Tuesday’s List of 13: Glad to be back……

13) Here is a pro tip if you’re having surgery; go to the right bleepin’ hospital. 

Thats right, I show up 20 minutes early for my operation last Tuesday, but turns out I’m at Albany Medical Center when I’m supposed to be at Albany Memorial Hospital, which according to Mapquest, is 2.6 miles away. Not good, but we got there and the staff at Memorial couldn’t have been nicer. 

12) Backtracking a little bit, couple of Saturdays ago I’m sitting in the sportsbook at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, watching college football and talking with a buddy, when the vision in my right eye became foggy. Had no idea what the problem was, but it didn’t get better, and after flying home that Tuesday, it got way worse. Turns out the retina in my right eye had detached. 

On October 22 (the 47th anniversary of the Oakland A’s first World Series title), I had my right eye operated on, and now I wait and hope it bounces back to where it was. In the meantime, I’d like to thank anyone who sent a text, e-mail or called to offer help/best wishes. Much appreciated. 

— Thanks to Dr Mallick, who was my eye surgeon; appreciate you answering all my questions, and obviously, thanks a lot for putting my eye back together. Thanks isn’t really enough to say, but I really appreciate your work.

11) Part of rehabbing your re-attached retina is having your head pointed down a lot, so I’m listening to TV more than watching it; two observations:

a) Joe Buck is very good at baseball play-by-play.
b) 86-year old Hubie Brown is still great fun to listen to on NBA games.

10) When Washington Nationals’ OF Juan Soto was 10 years old, he played on an all-star team in the Dominican Republic that was coached by Robinson Cano’s father.

9) Since the start of last season, 56.4% of NBA players have changed teams, an amazing stat. NBA is the only league where the preseason is more interesting than the regular season.

8) A friend of mine here in Albany is opening a bar/golf simulator soon in Guilderland, out on Route 20 by Western Turnpike golf course. It is going to be called The Bunker, and once I get out and about more, I’ll give you an in-person report, but it sounds like an excellent place to hang out and have fun with friends.

7) Major league managerial hirings:
— Cubs hired David Ross, who was an active player only three years ago.
— Phillies hired Joe Girardi, an excellent hire.
— Angels announced hiring of Joe Maddon; he worked for the Halos for 30 years before he became a big league skipper in Tampa Bay.
— Maddon hired former Mets’ skipper Mickey Callaway as his pitching coach.
— Padres hired 38-year old Jayce Tingler, who worked for years in the Texas Rangers’ system.

6) Last Wednesday, the first full night of NBA games, 22 Kentucky alums played and first thing Thursday morning, John Calipari posted all their stats on Twitter. Effective recruiting tool.

5) NFL knowledge:
— Denver QB Joe Flacco (neck) is out for this week’s game with Cleveland. Brandon Allen is the new starter; he has never taken an NFL snap. Allen started for 2.5 years at Arkansas, where the Hogs went 15-11 his junior/senior seasons. 
— Chargers fired OC Ken Whisenhunt Monday night.
— Texans’ star DE JJ Watt is done for the season (torn pectoral muscle). 

4) From ESPN stats: New Jersey Jets are first NFL team since the ’91 Colts who, through seven games, have fewer than 450 yards rushing, while giving up 200+ yards in sacks. 

3) Of the 64 teams who trailed a World Series 3-2, 20 of them came back to win the Series.

2) Good news/bad news after my eye surgery:
Bad news: Had to cancel my annual Christmas trip to Las Vegas; can’t fly for a couple months after the surgery. I’ll survive, but I’ve enjoyed spending my birthday/Christmas in the desert.

Good news: Looking like a March trip instead; second weekend of NCAA tournament, and first week of baseball season.

1) Steelers 27, Dolphins 14— Monday, a gambler at South Point Casino in Las Vegas risked $100,000 to win $11,764.70 on the Steelers’ money line. He had to sweat some in the first half, but he won his 11 grand.

Saturday, someone risked $5,040 to win $210 on Oklahoma’s money line to beat Kansas State; the Sooners lost, once again proving Oscar Madison’s old line from The Odd Couple:

“There’s no such thing as a sure thing; thats why they call it gambling.”

Wednesday’s Den: Notes on all the NFC teams…….

Arizona:
— Cardinals have only one takeaway in their last four games (-2 in TO’s for year).
— Arizona is 14-10-1 ATS in last 25 games as a home underdog.
— Road team covered their last four games. 

Atlanta:
— Falcons allowed 12 TD’s on their opponents’ last 25 drives.
— Atlanta averaged 8.1+ yards/pass attempt in four of their five games.
— Falcons covered only four of their last 19 road games.  

Carolina:
— Panthers are 3-0, scoring 32.7 ppg, with Kyle Allen at QB.
— Carolina has nine takeaways (+5) in its last three games.
— Panthers ran for only 39 yards in Week 2’s 20-14 home loss to Tampa Bay. 

Chicago:
— Bears allowed total of 45 points in Weeks 1-4, then gave up 24 points to Oakland Sunday.
— Chicago was 8-13 on 3rd down vs Washington; other four games? 15-53
— Bears are 0-5 SU/ATS in their last five post-bye games. 

Dallas:
— First three games: 18-31 on third down. Last two games: 6-19.
— Cowboys were outscored 26-3 in first half of their last two games.
— Dak Prescott: 35-18 as an NFL starter; 24-5 vs losing teams, 11-13 vs winning teams.

Detroit:
— All four Detroit games have been decided by 4 or fewer points.
— Lions have nine takeaways but also six giveaways in four games this year.
— Detroit won/covered six of its last seven post-bye games.

Green Bay:
— Packers are +7 in turnovers, won/covered four of first five games.
— Green Bay is 22-13-2 ATS in last 37 games as a home favorite.
— Packers scored 88 points in first half of games, 37 in second half. 

LA Rams:
— Rams scored 69 points in last two games, but lost both of them.
— Under McVay, LA is 13-7 ATS away from home.
— Average points scored in 2nd half of Ram games this year: 34.8

Minnesota:
— Vikings ran ball for 172+ yards in 4 of 5 games; Bears held them to 40.
— Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 24-7-1 ATS as a home favorite.
— Under is 4-1 in Viking games, only one of which was decided by less than 10 points.

NY Giants:
— Giants scored 32-24 points in their wins, 17 or less in their losses.
— Big Blue is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games as a road underdog. 

— Giants covered 10 of their last 13 games on natural grass. 

New Orleans:
— Saints are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 road games.
— NO opponents converted only 17 of last 49 third down plays.
— Saints won all three of Bridgewater’s starts, scoring 33-12-31 points. 

Philadelphia:
— Eagles are 3-0 when they score 31+ points, 0-2 when they do not.
— Philly is 5-3 ATS in its last eight games as a road underdog.
— Eagles have converted 37-70 third down plays this year. 

San Francisco:
— SF ran ball for 702 yards in their last three games.
— 49ers have 11 takeaways in four games, but also eight turnovers.
— Last time SF was NFC’s last unbeaten team was 1984. 

Seattle:
— Seahawks scored 27+ points in each of their last four games.
— Seattle is just 21-59 on 3rd down, but scored 98 points on 16 red zone drives.
— Seahawks are 8-4-1 ATS in last 13 games as a road underdog. 

Tampa Bay:
— Buccaneers allowed 31+ points in four of their five games.
— Tampa Bay has eight takeaways (+6) in its last four games.
— Average total in Bucs’ last three games: 71.0. 

Washington:
— Redskins didn’t score in second half of their last two games.
— Washington is 0-5, with last four losses all by 10+ points.
— Would expect them to run ball with Callahan the new coach.