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Tourney Time: Dominant Frontcourts + Sparkplug Guards
Jim Feist Mar 22, 2016  
by Jim Feist

A smart handicapper looks at college basketball tournament time different than during the regular season. Certainly the games mean more, bringing added pressure on the players and coaching staff. Here are a few things I examine late in the college basketball season as teams are vying for conference championships and tournament positioning.

*Depth: Yes, size ...  read more
 
March Madness: Tourney Wagering Tips
Jim Feist Feb 26, 2016  
by Jim Feist

March tournament play is one of the most exciting times of the sports betting calendar. A seemingly endless stream of games, at times running morning, noon and night, will test the nerves and cognitive powers of fans and bettors. It can be a time of highs and lows, with streaks, exciting finishes and surprising upsets.

There are all kinds of factors to c ...  read more
 
College Basketball's Home Court Dynamics
Jim Feist Jan 12, 2016  
by Jim Feist

All basketball are not created equal! At least that's the impression you get when examining how teams play at home compared to on the road. A few years ago, Michigan State outscored teams by a 73-58 average at home, but on the road the Spartans were outscored by a 69-65 count. The same was true for Minnesota: The Gophers average score at home was 81-67, but on the road ...  read more
 
Motivation and Hoop $ucce$$
Jim Feist Dec 30, 2015  
by Jim Feist

Successful basketball teams need to have a combination of one or two talented players plus unselfish role players. That’s fairly obvious. What is easy to overlook is the guy holding the clipboard on the sidelines.

Yes, coaching is an important factor when handicapping games. It’s the coach’s responsibility to organize, teach and motivate players. That ...  read more
 
Late December: The Best Time for Bowling!
Jim Feist Dec 21, 2015  
by Jim Feist

As 2015 draws to a close, we find ourselves smack in the middle of the bowls. You shouldn't be bowled-out, either, as they build to the crescendo that is the Final Four between Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Clemson.

Poinsettia Bowl (Wed, Dec. 23): Northern Illinois (8-5) heads to San Diego on a two game slide, losing to Ohio (26-21) and Bowling Green ...  read more
 
NFL Juggernauts and Fading Has Beens
Jim Feist Dec 14, 2015  
by Jim Feist

NFL parity is alive and well in 2015! The Jets had a surprising 4-1 SU/ATS start under their new coach....then came back to earth with a losing streak along with a 0-3-1 ATS run. Andy Reid's Chiefs were at the morgue after a 1-5 SU/ATS start, then rose from the dead on a 7-0 SU/6-1 ATS run to get back in it. The Packers looked like the team to beat in the NFC winning thei ...  read more
 
NBA Early Season Surprises
Jim Feist Dec 7, 2015  
Preseason prognosticators and handicapping analysis focuses in on what they expect to happen, based on the draft and offseason moves, but there are always surprises at the start of each season. Here's a look at some of the early NBA surprises.

Pistons: They have rebuilt in a hurry in Motown! 6-11 Andre Drummond is only 22 years old but is off to a monster season on the glass, blocking ...  read more
 
NFL Quarterback Shuffle
Jim Feist Nov 30, 2015  
by Jim Feist

2015…The Year of the Quarterback...Are you kidding? While the numbers that Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers are putting up are sizzling, the last four NFL seasons have been the Year of the Quarterback Shuffle, too.

The number of NFL quarterbacks teams have been forced to throw in has been astounding. Dallas has used Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Matt C ...  read more
 
Football Parity
Jim Feist Nov 16, 2015  
by Jim Feist

For years, pro football has been the sports leader when it comes to parity. Pete Rozelle was credited with, "On any given Sunday any team can beat another." Despite all the undefeated NFL teams this late in the 2015 campaign, that adage is still true. The Tennessee Titans opened the season at Tampa Bay as a dog, won 42-14, then kept on losing into November.

The ...  read more
 
NFL Offensive Lines + Home/Road Disparity
Jim Feist Nov 9, 2015  
by Jim Feist

Years ago former NFL head coach John Madden was asked if he had one player to draft to build his team around, who would it be? Everyone expected him to take the top quarterback of the day, such as Terry Bradshaw or Roger Staubach. Instead he replied, “John Hannah,” the Patriots Hall of Fame offensive guard. Madden explained, “What good is having a star quarterback if ...  read more
 
Football Totals and Coaching Philosophies
Jim Feist Nov 3, 2015  
by Jim Feist

There are many factors to examine when studying football totals. Defensive and offensive statistics need to be examined, of course. Some of the questions a good handicapper asks: Is there speed in the defensive secondary? Does a club have a one-dimensional offense? Do they prefer a powerful running game or wide-open passing attacks? What kind of weather conditions will the ...  read more
 
Winning Football: "D" Comes Before "O"
Jim Feist Oct 19, 2015  
by Jim Feist

So what do you prefer: offense or defense? Most casual bettors examining football like offense, which is why Monday night football games often take more action on the over. And they may point to the Super Bowl, where the offensive show of the Patriots topped the dominant Seattle defense, 28-24. However, that game could have gone either way and Seattle owned a 24-14 le ...  read more
 
The Value of NFL Run Defense
Jim Feist Oct 12, 2015  
Feist Facts: Oct. 12, 2015 The Value of NFL Run Defense by Jim Feist Like a giant leak on a sinking ship, one of the first signs of a poor pro football team is weak run defense. Stopping the run is essential to building a championship team. The Top 9 teams at stopping the run last season? Lions, Broncos, Seahawks, Ravens, Jets, Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys and Patriots. All were in the pla ...  read more
 
Turnovers Can Turn the Tide (SU and ATS)
Jim Feist Oct 5, 2015  
A few weeks ago a key early NFC East matchup took place on national TV between the Redskins and Giants, two teams with something to prove off poor campaigns. In the end, Washington had the edge in total yards 393-363, in rushing yards and held the Giants to just 4-of-12 on third down. A close game? A Redskins' win? Actually, the Giants led 18-6 after three and 32-14 late on the way to an ea ...  read more
 
NFL Cold Starts and September Surprises
Jim Feist Sep 28, 2015  
by Jim Feist

So…are we all set for the Jets/Bengals AFC championship game in January? Followed by the Falcons/Cardinals NFC title tilt? That would be quite a surprise, wouldn’t it, with Atlanta off a 6-10 season and the Jets off a 4-12 train wreck in 2014. Both seasons got their coaching staffs fired.

However, last season is ancient history. And that's the thing about ...  read more
 
September Football: Upset City!
Jim Feist Sep 21, 2015  
by Jim Feist

There's a reason they play the games. Teams don't always play the way stats and power rankings suggest they are supposed to. That's often evident early in the pro and college football seasons because some teams are very different from year to year. In Week 1 of the NFL season, the money went on the Vikings Monday night, the young up and coming team under Mike Zimmer th ...  read more
 
College Football Injuries and Depth Charts
Jim Feist Sep 14, 2015  
by Jim Feist An area of college football handicapping dynamics that's important to understand early in the season is depth. This doesn't refer to how many star players a team has, but whether a team is stocked or thin with above-average players at a lot of positions. Large schools with a long tradition of winning football are usually heavy with depth.

Notre Dame took on a ret ...  read more
 
2015 NFL Stats: Read Between the Lines
Jim Feist Sep 7, 2015  
by Jim Feist

The best time of the sports calendar is here, the opening month of the pro football campaign! There are mountains of stats and angles available for sports bettors to digest from this season and years past. Information certainly is a huge key when analyzing games and point spreads. Sometimes it can seem that there is too much info, but it's essential to understand that ...  read more
 
2015 College Football's Top 1-20
Jim Feist Aug 24, 2015  
by Jim Feist

The countdown continues! Last week we looked at my Top 21-40, this week is my Top 20. The CFB season kicks off September 3rd, so here's a peak at college football's best.

20. Indiana: A Big 10 surprise team? The Hoosiers are off a losing campaign but return 7 starters on both sides of the ball. The offense is an attacking, no-huddle unit under Kevin Wilson, rip ...  read more
 
2015 College Football's Top 21-40
Jim Feist Aug 19, 2015  
by Jim Feist

It's time to kick off a new football season! College football begins September 3rd, so here's a look at the top teams, starting with my top 21-40.

40. Miami: The Canes haven’t been covering numbers (6-15 ATS run) but Al Golden’s team returns dazzling sophomore QB Brad Kaaya (3,198 yards, 26 TDs, 12 INTs). They averaged 29.3 points and 250 yards passing. The ...  read more
 
NFL Preseason Pointers and Changes
Jim Feist Aug 11, 2015  
by Jim Feist The pro football preseason kicked off this past weekend in the Hall of Fame game as the Vikings battled the Steelers. Remember that each season is different, with players changing teams, new coaches and assistants coming aboard, and star college players joining the pros as highly touted rookies. August football offers fans their first peak at all the new additions.
...  read more
 
MLB BASBEALL - Give Me Some Relief!
Jim Feist Jul 1, 2015  
Starting pitchers in baseball get much of the attention thrown their way. The average starter is asked to go 6-7 innings, while aces are expected to give 7-8 quality innings. Many games are decided in the last three innings, however, making relief pitchers an extremely important, and often overlooked, element. Do you recall how bad the San Francisco Giants were in 2013? The defending cha ...  read more
 
Baseball: First Half Roundup
Jim Feist Jun 30, 2015  
by Jim Feist 162 games is a long baseball season. Every year teams sprint out of the gate in April and May with October dreams, only to come back to the pack by July. It's not a sprint, of course, but a marathon, where a strong balance of pitching, defense and offense carries the best teams into the postseason. Injuries, too, are key, as well as trades made before the July deadline. Teams h ...  read more
 
NBA Finals: Warriors/Cavs Showdown
Jim Feist Jun 8, 2015  
by Jim Feist The NBA Finals continues this week moving from the West Coast to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4. Game 5 will be played at Golden State, which is just the second time since 1984 that the league has gone back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the Finals. Last year it didn’t make a difference, as Miami split the first two at San Antonio, then the Spurs torched the Heat in South Beach, winning ...  read more
 
NBA Finals Fever!
Jim Feist Jun 1, 2015  
by Jim Feist The last two years a pair of veteran teams met in the NBA Finals, with Miami winning its second straight title in seven games against the Spurs and then San Antonio thrashing the Heat a year ago. But the winds of change have blown, with LeBron bolting Miami for his hometown and the Spurs losing in the first round in seven games to the LA Clippers. Now the Golden State Warriors ...  read more
 
Baseball Hot and Cold Starts
Jim Feist May 4, 2015  
by Jim Feist More than any other sport, baseball is a game of patience. It's not how you start, but where you finish, and with a 162-game regular season, there is a LOT of baseball left. Did your team get off to a bad start? Well don't panic. There is plenty of time to make adjustments and turn things around. Did your team get off to a hot start? Don't start making World Series reservations jus ...  read more
 
Defense and Totals in the NBA Playoffs
Jim Feist Apr 26, 2015  
by Jim Feist The NBA playoffs are rolling along, which is a good time to revisit an old sports adage: Defense wins championships. Last June in the NBA Finals San Antonio held Miami under 100 points in all five games, including 86 and 87 points in the final two contests. Miami scored 18 points in the first quarter of Game 4, then 11 and 18 in the middle quarters of the finale. Look at some ...  read more
 
NBA Playoffs: The Best of the West
Jim Feist Apr 20, 2015  
by Jim Feist Start your engines! The NBA playoffs have started, time for endless full court action every night as the league crowns another champion. Let's take a look at the best of the West, the conference that has won 11 of the last 16 NBA titles.

Warriors: The team no one wants to play! Golden State’s front office took some heat the last few years for trading for Andruw Bogut (“w ...  read more

 
NBA Stretch Run: The Best of the East
Jim Feist Apr 15, 2015  
It's been a long haul, this NBA regular season, but the playoffs are just around the corner. So who wins the NBA title? We all know the favorites don't waltz to the NBA Finals. Last year San Antonio had to go 7 games with Dallas in the first round, then six with Oklahoma City. Two years ago Miami needed to go seven games with up-and-coming Indiana to get there, then had to pull off a mirac ...  read more
 
The Final Four!
Jim Feist Mar 30, 2015  
by Jim Feist It is a great week for sports fans with the start of baseball, the NBA stretch run, the Final Four and the culmination of the college basketball season next Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana for the national championship. It's clear that it's not the teams the start the season hot, but the ones that get hot when it really matters -- March and April! Many thin ...  read more
 
Tourney Matchup Tips
Jim Feist Mar 23, 2015  
by Jim Feist It's the final stretch of a long college basketball season. There are better teams, tougher matchups, and defensive intensity. It's a good time of the season to look backward -- to look back, that is, to conference regular season tourney play and early season matches against different conferences. That's because it can be tougher to analyze matchups during the Big Dance, with team ...  read more
 
March Hoops: Beware of the No-Name Teams
Jim Feist Mar 16, 2015  
by Jim Feist It's that time of year again: Basketball games night and day, day and night and after a few hours of sleep, we wake up the next day and go through it all over again. College tournament play is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for sports fans and bettors, with a seemingly endless stream of action and excitement. Big name schools often end up playing for the ...  read more
 
College Basketball’s Diminishing Edge: Senior Leadership
Jim Feist Mar 9, 2015  
by Jim Feist It's time! Time for college basketball teams to begin conference tourney play, also known as separating the contenders from the pretenders. It's important to understand and closely examine the schedule of college hoop teams. Some teams start off the season playing a bunch of cream puffs, while others face a mixture of good and bad teams. What has taken shape the last few months ...  read more
 
College Hoops: Best of the SEC
Jim Feist Feb 17, 2015  
by Jim Feist The SEC has a bunch of teams loaded with talent, depth and athleticism. Kentucky won national championships in 1998 and 2012, Florida knocked on the door in 2000 getting to the title game against Michigan State, then won it all with back-to-back titles. Here's a look at some of college basketball's best teams in the SEC. Kentucky: The Wildcats have another powerhouse young te ...  read more
 
Super Bowl Countdown!
Jim Feist Jan 19, 2015  
by Jim Feist In the world of eleven to ten, there's nothing quite like Super Bowl week. In this case, it's two weeks, as the teams have two weeks to prepare for the Big Game.

For example, you can bet on the exact score of the game by each team, who will score first, or how many yards a player has. A year ago Seattle to win by 22 or more points was 12-to-1 odds and the first scoring ...  read more

 
NFL Playoffs: Conference Champions at Stake!
Jim Feist Jan 12, 2015  
by Jim Feist This is it, the final weekend of games before the Super Bowl. The last month we've been hearing about playoff seedings, bye weeks and home field advantage. Are all those things really important? Historically it has been during the second round of the playoffs. Teams with the bye have home field advantage and two weeks to prepare, both of which are usually important edges this time ...  read more
 
NFL Playoff Time!
Jim Feist Jan 5, 2015  
by Jim Feist As the playoffs begin, those who earned the top two seeds in each conference have a key edge, as they get a bye the first week while watching the others duke it out. Sitting at home this past weekend were the Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks and Packers. Why is that significant? A year ago the 4 bye teams were the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks and Panthers. The top AFC teams met in ...  read more
 
National Title Showdown: Who Will Be No. 1?
Jim Feist Dec 29, 2014  
by Jim Feist Happy New Year! After recovering from the weekend's New Year festivities, we glide through the end of the bowl season. A few more bowls are appetizers for the tune-up that is first Final Four for all the marbles. Music City Bowl (Wed., Dec. 31st): The SEC meets the ACC to close out the year as No. 7 Mississippi State battles No.12 Georgia Tech. Mississippi State (10-2) was th ...  read more
 
NBA Early Season Surges
Jim Feist Dec 26, 2014  
by Jim Feist Preseason prognosticators and handicapping analysis focuses in on what they expect to happen, based on the draft and offseason moves, but there are always surprises at the start of each season. Here's a look at some of the early NBA teams off to impressive starts. Raptors: With LeBron leaving Miami and Indiana losing its best player to an offseason injury, there’s a vacuum ...  read more
 
NFL Juggernauts and Fading Has Beens
Jim Feist Dec 16, 2014  
by Jim Feist NFL parity is alive and well in 2014! The Chiefs had a terrific run, storming into first place….until the 0-10 Raiders stunned them, 24-20. Jacksonville has had another miserable season, but the lone victory during a terrible start was in mid-season against Cleveland, 24-6 -- the same Browns team that has been contention for a division title all year. Even the laughable Jets fou ...  read more
 
Late Season Football: Shocking Upsets Abound
Jim Feist Nov 26, 2014  
by Jim Feist It's Thanksgiving week, which means the middle of the NFL campaign while winding down the college football regular season. Late season college football means heated races for conference titles and bowl berths, plus rivalries that span decades. These games can have far more importance for players than September/October clashes. Oklahoma/Ok-State, USC/UCLA, Florida/Florida State, G ...  read more
 


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