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NFL Super Bowl LV: Chiefs/Buccaneers Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021

Tampa Bay will be the first team in NFL history to play at home as the host of the Super Bowl. Their Raymond James Stadium is the site of Super Bowl 55. The Buccaneers earned this honor by defeating Green Bay in Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game, 31-26, as a 2.5-point underdog. Tampa Bay won all three games in the playoffs on the road while pulling off upsets in their last two games after they defeated New Orleans, 30-20, as a 2.5-point dog. They are 14-5 this season.Tom Brady completed 20 of 36 passes for 280 yards against the Packers with three touchdown passes but three interceptions. In three games this postseason, Brady completed 60 of 109 passes for a 55.0% completion percentage for 860 yards with seven touchdown passes and three interceptions. In his first regular-season away from New England, the 43-year old completed 65.7% of his passes of 4633 yards with 40 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. The Buccaneers are 5-3 at home with a +4.6 net point differential. They scored 28.5 points-per-game while averaging 349.6 yards-per-game in those eight home games. Their defense gave up 23.9 points-per-game along with 381.0 yards-per-game. The Bucs' three losses at home were against New Orleans, the Los Angeles Rams, and these Kansas City Chiefs. Tampa Bay's 38-3 loss to the Saints was the low-point of their season. They later avenged that setback in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. Kansas City followed up their Super Bowl campaign last year with a 16-2 record to earn the opportunity to defend their championship. After defeating Cleveland in the AFC Divisional Round, the Chiefs dominated Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game by a 38-24 score. Kansas City rebounded from a Week 5 loss at home to the Las Vegas Raiders by winning 12 of their next 13 games to reach this pinnacle. Their lone loss was to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17, with Patrick Mahomes and other starters taking the game off for rest.Mahomes completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions against the Bills with no setbacks from the head injury that knocked him out the previous week against the Browns. He did not appear to be 100% with his injured left toe. He ran the ball five times for only five yards. Mahomes completed 66.3% of his passes in the regular season for 4740 yards with 38 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He added 308 rushing yards with another two touchdowns. Mahomes completed 50 of his 68 passes for a 73.5% completion percentage with four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his two playoff games. He also ran the ball eight times of 19 yards with a touchdown. The Chiefs are 8-0 when playing away from Arrowhead Stadium this season. They scored 31.6 points-per-game while averaging 443.1 yards-per-game. Their defense allowed 23.0 points-per-game and 344.6 yards-per-game. These two teams played on November 29th in Tampa Bay. Kansas City won, 27-24, as a 5-point favorite with a total of 59. The Chiefs went into the fourth quarter with a 27-10 lead before holding off the Bucs’ late rally. Tampa Bay pulled within a field goal with just over four minutes remaining in the game, but those were the final points scored in the game. Kansas City was on offense for almost 37 minutes. Mahomes completed 37 of 49 passes for 462 yards with three touchdown passes. Brady countered with 27 of 41 completions for 345 yards with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. The Chiefs expect to have wide receiver Sammie Watkins and running back Le’Veon Bell available for the Super Bowl. Watkins missed both playoff games with a calf injury and a nagging hamstring issue. Bell did not play in the AFC Championship Game due to a knee injury. However, Kansas City does not expect to have either of their starting tackles on their offensive line. Left tackle Eric Fisher suffered an Achilles’ injury late in the Buffalo game. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is on the Injured Reserve with a back injury that head coach Andy Reid does not think will heal enough in two weeks.The Buccaneers anticipate that both wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Antoine Winfield will be healthy to play in the Super Bowl after missing the Green Bay game. Safety Jordan Whitehead underwent an MRI on his shoulder the day after the NFC Championship Game with head coach Bruce Arians saying it is too early to determine if he can take the field after suffering that injury against the Packers. BookMaker lists Kansas City as a 3-point road favorite, with the total set at 56. CBS has the broadcast on Sunday, February 7th, with the kickoff at 6:30 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: EPL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in college basketball, the NBA, the NHL, and the English Premier League.The college basketball card tips off at 3 PM ET, with BYU visiting Pepperdine as a 6-point road favorite with the total set at 147.5 (all odds from BetOnline).The nationally-televised college basketball card begins at 7 PM ET. Creighton travels to Seton Hall on FS1. The Bluejays rank 17th in the nation by the Associated Press poll with an 11-4 record. They have won seven of their last nine games with their 74-66 win against UConn as a 3.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Pirates are 9-6 after they lost at Villanova, 76-74, as a 9-point underdog back on January 19th. Creighton is a 1-point road favorite with an over/under of 147.5.Providence hosts Marquette at 7 PM ET on the CBS Sports Network. The Friars fell to 8-7 with four losses in their last five games after their 71-56 loss at Villanova as an 11-point underdog on Saturday. Marquette dropped to 8-7 with their 68-61 upset loss to DePaul as an 8.5-point favorite on Saturday. Providence is a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 138.5.South Carolina plays at home against Georgia on ESPN2 at 7 PM ET. The Gamecocks fell to 3-5 with their third straight defeat in an upset loss to Auburn, 109-86,  as a 1.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 9-5 after they lost to Florida, 92-84, as a 4.5-point underdog on Saturday. South Carolina is a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 160.Baylor is at home against Kansas State on ESPN2 at 9 PM ET. The Bears remain second in the nation with a 14-0 record. They last played on Saturday when they won at Oklahoma State, 81-66, as an 11.5-point favorite. The Wildcats are 5-11 with their sixth straight loss in a 69-47 setback to West Virginia on Saturday as an 11-point underdog. Baylor is a 24.5-point favorite with the total at 136.5.DePaul hosts St. John’s on FS1 at 9 PM ET. The Blue Demons are 3-5 with two wins in their last three games after they upset Marquette, 68-61, on Saturday. The Red Storm won their third game in four to raise their record to a 9-7 mark with their 96-78 victory against Utah Valley State as a 14.5-point favorite. DePaul is a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 151.5. Colorado plays at home against Washington State on ESPNU at 9 PM ET. The Buffaloes are 12-4 with five wins in their last six games after they defeated the Cougars on the road, 70-59, as a 6.5-point road favorite on Saturday. Washington State has lost five in a row to fall to 9-5. Colorado is a 14.5-point favorite with a total of 137 in tonight’s rematch.Boise State visits Colorado State on the CBS Sports Network at 9 PM ET. The Broncos rose to 12-1 after their 73-51 win against Fresno State as an 11.5-point favorite last Wednesday. The Rams have won five of their last six games to improve their record to 11-3 with their 84-76 upset victory at Utah State as a 7.5-point underdog last Thursday. Boise State is a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 148.Utah State plays at UNLV on FS1 at 11 PM ET. The Runnin’ Rebels pulled off a 59-56 upset on Monday between these two teams as a 6.5-point underdog. The Aggies have lost two in a row to fall to 12-5 with that setback. UNLV has won five in a row to raise their record to 6-6. Utah State is a 6-point road favorite with the total at 136.The NBA has 12 games on the docket. An ESPN doubleheader tips off at 7:35 PM ET with the Los Angeles Lakers playing at Philadelphia. The Lakers are 14-4 after they defeated Cleveland on the road by a 115-108 score as a 12-point favorite on Monday. The reigning NBA champions are 10-0 on the road. The 76ers fell to 12-6 with a 119-104 upset loss at Detroit as a 4.5-point favorite on Monday.The nightcap on ESPN has Golden State hosting Minnesota in a rematch of the Warriors’ 130-108 victory as an 8.5-point favorite on Monday. Golden State is now 9-8. The Timberwolves have lost five of their last six games with a 4-12 record. Minnesota will likely still be without Karl Anthony-Towns, who is out indefinitely after his positive COVID test. Two games are on the NHL schedule. Nashville hosts Chicago on the NBC Sports Network at 7:30 PM ET.Matchweek 20 in the English Premier League continues with five matches. Manchester United hosts Sheffield United on the NBC Sports Network at 3:15 PM ET as a -1.5 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.75.

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Super Bowl Betting Trends

by Al McMordie

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021

Super Bowl LV will feature a terrific match-up between the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks from the previous two seasons, with Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs taking on Tom Brady's Buccaneers.  The Chiefs have been installed as an early 3-point favorite, with a total of 56.5 (all odds from BetAnySports).Let's take a look at some historical trends.Dating back to 1981, there have been 41 Super Bowls.The underdogs have gone 21-17-2 ATS, including 6-4 at +3 or +3.5.And there have been 46 Overs against 34 Unders, but with games in the 55 to 57-point range, the Under is 2-1.There have been 12 meetings between teams that played earlier in the season.The revenge-minded team (here, Tampa Bay) has gone 7-5 SU and 6-5-1 ATS, including a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS when installed as an underdog of +7 points or less.  And the team which covered the point spread in the previous meeting (here, also, Tampa Bay), has gone 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS.With regard to rematches from earlier in the season, the Super Bowls have gone Under eight of 12 times.  When the previous match-up went Over the total, the Super Bowl was 3-1 Under; and if the first meeting went Under the total, the Super Bowl was 5-3 Under.  There have been eight games that involved a defending Super Bowl champion.  Those eight teams have gone 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS, including 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS when not favored by more than 7 points.The team which averaged more points on offense (here, Tampa Bay), has gone 17-23 SU and 14-24-2 ATS, while the team which gave up less points on defense (here, also Tampa Bay) has gone 26-14 SU and 21-17-2 ATS.The team with the better win percentage (here, Kansas City) has gone 17-17 SU and 13-19-2 ATS, including 3-4 SU/ATS when favored by 3 or 3.5 points.The team with the better ATS win percentage (here, Tampa Bay) has gone 23-13 SU and 21-13-2 ATS, including 2-1 SU/ATS when installed as an underdog of +3 or 3.5 points.I am wrapping up my 9th straight winning NFL season, and have released a play in this game, as I look to stay red-hot (currently 82-37 my last 119 selections, as of this writing).  Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.

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