Teddy_Covers's Blog

Posted Monday, April 14, 2014 10:30 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Top MLB Totals Trend

We’re two weeks into the marathon baseball season, but there hasn’t been a lot that stands out thusfar in the standings.  The Milwaukee Brewers are riding a nine game winning streak into the new week, a ‘surprise’ team with the best current record in baseball.  And the defending World Series champs, the Boston Red Sox, have slumped out of the gate, sitting in last place in the AL East. 

Frankly, we should expect these sorts of anomalies in early season play – in fact we should expect more of them than we’ve seen thusfar.  But there’s not much we can expect to accomplish from riding hot teams out of the gate and fading underachievers.  Based on two weeks worth of results, I wouldn’t recommend betting on the Brewers or against the Red Sox on a daily basis moving forward.  A hot or cold start is not necessarily a ‘leading indicator’ for a hot or cold season.

But MLB totals are a very different story.  I’ve written several previous articles about why I look to bet MLB totals – particularly Overs – all summer long.  To summarize three key points from those previous articles, the betting markets don’t notice streaks of Overs or Unders at anywhere near the level that the markets notice wins and losses, making streaks easier to ‘ride’ without laying a hefty price. 

Secondly, Overs beget Overs and Unders beget Unders.&n... [More]

Posted Monday, April 07, 2014 10:24 AM

Wiseguy Report: The Remarkable Pacers

The Indiana Pacers have been a remarkable pointspread story this year, worthy of a ‘Wiseguy Report’ to examine in detail what has happened and why.  To be thorough, this story starts last year when the Pacers flexed their collective muscles, developing into a title contender for the first time in a decade.  

Indiana was good, not great, in the 2012-13 regular season.  They won 49 games, tied for the third best record in the (much) weaker of the two conferences.  Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote about the Pacers heading into the playoffs last year:

“A month ago, I would have listed the Pacers as Miami’s toughest Eastern Conference potential test.  Indiana’s defensive numbers rank among the best in the NBA, and low post behemoth Roy Hibbert is a very tough matchup for the Heat in the paint.  Indiana beat Miami twice during the regular season, and the Pacers were the last team to give the Heat real trouble in the playoffs last year, taking a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semi’s before the Heat closed out the series with three straight wins.

But the Pacers have not played well down the stretch; struggling to find offensive production during crunch time of close games.  Can the George Hill/Lance Stephenson/Paul George trio really hang with LeBron and Dwayne Wade for seven games?  And with aging powe... [More]

Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 10:19 AM

Wiseguy Report: More NBA 'Morphers'

You’ll be reading more than enough about the Final Four in the week to come.  You’ll be able to find my initial take on the two games in my ESPN.com piece, midweek.  So I’m going to focus on the NBA in this week’s Wiseguy Report, picking up right where I left off last week, when I broke down a handful of Eastern Conference ‘morphers’. 

It’s worth noting that since I wrote that article, blindly supporting the three ‘bet-on’ teams that I mentioned (Cleveland, Philadelphia and Brooklyn) while fading my one ‘bet-against’ squad (Indiana) has produced a 10-5 ATS result.  Hopefully this edition, focusing on Western Conference ‘morphers’, will produce similar short term dividends.

The San Antonio Spurs success can’t be a surprise to any breathing human.  No team in the league has been more consistent over the past decade and a half, and San Antonio came one brutal overtime loss short of winning the NBA Championship last June.  But the Spurs have been routinely disrespected in the markets this year. 

They were priced appropriately to start the season, going 16-4 SU in their first twenty games, yet finishing .500 ATS.  But the markets did not like the fact that San Antonio struggled against other top teams over the first half of the season. The Spurs were positively dominated by the quintet of Houston, the LA Clippers, India... [More]

Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 09:59 AM

Wiseguy Report: Late Season NBA Morphers

While the betting markets focus on post-season college basketball tournaments and the upcoming baseball season, the long and winding NBA campaign still offers plenty of wagering opportunities down the homestretch. 

There are still 3 ½ weeks left in the regular season.  Most squads have between 12 and 14 games remaining.  And very quietly, underneath the radar, we’ve seen a handful of late season ‘morphers’; teams playing well above or well below their full season power rating numbers.  Those are the teams I’m looking to focus on in this week’s Vegas Wiseguy Report, particularly in the Eastern Conference.

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 24 games in a row as I write this very early on Monday morning.  This is no surprise – the Sixers have been openly tanking since last summer, playing for ping-pong balls, not victories.  And for the better part of the first four months of the campaign, the sportsbooks couldn’t hang a line high enough to get bettors to support this completely anonymous, sorry squad. 

Philly hasn’t gotten any better in recent weeks.  But their opponents aren’t giving maximum effort when they face the Sixers either, knowing that Brett Brown’s squad isn’t capable of giving them a legitimate challenge.  The likes of Utah (-7), Milwaukee (-3), Orlando (-4) and Sacramento (-9.5) have all been favored ... [More]

Posted Monday, March 17, 2014 04:36 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Big Dance First Take

We’ve got brackets to break down!  I’ll offer a quick take on the 28 matchups already set for Thursday and Friday.  Games are listed in rotation order.

The A-10 got a handful of mediocre teams like Dayton into the NCAA Tournament mix, but the Flyers will certainly be looking forward to a matchup against an Ohio State team that has repeatedly avoided them in non-conference play.  The Buckeyes enter the tourney on an 0-6 ATS run; just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 tries as chalk.

Syracuse, too, was a pointspread disaster area down the stretch, cashing only one winning bet in their last eight ballgames.  But Western Michigan’s only win against an NCAA Tournament team came on the opening night of the season, back on November 8th, when they beat New Mexico State.

Phil Martelli’s St Joseph’s team hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2004, when Jameer Nelson and Delonte West were his starting guards.  UConn is a Top 10 team for free throw shooting percentage; always key in this ‘short favorite’ pointspread range.

Villanova went 21-9 ATS this season, the third best pointspread team in the tournament field – only Wichita State and Tulsa had better spread records.  Wisconsin-Milwaukee earned their Big Dance bid the hard way, winning SU on the road at Green Bay and then at Wright State in the Horizon League ... [More]

Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 02:51 AM

Wiseguy Report: NCAA Conference Tourney's

The Big Dance gets all the headlines; all the media attention.  And it makes sense why that happens.  College basketball is way too big for the average fan.  More than 350 teams in more than 30 conferences are simply too much for non-hardcore hoops aficionados to handle.

And then there’s the bracket factor.  The entire country fills out brackets.  They’re easy to fill out, the seedings make sense to Joe Public, and after the first round, most of the ‘obscure’ teams are gone.  Those ‘obscure’ teams that survive are now public darlings, Cinderalla stories that casual fans can understand and follow.

Forget fans – I’m no ‘casual fan’, and if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t either.  We’re sports bettors.  And for serious college basketball bettors, there’s absolutely no comparison between this week and next week.  This week, we’ve got dozens of ‘Little Dances’, the conference tournaments that are a sports bettors dream.  Next week, for the Big Dance, it’s still a betting bonanza, but not quite as good.  Here are my Top 6 reasons why.

More Games

The Big Dance, start to finish, consists of 67 games.  Once the opening weekend is done and we’ve got a three day break before the Sweet 16, only 15 NCAA Tournament games still remain.  Serious bettors always want more ... [More]

Posted Monday, March 03, 2014 03:41 AM

Who Has What it Takes? (Part 2)

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 2014, consisting of the following 18 teams: Cincinnati, Louisville, Virginia, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Iowa St, Creighton, Villanova, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, UCLA, Florida and Kentucky.

However, since last week, two of those 18 teams have been bounced from consideration, including one of the co- favorites at any sportsbook in Vegas – John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats.  Kentucky lost two straight last week; Iowa has lost three of their last four.  Both teams are now above the seven loss cut-off line and can be eliminated. 

The next step in the elimination process is to look at the team’s records away from home.

The NCAA championship is not won on a team’s home floor.  Even with a favorable location one weekend, a team is still going to have to win four ‘neutral site’ games in order to cut down the nets in Arlington on April 7th.  And the best predictive evidence that I’ve seen for future success in neutral or hostile environments is previous success is neutral or hostile environments.  

In most years, we’ll find a sub .500 road record or two among the list... [More]

Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 09:50 AM

Who Has What it Take To Win the Big Dance?

Who Has What It Takes to Win the Big Dance in 2014?

Part 1

 History shows us many things about what it takes to be a champion.  I write this article every year, and every year except for one, I have been able to identify the eventual NCAA national champion among my elite level teams. 

Last year was no exception.  Here’s what I wrote about Louisville in my ‘Who Has What It Takes’ article from 2013: “The Cardinals have star power, depth, experience and talent.  They rebound, play defense and win games consistently away from home.  Rick Pitino’s squad meets all the criteria that has been effective at predicting past championship.  Plain and simple, Louisville has what it takes to win it all.”  Louisville, of course, was the last team standing in the 68 team field last year, winning the national championship over Michigan.

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Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 03:21 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NCAA Bottom Feeders

Last week I wrote about the four best pointspread teams in the country in college hoops this year – Cleveland State, Villanova, Wichita State and Utah.  Between the four, they combined to go 7-1 ATS over the past week, continuing to cover spreads even after doing so consistently for the past three months. In other words, the markets still haven’t caught up with these teams.

This week, I’m taking the opposite approach; examining the very worst pointspread teams in all of college basketball.  Why are they so bad against the spread?  Will they continue to be money losers as February rolls into March? And what statistical profile do these teams have in common that will help us identify them as early as possible next year?  Let’s take a look!

I did a version of this column last year at this same time (second week of February).  At that time, the single worst pointspread team in all of college basketball was Indiana- Purdue Indianapolis, abbreviated IUPUI.  This year, IUPUI isn’t the single worst pointspread team in college hoops only because they’re tied with South Alabama and LaSalle at the bottom of the ATS standings.

This isn’t supposed to happen.  In theory, the betting markets are going to gradually de-value squads that aren’t covering pointspreads, making it highly unlikely that the same team can be an absolute bottom feed... [More]

Posted Monday, February 03, 2014 10:22 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NCAA Hoop ATS Elites

The Super Bowl is in the rear view mirror after Sunday’s huge Seattle blowout, which can only mean one thing – college hoops is on center stage for the next eight weeks.  I’ve been writing game previews for ESPN.com/Insider, but I’ve yet to write a true ‘college basketball overview’ column so far this season.  It’s time!

I’m going take a look at the four very best ‘regular board’ pointspread teams in the country in this week’s column.   Elite level teams aren’t necessarily pointspread winners, and bottom feeders can cash ticket after ticket if the betting markets set numbers that allow them to hang within the number as big underdogs.  And the very best pointspread teams tend to be under-the-radar type squads, like the single best ATS team in college hoops thusfar in the 2013-14 campaign.

Cleveland State has a decent record, sitting in a second place tie in the Horizon League standings with a 6-3 mark in conference; 15-9 SU overall.  If the NCAA tournament started today, Gary Waters’ Vikings wouldn’t even sniff an at-large bid – they’ll need to win the league tournament to go dancing next month.  And yet Cleveland State leads the nation with 16 pointspread covers in 21 lined games.

The Vikings showed us early that they were capable of exceeding expectations, in large part thanks to their defensive effort.  They faced ... [More]

Posted Monday, January 27, 2014 09:32 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl $$$

It’s Super Bowl time again; the moral equivalent of Christmas Day for sportsbettors.  Yet many of the professional full time bettors that I know are rather disappointed with the proposition betting opportunities this year – there’s simply not much ‘low hanging fruit’.  The biggest and best sportsbooks (market leaders both here in Vegas and offshore) have learned from previous mistakes.  Bad numbers do NOT abound in 2014.

Let me start with the game itself.  The Super Bowl itself has been an underdog bettor’s paradise in recent years.   The Ravens won the Super Bowl last year as the underdog, beating the favored 49ers.  The Giants won the year before as an underdog; knocking off the Patriots.  In 2010, the Saints won straight up as a dog over Peyton Manning and the Colts.  In 2009, the Cardinals covered the spread in a tight loss to the Steelers.  In 2008, the Giants beat the favored 18-0 Patriots outright.  The only favorite to win and cover in the last six Super Bowls was the Packers when they beat the Steelers in 2011.

The underdog trend in the Super Bowl goes back even further than that, with four consecutive dog covers from 2002 through 2005 (the Patriots beating the Rams in ’02, the Bucs destroying the Raiders in ’03 and spread covering losses from the Panthers and Eagles against the Patriots in ’04 and ’05).  Laying ... [More]

Posted Monday, January 20, 2014 09:57 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Super Bowl Memories

On the one hand, the Super Bowl is ‘just another game’ for a professional bettor.  On the other hand, the Super Bowl has two major differences.  First and foremost are the prop bets; quite literally hundreds of wagering opportunities that allow bettors to wager from everything on the coin toss and the length of the national anthem to whether Russell Wilson will throw more touchdown passes than Manchester United will score goals on Super Bowl Sunday.  I’ll write about those next week.

The other biggest difference between Super Bowls and ‘other games’?  Simple – the Super Bowls stand out in our memories; every one of them.  I’ve been in Vegas since the 1998 football season, and I can tell you where I watched every Super Bowl, what the pointspread was and who covered. Thank you in advance for indulging me a brief trip down memory lane.

My first Super Bowl in Las Vegas was when the Broncos faced the Falcons as favorites of about a TD back in January 1999.  I watched the game in the stadium seating at the Imperial Palace racebook.  My handicap was simple, thinking Denver had a big edge having played in (and beaten) the Packers in the Super Bowl the previous year.  I’m not sure it mattered after Falcons cornerback Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting the night before the game; throwing Atlanta off their game.  The Broncos won and cover... [More]

Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 10:41 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NBA Money Losers

Last week, I took an in-depth look at five of the biggest moneymakers in the NBA through the first half of the season.  This week I’m going to focus on the teams at the other end of the spectrum – bottom feeders and disappointments.  I’ll break down the three biggest money-losers of the season thusfar.  And I’ll take a look at a ‘morpher’; a team playing significantly worse than current market projections.

I’ll start with the three teams that can be collectively called ‘the hopeless trio’.  It’s hard to make money betting on the very worst teams in any sport, and the NBA is certainly no exception.  And there’s no question who the very worst team in the NBA is this year, because they have both the worst SU record in the league (7-29) and the worst pointspread mark (12-24 ATS).  That team?  The Milwaukee Bucks!

Bucks head coach Larry Drew has never coached a bottom feeder before.  He walked into a good situation in Atlanta with the Hawks, who made the playoffs all three years that he was coaching the team.  Here in Milwaukee, the playoffs seem light years away, as Drew muddles through a lost season with a mismashed roster of cast-offs, has beens and ‘never will be’s. 

The Bucks single biggest problem is that they can’t find the bottom of the basket, ranked dead last in the NBA in offensive efficiency. ... [More]

Posted Monday, January 06, 2014 10:43 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NBA Moneymakers

The NBA regular season is less than two weeks away from the mid-way point of the campaign. But with the focus on football, the betting markets (and my own writing) have paid scant attention to the pro hoops ranks.  That ends here.

This week I’m going to focus on the good NBA teams; the moneymakers!  I’ll break down some of the best money earners in NBA thusfar and assess their profit making potential moving forward.  And I’ll take a look at a pair of ‘morphers’; teams that are playing significantly better than current market projections.

The Phoenix Suns are at the top of any ‘moneymaker’ list; a classic example of how preseason expectations can affect ATS results for months, even when those expectations were clearly not right from Day 1 of the season!

Phoenix was lined in the range of 20 wins coming into the season.  The markets expected a major tank from first year, first time head coach Jeff Hornacek’s squad, angling for ping pong balls in the NBA lottery, not for a playoff spot.  But that clearly wasn’t the case, right from the get-go – they blew out Portland on opening night.

The Suns got great play from their dual- point guards Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.  They got some low post defense and rebounding from second year center Miles Plumlee, with lottery pick Alex Len a complete non-factor.&nb... [More]

Posted Monday, December 30, 2013 09:08 AM

Wiseguy Report: Outdated Bowl Strategies

I wrote an article in this space prior to bowl season detailing my personal strategies for turning a profit during these three weeks of high stakes affairs.  But as I do my research for the upcoming games, I continue to find a bevy of outdated information widely available on the internet; strategies that haven’t worked in years, yet they’ve become a part of the gambling lexicon.  

I did a national radio spot last week with a well-known host.  He brought up three strategies as the ‘sharp Vegas method’.  None of them work.  In fact, none of them have worked in years. I don’t think the host was an idiot – there’s just a bevy of bad information out there!

So my goal for this week’s column is to poke holes in the outdated information.  The betting markets are not a static entity; always morphing and evolving.  What worked five, ten or twenty years ago doesn’t necessarily work as 2013 shifts to 2014.  And when it comes to college football bowls, the paradigm has clearly shifted from where it was a decade ago.

As I write this very early on Monday morning, there have been 15 bowl games already played, with 20 more to follow.  Even from this very short sample size, you can see already that these three ‘tried and true’ strategies from years past have bitten the dust – exactly what happened last year, and the year before ... [More]

Posted Monday, December 23, 2013 04:12 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: They're All Flawed!

Last year, heading into Week 17, Atlanta was the team to beat in the NFC, having already clinched homefield advantage with their 13-2 (at the time) record.  Washington was the hottest team in the conference and Green Bay was considered very live for the title, with Aaron Rodgers just one year removed from his Super Bowl ring.  In the AFC, the playoff were expected to be an eventual battle between the Patriots and Broncos, with the other four teams (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston and Indy) largely considered to be fodder for the elites; non-factors.

What happened? A San Francisco – Baltimore Super Bowl, won by the Ravens; their third straight postseason win as an underdog.  Let’s not forget that Baltimore entered the playoffs in the midst of a late season 1-4 SU and ATS skid; a team that NOBODY expected to make noise in January and February.

In 2011, in the NFC, Green Bay was the unbeatable juggernaut with a 15-1 record as the defending champs, and the Saints weren’t far behind, just one year removed from a Drew Brees Super Bowl ring.  Meanwhile, the Giants were on the outside of the playoff picture, needing to beat Dallas just to get into the playoff mix. 

What happened?  The G-men went on to win the Super Bowl as a #4 seed.

The Packers were the #6 seed when they beat Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV... [More]

Posted Monday, December 16, 2013 12:02 PM

Vegas Wiseguy Report ATS Plays of the Year

Last year, I wrote a ‘Pointspread Plays of the Year’ NFL article at this stage of the season, at a time of year when Top 10 lists seem to formulate out of thin air.  It was so much fun to write, I decided to do it again this year, even though there was no clear ‘Pointspread Play of the Year’ like we had last year with the Seahawks – Packers final play Hail Mary TD on Monday Night Football!

In my world, there’s nothing better than a ‘right side’ winner -- no drama, no sweating; an easy ‘rocking chair’ cover.  Of course, cashing nothing but ‘right side’ winners is MUCH easier said than done.   In the real world, there are so many games that come down to a single key late play that determines the SU and/or ATS winner. I’ve gone back through my notes, looking at the some of the wackiest pointspread outcomes of the year – the really memorable ones. End of the year Top 10 lists are so passé, so I’ll call this my Top 8 Pointspread Plays of the Year.  Let’s start the countdown with #8

8) Week 1: DeAngelo Williams fumble

Seattle was a three point road favorite on opening day as they visited Carolina.  Their offense was not clicking that afternoon, but they finally punched in a fourth quarter TD to take a five point lead following a missed two point conversion.  Carolina looked like they were going to answer, marching down the fie... [More]

Posted Monday, December 09, 2013 10:34 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: Bowl Season Primer

During football season, I usually write about the NFL every week.  But it wasn’t easy to make broad generalizations about teams on a Sunday in which more than half the games were significantly affected by snowy or frigid weather.  And the college football bowl pairings were announced on Sunday Night.  So, I made the executive decision to take a one week break from the NFL this week to discuss my personal strategies for winning during bowl season.

Motivation is the key factor for any bowl game.  Overall talent and team speed don’t mean a thing when the players don’t give a hoot about being there.  That’s why underdogs tend to do fairly well against the spread in the earlier bowl games.  It’s not a reward for a favorite to end up in front of a sparse crowd in Boise or Detroit facing a team they’re not particularly excited about playing, especially if their second tier bowl bid came as a result of a relatively disappointing campaign.

Always check the local newspapers, blogs and yes, even twitter feeds for clues about any team’s level of preparation and intensity. If the favorite isn’t likely to be motivated, any halfway competent underdog is almost an automatic play.

Look for the areas of team strength that are not likely to be affected by a long layoff.  Remember, most teams will have been off the field for three weeks or ... [More]

Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 10:28 AM

Wiseguy Report: Bottom Feeders in December

I’ve spent the last two weeks breaking down playoff contenders in both the AFC and NFC.  But the playoffs are still a month away.  There are still four more regular season games to be played for every team in the NFL; a full quarter of the season.  That’s why I’m taking a hard look in the opposite direction this week; breaking down the bottom feeders. 

Bottom feeders in December are a mixed breed.  Some squads tank; done with their season.  Other bottom feeders play their best ball down the stretch, building momentum for next year.

Look at last year for some prime examples.  The Lions went 0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS in five December games a season ago; the lone pointspread cover coming by a single point in their meaningless season finale defeat.  Philly went 1-4 SU at the tail end of the Andy Reid era, and got blown out in each of their final three games, losing by a combined nine TD’s in those contests.  Arizona, Buffalo, the New York Jets, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Kansas City – all teams that were considered ‘bottom feeders’ at this time last year – each finished with a losing SU and ATS mark in their five December ballgames.

On the other end of the spectrum was a team like the Redskins, who closed out December with a 5-0 SU and ATS mark after entering the month with a 5-6 record.  Minnesota won and covered eac... [More]

Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 02:43 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: AFC Contenders

Last week, I took a break from the typical ‘team notes’ column that I’ve been writing here in the Vegas Wiseguy Report since the start of the NFL season, focusing on NFC Playoff Contenders.  I’ll finish that thought process this week, turning my focus towards the AFC.

I had a spirited debate with a fairly well known professional bettor on Sunday Night after the games were finished. We were both having the same problem; trying to figure out somebody – anybody – in the AFC worthy of support down the stretch as a Super Bowl contender. Frankly, there aren’t a whole lot of choices, and our debate primarily consisted of finding fatal flaws in whatever team the other guy brought up.

My power rating numbers have seven of the top ten teams in the NFL residing in the NFC (Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carolina, Arizona, Dallas and Detroit).  An eighth team could join that group after Aaron Rodgers gets healthy for Green Bay.   And all three of those supposedly ‘elite’ level AFC  teams have problems, which is why I included a fourth ‘contender’ in my discussion below.

Six AFC teams sit at 5-6 right now, tied for the final Wild Card spot.  I took the liberty of including all six of those teams in this overview, despite the fact that none of them is going anywhere in January.  Even though three more AFC teams are 4-7, just a g... [More]

Posted Monday, November 18, 2013 03:20 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC Contenders

It’s late November.  Thanksgiving is next week.  And that means it’s time for me to take a break from my typical ‘team notes’ column that I’ve been writing here in the Vegas Wiseguy Report since the start of the NFL season.

It’s time to focus on the big boys – teams with playoff aspirations.  Who can get hot down the stretch and make us some money winning games and covering pointspreads?  Which squads are legitimate Super Bowl contenders; which are pretenders.  Let’s take look through the NFC this week, gauging which squads have ATS value moving forward, and which squads have already reached their zenith, poised to tumble back to earth down the stretch.

I did not include notes on Carolina (they don’t play till Monday Night) and Dallas (on bye this week) due to space limitations.  That leaves Philadelphia, the New York Giants, Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona to consider; all of whom remain ‘live’ for the postseason as Week 12 approaches.

Serious Super Bowl Contenders:

Seattle:

I don’t think anyone is going to beat the Seahawks at Qwest Field, where Seattle has won 13 straight here in the regular season (10-3 ATS).  I like the character of this squad – loose but grounded, Pete Carroll’s winning formula from his days at USC.&n... [More]

Posted Monday, November 11, 2013 01:40 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: AFC Week 10

Welcome to Teddy’s unique look at the NFL.  Teddy watches games all day on Sunday, typing furiously on his laptop while giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps don’t necessarily have.  This week: AFC thoughts and opinions from Week 10.

Bengals:

Five key starters are missing from this defense.  Geno Atkins, Robert Geathers, Taylor Mays and Leon Hall are all on injured reserve.  Rey Maualuga was out today, as was fellow LB Michael Boley.  That's one heck of a lot of talent to be missing!  So for this stop unit to shut down the Ravens for the better part of the last three quarters speaks volumes about their depth and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s schemes.

All the questions about Andy Dalton's ability to guide this team to postseason success continue to linger.  Dalton won the AFC Offensive Player of the Month award in October, but here in November he could win the 'biggest downgrade of any QB this month' award.  Dalton was awful last Thursday against the Dolphins and he was even worse today. 

Dalton held the ball too long, taking sacks instead of making quick decisions.  His accuracy was way off all afternoon, completing less than half his passes.  And he threw three interceptions for the second week in a row.  On a day where Cincinnati was able... [More]

Posted Monday, November 04, 2013 03:59 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC Week 9

Welcome to Teddy’s unique look at the NFL.  Teddy watches games all day on Sunday, typing furiously on his laptop while giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps don’t necessarily have.  This week: NFC thoughts and opinions from Week 9.


Cowboys:

Dallas had faced four top notch QB's this year heading into the game: Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Matthew Stafford.  All four threw for more than 400 yards against Monte Kiffin's defense.  Here, Christian Ponder had consistent success throwing downfield.  This defense just can't stop the pass, especially with DeMarcus Ware out again, negating any semblance of a pass rush.  And there were no shortage of defensive breakdowns either – missed tackles, missed assignments and blown coverages.

Not impressed with the offensive line play today one iota.  The Vikings got pressure on Tony Romo all afternoon.  They signed former pro bowl guard Brian Waters out of retirement a few weeks ago as a desperation move, but he couldn’t stay healthy; already on IR.  Back-to-back sacks killed a red zone chance here, forcing Dan Bailey's legs to get points, not Romo's arm.

The Cowboys completely gave up on the run, giving DeMarco Murray only four carries; with only eight rushing attempts on their 63 snaps.  Dez Bryant had ... [More]

Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 01:34 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: AFC Week 8

Welcome to Teddy’s unique look at the NFL.  Teddy watches games all day on Sunday, typing furiously on his laptop while giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps don’t necessarily have.  This week: AFC thoughts and opinions from Week 8.

Bengals:

Andy Dalton looked really good last week against the Lions, and he looked every bit as good here on a five TD afternoon.  The Jets played their corners in single coverage for most of the game, and Cincinnati’s receivers won the vast majority of those one-on-one battles.  Cinci’s offensive line kept Dalton’s uniform clean for extended stretches, giving him time to throw.  And Dalton showed great accuracy on his deep balls, something he hasn’t shown very often as a pro.  It’s surely worth noting that Dalton only targeted AJ Green on seven of his thirty pass attempts, spreading the ball among his playmakers; something that’s been a problem for him in the past.

The Bengals have the requisite offensive playmakers to make a deep January run.  Their defense was stellar; effectively blitzing (and rattling) Geno Smith, creating turnovers, and stuffing the run completely.  Conservative head coach Marvin Lewis even showed aggressiveness here, going for it on fourth and goal from the 1 yard line in the first half and throwing deep with a big second half lead instead of... [More]

Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 01:57 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NFC Week 7

Welcome to Teddy’s unique look at the NFL.  Teddy watches games all day on Sunday, typing furiously on his laptop while giving you the key info that the box scores and game recaps don’t necessarily have.  This week: NFC thoughts and opinions from Week 7.

Bucs:

The personnel here is just fine.  Linebacker LaVante David was amazing, notching three tackles for loss including a sack, knocking away passes downfield and stuffing the run repeatedly.  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson was unstoppable as well, developing nice chemistry with the rookie QB Mike Glennon.  And after Glennon’s early pick six, he made some great throws, albeit on an inconsistent afternoon.  Right now, Glennon falls into the ‘serviceable’ category, not into the ‘developing a future franchise quarterback’ category. 

Dropped passes continue to kill this team; three in the first quarter alone.  Penalties have been a problem, entering the contest averaging 8.6 per game (2nd worst in the NFL) and committing eleven more penalties here. 

As the Bucs were trying to rally back from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter, they drove down the field for a first and goal at the five yard line. After a series of miscues and a TD wiped off the board via penalty, Tampa ended up settling for the field goal on 4th and goal fro... [More]

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