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Spooky "I am Kirk Herbstreit" Weekly Super Bowl Express
Spooky Express "I am Kirk Herbstreit" Super Bowl Weekly Random Thoughts.....
-- This is David Stern's last week as NBA commissioner; during his time in charge, seven new teams came into being. NBA games are now broadcast into 215 countries. Stern made NBA owners a ton of money; I'm not fond of how they market their league, but they don't care what I think.
-- Glad to hear Jerry Remy will be back in the broadcast booth for Red Sox games this year. Last summer, Remy's son apparently killed a woman who is the mother of their child- no one seems to be disputing his guilt, and Remy took the news hard, taking a leave of absence from his job. He said in the last few days that he has agreed to come back to work this spring.
-- A guy in Australia bet a $435 parlay on Wawrinka/Li to win the singles titles at the Australian Open tennis tournament. Wawrinka was #8 seed, Li was #4 seed. When the parlay hit, the guy collected $196,185. Pretty good payday, especially when you consider Nadal got hurt early in the men's final and basically limped his way through a four-set loss as the favorite.
-- Over/under on the Pro Bowl was 94; game ended 22-21. Not fond of the idea that teammates play against each other, but at least the teams seemed to give an actual effort, as opposed to previous Pro Bowls.
-- NBA has to start flexing their Sunday games; three games Sunday, half of the six teams they showed stink. Boston, New York and the Lakers are all awful teams. How about showing Indiana or Phoenix? They aren't the most glamorous teams, but they're very good and they're in the league, too.
-- Clemson lost at North Carolina again, making them 0-57 in Chapel Hill, a ridiculously bad streak that may never end; in 2008, Tigers took UNC to double OT, but still got beat by ten that day. Tar Heels are not especially good this year- you'd think Clemson would've competed a little better.
College Basketball Betting Preview: Michigan State Spartans vs. Iowa Hawkeyes- January 28, 2014
The Michigan State Spartans are the 7th ranked team in the country, but they are coming off of a loss to a hot Michigan Wolverines team. If that game wasn’t tough enough though, now they get to go against a ridiculously talented Iowa Hawkeyes team who posts a ranking of 15th in the country. Even with the Hawkeyes being ranked 15th you’d still have to assume that the Spartans and Tom Izzo would be favored in terms of the sports betting line right at the top online sportsbooks? Not so much.
The Michigan State Spartans are going to have to play this game with a banged up Keith Appling, but also are going to be without two of their big men as well. They won’t have Branden Dawson, who averages 10.2 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game, as he’s out for around a mount with a broken left hand. Along with that is the fact that Adreian Payne is likely out once again with a foot injury, and he’s averaged 16.2 points per game and 7.7 rebounds. That spells trouble for the 18-2 Spartans, who are 7-1 in conference play.
Iowa on the other side is a nice 16-4 this season, with a 5-2 conference record, but they just recently lost to Michigan two games ago as well. Iowa has definitely had this game circled on their calendar though, as just like everyone else in the Big Ten knows, you have to go through Michigan State at some point. They get this one on their home floor though, and it’s going to be a fun game for this Hawkeyes fan base.
As much as just saying that those two, Dawson and Payne, being out for Michigan State will hurt, the Spartans are going against a Hawkeyes’ team that ranks 3rd in the country in terms of rebounds per game at 44. It’s going to be tough for the Spartans to get on the boards against this Hawkeyes team, but if they want to get the road win they’ll need to find a way.
Michigan State still has a ton of talent, and they are actually getting five plus points here. It’s tough to not like the Spartans, even with the injuries. Tom Izzo is probably one of the top 3 best coaches in college basketball, and he may be the best coach out there.
I’m not sure if Michigan State wins this game, but I’m still going to be taking the Spartans getting those points.
-- Michigan State 71, Iowa 69 -- Spartans were mentally tougher- they are now 12-1 in their last thirteen games with Iowa. A nice winner for the Express last night. Free throws: Michigan State 11-20, Iowa 30-43, State still won. Hawkeyes didn't score a basket for 14:41- they got a layup with 0:06 left in OT to end the ridicuclously long drought at home.
-- I am constantly amazed that people stand outside and smoke in frigid weather; it is illegal to smoke indoors in public places in many places, so people stand outside, but dammit, wind chills have often been below zero. It baffles me that people would do that.
-- Kevin Durant scored 30+ points in his last 11 games, the longest such streak since Tracy McGrady eleven years ago. Durant is hands-down MVP of the league right now, with Westbrook out injured.
-- In case you care about such things, the Olympics at Sochi will be nine hours ahead of the eastern time zone, meaning lot of events during the day here on TV, and lot more on tape delay at night.
-- Read where Brazil has spent $2.3B on Olympics-related projects; that’s billion, with a B. Summer Games are there in 2016; the Olympics are only two weeks long. $2.3B seems an awful lot of money to recoup, even if tourism to Brazil increased dramatically.
-- Toronto is the #3 city in North America in terms of where movies/TV shows are filmed, behind LA/New York. Was surprised to read that.
"Kirk, I mean Spooky you are co-anchoring the Saturday College Gameday matchup of the week on ESPN therefore you won't be able to give us a selection." However please tell us this....what does Duke have to do to knock off #2 Syracuse, who is one of the three lone unbeatens left and would a win give the Blue Devils who are currently ranked 17th a shot at a #1 seed or a re-appearance in the top 10?
For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information
NBA Betting Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Miami Heat- January 29, 2014
It’s safe to say that this is a game that fans, sports bettors, and probably even the players have had circled on their calendars for quite a while now.
The Thunder are sitting at the top of the Western Conference right now, while the Heat are in second in the Eastern Conference behind the Indiana Pacers. Both of these teams could be good bets to make it to the NBA Finals again this season, and I don’t think that anyone would be complaining about seeing Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James in the NBA Finals.
The Thunder post a record of 36-10, but what’s really amazing is that they’ve been playing without point guard Russell Westbrook. Durant has been absolutely out of his mind, scoring 30+ points in 11 straight games now, and he looks to be all the part of a potential MVP this season. The Thunder have won eight straight games and they are 9-1 in their last ten games as well.
The Heat on the other side are obviously led by the league MVP, LeBron James, who has had to carry much of the load with Dwayne Wade almost a nightly game time decision. With a 32-12 record, and three straight wins, the Heat are coming into this game ready, and it looks as though Wade is going to be out there as well.
This game will be played in Miami as well, in what should be a playoff-type of environment tonight. The Heat are 19-3 at home this season, showing they do have a home court advantage.
While most people are going to talk about the two offenses and the stellar players on both sides, I’m going to look at the two defenses.
These two rank 7th (OKC) and 8th (Miami) in points allowed per game this year at 98 and 98.6 per. Defense could be what really decides this game, and with both sides wanting to win this game badly, I think that we see the defenses step up and play big games tonight.
The spread on this game is set at around -3.5 at WagerWeb for the Heat, and it’s probably one of the toughest NBA games of the year to call. I’m not sure what to expect here, but I do think that both teams will come up with strong games.
This one has potential to come down to the wire, and I think I’m going to foll with the UNDER like Thunder in a rather low scoring game for both teams.
MIAMI HEAT / OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDERS UNDER 203 POINTS
-- Video below is Temidayo Yussuf of St. Joseph Notre Dame High School hitting one of the most ridiculous shots you will ever see. With his team down by three and 0.6 left on the clock, Yussuf grabbed a rebound following a missed free-throw and immediately launched the ball 80 feet in the other direction. Somehow, his shot found the basket. Tie game. Eventually, the Notre Dame fans cleared the court so that they two teams could pay the overtime period. Unfortunately, Notre Dame would go on to lose the game. Way to let Yussuf down, jerks.
-- Back in 2010, new Penn State coach James Franklin was offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting at Maryland. As soon as Ralph Friedgen retired, Franklin was set to take over, but Franklin got itchy and took the Vanderbilt job on December 17, 2010. Six days later, Friedgen was fired; you don’t have to be freakin’ Sherlock Holmes to figure out that someone at Maryland didn’t want Franklin to take over- they waited until he was gone to jettison Friedgen, a Maryland alum. Now they’ll be going up against him in the Big 14 starting next season. Could be good theater.
-- Not only that, but Friedgen has resurfaced as OC at Rutgers, so the Terps will be seeing him again too. Maryland in that league is going to take some getting used to, moreso than most of the conference musical chairs that have gone on the last few years.
-- Marshawn Lynch was fined $50,000 this year for not talking to the media; he has to study Bill Belichick and learn how to say nothing while talking and he could save himself a lot of money. Just utter boring cliché after boring cliché; it’ll bug the writers a lot more than it bugs him. Why throw good money away fighting a battle he cannot win?
-- There is no NHL All-Star Game this year because of the 17-day break the league is taking for the Winter Olympics. That just seems weird, no NHL All-Star Game- I would’ve thought they’d have it outdoors, in Calgary or Winnipeg or some frigid place
Spooky Express Friday talking about the Biggest Drop in Super Bowl History.....
-- Pittsburgh had just beaten Dallas, 35-31, in Super Bowl XIII. The biggest heartbreak of the game for Dallas had come with 2:30 left in the third quarter. The Cowboys, trailing 21-14, had a third-down-and-three-yards-to-go situation on the Pittsburgh 10-yard line. Using a run offense (double tight ends), Dallas completely fooled Pittsburgh's defense. Smith slipped into the end zone and stood there all alone as Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach floated a pass a bit low to him. It looked like a sure touchdown. But Smith slipped just as he was about to make the catch, and the ball bounced off his hip pad and fell harmlessly onto the painted grass of the end zone. An incredulous gasp arose from the Dallas fans. Their Pittsburgh counterparts went berserk. And Jackie Smith sat there in the end zone, stunned. The field goal unit came in and Smith walked off.
-- UCLA 70, Oregon 68-- Ducks erased 11-point deficit by holding UCLA scoreless for 5:13, but then Bruins scored last five points of game to escape Eugene with a win, as Oregon lost for sixth time in their last seven games.
-- Air temperature isn’t that important a factor for the game Sunday night in Swamp Stadium, but wind could be; Peyton Manning will be checking those flags, not wanting a windy night, which would make longer passes much tougher to complete.
-- Baltimore Orioles are making a big push to sign 37-year old pitcher AJ Burnett; O’s have taken lot of heat for their quiet winter, this would take some heat off them. Not sure why Burnett would leave the Pirates to pitch in a smaller ballpark in the league with the DH, but money usually speaks the loudest in these situations.
-- Edmonton Oilers’ goalie Ben Scrivens had 59 saves in Oilers’ 3-0 win over San Jose Wednesday, the most saves by an NHL goalie in a regular season game since Quebec’s Ron Tugnutt had 70 saves in a 3-3 tie with the Bruins in March, 1991.
-- Bll Walton is fun to listen to on weeknight Pac-12 games; he had Arizona-Stanford Wednesday- at one point, he started a monologue about Rodin’s sculptures, then showed singer Joan Baez’ picture from her high school yearbook at Palo Alto HS, and launched into a discussion of why sacrifice is essential to success. He is fun to listen to, as long as you don’t mind occasional tangents away from the game. He also happens to be a really nice guy. Met him down in Houston for the Final Four a few years ago at dinner.
-- What do the non-Olympian NHL players do during 17-day Olympic break? Going to take discipline for those guys to stay in shape for when the season resumes. It'll be almost like starting the season all over again.
-- Courage is an overused word. Want someone with courage? Try the army solider in the Middle East, the guy who diffuses bombs with no robots to help him. He might do 4-5 in one day; screw one up and he’s dead. Now that takes onions, thats real courage.
This photo, in the men's room at the Olympic Biathlon Center in Sochi
Spooky Express thinks there could be a lot of people making friends in Sochi for the Olympics
-- I talked earlier this winter about how the “neighborhood play” at second base was going to be an issue with the new instant replay system, since middle infielders often desert the base before the ball gets there to avoid collisions with base runners. Turns out this won’t be an issue, since the neighborhood play will not be something that is subject to review in the new system, due to safety concerns for middle infielders. With the first spring training game only 25 days away, it doesn’t seem crystal clear how this is all going to work, but you’d assume in a multi-billion dollar industry, they’d be working on it. You’d think.
-- Speaking of spring training, lot of MLB teams sent their moving vans off filled with equipment Friday to training camp sites throughout Florida and Arizona. In couple weeks they’ll be hitting fungos and taking BP.
-- New head of the MLB Players’ Association is Tony Clark, who five years ago was still an active player with Arizona. He’s come up the ranks in the union very quickly.
-- St Louis Rams owner E. Stanley Kroenke, who also owns the Nuggets, Avalanche out in Denver, recently bought 60 acres of land between the old LA Forum and Hollywood Park racetrack, which has been shut down. All this furthers speculation the Rams might be headed back to Tinseltown should they not get improvements in their current home in St Louis. Kroenke is a Missouri guy; his son played hoop for Mizzou, his first name is Enos (after Enos Slaughter of the Cardinals?), I kind of doubt he’ll move the Rams, but this land grab makes it look like he might unless St Louis gives him what he wants. When you’re worth $5.9B, you’re used to getting what you want. Listening to Chris Mortenson this morning on ESPN he doesnt think they will be moving though.
-- Power of the Super Bowl: 11 college basketball games Sunday, latest one starts at 2:30, even the game at Oregon State, which is an 11:30am local tip time. Its always fun to see what ESPN puts on during the Super Bowl.
-- University of Tennessee’s athletic department dumped adidas gear for Nike; you wonder how much of a blow that is to adidas. I mean, if the Vols get good in football again, they’ll be putting 110,000 people into Neyland Stadium on fall Saturdays and lot of those people will buy t-shirts, golf shirts, gym shorts, sweatsuits, all made by Nike. It has to be worth a significant amount of money.
-- Colts kicker Adam Viniatieri thinks 50+-yard FGs should be worth four points; Roger Goodell thinks extra points should be eliminated. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing the 4-point field goal anytime soon, and I’d be against eliminating the extra point. Making the extra point a longer kick seems like an interesting idea, but they would have to keep the two-point conversion where it is.