Quite the comeback by the LA Chargers in what turned out to be a thrilling Thursday night NFL game. The Chargers pretty much transformed the seeding for the AFC playoffs from a potential done deal to what is now a wide open down the stretch chase.
Big kudos to Philip Rivers for leading the spectacular rally and there's no question his late heroics created absolute havoc for both spread and total bettors. A whole lotta money changed hands with that late touchdown. From the books point of view, they'd have loved a failed two-point conversion at the finish. A KC win and LA cover would have been champagne for the house. Instead, the money line Chargers bettors got paid. And significantly, so did the Over bettors.
Unfortunately, much of the postgame discussion was focused on the yet again terrible officiating. I've come to the conclusion the league simply doesn't care. So neither do I. I'll just have to hope I get the bulk of the bad calls in my favor.
Nice 2-0 sweep here on ...
Digging into local newspaper pieces tonight for all the college teams getting prepped for their bowl games. I already found something that has convinced me to take a strong stance against one particular team. Anyway, the homework takes precedence over coming up with an editorial piece in this blog, so I'll just get right to the daily free play.
I'm now on three of this Saturday bowls. One of those plays is the Camellia Bowl, and I'll make that today's free play and this week's free college football selection.
EASTERN MICHIGAN vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Take: EASTERN MICHIGAN +2.5
Definitely not a perfect play, as Georgia Southern owns a decided rushing stats edge on both sides of the ball and I generally don't like going against those types in bowls. But there are some things I like more on the EMU side and I've decided to go ahead and take EMU here.
First off, I think they're a little better football team than Georgia Southern. On the projections, I've got ...
The anticipation is over. In what was a totally expected development, the city of Oakland has filed lawsuits in federal court against the Raiders and the NFL over the franchise leaving Oakland for the greener pastures here in the Las Vegas desert.
I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not even remotely qualified to comment on the merits of the lawsuit. From a common sense standpoint, Oakland wouldn't seem to have a leg to stand on. But that's not necessarily how lawsuits are won or lost, so I have no idea what takes place in the courtroom.
What is apparent is that there's now a very good chance that the Christmas Eve home game against the Denver Broncos will be the last one the Raiders ever play in Oakland. While he's softened his stance a little bit, team owner Mark Davis was earlier adamant the team would find a temporary home if the city sued, and now they've done so.
I see five possible temp locations for the Raiders until the new stadium here in Las Vegas is ready. In no particular ...
Only three weeks remain in the NFL regular season. That means it's stretch run time to qualify for the playoffs. That also means it's doom and gloom time for teams that have struggled recently and are now being met with ridicule and scorn by the masses.
I'm not so quick to press the "all done" button. The best rule for bettors is to never put too much emphasis on what was just seen. While the talking heads on TV and the fans are kicking the Steelers and Vikings to the curb, I'm at the very least in the devil's advocate category to some extent.
This is strictly in the for what it's worth realm. I'm way more concerned with what will happen this coming week as opposed to what the final regular season standings will look like. But for those who might be curious, here are the 12 teams I have making it to the pose season.
NFC: Saints, Rams, Bears, Cowboys, Seahawks, Vikings
AFC: Chiefs, Texans, Patriots, Steelers, Chargers, Dolphins
I am 100% sure there will be ample disagr...
An interesting thing happened at dinner on Sunday evening. I decided to dine at a location where I knew I would have a really good view of both the NFL game between the Rams and Bears as well as the NHL hookup between Dallas and the Golden Knights.
So there I was enjoying some chicken saltimbocca and someone I had never met decided to try and pick my brain on the art of handicapping sports.
I didn't mind the intrusion. I was still going to keep most of my attention fixated on the two games. So for the most part, this was like a typical phone conversation with one of my former girlfriends. She did all the talking and I contributed an occasional "uh-huh" or something along those lines.
The problem here is that the individual persisted after it was clear that I really did not have any real information to share with him. Not that I'm protective of how I go about my daily process, I'm not. But I really don't have the ability to convey these thoughts in any fashion that will ...
The always lengthy Saturday is now complete. Wrap-up with this quick blog entry. Saturday recap first, turned out to be a mildly profitable day. Officially 3-2-2 overall. The Army push might have been a winner for some subscribers, likewise the Colorado hoops push. I unfortunately played the Buffs at -12 last night and got bit as the line dropped quickly in the morning. So I suspect a good number of my players ended up winning that one. But at worst, a +0.8 day and the NHL stuff is absolutely sizzling.
To get my Bowl Bonanza, which covers all the bowls, buy at the Cokin's Picks menu to the right of the page. I'll be posting an offer for all sports through the Super Bowl once the bowls are underway, but in the meantime, if interested, shoot me an email at email@example.com for rates and info.
The Saturday free play won again as BYU took care of Utah. That was a personal service play. Today's comp is just a lean. I have two NFL games and one CBB (one of the NFL's was posted here ...
My usual abbreviated late Friday/Saturday blog. I split two plays on Friday. Another NHL winner as Edmonton blew out Mnnesota. The CBB play missed as NC Greensboro barely got past Elon and failed to cover as chalk.
Today's lineup will include four college basketball selections, the Army-Navy game plus whatever I come up with in the morning on the ice. My Bowl Bonanza, which covers all the bowl games, is available on the Cokin's Picks menu to the right of the page. To get all plays in all sports, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the info.
Here's the Saturday free play, which is one of my four CBB plays on the card.
797 BYU vs. 798 UTAH
Take: BYU -4
The basketball version of the Holy War. I think BYU has an arrow up right now with the return of Nick Emery, who logged his first 19 minutes of the season in the Utah State game. No coincidence at all the Cougars played their best game to date in blowing out what was a very hot Utah State squad. There's always concern ...
Sad news for baseball fans. Luis Valbuena, the well traveled but always popular utility player, has reportedly passed away in an auto accident. Valbuena and former big leaguer Jose Castillo perished in Venezuela where they were playing winter ball. The two were passengers in a car that evidently hit a rock and veered off the road.
Valbuena was an absolute hoot to watch. He was one of those guys who was looking to launch the baseball with every swing. He sure wasn't going to win any batting titles, but when Valbuena got hold of one, it generally left the stadium very quickly and was often followed by an epic bat flip.
In fact, Valbuena didn't need to hit a long ball to flip his bat. I once saw him do it after drawing a walk. He wasn't a superstar by any stretch, but I always enjoyed watching Luis Valbuena play the game. He was clearly having fun and that made him very enjoyable to me.
RIP Luis Valbuena and thanks for the smiles over the years.
I played the Jaguars on ...
This won't get much attention, but the San Jose Sharks just did something highly unusual. The Sharks didn't make any personnel changes on their coaching staff. But what they did was flip some of the assignments among the assistants. Eye in the sky guy now behind the bench, the coach working with the forwards is now working with the defensemen, etc.
This is outside the box thinking. But I really like the idea. The Sharks have been a little bit on the stale side the way I see it. Not terrible by any means, but very ordinary. I'd call this tact a good move by the organization to inject some life into the team by creating some new looks.
Maybe it's a quick fix, but sometimes that's all it takes to jump start a team. The Sharks certainly looked good in a Wednesday win against Carolina and I would not be surprised if San Jose gets on a little run moving forward. Keep an eye on the Sharks!
2-0 Wednesday on my stuff, and this time it was very easy. Arkansas manhandled Colorado ...
Quick blog tonight, as I'm still researching the thick Wednesday college basketball schedule. My routine is to make my projections for each game and then start digging in online to find out what I can, especially on games where my numbers indicate a possible play.
Tuesday was okay with the only play being Furman, which I also posted here as the daily free play. I had a hockey lean on Calgary but ended up passing that one. The Flames ended up winning a ridiculous 9-6 game at Columbus after trailing 4-1 early in the second period. No play, but I'm still pleased with the result as the stronger my projections perform, the more likely I am to start expanding the NHL cards.
Two bowls have been played thus far but lots more to come. The Bowl Bonanza gets all the bowl plays, plus some analysis on all the other games as well. Note this is only for the college football. Purchase via the Cokin's Picks menu to the right of the page. If you want all my plays for that time frame (through the ...
40 bowls in 40 minutes!
That's a tease for the Tuesday edition of The Las Vegas Sportsline. Marco D'Angelo and I will be doing quick hits on each of the 40 bowl games. Actually, there are 41 but we're skipping the Celebration Bowl between Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T. I know less than nothing about those two programs, and besides, it's going to be a helluva challenge to get through the 80 teams Marco and I know something about.
Listen to the show live from 2-3 Pacific time on ESPN Las Vegas. Online feed is at lvsportsnetwork.com.
0-1 on Monday as the Oilers sans McDavid came up short at Dallas. Meanwhile, I've sent my first two bowl plays out to subscribers, with more to come shortly. Get the Bowl Bonanza at the Cokin's picks menu the to the right of the page. If you're interested in getting all my plays across the board, which would also include CBB, NHL and NFL (not doing the NBA), shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Here's the Tuesday free play.
Mike McCarthy is out as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. I don't think there was much question the team would likely be making a change after the season, assuming the Packers failed to make the playoffs. The shockwaves are due to the fact McCarthy was unceremoniously dumped following Green Bay's loss on Sunday to the lowly Cardinals.
The one consistent argument I'm hearing regarding this move is that it showed a lack of respect for a head coach that guided the Packers to a Super Bowl title and several playoff appearances. I'll agree it's probably not the most ideal way to get the axe.
But this is professional sports and I guess I'm not buying the timing being a big deal. Getting fired is getting fired. The Packers absolutely mailed it in against the Cardinals. They were unfocused for the entire 60 minutes and lost as favorites of roughly two touchdowns to what might be the worst team in the league.
So, to me, there are two choices. Keep McCarthy around to serve as a ...