12

July

Cory’s Corner: Will teams Johnny Manziel-proof themselves?

Johnny Manziel made this social media post on a  recent trip to Las Vegas. If it affects his play remains to be seen.

Johnny Manziel made this social media post on a recent trip to Las Vegas. If it affects his play remains to be seen.

With the explosion of social media in the last few years, many think that sports teams will need to Johnny Manziel-proof themselves.

Or will they?

By now, everyone has caught a glimpse of Manziel’s mini-vacation photos he took in Las Vegas a few months ago. In it was the usual charade of Vegas: scantily clad women in a party atmosphere with Johnny and his friends.

Now I don’t think this is a big deal. Manziel hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL yet, and he decided to go to Vegas moments after he was issued the Browns playbook.

Yet I was surprised to see and hear about how many people were upset that he wasn’t at home cramming his brain with hot routes, silent counts and hand signals.

First of all, let the players fail before jumping all over them for a decision based on free time.

Taken a step further, what if said player was a veteran? Would Packers fans have a problem if Aaron Rodgers started filling up social media with himself partying in the offseason?

Football players live in a 24/7 media bubble that makes them feel like they are being suffocated. That’s why offensive linemen usually give the most candid quotes, because that group of hard workers hardly ever gets a microphone thrown in his personal space.

Obviously, athletes have to be a little bit more cautious with what they let the world to see. This isn’t high school where you can post a picture of something and only your close friends are going to see it.

But then again, I don’t think it’s fair for athletes to live as hermits. The reason Rodgers is so adored in Green Bay is because he is approachable. He is spotted in the grocery store, restaurants and doing other regular people things. But Packers fans, being in the smallest NFL town, are smart enough not to ruin every public appearance that he makes by splashing it up on social media every time.

What it all comes down to is filtering. Herm Edwards, the ESPN NFL analyst who is outspoken to a fault, had a brief talk at the NFL Rookie Symposium a few years ago. The main thing he said was, “Think twice before you hit send.”

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6

August

Playing the Over/Under Odds on NFL Season Win Totals: Packers at 11.5

Over/Under Odds on 2011 NFL Team WinsThe MGM Grand in Las Vegas took the plunge and posted Over/Under NFL season win numbers earlier this week. the Packers open at 11.5  I always like to jump on these numbers ASAP, before Vegas makes necessary adjustments.

If you don’t like to throw your money away by trying to outsmart the oddsmakers, season win totals always make for some good discussion. Lets take a look at each team’s over/under and try to figure out a couple of strong plays.

AFC EastJets 10
Besides San Diego and New Orleans, the Jets are the only team with a double-digit total that I would feel comfortable betting the over. With the exception of both New England contests and road tests at Baltimore and Philadelphia, their schedule is filled with winnable games.

Patriots 11.5
Does New England have the pass rush to warrant betting the over? It’s a big number and not a good value bet, but betting against New England probably doesn’t have much value either. I’m staying away.

Bills 5
If Buffalo can manage to avoid starting 0-3 at Kansas City and home against Oakland and New England, they should manage to reach six wins…barley.

Dolphins 8
There’s no way you can find eight wins on the Dolphins’ schedule. Hammer the under.

AFC North

Steelers  11
If the Steelers can survive the first portion of their schedule, they end with Cincinnati, Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Cleveland. It’s still going to be tough to get to 12 wins, though. Stay away.

Ravens 11
My conservative nature says stay away, but Baltimore has a shot to win 12 games with Cincinnati on the schedule twice and non-conference games against the entire NFC West, right? But 12 is still a big number, and my conservative nature wins. Stay away.

Browns 6.5
Just when you think the Brows are cruising to seven wins and money in your pocket with an over bet, they play the Steelers and Ravens four times in the season’s final five weeks. If they can win one of those games, and beat Arizona in Week 15, they’ll go over. I’m not convinced that will happen, so I’m staying away.

Bengals 7.5
The Bengals are terrible. Hammer the under.

AFC South