You may feel like you are watching a different event today compared to the first two days. We’ve seen a lot of very tough, high level bulls so far and the overall riding percentage here is extremely low so far. Only 14 of the riders in today’s round already have a score, only three have two scores, and only two of those have two good scores. That trend should reverse itself in round three. The overall pen of bulls is much more rideable and many of the riders have a favorable matchup.
Most individual matchups at the PBR Premier level statistically favor the bull. In a typical long round about one-third of the matchups either favor the rider outright, or are close to a push – meaning the bull has little to no clear statistical advantage. Almost every qualified ride comes from those matchups. In today’s long round, two-thirds of the matchups are like that – twice the normal number. On paper, we should see a lot of qualified rides today, most of them between 83 and 87 points.
The challenge for riders who don’t already have a score here today is going to be trying to get over 87 points. There aren’t a lot of bulls in the round who can consistently deliver 88 or 89. The guys who have one score need to get another, because they probably won’t be so lonely after round three. The three guys who are two for two can tread water here by just staying on. Any qualified ride will keep them on top.
Cody Teel on 35 Desperado:
Cooper Davis was 88.75 points on this bull in Nashville. Desperado is a little tricky. He doesn’t have a lot of power or drop, and he can open up his spin a little and try to drop the rider to the inside. This isn’t anything new or unusual for Teel, and this bull is well within his comfort zone. Teel is in sixth place with just one score on the board, and this is a good chance for him to improve his position.
Kaique Pacheco on 9-447 Pennywise:
Pacheco is 2 for 2 and leading the event, and he should be able to hold serve with this draw. Pennywise is a pattern bull who usually commits to a spin to the left and stays steady. He can have some timing hitches, but he doesn’t have a lot of power, and he’s way below the level of bull it would take to shake Pacheco loose. Pacheco may not challenge for a round win here, but he should get a decent score and easily stay in the top two.
Eduardo Aparecido on 48 Ol’ Boy:
Aparecido trails Pacheco by exactly two points, and he may be able to make up that difference with this bull. Ol’ Boy is a better bull than Pennywise, and he’s a good draw for Aparecido. He has some kick, great timing, and is rideable. He does tend to go to the left, but Aparecido should be able to deal with that.
Matt Triplett on Z26 Acting Crazy:
This may be the best matchup in the round. Acting Crazy is one of the more difficult bulls in the round, but he’s a good fit for Triplett, and can deliver big scores. A round win would be huge for Triplett, and this bull can get him there.
JB Mauney on 78A Wiz Train:
This isn’t the easiest bull here. He’s been ridden once in nineteen career outs. However, most of the top riders he’s faced have been right-handed. The only guy to ride him is Dener Barbosa - the best lefty he’s faced before today. Mauney is more than capable of getting the whistle, he tends to get great scores out of bulls, and Mauney already has one score here.
Jose Vitor Leme on 93Z Bandy’s Bad Boy:
Leme is 0 for 3 here counting the 15/15 round, but this could be a good draw for him. Derek Kolbaba won the Caldwell, ID pro rodeo on this bull just last month. If Leme and the bull both have their best day here, this could be a high 80’s score.
Lachlan Richardson on 00 Superstition:
Richardson was 88 points on this bull in 2016, so he has some advantage here. If you break down video of that ride you can see that Richardson had to struggle to get that, so there are no guarantees here. You can watch Jess Lockwood’s ride on this bull from around the same time, and it was much easier for him. That’s just the difference that exceptional rider talent level makes. This bull is a good draw today because he can potentially deliver an 87+ point score, and Richardson has had success on him in the past.
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