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Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC Playoff Contenders

12.15.2014     08:12 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Week 15 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 of last year’s AFC Championship Game.

In my Wiseguy Report over the next two weeks, I’m going to poke holes in every other team that is still alive in the playoff chase.  Can any of the fringe contenders knock off the favorites when January rolls around?  Read on to find out.  This week I’ll focus on the second tier contenders in the NFC, and next week, I’ll shift my focus to the AFC.

The Dallas Cowboys have looked good on national TV repeatedly this year.  They are a perfect 7-0 SU on the road, including impressive wins at Seattle and Philly.  But the Cowboys have at least one fundamental flaw – their defense isn’t much better than it was last year when the Cowboys ranked at or near the bottom of nearly every statistical category. 

In 2013, the Cowboys stop unit was ridiculed nationally, allowing 6.1 yards per play (ranked #30 out of 32 Read more


Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




NFL Gambling Preview: Detroit Lions at New England Patriots

11.20.2014     02:14 PM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Detroit at New England
Sunday, 10 am PT - FOX
CRIS Opener:
New England -6 O/U 48
CRIS Current: New England -7 O/U 47.5
Rob Veno’s Power Rating: New England -9
Teddy Covers’ Recommendation: Under

On the one hand, the Patriots are as hot as any team in the NFL right now, reeling off six straight wins since that Monday Night Football debacle at Kansas City, while going 5-1 ATS in the process.  That includes impressive blowouts over the likes of Denver, Indy and Cincinnati the three teams that would win the other three AFC Divisions if the season ended today.  The Pats currently are a full game better than any team in the conference, with tiebreaker wins against all of them. As of now, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxboro.

But on the other hand, the betting markets are telling us clearly Read more


Tags: NFL Detroit Lions New England Patriots Teddy Covers




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL Power Ratings Movers and Shakers

11.17.2014     08:20 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Following the Week 11 results, for the first time since 2012, I have a team other than the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks ranked #1 in my NFL Power Ratings.  Seattle has been steadily declining in my power ratings for most of the season.  The Seahawks lack of defensive line depth was problematic in early season losses to Dallas and San Diego, both of whom wore them down in the second half and were able to run the football successfully throughout.  The loss of stud lineman Brandon Mebane only made those depth concerns greater prior to their game at Kansas City this past weekend; a game where the Chiefs ran all over the Seahawks defense. 

Seattle also lacks consistent downfield playmakers at the wide receiver position since trading away Percy Harvin.  In their loss to the Chiefs, Seattle lost star center Max Unger to injury as well, truly an impact injury.  If the playoffs started today, the Seahawks would be on the outside looking in.  Clearly, this is not the best team in the NFL as we approach Thanksgiving and the December stretch run.

Denver has been ranked #1 or #2 in my power ratings in every single week since 2012, Read more


Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




NFL Handicapping: New England's offense limited to small ball

09.16.2014     07:30 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Despite picking up an easy 30-7 road win over the Vikings, concerns remain about New England's offense moving forward. The Patriots rank 30th in the league at 4.3 yards per play and dead last at 5.1 yards per pass. One of the contributing factors appears to be Tom Brady's declining arm strength. As a result, everything thus far has been pretty much dink-and-dunk. Great article from the Boston Globe that expands on some of this ineptitude.


The Patriots basically conceded that they can’t pass the ball down the field, and took the ball out of Brady’s hands on several third-and-long opportunities. On third and 8 in the first quarter, he handed off to Vereen for 7 yards. On second and 18, they ran a draw to Vereen for 7 yards. The next play, on third and 11, Brady threw a bubble screen to Edelman that didn’t gain any yards. On third and 19 from the 21-yard line in the second half, they again ran an inside draw to Vereen.





Tags: NFL New England Patriots




NFL Handicapping: New England's offensive line faces another tough front seven

09.09.2014     01:37 PM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
New England -3 at Minnesota O/U 49

Last week against Miami, New England's offensive line was manhandled for much of the game. The Dolphins recorded four sacks on Tom Brady and a ton of hurries. This week's opponent, Minnesota, present a similar challenge. The Vikings notched five sacks and helped force two interceptions in their 34-6 domination of the Rams. New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels couldn’t pinpoint the exact root of the problem but pointed to the heat on humidity of Miami as a contributing factor.


“I don’t think there was one thing in particular,” McDaniels said. “I think you have to do a good job of being technically sound in terms of your protection to avoid pressure on the passer, obviously. Give credit to Miami; they deserve it. They did a good Read more



Tags: MLB New England Patriots Minnesota Vikings Miami Dolphins




College Football Betting Preview: Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

09.03.2014     11:13 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Michigan at Notre Dame
Saturday, 4:30 pm PT - NBC
CRIS Opener:
Notre Dame -4.5 O/U 54.5
CRIS Current: Notre Dame -3.5 O/U 56
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Notre Dame -4
Teddy Covers' Recommendation: Over

Michigan has won and covered four of the last five meetings between these two teams, taking control of what had been a very competitive series in recent seasons.   In fact, prior to the Wolverines recent success, the taking the underdog plus the points had been the prevailing theme, winning outright in nine of the previous 12 meetings.   And, of course, with Michigan catching points in South Bend on Saturday, the trends clearly point towards the Wolverines as live underdogs here.

The Wolverines went through an ugly 0-5 SU and ATS run as an underdog heading into last November, but they covered three straight in that role down the stretch last year, finally showing success Read more


Tags: College Football Michigan Wolverines Big Ten Notre Dame Fighting Irish Teddy Covers




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC East Reg Flags

09.02.2014     07:06 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Bettors react strongly to the NFL Preseason.  First string offenses that look good in August tend to attract betting market support.  The markets are much less reactive to defensive success or failure compared to offensive production.  And bettors tend to largely ignore coaching gameplans; unable to differentiate between coaches who were aggressively trying to set a tone for winning or whether their primary focus was on roster evaluation and personnel decisions.

The two primary areas where preseason results affect the betting markets are adjusting Week 1 numbers and moving the juice on season over/under win totals.  Some of these line moves are absolutely warranted; others are based on erroneous reactions to essentially meaningless football games.

I’m not willing to write off a team’s regular season chances based solely on preseason struggles.  But ignoring those struggles completely is the moral equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. A repeated inability to execute the game plan in August often carries over into September.

One NFL Division had more than their fair share of struggles in August, on at least one Read more


Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




NFL Preseason Gambling: Brady sits, Mallett starts vs. Redskins

08.07.2014     07:39 AM     Printer Friendly
SportsMemo.com blog entry.
New England at Washington -1 O/U 38

The New England Patriots said that Tom Brady will not play in tonight's preseason opener at Washington. Back-up Ryan Mallett will start in his place.



Tags: NFL New England Patriots Washington Redskins




NFL Gambling: A look back at last year's 20* winner on Kansas City Over 7.5 wins

07.29.2014     07:19 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Below is Teddy Covers' write-up for last year's NFL Season O/U Wins Report 20* winner. This year's report is currently available for purchase and will be released this afternoon. Teddy includes in-depth written analysis on all of plays.


20* Big Ticket: Kansas City OVER 7.5 Wins

The Chiefs are the poster child for the ‘expected to be the most improved team in the NFL’ category.  Quite literally, just about every statistic and metric that we have to predict NFL success or failure points towards an immediate turnaround in Kansas City this fall.  And when we start to break down the offseason moves for KC, the case for dramatic improvement is perfectly clear.

It all starts with last year, when KC was an injury riddled mess with a lame duck head coach and a consistent void at the quarterback position.  The Chiefs were tied dead last in the NFL in turnover margin in 2012, finishing with an average of -1.5 turnover differential per game.  Only five players started all 16 games; fewer than the number of players who finished the season on injured Read more



Tags: NFL Kansas City Chiefs Teddy Covers




NFL Gambling: The impact quarterbacks have on Season Over/Under Win totals Part I

07.28.2014     06:59 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
I’ve been writing about NFL Season Win Totals for the last few weeks, using what I call “advanced metric schedule analysis.”  This week, the time has come to write about another stage of the 2014 pre-preseason team analysis that affects every win total on the board – quarterbacks.

Why quarterbacks?  Because more than ever, in the modern ‘pass happy’ era of NFL Football, the quarterback is the most important position on any team.  Of course a great quarterback can’t be great without a decent receiving corps or a decent offensive line, so those must be included in the equation when discussing quarterbacks. 

Here’s what I wrote last year in this space:

“The pecking order for NFL quarterbacks is well established.  Most of the best quarterbacks play for the best teams.  Peyton Manning in Denver, Eli Manning in New York, Tom Brady in New England, Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, Drew Brees in New Orleans and Joe Flacco in Baltimore all wear Super Bowl rings.  All seven guys play for teams that are perennial playoff teams, and all seven of Read more


Tags: NFL Teddy Covers



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