GAMBLING RECAP

Want to bet? Let's play a game of quarterback guess who

Want to bet? Let's play a game of  quarterback guess who
Case Keenum's season ended in Philadelphia. Twincities.com

Imagine this; You walk into a sportsbook before the games last Sunday and are presented a prop sheet. The objective is to match the quarterback with his performance in the Championship round.

26-of-38 for 290 yards / two touchdowns
23-of-36 for 293 yards / one touchdown
26-of-33 for 352 yards / three touchdowns
28-of-48 for 271 yards / one touchdown/ two interceptions / one fumble


Case Keenum
Tom Brady
Blake Bortles
Nick Foles

Although some would think they can figure this out pretty easily pregame,the inscrutability of Sunday's results made this impracticable to solve.

Who am I?
 

Behind door #1
In College, I attended Michigan State for a year and was redshirted when I transferred, forcing me to sit out the 2008 season. For my new alma mater, I would go on to throw for over 10,000 yards and  66 touchdowns in three years. I was the 88th overall pick selected in the fourth round in my draft. I would tell you who drafted me, but I've been on a total of three teams since entering the league. On Nov. 3, 2013, I punished the Raiders for seven passing touchdowns, something only seven other quarterbacks have been able to do. I  guess you can say I'm pretty special, that same year I made the Pro Bowl and was named the Pro Bowl Offensive MVP (thanks for the GMC Truck). Not to brag, but this isn't my first rendezvous in the postseason where I've thrown five times more touchdowns than interceptions, and I hold a 116.4 passer rating. Sunday, my final stat line was 26-of-33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns. Guess Who?

Behind door #2
I redshirted as a true freshman in 2010, but I would only need three years to tally 56 touchdowns. In 2013, I led my team to a BCS bowl, Tostitos to be exact. In my final game, I was named the Offensive MVP and helped my team win its first major bowl in school history. Although this was my first postseason, I've done fairly well throwing three times more touchdowns than interceptions. Also, I’m a pretty decent runner. This postseason I had 121 yards on 17 carries (7.1). Sunday my final stat line read 23-of-36 for 293 yards and one touchdown. Guess who?


Behind door #3
Im also a journeyman, and I've led the huddle on four different NFL teams. In college, I was a monster. I’m the  NCAA's all-time leader in total passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. I was the conference MVP in 2009 and 2011. It would have been three consecutive years but I tore my knee in the third game of the year vs. UCLA. Luckily, I was granted my 6th year of eligibility, and I led my team to a 12-0 season. That year I spanked Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl. My final numbers were 532 yards and three touchdowns passes. In my pro career, it has been a struggle. Starting with my rookie year where I spent all of 2012 on the practice squad. The following year I got my first start in week seven after an injury to the starting quarterback. No big deal but I did go 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown, along with a 110.6 passer rating, the highest by a quarterback on my team that season. Overall, I've thrown for 8,771 yards in 5 years while tossing 46 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. Sunday my final stat line was 28-of-48 for 271 yards with a touchdown, two interceptions, and one fumble. Guess Who?


Behind door #4
I've always loved football, at the age of 4, I attended a  game in CandleStick Park in  which Dwight Clark had "The Catch." In college, I was the backup my first two years to some guy named Brian Griese. I guess he was pretty good; he led our team to an undefeated season and a national title before I took over. In two years I threw for over 4500 yards while holding a 30-17 touchdown to interception ratio. I was the 199th overall pick, and I would only have to wait until my second season to get my first start. One year, in our teams season opener, I managed to tear my ACL and MCL causing me to miss the entire season. The following year I came out with a vengeance, in the first game I pulled off a miraculous comeback while throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns. That year I  would also set the record with most touchdown passes in a single quarter (5). This postseason I had a 5-0 touchdown to interception ratio. Sunday my final stat line was 26-of-38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Guess who?

The Championship round left us with a few surprising box scores. But only two teams could advance. Congratulations to the Patriots and the Eagles.


Play action or Pass went 1-7. Bringing our yearly record to 58-53-3.

For Sportsbooks, it was one of the biggest weekends ever. In the first game, many sharp bettors were on Jacksonville, but the Public was huge on Patriots-7.5 and Jaguars money line +300. This was great for the guys taking the bets, and they were able to cash off both crowds.

In the late game, Joe Public was still suffering from the Minneapolis Miracle. People really wanted to see a team host a Super Bowl but that illusion will have to wait. The Vikings booked 64% of the bets leading into kickoff and again the books feasted.

Sunday was one of the best day for books in years. The only game the books lost was on the Las Vegas Golden Knights route of the Hurricanes.

With the Superbowl on the horizon, we will be getting more into the game the following week. Prop bet extravaganza coming soon......

1)Foles

2)Bortles

3)Keenum

4)Brady

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoknowz on twitter
 

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Astros on the hunt. Composite Getty Image.

With the Astros' surge from 10 games out of first place to within two games of Seattle, catching and going past the Mariners has naturally become the top objective. It's no given to happen but it's right there. In the final series ahead of the All-Star break, while the Mariners are in the midst of four games with the lowly Angels, the last two World Series champions renew (un)pleasantries at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros enter the weekend five games ahead of the Rangers. They lead the season series with the reigning champs four wins to three. While the Astros can't quite finish off the Arlingtonians by sweeping them in this three game set, shoving them eight games back (even further back of Seattle and the current Wild Card teams) and clinching the tiebreaker would seem close to a death blow. Taking two out of three would be fine for the Astros. If the Rangers win the series, they are clearly still in the American League West and Wild Card races coming out of the All-Star break.

Last year the Rangers had the best offense in the AL. So far in 2024 they rank a mediocre eighth in runs per game. Nathaniel Lowe is the lone Ranger (get it?!?) regular playing as well as he did last season. Corey Seager has been fine but not at the MVP runner-up level of last year. Marcus Semien is notably down, as is 2023 ALCS Astros-obliterater Adolis Garcia. Stud 2023 rookie Josh Jung has been out with a broken wrist since ex-Astro Phil Maton hit him with a pitch in the fourth game of this season, though fill-in third baseman Josh Smith has been the Rangers' best player. 21-year-old late season phenom Evan Carter largely stunk the first two months this season and has been out since late May with a back injury. Repeating is hard, never harder than it is now. Hence no Major League Baseball has done it since the Yankees won three straight World Series 1998-2000.

Chasing down the Division at a crazy clip

From the abyss of their 7-19 start, the Astros sweep over the Marlins clinched a winning record at the break with them at 49-44. Heading into the Texas matchup the Astros have won at a .627 clip since they were 7-19. A full season of .627 ball wins 101 games. If the Astros win at a .627 rate the rest of the way they'll finish with 92 wins, almost certainly enough to secure a postseason slot and likely enough to win the West. Expecting .627 the rest of the way is ambitious.

With it fairly clear that Lance McCullers is highly unlikely to contribute anything after his latest recovery setback, and Luis Garcia a major question mark, what Justin Verlander has left in 2024 grows more important. With the way the Astros often dissemble or poorly forecast when discussing injuries, for all we know Verlander could be cooked. Inside three weeks to the trade deadline, General Manager Dana Brown can't be thinking a back end of the rotation comprised of Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss should be good enough. The Astros have 66 games to play after the All-Star break, including separate stretches with games on 18 and 16 consecutive days.

All-Star MIAs

Viewership for Tuesday's All-Star game at Globe Life Field in Arlington will be pretty, pretty, pretty low in Houston. One, All-Star Game ratings are pitiful every year compared to where they used to be. Two, the Astros could be down to zero representatives at Tuesday's showcase. Kyle Tucker was rightfully named a reserve but had no shot at playing as he continues the loooong recovery from a bone bruise (or worse) suffered June 3. Being named an All-Star for a ninth time was enough for Jose Altuve. He opts out of spending unnecessary time in Texas Rangers territory citing a sore wrist. This despite Altuve playing four games in a row since sitting out the day after he was plunked and highly likely to play in all three games versus the Rangers this weekend. Yordan Alvarez exiting Wednesday's rout of the Marlins with hip discomfort and then missing Thursday's game seem clear reasons for him to skip, though he has indicated thus far he intends to take part. Yordan is the most essential lineup component to the Astros' hopes of making an eighth straight playoff appearance.

Ronel Blanco should have made the American League squad on performance, but pretty obviously his 10 game illegal substance use suspension was held against him. As it works out, Blanco will pitch Sunday in the last game before the break which would render him unavailable for the All-Star Game anyway. Blanco is eligible to pitch, but given the career high-shattering innings workload Blanco is headed for, no way the Astros want him on the mound Tuesday. Just last year the Astros kept Framber Valdez from pitching in the game.

While waiting, and waiting, and waiting on Tucker's return, the Astros have also been waiting on Chas McCormick to get back to something even faintly resembling the hitter he was last year. McCormick routinely looks lost at the plate. He has four hits (all singles) in his last 32 at bats with his season OPS pitiful at .572. During the break the Astros should seriously weigh sending McCormick to AAA Sugar Land and giving Pedro Leon a try in a job share with Joey Loperfido.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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