1. #1
    Point Blank
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    PB (11/8): Time to Follow the Bouncing Ball, NCAA Dribbling for Dollar$ Begins

    Time to Follow the Bouncing Ball as a new NCAA season approaches, but also one with too many new faces...Sometimes traveling is actually a good thing in Hoops...Will the Thunder offense get beached on Donovan's Reef...

    Point Blank – November 8, 2017


    Although the first games of the 2017-18 NCAA hoops season won’t hit the board until sometime on Thursday afternoon, the first books to post having to be rather brave with those openers, I will bring the early-season outline into play today, so that you can begin your advance prep. There is much work to be done.

    The opening of the long ride was once one of the more exciting times for me on the sports calendar, but that has subsided over time, the one-and-done era taking much of what made the sport so special away. There are still edges to be found, and it will become part of the daily life flow over the next 4+ months, but the juices of anticipation aren’t the same. Let’s get to why…


    Item: The top teams are the same, and also almost entirely different

    What should your first step be in getting ready for the season? Most of you should be well aware of the Blue Ribbon Yearbook by now, but if you aren’t go order one. I believe it is worth the extra $3 to get the spiral bound edition, and for those of you that spend much of your day on mobile devices, that download is essential.

    It is when you go through the first few pages of the new edition that you understand the challenges the sport brings for both sides of the counter. There isn’t a surprise found in the projected Top Five of: 1. Arizona, 2. Michigan State, 3. Duke, 4. Kansas and 5. Kentucky; all names we are accustomed to seeing near the top. But that has little to do with continuity.

    Here is the gist – of the 25 projected starting players for those teams, 11 are freshmen and eight are sophomores. We have grown accustomed to John Calipari almost annually starting from scratch at Kentucky, but Duke will be starting four freshmen this season as well.



    The difficulty isn’t just in anticipating these teams to set good early power ratings, but also in the grading of their games because they fully realize what the target is – just slowly put the pieces together to be ready to play well when March rolls around. There is a big-time double-header in Chicago on Tuesday night, Michigan State/Duke and Kansas/Kentucky, but it will bring 17 freshmen or sophomores in the 20 starting positions.

    How do I play it? I start slowly, because of the volume of football work required each day, and as the season progresses I will be fully tracking less than half of the lined teams. That will be a separate column that I will write next week, the notion being that it is better to know a lot about a few, rather than a little about many, and the focus does turn to conferences in which I get easy video access.

    Yes, there are opportunities being left on the table, and those that specialize in the college hoops can be way ahead of the November markets. Time just does not allow me to plunge into the deep end of those waters. For those looking for early-season edges, I suggest sorting through some of the teams that already had a head start…


    Item: When “traveling” is not an on-court violation, but actually a good thing

    NCAA programs are allowed one foreign trip every four seasons, and they can be major plusses not only in terms of overall team development, but in particular in being a step ahead as the season begins. These trips can do wonders for building a chemistry both on and off the court, and it isn’t just about the game experience the players get, but the fact that they are allowed added practice time as well before they get on the plane.

    Here are the major teams that took trips this season, and their destinations:

    Alabama (Canada)
    Arizona (Spain)
    Arizona State (Italy/Spain)
    Auburn (Italy)
    Butler (Spain)
    Clemson (Spain)
    Iowa (Germany/Italy/Switzerland)
    Kansas (Italy)
    North Carolina State (Italy)
    Oklahoma (Australia/New Zealand)
    Oregon State (Spain)
    Penn State (Bahamas)
    Purdue (World University Games, Taiwan)
    TCU (Australia)
    Tennessee (France/Spain)
    Texas (Australia)
    Tulane (Spain)
    Utah (France/Spain)
    Vanderbilt (U.S. Virgin Islands)
    Wisconsin (Australia/New Zealand)



    One of the prime ways to take advantage of these teams is to get access to the trips list early, and follow them along across the various media channels as they are happening – there are a lot of details that can be found that don’t end up in the archives.



    Item: About Last Night, and more lack of Thunder from the Oklahoma City offense

    As the NBA season unfolds it hasn’t taken long for a talking point from the past to get firmly into play – Billy Donovan may still be better off as a college coach, a good “system” guy, but perhaps not one that can make the kind of adjustments needed to maximize the available talent at the NBA level. It may not be merely about tactics right now, but also Donovan’s ability to keep the heads of his players on straight, because coach and players wake up this morning in last place in the Northwest Division.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George having been added, and a relatively soft early schedule to make the assimilation process easier. But an offense that averaged 105.0 PP100 without Anthony/George has fallen to 102.0 with them, and that offense was simply a mess at Sacramento last night, when an early 17-point lead ground into an ugly 94-86 defeat. The Kings entered that game at 1-8.

    There are major questions about how well the Westbrook/Anthony/George triangle can fit together, especially whether Donovan can be the be the guy to figure it out, and 10 games into the season offers enough to begin the baseline. Anthony is shooting a career worst 41.5 percent from the field, George has fallen from 46.1 last season to 42.3, and both have more turnovers than assists. It is only the second time for Anthony to have that ratio, going back to 2005, and George never has, except for that limited 2015 campaign, when he only played 91 minutes.

    Will they get better? Of course. But will they get anywhere near the projections that were there coming into the season? That remains an open question. Here is something that made the files following last night’s defeat, Westbrook saying a lot of the right things, except for perhaps the Freudian aspect of him taking ownership, without a reference to Donovan:

    “It does nothing but bring you closer, as a unit, as brothers. I’m encouraged by the group of guys we have in that room, and I will be better. I take ownership of how we’re playing, and I will be better. We will be better, so I’m not worried.”




    Item: About tonight, and charting Lakers/Celtics

    I don’t expect to be in play with LAL/Boston this evening, though Under chimes begin at 212, but it provides a good opportunity to develop the proper handicapping mindset regarding both teams. While there will indeed be media focus on Lonzo Ball vs. Kyrie Irving, there is plenty to see here, and it revolves around defense.

    The Celtics have adjusted better to the loss of Gordon Hayward than expected, and a big part of that is the assimilation of Jalen Brown and Jasyon Tatum into the rotation – their wing spans have helped lead to the #1 defensive rating in the NBA, more than a full point lower than anyone else. Even Irving has gotten into the act, a career high in steals per game.

    But now take a hard look at the flip side. The Lakers were an abomination on defense last season, a 110.6 PP100 allowance that was historically bad, and it wasn’t something that figured to get much better, with Ball on board perhaps even a risk of getting worse. But Luke Walton has been getting his players to buy in, reducing the PP100 count to 101.2, good enough to rate #7 in the league. It indeed helps to have some rim protection with Brook Lopez, and the play of rookie Kyle Kuzma has been a major place, Kuzma a contributor is so many different ways. Might he have won the starting job full-time, with Larry Nance coming off the bench after his thumb heals?

    As for Ball it has been a mixed bag, of the eight Lakers averaging at least 18 minutes per game in the prime rotation, he is last in PER (Player Efficiency Rating), much of that stemming from that 29.9 percent shooting. But the team has not had to be overly reliant on him to create play because they have made enough of a commitment on the defensive end, a commitment that should only get stronger as they get rewarded with wins.

    And your Daily Dose of SportsBIT...




    If you want to know when PB is ready to go each day, as well as following along for some of the most important Sports Betting news as in unfolds, make @Vegaspointblank a part of your routine.
    Last edited by Point Blank; 11-08-17 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Point Blank
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    And as part of the Wednesday routine, here come the weekly team unit ratings from Hector Mendez. You can see the impact of that Jacksonville defense, which was discussed in the Tuesday edition, as well as the impact of Ben McAdoo's coaching (you can click on it to go to full size) -

    Last edited by Point Blank; 11-08-17 at 12:13 PM.

  3. #3
    DOM_Toretto
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    Small edit: the cbb champions classic double header in Chicago is on Tuesday night, not Monday

    Thanks for listing the teams that did international travel over the summer. That really does have a big impact especially early in the season.

    For example, Kansas played in Italy and got a chance to integrate their new players with their returning leaders, and Miss St. transfer Malik Newman actually ended up being probably the best player in those games. Now on Tuesday they should have a significant advantage over Kentucky who'll have Wenyan Gabriel and a bunch of 18 year olds who dominated high school but haven't played a single meaningful game together.

  4. #4
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOM_Toretto View Post
    Small edit: the cbb champions classic double header in Chicago is on Tuesday night, not Monday

    Thanks for listing the teams that did international travel over the summer. That really does have a big impact especially early in the season.

    For example, Kansas played in Italy and got a chance to integrate their new players with their returning leaders, and Miss St. transfer Malik Newman actually ended up being probably the best player in those games. Now on Tuesday they should have a significant advantage over Kentucky who'll have Wenyan Gabriel and a bunch of 18 year olds who dominated high school but haven't played a single meaningful game together.
    Thanks for the heads up, the change has bee made. My morning editing process is slovenly even on slow days, and can be downright awful when there is a busy board (it looks like I will be able to find my Lakers/Celtics Under 212, though it only rates a moderate investment). I agree that Kansas accomplished a lot on their trip, and for those that want to go into more detail, here is a worthwhile piece that made the files back in August. They get a tune-up against Tennessee State on Friday, and because the schedule is both light and soft for several weeks after the Kentucky game, I would not be surprised if Bill Self put a lot more emphasis on winning Tuesday night than John Calipari might.
    Last edited by Point Blank; 11-08-17 at 12:12 PM.

  5. #5
    Point Blank
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    And since Lakers/Celtics are in the spotlight for this evening, note that Al Horford has not cleared the concussion protocol, and will be a no-go for Boston. That will mean more time for Aron Baynes in the pivot, which does not hurt the Under purposes - his lack of the kind of perimeter game Horford has makes the Celtics easier to defend. When Horford is on the floor he forces opposing bigs away from the basket, which makes it easier for Kyrie Irving to get to the rim, now Lopez and the other LAL bigs can be anchored there.

  6. #6
    Point Blank
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    Your Daily Dose of SportsBIT is also ready to go, including an audio appearance by yours truly for the final segment, something we may do a bit often in the weeks ahead -


  7. #7
    Champthinks
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    David
    I see the ucla trip to china is not on the list . I assume it is because it was a recent trip not a summer trip . it may be more significant due to the arrests though than these other teams .
    A team with issues that Carmelo is on who would of thunk that . ? I don't think there are enough basketballs on the court to blend this group . Must say though they do play well everytime there plane almost crashes . am 0-1 in NBA this year and they did jell that night against the Bulls . But as u warned and which I already wrote about last season its a pretty big gamble in these early regular season games .
    That Duke Army thing I mentioned in opening up the new format on Monday seems to be getting away up to -3 now not sure u even want to endorse it at this price . Happy to see though that at least 1 other poster here also got in on the Monday price .I recall him elaborating further on my early mention . and will assume u also got in Monday also .

  8. #8
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champthinks View Post
    David
    I see the ucla trip to china is not on the list . I assume it is because it was a recent trip not a summer trip . it may be more significant due to the arrests though than these other teams .
    A team with issues that Carmelo is on who would of thunk that . ? I don't think there are enough basketballs on the court to blend this group . Must say though they do play well everytime there plane almost crashes . am 0-1 in NBA this year and they did jell that night against the Bulls . But as u warned and which I already wrote about last season its a pretty big gamble in these early regular season games .
    That Duke Army thing I mentioned in opening up the new format on Monday seems to be getting away up to -3 now not sure u even want to endorse it at this price . Happy to see though that at least 1 other poster here also got in on the Monday price .I recall him elaborating further on my early mention . and will assume u also got in Monday also .
    Yes - the UCLA/Georgia Tech weekend over in China is tracked differently, as is West Virginia/Texas A&M playing in Germany. Those teams started their pre-season practices at the regular schedule, so they don't really get any bonus work in; if anything traveling after the regular practice routine had begun could prove to be a slight hindrance later on. Here are the details of the UCLA shenanigans on that trip, something that may become awkward for Steve Alford to deal with, which I will be tracking in the lead-up to the game.

    It was not going to take long for Duke money to show against Army, the oddsmakers and shops allowing that by opening at less than -3. I will get into further detail on that one in the Friday edition, since it brings some handicapping subtlety into play, but will also be a significant factor for the Blue Devils when they play Georgia Tech next week.

  9. #9
    spindoc932
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    Dave... CFB

    The O/U for WF at Syr is up to 65.... Does that trigger any under chimes for you? I guess the real question is if the Wake frosh WR is playing this week......Dungey was really limping along last week. He might be one hit away from being knocked out this week and under 65 would seem great without Dungey

    What are your thoughts on how the Mia/ND flow and pace will go this week? The O/U is up to 57.5 and that also seems a bit high. Can this game play out a bit like the ND/Ga 20-19 game from earlier in season?

    Kansas(gulp) is getting nearly 5 full TDs at Texas this week. I tend to feel like if kansas could somehow get to 10 pts this week they can cover....Texas isnt the type of team to lay this kind of wood........Fun Stat- I believe that kansas is something like 25 games under .500 ATS the last 8.5 seasons.......That is something else

    Whats goin on with hawaii this year. They are 0-7 ATS last 7.....Im thinking of trying to secure a +11 ticket if it shows this week with the current line sitting at 9.5

    I STARTED a Boise St/Colo St UNDER position at 57.5.....Line looks a tad high and I will be adding 20-25% at 59 or 60

    thanks Dave

  10. #10
    SportsHec8
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    I'll throw in a few notes from how I use this data and what I'm seeing

    #1 MY Jacksonville Jaguars have been extremely friendly to the pockets. The model's rating of +11.63 for them is among the highest I've seen in the 5 years of doing this... to me that does speak to a bit a regression candidate but not much.

    What excites me about continuing to back to the jags (you're damn right the weekly trifecta of Jags, Jags opponent TT under and Jags alt spread will be in play this week) is the improvement i'm seeing in Bortles.

    It's true that Cinci and Indy wins were out of a comfortable position but man did he throw the ball well in both games in the 1h. I could've told you Jax would be my #1 D and a top 5 running game... top 20 pass offense though? Not a chance. Very impressed with that group.

    Regarding atlanta, what a confusing team. Them and Jax are the only teams over 1 YPP better than their opponents. They're still averaging 6.2 YPP. So could this be just some unlucky regression leading to their under performance in points (20.5 per game while the stats tell me they should be closer to 26)? Or are they starting to believe their own struggles and this will lead to some poor offensive performances in the coming weeks? I know I'll have some Dallas +3 and Atlanta TT under in pocket come sunday

    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    And as part of the Wednesday routine, here come the weekly team unit ratings from Hector Mendez. You can see the impact of that Jacksonville defense, which was discussed in the Tuesday edition, as well as the impact of Ben McAdoo's coaching (you can click on it to go to full size) -


  11. #11
    SportsHec8
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    dave, at what point do you start weighting the results? For example, does the NEP/KC game really have much significance anymore?

  12. #12
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsHec8 View Post
    dave, at what point do you start weighting the results? For example, does the NEP/KC game really have much significance anymore?
    It is a never ending process, with weighting going on right from the opening game. One of the keys in keeping individual team workbooks is that in the process of grading each game, all previous games are also in the field of vision, and that helps to allow for tweaking on a continual basis. It isn't unusual for me to change the weighting on an individual game 3-4 times over the course of the season, as I learn more about the teams and their idiosyncrasies.

  13. #13
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by spindoc932 View Post
    Dave... CFB

    The O/U for WF at Syr is up to 65.... Does that trigger any under chimes for you? I guess the real question is if the Wake frosh WR is playing this week......Dungey was really limping along last week. He might be one hit away from being knocked out this week and under 65 would seem great without Dungey

    What are your thoughts on how the Mia/ND flow and pace will go this week? The O/U is up to 57.5 and that also seems a bit high. Can this game play out a bit like the ND/Ga 20-19 game from earlier in season?

    Kansas(gulp) is getting nearly 5 full TDs at Texas this week. I tend to feel like if kansas could somehow get to 10 pts this week they can cover....Texas isnt the type of team to lay this kind of wood........Fun Stat- I believe that kansas is something like 25 games under .500 ATS the last 8.5 seasons.......That is something else

    Whats goin on with hawaii this year. They are 0-7 ATS last 7.....Im thinking of trying to secure a +11 ticket if it shows this week with the current line sitting at 9.5

    I STARTED a Boise St/Colo St UNDER position at 57.5.....Line looks a tad high and I will be adding 20-25% at 59 or 60

    thanks Dave
    I am neutral on the Syracuse/WF total, and did see my net worth decline a bit from Wake/Notre Dame last week, when I thought the absence of Dortch (who is out for the season), might alter the Deacon tempo. But Dave Clawson stayed on the gas in that one, his team snapping the ball 88 times in a game that had 162 total plays. If that was his plan in South Bend, then it is unlikely that his flow is going to change.

    ND/Miami shows up for me at 59, the combination of 8 TDs and a FG, and in a primetime game that will draw a lot of attention, there may be the opportunity to find that.

    There is one unusual factor in Kansas/Texas, the fact that the Jayhawks pulled the upset LY. That was a different Longhorn coaching staff, but one could easily imagine that Tom Herman will have made those films a significant part of setting the mindset for this week. The Jayhawks rarely have to take the best punch from the opposition; that might change here.

    Hawaii's ATS run has not been terrible if we look at the margins, and in my tracking the Warriors get credit for the cover at Wyoming, a game in which a +5 underdog went into overtime. The markets haven't been too far off in the estimations, including the loss at UNLV last week, 31-23 vs. a closing line of +7.

  14. #14
    jjgold
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    good stuff

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  15. #15
    benjy21
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    Hey Dave,

    North Carolina looks like one of those beaten down teams that still has fight in them. Two weeks ago, they played extremely hard against Miami, and despite 4 turnovers, still had a chance to win the game.

    Here's a few quotes from HC Larry Fedora at his Monday press conference:

    "I think they're fresher just because they got some time off," he said. "You go nine weeks and then you go four weeks of camp, that's a long time before you have a bye week and a chance to give those guys a break. It's as much mental as physical."

    Fedora has often spoke this season of how valuable game reps have been for the development of younger players. On Monday, he cited Corrales as proof of that. "You just see him come along, and he's gotten better and he's gotten more confident in knowing what to do," Fedora said. "He gets an opportunity in that game, and he makes some plays. Same thing with Dazz Newsome. Those guys continue to get better and better. I think the future is really bright for those guys."

    Based on the coaches comments, the young players that have been forced into the starting lineup due to injuries are gaining confidence and and executing the offense. Something they were not able to do earlier in the season. Their opponent this week, Pitt, is not a team built to get a margin. They usually grind out games to get the victory. What do you see in this matchup, and do you see value on UNC +9

  16. #16
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjy21 View Post
    Hey Dave,

    North Carolina looks like one of those beaten down teams that still has fight in them. Two weeks ago, they played extremely hard against Miami, and despite 4 turnovers, still had a chance to win the game.

    Here's a few quotes from HC Larry Fedora at his Monday press conference:

    "I think they're fresher just because they got some time off," he said. "You go nine weeks and then you go four weeks of camp, that's a long time before you have a bye week and a chance to give those guys a break. It's as much mental as physical."

    Fedora has often spoke this season of how valuable game reps have been for the development of younger players. On Monday, he cited Corrales as proof of that. "You just see him come along, and he's gotten better and he's gotten more confident in knowing what to do," Fedora said. "He gets an opportunity in that game, and he makes some plays. Same thing with Dazz Newsome. Those guys continue to get better and better. I think the future is really bright for those guys."

    Based on the coaches comments, the young players that have been forced into the starting lineup due to injuries are gaining confidence and and executing the offense. Something they were not able to do earlier in the season. Their opponent this week, Pitt, is not a team built to get a margin. They usually grind out games to get the victory. What do you see in this matchup, and do you see value on UNC +9
    I need a +11 to get in play there. Part of the concern is that in the two Carolina ACC road games they lost contact and did not compete all the way through vs. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, losing by a combined 92-14, so if they fall down early their confidence might be fragile. And there is also the matter of Pittsburgh seeming to put the pieces together in those last two wins, out-rushing Duke and Virginia 516-178. I would not be surprised if the Tar Heels made a game out of this one, but need to have more cushion before getting involved.

  17. #17
    peterose4hof
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    In addition to Benjy's fatigued defenses list (Thanks Benjy!) this is typically a good time in the college football season to look at teams who haven't had a bye in a long time.
    Does anyone have easy access to that information?

    Also, add me to the list of folks who like the new format much better.
    I couldn't figure out how to post before because I don't have Facebook.
    Looking forward to being a more active part of the community again!

  18. #18
    benjy21
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterose4hof View Post
    In addition to Benjy's fatigued defenses list (Thanks Benjy!) this is typically a good time in the college football season to look at teams who haven't had a bye in a long time.
    Does anyone have easy access to that information?

    Also, add me to the list of folks who like the new format much better.
    I couldn't figure out how to post before because I don't have Facebook.
    Looking forward to being a more active part of the community again!
    In addition to the teams on the worn down defense list with byes in September or no bye, the following teams look like they could be fatigued:

    Colorado (no bye yet)
    USC (no bye yet)
    Air Force (9/9)
    Washington State (no bye yet)

  19. #19
    jakedittler
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    I'm working on putting a list together, not just teams without a bye, but also teams that finish the last 7,8, or even 9 weeks of the season since they had a bye. Something that can really wear a team down towards the end of the season. Especially bad teams.

  20. #20
    Ocho Cervezas
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    Hello Dave, Would like to get your thougths on the concept of revenge as it relates to college football. As a specific example let's examine a Conference USA matchup between Marshall and Western Kentucky. Marshall (6-3 overall, 3-2 Conference USA) is in third place in the East Division, directly ahead of the fourth-place Hilltoppers (5-4, 3-2). Western Kentucky is attempting to win its sixth game and become bowl eligible. The Herd is trying to improve its bowl options and avenge last season's 60-6 loss.

    "I think every game is a must win," Holliday said. "Our goals and standards never change. I told our kids last night that this is big game, No. 1 because it's the next one, and No. 2 because of who it is, and No. 3 because it's the game that represents the 75 who were lost in that crash."

    Holliday said he figures Marshall's players probably will remember that season-ending blowout as they prepare this week."I would think they probably would," Holliday said. "That's a kind of a hard one to forget, that's for sure. That was about as ugly as it gets."

    So coach Holliday goes on record indicating that revenge will be a factor, but will it be enough to win by 2 TDs in order to cash a Marshall -13 ticket? I tend to think so given Western's woes along the offensive line and their inability to run the football as the Hilltoppers are having a hard time picking up yards — averaging just 2.3 yards per attempt. That averaging translates to just 75 yards each game — which ranks 130th in the country. The Hilltoppers face a Marshall defense allowing just 131.3 yards per game on the ground. Only Florida International has been able to eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark against the Thundering Herd this season. Of note for Western Kentucky, QB Mike White left the game in the final minute to be treated for an undisclosed injury. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but losing him for any amount of time would be a huge blow for this team. It’s almost a wonder that White didn’t appear to sustain a more serious injury. Vanderbilt’s defensive line practically lived in the Tops’ backfield on Saturday. White finished the day 31 of 50 for 324 yards in the loss. He was sacked six times and hurried four times.

    WKU coach Mike Sanford says QB Mike White’s status will be taken “day-by-day.” Coach doesn’t think White has a major injury.

    While White's status is still questionable, injuries are a major concern elsewhere as the Hilltoppers are now starting two freshman along the right side of their o-line. Running back D’Andre Ferby has been dealing an injury since the opening week of the season, while leading rusher Quinton Baker will miss the rest of year. More info regarding the Western Kentucky injuries can be found:

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/sports/wk...5a2cbe1bf.html

  21. #21
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterose4hof View Post
    In addition to Benjy's fatigued defenses list (Thanks Benjy!) this is typically a good time in the college football season to look at teams who haven't had a bye in a long time.
    Does anyone have easy access to that information?

    Also, add me to the list of folks who like the new format much better.
    I couldn't figure out how to post before because I don't have Facebook.
    Looking forward to being a more active part of the community again!
    An easy way for anyone to keep track of that is to go to a file from out friends at The Gold Sheet that allows for a scroll all the way through, with the playing dates listed for each game. You can find that page right here.

  22. #22
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocho Cervezas View Post
    Hello Dave, Would like to get your thougths on the concept of revenge as it relates to college football. As a specific example let's examine a Conference USA matchup between Marshall and Western Kentucky. Marshall (6-3 overall, 3-2 Conference USA) is in third place in the East Division, directly ahead of the fourth-place Hilltoppers (5-4, 3-2). Western Kentucky is attempting to win its sixth game and become bowl eligible. The Herd is trying to improve its bowl options and avenge last season's 60-6 loss.

    "I think every game is a must win," Holliday said. "Our goals and standards never change. I told our kids last night that this is big game, No. 1 because it's the next one, and No. 2 because of who it is, and No. 3 because it's the game that represents the 75 who were lost in that crash."

    Holliday said he figures Marshall's players probably will remember that season-ending blowout as they prepare this week."I would think they probably would," Holliday said. "That's a kind of a hard one to forget, that's for sure. That was about as ugly as it gets."

    So coach Holliday goes on record indicating that revenge will be a factor, but will it be enough to win by 2 TDs in order to cash a Marshall -13 ticket? I tend to think so given Western's woes along the offensive line and their inability to run the football as the Hilltoppers are having a hard time picking up yards — averaging just 2.3 yards per attempt. That averaging translates to just 75 yards each game — which ranks 130th in the country. The Hilltoppers face a Marshall defense allowing just 131.3 yards per game on the ground. Only Florida International has been able to eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark against the Thundering Herd this season. Of note for Western Kentucky, QB Mike White left the game in the final minute to be treated for an undisclosed injury. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but losing him for any amount of time would be a huge blow for this team. It’s almost a wonder that White didn’t appear to sustain a more serious injury. Vanderbilt’s defensive line practically lived in the Tops’ backfield on Saturday. White finished the day 31 of 50 for 324 yards in the loss. He was sacked six times and hurried four times.

    WKU coach Mike Sanford says QB Mike White’s status will be taken “day-by-day.” Coach doesn’t think White has a major injury.

    While White's status is still questionable, injuries are a major concern elsewhere as the Hilltoppers are now starting two freshman along the right side of their o-line. Running back D’Andre Ferby has been dealing an injury since the opening week of the season, while leading rusher Quinton Baker will miss the rest of year. More info regarding the Western Kentucky injuries can be found:

    http://www.bgdailynews.com/sports/wk...5a2cbe1bf.html
    That loss was the low point of the Holliday years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd basically quit once it got out of hand early, allowing the opening KO to be returned for a TD, and falling down 28-0 in the first quarter. It was easy to pack it in because it was the final game of a disappointing season. Marshall may be a tick under-rated in this setting because the Thundering Herd have done a lot of things right the last two weeks, but lost to both FIU and FAU because of a -7 turnover differential. But I wouldn't get any chimes there until -10, respecting White's ability to make things happen through the back door (four straight games of over 300 passing yards).

  23. #23
    deltonmyers
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    Dave,

    I have a Titans division ticket at +160, but don't feel good at this point about it cashing. I think the Jags are the best team in the division and the only thing keeping the Titans at -120 right now and the Jags at even is that Tennessee won at Jacksonville already. What are your thoughts on the Jags at even money? I'm thinking I should cover my bet right now with the Jags or at least do it before they play Pitt next week. I'm just split on waiting another week to bet on the Jags or to go now. Thoughts?

    Also, I'm guessing Hector likes the Jags at even money to win the division right now?

  24. #24
    Ocho Cervezas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    That loss was the low point of the Holliday years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd basically quit once it got out of hand early, allowing the opening KO to be returned for a TD, and falling down 28-0 in the first quarter. It was easy to pack it in because it was the final game of a disappointing season. Marshall may be a tick under-rated in this setting because the Thundering Herd have done a lot of things right the last two weeks, but lost to both FIU and FAU because of a -7 turnover differential. But I wouldn't get any chimes there until -10, respecting White's ability to make things happen through the back door (four straight games of over 300 passing yards).
    Funny that you mention the -7 turnovers the last two games for Marshall as that is how I initially stumbled upon this match up thinking their turnover luck might just turn around. My pure power ratings # has Marshall -10 as well, so going out on a limb just a bit with the lack of value. Perhaps when White gets announced as probable that line goes down a couple points so maybe I should have waited it out, that is one of the trickier aspects of this game, knowing when to fire.

    Regarding the bye weeks, you can find when a specific team had extra rest via:

    http://sportsdatabase.com/ncaafb/que...+S+D+Q+L+%21++

  25. #25
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltonmyers View Post
    Dave,

    I have a Titans division ticket at +160, but don't feel good at this point about it cashing. I think the Jags are the best team in the division and the only thing keeping the Titans at -120 right now and the Jags at even is that Tennessee won at Jacksonville already. What are your thoughts on the Jags at even money? I'm thinking I should cover my bet right now with the Jags or at least do it before they play Pitt next week. I'm just split on waiting another week to bet on the Jags or to go now. Thoughts?

    Also, I'm guessing Hector likes the Jags at even money to win the division right now?
    The Jaguars do have an easier schedule the rest of the way, except for the final game being at Tennessee, which could be the decider. But I don't feel anything special about the value at even money; it would take a +120 or better for me to want to reach into pocket.
    Last edited by Point Blank; 11-08-17 at 06:13 PM.

  26. #26
    Chi_archie
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    get this out of players talk as an S-link
    175 pts

    3-QUESTION
    SBR TRIVIA WINNER 11/23/2017

    175 pts

    3-QUESTION
    SBR TRIVIA WINNER 11/20/2017

    175 pts

    3-QUESTION
    SBR TRIVIA WINNER 11/16/2017

    175 pts

    3-QUESTION
    SBR TRIVIA WINNER 11/13/2017

    BTP
    Week 9
    3-2-0 185 pts


  27. #27
    Emily_Haines
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    I am neutral on the Syracuse/WF total, and did see my net worth decline a bit from Wake/Notre Dame last week, when I thought the absence of Dortch (who is out for the season), might alter the Deacon tempo. But Dave Clawson stayed on the gas in that one, his team snapping the ball 88 times in a game that had 162 total plays. If that was his plan in South Bend, then it is unlikely that his flow is going to change.

    ND/Miami shows up for me at 59, the combination of 8 TDs and a FG, and in a primetime game that will draw a lot of attention, there may be the opportunity to find that.

    There is one unusual factor in Kansas/Texas, the fact that the Jayhawks pulled the upset LY. That was a different Longhorn coaching staff, but one could easily imagine that Tom Herman will have made those films a significant part of setting the mindset for this week. The Jayhawks rarely have to take the best punch from the opposition; that might change here.

    Hawaii's ATS run has not been terrible if we look at the margins, and in my tracking the Warriors get credit for the cover at Wyoming, a game in which a +5 underdog went into overtime. The markets haven't been too far off in the estimations, including the loss at UNLV last week, 31-23 vs. a closing line of +7.
    Syracuse has a shitty offense that plays fast and a defense that is very good this year. Every total gets steamed to the over and none ever get there. If you would have just blindly bet Syracuse unders since Babers got there you would be a rich man.

  28. #28
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily_Haines View Post
    Syracuse has a shitty offense that plays fast and a defense that is very good this year. Every total gets steamed to the over and none ever get there. If you would have just blindly bet Syracuse unders since Babers got there you would be a rich man.
    To be precise, that run is now up to 15-4 to the Under since Babers too over, including the last 6 in a row. The oddsmakers have been catching on in shortening the numbers, like the 61 opener for this week, but there are market segments that continue to plunge...
    Last edited by Point Blank; 11-08-17 at 06:22 PM.

  29. #29
    Cuse0323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily_Haines View Post
    Syracuse has a shitty offense that plays fast and a defense that is very good this year. Every total gets steamed to the over and none ever get there. If you would have just blindly bet Syracuse unders since Babers got there you would be a rich man.
    Cuse ATS this year would have done you well, also. 6-2, but you're right. 8-1 on the unders. Haven't read the thread, so probably has been pointed out.

    This total is gonna be close. I think Cuse wins 37-27. Points will be put up by both teams in the Dome.

  30. #30
    SportsHec8
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    214.5 worthy of an under i assume?
    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    And since Lakers/Celtics are in the spotlight for this evening, note that Al Horford has not cleared the concussion protocol, and will be a no-go for Boston. That will mean more time for Aron Baynes in the pivot, which does not hurt the Under purposes - his lack of the kind of perimeter game Horford has makes the Celtics easier to defend. When Horford is on the floor he forces opposing bigs away from the basket, which makes it easier for Kyrie Irving to get to the rim, now Lopez and the other LAL bigs can be anchored there.

  31. #31
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsHec8 View Post
    214.5 worthy of an under i assume?
    It became a full position at 214 or better.

  32. #32
    Guy Guido Fieri
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    As THE MAYOR of FLAVOURTOWN, I thank you.

  33. #33
    jakedittler
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    Adding to what Benjy first touched upon, I went through all the schedules to see which teams finish the last 8,9,10,11 weeks without a bye, or who had no bye at all. I'll skip 8 weeks for now because essentially, most are only 3-4 weeks off a bye. But can be revisited at a later date. I also tracked records as a team that's 8-1 is much less susceptible to fatigue than a team that's 2-7. Also have a few odd ones that need a little explanation that I'll do at the end.

    Last 9 weeks without a bye-

    BYU (2-8)
    fresno st (6-3) playing for Mt west title
    ole miss (4-5) grueling sec schedule with little depth vs the run
    N Illinois (6-3)
    Illinois (2-7) tough big 10 schedule in bad weather
    iowa st (6-3) up and coming program. Not as detrimental IMO.
    K St (5-4)
    marshall (6-3)
    minnesota (4-5)
    S Miss (5-4)
    wisky (9-0) national title hopes
    coastal Carolina (1-8) could be a great candidate

    last 10 without a bye-

    arkansas (4-5) again SEC grind.
    E Michigan (3-6)
    FSU (3-5) really disappointing season. One to watch
    Ga southern (0-8) a couple of mid week games though with extra days
    indiana (3-6)
    kent st (2-7)
    Maryland (4-5) Been talked about a lot. Much smaller team in grinding big 10 schedule
    miami (8-0) national championship hunt.
    Michigan st (7-2)
    unlv (4-5) depth has been an issue

    Last 11 without a bye-

    UCONN (3-6) first year at a much quicker tempo? Could wear down even more
    texas tech (4-5) always up near the top in plays faced on D

    Interesting situations schedule wise-

    colorado 11 straight games to start the season. This week is game 11
    ucf (8-0) had 3 weeks of rest from game 1 to game 2. Plus in the hunt for multiple scenarios

    No bye at all-

    USC (8-2) but very depth shy
    Washington st (8-2)

    I think a few of these could lead to some possible plays. Especially if we match them up with team that have faced an extra amount of plays, who are bad vs the run. Interim coaches and other factors.
    Last edited by jakedittler; 11-08-17 at 09:54 PM.

  34. #34
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakedittler View Post
    Adding to what Bejy first touched upon, I went through all the schedules to see which teams finished the last 8,9,10,11 weeks without a bye, or who had no bye at all. I'll skip 8 weeks for now because essential ,most are only 3-4 weeks off a bye. But can be revisited at a later date. I also tracked records as a team that's 8-1 is much less susceptible to fatigue than a team that's 2-7. Also have a few odd ones that need a little explanation that I'll do at the end.

    Last 9 weeks without a bye-

    BYU (2-8)
    fresno st (6-3) playing for Mt west title
    ole miss (4-5) grueling sec schedule with little depth vs the run
    N Illinois (6-3)
    Illinois (2-7) tough big 10 schedule in bad weather
    iowa st (6-3) up and coming program. Not as detrimental IMO.
    K St (5-4)
    marshall (6-3)
    minnesota (4-5)
    S Miss (5-4)
    wisky (9-0) national title hopes
    coastal Carolina (1-8) could be a great candidate

    last 10 without a bye-

    arkansas (4-5) again SEC grind.
    E Michigan (3-6)
    FSU (3-5) really disappointing season. One to watch
    Ga southern (0-8) a couple of mid week games though with extra days
    indiana (3-6)
    kent st (2-7)
    Maryland (4-5) Been talked about a lot. Much smaller team in grinding big 10 schedule
    miami (8-0) national championship hunt.
    Michigan st (7-2)
    unlv (4-5) depth has been an issue

    Last 11 without a bye-

    UCONN (3-6) first year at a much quicker tempo? Could wear down even more
    texas tech (4-5) always up near the top in plays faced on D

    Interesting situations schedule wise-

    colorado 11 straight games to start the season. This week is game 10
    ucf (8-0) had 3 weeks of rest from game 1 to game 2. Plus in the hunt for multiple scenarios

    No bye at all-

    USC (8-2) but very depth shy
    Washington st (8-2)

    I think a few of these could lead to some possible plays. Especially if we match them up with team that have faced an extra amount of plays, who are bad vs the run. Interim coaches and other factors.
    Well done!

  35. #35
    spindoc932
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    Dave- What are your thoughts on GB catching 6 at Chicago? Do the GB players and coaches believe at 4-4 that they can somehow , someway finish at 9-7 and make the playoffs? ....I initially though Rodgers was out for the season, but it seems like he can come back by Week 15......At 4-4 the upcoming schedule for Weeks 10 through 15 isnt bad at all:

    @Chic
    vs Balt
    @ Pitt
    vs TB
    @Clev

    Chic is one team that wont have a major advantage at QB over GB. This might be an ugly one btw as we might not see 200 yards combined passing in this game.

    There are obvious concerns with backing GB here though. I feel the bye week will help Trubinsky alot and the short week cant help Hundley. Chic also runs the ball alot better than GB and have a better D......I guess a deep dive into GB's morale and psyche is needed to figure out where they stand mentally and motivationally.............I went back at Chic has only covered 6 of their last 23 as a favorite

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