1. #1
    Point Blank
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    PB (12/5): What a "Bettor Better Know" - NFL Week #13


    What a “Bettor Better Know” – NFL Week #13…Russell Wilson was better than the stats show, the KC Chiefs defense was as bad as the stats show, and why the 49ers loved Jimmy G. so much even without scoring a TD…



    Point Blank – December 5, 2017


    There are still a couple of creeks to cross from the steeple chase that has been the 2017 NFL season, and some of the plot lines are fascinating as hell. Kansas City opened with a win at New England that still represents one of the best games any team has played all season, yet the Chiefs might not even make the playoffs. Meanwhile a Chargers team that opened 0-4 in a seemingly flat tire of a move to Los Angeles is not positioning to extend into January, and perhaps as tribute they could invite their new home fans over for a holiday dinner – all dozen or so of them.

    There is a lot for the handicapper to sort through from the weekend that has gone into the books, so let’s get to it…


    Item: Just how good was Russell Wilson vs. Philadelphia
    Sub-Item: Just how good will Wilson have to be to survive this week

    The notion of the “eye test” gets discussed here with regularity, because it is so essential in understanding how any scoreboard result got built out. Statistics and play-by-play charts are an attempt to measure what happened as best they can, but while creating a tangible notions of “what”, they come up far short on the “how” element. Eagles/Seahawks from Sunday night was a classic example of needing to go beyond the numbers.

    “I thought Russell was phenomenal tonight. I thought that Russell showed you everything he’s all about.” That is how Pete Carroll described Russell Wilson’s performance afterwards, and I wouldn’t disagree with a word of it. But “phenomenal” might see odd without context. Let’s build some.

    The Seahawks gained 310 yards at 5.3 per play on Sunday night. League average this season is 336.3 and 5.3. It may not look all that special because as an offense it wasn’t; it was as a measure of a QB that it was. Wilson did a tremendous job of making plays when there wasn’t much going right at the line of scrimmage, the Eagle defensive front out-playing the Seahawks OL. He maneuvered his way out of pressure to produce positive plays not just through the air but also overland, including that lateral beyond the line of scrimmage that turned into a 23-yard run, Mike Davis getting most of the credit.





    Here is how Philadelphia DL Brandon Graham laid it out afterwards: “Russell Wilson is Russell Wilson. We knew exactly what we needed to do. But it’s easier said than done sometimes. He was great today. You have to be in shape. You’ve got to be able to run around with him because that’s what he does. He has you running around. Some guys aren’t conditioned enough to do that.”

    I bring this one into play as the lead because the eye test that saw Wilson do so much on Sunday night also tells me that the Seahawks offense might be in for a difficult game ahead. Would I ordinarily want Pete Carroll as an underdog vs. Doug Marrone? Yes. Do I want Wilson as an underdog vs. Blake Bortles? Yes. Will I bet Seattle this week? Probably not.

    Here is the gist – a weak Seattle OL now goes up against the most aggressive defensive front in the league, but it isn’t just about quality this time, it is quantity as well. The Jaguars are a team that doesn’t have to worry about their DL getting worn down chasing Wilson around; part of what has made them so tough is their depth, seven players getting at least 20 snaps in the DL on Sunday.

    Jacksonville is sacking opposing QBs at a 10.2 percent rate, which is the highest in the league since 2008. The “how” matters. There are 38 players with at least six sacks this season, and the Jaguars have four of them. No other team has three; seven have two. But it isn’t just about the depth of the DL, it is also an emerging secondary supplying the coverage that allows the pass rush to get home.

    What happens when there is good coverage and a good rush? It gets us back to NYA, or Net Yards per Pass Attempt, which I have focused on here in the past, a more meaningful calculation than simple Yards Per Pass because it brings sacks into play. Let’s look at where the current Jags rate, compared to the NFL best over the last five seasons:

    2017 Jacksonville 4.5
    2016 Denver 5.0
    2015 Denver 5.2
    2013 Philadelphia 5.3
    2013 Dallas 5.3

    To be a half yard better than any other team through this stretch says a lot. It is the depth of the DL that has kept them fresher than most units would be down the stretch, which means far less wearing down, and it is that matchup of Jags DL vs. Seahawks OL that will keep me out of a game that on a quicker glance would bring some attraction.


    Item: The Chiefs gained 10.3 yards per play, didn’t have a turnover, and lost
    Sub-Item: That is what happens when your defense can’t generate a sack or turnover in 85 snaps

    I don’t have a database set up that can sort individual game efficiencies across the years, which prevents me from putting Kansas City’s showing at New York into a better perspective, but needless to say that averaging 10.3 yards per play over the course of an entire game is exceedingly rare. The Chiefs also did not have a turnover. Yet they lost, and a once-promising season is now one in which their psyche is in a most fragile state.

    The problem is that there was a flip side to their brilliant offensive showing, a defense that was on the field for 85 snaps against a mediocre opponent (the NYJ offense was #23 on the Football Outsiders charts heading into the game), yet could not come up with a single takeaway or sack.





    That isn’t easy to do, but it has become a dark pattern for that defense – over the past four games they have faced 256 plays, with only one takeaway and three sacks. Ove the past nine games they have five interceptions; three thrown by Trevor Siemian, and only two in the other eight outings.

    What had been a slumping KC offense got into a groove against the Jets in the first game with OC Matt Nagy calling the plays instead of Reid. But is there a fix for this defense anywhere? The Chiefs are #28 in Yards Per Play allowed, #24 in NYA, and #20 in YPR. There isn’t a strength anywhere to build on, which means that things may not get any better.

    There is just enough 47 around the outer aisles of the marketplace to pluck some #114 Kansas City/Oakland Over (Sunday, 1:00 Eastern), and I believe it is a number worth having. While advance forecasts in December are always going to bring a lesser degree of reliability, the current projections call for a mild day in the mid-50’s, and that sets this up well, in a game between two bottom-feeder defenses in which I believe the losing team will get to 24 points.


    Item: Will the Gase slap in the face spur the Broncos

    I am also wondering if there is a fix for the Denver defense because the set-up is so compelling, a proud unit now being humbled by the role of seeing themselves as home underdogs vs. the Jets. It isn’t out of the question to say that the 2017 results have moved this line nearly two full touchdowns from where it would have been at the start of the season, remembering that the Jets were +14 at Oakland back on Week #2.

    There isn’t anything good to say about the Bronco QB situation, which will likely mean back to the drawing board for 2018. But does a defense that was the NFL’s best across the 2015-16 seasons, and may have a few future Hall of Famers, in the huddle still have something in the tank? I bring that up because after that unit had gone flat for a few games, might the on-side kick from Adam Gase late in Miami’s win on Sunday have been the kind of slap in the face that could create a spark?

    So far the deeper digging has not reached that conclusion. Because many of the Denver players remember Gase from his stint as a Broncos assistant, times that apparently left the Miami HC with some bad feelings that led to his tactical decision, there was the opportunity to find some bad feelings, but I haven’t found any smoke. Running back C.J. Anderson it was from from it: “That’s Goose, that’s Goose. I love Goose, man. That’s Goose, though.”

    And as for Von Miller, one of the keys that will be needed if the defense is to turn: “That’s the game. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and say, ‘Man, why is he kicking an onside kick? Just give us the ball.’ That’s loser football. If they want to kick onside, they can do it. We got to cover and we got to get the ball back and we got to play. It’s the pros. If it was Little League, yeah, we can be upset. But it’s the pros.”

    I will still be sorting through this one the rest of the week, especially looking for signs that Vance Joseph could be a “one-and-done”, and whether there is a spark for the players to go hard for him, or a disinterest. But for now there just isn’t a lot of positive energy coming from the team, and if I have any intention of playing on them this week there must be a positive sign from somewhere.

    Meanwhile the energy level in San Francisco is far different…


    Item: The 49ers thumped the Bears; is it 2018 already for San Fran
    Sub-Item: Mitch Trubisky completed 80% of his passes and only managed 5.0 NYA; 2018 is not in sight yet for Chicago

    We can both have fun with this, and make some serious handicapping points, in the aftermath of San Francisco’s 15-14 win at Chicago. First from WR Marquise Goodwin, on new QB Jimmy Garropolo: “Just look at him. Look at him. You know what I’m saying? He’s got it together. He came in a short time and has just helped us flip this around. Some people are just winners, and he’s a winner. He’s just a confident guy. When you play with confidence like that, you feel unstoppable.”

    And guard Brandon Fusco: “It’s a special feeling with him. He’s a special player. That’s the reason we did what we did to get him. You can definitely feel it. We’re all excited. There’s more to come from this.”





    The somewhat humorous aspect is that this gushing is coming from an offense that failed to score a touchdown against an average defense. It shows what the simple act of winning can mean to a team that had gone 2-24 over their previous 26 games. Yet the reality is that the 49ers did play solid football in that win, the game on the field not resembling 15-14 in any fashion.

    It was a beat-down across the board, 23-8 in first downs, 388-147 in total offense, and 1.2 in yards per play. What the 49ers did not do was maximize, their five FG drives taking 62 plays, and there will be those issues of efficiency going forward as the puzzle pieces begin to fit. But in terms of attitude carefully file away those quotes above – this is not a team that will hit the practice field as though they are 2-10; Kyle Shanahan may be able to frame it as though they are 1-0 for the 2018 season. That matters.

    As for the Chicago side of the equation it looks like the final furlong of the John Fox cycle limping to the finish line. Hence why you also need to do a double-check of some of the items in the box score – while a quick flash might lead you to believe that Mitch Trubisky was fine when you see 12-15 passing with no interceptions, the NYA for the game was 5.0. It is hard to get that out of 80% completions, and for perspective a 5.0 NYA pro-rated to the full season would place the Bears #31 in the NFL, with only Baltimore worse.

    The Bears were not coached on Sunday as a team building for the future and trying to develop their QB; they were coached as a team that was just trying to gut out a single win, which would have done little for the long-term purposes, except perhaps inch Fox closer to being around for the long term. Having played so conservatively and still having lost, he won’t be.


    Item: How much are the Ravens going to miss Jimmy Smith

    The Baltimore defense will come front-and-center in a Sunday showcase with the Steelers, the Ravens competing with Jacksonville for the title of the NFL’s best on that side of the ball this season. There also will be a major talking point, the injury to top cover CB Jimmy Smith, who was having a terrific campaign, especially in the light of Matthew Stafford completing 20 straight passes at one point on Sunday, Smith’s absence seemingly a glaring one.

    Yet it may not be that bad. The Ravens drafted Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey with the #17 pick in the first round this past spring, and the rookie CB has already been on the field for 306 snaps. He got beat on several occasions vs. the Lions, but may be more ready to step in and play well than that showing indicates.

    Let’s go to John Harbaugh: “He is a self-starter. You don’t have to prod him really, to calm him down, because he is new to it. He’s young, he’s a rookie. You just have to let him know, OK, it’s about the next play. These guys are going to make plays every now and then and you have to play the next play.”

    And from CB Brandon Carr, who will now get the unenviable task of taking on Antonio Brown: “He has just got to get more experience, but all the intangibles are there. He is smart, physical and can run. He is willing to take his lumps and he is going to be OK.”

    Humphrey isn’t going to be Smith. But the Ravens do have confidence in both him and second-year CB Maurice Canady, so the dropoff may not be that substantial.


    Item: On grading Derrick Henry’s TD run, which caused so much money to change hands

    I am never in Las Vegas Sports Books on NFL game-days, cherishing the quiet of the home desk and video monitors, but I can imagine the looks on the faces and the sounds across the rooms when Henry broke that 75-yard TD run vs. Houston on Sunday, a play that flop-flopped the betting outcome from the Texans to the Titans. Anything more than a first down on the play, and less than a TD, and there would have only been one more kneel-down to finish the game.





    As noted often here I chart every rushing TD or more than 40 yards as only being for 40, the added yardage telling us more about the field position that the relative merits of the way the offense/defense executed the play. There is a performance window that matters, and things outside of the window can cause clutter. I go a step further with these rare end-game breakaway touchdowns.

    For me the Henry run will only go into the books as being worth 20 yards, the fact that it ended in the end zone not bringing anything of predictive value to the stat files. Was the Tennessee offense trying to score a touchdown on the play? No. Was the Houston defense trying to prevent a touchdown on the play? No. The entire goal for the defense was on preventing a first down, and in doing that the Texans were intentionally increasing the prospect of a TD being scored by selling out on the play with everyone in the box.

    Tennessee succeeded and Houston failed on the play. But to stretch the degree of failure out to seven points and 75 yards does not add anything meaningful to the evaluation of either team. So I file it away as 20 yards.

    That is the sort of thing that gets hand-written first, that part of the Monday newspaper looking a bit like a crossword puzzle being filled out some weeks…


    Vegas: Monday with the Review-Journal NFL box score page

    It wouldn’t be difficult to do an entire NFL season of Monday lunches of nothing but exploring the variety of Asian noodle soups that can be found across the Las Vegas valley, and it is rare that any week goes by during the year that I don’t slurp a bowl somewhere. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that they were a scarce food item here, and for the first half of my three decades as a resident there was only one option for Japanese ramen or udon, a small mediocre place on East Twain that has long been shuttered.

    Not anymore. Japanese-style noodles across their many variations can now be readily found, most of them ramen-only or udon-only, as it should be, and there are at least a half dozen that I would not hesitate to visit any time the craving strikes. When it comes to udon my favorite is Marugame Monzo, also referred to often as Udon Monzo.

    This an off-shoot of the Marugame Monzo on East 1st Street in Los Angeles, which has developed quite a following through the years, and it is easy to understand why – from the hand-made noodles to the quality of ingredients across the spectrum of what they offer, they take what they do very seriously.




    Monday was a blustery day across Las Vegas, our lowest temperatures since last winter, and it called for the kind of unique comfort that a bowl of “Sea Urchin Cream Udon” provides. It is a combination of textures and flavors that come together wonderfully because of the balance – that unique essence of uni blended into a creamy broth so that it does not overpower, but offers a hint of fresh sea all the way through to the last noodle.

    I have done about half of the Monzo menu so far and haven’t had a “miss” yet, the level of ingredients and the execution just a cut above the other udon shops in Las Vegas. This isn’t just a convenient quick-fix that many such lunches are in the workday; this is udon elevated.


    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; 12-05-17 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Point Blank
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    And once again Hector Mendez, who goes by SportsHec in the threads, is generous enough to share his weekly ratings with us (for a larger look click on the image, and it will open in a new window) -

    Last edited by Point Blank; 12-05-17 at 11:01 AM.

  3. #3
    SportsHec8
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    Hi Dave, my first wager of the week was the over 47 in Kansas City so I'm excited to see you on it as well.

    I have Oakland and Kc rated 28,29 defensively. On a YPP metric, both give up 5.66 YPP, only the texans, giants, pats, colts and bucs are lower.

    On offense, Kc is still averaging over 6 YPP, 6.21 actually.

    The key to the value in this game is Oakland’s offense. By manually doing stats, I’m able to take out games that don’t matter - Carr missed the Balt game and when you take that out, their offense grades out
    4 YPC 25th run O
    7.1 YPA 11th Pass O
    1.36 sacks per game 4th

    I still only rate their offense 14th but that’s more than enough to get us over the 47 mark.

  4. #4
    SportsHec8
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    Dave, I bet SF +2 yesterday, thinking that game would be a PK by kickoff. I also teased them up to 8.

    I'm incredulous at the +3's that are out there now.

    My ratings have Houston as the 31st ranked team. I've taken out the Deshaun Watson games from the offensive stats but included all games for the defense.

    What that produces is the 26th rush O, 28th pass O, 32nd O, 11th rush D and 24th pass D.

    Even if it was CJ Breathard I would still be betting SF +3 but with all the energy surrounding Jimmy G, I'm even more encouraged.

    What exactly am I missing? Is this just a group dummying up the line (if that even is a thing)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    And once again Hector Mendez, who goes by SportsHec in the threads, is generous enough to share his weekly ratings with us (for a larger look click on the image, and it will open in a new window) -


  5. #5
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsHec8 View Post
    Hi Dave, my first wager of the week was the over 47 in Kansas City so I'm excited to see you on it as well.

    I have Oakland and Kc rated 28,29 defensively. On a YPP metric, both give up 5.66 YPP, only the texans, giants, pats, colts and bucs are lower.

    On offense, Kc is still averaging over 6 YPP, 6.21 actually.

    The key to the value in this game is Oakland’s offense. By manually doing stats, I’m able to take out games that don’t matter - Carr missed the Balt game and when you take that out, their offense grades out
    4 YPC 25th run O
    7.1 YPA 11th Pass O
    1.36 sacks per game 4th

    I still only rate their offense 14th but that’s more than enough to get us over the 47 mark.
    As a positive sign that Oakland offense grades better than the Jets, and...

  6. #6
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsHec8 View Post
    Dave, I bet SF +2 yesterday, thinking that game would be a PK by kickoff. I also teased them up to 8.

    I'm incredulous at the +3's that are out there now.

    My ratings have Houston as the 31st ranked team. I've taken out the Deshaun Watson games from the offensive stats but included all games for the defense.

    What that produces is the 26th rush O, 28th pass O, 32nd O, 11th rush D and 24th pass D.

    Even if it was CJ Breathard I would still be betting SF +3 but with all the energy surrounding Jimmy G, I'm even more encouraged.

    What exactly am I missing? Is this just a group dummying up the line (if that even is a thing)?
    If someone was goin to manipulate a line this is the setting in which they would do it, trying to invest a limited amount of $$$ to create a "3", but that sort of manipulation will rarely happen when there are two lower-level teams playing each other because the rest of the marketplace cannot be trusted well enough. There might be an unwelcome issue of someone else snapping up the 3's once they got out there.

    What I gathered from one small group that bet Houston is that they saw the Texans as having played better than the market expectations three weeks in a row, without setting off any kind of fireworks to change the public perceptions, and hence they graded them as slightly under-valued. My counter to that was that the last two defeats were essentially the final nails in the coffin for this season, with 4-8 making it really difficult to keep the batteries charged going forward. Hence I believe there is some small value with SF at +3. We may not be able to trust the 49ers to execute well, which impacts money management, but I believe the energy level will be as high as if they were fighting for a playoff spot.

  7. #7
    milwaukee mike
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    good stuff here

    which is why there are only 6 posts and a couple hundred views

    sbr needs more of this


  8. #8
    jjgold
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    Wilson really can be MVP this year, he looks that good

    Dave buy me a steak if I come to Vegas

  9. #9
    actiondan
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    Tldr

  10. #10
    shivaseven
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    Dave, I did a quick query and found that the Chiefs were only the third team to avergage 10 yards per play or better in a game, there's over 7,500 games in the database. What really struck me is two of the teams managed to lose their game straight up and the third eked out a 27-23 victory. See below:

    1997: GBY 38 - IND 41
    2009: IND 27 - MIA 23
    2017: KCY 31 - NYJ 38
    Nomination(s):
    This post was nominated 1 time . To view the nominated thread please click here. People who nominated: SportsHec8

  11. #11
    shivaseven
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    polays>=80 and po:turnovers=0 and p:sacks=0

    Again, it's a rare spot for teams to be on the field for over 80 plays and not register a sack or a turnover, but the good news for KCY is teams in this spot tend to fare well in their next game as noted below:

    SUP: 9-3-0 (11.17)
    ATS: 9-3-0 (10.00)
    OU: 9-3-0 ( 9.75)

    Nice coverage margins and the OU as well is blinking a green light. Also even when team is a favorite in their next game the green light stays on but a terribly small sample size in both instances, obviously. OU when favored 4-0 (14.12)

  12. #12
    shivaseven
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    tS(olays, N=4)>=250 and tS(o:turnovers, N=4)<=1 and tS(sacks, N=4)<=4

    ATS: 2-9-1 (-5.50)
    SUP: 3-9-0 (-6.33)

  13. #13
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjgold View Post
    Wilson really can be MVP this year, he looks that good

    Dave buy me a steak if I come to Vegas
    Vegas Steaks are very, very expensive, so the conversation really has to be good...

  14. #14
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by shivaseven View Post
    Dave, I did a quick query and found that the Chiefs were only the third team to avergage 10 yards per play or better in a game, there's over 7,500 games in the database. What really struck me is two of the teams managed to lose their game straight up and the third eked out a 27-23 victory. See below:

    1997: GBY 38 - IND 41
    2009: IND 27 - MIA 23
    2017: KCY 31 - NYJ 38
    Nice work. And the flip side of this is how in the hell do we come to grips with the NYJ defense, since their contribution to the Sunday stats was also so rare...

  15. #15
    shivaseven
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    Interesting thoughts on the SFR game and the breath of fresh air that is now blowing through the 49'ers locker room. I had some money on that game and couldn't help but notice that we have a one win team in December cobbling together an 85 yard drive, it started on their own 8 yard line, on their last possession for the game winning field goal. I think the arrows are pointing up for the Forty-Niners and I'm looking for the spots to play'em.

  16. #16
    RudyRuetigger
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    Quote Originally Posted by milwaukee mike View Post
    good stuff here

    which is why there are only 6 posts and a couple hundred views

    sbr needs more of this

    wrong

    guy is a wannabe tout

    don't be a fukkin fruit loop

    THANKS

  17. #17
    SportsHec8
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    Those 10+ YPP teams all "scored too soon" the entire game!

    KC 32 plays to Jets 75, TOP 17:11 to 42:49
    IND 26 plays to Mia 73, TOP 14:53 to 45:07
    GB 37 plays to IND 60, TOP 23:06 to 36:54

    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    Nice work. And the flip side of this is how in the hell do we come to grips with the NYJ defense, since their contribution to the Sunday stats was also so rare...

  18. #18
    shivaseven
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    Teams that allowed over 9.0 yards per play are ATS 5-17-1 next time out. If you look at defenses that allowed over 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 and 10.0 yards per play in their last game, the OU numbers are inconclusive in their next game.

  19. #19
    shivaseven
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    SH8 - interesting stuff. Good LUCK with the 49'ers. I'm thinking of jumping on board that one!
    Last edited by shivaseven; 12-05-17 at 01:57 PM.

  20. #20
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by RudyRuetigger View Post
    wrong

    guy is a wannabe tout

    don't be a fukkin fruit loop

    THANKS
    Ordinarily I find little reason to toss crumbs into the pond, but when someone as misinformed as you seem to be calls another poster a fruit loop, there should be a bump here so that other posters in these threads are aware of how they should regard any future comments you may make.
    Nomination(s):
    This post was nominated 3 times . To view the nominated thread please click here. People who nominated: SportsHec8, bruceBRUCEbruce, and heywally

  21. #21
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportsHec8 View Post
    Those 10+ YPP teams all "scored too soon" the entire game!

    KC 32 plays to Jets 75, TOP 17:11 to 42:49
    IND 26 plays to Mia 73, TOP 14:53 to 45:07
    GB 37 plays to IND 60, TOP 23:06 to 36:54
    Averaging over 10 yards per play does make it difficult to stay on the field and keep the clock moving...

  22. #22
    Jspidey
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    Thank all for content!
    Dave
    OKC has been a money burner for their backers so far with no sense of organization on the offensive end of the court. Tonight they're facing Utah coming of a small win streak and playing some pretty good ball. Thinking of backing Utah+7.5. Any thoughts?

  23. #23
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspidey View Post
    Thank all for content!
    Dave
    OKC has been a money burner for their backers so far with no sense of organization on the offensive end of the court. Tonight they're facing Utah coming of a small win streak and playing some pretty good ball. Thinking of backing Utah+7.5. Any thoughts?
    I was able to wedge out a bit of Under 198 early this morning, and would also get some chimes to the Jazz at +8. The schedule setting looks bad, losing an hour in time zone transition for a back-to-back, but they had such command early for the Wizards last night that it may not be much of a negative at all. Having Rudy Gobert back anchors the defense again and makes them a tough out, especially with the way that they can slow the tempo and force the opposition into their half-court sets, which the Thunder are still struggling to figure out.

  24. #24
    benjy21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    I was able to wedge out a bit of Under 198 early this morning, and would also get some chimes to the Jazz at +8. The schedule setting looks bad, losing an hour in time zone transition for a back-to-back, but they had such command early for the Wizards last night that it may not be much of a negative at all. Having Rudy Gobert back anchors the defense again and makes them a tough out, especially with the way that they can slow the tempo and force the opposition into their half-court sets, which the Thunder are still struggling to figure out.
    Hey Dave,

    Phoenix is also in a bad scheduling spot tonight, closing out a back-to-back set and play their third game in four days. The Raptors will enter this game with a three-day rest advantage and will be in the midst of a one-week homestand. 13.5 is a lot of points to lay, but what do you think of Toronto in this spot?

  25. #25
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjy21 View Post
    Hey Dave,

    Phoenix is also in a bad scheduling spot tonight, closing out a back-to-back set and play their third game in four days. The Raptors will enter this game with a three-day rest advantage and will be in the midst of a one-week homestand. 13.5 is a lot of points to lay, but what do you think of Toronto in this spot?
    I wish I had a good answer. The set-up calls this about as likely for a kill shot as there would be, with the Raptors having no reason to not play hard, while the Suns likely already consider the road trip a success in having gone 2-3 (they might have even considered a single win on this journey a success). Also working against Phoenix is only having one day off for travel before hosting Washington on Thursday, a game that they have to believe is winnable right now. So with four of the starters going at least 34 minutes last night if this one gets away most coaches might be inclined to let it get away.

    But there is a wild card in the equation - Jay Triano. This is a homecoming for him (he was born in Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side), with a legacy that goes all the way back to coaching the Canadian national team, including the Steve Nash years, to also being the HC of the Raptors from 2008-2011. Might the return to Toronto create a little different spark for him than this setting otherwise would? That makes it tough for me to get involved.

  26. #26
    SportsHec8
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    I saved this artlce from the summer - so huge to get him back https://www.slcdunk.com/2017/7/23/16015048/utah-jazz-nba-rudy-gobert-best-center-defense-offense-statistics-mvp-dpoy

    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    I was able to wedge out a bit of Under 198 early this morning, and would also get some chimes to the Jazz at +8. The schedule setting looks bad, losing an hour in time zone transition for a back-to-back, but they had such command early for the Wizards last night that it may not be much of a negative at all. Having Rudy Gobert back anchors the defense again and makes them a tough out, especially with the way that they can slow the tempo and force the opposition into their half-court sets, which the Thunder are still struggling to figure out.

  27. #27
    Eric Nisbet
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    Dave as always thanks so much for your valuable insight & information. It's worth it's wait in Gold. I don't make any moves without checking out your Point Blank article first. Thanks again & good luck beating the book this week!

  28. #28
    milwaukee mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by RudyRuetigger View Post
    wrong

    guy is a wannabe tout

    don't be a fukkin fruit loop

    THANKS
    i guess i'm crazy for liking actual discussion about teams and games, with stats/rankings/etc... rather than stuff like "lol, fuk off" every other post

    doesn't really matter if it's a wannabe tout or mother theresa, if they provide useful info and/or entertainment

  29. #29
    spindoc932
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    Dave- lookin at a few home
    Dogs this week
    1. Do u need to see +3 to get in play with Atlanta Thursday nite at home vs NO? Any chance we see that? Iím tempted to hit the bid at +2 bc Atlanta has already lost 3 home games and need this game bad. Also Thursday nite home teams seem to have a nice advantage and the lookahead I blv was Atl -3
    2. Iím not 100% sure Iím sold on Carolina this year . But one of my
    Books has +3 -110 and that looks like value.. does this imply Minn would be -8.5 or -9 at home? Thatís preposterous
    3. Tenn might be one of the most fraudulent 8-4 teams Iíve ever seen. I see a full +3 as a HD for Ariz. Do you think Ariz comes into this game with the right mindset?
    4. Love Denver this week. I loaded up on +1.5.... I just donít see Denver closing as an underdog.. Jets are not the same Team On the road

  30. #30
    puffkit
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    dave.........thoughts on eli's grand return? think there will be some extra juices flowing and the crowd will be hyped. wondering if the team may play a bit harder for eli's last 4 games especially with the way he was disrespected/benched. lee may be back for dallas but i see scandrick will be out and i think dallas off a bit of a false win (thurs pm home team + wash horrible game). is nyg +4.5 enough value? and i also like the u42 here.

    the other game i like is wash getting +6 @ lac. this charger team is just not a team that gets margins easily.......really struggled with clev last week. do you think this line has peaked or might we see +6.5/7? got to think everyone is down on wash after that thurs game....

  31. #31
    Jspidey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    I was able to wedge out a bit of Under 198 early this morning, and would also get some chimes to the Jazz at +8. The schedule setting looks bad, losing an hour in time zone transition for a back-to-back, but they had such command early for the Wizards last night that it may not be much of a negative at all. Having Rudy Gobert back anchors the defense again and makes them a tough out, especially with the way that they can slow the tempo and force the opposition into their half-court sets, which the Thunder are still struggling to figure out.
    I was able to parlay u199 and +8 just before tip off. Okc-1.5 in game for a little bit to middle. Thank you for your response again appreciate the interaction. Gl all

  32. #32
    Mike Huntertz
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    Gonna try KC over.
    GL

  33. #33
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by spindoc932 View Post
    Dave- lookin at a few home
    Dogs this week
    1. Do u need to see +3 to get in play with Atlanta Thursday nite at home vs NO? Any chance we see that? I’m tempted to hit the bid at +2 bc Atlanta has already lost 3 home games and need this game bad. Also Thursday nite home teams seem to have a nice advantage and the lookahead I blv was Atl -3
    2. I’m not 100% sure I’m sold on Carolina this year . But one of my
    Books has +3 -110 and that looks like value.. does this imply Minn would be -8.5 or -9 at home? That’s preposterous
    3. Tenn might be one of the most fraudulent 8-4 teams I’ve ever seen. I see a full +3 as a HD for Ariz. Do you think Ariz comes into this game with the right mindset?
    4. Love Denver this week. I loaded up on +1.5.... I just don’t see Denver closing as an underdog.. Jets are not the same Team On the road
    I will be bringing several elements of Saints/Falcons to the front on Thursday night, including a late-season perspective on Steve Sarkisian now that there are a dozen games worth of numbers in evidence, and also on the matchup difficulties the Saints are creating out of Ingram/Kamara, which has been a topic before, but deserves fuller attention. For all of the issues Atlanta brings right now there would be chimes at +3; much like Seattle on Sunday night and the Bengals on Monday, this is a setting in which you will get a home dog bringing the best that they have to give.

    There is a little temptation with Carolina but not a major one - there aren't enough good pieces on offense to beat a good defense, and the Vikings are so fundamentally sound that they do force you to make plays to beat them. I believe the Panthers effort will be good, but not sure about the execution.

    Arizona lacks ammunition, but the Cardinals continue to compete, so they will remain on the study list throughout the week.

    I have been looking for signs of the Broncos bringing some fire this week, and while they have not been as forthcoming as I had hoped, a sign that Vance Joseph may not have earned the full respect of this roster since he took the job over. But good players will still compete for their own pride level, and that defense still has some awfully good players. Before the week is out I will likely find some path, possibly Jets Team Total so that I don't have to rely much on the Denver QB play to make much of anything happen.

  34. #34
    Point Blank
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    Quote Originally Posted by puffkit View Post
    dave.........thoughts on eli's grand return? think there will be some extra juices flowing and the crowd will be hyped. wondering if the team may play a bit harder for eli's last 4 games especially with the way he was disrespected/benched. lee may be back for dallas but i see scandrick will be out and i think dallas off a bit of a false win (thurs pm home team + wash horrible game). is nyg +4.5 enough value? and i also like the u42 here.

    the other game i like is wash getting +6 @ lac. this charger team is just not a team that gets margins easily.......really struggled with clev last week. do you think this line has peaked or might we see +6.5/7? got to think everyone is down on wash after that thurs game....
    I am going to make the Giants the lead topic on Wednesday, largely because there are so many compelling issues, but also because it will be the chance to say farewell to Ben McAdoo, which is only fitting given the number of times he has been a topic here the past two seasons. There is the natural inclination to believe that Eli will compete hard, which he will; the problem is that the NYG WRs are so limited that there is only so much that a QB can do.

    I don't bring much inclination to get behind the Redskins unless a full +7 shows, and with Pinny sitting at -6 -101 to anchor the market it would take quite a move to bring that into play. One of the keys noted here in previewing the Thanksgiving games two weeks ago was how dynamic of a season Chris Thompson had been having, averaging a 13.1 yards per reception on 39 catches that is unheard of from a RB. There isn't any way to replace him, and in the first two games without Thompson the NYA for Kirk Cousins and the passing game has been 1.6 yards per attempt lower than in the first 10 games.

  35. #35
    SportsHec8
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    Dave, i wanted to take Minny early but the 3 straight roadies scared me away. With the line move it’s an easy stay away.

    But im curious how would you account for 3 straight on the road in a situation where there was a mini bye in between?

    Quote Originally Posted by Point Blank View Post
    I will be bringing several elements of Saints/Falcons to the front on Thursday night, including a late-season perspective on Steve Sarkisian now that there are a dozen games worth of numbers in evidence, and also on the matchup difficulties the Saints are creating out of Ingram/Kamara, which has been a topic before, but deserves fuller attention. For all of the issues Atlanta brings right now there would be chimes at +3; much like Seattle on Sunday night and the Bengals on Monday, this is a setting in which you will get a home dog bringing the best that they have to give.

    There is a little temptation with Carolina but not a major one - there aren't enough good pieces on offense to beat a good defense, and the Vikings are so fundamentally sound that they do force you to make plays to beat them. I believe the Panthers effort will be good, but not sure about the execution.

    Arizona lacks ammunition, but the Cardinals continue to compete, so they will remain on the study list throughout the week.

    I have been looking for signs of the Broncos bringing some fire this week, and while they have not been as forthcoming as I had hoped, a sign that Vance Joseph may not have earned the full respect of this roster since he took the job over. But good players will still compete for their own pride level, and that defense still has some awfully good players. Before the week is out I will likely find some path, possibly Jets Team Total so that I don't have to rely much on the Denver QB play to make much of anything happen.

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