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!

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.

The COVID-Kids and their counterparts…

Week 8 of the NFL season is this weekend. Although the corona-virus has presented play with numerous amounts of speed bumps, competition has continued on – for better or for worse… The BIG10 football conference has finally resumed play after taking a more conservative stance, as far as athletic competition is concerned. However, the conservative efforts may have been all for not. Just this past week, the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska game has been postponed due to an outbreak among Badger athletes and coaches. With so many postponements/cancellations occurring over the NFL and NCAAF landscape, schools and franchises are beginning to crack down on safety measures and protocols to keep their seasons in tact and play out as smoothly as possible. In fact, the Carolina Panthers organization released CB Josh Hawkins after being recorded on video dancing in a crowded restaurant without wearing a mask. This is a classic example of a “zero tolerance policy.” Below is the video that essentially got him fired.

I know, I know, the video seems very harmless. Whether the decision to release Hawkins was right or wrong is irrelevant. Point being, NFL and NCAAF programs are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their players and keep their season’s afloat.

Aside from the virus in general, let’s get to some NFL mid season gambling trends. We are basically half way through the season and by now we have a very solid sample size on each team and their superiority/inferiority along with their respective identities. Side note: I have the TV on here in front of me and just glanced upon an absurd stat that flashed on ESPN. This season, the New York Jets have a point differential of -118. Take a guess at to what the point differential that the rest of the league has compiled over the course of the season??? +118. To put this in perspective, the team with the second worst point differential in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys at -67. Yikes. Anyways, if you’re like myself, I have struggled this year in terms of my NFL plays. I would like to think that with a bit more studying and luck on my side, and if these trends continue to persist, I can begin to get on the winning side of my plays! Now, let’s get into some of those betting trends that have presented themselves thus far during the 2020 NFL season. Thus far, road teams are covering 55% ATS; couple that with underdogs are also covering 55% of the games. What does this tell us? Ding, ding, ding: Look at making your plays on those road underdogs. In fact, they are 58% ATS this NFL season. I agree, it is very hard to take underdogs, especially when you know that they are those so called inferior opponents. However, keep in mind that these are all professionals (specifically in the NFL) and it is the best versus the best each and every week; meaning that anything can happen.

The first version of the NFL mock draft has been released, and here is what CBS Sports has from 1 to 32… Spoiler Alert: the Jets are the presumed number one overall pick! Despite the recent positive COVID-19 test from Clemson’s QB Trevor Lawrence, the New York Jets are sure to move on from their previous first round pick (Sam Darnold) and acquire Lawrence to begin their rebuilding process. Click the link below to take a look at the first version of the 2021 NFL Draft.

It takes 10 to Tango…

I know, I know, I know. There are more than ten members apart of the BIG10. In fact, there are 14. Announced on September 16th, the BIG10 conference released that they would resume football competition in late October. Come October 24th, the Week 1 BIG10 marquee match-up is slated for Michigan @ Minnesota. For better or worse, no gambling options are yet available for the BIG10 games with players that have opted out, now opting back in. Going forward, who knows how the player in-and-out carousel will unfold.

Video provided below is the Zoom meeting that took place for the announcement of the continuation of the BIG10 football season…

While we are on the topic of BIG10 football, lets go ahead and discuss some college football sports gambling tips to look for throughout the remainder of the season. Let me preface by stating that the information provided was aided by Josh Appelbaum, author and professional sports gambler. We will uncover some of the college football gambling angles and potential teams that may fall under these qualifications/criteria for this upcoming week of college football match-ups. Appelbaum has concluded that home football teams ATS cover 48.8% of the time; hence, road teams cover at a 51.2% clip. To piggy-back on these analytics, ROAD UNDERDOGS have been covering 51.1% of games. By this point, you might be thinking to yourself, 51.2% and 51.1%, those are not winning/significant odds to give YOU, the bettor, an advantageous edge; remember: every added value helps, even the smallest of ones. Once we have our ROAD UNDERDOG method established, we need to look for them in match-ups where the TOTAL (U/D) is less than 50. In these types of games, teams meeting this criteria cover at a solid rate of 53.2%. Again, we are chipping away at our plays of the day being more than just a “flip of a coin.” The idea behind this edge is when a particular game is not projected to produce too many points (by NCAAF standards) than the UNDERDOG will benefit by way of fewer points scores, meaning a “tighter” game. Now, lets sift through the teams that meet these three particular criteria for Week 4 of the college football season. Teams that Josh and I would recommend keeping an eye on to cover this Saturday include: Kentucky (+7 vs. Auburn), Army (+13 vs. Cincinnati), UTEP (+10, vs. LA Monroe), Duke (+5, vs. Virginia), and Vanderbilt (+30.5, vs. Texas AM). For the record, I am very high on the Blue Devils to cover ATS this Saturday. They are in a bounce back spot after their Week 3 loss against Boston College and they meet the three criteria.

As always, best of luck with your future plays and during this college football season. BIG10, welcome back… PAC12, where ya at?! Check out Josh Appelbaum’s book titled “The Everything Guide to Sports Betting” on Amazon, or wherever your get your books. Thanks guys and stay safe!

NFL FF tips, strategies, & angles…

FF 2020 blog

Fantasy owners rejoice! The NFL season looks very promising despite the absence of the four weeks of preseason. Starting with some of the more notable off-season acquisitions, here are a few to keep in mind when beginning to compute your Fantasy Football Draft strategies. First, we can get the obvious one out of the way with Tom Brady (QB) heading south to Tampa Bay with Bruce Arians. Going down the line: DeAndre Hopkins (WR) to the Cardinals, Stefon Diggs (WR) to the Bills, and Emmanuel Sanders (WR) to the Saints; just to name a few. Here is a quick link to obtain your PPR cheat sheet, your welcome PPR CHEAT SHEET BY POSITION

Aside from the ever-growing Fantasy Football phenomena; let’s take a look at some of the Week 1 sports gambling strategies. According to Action Network, the point spread that is most “off” for NFL’s Week 1 is the Steelers @ Giants match-up. Currently, the line is FF players blogSteelers (-3.5); Action Network believes that this line should have the Steelers as a 6 point favorite, despite being road favorites. However, remember your rules… Over the past 10 Week 1’s of the NFL season, teams that are getting 3 or fewer points (UNDERDOGS) are actually winning 52% of those games! This is a money-line fanatic’s dream come true. “So you’re telling me that every team that is getting 3 or fewer points will be profitable on the money-line?!” I would respond with: “Yes, according to history you would be a profitable gambler in Week 1 without doing any real homework and/or number crunching.” Taking this a step further, teams with a worse previous year recorded win percentage in the opening week of the NFL favored quite well against their opponents. In fact, they win outright 43% of the time, and cover ATS 58% of the time. Please, do not fall victim to a teams’ last years successes or detriments.

To all, best of luck this fantasy season and take a look at the 2020 team and their dynamics and roster; not the 2019 version of them. To piggy back on this idea, once Week 2 of the NFL season comes along, do not fall in love with a teams’ Week 1 performance. There are 17 weeks in an NFL season; one week’s result will not uncovered a teams true identity as a whole for the remainder of the season.

NFL Week 1 Picks:

Raiders @ Panthers (+1.5) PICK = PANTHERS

Texans @ Chiefs (-10) PICK = TEXANS

WNBA showed us “the way,” NFL it’s your turn…

2020 nfl draft blog

On April 17th, history was made after the WNBA hosted the first ever live, virtual draft. Oddly enough, I had to tune in to view the draft. Maybe I was curious to see how the whole “virtual” thing would go, or perhaps I am craving some fashion of a live sporting event; regardless of the sport. With that being said, the draft as a whole was rather awkward, in my opinion. Imagining this should not be too big of challenge as the WNBA commissioner was literally announcing pick after pick from her living room. In the league’s defense, what are they supposed to do. At this point in World History, our hands are tightly bound limiting our access to our resources. Nevertheless, the NFL draft is only days away! (April 23rd). I am anticipating what Roger Goodell and the rest of the league rolls out there and what they have ultimately learned from the pros and cons that the WNBA draft possessed.

Mel Kiper’s latest 4.0 mock draft has been released with Joe Burrow remaining as the first overall pick to the Bengal’s. Click for a clear list of his 2020 mock draft… Mel Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft 4.0

Obviously we are not all experts at breaking down each and every pick and its overall grade. So how you we semi-accurately analyze a teams’ draft grade through the average Joe’s eyes? Aaron Lesher of Hog Haven points out that many of the top performers in the NFL are not 1st round picks. For instance, in 2017 the top rushing leaders in the NFL, top to bottom, averaged at the 100th overall pick. That pick falls within the 4th round! Not sufficient enough? How about the top DB’s from that year averaged out at the 156th overall pick! That pick lies within the 5th round. As for the pass rushers of the league, the best sack artists from 2017 averaged in the 56th round, 2nd round guys. Are you noticing the trend here? The vast majority of these athletes are not 1st round picks. Hence, come this Thursday and this weekend, look to see which teams are grabbing those late round treasures. I believe that a lot of gamblers put too much stock in a teams’ first and second round picks because they are the “sexy” and well-known college super-stars. However, if you can do your research and hone in on an organization’s late round picks along with their undrafted signee’s than you will have a much better idea of what kind of season they are in store for. Obviously there are a lot more factors that go into a teams’ win-loss record at the end of a season other than the draft. Nevertheless, knowing how to further analyze the draft in greater detail than the guy next to you can assist you when making plays on the preseason team win/loss totals, ect.

*Possessing the final draft spot never felt so good, GO CHIEFS!

XFL: Xtra Funds League

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Week 1 of the newly reemerged XFL is in the books. Go figure, Week 1 provided us with the OVER/UNDER hitting the 50/50 split and the favorites covered 50% of the games; meaning that the dogs also covered 50% of the match-ups. So what did we learn from Week 1 of the XFL? We learned two things: First, we learned that the bookies are even sharp when a brand new league starts up. Second, we learned that no trends came from the Week 1 results.

As you all know, I love myself some dogs; especially in this case. Here we have a league that we know very little about and have obtained a very small sample size in terms of stats and trends. Hence, taking the points could (and should) be beneficial in the long run in this league. Here are the current XFL Championship odds…

DC Defenders (+300)

NY Guardians (+400)

HOU Roughnecks (+500)

DAL Renegades(+700)

TB Vipers (+700)

STL Battle-Hawks (+700)

LA Wildcats (+1000)

SEA Dragons (+1400)

Obviously I am not demanding you to pick the Dragons to win the championship because they are the biggest underdog; quite the contrary. Look to make a play here and there on the Seattle Dragon’s because the general public will typically hammer the Dragon’s opponents; potentially allowing Seattle to become an advantageous value bet. We have already learned that the sports-books are very knowledgeable about their provided lines, so what is our next angel to exploit? The general public! If we assume that the general public is wrong more often than not, than we should go against them, correct? Much like yourself, I too know very little about the XFL’s teams, players, rules, and coaches. However, if you can slightly familiarize yourself with these particular factors than it may provide you with a significant edge that the majority may not possess.

Good luck and go dogs! Also, stay up to date with your NCAAB picks and results so that you are prime and ready for your March Madness plays!

Wildcard Weekend Winners…

2019 nfl playpoff bracket blog

As Wildcard Weekend creeps closer and closer, we as fans gear up for yet another NFL Playoff roller coaster! This is peak season for sports gambling action. More plays are transacted than any other time of the year. This should come as no surprise considering that the NFL is the most popular and profitable sport in the United States. With so much attention and action being placed on each playoff game, it naturally creates very sharp lines. Side note: Super Bowl point spreads are said to be the sharpest lines above all others. It is worth mentioning that sharp lines are more difficult to uncover advantageous handicapping edges. Now you can really laugh at someone when they tell you that X playoff match-up is an absolute “lock.” In my opinion, the only place where these sacred “locks” exists are on NCAAB Saturday slates when Howard is facing off against Bethune-Cookman in a MEAC showdown. Get the idea? With that being said, just because it is more difficult (a lot more difficult) to discover edges in the NFL Playoffs, does not mean that we completely abandon our research and rigorous statistical digging. When looking at your NFL Playoff match-ups, some key factors that many betters neglect, yet are worth keeping in mind may include a teams’ depth at each position, and their regular season strength of schedule. These playoff games are a war of attrition; plain and simple. Hence, each team must be deep up and down their line-ups and must have been battle tested during the regular season with a significant sample size of their possible playoff opponent(s).

HISTORICAL TRENDS BY EACH MATCH-UP (Note: It is very difficult to compile data that offers you a significant edge. Call it, “Every little bit helps.” Or, “Better to be safe than sorry.”)

BILLS @ TEXANS (-2.5)

Record versus playoff teams… Bills (1-4) Texans (3-3)

Strength of schedule (SOS)… Bills (30th) Texans (6th)

My Pick: TEXANS – JJ Watt finally returns, period.

TITANS @ PATRIOTS (-5)

Record versus playoff teams… Titans (2-3) Patriots (3-3)

SOS… Titans (29th) Patriots (32nd – WORST)

My Pick: TITANS – Titans are playing well down the stretch, the Patriots are not. Give me the points.

VIKINGS @ SAINTS (-8)

Record versus playoff teams… Vikings (1-4) Saints (3-1)

SOS… Vikings (20th) Saints (22nd)

My Pick: SAINTS – Cousins sucks on prime-time spotlights and the Saints have a slight motivational edge after the “no-call” pass interference call last year in the NFC Championship game against the Rams.

SEAHAWKS @ EAGLES (+2)

Record versus playoff teams… Seahawks (3-3) Eagles (2-3)

SOS… Seahawks (2nd) Eagles (27th)

My Pick: SEAHAWKS – Eagles are pretty banged-up as a whole. Not to mention, the Eagles played a far easier schedule and managed to squeeze out a very mediocre 9-7 regular season record.

 

 

 

 

 

What if I told you that ‘Bama was not selected to participate in the CFP?!

ncaaf bowl games blog

And then there were four! The 2019 College Football Playoff (CFP) gets underway today and night beginning with LSU (1) taking on Oklahoma (4) followed by Ohio St. (2) verses Clemson (3) tonight.

What angles can we gather that the majority of the public may not be aware of before these games kickoff? Interestingly enough, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) Clemson has the best chance of hoisting the Dr. Pepper CFP trophy. “Wait, not LSU?! But they have the Heisman Trophy winner and won the SEC.” PFF give Clemson a 42.4% chance of winning the CFP, LSU (39.8%), Ohio St. (17.2%), Oklahoma (0.7%). So why exactly does Clemson have the best odds of winning if they are not the 1st ranked team in the country, nor even the 2nd ranked team? Of the four QB’s, T. Lawrence has not necessarily had the best overall season, but has been performing at a superior level down the stretch. If Clemson faces off against the LSU Tigers in the National Championship, The orange and purple Tigers would have a 56.5% chance of claiming victor over the yellow and purple Bayou Bengals. This favoritism stems from more playoff experience and a better coaching staff in Clemson. In addition, the PFF numbers indicate that although LSU has greater individual athletes; Clemson, however, possesses the greater overall team. ncaaf trophy blog

Notes to keep in mind:

LSU: 9-4 ATS this season.

OKLAHOMA: Lincoln Riley is 3-1 ATS as an underdog.

OHIO ST: The Buckeyes are also 9-4 ATS this season.

CLEMSON: 9-1 ATS in its last 10 bowl game appearances. (76.9% ATS this season – NCAAF best)

A lot of NCAAF Bowl Mania match-up’s require  consideration when looking at each team’s motivation level(s) going into any particular game. However, in the CFP motivation levels should not be a factor when trying to acquire handicapping edges. All parties/teams involved in the CFP should have monumental levels of motivation; hence, cancelling that factor or edge out of the handicapping equation. Where we can find the most significant edge(s) in CFP match-up’s are based on strength of schedule, playoff experience, strengths/weaknesses on offense and defense versus the opponent, and their last few games performances (ie. how is this particular team performing as of late). For whatever it’s worth, I believe that the winner of the Clemson, Ohio St. game will win the CFP.

Best of luck this Bowl season and stay tuned for NFL postseason sports gambling angles.