The Honey Badger in rehab, NFLX updates, MLB Diamond Dust, RIP Michael “Dynamite” Dokes + Free Plays for Friday, August 17, 2012

The Honey Badger chooses rehab over football

Last year’s college football Defensive Player of the Year Tyrann Mathieu will forego football in 2012 and has entered rehab. The Honey Badger reportedly flew to Houston on Sunday and entered the Right Step recovery program run by former NBA player John Lucas. Mathieu’s issue is reportedly marijuana but the fear is that it will lead to harder drugs. Lucas reached out to Mathieu after last Friday’s press conference at LSU by coach Les Miles announcing the Tiger standout’s departure from the program.

Around the horn in the NFLX

Last night in NLFX action, the road dogs were the way to go as the Cincinnati Bengals beat Atlanta 24-19 and the Cleveland Browns thumped Green Bay 35-10. In Atlanta, Andy Dalton was 8-14 for 125 and a score and Bruce Gradkowski 4-6 with a score and long run in mop up to lead the Bengals. The Falcons came out throwing an Matty Ice finished 18-21 for 174 and a touchdown. Atlanta threw the ball 57 times and rushed the football just 18. Dirty Bird coach Mike Smith needs to be concerned about depth, especially on defense as the Falcons were dominated in the second half for the second straight week.

In Green Bay, the Cleveland Browns used four FGs, a safety, and an defensive touchdown to blow out Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers was 6-11 for 59 yards including a 20-yard scoring strike to Jordy Nelson. Graham Harrell was 12-24 for 100 yards including two INTs, one a pick six. The Packers were outgained 337-228 had the ball just a tick under 24 minutes. We’ll see if Green Bay can flick the switch in next week’s dress rehearsal as they’ve been awful to this point in the preseason.

Tonight in NFLX action, Tampa Bay is a -2.5 point favorite hosting the Tennessee Titans. The total is 37 and the hook. The Miami Dolphins travel to Charlotte to face the Panthers. Carolina is a 3-point favorite with the total bet up a point to 37. There is a 50% chance of thundershowers in this one. Detroit travels to Baltimore where the Ravens are giving two and a piece. The total has moved a full two points up to 39.5 with showers also in the forecast for Baltimore. Adrian Petereson is scheduled to see action as Sin City has the Vikes -2.5 over the Bills at the Metrodome. The total is a 37. Jacksonville travels to the Super Dome to face Drew Brees and the Saints. New Orleans is -6.5 in this one with the high/low checking in at 39 1/2. In the finale, the Raiders are in Arizona to face the Cards. Arizona is -4.5 with the total 37. Check at game time as the roof may be closed with rain predicted for the area.

Brian Blessing of Bookmaker analyzes tonight’s Lions/Ravens matchup

MLB Diamond Dust …. betting Nuggets for Friday’s action

Despite a 2.50 ERA, the Cubs has lost Travis Wood’s L6 starts getting outscored 39-17. Jake Westbrook is 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA in his L5 starts for St Louis. Jered Weaver is 10-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his L11 starts for the Angels. Johan Santana is 0-4 with a 17.34 ERA over his L4 starts with the Mets. The Astros Dallas Keuchel is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his L6 starts. Yu Darvish is 1-2 with an 8.03 ERA in his L4 starts for the Rangers.

The Atlanta Braves are 17-5 in their L22 games. Detroit is 10-2 in their L12 home games. The White Sox are 8-2 in their L10 road games. Miami is 9-20 over their L29. The Blue Jays are 3-15 in their L18 and Cleveland 4-14 over their L18 games.

Five of the last six Padre games stayed Under the total. Nine of Baltimore’s last 12 road games have gone Under. The Under is 20-6 in Tamapa bay’s L26 games. The last six Milwaukee Brewer games all went OVER the total. The Over is 7-2-1 in the Rockies L10 home games at Coors Field. The Over is 9-3 in the Tribes L12 road games.

Pettersson 62, Clark 63, scores to be had at Wyndham

They’re shooting low rounds at the Wyndham championship in Greensboro. Carl Pettersson led the way with a bogey-free eight-under 62 and South African Tim Clark was just one shot back at 63. At this writing, play has begun in the second round and the projected cut figures to be one or two under par. Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas, Nick Watney, and Webb Simpson are all right there in the mix.

Michael “Dynamite” Dokes dead at 54

Former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Michael “Dynamite” Dokes has died from complications of liver cancer. He was 54. Dokes won the heavyweight title at 24 in December 1982, when referee Joey Curtis made a controversial decision to stop his fight against champion Mike Weaver. Dokes dominated the first round over Weaver, prompting the decision. Dokes lost his WBA title just nine months later to Gerrie Coetzee and never held the heavyweight crown again. Dokes admittedly battled issues with cocaine throughout his career, he last fought in 1997 and finished with a career record of 53-6-2.

Free Plays

(NFLX) Tampa Bay -2.5 over Tennessee 7:30 PM EST

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(MLB) Washington (Detwiler) -155 over NY Mets (Santana) 7:05 PM EST

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(MLB) Seattle (Iwakuma) -122 over Minnesota (Blackburn) 10:10 PM EST

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