Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

— Betting lines for this weekend’s conference title games:

Chiefs @ Baltimore (-3.5, 44.5)
Lions @ San Francisco (-6.5, 51)

— Patrick Mahomes is now 13-3 in NFL playoff games, and he’s only 28. Sunday’s game in Baltimore is the 6th time Mahomes’ Chiefs have opened as an underdog of 3+ points- they were 5-0 ATS in the first five games.

Chiefs ranked 14th in NFL this year in points per game; this was first year since 2016 that the Chiefs weren’t in the top 10 in points per game.

— Tennessee Titans are going to hire Brian Callahan as head coach; he was the Bengals’ OC the last five years, and is the son of former Raiders’ coach Bill Callahan- Bill Callahan is now the offensive line coach in Cleveland.

— Chicago Bears named Shane Waldron their new offensive coordinator; he was Seattle’s OC the last three years, after working with the Rams before that. Waldron replaces Luke Getsy, a scapegoat for the Bears dismal showing the last two years.

Of the nine coaches who interviewed for this job, four of them worked for Sean McVay in Los Angeles at one time or another.

— Las Vegas Raiders named Antonio Pierce their full-time head coach; Raiders went 5-4 under Pierce after they fired Josh McDaniels on Halloween.

— Ohio State hired former Houston Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator; he worked for the Patriots this past season, for Alabama in 2021-22. He went 54-52 coaching the Texans from 2014-20.

— Minnesota Vikings fired their trainer, after an injury-riddled 7-10 season. Go figure. The guy had only been with Minnesota for two years.

— Arizona Cardinals had a cruddy season this year, going 4-13; they recently laid off three members of their front office on the non-football side, all of whom had been with Arizona for 15+ years.

Baseball Note of the Day: In 2021-22, when defensive shifts were still a thing, lefty batters hit a combined .238. Last year, with no shifts, lefty batters hit .247.

Word of the Day: Negotiation- a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.

— Pittsburgh Pirates gave reliever Aroldis Chapman $10.5M on a one-year deal; Pirates are the sixth big league team for Chapman, who was 6-5, 3.09 in 61 games for Royals/Rangers last year, winning a World Series ring with Texas.

— Houston Astros signed Josh Hader to a 5-year, $95M deal; Hader has 103 saves the last three seasons, in 113 opportunities.

— Toronto Blue Jays signed Cuban P Yariel Rodríguez to a 4-year, $32M deal.

— St Louis Cardinals brought utility guy Matt Carpenter back on a 1-year contract; he played for St Louis from 2011-21, but played for Bronx/San Diego the last two years. 

Next year, Carpenter will be paid $3.26M by the Braves, $1.5M by the Padres and $740,000 by the Cardinals. Braves traded for Carpenter this winter, kept him for three days, then released him.

— It has been a slow winter for baseball talk; 13 of the top 25 free agents are still unsigned. The top four remaining players are all Scott Boras clients, and Boras tends to drag negotiations out

— North Carolina 85, Wake Forest 64
Tar Heels are 8-0 SU/7-1 ATS in ACC games.
Carolina outscored the Deacons 52-30 in the second half.

— Kansas 74, Cincinnati 69
Game was 35-35 at halftime.
Jayhawks were +5 (16-11) in turnovers.
This was Cincinnati’s sixth straight game against a top 25 opponent.

— McNeese State 62, Corpus Christi 61
McNeese put in a missed foul shot at the buzzer for the road win.
Corpus Christi led this game by 18 with 12:57 left to play.
McNeese has now won 11 in a row, is 6-0 in Southland Conference.

— DePaul fired basketball coach Tony Stubblefield, who was 28-54 with the Blue Demons, 3-15 this year; Matt Brady will serve as the interim head coach the rest of the season.

— Isaiah Watts of Washington State is the grandson of Slick Watts, an excellent point guard for the Seattle SuperSonics back when I was a kid.

— St John’s/UNLV are two teams who always have their conference tournament at their home court, but it hasn’t helped either team very much.

Since 2008, St John’s is 10-16 in the Big East tournament; since 2014, UNLV is 6-10 in their conference tournament. 

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.