Early in the NFL season I introduced you to a handicapper who goes by the name of The Sports Boss. He's not a big-time Vegas guy. In fact, he's not even a pro who makes his living doing betting. He's a financial analyst based in Philly with an MBA from Villanova, who just happens to love betting on sports.
He took all the stats-and-probability training he got at that fine institution on the Main Line and, while helping to bring down the American economy with some tricky math, moonlighted by examining the much more predictable market of sports betting. (Relax, everyone, I'm kidding about that first part. The SB isn't one of the bad guys. He's swell.)
His model examines a lot of the stats the professional wiseguys look at -- first downs rushing, which tells you how well a team controls the ball and the line of scrimmage, yards per pass attempt, which he has found has the highest correlation to points scored, and turnover margin.
But he also examines some quirkier stats that he made up, like spread range, which tells you how much a team is covering the spread by. This may be familiar to regular blog readers as the definition of the Sweat Barometer, which I created last year as a tool for following college basketball teams. Damn straight I want credit for it.