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Chargers put bettors in choke hold

It seems every season is some kind of comical misadventure for the San Diego Chargers. There is success followed by hope, failure followed by lost hope, and then it falls into Philip Rivers’ hands for an all-or-nothing game.

In weird Week 17, Bucs would win by losing

Believe it or not, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the past 3½ months trying to win football games. According to coach Lovie Smith, his team will be playing to win on the regular season’s final Sunday, too. And that could be a costly mistake, if the Buccaneers actually do win.

Win-total disaster: Cutler, Bears bad news

Almost everything about this Chicago Bears’ season has been bad news, especially for the optimists who banked on their regular-season win total going over 8½. It’s a bet that has no shot.

Brady, NFL bettors left crazy and confused

Dazed and confused, picked off once and sacked four times, Tom Brady finally went to a knee to run out the clock as the New England Patriots escaped from New York.

Roethlisberger, McRib are underrated winners

Some hard-working people never get the recognition or respect that is truly deserved. It might be a maid, a mailman or a mechanic. It also could be a blue-collar quarterback such as Ben Roethlisberger.

Variables add peril to bowl wagering

Thirty-eight bowl games are on the schedule, and picking winners might be tougher than making Nick Saban smile. The Alabama coach is absolutely great at what he does, which is frown all the time and win a lot of football games.

Dortmund becomes newest Triple Crown hopeful

Bob Baffert’s undefeated Dortmund will be the favorite in the Los Alamitos Futurity on Saturday. In the Kentucky Derby future books, the colt already is 12-1 at Wynn Las Vegas and 10-1 at William Hill.

Falcons not dead yet, it just looks that way

The Atlanta Falcons are in position to win the NFC South, one of the most pathetic division races in NFL history. The Falcons, 5-8 overall and 4-0 within the division, sit atop the pile and stink a little less than the other three teams.

Epstein building Cubs into contenders

Maybe the price tag attached to Jon Lester was too high, but that’s irrelevant. It’s only money, and the Chicago Cubs have plenty more of it. Timing is what matters, and in this case it’s perfect.

Keep an eye on simulcast dispute

In the battle over the shrinking horse racing pie, simulcast providers are seeking increased payments from locations that don’t offer live racing. This could have a big impact at Nevada casinos.

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