NFL camps open, New NBA schedule announced, Olympics, MLB Diamond Dust + Free Plays for Friday, July 27, 2012

NFL camps opening daily

NFL camps are opening daily and the remaining stragglers of unsigned draft picks are coming to terms. The Vikings signed their top pick (4th overall) OT Matt Kalil and the Chiefs inked nose tackle Dontari Poe (11th overall) leaving just three first-rounders ( Jacksonville’s No. 5 pick Justin Blackmon, Miami’s No. 8 pick Ryan Tannehill, and No. 20 pick Kendall Wright with Tennessee) unsigned.

Heat/Celtic open new NBA schedule

The NBA officially released its 2012-13 schedule on Thursday with games beginning on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 and ending on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The league returns to its traditional 82-game slate after last year’s abbreviated lockout season cut the 2011-12 schedule to just 66 games. The World Champion Miami Heat tip things off, beginning their title defense playing the Boston Celtics in a rematch of the Eastern Conference final. The Celtics will be in the unenviable position of having to watch the Heat receive their rings and raise their championship banner to the rafters. It also features Ray Allen’s first game as a member of the Miami Heat. Dallas visits the Lakers in the late game of the televised double-header.

MLB Diamond Dust

MLB betting nuggets for Friday night …. Ben Sheets is 2-0 and has not given up an earned run over 12 innings in his two starts for the Braves. The Jays Carlos Villaneuva is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA over his L3 starts. Oakland’s Jarrod Parker is 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his L7 starts. The Cub’s Travis Woods rocks a 9.70 ERA over his L3 starts. Colorado’s Drew Pomeranz has a 13.50 over his last two starts. Seattle’s Blake Beaven’s ERA is 7.67 in his L5 starts.

The Cubs are 10-2 in their L12 games at Wrigley Field. Philadelphia has won four straight scoring 25 runs. San Francisco is 9-3 in their L12. The Miami Marlins have lost seven of their last eight games. The Mets are 2-12 over their L14 games. The Mariners are just 2-7 in the their L9 at Safeco Park.

Five of the last seven game at Turner Field have gone over the total. The Over is 6-3-1 in the Astros L10 games. The Over is 14-6 in the Mets L20 games. The Under is 10-1 in the Pirates L11 games. The Under is 16-4 in the Rangers L20 games. The Under is 8-2 in the L10 Tampa Bay Rays games.

Phelps to skip opening ceremonies

Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will not walk in the opening ceremony. Phelps was criticized in 2008 and this year for “big timing” his teammates but in his defense, he will likely be in his hotel resting as his first events are scheduled for early Saturday morning. Phelps has announced that he will retire from competitive swimming after these Olympic games.

Carrying the US flag in the opening ceremonies will be Gold Medalist fencing champion Mariel Zagunis. Selected from a pool of 529 Americans, Zagunis won her first gold medal in 2004 when she was 19, the first American fencer in 100 years to do so. She repeated again in Bejing in 2008. At 27, Zagunis is a major force in individual fencing, having already amassed 11 Olympic and World Championship medals. She will lead an American contingent of 530 athletes, 269 women and 261 men.

Former Indiana Hoosier hoopster Neil Reed dead at 36

The former Indiana basketball player who coach Bob Knight was caught on tape choking in 1997, has died of heart complications after collapsing in his Central California home. He was 36. Reed transferred to Southern Miss shortly after the incident where he played a final year in 1998-1999. Reed had been coaching and teaching physical ed leaves behind a wife and two children.

Free Plays

(MLB) Phillies (Hamels) +105 over Atlanta (Sheets)

(MLB) Pittsburg (Karstens) -151 over Houston (Lyles)

(MLB) Washington (Detwiler) +122 over Milwaukee (Fiers)

(MLB) ChiSox (Sale) +125 over Texas (Darvish)