Sports Business

The Daily Line: Week 9 Football Picks

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NBC Sports Chicago

The Daily Line: Week 9 Football Picks

The best pieces of advice I can give you are: #1 Don’t bet what you can’t afford #2 If it feels too good to be true, it probably is. And #3 If it feels ugly when you place it, good. Other than that, let’s have some fun and hopefully have some success along the way.

YTD record: 23-11 against the spread (13-5 in last 18)

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings 11/4 - 12:00pm CT

Line: Vikings -5 
Betting Percentages Split: 76% of the tickets on the VIkings
The play: Lions +5

The last two weeks were two of the best weeks in recent memory for public players betting NFL games. Last weekend was the first losing Sunday/Monday of the year for Vegas. Call me crazy, but this trend will not continue. I love this week to be a spot that swings back in the contrarian direction and rewards players who hold their nose to make these picks. So, why not start with a game that makes absolutely 0 sense. Lions +5 on the road in the Minnesota. In fact, this line actually opened at +6 in many places but has since moved to +5 despite HEAVY public action on the Vikings. What does that tell you? Pros are betting the Lions heavy. People tend to overreact to single player acquisitions in the NFL and they rarely influence the outcome of single games. The trading of Golden Tate was not because the Lions are tanking, but instead because they weren’t going to re-sign him and wanted to get some value in return. Fade the public and take the Lions. 

Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns 11/4 - 12:00pm CT

Line: Chiefs -9
Betting Percentages Split: 85% of tickets on Chiefs 
The play: Browns +9

Remember what I said about holding your nose? Well, here we go. We are betting the Browns, and honestly, I love this spot. The Chiefs are due for some regression and I love the Browns with Gregg Williams at the helm to be one of the first teams to slow down this high-powered Chiefs offense. From everything coming out of Cleveland, players are fired up about Hue Jackson being ousted and I think Williams will give the Browns the spark they need to keep this game close. The Browns have played nearly every opponent close this year and I bet they do the same again this week. Call me crazy, sprinkle the money line too. 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens 11/4 - 12:00pm CT

Line: Ravens -2.5
Betting Percentages Split: 78% of tickets on the Steelers
The play: Ravens -2.5

Buy low, sell high time people. Just a few weeks ago, the Ravens were a trendy Super Bowl sleeper pick. Fast forward after two losses and everyone seems to forget that not too long ago they were the consensus best defense in the NFL. Conversely, everyone seems to have forgotten about the problems the Steelers had at the beginning of the year and have penciled them in to be in the AFC championship hunt once again. Not so fast my friends, I love this spot for some regression to the mean for two teams that at the end of the day are probably fairly even. In a divisional game, I’ll take the contrarian home team with a short line. Take the Ravens laying 2.5. 

Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos 11/4 - 3:20pm CT

Line: Broncos -1
Betting Percentages Split: 72% of tickets on the Texans 
The play: Broncos -1

This is my favorite game of the week, by a pretty wide margin. It has every single one the indicators I look for when handicapping an NFL game. First, it’s a perfect sell high spot for the Texans who are now right in the midst of the playoff hunt. Secondly, it’s a great buy low spot for the Broncos, who are better team than their record indicates (they’ve had the misfortune of already playing the Chiefs twice). Thirdly, we have a public overreaction to the trading of Demariyus Thomas, a move that has nothing to do with this Broncos team, they simply were not going to resign him and wanted to extract some value (stop me if you’ve heard that before). And lastly, we have HEAVY public action on a small road dog, public dogs have fleas ladies and gentlemen and I’ll take the Broncos giving 1 at Mile High all day.

Bonus College Game: Missouri vs. Florida 11/3 - 3:00pm CT

Line: Florida -6
Betting Percentages Split: 80% of tickets on Florida
The play: Missouri +6

Missouri is the best 4-4 team in the country. Period. They should not have lost to Kentucky last week, they understandably lost to Alabama and they actually outgained Georgia in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated (Missouri was plagued by a few costly turnovers and still covered). I loved them last week at Kentucky and they let me down after a late kick off return for a touchdown by the Wildcats and I am going back to the well here. Florida’s defensive strength in their run stopping ability, not on their back end, and I love this to be a breakout spot for Drew Lock to put up some big numbers and Missouri finally get the big win they deserve this year.

Kaplan: Chet Coppock's impact on my career

Kaplan: Chet Coppock's impact on my career

The death of legendary Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock has stoked many memories for me because of the lengthy history he and I had, particularly the huge role he played in my life. I would not be writing this nor would I be broadcasting on radio and TV without him taking me under his wing and giving an inexperienced kid from Skokie a chance to be on the air in Chicago.

Prior to entering the broadcasting profession I was a college basketball coach at Northern Illinois University from 1982-86. Like so many in the coaching profession, I lost my job when my head coach lost his job and I wondered aloud what the heck I was going to do with my life. I knew I had to be in the sports world and I knew deep down that I wanted to be on air. I started a college basketball recruiting newsletter that coaches and fans subscribed to and as I tried to market it I sent a letter to the biggest name in Chicago sports broadcasting that I could think of, Chet Coppock. He was a fixture on radio five nights a week in CHicago.

I distinctly remember walking into my house and seeing the message light blinking on my recorder. "Hey David, okay kid I'll give ya a shot! Tonight, let's talk college basketball. Bring your 'A' game! This is Chet Coppock from Coppock on Sports. Call me back!"

Wow! I was actually going to be on with the one and only Chet Coppock? The Big Rock Candy Mountain himself? I knew it was a big opportunity but I had no idea at that time that that phone call would change my life forever. Chet Coppock gave me a shot and he would become the single biggest professional influence in my career. Regularly he would have me on to talk about college basketball and the recruiting world. DePaul and Illinois basketball were hot topics.

It was always a huge thing to be on his show.

Fast forward to March of 1989. It is a Tuesday night, two days before the start of the NCAA Tournament, and I get a call from then-University of Arizona assistant basketball coach Kevin O'Neill, who was then and remains one of my closest friends in the world. K-O, as he is known, calls me in the early evening to tell me he has a great source telling him then-Michigan head basketball coach Bill Frieder is going to be named the new head coach at Arizona State the next day.

After I make a handful of phone calls to confirm the story, I call Chet.

He is on the air hosting the Doug Collins show, the head coach of the Chicago Bulls at the time. Chet comes to the phone during a commercial break and I tell him my scoop.

"I'll put you right on but if you're wrong I will bury you in this town and you will never get a broadcasting gig," Chet said. "Do you still want to come on? Do you feel confident enough in your story?"

Yes, I told him.

I go on the air, reveal the news and Collins tells me no way that is going to happen. He is a former assistant coach at Arizona State and he, like many others, did not believe the story was accurate. 

The next day the story breaks and the USA Today credits "Coppock on Sports in Chicago."

From that day forward Chet was a huge influence on my broadcasting career and he opened doors for me that I would never have been able to open myself.  Without him I would never be doing what I am doing today.

Rest in peace my friend. You will always be remembered as a legend.

NBC Sports Chicago announces multi-year media rights deal with White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks

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NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago announces multi-year media rights deal with White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks

STAMFORD, Conn., and CHICAGO, Ill. – January 2, 2019 – NBC Sports Chicago and the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks today announced a multi-year media rights deal that provides NBC Sports Chicago with exclusive local, multi-platform media rights to present game coverage of all three teams starting with the 2019-2020 season. The deal is subject to formal documentation and pending MLB, NBA and NHL approval.

NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago+ will be the exclusive regional home for all regular season games, pre-season/spring training, and the first round of post-season coverage for the Bulls and Blackhawks. This new agreement also enables the continuation of all games to be streamed on NBCSportsChicago.com and the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.

“The Chicago White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks have provided countless memorable moments for this city’s fans, and NBC Sports Chicago has been dedicated to immersive coverage of each and every one,” said David Preschlack, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks and Platform & Content Strategy. “This is a significant agreement, and we are proud to continue to provide the most comprehensive, multi-platform coverage of these historic franchises.”

“We are very pleased to extend our relationship with our partners at NBC Sports Chicago,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls/White Sox Chairman. “In addition to being the experts in consistently delivering the finest game and surrounding game coverage in the business, it is their year-round commitment to providing our fans with innovative and entertaining multi-platform content that makes NBC Sports Chicago among the very best in the regional sports industry. Chicago sports fans are the greatest, and we are pleased that this agreement allows for the very best access to Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox live action and content.”

“Blackhawks fans should be very excited that we are continuing our partnership with NBC Sports Chicago. In addition to raising the bar on our game day broadcasts, NBC Sports Chicago has elevated non-game day television coverage and evolved their digital and social media platforms into some of the most viewer-friendly in the industry,” said Rocky Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks Chairman.