Yards Per Pass Attempt Supreme Guide; USA Gets ‘Death” Draw in World Cup; Rebates a No-Go for Vegas Books


Pass for Profits

By The SportsBoss


The Biggest Indicators for Projecting Team Success

Flat out there is one statistic that is so HUGE in determining the outcomes of NFL games. What is it? Its yards per passing attempt (YPA).

I didn’t notice many discussing this statistic about six years ago when I started crunching the numbers, and really touting its importance whenever, wherever I could. And year after
year, season after season, this metric is about as close to a “LOCK” as you can get when talking NFL statistics and their correlation to points scored, which leads to straight up
wins/losses, and against the spread win/losses.

There really are so many angles to take when simply using this one statistic, but let’s start by combining this metric with Turnover Margin (TOM), and show how critical those two
combined are to a team’s performance.

How rare is it for a team to win a game, but lose both of those statistics in that same game? The answer is it’s extremely rare; it’s absolutely critical for a team to excel in both
those areas. To show the point, let’s go back the last four seasons, and show how many times it occurred – a team winning the game, but being negative in TOM and NET YPA.

Believe it or not, there is every game over the last 4 seasons where a team WON the game SU, yet LOST both TOM & YPA in that same game. As a reminder, there are 256 wins per season
across the NFL; since we are looking at FOUR years here multiply that by 4 which equals 1,024 wins for this analysis. Of those winners only 36 of them were won by a team that lost both
the TOM & YPA in that same game. That equals 3.5% of the games played over the last FOUR years! That is truly amazing!


Game Winner TOM NET YPA

Tampa Bay at Carolina TB 27-21 (2) (2.5)
Carolina at Chicago CHI 23-22 (1) (3.3)
Jacksonville at Houston HOU 43-37 (2) (1.3)
Cleveland at Indianapolis IND 17-13 (1) (1.0)
Indianapolis at Tennessee IND 19-13 (1) (0.1)
Indianapolis at Detroit IND 35-33 (2) (0.2)
New York Giants at Washington WAS 17-16 (1) (0.2)
Arizona at New England ARI 20-18 (1) (0.9)
Seattle at Chicago SEA 23-17 (1) (1.1)
Kansas City at New Orleans KC 27-24 (2) (0.1)


Game Winner TOM NET YPA

Cincinnati at Denver DEN 24-22 (2) (0.3)
San Francisco at Detroit SF 25-19 (2) (1.1)
Houston at New Orleans NO 40-33 (1) (1.2)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans NO 27-16 (1) (0.2)
Dallas at New England NE 20-16 (2) (0.9)
Houston at Cincinnati HOU 20-19 (2) (0.8)
Dallas at New York Jets NYJ 27-24 (1) (1.6)
Buffalo at New York Jets NYJ 28-24 (2) (0.9)
St. Louis at Cleveland STL 13-12 (1) (1.5)
Kansas City at San Diego SD 20-17 (1) (0.4)
Arizona at St. Louis ARI 23-20 (1) (1.4)
Miami at Dallas DAL 20-19 (1) (1.1)


Game Winner TOM NET YPA

Carolina at New Orleans NO 16-14 (1) (0.3)
Philadelphia at New York Giants PHI 38-31 (1) (0.6)
Baltimore at New England NE 23-20 (2) (1.6)
Chicago at Carolina CHI 23-6 (1) (0.4)
Miami at New York Jets MIA 10-6 (1) (2.6)
Houston at Washington HOU 30-27 (1) (1.6)
Oakland at Arizona ARI 24-23 (2) (2.3)
Tennessee at San Diego SD 33-25 (1) (0.4)


Game Winner TOM NET YPA

Cleveland at Kansas City CLE 41-34 (2) (4.2)
Tenneessee at Houston TEN 20-17 (1) (1.3)
Denver at Indianapolis IND 28-16 (2) (0.8)
Oakland at Denver OAK 20-19 (2) (3.5)
Washington at Dallas DAL 7-6 (1) (1.1)
Carolina at Tampa Bay CAR 28-21 (1) (2.7)

Now, let’s move on to breaking down YPA on its own, as simply by itself it has an enormous correlation to success. Over the same four seasons, 58 of 63 (92%) teams that have finished
with a NET POSITIVE YPA (Offensive YPA minus Defensive YPA) have had an 8-8 or better record that season. Who are the five teams that missed the mark?

2009 Washington Redskins, who were 6.01 OFF YPA, 5.89 DEF YPA for a NET YPA of +0.12 – that is narrowly in the positive category, and WAS went 4-12.

2010 Tennessee Titans, who were 6.36 OFF YPA, 5.96 DEF YPA for a NET YPA of +0.39 – they went 6-10.

2012 Carolina Panthers, who were 7.19 OFF YPA, 5.96 DEF YPA for a NET YPA of +1.23 – they went 7-9 including the pair of wins teams picked up against them mentioned above. As another
reminder this is a team we are extremely bullish on heading into 2012, and would not be shocked to see them win the competitive NFC South.

2012 Detroit Lions, who were 6.43 OFF YPA, 6.12 DEF YPA for a NET YPA of +0.31 – they only won 4 games, and once again are a team we are bullish on for the upcoming season.

2012 St. Louis Rams, who were 6.19 OFF YPA, 6.13 DEF YPA for a NET YPA of +0.07 – extremely narrowly in the positive category, and the Rams just missed going .500 at 7-9.

What’s more, examining the last 3 seasons, here are the team’s that were positive in YPA each year, and where they rank in wins during that same period

Positive YPA ’10, ’11, ’12

Teams Wins Wins Rankg

New England 39 1
Green Bay 36 2
Baltimore 34 4
Pittsburgh 32 5

*Atlanta tied with Green Bay’s 36 wins but had negative YPA in 2010

We can see just how solid this metric is for identifying the best teams in the NFL – each of those teams has appeared in the Super Bowl over those three seasons, with Green Bay and
Baltimore winning championships in 2010 and 2012 seasons. The Top 7, and 14 of 16 teams in the NFL over the last three seasons as measured by SU wins were positive in NET AVERAGE YPA
over those seasons.

Now that we have discussed NET YPA, let’s focus on offensive YPA, which is definitely more impactful compared to defensive YPA. The first angle I will present is some key by year
trends within the OYPA data:

2009: Top 16 were all at least 8-8.

2010: Nine of the top 11 were at least 8-8.

2011: Top 12 were all at least 8-8.

2012: Ten of the top 13 were 8-8 with the three that missed #3 New Orleans, #4 Carolina & #10 Tampa Bay going 7-9 (note all NFC South teams, very competitive and offensive division).

Summary: If you look at the top 11 teams each year in OYPA since the 2009 season, 39 of the 44 finished at least 8-8. Get that OYPA up and your chances of reaching the playoffs
dramatically increases.

Lastly, let’s move to defensive YPA. Although when testing statistically it does not have quite the same impact on game to game results as OYPA does, it is still useful and clear
trends can be seen in the data – especially full seasons. Here are some of those key trends over the last four seasons:

2009: 10 of top 11 were at least 8-8.

2010: 8 of the top 9 were at least 8-8.

2011: Top 9 were all at least 8-8

2012: Top 8 were all at least 8-8 with 7 of 8 winning 10+ (PIT going 8-8 lone non 10 win team)

Summary: If you look at the top 8 teams each year in DYPA since the 2009 season, an amazing 31 of 32 finished at least 8-8.

YPA, especially NET YPA, but also OYPA and to a lesser degree DYPA all have significant impacts on the success of NFL teams on a week to week basis. You saw all the numbers above, and
they came to a conclusion that the better you are in NET YPA, the more likely you make the playoffs. And any team that can come up with a top 10-ish YPA, whether OFF or DEF has a very
good chance at making the playoffs – or at the very least being in the mix as the calendar turns to December.


2014 world cup

World Cup odds — USA plummets in Vegas after difficult draw

Argentina now second choice, plenty of movement

Follow The Linemakers on Twitter

Michael Bradley and the USA have a difficult road to qualify for the World Cup knockout stages.

By: The Linemakers
The United States soccer team has a challenging road in front of it, according to the odds released by the LVH SuperBook after Friday’s World Cup group stage draw. Being placed in the “group of death” has prompted an increase in USA’s price from 50-to-1 from when the 32-team field was set to 125-to-1 after the draw.

The USA ended up in Group G, alongside Germany, Portugal and Ghana, where there will be no shortage of story lines. The Americans open with Ghana (100-to-1 odds), the country that has
knocked them out of the last two World Cups, and eliminated Egypt, the team coached by former USA manager Bob Bradley, in World Cup qualifying last month.

“Groups B, D and G look the toughest, with the possibilities of a Spain/Netherlands/Chile, Uruguay/England/Italy, and Germany/Portugal/USA not progressing out of the group stage,” Jeff
Sherman, who posts soccer odds at the LVH, said in an email to The Linemakers on Sporting News.

In its second match, the U.S. faces Portugal (20-to-1), whose 2002 World Cup dream ended thanks largely to an upset at the hands of the Stars and Stripes. Portugal features Cristiano
Ronaldo, one of the world’s best players, whose pace and technical skill will challenge the USA backline.

The Americans’ group stage closes out with Germany – at 5-to-1, the third favorite to win the Cup – home country of USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann led Germany to a third-place
finish as their manager in the 2006 World Cup.

Mexico faces easier road

After barely qualifying for the World Cup, Mexico’s group situation is favorable. El Tri drew the toughest seeded opponent, host and tournament favorite Brazil (5-to-2), but the rest
of the group is considerably easier – Croatia (125-to-1) and Cameroon (250-to-1).

So while Mexico’s odds lengthened from 60-to-1 to 80-to-1, its number is still the second shortest in the group. El Tri has been up and down all year, however, making them far from a
sure thing this summer.

“Mexico, who barely scraped into the tournament, is in a better position than the USA,” Sherman said.

Big changes all around

It was expected the World Cup draw would cause plenty of movement, and that is exactly what happened. Lionel Messi and Argentina moved from 5-to-1 to 4-to-1, passing Germany to become
tournament’s second choice. This may have had to do with their group draw – no county in that foursome besides Argentina is shorter than 100-to-1 to win. That group also features Iran,
the longest shot to win at 2000-to-1.

Elsewhere, France’s placement alongside the weakest seed, Switzerland (80-to-1), Ecuador (100-to-1) and Honduras (1000-to-1) helped shorten Les Blues odds from 20-to-1 from 25-to-1.
Italy moved from 15-to-1 to 20-to-1 after its draw placed them with England (30-to-1), Uruguay (25-to-1) and Costa Rica (1000-to-1).

Said Sherman, “Argentina has a cake walk through their group, and France was a big winner in their placement, as was Colombia.”

The Netherlands also dropped slightly after ending up with fourth-choice Spain (6-to-1), Chile (40-to-1) and Australia (500-to-1). Like Italy, the Dutch moved from 15-to-1 to 20-to-1.
Spain and the Netherlands, a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final, will meet on the second day of the tournament.


All odds from LVH, Odds from when the 32-team field was set are listed if parentheses if changed


ARGENTINA 4-1 (5-1)

GERMANY 5-1 (9-2)

SPAIN 6-1 (6-1)


NETHERLANDS 20-1 (15-1)

ITALY 20-1 (15-1)

COLOMBIA 20-1 (25-1)

FRANCE 20-1 (25-1)



ENGLAND 30-1 (25-1)

CHILE 40-1 (40-1)

RUSSIA 40-1 (50-1)

MEXICO 80-1 (60-1)

SWITZERLAND 80-1 (125-1)


GHANA 100-1

JAPAN 100-1 (125-1)

ECUADOR 100-1 (150-1)

USA 125-1 (50-1)

CROATIA 125-1 (100-1)



GREECE 200-1


CAMEROON 500-1 (250-1)

AUSTRALIA 500-1 (250-1)

ALGERIA 1000-1


HONDURAS 1000-1 (1500-1)

IRAN 2000-1 (1500-1)


rebate horses

Rebate ban still plan for Nevada race books

by Phil Hevener
Rebates are not in the best interest of Nevada’s struggling race books, which are continuing to see statewide reductions in the volume of betting.

That’s the way the Nevada Gaming Commission sees things after several public hearings that resulted in a decision to leave the rebate ban in place.

It’s a conclusion that means bettors will have to look to non-Nevada venues if rebates are what they want, which is exactly what they have been doing in recent years if the numbers
used to define the health of the race book business are accurate.

So the Commission will not be writing regulations to define a plan that was advanced in Senate Bill 425 this past spring.

The proposal was seen then as a useful tool for enticing more bettors who might be spending more money. At least this was the argument of Cantor Gaming, whose top executives and
lobbyists argued successfully for SB 425’s passage.

Three months of hearings by the Commission resulted in a decision to let Nevada lawmakers know rebates “were determined not to be in the best interest of the state.”

The Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association argued that the group’s mostly small books could not afford the expected consequences of such a promotion. Nevada race book revenues grew to over
$600 million by the mid-1990s when the state was at the “forefront” of the rebate business.

Nevada officials eventually suspended rebates because of pressure from California tracks and the race betting business began its long, steady slide toward what may be oblivion. The 12
-month Nevada handle in 2012 was $337 million and year to date comparisons this past August showed a further 7 percent decrease.

Rebate opponents have long argued, in so many words, that rebates would result in dramatic increases in charges by the tracks holding the races provided to more than 80 books by Las
Vegas Dissemination Company, which services all the books.

LVDC was one of the very few parties arguing for rebates since its operating costs continue to climb even as the NPMA and its rate committee have been holding the line on what they pay

“Rebates will greatly reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the profits the average Nevada book can hope to achieve,” attorney Anthony Cabot told members of the Commission at its November
meeting. “Despite a decline in the national handle our existing business model allows books to remain profitable.”

Cabot made it clear book operators see difficult times ahead because rebates would be quickly followed by “increased expenses attributable to higher track fees.”

Station Casinos VP of Race and Sports Operations Art Manteris says it is difficult to compete with the “stripped down off-shore rebate houses” that have none of the expenses associated
with a major Las Vegas property.

“So what are they gonna do, watch their business fade away to nothing?” This was the frustrated reaction of a rebate proponent.

It’s likely this subject will be revisited at some point in the future because the coming and going of personalities and companies will probably bring a different combination of
ingredients to the argument. For instance, William Hill and Cantor were not in Nevada less than a decade ago.

NJ approach to I-gaming: Well, it is off to a satisfying start what with better than 40,000 accounts being opened since the Nov. 26 start-up.

Yes, there are glitches or inconveniences but the operators and generally supportive state governments in both Nevada and New Jersey can be expected to bring more user friendliness to
the system as time goes by.

The plusses and minuses are all pretty well known at this point. Some banks and credit card users have been slow to react to the fact that online gaming is legal in New Jersey, Nevada
and Delaware, which means the federal prohibitions in 2006 legislation that banned banks from processing gaming-related online transactions no longer apply in those states.

The banks and card companies – some of them – have decided for the time being to err on the side of caution. That will change as time goes by.

“It takes an education process,” said former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli, who noted alternative means of getting a gambler’s money to the casino are in the
works on several fronts, but that’s a long story for another day.

Then there is the technology that determines if a gambler is within the boundaries of the state where he is playing. There were lots of eligible players being rejected during the first
few days of play in New Jersey but the fine-tuning there is making a difference.

It will be interesting to see what happens to gaming stocks this week as Wall Street reacts to the spreading enthusiasm for online activity in New Jersey. And that brings us to a
question Nevadans have been asking.

Why is online play in Nevada limited to poker while players in New Jersey can risk their bankroll on a full menu of casino games? That’s because influential Nevada companies with their
many bricks and mortar locations across southern Nevada do not want to make it too easy for gamblers to do their playing from home.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. He can be reached at PhilHevener@GamingToday.com.

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