Bears/Packers tonight, Rutgers/USF, MLB Diamond Dust, Jim Calhoun, NHL Lockout Looms, Jerry Sandusky update + Free Plays for Thursday, September 13, 2012

Around the horn in the NFL

Week II of the NFL kicks off tonight with the Bears traveling to Title Town to meet the Green Bay Packers in an early NFC North showdown. The Bears throttled Andrew Luck and the Colts 41-21 in their opener while the Packers look to avert an 0-2 start after dropping a 30-22 decision to the 49ers at Lambeau Field. The game opened at Green Bay -4 with a total of 50. Early money on the Packers and over has sent the number to Green Bay -5.5 and 51.5 with 6s and 6.5s in sight. Weather will be mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers. Temperature at game time is expected to be a round 57.

Buffalo Bill defensive end Marcell Dareus has been excused to be with his family after his brother was killed in a triple homicide in Birmingham, Alabama suburb. Dareus’ younger brother, Simeon Gilmore, was one of three people shot and killed during a burglary in Pelham, Ala., on Sunday. Dareus plans to return and play in the Bills home opener against the Chiefs on Sunday.

College football News and Notes

Thursday night college football is also on tap as Rutgers travels to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to face the South Florida Bulls in a Big East matchup. The Scarlet Knight have allowed just 82 total yards on the ground in routine wins over Tulane and Howard. New Jersey steps way up in class tonight against a 2-0 USF team that comes off a big 32-31 win over Nevada at Reno. South Florida opened -9.5 with the total 46. The game has been bet down to USF -7.5 with the total dropping to 44 and the hook. Weather is mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of thunderstorms, the temerature at kickoff around 81.

MLB Diamond Dust

MLB betting nuggets for Thursday …. Oakland’s Brett Anderson is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA over his L4 starts. Derek Holland is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last two starts for Texas. Chris Sale is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his L4 home starts for the ChiSox. Lance Lynn rocks a 7.79 ERA in his L4 starts for St Louis. He has not pitched since August 24th. The Yankees Phil Hughes is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his L4 road starts.

Philadelphia is 11-2 in their L13. Baltimore is 12-4 in their L16 at Camden Yards. Oakland is 15-3 in their L18 overall. Houston is 6-19 in their L25 games. Detroit is 6-16 in their L22 on the road. Cleveland is 3-14 in their L17 with suitcase.

Houston has played five straight Unders. Seattle is 6-1 low in their L7 games. The Under is 17-3-1 in Detroit’s L21 games. St Louis is 7-2 to the Over in their L9 games. The high is 8-1-2 in the Royals L11 games. The Over is 9-4-1 in Oakland’s L14 games.

UConn’s Jim Calhoun to announce retirement today

After 873 wins and three national titles over 40 years, Jim Calhoun will announce his retirement from coaching college basketball today at a 2:00 PM EST news conference. Calhoun, who started at Northeastern and has spent the last 26 years at UConn will be replaced by assistant coach Kevin Ollie. Calhoun, 70, has battled several health issues in recent years. He’s a three-time cancer survivor and missed eight games last season while suffering from a painful spinal condition. He returned just four days after having back surgery to coach the Huskies in their regular-season finale and the postseason. Calhoun was elected to the basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

No movement in NHL/NHLPA CBA talks

The 2012-2013 NHL season seems to have come down to an ultimatum from the league to the players, accept our deal before the current CBA runs out at midnight on Saturday or be locked out. The two sides met Wednesday for three hours with players not willing to accept absolute salary cuts but willing to accept a lower percentage of the hockey-related revenue split over time as league revenues continue to grow. The owners have countered with a deal that would see player’s salaries reduced by 9%, they had asked for 24% in July. It’s a game of chicken and we’ll see who will blink first.

Sandusky must register as a violent sexual predator

In the unlikely event that he is ever released from jail, convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky will have to register as a sexually violent predator under Pennsylvania’s version of Megan’s Law. Sexually violent predators are subject to intense reporting requirements upon release from prison, but that may be a moot point in the case of the 68-year-old Sandusky after he is sentenced for 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Free Plays

(MLB) Philadelphia (Cloyd) -133 over Houston (Harrell) 8:05 PM EST

(MLB) Tampa Bay 9hellickson) -105 over Baltimore (Chen) 12:35 PM EST

(MLB) Oakland (Anderson) +135 over Anaheim (Weaver) 3:35 PM EST

(MLB) Kansas City (Mendoza) -106 over Minnesota (Hendriks) 8:10 PM EST