Category Archives: General Sports

NFL Gambling Over/Unders: Gone Camping NFC Edition


Welcome back to the DYC (semi) official NFL over/unders. This is the one where you read to the bottom to see if I am able to talk myself into the over for the Falcons (SPOILERS: I powered through) and where you get to laugh at the Cowboys for the first (not the last) time in the 2014 season.

Since Wednesday, when the AFC half of the over unders went live, injuries have already touched teams that we covered yesterday. Now, I’m not suggesting that Colts guard Donald Thomas tearing his quad Wednesday (same injury that took 14 games from him last year) is going to drop the Colts in the division, but anything that pushes a veteran to IR and a rookie to a contributing role has to be considered.

Again, these picks are based on teams as they are constituted at publication, and injuries and cuts change everything.

NFC NORTH

Chicago: 8.5

Detroit: 8.5

Green Bay: 10.5

Minnesota: 6

Early reports out of Bears camp is touting this year’s rookie class, particularly the potential contributions on defense. In a reversal of fates, Chicago’s offense was their trademark last year, with Jay Cutler leading the charge with Jeffery and Marshall emerging as the best (healthy) WR tandem in the league last year. Keeping Jay upright should carry the Bears well north of the line here. OVER.

It’s game day!  Today Smokin’ Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears match up against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.  Winner takes the NFC North and advances to the playoffs.  Good luck Smokin’ Jay!

They say a new head coach is worth a solid two win bump, in a vacuum. Two wins better than last year would give Detroit 9 wins, barely covering the over. Jim Caldwell is NOT an inspirational figure that folks are going to rally around, unless by folks, you mean pigeons (this sentence brought to you by me being convinced Caldwell is a statue). Add in the Suh contract talks, and it doesn’t bode well for the Lions. Sure, they got rid of the players coach whose squads lacked discipline, but they replaced him with a player’s coach whose squad will lack discipline. AND the new guy won’t bring us any funny post game hand shakes. UNDER.

Seneca Wallace started a game for Green Bay last year, which should explain all that needs explaining about last year’s 8-7-1- (NFL ties!) campaign. This year, look for an improved defense if only because Healthy Aaron Rodgers means a less tired defense, things look good for the Pack in the NFC North. OVER.

Goodbye merry-go-round of sadness that was the Vikings quarterback meeting room, hello (apparently) Teddy Bridgewater. Local media slurping the new QB, Adrian Peterson saying he’s dreamed of playing in an offense like Norv Turner’s, everything looks to be headed in the right direction for the Vikes. But, Peterson just threw over 300 carries on his body each of the past two seasons, a feat he has never accomplished three years in a row. Look out for injury, overuse, and age to be a factor as well as a ROUGH schedule. UNDER.

NFC WEST

Arizona: 7.5

San Francisco: 10.5

Seattle: 11

St. Louis: 7.5

Everyone who picked the Cards to go 10-6 last year, raise your hands. You’re all liars. Reviewing the offensive numbers, I got super confused, until I remembered that the NFC West was murderer’s row last year, and all four teams were defined by hard-hitting, ball hawking defense. Then I remembered that Honey Badger is continuing to develop, and the Cards just signed Patrick Peterson to a mega-deal. But then I saw that Carson Palmer is still under center, and their starting running back last year averaged a paltry 3.2 yards per carry. Light a candle for Larry Fitzgerald. UNDER.

The terrifying level of success of Jim Harbaugh and company only serves to accentuate how ridiculous the offseason has been in San Francisco. Aside from the Aldon Smith situation(s), rumors flew that the Niners were actively shopping their coach to other teams. Mind you, he is the only NFL coach in history to have reached a conference championship game in each of his first three seasons. Whatever the front office doesn’t like, the players seem to listen to him, and wins cover a lot of problems. Hell, it’s not like he thinks his running back is a national hero for admitting knocking his wife unconscious is wrong, like big brother John. So, that’s nice. OVER.

Something’s gotta give. Can they keep giving Beast Mode 300 carries? Can Russell Wilson continue to play football with that horseshoe shoved so deeply up his (EDITED)? Can this defense continue to laugh at the statistical history of the league and keep that turnover rate up? Monocle Pete Carroll says yes, but I say UNDER.

The Rams of St. Louis better be ready for the level of distraction that comes with a highly paid franchise quarterback who only played in 7 games last year, and is staring down ‘extension or cut bait’ time. Also, they could be distracted by the fact that the division around them is the best in the NFL, and looks to only get better. Or, they could be distracted by their head coach who hasn’t been to the postseason since 2008. Not a distraction? That guy Tony Dungy keeps chirping about (great pre-draft write-up by Stephen White), and that’s why I say OVER.

NFC EAST

Dallas: 7.5

New York: 8

Philadelphia: 9

Washington: 7.5

HOW ‘BOUT DEM COWBOYS? My crystal ball (not an actual crystal ball) says that the residents of Jerry World start off strong-ish, hit a mid-season malaise, look terrible by the start of cold weather and fall late to a division foe who will keep them out of the playoffs in week 17. Glancing at the schedule, I see Washington looming to close the season, and feel confident of how this season is going to go: just like the last few, a .500 ball club that embarrasses late. OVER.

The new Giants coaching staff has set an aggressive goal of having Manning the Lesser throw for 70% completions this year. Now, this is lofty when you consider only 6 quarterbacks in NFL history have met or exceeded 70% in a season. But, when you realize that Eli completed at a 57.5% rate last year while throwing 27 (!) interceptions, the goal flies from lofty to laughable. The retooled offensive line should help, but the running game looks shaky, at best, with David Wilson’s return not likely. UNDER.

You hear that? There, off in the distance? That’s the sound of Chip Kelly geniusing all over the place. Sure, we questioned the transition from Oregon to the Eagles, and we scoffed at the numerous TEs on the roster. But, results are results, and no one is questioning the 10 wins. That said, this offseason would be catastrophic (losing Jackson, convincing yourself Nick Foles is the best ever), but this team gets to pick on the rest of the division AND gets to beat up on the AFC South this year. OVER.

Ding, dong, the Shanahans are gone! RG3’s knees are cheering, and so are fans of watchable football everywhere. The Washington Professional Football Team is poised to benefit from the mediocrity of their division this year, and the whole, “having a healthy star quarterback” thing is a great place to start. Keep in mind, this team was also decimated by injury on the defensive side of the ball last year too, and the idea of them beating the Cowboys in Washington to close the season and make Tony Romo sad again is too appetizing to not happen. OVER.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta: 8.5

Carolina: 8.5

New Orleans: 10

Tampa Bay: 7

I always save the NFC South for last because I am an irrational Falcons fan. That was me, every week last year, picking the Falcons to win even though logic dictated that the injuries and lack of depth would kill us. But there I was, making horrible picks all year in the name of fanhood. Between this year’s announcement of the Falcons as the Hard Knocks Team, and residual bile in my heart, I didn’t know if I could pick the Birds to win 9 games. But then, a logical and reasonable voice called out: it was Bill Barnwell. Thank you sir. #BirdGang. OVER.

Just as Atlanta’s fall to the bottom was a aberration, so must I look at the 12-win 2013 Panthers. For the first time, Cam Newton’s squad eclipsed 7 wins, and made a playoff run. I don’t think the other teams in the division will be as snakebitten (Falcons), or poorly coached (Bucs) this year. Plus, cutting Steve Smith has a karmic cost…and potentially a tangible one, depending on how many fights he can goad your players into when they play the Ravens. UNDER.

<totally rational hatred> Saints. UNDER. Oh, and keep low balling your most important players and take them to court over the chance to not pay them. THAT’LL keep New Orleans a viable free agent destination.

Lovie Smith takes over a Bucs squad that was, to put it kindly, mismanaged by the previous coach. That said, everything out of camp sounds good so far, Luke Josh McCown is cashing in on his successful spot duty in Chicago last year, and there haven’t been any MRSA outbreaks yet. It’s a low bar from last year, but a bar the Bucs seem poised to clear in 2014. Me? I’ll miss making my Beeker jokes about Glennon. You hold that clipboard well, young man. OVER.

There you have it, live from the Dude (still not loving the nickname…), all 32 teams with money making* predictions on their seasons. We’ll be tackling more NFL stories on this week’s Hangover podcast, and getting ready for the first NFL preseason game this Sunday (!!!!) as the Giants take on the Bills in the annual Hall of Fame Game.

We made it y’all. Football’s back. Get excited.

*Totally not guaranteed to make you any money.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to the Dude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air.

 

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NFL Gambling Over/Unders: Gone Camping AFC Edition


It’s FINALLY that time of year again: that hallowed time where I wait out a sea of Bachelorette-related posts so that I can ride the wave of page views into the DYC (semi) official NFL over-under column, where we break down the coming NFL season through the most inclusive lens possible: gambling.

Now, it goes without saying that sports gambling is illegal, and while we here at the Dude (trying site nicknames, don’t feel great about that one) would never advocate activities that put you outside the law, talking about gambling is legal. AND if you happen to make it to a place where you can gamble on sports (Las Vegas, the Internet, Sneaky Pete‘s basement), then this won’t just entertain, it might win you some money. Now, before we kick off my favorite NFL preseason tradition, let’s peek in at my second favorite tradition: Madden ratings.

Quick notes: I love that Clowney is the only one even semi okay with his rating, understanding that players advance in the season and in their careers. Also, Manziel thinking that he should be somewhere between Stafford and Cam last year is classic JFF, and if Blake Bortles thinks ANYONE remembers he was the first quarterback off the board, he needs to take a lap for stupidity. You’re in Jacksonville bro. See you when the franchise is in LA in a two years.

I’m just kidding. The NFL is gonna move the Bills first.

These numbers are pulled off the Bovada Sportsbook, my favorite site for (*ahem*) speculative gambling purposes. We’re going off raw numbers for the blog, but for odds just use the googlebox. As always, these picks are based off the teams as they are at publication, noting that injuries in the money grab by owners preseason games can change a season faster than you can say Vick Ballard’s achilles. We’re gonna start the same way we did last year (hey, the first thing I ever wrote for DYC!), with except this year we’re going AFC today, and we’ll be back with a look at the NFC on Friday.

AFC North

Baltimore: 8.5

Cincinnati: 9

Cleveland: 6.5

Pittsburgh: 8.5

While Roger Goodell has been hiding behind Adolpho Birch (who? EXACTLY) regarding the Ray Rice suspension, the Baltimore Ravens have been in camp, dealing fallout of the MASSIVE contract they gave Joe Flacco, which helped contribute to the 8-8 Super Bowl hangover season of last year. The offense added old Steve Smith, who I’m still convinced would have joined any team playing Carolina this year, and according to Chad Floyd’s ringing endorsement, the offensive line and running game “can’t get any worse than last year.” Even factoring in an improving defense, the schedule and improving division have got me leaning UNDER. But, rest easy Raven faithful; your heroes still love you. Which is nice.

The Bengals do this to me every few years: they suck me in with a good to decent late season push which overshadows playoff shortcomings, and then I start playing fantasy Bengal football in my head, where I imagine every player stays healthy, just how good they could be. For example, my heart loves the idea of Geno Atkins as the best interior defensive lineman in football, and the contract he got last year was indicative of that. On the other hand, he DID blow out his ACL last year and is starting the year on the PUP list. That said, I was irrational about Cincy last year, so let’s keep the party moving. OVER.

Go ahead, believe the Brian Hoyer hype. Buy into the reports that ‘anonymous players’ say that they want Hoyer to start. Listen closely to the GM and coach complain about Manziel’s off the field antics. Do what you want, but me? Cleveland, I don’t believe you, you need more people. I’m giving your front office credit in having functional brains, so nothing we’ve seen from JFF this offseason should be a surprise, and I’m not falling for the rope a dope. Cleveland is going to Cleveland less than it has Clevelanded in the past. OVER. Fact.

I wrote this last year:

The Steelers are alarming to me at 9 wins, because I think that’s the ideal number if you could promise me Ben Roethlisberger would A. play 16 games this year and 2. stay away from coeds. Since neither one is highly likely, that means we’re going to get at least 2 games of Bruce Gradkowski/Landry Jones/John Parker Wilson. His last season playing a full schedule was 2008, and that coupled with a insufficient offensive line and a questionable running game, I have to go under for the Steelers.

The only thing that changes here is the line, the names of the back up QBs, and the fact that Big Ben finally started 16 games. The defense is still old, the OL is still offensive, and Todd Haley is still calling plays. UNDER.

AFC WEST

Denver: 11.5

Kansas City: 8

Oakland: 5

San Diego: 8

Denver set offensive record books on fire last year, with Peyton “Cyborg” Manning torching your favorite team, probably on television. Seriously, bask in the glory of old metal neck’s throwing motion.

 

Hypnotizing. Clearly, out of gambling fear and respect (no one man has simultaneously cost and won me so much money in my life) I’ll be taking the OVER here. It’s not my fault the NFL gave him 5 prime time games and two games against the Raiders.

Kansas City CLEARLY overachieved last year, but the interesting part is how they did it. And THAT was a boatload of Jamaal Charles all in other teams face area. Clearly, not an Andy Reid-esque blueprint that we are used to watching. But, he got it done. What’s interesting this off-season (beyond the Alex Smith-man contract madness), has been the lack of addition on the outside. I thought that Andy would be moving back to his usual West Coast-inspired attack, especially after he grabbed the perfect quarterback for it in the draft. Hint: his brother just won the Bachelorette. OVER.

No thank you Oakland. UNDER.

I’ve found that the Chargers are the litmus test of the new NFL. If you like them, you are a Sunday Ticket guy, and actually got to watch this team play last year, and found this second life of Philip Rivers fun to watch. If you hate them, you probably drafted Antonio Gates and don’t understand why three Chargers had more touchdown receptions than him. If you’re me, you just hate Rivers’ stupid face. UNDER.

AFC EAST

Buffalo: 6.5

Miami: 7.5

New England: 11

New York Jets: 7

Did you know Buffalo won 6 games last year? I KNOW RIGHT? With the announcement that CJ Spiller will (at least nominally) be the feature back, I think this is a team ready for an offensive breakout year. Sammy Watkins is an upgrade over anyone who caught footballs in Toronto Buffalo last year, give me the Bills trending upward. OVER. At least until this guy buys the team and moves them.

Miami, you are entering year three of the Ryan Tannehill experience and I’m doing a quick informal poll: How would you say it’s going so far? A) Well, we brought in Mike Sherman to bring out the best in him, and he got fired, so it can’t get worse? B) WE COULD HAVE HAD RUSSELL WILSON! C) At least he’s not Brandon Weedon, complete with shoulder shrug. This team won 8 games last year amid all the turmoil, and less Mike Sherman might be just what the doctor ordered. But probably not. UNDER.

My jealousy of the institutional greatness that is the New England Patriots has waned over the years, especially as the under-reported nature of Brady’s decline continues. But seriously: who is the brain surgeon who let Belichick get his hands on Darrel Revis? You gave a defensive mastermind the singular lock down corner he’s been salivating for over these past few years. WE CAN’T AFFORD AS A LEAGUE TO GIVE THIS TEAM NICE THINGS. OVER. Whatever. Ugh.

So, as an Atlanta native who came of age between the Chris Chandler and Michael Vick eras, I have a baseless affinity for ol’ number 7. Or should I say, the old number 7. See, Geno’s refusal to relinquish his number strikes a disrespectful chord with me, and the football gods (copyright Gregggggg Easterbrook) shall smite his team. Also, their offense is still pretty bad, and it’s a shame this defense will get wasted again. UNDER.

AFC SOUTH:

Houston: 7.5

Indianapolis: 9.5

Jacksonville: 5

Tennessee: 7

So, I like to joke on twitter, and when a game gets out of hand (what up Brazil), I like to use the hashtag #thegamecheatin. We’ve all been there; nothing you do is working, unforced errors, outright getting embarrassed by a younger sibling, when we swallow that pride, and are at least tempted to hit the reset button. Doesn’t it feel like Houston management did that this offseason? The Kubiak/Schaub pairing had gone so poorly that everyone punted, handed the team to Bill O’Brien and Ryan Fitzpatrick, and roll the dice with Arian Foster’s surgically repaired back, and only Andre Johnson seems to be worried. He is right to be. UNDER. Someone get Andre out of there before he get’s Larry Fitzgerald’d.

It looks like Indy is going to walk away from this division fairly easily, even with the loss of Vick Ballard this week. That’s one of the wholly underrated aspects of training camp and preseason football; the number of injuries incurred during this period. For a lot of young guys, these few weeks are their best shot at an NFL future, and a misstep here or an over-extension there, and these dreams can be dashed, with only some team gear, and a few weeks per diem to show for it. At least the humanizing of players might increase a chance for guaranteed contracts. Just kidding. OVER.

Jacksonville. Gradient helmets. No local support. On the express train to LA. How did this squad win 4 games last year? UNDER.

Some bloggers wouldn’t let collegiate hatred carry over into a somewhat respectable format. Some would say that moving past the hatred of youth would display a certain maturity. No one who agrees with this writes for this site. FACT: Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. FACT: Harvard is a safety school. FACT: If your season last year was dependent on a Harvard quarterback, you are living the UNDER. Especially if you got rid of Chris Johnson, and you’re counting on Jake Locker this year. The Harvard stink remains.

No one likes Harvard.

 

No one.

See you here Friday for the NFC.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to theDude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at https://twitter.com/dpalm66

Georgia Football: Thoughts about the Rival Florida Gators Following Their Media Days Showing


Will Muschamp Doesn’t Feel a Hot Seat Because He Doesn’t Feel and He Sure as Hell Doesn’t Sit.

 

 

Not sure if that’s who Florida is in 2014, but I guess we’ll find out.  I do know that’s who the Gators were in 2012, for what it’s worth.  But I know more recently, the Gators were a team with a losing record high (or low) lighted by a loss to Georgia Southern.  So there’s that.

In all seriousness, I think Florida’s due for a huge rise. There’s just too much talent on that team to put up back-to-back losing seasons.  Their last four recruiting classes have posted an average national ranking of 7 (per 247Sports).

 

“Jeff Driskel is the Best. Period” – Florida Gators Players and Coaches, Also Vandy Player

A few quotes presented without commentary:

  • “I think Jeff’s the best quarterback in college football.” – Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III
  • “Couldn’t think of a better way to start the SEC schedule than a win at Alabama on the road.” – Florida QB Jeff Driskel
  • ” I think [the most feared QB in the SEC] would probably bee Jeff Driskel.” – Vandy LB Adam Butler
  • “In my opinion, I think he’s the best quarterback in the SEC.” – Florida DL Dante Fowler

 

I’m all about confidence in your guy, I think that’s crucial in this league.  I’m also all about the changes that Kurt Roper (Florida’s new O.C.) is capable of making.  But I think Driskel hype should probably be non-existent.  A few stats without commentary:

  • Number 1 Pro Style QB in the class of 2011
  • 2011: 47% completion rate, 0 TD, 2 INTs
  • 2012: 137 passing yards and one touchdown pass per game as starter
  • 2013: 477 passing yards, two TDs and three INTs in 2.1 football games

 

His season was cut extremely short last year, but 2013 was still his best campaign as a passer (as measured by rating).  Last year, his 135.5 passer rating would have ranked 61st in the country among full-time QBs and would have trailed Bo Wallace, James Franklin, Austyn Carta-Samuels, Nick Marshall, Aaron Murray, Connor Shaw, A.J. McCarron, Zach Mettenberger and Johnny Manziel within the SEC.

I’d take a few days off at Driskel Heisman Campaign Headquarters…

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

 

 

NCAA: Death By A Thousand Cuts


One of our passion projects here at Dude You Crazy has been chronicling the slow but needed death of the NCAA cartel that runs college sports. I searched our site for ‘NCAA’ and negative qualifiers, and won’t link every one here for brevity’s sake but the total number is staggering.

Today, it was leaked that the University of Oklahoma is looking to increase Bob Stoops’ salary to over $5 million a year. That’s right, the same coach who last year said to The Sporting News, and I quote:

“[Y]ou’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money.”

No one called him a liar for saying that, but when Shabazz Napier suggested the same thing this spring, he was said to be exaggerating, and people openly questioned his plight. As mentioned on the soon-to-be award-winning Dude You Podcast, O’Bannon v. NCAA has been raging for almost two weeks now, and while there are places to keep track of the progress of testimony, Charles Pierce of Esquire has been doing a GREAT job recapping the fall of the NCAA in back to back columns.

Here’s part one, “How It Ends” which features the following quote:

“[T]he plaintiffs are asking to be paid some of the ancillary money the NCAA made off of all the work they did playing their sports, a relatively simple idea for any human being who has ever actually earned a living, but, apparently, a concept so alien to the NCAA that just talking about it seems to get that organization concerned that it has contracted a virus from a distant world.”

Here’s part two, “Dispatches From the NCAA’s Deathbed” which features this gem:

“This is very bad news for the NCAA because, with her outsider’s eye, [Judge] Wilken is immune to the threadbare piety in which it wraps its heedless commercialism. All the usual buck-and-wing that works on elements of the kept college press is completely lost on her. In fact, she seems to be quite aware of — and, occasionally, quite amused by — the fundamental absurdity of much of the defense’s case.”

Both are absolute must reads, and if you are still on the side of Emmert and his cronies after this, then you might be a lost cause.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to theDude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at https://twitter.com/dpalm66

NBA: LeBron Opts Out


Breaking across the internet: Mr. LeBron James has informed the Heat that he intends to enter free agency. He had until June 30th to inform the team of his free agency intentions, but the news is out now.

There are two distinct ways to look at this: LeBron took a hard look at the landscape around him in Miami, saw how ardently management would fight against incurring the new cap tax this coming year (if you are over the cap 4 out of 5 years, the penalty for going over more than doubles), and realized that there was no short or long-term fix on the horizon for the Heat, and is looking for a new place to play.

OR

The Big Three (you go to four straight NBA Finals, you get capitalized) have decided to independently take pay cuts AGAIN to come back and rebuild on the fly with vested veterans, sacrificing personal money for the betterment of the team and the best chance at making a fifth straight run at a title.

Either way, your TV will be filled with talking heads debating this decision until the next Decision, and I continue not to have to pretend about baseball. That said, you can argue about LeBron’s attitude and what not, but numbers never lie.

Yeah, I’d take that on my basketball team. I mean, Coach Bud and Danny Ferry are building Spurs East in Atlanta, and I think he’d be a great fit. But there is one place we know he ISN’T going.

BRON

Sorry Chad.

Love this? Hate it? Think I’m an idiot? Don’t just curse at me under your breath, head to theDude You Podcast iTunes page, and leave a 5-star review to make sure I know it, and have your voice heard on the air. Follow me at https://twitter.com/dpalm66

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