Last Updated: 2018-01-06
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you are a recreational sports bettor; i.e., a relative neophyte. Maybe – ha ha – it’s just that your problem is not as big as most people have. But if you’re in that position, you’re likely to be rather impressionable, and it could be a mistake listening to some of what you hear or read out there on what might be termed “mainstream” media outlets. Frankly most of the people who present themselves as “handicappers” either don’t know what they’re talking about, or can’t really explain the rationale behind liking one team or another in a particular game. You’re starting to see more and more of that kind of stuff in the mainstream. But what we see is an abundance of, naturally, are those “experts,” even those who have played the game, who can’t seem to convey how much they really know, or who really understand their audience, especially those who are placing some friendly wagers. VietBet customers – listen to them closely, and make your own determination as to whether they’re really telling you anything you couldn’t have figured out on your own.
Think about how many times you have heard something like “If (insert the name of any top-level quarterback or running back) has a good game, (insert name of team) can win.” Can you imagine the laziness that goes into a statement like that? Yes it’s painfully evident; yes, it’s something that should go without saying. But the so-called “analyst” supposedly spent all week in preparation for their on-air moment, only to come up with something that is so obvious that there’s absolutely nothing in the way of imagination or special insight attached to it. Here’s one that I love, as we paraphrase – “Turnovers are the key. If (Team A) can keep from turning the ball over, they’ll win.” Well, my niece could have told you that……
……. when she was seven years old.
Now if you can tell me who is going to COMMIT the turnovers, THEN you’re telling me something.
If you spent just a little time handicapping any of this stuff, you know more than what these guys are communicating to you. I don’t listen to these studio gurus from ESPN or CBS or NFL Network all that much, because they don’t think a whole lot before they speak, and they really don’t know too much about handicapping or sports betting anyway.
That’s nothing unusual for the “jock” culture.
A quick story – one of my friends who hosts a radio show here in the South Florida area was approached by a colleague of his, a former pro football player, inquiring about where he could “get down” on some football. So my friend turns him on to a bookmaker, and the next weekend, when asked how he did, he said “not too bad. I only lost a dime.” When that ex-player was informed that a “dime” was $1000, not $100, he was crestfallen.
Handicapping is definitely a different – and very specific – discipline.
So who could really tell me something useful? Well, I guess it’s someone who has genuinely “been there” and is willing to be candid and at the same time speak specifically about the situation.
And I would say this about anything, regardless of the sport – whether it was football, baseball, basketball, hockey or anything else.
This week, Lane Kiffin made me listen.
One thing that must be thoroughly understood by VietBet patrons is that just like in boxing, where “styles make fights,” styles often dictate matchups. And Kiffin very succinctly pointed that out, as it pertained to the Alabama-Georgia game for the national championship this coming Monday.
“If you look at who beats Alabama, it’s spread teams with a quarterback that can move around like Baker Mayfield. They probably wouldn’t admit it, but Alabama would prefer this matchup rather than the other way. Whenever Alabama has played the more traditional offenses, that is when Alabama usually shuts them down — the Georgias, the LSUs. So that favors them.”
Now, you may have heard that to some extent before, but when a guy like Kiffin says it, you have to ascribe a little more weight to it.
Kiffin, of course, was on Nick Saban’s staff last season as offensive coordinator, before he took the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic, which he guided to eleven wins this year.
So is the guy “candid”? Well, when he was interviewed by ESPN talk show host Dan LeBatard, he described being on Saban staff as something that created a rather depressing atmosphere, and pointed out that Saban sometimes got upset when he (Kiffin) got more TV time during games.
Whether you agree with some of that “kiss and tell” or not, you have to admit that this is a guy who’s not going to saddle us with a bunch of clichés. He’s going to shoot from the hip and let us know the real deal, at least from his perspective.
His is a genuine insight because he’s been in the Alabama program, and furthermore, what he says makes a lot of logical sense. Like when he was talking about fatigue factor on the part of Alabama’s defense in recent years.
“He’s old-school, but he will change and finally did against Clemson. Guys had gone in there for years and years and said, ‘Coach, we’ve got heavy legs and there’s a reason for that,’ and I was one of those guys. So he finally said, ‘OK, I’m going to do this.’ Luckily for that staff, it worked, because if it hadn’t have worked, it would have been a really nasty week.”
What he was referring to was Saban’s penchant for pushing him team with more and more reps in practice, even late in the season, which Kiffin, whose dad Monte was a fabled NFL defensive coordinator, connected to opponents scoring much more than usual against them in season-ending games (in fact, a little over 40 ppg over the last four years). And when he stopped doing it, you saw the tremendous defensive effort against a very good Clemson team in the Sugar Bowl.
Okay, now THAT’S something I hadn’t really heard before, to be perfectly honest. And so consequently, since that represents something that would appear to be true, and very few people would have had privy to that kind of information, that MEANS something to me when I’m analyzing this game. And there is no question about the fact it had an influence on me.
Kiffin also touched upon the “student versus teacher” aspect of this matchup, as one of his former colleagues, Kirby Smart, who was defensive coordinator up until two years ago for the Crimson Tide, is unquestionably going to try to use his familiarity with the program to advantage.
“You’ve got to take into account that Kirby knows a lot of their personnel, recruiting a lot of these guys — especially the defensive players — to help (offensive coordinator Jim) Chaney on offense,” Kiffin said. “Chaney is going to sit in there and say, ‘Tell me about Rashaan Evans. What does he do well? What does he not do well?’ Same with guys like Minkah Fitzpatrick, all the players Kirby recruited and coached. But it’s the same way with Jeremy (Pruitt, Alabama’s defensive coordinator, who was at Georgia two years ago). He recruited a lot of those guys at Georgia, too.”
His unit practiced against most of this Alabama defensive personnel last season, so I would say he’s a guy with some intimate knowledge, not only about the Tide, but about the kind of offensive approach that might work against them.
“It’s going to be a tough game for Georgia because they’re a running team, and Alabama is always a running defense and Georgia doesn’t go super-fast. Over time, who’s really moved the ball well against Alabama going slow? The people who’ve moved the ball are: Ole Miss — fast; Ohio State — fast; Oklahoma — fast; and Clemson — fast.”
Kiffin has basically told you who he likes in the game. He’s not necessarily handicapping it, but believe me, he knows that the point spread is. He may be wrong about all this, and I may be wrong as well for following him. But as someone who was moving toward Alabama anyway, some of what he says has pushed me even more convincingly toward that side. And I won’t be sorry about that – win or lose.
Say what you want about Kiffin; here’s a guy who knows whereof he speaks, and isn’t afraid to say it. He just cut through all the noise you otherwise get from these dime-store analysts who sometimes find themselves saying something, well, just for the sake of saying something.
By all means, filter out the noise.
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