There’s a lot to keep in mind as we head into a big weekend of college and NFL action:

The Bills will be without three starters. The biggest loss in wide receiver Josh Reed. I’m kind of excited by his injury, though. I like him just fine, but I’m very interested to see James Hardy get the chance to see more action. This is a rookie I really like.

Continue reading “Friday Quick Hits – Injury News Abounds”

We’ll take a break from regular programming for one more day to celebrate the end of the baseball season. It seems only fitting that we should take a look at what we learned from the World Series before we forget that it ever happened. After all, it wasn’t the most memorable series ever, as the TV ratings – the lowest ever – attest to.

Continue reading “What We Learned From The World Series”

Worst NFL Game of the Week – There are obvious reasons to look towards the Lions at the Bears. My favorite Lions stat – all but one opposing quarterback has set a career high for quarterback rating. Ouch. That one won’t be as bad, though, as Jacksonville at Cincinnati. Jacksonville is disappointing and full of problems. Cincinnati is so bad that T.J. Houshmanzadeh talked publicly about the possibility of a winless season. He guaranteed it wouldn’t happen, but still – If he is publicly addressing the possibility of imperfection then things are really bleak.

Best NFL Game of the Week
– The Patriots at Indianapolis should be a lock for this honor, but there are too many issues on both sides to give it to them. I did like, though, how Bill Belichick talked trash about the Colts. Green Bay at Tennessee could be a good one, as pretty much every game with an undefeated team is this late in the season. Dallas at the Giants is a good old fashioned divisional grudge match. My choice, though, is the MNF tilt between Pittsburgh and Washington. These are two tough, well coached teams that will take this one to the trenches. It won’t be explosive or flashy, but it should be good fun for those of us who like hard-played football.

Continue reading “Looking Ahead To The Weekend”

We’re going to delay our regularly scheduled programming a bit this week in recognition of the start of the NBA season. I don’t generally bet on the NBA as much as other sports – I get most of my hoops fix from the college ranks – but I do love the league, and I look for intriguing betting opportunities daily. As the season gets underway, here are ten things I will be keeping an eye on as a bettor:

Continue reading “The NBA Is Here!”

1. The Big 12 is amazing. At the top, at least. Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas Tech all won in impressive style. The latter three were explosive offensively, and Texas got a hard fought win over another impressive Big 12 squad in Oklahoma State. If this conference can manage not to cannibalize itself then it could do some real damage. The winner of the Texas – Texas Tech game this weekend should manage to make it to the championship game without a loss. Then it gets tough with the conference championship, but that’s another story.

Continue reading “What We Learned This Weekend”

I just got back from the Breeders’ Cup, so I will hold off looking at what we were learned on the football front this weekend until I can settle in and get my bearings again. Before I shift my head entirely back into football, though, let’s just take a few minutes to close down my thoughts on the Breeders’ Cup. After months of preparing for the races, and a great, hot day enjoying them, here’s what sticks in my mind:

Continue reading “Breeders’ Cup: The Aftermath”

There are some very interesting games to watch on Saturday. No real barn burners that are guaranteed classics, but several that will teach us more than a little abut high profile teams. I won’t be watching any of them – I’ll be at the Breeders’ Cup watching Curlin run into history. At the very least you should watch some of the racing as you watch football. It will be worth it. Here are the games that stand out to me:

Texas Tech (+1) at Kansas
– The Red Raiders need to keep winning to keep pace with Texas and give themselves a shot at an improbable Big 12 championship. Kansas can’t afford a loss if it wants to maintain any chance of conference relevance. The stakes are high. That always makes for a fun game.

Oklahoma State (+11.5) at Texas
– It is no exaggeration to say that this is the biggest game in the history of the Oklahoma State program. A win here would be spectacular. There could be a chance of a letdown for Texas – this is the third straight week that they have played the biggest game of the weekend.

Georgia (+1) at LSU
– Both teams have encountered speed bumps along the way, but if they keep winning they could be in position to pick up the pieces and end up in a very big bowl game. Neither team has been flawless at handling pressure, so they will have to show somethiing they haven’t been able to consistently.

Wyoming (+30.5) at TCU
– TCU is coming off a dominating, shocking win against BYU last week. Now they play a team they can beat in their sleep. How they perform will be very illuminating – can the coach keep them focused, or will they be too busy reading the headlines to play as well as they have shown they can?

Continue reading “College Games To Watch”

The biggest race on the Breeders’ Cup card, and one of the two or three biggest in the world, will crown the second day of racing’s biggest festival. This year’s version might not have the depth that other year’s has had, but it has all the star power at the top anyone could want. Curlin has won more money than any horse ever has, and he has beat top horses on tracks around North America and in Dubai. He has lost just once since the Haskell last year, and that was a game second in his first and only try on the turf. He’s racing royalty – the best of hs generation.

Continue reading “Breeders’ Cup: The Classic”

We’ll look at the Classic in detail tomorrow, but today I want to look at three of the higher profile races to be run on Saturday – the Sprint, Juvenile, and Turf.

Sprint

This is perhaps he most wide open race on the whole card – no horse seems to want to make a claim to this one. Five horses in the nine horse field are 6/1 or lower. The current second choice, at 7/2, seems like he could be the favorite by post time. That’s Midnight Lute, the defending Sprint champion. The public will love his past success, and normally he’d be an attractive horse, but this Bob Baffert trainee has had an odd year. He has run just once, and it was a disaster. He can’t be written off, but he has too many question for my taste. The current favorite, at 3/1, is Street Boss. He makes solid sense here. He’s California based, he has trained well at Santa Anita, his stalking style suits the track well, and he has six wins and two seconds in eight tries this year, including three graded stakes wins. As a Canadian I have to like the Canadian horse, Fatal Bullet, as well. He’s at 6/1, and he presents good value at that price. He has won his last three races over synthetic surfaces, and he has set two track records in that time. My tickets haven’t been firmly established for this race, but they will feature the last two horses mentioned prominently. I’ll also probably look at Cost of Freedom at 4/1. This former claimer has won over Pro-Ride. Not many horses on this whole card can say that.

Continue reading “Breeders’ Cup: Saturday Highlights”

Worst NFL Game of the Week – There are two solid possibilities here. Seattle plays at San Francisco. The Seahawks are terrible, and they seem to be in a spiral. The Niners are almost as bad, though there may be a bit of a boost thanks to the new coach. It certainly helped the Rams. Instead of that one I will go with one that is almost certain to stink – Cincinnati at Houston. The Bengals are awful, and Houston, though they have potential, have been inconsistent. The Texans are favored by 10, which is a sign of just how bleak things are in Cincinnati.

Continue reading “Looking Ahead To The Weekend”

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