Bodog ishanging some interesting props for all of those who like to speculate aboutwhat the teams on the outside looking in will do to improve next year. Let’s see if we can identify some moneymakingopportunities while we wait for a new champion to be crowned.
Who will be the starting quarterbackfor the Buffalo Bills Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?
Ryan Fitzpatrick 1/3
Free agent QB 5/1
A 2011 draft pick QB 3/1
The bestthing that happened to the Buffalo Bills was kicking Trent Edwards to the curband handing the keys to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, the Bills are drafting 3rd overall but they have so manyholes to fill that to speculate they will draft a quarterback when they have aserviceable passer in Fitzpatrick seems to be a reach. I saythey stay with Fitzy at 1/3.
Who will be on the Bengals roster forgame 1 of the 2011 regular season?
Chad Ochocinco only 3/2
Terrell Owens only 5/1
Both Ochocinco & Owens 3/1
Neither Ochocinco & Owens 3/2
If theBengals cut Ochocinco loose, it costs them 3.5 million. If they exercise the option for ’11 it coststhem 6 million. Is Ochocinco a pain inthe cajones? You betcha but he’s abargain at 2.5 million which is what it will cost the Bengals to keep himsuited up for one more year. Owens isanother matter. The Bengals fell fromgrace this year as they went from the penthouse to the outhouse in oneseason. Owens did his part with 72catches and 9 touchdowns without playing in the final 2 games. Does he still have it? Well, he did last season but he went out withan injury and had surgery for a torn meniscus. The kids played well when T.O. and Ochocinco were indisposed. T.O. is history but Ocho returns and we will take the 3/2 Bodog is hanging.
Will Dallas make the 2011-2012playoffs?
The Dallas Cowboyswere the preseason favorite to win the NFC East last season. They lost 7 of 8 to start the season and thenfired their head coach since it was easier than firing all their players. New head coach Jason Garrett took them 5-3the rest of the way and landed himself the job for next season. Romo will be back, Dez Bryant will be healthyafter suffering a season ending injury and the Cowboys will ride into thepostseason. Lay the -120.
Will the Chargers make the 2011-2012playoffs?
If it wasn’tfor coach Norv Turner, they would have won the division and made the playoffsthis year. It’s difficult to recall acoach who had so little success reaching his talented players. The losses were primarily a result ofturnovers and penalties because there was certainly no dearth of talent. The Chargers seemed to be reading their ownpress clippings instead of winning ball games. A team that is rated 1st in offensive yardage and 1stin yardage allowed has no excuse to be watching from the sidelines during thepost season. Although Turner will be incharge again next season, they did remedy one issue already. Special teams coach Steve Crosby was firedfor the unprecedented failures of his special teams units and replaced by RichBisaccia. Who is Rich Bisaccia you mightask? He ain’t Steve Crosby and that’sgood enough for me. Chargers win the division and make the postseason, lay the 200.
Who will be the starting QB forTennessee Game 1 of the 2011 Regular Season?
Kerry Collins 7/5
Free Agent QB 3/2
A 2011 Draft Pick QB 2/1
Vince isgone but the Fisher King remains. Whowill be in the pocket for the Tennessee Titans next season? Well, you’ve got to figure head coach JeffFisher, who won the Nashville Death Match over Vince Young with owner Bud Adamsserving as judge, jury and executioner, will pull out all the stops if he wantsto remain employed. After losing 7 oftheir last 8 games and parting company with first round draft pick and formermessiah Vince Young, nothing is off the table to resurrect this team. Though 38 year old Kerry Collins enjoys agood relationship with Fisher I cannot see him as the guy lining up undercenter to start the season. Look for Fisher to pluck a free agent QBfrom the pool and keep his fingers crossed while we get odds of 3/2.
Will Kevin Kolb be an Eagle Game 1 ofthe 2011 Regular Season?
There isn’ta team in the league that wouldn’t want a Robin to backup their Batman, a SteveYoung on the sidelines in case Joe Montana went down or a Jessica Biel waitingin the wings to do the hot oil scene in case Jessica Alba falls ill. Sorry but I couldn’t help myself. What’s all this have to do with KevinKolb? Well, Kevin Kolb was the reasonthe Philadelphia Eagles felt comfortable trading away Donovan McNabb, the most highlydecorated quarterback in Eagles history. We even learned how to pronounce his last name, Cobb not Kolb, as wewould be hearing it whenever Philly had their games broadcasted nationally andduring the NFL wrap-ups on ESPN. But hegot hurt and Michael Vick went from underdog to best in show (pardon thepuns). As promising as the Eagles werethis year, they could not get out of the first round of the playoffs despiteplaying at home. Few teams have theluxury of a number 1 and 1A quarterback. Philadelphia does not have that luxury. Look for Kolb to be dealt outside the division for a draft pick in thisyear’s draft or next. No -200 looks safe to me.
Will Minnesota make the 2011-12Playoffs?
If there wasever a case of addition by subtraction, next year’s edition of the MinnesotaVikings may, in fact be the poster child for such a scenario. In the interest of full disclosure, I ceasedbeing a Brett Favre fan the moment he began his diva routine in Green Bay andheld the entire organization hostage while he whiled away the hours at hisranch in Mississippi, asking himself if the fans in Wisconsin truly appreciatedthe wonder that is Brett. For every biggamble he takes that makes the highlight reels, there are others that cost histeams games and even Super Bowl appearances. The Vikings wanted him back so badly they tossed him an extra 8 million,on top of the 13 he was scheduled to make, just so he’d feel loved. He came back alright but he came back as a 41year old man who played like he was 10 years older. For my next exhibit, allow me to enter RandyMoss as yet another shining example of the Minnesota brain trust. The Vikings proved the old Thomas Wolfeadage, you can’t go home again. RandyMoss was not the young, electric, brash receiver he was when he arrived inMinnesota so long ago. He returned as asullen, lethargic underachiever who did little to recapture his goldenyouth. I’ll give former head coach BradChildress this much. He knew a mistakewhen he saw it and decided to remedy it as soon as possible by cutting Mossonly weeks after he had given the Patriots a 3rd round pick.
The corps ofthe team is decent enough. The defenseis solid, having ranked 4th in total yards allowed and they stillhave one of the best backs on the planet in Adrian Peterson. They just need help up front on the offensiveline and a quarterback who can get the ball to the wildly talented Percy Harvinwho has unlimited potential with a decent quarterback. Six foot four inch Sidney Rice is also avaluable weapon that was underutilized last season. The foundation is solid for Minnesota, theyjust need a veteran presence under center who can hand the ball off to Petersonand connect to his big targets when he has to. All they need is a smooth, though not necessarily spectacular, operatorwho can guide this team into the playoffs. I say they find him. The Vikes +195 to make the playoffs lookslike an easy way to double my money.