Case of the Mondays: Beckham Overshadows Bryant, but Giants Lose
by Ricky Dimon - 11/24/2014
Odell Beckham Jr. made an unbelievable catch and had an all-around awesome game to take best receiver on the field honors away from the Cowboys' Dez
Bryant, but Beckham's team could not quite seal the deal on Sunday night. The Giants blew a double-digit lead and dropped a wild one in Dallas 31-28. In
Atlanta, meanwhile, another thriller saw the home team go down to Cleveland 26-24 in part due to some buffoonery by head coach Mike Smith.
Odds provided by Sportsbook.ag unless otherwise indicated .
Dez Bryant . You know Bryant hates not being the best player on the field, but that's what he was against the Giants. Beckham's second-quarter touchdown on a 43-yard heave by Manning was undoubtedly the grab of the year. The former LSU standout finished with 146 yards and two scores on 10 receptions, albeit in a losing effort. Bryant was not bad in his own right, but he wasn't that good. He made seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns. It might be a long Monday at the water-cooler if Bryant runs into any Beckham apologists. In all seriousness, of course, Bryant is probably just fine with the win…. Well, maybe…. The Cowboys are +140 to win the NFC East.
Mike Smith . It's not often that the head coach of a team just a half-game out of first place is on the hot seat. It's not often that a 4-7 team is just a half-game out of first place, too. The Falcons fell back to three games below .500 after yet another loss in which Smith was controversially involved. The latest on a growing list of clock-management transgressions came on Sunday, when the Falcons kicked a go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Cleveland 24-23. Unfortunately for Atlanta, Smith called an inexplicable timeout during the drive and attempted a long pass on third down, effectively giving the Browns two extra timeouts. Cleveland promptly drove down the field and kicked the game-winner. The question now is not "if." It's "when?" The Falcons are +2 home underdogs vs. Arizona in Week 13.
Ole Miss . Remember that time Ole Miss was 7-0 and No. 3 in the nation? Well, you probably do because it was barely more than four weeks ago. Now the Rebels are 8-3 and no longer in any discussion to win anything of significance this season. They are also one loss to Mississippi State away from finishing the year at a modest .500 in the SEC. It started with a confusing 10-7 setback at LSU on Oct. 25, continued seven days later with a heartbreaker against Auburn, and reached a zenith (it can't get any worse, can it?) on Saturday in the form of a 30-0 loss to Arkansas. Really? 30-0? Really? To Arkansas? Really?
Kansas . Kentucky will humiliate plenty of opponents throughout this college basketball season, but no blowout will come in such alarming fashion as the one Wildcats inflicted on Kansas last Tuesday. The final score read 72-40, and the second half alone saw UK dominate KU 34-12. Kansas was limited to a horrendous 11-for-56 shooting (19.6 percent) and had 11 shots blocked by the Wildcats. Not a single Jayhawk scored in double-figures for a team that was ranked No. 5 in the nation at the time. Kentucky is +140 to win the National Championship and +600 to go the entire season undefeated.
Philadelphia 76ers . Game No. 13 was not the lucky one for the Sixers. If they are in business of moral victories, which they appear to be at this point, then their 91-83 loss at New York on Saturday was a solid result-their fifth most competitive game of the year, in fact, according to the final margin. Philadelphia is 0-13 and losing its games by an average of 16.4 points. One of Philly's blemishes came via a 123-70 decision at Dallas, where the home team led 78-29 at one point during the third quarter. Have the Sixers forgotten that Andrew Wiggins was in last season's draft and no longer available? They are +13 home underdogs against Portland on Monday.
France . It was all set up for France to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 2001. Not only did the Frenchmen have home-court advantage in the final against Switzerland, but Roger Federer was also coming off a back injury that had forced him out of the World Tour Finals title match one week earlier. In the end, though, it was France that dealt with the physical problems. Federer improved after a Friday loss to Gael Monfils to dominate the doubles match and his Sunday singles contest against Richard Gasquet-who replaced an injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer's win over Gasquet clinched Switzerland's first-ever Davis Cup title. Federer is +650 to win the Australian Open; Novak Djokovic is a +125 favorite.
Arsenal . Arsenal is 1-2 during English Premier League action in the month of November after losing to Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday. It was not as close as the score suggested, either. Wayne Rooney gave Man U a 2-0 lead in the 85th minute before Arsenal notched a relatively meaningless tally in the fifth minute of stoppage time. It's not a terrible loss, but it came at home to an opponent that is 13 points out of first place in the EPL. The Gunners' only win in their last three matches has come at the expense of Burnley, which is second to last on the league table and seemingly on its way to relegation. Arsenal is a -125 favorite against West Brom this weekend, per Bovada Sportsbook.
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