Battle of the Rookies

October 29, 2011

On Sunday October 30th the Minnesota Vikings visit the Carolina Panthers. Leading the Panthers offense will be Cam Newton and leading the Vikings offense will be Christian Ponder. The battle of these two talented rookies will surely produce an exciting game.

Cam Newton (who I am now referring to as the LeBron James of football) has been the Panthers starter since game 1 of the 2011 season. He has put up very impressive stats so far for a rookie quarterback:

  • Week 1: 24-37, 422 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 2: 28-46, 432 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
  • Week 3: 18-34, 158 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
  • Week 4: 27-46, 374 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 5: 16-31, 224 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
  • Week 6: 21-35, 237 yds, 0 TD, 3 INT
  • Week 7: 18-23, 256 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

However stats do not translate into wins; as the Panthers currently sit at a record of 2 and 5. The Panthers have to be excited about the potential that Cam Newton is showing though. He will definitely give the Vikings all they can handle this Sunday.

Christian Ponder on the other hand did not get his first start until week 6 when he replaced Donovan McNabb. His stats have not been as glamorous as Newton’s but the Vikings are sticking with him to see what he can do for them now and the future.

  • Week 6: 9-17, 99 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • Week 7: 13-32, 219 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT

The battle with these two first-round picks will be an interesting look at the future stars of the league.

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Moving Day

October 28, 2011

Week 9 in college football features a lot of head-to-head top-25 match-ups (wow that is probably a record for the most hyphens used in a series of words). When ranked teams face off this late in the season the games become more intense, meaningful, and teams that play well are able to jump up a couple of spots in the ranks. Of course on the negative side teams that lose these important games often lose their chances of playing in a big bowl game or even the national championship game. Many games also feature teams that were previously in the top-25, and have something to prove by dashing other teams’ hopes. At the end of this week the top-25 standings will surely be shaken up.

Big games to watch for:

#14 Nebraska vs. #11 Michigan State

  • Michigan State is coming off a big, last second victory against Wisconsin last week, and is looking to keep rolling up the ranks. Nebraska is looking for an upset at home.

#16 Texas A&M vs. Missouri

  • Texas A&M faces a tough opponent in Missouri; both teams are trying to gain respect back from early season slip-ups.

#7 Oregon vs. Washington State

  • Oregon is looking to get back into the national championship conversation and cannot afford to lose any more games.

#3 Oklahoma State vs. Baylor

  • Oklahoma State must keep winning to keep their name in the conversation for the national title. Baylor was a strong force at the beginning of the season, and they will be looking to get back into the top-25.

#9 Oklahoma vs. #8 Kansas State

  • Oklahoma is coming of a devastating loss to Texas Tech last week and must win this game to have any shot at a “big” bowl game. Kansas State is looking to stay undefeated and keep their name in the running for their bowl hopes.

#19 Penn State vs. Illinois

  • Penn State, just barely cracking the top-25, must have some convincing wins to move up. Illinois is looking to get back in the mix with an upset this weekend.

#22 Georgia vs. Florida

  • Florida must win this game to get back in the top-25, after suffering tough losses from tough opponents.

#25 West Virginia vs. Rutgers

  • West Virginia has to keep winning to get back to their previous high rankings, and Rutgers is looking to crack the top-25 with a win this week.

Georgia Tech vs. #5 Clemson

  • Clemson has been on the ropes lately with some of their close wins. Georgia Tech is looking to get back to their early season form. Time to see whether Clemson will continue to bend and possibly break.

#6 Stanford vs. #20 USC

  • Stanford cannot afford a loss in order to keep their championship hopes alive. USC will be looking to upset after gaining confidence with recent wins.

Ohio State vs. #15 Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin must rebound after their last second hail-Mary loss to Michigan State last week. Ohio State will be looking to gain respect back by upsetting a ranked team.

Monday Night Preview

October 22, 2011

This monday night the Baltimore Ravens visit the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens, who are first in the AFC North, are looking to win their 4th straight game and improve their overall record to 5 and 1 (the 1 loss coming in week 2 against the Tennessee Titans). The Jaguars are currently 3rd in the AFC South and sit at a record of 1 and 5 (the 1 win coming in week 1 against the Tennessee Titans). On Monday they will be trying to snap a 5 game lossing streak.

In previous match-ups, the Ravens have owned the Jaguars beating them 5 out of 6 times since 2001:

December 28, 2008 BAL 27, JAC 7
November 13, 2005 BAL 3, @JAC 30
November 2, 2003 BAL 24, JAC 17
October 20, 2002 BAL 17, JAC 10
November 25, 2001 BAL 24, @JAC 21
October 28, 2001 BAL 18, JAC 17

I don’t expect anything different to happen in the upcoming game. The Ravens have beaten good teams this year (Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and Houston Texans) and still have something to prove to themselves if they want to make a run at the Super Bowl this year.

The Ravens are averaging 29.6 points per game and only allowing 14.2 points per game. On the other side, the Jaguars are averaging 12 points per game and allowing 22 points per game. On paper this looks to be a blowout for the Baltimore Ravens; however anything can happen, that is why they play the games.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


Betting Recap

October 21, 2011

So at this point in the season I like to look back on how I am doing so far with my bets. The reality is that you can not win all of the games you bet (as most of you bettors have probably found out), but if you can get close to a 70 percent win percentage you are doing alright. The picks that I have provided so far on twitter and my blog have turned out as follows:  

NCAA FB Week 4:

  • Oregon -16 at Arizona (win)

NCAA FB Week 5:

  • Taxas A&M M/L (money line) vs. Arkansas (loss)
  • Clemson +7 at Virginia Tech (win)
  • Alabama -4 at Florida (win)
  • Nebraska +9.5 at Wisconsin (loss)
  • Stanford -20.5 vs. UCLA (win)

NCAA FB Week 6:

  • Oregon -24 vs. California (win)
  • Money Lines:
    • Texas A&M (win)
    • Illinois (win)
    • West Virginia (win)
    • BYU (win)
    • Georgia Tech (win)
    • Baylor (win)
    • South Carolina (win)
    • Florida State (loss)
    • Oklahoma (win)
    • Alabama (win)
    • Clemson (win)
    • Stanford (win)
    • Oklahoma State (win)
    • LSU (win)

NCAA FB Week 7:

  • Alabama -25 at Ole Miss (win)
  • Stanford -21.5 at Washington State (win)
  • LSU -15 at Tennessee (win)
  • Money Lines:
    • Nevada (win)
    • Penn State (win)
    • Wisconsin (win)
    • Boise State (win)
    • Georgia Tech (loss)
    • Wyoming (win)
    • Cincinnati (win)
    • Florida State (win)
    • Oklahoma (win)
    • Alabama (win)
    • Clemson (win)
    • Stanford (win)
    • Oklahoma State (win)
    • LSU (win)
    • Oregon (win)
    • Hawaii (loss)

NFL Week 6:

  • Eagles -1.5 (win)
  • Lions -4.5 (loss)
  • Saints -4.5 (loss)
  • Money Lines:
    • Eagles (win)
    • Patriots (win)
    • Saints (loss)
    • Steelers (win)
    • Lions (loss)
    • Jets (win)

MLB Postseason Division Series:

  • Game 5’s
    • New York Yankees (loss)
    • Philadelphia Phillies (loss)
    • Milwaukee Brewers (win)

Overall in betting on college football I am 35 – 40 (87.5% win percentage), betting on the NFL I am 5 – 9 (55% win percentage), and betting on MLB I am 1 – 3 (33% win percentage). All signs say I should stick with college. This is a good way to gauge your betting and find out what you are best at.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


49ers – Lions Breakdown

October 15, 2011

Of all the games scheduled for Week 6 in the National Football League (NFL) the San Francisco 49ers at the Detroit Lions is the most intriguing one. Who would have thought anyone would be saying that based on these teams’ previous seasons:

  49ers’ Record W/L Lions’ Record W/L
2010 6-10 6-10
2009 8-8 2-14
2008 7-9 0-16
2007 5-11 7-9

 The fact of the matter is that these are not the same teams from past years; they have new, young, and exciting talent. So far the 49ers are 4-1, with their one loss coming in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys, and the Lions stand at an undefeated 5-0. This Sunday we will get to see which team has better, new-found talent.

The 49ers have not exactly beaten good opponents this season: Seattle Seahawks (2-3), Cincinnati Bengals (3-2), Philadelphia Eagles (1-4), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2). However, they are winning the games they are supposed to win. In a weak NFC WEST conference, I’m expecting them to make the playoffs this year.

The same could be said about the Lions, who have beaten: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2), Kansas City Chiefs (2-3), Minnesota Vikings (1-4), Dallas Cowboys (2-2), and Chicago Bears (2-3).

The match-up breaks down with the 49ers coming in 2-0 on the road and the Lions 2-0 at home. On offense the Lions are averaging 380 total yards per game (283.8 passing, 95.8 rushing) scoring 31.8 points per game; the 49ers are averaging 300 total yards per game (183 passing, 117.2 rushing) scoring 28.4 points per game. On defense the Lions are allowing 17.8 points per game, while the 49ers are only allowing 15.6 points per game.

When it comes down to it I think the Lions will be too tough at home this week. Their defensive line is stacked and the 49ers do not have a cornerback who can lock down Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, who has 9 touchdowns in the first five games. Take the Detroit Lions.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


3 Games Not to Touch This Weekend

October 13, 2011

Virginia Tech @ Wake Forest

The #19 Virginia Tech Hokies are 7 point favorites (-7) against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons this Saturday. The main reason I do not like this game is because Wake Forest won against, then #23, Florida St. last weekend (the only game I lost haha, check my tweets). Wake Forest could easily be undefeated at this point of the season with their only loss coming in the first week of the season, in overtime, against Syracuse. Also, Wake Forest is 3-0 in the ACC. The Hokies will be running into a rolling team at home, but they are no slouches either. The Hokies are 5-1 with their only loss coming from then #13 Clemson (now #8). This match-up is one to watch and enjoy; it is smart not to bet on it.

Michigan @ Michigan State

The #11 Michigan Wolverines are 2.5 point underdogs (+2.5) against the #23 Michigan State Spartans this Saturday. The Spartans are 5-1 this year with their only loss coming on the road at Notre Dame. They are coming off of a tough road-win at Ohio St. last weekend, and are favored because they are at home, where they shine. The Wolverines are undefeated this year (6-0), but this will be their first big road test of the season. Ever since the “little brother” reference (Mike Hart, 2007) the Spartans have not lost this rivalry game. It will be interesting to see how the running game of the Wolverines, led by Denard Robinson (QB), will affect the Spartans. This match-up is one to watch and enjoy; it is smart not to bet on it.

Baylor @ Texas A&M

The #20 Baylor Bears are 9 point underdogs (+9) against the #21 Texas A&M Aggies this Saturday. Baylor bounced back from their loss two weeks ago at Kansas St. with a convincing victory over Iowa St. last week (49-26). The problem with this game is I do not know which team is going to show up for the Aggies. Is it going to be the team we saw the first two games of the season, who blew out SMU and Idaho; or is it going to be the team who blew 17/18 point leads against Oklahoma St. (then #7, now #6) and Arkansas (then #18, now #10) respectively. This game will show if the Aggies are good and just had some slip-ups, or if Baylor can take down another top-tier opponent. This match-up is one to watch and enjoy; it is smart not to bet on it.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.


Types of Parlay Cards

October 7, 2011

On Tuesday or Wednesday of every week, depending on what sportsbook you go to, weekly parlay cards are printed and set out for bettors to take. These cards are a way of betting if the bettor does not want to take action off of the board. There are many different types of parlay cards; most of the ones I’ve seen include: ½ point parlay, teaser specials, big teasers (a.k.a. megateasers), pleasers, first half, ties win, and sports exclusives.

½ point parlay cards are very similar to the lines (spreads) reflected on the board. They include college games (NCAAF), professional games (NFL), and the over/under for the professional games as well. The odds are the same odds referenced in Parlays vs. Straight Bets.

Teaser Special cards are the same as ½ point cards except they have different spreads that are more favorable to pick; hence the name teaser. For example, last night’s game (10/6/2011 Oregon vs. California), Oregon was -24.5. On the teaser card Oregon was only -18.5 and California was +30.5. So in this instance you could essentially have picked both teams and won because the final score was 43-15 in favor of Oregon (both teams covered the spread). It is important to remember that when it is easier to win the odds go down, so the payout for a 3-teamer on a ½ point card (6.75 to 1) is not the same as the payout for a 3-teamer on a teaser (13 to 5).

Big Teaser cards are the same deal as the teasers except with even more enticing spreads (Oregon -14.5, California +34.5). *Odds go even further down and the minimum bet is 4 teams instead of 3 (4-teamer, 11 to 5).

Pleaser cards only involve NFL games and don’t have over/unders. These cards make the spreads harder to cover (Patriots -17.5 vs. -9.5 on the ½ point card). You probably guessed it by now though… the odds go up. A 3-teamer on the pleaser pays 26 to 1. 8 for 8 pays 6,000 to 1 (very hard to do on this type of card though).

First Half cards are the same as ½ point cards but the spreads are only calculated for the first half of the game. The bettor is only betting on the first half, we don’t get the whole game to cover an easier spread, but that would be nice. The odds go down a little but stay pretty similar to the ½ point cards.

Ties Win cards are pretty self-explanatory. The spreads do not use ½ points, so there is a good chance of tying. The odds go down a little but stay pretty similar to the ½ point cards.

Sports Exclusive cards are the cards I referenced in Prop Bets. The odds go down a little but stay pretty similar to the ½ point cards.

*Follow me on Twitter @blakelederman to see my weekly prediction(s) #blakesbets.