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This Week in Sports Betting, A-Z
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 10/13/2010

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Forward Chris Anderson of the Denver Nuggets

A – Agent. Former NFL agent Josh Luchs shook the sports world when he came clean in an interview with Sports Illustrated. The first-person account of the sleazy life of an NFL agent is a gripping tale that spares no detail and spares no player. He tells tales of players accepting money and agents doing just about anything to land a player. The NCAA and NFL will certainly not be pleased to read of this, nor will the likes of Ryan Leaf, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Ogden, who are all alleged to have taken money and/or benefits from Luchs.

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B – Birdman. On a team with more ink than a Hewlett-Packard factory, Chris “Birdman” Anderson just outdid the rest of his tatted up Denver Nugget teammates with the most bizarre tattoo in professional sports. On the last few square inches of his body without ink, Anderson tattooed every color imaginable around his neck and the words ‘FREE BIRD’. If you see a picture of it you would think its photoshopped but it is as real as it is permanent.

C – Colt McCoy. The NFL schedule makers did Ben Roethlisberger plenty of favors by scheduling the Cleveland Browns for Week 6, Big Ben’s first game back after serving a four-week suspension and a Week 5 bye. They treated Colt McCoy the exact opposite. The rookie out of Texas will attempt his first career pass attempt on Sunday at Pittsburgh against the league’s best defense. The official Colt McCoy Welcoming Committee will include Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. The Browns opened as 11.5-point underdogs and after announcing McCoy as the starter, the Browns became 14-point underdogs.

D – Delaware. Apparently a fascist regime is running the Harrington Raceway Sportsbook in Delaware. When is going 14-0-1 on an NFL parlay card not reason to mother f your boss and quit your day job? When you do it in Delaware. An unnamed man entered a $5, 15-team parlay two weeks ago and he watched in amazement as all 14 of his point spread picks hit in Week 4. As part of the casino’s $100,000 promotion, 15 games were needed and only 14 games were on the schedule for Week 4, and god forbid there would be totals allowed to be wagered on in Delaware. So the man picked San Francisco +3 against Philadelphia in Week 5. The line eventually became San Francisco –3 after the Michael Vick injury, but the bettor had +3 and he watched in horror as the Eagles won by three and in this case a tie is not a tie, it somehow is a loss, because apparently the house needs to stack the deck even more against the public. With 14 wins in his back pocket any wise bettor would hedge the 15th game and wager $50,000 on the Philadelphia so to guarantee a $50,000 payout (the bettor even had an insane middle having taken San Francisco +3 and with the Eagles sitting at +3 on the board). Oh but wait, the hedge would not work out in Delaware where only parlays are taken and only at a minimum of three teams. Who makes these rules?! The bettor instead had to make a series of three-team parlays all involving the Eagles +3. When Philadelphia covered the bettor walked away with $3,000 or about $47,000 less than he should have. So to paraphrase, you are allowed to wager on football in Delaware you just are not allowed to win.

E – Esquire. The Men’s Magazine tabbed Derek Jeter’s girlfriend Minka Kelly as the 2010’s Sexiest Woman Alive. The 30-year old actress hit stardom with a role on “Friday Night Lights” four years ago. She initially tried saving up enough money to purchase breast implants, but later decided against it. Can you imagine if the Worlds Sexiest Woman Alive added bigger breasts, Jeter might just retire. In the magazine Kelly recounts how her mom worked as an exotic dancer to help support the family. We can only hope Kelly follows in her mother’s footsteps.

F – Favre, Brett. In one of the biggest Monday Night Football point spread groin punches of all time, Brett Favre gives away the game and the point spread. Trailing 22-20 in the final 90 seconds of the game as four-point underdog, Favre throws a perfect spiral right to New York Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery, No. 26, who returns it for a touchdown and a nine-point Jets win. If you lost money on Favre’s 2,342th interception this season don’t feel bad, we think the Minnesota radio play-by-play announcer lost more. His depressing call has been circulating around the Internet and on different radio programs. It features this gem, “And he threw it right between the old two and the six.”

G – Garcia and Swisher Nuptials. Save the Date invites have been mailed out to close friends of New York Yankee Nick Swisher and actress Joanna Garcia. The wedding is set for Dec. 11 at Beach Breakers Hotel in Honolulu. Hopefully the Yankees do not reach the World Series because the rate these playoffs are going, the wedding may interfere with Game 5.

H – High School. It wouldn’t be a complete A-Z without some USC bashing. This time former Trojan Taylor Mays took to Sunday Night Football and expressed his displeasure at the school and former coach Pete Carroll by omitting his school during player introductions. Instead of saying USC as his alma mater, Mays chose to name O’Dea High School as his alma mater.

I – Iverson, Allen. Determined to continue to play basketball long after he is able to, Allen Iverson is taking his game overseas. He has been in serious negotiations with teams in China and a team in Turkey to play next season. The former NBA MVP and No. 1 overall pick is now 35 years old, and after stints with Memphis and Philadelphia last year it was obvious that any basketball future for Iverson would be with a bunch of players who can’t speak English.

J – Jenn Sterger. The smoking-hot sports “reporter” previously from the New York Jets and now of Versus has done the unthinkable, she has found a way to surround Brett Favre with even more media attention. Sterger alleges that while Favre was a New York Jet he texted her lewd pictures of himself. Of course, like anything else from Favre the pictures were intercepted and later broadcast throughout the Internet. The NFL is paying close attention to these allegations and looking into them. Sterger is also attempting to make herself look legit as she has canceled an appearance at Bull & Bear Bar and Grill in Chicago this weekend where she was supposed to host a Big Ten football party. The ads for the event featured Sterger in a bikini bottom stripping out of a jersey. Sterger has also recently declined an offer from Youwager.com to serve as a calendar model and all-around bimbo for the online sportsbook. All these offers all seem to stem from the alleged text messages she received of Favre’s junk.

K – Kings Owner. Part owner of the Sacramento Kings, George Maloof, was picked up for DUI among other things last weekend in Las Vegas. On top of DUI, Maloof, who owns the Kings and the Palms Casino with his three brothers and sister, was busted for driving without a valid license, having no proof of insurance, speeding and making an illegal left turn. The Palms Casino offers a sportsbook, but in a deal brokered with NBA commissioner David Stern, Sacramento Kings games are off the board at the Maloof’s casino. 

L – LCS. The American League and National League Championship Series are set and both are beginning to look more and more like formalities leading up to an almost guaranteed Philadelphia/New York Yankees World Series rematch. The Phillies will host Game 1 of the NLCS Saturday when they send Roy Halladay out to face Tim Lincecum in one of the best pitching duels in recent playoff history. Their odds to win the NLCS are -250. The Yankees are also favored (-150) despite not having home-field advantage against Texas.

M – Marissa Miller. Thanks to a recent partnership between men’s two favorite things, the NFL and Marissa Miller, guys can now stare at Miller without ever having to stop watching football. The supermodel has signed on as a NFL spokesperson for the current season in case we needed a reason to watch more football.

N – Neil Goldberg. The ESPN producer found a heck of way to get fired from the worldwide leader. He was charged with public indecency after the 52-year old producer was discovered peeping through a woman’s window and masturbating. Peeping Neil was discovered by a now traumatized woman who was walking her dog.

O – Odom, Lamar. L.A. Laker forward and Mr. Kardashian, Odom has hired mama Kardashian, Kris Jenner, to be his personal manager. Their first endeavor appears to be a fragrance designed by Lamar Kardashian and his wife Khloe. So now Odom is married to the ugly sister and being managed by the mom. Odom continues to make progress to the big prize, bedding either Kourtney or Kim.

P – Pinky Finger. Somehow Virginia Tech offensive lineman Greg Nosal lost the tip of his finger during a game against Central Michigan on Saturday and somehow Nosal continued to play. After getting his hand caught in a defensive end’s facemask Nosal felt pain but continued to play. After realizing his glove was covered in blood he went to a trainer who discovered the missing tip of the pinky. He was given an option to have it sewn back on immediately or put it on ice, take some pain meds and keep playing. Nosal chose the latter and the finger was sewn on once the Hokies pulled away from Central Michigan.

Q – Quarterback Demotion. Jay Cutler is set to return as starting quarterback for Chicago this week after missing last week with a concussion. The news could not come at a better time as Todd Collins did everything imaginable to help the Panthers win last week, but somehow despite throwing four interceptions, no touchdowns and finishing with a 6.2 passer rating, the Bears still managed to win in spite of Collins. Not only does Cutler take over for Collins, but in a strong rebuke of his performance last week the Bears demoted Collins to third-string quarterback and promoted Caleb Hanie (who?) to backup. 

R – Rangers Celebration. Celebrating their first playoff series ever, you would expect a raucous booze-filled celebration in the Texas Rangers clubhouse. It was raucous, alright, but it was lacking in booze out of respect for teammate and former junkie Josh Hamilton. The Rangers celebrated in the clubhouse with ginger ale instead of champagne, beer, liquor and cocaine. Hamilton, a former first-round draft pick battled drug and alcohol problems throughout his life and was even homeless at one point. His career was resurrected in Texas where he has stayed clean and stayed away from booze and cocaine although he was paired with manager Ron Washington, who admitted to cocaine use during the 2009 season. Reformed junkies or not, if the Rangers somehow stun the Yankees next round, the wheels could fall off whatever wagon Hamilton and Washington are on.

S – StuffStewSays. The latest Twitter page focuses on the quotes that come from West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart. These quotes often have people scratching their heads. Here are a few golden nuggets from Stewart, “Listened to Good Golly Miss Molly on the way in today! That'll get your blood pumping!”…. “He was as mad as a hornet that I wouldn’t let him go back and return punts. You think about that.”… “Oxygen is for astronauts.”

T – Taco Bell Twosome. If there was any doubt why Baylor football players Willie Jefferson and Josh Gordon were going to Taco Bell at 2:15 a.m. there shouldn’t be now. Both were arrested early Sunday morning, hours after a loss to Texas Tech, for drug possession. They were found passed out in Jefferson’s car in the drive-thru lane at a Taco Bell. Waco police discovered bags of marijuana in the floorboard and center console. Apparently the munchies and sleep struck the Baylor players at the same time.

U – US Presidential Election. The election is still more than two years away but Bodog has gone ahead and posted odds on who will win the 2012 US Presidential Election. Current president Barack Obama (10/11) is the obvious favorite while Mitt Romney (8/1) and Sarah Palin (12/1) are the Republican favorites to unseat Obama. Other potential candidates include Hilary Clinton (20/1), Jeb Bush (40/1), Ron Paul (60/1) and Al Gore (100/1).

V – Vucinic, Mirko. While not quite as pleasing to the eye as Brandi Chastain’s shirtless goal celebration, Vucinic, a striker for Roma in the Italian Serie A, celebrated a recent goal by taking off his shorts and placing them over his head. Hopefully Ochocinco and Terrell Owens do not watch European soccer, I wouldn’t want them getting an ideas.

W- Wisniewski, James. The New York Islanders defenseman was suspended for two games by the NHL after making an obscene gesture toward Sean Avery. During a brief stoppage in play in front of the net Wisniewski and Avery exchanged words and were eventually separated by officials when Wisniewski used his mouth and hand to make a gesture toward Avery telling Avery to suck on something, to put it nicely.

X- EX Professional Wrestler. David Michael Batista, known in professional wrestling circles as Batista, is now officially an ex-pro wrestler. He has left WWE and in news that was heard around the MMA and WWE world, Batista was spotted backstage at a Strikeforce event in San Jose. Batista has said he is eager to begin his MMA career. His highly anticipated debut is expected in early 2011.

Y- YE Yang. Trailing 10 holes entering the final day of the Korean Open, YE Yang said why not? He fired a final-round of 66 at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club to win the Open overpowering leader Noh Sueng-yul and runners up, Kim Bi-o, Choi Ho-sung and Hu Flung Dung (we think).

Z – Zipper format. You know conference expansion has gone too far when terms like “zipper format” are being thrown out there. The newly-expanded Pac-10 is trying to determine how schools will be split up in two new six-team divisions for the 2011-12 football season. One idea is the “zipper format” which would take each rivalry and divide it along east-west lines to form two divisions. For instance USC would be on one division and UCLA the other, but the rivals would play each other every season. The other idea is more of a compromise with a North Division being compromised of Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington state while a South Division would feature UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and the two new additions, Colorado and Utah.

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