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Newsletters Week 2 (NFL Week 1)

Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523818

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for from various handicappers and websites for Wednesday 9/9/20
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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523819

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523820

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523836

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523852

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523878

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523881

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523893

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THX Shazam !!! A great job as usual. Good luck this season
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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 1 week ago #523898

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NickM26 wrote:
THX Shazam !!! A great job as usual. Good luck this season

Thanks Nick and good luck to you as well
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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 6 days ago #523921

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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 6 days ago #523922

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Every Thursday during the season, Doug Kezirian, Bill Connelly, Preston Johnson, Seth Walder and David M. Hale will provide their top plays across the college football landscape.
Thursday's game
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UAB Blazers at Miami Hurricanes (-14, 54.5)
Connelly: Last season, Miami ranked 81st in offensive SP+ and ninth on defense and UAB ranked 118th and 28th, respectively. The projected point total had they played last season would have been 40.0.
Yes, Miami has likely upgraded at both offensive coordinator (hiring Rhett Lashlee) and quarterback (bringing in Houston's D'Eriq King), and yes, UAB returns starting quarterback Tyler Johnston III and scored 45 points on Central Arkansas last week. But SP+ takes some of that into account and still projects only 41.0 total points, primarily because both defenses should still be good. (Yes, UAB allowed 35 to Central Arkansas last week, but it was fluky; the Bears averaged only 4.4 yards per play and scored touchdowns on drives of 4, 15 and 35 yards.) I'm all for a more prolific and entertaining game, but expecting 55 points or more here seems like a lot.
Pick: Under 54.5
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Saturday's games
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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Louisville Cardinals (-11.5, 57.5)
Walder: In the offseason we made a few tweaks to the way the Football Power Index (FPI) calculates its preseason priors, and Louisville is the prime example for that change. When considering previous seasons' offensive performance, our new method understands the difference between when Micale Cunningham was at quarterback and when he was not. In this case that's pretty important, because the offense was at its best with Cunningham, who finished eighth in Total QBR.
The model knowing that, and assuming Cunningham will start, has it more bullish on the Louisville offense. As in, the second-best offense in the country among the FBS teams left playing bullish.
Pick: Louisville -11.5
Johnson: I will second Seth and FPI and sing praises for the Louisville offense with Cunningham under center. In fact, I know some bettors who took flyers on Cunningham to win the Heisman Trophy at 100-1. I don't hate it, but I will when he wins and I passed and missed the boat. The truth is, Cunningham missed two games to injury last season and split reps in two more. Had he thrown six more pass attempts and qualified, his passer rating would have been second in the country to only Joe Burrow. He led all returning 2020 quarterbacks with 11.4 yards per pass attempt last season. Watch out for this Cardinals offense in Year 2 under Scott Satterfield.
On the other side of the field, we get a Western Kentucky team with Maryland transfer Tyrrell Pigrome taking over the quarterbacking duties. I will never forget the Terps' opener against Texas in 2017 when Pigrome threw for 175 yards and rushed for 64 more before suffering an injury that would cost him his season. He still scored three touchdowns in the game, and Maryland ultimately pulled off the 51-41 upset. He had trouble solidifying his spot once he returned from injury in 2018, but a WKU offense that ranked top-30 in pass rate adding a dual threat in Pigrome is a match made in heaven. A Louisville defense that needs to improve after finishing the 2019 season ranked 112th in opponent yards per play and 81st in adjusted success rate is a good start for Pigrome and the Hilltoppers.
The total started moving up this week, and I think it could even reach 60s by kickoff. I still like it at 58 or better.
Pick: Over 57.5
UTEP Miners at No. 14 Texas Longhorns (-43, 58)
Walder: UTEP's 10-point win over Stephen F. Austin slightly lowered FPI's opinion of the Miners, who are now FPI's lowest-ranked team among schools that are playing this season. With quarterback Sam Ehlinger back and an experienced defense, our model is high on Texas. So high, in fact, that it predicts a win by over 53 points, more than 10 points beyond the spread. Disagreements that large with the line -- barring a QB injury -- are rare for FPI.
Pick: Texas -43
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UTSA Roadrunners at Texas State Bobcats (-7.5, 57)
Connelly: Last we saw Texas State, Jake Spavital's Bobcats were giving SMU far more trouble than expected in a 31-24 loss. With new quarterback Brady McBride, it's possible Texas State is a far tougher out this season, and it's possible it has taken a couple of steps beyond UTSA at the moment.
On the other hand, the Bobcats were outgained by 128 yards by SMU, and despite some Manzielian flashes, McBride posted only a 114.5 passer rating. The run game was excellent, and that might be enough to carry the day against a pretty poorly projected UTSA, but the Bobcats have beaten exactly one FBS opponent by more than seven points in their past 26 tries. I'm not ready to commit to them being good just yet, and neither is SP+ (projection: Texas State 30.2, UTSA 29.5).
Pick: UTSA +7.5
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Johnson: A theme to this unique season will be recognizing when teams are in COVID-19-related predicaments. It will likely be the case more often early in the season as certain schools haven't been able to practice nearly as often as others. UTSA falls under the umbrella this week.
Coach Jeff Traylor said Tuesday that 13 players missed practice because of positive antibody coronavirus test results. He referred to the entire season being one big contingency plan and that the Roadrunners now have to wait on a cardiologist to clear these players -- after they took an EKG test -- before they are allowed to play Saturday. Traylor also said there are other test results they are still waiting on.
As far as I could find, we don't know who these 13 players are or how significant a role they play for the Roadrunners. It can't be positive, regardless, as these guys are missing practices the week of a game against a Texas State squad that already has a game against SMU under its belt. By the way, the Bobcats looked pretty good considering they closed over three-touchdown underdogs and lost to the Mustangs only 31-24.
With the full game spread moving off of the key number of -7 for Texas State already, I prefer to go the first-half route now at -4 against a UTSA team taking its first snaps.
Pick: Texas State first half -4
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Arkansas State Red Wolves at Kansas State Wildcats (-10.5, 54)
Connelly: No idea how you could put together a point total for these two teams that's lower than UAB-Miami. Twelve of Arkansas State's 13 games last season topped 54 points (including a 55-0 shutout loss to Georgia!), and the Red Wolves' opening game of this season featured 61 points and 926 yards. Even with a plodding Kansas State offense replacing quite a few pieces, SP+ projects a 36-26 Wildcats victory -- a total a healthy touchdown above the Caesars line. That's enough of a cushion for me.
Pick: Over 54
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Hale: The Red Wolves shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in a frustrating loss to Memphis in Week 1, so there is reason to think they might have worked out the kinks. Just as likely, though, is that the fresh Power 5 team with more time to prepare will have a big advantage.
Pick: Kansas State -10.5
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UL Monroe Warhawks at Army Black Knights (-19.5, 54.5)
Johnson: This is another COVID-19-related angle that suits the Black Knights. ULM had to break camp for 11 days starting Aug. 21 after nine players tested positive earlier that week. Coach Matt Viator said the Warhawks will be playing several combinations of players at multiple positions because they just don't know where they are yet with the roster and depth chart. They look to be treating this game as a glorified scrimmage.
Army just blitzed a once-respectable Middle Tennessee team 42-0 in its season opener. The Black Knights looked as sharp as anybody I watched in Week 1. Now they're facing a ULM squad that doesn't know who is playing where yet, including at the quarterback position, and that just had to step away from practices for 11 days? Can I interest you in the BYU-Navy box score when the Midshipmen weren't prepared after taking safety precautions?
I expect Army to control this game from the get-go and have also played it in the first half against ULM's first snaps of the 2020 season.
Pick: Army first half -10
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Hale: The Black Knights are getting a bunch of love after whipping Middle Tennessee in Week 1, so at first blush, this line might be a bit inflated. But then remember that Louisiana-Monroe finished 128th against the run last season, allowed 39 points per game and teams that finished with a winning record averaged 48 per game. Good luck slowing down Army's option here.
Pick: Army -19.5
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Kezirian: I am easing into the season with only one official play (see below), but do have a lean for this matchup. Honestly, how can you not like the Army side? The Black Knicks blasted Middle Tennessee State in a game that reminded me of when we see only one school motivated for a bowl. As Preston indicated above, having a full game under your belt could prove to be a significant factor. Army will not let up on offense and I anticipate gash plays on the ground in the second half to cover this.
Pick: Lean Army -19.5
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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Florida State Seminoles (-12.5, 52.5)
Kezirian: Only one play for me this weekend, but I am oddly excited about it. I think FSU will improve under new coach Mike Norvell and it may even look that way in the opener. Quarterback James Blackman has upside and brings in decent experience but the offensive line issues will not be resolved overnight. Georgia Tech's defensive front is nothing special but it should be able to capitalize and disrupt the Seminoles' offense just enough. Tech is still transitioning from the triple-option in that coach Geoff Collins has several players recruited for an old system. I am not convinced that Tech can do much offensively in this one.
Pick: Under 52.5
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Hale: Geoff Collins doesn't put out a depth chart. Instead, the Yellow Jackets list the players "above the line" -- essentially the guys Collins thinks are ready to play. That list is a bit thin at some positions (four linebackers, five edge rushers), particularly given the expected heat and humidity in Tallahassee on Saturday. Add in that O-line was perhaps Georgia Tech's biggest weakness, and FSU's defensive front, led by Marvin Wilson, is one of the best in the nation.
Pick: Florida State -12.5
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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 6 days ago #523923

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College football is underway in 2020 and it's unlike any season we have had before. One thing is familiar: "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris "The Bear" Fallica breaking down games as only they can, offering their top bets, nuggets, games to stay away from as well as some futures on the season.
Here is your guide to Week 2 of the CFB season with the two college football analysts.
The plays

Thursday's game


UAB Blazers at Miami Hurricanes (-14, 54.5)

The Bear: Miami has been a brutal favorite lately (there are plenty of numbers on that below.) The biggest reason for those struggles has been the offense. In their past eight games as a TD favorite, the Canes have averaged 17.4 points. Enter QB D'Eriq King. King and new OC Rhett Lashlee could have a similar type effect on the Canes' offense that Joe Brady and Joe Burrow had on the LSU offense last year. I can see a lot of people on UAB but keep in mind when the Blazers have played Tennessee, Florida and Texas A&M the past three years, they allowed 36 PPG -- so I expect the Canes to put up a lot of points. However, I think UAB will get its share of points as well. Star DE Gregory Rousseau opted out, and the Canes have a few holes to fill at linebacker and in the secondary. I won't try and talk anyone who likes the 'dog off it, but I think over is a safer play.
Pick: Over 54.5
Saturday's games


Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Louisville Cardinals (-11.5, 57.5)

The Bear: This number seems a little low, considering Louisville put up 38 points on 415 yards last year against the Hilltoppers in a 38-21 win. That was also Micale Cunningham's fourth career start, so it's more than reasonable to expect at least that baseline of an offensive performance this year vs WKU, given the Cardinals have essentially all of their skill position players back. I expect WKU to put up its fair share of points on a team that gave up 33 PPG a year ago.
Pick: Over 57.5

Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at No. 23 Iowa State Cyclones (-11.5, 57)

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Stanford Steve: In a season where there is and will have so much unknown, it truly does feel like any other year the Bear and I have been asked to make picks. But this week brings us a common theme: double-digit underdogs!
Before the season started, I said I thought Iowa State could win the Big 12, and I still feel that away. But I cannot get out of my head the way the Cyclones started last season by almost losing to Northern Iowa from the FCS. In come the Ragin' Cajuns, who last year were a top-10 team nationally in offensive stats like total offense, scoring offense and yards per play, led by QB Levi Lewis' 26 TDs. I just think coach Billy Napier's team is getting too many points, so we'll take Louisiana.
Pick: Louisiana +11.5 (Iowa State 27, Louisiana 18)

Syracuse Orange at No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels (-23, 65.5)

The Bear: It has been a rough offseason for the Orange. They have opt-outs and injuries galore. Last year, Syracuse struggled all over the place. Injuries at quarterback and on the offensive line were a big part of it, but the team was not competitive in ACC play, as Syracuse was outgained by 124.6 YPG and allowed 33.6 PPG. Syracuse also gave up more than 40 points four times last year and now faces a team with a ton of expectations that will probably be better off than most this season because of the continuity at QB and on the sidelines. Laying 23 might seem like a steep price right off the bat in an unusual season, but it might not seem like enough come the end of the first quarter.
Pick: North Carolina -23

Arkansas State Red Wolves at Kansas State Wildcats (-10.5, 54)

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College football predictions, awards and storylines for every conference


Stanford Steve One of my favorite plays of the preseason was Kansas State over 5.5 wins, and in saying that, I feel as if the Wildcats are at a disadvantage this week against Arkansas State. The advantage that the Red Wolves have as they come into Manhattan is that they played last week and the Wildcats didn't. Coach Chris Klieman's squad must replace four starters on the offensive line, so I think it will take a little bit to get used to, continuity-wise. It's a totally different matchup than Memphis was last week for the Red Wolves, but I like the idea of getting all these points.
Pick: Arkansas State +10.5 (Kansas State 31, Arkansas State 23)

Duke Blue Devils at No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-20, 54)

The Bear: Sure, QB Chase Brice is in Durham to provide a boost to a Duke offense that struggled mightily in the second half of the season (the Blue Devils were 122nd nationally in offensive EPA). That's very un-David Cutcliffe like. Also very un-Cutcliffe like were the Blue Devils' struggles as an underdog last year, which I outline below. Notre Dame ran for 288 yards on almost seven yards per carry last year in a 38-7 win, and I'm not sure how much improvement there will be on the Duke defense, while the Irish offense probably will be better than last year. Notre Dame handled its business as a huge favorite last year, as the Irish were a 20-point favorite three times last year, winning those games 66-14, 52-0 and 40-7. I expect another blowout here.
Pick: Notre Dame -20

Charlotte 49ers at Appalachian State Mountaineers (-17, 59)

Stanford Steve & The Bear podcast

Stanford Steve and The Bear breakdown this week's slate of college football games and the difficulty in picking games this year with the unknown with COVID-19. Plus, the guys make picks for the NFL Survivor League. Listen!
Stanford Steve: These two teams squared off last year and the 49ers gave up 56 points to the Mountaineers -- but they did score 41. This year, I think Charlotte is a better team than it was last year, while I think App State needs a little time to figure out things defensively after losing some guys. We know the App State offense will be very good, but I think Will Healy's guys have enough to keep it closer than the experts think.
Pick: Charlotte +17 (App State 45, Charlotte 34)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Florida State Seminoles (-12.5, 54)

Stanford Steve: Just because I want to punish myself. Under the total! If it wins, we give another one next week.
Pick: Under 54 (Florida State 27, Georgia Tech 17)

Season play

Iowa State to win Big 12 (10-1)

The Bear I'm guessing many of you are aware of the ongoing battle between Fran Fraschilla and I to have a statue built in Ames, Iowa. But in case you aren't, I suggested the Cyclones could be a sleeper team to reach the CFP, which would require them to win the Big 12. And at 10-1, I'm certainly interested in that. Last year, Iowa State lost to three top-15 teams -- Baylor, Iowa and Oklahoma -- by a combined four points. The Cyclones also "found a way" to lose at home to Oklahoma State with three fourth-quarter interceptions, including a pick-six. They were that close to being 11-1 last year, despite being young at the running back and wide receiver positions. Iowa State should have one of the best defenses in the Big 12. All you need to do in the Big 12 is finish second to reach the title game. Last year at this time, who would have thought Baylor would be an overtime period away from reaching the CFP? There's no reason Iowa State isn't a candidate to make a Baylor-type run to the Big 12 title game this year.
Bear Bytes

Bettor Days

Hosted by Mike Greenberg, the series uses in-depth interviews and dramatic recreations to relive the wildest, saddest, funniest betting tales and their unexpected repercussions. Watch on ESPN+
Not a good favorite
Few teams have been as bad of a favorite lately as Miami. The Hurricanes are 5-12 ATS in their past 17 games as a favorite and 9-19 ATS in their past 28 games as a favorite. Miami has lost each of its past three games outright as a favorite and is just 6-10 outright in its last 16 games as a favorite.
Even worse, Miami has lost each of its past five games in which it was at least a 7-point favorite and failed to cover each of the past nine -- and is 2-14 ATS in the past 16 games as a favorite of at least seven points. The Canes have failed to cover each of the past five games in which they were a double-digit favorite, losing three straight on the field and are 2-10 ATS in the past 12 games as a double-digit favorite.
Kansas not a lock vs FCS
The Jayhawks are a 6-point favorite over Coastal Carolina. Last year, Kansas lost 12-7 to the Chanticleers as a 7-point favorite at home and beat FCS Nicholls State as an 11.5-point favorite, winning 24-17.
Don't sleep on Ragin' Cajuns
Louisiana played a Power 5 team tight last year, losing to favored Mississippi State 38-28 as an 18.5-point underdog.
Iowa State has been favored in 15 of its past 18 regular-season games. The only three teams the Cyclones have been an underdog against in that stretch are Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa. In its previous 18 games, Iowa State was a favorite only five times (Akron twice, Baylor, Kansas, Northern Iowa). Iowa State is just 2-7 ATS as a double-digit favorite since the start of 2018.
Been a long, long time
UNC was favored in seven of its last eight games to end 2019. The Tar Heels were favored seven times in the previous 28 games.


UNC is a 22-point favorite over Syracuse. UNC hasn't been this big of a favorite vs. an FBS opponent since Nov. 24, 2012, when the Tar Heels were a 24.5-point favorite vs. Maryland. That was 82 games ago.
Free Willie
Under Willie Taggart, FSU was 5-8 ATS as a favorite. FSU has lost each of its past three openers, the past two coming at home as at least a 6.5-point favorite. Georgia Tech's first ACC win last year came in the state of Florida as an 18.5-point 'dog at Miami, which was led by a first-year head coach in Manny Diaz. FSU has a first-year head coach this season as well.
Back to being bad 'dogs
Last year saw a bit of regression on the Cutcliffe-as-an-underdog run. Duke was 2-4-1 ATS last year as a 'dog and won outright twice in seven games. From 2013 to 2018, Duke was 27-10-1 ATS with 20 outright wins as an underdog
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Newsletters NFL Week 1 7 months 6 days ago #523928

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Scratch that Props not avail on twin bills 4 got about that too
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