Week 14 Sunday in the NFL, Tuberville bolts for Cinn, NBA and College Hoops News and Notes, Rays trade Shields, United wins Manchester Darby, Messi nets 86th + Free Play for Monday, December 10, 2012

Cowboys, Skins and Packers are Sunday’s big winners

Sunday’s NFL action was highlighted by wins for the Cowboys, Skins, and Packers. Dallas overcame Saturday’s tragedy to beat Cincinnati 20-19 on a final play field goal to keep their wildcard hopes alive. Washington won their fourth straight game since the bye beating Baltimore 31-28 in overtime. Green Bay overcame a 14-0 deficit to turn back Detroit 27-20 and take over first place in the NFC North. San Diego beat the Steelers in Pittsburg during the regular season for the first time in franchise with a 34-24 win. The Bolts had been 0-14 in the Steel City previously. Seattle blanked Arizona 58-0 sending the Cardinals to their 9th straight loss.

At the betting window, Sunday’s results were split just about right down the middle. Calling the Detroit/Green Bay game a push, the Dogs won the day edging the favorites 7-6-1. The totals split 7-7 with home teams going 10-4 with Minnesota and Carolina winning as straight up dogs.

In tonight’s Monday Night Football action, the 9-3 New England Patriots are -5.5 home favorites over the 11-1 Houston Texans. The total opened at 52.5, was bet down to 51, and is back at 52 as of 9:00 AM EST on Monday. Houston is 6-0 on the road, three of their last four away games have gone under. New England is +24 in turnovers for the year, +11 in their last four games. The Pats are 9-1 to the over in their last ten. Temperature at game time is expected to be around 55 with a 70% chance of light rain in the first half.

Tuberville stuns Texas Tech with jump to Cincinnati

In another head coaching move that stunned the college football community, Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville has jumped ship to Cincinnati. Bearcat athletic director Whit Babcock, who worked with Tuberville for three years at Auburn, targeted the Red Raider HC after Butch Jones took the Tennessee job earlier in the week. The move signals an effort to bring stability to the Cincinnati football program. In recent years, the Bearcat top spot has been filled by up-and-coming young guys from smaller schools (Marc Dantonio, Brian Kelly and Jones) and used as gate to bigger and better high profile jobs. Tuberville went 20-17 in three seasons at Texas Tech, after coaching at Mississippi and Auburn. The Red Raiders (7-5) will play Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl after missing out on a bowl last season. He will not coach the Bearcats in their bowl game with Duke, leaving it instead to the current staff.

NBA News and Notes

Carmelo Anthony returned to the Knicks after missing two games with a lacerated finger and scored 34 points as New York downed Melo’s ex-mates from Denver 112-106. Tyson Chandler chipped in with 15 points and 12 boards while Jason Kidd added 17 points and 7 helpers for the winners who improved to 15-4 overall and 8-0 at Madison Square Garden. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 23 while Danilo Galinari (who came to Denver in the melo deal) hit for 21.

UNLV sinks Cal on final second putback, Moser dislocates elbow

Quintrell Thomas scored on a putback of an airball with 1.2 second left to give No.21 UNLV a 76-75 road win over Cal. The Rebels led by seven at the half and for most of the second half but two fouls hots by Justin Cobbs with 11.9 second remaining gave Cal a one-point lead. UNLV lost their best player, Mike Moser, to a dislocated elbow in the first half. X-rays were negative but the potential NBA lottery pick junior will miss several weeks and possibly the rest of the season.

Tampa Bay trades James Shields to Royals for phenom prospect

Sunday, the Tampa Rays sent former All-Star James Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals in a six-player deal that sends top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi along with two other minor leaguers to the Rays. For the Royals, this is clearly a play to win now. For the Rays, it is the same old story of not being able to pay or keep veteran players and making due with young players and prospects. ESPN analyzes the trade in the included video.

Manny Pacquiao talks about Saturday’s knockout loss

In yesterday’s report, you saw the video of Juan-Manuel Marquez’ stunning sixth-round knockout of Manny Pacquiao. Face down on the canvass for several minutes, Pacquiao regained his senses enough to give this interview on the knockout and on his future.

United beats City 3-2 on late goal from van Persie

Robin Van Persie’s free kick goal in injury time gave Manchester United a 3-2 victory over Manchester City as the Reds drew six points clear of the Blues in the Premiership. Wayne Rooney put United ahead 2-0 with two early first half goals including the 150th of his EPL career. City fought back and got the equalizer in the 86th minute from Pablo Zabeleta but a silly foul by Carlos Tevez just outside the box set up Van Persie’s winning set piece.

Lionel Messi breaks record with 85th and 86th goals

In Europe, it was the equivalent to Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. When Gerd Muller scored 84 goals in one calender year in 1972, it was said to be the record that would never be broke. On Sunday it was ….. as Lionel Messi scored both goals in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Real Bettis. The Argentine striker scored both goals in the first half, one on a brilliant individual effort and one on a nifty give and go to break the record. Messi has three more games in 2012 to extend his record “that will never be broken”.

Free Play

(NBA) Miami -7 over Atlanta (Sunday, December 10, 7:35 PM EST)

Free Pick record in December: 3-6