Friday, 8/11 Quick Hitters: Preseason Football, D-Backs, Uniform Watch, and Josh Rosen’s Comments

You know what I love about this time of year? That most every NFL and college football team’s fanbase has reasons to be optimistic. Even you, Bears fans (despite your new starting QB throwing a Pick-6 on his first possession of the preseason).

-At least the Bears have Mitchell Trubisky though…and you have to wonder how long it will take for this year’s #2 overall pick to gain the starting job over Mike Glennon.

From Thursday’s game:
Glennon: 2/8, 20 yards, 1 INT (returned for a TD)
Trubisky: 18/25, 166 yards, 1 TD

Hmmm…

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-The Jets on the other hand…well…there’s absolutely nothing to be looking forward to this season. Maybe next year’s NFL Draft.

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Four Downs – July 24th: Is Kyrie Irving to the Suns a real possibility?

Well I can tell you from on-scene experience, if you like to play the horse favorites at Del Mar, it’s a losing proposition.

FIRST DOWN: Does Kyrie Irving to the Suns actually make sense?

Yes, depending on the return. If the Suns can acquire Irving from Cleveland without giving up Devin Booker or Josh Jackson, then I’m ALL for it! But would Cleveland really consider that?

Eric Bledsoe, Tyson Chandler, and a future 1st round pick or two…is that enough? Maybe throw in T.J. Warren instead of the draft pick(s)?

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Irving is clearly unhappy and knows that the 2016 NBA Champions are a sinking ship. LeBron James is leaving (for L.A.) in 2018 and immediately Cleveland goes from the East’s best team to an also-ran.

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Best Bets: Finding Value In NFL and College Football Team Win Over / Unders

The best time of the sports year is upon us: football season is almost here! Training camps open next week, preseason games start soon after, and for college football, the real games begin as early as the final Saturday in August!

So it’s time to dive into win totals bets and find which teams will surprise or disappoint their fans this year.

Below I’ll give you 10 each from the pros and college ranks where I see the best value. Take these predictions to Vegas as you see fit!

All lines via BetOnline.ag and / or HeritageSports.eu. The standard line is -110 ($110 bet wins you $100 profit). 

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Friday, 7/7 Quick Hitters

-You know the sports season is rough when I can truly say that watching players I’ve never heard of at Wimbledon is somewhat entertaining. I’m going with Marin Cilic to upset and win the Men’s Singles and Caroline Wozniacki on the Women’s side.

-Then again, what the hell do I know about tennis…?

-Anything Wimbledon > next Monday’s Home Run Derby. I have always cared little about it and sold my tickets when the competition was here in 2011.

-I used to get excited for the MLB All-Star Game but now that means nothing since it doesn’t determine home field advantage. And speaking of, for those who thought the AL winning last season hurt the Cubs, please note how Kyle Schwarber got to DH four times instead of three. Who led off the 10th inning of Game 7 with a hit? Exactly.

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Four Downs – June 26th

FIRST DOWN – The NBA needs to make an unprecedented change. Yes, I’m advocating for something that’s never been done in the history of professional sports (at least in the modern era). It’s time to completely shake up the way the league formats its playoffs. What I advocate is the elimination of conferences when it comes to seeding. After seeing the Western Conference increase its strength on draft night with the Timberwolves acquisition of Jimmy Butler, enough is enough. The West as a whole is much stronger than the Eastern Conference and somehow the playing field needs to be leveled out. So here is what I would do:

  • The top 16 records qualify for the playoffs no matter which conference.
  • Seed them 1-16 based on record – no preference is given to division winners (i.e. divisions are in place just for scheduling purposes during the regular season).
  • Play each round as a 7 game series as is the case currently.
  • Let the best team win.

If we get a Spurs-Warriors NBA Finals, so be it. I think fan excitement would be off the charts; Golden State vs. Cleveland / Boston wouldn’t be a given for the 2018 NBA Finals. Would it solve the problem of super teams? Maybe not entirely…but in this case it’s all about leveling the playing field.

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Super teams aren’t going away so it’s time to level out the competition.

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Friday, 6/16 Quick Hitters

What’s going on in the sports world as only I can see it…

-This year’s Golden State Warriors were the best NBA team of my lifetime. There…I said it. How can you argue? They had FOUR ELITE PLAYERS, including two of the top five in NBA. And as long as Kevin Durant stays a Warrior, no one is beating them. Period.

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-Here’s what SHOULD happen in next week’s NBA Draft:
1. Boston – TRADE THE PICK!! They don’t need Markelle Fultz or any other rookie at this point. They need a veteran scorer like Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
2. LA Lakers – Just take Lonzo Ball and be done with it. He’s the perfect Lakers PG despite the fact that his dad is a pain-in-the-ass.
3. Philadelphia – Trade this pick to Sacramento along with something else for Picks 5 &10. The Kings would get the best player in the draft as I see it, De’Aaron Fox while the Sixers could add multiple quality pieces to their already strong stable of young prospects.
4. Phoenix – If Fox is gone as I predict, then Josh Jackson is the EASY pick. If Philly stays at 3 and takes Jackson, the Suns have to take Fox. Or they trade with the Kings…
5. Sacramento – Anything short of landing star point guards Fultz, Ball, or Fox is a complete failure by Kings management. Then again, look who we’re talking about here…

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Vlade Divac was the ultimate flopper as a player. As the Kings GM, he has been the ultimate FLOP to this point.

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Friday, 6/9 Quick Hitters

A sampling of what’s on my mind in the sports world this week…

-Bob Stoops leaving Oklahoma doesn’t surprise me in the least. The timing of the announcement, after spring practice, and in early-June is stunning. While his teams have been successful, his penchant of choking in bowl games and not playing for a national title in recent years had to be taxing. OU was never going to let him go…but he needs a fresh start. I don’t believe for a second that he’s completely done coaching.

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Bob Stoops’ “retirement” feels similar to Urban Meyer’s from Florida several years back. And we all know how that went…

-With that said I’ll give you two predictions for “Big Game Bob” and his next stop:
Tennessee Volunteers
Chicago Bears
Both jobs will likely be open after the 2017 season.

-Last thought on Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley will be a fine coach for the Sooners going forward. Despite being only 33 years old, Riley was likely to get a major head coaching job within the next two years as is. Makes one wonder if Stoops was quietly pushed to step aside so Riley wouldn’t be tempted to look elsewhere?

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