Very Early College Football $$
Written by: Teddy Covers
My ‘summer homework’ progression is simple. I do my NFL work first, because not that much changes in the professional ranks over the summer. Once we’re done with the draft and the initial free agent signing period, it’s easy to make preliminary assessments of all 32 NFL teams. While the season win total market is still a long way from true ‘maturity’, we do have a pretty good sense of two things. First, how the 32 teams are projected, power ratings wise and second, how tough a team’s schedule is going to be.
When it comes to college football, I don’t do much until after the MLB All Star break, and the majority of my college football prep comes in August. Why the difference? Simple – a lot more changes in college over the summer, and I’m not a big fan of doing the same work twice! The depth charts that you’re going to see popping up in all the college football preview publications were accurate at the end of spring camp. By mid-August, they’re essentially obsolete.
There are many more players moving up and down the depth charts in college. There are more injuries in college, both serious and minor, due to simple math. More teams and more players on every team equates to more injuries, plain and simple. There are many more positions – most notably at quarterback, but in reality, all over the roster – that have open competitions or changes to the starter between the end of spring camp and the start of the season.
We know who is likely to be the opening day QB starter for just about every team except the Jets and Browns at this stage of the NFL offseason. In college, there are literally dozens of QB jobs that have not been awarded yet; not to mention the dozens of offensive lines that aren’t settled, the dozens of receiving corps in flux and the dozens of defenses that will have massive personal changes between now and the first kickoff of the season.
And that’s just the personnel on the field. College prep work involves reading reports out of camps throughout the month of August. Some teams will pick up new systems from new coordinators quickly; other squads will be much slower to adjust. Some teams will make huge strides in Year 2 or Year 3 of a system; other squads don’t seem to be able to make that leap. To sum it up, there’s a lot more uncertainty in college football at this stage of the offseason than there is in the NFL; hence my ‘ do NFL work in May and June’ mantra that has paid dividends for my clients and I over the years.
That being said, I don’t want to get to the latter stages of summer without any real ideas about what teams the markets are likely to be supporting early on at a high level, and which teams the markets are looking to fade right from the get-go. The only way to track this info is to watch the early numbers closely.
I have a ton of respect for Jay Kornegay and his staff at the Westgate Superbook. CG Technology with COO Matthew Holt and his team have been a market leader since the day they arrived in Nevada. South Point Sportsbook , with new director Chris Andrews, are consistent ‘players’ when it comes to unique props and lines. But I would be remiss to exclude the Golden Nugget from any list of the elite sports books in Vegas, with Tony Miller, Aaron Kessler and company providing the ‘go-to’ destination for serious bettors downtown. Plus, Tony and Aaron are legitimately ‘good guys’, always willing to listen to or share a good betting story. This is not a ‘diss’ of other sportsbooks here in Vegas, but rather, a recognition of the guys who are ready, willing & able to take wiseguy action.
The Nugget was not first to market on ‘College Football Games of the Year’ lines in 2016 – South Point posted them earlier this month. But the Golden Nugget was the first book to post a bevy of season win totals in college football, numbers that hit the board late last week. And while I’m not going to pretend to be completely up to speed on the entire collegiate betting board, I do pay attention to these very first ‘market indicator’ season win total line moves.
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 (bet up to 9) and Tennessee Under 10 (now -155 to the Under). Both win totals stood out like a sore thumb when the lines were posted – in casual discussions with other serious bettors, those two win totals came up repeatedly.
And those two win totals were, by far the biggest movers off the opening number with the Nugget taking enough Ohio State money to move the win total up from 8.5 to 9, with the Over 9 still drawing market support. The Buckeyes broke two records during the draft process with a record 14 players invited to the scouting combine and a record ten players selected in the first three rounds of the draft (Tennessee in 2000 held the previous record with eight draftees in the first three rounds).
The Nugget’s opening numbers make it clear – they’re expecting some growing pains for Ohio State after their massive personnel losses. And a schedule that includes road trips to face Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan State prior to their season finale against Michigan was viewed to be somewhat daunting initially. The early market action supporting the Buckeyes did NOT agree with that ‘daunting’ assessment.
Tennessee finished 9-4 last year, pummeling Northwestern in the Outback Bowl to close out the campaign. All four Volunteer losses – Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas – came by a TD or less, and the Vols held a fourth quarter lead in three of them. With QB Joshua Dobbs returning – just one of 18 returning starters – the Nugget expected to see significant preseason wiseguy support for Butch Jones’ squad. There is a lot to like about this team.
But lining Tennessee’s win total higher than another other SEC school was a bit too much for the markets to support. And with a four game early season stretch against Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama, the markets have said ‘this team loses more than one game’, which is all it takes for them to bet the Vols Under 10 wins. It’ll take an 11-1 regular season record to lose that bet; a win total the Vols haven’t even approached since Phil Fulmer was competing for national titles more than a decade ago.
What a Start to the Week!
Coming off a solid weekend performance, skeptics would say the Covers Experts were due for a 'let down' to start this week. That couldn't be further from the truth, as the profit train has kept on rolling.
AAA Sports has led the charge, turning in a monster 6-1 (86%) card yesterday to improve to 9-1 (90%) so far this week. AAA has been crushing it on the bases all season, to the tune of $7,833 of profit. His long-term +$19K run-line streak is put to the test today!
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It has been a remarkable month of May for Jesse Schule, who has shown no sign of letting up. 'The Iceman' delivered a 5-1 (83%) Tuesday card of his own to make it 7-1 (88%) since Monday. Schule is now 47-25 (65%) overall in May, earning $12,167 of the house's money. Four more plays ready!
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Will Rogers continues to produce winning days. While it was a small profit yesterday, 'The Coach' is now 34-14-1 (71%) overall the last 12 days and 66-35-2 (65%) in May, banking +$18,096. His insane 43-16-1 MLB run is on the line today!
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Brandon Shively's MLB Weekly Dose
Brandon Shively likes to take a look ahead every week in baseball for potential good situational and spot bets. He has identified some key games below that have caught his eye and are worth a closer look come game time.
5/25--Chicago Cubs (Arrieta) @ Saint Louis (Martinez)---While Jake Arrieta remains the best pitcher in the Majors, it can’t go unnoticed that the Cardinals are 5-0 all time in Carlos Martinez starts against the Cubs. Martinez has been listed anywhere from a -109 to a -138 in his four career home starts vs the Cubs. I could see this being a potential one run game and with the Cardinals being a MLB best 15-4 (79%) +1.5 runs as a home underdog since 2014, I think that the Cardinals are worth a second look Wednesday night on the Run line.
5/26--Colorado (Gray) @ Boston (Buchholz)----Jon Gray for the Rockies is an ‘under-the-radar’ pitcher for the Rockies. Gray is coming off a short lived 3.1 inning outing where he gave up 9 runs vs. the Cardinals, so he won’t get much notice from the public or respect from the oddsmaker. The Rockies have a lineup that is capable of going ‘toe to toe’ with the Red Sox, especially since they are facing Clay Buchholz who has given up 5 earned runs in five of his nine starts already this season. His 5.48 FIP holds true to his 5.92 ERA on the season. The oddsmakers have been forced to start to inflate the Red Sox lines when playing at Fenway park, giving value to the underdog when the correct pitching/hitting matchup can be found. I feel this is a potential one with a nice pay off. Let’s take a closer look at the Rockies if a +150 or more underdog on Wednesday.
5/27--Philly (Morgan) @ Chicago Cubs (Lester)---The Phillies starting rotation has been stellar this season other than that of Adam Morgan. Morgan has a 5.66 ERA this month and the Phillies have lost three of his four starts. The one win came against the Braves so nothing to brag on there. This is a day game at Wrigley Field and one for Jon Lester to rebound off of after a rare 2.2 inning outing vs the Giants over the weekend. Lester just didn’t have his ‘stuff’ working last Saturday but he is a good enough pitcher to easily bounceback in form his next outing. Opposing batters are hitting only .190 vs Lester in Wrigley this season and he has 38K in only 33 IP. The Phillies are ranked 28th (only the Twins and Braves are worse) in weighted On Base Average vs. left handed starters this season. The Phillies offense remains one of the worst while the Cubs bats are overdue for an offensive explosion if it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t mind looking to lay the -1.5 runs here with this matchup that I feel is warranted.
5/28--Reds (Simon) @ Brewers (Anderson)---It’s only a matter of time before Alfredo Simon either gets demoted to the bullpen or the minors. Until then, he is on my ‘auto fade’ and ‘auto-over’ list. His 10.16 ERA/ 2.15 WHIP is proof in the pudding. Chase Anderson for the Brewers has already given up 12 homeruns this season and got tagged for 6 runs in a starts against the Reds earlier this month in a 9-5 game. The Reds have the worst bullpen in the Majors and the Brewers aren’t far behind. If you like this game ‘over’, then I suggest taking a position on it when the overnight line is posted, because it will more than likely go up at least a half if not a full run by game time.
Some of these pitching matchup might change, so it’s always good to check daily for changes and injuries, etc. My daily handicapping begins with a run down of the current injury report followed by the weather report, then I go down my list looking at other situations and factors that lead to my final decision on releasing a pick. Baseball is a very long season, so patience is required. I have had to learn that the hard way this season as admittingly, I got off to a dreaded start. Things are now looking up and I look forward to making you guys some money along with myself as we get our bankrolls nice and fat leading into football season!
The Coach Dials Up More Winners!
Covers Expert Will Rogers has been putting a beatdown on the books all month long and he continued that trend on Monday, posting yet another winning 3-1 day.
The Coach correctly called Toronto 1st Half (+2.5) in the NBA Playoffs and San Jose (+115) in the NHL Playoffs, both as top rated 10* plays. While he split a pair of run-line MLB picks, Will is still a REMARKABLE 42-16 (72%) over his last 58 baseball releases.
Overall, Rogers is now 66-34-1 (66%) in the month of May, good for $19,366 of pure profit. That includes a run of picking 71% winners (32-13) over the last 11 days. Join The Coach's winning team on Tuesday for another profit haul!
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Employing more of a "quality over quanitity" approach, Marc Lawrence stayed perfect since Friday by delivering a big winner on Toronto +6. Marc is now 6-0 (100%) over last 4 days and owns a pair of impressive longer-term runs: 10-3 (77%) L13 NBA & 29-10 (74%) L39 MLB!
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MLB Betting Cheat Sheet: May 23-26
Written by: Power Sports
0 for 6
Six times division rivals San Diego and San Francisco have met this year. All six times the latter has won. The most recent series was in San Diego and saw the Padres score just one run in all three games. This week, the teams meet at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Giants had to play Sunday Night, but the Padres went 17 innings against the Dodgers (and lost), so gone is any advantage there for the road team. Plus, the Giants are a hot team right now as they’ve won 10 of their last 11. At least the Padres will avoid Madison Bumgarner in this series (he pitched Sunday night).
No Home Field Advantage Here
Six times division rivals Oakland and Seattle have played this year. All six times the home team has lost. Ironically, the A’s were just swept at home by the Yankees over the weekend while the Mariners swept a series in Cincinnati. Thus, I suppose you could say then that the M’s are unfortunate hosts to start the week. They are just 8-10 at Safeco Field for the season and hitting .218 here as a team. But aside from the sweep earlier this season, the Athletics are by no means a dominant road team. They’re being outscored by 1.5 runs per game overall despite a .500 record. One break for the A’s this week is they won’t have to face Felix Hernandez.
For most of this season, the Yankees have occupied the basement in the American League East. But after five straight wins, the last four coming in Oakland, they now find themselves in third. Toronto, even though they won Sunday, has fallen into last. But they still have the better run differential (+2 compared to -19) compared to their Pinstriped rivals and they’re another team where the road has been kinder than home. So, I would not be the least bit surprised if they end up winning this series in the Bronx this week. They did take two of three from New York earlier this year at home.
*It’s a tough break for Tampa Bay losing Kevin Kiermaier from their lineup. Not only was the Gold Glove outfielder batting .313 over a nine-game stretch before breaking two bones in his left hand Saturday, he’s also a career .424 hitter against this week’s opponent, Miami.
*The White Sox cooled off considerably over the past week, losing six of eight games. Part of that is owed to some terrible hitting with runners in scoring position (1 for 23 against the Royals). However, there is at least one hitter in the lineup poised to possibly break out this week against Cleveland. That would be Jose Abreu, who has hit .440 his last seven games against the Indians.
*Washington just took two of three from the Mets last week, on the road. Now they get to host their main rival, trotting out Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg for the first two games. Gonzalez always seems to excel against division opponents (1.38 ERA last 15 starts) and has done quite well for himself overall this season (allowed 1 ER or less in six of eight starts). He’ll be a sizable favorite Monday over Bartolo Colon.
*If you’ve been following this column the last couple of weeks, then you know I’m at a loss for words over the Phillies’ surprising start. But I will certainly give a nod to starter Vince Velasquez, who is striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings. In fact, in half of his eight starts, the 23-year old hasn’t given any runs. He’ll be a slight favorite, on the road, against Detroit Monday night as the Tigers will counter with the winless Mike Pelfrey (6.37 ERA, 1.829 WHIP).
The Under was a perfect 3-0 in the first Kansas City-Minnesota series of 2016 and that’s the way the total has generally gone in this AL Central rivalry. Since the start of last season, the Under is 15-4-3 in all Royals-Twins games. The two play a three-game set in the Twin Cities this week. All three games in the Royals’ previous series (against Chicago) also went Under by the way.
- Marc Lawrence
- May 26, 2016 - 8:10 PM
- Offered at:
- pinnacle @ -104 Baltimore
Play - Baltimore Orioles vs. McCullers.
Edges - Orioles: Kevin Gausman 2-0 last two away team starts during May; and Orioles 21-11 at night this season. Astros: Lance McCullers 12-22 at night this season.
With Houston winless, 0-6, this season on Thursdays, we recommend a 1* play on baltimore. Thank you and good luck as always.
> Oh my. Wednesday’s Game Five Western Conference final showdown between the Thunder and Warriors is Marc’s 10* NBA Playoff Game of the Year and it’s backed with a pair of jaw-dropping murder angles inside the game that have each NEVER LOST the money in tonight’s role. Hop on Marc’s hot hand now and put it right at the top of your ticket - get it now!