Leonard Advances in the Money Talks Invitational
Handicappers Bryan Leonard and Marc Lawrence advance to Round 2 of the Leroy’s Money Talks $100K Invitational Football Handicapping Tournament this weekend. The two will square off Friday night, November 3rd, from the Silverton Casino. John Kelly and Jimmy Vaccaro will host on the radio and Internet live. The winner will receive $80,000 with the second place finisher cashing $20,000.
Only 16 participants were invited and Leonard advances to Round 2 after topping handicapper Al McMordie the weekend of September 8th. Participants were selected by a committee that evaluated sports handicappers around the country, limiting it to 16. Only eight remain.
Each handicapper will release seven selections. Those plays are rated from 1 to 7 in that each contestant will risk a mythical 110 to win 100 on his weakest selection, increasing in 110/100 increments to the Best Bet which risks 770 to win 700. The contestant with the most money won advances to the next round.
The contest airs over Las Vegas radio station KBAD (AM 920) at 7 PM Pacific and is available live on the Internet at www.americanwagering.com. The two contestants who win their first three matches will meet in the Finals on Friday, December 15, 2006, and are assured of winning either $20,000 or $80,000.
Leonard is in his 23rd year as a handicapper and has finished No. 1 as documented by The Sports Monitor in every major sport. His tournaments include finishing first in the Millennium Invitational Handicapping Contest, second place in the Vegas Sportswire Handicapping Contest in 2002, and second place in the Station Casinos All-Star Handicapping Invitational in 2001.
There are a lot of new coaches in the NFL this season. Here's a look at what some of done from a handicapping perspective.
Mike McCarthy (Packers): McCarthy wanted to bring more balance to the Green Bay offense, bringing in zone blocking schemes. The purpose was to take the pressure off QB Brett Favre, and it has worked. The Packers average 114 yards rushing per game, 11th in the NFL. Unfortunately, the defense is a mess, ranked third-worst in the league. This combination of good offense/bad defense has made the Packers a good play over the total, at 4-2 over the last 6 games.
Brad Childress (Vikings): So are the Vikings frauds, which was exposed in Monday night's 31-7 home loss to New England? No. This is still a decent team, with a veteran QB, a balanced offense and still No. 1 in defense against the run. They are 4-2 under the total and the Monday's loss was the first time in 7 games that a team had topped 20 points on Minnesota (5-2 ATS).
Eric Mangini (Jets): Kind of a mirror-image of the Packers: Good offense, awful defense. Mangini doesn't have a lot of talent to work with on defense, but the offense has been productive. NY is 6-1 over the total under Mangini, with the fourth-worst defense in the NFL.
Dick Jauron (Bills): After appearing to overachieve in September, they are coming back to earth. This is a weak football team with a lot of holes. The offense has scored 7, 17 and 6 points the last three games (0-3 SU/ATS).
Scott Linehan (Rams): Linehan wanted offense balanced and has emphasized the running game. It has helped QB Marc Bulger immensely, as he as 12 TDs and only one INT! Under Mike Martz, Bulger was turnover-prone. That's a key reason the Rams have a winning record and are 5-2 ATS.
Bryan Leonard is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Bryan_Leonard.htm