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NFL Handicapping: NFC and AFC Championship Betting Notes

01.17.2014     07:35 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Submitted by Stat Intelligence

Back as promised to run the regular season drive point averages in matchup order. Will provide a few additional notes as well. The numbers you see below are from the regular season. I’ll make separate comments about what’s happened so far within the small sample size of the playoffs.

Drive points are those scored and allowed on drives of 60 yards or more, trying to get the best possible read on “true” offense and defense not polluted by cheap scoring. The first set of parenthesis shows strength of schedule rankings according to Jeff Sagarin of USA Today, and then Football Outsiders (in that order). The second set of parenthesis shows turnover differential from the regular season.

AFC Championship
New England: 15.4 on offense, 12.2 on defense (21-18 schedule) (+9 turnovers)
Denver: 21.9 on offense, 14.4 on defense (24-31 schedule) (even turnovers)

A little football feng shui there in the schedule rankings. Sagarin has them Read more

Tags: NFL New England Patriots Denver Broncos Seattle Seahawks San Francisco 49ers Stat Intelligence

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Pittsburgh Panthers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

01.14.2014     11:40 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Pittsburgh -7.5 at Georgia Tech O/U 131
Recommendation: Pittsburgh

Pitt has brought their Big East style of blue collar defensive effort to the ACC, and thusfar, their ACC opponents have not reacted well.  And the Panthers' extended ATS losing streak – they failed to cover a single pointspread as favorites in their six lined games in December – has left them as a relatively undervalued commodity.  

Put those two factors together and you can understand why I’ve got a big ‘buy’ sign on Jamie Dixon’s squad right now.  Let me start with their defense, holding foes to less than 58 points per game on 37% shooting over their last five games.  NC State, Maryland and Wake Forest – all longtime ACC squads – have all been completely shut down against the Panthers stout D.  I’m not expecting a Yellow Jackets squad that has struggled repeatedly when stepping up in class (0-5 SU and ATS at +2.5 or higher) to have an easier time.

Meanwhile, the Panthers offense has exploded this year, raking in the Top 10 nationally in assists per possession, Read more

Tags: College Basketball Pittsburgh Panthers Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Teddy Covers

NHL Gambling Free Pick: New York Islanders at Florida Panthers

01.14.2014     08:00 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
NY Islanders -110 at Florida O/U 5.5
Recommendation: New York

Don’t look now, but the New York Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the NHL.  Winners of four straight and an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, the Islanders are brimming with confidence.  A late game come-from-behind win against the Dallas Stars Sunday night gave the Islanders their seventh straight road win.  They now head to Florida looking to extend that streak and build on what has become a very young and exciting lineup. 

The Islanders have been a team that runs hot with their defense.  They are always going to be able to score goals, but their defense and goaltending has always held this team back.  But lately we’ve seen good things out of the Islanders no matter who has been in net, and it seems as if the team is buying into a more disciplined defensive approach. 

''We're competing. We're defending a little better,'' Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. ''Playing more within the team concept. I think when you can utilize your four lines that we do, a lot of guys the minutes are Read more

Tags: NHL New York Islanders Florida Panthers Sammy P

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wise Guy Report: NBA Moneyburners!

01.13.2014     12:18 PM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Last week, I took an in-depth look at five of the biggest moneymakers in the NBA through the first half of the season.  This week I’m going to focus on the teams at the other end of the spectrum – bottom feeders and disappointments.  I’ll break down the three biggest money-losers of the season thusfar.  And I’ll take a look at a ‘morpher’; a team playing significantly worse than current market projections.

I’ll start with the three teams that can be collectively called ‘the hopeless trio’.  It’s hard to make money betting on the very worst teams in any sport, and the NBA is certainly no exception.  And there’s no question who the very worst team in the NBA is this year, because they have both the worst SU record in the league (7-29) and the worst pointspread mark (12-24 ATS).  That team?  The Milwaukee Bucks!

Bucks head coach Larry Drew has never coached a bottom feeder before.  He walked into a good situation in Atlanta with the Hawks, who made the playoffs all three years that he was coaching the team.  Here in Milwaukee, the playoffs Read more

Tags: NBA Milwaukee Bucks Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Miami Heat Teddy Covers Las Vegas

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Monmouth Hawks at Canisius Golden Griffins

01.12.2014     08:39 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
Monmouth +10.5 at Canisius
Recommendation: Monmouth

Familiarity between these new MAAC opponents will be minimal since they have not faced each other yet this season. Youthful Monmouth squad has gone to a unique lineup which features three guards and a pair of 6’10” true freshman centers. Using a pair of big men in an up-tempo system (73.0 possessions per game overall, 74.8 in league play) wouldn’t seem to be a good fit but with this alignment, Monmouth won at high octane Niagara Friday night 85-74. Head coach King Rice is confident that playing the duo of Chris Brady and Zac Tillman together will continue to make the Hawks better. Monmouth shot 63% from the field in the win but that’s far above their poor season average of 39.5%. Defensively, they’ve been sound over the past eight games allowing only Quinnipiac to shoot above 44% from the field.

Canisius played their third consecutive tight contest Friday night defeating Rider in double OT 94-91 on a buzzer beating three by star Billy Baron. The Golden Griffins haven’t had much trouble offensively in conference play averaging 79.6 ppg on 46.9% shooting Read more

Tags: College Basketball Monmouth Hawks Canisius Golden Griffins Rob Veno

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Xavier Musketeers at Creighton Bluejays

01.12.2014     08:26 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Xavier +8.5 at Creighton O/U 142
Recommendation: Xavier

Xavier has been an underdog three times this season, compiling a 3-0 spread record with a pair of outright wins vs. Cincinnati (64-47) and at Alabama (77-74). The only outright defeat came in a 77-74 loss to Iowa in overtime as a six-point underdog.

Chris Mack's team has a 13-3 straight-up record and a 10-4 against-the-spread mark. Xavier will take an eight-game winning streak into Omaha on Sunday to face Creighton. Most books have the Bluejays favored by -8.5.

Xavier has the better RPI (#27) compared to Creighton (#35). The Musketeers have covered the spread in six consecutive games, including triumphs over Marquette, Butler and St. John's to start 3-0 in their debut season in the Big East.

Xavier has played a tough schedule with a pair of wins over RPI Top-50 opponents, including a win over Tennessee. The Musketeers have won seven of 10 games versus foes in the RPI's Top 100. They have only lost one game by more than six, a 64-49 defeat against Tennessee when the Vols were in revenge mode.

Creighton won't be at full strength. Sixth-year senior guard Grant Read more

Tags: College Basketball Xavier Musketeers Creighton Bluejays Brian Edwards

NBA Handicapper Free Play: Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings

01.10.2014     11:28 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Orlando +7.5 at Sacramento O/U 205.5
Recommendation: Orlando

I can certainly understand why the betting markets have installed the Magic as 7.5-point underdogs in their matchup at Sacramento tonight.  The Magic have the second worst record in the NBA; only Milwaukee’s is worse.  Orlando is 3-14 SU on the highway, and they’ve been blown out in each of the first two games of this grueling West Coast swing. 

To make matters worse for Jacques Vaughn’s squad, they’re playing without their lone low post presence, center Nikola Vucevic; the only true center on the roster.  That leaves the likes of Big Baby Davis, Andrew Nicholson and Jason Maxiell to bang with DeMarcus Cousins in the paint; an undersized and under-talented trio. 

But for all of those negatives, I have one thing to say: 0-10 ATS.  Sacramento has been favored ten previous times this year.  Their next pointspread cover in this role will be their first.  And just about every team the Kings have been favored against during this remarkable run has a similar story to that of Orlando; teams with flaws, Read more

Tags: NBA Orlando Magic Sacramento Kings Teddy Covers

NFL Handicapping: Drive Point Averages Divisional Round

01.09.2014     01:01 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Submitted by Stat Intelligence

Before getting to the drive point averages and estimated market Power Ratings, I wanted to point something that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere yet in playoff coverage. Maybe it’s been mentioned…it’s not like I see everything out there. But, I don’t get the sense that much is being made of this reality yet in the NFC brackets.

*The four remaining NFC teams saw a lot of each other this year

*They played nothing but grinders against each other

It wasn't much of a secret during the year that Seattle, San Francisco, Carolina, and New Orleans were the top four teams in the NFC. There was debate about how the last three rated amongst each other. Some computer places fell too much in love with Philadelphia’s penchant for running up the stats against a soft schedule. And, Arizona may have crashed the party in some circles. But, the “big four” were pretty clear, and kept running into each other because the NFC South played the Read more

Tags: NFL Stat Intelligence

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Marquette Golden Eagles at Xavier Musketeers

01.09.2014     10:45 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly
Submitted by ICC blog entry.
Marquette at Xavier -4 O/U 132
Recommendation: Xavier

The Xavier Musketeers have flown under the radar this season despite a 12-3 SU, 9-4 ATS start. And we know they have owned a very strong home court advantage at the Cintas Center at 11-0 SU, 7-2 ATS. Xavier notched a pair of home wins to open Big East play against St. John’s and Butler winning each of those games by 10 and 11 points respectively. The Musketeers have gotten terrific point guard play from Semaj Christon who is averaging 14.7 points per game and 20 assists without committing a single turnover in the team’s last three home games. They’ve also done a good job of preparing for conference play by facing a litany of quality foes in non-conference play: Tennessee (twice), Iowa, USC, Cincinnati and Alabama.

Marquette was put through the ringer themselves in a difficult non-conference schedule with games against Wisconsin, San Diego State, New Mexico and Arizona State. But the Golden Eagles didn’t exactly pass those tests with flying colors. They were 0-4 SU in those games all away from home and when you combine that with their ugly 67-49 road loss at Read more

Tags: College Basketball Marquette Golden Eagles Xavier Musketeers Ian Cameron

College Basketball Betting Free Play: Texas Longhorns at Oklahoma State Cowboys

01.08.2014     07:54 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Texas +12.5 at Oklahoma State
Recommendation: Texas

This isn’t a bet against Oklahoma State as much as it is a bet on Texas.  The Longhorns have made believers out of me, despite their youth, with no seniors and only one junior on Rick Barnes’ squad this year.  But we’ve seen Texas hang tough away from home, gutting out tough road wins at Temple and North Carolina; blowing out DePaul and hanging tough with BYU for the full 40 minutes at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. 

Texas is not a team to lay points with, as we saw in their home loss to Oklahoma on Saturday – they seem to play up or down to their level of competition.  But they covered wire-to-wire in both previous tries as an underdog away from home; a track record that comes into play again tonight.

Texas has extraordinary talent even though they’re young, with five guys averaging in double figures.  They’ve got a defensive mindset, holding foes to 39% shooting for the season.  And the Longhorns are massive in the low post with Cameron Ridley, Jonathan Holmes, Prince Ibeh and Connor Lammert all taking up Read more

Tags: College Basketball Texas Longhorns Oklahoma State Cowboys Teddy Covers


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