Every year in college football there are a couple of high profile, very popular teams that draw a whole lot of public action and then put the money in a big pile and burn it up. Last year Texas was a brutal team against the college football spreads – 5-7-1. The year before USC wasn’t a particularly good bet. In 2007, neither USC nor LSU performed for bettors like the top five teams that they were. The betting public assumes that a team that wins consistently and does it in impressive fashion is a good bet, so when they aren’t regularly covering spreads it can be costly. Here’s a look at five teams that have the potential to be high profile betting disappointments this year:
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Every year in college football handicapping there seems to be at least one team that starts out with monstrous expectations but just can’t live up to them. In 2007 my beloved Michigan was a top five and a serious national championship contender heading into the season. And then Appalachian State happened. Just typing those words makes me ill. In 2008 Georgia started the year as the top team in the country, but were lucky to only lose three games given the way they played. Last year it was Ole Miss that was supposed to make it big as Jevan Snead won the Heisman. Snead was a disaster and the team lost four games. The obvious question, then, is which touted team is going to flame out this year? Here are three good candidates for handicappers to consider fading if things dont go there way:
One of the most interesting storylines of the NFL preseason – one the few truly interesting ones, really – has been the quarterback situation in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger is likely to see his suspension decreased from six games to four, but the team – a serious Super Bowl contender in the eyes of many – will have to play without their biggest star for at least a month. That means that they have to find a guy who can not only start those four or six games, but who can keep the team’s hopes and dreams alive until Big Ben is back in action. This is a unique situation to consider, and a fun one to speculate about. It’s also an important situation for NFL handicappers to think about because there is going to be a lot of attention paid to Pittsburgh games, and there will be a chance for value if you call the games right. As you get ready for the regular season to start here are four things to consider about the situation:
I’m a sucker for interesting season long football prop bets. I don’t necessarily like to bet many of them, but I do like to analyze them and see what we can learn from them. Bodog has a simple but very interesting one posted right now – which NFL division will have the best winning percentage?
There is a circus in town. In New York, that is. The Jets are totally and utterly bizarre this year. Most teams make a few changes in the offseason, but it’s not often we see a team add as many expected starters as the Jets – never mind starters with big names and as much baggage as this collection of guys has. Just think about it: LaDainian Tomlinson is a former franchise mega-stud who was unceremoniously dumped; Jason Taylor has made a career out of hating the Jets; Santonio Holmes has a massive collection of personal issues; Antonio Cromartie has even more. Add to that a couple of additions from last year – Braylon Edwards and his ridiculously inconsistent hands, and Mark Sanchez and his looks and reputation that far exceeds his play so far – and a coach that never shuts up and you have a team that has a real potential to be volatile. Oh yeah, and Darrelle Revis is holding out for big money. Like I said, the team is a circus.
Lane Kiffin makes me laugh. I can say that because he has never done anything to a team that I really care about. The Raiders mean nothing to me, I detest Peyton Manning so I clearly have no love for Tennessee, and don’t like USC because they are so sickeningly unlikable, but I certainly don’t hate them in any real way – it’s not like they are Ohio State or anything. Based on the amount of press he is getting these days, though, it seems obvious that I am the exception and not the rule when it comes to the degree to which his actions bother me. His actions over the last few years have been very circus-like, and the intense scrutiny the media has placed him under has given the circus at least three rings. I’m just amused by the whole situation but a whole lot of people aren’t. There is a great deal of intensity and bitterness, and people are reacting emotionally and not rationally to him. Anytime a great deal of emotion is involved in a situation bettors have to be particularly aware of what is going on, and what impact it could have on the teams and players involved and, more importantly, on the odds on the games in question. As you try to decode Kiffin’s impact on the college football betting lines this fall, and the opportunities that it will create, here are four things to consider:
We are pretty much at the end of the annual parade of conference media days. Each year all of the coaches and national media spend a day or two together telling lies and half-truths to get people to start thinking about college football again. Most of what we hear from the gatherings is pointless – at least from a betting perspective. Once in a while, though, we hear something that could prove to have some value down the road. Here’s a quick gathering of some of the more interesting things that came up in this year’s media days:
We are 100 games into the long, long major league baseball betting season. That means we are still more than two months away from the end of the year. For a lot of teams, though, these last 60 games are just something that have to be endured before the season draws to a merciful end. There are eight teams in the league that are at least 13 games out of first place in their divisions, and none are likely to be any closer by the time October arrives. Because they really don’t have a lot to play for it’s hard to trust that they are going to put forth any real effort in a given game. It would be easiest just to ignore these teams for the rest of the season, but they are more than a quarter of the whole league, so you don’t want to do that when baseball handicapping. What you need to be able to do instead is to evaluate the bad teams to determine which ones are going to be trying and which ones likely aren’t. Here are six things to consider as you try to do that:
When it comes to handicapping NCAA football (or any other sport, for that matter), desperate coaches can be very useful. When a coach is clearly and obviously on a hot seat and coaching for their continued employment sparks can often fly. You can’t always predict how coaches in these positions are going to respond. Some rise to the challenge by adapting their approach, adjusting their schemes, changing their staffs, and bringing renewed vigor to their job. Others get overwhelmed by the challenge and look even more lost than they already have. While you can’t be sure which approach coaches will take in these situations, what you can be fairly sure of is that something is definitely going to change, and change can be very useful for bettors who can spot it and capitalize on it. Here’s a look at five guys who are certainly on the hot seat this year:
The World Series of Poker has been underway at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas since May 28. There are 57 different events in all that take place at the event, but the one that matters more than any others is The Main Event. The Super Bowl of poker crowns the world champion each year, and the winner becomes both very famous and very rich. Last year 6,494 players each paid $10,000 to play in the event, and we should see about that many again this year.