Sports Betting 101

Early exits will benefit these rested warriors in the NCAA Tournament

We are always looking for an edge.  An edge is hard to find in this town, but can be beneficial once discovered.

Momentum is probably the most important factor for a team entering the field of 68.  Some teams enter the Big Dance with more than enough energy (e.g., Duke) to carry them to the Sweet 16 and deeper, but what happens to the team that was shown an early ticket back home from their conference tournament?

Rest can lead to rust.  In the right situation, especially at this time of the season, an early exit can be as beneficial as a bye week in the NFL Playoffs. Seven teams standout to us.  The interesting variable is that each team has a solid coach leading the way, so watch out for deep runs from these select seven.  You might want to have these rested warriors making the Sweet 16 in your bracket.

 

North Carolina (Williams) – The Tar Heels won the National Championship the last time they were knocked out of the ACC Tournament as the #1 seed.  Enough said.

Louisville (Pitino) – The early exit might be best suited for this young team to refocus.  Pitino is the last coach anyone wants to face with a week off.

Kansas (Self) – Another quality team.  Our only question is the mindset of Josh Jackson.  Does he respond with his ‘lottery’ talent in full force? We say yes.

Purdue (Painter) – Swanigan, Edwards and Haas might be the best front court in the country.  A tough match-up for any team.

Virginia (Bennett) – The Cavs’ complex defense can confound any offense in the tournament.  Even more dangerous with time to prepare.

Baylor (Drew) – An athletic team that can dominate.  Baylor can make a knockout run at any point in a game, but has a glass jaw.

Dayton (Miller) – A wild card to make the Big Dance.  Three seniors lead the Flyers and will be a tough out if they get invited.  If they are relegated to the NIT, you can bet on them to advance all the way to Madison Square Garden.

Situational bet this Monday night on the Detroit Lions

Recently,  we have been reminded of the importance on reacting to situations that effect a team’s motivation.  The Houston Texans reacted in a positive manner when presented with the opportunity to win the AFC South.  When being criticized for the “ugly” win, Bill O’Brien interrupted the reporter to remind him that they won the AFC South for the second consecutive year.  Their motivation was in place to win.

We tweeted yesterday about this particular betting situation with Houston -150 on the moneyline.  The betting line had already moved from -130 to -150 after Tennessee had lost.  We realized the books were starting to factor in this motivation for Houston.  The opportunity was with Houston winning outright, not the pointspread.

Detroit has been presented a similar opportunity, so we bet them +7 on the pointspread and +240 on the moneyline.

The betting situation unveiled itself when Tampa Bay lost in New Orleans.  We had to watch the Bucs game to the very last minute, literally.  The Pewter Pirates are turning into a must-watch team that is never out of a game.  It was critical for Tampa to lose in order for us to bet in the manner that we had yesterday.

After Tampa Bay lost in New Orleans, the Detroit Lions will now have an opportunity to guarantee themselves a playoff spot with a win in Dallas.  Talk about motivation.  The Lions have worked the entire offseason and regular season to make the playoffs.  They are one game away from obtaining their goal.  A win in Dallas and the dangerous Detroit Lions will enter the Super Bowl tournament.  The motivation to win this Monday becomes even greater when you consider that the Green Bay Packers are their next opponent.  By winning in Dallas, they will be able to avoid the dreaded must-win game verses a red-hot Aaron Rodgers next Sunday (by the way, Thank you A-Rod for the easy cover verses Minnesota).

Now let’s look at the home team, the Dallas Cowboys.  They have already locked up the home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Jerry Jones will make bank and good for him and his organization.  The Cowboys have had an amazing season and are destined to make a solid playoff run, but how is their mindset?

Seeing Carr and Mariota going down with broken legs will force Dallas to factor in such an unfortunate situation.  Whether it plays a role or not in their starting lineup won’t matter.  The mindset has creeped into the team psyche.  This game is of zero importance to the Cowboys’ franchise, other than getting it over without injury.

We won a close one on Houston in a situational bet and are still feeling the sting of going against one with San Diego State.  It is always a good thing to learn from previous mistakes.  Hopefully this time we are on the right side of a situation that is presented to the Detroit Lions, courtesy of the New Orleans Saints.

An additional nugget on this game is that Matthew Stafford will get to play in his dream game.  He gets to face the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in AT&T Stadium.  The stadium will be packed and we expect to seeing him at his best. Stafford won the state championship as a 5-star recruit at Highland Park High School in Dallas.  His motivation to play at a champion’s level should be in place.

We are betting three times as much on Detroit +7 than we are on the moneyline, but have the moneyline bet to be a nice kicker if the Lions can win outright.

Our Bets:

Detroit +7
Detroit +240 on the moneyline.

Rolling the dice on the Houston Cougars in the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl

This year, the Las Vegas Bowl is our favorite game to bet of the 2016-17 NCAA College Football Bowl season.  Like 2015, we will start the bowl season with our largest bet of the bowl season.  We placed our biggest bet of the 2015-16 bowl season on the San Diego State Aztecs in the Hawaii Bowl. The Aztecs easily won 42-7 over the Cincinnati Bearcats.  The set up for the Hawaii Bowl was one of the strongest we have seen in years.  Betting against Tuberville in a bowl is always a smart way to go, plus SDSU had key factors in its favor and dominated the game as we forecasted.  On December 17th 2016, the Houston Cougars will be our biggest bet of this year’s bowl season.

In an ironic twist, our bet will be on the Houston Cougars over the San Diego State Aztecs. Both teams were early candidates for the coveted Cotton Bowl spot, which was taken by the undefeated Western Michigan Broncos.  SDSU and UH failed to maintain their high expectations, even though they both started with wins against PAC 12 and BIG 12 schools, respectively.  Houston showed their first chink in the amour against Navy, while San Diego State lost to South Alabama as a 19-point road favorite.

Like most analysts, we look for an edge.  Which team is more motivated to be in this bowl and will play with the urgency to win?  This year that edge rests with the Houston Cougars.  One of the reasons is because of the talented roster of experienced athletes, no doubt that the Cougars can compete with anyone, just ask Bob Stoops.  San Diego State has a talented team too, although the quarterback advantage is solidly in the camp of the Cougars with Greg Ward, Jr. under center.

A key differential is the coaching situation.  Rocky Long has been a beast when it comes to winning games for us.  We have leaned on Rocky during his days in ABQ and Sunny San Diego.  His teams are well coached and fundamentally solid. In the meantime, Houston lost coach Tom Herman to University of Texas. So why would Houston have a coaching edge?  It is because the regents at the University of Houston moved quickly to name Major Applewhite as their new head coach, replacing the departed Herman.

Count us as fans of Major Applewhite.  While not physically imposing, Major was a much better quarterback than Chris Sims and could have lead the Longhorns to more victories.  Longhorn fans will remember how Sims seemed to always choke in the most important games of the year.  Major was always more fundamentally sound than Phil Sims’ son.  Applewhite was a winner as a college quarterback, as an offensive coordinator and he will be as the head coach of the Houston Cougars.  We think this was the best move for the program.  UH shot to the top of our list of bowl teams after it was made official with the announcement of Applewhite as their head coach.  Also, there was good news in hearing that Todd Orlando will stay as the Defensive Coordinator of the Cougars for the Las Vegas Bowl.  His defense is loaded with Upperclassmen and we liked hearing that he wanted to be in Las Vegas for their final collegiate football game.   After the game, he will catch a NetJet to Austin and join Herman to lead the Longhorns back to the glory days.

Our main concern with this bet is Donnel Pumphrey and that is quite a concern.  He should have been in the mix with Jackson and Watson for the Heisman Trophy.  Dude ran for over 2000 yards and got very little national press.  Pumphrey is, by far, the key factor in this game.  He will be playing his final college football game in his home town and down the road from Canyon Springs High School where he was Nevada’s Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year.  If this cat gets going, we could very well lose this bet.

Our analytics isolated a strong edge to the Houston Cougars rushing defense to negate Pumphrey.  This will be the best defense that the San Diego State Aztecs has faced in 2016.  We think the Cougars can make the Aztecs’ offense one dimensional and thereby limiting Pumphrey’s production.  Early points by Houston will be extremely important.  They must put SDSU in catch-up mode.  The Greg Ward, Jr. led offense of the Cougars should be able to move the ball and score on the Aztec defense.  This is another reason why maintaining Applewhite was pivotal to us betting large on Houston.

The blue print on how to defeat the Aztecs was drawn up by Colorado State a few weeks ago.  We think that Applewhite and Orlando will be applying a similar, albeit adjusted game plan, to defeat San Diego State.  Even though the game is closer in proximity to San Diego, we think that Houston fans might equal and possibly outnumber Aztec fans in Sam Boyd Stadium.

Add into the mix, Greg Ward, Jr.  The dynamic signal caller of the Houston Cougars is poised to have another solid game.  He has had time to heal the bumps and bruises of the regular season, plus he will be very motivated in his last college football game.  A stellar performance this Saturday and his draft stock will rise to place him in the 2nd round of next year’s NFL Draft.  Again, this is where maintaining the continuity of Applewhite on the sideline will benefit UH in this game.  Applewhite is the Offensive Coordinator of the Cougars and knows how to utilize the skill set of #1.

We like the fact that Orlando wanted to stay to coach his guys one last time.  He wanted the head coaching gig at Houston, but was 3rd on the list after Kiffin and Applewhite.  Kiffin was passed on for a few reasons, although he was still their top choice until the lawyers got involved.

Like we said, the Houston Cougars bolted to the top of the bowl list because Applewhite was chosen over all the other candidates for the job.  He had 2 days of recruiting distraction to deal with until being freed to prepare and focus on the Aztecs.

We like the Houston Cougars to win the game, but we don’t want to touch the -3 or -3.5 pointspread and get beat with the dreaded backdoor cover  We bet the Cougars -165 on the moneyline last Saturday afternoon at Westgate and Station Casinos.  The good news was that Station Casinos bumped the line to -170 right after we placed our bet.  We aren’t the largest gamblers in town, but we impact the betting line many times.  Plus, the staff at Vegas Sports loves seeing the line move right after our bet is placed.  This tends to be a positive indicator that we are on the winning side of the action.

#HTownTakeover has hit the Vegas Strip and our cash is going along for the ride.

Bet the Houston Cougars this Saturday to win over the San Diego State Aztecs in the 25th Las Vegas Bowl.

Roaring back with a strong teaser

It’s been a while since we wrote, but this set up was too good to pass.  We love to bet teasers.  They always look so nice when bet, but they look even better when they are cashed.  This teaser stood out to us as our favorite bet for this Sunday.

 

This weekend will be a little mellow.  It’s time to take it a little easy and a step back with some light wagering.

 

This type of teaser bet has tended to be a rewarding strategy for us.  It involves two teams that are playing at home and have a solid shot at making the NFL Playoffs.  In addition, the Vegas line needs to be manageable enough so that we can tease the line down to the teams only needing to win the game.

 

This teaser has both games kicking off at 10:00 am, so we get the bonus of enjoying (hopefully) the games at the same time.

 

No need for a big write up.  We like Detroit and Dallas against two of the weaker teams in the AFC.  ‘Any Given Sunday’ give the Jags and Ravens hope to win on the road, but the both home teams are solid and should win.  The offenses of Dallas and Detroit will maintain constant pressure the opposition’s defense.  The Lions and Cowboys defenses have proven to be very capable of forcing punting situations.  A nice bonus with this teaser is the strong home field advantages.  Dallas and Detroit will have loud and proud crowds in each home dome.

 

We are riding with a 6 ½ point, 2 team teaser on:

Dallas -1/2
Detroit (pick)

 

Good Luck and have a great weekend

Great Young Arms Catching A Lot Of Points : Bonus Teaser Tuesday

We’ll make this one quick, since it’s a bonus for opening weekend:

 

We are betting on two of the NFL’s rising quarterbacks that someday might face each other in the Super Bowl.  Their teams did play against each other in Super Bowl XXXVII.  In this teaser, we bet on Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders.  Both teams are directed by very talented and dynamic quarterbacks with potent offenses.  The teaser bet gives us additional points which should keep the bet live in both games right down to the end(if needed).   Atlanta and New Orleans have defenses which will rank in the bottom third of the league, while Tampa Bay and Oakland counter with offenses that will rank in the top third of the league.  Advantage Tampa Bay and Oakland.

 

We think Tampa Bay can win outright and have a bet on the Buccaneers +140 on the moneyline.  The current Defensive Coordinator was last employed in the NFL as the Atlanta Falcons Head Coach.  Stated or unstated, revenge is in play.  Plus, word in Tampa is the defensive players love his scheme.  In our 2nd leg of the teaser the potent Oakland Raiders will take on an overrated, but always dangerous Saints team playing in their home opener.  It looks like Oakland will be attacking this year.  Carr has a cannon for an arm and he has one of the best wide receivers in the NFL as his main target.  Latavius Murray is a 1,000+ yard back going up against a defense that gave up 4.9 yards per rush in 2015.

 

The original point spread at South Point had the Bucs +3.5 at Atlanta and Oakland +1 at New Orleans.  As with most of our teasers, we look to meet or cross over key point spread numbers.  We bet a 2 team , 6.5 point teaser which meant that a bet of $130 had to be placed to win $100.

 

Tampa Bay +10

Oakland +7.5

 

Side note: we have written about theme betting and have been at it for years.  Seems like others in town are starting to follow our lead and using theme betting.  That’s fine with us, welcome to our party.