Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 11/15/18

The condensed version of the blog tonight. Okay Wednesday result with a winner on the Miami RedHawks in college football, and a college hoops split with Nebraska hitting and Jacksonville State missing. The latter took a good deal of sharp action during the day but came up just short. Daily free plays have been doing well lately, and I'll go with the Thursday night NFL game for today's comp. Note this fell just short of being a personal service play. I needed Seahawks -2 and that's not available. Got to stay disciplined with the parameters, so I'll classify this one as a lean, but one that just missed being a play. PACKERS at SEAHAWKS Take: SEAHAWKS -3 Huge game for both Green Bay and Seattle. The winner remains in the hunt for a playoff spot. The loser is in big trouble. That seems hard to fathom on the Green Bay side. But the fact is they're 4-5-1 with a loss here and being under .500 through 10 games is not a good thing for a team trying to get to the postseason. As for ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 11/14/18

Whether or not it had anything to do with pressure from players on the Chiefs and Rams doesn't matter. The bottom line is that the Monday Night headline attraction between the two powerhouse entries has been moved to Los Angeles due to horrific field conditions at the stadium in Mexico City. This was a no brainer once the pictures of the field were published on social media. But there's the problem as I see it. If these photos don't go viral, I assume the game would have been played as scheduled on this chewed up field. The reality is the NFL dropped the ball on this one. There's no way this game should have still been slated for Mexico City until Tuesday. How did the NFL not know about the field condition? And if they did, and I honestly believe they did, then what the hell were they waiting for? This makes me think that if word hadn't leaked out, the players on the two teams would not have voiced their displeasure and we might have had a real issue come next Monday night. ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 11/13/18

I've arrived at a conclusion. That is, college basketball officiating is the most difficult job on the planet. I had previously thought it might be something along the lines of neurosurgeon or rocket scientist. But the truth is, those gigs are clearly child's play compared to college basketball officiating. The evidence is clear as day. The guys wearing the stripes in college hoop games get so many calls wrong, it's literally impossible to maintain an accurate accounting of the data in any one game. They not only get the calls wrong live, but they also get them wrong after viewing replays. So there you have it. Acting under the assumption that the best people available are working these games and the frequency of incorrect calls is at times staggering, the only conclusion is that the job is too difficult for any normal human being. 0-1 here on Monday with a college basketball loser on Jacksonville State. And yes, in case you're wondering the above editorial is directly ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 11/12/18

There are pros and cons to NFL situational analysis. The pros side showed up on Sunday in a big way on one game. That was the Patriots-Titans game. New England came in riding high, on a big winning streak and off a prime time win last Sunday over the Packers. The Pats were still minus the always important Rob Gronkowski and with the bye week coming up, this was a potential air out of the balloon spot. As for the Titans, they've already shown some gumption when playing perceived power teams. But there were a couple of bonuses here. Malcolm Butler, once a Patriots hero but relegated to the bench for last year's Super Bowl, was certainly in revenge mode. So was Dion Lewis, who in spite of a terrific 2017, got let go in the off season by the Pats and ended up signing with the Titans. Yes, this was a good spot to take the points with the Titans. And no, I didn't do so myself. In hindsight, I guess I should have, but it's always easy after the fact. Nevertheless, no denying this ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 11/11/18

The good news is I ended up a winner on Saturday. But this was one of the weirdest days I can remember as far my wagers were concerned. Here's a rundown of what took place. One thing I'm really good at is assessing the market in college football and knowing when to play. That worked out very well for me on Maryland and Boston College with a win and a push. But I misread the market on Florida Atlantic and bet the Owls at -19.5. It closed -17.5 and landed on 19. Loser. I got a good number on Iowa State but lost that by a hook as well. I won North Carolina on a back door score. I probably lost New Mexico on a really bad call on a fumble. Both my college basketball plays won, but they were nuts as well. Delaware was up 16 with about nine minutes left and ended up in overtime. They ended up winning but that got real dicey. Ball State played well enough to cover but looked like they wouldn't. That is, until they scored all the points in the final minute to lose by only 9. So ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 11/10/18

If you want a good example of the impact pressure can have on a team, the late Friday battle between Fresno State and Boise State was a pretty good illustration. This figured to be a good football game. Fresno State has played at a very high level all season but winning on the blue turf was never likely to be easy. But I think it's fair to offer that this clearly was not the Fresno State team we've seen all season. The Bulldogs looked very tight early on, drawing penalties that were very much out of character. They were actually kind of fortunate to not be down more than they were and eventually the Bulldogs began to get things together and took a one touchdown lead into the locker room at halftime. However, Fresno State was not good at all in the second half. They could not get untracked on offense and the staunch defense unraveled a bit when it mattered. The game went to the wire but when it was over, Boise State had the win and Fresno State's dream of getting that prestigi... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 11/9/18

Note that on evenings where there's a deep college basketball slate the next day, I'll generally just publish the daily free play. The lengthier blogs with some type of commentary will usually be when the next day's slate is a little less time consuming on the homework front. With that in mind, I'l head right to the Friday free play. This one is not on my card yet but I am still considering adding it. At the very least, it's a solid lean. FRESNO STATE at BOISE STATE Take: FRESNO STATE -2.5 Major showdown in the Mountain West as Fresno State looks to stay red hot on the blue turf at Boise. This figures to be a terrific game that could go either way. But I agree the Bulldogs rate the favorite's role. Fresno has an overall edge in talent, and perhaps a bigger advantage in the coaching department. I honestly that Jeff Tedford was the 2017 Coach of the Year. Obviously, he had no chance of winning that award as no one from the Mountain West will ever get enough national recogn... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 11/8/18

It's the end of an era in Chicago. Joel Quenneville is out as the head coach of the Blackhawks. All good things have to end eventually and the Hawks decided that the first step in what figures to be a major overhaul was a change behind the bench. Quenneville will only be unemployed for as long he wants to be unemployed. He's very likely to be right at the top of the wish list of any other team considering a change. St. Louis could well be the next destination for Quenneville. Let's face it, Mike Yeo is on very thin ice right now. The fact Q is now available might expedite matters. Regardless of whether it's the Blues or someone else, there would seem to be almost no question Quenneville's services will be in demand someplace and likely before much time passes. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have turned to Jeremy Colliton. He's a clear signal the Blackhawks are going to go younger in a hurry and the first move is the youthful, energetic and very confident Colliton. He's not likely to ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 11/7/18

This will be a quick blog, as I've spent the entire evening watching NHL and college basketball. That means I've yet to check out what took place with the voting both here in Nevada and nationally, so that's next on my agenda. Not much good to say about my Tuesday as far as the betting results are concerned. After what has been a monster run over the past three weeks or so, I finally had a rough day. 0-2 NHL on a pair of underdogs and a disappointing 1-3 on college basketball's opening night. Just one of those days, and I intend to get right back in the black on Wednesday. The free play today will be one of my Saturday college football plays. I got a better number on this game playing it Tuesday morning but it's still playable at the current tag. MARTLAND at INDIANA Take: MARYLAND +2 I'm giving Maryland the benefit of the doubt here. The Terrapins got roasted by Michigan State, but last week was incredibly turbulent thanks to the off the field stuff and the team was ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 11/6/18

Do the Dallas Cowboys realize it's 2018? I didn't watch the entire Monday night game against the Tennessee Titans. But from what I did witness, this team is running an offense straight out of the archives. Talk about predictable. One does not have to be a football guru to comprehend the simple fact that if the defense has a really good idea of what the opposing offense is going to try to do on most plays, it's advantage defense in a pretty big way. Cowboy Nation has targets galore to wag its collective fingers at. Start with the owner and work down the ladder from there. Safe to say there's blame galore in play here. Meanwhile, the Cowboys will apparently continue to just tread water as nothing more than a middle of the pack team that doesn't excite anyone anymore. Yawn. I went 2-0 on Monday with an OT win on the Bruins and a shootout victory with the Canadiens. You gotta know things are good when I'm winning games that g past regulation. I'm ahead roughly 20 net units ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 11/5/18

It's not just the fact he's coached five Super Bowl champions. If you want to know why Bill Belichick is very likely the best NFL coach of all time, the Sunday night 31-17 Patriots win over the Packers was a prime illustration. I'll point to a pair of sequences that were vintage Belichick. The opening New England drive was sheer perfection. The Patriots never made a substitution as they rolled down the field at warp speed and put a very quick touchdown on the board. This was clearly a series of scripted plays, with the only exception a short Tom Brady QB sneak. But everything else had already been game planned. The Packers could not make any situational substitutions. The execution by Brady and the other ten Pats on the field was brilliant. But the bottom line is that was a superbly conceived opening series game plan and that's pure Belichick. The other sequence was late in the game with the Patriots leading 24-17. Teams normally milk the clock and look to protect their leads. ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 11/4/18

It's going to be another very solid Saturday for me in college football. But as I have a tendency to bitch about games I feel I should have won, I'll mention one of the games that didn't. The good news is that I played Liberty early in the week and got the Flames at +3 -120. So that ends up a push as UMass ended up winning by three in triple overtime. What has me ranting is the decision by Liberty in the second overtime. They scored to get within one at 59-58. I was almost positive the Flames would try to win it right there by going for two. After all, the defense had wilted badly down the stretch in regulation as the Flames coughed up a 45-31 lead. The Minutemen were past the 700 yard mark in total offense. In other not so delicate words, the coach HAD to know his defense wasn't stopping UMass. It's an easy call. You go for two. He didn't. He went the gutless route. Game over as UMass got a turnover in the third OT and kicked a field goal to win the game. In case you ... More