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NFL Scoring and Over/Under Trends After Week 4

by Team Del Genio

Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

Scoring had been up last week going into Monday Night Football, with the first fifteen games of Week 4 averaging 50.3 combined points. After three weeks of the regular season, games were averaging only 42.1 combined points per game, the lowest mark since 2010. We expected scoring to rise with offensive players getting more in synch after not taking many snaps in the preseason. The Week 4 numbers included high-scoring games that had 93 combined points between Seattle and Detroit and 72 combined points between Kansas City and Tampa Bay last night. Yet seven of the fifteen games still finished under the number so far in Week 4 before the Los Angeles Rams played at the San Francisco 49ers Monday night. Five of the games did not see more than 42 combined points scored. For the season, the under has a 37-25-1 record. For prime-time games, the under has cashed in nine of the twelve games. Of course, the Sunday Night Football scoring fest between the Chiefs and Buccaneers demonstrated that it would be foolish to simply take the under became the game happens to be played at night in front of a nationally-televised audience. On the other hand, perhaps that game follows a different script if Rachaad White does not fumble the opening kick-off to give the ball to Patrick Mahomes deep in Tampa Bay territory. When Kansas City had a 7-0 lead in the first minute of the game, the Buccaneers played the entire game from behind and abandoned their rushing attack. So, each game needs to be treated differently. We passed on the over/under bet for Sunday Night Football, preferring the side plays with the Chiefs. We did endorse the under for Monday Night Football with that NFC West showdown involving two teams that like to run the football and who have played seven of their previous nine games played in San Francisco under the number. We were rewarded with a comfortable under with the 49ers' 24-9 victory. Jimmy Garoppolo was efficient if not explosive by completing 16 of 27 passes for 239 yards while leading San Francisco to 327 total yards of offense. Yet they only scored 17 offensive points with their final touchdown being from a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown. The struggles on offense for the reigning Super Bowl champions continued as they gained only 257 yards behind a banged-up offensive line. Matthew Stafford completed 32 of 48 passes for 254 yards, yet lost 54 yards from getting sacked seven times. Stafford has been sacked fourteen times in the last two games. He has gone 87 straight pass attempts without a touchdown pass. In his last eight games including the playoffs last year, he has thrown sixteen interceptions. Lingering elbow and shoulder injuries may be impacting his performance.Week 5 begins Thursday night with the under having a 38-25-1 record. For prime-time games, the under has cashed in ten of the thirteen games. Yet that was not enough for us to endorse the Indianapolis/Denver under for the opening Thursday night contest for the week. The oddsmakers installed the over/under in the 43-point range and the market bet that number down all week with both teams missing their starting running backs, Jonathan Taylor for the Colts and Javonte Williams for the Broncos. While we were willing to be the under with the low number on Monday, injuries on a pair of defensive units not as good as the Rams and 49ers played a large role in passing (and instead taking the side play). As we continue to preach, these long-term under trends are interesting to observe but not nearly enough to expect to continue on their own.Good luck - TDG.

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NHL Hockey Futures Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to Win the 2023 Stanley Cup

by Al McMordie

Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

The Predators and Sharks will kick off the NHL season (in Prague) this week, so it's time to unveil my pick to win this year's NHL Stanley Cup.  It will be a familiar selection since my futures pick is the same team I went with last year:  the Toronto Maple Leafs (at 10-1 odds (FanDuel)).  The Leafs have the best pure goal scorer in the NHL (which probably means in the World).  Connor McDavid might still be the best overall player in the game, but nobody can put the puck in the net as frequently and in as many different ways as Toronto's superstar Center, Auston Matthews.  The 25-year-old finished last season as the only 60-goal scorer in the league, and he did it in just 73 games.  Nobody would be surprised if Matthews led the league again this season and improved on the 60-goal bar.  But what about the rest of the team?  The Leafs need to take a serious step forward this season.  For six straight years, the Leafs have made the playoffs.  And for six straight seasons, they've gone packing after the first round.  Another season like that, and they need to seriously consider blowing it up (with the exception of Matthews).  One area where the Leafs have already blown it up is in goal.  Both of last season's net-minders -- Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek -- are out, and that's not necessarily a bad thing when you consider who they brought in.  Toronto got aggressive in the off-season and went after two potentially #1 goalies in Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov.  While Murray is the more experienced (but still only 28), it's the 25-year-old Russian who is potentially the long-term number one in net -- and don't be surprised if Samsonov is a Vezina Trophy winner one day.   The Leafs also addressed a defense that faltered badly at times last season, bringing in veterans Mark Giordano (trade from Seattle) and Jordie Benn (signed as a free agent).  Those two may not be the entire answer this team needs, but they're certainly a start.  Head Coach Sheldon Keefe will be back after a 54-win season -- by far his best result as an NHL skipper.  If Keefe can get this team to gel and play together like they're capable of -- beyond the regular season -- then they just might be hoisting the Cup at the end.  Take the Toronto Maple Leafs at 10-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup.  As always, good luck...Al McMordie.

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NHL Metropolitan Division Preview 2022-23

by Scott Rickenbach

Thursday, Oct 06, 2022

Metropolitan Division 2022-23 Point Total PredictionsCarolina Hurricanes – 116 points last year. Predicting them to land around the 100 mark this season. This team is so strong on the blue line. They can D up! But the Hurricanes have some question marks this season as they lost quite a bit of scoring with guys that departed. I know they added Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty but the latter is out at least 4 months most likely recovering from surgery. Also, Paul Stastny is a big add but again Niederrieter, Trocheck and DeAngelo all are with other teams now. Hurricanes still we be one of the strongest clubs in the league but how the new pieces mix in will be a key. Columbus Blue Jackets – 81 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 80s this season. What a top line they have now since Johnny Gaudreau landed here and Patrick Laine decided to remain with Columbus. The Blue Jackets, however, have quite a ways to go as they defense is not what it was a few seasons ago and is very young. Also, will they have enough scoring depth behind that top line?New Jersey Devils – 63 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 80s this season. This team should be much improved because I liked what I saw from this team as the season went on. The late season Devils were much better than the early season Devils and they’ll carry momentum here and be an improved team this season. The added some solid pieces heading into the new season and now can take the next step after a sluggish start last season doomed them. This team can contend for a playoff spot. They have a solid young core and then added guys like Ondrej Palat and Erik Haula among others! This team going to be tough to play against. New York Islanders – 84 points last year. Predicting a range of upper 80s to low 90s this season. Not too sure about this team. Barry Trotz was fired and yet the Islanders were so much better after the rough start to the season when they opened up with a 13-game road trip and then got hammered by a covid outbreak. Lane Lambert now an NHL coach for the first time. The talent is there for this team to still be a title contender and I know a lot of systems will stay the same since Lambert was an assistant under Trotz but this is his first time as head coach. Roster is much the same and the Isles will contend for a playoff spot but I don’t think it will be easy for this team that is still a bit offensively challenged. New York Rangers – 110 points last year. Predicting them to land around the 100 mark this season. Igor Shesterkin in goal is a key for these Rangers. He is phenomenal. They also have a core group of young talent and have built this team really well. To get to next level though those young guys are going to have to have their best seasons yet. Very strong team but lost some solid guys from last season’s team that made the post-season run. Really like the additions of Trocheck and Halak as well.  Philadelphia Flyers – 61 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 70s this season. Definitely like the hiring of fiery head coach John Tortorella because if any team needed a real kick in the pants from the bench boss it was this Philly bunch. Torts will demand this most from this club and we will see improvement as a result. A big key was that Sean Couterier will not need surgery after all and he is such a strong player and will be huge for the top line when he is back out there again in a few weeks most likely. However, it is likely “do or die” time for GM Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers have a decent amount of talent but question marks on defense and that exposes their goaltending too much. Carter Hart needs a more dominant, consistent season between the pipes as well. Pittsburgh Penguins – 103 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 90s this season. The core group is still there for the Penguins to try to make one more push. Malkin, Crosby, Rust, Letang all long-time Penguins trying to help make a run at it. The additions of defensemen Ty Smith and Jeff Petry should pay dividends too. If Tristan Jarry is strong enough in goal the Pens should make playoffs and could even make a run but the competition seems to be getting in tougher in this division and of course the other Eastern Division is stacked with Bruins and Lightning and Maple Leafs and Panthers. So the Penguins are one of those 8 battling to get in but the Metropolitan is getting better while Pittsburgh staying a bit stagnant. Washington Capitals – 100 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 90s this season. Yes the Capitals still have the Amazing 8 in Alexander Ovechkin. Additionally what a huge move to get goalie Darcy Kuemper after he won the cup with the Avalanche. Some of the other Capitals additions are solid too and this Washington team is going to, like Pittsburgh, be in the mix for one of those playoff spots. However, like some other teams, the Caps are dealing with a couple of injury issues entering the season and guys like Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom being out for awhile to start the season is absolutely not ideal of course. 

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