Broadsword calling Danny Boy: Illinois at Iowa (-170), Texas at Iowa State (+260); Farnell on fractal pricing and March Madness futures | Eastern North Carolina Now

Bill Clinton was still in office and September 11 far in the future when Iowa football skipper Kirk Ferentz took over the head coaching reins in Iowa City last century.

The word is 'Fight! Fight! Fight! for Iowa'
Let every loyal Iowan sing
The word is 'Fight! Fight! Fight! for Iowa' Until the walls and rafters ring
Come on and cheer, cheer, cheer for Iowa
Come on and cheer until you hear the final gun The word is 'Fight! Fight! Fight! for Iowa' Until the game is won - Meredith Wilson

The Tinker, the Tailor and the Soldier work the Belgrade Run, November 1998: Above.     Click image to enlarge.

    Bill Clinton was still in office and September 11 far in the future when Iowa football skipper Kirk Ferentz took over the head coaching reins in Iowa City last century. Twenty-five years later he is still winning old-school style and has an improbable Hawkeyes squad on the verge of the Big 10 title game.

    A quarter century is a long time to coach Big 10 football and this guy has seen it all; he first began coaching line play at Iowa in 1981. A victory Saturday over Illinois clinches the Big 10 West title and makes him the all-time Big Ten coaching victory leader; Iowa has plenty of motivation for this game.


    We have plenty of motivation ourselves as Missouri delivered in a big way driving us to 10-4 and up 15.45 units in this space. That's a big 10-4, good buddy, and hopefully peeps are storing units for the winter as a cold one approaches. Farnell, of course, with his own thoughts on preparing now for the Madness of March some hundred days out...


    "That the explosion of online wagering has produced a soft target environment becomes more apparent each season. These college football numbers are weak because the target audience is weak in terms of play style and handicapping acumen. The 12-13 week season offers a campaign where proper unit management and early insight will carry the day for a strong winning form."

    "March Madness is an entirely different structure. It is in essence one large tournament composed of four smaller tournaments (the Final Four). Last season we did quite well with high-value out of the money futures calls on winning it all to include holding an 80-1 shot in the last game. This season we want to capture the value a little earlier and will redesign the campaign to seek teams making the Final Four and settle for lower payoffs and the chance to win up to four times."

    "We managed to snag Arizona (+650) before the Duke game and grabbed Kansas State (+1200) last week for our first two positions at one unit apiece. During the next month we will begin to add to these positions until we have seven or eight teams we want to make the Final Four at the price we want -- the next one likely to be USC and Boogie Ellis if they stay at +1000. In our younger days we would have been rolling the college football winning streak each week; now a days we want to take those winnings and press them into high value futures positions."

    "When we roll into the Sweet 16 round with four or five live Final Four teams at odds, we begin to develop situations where we can take the other team and the points / odds and have a chance to collect both ways on the middle or a sure winner at odds. This is one road to a monster win scenario; November profits should be rolled toward March."

    That's great, Man. Really cool, but this is football season. We need winners, Man. Perhaps you could tell us a little more about this Iowa game Saturday?

    "Iowa wins games in November under Ferentz; the Hawkeyes have won 16 of their last 17 in the eleventh month. They are tough at home and, despite having one of the lowest ranked offenses in all of college football, are favoured to clinch the West on Saturday because of their defence and special teams."


    "Next week things will be a little different in handicapping terms as the rivalry games go and weather a factor. However this week it is still about classic November Big 10 football -- defence and kicking rules the day. Iowa gives up 112 yards a game on the ground and has yielded just one rushing TD all year. Illinois gives up 154 yards per game and 15 rushing TDs the season. That tells us volumes."

    "Tory Taylor is another key weapon for Iowa at punter; he is one of the best in the nation at landing the ball within the ten yard line. This is especially critical in a field position game which we know this will be. Illinois plays almost exclusively man to man coverage and with an extra man in the box they will slow Iowa's run game a little; every time there is a punt exchange Iowa will be picking up 7-8 yards. Iowa is not sexy, they just win games in November at home."

    Farnell worries us sometimes. He picked up Iowa (+1800) to win the Big 10 title game two weeks ago when there was a five way tie for second place. When asked if he really thought Iowa could beat Michigan or Ohio State in the title game he replied "Certainly not, but they are likely to get there versus a -650 opposing chalk price." Farnell also advises his gruppen snagged Iowa State (+11) on the early bird price last week. The game opened Texas (-8) this week; the Cyclones play tough at home but one hates to leave that field goal in the past so the money line our route here.

    We will take a flyer on IOWA STATE (+260) for one unit while we deliver the mail with IOWA (-170) for three units, meaning we risk 5.1 units to win three and need only an outright win to cash the ticket. We want to avoid the big game emotion this week and focus on fundamentals; Thanksgiving and rivalry week will generate a bonanza of inflated numbers to feast upon shortly:

IOWA STATE    25  •  TEXAS    24

IOWA    5  •  ILLINOIS    0

    Grandfather would love this Iowa team. They believe in defence first, kicking second and offence third; they won a game last season 7-3 without scoring a touchdown. Illinois is going to have trouble in this game but with points at a premium (in essence, worth more in this game) the money line price is scaled improperly in log terms compared to the three and the hook line price. (Fractals are our friends in re-scaling point price differential).


    Unless you love punting, this game will give you heartburn to watch. However, no matter how hard your heart is -- it's going to melt when the first quarter clock hits zero. The Hawkeye Wave will tell you everything you need to know about Iowa gridiron culture.

    Nothing else like it in football, few things like it in America today.
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