This Week in Sports Betting, A-Z
by Ricky Dimon - 2/18/2015
A. Alex Rodriguez
. A-Rod declined to use Yankee Stadium for his public apology that he issued on Tuesday. Now if only he declined to use Yankee Stadium for any
baseball-playing endeavors the rest of his life, the Yankees would be positively thrilled.
B. Brandon Bostick . Bostick became a household name for all the wrong reasons when he botched Seattle's onside kick in the NFC Championship, leading to Green Bay's stunning loss. He will be looking for a new household after the Packers released him on Monday. That's either cold or deserved…or both. GB is +700 to win Super Bowl L, as indicated by Bovada Sportsbook.
C. Curry, Stephen
. Curry won the three-point contest for the first time last Saturday and did so in electric fashion, making 13 shots in the row in the final round before
missing his last attempt. Curry's 13 straight were the second-most ever (most-ever in the final) and most since Craig Hodges drained 19 in succession en
route to victory in 1991. In real action, the regular-season MVP favorite is averaging 23.6 points, 7.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and a league-leading 2.2
steals per game for the 42-9 Warriors. Curry is a -160 MVP favorite at Sportsbook.ag.
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D. Durant, Kevin . Durant has far more important things to do like leading Oklahoma City to the playoffs, but he did not have a memorable all-star weekend. What ended with a 1-for-6 performance in a Western Conference-low 10 minutes of playing time in Sunday's all-star game started one day earlier with a media roasting. "I just learn how to deal with y'all," Durant responded when asked about OKC head coach Scott Brooks' job security. "You guys really don't know shit." Well, apparently he has not yet learned how to deal with them…. The Thunder are +500 at Mybookie.ag to win the Western Conference.
E. Equalize . That's what new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred could do to the playing field between hitters and pitchers. And he may do it by shrinking the strike zone. In hopes of injecting more offense into the sport, Manfred and company are in preliminary discussions to make a change no earlier than for the 2016 season.
F. Fight . On again, off again…. So goes the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao saga. This really needs to be a non-story until a deal is actually signed…or if you're more pessimistic, until the first punch is actually thrown.
G. Gordon, Jeff . Gordon's final lap of his NASCAR career is off to a good start as he captured to the pole position for the Daytona 500 during qualification last weekend. The Rainbow Warrior, who is retiring at least from full-time Sprint Cup participation at the end of this season and insists this is his last 500, is a three-time champion of Daytona. Gordon is +1400 at Sports Interaction to win the race; Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a +1000 favorite.
H. Happy trails . To Amar'e Stoudemire, who was waived by the Knicks on Monday. As expected, he wasted no time in joining the Mavericks. Talk about an immediate upgrade to your workplace!
I. India . The cricket World Cup is in progress, and India is looking to defend its 2011 title. Sachin Tendulkar ain't walkin' through that door, but the reigning world champions did just fine without the retired superstar in their opener. Virat Kohli scored a century (yes, this is cricket speak) as India cruised past rival Pakistan. India is +800 at Bodog Sportsbook to win the cup; Australia is a +160 favorite.
J. Johnson, Chris . The New York Jets declined their team option on the veteran running back last Saturday, thus making him a free agent for a second consecutive offseason. Let's see: being a free agent, or playing for Jets? Free agent…Jets...free agent…Jets. It's probably safe to offer Johnson some congratulations for this development.
K. Kenseth, Matt . Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited last weekend at Daytona, which means he is still winless since 2013 because it was an exhibition. The No. 20 car, which is a two-time Daytona 500 champion (2009, 2012) snagged an incredible seven checkered flags the season before last.
L. La Liga . When you clobber a club led by Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 4-0, you should be able to handle a team called Celtic Vigo. But one week after hammering Real, Atletico Madrid lost to Celtic 2-0 in La Liga action on Sunday. Atletico is now seven points back of its league-leading city rival and six points south of second-place Barcelona. Real is -135 at Bovada Sportsbook to capture the title.
M. Mo'ne Davis . Kevin Hart won celebrity game MVP for a fourth consecutive year, but he was also on the receiving end of the night's most awesome highlight. Davis, of little league baseball fame, completely schooled Hart with a spin move and layup. No word yet if Geno Auriemma offered her a scholarship on the spot. Wait, didn't that already happen?
N. NFL combine . Jameis Winston looks quite a bit on the plump side in a mid-January photo currently making the internet rounds. His private coach insists the appearance is because of the workout leash around Winston's waist. Perhaps we will find out for certain at this week's NFL combine. BetOnline Sportsbook has the "over/under" on Winston's 40 time at 4.8 seconds.
O. Oregon State . The OSU men's basketball team lost to Southern Cal last Saturday then had its flight to Portland delayed because of a scorpion sting. That's right-a woman was stung on the hand by a scorpion prior to takeoff. Now if the problem had been snakes on the plane, Samuel L. Jackson undoubtedly would have come to the rescue.
P. Pebble Beach . Pebble Beach is like a tonic for Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson. Both men endured disastrous 2014 campaigns for various reasons, but they always play well at Pebble and last week was no exception. Snedeker won by breaking his own scoring record, previously set in 2012, with a 22-under total of 265. Johnson, a two-time champion of the AT&T National, tied for fourth. Johnson is a +1115 second choice at BookMaker to prevail at this week's Northern Trust Open.
Q. Quarterfinals . The FA Cup quarterfinal draw was held last weekend, and it pitted Premier League foes Manchester United and Arsenal against each other. That's probably not ideal for the two clubs, but hey, at least they are in it-which is more than Chelsea and Man City can say.
R. Rafael Nadal . Nadal couldn't win the Australian Open, so he is going back to playing the role of vulture at a much smaller event in South America. The Spaniard is the No. 1 seed at this week's Rio Open, where only one other Top-15 player is participating (No. 9 David Ferrer). Nadal's week got off to a routine start on Tuesday with a straight-set win over Thomaz Bellucci. SuperBook has Nadal as a +125 French Open favorite.
S. Saturday Night Live . Rarely is there more star-power in one place than at the annual NBA All-Star Game. But the 40th anniversary of "Saturday Night Live" celebration may have taken the cake. It certainly took the ratings as those two aforementioned events were transpiring simultaneously on Sunday. The recipe turned out to be quite a bad one or TNT and TBS.
T. Tyler Seguin . God bless NHL head coaches who specify more than just the dreaded "lower-body injury" or "upper-body injury." So a big thanks goes out to Stars' boss Lindy Ruff for telling reporters that the problem Seguin ran into after taking an apparent cheap shot from Florida's Dmitry Kulikov last Friday is a knee issue. One of the league's leading scorers, Seguin is expected to miss three to six weeks. Dallas is +4000 to win the Western Conference, according to Bovada Sportsbook.
U. UConn women . Auriemma's squad is back in its rightful place atop the rankings thanks to a 24-game winning streak since losing in overtime to Stanford back on Nov. 17. The surge reached its zenith last Monday when the Huskies destroyed then-No. 1 South Carolina 87-62.
V. Vegas strip . The second of two college basketball coaching legends who passed away this month (following Dean Smith) died last Wednesday when Jerry Tarkanian succumbed to myriad health issues. Most casinos along the Las Vegas strip have agreed to dim their non-essential lights for several minutes on Wednesday night starting at 10:30 p.m to honor the former UNLV boss. Previously honored in such fashion were Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy
W. Westbrook, Russell . The all-star weekend show was stolen by Westbrook, Curry, and Zach LaVine. On the heels of Saturday night heroics by Curry and LaVine, Westbrook dominated the All-Star Game. While Durant was throwing up bricks or otherwise sitting on the bench, Westbrook-his Thunder sidekick-went off for 41 points on 16-of-28 shooting. He obviously took home MVP honors after the West outgunned the East 163-158. Westbrook's alma mater, UCLA, is a +2.5 underdog at Arizona State on Wednesday, per Sportsbook.ag.
X. Ten . That's what LaVine got from most of the judges just about every time he took flight in the slam dunk contest. He got perfect scores for each of his first two dunks, nines from all five judges for his first attempt in the final round, and four out of five 10s for his finale. LaVine, 19, soared past the rest of an otherwise lackluster four-man field and did so in impressive fashion.
Y. You Don't Own Me . Lesley Gore, the "You Don't Own Me" singer who also had the hit "It's My Party" at the age of 16, died on Monday after battling lung cancer. She was 68. RIP.
Z. Zags . Gonzaga is still getting a No. 1 vote in the coaches poll. Although the Zags play in the West Coast Conference (ie, not the SEC) and have a loss (one more than Kentucky's zero), some coach is still voting them in the top spot. Like those baseball Hall of Fame voters who refuse to vote players in on the first ballot, this guy has to have his privileges revoked. GT Bets has Kentucky as a -150 favorite to win it all.
Read more articles by Ricky Dimon
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