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College Football Betting Preview: BYU Cougars at Nebraska Cornhuskers

09.02.2015     07:20 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
BYU at Nebraska 
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - ABC 
CRIS Opener:
Nebraska -6 O/U 65 
CRIS Current: Nebraska -7 O/U 63 
Recommendation: BYU

A lot of mystery with this matchup as both BYU and Nebraska have suspended multiple players yet neither school, as of Wednesday, has revealed who exactly they are. Reports indicate the Cougars could be without one of their top pass rushers and starting center but again, nothing has been made official.

As for the game, the main storyline is Nebraska's coaching turnover. Despite only one winning regular season since 2010, former Oregon State coach Mike Riley was hired to replace Bo Pelini who won nine or 10 games in all seven seasons in Lincoln. Riley brought win him both OC Danny Langsford and DC Mark Banker. Riley's a good coach and didn't have the resources in Corvallis Pelini was afforded. However I have questions whether or not Riley can get Nebraska to the "next level." I tend to downgrade teams following such mass offseason changes, especially to start the season. Personnel and talent-wise, the Cornhuskers (15 returning starters) appear to be on similar footing as last season.

For BYU, it starts and ends with the health of quarterback Taysom Hill. When healthy, BYU was knocking on the door of being a top 25 team. Without him, mediocrity set in. It'll be interesting to see if Hill is allowed to continue to play with reckless abandon. There were games where he created plays seemingly ever snap and as a result took a ton of hits. They've talked about being more conservative with the amount of designed runs which long term is the smart move.

One angle to consider is BYU's strong history in Week 1 games due in large part to the number of older, experienced players that litter the roster. Dating back to 2006, the Cougs are 7-2 SU and 6-2 ATS (one game vs. FCS wasn't lined) in Week 1. Overall, I have Nebraska power rated ahead of BYU but not as much as the betting markets. Even accounting for home field advantage I see the taking the full touchdown with the road underdog as the best option though knowing the details of the suspensions would be preferred.

Tags: College Football BYU Cougars Nebraska Cornhuskers Big Ten Andrew Lange

College Football Betting Preview: Virginia Cavaliers at UCLA Bruins

09.02.2015     07:15 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
Virginia at UCLA 
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - FOX 
CRIS Opener:
UCLA -17 O/U 54 
CRIS Current: UCLA -19.5 O/U 53 
Recommendation: Over

Back end of this home-and-home series comes with very high expectations for one side and for the other, a head coach immediately on the hot seat. Last season’s game in Charlottesville saw UCLA close as a large -18.5 road favorites and struggled mightily to escape with a 28-20 win. In that game, Virginia trailed 21-10 at the half but was able to make some solid defensive adjustments and their experienced pass rushers swarmed Brett Hundley en-route to a five sack afternoon. The Cavaliers actually outgained UCLA in that contest 386-358 and held the Bruins to 4.9 yards per play which was their second lowest output of the 2014 campaign (only defensively stout Stanford held them to less). So the question is, can Virginia repeat that performance and cash another ticket? The pointspread for Saturday’s game is very similar but there are some significant fundamental differences this time around so let’s take a look.

First up is the Bruins’ shift at QB from the talented and experience but now departed Hundley to the newly anointed true freshman starter Josh Rosen. Rosen has an abundance of returning starters around him and this game is not in hostile territory so expect head coach Jim Mora Jr. to install a comfortable game plan for his new QB featuring the run and safe passes. Stud RB Paul Perkins (1,575 yards, 6.3 ypc), and the solid offensive line which returns three starters figure to be leaned on and with Virginia rebuilding their front seven, it seems like a logical path to success. However, Virginia DC Jon Tenuta is likely to stack the box to try and take away the run and force Rosen to try and make plays through the air. It’s tough to gauge who will win the in game chess match between Tenuta and UCLA OC Noel Mazzone because philosophies and game plans could get overridden by the personnel on the field. Tenuta and the Cavs are blessed with an excellent secondary this season which will allow their defense to constantly load the box and relentlessly pressure Rosen. The problem for Virginia is it lost 80% of its 2014 QB sacks to graduation and this is virtually a brand new starting group. Are they capable of just scheming their way to a strong defensive effort against Rosen and the Bruins this Saturday? Also note that UCLA returns seven of their top eight receivers from last season and the starting group led by Jordan Payton is very big and explosive (all three starters 6-1 or 6-2 and between 210-225). The size and ability of the experienced receiving corps has the potential to match up with UVA’s equally big and talented secondary and perhaps neutralize that strength allowing the run game to flourish. Unlike last season’s leaky UCLA OL which was not ready for the fierce pressure of Virginia’s talented front seven, this group does have the advantage in the trenches this time.

Virginia will start a new QB as well with junior Matt Johns taking the full time reins. John’s had plenty of game experience last season with a stat line of 89-of-162, 54.9%, 8 TDs, and 5 INTs. The coaching staff is extremely confident in Johns but his supporting cast at the skill positions is nowhere near as deep and talented as UCLA’s. The Bruins defensive unit led by LB Miles Jack can take the same approach as Virginia will by committing to stop the run and get after the passer. With the Cavaliers losing their top two rushers from last season, new starter Taquan Mizzell (280 yards, 4.4 ypc) will be a marked man in this one as will Johns. Virginia’s experience OL is the strength of this offense and they’ll have to perform well in this game for this pedestrian type group to be productive.

Have to believe that in the defense vs. offense matchups, UCLA has a significant edge even with Rosen starting his first game at QB. Virginia’s defense and especially Tenuta’s system will be a challenge but in the end they’re likely to get worn down if the offense can’t sustain drives. The suspension of UCLA CB and game breaking return man Ishmael Adams cannot be overlooked here especially since he was responsible for seven of the Bruins points in last year’s game on an interception return and would have had 14 if not for a penalty nullifying his punt return TD. My power ratings show this game to be UCLA -16.5 and that’s obviously with a conservative approach taken toward the true freshman QB. Should Rosen excel immediately, this could be a rout so I’m not going to be on the side either way here. The total of 53 is low in this new era of college football and Virginia needs to get to 17 to have any chance of this getting over. Tough to call but I’m going to take a flyer on them getting a turnover which leads to a TD and at least seven fourth quarter coming-from-behind points. Margin is very thin but a slight play on over 53 is what I’ll run with here.

Tags: College Football Virginia Cavaliers ACC UCLA Bruins PAC-12 Rob Veno

College Football Betting Preview: Michigan Wolverins at Utah Utes

09.02.2015     07:04 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly

Submitted by ICC blog entry.
Michigan at Utah 
Thursday, 5:30 pm PT - FS-1 
CRIS Opener:
Utah -4.5 O/U 46.5 
CRIS Current: Utah -5 O/U 46.5 
Recommendation: Under

I stated on the Sportsmemo Podcast PAC-12 South preview that Utah would trend under the total this season and I’m ready to test that theory right out of the gate in their season opener as they host the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday night. First-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is staying silent about who his starting quarterback will be; either last year’s starter Shane Morris or incoming Iowa transfer Jake Rudock. They of course will be dealing with a brand new coaching staff and specifically offense under new OC Tim Drevno. Shane Morris had subpar stats as the Michigan starter last season completing 49% of his passes without a single TD along with 5 INTs while 5th year senior Iowa transfer Jake Rudock displayed some solid play at Iowa but will have to adjust to a new team and offensive system.

Regardless of who gets the nod, they’ll be going up against a very stout Utah Utes defense. Despite losing a great DC in Kalani Sitake who took his talents to Oregon State, Utah’s defensive line has eight returnees with starting experience including the addition of UCLA transfer at DE Kylie Fitts. Head coach Kyle Whittingham’s quote about his DL: “We’ve got as good a defensive line as we’ve ever had this year.” Note that last year’s group led the nation in sacks (55) and was 10th in tackles for loss (103). The stop unit also sports a strong LB corps and a secondary, bolstered by the return of two key veterans in junior CB Reginald Porter and senior safety Tevin Carter. I expect Michigan to have a tough time moving the football and could be facing a long field most of the night with Utah senior punter Tom Hackett among one of the best punters in the nation after averaging a staggering 46.7 ypp last season.

On the flip side, Utah’s offense is not a quick strike attack at all. They prefer to ground-and-pound the football with their outstanding senior RB Devontae Booker. Whittingham: “Devontae Booker will carry the ball as many times as it takes to get a win.” The defense could be Michigan’s strength early in the season as that unit dominated their offense in the spring game and it’s worth noting they held Booker to a season low 34 yards on 11 carries in last year’s meeting. Utah won that game 26-10 and I’m expected another low scoring affair on Thursday.

Tags: College Football Michigan Wolverines Big Ten Utah Utes PAC-12 Ian Cameron

College Football Betting Podcast: SEC West Preview with Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno

09.01.2015     10:29 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Tuesday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno. Rob and host Andrew Lange previewed the SEC West Division.

Today's segments 
Rob Veno - SEC West Preview

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: College Football SEC Rob Veno Andrew Lange

College Football Betting Preview: Michigan State Spartans at Western Michigan Broncos

09.01.2015     10:28 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Alex Smith blog entry.
Michigan State at Western Michigan 
Friday, 4 pm PT - ESPNU 
CRIS Opener:
Michigan State -18.5 O/U 60 
CRIS Current: Michigan State -18 O/U 58.5 
Recommendation: Western Michigan

On Friday Western Michigan hosts in-state "Big Brother" Michigan State in Kalamazoo. The Broncos are coming off an 8-5 SU campaign that saw head coach P.J. Fleck's kids cover 10 of 13 contests against the number while the Spartans are looking to improve on their 11-2 finish from 2014 by hopefully unseating Ohio State for the Big Ten title and secure a berth in this year's College Football Playoff.

Western Michigan brings back a ton of offensive talent with QB Zach Terrell (3,443 yards, 16 TDs) and RB Jarvion Franklin (1,551 yards, 24 TDs) leading the way. The Broncos also return their top three pass targets in Corey Davis, Kendrick Roberts and Daniel Braverman. This unit will be tested by Michigan State's strong defense, which returns six starters now after LB Ed Harris will miss the season with an ankle injury. We'll get to see how this defense plays without the leadership of former defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi (HC at Pitt) against a very balanced Bronco offense.

For Michigan State, their success will rely on the arm of Senior QB Connor Cook (3,214 yards, 24 TDs) leading the offensive charge. The Spartans will be replacing their leading rusher and top two leading receivers from last season. Their might be some early season growing pains for Cook's targets early against this strong WMU secondary, led by CB Ronald Zamort and Rontavious Atkins, and a very solid front seven that loves to rush the passer.

Fleck has revitalized this program, and he will certainly have his ball club and the WMU faithful in Waldo Stadium fired up for this opening game. With Michigan State possibly looking ahead to their rematch with Oregon next week, I wouldn't be shocked to see Mark Dantonio ease up off the gas pedal a bit if Sparty jumps out to an early lead. Western Michigan has the offensive balance to keep close in this game, and that's why I like the Broncos to stay within the number on Friday night. 

Tags: College Football Michigan State Spartans Big Ten Western Michigan Broncos MAC Alex B. Smith

Football Gambling: Las Vegas sportsbook football line release times

09.01.2015     08:22 AM     Printer Friendly

Great list courtesy of ESPN Chalk on all of the major Las Vegas sportsbook release dates and times for NFL and College Football lines.

Las Vegas Sportsbook Football Release Times
10 a.m., Monday
Noon, Monday
Boyd Game (Orleans)
6 p.m., Sunday
Noon, Monday
CG Technology
3 p.m., Sunday
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
Golden Nugget
9 a.m., Monday
9 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
South Point
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Monday
6 p.m., Sunday
6 p.m., Sunday
Treasure Island
11 a.m., Monday
11 a.m., Tuesday
4:30 p.m., Sunday
Noon, Monday
William Hill
6 p.m., Sunday
10 a.m., Monday
3 p.m., Sunday
3 p.m., Sunday

Tags: NFL College Football Las Vegas

College Football Gambling: Illinois goes with OC Cubit following Beckman's departure

09.01.2015     07:07 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
By now you've heard the Illinois fired head coach Tim Beckman. The reason at this point is irrelevant as the Illini open their season Friday at home vs. Kent State. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has been named the interim HC for the season. Not surprising, the player quotes regarding the move were positive: 

"He's like a father to most of us," Lunt said. "He's a really good football coach but he truly cares about his players. We're behind him because we believe in him."

Say what you will about Beckman - and we routinely do on the Podcast - he did improve by two wins each of the last two seasons and somehow got the Illini to a bowl game. However, last year's 3-5 Big Ten mark was perhaps fortunate as Illinois was outgained by 1.65 yards per play vs. the Big Ten.

There are potential wins to be had on the schedule with Kent State, Western Illinois, MTSU, and Northwestern all playing in Champaign. And expectations aren't very high with U of I's season over/under wins currently lined at 4.5. As for the move from Beckman to Cubit, it almost seems like a wash. There were plenty of rumblings that Beckman wasn't liked by the players and Cubit comes off as more of a laid back dude. But dealing with the drama certainly doesn't help a week from your season opener. Bettors have taken a small piece of Kent State with the line down from -15.5 to -14.5/-14 following Beckman's departure. As a barometer, Kent was catching +26 at Virginia last season and lost 45-13.

Tags: College Football Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten Kent State Golden Flashes MAC

College Football Betting: Utah not sure how Harbaugh's Michigan squad will look

09.01.2015     07:24 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Bettors aren't the only ones left guessing on how Michigan will look in Thursday's opener at Utah. The Wolverines have been fairly quiet in the media though the Utes are leaning towards a similar identity to that of last season under Brady Hoke. Note that UM was one of slowest paced teams in the country at around 63 plays per game in 2014. In last year's meeting, Utah won 26-10 in Ann Arbor. Both teams combined to run the football 73 times. The total in that game closed 53. The total for Thursday's game is currently 46.

"We matched up pretty good against them physically, we stood in there and slugged it out toe to toe," Whittingham said. "(Former U-M coach) Brady Hoke was a coach that liked physical football as well. So if nothing else, maybe the confidence we played these guys toe to toe last year and came out alright."

Tags: College Football Michigan Wolverines Big Ten Utah Utes PAC-12

College Football Handicapping: USC's Sarkisian no longer calling plays

09.01.2015     06:40 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
USC head coach Steve Sarkisian has passed along play calling duties to offensive coordinator Clay Helton. At least one article is viewing the move as a positive.

“I love calling plays that’s what I do ... how I got into this profession and worked my way through it,” he said. “But I want to be a great head coach. I don’t want to set offensive records and finish 8-5 or 9-4. I want to win 13 games and 14 games.

“To do that, me being in defensive meetings, me being in every special-teams meeting, me really understanding the nuances of those things is critical to our success.”

Tags: College Football USC Trojans PAC-12

NFL Preseason Betting Podcast 8-31-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers

08.31.2015     10:36 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Monday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers. Teddy and host Andrew Lange recapped NFL Preseason Week 3.

Today's segments 
Teddy Covers - NFL Preseason Week 3 Recap

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers Andrew Lange

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFL Preseason impacts Season Over/Under Win Totals

08.31.2015     08:24 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
At this late stage of the preseason, it’s very clear which NFL teams are attracting sharp money prior to the start of the regular season.  In addition, it’s very clear which teams the wiseguys are betting against, early and often.  How do we measure and quantify this support (or the lack thereof)?  Simple – a thorough analysis of the Season Win Totals marketplace.

The markets don’t lie when it comes to measuring wiseguy support, because the results are easy to quantify.  For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the Season Win Total numbers from the Westgate Superbook, where the Supercontest Weekend just brought together bettors from across the Las Vegas Valley as well as across the country.

Rather than use opening numbers from the Superbook, I think the more accurate way to measure the effect of the preseason is to look at post-draft numbers from early June.  When we compare those early June numbers with the bettable numbers that are on display on the last day of August (following the first three weeks of preseason action), we get a fairly accurate picture of market support.

The reasons that I’m starting with early June numbers and not the very first openers are twofold.  First, there is a fair bit of variance with the opening numbers from one sportsbook to the next.  By June, much that variance has been ironed out.  The sharp bettors looking to play Overs will find the lowest number to exploit, while bettors looking to play Unders will find the highest number to play Under.  In that way, the differences between one book and the next slowly get minimized as the markets ‘mature’, and any outlier numbers get bet out of the marketplace. 

Secondly, the very first numbers were posted before the draft and before the free agent signing period, without a full accounting of the roster changes between the end of the 2014 campaign and the start of the 2015 season.  The early June Win Total numbers, however, are post-draft and post-early free agency (where the vast majority of the impact, ‘big name’ players get signed).  They offer a fairly accurate representation of the ‘pre-training camp’ betting market opinion for all 32 teams in the league, and that’s where I like to start my analysis; comparing those ‘pre training camp’ numbers with the numbers that are bettable today.

For the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on the line moves that have been 50 cents or greater.  For example St. Louis was lined at 8 wins with the Under at -130 back in early June.  Today at the Superbook, they are lined at 8 wins with the Under at -180, a 50 cent swing.  The standard wiseguy formula for measuring NFL juice is that fifty cents of extra juice equates to about half a win.  So while the win total of ‘8’ hasn’t moved one iota, the -130 to -180 move on the juice for betting the Rams Under 8 is a fairly significant move.  The wiseguys are clearly betting against St. Louis right now, an unpopular team in the markets.

The single biggest market move has come in support of the Minnesota Vikings; a perfect storm.  At many books this summer, the Vikings were lined at 7 wins.  The Superbook lined them a bit higher, at 7.5.  That 7.5 was at +100 (even money) on June 2nd.  By last week, that 7.5 was bet up to -215.  Today, you can’t find a 7.5 at the Superbook – they’ve made the move to 8 with the Over 8 sitting at -135. 

Why all the love for the Vikings?  Let’s start with their competition within the NFC North.  Green Bay hasn’t had a good preseason, with the injury bug biting their wide receiving corps in a major way.  The markets aren’t particularly bullish on the Lions, expecting a drop-off from last year’s 11 win campaign.  Even Bears fans aren’t excited about Chicago’s prospects for 2015, a team that’s been sinking in the markets in recent weeks.  That leaves Minnesota as the only team in the division that’s attracting Over money.  When there’s only one team in a division that’s taking Over money, they tend to take a lot of it!

Minnesota came into the offseason as a fairly hot commodity.  They have a second year head coach in Mike Zimmer, a guy the markets like, and a second year quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater who the markets like as well.  Zimmer’s systems and personnel are now firmly in place and the markets see Bridgewater primed for improvement in his second year as the starter.  Throw in the somewhat surprise return of Adrian Peterson at running back and from a personnel and coaching standpoint, the markets have been impressed.

Then there’s the Vikings preseason success; winning and covering all four games thusfar.  In particular, Minnesota’s defense has looked phenomenal ; shutting down opposing offenses in every game that they’ve played.  For a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2009, the Vikings are white hot in the markets today, with many bettors expecting that playoff drought to end in 2015.

Three bottom feeders from last year have attracted some betting marketplace love.  The Oakland Raiders were 5.5 (Over +120) in June, now they are 5.5 (Over -160).  Tennessee is another bottom feeder from last year that is attracting money, from 5.5 (Over +110) to 5.5 (Over -150).  And Tampa Bay has taken Over money as well, moving from 6 (Over +120) to 6 (Over -140).   That trio is a clear indicator that the markets tend look for teams to revert to the mean following a subpar campaign.

But not all bottom feeders from last year are drawing market support here in the preseason.  Look no further than the Cleveland Browns, who have moved from 6.5 (Over +100) to 6.5 (Over +140).   The markets sure don’t like the way Cleveland’s QB competition has played out here in August, and their opposing strength of schedule looks even tougher now than it did during the summer, especially over the back half of the campaign.

A trio of underachievers from last year are being priced as underachievers again this year. The markets have reacted strongly to the endless barrage of injuries that have decimated the Giants defense here in August.  New York was 8 (Over -140) in June, now they are 8 (Over +130).   The Saints were lined at 9 back in June, but the markets aren’t excited about New Orleans, pushing their win total down to 8.5 (Over -140).

And then, of course, there’s the San Francisco 49ers; a team lined as high as 8.5 at some books at the opener, and a team that was still lined at 7.5 with the Under at -160 in early June.  Today at the Superbook that number is all the way down to 6.5 wins, with the Under priced at -150.   Without a doubt, San Francisco has been the #1 wiseguy bet-against team of the summer.  San Fran is now a 2.5 point home underdog to Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 1; a game that opened with San Fran as 3.5 point favorites last Spring; clear evidence of the markets STRONG opinion about both of those teams.

Last, but not least, two Super Bowl sleepers have been drawing market love of late.  The Miami Dolphins have moved from 9 (Over +100) to 9 (Over -150) since June.   And the Philadelphia Eagles were 9.5 (Over +120) in June, but you’ll have to lay -150 to bet Philly Over 9.5 at the Superbook today.  Both the Dolphins and Eagles have seen corresponding moves in their Super Bowl odds as well; two hot teams for wiseguy support here in August.

Find Teddy’s 2015 NFL Season O/U Win Report at and follow him on Twitter@teddy_covers.

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers

College Football Gambling: South Carolina looking to get after quarterback

08.31.2015     07:08 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
A year removed from finishing 94th in total defense (432.7 ypg allowed) South Carolina claims that more pressure will be applied on the quarterback this season. Last year the Gamecocks finished with only 52 tackles for loss (119th) and 14 sacks (119th). Week 1 should serve as a good test as North Carolina returns 105 starts along its offensive line and is projected to have one of the most explosive offenses in the ACC.

“We’re going to get at the quarterback this year,” said Sawyer. “I promise you that. We’re going to really get after the quarterback.”

“Darius English looks like an All-American,” said Spurrier. “He pushed Brandon Shell right back into the quarterback. And he pushed (Christian) Pellage right back into the quarterback.”

Tags: College Football South Carolina Gamecocks SEC North Carolina Tar Heels ACC

College Football Handicapping: Recently named starting quarterbacks

08.31.2015     06:44 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Below are some article links for recently named starting quarterbacks.

Bryant Shirreffs named UConn's starting quarterback. Shirreffs sat out last year after transferring from NC State.

Texas Tech released its depth chart but won't say who the starter is for Week 1's game vs. Sam Houston State.

Washington head coach Chris Petersen knows who his starting QB is but won't tell the media.

Ohio is going with senior Derrius Vick at quarterback. Vick took a bulk of the snaps in six games last season (59%, 1,156 yards, 8 TDs, 4 INTs).

Steve Spurrier named sophomore Connor Mitch South Carolina's starting quarterback for Thursday's opener vs. North Carolina.

Maryland's Perry Hills won a "lengthy battle" to earn the starting QB nod. Hills started seven games as a freshman in 2012, tore up his knee in 2013, and was a backup last season.

Oregon named Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams its starting quarterback.

Northwestern names redshirt frosh Clayton Thorson its starting quarterback. Thorson is regarded as one of head coach Pat Fitzgerald's best-ever recruits, earning the "four star" tag.

Florida going with a QB rotation for Week 1's game vs. New Mexico State.

Rutgers going with Hayden Rettig at quarterback. Rettig is a transfer from LSU though never took a snap for the Tigers.



Tags: College Football

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers

08.30.2015     07:00 AM     Otto Sports     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Otto Sports blog entry.
Baltimore (Gonzalez) at Texas (Holland) -130 O/U 9.5 
Recommendation: Texas

Losers of nine of its last 10, Baltimore's season continues to crumble. They've now dropped 4.5 games out of the Wild Card and are showing signs of quit. Since scoring 18 runs against Oakland back on August 16, the O's have topped three runs only three times. Not a good matchup and venue for Miguel Gonzalez with fly ball tendencies and 24 home runs allowed. He's been especially hittable the back half of the season with a 7.58 ERA over his last six starts. Tossing in the afternoon heat of Texas suggests Gonzo's struggles will continue. All reports indicate that Derek Holland is nearing full strength following a shoulder issue that sidelined him for over four months. He tossed really well against Seattle (6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Ks) and has been one of only a few lefties who survived a start vs. Toronto (6 IP, 4 ER). Baltimore shows below AL-average splits vs. lefties (.303/.403/.706/.145) so if Holland can keep the ball in the yard, he'll be primed for a quality start. Two teams headed in opposite directions and a very playable price as we fire with the Texas Rangers this afternoon.

Tags: MLB Baltimore Orioles Texas Rangers OTTO Sports

NFL Preseason Free Betting Pick: Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys

08.29.2015     08:10 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Alex Smith blog entry.
Minnesota +1 at Dallas O/U 41.5 
Recommendation: Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings have been very dominant in the preseason under second-year head coach Mike Zimmer with near flawless marks of 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS. In watching this team it is very clear that Zimmer's attention to detail has rubbed off on his players all the way down to the third and fourth strings. It's a big reason why they've been so successful in these "meaningless" games. Tonight will mark their first true road game this preseason against the injury bitten Dallas Cowboys who return home after back-to-back road games. Defensive back Orlando Scandrick (ACL) is the latest casualty in a long list of key injuries. At this point, the squad can ill-afford another loss. You could see there was little to no interest in competing hard for 60 minutes the first two weeks as Dallas was outscored a combined 40-13. Reports indicate that more focus and effort will be placed on tonight's "dress rehearsal" but I just don't trust this squad will perform for an entire game. We've seen nothing but Minnesota money but still some value at the small underdog price.

Alex B. Smith 10* NFLX Saturday Night Top Total $29 
Off to a 2-1 start, Alex B. Smith has fired off on a Totals play for Saturday's big slate in the NFL Preseason. You can pick up this selection, backed with a full written analysis, right now for $29. If it doesn't cash in, you'll receive Alex B. next play on the house.



Tags: NFL Minnesota Vikings Dallas Cowboys

NFL Preseason Betting Podcast 8-28-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Brent Crow

08.28.2015     09:44 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Friday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Brent Crow. Brent and host Andrew Lange broke down Friday and Saturday's NFL Preseason games.

Today's segments 
Brent Crow - NFL Preseason (Friday-Saturday)

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: NFL Brent Crow

NFL Preseason Free Betting Pick: New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers

08.28.2015     09:43 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
New England pk at Carolina O/U 44 
Recommendation: New England

There’s a very different mentality between the Patriots and the Panthers as they head into their preseason Week 3 matchup tonight.  New England’s starters got crushed by the Saints last week, allowing three TDs and a FG before the offense produced a single point.  Bill Belichick was not amused.  His quote speaks volumes about why the Patriots are worthy of a wager this evening:

 “We weren’t very good on either side of the ball, or in the kicking game. Bad coaching, bad playing, put it all down. We weren’t very good……I think an important week for us in terms of starting to develop a little bit of a routine, especially for players that haven’t been in this program before for them to understand what the expectations are, what the routine is, where they should be at various points during the week leading up to the game.”

Patriots running back Jonas Gray, talking about the sense of urgency for a much better showing tonight: “It’s huge.  We want to go out there and we want to win — just like any game we play. But we know to be a great team and to be a good team, you gotta be able to run the ball, stop the run and cover kicks and we didn’t do any of that well.  This week, the one thing we’re focusing on is just having a better complete game and we’re looking forward to it.”

The Patriots are getting healthier, expected to see a handful of key veterans returning to the lineup tonight after sitting out the first two preseason games.  That stands in stark contrast with the Panthers; a banged up team following a tough run of injuries, particularly thin at wide receiver.  And while Carolina is expected to keep starters on the field into the third quarter, I’m not sensing that same sense of urgency compared to New England.  Linebacker Luke Kuechly: "It’s our best opportunity to get game reps. We’ll understand where we are and see what steps we need to take."

Panthers third string QB Joe Webb has led them to come-from-behind, fourth quarter wins in each of Carolina’s first two preseason games.  I’m willing to bet Webb won’t make it three in a row tonight.   Take the Patriots.

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Tags: NFL New England Patriots Carolina Panthers Teddy Covers

NFL Preseason Betting: Seattle's Carroll says starters need the work

08.28.2015     07:16 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said there will be no fear when it comes to playing time for his starters in Saturday's preseason tilt at San Diego.

"We will play some more plays this week and look forward to these guys coming out after halftime and playing and getting ready to play this season that's just around the corner," Carroll said.

"No," he said. "We manage our guys the way we do and we're fortunately in pretty good shape right now. These guys need to play. They need the play time. They've got to get ready. You can't hide from it, it's coming, it's right around the corner. They need to be fit and mentally right to play four quarters of football two weeks from now, so we've got to take this next step."

Tags: NFL Seattle Seahawks San Diego Chargers

NFL Preseason Gambling: Ravens dealing with offensive line injuries

08.28.2015     07:09 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Despite a slew of injuries across its offensive line, the playing time for Baltimore's starters won't be impacted according to head coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens (-4) play host to Washington on Saturday night.

“I think if something happens in the game, it possibly could [have an affect], but the way we’re going into the game, to start the game, we’re comfortable with the guys we have playing on the starting offensive line,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “They’ll do a great job.”

“Lord willing, we’ll have enough to play,” offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said Tuesday, only half-joking. “And I say that with great sincerity and hope that we’ll get enough guys that we can play. But we have enough, and we’re excited for them.”

Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens Washington Redskins

College Football Handicapping: Grading Big XII defenses

08.28.2015     07:37 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Article that defends Big XII defenses as "not that bad" because of pace of play and opponents' offensive capabilities. Similar to college basketball, a number of coaches are now using points per possession as a way to better judge their stop units. Below is last season's Football Outsiders' national FEI rankings.

2014 Defensive FEI rankings - Big XII 
No. 6 - TCU 
No. 10 - Baylor 
No. 25 - Kansas State 
No. 32 - Oklahoma 
No. 44 - West Virginia 
No. 73 - Texas 
No. 75 - Oklahoma State 
No. 87 - Texas Tech 
No. 88 - Iowa State 
No. 103 - Kansas

"It's completely opposite of what it should be defensively in statistics," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "It should be points allowed per possession. Like our defense, when we were rolling offensively here in those years, our defensive coaches and our team were facing about 16 or 17 possessions a game. There's teams in the league and other leagues that only face 10, or 11 or 12 possessions, so obviously they have a better chance to score points against us than they do against them."

Tags: College Football Big XII

AFC South Betting Preview Podcast 8-27-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Erin Rynning

08.27.2015     11:12 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Thursday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Erin Rynning. ER and host Andrew Lange previewed the AFC South.

Today's segments 
Erin Rynning - AFC South Preview

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: NFL Erin Rynning Andrew Lange

Las Vegas' Red Rock sportsbook gears up for football

08.27.2015     09:31 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Las Vegas' Red Rock Casino upgraded its sportsbook including the installation of new video displays.

“This is the largest display of its kind ever installed in North America,” he continued, “and with football season beginning it’s very exciting for us and for our customers. The Ultra High Definition really brings the action on the screen to life.”

Tags: Las Vegas

College Football Betting: Washington State see turnovers as a way to defensive improvement

08.27.2015     09:18 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Article on Washington State's first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Grinch has never been a DC though spent the last three years coaching Missouri's secondary. There's obviously work to be done as Wazzu sported one of the worst power conference defenses in the country (38.6 ppg allowed). Some of their struggles were no doubt because of a lack of talent/ability/PAC-12 offenses. However, the unit was up against it on a regular basis thanks to an offense that coughed up the football 25 times. Turnovers are a part of who the Cougs are so to remedy that, Grinch is focused on takeaways this season which is nice in theory but something that isn't always controllable. That said, the extra emphasis can't hurt as Wazzu forced only eight turnovers last season; tied for the worst mark in the country. In 2013, they had 30 takeaways but committed 35 turnovers. Basically Washington State is the nation's best team at not being able to get out of its own way.

“He preaches two or more turnovers a game,” linebacker Peyton Pelluer says. “He’s done his own little study, and he says the teams that get two or more a game, 24 total in the season or more, end up with around nine wins. … We had minimal turnovers last year. Pretty pitiful numbers.”

Tags: College Football Washington State Cougars PAC-12

Meet the world's best card counter

08.27.2015     08:49 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Cool article on a gentleman billed as the world's best card counter.

“If I’m gonna play, the first thing I do is grow my beard,” he says. “Then I dye it. Then I add earrings. Then a hat.” Once he put his arm in a sling and pretended to be one-armed. “Halloween is the greatest,” he says, estimating that he’s made $300,000 on the holiday where identities are fully obscured.

“The casinos are very hip to that. You have to camouflage a big play in various ways,” says Blaine. “Most card counters play consistent, predictable, they’re like robots. I try to use instincts when I sense I’m being watched. I hit them big, get out of there, and they just think I got lucky.”

Tags: College Football Washington State Cougars PAC-12

College Football Gambling: UCLA named true frosh Rosen starting quarterback

08.27.2015     07:41 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
UCLA named true freshman Josh Rosen the team's Week 1 starter. Rosen, who enrolled in school earlier this year, was regarded as the top QB recruit in the nation. He beat out last year's backup, Jerry Neuheisel, who went 23-of-30 for 178 yards and two TDs in a last minute win over Texas. UCLA is currently -17 home favorites vs. Virginia for Week 1.

“At some point it just becomes apparent to you,” Mora said. “You get a gut feeling. You’ve seen enough. You say it’s time to make a decision and let’s go.”

“We haven’t played one single snap of real football yet, but at this point, he’s living up to that billing,” Mora said.

Tags: College Football UCLA Bruins PAC-12 Virginia Cavaliers ACC

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