Matthews: No Comparing NHL Parity To The NBA


The NBA regular season opened Tuesday night and – ho-hum – the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors beat visiting Oklahoma City 108-100.

Here are the closing odds on winning this season’s NBA title, posted Tuesday by the Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook:

Golden State 1-to-2 (bet $2 to win $1)

Boston 5-to-1

Houston 6-to-1

Lakers 12-to-1

Toronto 14-to-1

Philadelphia 16-to-1.

The odds on the other 24 teams were out of sight and – if the bettors were wise – out of mind.

NBA championship wagering was down in Las Vegas this year because Golden State is such a prohibitive favorite. You can’t win much betting on them to go all the way but betting against them figures to be foolhardy.

Personally, I believe Boston has the talent, depth, young legs and coaching to upset Golden State should they meet in the 2019 Finals – but I wouldn’t recommend that anyone wagering on it happening.

In terms of winning the 2019 championships, the relatively wide-open NHL attracted more betting action than the generally far more popular NBA.

One Las Vegas sportsbook director summed it up nicely. He was quoted, “There aren’t eight teams who can win the NBA title. There are only eight teams in the NHL that can’t win the Stanley Cup.”


In case you missed the finish of Tuesday night’s Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 victory over visiting Milwaukee in Game 4 of the National LeagueCchampionship Series – and you probably did – the 13-inning marathon ended after 2:30 a.m.

I love baseball but I don’t like the way the game is evolving. Swinging for the fences and flame-throwing deep bullpens have made pitching too dominant for my taste. How about you – if you still care about the sport.

I prefer to see some action. You know – hitting, running, stepping on home plate.

The Dodgers in this NLCS symbolize the trend. Here’s the team’s batting line in this NLCS: .201 batting average (29-of-144); 11 runs; 3 doubles; 1 triple; 2 HRs; 40 total bases; 13 walks; 49 strikeouts; .277 on-base percentage; .278 slugging percentage; .555 OPS.

Yet the punchless Dodgers are tied 2-2 entering Wednesday night’s Game 5 of the best-of-seven series.

Maybe we’ll see a high-scoring game. But I doubt it.


Tim Tebow figures to open the 2019 baseball season with the Mets – but not the New York Mets. The Syracuse Mets.

After being called the Chiefs since 1934 (or briefly the SkyChiefs, for political correctness), Syracuse’s International League team on Tuesday officially became the Syracuse Mets. The National League Mets now own the Syracuse franchise.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon were among the dignitaries in Syracuse for the big announcement. Cuomo somehow connected the deal to a sign of an economic upturn in the Syracuse area. Wilpon praised the $26.5 million in forthcoming improvements to NBT Bank Stadium. He said the New York Mets will have their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse through at least 2043 (in terms of travel time while shuttling players betweej the majors and AAA, it sure beats Las Vegas).

One of the feature attractions for the Syracuse Chiefs next season could well be outfielder Tim Tebow.


The College at Brockport Golden Eagles are 6-0 and third-ranked in the nation in Division III football. They host Buffalo State Saturday at 4 p.m., giving area football fans another chance to check out an incredible defensive team.

The Golden Eagles lead the nation in rush defense – by a lot. Ready for this -- they’re holding opponents to minus-7.7 yards on the ground per game. Opponents have 129 carries for minus-46 net yards and 0 touchdowns.

In last week’s 52-0 win at Alfred University, the Golden Eagles held the hosts to 12 net yards on 26 carries.

Brockport ranks first in Division III in total defense (169.0 yards allowed per game). They’ve allowed 2.97 yards per play.

The Golden Eagles aren’t exactly shabby on offense. They rank 15th in the country with 489.3 yards per game. They’re averaging 5.60 yards per play and have 35 offensive TDs.


The Denver Broncos are off to a disappointing 2-4 start but they have no excuses Thursday night at Arizona against the 1-5 Cardinals.

Defense still is Denver’s strength and it should be the difference against Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen.

The Broncos are an NFL-worst 1-1-4 against the Las Vegas point spread and won’t get many better chances to boost that mark. They’re favored by a mere 2 ½ points and should win by a few more in a low-scoring game: Denver 16, Arizona 10.


Syracuse U.’s football team, 4-2 and two wins short of a bowl bid, I a 10-point favorite at home Saturday (12:12 p.m., at the Carrier Dome) against North Carolina.  The Tar Heels are 2-4 and have a solid running attack but a weak passing game.

Johnny Miller will retire as NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst after 30 seasons with the network after the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. The 71-year-old golf Hall of Famer covered 20 U.S. Opens and 14 Ryder Cups. I always enjoyed his candid commentary. He wants todevote time to teaching his 24 grandchildren how to fish.

Former Syracuse U. basketball star Wesley Johnson was traded by the Los Angeles Clippers this week to New Orleans. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft will be joining his fifth NBA team. The small forward has averaged 7.2 points and has made around $32 million (according to spotrac).

I polled listenersTuesday night regarding who they’d prefer to see start at at quarterback for the Bills Sunday in Indianapolis. Nate Peterman “won” – be default I presume – 24 votes to 14 over Derek Anderson. Not surprisingly, there were lots of write-in votes, including Logan Thomas, Kyle Orton, Doug Flutie. Brett Favre, Johnny Manziel, Leticia Astacio, Tony Romo, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colin Kaepernick, A.J. McCarron, Teddy Bridgewater and Joe Webb III.


Wednesday, October 17

Willie Snead IV 26...Holly Holm 37....John Rocker 44...Ernie Els 49...Danny Ferry 52...Jay Humphries 56...Steve McMichael 61...Bob Seagren 72. Felicity jones 35, Eminem 46, Ziggy Marley 50 and Alan Jackson 60 are invited to the birthday party. Amerks Hall of Famer Norm “Red” Armstrong was born on this date 80 years ago (1938) and died in 1974 at age 35.

Thursday, October 18Brittney Griner 28...Yoenis Cespedes 33...Lindsey Vonn 34...Alex Cora 43...Rachel Nichols 45...Bob Whitfield 47...Anthony Avent 49...Thomas Hearns 60...Kjell Samuelsson 60...Martina Navratilova 62...Terry Furlow 64...John Johnson 71...Mike Ditka 79. Zac Efron 31 and Jean-Claude Van Damme 55 are invited to the birthday party.


Bob Matthews' Column

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