For those of you who can’t resist betting on NFL, beware, as in the fourth week of exhibition almost every team plays simply not to get anyone hurt. Second, third and special team players will be determining the outcome of your wager.
Do you remember what happened last year on the last weekend of exhibition? Of course you don’t, and neither does anyone else, and furthermore, no one cares.
I do remember the Lions won all of their exhibition games last year, and then went on to lose all 16 of their regular season games. Well, at least they made the record books. It may be significantly different this season, as at least two victories are within their reach.
Barring any non-recoverable injuries to their quarterback this season, the Patriots look like the class of the AFC.
In the NFC, one can get 20 to 1 odds on the Saints to win it all. They’ve solidified their defense, and have added a huge piece to the puzzle by acquiring Jeremy Shockey, who may help Drew Brees with protection as well as receiving many of his short passes. He looks inspired as well as healthy enough to bring his club to the Super Bowl.
By the time you read this article, all Major League Baseball teams will have expanded their rosters from 25 to 40 players. All clubs want to take a long look at their Minor League players, to help their organization decide on next year’s replacements.
One can’t blame the teams for unloading high priced veterans for lower priced rookies who they feel would be competent replacements. Sometimes they guess right, as in the case of the Yankees unloading Jason Giambi, who later signed with Oakland and had a poor season.
Other times they guess wrong, as in the Tigers passing on outfielder Gary Sheffield, who was picked up by the Mets and has led them in several offensive categories.
The bottom line is baseball is a business, and your management teams work hard to take in more than they pay out. Who doesn’t? The point is that you should bet only on contenders in September, and you may also bet favorites, preferably on the run line, especially when they are playing against teams that are already out of it.
The wild card races seem like the only competitive action left in September. Many front-runners will begin adjusting pitching rotations, so as to have their three best pitchers in line for the playoffs. While many will disagree with me, I believe the Cardinals have the three best pitchers on any one team, and therefore have the best chance to win it all, with Carpenter, Wainwright and Pinaro, and a little help from a rejuvenated Smoltzy. Who has better?
Their bullpen is solid, and they have the best player in baseball at first base. They are worth a shot, especially with odds of 10 to 1 or better in some places.
Have a great week.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Sid Diamond