This Week in Sports Betting, A-Z
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 9/29/2010
A – Assistant coach. Williams Miller, an assistant high school football coach from Queens, N.Y., put the ‘ass’ in assistant coach over the weekend when he dropped his drawers in response to being heckled by opposing fans. The surreal scene took place at a high school football game in Queens involving the Boys and Girls High School, who Miller coached for, and hosts Campus Magnet. The coaching staff of the visiting Boys and Girls High School stormed the field to protest a call and put on a show not suitable for Boys or Girls. The staff berated the officials with obscenities and as the situation escalated school security guards tried to fend off the livid assistants, but there would be no stopping them. The unruly behavior forced the game to be called with over three minutes to play with Campus Magnet up 16-6. This is when the fans joined in on the fun by heckling the coaches from the losing team. That is when Williams, described as burly by witnesses at the scene, decided to give the home bleachers a show they would never forget, no matter how hard they try. He moved towards the fence to get closer to the fans, started screaming at the assembled mass and then to the horror of everyone remaining, he dropped his shorts baring his backside to all those present. Miller was fired for the public display of his backside at a high school football game.
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B – Bryant, Dez. If given the option of rookie hazing rituals again perhaps the Dallas Cowboys’ rookie wide receiver would opt for carrying shoulder pads off the field. His real rookie hazing came after a night out at Pappas Steakhouse on Monday night. The veterans on the Cowboys packed their appetite and some even packed up some bottles of wine and champagne to go. The final tab came to $54,896.
C- Carl Cheffers. The veteran official bumbled his way through a confusing penalty call in the Cowboys-Texas game this week. It made him an instant YouTube sensation and also made him the next candidate for a Southwest Airlines “Wanna Get Away Commercial.”
D – David Price. The Tampa Bay Ray’s ace pitcher took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Rays’ fans who failed to come out in droves to witness a potential playoff-clinching win. Price received some backlash for calling out the fans with his Twitter posting, “Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in stands…embarrassing.” Tampa fans should be mad about this for two reasons. For one they are getting short changed: 12,446 brave souls ventured to the game and passed on Bears/Packers Monday Night Football. And for another reason, the Rays were shutout 4-0 by the 94-loss Orioles. Maybe the fans were the smart ones and waiting for the right game because the very next night 17,891 showed up to watch Price pitch and the Rays clinch their second postseason trip in three years. (To see another example of why Tampa Bay may be the worst sports town check out letter ‘R’).
E – Expensive NFL Tickets. A study was conducted of secondary-ticket markets online by CNBC to determine the most expensive NFL tickets this season. No. 3 on the list is the Steelers clash with the Saints on Halloween night in the Big Easy ($225-$529). No. 2 was the 49ers and Broncos game later this season. Surprised? Don’t be. The game is in London, ensuring a guaranteed sellout for the NFL-starved fans in Europe. Tickets are ranging from $205-$550. No. 1 on the list was the NFL season opener between the Vikings and Saints where tickets fetched upwards of $575 each.
F – First Line of the Season. Like the first snowfall of winter or the first blades of grass of spring, there is nothing quite like the first point spread of a new season, whatever the sport may be. Bettors have months to dissect this singular point spread and drool over the prospect of wagering on a new sport. With the NBA season still so far away, we are left with a single NBA line, -1 to dwell on. On opening night in perhaps the biggest regular-season NBA game since Shaq/Kobe I, the Miami Heat pay Boston a visit Tuesday night, Oct. 26. Miami is a one-point favorite. That is music to the gambler’s soul.
G – Giant Gonzalez. Former professional wrestler and NBA Draft pick Jorge Gonzalez, better known as Giant Gonzalez, passed away this week at the age of 44 from complications from diabetes. Gonzalez, a 7-foot-5 mountain of a man, came to the United States from Argentina after being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the third round of the 1989 NBA Draft. Things never worked out for Gonzalez in the NBA, but luckily the owner of the team was Ted Turner, also the owner of WCW. Gonzalez became a professional wrestler famous for wearing a full-body suit complete with airbrushed muscles and bushy hair attached. .
H – Home Dogs. The most valuable betting commodity in the NFL this season has been the home dog. After Chicago’s win over Green Bay Monday Night, home dogs are now 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS on Monday Night Football alone. Overall home dogs are 11-10 SU and 13-8 ATS this season in the NFL.
I – Illinois and Indiana. Both Ohio State and Michigan and their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterbacks are supposed to be really tested this week with the start of conference play, but unfortunately both rivals start conference play against Illinois and Indiana, respectively. No. 2 Ohio State travels to Illinois as 17-point favorites while No. 19 Michigan and Denard Robinson travel to Indiana as 10-point favorites this Saturday.
J – Joshua Cribbs. The Cleveland Browns may be 0-3, but there is no need to panic according to all-everything athlete Joshua Cribbs because in his own words, “we haven’t even shot our load yet. We are just running simple plays, we didn’t shoot our load yet.” The assembled media around him had to either wonder what exactly that meant or desperately tried to keep a straight face. Cribbs might be a quarterback/running back/wide receiver/punt and kick returner but now you can also add wordsmith to his list of talents.
K – Kansas Football. If Lawrence, Kansas, was not a hard enough of a town to recruit players to in the first place, now football coach Turner Gill is going about implementing a fascist regime around the football program. Gill just implemented a no cell phone policy, which might make it hard on the players to keep in touch with their lady friends. However, they should not worry about that because according to a new policy, players are not permitted to be around girls after 10:00 p.m. This latest rule should be particularly interesting watching Gill try to implement.
L – LCS. With most of the participants solidified the MLB odds are out for winners of the ALCS and NLCS. The Yankees are the favorite in the American League listed at 3/2 on Bodog, ahead of Tampa Bay (2/1), Minnesota (10/3) and Texas (9/2). The National League is a little more wide open with playoff berths still out there. The Phillies are the big favorites at 1/1, with San Francisco (4/1), Cincinnati (4/1) and Atlanta (6/1) in the mix.
M – Melo. In the only sport where these four-team trades actually happen, the latest Carmelo Anthony four-team trade rumor has officially died. The Nets, Nuggets, Jazz and Bobcats were tantalizingly close to a trade, but New Jersey was forced to pull out as Denver continued to stall. The major moves in the trade would have been Anthony to New Jersey, Derrick Favors and draft picks to Denver, Devin Harris to Charlotte and Boris Diaw to Utah. See kids, this why you don’t invest too much money in a player’s NBA jersey.
N – Nick Collins. A heated exchange between Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins and a Chicago Bears fan ended with Collins throwing his mouth piece at the unruly spectator. Video shows Collins yelling at the fan as he is leaving the field and then hurling his mouthpiece at him. Collins alleges the fan used a racial slur and then proceeded to spit on him. The fan may have actually been thanking Collins. It was Collins who was called for a 15-yard personal foul to help the Bears move down the field on the game-tying drive.
O – One Hundred. The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to make their company more and more exclusive. With a home loss Friday night the Pirates clinched a 100-loss season, the eighth in franchise history. No other team this year has lost 100 games. The Pirates celebrated the next night with a postgame OAR concert followed by fireworks, or basically events to take people’s attention away from the product on the field. Of the Pirates first 100 losses this season (there are sure to be more), 60 came on the road, an absolutely remarkable number. The sad sack Pirates are 15-60 away from home.
P – Patrick Peterson. This year’s Heisman Trophy race has its prerequisite defensive dark horse candidate with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. No defensive player has won a Heisman since Charles Woodson in 1997, but that was because Woodson was also an excellent returner. So is Peterson. The 6-foot-1, 215 pounder with 4.37-speed saved the Bayou Bengals from near defeat against West Virginia last week with his punt return for a score in a 20-14 win. He burst onto the scene with his 257 return yards in a season-opening win over UNC. Peterson should remain in the discussion for college football’s most prestigious award as long as LSU (4-0) keeps winning.
Q – Qualifiers. In the span of one hour Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays earned their playoff bid, followed by the New York Yankees and finally the Cincinnati Reds. Those three teams join the Philadelphia Phillies, who clinched a playoff spot on Monday, the Minnesota Twins, who clinched last week, and the Texas Rangers, who clinched right after acquiring Cliff Lee two months ago.
R – Raymond James Stadium. The 2-0 Buccaneers welcomed the 2-0 Steelers on Sunday in Tampa Bay, but apparently nobody told the locals. An estimated 35,000 fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers converged on Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, but it was still not enough to sellout the game. And because of the NFL rules, the game was blacked out in the Tampa Bay market. The news got worse when football fans in the Tampa area found out that legendary scream machine Gus Johnson was calling the game. They missed Johnson’s trademark calls, but not much else as the Steelers ran the Buccaneers out of the building, 38-13.
S – Shaun Smith. The Kansas City Chiefs a lineman is developing quit the reputation. For the second consecutive week Smith has been accused of a major man-law violation. Browns’ center Alex Mack accused Smith of grabbing his genitals last week and this week, in clear view of the cameras, Smith made a play for 49ers defensive tackle Anthony Davis’ nether regions. Coach Todd Haley has promised to address the bizarre behavior of his lineman.
T – Tony Moeaki. The Kansas Chiefs have seemed to corner the market on foreign-looking, 6-foot-something ridiculously athletic tight ends. After 11 years of Tony Gonzalez the Chiefs have sprung another Tony the Tight End on the NFL. Moeaki had his welcome to the NFL moment with a show-stopping one-handed touchdown grab in the Chiefs blowout win over San Francisco.
U – Unbreakable Records. A recent countdown from Life Magazine ranked the most unbreakable records in baseball, an often-debated topic. They came to a conclusion that may surprise people. Ahead of the consecutive games played record by Cal Ripken Jr. and Cy Young’s 511 career wins is Johnny Vander Meer’s 1938 feet when he pitched consecutive no hitters. What makes this No.1 in their mind is the wording of the question, which asks for most unbreakable record. Vander Meer’s record may be tied, but somebody pitching three consecutive no hitters seems near impossible.
V –Vick, Michael. After a three-touchdown performance in a 28-3 win this past week over the Jaguars, Vick has the highest quarterback rating of his career, 110.2, and now one of the highest jersey sales figures of his career. Philadelphia area stores have been inundated with demand for Vick’s No. 7 jersey. This is the same No. 7 Vick jersey in Atlanta that was suspended on NFLShop.com while Vick was incarcerated for 19 months. The combination of the larger market size and his quick rise to the top of some statistical categories will likely push his jersey into the Top 10 in terms of best sellers in the league.
W – Winless NFL Teams. It’s a major statement in the NFL when it is easier to go 0-3 than 3-0. There are only three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL (Steelers, Chiefs?!?! and the Bears), but five winless teams: Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit and San Francisco. Carolina finds itself 14-point underdogs at New Orleans while Detroit faces a slightly taller task as 14.5-point underdogs at Green Bay. Buffalo is at home this week to the Jets as five-point underdogs and if they do not win this week they will never win, not just this season, but ever. The 49ers are 0-3, but somehow still leading the awful NFC West (I think). The Cleveland Browns have the best chance to get off the schneid this week as three-point underdogs at home to Cincinnati and remember Bengals, the Browns are still waiting to ‘shoot their load’.
X – FeliX. As much of a stretch as Felix starting with an X is, a case can made that Felix Hernandez should win the American League Cy Young award. King Felix leads all of baseball with 232 strikeouts and a 2.27 ERA. But the Seattle Mariners ace plays on the second worst team in the league and only has a 13-12 record. The award likely will go to CC Sabathia and his 21 wins, but a solid case can be made for Hernandez.
Y – Yoshihiro Akiyama. The main event at UFC 120 in O2 Arena in London England will pair Japanese sensation Yoshihiro Akiyama and UK star Michael Bisping. Akiyama is a huge celebrity in Japan, where he is dubbed ‘Sexyama’. But in London Bisping has his own massive following. This match will pair fighters who could not be any more different. Bodog has Bisping listed as a -225 favorite with Akiyama listed at +185. Be sure to look out for Doc’s UFC predictions for the full card.
Z – Zags. Gonzaga may be shifting out of the spotlight and under the radar. After repeated unexpected tournament runs, the proverbial Cinderfellas are now looking like underdogs again. Their odds to win the National Championship this season are +5000, behind possibly the Gonzaga of this generation, Butler. The Bulldogs are listed at +4000 after their magical run to the National Championship Game. Odds are courtesy of BetUS.