Oh, how sweet it is…

The Sweet 16 portion of the NCAAB tournament begins tomorrow at 1:40 PM CST. The Oregon St. Beavers (12) will be taking on the Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago (8). Wow, an 12 vs. 8 match-up in the Sweet 16?! That cannot be to common  in March Madness history. If the parody of past year’s was not “maddening” enough for one such fan, than this year should be providing plenty. In fact, up to this point, the average remaining seed in the tournament is a 6 seed. Hypothetically, the level of competition remaining is equivalent to our USC’s, BYU’s, Texas Tech’s, and San Diego St.’s of the world. Interestingly enough, of these four 6 seeds, only USC is left standing. This Sweet 16 has produced a 15, 12, and two 11 seeds, for better or worse…

If you’re like myself, than your bracket is busted beyond belief. That doesn’t mean that my plays haven’t been covering! (Wink, wink). There is still a lot of tournament left for us to increase our bankroll heading into the start of the 2021 MLB season. By this point in the tournament, the little number next to each team might as well not enough be visible (team seed). Do not let this little number alter or manipulate your thought process in relation to your knowledge and

intuition of recognizing value on your plays. The most important statistical component to review before handicapping the Sweet 16 is a team’s Created Possession Margin. This statistic can be found by taking a team’s rebound margin and adding it to their turnover margin. Be wary of siding with teams that fall within the negative side of this statistical category. The round of 64 and round of 32 provide some of the most exciting moments in all of the tournament. Teams that no one has ever heard of take down the big school and games are being played all throughout the day. However, once the Sweet 16 begins, upsets are not quite as prevalent. This is not to say that underdogs don’t cover the point spread as much; no, not at all! Simply proceed with caution when taking those underdogs on the money-line. A spot that I love to angle and search for a significant edge comes when a Power-5 Conference program is a “lower” seeded team and is still standing by this point. What do I mean by this? Typically, if one of these teams remains, than it means one of two things (or both): one, they were undervalued throughout the season and/or two: they are peaking at the right time as far as their performance is concerned. So what are some of these teams that are still alive in the tournament? USC, Oregon, Oregon St, UCLA, and Syracuse would qualify as potential undervalued Power-5 schools. Look for a few of these teams to really rely on their strength of schedule and experience to will them to covering their respective point-spreads.


Best of luck during this 2021 Sweet 16 and don’t let the seed scramble your brain! My best play for the Sweet 16 is Florida St. (+3) vs. Michigan: PICK – FLORIDA ST. Since I briefly touched on the MLB season, here is a 2021 MLB Mock Draft to get you geared up for the upcoming season that is right around the corner!

Is it better that betting is getting bigger?…

When I launched this blog, in 2017, only one state in the entire country legally offered sports gambling. Nevada first allowed sports gambling in 1931! It has now taken 77 years for the next state to follow suite (New Jersey). By this point, we are seeing more and more states legalize the ever growing phenomena known as sport betting. As of now in the year 2021, we see 20 of the 50 states offer some form of sports gambling. The picture above details each state and their current status regarding sports gambling from a legalization point of view. Nevada’s younger brother, New Jersey, has $2.9 billion in sports wagers placed in any given year. Nearly doubling this number, you will find the amount of money up for grabs in the sports gambling realm in the state of Nevada each year ($5.2 billion). Point being, more and more states are noticing these large dollar signs that these states are beginning to profit from gamblers “losses.” Speaking of the amount of money states generate from sports gambling; one of the largest sports betting events will take place this month. March Madness is only a few weeks away whereas Selection Sunday will take place this coming Sunday (March 14th). When filling out your brackets come Sunday, remember that team’s with elite defenses

typically display that defensive strength in each game; making them more consistent and reliable squads to advance in the tournament. Teams to “proceed with caution” are those that of which rely heavily on the 3-ball. If that does not put this discussion to rest: over the past 20 years, there has never been a team win the tournament that has been outside of the top 20 in defensive efficiency. As usual, make sure you are doing your due-diligence and conducting your own research. Especially given this specific tournament; make sure that you know which teams had to leave players behind due to COVID-19 protocols or what-have-you. Teams and their particular routines may be altered depending on varying COVID procedures that could significantly hinder a team’s play on the court. After all, athletes are in fact creatures of habit… Thus far, 26 of the 31 D1 basketball conferences have announced conference tournament winners meaning that 26 automatic bids to the “big dance” have been punched. Once all 31 conference tournaments have concluded, the comity will determine who the final 37 at-large bids are that will join the tournament.

Shifting away from the hardwood and towards the gridiron, the 2021 NFL Draft is only a month away. Although the NFL Combine will be non-existent this year, the disparity in college talent coming out this year will not be lacking in the slightest. Here is a list of the projected top five players at each offensive position entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Looking ahead to next NFL season, (assuming that there are fans in attendance) lets see if we can find value in the odds makers “over-valuing” home field advantage once these stadiums get their roaring crowds back to full capacity. I believe that the game lines and point-spreads will be inflated in favor of the home team because everyone and their mom over-values the “home field advantage” factor in NFL play. Let’s be honest here, home field advantage is far more “advantageous” in the college football realm. In 2020, we saw more visiting teams win on the road more than we ever have in NFL history. Sure, this was probably large in part due to the lack of fans packing in to cheer on their home team. However, what if this so called “home field advantage” is becoming less and less of and edge for not only the home teams, but for the betters as well?! Look for the odds makers and avid sports gambler to over state the 2020 data and sway more value towards home teams come this next 2021-22 NFL season. Hence, giving road underdogs extremely high leverage heading into the early part of the NFL season come September.

As for some last day college basketball conference tournament championship PICKS, I really like the St. Bonaventure Bonnies laying the 2.5 against the VCU Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship. Tune into CBS tomorrow at 5 PM CST for the 2021 March Madness Selection Sunday Show. Best of luck this coming tournament! Lord knows that our bankroll and our brackets need it.

Is the MLB behind? Or just in its infancy…

MLB Opening Day is just over a month away and Spring Training is just two days away. Although 2021 MLB Spring Training will have limited fans, the path to normalcy is headed in the right direction. Within the past couple of seasons, a lot of new “stars” have emerged onto the scene; some have even taken the league by storm. To name a few, Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Cody Bellinger. Not only are these star studded athletes “up-and-coming” but they too are becoming the face of MLB. Soto is set to make $8.5 million in just this season alone, Tatis Jr. is now a $340 million man over the span of 14 years. That’s a sweet $24.3 million per year, and Bellinger is set to earn $16.1 million this year. NOT TOO SHABBY! Considering that they are 25 (Bellinger) and 22 years old (Soto/Tatis Jr.)

Although Spring Training games technically don’t count towards a team’s regular season W-L record, there still lies some significant value that unfolds during these 33 games. Obviously these athletes too understand that these games are irrelevant in terms of their own personal stats/accolades. However, this is not to say that they are not invested or putting forth full effort. With that being said, if a player and/or team seems to be struggling during their Spring Training games then there is a good chance that this trend could persist and role over into the regular season. Whether that struggle comes from three or four batters in a line-up barely batting their weight or a couple of starting pitchers and a couple of relief pitcher’s ERA’s skyrocketing; it is probably in your best interests to stay away from those athletes and their teams come early season MLB plays. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? In addition, early in the MLB season (Spring Training and regular) look to take the dogs when the total is 9 or higher and the favorite when the total is 7 or lower. Typically when a lot of runs are projected to be scored, the odds makers expect the underdog to score a good amount of runs as well. Hence, you can find good value if we assume that an underdog can outscore the favorite once both starting pitchers nights are done and becomes a game of the bullpens. On the flip side, I would advise leaning towards the favorites when the total is on the lower side because this scenario typically means that either one or both starting pitchers are elite. When this situation arises, whose batting line-up can fail fewer times than the opposing line-up against dominant and/or momentous pitchers. More times than not, the favorite possesses a superior line-up than that of the underdog; meaning that their may be some value in the favorite, despite being the “favorite.” Thus far, it has been a wild off-season for both the MLB and

NFL. Recent MLB transaction have consisted of Elvis Andrus to the A’s for Khris Davis to the Rangers, Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers (highest paid player in 2021), Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals, George Springer to the Blue Jays, Jon Lester to the Nationals, and Blake Snell & Yu Darvish to the Padres (just to name a few). Here is the complete list of all recent MLB transactions/trades. WARNING: There’s a lot! On the flip side, the NLF has also encountered numerous trades that involve a bit of a QB carousel phenomena. In the young NFL off season, we have already seen Goff and Stafford swapping wives placing Jared in Detroit and Matthew in LA. Both Deshaun Watson and Russel Wilson are unhappy with their current franchises and want out! Deshaun wanted the Texans to hire a different head coach whereas Russell wants to run more of a West Coast style offense. To top it all off, the Colts acquire not only Carson Wentz, but his $25.4 million 2021 contract. The real winner and loser in that acquisition is a different story for a different day.

During this continuous global pandemic, what is Major League Baseball doing to “keep up with the Jones’s”? During the odd 2020 MLB season, the organization experimented with a few adjusted rules like a batter beginning on second base at the start of games needing extra innings. It did cut down on the longevity of games, but is it real baseball? Several other minuit rules were tested, including the universal DH rule. From what I have gathered, opinions are split about whether baseball should change their rules or not. Speaking of rule changes, the NFL (football in general) has been in the vast market of experimenting with new and unique leagues with new and unique rules. The NFL has birthed, if you will, the United States Football League, Arena Football League, Xtreme Football League, and Canadian Football League, etc. If there weren’t enough leagues that have tried and failed over the years, I now present to you the FCF (Fan Called Football.) Yes, you the fan get to call the plays for these squads. By the way, one of these squads is

QB’d by Johnny Manziel. A few of the rules that the FCF have implemented include: 7 vs. 7, 50 yard fields, and NO special teams. You can view the next FCF match-up tomorrow night where the Zappers face-off against the Wild Aces, only on Twitch. Although the NFL and their partners have had many failed attempts to construct “one-off” NFL leagues, they have still been profitable, entertaining (somewhat), and competitive (also somewhat). So why hasn’t the MLB tried to incorporate these “one-off” leagues? Is it because they already have the Minor Leagues and that is plenty in their minds? Baseball could easily create a league that has completed different rules that go against typical baseball rules that might encapsulate a whole new fandom market. Not to mention, it could also be a league that is utilized as a portal for experimenting with newly proposed rules that could eventually be implemented into the MLB game.

Football’s out, basketball’s in…

Post Super Bowl is a nice little segway for us sports fans right into the heart of the NBA season and the latter half of the NCAAB season. Super Bowl LV wasn’t much for drama in terms of competitiveness of the game. Tom Brady, yet again, acquired another Lombardi trophy to add to his overwhelming collection. After the Bucs defeated the Chiefs, I got to thinking – “Didn’t Tampa Bay lose their first game of the season?” In Week 1, the Bucs fell short to the Saints in New Orleans. I was curious as to how many champions in the 55 years of the Super Bowl era have lost in Week 1 of their respective seasons. Throughout these 55 years, ten Super Bowl winners have lost their first game of the season. Probably more than you would expect, or at least right around that number, right? Tom Brady’s Patriots, and now Bucs, are victims of four out of those ten loses. This tells us two things,

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first: Tom Brady has been in the league for a a very long time. Second: With this being Brady’s seventh time hoisting the trophy, his teams have lost more times than not in Week 1 when they go on to win the Super Bowl… odd right? If there is one thing we all have learned throughout Tom Brady’s lustrous 21 year career, it is to never count him and his squads out of the race.

Now putting football in the rear-view, we as sports fans can solely focus our time and effort on basketball of all levels. Thus far the NBA has seen a new “Big3” emerge in Brooklyn with James Harden joining the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets preseason chances to win the NBA Finals posted at +800, they currently sit at +440 trailing the leading favorite Lakers at +250. The presumed NBA Finals would consist of the Lakers vs. Nets according to the current odds. However, some dark-horses from each conference to consider are the much improved 76ers that you can get at +1400 and the hungry Clippers that you can get at +500. At the very least, these teams might be a solid play just to make the Finals which would still give you a quality rate of return. Look for the Lakers to lack motivation and the Nets to be over-hyped come the NBA Playoffs. As far as the regular season is concerned; away teams are a winning bet thus far hitting at a 53.7% clip ATS. Underdogs are very similar sitting at a 53.1% cover ATS rate. Hence, look to take those DOGS-AWAY (per usual) when making your NBA plays going forward.

As far as the college season is concerned, Gonzaga sits at the top of the mountain without ever winning a college basketball title in program history; could this finally be the year for Mark Few and his squad? Possessing the best offense in the land, Gonzaga averages a whopping 93 PPG. Sounds more like an NBA team than a college team. But who is the best scoring defensive team in college basketball – just as important right? Also a mid-major program, Loyola-Chicago possesses the fewest points against per game at 56 PPG. Gonzaga is obviously projected as a #1 seed, but Loyola is a projected #8 seed. Might I add that both teams are mid-majors with one having more recent success over the other… *cough-cough, Loyola-Chicago earned a Final 4 birth just three years ago. Let’s see if the ole adage of “defense wins championships” holds true with the Ramblers come March. I like to think so, this team may have sneaking good odds when picking them to reach a Sweet 16, Elite 8, or even another Final 4! You can currently get the Ramblers basketball team at +4000. Not too shabby considering #8 seeds have won the tournament only once but have been three times. If there is ever a year to gamble on the lower seeds, it is now. Considering we missed out on the 2020 March Madness Tournament, this years tournament cannot get here soon enough. As always, best of luck and happy basketball betting!

Empty Indy & down south Super Bowl…

Well it’s official, college basketball will take after its funnel receiver, the NBA, by hosting its playoff structure within a “bubble.” Not only is this probably the right/smart decision by the NCAA; but it also makes us the viewers as beneficiaries as well. Let me explain: A typical March Madness tournament is stationed in eight competition sites for the first two rounds of the tournament. Eight separate sites essentially allows for eight games to be going on at once which is impossible to keep with, right?! Now that all games will be played in the Indianapolis, IN area, only six sites will now be utilized throughout the first round of March Madness. At first, this may not seem like too big of a difference; however, at second glance games should be scheduled in such a way that allows a viewer to tune in to college basketball all morning, day, and night! And that’s just the first round! (Ex: Game 1 (10am – 12pm) Game 2 (12pm – 2pm) Game 3 (2pm – 4pm) Game 4 (4pm – 6pm) Game 5 (6pm – 8pm) Game 6 (8pm – 10pm). Between you and I, this could be a death wish if you have a girlfriend or are married. For what it’s worth, Joe Lunardi’s current top four overall seeds consists of Gonzaga, Baylor, Villanova, and Virginia. Like most, I truly believe that it is Gonzaga and Baylor that have the most legitimate opportunity to cut down the nets. After watching a few games from both of these squads, I have concluded that they are both superior to all other programs in college basketball. Currently, you can get Gonzaga at +220 and Baylor +415 to win the national championship. To put these odds into perspective, the next closest team with better odds is Villanova (projected 1 seed) at +1000. Hence, by this point it is basically Gonzaga and Baylor vs. The field. It is important to not make these plays until you see a teams’ “path” to the Final Four. Far too often a team is placed in a far superior bracket than other schools, leaving opportunities for other programs with better chances to advance. Don’t get me wrong, Gonzaga and Baylor are by far the two best teams in college basketball, but what if they enter brackets with tough match-ups? As always, you must do your own homework. Always.

In case you live under a rock, Super Bowl LV is right around the corner. Once again, we the viewers are getting the best out of our sports! We get Mahomes and Brady to face off when no one thought that this match-up would ever be possible with Brady previously being a member of the AFC. Historically, in the past ten Super Bowls, the favorite as covered ATS five out of ten times – no trend worth noting, correct? In

addition, over the past ten Super Bowls, guess how many times the OVER/UNDER has hit? Yep, both five out of ten. So how do we gain any sort of significant edge? According to Action Network, teams that have point-spread lines move for them cover 67%. For example, if the Chiefs open at -3 favorites and close at -3.5 favorites than they would have a 67% chance to cover in the Super Bowl era. This Super Bowl marks the second highest total in the Super Bowl era (O/U 56.5). The highest total to close for the Superbowl was at 57 in Super Bowl LI (51) during the historic Patriots comeback versus the Matt Ryan lead Falcons. Being the second highest total, there is a reason this total is set so high, the odds makers truly believe that it is going to be a shoot-out meaning that if you are to bet the total, the only play would be to take the OVER, in my opinion. These two QB’s are accustomed to performing their best under the brightest of lights; and what lights are brighter than the Super Bowl?! Look for Brady and Mahomes to go blow-for-blow with one anther.

Best of luck come next Super Bowl Sunday following the horizon of our 2020 deprived March Madness tournament. Below is a quick Super Bowl LV pump-up video to get you into the sports gambling mood!

Difficult divisional decisions…

And then there were 8… Welcome to the Divisional round of the 2020 – 21 NFL Postseason! All Wildcard games went chalk aside from those 6 vs. 3 match-ups on both the AFC and NFC sides of the bracket. Both the Steelers and Seahawks represented the 3 seeds from each conference only to lose outright to the wildcard recipients, Browns and Rams. Does this 6 vs. 3 match-up typically tend to threaten the playoff run for those 3 seeds more often than it should? Let’s take a look at some historical analytics and trends to see what we can come up with. I like to think of this 6 vs. 3 NFL Playoff match-up as the ole’ 12 vs. 5 seeded match-up in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Often times, teams would prefer to avoid being the 5 seed simply based on its win percentage (or lack thereof) against a much lower seeded opponent. Now a days, we are even beginning to see some of these 12 seeds favored over the 5 seeds. How in the hell does that make any sense, right?! I digress, although the 6 seed may never be favored over a 3 seed in the NFL postseason, (mainly due to home-field advantage I would presume) the winning percentage continues to grow as time goes on. Currently, the 6 seed has a winning percentage of 38.1% over the 3 seed in Wildcard Weekend. Not too shabby, right? If you compare it to the win percentage of the 5 seed during Wildcard Weekend (33.3%) than one would have to assume two things: A. How does this make any sense at all?? and B. The 6 vs. 3 NFL match-up might have more similar correlations to the 12 vs. 5 NCAAB match-ups than we think. Taking this another step forward, if these 6 seeds are fortunate enough to capture that 38.1%, how do they fair in the Divisional round when they have to once again go on the road and face the number one seeded team from the conference? Oh, and by the way has had an extra week to rest and prepare… good luck.

This weekend provides us with four divisional games; two on Saturday and two on Sunday. According to MyBookie, the Packers are 7 point favorites over the Rams, the Bills are 2.5 point favorites over the Ravens, the Chiefs are 10 point favorites over the Browns, and the Saints are 3 point favorites over the Bucs. This is the playoffs we are talking about so the lines are going to be sharp. However, this year in particular has been a tough one to crack. To put it into perspective, of the four games slated for this weekend, not even a half of a point from the point spread has been adjusted. These lines were available on Monday and have not budged even the slightest; pretty crazy, right? So what do we do? Are these games truly just a flip of a coin? Do we just go ahead and go with our guts? Or do we just stay away in general and just enjoy the games like a normal football viewer? Surely we can find some sort of edge that can make these extremely sharp lines a bit dull. Last weekend, both 4 seeds fell to the visiting 5 seeds and both 3 seeds fell to the 6 seeds. Historically, the lower seeded teams winning percentage have been trending upwards over the past thirty years, meaning that the high seeded teams would inevitably be trending downwards. In these thirty years, the 5 and 6 seeds have an 11.9% winning percentage during the divisional round. If we assume that the Rams, Bucs, Browns, and Ravens all posses an 11.9% chance of winning this weekend than we can get a better idea of the point spreads and money lines. However, one must take into account that this is the inaugural season for the revamped NFL

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postseason format. Hence, the 5 seed has coincidentally had the same success rate as the 6 seed because they have had to been matched-up against the 2 seed whom of which also had a bye during Wildcard Weekend. After analyzing a more recent graph that takes into account the newly reformatted playoff model, the 2 seed unfortunately possesses the distinct disadvantage when it comes to the new playoff format. Obviously this has to do with the extra bye week that the 2 seed is accustomed to having that is no longer at their disposal. Without the bye week, the 2 seed in the NFL playoff’s Super Bowl wining chances decrease by 8.8%. That is a pretty drastic drop, especially considering that all of the remaining seeds chances to win the Super Bowl increase with the new format. Now, that is not to say that the 6 seeds now has a better chance to win the

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Super Bowl over the 2 seeds. No, but rather that their previous chances have increased compared to the original playoff structure. Point being, if the 2 seeds are the only teams that are projected to have more difficulty to win, advance, and become champions than any other team’s than we should look to make our potential plays against those teams (Bills and Saints). I would advocate the money-line plays on these underdogs. Currently, you can get the Ravens at +125 and the Bucs at +135. In order to get a positive rate of return, we just need one of these teams to win this coming weekend. Adding both the 2 seeds 11.9% (which is greater due to the new playoff format) and taking into account the 2 seed regression of 8.8%, we can informally calculate that there is at least a 41.4% chance of one these 5 seeds winning this weekend with a 20.7% chance of both of them winning outright. I like taking both money lines in this spot with the lines being so sharp. For the record, your boy went 3 for 3 last weekend with two ATS winners and an UNDER that hit.


NFL Divisional Weekend Picks:

RAVENS (+125) @ BILLS – Pick = RAVENS

BUCS (+135) @ SAINTS – Pick = BUCS

RAMS @ PACKERS O/U 46 – Pick = OVER

A peculiar playoff path in the NFL…

The 2020-21 NFL Playoff format marks the inaugural implementation of the new playoff structure where just one team from each conference receives a bye week during Wildcard Weekend. In previous years, two teams from each conference receives a bye for the first week. In addition, the “new” Wildcard Weekend has invited an additional team from each conference to compete in the playoff bracket. Hate it, love it, who cares – more football is all I care about!

NFL Playoff action begins on Saturday the 9th with the Colts and Bills kicking us off. For what it’s worth, the Bills are currently a 7 point favorite with the O/U sitting at 51.5 (MyBookie). Before you, the reader, abruptly quits reading this blog post to hurries to make your plays, consider the following… Throughout the past two NFL playoffs, the road team has covered in all eight wildcard match-ups (5-3 outright). The money-line could be very profitable come this Wildcard Weekend since we are getting an extra game compared to recent years. If you are an avid reader of mine, than you will know that I love those DOGS and UNDERS. Since 2012, the UNDER has gone 20-8 in the wildcard games. That’s good for a cool 71% levy in return. While we are on the subject of underdogs, the Washington Football Team is the third team in the Super Bowl era to reach the playoffs with a losing record. The other two teams did not only cover ATS, but won outright in their respective match-ups. If history tell us anything, you should absolutely take the points if you like this game; not to

mention that the money-line would be hard to argue against as well. One last NFL playoff trend to consider is defense. “Yeah, yeah, of course you need a solid defense to win in the playoffs,” one might say. Which would not be wrong by any account. However, passing defense is the key statistical trend that has stuck out over the past eight NFL playoffs. Throughout the last eight NFL postseasons, all Super Bowl winners have possessed a top 10 ranking in terms of total QBR allowed (i.e. passing defense). Would you all like to know which teams have ranked the highest is total QBR against this season? The top 5 are all in the playoffs: 1. Steelers – 2. Rams – 3. Football Team – 4. Saints – 5. Bills. If one is able to take all of these quick and “already done for you” information and compile it into the best play for this weekends wildcard match-up’s than we would see that the Washington Football Team would be your best bet ATS. I know, I know, how in the world could Washington beat Tampa Bay?! A. They do not have to beat them, only cover; and B. these are all professionals on the same playing field where history and analytical trends say to do so. So if you don’t want to take my word(s) for it, take good ole’ histories playbook into account!

I hope that you guys are as excited for this years’ playoff match-ups as I am! Here is a quick hype-up video to get you into the NFL Wildcard Weekend spirit! Enjoy.

NFL Playoff Picks:

RAMS (+4.5) @ SEAHAWKS – PICK = RAMS

WFT (+9) @ BUCS – PICK = WFT

BEARS @ SAINTS (T: 48) – PICK = UNDER

***It is worth noting that this NFL season has seen the most road wins in NFL history (56% ATS). Look for this trend persist come Wildcard Weekend!

Should we go ‘Bowling?’ Or anything for that matter?…

Well, believe it or not the 2020-21 College Football Bowl season is upon on… at least for now. Currently the first NCAAF bowl games is scheduled only eight days from now on December 19th in Frisco, TX. The presumed bowl season will go from the 19th of December until the 11th of January when the CFP National Championship will take place. However, should the NCAA move forward with these essentially meaningless match-ups known as Bowl Games. Thus far, ten of the original 43 bowl games have been canceled due to the ever persistent pandemic. By this point, time is ticking on these sponsorship, cities, stadiums, and ultimately the NCAA to decide if these games are in fact worth the wager on health concerns. President and Executive

Director of the Military Bowl stated, “there will be fewer pregame events for this year’s game, scheduled for Dec. 28 in Annapolis. Teams will arrive only two or so days before the game, unlike previous years when they were on site for nearly a week for a full schedule of tourist activities, dinners and other events.” To add to the irregularities, in recent years a program would have to win a minimum of six games in order to be eligible to receive a bowl game bid. However, in this 2020 season, you do not need six wins, or five, or four, or three, or two, or even one lousy win; nope, one’s win-loss record is not a qualification that is regarded in determining a bowl birth for the 2020 Bow Season. Hmmmmm

Aside from the bowl season as a whole, we now turn our attention to the BIG 10 at their recent decision to alter their preseason COVID-19 protocols. In early December, the BIG 10 announced that they would adjust their preseason rules/protocols previously stating that a school must have a minimum of six games of competition to compete in the BIG 10 Championship game. However, Ohio St. only has four games under their belt thus far with the season coming to an end. In this scenario, the BIG 10 is thinking one thing and one thing only. “We are going to lose out on so much money if Ohio St. does not play in our conferences championship game and ultimately the College Football Playoff.” Many would say that this treatment for Ohio St. is rather unfair and makes them and their program out to be superior to other schools in the conference. Ohio St. faces of against Northwester for the BIG 10 title game on December 19th. If victorious, the Buckeyes will be 6-0 and more than likely have a shot to compete in the CFP; for better or worse. Did the BIG 10 get this right, is it the right thing to do, is it moral, is money actually pretty important? All of these questions are left for us to ponder to make our own interpretations and judgement(s).

As we discuss the Bowl Season and its continuous for the time being; one college basketball coach is questioning the continuation of the season as a whole. Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) is concerned about continuing NCAAB play for the latter part of the season. Are his concerned justified? Or is he just a “worry-wart?” Let’s delve into it. He has this to say, “You have 2,000 deaths a day. You have 200,000 cases. People are saying the next six weeks are going be the worst. To me, it’s already pretty bad. On the other side of it, there are these vaccines that are coming out. By the end of the month 20 million vaccine shots will be given. By the end of January or in February, another 100 million. Should we not reassess that? See just

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what would be best?…Do I think things should be done a little bit different? I mean, yeah. A lot of kids aren’t going to be able to go home for Christmas. It’s probably a time when they should, for mental health. But we’re just plowing through this.” I am in the camp of if all protocols and measures are taken to ensure that all staff and athletes are testing negative than all should be good in the world (the world of basketball at least), especially when there are few to no spectators attending these indoor match-ups. To heat things up, Alabama’s Head Coach (Nate Oats) “stir’s the pot” by questioning one of the most influential coach’s sincerity of his comments. Oats is under the impression that Coach K. is in favor of discontinuing the season large in part due to Duke’s uncharted start to the season with a current record of 2-2 being their worst start in more than 20 years. It is hard to argue with Coach K. and his statements; however, are his intentions authentic and genuine? In the mean time, NCAAB will continue and if you are like me we pray to God that their is a March Madness tournament at the conclusion of this year’s season.

Week 14 NFL Picks:

CHIEFS @ DOLPHINS (+7.5) PICK = DOLPHINS

BRONCOS @ PANTHERS (-3) PICK = PANTHERS

2020: Where 50+ year old’s are boxing & women are playing NCAAF

I think that it is pretty safe to say that the year of 2020 has brought us many new peculiar circumstances; some for better, others for worse. Regardless, this year has allowed our society to alter and experiment in which the ways we act and interpret. Alluding to the title of this post, ten years ago would you think that two grown men whom of which are “out of shape” and way past their prime’s would arrange to box one another? Or, would you believe that a woman would be a member of an SEC football program? Probably not, right? However, it is important to note that venturing out and deviating away from what we believe to be the “norm” is certainly not bad practice. Besides, what is the harm of going against the grain and testing the waters, if you will, of what our past may have been too afraid to endeavor? Sarah Fuller is her name, she is the goal keeper for the Vanderbilt Commodore’s Women’s Soccer team; however, now she is known as being the first female football player in a Power 5 program. During her debut, Vanderbilt got blanked against

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Missouri where she was unable to display her talents to even attempt an extra point. The Commodore’s next opponent is against Georgia which has been… yep, you guessed it – POSTPONED due to COVID-19. However, the game has been rescheduled for December 19th. Although their next opponent’s defense does not get any easier, let’s hope that the Commodore’s offense can move the ball a bit better and give Fuller a chance to showcase her talents.

Now, it would be irresponsible of me to not discuss a boxing match that may never take place again. A 51 and 54 year old had their way with one another in late November for a charity boxing bout. Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson squared off in Los Angeles where the fight resulted in a draw… LAME! It is presumed that Tyson made up to as much as $10 million for the fight and stated that he would donate his entire earnings to charity. In case you missed it (like myself) below are some of the highlights from the fight.

Now, for most you fantasy football playoffs are this coming weekend. If you’re like me, over half of my drafted team is either injured or on the COVID reserved list by this point. During this season, it has been imperative to strategically add and drop players from your roster’s due to the revolving door of injuries and illnesses. Sometimes they hit, and other times they don’t. I suppose that this is the luck and skill portions that go into managing a Fantasy Football squad. A lot more goes on behind the scenes than we as fans know about. These football players have been and are going through extensive protocols to enhance safety measures. How is this going to influence their mental and physical well-being come game time? Only they themselves know the answer to that; that is what has made this year a bit more difficult to navigate our ways through the fantasy football drawing board. My advice is to stick with your workhorses; the athletes that have been consistently available for your roster spots. By now, the healthy are in a rhythm and have had more “in-game” experience during this unusual season providing us (the managers) with a sense of “you know what you’re going to get” with this player. Aside from the fantasy football spectrum, let’s take a look at some of ATS and Totals trends that have accumulated over the past 12 weeks of the NFL season. Best ATS: Pittsburgh, Worst ATS: Dallas – % OVER: Tennessee, % UNDER: LA Rams. As the NFL is over halfway through its season, it is important to keep in mind that OVERS and home-field advantage tend to become more prominent. Why is this you ask? OVERS seem to be a more favorable pick in the latter part of the NFL season because defenses are beat up and very tired (rest benefits defenses more than offenses). Also, the later portion of the NFL season is in the month of December which means cold weather. However, the public obviously knows that the winter means tougher conditions to play in, meaning that game totals and point spreads are over stated due to the “obvious” or “gullible” perceptions. As for the home field advantage “advantage” that we as sports gambler’s may benefit from once again comes from the longevity and rigorous strain that these NFL players endure throughout any given season. In betting terms, home-field advantage is awarded anywhere from 2 – 5 points depending on the location and significance of the match-up. Later in the season, home-field advantage is amplified due to the amount of traveling that any given team has logged during the course of given season. It’s not rocket science, the San Francisco 49ers are going to be more rested and geared up for the 3,000 mile trek to Miami if the match-up is slated for Week 1 of the NFL season as opposed to Week 13 of the NFL season. We have all flown on planes and gone through a long day of travel; it can take a toll on one’s body. Not to mention that you basically lose a day of practice and preparation with a long day of travel such as this example. So what am I getting at here? In the later portions of the NFL schedule/season, look to make your plays on those OVERS and home teams. As always, these insights are just a brainless way to make your plays; but in order to be successful in the long run, you must do your own extensive research.

More potential bubbly basketball…

Yesterday, the 2020 NBA Draft took place. With the number one overall pick, the Minnesota Timber-wolves selected Anthony Edwards out of Georgia. Following him, the next four picks in order were 2. James Wiseman (Memphis) – 3. LaMelo Ball (USA) – 4. Patrick Williams (Florida St.) – 5. Isaac Okoro (Auburn). This year’s draft was was a bit more unique than others in previous years. The “blue-blood”, usual suspect, highly drafted schools of Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky did not have a player drafted until the 15th overall pick. To put this into perspective, over the last three

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years there have been 18 “blue-blood” drafted within the top 15 picks. This begs the question, are the top schools slowly losing their top-dog status? Or are others schools starting to close the gap that has been present for so many years? Or maybe a good mixture of both.

Obviously the NCAAF season is arguably in full swing. It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that college football season is moving a crawl. Will the NCAAB basketball season follow? College basketball’s March Madness was the first large sporting event to be canceled due to COVID-19. We can only hope that the 2020 NCAAB season will go as smooth as possible concluding with a successful March Madness tournament. In fact, the NCAA and its colleagues have proposed that the entire March Madness tournament and its participants be held in a single location; that location being Indianapolis, IN. Typically, the first two rounds are held at specific sites followed by the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 locations. This new suggestion would completely eliminate these original thirteen sites to minimize the amount of travel that players, coaches, media, and fans would have to endure if the pandemic is still prevalent. While we are on the subject of March Madness where ever game played is at a neutral site for both squads; since 2005, the UNDER has hit 56% of the time on a neutral court throughout any point of the season. Early season match-ups that will be played at neutral sites include: Arizona St. (18) vs. Baylor (2), Kansas (6) vs. Gonzaga (1), and Houston (17) vs. Texas Tech (14).

Side note, with Drew Breese being labeled as OUT indefinitely, look to acquiring Taysom Hill in your fantasy leagues. If Jameis Winston starts to “Jameis Winston” and throws interceptions left and right than the New Orleans Saints will begin to utilize Hill more and more making him a very valuable fantasy roster spot.