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Ness Notes: Tuesday, Oct 20

by Larry Ness

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

This column will be available Monday through Friday (posted no later than 1:00 ET), EXCLUSIVELY at I like to call it my daily 'random thoughts' on the sports betting world, although I'll pass along that my therapist refers to it as "thoughtful commentary." NFL Week 6 concluded with a MNF doubleheader. The Chiefs were to play at the Bills this past Thursday but it was rescheduled to Monday. Both came in 4-1, after each team lost for the first time this season in Week 5. The Bills led 10-7 as the first half was nearing its end but Mahomes hit TE Kelce with a second TD pass to put KC up for good, 13-10. The Chiefs extended the lead to 23-10 and the final was 26-17. Rookie RB Edwards-Helaire ran for 161 yards, as KC ran for 245 yards (on 5.3 YPC). It should not h=go unmentioned that KC ran the ball more times than it passed it for just the SECOND time in Mahomes' 37 starts. That's NOT to say Mahomes was not a major factor. He was 'surgical 21 of 26 for 225 yards with two TDs and zero INTs (QB rating of 128.4). His "opposite number," Buffalo QB Josh Allen, played poorly. He was 14 of 27 for only 122 yards with two TDs and one INT. Allen opened the season by leading the Bills to four straight wins, completing 70.9 percent of his passes, while averaging 331.5 YPG through the air with 12 TDs and just one INT. However, in Buffalo's back-to-back losses, he's completed just 58.8 percent, while averaging only 192.5 YPG passing with four TDs and three INTs.The regularly scheduled MNF game saw the Cards roll over the Cowboys 38-10 in Dallas. It was Arizona's third straight road game but Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott started the game with two fumbles, which gave the Cards all the momentum they needed. The first fumble came after catching a short pass from Andy Dalton and 11 plays later Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk hooked up for a six-yard flip for a TD. Two plays into the next possession, Elliott fumbled again and five plays later, Arizona RB Kenyan Drake scored the Cardinals' second TD and gave them a 14-0 lead. Arizona won the 'turnover battle' 4-0. QB Kyler Murray completed a modest 9 of 24 for 188 yards but had two TD passes and did not throw an INT. He added 74 yards rushing and a third TD to become just the THIRD player in league history with 30 passing TDs and 10 rushing TDs in the first 25 games of his career. He's done so in 22 games, tying Daunte Culpepper (Vikings) for the QB quickest to reach the mark. The Cowboys fell to 2-4 but incredibly, remain atop the NFC East, as their three division rivals own a combined 3-14-1 record (more in a bit). League-wide scoring is up this season and NINE teams are currently allowing 30-plus PPG but NO team is allowing more than the Cowboys, who are giving up 36.3 PPG. New head coach Mike McCarthy may also want to point out that his team also owns the WORST turnover ratio of ANY team, at minus-12 (15 giveaways vs just three takeaways).I noted above that Dallas sits atop the NFC East at just 2-4 and that's because defending NFC East champ Philly is just 1-4-1. However, the Eagles are NOT alone among 2019 division champs through Week 6 of NFL 2020. In fact, the LONE division winner from 2019 to be currently leading its division in 2020, is the 5-1 defending Super Bowl champion KC Chiefs in the AFC West. Here's a list of the other six 2019 division champs and their status as the season head to Week 7. In the AFC East, the defending champion Pats are just 2-3. The Pats haven't been under .500 through the fifth game or later since they were 3-4 in 2002, which was the last season the Patriots did not win 10-plus games. Houston won the AFC South in 2019 (for the 4th time in the previous five seasons) but are 1-5 and in deep trouble in 2020. The San Francisco 49ers won the NFC West last season at 13-3 (and advanced to the Super Bowl) but their 3-3 record leaves them in last-place in 2020, behind not only the 5-0 Seahawks but also the 4-2 Rams and Cards. Neither the Packers (4-1), the Ravens (5-1) nor the Saints (3-2) lead the divisions they captured in 2019 (NFC North, AFC North and NFC South, respectively) but that's not because of poor play. The Bears are 5-1 in the NFC North, the Steelers are 5-0 in the AFC North and the Bucs are 4-2 in the NFC South.NFL home teams continue to struggle in 2020, as after going 7-7 SU and 6-8 ATS in Week 6, are 47-43-1 SU (.522) Y-T-D and 39-50-2 (.438) ATS. Home dogs are 8-21 SU and 13-14-2 ATS. The Cowboys fell to 0-6 ATS with their Monday loss, joining the Jets, who remain the NFL's lone winless team. Five teams are tied atop the ATS standings at 4-1. That group includes the 5-0 Seahawks and Steelers plus the 4-1 Packers but also the 2-3 Broncos and 1-4 Chargers. Week 6 games averaged 47.5 PPG and 10 of the 14 went under. There have been 46 overs, 43 unders and two 'pushes' on the season.World Series 2020: Both LCS went the full seven games, although each followed a different path, which I detailed in Monday's Notes. So in the end, the team with the best record in the AL and the team with the best record in the NL, will meet in the 2020 World Series. Just the way it should be, right? That makes sense but I should note that it's only the FOURTH time in the wild-card era (since 1995) that the teams with the best record in each league will meet in the World Series. Tampa Bay is in the World Series for just the second time in franchise history (first time being in 2008, when it lost to Cole Hamels' Phillies). The Rays opened the season ranking 28th in the majors in payroll and the only team to reach the World Series since 1998 with a lower ranking was that 2008 Tampa Bay club. As for the Dodgers, they are in the World Series for the THIRD time in the last four seasons, losing in 2017 to the Astros and in 2018 to the Red Sox. It's the 63rd instance in major league history that a team has reached three World Series in a four-year span and only TWO teams among the group did not win a World Series. The Dodgers sure don't want to join the 1907-09 Detroit Tigers and the 1911-13 NY Giants.  If the Dodgers win, it will be their 7th championship (including one as the Brooklyn Dodgers).The starting pitchers for Game 1 will be Tampa Bay's Tyler Glasnow and LA's Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw and LA are favored (-175) and the over/under is 7 1/2. There's good news for the teams' pitching staffs, as after each team played SEVEN games in SEVEN days in their respective LCS, the World Series will have a one-day break after Games 1 and 2 and another one-day break after Games 3 thru 5 and before Games 6 and 7.  BetAnySports has the series odds at -200 for the Dodgers, with Tampa Bay at +185.Good luck...Larry

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Teasers 101: What They Are and How to Maximize Their Value

by Doc's Sports

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

When you hear someone referring to the term “teaser,” they are referring to a different betting option that’s available to everyone but one that most people don’t know how to utilize. A teaser is similar to a parlay in that it involves two or more selections, and each selection of the bet must win in order to cash your ticket. Teasers are available in any sport that uses a point spread, but are most common in basketball and football, both at the professional and collegiate levels.  Depending on who you ask, some say teasers are sucker bets, while others swear by them if the situation calls for it. I say, a winning bet is a winning bet regardless of what kind of bet it is. Remember, we are at the mercy of the sportsbooks and whatever lines and prices they put out, so we must find a way to beat them and get the best return on our investment. Sportsbooks are usually ruthless and leave bettors with little to no advantage. However, there is one specific betting option that allows us to sweeten the pot and give ourselves a better chance to successfully win bets. Are Teasers Worth Playing? Teasers are worth playing only if you find the right situation and know how to place them correctly. Since we already know that teasers offer a lower payout than straight parlays, we must find a way to maximize our value and win this selection. It’s also important to remember that a winning bet is a winning bet no matter what kind of bet it is.  Football Teasers – NCAAF and NFL Football teasers are the most popular teasers in the betting industry and offer bettors a slew of options. Sportsbooks usually offer teasers that allow you to shift the original line by six points, six and a half points, seven points, or sometimes even 10 points. A 10-point teaser is typically referred to as a sweetheart teaser. As always, an example will make things easier to understand. Let’s say that on a typical NFL Sunday, you are interested in three teams – the Giants -7, the Bills -2.5 and the Dolphins +4.5. If you were to bet these teams in a three-team, six-point teaser, you would be getting each team at very different odds. A six-point teaser would result in the Giants being -1, the Bills being +3.5 and the Dolphins +10.5. On paper, each of these teams should have an easier time covering the adjusted spread. However, as we already know, the game isn’t played on paper. By adjusting the spreads, you have changed the potential payout. If you were to do a three-team parlay with these three teams, you would be getting close to 6/1 odds. Instead, most sportsbooks offer 2.5/1 odds on a three-team, six-point teaser. The risk is much lower, but so is the reward.  However, it should be noted that the above teaser is something I DO NOT recommend doing. Much like any other betting option available to bettors, teasers are only worth playing if they are done correctly and the situation calls for it. We already know that “teasers” offer a much lower payout than straight parlays, but that’s okay because there is one situation where a “teaser” is the best option. Since football has key numbers of three, four and seven, the ability to manipulate the lines in order to beat these numbers is crucial. Instead of laying a ton of money on a -400 favorite to win outright, or -110 to cover a big -7.5-spread, a six-point teaser allows you to bring that favorite through each of the key numbers and make them a -1.5-point favorite. Since a one or two-point margin of victory is very uncommon in the NFL, the odds of the favorite winning by at least a field goal is extremely high. The same rule applies for the underdog. A +1.5-point favorite or higher can be teased up through each of the aforementioned key numbers, thus making it a potentially easier spread to cover. The biggest mistake a bettor can make when playing a “teaser” is teasing a team across zero. In reference to a six-point teaser, making a -3 favorite a +3 dog is frowned up as you are paying for six points but in reality, zero doesn’t count as a number since teams very rarely tie.  If I was looking to play a teaser, I would try and find favorites of -7.5 to -8.5 or and tease them down through seven, four and three. Or you can find underdogs priced at +1.5 to +2.5 and tease them up through those key numbers and get them at over a touchdown.   Basketball Teasers – NCAAB and NBA If you are into basketball, then you may be interested in basketball teasers. They essentially work the same way as the above football example except sportsbooks offer different lines. The majority of sportsbooks will allow you to play a four-point, four-and-a-half-point teaser and a five-point teaser. You can play this option on both the point spread and total of each game. Let’s use a totals example to give you a better idea of how this works. If you like three NBA games and their totals are 202, 189 and 194.5 respectively, you could tease them to either the “over” or “under.” Here is where it gets a little tricky. A four-point teaser to the “over” would reduce the total by four points, thus making the total potentially easier to reach. If you like the “under” a four-point teaser would add four points to the total so that you now have totals of 206, 193 and 198.5, respectively. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: World Series Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

The beginning of the 116th Fall Classic dominates the sports schedule on Tuesday. The first game of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers features Tyler Glasnow facing off against Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers reached the World Series by defeating the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night by a 4-3 score in the seventh game of the National League Championship Series. Los Angeles had previously swept the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres in their first two playoff series.Los Angeles is 9-3 in this postseason. They are scoring 5.7 runs-per-game while allowing 3.6 runs-per-game in these twelve playoff games. The Dodgers have a .256 batting average in the playoffs with a .350 on-base percentage and an OPS of .806. The Los Angeles bullpen has posted a 3.40 ERA along with a 1.15 WHIP.Kershaw is the Game 1 starter after dealing with back spasms that pushed back his planned Game 2 start in the NLCS. Presumably, these spasms kept him from pitching on short rest in Game 7 on Sunday after starting in Game 4 on Thursday. The veteran left-hander has a 3.32 ERA in the postseason this year with 23 strikeouts and just two bases-on-balls.Manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce his Game 2 pitcher, though Walker Buehler has been tabbed to start Game 3.  For Game 2, Roberts could go with any of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, or Julio Urias.  By pushing Buehler back to Game 3, Roberts avoids putting him out there on short rest.  And Buehler would then be in line to pitch a potential Game 7 on regular rest.Tampa Bay reached the World Series with their 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of that series on Sunday. The Rays held on to win the ALCS after seizing a 3-0 lead in that series. Tampa Bay swept Toronto in two games before defeating the New York Yankees by a 3-2 margin in that five-game series. The Rays are 9-5 this postseason. They are scoring 4.1 runs-per-game while allowing 3.8 runs-per-game. Tampa Bay is hitting just .209 in the postseason with a .285 on-base percentage and an OPS of .691. The Rays' bullpen has a 3.41 ERA in these playoffs with a 1.43 WHIP.Manager Kevin Cash has named Tyler Glasnow his starting pitcher for Game 1. The right-hander has a 4.66 ERA with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in his 19 1/3 innings of work this postseason in four starts. Cash has named Blake Snell his Game 2 pitcher, which means Charlie Morton is most likely the starting pitcher he will use for Game 3.Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, is the neutral site that hosts this World Series. Los Angeles is the designated home team for the first two games of the World Series. The traditional 2-3-2 scheduling format resumes with off days scheduled on Thursday and Sunday. Fox will broadcast the games. BetAnySports has installed Los Angeles as the favorite to win the series, with odds at -200.  Tampa Bay is +185.  The Dodgers are the Game 1 favorite, with BetAnySports pricing them at -166, while Tampa Bay is +160. The total is 7.5. The first pitch on Tuesday is at 8:09 PM ET.For fans of prop bets, BetAnySports has listed the following players at the most likely to win World Series MVP:  Mookie Betts.....Dodgers.....+750Corey Seager.....Dodgers.....+800Cody Bellinger.....Dodgers.....+850Randy Arozarena.....Rays.....+900Tyler Glasnow.....Rays.....+950Walker Buehler.....Dodgers.....+1000Charlie Morton.....Rays.....+1500Max Muncy.....Dodgers.....+1550Blake Snell.....Dodgers.....+1600Clayton Kershaw.....Dodgers.....+2000Justin Turner.....Dodgers.....+2000Will Smith.....Dodgers.....+2000Brandon Lowe.....Rays.....+2650Austin Meadows.....Rays.....+3000AJ Pollock.....Dodgers.....+3500Ji-Man Choi.....Rays.....+3800Hunter Renfroe.....Rays.....+4000Julio Urias.....Dodgers.....+4000

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