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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Marc Lawrence — It’s all up in the air. As we alluded to earlier this week, Pro Football Focus has done a fine job of ranking NFL position units. When it comes to the most important position on the field, quarterbacks, their rankings are based on grading every player on every play and tapping into multiple years of data to project future performance. They go beyond just last season’s performances, and the grading works to isolate each quarterback’s performance from that of his supporting cast, making for more effective projections. It should be noted that in a given year, quarterback performance is somewhat dependent on the pieces around him, and that’s why you see traditional statistics fluctuate quite a bit for the middle class of signal-callers from year to year. There are two “Tier 1” QBs and to no one’s surprise the QB topping the list heading into the 2020 campaign is last year’s Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. PFF said, “As tantalizing as Mahomes highlight reel is, perhaps most impressive in 2018 was that he rarely missed throws. In 2019, though, he saw a four-percentage point increase in negatively graded throws. Part of the regression may be chalked up to injuries, but regardless, Mahomes’ talent and the Chiefs’ system make up a dangerous offense. He is still more than capable of taking over games and moving the ball down the field in a hurry.” You might be surprised to learn who happens to be the other “Tier 1” QB. To see who No. 2 is, along with rankings on all 32 NFL starting signal callers this season, click here.

Trending Today

When asked to post odds on the possibility of someone hitting .400 this MLB season, the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas was first to offer up “Yes” as a + 800 longshot proposition and “No” as a -1400 favorite. “No” amounts to an implied probability of 93.3%. The one stipulation with the Westgate prop: players must register a minimum of 186 plate appearances. The limit on the prop is $2,000. So here we are today almost one-third of the way into the makeshift 2020 season with Colorodo Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon leading the majors hitting at a .472 clip in games thru Wednesday. Will he be able to become the second player since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941 to eclipse the mark? Tony Gwynn (.394), George Brett (.390), and Rod Carew (.388) have come close. Granted the accomplishment would come with a large asterisk given the COVID-shortened 6-game schedule, but it will be interesting to follow.

Grinding Out The Profits

From the 2020 PLAYBOOK FOOTBALL PREVIEW GUIDE magazine: Aside from a desperately needed coaching change by Florida State that resulted in going from a zero to a hero, the Seminoles bring back tons of experience for first-year head coach Mike Norvell, who is 25-1 SU and 19-7 ATS in his career as a favorite of 7 or more points. Look for the Seminoles’ three-year ATS losing slide (4- 7-1, 4-7, 3-8-1) to come to a halt this season. If the ACC is on action this season look for FSU to be a moneymaker.

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