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Mayweather lives up to his nickname for sports books

Jeff Fogle
VSiN.com

We roll the credits for boxing's summer blockbuster and the NFL dress rehearsals. Plus, if you’re reading this Monday morning, VSiN’s expanded schedule is already on the air!

Boxing: “Money” Mayweather indeed, for city of Las Vegas, sports books, and sharps
It was a low bar to clear for “surprisingly good.” And there’s still some debate about whether this past Saturday night’s fight between underdog longshot Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather was a competitive fight (reported by most mainstream media accounts, and many in Las Vegas who watched) or a virtual “work” with Mayweather strategically making sure the fight didn’t end quickly (that take here from Deadspin).  

Ultimately, most observers felt they got their money’s worth. Who could complain about that? Certainly not Las Vegas sports books, or professional wagerers who made big dollar bets on a virtual sure thing favorite. (Please click here to read Matt Youman’s recap of this fight’s historic handle). This was one of the largest “re-distributions of wealth” the city has ever seen…from the pockets of fans and casual bettors taking a shot on an underdog at a price that didn’t come anywhere near “true odds”...to the coffers of sports books, and the bank accounts of sharps who bet anywhere from 5-1 to 7-1 on a favorite that might have been more realistically priced at 50-1 or 100-1. (Note, this wasn’t “price gouging” from sports books, who did their level best to manage house risk against a true onslaught of public money.)

Check out the “Compu Box” punching stats for the fight. Despite the fact that Mayweather was in a “crouching tiger, defensive dragon” mode for the first few rounds…

Compu Box Punches Landed:

  • McGregor: 111 of 430 (26%)
  • Mayweather: 170 of 320 (53%)

Pundits thinking McGregor would be lucky to land a single punch sure missed on that assessment! But Mayweather still registered 60% of the punches that landed, and had better than a 2-1 ratio in accuracy. It was still a mismatch, even if it was less of a mismatch than many expected. Now look at how dominant Mayweather was once it was time to win the fight, by comparing “first half” vs. “second half” stats…

Compu Box Punches Landed First 5 Rounds:

  • McGregor 51
  • Mayweather 40

Compu Box Punches Landed Rest of Fight:

  • McGregor 60
  • Mayweather 130

Mayweather bided his time, then took over as McGregor’s tank began to run low. No fill-ups in boxing! 

Was that Mayweather making sure fans got their money’s worth? In the eye of the beholder. 

Will we ever see the likes of this again? Everyone who profited would love to see the likes of it again! But that would involve finding another great fighter who the public loves betting against in droves, a different charismatic challenger from MMA with a huge global following, and the kind of mass insanity it takes for the public to throw its money at under-priced odds hoping for a miracle. 

No doubt VSiN’s Monday shows will have plenty to say about the spectacle. “Follow the Money” with Mitch and Pauly moves to its new time at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. in Las Vegas). You can catch the replay at noon ET/9 a.m. in Las Vegas. Gill Alexander will reflect on his “trava-sham-mockery” theme on “A Numbers Game” at 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. in Las Vegas. Jonathan Von Tobel and Matt Youmans covered the angles from top to bottom Sunday in “The Green Zone.” Please join them for their brand-new weekday show “The Edge” at 3 p.m. ET (noon in Las Vegas). Brent Musburger and Ron Flatter put an exclamation point on a memorable sports betting weekend on “My Guys in the Desert” at its usual time, 6 p.m. ET, (3 p.m. in Las Vegas). 

NFLX: Dress rehearsals set a tone for the regular season 
We only had a chance to recap the first two (of 16) dress rehearsal games from Week 3 of the NFL preseason back on Friday. We’ll devote the rest of today’s report to running those numbers…with an eye on what to expect in Week 1 of the regular season. We’ll get caught up in college football and the CFL Tuesday. Games are presented in Nevada Rotation order. 

New England (-3) 30, Detroit 28

  • Total Yards: New England 393, Detroit 417
  • Yards-per-Play: New England 6.4, Detroit 6.2
  • Rushing Yards: New England 136, Detroit 118
  • Passing Stats: New England 19-27-1-237, Detroit 25-37-1-299

The big news from Friday, of course, was that New England wide receiver Julian Edelman was lost for the season due to a torn ACL. That’s more important than any of the stats. 

QB Passing Lines
New England: Brady 12-15-1-174, Garappolo 7-12-0-83
Detroit: Stafford 15-22-1-190, Rudock 10-13-0-113, Kaaya 0-2-0-0

Hard to see any differences here from where these teams left off 2016 to where they begin the new season. New England “got better” in the offseason with some personnel moves, but then lost Edelman. Detroit’s still going to live or die on Mathew Stafford’s arm. 

Seattle (-3) 26, Kansas City 13

  • Total Yards: Kansas City 225, Seattle 390
  • Yards-per-Play: Kansas City 3.6, Seattle 6.1
  • Rushing Yards: Kansas City 69, Seattle 134
  • Passing Stats: Kansas City 19-38-0-156, Seattle 18-30-1-256

Similar bad news here, in that Chiefs running back Spencer Ware was lost for the season with an injury. Seattle has been playing the preseason like they care. That was an important part of Pete Carroll’s early days with this franchise. There seems to be a sense of urgency after last season’s drop-off. A yardage blowout of 390-225 on the heels of 458-322 at the LA Chargers, and 406-320 over Minnesota. 

QB Passing Lines
Kansas City: A. Smith 7-17-0-44, Mahomes 8-15-0-70, Bray 4-6-0-54
Seattle: R. Wilson 13-19-0-200, Davis 5-5-0-64, Boykin 0-6-1-0

Both Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes were in desperation mode, with a combined 17 incomplete passes. Russell Wilson looks ready. Seattle opens at Green Bay, the Chiefs at New England.

NY Giants (-5) 32, NY Jets 31

  • Total Yards: Jets 470, Giants 331
  • Yards-per-Play: Jets 7.2, Giants 5.0
  • Rushing Yards: Jets 103, Giants 91
  • Passing Stats: Jets 27-39-2-367, Giants 18-34-1-240

The Giants built a 29-3 halftime lead thanks to two interception-return TD’s and a safety. So, it wasn’t ever a real game in terms of a “dress rehearsal.” The Jets came storming back behind Bryce Petty against a disinterested NYG defense playing out the clock. Then Petty hurt his knee tripping over a lineman, which gave Hackenburg a few more snaps. 

QB Passing Lines
Jets: Hackenberg 12-21-2-126, Petty 15-18-0-250
Giants: Manning 7-14-1-121, Johnson 4-6-0-67, G. Smith 5-10-0-51, Webb 2-4-0-20

Hackenberg’s stats were a disaster until the late TD vs. backups. Manning wasn’t particularly sharp…but he knows how to get himself ready for a big season opener (at Dallas on SNF in Week 1). We have to assume the Jets will be a 2017 disaster unless the show us something in Week One at Buffalo.

Baltimore (-3.5) 13, Buffalo 9

  • Total Yards: Buffalo 262, Baltimore 209
  • Yards-per-Play: Buffalo 3.9, Baltimore 3.3
  • Rushing Yards: Buffalo 79, Baltimore 92
  • Passing Stats: Buffalo 20-41-1-183, Baltimore 16-25-0-117

Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered an early concussion, which seemed to scare both teams. This looked more like a Week 1 or Week 2 exhibition game. Neither team could even reach four yards-per-play. The Ravens may have been content with that 31-7 win at Miami the prior week (9 of 17 on third downs, even if there were some cheap points). Buffalo may be in real trouble…which is why the market still has them favored by less than a TD in the regular season opener against the hapless Jets. Through three games, Buffalo’s YPP per game is 4.4, 4.8, and 3.9. Third down conversions are 27%, 28%, and 35%. 

QB Passing Lines
Buffalo: Taylor 1-3-0-1, Yates 8-15-1-102, Peterman 11-23-0-93
Baltimore: Mallett 6-10-0-58, Woodrum 8-13-0-55, Lewis 2-2-0-13

Nothing behind Taylor if his concussion lingers that’s going to scare Buffalo opponents. Baltimore is hoping Joe Flacco is ready in two weeks. Ryan Mallett is a known quantity who’s likely to implode under pressure.

Arizona (plus 3) 24, Atlanta 14

  • Total Yards: Arizona 292, Atlanta 237
  • Yards-per-Play: Arizona 4.6, Atlanta 4.0
  • Rushing Yards: Arizona 83, Atlanta 71
  • Passing Stats: Arizona 18-30-0-209, Atlanta 17-30-1-166

Surprisingly bad performance from Atlanta’s passing game. Ryan wasn’t sharp, then Schaub set up an easy Arizona TD with a fumble. Arizona is 2-1 straight up…but offensive YPP the last three games is just 4.9, 4.4, and 4.6 after getting a one-week head start. So, the Cards are either playing ‘possum on offense…or they’re not going to bounce back as impressively as some pundits had been expecting. 

QB Passing Lines
Arizona: Palmer 8-13-0-86, Stanton 4-6-0-53, Gabbert 6-9-0-84, Knight 0-2-0-0
Atlanta: Ryan 4-11-1-36, Schaub 5-6-0-25, Simms 8-13-0-117

It’s definitely dicey to put too much weight on preseason stats. But Russell Wilson’s 13-19-0-200 passing line compared to Palmer and Ryan help highlight the sense of urgency Seattle is expressing this month in terms of the NFC title picture.

Cleveland (plus 4) 13, Tampa Bay 9 

  • Total Yards: Cleveland 339, Tampa Bay 289
  • Yards-per-Play: Cleveland 4.8, Tampa Bay 4.9
  • Rushing Yards: Cleveland 134, Tampa Bay 78
  • Passing Stats: Cleveland 19-41-1-205, Tampa Bay 24-38-1-211

Tampa Bay is getting raves for attitude thanks to its appearance on “Hard Knocks” on HBO. But the Bucs have only scored 12, 12, and 9 points in their three games. Winston is completing short passes, but moving between the 20’s. YPP is 4.7, 5.0, and 4.4.

QB Passing Lines
Cleveland: Kizer 6-18-1-93, Kessler 6-10-0-48, Hogan 7-13-0-82
Tampa Bay: Winston 17-27-1-200, Fitzpatrick 7-11-0-55

The Browns have announced that DeShone Kizer will be the regular season starting quarterback. That gives you a sense of how badly Brock Osweiler has been flunking the eye test in camp! Awful performance for Kizer in a dress rehearsal…though he obviously completed a few big plays to 93 yards off just six completions. Tampa Bay/Miami might be a fun season opener. Cleveland hosting Pittsburgh probably won’t be. 

Indianapolis (plus 4.5) 19, Pittsburgh 15

  • Total Yards: Indianapolis 326, Pittsburgh 347
  • Yards-per-Play: Indianapolis 6.0, Pittsburgh 4.8
  • Rushing Yards: Indianapolis 69, Pittsburgh 108
  • Passing Stats: Indianapolis 20-28-1-257, Pittsburgh 31-47-1-239

Pittsburgh doesn’t prioritize the preseason. Scott Tolzien of Indianapolis got tired of hearing how horribly he had been playing. 

QB Passing Lines
Indianapolis: Tolzien 7-10-1-123, Morris 12-16-0-143, Walker 1-2-0-(minus)1
Pittsburgh: Roethlisberger 6-9-0-73, Dobbs 4-7-0-24, L. Jones 21-31-1-163

That’s a nice 12.3 yards-per-pass-attempt for Tolzien. But he still threw an interception. And it was coming against a team that saves intensity for September. Roethlisberger has barely broken a sweat this summer but he’s ready to go. 

New Orleans (-4) 13, Houston 0

  • Total Yards: Houston 246, New Orleans 315
  • Yards-per-Play: Houston 3.7, New Orleans 4.8
  • Rushing Yards: Houston 57, New Orleans 111
  • Passing Stats: Houston 23-42-1-189, New Orleans 22-33-0-204

The Texans played like a team worrying about how their loves ones were dealing with a hurricane back home. New Orleans was a host who hadn’t forgotten what that’s like. More like a Week 1 or Week 2 preseason game. 

QB Passing Lines
Houston: Savage 10-16-0-79, Watson 11-21-1-116, Weeden 2-5-0-16
New Orleans: Brees 11-15-0-76, Daniel 9-12-0-108, Grayson 2-6-0-35

Another example of Tom Savage compiling a decent percentage on dinks and dunks while the offense doesn’t go much of anywhere. Another interception for Deshaun Watson. Houston opens with Jacksonville, who’s gone back to Blake Bortles as the starting QB. The market only has Houston -4 in that one…which is an indictment of Savage. 

Dallas 24(-3) Oakland 20 

  • Total Yards: Oakland 279, Dallas 344
  • Yards-per-Play: Oakland 4.7, Dallas 6.1
  • Rushing Yards: Oakland 67, Dallas 127
  • Passing Stats: Oakland 24-37-0-212, Dallas 25-31-0-217

Oakland had a fumble return touchdown, which is why the score is closer than YPP would suggest.  

QB Passing Lines
Oakland: Carr 13-17-0-144, Cook 9-16-0-89, Manuel 2-4-0-8
Dallas: Prescott 11-14-0-113, Moore 2-4-0-10, Rush 12-13-0-115

Good stuff from the starting quarterbacks, as Prescott continues to play like he has to prove himself to skeptics…with Carr kicking things up a notch for the dress rehearsal. Matt Youmans alerted “The Green Zone” viewers to the strong August play of Dallas backup QB Cooper Rush weeks ago. Might be worth remembering next week if Rush is going to get extended time in the finale against a Houston team still dealing with hometown distractions. 

LA Chargers (pick-em) 21, LA Rams 19

  • Total Yards: Chargers 326, Rams 357
  • Yards-per-Play: Chargers 5.3, Rams 5.4
  • Rushing Yards: Chargers 106, Rams 65
  • Passing Stats: Chargers 20-28-1-220, Rams 22-40-1-262

The Chargers jumped to a 21-0 lead thanks to a strong start from Philip Rivers, and a fumble return TD. The Rams made it interesting with backups in garbage time. 

QB Passing Lines
Chargers: Rivers 6-6-0-85, Jones 9-13-1-74, Bercovici 5-9-0-62
Rams: Goff 5-8-1-56, Orlovsky 1-3-0-8, Mannion 16-29-0-214

Rivers joined Roethlisberger on the list of “we don’t need no stinkin’ preseason” quarterbacks with a very sharp performance. Jared Goff turned back into a pumpkin after a good game against the Raiders. Goff threw a pick, and was the player who lost the fumble that turned into a Chargers TD on a strip sack. The Colts/Rams season opener could prove interesting down at the bottom of the league scale. Whose worst of those two if Luck can’t play? Rivers is getting respect in LAC’s season opener at Denver, where the Broncos are only -4 on a strong home field. 

Denver (-3) 20, Green Bay 17 

  • Total Yards: Green Bay 265, Denver 299
  • Yards-per-Play: Green Bay 4.1, Denver 4.6
  • Rushing Yards: Green Bay 113, Denver 125
  • Passing Stats: Green Bay 23-35-0-265, Denver 18-31-1-299

Green Bay has talked about going for it on fourth down more this season. The Packers may have been playing round with the concept here…as they were 0 for 4 on fourth down tries, 2 of 13 on third downs. A cheap 2-yard TD drive from a near pick-six against Trevor Siemian made their day better than it seemed. 

QB Passing Lines
Green Bay: Rodgers 3-5-0-12, Hundley 20-30-0-186
Denver: Siemian 13-22-1-127, Lynch 1-2-0-9, Sloter 4-7-0-49

Rodgers was slated to play only two drives, one of which was the cheapie. Siemian did lead some scoring drives. But 5.8 yards-per-pass-attempt in a dress rehearsal isn’t anything to get excited about, particularly with that interception in the mix. Paxton Lynch suffered a shoulder injury on a fall early in his evening, making it even less likely he can make a name for himself any time soon. 

Chicago (plus 3) 19, Tennessee 7

  • Total Yards: Chicago 366, Tennessee 357
  • Yards-per-Play: Chicago 5.5, Tennessee 6.0
  • Rushing Yards: Chicago 96, Tennessee 79
  • Passing Stats: Chicago 23-36-0-270, Tennessee 20-34-0-278

Chicago won the first half 12-0, which was a big surprise with Glennon/Mariota as the “starting pitchers.” A lot of yardage for such a low scoring game. 

QB Passing Lines
Chicago: Glennon 11-18-0-134, Trubisky 10-15-0-128, Shaw 2-3-0-22 
Tennessee: Mariota 12-21-0-193, Cassel 4-7-0-62, Tanney 4-6-0-60

Trubisky had another good game, which means the crowd will be chanting his name quickly if Glennon falters in the season opener vs. Atlanta or soon thereafter. Mariota moved the ball but the Titans struggled on third downs and didn’t find the end zone when it mattered. Oakland-Tennessee will be a very interesting season opener. 

Washington (-3) 23 Cincinnati 17

  • Total Yards: Cincinnati 312, Washington 255
  • Yards-per-Play: Cincinnati 4.7, Washington 4.4
  • Rushing Yards: Cincinnati 137, Washington 96
  • Passing Stats: Cincinnati 17-29-1-175, Washington 18-30-1-159

Weird one. Cincinnati won yardage, YPP, and had an interception return TD…but still lost the game anyway. Washington’s gained 2.9, 4.9, and 4.4 per play in three games. Either the Redskins are biding their time or they’re going to get outclassed in the NFC East. Cincinnati’s a tough read because they slid last season and didn’t make any obvious changes that would reverse its fortunes. 

QB Passing Lines
Cincinnati: Dalton 8-13-0-70, McCarron 7-13-1-82, Driskel 2-3-0-33
Washington: Cousins 10-19-1-109, Colt McCoy 8-11-0-76

Disappointing numbers for Cousins in a dress rehearsal. Opening Sunday in the NFC East is going to be fun with Philadelphia at Washington and NYG at Dallas. Cincinnati opens with Baltimore, which gives the Bengals a chance to make an early divisional statement. 

Minnesota (-6) 32 San Francisco 31 

  • Total Yards: San Francisco 431, Minnesota 374
  • Yards-per-Play: San Francisco 7.2, Minnesota 5.6
  • Rushing Yards: San Francisco 91, Minnesota 50
  • Passing Stats: San Francisco 21-32-1-340, Minnesota 35-47-0-324

It may have been the most exciting, exhilarating, awe-inspiring game in the history of exhibition football! Seriously, though, a fun game to watch because San Francisco’s mostly been playing with enthusiasm this month…while Minnesota’s head coach believes in getting wins. Big plays galore. The Vikings scored the game winning TD and two-point conversion in the final seconds. San Francisco’s four TD drives were 79, 88, 75, and 75 yards. Minnesota had TD drives of 75, 75, and 63 yards, as well as a 108-yard kickoff return TD.

QB Passing Lines
San Francisco: Hoyer 12-17-0-176, Beathard 7-13-1-159, Barkley 2-2-0-19
Minnesota: Bradford 17-21-0-134, Keenum 10-14-0-139, Heinicke 8-12-0-73

Bradford was sacked three times for 22 yards, and the Vikings were scoreless in the first half. So, that 17-21-0-134 passing line overstates his effectiveness. Minnesota opens the regular season at home against New Orleans on a Monday night. San Francisco hosts Carolina the day before. 

Quick Clicks
Details on VSiN’s new expanded schedule that began early Monday morning
Ron Flatter’s “Saratoga Play of the Day” for Monday
Vinny Magliulo’s informative primer on the history of sports betting
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Back Tuesday to see what this past Saturday’s college football stats might foretell about this week’s coming action...plus updated “market” Power Ratings in the Canadian Football League and English Premier League. 

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