Sports

Gonzaga lost the National Championship on Saturday night, not tonight

We respect how Mark Few has developed the basketball program at the Gonzaga University over the past two decades.  He has built Gonzaga into a national powerhouse that should set the foundation for many years to come.

 

This year was a tremendous proving ground for Mark Few.  The Bulldogs were finally a Number 1 seed in the tournament.  They deserved this seeding after a tremendous year in which they dominated all but one team on the schedule.  They have impressive wins at Florida, at Arizona and verses Iowa State.  All three of those teams won at least one game in March Madness.

 
That been said, this is where we see a flaw in Cinderella’s path to the National Championship. Gonzaga has had one of the least challenging path to the final game of any team in history.  They dominated an over-matched South Dakota State team that was only down by 4 at half. Next game, they almost melted down verses an 8th seed.  Northwestern took them to the brink and if not for a missed goaltending and subsequent technical foul, the game might have had a different outcome.  Ask any Northwestern alum, Gonzaga was lucky to escape into the Sweet 16.

 
In the Sweet 16, Gonzaga played well against a tough West Virginia Mountaineer squad.  This was their most competitive game of the tournament. Few excelled in this situation and won a game that he might have lost in the past.  The Zags then caught their second major break (after the missed call against Northwestern).  11th seeded Xavier upset an Arizona Wildcats team that was primed to revenge their lost to the Zags in Tucson.  Xavier played their best game of the year to beat Arizona.  The Musketeers left everything on the court in one of the biggest upsets in March.  Gonzaga had a match-up with a spent Xavier team that was emotional and physically drained.  The end result was a dominating win by the Bulldogs to reach the Final Four.

 
In the Final Four, Gonzaga faced the 7th seed out of the East (South Carolina).  South Carolina was a 2nd tier SEC team that was making a magical run through the tournament.  The Gamecocks were living off borrowed time, but almost won the game after overcoming a 14-point deficit in the 2nd half. It was after this game that Gonzaga lost the National Championship.

 
As you can see with our picture, the coaches and their teams celebrated wins on Saturday night in completely different fashion.  The Tar Heels and Williams went back to the drawing board. Gonzaga and Few celebrated as if they won the title.

 
Whether it’s putting the toothpaste back in the tube or the genie back in the bottle, it will be very difficult for Gonzaga to capture this emotion and focus so soon after a celebratory win.

 
The advantage here for North Carolina is about focus and coaching.  Carolina and Gonzaga have talented enough players to win every game.   The injury to Berry is definitely a concern.  The experience of playing road games in the ACC has tested the Tar Heels’ mettle more so than Gonzaga had been tested in the West Coast Conference.  The difference in tonight’s game will come down to coaching and big game experience.

 
Williams is an experienced and consistence leader that has won two National Championships.  His last occurred in similar fashion when the Tar Heels were booted out of the ACC Tournament in 2009.  The path is very similar as that championship year.  By the way, Carolina faced the following seeds on their way to this game; 16,8,4,2 and 3.  Their road was much tougher as reflected in their last two games against Oregon and Kentucky.

 
We expect the Tar Heels to throw Theo Pinson at Williams-Goss.   NWG has never faced such a match-up this year.   Pinson is 6’6” and will smother Williams-Goss in a way that will disrupt the timing of his game.  This is the main question of tonight’s game;  how does Roy Williams defend against the main cog of the well-oiled Bulldog team, Nigel Williams-Goss?  NWG has shown the ability to strike at the most opportune time.  He did it again on Saturday night right when Gonzaga was on the brink of defeat to the 7th seeded Gamecocks.  His talent and timing is uncanny.

 
Tonight, will be a showcase of the strength of the North Carolina program.  The Tar Heels will have made a remarkable turnaround from the heartbreaking loss against Villanova.  Rare is the team that can climb the mountain after being so close to its peak only to fall in the final second.  They call it redemption.  We do too.

 
The books have provided a generous point spread with the North Carolina Tar Heels -1 (or -120 on the moneyline).  Since the betting public has brought down the line, you will be on the side of the sports books if you bet on North Carolina.  We always recommend the moneyline on short lines like on tonight’s game.  Vegas Sports® is positioned with bets in place the will reward us with a $3,600 win while only risking $100 (see our previous article).

 
Look again at the meme we created.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I this case, we think it can be worth thirty-six hundred.  Good luck and Go Heels!

How we were able to bet North Carolina at 36-1 to win the National Championship

That’s right.  We are sitting on a nice payday if the North Carolina Tar Heels win the National Championship on Monday.  We will be risking $100 to win $3,600.   You could have too, if you followed us on Twitter.  Check it out and you might make a few bucks while you are at it.

As our friends know, we are as sound as a pound.  Whether analyzing sporting events, the stock market or making the community a better place to visit and live… our reputation is solid.  We know it sounds crazy, but we are literally risking $100 to win $3,600.

So how in the world did Vegas Sports® manage to risk $100 to make $3,600 if North Carolina wins the National Championship for the 6th time?

It’s a long story, but let’s dig into the details. Details are so key.  Frank, our friend that recently retired from Metro’s Forensic Lab, would be one to stress the importance of details.

We started with a principal balance of $2,000 to risk on future bets to win March Madness (ended up betting an additional $100 to bring our total to $2,100).  Basically, we placed long calls on teams we thought had the capabilities to win it all.

Our first bet was placed at the beautiful Wynn Las Vegas for $500.  This bet was made on November 26th, after Carolina won the Maui Invitational. We could tell that the team used the summer in Chapel Hill to get even stronger than a year before, just like we would expect from the Tar Heels.

We are going to list all of our bets for the National Championship by date:

11/26     Carolina (8-1)                                            $500 at Wynn to win $4,000
12/03     Duke (4.5 to 1)                                          $200 at Red Rock to win $900
12/24     Carolina (12-1)                                          $100 at Red Rock to win $1,200
02/04     Gonzaga (9-1)                                            $200 at Wynn to win $1800
02/04     Iowa State (300-1)                                   $100 at MGM to win $30,000
03/04     UCLA/KU/Duke/Nova (+140)               $800 at South Point to win $1,120
03/04     Kentucky (10-1)                                        $200 at MGM to win $2,000

Total bet: $2,100

 

If Carolina Wins:

+ $4,000 won at Wynn
+ $1,200 won at Red Rock
– $1,600 lost bets

+$3,600 won

 

If Gonzaga Wins:

+$1,800 won at Wynn
-$1,900 loss bets

-$100 lost

 

So, there it is.  Through strong analysis, experience and a little luck.  We have positioned ourselves to risk $100 in order to win $3,600.

The end result is that we have an excellent risk/reward set up for the National Championship game.  Another bonus has been a really fun March Madness.  Looks like it’s time for some popcorn, because we aren’t hedging this baby.  We are letting this bet ride.  Go Heels !!!

 

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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

Teaser Tuesday returns with a roar

We have missed publishing our Teaser Tuesday. It was stopped partly because of poor performance and partly to protect our Golden Nugget Showdown and William Hill College Pick’em selections.

 

By the way, Vegas Sports is doing well in both contests. We are within striking range after four weeks. The competition is only getting tougher, so we will have to be at our best all 10 weeks. After much discussion, it was decided that Teaser Tuesday had little impact on our Golden Nugget Showdown. All Teaser Tuesdays will be in the NFL, which is the way it should be… right?

 

Our first team in the tease will be the Chicago Bears. We like Hoyer. Sparty has been putting some solid quarterbacks in the league. Hoyer is the best of the three that will play this Sunday. The coaching staff in Chicago is feeling pressure. We expect a well-designed game plan from Fox and his coaching staff to isolate favorable match-ups on both sides of the lines.

 

Indy has to be a little jet lagged after playing and losing last Sunday in London. It’s tough enough switching one time zone let alone five. This team has disappointed us. We thought that the organization would build more around him. It is obviously that Luck misses having Flee on the sideline with him. It was a mistake to let him hit the free market. Another favorable situation is that this game falls in between three division games for the Colts. Trips to Houston and Tennessee await the Colts after the Bears game.

 

The other leg of our 2-team, 6-point teaser is on the Denver Broncos to win. The teaser allows us to move the line from -6 to even. The Falcons looked great in their wins against Oakland and Carolina (we lost both bets). Matty Ice and Jones might be the best combination in the league. The Falcons looked good early in the season last year too. This is a tough spot for the Falcons. We are going to stay with formulas that have paid off in the past. It would be a mistake to sway from the discipline that got us here. It might be easier to list the advantages.

 

Denver Advantages:
1) NFC Dome team playing in Mile High
2) Atlanta has a vulnerability on the offensive line that Denver is built to exploit. The Denver front is formidable. Expect Wolfe and Miller to spend plenty of time in the Falcon’s backfield.
3) Mile High Magic with that altitude
4) Atlanta’s defense is susceptible to the Broncos rushing attack and the weapons on the outside that could be the best receiving tandem (DT and Sanders) in the league.
5) Talib will neutralize Jones
6) The game was rescheduled to start at 4:20pm EST (Not really, it’s 4:05pm EST)
7) That Denver crowd is loud and disruptive

 

Atlanta’s Advantages:
1) Denver’s quarterback is young
2) Atlanta has won 3 in a row (Denver has won 4)

 

We see quite a few advantages that lean toward the Broncos to get the win over The ATL. We like the Bears to be competitive with the Colts, if not win their game on Sunday. This is the true beauty of a teaser bet. It can be a great way to bet on the NFL. Through the teaser, we can bet on the Broncos to win at home (which normally is a -250 moneyline bet) paired with Hoyer and his solid receivers to stay within 10 points of the Colts.

 

2-team, 6-point teaser bet at the South Point: $120 bet to win $100
Chicago Bears +10.5
Denver Broncos (pk)

The Golden 7 – GN Showdown Week 4

Last week our Lucky 7 was not so lucky, therefore we are going to adjust the name to hopefully adjust our results.  Plus, we wrote too much on each game.  The Golden 7 will be more condensed.  The GN Showdown and William Hill College contests have been so tough, but we love the challenge.  As mentioned many times, we don’t bet all of these game.  We do bet some and will look to highlight them.  Our mettle is being tested.

 

Every week, we learn more and more about various programs in college football.  All of this work has had a net positive effect on our bankroll and should pay dividends in bowl season.  Also, we need to be ready for the Wildcard Chase in Week 9 and 10.

 

On to the games (listed in our order of preference):

 

Toledo +4
This is our Lock of the Year.  Yes, we know.  Toledo covered a close game in Provo.  This is a solid team that played a phenomenal game against a tough BYU team.  This win will be chalked up as pure luck to get the cover (4th and 4… wink, wink). Next.

 

Jets +2.5 ($)

Call us crazy, but we really like the Jets in this spot.  This game appeals to us because of three factors: west coast team playing in New York at 10:00am PST, Jet’s D-Line verses Seattle’s O-Line and the line action in the point spread all week.  If we have time, we’ll write more about this game.

 

Ball State -4 ($)

This one goes to the seniors at Ball State that have had to suffer with so many losing seasons.  Revenge will best be served in front of a sold out stadium in Muncie, Indiana.  We’ll be betting the moneyline in this game.

 

Missouri +13 ($)

Change can be tough for anyone.  Mizzou is solid team that is catching LSU at the right time.  We’ll take the points.  By the way, we also have Missouri +400 on the moneyline.

 

Maryland -10.5 ($)
The first Big 10 game for the Terrapins.  We think the potential here is for a convincing win over the Boilermakers.

 

Wake Forest +10.5 ($)
Opening conference game for both teams.  NC State hosts Notre Dame next week.  How can the Wolfpack not be distracted from the shadow cast by the Fighting Irish.  Wake Forest was impressive in their upset win on the road in Bloomington.  The Demon Deacons will travel to Raleigh looking for the win and should fight.

 

Minnesota – 5 (No bet yet, but maybe)

The Vikings might be the best team in the NFC.  Bradford finally has a solid team around him.  Minnesota is 1-0 at home.  Constant pressure on Manning will be important to get the cover.

 

Good luck everyone.

Lucky 7: GN Showdown Selections Week 3

Our contest entry in The Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown is off to a solid start and right in the mix.  We need to be in the Final 8 to entry the true Showdown to have a chance at glory.  This is fun as long as we are competitive. As mentioned previously, there are experienced and seasoned professional sports gamblers that have entered the Showdown. Let’s hope that we can do better than last week.  Our selections hit 5-2 ATS, which is terrific in most settings.  The Golden Nugget or the Westgate’s SuperContest are all about getting off to a fast start, but also crushing the number.  Remember CH Ballers in 2014? They ran away with the SuperContest nailing an incredible winning percentage of 76% ATS.

 

Unfortunately, we left Central Michigan and Toledo off the Golden Nugget card last week.  We had them in the William Hill College Football contest (7-0 ATS by the way) and bet a nice amount on Toledo.  Our first priority is to make money through dynamic sports betting, but a close second is to win the Golden Nugget Showdown, then the William Hill CFB contest.  Plus, we can’t forget the new website and a much needed update to the mobile apps. The work never seems to stop and that is fine by us.

 

This tends to be a difficult week for us.  Some teams are starting to find a groove, some are healing from injury while others are the posers that will soon collapse.  Like we say, there is a lot of grinding in this business.  Our colleague Mike B. has a better grind at the WSOP and the plethora of poker tournaments her enters around the world.

 

It seems that somehow our selections fall into a theme.  Last week, we bet chalk.  This week it is picking against teams with injuries in key positions. After much consideration and research, our staff has isolated seven games that we believe offer value on this week’s card at the Nugget.

 

 

Washington -11

 

Our hope is that we are not late to the Huskies party.  This team has been dominant in its first few games.  We like so much about this team. We like the coach, the players, the university, the home stadium, the colors and especially the beautiful city of Seattle.

There are a few reasons why we like the Huskies in this role even though they are double-digit conference road favorite.  Normally we will avoid this spot, but Zona has key injuries with their quarterback and running back.  Even if they play, Solomon and Wilson will not be at full strength.

 

This Washington team is strong in many areas. Solid recruiting by Sarkisian and Petersen is starting to pay dividends for a program that dominated the Pac10 a decade or two ago.  The Pac 12 has been a different story for the Huskies football program, but the script is being rewritten right in front of our eyes.

 
We have never been comfortable lying 11 on the road and in the conference, but we will this Saturday night.  Browning is off to a strong start.  Add in the incredibly creative mind of Chris Petersen and the Huskies have become a dynamic offense.  Sark brought in the pieces, but left too early.  Petersen is the ideal candidate as the Huskies coach and will continue the positive direction of this program.

 

 

Minnesota -16.5

 

Minnesota is off a bye and at home. We might leave it at that. Colorado State gave them a fight last year in Hughes Stadium, but a lot of talent has left Ft. Collins since that game.  The Golden Gophers should be able to dominate both sides of the line. We especially like the potential of a dominating rushing attack that will grind away at the stamina of the Rams defensive line.  We are still not sure about this Minnesota program and look forward to see how they perform in today’s game.

 

Colorado State is a year or two away from being able to compete on this level. Give the program 2 years in their new, beautiful on campus stadium that will open in 2017.  It could take the Colorado State Rams right to the Big 12 (if that window is still open).  The Big 12 can squeeze it’s way right into Pac 12 Country. It has to be a tempting thought for the conference.

 

 

Akron +6

 

Here we are again selecting against our founder’s alma mater.  It worked last week, so we are going to try it this week. The schedule makers have not done any favors for the Mountaineers. Sure Akron has been a weak program in the past, but that is no longer the case.  Terry Bowden has this program on the rise.  We selected against the Zips in week 1 when they visited Madison.  They made some plays, but couldn’t take advantage of them.  Last week, the Zips were clicking on all cylinders.  They started slow, but unloaded on Marshall and walked away with a convincing win.

 

Now App State has to visit an Akron team with momentum.  This is right after hosting the biggest sporting event in the High Country.  The Mountaineers have to hit the road at a time where their bearings a still off.  Once again, the Mountaineers have another reason to displeased with the schedule maker.  Marcus Cox’s injury will hamper the ability for the Mountaineers to keep pace with the Zips.

 

App State has a good program and should be competitive this season, but not until they can stop focusing on the non-conference schedule.

 

 

Air Force -3.5

 

We love selecting the military academies whenever we can.  Army might have surprised a lot of people this year, but not us.  We cashed on the cadets of West Point in the first two weeks of the season and in week 1 of both contests.  This time our selection is the side of the Falcons. Utah State showed the other night, against Arkansas State, that the football program is competitive under the guidance of Coach Wells.  The recent edge that the Aggies have had over the Falcons has graduated.  The playmaker quarterbacks are gone, as are the fast and powerful linebackers that play on Sundays.

 
The only concern we have with this selection is the Navy game next week in the Springs.  The leadership in any branch would accept a 2-10 record, as long as the program wins the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy.  We know that the Navy game plan is in place.  The key to this selection is the focus of the Air Force team.  We think the program has the capability of achieving the goal of recapturing the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, along with a Mountain West title.  Since this is the opening game of the conference schedule, the focus should be in place.

 

 

Miami -9.5

 

Betting the largest spread on this Sunday’s NFL card with the Dolphins.  Again, we find ourselves selecting against a team dealing with injuries.  It would be asking a lot of Cody Kessler to start taking snaps with the 1’s for the first time this week and be competitive in Miami.  The Dolphins are sitting at 0-2.  They must have had the same schedule maker as App State with having to play the first two games on the road in Seattle and Foxborough, the toughest venues in the NFL to walk away the W.

 
Now they get to play a depleted Browns team on their 3rd quarterback in as many weeks.  Hello Ndamukong Suh.  The Miami defense has to be licking it chomps facing the Browns in this spot.

 
Wonder what the humidity will feel like?  Let’s see, we like to gamble.  Let’s just say it is going to be hot on the field at Hard Rock Stadium.  Another injury to content with form the Browns is that of Corey Coleman.  This dude is a playmaker.  He cashed some big tickets for us while in college.  His game in Norman comes to mind really fast.  Josh Gordon is still suspended.  Something tells us that the Browns organization is taking the Philadelphia 76ers path on building a team.

 
Adam Gase has proven to be a more than competent offensive coordinator.  We think that he will take this opportunity as a head coach to expand his playbook.  He has to teach and show his team how to be a dynamic offense (like in Chicago and Denver).  Jay Cutler has shown the immediate effect of not having Gase design his offense.  This is the man that invested Tebow Time.  He will be successful in South Beach and it starts this Sunday verses the Browns.

 

 

Cincinnati -3

 

If this line was -3.5,  we might have passed on this game and selected one of the three college football games waiting in the mix.  Cincinnati will be the toughest team that the Broncos have faced all year.  They are a complete team and solid in every phase of the game.  The Bengals biggest hurdle the past couple of years is that they create some of their own misery.  Bengals fans know what we are talking about.  If this team is focused and plays at their potential, very few could beat them at home or on the road.

 
This week they face the defending Super Bowl Champs lead by a quarterback that has two wins under his belt.  Siemian has played well and we rode with the Broncos to a fun pointspread cover last week when Miller and Ray combined for the sack-strip-score covering the 6… fun stuff.  Even for an experienced quarterback, it would be tough to win on the road in this situation.  The Broncos have a good rushing attack and one of the league’s best defenses.  That is a formula to win on the road, but not this week.  Cincinnati is too complete of a team and can’t let an early must-win game slip away.

 
We expect a focused Bengals team to start this game fast and maintain pressure on the Broncos deep into the 4th quarter.  The prima donna receivers in Denver are already bitching about not getting the ball, when they should be happy sitting at 2-0 in the AFC West.  D-Ware, Green and Stephenson injuries hurt, but our selection is more based on the task facing Trevor Siemian.  We have summoned the dynamic duo of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap in the past (verses Seattle last year).  We look for these two dogs putting pressure on the Denver signal caller and force an error or two or three or four.

 

 

Dallas -7

 

Dallas rounds out our Golden Nugget Showdown card. Once again, as with Minnesota, Akron, Washington and Miami, we select a team facing an opponent dealing with key injuries.  Chicago has taken some lumps early in the season.  Carson Wentz and Brockstar picked apart a Chicago secondary that isn’t getting much help from the front four.  This is a big edge for to the Cowboys.  Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have his first 100 yard game as a pro this Sunday night.  As of this writing, the news for Jeffery still shows him as questionable.  We hope a talent like his will wait to heal, but he will be limited if he plays.  This will put pressure on the Hoyer-to-White combination.  Our works says that Chicago is in trouble against the Cowboys.

 
The home crowd should be very enthusiastic after the ‘boys came back against the Redskins.  The team salvaged their season last week.  It was the first win without Romo under center in about 100 games. The practices must be phenomenal at Valley Ranch.  The Cowboys have an opportunity for a NFC Conference win and get back in the playoff hunt.  The Cowboys will send every in Jerry’s World home happy (except for those catching a flight back to O’Hare).

 
This has been a challenging contest and we hope that our work will pay off with another winning weekend.  Good luck – VS

Teaser Tuesday – We can do better !

Our apologizes, but we will not continue to put out inferior information.  Teaser Tuesday has been suspended until further notice.  The last two weeks have been unacceptable.   We would rather suspend Teaser Tuesday than put lipstick on a pig.  We like to win.  We like our friends to win.  As we always say, sports gambling is only fun when you win.  Therefore you will not see random selections or articles, just to meet a deadline.

 

Our first teaser was an excellent call with Florida State and Clemson on opening weekend, just beautiful.  The teased points covered the Clemson side of the bet.  Florida State covered outright.  That’s the type of results we want to bring the public.

 

We are in a tough spot and cannot fire at will because of the two contests entered in town.   Inevitably, we use selections from our Teaser Tuesday article in the contests at the Golden Nugget and William Hill.  Why give our fellow contestants an edge?  It is tricky enough to release our Lucky 7 early on Saturday.  Even that late of a release messes with our William Hill contest , since entries can be made late in the day on Saturday.  As long as we are in contention at William Hill, the Lucky 7 will be released on Saturday morning.

 

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for the release of the Lucky 7.  Right now it is estimated to pub at 7:00am this Saturday.  It has been cookin’.  We sit at 11-3 ATS in the Golden Nugget Showdown the past two weeks which means that the Lucky 7 sits at 11-3 ATS.   Like we say… can do better.

 

Our goal is to provide the betting public with the best information we can offer.  Please pass along our new website to anyone you think will enjoy it.  Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter for the most timely information.  Have a great week and good luck.  -VS