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Thread: Cnotes 2018 nfl thread thru the superbowl- trends-news-picks+more !

  1. #841
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    Wednesday’s 6-pack:

    This is a little strange; Caesar’s Palace posted odds to win the NIT this March:
    5-1— Field
    6-1— Saint Mary’s
    12-1— Utah State
    15-1— Arizona
    16-1— San Francisco
    20-1— Alabama, ASU, Baylor, Creighton, Oregon St, Wofford
    25-1— Clemson, East Tennessee State,

    Tweet of the Day
    “You’ve got to learn too much. You’ve got to have a great relationship with your offensive line, the receivers, know all the defenses that are going to be thrown at you. It’s just not an NFL season with quarterbacks. They need a lot longer than the season. The offseason is huge for those guys to be successful.”
    Former NFL DB, major league OF Brian Jordan

    Wednesday’s quiz
    Hank Stram was the Chiefs’ coach for their only Super Bowl win; what other NFL team did he later coach?

    Tuesday’s quiz
    NBA’s Thunder were the Seattle SuperSonics before moving to Oklahoma City.

    Monday’s quiz
    In the movie Bull Durham, when the Bulls cut Crash Davis, he finished the season with the Asheville Tourists.


    ***********************

    Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……..

    13) Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft, which is just a procedural thing to keep his options open; the pivotal moment in his career path will be whether or not he goes to the NFL Combine in February, 11 days after the start of spring training.

    Four guys on ESPN’s NFL show Monday said they thought Murray would be a first-round draft pick in the NFL; those four guys are rarely unanimous in agreeing on anything. If he gets taken in the first round, Murray would be a damn fool to play baseball- he’ll make a lot more money as a QB than working his way up thru the minor leagues.

    12) Murray has a very interesting decision to make. Joe Mauer earned $218M in his baseball career, just in salary; Matt Holliday earned just under $160M in his. Both guys were HS quarterbacks who turned down college scholarships to become baseball players, but there also guys who tried to juggle both sports and never achieved stardom in either.

    11) Then there is Chase Daniel, who has earned $28M in his nine NFL seasons, while starting a total of four games. Playing QB in the NFL is really, really lucrative if you’re great at it. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and the Manning brothers have all earned $200M+ in their careers.

    Lamar Jackson got a signing bonus of more than $4.9M as the last pick of the first round last year; Murray’s signing bonus with the A’s is $4.66M, most of which he has to return if he signs with an NFL team (he’s already gotten $1.5M of it, would get to keep $200K or so).

    10) CBSSports.com posted a mock draft Tuesday, which means bupkis but it is interesting to look at, and they had the Giants taking Murray with the 6th pick.

    Oakland A’s Class A farm teams are in Beloit and Stockton; not a tough choice whether to suit up for the New Jersey Giants or the Beloit Snappers.

    9) Not sure why the Jets would want to hire a new coach, but not let the guy hire his own assistants? Apparently Baylor’s Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy both turned the Jets down because they wanted to decide who their assistants would be, rather than be told.

    8) Not much better comedy on TV than listening to ESPN”s Jay Bilas whine about Duke’s star Zion Williamson “being officiated differently”, because he is bigger/stronger than most guys. Nothing like a TV analyst/alum toting the party line for his alma mater.

    7) Sad sign of the times: Prison guards in federal prisons are being mocked by prisoners because the guards are working, but not getting paid. Sounds like a fantastic job.

    6) Modern football: James White is a running back for the Patriots, but on Sunday against the Chargers he didn’t run the ball once— he did catch 15 passes for 97 yards.

    5) Difference between high majors and mid-majors:
    Southern Illinois-Illinois State game Tuesday: one soph, 2 juniors, 7 seniors started.

    Syracuse-Duke Monday night: 3 freshmen, 2 sophs, 4 juniors, one senior started.

    If you play for a top 20 team now and you’re a senior, its almost like you’re a suspect.

    4) TCU is 12-3, having a pretty good season, but they’ve had three players transfer out this season, which led them to giving one of their walk-ons a scholarship, and they got creative in how they told the kid.

    Players are in a meeting room, and a sheriff walks in, holding a piece of paper and looking stern. He says he is looking for someone: “Is Owen Ashieris here?” The kid gets up, walks over to the sheriff, and finds out he’s been given a college scholarship. Kind of cool.

    3) Indianapolis Colts jumped from 4-12 to 10-6 this year, and much of credit for that went to their offensive line, which protected Andrew Luck very well.

    But on Tuesday, the Colts fired OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who was the only offensive coach that Josh McDaniel hired during his brief dalliance Indianapolis last winter. Apparently, Reich wants his own guy, so he must have someone in mind, or why not keep DeGuglielmo?

    2) Former Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush will play his last year of college football at Central Florida; he went 12-3 as a starting QB for the Fighting Irish.

    1) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo got off his butt this week, wants 2019 to be the year legalized sports betting comes to New York.

    “Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos. It’s here. It’s a reality, and it will generate activity in those casinos.”

    Its about time.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #842
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    Championship Notes


    L.A. Rams at New Orleans (FOX, 3:05 p.m. ET)

    Los Angeles Road Record: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS, 2-6 O/U
    New Orleans Home Record: 7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-4 O/U

    Line Movements: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened New Orleans -3 (-120) with a total of 55 . They pushed quickly to -3 (Even) while early ‘over’ money nudged the total to 57. BookMaker.eu sent out New Orleans -3 with a total of 56 . The line has held steady but the total was pushed to 57.

    Head-to-Head: The two teams met at the Superdome on Nov. 4 and New Orleans captured a 45-35 win over Los Angeles as a two-point underdog. The Saints led 35-17 at halftime but the Rams tied the game early in the fourth quarter with 18 unanswered points. New Orleans countered with a 10-0 run to win the game. Both the Saints (487) and Rams (483) racked up plenty of yards and they each committed one turnover. The difference in the game was converting on third and fourth down as New Orleans was 9-of-14 (64%) while the Rams only managed to connect on 30 percent (3-of-10) in the Week 9 matchup.

    The pair also met in each of the last two regular seasons as well and the home team captured both of those contests as well. The Saints captured a 49-21 blowout win in 2016 while Los Angeles earned a 26-20 win at the Coliseum in 2017.

    Including those results, the Rams have dropped their last three trips to the Superdome. The last win for the franchise came in 2007 when Marc Bulger was the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams.

    Playoff Notes: Saturday’s 30-22 win over Dallas in the Divisional Round was the first playoff win for Los Angeles since 2005. Head coach Sean McVay and QB Jared Goff both own career 1-1 records in the postseason but both contests occurred at home.

    New Orleans improved to 8-5 in the playoffs with QB Drew Brees under center and that includes a perfect 6-0 record at home. Make a note that the Saints are just 2-4 against the spread in those wins and that includes last Sunday’s non-cover (-8) in their 20-14 win over Philadelphia in the Divisional Round.

    Total Notes: The Rams have watched the ‘over’ go 9-8 this season, which includes the high side ticket from last Saturday against Dallas. On the road, Los Angeles has been a great ‘under’ wager (6-2) and one of the two ‘over’ tickets came in the aforementioned game at New Orleans.

    The 34 combined points in Sunday’s playoff game against Philadelphia was the lowest this season and the game easily went ‘under’ the total. New Orleans was 10-7 overall to the low side but New Orleans watched the ‘over’ go 5-4 at the Superdome. Prior to the ‘under’ result versus Philadelphia last Sunday, the Saints had seen the ‘over’ cash in 10 straight home playoff games and that included a 5-0 run with Brees.



    New England at Kansas City (CBS, 6:40 p.m. ET)

    New England Road Record: 3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS, 3-5 O/U
    Kansas City Home Record: 8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS, 3-5-1 O/U

    Line Movements: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook sent out Kansas City as a three-point home favorite over New England. Bet Online, a major offshore betting outfit, opened the Chiefs at -3 as well.

    The SuperBook sent out a total of 58. Bet Online opened at 57 .

    Head-to-Head: Since 2000, the Patriots have won seven of 10 meetings with the Chiefs, while the last four meetings have finished 'over' the total. New England is making its first trip to Kansas City since 2014 when the Chiefs blitzed the Patriots on a Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in a 41-14 beatdown as 2 -point underdogs.

    The most recent matchup took place this season at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots held off the Chiefs, 43-40 in Week 6. Kansas City managed a slight cover as 3 -point underdogs, while both Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady each topped the 340-yard mark. Mahomes threw four touchdown passes, but the Patriots overcame blowing a 15-point lead thanks to a last-second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

    Playoff Notes: The Patriots are playing in their eighth consecutive AFC championship, as New England has posted a 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS mark in this stretch. In the last two road AFC title games, the Patriots have lost at Denver in 2013 and 2015. The last away victory in the conference championship came in 2004 at Pittsburgh.

    Kansas City has never hosted an AFC championship game before as the Chiefs improved to 2-10 in the last 12 postseason contests since 1994, while picking up their first playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium since 1993.

    Amazingly, this is only the second all-time meeting in the playoffs between New England and Kansas City, as the Patriots knocked out the Chiefs in the 2015 divisional playoffs, 27-20.

    Total Notes: Since posting an 'over' against the 49ers in Week 3, the Chiefs are 5-2-1 to the 'under' in the last eight games at Arrowhead Stadium. In five of those contests, the Chiefs have held their opponents to 14 points or less. In the last three playoff games in Kansas City, the 'under' has cashed, while four of the past five postseason contests for the Chiefs have gone 'under.'

    The Patriots are 5-3 to the 'under' this season away from Gillette Stadium, while closing the season on an 8-1 'under' run. However, that streak came to a halt in New England's blowout of Los Angeles in the divisional round.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #843
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    NFL
    Long Sheet

    Conference Championships


    Sunday, January 20

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LA RAMS (14 - 3) at NEW ORLEANS (14 - 3) - 1/20/2019, 3:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    LA RAMS is 54-77 ATS (-30.7 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 192-239 ATS (-70.9 Units) in all games since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 192-239 ATS (-70.9 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 16-30 ATS (-17.0 Units) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 138-189 ATS (-69.9 Units) against conference opponents since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 69-102 ATS (-43.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    LA RAMS is 42-63 ATS (-27.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    NEW ORLEANS is 2-1 against the spread versus LA RAMS over the last 3 seasons
    NEW ORLEANS is 2-1 straight up against LA RAMS over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NEW ENGLAND (12 - 5) at KANSAS CITY (13 - 4) - 1/20/2019, 6:40 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    KANSAS CITY is 18-9 ATS (+8.1 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 38-17 ATS (+19.3 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 38-17 ATS (+19.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 87-49 ATS (+33.1 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 124-94 ATS (+20.6 Units) in road games since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 124-94 ATS (+20.6 Units) in road lined games since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 44-23 ATS (+18.7 Units) in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 28-13 ATS (+13.7 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 25-9 ATS (+15.1 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 23-9 ATS (+13.1 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 88-56 ATS (+26.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
    KANSAS CITY is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in playoff games since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    KANSAS CITY is 2-0 against the spread versus NEW ENGLAND over the last 3 seasons
    KANSAS CITY is 1-1 straight up against NEW ENGLAND over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NFL

    Conference Championships


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sunday, January 20

    Los Angeles Rams
    LA Rams is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    LA Rams is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games
    LA Rams is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Rams's last 6 games on the road
    LA Rams is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing New Orleans
    LA Rams is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
    LA Rams is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of LA Rams's last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans

    New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games
    New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
    New Orleans is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New Orleans's last 8 games
    New Orleans is 15-2 SU in its last 17 games at home
    New Orleans is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing LA Rams
    New Orleans is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams
    New Orleans is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans's last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams

    New England Patriots
    New England is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New England's last 10 games
    New England is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 games on the road
    New England is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England's last 5 games on the road
    New England is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Kansas City
    New England is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing Kansas City
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of New England's last 5 games when playing Kansas City
    New England is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
    New England is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Kansas City

    Kansas City Chiefs
    Kansas City is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games
    Kansas City is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas City's last 7 games
    Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
    Kansas City is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
    The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kansas City's last 14 games at home
    Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing New England
    Kansas City is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing New England
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas City's last 5 games when playing New England
    Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against New England
    Kansas City is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against New England
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #844
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    Over the last five seasons, the home team has won every single AFC/NFC Championship game (10-0) and in those same games home teams are 8-2 against the spread.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #845
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    Who's Hot and Who's Not

    Week of Jan 14th

    With last week's focus solely on the Divisional Round in the NFL playoffs, we saw some interesting results overall. The 12-for-13 year run of at least one Wildcard team moving onto the Conference Championship was halted with all four home sides winning, while the streak of Wildcard teams not advancing after winning by two or less was pushed to 1-10 SU and 5-5-1 ATS since realignment.

    We are left with the four teams that we able to finish 1-2 in their respective conferences, as both Conference Championship games are rematches of epic, high-scoring regular season battles. New England and New Orleans were able to prevail at home in those first meetings, but this time it's only the Saints who get the benefit of being in their own building with the stakes significantly increased.

    So it's on to focusing on some history from Conference Championship weekend as the rest of this week will be filled with plenty of thoughts and takes on who will end up being this year's Super Bowl combatants. Can some recent history help us land on the right answers? We will have to wait and see, but this week it's New England Patriots fans that will be fighting against the past.

    Who's Hot

    Home teams in Conference Championship games are 10-0 SU (8-2 ATS) last five seasons


    A run like this shouldn't be too surprising as teams that have earned home field in a Conference title game tend to be the ones that have been among the better teams in the league the entire season. We've got both #1 seeds hosting the games coming up this week, and Chiefs and Saints fans are hoping their respective squads can extend this run for home sides during this weekend.

    Overall in this decade (starting with the 2009-10 season), home teams are 14-4 SU during Conference Championship weekend, but just 10-8 ATS. However, while that ATS record might suggest that going against the Chiefs and Saints this weekend may be worth considering – after all, a 10-8 ATS record is just 55% ATS for home sides, of those eight ATS defeats by home teams in this round, only one of them came when the home team was laying less than four points. That game would be the NFC Championship in January 2012 when the New York Giants knocked off San Francisco in OT thanks to a muffed punt that will go down in infamy for 49ers (and Giants) fans. San Francisco closed as a -2 home favorite that day.

    Two of the other ATS defeats for home sides during this weekend came when we actually had a home underdog (Atlanta in January 2013, and Chicago in January 2011), with the remaining five ATS losses coming with the home side priced at -4 or greater, four of which were favored by a TD or more. With both point spreads currently in the -3/3.5 range for this year's games, you've basically got no margin for error in terms of backing the underdog and having them not win the game outright, and that's where the 10-0 SU run and 14-4 SU run this decade for home teams this weekend still has you fighting uphill.

    Obviously, streaks/runs like this are made to be broken, and chronologically, it will be the LA Rams up first with a chance to end these streaks. LA does have the revenge angle on their side after losing in New Orleans earlier this year, and the fact that QB Jared Goff and company have already dealt with that hostile environment in a highly helped game should be a plus.

    For Patriots backers, it's tough to ignore how dominant they were against the Chargers on Sunday, but sadly, the news doesn't get a whole lot better for them in terms of going out on the road in Kansas City and making their third consecutive Super Bowl this week. That's because....

    Who's Not

    NFL teams that score 40+ points in the playoffs are on a 2-7 SU run (3-6 ATS) the following playoff week


    New England was the only one of the four high-powered offenses this past weekend to put up 40 or more points on the scoreboard and that may have not been the best omen for them. I've listed the most recent numbers for teams in that scenario in the header, but overall this decade (again, since the 2009-10 season) these teams are 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS.

    The good news for New England is the fact that the last two times it's happened for teams advancing from the Divisional round – Jacksonville last year and New England in January 2015 – they've gone 2-0 ATS, but only the Patriots were able to advance to the Super Bowl, and they did it with a home victory the following week, not a road date. Furthermore, teams that did score 40+ during the Divisional round since January 2010 are 4-3 SU the following week, but that's where the good news begins and ends for the Patriots this week.

    None of those four SU victories in the Conference finals for teams off scoring 40+ have come by squads that were lined as road underdogs of any number, as road teams account for just two of those four wins off a 40+ point performance, and both were laying chalk as visitors (Green Bay in January 2011 and San Francisco in January 2013).

    Finally, two of those three SU losses during the Conference finals have come from this New England Patriots franchise specifically (January 2013 and January 2014), and while New England will be making their eighth straight appearance in the AFC Championship, they are 0-3 ATS (1-2 SU) when entering the game after scoring 40+ the week prior. Add in the Patriots 0-2 SU and ATS record in road AFC Championships during this eight-year run, and Bill Belichick and company will be rewriting the history books in a big way should they win this weekend and move on to yet another Super Bowl appearance.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #846
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    CHIEFS D STEPS UP

    Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Divisional Round was the play of Kansas City’s defense. It was a unit that struggled throughout the regular season with a rank of 26th in overall DVOA while giving up the second-most total yards per game in the league (405.5). Then they went out and shut down the hottest quarterback in the league, holding Andrew Luck without a pass completion in the first quarter and without an offensive touchdown until the game was well out of reach with 5:31 remaining in the fourth. Luck wound up throwing for just 203 yards on 19-of-36 passing while Marlon Mack was stuffed to the tune of 46 yards on nine carries, which was actually an inflated total as one of his carries went for 20 yards.

    Shutting down the Colts was impressive but this week is a totally different challenge with Tom Brady and co. coming to town. The Patriots looked unstoppable on Sunday against what was a very good Chargers defense, scoring touchdowns on each of their first three possessions en route to the 41-point performance.

    New England torched the Chiefs for 43 points back in Week 6, though it should be noted that K.C. was a much better unit at home during the regular season, allowing 17.4 points per game as compared to 34.6 on the road. Still, it’s Brady and Belichick in the playoffs and we’re expecting them to craft a game plan in which they score early and often against the Chiefs on Sunday. Our early-week lean is towards the Over 26.5 for New England’s team total.


    GINN GETS LOVE

    One of the more surprising storylines from Sunday’s Saints-Eagles win was New Orleans receiver Ted Ginn. He caught just three passes for 44 yards but the line that really jumps out is that Drew Brees targeted him seven times, which was second on the team to Michael Thomas’ 16 looks. Ginn actually could have had a monster game if Brees had not underthrown him on the game’s opening play that should have been a long touchdown but instead was an interception. Regardless, it was obvious that Brees wanted to get him the ball and that should again be the case on Sunday as the Saints host the Rams.

    The Rams have an above-average pass defense, with a rank of ninth in passing DVOA during the regular season, but were burned by Dallas’s WR2, Michael Gallup, on Saturday to the tune of 6-119 on nine targets. Michael Thomas went bananas with a 12-171-1 line against the Eagles and he’ll surely be the focus of the Rams’ defensive game plan for the NFC Championship Game. We’re thinking Ginn could fly under the radar and we’ll be looking to play the Over for his receiving yards total.


    RAMS RUN WILD

    What a performance it was from the Rams’ running game on Saturday, racking up 273 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries. Dallas was a tough matchup on paper, with the fifth-ranked defense in rushing DVOA during the regular season, but the Cowboys had been vulnerable to the run on the road late in the season and that held true on Saturday (and got us a winner in backing the Over for Gurley’s rushing total).

    Sunday will be an even tougher matchup, in theory, as the Saints ranked third in rushing DVOA during the regular season and then held the Eagles to 49 rushing yards on 16 carries last weekend.

    It will also be tough to predict who will be doing the bulk of the work in the Rams’ backfield this weekend. C.J. Anderson actually led L.A. in carries last weekend and posted a line of 23-123-2, while Todd Gurley went for 16-115-1 in what was his first game since Dec. 16. Gurley’s long layoff was likely the reason why Anderson out-touched him, but all Anderson has done is run for rushing totals of 167, 132, and 123 while scoring four times in his three games with the Rams. He has to be involved against the Saints.

    Our early-week lean is to stay off the rushing totals for both running backs as it’s tough to say how Sean McVay will use them, but we do like the idea of both of them getting goal-line touches at some point during the game and at +125, we’re backing Anderson to score a touchdown at any time.


    MICHEL’S THE MAN

    Sony Michel made his playoffs debut a memorable one on Sunday, rushing 24 times for 129 yards and hitting the end zone three times. He was the feature back in the running game, getting 24 of the 34 handoffs from Tom Brady (while James White took the passing downs and turned them into 15 receptions for 97 yards). It was a tough matchup on paper against the Chargers as they ranked 10th in rushing DVOA during the regular season and had only given up 90 rushing yards to Baltimore’s vaunted rushing attack the week prior.

    This week looks to be an easier matchup for Michel. The Chiefs ranked dead last in rushing DVOA during the regular season and gave up 132.1 rushing yards per game (sixth-most in the NFL), five yards per carry (second-most in the NFL), and 19 rushing touchdowns (third-most in the NFL). The weather shouldn’t be a factor either as the surface at Arrowhead Field is heated, meaning the players shouldn’t have an issue with their footing. Michel is going to be a huge part of New England’s offensive plan and we’re backing him to hit the end zone once again this week by going Over 0.5 for his rushing touchdowns total at -120.


    WATKINS UNSCATHED

    Chiefs coach Andy Reid told the media on Tuesday that Sammy Watkins got through the Wild Card game without setbacks to his foot. He was playing in his first game since Week 11 last weekend and hauled in 6-of-8 targets for 62 yards. Watkins was on the field for 76-of-82 offensive snaps and will be at full speed against New England on Sunday night.

    Watkins has a below-average matchup on Sunday against a Pats squad that ranked 14th in passing DVOA during the regular season and 12th in DVOA against WR2s, allowing seven passes for 53 yards per game. New England shut down Watkins back in Week 6, holding him to two catches for 18 yards in what was one of his worst offensive lines of the season. The Pats did get burned by the Chargers’ secondary receivers, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams, for 10 total catches and 162 yards last week, though a lot of that can be attributed to game script as Philip Rivers threw 51 times because the Chargers fell behind big early. We expect the Pats to hold Watkins relatively in check and we’re backing the Under 4.5 for his receptions total.


    CAN THOMAS BE STOPPED?

    At times, Michael Thomas looks like the best receiver in the NFL. That was certainly the case last week as he hauled in a ridiculous 12 catches on 16 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. It was also the case when the Rams and Saints met at the Superdome in Week 9 as he had 12 catches on 15 targets for 211 yards and a touchdown. Rams cornerback Marcus Peters was routinely burned by Thomas back in Week 9, but he’ll have some help on Sunday as Aqib Talib will be available after missing the Week 9 matchup.

    Peters and Talib took turns covering Dallas’ top receiver Amari Cooper last weekend and held him relatively in check as Cooper turned in a line of 6-65-1. But Thomas is a lot better than Cooper, Drew Brees is a lot better than Dak Prescott, and New Orleans offensive scheme is a lot better than Dallas’. The Rams struggled with the opponent’s top receiver throughout the regular season, finishing with a DVOA rank of 28th to the position while allowing 7.4 passes for 82.7 yards per game (and those stats include eight Talib starts). Even with reinforcements, we don’t see how the Rams slow down Thomas in what should be an epic shootout at the Superdome. We’re taking the Over 92.5 on his receiving yards total.


    SHOOTOUT IN THE BIG EASY?

    With the Rams set to visit the Saints on Sunday with a game total of 56.5, it’s difficult to envision that we’re going to see anything except an epic shootout. Let’s dig into the numbers a bit.

    The Saints averaged 32.6 points per game at home, third-best in the NFL.
    The Rams averaged 28.8 points per game on the road, also third-best in the NFL.
    Since 2003, games with totals of 56 or higher in the playoffs have hit the Over five out of seven times.
    The Over is 5-1 in New Orleans’ home games during the playoffs since 2007, with the only Under coming in last week’s game against Philadelphia.

    The Rams will want to run the ball with Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson but will likely struggle against New Orleans third-ranked unit in rushing DVOA. The Saints’ offense will also be a lot sharper as compared to last week where they were shutout in the first quarter as they were clearly rusty, having not played meaningful snaps as a unit since Week 16. The total opened at 57 and has since ticked down to 56.5, but we’re expecting points early and often, much like Week 9’s 80-point affair between these two teams. We’re backing the Over 56.5.
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  7. #847
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    BRADY IN THE COLD

    While the weather could affect different players in different ways, one thing we know for certain is that it won’t New England’s quarterback. Tom Brady seems to love the cold with a ridiculous 24-4 record in games played in sub-30-degree weather and when the cold gets below 20 degrees, his record is 5-1. Brady has led the Pats to wins in the cold but let’s take a look at how he fared in those games:

    Jan. 10, 2004 (4 degrees) - 21 of 41, 201 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
    Jan. 23, 2005 (11 degrees) - 14 of 21, 207 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
    Jan. 10, 2010 (20 degrees) - 23 of 42, 154 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
    Jan. 10, 2015 (20 degrees) - 33 of 50, 367 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
    Dec. 18, 2016 (18 degrees) - 16 of 32, 188 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
    Dec. 31, 2017 (13 degrees) - 18 of 37, 190 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

    Brady’s passing yards total for Sunday is set at 288.5. And what’s the one number that jumps out from the above list? Brady has only thrown for more than 207 yards in sub-20 degree weather once. There’s also the fact that he’s just not throwing the ball downfield without Josh Gordon. The Under for his passing yards total is looking like a smart bet.


    WHITE HOT IN PLAYOFFS

    Playoffs James White was in full effect last weekend, posting an insane 15 receptions for 97 yards against the Chargers. We suggested he would have a big game and he got us a winner, going Over 45.5 receiving yards with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.

    We know that Kansas City struggles against the run — we dug into that yesterday. Against pass-catching backs, the Chiefs are slightly better with a DVOA rank of 21, giving up 6.9 passes and 56.4 receiving yards per game to an opponent’s backfield during the regular season. The weather should also play in White’s factor, as Brady will be looking for more short completions in the cold and possible crosswinds at Arrowhead. White’s totals have ticked up since last week, but we see Brady going to him early and often once again on Sunday. Take the Over 47.5 for his receiving yards total and/or the Over 5.5 for his receptions total.


    BANKING ON KAMARA

    The Rams defense did well at home last week to shut down Ezekiel Elliott, holding the Cowboys’ star back to 47 rushing yards on 20 carries and 19 receiving yards on two receptions. L.A. will again be challenged by New Orleans’ backfield this week as they get the unenviable task of trying to shut down Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara on the turf at the Superdome.

    Kamara was his usual dual-threat out of the backfield last week against Philadelphia, rushing 16 times for 71 yards and adding four receptions for 35 yards. That marked the third straight game and that he has put up 100-plus yards from scrimmage. Kamara averaged 106.1 yards from scrimmage per game in the regular season, the eighth-most in the NFL. The Rams are tough to read against dual-threat backs, ranking 28th in rushing DVOA but fourth in isolated passing DVOA to running backs. Back in Week 9, Kamara put up 82 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards against the Rams and we’re expecting him to crack the 100-yard mark from scrimmage once against on Sunday. Take the Over 100.5 for his combined rushing and receiving yards total.


    STAYING OFF GOFF (AGAIN)

    Here’s what we wrote last week when talking about Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s late-season struggles:

    Rams quarterback Jared Goff seemed to hit a bit of a wall towards the end of 2018. In five December starts, Goff averaged just 228.2 passing yards, cracking the 220-yard mark just once when he threw for 339 yards when the Rams were chasing the Eagles all night in Week 15. Over that same stretch, he completed just 58.6 percent of his passes for 6.3 yards per attempt.

    Goff was serviceable in the Divisional Round, going 15 of 28 for 186 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, getting us a winner with the Under 282.5 on his passing yards total. But serviceable isn’t what we expect from Goff and the high-flying Rams offense. It’s also not what oddsmakers are expecting this week as his passing yards total is set at 284.5.

    In addition to Goff’s late-season struggles are his road struggles. Goff averaged just 243.8 passing yards per game away from the L.A. Coliseum during the regular season (as opposed to 342.5 at home). He did throw 391 yards in the shootout at the Superdome back in Week 9, but as mentioned above, this is not the same Goff as we saw earlier in the season. The Saints were excellent against the pass last week, limiting Nick Foles to just 201 yards on 18-of-31 passing and we’re expecting another sub-par day from Goff on Sunday afternoon. Grab the Under 284.5 on his passing yards total.

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