The morning line: Fresno, Day 1


  • Round 1 Matchups

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This is a nice set of bulls for the opening round, and we should see some good rides. There are a few matchups here that have 90-point potential.

Reigning World Champion Renato Nunes is also returning to competition tonight.

Round 1 Matchups:

Douglas Duncan on TD2 Bucking Machine:
This is a bull I’ve never seen, and his marks indicate there may be something unusual about him. Sometimes he is marked very high, and occasionally low, and at least once that happened in the same ride. That usually indicates a bull who doesn’t have a set pattern. He has spent most of his career on the rodeo circuit, and in fact, met up with Duncan in Lawton, Okla., last August. Duncan failed to make the whistle there, but this is not an unrideable bull, and riders at this level are hard to fool twice.

Chris Shivers on 23S Stretch Armstrong:
Watching Chris’s interview on Versus last week, I got a sense of how much he’s matured over the years, and how fast those years have gone by. I first met Chris when he was 16 years old. In those days, he was winning jackpot bull ridings around his home in Louisiana. He was clearly as talented a rider as I had ever seen for his age, and I had been around bull riding for almost 15 years by then. I’d like to say I gave him some sage advice, but there was nothing I could tell him about riding – he already had it mastered. I only told him that when he reached 18, he should turn pro and never look back.

Stretch should fit Chris pretty well. They met in Springfield, Mo., back in September, and Chris was 85 points, but in his past couple of outs, Stretch Armstrong has been right around 44 points, which could mean a 90-point ride.

Valdiron de Oliveira on D487 Tighty Whitey:
This will be another day at the office for Oliveira. This is a good, solid bull who has been around for a while, and will be worth 86-89 points. Tighty Whitey is one of the most consistent and reliable bulls in the PBR. He’s been on the job since early 2007, and has never really had a bad day in all that time.

Cody Campbell on W4 Buckshot:
Buckshot is a son of W1 Buckey, who we will see in the short round tonight. He’s only been to two events, and last week in Round 1 at Glendale, Ariz., he threw Campbell off, and looked pretty impressive doing it.

Kody Lostroh on 465 Outta Da Blue:
Outta Da Blue is the bull Travis Briscoe won Glendale’s first round on. Basically, every time he’s in the draw, whoever has him will be a favorite, because almost nobody falls off of him. Lostroh rode him for 87.5 points in Charlottesville, Va., last season. Interestingly, the bull scored exactly the same there as he did when Briscoe was 88.25 points on him last week. I pointed out a few weeks ago that Chris Shivers makes bulls look better, and can typically get more points out of a ride than most riders, but Briscoe has this gift too, and is as good as Shivers at it. It is true of most smaller riders to some extent.

Skeeter Kingsolver on 113 Slim Chance:
Kingsolver rode Slim Chance in 2009 for 83.75 points. Recently, the bull has been better than that, and in Glendale was marked 44.25 points with Pete Farley in Round 1.

Guilherme Marchi on 6280 Clinically Insane:
Here’s a bull who’s been ridden four of seven times, and was ridden by the only right-handed rider he’s faced. You’d be insane to bet against Marchi here.

Jordan Hupp on 147 Zip Code:
Zip Code is a money bull. He’s ridden over 70 percent of the time by the top riders, and riders can be 88 points or more on him at times.

Dustin Elliott on 409 Shortcut:
Shortcut has been ridden in seven of his past nine outs on the Built Ford Tough Series. Marchi rode him in Round 1 last week.

Fabiano Vieira on 83T Charlie T:
Vieira doesn’t get a lot of attention because he’s a relatively new rider in 28th place, and his countrymen have been outshining him for the most part this season. However, over the past 12 months, only nine riders have been more effective than him, and those nine riders are among the best of the past 10 years, and represent seven or more world titles. Charlie T is rideable, and Vieira seldom bucks off.

Ned Cross on 621 Outta Da Red:
They met in Albuquerque, N.M., last season, and Outta Da Red won. Although Marchi rode him last week, Outta Da Red is seldom ridden, mainly because he gets harder and harder to stay on as the ride progresses. He pounds the ground like a jackhammer, and is just relentless. He’s not one of the flashiest bulls around, but can get the job done.

Robson Palermo on Blind Side:
This matchup has a lot of potential. Lane Frost, and was frankly a disappointment. He was unridden and averaged around 45 points per out on the rodeo trail in 2010. His first two Built Ford Tough Series outs were.21 points or less, but last week with Kingsolver, he earned 44 points. This is a bull who was expected to go straight to the short round at this level, and if he’s found his mojo, this could be a spectacular ride. Palermo is hard to get on the ground.

— by Slade Long
(Slade Long, PBR Web Developer and Statistician, has been crunching the numbers on bucking bulls for 12 years.)

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