Articles

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

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 16, 2020

The Friday card features two games in college football involving three American Athletic Conference teams (and BYU) along with the continuation of the American League and National League Championship Series.Houston extended the ALCS to a sixth game today with their 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay. The Astros look to force a climactic seventh game tonight with Framber Valdez as their starting pitcher. The Rays will counter with Blake Snell to get them to the World Series. Tampa Bay is a -135 moneyline favorite with the total set at 8 (all odds from BookMaker). The ALCS takes place at Petco Park in San Diego, with the Rays the designated home team for this game. TBS has the broadcast with the first pitch at 6:07 PM ET.Atlanta took a 3-1 lead in the NLCS on Thursday with their 10-2 victory over the Dodgers. Braves manager Brian Snitker has yet to name a starting pitcher for Game 5. Los Angeles looks to extend their season to at least another game with Dustin May as their starting pitcher.Odds have yet to be set for this game, awaiting the Atlanta starting pitcher. The ALCS takes place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, with the Braves the designated home team for Game 5. FS1 has the broadcast with the first pitch at 9:08 PM ET. Friday night on ESPN presents a college football doubleheader that features three teams from the American Athletic Conference. The first game takes place at 6 PM ET with SMU traveling to New Orleans to play Tulane.The Mustangs are 4-0 this season after they exacted some revenge against a Memphis team that has had their number over the years. SMU defeated the Tigers by a 30-27 score as a 1.5-point underdog on October 3rd, but the results were bittersweet with the team sustaining two significant injuries. Starting wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury, and starting running back T.J. McDaniel experienced a season-ending ankle injury. Tulane has lost two of their last three games after they lost at Houston last Thursday by a 49-31 score. The Green Wave took a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter of that game with two touchdowns coming from their defense on a 64-yard interception return and a 1-yard fumble recovery. Tulane was then outscored by a 42-7 margin, which made it the second time this season that they blew a double-digit lead to a conference rival.SMU won the meeting between these two teams at home, 37-20,  as a 3-point favorite. The Mustangs are a 6-point favorite with the total set at 64.5.The second game on ESPN starts at 9:30 PM ET with BYU traveling to Houston to play the Cougars.BYU is unbeaten after four games after defeating UTSA last Saturday by a 27-20 score. That was the closest game the Cougars have played all season despite entering that contest as a 34-point favorite. BYU outgained the Roadrunners by a 470 to 359 margin, but difficulties in finishing drives kept that game closer than expected. Traveling to Houston to face these Cougars will be BYU’s biggest test this season. Houston endured several COVID-based cancellations early in the season before finally kicking off their season last Thursday, where they defeated Tulane by a 49-31 score. The Cougars fell behind by a 24-7 score early in the second quarter after giving up two defensive touchdowns to the Green Wave. Houston then outscored Tulane by a 42-7 margin to blow out the Green Wave by a 49-31 score. BYU is a 5-point favorite with an over/under of 62.5.

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NCAA Friday Night Football: SMU/Tulane Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 16, 2020

Friday night on ESPN presents a college football doubleheader that features three teams from the American Athletic Conference. The first game takes place at 6 PM ET with SMU traveling to New Orleans to play Tulane.The Mustangs are 4-0 this season after they exacted some revenge against a Memphis team that has had their number over the years. SMU defeated the Tigers by a 30-27 score as a 1.5-point underdog on October 3rd, but the results were bittersweet with the team enduring two significant injuries. Starting wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury, and starting running back T.J. McDaniel experienced a season-ending ankle injury. The loss of Roberson hurts the most as he had caught five passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns against Memphis before his setback. The former West Virginia transfer missed half of last season as well with a foot injury. Head coach Sonny Dykes has assembled plenty of offensive talent on his roster to absorb these losses. Junior college transfer, Danny Gray, slides into the number one receiver role with his 15 yards-per-catch average along with three touchdowns. Sophomore Rashee Rice will see his role increase in the offense after catching 17 balls already. Redshirt freshman steps in as the starting running back. He may be more talented than McDaniel as he is averaging over 8.0 yards-per-carry with seven rushing touchdowns already. Thirteen starters returned for the Mustangs from the group that finished 10-3 last year. The team is led by senior quarterback Shane Buechele who is completing 69.1% of his passes with ten touchdown passes. SMU is scoring 44.0 points per game while averaging 558.8 yards per game, which both rank in the top-five in the nation. The Mustangs’ defense is allowing their opponents to put up 433.5 yards per game, but that has only translated into 23.3 points per game. Tulane has lost two of their last three games after they lost at Houston last Thursday by a 49-31 score. The Green Wave took a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter of that game with two touchdowns coming from their defense on a 64-yard interception return and a 1-yard fumble recovery. Tulane was then outscored by a 42-7 margin, which made it the second time this season that they blew a double-digit lead to a conference rival.The Green Wave has 12 starters back from last year’s team that finished 7-6 after winning their second straight bowl game with their 30-13 win over Southern Mississippi in the Armed Forces Bowl. After losing at home to Navy by three points in their second game, they fell behind on the road at Southern Miss on September 26th in a rematch of that bowl game by a 14-0 score in the first quarter. That prompted fifth-year head coach Willie Fritz to bench senior quarterback Keon Howard for Michael Pratt. The freshman energized the offense by passing for 142 yards in relief while adding 49 yards on the ground to lead his team to a 66-24 victory. Pratt was named the starter last week but struggled by completing only 11 of 25 passes for 141 yards with negative rushing yards. Tulane could get little going on the ground against the Cougars as they ran the ball 45 times for only 70 yards. The Green Wave will want to run the football to keep Buechele and the SMU offense off the field. Tulane has already dealt with two season-ending injuries in their backfield to running backs Tyjae Spears and Corey Dauphine, but this was a loaded unit entering the season with five viable candidates to be a potential bell-cow back. The Green Wave is averaging 387.5 yards per game along with 37.0 points per game. However, they are allowing 31.0 points per game along with 403.5 yards per game.SMU won the meeting between these two teams at home, 37-20,  as a 3-point favorite. BookMaker has the Mustangs as a 6-point favorite with the total set at 64.5.

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What is a Round Robin Bet?

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Oct 16, 2020

What is a round robin bet?Sports betting might seem like an easy task, but if you want to do it properly, you should put in lots of work.  This means putting in hours and sometimes creating complicated set-ups when placing multiple bets.  Now, to save some time and hassle, sportsbooks came up with the round robin bet.  It's a type of bet which allows sports bettors to wager multiple parlays with a single bet.  With the use of the round robin bet, bettors can cover their bases and wager all possible combinations.  This is a risky operation as betting on parlay bets means betting on a wide variety of games.  Even though the payout can be way higher, the risk increases with every single match that's added to the bet slip.  In this betting guide, we show you how to bet round robin-style and how you can start using this type of bet in your sports betting strategy today! What is the difference between a parlay bet and a round robin bet? Without parlay bets, there are no round robin bets.  Any round robin consists of bets that are combined in a parlay bet.  You might wonder, what's the difference between the two of those?  The difference is the fact that in a regular parlay combination, every single match on your bet slip has to be in your favor.  With a round robin bet -- unlike parlay bets or teasers -- not every single parlay must be a winner for you to succeed.  This makes it easier to beat the house with a round robin parlay than a regular parlay bet,  but the payout will be smaller as well. How do round robin parlays work? You can make a round robin bet as complex as you like.  That's why it might be pretty hard to grasp at first.  The best way to understand round robin bets is by starting with an example with just three teams.  In this example, we'll take three teams from three separate sports to show the flexibility and possibilities of a round robin bet.  In this example, we'll follow these betting lines: Los Angeles Lakers +7.5 (-110) Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110) Las Vegas Golden Knights +1.5 (-110) Similar to a regular parlay bet, these teams do not have to have anything in common.  The Lakers play in the NBA, the Cowboys are in the NFL, and the Knights represent the NHL.  All separate teams from different competitions that get together in one bet.  The difference is, when wagering a regular parlay bet, all of these individual teams would have to cash.  The round robin bet builds an extra layer of security. Meaning, you would still remain profitable if one leg of your parlay does not succeed.  In practice, this means that you construct three different two-team parlays, like this: Los Angeles Lakers +7.5 (-110) & Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110) Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-110) & Las Vegas Golden Knights +1.5 (-110) Los Angeles Lakers +7.5 (-110) & Las Vegas Golden Knights +1.5 (-110) These three individual 2-team parlays allow you to be profitable even if one of the 3 teams fails to cash. There are three scenarios: If only the Los Angeles Lakers fail to cover the point spread, your parlay bet number two of the Dallas Cowboys and the Las Vegas Golden Knights will still be a winner. If only the Dallas Cowboys fail to cover the point spread, your parlay bet number three of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Las Vegas Golden Knights would still be a winner. If only the Las Vegas Golden Knights fail to cash, your parlay bet number one of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Cowboys would still be a winner. This shows the power and flexibility of a round robin wager.  Of course, should each of the three teams manage to cash, you'll receive an even bigger payout! What does a round robin bet payout look like? Any sports bettor will probably know that the most ridiculous payouts usually come from parlay bets that consist of many legs.  A round robin wager does not bring as big a payout as does a bet slip with several individual parlays, but it can be pretty impressive.  Let's take the above example to illustrate the potential profits from a round robin wager.  The parlay odds don't change when using a round robin.  For 2-team parlays (assuming -110 odds on each team), the payout will be +260 on average, the standard for most online sportsbooks.  Let's say you have three teams in your round robin, and bet $100 on each of the three 2-team parlays. There are four possible outcomes: All three teams cover the point spread. You profit $780 as all three 2-team parlays pay $260. Your initial stake is $300, that would mean your total payout is $1080 Two teams cover the point spread. You profit $60 as one of the 2-team parlays pays $260 above your initial stake of $100 for that parlay (for a total payout of $360).  But you invested $300 initially for the three parlays. One team covers the point spread. You lose $300. Your initial stake was $300, but none of the 2-team parlays succeeded. None of the three teams covers the point spread. Your initial stake is $300, but all your bets failed. Your total loss is $300. As you can see in the four scenarios above, the round robin bet gives a lot of possibilities and some security.  It combines the potential payout of the parlay wagers with the security of a regular moneyline bet.  In some sense, it's handicapping your round robin versus a regular parlay.  Is round robin betting suitable for my sports betting strategy? When it comes to online sports betting or regular sports betting at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, it all comes down to finding the right strategy.  If you are a sports bettor who enjoys taking a risk, you might be up for some parlay betting.  But, to reduce your risks, you can play around with the round robin bets to find out whether this more secure version of parlay betting is the right way for you.  To give you some insights into effective betting using the round robin strategy, we want to provide a few betting tips:Reduce the sportsbook advantageWhen you are constructing your round robin wager, make sure you stick to two-team or three-team parlays.  When you start to increase this number, the sportsbook’s advantage becomes greater.  Thus, don't overdo it, just stick to 2-team and 3-team parlays.Be aware of your bankrollWhen you are placing a round robin wager, you are wagering on several individual parlays.  This means that every single parlay requires an individual stake.  As you could see in the example above, we bet $100 on every single parlay.  That means you're betting $300 in total.  When you want to keep your bet to a small percentage of your entire bankroll, you should be aware of the way these round robin wagers are constructed.Sports betting is all about doing researchAny bettor can have a lucky day and have a winning bet when placing a moneyline bet.  It's not really impressive and would not require that much research.  Now, when you move into parlay wagers, it means you are betting on the outcome of several different matches.  Possibly even in various sports.  When you place a bet on an MLB game, you need to know about all the players, not to mention other factors such as the ballpark configuration, the schedule, the weather (especially wind conditions), and the matchup’s history.  And it’s similar with respect to football and basketball wagering.  So, before ever placing a bet on more than one game, make sure to do your research. What is the best online sportsbook for round robin betting? As experienced sports bettors, we are continually scanning the industry for the best sportsbooks out there.  You should know that not every single online sportsbook offers the possibility to place round robin wagers.  But most will do so.  In general, we like to give a couple of tips when trying to determine the sportsbook which best suits your needs: Does the bookmaker offer round robin bets? Can the bookmaker support your wagering limits? Does the bookmaker support your preferred banking methods? How are the sportsbook’s odds on parlays, since that’s the key consideration for round robins? Of course, there are many other factors to take into consideration when making the jump to a new sportsbook, but the above will generally do the magic!  If these criteria are also important to you, then you should consider joining BetAnySports or BookMaker.  We love BetAnySports because it offers the best parlay and teaser odds in the sportsbook industry.  And BookMaker is the best sportsbook in the world for high rollers who want to bet $10,000 on an NFL game.  By now, you know all it takes to create a proper round robin bet, so enjoy yourself and start placing your first round robin!

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Ness Notes: Thursday, Oct 15

by Larry Ness

Thursday, Oct 15, 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." MLB's most-dominant team during this COVID-shortened season was the LA Dodgers but they found themselves in an 0-2 'hole' against the Atlanta Braves, who were a perfect 7-0 in the playoffs to-date after an 8-7 win in Game 2.  Atlanta pitching had allowed just SIX runs (five came in its 9-5 Game 1 win over Miami) heading into the 7th inning of Game 2 (that's over 64 innings), before FIVE relievers allowed SEVEN runs over the last three innings. The Dodgers were not able to complete their ninth-inning comeback against the Braves on Tuesday night but in what was a clear "must-win" situation in Game 3, LA hitters 'took no prisoners against Atlanta starter Kyle Wright, with an 11-run first inning that set a record for the most in any inning in postseason history. The Dodgers compiled 18 total bases in that 32-minute top of the first, the most in postseason history for any inning. Their three HRs and five extra-base hits each tied records for single postseason innings. However, a 15-3 doesn't count any more than a 2-1 win does.Kershaw's back is "good to go" and he'll get the start after opening the 2020 postseason by going  2-0 with a 1.93 ERA. Those two successful starts are in stark contrast to his checkered postseason history (9-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 32 appearances, including 25 starts) before this year. Getting the nod for Atlanta will be the 22-year-old Bryse Wilson. He's made just 15 career appearances (seven starts), posting a 3-1 record but with a 5.91 ERA, 1.80 WHIP and .306 BAA. Wilson has never pitched west of Milwaukee in his three-year, major league career and has never started a game against an NL West team. Needless to say, this is his first start in the postseason. Kershaw is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 11 career starts against Atlanta with his ERA against the Braves marking his best against any NL team. Surprise, surprise. The Dodgers are favored -213 and the over/under is 9 runs. Over in the AL, the Astros were able to avoid getting swept by the Rays by winning 4-3 last night. Altuve hit a solo HR in the 1st and then doubled in a run in the second for Houston but Tampa Bay's Arozarena hit a two-run HR to tie it in the fourth, before George Springer's two-run HR put the Astros up 4-2 in the 5th. Zach Greinke got into trouble in the top of the sixth but Dusty Baker went with his 'gut' and decided to leave Greinke in and he delivered by getting out of the inning. Tampa Bay scored once in the 9th but left a runner stranded on third when the game ended. The Rays still own a commanding 3-1 lead but the Astros have 'lived' to 'fight another day.' Not much to report on Game 5, as Baker has yet to name a starting pitcher, though John Curtiss will be the first of a slew of "relievers" to toe the rubber for Tampa.The CFB week got an early start, as a pair of Sun Belt unbeatens met last night in Lafayette, La. It was 3-0 Coastal Carolina and 3-0 UL-Lafayette, which was ranked No. 21 in the latest AP poll. The game had been pushed back four days because of the threat to Louisiana from Hurricane Delta. It was 13-all at the half (both teams had a missed extra-point) and was 27-all before Massimo Biscardi kicked a 40-yard FG with four seconds remaining to give Coastal Carolina a 30-27 upset victory. The victory makes Coastal Carolina 4-0 and should move the Chanticleers closer to the AP top-25. They have received votes in the rankings each of the last two weeks for the first time in the program's four-year FBS history. It was yet another example of a ranked team falling 'victim' to an unranked team (more in a bit).There is one game on Thursday, as 1-1 Georgia St is at 2-2 Arkansas St (Red Wolves are favored by 3 1/2-points) but Friday features a doubleheader on ESPN. It's No. 17 SMU (4-0) at 2-2 Tulane at 6:00 ET and No. 14 BYU (4-0) at 1-0 Houston at 9:30 ET. The Mustangs opened last season 4-0 as well (actually opened 8-0) and by repeating that start in 2020, have recorded the school's first back-to-back 4-0 starts since 1983-84 (remember "The Pony Express?"). SMU is favored by 6 1/2-points. BYU head coach Kalani Stake was 'feeling the heat,' as the Cougars were coming off seasons of 4-9, 7-6 and 7-6. However, the Cougars opened with a light schedule in which they won their first three games by an average of 41.3 points, before unexpectedly struggling in a 27-20 win over visiting UTSA last Saturday. The Cougars find themselves 4-0 and with a very favorable schedule ahead of them. Friday's game at Houston and a Nov 6 visit to Boise St seem like the only possible pitfalls. Houston is coming off a 4-8 season and its 49-31 home win on Oct 8 over Tulane was its FIRST game of 2020. The delayed start was due to contests against Washington State, Rice, Baylor and North Texas being canceled due to various COVID-19 reasons, while a game with Memphis was postponed and rescheduled for Dec 5. Houston was predictably rusty in the win over Tulane, as it committed four of its five turnovers in the first half before recovering from a 24-7 deficit to win by 18 points! BYU looks to notch its first 5-0 start since 2008  and is favored by five points.Getting to Saturday's action, let's first acknowledge that COVID-19 has 'raised its ugly head.' It was revealed on Wednesday afternoon that Alabama head coach Nick Saban has tested positive. Earlier in the day, the game between LSU and No. Florida was postponed due to the Florida program's issue with the virus. Having already been postponed for Saturday were No. 7 Oklahoma St's game at Baylor, Vandy's game at Missouri at Appalachian St's game at Georgia St (has already been rescheduled for Dec 12). The news about Saban comes with No. Alabama hosting No. 3 Georgia. It is the LONE game on Saturday's schedule in which ranked teams were playing each other and it is easily the 'biggest" game of CFB 2020, to-date.There have been just 10 games so far in which ranked teams have me and the higher ranked team has gone 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS (the lone SU loser was then-No. 3 Florida losing last Saturday at then-No. 21 A&M). No. 3 Georgia visits No. 2 Alabama Saturday night (8:00 ET on CBS) in Tuscaloosa. These two national powers haven't met in the regular season since 2015 and believe it or not, the last time the Bulldogs played in Tuscaloosa was 2007. That happened to be Nick Saban's first season with Alabama and Georgia won 26-23 in OT. Georgia's defense ranks first nationally in rushing (38.3 YPG), second in total defense (236.7 YPG) and is tied for fifth in scoring defense (12.3 PPG) but will surely be tested by Alabama's offense, which lead the nation with an average of 51.0 PPG (note: Alabama put up 723 yards last Saturday vs Ole Miss!). However, Alabama's defense was shredded at Ole Miss last Saturday, allowing 647 yards and 48 points. That's the most points the Tide have given up vs an unranked team since 1936! Georgia's Kirby Smart was an Alabama assistant under Saban from 2007 to 2015 and is 0-2 vs his former boss. That's not exactly news, as Saban is 21-0 against his former assistants. Is it possible Saban will be on the coaching sidelines on Saturday? Alabama was a solid six-point choice prior to the news about Saban's positive test but as of Thursday morning, Alabama is down to a four-point favorite.While Georgia/Alabama is the lone game between ranked opponents on Saturday, 11 ranked teams will be playing an unranked opponent either Friday or Saturday. That includes top-10 teams No. 1 Clemson at Ga Tech (Tigers are favored by 27 points), No. 4 Notre Dame home to Louisville (Irish are favored by 17 points), No. 5 North Carolina at Florida St (Tar Heels are favored by 13 1/2-points) and No. 8 Cincinnati at Tulsa  (Bearcats are favored by 3 1/2-points). Wednesday night saw unranked Coast Carolina upset No. 21 ULL, making ranked teams 37-13 (.740) SU vs unranked opponents in 2020 but an abysmal 15-34-1 ATS (that's just 30.6%). Let the buyer beware. I should talk, right? I used ULL as my SBC Game of the Year Wednesday night. However, I have gone 9-3-1, +$5,230 (at $100/unit) the last three CFB Saturdays and serve up an action-packed five game card on Oct 17. The "featured" play will be my 1st "signature" LEGEND Play of CFB 2020, having gone 5-0 with LEGEND Plays in all sports since July 23.<p>Good luck...Larry

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NCAA Thursday Night Football: Arkansas State/Georgia State Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 15, 2020

The Thursday night college football game on ESPN features two teams from the Sun Belt Conference with .500 records looking for their first win in conference play.Georgia State is 1-1 on the season after upsetting East Carolina on October 3rd by a 49-29 score as a 2-point underdog. The Panthers dominated that game by outgaining the Pirates by 199 yards while holding them to just 286 yards. Georgia State scored a special teams touchdown from a blocked punt, and they scored a defensive touchdown on a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Panthers gave up a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown as well. Georgia State opened their season with a 34-31 overtime loss at home to Louisiana-Lafayette on September 19th. The Panthers then had their game the next week with Charlotte canceled because of COVID tests that were later determined to be false positives.  This game is their first on the road this season. The Panthers returned 16 starters from last year’s team that upset Tennessee in Knoxville to open their season. They finished 7-6 following a 38-17 loss to Wyoming in the Arizona Bowl. The most pressing question mark for them was who would replace their two-year starter and second-team all-conference quarterback Dan Ellington. Head coach Shawn Elliott decided on Cornelius Brown IV, and the redshirt freshman has completed 59.7% of his passes for 434 yards, with a 6.5 yards-per-attempt average. Brown has thrown four touchdowns passes but also has three interceptions. He has added 90 rushing yards on 21 carries. Running back Dustin Coates is third in the conference with a 131.5 rushing yards per game average.Arkansas State plays their second home game of the season after a successful debut last week, where they defeated Central Arkansas by a 50-27 score. The Red Wolves opened their season with a 37-24 loss at Memphis on September 5th before they pulled off a 35-31 upset victory at Kansas State as a 15-point underdog. They had to wait three weeks before playing their next game at Coastal Carolina, where they were stung by a 52-23 score despite being a 3.5-point favorite. Arkansas State returned 15 starters from last year’s 8-5 team that played in a bowl game for the ninth straight season. The Red Wolves ended their season with a 34-26 triumph over Florida International in the Camellia Bowl. Head coach Blake Anderson had a quarterback issue to address coming into the season after last year’s incumbent, Logan Bonner, suffered a season-ending injury after starting the first four games. Layne Hatcher took over as a redshirt freshman to average 294.6 passing yards per game, with the former Alabama transfer completing 65.8% of his passes with 27 touchdown passes. Anderson has rotated both quarterbacks so far this season. Bonner has been given deference as the starter as a redshirt junior, and he has completed 63.7% of his passes for 741 passing yards with eight touchdown passes and three interceptions. Hatcher has completed 58.6% of his passes for 564 yards with six touchdown passes and one interception. They share a dynamic weapon at wide receiver in Jonathan Adams. The 6’3 senior has 26 receptions with a 90.5 receiving yards per game, which is third-best in the conference. Adams has caught five touchdown passes as well, which is fourth-best in the FBS. Arkansas State hopes to get more out of running back Marcel Murray, who is now probable for this game with a leg injury that has limited him to just ten carries for 63 yards. Murray led the team last year with 820 rushing yards while adding six rushing touchdowns. This forecasts as a high-scoring affair with Georgia State surrendering 31.5 points per game along with 405.5 yards per game and Arkansas State giving up 36.8 points per game along with 411 yards per game. The Panthers pulled a 52-38 upset at home in Atlanta last year in their meeting with the Red Wolves as a 6.5-point underdog. BetAnySports lists Arkansas State as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 72.5. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET.

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

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 15, 2020

The Thursday card once again features a Sun Belt Conference matchup in college football along with games in the American League and National League Championship Series.Houston staved off elimination on Wednesday with their 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay. The Astros remain trailing in this series by a 3-1 mark.  Dusty Baker has named Luis Garcia as his starting pitcher for Game 4, as the grind from playing games without rest in the San Diego bubble has taken its toll on the pitching staff.  Garcia has yet to make an appearance after pitching in five games with one start in the regular season. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash has also decided to deploy an "opener," with Game 4 being a bullpen game, so John Curtiss will be the first to get the ball for the Rays.  Tampa is currently favored -135 at BetAnySports, with a total of 9.5 runs. San Diego's Petco Park hosts the ALCS. The Astros are the designated home team for Game 5.  TBS has the broadcast with the first pitch scheduled for 5:07 PM ET.Los Angeles won their first game in the NLDS on Wednesday with their 15-3 blowout victory over Atlanta. The Dodgers still trail in this series by a 2-1 margin. Manager Dave Roberts has announced that Clayton Kershaw will be the starting pitcher after being scratched from starting Game 2 on Tuesday. The left-hander was 6-2 in the regular season in ten starts with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. The Braves will counter with Bryse Wilson, who will be making his first appearance in the postseason. The 22-year old right-hander had a 1-0 record in the regular season with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP in 15 2/3 innings consisting of six games, including two starts. Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, hosts the NLDS. Atlanta is the designated home team that will bat last. BetAnySports has Los Angeles as a -210 moneyline favorite with the total set at 9. Fox and FS1 will both broadcast the game with the first pitch at 8:08 PM ET.The Thursday night college football game on ESPN features two teams from the Sun Belt Conference with .500 records looking for their first win in conference play.Georgia State is 1-1 on the season after upsetting East Carolina on October 3rd by a 49-29 score as a 2-point underdog. The Panthers dominated that game by outgaining the Pirates by 199 yards while holding them to just 286 yards. Georgia State scored a special teams touchdown from a blocked punt, and they scored a defensive touchdown on a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Panthers gave up a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown as well. Georgia State opened their season with a 34-31 overtime loss at home to Louisiana-Lafayette on September 19th. The Panthers then had their game the next week with Charlotte canceled because of COVID tests that were later determined to be false positives.  This game is their first on the road this season. Arkansas State plays their second home game of the season after a successful debut last week, where they defeated Central Arkansas by a 50-27 score. The Red Wolves opened their season with a 37-24 loss at Memphis on September 5th before they pulled off a 35-31 upset victory at Kansas State as a 15-point underdog. They had to wait three weeks before playing their next game at Coastal Carolina, where they were stung by a 52-23 score despite being a 3.5-point favorite. Arkansas State returned 15 starters from the team that finished 8-5 last year while reaching a bowl game for the ninth straight season. BetAnySports lists Arkansas State as a 3-point favorite with the total set at 72. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET.

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How does Sports Betting Work?

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 15, 2020

How does sports betting work?People have been gambling in one way or another since societies have formed.  You could say being a bettor is one of the oldest professions of humankind.  In this day and age, the sports betting business has turned into a multi-billion industry which blankets virtually every single country on the planet.  Millions of people across the globe visit their bookies, whether it's online or offline, to place their bets.  And the industry is set to grow even bigger with the legalization of gambling in the United States.When you work with the right strategy, sports bettors can earn lots of cash.  But how does it work?  You came to the right place.  We'll teach you everything about sports betting there is to know.  From horse racing to vigorish -- all the terms and all the rules -- you need to be aware of to succeed as a sports bettor. What is a sportsbook? The hub of sports betting is the sportsbook.  You might have seen the word bookie, bet shop, betting site, or bookmaker pass by; it's all the same.  They indicate the business at which you can place bets on your favorite matchups.  Now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different sportsbooks.  Prior to the internet, you would have to visit one of the counters at grand casinos, bet shops, horse tracks or arenas to place a bet.  These days, you have hundreds of online sportsbooks that you can access without ever having to leave your home.How to find the right sportsbookAs mentioned before, there is a huge variety when it comes to sportsbooks, both online and brick-and-mortar.  It might be hard to find your way in picking the right place for your bets.  The thing is, you should ask yourself what kind of bettor you want to become.  Do you want to bet every now and then for fun, or are you chasing a professional career as a sports bettor?  That might vary for some, but here are some general rules to determine whether a sportsbook is the right fit: Does the bookmaker offer a nice sign-up or re-load bonus? What are the wagering limits? Does the bookmaker have easy methods to deposit and withdraw money? Does the bookmaker offer competitive odds on parlays, teasers, and straight bets? Is the bookmaker’s website satisfactory -- is it modern, and easy-to-use? You should know that there is not a single bookie that has everything you are looking for.  BetAnySports is known for offering the best odds, as it has reduced juice (-105 odds rather than -110 odds).  But if you want the most modern website interface, then Bovada could be your choice.  One thing we can recommend is to keep an eye open for all the juicy bonuses and promotions.  Whenever an online sportsbook offers a lucrative promotion, don't hesitate to move your betting there to benefit straightaway!  And if that’s your #1 criterion, then consider joining BetNow or BetUS. How to place bets Now that you’ve found your sportsbook, made your first deposit, and are itching to place your first bet, you should be aware of a couple of things: Research:  You need to do a lot of research.  Before you place a bet, you should really feel confident that your bet will be successful.  The more you know, the better. Bankroll management:  When you are ready to place your bet, and you feel confident It will be a success, you should always be aware of the possibility of losing.  No matter how bad or good a team is, they can always have a day where things do not go as planned.  When you place a bet, never bet your entire bankroll but decide beforehand how much you will risk per individual bet.  This way, your losses will always stay in control. Betting lines:  Make sure you find the right betting odds.  There are thousands of places to bet, so make sure you find the place that offers the most competitive betting lines.  It might be hard to find at first, but once you find some trusted bookies, it'll start to feel like common sense. These three factors will guide you in the right direction as a bettor.  The more you know, the better.  Never stop learning as a bettor.  And even when you think you have an edge against the house, there's always more to learn. What are the most common bets? Whether you're betting on college football or the NFL, there are a dozen different bets that you can make.  For every sport, there are slight differences, but for most sports, there are two teams that play against each other with the outcome based on the amount that each of the two teams score. This gives you the ability to make three bet types: Moneyline bet -- Pick the winning team Point spread bet -- Pick the winner with the point spread factored in Over/under bet -- Pick whether the final score will be over/under the set number of points There are hundreds of other bets you could make.  These vary from betting on multiple matchups in the form of parlay bets to picking the winner of the entire NFL season, without any football games played yet in the form of a futures bet.  The more time you spend as a sports bettor, the more experienced you get, and the more you will start to experiment with these more advanced bets. How do betting odds work? Before we dive further into the way to place bets, you should be aware of the betting odds.  These are the numbers that relate to an outcome of a sporting event.  All over the world, there are different kinds of ways to display betting odds: In England, the fractional odds are the most used.  These odds show with the use of a hyphen or a slash, that could look like this:  7/1 or 7-1.  This dates back to the early horse racing days as one of the most traditional ways to display odds.  So, if you bet on a horse which is 7-1, and it wins, then your profit would be 700 dollars on a 100 dollar wager. In Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, the most common way to display odds is decimal odds.  The odds work in a formula which simply involves the multiplication of your stake.  So, if your odds are 5.44, then to arrive at your potential winnings, first multiply 5.44 times your stake, then subtract your stake, and that would equal your profit. Now, since we are in the United States, we'll use the moneyline odds, also known as the American odds from now on.  What are American odds?You might have seen those giant tote boards at the casinos in Las Vegas where the odds continually change.  Among the odds listed on the tote boards are moneyline odds.  The American odds work using the plus (+) sign and the minus (-) sign.  The oddsmaker decides which team is the favorite and which team is the underdog for every single matchup.  The favorite holds the negative number, the minus sign, and the underdog holds the positive number, the plus sign.  To illustrate this, we can take the moneyline odds in an NFL match between Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams: Arizona Cardinals +245 Los Angeles Rams -333 In this matchup, the Cardinals are the underdog as they hold a positive number.  The Rams are the favorite as you can notice the negative number on their side.  With moneyline odds, you can see which team is favored to win, and you can also understand the probability of that event happening.  Always keep that in mind before making a bet.How to place a moneyline betThe moneyline bet is one of the easiest and most comforting bets you can make.  You simply pick which team ends up with the highest score at the end of the game -- thus which side wins.  It does not matter by how much your team wins -- so long as they win, you win.  Outside of horse racing, for example, there are generally two teams:  the favorite and the underdog.  This is best explained with an example.  Let's take an NBA match between the New York Knicks against the Detroit Pistons.  The odds could look like this: New York Knicks -250 Detroit Pistons +200 In this example, the minus sign shows that the Knicks are the favorite while the Pistons (at +200) are the underdog.  To calculate your payout you can use these rules: To win $100 on the New York Knicks, you need to stake $250.  If the Knicks end up winning, you profit $100 above your initial stake of $250.  Your total payout would be $350. When you bet $100 on the Detroit Pistons, you profit $200 above your initial stake of $100.  Your total payout would be $300. How to place an over/under betThe next step in your sports betting adventure is the over/under bet.  In this bet, you predict the total points scored throughout the match.  The oddsmaker will set an aggregate number of points, and you have to predict whether both teams will collectively score over or under that amount.  To give you an example, we’ll take Super Bowl 54. The over/under at BookMaker sportsbook was set at 53 total points, and the odds looked like this: Over: +104 Under: -126 In this example, the more probable (to win) bet is the under bet, which indicates that the oddsmaker expects the final score to be less than 53 points. The over bet is slightly less probable to win, and thus carries the plus sign. To calculate your payout, you can use these rules: When you bet $100 on the over bet, and win, you profit $104 above your initial stake of $100. Your total payout would be $204. To win $100 on the under bet you need to stake $126. If the final score is more than 53 points, you profit $100 above your initial stake of $126. Your total payout would be $226. How to place a point spread betThe point spread bet is a little more advanced.  Also known as spread betting, you bet on the difference of points between the two teams at the end of the match.  You place your money on which team will cover the spread -- thus which team will have the highest score after the set number of points (of the point spread) are added (or subtracted) to its actual score in the match.  Now, this might sound a little vague at first, but an example will paint a clear picture.  Let's take an NBA match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets: Los Angeles Lakers -13.5 +110 Brooklyn Nets +13.5 -137 In the matchup above, the Lakers are the favorite, and they would have to win by more than 13.5 points for your point spread bet to cash.  The Nets are the underdog, and all they need to do is make sure they either win the game outright or lose by 13 points or less to cash your point spread bet.  To see how big your payout can get, you can use the following rules: When you bet $100 on the Lakers point spread bet, you profit $110 above your initial stake of $100 if they cover the spread.  Your total payout would be $210. To win $100 on the Nets point spread bet, you need to stake $137.  If the Nets manage to cover the point spread, you profit $100 above your initial stake of $137.  Your total payout would be $237. How to be successful at sports betting With this guide, you have all the steps to take you from a novice bettor to a person who's ready to lay his hands on the betting stencils.  But, there's one question that might remain unanswered -- how to become a professional?  All we can say is that experience is essential here.  Through experience, you will learn what the best sports are, which sportsbook you should choose, and what types of bets work best for you.  You will fall, and it might seem hard at first, but with a proper strategy and the right mindset, you can achieve everything you could dream of.  Before you know it, you could just be living off your sports betting habits!

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NFL MVP Futures Wager

by Doc's Sports

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

To say the NFL is a quarterback’s league would be a massive understatement. The quarterback is the single most important position on the team. And if you go back through the years and look at Super Bowl-winning teams, you’ll notice that about 95 percent of the winning teams have a quarterback that is either elite or really good. With the exception of Nick Foles in 2017, the list of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks is as follows: Mahomes, Brady, Manning, Wilson, Flacco (he was good back then), the other Manning, Brees, Roethlisberger, Warner, Elway, Favre, Aikman and Young. The only two guys that stand out as not elite are Trent Dilfer in 2000 and Brad Johnson in 2002. What’s my point? Well, quarterbacks are extremely important. And in terms of the MVP Award, they get shown the most love as they are the vital cog to their team’s success. For those of you interested in getting a futures bet or two down on the NFL’s MVP, there are a few things you should know before doing so. For starters, quarterbacks are far and away the most important position on the field and as such have been rewarded with top honors plenty of times. Since 1980, when the NFL MVP was changed from an AFC/NFC recipient to a “league-wide” winner, signal callers have won the award 29 times. Leading the way with MVP awards is Peyton Manning with five, while Tom Brady and Brett Favre have three apiece. Wide receivers get very little love, with Jerry Rice the only receiver to win the award in 1987 and 1990. Running backs have seven awards, with the last one coming in 2012 by way of Adrian Peterson. This year, we have a group of quarterbacks that are above any competition from any other position on the field. To be exact, 12 of the top 13 odds belong to the QBs, with Derrick Henry checking in at 13th (+8000). I’ll break down each of the top candidates and give you my thoughts on if they are worthy of laying down a bet on. The Favorite: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks Odds: +100 If the Seattle Seahawks had any other quarterback under center, they would likely be a borderline .500 team, if not well below. Russell Wilson must have heard the offseason talk about how he hasn’t received a single MVP vote in his career despite being the face of the franchise and leading his team to two Super Bowls and coming within a single yard of winning another one. Through five games, Wilson has been the team’s best player and has led them to a 5-0 record and top spot in the NFC West. On an individual basis, Wilson ranks second in passing yards (1,502) but first in touchdowns by six (19) over a few guys we’ll talk about later on in this piece. It’s not only the stats that Wilson is putting up, it’s mostly about the “it” factor that he brings to each and every game. Wilson has manufactured game-winning drives in two of the last three games. And if you saw the Monday night game against the Vikings, I would say that only one or two other quarterbacks would be able to drive the team 94 yards, in the rain, with under two minutes left and one time out. At his current price, I would jump on it as after his bye week in Week 6, he faces the Cardinals, Niners, Bills, Rams and Cardinals again. If he can continue to cook and win his team at least three of those games, he’ll be a decent-sized favorite for the latter part of the season. The Contender: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay PackersOdds: +300 Aaron Rodgers took the Packers’ decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love as a sign of disrespect. I understand that the NFL is a business and it’s important to have an heir apparent at the quarterback position and that Love could learn plenty from a guy as gifted as Rodgers. However, Rodgers wanted reinforcements on the offensive side of the ball and never got it. So, what has he done through five games this year? Well, he has yet to throw an interception this season and has 1,214 passing yards under his belt. He ranks tied for second in touchdown passes with 13 and leads the NFL in QBR at 92.6. He’s essentially on an “EFF YOU” tour and has obliterated every defense he’s come up against to date; the Packers are averaging 286 passing yards per game and 38 points per game. With the upcoming schedule (potential shootouts) and the likelihood of the Packers winning the division over the Bears, I could see Aaron Rodgers grabbing his third MVP title at the end of the season. The Darkhorses:Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City ChiefsOdds: +550 It’s hard to believe that I mentioned two quarterbacks before I even got the $500-million man and defending Super Bowl champion, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has taken the league by storm over the last two seasons, and he’s off to a solid start this year. He ranks third in passing yards with 1,474, second in touchdown passes with 13, second in interceptions with just one, and third in QBR at 86.1. So why is he so far down this list? We’ll because we have been treated to outstanding play after outstanding play over the last two years and he’s only had one or two of those plays through five games this year. We’ve grown accustomed to it and we expect it, but unfortunately, winning games is all that matters to Mahomes and he has his Chiefs sitting at 4-1 and he’s distributing the ball amongst his receivers. He is the team’s MVP, but he’s not done enough (yet) to be on the Wilson/Rodgers’ level this season.Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo BillsOdds: +1600 This paragraph was supposed to be extremely positive and talk about all the things Josh Allen has done well through five games of the season. After last night’s performance, the odds of Allen winning the MVP have plummeted (down from +700), and we don’t see him making up any ground on the guys above. Prior to last night’s debacle, Allen sat T-2 in Interceptions thrown with just one but went on to throw two to push him back to T-9. He did take over second place on his own in touchdown passes with 13 and moved into second in yards thrown with 1,589. It’s not right to blame Allen for the Bills’ performance yesterday given the fact they had to wait around for Tennessee to sort out their COVID issues. But in a league driven by QB play, he certainly got outplayed by Ryan Tannehill, and that’s something that can’t happen when you’re trying to assert yourself as an elite level QB.

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Ness Notes: Wednesday, Oct 14

by Larry Ness

Wednesday, Oct 14, 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." NFL Week 5 recap: Week 5 concluded a day later than usual as Tuesday featured a matchup of unbeatens, the 4-0 Bills at the 3-0 Titans. Tennessee was not able to practice since the team shut down operations back on Sep 29, after 24 players and team personnel members tested positive for COVID-19 since Sep 24. The Titans were finally able to return to their facility on Saturday and had three days of walk-through practices to get ready for Buffalo. The Titans entered the game 3-0 but also 0-3 ATS but with only three practices in 16 days, routed the previously unbeaten Bills, 42-16.The Titans got some players back in time for Tuesday's game, but they were without starting receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries. However, QB Ryan Tannehill finished with 21 completions on 28 attempts for 195 yards with three TDs and zero INTs (129.3 QB rating) plus ran for a TD. Buffalo QB Josh Allen had his worst game of the season (26 of 41 for 263 yards  with two TDs and two INTs / 77.6 QB rating) and the Tennessee defense forced three TOs and held a Buffalo team to just 16 points (Bills had averaged 30.8 PPG in their 4-0 start).Home teams ended the week 9-5 SU but 6-8 ATS (home dogs were 2-2 SU & ATS). Home teams are now 40-36-1 SU (.526) Y-T-D, while going just 33-42-2 ATS (44.0%) with home dogs going 6-18 SU and 10-12-2 ATS. NFL games had averaged a combined 51.3 through the first four weeks of the 2020 season, the highest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Week 5 games averaged 51.8 PPG but over/under numbers have been adjusted up, as seven games went over and seven stayed under. Peering a little closer, let me note that the seven games which went over averaged 62.9 PPG, while the seven that went under averaged just 40.7 PPG. After five weeks, there have been 42 overs, 33 unders and two 'pushes.' There is no Thursday night game in Week 6 but we will have another MNF doubleheader. Friday's Notes will feature a Week 6 preview.MLB Playoffs: "Something had to give" in Game 1 of the NLCS, as the Braves and Dodgers were both 5-0 this postseason and the pitching matchup featured Fried (Braves were 12-1 in his starts in 2020) vs Buehler (Dodgers were 9-1 in his starts). Game 1 entered the 9th tied at one-all when Austin Riley hit a solo shot to put the Braves up. An Acuna double, an Ozuna single and an Albies HR, all, like Riley's hit, coming after 0-2 counts, gave the Braves a 5-1 win. Game 2 was expected to see Ian Anderson go up against Clayton Kershaw. Anderson made his MLB on August 26 and in six regular season starts, posted a 1.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and .172 BAA. He'd won BOTH postseason starts, pitching 11.2 scoreless innings with a 17-3 KW ratio. However, Kershaw was scratched with back spasms. Gonsolin was an under-appreciated hurler for Dave Roberts' squad this season. However, the jury is still out on how he will fare in his first postseason appearance.<p>Here's the answer. Anderson allowed just one hit and struck out five in four scoreless innings but his outing was cut short after he gave up five walks and threw 85 pitches. As for Gonsolin, he was fine through three innings but then allowed a two-run HR to Freddie Freeman in the 4th. He was chased in the 5th inning, when Atlanta added FOUR more runs (Gonsolin was charged with five ERs in 4.1 innings). The Braves extended the lead to 7-0 in the top of the 7th but Corey Seager hit a three-run HR in the bottom of the 7th. It was 8-3 entering the bottom of the 9th when the Dodgers scored FOUR times, before Cody Bellinger was left on third base when A.J. Pollock's groundout ended the rally. The Braves are now 7-0 this postseason and lead the Dodgers 2-0. Game 3 is set for 6:05 ET on FS1. Kershaw is still unavailable so it's Jose Urias and Atlanta's Kyle Wright. The Dodgers are favored (-180) and the over/under is 9 1/2.Over in the ALCS, the Tampa Bay Rays keep giving us more reasons to believe the City of Tampa is this year's "chosen city." The Lightning won the Stanley Cup and the Rays are now just ONE win away from making the franchise's second-ever World Series appearance (Rays lost to the Phillies in the 2008 Series). Jose Altuve's first-inning throwing error opened the door for Tampa to take 3-0 lead in Game 2, as Tampa's 4-2 win gave the Rays a 2-0 lead in the series. Altuve's sudden case of the yips has come to exemplify an ALCS in which the Astros can't seem to catch a break. Altuve's FOURTH throwing error of the postseason and THIRD of the ALCS played a big part in Tampa's five-run, sixth-inning rally. The Rays' 5-2 victory gives them a commanding 3-0 lead as the team's get set for Game 4 (8:40 ET on TBS). Tonight's pitching matchup features Tyler Glasnow and Zach Greinke. The Rays have won each of Glasnow's last 11 starts (including 3-0 this postseason) and while the Astros are 2-0 in Greinke's two starts this postseason, he had little to do with Houston's 11-6 series-clinching Game 4 win over Oakland (4 ERs allowed over 4.2 innings), after pitching four innings and allowing one run in the team's 4-1 Game 1 win over Minnesota in the wild card round. The Rays are favored (-140) and the over/under is 8.The CFB week gets off to an early start with a Wednesday night game between two unbeaten Sun Belt schools. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are 3-0 and visit Cajun Field in Lafayette, La to face the 3-0 ULL Ragin' Cajuns. UL-Lafayette is ranked No. 21 in the latest AP poll, one of FOUR Group of 5 schools currently ranked. ULL opened the 2020 season by winning 31-14 at Iowa St as a two-TD underdog. That victory is arguably the biggest win in school history, as ULL beat a top-25 opponent on the road for the first time, having previously gone 0-26 against ranked foes away from home. ULL's only other win over a top-25 team was in 1996 at home against Texas A&M. However, the Rajin' Cajuns have 'escaped' with wins vs Ga State (34-31) and Georgia Southern (20-18), since. Kickoff is 7:30 ET on ESPN with ULL favored by 7 1/2-points.Note: I'm featuring a doubleheader of Game of the Year plays on Wednesday, my SBC 10* Game of the Year in tonight's CFB and my LCS 10* Game of the Year in MLB. Any takers? Good luck...Larry

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NFL Top 5 Teams

by Wayne Root

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

After five weeks of play, there are just a few teams one would be willing to bet that makes it to the Super Bowl.  Despite their loss on Sunday, the Chiefs are still the team to beat.  The Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks all look the real deal too. Even Gentle Ben might have something to say. But we do have a new Number One.  1. Green Bay Packers We don’t punish teams in the rankings for taking a week off.  Matt LaFleur’s team has made winning look easy in the opening four games, taking a perfect record into their well-deserved bye week. During their time off, they’ve jumped up in the power rankings.Just who was Matt LaFleur when he was hired to guide Aaron Rodgers a few years ago? Matt LaFleur has made them one of the toughest teams in the entire NFL as they’ve quietly won 20 games while losing only three in the regular season under his watchful eye. That’s who he is! Despite the fact they’ve just been on a bye week, the Packers’ 152 points this season is still good for fourth-most in the NFL. LaFleur and Rodgers (and Hammerstein) have connected...somehow. They were 4-0 heading into their bye and haven’t scored less than 30 points in any game this season. The Packers are also the only team in the league to not turn the ball over a single time this season.  This Sunday's Aaron Rodgers and Tom (GOAT) Brady matchup should be great. 2. Kansas City Chiefs We listened unmercifully on every local Las Vegas sports radio talk show on how the LV Raiders were going to defeat the Chiefs leading up to their Sunday game. No one could take all the hype seriously, could they? We now get to hear all the local experts regurgitate the almighty “I told you so”. (Gag me). The 8-point loss represents the worst defeat of Patrick Mahomes’ young NFL career. How did the Chiefs defense get carved up by Derek Carr? More concerning is that offensive line in front of Patrick Mahomes. In all honesty, this was the Chiefs’ second relatively poor performance in a four-week span. They just haven’t been the same freewheeling  consistently crisp team enough to hold the top spot. I am sure that Mahomes would bet he’ll be back in the final game of the NFL season. Book it!  3. Seattle Seahawks  The Seahawks were fortunate to survive on Sunday night, but the Vikings are better than their 1-4 record absolutely proves that Russell Wilson and D.K. Metcalf are a deadly duo right now. Definitely better yet, never give Russell Wilson a second chance. The Minnesota Vikings learned this the hard way as they elected to go for a fourth-and-1 from the Seattle Seahawks six-yard line while leading by five. Refusing to go up by eight points with a chipshot field goal, Zimmer had to face everyone for an explanation. The Seahawks defense stuffed the Vikings and that gave Wilson the ball. (Make that the “game ball”). That was a huge mistake. While he had less than two minutes to go 94-yards, there was little doubt he would do just that. And the results are in. Seattle remains undefeated and the Russell Wilson for MVP chants are growing after that remarkable comeback. He’s now leading one of only two undefeated NFC teams and is playing better than just about everyone right now. Many would love to see a Wilson-Mahomes Super Bowl matchup.   4. Baltimore Ravens  Perhaps the Ravens were scolded too much afterwards for their loss to the Chiefs. They're still very clearly one of the best teams in the AFC. You get to watch a sea of talent when you watch the Baltimore Ravens. It’s not enough that they have an MVP under center in Lamar Jackson who can tear teams apart with the run or pass, but they also have to have one of the best (if not the best) tight end in the game right now in Mark Andrews. And there’s more. Marquise Brown can score in the blink of an eye. The Ravens also boast the deepest stable of running backs in the NFL with Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins.  Right now, the Ravens' only loss was to the Chiefs which hurts them in the standings but not from having a very solid chance of making it to the Super Bowl.   5. Pittsburgh Steelers   With the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens nipping at their heels coming into last weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers just kept ignoring everything going on around them as they went on to win another game and go to 5-0.  The Steelers aren't even overly impressive, but they're steady, deadly and they keep winning games.  Last week, in a high scoring affair, they ended up taking out an in-state rival as they were able to beat up on the Philadelphia Eagles at home. I believe that we’ll be hearing Roethlisberger to Claypool for a touchdown over and over for the remainder of the season.  This rookie, Chase Claypool, scored four touchdowns and definitely looks like a future star.  They are looking to move up into the NFL Top Five.   Tennessee  Buffalo  LA Rams Cleveland  Chicago

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The NFL Landscape After Week 5

by Will Rogers

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

To say this is a "strange" season for everyone involved in sports would be a bit of an understatement. The same could be said for bookmakers, who are struggling to adjust to the circumstances as much as their clientele.NFL Week 5 is now in the books after a rare Tuesday night game which saw the Titans destroy the now 4-1 Bills at home by a score of 42-16. Despite the loss though, the Bills are still in the driver's seat in the AFC East with a 4-1 record (note they have a tough upcoming matchup at home vs. the Chiefs this weekend). The AFC North is the most competitive, with Pittsburgh at 4-0, but with Cleveland and Baltimore sitting just behind at 4-1. Tennessee moves to 4-0 and is tops in the AFC South, with the Colts behind at 3-2 now. The defending Champs are 4-1 and No. 1 in the AFC West, but they come in off their first loss of the year at home to the now 3-2 Las Vegas Raiders. I have played the "under" on the Chiefs season win total and posted that exclusive article on this site a couple of months ago. The NFC East is another very interesting division, as Dallas leads at 2-3, but must now move ahead with Andy Dalton directing the show. Green Bay is getting an exemplary performance from Aaron Rodgers so far this year, as the veteran QB has his team sitting at 4-0 and No. 1 in the NFC North, followed closely by the Bears at 4-1. It's a log-jam in the NFC South, with Carolina, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans all at 3-2 (the lowly Falcons are at 0-5.)The NFC West is always competitive as well and so far the Seahawks are No. 1 at 5-0, followed closely by the Rams at 4-1. A Closer Look At Week 5 ATSFaves went 6-8 overall.  Home faves were 4-6.  Faves -2.5/less went 1-1.  Faves -6/more were 5-5.  Double-digit faves were 1-1.For The Season ATSFavorites have gone 38-38-1. Home faves have gone 24-29. Favorites of -2.5/less are 3-9. Faves of -6/more are 20-15-1. Double-digit faves are 3-2-1A Closer Look At Week 5 O/U StatsO/U went 7-7 in Week 5.  Divisional contests saw the O/U go 2-3.  1 pm games saw the O/U go 2-5.  4 pm game saw the O/U go 3-0.For The Season O/UAll O/U's are 43-33-1.  Divisional games have seen the O/U go 13-7.  1 pm games have seen the O/U go 30-12.  4 pm games have seen the O/U go 5-11-1 this season.

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

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020

The Wednesday card features a college football showdown between two undefeated teams from the Sun Belt Conference along with games in the American League and National League Championship Series.Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the NLCS on Tuesday with their 8-7 victory over Los Angeles. Kyle Wright will be the Braves starting pitcher in Game  3 with his 2-4 record in 38 innings in the regular season along with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. The Dodgers will counter with Julio Urias, who was 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in eleven regular-season appearances (ten starts).The NLCS is taking place at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Atlanta will be the designated home team batting last in this game. The Dodgers are a -168 moneyline favorite with the total set at 9.5 (all odds from BetAnySports). FS1 has the broadcast with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM ET. Tampa Bay has a 3-0 lead in the ALCS after they defeated Houston by a 5-2 score on Wednesday. The Rays turn to Tyler Glasnow, who was 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 11 starts in the regular season. The Astros pin their hopes to stave off elimination by giving the ball to Zack Greinke. The veteran right-hander had a 3-3 record with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in twelve starts in the regular season.The ALCS takes place at Petco Park in San Diego, with Houston designated as the home team for Game 4. Tampa Bay is a -136 moneyline favorite with the over/under at 8. TBS has the broadcast with the game starting at 8:40 PM ET.The only Wednesday night college football game of the month takes place tonight with Coastal Carolina visiting Louisiana-Lafayette in a battle of unbeaten teams from the Sun Belt Conference. ESPN has the broadcast starting at 7:30 PM ET.Coastal Carolina did not play last week after upsetting Arkansas State at home by a 52-23 score as a 3.5-point underdog. The Chanticleers opened their season by upsetting Kansas on the road for the second straight time by a 38-23 score after pulling off that feat last year as well in Lawrence. The Chanticleers followed that up with a 43-21 victory over Campbell.  Louisiana returns to the field for the first time since their 20-18 victory at home over Georgia Southern as an 11.5-point favorite on September 26th. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened their season with a big update victory at Iowa State by a 31-14 score as a 13-point underdog before following that up the next week with a 34-31 win at Georgia State.Coastal Carolina sees this contest as a benchmark game, as they lost at home to Louisiana by a 48-7 score in their meeting last season on November 7th. But the Ragin' Cajuns view this game as a unique opportunity themselves to flex their muscles with the spotlight of this nationally televised midweek game. Louisiana wants to be considered the best non-power five team in the nation. The Ragin' Cajuns are a 7.5-point favorite with the total set at 58.5.Coastal Carolina did not play last week after upsetting Arkansas State at home by a 52-23 score as a 3.5-point underdog. The Chanticleers opened their season by upsetting Kansas on the road for the second straight time by a 38-23 score after pulling off that feat last year as well in Lawrence. The Chanticleers followed that up with a 43-21 victory over Campbell. Third-year head coach Jamey Chadwell returned 13 starters from the team last year that finished 5-7. It appears very likely that Chadwell’s team this season will shatter the record of five victories as an FBS program they set last year. Coastal Carolina is scoring 44.3 points per game while holding their opponents to 22.2 points per game. Louisiana returns to the field for the first time since their 20-18 victory at home over Georgia Southern as an 11.5-point favorite on September 26th. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened their season with a big update victory at Iowa State by a 31-14 score as a 13-point underdog before following that up the next week with a 34-31 win at Georgia State.Third-year head coach Billy Napier has high expectations for his team that returned 14 starters from the 11-3 squad last year that defeated Miami-Ohio in the Lending Tree Bowl by a 22-17 score. Coastal Carolina sees this contest as a benchmark game, as they lost at home to Louisiana by a 48-7 score in their meeting last season on November 7th. But the Ragin' Cajuns view this game as a unique opportunity themselves to flex their muscles with the spotlight of this nationally televised midweek game. Louisiana wants to be considered the best non-power five team in the nation. With Napier having served as the offensive coordinator for Dabo Swinney at Clemson before coaching the wide receivers at Alabama under Nick Saban from 2013-17, he is one of the hottest young head coaches in the nation. Speculation was that he turned down a power-five head coaching job in the offseason to return to the Ragin’ Cajuns for this season.  Louisiana is a 7.5-point favorite with the total set at 58.5.

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