All the pressure on Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes played another excellent game vs Tennessee with 294 in the air and 3 TDs, Mahomes has already built a legend for himself, after throwing 50TD passes last season, and throwing for 300 or more YDs/game in 55% of the games he has played in. His numbers are something that we really have never seen before, not with Montana, Peyton or even with Tom Brady. He brings poise and awesome arm skills to the QB position, and we are all waiting to see what he does on every snap of the ball.
Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners are built completely different. The Niners are built on running the ball and holding it down with defense – Garoppolo has been the manager-type guy and media has had more than their share of negativity with him as well. He is 100% completely different as a QB – with the fact that he isn’t expected to throw for 300+ YDs, carrying a season average of 248 YDs/game. JimmyG is playing on house money – fans are not expecting Garoppolo to throw for 350 and 4TDs. There is much more expected from Mahomes and the Chiefs. Garoppolo can throw for the yards, as he did when he played vs the Saints and Seattle this season, it is just that San Fran doesn’t need him to throw for massive yards to get the win.
Mahomes has been able to take the torch from Tom Brady and hold off an improving Lamar Jackson to get to the big game. Jimmy Garoppolo went through the uber tough NFC conference – we are watching a battle between 2 of the absolute best teams in the NFL right now. Both teams are the correct teams to be fighting for the trophy. Coach Andy Reid is getting his chance to hold his trophy after 207 regular season wins and 14 seasons with 10 or more wins, and the 40 year old Kyle Shanahan is getting his chance to stand alongside his father, Mike – with the honor and legacy that comes with the name.
A game like this can make many fans question which one of these QBs has the most amount of pressure on their shoulders?
Mahomes is looking, as long as he stays healthy – like he will end his career as a first ballot Hall of Famer. He should have the upper hand at QB, and if he fails it won’t look good for his legend. Mahomes has a chance to further his very special legacy.
Mahomes is not going to torch the Niners defense, not a team that gives up just 169 /game in the air, he will have to play one of the best games of his career, against one of the best defenses that’s taken the field in years. He is gonna have to be accurate, while getting the ball out fast, buying some time when the pocket collapses, and it will. Mahomes has an incredible amount of pressure on his shoulders, as all eyes are on Mahomes to perform well, JimmyG really has nothing to lose. Mahomes has all the skills as a passer and he lacks very little, if we are being honest, as the Chiefs have all the pieces in place if they don’t win…its all on Mahomes.
Kansas City has a different style QB with the 24 year old Mahomes but he has a subpar running game that gets him just 98 /game from the backfield. Wicked defense has been the backbone of the Niners team all season, the dominating pass rush is there. Not to mention Andy Reid never tends to get conservative, preferring to roll the dice with his big armed stud, who is expected to make the big plays when needed.
Jimmy Garoppolo has time, and has no pressure, he’s going into his 3rd start in a playoff game – and he isn’t the legendary QB yet like Mahomes already has on his head. Let’s be honest, no one expected San Fran and Jimmy Garoppolo to make it this far – nobody bought into Garoppolo carrying this team. Garoppolo has been able to get away with handing the ball off and watch his defense play, he needs just to keep doing what he’s been doing, just trust his RBs, trust his monstrous defense, make the smart plays when he needs to and convert the key 3rd down and short throws.
Most preseason predictions had San Fran finishing around 3rd in the West. Coming off a 4-12 season in 2018, and only one caliber pass catcher in Deebo Samuel, and he was coming into his 1st season, and he wasn’t looked at, as being a dominant WR. The Niners having the dominating season they had, was great for the fanbase, then making the playoffs as a top seed was the topping.
Jimmy Garoppolo has a great chance to lead a team to a Superbowl win. This is his 3rd season with the team and just his first season starting 16 or more games in a year – they likely have many years of competing. Unfortunately for Garoppolo is if he doesn’t win this game – expect the media-wolves to come out and start banging on him, with the over-tired “Can he can get the job done” narrative.

Will Joe Flacco thrive with the Broncos

Joe Flacco has landed himself on another good defensive team with the Denver Broncos, and he also has something to prove now, with the Baltimore Ravens choosing to go with 22 yr old QB, Lamar Jackson. I feel this will also light a fire under him.
Flacco will be a much better fit than Keenum who was grabbed too fast and for too much money after his 2017, 22 TD season with Minnesota. Flacco is a great fit for Denver to win big games, and he has won some big playoff games over his 11 year career, and was a huge reason for Baltimore winning a Super Bowl in 2012. Figure there are less than 7-8 “bigtime” QBs in the NFL – having a QB like Joe Flacco isn’t so bad for a team with a giant heart and mighty D. He may not be a 35 TD QB – but he has shown he has whatever it is that makes an NFL QB. Not everyone can be the top QB – it doesn’t mean they can’t play the game at a great level.
Many folks forget he took down Brady in Foxborough back in 2012, when they won the SB, when Flacco put up awesome numbers in the postseason. After what he did – he can be considered arguably one of the best post season QBs ever. With playoff numbers of 25 TD passes, over 3200 YDs, and having thrown 2+ TDs in a game 9/15 games – it is hard to deny. And he has been tough on the road, as well – with his top 3 biggest YD passing games, and dealing with road crowds in 12 of his 15 postseason games.
And Flacco hasn’t had much help at WR or RB since the Bowl. With an aging Steve Smith and “flash in the pan” Mike Wallace at WR and since Rice left, or was stuck with Terrance West or perennial mediocre RB, Justin Forsett, running the ball. Baltimore invested everything in their defense and forgot about their offense, they just never added anything to the recipe for him to succeed.
When the Ravens drafted Jackson, it caused some ugly tension between the Ravens and Flacco, he saw the writing on the wall, anyone could. Baltimore should of kept Flacco, Jackson will not be as good as they want him to be. Joe Cool has the poise and the calm experience to do well in Denver, and Baltimore will wish they kept him soon enough, when Jackson is passing for 160 YDs, turning the ball over twice a game, and completing just 56% of his passes.
Flacco is better than Keenum – this shouldn’t be a question, but can he still play?
Yes, I think he can.
Can he outplay what Case Keenum produced?
I am sure of it.
Case had his success in Minny because of Pat Shurmur and what he created with what he had, not because of Case Keenum, let’s be 100% honest here. Case is an average QB, and is most suitably a back up. Zimmer and the Vikings were certainly right all along. Keenum had a great season with 22 TDs and his “I’m chucking this, and I hope someone catches it” pass to Stefon Diggs vs New Orleans – but he was a one-hit wonder. He can not carry a team anywhere on his own, which is why I was floored when I saw the numbers that teams were tossing at him after his big season. Showing again, all it takes is a good run and a few big plays to pull in money from these owners.
The Broncos are only a few years out of winning a Super Bowl with a 39 year old, 9 TD passing QB in Peyton Manning, this team is not garbage, in any sense of the word. Denver won the Bowl with a washed up QB, a decent run game, and a QB attacking defense that struck fear in opposing teams.
They haven’t hit on a QB in the draft for what seems like 100 years, and they will need to keep an eye out for someone to start grooming for the teams future – but the team has a defense that is ready now, and a fanbase that wants W’s in the column. Joe Flacco is that QB of the now – he is not a gamble on the future, he’s exactly what the Broncos need right now. Elway needs to prove the naysayers wrong with his QB choices. Flacco is more than enough of a QB to keep them in the games enough for their vicious defense to handle what they need to do, he can, and will get the Broncos to the playoffs. He is a lot better than many people give him credit for. Baltimore rarely gave him a surrounding cast, now he has something to work with, Joe Flacco is going to be great for Denver. He’s miles ahead of Case Keenum. Denver has a run game with explosive 1000 yard rusher, Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos team is going to be pretty nasty on both sides of the ball.

Super Bowl LIII-Playing the Popular Props

With each Super Bowl comes a level of excitement for the NFL bettor. As fans we want our team to make it to the big dance but unfortunately that doesn’t often happen. Unless of course, you are a Patriots fan! If you happen to be a Patriots fan, then you are one of the lucky ones because this is Tom Brady’s 9th. Count them, 9! That’s a pile of Super Bowls and the even better news for Pats fans is the five wins. Brady has proven himself to arguably be the best quarterback to have ever played this game and he is going for number 6.


NFL Team Props – Betting for profit


What every fan wants to know is “how to bet”. There are literally dozens and dozens of ways in which to bet this contest and many folks feel as if they need to be a handicapper or have some kind of inside information. Now, let’s be honest, handicapping the game certainly goes a very long ways towards winning and if you are betting blind; that almost never works out. Do yourself a favor and don’t bet blind, come into this affair well-armed.


America’s Bookie, you’ll find a sportsbook that has a nice list of props that you can bet on


Betting the many props that are available from your online bookie is not only a fun and exciting way to go, it can be a huge money-maker. If you are tired of losing on the spread, money line or totals, then look to the great prop lines this year. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular proposition bets that are available.


  • Team to score first—This is a great one and this year the line is set at Patriots -120, now remember, any line can change so be sure to check with your favorite bookie for the latest odds and/or line movement. The Rams are -110. Who does score first? Typically, the Patriots are a slow starting team and they often are trailing at half time. This is certainly something to think about when betting on this prop. No matter who you chose, the one thing for sure, it’s going to make the first few minutes a very worthy watch.


  • Time of first score—This is a fun bet that goes hand in hand with the “team to score first”. If you play your cards right, you can kill two birds with one stone and win both bets in one shot. This bet is a yes or no. You will have the option to bet yes, there will be a score within the first five minutes, or no there will not be a score within the first five minutes. Any score counts so make your pick count. Yes +115, No -145.


  • First score of the game—How will it be scored? The first score is a TD, -180, any other score, +150. Plus 150 on any other score is a fantastic number and very attainable. There could easily be a field goal or even a safety for that matter.


Build Your Online Sportsbook Betting Plan for Super Bowl


These are a few of the popular prop bets that will be available for you to bet on. There are dozens and dozens more and you certainly have your pick from team props to player props and special props, such as special teams and defense, even the distance of field goals and the longest touchdown and longest rushing touchdown.

First and foremost, have fun. Make the Super Bowl something besides rooting for one side. That’s nerve racking. Live a little, put yourself in a position to win a stock pile of money. The Super Bowl only comes around once a year, make the most of it with prop bets.



The Super Bowl is on its way, along with all the hype and analysis
that comes with it. We get the New England Patriots, who are in their
4th Super Bowl in the last 7 years, vs the LA Rams, the team that has
gone through 13 losing seasons since 2004, but now have a new winning
and confident culture led by 33 year old Head Coach, Sean McVay.

New England has shown faith and resiliency with their aging QB, yet
again. The Rams are the hot young team with a flashy Head Coach, and
their young QB. What we are going to do, is a breakdown of each team
with their best attributes and possible weaknesses. To take a good
look at what they bring to the game, and who has the potential upper
hand in this seasons finale.

New England Patriots / 11-5
HEAD COACH: Bill Belichick
PPG / NFL RANK: 27.3 / 4th
OPPG / NFL RANK: 20.3 / 7th

They have the man who fights all comers and wins, they have a player
who just keeps churning out W’s and still keeps putting up 4000 YDs
and 30TDs / year in Brady. Any team with Tom Brady on their roster has
a better chance to win than most.

New England has been in 16 postseasons over the last 18 seasons, this
is their 4th big game in the last 7 seasons. Regardless of if you like
them, hate them, or feel complete apathy towards them, this is still
their league, until they are buried for one and for all. At least
until Tom Brady retires, will the rest of the league feels like they
are the team to beat.

Away from their home, the Patriots have not been great. With a 3-5
record and putting up just 21ppg, 6 below their average, and giving up
24ppg, 4 more than average. Although this game wouldn’t be considered
an away game, no more than away for both teams, and New England likely
have a larger fanbase than the Rams – but they still aren’t in in
their own stadium.

The run defense of New England is a very real problem. This season
having given up 4.9 YPC, and 6 games of 130 or more on the ground to
opponents, and the Rams certainly have a brutal running attack with
Gurley and Anderson running the rock. Which makes strength vs weakness
a classic and intriguing story to watch here.

James White and his sneaky ability to run for key yards and be able to
move the ball with surprising ease is going to be key. White is a guy
with great ability to get into open pockets and a smooth ability to
make big plays vs defenses, and Belichick loves to use him when teams
are on the backpedal. When White has 5 or more carries the Pats are


Los Angeles Rams / 13-3
PPG / NFL RANK: 32.9 / 2nd
OPPG / NFL RANK: 24.0 / 20th

The balance between passing and running the ball is a distinct
advantage Los Angeles has here. With 2 WRs with 1200+ yard receiving
years, an aerial attack with a QB who can light it up for 300 in a
flash, along with a running game that ranked 2nd in the league with 23
TDs on the ground and had over 2200 YDs on the ground.

The brutal RB tandem of Todd Gurley and 230lb RB, C.J. Anderson is
awesome. Gurley is a really special back, who has produced double
digit TDs on the ground for 3 of the last 4 seasons, and had a total
of 1831 yards, including 580 in the air. Anderson has been a fantastic
find for Los Angeles – Anderson brings the punishment factor, that can
beat on or run through a weakened and tired Dline.

Aaron Donald and his relentlessness is coming, beware New England. The
27 year old DT brings a pass rush that the Pats will struggle to stop,
he is a game changer, and is a huge problem to deal with for any team,
and will be here vs the Pats. Bringing his league leading 20.5 sacks –
he will be awfully tough to control at the line.

The Rams team with big named DBs, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib lack a
great passing defense. Giving up 31 TDs in the air this year they have
shown a lack of discipline when defending WRs. Which if you are a Pats
fan, you are ecstatic to have Julian Edelman and Brady clicking the
way they have been over the last 2 games. 16 catches, 247 YDs, and
15.4 YPC is going to be awfully hard for the Rams DBs to handle.

Sean McVay and his 24 year old QB, Jared Goff, can get pass heavy at
times. With 5 games where he threw 40 or more times, and 6 games of
running for less than 95 yards, they are not true to form and lack the
punch when they don’t move the ball on the ground. When they fall into
basing their offensive game scheme behind Goff and throwing the ball –
they are 2-3, the Rams and Goff need to run the ball. Gurley is still
the heart and soul of this team, and will be key here in this huge

How the Rams and Wade Phillips defend the run game is going to be
enormously important. When they give up 110 or less on the ground,
they are 11-0, if they keep the running game of the Pats to those kind
of numbers or less, lock this in, the Los Angeles Rams will roll. But
if the Pats start dictating the pace and the Oline here with White and
Sony Michel, the Pats will likely be holding the trophy at the end.

Can the Chicago Bears defense carry them to the championship

With how good the Chicago defense has been this season, what can we
expect from the Bears in the playoffs?

This team has great play-makers at every level of the defense. The
Chicago D is currently rated 3rd in points allowed, 2nd in yards
gained/pass attempt, 1st in passing ints, with 27 pilfers at the time
of this article, 1st in rushing TDs allowed with just 5 on the ground,
and are playing with a defensive 3rd down conversion percentage of 35%
– there is no team that lines up vs the Bears and is thrilled. In 8
regular season games, the Bears have given up just an average of 17.5
points/game at home and only 19 ppg on the road. If the Bears are to
make a big-time run in the playoffs – opposing teams might be fortunate
to reach those numbers, their smothering defense is something that
travels well, and a lot of fun to watch. They have been so successful
by keeping everything in front of them, and not allowing many big
plays. They give some really difficult looks, and some exceptional
blitzes, where they have forced bad throws and created havoc.

Pro Bowler DB, Kyle Fuller and 27 year old Khalil Mack get the bears
share of the attention, and deservedly so. But there’s even more to
that nasty Chicago defense than that. 340lb Akiem Hicks has gone from
just a pass rushing specialist to complete player, and the 7 year vet
has absorbed his role as more of a DT, as a run stopper, QB crusher,
and disruptor, and has made huge plays over the 2018 season. Roquan
Smith or Mack typically stuff any screen on the right side, and Hicks
shuts it down on the left side. And if a back gets around him, they’ve
got Danny Trevathan or Leonard Floyd waiting to greet them 3 yards
out. Mack epitomizes the term “collision sport” with 12.5 sacks and 18
QB hits – he has been the centerpiece for the top ended ranked D all

The Monsters of the Midway have a very stout, and also very fast D
line. It’s a tough situation for any team to deal with only 4 games
giving up 100 or more running yards. So they force you to throw the
ball, where they stalk the field like starving wolves with 2 guys with
6 or more picks. Fuller is the magical “shutdown” corner, and QBs
struggle oftentimes to get a pass get completed against him. Same goes
for the active handed Eddie Jackson and Prince Amukamara. The deadly
CBs are playing on the receiver’s hip, especially Fuller. QB’s
obviously hate dealing with that mess – so they then try throwing deep
on them, but the problem with that game-plan has been that Jackson
doesn’t get fooled much – and he isn’t all that grabby, either. Which
doesn’t leave a whole bunch of options for down field passing, so
teams need to throw the short routes and screens

Chicago have been playing the “team defense” of containing the QB and
stopping the run brilliantly . Creating turnovers like they do, is a
huge game changer for Chicago – if they keep it up and get into the
playoffs. If the Chicago defense keeps forcing turnovers, they way
they have been during the postseason – then that makes anyone they
play, play disorganized. They know they simply cannot make mistakes.
As this defense is set up to crush teams up both in the passing and
rush game.

The Bears defense plays with a genuine level of grit I haven’t seen in
a team in quite awhile. They don’t fold, the defense tightens up when
it matters, as shown when they played the Rams, who were shaking up
the NFL with a 32ppg scoring avg – but then they held Todd Gurley to a
measly 28 yards on the ground, picked off highly rated, Jared Goff 4
times, and beat the explosive Rams,15-6. The interesting thing to me
is, though a great defense should be able to allow the offense to take
more chances, knowing the defense can cover for them, if there is a
bad play. Chicago Head Coach, Matt Nagy, needs to open up the offense
a bit more, as the Bears defense plays even better with the lead.

But, for the Chicago to win the championship – their running offense
is going to have to put up some better numbers to keep the team on the
field longer, and their RB1, Jordan Howard getting just 3.6/carry.
They cannot just keep picking up 1 yard lunges and always hope that
their defense will shut down their opponent.

If they can keep teams off the field, with 22 or less 1st downs – they
stand a very good chance of winning, if not, it could be tough, when
they give up 23 or more they have been 2-3. They don’t want to tire
out their D, just let it do what it does, get the RBs more work on the
outside, and let Mitchell Trubisky sling the ball down the field more,
let him get Allen Robinson more involved down the field.

On Any Given Sunday

NFL Parity

For years, pro football has been the sports leader when it comes to parity. Pete Rozelle was credited with, “On any given Sunday any team can beat another.” Despite all the undefeated NFL teams this late in the 2015 campaign, that adage is still true. The Tennessee Titans opened the season at Tampa Bay as a dog, won 42-14, then kept on losing into November.

The ever-rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars opened the season losing 5 of 6, but that lone victory was 23-20 over Miami as a +6 dog. With the undefeated starts of several teams it’s easy to overlook the fact that there are no winless ones. The last few years it seemed as though parity had disappeared from the NFL. The Pats, Broncos, Packers, Bengals and Panthers have dazzled in the win column, but they have been far from dominating every week.

The Patriots had to rally in the fourth quarter at home to top the Jets, trailing 20-16. The grind-it-out Bengals have wins by 5, 4 and 3 points. The Broncos have won games by 6, 7, 3, 6 and 3 points and have a QB that has thrown more picks than TDs!

The big edge that the top teams have is above average quarterback play. The disparity between the good QBs and the bad ones has really become noticeable in 2015, especially with stars like Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo missing time. Backups are forced to become starters and discarded QBs are forced out of retirement for a while with the dearth of depth and talent behind center. Teams like the Bills, Browns and Texans haven’t known who their starting quarterbacks are from week to week.

What New England did in 2007 was unique, an 18-0 run, but let’s not forget that they were fortunate to run the 16-0 regular season table. They had wins over the Colts, Eagles, Ravens and Giants by 4, 3, 3 and 3 points. Counting the playoffs, the Patriots went 2-9 against the spread their final 11 games. They were double digit favorites in their final ten and went 2-8 ATS.

Last season the top two seeds met in the Super Bowl, New England and Seattle, but that’s not the norm, either. Upsets are common in the postseason, as are teams with No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds reaching the Super Bowl.

There’s an old wagering adage about going against pro football teams who roll by 20 points in back-to-back games. That’s not easy to do. If a pro team beats another by 20-plus points in consecutive weeks, it can be a good time to look at the other side, as the club off two blowout wins can be overvalued. In order to win by that kind of margin in consecutive games, a team has to play close to two perfect games back-to-back. In this day of parity, that takes a rare combination of talent, execution, health and luck.

This season the Patriots trashed the Jaguars (51-17) and the Cowboys (30-6) in back-to-back games, but failed to cover the next week in a 34-27 win at Indy as -8 chalk. They failed to cover the first half line, as well, trailing 20-17.

Remember how bad the Chiefs started in 2011? Kansas City opened the season with back-to-back colossal stinkers, losing 41-7 and 48-3. They were a +16 dog the next game, but a very different team showed up in a 20-17 loss at San Diego, an easy cover. Atlanta has been a major turn-around team in 2015, starting 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS. However, when oddsmakers adjusted, the Falcons came back to earth a bit, failing to cover three straight weeks in a win over Washington (25-19), a loss to the Saints (31-21) as a favorite, and a 10-7 win over Tennessee as -6 chalk.

So keep a close eye on dominant teams in a small two-game stretch. In 2010 the Jaguars got routed by the Chargers (38-13) and Eagles (28-3), then as a +7 dog beat the Colts, 31-28. In 2009 after losing road games by 23 and 37 points, the Raiders stumbled home and not only covered, but beat the Eagles as 14-point dogs, 13-9. That same season the Browns lost back-to-back games by 20+ in Weeks 2 and 3, then got the cover against the Bengals as a +6 home dog. After losing by 35 and 28, the Rams got the cover in a 23-20 loss at Jacksonville as a +9 dog. It is hard to wipe out a pro team by 3 TDs three games in a row.

It might not seem like it at times, but this is parity at work, with salary caps and free agency making it difficult for teams to simply buy players to shore up weak areas, as is the case in baseball. In football, if you pay a lot to get or retain a key player, you may lose a star in another area. Overall, you rarely see pro teams keep up 20-point or more dominance for more than two games.

Written by Jim Feist for

The impact of turnovers in the NFL


A few weeks ago a key early NFC East matchup took place on national TV between the Redskins and Giants, two teams with something to prove off poor campaigns. In the end, Washington had the edge in total yards 393-363, in rushing yards and held the Giants to just 4-of-12 on third down. A close game? A Redskins’ win? Actually, the Giants led 18-6 after three and 32-14 late on the way to an easy win.

What happened?  The Redskins turned it over 3 times, including a pair of picks by Kirk Cousins, while the Giants had no turnovers. Another recent division clash was when the 49ers and Seahawks dueled in the regular season. But it wasn’t close as Seattle rolled, 29-3, winning the turnover battle, 5-1. That was similar to another showdown on national TV between the Ravens and Jets, as the Baltimore offense had just 267 total yards and was a measly 6 of 18 on third down. In addition, they averaged 2.8 yards per rush. What a terrible offensive performance! Oh, and by the way the Ravens won the game, 34-17.

The difference again was turnovers, with the Jets coughing it up 4 times (3 fumbles, 1 pick). Turnovers are one of the most basic fundamentals of winning football, both straight up and against the number when analyzing football picks.

Defensive coaches have been preaching more aggressive, attacking stop units over the last 15 years. Coach Steve Spurrier has spent three decades coaching college and pro football, at Duke, Florida, South Carolina and the Washington Redskins. When asked about what the biggest change he had noticed in the college game, Spurrier spoke not about the wide-open passing attack that he helped popularize, but about defenses. He said that when he first took over at Duke in the 1980s, defenses were basic and reacted to what the offense would try and do.

However, since that time, defenses have become far more aggressive, trying to attack the offense rather than sit back and react. Defensive coaches in both the pro and college ranks have been teaching players to not only tackle properly, but to aggressively strip the ball from opposing players. John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, and Rex Ryan have used their teaching talents to upgrade defenses, while former defensive coordinators in Seattle have gotten head coaching jobs with teams that needed defensive help.

A key component of aggressive defenses is to force more turnovers. They are a huge part of any contest. The last team to win the AFC East other than the Patriots was the surprising Miami Dolphins, who came out of nowhere in a stunning one-year turnaround. It’s no coincidence that Dolphins led the NFL (+17 in turnover margin) that season, then were minus-8 in TOs the next year going 7-9. The Patriots went 14-2 SU, 10-5-1 ATS in campaign, setting a record for positive turnover margin. Take a close look at the bottom teams in turnover margin from last season:

2014 Worst TO Margin ATS record
Raiders (-15) 8-8 ATS
Saints (-13) 6-10 ATS
Redskins (-12) 5-11 ATS
NY Jets (-11) 7-9 ATS
Titans (-10) 3-13 ATS
Bucs (-8) 7-9 ATS

How many of those teams came close to making the playoffs? None. How many were busts? All of them. How many got their head coaches fired? 3. Age appeared to creep up quickly on QB Drew Brees and he was uncharacteristically sloppy, while Tennessee was a money-burner with no QB play and too many turnovers.

Rex Ryan got axed in New York with erratic QB play that handed the football over too opponents far too often. Those teams were also a combined 36-60 against the spread; two years ago the top turnover teams were a combined 42-52-2 ATS; three years ago the worst turnover-margin teams were a combined 34-61-1 ATS and four years ago it was 55-75 ATS. A quarterback who throws too many picks can kill the momentum of his offense, and his confidence can get worn down. It can even spill over onto the sidelines.

2014 Top TO Margin ATS record
Packers (+14) 9-8-1 ATS
Patriots (+12) 11-8 ATS
Texans (+12) 9-7 ATS
Seahawks (+9) 11-8 ATS
Cardinals (+7) 11-6 ATS
Bills (+7) 9-7 ATS

The tops teams last season in turnover margin all had strong seasons, either making the playoffs or in it until the final week. The Patriots won the Super Bowl and the Packers would have faced them if it wasn’t for a fluke onside kick in the NFC title game. The teams above were a combined 60-44-1 ATS; two years ago the top TO teams were 80-59-2 ATS; the top 10 teams in turnover margin in 2012 were 87-67-4 ATS and in 2011 were a combined 91-63-6 ATS. You get the idea…

So be careful backing teams that are sloppy at taking care of the football when analyzing football selections. They may not win or cover the number as regularly as those that play smart, mistake-free ball.

Written by Jim Feist of

Is Andrew Luck ready to become the best QB in the NFL


Luck’s youth, his excellent durability and intelligence on the field absolutely make him the perfect player to build a franchise on. Most of the QBs with his sleek ability to scramble, oftentimes try to scramble out of the pocket, in a short moment or two, luckily and smartly he doesn’t always do that. Luck actually at times, seems to scramble into the pocket, to avoid getting pushed into bad situations. He often lets linemen end up corralling around the outside of him but he stays in the middle and fires the ball on a rope. Luck has that big strong arm and a very smooth and quick release. And on top of that, he does have some legs that can get him from A to B in a short period of time.


Luck has the strength to take hits and still stand big in the pocket and complete the pass, and has the power to run over pass rushers, he stands in the pocket differently than other, the only other comparatively, would be Roethlisberger.

Granted, his success, some critics say it could have something to do with playing in AFC South, the worst division in the league since he came barreling into the league in 2012. I do like statistics and I feel they absolutely are important in a players career, but of course, they cannot be used at all times. His poor division, has helped him greatly as well. When playing his divisional opponents since coming into the league has accounted for 32 TDs only 11 INTs and 4565 YDs, in 18 games, those numbers are awesome. The teams in that period have had a combined record of 45-97 between them all.
His one biggest issue to me, he has had many problems with his accuracy, having 26 games of completing 59% or less of his passes. And at times can try to do too much, and make some pretty bad decisions when under stress. But, his issues are fortunately coachable. He certainly has all the physical tools that you want from your franchise QB.


Luck, in his short career, he definitely has had way too many picks every year to be considered the best right now. Make no mistake, physical attributes can fall apart as well, look at Jay Cutler, who seems to have every needed physical aspect that you want from a QB, big laser arm, scrambling ability, but over and over, comes up with simply mind boggling mistakes no matter who is coaching him.
Can a QB be great, even with making a lot of bonehead plays?  I think historically we can say yes. Favre certainly is the first to come to mind. His ultimate faith in his cannon reminds me very similarly to Jay Cutler. Only difference, is that Favre played with passion, that has always been Cutlers biggest disappointment.
Russell Wilson will be in the comparison with his 2012 draft class buddy. They will always be linked now for the future. But realistically, Luck has never had even close to the backfield or the mighty defense that Wilson has had the opportunity to play with. And Luck, on top of that, has never had a superior O-line. But I think from his class, and the QBs from the 3 year “vets” he could be the best of the bunch.
A teams success cannot be solely judged on the QB. They are brought about by way more than just a quarterback. Think about it, realistically, Tom Brady would not have the ring run like he has had if not for some great FG kickers, and excellent defense as well. Football is, to me, the ultimate team sport, not a solo sport. Just winning a Super Bowl tells you how great and/ or lucky a team is, not how great a player is. Really, is Eli Manning better than Dan Marino? Imagine if we saw a quarterback who didn’t complete one pass go on to win the Super Bowl, would they then be in the discussion about being the best in the league?
C’mon now.
I don’t think currently that Luck is close to the best in the league, of course if he did lead his team to and was even fortunate to win
a Super Bowl, that would certainly help his case. His games in the playoffs have lacked fire , with 9 TDs and 12 INTs in 6 playoff games, isn’t a good thing. I am not sure if it’s the stiffer competition, or the pressure, or the team not always being that talented around him.
Truthfully, Andrew Luck is the real deal and I think he is going to be a great player for many years down the road.Currently, without question, Aaron Rodgers is clearly the best in the NFL right now. And honestly, Brady is at a distant 2nd in my opinion.
I just think it’s a bit premature to call Luck the best in the game now, and he’s taking a brutal pounding behind his lousy O-line every year
Eventually, he may be the best overall, but he has a long way to go to be in the same ballpark as Rodgers, Brady and Brees. Granted, over the next 3-5 years, it could be possible. If he stays healthy, Luck could be the best, he is the heir apparent to this title, but he is not quite their yet.
Written by Mike Anthony for

Betting the NFL preseason in 2015

NFL Preseason

Betting the NFL Preseason in 2015
by Jeff Hochman of

The Hall of Fame Game is the first NFL preseason game of the year, which closes the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities. On August 9th, 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will get the ball rolling.

You will hear people say “Don’t bet on NFL Preseason Football”. Big Mistake! It’s actually easier than capping the regular season. In most cases you can read ahead of time the exact game plan for each team. I feel the NFL preseason is a great opportunity to start and build a nice bankroll for the upcoming regular season.

Many handicappers have the opinion that the preseason games should be left alone and not bet on. I feel just the opposite. If you do your homework, the preseason offers the betting public a tremendous chance to make a lot of money. Here are some key factors to consider when betting NFL Preseason football in 2015.

1) Depth


This one is obvious. Jo public gets so worked up about the starters and skill position players on certain teams during the regular season. But they’re the same in the preseason. Teams that can go two- and three-deep at the skill positions have a decided advantage over a club that has a few stars that will be sitting after the first or second series. A perfect example of that is a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, who will have Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, and possibly Tim Tebow. All four QB’s have NFL game experience and have a distinct advantage over a club like Detroit, who has a solid #1 in Matthew Stafford but a shakey #2 in Kellen Moore and #3 Dan Orlovsky. Orlovsky hasn’t thrown a pass since 2012. Another team that will sport three solid QB’s this preseason are the Dallas Cowboys with a healthy Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, and Dustin Vaughan. The Cowboys are very high on Vaughan’s skill level.

Quarterbacks are key. NFL Preseason wagers, just like those during the Regular Season, often come down to the last eight minutes of a game. So find teams that have solid depth at QB and/or has some experience or success in the league. They’ll have a tremendous advantage in the closing moments of a game against a third or fourth-string defense.


2) Experience


I don’t necessarily mean which team has the most grizzled veterans on it. In fact, experience can be a detriment. Most Vets hate preseason games. And teams that have established players in certain positions or roles will often see those guys mail it in during the preseason because they know the games are “meaningless” and already have their “jobs” locked up.

However, experience is a key factor when it comes to coaching systems. Organizations that haven’t experienced much turnaround have a significant advantage over those that are easing in a new brain trust. For example, New England has been running Bill Belichick’s system for many years. They’re going to be much sharper than a team that is changing offenses. Take the Cleveland Browns for example. They are breaking in a rookie offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo. There is going to be a major adjustment period for the Browns this August. Keying on clubs that have familiarity & continuity, and finding clubs that are much less comfortable with their new systems is a big key when wagering on preseason games.


3) First-Year Head Coaches with new team (Full Season)


We have seven for the 2015-16 season. First year head coaches can be tricky but generally perform very well in their first August home game. A lot of expectations are put on these guys coming in. They want to show the Owner, General Manager, and fans that he is the right man for the job. Setting the tone early means playing to win in the preseason.

Atlanta Falcons: Dan Quinn

Buffalo Bills: Rex Ryan

Oakland Raiders: Jack Del Rio

Chicago Bears: John Fox

Denver Broncos: Gary Kubiak

San Francisco 49ers: Jim Tomsula

NY Jets: Todd Bowles

4) Competition/Philosophy


If you know how head coaches were raised and what their philosophies are than you will have a big advantage this August. I know all the personalities/traits of every single HC in the NFL which helps me beat the books in August. I will give you one HC that preaches competition from his players down to the ball boy. That would be Pete Carroll of the Seahawks. His philosophy at USC was to create competition along with a winning attitude. That has continued since moving to the NFL. Pete Carroll is 25-11 ATS in his career when playing in August. On the flip side, Ken Whisenhunt uses the preseason to scout his younger players. His 9-19 ATS career preseason record is very telling.


5) Motivation

If you watched the NFL for any number of years you should know that not every Head Coach cares about winning in the NFL Preseason. Different HC’s have different agendas when playing August Football and they all pretty much stick to their beliefs. I gave you two very good examples above that should hold true once again this upcoming season.

Each coach handles the preseason differently. Some put a premium on the second game. For some it’s the third or even the fourth. Some coaches just mess around and tinker with their lineups during the preseason and use it to evaluate their younger guys. But here’s the key – and this is a big difference between the regular season and preseason football – most coaches are forthright about what the game plan will be. All you have to do is a little research from the local beat writers.


6) Scheduling


The preseason schedule generally isn’t too taxing on the teams and players. But there are quirks. The two teams that play the Hall of Fame Game are a good bet to fade in their next game. If some players are a bit banged up then you can expect those guys to be watching in street clothes. Keep an a close watch on how the players from the Steelers and Vikings come out of the Hall of Fame game.

7) Jeff’s NFL Preseason system to consider

If you are looking for a very solid system/angle in the NFL preseason here is one to consider this year. Teams that begin 0-2 SU over the last ten years are 49-32 against-the-spread in their very next game. Head Coaches/owners tend to get very nervous when they get off to a bad start, even in the preseason, and they have their team ready for that third game. Most teams will take that 0-2 team lightly, thus making those winless teams a smart play by the Wise Guys.


Look for more Football articles in the coming weeks. Jeff was ranked No. 2 in the NFL last season at The Sports Monitor of OK, cashing just under 70%. Early Bird Football packages are now on sale.

Jeff Hochman of VegasTopDogs.

Is the Patriots legacy tarnished for good

With everything going on regarding the patriots on the “Deflategate” (dumbest term for a conspiracy ever, btw) we need to take a look at several directions in the situation overall.
The Patriots are and have been one of the most hated or disliked franchises for years upon years. They are, and will be more susceptible to emotion and anger over things than most other teams, except maybe the Dallas Cowboys, who also hold their own unusual grasp with fan hatred. Although both teams are consistently in the top 5 in sales for jerseys every year.
Strange, yea, I know. Anyway…
For whatever reason fans may or may not like the Patriots organization, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, or whomever on the team, this just gives more fuel to their fire. And this gives them some rights to that.
In the thrashing of the Colts, the Patriots had 11 of their 12 balls under inflated, meaning essentially better gripping on the ball, and more control throwing the ball. And catching a ball with less air in it, is also more sure-handed, because it has less of a chance to squirt out of the players hands, because they can squeeze it harder. That’s the breakdown in a nutshell.
Luck threw 2 picks, this is obviously in no way the deflated balls faults, but he was playing with regulation inflated balls, could that have meant Brady could have chucked 2 as well? I personally don’t believe so, because the Pats ran the ball so effectively, passing wasn’t their number one way of moving the ball downfield.
When LeGarrette Blount ran for 150 and 3 tds, it could be seen as the ball deflation wasn’t an advantage, if the Colts stopped him, it would have helped their case, but they didn’t. If this also was a 28-24 game, it would be by far, a much larger issue, so no, the weight of the ball had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. I do think though there were things missed during their game that could have been huge factors to the situation in general.
When Green Bay played New England this year, the announcers openly discussed in much detail, how Aaron Rodgers purposely over inflates his footballs. Nothing came of that, which i find interesting, as well. An overinflated ball, could catch more airtime for deep throws, I would call that a certain advantage as well.
Nothing came of that.
Brad Johnson, altered his footballs, by scuffing them up before his big game for Super Bowl XXXVII. I, in many ways, think that this is done far more than many people want to think it is done, to give their QB and team a slight advantage in the game.
But, does it make it right?
Fact is, at this point, now Belichick is a repeat offender of being part of something shady. And should be punished more this time around, not just a slap on the wrist.
Does their Coach, advocate cheating? Maybe? Is it the thought that they cannot win without cheating? I find that a bit over the top, there’s no way this team has been so good for so many years simply by altering footballs, and watching teams defensive signals (which the majority of teams do, btw, it was the fact the Pats videotaped is what made it questionable)
You always want both teams on an even playing field. All the time, and let the best team win. Honestly, why cheat in this game at all? New England would’ve beaten them regardless.
However, it does raise issues, and simply goes against ethical standards. It is the principal of it now. What is unfortunate for Pats fans across the nation, is this absolutely further ruins their legacy now. Personally, I don’t think the deflated balls made a significant difference, enough to be the reason for the victory.
I look at the refs of the game. The league needs to possibly get better refs, we all love to bang on them, they test the footballs before the game, and they handle the balls all game long, did they not see anything unusual? Or was it science behind it? Because in cold weather, air condenses which could possibly cause the balls to deflate.
The focus of the deflated footballs should be more placed on the football officials that touch the ball before and after each and every single play. I expect the league office to question the officials of that game, did they notice anything odd? If so, why not mention it?
If this continues to grow around the Patriots organization, it, like many other “rules-mongers” then it may sadly become time to investigate the balls of every team, all the time, more throughout. Check them for everyone across the board, and have yet another annoying, damaging, negative press inducing, investigation for the entire NFL, not just the Patriots.