By: Slade Long
Andrew Alvidrez on -51 Skeeter Peter:
This is a good matchup for Alvidrez. Skeeter Peter has thrown off many high-ranked riders this year, most of them lefties, but is 2-3 against right-handed riders. Alvidrez is safely in for his first World Finals, but there are guys below him in the standings who can win events. He could pick up some safety points here.
Cooper Davis on 3314 Mr. Majestic:
Things have been going pretty well for Davis, but he will be tested here. This is a veteran bull, and he’s difficult for just about every rider. He is better for right-handed guys, and Davis is capable winning this match, but Mr. Majestic is tricky. He has a weird style where he really puts all his effort into cranking out one hard corner after another. He’s not a rider favorite, but much tougher bulls than this have lost to Davis before.
J.B. Mauney on 474B Godzilla:
Mauney is still on the bubble for the World Finals, but he’s doing his part. He’s one of only seven riders who got a qualified ride in Round 1, but he has a tougher draw here. Mauney is plenty capable of getting the job done, but this bull has a severe timing hitch that makes him a chore to stay on. He only has one trick, so he is rideable, but hesitation is a good trick that wins a lot of matchups for him. Mauney’s specialty is coming through when he really needs to, and he really needs to here.
Cole Melancon on 417 Real Gun:
Real Gun has a nice style that kind of fits every rider, and as a result he’s been ridden in 9 of his last 11 outs. He doesn’t have the most predictable pattern, but from the rider’s perspective he’s very easy to get in time with. Each jump tends to be just like the last, and direction doesn’t matter too much on this kind of bull. Melancon should get a score here, and it could be enough to get him to the short round.
Jose Vitor Leme on X7 Ominous:
Leme had an unknown bull last night, and it turned out to be one of the best in the round and threw him off. We don’t know much of anything about this bull. He’s a 3-year-old son of SweetPro’s Bruiser, and he’s had some high scores in ABBI Derby level competition this year. We will see him again in Sioux Falls at the Velocity Tour Finals, where the top ABBI Derby bulls will have their finals. As for Leme, he bucked off two bulls in a row back in August, once in July, and a couple of times in February, and that’s about it. It’s not something he’s made a habit of. He’s having one of the strongest seasons in PBR history. Don’t look for him to go down easy here.
Cody Nance on TC502 Scratch Cat:
We don’t have much history on this bull, but from what we’ve seen he’s not particularly rider-friendly. He can have some belly rolls, and he doesn’t appear to have a steady pattern. Nance made a good ride last night on a bull that threw him a curve, and he is often pretty strong on weird, out-of-line bulls that other riders don’t like.
Keyshawn Whitehorse on 519 Hell on the Red:
Whitehorse had this bull in Sioux Falls in July and bucked off at 6.86 seconds, but this bull is a fantastic draw for a righty. He’s been ridden a couple of times this year for good scores, and Whitehorse could bounce back from a first-round zero to a second-round win.
Joao Ricardo Vieira on JF1 Redneck Romeo:
Vieira is the only rider within striking distance of Leme right now, and it would take a lot of heroics and a lot of luck for him to close the gap by the end of the World Finals. Vieira bucked off a bull away from his hand last night, and he faces another one here. Vieira can’t really afford to buck off anything right now if he wants to turn the world title race into an actual race instead of a blowout.
Taylor Toves on 514B Constant Sorrow:
Kaique Pacheco rode this bull for 86.5 points last night. Constant Sorrow is has been pretty good for right-handed riders. He’s 7-7 against them. Toves is 1 for his last 15 bulls, but he’s on the bubble for the World Finals and needs points. J.B. Mauney is right behind him, but Toves has a more favorable draw here. He has to cash in on this opportunity.
Stetson Lawrence on 599 Bullseye:
Lawrence has bucked off his last 10 UTB-level bulls, but he may break out of that here. Bullseye is one of the best draws in the business for lefties; he’s 3-9 against them. This is a great fit for Lawrence, and a bull they’ve been more than 90 points on twice this year.
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