Thursday’s Shame. Friday Fun.

We’re ashamed we missed tonight’s games.  We’re out of sync during the beginning of the season and didn’t adapt well.  We try to wait until game day since things can change so rapidly.

As we write this, our leanings look good.  Casual only as we normally are early in the year, but frustrating since we missed out on our own end let alone what we would have suggested to you.  Our sincere apologies.

With 12 minutes to go Vandi is up by 10.  All we can say is only 9% of the betting public went with Vandi yet the line kept going against them.  That means the high rollers went the way of Vandi and we go the way of the high rollers.  Who knows where the game ends up, but we would have gone casually with Vandi -5.

We were leaning Florida International, but that line went weird.  Indiana jumped to -10 with a  majority of bets, but only 57%.  We’re not sure where we would have ended up here, but we’re guessing an initial casual bet would have dipped to a nominal one for Florida International.

We were leaning Oregon State too.  We feel sick to our stomachs.

Live and learn.

So we jump ahead to tomorrow now.  Earlier than we like….

Friday 9pm EST  Kansas State +15  Casual bet only

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

NFL Playoffs! Divisional Round

These are four interesting games to watch!  Three exciting games capped off with an interesting game injuries galore.

Today you have the hot team Kansas City going into the cold team New England.  The Patriots have Brady which automatically goes in their favor.  The Chiefs blasted the Patriots last time they came into Foxboro.  A cold Packers team blasted a hot Redskins team just last week, so that weights on bettors minds as well.  But, the Redskins were weak.  The Patriots have injuries, though.

We think this is a good game and five points is probably right where the line should be.  However, we won’t be shocked if the Chiefs win the game outright.  So we’ll take the Chiefs.

Saturday  4:35pm  Kansas City Chiefs    +5   (moderate to casual bet)

The Cardinals blew out the Packers just  a few weeks ago.  But that helps give the Packers players a chip on their shoulder.  You can’t rely on the Cards getting two defensive TD’s again this week.  The Packers offensive line is as healthy as it has been since mid-season and much healthier than it was in the last meeting.  The Packers defense is better than people realize making the seven point spread quite attractive.

Saturday  8:15pm    Green Bay Packers    +7′    (moderate to casual bet)

Seattle had to travel cross country twice in the last eight days (three times in last ten days).  The kickoff is early.  Seattle is everyone’s darling right now.  People are dismissing the Vikings performance due to the weather.  Panthers are still undervalued.

Sunday  1:05pm    Carolina Panthers    -2′    (moderate to casual bet)

The Steelers limp into Denver.  Peyton Manning gives the Broncos a coach on the field.  Big Ben always plays electric when injured.  The Steelers have resolve.  This is a tough game to pick.  But it is the playoffs in the divisional round and a team called the Steelers is getting 7′ points.  How do you not take that?

Sunday  4:40pm    Pittsburgh Steelers    +7′    (moderate to casual bet)

We say moderate to casual on all of these because during the regular season we would tend to go casual on these because there would be other games to play.  But with just these we like to have a little more action going.  Just play what you’re comfortable with and have fun.

Good luck!

NCAA Championship Game

We finished the year strong and are sitting healthy.  We’ve a year of perspective to draw upon.  As many of you know, we typically shade the public because when the public goes one way, they create value the other direction.

However, sometimes the public is just flat out correct.  This happens more so in college than it does in the pros.  In the National Championship Game, early betting is going the way of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  The line started at 6 and is now up to 7.  Once it goes over 7 we envision money coming in on the Clemson Tigers.

We would normally shade towards Clemson in this situation generically speaking.  However, even though Clemson performed better than our expectations against Oklahoma and looked impressive, we provide some context.

Clemson plays in a weak conference.  The #2 and #3 teams (UNC and Florida State) in that conference were decimated in their bowl contests.  Oklahoma may have been the last team standing in the Big XII’s round-robbin schedule, but they were likely the 3rd best team in the conference.  Baylor was the best, but suffered an unusual amount of injuries to key personnel.  TCU was the 2nd best when they had Trevone Boykin, but losing him for a brief stretch proved their undoing.

If this was the old BCS system and it was one game with no playoffs between Clemson and Alabama, we’d take Clemson and the seven points.  Our reasoning is Clemson would have all these weeks to prepare for the game against one opponent.  But with Clemson having to prepare first for Oklahoma and only one week to primarily focus on Alabama, we feel the Jimmy’s and Joe’s will prove even more important than the X’s and O’s.

That all being said, we feel the line is about where it should be.  We suggest placing a casual bet on Alabama now before the line gets greater than 7.  If it drops below 7, we suggest upping your bet a bit to get that value.

Alabama Crimson Tide    -7   (casual bet only unless the line drops)

Sunday Funday!

The last week of the NFL regular season is always tricky when it comes to gambling.  Much of it comes down to motivation.  We’ve a few teams we like that we believe are motivated and have value in the betting lines.

The public was impressed by the Jets recently and the Jets are motivated to win and get in the playoffs.  But for the Bills who aren’t in the playoffs, knocking the Jets out of the playoffs is a nice consolation prize.

Philadelphia players are likely anxious to show they are a better team without Coach Kelly.  San Diego would like to knock the Broncos down to the 6th seed.

Here are our picks, all moderate wager amounts:

1:00pm    Philadelphia Eagles    +4′

1:00pm    Buffalo Bills    +3

4:25pm    San Diego Chargers    +9

We’ll also suggest a casual parlay on the two one o’clock games.

 

Bowl Game Action

We’ve a slew of games over the next few days.  We’ve plenty of leanings in games from a casual perspective, but only a couple we feel strongly about. In analyzing ourselves over the past year, we’ve refined out techniques to operate on quality rather than quantity.

We showed this in only choosing five NFL games Sunday and winning four of them.  We also said to load up on Baylor and were vindicated.

Here is what we suggest coming up:

Thursday    4pm    Oklahoma Sooners  -3′  (moderate bet)

Saturday     6:45pm    Texas Christian Horned Frogs  PK  (moderate bet)

We actually would lean heavier on TCU than Oklahoma.

We understand there are a bunch of games begging to have some action, so here is a list of our casual leanings – for entertainment purposes only.

Notre Dame +6′, Oklahoma State +7, Kansas State +13

Happy new year!

*******UPDATE****** 8:20am EST on 12/31

Trevone Boykin, QB TCU, was arrested last night.  If he doesn’t play in the game, that changes everything.  If you’ve already bet on TCU, you may still have time to hedge before there is a line change.  You could bet Oregon now while it is still a pick and if Boykin doesn’t play, you can wait until TCU is getting about 2′ points and then take them.  You might hit in the middle and hit both ways.  We do think TCU can still win this game without Boykin, but we can’t predict the psychological impact his loss would have on the team.  Of course, TCU could do the “innocent until proven guilty” and allow him to play.

 

Tuesday Bowl Game

There are multiple games today but only one that catches our eye.

5:30pm  Baylor Bears  +3′  (heavy bet, you can also take the money line at +150)

 

We realize Baylor is decimated by injuries on offense.  They’re starting a 3rd string QB and are without their top WR and RT.  They’ve also lost 3 of their last 4 games.  But that was against Big XII competition.  This game is against ACC competition.  Baylor’s speed on defense will create some big plays and the Baylor running game will have consistent success.

No game is a lock with some things unpredictable such as turnovers, penalties, and field position.  But we feel good about this one.