The 10-2 Atlanta Falcons travel to Carolina to meet their division rivals, the 1-11 Panthers, and are the NFL lock of week 14 giving 7 ½ points.
The Falcons have been an outstanding team against the line this year, going 8-4 against the line with a 4-2 record on the road against the bookmaker’s number. Atlanta have covered their last four and their last three as a road favourite. Carolina, meanwhile, have covered only three times this season and only once when the line was set at lower than 9. The Panthers are the Paterson’s Curse of the NFL: stay clear or you will be itching for weeks.
There have been few cricketers in the history of Australian cricket treated as shabbily by national selectors as Brad Hodge. Dean Jones would have claims as would Stuart Clark and Jason Gillespie but none of that trio were given such little opportunity after proving themselves at every level as Hodge. Hodge was treated as a leper by that conglomerate of fools and thieves known as the national selection panel and now in this desperate hour of need, Hodge is no longer available. Andrew Hilditch should be fired for that alone.
There is little doubt that politics played a role in the fact Hodge played only 6 Test matches for Australia. Petty personal politics. And it was Andrew Hilditch and Ricky Ponting who ostracised Hodge, keeping him out of the side when his record merited inclusion. Hodge wasn’t one of the in-crowd and he paid the price. Now the rest of us must bear the cost.
Two bets exist in the Phoenix-Portland NBA game today with both the Suns and the under sound wagers.
Portland have been a miserable proposition for punters this season. The Blazers have covered only three of their last ten including a run of seven straight losses, six of which they started favourites with the books. They ended that losing streak with a 100-91 victory over the Clippers but were far from convincing in getting the W and now tackle the Suns without guard Andre Miller, who has averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 assists per game. He will be sorely missed by the Portland faithful. With Phoenix covering their last four, the Suns with the 3 points is the play.
On Sunday, amid the drama of his move to South Sydney being investigated and likely blocked by the NRL, Greg Inglis got married. On the same day it was reported that fellow international Timana Tahu was set to be released by Parramatta.
Both Inglis and Tahu have had their positive reputations torn to shreds over the last twelve months. Neither will ever recover.
Greg Inglis is now part of the Anthony Mundine entourage and that has never spelt good news for anybody. Getting in with that crew is a public admission that greed isyou’re your god. With Mundine no doubt in his ear, Inglis walked out on the Storm and then reneged on a deal with Brisbane.
Despite reports to the contrary, the Storm had developed a plan allowing them to keep Inglis and maintain the so-called Big Four. Inglis was only granted a release after he became concerned with money. Under the pretence of following his heart, Inglis sought a release to move to Brisbane. After much wrangling, the new Storm administration granted him one, believing there was no point in keeping a player around who was both disruptive and not fully committed to the team. Inglis is now persona non grata at the Storm with both the front office and many players disappointed and angered over his selfish walkout.
The four best teams in the AFC face each other this weekend in what should prove a salivating and decisive guide in how the premier conference in the NFL shapes up after three-quarters of the 2010 season.
Sunday Night Football sees AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore square off in a battle that is sure to be physically brutal. The Steelers and Ravens square off in arguably the most anticipated division rivalry in the NFL with both teams entering the contest as 8-3 division leaders. Victory is critical as both these powerhouses seek to claim the division.
On Election Night 2007, Maxine McKew became the face of Labor victory. The former ABC presenter had become only the second person in Australian history to win a seat off the sitting Prime Minister and to Laborites and ALP sympathisers McKew became a heroine, the vanquisher of their great nemesis. John Howard had not only lost power after eleven years as Prime Minister: he had lost the seat of Bennelong that he had held since 1974. It was the kind of humiliation that made victory all the sweeter for the Labor Party faithful with McKew hailed as symbolic of a new era of Labor dominance.
McKew was jettisoned into the increasingly marginal seat of Bennelong in early 2007, a seat considered eminently winnable after a redistribution that favoured the ALP. On the back of strong support from the ALP machine, a well-directed local campaign aimed at winning support among the large Chinese and Korean communities and an increasing feeling of tiredness towards John Howard, McKew provided Labor with Bennelong for the first time.