NFL Update – Oct. 31, 2010

Not going to post a bet of the day game today.  The purpose of this blog is to analyze one big, public game per day.  I don’t have a strong opinion on any of the major games (i.e. Steelers/Saints, World Series) today that isn’t in line with the point spread, money line or total.  I will try to post a short analysis and play on a less public game I do like (have to finish Oak Tree handicapping first.)

I have updated some factors in my simulations (highlighted in file).  Also updated with the current lines.  Click NFL Week 8 update for an updated simulation results file.

SAGARIN – current week Sagarin Ratings.
SIM SCORE  – simulation results
ADJ SCORE – simulation results plus how I would adjust the score using traditional handicapping techniques.

Also, not posting these as official plays, but here are the early week plays I made.  [Note: the lines have changed in several of these games since I bet]

Lions -2
Bengals -1
Raiders -2
Teaser – Chargers +3.5 w/ Bills/Chiefs U51.5
Teaser – Packers +13 w/ Packers/Jets U49.5
Teaser – Pats +2 w/ Pats/Vikings U51
Cardinals -3
Broncos/49ers U42 

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!


Bet of the Day – Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans, Oct. 30, 2010

Oregon Ducks (-7) at USC Trojans (+7), Over/Under 73

Lost both of my teaser’s yesterday.  Today’s game is the much-anticipated Ducks and Trojans matchup.  The Ducks have been steamrolling teams this year and come off a dismantling of UCLA.  The Trojans have quietly been adding wins against a tough schedule.  This will be a good game as both teams are highly motivated.

Oregon is now 7-0.  Their closest game was an 11-point win on the road at Arizona State.  The average margin of victory is 29.2 points.  On offense, they average 7.4 yards per point (YPP) and 10.4 yards per point scored (YPPT).  On defense, they allow 4.5 YPP and 20.9 YPPT.  Very impressive on both sides of the ball.  QB Darron Thomas average 8.6 yards per attempt (YPA) with 17 TDs and 5 INTs for a 158.87 QB rating.  Thomas has also rushed for 269 yards and 2 TDs.  Oregon is clearly an excellent team.  They are explosive, scoring points in a heartbeat.  They are coming off a few extra days of rest and preparation.  They haven’t played as tough a schedule as USC and their road games have been 16 points closer with the Ducks giving up 90 more yards.  Tonight will be a big test for the ducks.

USC’s media coverage is half of it’s normal level.  They are 5-2 under first-year head coach Lane Kiffin.  The Trojans are clearly improving on both sides of the ball.  They average 7.3 YPP and 13.2 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 6.0 YPP and 16.6 YPPT.  Obviously, not as efficient as Oregon.  They have scored over 30 points in every game but 1.  Sophomore Matt Barkley is developing into an excellent QB.  Barkley averages 8.86 YPA with 20 TDs and 4 INTs for a 167.3 QB rating.  The Trojans are coming off a bye and an impressive win over Cal.  [Note: After the bye week last year, Kiffin’s Vols nearly beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 12-10].  This the biggest game of the year for USC.  They can’t play in a bowl game so this is as close as it gets.  The Trojan defense has to improve today for a win but expect USC’s biggest effort here.

The Sagarin Ratings have Oregon 92.59 and USC 83.46.  With the 2.95 home point advantage, the fair line is Oregon -6.18.

My football model predicts similar results; Oregon 42.6 over USC 35.8 for 78.4 total points.  Lately, Oregon has blown up my model.  They didn’t today.  I don’t think the game will have this many points.  Both teams move the ball very well on offense.  USC’s defense is improving but Oregon’s defense is more efficient.  The key variance contributors are both teams pass defenses.  With their effective running games, both teams will get their rushing yards.  The team who can limit pass yards and big pass plays may swing the game in their favor.

Oregon is the better team but I am going to take USC plus the points.  Here’s why.  USC will have a chip on their shoulders; with much less media hype (than normal), they are a home underdog for the first time in 9 years with no bowl opportunities.  USC is improving and coming off a bye week.  USC has a solid running game and QB; they will look to control the clock and keep Oregon off the field.  Bet on the USC Trojans +7. I would lay off the bet if you can’t get +7 or better.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

World Series Update

Our World Series bet on the Giants has legs.  With a 2-game lead, my model has the Giants with a 71% chance to win the World Series.  If you want to sit tight and ride it out you do have a positive expected value with the Giants.  With that said, the Rangers series price is now +235.  By betting 67.2% of your original wager amount on the Rangers, you can lock up a +0.58 unit profit.  I will be taking the Rangers at some point today before the game.

Tonight’s game has Giants +150 at Rangers -160 with an 8.5 total line.  We are now in the softer spots of both rotations; Jonathan Sanchez (13-10, 1.219 WHIP) vs. Colby Lewis (14-13, 1.188 WHIP).  So far the series has allowed much more runs than expected.  Both teams’ pitching has given up runs and now the series shifts to a hitter friendly park.  I modeled this game at Rangers 5.4 over Giants 3.6 for 9 total runs going over the total line 67% of the time.  This indicates there is positive betting value on the Over bet.  Bet on San Francisco Giants/Texas Rangers Over 8.5.

Will be posting a college football game later this morning.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!


Bet of the Day – Oct. 29, 2010

We pushed on last night’s bet.  Our World Series bet on the Giants is alive and kicking.  If you haven’t taken the other side yet for a guaranteed profit, you will have another opportunity tomorrow and for a better price.  I haven’t taken the other side yet and may not.

There isn’t one big game tonight, so I am going to mix it up a bit.  Today, I am going to post two teaser bets.

West Virginia Mountaineers (-5.5) at Connecticut Huskies (+5.5), Over/Under 45

West Virginia is coming of a mistake filled loss to an improving Syracuse team.  They are a decent, undervalued team after last week’s loss.  Connecticut has problems.  They have dropped 2 straight games and now must fall back on mediocre QB Zach Frazer (6.11 YPA, 109.51 QB rating).  The Huskies are a home underdog in primetime.  Both teams are better than their last loss would indicate.

My football model predicted West Virginia 23.1 over UConn 17.8 for 40.9 total points.  WVU has a more balanced offense.  UConn can score efficiently.  West Virginia has a much more effective defense.  The key variance contributor is WVU’s pass defense vs. UConn’s pass offense.  UConn will need to pass the ball well above their mean yardage to win tonight.

I am going to tease WVU and the under.  Here’s why.  WVU is a better team and last week’s loss will have them focused and motivated.  WVU has a good defense and will limit UConn’s already struggling passing game.  Bet a 7-point teaser West Virgina +1.5 and WVU/UConn Under 52.

Orlando Magic (+4) at Miami Heat (-4), Over/Under 187.5

The Magic are a good team.  They easily handled the Wizards in their opener.  The Magic have depth and size, an advantage over the Heat.  The Heat played better in their 2nd game but now play their 3rd game in 4 days.  They clearly have huge talent and the continuity will come.  Both teams will be highly motivated tonight.  I modeled this game at Magic 94.0 over Heat 87.5 for 181.5 total points.

Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5) at Phoenix Suns (+5.5), Over/Under 209

The Lakers didn’t look great in their opener, but came from behind and won. They have more talent and can finish plays better than the Suns.  This is only their 2nd game but will look to improve tonight.  The Suns are playing their 3 game in 4 days.  The Suns won easily last night but face a much tougher test in the Lakers.  This is their home opener so the Suns are motivated.  The rested Lakers will eventual wear down the Suns.  I modeled this game at Lakers 106 over Suns 104 for 210 total points.

I am going to tease the Magic and the Lakers.  Here’s why.  The Heat will be up for the game but have no answer for Dwight Howard. The Magic are also very motivated for this game and will bring their best.  The Lakers are the better team and the Suns are playing their 3rd game in 4 days.  Bet a 2-team teaser Orlando Magic +9.5 and LA Lakers pk.

Will post a normal bet of the day tomorrow on either Oregon at USC or Missouri at Nebraska.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

Bet of the Day – Florida St. Seminoles at NC State Wolfpack, Oct. 28, 2010

Florida State Seminoles (-4) at NC State Wolfpack (+4), Over/Under 59

Ice Cold.  Yesterday’s bet, Chicago Bulls at OKC Thunder, was a loser.  On a good note, our World Series bet has some life after the Giants took the first game.  The Rangers showed they aren’t going anywhere yet with their 9th inning push.  The series price has now flipped with Rangers at +125.  You can sit on the Giants bet for a +1.25 unit win if they win the series or you can buy the Rangers at +125 and lock in a guaranteed +0.25 profit.  Today’s game is the Thursday night primetime game, Seminoles at the Wolfpack.

The Seminoles are coming off a bye week following a tough home win over Boston College.  FSU averages 6.3 yards per play (YPP) and 12.1 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 4.3 YPP and 19.1 YPPT.  They are efficient on both sides of the ball.  Senior QB Christian Ponder averages 6.52 yards per attempt (YPA) for 12 TDs and 7 INTs with a 129.29 QB rating.  The Seminoles are a bit banged up; including starting QB Christian Ponder (ruptured bursa sac).  NC State has an aggressive defense.  FSU will need to establish the run to open up the pass for Ponder.  Ponder’s health is a bit of a question mark.  FSU is a good team, but will have their work cut out for them on the road tonight.

The Wolfpack is also coming off a bye but lost last time out at East Carolina.  It wasn’t a pretty game for either team but you have to wonder if it was a sandwich game for NC State.  They average 5.6 YPP and 12.5 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.5 YPP and 14.8 YPPT.  NC State can score points but also gives up too many yards and points.  Junior QB Russell Wilson averages 7.22 YPA with 18 TDs and 9 INTs for a 132.59 QB Rating.  Wilson is also a run threat with 200 yards and 2 TDs rushing.  NC State is a home-underdog on a Thursday primetime game coming off a bye and a loss.  You have to expect they will be up for this game and Carter-Finley Stadium will be loud.

The Sagarin Ratings have Florida State 86.8 and NC State 76.84.  With the 2.95 home advantage, the fair line is FSU -7.  This indicates there is some value on FSU (not considering any situational factors).  The total line has move from 56 to 59 with 65% of the bets on the over.

My football model predicts a very close game; Florida State 32.7 over NC State 32.4 for 65.1 total points.  Both teams are productive and efficient on offense.  FSU has a better defense.  Specifically, they have allowed similar yardage but fewer points converted.  The key variance contributors are the defensive yards allowed for both teams.  What this means is whichever team is closer or below their defensive yards allowed mean will probably be the winner.

Tonight I am going to tease NC State and the total.  Here’s why.  NC State is a home underdog on Thursday primetime coming off a bye and a loss.  Florida State is banged up and entering a hostile stadium.  NC State has scored 27 or more points in every game.  NC State can force turnovers.  Bet a 7 pt. teaser on NC State +11 and Over 52.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

Bet of the Day – Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder, Oct. 27, 2010

Chicago Bulls (+6.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder (-6.5), Over/Under 192.5

Today’s post is my first NBA game of the season.  Chicago added new coach Tom Thibodeau from the Celtics and several talented signees (e.g. Boozer, Brewer, Korver).  The Bulls seem to have positive momentum coming into the season.  The Oklahoma City Thunder and star Kevin Durant finished last season strong.  The hype and expectations surrounding this team grows with each day.  They didn’t make a lot of roster changes but they are a young team expected to grow this year.

The Bulls made a failed push in Lebronapalooza but ended up with what looks to be a pretty good team and coach.  Last year the Bulls shot 45.1% from the field (32.9% 3-pt and 75.6% FT) for 97.4 points per game.  The Bulls allowed 44.5% shooting (35.1% 3-pt and 74.3% FT) for 99.5 points per game.  They are a good rebounding team that doesn’t commit too many fouls or turnover the ball.  New acquisition Carlos Boozer (broken hand) is out for at least a month, so rookie Taj Gibson will get plenty of on the job training.  With this being Thibodeau’s first game and the Bulls playing a top team, I expect a big effort.  Will the team gel without Boozer and the addition of several new characters?  Also, note Noah has been ill but returned to practice on Monday.

The Thunder may be a marked team.  They are popular in the media and Kevin Durant’s continual growth has been well documented.  Last year the Thunder shot 45.7% (33.7% 3-pt and 80.7% FT) for 101.0 points per game.  They allowed 44.7% shooting (34.0% 3-put and 75.9% FT) for 97.8 points per game.  The Thunder do give up steals and blocks but are a pretty good rebounding team.  The Thunder will be missing several supporting players, including Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich.  Expecting Durant to put up his usual quality numbers but can his supporting cast do the same?  The Thunder will definitely have an active crowd tonight that should play to their favor.

The Sagarin Ratings have the Thunder 90.94 and the Bulls 88.89.  With a 3.4 point home advantage, the fair line is Oklahoma City -5.45.  This is very close to the current betting line and doesn’t indicate real value on either side.  According to’s Sportsbook Spy, the money is split evenly on the point spread.  On the total, 80% of bets are on the Over but it has inched down from 194.

My basketball model predicts Oklahoma City 98.0 over Chicago 95.2 for 193.2 total points.  With only last year’s data to work with, you have to take any model results with a grain of salt.  It will be a few weeks before we have reliable model data.

This game is a pretty popular over play today.  I am going to watch from the sidelines on the total play as I have some questions about Thibodeau’s defense and pace of play.  Tonight, I am taking the Bulls +6.5.  Here’s why.  Derrick Rose knows Durant well and will work to control the pace of the game.  Durant is a rhythm player and Thibodeau (strong defensive coach) will look to disrupt the Thunder’s flow.  Both teams have injuries but Chicago has more depth.  Chicago is a better rebounding team.  Oklahoma City is a trendy team and there may be some line inflation.  The Thunder may win but I think it will be close.  Bet on the Chicago Bulls +6.5.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

NFL Week 8 Simulations

Just finished NFL Week 8 game simulations.  A few sides I will be looking into: NE -5, CIN -2, DET -3, MIN/NE U44.

Click NFL Week 8 for a .pdf file of the simulations.

SAGARIN – current week Sagarin Ratings.
SIM SCORE  – simulation results
ADJ SCORE – simulation results plus how I would adjust the score using traditional handicapping techniques.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!
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