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Casinos forced to deal with rule-breaking high rollers

07.31.2015     08:22 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Not surprising, but for all the stringent rules casinos have, those who enter with a suitcase full of cash can typically get away with anything they want. That includes acting like a spoiled six-year old who doesn't like it when they lose.

"All men are created equal except in the casino," Glen Costales, the pit manager, said at a hearing before a tribal gaming commission in May. Transcripts of the hearing were obtained by The Associated Press. "If it's a premium player, he gets away with a lot more than the five-dollar player would get away with."

"The casinos pretend they have rules that are set in stone, like going into a bank or dealing with a police station. Are they supposed to allow late bets? Absolutely not. Do they do it all the time? All the time," said Kaufmann, a dealer who sees plenty of crude behavior himself. "The abuse, the screaming, the cheating, the sexual harassment. Throwing things around. It's worse all the time."

NFL Handicapping: Tennessee names Mariota starting quarterback

07.31.2015     08:11 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Good article on the Tennessee Titans naming Marcus Mariota their Week 1 starting quarterback. The article also discusses the difficulty most run-oriented college quarterbacks have had when asked to become "pocket passers" at the next level. The big question is what will Ken Whisenhunt try to do in terms of a system with Mariota under center? The Titans had a horrific offensive line last season that played a part in Jake Locker's retirement.

Like dropping back and making multiple reads from the pocket. Mariota is an unknown in this realm. The system at Oregon almost never asked him to do this. And the system’s rapid tempo often left him facing static, simplified defenses—not the multifaceted disguises, blitzes and coverage rotations he’ll see in the pros.

Tags: NFL Tennessee Titans

College Football Gambling: Ohio State suspensions impact Week 1 pointspread

07.31.2015     07:54 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The suspension of four Ohio State players caused some movement in the betting markets yesterday. The Buckeyes travel to Blacksburg for a Week 1 showdown vs. the Hokies. Of those sitting for OSU will be Joey Bosa is arguably the best defensive end in college football. Ohio State opened -14 but when rumors of the suspensions surfaced, the line dropped to -12.5. Once it became official, more VT money caused the line to plummet to its current number of -10.

"We talk about it every day," senior linebacker Joshua Perry said before the Buckeyes left for the ESPYs earlier this month. "This is the time of year when things can get out of hand. You really have to keep an eye on that. We do a really good job policing each other and making sure guys stay out of trouble."

Tags: College Football Ohio State Buckeyes Big Ten Virginia Tech Hokies ACC

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Cleveland Indians at Oakland A's

07.30.2015     10:25 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Cleveland (Carrasco) -130 at Oakland (Bassitt) O/U 7 
Recommendation: Cleveland

The Indians come into this game with a very different mindset compared to the A’s.  The Tribe snapped their losing streak yesterday, exploding for 12 runs against the Royals, cruising to victory behind a gem from Corey Kluber.  Manager Terry Francona: “I think we needed it on a number of fronts. We needed that. That'll help us."  Shortstop Francisco Lindor: “It was very important for us to get our confidence back.”  And while Cleveland dealt away veteran bats Brandon Moss and David Murphy, their starting pitching staff remains intact; not a team embarked on a long term rebuilding plan.

The A’s, on the other hand, are in the midst of a fire sale.  They’ve traded away key arms like Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard, along with their prized offseason acquisition, Ben Zobrist.  The A’s suffered yet another late game meltdown last night, blowing a three run seventh inning lead while losing for the fifth time in their last six games.  On a rare night where the A’s offense was in good form (they hadn’t scored more than four runs in a game in their previous seven contests), the A’s still couldn’t emerge victorious, not exactly a confidence boost for this underachieving and slumping squad.

The pitching matchup here warrants the very reasonable chalk that you’ll have to lay with the Tribe this evening.  Carlos Carrasco leads the team in wins and he’s been dominant on the highway.  Cleveland is 7-2 in Carrasco’s nine previous road starts this year and he’s thrown a pair of gems in his last three starts, including a dominant seven inning performance against these same A’s.  The Indians bullpen behind him is in good shape off Kluber’s effort yesterday.

Oakland rookie Chris Bassett has an xFIP of 5.08, in sharp contrast to his 2.94 ERA; a correction waiting to happen.  This is a short turnaround second look for the Indians lineup against him – they faced him just before the All Star Break.  Oakland has won only one of his previous four starts, and the A’s bullpen behind him is coming off last night’s disaster, neither rested nor ready.  Chalk worth laying!  Take the Indians.

Tags: MLB Cleveland Indians Oakland A's Teddy Covers

CFL Betting Podcast 7-30-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Ian Cameron

07.30.2015     10:21 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Thursday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Ian Cameron. Ian and host Andrew Lange broke down Week 6 of the CFL card.

Today's segments 
Ian Cameron - Canadian Football League Week 6

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: CFL Ian Cameron Andrew Lange

College Football Handicapping: Hawaii expecting big things offensively

07.30.2015     09:04 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Despite an 8-29 record over three seasons, Hawaii is still sticking with head coach Norm Chow. After ranking 101st in total offense (364.5 ypg) and 111th in scoring (20.9 ppg) Chow made a few offseason moves to bolster the unit. He brought in former USC quarterback Max Wittek who Chow compares to Carson Palmer. The Rainbow Warriors also hired offensive coordinator Don Bailey who took Idaho State's offense to incredible heights (40.3 ppg in 2014). Bailey says he wants the offense to produce over 40 ppg this season something UH came close to doing back in 2010 (39.6 ppg).

"Just keep the first downs coming whether that comes if we get a first down or second down or third down that's great or whatever.  Just keeping it moving and put the ball in the end zone," said Wittek.


Tags: College Football Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Mountain West

College Football Gambing: Mountain West teams search for new quarterbacks

07.30.2015     08:49 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The Mountain West will be loaded with new quarterbacks this season.

“Take out the outliers on the top or the bottom, but the vast majority of the league, we look like each other — our O-lines look the same, our DBs and wide receivers look the same — so then what’s the wild card? The wild card’s the quarterback,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said.

Tags: College Football Mountain West

Treasure Island to offer mobile app

07.30.2015     08:47 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Las Vegas' Treasure Island casino and sportsbook is going the mobile app route.

“We continually evolve our race and sports book to bring the latest in technology to our customers,” Treasure Island’s race and sports book director Tony Nevill said.

“With mobile usage dominating the marketplace, creating an app was the obvious next step.

“Now, even when a guest can't be present in our race and sports book, they can still participate in real time, real money sports wagering in Nevada.”

Tags: Las Vegas

Mark Teixeira upset because third base coach had the under

07.28.2015     07:49 AM     Printer Friendly

If you had over 9 in last night's Rangers-Yankees game, this will piss you off. If you had under 9 in last night's Rangers-Yankees game, this will make you smile.

Tags: MLB New York Yankees

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

07.29.2015     10:22 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Wednesday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno. Rob and host Andrew Lange previewed the American Athletic Conference West Division.

Today's segments 
Rob Veno - AAC 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 AAC Rob Veno Andrew Lange

College Football Gambling: BYU has history of Week 1 success

07.29.2015     09:09 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
There's a longstanding theory that BYU has somewhat of an advantage in Week 1 due to the older age of many of its players. It's a logical thought process that 22 and 23 year olds who attended Mormon missions will be better prepared than teams forced to play first-year starters and underclassmen. Out of curiosity, we went back and looked at the pointspread history and results of BYU's first game dating back to 2006. Of those nine games, the Cougs went 7-2 straight up and 6-2 against the spread (the game vs. FCS Northern Iowa wasn't lined). Ironically, one of the articles we found on the "phenomenon" was prior to 2013's game vs. Virginia in which the Cavaliers had the most underclassmen in the country on their depth chart. UVA won outright as home underdogs, 19-16. In the end, the short term results suggest there is some truth to the theory but bettors should still incorporate other factors into their handicap.

2015 - BYU at Nebraska 
Opener: BYU +6 
Current: BYU +5 
Result: ???

2014 - BYU at UConn 
Opener: BYU -14.5 
Closer: BYU -17 
Result: BYU 35, UConn 10

2013 - BYU at Virginia 
Opener: BYU -2.5 
Closer: BYU -3 
Result: Virginia 19, BYU 16

2012 - BYU vs. Washington State 
Opener: BYU -13.5 
Closer: BYU -13 
Result: BYU 30, Washington State 6

2011 - BYU at Ole Miss 
Opener: BYU -2.5 
Closer: BYU -2 
Result: BYU 14, Ole Miss 13

2010  - BYU vs. Washington 
Opener: BYU -3.5 
Closer: BYU +1.5 
Result: BYU 23, Washington 17

2009  - BYU vs. Oklahoma 
Opener: BYU +25 
Closer: BYU +22.5 
Result: BYU 14, Oklahoma 13

2008  - BYU vs. Northern Iowa 
Opener: N/L 
Closer: N/L 
Result: BYU 41, Northern Iowa 17

2007 - BYU vs. Arizona 
Opener: BYU -6.5 
Closer: BYU -3.5 
Result: BYU 20, Arizona 7

2006 - BYU at Arizona 
Opener: N/A 
Closer: BYU +6.5 
Result: Arizona 16, BYU 13

Tags: College Football BYU Cougars

College Football Betting: Week 1 line moves

07.29.2015     08:30 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Starting to see some movement in the college football betting markets for Week 1. CRIS posted its openers on July 16. Here's a quick rundown of some of the more significant/key line moves.

South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Charlotte) 
Opener: South Carolina -1 
Current: South Carolina -3

Oklahoma State at Central Michigan 
Opener: Oklahoma State -19 
Current: Oklahoma State -22.5

Michigan at Utah 
Opener: Utah -4.5 
Current: Utah -6

Old Dominion at Eastern Michigan 
Opener: Eastern Michigan +7 
Current: Eastern Michigan +5.5

Florida Atlantic at Tulsa 
Opener: Tulsa -6 
Current: Tulsa -7-115

Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (Houston) 
Opener: Arizona State +3 
Current: Arizona State +2.5

UL-Lafayette at Kentucky 
Opener: Kentucky -13.5 
Current: Kentucky -15.5

Texas at Notre Dame 
Opener: Notre Dame -8.5 
Current: Notre Dame -10

Purdue at Marshall 
Opener: Purdue +8.5 
Current: Purdue +7

Ohio State at Virginia Tech 
Opener: Virginia Tech +14 
Current: Virginia Tech +12.5

Tags: College Football

College Football Handicapping: Oregon State offense preps new system, quarterback

07.29.2015     08:18 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Good article on Oregon State first-year offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin. Baldwin has had OC stints at Colorado State, Utah State, New Mexico, Michigan State, Baylor and Cincinnati. The Beavers lost quarterback Sean Mannion and will be forced to start a freshman under center but return nine starters including their entire offensive line.

“I’m really excited about our O-line,” he says. “Those guys did a great job in the spring. If we can get Isaac and (tackle) Gavin Andrews back (from injuries), we can be talented up there. I’m looking for them to take over in (August training) camp and be leaders for our offensive group.”

“I don’t have an idea exactly who we are yet,” he says. “We spent much of spring just installing our offense. Now we go into (training) camp trying to determine who our quarterback is going to be and who our starters (at other positions) are. You go through that process every first year in a new program.”

Tags: College Football Oregon State Beavers PAC-12

Offscreen sportsbook with mob ties gets busted

07.28.2015     02:54 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Straight out of an episode of the Sopranos.

They were agents, albeit with nicknames that included "Frankie the Flea," "The worm," and "Harpo."

"I got 49 people. These kids get two thousand each," he said. "If at the end of the year I can make two million and I gotta give away, like four or five hundred (expletive), that's a million and a half, you know. My money."



Tags: College Football Oregon State Beavers PAC-12

College Football Handicapping: Washington loses starting quarterback Miles

07.28.2015     02:45 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
The Washington Huskies are projected to take a step back this season following news that quarterback Cyler Miles was retiring due to a lingering hip injury. Miles completed 67% of his passes and posted a 17-4 TD-to-INT ratio last season. The Huskies also lost wide receiver John Ross (knee) who averaged nearly 22 yards per catch and ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns. And then there's the offensive and defensive line with just two of a potential 10 starters slated to return. Washington's season over/under wins is lined at 4.5/5 after going 8-4 during the 2014 regular season. They are currently +10.5 at Boise State for Week 1.
Tags: College Football Washington Huskies PAC-12

NFL Gambling Update: Brady suspended first four games of regular season

07.28.2015     02:31 PM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Looks like the New England Patriots really won't have Tom Brady the first four games of the regular season (vs. Pittsburgh, at Buffalo, vs. Jacksonville, and at Dallas). The NFL announced today that the suspension was upheld. As a result, there isn't much in the way of betting options for New England's Week 1 game vs. the Steelers. CRIS never posted a line. Pinnacle, Heritage, and 5Dimes took it down in early July (New England -3). As of today, CG Technology looks to be the only sportsbooks offering a real pointspread with the Patriots dropped from -3-120 to -1.5 following the news.

"The Commissioner's decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness," Brady's agent, Don Yee, said Tuesday. "Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred. The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision."

Tags: NFL New England Patriots

College Football Betting Podcast: PAC-12 North and Independent Previews

07.28.2015     11:05 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Tuesday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicappers Ian Cameron and Teddy Covers. Ian, Teddy, and host Andrew Lange previewed the PAC-12 North and Independents.

Today's segments 
Ian Cameron - PAC-12 North Preview

Teddy Covers - Independent 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 PAC-12 Independent Ian Cameron Teddy Covers

MLB Handicapper Free Play: San Diego Padres at New York Mets

07.28.2015     08:56 AM     Drew Martin     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Drew Martin blog entry.
San Diego (Shields) at New York (Syndergaard) -135 O/U 7 
Recommendation: Under

The San Diego Padres fly across the country to start a 10-game road trip tonight in New York. Padres’ starter James Shields will face off against Mets’ righty Noah Syndergaard in pitcher friendly Citi Field. Shields faced the Mets this year in early June and had success tossing 7 innings with 6 hits and only 2 runs. Shields also has a very impressive opponents’ .453 OPS when facing current Mets including a sample size of 117 at-bats. Syndergaard has struggled at times this year posting a 4-5 record but has thrived when tossing in Citi Field. He sports a 1.74 ERA at home compared to a 4.34 ERA on the road. Dig a little bit more and we see really strong home splits: .200/.242/.257 in 41.1 innings. And coming from the right side, Sydergaard has the chance to shine as the Padres own a sub-.300 OBP and .662 OPS vs. righties this season – some of the worst numbers in MLB. Even with the warm temps, a generous total of 7 (it opened 6.5) makes the under very playable.  

Tags: MLB San Diego Padres New York Mets Drew Martin

DraftKings has enough money to buy a medium-sized country

07.28.2015     08:13 AM     Printer Friendly

It's official. DraftKings is well on its way to taking over the world.

Tags: MLB San Diego Padres New York Mets Drew Martin

NFL Handicapping: Baltimore keeping same offensive philosphy under Trestman

07.28.2015     07:41 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
With Gary Kubiak taking over in Denver, the Baltimore Ravens brought in former Chicago head coach Marc Trestman to serve as offensive coordinator. According to Trestman, the Ravens' offense will stay the same. Baltimore ranked 12th in total offense (364.9 ypg), 13th in passing (238.7 ypg), and eighth in rushing (126.2 ypg) last season. 

“It’s never going to be my offense. It’s always going to be the Ravens offense,” Trestman said Wednesday during his introductory conference call.

“I think the framework and the formula for this is for me to go in and learn the offense. … Why would I have 40-some guys learn a new offense when I’m just one person? Isn’t it easier for me to learn it instead of starting over with everybody else, including coaches?”

Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens

College Football Betting Podcast: Big XII Preview with Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno

07.27.2015     11:03 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.
Monday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno. Rob and host Andrew Lange previewed the Big XII.

Today's segments 
Rob Veno - Big XII 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 Big XII Rob Veno Andrew Lange

NFL Gambling: A look back at last year's 20* winner on Carolina Under 8.5 Wins

07.27.2015     08:48 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Below is Teddy Covers' write-up for last year's NFL Season O/U Wins Report 20* winner. Since 2001, Teddy has produced a documented record of 71-31 70% including 11-1 92% with his 20* Big Tickets. This year's report is currently available for purchase and will be released on Wednesday. Teddy includes in-depth written analysis on all of plays.

20* Big Ticket: Carolina UNDER 8.5 Wins 
Just about everything broke right for the Carolina Panthers last year on their way to a 12-4 season.  Following a 1-3 start, the Panthers reeled off 11 wins in their final 12 regular season games in large part thanks to a 5-0 mark in games decided by four points or less. 

Make no mistake about it – the Panthers were every bit as lucky as they were good during that extended winning run.  Head coach Ron Rivera was on the hot seat, but he saved his job thanks to a ‘Riverboat Ron’ mentality down the stretch of tight games, a strategy that offers no hope of long term success.

And the Panthers feasted largely on the weak, with nine of their twelve victories coming against foes with .500 records or weaker.  By my numbers, the Panthers faced one of the easier schedules in the league on their way to that 12-4 mark.  They stayed healthy and finished with a +11 turnover margin.  None of these factors is likely to repeat in 2014.

My formula for breaking down season win totals starts with the schedule, and the Panthers schedule is absolutely brutal this year.  Based on this year’s win totals, the Panthers face one of the five toughest opposing slates in the NFL.

They open in a ‘pick ‘em’ game at an improved Tampa Bay squad.  Then they face Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, and Philadelphia before playing Atlanta on a short week, all before their bye!  Each and every team on that list is projected to finish better than .500 (all lined at 8.5 wins or higher).  It’s a truly brutal stretch without a break. 

From a personnel standpoint, the Panthers offseason can only be called a disaster.  They enter training camp completely devoid of receiving talent in a league where WR talent matters more and more with each passing season as scoring continues to go up. 

Without Steve Smith, Branden LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr on the roster, they’ve lost more than 90% of their WR catches and yards from last year.  And there are no clear replacements, particularly for their #1 guy, Smith.  Teams without a capable #1 receiver do not fare well in the modern NFL and I’m not sold on first round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin consistently beating top cornerbacks.

The unexpected offseason retirement of starting tackle Jordan Gross leaves the offensive line with major question marks at both tackle positions, putting even more pressure on Cam Newton.  It’s surely worth noting that Newton had offseason ankle surgery; unable to practice with his rebuilt receiving corps.  His quote from this past weekend stands out: “I can’t stress enough that I’m not 100 percent yet.  It’s just going to take treatment and time.”

The Panthers defense bailed them out repeatedly last year, and their front seven looks solid again this year – if they stay healthy.  But Carolina has major personnel issues in the secondary; a unit that grades out as well below average following the offseason departures of safety Mike Mitchell and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.  For a team with enormous salary cap problems, there’s no help for any of these personnel problems on the horizon and limited depth behind their starters if and when injuries start to strike.

Carolina was a six win team in 2011 and a seven win team in 2012 before last year’s turnaround.  I’m more than willing to bet that the 2014 edition will look more like the ’11 and ’12 editions.  It’s very hard for me to picture this mediocre (at best) squad getting to nine wins, which is what it will take to beat us!

Tags: NFL Carolina Panthers Teddy Covers

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox

07.27.2015     08:42 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Rob Veno blog entry.
Chicago (Danks) at Boston (Kelly) -130 O/U 9 
Recommendation: Under

Chicago put together an impressive four-game sweep of Cleveland which included outpitching the Indians’ top three arms: Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco. Stellar pitching has been a trait of the the White Sox’s staff the past five games as they’ve thrown 37.1 innings and allowed just three runs for a 0.72 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Tonight’s starter, John Danks, began the run with six innings of shutout ball vs. St. Louis and it was the third time in his last five outings where he has thrown 6+ innings without allowing a run. Despite Boston’s offensive outburst last night, they’ve been dormant since the All-Star break scoring only 16 runs in their first nine games of the second half. That slump puts Danks in a pretty solid situation to keep them quiet here. His mound opponent in this one, Joe Kelly, has been below average in three of his last four starts but the lineup he faces tonight presents a good chance for one of his better performances. Chicago is still one of MLB’s worst offenses (.244 BA, .297 OBP) and they don’t pose near the power threat (.362 SLG%) Toronto, Baltimore and Houston presented in Kelly’s recent subpar starts. They’ve had outbursts since the break but still have scored two runs or less in five of their nine games. Back third of both bullpens aren’t taxed heading into this series and should be able to keep the doors closed late. This contest has the feel of an under, especially with the total sitting at 9.


Tags: MLB Chicago White Sox Boston Red Sox Rob Veno

Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Breaking down the NFL's new offensive coordinators Part 2

07.27.2015     08:04 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Last week in my Wiseguy Report, I wrote about a half dozen offensive coordinator changes in the NFL this past offseason.  This week, I’ll finish my analysis of the other half dozen offensive coordinator changes from around the league, with specific focus on how big of a change and how steep of a learning curve these offenses face.  Coordinators are listed in alphabetical order based on their new teams.

Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta Falcons - Shanahan’s dad was certainly a major factor in Kyle’s first few NFL coordinator jobs; none of which have been particularly successful.  Shanahan worked under Mike Shanahan protégé Gary Kubiak as OC in Houston in 2008-2009, and then worked under his dad for four years with the Redskins.  During that span, his team’s reached the playoffs only once – the ill-fated RG3 injury game against Seattle.  Last year’s debacle in Cleveland didn’t exactly bolster his reputation, and his offenses have been below the league average in each of his last two seasons as OC.

Shanahan has utilized a run heavy approach in recent seasons, but that should change given the Falcons talent level in the passing game.  That being said, Atlanta has operated one of the league’s most pass-heavy offenses in recent years under Dirk Koetter, so we can reasonably expect less Matt Ryan and more spread rushing from Devonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman (Indiana).  Shanahan is also looking to push the tempo, although the Falcons don’t have much room for improvement there after finishing sixth in the NFL in pace ratings last year compared to the #4 ranking from Cleveland.  Despite that fast pace under Shanahan, the Browns went 5-11 to the Under in 2014, and the Falcons went 6-10 to the Under despite Dirk Koetter’s quick tempo approach.

Greg Roman, Buffalo Bills - Within two days of his hire in Buffalo, Rex Ryan got his guy to man the offensive coordinator position.  Greg Roman enjoyed great success under Jim Harbaugh, both at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers utilizing a power running approach that Ryan favors.  The Bills got their ‘Ground & Pound’ running back in the offseason as well, picking up Shady McCoy from Philadelphia to be the focal point of the offense.  With Fred Jackson, former 49er Anthony Dixon  and pro bowl fullback Jerome Felton on the roster as well, we can expect Buffalo to keep the ball on the ground early and often.

Ryan enjoyed great success with a run-first offense and a stellar defense during his first few seasons in New York.  Roman enjoyed similar success using a similar approach in his first few years in San Francisco.  The Bills receiving corps is as good or better than the receiving corps of either the Jets or 49ers in recent years, with Percy Harvin, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins likely to operate out of two WR sets.   Of course, given the underwhelming nature of the Bills ongoing QB competition – EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel are all vying for the job, with no clear cut favorite heading into camp – the Bills are going to have to find some semblance of decent QB play or the 2015 Bills offense could end up looking a lot like the Jets 2014 offense – anemic. 

John DeFilippo, Cleveland Browns - DeFilippo has been promoted from within to replace the departed Kyle Shanahan as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator.  DeFilippo has been coaching since 2000, primarily as a quarterbacks coach. He comes from a coaching family – his dad worked as an offensive assistant at Youngstown State and Vanderbilt.  This will be his first coordinator position, and the Browns kept head coach Mike Pettine.  Those two factors together ensure that Cleveland is not going to go through a major offensive overhaul in DeFilippo’s first season on the job.

DeFilippo is not exactly waking into an ideal situation.  The Browns QB job is clearly problematic, whether Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown wins the starting job.  From a skill position talent standpoint, the Browns rank at or near the bottom of the league, very short on legit playmakers at both wide receiver and tight end.  Expect a ‘run-first’ approach featuring second year backs Terrence West and Isaiah Cromwell battering opposing defenses behind a solid offense line that returns all five starters.

Chan Gailey, New York Jets - Marty Mornhinweg’s run-heavy schemes are out, Gailey’s more balanced offense is in – if the Jets can get decent quarterback play, that is.  Gailey has been around forever, a football coach since the early 1970’s.  But he’s been out of the league for the last two seasons since his last stint as the Buffalo Bills head coach ended following the 2012 campaign.  Gailey has been an NFL offensive coordinator for four different teams.  His most recent stint as an NFL OC came back in 2008 with KC, where he clashed with head coach Todd Haley and was demoted, relieved of his playcalling duties after three games of the 2009 preseason.  At 63 years old, Gailey is clearly in the tired retread category.

Gailey’s offenses in Buffalo were remarkably consistent – the Bills scored exactly 24 passing touchdowns and averaged exactly seven yards per throw during each of his three seasons on the job.  The Jets are certainly hoping for at least that level of production this year.  There are obvious unsettled concerns at quarterback coming into the season.  Let’s not forget, Geno Smith’s primary competition, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was Gailey’s starting QB with the Bills.  And after spending big bucks on wideouts Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker over the past two offseasons and drafting speedy Devin Smith out of Ohio State, at least whoever wins the QB job will have some weapons to work with. 

Frank Cignetti, St. Louis Rams - Cignetti got the promotion from within after serving as Jeff Fisher’s QB coach for the last three seasons, despite the fact that St Louis has not enjoyed good quarterback play at any point during those campaigns.  His dad was a successful D-II coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, although his tenure as the West Virginia head coach wasn’t a good one.  Cignetti played for his dad in college, and then embarked on a coaching career that has included stops as the offensive coordinator for North Carolina, Fresno State, Cal and Pitt.

From all reports out of St Louis this offense, the Rams are looking to introduce a throwback style of play, using a physical running attack; reminiscent of Jeff Fisher’s better teams with the Tennessee Titans.  They’re loaded at RB with first rounder Todd Gurley (still recovering from injury) joining Tre Mason and the Rams return their entire receiving corps from last year intact.  But with a shaky QB situation and potentially three new starting offensive lineman, the St Louis had better hope their defense is as good as advertised because this offense is not primed to explode.

Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dirk Koetter has been around the block before.  He enjoyed great success as a collegiate head coach, building up the Boise State program to its current level before a stint at Arizona State.  In the NFL, he enjoyed a decent run as the OC for Jacksonville and spent the last three years coaching up Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White in Atlanta.

The Bucs offense has legitimate weapons at wideout, with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans along with emerging young tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  But Koetter’s pass-happy style of play calling (tons of four WR sets in Atlanta last year) may not be the best fit for an offense that’s expected to start a rookie at quarterback and potentially two more rookies on the offensive line (including second rounder Donovan Smith being asked to protect Jameis Winston’s blind side at left tackle; a VERY unsettled unit in recent seasons.  Koetter’s clearly a hire in the tired retread category and he’ll have his work cut out for him with this work in progress offense.

Follow me on Twitter @teddy_covers. 

Tags: NFL Teddy Covers

MLB Handicapper Free Play: Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox

07.26.2015     07:58 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange blog entry.
Detroit (Greene) at Boston (Rodriguez) -140 O/U 9.5 
Recommendation: Over

Young pitchers, particularly in the American League, can expect to go through ups and downs during their rookie campaign. Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez is a very promising lefty with shutdown efforts against the likes of Houston, Toronto, and Baltimore. But he's also been pounded around (6 or more ERs in three starts) and has shown a propensity to lose his command. Just read his quotes following his last start against the Angels:

“I missed some spots with some pitches — with the changeup and the fastball,” Rodriguez told reporters in Anaheim. “I didn’t throw (the ball where) I wanted. I wanted some pitches down in the zone and they didn’t go there. There wasn’t good location (Monday).”

Tack on a muffed fly ball by Hanley Ramirez and Rodriguez's day lasted only 1.2 innings. They pushed back tonight's start against Detroit -- another potentially rough outing considering the venue and opponent. The Tigers haven't missed a beat with Miguel Cabrera on the DL; 5.1 runs per game and .283 BA in his absence (18 games). And they've really done a number of left-handed starters this season: .288/.361/.446/.807.

Detroit's Shane Greene was having arm difficulty earlier this season but for whatever reason they've continued to cart him out to the mound. The results have been brutal, including his last two starts since being recalled: 9.1 IP, 12 ERs, 3 Ks, 3 HRs. The Red Sox offense has been abysmal (16 runs L9 games) but this is a really good opportunity to pound out some runs.

I expect to see Rodriguez with a stronger effort but not in love with the opponent or his track record in Fenway (5 HRs in 26.2 IP). Coupled with Greene and we should see a fair amount of offense tonight.

Tags: MLB Detroit Tigers Boston Red Sox Andrew Lange

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