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Super Bowl Predictions, Fantasy Football, and the Sports Stats Industry

Neil Greenberg, sportswriter at the Washington Post, explains why this could be the worst Super Bowl ever.


Neil Greenberg, sportswriter and stats geek at the Washington Post, joined the Federalist Radio Hour to explain how data collection is changing the world of sports, why this might be the worst Super Bowl ever, and whether fantasy football should be considered gambling or not.

Greenberg said his interest in sports statistics started when he realized there weren’t many people doing the type of data and analytics for hockey, like has traditionally been done in baseball. “I never went to journalism school, but I was always good with numbers,” he said. “It’s a growing industry. Baseball is obviously the forerunner, but the NBA has embraced it 100 percent.”

He said the NFL is using the same statistics principles to optimize practices and to minimize injury. “They can use that data to see when a player is actually being fatigued and almost custom-tailor a practice schedule around them to keep them on the field longer,” he said.

Between Peyton Manning’s Broncos and Cam Newton’s Panthers, this year’s Super Bowl could be one of the worst said Greenberg. “Caroline can blow the doors off early–it could be 30-10 by halftime,” he said. “It can also be limited offense. The Denver defense is that good and so is Carolina’s, so it could be 7-3 by half.”

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