Mixed bag for Halloween: NFL, UFC and NBA to find treats
October 31, 2017 3:05 AM
by Alan Berg
With Halloween being here, let’s go for a mixed bag of sports action.
Rams (-3.5, 42) at NY Giants: The Rams have been an early season darling thanks in large part to head coach Sean McVay. The 31-year-old – yes, 31 – has completely breathed life into an organization badly needing wins after a puzzling move to Los Angeles. LA is actually undefeated on the road while the Giants haven’t won a home game. I think the hook is there for a reason, trying to give you a reason to back the G-Men. Don’t. RAMS
Buccaneers at Saints (-7, 50): New Orleans kept their win streak alive with a fifth straight win after starting 0-2; the Saints now sit in first place in the NFC South. Meanwhile division counterpart Tampa Bay has not lived up to expectations with a 2-5 record, good for the cellar of the division. Odds are in favor of the total. OVER
Lions (-1.5, 43) at Packers: Ladies and gentlemen, this is what they call a true “must win.” Detroit has lost three in a row, Green Bay two straight. I believe the Lions are finally due in this spot as Green Bay gave it all they had against the Saints the week prior and they just aren’t good, whereas the Lions have a lot of talent still on the field. LIONS
A massive card takes place at Madison Square Garden this Saturday featuring three UFC title matches, main evented by Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping defending against Georges St-Pierre. For the champ it’s a fight that would help cement his standing in UFC history, although GSP is coming off a nearly four-year layoff. That said St-Pierre had a 12 straight win streak, of which nine were UFC Welterweight Title defenses, before he retired.
Other title fights include UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt making his first defense against TJ Dillashaw; these two do not like each other one bit. Finally it’s UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas. Now how about a few picks, eh?
UFC Middleweight Title – Bisping vs. St-Pierre: It’s a nice story that Bisping won the title with a one-punch KO over Luke Rockhold as a 4-1 to 5-1 underdog, but many feel he didn’t beat Dan Henderson, who was far past his prime. The four-year layoff is nothing to be cautious of to back St-Pierre, but he’s a next level guy, which Bisping is not. ST-PIERRE
As I have mentioned, I refuse to bet a straight bet over -150. Unfortunately the only fighters I do like are over that mark, so let’s break a little rule and actually take a shot on a parlay.
2-Leg Parlay: Garbrandt over Dillashaw and Paulo Borrachinha over Johny Hendricks.
Garbrant feels to me is the superior fighter here. His win over Dominick Cruz was a masterful performance and I just feel like Garbrandt has been dreaming of this win over Dillashaw for too long. Hendricks has been a mess, missing more weight more times than I would like to remember. He is facing one of the rising stars of the stacked middleweight division; he has stopped all 10 of his opponents. He will stop Big Rig Hendricks.
I know lots of you have been checking out of NBA season since the big team monopoly took over, but I can’t remember an era since I was a kid in the mid-90s, that has had this level of stars. Just take in a recap of the NBA games in one of the highlight shows and you will see some amazing highlights. Did I mentioned the uncrowned champion Golden State Warriors are only 4-3?
Kings at Pacers (-6, 209.5): One of the big reasons for the 3-3 start from Indiana is the scoring power of Victor Oladipo, 25.5, but I believe it’s as much because of Domantas Sabonis, three out of the past four games with a double-double. He is questionable for the game, center Myles Turner is still out and Oladipo can’t keep shooting 50%. Take the points. KINGS
Thunder (-1, 210.5) at Bucks: Two high profile teams on the rise face off. The new-look Oklahoma City anchored by NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still finding their rhythm after a 3-3 start. Westbrook leads the NBA in assists with 12.2 per game. Milwaukee’s Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokoumpo leads the league in scoring with 34.7 points per game. Although the Bucks are rising I think this is a great spot for the Thunder to get ahead of the .500 mark, knowing they have to bring their A-game to take down this lineup. THUNDER