My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
College football fans fatigued over tonight's familiar matchup between Alabama and Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game are entitled to their opinion.

After all, the two gridiron powers are meeting in the CFP for a fourth consecutive season.

One Eye On Gaming contributor (Almost Allright) will boycott tonight's ESPN telecast and another EOG sports enthusiast (Fair Warning) is likely to follow AA's lead.

Today's demanding viewing audience never seems happy.

Sports fans would sooner avoid a titanic clash of undefeated college football teams competing for the undisputed national title than honor Nick Saban's Alabama dynasty or admire Dabo Swinney's meteoric rise at Clemson.

Tough crowd.

Since 2015, Alabama is 55-3 while Clemson is 54-4.

A win by Clemson tonight would leave the two elite programs with identical records (55-4) over the past four seasons.

And neither team is resting on its laurels.

Both Alabama and Clemson have undergone drastic makeovers offensively this past season and the betting marketplace recognizes the changes.

The over/under in last year's meeting between Alabama and Clemson closed at 46.5 points (Pinnacle).

The over/under this season opened two touchdowns higher at 60.5 points.

Last season, 'Bama stoned Clemson in a CFP semifinal-round game by a score of 24-6, but the quarterbacks that night in New Orleans were Jalen Hurts and Kelly Bryant.

Every yard was a struggle and Alabama's defense dominated the game.

Usher in a new era for both programs where the emphasis is on dynamic passing attacks to complement punishing running games.

Both offenses are now led by exciting young quarterbacks operating in fast-paced systems designed to create explosive plays, the type of football that excites the recreational sports fan who roots for big plays and big points.

Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence are wise beyond their years and both possess the arm talent to perform at the NFL level.

Some mock drafts show creative playmaker Tagovailoa as the #1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the statuesque Lawrence, standing 6-feet-6-inches, going #1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Both quarterbacks are quality pocket passers with Tua more of a running threat than Lawrence.

However, Tua's recent ankle injuries combined with Clemson's fierce pass rush could force him to play more a pro-style game tonight.

What differentiates Alabama and Clemson from the other 128 FBS teams is the knack for finding the best collection of massive but mobile defenders to pressure quarterbacks and create havoc in the opponent's backfield.

Clemson this season led all FBS teams with 52 sacks followed by Northern Illinois (50), UAB (48), Penn State (47) and you guessed it, Alabama (45).

The key to success at any sporting event is to rob your opponent of time.

Both Nick Saban and Dabo Sweeney are keenly aware of that principle.

But I look for both teams to play against the "back four" of their opponent's defensive schemes, not the vaunted "front sevens" of the traditional defensive powers.

And that's why tonight's game should be more of an offensive shootout than defensive struggle.

Sports bettors, in my opinion, have a bigger complaint about tonight's matchup than sports fans.

These two high-quality programs are teams a gambler wants to support, not fade.

Despite laying heavy pointspreads all season long, both Alabama and Clemson enter the championship game with the same winning pointspread record of 8-6.

Tonight's matchup is properly priced (Alabama -5 or -5.5 depending on where you shop) with plenty of data points to compare beyond the obvious head-to-head meetings in each of the last three seasons.

Alabama and Clemson had one common opponent this season in Texas A&M and the Crimson Tide looks better when studying comparative scores.

Long-standing historical info also points to Nick Saban's team.

Alabama holds a 14-4 in its all-time series against Clemson.

And here's a daunting thought for sports fans who will ignore tonight's heavyweight battle between Alabama and Clemson: Next season's most likely CFP championship game showdown is...wait for it....Alabama versus Clemson on January 7, 2020 in New Orleans with Tua Tagovailoa once again squaring off against Trevor Lawrence.

You heard it here first.


WILD CARD WEEKEND.....Three of the four NFL playoffs games this past weekend went under the closing total and all four games stayed under the first-half totals.

The only game to ruin a perfect 8-0 run was the Seattle-Dallas game where 15 points were scored in the game's final 2:08 to produce a 24-22 final in favor of the Cowboys.

I lost a live wager on the Seahawks-Cowboys total when betting under 42 after Dallas wide receiver Allen Hurns was carted off the field after sustaining a gruesome left leg injury midway through the first quarter of a 3-0 game.

I always like to bet under in live wagering when the medical team comes onto the field to administer to a seriously-injured player.

The long delay usually kills the momentum of the game, often times eliminates a key offensive player from the field and always sets in the mind of all clear-thinking players the grave dangers of the game.

Things were looking very good for my wager until all hell broke lose with a 22-point fourth quarter.


TWO CLEVER QUOTES....Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is the sharpest member of the NFL Today crew on CBS and it's not even close.

Esiason is excellent at predicting what will happen because he fully understands what already took place.

He studies the past to learn more about the future.

Esiason was right when he predicted the Chargers would defeat the Ravens because "it's hard to beat a quality NFL team twice over a three-week period."

And credit former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, who also liked the Chargers to beat the Ravens, with a tried-and-true axiom involving the NFL postseason.

Cowher declared, "In the NFL, your strengths qualify you for the playoffs and your weaknesses get you eliminated from them."


HARD TO WATCH.....If you bet the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, you never had a chance, thanks in large part to the limited passing skills of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Two days before the game, EOG contributor HEIM posted the all-time winning percentage (35%) of rookie quarterbacks in the NFL postseason and steered clear of backing the short home favorite.

Good move.

Sometimes the best bet is no bet.

Ball protection was a big problem for the former Louisville star.

And former Dallas quarterback and current CBS football analyst Tony Romo offered some simple words for Jackson and his poor fundamentals and sloppy ball-handling.

"It only catches up to you when it catches up to you," Romo cracked.

Romo's warning to Jackson also applies to sports bettors who fail to secure the best possible prices before a game begins.

For gamblers, the saying goes something like this, "Getting the best of the number only matters when it matters...and then it really matters."
 
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#2
Been up most of the night celebrating the Eagle victory....

Always a great Monday Blog by you and love your info and analysis....

Looking forward to the college game tonight....Saban has a great chance and opportunity to pass the great legend Bear Bryant.....right now I am leaning Alabama minus the points.....but with all the dogs covering in the NFL, I might get some stage fright....

Love your gambling quote about getting the best number....
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#3
Congrats to your Eagles.

And good call with the Chargers yesterday.

Tough loss for the Bears.

I wonder if placekicker Cody Parkey will be on the roster next season.

Missed the second-most number of kicks (8 field goals, 3 extra points) this season in the NFL.

Not sure who was Numero Uno?
 
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MrTop

EOG Dedicated
#5
I like the nugget that Boomer said about hard to beat the same quality team 2x in 3 weeks.

A good read, JK, as always.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#6
Congrats to your Eagles.

And good call with the Chargers yesterday.

Tough loss for the Bears.

I wonder if placekicker Cody Parkey will be on the roster next season.

Missed the second-most number of kicks (8 field goals, 3 extra points) this season in the NFL.

Not sure who was Numero Uno?

Six of Parkey's 10 misses hit the uprights.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#8
Good info, Birdie.

Nick Foles is 7-0 in must-win games the past two seasons as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many of his passes against Chicago, however, floated in the secondary except for the go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter.

I think the Saints beat the Eagles by 10 or more points this Sunday at the Superdome where the Saints have won six straight postseason games since 2000.
 
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MrTop

EOG Dedicated
#9
Good info, Birdie.

Nick Foles is 7-0 in must-win games the past two seasons as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many of his passes against Chicago, however, floated in the secondary except for the go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter.

I think the Saints beat the Eagles by 10 or more points this Sunday at the Superdome where the Saints have won six straight postseason games since 2000.[/QUOTE]





:oops:
 

FairWarning

Bells Beer Connoisseur
#10
[B]Mitch Moss[/B] Retweeted

[IMG]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2442951842/8z8cn8xpcwiuleru1bjy_bigger.png[/IMG] [B]Jeff Fogle[/B]‏ @[B]JeffFogle[/B] 7h7 hours ago
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The "inexperienced home favorite kid quarterbacks" (Watston/Jackson/ Trubisky) didn't lead a 1H TD drive (outscored 36-6), combined for 13 of 44 on third downs (30%) and were just 2 of 7 in the red zone (TD's). Luck/Rivers/Foles 48% on 3D's, 6 of 10 in red zone TD's.
58 1st half points in the four games also.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#13
Ha.

I'll credit Parkey for owning the miss.

His heartfelt interview in the locker room may be enough to bring him back next season.

Chicago sports fans embrace lovable losers.
 
#14
Since we are on topic with CFP I'll throw my hat into the ring. Clemson looked impressive vs Notre Dame. They are one of the few...very few teams with the talent to battle Alabama. The casinos and sports bureaucracy seemed to be touting them for several reason probably because they are the darling underdog, a touch of the Cinderella magic sort of, and not wanting a rush of betting on the favorite incase they cover the spread. Here is what I see for the winning team tonight; A strong early tone, getting points and strong defense right out of the block. Secondly although it seems football has emphasized defense this year(teams like Ravens and Cowboys in Pros) this game is going to want overall talent. A champion team will need it all...strong def. Strong scoring, great special teams. I'm not good at the over under but i would expect a lot of scoring. We'll see tonite.
 

Heim

EOG Master
#15
eliminated quarterbacks with year experience:

Watson (2 years)
Trubisky (2 years)
'No Action' Jackson (rookie)


Do you see a pattern?
 
#16
"Alabama and Clemson had a pair of common opponents this season in Syracuse and Texas A&M and the Crimson Tide looks better when studying comparative scores," wrote John Kelly.

These teams have ONE common opponent -- Texas A & M. Clemson played at Texas A & M in their first "real" ( after Furman ) game of the season on 9/8/18 when Kelly Bryant was still quarterbacking the team. Two weeks later ( 9/22/18) Alabama hosted Texas A & M. Both teams beat Texas A & M, but failed to cover. Respective scores 28-26, 45-23. Using comparative scores after adjusting for the site of game (respectively, 31-26, 42-23) results in Alabama plus +14. In this simplified handicap, given a 6 pt. Alabama point spread, is Trevor Lawrence over future Missouri QB Kelly Bryant worth more or less than 8 points, a point spread push? IMHO ignoring other factors, how a person answers this question determines whether you have a bet, and on which side.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#21
Glad I didn’t watch. On to next season.

You missed an exciting first quarter.

And then Clemson took over.

Trevor Lawrence looked amazing.

And here's the smartest note I heard from last night's Alabama-Clemson game: One man knew the game was over by halftime when Clemson led Alabama, 31-16.

That man was Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Why did Alabama not try to score late in the first half with a 2nd and 10 situation from its own 25-yard line and 41 seconds left on the clock?

All season long, the Crimson Tide poured it on against overmatched opponents.

Alabama was a 7.5-point favorite in the second half and failed to score after halftime.
 
#22
You missed an exciting first quarter.

And then Clemson took over.

Trevor Lawrence looked amazing.

And here's the smartest note I heard from last night's Alabama-Clemson game: One man knew the game was over by halftime when Clemson led Alabama, 31-16.

That man was Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Why did Alabama not try to score late in the first half with a 2nd and 10 situation from its own 25-yard line and 41 seconds left on the clock?

All season long, the Crimson Tide poured it on against overmatched opponents.

Alabama was a 7.5-point favorite in the second half and failed to score after halftime.
With regard to late first half, Alabama was psychologically floored by the second qtr. A team that never lost and could almost score at will suddenly getting walloped at every turn. It is like being in the twilight zone.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#23
With regard to late first half, Alabama was psychologically floored by the second qtr. A team that never lost and could almost score at will suddenly getting walloped at every turn. It is like being in the twilight zone.

Good point, Biff41.

Some teams cut your losses and head to halftime.

I expect that from most teams, but not Alabama.

Additionally, when teams are not battle-tested, it's hard to know how they'll react once hit in the face.

Alabama wobbled badly in the second quarter and did not want to fight in the second half.
 

Valuist

EOG Dedicated
#24
Interesting point by JK regarding injury delays and totals. I think you are on the right track, but is it possible that we see the opposite of what has happened so far? For instance, if there was a ton of scoring in the first quarter, like in the Clemson game, then we can expect the offensive momentum to stop. But in the Dallas/Seattle game, both defenses were playing at a high level when the Hurns injury occurred, and the adrenaline break for defenders on both teams could cause them to lapse.

Regardless of the explanation, I don't think Bookmaker.eu will allow me to cash my Dallas Under 43 wager from this past weekend.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#25
They're careful not to grade losing wagers as winners.

I've heard through the grapevine that the owner there likes to enter the final scores himself.

Must be a thrill to watch the bottom line grow.

Some Sundays it's probably like watching the telethon toteboard keeping track of Muscular Dystrophy donations on Labor Day weekend.

About playing the opposite of the game flow, VALUIST makes an interesting point.

It's a corollary of the theory DINK likes to preach about in-game wagering: Bet AGAINST what just happened in the game.
 
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#26
Hard to believe Alabama ran the clock out in the first half with all three time outs still in play. Saban is telling his offense I have no confidence in you. Waving white flag.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#27
I was wondering if they had all three timeouts left.

Good call, papa 5.

And, of course, in the college game, the clock stops on every first down.
 

ejd_5277

EOG Dedicated
#28
Good info, Birdie.

Nick Foles is 7-0 in must-win games the past two seasons as quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many of his passes against Chicago, however, floated in the secondary except for the go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter.

I think the Saints beat the Eagles by 10 or more points this Sunday at the Superdome where the Saints have won six straight postseason games since 2000.
Be careful here, JK...

The Saints peaked at halftime of their Thanksgiving Night win vs. the Falcons. (I'm ignoring the meaningless Week 17.)

They haven't played a complete game (home or away) since, and they know it.

The Eagles have shown me much in the grit department under Nick Foles.

It's Eagles or pass for me right now, and if the number gets to 10, it's katy bar the door.
 
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