NFLX, MLB Diamond Dust, College Football, Deutsche Bank, Nascar, and More + Free Plays for Saturday, September 1, 2012

News and notes from around the NFL

The Cardinals have named John Skelton as their Week I starter over last year’s high-priced free agent signing Kevin Kolb. Neither performed exceptionally well during the preseason leading Ken Whisenhut to go with fifth-year free agent out of Fordham who 5-2 down the stretch as a starter last year to get the Cards to 8-8. Skelton will undoubtedly be on a short leash if he fails to perform.

Merrill Hoge and Jason Taylor discuss Arizona QB dual

The NFL and its locked-out officials met Friday in an attempt to resolve their stalled labor negotiations. It marks the first time in a month that the league will meet with the NFL Referees Association. The NFL will go with replacement officials in Week I.

As teams trim their rosters to the 53 man limit, several name veterans either making too much money or have outlived their usefulness are finding themselves without jobs. Here are some of the casualties from Friday ….. Deion Branch and quarterback Brian Hoyer from the Pats, Seneca Wallace from the Browns, RB Tim Hightower from the Redskins, Sage Rosenfels from the Vikings, Jacob Hester from the Chargers, and QB Mike Kafka of the Eagles.

Cowboy All-Pro TE Jason Witten has not been cleared to play and will likely miss the Dallas opener at the Giants. Witten lacerated his spleen in the first exhibition game against the Raiders and has not played since. Even if Witten gets cleared to play, the Cowboys may hold him out as a precaution as he will have 11 additional days to heal before Dallas faces Seattle in Week II.

College Football Friday night roundup

Just three key games on Friday’s college football card. When you lose the turnover battle, you seldom win the war but the No.13 Michigan State Spartans survived No.24 Boise State 17-13 behind 210 rushing yards and two scores from LeVeon Bell. The Spartans turned the ball over four times but held the Broncos to just 207 net yards. Tennessee jumped out to a 22-7 first quarter lead and rolled to a 35-21 win over North Carolina State. Vol QB Tyler Bray threw for 332 yards. In the nightcap, Stanford barely survived San Jose State 20-17 as a 24-point favorite.

The first full card of Saturday college football starts today with Navy taking on Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish opened as -16.5 point favorites and the Middies have taken the money with the number down to 14 and the hook. The total opened at 57 and has been bet all the way down to 51.5, likely due to Notre Dame suspensions on offense. The game kicks 12:00 PM EST. Tonight’s feature matchup pits the No.8 Michigan Wolverines taking on the No.8 Alabama Crimson Tide at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas. Bama is a two touchdown (-14) favorite and the total as of 6:00 AM EST was 47. Multiple storylines here as Michigan’s leading rusher from a year Fitzgerald Toussaint (1,041 yards, 9 touchdowns) has been suspended for the game along with reserve DL Frank Clark. Rumors around Las Vegas and on many social media outlets have reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr may have made a $3 million dollar bet on Michigan plus the points. Keep it right here at SP3 to follow the story with the Sunday and Monday recaps.

MLB Diamond Dust

MLB betting nuggets for Saturday …. Kyle Lohse is 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA in his L5 starts for the Cardinals. Felix Hernandez has won his L3 starts allowing just one earned run over his last 25+ innings. The Tigers Max Scherzer is 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA over his L4 starts. The Cubs Jason Germano rocks an 8.31 ERA over his L4 starts. The Dodgers Josh Beckett is 0-5 with a 7.17 ERA in his L7 starts. The Rangers Scott Feldman is 0-4 with a 7.25 ERA in his L4 starts.

The Nats have won three straight outscoring their opposition 26-5. The Mets have won five of their L6 games. The Orioles have won six out of seven. St Louis has lost four straight scoring one run. The Yankees are 5-9 in their L14 games. The Red Sox are just 2-8 in their L10 road games.

The under is 9-3 in Colorado’s L12 games. The under is 8-1-1 in Arizona’s L10 games. The under is 12-5 in Kansas City’s L17 games. The over is 4-1-1 in Miami’s L6 games. The over is 11-3-2 in Cincinnati’s L16 games. The over is 6-2 in the L8 Texas Ranger games.

There were scores to be had at the Deutsche Bank

Scores were there to be had at the Deutsche Bank Championship with the low numbers coming from some unlikely sources. Seung-Yul Noh fired a blistering nine-under 62 to grab a one shot lead over Chris Kirk. Tiger Woods and Jeff Overton were two shots back after rounds of 64. Other notables were Rory McIlroy (65), Luke Donald (67), and Phil Mickelson (68).

Tony Stewart has the pole in Atlanta

Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart earned the 14th pole of his career and first in at Atlanta since 2002, and will start at the front of Sunday’s Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Marcos Ambrose round out the first five rows. With just two race left to qualify for the end of the year 10 race Chase, Greg Biffle leads Jimmie Johnson by 11 points and Dale Earnhardt Jr by 15 yarboroughs. Look for drivers on the bubble like Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Ryan Newman to drive with a certain amount of urgency. Race odds will be posted tomorrow on SP3.

Odds to win the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship courtesy of Bovada

Jimmie Johnson 9/4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 8/1
Greg Biffle 8/1
Tony Stewart 8/1
Brad Keselowski 9/1
Kasey Kahne 9/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Kyle Busch 14/1
Jeff Gordon 18/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Martin Truex Jr. 25/1
Kevin Harvick 28/1
Carl Edwards 40/1
Ryan Newman 50/1

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