Saturday’s Den: USFL playoff previews and other random stuff…….

13) When I was in 10th grade, had a biology teacher, Mr Broland. He had a crew cut and wore thin glasses; he looked just like Michael Douglas’ character in Falling Down. Very unusual for the 70’s. He had five outfits; one for each day of the week. Still remember that his Friday outfit was a gold tie with a gold button down sweater; he was a quirky guy.

This was 1974-75; we still had chalkboards back then. If someone in the class was talking, Mr Broland would throw one of the erasers at the person. Seriously, he would.

One day this kid Nick is chatting away with the girl next to him; we sat two to a cafeteria table in the classroom, not individual desks. Mr Broland glares at Nick, throws his eraser at him and……. he misses, drilling the girl next to him. Laughter ensues, the girl cried a little bit. That was the last of the eraser throwing.

My point is this; Why the BLEEP would we want teachers in schools to all carry a gun? In what way would this be a good idea? Would I want Mr Broland packing heat if someone invaded our classroom? He couldn’t even hit a kid with a freakin’ eraser!!!

Our politicians are largely corrupt morons. Seriously. 

12) Jalen Duran had an interesting Thursday night; he was the 13th pick by Charlotte, but the Hornets traded him to the Knicks, who then traded him to Detroit. Lot of activity for an 18-year old kid. Getting traded twice within a half-hour doesn’t happen a lot.

In his one season of college ball at Memphis, Duren averaged 12 ppg, 1.3 assists/game, and 2.1 blocks/game and shot 60% from the floor. 

11) I’ll be curious to see Duren play in the Las Vegas Summer League, which starts in a couple of weeks out in the desert. All the games are TV, but if you like the NBA, I highly recommend going out to Las Vegas and watching it in person.

For $30 or so, you can sit there all day and watch 4-5 high-quality games, in air-conditioning in an arena with excellent concessions and there are lot of famous people there.

I’ve gone 4-5 times, enjoyed it every time. Plus, even if you don’t enjoy it, you’re still in Las Vegas, which is never a bad thing. 

10) Charlotte Hornets hired Steve Clifford as their new coach; Clifford is 292-345 in eight years as a head coach, 196-214 in a previous stop in Charlotte, 96-131 in Orlando. He made playoffs in four of those eight years, going 5-16 in playoff games.

Last season, Hornets went 43-39 but missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year, so they told the previous coach to take a hike.

9) San Diego 1, Philadelphia 0— Only run of game scored on a 6th inning single by Austin Nola; the pitcher was his brother, Aaron Nola. 

8) Minnesota Twins’ last three games:
— Lost 11-10 at home to the Guardians Wednesday
— Beat Cleveland 1-0 at home Thursday.
— Lost 1-0 at home to Colorado Friday. 

USFL playoff games:
Philadelphia vs New Jersey (-4.5, 47.5), in Canton, OH
Philadelphia Stars (6-4)
— Stars are 0-2 vs New Jersey, 6-2 vs everyone else.
— Won five of last seven games.
— Last seven weeks, they’re +10 in turnovers.
— Gave up 23+ points in nine of ten games (over 6-1 last seven).
— Have been outgained in eight of ten games (3-6-1 ATS).
— 1-3 ATS as an underdog.
— 5-1 if they score more than 17 points.

New Jersey Generals (9-1)
— Won last nine games (6-3 ATS), scoring 24.8 ppg in last eight.
— Last four games, Generals are +6 in turnovers (8-2)
— Outscored last four foes 70-34 in first half.
— 4-3 ATS as a favorite
— Six of their last seven games went over the total.

First meeting:
— Generals (+1) won 24-16 back in Week 3.
— New Jersey outrushed the Stars, 269-31.
— Philadelphia led 10-3 at halftime, was outgained 458-259.

Second meeting:
— Generals (-2.5) won 26-23 last week.
— New Jersey ran ball for 178 yards, outgained Stars 410-328.
— Philly ran ball only 17 times for 84 yards. 

New Orleans vs Birmingham (-5.5, 44.5) @ Canton, OH
New Orleans Breakers (6-4)
— 5-0 when they score more than 17 points.
— Scored 9-17-3 points in last three games.
— Last three games stayed under the total
— Have nine takeaways in last three games (+2)
— 2-0 ATS this season as an underdog.

Birmingham Stallions (9-1)
— First game this season without home fans.
— Trailed at halftime in half of their ten games
— Outscored opponents 133-76 in second half.
— 0-4 vs spread the last three weeks (6-0 first six weeks)
— Scored 10-15-21 points last three games (26.9 ppg first seven)
— Stallions are favored for 10th time in 11 games (5-4 ATS as a favorite)

First meeting:
— Stallions (+3.5) won 22-13 in Week 3.
— Breakers outgained Birmingham, 316-313.
— Stallions were +2 in turnovers; they led 10-6 at the half.

Second meeting:
— Stallions (-3.5) won 10-9 two weeks ago.
— Breakers outgained Birmingham, 313-301
— Stallions led 7-3 at half; both team had three turnovers. 

5) Xander Schauffele leads the PGA Tour event in Hartford by five strokes. Over the last 15 years, guys who led a PGA Tour event by 5+ strokes after the second round won that tournament 15 of 23 times. 

4) White Sox are 0-3 in Johnny Cueto’s home starts, scoring 1-1-0 runs in those games.

3) Baseball injuries:
— Royals put C Salvador Perez (thumb) on the IL
— Rays put OF Manuel Margot (knee) on the IL
— White Sox put OF Adam Engel (hamstring) and Adam Mednick (knee) on the IL

2) Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martínez was suspended five games after a confrontation with an umpire this week; he was suspended for making contact with umpire Doug Eddings during the exchange of lineup cards before Wednesday’s game in Chicago.

Apparently the Blue Jays had a beef with Eddings Tuesday night and it carried over. 

1) I have the spreads for all the NFL games this season; somehow, the Cleveland Browns are favored in three of their first four games, even though no one, not even the Browns, know who their quarterback will be in those games. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.