GAMBLING GUIDE

Championship weekend gambling guide: Georgia on my mind

Look for a big effort from Georgia this weekend. UGAFootballlive.com

Originally appeared on Houstonsportsandstuff.com.

Everyone knows Auburn is very good. Their recent run of success is the most impressive in college football this year. Without a doubt they are one of the best teams in the country.

However, the situational spot for Georgia sets up perfectly from a betting perspective in four different ways.

  1. Georgia got humiliated a few weeks ago at Auburn 40-17. Georgia looked confused on offense and never established the run. Auburn forced them to pass and it was gross. Gus Malzahn was caught on tape saying Auburn “beat the dawg s*it out of them.” Georgia heard. Georgia remembers.
  2. The recent success of Auburn has taken a toll on Auburn’s backfield. They have played two different No. 1 teams in the country in the last three weeks. The Auburn kids are in for a letdown- and their health, especially Kerryon Johnson -- will play a factor. He could barely stand up straight last week at the end of the game. You could make the argument that Auburn does not have a running back at 100%. The running backs are key in Malzahn’s offense. If they are still banged up, it will mean trouble for Auburn.
  3. Guz Malzahn could leave Auburn for Arkansas. Don’t laugh. Malzahn has deep ties to Northern Arkansas where he was a high school football coach and his wife loves it there. Arkansas is home to Malzahn and some people think he is tired of the politics at Auburn. Malzahn always seems to be on the hot seat at Auburn and rumors of him coaching for his job surface every year. He could return home to Arkansas and coach for 20 years. Regardless of if he leaves or not, Arkansas is a distraction.
  4. Just a few weeks ago Georgia was a favorite playing in Auburn. Fast forward three weeks and they are underdogs? Georgia is healthier, has revenge, and fewer distractions. The line is begging you to take Auburn.

I am playing Georgia three different ways. First half. Full game. Money line. I also have them tied up in several different parlays. This is my largest play of the year.

No one is talking about Georgia right now, but they will after this week.

Good luck on your wagers this weekend.

Direct all hate mail to @jayoff288 I will be on Twitter all weekend.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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