In sports, especially in the world of boxing, there is an expression called ‘taking care of the score’. What does this mean? Simply put, in most sports when there is a close match or fight the score can mean the difference between winning and losing. For example, if you play the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers in NFL football, and the score is tied at the end of regulation, then the two teams will usually head to overtime to settle the score.
Oddsmakers are professionals who study statistics and make predictions about sports. They look at a variety of factors to come up with certain scores. For example, the weather in Chicago will have an effect on whether the Bears will beat the Packers. On the other side, the Packers usually have an advantage at home. So, if you want to know how to bet on football, then you need to understand these concepts.
The Upside Down
The plus-minus metric is used to compare one team’s performance against a baseline. This can be a very useful tool for evaluating teams since it takes into account all the little things that can make a big difference. For example, if you compare the Chicago Bears’ offense minus Josh McCown (who was the quarterback for most of the season) to their offense with him (i.e. without him), then you would get a clear picture of how well the team performed with and without him.
McCown was a good quarterback for the Bears in 2018, but only when compared to himself. Let’s not forget that he had several injuries throughout the year and was unable to play for a couple of months at the start of the season. With him, the Bears had a plus-minus rating of 2.31, which is better than their overall season rating of 3.03. Without him, it was -4.26, which is abysmal. It should come as no surprise that McCown had some serious negative effects on the Bears offense since he was the source of most of the problems in the first place.
Minus-minus is the metric that is used to compare two teams’ performance. It is basically the same as the plus-minus metric, but rather than evaluating one team’s performance, it is comparing two teams. For example, if you compare the Chicago Bears’ defense in 2018 to their defense in 2017, you get a clear idea of how much they improved by removing all the poor performances and replacing them with good ones.
The Chicago Bears defense was one of the worst in 2017, allowing a rating of 4.61. In 2018, under the direction of new head coach Chuck Pagano, they improved their defense significantly, allowing a rating of 3.84. The fact that their 2018 numbers are even better than their already-good 2017 numbers is pretty incredible. The fact that they were able to make such a massive improvement is a credit to the defensive coaches and anyone who was involved in getting the new 3-4 defense implemented.
Odds And Evens
Not all numbers are created equal, and that includes odds and evens. Odds are simply the amount of money you have to wager to win $100, and evens are the amount you have to wager to win $10. For example, if you wager $110 on the underdog in the middle at the sportsbook, then you will certainly win $110 ($100 plus your $10 wager), but you will also lose $100 ($100 minus your $110 wager).
Odds and evens can also be combined to create meaningful numbers. If you want to bet on the Chicago Bears versus the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 NFL football season, then you could do so by betting $100 on the Rams with the ‘plus’ sign, and betting $110 on the Bears with the ‘minus’ sign.
One of the most prominent oddsmakers and statisticians in the sports industry, RJ Bell, created the plus-minus metric as a way to compare one team’s performance to a baseline. As Bell stated: “I always believed that a team’s performance should be evaluated by how it measures up against its own ‘average’ performance during the season. This can be quite difficult to determine because there is often no real benchmark to compare each team’s performance against. This is why I have created this new statistic; it is meant to solve this particular issue.”
One of the interesting things about the plus-minus metric is that, while it is quite difficult to accurately determine an ‘average’ for any team in any sport, it is actually quite easy to determine an ‘average’ baseline for every NFL team. For example, if you compare the defense of the Chicago Bears in 2018 to their defense in 2017, you will see that their average defense in 2018 was 10.5 points better than their average defense in 2017. This makes sense since the Bears were 2-14 in their previous 16 games in 2017, but they improved their record to 14-16 in their next 42 games. This 42-game improvement is the reason why their season average is so much higher than their normal season average of 3.03 – it is their high winning percentage in those 42 games (71%) that makes up for their poor regular season.
What Do All These Metrics Mean?
What does all this mean for you as a person who wants to bet on sports? Well, simply put, plus-minus, odds and evens, and the like, mean that a team is usually better than their average performance during the season. This is especially true for football teams, since their records are generally much more consistent from week to week than, say, basketball teams. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is an ‘average’ and not a direct reflection of how a team will perform in any given game. This is why, in most cases, you should avoid betting on football games – the variance in records is just too high to be able to accurately predict how a given team will perform in any given game. Instead, you should be looking at teams’ overall records and stats (like scoring or rushing yards) to get a sense of how well they are performing above- or below-average.
Another interesting tidbit about these numbers is that while they are generally used to compare one team’s performance against the average of all NFL teams, they can also be used to compare a team’s performance to another team’s performance. For example, if you compare the Rams’ 2019 offense to the Saints’ 2019 defense, you will see that the Rams scored 25 points more per game than the Saints did this year. This is partly due to the fact that the Rams were 2-1 in their first three games and the Saints were 0-4 (but the record doesn’t show this), but it is also because the Rams’ offense is simply a lot more effective than the Saints’ defense this year (based on the stats anyway). In other words, if you want to bet on the Rams vs. the Saints in the 2019 NFL season, then you should probably bet on the Rams since their record makes it much easier to compare them to the Saints than it would be to compare them to the rest of the NFL teams. This can be quite tricky when you are picking individual players to bet on, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when backing a team, especially one belonging to an established franchise like the Rams or Saints. For the uninitiated, this can be quite the mouthful – so be careful when laying down those hard-earned dollars!