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Weekend Review/Coming Attractions
by Hollywood Sports - 11/24/2010
Thanksgiving week is always a great time of the year for a number of reasons. Football fans are provided four full days of football games while a full bevy of college basketball invitational tournaments offers some very interesting day-to-day betting opportunities. And don't forget the Grey Cup! Saskatchewan and Montreal face off in a rematch of the Canadian Football League's championship game on Sunday. I really like the situation in that game.
CFB: There were eight situations last Saturday where ranked teams were single-digit favorites on the road. However, if you invested in all eight of these home dogs, then you took a big hit as only Texas A&M covered (and won) against Nebraska. Iowa blew a late 4th quarter lead to (most likely) push against Ohio State. In a wild one, Arkansas missed a field goal that would likely have created a push but they then later benefitted from a would-be Bulldogs' touchdown in overtime until the ball was fumbled out of the end zone that helped the Razorbacks escape Mississippi State with a win and fortunate cover. Utah rallied from a 27-10 second quarter deficit to steal a victory over San Diego State on the road. Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Stanford and Oklahoma all took care of business with dominant wins as the road fave.
NFL: Brad Childress was fired and removed from his misery after the Vikings failed to show up in the latest (last?) incarnation of the Brett Favre Bowl as Green Bay beat them up by a 31-3 score. Vince Young walked out on his coach the day after Tennessee's 19-16 loss to Washington. With Young on IR and Kerry Collins still injured, the Titans are a mess. Cincinnati threw their hat into the ring for being the worst team in the league by being outscored by a 42-3 margin against the Bills to blow their 28-7 lead and lose by a 49-31 score. The Jets once again put their foot on the brakes in the second half before turning it on again just in time to eek out a 30-27 win over the Texans. New England outlasted Indianapolis by a 30-27 score after a late interception from Peyton Manning despite being in field goal range. And Michael Vick proved he could manage a team to victory without a super-human performance as he led the Eagles to a gutty 27-17 win over the Giants.
CBB: It looks like Duke has effectively reloaded after impressive wins over Marquette and Kansas State to win the CBE Classic. The Blue Devils are adjusting to a more up-tempo style to account for the talents of freshman sensation point guard Kyrie Irving. Speaking of freshman, John Calipari has his young group at Kentucky playing well despite not having the services of Enes Kantor who has been declared ineligible for accepting money from a booster. Kentucky traveled to play a tough Portland team in front of their home crowd and destroyed them by 31 points. The Wildcats followed that up with strong wins against Oklahoma and Washington in the Maui Invitational. Connecticut proved themselves a force to be reckoned with after their 70-67 upset win over Michigan State.
NBA: Without Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City proved its depth as well as improved their defensive effort in impressive back-to-back wins in Boston and Milwaukee. Break-up the Knicks who have now won five games in a row. Atlanta is really struggling after a fast start under first-year coach Larry Drew as they have now lost seven of their last nine games. Miami continues to underachieve from their galactic expectations as they currently stand with an 8-6 record. Now Phil Jackson has stirred the pot by speculating that Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh will approach Pat Riley about taking over the coaching duties of the team. After New Orleans' loss to the Clippers (?!) on Monday, the Spurs very quietly reside with the best record in the league with their 11-1 record.
CFB: Its Rivalry Week and most of the traditional rivalry games occur on Saturday. But Friday is loaded with three important games regarding the final BCS standings. Auburn travels to Alabama for a monster matchup in the Iron Bowl Friday afternoon. This is the first time since 1994 that both of these teams are ranked in the top 10. #1 Oregon hosts Arizona Friday evening. And the night closes with what could be a very entertaining game (especially if you like scoring) as Boise State travels to Reno to play Nevada. It will be very interesting to see what the stakes are for the Bulldogs by the time that game kicks off.
NFL: Three NFL games are in store on Thursday that, on paper, could be mismatches. However, Thanksgiving can bring out the best in some of these underachieving teams. On Sunday, Green Bay travels to Atlanta in what could be a preview of the NFC Championship game. The
Drama Bowl is on tap as well as Minnesota sans Childress will travel to Washington to play Donovan McNabb and the Redskins. The Sunday Night Football game should be intriguing as Philip Rivers will square off against Peyton Manning as San Diego travels to Indianapolis.
CBB: There are a bevy of college basketball tournaments occurring over this holiday week. The Maui Invitational Final between the young Kentucky team and UConn will be interesting. The Preseason NIT Tournament in Madison Square Garden should produce some interesting matchups as the week goes on. These early season tournaments are intriguing as they retrain our March Madness handicapping muscles to react to the immediate results from the night before. Attention to the small details from the previous game can expose some very nice opportunities.
NBA: TNT Thursday is not offering us much to like this week. A marquee matchup occurs on Friday when the Lakers will be tested with a visit to Utah. Dallas has a challenging weekend as they travel to San Antonio on Friday and turn around to host the Heat on Saturday. But the most intriguing matchup of the weekend is on Sunday has San Antonio traveling to the Big Easy to face New Orleans in a meeting of the top two teams in the NBA so far.
And, of course, we have the rematch from last season's Grey Cup between the Roughriders and the Alouettes. Will NFL Network carry the game?
Best of luck this week -- Frank.