Articles

Is It Over for the Early Season NFL Overs Trend?

by Team Del Genio

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

The 2020 NFL season began as the highest-scoring in league history, with the average combined scores topping the 50-point threshold after the first five weeks of the season. The oddsmakers were slow to adjust as overs had a 43-33-2 (57%) mark after these initial five weeks. Yet in Week 6, nine of the thirteen games finished under the total. Then in Week 7, the under finished 7-6-1. After the Thursday night game between Atlanta and Carolina that finished under the number, the over is now just 53-50-3 (51%) going into November. Are the trends changing? Did the oddsmakers over-adjust The answers to both these questions is probably yes. There were three main reasons that drove the early season higher scoring games. First, the lack of large crowds for these games given COVID-19 precautions and guidelines has prevented loud stadiums. Less crowd noise helps the visiting quarterbacks who no longer have to resort to silent snap counts. This dynamic has not changed even with many stadiums allowing limited crowds. Noise remains a non-factor for the opponent. Second, the referees are calling fewer holding penalties which helps the offense in several ways. Not only are offenses not being penalized ten yards but the interpretation of the rules is helping quarterbacks avoid getting sacked so they can make successful passing plays down the field. Third, the defenses have been behind the offenses when it comes to schemes and cohesion. It was thought that the offenses may start slow without a normal training camp and preseason but, in practice, the evolving offensive philosophies that give the quarterback flexibility to make adjustments on the fly seem to have given the advantage to the offenses. But as defenses get more-and-more in-synch, this factor will continue to be mitigated. With bettors continuing to push the line up by betting overs while defenses get caught up, the under will likely continue to offer value to sharper bettors. As always, maintaining a proper perspective remains essential. The recent market correction is not a reason to start only betting the under just as the early-season over trends were not a reason to only bet overs. The circumstances at hand should always be considered.Good luck - TDG.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: EPL and NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

The Saturday sports card features a busy slate of college football games along with the English Premier League. The college football schedule has 38 games between FBS opponents. Eleven games kick off the college football slate at noon. The ABC game has Clemson (playing without Trevor Lawrence after his positive COVD test) hosting Boston College. The Tigers are a 26-point favorite with the total set at 58 (all odds from BookMaker). Michigan State travels to Ann Arbor to play Michigan for the Fox game with the Wolverines laying 21 points with an over/under of 51. ESPN has Memphis playing at Cincinnati with the Bearcats a 6.5-point favorite with the over/set at 56.5. West Virginia hosts Kansas State on ESPN2 with the Mountaineers as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 45.5. FS1 has Iowa State’s trip to Kansas with the Cyclones a 28-point road favorite with an over/under of 51. Georgia State hosts Coastal Carolina on ESPNU with the Chanticleers a 3.5-point favorite and the total set at 61.Another thirteen games are scheduled between 2 PM ET and 4 PM ET. Four nationally televised games start at 3:30 PM ET. The game on CBS features LSU’s trip to Auburn. The Tigers are a 1.5-point road favorite with the total set at 62.5. The ABC game has Notre Dame traveling to Atlanta to play Georgia, where they are 20.5-point favorites with an over/under of 59. Iowa hosts Northwestern on ESPN with the Hawkeyes a 2.5-point favorite and the total set at 44. TCU travels to Waco to play Baylor on ESPN2, with the Horned Frogs a 3-point road favorite and an over/under of 46.5. At 4 PM ET, Fox has Texas’ trip to Oklahoma State where the Cowboys are a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 58. UL-Monroe hosts Appalachian State on ESPNU at 4 PM ET with the Mountaineers a 31-point road favorite and the total set at 56.5. Eleven games take place in the window between 6 PM ET and 8 PM ET. At 6 PM ET, Air Force hosts Boise State with the Broncos as a 14-point road favorite with a total of 49. At 7 PM ET, Mississippi State travels to Alabama, where the Crimson Tide are a 30.5-point favorite with an over/under of 63. San Jose State hosts New Mexico at 7 PM ET on FS1, with the Spartans laying 13.5-points, and the total is 55. The game on ABC at 7:30 PM ET features Ohio State’s trip to Happy Valley to face Penn State. The Buckeyes are a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 64.5. SMU hosts Navy on ESPN2 at 7:30 PM ET with the Mustangs a 13.5-point favorite with the total set at 59.5.  Oklahoma plays at Texas Tech as a 15-point road favorite with an over/under of 67 on Fox at 8 PM ET. UL-Lafayette travels to Texas State, where they are 16-point road favorites with a total of 56.A final three games close out the college football card. At 9:30 PM ET, Utah State hosts San Diego State on the CBS Sports Network with the Aztecs an 8.5-point road favorite and the total set at 44. At 10:15 PM ET, Western Kentucky travels to Provo play BYU, where the Cougars are a 30.5-point favorite with the over/under at 51.5. UNLV hosts Nevada at 10:30 PM ET on ESPNU in the first football game that will have fans in the new Allegiant Stadium. The Wolf Pack are a 14-point road favorite with the total set at 60. The English Premier League has three matches scheduled for Saturday. Manchester City travels to Sheffield United on the NBC Peacock app that starts at 8:30 AM ET. The NBC Sports Network broadcasts Chelsea’s trip to Burnley at 11 AM ET. At 1:30 PM ET, Liverpool hosts West Ham for the match on NBC.

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What is Points Betting?

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

What is points betting?The sports betting market is probably as competitive as the regular sports industry -- at times even more competitive.  With billions of dollars passing through sportsbooks and bookmakers each year, your value to sportsbooks is high.  There are a lot of different places where you can place your wagers and a lot of opportunities.With the sports betting industry rapidly becoming more digital and online, completely new types of wagers have developed.  Whereas in a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, you're often limited to the more classic bets and wager types, some online sportsbooks have taken innovation into their own hands.One of these new bet types is points betting. It's an exclusive sports betting option that's only available at PointsBet sportsbook.  This is a bet type that's in the high-risk, high-reward category.  In this betting guide, we'll take you through points betting and see explain how you can get started right away! How to get started with points betting Bettors might find excitement by placing their money at risk in a parlay bet, or by wagering on multiple teasers, but points betting is for those who truly dare to risk it all.  It's the kind of bet that could bring you riches or drag you through the mud, face-first.  It must be said that this bet type is not for everyone.  It's a bet which requires high-level knowledge about sports betting, a bankroll that can take a hit, and a lot of guts.Points betting started initially as a wager solely for point spread bets.  Shortly after, new bets came along.  Now, points betting can be done on point spreads, totals, or proposition bets on individual players.  In points betting, every point or yard in a game can change how much you win, or how much you lose.  Regular bets can either bring you a big win or make you lose your initial stake, but nothing more than that.  With points betting, there are no limits to how much you can lose or win.  That means you will not know what your realized loss or gain is until the very end of the game.  Until then, you'll probably be at risk for a nervous breakdown.   Point spread points betting The most popular points bet is made on a point spread wager.  It all started to spice things up after point spread betting became very popular among football and basketball bettors, more so than other sports.  Note that it's also available for other sports that work with an ATS system like the NHL (puck-line) or MLB (run-line), but it's most popular and common in football.  Thus, we'll provide an example of an NFL match between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins.  Let's imagine your point spread bet would look something like this: New York Giants -3 Miami Dolphins +3 The odds for a regular point spread bet are generally -110, but sometimes you’ll see an ATS bet be -130, or +110.  That, of course, limits your potential gain or loss relative to your initial stake.  Points betting, though, gives you the ability to win or lose many multiples of your initial stake.  To illustrate this, let's say the final score was 12-3 in favor of the Giants.  With the spread being -3, that means the Giants beat the spread by 6 points.  As every single point matters, you now have your payout multiply by six.  When betting $100, that gives you the following formula to calculate your payout: $100 bet x (9 point victory, minus a point spread of 3, = 6) = total payout of $600 with a single wager.Now, that might seem appealing.  But the flip side here is that with the possible win of six times your initial stake (for a Giants bet), there's also a potential loss of six times your initial stake with a Dolphins wager. Points betting other markets In the preceding chapter, we showed you how points betting works with the point spread bet. This is one of the most popular bets, but not the only option at PointsBet sportsbook.  There are many ways you could wager on games at the online sportsbook.  A couple of examples of individual proposition bets available could be: How many touchdowns will Odell Beckham Jr. score against the New York Jets? How many passing yards will Tom Brady have against the Indianapolis Colts? How many points will LeBron James score against the New York Knicks? PointsBet sportsbook will set a number of points for each wager.  Then, it's up to the bettor to choose whether to go above or below that amount.  On top of that, you decide how far away from the set number.  Thus, how much risk you're willing to take. PointsBet sportsbook By now, you understand the basics of point spread betting, but the way to fully understand this bet type is by putting your beliefs into action.  Thus, try your luck by wagering at PointsBet sportsbook.  We want to share some insights about the sportsbook to give you a little background before you trust them with your money.The sportsbook was founded in 2017 in Australia.  With regulations becoming more welcoming in the United States, PointsBet decided to move its operations and expand overseas.  In January 2019, it signed a collaboration with the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey to form a partnership.  The sportsbook had some time to get accustomed to the United States sports betting market and decided to move on to more states.  As of today, the sportsbook is active in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado.  You should note that PointsBet NJ and all other individual states belong to PointsBet USA.The sportsbook has more than 200 different bet types ranging from regular moneyline wagers to their unique points betting options. The company partnered with two famous ambassadors:  NFL player Darrelle Revis and NBA player Allen Iverson. What you should know about PointsBet sportsbook When analyzing a sportsbook, there are a couple of things you have to consider.  We took the effort to create a list of the most important factors when finding a sportsbook.Deposit optionsAs an advanced sportsbook, PointsBet allows users to deposit money using any preferred deposit option:  VISA, Mastercard, ACH Payments/e-checks, or any other digital wallet.  Depositing is made even easier by using their debit card, which allows bettors also to make real-life purchases using the card.Mobile appUnlike many other sportsbooks, PointsBet has a fully functioning mobile app for any Android or iOs device.  It's an easy way to start betting without having to leave your house or start up your PC -- just simply use your mobile phone.  You can use any feature that's available on the desktop version, such as pregame betting options and live betting.PromotionsBeing a relatively new online sportsbook, PointsBet has to work hard to get new bettors in the door.  With that in mind, there are a ton of promotional offers to choose from, including bonus bets and risk-free bets.  We want to share a couple of examples: Risk-free bet:  after filling in a particular promo code, you receive one fixed-odds bet. That means you take away the possibility of losing more than your wager! Welcome bonus:  after signing up through a link or with a particular promo code, you receive either risk-free bets or money which allows you to place free wagers. Seasonal promos:  these are usually for big sporting events like the Super Bowl or an important MMA match. Besides that, there's a rewards program which goes further than merely filling in a bonus code.  The more you wager at PointsBet, the more reward points you get, and the fewer fees you pay.  Eventually, you could end up paying no juice at all.  When you use these promos in your favor, there's a real edge to it which will save you money. How to use points betting in your sports betting strategy With PointsBet’s unique points betting system, there are a lot of bettors who want to give it a try.  But we must caution novice bettors.If you are susceptible to developing gambling problems, or you let emotions get the best of you, be warned.  With points betting, it’s not possible to create a stop loss like in the stock market, so think twice before placing a points bet.  When you find your way with points betting, though, the rewards can be exhilarating.  When you place your wager, make sure you can cover the potential loss.  That means, if you wager $10 per point, your loss will stay manageable for the most part.  But when betting $100 (or more) per point, you could lose hundreds, or thousands of dollars.However, no matter what kind of bet you want to make, make sure you always do the proper research.  The last thing you want to do is give points betting a try, but end up with huge losses.  As always, you can visit our website to learn about a wide variety of topics when it comes to sports betting.  Keep in mind that you can never know enough, and there's always room for improvement.  Now, go ahead and experiment cautiously with points betting, and don't forget to have fun!

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NFL: 2 Teams That Are Better Than You Think

by Power Sports

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

Anyone who regularly follows my picks knows that I am a big believer in YTD scoring differential being a reliable predictor of future outcomes. Yesterday I took a look at three NFL teams that aren’t as good as their record says they are. Now it’s time to take a look at two teams that are better than you might realize.1. Tampa Bay (5-2, +80 pt differential) - The Buccaneers were likely to improve this year for a variety of reasons. But, despite two losses, they are even better than I’d thought. Coming off a 45-20 win over Las Vegas last week, the Bucs now own the league’s top point differential. Tom Brady and the offense commands the attention, but the defense is arguably the best in the NFL. You can’t run on them. They are allowing just 66 rush yards per game! Looking at the two losses, one was in Week 1 whey they outgained the Saints in New Orleans. The other was a Thursday night road game in Chicago where they outgained the Bears substantially on a per play basis, yet lost 20-19 on a last second field goal. Tampa Bay projects to be favored in almost every game from here on out. They have a shot at being the NFC’s top seed. 2. Miami (3-3, +47 point differential) - This is the real surprise of the list. The Dolphins are the only team in the AFC East with a positive point differential. All three wins have been by at least 18 points. The three losses were to New England, Buffalo and Seattle, two of those being one-score games. I believe this team has a legit shot at winning the division this season. Head coach Brian Flores has obviously “rolled the dice” by making the change at QB to Tua Tagovailoa, but he did so on a bye week and Tua obviously has more upside than veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The team’s point differential is actually the 7th best in football right now. We shall see if that holds up. This week, the Fins are a dog at home vs. the Rams. Next week they’ll be a dog in Arizona. That means they will have been the underdog in seven of their first eight games. The second half schedule looks to be easier and the AFC East could be decided in Week 17 at Buffalo.

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Ness Notes: Friday, Oct 30

by Larry Ness

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

This column will be available Monday through Friday (posted no later than 1:00 ET), EXCLUSIVELY at BigAl.com. 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."CFB: I covered the Wisconsin COVID-19 situation in Thursday Notes but an update is that the Wisconsin football program now has 16 active cases of COVID-19. The positive tests recently received include those of head coach Paul Chryst and QB Graham Mertz. Mertz is out three weeks and Chryst is required to isolate for 10 days and will be able to return to the team in person on Nov 7 at the earliest. That, coincidentally, is the date Wisconsin is scheduled to play Purdue. Is Wisconsin's season in the balance? If that news wasn't bad enough, I woke up this morning to the news that Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence has also tested positive. Here's what we know.Lawrence will miss Saturday's home game against Boston College, as the Tigers go for their 39th straight regular season win, which would tie Miami for the second-longest streak in college football history ('Canes run came from 2000-03). The longest regular season winning streak is 45 in a row by Oklahoma from 1953-57. Lawrence is said to have mild symptoms but at this time, his status for Clemson's Nov 7th game at South Bend with the 4th-ranked Fighting Irish remains in question. Lawrence will be required to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. That begs the question, when did his 10-day clock start? The best-case scenario for Lawrence's return is if he began experiencing symptoms on Tuesday and that began his 10-day isolation clock, which would potentially allow him to play on Nov 7. However, this also requires the player to show no symptoms, defined as no respiratory issues or fever, without the aid of fever-reducing medication. Lawrence will also have to pass a battery of cardiac tests to ensure he isn't showing symptoms of myocarditis. If he clears all those hurdles, it's possible he could play against the Irish, albeit with no practice under his belt beforehand. As I opined Thursday, fingers crossed.NFL Week 8 opened with Atlanta winning 25-17 at Carolina on Thursday night. The Falcons fired Dan Quinn after a 23-16 home loss in Week 5 to the Panthers but have now won TWO of three under interim head coach Raheem Morris. Atlanta bounced back from last Sunday's emotionally-draining one-point loss to Detroit, when the Lions drove 75 yards in 1:04 and scored the winning TD (and extra point) with no time remaining. As for Carolina, the Panthers have now lost THREE in a row, after winning THREE in a row. Carolina has played each of its last SIX games without All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey.Sunday's NFL "Game of the Week" is the 6-0 Steelers playing the 5-1 Ravens in Baltimore at 1:00 ET. The current Baltimore Ravens are "the original Cleveland Browns" and rivalry has never let up with Browns/Ravens moving from Cleveland to Baltimore. It has produced vicious hits, close games, dramatic finishes and now a historic matchup of head coaches. The Steelers hired Mike Tomlin in 2007 and he's led Pittsburgh to a 139-74-1 (.652) record in the regular season while capturing six AFC North titles and one Super Bowl championship. John Harbaugh was hired by the Ravens the following season (2008) and owns a 123-75 (.621) regular season record winning four AFC North Titles and one Super Bowl title. Sunday's meeting will be the 25th matchup between Tomlin and Harbaugh, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the duo will become the first pair of head coaches in the Super Bowl era to face off 25 times in the regular season (Harbaugh holds a 13-11 edge over Tomlin). For you history buffs, there are only two head-coaching matchups in NFL history that eclipse Tomlin-Harbaugh. George Halas (Bears) and Curly Lambeau (Packers) met 48 times plus Lambeau and Steve Owen (Giants) coached against each other 28 times.  I mentioned above something about "close games" and two-thirds of the 25 games have been decided by FOUR points or less, including four overtime games. The Ravens are favored by 3 1/2-points and the over/under is 46 1/2.The Pittsburgh/Baltimore matchup is not the only game in which the winner will take over first-place with a victory. In Week 8's SNF game (8:20 ET on NBC) the 2-5 Cowboys (0-7 ATS) will be in Philadelphia to take on the 2-4-1 Eagles, with the winner walking away as the NFC East's division leader. Now you CAN'T make that up! Philly is favored by 9 1/2-points and the over/under is 43. There are two more division showdowns with important implications. The SF 49ers are not just defending NFC West champs but they are also defending NFC champs. The Niners opened 2-3 but have won two in a row (24-16 at home against the Rams and 33-6 at the Pats) to get back to 4-3. However, the 49ers still find themselves in last-place in the NFL's toughest division, behind the 5-2 Cards and Rams plus the 5-1 Seahawks. Seattle welcomes the 49ers to CenturyLink Field off the team's first loss of 2020, a 37-34 OT loss last Sunday night in Arizona. Seattle is favored by three points and the over/under is 54. Then we have the 2-4 Patriots heading to Buffalo to take on the 5-2 Bills. The Patriots have won the AFC East in each of the last 11 years and in 17 of the last 19 seasons. A win by the Bills would move Buffalo to 6-2, with New England falling to 2-5. Could Buffalo win its first AFC East title since 1995 in 2020? The Bills are favored by four points and the over/under is 41.Week 8 also features an important non-division NFC matchup, as the 4-2 Saints are in Chicago to take on the 5-2 Bears. The Saints currently trail 5-2 Tampa Bay in the NFC South and with the Bucs playing the 1-6 NY Giants on MNF, the last thing New Orleans needs is to lose at Chicago, while Tampa Bay wins as expected in New Jersey. The Bears trail the 5-1 Packers in the NFC North and with Green Bay hosting the 1-5 Vikings, the Bears can ill afford a loss AND what is expected to be a Packers win. The Saints are favored by 4 1/2-points and the over/under is 43 1/2. I'll close with the NFL's lone winless team, the 0-7 (1-6 ATS) Jets, who can't possibly be expected to win at the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. KC welcomes the Jets to Arrowhead Stadium as a 19 1/2-point favorite (over/under is 49).Good luck...Larry

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Big Al's Daily Angle: EPL and NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

The Friday sports card features three games in college football and an afternoon match in the English Premier League. Florida International was to play Marshall in college football as well but called the game off given their lack of scholarship players available to play after a COVID outbreak. The Friday night game on ESPN features a battle of two Big Ten opponents looking to rebound from opening game losses last week.Minnesota hosted Michigan for the Saturday night prime-time game on ABC but got dominated in a 49-24 loss. The Golden Gophers’ defense only returned five starters from last year while losing five of their top six tacklers from that team. Minnesota was tenth in the nation by allowing 306.6 yards-per-game, yet allowed the Wolverines to generate 478 yards of offense while averaging 8.8 yards-per-play behind Joe Milton's first career start at quarterback. The Golden Gophers allowed 35 points in the first half to the Wolverines. Maryland was embarrassed last week in Evanston, where they lost to Northwestern by a 43-3 score. They surrendered 537 yards to a Wildcats’ offense was 123rd in the nation last year. Northwestern ran the ball 53 times for 325 yards against the Terrapins. Maryland has five starters on defense back that was 109th by allowing 449.2 yards-per-game with 177.9 of those yards coming on the ground.Maryland was only 3-9 last season, but they have bowl aspirations in Locksley’s second year with the program with twelve starters back. The Terrapins lost all three of their games decided by one scoring possession while losing 36 starts from the first-string to injuries last season. Minnesota has 13 starters back from Fleck’s 11-2 team defeated Auburn in the Outback Bowl by a 31-24 score. BetOnline lists the Golden Gophers as a 19.5-point road favorite with the total set at 61. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET. At 9:30 PM ET, East Carolina travels to Tulsa to play the Golden Hurricane. The Pirates are 1-3 this season after losing at home to Navy by a 27-23 score back on October 17th. Tulsa raised their record to a 2-1 mark with their 42-13 victory at South Florida last Saturday. The Golden Hurricane are 17-point favorites with an over/under of 61. ESPN2 has the broadcast.At 9:45 PM ET, Wyoming hosts Hawai’i. The Cowboys lost their opening game of the season last week with a 37-34 upset loss in overtime at Nevada. The Rainbow Warriors began their season last Saturday with a 34-19 upset victory at Fresno State, where they were 2.5-point underdogs. Wyoming is a 1-point favorite with a total of 59. FS1 broadcasts the game.Match week 7 of the English Premier League begins on Friday with Crystal Palace traveling to Wolverhampton. The Wolves are -1 goal line favorites with a total of 2. The NBC Sports Network broadcasts the game at 4 PM ET.

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NCAA Friday Night Football: Minnesota/Maryland Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

The Friday night game on ESPN features a battle of two Big Ten opponents looking to rebound from opening game losses last week.Minnesota hosted Michigan for the Saturday night prime-time game on ABC but got dominated in a 49-24 loss. The Golden Gophers’ defense only returned five starters from last year while losing five of their top six tacklers from that team. Minnesota was tenth in the nation by allowing 306.6 yards-per-game, yet allowed the Wolverines to generate 478 yards of offense while averaging 8.8 yards-per-play behind Joe Milton's first career start at quarterback. The Golden Gophers allowed 35 points in the first half to the Wolverines. Minnesota only gained 326 yards on offense despite being on the field for over 35 minutes in that game. Junior quarterback Tanner Morgan completed just 18 of 31 passes for 197 yards with a touchdown and an interception. After ranking fourth in the nation last season by averaging 10.2 yards per pass attempt, Morgan averaged only 6.6 yards per attempt against the Wolverines. Junior Rashod Bateman remains a dangerous weapon for Morgan, but he needs help in replacing their lead receiver Tyler Johnson from last year. The Minnesota offensive line was supposed to be a strength for this team, with four starters returning. It was a surprise when right guard Curtis Dunlap and right tackle Daniel Faalele could not play because of injuries. Head coach P.J. Fleck reshuffled his line while inserting two backups into the starting lineup. Yet Morgan still got sacked five times. If there was a bright spot for the Golden Gophers, it was the play of junior running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who rushed for 140 yards with two touchdowns against the stout Wolverines’ defense. With Dunlap and Faalele listed as questionable for this game, Minnesota will likely lean on Ibrahim to carry the offense. The Golden Gophers are also dealing with injuries with the kicker and punter, which impacted Fleck’s fourth-down decisions last week. Maryland was embarrassed last week in Evanston, where they lost to Northwestern by a 43-3 score. They surrendered 537 yards to a Wildcats’ offense was 123rd in the nation last year. Northwestern ran the ball 53 times for 325 yards against the Terrapins. Maryland has five starters on defense back that was 109th by allowing 449.2 yards-per-game with 177.9 of those yards coming on the ground.The Terrapins gained only 207 yards in that game while being on the field for under 23 minutes. They averaged only 4.1 yards-per-play. Second-year head coach Mike Locksley tapped sophomore Taulia Tagovailoa as his starting quarterback. The younger brother of Tua transferred to College Park from Alabama, where Locksley was the offensive coordinator two years ago. Tagovailoa’s career with Maryland did not start as planned, with him passing for 94 yards while completing 14 of his 25 passes. He also threw three interceptions. The Terrapins were last in the Big Ten last year in time of possession, so keeping their defense off the field may continue to be a problem for Locksley’s team.Maryland was only 3-9 last season, but they have bowl aspirations in Locksley’s second year with the program with twelve starters back. The Terrapins lost all three of their games decided by one scoring possession while losing 36 starts from the first-string to injuries last season. Minnesota has 13 starters back from Fleck’s 11-2 team defeated Auburn in the Outback Bowl by a 31-24 score. BetOnline lists the Golden Gophers as a 19.5-point road favorite with the total set at 61. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET. 

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NCAA Saturday Night Football: Ohio State/Penn State Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

The Saturday night game on ABC features two nationally-ranked teams from the Big Ten.Ohio State began their season last Saturday by defeating Nebraska at home by a 52-17 score. Junior quarterback Josh Fields led the way by completing 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Buckeyes’ offense racked up 491 yards against the Cornhuskers. Ryan Day’s team is a trendy pick to win the national championship this season in his second year as the head coach of the program. He returned ten starters from last year’s team that finished 13-1 with their loss being in the national semifinals to Clemson by a 29-23 score. However, there were some areas of concern despite the 35-point win over Nebraska. This game was still relatively close going into the second half, with the Buckeyes went into halftime with just a 24-14 lead. Fields faced constant pressure from the Cornhuskers’ pass rush. The junior Heisman Trophy candidate also led his team in rushing with 54 yards. Not only are there questions about the Ohio State offensive line after that effort, but Day may not have anyone on the roster who can come close to replacing the productivity of J.K. Dobbins at running back last season. Nebraska gained 370 yards against the Buckeyes defense, which was well above the nation-leading 259.7 yards-per-game they held their opponents to last year. Ohio State lost all four starters from their defensive line last year, including superstar defensive end Chase Young who was the second player taken in the NFL draft. Those issues pale in comparison to what Penn State head coach James Franklin has had to address this week. The Nittany Lions come off a 36-35 upset loss in overtime at Indiana as a 7-point favorite. Penn State had the opportunity to ice the game late, but they scored a touchdown that raised their lead to a 28-20 score rather than settling for a first down that would have allowed them to run out the clock. The Hoosiers were able to force overtime when they then scored a touchdown on their final drive and converted the two-point conversion. After the Nittany Lions scored a touchdown on the first possession in OT, Indiana responded with a touchdown of their own before going for a game-winning 2-point conversion. Instant replay then confirmed the call on the field that Hoosiers’ QB Michael Penix crossed the goal-line with the football before his end zone dive landed the football out of bounds. Penn State lost that game despite holding the Hoosiers to just 211 yards of offense while outgaining them by 277 net yards. The Nittany Lions held on to the football for over 40 minutes of that game. Junior quarterback Sean Clifford completed 24 of his 35 passes for 238 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Clifford also led the team in rushing with 119 yards on 17 carries. Depth at running back has become an issue for Franklin despite this being an expected area of strength for the Penn State offense. Junior Journey Brown is out indefinitely, and sophomore Noah Cain is out the season with injuries leaving the running back depth chart thin after sophomore Devyn Ford. Franklin returned 13 starters from the team last year that finished 11-2 with a 53-39 victory over Memphis in the Cotton Bowl. The Nittany Lions lost the meeting between these two teams last November in Columbus by a 28-17 score, as a 20.5-point underdog. Despite the loss last week, Penn State is ranked 18th in this week’s AP poll.BetOnline lists Ohio State as an 11.5-point road favorite with the total set at 64. The ABC broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET.

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How to Bet on Sports: Sports Betting 101

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

How to bet on sports:  sports betting 101 Sports have been a great part of society for thousands of years.  The most famous sports grow each year, and even new sports are invented.  Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of sporting events throughout the world.  This ranges from a small soccer match between local clubs, to professional leagues like the NFL and the NBA. With the evolution of sports, the betting industry has grown along with it.  As of today, the sports betting market, itself, is a multi-billion dollar industry which is more popular than ever.  New sportsbooks, betting sites and bookmakers have continuously popped up as the legal climate has become more welcoming.  Sports bettors now have more possibilities than ever before.  But, for new bettors, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. In this guide, we want to provide you with some hands-on betting tips.  After reading through the following page, you'll know what sports betting is all about and how you can create a winning sports betting strategy.  Above all that, we will explain to you how to select a sportsbook (our current top-rated sportsbook is BetAnySports), and show you where you can start wagering today!How to get started with sports bettingTo start betting on any sport, you have to get familiar with the basics.  The more you know about a particular sport, the greater your chances of making the right prediction.  For the basics of sports betting, we take sports that consist of two teams competing against each other.  That comes down to all major sports in the United States like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL.  There are a couple of bets called straight wagers, which involve betting on the outcome of a single match.Moneyline The moneyline bet is the easiest to understand. You predict which team or player wins the game -- simple as that.  With the moneyline, the sportsbook decides which team is favored and which team is the underdog. They do so with the minus (-) sign, which represents the favorite, and the plus (+) sign, which represents the underdog. Point spreadThe point spread bet is another popular bet.  With this bet, you're betting on a team to cover the spread.  The spread is the difference in points between the two teams.  The bookmakers predict which team is more likely to cover the spread, as you can see in the odds. The point spread requires a little example to explain fully.  Let's take a matchup between the Knicks and the Lakers: New York Knicks +5 Los Angeles Lakers -5 In this example, the Lakers are the favorite.  To cover the spread, they need to win the game by more than 5 points.  The New York Knicks, on the other hand, would cover if they either win, or do not lose by 5 or more points. Over/underThe over/under (also known as a totals bet) is a bet on the total number of points scored in the game by both teams, combined.  The bookies come up with a number of points, and you have to predict whether the final score (combined) will be over or under that amount.  This is particularly popular with NBA, NFL and MLB bettors. Other types of betsThe above is just the beginning when it comes to sports betting.  When you're starting as a bettor, it's nice to start playing around with some of the straight wagers.  However, after you’ve gained more experience, you can dive into the following bet types:Prop bets:  With prop bets (also known as proposition bets), you are wagering on an event within a sporting event.  An example could be which player or team scores first in the match.  This bet type can also take place during the game in the form of live betting, which has grown massively in popularity with the maturity of the internet. Parlay bets:  When you're up for a little more risk, you can try your luck with parlay bets.  Also known as an accumulator bet, with a parlay, you're combining multiple wagers into one bet.  Each individual bet has to be successful to secure a payout.  The chance of success, of course, gets smaller, as the number of elements in the parlay increases. Teasers:  The teaser is a variation of the parlay bet.  With a parlay, you can't change anything about the odds given by the bookies for each individual match.  With a teaser, you can.  For example, 2-team, 6-point NFL teasers are extremely popular.  In this bet, a gambler gets to add six points to each of the two teams he selects.  Thus, each individual element of the teaser has a better chance to win.  The payout odds, of course, reflect the fact that the odds of winning are increased. Futures bet:  This is literally betting on an event far in the future.  You could predict the winner of the upcoming Super Bowl or Premier League before the season starts.  And the odds can be incredible here, as it's tough to predict.  Recall the 1999 St. Louis Rams, who were 300-1 going into their NFL championship season.  Or Leicester City, which was 5000-1 before its stunning, title-winning Premier League season in 2015-16.Hedge betting:  When you've placed a significant wager, it might be smart to secure at least a little payout.  Sometimes, you can do so by hedging your bet, but only if an opportunity presents itself where you can’t lose.  This only would be possible if the odds have moved since you placed your original wager, and the team you selected now has an increased chance to win.  This means placing a bet on the other side of your original wager.  Then, regardless of how the game ends, and depending on how you structured your hedge bet, your entire stake for your initial wager would not be at risk. The above wagers are available for most major sports and fantasy sports. However, horse racing is different.  The types of bets are different, and the structure of the sport as well.  Thus, we've written a separate betting guide to educate you on horse racing. How to read betting oddsThe essence of knowing how to bet is understanding the odds for each bet.  Across the world, there are three different types of display odds:  American odds, fractional odds, and decimal odds.  Since we're focusing on the United States, we'll focus on the American odds, also known as moneyline odds.The moneyline odds are relatively simple.  In general, all bets come down to the same structure.  The bookmaker picks the favorite and the underdog.  The favorite holds the minus sign (-), while the underdog holds the plus sign (+).  Let's take the two NBA teams we used earlier: New York Knicks +210 Los Angeles Lakers -250 These betting lines are based on a moneyline wager.  You can see that the Lakers are the favorite, while the Knicks are the underdog.  To calculate our payout, you should know that the moneyline odds assume you're wagering $100.  With that in mind, we can calculate our payout for the example above: You bet $100 on the underdog, the Knicks, and they win.  You profit $210 over and above the initial stake of $100 -- your total payout is $310. You bet $100 on the favorite, the Lakers, and they win. You profit $40 over and above your initial stake of $100.  (If you wanted to profit $100 when betting on the Lakers, you need to wager $250.) This gives you an idea of how the moneyline odds work.  It's not more complicated than that.  Now, there are lots of odds calculators that you can use when you're in doubt, so don't hesitate to consult an additional source!How to choose your online sportsbookYou might be wondering where to start placing your bets after taking in all of the above.  You know what kind of bets there are and how the odds work, but where do you bet?  Those who have been to Las Vegas will probably have an answer to this straightaway.  There are many brick-and-mortar Las Vegas sportsbooks that will happily take your bets since it's legal in Nevada.  Across the country, many brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will also take your bets, but there's also a more convenient way.When you don't feel like traveling all the time when you want to place a simple bet, you can try betting sites.  These are nothing more than online sportsbooks.  However, online betting sites usually offer way more than merely a site where you place bets.  To illustrate this, we want to share a little checklist we use when analyzing an online betting site: Does the betting site welcome you with a nice sign-up bonus? Does the online sportsbook’s website have a modern user interface? Is the betting site able to handle your wagering limits? Does the betting site offer convenient banking methods? Does the betting site offer competitive odds on straight bets, parlays, and teasers? The competition is strong when it comes to online sportsbooks, so you should take advantage.  For example, if you want great sign-up and reload bonuses, then join BetNow Sportsbook.  But if it’s reduced juice (e.g., -105 odds on football and basketball games, rather than -110), or 10% bonus payouts on winnings at major horse tracks, then join BetAnySports.  And if you’re looking for the best parlay and teaser odds, then BetAnySports is the ideal choice for that, as well.   It's also never wrong to have accounts at multiple books so you can shop around for the best lines, bonuses, or promotions. How to create a winning sports betting strategyYou might notice that figuring out how to place bets is not the hardest part.  After doing a little research, you'll probably find your way through the betting market.  The point where things might get complicated is when you start wagering for the long term -- when you want to do more than merely place a bet for entertainment.  For those who desire a sustainable career as a sports bettor, we want to give you some tips.Keep your eyes on your moneyWhen you first start, you have to decide how much money you want to make available for your betting habits.  Our best advice is to never risk more money than you're able to lose.  You don't want to risk your savings or your kids' college fund on your new passion for sports betting.  Start small, keep your eyes on your bankroll, and slowly build up your betting account.  The more you accumulate, the more risk you can take. Keep your eyes on the calendarWhen it comes to all of the major sports, they lead up to major betting events.  This ranges from the Super Bowl, to March Madness, to the World Cup in soccer.  Whatever it is, view it as a great opportunity to make money.  Usually, novice bettors find these events a great time to place a wager just for fun.  Sportsbooks know there's a significant influx of novice bettors at those times so they will take advantage of this.  And that's when odds start to shift, and the professional bettors with a plan can step in for easy profits.Keep your eyes on the statisticsWhen you're about to place a bet, always ask yourself:  did you do all the research you could to wager your money thoughtfully?  You have to be mindful of all the statistics about each matchup before putting any money on the line.  Read up about past performances, the players, the teams, the weather conditions, travel time, or whatever it might be.  The more you research, the better!  And if you don’t have the time, our handicapping experts here are happy to help.With all that being said, we want to wish you a lot of fun.  Go ahead and think for yourself which sport suits you the best.  Think about the first type of wager you want to place and dive right in.  Pick a sportsbook which matches your needs and go for it!  You'll learn new stuff along the way and figure out all there is to sports betting.  We're always here to advise you too, so don't be a stranger!

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The Falcons Should Trade QB Matt Ryan

by Wayne Root

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

If you were Arthur Blank and had just fired your General Manager and your football coach, what scenario would you like to see happen and could you make it happen as the Atlanta Falcons move forward? I would want my GM and new head football coach to have a clean slate to create what they needed for the next five years. One key to my plan is that I want a coach that wouldn’t consider this job unless I showed him some exciting keys to the kingdom. There’s nothing better than to arrive with the chance to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.   I have had a great relationship with Matt Ryan since 2008 and he’s very good but needs to be moved. I would have called or flown to Dallas to meet with Jerry Jones. His Cowboys stink but are only one game out of first place and are  starting Ben Dinucci, James Madison rookie starting QB against the Eagles on the road.  I’d offer to trade to Jerry Jones, Matt Ryan today! I’ve enjoyed Matt but 12 years and it’s time well spent but this is a business. I have a new coach and GM coming soon and that’s what needs focused. By trading Matt Ryan, I free up money. I then can pretty much insure myself a 1-15 record or thereabouts. Many think the NY Jets will want Trevor Lawrence but he has stated that he would rather remain at Clemson than play for the Jets. Sounds like Eli Manning refusing to play for San Diego.  In essence, I can almost plan on getting the number one quarterback coming out of college. Lawrence is from nearby Georgia and would love playing in Atlanta throwing to Julio Jones and other great receivers. You can bet there will be some young exciting college coaches banging down the door to interview with Mr Blank. Does Lincoln Riley sound familiar?   As I am writing this brilliant option to make Dallas relevant and Atlanta’s future bright, the Falcons defeated the Panthers tonight to have two wins and ruin this perfect trade idea. At least we were thinking out of the box. 

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NFL: 3 Teams That Aren't As Good As Their Record

by Power Sports

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

Anyone who regularly follows my picks knows that I am a big believer in YTD scoring differential being a reliable predictor of future outcomes. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at three NFL teams that aren’t as good as their record says they are. 1. Bears (WL record: 5-2, Point Differential -2) - It should be common sense that a team that’s been outscored on the season probably should not have a 5-2 record. Anyone who watched the Bears play on Monday Night Football against the Rams probably doesn’t think they should be 5-2 either. This is a team that’s been extremely fortunate in the early going. They have won two games in which they trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter. They somehow beat Tampa Bay despite being outgained 5.3 to 4.1 on a yards per play basis. The offense isn’t good as it’s been held under 20 points in half of its games, two of those coming since the move to Nick Foles. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears ended up missing the playoffs. 2. Bills (WL record: 5-2, Point Differential: -4) - I’m not nearly as high on this Bills team as some others seem to be. Once again, having a negative point differential seems to justify my position. The Bills snapped a two-game losing streak on Sunday by beating the Jets 18-10. But they did not cover the large spread. It’s also worth mentioning they’ve beaten the winless Jets twice. They have no other wins by more than seven points and were dominated in games against two of the AFC’s best teams (KC, Tennessee). The offense has been held to an average of 17 PPG the L3 weeks, a stretch which has seen them go 0-3 ATS. A win this Sunday against New England would put the Bills at 6-2 and firmly in control of the AFC East. But this is an average, not great team. 3. Cleveland (WL record: 5-2, Point Differential -21) - This is the biggest “offender” on our list. The Browns were dominated in losses to the Ravens and Steelers, but are 5-0 otherwise. Those losses to the Ravens and Steelers were by a combined 63 points. Three of the five wins have come at the expense of Cincinnati (both close) and Washington (were +5 in turnovers). The upcoming schedule is favorable and the addition of a 7th playoff spot this year may very well end up being what snaps Cleveland’s 18-year playoff drought. But this isn’t a very good team. Note their point differential is roughly the same as the 1-6 Falcons!

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MAC Conference West Division Football Preview for 2020

by Scott Rickenbach

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

MAC Conference West Division Football Preview for 2020:Heading into the first week of November 2020 only two conferences have yet to get underway in this unusually scheduled 2020 football season that has been impacted by the pandemic. One of those two conferences is the MAC. Below I give a quick hitter report on each of the six teams in the Mid-American Conference West Division:West:Ball State – The Cardinals have a lot of talent but their last 3 losses last season came by a combined 8 points. They struggle to win close games and one of the concerns coming into this season is they appear thin at defensive line and this is a Ball State team which had a rough season on defense last year. Central Michigan – A lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball but will a solid quarterback be able to step up? There is certainly a ton of talent at the other skill positions on offense. Might be good to look at overs in the Chippewas games as the defense lost a lot of starters from last year. Eastern Michigan – This team lost a ton of talent from last year’s team. The players the Eagles lost were key players so this may seem hard to believe but an Eastern Michigan team that won 6 games last season and went to a bowl is truly in rebuild mode this season. I expect them to finish near or at the very bottom of the MAC West. Northern Illinois – This team is likely to finish near the bottom of the division this season. The Huskies are coming off back to back years where they simply have suffered a lot of key losses from their roster. This is the season it catches up with them. Toledo – Mediocre the last two seasons but the Rockets should be soaring again this season. At least in terms of being the top team in the West Division. Toledo had a great ground attack on offense last season but it was the defense that let this team down. Now this season the Rockets return a lot of veteran experience on defense and that should pay off with a much stronger season on that side of the ball. Western Michigan – The Broncos are a tough team to call because they do appear to be solid in the trenches as both lines look strong. But, on offense, they lost key pieces at quarterback and running back and that could hold this team back. If Western Michigan finds some answers there, this is a team that could challenge the Rockets for the top spot in the West. However, if they struggle in those areas this team could easily drop down to as low as 4th too. In a short 6-game MAC season this is something to watch closely in the early going. 

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