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How the Patriots offense can find its groove against the Texans



How the Patriots offense can find its groove against the Texans

The Patriots haven’t lost their season yet.

But drop Sunday’s game in Houston, and it will most certainly be slipping through their fingers.

At 1-3, the Pats’ offense has largely been to blame for the team’s surprisingly slow start. Opponents have treated rookie quarterback Mac Jones like a piñata, and bottled up their run game. The Patriots were built to bully opponents, and instead have been put on their heels.

They’ve failed to score 20 points in all three defeats and trailed entering the fourth quarter of all three of those games. A fast start will be vital to flipping that script against the Texans, who should offer a soft landing spot.

Here’s how the Pats can get back in the win column Sunday:

1. Roll out 12 personnel

It’s time for the star tight ends to star.

The Texans rank 29th in pass coverage against tight ends, according to Football Outsiders’ opponent-and-situation-adjusted metric, DVOA. Previous opponents averaged 13 yards per pass attempt and 5.2 yards per carry this season against Houston when playing from 12 personnel (one running back and two tight ends). None of those teams boasted a duo like Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

Both players scored touchdowns last week against Tampa Bay, and could find the end zone in Houston. They just need more opportunity, taking only nine snaps together against the Bucs and seven the week before against New Orleans.

“The sky’s the limit,” Smith said this week of the Patriots offense. “We come in here and work every day, and we’re never going to be perfect, but I think the reason why we know what we can do is because we try to reach perfection. … I definitely know for this offense, the sky’s the limit.”

2. Max protect Mac Jones

The kid needs help.

Jones was pressured on 33% of his snaps against the Bucs, a percentage that felt a lot higher, but only because the pressure was so taxing. He took four sacks and more than a dozen hits. The Texans aren’t a high-pressure team, but if the Pats are forced to field mostly backup offensive linemen, it won’t matter.

The answer is keeping backs and/or tight ends in protection to give him extra time.

They must do a better job of protecting the future of the franchise, who’s shown he can survive the blitz. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has completed 69.8% of his passes for 408 yards, two touchdowns and two picks this season in the face of extra rushers. But when pressured, that completion percentage drops to 57.4% and his average yards per attempt is barely five.

The Patriots’ best pass catchers — including Smith and Henry — will find soft spots in Houston’s preferred zone coverages if given the time. And Jones will find them if afforded three-plus seconds in the pocket, too.

3. Force the Texans to tackle in space

Houston’s defense has whiffed a league-high 37 times this season, most in the NFL.

Look for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to dial up a variety of screens, plays that should both ease the Pats’ issues in pass protections and exploit the Texans’ sloppy tackling. Damien Harris leads all Patriots with 16 missed tackles forced, per PFF, followed by Kendrick Bourne with six. Bourne and Agholor have each rushed one time this season, as has Smith.

Normally a tackle-breaking machine, Smith has yet to generate the type of yards after contact the Pats expected when they made the former Titan the third-richest tight end in the NFL in free agency last March. Sunday should be a perfect time to break out against an old division foe.

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NCAAF Odds and Betting Lines Today



NCAAF Odds and Betting Lines Today

In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last few years, the sport of college football has started to take over the United States. The NFL will always be king in this country, but college football isn’t too far behind.

NCAAF odds can be found all over the internet, and you will also see these odds throughout the week on various media outlets. Watching the sport of college football is no longer good enough as betting on the sport has now taken over.

NCAAF odds and betting lines are also going to be featured at the sportsbook each week, and you will see plenty of promotions offered on the sport. This isn’t a regional thing either as there are popular college football teams throughout the country.

This article will explain NCAAF odds, and will also provide you with some examples of how these look at sportsbooks in the US. If you aren’t betting on college football yet then it’s time that you get with the program.

NCAAF odds should soon become a part of your everyday life if you are serious about betting on sports. This sport is only going to continue to grow in popularity and there is some big money that can be won.

Pay attention to the next few sections of this article and hopefully, you become more familiar with NCAAF odds and it lets you win big at the sportsbook. Meanwhile, you can also visit some of the most popular sportsbooks for NCAAF betting such as:BetRivers - 100% First Deposit Bonus Up to $250!Betway - Get your $250 Risk-Free Bet!BetMGM - $1,000 - Risk Free Bet!

NCAAF Consensus Odds

If you have ever heard the expression NCAAF consensus odds then that is talking about what all of the Colorado sportsbooks are offering. You are sometimes going to see some variation when it comes to NCAAF odds, but other times the consensus will be presented.

One benefit of NCAAF consensus odds is that you don’t have to worry about doing an odds comparison. You will know that each betting site in the state is going to offer the same odds and you can simply choose to bet at your preferred site.

To go along with NCAAF odds that are presented as a consensus, you will also find consensus NCAAF picks. This is where most of the money is coming in, and you can see how the public is viewing each matchup.

You might be shocked to hear this, but the public is typically wrong more times than they are right. The term, “fading the public,” is often used to describe those smart bettors that go against the consensus picks and usually end up on the right side of a bet.

So, do you think you are ready to see how NCAAF odds are put into action?

Moneyline NCAAF Odds

When it comes to betting on NCAA Football, the easiest bet to make is on the moneyline. All you have to do with this type of wager is pick the team that goes on to win a certain college football game.

You might think that this is a great way to bet on college football, but taking a closer look at the NCAAF odds when it comes to moneyline might change your mind a bit. For a better example we will look at a matchup between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams.

Colorado Buffaloes -175
Colorado State Rams +225

In this matchup, you should note that Colorado is a pretty clear favorite (naturally) over Colorado State. Picking the Buffaloes to beat the Rams seems like a great bet to make, until you start taking a look at the odds and what they mean.

In the example above, it would take a $175 bet on Colorado to win $100, which doesn’t exactly provide terrific odds. On the other side of that, a $100 wager on the Colorado State Rams to win $225.

This is where the NCAAF odds make you question the value over who you think will win the actual game. This exact internal question is why new sportsbooks continue to pop up all over the state of Colorado and beyond is because they keep winning money from poor sports betting decisions.

NCAAF Points Total Odds Over/Under

Another great way to bet on college football is what is known as betting the total or over/under. You aren’t going to have to pick a winning team with this type of wager, but instead you are looking at the total number of points scored.

The moneyline bet is widely regarded as the easiest bet to make on any sport, but there isn’t exactly much of a challenge when it comes to over/under either. This sort of dates back to the game you used to play as a kid when you were trying to guess a certain number.

Sports betting is clearly not a kids game though, and it’s best to use a specific example to look at NCAAF over/under odds. We will use the same two teams as above to break this betting option down.

Colorado vs. Colorado State:
Over 47.5 -110
Under 47.5 -110

Most of the over/under betting options you are going to see will have the same betting lines for each side of the wager. In the example above the NCAAF odds will payout $100 for a wager of $110.

If the Buffaloes and Rams combine for at least 48 total points then the over would hit. If the final score is 47 points or less than the under would be the right wager.

You should be warned that sportsbooks and oddsmakers are usually excellent at setting the over/under lines. You’re going to find NCAAF odds that land nearly right on the lines set by the sportsbooks, and that might lead to some pretty disappointing losses at times.

If you aren’t ready to pull the trigger on making a pick to win a game then NCAAF odds for over/under is the way to go.

NCAAF Spread Betting

Unless you have lived under a rock (old expression, I know) then you have likely heard the phrase “against the spread” a few times in your life. This might not mean much to people that don’t bet on sports, but it means everything when looking at NCAAF odds.

The sport of football has three main betting types associated with it and spread betting is one of those. You can think of these betting options as a step further than moneyline betting, as you have to make a couple of predictions here.

When you look at NCAAF odds you are always going to see the spread listed. This is usually listed right after the moneyline odds, but it is actually the first thing that a majority of sports bettors focus on.

Making a spread wager requires you to not only pick which team is going to win a certain game, but you also have to predict how much they are going to win by. You can also bet on the losing team to keep the final score within a certain spread.

Here is a look at NCAAF odds as they relate to spread betting.

Colorado Buffaloes -7.5
Colorado State Rams +7.5

This is where things get a little bit interesting when it comes to NCAAF odds. Not only do you need Colorado to win the game if you bet on them, but they also need to win by eight points or more.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the Colorado State Rams, or just a believer in the team, then you can take them even if you don’t think they can win. As long as Colorado State loses by seven points or less then they would be the right pick in this matchup.

NCAAF Live Betting Odds

If you are looking for an even bigger thrill when it comes to college football then the only way to go is looking at NCAAF odds as it pertains to live betting. Live betting has allowed sports bettors to not only watch games, but also to bet along right with the action.

Most NCAAF odds are set a few days ahead of a matchup, but that isn’t the case when it comes to live betting. These live betting NCAAF odds are posted in real-time, and they don’t give you a ton of time to act as a bettor.

The number one tip when looking at NCAAF odds is to do plenty of research, but that won’t be possible when live betting. You are simply going to have to go on your prior knowledge when making a live betting decision and hope that your pregame research was enough.

NCAAF odds for live betting are normally going to be offered in the form of moneyline, over/under, or spread betting, but you might also be able to find other options available.

Be sure to check the NCAAF odds pretty closely if you are going to live bet on the sport. The best NCAAF live odds in Colorado you can find on the following sportsbooks:DraftKings - Get a Deposit Bonus Up to $1,000BetRivers - 100% First Deposit Bonus Up to $250!Betway - Get your $250 Risk-Free Bet!BetMGM - $1,000 - Risk Free Bet!

NCAAF Odds for MVP

College football acknowledges the best player in the country each season, but it’s not called the MVP Award. Instead the MVP of college football is awarded the Heisman Trophy, arguably the most prestigious award in all of sports.

The Heisman Trophy has been dominated by quarterbacks in recent years and the NCAAF odds for this award are going to reflect that. Running backs and top defensive players are often among the finalists, but quarterbacks usually garner the most recognition.

If you are looking at NCAAF odds then this is going to be one of the first things you see at the sportsbook. Feel free to scroll on by if you want, but you are missing a chance to vote on one of the most prestigious awards in college football.

Here are the current NCAAF odds for the Heisman Trophy:

Bryce Young (Alabama) +200
Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) +400
CJ Stroud (Ohio State) +450
Caleb Williams (Oklahoma) +550
Matt Corral (Ole Miss) +650

NCAAF National Championship Odds

Let’s be honest here for a second and recognize that there aren’t many sporting events bigger than the College Football Playoff. Every professional sport has a terrific postseason, but the CFP is arguably three of the best games in sports.

The only negative to the CFP is that the top four teams are chosen by a committee, but people seem to forget all about that when the games actually begin. The top college football conferences always seem to dominate the CFP each year, and that is shaping up to be the same case in 2021.

Here are the current NCAAF odds for the national championship:

Georgia -115
Alabama +325
Ohio State +400
Oregon +2000
Michigan +3000
Cincinnati +4000


College football might not be a professional sport, but it is easily one of the top betting markets in the United States. NCAAF odds are starting to drive college football broadcasts, and those odds should be in your mind as well each weekend.

There are so many great ways to bet on the sport of college football, and some great chances to win some serious money. As long as you know how to read NCAAF odds then you are going to give yourself a chance to win at the sportsbook.

This is a sport/betting market that is only going to continue to grow in popularity and you would be doing yourself a major disservice if you aren’t at least considering betting on college football. The best action might only take place one day a week, but this sport should be your primary focus from the months of September through January.

Gambling involves risk. Please only gamble with funds that you can comfortably afford to lose. Whilst we do our utmost to offer good advice and information we cannot be held responsible for any loss that maybe be incurred as a result of gambling. We do our best to make sure all the information that we provide on this site is correct. However, from time to time mistakes will be made and we will not be held liable. Please check any stats or information if you are unsure how accurate they are.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

This sponsored content article is governed by our Online Gambling Content Disclaimer (the “Disclaimer”) available here (or at the following URL:, and this sponsored content article constitutes “Gaming Content” as that term is defined in the Disclaimer.  Among other things, the Disclaimer governs your access to, and use of, this Gaming Content.  By accessing and using this Gaming Content, you expressly agree to the terms and conditions of the Disclaimer. The entire Disclaimer is incorporated herein by this reference. We strongly encourage you to please read the entire Disclaimer carefully. 

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The 10 best jazz albums of 2021



The 10 best jazz albums of 2021

December means “best of” list time. And here’s the list I think about putting together all year long.

My criteria are pretty simple: What albums, out of the hundreds that come my way every 12 months, am I liable to put on again and again? What surprises me every time I hit play? What invention and beauty sets one piano trio date, say, apart from the others?

It’s been a remarkable year for new music, and emerging old music was well represented in 2021, too. Here’s my top ten, followed by some terrific excavations. I hope you’ll dig in.

James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet — “Jesup Wagon” (Tao Forms)

The emerging tenor saxophonist and composer leads a thrilling band, featuring cornetist Kirk Knuffke. Lewis has his free jazz history down, and at times he sounds like Albert Ayler might in the 21st century.

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Lewis & Clark Community College partially reopens after cyberattack



Lewis & Clark Community College partially reopens after cyberattack

GODFREY, Ill. – Lewis & Clark Community College is reopening its campus Monday to team members only.

The school shut down just weeks before finals due to a ransomware attack on November 23. The school was forced to shut down everything from its phones to the website’s home page.

Student activities and events will all return to a normal schedule starting Tuesday morning.

All classes, campus events, program events, and athletic events were canceled last week as the college’s IT department worked to resolve the matter.

Students were told they will not suffer any academic penalty for this disruption.

Due to the attack, all of the electronic systems on campus were taken offline to prevent further problems. It’s not been made clear how the attack occurred.

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