NFL Kickoff… Carolina’s revenge?

Those who were with us on our infamous playoff run know how high we were on Carolina as a team even though in the one-game format advised taking Denver.  We stated in a multiple game format we’d take Carolina.  Here we are…

We’ve a systematic way of making our picks which are based on value.  We typically avoid using strictly our football observations.  We normally have unanimity in our selections at the site, but not on this game.  Our system says the value is on Denver, but our football opinion says Carolina wipes the floor with them.

This is similar to our Notre Dame – Texas debate where we correctly went with our system and picked Texas.  But that was unanimous.  This isn’t.

But it is the first NFL game of the season and we need to make a pick.  Sometimes you have to get away from the system.  As editor, I’m the tie breaker.

Thursday  8:30pm  Carolina -3    Casual Only

Weekend Recap

  • High stakes    0-0
  • Solid bets        1-0
  • Casual bets     4-4
  • Nominal bets 0-1
  • Overall bets    5-5
  • +$3.85

We felt good about Ole Miss until they went on a turnover binge.  Not sure if FSU just got them that flustered, if it manifested itself among the team.  All in all a solid week.  We felt good about a few more games than we had the courage to move into the Solid category, but this early in the season we’re still feeling things out.

The NFL Season kicks off Thursday.  This is shaping up to one of those rare instances our own football opinion will go against our betting opinion.  We’ve been quite good about being objective in our analysis, but we feel strongly that Carolina is a better team than Denver.  Unfortunately so doesn’t much of the public.  The line is currently Carolina -3 and it may go further.  We’ve not taken an official stance yet, though, so time to come to our senses.

The way we’re leaning on NFL Sunday’s picks, readers are likely to roll their eyes, so our Thursday pick is important in keeping our credibility.  We hope to make our Thursday pick by tomorrow night.  Stay tuned!

 

Superbowl Postmortem

You’re welcome.

We went 9-2 (actually 10-1) in the postseason.  We correctly picked the Super Bowl.  We suggested the under as well though not counted in our statistics.

We leave the game feeling the same way as we did going in.  The Carolina Panthers are probably the more skilled team, but in a one game scenario the Denver Broncos would be able to present unique challenges to Cam Newton and the Panthers.

What gets lost in all the coverage of the game is just how good the Panthers defense played.  They had five sacks on only 28 Denver passing plays.  That is a sack on 18% of drop backs.  Denver had three fumbles while only losing one.  Carolina had four fumbles while losing three.  Each team had one interception.

The keys to the game are were where the turnovers took place.  The Broncos one defensive TD and another fumble recovery at the doorstep to another were the game.  The Panthers also were in FG range another time when losing the ball and missed a FG on another possession.

The punt return by Denver when the player unwisely didn’t call a fair catch and was rewarded for his bravery  by inexplicably poor tackling by Carolina’s special teams allowing for a long return into scoring territory.

If these teams played ten times, we’re confident Carolina would win by six or more points at least seven times.

But, they only play once.  Which is why we advised picking Denver.

You’re welcome.

Final Super Bowl thoughts

We could see the Carolina Panthers blowing out the Denver Broncos or the Broncos barely winning.  We don’t see the Broncos winning big, though.

We already posted our bet of Denver +6 and stand by it.  We went this direction simply from a betting stand-point as there is value in the points.  It is a gambling observation, not a football observation.

Football wise, we still feel that if these teams played ten times that the Panthers would cover more times than not – even at six points.  But this is only for one game.  We think Denver may have the defensive skilled players and the defensive game plan to pull of the upset.  We don’t think they will win, but we do think they’ll cover.

The Panthers defense is very good as well, but there are some weakness in the back-end and over the middle.  We can see Denver being able to exploit this part of the field enough to keep the game competitive and cover the six points.

As almost always, this game will come down to turnovers and field position.  We see Carolina settling for FG’s early and jumping out to an odd lead like 9-0.  We see them lengthening this late in the game to something like 22-10.  Then a late Denver touchdown for a the backdoor cover.

Six points is a lot.  You can still get in on Denver for +5′.

Do so.  Casual to moderate only, though.

Have fun!

 

 

Super Bowl notes

As we stated earlier we expected the line would climb to Carolina Panthers -6.  If you had gotten in early and taken Carolina at -4′, you could then take the Denver Broncos +6 in an attempt to hit in the middle.

A low-risk high-reward strategy.

Most of the early money is pouring in on Carolina.  This means there is value with Denver.    Our own football evaluations show Carolina should cover this game.  Peyton Manning is as immobile as Carson Palmer.  However, Carolina has shown a tendency to not put teams away other than the Arizona Cardinals.  And Denver has a championship caliber defense.

Since there is value on Denver right now, bets will begin coming in on them.  Plus, Manning’s popularity will bring in some late bets for Denver too.  If you’re taking Denver, now is the time.  You can still find them plus 6 in many places.  We could see this game closing at -4′ where it started.  But, if we were to bet, we’d say it will close at -5.

For the record:

Sunday  6:30pm  Denver Broncos  +6  (Casual to moderate bet.)

If you want to bet the over – under, take the Under 46 (casual.)

Early look at Super Bowl L

We called it spot on yesterday.  We’ve dominated our picks in the playoffs going 8-2 (really it is 9-1 but we had an idiot make a last moment change when posting our wild card picks).

The early line is Carolina Panthers -4′.  We actually thought it would open higher than that so we see value in Carolina right now.  The betting general public will likely be all over Carolina and drive this line upwards.  Early word is the wise guys (professional betters) are going he way of the Denver Broncos.  We’re not surprised by this either as two weeks prep time is a great equalizer.  The Broncos defense is superb.

And if the Panthers hadn’t crushed the Arizona Cardinals, this game likely would be Broncos -1.  Which then means there is value on the Broncos.  Which explains why the pro gambles are going with Denver.

But the truth is the Panthers have been undervalued all season.  Especially Cam Newton and the Panthers defense.  There are some plays to be had down the field against the Panthers D, but often requires the opposing QB to buy time to see it come to fruition.  Does Peyton Manning have the ability to take advantage of this at this stage of his career? At least Manning should have decent weather to work in.

Another angle of this is Carolina is peaking at the right time.  They are playing their best ball now.  Or did they peak one game too early?

One other item though, is even though we believe the betting public will go with Carolina, there is also a large segment of the population who loves Manning with others loathing Newton.  This too influences the betting lines.  We think it will likely keep the line from moving too much.

It is going to be fun to watch the line moves these two weeks.  If it ever gets down to 4 or lower, jump on Carolina.  If it ever gets up to 6, hedge with Denver.  Leave more on Carolina, but try to hit in the middle.

Lastly – remember the game is two weeks away.  Though you do want to take advantage of some early action where value may be leaning where you want, don’t load up too much one way or the other.  A lot can happen in two weeks.  Player slips in shower, blows ACL in practice, gets arrested.  A player could guarantee a victory during media day.  Who knows.

We’ll post our final pick closer to the game.

 

 

 

NFL Conference Championship Games

Well, well, well…..  how fast the season goes by.  Here we are two weeks away from Super Bowl Sunday.  No surprise we’re once again talking about Patriots and Broncos.  Getting old, actually.

No surprise either that Tom Brady is favored by 3′ at Denver.  That’s getting old too.  Brady and the Patriots normally receive additional action since they consistently deliver.  Peyton Manning on the other hand often falls short in the playoffs.  Everyone recognizes Peyton has trouble pushing the ball downfield.  And everyone recognizes Belichick has perhaps the game’s best coach.  Everyone thing points to the Patriots.

Which creates value.  We’ll go Denver.

3pm  Denver Broncos    +3′    (moderate bet)

Our reason is we think this will most likely be a 3 point game one way or the other.  So getting points is a huge advantage.  The Broncos defense is stout while the Patriots offense is not dynamic.  This game will come down to turnovers and field position.  Whoever manages the basics of the game will win.  Home field advantage and points is too much to pass up.

The NFC Championship game is intriguing.  The Carolina Panthers have been dominant on their way to a 15-1 record.  They’ve blown teams out in the first half while holding on to win in the second half.  For some reason the public gives them less credit for the first halves and is very critical of the second halves.

The Arizona Cardinals sit near the top of the rankings in both team offense and team defense.  They have great individual players on both sides of the ball – namely Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson.  People love Fitzgerald.  People don’t like Panthers’ Cam Newton.

Cam is going to be the best player on the field.  The Cardinals had travel difficulties this week.  They’re a dome team playing on a bad field in cold conditions.  The Panthers know a Super Bowl berth is at stake.  They’ll concentrate for an entire game and win emphatically.

6:40pm    Carolina Panthers    -3′    (Heavy bet)

Do you agree?  Let us know in the comments!