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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The Super Bowl is in the books, with the New York Giants winning the big game 21-17 over the New England Patriots in a hard fought thriller. We pushed back publication deadlines (as we do every year with this game) so we could run the numbers for you in an early Monday report. We’ll also take a quick look at a few of the marquee college basketball games from this past weekend as well.

Let’s jump right in…

SUPER BOWL

NY GIANTS 21, NEW ENGLAND 17

Total Yardage: NY Giants 396, New England 349

Rushing Yardage: NY Giants 114, New England 83

Passing Stats: NY Giants 30-40-0-282, New England 27-41-1-266

Drive Points: NY Giants 13, New England 17

Turnovers: NY Giants 0, New England 1

Third Downs: NY Giants 45%, New England 50%

Yards-Per Play: NY Giants 5.6, New England 5.6

Vegas Line: New England by 2.5, total of 53.5

We’re assuming everyone reading this watched the game. We’re not going to summarize the ebb and flow you enjoyed yourself. Most of you probably didn’t race to your computer after the game to read the boxscore though!

You can see how evenly matched these teams were. Yards-per-play was a dead heat. New England had slight edges in third downs and Drive Points, but gave those back with the only turnover of the game. A couple of plays here or there…and we have a different winner…and possibly a different cover team. The Patriots easily could have topped the Vegas number if they didn’t have to punt on their next-to-last drive of the evening. Ultimately, though, this was a coin flip game that probably should have had a coin flip line. The Under was safe the whole way. Early smart money cashed in big. Congrats to all of you who are celebrating the result.

In a few of this weekend’s marquee college basketball games…

#3 OHIO STATE 58, #20 WISCONSIN 54

Shooting Pct: Ohio State 43%, Wisconsin 40%

Three-Pointers: Ohio State 1/7, Wisconsin 5/27

Free Throws: Ohio State 13/16, Wisconsin 3/3

Rebounds: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 25

Phantom Score: Ohio State 72, Wisconsin 59

Turnovers: Ohio State 9, Wisconsin 9

Vegas Line: Ohio State by 3.5, total of 118.5

Pomeroy Rank: Ohio State 1, Wisconsin 4

Wisconsin made the decision early on to focus on guarding the perimeter so Ohio State couldn’t run away and hide with three-pointers (which they do quite a bit under this coaching regime). That meant Jared Sullinger wouldn’t be double-teamed inside. He had a big game himself…but the Buckeyes as a team were in a dogfight the whole way because they could only shoot 43% from the field. Had Wisconsin been able to throw the ball in the ocean from long range, their defensive strategy would have worked. But, the combination of 5 of 27 on treys and only three free throw attempts doomed the upset hopes of the host.

For you newcomers, Phantom Score is a secondary score we invented to help provide context for each game. It’s simply two-point scoring plus rebounding. Those two elements have the best correlation to longerm success in this sport. Wisconsin’s preferred approach here basically gave the Phantom Score to Ohio State in the numbers. Credit to the Buckeyes for winning rebounding on the road, and for playing such great defense.

Pomeroy rank is where these teams stood in Ken Pomeroy’s respected online computer rankings over the weekend. We strongly disagree that Wisconsin is a top five team. There’s got to be a bug in Pomeroy’s system to be that far out of line with market rankings. The Badgers are getting over-rewarded for something that happened earlier in the season. They were clearly the lesser of the two teams here, even if it was a hardfought game.

 

#4 MISSOURI 74, #8 KANSAS 71

Shooting Pct: Kansas 54%, Missouri 52%

Three-Pointers: Kansas 6/16, Missouri 10/22

Free Throws: Kansas 5/9, Missouri 14/20

Rebounds: Kansas 28, Missouri 23

Phantom Score: Kansas 76, Missouri 53

Turnovers: Kansas 15, Missouri 14

Vegas Line: Missouri by 3, total of 146

Pomeroy Rank: Kansas 3, Missouri 7

ESPN’s prime time showcase went right down to the wire. It was great to see the Missouri fans NOT flood the court after the game. Class programs should expect to win big games. If you act like it’s some sort of miracle when you win a big game, then you’re not a class program. We have to say though that the boxscore numbers suggest that Kansas will have the better chance of going deep come March. Kansas won shooting percentage, rebounding, and Phantom Score. They obviously weren’t getting any help from the refs given a -11 differential in free throw attempts. They were -9 in scoring from the charity stripe in a game they only lost by three. What does that suggest for a neutral site meeting with more neutral whistles? Missouri also had a big night from three-point land…which is more likely to happen at home than on the road or in a tourney environment.

Hey, these are BOTH very good teams. But, in terms of March…Missouri showed some vulnerabilities here with a defense that allowed 54% shooting, and an offense that needed a +12 scoring edge on treys to make up for what wasn’t happening anywhere else. Can the Tigers win a big game in March when they go 7 of 22 instead of 10 of 22?

 

#6 NORTH CAROLINA 83, MARYLAND 74

Shooting Pct: North Carolina 44%, Maryland 41%

Three-Pointers: North Carolina 4/9, Maryland 4/17

Free Throws: North Carolina 17/26, Maryland 20/27

Rebounds: North Carolina 44, Maryland 37

Phantom Score: North Carolina 98, Maryland 79

Turnovers: North Carolina 14, Maryland 13

Vegas Line: North Carolina by 12, total of 150.5

Pomeroy Rank: North Carolina 8, Maryland 135

This was a borderline game to include, because Maryland isn’t really a “marquee” team this year. But, this was a national TV game that was a thriller until the very end. The final score is misleading. North Carolina led by only one with just over three minutes to go, and only by three with just over two minute to go.

Considering that was happening against the 135th ranked team in Pomeroy’s numbers…this is a bad sign for the Carolina blue! They did win Phantom Score, and they did show a lot of poise at the end. Those are both good signs for a road win. But, you’re not supposed to be neck-and-neck in the final minutes when you’re a double digit favorite! It wouldn’t be a weekend report for us unless we devoted a few sentences to warning you about either North Carolina or Duke being overrated by TV announcers. Speaking of which…let’s move to Sunday’s colleges.

 

MIAMI 78, #5 DUKE 74 (in overtime)

Shooting Pct: Miami 42%, Duke 38%

Three-Pointers: Miami 7/23, Duke 9/31

Free Throws: Miami 15/25, Duke 13/22

Rebounds: Miami 42, Duke 40

Phantom Score: Miami 84, Duke 74

Turnovers: Miami 13, Duke 11

Vegas Line: Duke by 12, total of 148

Pomeroy Rank: Miami 60, Duke 11

Few were paying attention to this game early in the day because it wasn’t supposed to be close! Miami actually jumped to a big first half lead…but blew that advantage in the second half before regrouping in overtime. Miami wins Phantom Score impressively. As we’ve mentioned often, Duke tries to beat people with 1’s and 3’s. The refs didn’t smile on them in this one, and the team was just 13 of 22 from the line anyway. Pomeroy has had a better read on Duke than the polls this season…and it’s possible Duke really isn’t even top 12 in terms of their true postseason potential because of their lack of athleticism and lack of depth.

We hope things went your way in football and basketball over Super Bowl Weekend. Now, it’s time to focus 100% on the road to March Madness. The fun starts tonight with Big Monday on ESPN…featuring Connecticut at Louisville in the Big East and Texas at Texas A&M in the Big 12. There are also 10 games on a surprisingly large Monday Night NBA schedule. We’re paying particular attention to LA Clippers at Orlando, LA Lakers at Philadelphia, Utah at New York, and Oklahoma City at Portland.

Game day releases always go up a few hours before first tip here at the website. Make a few clicks and have your credit card handy. We have great rates on are seasonal packages. Go from now through March Madness at a very affordable price. If you have any questions about what NETWORK programs best suit your needs, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

The Super Bowl may be over. But, that doesn’t mean you should go into hibernation until next football season. There’s a BASKETBALL BONANZA every night…and THE WINNING IS JUST BEGINNING

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