Bookmakers always hope for upsets, and this March, it’s not just wishful thinking. There certainly are going to be shockers, and there probably will be a No. 2 or a No. 3 seed go down. What we are witnessing now is a preview of the real madness.
Subscribe to Matt Youmans RSS feed
Sometimes, the so-called square bettors are sharper than the oddsmakers. Fresno State’s no-sweat cover in a victory over UNLV, which did get a spirited effort out of Patrick McCaw, served as an example that the public is not always wrong.
Several times a hero in March, Steve Alford is a goat this time. The UCLA coach leaned back in his chair, rolled his eyes and watched his team get rocked by rival Southern California for the third time this season.
Another day passed without a news conference on the UNLV campus to announce Rick Pitino as the new basketball coach. Instead, Dick Vitale explained why Pitino is not coming to town.
Two years ago, Conor McGregor was just another fighter, a former plumber with an attitude, a prospect, a no-name undercard filler to casual fans of mixed martial arts. Today, he’s recognized as the biggest star in the sport, and not just because of his big mouth.
After four months of changes at the top, the votes are in and the Oscar for the best college basketball team goes to Kansas. The acceptance speech will be made by coach Bill Self.
While the winning quarterback went to Disneyland, the loser was tossed in a dumpster. Cam Newton will find out how difficult it is to bounce back from a Super Bowl defeat, especially after he was trashed by critics for immature antics.
It's a question NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dances around and does not want to entertain, but here it is: What are the odds on the Las Vegas Raiders becoming a reality? Not everyone is laughing off the idea as a ridiculous long shot.
In the end, and there is no doubt this should be the end of the road for Peyton Manning, one of the NFL's all-time greatest quarterbacks rode shotgun. Manning was simply an old-timer who went along for the ride.
It's often said the next-best thing to being at the Super Bowl is being in Las Vegas to watch the game. But that's wrong. It's better to be here.
Proposition bets on the Super Bowl, similar to the game itself, generate a lot of hype. It's always entertaining to talk about props involving players in other sports, such as NBA stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Politicians frequently inspire intense feelings of love and hate from the American public, and sometimes NFL quarterbacks do, too. Opinions are divided on Cam Newton. Some despise his dancing and showboating. Others respect his immense talent.
When the first snap of the game sailed over Peyton Manning's head for a safety, the blunder by the Denver Broncos meant a big payday for some lucky bettors.
All summer, Tom Brady was the story. The Super Bowl champion quarterback's squeaky-clean image was dragged through the mud while he desperately fought a suspension in court. He eventually won the right to play, and it would have been ironic if he were still playing on the final Sunday of the season.
In the postseason, there's nothing wrong with an ugly win. The goal is to survive and send the opponent into the offseason, so in that sense the Arizona Cardinals are just fine. But they need quarterback Carson Palmer to be much better and bolder.
It's reality-check time for the Golden State Warriors and the bettors who put money on the team to break a major record. Stephen Curry is not in Michael Jordan's airspace yet, and he's probably not getting there this season.
Every good soap opera features twists and turns and marriages and affairs. The NFL is not much different. It's a year-round drama, and for the longest time we have followed the careers of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and their complicated relationship.
It's a psychological ploy that sometimes works and sometimes is worthless, but Aaron Rodgers is giving it a shot this week. He's embracing the underdog role on behalf of the Green Bay Packers.
It took months for coach Pete Carroll to admit the obvious and finally say this week a Super Bowl hangover was a big reason the Seattle Seahawks were so sluggish to start this season. But the good news is hangovers eventually go away.
Just when it seemed Peyton Manning might go out with a whimper, he was called on in relief and delivered a win. He was exactly what the Denver Broncos needed, just when it seemed they no longer wanted him.
By most indications, the end is here for Tom Coughlin as coach of the New York Giants. In a cutthroat business, he has no playoff appearances in four straight seasons, and it does not make business sense to give him a shot to extend the streak to five.
Instead of ripping the losing coach, pause for a moment to praise the winning quarterback. Deshaun Watson did not get much pregame hype from the media and was quickly dismissed by most bettors, yet he directed a dominant performance by Clemson.
Even a genius is capable of a dumb decision. Bill Belichick is normally the sharpest gambler walking NFL sidelines, and the math usually supports his rolls of the dice, but he owns this rare blunder.
With time winding down in the regular season, it's possible we have seen the last of Peyton Manning.
It's no cinch Connor Cook will be a quality starter in the NFL, a league desperately in need of a few good quarterbacks. But he's about to audition for the role, and the stage he gets to take on New Year's Eve is about as big as it gets.