Super Bowl Special Prop Bets Because You Deserve to Win Money on Ridiculous Things

Prop bets are a great way to watch the Super Bowl even for the most average of fans.

I honestly can’t tell you when the first prop bet occurred but it would only seem right if it were during a Super Bowl. I laid out the history of betting the Super Bowl earlier this week and hopefully you took that to heart before laying your dough on either the Patriots or Seahawks.

Prop bets can essentially be wagers on just about anything related to the event. If Dick Vitale were doing the Final Four, there would be a prop on how many times he says one of his famous phrases. When Jim Nantz does The Masters, a prop bet could be home times he mentions the azaleas or other flower.

Prop bets have even started to creep their way into popular culture. You can actually wager on things like the Academy Awards and what color will Meryl Streep be wearing. Yes my friends, we’ve clearly gone off the deep end. The prop bets featured today are just a small sampling of the type of prop bets you can make. But the great news is that you have options.

If you’re attending one of the millions of Super Bowl parties around the country then get creative! Bring in the Super Bowl commercials and you can do that in a number of ways. From the most ads, to the ones with celebrities and so on.

The bottom line is that with prop bets, you can do just about whatever you want. Have fun with them and enjoy the guy.

Today I’m giving you special prop bets from our friends at Bovada. I hope you enjoy these props and my picks for each. My best bets have an * next to them.

Length of the National Anthem by Idina Menzel

Two Minutes 1 Second OVER -120, UNDER -120

Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least one word from the National Anthem?

Yes +450, No -700

Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a touchdown?

Yes +600, No -1000

Which coach will be mentioned first by name after the opening kickoff on TV?

Pete Carroll EVEN, Bill Belichick -140

Got thoughts on what style hoodie Bill Belichick will be wearing? You can wager on that.

What color will Bill Belichick’s hoodie be?

Gray -150, Blue +110, Red +700

How many times will Katy Perry be mentioned before halftime?*

Over 2 -110, Under 2 -130

Will Bill Belichick smile on TV cameras during the game?

Yes +150, No -250

Bill Belichick hoodie type

sleeves cut -175, sleeves intact +135

What will Katy Perry be wearing when she begins her halftime show?

Pants (below knees) +275, Shorts (above knees) +225, Skirt or Dress -175

How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV during the game?

Over 1.5 EVEN, Under 1.5 -140

Who will be shown more on TV during the game?*

Robert Kraft -250, Paul Allen +170

Will Al Michaels mention during the broadcast the spread, total, odds or prop bets during the game?

Yes +170, No -250

What will the Nielsen rating of the game be?

Over 47.5 -120, Under 47.5 -120

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his interview?

Teammates 3/2, God 2/1, Fans/City 15/2, Owner 12/1, Coach 15/1, Family 15/1, Does not mention any of the above 5/2

How many viewers will the game have?

Over 113 million -140, Under 113 million Even

How many times will “deflated” balls be mentioned during the game?

Over 3 -140, Under 3 Even




I Really Like These Sunday Late Games

Why shouldn't Philip Rivers be getting some MVP consideration?

I’m taking a look at the late games today which may be capped by the best game of the day when the Giants visit Philadelphia. Let’s go!

San Diego (-7.5) at Oakland (O/U 43.5) – The Chargers are a fourth quarter letdown in the opener  away from being 5-0 right now. QB Philip Rivers is having an MVP-type season and the defense is really coming together. In Oakland, the Tony Sparano era is underway. I can guarantee you that the Raiders will give maximum effort today.

San Diego has to be careful not to rely too much on Rivers with both of their top running backs out of the game with injuries.

Trends: San Diego is 3-7 against the spread in their last ten games against the Raiders… Oakland is 4-17 in their last 21 games against the the Chargers… The total has gone OVER in five of San Diego’s last seven games when playing on the road against Oakland.

Key Injuries: SD RBS Ronald Brown, Ryan Mathews OUT… OAK G Khalif Barnes OUT

The Pick: Take the Raiders getting the points and I like the UNDER.

DeMarco Murray cannot afford to fumble the ball the way he has against Seattle.

Dallas (+9) at Seattle (O/U 47) – There used to be an old saying that Monday night’s winners were Sunday’s losers. This came about because of less time to prepare and heal up before the next game. I don’t think that’s going to be the case here. Pete Carroll will have his team ready to go because this isn’t the normal Dallas team they’ve seen in recent years.

The Cowboys are running the ball behind DeMarco Murray and their much-maligned defense is doing just fine.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in five of Dallas’ last seven games… Seattle is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against Dallas… The Cowboys are 1-4 straight up in their last five games at Seattle.

Key Injuries: DAL LB Bruce Carter OUT… SEA TE Zach Miller OUT

The Pick: Take Dallas getting the points and the UNDER.

Washington (+3.5) at Arizona (O/U 45.5) – This is all going to depend on who is starting at quarterback for Arizona. There’s talk it could be Palmer, Stanton or even rookie Logan Thomas who came in last week. I think you’ll see Bruce Arians rely on the running game a bit more either way.

For the Redskins, can Kirk Cousins bounce back from a rough go against the Seahawks? I think you’ll see them go with Alfred Morris and the running game a bit as well but the Cardinals’ defense is tough so he’ll have to throw at some point.

Trends: Washington is 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games on the road… The Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last six games when playing the Redskins at home… The total has gone UNDER in four of Washington’s last five trips to Arizona.

Key Injuries: WAS QB Robert Griffin III OUT… Qbs Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton QUESTIONABLE

The Pick: Take the Cardinals to cover and the UNDER.

NY Giants (+3) at Philadelphia (O/U 51) – With Dallas playing earlier in Seattle, this becomes a monster game for both of these teams. A Cowboys’ loss means the winner of this game takes first-place in the NFC East. The Giants will be hurting without running back Rashard Jennings but don’t be a bit surprised if rookie Andre Williams has a big game in his place.

For the Eagles it’s quite simple; they need to get LeSean McCoy going. He’s averaging less than three yards per carry right now and that’s not going to cut it.

Trends: The Giants are 3-9 against the spread and are 3-9 straight up in their last 12 games against Philadelphia… The Eagels are 7-1 SU in their last eight games at home… Philly is 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 games at home.

Key Injuries: NYG RB Rashard Jennings, OUT… PHI C Jason Kelce OUT

The Pick: Take the G-Men getting the points and I like the OVER.

Weekend Ramblings Include Pot in Pro Sports and Tiger’s Exit From the Masters.’

Larry Sanders was suspended for marijuana use and he was just fine with it.

Milwaukee Bucks’ center Larry Sanders was suspended this week by the National Basketball Association for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. His suspension is just five games but Sanders’ comments afterwards will last much longer.

Sanders was suspended for marijuana use and he made no excuses about it at all. In fact, he went so far as to advocate for it.

“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” Sanders said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before the Bucks’ 102-90 loss at Chicago. “I will deal with the consequences from it.

“It’s a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it. I know what it is if I’m going to use it.”

While Sanders will probably be admonished for his open views, he actually raises issues that will continue to grow in the NBA and across professional and collegiate sports. Many professional football players have advocated for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because they claim it helps with their aches and pains as well as relief from headaches which of course is a major issue.

I believe we are a long ways off from marijuana being allowed by any of the professional sports leagues in any form if at all, but the discussion as clearly been started. If scientific evidence can prove that marijuana can in fact do great things for professional athletes besides giving them a nice high, then perhaps it will be allowed.

The problem will be acceptance and availability to all members of the sport because there’s no question some will view it as a performance-enhancing drug. I know I’m not ready to go there just yet.

Perhaps this set back for Tiger will give him time to contemplate the future.

Tiger is not ‘back’

I’ve been as hard as anyone on Tiger Woods in recent years and I won’t back off on much of it. I think he’s a guy who would really love to be more open than he is but his father trained him so well to keep things inside and keep only a small circles of friends that he has never been able to break it. Some would say that mentality has allowed him to win the 14 majors he has while others might say it has kept him from being who he is really is.

One of the things I’ve been hardest on him for is his penchant for withdrawing from tournaments. If you look at his seven WDs in his career, most have happened in the last few years and none of them ever happened when he was in contention.

I ripped him hard for his recent WD down in Florida and I’ll stand by that. If you’re going to win the US Open on a busted up leg then why can’t you hang in and finish a tournament with a ‘sore back?’

Woods announced on Tuesday that he would be missing the Masters’ Tournament this year due to recent surgery for a persistently pinched nerve. Do I feel bad that ripped Woods when he in fact did have  medical issues? No I do not because no one dramatizes his physical ailments more than Woods does. It’s like he’s taken a page from the Michael Jordan “play through the flu game” only this time he hasn’t been able to see it all the way through.

At this point, Woods stands four major tournament wins short of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods has always said this is the only record that has mattered to him and that the only way you could rank the greatest players in golf was by the number of majors’ won.

I suggest he find his health and as well as his true personality before he makes one final push for the record.

Breaking Down the Final Four Match-Ups

Can Shabazz Napier keep the Huskies' run alive against the Gators?

The Final Four is finally here and I fully expect to see good games that will feature all kinds of swings and back and forth action. Who do I like to advance to Monday night? Read on people!

UConn (+6) vs. Florida – The last time these two teams met UConn defeated the Gators 65-64 in a game that could not have been any tighter than the final score indicates. The Huskies led by one at the half and then the two teams scored the exact same amount of points in the second half of that game. As close as the game was, it was also the very last time the Gators lost a game this season.

Florida comes in with one of the top defenses in the land but we have to give the Huskies credit for their defense as well. What concerns me for the Gators is the size that UConn can bring both in the starting line-up and from off the bench. The Huskies will have a significant height advantage over Florida’s big guys who are around 6’9″ and typically muscle their way to the hoop.

Huskies’ phenomenal guard Shabazz Napier had a 26 point game in that match-up and that’s about what he is averaging so far in the tournament. The challenge for Billy Donovan and company is to not necessarily keep Napier from scoring. They have to make him work for every shot and every point and they also must make him defend at the other end as well.

While Kevin Ollie has done a tremendous job coaching the Huskies, I have to give the coaching edge to Billy Donovan. Guard Scottie Wilbekin is an extension of Donovan on the court and I believe that’s the difference. I love the Huskies getting the six points so take them but I like Florida to advance in a close game.

Can the Badgers handle the athleticism of Randle and the Wildcats?

Kentucky (-2) vs. Wisconsin – Last week while I was watching the Kentucky-Michigan game, I felt either team could have easily won the game and no one could have complained. The one thing I kept coming back to in that game though as it wore on was the overall athleticism of the Wildcats.

Yes, they are a group of freshmen who are doing something we’ve really only seen once before and that was ironically the Fab Five of Michigan 20 years ago. That said, I believe the biggest problem Wisconsin is going to face is the sheer athleticism of Kentucky. I know, I know…. The Badgers face plenty of other athletic teams throughout the season so why is this any different?

I find it different for two reasons; first is the coaching. Love him or hate him, John Calipari can flat out coach and he’s gotten the most out of these kids and then some. The second difference about UK’s athleticism is that these are not weak, scrawny freshmen. These are thick, well-built young men who have weathered the physical storm all season long in the SEC.

The Badgers will counter the athleticism with physicality and precision. While this isn’t one of Bo Ryan’s better defensive teams, this doesn’t mean the Badgers can’t play any D. They will make the Wildcats work on the defensive end and then will play very physical and aggressive man-to-man defense that will challenge Kentucky to take care of the ball.

The fate of UK big man Willie Cauley-Stein is unknown but speculation is that he won’t play in the final four with his ankle injury. I really think Frank Kaminsky and the Badgers will make this interesting but the Wildcats just have too many options and too many athletes. I like Kentucky to cover and advance.

NCAA Tournament Starts With Typcial Flare

Dayton scored the very first upset of the tournament with a win over Ohio State.

It was the very first game of the day. The 12:15pm tip from the South Regional in Buffalo featured the Ohio State Buckeyes and a team from within Ohio as well in the Dayton Flyers. It did not disappoint.

The Flyers pulled out a 60-59 victory in dramatic fashion as they scored with about four seconds remaining and then had to survive an Aaron Craft drive to the hoop where his desperation shot failed. This was only the second time in eleven trips to the tournament that Thad Matta and the Buckeyes exited in the first (NCAA calls it second) round.

While there was no joy in Columbus, this was the perfect start to another NCAA Tournament.

Tommay Amaker and Harvard pulled a first round upset for the second straight year.

It didn’t stop there though as we got our first 12 vs. 5 upset in the very first of those four games. 12-seed Harvard upset fifth seeded Cincinnati 61-57 to advance. This outcome was not overly surprising to many because the Crimson entered with tournament experience and have a seasoned, veteran coach in Tommy Amaker.

How rare is it to see Harvard in the NCAA Tournament? Put it this way, Harvard has seen more graduates go on to become president of the United States than they have seen go on the National Basketball Association.

Also in usual day one fashion, we saw a number one seed flirt with disaster. The Florida Gators got all they could handle from Albany before finally pulling away and winning 67-55. As you know, there has never been a number one seed that has gone down to a 16-seed and it appears that we aren’t going to see it here either.

The rest of the early action featured massive blowouts including Pitt’s huge win over Colorado by the score of 77-48. This was an 8-9 match-up and these are typically supposed to be among the most even games. This was so bad that at one point, the Panthers only outscored the Buffaloes 31-30 in the second half. That means the halftime score was 46-18.

That my friends is ugly.

Not to be outdone was Wisconsin. The Badgers found themselves down early in the game to American who appeared to be quite ready for the aggressive Badgers. Wisconsin took advantage of the home crowd in Milwaukee and blitzed the Eagles 43-13 in the second half to win 75-35. If Wisconsin can play defensively this way throughout the tourney then they have as good of a shot as anyone.

The competition will ramp up significantly however.

Looking Ahead to Today

I love the Nebraska-Baylor Match-up. This features the 11th seeded Huskers and the sixth-seeded Bears. Baylor really picked things up towards the end of the season while Nebraska pushed all of the top teams in the Big Ten. I expect this game to much closer than some expect.

Eighth seeded Gonzaga takes on ninth seed Oklahoma State and believe you’ll see a much more competitive game than the Pitt-Colorado eight-nine game. Many people think the Cowboys have Final Four talent while this ‘Zags team has flown under the radar compared to more recent teams.

Although there’s already been a 12-5 upset, there could be another one in the works for today. Stephen F. Austin has not lost a game since November and goes up against fifth seeded VCU. This isn’t one of Shaka Smart’s best teams but it’s still a very good one. That said, I really like how SFA plays. They are very deliberate offensively and play very well on the defensive end as well.

No Olympics on Vegas Boards, but Available Worldwide on Sportsbooks

This weekend the Opening Ceremonies will start the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia with countries from all over the world competing for hundreds of medals.

While betting the events is allowed in sports books around the world like Bovada, which currently has the U.S. 3.25 to win the most Gold Medals, there will not be a single option for wagering available for the entire Winter Games in Vegas or the rest of Nevada.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has a regulation that says no wager can be accepted nor paid on any amateur sport or athletic event that is non-collegiate.

What that means is no bets will be accepted for the Olympics in Vegas, but on, topbet and betonline as well as Bovada there are numerous options and props to choose from.

The prohibition in Vegas was the result of a trade off in 2001, when Senator John McCain of Arizona attempted to eliminate college sports from the Nevada boards.

That would have been a huge blow to casino business throughout the state as college sports is one of their biggest draws, especially college football.

McCain’s push to take college sports off the boards gained strength due to the double standard in Nevada of not offering any odds on the states two colleges, Nevada and UNLV. McCain could not understand why the boards had offers on odds for all the other teams around the nation that were deemed “amateur” but not on their own two.

McCain at the time had a good point, so the Gaming Commission in Nevada changed its regulation immediately and allowed all betting on the two colleges in Nevada.

At the same time, it made other amendments to its regulations, requiring the books to report any suspicious activities, like a bet placed on behalf of a player or coach in a particular event that, that player or coach was involved in.

That topic is brought up today over a decade later since the Olympics start this weekend and the boards in Vegas and Reno will be void of bets for them.

There is no telling the amount of money the casinos could have earned on the Olympics. However, since professional hockey players participant in the Olympics, the NHL has taken a winter break and Vegas will also lose revenue for the 15 days they are on hiatus.

The Olympics are defined as non-collegiate amateur sports, but the participants often times are paid for winning medals by their home country and receive endorsements and sponsorships as well.

However, the tag of amateur has stayed and the Gaming Commission in Nevada is not in any hurry to make a change.

The state knows how important it was to keep college basketball and football on the boards as it represents 40% of their overall handle. However, it does not look like they are ready to add the Olympics any time soon.

Big Ten, Pac-12 and More in My Weekly CFB Picks

Mariota's Ducks are huge favorites against Colorado today.

Season Record 8-12-1, Last Week 2-1-1

Oregon (-39.5) at Colorado – “He’s calling a game with a spread of almost 40 points?” You’re darn right I am and I feel good about it too. The first thing I noticed about Oregon in terms of trends was that the total has gone OVER in seven of the Ducks’ last ten games and six of their last seven on the road. Bottom line? The Ducks have proven they can score at will.

The Buffs are 2-1 but their wins came against Colorado State and Central Arkansas with their loss being a whipping by Oregon State in Corvallis. This is an improved Colorado team compared to recent years but I cannot see this team hanging with the Ducks unless an early snowstorm hits the Rockies.

Take the Ducks to cover even at that ridiculous number.

Western Michigan (+22) at Toledo – I don’t believe in the concept of ‘it’s a sure thing’ but this is about as close as it can get. Toledo is 2-3 but has losses against Florida and Missouri and both came on the road. While those games ended in defeats, they were far from blowouts as the Rockets held tough throughout.

Western Michigan is 0-5 with a loss at home to FBS Nicholls State. They also dropped hard-fought games against Michigan State and Northwestern but then were destroyed by Iowa in Iowa City two weeks ago by 56 points. This Broncos team is incredibly young and has injuries in tough spots.

The Rockets boast one of the nation’s top rushers in David Fluellen and are playing at home in the Glass Bowl where they rarely lose. WMU is 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 road games. Take the Rockets to win by more than 22.

Maryland's Randy Edsall has himself off the hot seat with a 4-0 start.

Maryland (+16.5) at Florida State – The Terps are the first ranked team the Seminoles will face in 2013 which is why they are averaging over 51 points per game through four games. FSU looked pretty mortal for awhile last Saturday in Chestnut Hill as they fell behind early by double-digits to Boston College. Once they woke up, they went on to defeat the Eagles 48-34.

Maryland has not played a ranked team either en route to having the nation’s third best scoring defense. They also run the ball very well ranking 24th in the country. They are however, 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight games in Tallahassee. I think last week was a bit of a wake-up call for Florida State and I expect a big-time effort against the Terps. Take FSU to cover that spread.

Ohio State (-7) at Northwestern – This game is being called the biggest one at Northwestern since at the very least their Rose Bowl year of 1995. A win over unbeaten Ohio State would vault them into the favorites’ role for the Big Ten title. The problem for the Wildcats is that Ryan Field will have as much scarlet and gray in it as it will purple. The Buckeyes travel well and the Wildcats rarely sell out.

With that said, Northwestern has the ability to hang with Ohio State but I believe they must do what Wisconsin couldn’t last week in Columbus and that’s get out early against the Buckeyes. The Wildcats can’t afford to get behind because they cannot become one-dimensional.

Northwestern is 1-4 against the spread in their last four games at home against OSU. That doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats and I think the depth of the Buckeyes will prove too much. I like Ohio State to cover the spread.


Your Saturday Smorgasbord of Sports

Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask
Rask was the definition of a brick wall in holding the powerful Pens to just two goals in four games.

Every Saturday and Sunday I find myself often with many choices of what to write about. This dilemma often occurs the most at this time of year with so much going on with playoffs, baseball races and even horse racing. So I figured why not just cover them all? Here is your Saturday Smorgasboard of sporting events for today.

National Hockey League – The Boston Bruins defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins was not out of the realm of possibilities prior to the start of this series. How they defeated the Penguins is what is truly amazing when you think about it. The Bruins completed a shocking four-game sweep of the top-seeded Pens last night with a 1-0 win in Boston to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

If you had told me that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jerome Iginla would be held without a single point in this series I would have said you’re crazier than Amanda Bynes. That’s exactly what happened though. Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask was beyond phenomenal allowing just two goals over four games. With Chicago up 3-1 in the Western Conference, the B’s can only hope that series ends soon. As hot as they are right now, time off just wouldn’t be good right now. For the record, I had the Pens in six. Ouch.

National Basketball Association – I’ll have a lot more to say on game two coming up tomorrow, but there are two really interesting trends facing off with each other going into tomorrow night. The Heat with James, Wade and Bosh have three prior times lost game one of a playoff series only to bounce back and sweep the next four. The Spurs meanwhile are 4-0 in the NBA Finals when they win game one of the series. In other words, something’s gotta give.

The Belmont Stakes are today and offer plenty of good action.

The Belmont Stakes – While the Triple Crown is out of the question once again this year heading into today’s Belmont Stakes in New York, there is still some great wagering action available for you. Kentucky Derby Winner Orb is listed at 3/1 while Preakness Winner Oxbow is listed 5/1. Revolutionary had a morning line of 9/2.

If you’re looking for a long shot today then I really like Midnight Taboo who is listed at 30/1. This Todd Pletcher-trained horse was sired by Thunder Gulch who has a Derby and Belmont victory to his resume. Although rather inexperienced with just three races, Taboo has a first and two second place finishes.

If you’re looking for my call on this one though I have hard time not seeing Orb and Oxbow finishing on the board although I’m not going to say who the winner will be.

Major League Baseball – A month ago, there was a legitimate race in all six divisions. Now? Not so much. In the NL East, the Atlanta Braves have stretched their lead to 6.5 games over Washington while in the NL Central, the Cardinals have opened up a four game flead over both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. In the West, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a 2.5 game lead over Colorado but the last place Dodgers are just seven games out with a lot of ball to be played. If they can get their pitching right and keep riding rookie phenom Yasiel Puig’s clutch hitting, they could get right back in it.

In the American League East, Boston is back on top by two games over the Yankees, three over Baltimore and 3.5 over the Tampa Rays. I fully expect this division to go down to the wire. In the Central, the Tigers have finally grabbed a little breathing room with a 3.5 game lead over Cleveland and in the West, the red-hot Oakland A’s ha


Pacers Even Series; Grizzlies in Must-Win Tonight

Erik Spoelstra
Erik Spoelstra
Spoelstra and the Heat will be ready for a hostile crowd in Indianapolis.

I have to give Indiana Pacers’ Head Coach Frank Vogel and his team credit. There was no way I saw them bouncing back from that game one heartbreaker in which Vogel left big man Roy Hibbert on the bench in the defining moments of the game. They proved me wrong however as Hibbert cam up huge while LeBron James turned it over twice in the final seconds to give the Pacers a 97-93 win in Miami.

The win gives the Pacers home-court now with five games remaining in the series and that’s nothing to take lightly. Just ask the New York Knicks who couldn’t beat the Pacers at home in Indy. I’m not suggesting the defending champs can’t win on the Pacers’ home floor, but it isn’t going to be easy by any stretch.

Two really interesting notes to take from last night and both involve LeBron James.

The reigning MVP can say all he wants to that he and the rest of the Heat will not vary from their normal gameplan of driving to the hoop against Hibbert, but the numbers are saying otherwise. In game two, the Heat were just eight of 20 on drives to the goal with Hibbert in the game. With Hibbert out, James himself was four of five. They can talk all they want to about Hibbert not changing things for them but clearly he does.

Secondly, James had a great game last night scoring 36 points and grabbing eight rebounds but he knows like everyone else that failed to come through down the stretch. This was always thought to be something that haunted him in the past but not anymore. Yes, it was only one game and even Michael Jordan had these games, but James had two opportunities in the final seconds and failed miserably.

While I don’t think anyone will mistake his one-on-one match-up with Paul George with the great Bird-Dr.J hook-ups of the 1980’s, this was certainly for one night a great reminder of those days. Each guy seemingly matched the other as the two competitors stared each other down at times as if it were an old west gunfight. James has his way with George for most of the game but then George held him scoreless from the field over the final three minutes.

I expect game three to be an absolute brawl and you should too.

Zach Randolph
Randolph must score better tonight for the Grizzlies to have a chance and I believe he will.

In Memphis tonight, the Grizzlies face what I would call another ‘must-win’ game. I say another because I really felt that game two was must win as well. Give the Griz credit thought as they fought back from 18 down in the 3rd quarter, but they still lost the game. There is one ray of hope for Memphis tonight and that’s previous history.

Last year, the San Antonio Spurs took the first two games from the up and coming Oklahoma City Thunder and looked like they had total control of the series. Kevin Durant and the Thunder went on to win four straight games in advancing to the NBA Finals. Granted, even just a year later, many things are different, but it’s certainly worth noting.

If the Grizzlies are going to make this a series, it has to be because of Zach Randolph. The Memphis big man has been less than stellar in the first two games and his shooting must improve for them to have any chance. While his shooting did improve slightly from game one to game two, he was still missing many high percentage shots.

For the Spurs, it’s business as usual. Keep getting contributions from Danny Green and Kahwi Leonard while Duncan, Parker and Ginobili do their thing. San Antonio enters as a five-point dog tonight but I sense a Memphis blowout this evening. Take the Griz outright at home in their “Grindhouse.”


NFL Draft is the Ultimate Gamble

NFL Draft
NFL Draft
Every April NFL teams gamble on their selections in the NFL Draft.

Everyday I sit down and try to think of ways to make your experience with wagering just a little bit more unique. I often try to come up with a trend that could sway your opinion should you be sitting on the fence or with a key statistic that you may have overlooked in yur own preparation.

This week is the National Football League’s Annual Collegiate Draft. All 32 teams will have the opportunity to get better throught their selections of college players they fell will best fit their organization. Often these players are selected for their ability on the football field which is often based on far more than what they have accomplished on the gridiron.

In the 21st century world of technology and social media, NFL teams must go through a vetting process far more rigorous than their fore-fathers did throughout the past century. Some would see all of this technology to be a tremendous asset. You can quickly look at a guy on YouTube or pull up an interview after a poor performance to gauge his reaction and overall attitude.

There are also those who would argue that the age of technology and social media for potential players might be a bad thing. Is it overkill perhaps? Can you find out ‘too’ much about a player? Does it really matter what he thinks about the President’s overall performance if he tweets about it?

You know as well as I do that teams invest literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in looking into these young men and their backgrounds. What could of upbringing did they have? Do they have any brushes with the law? How are they thought of around campus? Those are but a litany of questions prospects face heading into the NFL Draft.

Former Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden was once asked about the poor discipline of his Seminoles’ team and Bowden replied, “If Discipline meant winning championships then Army and Navy would play for the title every year.” The bigger picture of what Bowden’s comments meant were about young men playing college football in general today.

They often come from tough, low-income situations and NFL teams must look deeply into that background because stereo-typically there are brushes with poor discipline or privileged treatment once they get into college. One of the biggest questions team have is how will fame and wealth impact these young men.

Manning and Wilson
Not every selection works out as well as these two have.

Will they be as easy to pick as an Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson or Peyton Manning? Will they be a bust like JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf? Or is it possible they just end up being average Joe’s?

Think of the young men that walked to the podium over the years to shake the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and you’d realize just how many of them do not actually pay off on the investment their respective teams make on them. This is why choosing players, whether they be in the first round or seventh round, is such a gamble for teams.

By the time the names of these college greats are called there will have been literally hours and hours poured over them to ensure they are the right fit for said team. They’ll have taken tests, both physical and mental. They’ll have been questioned about everything they could have imagined and probably even more and they’ll be measured from the second they walk into a facility to the second they walk out and then some.

This might not sound like gambling to you but there really is no other way to put this process into a proper perspective. You gamble money and they are gambling franchises.