This Week in Betting, A to Z
by Trevor Whenham - 02/12/2007
A - Awesome. Sugar Shane Mosley is getting old, but he fought like a spry youngster on Saturday. The solid favorite thoroughly destroyed Luis Collazo, a decent if not overwhelming fighter. On Saturday. Mosley will be watching the Mayweather - De La Hoya fight very, very closely.
B - Bears. Whose fault was it that the NFC champs lost in the Super Bowl? The coaches, apparently. So far three coaches - two on offense and one on defense - have been shown the door. Apparently none of them had told Grossman that he was only supposed to throw the ball to people wearing the same jersey he was.
C - Chargers. Bettors love San Diego - they are the early favorites for next year's Super Bowl. That's a lot of confidence to put in a team that has lost both coordinators and the likely replacement for offensive coordinator, too. The offense is very good, but even LT can't coach himself.
D - Drugs. Spokane is the dullest city outside of Salt Lake, so what in the world are Gonzaga players doing getting busted with a car full of dope? More importantly, how long will the suspensions last and what impact will they have on a team that was already looking fragile?
E - Elbow. I've never dislocated anything, so I can only imagine what Drew Brees went through on Saturday, but I have to guess that popping an elbow joint out of place wouldn't feel very good. So much for a long off-season of golf and bench presses.
F - Florida Gators. The football national champs added another title to their trophy case this week - recruiting champions. They outclassed strong charges by LSU and USC to put together another that will keep them incredibly competitive for years to come. How glad to do you think the team is that they upgraded from Ron Zook to Urban Meyer?
G - Gators. It's not just the football team at Florida that is having a good couple of months. Despite a slight scare against Kentucky this week, the basketball team has won 16 in a row and is pretty clearly currently the best team in the country right now. It's no fun when one school keeps winning everything.
H - Huskies. I made the mistake of watching the Connecticut game against Georgia Tech on Saturday. That's two hours of my life that I wish I could get back. We knew that they were going to be rebuilding this year, but the Huskies just look like a bad team. It's embarrassing for a program like that to miss the Big East Tournament, but that looks increasingly likely.
I - It's time! Pitchers and catchers report for duty starting on Tuesday. That means that baseball season, and the wealth of glorious money making opportunities that it presents, is just around the corner. Bring it on!
J - Jameer Nelson. The guy the country fell in love with when he was at St. Joe's is turning into a solid NBA player. He's improving rapidly, and he put up a jaw-dropping tour de force against San Antonio on Friday with 31 points. He and Dwight Howard have the Magic in good position to make the playoffs, and maybe do a bit of damage since they play in the weak East.
K - Kevin Durant. I've said this several times before, but I can't get over how freakishly good this guy is. He's only a freshman, but the Texas forward seems to be running away with the Player of the Year race. Texas isn't great (especially ATS - 7-12), but a player like Durant could really carry a team in the tournament. Especially if his teammates get hot.
L - Losers. The Boston Celtics have now gone 18 games without a win. Truly, truly terrible. What's the protocol for folding a team in the middle of the season? At the very least they should refund season ticket holder's money. I'm just glad Red Auerbach doesn't have to watch this.
M - Moss, Randy. Moss in Green Bay? Wisconsin may not help his image much, but he'd look good in green. Favre had a pretty good year without a receiving corps, and he made Donald Driver look much better than he is, so Moss could have a career year up on the frozen tundra. If it worked out then Favre might play a few more years.
N - Newbury, Kris. This Toronto Maple Leafs rookie left the ice on a stretcher after getting knocked cold in a fight with Ronald Petrovicky on Saturday night. Depending on your outlook that's either a problem or it's what makes hockey a great and underappreciated sport. Petrovicky got a five-minute penalty. If he was in the NBA he would have been suspended for fifteen years.
O - Ohio State. You might not want to buy national championship futures for the football Buckeyes just yet. They are losing a wealth of talent in the draft, and it's a little concerning that they weren't able to put together a great recruiting class. They only ended up ranked 15th. They have quality players coming in, but they were able to sign fewer than you would expect from a team coming off a season like theirs.
P - Pro Bowl. And the Pro Bowl winner was… Oh, who am I kidding? How could anyone possibly care who won that poor excuse for a game? I wasn't nearly drunk enough on Saturday night to make watching the game a good idea.
Q - Quietly profitable. Some college basketball teams that don't get any headlines are making their supporters a lot of money. Weber State, for example, is 8-2 ATS in their last 10, and the Towson Tigers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11.
R - Robert Yates Racing. This NASCAR Team had a terrible year last year, but they have had an incredible comeback - they are sitting in the top two positions in Daytona 500 qualifying. That qualification process is the most confusing thing ever, though, so it could all change by race time. Their early success could provide bettors some real value if it holds up - rookie and current pole sitter David Gilliland is +6000 to win the race.
S - Steve Nash. How much do you think the collective blood pressure of the city of Phoenix rises every time Nash misses another game with his sore shoulder? With him the Suns are deadly, but without him they're just dead. It's a challenge to handicap a team that is sporting a hole this big.
T - Toyota. The Japanese carmakers are kicking the butt of American manufacturers in the showroom, and now they are taking them on for the first time in NASCAR. There is just one problem - their cars are slow. They ran eight cars in Daytona 500 qualifying, and none finished higher than 15th. Michael Waltrip even got busted for having a questionable substance in his Toyota engine. I thought questionable substances were just a baseball thing.
U - Upsets. It was a very rough weekend for favorites on the Triple Crown trail. Lawrence the Roman was terrible at Aqueduct, Dreaming of Anna, the Juvenile Fill champ from last year, looked pretty average in her three year old debut, and Circular Quay had to avoid a fallen jockey and ended up fourth.
V - Violations. As good as he was, USC may soon wish that Reggie Bush had never played for them. Not only did he and his parents likely receive money while he was still a student, but now it appears that Bush talked to a recruit before signing day - another violation. The NCAA could punish the team, and that could have a huge impact on the dominant team of this decade.
W - Wade Phillips. Maybe I'm just being contrary, but unlike most people I think that Phillips is a very solid hire for the Cowboys. Dallas had a lazy defense and a pathetic pass rush last year. Phillips' unit in San Diego was a quarterback's nightmare. There are enough offensive brains in the Big D, and Norv Turner is no Vince Lombardi, so this makes sense, and makes the Cowboys more attractive in my eyes.
X - Xavier. Big week for our mascots. The Musketeers won both games (and covered) to move into the lead of the Atlantic 10. They have the tournament in their sights, and they have rewarded us handsomely for our faith - 13-8-1 ATS, including 5-1 in their last six and 8-1-1 at home.
Y - Yank the cord. A few teams need to pull out their parachutes to stop their free falls. LSU has kissed their season goodbye over the last few weeks. Duke just keeps losing (four in a row - the first time they have done that since 1996). Bobby Knight may have got his record for wins, but all Texas Tech has done since then is lose.
Z - Zzzz. Golf is getting a bit boring these days. If Tiger is playing he wins. If Phil is playing, and Tiger isn't, then Phil wins. If neither of them are playing then absolutely no one cares. The sport desperately needs some of the young stars to step up their game. Or maybe someone needs to pull a Tonya Harding on the two superstars to give everyone else a chance.