Doc's Sports News and information for Doc's Sports en-us Copyright Doc's Sports 2012 2014-10-21T20:35:06-05:00 Doc Sports Handicapping NFL Power Rankings Week 8 Prior to the 2011 season, in an attempt make the public think it actually cared about the Concussion Crisis, the NFL decided to move the kickoff from the 30-yard-line up to the 35. The idea is that this would lead to less kickoff returns and thus less potential concussion-causing coverage hits. The ruse was a success, as the percentage of kickoffs resulting in a touchback increased from just 11 percent from 1994 to 2010 to a whopping 46 percent from 2011 to this year. Free Expert NFL Picks: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Odds and Predictions First place in the AFC West and an early key head-to-head tiebreaker is on the line here. The Broncos (5-1) are the only team in the AFC with just the lone loss. The Chargers (5-2) maybe got caught looking ahead a bit to this one on Sunday when they were upset at home by Kansas City. Or perhaps it's just because Andy Reid-coached teams almost never lose off a bye week. But that defeat took a small bit of luster off this one. NFL Football Predictions: Week 8 Opening Line Report and Picks With all due respect to Peyton Manning throwing his NFL-record 509th career touchdown pass, the most interesting thing to happen in the NFL in Week 7 was the Seattle Seahawks' shocking trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets. Seattle gave up three draft picks, including a first-rounder, to get Harvin from the Vikings before the 2013 season even though Harvin had a well-known reputation for being a major locker-room cancer. NFL Survivor Pools Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 8 Survivor pools are all about surviving. Obviously. Sometimes, though, it’s the small things that are every bit as important as picking a winning game in a given week. Last week had one of those moments. The Seahawks were heavily favored against the Rams and would have been an easy pick. They made me very uneasy, though — and that was even before the whole Percy Harvin debacle. Weekly Q&A with Doc’s Sports Expert Handicapper Raphael Esparza Doc’s Sports: The biggest game on this Saturday’s college schedule sends Ole Miss on the road as a 3.5-point favorite, at most sportsbooks, against LSU. Is this a potential trap game for the No. 3 team in the nation or do the Rebels survive yet another stern test in the SEC? NFL Office Pool Picks Week 8 Luck is a huge part of office pool success. The sooner you can accept that, the less likely you are to drive yourself insane. Last week was not a great week for my picks — 10-5 is fine but far from exceptional. Three crazy games all went our way, though, to at least salvage respectability from what could have been a horrifying week. 2014 Heisman Trophy Predictions From favorite to afterthought and back again. That has been the Heisman Trophy journey for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, and it has all happened in the past three weeks. Mariota, though, will need to maintain his pace or see a letdown from undefeated and top-ranked Mississippi State if he wants to pull away from Dak Prescott. As for last weekend’s game with the most significant Heisman implications (and National Championship implications, for that matter), Florida State’s win over Notre Dame kept Jameis Winston in the discussion while sending Everett Golson tumbling down the charts. NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks Week 8 was a much better one for Top 25 teams. Teams in the AP Top 25 went 14-7 against the spread last week. The Fade the Top 25 Selections fared much better than you would expect by going 3-1 last week. Kansas State won outright, so that was a really strong pick. Boston College kept it close in a loss to Clemson to cover the number. Alabama rolled to a massive victory over an extremely overrated Texas A&M team. 2014 Dallas Mavericks Predictions and NBA Futures Odds The Dallas Mavericks may have made an early exit from last year’s playoffs after squeaking into the postseason during the final games of the year, but the team takes solace in the fact that it was able to push the San Antonio Spurs to seven games and nearly stop their championship run before it ever began. Dallas was the only group to even challenge the defending champions, and a missed shot here or there was the difference between moving on to the second round and being eliminated early. 2014 New Orleans Pelicans Predictions and NBA Futures Odds The New Orleans Pelicans are sitting on one of the brightest young prospects in the league and believe that 2011’s No.1 draft pick Anthony Davis has the potential to be a franchise-saving player. Davis emerged as a superstar last season and into the summer with Team USA during the FIBA World Cup, where he was an integral part of the team and one of Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s go-to players. Oklahoma City’ superstar Kevin Durant even went so far as to say Davis is a future MVP and the next big NBA star.