Saquon Barkley’s approach to Combine sign of franchise-changing passion

“As they’re asking you questions, you’re getting to know the people that you might be surrounding yourself with,” he said. “You never know — that team might be the team that drafts you and you want to give a good first impression.

Knowing specific lineups only removes some variables. One must also handicap rotations, effort and other unknowns.

“I don’t believe for a second that the players are not giving full effort,” professional bettor and handicapper Ron Boyles told ESPN. “But if the coach plays players at the end of games that aren’t their best, then that clearly tells you those teams aren’t trying to win.”

“Every player tries. It’s a matter of what product is put out on the floor,” Sherman added. “If you look at the trade protections, they incentivize the tanking aspect big-time.”

Furthermore, the point spread is the great equalizer. Thus, tanking’s true impact on sportsbooks is somewhat neutralized since the line hinges on margin of victory.

“They only need to lose the game, not lose by 100,” Bogdanovich said. In fact, sometimes the market corrects too much with the point spread, especially if public bettors exaggerate a bad team’s desire to lose.

Thanks to a trade with the Houston Texans during the 2017 NFL draft, the Browns are also set up with two top-five picks after Houston finished the season 4-12 with a Week 17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. That locked up the No. 4 pick for the Browns, just behind the Giants (No. 2) and the Colts (No. 3).

Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan referred to Thursday’s win over the Coyotes as a step in the right direction.

We’ve got to get this train rolling here and that’s a start, said Gulutzan, whose move to elevate Sam Bennett to play alongside Gaudreau and Sean Monahan paid off as the trio combined for seven points against the Coyotes. I thought that they made some plays and they had some energy and what we’re looking for at this time of the year is any sort of spark that we can get. We’re just trying to create some energy and get a spark here with our group.

Miller wants the Ducks to maintain that feisty play and spirit.