Hoop Ball Gaming

  • College Football Week 9 First Looks

    Article by Devin Ellington (@daellie007 on Twitter)


    UT-San Antonio at Florida-Atlantic (-6.5), Total-53

    QB Frank Harris led the UTSA Roadrunners to a victory over Louisiana Tech last week despite throwing two interceptions, which is unlike him. This week, they go on the road to FAU as a dog … again. Both teams rank near the bottom in offensive YPG and FAU has no offense to speak of. Both teams have a competent defense and there are supposed to be at least 11 MPH winds in this ball game. Couple that with two offenses who aren’t exactly successful at passing the ball. I expect the Roadrunners to keep things close on the road and for both teams to play pretty solid defense. 

    Bet(s): UTSA +6.5 & Under 53


    Memphis at #9 Cincinnati (-6.5)

    This matchup features opposite ends of the football spectrum. The Memphis Tigers have seen each of their games average about 70 total points per contest … Cincinnati has seen about 41 per game. Both teams average about the same time of possession but since Memphis allows so many points and yards, their offense averages about 19 more plays per game than the Cincy Bearcats. Cincinnati has an elite defense and this will be the toughest task for the Tigers this year. I don’t think their defense will be up for it. 

    Bet: Cincinnati (-6.5)


    Temple at Tulane, Total-62

    This one is simple. I bet the under in the Green Waves’ 1st game and was disgusted that I did so. Since then I am 2-0 in overs in Tulane games. Both defenses are absolutely terrible, there could be 950 total yards in this game. Temple passes the ball 56.22% of the time and both defenses allow at least 8 yards passing per pass. I also expect a full football fields worth of penalty yards. Look for about 80% RZ scoring success from both teams in this game. 

    Bet: Over 62

  • College Football Mid-Week Market Watch for Week 8

    By Devin Ellington (@Daellie007 on Twitter)


    Arkansas State at Appalachian State (-13)

    The first thing that I am looking to keep an eye on in this matchup is if the Appalachian St. Mountaineers offense can maintain their 6.0 YPP (yards per play) success against an Arkansas St. Redwolves’ defense that allows opponents 6.5 YPP. Note that Appy State just had their season delayed due to COVID last week when their game was postponed. Redzone scoring will also be a determining factor in the who will end up covering the spread in this game seeing as Arkansas St. allows a 95% RZ scoring rate for their opponents. Appalachian State has a darn near elite pass defense which will bode well for them in preparing to neutralize this potent passing attack that features a two headed QB system … yes, two QBs. Logan Bonner and Lane Hatcher both have at least 95 attempts, 60 completions, with 10 touchdowns and a QBR over 155.5. If the Mountaineers stay disciplined and they get their ground control game going coupled with fantastic defensive play then expect an easy two score (or more) victory by Appalachian St.

    Bet: Appalachian State (-13)


    Texas State at BYU (-30), Total-61

    Yes, I got this (-30) number on the high side and the actual line right now is at BYU -28.5. This BYU team is clicking on all cylinders at the moment and the Texas St. Bobcats are just the next log into the chipper. Based off of the explosiveness and dynamic visuals displayed by QB Zach Wilson and WR Gunner Romney one would think that the Cougars throw the ball at least half the time. But they don’t … they run the ball 56.36% of the time! Zach Wilson has completed his passes at an 78.1% clip. This Cougars defense has been wreaking havoc and is allowing less than 20 PPG. Moreover, the offensive line will be getting NFL OL talent back in Tristan Hoge – he has missed every game to this point so this is his first game action of the year. BYU rolls 55-10.

    Bet(s): BYU-30, o/u 61


    Louisiana-Lafayette at Alabama-Birmingham (-1.5)

    The Ragin Cajuns are on the hot-seat of losing TWO games in a row for the first time in a long while (since 2018). The Blazers have a surprise and a delight in the quarterback play from Bryson Lucero who is making his 4th start (56.9 comp%, 7 touchdowns and 131.8 QBR with 793 yards). However, he has shown his youthfulness by turning the ball over a couple of times in back to back games, so I am looking for that to regress to the positive side for UAB. Nonetheless, the game script for the Blazers is going to be to feed Spencer Brown at RB and his other running mates. The backfield combines for 5.0 YPC with 944 yards and 10 scores on the ground with five of those coming from Spencer Brown. Don’t forget about this group of wideouts for the Blazers featuring deep threat studs in Myron Mitchell and Austin Watkins who both average over 10 YPC. My key matchup in this game is going to be Spencer Brown and how he fares against this Ragin Cajun front seven. Whoever wins the pressure and run stop battle will more than likely win this game. The Blazers defense normally performs really well in the 3rd down department (holding opponents to less than 25%). The QB battle featuring Levi Lewis and Bryson Lucero will be a treat to watch but if the Blazers QB performs well then UAB has them a chance to cook up some Blazin Cajun.

    Bet: UAB (-1.5)     

  • College Football Week 7 Best Bets

    Article by Devin Ellington (@daellie007 on Twitter)


    WKU at UAB (-13.5)

    The Blazers (of UAB) are protecting a 20-plus game home winning streak. Bryson Lucero has made three straight starts after Tyler Johnston III went down. He is looking to bounce back after a 3 TD/3 INT performance in a win versus UTSA. There are a ton of unanswered – and unasked – questions for the Hilltoppers at the QB position as they come into this game with the 73rd ranked offense out of 76 teams (289.8 ypg).

    UAB has a lot of depth as well as returning starters in the front seven. The RB group for UAB is four deep and on the other side WKU hasn’t had a single 100 yard rusher..on the SEASON. UANs’ o-line has only given up 2 sacks up year and has been the driving force for Spencer Brown to be the 4th leading rusher in the nation. WKU has allowed 8 sacks even though they have the most experienced offensive line in the C-USA. After two bye weeks(COVID)..I am looking for the Blazers offensive line and run game to be in perfect harmony. The line opened at UAB-12 but my number was 16. 

    Bet: UAB (-13.5)


    Army (-8) at UTSA

    Guess how many points the Golden Knights scored against The Citadel….14. 14 points. That’s not a lot..at all. 

    My gut and my eyes are providing me with my insight for this matchup. I SAW the Roadrunners perform very well against a nationally ranked team in BYU and hold them to their lowest point total as a team for the season. I SAW Army muster only 14 points versus The Citadel. My gut says that the Roadrunners will offer a vast amount of resistance in this game. UTSA was the best team defensively that BYU has gone up against and UTSA was up for that job. They were also uber-competitive vs UAB. I SAW the total drop and that made me realize that the market SAW what these two defenses really were. Expect low points and expect UTSA to cover. I am trusting my gut like my Pops has told me to do before. Let’s go Roadrunners, they are getting 8 points but I locked them in at first look. 

    Bet: UTSA (+7)


    UNT at MTSU (-6)

    First, I will start by saying the Blue Raiders are potentially going to be down two offensive line starters. Next, one team is allowing 51 ppg and the other is allowing 11.5.

    This is gonna be short. The MTSU QB has a 62.98% completion percentage. Their offense also scores on 85% of their redzone trips (UNT gives up 94% rz scoring). MTSU has 27 tackles for loss and UNT will probably allow them to have at least five in this game, if not five sacks alone. 

    Bet: MTSU (-6)

  • College Football Week 7 Market Watch & Second Glances

    Article by Devin Ellington (@daellie007 on Twitter)

    This article is meant to update the market moves for this week in college football. Specifically, I am going to be taking a look at some lines that have already moved a decent amount,as well as look ahead to see what some other lines might do.


    Coastal Carolina at #23 UL Lafayette (-7)

    As of writing this article the line is now ULL -9. The Ragin’ Cajuns are getting a couple of guys back who will benefit the team with their play. The injury report was FULL for ULL at the start of the week (as mentioned in my “First Looks” article). I feel the move is drastic based on health alone. No matter who ULL gets back, the Chanticleers started this week with ZERO bodies on the injury list. All their personnel has been practicing and preparing for the full week. The QB play in this game is going to be smart and dynamic. Between CCU signal caller Grayson McCall and the Cajuns QB Levi Lewis, we are going to be in for a treat. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this game is featuring two 3-0 teams. I love a couple different angles in this lone Wednesday night football game but my favorite is going to be taking those points with Coastal Carolina. I sprinkled the ML at +250 but I have high confidence in that bet, as well.

    Bets: CCU (+7), ML +250


    Virginia (-2.5) at Wake Forest

    This line has been a super weird and fishy one from the get-go. It opened as a pick, went all the way to UVA -3 and has now settled at -2.5. To me, it seems as though the bookmakers have tried to adjust to the recent play of Virginia which has been very lackluster. After covering the 28 point spread versus Clemson they went ahead and lost at the hands of N.C. State by 17 to follow that game up. The problem is… Wake Forest is nowhere near the team the UVA is, based on defensive prowess alone, as well as returning depth. The Wolfpack beat WF by only 3 points, so there could be an argument to the contrary of my previous statement. Needless to say, Virginia should win this game by at least one possession and I believe they can get back right here versus the Demon Deacons. UVA QB Armstrong has to not turn the ball over for the Cavaliers to win and cover in this spot.

    Bet: UVA (-2.5)


    #5 UNC (-13.5) at FSU

    The Tar Heels are coming off of a phenomenal performance against ranked Virginia Tech and now they come into Tallahassee to take on a lowly Seminoles team, with an opening line of UNC -9 going all the way up to nearly two TDs. I believe we are seeing the market adjust to how stacked this UNC team is on offense behind Sam Howell at QB and a plethora of NFL bound receivers and linemen. Mack Brown has the Tar Heels program back in the Top 5 for the first time since 1997 … when he was the coach. Brown has his team locked in and they have a Heisman dark horse in Howell. The last time FSU was getting at least 10 points at home they lost to Clemson 59-10. The Seminoles DID make a QB change that was long overdue but I just don’t think it is going to be enough against this Tar Heel team that is uber-balanced.

    Bet: UNC (-13.5) 

  • College Football Week 7 First Looks

    Article by Devin Ellington (@daellie007 on Twitter)


    Liberty (-2.5) at Syracuse

    Liberty is only in their second season as a member of the FBS but they sure don’t act or play like it. Here, they are laying 2.5 points on the road versus the Orange who play in a Power 5 conference. Keep in mind that the H.C. for the Flames is Hugh Freeze, formerly a head coach in the SEC. Liberty is 4-0 with a very experienced backfield as well as offensive and defensive lines returning depth. Cuse could possibly fire Dino Babers at the end of the season(or before). With that being said, I dont have faith in Tommy Devito or his wideouts. Not to mention his linemen give up immense amounts of interior pressure. Liberty has the better defense and this game opened at a PK. Liberty goes on the road and gets it done.

    Bet: Liberty -2.5, opened PK.


    Army (-7) at UT-San Antonio

    The Roadrunners darn near pulled an upset versus #15 BYU last weekend behind very solid defense and veteran leadership at the QB position in Frank Harris. The Cougars struggled to score the ball in the first half AND in large spots during the second half. The UTSA defense contained Zac Wilson and did not let him make many explosive plays with his ability to extend pockets. The Roadrunners forced Wilson to pass and were beaten by him making big plays when he needed to most. Army does not have a QB who can throw the ball like Mr. Wilson can. Army does have one of the nation’s best run defenses but they are weak against the pass. UTSA has a chance at covering as well as winning outright if they can be better than average on the ground and continue to not turn the ball over (+1.7 TO ratio). Overall, the metrics show these two teams are pretty evenly matched and on top of my eye test I love getting 7 points as a home dog with UTSA.

    Bet: UTSA +7


    Duke at NC St. (-4)

    I am on the side of the Wolfpack here and there is ONE sole reason why: QB DEVIN LEARY … This kid has come in and started the last 3 games and posted a QBR of 152.5 with 7 TDs and 1 interception. The offense is operating cleaner which will be huge going up against a Blue Devils team who has an Opponent RZ success of 85%. Plus, we can’t forget to mention the four guys on the Wolfpack injury report right now are all players that are more than likely going to be able to play this week. Duke just beat a lowly Syracuse team (see: write-up for the first play in this article) so I feel this number has been downplayed. NC St. just went on the road three weeks in a row and lost to Va Tech but then beat ranked Pitt as well as tough ACC foe Virginia.

    Bet: NC St. -4

  • Best College Football Week 6 Bets

    Article by Devin Ellington (@daellie007 on Twitter)


    Louisville (-5.5) vs. Georgia Tech

    For starters, the Yellow Jackets are going to be down a handful of guys, most notably in their front seven as well as in their CB depth. Georgia Tech is already one of the most young and most inexperienced teams in all of college football. They just became even more for this game after losing that handful of guys. GT, perhaps due to youth, commits close to eleven penalties per game and I believe that is going to be a huge factor. I am looking for the Cardinals to get the job done here on the road and to cover the spread of -5.5. This line should be Louisville -10 in my opinion, especially with the youth and depth woes for the Yellow Jackets.

    Bet: Louisville -5.5


    Clemson (-15) vs. Miami

    Last week Clemson did not cover against a UVA team that has a way less dynamic QB than Miami does in D’Erik King. Miami also features a better defense with more talent than what the Cavs rolled out against Clemson. With a Heisman hopeful running the offense for Manny Diaz and “The U” I believe King can outduel Trevor Lawrence straight up so I am happy to get the fifteen points. I hold a futures ticket for the Hurricanes QB to win the Heisman trophy and this would be a huge statement. The Tigers lost a ton of talent in the d-line and LB corps. If Miami gets some defensive stops and they answer when Clemson scores (or stops) then this should be a close and a very fun game to watch.

    Bet: Miami +15


    Iowa St. (-13) vs. Texas Tech

    I am targeting two different bets in this game and it starts with where these two teams are currently going. Iowa State is coming off of an impressive win over OU and TTU is coming off of a blown lead to Texas and a whacking taken at the hands of K State. Sure, ISU lost to the Ragin Cajuns (who we love dearly on the podcast) but they have answered and handled their early Big 12 conference schedule with poise. The Cyclones possess a better-than-typical Big 12 defense and phenomenal QB play behind Brock Purdy. The Red Raiders are also more than likely going to be down THREE wide receivers and their starting QB, Alan Bowman. I am looking for Matt Cambell to have his team ready and more than amped to win this game in Aimes by at least two touchdowns.

    Bet(s): ISU -13 & under 62.5


    Charlotte (-3) vs. UNT

    The Mean Green were exposed versus one of the worst NCAAF teams in the country in Southern Miss last weekend. But, they were hit with the COVID bug hard and ruled a decent amount of guys out prior to that game. Needless to say that their depth is still lacking this week. UNT allows a 92.31 RZ scoring% and Charlotte scores in the red zone 66.67% of the time. Look for them to have three early and successful redzone trips against this UNT defense. Charlotte features a solid front seven that is often overlooked. The Charlotte defense on the season allows 28 ppg to their opposition…UNT allows 53! Look for Charlotte to win this game by controlling the clock and taking advantage of their red zone trips as well as the takeaways that they create (they are averaging 1.5 per game).

    Bet: Charlotte -3


    Texas vs Oklahoma (Total: 70)

    OH BOY … here we go. The Red River Rivalry/Shootout/whatever-it’s-called-this-year is going to feature a ton of points. Both defenses have been exposed and tested early. Texas allowed what seemed like 1,000 yards alone in the Texas Tech game (they probably should not have won that one) and the Sooners can’t seem to stop the run or the pass and are very susceptible to QBs who are above average runners that can also sling the rock like Sam Ehlinger. I am thinking that between Spencer Rattler and Ehlinger, we are going to see at least eight touchdowns between the two signal callers. Texas and Oklahoma both have dynamic and explosive playmakers placed around their QBs. 

    Bet: over 70

  • Friday Feature Wagers: Butler’s Takedown

    Every Friday, Danny H. will have a best bet article that runs in conjunction with our Today in Sports Betting podcast…

    Hey Hoop Ballers, Danny here. A slightly better Friday card this week, when we compare to last Friday’s strange lines. I found one I like a fair amount, and a few thoughts and leans for those that are building their knowledge base. Follow or fade, let’s have some fun!

    Miami Heat +1.5 @ New Orleans – I’ll try Miami as short dogs, hoping the line climbs to 2 or more.
    The Pels are not playing their best ball at the moment and are playing for the third time in four days, with the last being an overtime loss in Dallas. Teams need good depth to prevail in these tough schedule spots, something the Pels are lacking at the moment with JJ Redick sidelined. Miami seems to be out of their slump now that they have a near full roster again. They are on a 4 game win streak with two of them coming over the Bucks and Mavericks in convincing fashion. The Pelicans are much improved with Zion in the lineup, but are still just 2-7 against above-.500 teams since Zion’s return. With Iguodala, Dragic, Olynyk, and Jae Crowder coming off the bench the Heat have the deeper team and are in a better schedule spot, so I’ll take the better team in an underdog role.

    No prevalent lines for Celtics – Jazz or Memphis – Dallas but a few thoughts… with the Celtics missing Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward, the Jazz are definitely a consideration, already with short revenge assuming they’re underdogs.

    The Bucks are a lean near a pick em but not sure I want to fade the Lakers in this spot where the game means a little more to them and with two days to prepare.

    I also lean Memphis if initial line of 8 holds. Doncic is a half step behind his usual level of play with nagging thumb and ankle injuries.

  • Friday Feature Wagers: Good Teams Gettin’ Good(er)

    Every Friday, Danny H. will have a best bet article that runs in conjunction with our Today in Sports Betting podcast…

    Hey Hoop Ballers, Danny here. I didn’t like the card this week a ton, but I managed to scrounge up a pair of half-size wagers for our collective enjoyment. Follow or fade, let’s have some fun!

    Clippers -5.5 vs Denver – The Clippers are playing better ball in their last two after a home loss to the Kings in the first game back from the All Star break. That loss seems to have acted as a wake up call for the Clippers as they had a lengthy film session before dismantling the Grizzlies, followed by a 10 point victory at Phoenix. The Clippers have a full roster available again with Patrick Beverly and Paul George back in the lineup. They don’t want to be scuffling going into the playoffs, and this is their chance to pull even with Denver in the standings. As Kawhi Leonard said after last game, “It’s only been two games that we’ve won, so it’s nothing too huge. We’ve got to keep going.” I see the Clippers on the rise right now, not a team that will slip up in this spot.

    Raptors -13.5 vs. Charlotte – The Raptors have had two days to stew after a disappointing home loss to conference leader Milwaukee. Toronto embarks on a 6 game Western conference road trip after tonight’s contest. Combine that with the Celtics climbing to only 1 game back in the standings and it is imperative for the Raptors that they take care of business in this spot. The Raps absolutely demolish bad teams, and are currently 32-3 against sub-.500 teams. On the other side, Charlotte is just 2-20 against teams .500 and above. This is a “kill spot” for Toronto and I don’t see Charlotte getting in the way of them.

  • Friday Feature Wager: De-Rusting

    Greetings Hoop Ballers!

    Every Friday, Danny H. will have a best bet article that runs in conjunction with our Today in Sports Betting podcast! Here is today’s — enjoy!

    Grizzlies +11 @ Lakers

    It’s tough to evaluate how teams will respond in their first game after the All Star break following at least a week off. That is the case for the Lakers in this match up, playing for the first time in nine days. The Grizzlies have an advantage here, able to shake the rust off at Sacramento on Thursday night. Normally playing on a back-to-back is a disadvantage for NBA teams, but in this situation the back-to-back shouldn’t hinder Memphis right after the long break. The Lakers have a marquee national TV game just 36 hours after this one against the rival Celtics on Sunday afternoon, so there is the threat of a look-ahead spot for L.A., as well. 11 points is a lot to ask the Lakers to clear in this schedule spot where they could battle some rust against a Grizzlies team that has already returned to game speed.