Winners never quit, quitters never win: Inside Word’s mail for September 3

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Updated: September 4, 2017

When it comes to giants of American sport, there are none bigger than Vince Lombardi. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three successive and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. The NFL’s Super Bowl trophy was named in his honour following his sudden death from cancer on this day, September 3, in 1970. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, the year after his death. Lombardi, while considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history, is more significantly recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of any sport. Lombardi was a man of contrasts – fiercely religious yet a ground-breaker helping break down the barriers of race (partly driven by the treatment he experienced as the son of Italian immigrants) and sexual orientation.

 

MLB betting (September 3)

The Astros return to Houston for a three-game series against the New York Mets, beginning with a doubleheader today. The teams and Major League Baseball had discussed also moving this series to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, but it was decided to play on the Astros’ home deck. Right-hander Charlie Morton (10-6, 3.88 ERA) will start the first doubleheader in the 18-year history of Minute Maid Park. Morton is 0-3 with a 3.80 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Mets. In five August starts, Morton went 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 30 innings. We suspect he might find something special for this outing; overall record: 276-15-250, +32.91 units

Confirmed bets

New York Mets @ Houston Astros (1) -1.5 (three units @ $1.78)
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees -1.5 (one unit @ $2.26)
Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 @ Chicago White Sox (one unit @ $1.83)
Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins +7.5 (one unit @ $2.02)
Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins WIN (one unit @ $1.78)
Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners -9.5 (one unit @ $1.95)

Today’s other games

Atlanta Braves @ Chicago Cubs
Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres (1)
St. Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles
Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals @ Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies
New York Mets @ Houston Astros (2)
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres (2)

Yesterday’s results: 5-0-2, +1.91 units

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies -12 (two units @ $2.11) LOSE (9-5)
Boston Red Sox +1.5 @ New York Yankees (one unit @ $1.81) WIN (4-1)
Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers WIN (one unit @ $2.17) WIN (9-10)
Tampa Bay Rays @ Chicago White Sox -9 (one unit @ $1.91) WIN (3-1)
Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs -1.5 (one unit @ $2.00) WIN (0-2)
Kansas City Royals @ Minnesota Twins -9.5 (one unit @ $1.95 LOSE (7-6)
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres -7 (one unit @ $2.02) WIN (1-0)

 

NCAA Football (week 1, September 3)

Two national championship contenders kick off the season in one of the most anticipated openers of all-time when top-ranked Alabama faces third-ranked Florida State on Saturday at Atlanta. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts stood out last season for the Crimson Tide as an all-around force as he passed for 2780 yards and 23 touchdowns and added 954 yards and 13 scores on the ground. The Seminoles’ sophomore quarterback Deondre Francois will be looking to take a step forward after a stellar 2016 in which he passed for 3350 yards and 20 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. The big issue is replacing running back Dalvin Cook with junior Jacques Patrick (350 rushing yards last season) to get the first crack. We’re expecting a low scoring affair here with such high stakes for the losing school; overall record: 2-0-4, -3.08 units

Confirmed betting

Florida State @ Alabama -51 (two units @ $1.93)
Akron @ Penn State -30.5/line (one unit @ $1.91)
Kentucky -10 @ Southern Miss (one unit @ $1.97)
Michigan -4.5 @ Florida (one unit @ $1.95)
California @ North Carolina +57.5 (one unit @ $1.95)
Troy @ Boise State -58.5 (one unit @ $1.95)
Georgia Southern @ Auburn -34 (one unit @ $1.91)
Western Michigan @ USC +59.5 (one unit @ $1.97)
Liberty @ Baylor +58 (one unit @ $1.91)
Brigham Young @ LSU -47.5 (one unit @ $1.94)

Yesterday’s results: 1-0-2, -2.02 units

#8 Washington -27 @ Rutgers (two units @ $1.98) LOSE (30-14)
Colorado State @ Colorado +66 (one unit @ $1.93) LOSE (3-17)
Utah State @ #9 Wisconsin -27.5 (one unit @ $1.98) WIN (10-59)

 

World Cup qualifying (September 3)

Spain are already in an excellent position to qualify for Russia 2018, having cruised to five wins in their six Group G matches. But there’s a lingering feeling of unfinished business when it comes to Italy after the Azzurri put paid to Spain’s hopes at Euro 2016 last summer. Few teams came into this week’s World Cup qualifiers in better nick than Italy. The Azzurri have won seven of their past nine matches, with the other two results respectable draws against Spain and Germany. Confidence in the camp should be high, not least because they’ve racked up 16 goals in their last three games. However, we can’t go past Spain in this spot.

Confirmed bets

Spain WIN v Italy (two units @ $1.75)
Wales WIN v Austria (one unit @ $2.22)
Finland v Iceland WIN (one unit @ $1.96)

Yesterday’s results

Denmark WIN v Poland (one unit @ $2.40) WIN (4-0)
Norway -1/hcp v Azerbaijan (one unit @ $2.00) WIN (2-0)
Lithuania v Scotland WIN (one unit @ $1.80) WIN (0-3)
Czech Republic v Germany -2.5/total (one unit @ $2.30) LOSE (1-2)

 

Racing preview (September 3)

Today’s racing: Devonport (Tas), Geelong (Vic), Kalgoorlie (WA), Moree (NSW), Mudgee (NSW), Sunshine Coast (Qld), Pioneer Park (NT). Harness racing: Dubbo (NSW), Stawell (Vic). Greyhound racing: Albion Park (Qld), Canberra (ACT), Gawler (SA), Healesville (Vic), Mount Gambier (SA), Sale (Vic), Sandown Park (Vic), Winnellie Park (NT).

Confirmed betting

Geelong R1 #2 Chouxting The Mob (win)
Geelong R4 #5 Big Phil (win)
Moree R5 #8 Five Spices (win)
Moree R8 #4 Belflyer (win)
Mudgee R7 #2 Lifeline Princess (win)
Sunshine Coast R3 #5 Was It Worth It (win)
Devonport R5 #1 Willby Rules (win)

Yesterday’s results (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 4-0-7, -2.35 units; overall 2017-18 season record (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 66-4-96, +22.6 units

Caulfield R3 #7 Dusty Jack (place) LOSE (U/P)
Caulfield R5 #2 Fuhryk (win) LOSE (U/P)
Caulfield R7 #6 Charmed Harmony (place) SCRATCHED
Caulfield R8 #3 Tally (win) LOSE (4th)
Randwick R2 #8 Up ‘N’ Rolling (win) 1st ($1.70)
Randwick R5 #1 Redzel (win) 1st ($2.45)
Randwick R8 #7 Invincible Gem (win) LOSE (3rd)
Randwick R9 #7 Washington Heights (win) 1st ($2.40)
Doomben R8 #1 Mishani Bullet (win) LOSE (3rd)
Morphettville R7 #4 Casino Wizard (win) LOSE (U/P)
Belmont R5 #3 Pinzu (win) LOSE (U/P)
Toowoomba R3 #2 Kuttamurra Al (win) 1st ($2.10)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnacle (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s game will follow in the next post.

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