Fred Faour: On actual odds of Lebron to the Rockets, Tiger Woods, Blake Bortles and the world is flat. Really.

Fred Faour: On actual odds of Lebron to the Rockets, Tiger Woods, Blake Bortles and the world is flat. Really.
Lebron to the Rockets? Some gambling sites think so. NBA.com

One of the things that has become popular is the practice of gambling web sites releasing prop odds for things that will spark people’s interest. Such things as Odds to win the Heisman, which coach will be fired first, which coach will get a certain job. There are even odds on who sits on the Iron Throne at the end of Game of Thrones.

They are designed to be fun, create talking points and get the web sites’ names out there more than anything else. So I found it interesting this morning to see that The Big Lead fell hook, line and sinker into a topic that will be of interest to Houston fans: Where will Lebron James wind up next season?

It’s interesting because the Rockets are first favorite on one site, second favorite on the other. The reality is James will probably stay in Cleveland, but at least national news outlets are noticing the Rockets and how well they are playing and do not consider the possibility to be a joke. That sites have them so low is also a show of respect.

Odds are just speculation based on potential outcomes. And there is still a lot of time left before the season ends. After all, the Rockets appear to be title contenders now. But it’s always fun to speculate, right?

Tiger’s back?

Main headline on the front page of USA TODAY sports this morning:


Woods finishes 12th while Thomas wins Honda Classic

The golf world is so desperate for Woods to be good again, it’s almost pathetic. (The media is the same way. You are much more likely to click on a story that says Tiger Woods than Luke Thomas. Wait for it...Gotcha. You probably didn’t even notice that his name is Justin -- not Luke -- Thomas and he is on fire on the Tour). But hey, Woods finished 12th! Tiger being good benefits everyone, so expect more of the same moving forward. “Tiger finishes 10th; Speith wins tournament.” “Tiger shows promise with a ninth-place effort; that Thomas guy wins again.”

Rock solid

The U.S. men won gold for the first time in Olympic curling. It might be the first time I have watched an entire curling match. There is a hell of a lot going on in that game. It seems like it would be a fun beer league thing. But now it will go back into oblivion for four years.

Shame bell to NBC for the awful karaoke rendition by the team of Don’t Stop Believin’. I stopped believing four bars in.

Blake superior

The Jaguars locked up Blake Bortles for three years. He is signed through 2020 and the numbers look big -- $54 million -- but the Jags can essentially bail after one year without much penalty, and if he plays well they have him at a fair price. If you think you can win with Bortles, and the Jags clearly think they can, it is a good deal. I think there were better options out there for a team that is a QB away. Maybe Bortles can take a key step forward, but as we see with a lot of franchises, their window is now. There is no guarantee that a great defense will carry over from one year to the next. For now, Bortles is the man. If the Jags are wrong, they will miss out on a golden opportunity.

Flat out stupid

I would like to assume Geno Smith was trolling when he started buying in to the flat earth argument only to back off later when he was destroyed on Twitter.

One of the positives to social media is it has given people a way to share their views without filter. And that, too, is the negative. No filter means no one to say, “hey, you are going to look dumb if you tweet this.”

His last tweet was this: “I find it funny how you all assume I believe Earth is flat lol I just think you guys should have an open mind because as we know a lot of the “truths” that we thought were true actually aren’t.”

First off, slapping an LOL on it does not make it OK. Secondly, I’m all for questioning things that need to be questioned, but someone thinking the earth is flat is not a “truth.” It’s dumb.

What’s next Geno?

Truth: The moon is made of cheese. And there is a man in it.

Truth: The stars are just God’s night lights.

Truth: I can jump off a building because gravity does not exist and I will float like a leaf on the wind.

Truth: Scarlett Johannson has a secret crush on me and going to leave her attractive husband for an old, disgusting radio host.

Yeah, feel free not to believe any of those "truths."

I think it’s time we focus our energy on some real truths, like Geno Smith sucks at football. But Don’t Stop Believin’ buddy.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome