Friday, February 26, 2016

Kaepernick and Kelly Headed for Splitzville in San Fran?

The report out of San Francisco is that 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants out as far as playing for new head coach Chip Kelly. It is doubtful that Kelly is the main reason for his alleged demands for a trade seeing that the real issue probably goes back to last season when the former toast of the Bay Area was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. However, with Kelly in the picture you never know what is really going on behind the scenes.

As far as what kind of impact this could have on the Eagles' quarterback situation remains to be seen. All indications point towards Philadelphia making a serious effort to resign its current starter Sam Bradford given that he will become an unrestricted free agent next month. Could Kelly make a play for Bradford to follow him out to the West Coast? Anything is possible with Kelly, but I am not so sure that this was the greatest fit when they were together in Philly. There is also quite a bit of speculation that both the 49ers and the Eagles will look to this year's NFL Draft for a possible long-term solution to their starting quarterback situation.

On paper, it appears that Kelly's offense would be a good fit with Kaepernick's wide-open style of play. He brings a level of mobility that the former Eagles' head coach did not have with Bradford or his backup Mark Sanchez while running the show in Philadelphia. I have already speculated that Kelly's insatiable ego would push him to try and resurrect Kaepernick's once highly promising career after watching it sink about as low as you can go.

I still like Chip Kelly for his pure entertainment value and I actually backed him up when he totally dismantled a winning formula to turn it into a losing one. I get the impression that new Eagles' head coach Doug Pederson will not be nearly as brash and bold with his attitude about turning things around. He has already done a pretty good job at surrounding himself with some quality assistants to take care of business on the field. The off-field issues concerning player personnel issues appear to back in the hands of the team's general manager Howie Roseman, who was bannished to some dank, dark bottom floor office at the NovaCare Complex when Kelly pulled-off his successful power struggle this time last year to get team owner Jeff Lurie to give him complete control of the team.

I will begin to delve much deeper into the Eagles' offseason plans for free agency and the college draft in the coming weeks, but for now I am still basking in Chip Kelly's sound bites when it comes to his new team. Like the one when he alluded to the idea that San Francisco is looking to add some talented players to its roster, not get rid of any. Vintage Kelly!

Friday, February 19, 2016

RG III Prop Bet Odds

Former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy in his final season with the Bears in 2011 and his success at the collegiate level promptly made him the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Washington Redskins paid a tall price in future draft picks to the St. Louis Rams (now in Los Angeles) to move up the board to get Griffin and at first this appeared to be a great move.

RG III assumed the starting role with the Redskins in his rookie season and quickly became the toast of the town in our Nation's Capital by leading Washington to a 10-6 record and a spot in the playoffs as the NFC East Champs. As quickly as he ascended to the top, the fall was even faster after suffering through three seasons of injury and insult that resulted in him being demoted to third string by head coach Jay Gruden before the start of the 2015 campaign. We all know what happened next in Washington's rise back to the top of the division under the guidance of its new starting quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins is now in line for a huge payday, while Griffin will briefly spend some time on the unemployment line after his expected release in early March. There is probably quite a bit a football left in the former Baylor standout and if RG III can get his head screwed on straight he can still be a viable starter in the NFL.

TopBet has weighed-in on the situation with its prop bet odds as to which team will sign Griffin as a free agent. The Philadelphia Eagles are on that list as moderate +1200 longshots, but I get the feeling that new head coach Doug Pederson is resigned to keeping Sam Bradford as his starter with Mark Sanchez sticking around at least one more year to back him up.

The following link to my piece for Doc's Sports on this RG III player prop breaks down all the betting odds and offers my "best bet" pick as to which team will eventually give him that second chance to prove he is not a bust.

NFL Props Odds with Expert Betting Picks and Predictions

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Eagles Open as 50-1 Longshots to Win Super Bowl LI

It is no big surprise to me that the Eagles have been opened as +5000 longshots to win next season's Super Bowl on Bovada's 2016 NFL futures. They are coming off a losing 7-9 run through the 2015 regular season and they now have an unproven entity in Doug Pederson running the show as the new head coach.

To help put things in better perspective, the New England Patriots are the current favorites on the board at +750 and the top team in the NFC East on this list is the Dallas Cowboys at +1600. I can easily understand how the Patriots are the early favorites, but I am completely perplexed how the Cowboys are seventh on this list ahead of teams such as Arizona (+1800) and Cincinnati (+2500). The last time I looked at the final 2015 standings the Cowboys had a grand total of four wins as the bottom feeder in the NFC East as compared to the Cardinals (13-3) and the Bengals (12-4) run to their respective division title. The New York Giants are the next division team on Bovada's Super Bowl LI futures list at +4000 and the reining NFC East Champion Washington Redskins have the exact same odds as Philadelphia (+5000).

To me, this is a perfect example of why the betting public continues to lose boatloads of money to the sportsbooks on a regular basis. They are infamous for placing wagers on perception and popularity which is the quickest way to drain a bankroll. The Oddsmakers are well aware of this fact and that is why they love to tempt these fools with betting odds that will eventually line the sportsbooks' pockets. The last time I looked, Dallas has won a grand total of two playoff games with Tony Romo as its starting quarterback and it is highly doubtful that the broken down and beaten 13-year vet has enough gas in the tank to make a run all the way to a Super Bowl title. Maybe team owner Jerry Jones lunks down a million dollars on his team with each the major sportsbooks just to drive the odds down.

Enough of another one of my typical Cowboys' rants; what about our beloved Birds? Pederson definitely has a tall task ahead of himself just to get this team back above .500 in 2016. Sam Bradford is a capable starter at quarterback and he could possibly flourish in a slower-paced offense that is built heavily on the running game. The one thing that the Eagles do have is a pair of solid running backs in DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews and new offensive coordinator Frank Reich would be wise to fully exploit the talents of both of these players if Pederson can first plug-up some obvious holes in their offensive line.

The Eagles have tied-up both of their tight ends with contract extensions for Zach Ertz and Brent Celek which is a good thing. The big question mark still lies with the viability of Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor as legitimate No.1 and No.2 NFL wide receivers. Both players have shown signs of having the necessary talent to fill these roles in the early stages of their pro career, but these signs were far and few between in 2015.

The next biggest strength of Philly after its running game is an opportunistic defense that was one of the best in the league this past season in takeaways. I am going to blame most of this unit's late season breakdowns on the simple fact that these guys were exhausted. Chip Kelly's offense was unable to sustain extended drives and the ridiculously fast pace of how he wanted to run plays eventually had a detrimental affect on his defense's ability to get off the field. I was never a big fan of Jim Schwartz as Detroit's head coach, but I do see him as a good choice as the Eagles'e new defensive coordinator. Shifting to a 4-3 alignment should make better use of the team's depth at defensive line.

The good news for us beleaguered Eagle fans is that the NFC East should once again be a wide-open race where eight or nine wins will be good enough to lay claim to the 2016 division title. The bad news is that none of these four teams have a prayer at even getting close to the NFC title game let alone Super Bowl LI.

By the way, the new Wizard of the West Coast heads into the offseason with his San Francisco 49ers set at the same +5000 betting odds to win Super Bowl LI as his old team. Game on Kelly!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Top Quarterback Props

This Sunday's Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers features a matchup between the two best teams in the NFL this season, but much of the media attention has been fixated on the matchup between Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.

Manning has been the Gold Standard at the quarterback position ever since he came into the league as the first overall pick of the 1998 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. This last season was probably one of his worst as a pro due to a number of nagging injuries, but Manning was able to show the world why he is a future "Hall of Famer" by leading his team back to the Super Bowl with stirring victories against Pittsburgh and New England in the playoffs.

Love him or hate him, Newton is on the verge of becoming the face of the NFL after a MVP performance in the regular season and a couple stellar outings against Seattle and Arizona in his team's two postseason matchups. He was also the first overall pick in the NFL Draft back in 2011 by Carolina and his incredible combination of strength, size and speed makes Cam the prototypical quarterback for today's game.

I have Carolina winning this game by more than the current 5.5-point spread, but Denver would have to still be a sentimental favorite in what could very well be Manning's final game of his storied career. Either way, I have come up with a pair of top prop picks for both of these players for Sunday's game.

My confidence factor is high for all four of these picks and I have all intentions of going out with a bang by cashing-in big on my final NFL props of the year. To get in on all the action, check-out my top Super Bowl 50 quarterback props in an article that was previously posted on Doc's Sports at the following link.

Super Bowl 50 Quarterback Props Odds and Expert Betting Picks