Teddy_Covers's Blog

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, 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 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]