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Matt Youmans


Picking NFL win totals is a four-month grind

Horse racing and football provide adrenaline rushes of different kinds. The races can present instant gratification, with bets decided in two minutes. A football game can be a three-hour grind. Wagering on regular-season win totals is a totally different story, a roller-coaster ride extending for four months. Yet, sometimes, the payoff is worth the wait.

Moderation is the key to NFL preseason wagering

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown, and Pete Carroll is wearing it now. But if Carroll is worried, he never shows it. This is not about the Seattle Seahawks’ quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions, not yet anyway. Before he won the biggest game of the season, Carroll was king of the NFL preseason.

A’s Beane continues to work magic

In several ways, Billy Beane is a gambler working with a bankroll. But there’s not much money to play with, so the Oakland Athletics general manager must be smart with it, and he needs to make the right moves.

Bucs’ draft will benefit McCown

Fourteen quarterbacks were called during the three-day NFL Draft marathon, and at least half will be busts in the long run. Expect none to make a bigger impact this season than Josh McCown will for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mystifying Pacers are destined to exit early

At one point, it was almost a given that Paul George, the NBA’s next big star, would lead the Indiana Pacers to the stratosphere. The sharps and squares often are at odds and see things differently, but on this point, almost everyone agreed.

Add Clippers’ circus to wagering craziness

On any other day, Stephen Curry’s seven 3-pointers would have been the only story. Sideshow aside, Curry shot life back into the Golden State Warriors, and that’s what mattered most to underdog bettors. The Warriors were aiming to get even in a first-round playoff series. The Los Angeles Clippers are tied up in a full-blown media circus.

NFL does Manning, Broncos no favors

How about a rematch with Seattle and another road trip to New England? Those are the so-called highlights of the Denver Broncos’ regular-season schedule, which calculates as the second toughest in the league. It’s not necessarily a doomsday scenario, but for Peyton Manning, it’s definitely not getting any easier.