Wiseguy Report: Teddy's Early Look @ the NFC North

By: Teddy Covers / Jul 18, 2016

Last week in this space, when I previewed the AFC North, there wasn’t a whole lot that I liked in the division.  If I’m going to put an AFC North win total in my pocket, it’s not going to be on an Over wager!  But that’s most assuredly not the case in the NFC North, where several teams – including a Super Bowl contender – have the feeling of an undervalued commodity at this stage of the offseason.

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Wiseguy Report: Teddy's Early Look at the AFC East

By: Teddy Covers / Jul 18, 2016

It’s’ playoffs or bust’ once again for Buffalo in 2015 in Rex Ryan’s second year on the job.  Rex’s brother, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, coached one of the worst defenses in NFL history in New Orleans last year.  Now Ryan takes over a D that plummeted from a #4 yardage ranking in 2014 to #19 in 2015 as sacks dropped from 54 to 21.  

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Wiseguy Report:Teddy's Early Look at the AFC North

By: Teddy Covers / Jul 3, 2016

The betting markets are expecting a significant Ravens bounceback this year, lining Baltimore as an 8.5 win team for 2016 (there are a handful of books that have Baltimore lined at 8 wins with juice to the Over).  A quick look at their mainstream stats from last year suggests that they were unlucky as well as unhealthy. Let’s not forget that nine of the Ravens eleven losses last year came by a single score; by eight points or less.

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Wiseguy Report:Teddy's Early Look at the NFC South

By: Teddy Covers / Jun 27, 2016

Personnel wise, the Carolina Panthers have big questions in their secondary.  Charles Tillman is coming off a torn ACL and still unsigned.  Pro bowl cornerback Josh Norman left for a big payday in Washington.  Bene Benwikere is coming off a broken leg.  And Roman Harper is gone at safety too.  For a team that was +20 in turnovers last year, losing that much veteran talent out of the secondary is clearly problematic.  

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Wiseguy Report: Teddy's Early Look @ the AFC South

By: Teddy Covers / Jun 20, 2016

In this week’s Wiseguy Report, I’ll continue my summer series, breaking down one NFL division each week.  This week, it’s time to take an in-depth look at the four teams from the AFC South, with some very early leans regarding their expected improvement or decline in 2016.  

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Wiseguy Report: Teddy's Early Look at the NFC West

By: Teddy Covers / Jun 13, 2016

The Arizona Cardinals went 13-3 SU, 9-7 ATS and 9-7 to the Over last year.  They finished +9 in turnovers; good for fourth best in the NFL.  Their mainstream stats were outstanding, finishing with the #1 offense and the #5 defense based on yardage figures.  This year, Bruce Arians squad is lined as a 9.5 win team with heavy juice to the Over. Using the standard formula of 50 cents extra juice equating to a half a win in the marketplace, Arizona is effectively lined as a 10 win team in 2016.

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Wiseguy Report: Teddy's Early Look at the AFC West

By: Teddy Covers / Jun 6, 2016

The calendar has turned to June and Vegas is sweltering hot.  That can only mean one thing for NFL bettors – the offseason marketplace starts to heat up with the weather.  The season win total markets and the odds to win each division have seen some movement.  That means it’s time to get to work (if you haven’t done so already) on a thorough offseason analysis of each team. 

The Denver Broncos went 12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS and 10-6 to the Under last year; lined Over/Under 9.5 wins for 2016. 

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Wiseguy Report: Very Early College Football $$

By: Teddy Covers / May 23, 2016

The Golden Nugget here in Las Vegas was the first book to post a bevy of season win totals in college football, numbers that hit the board late last week.  The Nugget posted win total numbers for 24 teams.  Six of those 24 teams saw some early action, including two significant moves: Ohio State Over 8.5 Wins (bet up to 9) and Tennessee Under 10 wins (now -155 to the Under).  

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Wiseguy Report: Wrong Opinions in the NBA Playoffs

By: Teddy Covers / May 16, 2016

Successful sportsbettors are not politicians.   Politicians take heat every time they change their opinion – ‘flip-floppers’.  A politician who is pro-choice on abortion, for example, will take enormous criticism from both sides, and will probably lose his or her next election if he or she switches to a ‘pro-life’ stance.  Sportsbettors, like politicians, are inevitably going to have some wrong opinions – about teams, about players, about coaches

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Wiseguy Report: True 2016 NFL Strength of Schedule

By: Teddy Covers / May 9, 2016

Once last year’s numbers are compiled and filed, it’s time to do the same thing for the upcoming campaign – creating more accurate numbers than you can commonly find.  This week, I’ll focus on the 2016 NFL strength of schedule as they relate to season win totals.  Once again, my goal is to differentiate between the mainstream numbers and the meaningful ones.

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Wiseguy Report: How Pros Attack the NFL in May

By: Teddy Covers / May 2, 2016

The aggregate numbers for last year’s strength of schedule -- the starting point for any analysis of the upcoming 2016 campaign -- can be extremely misleading.  A team’s final win-loss record tells us nothing about how good they actually were at the time the game was played.  There were some enormous in-season power rating shifts last year, just as there are every year.  Here are some key examples:

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Wiseguy Report: The Secret Truth About NFL QB's

By: Teddy Covers / Apr 25, 2016

Over the last ten years, there have been a grand total of three legit superstar quarterbacks to come out of college: Andrew Luck (a #1 overall pick), Cam Newton (a #1 overall pick) and Russell Wilson (the only QB under the age of 30 with a Super Bowl ring).  So basically, if you didn’t draft #1, you’ve had one chance in ten years to get an elite QB.  Hard to find that kind of needle in a haystack, isn’t it!

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Wiseguy Report: NBA Most Undervalued Playoff Teams

By: Teddy Covers / Apr 18, 2016

And that leaves two teams that I think are legitimate title contenders sitting as relative afterthoughts in the national media spotlight and in the betting markets.  The Oklahoma City Thunder were priced in the 15-1 range to win the NBA Title entering the playoffs.  The Los Angeles Clippers were even higher, priced in the 30:1 range.  

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Wiseguy Report: MLB After Week 1

By: Teddy Covers / Apr 11, 2016

Maybe the appropriate title for this week’s Wiseguy Report is ‘”What Lineups Do the Squares Love and Hate Already After One Week.”  Because hitting is one area of the MLB betting marketplace that the public bettors seem to grasp better than the advanced metric lovers.  One week into the campaign there are plenty of reasonable assertions about these MLB lineups that have not been fully factored into the betting market equation yet. 

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Wiseguy Report: How To Beat Baseball in 2016

By: Teddy Covers / Apr 3, 2016

Last year, the top eight pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings were Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Chris Archer, Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Francisco Liriano and Tyson Ross.  Only one of those eight aces – Liriano – produced a profit for his supporters.  If you bet on the eight best pitchers in baseball in this key advanced metric stat, you lost more than -39 units of profit.  This example CLEARLY shows that K/9 rates are overvalued in the modern baseball markets.

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Wiseguy Report: MLB Markets' Amazing Evolution

By: Teddy Covers / Mar 28, 2016

The nature of the sportsbetting marketplace is relatively simple to understand.  Bettors find an edge that they can profitably exploit; soon followed by bookmakers adjusting to reflect the popularity of the prevailing thought processes behind those winning wagers.  Over time, the marketplace evolves.  The factors that worked to produce profitable results for bettors get ‘priced into the market’ and no longer offer that same level of value.

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Wiseguy Report: Big Dance Hard Numbers, Not Hype

By: Teddy Covers / Mar 21, 2016

The insanity that was the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in the rear view mirror, and the hard numbers show a very different story than the mainstream media is reporting.  Just once, I wish I could turn on Sportscenter and find out what was going on against the spread.   But I can't; neither can you.  That, of course, leaves a void to fill....


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Wiseguy Report: Winning Bracket Pool Strategies!

By: Teddy Covers / Mar 14, 2016

I could go off on the NCAA Tournament committee for screwing the mid-majors again, something that’s becoming an annual tradition.  But complaining about the committee is akin to complaining about the weather – everybody does it, but it doesn’t help one iota.  Instead, in this week’s Wiseguy Report, I’m going to focus on the casual fan and strategies for winning office pool bracket contests.

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Wiseguy Report: Who Has What It Takes, Part 2

By: Teddy Covers / Mar 7, 2016

In Part 1 of this article last week, I took a basic look at the profile of the past 16 NCAA champions.  From that profile, I was able to make a ‘short list’ of potential champs in 2016, consisting of the following 16 teams:  Miami-FL, North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Oregon, Utah, Arizona and Texas A&M.

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Wiseguy Report: NCAA Hoops: Who Has What It Takes?

By: Teddy Covers / Feb 29, 2016

History shows us many things about what it takes to be a champion.  I write this article every year, and in every year except for two, I have been able to identify the eventual NCAA national champion among my elite level teams.   Both exceptions were the same team – UConn – making miracle runs to win the title as prohibitive longshots. 

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Wiseguy Report: Celtics Offer Future Book Value

By: Teddy Covers / Feb 22, 2016

Even though the Cavs deserve to be favored, I would most assuredly not recommend a bet on Cleveland -500 to win the East at this time; not exactly a ‘value laden’ wager. Which leaves us with one question – are the Celtics or the Raptors more likely to be able to win a seven game series against the defending (and currently healthy) Eastern Conference champs?  I’m not sold on the Raptors chances.

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Vegas Wiseguy Report: NBA 2nd H Top 'Bet-On' Team

By: Teddy Covers / Feb 15, 2016

This team has been extremely successful ATS already; ranked among the Top 5 ATS teams heading into the All Star Break.  And yet the markets appear to be sleeping on the potential for this squad. That offers savvy bettors significant and continued value supporting this consistent moneywinner in the weeks and months to come.

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Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl Props

By: Teddy Covers / Feb 1, 2016

Props (short for ‘proposition wagers’) have been on the Las Vegas betting boards for thirty years.   It all began when the juggernaut 1985 Chicago Bears were facing the Patriots in Super Bowl 20.  Legendary Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro was a very creative bookmaker at the Mirage (at the time), looking for ways to increase their betting handle

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Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl 50 First Thoughts

By: Teddy Covers / Jan 25, 2016

When it comes to the pointspread for the Super Bowl, it’s the same story, year after year.   Bettors remember what they last saw and react accordingly.   The ‘lookahead’ lines for the potential Super Bowl matchups after Denver knocked off New England in the first game on Sunday had the Broncos in the +2.5 or +3 range as an underdog – no higher and no lower – in a matchup against either Carolina or Arizona in the Super Bowl.

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Wiseguy Report: Final Four in the NFL

By: Teddy Covers / Jan 18, 2016

March Madness has a lock on the ‘Final Four’ terminology, but we’re down to the final four teams standing in the NFL Playoffs following a wild weekend of football.  In this week’s Wiseguy Report, I’ll take a look at how the Final Four teams still standing this NFL season survived, and what their realistic chances of Super Bowl success are moving forward into the Conference Championship Games this coming weekend.

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