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PropBetPalooza - Cam, Peyton and Lady Gaga

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PropBetPalooza - Cam, Peyton and Lady Gaga

People bet on the NFL every week. They bet on the preseason. They bet on the Pro Bowl. For whatever reason, gambling on pro football is oddly shunned for the bulk of the season, but come Super Bowl, America gets on board, especially with the ridiculous amount of prop bets made available.

This year with the Broncos and the Panthers set to square off on Sunday, Bovada.lv has provided a bounty of bets that can be made on the big game far beyond just who will win and how many points will be scored. For the normal bettors, the numbers that matter are Panthers -6 and O/U 44.5. Those numbers will likely move a bit before the game kicks off Sunday evening, but by all accounts Carolina is the overwhelming favorite with wagering folks. 

But that stuff is boring. America wants weird stuff to bet, like shoe colors, coin tosses and song. America loves betting on songs. Without further ado:

How long will it take Lady Gaga to sing the US National Anthem?
Over/Under                   2 minutes 20 seconds
Expert lean: Absolutely no lean. None. But take the under.

How many times will "dab" or "dabbing" be said by the announcers during the Broadcast?
Over 2 (EVEN, 1/1)
Under 2 (-140, 5/7)
Expert lean: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms gonna say "dab" three times? I doubt it.

How many times will Cam Newton do the Open Shirt Superman motion during the game?
Over 2.5 (EVEN, 1/1)
Under 2.5 (-140, 5/7)
Expert lean: Go over. Rip it open.

Which song will Coldplay play first during the Halftime show?
Adventure of a Lifetime 2/1
Fix You 7/2
A Sky Full of Stars 9/2
Viva la Vida 5/1
Clocks 15/2
Speed of Sound 9/1
Head Full of Dreams 10/1
Paradise 10/1
Expert lean: No idea, but Clocks is their biggest ever hit right?

What color will Beyonce's footwear be when she comes on stage for the Halftime show?
Black 3/2
Gold/Brown 5/2
White 11/4
Silver/Grey 19/4
Any Other Color 7/1
Expert lean: Again, no idea, but put your mortgage on Gold.

How many million viewers will Super Bowl 50 have?
Over/Under 117 million
Expert lean: Under. Sure it’s the Super Bowl, but this matchup lacks sizzle of some recent games.

What about some actual football props? Sure we can do that:

Will there be an onside kick attempt in the game?
Yes +150 (3/2)
No -180 (5/9)
Expert lean: Considering the cost to bet no, the odds on yes look appealing. A close game or a blowout would allow for an onside call.

Will a Roughing the Passer penalty be called in the game?
Yes +110 (11/10)
No -140 (5/7)
Expert lean: Refs tend to take care of Peyton, but this same prop burned me in Denver vs Seattle a few years back.

What will be the Result of the First Coaches Challenge in the Game?
Play Overturned   -130 (10/13)
Play Stands          EVEN (1/1)
Expert lean: Bright lights will mean refs and NFL don’t want mistakes. Play stands costs you less too.

The largest lead of the game by either team will be:
Over/Under 14.5
Expert lean: If you think this game will be a blowout, good spot for your money. I don’t though…

Will there be a Lead Change in the Second Half?
Yes     +120 (6/5)
No      -150 (2/3)
Expert lean: This might be my favorite prop. If the game is going to be close, you love the +$120 here. Even in blowouts, the game is rarely out of hand early in the 3rd quarter.

Who will record the most Receiving Yards in the game?
Demaryius Thomas (DEN)  11/4
Greg Olsen (CAR)               3/1
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)   13/4
Ted Ginn Jr. (CAR)              5/1
Corey Brown (CAR)            13/2
Jerricho Cotchery (CAR)     12/1
Owen Daniels (DEN)          16/1
Devin Funchess (CAR)       16/1
Jordan Norwood (DEN)      50/1
Cody Latimer (DEN)           66/1
Andre Caldwell (DEN)       100/1
Bennie Fowler (DEN)         100/1
Expert lean: Decent value on Manny Sanders, especially knowing Josh Norman will lock up D-Thomas most of this game.

OK fine a few more:

Will there be an earthquake during the game?
Yes 10/1
Expert lean: No. Let’s hope. But the lights did go out in NOLA a few years ago…

How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the Broadcast?
Over 0.5 -300 (1/3)
Under 0.5 +200 (2/1)
Expert lean: This game is being played in Santa Clara, probably a 90 minute drive from the Golden Gate. But since this is a “San Francisco Super Bowl” bank on at least one shot.

What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?
Orange 5/4
Blue 3/1
Clear 4/1
Yellow 4/1
Red 6/1
Green 10/1
Purple 10/1
Expert lean: Red. I like red.

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?
God 2/1
Team 2/1
City/Fans 6/1
Coach 15/2
Family 15/1
Does not Mention Anyone above 9/4
Expert lean: God is the safe play, family is strong, but none of the above is a fun option too.

Will Peyton Manning announce his retirement in the postgame interview?
Yes +500 (5/1)
No -1000 (1/10)
Expert lean: Don’t see it.

Will Peyton Manning be seen crying at any point during the entire Broadcast?
Yes +600 (6/1)
No -1200 (1/12)
Expert lean: This I could see.

Last one, but most fun and instant gratification (or misery):

Coin Toss
Heads -105 (20/21)
Tails -105 (20/21)
Expert lean: Tails. Never fails.

 

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 18, 24 days before NFL free agency starts.

Tandler’s Take

The topic for today’s post comes from Twitter:

When I asked for topics for this post, the subject of the running game came up with several of them. And since John brought up the draft, let’s look at that as a potential solution.

Let’s first establish that the Redskins’ running game was not good enough last year. I don’t need to spend a bunch of time on this but here are some numbers. They were 28th in rushing yards and 29th in yards per carry. If you like to weigh more complete metrics, they were 28th in rushing DVOA. If you want to look at a key situation, they were last in the league in yards per first-down rushing attempt. Last year a team gained 100 yards rushing or more 274 times. The Redskins got there five times.

I’m going to leave it at that here since, again, if you’re reading this you probably watched a lot of their games and you don’t need to be persuaded that the running game was largely unproductive. Yes, there were injuries that had the offensive linemen playing snaps just days after being signed and the broken leg suffered by Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley’s various ailments. But the Redskins haven’t ranked higher than 19th in rushing yards since Jay Gruden became the head coach. Rushing game struggles are an ongoing issue.

I am going to work on the premise that those who advocate having the Redskins improve their running game via the draft are talking about drafting a running back in the first or second round. That may be overgeneralizing but that gives me a good-sized chunk of data to work with and still be able to analyze it in the 1000 words or so I am allotted here.

I’m also going to call a 1,000-yard season the minimum that would be expected out of a back drafted in the first two rounds. There are other ways a back can contribute, of course, and we can deal with them separately.

From 2010-2017, there were 45 thousand-yard rushing seasons by players who entered the league during those years (all data via the indispensable Pro Football Reference unless noted). Twelve of them were accomplished by players drafted in the first round. Six came from second-round picks, six from third-rounders, four from the fourth, three from the fifth, four from the sixth and none from the seventh. Oh, and there were 10 thousand-yard seasons that came from undrafted players.

It should be noted that four of those seasons from undrafted players came from the Texans’ Arian Foster. And two each came from LeGarrette Blount and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. So those 10 thousand-yard seasons should not be seen as an indication that there is a treasure trove of running back talent going undrafted every year.

Back to the first and second rounders, the combined 16 thousand-yard seasons doesn’t mean much in isolation. How many backs were drafted in the first two rounds in that time? How many opportunities have they had to post big seasons?

In the past eight drafts, 34 running backs were drafted in the first and second round. That group has had 170 opportunities to post a 1,000-yard season. What I mean by opportunities is the number of seasons that have elapsed since the player was drafted. The six backs drafted in the first two rounds in 2010 have each had eight chances to gain 1,000 yards in a season so they have combined for 48 opportunities (6*8). There were five backs drafted in the first and second seven seasons ago, so there have combined for 35 opportunities, and so on. Through the eight years that adds up to 170 seasons.

The combined 16 thousand-yard seasons in 170 opportunities comes to a success rate of 9.4 percent when it comes to reaching the bar that most fans would set as the minimum.

A couple of things need to be pointed out here. There are some backs like Giovani Bernard, Shane Vereen, and Christian McCaffrey who do not have any big rushing seasons on their resumes but have been valuable catching passes out of the backfield. And some like Dalvin Cook, who was injured after a promising start last year, and McCaffrey seemed destined to have 1,000-yard seasons in their futures. So all of the backs who have not gained 1,000 yards in a season are not necessarily draft busts or failures.

But here are first-round running back busts, just like there are busts at every position. There were 12 running back picked in the first round of the past eight drafts. Javid Best, David Wilson, and Trent Richardson clearly were disappointments (the former two struggled with injuries). Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, and C.J. Spiller have had some success but perhaps not enough to justify being first-round picks. It took Mark Ingram a while, but he got rolling in his sixth NFL season. I want to see more out of McCaffrey before judging him and Melvin Gordon needs to continue his upward trajectory. It’s safe to say that even with small sample sizes of data in the books on Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette they were home runs. So was Todd Gurley.

So out of 12 first-round backs in the last eight years, you have three clear busts, three moderate disappointments, four top-level performers (including Ingram) and two TBD.

In any case, it’s clear that just drafting a back early is not a panacea for a struggling running game. Blocking (from both the line and the receivers and other backs), play calling, scheme, and some intangible factors like attitude (as Brian Mitchell will tell you) all play into the success and failure of moving the ball on the ground.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.