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College Football Handicapping: Wisconsin's O'Brien named starting quarterback

08.20.2012     08:00 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
For the second consecutive year, Wisconsin will go with a graduate transfer at quarterback.  Danny O'Brien, who spent two seasons at Maryland, was named Week 1's starter. O'Brien earned ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010 (2,438 yards, 22 TDs, 8 INTs) before struggling under head coach Randy Edsall. UW head coach Bret Bielema mentioned O'Brien's ability to quickly learn the system was the deciding factor. It'll be a tall order for O'Brien to duplicate Russell Wilson's numbers but he's more than capable and walks into a very good situation in Madison.

“Danny did some nice things, just like the other two did at times,” Bielema said. “I think the part Danny brings to the table is he learns very quickly. ... The thing that shows with Danny probably is the fact he’s started a number of games and that preparation factor, you can kind of see it.”

Tags: College Football Wisconsin Badgers Big Ten

College Football Betting: Michigan State focused on improving run game

08.20.2012     06:32 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
With an experienced offensive line and the departure of quarterback Kirk Cousins, Michigan State is expected to feature more of a run-first offense this year. The Spartans attempted the second fewest run plays in the Big Ten behind Iowa in 2011. They also finished 78th nationally in rushing yards per game (137.9). Andrew Maxwell was named MSU's Week 1 starting quarterback.

"The Big Ten has always historically been about running the football," Michigan State offensive line coach Mark Staten said. "So, you play the cards you're dealt. If you have the luxury of having a senior quarterback, some real good receivers, some good tight ends, it's OK to zip things around. Even if you have a guy who's the quality of the guy starting out for us (Andrew Maxwell), it's OK to zip it around. But at the end of the game, when you need that three yards, you want to be able to count on one another to run that ball."

Tags: College Football Michigan State Spartans Big Ten

NFL Preseason Free Play: Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings

08.17.2012     10:58 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Buffalo at Minnesota -2.5 O/U 37
Recommendation: Minnesota

The Vikings couldn’t do anything last week.  Their defense allowed 23 first downs and a whopping 260 rushing yards.  Held to just a pair of field goals, their offense sputtered no matter who was under center.  This week though is going to be different!

First of all, the Vikings have adjusted their QB rotation.  After Christian Ponder – a young QB with something to prove – sits, they’ll have Joe Webb and Sage Rosenfels taking snaps.  Webb is the type of run/pass threat who’s always dangerous in the preseason.  Rosenfels – a former starting QB with Houston who is replacing disastrous Sacramento State product McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the rotation this week – has enjoyed more than a handful of big second halves in the preseason throughout the course of his career.

Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave: “We didn’t get the Read more

Tags: NFL Buffalo Bills Minnesota Vikings Teddy Covers

Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers' NFC East Gambling Preview

08.16.2012     01:10 PM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Dallas Cowboys
2011 was another disappointing year for the Cowboys.  They outgained their opponents by 0.3 yards per play, and finished with a +4 turnover margin.  Yet once again, Dallas found ways to lose tight games, suffering five losses by six points or less.

The Cowboys finished the campaign with an 8-8 SU, mark, but a money-losing 5-10-1 ATS record against a middle-of-the-pack strength of schedule.  Despite some defensive shortcomings, the Cowboys went 10-6 to the Under.  And their late season struggles continued – the Cowboys have only two winning Decembers in the last 18 years; none since 2001.

2012 Issues: The Cowboys spent their offseason making moves that make it very clear that they feel that their window of opportunity is right now.  They brought in six potential new starters in free agency, and hired former Raiders and Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan to coordinate the offense.

Cowboys QB Tony Romo is now in his seventh year as the starter.  At 32 years old, Romo is coming off his best statistical season, and he’s got some decent weapons around him: Demarco Read more

Tags: NFL Dallas Cowboys Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants Washington Redskins Teddy Covers

Handicapper Teddy Covers talks NFC East Betting on the Sportsmemo Podcast

08.15.2012     10:11 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers

Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers and host Andrew Lange discussed the NFC East Division on Wednesday's Podcast. You can listen here.

2012 NFC East Betting Results and Odds
NFC East
2011 SU W-L
2011 ATS W-L
Season O/U (Pinny)
Division Odds (Pinny)
New York

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College Football Gambling: Bettors show early love for Michigan State

08.14.2012     06:41 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Boise State at Michigan State -7

Michigan State is expected to start Andrew Maxwell at quarterback for the team's opener against Boise State. According to reports, Maxwell looked the part during a recent scrimmage. Boise State meanwhile has yet to commit to a signal caller. Junior Joe Southwick has the most experience but head coach Chris Peterson wants to keep the position open. The Broncos return only seven starters this season (5 off, 2 def). The betting markets have come out in strong support of the Spartans thus far. Line history courtesy of CRIS.



Tags: College Football Michigan State Spartans Big Ten Boise State Broncos Mountain West

NCAAF Handicapping: Illinois tries to match last year's defensive output

08.13.2012     01:38 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Like a lot of bettors, we are curious about how Illinois' offense will to look under first-year head coach Tim Beckman. But perhaps even more important is whether or not the Illini can match last year's defensive output. Under coordinator Vic Koenning, Illinois went from mediocre to really good in just two years. Last season, the stop unit quietly ranked second in the Big Ten in yards per game allowed (286.2) and held its opponents to under 20 ppg. Koenning however has move on (North Carolina DC) leaving Tim Banks in charge. Banks served as DC at Central Michigan and most recently Cincinnati.

“The pieces are in place,” said defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, the holdover from the previous staff. “It can be a lot similar as far as what we accomplished last year.”

“You look at all the different points where we have guys who can dominate,” Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase said. “That’s what makes it tough. You have to be deep on defense, but we have four players who are dominant at what they do. Read more

Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten

The ever-changing art of betting on the NFL Preseason

08.13.2012     11:21 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
I write a How To Beat The NFL Preseason article just about every year.  But this is no cut and paste job from previous editions, because my strategies for betting (and beating) preseason football have been altered over the years, in some ways quite dramatically. 

The betting markets are not static entities – they’re changing and shifting, year by year.  Betting strategies that gain attention because they work become the status quo, and the bookmakers adjust appropriately. 

Part of the change is the pointspread itself.  What was once a +7 becomes a +5; instead of laying -2.5, the books adjust and force you to lay -4.5.  As a natural consequence, the overall winning percentage of relatively popular and successful strategies drops as time progressed.

At the same time, the game itself changes from season to season, decade to decade.  Coach’s gameplans change over time, as do locker room mentalities and the overall capabilities of the athletes that we’re betting on.  Frankly, there’s an inordinate amount of outdated information circulating around the betting world; info that should be Read more

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers

College Football Handicapping: Iowa adjusting to new offensive coordinator

08.09.2012     01:14 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
There were times last season when Iowa's offense was fairly explosive. They used the no-huddle in early season victories over Pittsburgh and UL-Monroe but when it was all said and done, the Hawkeyes were just another mediocre Big Ten offense. Quarterback James Vandenberg returns for his senior season but will have to adjust to a new offensive coordinator and new system. Longtime OC Ken O'Keefe moved on to the NFL and Kirk Ferentz brought in former Texas OC Greg Davis. According to reports, Davis runs what is called a "West Coast Hybrid" offense. The Hawkeyes will have plenty of opportunity to break in their new offense as the front half of the schedule is loaded with teams who struggled defensively last season: Iowa State (95th nationally total defense), Northern Illinois (88th), Central Michigan (96th) and Read more

Tags: College Football Iowa Hawkeyes Big Ten

Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers' AFC West Gambling Preview

08.09.2012     10:55 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Denver Broncos
Last year, in John Fox’s first season at the helm in Denver, the Broncos got hot down the stretch, in large part due to some Tim Tebow magic, and won the division with an 8-8 record (7-9 ATS, 9-7 to the Over).  They faced a schedule that was right around the league average in terms of toughness, yet were outgained by 0.4 yards per play while finishing -12 in turnovers.

2012 Issues: Fox returns as the head coach, as does offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, but the Broncos have a new defensive coordinator; former Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.  Del Rio served at the same position under Fox in Carolina prior to his ascension in Jacksonville.

But nobody in Denver is talking about the coaching staff – they’re talking about Peyton Manning.  Manning is 36 years old, coming off a lost season and four neck surgeries.  He’ll be throwing to a largely unproven group of receivers – no WR on the squad has more than 124 career catches.  And Denver doesn’t have much of a Plan B if Manning doesn’t work out – backup Caleb Hanie was nothing short of a Read more

Tags: NFL Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers Kansas City Chiefs Teddy Covers


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