Bet of the Day – Missouri Tigers at Texas Longhorns, Jan. 29, 2011

Missouri Tigers (+7) at Texas Longhorns (-7), Over/Under 146

Missouri is coming off two convincing home wins. This is their biggest challenge of the season so far. Texas has rolled through the Big 12 conference. They beat Kansas on the road last Saturday. Can they slow down the high scoring Tigers tonight?

Missouri (17-3) is the highest-scoring team in the Big 12. They haven’t been great in their conference road games, but should have no problem getting up for this game. The Tigers average 47.5% shooting with 38 rebounds and 10 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 40.9% shooting with 37 rebounds and 6 steals per game. Missouri is a deep team that can score at all positions. The Tigers have only scored under 70 points once this year. They face their biggest defensive test to date in Austin tonight.

Texas (17-3) won a much hyped game in Lawrence last week. They are undefeated in the conference; winning by an average of 19.6 points in conference games. The Longhorns average 46.1% shooting with 41 rebounds and 6 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 36.7% shooting with 34 rebounds and 5 steals per game. Texas rebounds very well and plays excellent defense. They will need to play a complete game to slow down a dangerous Missouri team.

The Sagarin Ratings have Texas 91.60 and Missouri 86.73. With the 3.92 home advantage, the fair line is Texas -8.79.

My basketball model has Texas 79.07 and Missouri 71.98 for 151.05 total points. Missouri is a better and more efficient offensive team. Texas is a better defensive team. The key variance contributor is Missouri’s defensive shooting percentage allowed. Missouri has to slow Texas’ solid offense to win and cover.

I don’t see enough value in either side of the point spread. So tonight I am taking the Over. Here’s why. Both teams have very good offenses. Texas has a good defense but has given up big points to similar caliber offenses. Missouri has proven they can score on good teams. I modeled the game at 151.05 total points. Bet Missouri/Texas Over 146.

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BCS National Championship – Oregon vs. Auburn

Oregon Ducks (+1) vs. Auburn Tigers (-1), Over/Under 72

The big game is finally here.  Oregon has outpaced teams all year.  They were a top team from week 1.  On the shoulders of Cam Newton, Auburn came from behind 8 times.  The Tigers improved as the season progressed.  Both teams have put up big offensive numbers all year and it is reflected in the over/under line.  The point spread fluctuated between Auburn -3 and a pick.

Oregon (12-0) only had one close game this year.  They won their games by an average of 30.9 points and score more than 40 points in 10 of their 12 games.  They play an up tempo style, with a heavy dose of the option/run.  The Ducks average 6.8 yards per play (YPP) and 10.9 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 4.5 YPP and 18 YPPT.  They are efficient on both sides of the ball.  Junior QB Darron Thomas averages 7.84 yards per attempt (YPA) with 28 TDs and 7 INTs for a 151.1 QB rating.  Thomas also has 5 rushing TDs.  Oregon played an easier schedule but held their opponents to 6.1 points per game less than Auburn.  Auburn has faced better defenses but this will be the best offense they have seen.  Chip Kelly is a more creative (if not better) coach.  Oregon will need to get off to a fast start; can they do that following a 5-week break and the BCS week hype?

Auburn (13-0) is the picture of resilience. They came from behind 8 times, won 5 of their games by a touchdown or less, their Heisman-winning QB was embroiled in a scandal all season, and they beat five Top 20 teams.  Not bad for a team ranked 22nd at the start of the season.  The Tigers average 7.5 YPP and 11.7 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.3 YPP and 14.8 YPPT.  Very efficient on offense; okay on defense.  Oregon forces more turnovers.  Junior QB Cam Newton averages 10.52 YPA with 28 TDs and 6 INTs for a 188.2 QB rating.  As we all know, Newton is very effective running the ball.  He rushed for 1409 yards and 20 TDs in 2010.  Between passing and rushing Newton accounted for 48 TDs.  Wow.  Auburn is a big, strong team.  They should be able to run on the smaller Oregon defense.  Can they slow the fast Ducks’ offense down?

The Sagarin Ratings have Oregon 96.68 and Auburn 94.51.  With no home advantage, the fair line is Oregon -2.17.  According to pregame.com, 64% of spread bets are on Auburn and 76% of total bets are on the under.  The majority of spread bets are on Auburn but the line has moved from -3 to -1 (pk in some places).

My football model predicts Oregon 48.88 over Auburn 39.09 for 87.97 total points.  Oregon averages more yards and points; they are also more efficient on offense.  The teams are decent on defense.  Oregon gives up fewer yards and is more efficient.  Auburn played tougher competition.  The key variance contributor is Auburn’s pass defense.  Auburn has a strong run defense, but is vulnerable to the pass.  The Tigers have to limit Oregon’s passing yards to win tonight’s game.

I am passing on the total play.  I modeled the game Over and the public is on the Under.  Normally, I would play the Over. But 72 points is a lot of points and scoring a TD every 6 minutes for teams who haven’t played in 5 weeks is a tall order.

No total play, but I think there is value in Oregon +1.  Oregon is an up tempo team that wears opponents down.  Oregon is better coached and difficult to defend.  Oregon has a better secondary and forces turnovers.  I modeled the game at Oregon -9.79.  The Sagarin Ratings have the fair line at Oregon -2.17.  The betting line has also moved toward Oregon against the majority of bets on Auburn.  Bet the Oregon Ducks +1. (shop for a better line, there are still a few places with a better number)

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Bet of the Day – Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers, January 7, 2011

Texas A&M Aggies (+3) vs. LSU Tigers (-3), Over/Under 49

No bet of the day yesterday.  Interesting match up in the Cotton Bowl today.  Texas A&M enters today’s game following 6 straight wins; including wins over Oklahoma and Nebraska.  They continued to improve throughout the season.  LSU only lost twice this year; both losses to BCS teams, Auburn and Arkansas.

Texas A&M (9-3) had a good season.  They had a 3-game rough patch (Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Missouri) early in the season but finished tied for 1st in the Big 12 South.  The Aggies are potent on offense and an efficient on defense.  They average 5.5 yards per play (YPP) and 14.1 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allowed 4.7 YPP and 17.6 YPPT.  QB Ryan Tannehill averages 7.21 yards per attempt (YPA) with 11 TDs and 3 INTs for a 141.08 QB rating.  Tannehill has several weapons but faces an excellent front seven in LSU.  Texas A&M will have to pass effectively down field and limit turnovers to win tonight.

LSU (10-2) played a brutal schedule this year.  Not only did they only lose to BCS teams, they were both on the road.  LSU has an excellent defense and finds ways to score when needed.  Hopefully for LSU, the game doesn’t come down to clock management in the 4th quarter.  The Tigers average 5.2 YPP and 11.6 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 4.8 YPP and 17.0 YPPT.   LSU is very efficient on defense.  Their forced turnovers and defensive scoring makes their offense look more efficient.  QB Jordan Jefferson averages 6.60 YPA with 4 TDs and 9 INTs for a 109.71 QB rating.  Jefferson has also rushed for 6 TDs with 0 fumbles.  To win, LSU has to run the ball effectively and slow down the Aggie passing attack.

The Sagarin Ratings have Texas A&M 86.66 and LSU 88.07.  The fair line is LSU -1.41.  According to pregame.com, 78% of spread bets are on LSU.  The total bets are split 50%/50%.

My football model predicts Texas A&M 32.3 over LSU 25.3 for 57.6 total points.  On offense, the Aggies move the ball more effectively while LSU is more efficient at converting points.  On defense, both teams are efficient.  Texas A&M gives up too many passing yards; LSU gives up more rushing yards.  The key variance contributor is Texas A&M’s passing yardage.  Texas A&M needs to pass close to their average against a stingy defense to win and cover tonight.

Tonight I am taking Texas A&M plus the points.  Here’s why.  Texas A&M finished the season strong with Ryan Tannehill at QB; they have momentum and motivation tonight.  Texas A&M has proven they can score on good teams.  The Aggies have a good defense; LSU is mediocre on offense. I modeled the game at Texas A&M -7.  With the line movement there is betting value on the Aggies.  Bet the Texas A&M Aggies +3.

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Bet of the Day – Memphis Tigers at Kansas Jayhawks, Dec. 7, 2010

Memphis Tigers (+11) at Kansas Jayhawks (-11), Over/Under 149.5

Yesterday’s bet, Jets at Patriots, was a winner.  Not too many games to choose from tonight.  So we are going with the Jimmy V Classic game; Memphis vs. Kansas.

Memphis (7-0) is an improving team but faces their toughest test of the year.  Memphis is a bit undersized but has plenty of talent.  The Tigers average 47.1% shooting with 38 rebounds and 11 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 36.9% shooting with 36 rebounds and 8 steals per game.  Memphis will be up for this game but do they have the depth to compete in the last 10 minutes of the game?

Kansas (7-0) has played a tough schedule of late.  They have had 5 days of rest. Kansas averages 56.9% shooting with 38 rebounds and 9 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 37.6% shooting with 33 rebounds and 4 steals per game.  Kansas is very efficient; they shoot well and don’t make many mistakes.  Kansas is the better team but Memphis is dangerous and Kansas is coming off a tough stretch of games.

The Sagarin Ratings have Kansas 90.89 and Memphis 84.20.  The game is on a neutral court so we won’t include the normal home advantage.  The fair line is Kansas -6.69.  According to pregame.com, 82% of bets are on Memphis and 61% of bets are on the Under.

My basketball model predicts Kansas 91.4 and Memphis 75.1 for 166.5 total points.  Kansas is clearly a better shooting team and more efficient on offense.  On defense, they are very similar but Kansas has a slight advantage.  Memphis will need to shoot above their mean percentage to cover and win.

Tonight, I am teasing Kansas and the total.  Here’s why.  Kansas is a better shooting and defensive team.  Kansas has played tougher opponents and has more experience and depth.  I modeled the game with Kansas the clear favorite and well above the total.  Bet a 5.5-point teaser Kansas -5.5 and Memphis/Kansas Over 144.

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Bet of the Day – Auburn Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, Dec. 4, 2010

Auburn Tigers (-4) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (+4), Over/Under 62.5

Big game in Atlanta tonight. Auburn defeated South Carolina at home early in the season 35-27.  It’s always tough to beat a good team twice;  tonight could be the most motivated the Gamecocks have been all year.  A win tonight would give South Carolina their first SEC title.  An Auburn win will lock up a national title chance and probably the Heisman Trophy for Cam Newton.

Auburn (12-0) has improved as the season progressed.  Now they are coming off a big win at Alabama and their star QB Cam Newton was cleared by the NCAA.  Auburn averages 7.4 yards per play (YPP) and 11.8 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.3 YPP and 14.5 YPPT.  Newton averages 10.34 yards per attempt with 24 TDs and 6 INTs for a 185.56 QB rating.  Newton rushed for 1336 yards and 18 TDs.  Newton is the key to Auburn’s offense and will need to have another big game against a good defense.  Auburn has given up too many points early in games.  If they can stay close early, they should eventually wear down the South Carolina defense.

South Carolina (9-3) has been excellent against the run this season.  Except against Auburn.  Auburn gained 334 yards on the ground in their early season meeting.  The Gamecocks gave up a 20-7 lead, eventually losing 35-27.  The Gamecocks are good team and will show up with their best tonight.  They average 6.1 YPP and 11.9 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.1 YPP and 16.8 YPPT.  QB Stephen Garcia averages 9.22 YPA for 18 TDs and 9 INTs for a 157.73 QB rating.  Garcia is banged up but will play tonight.  He needs his star freshman running back Marcus Lattimore (1114 yards and 19 TDs) to have a big game.  That is tough against an Auburn team allowing 108 rushing yards per game (South Carolina only has 79 yards rushing in their first meeting).  Expect a good effort from South Carolina tonight but do they have enough to slow down Auburn?

The Sagarin Ratings have Auburn 91.84 and South Carolina 85.64.  Since the SEC Championship is on a neutral field, there isn’t really a home advantage.  The fair line is Auburn -6.2.  According to pregame.com, 60% of spread bets are on Auburn and 64% of total bets are on the over.  The point spread has moved from Auburn -5 to -4.  Not a huge move but is against the majority.

My football model predicts Auburn 49.4 over South Carolina 36.7 for 86.2 total points.  On offense, the teams are nearly identical at converting yardage to points.  But Auburn averages ~100 yards more per game.  On defense, South Carolina allows slightly fewer yards and is more efficient.  The key variance contributors are Auburn’s rushing yards and South Carolina’s passing yards.  For South Carolina to win, they will have to meet or beat their passing yards mean and Auburn will need to rush the ball for fewer yards than their mean.

Today I am taking the favorite.  Here’s why.  Auburn is a better team and has more to lose.  Auburn is resilient;  they can outscore opponents, play from behind, and grind out wins.  South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia has several injuries.    Based on the Sagarin Ratings and my model, the betting value is with Auburn.  Bet the Auburn Tigers -4.

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Bet of the Day – Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers, Nov. 13, 2010

Georgia Bulldogs (+6) at Auburn Tigers (-6), Over/Under 63

Yesterday’s bet, Portland at Oklahoma City, was a push.  Not too many big games in college football today, so I have to go with the much-hyped Georgia at Auburn game.  We all know the Cam Newton story (If you don’t click here), but they still play the game.  Expecting a fun game.

Georgia (5-5) started off the season 1-4.  They have turned things around and are playing closer to what we expect.  The Bulldogs have played the usual, tough SEC schedule.  But they haven’t beat any of the ranked teams (losses to South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida).  Two of those losses came without WR A.J. Green.  Green is one of the best receivers in the nation and has been a huge boost to the offense.  The Bulldogs average 6.1 yards per play (YPP) and 11.7 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.1 YPP and 15.7 YPPT.  They are efficient (11th in the NCAA for Offensive YPPT).  Freshman QB Aaron Murray averages 8.98 yards per attempt (YPA) with 18 TDs and 6 INTs for a 155.33 QB rating.  Murray has also rushed for 177 yards and 4 TDs.  Georgia has to take care of the ball.  In their 5 wins they have 2 turnovers; in their 5 losses they have 10 turnovers.  Georgia is a good team but they are vulnerable on defense.  They have a young QB and face their toughest test of the year today.

Auburn (10-0) has played tough games this year, but none with a major distraction looming above.  How they respond today could define this team.  Cam Newton is the weekly story, but Auburn has productive weapons in WR Darvin Adams and RB Michael Dyer.  The Tigers average 7.7 YPP and 12.1 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.1 YPP and 14.7 YPPT.  QB Cam Newton averages 10.3 YPA for 19 TDs and 5 INTs with a 182.77 QB rating.  The bigger story; Newton has rushed for 1146 yards averaging 6.5 yards with 15 TDs.  Week in and week out, Newton is the focus of the defense, but no one has had an answer.  Auburn’s defense is okay; they are vulnerable to the pass.  To this point they have been as good as needed.  Tough game today for the Tigers; can they play through the media speculation?

The Sagarin Ratings have Auburn 89.89 and Georgia 75.27.  With the 3.15 home advantage, the fair line is Auburn -17.77.  According to pregame.com, 62% bets are on Auburn but the line has moved from Auburn -9.5 to -6.  That is significant movement considering a majority of the bets are on Auburn.

My football model predicts Auburn 50.9 over Georgia 34.4 for 85.3 total points.  Auburn averages 100 offensive yards more than Georgia per game.  Georgia is slightly more efficient on offense.  Both defenses are average.  The key variance contributors are Georgia’s passing offense versus Auburn’s rushing offense.  Whichever team can better maximize their biggest strength will win.

I liked Georgia alot more a +9.5 but not nearly as much inside a touchdown.  It is tough to win on the road in the SEC, especially with a Freshman QB.  I am going to tease Auburn with another game.  Here’s why.  Auburn will have a chip on it’s shoulder.  Georgia hasn’t beat a ranked team and now faces an experienced team at home.  Auburn has more weapons than just Cam Newton.  Auburn has a better offensive line.  Georgia can keep this close, but I don’t think they will have enough experience to win this game on the road.  Bet a 7-point teaser Auburn +1 with Army/Kent St. Under 51.

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Bet of the Day – LSU Tiger at Auburn Tigers, Oct. 23, 2010

LSU Tigers (+6) at Auburn Tigers (-6), Over/Under 51.5

Yesterday’s bet, South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats, was a loser.  I was going to post on Sooners and Tigers, but I grew up in the South and went to an SEC school.  So, I feel compelled to post on LSU at Auburn.  Auburn’s Cam Newton is now the Heisman front-runner and the hype grows for Auburn.  LSU was criticized for ugly wins all year; they are now 7-0.  Big game in Alabama today.

LSU made their name on wild finishes and questionable decisions.  They are undefeated through 7 games.  Les Miles’ may be the Inspector Gadget of college football coaching, but his teams find ways to win.  LSU had a few tough weeks in a row but now comes into a conference rivalry game off an easy week (McNeese State) with the public thinking they are overrated.  Are they the upset special tonight?  LSU is averaging 5.2 yards per play (YPP) and 12.3 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  Surprisingly efficient for a team that has 17 turnovers in 7 games.  On defense, they are allowing 4.0 YPP and 16.8 YPPT.  LSU has only allowed 1 team more than 300 yards of offense.  LSU has rotated 2 QBs all year.  LSU will be up for this game and will look to slow down the pace and grind out a win.  They will need to watch their turnovers and control field position.

Auburn is also undefeated.  They come into this game following a big win over Arkansas.  Before that they survived a scare at Kentucky.  Their offense is dynamic while their defense is suspect.  On offense Auburn is averaging 7.2 YPP for 11.8 YPPT.  Very effective.  On defense, they allow 5.2 YPP and 15.1 YPPT.  They have given up too many yards but have forced turnovers of late.  QB Cam Newton is a dangerous pass and run threat.  Newton is averaging 10.5 yards per attempt with 13 passing TDs and 5 INTs.  He also has 12 rushing TDs.  Auburn faces it’s best defense of the season.  Can they run the ball against LSU?  They will have to if they want to win.

The Sagarin Ratings have Auburn 87.67 and LSU 86.83.  With the 3.50 point home advantage, the fair line is Auburn -4.34.

My football model predicts Auburn 31.2 over LSU 27.1 for 58.3 total points.  I’m not convinced it will be this high scoring.  Both teams average high yardage; Auburn scores more efficiently.  LSU’s turnovers are a big part of that efficiency difference.  LSU’s defense is very effective.   The key variance is both LSU and Auburn’s defensive pass yards allowed.  One or two big pass plays could open this game up in either direction.

Today I am taking LSU.  Here’s why.  LSU had a cupcake last week while Auburn comes off two emotional games in a row.  Auburn is becoming a media darling while many think LSU should have 2 losses.  LSU has the best defense Auburn has faced and they matchup well.  Bet on the LSU Tigers -6.

I may post a 2nd game later today.  Feel free to comment or ask questions below or email me at derekbets@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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