It has been since 1995 since the MLB and its stakeholders have entered a work stoppage otherwise known as a lockout. With many free agents scrambling, and for good reason, to sign new deals with current or new franchises before the work stoppage began; we have seen record setting dollar figures hit the air-waves as this MLB lockout was predicted. Since the conclusion of the World Series, their has been a total of $1.7 billion worth of contracts signed between teams and free agent players. It should come to no surprise that everyone and their mom wanted to have continuous money flowing into their bank accounts before the much anticipated lockout was set in motion.
Two key dates to keep in mind moving forward are a: February 22nd, the date that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training and b: March 31st, Opening Day around the Major League. An agreement needs to be reached between the Player’s Union and the MLB Staff before these dates in order for a full 2022 season to transpire. While we are the subject of baseball, once again the Los Angeles Dodgers are the preseason betting favorites in terms of World Series odds currently listed at +500.
hours minutes seconds
MLB Opening Day
The college basketball season can seem overwhelming with the amount of games taking place day in and day out. To put it into perspective, there are 353 D1 NCAAB teams that compete in about 33 games a year (give or take). That comes out to a whopping 5,824 games per season; not including the March Madness tournament. Point being, it can become very difficult when it comes time to make your NCAAB plays. Thus far in the 2021-22 NCAAB campaign, there is no evident value that stems from blinding siding with the road, home, favorite, underdog, over, or under plays – bummer, right? However, from a historical perspective we will notice that taking first half UNDERS in games that present relatively high total margins are profitable. Second, it has been detected that conference games are typically closer in margin than the initial point spread might indicate. In short, taking the points in conference competitions is generally never a bad bet.
Saturday NCAAB Picks:
YALE @ AUBURN (T: 70.5) – PICK: 1H UNDER
WAKE FOREST (+10) @ VIRGINIA TECH – PICK: WAKE FOREST
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.
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.
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.
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,
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Is it just me, or does it seem like we have not been given college basketball in quite some time? Luckily for us, the wait is just about over! The college basketball season officially tips off November 30th with the Maui Invitational. DISCLAIMER: The Maui Invitational will not be held in Maui, Hawaii; but rather in Asheville, North Carolina. Regardless, we get college basketball! I just feel slightly bad for those kids during their recruiting visit that were told they would have the opportunity to play in Hawaii this upcoming season… sorry bud, better luck next year. Nevertheless, basketball is basketball and a season is a season; at least for the time being. Stay up to date with Joe Leonardi’s Bracketology projections and this preseason Top 25 video below…
Similar to any other NCAAB season tip-off, many teams compete in non-conference tournaments (i.e “Maui” Invitational reference above) early in their respective seasons. Many of these games feature schools that are not accustomed to the “bright lights” of ESPN coverage. Hence, nerves are inevitably a bit higher being the beginning of the season and playing games that of which are nationally televised. This can be very daunting for young athletes, especially from those smaller, non Power 5 conference program players. Think about it – when you were 19 years old, would your performance alter (for better or for worse) if you knew that you would be watched by millions of viewers. Point being, this “altered” performance is typically in the negative direction. I understand that the “bright lights” can bring out the best in some athletes; however, the latter is more frequently exuded. In recent years, these early, non-conference match-ups tend to lean towards the UNDER; especially when point spreads are in the 20’s and 30’s meaning that a “power-house” is facing off against a small MEAC school, for example.
Now, while I’ve got you, we have to talk about this unusual 2020 MLB Postseason. Hell, who am I kidding, this whole year has been unusual, to say the least. Currently, the MLB Postseason is in the midst of both the American and National League Championships. Thus far the Rays are on top of the Astros (3 games to 2) in the American League and the Braves are leading the Dodgers (3 games to 1) in the National League. Once these match-ups have concluded, we will begin the 2020 MLB World Series. Although this season, postseason, and eventually World Series will differ than all others before; nevertheless, we can still use similar tactics, principles, and trends when gambling on this year’s World Series. Teams that are able to win the ALCS/NLCS in five or fewer games have an advantage if their World Series opponent went six or more games in their series. Why is this? Well besides the obvious answer of more rest, these teams now have the opportunity to map out and set their starting rotations to their preference; whereas their opponent that just got done with a hard fought seven game series may have to just go with the next man up approach. Over the past twelve years, the World Series favorite (once WS match-up is established) has gone 5-7. That’s an alarming stat, right?! Clearly, over recent years the underdog in World Series match-ups provides us (the bettor) with incredible value. Not only are you more likely to win, but your rate of return will be greater than that of which you wagered!
If the 2020 World Series does, in fact, consists of the Rays and Braves than I beg of you to please take the UNDER in each and every game. These two franchises have elite pitching staff’s with flame throwers left and right (see what I did there?) Also in my opinion, both of these teams have very average line-ups that I believe will not be able to keep up with one another’s pitching staff’s. UNDER UNDER UNDER if our 2020 World Series match-up consists of the Rays and Braves.
Weekend Football Picks:
SOUTH FLORIDA (+11) @ TEMPLE – Pick = SOUTH FLORIDA
Sport (/spôrt/): noun – an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. I am providing you all with the proper definition just in case you forgot what this term is. If you are reading this blog post than you are obviously among the many who are yearning for some form of live sports entertainment. We are all desperate to once again be able to watch our favorite sports, teams, and athletes back in action. And no, watching your favorite team from 1998 does not count. Rest assure, we have real life dates put in place for the continuation of some of our favorite sports!
The NBA and Adam Silver were basically the first major sports league to: A. come to an agreement on salaries while working/playing and B. implement a concrete plan with specific dates for NBA resumption. Laid out is the current NBA timeline for the continuation of their season, at least for now…
July 7-9: Teams arrive in Orlando, FL
July 9-29: Negative tested athletes participate in scrimmages/practices
July 30: Season resumes
August 15-16: Play-in-games for playoff seeding
August 17: Playoffs begin
September 30: NBA Finals begin
So there ya have it. Adam Silver and company catch a lot flack from time-to-time; however, I believe that they worked very hard to provide the masses with essentially the same product that we are accustomed to viewing all the while taking every safety precaution along the way.
Here are the current NBA Finals odds…
Los Angeles Lakers +185
Milwaukee Bucks +275
Los Angeles Clippers +300
Boston Celtics +1200
Toronto Raptors +1400
Houston Rockets +1500
Denver Nuggets +2200
Philadelphia 76ers +2200
Believe it or not, the NBA is not scheduled to be the first major sport’s league to begin. The NBA is scheduled to resume on July 30th. However, the MLB is scheduled to resume on the 23rd of July. Obviously both will be without fans, but nevertheless I could not be more excited. The only aspect of my life that I am looking more forward to is marrying my beautiful fiance. Oh, and by the way, that was hindered by COVID-19 also. The MLBPA (Major League Baseball Player’s Association) finally agreed to terms on a deal consisting of a 60 games schedule while earning 80% of their annual salaries.
Here are the current MLB championship odds:
New York Yankees +325
Los Angeles Dodgers +325
Houston Astros +775
Atlanta Braves +1500
Minnesota Twins +1800
Washington Nationals +1800
New York Mets +2000
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
If you’re like me, I was super bummed that we were not able to have the 2020 March Madness tournament. For whatever it’s worth, I did a simulated bracket with game-by-game results. And no, each match-up was not a flip of a coin each time, but the results were still very surprising. Anyways, the simulated Final Four consisted of Duke, Michigan St, Ohio St, and Arizona St. The national title game was a BIG10 match-up between the Spartans facing off against the Buckeyes with Michigan St. coming out as the 2020 March Madness victors. How do you think the infamous blank 2020 bracket would have shaped out?