Dave’s Free Play, Monday 12/29/14
The Chargers were in a must win situation against the Chiefs. The Ravens were in a must win spot against the Browns. The Texans had to win to have a playoff chance as they faced the Jaguars. And if you took the bait on those three “obvious” spots, you got nailed as none of the three covered.
The Chargers appeared to be in great shape, needing only to defeat a Kansas City team without its starting quarterback. Baltimore needed the Chargers to lose, but all they had to do was get by a Cleveland entry playing its practice squad QB. The Texans were going to have to get lots of help to keep playing, but they figured to be a snap against a bottom of the barrel Jacksonville team. Two of these three “must win” sides won outright, but they still went 0-3 the way we keep score here in Las Vegas.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dead set against playing teams that have to win a particular game. But if it’s a widely recognized spot, such as any of these three games were on Sunday, you’re going to be paying a severe premium in hopes of getting winners.
There’s no chiseling in granite when it comes to sports betting. Yesterday’s results should be a lesson learned and filed for future reference. Must win doesn’t mean will win, and it surely doesn’t mean will cover.
Okay Sunday here with a small overall profit, and a very healthy little roll taking place currently. I’m already on two of today’s bowl games and figure to add some baskets and pucks at some point during the day.
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Split on the Sunday free plays, with the Giants a fail against the Eagles, while Bowling Green got it done on the hardwood against South Florida. More college hoops as the Monday comp.
12/29 06:00 PM CBB (731) PEPPERDINE at (732) LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
Take: (731) PEPPERDINE pk
It’s the WCC opener tonight for Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Neither teams will be contending for league honors, but the league as a whole enjoyed a very prosperous non-conference run and there’s reason for optimism for both the Waves and Lions.
Loyola has a new coach and they’re probably going to be at or near the bottom of the league. But I think the Lions have a bright future with Mike Dunlap now in charge. He’s already doing some good things with a very young roster and with Dunlap’s connections, I’d look for this school to start attracting some okay talent over the next few seasons.
Pepperdine has shown itself to be pesky the past couple of seasons and I think they’ve got a chance to get as high as fourth place in the league this season. Marty Wilson has done a nice job taking the Waves from a scrap heap squad to respectability and this should be his best team yet.
Pepperdine is off a clunker, the worst game the Waves have played this season. Perhaps they were caught looking awed to conference play, as they really shouldn’t be losing home games to the likes of IUPUI.
But that loss could be a blessing disguise for tonight’s game. I would expect a focused effort from the visitors, and let’s also note that Loyola Marymount just spent several days in Hawaii with this being their first game back on the mainland.
The key tonight is how Pepperdine’s offense operates against what I expect will be a healthy dose of Loyola zone. The Waves have shooters who can force the Lions out of what I see as their preferred defense, but they clearly have to shoot better here than they did on Saturday.