EC’s Kentucky Derby Selections

This Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year: the betting spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby! Now let’s be honest…the Belmont Stakes full card is better than what we’ll say on Saturday at Churchill Downs. But the unpredictability of what will happen in America’s largest and arguably most significant yearly race can’t be beaten.

I’ll return with a full column or two next week but for now, take these winners to the betting window on Saturday and let’s make a few bucks!

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Friday, 8/25 Quick Hitters: QBs galore, Best Bets for Week Zero, Kyrie trade, Mayweather-McGregor

We have college football games that count starting on Saturday and this weekend features NFL preseason games worth watching (as most of the starters play at least a half). Finally!

-Looks like I’ll have to calm down on my Blaine Gabbert as the Cardinals’ starting QB later this season. Earlier this week coach Bruce Arians selected Drew Stanton as Carson Palmer’s backup. I’m still standing by my prediction that Gabbert surpasses Stanton on the depth chart sooner than later.

-I will say this for the record: I may not be a Drew Stanton fan but I’d MUCH rather have him in a pinch than either of Blake Bortles or former ASU QB Brock Osweiler. So would Jacksonville and Cleveland I’d bet.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns

-Osweiler’s contract from the Texans before the 2016 season might go down as one of the greatest con jobs in recent memory. It’s safe to say his skills and ability to read a defense have eroded. Now that Browns want to get rid of him…I have a feeling Brock’s tenure in the NFL is winding down.

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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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Friday, 7/21 Quick Hitters: The Cardinals’ 2018 QB Solution

Hanging out “Where The Turf Meets the Surf” this weekend. The summer racing season at Del Mar is always one of my favorite past times and it’s a nice bridge from the doldrums of Summer to football season. Please root for me to hit a sizable Pick 4 this weekend…

-On Tuesday’s episode of “Morning Fanatics” with Bauer and Fouhy, I was asked if I thought Kirk Cousins made sense for the Cardinals at QB in 2018 and beyond. My short answer: NO! Is it worth paying a quarterback who has as many playoff wins as you and I nearly $30 million a year?? That’s crazy talk.
Listen to the full interview here

-Don’t get me wrong…Cousins is probably a top-15 QB in the league. But if you think he’s worth 20-25% of the entire team’s salary cap, you’re drinking the kool-aid.

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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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Friday, 5/19 Quick Hitters

My weekly wrap-up of all that’s good and not-so-good in the sports world:

-Here’s the winning trifecta for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.  You’re welcome in advance.
1st: (4) Always Dreaming – should win by daylight if he runs similarly to the Kentucky Derby.
2nd: (2) Cloud Computing – Been firing bullet workouts since his 3rd place in the Wood Memorial and I’m a big Javier Castellano fan.
3rd: (6) Gunnevera – Dismiss jockey Mike Smith at your own risk (who takes over for Castellano) on this major closer.

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Always Dreaming should win the Preakness but he WON’T come close in the Belmont Stakes!

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Not a good sports weekend…

When I came up with the idea of this blog last Friday, I was hoping to kick it off with great news – i.e. a Cubs sweep of the Yankees and winning money on the Kentucky Derby. Not so much.  Below is a LONG recap of the weekend and what’s going through my head on this second Monday of May.

Cubs-Yankees:  I sat through 18 innings of baseball last night…only to watch my team score in only 2 of them. Give me a break! You’re the World Series champs and you can’t score in 16 of 18 innings…most of them against subpar pitching.  Add on to the fact that I needed the Cubs for a large parlay and it made the night all that much more disgusting.

For 8 innings on Friday, things were cruising.  Then Hector Rondon gave up a 3-run HR to Brett Gardner and the Cubs lost 3-2.  They were dead in the water in the 1st inning on Saturday and no need to further discuss last night’s marathon.  Swept…at home…by the freaking Yankees!

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The World Series champs are one game over .500 and are 7-9 at home, having been swept twice.  Last year they went 57-24 at Wrigley Field.  Think about that…they’re on pace to LOSE 46 games or so at Wrigley.  Do something Cubs management – you have most of the pieces to repeat in place…make some changes!  And no – Kyle Schwarber shouldn’t be hitting leadoff either.

I thought a repeat appearance to the World Series was a virtual lock at the start of the season. Right now, it’s looks to be in doubt…at best.  The worst case scenario as I see it isn’t THAT bad though – another NL Central Title.

Ducks-Oilers: The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – where the predictable is unpredictable.  I have never previously rooted for the Ducks except in the movies until I saw this year’s playoff bracket.  Then I saw their potentially easy road to the Finals IF Chicago lost – which happened in 4 games to Nashville.  Anaheim cruised to a first round sweep of Calgary…but honestly they’ve been thoroughly outplayed against Edmonton.

I have futures wagers on them to win this series (+450 when they were down 0-2), the Western Conference (+700), and the Finals (+1400)…so when they lose 7-1 in a potential elimination game, yes I’m seriously annoyed.  The Ducks stunning three goal comeback in the final few minutes on Friday night was amazing and stunning…yet the momentum clearly didn’t carry over as the Oilers scored five times in Sunday’s 1st period.

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I’m not wasting time writing about the NBA Playoffs because there’s nothing to say.  We know we’re getting a Warriors-Cavs Finals so let’s get on with it already.  The NHL is SO much more exciting and it doesn’t hurt that I stand to win some money if Anaheim succeeds.

I’m thinking with my heart and clearly not my head…but give me Anaheim 3-2 in OT on Wednesday night in what should be a dramatic Game 7.

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