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Football

Boise State vs Utah State Prediction, Game Preview


Boise State vs Utah Point out prediction and activity preview.


Boise Point out vs Utah State Broadcast

Day: Saturday, October 24
Sport Time: 7:00 ET
Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Community: FS1

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Boise Point out (-) vs Utah State (-) Game Preview

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Why Utah Point out Will Win

Can the Utah Point out defensive front get into the backfield from the commence? The Boise Point out offense line is not going to be terrible, but it has to endure an overhaul soon after dropping four starters and not possessing any tune-up time. The Bronco defensive entrance has to make a number of adjustments, as well.

Utah State’s offensive line should be among the the most effective in the Mountain West. It is loaded with veterans, the operating game will be fantastic, and Utah transfer Jason Shelley is a strong alternative for Jordan Adore at quarterback.

Head coach Gary Andersen has a strong staff in place, but …

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Why Boise Point out Will Earn

The Utah State defensive front was not rather excellent more than enough previous calendar year, it struggled towards the run, and now it loses a whole ton of essential parts.

Yeah, the Boise State offensive line is all but setting up around, but RB George Halani must be in for a major recreation, and QB Hank Bachmeier has a superior enough obtaining corps to push the Aggie secondary.

The Utah Condition move protection wasn’t fantastic sufficient very last 12 months – and really should be a little bit of a issue early on – to get over the new pieces up front.

CFN Industry experts Picks: NFL

What’s Likely To Happen

Boise State will just take in excess of in the 2nd half.

Utah Condition will be very good. It won’t make a total slew of issues, and the offense will hold up the speed for a though, but the Boise State defensive front will choose around as the video game goes on.

College Soccer Predictions, Timetable, 7 days 8

Boise Point out vs Utah Point out Prediction, Line

Boise Condition 34, Utah Condition 23
Bet on Boise State vs Utah Point out with BetMGM
Boise Point out -17, o/u: 53
ATS Assurance out of 5: 3

Ought to See Rating: 3

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1: Hubie Halloween

CFN 1-127 Rankings | Bowl Projections
University Football Playoff Chase, Who’s Alive?



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Basketball

Daryl Morey Made A Lot Of Trades. How Much Did They Help The Rockets?


Daryl Morey’s 13-year tenure as general manager of the Houston Rockets ended the way most things end: badly. The Rockets bowed out of the 2020 playoffs in the second round, falling to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in a gentleman’s sweep that didn’t feel all that close, with each of their final three losses coming by double digits.

The next day, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni informed the team that he would not seek a contract renewal and would instead enter the free-agent market. A month and two days later, Morey himself stepped down from his post — even after Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had previously said the GM’s job was “safe.”

Though the end was ugly, there were many successes on the journey. The Rockets posted the second-best record in the NBA during Morey’s tenure, winning 61.5 percent of their regular-season games. They made 10 playoff appearances and two trips to the conference finals, scoring the eighth-most playoff wins (51) of any team in the league along the way. They consistently pushed the league forward with innovations on the floor. They shattered records (several times over) for 3-pointers made and attempted, revolutionizing what it meant to be an efficient NBA offense.

But there were also distinct disappointments. Houston was one of just two teams with 50-plus playoff victories during Morey’s tenure that did not also win a championship. The Rockets of recent vintage went all-out to defeat the Golden State Warriors but fell short in two series — once when Chris Paul injured his hamstring and missed the final two games and once despite Kevin Durant suffering a calf injury and sitting out the clincher.

Morey is most famous, though, for his role as a pioneer in the basketball analytics movement. Morey’s adherence to the math behind basketball shone through most notably in the team’s shot selection (which consisted almost exclusively of 3-pointers and attempts in the immediate area around the rim), but it also extended outside the confines of the hardwood and into the executive suite. Morey firmly believed that a team needs multiple star players to truly contend for a championship, and he relentlessly pursued that structure throughout his tenure.

“People say, ‘They’ll do and trade anything,’” Morey once told the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram. “Yeah, we will. Until you have your foundational players, your franchise should be in a state of flux. You need to keep trading and moving players until you get to that point.”

When he said that, he really meant it. In 13 seasons as general manager, Morey completed a whopping 77 trades. Only one NBA team — the Philadelphia 76ers, who at one point were helmed by Morey’s protégé, Sam Hinkie — made more swaps during that time.

In those deals, Morey acquired 27 draft picks and sent 37 out the door. He brought in 70 players and sent 72 packing — including 30 players that made it on both of those lists.

He traded and/or acquired the rights to Ukrainian guard Sergei Lishouk five times. He traded cash for a draft pick that was eventually used on Australian forward Brad Newley (who never played in the NBA), then traded Newley’s rights a full decade later. He made three different deals involving the draft pick that became Chandler Parsons, including two on the same day. He executed quite possibly the funniest trade in NBA history, sending Patrick Ewing Jr. to the New York Knicks in exchange for the rights to Frédéric Weis.

But was all the moving and shaking worth it? Did Morey’s wheeling and dealing actually add value to the team? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: yes, a whole lot.

Most crucially, each of the five pieces Morey packaged together to acquire James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder (Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, the Nos. 12 and 32 overall picks in 2012 and a top-20 protected pick in 2014) was acquired in a previous trade. Just that, right there, made everything worth it. But Morey added value beyond the Harden deal.

How much value? We’re glad you asked, because we actually can quantify it. To do so, we turned to Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). For each of Morey’s trades, we tabulated the following:

  • The VORP produced during the remainder of that specific tenure with the Rockets by players the Rockets acquired and the VORP produced during the remainder of their tenure with the specific team to which the Rockets traded them by players the Rockets traded away.
  • The VORP produced during their tenure with the Rockets by any player whose draft rights the Rockets acquired and the VORP produced during their tenure with the specific team to which the Rockets traded them by any players whose draft rights the Rockets traded away.
  • The projected VORP of all future draft picks traded to the Rockets and the projected VORP of all future draft picks traded away by the Rockets.

Take Morey’s first significant trade: In 2007, the Rockets sent the draft rights to Vassilis Spanoulis to the San Antonio Spurs along with a 2009 second-round pick and cash in exchange for Jackie Butler and the draft rights to Luis Scola.

Spanoulis never played in the NBA and thus never produced any VORP. The 2009 second-round pick eventually landed at No. 53, which we could project would be worth just over 0.1 VORP. Butler never actually played a game with the Rockets because he was waived at the end of training camp, but Scola stayed in Houston for five seasons and produced 4.7 VORP during his tenure. Subtract 0.1 (No. 53 pick) from 4.7 (Scola), and Morey added 4.6 VORP for the Rockets with the deal.

There were some other true gems along the way: a 2009 three-team trade in which the Rockets sent Rafer Alston to Orlando and acquired Magic forward Brian Cook and Grizzlies guard Kyle Lowry (plus-5.7 VORP); a 2010 three-team deal with the Knicks and Kings in which Houston acquired Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries, the right to swap 2011 first-round picks with New York and a protected future first-round pick in exchange for Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and cash (plus-5.4); and a 2011 trade of Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragić and a future first-round pick (plus-3.4).

There were also some clunkers. The 2012 swap that sent Lowry to the Raptors for guard Gary Forbes and a protected first-round pick comes to mind (minus-27.5 VORP). So does the 2008 draft-day deal that saw the Rockets acquire the rights to Donté Greene and Dorsey, plus a 2009 second-round pick, in exchange for the rights to Nicolas Batum (minus-15.9).

Perform the same calculation for each of Morey’s trades, though, and the Rockets came out ahead by 34.8 VORP. Think of it this way: In his 13-year tenure as Rockets GM, Morey added almost the same value over replacement player via trade that Lowry did on the court (35.5).

The significant majority of the value Morey generated via trade came in the Harden deal. To date, Harden has produced 58.2 VORP for the Rockets. Martin produced 1.6 VORP during his time in OKC, and Lamb produced 1.3. The Nos. 12, 32 and 24 picks could be projected for around 4.8 VORP, meaning the Rockets have so far won this trade by 50.3 VORP. That’s just about as good as it gets. It’s a career-making trade.

Morey’s efforts to secure Harden a second star, though, were largely less successful. The first and arguably worst attempt was the signing of Dwight Howard. Howard bristled at a perceived lack of touches, his back injuries accelerated his physical decline, and his personality clashes with Harden accelerated his ignominious exit from Houston.

The Rockets thought they had a Chris Bosh signing lined up in 2014 and traded away a future first-round pick to offload Jeremy Lin’s contract and open up the necessary cap space, but Bosh elected to stay with the Heat at the last minute. Bosh’s spurning Houston meant the Rockets played three more seasons before finding Harden a proper second star: Chris Paul.

That deal worked about as well as could be expected for Houston on the floor: The 2017-18 and 2018-19 Rockets are two of the 14 most efficient offenses in NBA history, and the team made the conference finals in 2018. But it was actually a loser by VORP (minus-9.8 and counting) because three of the pieces Morey sent to the Clippers became key rotation pieces in L.A.: Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams.

And Paul’s reported falling-out with Harden motivated the Rockets to ship him out last year, dumping his contract on the Thunder for the even-more-onerous contract of Russell Westbrook and sacrificing two future first-round picks (2024 and 2026) and two pick swaps (2021 and 2025) just to do it. Paul then outplayed Westbrook in the players’ first seasons with their new teams, and now that Morey will no longer be in charge of building the Rockets’ future, it’s entirely possible that the picks he traded will end up being more valuable than he projected they’d be when he sent them to Oklahoma City.

In the end, Morey’s tenure as general manager largely followed the trajectory of the Rockets as a franchise, which isn’t all that surprising. He spent years meticulously accumulating assets without ever bottoming out, hoping against hope that he could eventually pounce on a chance for the type of superstar who could lead the team to championship contention.

He eventually found the right player at the right price, and he hit his shot so far out of the park that it might actually have been attached to a rocket. He then nailed moves for supporting players, like trading for Trevor Ariza in 2014 (plus-9.9 VORP); drafting Clint Capela and elevating him to the starting lineup after letting Howard walk; rebounding from being rebuffed by Andre Iguodala by signing P.J. Tucker in 2017; and signing quality role players like Luc Mbah a Moute, Gerald Green, Nenê, Austin Rivers, Ben McLemore and Danuel House (for the last one, bubble indiscretions notwithstanding).

But the big post-Harden moves didn’t quite work out — or at least, they didn’t achieve the desired result. Howard was a bad fit. Bosh changed his mind. Ryan Anderson had a couple of great shooting seasons but eventually became unplayable on defense. Eric Gordon had three years of good health before his body failed him again this season. Paul and Harden couldn’t get over the hump. Westbrook got injured, tested positive for COVID-19 and wasn’t himself in the bubble.

Now, Morey has moved on. Eventually, the Rockets will as well. They’ll hire a new GM, find a new coach, swap out some players, send draft picks flying around the league — all in an effort to climb the mountaintop for the first time since 1995. But for the first time in more than a decade, they won’t have one of the league’s most prolific dealmakers calling the shots.

Neil Paine contributed research.



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Basketball

Don’t Tell Derrick Henry That Running Backs Don’t Matter


NFL running backs have had a rough go of it recently, with more and more evidence building for the fungibility of the position. As my colleague Josh Hermsmeyer wrote last week, 2020 has provided even more examples of high-profile RBs being replaced by unheralded backups who don’t miss much of a beat. It’s not that running backs do nothing to help their teams win — leaguewide rushing expected points added (EPA) per game is currently the highest it’s been since at least 2006 — but that rushing success is dictated by teammates and coaching as much as by the player carrying the ball.

Still, sometimes you have to admire a good, old-fashioned rushing performance in the mold of history’s greatest RBs — and that’s exactly what Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans is giving us this season. Henry led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,540 yards on the ground (102.7 per game) to go with 16 touchdowns, but he’s improving on those numbers so far in 2020. After tearing through the Houston Texans’ defense on Sunday for 212 yards (!) and two touchdowns, Henry is once again leading the league in yards with 588 — or 83 more than any other rusher in football.

If he could keep this up over the full season, Henry’s current 117.6 yards-per-game pace would rank 17th all-time, sandwiched between Barry Sanders’s 1994 season and Shaun Alexander’s 2005. We haven’t seen a player average so many yards per game in a season since Adrian Peterson did it eight years ago en route to winning MVP honors.

In fact, we are unexpectedly witnessing one of the best performances ever by a RB in back-to-back seasons. Right now, Henry is on pace to become just the 14th player since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to average more than 100 rushing yards per game in two consecutive seasons, essentially joining a who’s-who of great running backs from the era:

Henry is in rare two-year rushing company

Most rushing yards per game (YPG) in back-to-back seasons among players who averaged at least 100 yards per game in both seasons, 1970-2020

Rushing YPG2-Year Total
PlayerSeasonsYear 1Year 2Rush YdsYPG
Eric Dickerson1983-84113.0131.63,913122.3
Terrell Davis1997-98116.7125.53,758121.2
O.J. Simpson1975-76129.8107.43,320118.6
Earl Campbell1979-80106.1128.93,631117.1
Shaun Alexander2004-05106.0117.53,576111.8
Barry Sanders1993-94101.4117.72,998111.0
Eric Dickerson1986-87113.8107.33,109111.0
Larry Johnson2005-06109.4111.83,539110.6
Tiki Barber2005-06116.3103.93,522110.1
Edgerrin James2000-01106.8110.32,371107.8
Emmitt Smith1992-93107.1106.13,199106.6
Derrick Henry2019-20102.7117.62,128106.4
Eric Dickerson1987-88107.3103.72,947105.3
LaDainian Tomlinson2002-03105.2102.83,328104.0

Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

Before Henry, we hadn’t seen a running back pull off the feat since Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tiki Barber of the New York Giants each did it in 2005 and 2006. And you could have been forgiven for thinking we might not have ever seen it again, as the era of the high-workload primary back has given way to backfield committees and an increased focus on using RBs in the passing game rather than handing them the ball. Henry’s numbers are a throwback to an earlier time, and nobody else is really in the same neighborhood this year. Among 2020 rushers, only Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (who missed Week 6 with an injury) is even close to 100 yards per game on the ground; he’s averaging 97.8, which is 11 more than the next-highest rusher (Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders, who is also injured) and nearly 20 yards per game behind Henry. Henry is truly in a class of his own.

And that production is helping Tennessee win games. The Titans are averaging 2.95 EPA per game on the ground so far this season, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, which ranks fourth in the NFL behind the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. And they rank second (behind the Kansas City Chiefs) in win probability added on the ground. Henry’s blockers deserve credit for that as well; Tennessee runners are fifth in yards before first contact per rush, with the path being cleared for 3.33 yards per carry before a defender touches the ball carrier. The passing game has clearly been a huge driver of Tennessee’s success, too — QB Ryan Tannehill has the league’s fourth-best Total QBR this season, and the Titans rank second (again, behind K.C.) in passing EPA per game. Henry is far from the only reason that Tennessee is tied for the fourth-best Super Bowl odds this season, according to our prediction model.

But the Tannehill-Henry tandem obviously works great together. Since Tannehill took over as Tennessee’s starter in Week 7 of the 2019 season, the Titans are 14-4 (including the playoffs), with Henry averaging 119.9 rushing yards per game — 35.7 more than any other player — and Tannehill averaging 97.4 passing yards per game off play-action (which ranks second only to Jared Goff of the L.A. Rams at 98.4). By keeping defenses guessing as to whether Henry or Tannehill will hurt them, it’s no surprise that the Titans are the only team to rank among the top five in offensive EPA per game both through the air and on the ground so far this season.

Week 7 should provide an interesting test for Henry and the Titans, in the form of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense. Pittsburgh ranks second in defensive EPA per game overall and first against the run specifically. Steeler opponents are picking up only 2.03 yards before first contact per run, which could prove an antidote to Tennessee’s run-blocking. But if there’s any running back who stands a chance against Pittsburgh’s front seven, it’s Henry — the closest equivalent the modern game has to the dominating rushers of yesteryear.

FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo ratings

How each team ranks through Week 6 of the 2020 season, according to our quarterback-adjusted predictions

Chance To …
RkTeamStarting QBQB Rk*Elo RatingProj. RecordMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin SB
1ChiefsMahomes1170613-398%84%19%
2RavensJackson4165912-4934710
3SeahawksWilson3164012-4936812
4SteelersRoethlisberger10163612-493479
5TitansTannehill6163412-493819
6BuccaneersBrady14161210-680548
7PackersRodgers12159211-583496
8SaintsBrees215919-766385
9RamsGoff1315739-762153
10BearsFoles21157011-585485
1149ersGaroppolo2415628-83862
12BillsAllen9156110-672632
13ColtsRivers1815569-750182
14PatriotsNewton1715448-842301
15RaidersCarr515409-750121
16CardinalsMurray715349-752122
17BrownsMayfield28153110-66261
18BroncosLock3215047-9204<1
19EaglesWentz2214766-9-15252<1
20FalconsRyan1114695-1142<1
21TexansWatson814605-114<1<1
22PanthersBridgewater1514567-9186<1
23VikingsCousins2314555-116<1<1
24ChargersHerbert1914506-108<1<1
25LionsStafford1614427-9132<1
26DolphinsTagovailoa3014187-9147<1
27BengalsBurrow2713784-11-12<1<1
28CowboysDalton2913676-102727<1
29GiantsJones2513524-1299<1
30WashingtonAllen3113485-111312<1
31JaguarsMinshew2013233-13<1<1<1
32JetsDarnold✚2613212-14<1<1<1

*Ranking among Week 7 starters, according to our QB Elo ratings.

✚ Starter is currently injured and may not play.

Simulations as of Oct. 21, 2020.

Source: ESPN

Looking ahead: Pittsburgh-Tennessee is Elo’s top game of the week, but a close second is New England against San Francisco. The teams are on opposite trajectories — the 49ers had an impressive bounceback win over the Rams last week, while the Patriots suffered an exceedingly rare home loss as a favorite against Denver. New England is at home again in this one, and the Pats are 24-9 in Foxborough when coming off a loss since 2001. But they’ll need more from Cam Newton and a moribund passing attack that ranks 28th in EPA per game, against a Niners defense that has slipped in EPA from No. 2 against the pass last season to No. 12 this year. On the other side, the Pats are also down a bit defensively, and Jimmy Garoppolo looked healthy again versus L.A., though our QB ratings still regard him as a middling starter at best. Maybe Jimmy G. can use this opportunity against his former team to notch a second-straight above-average start for the first time since Week 12 in 2019. But we give the Patriots a 54 percent chance to stop the skid here. Elo’s spread: New England -1

Check out our latest NFL predictions.





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Football

Louisiana vs UAB Prediction, Game Preview


Louisiana vs UAB prediction and sport preview.


Louisiana vs UAB Broadcast

Date: Friday, October 23
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
Network: CBS Sports activities Network

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Louisiana (3-1) vs UAB (4-1) Activity Preview

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Why Louisiana Will Get

The Louisiana managing game has the potential to roll by way of a UAB defensive front that faced one particular team that can run – Miami.

The Hurricanes tore off 337 yards on the floor.

It is a bit a great deal to look at Levi Lewis to Miami’s D’Eriq King, but the veteran Ragin’ Cajun quarterback can transfer, he has the backs to just take management of the tempo, and the offensive line is as superior as the Blazers have viewed due to the fact early September. On the other hand …

Why UAB Will Earn

Louisiana can operate, but UAB is better at it.

Spencer Brown was held to 22 yards by WKU, but the offense managed 217 yards on the ground for its third 200-lawn day of the period. One of the others was a 190-garden efficiency in a win more than South Alabama.

Louisiana has a great offense that moves fast, strikes quickly, and plays with a remarkable tempo. On the other hand, it doesn’t do significantly to go on lengthy marches. UAB dominates the time of possession fight and really should have the ball for close to 35 minutes. And then there is the trouble of …

What is Going To Come about

The UAB move rush should really get more than when it needs to.

The protection will give up passing yards, but no just one other than King has been able to it the 50% mark about the past thirty day period on a secondary which is restricting everyone’s assault to a whole great deal of dinks and dunks.

This is a enormous test for a Blazer group that has the wins, but hasn’t overwhelmed everyone very good ample to chirp about. Louisiana is utilised to taking part in in shut, limited online games, but UAB’s protection will arrive up with two major fourth quarter stops to survive.

This is like a sturdy mid-December bowl recreation. It’ll be a excellent a person.

Louisiana vs UAB Prediction, Line

UAB 27, Louisiana 23
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Louisiana -1, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Need to See Rating: 3

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Big 12 Predictions, Schedule, Game Previews, Lines, TV: Week 8










Big 12 college football predictions, schedule, game previews, lines and TV listings for Week 8 of the season.


Results So Far
SU: 13-10, ATS: 11-8-1, Point Total: 9-6

Click on each game for game preview & prediction

Saturday, October 24

Kansas at Kansas State

12:00 FS1
Line: Kansas State -19.5, o/u: 50.5
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Oklahoma at TCU

12:00 ABC
Line: Oklahoma -7, o/u: 62
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Iowa State at Oklahoma State

3:30 FOX
Line: Oklahoma State -3.5, o/u: 54
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Baylor at Texas

3:30 ESPN
Line: Texas -8.5, o/u: 61.5
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West Virginia at Texas Tech

5:30 ESPN2
Line: West Virginia -3.5, o/u: 55.5
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Boston College vs Georgia Tech Prediction, Game Preview


Boston University vs Ga Tech prediction and game preview.


Boston College or university vs Ga Tech Broadcast

Date: Saturday, October 24
Recreation Time: 4:00 ET
Location: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Network: ACC Network

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Boston School (3-2) vs Ga Tech (2-3) Match Preview

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Why Ga Tech Will Get

Blow off the 73-7 loss to Clemson – poor working day.

The Yellow Jackets are still hoping to do the job out the kinks as a team that appears like it’s not utilised to actually acquiring a passing recreation. Nevertheless, for the most section, it is been functioning.

The protection is wonderful at coming up with takeaways – producing 11 so considerably – and the offensive line is executing a awesome occupation shielding the backfield and that time is letting Jeff Sims to hit his deep throws.

Boston Faculty does not have a managing video game, and that deficiency of stability is displaying. Throwing for in excess of 300 yards a match is awesome, but not currently being equipped to get earlier the 90-lawn speeding mark is an situation, but …

CFN Professionals Picks: University

Why Boston Higher education Will Win

Ga Tech is not controlling the clock at all.

Again in the day, the Yellow Jackets ran first, ran only, and owned the ball for around 35 minutes per match. Now they can’t transform third down tries, they are relying also a great deal on hitting the residence run with the passing sport, and it is taxing the defense.

Providing up 500 yards by the air versus Clemson will skew the stats, but the move protection is getting hit challenging by all people who desires to give it a shot. Yeah, BC only throws it, but this is the team to do that against.

CFN Professionals Picks: NFL

What is Likely To Transpire

It is not quite good to get in touch with both of those teams flaky, but neither 1 has been reliable. Boston College is coming off a challenging effectiveness from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech is coming off a tougher general performance versus Clemson, but the Eagle passing game will be more robust this 7 days than the Yellow Jacket operating video game.

College or university Football Predictions, Agenda, Week 8

Boston School vs Ga Tech Prediction, Line

Boston Higher education 30, Ga Tech 26
Bet on BC vs Ga Tech with BetMGM
Boston Higher education -3, o/u: 54.5
ATS Self-confidence out of 5: 2

Have to See Rating: 2.5

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1: Hubie Halloween

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Notre Dame vs Pitt Prediction, Game Preview


Notre Dame vs Pitt prediction and game preview.


Notre Dame vs Pitt Broadcast

Date: Saturday, Oct 24
Match Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Community: ABC

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Notre Dame (4-) vs Pitt (3-3) Sport Preview

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Why Notre Dame Will Win

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett was out towards Miami, and the offense had its worst output of the season with just 300 yards. The staff was even now feisty, but it didn’t have the offensive punch necessary. Pickett is questionable at finest, but even when he’s in, the offense has been miserable on 3rd downs – 13th in the ACC in third down conversions.

Notre Dame may possibly be having its difficulties, but it is 2nd in the nation in third down D, enabling groups to change just 21% of their possibilities. Overall, there may possibly have been a handful of difficulties from the Florida Condition passing recreation – which, as it turns out, was just having rolling – but very last week it stuffed Louisville to a useless quit.

Even so, additional than just about anything else, to beat Pitt you have to to some degree sluggish down the devastating go hurry. Notre Dame’s offensive line is paving the way for a big calendar year from the jogging match and is among the the most effective in the country at preserving all people out of the backfield.

CFN Authorities Picks: School

Why Pitt Will Win

Duke, USF, Florida Condition, Louisville. That’s Notre Dame’s program so considerably, and to quotation Mark Hamill in the Uber Eats ad after staying requested to phone Patrick Stewart “Sir” … ooooooewwwoooooh.

The Irish have not precisely dealt with a killer slate, and they’ve relied on the managing match to get by. Ian Book and the passing assault haven’t been thoroughly terrible, but they’ve been together for the journey.

Pitt’s run defense has been devastating, enabling above 100 yards for each twice in six game titles with Louisville major the way with the 116 yards versus this team. Served by the devastating go rush, the Panthers direct the nation in opposition to the operate, and that’s main to big faults with 11 takeaways so considerably.

CFN Professionals Picks: NFL

What’s Heading To Come about

Notre Dame will not do the Louisville issue once again.

The offense moved the chains previous week in the 12-7 win, there weren’t any turnovers, and the functioning activity wasn’t absolutely terrible. On the other hand, the passing assault did not simply click, and it was as if the workforce forgot to score.

Pitt’s protection will continue to keep this from going off the rails, but the Irish traces will be more than enough to get through this and preserve the No. 3 team in the nation – ha! – advancing.

School Football Predictions, Routine, Week 8

Notre Dame vs Pitt Prediction, Line

Notre Dame 31, Pitt 20
Wager on Notre Dame vs Pitt with BetMGM
Notre Dame -10.5, o/u: 43.5
ATS Self-assurance out of 5: 3

Should See Score: 3

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Are The Chicago Bears Good Or Just Lucky?


With one NFL Sunday left in the month of October, the Chicago Bears hold sole possession of first place in the NFC North. They’re 5-1 after six games, and FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based projections give them an 85 percent chance of making the playoffs. Even if they played .500 football the rest of the way, they would still finish 10-6.

So why are some observers labeling their success as “fraudulent”?

The easy answer is they haven’t faced many good teams — and they haven’t won by very much. Their five conquests to date (the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers) have a combined win percentage of .379. Given that the Bears have only outscored their opponents by a total of 128-116, predictive metrics like the Simple Ranking System don’t love them. With a weak slate like that, it’s no surprise that opponent-adjusted stats like Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) aren’t impressed by their performances so far, either.

But winning five of six NFL games is never a complete accident, and there are plenty of concrete football arguments for the Bears being what the scoreboard says they are. They rank seventh in both scoring and yardage defense, thanks to a secondary that’s allowed the lowest completion rate of any team in the NFL. All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack has 4.5 sacks as part of a unit that’s tied for 10th-most sacks in the league despite blitzing less often than all but five other teams. They’re an especially good situational defense, allowing the second-lowest third-down conversion rate and lowest red-zone touchdown rate in the league.

These numbers don’t stack up to those of hallowed Bears defenses like the 2006 and 1985 units. But it’s reasonable to believe the 2020 edition will still be tough to score against for the rest of the regular season — and, likely, the playoffs.

The obvious problem is on the other side of the ball, where a quarterback combination of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky has made for one of the league’s most anemic passing attacks. The Bears rank 26th in team completion rate and passer rating, and they sit in 30th in both yards per attempt and yards per completion. As good as their situational defense has been, their situational offense has been nearly that bad: They rank 27th in third-down conversion rate and 26th in red-zone touchdown rate. The passing attack has generated just 17.5 expected points, seventh-worst in the league.

The Great NFL Passing Boom of the 2010s primed football-watching minds to correlate passing success with team success — and if there was an opportunity for defenses to cycle back to ascendance, the rise of do-everything quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson 2.0 seems to have squashed it.

If the NFL is still a pass-first league, just how badly can Chicago’s quarterbacks perform without killing the team’s postseason hopes? Let’s compare what the Bears have gotten from Foles and Trubisky so far with where the bar seems to be.

There have been 60 playoff teams over the past five full NFL seasons, and most of them have been very effective through the air. Last year, eight of the NFL’s top 10 passing offenses made the playoffs.

Here’s where the 2020 Bears stack up against the best, worst and average passing attacks — by adjusted net yards per attempt — from the past five playoff fields:

Chicago’s passing looks like the worst playoff teams

Passing stats for the top five and bottom five 2015-19 playoff teams by adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/Att), plus the 2020 Chicago Bears

TeamYearComp%TD%Int%Yds/AttANY/Att
Bears2020*61.3%5.0%2.9%6.05.1
Top 5 teamsYearComp%TD%Int%Yds/AttANY/Att
Falcons201669.6%7.1%1.3%9.29.0
Chiefs201866.08.62.18.88.9
Patriots201666.95.80.48.18.5
Chiefs201965.65.20.98.18.1
Saints201873.46.41.38.08.1
Bottom 5 teamsYearComp%TD%Int%Yds/AttANY/Att
Panthers201758.5%4.4%3.2%6.65.2
Bills201760.73.42.16.55.2
Broncos201560.73.13.87.05.1
Titans201761.72.83.46.85.1
Texans201659.52.62.75.94.5
YearsComp%TD%Int%Yds/AttANY/Att
Average2015-1965.1%5.2%1.9%7.66.9

*2020 stats through games of Oct. 18.

Adjusted net yards per attempt is calculated as (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown) – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks).

Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

The Bears are definitely getting more from their passing attack than the worst-throwing recent playoff team, the 2016 Houston Texans. But “more” than Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage were able to contribute to a team that barely won the dire 2016 AFC South is not much.

In fact, if you drop the Bears’ current passing rate stats in with that field of 60, they would rank near the bottom in almost all of them: completion rate (49th), touchdown rate (34th), interception rate (56th), yards per attempt (60th), passer rating (55th) and adjusted net yards per attempt (58th).

But unlike the 2016 Texans, the Bears don’t have a productive tailback, let alone two. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue gained 1,493 yards for those Texans at a 4.06 per-carry rate, leading that season’s eighth-most-prolific rushing attack. With 2020 Bears starter Tarik Cohen already out for the season, second-year back David Montgomery has managed just 305 yards over six games, averaging 3.7 yards a pop. The team’s No. 2 active rusher? Wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, with just 70 yards.

To stay competitive for the rest of the season — let alone make noise in the playoffs — the Bears will likely have to get better at one of these phases of the game. But if Foles can’t get closer to his top form, Montgomery can’t run more effectively, and the defense can’t find an even higher gear, there’s still one element driving the Bears’ success: fumble luck.

On defense, the Bears have forced four fumbles and recovered three, while on offense, they’ve recovered all six of their own fumbles. All in all, they’ve picked up 81.8 percent of the balls that have hit the ground in their games so far, the highest rate in the NFL. For comparison, the highest recorded full-season recovery rate since 2003 was the 69.8 percent put up by the 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But whether the Bears have been lucky, good or both, it doesn’t change what’s happened. They’re still 5-1, with remaining games against the 1-5 Texans, 2-3 Detroit Lions and 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars — and two games against the 1-5 Vikings. Even if their fumble luck regresses a little, and even if they don’t play significantly better, the Bears’ hot start has given them a nearly 50-50 chance to win the division and a 17 percent shot at a first-round bye.

Bears fans probably like those odds, even if the numbers lead everyone else to call them frauds.

Check out our latest NFL predictions.



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Basketball

Home Teams Aren’t Winning As Much In College Football This Season. The Big Ten Should Fit Right In.


In the weeks leading up to this strange, limited-capacity season of college football, oddsmakers salivated over the prospect of something akin to a control study for home-field advantage. What role does geography play if crowds are reduced by 75 percent, or if there are no crowds at all?

“I think home-field advantage for everyone may be gone,” Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith said in mid-September. So far, he seems to have been right. Home losses have piled up regardless of conference or program pedigree.

Through seven weeks,1 overall home winning percentage (.617) is the lowest at this point in any season since at least 2008. Some of that has to do with the lack of cupcake opponents, given that teams have largely played within their conferences: Only 63 of the 167 home contests played so far in the Football Bowl Subdivision have involved nonconference opponents, for a share of just 37.7 percent; from 2008 through 2019, nonconference games made up 61.4 percent of the home games among the first six games played each season.

If we look just at the home teams favored to win their matchups, they’re also scuffling. According to ESPN Stats & Information Group, home favorites won 78.3 percent of games from 2008 to 2019; this season, they are winning just 70.1 percent, a full 5.7 percentage points lower than any season over that stretch. Even home favorites with a lead entering the fourth quarter are struggling, relatively speaking: Those teams are winning only 86.9 percent of their games, compared with the 2008-19 average of 93.5 percent.

In 2019, SEC home teams won a higher share of their conference games than any Power Five conference’s home teams, but they’re just 14-12 so far in 2020; that includes home losses to unranked teams by ranked LSU, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Only once last season did a ranked SEC program fall at home to an unranked one. This season, top 10 teams have already suffered three home losses to unranked opponents, an occurrence that since 2012 has happened at most seven times over an entire season.

As Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports noted, this downturn comes after two of the four largest home-field advantages on record were produced in the past two seasons.2 All this before two major conferences unlock the gates to public-less venues in the coming weeks.

While team success within friendly confines has nosedived, if the trend holds, it won’t be much of a departure for the Big Ten, which opens play Friday.

In an increasingly offense-ruled sport, no conference in the College Football Playoff era3 has featured worse offensive production by home teams in conference play than the Big Ten, whose home teams rank last in points per drive, score percentage and successful play rate.4 That’s last among ALL Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, not just the Power Five.

And that affects the win column. Over the past 10 seasons, Big Ten home teams have a lower win rate in conference play than any other Power Five conference’s home teams, and compared to all conferences over the past two seasons, only the Mountain West’s home teams have been worse. Since Maryland and Rutgers officially joined the Big Ten prior to the 2014 season, Big Ten road favorites have won a higher percentage of conference games than any other conference’s road favorites.

To assess whether crowd noise has had a measurable impact on offensive performance, FiveThirtyEight turned to expected points added (EPA) per play. And to filter out unbalanced matchups, FiveThirtyEight compared only favored home and away teams in conference play. While all favorites aren’t created equal, this inches the exercise closer to a fairer approximate baseline with which to compare home-and-road splits.

One might suspect that a roaring crowd would adversely affect the communication of play calls, the cadence of snap counts and the general comfort of road team offenses. It hasn’t. In three of the five seasons since the College Football Playoff was introduced,5 Big Ten road favorites generated more EPA per play in conference games than home favorites did. That is not an experience shared by any other major conference. In the SEC, for example, home favorites saw more EPA per play in every single season.

Big Ten favorites have produced a lot on the road

Expected points added (EPA) per play for home favorites minus EPA per play for road favorites by season among the Power 5 conferences

SeasonACCBig TenBig 12Pac-12SEC
2019+0.02-0.05+0.00+0.02+0.04
2018-0.06+0.07+0.07+0.02+0.01
2017+0.05-0.04+0.06+0.16+0.04
2016+0.00+0.05-0.04-0.02+0.07
2015+0.06-0.04-0.03+0.01+0.06
2014+0.04+0.05+0.14-0.01+0.06

Source: ESPN STATS & INFORMATION GROUP

But the good news for the Big Ten is that it will fit right in with the current national landscape, where road is king. This year marks the first since 2005 that EPA per play is higher for favored road teams in conference play than it is for favored home teams, and the split is the widest it’s been since ESPN’s Stats & Information Group began tracking it in 2004.

Recently, Big Ten crowds haven’t helped home teams win close games. Over the past 10 seasons, Big Ten home favorites with a lead of any kind entering the fourth quarter had the lowest win percentage of any conference’s home favorites. And in one-possession games,6 Big Ten road favorites had a .778 win percentage, the second highest rate of any conference and by far the highest of any Power Five conference.

Another way to measure home performance is to turn to betting lines. In the College Football Playoff era, the Big Ten’s home teams rank last among major-conference home teams in cover percentage during conference play.

This is surprising, at least on an anecdotal level. A cursory search will indicate that the Big Ten is home to at least a handful of the most intimidating environments in the sport. It’s a conference that includes the sport’s birthplace and one of the oldest stadiums, the nation’s longest consecutive sellout streak, The Best Damn Band In The Land and whiteout spectacles. That doesn’t even include The Big House.

But in recent years, the Big Ten’s home-stadium notoriety has hardly guaranteed a win for the host. And in 2020, a season in which anything can seemingly happen, the conference will fit right in.



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Football

UTEP vs Charlotte Prediction, Game Preview


UTEP vs Charlotte prediction and match preview.


UTEP vs Charlotte Broadcast

Day: Saturday, Oct 24
Video game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte NC
Network: ESPN+

All of the CFN Fearless Predictions

UTEP (3-2) vs Charlotte (1-2) Video game Preview

For latest traces and to guess on school football, go to BetMGM


Why UTEP Will Get

The Miners are essentially playing effectively.

For the first time in year’s there is actually a respectable passing video game to operate all around, and the protection is 2nd in Meeting United states of america in yards permitted.

It is acquiring a good get started to the period from the operate protection that only authorized a lot more than 100 yards to Texas. By a mile, this is the ideal third down D the software has appreciated in above a 10 years.

Charlotte is only hitting 39% of its 3rd down probabilities and hasn’t been shut to consistent sufficient.

Why Charlotte Will Win

Eventually the 49ers are at property. They had to just take it to the street over then 1st 3 video games of a peculiar time with pauses, postponements, and two losses in the first a few games. What’s been the issue so considerably?

The run defense has been a mess.

UTEP was ready to operate on a depressing ULM defense, and that was about it. It has not strike the 100-garden mark in 3 of the very last four game titles.

The Charlotte passing activity must be sharp early on, and it really should be able to keep it going. UTEP hasn’t confronted a entire slew of best passing assaults outdoors of the blowout decline to Texas, and now it’s heading to be pushed.

What is Going To Come about

Charlotte has not played the part still, and UTEP has performed out of its intellect for the initial portion of the year. The Miners are no extended an uncomplicated out, but the 49ers will finally get a probability to delight in the residence existence with its sharpest sport however.

UTEP vs Charlotte Prediction, Line

Charlotte 30, UTEP 17
Wager on UTEP vs Charlotte with BetMGM
Charlotte -14.5, o/u: 50.5
ATS Self-assurance out of 5: 3

Need to See Rating: 2

5: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
1: Hubie Halloween



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