes with the law as well.
And yes, according to this article, he goes by both names of Vincent Sette and Vincent Setteducate. Getting back to the video, after he promises that the league is going to work because he researched at the New York Public Library, you’ll also notice that Walt Michaels is the Director of Football Operations. I’ll give the league credit for that- Michaels is a recognizable name; in six seasons with the Jets and two seasons with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, he’s made the playoffs four times, and only had a losing record twice. He even guided the Jets to the AFC Championship in the 1982 strike-shortened season. Unfortunately, that’s the only recognizable front office figure associated with this league. Not once in the video does it mention any coaches associated with the league. Considering the league was starting up in spring of 1992 (the first game seemed to be scheduled for February 29), and this TV special aired in late 1991, that seems like a major red flag. Again, just to reiterate- this league was announced on October 1, and the first game was to be played on February 29. People criticized the XFL the first time around for moving too quickly, but that was a year. This is less than five months. This is 151 days between announcement and the first game.
But how are the players in this league? Remember that the talent pool with any secondary football league is going to be somewhat worse; factor in the WLAF already existing in the spring, and the PSFL was playing third fiddle. They held three combines, with the one in the video taking place in Atlanta in October (less than a month after the creation of the league), and others taking place in December and January. Who were some of the players?
You know it’s a good sign when the first player that’s mentioned is Mickey Guidry. When the FIRST PLAYER YOU HIGHLIGHT is a man that threw 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in his four years at LSU from 1985-88 and a man who was so buried on the depth chart with the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF that he didn’t even throw a pass in 1991, that’s a horrible sign. Other quarterbacks in this league included Tony Rice (who threw 2 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in his final season at Notre Dame in 1989, completed 48.5% of his passes over his career, and was dreadful with the Barcelona Dragons in the WLAF in 1991 with one touchdown pass and three interceptions), Bobby McAllister (an atrocious QB in the WLAF in 1991 with Raleigh-Durham, throwing 7 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 5.9 yards per attempt, a 46.7% completion percentage, and a passer rating of 54; Raleigh-Durham went winless), and Todd Hammel (a 12th round pick in 1990 who never played a snap, and then played in the WLAF with New York/New Jersey where he threw 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, had a passer rating of 53.7, completed just 45.5% of his passes, and averaged 5.8 yards per attempt). Remember- these were the guys they were highlighting, so this was their cream of the crop. Guys who were awful in the WLAF were, on paper, the best quarterbacks in this league.
As for the other offensive skill players, there were some recognizable names, even if they weren’t that good. Timmy Smith ran for a record-204 yards for Washington in Super Bowl XXII; he only had three regular season rushing touchdowns in his NFL career, and from 1989-91 (the three years before the PSFL’s scheduled inaugural season in 1992), had 6 rushing yards, but at least the name was recognizable. The second halfback mentioned is James Gray; while he was exceptional at Texas Tech, leading the Southwest Conference in 1989 with 1,509 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, he never played a down in the NFL after getting drafted by the Patriots in round five of the 1990 NFL Draft. Lydell Carr had a solid career with Oklahoma, but after getting drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft, did nothing in the NFL, never recording a single yard from scrimmage (in fairness, he did score eight touchdowns with the Barcelona Dragons in the 1991 season of the WLAF). And then, there was Lorenzo Hampton, who scored 28 touchdowns in his NFL career. Those were the four halfbacks highlighted; two of them never got a carry in the NFL. Quality-wise, that’s not good. Also, you may notice that half of this video is just the PSFL Combine and almost plays like a football instructional video; I’m not sure why this is.
Another major red flag with this video comes with the announcement of the teams. We’ll get to the teams later, but the map only shows nine cities, even though there’s supposed to be 10 teams in the league. That means that a new team would have to be announced and formed with roughly 70 days to go until the first game of the season. Good luck with that.
But how is this league going to be any different from the other leagues? After an interview with former BYU tight end Chris Smith that, no joke, starts off with the line, “I love children,” we find out how. For one, the players are going to do community service. There’s going to be autograph sessions. I’m failing to see how this is any different, but then we get two weird things. The first is that the games are going to be when the fans want. They’re scheduling for the fans. I have no idea what this even means. Does this mean that if the fans want them to play a game right now, that they’ll do it? The second is a cool idea but has no practicality whatsoever, and that is the universal ticket. Any fan who buys a season ticket to a PSFL team gets all of their team’s home games plus a universal ticket that can be used at any PSFL game. Good idea… but who’s flying halfway across the country to watch a PSFL game? Sette brings up the idea of staying at a hotel in Tampa for a PSFL game… who’s going to do that? It’s an interesting idea, but one that I’m sure nobody would actually use.
Some frequently asked questions about the league pop up next, and it’s always a good sign when one of the questions is whether or not a franchise can go under. The PSFL actually had a good idea with a single-entity structure; MLS has a similar system and it has worked well in ensuring the league’s survival. But here’s where it gets somewhat eyebrow-raising for me- each team has a salary cap of $2 million, and an average player salary of $45,000. Adjusting for inflation, today, the average player salary is around $82,000. That’s a pretty large amount for a minor football league. For some perspective, even the AAF’s average salary was less than that at $75,000 per season. And even though the AAF didn’t work, it had a TV contract and actual investors. This league was formed in the blink of an eye, had no TV revenue, had a business model that relied on a rather unattainable goal of 20,000 fans at every game, and yet, had a higher average salary per season when adjusted for inflation than the AAF.
After watching that video, it’s time to break down the actual markets chosen.
Part III: The Teams
The PSFL was pretty ambitious with their inaugural season, opting to have 10 teams play in the league. Four of the teams would be located in cities with NFL teams, with the other six teams being in unoccupied professional football markets. The New England Blitz seemed like an odd choice for a team. While the league stressed going into unoccupied markets, Boston already had a team in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, so this completely defeats the purpose. Additionally, the Boston Breakers were in the USFL in 1983, and drew the smallest average attendance in the league at 12,735 fans per game. Why Boston was chosen for a team, I’m not sure. The other baffling location was the Washington Marauders at RFK Stadium; the Washington Federals of the USFL bombed horribly (second-to-last in attendance in 1983 and 1984, including an average of just 7,694 fans per game in 1984), and there was competition in the area with the Bullets of the NBA and the Capitals of the NHL.
However, every other city makes sense. I’ll give the PSFL credit- they seemed like they had a good idea of where to go with their teams. Going to Tampa Bay with the Tampa Bay Outlaws made complete sense- in the USFL, the Bandits consistently ranked near the top of the league in average attendance, proving that spring football in Tampa Bay could work (if it’s done correctly, the XFL team playing in Tampa Bay in 2020 could have a strong following, though it’ll be tougher now that the city has an NHL team and an MLB team). Miami didn’t have the Marlins yet or the Florida Panthers (although Sunrise is an hour away from Miami), so there was little competition in the area for a spring football team to thrive. The other six locations were teams without NFL teams. The Arkansas Miners played in Little Rock (no pro sports teams), the Carolina Cougars played in Columbia (no pro sports teams), the Nevada Aces played in Las Vegas (no pro sports teams), the New Mexico Rattlesnakes played in Albuquerque (no pro sports teams), the Oregon Lightning Bolts played in Portland (only the Trail Blazers as competition), and the Utah Pioneers played in Salt Lake City (no pro sports teams). Yes, travel costs were going to be high, but the market selection seemed promising with a bunch of mid-sized markets who were starving for pro sports.
The logos, though? My, are some of them bad.
A lot of these logos would’ve been outdated very quickly. I have no idea what the New England Blitz logo is trying to be. The Carolina Cougars logo looks like the logo from Monster Energy (though the Carolina logo predates the Monster logo). Nevada’s logo is just the Alcorn State logo with cards coming off of it. And then there’s the Utah Pioneers helmet, which is the exact same thing as the Cleveland Browns helmet minus a logo on it. Why the Miami Tribe were named what they were, I’m not sure, seeing as the actual Miami Tribe is based in Oklahoma.
They were already thinking about expansion. As mentioned in this article, they were looking at expanding to 12 teams in the near future, putting teams in Fresno and Austin; both were large cities with no pro sports team.
So, we’ve got our teams. We’ve got our video promoting the league (even though we don’t have a television contract). And, we’ve got a schedule culminating with the Red, White & Blue Bowl at RFK Stadium on July 5. How does the first season of the league go?
Part IV: Collapse & Conclusion
Already, cracks were starting to show in 1992. Businessman Nick Bunick bought the Portland team a month before the season started, and immediately wanted to change the name to the Oregon Chargers. I’m sure the NFL would’ve been thrilled by that. They just hired a coach a month before the season started by taking former NFL quarterback Craig Morton.
February rolled around, and it was less than a month before the start. And when February rolled around, I’ll let Squidward explain why the league was struggling.
In what can only be described as a shocked Pikachu face for a lot of these other leagues, they had no money. It was February 12, just 17 days before kickoff between the Tampa Bay Outlaws and Utah Pioneers, and the league was in serious trouble. The Miami Tribe folded. The commissioner, Rex Lardner, said that they were considering shutting down the league. The Washington Marauders, who were a late addition to the league to begin with, threatened to cease operations by the end of the week if the league didn’t provide adequate financial arrangements. Remember those plans that said that the league needed each team to average at least 20,000 fans per game to survive? Less than three weeks before the season, and Washington had sold 100 season tickets. One hundred. I’m shocked that the team that was announced hastily in a market with lots of competition already and in a market where the USFL failed miserably could barely sell 100 season tickets.
And, as it turns out, nobody got any money. Washington wide receivers coach Brian Gardner said he was owed $5,000, and never got it, stating that “I have as much chance of getting that as I do of catching the clouds in my hands right now.” The league lied when they said that it had $50 million in the bank; only a small percentage of that was actually in the bank. The schedule, set to start on February 29, was in danger of getting pushed back two weeks. And the Marauders were running an awful operation:
The Marauders operation is tight. All the equipment is in Room 131 of the team's headquarters here, a Quality Inn. The shoulder pads are piled atop two beds; face bars sit on a table. Other pads and several jerseys are in the bathroom.
[Cornerback] Barry Wilburn kept his football shoes on after the morning practice today. That was because the tape he'd bought and used to anchor the shoes to his feet had run out. There was no tape for anyone. Until the season starts, players are responsible for their own football shoes. They pay their way to training camp -- and their way home if cut.
One week later, the league folded. On February 19, 1992, the PSFL shut down operations, and never played a single game. And thus, another professional football league collapsed. Considering the lack of name recognition or the lack of a TV deal, and considering the WLAF already happening in the spring of 1992 while this league was trying to get underway, I’m not sure many people noticed that this league died. But it goes to show you that trying to start a football league in five months is usually a bad idea.
Previous Posts
History of the United Football League (2009-2012)
History of the Spring Football League (2000)
History of the Fall Experimental Football League (2013-2015)
History of the Stars Football League (2011-2013)
submitted by JaguarGator9 to nfl [link] [comments]

Machine Learning in AFL Part II - It's all about the percentages

Disclaimer: I do not endorse gambling. This was a fun academic exercise and no actual money was ever exchanged. I do not reccomend using this technique to attempt to profit by gambling. References to odds, dollars and betting in this articles are purely for comparison purposes only and do not represent actual monetary gains. Having said that, Mods please take this down if this is a violation of the site rules.
TL/DR: I made a machine learning algorithm to predict AFL matches before they started. When I simulated my results on 2017 matches and used it for betting, I managed to get a net positive return on my investments.

Introduction

A few months ago I posted an article introducing the concept of machine learning in AFL.You can find that article here. I presented some use cases about where it could be practically applied, including injury prevention and management, drafting, in-game strategy and strategic trading. These use-cases were all geared toward benefiting the club. There is, however, one area that machine learning excels at that would benefit punters and tippers - game prediction: predicting the outcome of a match before it has started. In this article, I will focus on how I built a machine learning model to do exactly that.
This article is structured as follows: first I will briefly describe supervised machine learning. Next I’ll move into how I created the model to predict AFL matches- I’ll discuss the data, features and methodology that I used. I’ll then discuss the final results including accuracy, potential improvements and, most importantly, how to use it to make money.

Supervised machine learning

Supervised machine learning is probably best understood in an AFL context with a simple example. Suppose we wanted to predict the outcome of a particular match. We don’t know anything about AFL, but we have a friend that has presented us with some historical matches and we have found a pattern that the home team tends to win more often than the away team. So we pick the home team.
What we have just done is created a very simple “model” (a mental model in this case) to predict the outcome of a match based on previous experience. In our data we have only used one data “feature” – the home/away status of the team. In fact, using this one feature, we would have an expected accuracy of 58% because the home team wins 58% of the time.
At this point it is useful to define a few terms:
Now, we want to improve our prediction accuracy by introducing more features. This means we start to ask other questions about the teams and the conditions. For example, what is the weather like? Who are the key players that are included in each squad? What are the respective ladder rankings? What are the historical outcomes between the two teams?
Now these combination questions are getting more and more difficult to answer using basic intuition. For example, we might notice that teams with higher contested possession win more often. But what happens then when the team with a higher historical contested possession count is the away team? How much contested possession differential outweigh home ground advantage? What is the trade-off?
This is where machine learning will help us. Machine Learning is a branch of Aritificial Intelligence that can automatically map the relationship between features and predictions using historical observations. It will “learn” the statistical trade-offs between contested possession, homeground advantage and any other relevant features to help use make a prediction about the game outcome.
Other than sports, it’s applied in many industries including real estate (to predict a house price), banks (to predict whether someone will default on a loan), internet advertisements (to predict whether someone will click on an ad if presented), Google (to predict if your picture has a cat in it) and many more.

Creating a machine learning model to predict AFL matches

What was the goal?

I tried to predict the outcomes of the 198 matches played in the 2017 AFL Home/Away season using data only available on AFLTables.com.
A little bit about the AFL 2017 season – this season is notorious for being one of the most even in history. In fact several posts were written about this on Reddit [https://www.reddit.com/AFL/comments/6ls48y/this_is_the_most_even_season_since_1998/] and some articles even were written in the paper [https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/afl/afl-2017-most-even-comp-since-expansion/news-story/b3a15b2ad17fe9727244c19aecbc01d2]. This means its one of the most difficult to predict.

What data was used?

The data used for the study was web-scraped from AFLTables.com and contained all in game player information from 2003-2017. This constitutes approximately 2700 individual matches and contains data on key player statistics and venue of game played.

What features were used?

The features (information) that I used to try to predict matches can be classified into 6 broad categories. For each game (combination of home and away team), we can calculate difference in team ranking, form line, venue experience, key game statistics, player ranking and line up and fatigue.
1.Team ranking:
This was simple the different in ladder position, difference in number of ladder points, and difference in rolling 5 game percentages.
2.Form-line
This was simply the difference in the win-loss record over the last 5 rounds.
3.Venue experience( Home ground advantage or HGA):
This was the difference in wins at a particular venue between the home and away team over the last two years
4.In-game Statistics differential
These are the differences in in-game statistics between the home and away team, averaged over the last 5 rounds. These include: win loss form, score, percentage, kicks, handballs, contested possession, tackles, hit outs, rebound 50’s, inside 50s; free-kicks, clangers, marks inside 50’s, goal assists, bounces, time-on-ground.
Along with differences in the mean, the difference in the variance variance was also taken into account.
5.Player information
Along with team statistics, player performance was also taken into account. I used u/JgreaterthanK’s player rating formula and took the average player rating over the last 5 rounds. I then looked at the line up and based on the average player rating over the last 5 rounds for each player, calculated the expected total player rating for the upcoming match.
6.Team information
I also looked into team line-up before the match. For each match, I calculated the top performer for goals, clearances, goal assists, tackles, contested marks, and rebound 50s for the last 5 matches for both the home and away and determined whether or not that player was playing in the current match.
7. Fatigue
I modeled a fatigue factor as which third of the season we are in (1-8 = Beginning, 9-16 = Middle, 17-23 = end). I also had a feature in there indicating whether it was Round 1 or not so that the machine could learn any differences between round 1 predictions and the rest of the season.

How did I assess the model?

I used “accuracy” as our simple measure of performance. This is defined as the total number of correct guesses divided by total number of matches. E.g., If I had 120 correct guesses my accuracy would be 120/198 = 60.6%

What was the model?

This is a little technical so feel free to skip to the next section
The data was partitioned into a validate/train set (Season 2016 and below) and a hold-out set (being 2017 season).
I used an Extreme Gradient Boosted Model and optimized it’s hyper parameter using grid search with 5-fold cross validating (using randomly selected validation set). After the hyper parameters were chosen and finalised, the 2017 matches were predicated.
To generate confidence intervals in the predictions I trained 99 more models on bootstrapped versions of the data.

Results

Final accuracy

The final accuracy of the model was 66.7%.
66.7% sounds low, but is it really that low? To benchmark these results, I downloaded some published tipping results from “experts” (after the H/A season had finished) from the herald sun. I also calculated the accuracy of what you would have achieved had you followed other stats related methods including the betting odds (http://www.aussportsbetting.com/data/historical-afl-results-and-odds-data/), the Swinburne Computer (https://www.swinburne.edu.au/footy-tips/2017-footy-tips/) and simply tipping the home-team. You can see the final table here.
The model comes equal third, only behind Chris Cavanagh and Trent Cotchin. It out performs, most experts, the Swinburne computer and outperforms betting odds. Special shoutout to Scott Pendlebury, Marcus Bontempelli, James Hird and Mick Malthouse who notibly did worse than simply tipping the home-team…(this is potentially due to team bias for the players...).

What is important to predict match outcomes?

We can use a technique called variable importance to understand which features the model thinks is important to consider when making predictions, and which features aren’t important. This is presented as a rating between 0 and 100, where 100 means very important and 0 means not important at all.
Here are the relative ranking of the top 10 features. Surprisingly, the largest driver of a win is actually the difference in the 5-game rolling percentage. The other features that are important are ones you would expect: player performance, ranking and home-ground advantage. Of the actual in-game statistics that make a difference, inside50’s and marks inside 50s appear to be the most predictive.

Using the model for betting

And now for the most important question - could I have used this model to make money on the betting markets?
The short answer is ... I would have, but this may just be luck.
Here is a graph the ranks each of the 198 matches of the home and away season based on the probability of a home win. The grey bars are the 90% confidence on that probability. For example, for the first point, we estimate the probability of the home team winning is about 88-93%. The triangles are the corresponding probability of the home team winning as given by the betting odds (if you didn’t know 1/Price of the odds gives you the probability, so if the home team are paying at $1.37 they are valued at 73% likelihood of winning).
To put it short, red triangles are games where the predicted probability is similar to what our model estimates because they fall within the confidence bands. Blue triangles are those that we think have been sufficiently miss-predicted and therefore we spot an opportunity to place a bet.
So, for every game with a blue triangle I placed a (virtual) bet of 100 dollars. If the 5th percentile home probability was higher than that given by the odds, I bet on the home team (because the home team was overvalued). If the 95th percentile was lower than that given by the odds, I bet on the away team (because the away team was overvalued).
Here is the round-by-round cumulative winnings. In total I won a net $275 from a total investment of 6900 dollars – an absolutely massive ROI of 3.9 %.

Can we do any better?

We can also visualise the winnings on the same graph as before – here I’ve placed an ‘X’ for games I lost money and a green square for games I won money. The size of the green square is proportional to the amount I won.
This visualise shows something interesting...there appears to be a 4 separate clusters of points, one in each corner of the graph. Here is the graph again with those clusters shown:
Group 1 (red) are games where the home team is expected to win but by too much, group 2 is where the home team is expected to win but by not enough, group 3 (green) is where the home team is expected to lose but by too much, and group 4 (yellow) is where the results appears 50/50.
If we analyse each of these groups for their expected winning probabilities (as per the odds), the actual winning percentages and total net earnings we see something very interesting.
Group Net Earnings ($) Expected Winning (%) Actual Winning (%) No. of Games
1 -52 91 85 21
2 -873 61 23 13
3 1149 34 55 18
4 51 58 53 17
Group 1 and 4 tend to have very low net earnings. For these groups we are winning as much as we are losing, so our model and the Odds are at a stalemate. According to our model, the Odds have over valued the home team, but our model doesn't consistently identify this opportunity correctly to create a positive net yield.
Conversely, (and rather strangely) there is Group 2, where both the model and the Odds do a terrible job at predicting the home win. In fact, the expected winning percentage (according to the Odds) for Group 2 is 60% compared with the actual winning percentage of 23%!. The reason why we lose money in this case is that while both models do a terrible job, the odds are slightly less terrible.
Finally, let's look at group 3. Group 3 has a gigantic net earnings - over 1000 dollars won on 1800 dollars staked (100 dollars per game)- that's around a 60% return. I think that what we have identified is a potential inefficiency in the market. Put simply, for these games, the TAB consistently tells us that the home team will lose, whereas the model tells us that its more even than that. And the model is right more often than not. Basically for these games, the Odds is undervaluing the effect of home-ground-advantage.
Also, for those of you that want a full list of the games that I bet on (or if you want to do some of your own analysis), I've made a table of the matches here

Conclusion and improvements

So did I unlock some magic secret to guarantee a profit off of AFL? The answer no nothing is guaranteed, but it would be interesting to eat some more. However, this was all just a fun academic exercise and I absolutely do not encourage gambling Besides, it's just as likely that I’ve simply identified matches which look predictable (but are actually highly unpredictable, for a variety of reasons) and got lucky. I also may have spotted a pattern for 2017 that may not exist going forward. However, I don't think that the key takeaway here is that you can use machine learning to guarantee money. I think that it’s that you can make a model that’s almost as good as an industry standard using random pieces of information from the internet, which I think is pretty cool.
Now for improvements - the model is a good start but there are a lot of improvements that can be made -

1. More data

If we add more matches, then we have more historical outcomes to learn from and generalise, so this should theoretically help us. Unfortunately I only had access to full in-game statistics from about 2003 because this is where AFLTables starts to record all statistics.

2. Better data

I highly suspect that the AFL records information other than that presented on AFLTables.com and even presented to the public. These might other bits of information that are highly predictive of winning or losing.
Another avenue that I didn’t explore was to add more publicly available sources and better player data. This might include things like weather (raining or not, temperature etc.), and fatigue / travel factors (like how many km you have to travel to a venue), injury rates, dream team scores, official player ratings etc.

3. Better model

I used a boost and tried some others (logistic regression, NN, random forest) but there might be other machine learning techniques that might do better.
Also, the cross validation method might not be the best. There is an argument to treat the matches as a times series so in your validation you only use matches from before hand to predict upcoming matches. I'm not so certain this is the case, and the results on the hold-out set prove that I'm barely over-fitting.
Another improvement would be to optimize for Log Loss rather than accuracy. At the moment, the model's log Loss was approximately 0.65, where as the log Loss of the Odds were 0.61.
Lastly, while I am predicting a binary outcome, it might to predict the margin. The theory is that margin prediction would actually provide feedback about the strength of how wrong, or how right you were. I’m not 100% on this because if the margin is 5, and you predict -5 (a loss), this is the same error as if you predict 15 (a win). But predicting 15 is objectively better than predicting -5.

4. Better opinions

While I know a little bit about football, I’m far from an expert. A true expert opinion about which features drive match outcomes would be invaluable to help improve the prediction accuracy of the model.
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Draws (or, Only Football’s the Winner today) - Useless AFL Facts #3

I’ve been on hiatus for a few weeks, sorry - was I granted begrudging leave by the oppressive afl mods? Or did real life simply get in the way? Or could I just not think of anything cool to write about? None shall ever know - but I’m back, and here to celebrate one of the best parts of the game. The draw! Unfulfilling for some, riveting for many others - and with a rich and interesting history just waiting to be examined...
Why did I want to look at draws and some stats around them for this week in particular? Well...not too many of you will have pencilled in Carlton vs Essendon as the game of the round, but it may well be worth keeping a sneaky eye on the pair. In their 246 meetings, the two have drawn 6 times - a league-high figure only matched by Carlton/Sydney. Furthermore, Essendon and Carlton have played in 35 and 34 draws respectively - many more than Collingwood and St Kilda, who place third with 27 draws apiece. So, with these two masters of equality meeting, I figured it might be fun to delve into some very useless, very interesting stats!
Apart from the obvious excitement of any close game, perhaps part of the mysticism of the draw is how rare it is - and I have the data to back it up. As is shown in this superb post, AFL margins are very well-distributed - the higher the margin, the less likely it is to occur, it’s as simple as that. Across 15,267 games (including 2018 thus far), the most common margin is 1 point (having occured in 330 games), followed closely by 2 and then 5. However, there’s only been 158 draws in League history (well...sort of. More on that later), placing it as the 43rd most common margin - well below 1 point, 2 points and everything below 40 points. Instinctively, the draw feels like it should be much more common statistically - after all, there’s not that much difference between 1 point and a draw, right? So it seems that they should occur pretty much as frequently as each other, and maybe that surprising rarity is something of the reason why people get so excited about them. Yet statistics don’t lie, and the maths does make sense - we just have to dig a little deeper into basic probability.
For a match to end in a draw, teams A and B must have exactly the same score...if team A has scored 58, then team B must also score 58. For a game to be decided by a point, team A can score 58, and team B can either score 57 or 59, thus doubling the outcomes where this margin is the result, and making it twice as likely (before worrying about any extenuating factors).1 We can see the same effect at work when rolling two dice - it’s simple to deduce that the odds of rolling a double 6 are 1/36. However, the odds of rolling a 6 and a 5 are 1/18...twice as good!
1: Indeed, assuming a spherical cow in a vacuum, any single margin is twice more likely to occur than a draw. Other, real-world considerations then come into play - namely, that it’s pretty hard to kick 7 or more goals than another team - to reduce those probabilities and make the draw more common than any individual margin greater than 50.
Enough pontificating - let’s see some stats! The first ever draw in AFL/VFL history was between Fitzroy and South Melbourne in Round 7, 1897 with scorelines of 5.13.43 apiece. Alas, history does not report if the users of the 19th century Reddit prototype reacted in the appropriate manner.
The 2nd draw in AFL history also happens to be the lowest scoring, with Carlton and Melbourne managing 28 points each in Round 9, 1898. Legend has it that Ole’ Man ‘Fishy’ McLachlan, the League’s first ever CEO, was so angered at this dismal showing that he tried to introduce zoning laws the following week, and his poltergeist still haunts AFL house to this day, whispering darkness and rule changes into the hearts of all who step foot in that fell place.
Ahem...Carlton, at least, have since managed to redeem themselves by forcing Essendon to a 132-all draw in Round 2 1993, which is the highest scoring draw of all time.
Across the 158 draws in AFL/VFL history, 69 have had exactly the same G/B scorelines for both teams. By contrast, the largest differentials in draw scorelines come from Round 7, 1935, when Footscray managed 12.7.79 to Carlton’s 9.25.79; and the first ever drawn Grand Final, when eventual premiers Melbourne kicked 10.9.69 to Essendon’s wayward 7.27.69.
Speaking of finals…the first ever drawn final was the Semi Final of 1928 between Melbourne and Collingwood. Collingwood went on to win the rematch the following week, and then defeated the Tigers (who were coming off a two-week break) in the Grand Final. In total, there have been just eight officially drawn finals, including three Grand Finals.
The last drawn regular final was the Qualifying Final in 1990 between Collingwood and West Coast, which was replayed the following weekend. This forced all other finals matches to be shifted by a week, causing logistical chaos across Melbourne, possibly hurting the chances of the minor premier, Essendon and forcing the Eagles to play four consecutive finals games in Melbourne. As such, the AFL introduced extra time the following year for all drawn finals bar the Grand Final. This period of extra time has since been forced on three occasions, most recently last year. However, these three finals are not counted in the overall tally of AFL draws despite the result at the end of the 4th quarter, as a winner was eventually determined – nonetheless, they’re well worth mentioning. I’d love to talk about drawn Grand Finals, but I live next door to a Saints supporter and don’t want to cause any further trauma…so, on to some quicker stats!
14 draws have been determined by kicks after the siren, seven of which saw a goal to draw - and two where the kick missed completely, foiling an opportunity to break the deadlock. There is also a 15th case; the first final to be drawn after extra time was introduced by the AFL (as described above), which happened in 1994 between North Melbourne and Hawthorn. The Kangaroos had an attempt to break the 91-all scoreline after the final siren, but the kick fell short, and extra time was played - which was eventually won by North anyway.
Adelaide has only drawn twice in their history, with an undrawn (?) streak of 539 games between these games, which is the current record for most games played without a draw.
The current undrawn (yep, running with that) streak is held by the Western Bulldogs, who have played 234 consecutive drawless games, which puts them a good 13 years behind Adelaide’s record. If you want to be pedantic, however (and who doesn’t?), then the Dogs are also a good way behind Fitzroy, who exited the league on a streak of 332 games without draw.
The average margin of a draw is 0 points, with barely any deviation in each individual game.
Nextly…I’ve put together a table, showing how many times each team has drawn with another team. Feel free to peruse at your lesuire, and then I have some closing observations drawn from it below. Please note that I’ve also included the defunct teams in this, as otherwise the numbers could get a little bit wonky…plus, I do think it’s interesting to see.
Team ADE BRI CAR COL ESS FRE GEE GCS GWS HAW MEL NM PA RIC STK SYD WCE WB BB FIT UNI Total
ADE x 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
BRI 0 x 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6
CAR 0 0 x 4 6 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 2 6 0 4 0 5 0 34
COL 1 0 4 x 4 0 1 0 0 0 5 2 0 1 2 1 1 1 0 3 1 27
ESS 0 1 6 4 x 0 5 0 0 0 2 1 0 4 4 1 0 2 0 5 0 35
FRE 0 0 0 0 0 x 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
GEE 0 0 2 1 5 0 x 0 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 0 1 2 1 1 0 23
GCS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
GWS 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
HAW 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 x 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 2 0 1 0 11
MEL 0 0 2 5 2 0 2 0 0 0 x 1 0 2 1 2 0 1 0 3 0 21
NM 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 2 1 x 0 2 2 1 0 3 0 1 0 17
PA 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
RIC 0 1 2 1 4 0 3 0 0 0 2 2 1 x 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 22
STK 1 0 2 2 4 0 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 3 x 3 1 3 0 1 0 27
SYD 0 1 6 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 3 x 0 1 0 4 0 24
WCE 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 1 1 0 0 6
WB 0 0 4 1 2 0 2 0 0 2 1 3 0 2 3 1 1 x 0 0 0 22
BB 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 0 0 2
FIT 0 0 5 3 5 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 x 1 25
UNI 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 2
St Kilda have drawn with 13 other teams currently in the league, more than any other team. The only teams they haven’t drawn with are Brisbane, Fremantle, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide. If we include all teams past and present, then St Kilda and Geelong have drawn with 14 each - Geelong having drawn with both the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy.
On the other end of the spectrum are Fremantle and Gold Coast, each with a solitary draw to their name. Although Hawthorn’s 11 draws might not seem terribly impressive by comparison, it’s well worth noting that the Hawks have by far the least draws of any Victorian team (Melbourne are next with 21).
Oddly, every draw between interstate teams has involved Brisbane, with the Lions having drawn with both Port Adelaide and Sydney, and the Bears holding a draw against West Coast. All other draws have been Vic vs Vic or Vic vs Interstate. Edit - sorry, was just double-checking the table and Sydney have also drawn with Fremantle. Oops....
Ignoring H/A permutations, there are 153 possible combinations of current AFL teams in a match. Of these, only 67 (43.79%) have played to a draw at least once. However, when we just take the 11 current VFL-era teams, this rises to 87.27%, thanks to the much larger sample size of games – indeed, there are only 7 combinations of VFL teams who still haven’t drawn.
Finally – how often does your side draw? To finish this post off, I’ve ranked each team in a ladder (because how else can you rank something?), sorted by Games Played ➗ Draws. I also threw in the league’s average of a draw every 93.63 games – which is well worth noting, as betting agencies usually offer odds of around 50-1 on a draw. In other words, if you bet on a draw, you’ll probably spend $1.80 for every dollar you make. On the other hand, if you believe in the blind power of statistics and need a tipping boost, then pencil in a draw for Round 17’s clash between GWS and Richmond, which will be the 97th game since the most recent draw (at time of writing) – and, when you get it right, thank science! If you do follow this advice, though, then this column bears no responsibility for any incorrect tips incurred…
Brisbane - every 36.83 games
Greater Western Sydney - every 48 games
Essendon - every 69.74 games
Carlton - every 72.82 games
St Kilda - every 87.30 games
Western Bulldogs - every 87.41 games
Collingwood - every 93.11 games
League Average - every 96.63 games
Port Adelaide - every 98.4 games
Sydney - every 100.58 games
Richmond - every 101.73 games
Geelong - every 104.91 games
Melbourne - every 113.38 games
North Melbourne - every 114.65 games
West Coast - every 122.67 games
Gold Coast - every 161 games
Hawthorn - every 178.09 games
Adelaide - every 317 games
Fremantle - every 528 games
In conclusion, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it! Should you spot any errors in my figures, let me know in the comments and I’ll give you an updoot (and fix it free of charge), and should you have any ideas for future Useless Stats, let me know! I should also give a shoutout to AFL Tables - most of this data is drawn from there, though I am relatively sure it isn’t presented in this format there or anywhere else. Thanks also to u/NitroXYZ for the post referenced above, and this cool list on Wikipedia of games decided after the final siren.
All the best, cheers, and ‘til next time!
submitted by analysisparalysis12 to AFL [link] [comments]

Official 2017 r/NFL Top 100 Players (of the 2016 Season) - #20-11

Hello, everyone! Just like Xur I am here to bestow upon you all my special gifts, except today is Monday! I say welcome to you all as we are prepared for today’s installment of the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016!
Today we bring you Part IX of our series, revealing players 20-11 as voted on by our rankers, as well as the Ranking Predictor for the players ranked 30-11.
Have you missed any of the previous days? CLICK HERE FOR THE RANKINGS HUB!
Now, for the Ranking Predictor for the players ranked 40-31 on Wednesday:
PLAYER RANKED BETTER RANKED ROUGHLY THE SAME RANKED WORSE
#30 - T.Y. HIlton, WR, Indianapolis Colts 16.67% 42.86% 40.48%
#29 - Andrew Whitworth, Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals 0.00% 19.05% 80.95%
#28 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs 7.14% 47.62% 45.24%
#27 -Alex Mack, Center, Atlanta Falcons 7.14% 45.24% 47.62%
#26 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints 28.57% 35.71% 35.71%
#25 - Eric Berry, SS, Kansas City Chiefs 38.10% 42.86% 19.05%
#24 - Zack Martin, Guard, Dallas Cowboys 21.43% 57.14% 21.43%
#23 - Joe Thomas, Tackle, Cleveland Browns 19.05% 50.00% 30.95%
#22 - Aqib Talib, CB, Denver Broncos 7.14% 21.43% 71.43%
#21 - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants 59.52% 30.95% 9.52%
(Wow, are you guys down on this group.)
And now, as always, it’s the best part of the list, my broken record time!
1- As always, these rankings are based 100% on the 2016 season, so all players are listed with their 2016 teams and cities. 2- And if you just can’t stand where we have [insert personal favorite player here] and if you think you can generate a better list you can always fill out your own Top 100 rankings here at the same form our rankers used. These lists so are pretty good, and we’ll release an aggregate of the with the post mortem on July 27th!
Before we start, I need to know how ready you are for this? Is this you right now? If not, how about now? Still now enough? Then this is for you!
So let’s get crackalackin’, because part IX of the Top 100 Players (of the 2016 Season), players ranked #20-11, starts now!

#20 - Eric Weddle - SS - Baltimore Ravens - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Eric Weddle’s stats here!
Written by pdiz8133
Eric Weddle's first year with the Ravens was a standout as he became the leader of the Ravens’ secondary. Against the passing game, there were very few times where Weddle was not playing his role perfectly. He racked up 13 passes defended (a career high for him) and four interceptions in 2016. One of Weddle's strengths is his awareness and his ability to follow up on plays where the ball is tipped. He gave Brady his second interception (of only 2) on the year on a play like this. This ability of Weddle's is great at killing momentum for the opposing offense (see 3:53).
His pass defense alone is not what makes Weddle the amazing safety that he is, Weddle can defend the run and rush the passer as well. Weddle finished 4th at his position for run-stop percentage while PFF ranked him as 5th amongst all safeties when defending against the run.
Weddle fit right into the Raven's scheme and displayed excellence in both pass coverage and run defense. He was easily the best performer for the Ravens on the defensive side of the ball. Not to mention his candidacy for best beard in the NFL (R.I.P.) and his unparalleled recruiting skills.

#19 - Mike Evans - WR - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Mike Evans’ stats here!
Written by YouMake
Never in the history of this organization have the Buccaneers drafted a more gifted and talented WR than Mr. Michael Lynn Evans III, his talents were on full display in the 2016 season. I think ever Bucs fan is over the moon excited for him for years to come, let's get into it.
The most mind-blowing fact about Mike Evans in 2016 is that of his 96 receptions last season only THREE of them were not either a TD or a 1st down. He had 12 TDs and 81 receptions that resulted in a 1st down. The guy knows how to move those sticks. He finished the season with the highest 1st down percentage in the entire league with 84.4%. Jameis and Mike have a real connection going on as Mike was targeted an NFL leading 173 times in 2016. With little no help from a supporting cast Evans was the focal point of the offense, defenses knew it, heck everyone knew it and the guy still balled out. I mean is there a better regular season catch than this?
Mike isn't one of the elite separators in the game today averaging just 2.13yards. what he possesses is elite size and a basketball background. One of the best plays that demonstrates this is against Robert Alford See Here. Mike has his hips inside of Alford and has the smaller DB behind him. Evans with his 37" vertical and ~35" arms leave little no chance once he boxes the smaller Alford out and attacks the ball at the highest point. His catch radius is something of wonder, how he's able to stretch out and make some of the tough catches is what separates him from the pack. His redzone awareness and ability is something else to watch. It's very seldom that he doesn't complete the catch for the TD when he's down there. He knows at all time where he is if he needs to get that toe drag swag or not.
Aqib Talib said about Evans in Sept of 2016:
[He's] big, fast, he goes in that Calvin Johnson category, the Julio Jones category. The big, fast guys with the big catch radius.
With receivers, man, there's some guys -- you either have a huge catch radius or you don't," Talib said. "That's nothing you can learn in the NFL. I'm sure if you go watch Evans' tape from seventh or eighth grade, I bet he was doing the same thing -- catching jump balls and running past people, catching deep balls. It's just that catch radius that makes him special.
Source
Evans route running drastically improved in 2016, over his previous 2 seasons in the NFL. Most of Evans routes are deep corner or post routes. One of the best plays that describe this is vs the Seahawks. Where he runs a deep post cuts in front of Kam to eliminate Kam from the play if Jameis wants to check the ball down to Doug Martin. Where he continues the route and makes a great catch over Bobby Wagner attacking it at its highest point. Breakdown of play Catch on the play. Evans opened up the middle of the field where Cameron Brate was able to roam around and make a living. The safeties and LBs had to respect him.
Mike is not afraid at all to make the tough catch and take the licking that's coming his way. I mean he gets crushed here still able to absorb it and know it's coming. Of course, the play against the Falcons comes to mind as well.
Mike has upped his play every single year that he has been in the league he's improved something about his game. I know in the 2017 off-season he wants to improve his YAC. I'm excited to see what the future holds for the young Buccaneers, he's definitely one of our contented pieces that aren't going anywhere for a long, long time.

#18 - Calais Campbell - 3-4 DT - Arizona Cardinals - Previous Rank: 74

Check out Calais Campbell’s stats here!
Written by Evilan
Calais Campbell is simply a monster.
I don’t just mean his staggering size of 6’8” and 290 lbs, but also his playstyle. With good reason Campbell is often likened to Goliath in the old parable, but in this story the David’s on the offensive line don’t normally get the better of this champion.
Campbell originally started his career as a 3-4 defensive end when the Cardinals began their transition to the 3-4 base formation under Whisenhunt nearly 10 years ago, but in recent years has made a more permanent move inside. The former second round pick was intended to become a key piece of the defensive line opposite his fellow end Darnell Dockett, but no one could’ve seen Campbell exceeding his fellow Pro Bowler teammate in talent and production. And yet Campbell did, he took it to offensive tackles with impressive bend and athleticism not often seen in a player of his size at the 5-technique spot and is also able to rush past guards with his impressive strength as well. Campbell is the full package of what you want in a player on the defensive line combining overwhelming size and extraordinary athleticism in his play. For these reasons, he is often considered the second-best DT or 3-4 DE in the league behind only the likes of JJ Watt and Aaron Donald at any given time. It makes sense that he was the key player on the Cardinals defense for the past 7 seasons and extremely high on NFL's Top 100.
However, Campbell’s time with Big Red is now at an end. After a 2016 campaign that saw Campbell put up maybe his best year of production ever as a pro, he is on his way to Jacksonville to continue his dominance on the line. As sad as it is to see the big man go, he gave us a ton of good memories and 57 great home run swings. Knowing Campbell though, he'll probably continue to terrorize the AFC South just as much as he did the NFC West.
We’re going to miss our big friendly giant in the desert during the 2017 season.

#17 - Travis Frederick - Center - Dallas Cowboys - Previous Rank: 35

Check out Travis Frederick’s stats here!
Written by mister_jay_peg
Travis Frederick's beard is magnificent.
Sorry. I mean Travis Frederick is magnificent. He absolutely is. I've done all three of the linemen from Dallas on this list, and after watching that group play over all 16 games, there is not a team in the league that looks at man The Best Beard in the NFL (sorry, Nick Mangold and u/nickmangoldsbeard) and at least thinks for a few minutes about a straight up swap for their center, and there are at least 25-26 GM's who offer a child or a 1st Rd pick for him.
I want to focus on his ability in the run game today, because this is where he absolutely excels above all but the very elite interior lineman.
The first play we look at is against the Bengals. Right off the snap he has his hands under the pads of the DT so he has body control to twist him wherever he wants. After a quick chip from martin going to the second level, he's able to fully cross the face and the defender is totally walled off from the running lane he should have been plugging, and it was effortless. The final flourish on the play almost feels as if Frederick is playing with him, the way he pulls with his left hand and shoves with his right, totally taking the man off balance. The play ends with Zeke squeaking through the line, but that is no fault of the interior. Doug Free gets shoved by Dunlap, cutting down the outside of the lane.
Our second play is an inside zone left (right on the screen) (credit to Brandon Thorn @VeteranScout for this). Off the ball, Frederick does it again. He has his hands under the pads of Linval Joseph (ed. note: BTW, Linval Joseph belonged on this list. Travesty. - MJP) and just manhandles him to the ground. Again pushing with his right and rotating, he takes Joseph totally off balance and lays him on his ass like he was blocking a DII college kid. That power generated with the small hip burst is not something you see in a lot of players, even at this level.
Play number three is also against the Vikings (sorry, Skep), and it shows off speed, agility and power in one play. Off the snap he avoids all contact on the first level and slides up to engage Greenway. he makes initial contact, but almost gets tripped up by Free who has put his defender on ice skates, but he's able to get his feet back under him, plant and turn into a brick wall, allowing Zeke to cut off his hip for a big gain.
This last one is a chip and engage against the Packers. Frederick delivers a major stun chip to Mike Daniels and effortlessly flows to the LB and shuts him down in his tracks with great hand placement and leverage.
Simply put. Travis Frederick is, I dare say it, the best offensive lineman in Dallas right now. And that is one hell of a compliment from a guy who thinks Tyron Smith is generational at LT.

#16 - Trent Williams -Tackle - Washington Redskins - Previous Rank: 70

Check out Trent Williams’ stats here!
Written by skinsballr
As I’ve said in last year’s blurb about “Silverback”, the Redskins’ mammoth Offensive Tackle just keeps getting better, year-by-year. He is the best offensive tackle in football. Pro Football Focus gave him the highest run-blocking grade out of all guards and tackles, allowed only one sack all year (a career-best!) and PFF ranked him as the best offensive tackle (let alone, best left tackle) in the NFL. Bleacher Report’s yearly top 1000 had Trent Williams as the highest-rated player overall! Let that sink in for a minute... the #1 player in the NFL! And, he jumped from #87 in /NFLTop100’s list in 2015 to #70 to now… sixteen!
Despite missing four games (suspension), Williams showed his versatility – no more so than in Week 4 against the Giants. After losing Left Guard Shawn Lauvao and Center Kory Lichtensteiger to injuries, Trent subbed-in for Lauvao at LG (1st time ever in his career), and did remarkably well – just look at Trent sacrificing his body to take out not one, but two Giants players on this Jamison Crowder TD! With poor play continuing from Lauvao (especially against the Cardinals late last season), there was rumor after rumor that Williams should semi-permanently move to LG (bumping Lauvao to the bench and moving surprising standout offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe to Williams’s original position) after his four-game suspension. But Head Coach Jay Gruden and Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan stayed the course and played Williams at LT for the remainder of the season.
Williams has played through various ailments - from nagging ankle and leg injuries to a minor concussion - yet only missed seven games in six seasons with the Redskins due to injury - that's like 1 missed game/season.
Regardless, Williams is a treat to watch – just look as he tosses aside renowned players like Jared Allen, Chandler Jones, Clay Matthews, Trent Cole, Fletcher Cox, Julius Peppers and JPP like rag dolls – thanks, HTTRJustin! Year-in and year-out, he plays like a man possessed – and what’s most-remarkable about “Silverback” is that he is one of the most-agile 300+ offensive linemen in today’s NFL. When pulling on screen passes, he has the speed of some wide receivers as the gorilla steamrolls his way downfield! Just watch his Top 100 video, and the accolades he gets from teammates Ryan Kerrigan and Ricky Jean-Francois (now with the Packers), as well as fellow OT Taylor Lewan and Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels.
"I think that one play that speaks to his athleticism was when [the Redskins] played the Packers in 2013 and he was lead blocking for Pierre Garcon and he was running stride-for-stride with him and then absolutely leveled the guy he had to block. His complete combination of power and speed makes nightmares for defenders to face"
“He really is a freak of nature at that LT spot.”
– Redskins DE Ryan Kerrigan
I’m glad the Redskins have a franchise cornerstone at Left Tackle now and for the years to come. Good luck to all future defensive linemen trying to get past this guy!

#15 - Bobby Wagner - 4-3 MLB - Seattle Seahawks - Previous Rank: 97

Check out Bobby Wagner’s stats here!
Written by Super_Nerd92
In my opinion--clearly shared by our other rankers--Bobby Wagner was the best 4-3 MLB in the NFL last season that played all 16 games love you Panthers fans. Top-tier performance is nothing new to Wagner, whose career to date includes 3 Pro Bowl appearances, two AP first-team All-Pros (including his 2016 season), and an additional second-team All-Pro. Yet this season was potentially Wagner's greatest to date. He completely deserves #15 on our Top 100 list.
Wagner has never been asked to do more in this star-studded defense. First, Michael Bennett went down for multiple games early in the season. Then Kam Chancellor was hurt for 4 games in the middle of the season. Finally, Earl Thomas went down in Week 11 and would not return the rest of the year. In their combined absence, Wagner was more needed than ever, and he delivered:
  • A staggering 167 tackles--a franchise record, and the most of any player in the NFL last season.
  • 4.5 sacks and 6 stuffs.
  • 3 pass deflections, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.
Now, stats never tell the full story, so I urge you to watch or read some analysis of Wagner in action. Here is an analysis of his play vs the Rams this season by our own hbrwhammer, and here is a fan analysis of his entire 2016 season. Here is PFF discussing how Wagner was dominant against the run all season.

#14 - Ezekiel Elliott - RB - Dallas Cowboys - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Ezekiel Elliot’s stats here!
Written by RomoSexua1
When Dallas selected Elliott with the 4th overall pick, armchair-GMs around the country scoffed at the idea of picking a running back that high, especially when anybody could be effective behind that o-line. It is true that players like Darren McFadden could be effective, but it's certainly not true that Dallas would have been 13-3 and the one seed with McFadden, and there's no way McFadden would lead the NFL in rushing yards. Zeke is the MVP of the Cowboys, plain and simple, and there are many ways this can be shown, one being him breaking the defense's will and almost single handedly beat the Steelers.
In 2015, Tony Romo went down early in the year, and Dallas never recovered, because despite the fact that he got over 1000 yards, Darren McFadden was not able to take advantage of the offensive line. He failed to wear down defenses with relentless contact, be a threat in the passing game, block effectively, or consistently break long touchdowns. However, when Tony went down in 2016, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was able to lean on the most well-rounded running back Dallas has had since Emmitt Smith.
The thing that separated Dallas' offense this year from the awful 2015 offense was not the quarterback. It was how consistently Zeke moved the chains. In 2016, Elliott had 91 carries for 1st downs, while the next closest player had 72. "But Romosexua1, didn't he get those because of Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and Travis Frederick?" Nope. Darren McFadden only had 52 last year, and had all of the starters on his o-line, not just 4/5 like Zeke.
In addition to being fantastic running the ball in any situation, Zeke was also very good at pass protection and receiving. This allowed Dallas to do anything they wanted with their play calls. When he was on the field, a defense truly had to respect the pass and the run, which greatly helped their young QB, especially against the blitz. Other so-called elite players who are lack luster in one of these three areas limit the teams play calls and stifle their offense. And this talk of a balanced game isn't just based on the eye test; Zeke ranked 2nd in PFF's overall grades for running backs by two points.
Not to mention that he was more productive running the ball than anyone else while statistically being the most valuable back. He was also very reliable and not injured or suspended at any point in the season.
Shout out to Barian_Fostate for his awesome film breakdown of Zeke and for "Debunking the myth of Ezekiel Elliott and his O-Line"
Tl;dr: Zeke is fantastic at picking up 1st downs and is good at everything. Thank him for the 13-3 season

#13 - Le’Veon Bell - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers - Previous Rank: 59

Check out Le’Veon Bell’s stats here!
Written by Upgraded2
I've been patiently waiting to do this post.
After a mid-season ACL tear in the 2015 season, Le'Veon Bell was back on the field in 2016 and boy was he something. There's not many players in the league where you can just give the ball to them and they can win you a game; but Bell is one of them. What do I mean by this? Take the Buffalo game for example. 236 Rushing Yards, 62 Receiving Yards, & 3 Rushing TDs. On the back of a terrible performance by Big Ben, Le'Veon had 42 touches to lead us to victory. Somehow not convinced? In the first game of the playoffs against Miami, Bell broke the Steelers playoff rushing record with 167 yards & 2 TDs, then subsequently broke his own playoff record against the Chiefs the very next week with 170 rushing yards. This isn't just Bell breaking 2 big 50+ yard runs and calling it a day; this is Bell shouldering a 20-40 carry workload to grind down teams and lead us to victory. You simply can't stop him.
Still somehow not convinced? How about this one: Le'Veon Bell accumulated 1268 Rushing Yards, 7 Rushing TDs, 616 Receiving Yards, & 2 Receiving Touchdowns in 12 games, good for 1884 Yards overall and 3rd most in the league. Yes, you read that right. He had the 3rd most yards in the entire league despite playing 4 less games. Kind of a scary thought to think about what would've happened had he played all 16. Hell, the four defense he didn't play against were Washington's 24th ranked rush defense, Cincinnati's 21st, Philadelphia's 15th, and Cleveland's 31st. Can somebody say, "2500-yard season?". Enough with the speculation; back to what he did do. Aside from the AFC Championship game where he did not finish the game, only 1 time all season did Bell accumulate less than 100 yards (congrats Baltimore). That means that in 13/14 games, Bell had at least 100 yards total, peaking at the 298 against Buffalo, 201 against Cleveland, and 182 against the New York Giants. Production like this led PFF to grade him as the highest graded RB for 2016 with an 88.4 overall rating, as well as an 85.5 rushing rating (good for 1st), and an excellent 80.7 receiving grades as well as 81.7 pass blocking grade.
So, what exactly makes Le'Veon Bell so good? How about his very own running style. What Bell does requires a combination of unbelievable vision and excellent burst that very, very few possess. Instead of just hitting the ground running, Bell literally approaches the line, stops on a dime to find a hole, then bursts forward for 5+ yards every time. Here are some excellent examples (thanks to Yji): Exhibit 1 Exhibit 2 Exhibit 3 Exhibit 4. Notice how he takes a little hop-step upon receiving the ball, waits for the OL to set up their blocks, then bursts through the open hole for big gains. It basically forces defenders to play at a slower speed so that they don't overrun him. It's borderline unstoppable. Once he's in the open field, Bell is also a very powerful runner who is not afraid to deal punishment to DBs. Runs like this and this are perfect examples. If you want more Bell highlights, take a look at this great NFL Top 10 video that really showcases him at his best.
If it weren't for the 4 missed games (even though one wasn't his fault as he was rested before the playoffs), Bell would be up there near the very top of the list, or possibly even #1. He's a dominant and unstoppable player that does stuff that no other player can. I really do hope he can be a Steeler for life.

#12 - Landon Collins - SS - New York Giants - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Landon Collins’ stats here!
Written by UnbiasedBrownsFan
Midway through the 2016 season Landon Collins was the holder a peculiar stat. He led his team in tackles, interceptions, and sacks. While it’s not entirely unusual for a safety to lead his team in interceptions and a strong safety may lead his team in tackles from time to time, it is almost unheard of to have a safety lead their team in sacks. This second level of versatility is what landed him so high on this list, the top-rated safety in the NFL. The production of Collins last season easily outpaced all other safeties and propelled him into the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year. His growth from last year helped catalyze the Giants from the 30th ranked scoring defense to the 2nd in just one season. In only his second year in the NFL, Collins has shown that there is still plenty more to come.
Last season Landon Collins was an elite run defender and punishing hitter. His ability to move up into the box and provide support against the run helped fortify the Giants 3rd ranked rush defense. His hard-hitting play style combined with his natural instincts to flock to the ball provided the Giants with numerous game changing plays throughout the season. Landon Collins had an Earl Thomas-like effect on his team, elevating the play of everyone around him and that’s part of why his impact was so valuable last season.
But while he was an elite run defender, Collins also excelled against the pass. He padded his stats to the tune of five interceptions and thirteen passes defensed. His innate ball skills meant his hands were always contesting the football and forcing incompletions. Of course, this also assists in creating turnovers. And who could forget this gem in London? And in the end, I must remind you all that this was only Collins’ second season. That’s right, this man is only 23 years old. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

#11 - Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers - Previous Rank: 29

Check out Aaron Rodger’s stats here!
Written by skepticismissurvival
Why I Hate Aaron Rodgers
Let's start off with some stats. Aaron Rodgers threw for 4428 yards, 40 TDs, and 7 interceptions last year. His TD% of 6.5% was second best in the league, his INT% of 1.1% was tied for 4th best. His raw Y/A (7.3) wasn't great, but when you adjust that for the TDs and INTs he was 4th best in the league. He did this rebounding from a "down" year where he threw just 31 TDs to 8 interceptions. Terrible, I know. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him.
This is what he did in the red zone last year. This year, Aaron Rodgers will become the 11th QB in NFL history to throw for 300 TDs. He's going to have somewhere near his current number of 72 interceptions. The average player to throw 300 TDs threw 171 interceptions in the time it took them to reach that benchmark. Aaron Rodgers has the lowest interception percentage of any player in NFL history to throw for more than 500 passes. Aaron Rodgers has the highest TD% of any QB who started his career after the AFL came into existence. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him.
Now let's go to the tape. Aaron Rodgers consistently makes the seemingly impossible happen and the difficult look easy. Watch him move out of the pocket and loft a pass to his receiver like it's a nice summer stroll (the receiver dropped it but that's not his fault). Watch him casually toss the ball over 40 yards through the air off of his back foot to a wide open Jordy Nelson. Watch him evade the rush long enough to find an open receiver in the end zone. Watch him juke a DB after evading an unblocked rusher and score a TD. Watch him escape two defenders at his feet to convert a first down. Watch him thread the needle over two defenders while escaping to his right. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him.
The worst part about Aaron is how he's so good at anything you are never comfortable when watching him play. Third and long? He'll find a way to dance around back there until someone gets open and then hit them between the numbers. Got pressure on him? He'll magic his way out of it and either run for the first or hit a wide-open receiver downfield. Normally, there's a bit of disarray when the original route design fails and the QB still has the ball. Often the QB might throw it away. Not Aaron Rodgers. You can be sure he will hold onto the ball until the last second and then find Jordy Nelson open 50 yards downfield somehow. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him.
The worst part about Rodgers is that he's clutch. You think you have the game in hand? He does this. Or he does this. Or he does this. Or, maybe he does this. That last throw was one of the most ridiculous throws I have ever seen. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him.
Rodgers has great spatial awareness. This gives him great pocket presence and allows him to extend plays to seemingly indefinite lengths. Rodgers is very in tune with his receivers, and this allows him to consistently throw for large gains on those plays he extends forever. Rodgers is a great decision-maker, and this means he rarely turns the ball over. Rodgers has probably the best arm in the game, which means he can make any throw to any point on the field with pinpoint accuracy. Aaron Rodgers isn't fair. I hate him. At least he gave me this.
Now that the players are known, it’s time to tell us if you think they’ll be ranked higher, lower or about the same on next year’s list.

Go here and submit your answers: https://goo.gl/forms/Eqbc2PuYrbRdZlwC3

(Yes, you need to be signed in. But this is only so people don’t vote twice. We will never collect or store your information!)
Extra stuff!
Here is a link to the spreadsheet for each ranker’s 100 thru 11: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hW4WHXyjCDTWZM8E11AkJYJPly4ps2rTaJlNsPxfPWY/edit?usp=sharing
Did you want to browse the galleries of the previously ranked players? Click here for 100-91, click here for 90-81, click here for 80-71, click here for 70-61, click here for 60-51, click here for 50-41, click here for 40-31, or click here for 30-21!
And if you want to see the gallery for today’s player cards, click here: http://imgur.com/a/w1J90
And that is today’s list! Tell us what you think by saying more than we suck in the comments below!

Coming THURSDAY - Players Ranked 10-6!

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[Game Preview] Week 2 - Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) vs Chicago Bears (0-1)
Following a season-opening victory at home against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) hit the road for the first time in the 2016 regular season to take on the Chicago Bears (0-1). The Eagles have won two consecutive away games dating back to the 2015 campaign
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
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Rewatch last week's game?: Click Here
Date
Monday, September 19th, 2016
Game Time Game Location
8:30 PM - Eastern Soldier Field
7:30 PM - Central 1410 Museum Campus Dr
6:30 PM - Mountain Chicago, IL 60605
5:30 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Temperature: 76°F
Feels Like: 73°F
Forecast: Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 74%
Chance of Precipitation: 42%
Cloud Coverage: 55%
Wind: NE 12 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Chicago by -3
OveUnder: 42.5
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 1-0, Chicago 0-1
Where to Watch on TV
ESPN - Jon Gruden, Sean McDonough, and Lisa Salters
TV Map - Week 2 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
WatchESPN - Cable Provider Participation Required
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-AM 1150 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Sunbury, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Harrisburg/York/Lancaster, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, PA WEZX-FM 106.9 and 107.3
Atlantic City, NJ WENJ-AM 97.3 FM/1450 AM
Milford, DE WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
National Radio
Westwood One will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason (analyst) will call the game. Hub Arkush will report from the sidelines.
Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Bears Channel National Spanish
Sirius Radio SIRI 83 (Internet 824) SIRI 81 (Internet 805) SIRI 88 (Internet 88) SIRI (Internet 157)
XM Radio XM 226 (Internet 824) XM 225 Internet 805 XM 88 (Internet 88) XM 157 (Internet 157)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 226 (Internet 824) SXM 225 (Internet 805) SXM 88 (Internet 88) SXM (Internet 157)
NFC East Standings
Team W L Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Giants 1 0 1.000 20 19 1 3 0-0 1-0 1-0 1.000 1-0 1.000 0-0 1W 1-0
Eagles 1 0 1.000 29 10 19 3 1-0 0-0 0-0 0.000 0-0 0.000 1-0 1W 1-0
Cowboys 0 1 0.000 19 20 -1 1 0-1 0-0 0-1 0.000 0-1 0.000 0-0 1L 0-1
Redskins 0 1 0.000 16 38 -22 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0.000 0-0 0.000 0-1 1L 0-1
Series Information
The Chicago Bears leads Philadelphia Eagles (30-12-1)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
Points Leader
The Chicago Bears lead the Philadelphia Eagles (960-650)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 0-0 against the Bears
John Fox: 3-4 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs John Fox: First Meeting
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Bears: 0-0
Jay Cutler: Against Eagles: 2-2
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Jay Cutler: First Meeting
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Bears lead the Eagles: 2-1
Record @ Solider Field: Bears lead the Eagles: 8-4
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 19 - Bears No. 30
Last Week
Eagles: W 29-10 vs Browns
Bears: L 23-14 vs Texans
Last Meeting
Dec. 22, 2013 - Eagles 54 - Bears 11.
Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy rushed for 133 yards & 2 TDs. Eagles RB Bryce Brown adds 115 rush yards, including 65-yard TD.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last Meeting At Site
Nov. 28, 2010 - Eagles 26 - Bears 31
Chicago QB Jay Cutler passes for 247 yards & 4 TDs, including 2 to WR Earl Bennett.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
12/22/2013 Eagles Bears 54-11
11/07/2011 Bears Eagles 30-24
11/28/2010 Bears Eagles 31-26
11/22/2009 Eagles Bears 24-20
09/28/2008 Bears Eagles 24-20
10/21/2007 Bears Eagles 19-16
10/03/2004 Eagles Bears 19-9
11/03/2002 Eagles Bears 19-13
01/19/2002* Eagles Bears 33-19
10/22/2000 Eagles Bears 13-9
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Bears Bears
2016 Weekly Matchup
Week 2 - Iron Rank Matchup
Week 2 - "Expert" Picks
Week 2 - Sporting Charts Matchup (2015 Season)
2016 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Eagles Season Stats
Bears Season Stats
2016 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 22 37 59.5% 278 2 0 101.0
Cutler 16 29 55.2% 216 1 1 76.2
Rushing
Name ATT YDS AVG TD
Mathews 22 77 3.5 1
Langford 17 57 3.4 1
Receiving
Name REC YDS AVG TD
Matthews 7 114 16.3 1
Jeffery 4 105 26.3 0
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Barwin/Graham/Cox 1.0 3.0
Trevathan 1.0 2.0
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Bradham 5 4 1 0
Freeman 17 9 8 0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
McLeod 1 1
Porter 1 1
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB FC BP
D. Jones 6 295 72 49.2 39.2 3 3 1 0
O'Donnell 7 296 47 42.3 38.1 2 0 4 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Sturgis 3 2 66.7% 38 3/3
Barth 0 0 0.0% 0 2/2
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Smallwood 1 23 23 23 0
Thompson 5 103 20.6 26 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Sproles 4 59 14.8 40 0 1
Royal 4 40 10.0 31 0 1
League Rankings 2016
Offense Rankings
Team Overall Passing Rushing
Eagles 7 12 8
Bears 29 25 23
Defense Rankings
Team Overall Passing Rushing
Eagles 5 5 23
Bears 15 11 24
Connections
Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas served as the Bears’ director of college scouting in 2015
Eagles defensive line coach Chris Wilson was originally selected by Chicago in the 12th round of the 1992 NFL Draft
Bears DB Chris Prosinski played in eight games for the Eagles during the 2014 season
Eagles CB Ron Brooks’ father, Anthony Brooks, played with Chicago during the 1993 season.
Bears Rookie CB Deiondre Hall played CB for Northern Iowa last October 10th when QB Carson Wentz led North Dakota State to a 31-28 comeback win.
General
Referee: Jeff Triplette
Philadelphia has won six of the last 10 contests in the regular season series vs. Chicago. The two clubs first met on 11/22/33 at the Baker Bowl in a game that resulted in a 3-3 tie.
Philadelphia has played at least one Monday Night Football game in 15 consecutive seasons dating back to 2001, appearing in 29 total games, the most by any NFL team in that span. The Eagles lead the NFL with 18 wins and rank fifth with a .621 (18-11) winning percentage in Monday night games since 2001.
Only five NFL teams have won at least four games on Monday Night Football since 2013: Philadelphia (4-1), Chicago (4-1), Pittsburgh (4-1), Seattle (4-0) and San Francisco (5-0).
The last time the Eagles played on Monday Night Football was on 10/19/15 vs. N.Y. Giants (W, 27-7). Their last Monday night game on the road was the 2015 season opener at Atlanta (L, 24-26). Philadelphia last won a road game on Monday Night Football on 9/15/14 at Indianapolis (W, 30-27).
Philadelphia has played at least four primetime games in nine straight seasons since 2007 (four scheduled in 2016).
The Eagles are 60-49 (.550) all-time in regular-season primetime action.
The Eagles have gone 78-49-1 (.613) on the road since the start of the 2000 season, marking the NFL’s second-best winning percentage over that span (ranks first among all NFC teams).
It's been 34 games since a safety has been recorded against the Bears. The last time an opponent scored a two-pointer was on December 23, 2013, against Philadelphia.
Eagles (aka the Wentz Show)
QB Carson Wentz is (officially) the first Eagles rookie to start at quarterback in a season opener since QB Davey O’Brien in 1939. Wentz (104.4) had the highest rating by Eagles rookie QB since QB John Reaves in 1972 (min. 20 pass attempts)
QB Carson Wentz passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 29-10 victory against Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend. Only four rookie quarterbacks since 1970 have won their first two starts to begin a season. Three of those four players helped their teams qualify for the playoffs, including QB Joe Flacco of Baltimore (2008) and QB Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets (2009), who led their respective clubs to the AFC Championship Game as rookies.
Last Week, QB Carson Wentz completed 22 of 37 passes (59.5 percent) for 278 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 101.0 passer rating in the Eagles’ 29-10 victory over Cleveland.
QB Carson Wentz capped his first regular-season NFL drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to WR Jordan Matthews. Wentz is the fourth rookie quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to throw a touchdown pass on his team's first offensive drive of the season. The others were QB David Carr, QB Matt Ryan, and QB Marcus Mariota.
QB Carson Wentz is one of only three NFL rookie QBs since 1960 to have at least 275 yards passing, two TDs and no INTs in season opener. QB Robert Griffin III in 2012 and Jim Kelly in 1986 were others. Wentz's 278 yards passing were fourth most by Eagles rookie; record is 381 by QB Nick Foles in 2012.
WR Jordan Matthews had 7 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown Cleveland. He has had 50+ recieving yards and a touchdown in 4 consecutive games, longest streak by Eagles player since WR Terrell Owens did it in 2004
Bears
QB Jay Cutler passed for 216 yards and a touchdown. Has 8 touchdown passes with a 91.4 rating in 4 career games against the Eagles.
WR Alshon Jeffery led the team with 105 receiving yards against the Texans last week. He aims for his 4th consecutive game with 100+ receiving yards or a touchdown catch.
WR Eddie Royal had 90 receiving yards and 3 touchdown in his only career meeting against the Eagles. (9/15/13 with SD)
LB Jerrell Freeman tied for the NFL lead with 17 tackles last week. Has 10+ tackles in 3 of his past 4 games.
WR Kevin White had three catches for 34 yards in NFL debut after missing rookie season with stress fracture in left shin.
Milestones
TE Brent Celek (4,724) can move into 8th place on the Eagles all-time receiving list with 48 more yards. He would pass WR Ben Hawkins (4,764) and WR Jeremy Maclin (4,771). Additionally, with 276 more yards he would reach 5000 career receiving yards.
RB Darren Sproles (18,917) reached 18,000 career all-purpose yards last week. Sproles is 152 all-purpose yards away from moving into the NFL's top 10 all time list passing RB Herschel Walker (18,168).
OLB Connor Barwin (27.5) can move into 15th place on the Eagles All Time Sack List with 2.5 more sacks, passing DT Jerome Brown (29.5). He is also 3.5 sacks away from reaching 50 career sacks!
P Donnie Jones (986) is 14 punts away from 1,000 career punts. With 7 more punts he will pass P Rich Camarillo to take 22nd place on the NFL's all time punt list.
QB Jay Cutler is playing in his 99th game for the Chicago Bears
WR Alshon Jeffery (3833) is currently 8th on the all-time receiving list for the Bears. He needs 284 yards to pass WR Marty Booker (3895) and RB Matt Forte (4116) to claim 6th place. Additionally, with one more touchdown catch Jeffery (24) will have collected 25 career touchdowns. He will join WR Marty Booker (25) and WR Bill McColl (25) at 7th all time on the Bears receiving touchdown list.
Matchups to Watch
Leonard Floyd vs. Jason Peters
Despite a poor training camp and preseason, the 2016 first-round pick played will against the Texans finishing with six tackles, 0.5 sack and a quarterback hit in a reserve role. Floyd played well in his NFL debut, but that was against Texans backup linebacker Chris Clark. Peters is a tougher challenge. Peters will be tested whether Floyd lines up at defensive end or outside linebacker Monday night, but still has the reaction time to hold off Floyd's speed on the outside. If Floyd can't get to Carson Wentz, the Bears pass rush will take a hit. Chico doesn't have too many options to begin with.
Jason Kelce vs. Eddie Goldman
Goldman, the Bears nose tackle, was dominant in Week 1. He finished with six tackles, 0.5 sacks and two QB hits for Chicago, showing his disruptiveness on the interior. Kelce was the exact opposite in his Week 1 performance. Pro Football Focus ranked him one of the worst centers in a 29-10 win over the Browns. Kelce constantly was beat in the 3-4 scheme on the interior and had two bad snaps to rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. That has to change. If Goldman blows by Kelce on the interior, the end result could be a long night for Wentz as he will face pressure immediately after the snap. Kelce may need some help from Brandon Brooks and Allen Barbre to contain Goldman.
Bears secondary vs. Jordan Matthews
Matthews had seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles Week 1 win, establishing himself as the primary option for Carson Wentz. The Eagles No. 1 receiver is on a hot streak with six touchdowns in his last four games and three 100-yard games in his last four contests dating back to last season. How are the Bears going to handle Matthews? Chicago's pass defense is ranked 11th, but was torched in the second half of its loss to the Texans. Brock Osweiler had the majority of his 231 pass yards during the stretch, including a 18-yard touchdown on a screen to Will Fuller facing a third-and-long. The Bears will look to double-team Matthews, similar to their game plan to DeAndre Hopkins. While Matthews isn't Hopkins, the Texans receiver finished with five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown (dropping a second in the second half of the game). Matthews is going to get his opportunities Monday in the slot and on the outside. He needs to take advantage.
Eagles secondary vs. Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery is going to get his catches and yards in this matchup. He finished with four catches for 105 yards in the loss to the Texans, which included a 54-yard reception. There was a catch (no pun intended). All of Jeffery's stats came in the first half. What changed for the Bears? The Texans defense got to quarterback Jay Cutler in the second half, sacking him five times and forcing an interception. How does the Eagles secondary contain Jeffery? Rely on the defensive line to get to Cutler and have him force one up to him while double-teaming him. Rookie cornerback Jalen Mills (expected to fill in for Leodis McKelvin) will be tested as the Bears will look to match Jeffery up with him on the field. Mills, expected to play the nickel, will need safety help in order to slow down Chicago's top offensive threat.
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The 3x3 Football Betting System !!! 1 of 6 right = MONEY BACK !!! #24 Richmond Tigers vs Sydney Swans match prediction (AFL Round 6) AFL tipping round 5 2020 AFL Round 4 Predictions 2020  Sportsbet.com Bets  AFL PUNT CLUB AFL Round 5 Predictions 2020  Sportsbet.com Bets  AFL PUNT CLUB

Expert AFL betting tips, best bets and match previews for every round of the Australian Rules football season. Latest AFL betting odds updated weekly. View the latest odds on Australian Rules Matches & Bet with Sportsbet. Join Australia's Favourite Online Betting and Entertainment Website. AFL - Adelaide v Essendon - 3.00 odds for Merrett & M. Crouch to Combine for 50+ Disposals View all active bookmaker promotions NOTE: regulation prohibits the publishing of promotions or inducements in New South Wales. Head-to-Head: Head-to-Head betting is the easiest and most accessible way to have a punt on the AFL. Simply choose who you believe will win the game and if they emerge victorious, then so do you. Line Betting and Handicap Betting: AFL Line betting is when the betting site handicaps one of the teams by setting a specific margin with the purpose of making the game even between the two teams. Latest AFL Betting Odds. Find current AFL odds at Ausportsbetting.org. It is important to note that footy odds change as the season progresses and it becomes clear which sides are favored to appear in the Grand Final. We do our best to keep track of the ever-changing odds and recommend the side with the best AFL lines for every stage of the league.

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The 3x3 Football Betting System !!! 1 of 6 right = MONEY BACK !!!

Jay, Jacob and Kramer are back to preview AFL Round 4! The boys discuss the high number of roughies getting up and look at some early markets for the premiership, Rising Star, Coleman and Brownlow ... afl betting how to bet on football ... How to Pick Out Winning Bets for Parlays & Round Robin Wagering - The Sports Betting Whale ... How To Win 100,000 $ in 4 Months and Only invest 100 ... Prediction #24 of 1000 Match: Richmond Tigers vs Sydney Swans AFL 2020 season Round 6 match prediction and preview More about my marathon with 1000 free spor... afl round 4 2020 THE AFL PUNT CLUB IS 6 AUSSIE TRIFTERS JOINING FORCES EACH WEEK PUTTING ON SPORTSBET.COM AFL MULTI PUNTS ON! Join us for our tips, predictions and bets we put on. Multi bet this week & win some $$ AFL ROUND 5 2020 THE AFL PUNT CLUB IS 6 AUSSIE TRIFTERS JOINING FORCES EACH WEEK PUTTING ON SPORTSBET.COM AFL MULTI PUNTS ON! Join us for our tips, predictions ...