Nampa is the last event of the season, and we are already watching World Finals storylines play out. Kaique Pacheco is nearly 2,000 points ahead of the field and he’s grabbing every opportunity to extend that lead before the finals. He has a good reason to pile on.
Round 1 Matchups:
Cody Teel on 2-1 Mortimer:
Teel hit the draw jackpot here. Although we don’t see him as often as some other bulls, Mortimer is one of the best bulls in the business. He tends to go to the right, but he has a lot of timing and has given up good scores to both left and right-handed riders. This isn’t the easiest bull at this event, but he may be the best overall draw.
J.B. Mauney on W43 Wolf Cry:
Mauney bucked off this bull two years ago at this event. Wolf Cry has never been ridden by a left-handed rider, and there’s a reason for that. He usually goes to the right, he has forward movement, and he doesn’t do a lot to help the rider. That adds up to real difficulty in a bull going away from your hand, and it works directly against Mauney’s only weakness as a rider. When Mauney bucks off it's almost always because he sits flat down on his butt and doesn’t get his weight forward. This bull will press him where he’s most vulnerable.
Claudio Montanha Jr. on 204 Deep Water:
Montanha is in second place in the standings, but if he’s going to catch Pacheco he needs to ride everything from here on out. Deep Water is a decent draw for a right-handed rider, but he’s not the best draw. He can be hard to ride, he can occasionally be the rankest bull here, or weak enough to warrant a reride. Montanha needs a big score here and he has a bull that rarely gives up big scores.
Kaique Pacheco on 481 Buck Nasty:
On paper, Pacheco looks to be facing a serious challenge here, but in reality, this should be a walk in the park for him. Buck Nasty is 14-1 in his career, but his career thus far has consisted of him facing guys who come up with ever more creative ways to fall off of him. He goes to the right and should be into Pacheco’s wheelhouse. Don’t expect the Pacheco train to slow down this round.
Eduardo Aparecido on 13X Stand Up:
Aparecido rode this bull two years ago for only 70 points and declined a reride. Stand Up is usually better than that, but Aparecido is in the same boat as Montanha in that he really struggles to get big scores. He needs to convert on every bull left in the season in order to wind up with enough quality scores to move him up in the standings.
Jose Vitor Leme on W56 Whiskey Bent:
Of all the guys chasing Pacheco in the standings, Leme has the best chance of catching up and represents the greatest danger to Pacheco. The reason for that lies in the way the point system works. The world title race rewards the guys who win the most over the guys who stay on the most. Riders can earn points by placing in rounds and in the aggregate, but the only way to catch Pacheco given his current lead is to do both. Leme is really the only guy who is capable of doing this enough to matter in the number of outs left in the season. Leme tends to get 87 point or higher scores roughly twice as often as Pacheco and everyone else in the top five, and those are the scores that can place high in rounds. This means that with every out, he has better odds of generating meaningful points than everyone in the top fifteen aside from Cooper Davis and Jess Lockwood.
Leme has a solid matchup here, but not an easy bull. Whiskey Bent has been ridden a few times, but he’s also thrown off a number of top tier riders and he won’t be a cake walk.
Cannon Cravens on 45 Colt 45:
After making a big splash in his debut last week, Cravens now has to work on getting on the top side of the bubble. He’s at 37th right now, and one round win here in Nampa could shoot him up to 32nd in the standings and bump Mauney down to 33rd. He has an unridden Canadian bull here, but like Pacheco’s bull, this one may be a little easier than he looks on paper.
Dener Barbosa on WB11 Tuxedo:
Tuxedo is one of the nicer bulls to ride in this round, and Barbosa should get a good score here. Chase Outlaw was 87 points on this bull in Salinas, CA over the summer, and Cooper Davis was 86.25 on him in Sacramento early in the year.
Marco Eguchi on 35 Spotted Demon:
Eguchi has a unique opportunity here, but he may have trouble capitalizing on it. This is the best bull in the round by a mile, but he’s also one of the most difficult bulls in the business today. Spotted Demon was just named PRCA bull of the year, and he will most likely be a contender for PBR bull of the year as well. The reason he’s in the draw in round one here is that he only has six outs on the season, and he needs eight to get into the PBR World Championship race at the World Finals. Expect to see him in the short round tomorrow as well.
Derek Kolbaba on 160 Ringeye:
We don’t know too much about this bull, but he’s been ridden three times in four career outs. Alex Marcilio was 86.25 points on him here in Nampa last year, but he went to the right which would be away from Kolbaba’s hand.
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