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. 

Wednesday’s Den #2: NBA trends……..

NBA trends (thru Monday’s games)

Hawks (6-9):
— 3-1 ATS at home, 0-9 on road.
— favorites 6-0 ATS at home
— under 3-1 last four games.
— 1-3 ATS if they played night before.

Celtics (7-7):
— won three of last four games.
— under 5-1-1 last six games.
— under 4-0-1 last six on road
— 4-0 ATS as road favorite.

Nets (10-4):
— won eight of last nine games.
— 4-2 ATS as a road favorite.
— over last three games
— under 5-1 at home
— All four losses by 13+ points.

Hornets (8-7):
— won/covered last three games
— lost five of last six road games (1-5 ATS)
— under last three games
— 4-1 ATS as home underdog.
— 0-3 ATS if they played night before. 

Bulls (10-4):
— Won four of last five games.
— 5-2 ATS on road.
— 5-2 ATS at home
— under 3-1 last four road games.

Cavaliers (9-6):
— 11-2 vs spread in last 13 games
— Won six of last eight games.
— under 11-2 last 13 games
— 5-2 ATS at home, 6-2 on road.

Mavericks (9-4):
— won five of last six games.
— Under 4-2-1 at home
— Won six of seven home games (3-4 ATS)
— 5-4 ATS as favorite, 0-4 as underdog

Nuggets (9-5):
— won five of last six games
— covered four of last five games
— Under 10-4 
— 5-3 ATS at home, 2-4 on road

Pistons (3-10):
— lost six of last eight games
— over 3-1 last four games.
— favorites 5-1 ATS in home games
— 4-8 ATS as an underdog.

Warriors (11-2):
— won 7 of last 8 games (6-1-1 ATS)
— over 3-1 last four home games.
— 7-1-1 ATS as home favorite
— underdogs 3-1 ATS in road games

Rockets (1-13):
— Lost their last 12 games.
— Under 5-3 on road, 5-1 at home
— 1-5 ATS at home, 4-3-1 as road underdog.
— 0-4 ATS last four games. 

Pacers (6-9):
— 5-3 last eight games, after 1-6 start
— last six road games stayed under
— 2-5 in games decided by 5 or less points.
— 2-4 ATS as favorite, 5-3 as underdog.

Clippers (8-5):
— won 7 of last 8 games (5-2 ATS last seven)
— 3-1 ATS on road.
— 6-5 ATS as a favorite
— four of last five games went over.

Lakers (8-7):
— 3-4 SU in last seven games
— 3-7 ATS as a home favorite.
— over 4-1 last five games
— 3-0 SU in overtime games.
— 12 of their 15 games have been at home

Grizzlies (7-8):
— lost three of last four games.
— 4-2 ATS as a home favorite
— under 4-0 last four road games
— 4-3 ATS as an underdog

Heat (9-5):
— lost four of last five games
— over 5-1 last six games.
— 4-1 ATS at home
— 5-0 ATS as an underdog.

Bucks (6-8):
— 3-7 last ten games SU.
— 1-4 ATS at home, 5-4 on road
— under 5-0 at home
— over 3-1 last four games overall

Timberwolves (4-9):
— lost eight of last nine games.
— lost last six home games SU
— 2-6 ATS at home
— over 3-1 last four road games

Pelicans (2-13):
— lost 10 of last 11 games SU
— 2-6 ATS last eight games
— 2-6 ATS road underdog
— under 7-1 last eight games

Knicks (8-6):
— lost four of last six home games SU.
— over 5-2 home games
— 3-4 ATS home favorite
— 4-2-1 ATS on the road

Thunder (5-8):
— 4-2 last six games (0-2 last two).
— covered seven of last ten games.
— last eight games stayed under total. 
— 4-3 ATS home underdog, 3-3 road dog.

Magic (3-11):
— lost five of last six games
— 1-6 ATS at home, 3-4 on road.
— under 5-2 last seven games
— eight losses by 12+ points

76ers (8-6):
— lost last four games (0-4 ATS)
— over 4-1 last five games
— 3-5 ATS at home, 4-2 ATS on road
— 5-2 ATS when favored, 2-5 as underdog.

Suns (10-3):
— won last nine games SU
— 7-1 ATS last eight games
— 4-2 ATS on road, 4-3 at home
— over 3-1 last four games
— 7-4 ATS as favorite

Trailblazers (7-8):
— 1-7 on road, SU/ATS
— 3-7 ATS last ten games
— 5-2 ATS as home favorite
— under 4-1 last five home games

Kings (6-8):
— lost four of last five games
— under 5-1 at home
— 4-2-1 ATS as favorite
— 0-3 ATS as home underdog, 3-1 as road dog. 

Spurs (4-9):
— 2-5 last seven games SU
— over 5-0-1 at home, 2-5 on road.
— 1-3 ATS last four games
— 4-3 ATS on the road

Raptors (7-8):
— lost five of last six games (1-5 ATS)
— 1-7 ATS at home, 5-2 on road.
— over 4-1 last five games
— 1-4 ATS as a favorite

Jazz (8-5):
— lost four of last five games
— u2-5 ATS last seven games
— 5-2 ATS on road, 3-3 at home
— 3-1 ATS as home favorite

Wizards (10-3):
— won last five games (4-1 ATS)
— under last six games
— 5-2 ATS as an underdog
— 6-1 ATS at home, 3-3 on road

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

13) When Kansas Jayhawks upset Texas Saturday, they ended a 56-game losing streak in Big X conference road games- that’s 13 years worth of losing.

12) Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach made a comment two weeks ago about their being open tryouts for kickers at Miss State “Just show up at the building, and if you’re cleared by the NCAA, you can try out”

People thought Leach was being sarcastic, but apparently 40 kids are trying out this week.

11) These days, when football coaches make unusual strategic moves, they just blurt out “analytics” expecting/hoping that everyone will just shut up.

Last weekend, college team was down 15 late in game; they score a TD and go for two, and the TV analyst says “Analytics say…..” Poppycock!!!

You kick the PAT there, to get the lead to 8 and keep the game alive, When they failed on the 2-point play, the game was over. Down 8, you still had a (small) chance to win the game.

10) Detroit Tigers signed lefty P Eduardo Rodriguez to a 5-year deal worth $77M; Rodriguez was  13-8, 4.74 in 31 starts for the Red Sox last year, after not pitching in 2020.

9) Boston 98, Cleveland 92— Despite this score, surprising Cavaliers have won six of their last eight games SU, are 10-2-1 ATS in last 13 games.

8) When doing basketball stats, still think an assist on a 3-point shot should count as 1.5 assists, and passes that lead to made foul shots should also get assist credit. 

7) College basketball scores of note:
— Kansas City 80, Missouri 66
— Marquette 67, Illinois 66
— Providence 63, Wisconsin 58
— Tulsa 64, Oregon State 58
— UMass 81, Penn State 56
— Belmont 95, Furman 89, OT

6) Oregon State’s football team is bowl eligible for first time since 2013; Jonathan Smith has done a good job rebuilding the Beavers.

5) College football coaching carousel:
— Washington fired Jimmy Lake
— Florida International fired Butch Davis
— Miami Hurricanes fired their AD.

4) Michigan Wolverines under Jim Harbaugh:
— 41-9 in September/October
— 17-14 in November-January

3) One last note on Felix Unger Day, which was Saturday; Felix’s birthday was November 13 because that was Garry Marshall’s birthday, the man who developed The Odd Couple into such a popular TV show.

2) Lakers/Clippers both had home games at Staples Center Sunday, one in afternoon, the other at night. I always wonder: How many people went to both games? Would be fun to know.

1) 49ers 31, Rams 10:
— 49ers’ 1st drive: 18 plays, 93 yards, TD
— 49ers’ 2nd drive: 11 plays, 91 yards, TD
— 49ers converted 8-14 on 3rd down, Rams 3-10.
— 49ers have beaten the Rams five times in a row. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Detroit 16, Pittsburgh 16:
— Detroit is winless, has gone WLWLWLWW vs spread. 
— Lions ran ball for 229 yards, threw for only 77.
— Detroit converted 4-18 third down plays.
— Lions missed 48-yard FG in overtime.

— Rudolph was 30-50/242 passing, starting on short notice.
— Steelers were minus-3 in turnovers, didn’t lose.
— Pittsburgh’s only TD came on their first drive of game.
— Last five games, Steelers gave up 18.4 ppg.
— Underdogs are 6-0 ATS in Pittsburgh home games this year. 

Washington 29, Tampa Bay 19:
— Tampa Bay lost last two games, giving up 36-29 points.
— Brady threw INT’s on two of first three drives.
— Buccaneers’ two TD drives were 43-47 yards.
— Underdogs are 7-0-1 ATS in last eight meetings with Washington.

— Washington converted 11-19 on third down, 2-2 on 4th down.
— Washington in 1st half: four drives- a TD, three field goals.
— Heinicke threw for 256 yards and a TD.
— Last four Washington games stayed under the total.

Tennessee 23, New Orleans 21:
— Saints scored TD with 1:16 left, failed on 2-point play to tie game.
— Saints’ kicker missed PAT on other two TD’s.
— Underdogs are 8-1 ATS in New Orleans games this season.
— Last three years, Saints are 8-1-1 ATS coming off a loss.

— Tennessee won eight of last nine games (7-2 ATS)
— Titans’ two TD drives were 56-19 yards.
— Saints outgained Tennessee, 373-264.
— Last four games, Titans ran for only 82.8 yards/game. 
— First six weeks, Titans ran for 165 yards/game.

Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 17:
— Jaguars gave up blocked punt for TD on their first series.
— Jacksonville is minus-10 in turnovers (4-14)
— Jaguars are 4-1-2 ATS in last seven visits to Indy.
— Jaguars ran ball for 179 yards, averaged 4.0 yards/pass.

— Indy’s first two series: 18 plays, 116 yards, 10 points.
— Colts rest of game: 44 plays, 167 yards, 6 points.
— Colts have 20 takeaways in last nine games (+11)
— Last seven weeks, Colts outscored opponents 105-54 in first half.
— Last five years, Indy is 7-12-2 ATS in AFC South home games.

New England 45, Cleveland 7:
— Cleveland had 84-yard TD drive first time it had ball.
— Rest of game, Browns ran 46 plays for 162 yards, no points..
— Browns scored 17 or fewer points in four of last five games.
— Cleveland is 8-13 ATS in last 21 road games.
— Over is 4-1 in Browns’ five road games.

— Patriots were 7-9 on third down, Cleveland 1-11.
— New England had ball eight times, scored six TD’s.
— You’re reading armadillosports.com
— New England won five of last six games, scoring 34 ppg.
— Since 2013, Patriots are 44-23-3 ATS at home.

Dallas 43, Atlanta 3:
— Falcons threw INTs on three straight drives in 2nd half.
— Falcons converted 1-11 on third down, had only 11 first downs.
— Atlanta has been outscored 153-82 in second half. 
— Atlanta is 12-17 ATS in last 29 games coming off a win.

— Cowboys blocked punt for TD; they led 36-3 at halftime.
— In first half, Cowboys had four TD’s on five drives.
— Dallas outgained the Falcons, 431-214.
— Dallas covered eight of nine games this season.

Buffalo 45, NJ Jets 17:
— Buffalo averaged 11.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Bills scored TD on first three drives of second half.
— Last seven games, Bills are +14 in turnovers.
— Over is 8-3-2 in Bills’ last 13 road games.

— Jets gave up 54-31-45-45 points in last four games.
— Last six Jet games went over the total.
— Last four years, Jets are 13-25 ATS coming off a loss.
— Jets have been outscored 61-14 in first quarter, 168-47 in first half.

Minnesota 27, LA Chargers 20:
— Vikings drove 66-68 yards for second half TD’s to win game.
— Minnesota had 10-yard edge in field position.
— Eight of Vikings’ nine games were decided by 7 or fewer points.
— Five of Vikings’ last seven games stayed under the total.
— Last eight years, Vikings are 21-10 ATS vs AFC opponents.

— Chargers lost three of last four games, after a 4-1 start.  
— Chargers ran 55 plays for 253 yards, Vikings 72 for 381 yards.
— Herbert averaged only 4.8 yards/pass attempt.
— Last four years, LA is 5-16-1 ATS as home favorites.
— Chargers are 6-9-1 ATS last 16 games coming off a win.

Carolina 34, Arizona 10:
— Panthers had TD drives of 15-41 yards, in first 6:21 of game.
— Panthers had an 11-yard edge in field position.
— Six drives in first half, Carolina scored two TD’s, kicked three FG’s.
— Carolina allowed 14 or fewer points in all five of its wins.

— Backup QB’s McCpy/Steveler struggled with starter Murray (ankle) out.
— Carolina outgained the Cardinals 341-169.
— Arizona converted 4-13 on third down, Carolina 7-15.
— Last seven years, Arizona is 11-21 ATS as a home favorite.

Green Bay 17, Seattle 0:
— Seahawks get shut out for first time in ten years.
— Seattle gained only 208 yards, averaged 3.1 yards/pass attempt.
— Seahawks lost six of their last eight games overall.
— Four of Seahawks’ last five games stayed under total.

— Packers didn’t score TD until 10:37 mark of 4th quarter.
— Green Bay won eight of last nine games (8-0-1 ATS)
— Last three years, Green Bay is 14-6 ATS as a home favorite (4-0 in ‘21).
— Last seven Packer games stayed under the total.

Philadelphia 30, Denver 13:
— DB Slay ran fumble back 83 yards for TD when Eagles led 20-13. 
— Philly in first half; five drives- 43 plays, 270 yards, 2 TD’s, 2 FG’s.
— Last four weeks, Philly converted 25-48 on third down.
— Philly 236-176-214 YR last three games (98.6 ypg previous five games)

— Broncos were 1-11 on third down, Eagles 6-13.
— Denver’s last four drives: 19 plays, 105 yards, 4 first downs, no points.
— Eight of ten Denver games stayed under the total.
— Denver gave up 16 or less points in its wins, 26.2 ppg in losses.

Kansas City 41, Las Vegas 14:
— Chiefs scored on 7 of 9 drives, missed FG on an 8th drive.
— Mahomes threw for 406 yards, five TD’s.
— Williams, Kelce both had 100+ receiving yards.
— Chiefs outgained Raiders, 516-299
— Chiefs are 15-4 ATS last 19 AFC West road games.

— Last two games, Raiders were outscored 37-10 in second half.
— Kansas City was 9-15 on third down; Las Vegas 1-9.
— Kansas City won 14 of last 17 meetings in this rivalry.
— Chiefs scored 30+ points in seven of last eight meetings.
— Raiders converted 12 of last 41 third down plays.

Minnesota 87, Princeton 80, 2OT:
— Gophers win the first-ever Asheville Classic.
— Minnesota survived 15-29 shooting on foul line.
— Gophers had 10 players transfer LY; they’re got a whole new team. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Baylor 27, Oklahoma 14:
Good news for Baylor: They don’t beat Oklahoma very often. Bears are 8-2 this season.

Bad news for Baylor: LSU, USC and (probably) Florida have head coach openings; all three will come after Baylor coach Aranda with their checkbooks wide open. 

12) Kansas (+31) 57, Texas 56 OT:
— Texas coach Steve Sarkisian makes $5,450,000 a year; this won’t go over well.
— Longhorns are 4-6, losing their last five games.
— Kansas ran for 218 yards, converted 11-17 on third down.
— Kansas coach Leipold won six national titles in D-III; he has to be a helluva coach, to win that much at any level.

11) Wake Forest 45, NC State 42:
— Wake Forest improves to 9-1, 6-0 in ACC games.
— When Wake lost to North Carolina last week, it wasn’t a conference game.
— Demon Deacons allowed 42+ points in three of last four games.
— Wolfpack had 13 penalties for 119 yards, Wake 5 for 50.

10) Texas Tech 41, Iowa State 38— Jonathan Garibay walked it off with a 62-yard FG; Red Raiders were 12-point home underdogs. Hell of a kick.

Iowa State called timeout before the kick to put a kid back under the goalposts, to return the kick when it was short, but Garibay drilled it and that was that.

9) Florida 70, Samford 52:
— I-AA Samford led this game 42-35 at halftime.
— Most points a I-AA team ever scored against a I-A team.
— penalties: Florida 12-94 yards; Samford 3-30

8)  College football upsets this week:
— Kansas (+31) 57, Texas 56
— Georgia State (+12.5) 42, Coastal Carolina 40
— Texas Tech (+12) 41, Iowa State 38
— Old Dominion (+6.5) 30, FAU 16
— Rutgers (+6.5) 38, Indiana 3
— Ohio (+6) 34, Eastern Michigan 26
— Mississippi State (+5.5) 43, Auburn 34

7) Mississippi State 43, Auburn 34:
— Auburn led this game 28-3 late in 2nd quarter.
— Miss State’s Rogers was 25-27/272 passing, just in second half.
— In his career, Mike Leach is 39-27 ATS as a road underdog.

6) Saturday’s college basketball upsets:
— Mass-Lowell (+18) 59, Dayton 58
— Dartmouth (+16) 69, Georgetown 60
— Air Force (+15) 59, Tulsa 58
— Southern (+12.5) 73, Tulane 70
— Howard (+12.5) 76, Bradley 64
— Wagner (+11) 58, VCU 44

5) Michigan 21, Penn State 17:
— Michigan threw a 47-yard TD pass with 3:29 left for the win.
— Penn State was 6-21 on 3rd down, 3-6 on 4th down

4) Old Dominion 30, Florida Atlantic 16:
— At one point, Old Dominion led this game 4-3.
— Monarchs scored two first half safeties (sack/intentional grounding).

3) Arkansas 16, LSU 13:
— Both teams scored only one TD.
— Arkansas gained only 281 yards, converted 3-16 on third down.
— Razorbacks are 7-3, LSU 4-6. Go figure.

2) NFL news:
— Ben Roethlisberger (COVID protocols) is out for Pittsburgh.
— Rams WR Robert Woods tore his ACL, is out for the year.

1) Bad Beat of the Week? Late Friday night, Wyoming (+13.5)  threw a 74-yard TD pass with 0:04 left. If you had Wyoming, you went to bed smiling; if not, the gambling gods owe you one. 

Saturday’s Den: Happy Felix Unger Day!!!

13) “On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to leave his place of residence. That request came from his wife……..”

When I was a kid, The Odd Couple was one of my favorite TV shows; that is how the show started every week, with Tony Randall’s character Felix sadly leaving his home, and showing up at the door of his friend, sportswriter Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman), needing a place to live.

It was a great TV show, very funny. If you find The Odd Couple on TV somewhere, it is well worth your time.

Today is November 13; happy Felix Unger Day!!! 

12) West Virginia 74, Pitt 59:
— 902nd career win for Bob Huggins, tying Bob Knight for 5th on all-time list.
— How is Huggins not in the college basketball Hall of Fame?
— 24 NCAA tournaments, two Final Fours, four Elite 8’s, nine Sweet 16’s. All in all, 33-24 in NCAA Tournament games. He is a Hall of Famer, for sure.

11) Furman 80, Louisville 72 (OT):
— Furman (+9) made 12-28 on arc, Louisville 7-29.
— Paladins start four seniors; this is a great win for them.
— Louisville coach Mack is suspended for first few games, for off-court stuff.

10) Oakland (+16.5) 56, Oklahoma State 55
— Oakland lost by 27 to West Virginia Tuesday.
— Oakland played 8 guys, including five freshmen, one senior.
— Oklahoma State was only 6-12 on foul line.

9) North Carolina 94, Brown 87— Is this a red flag for the Tar Heels? Brown hadn’t played a Division I game in over 600 days; Brown was up six points with 12:04 left. Brown shot 55.6% inside arc, scored 1.23 points/possession. 

8) UCLA 86, Villanova 77, OT
— Villanova’s 7th man played only 7:00- they’re not deep.
— Villanova led by 10 with 9:24 left.
— Wildcats lost despite making 11-24 on the arc.

— UCLA outrebounded Villanova 46-32.
— Bruins shot 52.5% inside arc; Villanova, 38.6%.
— High-level game for November 12.

7) When Cal-Riverside upset Arizona State Thursday night, they also banked an $85,000 check from the Sun Devils, what they call “a guarantee game”. If you’re paying a team $85,000 to show up and play, they’re not supposed to beat you.

6) NC-Greensboro 70, Northern Kentucky 69 OT
— UNCG led by 10 points at halftime.
— UNCG trailed by 7 with 7:54 left.
— Northern Kentucky was 10-33 on arc, 13-32 inside arc.

5) Eastern Michigan 103, Illinois State 98, 2OT:
— Illinois State led by 16 late in first half.
— EMU was 32-43 on foul line, ISU 23-28.
— Illinois State turned ball over 22 times (-7).

4) Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur tested positive for COVID, won’t be calling plays Sunday, when Denver hosts the Eagles. Former Alabama coach Mike Shula is expected to be the Broncos’ play caller.

3) Brent Strom quit as pitching coach of the Astros couple weeks ago, signed on with the Diamondbacks Friday; lot of people thought Strom was retiring. Back in the 60’s, Strom was the second person to have Tommy John Surgery on his elbow- he pitched five years in the majors, for three different teams.

2) Lefty hurler Andrew Heaney signed a one-year, $8.5M deal with the Dodgers. Heaney was 8-9, 5.83 in 23 starts this past year, but the Dodgers signed him up.

1) Cincinnati 45, South Florida 28— Bearcats are now 0-4 ATS in last four games; unsure if it matters to pollsters, but it can’t help much. Cincinnati led 31-7 early in second half- they outgained USF 506-346, but turned ball over three times. USF had four turnovers.

Boise State 23, Wyoming 13— Cowboys (+13.5) scored on a 74-yard TD pass with 0:04 left- they got the backdoor cover, giving Boise backers a horrific bad beat. 

 

Friday’s Den: Random stuff with weekend here, and NBA trends

13) Dolphins 22, Ravens 10:
— This was Ravens’ first road game since October 3rd.
— Baltimore punted eight times in this game.
— Ravens kicked FG on first drive, didn’t score again until 4:16 was left.
— Baltimore trailed at halftime in four of last five games.
— Last four games, opponents are 15-52 on third down   

— Miami allowed 16-9-10 points in their wins.
— Dolphins scored defensive TD to make score 15-3.
— QB Brissett got hurt in 3rd quarter, Tagovailoa finished up.
— Last six years, Miami is 15-10-1 ATS as home underdogs. 
— Dolphins held Baltimore to 94 rushing yards. 

12) Aaron Rodgers got fined $14,650 by the NFL for mostly ignoring the COVID protocols when he wasn’t vaccinated; I’m not here to talk about that, I’m just wondering how they came up with that amount. Where does $14,650 come from? Why not just $15,000? $14,500?

11) I’ve said many times that as a Rams’ fan, I trust Sean McVay/Les Snead to do the right stuff, so I don’t stress out over decisions they make. I’ll stick with that today. I’ll just say this:

— Rams’ Super Bowl odds before signing Odell Beckham: 8-1
— Rams’ Super Bowl odds after signing Odell Beckham: 8-1

10) Carolina Panthers signed Cam Newton/Matt Barkley this week; unsure which of their three QB’s will start this week in Arizona.

Newton played nine years for Carolina, lead them to Super Bowl six years ago. He played for the Patriots last year, was released this summer.

9) Watched Heat-Lakers game Wednesday, good ballgame. Jeff Van Gundy is an excellent NBA analyst- so is his brother Stan.

Many moons ago, November 1980, I was student manager of our college team at Albany- the Great Danes. We were Division III and we had a strong team. The higher level of Division III was very good basketball. This was so long ago, ESPN had just signed on the airwaves.

We’re playing in a tournament at Brockport State in western NY, near Rochester. Coach for the host team was a short guy wearing a neck brace— he had been in a car accident. He had also been a junior college coach in California, now he was in Brockport, a decided downgrade in weather.

Coach’s name was Bill Van Gundy, father of Jeff/Stan. What are the odds that the two sons of a Division III coach in western NY would both wind up being NBA coaches, and TV stars?

8) Connecticut Huskies hired Jim Mora Jr to handle the big job of rebuilding their horrendous football program. UConn was underdog to an Ivy League team this year; they’re 0-7 vs I-A teams, 1-1 vs I-AA teams- they beat Yale. Jim Mora Jr has a lot of work to do.

Mora was 46-30 in six years at UCLA, 29-24 in Pac-12 games, 2-2 in bowls. He was 32-34 in four years as an NFL head coach, with Falcons/Seahawks.

7) Mike White will start at QB for the Jets this week against Buffalo. Joe Flacco will be his backup; Josh Johnson threw for 317 yards last week and gets demoted to 4th-string.

6) Underdogs are 78-56-1 ATS in the NFL so far this season; last year at this time, underdogs were…….. 77-56 ATS.

5) Astros’ OF Jake Meyers had surgery for a torn labrum, isn’t expected to be ready for the start of next season. Meyers hit .260 in 49 games for Houston this season.

4) John Beilein has been a highly successful college basketball coach, winning 754 games; he tried his hand at the NBA, but that didn’t go too well in Cleveland. Now, at age 68, Beilein is an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons— first time in his life he’s been an assistant coach.

3) Good rule change in the NFL; the replay official can chime in and overrule an obviously wrong call, saving teams from using a challenge, while keeping the game going.

2) Cal-Riverside 66, Arizona State 65— Kid on Riverside drained a 65-footer at the buzzer to five the Highlanders (+8.5) one of the best wins in their program’s D-I history.

1) Pitt 30, North Carolina 23 OT:
— Pitt led 23-7 at halftime, didn’t score in second half.
— UNC kicked 20-yard FG with 0:57 left to force OT
— Carolina had 12 penalties for 104 yards; Pitt 6 for 55.
— Tar Heels (+6.5) were obviously a bad beat. 

Friday’s Den: NBA trends…….

NBA trends (thru Wednesday’s games)

Hawks (4-8):
— lost their last five games
— 3-1 ATS at home, 0-8 on road.
— favorites 4-0 ATS at home
— over 3-1 last four road games.

Celtics (5-6):
— won three of last four games.
— under 3-0-1 last four games.
— under 3-1 at home.
— 1-3 ATS as home favorite.
— 3-0 ATS as road favorite.

Nets (8-4):
— won six of last seven games.
— Under 9-3, 5-1 at home
— 3-1 ATS as road favorite
— All four losses by 13+ points.

Hornets (6-7):
— lost five of last six games
— over 5-2 last seven games
— Over 4-0 at home
— 2-0 ATS as road favorite, 2-5 as road dog.

Bulls (8-3):
— Won four of last six games.
— 5-2 ATS as a favorite.
— 5-2 ATS at home
— 3-1 ATS on road.

Cavaliers (7-5):
— covered last five games (8-1 ATS last nine)
— Won four of last five games.
— under 8-2 last ten games
— Five of last seven road games stayed under.

Mavericks (7-4):
— won three of last four games.
— Under 4-1-1 at home
— Won five of six home games (2-4 ATS)
— 3-4 ATS as favorite, 0-4 as underdog

Nuggets (7-4):
— won last three games
— Under 9-2 (5-1 home, 4-1 road)
— 1-4 ATS as favorite, 4-2 as underdog. 
— underdogs won last four games SU

Pistons (2-8):
— lost four of last five games
— under 4-1 last five games.
— under 4-1 at home.
— 3-6 ATS as an underdog.

Warriors (10-1):
— won last six games (5-0-1 ATS)
— Last three games went over.
— 6-1-1 ATS as home favorite
— Only loss was in OT to Memphis

Rockets (1-10):
— Lost their last nine games.
— Under 4-2 on road, 3-1 at home
— 1-3 ATS at home, 4-2 as road underdog.
— 5-4-1 ATS last ten games. 

Pacers (4-8):
— lost six of last nine games
— last four games stayed under
— 1-5 in games decided by 4 or less points.
— 1-4 ATS as favorite, 4-1 as underdog.

Clippers (6-4):
— won last five games, covered last four
— 3-1 ATS on road.
— 5-3 ATS as a favorite
— under 3-1 on road

Lakers (7-5):
— won five of last seven games
— won last two games, both in OT
— over 3-1 last four at home
— 2-7 ATS as favorite.

Grizzlies (6-5):
— 4-2 ATS as an underdog
— 3-2 ATS as a favorite
— under 4-1 last five
— under 3-0 last three road games

Heat (7-4):
— lost three of last four games
— over 5-1 last six games.
— 4-1 ATS at home
— underdogs 5-1 ATS in their road games

Bucks (6-6):
— lost last four home games SU.
— 1-4 ATS at home, 5-2 on road
— under 5-0 at home
— under 7-2 last nine games overall

Timberwolves (3-7):
— lost last six games.
— lost last five home games SU
— over 3-1 last four games
— 1-4 ATS as favorite, 1-4 as underdog.

Pelicans (1-11):
— lost last eight games SU
— 0-5 ATS last five games
— 2-5 ATS road underdog
— under 5-0 last five games

Knicks (7-5):
— lost four of last five home games SU.
— over 5-1 home games
— 2-4 ATS home favorite
— 4-1-1 ATS on the road

Thunder (4-6):
— won their last three games.
— covered six of last seven games.
— last five games stayed under total. 
— 3-1 ATS home underdog, 3-3 road dog.

Magic (3-9):
— lost three of last four games
— 1-5 ATS at home, 3-3 on road.
— under 4-1 last five games
— six losses by 13+ points

76ers (8-4):
— lost last two games, by 7-9 points
— under 5-2 last seven games
— 4-1 ATS on road
— 5-1 ATS when favored, 2-4 as underdog.

Suns (7-3):
— won last six games, covered last five
— over 3-1 last four games
— over 3-0 last three home tilts
— 5-3 ATS as favorite, 4-3 at home

Trailblazers (5-7):
— 0-6 on road, SU/ATS
— 1-6 ATS last seven games
— 4-2 ATS as home favorite
— under 4-0 last four home games

Kings (5-7):
— lost last three games, by 3-5-19 points
— under 5-1 at home
— 3-1 ATS as favorite
— 0-3 ATS as home underdog, 3-1 as road dog. 

Spurs (4-7):
— 3-7 last ten games SU
— over 4-0-1 at home, 1-5 on road.
— 5-2 ATS last seven games
— 4-2 ATS as an underdog

Raptors (6-6):
— lost last three games (0-3 ATS)
— 1-6 ATS at home, 4-1 on road.
— under 3-1 last four games
— 1-3 ATS as a favorite

Jazz (8-3):
— 4-3 last seven games, after 4-0 start
— 7-3 ATS at home as favorite
— 3-1 ATS as home favorite
— under 6-1 on road

Wizards (8-3):
— won  three in row, six of last eight games
— under last four games
— 5-2 ATS as an underdog
— 5-1 ATS at home, 2-3 on road