Articles

Did the Kyler Murray Injury Just Save Kliff Kingsbury's Job?

by Hollywood Sports

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022

When the Arizona Cardinals hosted the New England Patriots on Monday, it seemed like their enter season was on the line. With a 4-8 record, the Cardinals likely needed to win out the remainder of their games to qualify for the postseason. This was not how their season was supposed to transpire. Owner Michael Bidwell inked contract extensions to general manager Steve Keim, head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and quarterback Kyler Murray. This took an act of faith when considering that the Cardinals only made the playoffs once in Kingsbury and Murray’s previous three seasons with the organization. It has been a history defined by fast starts but steep late-season collapses. Two years ago, Arizona opened the year with a 5-2 record before losing five of their last seven games to settle for an 8-8 mark. Last year, The Cardinals won the first seven games of the season before losing five of their last six games for an 11-6 regular season record that earned them a date in Los Angeles against the Rams in the NFC Wildcard round. They got crushed in that game by a 34-11 score. Murray still had two years on his contract going into the 2022-23 season. Bidwell decided to relent to Murray and his agent’s demands to get a contract extension signed before the season started. A controversy ensued when there was an alleged clause in the contract that required Murray to dedicate four or more hours of study time per week when away from the team facilities, which many took as an insult since this is the standard operating procedure for most starting quarterbacks in the league. The rocky foundation from which this contract was signed carried over into the regular season. Arizona was scoring only 22.0 Points-Per-Game heading into Monday night’s game. Murray and Kingsbury have openly feuded on the sidelines. Injuries have played a role. The game against the Patriots was just the second time all season that wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown were healthy and playing together. But these excuses only go so far after the major parties that represent this team signed big extensions. Even without both top-end wide receivers, Murray’s numbers have been unacceptable. Arizona went into Week 14 ranking 29th in the league in Offensive DVOA using the metrics at Football Outsiders —  bottoming out at 27th in the run and 28th in the passing game. Murray appeared to be regressing — and that evidence started with his struggles against pressure. He had been sacked 18 times in his last three starts (all losses) — he got sacked once for every 12 of his dropbacks. His Passer Rating of 12.8 when under pressure is in the NFL. But it was not just handling pressure where Murray is struggling since he signed his large contract extension — it is when he is not dinking and dunking in the passing game. In passes of at least 10 air yards (which is still technically considered intermediate), he has completed only 49 of 108 passes for a 45.4% completion percentage with two touchdowns on those throws but six interceptions. Furthermore, the 8.4 yards per attempt he is averaging on those throws is the third worst in the NFL — only Kenny Pickett and Joe Flacco have lower YPA averages. The exclamation point was this: Murray had lost sixteen of his last twenty starts at home. Frankly, if Kingsbury was not able to turn things around, I expected him to be one of the first coaches fired on Black Monday the day after the regular season ended. He has always been a lightning rod since he was hired by the Cardinals even though Texas Tech, his alma mater, fired him after he failed to post a winning record. Perhaps Murray is to blame here — but you can’t fire the quarterback that you just signed to a big extension. Yet all of that changed when Murray suffered a torn ACL injury early in Monday night’s game. The recovery time on this injury is in the 10-12 month range — meaning Murray’s return ranges from next Halloween to next Christmas, depending on how the rehab process goes (and the deeper analytics do indicate that playing video games six hours a day does not help in the rehab process). Even if Murray were to return next year, the mobility that has been such a critical element of his skill set will take longer to get back to 100%. Donovan McNabb needed more than one season to get back to his previous mobility — and he developed into more of a dropback passer who was never the same running threat as he was pre-injury. Only recently has Joe Burrow regained his pocket mobility and scrambling skills he had before he tore his ACL two seasons ago. This is a devastating injury for Murray at a critical juncture in his career. If Bidwell had not signed him to the contract extension in the summer, raise your hand if you think Murray gets a new deal with the team after this injury. I am not seeing many hands …So what does this organization do now? After losing to New England on Monday, this season looks over. They have one of the better backups in the league in Colt McCoy, but he is probably not a preferred starting quarterback next season. But what the Murray injury does is put on hold the divorce proceedings between Kingsbury and him. Furthermore, I think this just bought Kingsbury another year as the team’s head coach. The Cardinals can now bring in a veteran out of a group of free-agent quarterbacks that will include Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady, Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston, Sam Darnold, and Carson Wentz — with other quarterbacks like Zach Wilson and Drew Lock perhaps attainable. The team can take a flier on these players and determine if Kingsbury has the chops to put them in a position to fulfill their vast potential. The team can also draft a quarterback after the first round. If Kingsbury succeeds next season with one of these quarterbacks, then perhaps Murray has to compete for a job in 2024-25 (and he is given the entire season to rehabilitate his leg). If Kingsbury fails with another quarterback, then Murray can probably get on the field before the end of next season to see how it goes (and remove the stigma of his injury, moving forward). At that point, going into the 2024-25 season, Murray and his contract might be moveable. The news then came out on Wednesday that Keim is going on an indefinite leave of absence due to health reasons. This development only increases the likelihood that Kingsbury is given one more year since he offers stability for the franchise. Who knows, at this point, how long Keim will be away from the team? Presumably, Bidwell would want his long-term general manager making the head coach and quarterback decisions. The Keim situation should get settled before other big decisions are made. A week ago at this time, I firmly believed Kingsbury’s days were numbered. Now, I expect him to return for his fifth year as the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Cue Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast …”Best of luck — Frank.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, NCAAB, and FIFA World Cup Previews and Odds - 12/14/2022

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022

The Wednesday sports card features action in the NBA, NHL, NCAAB, and the FIFA Men’s World Cup.The National Basketball Association has ten games on its docket. Three NBA games tip off at 7:10 PM ET. The Charlotte Hornets host the Detroit Pistons as a 3-point favorite, with the total set at 226.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Golden State Warriors play at Indiana against the Pacers as a 1.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 233.5. The Atlanta Hawks are in Orlando to play the Magic as a 3-point road favorite with a total of 224.5. Two more NBA games start at 7:40 PM ET. The Toronto Raptors play at home against the Sacramento Kings as a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 227.5. The Chicago Bulls are at home against the New York Knicks on ESPN as a 4-point favorite with a total of 224.5. Two NBA games begin at 8:10 PM ET. The Miami Heat visit Oklahoma City Thunder as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 227. The Portland Trail Blazers play at San Antonio as a 7-point road favorite with a total of 230.5. Two more NBA games start at 9:10 PM ET. The Dallas Mavericks host the Cleveland Cavaliers as a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 214.5. The Denver Nuggets play at home against the Washington Wizards as a 9.5-point favorite. The Los Angeles Clippers are at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on ESPN at 10:10 PM ET as a 6-point favorite with a total of 223. The National Hockey League has three games on its slate. The Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens at 7:07 PM ET as a -190 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Minnesota Wild play at home against the Detroit Red Wings on TNT at 7:37 PM ET as a -205 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Calgary Flames are at home against the Vancouver Canucks on TNT at 10:07 PM ET as a -170 money-line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The college basketball schedule features six games on national television. Four NCAAB games tip off at 7 PM ET. Louisiana Tech hosts Stephen F. Austin on ESPNU as a 5-point favorite with a total of 146. Seton Hall plays at home against Drexel on FS1 as a 14-point favorite with an over/under of 128. UAB is at home against South Carolina on the CBS Sports Network as a 16-point favorite with a total of 144. Florida hosts Ohio on ESPN2 as a 12.5-point favorite with an over/under of 143.5. Two NCAAB games begin at 9 PM ET. Maryland plays at home against UCLA on FS1 as a 1-point favorite with a total of 140.5. Western Kentucky travels to Louisville on ESPN2 as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 131.5. The FIFA Men’s World Cup knockout stage continues with the second semifinal match. France battles Morocco on Fox at 2 PM ET as a -1 goal-line favorite at BetMGM with a total of 2. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, NCAAB and FIFA World Cup Previews and Odds - 12/13/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features action in the NBA, NHL, NCAAB, and the FIFA Men’s World Cup.The National Basketball Association has five games on its docket. The Philadelphia 76ers host the Sacramento Kings at 7:10 PM ET as a 5.5-point favorite, with the total set at 227.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Golden State Warriors travel to Milwaukee to play the Bucks in the opening game of a TNT doubleheader at 7:40 PM ET. The Warriors ended a two-game losing streak with a 123-107 upset victory at home against Boston as a 2.5-point underdog on Saturday. They raised their record to 14-13 with the win. The Bucks’ four-game winning ended with a 97-92 upset loss at Houston as a 10-point favorite on Sunday. Their record lowered to 19-7 after the defeat. The Phoenix Suns play at Houston against the Rockets at 8:10 PM ET as a 6-point road favorite with an over/under of 225.5. The New Orleans Pelicans are at Utah to play the Jazz at 9:10 PM ET as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 233. The Boston Celtics travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in the nightcap on TNT at 10:10 PM ET. The Celtics lost their second-straight game last night in a 113-93 upset loss in Los Angeles against the Clippers as a 4-point favorite. Their record dropped to 21-7 with the setback. The Lakers ended a three-game losing streak with a 124-117 victory at Detroit as a 5-point favorite on Sunday. They improved their record to 11-15 with the win. Boston is a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 233.5. The National Hockey League has 12 games on its slate. Seven games drop the puck at 7:05 PM ET. The Toronto Maple Leafs are at home against the Anaheim Ducks as a -365 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Florida Panthers play at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets as a -305 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The New Jersey Devils host the Dallas Stars as a -145 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Los Angeles Kings are at Buffalo to play the Sabres with both teams priced at -110 with an over/under of 6.5. The Boston Bruins play at home against the New York Islanders as a -210 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning are at home against the Seattle Kraken as a -195 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Carolina Hurricanes visits Detroit to play the Red Wings as a -145 money line road favorite with a total of 6. Two NHL games start at 8:05 PM ET. The Edmonton Oilers play at Nashville against the Predators as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Winnipeg Jets host the Vegas Golden Knights as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 6. Two more games begin at 9:05 PM ET. The Colorado Avalanche play at home against the Philadelphia Flyers as a -215 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Washington Capitals travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks on ESPN at 9:05 PM ET. The Capitals won their fourth straight game with a 5-2 victory at Winnipeg on Sunday. Their record rose to 14-12-4 with the win. The Blackhawks are on a three-game losing streak after their 2-1 loss to Winnipeg on Friday. They have a 7-15-4 record after this losing run. Washington is a -195 money line road favorite with a total of 6. The San Jose Sharks are at home against the Arizona Coyotes at 10:35 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The college basketball schedule features three games on national television. Two NCAAB games tip off at 7 PM ET. Southern plays at Xavier on FS1. North Carolina hosts The Citadel on ESPN2 as a 26-point favorite with a total of 145. Alabama plays at home against Memphis on ESPN2 at 9 PM ET as a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 149.The FIFA Men’s World Cup knockout stage continues with the opening semifinal match on Fox at 2 PM ET. Argentina faces Croatia as a -0.5 goal line favorite at BetMGM with a total of 2.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAB, NFL, NHL and NBA Previews and Odds - 12/12/2022

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Dec 12, 2022

The Monday sports card features action in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAAB.Week 14 in the National Football League concludes with one game for Monday Night Football. The New England Patriots visit Arizona to play the Cardinals on ESPN and ESPN2's Peyton and Eli “Manningcast” at 8:15 PM ET. The Patriots are on a two-game losing streak after a 24-10 loss at home to Buffalo as a 3.5-point underdog on Thursday, December 1st. They fell to 6-6 with the setback. The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in their last five games in a 25-24 loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers as a 2.5-point underdog two weeks ago on November 27th. Their record dropped to 4-8 with the loss. New England is a 2.5-point road favorite, with the total set at 43.5 (all odds from DraftKings). The National Basketball Association has seven games on its docket. Two NBA games tip off at 7:10 PM ET. The Miami Heat play at Indiana against the Pacers as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 228. The Brooklyn Nets are at Washington to play the Wizards as a 5-point road favorite with a total of 228. The Memphis Grizzlies host the Atlanta Hawks on NBA-TV at 8:10 PM ET. The Grizzlies won their fifth game in a row with a 114-103 victory against Detroit as a 10.5-point favorite on Thursday. They improved their record to 17-9 with the win. The Hawks ended a three-game losing streak on Sunday with a 123-22 win in overtime as a 3.5-point favorite. They pulled their record up to 14-13 with the win. Memphis is a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 228.5. Two NBA games start at 8:40 PM ET. The Dallas Mavericks play at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder as an 8.5-point favorite with a total of 228. The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs as a 5.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 223.5. The Portland Trail Blazers are at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 10:10 PM ET as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 232. The Boston Celtics play in Los Angeles against the Clippers on NBA-TV at 10:40 PM ET. The Celtics’ three-game winning streak ended in a 123-107 loss at Golden State as a 2.5-point favorite on Saturday. Their record fell to 21-6 with the loss. The Clippers ended a two-game losing streak with a 114-107 win at Washington as a 5-point favorite on Saturday. They improved their record to 15-13 with the victory. Boston is a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 226.5. The National Hockey League has six games on its slate. Three NHL games drop the puck at 7:05 PM ET. The Calgary Flames visit Montreal to play the Canadiens as a -205 money line road favorite with a total of 6. The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Dallas Stars as a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The New Jersey Devils play in New York against the Rangers as a -115 money line road favorite with a total of 6. The Ottawa Senators are at home against the Anaheim Ducks at 7:35 PM ET as a -225 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Two more NHL games begin at 8:05 PM ET. The Minnesota Wild host the Edmonton Oilers as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The St. Louis Blues are at home against the Nashville Predators as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5.The college basketball schedule features 20 games involving Division I programs. One game is on national television. Creighton plays Arizona State on FS1 at 9 PM ET in the Jack Jones Hoopfest at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 139.5.

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NFL Week 14: Superlatives to Chew On

by Vegas Writer

Sunday, Dec 11, 2022

A quick glance at what took place Sunday: - The Philadelphia Eagles and the league's second-highest scoring offense defeated the New York Giants, 48-22, improved to 12-1, and became the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season.Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts recorded 294 yards (217 passing, 77 rushing) and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) with a 109.2 rating.Hurts, who has 3,157 passing yards with 22 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns this season, is the fourth quarterback ever with at least 3,000 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes, and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. - Heading into the Sunday and Monday Night Football games, there were 91 games decided by a touchdown (six points) or less, the most such games through the first 14 weeks all-time.Seven of 11 games (63.6 percent) that were completed in Week 14 had been within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter and there have been 156 games within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter this season, the most such games through the first 14 weeks in NFL history.- Comebacks told the tale in two epic showdowns, as the Dallas Cowboys registered a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive that culminated with an Ezekiel Elliott rushing touchdown with 41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of their 27-23 win over Houston, while the Los Angeles Rams drove 98 yards on Thursday Night Football for the game-winning touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds remaining in regulation of their 17-16 win over Las Vegas.Week 14 of the 2022 season is the first week in the last 45 seasons in which there were multiple game-winning touchdown drives of at least 95 yards where the touchdown was scored inside the final two minutes of regulation.There have been 49 games this season decided by a game-winning score in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime, trailing only 2015 (50) for the most such games through the first 14 weeks of a season all-time.- Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns while tight end Travis Kelce registered 71 receiving yards in the Chiefs' 34-28 win at Denver.Mahomes recorded his 24th career game with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes, the most such games by a player in his first six seasons in NFL history.Kelce, who has recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past seven seasons (2016-22), is the first tight end in NFL history with seven career seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards.The Chiefs improved to 10-3 on the season while head coach Andy Reid became the third head coach in NFL history to record at least 10 regular-season wins in eight consecutive seasons.- Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 368 yards and totaled four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) while tight end Evan Engram had 11 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars' 36-22 win at Tennessee.Lawrence became the youngest player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes, and one rushing touchdown in a game. Engram is the sixth tight end in NFL history with at least 10 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game.- Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen had one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in the Bills' 20-12 win over the New York Jets. Allen has six rushing touchdowns in 2022 and is the first quarterback with at least six rushing touchdowns in five consecutive seasons in NFL history.- Cincinnati wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had 10 receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown in the Bengals' 23-10 win over Cleveland. Chase registered his eighth career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.- Detroit quarterback Jared Goff threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 120.7 rating. - San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy completed 16 of 21 pass attempts (76.2%) for two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 134.0 rating and added a rushing touchdown in the 49ers' 35-7 win over Tampa Bay. Purdy became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least two touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown, and a passer rating of 125 or higher in his first career start.- Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 11 receptions for a career-high 223 receiving yards on Sunday. Jefferson has five career games with at least 175 receiving yards. Jefferson, who has 1,500 receiving yards this season, is the first player in NFL history with at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of his first three career seasons.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAAB Previews and Odds - 12/11/2022

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Dec 11, 2022

The Sunday sports card features action in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAAB.Week 13 in the National Football League continues with 11 games. Seven games kick off at 1 PM ET. The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens as a 1.5-point favorite, with the total set at 37 (all odds from DraftKings). The Cincinnati Bengals play at home against the Cleveland Browns as a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 46.5. The Buffalo Bills are at home against the New York Jets as a 10-point favorite with a total of 43. The Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars as a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 41. The Dallas Cowboys play at home against the Houston Texans as a 17-point favorite with a total of 44. The Philadelphia Eagles visit New York to play the Giants as a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 45. The Detroit Lions are at home against the Minnesota Vikings as a 2-point favorite with a total of 51.5. The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Denver to play the Broncos at 4:05 PM ET as a 9-point road favorite with an over/under of 44. Two more NFL games start at 4:25 PM ET. The Seattle Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 44.5. The San Francisco 49ers play at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 37.5. Sunday Night Football on NBC at 8:20 PM ET features the Miami Dolphins playing in Los Angeles against the Chargers. The Dolphins are a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 53.5. The National Basketball Association has seven games on its docket. The New Orleans Pelicans are at home against the Phoenix Suns as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 223.5. Four more NBA games tip off at 6:10 PM ET. The Los Angeles Lakers play in Detroit against the Pistons as a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 233.5. The New York Knicks are at home against the Sacramento Kings as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 231.5. The Toronto Raptors visit Orlando to play the Magic as a 6.5-point road favorite with a total of 222.5. The Philadelphia 76ers host the Charlotte Hornets as a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 220. The Atlanta Hawks play at home against the Chicago Bulls at 6:40 PM ET as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 227.5. The Milwaukee Bucks are at Houston against the Rockets as a 9.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 230.The National Hockey League has six games on its slate. The St. Louis Blues host the Colorado Avalanche on ESPN at 3:05 PM ET as a -115 money line favorite with a total of 6. Two more NHL games drop the puck at 6:05 PM ET. The Los Angeles Kings play at Columbus against the Blue Jackets as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Florida Panthers are at home against the Seattle Kraken as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. Two NHL games begin at 7:05 PM ET. The Arizona Coyotes play at home against the Philadelphia Flyers as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Winnipeg Jets host the Washington Capitals as a -140 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Boston Bruins travel to Vegas to play the Golden Knights at 8:05 PM ET as a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The college basketball card features five games on national television. Virginia Tech battles Oklahoma State on ESPN2 at 2 PM ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 136. Marquette is at Notre Dame on ESPN2 at 4 PM ET as a 1.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 145. Tennessee faces Maryland on FS1 at 4:30 PM ET at the Barclays Center as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 132.5. Texas A&M hosts Oregon State on ESPN2 at 6 PM ET as a 13-point favorite with an over/under of 137. Rutgers goes against Seton Hall on FS1 at 6:30 PM ET as a 9-point favorite with a total of 130.

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NFL Player Props - 12/11/2022

by ASA, Inc.

Saturday, Dec 10, 2022

Garrett Wilson Over 61.5 Rec Yards (-115)Wilson has surpassed 90 yards in four of the Jets last five games. The rookie WR has shown great chemistry with Mike White so far receiving 15 targets in week 13. In their first meeting with the Bills, Wilson caught eight of nine balls for 92 yards and has become New York’s true top threat with Bryce Hall out for the season. Amon-Ra St Brown Over 82.5 Rec Yards (-115)Entering week 14, Minnesota is currently giving up the most passing yards per game in the NFL. St Brown is on another late season tear, averaging 107 yards per game in his last four. By all metrics, this should be a shootout with Detroit's weak defense also ranking bottom six in passing yards allowed per game. Deshaun Watson Under 225.5 Pass Yards (-114)Watson looked rusty last week just like he had in his limited preseason action. It is understandable since has hardly played any football in the past two years. Going against a Bengals defense that held Patrick Mahomes to 223 yards last week, Watson may be in for another lackluster performance. The under feels safe until Watson shows flashes of his old self. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAAF, NCAAB, NBA, NHL and FIFA Men's World Cup Previews and Odds - 12/10/2022

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Dec 10, 2022

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAAF, NBA, NHL, NCAAB, and FIFA Men’s World Cup.Week 15 in the college football regular season has one game on its schedule. Navy plays Army on CBS at 3 PM ET on a neutral field at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Midshipmen are a 2.5-point favorite with the total set at 32.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The National Basketball Association has eight games on its docket. The Miami Heat host the San Antonio Spurs at 5:10 PM ET as a 12-point favorite with an over/under of 224. Two more NBA games tip off at 7:10 PM ET. The Brooklyn Nets play at Indiana against the Pacers. The Los Angeles Clippers visit Washington to play the Wizards as a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 219.5. The Oklahoma City Thunder are at Cleveland to play the Cavaliers at 7:40 PM ET. The Chicago Bulls are at home against the Dallas Mavericks at 8:10 PM ET as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 222.5. The Boston Celtics travel to Golden State to play the Warriors on ABC at 8:40 PM ET. The Utah Jazz play at Denver against the Nuggets at 9:10 PM ET. The Portland Trail Blazers host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 10:10 PM ET as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 231. The National Hockey League has eight games on its slate. The Nashville Predators play at home against the Ottawa Senators at 1:35 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Dallas Stars are at home against the Detroit Red Wings at 2:05 PM ET as a -190 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Florida Panthers at 4:35 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Three NHL games drop the puck at 7:05 PM ET. The Pittsburgh Penguins play at home against the Buffalo Sabres as a -190 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Toronto Maple Leafs are at home against the Calgary Flames as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Los Angeles Kings visit Montreal to play the Canadiens as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 6. The Carolina Hurricanes plays in New York against the Islanders at 7:35 PM ET as a -145 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5. The college basketball schedule has 17 games on national television. UConn is at home against Long Island on FS1 at 12:30 PM ET as a 39-point favorite with a total of 142.5. Two NCAAB games tip off at 1 PM ET. Arkansas hosts Oklahoma on ESPN2 as a 4-point favorite with an over/under of 133.5. Syracuse plays at home against Georgetown on ABC as a 9-point favorite with a total of 143.5. Providence is at home against Albany on FS1 at 2:30 PM ET as a 19.5-point favorite with an over/under of 141. Two NCAAB games start at 3 PM ET. Houston hosts Alabama on ABC as an 8.5-point favorite with a total of 137. Xavier travels to Cincinnati on ESPN2 as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 151. North Carolina plays at home against Georgia Tech on ESPN at 3:15 PM ET as a 13-point favorite with a total of 144. Washington State battles UNLV on FS1 at 4:30 PM ET in the Las Vegas Clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 133.5. Two more NCAAB games begin at 5 PM ET. Auburn faces Memphis on ESPN2 on a neutral court at State Farm Arena in Atlanta as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 138. Villanova goes against Boston College on Fox at the Prudential Center in Newark as a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 130. Kansas is at Missouri on ESPN at 5:15 PM ET as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 154.5. St. John’s hosts New Hampshire on FS2 at 6 PM ET as a 22.5-point favorite with an over/under of 143. DePaul plays at home against UTEP on FS1 at 6:30 PM ET as a 7-point favorite with a total of 138. Arizona goes against Indiana on Fox at 7:30 PM ET in the Las Vegas Clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 159. Two NCAAB games start at 10 PM ET. Creighton battles BYU on FS1 at 10 PM ET in the Jack Jones Hoopfest at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas as a 10-point favorite with a total of 145.5. SMU is at home against TCU on ESPN2 as an 11.5-point favorite with a total of 135.5. Utah State faces Loyola-Marymount on FS1 at 12:30 AM ET in the nightcap of the Jack Jones Hoopfest as a 7.5-point favorite with an over/under of 148. The FIFA Men’s World Cup concludes the quarterfinals stage with two matches on Fox. Portugal goes against Morocco at 10 AM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5 (all soccer odds from BetMGM). France plays England at 2 PM ET in a pick ‘em match with an over/under of 2.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, FIFA World Cup and NCAAB Previews and Odds - 12/09/2022

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Dec 09, 2022

The Friday sports card features action in the NBA, NHL, NCAAB, and FIFA Men’s World Cup.The National Basketball Association has ten games on its docket. Three games tip off at 7:10 PM ET. The New York Knicks visit the Charlotte Hornets as a 4-point road favorite, with the total set at 225. The Indiana Pacers host the Washington Wizards as a 5-point favorite. The Toronto Raptors go on the road to Orlando to play the Magic as a 7.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 220. Three NBA games start at 7:40 PM ET. The Brooklyn Nets play at home against the Atlanta Hawks as a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 228.5. The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Sacramento Kings as a 5.5-point favorite. The Philadelphia 76ers play at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN. The 76ers are on a three-game losing streak after their 132-123 upset loss at Houston as an 8-point favorite on Monday. The Lakers have lost two in a row after a 126-113 loss at Toronto as a 12-point underdog last night. Philadelphia is a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 224.5. The Memphis Grizzlies are at home against the Detroit Pistons at 8:10 PM ET as a 10-point favorite with a total of 227.5. The Phoenix Suns travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans at 8:40 PM ET as a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 227. The Utah Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 9:10 PM ET as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 236. The Milwaukee Bucks travel to Dallas to play the Mavericks on ESPN at 10:10 PM ET. The Bucks have won six of their last seven games after a 126-113 victory against Sacramento as a 6.5-point favorite on Wednesday. The Mavericks are on a three-game winning streak after a 116-115 upset win at Denver as a 5-point underdog on Tuesday. Milwaukee is a 1-point road favorite with a total of 223. The National Hockey League has ten games on its slate. Four games drop the puck at 7:07 PM ET. The Calgary Flames play at Columbus against Bluejackets as a -250 money line road favorites with an over/under of 6.5. The New Jersey Devils host the New York Islanders as a -195 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Pittsburgh Penguins are at Buffalo against the Sabres as a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Washington Capitals play at home against the Seattle Kraken as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Winnipeg Jets visit the Chicago Blackhawks at 8:37 PM ET as a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. Two more NHL games begin at 9:07 PM ET. The Edmonton Oilers host the Minnesota Wild as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The New York Rangers are at Colorado to play the Avalanche as a -150 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. The Boston Bruins play at Arizona against the Coyotes at 9:37 PM ET as a -325 money line road favorite with a total of 6. Two more NHL games start at 10:07 PM ET. The Vegas Golden Knights host the Philadelphia Flyers as a -255 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. The San Jose Sharks visit the Anaheim Ducks as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. The college basketball schedule has 12 games involving Division I teams. None of these games are on national television.The FIFA Men’s World Cup resumes with the opening two matches of the quarterfinals on Fox. Brazil battles Croatia at 10 AM ET as a -1.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. Argentina goes against the Netherlands at 2 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5.

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Bowl Season Handicapping: Three Factors to Consider

by Kyle Hunter

Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

College football bowl season lines are already up. If you are a fan of college football, this is a really fun time of the year. How many bowl games are there in all? There are a whopping 43 games. Because this year January 1st is a Sunday, there are no bowl games set on Sunday since that is an NFL day. There will be plenty of games around the holidays though. If you are betting on bowl games, here are three factors to consider when placing your bet. #1- Motivation- In past years motivation was about the only thing you need to know in order to pick winners in bowl games. Things are far more complex in college football now than they were then. Still, motivation is crucial when handicapping bowl contests. Which teams want to be there the most? I’m not going to pretend deciding which team is the most motivated is always an easy thing to do, but it better be something you consider. I like to fade teams who had far higher aspirations and landed in a smaller game. Also, if a team hasn’t been to a bowl game in a long time, they are highly likely to be excited for this opportunity.#2. Opt Outs/Transfers- Here is the part that wasn’t even part of the equation looking back ten years or so. It gradually started happening more, and now it is a massive part of handicapping the game. Why would Tulane be getting hammered against USC? Why would Kansas State be getting hammered by bettors against Alabama? Obviously those bettors are assuming a lot of key players from both USC and Alabama will sit out. This is another reason why I in general am more cautious about releasing plays very early in bowl season. A lot of things can happen between the final game of the regular season and the bowl contest.#3. Location- The location of the bowl game matters for a couple key reasons. First, how far is the team having to travel and will their fans be able to get to the location easily? Second, are they traveling to a location where college players will be excited to go play? This ties back to the first point on motivation. If the game is being played in Hawaii, it is pretty easy to see why anyone would be excited to go there. What if the game is played in the middle of nowhere on the day after Christmas? Then you have to question who actually wants to be there.Good luck on all your plays in bowl season. Keep these three factors in mind! 

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World Cup Futures (Updated)

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

The World Cup has been filled with many surprises up to this point with some big upsets in the group stage to some more straight forward matches in the Round of 16. There have been some teams that are performing much better than expected and others who have not lived up to the expectations coming into the tournament. Now it has been whittled down to just 8 teams left in the tournament and it is time to see who has the best chance of taking the trophy home of the remaining teams. To Win Outright Brazil +170: Brazil was the big favorite coming into the tournament and they are still the favorite to win the whole thing coming into the quarter-finals. Brazil is one of the most talented teams in the tournament and they have a lot of depth on their bench with enough talent at every position for some of these bench players to even be starters. They did not play their best in the group stage as they won their group with 2 wins and 1 loss, but they put any doubters to bed in the Round of 16 with a dominant performance in the first 30 mins against South Korea as that match was well over by then. Brazil still looks like one of the strongest teams left in the tournament and even though there is not a lot of reward for taking them to win at this point in the tournament, they still have a very good chance of winning it all which puts some value in this line still.  France +400: France is coming into this match as the 2nd favorite on the board and understandably so as the defending World Cup Champions have been very dominant in every game they have played with a full strength lineup. They only had 1 blunder in the group stage with a 1-0 loss to Tunisia and that was due to the fact that they had already advanced and were looking to rest their star players. They looked even better in their knockout match against Poland as Poland had no answer for their attack the entire match, but it is still tough to find value in France here considering the route they have to go through. France has to play their next match against England which will be a very tough task and even if they do get by them, they will still have to play 2 very tough teams to win the trophy and all of those matches against good opponents could start to take a toll on them later in the competition. It is also very difficult for a country to win B2B World Cups which makes France’s chances of winning it again even worse here. France very well could go all the way and win it all but considering their side of the bracket and the injuries they have to key players, there is not a whole lot of value in France here. Argentina +600: Argentina is coming into the quarter-finals as the next option on the list and they are a side that suffered one of the biggest shocks in the group stage. They lost their very 1st match of the tournament and it was a huge upset as they lost to Saudi Arabia who was pegged as the weakest team in the group coming into the tournament. Argentina managed to pull themselves together in their next few matches as they have won 3 straight coming into the quarter-finals, but their defense has not been great in their matches and this issue could come back to haunt them later in the competition against a much better team than what they have faced. They have played 4 teams so far and none of them have been very strong teams, they were by far the best team in their group and even in the last round they got to take on Australia who just barely qualified for the tournament in extra qualifiers. They really have not faced a very good team yet but their defense showed its flaws in their last match as they got comfortable with their 2 goal lead conceding a late goal to Australia and then almost gave up another very late goal which would have tied the match. This lack of focus on defense will come back to bite them and they still have to go through some very good teams to get to the finals. They are going to be facing their 1st real test in this tournament with their next match and until they show some better play, there is no value in them going all the way with such good teams left still. England +600: England is coming into the quarter-finals as another +600 contender here but they still have a very tough road to go through to get to the finals. Their next match is against the defending World Cup Champions but this England side still has a lot of depth in their squad and they have proven to be a very tough team to beat in this tournament. England was not playing very well prior to the tournament as they were in very poor form and even got themselves relegated in UEFA Nations League. They did make a very deep run in the last Euro Cup though and this team is starting to look much different than the one that was coming into this tournament. England has still been very stout with their good defense but their attack has also looked a lot better and has been scoring a lot more goals. They really have not faced a team like France yet so this will be their most difficult match yet, but they are not dealing with as many injuries to their squad and they have a lot of depth at every position if they need to rotate players deeper in the tournament. England also has the extra motivation of being the runner up in the last Euro Cup so they have a deep hunger to make a big run and they have been one of the most in-form teams in the tournament thus far. England has a tough road to the finals but a very good team with lots of depth and there is still some real value in them making a deep run.  Portugal +600: Portugal is coming into the quarter-finals as another +600 favorite to win the trophy and they have already proven themselves to be a real threat moving forward. They were very dominant in their matches in the group stage as they were in complete control of both of their wins. They only lost the 1 match against South Korea but in a match where they had already qualified and were resting players for the Round of 16. Their strategy really worked as they came out in their match against Switzerland and completely embarrassed them with another dominant performance. They benched Ronaldo in that last match and all that did was show how much of a better team they are without him as they have a lot more pace and were able to fly by defenders quite easily to create scoring chances. Their next match is going to be against Morocco and because of this they have a bit of an easier path to getting to the finals with less powerhouse teams in their way. Portugal also has the depth along with their talent in the starting lineup to make a very deep run with the form they have been in. They have a lot of attacking power but a good defense and midfield as well which will make them a very tough team to break down even for the best in the World. With the form they are currently in, they have a lot of value at this price to win the entire tournament.  Netherlands +1600: Netherlands is coming into the quarter-finals as an even larger underdog to win the tournament than they were at the beginning of it. They were not at their best in the group stage but they still managed to win their group with a banged up squad and looked very dominant in their win over USA in the Round of 16. They were not great in the group stage but they have also been getting healthier the deeper we get into it and they have been getting better and better on the pitch in each match as they continue to play. They have finally found a solid answer for their attack in Gakpo and Depay which will only compliment their very strong midfield and defense. Even when they are not at their best, they have shown that they are a very clinical and disciplined team that does not make a lot of mistakes in their matches and they are an extremely tough side to break down defensively. They do not have the best road to the finals as they will likely have to take out the 2 biggest South American powerhouses on their way there, but both do have their flaws and considering the tactical mindset of the Netherlands when they play, they will be able to frustrate a lot of their opponents with good defense. They have a lot of value at this price as they have the talent and the skill to make a deep run and pull off some big upsets along the way.  Morocco +4000: Morocco is coming into the quarter-finals as one of the biggest longshots left in the tournament. They have played very well in their matches as they have taken down some really good opponents and their defense has proven themselves to be very tough to crack. They do have one big issue with their attack though as they have struggled to create a lot of scoring chances for themselves and even though they managed to get past Spain in the last round, they were pressured that entire match and one mistake would have cost them big. They are very good defensively but have no real attack and are just 1 defensive mistake away from being put in a hole they cannot get out of. Their defense has done very well to get them this far but now they will have to face much stronger teams with much better attacks that will make sure they finish. Morocco is a great story to make it this far but their journey will be coming to an end very soon.  Croatia +4000: Croatia is coming into the quarter-finals as one of the biggest longshots to win the tournament. They have been able to get this far using the same kind of strategy as Morocco as Croatia does have a very good defense with one of the strongest groups of midfielders left in the tournament. The problem is that they have also lacked a good attack as they have no real goalscorer on their squad and this becomes an even bigger issue since the players they do have in their lineup are much older and starting to slow down with their style of play. They will not be able to keep up with some of these much younger teams who have a lot of pace and once Croatia finds themselves down in a match, it will be very difficult for them to come back against some of these much better squads. Croatia was the runner up 4 years ago when they lost to France but they were already on the older side back then and 4 years does make a big difference for these players. Croatia has no real value to repeat what they did 4 years ago and make a deep run.  RecommendationsWhen picking from these final 8 teams to win the entire tournament there are 3 ways to go about this. For the safest bet that probably has the best chance of winning would be to take the favorites here as Brazil still has one of the most talented squads in the tournament and they showed a glimpse of it in their last match. If looking for a longshot then the best way to go is the Netherlands, even though they do have a difficult path they have the skill and the discipline to really frustrate teams defensively and if they manage to get through the 2 biggest South American powers then they will surely have the momentum going into the finals so there is a lot of value in this large number. Finally, if looking for a team with an easier path and still lots of value then Portugal would be the way to go as they have proved themselves to be a real threat with their speed and skill, also having to go through one of the easier pathways to get to the finals. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAAB Previews and Odds - 12/08/2022

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

The Thursday sports card features action in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAAB.Week 14 in the National Football League kicks off with one game. The Las Vegas Raiders travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Amazon Prime at 8:15 PM ET. The Raiders are on a three-game winning streak after their 27-20 victory at home against the Los Angeles Chargers as a 2.5-point favorite on Sunday. They have raised their record to 5-7 during this recent run. The Rams are on a six-game losing streak after their 27-23 loss to Seattle as a 7-point underdog last Sunday. Their record dropped to 3-9 with the setback. Las Vegas is a 6.5-point road favorite, with the total set at 43 (all odds from DraftKings). The National Basketball Association has three games on its docket. The Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Clippers at 7:40 PM ET. The Heat are a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 215.5. The Houston Rockets are in San Antonio to play the Spurs at 8:40 PM ET. The Rockets are a 2.5-pint road favorite with a total of 233.5. The Denver Nuggets play at Portland against the Trail Blazers at 10:10 PM ET. The Nuggets are a 1-point road favorite with an over/under of 226. The National Hockey League has five games on its slate. Two games drop the puck at 7:07 PM ET. The Toronto Maple Leafs play at home against the Los Angeles Kings as a -175 money line favorite with a total of 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Nashville Predators as a -205 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. The Florida Panthers are at home against the Detroit Red Wings at 7:37 PM ET. The Panthers are a -195 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The Winnipeg Jets travel to St. Louis to play the Blues at 8:07 PM ET. The Jets are a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.5. The Dallas Stars play at home against the Ottawa Senators at 8:37 PM ET. The Stars are a -180 money line favorite with a total of 6.5. The college basketball schedule features three games on national television. The Ohio State Buckeyes host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on ESPN2 at 7 PM ET. The Buckeyes have won three of their last four games after a 96-59 win against St. Francis-PA as a 29-point favorite on Saturday. They improved their record to 6-2 with the victory. The Scarlet Knights won for the third time in their last four games with a 63-48 upset win against Indiana as a 3-point underdog last Saturday. The win raised their record to 6-2. Ohio State is a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 137.The Iowa Hawkeyes play the Iowa State Cyclones on FS1 at 8 PM ET. The Hawkeyes lost for the second time in their last three games with their 74-62 loss to Duke at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V. Classic as a 2-point underdog on Tuesday. Their record fell to 6-2 after that defeat. The Cyclones are on a two-game winning streak after a 71-60 victory against St. John’s as a 6-point favorite on Sunday. They improved their record to 7-1 with the win. Iowa is a 4-point favorite with a total of 140.5. The Colorado Buffaloes are at home against the Colorado State Rams on ESPN2 at 9 PM ET. The Buffaloes lost for the third time in their last four games after a 73-63 loss at Washington as a 1-point favorite on Sunday. Their record dropped to 4-5 with the loss. The Rams’ two-game winning streak ended in an 88-83 loss to Northern Colorado as a 15.5-point favorite on Saturday. Their record is 6-3 after that defeat. Colorado is a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 143.

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