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Fiesta Bowl Betting Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

12.30.2015     09:16 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Rob Veno

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, AZ
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
Friday, Janaury 1, 10 am PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener:
Ohio State -6.5 O/U 54
CRIS Current: Ohio State -6 O/U 56.5
Recommendation: Notre Dame

From tradition, competitive and ability standpoints, this is a terrific draw for the Fiesta Bowl. My power ratings suggest that these are two of the top eight teams in the nation so of the 38 non-playoff Bowls, it’s as close to a CFB Playoff caliber game as there is on the schedule. The game does not feature any real situational angle but you could make a small case that Notre Dame has a motivational advantage since the Buckeyes are a bit disappointed to not be in the four team playoff. However, this New Year’s Day stage and this opponent likely negate that. Fundamental matchups should determine the best way to play this one so let’s take a look at a couple keys.

It’s been a tough month for Ohio State which has seen some personnel losses due to injury and off field issues. A team imposed suspension will cost them starting sr. DT Adolphus Washington and combined with the injury Read more



Tags: College Football Notre Dame Fighting Irish Ohio State Buckeyes Big Ten Rob Veno




Outback Bowl Betting Preview: Tennessee Volunteers vs. Northwestern Wildcats

12.30.2015     09:11 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Outback Bowl - Tampa, FL
Tennessee vs. Northwestern
Friday, January 1, 9 am PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener
: Tennessee -8 O/U 45.5
CRIS Current: Tennessee -8.5 O/U 47

Tennessee should have a pretty good idea of what to expect against Northwestern having played in the SEC East. The division was peppered with pedestrian offenses and sub-par quarterback play which is exactly what the Wildcats bring to the table. They had three games where they failed to top 3 yards per play and only once topped 28 points against FBS competition.

Northwestern got to 10 wins thanks in large part to an above average defense that allowed 16.4 ppg and favorable schedule. They managed to duck Michigan State, Ohio State, and Indiana, and in step up game against Michigan and Iowa, the Wildcats allowed 78 points, 872 totals yards, and nearly 500 yards on the ground. And Tennessee is more capable with the ball than both the Wolverines and Hawkeyes. That said, Tennessee did play a handful of low scoring games. It was 17-17 before overtime against Oklahoma, the Read more



Tags: College Football Tennessee Volunteers SEC Northwestern Wildcats Big Ten Andrew Lange




Holiday Bowl Betting Preview: Wisconsin Badgers vs. USC Trojans

12.28.2015     10:57 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Andrew Lange

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Holiday Bowl - San Diego, CA
Wisconsin vs. USC
Wednesday, December 30, 7:30 pm PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener:
USC -3 O/U 51
CRIS Current: USC -3 O/U 50
Recommendation: USC

Wisconsin's strength of schedule, or lack thereof, is an obvious starting point with this handicap. The Badgers didn't play Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, or Indiana this season. Instead they drew Iowa and Northwestern at home (lost both games) and got manhandled against Alabama in Week 1. Against its five opponents that reached the postseason (two of which, Minnesota and Nebraska, went 5-7 in the regular season), Wisconsin averaged only 319 ypg. You can make a strong argument that UW's 5.29 ypp vs. 4.39 ypp allowed is in fact extremely weak based on the level of competition.

USC meanwhile went through a meatgrinder of a slate (No. 3 SOS Sagarin) and managed to win eight games despite losing its head coach midseason. But just because you play a tougher schedule than your opponent doesn't always make you the better team. When asked to step up in class, the Trojans didn't always fare well. The last three games Read more



Tags: College Football Wisconsin Bagders Big Ten USC Trojans PAC-12 Andrew Lange




Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Narrowing down the Super Bowl 50 contenders

12.28.2015     08:43 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
This is my last Wiseguy Report of the year.  That leaves me with two choices – a look back column or a look forward one. I’m a big fan of post-mortems following every NFL betting week; looking to learn from both winners and losers.  But when it comes to looking back over a whole season or a full year?  It’s harder (for me at least) to learn lessons in the aggregate; much easier when I condense those lessons down to individual games. 

After all, that’s what a season is – dozens of individual betting decisions; made one at a time.  So, while I’ve enjoyed one of the best NFL seasons of my handicapping career, there’s no point in looking back.

Sure, we can identify the worst beat of the year, that’s always fun.  I’d nominate anyone who had Lions and Under when they led Green Bay wire-to-wire on Thursday Night Football….until Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary touchdown pass with no time left on the clock that turned Lions and Under into Packers and Over.  Apologies to anyone who had St Louis plus the points at Green Bay in Week 5, a close second on my list.  But the better way Read more



Tags: NFL Teddy Covers




GoDaddy.com Bowl Betting Preview: Georgia Southern Eagles vs. Bowling Green Falcons

12.22.2015     12:46 PM     Drew Martin     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Drew Martin

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
GoDaddy.com Bowl - Mobile, AL
Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green
Wednesday, December 23, 5 pm PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener:
Bowling Green -7  O/U 65
CRIS Current: Bowling Green -7 O/U 63.5
Recommendation: Georgia Southern
 
This year’s GoDaddy.com Bowl in will feature the contrasting styles of Bowling Green and Georgia Southern. The Falcons boast one of the most potent passing games in the country with MAC Offensive Player of the Year Matt Johnson throwing to a foursome of receivers that caught a combined 294 passes.  The polar opposite will take place for Georgia Southern as the Eagles led the nation with 355.6 ypg on the ground at nearly 6.5 ypc.

Both teams must deal with the exit of their head coach as BG’s Dino Babers took off for Syracuse and GSU’s Willie Fritz made the odd choice to take over at Tulane. Dell McGee (former running backs coach) will call the shots for Georgia Southern and Brian Ward (former defensive coordinator) will do the same for Bowling Green.

It’s generally understood that Bowling Green will move the ball through the Read more



Tags: College Football Georgia Southern Eagles Sun Belt Bowling Green Falcons MAC Drew Martin




Foster Farms Bowl Betting Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. UCLA Bruins

12.22.2015     12:10 PM     ICC     Printer Friendly
Submitted by ICC

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Foster Farms Bowl - Santa Clara, CA
Nebraska vs. UCLA
Saturday, December 26, 6:15 pm PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener:
UCLA -6 O/U 60
CRIS Current: UCLA -6.5 O/U 61
Recommendation: Over

Nebraska was extremely fortunate to end up in the postseason with a 5-7 record. Detractors may be up in arms but if anything, it could motivation for Mike Riley’s squad to prove folks wrong. UCLA limped to an 8-4 finish including a sloppy (-3 turnover margin) 40-21 loss to USC in the regular season finale.

Offensively, Nebraska was sneaky good as it finished second in the Big Ten at 442 ypg at over 6 yards per play. When not turning the ball over (16 INTs) Tommy Armstrong Jr. was a capable passer who spread the ball around to a number of solid receivers including Jordan Westerkamp who hauled in 63 catches. They match up well against a UCLA defense that was a mess most of the season thanks to cluster injuries. It all started when LB Myles Jack was lost for the season with a knee injury back in late September while DT Eddie Vanderdoes and CB Fabian Moreau were also lost to injury. The Bruins' stop unit never Read more



Tags: College Football Nebraska Cornhuskers Big Ten UCLA Bruins PAC-12 Ian Cameron




Quick Lane Bowl Betting Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

12.22.2015     08:45 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Alex Smith

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Quick Lane Bowl - Detroit, MI
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota
Monday, December 28, 2 pm PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener:
Minnesota -5.5 O/U 49.5
CRIS Current: Minnesota -6 O/U 48
Recommendation: Central Michigan

Minnesota wasn’t expecting to play another game in 2015 after a regular season finale loss to Wisconsin dropped its record to 5-7. But thanks to their efforts in the classroom (ranking high in the Academic Progress Rating) and due to a lack of clubs with winning records to fill in spots, the Golden Gophers will play in their seventh bowl game in the last 10 seasons. This was a tough year as head coach Jerry Kill was forced to leave due to his declining health and longtime assistant Tracy Claeys replaced him and was given a three-year contract soon afterwards.

Heading into the season, it looks as if it was going to be a rebuilding year for Central Michigan. But under first-year head coach John Bonamego, CMU won five of its last six games to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season. Last year's Bahamas Bowl game will be remembered by many fans and bettors when Central Read more



Tags: College Football Central Michigan Chippewas MAC Minnesota Golden Gophers Big Ten Alex B. Smith




Pinstripe Bowl Betting Preview: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Duke Blue Devils

12.18.2015     11:41 AM     Otto Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Otto Sports

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Indiana vs. Duke
Saturday, December 26, 12:30 pm PT - ABC
CRIS Opener:
Indiana -1.5 O/U 66
CRIS Current: Indiana -1.5 O/U 68
Recommendation: Indiana/Over

This one begins and ends with the injury of Duke's do-everything safety Jeremy Cash. Tabbed as a first-team All-American as well as ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Cash will miss the Pinstripe Bowl as he recovers from wrist surgery. Individual defenders are rarely if ever accounted for in the betting markets but Cash was arguably the most important defensive player in the country. And it's certainly important in this matchup given Indiana's ability to move the football.

The other thing to consider is even with Cash, Duke's defense was routinely exposed later in the season after facing a litany of offensively inept teams to start the year. Tulane, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Army all struggled mightily to put points on the board this season. When Duke was asked to step up in class (somewhat), it allowed 38.8 ppg the final six games of the season. In those games, Duke was outgained by nearly a yard per play. And the game Read more



Tags: College Football Duke Blue Devils ACC Indiana Hoosiers Big Ten OTTO Sports




NHL Handicapper Free Play: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars

12.17.2015     10:26 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly
Submitted by ICC

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Calgary +180 at Dallas O/U 5.5
Recommendation: Calgary


My clients and I cashed a big dog winner on Calgary in their 2-1 OT win at Nashville on Tuesday night and I think the surging Flames are worth a play in this price range as they head to Dallas to face the Stars. It’s not easy to bet against Dallas as they possess the league’s best record at 23-6-1-1 but the Stars have not been quite as dominant in the short term with a 6-4 mark in their last 10 games. Calgary is on a major roll right now going 6-0 in their last six games and the way they gutted out wins on their recent home stand where they won all five games and against some good teams (Dallas, Boston, San Jose, Buffalo, and the NY Rangers) despite several players battling the flu. The Flames players spoke about really wanting to correct their road woes prior to the first game of their current road trip against Nashville and they played a very good game especially defensively holding the Predators to just 22 shots on goal in their 2-1 overtime win. The Flames are getting excellent offensive production from their top players lately with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan hitting the Read more



Tags: NHL Calgary Flames Dallas Stars Ian Cameron




Las Vegas Bowl Betting Preview: BYU Cougars vs. Utah Utes

12.17.2015     07:53 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Las Vegas Bowl
BYU vs. Utah
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - ABC
CRIS Opener:
Utah -2.5 O/U 54
CRIS Current: Utah -2.5 O/U 51.5
Recommendation: BYU

Utah has been drawing significant support in recent bowl games, in large part due to Kyle Whiitingham’s impressive track record: 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS in his eight bowls with the Utes.  They blew out Colorado State 45-10 last year.  And bettors certainly haven’t forgotten outright bowl upsets against the likes of Alabama, Cal, and Georgia Tech (twice) in the Whiitingham era.

The Utes have also enjoyed great success in recent seasons against their in-state rival.  The Utes have won each of the last four meetings since 2010 – three tight victories by a touchdown or less, and a 54-10 wipeout in Provo back in 2011. The two teams didn’t meet in the regular season this year, making this matchup a highly anticipated revenge meeting for the slight underdog.

For many of these minor bowls, motivation is a key element of the handicap.  That’s most assuredly not the case in this game.  These two programs Read more



Tags: College Football BYU Cougars Utah Utes PAC-12 Teddy Covers



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