Sports Picks For Sale - Wayne Root

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Biography

Wayne Root launched his career on FNN, and then starred on Proline and The Winning Edge TV shows to build the biggest brand in sports handicapping.

Active since:  1985

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Wayne Root started his career at age 16 when the media dubbed him "The Betting Whizkid" and "the next Jimmy the Greek."  After graduating from prestigious Ivy League Columbia University, Wayne became the sports gaming expert on NBC Radio New York and NBC Radio Chicago.  Soon he was predicting NFL point spread winners on over 100 NBC Source Radio stations nationwide.  By age 27, Wayne was Jimmy “the Greek's” television partner on Financial News Network (now known as CNBC). ONLY IN AMERICA!  Wayne served as FNN’s Oddsmaker, NFL Analyst and host of its pregame and postgame football shows, including FNN ZoneHuddle Up, Fantasy Zone, and The Fan Speaks Out.  He was also its anchorman for sports scores and updates.

Following FNN, Wayne was the star and rainmaker of the sports handicapping pregame show Proline on USA TV Network for 10 years. Wayne had the most expensive 900 (pay-per-call) numbers in U.S. telemarketing history:  $50 and $100 per call for his sports betting advice.  Millions of sports gamblers called for Wayne’s famous advice. 
 
Wayne’s national TV football pregame show, The Winning Edge aired from 2000 to 2009 on popular national television networks such as Fox Sports Net, Comcast Sports Net, Superstation WGN, Discovery and Spike TV. 
 
Wayne has been profiled by the biggest media in the world, including CNBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Equities, Worth, Success, Financial Times and Robb Report
 
Wayne literally “wrote the book" on sports gambling — three books to be exact...
 
ROOT on Risk: Betting to Win on Sports
The Zen of Gambling
The King of Vegas' Guide to Gambling
 
Wayne also co-created, co-executive produced and co-hosted a gambling reality TV show on Spike TV (King of Vegas).

In 2006, Wayne became the only Vegas oddsmaker or sports handicapper ever awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.  The Governor of Nevada presented Wayne's star at the ceremony.  It was named "Wayne Root Day" in the state of Nevada and Clark County (the city of Las Vegas).  Wayne's 180-pound granite star sits in the sidewalk on Las Vegas Blvd along with Vegas legends like Elvis Presley, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Siegfield & Roy. 

Some recent highlights:

2020 January and February college basketball Pinnacles 18-8 (70%)
2019 MLB finished in top 5 in USA 
2019 NBA Playoffs 28-13 (68%)
2018 NFL Root Trust won 12 of 17 weeks (71%)
2018 MLB finished in top 8 in USA
2017 March Madness went 71% 

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CFB HOME TEAM MAXX BET GAME OF THE YEAR

WAYNE us throwing away the money management on this game. It seems like just last week we went all-in on another grea...

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CFB VEGAS ANALYTICS and SOURCE PLAY OF MONTH

WAYNE, along with his Vegas Inner Circle and Computer gurus, have the sharpest minds betting this game HUGE. It’s the...

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WAYNE LOVES UNDERDOG UPSETS. Every advantage player in and out of Vegas knows what to do with this game. DOUBLE YOU...

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CFB EXCLUSIVE INSIDERS BAILOUT GAME

WAYNE has a great write up after getting one HUGE PIECE OF KEY INFORMATION that is a difference maker. His network of...

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NFL Week 12: Top 10-Ranked Teams

Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021

10. Indianapolis Colts (6-5): After surviving a 1-4 start, the Colts look like one of the most dangerous teams in the unpredictable AFC. But why can’t Jonathan Taylor win MVP? The Colts are 6-0 in games in which he rushed for over 100 yards. This dome team is built for the elements, which will serve them well if they get to the postseason. Bold prediction: Indy wins the AFC South.  9. Baltimore Ravens (7-3):  Lamar Jackson’s illnesses are making Ravens fans a little queasy. Ten games in, the Ravens are a 5-5 masquerading as a 7-3 outfit. But the bill is about to come due. Damn, they’re even making me queasy. The Ravens are getting by on guts right now: Marquise Brown joined Jackson as an inactive on Sunday, while 15 players are parked on injured reserve. Survive and advance. 8. Tennessee Titans (8-3):  Go figure. The Titans are the epitome of this upside-down season, winning seven games against 2020 playoff teams while also losing to the Jets and Texans. No Derrick Henry, no Julio Jones and now A.J. Brown is banged up. The Titans’ offense needs someone to save it, but Ryan Tannehill isn’t up to the task. Tennessee has shown no hints of mounting a sustainable offense since Henry went on the shelf after foot surgery three weeks ago. This all feels like terrible timing for a game against the red-hot Patriots, but Mike Vrabel's Titans have a habit of overcoming the odds.  7. Los Angeles Rams (7-3): If the Rams are the type of team that gains motivation from the doubts of others, well, last week's bye might have been a very productive week. The Greatest Show-offs on Turf need to show something at Lambeau this week or else. The Rams can tweet about going all-in-all they want. But it’s time they show they are more than just empty expectations and a roster assembled on Madden. QB Matthew Stafford heads back to Lambeau Field, where he’s 3-7 all time.  6. Dallas Cowboys (7-3):  An excellent performance by the defense should have put the team in position to make a huge statement at Arrowhead. Instead, Dallas shrunk in the spotlight, fueling speculation we're watching another Cowboys team that's more sizzle than steak. Don’t look now, but here come the Eagles. But for that to matter they need to deal with injuries and the Raiders. The good news for Dallas after its 19-9 loss to the Chiefs? The imploding Raiders are coming to town on Thanksgiving. The bad news? The Cowboys have been outscored 66-45 by the AFC West this season. Oof.  5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4):  The Chiefs look like a team ready to restore order in the chaotic AFC. The defense is getting back to its former form. Now we’ll see if the offense eventually can do the same. Melvin Ingram’s arrival has allowed Chris Jones to move back inside and return to his position as a game wrecker. Is the defense really keeping the Chiefs in games? The Chiefs’ offense still is figuring some things out, but rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated.  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3):  Last year, they didn’t need home-field advantage in the playoffs. This year, they do. Tom Brady saw Justin Herbert run for 90 yards Sunday night and decided to show off his wheels with a 10-yard run against the Giants. That was the most exciting moment of a Monday-nightsnooze fest. The competition jumps up a notch next Sunday with a road matchup against the red-hot Colts. 3. New England Patriots (7-4):  The Pats matched their 2020 win total by Thanksgiving and have found themselves in first place as a result. This team is one the up and up. Physical defense, bruising run game and a polished rookie quarterback who does exactly what is asked of him. Bill Belichick’s Patriots are hitting their stride and there’s no reason they can’t win an AFC filled with flawed contenders. Mac Jones reminds so many of a rookie from 2001. The Pats could end up partying like it’s 2001. Tampa Bay won the battle earlier but Coach Belichick has eyes on the War in February.  2. Green Bay Packers (8-3):  The Packers are dealing with two toe injuries. Their knicker and their quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is hurting with a toe injury but Green Bay just lost star offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins. The Packers desperately need their bye, but first, they have to deal with a Rams team looking to get right. The Packers remain in fine shape, but they'll need to grind their way to the finish line. 1. Arizona Cardinals (9-2):  The Cardinals swept their NFC West road slate by a score of 91-50 and did so with Colt McCoy starting two of those three games. Coach Cool and the Cards are for real. But, they need to avoid having to play a playoff game in Green Bay at all costs. Zona hits a perfectly timed bye week. Murray (ankle) and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) now get two more weeks to heal up before a favorable Week 13 matchup against the Bears. McCoy, meanwhile, probably bought himself another three years of lucrative backup work through his performance this month. Good gig.

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NFL Top 10 Rankings - Week 10

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021

Is anybody any good in this league? Doesn’t seem so.  10.New England Patriots (5-4) This is the one team no one in the AFC will want to see in the postseason. Three wins in a row and the Patriots are once again a threat in the AFC East, but Mac Jones’ continued improvement will determine if they’ll be a Super Bowl factor come January. Highlighting the Pats’ defensive effort against Darnold & the Panthers was CB JC Jackson’s 88-yard pick-six interception in the 24-6 win. Not only was Darnold shutdown, the return of Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey soured as he was held to 52 yards on the ground and four catches by New England’s defense. Hosting the Browns (minus Chubb) this Sunday.  9. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) They desperately needed a win in Philly, and they definitely need to find a way to keep winning. QB Justin Herbert had three touchdowns on the road against the Eagles after the Bolts lost to the Patriots at home the week prior. Most importantly, Herbert drove his team down the field to setup the game-winning kick… the type of game Chargers fans got used to losing late for a long time. Justin Herbert was 17-of-20 for 205 yards with a TD and rushing TD in the second half of the Chargers’ win over the Eagles. LA didn’t punt all game. When the Bolts are clicking, they are scary. Next up, Minnesota Vikings.  8. Buffalo Bills (5-3) Not long ago, they were dominant. Now, they’re in real danger of losing the division to the Patriots. Buffalo’s offense was non-existent in a stinker against the Jaguars. And just like that, the Patriots are on their heels. The Bills’ reign might be over before it even began if Josh Allen can’t right the ship fast. The Bills had what was likely their worst day on offense since QB Josh Allen’s breakout 2020 year. Bills QB Josh Allen’s ugly games are pretty darn ugly. He’s failed to reach a passer rating of 80 or better in three out of eight games this year. Buffalo fell 9-6 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a shocker. But there was some good: the Bills’ improved defense is here to stay. Division game with the Jets; but did you see the point spread? -13.5!! 7. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) The Cowboys will be fine, but getting punked at home by a Broncos team that just traded away its best player is inexcusable if you want to be considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. In a big difference compared to the Bills and Chiefs, the Cowboys’ loss came with nothing good. The defense was smoked early and often and Dallas didn’t close the gap on the scoreboard until this one was over (but QB Dak Prescott coming off an injury wasn’t given time to rest. Huh?). The Cowboys will probably bounce back but this bad loss might cost Dallas their shot at the No. 1 seed.Dallas plays Hotlanta this week.  6. Baltimore Ravens (6-2) The Ravens don’t always make it easy but they find a way to get the job done. Baltimore leads a very competitive AFC North. The Ravens are the comeback kids of the 2021 NFL season. QB Lamar Jackson was the centerpiece of Baltimore’s 34-31 win in overtime vs. the Vikes. The Ravens overcome a double-digit deficit for the third time this season. Sunday was the Ravens' fourth win this season when having a win probability of 15 percent or lower at some point in the second half. Lamar Jackson and the cardiac kids are hard to kill. Ravens get top billing on TNF against Miami.  5. Los Angeles Rams (7-2) After Sunday, the Rams are about to trade a 2029 first-round pick for Jeffery Simmons. In a battle of top-10 heavyweights, the Rams fell short against the Titans, 28-16. With RB Derrick Henry out, Tennessee leaned on their defense and it worked. Rams QB Matthew Stafford has costly giveaways and missteps he’ll have to cleanup. Matthew Stafford’s MVP hype took a hit with the veteran quarterback throwing one real bad interception near their own goal line (shades of Carson Wentz) and another pick to post a 71.0 passer rating in the Rams’ second loss. Missed opportunity for LA to gain ground on the push for the No. 1 seed. They get MNF against rival 49ers.  4. Tennessee Titans (7-2) Tennessee now has five straight wins, with the last four coming over BUF, KC, IND, and LAR. No gimmes in that stretch. OK, fine, the Titans are more than just Derrick Henry. Happy? No King Henry? No problem. That defensive effort was highlighted by the Titans defense forcing two interceptions by Stafford only seconds apart on back-to-back throws. The second of which was taken back for a 24-yard score. The Titans will love if Henry gets back in time for a postseason run, but Tennessee showed they can more than keep their head above water without him. There aren’t many obvious losses left on the schedule. The Saints come marching in looking for an upset.  3. Green Bay Packers (7-2) Aaron Rodgers’ selfishness knocked the Packers out of the top seed in the NFC. Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs with Jordan Love at QB could be the difference between home-field advantage and a bye in the playoffs and a first-round date with the Rams or Cardinals. What a leader. Love struggled in his first-career start which came under weird circumstances. Thanks to QB Aaron Rodgers’ off-field, COVID-19 related distractions all week, the Packers’ loss to the Chiefs was more about that than anything else. The Seahawks are in Green Bay with Wilson back at QB.  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) The Bucs had perhaps the best bye week ever, with plenty of contenders losing. Tom Brady sat at home and watched the Saints, Cowboys, Packers and Rams all lose. That’ll do. This is the time of the year that Tom Brady looks to separate his team from the rest. t Washington Football Team Sunday.  1. Arizona Cardinals (8-1) And speaking of not having your best… Murray, Hopkins and WR AJ Green didn’t play and the depth pieces in Arizona still stood out. QB Colt McCoy and RB James Conner led a 31-17 win over the 49ers in a NFC West win. How are you supposed to not give the Cards your No. 1 spot this week? With Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and A.J. Green in sweatpants, the Cardinals bulldozed the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Take a bow, Kliff Kingsbury. Can Carolina pull a fast one this Sunday for the upset?

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The Reason NBA Games Are Going Under

Thursday, Nov 04, 2021

Give us that Corporate Money! Wilson is believed to be paying between $25 million and $35 million annually for the NBA contract to supply basketballs. Chicago-based Wilson is part of Amer Sports, which was acquired in 2019 by an ownership consortium including ANTA Sports, China’s largest sportswear brand. “Certainly the NBA is extremely cognizant of the importance of China to its long-term growth,” said Jon Bogert, the editor and publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence, a publication that tracks the industry. “ANTA has a huge retail footprint in China.  Give us that Easy Cash!Why is this news a concern to all NBA sports bettors? There are 30 NBA teams and few are scoring points as in the past few seasons so far. Of the thirty teams, only four are + 2 wins to the over. There are four other teams that are +1 to the over but with juice, the bettors are losing. Betting over the total has only been profitable to four or thirty NBA teams.  How to take Advantage The other 20 teams are all losing if you bet the over. Twelve teams have only gone over the posted total 2 times with eight teams at one or none. Betting the under on these 22 teams has huge positive results to the betting gambler. Betting game to go under the spread is making gamblers a fortune. The Reason Games are Falling Under the TotalAnd there are legitimate reasons. The grooves on these new basketballs are different. The leather is not tanned exactly the same way as Spaulding did for 37 years. The feel of the ball seems different. More teams are shooting three point shots and those shots are 100% about feel. When they don’t feel right coming off your fingers, that’s a disaster. Something that takes time to get used to change whether real or imagined.  Oddsmakers have not Currently Adjusted Lines on TotalsThe oddsmakers are still making lines based on the last two year averages which in long term ends up close to 50/50 by years end. The average owner/under set is around 220. The average final is about 210 thus far. The oddsmakers will start to trend the opening total downward but they are typical slow to change.  As from the Manufacture“The biggest thing is to get the balls broken in and get the players comfortable with the ball, and it’s the first time in 37 years that an NBA team is starting a season with new balls that they have to break in.” Additionally quoted; “So that’s been the one thing that I think everybody recognizes and acknowledges so there are no complaints about the ball, it’s more like, ‘Gosh I got to get it broken in. I got to get it broken in before it feels good.’ From Players and Teams‘The ball feels OK but it needs to get broken in.’ And on the plus side they’re saying things like, it seems to be breaking in quicker than the other guys’ did and stuff like that so some coaches are quoted as saying; “I’m cautiously optimistic and excited.” Lastly, Reminder for the FutureAs the players get used to the feel of the Wilson basketball, there will be a cross point with a rise in scoring and an adjustment to lower opening point spreads by the oddsmakers. Our charts will certainly be zoomed into that data as should yours if you do your on handicapping of NBA totals.   In Closing,We think that this tip and others like it help educate and illustrate that the professional handicappers provide winners and reason why bets win and sports gambling is profitable. 

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Strategic NBA Betting for Maximum Profit

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

For Information OnlyHaving basic betting principles down is a great way to ensure that you’re not simply throwing your money away. Beyond that, you’ll want to have some skills specifically tailored to the sport you’re betting. Let’s start by saying that betting on NBA basketball offers great profit potential to those who know how to navigate this unique betting landscape.  Learn This Strategy If you cannot do the following, it’s fun to learn how and follow us for more information. One big key to staying profitable in NBA betting is to understand how the lines are made and what they mean. Staying sharp in this area will allow you to find spots where the lines are off and ready to be hammered, and also when to stay away, which is a big skill in keeping a good margin in NBA betting. The more you pay attention to the lines and put yourself in the shoes of the oddsmakers, you’ll immediately start to see those profits.  We're Professional NBA HandicappersOur ultimate NBA betting strategy guide comes directly from experts who have put their money where their mouths are and have made their livelihood as advantage bettors for years. We’re happy to share our insights and expertise to give you helpful strategies to improve your NBA betting prospects. Whether you’re new to NBA betting or you’re a seasoned gambler looking for a way to sharpen your basketball betting acumen, we’re very confident that you’ll find our tips useful. Our “Must Know” Guide This is broken down into sections to help give you an easier read and help make things easy to find if you ever need to come back and get a refresher on a particular topic. Become a Shark; not a Fish to your bookie.  Player Injury and Rest Updates There are plenty of factors that we take into account before continuing with or eliminating a potential game. There is no worse feeling than playing a betting line you think is way off base, only to realize during the game or after your loss that the line was “juicy” because a star player on the team you bet was out for the contest with an injury or in this new age of betting was being rested. Not only do you feel like a square for losing but you feel regret because you know you could have made a better decision simply by checking out the injury updates. Don’t be lazy or assume everything is set the same for that evening’s game. When news breaks, it takes time for books to adjust the lines. The sharks take advantage of this. The fish miss out or get eaten alive because they didn’t know the facts. Don’t be a fish; BE A SHARK! Money Management  It’s so easy to fall in love with your best play of the day as an amateur after hearing others on Sports-Center recommended it or your mates you talk too also love it. It’s only human nature to want to double or triple your wager. WRONG! I don’t care how much you love a game, it still can lose.  No matter how basic your method may be, having a way to keep an eye on your bankroll will help keep you from going off the rails with huge bets that could cripple you if they miss. After a few “key can’t miss losses” blow up your bankroll, you’ll be more likely to avoid the temptation of showing a total disregard to strong money management principles. A good plan is the best way to stay in the pocket with your betting system and find out what works and what doesn’t over an extended period of time but begin by betting 90% of all bets for the same amount. As an example: if you average bet is $300, do not increase it or decrease it for two week periods. That way, if you win during week one and lose in week two, your money management kept you even. If you win two weeks in a row, increase your units of play and stick with them in weeks 3 and 4. Then continue…. Schedule Tracking The premise is simple; teams don’t perform as well when they’re fatigued as they do when they’re fresh. Much like the injury tracking mentioned above, it’s also good common sense to make sure your betting horse isn’t limping into the arena on tired legs. In the NBA, playing three games in four days or five games in seven days is not uncommon. But what was long held by sharps has now become a legit game changer in the age of data and analytics. We’re sure some big shot at the books played a role as well, but the bottom line is that schedule tracking is a big thing to watch out for now. And it’s so easy to do.  Get A Working CalendarSchedule tracking is looking at a team’s schedule and looking for rough patches in the schedule that would lead the team to be tired or fatigued. Like those stretches mentioned above. The hope is that on these particular games, the betting line fails to reflect this crucial factoid and a team is overvalued, giving great value to a bet against that team. The oddsmakers, (who’s not your friend), loves to set traps to exploit the betting masses This is especially valuable for teams that the betting public likes no matter the case, as books have to keep the lines high to keep their action balanced. Separator Skills A Must! Are You Just Guessing? This is a must to learn to become a successful bettor on your own. Many bettors can’t grasp this so smartly they rely on the seasoned NBA handicapping pro. Learning to think about the bookmaker’s intentions when putting out a line is definitely one of those “separator” skills – by that we mean that it’s one of those defining betting skills that separate the consistently profitable pros from the losing recreational bettors. REMINDER: Become a Shank; not a fish. And it takes your effort. Ask Yourselves Why This Team and At That Point Spread. This is a “game behind the game” tip, but it’s extremely important in NBA betting (just as much as in NFL betting, in our opinion). The principle is to ask a very simple question: why did the book open the line at that number? Expert sharps consider it second nature to ask this question, but most amateurs never even think to. Tip of the Week For Betting NBA It was mentioned before that the oddsmakers are not your friend. I don’t care if you’ve known him for 10 years. PS: I’ll bet he knows who you’re going to bet as soon as his phone rings. And in a nanosecond, he’s changed the number just on your bets in his favor. It’s called “line shading”. Bookmakers capitalize on these common perceptions by putting pick’em games out at Home Team (-1) or (-1.5) to make the public pay a premium on their habit. They’ll also put out Home Team (-1) opening lines even if the home team should open as a 1-point underdog. It’s another way to trap the public. If public perception is that the game is a flip, the bookmakers know they’re going to receive more bets on the home team. As discussed, “line shading” is a term referring to when a bookmaker anticipates heavy betting action on one side of a matchup and moves an opening betting line toward that side. Oddsmakers don’t miss a trick to keep the public confused.  Fade the Public We’re sure you see this a lot; it’s part of almost any expert betting advice on any sport that’s out there. Well, it’s there for good reason! The books are there to make money, and they make money by forcing the public to pay a premium for their popular notions. Learn what is suggested. It’s not that hard. Or follow us and let us do your homework for you. More wisdom here,Confucius Says: To guess is cheap, to guess wrong is very expensive. 

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NFL Week 7: Top 10 Rankings

Thursday, Oct 21, 2021

As we enter into bye weeks:   1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-1  Tom Brady leads the league in passing, but he'll face a tougher challenge against the Bears' defense Sunday in Tampa. The Bucs have played well from the outset this season after often struggling last season before beginning their championship push in December. The biggest issue now is the depleted secondary, How important is newly signed CB Richard Sherman injury? 2. Arizona Cardinals, 6-0  Could this be there downfall moving forward? The Cards have NFL-high 24 coronavirus cases within organization entering Week 7. Last week; No head coach? No matter. The Cardinals still won Sunday in Cleveland minus Kliff Kingsbury. They remain the league’s only unbeaten team, and there’s no doubting at this point that they are for real. It's a long season -- remember, the Steelers started 11-0 last year -- but there's not much you can criticize the Cardinals for right now. RIGHT?  3. Los Angeles Rams, 5-1 Matthew Stafford was sharp and the Rams were dominant while beating the Giants. The Rams scored 28 points in the second quarter against the Giants. That will work. Former Rams quarterback, Jared Goff is returning home this week. Didn’t he have any WR’s? WR Cooper Kupp appears headed for a career year, leading the league in targets (68) – the only NFL player with at least 10 in every game – receptions (46) and TD grabs (7). 4. Baltimore Ravens, 5-1  Quite a statement by the Ravens, who demolished one of the hottest teams in the league; the Chargers.They overwhelmed the Chargers in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson wasn’t superhuman this time, but he didn’t need to be. Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman provided rushing touchdowns on a turn-back-the-clock day for the team’s veteran backs. 5. Dallas Cowboys, 5-1  Could this be Jerry’s year? That game in New England was one the Cowboys used to lose. It wasn't pretty, but they found a way to win. Dallas leads the NFC with 14 takeaways – with at least two in 10 consecutive games for the first time since 1976-77. Coordinator Dan Quinn and Co. are getting it done. The Cowboys had a memorable victory and a three-game lead in the NFC East to savor entering a bye week that provides time for Prescott’s calf injury to heal. Yes! It will be Jerry’s year.  6. Green Bay Packers, 5-1  Aaron Rodgers taunted the fans in Chicago. He could have chosen his words more tactfully, but the “I still own you” sentiments were accurate, given his 22-5 career record against the Bears. Rodgers and the Packers have been fantastic since their opening loss to the Saints. The Packers still don't look like a true Super Bowl contender, but they could get stronger as the season goes along as key players return from injury.  7. Buffalo Bills, 4-2 The Bills looked practically unbeatable during their four-game winning streak. But the Titans showed that, while the Bills are very good, they certainly can be beaten. I didn't hate the decision by Sean McDermott to go for the win on fourth down instead of playing for overtime. The Titans just made a better play. Look how that loss affected Buffalo. The Bills are now projected as the conference's fourth playoff seed through six weeks. 8. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-2  That was a dud of a performance in the lopsided loss Sunday in Baltimore. Just when the Chargers had begun to seem trustworthy, they reverted to being the Chargers. It was a bit of a reality check for the Chargers in Baltimore, but this is a good team that will bounce back. However the opponents game plans are to rush. They're also now the league's worst team defending the run. 9. Kansas City Chiefs, 3-3  They’re not back to being the mighty Chiefs. Not yet. Patrick Mahomes might have thrown the worst interception of his career in Washington, but he also made some big plays to win. They’re still in the basement but least, are back to .500. Tennessee might send to where there are no chance for the playoffs.  10. Tennessee Titans, 4-2  It's probably time to stop sleeping on the Titans. They had a bad loss against the Jets, but still appear to be a very good team. Derrick Henry was terrific Monday night, and the Titans used a late fourth-down stop by their defense to hold off the Bills. But seriously, how did they ever lose to the Jets?———————-These teams want in!!11. New Orleans 12. Cincinnati 13. Cleveland 14. Carolina 15. Minnesota 

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NFL Week 6: Top 10 Teams

Thursday, Oct 14, 2021

1. Buffalo Bills, 4-1 There’s currently a gap between the Bills and everyone else. So it's only right to put the Bills at No. 1 after a convincing win in Kansas City. Josh Allen has the offense humming and this team looks like its the best in the AFC right now. Difficult MNF game this week.  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-1 Remember Tom Brady's inexplicable loss on "Thursday Night Football" against the Bears last year? Yeah, he probably does too. However, Brady continues to play ridiculous football for his age and the Bucs' lock in at No. 2  3. Arizona Cardinals, 5-0  The last unbeaten team still has work to do to get to the very top of the list.The Cardinals weren’t great against the 49ers last week…but won. The defense has come around and was flying all over the field against the 49ers and if that's sustained, the Cardinals look like a legitimate threat in the NFC.  4. Los Angeles Rams, 4-1  Are the Rams even the best team in L.A? The gap is getting narrower. The Rams got a little bit of a break with Russell Wilson getting hurt, but anytime you leave Seattle with a win, it's a good thing. They’re a double digit favorite this week.   5. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-1 What a game against the Browns. Justin Herbert is crazy good and the Chargers are for real. They don’t like to punt or kick field goals and get huge smiles at any fourth and whatever. They”ll go for it from anywhere. They need to play a powerhouse team and win both sides of the ball to prove a few things.   6. Dallas Cowboys, 4-1  Putting up 44 on the Giants is good. Maybe not great but more than expected. The Cowboys have been enjoying a soft schedule the last few weeks and they have another game they should win Sunday at New England. Both sides of the ball are in harmony.   7. Baltimore Ravens, 4-1  The Ravens were awfully sleepy early against the Colts, but woke up in a big way. The Ravens discovered their passing game, by necessity. That could take the offense, and the team, to new heights. Lamar Jackson had an all-time performance.  8. Cleveland Browns, 3-2 They could be 5-0. After Sunday, they actually could be 3-3. The Browns tried to out score the Chargers and forgot about playing any kind of defense. They'll face a tough test this week against The Gunslinger from Arizona.   9. Green Bay Packers, 4-1  Their all-star kicker had three misses before getting lucky to even get another opportunity from the Bengals. It certainly wasn't pretty, but the Packers survived in Cincinnati. They can seize control of the NFC North with a win at Soldier Field Sunday.  10. Kansas City Chiefs, 2-3  The Chiefs are still very talented, but they seem stuck in the classic Super Bowl hangover. The good news is they have Patrick Mahomes and can probably get out of it. After Mahomes big payday, does KC have any money left for defense? Who would have predicted they’d be under .500 after five weeks.   —————— They’re coming after you!! 11. Cincinnati 12. Tennessee  13. New Orleans  14. Seattle  15. Denver

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NFL Top 10 (at Week 5)

Thursday, Oct 07, 2021

1. CARDINALS;  4-0 The Cardinals stayed undefeated with a statement victory over the Rams on Sunday. They'll look to keep it going when they host the 49ers next Sunday. Kyler Murray the one of the leading MVP candidates heading into Week 5, or at least in the conversation. 2. BUCCANEERS; 3-1 It didn't come as easy as many expected, but Tom Brady and the Buccaneers edged out the Patriots to give the 44-year-old QB a win vs. all 32 NFL teams in his illustrious career. They showed they can win games, even if Tom Brady isn't on top of his game. 3. BILLS; 3-1 It's safe to say Buffalo is all the way back after its puzzling Week 1 loss to the Steelers. The Bills cruised to a 40-0 victory over the Texans on Sunday and will look to stay hot when they visit the Chiefs next Sunday night. The Kansas City game will be a proving ground for the Bills. If they win, they show the league they are the class of the AFC. 4. PACKERS; 3-1After that awful showing in Week 1, they have turned their season around quickly. At 3-1, they have a nice hold of the division after the first month. The Packers earned their third straight win Sunday as they cruised to a 27-17 win over the Steelers. Aaron Rodgers tossed two touchdown passes and rushed for another as he continues to prove that Week 1 dud was a fluke. How many realize that Rodgers is 30,000 passing yards short of Tom Brady?  5. BROWNS; 3-1 It wasn't pretty at Minnesota, but they found a way. That's the sign of a good team. They just keep fighting -- even on bad days. The Browns offense was painful to watch Sunday vs. Minnesota, but a win is a win... right? Cleveland will need a sharper Baker Mayfield and more than 14 points when it visits the Chargers next week. 6. RAMS; 3-1 They put so much into the Tampa Bay game, so there had to be a letdown against the Cardinals. But to that degree? The Rams' dominant run vs. the Cardinals ended Sunday evening as L.A. was outclassed, 37-20. It won't get any easier Thursday night vs. Seattle. Or will it? 7. CHARGERS; 3-1 They beat up on the Raiders Monday night. If the defense plays like that, they will be a real threat in the AFC. Justin Herbert has seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two games, while Austin Ekeler racked up 117 rushing yards Monday night in a win over the undefeated Raiders. So far so good for Brandon Staley's club. 8. COWBOYS; 3-1 After losing their opener on the road, they have really come on strong. The biggest surprise is how well the defense is playing for coordinator Dan Quinn. The Cowboys handed the Panthers their first loss of the season with a four-TD performance from Dak Prescott and a 143-yard, one TD day for Ezekiel Elliott. Trevon Diggs was the star for Dallas with two interceptions, bringing his total on the season to a league-leading five INTs. 9. CHIEFS; 2-2 That offense we saw in Philadelphia is what we expect to see. But the defense still has major issues and now here comes the Bills for a real test. The Chiefs earned a much-needed win over the Eagles on Sunday to bounce back from their two consecutive losses. Philadelphia had no answer for Tyreek Hill, who totaled 11 catches for 186 yards and three TDs. However, they remain in the basement of the AFC West. 10. RAVENS; 3-1 The Ravens made up for nearly losing to the Lions last week by taking down the previously undefeated Broncos, 23-7. That was an impressive road victory against the Broncos. The defense had its best game of the season, which is a good sign. Next, they'll face off against the Colts on Monday NightFootball. —————- Looking to make the Top 10  11. LV Raiders 12. Carolina 13. Seattle  14. Cincinnati  14. Denver

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NFL Top 10 (Week 4)

Thursday, Sep 30, 2021

10. Green Bay Packers (2-1)Aaron Rodgers and the Packers appear to be back on track after a clutch win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Justin Tucker rightfully stole all of the headlines with his kick for the Ravens, but Mason Crosby was the hero for Green Bay with a 51-yard field goal as time expired. Good game this Sunday against a refocused Steelers team. I remember Pittsburgh at Buffalo in their first game. 9. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)Justin Herbert and the Chargers pulled off a huge victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, 30-24. Herbert outdueled Mahomes with four TD passes in the win. Two of them were caught by Mike Williams, who finished with a team-high seven catches and 122 yards. Their biggest game of the year this week on MNF against the Raiders. 8. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)Arizona sure made things interesting as it entered halftime trailing Jacksonville by five, but Kyler Murray and Co. woke up in the second half to pull off a 31-19 win. Chase Edmonds has been the more efficient back for the Cardinals by about a yard per attempt, yet James Conner is still getting a more significant workload. The good news is Arizona can throw to what seems like 10 different receivers.A tough matchup vs. the Los Angeles Rams awaits. 7. Buffalo Bills (2-1)Josh Allen torched Washington's defense for four touchdowns through the air and one via the ground in a 43-21 win. Buffalo will look to carry its momentum into what should be an easy matchup vs. Houston. They played one bad game against Pittsburgh, and the narrative flipped on both teams for a week. Well, that’s over — and Buffalo has looked dominant the past two weeks.Their defense swarms, pairing a great back end with athletic linebackers and a pass rush that can finally hold its own. Practice game laying 17 this week vs Houston. 6. Cleveland Browns (2-1)Cleveland didn’t have a great day offensively. Regardless, the offense as a whole can win through the air and on the ground, making them a versatile weapon moving forward in the AFC. The Browns defense wreaked havoc on Justin Fields and the Bears on Sunday, sacking the rookie QB nine times. Myles Garrett was responsible for 4.5 of those sacks. The dominant effort resulted in a 26-6 win for Cleveland. Browns better play hard for 60 minutes this week in Minnesota. 5. Las Vegas Raiders (3-0)The Raiders held on to take down the Dolphins in an overtime thriller and keep their undefeated season going. It's the first time in 19 years they've started a season 3-0. Derek Carr is the best quarterback in the league in four-minute situations at the end of games. Indeed, he’s arguably the most clutch player in the league. And now, it seems his weapons finally fit him. Darren Waller is a stud, Henry Ruggs appears improved, and if Hunter Renfrow isn’t the best pure slot in the league, he’s close. The Raiders don’t make a whole lot of sense so far, but it’s difficult to argue they don’t belong this high in the NFL Power Rankings. Their center was certainly a problem last game. An anomaly? Next up is a trip to L.A., where they'll take on a Chargers team coming off a big win in Kansas City.4. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) Being called “Basement Dwellers” should inspire the Chiefs this week. The Chiefs find themselves at the bottom of the AFC West following a 30-24 home loss to the Chargers. Don't expect that to last, but it's clear Kansas City has plenty to fix heading into its Week 4 meeting with the Eagles. Kansas City’s offense is good enough to win a boatload of football games. The defense, however, appears to be bad enough for the offense not to make a difference. They’ve now allowed 29, 36, and 30 points over the first three weeks of the season. Additionally, the Chiefs are giving up nearly 2 yards more per play than the NFL average. 3. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) Lamar Jackson is still playing an incredibly carefree style of football in the pocket, and it nearly cost the Ravens on Sunday. However, you can’t just look at traditional stats to explain his performance as a passer. Yes, Jackson only completed 51.6% of his passes against the Lions. But that’s not important given he averaged nearly 20 — yes, 20 — air yards per attempt. The Ravens followed up their dramatic win over the Chiefs with one of the craziest wins you'll ever see vs. Detroit. Justin Tucker cemented his status as the best kicker of all time with a record 66-yard field goal as time expired, sealing a 19-17 victory. He might kick one of 70 yards this week in the thin air of Denver. 2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)This is still a dominant football team, but they ran into an absolute buzzsaw in the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. The Buccaneers probably weren’t going undefeated in 2021. So far, they’re hovering around the top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency. They aren’t running the ball well, but they also aren’t allowing anything on the ground. The defending champions were beat pretty handily by the Los Angeles Rams. Tom Brady will look to bounce back when he returns home to Foxboro next Sunday night. It’ll be a game that both teams really want to win it for their coach or for their quarterback.  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0)The Matthew Stafford trade is looking better and better each week. The former Lions signal-caller threw for 343 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's 34-24 win over the Bucs. His connection with Cooper Kupp has been incredible as the Rams wideout added another two TDs to his total.Stafford looks like an MVP candidate.Los Angeles hasn’t run the ball well yet in 2021, but they’ve dominated through the air. They’re posting 3+ yards more per pass attempt than the NFL average, and they’re averaging a first down every time Stafford drops back to pass. L.A. steals the top spot in our rankings as it prepares for a Week 4 meeting with the Cardinals.—————Teams looking ahead to the Top 1011. Dallas Cowboys 12.Denver Broncos 13. Carolina Panthers14. San Francisco 49ers15. Tennessee Titans 

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Why Are The Dogs Barking Loudly in College Football?

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021

Underdogs covered big spreads in the past few week against the Top 25 teams and here’s some reasons to consider.   A NEW ERA IN BETTING HIGH SPREADS?With last season Covid disruption among teams and players, many of the unranked teams have benefited with the new rules.  The top 85 teams on average, have 17 returning starters. That is huge for the lesser teams. Additionally, with the transfer protocol, some starters from top teams have transferred to other teams to get more playing time because of a more abundance of starters returning on their own team.  This has lead to a huge improvement and impact of some of the poorer teams. This has resulted to more underdogs covering the spread this early in the season until the oddsmakers catch up with fresh ratings.  These are the games that were affected somewhat by this new phenomena from week 4.  TOP 25 TEAMS UNLV + 30 lost by 8 to FresnoVillanova +30 lost by 21 to Penn StNC State + 10 won outright, Clemson Colo St +24 lost by 10 to IowaRutgers +21 lost by 7 to Michigan Arkansas +5 won outright, TexasBaylor +7 won outright, Iowa StGeorgia St + 28 lost by 10 to Auburn Georgia Tech + 14 won outright, N CarWest Vir + 17 lost by 3 to Oklahoma So Flor + 24 lost by 8 to BYU This Upcoming Saturday It’s doubtful that this way of handicapping and betting underdogs will change anytime soon. Be sure to check back this Saturday to see how our response will be against the Oddsmakers. 

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NFL Week 3: Top 10 Teams

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

10. Seattle Seahawks (1-1): The Seahawks are never not going to Seahawks. Disappointing that they couldn’t close it out after having a 14-point lead at home early in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks squandered a 24-9 lead to a Titans team that is allergic to covering wide receivers past 10 yards. That’s a loss that could haunt Seattle two months from now. That was a brutal home loss to the Titans as the defense just fell apart in the second half.  9. Denver Broncos (2-0): Playing the Jags is basically a free win for a lot of teams. Through two games, Teddy Bridgewater is 54-for-70 for 592 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Broncos are 2-0. That’s why Steady Teddy is under center and Drew Lock is holding a clipboard. Teddy Bridgewater has played well in winning two on the road. They now get the Jets at home in a game they should win to get to 3-0.  8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1): The Ravens hung tough and John Harbaugh’s aggressiveness gave his team an edge to squeak out a very big victory. Jackson finally got the “can’t beat Mahomes” monkey off his back. Well done. Lamar Jackson rebounded after a disastrous start and finally got that win against Patrick Mahomes. Jackson and the Ravens’ running game bulldozed the Chiefs’ defense to keep them from falling into an 0-2 hole. Don’t complain if Jackson and Mahomes meet again in January. That was an impressive victory over the Chiefs, a team that had their number in recent years. The offense looked great, but the defense needs to be better.  7. Cleveland Browns (1-1): Baker Mayfield failed to complete just two of his 21 attempts in Week 2. One was a pick, which caused him to unwisely put his body at risk. Will be worth monitoring if his shoulder injury impacts him moving forward. Baker Mayfield is 40-fo-49 so far on the season. If it walks like a franchise QB and talks like a franchise QB, it’s probably a franchise QB. They found a way against the Texans, but it was clunky at times. They were in a close game until Tyrod Taylor went out. Losing Jarvis Landry for a bit will hurt the offense.  6. Arizona Cardinals (2-0): Kyler Murray is balling out right now. He’s helped the Cards reach 72 points in two games, which ranks only behind the Bucs. Murray is in the MVP conversation early on. Kyler Murray (400 passing yards, four total touchdowns) is an early-season MVP candidate. They are 2-0, but they looked bad on defense in beating Minnesota. The offense bailed them out in a big way. Along with a missed field goal.   5. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0): Beating Baltimore at home before going to get a two-possession win in Pittsburgh is pretty legit. With Miami up next, the Raiders have a real chance to make it three wins in a row to open up the season. Derek Carr and Jon Gruden are firing on all cylinders, and Gus Bradley’s defense has looked competent through two weeks. It’s the first time the Raiders have opened 2-0 with wins over teams that were playoff teams in the previous season during the Super Bowl era. Hard to imagine a better start for the Silver and Black.  At 2-0, they are one of the surprise teams of the NFL. Derek Carr for MVP? He's off to a fast start.  4. San Francisco 49ers (2-0): The 49ers are 2-0 but they didn’t look overly impressive in their Week 2 win over the Eagles. Jimmy Garoppolo left a lot of plays on the field and Philly suffered from self-inflicted wounds. It’s going to be time to go to Trey Lance at some point. Through two weeks, the 49ers have played 2.5 good quarters against a bad Lions team and have otherwise looked mediocre at best. Still, they head back to the Bay at 2-0 and have a lot of room for growth. But the improvement has to come quick with the Packers and Seahawks on deck. The defense did some good things, but it will be really challenged this week against the Packers.  3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1): The Chiefs only lost by one point and they had a chance to win it at the end before a fumble cost them. They’ll be fine since they have Patrick Mahomes but the defense is an issue with 65 points allowed. Only four teams have surrendered more. Patrick Mahomes finally threw an interception and lost a game in September. So, he can bleed. The Chiefs’ defense has some real issues, especially in the red zone, that can plague them in postseason. The defense has to be better than what it showed against the Ravens in the second half. Even Patrick Mahomes can't rescue them from that all the time. Now they get Justin Herbert this week.  2. Los Angeles Rams (2-0): So far, so good with Stafford ranking third in the league in passer rating at 127.0. The clear second team in the NFC behind the Bucs. The Rams have taken care of Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz to open the season. Want to prove you’re for real? Here comes Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 3. They are 2-0 after beating the Colts on the road, but now face a huge home game with the Bucs. This will be the first major test for Matt Stafford as quarterback of the Rams.  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0): With nine touchdowns through his first two games, more records are not impossible. His 113.3 passer rating is currently only behind his career high of 117.2 from 2007. Gronk catch. Gronk score. Gronk spike. Gronk party with Tom. Tale as old as time. Gronk was asked about watching game film and he said; “I have Brady watch it for me and then he tells me who to block”. Tom Brady is on pace for 76 touchdown passes, an outrageous number that he won't sniff. The Tampa Bay offense is special right now. Great game this week against the LA Rams.  —————-Teams knocking at the Top 10 door.  11. Dallas Cowboys 12. Los Angeles Chargers 13. Buffalo Bills14. Pittsburgh Steelers 15. Tennessee Titans

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An NFL Review On All 32 Teams After Week One

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1): Urban Meyer is 0-1 in the NFL. He almost certainly will lose more games this season than he did in his career at Ohio State (nine). Going back to play at home, he needs to stop in New Orleans and ask Sean Peyton how to win in Jacksonville stadium. Forget those college days...THIS IS THE NFL 31. Detroit Lions (0-1): The Lions were down 38-10 but kept fighting back. They actually could have won the game with under 20 seconds of play.  It was not a moral victory for Dan Campbell as he fell a half point short of covering the spread for any faithful betting on the Lions. They will be a double digit dog so if you winning, you might be forced to bet on this loser. 30. New York Jets (0-1): Sam Darnold probably is  reliving nightmares watching Zach Wilson run for his life behind the Jets’ atrocious offensive line Sunday. He had six sacks and 14 pressures. Sam's best advice to Zach, get out of New York. Wilson ended up going 20 of 37 for 258 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. 29. Houston Texans (1-0): Well this is one team that can't go winless. Give David Culley and the Texans a ton of credit. Everyone expects them to be horrible...and they won't disappoint. Who would have thought at any time this season, they would lead the AFC South? Lovie Smith's defense did their job. moving forward, their defense will cover huge point spreads. 28. New York Giants (0-1): Jason Garrett should have been the only one running laps after his play calling as offensive coordinator. They put up an underachieving 13 points. But on the other side of the coin there is no pass rush which leads to those nasty demoralizing third down completions for their opponents.  27. Atlanta Falcons (0-1): Arthur Smith’s offense lost a lot of its hope Sunday. Their penalties (99) were almost as much as their rushing yardage (124). And you would have figured for a ton of passing yards (136) but NOT! In the final three quarters, they rushed for 38 yards. I would say it can't get any worse but I checked their schedule for Sunday...Hello Tampa Bay.  26. Carolina Panthers (1-0): The Panthers scored only one touchdown inside of the Jets 10 yard line on four different occasions. To remind him of last year with the Jets, Sam Darnold was hit eight times. Where was Christian McCafferty inside the 10 yard line? This may be the most average team in the NFL. They can beat 9 teams that are on the bottom and lose to 8 teams that are better. Very pedestrian.   25. Chicago Bears (0-1): I don't think that Sunday's result came unexpectedly. However, their defense was not to have broken coverages resulting in tons of passing yardage.Their only chance at a quick fix is their defense; not Justin Fields. Offensively, their second-round pick, Teven Jenkins is out after back surgery, and his replacement left the game with a quad injury and his replacement left with an ankle injury during the Rams game. So they have their right tackle playing on the all important left side.  24. Minnesota Vikings (0-1): Viking coaches and fans are not brimming with confidence after a season-opening loss to the Bengals. The offensive line was responsible for 70 yards of the teams total 116 in penalties. Cousins seems to look around at which teammate will be flagged for holding or jumping offsides instead of focusing on audibles and passing. How jumpy will the Vikings offensive line be this week in Arizona against a five sacks last week Chandler Jones? 23. Tennessee Titans (0-1): The Titans didn’t do anything right in their 38-13 drubbing. It was expected after having only one week of full practice. They will certainly NOT be judged by what the Cardinals did to them. Additionally, this shows all the strength of the Cardinals defensive front four. Derrick Henry was hit at or behind the line eight times resulting in a net loss of 3 yards over the first three quarters. They were behind 24-6 at halftime after Henry rushed for 8 yards in the half.  22. Indianapolis Colts (0-1): Carson Wentz was the least of the Colts’ problems in their loss to the Seahawks. Frank Reich has some issues to solve on his offensive line. Wentz was sacked, hit or scrambling to the tune of 3 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. The Colts defense was a joke in the first half but finally got things together in the second half. They forced four punts, a turnover and sacked Wilson 4 times. Oh well, Wentz can look forward to next week. Oh wait, it's the Rams and Aaron Darnold.  21. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0): The Tiger King is back. When the Bengals needed him most, Joe Burrow stepped up and made a franchise QB-esque throw on fourth-and-1 from midfield, hitting C.J. Uzomah for 32 yards to set up the game-winning field goal in OT. Moving forward, when Burrow is on the field, they have a chance of winning.  20. Washington Football Team (0-1): Buy all the Taylor Heinicke stock you can. The Football Team rallied after losing Ryan Fitzpatrick to an injury. Washington has two things going for them. A great offensive line and one of the best defenses in the NFL  Yes, they had some defensive miscues but Chargers QB Justin Herbert can make any defense look helpless.  19. Denver Broncos (1-0): The Broncos’ defense is for real. Teddy Bridgewater was 26 of 34 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns.He took care of the ball (no turnovers) and made plays on third down. That’s all Vic Fangio believes he needs to win games. Except for their defense that completely stifled the Giants. NOTE: The offense completed many third and long for 1st downs but don't expect them to do that against better defenses.  18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0): The Eagles put on an offensive show. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was 27 of 35 for 264 yards with three touchdowns. Their rookies each had a score and Miles Sanders had 113 total yards. They better enjoy this as the next five games are tattooed on their brains as losses. Niners, Cowboys, Chiefs, Panthers, and Bucs. They might go 1-4. At least it was a nice road win. 17. New England Patriots (0-1): Mac Jones is pro-ready. He threw in rhythm, out of empty formations, with good accuracy and decision making. Bill Belichick kept the game plan conservative but fumbles by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson were the difference in a loss to the Dolphins. Jones passed for 133 yards in the first half. Jones and the offense will get better as Josh McDaniels opens up the playbook as the season goes on. But the mainstay is that Belichick's defense will win more games than the offense. It's a great combination moving on.  16. Miami Dolphins (1-0): One can't buy into the Dolphins offense to carry the team. The Dolphins’ defense looked elite in holding the Patriots to 16 points, and rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle impressed in his debut. Tua Tagovailoa, the former Alabama signal-caller, went 16-for-27 for 202 yards one touchdown and one interception while adding a rushing score. He has to continue to improve for Miami to be considered a legitimate AFC contender. Like many teams, their games will be won or lost depending on offensive line protection.  15. Baltimore Ravens (0-1): With an 80-0 record after leading by 14 points during a game, the Ravens were unable to get out of their own way Monday night in Las Vegas. Baltimore has a lot of issues to clean up if it wants to be considered a Super Bowl contender. But first, Jackson needs two key starters to return. This is not a "one man" league that can carry a team. Losing Marcus Peters Monday was a huge blow. Carr passed for over 400 yards including 308 in the second half. Baltimore better find Peters replacement fast; Mahomes is coming to Baltimore next.  14. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0): The Raiders did everything they could to lose their first true Las Vegas home game. But Lamar Jackson gave them a gift with an overtime fumble, and Derek Carr hit Zay Jones to set off a week-long party in Sin City. Chucky! Shots! What can we expect in their next game? A short week after the MNF game, partying Monday night and celebrating Tuesday. Traveling 3000 miles to play a very good Pittsburgh Steelers team with the line under 6 points. And the all too familiar letdown and regression. 13. Green Bay Packers (0-1): What the hell was that? After all the offseason drama, Aaron Rodgers posted one of his worst games in a long time, going 15-for-28 for 133 yards and two interceptions. The passer rating when a QB hikes the ball and throws it into the dirt on every play is 39.6. Aaron Rodgers passer rating for Week One was 32.8. Perhaps he spent too much time auditioning for “Jeopardy” in the offseason. They might not win Sunday but you can bet the ball from both sides will be airborne.  12. Buffalo Bills (0-1): This was an early reality check as the Steelers and Big Ben’s corpse went into Orchard Park and stunned the preseason AFC darlings. Josh Allen isn’t going to catch anyone by surprise this season. But what about the Bills' "stop" defense? They allowed the Steelers to have three drives of nine-plus plays in the second half. Josh Allen for some unknown reason could not connect with Stefon Diggs or Cole Beasley. They were all out of sorts as the O-line was called for six holding penalties. Being outscored 23-3 in the second half at home is simply an anomaly...at this time. 11. Cleveland Browns (0-1): The Browns are still the Browns. For three quarters, the Browns controlled the game against the Chiefs. Then, everything flipped as the Chiefs scored two touchdowns in three minutes.One moment, you’re feeling good. Your game plan’s working. The next, the best player in football is pressured right and chucks a bomb to Tyreek Hill across his body for a touchdown. And Hill gives you the peace sign. A loss is a loss, but the Browns showed they have what it takes to hang with the AFC favorites. But the gap between contender and champion is the hardest to traverse.  10. Dallas Cowboys (0-1): How bout dem Cowboys? Does anyone still think Dak Prescott isn’t elite? Anyone? Buehler? Chalk up 403 yards for him. The biggest problem in the first game was not Greg Zuerlein but Ezekiel Elliott with his total of 33 yards on 11 carries. Zuerlein did not kick over the summer due to his back surgery and only once in preseason but there's no excuse for Zeke. Scoring 29 points was a good showing against the Super Bowl Champs. NOTE to all coaches: Do NOT think you can stop Tom Brady in the final 1:30 minutes.  9. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): The Steelers defense is legit. TJ Watt is a beast. However, it’s YUK on offense. Pittsburgh had only 252 yards of total offense, were four of 12 on third down, gained only 13 first downs outside of penalties and won by a touchdown. Their offensive line will haunt the 39 year old man still trying to be relevant. They opened no holes for rookie first round pick Najee Harris who ended up with 1.1 yards per carry. Big Ben will get sacked and throw INT's if something doesn't change. 8. Arizona Cardinals (1-0): When Kyler Murray is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football as he shredded the Titans for five total touchdowns. Their defense was led by Chandler Jones' five sacks and held Derrick Henry to only 33 yards rushing. Having JJ Watt on defense certainly has to give D coordinators nightmares. Having Kyler, JJ and Chandler along with DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk offer plenty of expectations from both sides of the ball. The NFC West is going to be a bloodbath with Murray, Stafford, Wilson and Jimmy G all at QB. 7. New Orleans Saints (1-0): As a fan of Jameis Winston who threw five touchdown passes in the win, for week one, many are happy for him after not playing for the entire last season and learning how to become a quarterback. The game ball should go to Sean Payton who dealt with Brees retirement, 10 new starters because of injuries, a suspension and salary cap issues, a relocation to Dallas to practice and a home game relocation to Jacksonville due to hurricane Ida. And a new starting quarterback. Their biggest immediate problem due to injuries is their depth.  6. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0): On Sunday, new head coach Brandon Staley let Justin Herbert do what he does: 31 of 47 for 337 yards passing. They did have two red zone turnovers however but still manage a win over an elite Washington defense on the road. With Joey Bosa and the defense playing focused, and allowing a more aggressive offense late in the game, the Chargers are well represented in the 4-0 NFC West.  5. San Francisco 49ers (1-0): Is a win a win when you nearly give up a 28 point lead to the Lions. With under a minute, the Lions had a chance to win outright. That's scary close. Coach Kyle Shanahan has plenty of plans for rookie Trey Lance in the weeks ahead. It's difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to game plan for two QB’s. The 49ers suffered two key injuries so pay close attention to upcoming reports.  4. Seattle Seahawks (1-0): Russell Wilson seemed to like what new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron put in the season opener game plan against the Lions. Wilson went 18-for-23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns in a win over the Colts scoring on three of the first four possessions. Their defense had a great game in the Colts backfield with three sacks and 10 QB hits. At least, Wilson won't have to win with his legs and arm with a defense like that.  3. Los Angeles Rams (1-0): Three plays into his Rams career, Stafford showed why McVay wanted him. He faked a handoff and bootlegged out to the left before stopping and hitting Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown that was aided by some putrid Bears tackling. Still, it’s a throw Jared Goff can’t make. A big key was the opening second half 56 yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp extinguishing any hope for the Bears. The Rams needed a running back as they managed only18 yards through three quarters of play. All yardage stats came burning up the clock in the 4th quarter. Who will replace running back Cam Akers is the only question? If they locate his replacement, there will be fireworks in Inglewood this year at the Super Bowl.  2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0): What's there to say? Coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are inevitable and unstoppable. The only negative after giving up the world to pay Mahomes is that Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill must remain injury free. Forget about having an average defense, they don't seem too concerned as they figure to score 40 points a game.  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0): You’re going to give Tom Brady 80 seconds to get a field goal? That’s a mistake. Brady’s arm looked as crisp as ever in the season opener. The Bucs defense didn't come as advertised. Dak had over 400 yards of passing. They were very fortunate to win, having four turnovers. If one were to grade them from their 2020 game one to this year's game one, they are miles ahead this year. Is there another ring waiting? 

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Wow! What an Opening Week.

Thursday, Sep 09, 2021

Recapping the Top 25 losses.  Some of the top programs in the country struggled out of the gates and dropped their 2021 openers. It’s all uphill for them now. We could spot a few scores being run up this weekend.  Eight Top 25 teams lost in Week 1:All the prep work went down.  No. 3 ClemsonNo. 10 UNCNo. 12 WisconsinNo. 14 MiamiNo. 16 LSUNo. 17 IndianaNo. 20 WashingtonNo. 23 Louisiana The first top program to fall came on Friday night when No. 10 UNC lost on the road against ACC foe Virginia Tech. Heisman candidate Sam Howell struggled in Blacksburg and threw three interceptions, which prevented the Tar Heels from pulling off a fourth quarter comeback. Note that Blacksburg is a difficult venue to open the season.  North Carolina wasn’t the only top 25 ACC team to go down over the weekend. In Saturday’s headliners, No. 14 Miami lost badly to No. 1 Alabama while No. 3 Clemson fell in a defensive battle to No. 5 Georgia. A pick-six proved to be the difference, and the only touchdown, in the Tigers-Bulldogs match-up. With Clemson, Miami and North Carolina all losing, that conference is toast.  No. 12 Wisconsin also lost a low-scoring, defensive struggle to No. 19 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. Penn St played to a 0-0 halftime tie and only went 3-13 on third downs. In the other Big Ten match-up between ranked teams, No. 18 Iowa blew out No. 17 Indiana, 34-6. But it was a deceptive blowout.  Ed Orgeron and the No. 16 LSU Tigers ran into an impressive UCLA ground game and lost at the Rose Bowl, 38-27. The No. 23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns also struggled to keep pace with a talented Texas offense and fell by multiple scores. It’ll be interesting to see if UCLA is for real. They are on their bye week.  Finally, in the upset of the weekend, FCS program Montana held off No. 20 Washington, 13-7. Freshman quarterback Dylan Morris threw three interceptions which sank the Huskies chances at walking away with a win in their season opener. I believe the PAC 12 North went 1-5. Throw in losses by Cal and Stanford, this conference has to be embarrassed. 

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NCAA Football: Iowa vs Indiana Recap

Wednesday, Sep 08, 2021

Last week Indiana played Iowa. We had the Hawkeyes winning in a blowout. Our question is not if that was a great pick but is Iowa everything we might think they are after crushing Indiana 34-6.As a reminder, Indiana came into this contest ranked #17 while Iowa clocked in at #18. Because of home field, the oddsmakers made Iowa a -3.5 to -4 home favorite. Here’s the question: Did something happen in this utter destruction of Iowa over Indiana to count on moving forward? Especially to week 2 when Iowa face Iowa St. The Hawkeyes scored twice in the first 2:15 of the contest off a 56-yard touchdown run from Tyler Goodson and a 30-yard interception return from Riley Moss to put them up 14-0 almost instantly. Iowa found the end zone twice more in the second quarter, too, and took a 31-3 lead at the break.  This seems like bad breaks in the very first two minutes completely dictated the outcome. Let’s look into their basic numbers of the game.  1. Iowa had just 18 first downs.  2. Iowa made but 4 of 12 third down conversions.  3. Iowa only passed for 145 yards4. Iowa had a total of 158 rushing yards but 56 yards were when the game was 1.5 minutes old. (102later)5. Then the clincher was 50 seconds later, Iowa completed the pik-6 to go up 14-0; game over. Lastly, they were sacked twice and fumbled two times. They managed to score just 3 points in the second half. As a result, this is where it gets tricky. Week 2 has Iowa moving up 8 spots in the Top 25 going from #18 to #10. The entire team, players, fans and students get to strut around all week as a Top 10 team. They hit the road this week as a + 6.5 underdog at Iowa St; their bitter rival. This is the widest spread in over 17 years. To me, it looks like an oddsmakers trap. They are offering Iowa PLUS SIX AND A HALF POINTS and it will become the most public bet this Saturday as of now. My point is to NOT blindly jump on a team based on #18 defeating #17 the prior week. If you can’t check the stats of the previous game, then that’s why you have sports handicapping professionals do it for you. As of this writing, I have only offered my Tuesday thoughts. Come back later in the week for any play I may make on this games and others exactly like it. Good Luck to your football betting season.

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NFL 2021: Six Upstart Teams That Could Surprise

Thursday, Aug 19, 2021

ON AVERAGE, ONLY ABOUT HALF OF LAST YEAR’s PLAYOFF TEAMS WILL RETURN THIS YEAR.  WHICH OF THESE SIX THAT MISSED LAST YEAR WILL MAKE IT?     The league increased the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams to feature seven teams per conference. There will still be four division winners. However, an extra wild-card team has been added in the NFC and AFC.  From the 1991 postseason through 2018, the average number of returning teams is nearly 6.4 per season. Just over half. Can these theses that were close in 2020 get into the playoffs this year; replacing six from last year? DallasNow, heading into this season, there’s at least some good news. One, Dak Prescott is expected to make a full recovery and the O-line is healthy as well. Two, they added players such as first-round pick Micah Parsons and fourth-round pick Jabril Cox to light a fire under Smith and LVE. Three, they have the second easiest schedule according to ESPN. MiamiIn 2021, not only will he be more comfortable but the Dolphins also added Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle to help him improve. Their defense should also continue to shine as an already strong unit just added Jaelan Phillips and Jevon Holland in the draft. Head coach Brian Flores has done a great job re-tooling that defense and they just became even more dangerous with those two potential starters. ArizonaNow looking ahead to 2021, they could be a team to watch. Not only are Murray and Hopkins going to have a full year together, but Arizona also added A.J. Green on offense. As for their defense, Chandler Jones should return after missing 11 games in 2020 and he will have some help in J.J. Watt and Zaven Collins. All that should be enough to finally give them a winning season, helping them to secure a spot in the playoffs. Minnesota Expect the defensive-minded coach to get their defenders playing well again and the offense should be even better in 2021. Not only has Kirk Cousins been underappreciated but he and running back Dalvin Cook have even more help with Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis joining an offensive line that really needed an infusion of talent.Don’t be surprised to see a bounce-back from this team as they get back to the playoffs in 2021. LA ChargersAs far as their defense goes, Joey Bosa is still the leader on that side of the ball and another year of experience for Kenneth Murray should help him improve. There’s also Asante Samuel, Jr. who could end up being a star at cornerback for them. The Chargers have everything needed in order to be a playoff contender this coming season. While it will be hard for them to knock off the Chiefs in the AFC West, it wouldn’t be a shock at all to find them as one of the top seven in the AFC. NY GiantsAdd to that the growth of quarterback Daniel Jones, who is entering year four in the NFL, and the return of running back Saquon Barkley from a torn ACL suffered in 2020, and New York should be back in the mix for the NFC East title with a Wild Card spot as their fall-back option.

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2021 NFL: AFC Conference Preview

Friday, Aug 13, 2021

AFC Conference Preview Buffalo Bills, Win total: 10.5  The Bills won 13 games last season and looked like contenders for the Super Bowl for much of the year. This offseason they haven’t done anything to hurt their chances as they re-signed key players and were able to find replacements for key losses. And as long as Josh Allen stays healthy, they should continue to be a force in the AFC. Their schedule isn’t a cake walk, as they face both 2020 Super Bowl participants, but they also get the bottom of the NFC South and AFC South, which includes a Drew Brees-less Saints team and possibly the Texans without Deshaun Watson, along with the Jets and a Patriots team without a strong quarterback. As long as health isn’t a major factor, the Bills are poised for another strong season. Coach Sean McDermott QB Josh Allen, Mitch TrubiskyRB Devin Singletary, Zack MossDefense: Jerry Hughes,A.J. Epenesa, Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr; Ed Oliver, Matt Milano  Buffalo is the team to beat with one of the best passing offenses in the league with a stout defense that can win on its own. The Bills have the ability to be the best team in the AFC at the end of the season. Buffalo crushed last season behind more improved play from Josh Allen and the arrival of Stefon Diggs.   —————Miami Dolphins, Win total: 9  The Dolphins rode their defense and a scrappy Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 10 win season last year. Fitzpatrick was relieved by rookie Tua Tagovailoa, who did very little to help bring in wins. Tagovailoa is now the no-doubt starter for 2021 and a lot hinges on his development. He looked overmatched last season, but he was a rookie and hadn’t played live football in a long time due to his hip injury. A fully healed hip, full offseason as the starter and a strong overall team around him should help a bunch.The Dolphins added a great deep threat in Will Fuller and will add a strong running back in the draft. Najee Harris or Travis Etienne would go a long way toward keeping pressure off of Tagovailoa. And they have a lot of draft capital to get their running back while also upgrading elsewhere. In the end it comes down to Tagovailoa playing better, but he won’t have to do it alone. Coach Brian FloresQB Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett RB Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, and Salvon AhmedDefense: Emmanuel Ogbah,  The Dolphins are at a major crossroads. They've built a quality roster up and down the depth chart, have youth on their side, and should be a contender, but only if Tua Tagavailoa is legitimate. It is difficult to not love what Miami is building under Brian Flores and a smart front office that has accumulated massive amounts of draft capital. The mission for 2021 is clear: set up Tua Tagovailoa for success in his second season. They brought in Will Fuller V, Jaylen Waddle, Hunter Long, and offensive line help. If Tua breaks out, Miami could content for not only the division, but a Super Bowl.   —————-New England Patriots, Win total: 9  Cam Newton was a disaster last season, but the Patriots still managed to win seven games. That’s a losing record of course, but after watching that offense last season, seven wins seems like a lot. The Patriots went hard at the start of free agency, upgrading the offensive line in a big way while adding the two best free agency tight ends in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. But none of those moves netted them a new quarterback. Until they add a quarterback who can give the offense more options, I can’t consider them a winning team. Coach Bill BilichickQB Can Newton, Mac JonesRB Damien Harris, James WhiteDefense: Matthew Judon, Davon Godchaux The Patriots went against typical convention and spent a ton of money in free agency. They have a championship-caliber defense, but simply need to score more points in 2021. If Cam Newton can't get it done, then perhaps first-round pick Mac Jones can. New England is a bit of a sleeper for the division. The Patriots won seven games last year with not much on offense. Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, and Nelson Agholor add viability. I am bullish on Mac Jones with Bill Belichek and if Cam Newton does not show passing improvement from last year, expect to see Mac Jones by midseason.  —————New York Jets, Win total: 6.5  The Jets will go into 2021 with a new head coach and likely a new quarterback. But no matter how you look at it, it would take a small miracle for them to turn things around in Robert Saleh’s first season. They had just two wins last season and they’ve done fine in free agency, especially on the defensive side, but we’ll need to see a Justin Herbert kind of rookie season for them to be competitive.  Coach Robert SalehQB Zach Wilson RB Ty Johnson, La’Michel Perine, Tevin ColemanDefense: Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, Jarrad Davis and Sheldon Rankins.  The only team not expected to compete in 2021 is the Jets, but they should still be worlds better than 2020. The Robert Saleh era is beginning, as is that for Zach Wilson. New York did a great job of surrounding him with talent both on the offensive line and pass-catcher groups. They should be more competitive week-to-week, even if it doesn't lead to a ton of wins. The Jets are a total wild card. The coaching staff is unproven in their new roles and they have a rookie quarterback that many weren't sure deserved to go 1 or 2 in the draft.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  AFC SOUTH Indianapolis Colts, Win total: 10   NOTE: Carson Wentz is out for two months. More info to follow  The Colts were back in the playoffs last year, but this year the most important position on the field will look a lot different. Indy got former first-round pick Carson Wentz in a deal with the Eagles after an inconsistent career. They’re primarily a running team, with Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor leading the charge from the backfield. But Wentz’s inconsistencies in the past have to be a concern for this team that won 11 games a season ago. Their schedule is also not easy at all. On top of Tennessee and the new-look Jags, they’ll see the Bills, Patriots, Dolphins, Seahawks, Ravens and Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. So it won’t be a fun time Coach Frank ReichQB Carson WentzRB Johnathon TaylorDefense: DeForest Buckner, Justin Houston Outside of Wentz, Indianapolis wasn’t too busy this free agency period. Meaning, a good amount of its season now hinges on the draft and if Wentz remind everyone of 2017. And with how good the offensive line is, it’s safe to assume he will be more productive than he was in the 2020 NFL season. Does that mean Indy wins the division? Maybe. Expect a close race between the Colts and the Titans near the end of the season.  —————Tennessee Titans, Win total: 9.5  The Titans won the division pretty easily with an 11 win year last season, but it’s unlikely to be that simple again this season. There just simply won’t be as many easy division wins up for grabs and they’ll have to take on the entire AFC East division, which has three quality teams in it. They also have to play Kansas City, which isn’t easy for anybody. Still, with Derrick Henry in the backfield, it’s tough to see them not getting to at least 10 wins. Coach Mike VrabelQB Ryan Tannehill RB Derrick HenryDefense: Bud Dupree, Denico Autry The jury is still out on if Tennessee can repeat as division champion. At this point, it is far from a shoo-in. It will boil down to if the offense – specifically Derrick Henry – can put together anything close to another historic season. But as it stands now, fans should like Tennessee’s chances against the grain.  —————Jacksonville Jaguars, Win total: 6.5  After winning just one game a season ago, the betting world is high on the Jags. Why wouldn’t they be? Nabbing Urban Meyer as head coach is huge and it will be interesting to see how he makes the transition from college to the professional game. Barring anything unforeseen, they’ll also be picking up one of the best quarterback prospects in history in Clemson’s Trevor Lawerence. Coach Urban MeyerQB Trevor Lawrence RB James Robinson, Travis Etienne and Carlos HydeDefense: Josh Allen, Yannick Ngakoue The excitement for Jacksonville entering the 2021 season is real, and it’s warranted. For the first time in a long time, the franchise seems to be making moves that make sense. And adding Urban Meyer is also gives fans an intriguing storyline to follow throughout the season. However, they are far from contending for the divisional crown. The team is still young around the edges, and unless Lawrence hits the ground running, the offense is going to go through growing pains. But the reason for excitement is still there.  —————-Houston Texans, Win total: 4.5  With Bill O’Brien out of the picture, 4.5 wins should be an easy number to hit. But with off-the-field allegations swirling about star QB Deshaun Watson, there’s no certainty that he’ll be around when the season is kicked off this fall. The roster isn’t full of elite talent littered everywhere, so without Watson, it could be a rough first season for new head coach David Culley. Coach David CulleyQB Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Finley, Jeff Driskel and the rookie Davis MillsRB Mark Ingram II, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay Defense: ( Key Losses: DE J.J. Watt),Shaq Lawson, and major rebuild. Watson and his legal situation stand center stage for now. He is the organization’s best player, and without him, not many football games are going to be won in Houston. Hypothetically, if Watson can play, still Houston is looking at a lengthy rebuild. Their chances at contention in the AFC South are slim-to-none. And the two quarterbacks, Taylor and Finley, are clear insurance against a Watson suspension. There is a good chance the Texans franchise quarterback doesn’t play this season as he faces a litany of lawsuits for his alleged misconduct. These two quarterbacks give Houston at least a chance to have an average offense if Watson is unavailable come the fall. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  AFC NORTH Baltimore Ravens, Win total: 11  The Ravens made their way to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs last season where they fell to the Buffalo Bills’ stout defense. The Baltimore offense, which saw such success in 2019 and parts of 2020 will be under a lot of pressure this season. There were times went they became too one-dimensional and even reportedly had opposing defenses calling out specific plays before they were even run. Coach John HarbaughQB Lamar Jackson RB J.K. Dobbins & Lamar Jackson Defense: Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Brandon Williams The Ravens didn’t have as successful of a 2020 campaign when compared to their 2019 year where they really burst onto the scene. I believe the addition of wide receiver Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace will help balance out their passing attack to complement how good they are on the ground—but it might not be right away, as those guys are rookies. On the other side, I think the defense will still be good, but their pass rushers will tell the story of just how good. The Ravens have a tough schedule ————Cleveland Browns, Win total: 9.5  The Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last season under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski. They nearly took down the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round as well but came up just short. Their biggest weakness was their secondary, which was injured and iffy at best. They added a couple of free agents in safety John Johnson and corner Troy Hill to sure up the back end of the defense.  The solid offense led by Baker Mayfield doesn't lose much and will get back Odell Beckham Jr. after dealing with injuries the latter half of the season. Coach Kevin Stefanski QB Baker Mayfield RB Nick Chubb, Kareem HuntDefense: Malik Jackson, Andrew Billings, Jordan Elliott,  In free agency, they added Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley on the edge. In the draft, they added Greg Newsome II at cornerback. They bring back one of the best offensive lines in football with one of the top rushing attacks to lean on, led by Nick Chubb. They’ll also get wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. back after he missed most of last season with injury. People have believed in the Browns before and been burned, but this is a roster to bet on—especially with last year’s Coach of the Year, Kevin Stefanski. They will go as far as their quarterback Baker Mayfield can take them. The heights of that could even be to the AFC Championship Game, and maybe even a Super Bowl appearance.  —————Pittsburgh Steelers, Win total: 8.5  The Steelers had an extremely shaky season in 2020. They started the season out on fire, winning their first 11 games, but losing all but one for the remainder of the season. There are question marks surrounding the offense, as it failed miserably for the last month and a half of the season before getting whacked in the playoffs by their division rival, the Browns. The defense remains solid though, with one of the better pass rushes in the NFL. Coach Mike Tomlin QB Ben Roethlisberger RB Najee HarrisDefense: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu,  It was a tale of two teams in 2020 for the Steelers, and they started the year off 11-0 and then lost five of their last six, including their first-round playoff game. Roethlisberger, for as impactful as he has been for nearly two decades, really looked like he lost a step last year. When the running game was not on point, Roethlisberger struggled when asked to take over games. The Steelers added running back Najee Harris in the first round of the draft, but lost veterans along their offensive line and it’s hard to believe they’ll be able to survive what is the hardest schedule in the NFL in terms of last year’s win-loss records. —————-Cincinnati Bengals, Win total: 6.5 The Bengals ended the 2020 season with four wins and a rookie QB with a decimated ACL. Joe Burrow was taken down more than any other QB in the league before he got injured in week 11, so the offensive line needs a ton of work to protect their prized signal-caller. There are always questions surrounding how well a player will recover from such a serious injury as well and how fast he can get back to 100%. Still, if he’s able to play the whole season, they should inch close to that 6.5 win mark. Coach Zac Taylor QB Joe Burrow RB Joe MixonDefense: D.J. Reader, Larry Ogunjobi, Mike Daniels I think the Bengals will take another step this next season, hopefully with Burrow as their quarterback for all 17 regular season games. However, this is still a roster that is building and, unfortunately for Cincinnati, they’re in one of the toughest divisions in football. This isn’t a playoff team yet, but it could be an important year for the Bengals’ current regime to tell everyone the arrow is pointing up. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ AFC WEST Kansas City Chiefs, Win total: 12 Coach Andy Reid QB Patrick Mahomes RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire Defense: Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi. Tyrann Mathieu. The two-time reigning AFC champions are favored by many to win the Super Bowl like they did two years ago. In 2020, KC won 14 games in the regular season, both of which came to a divisional opponent. They’re returning virtually every major contributor to the team from last season and will still be led by Patrick Mahomes. Because of that, it’s tough to see them winning any less than 12 games. The Competition has Final Caught up to Them The Chiefs are the perennial favorite in this division, as they represented the AFC in the last two Super Bowls. Their offense is still a high-powered one that is almost impossible to defend. But opposing teams, especially the trio in this division, have tried to build their team to compete with them. Some opted to bolster their defenses to attempt to slow them down, while others added to their offenses to be able to keep up with the Chiefs on the scoreboard and hope to come out on top. The Patrick Mahomes led offense will still put points up with efficiency. Note** As good as the 14-2 Chiefs were last year, the last we saw of them was in Super Bowl LV against Tom Brady and the TB Buccaneers who crushed them by the lopsided score of 31-9, the worst offensive performance by QB Patrick Mahomes since he has been in the NFL. ——————- Las Vegas Raiders, Win total: 7.5 Coach Jon Gruden QB Derrick Carr RB Josh Jacobs Defense: Solomon Thomas, Johnathan Abram, Trevon Moehrig. No matter what happens on the field in Vegas this season, Jon Gruden will still be the head coach for the foreseeable future. Last season, nothing the team did was fantastic but nothing they did was horrible either. That’s why they came out of the season with an 8-8 record. They’ve made some odd moves along the offensive front this offseason, trading away key pieces and signing young players to absurd extensions. But with the young players this team has on offense and if Derek Carr continues to play at the level he did toward the end of last season, Vegas shouldn’t take a step back in the win column. Not saying they’ll be in the playoffs, but they shouldn’t regress. Sin City gets Wins The Raiders in their second season in Las Vegas, the first with fans, are hoping their defense can stay healthy. Offensively, receiver Henry Ruggs will have more of an impact than in his rookie campaign last season. Derek Carr will finally quiet the naysayers who have questioned whether or not he is head coach Jon Gruden’s guy, and whether he can take his team to the next level. The answer to both will remain unanswered for another season. Note** As great as the Raiders played last season on offense – they were top-10 in both points and yards – they lacked an effective defense, their squad allowing almost 30 points per game, which was the third-most in the league.  —————- Los Angeles Chargers, Win total: 9 Coach Brandon Staley QB Justin Herbert RB Austin Ekeler Defense: Joey Bosa The Chargers have a promising future ahead with Justin Herbert at the helm of the team. Still, he’ll be heading into his second NFL season with a new head coach, Brandon Staley. They have solid offensive weapons and a decent defense, but having to pick up an entire second offensive system in less than 12 months is a big ask for a young QB. Changing of the Guard This division has belonged to Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, but that will come to an end. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert‘s career path took an early turn thanks to the team’s medical staff. He made the most amazing opportunity. The Chargers were a must-watch every week. Although he didn’t record many wins, the Chargers were in every game. The Offensive Rookie of the Year will put up even more impressive numbers than last season. Note** It was quite a surprise to watch rookie quarterback Justin Herbert adjust so quickly to the NFL last season, the kid completing almost 67 percent of his passes for 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions on the year, fantastic numbers for a veteran let alone a freshman player. ————- Denver Broncos, Win total: 7.5 Coach Vic Fangio QB Drew Lock RB Melvin Gordon Defense: Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Justin Simmons. The Broncos were by far the worst team in the division last season, just earning five wins. Looking at the schedule this season, it probably won’t get much easier having to face off with KC and Oakland twice. They don’t face a ton of other playoff teams from last season, but they do see teams that are still vastly better than they are in the Cowboys, Steelers, Washington as well as the Browns and Ravens who were in the playoffs. The Quarterback Turmoil Continues Another season and another controversy at the quarterback position in Denver. Injuries plagued this team last season, especially at the receiver position. But the organization’s confidence in Drew Lock has wavered just a bit. The Broncos acquired Teddy Bridgewater, who was one and done in Carolina after the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold. The decision of who will start Week 1 will likely be decided after the preseason. Even then the decision may not be set in stone, but rather week by week. With the young receivers healthy, whoever the quarterback is, will have viable options in the passing game. Note** Denver Broncos – there are a number of problems with the Denver Broncos right now, with a big one being the question of who will be starting under center, though second-year player Drew Lock has been trying, so far with an 8-10 record as the starting QB in Denver. Lock’s main problem was with accuracy – he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15 

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2021 NFL: NFC North Division Preview

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021

Green Bay Packers, Win total: 10.5 The Packers are coming off a season in which they finished 13-3 for the top spot in the NFC but fell short in the conference championship game. Green Bay will have a bit of turnover with this roster, but Aaron Rodgers remains one of the best players in the NFL coming off another MVP season. The Packers have a pretty rough schedule, but getting to 11 wins in a 17-game regular season should be doable assuming a healthy Rodgers. Coach Matt LaFleur QB Aaron Rodgers RB Aaron Jones Defense : Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander I think as long as Rodgers plays in Green Bay, he has a great shot at seeing continued success. I think Rodgers will start all 17 games for the Packers, sport a 13-4 win-loss record, and complete around 62.4 percent of his passes. I also believe that Rodgers will toss 34 touchdowns and six interceptions, while racking up 4,200 passing yards. —————— Minnesota Vikings, Win total: 8.5 Minnesota went 7-9 last season, falling a game short of the playoffs. The Vikings ranked fourth in the NFL last season in yards per play on offense, as they developed an incredible wide receiver combination with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. However, they really struggled on the defensive side of the ball in 2020. They allowed 6.1 yards per play, which ranked No. 27 in the NFL. Minnesota likely overpaid for Patrick Peterson to help out at the cornerback position, but will he be enough to turn around that defense? I have my doubts. Coach Mike Zimmer QB Kirk Cousins RB Dalvin Cook Defense: Dalvin Tomlinson, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson While Cousins has some knocks, he does deserve more credit as one of the most consistent signal callers in the league, which is certainly difficult to find these days. My projected stat line for Kirk Cousins looks like this: 8-9 record, 67.2 completion percentage, 28 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 4,687 passing yards. —————- Chicago Bears, Win total: 7 The Bears made it to the playoffs at 8-8 last season before being bounced in the Wild Card round against the New Orleans Saints. Chicago has been a bit of a punching bag this offseason after speculation of them trying to bring in Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, which is now a blessing in disguise. Instead, the Bears will ride with Andy Dalton, who is certainly an upgrade over the Nick Foles-Mitch Trubisky combination from last season. With a good defense and an improved quarterback situation, there is no reason to think this franchise will regress. Coach Matt Nagy QB Justin Fields, Andy Dalton RB David Montgomery Defense: Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith I think Dalton will ultimately end up being replaced by Justin Fields at some point, and I think he’ll only start about six games for the Bears before the transition takes place. My projected stat line for Dalton has him completing about 62 percent of his passes for 1,864 passing yards with a touchdown to interception ratio of 7:5. I think Dalton will break even with a 3-3 record during that span as well. —————- Detroit Lions, Win total: 5  The Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams completed the rare starting quarterback for starting quarterback trade with Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff. I’m probably a bigger Stafford fan than most, but Goff along with draft picks was a good move for the franchise moving forward. We’ll see if new head coach Dan Campbell is the answer for the long term success of this team, but he can motivate this team to play hard and reach five victories in Year 1 especially going up against a weaker schedule.  Coach Dan Campbell  QB Jared Goff RB D’Andre Swift Defense: Will Harris, Corn Elder, John Penisini  It’s hard to predict what Goff will do in his first season in Detroit, as the team doesn’t have a lot of good weapons for Goff to throw the ball to. My stat line for Goff looks like this: 5-12 record, 61.6 completion percentage, 3,941 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Detroit won’t be a contender in the NFC North this year.

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2021 NFL Preview: NFC East Division

Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

Dallas Cowboys, Win total: 9.5  One of the biggest stories across the NFL in recent years has been what the organization would do with Dak Prescott, and the Dallas Cowboys finally locked him with a huge contract. The star quarterback went down with a brutal injury last season, so we’ll see how healthy he is as we get closer to the start of the season. Dallas should improve offensively assuming a healthy Prescott, but the defense could remain an issue for a unit that ranked No. 23 in opponent yards per play allowed last season.  Coach Mike McCarthyQB Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert RB Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle Defense : DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Neville Gallimore Dak Prescott’s return to the lineup alone makes the Cowboys better than any other NFC East squad. Dallas’ defense does need to be better, but the organization spent its first six draft picks on that side of the ball. Besides, the Cowboys offense is explosive enough to win the division by itself. Dan Quinn will be an interesting addition as the defensive coordinator.   ———————Washington Football Team, Win total: 8  Being the defending NFC East champions is usually a death sentence for a division title the next year. The Washington Football Team went 7-9 to claim the division last season and were bounced in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Washington used four starting quarterbacks, and their two main options Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins Jr. are no longer with the team. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the No. 1 guy for now, but head coach Ron Rivera said there will be competition. Despite for several NFL teams, Fitzpatrick has never led a team to the playoffs. The Football Team had a fantastic defense in 2020, but they struggled to move the ball, and there isn’t much to point to for a huge improvement. Coach Ron Rivera QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen RB Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic, Peyton Barber Defense : Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Kendall Fuller, There are 31 other teams that would definitely swap defensive lines with Washington. It's loaded with star power at the top and has tremendous depth. Chase Young and Montez Sweat should be improved from  last season, which is a terrifying thought for opposing offensive lines. The Washington Football Team has several players along their defensive line that make them a force to be reckoned with for seasons to come  ——————-New York Giants, Win total: 7  The Giants finished 6-10 in 2020, but they should be drastically improved offensively heading into the next NFL season. Daniel Jones did not have a very good season, completing 62.5% of his passes with 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, but he will have much better weapons this year. Star running back Saquon Barkley will return after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury, and New York drastically improved their passing game with the addition of Kenny Golladay at the wide receiver position. Additionally, they now have a very good tight end combination after signing Kyle Rudolph to go along with former first round pick Evan Engram. Coach Joe Judge QB Daniel Jones, Mike Glennon, Clayton Thorson RB Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker, Corey Clement Defense : Blake Martinez, James Bradberry  The single most positive development for this team over the offseason was the receiving class. Last season, the Giants’ receiving corps, for better or worse, was known mostly for Evan Engram’s drops. They lacked explosive and consistent playmakers. This offseason though, New York made a conscious effort to improve its receiving room. The Giants signed Kenny Golladay in free agency and added veterans Kyle Rudolph and John Ross before selecting wideout Kadarius Toney in the 2021 NFL Draft. After finishing dead last in the league last year in average yards after the catch per reception, New York is well-positioned for improvement next season. Having RB Saquon Barkley back will create huge interest.   ———————-Philadelphia Eagles, Win total: 6.5  It’s officially the Jalen Hurts show in Philadelphia as he will be the quarterback moving forward with Carson Wentz now a member of the Indianapolis Colts. The Eagles went 4-11-1 last year for the bottom of the NFC East. The passing game was a bit of a mess last season between Wentz and Hurts. In his rookie season, Hurts appeared in 15 games with four starts and completed 52% of his passes with six touchdowns and four interceptions. The Eagles have a great deal of inexperience at the wide receiver position with several unproven options that a significant jump doesn’t seem likely. Coach Nick Sirianni QB Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco, Nick Mullens RB Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell Defense : Brandon Graham, Darius Slay, Jalen Hurts is the one who’s going to command the most attention. Having Smith and Jalen Reagor helps, but Jalen Hurts is being given an opportunity in just his second season in the NFL - and with four career starts - to prove that he can be a franchise quarterback. Jonathan Gannon is in as defensive coordinator and his unit should be among the NFL’s best if Philadelphia can land a cornerback to pair opposite Darius Slay. Milton Williams (third-round pick), Tarron Jackson (sixth-round pick), and Marlon Tuipulotu (sixth-round pick) give the Eagles three versatile, high-energy guys that can help take some of the stress away from Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave.

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2021 NFL Preview: NFC South Division

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Win total: 11.5  The Super Bowl champs finished 11-5 in the regular season last year for second place in the division. One of Brady’s biggest strengths throughout his career has been to motivate his team to success even after winning it all the season before. However, we’ve seen it plenty of times in his career where Brady’s teams look good during the regular season but really turn it on come playoff time. I’m not going to be the millionth person to predict the demise of Brady over the last decade, but too much can happen over the course of a season to justify predicting Tampa Bay to reach 12 regular season wins.   Coach Bruce AriansQB Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert,Kyle TraskRB Ronald Jones IIDefense: Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh,Will Gholston Brady gets a chance to go back-to-back as a champion for the second-time in his career. Backing up Brady is Gabbert, who Bruce Arians recently called “the most underrated player in the NFL”. The hope is that second-round pick Kyle Trask eventually becomes the Bucs starter after Brady.Additionally, the Bucs bring back all 22 starters from a team that lifted the Lombardi Trophy in February. ——————New Orleans Saints, Win total: 9  One of the strangest items to look forward to in the 2021 NFL season is the New Orleans Saints without Drew Brees under center. With his retirement, the Saints are left with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill as the quarterback options. Hill is the jack-of-all trades of jack-of-all trades but has never been the No. 1 guy. The last time Winston was a full-time starter, he threw 30 interceptions and the year after he left, his former team won the Super Bowl. The Saints played incredible defense last season, and they will need to keep that pace or be even better to reach this win total.  Coach Sean PaytonQB Jameis Winston, Taysom HillTrevor Siemian, Ian BookRB Alvin KamaraDefense: Marcus Williams, Malcolm Jenkins, Demario Davis, and Cameron Jordan. The Saints are one of the few teams in the NFL with an open competition at the quarterback position, although most expect Winston to win the job over Hill. Last year’s No. 2, Hill was surprisingly solid, going 3-1 as a starter and completing over 72 percent of his passes. In 2019, Winston fumbled 12 times, was sacked 47 times and threw 30 interceptions. His numbers shouldn’t be that bad in the Saints’ more high-percentage offense, and Winston should be able to bring a vertical element.   ——————-Carolina Panthers, Win total: 7.5  The Carolina Panthers finished 5-11 last season without their main offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey, who appeared in just three games in 2020. He will be back to help improve an offense that finished about average last season. Teddy Bridgewater appears to be the starter heading into the season after an okay season last year. Carolina could definitely try and grab a quarterback with their first round pick, so it will be interesting to see where they go at No. 8 overall. McCaffrey is a very good player, but he isn’t enough to improve the Panthers by three games.   Coach Matt Rhule QB Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, Will GrierTommy StevensRB Christian McCaffreyDefense: Derrick Brown, Bravvion Roy,DaQuan Jones  Sam Darnold will take the reins in Carolina. He’ll be out to prove that Adam Gase was the problem in New York. Walker threw five interceptions on 60 dropbacks last year, while Grier has been a disappointment as a third-round pick two years ago. Stevens could be the Panthers’ version of Taysom Hill, if they can develop the Saint’s versatility. ——————Atlanta Falcons, Win total: 7  The Atlanta Falcons struggled to a 4-12 season in 2020 and despite the bad record, they allowed just 18 more points than they scored throughout the season. Work needs to be done to improve that record, but that slight point margin suggests their record should’ve been better. Defensively, Atlanta needs to improve quite a bit on last year, but they continue to have some dangerous weapons on the outside for Matt Ryan. The Falcons should take advantage of the bad schedule they are likely to see as teams that finish last place in the division typically will have.  Coach Arthur Smith QB Matt Ryan,A.J. McCarron,Feleipe FranksRB Mike DavisDefense: Grady Jarrett, Marlon Davidson and John Cominsky While his arm seems to have declined some, Matt Ryan is still one of the more mentally sharp and accurate passers in the NFL. If something happens to Ryan, the Falcons might be the worst team in the NFL. McCarron hasn’t been great when given opportunity, and Franks might not be practice squad-worthy.

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2021 NFL Preview: NFC West Division Win Totals

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021

Los Angeles Rams, Win total: 10.5 The Rams made a huge splash early in the offseason when they traded Jared Goff and draft picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford. This is an upgrade over Goff, but the Rams salary cap situation resulted in them having to part ways with the likes of defensive end Michael Brockers, linebacker Sam Ebukam, cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson. Aaron Donald keeps that defense competitive, but they took a big hit on depth. Injuries can be tricky to factor into projections, but the Rams seem like the team that will get pumped up this offseason only to fall flat. Coach Sean McVayQB Matthew Stafford.RB Darrell Henderson, Xavier JonesDefense: Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd  The Los Angeles Rams had a dominating defense under Brandon Staley last season, but their offensive luck with Jared Goff at the helm finally ran out. Head coach Sean McVay seemed to lose all trust in Goff at the end of last year and they ended up trading him and draft picks for the Lions Matthew Stafford. The fit should be a good one, but we’ll still need to see results. The most notable move this offseason was trading Goff plus two first round draft picks to the Lions for Stafford. They also re-signed edge rusher Leonard Floyd and brought in wide receiver DeSean Jackson. —————San Francisco 49ers, Win total: 10.5 The 49ers also made a huge splash this year, trading two future first round picks to move from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’re going to draft a quarterback with the pick, but continue to insist Jimmy Garoppolo is their guy for the coming season. The 49ers did a great job retaining key talent, re-signing Trent Williams, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, and Kyle Juszczyk among others, but betting this comes down to the QB situation. Are you comfortable taking either the over or under with Jimmy G? Coach Kyle Shanahan QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey LanceRB Raheem Mostert, Tray SermonDefense: Nick Boza, Jimmy Ward, DJ Jones The 49ers had the worst injury luck in the league in 2020 and it was impossible to overcome as they ended up finishing last in the NFC West at 6-10. The injuries are too numerous to list them all, but Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Dee Ford, Ezekiel Ansah, Richard Sherman, and Soloman Thomas all missed big chunks of time. They’ll hope for better injury luck and a strong start to rookie QB Trey Lance’s career in 2021. The 49ers re-signed left tackle Trent Williams and brought in center Alex Mack. They also re-signing cornerbacks Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley and they’ll likely lose CB Richard Sherman. But the biggest move was trading up to pick QB Trey Lance third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. ——————Seattle Seahawks, Win total: 9.5 The Russell Wilson drama has overshadowed the offseason for Seattle. It seems highly unlikely he’s going anywhere, and the additions of center Ethan Pocic guard Gabe Jackson should assuage some of his concerns. The team also added tight end Gerald Everett and re-signed running back Chris Carson. Losing Shaquil Griffin is a big blow to the defense and is one reason I’m hesitant on this. That being said, Wilson consistently gives this team a puncher’s chance and ten wins is very possible. Coach Pete CarrollQB Russell Wilson. Geno Smith.RB Chris Carson, Rashaad PennyDefense: Brian Mone, Bobby Wagner,Jamal Adams The Seattle Seahawks put together another solid season under Pete Carroll, but their postseason run was short with a Wild Card round loss to the Los Angeles Rams. It was a bit of a rough offseason as Russell Wilson showed his frustration with the franchise, but both sides seem ready to move on and contend for another NFC West title in 2021. The Seahawks re-signed edge rusher Carlos Dunlap and brought in Kenny Hyder and Aldon Smith in free agency to help their pass rush in 2021. Seattle brought back running back Chris Carson and signed tight end Gerald Everett. The Seahawks traded for guard Gabe Jackson to help protect Russell Wilson. ———————Arizona Cardinals, Win total: 8 I wouldn’t put money on long term futures beyond 2021, but the Cardinals have loaded up this offseason to make an immediate move up the standings. The team added a ton of talent, signing defensive end JJ Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green, guard Brian Winters, and cornerback Malcolm Butler, while also trading for center Rodney Hudson. They’re all great additions for 2021, but not much beyond that. They added over 30 talent that could put them over the top in 2021, but is not a recipe for long-term success. Injuries and general skill break-down is a concern and Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching acumen remains questionable, but for 2021 win totals, I’m willing to bet on them taking a least a small step forward. Coach Kliff KingsburyQB Kyler Murray, Colt McCoyRB Chase Edmonds, James ConnerDefense: JJ Watt, Shawn Williams and Malcolm Butler The Cardinals were the most active team in free agency this offseason. They were able to land J.J. Watt and A.J. Green, two veterans that will immediately pay dividends toward a young roster. They acquired Rodney Hudson and signed Brian Winters to improve the offensive line and altered the secondary by signing safety Shawn Williams and cornerback Malcolm Butler -- better fits for the man-coverage scheme defensive coordinator Vance Joseph likes to run. Arizona is the wild card in this division. The Cardinals are good enough to steal the division title and will be a problem all year long. If the defense doesn't improve, they could be staring at another 8-8 record.

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2021 Las Vegas Raiders Preview

Thursday, Jul 22, 2021

For the 2021 season to be a success, the Raiders MUST: Make the playoffs. Is their HEAT on Jon Gruden??  There was a lot of praise heaped on the Raiders for nearly pulling off the season sweep of the Chiefs last year. But the time for moral victories is over. The Raiders need to reach the postseason. Gruden is one of 14 coaches to coach the same franchise since 2018 -- and he's the only one of those coaches to not make the playoffs in that span. He -- along with the 49ers' Kyle Shanahan -- are the only two to be below .500. Las Vegas has to be playing into mid-January.  What happens if Gruden doesn’t make the playoffs?  He’s halfway thru his $100M contract and Marc Davis loves him. Can’t possibly get fired!!  The Raiders could start out behind the eight ball. Las Vegas has the second-toughest schedule in the first four games of the season -- because the Dolphins (in Week 3) and Chargers (in Week 4) are also challenging games.  Gruden has Josh Jacobs. Dude is the first player in club history to have 2,000 rushing yards in his first two seasons. Is he the answer?  The Raiders have allowed just 57 sacks since 2019, which is tied for sixth-fewest in the NFL. But they traded parts of their offensive line away. How will that affect them?  Can Henry Ruggs -- the first of six receivers selected in the first round in 2020 -- step up in Year 2? Ruggs did have four receptions of more than 40 yards. Will they finally GO DEEP? Or stay conservative?  Last year, some Raiders fans hoped the team was going to make a move for Tom Brady. This year, some of them are pining for Aaron Rodgers.  Does this start to take a toll on Derek? What if the start out 1-3?  What all the Derek Carr doubters seem to miss is that he had one of the best statistical seasons of his NFL life in 2020, with a career-high 101.4 passer rating. His passing-yards-per-attempt mark (7.9) also matched a personal professional best. And he's one of three quarterbacks with 4,000 passing yards and a passer rating over 100 in both 2019 and 2020 -- the other two were Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Why doesn’t Raiders Nation bow down to him? It’s as if he can’t win them over.   This is a must. Offense will live to see another day if they have one thing.   Defense!!!!!!  In the three seasons since the start of the Gruden Era, Part II, the Raiders have posted the NFL's worst scoring defense, ranking in the bottom three in passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns allowed over that span. They are last in sacks. Last in third-down percentage. The defense also doesn't create turnovers. It's pretty bad. DC Bradley is going to be charged with rebuilding this thing. Some might want to just knock the whole thing over and rebuild from scratch -- like they did when they knocked down the Las Vegas Club and built Circa.  The Raiders' defense has not been kind to Derek Carr. Here is how the Raiders' defenses have ranked in scoring during the years since Carr was drafted in 2014: 2014: Last 2015: 22nd 2016: 20th 2017: 20th 2018: Last 2019: 24th 2020: 30th  Get help from the rebuilt pass defense? Bradley is great at working with secondaries. I mean, he was the Lex Luthor of the famed Legion of Boom -- which is perfect casting, like way better than Jesse Eisenberg (no disrespect). The key will be getting the most out of Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen. Arnette was a first-round pick last year, but he's likely to be feeling a little heat from offseason free-agent signee Casey Hayward. Hayward played for Bradley with the Chargers and would offer a bit more consistency than the Raiders have had in recent years.  The current Raiders depth chart in the secondary is filled with first- and second-round picks from the last three years. You have Mullen (second in 2019), Johnathan Abram (first in 2019), Arnette (first in 2020) and safety Trevon Moehrig, a second-round pick in 2021. This is a good place to note the team used five of its seven picks in 2021 on defensive players.   Note: Even if the defense starts to come around, they still play KC and San Diego twice. And if Denver get the QB clicking, how will the Raiders ever make the playoffs???

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New England Patriots QB Duel: Cam Newton vs. Mac Jones

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

Cam Newton knows he’s on his way out. He’s not the face of a franchise; especially at New England. He’s not very likable either.   The New England Patriots will likely take the field in Week 1 with Cam Newton as the starting quarterback. But as training camp draws closer, fans in Foxborough are even more excited about Mac Jones and counting down the days until he takes over.  After making the pick, Belichick made it clear Newton remains the starter. It holds true thus far during voluntary practices as the former NFL MVP is taking first-team reps. But coming off a disappointing season, fans are hoping they don’t have to wait long to see Jones.  Newton is still expected to start in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, but he might not hold the gig for long. Newton ended the season with just an 82.9 passer rating and an ugly 8-10 TD-INT ratio.   Belichick won’t hand Jones the job until the rookie earns it. If the Patriots make it through the first six games of their schedule with a 4-2 record and this team is in the playoff hunt, Newton might keep the job until the wheels come off.  ———— Mac Jones  Meanwhile, rookie first-round pick Mac Jones has reportedly looked darn good during offseason programs after being selected No. 15 overall in late April.   The 22-year old out of Alabama was fast-tracked during the course of OTAs and mandatory minicamp, on a number of occasions getting more reps than the incumbent Newton and, up until the final day of minicamp, looking better than Cam…It’s not just the physical that stands out. The Pats have thrown everything at Jones, and his grasp of a playbook that’s over 20 years in the making has been impressive.   Jones is seen as the most pro-ready quarterback from the most-recent NFL Draft class. He dealt with a pro-style playbook at Alabama and dominated to the tune of 41 touchdowns compared to four interceptions while completing 77% of his passes.  An argument can clearly be made that Jones is already more accurate than Cam Newton. That’s a big thing in the Patriots’ timing-based offense under longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels and after the team added a ton of reinforcements at the skill positions during free agency. Much more will be discussed as camps are preparing to open up Football 2021 🏈🏈🏈  

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The Los Angeles Rams and the Matt Stafford Trade

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

Matt Stafford heads to a ready-made contender in the Rams, who have had one of the NFL's best defenses for several seasons and had previously been one of the league's most explosive offenses before Goff's backslide over the past two years.   Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay we’re at odds with each other so dumping Goff was an immediate success. Giving up draft picks is the only consideration on who won this trade. Detroit will have two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.   Goff seemed to reach his peak when he threw for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions en route to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2018 season. Over the last two campaigns, he's thrown for 42 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.  Stafford got a one-way ticket out after 12 seasons with a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game since 1992. Although he's made three postseason trips with the club, Detroit hasn't been able to put a complete team around him.   This year, with two star defenders in cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Stafford probably won't have to score 30-plus points to win games. He'll have a complementary rushing attack and a decent defense. For the most part, Stafford had to put the offense on his shoulders. He's played with just one 1,000-yard rusher—Reggie Bush in 2013—and one defensive unit that ranked in the top 10 in scoring.   Stafford will get to work in an offensive system that has been friendly to quarterbacks, behind an offensive line that excels in pass protection, and with quality pass-catchers in Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, and Van Jefferson.   Financials:  The Rams signed Goff to a four-year, $130 million contract extension after his third NFL season, and will take a significant dead-money hit onto their books after making this deal. Goff will count for $22.2 million on LA's books in 2021 while he is playing for Detroit, while the Rams inherit the two years and $43 million remaining on Stafford's contract. One additional note to add about Stafford's contract with the Rams came from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The expectation is that Stafford will not require a contract extension as part of this deal. He will play out the remaining two years for $34 million on his contract with the Rams.  Similarly, Stafford will count for $17.8 million on the Lions' books in 2021, and Detroit will inherit the four years and $106.6 million remaining on Goff's deal. Crucially, though, there is no guaranteed money left on Goff's contract, so the Lions will be able to move on from him after this season if they so choose.   The Rams, after trading for Stafford, will go seven consecutive seasons without making a first-round pick. 

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50 Days From the MLB Trade Deadline

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

BEST PITCHER THAT COULD PUT YOU OVER THE TOPThis pitcher could get many teams to the World Series.  Max Scherzer Washington’s injury woes — Juan Soto and Stephen Strasburg are both on the injured list — and underperforming rotation have some wondering if the Nationals would look to deal Scherzer this summer if the season went awry. NEW YORK YANKEES  As of Tuesday, the Yankees sat in third place in the AL East at 33-32, 10 games behind Tampa Bay and seven behind Boston. They are 2.5 games behind in the Wild Card race. Max Scherzer is as lethal as ever, even as he approaches his 37th birthday four days before the July 31deadline. His 2.22 ERA is eighth in MLB and he’s only allowed 48 hits in 77 innings entering his start last week against the Giants. He has fanned 104, held opponents to a .180 average and has an 0.82 WHIP. Remember how he looked May 8 at Yankee Stadium? He annihilated the Yanks lineup, allowing two hits and a run in 7.1 innings while striking out 14 and walking one. All of that would make the future Hall of Famer a nifty complement to Gerrit Cole. The two could help the Yanks get to October and then be an intimidating 1-2 punch in any playoff series. Are there other’s? MANY!! ST LOUIS CARDINALS  The perfect fit is with the St. Louis Cardinals, who passed on the hometown hero as a free agent. The Cardinals, with three-fifths of their starting rotation on the injured list – including ace Jack Flaherty who could be out two months with his oblique injury – are in desperate need for a starter. Scherzer is a free agent at the season’s conclusion, and with his family still living in the St. Louis area, they would have a huge advantage retaining him. The Cardinals, after getting All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado in February, could easily package top third-base prospect Nolan Gorman. TAMPA BAY RAYS Do you want to return to the World Series? It’s hard to imagine a better bet to be made with $12 million than on a half season of Max Scherzer.The Rays are in first place; two games ahead of Boston and six ahead of the Yankees.  50 Day Watch There are 50 days left before teams have to officially decide whether they keep shopping, start selling, or simply wait until the next sale this winter. Washington is 28-35 (.444) entering Tuesday and in fourth place in the NL East. They are seven games out in the division and nine games out in the NL Wild Card race. If they sink further, perhaps they dangle Scherzer and re-tool around Juan Soto and Trea Turner. Stay tuned for a potential shopping spree coming to a city near you.

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2021 NFL: AFC East Preview

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

In a division long dominated by the Tom Brady led New England Patriots, the GOAT-less AFC East now seems to belong to the surging Buffalo Bills or perhaps the Tua-rich Miami Dolphins, so we look at the predictions, odds, and picks of which of these developing teams could run away with this division. The Buffalo Bills are just a few roster tweaks away from going deeper into the playoffs, so expect them to post yet another productive season with QB Josh Allen rapidly developing on the job.  Buffalo Bills -150 Win total: 10.5 Remember this is a 17 game season The team’s salary cap in 2021 will be lower than expected, so GM Brandon Beane will be forced to get clever this offseason if he expects to use free agency and the upcoming draft to fill in the roster spots he is currently lacking. This includes another edge rusher and some linebacker depth, both of which could help Josh Allen’s offense get back on the field with the talented playmakers he now has as targets, including WRs John Brown, Stefon Diggs, and Cole Beasley, plus soft-handed tight end Dawson Knox. Is this possible? Go two years without losing a division game.  (Probably) Miami Dolphins +325Win total: 9 Given that the 10-6 Dolphins almost made the playoffs last season, they seem to be just a few rosters moves away from getting themselves to that next level, but that is assuming they are happy with Tua Tagovailoa as their franchise quarterback. In his rookie season, Tagovailoa went 6-3 under center, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for just over 1,800 yards and 11 touchdowns with 5 interceptions, numbers that could see improvement as he continues to learn Miami’s offense and adjust to the NFL level. The Dolphins had the third overall pick in the draft and selected Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Because of a strong early schedule, the Dolphins will be 1-3 after four games. Week 1 at New England Week 2 Home vs Buffalo Week 3 at LV Raiders Week 4 Home vs Indianapolis New England Patriots +350Win total: 9 With Cam Newton starting at quarterback in New England last season, the team posted their worst record since the 2000 season and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the type of failures that do not sit well with GM and HC Bill Belichick. Now Newton is a question and the Patriots’ starting QB job is open, with backups Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer next in line, though chances are the team’s front office is looking to bring in some more veteran help at QB using free agency the way they did last offseason. For the first time in head coach Bill Belichick's 21-year tenure, the New England Patriots have drafted a quarterback in the first round. The Patriots selected Mac Jones from the University of Alabama with the 15th overall pick during the 2021 NFL draft. But there are plenty of holes to fill in New England’s roster, including in a defense that is historically excellent, so the Patriots used the draft to snag some young and affordable defensive talent to begin rebuilding the team on that side of the ball. The Patriots will be 3-0 entering their Week 4 matchup against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, who will also be 3-0 entering the game -- further heightening the hype and excitement for what promises to be one of the most memorable nights in Gillette Stadium history.  New York Jets +2000 Win total: 6.5 The Jets’ front office was able to land the highly coveted Robert Saleh as their new head coach, the former defensive guru, and coordinator for the 49ers who was destined to lead his own NFL team at some point. Saleh has inherited a mess in New York, his Jets roster as holey as Swiss cheese on both sides of the ball. Sam Darnold had become QB non gratis after failing to ever lead the Jets to the postseason and was traded to Carolina for draft picks. The Jets took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second pick overall. New coach, new quarterback, new offensive scheme, new defensive scheme, pretty much new everything -- and that's a good thing because the old way stunk. The Added 17th Game   The 17th game for AFC East teams that was implemented by the NFL for 2021 comes at home against the NFC East:  Washington at Bills Giants at Dolphins Cowboys at Patriots Eagles at Jets

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2021 NFL Draft: Top 5 Quarterbacks

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021

ouldn’t it be sweet if we could see all these young men develop into the likes of a Brady, Mahomes, Favre, Montana or Marino? So much talent to evaluate and every General Manager is dropping bottles of Tums sweating this week and the next few months. QB’s make the NFL teams their brand and the franchise while missing on a top draft choice will have some coaches fired down the line. We wish all these players the best this week and in the years to come.     1. Trevor Lawrence—-Clemson Height: 6’6″ Weight: 213  Unless something bizarre happens, Lawrence is headed to Jacksonville where he’ll hook up with Urban Meyer and the organization will dip into its deep pool of available cash and hopefully surround him with more than just a patchwork offensive line. How quickly he learns what he can’t get away with against NFL defenses is the determinant to how good he’ll be. Lawrence is regarded as the safest bet at quarterback since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford in 2012, played seven seasons and retired before the age of 30. Lawrence threw 90 touchdowns and 17 picks in three seasons at Clemson and runs like a deer. His game and playing style is so well-rounded that he can function in virtually any offense that awaits him in the NFL. His arm is more then sufficient to run a vertical passing game. His mind is quick enough and his ball placement is good enough to work in a West Coast system.  Mechanically Lawrence is as solid as it gets, and when you study him pay attention to his footwork in the pocket. Whether throwing from clean pockets or being forced to move and reset, Lawrence stays mechanically sound in those moments from head to toe.  Hopefully, having been the number quarterback for the past two years, nothing has changed his desires or leadership qualities along with his ego.   2. Zach Wilson——BYU Height:  6’2″  Weight: 214  Zach is a truly great thrower. His quick and nifty mobility is a complement to his game rather than a staple to old school drop back passer. When it comes to ball placement, accuracy, release, throwing a catchable ball he’s already there. Because of the teams quality of opponents played last season, some consider that a negative. He may have to work harder and get coached for a year on the sidelines like Mahomes did his rookie year. As a compliment, he has some Josh Rosen/Baker Mayfield to his style. Given how the league currently views Patrick Mahomes it is easy to see why Wilson is making a charge for QB1 on some boards. You can see how Wilson is reminiscent of Mahomes on almost every single throw. From the ability to make off-platform throws with ease, his willingness to create outside of the pocket, and his arm aggression, Wilson looks like a baby Mahomes on the field. 3. Justin Fields—-Ohio St Height: 6′ 2 3/4″ Weight: 227  His tools – strong arm, clean mechanics, accuracy, toughness, speed and power – are all there. Fields has that unknown risk factor related to how much of their brilliance is attributable to being surrounded by so much talent at OSU. His biggest claim was an eye-popping performance in the national semifinal game against Clemson which shot his stock up. After losing to Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers two seasons ago, Fields put on a show against them this past year, throwing six touchdowns, many of them after taking a brutal hit in the first half. Athleticism is one of his strengths, as Fields is a truly athletic quarterback that has drawn comparisons to Cam Newton. He posted recently a video on Twitter of him running a hand-timed 4.41 40-yard dash  4. Mac Jones—-Alabama  Height: 6’2″ Weight: 217  In the National Championship Game against Ohio State, Jones was 36 of 45 passes for 464 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. So is that why San Francisco trade up for a chance to draft him? Jones is not very powerfully built and the ball doesn’t pop off his hand with velocity like it does for the other four guys. He seems like a guy with a high floor and a low ceiling. With no combine this year, it’s somewhat difficult to grade him. How much should be attributed to the Alabama program and two incredible wide receivers?  He literally had better skill position players in Tuscaloosa than Cam Newton had in Foxboro. Mac’s name is McCorkle — Mac for short — which is a fact that I think you should know to win a trivia bet. Beyond that, however, Jones was the best at Pro Football Focus’s Adjusted Completion Percentage last season, positing a whopping number of 84.2%. Jones’ greatest strength is his accuracy, deep ball and ability to work at all three levels. He can move a little but he’s not particularly athletic and if he’s behind a less-than-stellar line, he’s going to have little elusiveness to fall back on.   5. Trey Lance——North Dakota St Height:  6′ 3 3/8″ Weight: 224  In his last full season, Lance threw 28 touchdowns and zero picks as a redshirt freshman in 2019. Because of Covid, his team only played one game in 2020. Much like Josh Allen of Buffalo when he was drafted and could go very deep, Lance may throw the best deep ball of any of the quarterbacks in this draft. There are some clear strengths that he offers. Easy arm talent is the first such strength. All of the top four quarterbacks in this class have what you might consider “plus” arms but Lance might have the best of the bunch. Effortless velocity shows up in every game. Then there is the athletic ability. Lance is a weapon with the football in his hands, and his rushing production at NDSU backs that up.  He’s exceptionally poised in the pocket and throws with an excellent base and has played in the cold weather as did Allen in Wyoming. He’s also a better than capable runner offering that new type of quarterback that coaches want. Because of just one season of FCS football under his belt, his decision-making and reading defenses skills will need time to grow.

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Baseball Betting: Don't Wait for Football - Get the MLB Profits Now

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

Betting Baseball Mission Statement  Upon completion of reading this, you should be able to see why baseball is by far the best sport to invest your money. With the house edge being significantly smaller compared to other sports, and the ability to predict future outcomes, baseball can quite easily and most definitely become your most profitable sport to bet. The Largest Sample Size Wins What statistic do you think is more reliable – Aaron Rodgers’ completion percentage in 16 games, or Juan Soto’s batting average in 162 games? If you have taken any kind of statistics course, you know that larger sample sizes are much more predictive. With so many measurable skills and outcomes, with consistently improving analytics readily available to anyone, over a long 162 game season, it’s relatively easy to create a predictive model for baseball (relative to other sports). And it’s not hard to convince anyone of the logic that this is very true and the reason that Sportsbooks place betting limits on baseball but not on football. Out of all the major American sports, baseball is by far the leader in analytics, research, and advanced statistics. Now popularly known as sabermetrics, this phenomenon has allowed front offices and sports bettors alike to more accurately project a game’s outcome. It comes with more bang for your buck. The only risk the players may have occasionally is less action but more profits to the bankroll to make up that shortcoming.  Point Spread vs Moneyline Betting Football and basketball regularly make up about two-thirds of all bets placed in the United States. In these sports, most bets are made on the point spread. Instead of simply betting who will win the game, most bettors bet HOW MUCH a team will win (or lose) by in football and basketball. Let’s look to understand the difference of laying points vs betting moneylines. In football, if you lay -7 points and bet the favorite and the score is 20-17 with 1:45 to play, the favorite will simply play to use up the clock, maybe kick a field goal and win by by six points. You lose your bet even tho the favorite won the game 23-17. Has the following happened to you betting a top 25 team in hoops? In basketball, you bet the favorite to cover a -12 point spread. With 1:25 to play and up 70-55, the home team favorite calls time out and sends in the second team substitutes. Final score is 72-62. You lose your bet even tho the favorite won the game. Does that sound all too familiar? Two favorites lose and the bettor goes 0-2.  Batter Up...Bet Baseball  In baseball, it’s who wins the game. If the LA Dodgers are playing the Colorado Rockies and you bet the Dodgers, all the Dodgers have to do is win the game...period. A game where you don’t have to win by a set amount. Just win the game and get paid. Additionally, in baseball, no matter who I pick though, I know that either team will try to “win” the game. Players will try to score runs on offense, prevent runs on defense, and managers will use strategies to optimize the team’s chance of winning – thus enhancing the chances of my bet winning. This doesn’t happen when betting point “spreads” in football or basketball. Why To Consider The House Edge The house edge for baseball is typically half that of point spread odds. Because baseball betting doesn’t have the same draw and popularity of football and basketball, sportsbooks cut their odds prices a long time ago to attract more action. Instead of the traditional -110 odds for even match-ups, -105 is now the norm for baseball. This drops the house edge from 4.55% to 2.44% using the same calculations as above. However, the price advantage doesn’t stop there. For each dollar bet, there is always a ten-cent difference between the amount required to win $1 with a bet on the favorite and the payout a $1 bet on the underdog will win. This difference, or spread, is where the term “dime line” comes from and is the number one reason why one definitely needs to concentrate on baseball. The Bottom Line Assuming you have created a model that gives you a positive expected value, the longer season is an incredible benefit. Compare this to a casino owning a roulette table which has a positive expected value of 5.26%. Would you rather own it for one hour, one day or one month? A lot of variance can happen in one hour and you might not make a profit despite the 5.26% edge. HOWEVER, this variance should smooth out, or regress to the mean over a longer period of time (such as 24 hours or 30 days). Compare this example to the difference between an NFL season and MLB season. In a 16-week NFL regular season, there are 256 NFL football games versus 2430 total baseball games over a 162-game season. Even if you built an NFL model with a positive expected value, there’s a decent chance you will lose money with such a small sample. By stretching this advantage over 2430 games, you are much more likely to make a profit. So lastly, are you in this for action or in this to make a profit? The baseball is in your hand; throw some strikes and and then hit it out of the ballpark. 

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Late-Season NBA Tips

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

Pay Close Attention To Late-Season Changes Smart, expert sports bettors know that it pays to be aware of what the betting public is likely to think and do in a particular situation because that will have an impact on how the lines are set, how they move, and where the value can be found. With my 35 years of experience, I can single handily tell you the Oddsmakers line on the next game of the one just played based on the previous play and how the public perceived the final result. This is especially true heading into the playoffs at the end of the year. The public thinks that teams are scripted by the NBA for playoffs seeding and who generates the best TV money. I certainly pay attention to that.  But more importantly, seeing an improvement late in a playoff-borderline team making a late season charge is certainly different than a team in fourth with no chance to move up to the number three seed, for solid information.   Understanding Momentum  There are all sorts of factors that can lead to a winning streak such as a dose of increased confidence, good health, an easy schedule, and luck among them. To put too much faith in momentum is to believe too strongly that what has happened in the past has a direct bearing on what will happen in the next game. That makes momentum a dangerous concept for NBA sports bettors. Understand what the changes are and look for solid reasons for better play for example. Let’s certainly not ignore negative momentum as internally there could also be reason to go against a certain team. There are usually glaring reason for such shifts in players play or a team’s performance. More important than momentum are matchups. Some teams play better at a slower tempo while other love the transition game. Certain teams defend the perimeter neutralizing the opponent’s three point shooting.   Look For Road Results  One of the simplest ways to measure how tough and talented a NBA team really is is to look at their performance on the road. This is an even bigger factor in the playoffs. Studies have shown that the biggest reason that home court advantage exists is the crowd. With Covid restrictions during the regular season, take that into account. As we move into post-season, the NBA may admit fans. That momentum of having crowds finally would probably help the home underdogs more than anyone. The officials normally are well aware of the crowd, and are not interested in making that crowd angry, so they subconsciously give the home team some advantages. In the playoffs the crowds and the fans are more enthusiastic and vocal. That means that home court advantage is going to be tougher to overcome in the playoffs than it might be in the middle of the regular season. A team that appears to have a lot of momentum on the road is one that is probably tough enough to not be bothered by the extra challenges the playoff offers when they are on their opponent’s hardwood. That will increase their chances of playoff success, and therefore makes them more interesting for sports bettors depending on how big a favorite they are for that particular game.   When a Good Team is Struggling  Let’s first find out why a good team is struggling late in the season. Are their players being rested? Was there a “key” injury? Is their regular season standings set to where they can’t move up in seedings? We always find out the “why”. More significant than a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs is the opposite – a total absence of momentum. Some strong contenders will perform at less than their potential down the stretch because they are looking forward to the playoffs and have little left to accomplish in the regular season. Sometimes, though, the struggles of a good team will go well beyond just trying to save themselves. If a team is losing games they should be able to win, performing well below expectations statistically, and bickering or exhibiting a bad attitude in the press, then it could be an important sign that the team isn’t as ready for the league playoffs as they should be, and may not be as strong in the playoffs as their record would suggest. This is especially true for the lower seeded team that barely make the playoffs. They may have extreme talent but are very young and are fighting among themselves.  Nice Betting Value Is Apparent  It usually happens in the first round of the playoffs. Some team that has a mediocre over-all win/loss regular season record may be playing their best basketball. Teams that were 15-26 the first part of the season may have for some important list of variables completely did an about face and finished 26-15. That’s the key stat!! If a team has been shooting better from the field, defending better on the perimeter and under the basket, or rebounding better recently then they did on the whole year then it’s quite possible that they have taken their game to a new level. Perhaps they are more comfortable with each other, or their coaches have found a better way to get through to them, or they are healthy. That’s the value of great coaches. They know the season is long and they’ll use all 82 regular season games to adjust the lineups and find the right chemistry. Whatever the reason, this type of momentum is very valuable for bettors because it can lead to a situation in which a team is better than their record, and therefore better than a lot of casual bettors will assume them to be. That could lead to nice value for the basketball bettor.

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Betting Against the Public in College Hoops: NCAA Basketball Tournament

Sunday, Mar 14, 2021

March Madness 2021 Every March the public gears up for the single best sporting event on planet Earth. Four weeks of daily college basketball. Businesses run promotions around this craziness. Betting pools are in every office. Wives sit with husbands to watch “their college team”. The word “madness” might not tell the entire story. Sharp gamblers love when the public is involved. They continually make our handicapping easier year after year. We have a good idea who will win prior to tip off. When the public is involved, they become our barometer of betting. Different Strategy for March Madness   There is increased public attention as we near the NCAA Tournament — so Betting Against the Public works particularly well at this time of the college basketball season. The annual countdown to March Madness begins anew. Although many casual fans wait until tournament time before regularly watching college hoops, the long duration of the regular season plus the copious number of Division 1 programs creates ample opportunities for contrarian sports bettors to extract value.  The Public Begins Madness Betting   Betting Against the Public has proven to work across all of the major sports, but March Madness is a special time of year. The public loves to bet big name favorites. Their knowledge is based on looking at a top 25 poll and then laying double digits.  When one team garners more than 60% of the bets and is favored by at least 14 points, the favorite wins against the spread 56.5% of the time.  Betting Trends and Tools  These betting trends reflect real bets placed by real bettors, as opposed to other websites that use “consensus” numbers. By including both sharp and square sportsbooks, our betting percentages and analysis accurately reflect which teams the public is backing across the marketplace. College basketball offers sports investors many investment opportunities — and at the same time, many challenges.  We have many tools that sports investors can use for college hoops. Tools that the sports professionals utilize hourly. This includes bread-and-butter sports investing tools such as Betting Percentages and Line Moves. In addition, the Number of Bets placed at the counter is often overlooked as an indicator and the public doesn’t have access to that very important information. Parley cards are analyzed and put into algorithms for review.  Why Bet Contrarian to the Public?  The value derived from betting against the public is directly correlated with the number of bets placed on the game so, naturally, it’s more lucrative to bet against the public when the volume of bets increases during March Madness. If more bets are being placed on a game, it’s more likely that oddsmakers will be forced to adjust their lines based on an influx of “square” or “public” money. These artificially inflated lines create value for anybody willing to take the unpopular side of a game. For example; would the public bet Ball St +8.5 to beat UCLA? Probably not. Would the public be inclined to wager on Michigan -18 against San Diego St? Most definitely! Contrary to popular belief. The oddsmakers do not attempt to balance their book by attracting 50 percent of the action on each side. Instead, they shade their opening lines to capitalize on public perception. They take it in account prior to releasing the point spreads. Over the course of the day, market-setting sportsbooks allow their sharpest bettors to shape the line. It’s only in the most heavily bet games (where sportsbooks have high levels of potential liability) that public money can affect the spread. Sharp bettors get the advantage from knowing the public’s side without the penalty of any line movement. The public rarely will move the betting number.  Oddsmakers Advantage with Lines  Public bettors overwhelmingly take favorites and overs, which makes perfect sense from a psychological standpoint. It’s human nature to ROOT for winners and scoring, and the media’s propensity to overhype these teams only exasperates this tendency. The sharpest Vegas bettors certainly take advantage of this ongoing betting style. Sportsbooks understand this and shade their lines to exploit the tendencies of casual bettors. Since the “beginning” of time, the majority of public bettors have taken the underdog in just 22.65% of all college basketball games. That number is fairly consistent, regardless of how many bets are placed on each game. But what happens in the rare instances where the majority of public bettors are taking the underdog? Is there still value betting against the public? In those cases, the sharps could lay off that game. Again, if a game has 70% on the same side whether it’s the favorite or the underdog, since we don’t have to bet every game; we analyze, decide and move on. We’re not in the Madness for action, TV games or betting our favorite teams and alma mater. We’re in it to WIN. Our entertainment is always about WINNING.   Let the Madness begin.

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NCAA Tournament Betting Prep

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

Who’s on the Bubble?March 1st is Monday. There’s an excitement in the air. There’s madness to this month. March Madness. It is officially the time of year where teams start to cement their standings for the NCAA Tournament. There’s the beginning of new life for many teams after a very difficult year. This also means that it becomes more clear which teams are on the bubble. Plenty of time remains in the season, but it appears that the bubble is stronger compared to years past.  As of now, teams like Stanford, Richmond, and SMU are on the outside looking in along with other hopefuls. Will LSU (13-6) be considered? Or an 11-4 Xavier team? One could make a case for Maryland (13-10), Minnesota (13-9) and Indiana (12-9) from playing in the very difficult Big Ten. We need to also follow Texas Tech and Oklahoma St from the Big 12. This question about these teams really shows how strong the field must be.  These are teams that I was bullish off and on throughout the season who remain legitimate tournament threats if they find their way in or redefine their form and shooting touch. What this means is that the programs that do end up making it, I would most likely favor them this year in their early March Madness matchups.  Injuries vs Covid Remember to follow who’s been playing recently and who hasn’t. Are these recent developments or an injury from a month ago that impacted their season way back.  What seems like an obvious tip is actually quite difficult at times, considering how many teams there are in DI basketball. It is necessary to track team injuries when filling out your bracket simply because a team can obviously be over valued and over-ranked without their best player playing much or recently returning. He might have fresh legs but lost his shooting touch. That’s box scores information that we perform but certainly pays huge dividends.  Not only this, but remember to consider if a team lost a game when they weren’t playing at full strength or were perhaps without their head coach due to COVID protocols. Additionally, considering how a team played when certain players were injured compared to where they stand come tournament time is a sharp angle to take and will provide a leg up against your pool. If their replacements did a great job, note that as their bench strength deepened.  Conference Tournaments Teams that are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives may get in; but may be drained by that Thursday start of March Madness. Any bubble team that had to win their own conference tournament to move forward most likely won’t go far after playing three grueling days to get there. For example, it Duke won the ACC tournament, they’re in but still an underachieving but popular betting team this year. Watch those teams that happened to get hot in those conference tournaments.  Let’s all get crazy ready for March Madness. We’ll be focused and refocused every day of March.  Good Luck,Wayne 

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The Best NCAA Basketball Prop Bet for 2021

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

THE PROP BETThere’s a great prop bet in Las Vegas that gives you action among every team in all of college basketball. It’s this:#1 Gonzaga and #2 Baylor (+110) vs. The Field (-120).   THE ZAGS and THE BEARS This side is the underdog, the top two teams all season. Both teams are far ahead of their closest competition in terms of talent, rankings and athleticism. Gonzaga and Baylor are a combined 40-0 and are the underdogs. That’s what makes this such a great bet.   THE FIELD Let’s not look at all 64 teams but some possibilities for the sweet 16. We already know two of the teams so follow here:  THE BIG TEN There are four teams from the Big Ten sitting high in the top 5 rankings: Michigan 16-1, Ohio St 18-5 and Illinois 16-6. These three teams have fought with each other and had to play Iowa, Wisconsin and at Minnesota. Michigan is hot and talented.   THE BIG 12 From the difficult Big 12 we have good competition all throughout the conference but especially with Oklahoma 14-6, West Virginia 16-6, Texas at 14-6 and a resurrected Kansas team 17-8. All have experience with coaching at this level. THE SEC Two very good teams are Alabama 18-5 and Arkansas 17-5 from the SEC which are both high scoring offensive machines.   THE ACC The ACC has Florida St 13-3 and Virginia at 15-5. Duke is left to begging for a bid. FSU will be dangerous. BIG EAST Let’s not forget the Big East with Villanova 15-3 and Creighton at 16-5. Villanova just hasn’t had to play great competition. SLEEPER’S Houston 18-3 could be our final Sweet 16 entrant. But for fun, let’s add Loyola-Chicago 19-4 and San Diego St 17-4 from the Mountain West. Houston has offense, Loyola-Chicago has their Nun from two years ago and SD St places great defense.   CONSIDER THIS: Here are some factors to consider: 1. Gonzaga and Baylor wouldn’t meet until the final four due to seeding.  2. The other 14 teams certainly can knock each other off and will. 3. Upsets in round one and two will definitely happen to a few teams from the field.  4. In reality, Gonzaga and Baylor might only have to squeeze by the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight.   FINAL 4 FOR EXTRA PROFITS  Once we get to the Saturday portion of the Final Four, Gonzaga and Baylor could luck out and not meet. However, if so, then you’ll have a great bet on the Monday Championship Game as you’d get either team as a pick em because of this current wager and the opportunity to middle as their opponent would be getting 8 points or more.

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That First 2.3 Million Dollar Super Bowl Bet

Monday, Feb 01, 2021

alAll Super Bowl sports bettors should be focusing on many things other than those million-dollar bets that the media loves to report. Sportsbooks are filled with very smart $1000 bettors and right next to them in line to wager is that anonymous ego driven wealthy casino customer. It's a guarantee the hotel/casino PR Department will make his bet a media sensation. ESPN, Yahoo Sports and BETMGM, Caesars or the Las Vegas Westgate will be the first to call them for this story. But what does it really mean? Who cares what some anonymous millionaire bet or how much he wagered? In reality, which side does the bettor who actually earns his living from sports gambling like? The Handicapping Professional is your BEST BET!! Successful sports bettors don’t parade around town bragging about the size of their bets. They are stealth as they don't need everyone to know information which may affect the betting number as they bet at many different sports books grabbing the best numbers.  Someone bet $2.3 million dollars on the Buccaneers in a single wager this week. ESPN was all over it as were others. They reported everything except the person's identity. That's fair but do you want to follow a ghost bettor? What happens when another gambler bets $3.0 million on the Chiefs two days later? Now who do you follow? Neither!! Because they don't matter. Their bets are a creation by the media about someone that has too much money with the casinos not missing a beat.   If a celebrity makes the wager, sure, that’s news just not entertainment news. If Bill Gates makes a $3.0 million bet, that's newsworthy to some but not gambling news. If the "mattress-man" from Houston makes a huge bet, that's worthy of business news tying bets into a self serving store-wide promotion. The absolute real joke is back on those bettors. If the betting line didn’t move, we immediately know that even the sports books had no respect for those wagers.  Public money, even this large, doesn’t move anything. It just goes into their accounting department to be added to the balance sheet.   This is where astute bettors, sharps, math gurus and wise guys along with sports handicapping professionals such as Wayne Allyn Root are truly smarter than the house. And that’s why they win. These guys are your line movers. These players are respected and someone you should follow. Those other guys are basically some millionaire media creation. The real sports betting professionals such as Wayne Allyn Root will not only give great information on the side and total but in this new age era of 400 prop bets is second to none in terms of how to bet the Super Bowl.  Consider this one example of clearly thinking out of the box and using a prop bet for a huge score. When Denver met Carolina, that game was played with an older Peyton Manning at quarterback who could barely launch the football downfield. Wayne Root liked the Broncos side. But why bet $1100 to win $1000 without breaking down why the Broncos would win? His conclusion was that Manning would NOT throw them into the winners circle. It had to be won by defense. So if that was the case, Wayne Allyn Root made and advised all to bet on Von Miller to win the MVP at 16/1 odds. Von Miller did win the MVP and that same $1000 wager PAID A STAGGERING $16,000. That's the difference between an ego driven wealthy media and casino creation and your seasoned sports betting professional such as Wayne Allyn Root. His side, total and top 15 Super Bowl Prop bets are highly anticipated and will be released by Wednesday for all. 

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Follow the Money to Riches in Sports Betting

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

Big Connections Needed Unless you’re one with big connections, you can’t easily find out how much money has been bet on each team in a particular game. Many like to think they know, and some do, but trust that a 35 year betting sports professional like myself certainly does. It’s my job and duty to “follow the money”. What I want to verify is it 2500 public bettors betting $200 each for $500,000 or three sharp players giving $500,000 in three different bets. That’s good and solid information that’s needed.  Analyzing the Marketplace  What you can find out, though, is how many bets by percentage have been placed on each team by monitoring as many sports books as you can. When we see a game in which a huge majority of the bets – 70 percent or more – are on one team we would typically expect the odds for that team to get less attractive. That’s the sign of public money coming in. But is the public money only showing up at one betting site or across all of Vegas and offshore? The books generally like to have action that is closed to balanced so that they can make profits with little risk, so they will change the lines to attract action to one team to achieve that balance. This will give you data on where the marketplace is betting. It will additionally allow you to see the line movement at different betting establishments.  Sharp Money Bets When a game moves in the opposite direction to what you would expect are you confused? Sometimes, though, we will see games in which the large majority of bets are on one team, yet the line moves the opposite expected direction to make that team even more attractive. What that tells us is that the small number of bettors on the less popular team have bet more money than the large number of bettors on the popular team.  Do you Recognize the Upset? If the team’s point spread moves significantly then we know that the sharps bet the game aggressively. It can be profitable by betting against the public in these situations as the public. This is a great way to spot teams that are ready to pull off a big upset – something that can lead to very profitable moneyline bets. Even if the moneyline bets fail, the point spread bets that I post succeed and are successful a majority of the time.  See you in the Winner’s Circle and at the Cash Window

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Saints/Buccaneers: Is the Third Time the Charm?

Friday, Jan 15, 2021

Guaranteed to hear this statement this week. All week, you will hear the self-proclaimed experts tell you it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Let’s look at the weekend game that this aspires to:  the NFL’s  Tampa Bay vs New Orleans game.  One of the conventional wisdoms about the difficulty of dominating opponents you see on a regular basis doesn’t hold up to actual math, which is good news for people worried about the Saints as they play Tampa Sunday.  The History of Three-Peats Since the 1970 NFL Merger, there have been 21 instances where a team swept a team in the regular season and then had a third battle in the playoffs. The sweeping team has gone 14-7 in those games, which favors New Orleans. In the season opener, the Saints beat the Bucs by 11 points, and then the Saints shocked Tampa Bay on the road in the rematch, 38-3. Will Tom Brady be that special quarterback that will be able to break this trend? Wayne Root has a solid personal opinion about this situation after studying these situations for over 34 years.   Using a Baseball Analysis Manager Tony La Russa said he didn't like playing doubleheaders because it's hard to beat the same team twice in one day. But football is not two games. The point is that if you beat an opponent twice, you have proven your opponent to be inferior.  The Tom Brady Effect We shall see if the Tom Brady effect will apply or the Saints going for the 3-0 sweep. Playing on the road does not help his case completely. The home team going for the sweep is also 12-5, 71%. Yet for some reason, everyone is going to talk about the difficulty of beating a team three times in one year. The Dallas Effect NFL teams outside of Dallas have a .706 winning percentage when attempting to beat a team for the third time in one season because the Cowboys are 0-2. So bottom line, pay attention to handicapping professionals for real truths. I guarantee that you will hear how hard beating the same team three times this year more than once. To base a prediction on a game based on something a person believes to be true, even though we now know it is not, shows a lack of research and diminishes one's credibility. And that’s why you stick to Wayne Allyn Root.  

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Coach Belichick: Make that phone call Monday!

Friday, Jan 01, 2021

The City of Angels:Los Angeles, located on a broad basin in Southern California, the city is surrounded by vast mountain ranges, valleys, forests, beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean, and nearby desert. It is the home to the World Champions; Dodgers and Lakers.  Home of World Champions: Only the NFL is missing a World championship team. And it won’t be the Rams with their quarterback, Jared Goff. An NFL team needs to start with two things. A successful and innovative head coach and a franchise quarterback. The Los Angeles Chargers will fire their coach Monday and whomever takes the job will inherit an upcoming franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. Enter Bill Belichick: He’s doesn’t have the time nor the patience to search for the next Tom Brady. Why should he? It’s sitting 3500 miles from him in sunny warm California.  All Bill has to do is “make the call,” throw away his winter clothes and grab his shades and head to the airport to join the Dodgers, Lakers and his new LA Chargers team. And if I was Owner Dean Spanos, I’d take my $18M home in La Jolla and give it to Coach Belichick. It’s no easy task filling up a 70,000 seat stadium with the competition coming from the Rams, Lakers, Dodgers and USC. That calls for marketing out of the box skills or one incredible hire.  Belichick’s opinion on Herbert: “He’s impressive – very talented player, tall, sees things well, has a good arm, can certainly make all the throws,” Belichick said of Herbert. “He’s athletic, can escape the pocket, smart. They do a number of things at the line of scrimmage – you’ve seen him check plays, audible against pressure, change plays against check-with-me type situations.  Furthermore: So, it looks like he’s going be a good quarterback for a long time, a lot to work with and I know he’s a smart, hard-working kid that likes football and I’m sure he will continue to get better, as he has this year throughout the course of the season. He’s improved from the early games that I’ve watched, and like I said, has a lot of good skill players to work with – good tight end, good backs, good receivers. So, yeah, he’s a good player.”  Will he; Should he: While Belichick highlighted all of his strengths, his notorious for exploiting rookie quarterback’s weaknesses. Maybe he didn’t notice any or maybe he’s headed west and doesn’t want to mess with his head. There’s no denying that Belichick would garner some buzz in the City of Angels. Belichick, who has a proven track record of winning, would be in a situation where he has the pieces to make a big run. Bottom line: They’ve got a star quarterback and they’re in a crowded sports market. Justin and Belichick would sell tickets for a franchise who can’t sell tickets. Quarterback Justin Herbert would have a coach that helped a guy develop into one of the best at his position, with that being Tom Brady.  Season tickets, going fast: They get someone to help sell tickets. It sounds like an exhausting argument, and it is, but the goal of upper-management is to make this team as successful and profitable as possible. There definitely is an added benefit to having Herbert and Belichick together to sell tickets. And having a defensive minded coach is exactly what the Chargers need to put with their offense.

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There's No Tanking in the NFL

Wednesday, Dec 23, 2020

THE FANS BELIEVE THISIn the NFL, there’s is no tanking to improve for draft positions. Many have thought so but it’s doubtful it’s gone from average Joes setting up a scenario for their team to justify whatever they wanted to fit their own agenda. “Please lose so we get the Number One selection”.  ORGANIZATION RESET Let me explain what is real and is very much defined by the teams actions. It’s call an “organization reset of assets”. That’s a fancy term for dumping players; not games. That’s a slick and smart way to dump salaries and clear cap space. This is management’s and the owners way of moving forward.  LAST YEAR MIAMI FOR TUA When the Miami Dolphins were dumping and trading their best players for their own organization reset, they not only lost games but we’re getting blown out. One couldn’t have a discussion without hearing how Miami was setting themselves up to draft Alabama’s quarterback, Tua. It was a sure bet as the losses piled up. Then what happened? They began to win. They actually finished the season with five (5) wins. What happened? They reset and properly allocated their organization’s assets. They dumped huge contracts.  2019 to 2020 RESULTS They NEVER lost a game on purpose. They reset for this year. If you look at the success of what they managed to do in a year; few would have believed they’d go from 0-10 last year to winning five games to eliminating New England from the playoffs last week to themselves at even money to make it into the wild card arena of the NFL playoffs. Cincinnati ended up choosing Joe Burrow as the first selection.   THE JETS WIN This brings me to 2020 with the race of becoming this year's worst team. The word was that the Jets had a firm hold on first place. But the head coach wouldn’t sign off on continuous losing. And why would he? He’s 99% for sure fired in two weeks. Why leave what he needed as a franchise quarterback for the new head coach to walk into? Why would Sam Darnold want to lose so that he would lose his job as the Jets' starting quarterback? He may not get another chance after this job. THE COWBOYS  If someone was to tank and trade up, the Cowboys could not renew Dak Prescott at $35M and lose the past two weeks. But they didn’t. In fact, they went winner, winner and still could make the playoffs.  THE TALENT IS UNPROVEN  Keep in mind the there are many talented players in the top six draft spots coming out of college. And none are guaranteed to be the next superstar. Who knows where the next Patrick Mahomes will come from? Or the next sixth-round pick as in Tom Brady. What about the next Dick Butkus? There’s always that next one. Or play, reset and get into the first six picks.   PLAYERS PLAY TO WIN This is why players won’t go 0-16. No matter what.  And it’s not proven that the coach or management have asked for that. Did you see the celebration for the Jets after Sunday’s defeat on the road against the Rams as a 17-point dog?  They did not want to be in the same all-time losers category as only two other teams are presently in. Did you see the clips of how much it meant for Cincinnati to defeat the Steelers as a 13.5-point underdog? Maybe the Jacksonville Jags will win a game in their last two weeks? But they won’t try to lose! WILL THE JAGS HOLD ON Only two games remain, but the Jaguars’ horrendous season can’t end soon enough. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry took to Twitter Sunday, writing that the New York Jets delivered an early Christmas present to Jacksonville. Indeed, the Jaguars are now in the driver’s seat to land Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft because of the Jets' upset of the Los Angeles Rams, 23-20, on Sunday to notch their first win of the season. JAGS FINAL TWO GAMES Now all they need to do is lose the final two games against Chicago Bears this upcoming Sunday at TIAA Bank Field, and the Indianapolis Colts in the season finale. Although the Jaguars and Jets now have identical 1-13 records, the Jaguars own the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker for the No. 1 overall pick. Will they tank or are they just bad enough to lose while playing and giving 100%?  I say there’s no tanking at all. But in the upcoming months, the Jags will get Trevor Lawrence on a cheap five-year contract and use cap space to protect their investment with some offensive lineman picks a big backfield blockers. Now that’s an organizational reset of assets. If they can only hold on and gain two more losses. 

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NFL Week 14: News, Results and Insights

Friday, Dec 18, 2020

Highlights, Questions and Comments  Philadelphia owes him $62M: In five seasons under Coach Doug Pederson, the Eagles are 11-3 in games not started by Carson Wentz (including the playoffs) and 35-33-1 with Wentz starting. Hard choices can be costly.  Drew Brees to start or wait?? Taysom Hill passed for a career-high 291 yards, but he also threw an interception and lost a fumble. With 11 cracked ribs, let him heal.  We knew he’d be a great one!! Washington’s rookie defensive end Chase Young put on a show with six tackles, a sack, two passes defended, two quarterback hits and a 47-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Defense Defense Defense.  Strong case for MVP: Derrick Henry is leading the N.F.L. with 1,532 yards rushing this season — just 8 short of the total he led the N.F.L. with last year — and he has run for 100 or more yards in his last nine road games. Honor a running back that fee want to even tackle head on.  NFC-East picks up interest!! The severity of Alex Smith’s injury was not immediately announced. With the Giants losing last week, combined with wins by Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas, things stayed interesting in the N.F.C. East, which is making up for its lack of quality by having all four teams in the division race with three games remaining.  Vikings kicking themselves? Dan Bailey missed an extra-point attempt in the first quarter and proceeded to miss field-goal attempts of 36, 54 and 46 yards, with each sailing wide right. Vikings kicker is having a mental meltdown?  Bailey also missed two extra points and a 51-yard field-goal attempt last week, making him 1 of 4 on extra points and 2 of 6 on field goals.  Throw out the game stats!! Tampa Bay had the ball for less than 21 of the game’s 60 minutes, while Minnesota had the game’s leading passer, leading rusher and leading receiver. Final score: Bucs 26--Vikings 14I’m baaaaack Chicago fans!! Mitchell Trubisky had a terrific game against the Houston Texans, completing 24 of 33 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Chicago managed to keep the Bears very much alive in the race for the N.F.C.’s third wild card.Could they finish 0-3; or 1-2?? Green Bay controls its own destiny as far as a first-round bye is concerned, and the Packers will close their season with winnable games against Carolina, Tennessee (in Green Bay) and Chicago. Need linebackers in a hurry!! The Steelers looked lost trying to slow down quarterback Josh Allen, receiver Stefon Diggs and the Bills’ offense, losting, 26-15. As a result, the Steelers will go into Week 15 trailing Kansas City for the top spot in the AFC. Defense is leaking fast.  Tom Brady’s Christmas wish!!Tampa Bay improved to 8-5, and is on its way to its first playoff appearance since 2007.  Brady has his offense set for a playoff run! The next John Elway?? Drew Lock finished the day with a career-high four passing touchdowns leading the Broncos to an unlikely win over Carolina. The Buffalo Bills are complete now. Stefon Diggs had 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. He is the first player this season to reach 100 receptions. It’ll be Allen to Diggs in the playoffs. 

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Betting Opportunities Within the NFC East Division

Monday, Dec 14, 2020

The NFC East ATS thru Week 14 The NY Giants are 8-4 ATS. S/u 5-8 and 2-4 at home The Football team is 6-5 ATSS/u 5-7 and 4-2 at home.  The Eagles are 4-8 ATS S/u 3-8-1 and 4-3 at home.  The Cowboys are 2-9 ATSS/u 4-9 and 1-5 at home.  S/U against winning teams  The NY Giants win over Seattle last week was the first win over a team with a winning record thru week 13. On week 14, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New Orleans Saints for the NFC East division’s second win over a team with a winning record. That was my Pinnacle Bet of the Year (now 13-3). But let’s bet with the point spread and like the perception they give the masses. After all, the oddsmakers do this every week.  Making money in weeks 15-17  We can make money from week 15 to week 17.  Three  weeks of value and most bettors giving up on them. The oddsmakers know that.The straight up record for this division is 17-32-1. But with the point spread, it brings us to 23-28. A confident vote AGAINST Dallas  The biggest culprit is Dallas; America’s team. The oddsmakers realize this. The public is ingrained to believe that. The bets continue to flow in on them. If we never bet on Dallas, the worst division in the NFL would now be 20-18 ATS.  Adapt your thinking In gambling at sports, sometimes one needs to adapt and change betting philosophies. It’s daring and risky but we sports bettors are risk takers. If we bet on the NY Giants, Washington and Philadelphia but bet against the Dallas Cowboys, our ATS numbers would change to 30-21 ATS.  Going against Dallas makes sense It’s not out of character to adjust to these situations. Their starting quarterback is out for the year. Their backup got hurt for a few games. At four (4) wins, and needing one of the many college quarterbacks preparing for the NFL draft, why would they now be able to win? I don’t see the Cowboys playing for Texas pride. I don’t see them laying it on the turf for their coach. At times, even though their paychecks are on autopay, I don’t even see most playing for Jerry Jones money. With injuries, lack of attitude and focus, a bet against the Cowboys and bets on the other three are the money makers. The oddsmakers know everyone has given up on this division and will make their opponents over-priced wager opportunities for the masses.  Making money ATS in the NFC-East  I will concentrate on more NFC EAST bets in weeks 15-17 to finish the season. I’ll be on for the most part, NY, Washington and Philadelphia and against Dallas. 

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Surprise Coming to Texas Football?

Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Texas is huge in everything they do. They’re bigger than life! FOOTBALL IS KING Thursday thru Monday. Junior High football brings them in droves as their introduction. High School football sells out 50,000 seat stadiums and comes with pointspreads. College football is bloody to die for between the different loyaltists and alumni. The two teams in the NFL stink but are beloved throughout Texas and one as America’s Team. With 270,000 sq miles and 29,000,000 people, what can one person do to change the entire State of Texas football scene? We’re talking about getting excited about the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys. Gamblers bet like hell on Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. The University of Texas has always been king until recently. The Pony Express, SMU, was up there years ago paying huge dividends and the new kid on the block is U of Houston. Don’t think that they don’t support TCU, Rice, Texas St and UTEP for a minute because they do. So what is apparently lacking? I say it’s one thing that could collectively put Texas back on the football map. A much needed wrangling in of a football stranglehold. A huge cattle man? Probably not. An oil baron wouldn’t hurt but there’s better. A close source to me told me that Shelley Meyer is in Austin shopping for a residential palace.One Texas size mansion big enough to hosts Texas size boosters. In case you are not familiar with her, that’s football legend Urban Meyer’s wife. It seems that University of Texas is unhappy with Coach Tom Herman. That’s football Texas talk that he can’t win nor cover the spread as a favorite. It’s speculation on my part (haha) but we know when Texas goes ALL-IN, it’s not always about no limit Texas hold em poker. The spirit of all longhorn cattle or every Texas graduate is saddling up for this campfire miracle. It’s amazing that one person could change an entire industry in that State but Texas Football, whether College and Pro, requires the biggest name available and his name is Coach Urban Meyer.

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A College Football Bad Beat for the Ages

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020

DOUBLE BAD BEATTulane +5.5 vs Tulsa -5.5Over/Under 53.5———————-Bet TulaneBet Under————Halftime score 0-0Points are ok getting 5.5Under is incredible at 53.5————End of 3rd quarterTulane 14–Tulsa 0Points are looking greatUnder is 39 points from winning; So lock it up————Start of 4th quarterTulane 14 - Tulsa 7    14—14    1:51 left    21—14.     :06 leftTulsa has ball with .06 seconds left. QB throws 37 yard pass to tie and send to OT at 21-21———-First OTTulsa scores FG first 21-24Tulane scores FG 24-24 to tie———-2 OTTulane gets ball. Throws a 94 yard pick-6Final Score:Tulane 24Tulsa 30Tulane bettor had + 5.5 to lose by the hookTulane bettor also had under 53.5 to lose by the hook. And you think you had a bad day?

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Inside the NFL: Against the Spread (ATS) Numbers thru Week 9

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020

Playing at Home Home teams get to enjoy the comfort of being on your home turf, whether it’s maintaining a game-week rhythm or eating meals in your home, or sleeping in your own bed. They also don’t have to contend with travel protocols. But does that add up to more point spread covers? Thru 9 weeks, home teams are 76-70-1; 51.7% straight/up Road Team Perks Performing well in road games has become less difficult, thanks to the advancement of private air travel, football technology and mental fortitude. You have talking headsets now in helmets, and you have signals from the sideline ...so the hardships of yesteryear are behind us somewhat. Thru week 9, visitors are 70-77-1; 47.6%  straight -up Empty Stadiums Nearly empty stadiums make for just one variable that a coronavirus world presents, and accurately projecting its impact will prove to be a difference-maker for everyone's bottom line. The biggest adjustment yet might be the decision to limit fans’ attendance at games. So how has this affected home-field advantage? Although it’s too early in the season to reach a definitive conclusion, it’s evident that the home-field advantage is waning from past NFL seasons. During the 2019 season, home teams were a mere nine games straight up, 132-123-1, combined above .500, (.518 win rate), the lowest home win rate since 2002.  Home teams over-all: 70-77 ATS; 47.6% Home Favorites 41-53 ATS; 43.7% Home Team Advantage?  The assessment begins with a concept that already seems to have become outdated: home-field advantage. In fact, home teams won just 52% of regular-season games last year. That ranks as the third-worst season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) and worst since 1972.  Home dogs are 29-24; 54.7% Visitor underdogs;53-41 ATS; 56.3%  Outside Factors You're handicapping betting behavior more than anything, especially on the higher-profile games, Denver will still have its altitude, warm-weather teams still must endure late-season elements, and travel will still involve challenges and annoyances that figure to inhibit a team's performance such as navy to back road games. Add to your Handicapping  Over the past five years, a league-high 14.7% of NFL games were decided by exactly three points. The second-most common margin of victory was seven points (9.9%), followed by six points (7.1%). It’s a Dog eat Favorite World in 2020  Underdogs are:  82-65; 55.8% thru week 9.

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NFL Mid-Season Playoff Picture

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020

If the NFL playoffs were to begin based on Week 9-ending records, this is how it would match up.  AFCPittsburgh has a Bye Raiders vs Bills Miami vs Kansas City Baltimore vs Tennessee NFCNew Orleans has a Bye LA Rams vs Seattle Tampa Bay vs Philadelphia  Arizona vs Green Bay  Looking to get into the playoffs  In the AFC, Cleveland and Indianapolis can certainly move up. Most after that would have to go on a 8-0 or 7-1 run. It’s possible but unlikely.  In the NFC, the Chicago Bears have an opportunity if they right the ship.  Value betting bottom teams? It will be interesting to see if a team that is 3-5, can finish the second half of the season 7-1 or 6-2 to finish at 10-6 or 9-7.  I think this week is the most critical week of the season. It might be a chance to see which coach can adapt, manage or MOTIVATE.  This will be followed up next week on the results of the upcoming games in Week 9. If you can identify a certain coach and why his team team fell behind at this point, there’s point spread value AND money to be made on these lower-tiered teams.  Finally  Good luck with all your football information and continue to come back for more thinking out of the box.

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Bad Beat for the Monday Night Bettors

Saturday, Nov 07, 2020

Jerick McKinnon’s late score in the 49ers’ game with the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium was about more than pride. Just ask the folks in Las Vegas. Or better yet, ask Coach Shanahan if he scored one for the boys that were counting on a lot of points in the Green Bay game. Last year in the Championship game between these two teams, about eight months ago, the 49ers were -7.5. Thursday, Green Bay was -7.5. That’s a 15 point swing. Then to offer a trap for the public, the line started falling with the sports books loving that the public would get sucked in. And they did. It at least balanced out the sharps that teased Green Bay down to -.5. The sharps also teased that with the over 42.5. That left the squares (60%) of them betting San Francisco and under 48.5. Keep in mind, Vegas doesn’t lose often. That was important to bettors, since the over/under for the game was 49.5 on Wednesday and at 48 by kickoff. Every sports book needed scoring at the 6:30 mark in the 4th quarter with the score 34-3. Then the 49ers decided to kick it in gear. The 49ers got the ball back on their own 25 with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, and marched 75 yards on 10 plays to make the score 34-10. The Packers went three and out and just wanted to hit the showers. That’s probably when the call came in...if there was one. After quickly moving downfield, the Vegas sports books and all the "over" bettors were laughing uncontrollably as the under bettors sat stunned in a typical finished game they are accustomed. McKinnon’s 1-yard touchdown run with four seconds left, followed by the ensuing extra point, put the final score of Thursday’s game at 34-17. Pay Green Bay and the OVER. 

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The Falcons Should Trade QB Matt Ryan

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

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

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NFL Top 5 Teams

Sunday, Oct 25, 2020

1) Pittsburgh 5-0 The Steelers are a legitimate contender for AFC supremacy, and next up is an intriguing matchup Sunday with the Titans in a rescheduled game. With both teams 5-0, one team will be in a position to dominate the AFC. Kevin Bush’s knee injury is quite worrisome though, as Pittsburgh’s second level depth is a real concern and could open up a weakness in their great defense. Of course that remains to be seen as they just usually have “it” defensively. Their defense keyed Sunday’s 38-7 rout of Cleveland, holding the previously-hot Browns to 220 total yards with four sacks and two picks against Baker Mayfield. Great game Sunday at Tennessee. 2) Kansas City 4-1 Did anyone see 245 rushing yards coming from the Chiefs in a game in which they possessed the ball for nearly 38 minutes? Did Coach Reid forget he has a NFL great quarterback they paid a boatload of money to use? The defending Super Bowl champions didn’t look like a team that necessarily needed to add former Jets running back Le’Veon Bell after Monday’s game against the Bills. Now the Chiefs add Bell to the running back mix but few understand why. The guess is that Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy will get far more out of Bell than the Jets did. Maybe they’re saving Mahomes for the playoffs.  Also noteworthy:  Kansas City’s improved defense held Josh Allen to just 122 passing yards. 3) Seattle 5-0 Just one of three undefeated teams with the Titans and Steelers. Seattle sits atop the NFC but for how long is anybody’s guess. Their test to move to 6-0 is Sunday in Arizona. But keep your eyes on a potential upset in Arizona as Kyler Murray leads his Cardinals against the unbeaten Seahawks. Seattle will return with consecutive key games against divisional opponents, which should go a long way to determine whether MVP candidate Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will run away with the NFC West. The Seahawks return from their bye to play two straight division games, first at Arizona on Sunday and then at home against the 49ers. There are no easy games in the rugged NFC West. They better hope the defense gets it going soon because that's been an issue all season. The team’s average margin of victory is 6.8 points and all of their opponents have scored at least 23 points. UGH! 4) Tennessee  5-0 Ryan Tannehill and the Titans continue to prove that last year’s run to the AFC title game was no fluke. Their overtime victory over the Texans on Sunday came behind the exploits of QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry.  Ryan Tannehill threw for 364 yards and Derrick Henry ran for 212 while also chipping in with two catches for 52 yards. Derrick Henry (264 total yards Sunday vs. Houston) continues to build a case for MVP honors. On a short week, the Titans beat the AFC East division-leading Buffalo Bills and ran a two-minute drill in a comeback win over the Texans Sunday.  Within seven days, the Titans have likely erased a lot of doubt about their status as a playoff contender.  In Week 7, they'll play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a battle between the AFC's last two undefeated teams. 5) Baltimore 4-1  This team is not functioning at the level that last season’s team did. They are 5-1 heading into their bye and I still don't think they have played close to their best. They have the Steelers coming out of that bye, so they better be ready. Lamar Jackson’s struggles in the passing game are becoming more and more worrisome and the Ravens allowed too many long runs while not creating a consistent run game of their own.  Jackson had his best game of the season running the ball, with 108 yards on nine attempts.  It remains to be seen if he will win more games with his arm or with his legs. THESE TEAMS ARE LOOKING TO OVERTAKE YOU Green BayBuffaloTampa BayArizonaChicago 

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NFL Top 5 Teams

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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Top 5 NFL Rankings (Thru Week 4)

Thursday, Oct 08, 2020

We’re speaking of the NFL, where it’s topsy and turvy week-in and week-out. It’s like the swinging doors of the Wild West saloons. Expectedly, there have been some major upswings and downward falls. But those are from the lower-tiered teams.  1. Kansas City Never, ever take the defending Super Bowl champions out of the No. 1 spot in the Power Rankings until they lose their first game. Prior to Week 4, no team had started 4-0 in four consecutive seasons. While everyone gives credit to Patrick Mahomes and Coach Reid, Kansas City's underrated defense deserves praise. Kansas City‘s defense looks more capable over the last couple of weeks. It was only a few years ago they ranked number 30 or lower. Now, Kansas City is alone on top of the heap after one fourth of the season is behind us. Maybe a division game will slow them down.  2. Green Bay Rodgers looks as electric as ever and the Packers look very tough to beat. In fact, they may be in their own separate tier above the Ravens and just below the Chiefs. It must have helped motivate Rodgers when Green Bay drafted a rookie quarterback. But it’s all roses now and Aaron even seems to get along with his coach. Look out when his wide receivers get healthy and return and they bank win after win in their NFC North Division games. That offense is playing at an elite level. Aaron Rodgers is clearly in the MVP race.   3. Baltimore  They bounced back in nice fashion against Washington, but it wasn't exactly a big-time test. Even so, you have to win those types of games and move on. The Ravens lead the NFL in points off turnovers this season with 38. Of course that didn’t matter two weeks ago. Against mild manner Washington, Baltimore looked nothing like the discombobulated unit that was getting crushed by the Chiefs. But no one has looked very good against them either. Lamar Jackson is brilliant whenever he isn’t playing the Chiefs or Titans and their team's blitz-heavy defense has been highly effective against everyone but Kansas City. The Ravens have won their games big and have had great production from their ground game. But can they win the big ones: KC or Pittsburgh? 4. Pittsburgh  The Steelers are back and solid. When the Steel Curtain is making headlines, other teams are in trouble. It's (very) early, but they're on pace to record 80 sacks over a full season which would surpass the 1984 Bears' record of ‘72. They have looked solid to this point, especially on defense. If Ben Roethlisberger can get the most out of his weapons, the Steelers may push the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC North. They got a week off because of the postponement due to COVID-19, so they essentially had an early bye that included practice. Will that help or hurt? Pittsburgh prepares for a stretch of 13 straight games, starting at home on Sunday against an Eagles team that finally has some momentum to build on. 5. Seattle  For the first time in Pete Carroll’s tenure, he has unleashed Russell Wilson in the passing game. Wilson has looked like the frontrunner for MVP at this point as he seemingly throws 10 touchdowns a week to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The offense wasn't as explosive against Miami, but they still scored over 30 points. They are 4-0, but do we know how good they are as a team? Given the long trip, not surprising the team wasn't hitting on all cylinders but can't complain too much about another efficient Russell Wilson performance. The last time the team was 4-0 they made it to the Super Bowl so Seahawks fans are hoping for similar vibes this season.———Looking to move up6. Buffalo 7. Tampa Bay8. New Orleans9. LA Rams10. Indianapolis 

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Bad Beats and Good Wins

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

At The Sportsbooks My good friend of over 30 years and I had a meeting Sunday morning as he is one of the greatest at betting big NFL (only) 6-point teasers. I personally don’t bet them but I get a kick out of him doing so. Plus his entire life is built around him being extremely lucky. It’s great entertainment just to sweat his teaser bets occasionally. There are certain things that are a must “rules” to bet these games properly. My rule is to rarely bet them.   I’m teasing you now about this teaser  Where can you ever have five of your teams score 123 total points, getting a total of 30 more teaser points and your very last game comes down to a two-point conversion on the last play of the game...to win by a half a point?    The Payout The payoff on this bet was +600. My friend bet a dime on this wager looking for a steal (as he calls it) of $6000. I reluctantly tossed in $200 just to be part of this action. I assure you, anything involving six teams over six hours is definitely action. It’s certainly not for most professional gamblers. But fun is fun and action is fun. His Selections  He picked the following teams: Miami +12.5Washington FB Team +19LV Raiders + 9Carolina + 9.5Lions + 10Bears + 8.5 4-0 to begin; two left for $7200 We had won the four early games and were sweating the fourth quarter of the Bills vs Raiders game along with the Colts vs Bears game. With the Raiders trailing 30-16 with less than two minutes left, Carr threw a pass for a touchdown to close the score to 30-23. With our + 9 points, we were finally 5-0 with one game to finish. And $7200.   Bears Make You Sweat Bullets  The Bears game seemed to never get untracked for over three quarters and half of the fourth. We needed a turnover. We had to get the ball back. But damn!!  With 3:47 left in the game, the Colts extended their lead with a successful field goal to make it 19-3. Now we had the ball and needed a miracle. The Bears got the ball back and moved it decently down the field but with under two minutes to go and on the Colts 30; it was nerve wracking for my buddy and had me on the edge of my seat pulling for him. Then one play here, a completion there and a run later, Nick Foles hit Allen Robinson for a 16 yard touchdown at the 1:47 mark making the score 19-9. Getting +8.5 points meant one thing. Knowing they needed a two point conversion to make the following onside kick meaningful, they had to attempt a two-point play and be successful. They handed the ball of the David Montgomery and he ran it in from the left side. The score was 19-11. Damn he is Lucky! There were a total of 123 points, 6.5 hours of TV viewing time, $7200 to collect in bets and it came down to one two-point play to win a six game teaser bet by a half point. As stated above, my friend is one of the luckiest gamblers I know. Next week, I hope he has another one to bet and watch. 

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Bad Beats: NFL 4-Team Parlay

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020

Let’s discuss this crazy four team parlay over the weekend. You won’t believe this happening.Here are the wagers:Buffalo -1.5Pittsburgh -3.5Chicago + 2.5KC/Balt Over 54.5  Keep in mind that a four team parlay pays 10/1. Many call this type of wager a poor person's football lotto. Scraping up $200 to win $2000 is monthly bills-changing money. So off my friend went to Caesar's Sportsbook to purchase his piece of "game day hope." And he was sure to wear his "lucky" hat.  Game 1)   Buffalo  How great do you have to feel with Buffalo leading 21-3 at halftime against the LA Rams. You never know if a lead is safe in the NFL but the first score in the second half is a score by the Bills extending their lead to 28-3. With under 5:00 minutes left in the third quarter, the Rams are driving but who cares with this lead. The Rams score a touchdown making the score 28-10 and the partying continues. The Rams scored again within two minutes and quieting my friends happy expressions at 28-17. In the fourth quarter, the Rams scored another TD and a successful two point conversion having the score 28-25. OH NO!  On fourth and goal, the Rams went for it and scored another touchdown putting the Rams ahead 32-28. My friend was devastated and very quiet...And crushed. Josh Allen got the ball back with four minutes left and moved down the field and scored with .15 seconds left to win the game and cover the point spread. The smiles are back with this winner. The first game is a winner but meanwhile Chicago is getting blown out so it’s kind of all for naught.  Game 2)   Chicago It’s easy to hate Atlanta. They seem to always make a gambler’s life miserably lately. Always losing money on them. They are set to get a mention in pretty much every bad beat story. They have turned the Bad Beat into an art form, working their genius on the gridiron like other true masters work in clay or oils. This game started off slow. The Falcons led 6-3 after the first quarter. We both were prepared to see a close hard fought game. In the second quarter, Atlanta added a field goal and a touchdown to lead 16-3 as the game was getting away. But the Bears scored and at the end of the first half, the Falcons were leading 16-10. Not a problem. The second half start saw the Falcons add 10 quick points in the first five minutes now leading 26-10. The third quarter ended with no further scores. The last fifteen minutes began with the Bears and Nick Foles scoring a TD to cut the lead to 26-16 as the two point conversion failed. Two minutes later, Foles was back and threw a 37 yard touchdown pass to make it 26-23. He’s only getting plus +2.5 points and with under 4:00 minutes left and Atlanta having the ball, we needed to get the ball back and then a miracle score. Somehow, Atlanta didn’t do anything and our new Bears hero, Nick Foles, threw a 28 yard touchdown pass for a touchdown and let the confetti fly as the Bears won 30-26. I can only imagine the Atlanta Falcons can envision the horrid, soul crushing loss that lives inside of their heads. If others want to say that the Falcons blew another game, it’s probably true. At least two legs of the parlay are in.  Game 3)   Pittsburgh  The Steelers game was also an early game so it was difficult where to pay special attention with three games going at once. I had seen an early score while watching the Buffalo game where Houston was up 14-3 but Pittsburgh roared back to make it 17-14. All we knew for sure was the score at halftime was 21-17. The Steelers made the only score in the third quarter tying the game at 20-20. Now for the long 15 minute fourth quarter. We got in at the six minute mark and added a two point successful play to bring it to 28-20 which ended up as the final. We had purposely chosen these three games because the late games were difficult and we thought the extra time until Monday night would give us time to hedge our bets if lucky to go 3-0 with the early games.  Whoopee, Bravo, Presto. We are 3-0 and the best game is left. The perfect two teams to score a ton of points and we have (he does but by now I am truly involved) the over 54.5.  The One Day Wait.  Your mind starts to think of safe vacation spots for you, your spouse and your kids that wouldn’t be too crowded while the weather’s still warm. You know what would be great? A cabin. A nice one with a Jacuzzi right off some hiking trails. You can distance and if society continues to collapse, you’ll already be safely ensconced on a mountaintop watching the world burn from afar. Frankly, it’s my dream scenario. Or a quick trip to the beach knowing it would be prepaid with my $2000 win. What a life we live!!! ————— MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL Kansas City/ Baltimore ov 54.5  There was plenty of fire in the first half as the Chiefs took a 27-10 lead. There could have been more as we were on a tie on points needed  We figured 30 or 31 points would be scored that half so we were in a great position with 37. I was the one to advise my friend to bet the over for the obvious reasons of two great QBs. I liked the Baltimore side and it looked like a oddsmakers trap giving you Mahomes and +2.5 points so the over seemed like the best choice. NOTE: Only four times in history has the Regular Season MVP and the Super Bowl MVP met with the SB MVP winning all four contest. Now back to the game. Only 19 points were needed after the break to push the total over. Thinking back while watching the second half, I was wondering if Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s missed extra point and 42-yard field goal wouldn’t matter.  4th Quarter Finale  Those points mattered. Only three points were scored in the third quarter. My friends heart was sinking. The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter to leave the Chiefs ahead 34-20 with 8:14 to play. To win $2000, any score would do for over bettors. The Ravens promptly drove down the field, but their drive stalled out with two Kansas City sacks and they turned the ball over on downs. This is starting to be a nightmare. My buddy and I had sweated they two days and three miracle games on Sunday. It’s our fate to win this. Certainly no Greater Power would take us this far and betray our magic ticket bought Sunday from the Church of the Holy Point Spread. Sweating the rest of the game with over eight minutes left was a true sweat thru your shirt moment with $2000 in your front right pocket. Neither of us said much not wanting to say an unlucky thing or being the blamed jinx. It was no longer tictock; it was tic-tic-tic-tic-tic as the minutes were vaporizing at nano speed on the clock. Under five minutes left, under four and three and the the two minute warning. Over bettors were in trouble. Make that big trouble. The Chiefs merely milked the clock and turned the ball over on downs instead of kicking a field goal with 23 seconds to go. So Sad He Lost That had to be the longest and most disheartening loss I have witnessed. I felt it was my money losing by the end. There were no words to say. He won three out of four games and lost money. It was not the right time to say parlays are difficult at best to win. He wins 75% and lost $200. The moral of the story is obvious. Don’t bet parlays. Be sure to read more Wayne Root articles if you enjoyed this one. 

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Dan Quinn's Atlanta Falcons: Another Historic Defeat!

Monday, Sep 21, 2020

Did greed overcome proper betting or was this too foolish to wager upon?  Here’s the situation.The Atlanta vs Dallas game goes to a TV commercial leaving you too much extra time to think clearly. Some of your buddies at the MGM Sportsbook says, “Go for it”. “You can’t lose”. You may have been having a great day or maybe you just wanted to pick up a cool fast, free $1000. What should one do?  At the seven minute mark left on on that “Black Sunday II”, the Atlanta Falcons led the Dallas Cowboys 39-24. Their odds on the in-game line was -3333. Someone bet $35,000 to win $1,050 on the Falcons’ moneyline, according to BetMGM. Historic Note since 1939Teams were 440-0 when scoring 39 points or more and with no turnovers. This scenario fit the situation perfectly. In a nano-second, you flash back to the Patriots vs Falcons Super Bowl and tell your buddies, “hell, it will never happen again”, and to the betting window you go. You count out your cash, grab your betting ticket and return to celebrate your perceived winner with your boys.Patience my boy!!It’s doubtful the next seven minutes will be patient. Dallas scores at the 4:52 mark bringing the score to 39-30. Ugh but no problem! Dallas goes for two and misses. YES!!!  Start the celebration Celebrating begins as the Falcons will get the ball back and up by nine points. One good first down and then four more plays should run out the clock. Oh No! Atlanta goes nowhere and the Cowboys will get the ball back. Can Dallas score?Of course. They go down the field and Dak Prescott scores from one yard out bringing the score to 39-37 with just over a minute to play. You are reminded by a buddy that with the recent rule changes for the onside kick, it’s effective just 11% of the time. It almost never works. Even if Dallas does recover the ball, they still have to score. So what could go wrong? I’ll tell you!!The same thing that went wrong in the Super Bowl debacle.  Horrible coaching.  From Dan Quinn to his special teams coach. They actually made a case that they thought the ball had to go in excess of 10 yards. THAT’s FOR THE OFFENSE DUMMIES!  How do they hold their jobs? How do they not know the rules.  But that is for the Owner (Arthur Blank) of the Falcons to demand an answer. Here’s my answer. It was NOT greedy. It would normally be a smart wager. However, the same coaching staff is on the sideline. And they have made a plethora of mistakes running the show since that Super Bowl.  Dan Quinn is a defensive guy. Might not even be respected as their head coach. Being down 15 points when the bet was made would have been a smart bet for most teams involved. (Well at least 440). I wouldn’t even say it was a case of being greedy. You just cannot do it if it involves the Falcons. History will place an asterisk that Atlanta moved the needle to 440-1. The gambler at the MGM will need more than asterisks to be reminded to never repeat history if it involves the Atlanta Falcons. 

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NFL Week 1 Review: Four Surprising Winners

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020

The Washington Football Team, the Jacksonville Jags, the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals looked like dwellers in the cellar coming into the 2020 NFL season. They are all undefeated. How did they all accomplish this Herculean feat?  WASHINGTON 27, EAGLES 17 Washington was getting routed in Coach Rivera’s first game. As expected by most. Then poof, Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns and Dwayne Haskins rallied Washington from a 17-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17. It was from a great defensive effort. One that they’ll most likely have to count on for wins. They sacked Carson Wentz eight times and forced two costly interceptions behind an Eagles injury-depleted offense line. Ryan Kerrigan led the way with two sacks and No. 2 overall pick Chase Young got a key sack.This seems to be the yearly pattern for Washington. Average offense that has to depend on their defense. If they ever get to a Championship Game, I hope they remember that defense wins playoff games. JAGUARS 27, COLTS 20 Minshew Mania is back and maybe better than before if the mustache is left out of conversations and he is left to play quarterback without distractions. The Jaguars entered Week 1 as the NFL’s biggest home underdogs with talk of tanking the season beginning with week 1. That talk was nonsense except maybe to the Colts. Gardner Minshew II was nearly flawless going 19-for-20 with 173 yards and three touchdown passes. Most were betting on Colts QB Philip Rivers as he made his Colts debut. He had 363 passing yards, one touchdown pass and two interceptions. An new NFL record was established as undrafted Jags rookie running back James Robinson accounted for 90 yards, including 62 on the ground. Look for everyone to forget Leonard Fournette real quick. BEARS 27, LIONS 23 The Lions had the game but let it slip away from them. They were in familiar week one territory. Detroit opened last season by blowing an 18-point lead at Arizona and settling for a tie. Could they do it back to back? Spoiler Alert: YES as Matthew Stafford had a game-winning touchdown pass to D’Andre Swift dropped blowing a 17 point lead. The highlights were that the Bears scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the game. The bombshell of the game was that Mitchell Trubisky had three touchdown passes. QB Nick Foles can keep his clipboard job another week or two. Father Time, Adrian Peterson ran for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Detroit debut, just four days after signing with the team. Matt Stafford was 24 of 42 for 297 yards in his loss.  CARDINALS 24, 49ERS 20  Kyler Murray used the new offseason WR toy Arizona got him to get his second season off to a 1-0 rousing start. It all starts with the old adage: follow the money. It was evident that San Francisco did not as DeAndre Hopkins made a big impression in his first game with Arizona. He led the way with 14 catches for 151 yards in the game. I wonder if the Houston Texan players noticed someone missing? Was it mentioned that his performance was against one of the best secondaries in football? It is isn’t it? Arizona QB Murray threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and another score to help the Cardinals shock the 49ers on their home field which Coach Shanahan is blaming the red fire lit skies on their loss.  What are the odds that 3 of 4 are undefeated after next week? We know, so follow Wayne Root all week and all season long.

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New England Patriots: 2020 Season Preview

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2020

The excitement in New England understandably is high following the addition of Cam Newton, but Patriots fans might want to temper their expectations. It might be a shorter list if we wrote a paper on the Patriots weaknesses in the Revolutionary War. Today’s New England Patriots have some glaring shortcomings  But the media hype is all about new quarterback Cam Newton. Pats fans might want to temper their enthusiasm while betting fans might want to rev up their bets against the Pats. Or at least be aware of what’s at stake. SCHEDULE The most difficult schedule in the NFL belongs to New England. They have their normal difficulty at Miami. While Brady always played well at Buffalo, the Bills will be favored to win at home. The Jets should be their 2-0 sweep. But what about their non-conference games?  At Seattle, at the Chiefs, at Houston and at LA Rams. Playing Denver, San Francisco and Baltimore at home will be ultra-challenging at best.  TIGHT ENDSIt the past it was Brady to Gronk. Now it’s Newton to a tight end of the unknown variety. This weakness for the Patriots is not only an issue for this season but has been for the last few years. Their offense loves to use the tight end especially up the middle needing a long completion. But this weakness comes at the tight end spot and that position both in the passing game and in the rushing attack shows a gaping hole. This offseason, New England did draft a pair of tight ends in the NFL Draft with the selections of Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in the middle rounds of the draft but it remains a mystery on how they factor into the offense.  WIDE RECEIVERS Many question who are the targeted wide receivers?  Although Edelman will continue to be solid as he always is and hopefully will be, that leaves little else. N'Keal Harry and others could step up even more than what they did in 2019 but that group doesn’t necessarily raise any eyebrows as being filled with talent. Who will Cam Newton look to as his favorite go-to guy? Once other teams identify him, they will game plans accordingly. Do you still like New England? LINEBACKERS Can they excel on the defensive side of the ball? Their linebacker core indicates maybe not. I think the Pats’ most troubled position is linebacker. Behind a thin defensive line, the Pats’ linebackers are greener than the Belichicks have been used to in recent years and that is not the talent needed based on the scheduled top-notch quarterbacks they have to face. Donte Hightower is among football’s best but we always worry about injuries. It may be tough to bank on the two-time Pro Bowl selection making it through a full season healthy. Young linebackers Winovich and Bentley also have their work cut out of them as their roles are expected to expand in 2020. MEDIA HYPESo the bottom line is you now see a different picture of what’s being presented to Coach Belichick and his staff. The media has led many to believe that the only void they had was to replace Tom Brady. It’s far from that.  BETTINGI would bet under 9 wins as a futures bet and additionally would be cautious on straight bets as the oddsmakers will take advantage of the love the public has for New England.  By Wayne Allyn Root 

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Football Handicapping: Five Factors

Saturday, Jul 11, 2020

There are many ways to handicap football games when broken down to the basics. Here are 5 of the most important factors to share from 35 years of beating the Vegas number. In most match-ups, a combination of all factors weighs into the final outcome. However, many handicappers choose to rely on one of the following methods more than another. It is the “identify” of that handicapper. As any CEO in the business world can do, handicapping "numbers" is very similar to crunching the numbers of a financial report. Let's review the 5 most popular methods I've used during my 35 year career as “America's Oddsmaker” and “The King of Vegas Sports Gambling.”1) TECHNICALThere are more "technicals" available for each game than any other method. For example, when one hears that team A is 9-1 versus team B over the last 10 years- that is a technical. There are teams that are 9-2 at home and 2-9 on the road. Night games vs. day games and grass vs. turf are common examples of "techs". One has to consider how teams play within their division, as opposed to outside their division. A team like the Oakland Raiders was once labeled as "unbeatable" on Monday Night Football. That technical trend is no longer applicable. Trends must be updated often. One can go back into the history of numbers and find all these "stats and trends". Many trends follow patterns that don’t change for the way teams play. West coast teams traveling to play on the east coast with that early 1:00 start had always favored the east coast teams. The time change and travel took its toll. But the oddsmakers have offset that by adding more points to the east coast team adjusting the spread. This is not an automatic bet any longer. Another one (the NFL is trying to avoid) is playing three consecutive games on the road. It used to be another automatic play going against the road team on that third road game. The oddsmakers have adjusted their point spreads but the average gambler has not. These are the type of technical points of reference to be careful. 2) EMOTIONALOne has to watch certain games where emotional factors are involved. This is especially true in college where emotions can run especially high (due to youth and bitter long-term rivalries). Revenge is good for "an emotional outlook" of playing a game. An embarrassing loss from the previous year also needs to be considered. There are certain rivalry games where all stats can be thrown out and the underdog will play like the World Champions. In the NFL, what you watched last week may be a huge change of play this week. A team that looked embarrassing and pathetic in week four might come out in week five and play completely opposite from the previous week. The oddsmakers are guaranteed to have made the line adjustments to trick the bettors. Beware and check with Wayne Root. There's usually at least one game each week which this applies. 3) SITUATIONALThis is a combination of technical and emotional scenarios. There could be a "key" injury that is "situational" to that game. The weather could become a major factor in analyzing the game. Be careful of placing too much emphasis on injuries, as the team with the injured star often rises to the occasion for that situation. And when it comes to weather, wind is the number 1 factor- far ahead of rain or snow. This factor and by me usually betting live underdogs are the reasons to bet these games as close to kickoff as you can. There’s rarely an instance where betting a Sunday game on Friday is paramount. 4) FUNDAMENTALHandicapping by using "fundamentals" is simply looking at basic fundamental “X and O” football stats. When team A is ranked number 1 in passing versus the number 27 passing defense, one has to look at betting team A. There are teams- due to age and lack of speed- that have trouble on turf. Make sure the fundamentals are in place in terms of statistics when doing the analysis. The playoff teams that rush the ball the most seem to win more often. Be sure to check rushing stats versus "against the rush" stats before placing a wager in this method of handicapping. And separate regular season versus Playoff stats- it's a whole new season.5) BETTING AGAINST THE PUBLICWayne Allyn Root used to notice that most of his friends and fans lost nonstop in sports wagering. So a light bulb went off in his head over 30 years ago AND still applies to this day. Wayne began studying public opinion- and betting against it. He simply calls it "going against the public.” Experts might call it “Contrarian Betting Strategy.” His thinking is 90% "contrarian" to the public. And he has been the most successful handicapper in America for 35 years- starting with his days as co host with Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder on Financial News Network (now CNBC). Wayne's track record for over three (3) decades has been the source of the media declaring him "America's Oddsmaker,” “The Face of Las Vegas Gaming” and “The King of Vegas.” It is the reason that Wayne was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars- alongside Elvis, Liberace, Wayne Newton, Bobby Darin and Siegfried & Roy. He is the only professional sports handicapper ever honored (and the youngest recipient ever). All these years later, Wayne's focus remains on betting against the public. The public has a difficult time betting underdogs- so WAR bets on the underdogs. That's where the point spread value is found. When the point spread is rapidly escalating because of a "key" injury, WAR bets on the injured team. WAR loves to bet against popular “public teams” and wager on what he calls “orphans” (teams the betting public ignores or believes has virtually no chance of winning). 

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