10 Things About NFL’s First 8 Weeks ; NBA Futures Bets ; NBA Prop Outlook

nfl ref

Top 10 Things We Learned from the First 8 Weeks of the NFL Season

By: Tony George – tonygeorgesports.com
Far and away my worst weekend of professional capping in recent memory, including Saturday. As I watched in amazement at the Jeckyl and Hyde faces of each NFL team in numerous games on Sunday, I simply scratched my head in amazement as one team looked like a complete 180 from what I saw that team do the week before. A perfect example was the Indianapolis Colts defense, who shut down a great Baltimore team on offense, to the point they looked like a mid level college team on Sunday on defense, and allowed the Steelers whose play caller Todd Haley, who is one of the worst OC’s in the biz, 50+ points and Big Ben 6 TD’s and over 500 yards through the air. The Indy defense is just way overrated and a total joke against the pass. They are playoff bound, however, their division stinks to high heaven

My LVH Super Contest Picks went 0-5 for the first time ever, and I just was floored by the play of various teams in an 0-3 premium play effort, it happens from time to time where you get your butt handed to you, but Sunday was ugly for a lot of sharp bettors and cappers alike. In an era where the NFL has changed its rules to cater to the Fantasy Sports genre, it has changed the game so much that the standard of running the ball and having a great defense to carry a team to the promised land are over. It also is altering dramatically the old tried and ture methods of handicapping the NFL. It is Arena league football glorified, and lower volume and totals plays is the focus of my capping approach moving forward in the near future.

Here are the top ten things I learned from the first 8 weeks:

1. The referees are controlling outcome of games more than ever – not good for handicappers.

2. The NFL catering to the Fantasy Sports geeks has reduced the NFL to the Arena Football League – 5 Teams over 50 points in one Sunday?

3. The Arizona Cardinals are for real even though stats and rankings do not support them, cannot argue 6-1.

4. The AFC North is the toughest and most unpredictable division in football – Cincinnati is as bad as Pittsburgh in trying to predict who shows up weekly and No One can figure out the Steelers – Unpredictable team.

5. If you wrote Kansas City off early, think again, Least amount of points allowed in the NFL to date at 128 (they did have a bye week). Dynamic offense and Tight End Kelce, the next Gronk or Graham. Running game one of the best in the NFL and QB Smith more than capable.

6. The Raiders and Jets are flat out horrible teams, fade material. I would take points with Jax before either one of these teams on wagers. The Titans are vying for the one of the worst teams in the NFL, and for sure the worst QB roster in the NFL.

7. Denver is the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl – Unstoppable offense – Peyton Manning at his peak – A Machine on offense now with a running game.

8. The Lions find ways to win ugly but currently they look to win the division – Best Defense there.

9. The Seahawks are an average team, and without Wilson’s scrambling ability would have a losing record.

10. You can buy the Saints at home, the road games I am not sold until they win one, next chance Thursday.

Bonus Observation:

The Bears defense – what defense? Deplorable effort all season, Sunday was ugly. QB Cutler is not bankable, shades of Jeff George or a reincarnation of him.

Tony George Sports features a Murderers row of Legit Cappers GUARANTEED Premium Plays are available at tonygeorgesports.com Check out Tony George on Yahoo Sports Radio every Sat – Sun 11am to 12 Noon EST on his show.

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clippers

NBA Futures – Best Bets

By ASA

NBA Finals “Longshot” – Los Angeles Clippers

According to oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag, the Clippers have the fifth-best odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship behind the Cavs, Spurs, Bulls, and Thunder.

There are plenty of concerns among the four teams ahead of the Clippers and questions that need to be answered. How will the Cavs mesh in the first year with three superstars?

Will Derrick Rose be the player he was three years ago?

How will the Thunder respond without Durant in the lineup for an extended period?

Will the Spurs finally start to slow down with an aging roster?

While those answers aren’t clear at this time, it’s fair to say that Los Angeles is the only squad without major questions surrounding the team heading into the season.

They ended 2013 as the third best team in the West last year, finishing five games behind San Antonio and two games behind OKC.

The Clippers were one of the favorites to compete for the 2013 NBA Finals once the playoffs began and they were headed in the right direction, up 2-1 against the Warriors in the 1st Round, when the Donald Sterling controversy came to light. The media storm surrounding Sterling was inescapable for the team, the league, and its fans. The emotional fallout forced the LAC-GS series to go longer than necessary and took its toll on the team.

Even then, the Clippers survived the Warriors in seven games and were right there with OKC in the 2nd Round. LAC won Game 1 and with the series tied at 2-2, OKC squeaked out a home win, 105-104, shifting the series momentum in the Thunder’s favor.

They entered the offseason not knowing who their owner would be or what kind of drastic measures it might take to get away from Sterling. Ultimately the Clippers truly grew closer over the course of last season and the offseason and chemistry wise, the Clippers have never been better.

There weren’t a ton of improvements to be made on last year’s roster, but the Clips did a nice job of upgrading their bench. They brought in Jordan Farmar to replace Darren Collison as the backup point guard. Farmar is an underrated shooter and can run the offense off the bench. He’s a great fit with this roster and is an upgrade over what Collison brought to the table in 2013.

LAC also brought back Glen Davis and acquired Spencer Hawes to solidify the frontcourt depth. Hawes can function as a rebounder and can spread the floor as a stretch 4/5, and will be a nice change of pace from DeAndre Jordan.

LAC, in the second year under proven head coach Doc Rivers, will be better than last year’s version and are a great under-the-radar bet to win the 2014 NBA Finals.

OVER 32.5 Wins – Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have the biggest change in win totals from last season, when they were slated to win 54.5 games, to this season, where they are slated to win just 32.5 and finish nine games below .500. The 22-game difference can be attributed to the fact that Indiana lost its two best offensive players in the offseason when Lance Stephenson left in free agency and when Paul George suffered a broken leg while participating on Team USA in the FIBA World Cup.

The offense will struggle without Stephenson or George in the lineup, but the defense will allow them to compete. Frank Vogel’s squad has had one of the top defensive systems in the NBA over the last few seasons, a system will be even more defense-oriented in 2014.

The Pacers of 2014 will resemble that of the Chicago Bulls sans Derrick Rose in the lineup. The Rose-less Bulls of 2012 & 2013 were slow (4th slowest pace in ’12, 2nd slowest in ’13), bad offensively (last in PPG in ’12 & ’13), and great defensively (3rd in PPG allowed in ’12, 1st in PPG allowed in ’13).

Chicago finished with 48 wins in 2013 and 45 in 2012. Expect that Indiana will use a similar formula in 2014 that will allow them to compete for a playoff spot in a subpar Eastern Conference.

Don’t expect the Pacers to fall too far and take Indiana to win OVER 32.5 games.

UNDER 48.5 Wins – Portland Trailblazers

Last season the young Blazers rode a red hot 22-4 start to the season to a playoff berth and an overall record of 54-28 in the regular season. It was a remarkable turnaround for the Blazers who had won just 61 total games in the previous season.

In fact, the 21 more wins they had last season compared to the previous season was the biggest turnaround in the NBA last season. A big reason for Portland’s success last season was the fact they had the second fewest lost minutes (injuries) by starters for the year.

The Blazers won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season and of course they play in the much tougher Western Conference. Interestingly enough, of the Blazers 54 regular season wins last season, 23 came by 7-points or less so obviously when a few of those games don’t go their way this season they won’t threaten their win total of 48.5 games.

Don’t get me wrong we love the young Blazers roster with LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard, Wesley Mathews and Robin Lopez but we don’t expect a team that was 19th in defensive efficiency allowing 1.043 points per possession last season to finish with 50+ wins.

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jabari parker

2014-15 Props Outlook

By Tony Mejia
VegasInsider.com
With the NBA regular season set to tip, time to get your futures in is running out. Publicist Jimmy Shapiro has dropped all of Bovada.lv’s many available options this week, so I’ll strap on my Halloween costume early — there’s a Santa cap involved — and supply a bunch of treats into your goodie bags. You didn’t even have to dress up and ring my doorbell.
2014-15 Rookie of the Year

Favorites: Jabari Parker (MIL) 5/2, Andrew Wiggins (MIN) 15/4, Nerlens Noel (PHI) 11/2, Julius Randle (LAL) 7/1, Doug McDermott (CHI) 9/1

Solid options: Marcus Smart (BOS) 12/1, Elfrid Payton (ORL) 15/1

Top longshots: Shabazz Napier (MIA) 30/1, Cleanthony Early (NYK) 30/1, Kostas Papanikolaou (HOU) 50/1, Adreian Payne (ATL) 55/1, K.J. McDaniels (PHI) 65/1, Mitch McGary (OKC) 65/1

Bank on: Parker is the choice here. He’ll get the most opportunities to be the primary catalyst, which helped last year’s winner, Michael Carter-Williams, run away from the rest of a fairly weak crop. Philadelphia’s Noel would be my second choice, but he’ll have ups and downs with foul trouble that could derail him. Boston’s Smart and Orlando’s Payton could pay huge dividends since both should get long leashes and will defend from Day 1.

2014-15 Coach of the Year

Favorites: Gregg Popovich (SA) 3/1, David Blatt (CLE) 9/2, Tom Thibodeau (CHI) 7/1, Doc Rivers (LAC) 10/1, Steve Kerr (GSW) 10/1

Solid options: Jeff Hornacek (PHX) 12/1, Rick Carlisle (DAL) 15/1, Dwane Casey (TOR) 15/1, Steve Clifford (CHA) 20/1, Terry Stotts (POR) 20/1

Top longshots: Erik Spoelstra (MIA) 35/1, Monty Williams (NO) 35/1, Lionel Hollins (BKN) 35/1, Randy Wittman (WAS) 45/1, David Joerger (MEM) 100/1

Bank on: I’d definitely fade Pop and Blatt since expectations are so high. Thibodeau and Rivers coach the teams I’m projecting to finish with the top records in their respective conferences, so your choice should be one of those two. I don’t believe the Heat will fall flat, so backing Spo to rally the troops at a handsome rate wouldn’t be a bad investment. Wittman can also win that Southeast Division if injury-prone key pieces Nene and Bradley Beal can hang around. To his credit, he’s improved as a strategist over the past two seasons.

2014-15 Points per game leader

Favorites: Kevin Durant (OKC) 3/2, Carmelo Anthony (NY) 2/1, LeBron James (CLE) 11/4, James Harden (HOU) 13/2, Russell Westbrook (OAK) 12/1

Solid options: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 25/1, Blake Griffin (LAC) 25/1

Top longshots: Derrick Rose (CHI) 40/1, LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 40/1, Anthony Davis (NOP) 40/1, DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 60/1, Jabari Parker (MIL) 250/1

Bank on: Melo. He’ll only double your money, but with Durant likely requiring an adjustment period upon his return from foot surgery and Westbrook sure to see a dip when that occurs, Anthony is a heavy favorite. James is going to share the rock in an attempt to make the game easier for his new teammates, while Harden will have to feed Dwight Howard to keep him happy. Every name listed in the other column above has a great shot at a top-three spot, but I don’t see anybody getting to 30 per game. Bryant is most likely to make a determined run at it, because of course he is. The rookie at 250-to-1? Fun. It’s highly unlikely, but he can put the ball in the basket.

2014-15 Rebounds per game leader

Favorites: Andre Drummond (DET) 9/5, DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 2/1, Dwight Howard (HOU) 4/1, Kevin Love (CLE) 5/1, DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 14/1

Solid options: Nikola Vucevic (ORL) 16/1, Joakim Noah (CHI) 20/1

Top longshots: Omer Asik (NOP) 30/1, LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 30/1, Anthony Davis (NOP) 30/1, Al Jefferson (CHA) 35/1, Blake Griffin (LAC) 50/1

Bank on: Drummond and Howard may be two of the NBA’s worst free-throw shooters, but they’re beasts on the boards, physically imposing their will on a nightly basis. Howard looks 100 percent and stronger than ever, so since he has less glass-eating competition than Drummond on his own team, we’ll ride with him. Vucevic replaced him in Orlando, just got extended and really likes to get after it, so he’d be a strong play if you want to take a shot. Elite rebounders Asik and Davis will affect one another’s production in New Orleans, which is why the odds on them appear so attractive.

2014-15 Assists per game leader

Favorites: Chris Paul (LAC) 2/3, Rajon Rondo (BOS) 2/1, John Wall (WAS) 8/1

Solid options: Ricky Rubio (MIN) 14/1, Ty Lawson (DEN) 16/1

Top longshots: Kyle Lowry (TOR) 40/1, Deron Williams (BKN) 40/1, Jrue Holiday (NOP) 40/1, Derrick Rose (CHI) 40/1, Michael Carter-Williams (PHI) 50/1

Bank on: Paul is the favorite for a reason. He’ll take the assists title if he stays healthy, but we’ll give you a couple of guys with more favorable odds to get behind. Lawson won his battle with Brian Shaw to play at an increased tempo last year and should do his best to keep teammates happy by pushing the pace and distributing. Lowry is another point guard coming into his own that could challenge if he continues improving and becoming more efficient.

Props to Bet

Will Kobe score 50 points in any single regular-season game? Yes +1000 (10/1), No -2000 (1/20)

Bank on: Sure, take a shot. It’s probably on his mental to-do list. Wishful thinking? Not necessarily. I’ve heard he’s done it before.

Will Rajon Rondo get traded during the 2014-2015 season? Yes -175 (7/4), No +125 (5/4)

Bank on: He’ll be a free agent at season’s end and is rushing back to try and make Boston’s opener. Odds are he’ll be wearing multiple uniforms since a suitor will likely pounce with an offer Danny Ainge signs off on well before the trade deadline.

Will Josh Smith get traded during the 2014-2015 season? Yes EVEN (1/1), No -140 (5/7)

Bank on: He’s due $14 million annually through 2017. Unless Stan Van Gundy is willing to take on someone else’s problem, odds are he’ll try and rein in J-Smoove’s shot selection and live with a headache capable of defending at a high level. He stays.

How many Cavaliers will be starters in the 2015 All Star Game? Over 2.5 -250 (2/5), Under 2.5 +175 (7/4)

Bank on: LeBron and Love are locks, sure to team with Carmelo Anthony in the East frontcourt. The backcourt is where this will be decided. I’d take a shot that fans vote for Rose, Wade and Wall enough to make Kyrie Irving sweat this out. Irving finished behind Wade last year with over 860,000 votes, more than double the output of Wall. Rose should be the leading vote-getter at guard if he stays healthy.

Who will start more games? Anderson Varejao (CLE) -160 (5/8), Tristan Thompson (CLE) +120 (6/5)

Bank on: Varejao played in 65 games last season, but participated in just 81 of 246 possible games from 2010-13. He’ll start Game 1, but my money is on Thompson making more starts when all is said and done.

Will any Spurs player average 30 regular-season minutes per game or more? Yes -200 (1/2), No +150 (3/2)

Bank on: Keep in mind that nobody did it last season, since Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard were all over 29, but under 29.5. Still, the likelihood is that the 22-year-old Leonard emerges as an even larger piece, topping the 30-minute mark. Parker might even get back over the hurdle, since last year marked his lowest mpg clip since his rookie season. Duncan has only topped 30 once in the last four years.

Which splash brother will have the highest regular-season 3-PT shooting pct. during the 2014-2015 Regular Season? Stephen Curry -130 (10/13), Klay Thompson EVEN (1/1)

Bank on: Wouldn’t touch this one. Curry has been tops between the duo three years running, but last season, the gap narrowed to .424-.417. With Kerr on board, this looks like a coin flip worth avoiding.

Will the Brooklyn Nets be sold during the 2014-2015 Regular Season? Yes +400 (4/1) No -600 (1/6)

Bank on: The Nets bled money last season, losing $131 million more than any other team according to Grantland, but Mikhail Prokhorov knows he’s in an amazing market at a time where NBA franchises have never been more valuable. It will truly take an offer he can’t refuse for him to sell. Ride no.

Will Kevin Garnett play in NBA game in the 2015-2016 Season? Yes +125 (5/4), No -175 (4/7)

Bank on: This is it for the future Hall of Famer we used to call “the Kid.” Now 38 years old and in his 20th year of service, he’s playing out the final year of a contract paying $12 million and is too proud to return for a fraction of that even if he did have another season in him. No is the rightful favorite, well worth the juice.

Will Andrew Wiggins participate in the 2015 Slam Dunk contest? Yes +200 (2/1), No -300 (1/3)

Bank on: The hope is that he will, but even at 2-to-1, there are too many moving parts to like this at all.

Will Wiggins win the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest? Yes +600 (6/1), No -1000 (1/6)

Bank on: The Magic 8 ball says, “better not tell you now.” Piece of junk.

How many regular season games will Derrick Rose play? Over/Under: 68.5

Bank on: He’s already playing back-to-backs, so I don’t see him taking too many nights off. The Bulls have 19 sets of games on consecutive days, so even if he misses half of those, he’d still top this number. Add in a game or two for an ankle sprain, consider the fact his head coach is Tom Thibodeau and I like him getting in at least 70. Wouldn’t touch this, but the optimistic over is my hopeful call here.

How many regular season games will Dwyane Wade play? Over/Under: 70.5

Bank on: Miami has the fewest back-to-backs, playing just 16, and while we will probably some Wade “maintenance” this season, he’s a proud guy looking for a special bounce-back season for obvious reasons. While few who have watched him closely the past few years would be comfortable going over, I’ll leave this one alone by saying I wouldn’t feel confident going under either.

How many regular season games will Andrew Bogut play? Over/Under: 70.5

Bank on: He’s looked spry in the preseason, but he’s 7-feet tall and never shies away from contact. He started 67 times in 2013-14, but hasn’t played more than 70 regular-season games since 2007-08. Considering he’s only done it twice in nine seasons and turns 30 years old on Nov. 28, the under is a lock.

Will Minnesota rookie Zach LaVine participate in the 2015 Slam Dunk contest? Yes -140 (5/7), No EVEN (1/1)

Bank on: The young UCLA product will have a better shot if Wiggins passes, but I’m with the 8 ball here. “Cannot predict now.” Seriously? “Ask again later.”

Which young Sacramento wing will have the higher regular-season scoring average? Ben McLemore EVEN (1/1), Nik Stauskas -140 (5/7)

Bank on: McLemore averaged just 8.8 points as a rookie, but scored in double-figures in his final five games, dropping a career-high 31 points on the Suns in the regular-season finale. He and Stauskas may end up splitting minutes, but I think he’ll nip the Canadian rookie long-range threat to help cash a neat prop.

 

 

 

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