Monday Night Football Preview: A Vegas Perspective

It’s not whether your win or lose, but if you cover the spread. At least that’s how many fans look at tonight’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins.

The home team Bucs are winless on the year as head coach Greg Schiano is a dead-man walking to most observers. They jumped to an early 21-0 lead against powerhouse Seattle last week, but still found a way to lose in overtime. They’ve lost all four home games this season by a combined 34 points and have been outscored 80-26 in the second half of their last six games.

Miami has problems of their own. Jonathan Martin left the team, and blew it up in the process with his accusations of hazing, bullying, and overall bad behavior from his fellow teammates. Richie Incognito, one of six players on the team’s leadership council, has been suspended for his actions. The Dolphins started off strong this season, winning their first three games and looking like contenders in the AFC East. They then collapsed, losing their next four games. A stunning overtime win last week against Cincinnati seemed to have blunted the negative momentum. Then the Martin incident blew up.

On the positive side for Miami, the 10 days off from their Thursday night win over Cincinnati can’t hurt. The NFL is investigating the bullying accusations, and teams tend to come together in situations like this. The biggest problem is how Miami can cope with losing two starting offensive linemen. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has already been sacked a league high 35 time.

The Buccaneers may have found their future quarterback in Mike Glennon. Glennon has thrown five touchdown passes with no interceptions in his last three games. Running back Doug Martin is gone for the season, but rookie replacement Mike James is solid. James ran for 158 yards last week against Seattle.

Miami opened up 3.5 favorites early in the week. Tampa Bay money has dropped that number down to 1.5, with a total of 41.

TRENDS:

* Miami is 0-4 ATS in its last four Monday night games.
* Tampa Bay is 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Under is 5-1-1 in Miami’s last seven games overall.
* Tampa Bay has gone over in it’s last four games following a loss.

Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery Discusses The Hawkeyes Win over Nebraska Omaha

Following Iowa’s hard-fought win against Nebraska Omaha, Fran McCaffery had this to say about his team:

On Nebraska Omaha consistently beating Iowa’s man to man defense:

It was disappointing because we clearly weren’t as sharp as we were the other night. I think this team is better offensively clearly. But our effectiveness and execution and overall commitment to defending side ball screen action, especially when it’s continuous like that, was not what it needed to be for this team.
So that was disappointing. But it was better later, substantially better.

On Iowa’s failure to get rebounds and turnovers

while it was disappointing that it happened, I felt really good about our toughness to overcome it because, when it keeps happening, you feel like, okay, this just isn’t our day.
When you have a great defensive possession and they bank a three, great defensive possession, they hit a 40 footer, another great defensive possession, and they bank in another three with a hand in the face, and you say, wow. Then we get a great defensive stop, and the ball rolls, and they get it, and they lay it in.
Those kinds of plays really wear on you over the course of a game. So, you know, like I said, I’m upset that it happened, but at the same time, we showed a lot of courage to come back and get this win. That team was ready.

On Iowa’s ability to get to the line

We got to the free throw line. We’re in the double bonus, which was good. We end up going 38 for 49, but you’re right.
Even though I had two guards and three bigs, I had my best ball handling bigs out there.

I’d love to get that every game. I don’t know if we can count on that every game. I do think it’s going to be a point of emphasis where we can drive and throw it inside. It’s got to be a combination. It’s not all drives, it’s not all post feeds, it’s a combination of both.

On the overall struggles of the team

We talk about preseason hype and the professionalism with which we have to attack that. Clearly, it was evident on Friday night.
It’s easy to say that it wasn’t evident today, but our opponent was ready to play, and they played an incredibly good game, and I want to make sure they’re recognized for that.
We can sit there and talk about what we should have or could have done. They were making the shots and getting the rebounds and making the loose balls, and they were giving us trouble. So it’s all part of the journey.
You know, the key is, like I said last year after the Gardner Webb game, two years ago, three years ago, we lose this game. We lost to Campbell. We lost to South Dakota State. I’m not saying we’re going to win every game like this, but we did what we had to do to win this game. It’s on to the next.