February 2, 2012 - by David Hess
So far I’ve covered a punter, a kicker, and Kelly Clarkson. I’ve told you to bet the under on sacks. There was that one day where I suggested backing the offenses, but for the most part it’s been a bunch of defense and special teams.
There’s a reason for that. People would rather bet that fun things will happen, rather than won’t, so there is value betting on boredom.
Today, I don’t know which side of the bet is fun. But at least it involves the clear star of the Patriots, Tom Brady.
Oh, wait, sorry. It’s about BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Don’t blame me, this is what people are asking for in their emails! If you want me to analyze a prop about how many times Gisele Bundchen will be shown on TV during the game, leave a comment, and I’ll go for it. But so far, the consensus seems to be to keep chugging along on these actual game-play-related props.
So, hold on tight. Nothing says excitement like a player whose nickname is The Law Firm!
There are a couple props here that seemed a little contradictory when I first spied them.
TOTAL RUSHING YARDS FOR BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS?
Over 47.5 Rushing Yards 1.893 / -112
Under 47.5 Rushing Yards 1.962 / -104
SUN 2/5 TOTAL RUSHING ATTEMPTS FOR BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS?
Over 13 Rushing Attempts 2.100 /+121
Under 13 Rushing Attempts 1.775 / -129
What jumps out at me here is that the odds imply the most likely scenario is for Green-Ellis to have fewer than 13 attempts, but more than 47.5 yards. Given this season’s results, it seems more likely that both will go over or both will go under:
|DATE||Opp||RESULT||ATT||YDS||ATT O/U||YDS O/U|
|Mon 9/12||@ MIA||W 38-24||7||34||Under||Under|
|Sun 9/18||vs SD||W 35-21||17||70||Over||Over|
|Sun 9/25||@ BUF||L 31-34||10||18||Under||Under|
|Sun 10/2||@ OAK||W 31-19||16||75||Over||Over|
|Sun 10/9||vs NYJ||W 30-21||27||136||Over||Over|
|Sun 10/16||vs DAL||W 20-16||14||58||Over||Over|
|Sun 10/30||@ PIT||L 17-25||5||9||Under||Under|
|Sun 11/6||vs NYG||L 20-24||12||52||Under||Over|
|Sun 11/13||@ NYJ||W 37-16||8||8||Under||Under|
|Mon 11/21||vs KC||W 34-3||20||81||Over||Over|
|Sun 11/27||@ PHI||W 38-20||14||44||Over||Under|
|Sun 12/4||vs IND||W 31-24||6||14||Under||Under|
|Sun 12/11||@ WSH||W 34-27||5||19||Under||Under|
|Sun 12/18||@ DEN||W 41-23||10||17||Under||Under|
|Sat 12/24||vs MIA||W 27-24||3||10||Under||Under|
|Sun 1/1||vs BUF||W 49-21||7||22||Under||Under|
|Sat 1/14||vs DEN||W 45-10||13||28||Push||Under|
|Sun 1/22||vs BAL||W 23-20||15||68||Over||Over|
|Average||11.6||42.4||Under 10-7-1||Under 11-7|
Only twice in 18 games did Green-Ellis go over one of those numbers yet under the other. So, how do we take advantage of that?
Well, if we make the (obviously incorrect) assumption that he’ll either get two overs or two Unders, then we can use the implied odds from the opposite prop bet in order to get an (obviously incorrect) expected ROI from each one.
For example, take the juice out of the yards bet, and it looks like the market projects he’ll go over 47.5 yards 50.9% of the time. If we assume that translates to going over 13 rushing attempts 50.9% of the time, then the Over 13 Attempts +121 bet has positive value. I’m not saying this is valid, but doing this for all the bets makes it look like there could be value in the Under on rushing yards and the Over on attempts.
Taking a different tack, if we assume the rates that each bet would have hit in the regular season are the true win odds for this bet (again, dubious), then it looks like there is value in the Under for both yards and attempts.
Finally, people generally place too much emphasis on head-to-head results. In the last game between the two, Green-Ellis went Under on attempts and Over on yards, which makes me suspect there might be more value (if any) on the opposite bets.
Taken all together, the only option that received a vote from all three methods above is the Under on yards.
Conclusion: I don’t have a great way of analytically approaching this one, so I’m going more off of some dubious logic. That means I can’t truly recommend any bet, but if I have to choose one, I’d go with Green-Ellis Under 47.5 Rushing Yards -104.
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