Mad at Jim Gray?

This week’s Sports and Gaming News gives a fresh slant on the Rose affair, looks at NFL QB news, the defenseless WAC and overwhelms you with sports betting guidance and info for Week 10.

Sports & Gaming News

So, you’re upset at Jim Gray for challenging Pete Rose’s blatant lies, huh? Then enjoy the Roy Firestones, Lesley Vissars (catch the congratulatory hug she gave Kordell Stewart after the Steelers win Monday night?), Amhad Rashads, and other suck up Entertainment Tonight types that will haunt the games you watch for all eternity. Was Gray a little too aggressive given the environment he was in? Sure, but it was spurred on by Rose’s laughable “what evidence?” comments. Gray’s grilling of Tyson and King after Bite Night was by far the best spot sports reporting I’ve ever seen, especially since he was in the employ of Don King productions that night. Pete Rose, my boyhood hero and the reason I sprinted to first base after walks and slid headfirst, doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame and his continued denials that he bet on baseball are an embarrassment. For those of you who forget what actually went on ten years ago and prefer the truth over mindless sentimentalism, you can review the facts of the case at http://www.baseball1.com/bb-data/rose/ .

Those Mastercard flacks know their place, huh? After hearing that Mastercard demanded an apology from Gray I immediately called a press conference to demand that Oklahoma State apologize for blowing a 21-0 lead as six point dogs against Kansas State. How little defense is played in the WAC Ten? That Oregon 44 Arizona 41 score you saw was not a result of overtime, just 157 offensive plays for 987 yards from scrimmage in regulation. Several TD’s were scored by guys who were not only untouched, but never had a defender even attempt a tackle. Sad finish when Arizona’s Tomey trotted out his 1 for 9 kicker to try to tie it up, a decision booed by the crowd, whose derision intensified when the poor kid’s proficiency dropped to an even 10%.

Buckets of NFL quarterback news this week. Train wreck Ryan Leaf, not exactly dedicated to the principle of continuous improvement, shot down the Chargers idea that he play in the World League to gain experience and build confidence. Marino’s pinched nerve makes it highly unlikely he’ll be playing against Oakland. Eric Zeier is replacing the benched Trent Dilfer in Tampa Bay. Dilfer insists he should be the starter, an indication that he is not watching nearly enough film. Stoney Case is being replaced in Baltimore by Tony Banks, who started the season as the third stringer. The Jets are so desperate for a competent QB they signed Jake Delhomme, who was cut by Ditka after spending two years on the Saints practice squad. If I were forced to sign a practice squad reject it wouldn’t be a guy who couldn’ t beat out Tolliver, Hobert, or Wuerffel.

We had our first losing NFL weekend of the season, going 2-3 this past Sunday. Our big contrarian play won on the S&G; Hotline however. Right now on the hotline (770.618.8700) we have more of our sports betting continuing education series. On Thursday we’ll preview that night’s nationally televised Utah-Colorado State contest. Friday night we release one of our college late phone plays for free. Sunday contrarian (both Hilton and a private play) is followed by a Monday Night Football preview to start the week, then we do it all over again. Call 770.618.8700 anytime for some solid sports information.

I ordinarily don’t like to lay 19 points, but Syracuse may just kick the tar out of Boston College this week. The ‘cuse has had a week off to simmer after being disemboweled 62-0 at the hands of Virginia Tech, which was a winner in this space (though by about thrice the margin we expected). The Orangemen are rested and angry (won and covered the game immediately following all four losses since the start of last season). They’re ready to crush a Boston College outfit that can only let down after blowing a huge lead against Miami. BC has shown they are capable of horrid play when unmotivated, as they were outgained 401-307 by a 1-AA Northeastern that turned around and lost 77-0 to UMASS the next week. SU has covered 9 of the past 12 in this series and will look to punish the Eagles, as the two teams often compete for the same recruits. Big speed advantage for Syracuse and the Orange crush.

Monday Night Football was coached with a heavy heart. Robert Fraley, Payne Stewart’s agent who accompanied him on his ill-fated flight earlier Monday, also represented Bill Cowher and Dan Reeves. Fraley, who played quarterback for Bear Bryant at Alabama, was no Tank Black or Drew Rosenhaus. He was widely respected for his integrity and professionalism. Can’t be too juiced about the Braves chances in game four. Teams down 3-0 are only 3-16 in the history of the World Series. The Yankees are clearly the far superior team, but seem to have the edge of their opponents turning into butchers in the field. Reflecting on that last sentence, one of the great things about S&G; News is that I’ll get at least three emails from gonzo sabermeticians (who will all have the word “stat” somewhere in their email address) providing me with complete opponent fielding percentage numbers for the past ten years.

Have you noticed on the score scrolls how so many games are at 14:55 of the first or third quarters? Does every kickoff take exactly five seconds? Nope, the companies that disseminate sports information to the networks have a more important clientele, sports books. 14:55 is not actually the true time remaining, it’s a signal that the kickoff has occurred and it’s time to close full game or second half betting. One of those companies reported Cal beating Washington when the Huskies had actually won and covered. It took several minutes to correct the score and some tickets were paid off in Nevada. Of course, this doesn’t effect offshore establishments, who offer account wagering as opposed to tickets that are cashed. Speaking of second half betting, readers of my new book may have noticed that the halftime betting strategy outlined on page 43 is having an outstanding year and went 4-0 this weekend. Haven’t read the book? $29.95 to Kevin O’Neill, Box 29334, Atlanta, GA 30359. I’ll pay Priority Mail, GA residents add 7% sales tax.

Ordinarily revenge is not a strong predictive factor in the NFL, but the Chargers visit to Kansas City this week may be an exception and I’ve been looking forward to this matchup. On October 3rd, the Chiefs visited San Diego and dominated in every facet of the game except for on the scoreboard. Despite a 314-132 yardage edge, the Chiefs managed to lose to the Chargers 21-14, blowing a 14-0 lead in the process. KC enjoys some extra rest off of their post-bye week Thursday night affair. The matchups are the same as they were when the Chiefs dominated the line of scrimmage earlier in the month. This time I expected the yards to lead to points and a Halloween victory for a fresher KC bunch at Arrowhead and I was ready to lay a short number. Unfortunately for the purposes of our selection, last week’s results could not have been any worse. KC ran away from Baltimore in the second half, while the Chargers were crushed by the Pack. Not only did this cost us line value, but it may lead to a letdown for KC or a bounceback for the Bolts. My enthusiasm is diminished and at this point I’m not exactly sure what to do with this game.

Good luck this weekend and be careful.

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thedailyspread.com | October 28th, 1999

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
Kevin is the author of two best selling books on football betting. His weekly column covers the world of sports betting, the media and football handicapping.

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