BILLS 8-TO-1 ODDS TO WIN THE AFC EAST
The odds on the Buffalo Bills winning the AFC East this season, according to numbers posted by Westgate Las Vegas (formerly LVS, formerly Las Vegas Hilton, are 8-to-1. I’m not saying the Bi8lls have no chance, but those odds are no bargain.
Here are the complete divisional odds:
AFC East – New England 1-to-3…Miami 5-to-1…Jets 8-to-1…Bills 8-to-1.
My reaction: The Patriots deserve to be prohibitive favorites. They have by far the best QB and secondary in a passing league…but I don’t get why the Dolphins are shorter odds than Buffalo. For one thing, the Bills beat Miami twice last season with Thad Lewis at QB.
AFC North – Cincinnati 8-to-5…Baltimore 9-to-4…Pittsburgh 9-to-4…Cleveland 6-to-1.
Reaction: The Bengals have the most overall talent but I could never recommend a team with Andy Dalton at QB…I like the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger…The Browns minus Josh Gordon should be longer odds than 6-to-1.
AFC South – Indianapolis 5-to-8…Houston 5-to-2…Tennessee 4-to-1…Jacksonville 25-to-1.
Reaction: I think the Texans will be much better but I’m surprised to see them at such short odds with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the designated starting QB.
AFC West – Denver 1-to-4…Kansas City 11-to-2…San Diego 11-to-2…Oakland 25-to-1.
Reaction: The Broncos are the shortest price of all the division favorites. They deserve to be. They’re very good. The Chiefs and Chargers are decent.
NFC East – Philadelphia 3-to-2…New York Giants 11-to-4…Dallas 3-to-1…Washington 7-to-2.
Reaction – The odds say this will be the NFL’s most contentious division…The team with the QB who plays the best likely will prevail.
NFC North – Green Bay 2-to-3…Chicago 3-to-1…Detroit 3-to-1…Minnesota 25-to-1.
Reaction – Aaron Rodgers makes the Packers the legit team to beat.
NFC South – New Orleans 6-to-5…Atlanta 13-to-5…Carolina 13-to-5…Tampa Bay 13-to-2.
Reaction – I’d flip-flop the Panthers and Buccaneers.
NFC West – Seattle 11-to-10…San Francisco 5-to-4…Arizona 8-to-1…St. Louis 8-to-1.
Reaction – The 49ers would be favored to win every other division except perhaps the AFC West…The Cardinals and Rams should be longer odds.
RATTLERS NO.1 IN MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE POWER RANKINGS
For the second week in a row, the Rochester Rattlers are tops in the Major League Lacrosse weekly Power Rankings. Finn Sullivan of MajortLeagueLacrosse.com: “The Rattlers have become the team to beat as we approach the playoffs.”
The rest of the rankings: 2-New York Lizards…3-Boston Cannons…4-Denver Outlaws…5-Ohio Machine…6-Charlotte Hounds…7-Florida Launch…8-Chesapeake.
The young and talented Rattlers have become the story in MLL this summer. Unfortunately, they remain the most overlooked and underappreciated team in Rochester pro sports.
I don’t know when a Rochester team last ranked at the bottom in league attendance, but the Rattlers do right now:
Denver average attendance for 6 home games 10,925…Boston for 4 home games 7,872…Chesapeake for 4 home games 6,458…New York for 5 home games 4,236…Charlotte for 6 home games 3,210…Ohio for 4 home games 3,210…Florida for 6 home games 1.173…Rochester for 5 home games 1,169.
The Rattlers are 7-3 with four games remaining in the regular season: at Chesapeake July 17…host Charlotte July 26…host Ohio Aug. 2…at Boston Aug. 9.
GERMANY FAVORED TO BEAT ARGENTINA FOR WORLD CUP
After watching Germany humiliate host Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals, it is no shock that Germany is the favorite to beat Argentina in the World Cup championship game Sunday: Germany 11-to-8 (bet $8 to win $11)…Argentina 13-to-5 (bet $5 to win $13)…Draw 9-to-4 (bet $4 to win $9).
In Saturday’s third-place game – and the participating teams really do take it seriously – Brazil is favored to regain a bit of self-respect versus Netherlands: Brazil 6-to-5 (bet $6 to win $5)…Netherlands 12-to-5 (bet $5 to win $12)…Draw 14-to-5 (bet $5 to win $14).
JUSTIN MORNEAU RETURNS TO THE SPOTLIGHT
One year ago, the Minnesota Twins finally gave up on slugger Justin Morneau, figuring that the former Red Wings star would never return to top form due to concussion problems. He was traded to Pittsburgh and signed with Colorado as a free agent last offseason.
Morneau is enjoying a comeback season at age 33. He entered Friday sixth in the National League in batting average (.313) and third in RBI (59).
I thought Morneau deserved to be selected as a reserve for Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Then he was snubbed by the fans in balloting for the 34th and final NL roster spot.
Morneau, the 2006 American League MVP for the Minnesota Twins, finally got a break Thursday when he was selected by Troy Tulowitzki to round out the NL’s five-man rotation for Monday night’s Home Run Derby. The completion will be at Minnesota’s Target Field and I’m sure he’ll be extremely well-received by Twins’ fans.
Flashback: Morneau won the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium. That competition was highlighted by Josh Hamilton’s (Texas Rangers) record 28 “home runs” in the first round. In the second round, Hamilton had 4 “HRs” and Morneau had 9 “HRs” to advance to the Finals. The two9 sluggers started fresh and Morneau had “outhomered” Hamilton 5-3 to earn the trophy.
Harness racing driver John Gilmour died on the 4th of July. The Ohio product began his driving career on the Batavia Downs/Buffalo Raceway circuit in the mid-1960s and went on to dominate the driving stats at Monticello Raceway thereafter. He won nine driving titles and many of his 4,492 career wins at Monticello. He overcame colon cancer and prostate cancer to continue to drive into his 70s. He won his final race in the fall of 2012 at age 74. His brother was legendary driver and Hall of Famer Buddy Gilmour.
During Wednesday night’s reaction show to the NFL Network “Top 100 Players” final countdown of the top 10 players, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (voted the ninth-best player overall in the poll of players) said he didn’t want to catch passes from anyone else“ (other than Andy6 Dalton): “I know he’s my guy. I don’t want any other quarterback throwing me the ball. I think he feels the same way about me.” …I guess winning a playoff game now and then is a high priority for Green. The 100 players selected by their peers included 14 quarterbacks and they did not include Dalton: Peryton Manning 1st, Tom Brady 3rd, Drew Brees 6th, Aaron Rodgers 11th, Russell Wilson (20th), Cam Newton (24th), Andrew Luick (30th), Ben Roethlisberger (31st), Philip Rivers (34th), Joe Flacco (58th), Nick Foles (70th), Tony Romo (71st), Colin Kaepernick (81st) and Matthew Stafford (100th).
ESPN this week offered the 2014 NFL Future Power Rankings: Ranking teams best positioned for success over the next three years. Five weighted categories were used: overall roster excluding QB 30 percent (Buffalo ranked 16th), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching staff (20 percent)..Buffalo ranked 30th, above only Miami and Oakland. Cleveland was No. 29. Mel Kiper wrote: “If the No. 30 ranking at QB see4ms harsh, remember Buffalo has done almost nothing to reinforce the position behind EJ Manuel.” Kiper also noted that Manuel in his injury-abbreviated rookie season completed just 12 passes that traveled more than 20 yards down the field in the air.”