Ravens roll, Bolts cruise, Champions Bowl, Gio wins 19th, Murray wins first slam + Free Plays for Monday, September 11, 2012

Ravens crush Bengals, Raiders will be Raiders

Week I of the NFL finished with a Monday night double-header, Baltimore spanking Cincinnati 44-13 early and San Diego beating Oakland 22-14 in the night game.

In the opener, Joe Flacco showed why he likes the Ravens no-huddle offense so much by going 21-29 for 299 and two scores while Ray Rice chipped in with 68 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries as Baltimore Cincinnati. The injury riddled Bengals were able to hang in for a half trailing just 17-10 at half and taking the second half kickoff and driving down for a field goal but ….. the Ravens closed the game out on a 27-0 run to seal the deal.

Ed Reed returned an interception back for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was his 10th career INT vs Cincinnati, the 58th pick of his career (T-10 all-time), and owns the NFL record of 1497 career INT return yards passing Rod Woodson’s 1483.

There’s a new coaching regime in Oakland but things never seem to change. Silly penalties, turnovers, blocked punts ….. the Raiders often find ways to lose no matter who is wearing the headset. All was true Monday night as Philip Rivers went 24-33 for 231 yards and a touchdown and Nate Kaeding kicked five FGs in the San Diego win. Oakland led statistically in every aspect of the games but key mistakes throughout the game either killed drives or cost the Raiders valuable field position which the San Diego offense took full advantage of. The Bolts led 22-6 with less than a minute left before a late Oakland score made things look closer than they really were.

The public was a big winner in the first game with the Ravens and the over. The books came back slightly in the nightcap with San Diego and under. For the week in the NFL, dogs and the over went 9-7 with books generally having the best of it by a wide margin for the week.

Champions Bowl site to be announced in October

The site for the newly formed Champions Bowl, a meeting of the SEC and Big 12 champs when available, will not be named until October it has been announced. The TV rights alone for the Champions is expected to match the $80 million per year the Rose Bowl got from ESPN. Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta are considered favorites. The “losers” in the Champions bidding are still expected to go hard in bidding to host national semifinals and championship games. SP3 will be on top of all the most current Bowl news as it occurs so keep it here.

Gio Gonzalez gets 19th win for the Nats

Gio Gonzalez picked up his MLB leading 19th win by throwing six innings of three-hit one-run ball as Washington dumped the Mets 5-1. Gonzalez has beaten the Mets three times in the last 60 days. Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond provided the Washington offense with home runs.

The White Sox beat Detroit 6-1 on Monday to increase their AL Central division lead over the Tigers to three games. Detroit had pulled even with the Pale Hose on September second but the big Motown lineup has not hit since. Jose Qunitan went 7 2/3s strong for the ChiSox who got bombs from Alex Rios and AJ Pierzynski in the win.

Andy Murray wins US Open for first slam

Andy Murray followed up his Wimbledon runner-up finish and Olympic gold medal by winning his first Grand Slam event by winning the US Open in an epic 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 five-set match with defending champ Novak Djokovic. Murray won the first two sets before Djokovic came storming back. Murray sealed the deal in the fifth becoming the first British male to win a Grand Slam event in 76 years. Nobody had blown a two-set lead in the US Open final since 1949 and Murray made sure that he would not break that string in a match that took four hours and 56 minutes.

Odds to win the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship

The 12 spots in the ten-race Nascar playoffs have been determined and “The Chase” begins on Sunday with the Geico 400 at Chicagoland. Denny Hamlin will start with a three-point lead over Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Brad Keselowski. None of the drivers that can still win are further than 12 points back. SP3 will have a “Chase” preview during the week.

Jimmie Johnson 9/4
Denny Hamlin 5/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 8/1
Brad Keselowski 9/1
Jeff Gordon 9/1
Kasey Kahne 10/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Greg Biffle 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Clint Bowyer 18/1
Kevin Harvick 18/1
Martin Truex Jr. 18/1

Free Plays

(MLB) Cincinnati (Leake) -150 over Pittsburg (Correria) 7:10 PM EST

(MLB) ChiCubs (Germano)/Houston (Lyles) Over 8.5 8:05 PM EST

(MLB) Toronto (Morrow) -150 over Seattle (Ramirez) 7:05 PM EST

(MLB) NY Yankees (Kuroda) -135 over BoSox (Lester) 7:10 PM EST