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Friday's additional Six-Pack for the holiday season
6) Want to know why Cubs haven't been in a World Series since 1945? They're about to give Edwin Jackson a $52M, four-year contract, the same Edwin Jackson who has pitched for seven teams in 10 years, and he's not even 30 years old yet. His career record? 70-71. Brilliant!!!!
5) AJ Pierzynski signed up to catch for the Rangers, as Nolan Ryan keeps remaking his ballclub. Not sure they're better, but they're different.
4) Auburn signed Rodney Garner away from Georgia, which doesn't sound like much, until you realize that Garner was Georgia's recruiting guru, so thats a big coup for Auburn's new head coach, Gus Malzahn.
3) Watched the the Poinsettia Bowl, which turned into a debacle for the hometown Aztecs in the 4th quarter; and another winner for the Spooky Express.
2) Who decided that putting Duke on ESPNU two nights in a row vs obscure teams was a good idea? Cornell and Elon? I loved it to be honest. My kid goes to Elon so it was so much fun to see his reaction to his fellow schoolmates on tv last night since he is in no way a sports fan. And yeah he is my biological kid.
1) Final nail in Kevin O'Neill's tenure at USC might be their home loss to Cal-Irvine last night; Anteaters were up 12 at half-- not good. Been a tough year as a USC and Detroit Lions fan. Thank god for the A's.
With so much riding with bowl season not easy to focus on the NFL, but then again my pitiful Lions are playing tonight which should have been a playoff type of game and atmosphere but instead is just another game in an awful season. Really no way to get an open minded opinion from me so take it for what its worth.
DETROIT LIONS +5 (buy)
DETROIT LIONS/ATLANTA FALCONS OVER 49 POINTS (Opinion)
Saturday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but.........
13) One of the better NFL subplots next spring will be where Michael Vick winds up next year; Arizona? Jets? Chiefs? Jaguars?
12) ESPN had Terrell Owens on its afternoon shows Friday; NBAtv had Isiah Thomas as an in-studio analyst, as television took another big step backwards Friday. Thomas probably won't be bad, he's done it before, but putting an attention junkie like Owens on the air is predictably ESPN-ish.
11) Steve Nash/Amare Stoudemire might both be returning from their injuries on Christmas Day when Knicks visit the Lakers.
10) Read something incredible today; over last six Viking games, Christian Ponder is 1-23 on passes thrown more than 15 yards downfield. This makes Adrian Peterson's achievements even more impressive.
9) Francisco Liriano, who my son cut off his fantasy team, signed a two-year, $14M deal with the Pirates Friday; one of em is wrong, and given the track record in Pittsburgh, it might not be my son.
8) Texas Longhorn guard Myck Kabongo got his suspension reduced to 23 games, meaning he can play for the Longhorns Feb 12 against Iowa State. It is a big deal for a Texas team that sorely needs a quality guard.
7) Knicks are 19-7 this year, but they're 0-4 vs Houston/Chicago.
6) NC-Asheville 72, St John's 65. No one in NYC seems to have noticed yet, but the Red Storm are a mess.
5) Kendall Marshall left North Carolina early, but wound up in the D-League; if you're not going to be in a team's rotation, aren't you better off staying in school another year and polishing your skills? He just got re-called by the Suns, but he cost himself some money by leaving early.
4) Miami Dolphins signed Nate Kaeding as their new kicker, with Doug Carpenter hurt, in case you were considering investing in Miami Sunday.
3) Looks like Boise State will join TCU as teams to bolt the Big East before ever actually playing in the league; Broncos are in talks to stay in the Mountain West, which is, you know, actually in the west. No word on what San Diego State will do; they're in the same boat as Boise State.
2) I can't stand a college football rule where a player has to leave the game for a play if the guy's helmet comes off. Rule makes very little sense.
1) Game of the night was in Tampa, where South Florida beat Bowling Green 87-84 in triple overtime; hosts outscored BG 16-7 on foul line.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday........
13) Lot of upsets in college basketball Saturday; South Dakota State won at New Mexico, giving Lobos their first loss; Kansas State also beat Florida.
12) SEC basketball teams were just 7-7 Friday/Saturday, not good at all.
11) Atlantic 16 had a rough day, with St Joe's losing to Fairfield and Xavier getting knocked off by Winthrop. The last few Decembers have been without much form; very tough to predict what the hell's going to happen.
10) Mercer 66, Alabama 59; Good win for the Atlantic Sun.
9) Temple 83, Syracuse 79. Peaks and valleys; Owls lost to Canisius in their last game. Boeheim won his 900th game in his last game.
8) Lebron James hasn't committed a foul in his last six games, but he did get a technical Saturday night-- how do you get a technical when you haven't been called for one foul in six games? .
7) When I'm 73, I hope I'm as sharp and enthusiastic as Brent Musberger is; did you know his middle name is Woody?
6) They put 48,828 fans in the Superdome for the New Orleans Bowl for an 11am local time start; thats a bowl record, thanks to UL-Lafayette playing in the game, which they won 43-34 over East Carolina.
5) Lookalikes: Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who is from Las Vegas, by the way.
4) Diamondbacks gave Cody Ross $26M for three years? Really? Ross is 32 today; he has a .324 OB% with 122 career HRs. He ain't an $8.67M a year ballplayer.
3) Parking Wars is one of the worst programs on television.
2) Steve Nash returned to Lakers' lineup Saturday in Oakland, and he had to work overtime, as Golden State blew a 13-point lead in 4th quarter and lost 118-115 to the Lakers, who are now 13-14. Golden State is now 18-10, as Mark Jackson has done a terrific job as coach.
1) Hope all of you have happy holidays. Thanks for reading.
Titans (5-9) @ Packers (10-4)-- Tennessee won rare Monday night appearance, now heads to frozen tundra on short week with nothing to play for, vs a Packer squad thats won three in row, eight of last nine, covering five of last six, but they did trail four of last five games at halftime, which is problem if laying 13 points. Titans won last three series games; they've won four of five visits to Lambeau, with last visit in '04. Tennessee is 3-3 as a road dog, covering last three on road; their road losses are by 28-24-23-5-4 points. AFC South road underdogs are 6-8 vs spread; NFC North home favorites are 6-10. Last five Green Bay games, four of last five Titan tilts stayed under the total.
Raiders (4-10) @ Panthers (5-9)-- Carolina showing signs of life, winning three of last four games after 2-8 start; they've run ball for 171.7 ypg last three weeks, as Newton's mobility has helped. Panthers are 1-4 vs spread as favorites; dogs are 10-4 vs spread in their games this year. Oakland snapped 6-game skid with a sloppy 15-0, TD-less win over rival Chiefs last week; they're 1-5 on road, with losses by 22-31-3-35-24 points. NFC South home favorites are 7-9 vs spread in non-divisional games; AFC West underdogs are 7-15-1, 4-9 on road. Teams split four series games; with visitor winning last two. Last four Oakland games stayed under total; three of last four Panther games went over.
Bills (5-9) @ Dolphins (6-8)-- Buffalo was +3 in turnovers, beat Miami 19-14 in Thursday night game five weeks ago, just its third win in last nine series games. Bills lost three of last four visits here, with losses by 9-28-27 points. Miami is 4-3 at home, 1-2 this year; since 2003, they're a ridiculously bad 9-33 vs spread as a home favorite (4-4 in last eight). Bills lost last three road games by 12-6-7; they're 2-4 as road underdog this year, and scored 13.8 ppg in four grass games. Dolphins lost five of last seven games, but they're last team to beat Seahawks. AFC East home teams are 3-6 vs spread in divisional games, 2-3 if favored. Four of Miami's last five home games stayed under the total.
Bengals (8-6) @ Steelers (7-7)-- Do-or-die for Steeler team that lost three of last four games, with underdog winning all four and covering last seven Steeler games. Bengals won/covered five of last six games; they've won five of last six on road, are 2-1 as road dogs this year. Cincy has +10 turnover ratio in last eight games, after being -7 in first six. Pitt (-2.5) ran ball for 167 yards, won 24-17 at Cincy in Week 7; Steelers outgained Cincy 431-185 in what was Bengals' third loss in row at time. Pitt won 10 of last 12 series games, winning last five by average of 13 points. Cincy lost four of last five visits here, with losses by 14-17-16-28 points. AFC North home teams are 4-3 in divisional games, 2-2 at home.
Patriots (10-4) @ Jaguars (2-12)-- New England can get first-round bye if they win last two games and Denver loses once, so they'll keep pedal to floor here, in game after they got waxed by 49ers. NE is 4-1 as road favorite this year, winning on road by 21-24-30-7 points, with loss at Seattle (not counting London game, a big win over Rams). AFC South home dogs are 6-5 vs spread in non-divisional games; AFC East favorites are 11-9 vs spread, 4-3 on road. 11 of last 12 Patriot games went over total; three of last four Jaguar games stayed under. Jax is 0-6 in games that went over total (3-3 vs spread), losing by average of 16 points- they are 1-5 as home underdogs, losing home games by 20-17-38-17-17-7 points.
Colts (9-5) @ Chiefs (2-12)-- Indy makes playoffs with win here, great story, but only one of its nine wins (27-10 at Jax) was by more than seven points, so laying lumber with them is iffy. Colts are 3-4 SU on road, covering only game as road fave. Chiefs gained total of 119 yards in ugly 15-0 loss at rival Raiders last week; they've lost 10 of last 11 games, scoring one TD on 22 drives in last two games, and that came on 80-yard run on first play two games ago. Indy won 10 of last 12 series games, five of last six here, but last visit here was in '04. AFC South non-divisional favorites are 6-2 vs spread, 1-1 on road; AFC West dogs are 7-15-1, 3-6-1 at home. Under is 5-2-1 in last eight Chief games.
Saints (6-8) @ Cowboys (8-6)-- Dallas is finding ways to win; they've won last three games and five of last six, scoring 22.3 ppg just in second half of those six games, but Cowboys are 1-6 vs spread when favored this year- since 2003, they are 8-36 vs spread as a home favorite. Saints lost three of last four games; they're 2-5 on road, 1-2 as road dog- they've won six of last seven series games, taking last three games played here, scoring 33 ppg. NFC East non-divisional favorites are 6-13 vs spread, 5-8 at home; NFC South underdogs are 10-6 vs spread, 10-3 on road. Five of Saints' seven road games, three of last four Dallas games went over the total. Underdogs covered last five Dallas games.
Redskins (8-6) @ Eagles (4-10)-- Washington outrushed Philly 169-80 in Week 11's 31-6 win, just their second win in last seven series games; they also averaged 11.6 ypa and were +3 in turnovers. Redskins are 4-3 in last seven visits here, and are on serious roll, winning/covering last five games after 3-6 start, and it hasn't mattered which rookie QB has played- they're 4-3 on road, scoring 38+ points in three of four wins. Eagles lost nine of last twn games, with only win coming on last playof games; all four of their wins are by 1 or 2 points. Home teams are 2-7 vs spread in NFC East divisional games this season, 1-2 if home dogs. Three of last four games for both teams went over total
Rams (6-7-1) @ Buccaneers (6-8)-- Tampa Bay got squashed 41-0 last week in Superdome; league trend this year has been for teams like that to bounce back in good form next week, but Bucs have now lost four games in row, giving up an average of 29.8 ppg. Rams laid egg at home vs Vikings last week, ending playoff hopes for this year; they've covered five of six true road games this season, going 2-0-1 SU in last three. Home teams won seven of last eight series games,with Bucs 5-1 in series since losing '99 NFC title game in St Louis- Rams lost last five visits here, by 10-3-12-1-21 points. Four of Bucs' last five games stayed under; six of Rams' last eight went over.
Giants (8-6) @ Ravens (9-5)-- Baltimore in freefall, losing last three games, while giving up 23-31-34 points; Ray Lewis is not playing. I'm not fond of teams who fire coordinators in December, especially when they replace guy with Jim Caldwell, who never called plays before. Ravens won three of last four games in seldom-played series. Giants lost four of last six games, including last three on road; they allowed average of 157 rushing yards over last three tilts. NFC East favorites are 6-13 vs spread, 1-5 on road; NFC North underdogs are 7-8, 3-3 at home. Five of last six Giant games stayed under total; last three Raven games went over. Next week's game is more critical for Baltimore.
Vikings (8-6) @ Texans (12-2)--Houston clinches home field thru AFC tourney with win here; they're 5-2 as home favorites this year, winning at home by 20-6-24-30-12-12 points (lost to Packers). Minnesota is 2-5 on road; they had three return TDs in their two wins- they're 2-3 as road underdogs this year. Vikings ran ball for 240-171-213 yards last three games, as he chases Dickerson's single season record. Vikings won both series meetings, 28-21/34-28ot. NFC North road underdogs are 2-5 vs spread in non-divisional games; AFC South home favorites are 5-1. Three of last four Viking games stayed under; four of last six Houston home games went over the total.
Browns (5-9) @ Broncos (11-3)-- Denver is 5-0 against new Browns, winning three games played here by average score of 31-12; Patriots' loss last week opens door for Broncos to get #2 seed in AFC/first round bye. Denver won nine games in row (7-2 vs spread); they're 4-1 as home favorites, winning home games by 12-31-20-7-8 points. Cleveland had 3-game win streak snapped by Washington last week; they've covered four of last five games. Browns are 2-3 as underdogs on road this year, losing away games by 7-7-14-4-3 points. AFC West favorites are 7-6 vs spread, 4-4 at home; AFC North underdogs are 7-8, 4-5 on the road. Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Cleveland games, 2-5 in Broncos' last seven.
Bears (8-6) @ Cardinals (5-9)-- Lot of retired people from Illinois retire to the Arizona desert, so Bears should have backing here, especially since Cardinals are 1-9 in last 10 games and in desperate need of a competent QB. Chicago lost five of last six games, scoring 17 or less points in all five losses. Bears are 3-3 away from home, with all three wins by 16+ points- they're 7-17 without Urlacher in lineup. Arizona is 3-1 as a home underdog; dogs are 10-4 in their games this year- they're 4-3 SU at home, with home losses by 3-21-14 points. NFC North faves are 10-14 vs spread, 4-4 on road; NFC West underdogs are 14-6 vs spread, 5-1 at home. Bears still can make the playoffs, but they bettwe win this game.
Chargers (5-9) @ Jets (6-8)-- McElroy gets first NFL start for Jets after hideous Monday night loss in Tennessee; both teams here are a mess, so much so that the game was taken off Sunday Night Football, switched to 1:00 start. Chargers lost eight of last ten games after 3-1 start; they scored 13 or less points three of last four games. Jets are actually 3-2 in last five games, scoring 7-17-10 points in last three games- they have very little home field edge, they've been dysfunctional. AFC West underdogs are 7-15 vs spread, 4-9 on road. AFC East favorites are 11-9 vs spread, 7-6 at home. Three of last four San Diego games stayed under the total. Jets won five of last seven series games, lost three of last five played here.
49ers (10-3-1) @ Seahawks (9-5)-- No one is hotter than Seattle, scoring 58-50 points last two weeks; they're 6-0 SU at home, and were underdogs in three of six games, but they've lost last four games with 49ers, losing 13-6 (+7.5) back in Week 7 on a Thursday night at Candlestick. Niners lost two of last three visits here; they scored 13-3-13 points in their three losses this year. Seattle allowed 17-0-17 points in last three games. After being +28 in turnovers during 13-3 year in 2011, 49ers are just +8 this year. Unerdogs are 6-2-1 vs spread in NFC West divisional games this season. Four of last five 49er games, five of last six Seattle games went over the total. 49ers playing for division title, first round bye.
Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday.......
13) Bengals didn't have an offensive TD, turned ball over three times, gave up six sacks, but won 13-10 in Pittsburgh, clinching their second consecutive playoff spot, first time in 30 years they've done that. Marvin Lewis has done an underrated job, working for the cheapest owner in the NFL.
12) This time LY, Giants were 8-7, just like they are now; problem is, over the last two weeks, Giants have been outgained 927-313, outscored 67-14 and appear likely to miss the playoffs. They gave up 224 rushing yards in Baltimore Sunday, in a game they were never really in.
11) Saints were 11-19 on third down, Dallas 2-10 in New Orleans' exciting 34-31 win at Jerry World. Both teams had 400+ passing yards.
10) Houston Texans laid an egg at home, losing 23-6 to Minnesota, failing to wrap up home field thru the AFC playoffs; now they have to beat the Colts in Indy next week, in what should be an emotional game with Chuck Pagano expected to return from a bout with leukemia to coach the Colts.
9) Seahawks kept NFC West race alive by spanking the 49ers in the rainy Northwest. Both teams will be heavy favorites next week; Packers are now the #2 seed in the NFC if they beat Minnesota next week.
8) In baseball, Indians gave Nick Swisher $56M for four years, as lot of teams are scrambling to fill their lineups out by overpaying for players who have already seen their best days. Mariners also signed Raul Ibanez- he was a terrific clutch hitter last fall in the Bronx.
7) Rams were 2-14 LY, 15-65 from 2007-11; they're 7-7-1 this year under Jeff Fisher after whacking the Bucs 28-13 in Tampa. With four picks in the first round of the next two drafts, they could become a contender soon.
6) Northern Iowa bounced back from its loss at UNLV by going home and upsetting St Mary's, 82-75. Good win for the Panthers and the MVC.
5) Chicago Bears scored two defensive TDs, easily beat Cardinals 28-13 in Phoenix, which used its fourth different QB when Brian Hoyer relieved Ryan Lindley after the issue had already been decided.
4) Chargers had 11 sacks in their 27-17 win at Swamp Stadium, over the dysfunctional Jets. San Diego had 27 sacks in its first 14 games.
3) Clippers have now won 13 games in a row after clubbing the Suns in Phoenix. Suns are 0-6 vs spread if they played night before.
2) Kansas City ran the ball for 352 yards but lost; not sure I've ever seen that before in the NFL; their only two TDs in last three games were pair of 80+ runs by Jamaal Charles, both on the first play of a half.
1) 16 games next Sunday, last day of regular season, all divisional games. Should be lot of fun; important thing is to get into the tournament; last two Super Bowl champs were the #6 seed in the NFC that year.