Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Washington 17, Seattle 15:
— Seahawks scored TD with 0:15 left, but 2-point play failed.
— DK Metcalf caught only one pass for 13 yards.
— Seattle is 3-1 if it scores 28+ points, 0-7 if it doesn’t.
— Six of Seahawks’ last seven games stayed under the total.

— Washington is 3-0 since its bye, scoring 24.3 ppg. 
— Washington is 8-4-1 in last 13 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Washington is 13-7 ATS last 20 games coming off a win.
— Five of last six Washington games stayed under the total.

12) Max Scherzer signed a 3-year, $130M deal with the Mets Monday, as billionaire owner Steve Cohen opens his wallet to improve his ballclub. Mets have spent $258M or so on free agents in the last four days.
 
11) Texas Rangers are also spending a lot of money; they gave 2B Marcus Semien $175M Sunday, then gave SS Corey Seager a 10-year, $325M deal Monday.

Part of reason playing in Texas appeals to free agents is the tax status there; Rangers play 81 home games, nine in Houston, nine in Seattle and three in Tampa, all states with zero tax status for athletes. That’s 102 games, nearly two-thirds with zero tax status. It matters.

10) If I’m a free agent pitcher, I’d want to know if the universal DH is going to be a thing, before I picked my next employer. Hopefully the universal DH will become official this winter.

Seattle Mariners signed P Robbie Ray to a 5-year, $115M deal Monday.

9) Oklahoma Sooners had a rough few days:
— Football coach Lincoln Riley jumped to USC
— Backup QB Spencer Rattler entered the transfer portal
— A hotshot high school QB who committed to Oklahoma de-commited. Wonder where he is going to wind up (USC?)

8) Minnesota 100, Indiana 98– Domantas Sabonis had 16 points, 25 rebounds, 10 assists for the Pacers; he is the first NBA player with 25 rebounds and 10 assists in a game since Maurice Lucas in 1980.

7) When Michigan plays Iowa this weekend in the Big 14 title game, it’ll be the first time the Wolverines have played in the championship game. Was surprised when I heard that. Hell, Northwestern’s even played in two of them.

Big 14 started playing a league championship game in 2011.

6) Random stat: over the last three football seasons, Big 14 teams are 17-4 ATS when playing teams from the MAC. There were no meetings in 2020 because of COVID, so that is 17-4 over two seasons.

5) Drew Brees is keeping busy since he retired from the NFL; he works for NBC, has an endorsement deal with Lowe’s, has stock in an online betting company, and now has a deal where he reads Bible verses on pray.com

Interesting contrast; not lot of people get paid for reading the Bible while also endorsing sports betting.

4) One of the funnier parts of NFL games is when an official throws a flag for pass interference, then one or two other refs throw a flag too, selling the call to make it look like an obvious foul.

3) Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tested positive for COVID, will miss Thursday night’s game in New Orleans.

2) Florida Gators hired U of Louisiana coach Billy Napier to be its next football coach; Napier is 39-12 coaching the Ragin’ Cajuns- he will coach them in the Sun Belt title game this week, then is off to Gainesville.

1) LSU hired football coach Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame; Kelly was 113-40 in South Bend— he won more games there than Knute Rockne. Notre Dame made the national playoff two of last three years- they’re 11-1 this year, ranked 6th in country. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

New England 36, Tennessee 13:
— Tennessee ran ball for 270 yards, but was minus-4 in turnovers.
— Titans averaged only 3.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Patriots had 10 drives; three TD’s, tried six field goals
— New England had TD drives of 37-56-21 yards.
— Patriots had 17-yard edge in field position. 

— New England won seven of last eight games, scoring 33.1 ppg.
— Patriots scored 135 points in winning last three home games.
— Since 2015, New England is 30-14-3 ATS as home favorites.
— Patriots are +16 in turnovers in their wins, minus-6 in losses.
— New England has 22 takeaways in last eight games (+15)

NJ Jets 21, Houston 14:
— Jets outscored Houston 10-0 in second half.
— Jets ran ball for 157 yards, outgained Texans 266-202.
— Six of last eight Jet games went over the total. 
— Jets have been outscored 68-24 in first quarter, 189-65 in first half.

— Texans in second half: 21 plays, 45 yards, 3 first downs.
— Houston is 2-8 ATS last ten games as home favorites.
— Under is 7-2 in Texans’ last nine games.
— Underdogs are 4-0-1 ATS in last five series games.

NY Giants 13, Philadelphia 7:
— Eagles turned ball over four times on 10 drives (minus-4)
— Philly averaged only 3.9 yards/pass attempt.
— Philly ran ball for 215.2 ypg last five games (98.6 ypg previous five)
— Eagles are 9-14 ATS last 23 games as a road favorite.

— Giants won their last three home games.
— Eagles outgained Giants 332-264.
— Giants are 11-6 ATS last 17 games coming off a loss.
— Last five Giant games stayed under the total.

Tampa Bay 38, Indianapolis 31:
— Fournette had 131 total yards, four TD’s.
— Tampa Bay ran ball for 142 yards (5.3 yards/carry).
— Bucs have 42 TD’s on 117 drives this season.
— Last ten games, Tampa Bay is +11 in turnovers.

— Indianapolis led 24-14 at halftime.
— Bucs in 2nd half: 30 plays, 222 yards, 24 points.
— Colts turned ball over three times in five 2nd half drives.
— Six of their last eight games went over the total.

Atlanta 21, Jacksonville 14:
— Atlanta was perfect in red zone (21 points/3 drives)
— Atlanta is 4-2 ATS TY in games with spread of 3 or less points.
— Falcons led seven of last nine games at halftime.
— Atlanta has been outscored 176-89 in second half.  

— Jacksonville converted 9-16 on 3rd down, outgained Atlanta 357-332.
— Jaguars are 7-14 ATS in last 21 home games.
— Last five games, Jacksonville was outscored 77-21 in first half.
— Jaguars lost 24 of their last 26 games.

Miami 33, Carolina 10:
— Newton was 5-21 passing, with two INT’s; not good.
— Carolina lost seven of last nine games after a 3-0 start.
— Carolina is 0-6 if it allows more than 14 points.
— Last nine games, Panthers were outscored 128-63 in second half.

— Dolphins won last four games, giving up 11.5 ppg.
— Miami gave up four TD’s on opponents’ last 47 drives.
— Dolphins allowed 17 or less points in their wins.
— Dolphins are 0-7 when they give up more than 17 points.
— Miami is 22-12-3 ATS in last 36 home games.  

Cincinnati 41, Pittsburgh 10:
— Steelers are 0-2-1 in last three games, giving up 41-41 points in last two.
— Bengals took opening kickoff, drove 75 yards for quick 7-0 lead.
— Bengals led 31-3 at halftime after a pick-6 with 0:23 left in half.
— Pittsburgh is 4-8 ATS in last 12 games on artificial turf.

— Cincy’s first four drives: 34 plays, 226 yards, 24 points.
— Mixon ran ball for 165 yards, two TD’s.
— Cincinnati scored 31+ points in five of last six games.
— Bengals are 7-1 scoring 24+ points, 0-3 otherwise.
— Cincinnati won three of last four series games. 

Denver 28, LA Chargers 13:
— Chargers lost four of last six games, after a 4-1 start.  
— LA’s first four drives: 21 plays, 64 yards, 3 first downs, no points.
— Bolts are 6-10-1 ATS in last 17 games coming off a win.
— Last five games, Chargers lost field position by 8+ yards four times.

— Denver is 25-7 ATS in their last 32 post-bye games
— Surtain broke game open with third quarter pick-6.
— Nine of 11 Denver games stayed under the total.
— Denver gave up 16 or less points in its wins, 26.6 ppg in losses.

San Francisco 34, Minnesota 26:
— Over is 5-0 in Vikings road games this year.
— Nwangwu ran a kickoff back 99 yards for a Viking TD.
— Minnesota has been outscored 91-22 in last 2:00 of each half.
— Minnesota has led by 7+ points in every game this year.

— 49ers won four of their last five games.
— San Francisco outgained Vikings 423-323.
— Last three games, 49ers ran ball for 156-171-208 yards.
— Niners had 10-yard advantage in field position. 

Green Bay 36, LA Rams 28
— Rams were 0-3 in November, giving up 28-31-36 points.
— Stafford threw a pick-6 all three of those games.
— Last three games, Rams are minus-5 in turnovers.
— Last seven games, LA converted only 28-83 on 3rd down. 

— Packers won/covered all five home games TY.
— Green Bay started three drives inside Rams’ 30-yard line.
— Pack is 11-5-2 ATS last 18 games with spread of 3 or less points.
— Last three years, Green Bay is 9-0 ATS coming off a loss.

Baltimore 16, Cleveland 10:
— Browns scored 17 or fewer points in six of last seven games. 
— Cleveland ran ball 17 times for only 40 yards.
— Last four games, Cleveland converted 16-56 third down plays.
— Browns are 2-6 ATS in last eight AFC North road games.

— Jackson threw INT’s on 3 straight drives in 2nd quarter.
— NFL teams had lost 52 games in row when throwing 4+ INTs.
— Baltimore’s last three wins were by 3-3-6 points.
— Ravens won 23 of last 27 series games.

— USC hired 38-year old Lincoln Riley as its new football coach; Riley went 55-10 in his time coaching the Sooners. Unclear if Oklahoma’s bolting to the tougher SEC was a factor in Riley’s decision to jump ship.

Baseball signings:
— Toronto signed P Kevin Gausman to a 5-year, $110M deal.
— Texas signed SS Marcus Semien to a 7-year, $175M deal.
— Rangers also signed P Jon Gray for four years, $56M
— Marlins gave P Sandy Alcantara a 5-year, $65M extension.
— Minnesota gave OF Byron Buxton a 7-year, $100M deal. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Saturday…….

13) Michigan 42, Ohio State 27:
— Haskins ran ball 28 times for 169 yards and five TD’s.
— Michigan snaps 8-game series losing skid.
— Only 8 of Michigan’s 61 plays were on third down.

12) Alabama 24, Auburn 22, OT:
— Auburn led this game 10-0 in 4th quarter.
— Alabama tied game with 0:24 left in regulation.
— Crimson Tide outgained Auburn, 388-159.
 
11) Oklahoma State 37, Oklahoma 33:
— Oklahoma’s offense didn’t score in second half; game was 24-24 at halftime.
— Both teams fumbled a punt inside their own 5-yard line.
— OSU’s stadium is weird; very little room between the sidelines and stands.
— Cowboys snap a 6-game series losing skid; with Oklahoma jumping to the SEC, this rivalry might not go on much longer. Too bad.

10) There are rumors on the Interweb that Lincoln Riley is going to bolt Oklahoma for LSU; Oklahoma is jumping to the SEC, so Riley must think the Sooners won’t be faring too well in a deeper league, where even LSU struggled this year, two years after they won the national title. Not a lot of loyalty in the world these days.

9) San Diego Padres traded 2B Adam Frazier to Seattle for two minor leaguers, one of whom is a promising reliever. Frazier hit .305 LY, made All-Star Game for first time.

8) College football upsets:
— Hawai’i (+13) 38, Wyoming 14
— Minnesota (+7) 23, Wisconsin 13
— Virginia Tech (+7) 29, Virginia 24
— Michigan (+6.5) 42, Ohio State 27
— Tulsa (+6.5) 34, SMU 31
— Bowling Green (+6) 21, Ohio U 10

7) Air Force 48, UNLV 14:
— Air Force ran ball 69 times for 511 yards.
— They didn’t throw a pass the whole game; not one.

6) North Texas 45, Tex-San Antonio 23:
— First loss in 12 games this season for the Roadrunners.

5) Minnesota 23, Wisconsin 13— Gophers’ upset win creates an Iowa-Michigan matchup in the Big 14 title game next week.

4) College basketball upsets:
— Eastern Washington (+19) 76, Washington State 71
— Monmouth (+11) 61, Cincinnati 59
— Northern Iowa (+9.5) 90, St Bonaventure 80
— UMBC (+5.5) 87, Pittsburgh 77

3) Monmouth 61, Cincinnati 59:
— Walker Miller scored 13 points for Monmouth; his brother Wes is Cincinnati’s coach.
— Cincinnati led by 12 early in second half.
— Bearcats were 4-28 on arc; Monmouth was 8-16.

2) Northern Iowa 90, St Bonaventure 80— Handicapping is tough; Bonnies looked so good winning the tournament in Charleston last week, then come home and lose this game, to a very mediocre Northern Iowa squad. UNI made 15-31 3-pointers, but Bonnies made 12-31.

1) USC 58, San Diego State 43:
— Teams combined to go 10-29 on foul line. Seriously.
— Teams also combined to go 7-31 on arc; lot of rebounds in this game.
— USC outrebounded the Aztecs, 49-33.

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Friday…….

13) Duke 84, Gonzaga 81:
— Excellent game; seemed like March, or April.
— Duke outscored Gonzaga 15-7 on foul line.
— Banchero scored 20 points in first half, one in second half.
— Zags were only 6-21 on the arc. 

12) Dayton 74, Kansas 73:
— 16-point underdogs pull biggest upset of season so far.
— Dayton is least experienced team in country.
— Amzil hit game-winning hoop, his only basket of the game.
— Dayton-Belmont is the final of this tournament, on Sunday.

11) Baylor 75, Michigan State 58:
— Bears win the Battle of Atlantis.
— Baylor outscored Spartans 37-22 in second half.
— Bears shot 65.7% inside the arc.

10) NC State 34, North Carolina 30:
— Tar Heels kicked 50-yard FG to lead 30-21 with 2:12 left.
— NC State then scored two touchdowns in 26 seconds for the win; they recovered an onside kick after the first TD.

9) Weird Stats of the Day:
— Last three years, NFL road teams are 9-0 on Thanksgiving Day
— Nebraska finished 1-8 in conference games this season, but Cornhuskers scored 239 points, gave up 239 points in those games- their one Big 14 win was 49-7 over Northwestern, the eight losses were by total of 42 points.

8) Raiders-Cowboys game Thursday got the NFL’s best TV ratings since 1990; they also the most penalties in a game since 2016. Those two facts are not connected.

7) Cincinnati 35, East Carolina 13— Bearcats finish regular season a perfect 12-0, now have to win the AAC title game, then hope the voting system isn’t corrupt, so they can play for a national title.

6) San Diego State has won its last six basketball games against Big East opponents.

5) Detroit Lions are 0-10-1, but they’ve led four games in 4th quarter, are 7-4 vs spread. Their four blown leads in 4th quarter are most in league this season.

4) College football coaching stuff:
— Louisiana Tech told football coach Skip Holtz to take a hike; is this a landing spot for former LSU coach Ed Orgeron?
— Wake Forest wisely signed coach Dave Clawson to a contract extension.
— TCU signed coach Sonny Dykes away from SMU.

3) There are six bowl games on December 18, not really sure why, but that’ll be a busy TV day.

2) New York Mets were busy Friday:
— They are signing OF Starling Marte to a 4-year, $78M contract
— They signed OF Mark Canha to a 2-year, $26.5M deal
— They signed IF Eduardo Escobar to a 2-year, $20M deal.

1) Blind resume for college football coaches. Here is one, for a guy in his third year as a college head coach.
2019— School A- Goes 5-7, then jumps to a new school.
2020— School B— Goes 2-5 in a year where the pandemic screwed things up.
2021— Is 9-2 in his second year at School B, a school in a major league.

Three years as a head coach, 16-14 record. Any guesses who he is?

Michigan State just gave Mel Tucker a 10-year, $95M contract; he is 16-14 as a head coach. Lot of faith for a coach with one winning season. 

Friday’s Den: Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day

13) Here’s something to store away for March; 11 of the last 12 years, team that won the national title in college basketball won one of these tournaments played before conference play, mostly in November. So teams that are winning tournaments this weekend are improving their chances to go home with a much bigger trophy in April.

Later on this month, I’ll post a list of the teams that win these events.

12) Las Vegas 36, Dallas 33 OT:
— Raiders blew 24-13 third quarter lead, kicked FG in OT for the win.
— Total yards: Las Vegas 509, Dallas 437
— Raiders are 10-5 ATS last 15 games as a road underdog.
— Las Vegas allowed 20+ points in 10 of 11 games this year.
— Raiders are 6-1 in OT with Carr at QB.

— Prescott threw for 200+ yards, just in 4th quarter.
— Pollard ran kickoff back 100 yards for a TD.
— Both teams converted only 3-13 third down plays.
— Cowboys are 2-3 in last five games SU, after a 6-0 run.
— Dallas is 3-5 SU in last eight Thanksgiving games.

11) Chicago 16, Detroit 14:
— Santos kicked 28-yard FG for win, ending 18-play drive.
— Chicago kicked FG at 0:00 of both halves.
— Dalton threw for 317 yards in his first start since Week 2.
— Under is 7-2-1 in last ten Chicago games.
— Bears won seven of last eight series games.

— Chicago ran 69 plays for 378 yards, Lions 45 for 239 yards.
— Detroit is winless, but is 7-4 ATS (4-1 last five).
— Last eight games, Lions were outscored 117-39 in first half.
— Lions lost last five Thanksgiving games (1-4 ATS)

10) Buffalo 31, New Orleans 6:
— Buffalo outgained the Saints, 361-190.
— Bills scored TD’s on 3 of first 4 drives in second half.
— Buffalo is 8-5 ATS last thirteen games as road favorites.
— Bills are 0-3 in games decided by less than 15 points.

— Bills were 8-13 on third down, New Orleans 5-14
— Last four weeks, New Orleans was outscored 60-13 in first half.
— Saints lost last four games, giving up 30.3 ppg.
— Last three years, home side is 0-9 SU on Thanksgiving.

9) I’ve read for years how the NFL wants more scoring in its games, because more scoring leads to better TV ratings which leads to more money, which is what they really want.

Here’s a hint; CALL FEWER HOLDING PENALTIES!!!!!

No one pays to watch officials throw flags; holding is very subjective- you could call it on most every play, if you wanted to. Penalties grind the game to a halt; the fewer the better.

8) Blind resume for college football coaches. Here is one, for a guy in his third year as a college head coach.
2019— School A- Goes 5-7, then jumps to a new school.
2020— School B— Goes 2-5 in a year where the pandemic screwed things up.
2021— Is 9-2 in his second year at School B, a school in a major league.

Three years as a head coach, 16-14 record. Any guesses who he is?
Will let you know tomorrow.

7) Iona 72, Alabama 68:
— Rick Pitino as a 12-point underdog? Big win for the Gaels.
— Alabama led by 9 with 12:27 left.
— Crimson Tide was only 13-25 on the foul line.

6) UConn 115, Auburn 109, 2OT (Wednesday game)
— Auburn led 21-10 early.
— UConn led by 15 in second half.
— Teams combined to make 27-56 on arc, 65-79 on foul line.

High-level game; looked like a March game.

5) Maryland 86, Richmond 80:
— Richmond led by 12 late in first half.
— Maryland scored 54 points in second half.
— Terps were 10-23 on arc, 20-25 on foul line.

4) There used to be a tournament called the Alaskan Shootout which was played this week; it was fun, the last first round game would start around 2:30am on Thursday night. At one time, big-time schools went up there to play, but then ESPN started sponsoring events in Bahamas and South Carolina, warm weather places with great beaches, and that killed the Alaskan Shootout. Too bad.

3) Pitcher Steven Matz signed on with St Louis for four years, $44M. Matz was 14-7, 3.82 in 29 starts for Toronto LY. He is from Long Island, but spurned the hometown Mets (his old team) to pitch for the Cardinals.

2) Ohio State-Michigan is noon Saturday; can’t remember a time when this game wasn’t the noon game on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend— they probably moved it to Friday once or twice, but I can’t remember when.

Problem is, when one team wins 16 of 17 meetings, like Ohio State has against the Wolverines, it makes the rivalry a little less appealing. Michigan is 10-1 this year; we’ll see if they can hang with the Buckeyes this time around.

1) Boise State is at San Diego State is also at noon ET Saturday; the thing is, noon ET is 9am in San Diego. Isn’t 9am a little early to play a football game?

Understood that teams are desperate to get TV attention, but having teams eat their pregame meal at 5am seems ridiculous.

Thursday’s Den: NBA trends to be thankful for…….

Hawks (10-9):
— Won their last six games.
— 7-2 ATS at home, 1-9 on road.
— favorites 8-1 ATS at home
— 1-3 ATS if they played night before.

Celtics (10-9):
— won three of last four games.
— 0ver 4-1 last five home games.
— 3-5 ATS as home favorite, 4-0 ATS as road favorite.
— 4-0 ATS on front end of a back/back.

Nets (14-5):
— won seven of last eight games.
— 4-5 ATS as home favorite, 4-3 ATS as road favorite.
— over 7-1 last eight games
— All five losses were by 13+ points.

Hornets (12-8):
— won six of last seven games
— 1-7 ATS last eight road games.
— under 6-1 last seven games
— 5-1 ATS as home underdog.
— 0-4 ATS if they played night before. 

Bulls (12-7):
— Lost three of last five games.
— 6-3 ATS at home, 6-4 ATS on road.
— under 6-2 last eight home games.
— 3-0 ATS on front end of a back/back.

Cavaliers (9-10):
— Lost their last five games SU.
— 13-4 vs spread in last 17 games
— over 3-1 last four games
— 7-3 ATS at home, 6-3 on road.

Mavericks (10-7):
— Lost three of last four games SU.
— Over 5-2 last seven games overall.
— Under 4-2-1 at home.
— 4-1 ATS last five road games.

Nuggets (9-9):
— Lost their last five games
— 2-6 ATS on the road.
— over 5-1 last six games. 
— 3-5 ATS as a favorite.

Pistons (4-14):
— Lost five of last six games
— 4-5 ATS as home underdog, 3-5 as road underdog. 
— under 5-3 last eight home games.
— 6-4 ATS in last ten games overall.

Warriors (16-2):
— won 12 of last 13 games SU
— covered last five games.
— 9-1-1 ATS as home favorite
— 5-2 ATS on the road.

Rockets (2-16):
— Lost 15 of their last 16 games.
— Under 6-1 last seven games.
— 1-4 ATS as a home underdog.
— 2-7 ATS last nine games overall. 

Pacers (8-12):
— Lost four of last six games.
— 0-5 ATS as a road favorite, 5-2 as a road dog.
— under 8-1 last nine road games.
— 4-1 ATS last five home tilts.

Clippers (10-8):
— Lost four of last six games 
— under 4-2 on road.
— over 5-2 last seven home games.
— 0-2 ATS if they played night before. 

Lakers (10-10):
— 3-5 SU in last eight games
— 3-7 ATS as a home favorite.
— over 4-1 last five home games
— 4-0 SU in overtime games.

Grizzlies (9-9):
— won three of last five games SU.
— last five games went over total.
— 2-4 ATS last six road games.
— 6-4 ATS at home

Heat (9-5):
— won four of last six games SU
— under 3-0-1 last four road games.
— 6-1 ATS at home
— 5-0 ATS as an underdog.

Bucks (11-8):
— won last five games SU, all at home.
— 3-7 ATS at home, 5-4 on road
— under 5-1 last six games overall
— 0-3 ATS on front end of a back/back.

Timberwolves (9-9):
— won last five games, covered last six.
— All five of those wins were by 10+ points.
— under 4-1-1 last six games
— 2-0 ATS on front end of a back/back.

Pelicans (4-16):
— split last four games SU
— 4-4 ATS last eight games
— 6-3 ATS home underdog, 2-8 ATS road underdog
— under 8-1 last nine road games

Knicks (10-8):
— lost four of last six games SU.
— under last five games overall
— 1-5 ATS last six home games
— 3-9 ATS last dozen games overall. 

Thunder (6-12):
— covered their last six road games
— 5-4 ATS at home
— last three games overall went over total.
— under 7-2 in their road games.

Magic (4-15):
— lost seven of last eight games SU
— covered four of last five games
— under 8-4 last dozen games
— 2-6 ATS as a home underdog. 

76ers (10-9):
— lost seven of last nine games SU
— under 4-1 last five games
— 3-5 ATS at home, 7-4 ATS on road
— 5-2 ATS when favored, 5-7 as underdog.

Suns (15-3):
— won last 14 games SU
— Despite that, they’re 1-5 ATS last six games
— 5-2 ATS last seven home games
— over 4-0 last four games overall

Trailblazers (10-9):
— won four of last five games SU
— 1-8 ATS on the road
— 7-3 ATS at home 
— over 4-1 last five road games

Kings (7-12):
— lost eight of last ten games
— under 7-3 at home
— 3-7 ATS at home
— 1-4 ATS as home underdog, 3-2 as road dog. 

Spurs (4-13):
— lost last six games SU
— over 7-0-1 at home, 2-7 on road.
— 2-6 ATS last eight games
— 5-7 ATS as an underdog

Raptors (9-10):
— lost seven of last ten games (3-7 ATS)
— 1-7 ATS at home, 7-4 on road.
— over 6-1 last seven games
— 1-4 ATS as a favorite

Jazz (12-6):
— won four of last five games
— over 5-1 last six games
— 5-4 ATS as home favorite, 5-3 as road favorite
— Scored 110+ points in last five games.

Wizards (10-3):
— lost four of last five games (1-4 ATS)
— under 6-0 last six home games
— 1-5 ATS last six home games
— 4-0 ATS as home dogs, 2-4 as road dogs

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings…….

13) New Jersey Giants fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett Tuesday because there have to be scapegoats when things go off the rails. Giants are 21-53 the last five years, but Garrett was only in his second year as the Giants’ OC.

Dave Gettleman became the Giants’ GM after the 2017 season:
— He drafted oft-injured RB Saquon Barkley, instead of QB’s Josh Allen/Lamar Jackson.
— The next year, he drafted QB Daniel Jones; Jones is 11-25 as an NFL starter.
— Allen is 34-19 as an NFL starter; Jackson 36-10.
— He hired Joe Judge as head coach; that’s not going well.

Maybe Gettleman is the guy who needs to be fired. 

12) Gonzaga 83, UCLA 63:
— This was no contest, Gonzaga waxed them from wire-to-wire.
— Zags led 29-8 after the first 10:00.
— Gonzaga shot 70.4% inside arc.

11) By the way, speaking of UCLA, we’ll be deluged the rest of this college basketball season with stories/tributes about Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is retiring after this season, He has a few former players working on TV these days; one of them called him “the greatest coach in college basketball history” 

John Wooden won seven national titles in a row, and back in those days, you had to win your league’s regular season title just to make it into the national tournament— ACC was the only major league that had a conference tournament.

Make no mistake about it, John Wooden is the best coach in college basketball history.

10) Handicapping is difficult; you look at the NBA standings and see that Oklahoma City is 6-11, a bad team, so you would never bet on them, right?

Here’s the thing; Thunder covered their last six road games; they’re a team you should back when they’re away from home. Research is essential when you’re risking your money.

9) Arkansas 73, Cincinnati 67:
— Arkansas outscored Bearcats 16-7 over final 5:57
— Razorbacks outscored Cincy 24-11 on foul line.

8) Maui Classic:
— Wisconsin 65, Houston 63— Badgers led by 20 at halftime.
— Saint Mary’s 62, Oregon 50— Ducks were only 2-8 on the arc.

7) Florida Gulf Coast 67, Rhode Island 66:
— URI led by 14 late in first half.
— Rams beat Boston College twice, then lose this game?

6) Golden State star Klay Thompson participated in a full team practice Tuesday for the first time since tearing his Achilles tendon last year. Warriors haven’t set a date for Thompson’s return to game action.

5) Penn State gave football coach James Franklin a 10-year contract extension; Franklin is 67-32 at Penn State, after going 24-15 in three years at Vanderbilt. 

Liberty also gave coach Hugh Freeze a contract extension; when other coaches get fired, the coaches who win make even more money.

4) Ole Miss QB Matt Corral sounds like he is going pro after this season; he’s played three years for the Rebels- this isn’t a great year for QB’s in the draft. Mel Kiper has him listed #1 for QB’s to be taken next spring.

3) Tampa Bay Rays signed 20-year old SS Wander Franco to a 12-year, $223M contract; he hit .288 (.810 OPS) in 70 games as a rookie this past summer.

2) More baseball stuff:
— Chicago White Sox signed reliever Kendall Graveman to a 3-year, $24M deal.
— San Francisco Giants re-signed P Anthony DeSclafani to a 3-year deal, are expected to re-sign P Alex Wood to a 2-year deal.

1) Late at night I watch movies/old TV shows; the first-ever episode of Columbo was on the other night, Peter Falk as a quirky LA detective. Jack Cassidy was the bad guy; seemed like he always played a bad guy.

The director of that show? Steven Spielberg, wonder whatever happened to him. 

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) Tampa Bay 30, NJ Giants 10:
— Giants’ only TD came on a 5-yard drive after an INT
— Big Blue averaged 3.6 yards/pass attempt.
— Daniel Jones’ career win-loss record: 11-25.
— Giants have been outscored 64-12 in last 2:00 of each half, 45-0 in first half.

— Bucs drove 73-79-71 yards on three of first four drives.
— Giants were 1-9 on third down, Tampa Bay 6-13.
— Last nine games, Tampa Bay is +8 in turnovers.
— With Brady at QB, Tampa Bay is 7-3-1 ATS as a home favorite.

12) There is a college basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, which is different from the Hall of Fame in Springfield, which is for all of basketball.

How in God’s name is Jerry Tarkanian not in the college Hall of Fame? He is in the Springfield Hall of Fame, but not the one in Kansas City. It is ludicrous and absurd.

761-202 record, four Final Fours, 1990 national title; I could go on for a while about some of the coaches who have been inducted who had inferior records, but don’t really want to disparage those other coaches.

If they want their Hall of Fame (it is only 15 years old) to be taken seriously, they have to put the great coaches in. Tarkanian was undoubtedly a great coach.

11) Florida Gators fired football coach Dan Mullen; he went 34-15 in four seasons at Florida, but was 2-9 in his last 11 games against against Power 5 opponents.

His replacement will be the Gators’ fourth head coach in eight years; there is a certain amount of insanity involved when it comes to college football hiring/firing.

10) There have been 13 college football coaches fired this fall; one school that didn’t fire its coach on the hot seat is Nebraska, which has kept Scott Frost, despite his 15-28 record (5-19 in games decided by 8 or fewer points).

9) Minnesota Vikings are 5-5 this season; they’ve had a lead of 7+ points in every game.

8) Utah/Utah State’s basketball teams don’t play each other; last time they met was 2018. Why?

You would think games between intra-state rivals would draw big crowds, make lot of money. Plus, Utah’s new coach came to Salt Lake City from Utah State, which should add to the rivalry.

7) There are seven first-time head coaches in the NFL this season; they’re combined 7-7 ATS as a favorite this season, 24-33 ATS as an underdog.

6) It is Thanksgiving week, and Baltimore Ravens haven’t played Pittsburgh/Cleveland yet, their two biggest divisional rivals. Four of their last seven games are against those two teams.

5) Was watching the Georgia-Georgia Tech basketball game from Athens the other night; Atlanta Braves’ manager Brian Snitker was watching in the front row- they put him on TV for a while and it was fun hearing how happy he sounded. He waited a long time to be a big league skipper, and now he is a World Series champ— he should be enjoying it.

4) Ohio State 79, Seton Hall 76:
— Buckeyes were 11-22 on arc, Seton Hall 5-23.
— Seven of ten starters in this game are seniors; two good teams.

3) Cincinnati 71, Illinois 51:
— Illinois led 23-10 after 10:00 of play.
— North Carolina alum Wes Miller is Cincinnati’s new coach; when the Tar Heels hired Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams, did they choose the right alumnus?
— Miller was coach at NC-Greensboro for ten years- the last five years, he went 125-43, 70-18 in conference games.

2) Rice 109, Evansville 104, 3OT:
— Evansville led by 15 early in second half.
— Rice was 25-35 on foul line, Purple Aces 14-20.
— Owls start a frosh, two sophs; Evansville starts four seniors.

1) I’m curious about how many people from San Diego venture north to LA for Charger home games; San Diego is the 8th-biggest city in the country, still think it is odd that they skipped town to be a tenant in someone else’s domed stadium.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Minnesota 34, Green Bay 31:
— Green Bay’s first 4 drives: 26 plays, 120 yards, 3 points.
— Green Bay’s last 4 drives: 29 plays, 318 yards, 28 points.
— Packers tied game with 75-yard TD pass with 2:08 left.
— In Rodgers’ last four starts, Green Bay converted 26-51 on third down.

— Vikings drove 64 yards in 2:06, kicked GW FG with 0:00 left.
— Minnesota was 9-13 on third down, Packers 7-11.
— Nine of Vikings’ ten games were decided by 7 or fewer points.
— Underdogs covered five of last six series games.

Indianapolis 41, Buffalo 15:
— Colts won/covered six of last eight games, after an 0-3 start.
— Taylor ran ball 32 times for 185 yards, four TD’s.
— Colts were plus-4 in turnovers (4-0).
— Indy is 11-7-1 ATS last 19 games as a road underdog.
— Last seven weeks, Colts outscored opponents 129-61 in first half.

— Colts in first half: 4 series- 32 plays, 182 yards, 24 points.
— Indy ran ball for 264 yards, threw for only 106.
— Six of their last eight games went over the total.
— Bills are 2-3 in last five games, after a 4-1 start.

Houston 22, Tennessee 13:
— Texans end their 8-game losing streak.
— Houston won despite being outgained, 420-190.
— Texans had 13-yard edge in field position.
— Under is 6-2 in Texans’ last seven games.

— Tennessee had its 6-game winning streak end.
— When you’re minus-5 in turnovers, you always lose.
— Tannehill threw INTs on three of last four possessions.
— Last four years, Tennessee is 8-11 ATS as home favorites.

Cleveland 13, Detroit 10:
— Detroit is winless, but is 6-4 vs spread. 
— Lions threw for exactly 77 yards two games in a row.
— Last seven games, Lions were outscored 104-32 in first half.
— Seven of last eight Detroit games stayed under the total.

— Browns outgained Detroit, 349-245
— Browns are 5-8 ATS last 13 games as home favorite.
— Cleveland outscored foes 48-15 in last 2:00 of each half.
— Browns scored 17 or fewer points in five of last six games.

San Francisco 30, Jacksonville 10:
— First five drives: 52 plays, 324 yards, 27 points.
— 49ers outgained Jacksonville, 333-200.
— Four of their five wins have come on the road.
— Last two years, 49ers are 5-2 ATS as road favorites.

— Jaguars lost 23 of their last 25 games. 
— Last three years, Jaguars are 6-11 ATS as home underdogs.
— Nine of their last ten games stayed under the total.
— Jacksonville already has six losses by 10+ points.

Miami 24, NJ Jets 17:
— Dolphins scored  TD on first drive of each half.
— Miami won its last three games, giving up 12 ppg.
— Last four Dolphin games stayed under the total.
— Miami has given up 60 plays of 20+ yards, has only 38 themselves.

— Jets lost seven of last eight games; last five games, they used four QB’s.
— Last four years, Jets are 2-10 ATS in AFC East home games.
— Jets lost nine of last 11 games against Miami.
— Last four years, Jets are 13-26 ATS coming off a loss.

Washington 27, Carolina 21:
— Washington kicked two FG’s in last 4:13 for winning margin.
— Washington had an 11-yard edge in field position.
— Washington was 6-13 on third down, Carolina 2-9.
— Washington ran ball for 190 yards, outgained Panthers 369-297.

— Carolina lost six of last eight games after a 3-0 start.
— Carolina is 0-6 if it allows more than 14 points.
— Newton threw for 180 yards, ran for 46 more in first ’21 start.
— Panthers are 4-8 ATS last 12 games as home favorites.

Baltimore 16, Chicago 13:
— Backup QB Huntley drove Ravens 72 yards in 1:19, scored winning TD with 0:22 left.
— On first 10 drives, Ravens managed only three Tucker FG’s.
— Ravens converted 7-15 on third down, Chicago 2-11
— Last five games, opponents are 20-76 on third down

— Five drives with Fields at QB: 29 plays, 152 yards, no points.
— Five drives with Dalton at QB: 24 plays, 186 yards, 13 points.
— Bears outgained Baltimore, 353-299.
— Chicago lost last five games, last two by total of five points. 

Philadelphia 40, New Orleans 29:
— Saints lost last three games, after a 5-2 start.
— Last three weeks, New Orleans was outscored 50-13 in first half.
— New Orleans has 30 plays of 20+ yards, their opponents have 44.
— Down 34-7 after three quarters, Saints scored 22 points in garbage time.

— Eagles converted 12-21 third down plays.
— Last four games, Philly ran ball for 217 ypg (98.6 ypg previous five games)
— Four of last five Philly games went over the total.
— Eagles won three of last four games to even record at 5-5. 

Cincinnati 32, Las Vegas 13:
— Bengals in 2nd half: 5 drives- 37 plays, 187 yards, 22 points.
— Cincinnati scored 31+ points in four of last five games.
— Bengals are 5-1 scoring 24+ points, 0-3 otherwise.
— Cincy was 8-16 on third down, Raiders were 1-7

— Raiders lost last three games, outscored 59-17 in second half. 
— Raiders converted only 13 of last 48 third down plays.
— Las Vegas is 12-17-1 ATS in last 30 games with spread of 3 or less.
— Since moving to Las Vegas, Raiders are 5-9 SU at home (6-8 ATS)

Arizona 23, Seattle 13:
— Cardinals had TD drives of 82-92 yards on two of first three drives.
— Arizona outgained Seahawks, 413-266.
— Arizona has 48 plays of 20+ yards; their opponents have 26.
— Cardinals are 8-3 ATS this season.

— Last two games with Wilson back at QB, Seattle has one TD on 18 drives.
— In those two losses, Seattle was outgained, 806-474.
— Seahawks lost seven of their last nine games overall.
— Cardinals are 7-2 ATS in last nine visits to Seattle.

Kansas City 19, Dallas 9:
— Dallas went 3/out on six of 12 drives.
— Cowboys averaged only 4.0 yards/pass attempt.
— Last four Dallas games stayed under the total.
— Dallas is 5-10 ATS last 15 games with spread of 3 or less points.

— First three drives: 21 plays, 154 yards, 16 points.
— Chiefs allowed only 11.8 ppg in last four games.
— Kansas City is 5-0 if it allows 17 or less points, 2-4 if they allow more.
— Five of Chiefs’ last six games stayed under the total.
— Kansas City is 16-6-1 ATS in last 23 games with spread of 3 or less.

LA Chargers 41, Pittsburgh 37:
— Steelers scored 27 points in 4th quarter, still came up short.
— Pittsburgh had TD drives of 3-11 yards; they blocked a punt.
— Chargers outgained the Steelers, 533-300.
— Last five years, Steelers are 13-4 ATS as road underdogs.

— Herbert hit Mike Williams for 53-yard TD with 2:09 left.
— Chargers’ first five drives: 49 plays, 355 yards, 27 points.
— Chargers averaged 8.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Last four years, LA is 5-17-1 ATS as home favorites.
— Eight of their ten games were decided by 7 or fewer points.

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Cincinnati 48, SMU 14:
— Pollsters will probably drop Cincinnati for running up the score.
— First time in five games that Cincinnati covered the spread.
— SMU is 8-3, so this is a solid win.
— Total yardage was 544-199, Cincinnati.

12) Alabama 42, Arkansas 35:
— Any pollsters dropping Alabama in rankings for this score?
— Bryce Young was 31-40/559 passing for Alabama, with 5 TD’s.

11) Utah 38, Oregon 7:
— Spot opens up in the top 4 nationally.
— Utah led 28-0 at halftime.- they’ll be in Pac-12 title game.
— Utes converted 11-14 third down plays.

10) Baylor 20, Kansas State 10:
— Baylor outgains K-State 402-263, improves to 9-2.
— Baylor QB Bohanon got hurt; his backup Blake Shapen, was 16-21/137 passing, and added 37 rushing yards.
— Shapen is the nephew of Hal Sutton, the great golfer.

9) Air Force 41, Nevada 39 OT:
— Air Force led this game 17-3 at halftime.
— Falcons ran for 476 yards, needed overtime to win.
— Nevada scored two fourth-quarter TD’s to force OT.

8) College football upsets this week:
— Southern Miss (+15.5) 35, Louisiana Tech 19
— Missouri (+9) 24, Florida 23 OT
— South Carolina (+7) 21, Auburn 17
— Colorado (+6.5) 20, Washington 17
— Eastern Michigan (+6) 22, Western Michigan 21

7) UCLA 62, USC 35:
— USC’s administration fired Clay Helton in September, still hasn’t replaced him.
— If they were going to act this slowly, they should’ve kept Helton all season.
— UCLA gained 609 yards; only nine of their 66 plays came on third down.
— USC intercepted UCLA’s first two passes, still gave up 15.9 yards/attempt.

6) Tex-San Antonio 34, UAB 31:
— 11-0 Roadrunners scored TD with 0:03 left to keep their perfect season going.
— UAB led 24-17 at halftime, outgained the Roadrunners 474-375.

5) Ohio State 56, Michigan State 7:
— Buckeyes scored first six times they had ball, led 49-0 at halftime.
— Wonder if the Spartans still want to give Mel Tucker a $95M contract extension?

4) Missouri 24, Florida 23 OT:
— Florida lost their last four I-A games.
— Gators beat a I-AA team 70-52 last week.
— I’m guessing they’ll be making a coaching change in a few weeks.

3) College basketball upsets:
— Bethune-Cookman (+18) 81, Bryant 75
— Austin Peay (+13.5) 87, Dayton 81
— Colgate (+11) 100, Syracuse 85
— St Thomas (+8.5) 76, Niagara 67

2) Purdue 93, North Carolina 84:
— Purdue shot 63.2% inside the arc.
— Tar Heels shot 12-29 on arc, still lost by nine.
— Game was tied with 9:03 left.
— Purdue scored 52 points in second half.

1) Colgate 100, Syracuse 85:
— Syracuse led this game 22-5 early on.
— Colgate made 18-43 on arc, 14-27 inside arc.
— Red Raiders scored 1.37 ppp, a really good night.

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Friday……..

13) Here are some SEC football games for Saturday:
— Charleston Southern @ Georgia
— Prairie View @ Texas A&M
— Tennessee State @ Mississippi State

Are you bleepin’ kidding me? The week before Thanksgiving, and they’re playing I-AA teams? You play those teams in August/September; actually, you should never play them. Play cruddy teams from the Sun Belt or the MAC or schedule New Mexico State.

SEC spends 51 weeks a year promoting themselves as the best football conference in the country (“It just means more”) then they do this on November 20. It is ludicrous and absurd.

Georgia is #1 in the country, and they’re playing Charleston Southern? Give me a break…….

12) Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good; actually, it is best to be both lucky and good.

Davidson College is located in a suburb of Charlotte, NC; Bob McKillop is their basketball coach, and he is a very good coach. Back in the late 90’s, coach McKillop’s son played Little League, where one of his teammates was a kid named Steph Curry, whose dad Dell Curry played for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Jump ahead a few years, and Steph Curry winds up playing ball for McKillop at Davidson- they go 29-7, make the Elite 8, and you know the rest of the story. Davidson was in the Southern Conference back then; now they’re in the Atlantic 14, a much better league.

If McKillop’s son hadn’t played Little League with Steph Curry, chances are Davidson would still be in the SoCon.

11) Every night in Las Vegas is fun, this we know, but Friday night was especially fun, with UNLV’s football/basketball teams playing at home, at the same time.

San Diego State 28, UNLV 20:
— Aztecs are 10-1; they scored on a 24-yard TD pass with 0:05 left in first half.
— UNLV outgained San Diego State 394-290, but turned ball over four times (-2).

Michigan 74, UNLV 61:
— Michigan’s lead was only 35-32 at halftime.
— Michigan’s subs outgained UNLV’s bench 18-4. 

10) Marquette 82, West Virginia 71:
Shaka Smart’s team is #350 in experience, #338 in continuity, but they’re already 5-0, with wins over West Virginia, Illinois, Ole Miss. Excellent start.

Of the eight players who played 12:00+ for Marquette in this game, five are freshmen- they were down 14 late in first half, but made 12-26 on the arc and will play St Bonaventure in the tourney final on Sunday.

9) Utah State 85, New Mexico State 58:
— Ryan Odom is Utah State’s new coach; he was the UMBC coach whose team upset Virginia in the only #1-16 upset in NCAA Tournament history.
— Aggies went 42-13 in Mountain West the last three years, then their coach bolted to Utah.
— Utah-Utah State don’t play this year, they haven’t played in four years. Whats up with that?

Utah State-Oklahoma is the final of this tournament in Conway, SC on Sunday.

8) Arizona 82, Wichita State 78 OT:
— Arizona blew 15-point lead in second half.
— Wichita is #309 in experience, but #107 in continuity; they fought back.
— Three Shockers fouled out.

— Free throws: Arizona 29-42, Wichita 12-24
— Arizona turned ball over 22 times (minus-7)
— Arizona started four freshmen. 

7) Lions’ QB Jared Goff (oblique) hasn’t practiced this week, isn’t expected to play against the Browns Sunday. Tim Boyle is Detroit’s backup QB: he’s thrown four NFL passes in 11 games as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay.

Boyle threw one TD, 13 INT’s in 19 games over three years at UConn, then transferred to I-AA Eastern Kentucky, where he threw 11 TD’s with 13 INT’s in a 4-7 season.

I’d expect Boyle to spend lot of time handing off Sunday.

6) By my count, 15 of 32 NFL teams have started the same QB in every game this season.

5) Celtics 130, Lakers 108:
— Lakers were minus-4 in 32:00 that Lebron James played.
— Lakers were minus-18 in 16:00 that Lebron James didn’t play.

Lakers are 8-9, 1-4 on road. They’ve got some work to do to make the playoffs.

4) Was encouraging to watch Utah State this week; one of their guys went 10-10 on the foul line in a double overtime win Thursday. If you work hard and practice a lot, you can make yourself a good shooter, all of which makes the Ben Simmons experience frustrating to think about.

Guy is supposed to make $31,590,000 this year; he is a career 59.7% shooter on the foul line. Guards shouldn’t shoot 60% on the foul line. High school guards should be better than that.

3) After watching a ton of college basketball for the last 10 days, I was reminded that teams who run the Princeton offense spend seven minutes at every practice working on different kinds of layups. They do lot of cutting off the ball, and often find themselves at odd angles near the hoop, so practicing those shots is smart. 

Every team should do that; nothing more depressing than missing layups.

2) NFL stuff:
— Dallas WR Amari Cooper tested positive for COVID, will miss next two games.
— Baker Mayfield is expected to start at QB for Cleveland.
— Cam Newton is expected to start at QB for Carolina.

1) I am told that this is the toughest tongue twister in the English language:

“The sixth sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”

Say that three times fast. 

Saturday’s Den, part 2: NHL trends

NHL trends (thru Thursday)
Anaheim 10-5-3
— Won last eight of last nine games.
— Ducks are 7-3-1 at home, 3-4-2 on road. 
— under 5-1 last six at home.
— over 5-1 last six on road.  

Arizona 2-13-2
— 2-4 last six games, after an 0-11 start.
— under 7-0 last seven road games.
— over 3-0 last three home games.
— Arizona is 0-2 in shootouts.

Boston 8-5
— Won five of last seven games.
— 6-1 at home, 2-4 on road.
— over 5-1 last six games. 

Buffalo 7-7-2
— Lost seven of last nine games.
— 2-5 on road.
— 2-4 last six home games.
— under is 3-1 in last four games.

Calgary 9-3-5
— lost six of their last nine games.
— Flames are 7-4 on road, 2-4 at home.
— Under 5-1 last six games
— Flames are 1-5 in OT games.

Carolina 13-2
— won four of their last five games
— under 4-0-1 last five games
— 6-1 at home, 7-1 on road.
— 6-1 in one-goal games.

Chicago 5-9-2
— Blackhawks won last four games, after a 1-9-2 start.
— under is 6-2-1 in their home games.
— over is 4-1-2 in their road games.
— Chicago is 0-10 if it allows 3+ goals.

Colorado 7-5-1
— Colorado won last three games, outscoring foes 17-5.
— won three of last four road games.
— won three of last four home games.
— over is 4-1-1 in their road games

Columbus 9-5
— Won five of their last seven games.
— Blue Jackets won last three home tilts.
— Columbus is 6-3 at home.
— Last seven Columbus games went over.

Dallas 6-7-2
— Dallas lost seven of its last ten games.
— Last seven Dallas games went over (under 8-0 first eight).
— Stars are 3-6 on road, 3-3 at home
— Dallas is 4-2 in OT/SO.

Detroit 8-9-2
— Red Wings lost four of last five games
— Detroit lost six of last seven road games.
— Under is 7-2 in their home games.
— Over is 8-2 in their road games.

Edmonton 12-4
— Oilers split last six games, after a 9-1 start.
— Oilers are 7-1 at home, 5-3 on road.
— Over is 6-3 in last nine games overall.
— Over is 5-1 in last six home games. 

Florida 12-2-3
— Panthers lost last five road games (3/5 losses in OT/SO) 
— Florida is 9-0 at home
— Over is 6-3 in their home games.
— Under is 6-2 in their road games.

Los Angeles 8-6-2
— LA won last 8 of last 9 games, after a 1-6 start.
— Kings are 6-3 at home, 3-4 on road (won last 3 on road).
— Under is 6-2 in their last eight games.
— 3-2 in OT/SO.

Minnesota 11-5
— Wild won six of last seven games.
— Over is 6-1 in last seven games. 
— 5-2 at home, 6-3 on road.
— 4-0 in OT/SO

Montreal 4-13-2
— Montreal lost four in row, 7 of last 8 games
— Canadiens are 2-4 at home, 1-5 on road.
— Four of their last five home games went over.
— Montreal scored two or fewer goals in 15 of 19 games.

Nashville 9-6-1
— Predators won three of last four games overall.
— Nashville won four of last five at home. 
— Under is 6-1 in their home games, 4-5 on road.
— Nashville is 3-1 in OT/SO

New Jersey 7-5-3
— Devils lost last three games, giving up 13 games.
— Devils lost last four road games, outscored 15-6.
— over is 4-1 in their last five home games.
— New Jersey is 2-3 in OT/SO.

NY Islanders 5-6-2
— Islanders haven’t played a home game yet.
— Islanders lost last four games, outscored 19-4.
— under is 8-3 in their last 11 games.
— Islanders haven’t played a home game yet; they’re 4-4.

NY Rangers 10-4-3
— Rangers won four of last five games.
— New York won its last four home games.
— over is 5-2 in their last seven games.
— Rangers are 2-3 in OT/SO

Ottawa 4-10-1
— Senators lost seven of last eight games overall.
— Ottawa lost seven of last eight home games.
— under is 3-1 in last four Ottawa games.
— under is 3-1-1 in their road games.

Philadelphia 8-4-3
— last nine games: LWLWLWLWL
— Flyers are 4-2 at home, 4-2-1 on road.
— Philly is 1-3 in OT/SO.
— under is 8-2 in their last ten games. 

Pittsburgh 6-6-4
— Pittsburgh lost five of last seven games.
— Penguins are 4-4-2 at home, 2-2-2 on road.
— Over is 5-1 in Penguin road games.
— under is 4-1-1 in last six home games.

St Louis 9-5-2
— St Louis lost four of last five games.
— under is 5-2 in their last seven games.
— Blues are 4-3-1 at home, 5-2-1 on road.

San Jose 8-7-1
— Sharks lost five of their last seven games.
— under is 5-1 in San Jose’s last six games.
— Sharks are 3-2-1 at home, 5-5 on road.

Seattle 4-11-1
— Seattle lost its last six games, giving up 28 goals.
— Kraken are 3-5 at home, 1-6-1 on road. 
— Over is 6-1-1 in their road games. 
— Last seven Seattle games went over the total.

Tampa Bay 9-3-3
— Lightning won seven of last nine games.
— Last four home games stayed under.
— Lightning is 4-2-2 at home, 5-1-1 on road.
— Tampa Bay is 4-3 in OT/SO games.

Toronto 12-5-1
— Toronto won last five games, 10 of last 11
— Under is 4-1 in their last five games.
— Under is 4-2 in Toronto road games.
— Maple Leafs are 9-2-1 at home, 3-3 on road.  

Vancouver 5-10-2
— Vancouver lost last five games, outscored 26-10.
— Canucks are 2-5-1 at home, 3-5-1 on road.
— last three road games went over
— under is 6-1-1 in their home games.

Vegas 10-7
— Knights won six of last eight games.
— over 4-1-1 last six home games.
— over 6-1-1 last eight games overall.
— Vegas is 2-0 in OT/SO.

Washington 10-2-5
— Caps won five of their last six games.
— Washington is 5-2 after a loss.
— Washington is 0-5 in overtime games. 
— Under is 3-1 in Caps’ last four road games. 

Winnipeg 9-3-4
— Jets won three of their last four games.
— Jets are 7-2 at home, 2-5 on road.
— under is 5-1 in last six Winnipeg games.
— Jets are 2-4 in OT/SO.

Friday’s Den: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) I like to surf the web and find articles that will help me in handicapping and in fantasy baseball; back in 2019, read an article in The Athletic about a Toronto pitcher named Trent Thornton.

Won’t mention the writer’s name, but he was effusive in his praise for Thornton, how the spin rate on his curveball was so good and that he was such a good prospect. I was skeptical, but hey, this guy writes for The Athletic while I’m eating Doritos on my couch, so I picked Thornton up, since my squad needed pitching.

It didn’t go well.

His first two starts were very good (2 runs in 10.2 IP) but then the roof fell in. 13 runs in 12.2 IP in his next three starts; one of the home runs he gave up in SkyDome almost went through the empty seat it hit. If someone had been sitting there, they would’ve broken a bone. 

Can’t remember how long it took me to cut Thornton, but I stopped reading that guy’s articles. Just because you get paid to do something doesn’t mean you’re good at it.

12) New England 25, Atlanta 0:
— Patriots had one offensive TD; they had a pick-6 with 1:22 left.
— Patriots won five in row, six of last seven games.
— New England has 18 takeaways in last seven games (+10)
— Since 2016, New England is 22-15 ATS as road favorites.

— Three Falcon QB’s threw an INT in this game.
— Atlanta is 0-4 SU at home, losing by 26-4-6-25 points.
— Falcons gained 165 total yards, had two empty trips to red zone.
— Atlanta has been outscored 165-82 in second half.

11) Mac Jones was the fifth QB taken in last spring’s draft. This is why the NFL Draft is such an interesting process; in a business where the average franchise is worth $3B, some teams are just knuckleheads where the draft is concerned. 

10) Good news: ESPN announced that Dick Vitale will be the analyst for Tuesday’s Gonzaga-UCLA game in Las Vegas. The 82-year old Vitale has been getting treatment for lymphoma, but his doctor gave his blessing for the former coach to travel to call games. Glad to hear it.

9) New Mexico State 76, Davidson 64:
— This is Chris Jans’ 5th year with the Aggies; they’ve gone 98-25 under his tutelage, beating a good Davidson team here.
— New Mexico State has 13 new players this season, basically a whole new team.

8) Charleston Cougars are going to be an interesting team to follow this winter; they changed coaches last spring, with Earl Grant jumping to Boston College. In seven years under Grant, Charleston went 68-50 in CAA games, 57-25 the last five years.

In those seven years, Charleston NEVER ranked higher than #289 in pace; they played slower tempo, were a good defensive team, and hey, they won a lot of games.

Enter Pat Kelsey, Charleston’s new coach.

In nine years at Winthrop, Kelsey went 110-46 in conference games; in his last six years with the Eagles, Winthrop never ranked lower than #47 in pace. Kelsey likes his team to play fast.

So far this season, Charleston is #1 in country in pace. Not sure how good they’ll be, but they’ll sure as hell be fun to watch.

7) Still believe that one weekend every season, the NBA should honor the old ABA by playing games with red, white and blue basketballs, and having the four ABA survivors play each other that weekend. Nets-Spurs-Pacers-Nuggets. The ABA made basketball more fun; that’s where the 3-point shot came from.

6) Brooklyn Nets just played eight games in 13 nights, going 6-2 in those games.

5) This is how screwed up college sports have become; DePaul-Rutgers in the Big East-Big 14 challenge, a team from Chicago against a team from New Jersey. The thing is, DePaul is the Big East team, and Rutgers is the Big 14 team.

If I was a kid today, I’d flunk geography.

4) Dayton Flyers already have home losses to Mass-Lowell and Lipscomb, scoring 58-59 points in those games. Atlantic 14 is pretty good league. Flyers are 2nd-least experienced team in country, playing a bottom 10 pace. Against Lipscomb, seven of nine Flyers who played were freshmen. Could be a long winter in Dayton.

3) St Bonaventure 67, Boise State 61:
— Bonnies are supposed to be the best team in A-14; they allowed 56 ppg in their first three games.
— Bonnies have six international players on their roster.
— St Bonaventure is #28 in experience; they’ve made only 21.7% of their 3’s so far.

2) Other interesting college basketball scores:
— Xavier 71, Ohio State 65
— Samford 78, Oregon State 77
— Marquette 78, Ole Miss 72
— Saginaw Valley 80, Western Michigan 63— Oy.
— San Diego State 65, Arizona State 63

1) Do cellphones cause people to talk less?

I’m at the mall Monday, getting my booster shot; after the shot, you sit in an area for 15 minutes, then you go home, or wherever. There are seven other people sitting in the area; I look around, and all eight of us are scrolling on our phones. Makes the time go quicker, but in the old days, maybe you’d strike up a conversation with someone. Didn’t happen Monday.

Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

13) This fall for the first time, HBO is doing an in-season version of Hard Knocks, dealing with the Indianapolis Colts. First episode aired Wednesday; focused on how Frank Reich/Carson Wentz bonded when Reich was offensive coordinator for the Eagles, then how much Reich wanted to acquire Wentz when the Eagles made him available.

Owner Jim Irsay makes couple of brief appearances; all in all, the normal high quality stuff you expect from NFL Films, but because it is the regular season, that makes it even better. 

12) It still gets me every time I watch Hard Knocks and realize that the narrator is actor Liev Schrieber, the actor who played Ray Donovan on the great Showtime series. Ray Donovan had a Boston accent and Schrieber doesn’t, I would’ve lost money betting that it wasn’t him.

11) Joe Flacco is going to start at QB for the Jets Sunday; over the last four games, here are passes thrown by Jet quarterbacks:
132— Mike White
45— Josh Johnson
10— Zach Wilson
3— Joe Flacco
Not often a team uses four QB’s in a four-game span.

10) Baseball stuff:
— Astros signed P Justin Verlander for one year, $25M
— Giants signed 1B Brandon Belt for one year, $18.4M.

9) New York Mets signed Billy Eppler as their new GM; he was the Angels’ GM for five years- they went 85-77 in his first year in Anaheim (2015), didn’t do better than 80-82 after that.

8) George Mason 71, Maryland 66:
— Terps led 12-3 early, but trailed by one at the half.
— Patriots made 12-24 on arc; three of their starters are transfers.
— Mason starts 4-0; they’ve already jumped 69 spots in kenpom.com ratings.

7) kenpom.com is a great site for college hoop fans; here are their top 5 leagues so far:
— Big 14
— Big X
— SEC
— Big East
— Pac-12

Small sample size, but notable that the ACC is #6 right now.

6) Rhode Island 57, Boston College 49— One reason the ACC is #6 is that BC/Pitt aren’t good, and the better teams haven’t played many big games yet. Scoring 49 points against URI (BC shot 25% for the night) isn’t a good sign for conference play.

5) Gavitt Challenge:
— Michigan State 73, Butler 52— Why is a team from Indiana in the Big East?
— Indiana 76, St John’s 74— After going 0-4 the previous two nights, Big 14 wins couple games against the Big East and gets within 4-2, with one night left.

4) By the way, I know the Big East tournament is ALWAYS in Madison Square Garden in New York City, but if you have Butler in your league, shouldn’t they play the tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse one year?

3) VCU 48, Vanderbilt 37:
— Yes, they played both halves.
— Teams combined to shoot 8-44 on the arc.
— Teams combined for 43 turnovers.
— Vanderbilt scored 15 points in the second half. Fifteen.

2) Utah Valley 84, Long Beach State 78, OT:
— Antelopes played three guys 38:00+; they won boards, 45-28.
— Utah Valley won its last two games in overtime.

1) Texas Tech’s football radio announcers got suspended for a game after the Big X reprimanded them for their criticism of officials during last week’s 41-38 win over Iowa State.

The Big 12 commissioner said the two broadcasters lacked “……respect and professionalism”

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

13) Got my COVID booster shot at Crossgates Mall Tuesday; very organized, well-run operation. Wish there were more people there getting shots, but I was in/out in 25 minutes or so, then did some walking around the mall. Hadn’t done that in a long time.

Two slices of pizza and a smallish bottle of water? $11 and change. No bueno. 

12) Los Angeles Angels signed P Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21M contract; he is 47-31, 3.32 in 120 big league starts, but pitched only two innings the last two seasons because of arm problems.

You think about the potential labor impasse in baseball this winter; going to be hard for owners to cry poor when the Angels give $21M to a guy who threw two innings in two years.

11) Toronto Blue Jays gave P José Berríos a 7-year, $131M contract extension. He was 5-4, 3.58 in 12 starts for Toronto last year.

10) Loyola, Chicago is leaving the Missouri Valley for the Atlantic 15 (they’re team #15, meaning one more team should join the league eventually). This is the Ramblers’ 9th year in the MVC; Porter Moser built them into a league power before bolting for Oklahoma.

9) Northwestern-Purdue football game this week is at Wrigley Field; back when I was a young person, Chicago Bears played home games at Wrigley- they moved to Soldier Field in 1971.

8) Arizona Cardinals have injury issues at QB; they wanted to sign Shane Buechele off the Chiefs’ practice squad, but Kansas City moved him onto their 53-man roster, so they can keep him around.

7) NBA stuff:
— Cleveland Cavaliers’ young star Evan Mobley (elbow) is out 2-4 weeks.
— Dallas star Luka Doncic has multiple injuries, is out for Wednesday’s game

6) Favorites went 10-1 ATS in Monday night’s NBA action; you don’t see that much.

5) Illinois football coach Bret Bielema tested positive for COVID, will miss Saturday’s game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Illinois is 4-6 in Bielema’s first season at Illinois.

4) Virginia Tech fired football coach Justin Fuente Monday; Fuente was 43-31 at Tech, 28-20 in ACC games, 1-3 in bowls— only bowl he won with the Hokies was back in 2016.

As I type this, there are nine Division I football jobs open.

3) Duke’s freshman basketball star Paolo Banchero got arrested late Saturday night, charged with aiding and abetting DUI (the driver was driving Banchero’s car), but Banchero started in Duke’s 92-52 win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday.

Driver of the car, by the way, was Michael Savarino, who is Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson.

2) North Carolina 94, Charleston 83:
— Charleston led 42-36 at half; their biggest lead was 11.
— UNC was +13 on boards, minus-7 in turnovers.
— Eight kids scored double figures; five of them didn’t start.

1) Seton Hall 67, Michigan 65:
— Michigan had chance to tie game with 0:00.8 left, but missed a foul shot.
— Big East leads Gavitt Challenge after two nights, 4-0.