Bengals, Skins, Vikes and Seahawks are big Sunday winners, SMU/Fresno State tonight, Mavs crushed in Dirk’s return, Swisher signs with Indians, Arizona whacks Miami Fla in Hawaii + Free Play for Monday, December 24, 2012

Bengals, Seahawks, Colts all clinch playoff spots

Cincinnati, Indy, and Seattle punched their tickets to the playoffs while Baltimore locked up the AFC North with a 33-14 demolition of the Giants. The Bengals took advantage of a late Ben Roethlisberger pick to beat and eliminate the Steelers 13-10 on a final play field goal from Josh Brown. The Colts beat the Chiefs 20-13 to qualify for the pots-season just one year removed from last year’s horrendous 2-14 season. Nobody in the NFL is hotter than the Seattle Seahawks who dismantled San Francisco 42-13 on Sunday night football. Minnesota kept it’s playoff hopes alive with a shockingly easy 23-6 win over the Texans. Washington won it’s sixth in a row with a 27-20 win at Philly and will play Dallas, overtime losers to the the Saints, in prime time next Sunday night for the NFC East title. SP3 will be back with all the playoff scenarios on a special Christmas Day report.

Highlights of the Seahawks crushing the San Francisco 49ers

SMU and Fresno square off in Hawaii Bowl

Current SMU Mustang head coach June Jones coached Hawaii to the best football run in school history while he was there for nine years between 1999-2007. He beat Nevada with Colin Kaepernick here three years ago 45-10 as a 12-point dog. He’ll face a tougher challenge here. SMU barely got Bowl eligible at 6-6 with four losses of more than 22 points. Conference USA non-conference dogs are just 12-20 on the year. Fresno State is resurgent under first-year man Tim DeRuyter and is 8-0 as a favorite, 6-0 as a double-digit favorite. The Bulldogs won their final five games and will look to snap a three game Bowl skid here. Fresno State is a 12-point favorite with total holding steady at 60. It will be beautiful on the islands with the game time temperature expected to around 77.

Dirk returns in 129-91 Mavs loss

San Antonio hit a franchise record 20 three-pointers en-route to their Sunday 38 point victory over the Mavericks. The Spurs led by 12 at the half and then blew the game wide open with a 36-14 third quarter. San Antonio shot a blistering 56% for the game, 67% from behind the arc. Former MVP Dirk Nowitzki made his 2012 debut in the loss, scoring eight points and grabbing six boards. Nowitzki missed the Mavs first 27 games after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.

Swisher signs a 4-year deal with the Indians

Nick Swisher has signed a 4-year deal with the Cleveland Indians for $56 million dollars and an option for a fifth year that could make the total value of the deal $70 million. Swisher, 32, hit .272/.364/.473 with 24 home runs for the Yankees last season. He was born in Ohio, grew up in West Virginia and played collegiately at Ohio State before he was drafted by the A’s in first round in 2002. In parts of nine seasons in the big leagues, Swisher’s a .256/.361/.467 hitter with 209 home runs. An All-Star in 2010, Swisher has primarily played right field, first base and designated hitter throughout his career. The switch-hitter has also played all three outfield spots. Swisher will likely patrol right field for the Indians, who traded incumbent Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds earlier this month.

No.4 Arizona rolls over Canes in Hawaii

It was a relatively slow Sunday in college hoops with just two ranked teams seeing action, both at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. In the first semi-final game, No.18 San Diego State got by Indiana State 62-55. Jamaal Franklin had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Aztecs. In the other semi, No.4 Arizona clobbered Miami Florida 69-50 snapping the Hurricanes seven-game win streak. Mark Lyons led the Cats with 19 points. 11-0 Arizona won for the eighth time by double-digits and alost took down their sixth team by 20+. They’ll meet SDSU in Tuesday’s championship game.

Free Play

(NCAAF) Fresno State -12 over SMU (Monday, December 24, 1:00 PM EST)

Free Pick record in December: 9-13