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Coming Attractions

   by Hollywood Sports - 11/18/2010

Weekend Reviews/Coming Attractions

We are entering one of the most enticing parts of the betting season with the onset of college basketball, the NBA now in full gear and, of course, being more than halfway into the CFB and NFL seasons. There are plenty of profitable opportunities on a daily basis.

Weekend Reviews:

NFL: The big story turned out to be the last story with Michael Vick's 6-touchdown performance for the Eagles on Monday Night Football. It is telling how many people have commented that they have not seen anything like that first quarter. What really buried the Redskins was their inability to move the football at all in that first quarter to give their defense a break. It is inexcusable that Washington (a) came off an extra week of preparation with their bye week and (b) followed up the benching of Donovan McNabb in the final drive against Detroit two weeks ago by signing McNabb to a contract extension -- only to then not achieve a first down to slow momentum and give the defense a rest is an indictment on that entire organization. Besides the Redskins, the other inexcusable performance was from Kansas City who completely laid an egg against their divisional rival Denver Broncos. The Chiefs certainly should have been able to run the ball effectively against the weak Broncos' rush defense. The revolving door of who the best team in the league continued with the Patriots' predictable bounce-back against the Steelers following their loss to the Browns. Since 2003, Brady & Belichik together have only lost back-to-back games on two occasions. And upon hindsight, the Cowboys performance as a 13-point underdog against their divisional rival New York Giants seem obvious but it is very hard to back a team that has covered the spread only once this season.

CFB: Cam Newton put the distractions behind him to lead Auburn to a win over Georgia. Wisconsin's 83 points is likely more points than what their basketball team will score in any game this season. Iowa gets upset on the road to Northwestern while Utah seems to suffer from the Deflating Loss Syndrome after getting buried by TCU last week by failing to seemingly make the trip to South Bend. And the ole-ball coach got it done in Gainesville as South Carolina upset Florida. Perhaps most interesting was how the five solid home underdogs fared when hosting ranked opponents: both Cal and Fresno State gave Oregon and Nevada scares; however, Baylor and Texas let Texas A&M and Oklahoma State get away with wins and covers. Arizona State lost to Stanford by a 17-13 score which was likely a cover for everyone that played that game before late Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, that home dog was likely a push. Those who showed patience with the Cardinal were rewarded while hopefully those with the Sun Devils (like me) got down at +4.5 or better.

NBA: The Hornets were the last team to remain undefeated in their Monday loss to the Mavericks. Miami has lost three of their last five games. Is this statistic telling? The combined win-loss record of the teams the Heat have defeated is merely 22-42 while the combined record of the teams they have lost to is 23-7. Or should we put more stock in the fact their net point differential this season remains an impressive +9.6 PPG? And what is going on in Utah? Comeback wins on the road at Miami and Orlando is very impressive. So is a 4-0 road trip which also included visits to Atlanta and Charlotte. But what's up with allowing the Clippers to take you to overtime? And perhaps their letdown was inevitable as they returned home to loss to Oklahoma City.

CBB: The opening week of the season saw some gigantic cards over the weekend in games that were mostly mismatches and guessing games regarding how teams would look to begin the season. However, there were three results of interest in the ESPN College Hoops Tip Off Marathon. Florida coach Billy Donovan suggested that Ohio State may be more rounded and, hence, even better without Evan Turner -- and he may be correct after the Buckeyes pulled away from the Gators in Gainesville to win by a 93-75 score. It is also clear that the tough physical play that has become typical of Frank Martin's teams at Kansas State will continue after their 73-57 win over Virginia Tech. And San Diego State looks to be a force to be reckoned with as their team that returned all five starters from the team that won the Mountain West Conference Tournament last year traveled to Gonzaga and upset them by a 79-76 score. The Aztecs may be a top 15 team this season.

Coming Attractions:

CFB: We have games all week coming out of the MAC and from the west coast. Many teams will be hosting their final home game of the season on Saturday so it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference in their ability to win/cover. And if you like home underdogs hosting ranked teams, then you will get plenty of action this weekend: Virginia at Miami; Ohio State at Iowa; Wisconsin at Michigan; Arkansas at Mississippi State; Stanford at Cal; Oklahoma at Baylor; Nebraska at Texas A&M; Utah at San Diego State. All of these home teams are single-digit dogs as of this writing. It will be interesting to see if these solid home dogs are a better proposition than they were last week.

NFL: Injuries are forcing the Dolphins to start Tyler Thigpen on Thursday on a short week. Has the coaching change jump-started the Cowboys? Do Kansas City and Washington redeem themselves after terrible efforts? Is it crazy to take any of the double-digit favorites with the Saints vs. the Seahawks, the Ravens vs. the Panthers or the Chargers vs. the Broncos -- or is it crazier to take those underdogs? Do the Giants have a chance to slow down Vick on Sunday Night Football? And will this be the last ever Brett Favre Bowl between the Packers and Vikings?

NBA: Phoenix at Orlando and Denver at Portland make up the Thursday TNT schedule that tips off the weekend. Dallas travels to Atlanta for an interesting weekend battle. November in the NBA is all about situational handicapping. Players look to the calendar and realize they have over four months of play left to go. This is time of the season to look for letdowns and mailed-in performances based off the dynamic of the team at the time.

CBB: While there a host of out-of-conference games, for those of us that like to handicap based off bounce-back or letdown situations, the cupboard remains pretty bare as a majority of games are mismatches on paper that lack predictable emotional reactions to the circumstances at hand. But as each game is played, the prospects get more enticing for these kind of propositions. That said, those of us that also employ metric analysis to discover significant discrepancies between perceived value and real value will find some nice diamonds in the rough and some point spread mismatches.

Best of luck -- Frank.

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