If you are a sports betting enthusiast like all of us at BangTheBook.com are, then you probably start thinking about the betting impact of the day’s top stories. Not every top story has a relevance to betting, but you probably try to connect the dots anyway. In a new feature each weekday, we will take a look at the top six sports stories of the day in an article titled the Daily Six Pack. They say that an apple day keeps the doctor away. Well, we like to think that a six pack a day keeps the bookie away.
With that, let’s take a look at the six top stories for Wednesday February 25:
The Ballad of Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose suffered a torn medial meniscus in his right knee and will have to undergo surgery. This is an incredibly deflating blow to the Bulls and especially Rose. After missing basically two full seasons to leg injuries, Rose is back on the shelf now for the stretch run of the NBA season. No timetable has been announced for his return, but it would be a surprise to see Rose return before May.
Betting markets have already adjusted, as the Bulls immediately went from 8/1 to win the NBA title to as high as 20/1 at some shops. Rose was averaging 18.4 points and five assists per game. Most importantly, he was on the floor for his team and his teammates and that was a motivating factor on its own.
This likely opens the door for the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Central Division, which was probably going to happen anyway, and likely turns the Eastern Conference into a two-team race between the Cavs and the Atlanta Hawks. The Raptors still have a very good team, but the Raptors are 7.5 games behind Atlanta with a 1.5-game cushion on the Cavs for the #2 seed. Washington is fading fast and the bottom of the Eastern Conference is bad.
It’s been a really unfortunate series of events for Rose and hopefully he can return from this latest setback with no ill effects.
Windy City Agony
As if the Derrick Rose announcement wasn’t bad enough, Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane suffered what is believed to be a significant shoulder injury in their win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Latest reports are that Kane could be out for the next 6-to-10 weeks, which would effectively end his regular season and leave him questionable for the first round of the playoffs.
Even though Kane only had one point in his last five games, his 64 points were 15 more than any other players on the Blackhawks roster. Kane’s 27 goals led the team by nine and he had six more assists than any other player. Kane was tied for the NHL lead in points.
This is an enormous blow for the Blackhawks, who have struggled with consistency of late anyway. They aren’t in danger of missing the playoffs yet, with an eight-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for the final spot in the Western Conference, but it could certainly force the Blackhawks to go to Nashville for the first road of the playoffs. The Predators are 26-3-1 at home this season.
There will be a big adjustment in Chicago’s games for the next little while as they adjust to Kane’s absence. Thursday’s situation is rather unique in that the Blackhawks head to Florida, the team they just played and beat on Tuesday, for their next game before playing in Tampa Bay against one of the Eastern Conference’s best on Friday.
Wisconsin Loses #1 Seed?
The Wisconsin Badgers were held to 53 points on Tuesday night in their six-point loss at Maryland. The Terrapins led by 11 at half and closed the game out, but it got a little bit dicey late. Wisconsin is 25-3 on the season and their losses are to Duke, Maryland, and Rutgers, all on the road. The Rutgers loss came without Frank Kaminsky, which will be a consideration for the Selection Committee.
With a poor Big Ten Conference this season, Wisconsin could salvage a #1 seed by winning the Big Ten tournament, but they are #6 in the RPI rankings and do not have a win better than 15 (Oklahoma). The Badgers are 0-2 against top-10 RPI teams (Duke and Maryland) this season.
Barring a major letdown, the four #1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament appear to be Kentucky, Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke, though a case could be made for Kansas if they win the Big 12 Conference Tournament in convincing fashion. A case could be made for Villanova, but the Big East is a mediocre conference overall. The Wildcats do have nine top-50 wins, including a blowout win over VCU on a neutral floor earlier this season.
Wisconsin is still a good team despite the loss, but they may be the #2 seed in the West, which could be a problem for them.
Adam Wainwright was sent to St. Louis to be examined by a team doctor after experiencing abdominal pain on Tuesday. The exam will take place on Thursday, so the Cardinals will have an idea about their ace then. Wainwright has quite an extensive medical history, including Tommy John surgery in 2011. Wainwright had surgery in his pitching elbow following the 2014 season and there are some concerns about the 33-year-old’s durability.
Wainwright threw 227 innings last season, but his strikeout rate lowered and his velocity dropped a bit from his 2013 numbers. The elbow injury throughout the second half of the season was partially to blame, but this latest abdominal setback could have some long-term ramifications for the Cardinals. If it is something like an oblique or even a sports hernia, which AJ Burnett pitched through last season, it can either stunt the start of this season or force him to pitch through pain.
With a win total in the upper 80s, the Cardinals don’t have much margin for error. This will definitely be a situation to monitor.
From a betting standpoint, it might be wise to take a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates over and the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the division. If it’s even a month-long injury, that will set Wainwright back into May, so the Cardinals will be without their ace for at least the first month of the season. The Pirates are probably lined too low anyway, but the Cardinals have major injury concerns in the starting rotation.
Trouble in Big D?
The Dallas Mavericks beat the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, but that wasn’t the leading story. Rajon Rondo sat the final 20 minutes of the game after getting into a shouting match with Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. The players seemed uneasy after the game when talking about the incident and Rondo told the media to ask the coach when he was approached after the game.
Rondo, who has a reputation as being a bit of a malcontent at times, seemed to be ignoring Carlisle’s play calls and things hit a boiling point in the third quarter. The Mavericks are a very experienced team with a lot of veteran players and the situation should be handled rather quickly, but things like this can fester. Another problem for the Mavericks is that this could be a deciding factor in the playoffs if the team is dealing with some additional adversity on top of the stresses of the postseason.
I’d probably avoid any Mavericks futures at this point in time. There’s a lot of talent on the team, but an unhappy Rondo will make things difficult for everybody because he is the point guard and the offense flows through him.
The Cleveland Oranges
The Cleveland Browns managed to be a joke in the offseason yet again on Tuesday after unveiling their much anticipated new logo. The new logo wound up being a darker shade of orange and a different font below the orange helmet. The facemask is also brown instead of white. After counting down to the new logo on the team’s official Twitter account, Browns fans were either thoroughly annoyed or apathetic because all that matters is the product on the field.
The new uniforms will be released on April 14. Team president Alec Scheiner said that the new orange is “brighter and richer and matches the passion of our fans and our city”. Right…
The Browns are a bit of a mess already this offseason with the departures of Kyle Shanahan and Dowell Loggains from the coaching staff. Josh McCown is visiting with this team this week for the void at starting quarterback, but ownership will want to see Johnny Manziel get his chance. The Browns will be losing some key players over the next couple of seasons to free agency, including center Alex Mack, whose absence was extremely noticeable during the 2014 collapse.
Join us every weekday for the Daily Six Pack, covering six of the top stories from the sports world.