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Saturday, November 23, 2013

NCAA Week 12 Cash-In: New England vs. Denver

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NFL Week 12 Cash-In
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Line: Denver -2.5, O/U: 54

The Match-Up

The 9-1 Denver Broncos head to New England on Sunday night to take on the 7-3 New England Patriots in the latest Manning-Brady Bowl. Peyton has had the upper hand as of late but Brady and Belichick maintain the edge overall. For the Broncos Wes Welker the return to New England will be his first since leaving the Pats for Denver this past off-season. The exact details of the split are unclear as each side has a bit of a different story. Either way it will be an emotional return as both Welker and the fans will be jacked up for this one. 

Denver comes into the game winners of three straight after their lone hiccup against Indy. They continue to dominate on offense with a league best 39.8 points per game. They are a bit vulnerable on defense however giving up 25.5 points per game. They are particularly weak in the passing game. Tony Romo and Andrew Luck both carved up their secondary. As good as both of those QB's are, they are no Tom Brady. With a healthy compliment of weapons at his disposal for the first time this season, Brady will move the ball and the Patriots will score points. The question is whether they will be able to keep up to the same clip that Manning and the Broncos will but up.

The Patriots are coming off a tough loss to Carolina Monday night. They will be extremely motivated after feeling ripped off with the closing of last week's game. They are going in with a similar situation to Denver -- offense can score points, but the defense is so beat up that good teams will move the ball on them.


Broncos 1-4 SU & ATS past five vs Patriots
Patriots 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS at home in 2013

The Verdict:

This one is going to be a shootout, there is no doubt about that. I am a little surprised to see this O/U at just 54. With no clear favorite at this point the smart play here is the over. The Patriots secondary will be without Alfanso Denard and top CB Aquib Talib will be a game time decision and if he does play will not be at 100%. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one break 60.


NFL Week 12 Cash-In: Indianapolis at Arizona

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NFL Week 12 Cash-In
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
Line: Arizona -3, O/U: 45.5

The Match-Up

While both teams have playoff potential, they are each trending in opposite directions at this point. For the 7-3 Indianapolis Colts the past three weeks have not been good for the blood pressure of Indy Nation. Sure, they are 201 in that stretch but the two wins were in dramatic come from behind fashion. A lot of the struggles have been due to first half inconsistencies on offense. Andre Luck and company look like a completely different group in the second half of games. They will need to get off to a little faster start this week against the red hot Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona comes into the game 6-4 and on a three game win streak. They have been strong on both sides of the ball scoring 27 points in each of those games while allowing an average of 17 points per game. They have been particularly strong at home this year going 4-1 in five games.


Indianapolis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Indianapolis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Arizona
Arizona is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Arizona's last 5 games

The Verdict:

Arizona is on a nice little run but Indy, when right, is the far superior team. The question will be whether or not Indy can show up for the first half the same as we suspect they will in the second. Perhaps their inconsistencies can be chalked up to playing to their level of competition. Indy travels well as their 4-1 record on the road indicates. They are getting three points in a game we suspect they will win. Take the Colts -- moneyline or ATS is up to you.


NFL Week 12 Cash-In: Carolina at Miami

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NFL Week 12 Cash-In
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins
Line: Carolina -5, O/U: 41.5

The Match-Up

The Carolina Panthers come into the game off of arguably their biggest win of the season Monday night against New England. The win was not without controversy. A flag for alleged pass interference was thrown but later picked up. It would have give New England the ball on the one yard line with a chance to win. Instead it was the Panthers walking away with victory. Carolina is arguably the hottest team in football with wins and covers in six straight. This week they hit the road to face the 5-5 Dolphins with a chance to firmly cement their playoff picture.

The Miami Dolphins come into the game off a 20-16 upset victory as 3-point dogs last week against San Diego. Even with the win, the Dolphins still have their share of problems. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked more than any QB in the NFL this season. Even in a win Tannehill found himself sacked four times by Chargers defenders. His offensive line is still without its two best players and will be for the remainder of the season. Going up against one of the better pass rushing lines in the league this week there will likely be more of the same. Fortunately for the Dolphins they will likely not be seeing Charles Johnson who suffered a knee injury last week.


The Dolphins are 6-2-1 ATS in their past nine home games
Carolina is on a 6-0 ATS run
Panthers are 9-3 ATS past 12 road games

The Verdict:

Miami has a knack for eking out close wins and does have quality wins this season over Indy, Cincinnati and San Diego. That said, if the Patriots couldn't get it done against the Carolina defense, it is unlikely Miami will be able to. Tannehill's record pace sack total will surely take another jump up this week. Cam Newton looks as good as he has since his rookie season. We like Carolina by at least a touchdown in this one.


Friday, November 22, 2013

NCAA Cash-In: Notre Dame vs. BYU

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NCAA Cash-In
Norte Dame Fighting Irish vs. BYU Cougars
Line: Pick'em, O/U: 53.5

The Match-Up

The BYU Cougars come into the game at 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS. For BYU it has basically been a case of win the game and cover or lose and lose. Interestingly, two of their three SU losses have come on the road, as have three of their four ATS losses. Offensively the Cougars are predominantly a running offense. In fact, they have a chance to get not just one, but two rushers over 1,000 yards on the season this week. RB Jamaal Williams has 940 yards and six TD's, while QB Taysom Hill leads the team in rushing with 956 yards and eight TD's.

For Notre Dame the game is a necessary bounce back after getting embarrassed by Pittsburgh last week. The Irish are 7-3 straight up but just 3-6-1 ATS. Overall, it has been a disappointing season for Notre Dame after making it to the National Championship Game last year. Despite that, they are still a decent team led by a solid QB in Tommy Rees. The good news for the Irish is that since the Pitt loss they have had 14 days to regroup, recharge and game plan for the Cougars. Notre Dame is 5-1 ATS in their last six following a bye week and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.


Cougars are 14-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a bye week.
Under is 4-1 in Cougars last 5 road games.
Under is 15-5-1 in Fighting Irish last 21 games in November.

The Verdict:

The Irish are down but they are not out. They remember the scare that BYU put on them last year and will not take them lightly. They have had nearly two weeks to prepare for this game. Brian Kelly will have his squad ready to roll for its Senior game. We'll take the Irish.


NCAA Cash-In: Kansas State vs. Oklahoma

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NCAA Cash-In
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Line: Kansas State -5, O/U: 53.5

The Match-Up

The Kansas State Wildcats come into the game both 6-4 SU and 6-4 ATS. After getting off to a bit of a slow start the Wildcats have won four straight including a 13 point win over then ranked Texas Tech. They have a bit of an unorthodox approach offensively with a two QB system that has been both very explosive at times and but at others down right maddening. Turnovers have been an issue, although cleaned up a bit lately. It will be interesting to see how they manage to control the ball against a solid Sooners defense.

For Oklahoma the season got off to a great start with five straight wins before a hiccup at Texas and a whipping against Baylor. They got a nice little confidence boost last week with a 38 point victory over winless Iowa State. The Sooners have been fairly well balanced all season on both sides of the ball. The offense could get put to the test this week as QB Blake Bell was shaken up last week and his status as of Friday was uncertain. If that is the case they will rely on back-up Trevor Knight to get the job done under center and that will put that much more pressure on the Sooners defense to stop the K-State rushing attack and keep the game close.


Oklahoma is 0-5 ATS in its last five games on turf.
Kansas State is 5-1 ATS in is last six games on turf.
The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
Kansas State is 3-1 ATS in last 4 games overall
Oklahoma is 2-3 ATS in last 5 games overall

The Verdict:

While beat up a bit, Oklahoma is not getting the credit it deserves in this one. I would expect the line to be around pick'em with the game going a field goal either way. The Sooners defense should be able to keep the Wildcats in check and force the two headed QB duo to make plays through the air to beat them. Should be an excellent game with it likely coming down to the last possession. With that in mind we'll take the points.


NCAA Cash-In: Michigan St. vs. Northwestern

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NCAA Cash-In
Michigan State Spartans vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Line: Michigan St -7, O/U 41.5

The Match-Up

The 9-1 Michigan State Spartans head to Northwestern this week to take on the 4-6 Wildcats. This a match-up of two teams going in completely opposite directions. The Spartans have won six games in a row and are 5-1 ATS during that streak. Last week they were 5.5 point favorites on the road against Nebraska and walked away with a 41-28 victory, covering with ease. Michigan State is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS as road favorites the last two-plus seasons.

Northwestern comes into the game on a six game losing streak going 1-5 ATS over that span. Last week they suffered a 27-19 triple overtime loss to Michigan. After starting out the season 4-0 and climbing up to the #15 rank in the country the wheels have completely fallen off. While they have continued their stellar play on defense, the offense has been in a world of hurt scoring just 15.2 points per game over their last five contests.


Michigan State is 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three played at Northwestern.
Michigan State is 3-0 ATS in its last three games and 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight.
Northwestern is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games.
The UNDER is 5-0 in Northwestern's last five games.

The Verdict: 

Given the state of the Northwestern offense, I don't know how the Wildcats are going to score any points against one of the stingiest defenses in the county. Michigan State is rolling. They have clinched a share of Legends Division title and can lock it up completely with a win and Minnesota loss. The Spartans will be motivated and ready to roll. Shouldn't even be close.


NFL Week 12 Power Rankings

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NFL Week 12 Power Rankings

For the first time in weeks we have a new #1 in our NFL Power Rankings! As predicted last week, the Kansas City Chiefs fell in week 11 to the Denver Broncos. Rising to the top this week thanks to the Chiefs loss are the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle enters their bye week at 10-1, the best record in the NFC. They are coming off a 41-20 victory over Minnesota, their 6th consecutive victory. They got back their top top outside threat in Percy Harvin this past week. He will now have a week to build that chemistry back with Russell Wilson before they toughest stretch of their schedule which will see them play their next two games against New Orleans and San Francisco. 

Rising one spot to #2 this week are the Denver Broncos coming off the big win over Kansas City. They now will head to New England for the latest installment of the Brady-Manning bowl. The game may miss one big storyline however as former Patriot Wes Welker suffered a concussion in week 11 and is questionable for the game. 

Dropping two spot to #3 are the Kansas City Chiefs. They will look to get back on track this week against the San Diego Chargers. 

On the rise for the second straight week are the New Orleans Saints. After hitting the road Thursday night for a date with division rival Atlanta they will enter the meat of their schedule with games at Seattle, Carolina and St. Louis as well as a second game at home against the Panthers. That four game stretch should really give us a good idea as to just how good these Saints really are. 

Cracking the top 5 for the first time this season are the Carolina Panthers. After an impressive Monday night victory over New England, Cam Newton and company are firmly in the playoff mix and will look to improve upon their 7-3 record this week against Miami.

The big movers this week are the New York Giants (up 8 spots) who are playing their way back into the playoff mix in the NFC East thanks to four straight wins. They have a huge divisional match-up this week with the Dallas Cowboys. Going the opposite direction are the Houston Texans (down 9 spots) who have now lost eight in a row and are battling the Jacksonville Jaguars for the cellar of the AFC.

Where does your team rank this week?

Last Week
1 Seattle Seahawks 2
2 Denver Broncos 3
3 Kansas City Chiefs 1
4 New Orleans Saints 5
5 Carolina Panthers 7
6 New England Patriots 4
7 Indianapolis Colts 9
8 Cincinnati Bengals 10
9 San Francisco 49ers 8
10 Detroit Lions 6
11 Philadelphia Eagles 16
12 Dallas Cowboys 11
13 Chicago Bears 12
14 Arizona Cardinals 15
15 New York Jets 14
16 Miami Dolphins 23
17 New York Giants 25
18 Green Bay Packers 13
19 Tennessee Titans 17
20 San Diego Chargers 18
21 Cleveland Browns 19
22 Baltimore Ravens 20
23 St. Louis Rams 24
24 Pittsburgh Steelers 26
25 Buffalo Bills 28
26 Oakland Raiders 29
27 Washington Redskins 22
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31
29 Minnesota Vikings 27
30 Houston Texans 21
31 Atlanta Falcons 30
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 32

Thursday, November 21, 2013

NFL Fanduel Week 12 Players to Start

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NFL Fanduel Week 12 Players to Start

Each week we give you a stud and a bargain at each position to help you win your Fanduel match-ups. Lets take a look at some of the players you should be starting this week...

QB -Tom Brady - NE vs. DEN - $8,900
Ah, the one we have been waiting for weeks now. Its the latest installment of Brady vs. Manning. Both would be very strong plays in what is sure to be a high scoring affair. The Denver secondary has surrendered a ton of passing yard this season. Couple that with Brady being the cheaper option and you get our reasoning for Brady as the play.
QB - Eli Manning - DAL vs. NYG - $6,300
You can move the ball on that Dallas defense. It is a divisional game and the Giants are actually favored. It way be a little to early in the season for a Romo collapse but that in and of itself is interesting. Manning and the Giants offense have show signs of life in recent weeks. He is being priced in the same class as the rookies with only a handful of relief starts. Good value there.
RB - Zach Stacy - STL vs. CHI - $7,400
Stacy has been as good as any back in the league in the past several weeks. This week he goes up against the NHL's 31st ranked rush defense. Real big match-up at no so big money. Strong play.
RB - Eddie Lacy - GB vs. MIN - $6,600
Lacy is going to get a ton of touches yet again this week. He has been consistently priced in this mid-level range. As long as he is touching the ball 25 times he is going to get 100+ and more than likely find the end-zone. Another strong play with Lacy.
WR - Calvin Johnson - DET vs. TB - $10,500
What can we say here. Megatron is and will continue to be a beast and the best and most valuable player at his position. Sure, he cost a lot, but there are more than enough cheap options elsewhere to make it work. He is a must play even against a decent TB pass defense.
WR - Eric Decker - DEN vs. NE - $5,800
With Welker potentially out, Thomas drawing New England's top DB in Talib and the Patriots missing #2 DB Alfonso Denard, Decker is in line for a nice bump in touches this week. The game is going to be shootout. Really good match-up regardless of the money. Even better at just $5,800.
TE - Rob Gronkowski - NE vs. DEN - $8,200
The Broncos defense gives up yards in bunches through the air. Gronk is by far Brady's favorite and most trusted target. He will see the ball early and often in this one.
TE - Rob Housler ARI vs. IND - $4,900
Housler had a strong performance last week with 70 yards and a handful of touches. He failed to find the end-zone but clearly is developing some chemistry with QB Carson Palmer. At just $4,900 should be a nice value play with a 5/50/1 projected line.
K - Stephen Gostkowski - NE vs. DEN - $5,900
Have we mentioned that there are going to be some serious points in this game? The Patriots have had their share of troubles in the red-zone at times this season. With that in mind the opportunity for points in plenty.
K - Nick Folk - NYJ vs. BAL - $5,000
Best of the $5,000 options this week. They will be in position to score points, but the Ravens D has the ability to buckle down in the red-zone. Decent match-up for a kicker.
DEF - Carolina Panthers - vs. MIA - $5,700
Miami's offensive line is terrible. The Carolina front seven can get after the QB even against good lines. Imagine what they will do against this one? 5, 6 sacks? Yeah, give us the Panthers this week.
DEF - Pittsburgh Steelers - vs. CLE - $5,000
Best of a week class of $5,000 options.

Good luck this week everyone! Be sure to check back with us on Tuesday for a complete recap of the picks!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rangers, Tigers Agree to Blockbuster Trade

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Rangers, Tigers Agree to Blockbuster Trade

It had been a quiet off-season in the MLB to this point with the big name players -- Cano, Ellsbury, Beltran, ext. all yet to find new homes. The hot stove officially got fired up on Wednesday as the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers agreed to a trade swapping all-stars Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder. The deal as it stands, pending league approval will send Prince Fielder and $30million to Texas in exchange for the slugging second baseman Ian Kinsler. Commissioner Bud Selig must sign off on the deal because of the cash figures involved but that is not expected to be a road block at this point.

For Texas the addition of Fielder brings a huge bat to the middle of an already potent line-up. The Rangers had gone after Fielder in the past when he was on the open market three years ago before the Tigers eventually signed him to a nine-year, $214MM deal.  2013 was a bit of a disappointment for the big slugger as Fielder posted a .279/.362/.457 line with 25 home runs. Compare that to the .287/.393/.538 batting line and 35 home run per season average that he posted in his previous eight campaigns.
For Detroit they get one of the best players at his position in Kinsler. Really outside of Robinson Cano, Kinsler has been the most offensively talented 2B in the league the past several years. He will also save the Tigers roughly 4 million (after factoring in the cash sent) over the life of his contract. The biggest benefit for the Tigers is getting out of a contract that would have called for Fielder to make 24 million as a 34, 35 and 36 year old. For a play of his size there are some long term durability concerns despite the fact that he was been pretty durable to this point over the course of his career.

This trade really washes out to a win-win for both teams. Texas was able to open up second base for upcoming youngster Jurickson Profar, a player whom they are very high on. In the mean time they add a top of pop to the line up. For Detroit they add one of the best player at his position and loss a contract that could have proven to be handcuffing in future years.

NFL Week 12 Waiver Wire Wonders

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NFL Week 12 Waiver Wire Wonders

Each week we take a look at the top players available in most leagues that can help you win your match up this week. With the playoffs just around the corner now is as important as ever to make the savvy moves needed to set yourself up for a run at fantasy glory.
Lets take a look at the players you should be adding this week...
QB - Case Keenum - Houston
Keenum was miserable in week 11 after two very strong weeks. Chalk one up to rookie growing pains. His coach is sticking with him, at least to start the game this weekend against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars just gave up 400+ passing yards to Carson Palmer last week. Keenum has every bit the receiving core that Palmer does and probably a better all around game at this point in his career. He could once again turn some heads this week.
RB - Bobby Rainey - Tampa Bay
For the second straight week Rainey has carried the load for the Tampa Bay backfield and done so in grand form. This past weekend he logged 163 yards and two touchdowns against Atlanta. He goes up against a much better defense this week in Detroit but has cup cakes in Buffalo and St. Louis in the coming weeks. If you need a back you better act fast, he is going to be a hot commodity.
RB - Shane Vereen - New England
New England's latest version of Mr. Everything, a la Kevin Faulk, has returned from his eight game stint on the IR and looked very explosive in the Pats week 11 loss to Carolina. He really does a bit of everything - run, catch balls out of the backfield, even return an odd punt or two. He was a fantasy stud early in the season before injuries did him in. He could be a very sneaky sleeper pick up.

WR - Santonio Holmes - New York
The Jets top wide out has made his return to the line up and figured to be the top target for rookie QB Geno Smith down the stretch. While Smith, and as a result Holmes, had a rough week this past weekend, the Jets are in the thick of a playoff race. Any time you can grab a #1 receiver from a team playing meaningful games in the fantasy playoffs it is a solid pick-up.

WR - Marquise Goodwin - Buffalo
With the top two receivers on the shelf in Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods, all EJ Manuel has left as a real threat is Goodwin. Goodwin has shown flashes all season and is a solid deep threat. We will see how he reacts to the new tag as the #1 guy but for the time being he is certainly a player to keep an eye on.

There you have it for this week's picks. If you are on the playoff bubble, go grab a couple of these guys! You just might like the result. Be sure to check back with us again next week for more players you can grab for the playoff run.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NHL Power Rankings - November 19th

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NFL Power Rankings
November 19, 2013

We have some serious shuffling at the top in this week's NHL Power Rankings. The Colorado Avalanche have now lost three in a row and four of their last six. Not only have they lost the top spot, but they fall out of the top 5 for the first time since the inaugural season rankings. Taking the top spot this week are the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are one of the hottest teams in hockey winning 5 of their last 6, good for first place in the Central Division. Nipping at their heals this week are St. Louis blues at #2. The Blues have won five of their last seven jumping up the standings in both the West and the Central. Equally hot are the Phoenix Coyotes, winners of 8 of their last 10 and firmly cementing themselves as strong playoff contenders. Dropping a pair of spot down to four this week are the Anaheim Ducks. The Pacific division leaders have lost four in a row but are holding onto a slim division lead. Rounding out the top five this week are the San Jose Sharks. Like the Ducks, the Sharks are on a bit of a cold streak at 4-1-4 over their last 10. The good news is that they are still managing to get points out of their losses and hanging tough in the Pacific.

Now on to the big movers this week. On the rise are the red hot Dallas Stars. Led by a scoring breakout from Tyler Seguin the Stars have won three in a row and seven of their last ten. Going in the wrong direction we have last week's #1 the Colorado Avalanche, down 9 spots to #10 after a string of losses. The young Aves will look to get back on the winning track this week against stiff condition playing three top 10 teams in our rankings.

Where does your team rank this week?

Last Week
1 Chicago Blackhawks 5
2 St. Louis Blues 6
3 Phoenix Coyotes 4
4 Anaheim Ducks 2
5 San Jose Sharks 3
6 Minnesota Wild 11
7 Los Angeles Kings 10
8 Boston Bruins 9
9 Tampa Bay Ligntning 7
10 Colorado Avalanche 1
11 Pittsburgh Penguins 8
12 Washington Capitals 18
13 Dallas Stars 20
14 Toronto Maple Leafs 13
15 Vancouver Canucks 12
16 Winnipeg Jets 19
17 New York Rangers 15
18 Montreal Canediens 17
19 Detroit Red Wings 14
20 New Jersey Devils 21
21 Ottawa Senators 16
22 Carolina Hurricanes 22
23 Nashville Predators 23
24 Philadelphia Flyers 25
25 New York Islanders 24
26 Columbus Blue Jackets 26
27 Florida Panthers 30
28 Calgary Flames 27
29 Buffalo Sabers 29
30 Edmonton Oilers 28

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