Saturday’s Den: Baseball questions, with spring training underway

— Baseball changed lot of rules this year; going to be interesting to see how that impacts play this season. No more shifts, a play clock to quicken pace of play, bigger bases, a limit to how many times a pitcher can throw to first base. I think they’ve made good rule changes.

— Watching the first spring training games Friday with the pitch clock, TV broadcasts will be changing; lot of fewer replays of action right after it happens, because there is a 0:30 clock until the next pitch is thrown. Lot less small talk between pitches.

— San Diego Padres spent lot of $$$ this year, trying hard to unseat the Dodgers in NL West, but then star 3B Manny Machado said he will opt out of his contract after this season, hoping to make more than the $30M/year he was scheduled to make thru 2028. 

Will that be a distraction for the Padres, or is is just business as usual?

— I’ve mentioned this here before, but my dad grew up in New York City, was.a big Brooklyn Dodger fan. When I was a kid, I learned quickly to never say the name “O’Malley”— Walter O’Malley was the Dodgers’ owner who moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. My dad didn’t like Walter O’Malley, not one bit.

San Diego Padres are now owned by Peter Seidler, who is Walter O’Malley’s grandson. Wish my dad was here to get his reaction to that; chances are he wouldn’t like the Padres very much.

— Highest current projected payrolls for this baseball season:

$300M— New York (NL)
$261M— New York (AL)
$241M— Phillies
$225M— Braves
$212M— Angels
$205M— Padres

— Lowest current projected payrolls for this baseball season:

$40,925,000— A’s
$45,025,000— Orioles
$59,262,500— Pirates
$64,451,211— Rays
$48,624,500— Reds
$75,010,000— Guardians

— Mets’ owner Steve Cohen has raised a lot of eyebrows by also spending a boatload of $$$ to make his team a winning team. Hell, wish he owned the A’s, but now they’re just as despicable as the other New York team. It is no fun rooting for a team that doesn’t try to win.

Cohen loosely inspired the character Bobby Axelrod on the Showtime series Billions.

— The A’s situation will be interesting; will they move to Las Vegas? Portland? Doesn’t sound like they’ll get a new stadium in Oakland. Would be nice if their cheapskate owner would try to win— what a novel idea.

If they move to Las Vegas and are still cheapskates, someone might wind up like Joe Pesci’s character in Casino.

— Tampa Bay Rays also have a stadium issue; will they stay in Florida or move to Montreal? Charlotte? Nashville?

— Once the two stadium issues are resolved, MLB will move ahead with expanding to 32 teams; the expansion fees will recoup $$$ owners lost during the shortened 2020 season. Having 32 big league teams will make scheduling a lot easier.

— Texas Rangers are paying SS Corey Seager/2B Marcus Semien a combined $57M a year, but they went 68-94 last year, so they hired future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy as their new skipper, added Jacob deGrom as a mound ace. We’ll see if that makes Texas a contender; they’ve had six straight losing seasons. 

— Angels have two of the game’s great stars, Trout/Ohtani, but they were 73-89 last year.

Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014- their last winning season was 2015, and all that with a payroll of $212M for this year. Pitching is kind of important; the Angels need more of it.

— Speaking of Ohtani, he can be a free agent next winter; going to be quite a bidding war for his services. Would the Angels consider trading him this summer?

— Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs last year; what does he do for an encore? Teammate Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 homers in 2017, but hasn’t ht more than 38 since then.

— Not sure what the Red Sox/Cubs are doing; big market teams that aren’t spending much $$$. Red Sox won World Series in 2018; they’ve made playoffs once since then. Boston finished last in AL East last year, 21 games out of first place.

Cubs missed the playoffs in three of last four seasons; their prospects for this year aren’t great. 

— Detroit Tigers moved their fences in this year, mostly in CF; will that help their hitters/hurt their pitchers?

— Cleveland Guardians won AL Central by 11 games last year; they were only team in the division to finish over .500. Will they be challenged more this year? White Sox let Jose Abreu go, Minnesota re-tooled some but not a lot. Cleveland made playoffs five of last seven years, but has not made it to the World Series since losing Game 7 to the Cubs in 2016.

— Seattle Mariners made playoffs last year for first time since 2001; at this time last year, I had three Seattle hitters on my fantasy team, but their ballpark isn’t conducive to scoring runs— got rid of two of the three, and the third guy got traded to Milwaukee. 

— My baseball TV experience will be better this season; couldn’t watch the World Series last year. The local FOX station was/is at war with DirecTV, so that station was off my TV, so no World Series. I’ve dumped DirecTV for YouTube TV. Looking forward to this season. 

Wednesday’s Den: NBA trends at the All-Star break

NBA trends (thru All-Star break)

Hawks (29-30):
— won/covered their last six games.
— 3-6 ATS as a road favorite
— 7-3 ATS last ten as a road underdog.
— under 5-1 last six games

Celtics (42-17):
— won last seven games SU (5-2 ATS)
— 5-1 ATS last six games as a home favorite
— over 7-3 last ten home games
— 5-2-2 ATS if they played the night before

Nets (34-24):
— 3-5 SU last eight games.
— 7-3 ATS last 10 as a home favorite
— over 6-2 last eight games
— playing 2nd nite in row: 4-1 ATS on road, 1-4 at home

Hornets (17-43):
— 4-2 ATS last six home games.
— 1-6 ATS last seven road games. 
— under 4-1 last five road games
— 0-8 ATS first night of a back/back

Bulls (26-33)
— 0-6 SU/ATS in last six games.
— 9-7 ATS home favorite; 2-6 ATS road favorite.
— under 8-2 last ten games
— 7-4 ATS first night of a back/back

Cavaliers (38-23):
— 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS last eight games.
— 7-2 ATS last nine games as a favorite.
— 4-7 ATS as a road underdog.
— under 5-2 last seven road games

Mavericks (31-29):
— 0-3 SU/ATS last three games.
— 0-5-1 ATS last six as home favorites.
— 4-10 ATS as road favorites.
— over 5-1 last six road games

Nuggets (41-18):
—won/covered four of last five games.
— 15-0 SU/12-2-1 ATS last 15 games as home favorites 
— 4-10 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 4-1 last five home games

Pistons (15-44):
— 2-7 SU/4-5 ATS last nine games.
— 2-7 ATS last nine home games
— over 9-3 in their last dozen road games.
— 5-2-1 ATS on second night of a back/back

Warriors (29-29):
— lost three of last fouir games SU
— 3-9 ATS last 12 games as a home favorite
— 4-9 ATS as road favorite.
— over 17-2 last 19 road games.

Rockets (13-45):
— 0-7 SU/3-4 ATS in last seven games
— 2-11 ATS last thirteen road games
— over 5-2 last seven games 
— 2-5 ATS if they played the night before

Pacers (26-34):
— 1-5 SU/2-4 ATS last six games
— 1-8 ATS last nine as a road underdog
— under 5-1 last six home games
— 6-3 ATS first night of a back/back

Clippers (33-28):
— 1-3 SU/ATS in their last four games 
— 8-4 ATS last 12 games as a home favorite.
— 3-6 ATS as a home underdog.
— under 22-7-1 in Staples Center. 

Lakers (27-32):
— lost four of last six games SU.
— 6-1-1 ATS last eight games as road underdogs.
— 5-3 ATS second night of a back/back
— over 12-7 last 19 road games

Grizzlies (35-22):
— won three of last four games SU.
— 3-7 ATS last 10 games as a favorite.  
— under 5-1 last six road games
— 1-3 ATS on road, 3-1 ATS at home if they played night before.

Heat (32-27):
— 3-4 SU/1-6 ATS in last seven games.
— 4-10-1 ATS last 15 games as a home favorite.
— 6-8 ATS as a road underdog.
— under 6-2 last eight home games.

Bucks (41-17):
— 12-0 SU/8-4 ATS last 12 games
— 7-0 ATS last seven games as a road favorite.
— 2-7-1 ATS as a road underdog.
— over 14-5 last 19 home games.

Timberwolves (31-30)
— 4-5 last nine games SU.
— 4-9 ATS last 13 games as a home favorite.
— 6-3 ATS last nine games as a road underdog.
— under 6-2 last eight home games

Pelicans (30-29):
— 4-2 SU in their last six games.
— 10-5 ATS last 15 games as home favorite.
— 3-11-1 ATS last 15 games as a road underdog.
— 3-6 ATS if they played the night before.

Knicks (33-27):
— 5-1 SU/ATS last six games
— 6-1-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— 12-8 ATS as a road underdog. 
— over 5-2 last seven road games 

Thunder (28-29):
— 4-2 SU/ATS last six games. 
— 7-4 ATS as a home favorite.
— 8-1 ATS last nine as a road underdog.
— over 8-3 last 11 road games

Magic (24-35):
— 5-4 SU/ATS last nine games.
— 16-9 ATS as home underdog
— 5-2 ATS last seven as a road underdog
— under 5-2 last seven road games. 

76ers (38-19):
— won/covered six of their last eight games. 
— 5-1 ATS last six games as a home favorite.
— over 10-3 last 13 home games
— back-to-backs: 6-2 ATS first night, 6-2 ATS 2nd night

Suns (32-28):
— 5-2 SU/4-3 ATS last seven games
— 2-5 ATS as a home underdog, 7-9 as a road dog.
— 6-3 ATS last nine games as a home favorite.
— under 9-3-1 last thirteen home games

Trailblazers (28-30):
— 2-4 SU/ATS last six games
— 2-10 ATS last dozen games as underdogs.
— 3-8 ATS last 11 games as road underdogs.
— over 6-3 last nine home games

Kings (32-25):
— 6-7 ATS their last 13 games
— 1-4 ATS last five as a home favorite. 
— 8-5 ATS as a road favorite.
— five of their last six games went over.

Spurs (14-45):
— 0-14 SU/2-12 ATS last 14 games 
— 1-8 ATS last nine road games. 
— under 7-2 last nine games
— 3-6 ATS if they played the night before.

Raptors (28-31):
— 5-1 SU/3-3 ATS last six games.
— 6-3 ATS last nine games as a home favorite
— 1-7-1 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 9-3-1 last 13 road games

Jazz (29-31):
— 2-5 SU/3-4 ATS last seven games.
— 3-7 ATS last 10 games as a home favorite.
— 5-2 ATS last seven games as a road underdog.
— over 17-6 last 23 road games

Wizards (28-30):
— won/covered four of last five games.
— 4-1 ATS last five games as a home favorite.  
— 7-2 ATS last nine road games.
— over 7-3 last ten home games.

Friday’s Den: Identifying trends for this year’s NCAA tournament

Are there any characteristics that can identify teams that will win the college basketball national title? I’ve studied the last six national champs, and came up with some trends:

— Last five national champs were #1-seeds; Villanova was a #2-seed when they won in 2016, Duke was a #1-seed when they won in 2015.

In 2014, 7-seed UConn beat 8-seed Kentucky in the national title game; since that year, six of the seven national champs have been #1-seeds.

The teams that lost the last seven national title games: four #1-seeds, two #3-seeds and a #8-seed (North Carolina last year)

Power conference teams have ruled the tournament, which doesn’t bode well for Houston in this year’s event.

— Tempo/pace of play— Nothing here; last six national champs have been all over the board as far as tempo goes.

— Offensive efficiency— This one is huge; last six national champs were all in the top 10 in this category. As I type this, that would narrow the potential national champs to:


— Defensive efficiency— Last six national champs were all in the top 25 in this category; there are five SEC teams in top 25 defensive efficiency.

— eFG%— This is same as regular FG%, except 3-pointers count as 1.5 baskets made. Five of the last six national champs were in the top 30 in this category.

— eFG% defense— Little bit of a mixed bag; Baylor was #121 two years ago, North Carolina was #71 in 2017. Doesn’t seem to be as important as the offensive end.

— 2-point FG%— Four of last six national champs were in top 50 in 2-point FG%.

— Point distribution— There seems to be no correlation, none, to how national champs got their points. This especially applies to foul shots; of the last six champs, Kansas last year (#184) ranked in the top 200 of getting their points on the foul line. 

To beat quality teams, you cannot depend on getting the best of the whistles. Fewer fouls are called in March; guys have to play through contact to have success.

— Non-conference strength of schedule— Baylor ’21/Virginia ’19 had terrible non-conference schedules; the other four champs ranked in the top 90, but Kansas LY (#49) had the only top 50 non-conference schedules.

— Overall strength of schedule— This indicates a trend: five of the last six national champs had an overall strength of schedule in the top 25, pointing us towards the power conferences to pick our national champ. Baylor is 2021 (#54) is the lone exception from the last six years.

— Depth— This one is surprising; of the last six national champs, only North Carolina in 2017 (#69) had bench minutes in the top 200. TV timeouts are longer in the NCAA’s; depth doesn’t mean as much.

— Experience— Of the last six national champs, only Baylor in 2021 was in the top 100 in this category; talent is more important than experience, and there is no metric that measures talent.

— Continuity— This category helps some; four of the last six national champs had a continuity in the top 80, with Baylor (#31), Kansas (#45) winning the last two years. In this day and age when kids transfer a lot, talented teams that bond over a period of 2-3 years have an advantage. 

In Thursday’s play……..
— Maryland 68, Purdue 54— Purdue had only two players score more than 6 points; they’ve now lost three of their last four games, after a 22-1 start. Boilermakers scored 54-58 points in their last two games. 

— Gonzaga 108, LMU 65— Zags avenged an earlier loss to LMU; they led 68-28 at halftime.

— Middle Tennessee 74, Florida Atlantic 70— Owls are 3-2 in their last five games, after a 21-1 start; they’ve given up 80 ppg in their last three games.

— Iowa 92, Ohio State 75— Buckeyes are in free fall; they’ve lost seven in row, 12 of last 13 games- they’re shooting 46.1% inside arc in Big 14 games. 

— Memphis 64, UCF 63— Tigers led 43-35 at halftime; they hung on to win, scoring 20 points in second half. Memphis turned ball over 24 times; they’ve won eight of their last nine games.

— NC-Wilmington 72, Drexel 71, 2OT— Drexel led by 15 early, by 4 with 1:16 left in the first OT. Dragons were just 13-21 on foul line in a one-point loss. UNCW won six of its last seven games; the last two seasons, Seahawks are 48-16, 28-8 in CAA play.

— Southern Indiana 82, Little Rock 81— Trojans lost 11 of their last 14 games; five of their last six losses are by 4 or less points.

— South Alabama 85, Southern Miss 54— Golden Eagles had won nine games in a row, but South Alabama shot 74% inside the arc in this game. USM leads Marshall/Louisiana by one game each in Sun Belt standings. 

— RIP Tim McCarver, who passed away at age 81. McCarver caught in the major leagues for 21 years, appearing in four different decades. He then became one of the game’s best TV analysts, working 24 World Series.

McCarver was especially good as a TV analyst for the Mets in the late 80’s; he was great when he worked every day on.a local broadcast, as opposed to only once a week on network TV. I learned a lot listening to him every night.

RIP, sir. 

Thursday’s Den: Over/under win totals for 2023 baseball, plus other stuff

Over/under win totals for the 2023 baseball season:
NL East
Braves 95.5
Mets 95.5
Phillies 88.5
Marlins 74.5
Nationals 60.5

NL Central
Cardinals 89.5
Brewers 85
Cubs 77.5
Pirates 67.5
Reds 64.5

NL West
Dodgers 96.5
Padres 93.5
Giants 80.5
Arizona 75.5
Rockies 67.5

AL East
New York 95.5
Blue Jays 92.5
Tampa Bay 88.5
Red Sox 77.5
Orioles 76.5

AL Central
Guardians 87.5
White Sox 84.5
Twins 82.5
Tigers 69.5
Royals 68.5

AL West
Astros 96.5
Mariners 88.5
Rangers 82.5
Angels 80.5
A’s 59.5

— Marquette 69, Xavier 68— Xavier led 19-6 early; they were minus-10 in turnovers (17-7). Marquette was only 5-22 on arc; they lead Big East by 1.5 games.

— Cal-Irvine 70, UCSB 59— Anteaters are now tied with Santa Barbara stop Big West standings. Since 2013, Irvine is 129-45 in Big West games; they haven’t made the NCAA’s since 2019, but this could be their year.

— Northwestern 64, Indiana 62— Wildcats blew a 19-point lead, scoring winning hoop with 0:02 left; they’re in 2nd place in Big 14, will be in NCAA Tournament for second time ever.

— Tennessee 68, Alabama 59— Vols were +11 on boards, held Alabama to 35.4% from floor. Crimson Tide hadn’t been #1 in country for 20 years; it didn’t last very long.

— San Diego State 45, Fresno State 43— Not often you score 45 points and win; this was an ugly game. Fresno shot 2-25 on the arc. Aztecs have a 1.5-game lead atop Mountain West standings.

— Virginia 61, Louisville 58— Surprisingly tough win for the Cavaliers.

— Washington 72, Oregon 71 OT— Ducks led by 8 with 12:11 left in game; not good for a bubble team to lose games like this. 

— Texas A&M 62, Arkansas 56— Not sure what’s up with the Razorbacks; they led 33-24 at the half, then scored 23 points in second half. Star freshman Nick Smith played 4:00, none in the second half. They keep saying he is a high first round pick in June’s NBA Draft, but he played 4:00 in this game. Not good.

— VCU 55, Rhode Island 54— VCU trailed 44-31 with 11:44 left; they outscored URI 24-10 over last 11:44, win despite going 1-13 on the arc.

— East Carolina 75, Cincinnati 71— Bearcats led by 16 with 9:09 left in game; ECU outscored them 26-6 over the final 9:09. Damaging loss for Cincinnati’s at-large hopes. 

— Our update on college basketball referee John Higgins:
January 24— Penn State @ Rutgers
January 25— Utah State @ San Diego State— Long plane ride for a back/back
January 26— Utah @ Oregon State
January 28— California @ Stanford
January 29— Michigan State @ Purdue— Day game after long plane ride.
January 30— Baylor @ Texas
January 31— Kansas State @ Kansas

February 1— Northern Iowa @ Drake- A double overtime game!!! Eight games in nine nights, and a double overtime game on the 9th night.
February 2— Wisconsin @ Ohio State
February 4— Oklahoma @ West Virginia
February 5— Penn State @ Nebraska
February 7— Nevada @ New Mexico
February 8— San Diego State @ Utah State
February 9— USC at Oregon

February 11— Wyoming @ Boise State
February 13— Texas @ Texas Tech
February 14— Kansas State @ Oklahoma
February 15— TCU @ Iowa State

He’s worked 18 games in 23 days, 73 games since November 7, which is 73 games in 102 days. He is 54-years old; why don’t NBA players play on back/back nights?

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up Super Sunday…….

— Patrick Mahomes is on a path to be the best quarterback in NFL history. If you were choosing sides to start a team with every NFL player ever, which QB are you taking before Mahomes? He’s already played in three Super Bowls, won two of them and he’s only 27.

Chiefs 38, Eagles 35
— Chiefs in first half: 21 plays, 128 yards, 7 points.
— They doinked a 42-yard FG off the left upright.
— Chiefs in 2nd half: 34 plays, 221 yards, 24 points.
— Only 8 of Kansas City’s 53 plays were on third down.

— Eagles in first half: 45 plays, 265 yards, 24 points,
— Chiefs also scored a defensive TD in the first half.
— Eagles in 2nd half: 29 plays, 142 yards, 10 points.
— Philly had two scoring drives that each took 7:00+ off clock.

— Eagles converted 11-17 on third down, 2-2 on fourth down.
— Philly ran 72 plays for 417 yards, Kansas City 53 for 340.
— Eagles had 17 first downs in first half; Chiefs ran 20 plays in first half.

— Thursday’s game in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season will be played in Kansas City.  

— The NFL’s dream game; close, high-scoring Super Bowl with a dramatic ending.

— I had forgotten that the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl seems like an afterthought with all the pre-game hoopla, the coin toss, a million commercials. Last year when the Rams were playing, it was so annoying. “Just start the damn game!!!” was heard in my living room…….lol

— People bet on the coin toss of the Super Bowl; I remember a friend telling me he bet on the coin toss of a Super Bowl and I rolled my eyes. He immediately called up and doubled down on that bet, which he won.

— Indianapolis Colts are apparently hiring Eagles’ OC Shane Steichen as their new coach this week.

Arizona Cardinals are going to interview Eagles’ DC Jonathan Gannon for their head coaching opening; if they hire Gannon, Eagles will be the first team since the 2013 Bengals to lose both their coordinators to NFL head coaching jobs in the same offseason. 

— 49ers’ QB Brock Purdy has his elbow surgery on February 22; they said the surgery has a six-month recovery time, so Purdy will miss most, if not all of training camp.

— Kind of ironic that in a year where all the Hall of Fame inductees except one are defensive players, coach Don Coryell is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Coryell was a great, great offensive coach; he was 42-27-1 coaching the Cardinals, 69-56 coaching the Chargers, after he went 36-8 coaching San Diego State.

Coaches like Joe Gibbs, Jim Mora Sr, Jim Hanifan, Al Saunders, Ray Perkins all worked under Coryell. This honor is long overdue.

— Carolina Panthers hired former NFL QB Josh McCown as an assistant coach; there were rumors that Houston had wanted to hire the inexperienced McCown as head coach, but that obviously never happened.

— Marquette 89, Georgetown 75— Hoyas are now 1-34 in their last 35 conference games; their streak of covering the spread also ended here, at 7 straight covers.

— Southern Miss 76, UL-Monroe 67— Golden Eagles have won nine games in a row; they’re 12-2 in their first year in Sun Belt, after going 10-43 the last three years in Conference USA.

— Dayton Flyers have a player from Mongolia, Mike Sharavjamts, whose father was the first Asian Harlem Globetrotter. Dayton has a Mongolian fans’ Facebook page with 15,000 followers, as basketball becomes more popular in that country.

— Not only was Nevada basketball coach Steve Alford a great shooter in his playing days, he’s become a very good coach and he also has a single-digit golf handicap. Nevada is 20-6, 10-3 in the Mountain West— they’re shooting 80.1% on the foul line, #3 in the country.

— San Antonio Spurs have lost 12 games in a row; they’re 14-43, an awful team, but hey, they traded for seven 2nd round draft picks last week. Their G-League team could be really good next season.

— Toronto Blue Jays signed SS Bo Bichette to a 3-year deal worth $33.6M, which eliminates his arbitration years.

— Houston Astros signed P Cristian Javier to a 5-year, $64M deal. He can block trades to 10 teams in 2026-27. 

— Arizona Diamondbacks gave lefty reliever Andrew Chafin a one-year, $5.5M deal, with a team option for 2024.

— Good news: There is more fun coming this week. Spring training starts, more college basketball with the conference tournaments only 2-3 weeks away, NBA’s All-Star Game, the XFL starts up and the Daytona 500 is next week. Lot of stuff going on. 

Saturday’s Den: 12 of my favorite Super Bowls………

13) Steelers 31, Rams 19:
— Even though they lost, it was first time Rams made it to a Super Bowl.
— Rams led 19-17 after third quarter; they were 10.5-point underdogs.
— This was Pittsburgh’s fourth Super Bowl title in six years.

12) Giants 17, Patriots 14:
— The thought of a New England team going 17-0 was nauseating.
— Subway sandwich chain has been sued by people who claim the “tuna” in Subway’s tuna subs is something other than tuna.
— I used to eat lot of Subway subs, until they hired Bill Belichick to do commercials, then I switched to Jersey Mike’s. Much better subs.

11) Chiefs 23, Vikings 7:
— NFL Films’ highlight film of this game made KC coach Hank Stram a household name.
— “Keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys” NFL Films struck gold miking the coach.
— This was the last game before AFL/NFL merged; Chiefs were a 12-point dog.
10) Raiders 32, Vikings 14:
— Minnesota made the Rams’ life miserable in 70’s playoff games, so this was a good result.
— This was my senior year in HS; I played in a CYO basketball league where the games were played in a Jewish Community Center. Go figure.
— We had a game scheduled at same time as the Super Bowl; our refs didn’t show up until after the football game. I sat in a lounge and ate chips/drank soda watching the football game. Needless to say, I was fairly useless during the basketball game.

9) In his ten Super Bowls, Tom Brady’s team scored one first quarter TD; this was the first Super Bowl where Brady’s team led after the first quarter (1-4-5). He won seven of the ten games SU.

8) Patriots 13, Rams 3
— Game was 3-3 in 4th quarter; the Rams being in this game made it great for me.
— This was Sean McVay’s second year as Rams’ coach; before that, Rams had 13 consecutive losing seasons. Winning is more fun than losing. 

7) Only twice has the team that lost a Super Bowl won the big game the next season:
— Dallas lost Super Bowl V to the Colts, beat Miami the next year.
— New England lost Super Bowl LII to Philadelphia, won the Super Bowl the next year.

6) Saints 31, Colts 17:
— Saints were in the NFL 21 years before they played a playoff game.
— Someone made a commercial of Saints fans’ reactions at home parties when Tracy Porter ran back a pick-6 74 yards to clinch the game for New Orleans. It is a great commercial.

5) Chiefs 31, 49ers 20:
— Whenever the 49ers lose, I’m probably pretty happy.
— I’ve never heard anyone say they dislike Andy Reid, and I know someone who hates Ray Romano. Reid won his first world title in his 21st year as a head coach.
— 49ers led this game 20-10 after third quarter.

4) Eagles 41, Patriots 33:
— Nick Foles is 29-29 as a regular season starter, 4-2 in playoff games.
— He’s played for six teams in 11 years, but will always be a Philly legend.
— Foles caught a TD pass on a trick play to give Philly a 22-12 halftime lead.

3) Steelers 27, Cardinals 23:
— Arizona lost, but getting Cardinals here put Kurt Warner in the Hall of Fame.
— Warner threw a 64-yard TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald with 2:37 left to put Arizona ahead.
— Big Ben won it with a 6-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes with 0:35 left.

2) Rams 23, Bengals 20:
— Stafford-to-Kupp with 1:25 left was the game-winning score.
— Bengals led 20-13 midway thru third quarter.
— Sean McVay is the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.
— Second year in row the host team won Super Bowl; before that, it had never happened. 

1) Rams 23, Titans 16:
— 73-yard TD pass from Warner to Bruce with 1:54 left put Rams ahead.
— Mike Jones tackles a Titans’ WR on 1-yard line as time ran out.
— Warner capped off a storybook season, throwing for 414 yards.
— 13 years later, then-Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher was hired as coach of the Rams. 

Tuesday’s Den: More Super Bowl prop bets……..

You can bet on almost anything during a Super Bowl; here are some more prop bets that have been posted for Sunday’s game:

— Will there be a successful 2-point conversion?
Yes +230
No -270

— Will first turnover of game be……..
Interception -170
Fumble +150

— Will at least one quarter be scoreless?
Yes +400
No -500

— Total number of players throwing a forward pass:
over 2.5, +130
under 2.5, -150

— Will the team, that scores first to win the game”
Yes -165
No +145

— Over/under passing yards for Patrick Mahomes: 288.5

— Over/under passing yards for Jalen Hurts: 238.5

— Over/under longest completion for Patrick Mahomes: 38.5 yards

— Over/under longest completion for Jalen Hurts: 37.5 yards

— Over/under receiving yards for Travis Kelce? 77.5

— Total net yards for the Chiefs: over/under 372.5

— Total net yards for the Eagles: over/under 367.5

— Total punts for both teams:
over 7.5- even
under 7.5- under -120

— Total net yards for both teams: over/under 731.5

— More pass completions:
Mahomes (-6.5) vs Hurts

— More passing yards:
Mahomes (-50.5) vs Hurts

— More receiving yards:
Travis Kelce (-2.5) vs AJ Brown

— Jersey number of player who scores first touchdown:
Over 11.5, +130
Under 11.5, -150

— Who will have more points Sunday?
Eagles (-3.5) vs Tyrese Maxey on the 76ers

— Who will have more points Sunday?
Jayson Tatum on the Celtics (-6.5) vs Chiefs

— Who will have more points Sunday?
Eagles (-2.5) vs Purdue’s Zach Edey