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Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Analyzing bye-less College Football teams

11.02.2015     10:16 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Seventeen college football teams enter November without having had a single bye week since the start of the season and without a bye this coming week.  Those teams are Arizona, Ball State, Boston College, Colorado, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Florida International, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Miami-Ohio, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Penn State, Texas Tech, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  Two more teams, North Texas and UMass, haven’t had byes since Week 1; teams that started their seasons a week late, but haven’t had a break since.  Is there anything unique or different about these non-bye squads?  Read on to find out.

Five of the 17 teams listed above don’t have any bye weeks at all.  Florida International, Miami-Ohio, Hawaii (with their 13 game schedule!), Arizona and Colorado will finish the season without a break.  Note that none of those five are going to play in a conference championship game, and only two (Arizona and FIU) have any realistic shot to make a bowl game.  Bye-less teams don’t tend to be very successful.  Most importantly for our purposes, they also don’t tend to cover many pointspreads Read more

Tags: College Football Teddy Covers Las Vegas

College Football Handicapping: Air Force goes with backup QB, Michigan State has inside knowledge of option

09.16.2015     07:30 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
A couple of interesting angles to consider for Saturday's Air Force-Michigan State game. To start, the Falcons lost starting quarterback Nate Romine to a knee injury and will go with backup Karson Roberts. Roberts gets good marks as a runner but even though Air Force is obviously run-based, he's shown absolutely no ability to throw the football which is concerning with the Falcons likely to be trailing by margin at some point. Also is play is MSU defensive line coach Ron Burton who is well-versed in AFA's system having coached there for over a decade. According to reports, Sparty has been prepping for the option dating back to the summer. A few sportsbooks have chucked up the side with Michigan State -26.5. Still no total available.

“You’re always concerned (about cut-blocks), but that’s football. That’s why we’ve worked on these things every other day in summer practice,” said

Read more

Tags: College Football Air Force Falcons Mountain West Michigan State Spartans Big Ten

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL Power Ratings 1-32

09.07.2015     08:57 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The NFL regular season starts on Thursday.  Here’s how I have the 32 teams ranked heading into the campaign, with a quick blurb each squad.

1. New England Patriots - With Tom Brady set to open the season as the starting quarterback, the defending champs are the team to beat, worthy of my #1 ranking heading into the regular season.

2. Seattle Seahawks - Seattle enjoyed the best yards-per-rush differential between offense and defense last year, but they’ve got significant offensive line question marks as they head to St Louis for Week 1.

3. Green Bay Packers - The Packers passing game was second to none in the NFL last year, but the loss of Jordy Nelson leaves Aaron Rodgers without his top target for the entire season.

4. Indianapolis Colts - Most elite contenders face a tougher than average schedule because they’ve got to face other contending teams.  Indy, however, plays only four games against playoff teams from last year.

5. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning is the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL by a wide margin, and he’s coming off a season where his arm strength noticeably declined down the Read more

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: AFC Playoff Contenders

12.22.2014     10:09 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Week 16 of the NFL season is in the books and four teams have emerged as clear co-favorites to win the Super Bowl.  Green Bay and Seattle are at the top of the power ratings spectrum in the NFC while Denver and New England look poised for a rematch from last year in the AFC Championship Game.

Last week in this space, I poked holes in the NFC contenders, explaining why every other live team in the playoff race had at least one fundamental flaw primed to doom their chances in January.  This week, I’m going to point the magnifying glass towards the seven fringe contenders in the AFC.  Can any of them knock off the Patriots in Foxboro or the Broncos in Denver when January rolls around?  Read on to find out. 

The Houston Texans remain one of five teams still fighting for the final two playoff spots in the AFC after knocking off the Ravens on Sunday.  But if the Texans do manage to sneak into the postseason with a Wild Card berth, I’m not expecting them to do any damage. 

Houston’s defense ranks among the league’s elite, as we clearly saw once again this past weekend.  But the Texans average Read more

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Betting Preview: Western Michigan Broncos vs. Air Force Falcons

12.18.2014     07:00 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Boise, Idaho
Western Michigan vs. Air Force
Saturday, 2:45 pm PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener:
Western Michigan -2 O.U 56.5
CRIS Current: Air Force -1 O/U 58
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Air Force -0.5

Quite a turnaround for Western Michigan who in PJ Fleck's second season improved to 8-4 after only one victory in 2013. They were the most complete team in the MAC ranking third in both total offense (443 ypg) and total defense (355 ypg) in conference play. Air Force wasn't nearly as impressive ranking 6th and 7th respectively in the Mountain West. The Falcons though played in the tougher conference and Mountain Division which has a chance (if Air Force and Utah State wins) to produce four 10-win or better squads.

One of the concerns with Western Michigan is not only the lack of competition but their performance against comparable and/or better competition. They routinely fell short Read more

Tags: Collge Football Western Michigan Broncos MAC Air Force Falcons Mountain West Andrew Lange

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC News and Notes

10.20.2014     11:26 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Atlanta Falcons
Since blowing out Tampa Bay on national TV in Week 3, the Atlanta Falcons have looked nothing short of awful.  A team that made it to the NFC Championship Game two years ago is now entrenched in a four game skid; picking up right where they left off last year when they went 4-12 and ranked among the most disappointing teams in football.

All four losses during this SU and ATS skid have come by double digit margins.  The Falcons certainly aren’t going to win many defensive struggles – their stop unit has allowed 24+ six times in seven ballgames this year, a mediocre defense on a good day.  But many pundits thought the Falcons would be good enough to trade points with most of their foes.  That simply hasn’t been the case, in large part, due to cluster injuries on the offensive line, with backup center Peter Konz the latest to go down.

Matt Ryan was sacked five times and hit nine times in Atlanta’s loss to Baltimore on Sunday, while throwing for a season low in yards. "When you go out there and get beat soundly, I think everybody knows we've got to play better across the board. Read more

Tags: NFL Atlanta Falcons Seattle Seahawks Chicago Bears Washington Redskins Teddy Covers

College Football Gambling: Air Force making strides on defense

09.24.2014     01:52 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Boise State -13 at -Air Force O/U 57

So far so good for Air Force's defense following last year's disaster in which the Falcons allowed 490.3 ypg. Over half that came via the run, something AFA worked hard at shoring up during the offseason. Through three games, the Falcons have allowed 249 yards on 3.07 ypc. Boise State ran for 229 in last year's 42-20 win.

"We had to get pressure, be pretty multiple in our fronts, have to have some guys that can blitz. … We spent an enormous amounts of time on it in the spring and in August," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. 

Tags: College Football Air Force Falcons Boise State Broncos Mountain West

College Football Handicapping: Week 5 early line moves

09.22.2014     01:59 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Quick look at some of the early moves in the Week 5 college football betting markets.

Maryland at Indiana
CRIS Opener: Indiana -2.5
CRIS Current: Indiana -4
Comment: Renewed faith in the Hoosiers after bouncing back from loss to Bowling Green with upset win at Missouri. Even more impressive of a line move with Maryland dominating Syracuse.

UTEP at Kansas State
CRIS Opener: Kansas State -30
CRIS Current: Kansas State -26.5
Comment: Miners off a bye week and look much improved in 2-1 start. Conference game on deck for K-State.

Bowling Green at UMass
CRIS Opener: Bowling Green -10.5
CRIS Current: Bowling Green -8.5
Comment: Perhaps a step down in class for UMass after four straight vs. power conference foes two of which were 3-point losses. Falcons allowed 644 yards on the ground in loss to Wisky.

North Carolina at Clemson
CRIS Opener: Clemson -12.5
CRIS Current: Clemson -14
Comment: Tar Heels off 70-41 beatdown vs. ECU. Tigers finally Read more

Tags: College Football

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Air Force Falcons vs. Fresno State Bulldogs

03.12.2014     09:47 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Air Force vs. Fresno State -6.5 O/U 136
Recommendation: Under

College basketball totals are set based on aggregate statistics, factoring in a team’s entire schedule.  But these totals don’t factor in head-to-head meetings with as much influence as they should.  That’s clearly the case for tonight’s Mountain West Conference battle between Air Force and Fresno State.

There have been four previous matchups between Fresno head coach Rodney Terry and Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich.  Those four games have finished with an average of 116 combined points, all four staying well Under the total by a combined 67 points.  And even those aggregate numbers are somewhat misleading, because these two teams combined for 18 ‘scramble points’ in the final minute and a half of Fresno’s six point home win over the Falcons back in January; a game that played at a much slower pace than the final score would indicate.

Both teams play a fair bit of zone defense, and neither squad gets easy shots from the low post on any sort of consistent basis – this game has ‘jump shot after Read more

Tags: College Basketball Air Force Falcons Fresno State Bulldogs Teddy Covers

College Basketball Handicapping: Injury Report 2-7-2014

02.07.2014     11:17 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
After missing seven straight games with a foot injury, Michigan State senior center Adreian Payne returned Thursday night in an 82-67 home win over Penn State at Breslin Center. Payne scored 12 points, grabbed three rebounds, dished out two assists and blocked one shot in 18 minutes of playing time. However, starting guard Keith Appling couldn't go against PSU due to a wrist injury. Appling, who averages 15.0 points and 4.9 assists per game, is 'questionable' for Sunday's game at Wisconsin. Also, Branden Dawson (hand) remains out and isn't expected to be back until early March.

Florida freshman center Chris Walker made his debut in Tuesday's non-covering home win over Missouri. Walker played only seven minutes, scoring four points with a pair of dunks and two blocked shots. Look for his minutes to gradually increase as he becomes more comfortable with what the Gators are running on both ends of the court.

Minnesota leading scorer Andre Hollins returned from a sprained ankle suffered on Jan. 22 to play in Wednesday's 77-74 overtime loss at Purdue. Hollins had missed back-to-back games (both defeats). He played 36 minutes and finished with eight points, four Read more

Tags: College Basketball Brian Edwards


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