Week 8, time to be great…

By this point in the NFL season, we have a very good sample size for each team’s strengths, weaknesses, and identities. A handful of teams currently find themselves in the midst of some rather surprising W-L records nearing the halfway point of the 2021 – 22 campaign; some good, and some not so good. This year’s NFL over-achieving awards go out to the Bengals of the AFC and the Cardinals of the NFC. Interestingly enough, both of these squads are lead by recent Heisman Trophy QB’s that were number one overall draft picks in back-to-back years (2018-19). With it now being Week 8 around the NFL, we can rely on not only our eyes, but also the numbers that each team has accumulated thus far. Stats may be a bit skewed in the early weeks due to several factors; a few being a team’s strength of schedule (or lack thereof), or a couple of poor performances that would rather be anomalies for a particular team. You could fill in the blank with whatever variable you’d like; the point is that by this point in the season we can certainly rely on the statistics to paint a clear picture of league wide trends and each team’s performance(s) moving forward. Up to this point, Away Underdogs have been the most profitable teams to bet on ATS, covering at a 57% clip. As far as the totals are concerned, the UNDER has been the more favorable play covering in 56% of the games. Week 8 presents nine match-ups where the road team will serve as the underdog. Last year was the first year that the NFL saw road teams with a better winning percentage outright, not ATS. This year is not only trending in a similar direction but the road teams are once again winning at an alarming rate when having to pack their bags. Although it is by a slight margin, road teams are currently 54-53 overall.

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Last night the Houston Astros evened up the the World Series tying the Atlanta Braves one game apiece. A quick and blind play that might be worth taking note of is the total based on the where each game is being played. Minute Maid Park is home to the Astros where left field is only 315ft from home plate; Truist park, where the Braves call home, is a much larger park as far as dimensions are concerned. I believe that we can blindly take the OVER when the Astros are at home and the UNDER when the Braves are at home. The homerun ball is so prevalent and such a crucial factor in today’s game leaving me to purchase stock in the fact that ballparks dimensions can have that much of an influence on the outcome/total for each game. Let’s also not forget to take advantage of the National League vacant DH spot while it still exists (that debate is for a different time as far as the universal designated hitter is concerned). With the Braves having a larger ballpark and the DH being substituted for the pitcher makes me lean towards the UNDERS when these World Series games are held in Atlanta, vice-versa when Houston is hosting. So, if you are lost on which way to lean on your World Series plays and just want some action on the game because, well… just because it’s fun, then I recommend leaning towards the game totals depending on which city each World Series game is played in. Game 3 of the World Series will take place in Atlanta tomorrow night at 7:10 CST on FOX where the O/U is currently set at 8.5.

It’s never too early to utter Joe Lunardi’s name…

With college football being well underway, I cannot help but to begin to get antsy for the return of college basketball and all of the drama that comes with it! Currently, I am in the middle of much anticipated read for myself written by Gonzaga Head Coach, Mark Few. Few’s novel encompasses the national obsession that has become Bracketology and March Madness. While this book relates to college basketball annual tournament, it mainly details the mastermind behind Bracketeering, Joe Lunardi.

Click HERE to order a copy!

College basketball officially tips off on November 9th with Kansas vs. Michigan St. and Duke vs. Kentucky as two of the marquee match-ups on day one. Since I’ve mention both Joe Lunardi and Kansas, Lunardi’s preseason bracketology projections are published with all 72 invitees. Obviously his weekly brackets are fluid throughout the season as games are played and team’s identites begin to become more and more transparent as the season plays out. Currently, the four #1 seeds are Gonzaga, Kansas, Texas, and UCLA. Does Joe think that the Big12 is going to be that good this season? Also, is he putting too much stock into UCLA’s Cinderella run last year to the Final Four as an #11 seed to now make them a #1 seed? The beauty about it is, “who knows?!” However I can honestly tell you that no one knows better than one Joe Lunardi. Watch it all shake out as the final bracket comes to fruition for the arrival of the 2022 March Madness tournament come March 15th. As the season commences, look to make your early plays on the UNDER when match-ups occur on a neutral court as players are equipped with early season fresh legs, foreign court = different shooting backdrop, and first game jitters are all variables for early season neutral court games to result in the UNDER.

Click HERE to views CBS’s Preseason Top 25 NCAAB Rankings

Shifting gears a bit, the National League portion of the MLB postseason is set in stone. The top overall NL seed are the San Francisco Giants whereas the NL Wildcard match-up will be played in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and Cardinals on October 6th. As of yesterday, the Cardinals 17-game winning

streak came to an end thanks to the Brewers. Now that the Cardinals have clinched an NL Wildcard birth, look for the baseball universe to level itself out providing the Cardinals with some “L’s” on the horizon along with their motivation factor being poor to weak at best as their postseason spot is already locked up. In lieu of these factors, I believe that there could be some significant value in the Cardinals opponents for the remainder of the 2021 MLB regular season.

Being the NFL junky that I am, I need to get in my NFL two cents for the sake of the post. We are amid Week 4 of the NFL 2021-22 campaign. My Chiefs are 1-2 and the world seems to be ending but I will spare you as the reader on those additional thoughts and emotions. My Week 4 NFL picks reside in San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles. This week, I love the 49ers (-2.5) over the Seahawks, the Ravens (+1.5) visiting the Broncos, and the Raiders (+3.5) on the road against the Chargers. You’re welcome, and I digress. I was doing some research the other day on the NFL team’s turnover margin based on their playoff appearance. Last season there were 14 playoff spots available, of those 14 spots 11 of them landed in the top 14 of turnover margin. Is it a coincidence that the majority of the playoff spots go to teams that possess a positive turnover margin? Lets check the 2019 turnover margin stats… The 2019-20 playoffs displayed 10 of the top 12 franchises in turnover margin during that season. Point being, teams with is the upper tier of turnover margin tend to earn a spot in the NFL

Playoffs. We can take this edge and/or stat and make it into a microcosm for the regular season and just simply infer that a team with a greater turnover margin will have value in each and every match-up throughout any given season. For example, this upcoming Week 4 exhibits the Browns visiting the Vikings. The Vikings are 2 point dogs at home; however, they are +3 in turnover margin against the Browns. Here we have a road favorite that has a worse turnover margin than the home dog. You already know which way I am leaning! I believe that their is significant value on the Vikings over the Browns in this Week 4 showdown.


Weekend Football Picks:

BROWNS @ VIKINGS (+2) – PICK = VIKINGS

ARKANSAS @ GEORGIA (O/U 48.5) – PICK = UNDER

KANSAS (+34) @ IOWA ST. – PICK = KANSAS

ARIZONA ST. @ UCLA (-3) – PICK = UCLA

*above are my other three NFL plays for Week 4