FIBA World Cup, US Open, Frank Lampard, Andrew Luck Retires, MLB Update

That was one crazy week in sports we just had. The U.S. suffered a shocking, unbelievable, loss at the FIBA World Cup, the Blues finally got a win while Man U. lost to a team it hadn’t lost to in 28 years, and one of the top quarterbacks, an NFL MVP contender, called it quits. Check out what happened this past week in the world of sports!

Weekly Sports Update – August 26th Edition

Weekly Sports Update – August 26th Edition

Shocking U.S. Loss in Exhibition Against Australia

The Americans are so fantastic that they will enter the 2019 FIBA World Cup a favorite even though no real star player had joined the squad.

No LeBron James. No Anthony Davis. No Kawhi Leonard and no Splash Brothers. This year’s FIBA World Cup is made up of Boston Celtics players and other talented non-superstar players around the league. Although not dominant on paper, the thinking was that with the great Gregg Popovich calling the shots, the U.S. could dismantle some of its better opponents.

That might not be so true. The United States had a 78 international games winning streak, but the U.S. couldn’t get past the Australians this past weekend. In a shocking outcome, the Popovich led U.S. International Basketball Team fell 98-94 in Australia. It was unfathomable.

Ah, but there’s a sliver lining! Team USA came back the next day and beat Canada 84-68. Also, the two games were exhibition battles, which means Team USA should continue to be the favorites heading into the FIBA World Cup.

Will they respond? The FIBA World Cup starts on Sep. 1. The Americans remain a -350 favorite. It’s hard not to think of them as an underlay after watching them lose to the Boomers. Beware backing the United States to take the World Cup at those odds.

U.S. Open Tennis Tournament Starts This Week

Either Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer is expected to win the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Title. Djokovic is the favorite, Nadal second choice, and Federer third choice. Federer could pull off the same type of run he produced at Wimbledon, the last major tennis tournament played. More than likely? He’ll play worse. The reason is because the U.S. Open is the final major tournament of the year. FedEx could be tired after the classic with Djokovic at the Wimbledon Finals.

Rafael Nadal should play well. Even Rafa will tell you that he’s not as good on hardcourt as he is on clay. Nadal has a shot to beat Djokovic. It’s hard to see him doing it. That doesn’t mean Djoker is a lock. Novak Djokovic has shown signs of being tired as well, which means the U.S. Open could be perfect to back a player to beat one of the Big 3.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are favored. Both have a chance. More than likely, neither will get it done. Serena has tired towards the end of her last few tournaments played. Naomi hasn’t played that well since winning the Australian Open back in January.

The player to back at Flushing Meadows on the women’s side might be Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep. If Simona is at the top of her game, watch out. She looked great beating Serena at the Wimbledon Finals and hasn’t gone all out in any tournament since then.

Lampard Gets First Win for Chelsea, Man U. Goes Down

Finally, Chelsea got a victory for Frank Lampard. The new coach struggled through an 0-4 loss to Manchester United, a 2-2 draw versus Liverpool at the UEFA Super Cup, and a 1-1 Draw versus Leicester City.

On August 24, Chelsea beat Norwich City 3-2. The player that stepped it up for the Blues was American Christian Pulisic. Pulisic had 63 touches. He had took 2 shots on goal, created 3 chances, and had an assist. Pulisic’s continued acclimation with English Premier League soccer should give Lampard and Chelsea a major lift.

Don’t sleep on Lampard’s side to continue to show up big. Chelsea might be back as an English soccer power.

In other EPL news, Manchester United lost to Crystal Palace for the first time since 1991. If you’re a Man U. fan, you might be alarmed. The loss happened at Old Trafford. However, Manchester United is a young team. They’ll go through growing pains like this. Plus, the wounds Man U. suffered in the loss were mostly self-inflicted. If they can shore up the sloppy play, they should be back on track.

Astros, Dodgers and Yankees Tied with Best MLB Record

The Houston Astros are suddenly but not unexpectedly tied with the Dodgers and Yankees for the best record in MLB. Since acquiring Zack Greinke, who is 4-0 since putting on an Astros’ uni, Houston has dominated.

Heading into the August 26 games, the Stros and Yankees are 85-47. The Dodgers are 86-46. Houston wants homefield throughout the American League Playoffs and, if they make it, the World Series. The rule changed in 2017 so that the team with the overall best record in the Fall Classic gets homefield. Why is homefield important to the Astros’ chances of winning the World Series? As of August 25, Houston is an okay 36-31 on the road. They’re 49-16 at home.

World Series future bettors are in love with the Houston Astros. The Astros are at +200 followed by the Dodgers at +210. If you’re debating between Astros or Dodgers, follow the homefield advantage angle. The team that grabs homefield advatnage could be this year’s World Series winner.

Andrew Luck Retires More Than Doubling Colts Super Bowl Odds

The Indianapolis Colts got an earthquake piece of news last week. Andrew Luck, one of the top players in the NFL and one of the favorites to win this year’s NFL MVP, called it quits. Luck, a Stanford quarterback who made every Colts fan on the planet forget the name Peyton Manning, said he decided to retire after a cycle of injuries. Only 29, Luck had missed 26 games in the past four seasons.

Football can be brutal. It can be exceptionally brutal for quarterbacks like Luck who throw their bodies around the field, hoping to make the one play that gives their team the win. Luck will be missed, but he’s making the right decision, and we shouldn’t be too shocked.

When Luck entered the NFL, he didn’t accept any endorsements. He wanted to play football. That was his job. If he believes he can’t perform his job, it makes perfect sense that he’d retire, which is exactly what he did.

Luck’s retirement sent the Colts’ Super Bowl odds from +1200 to +4000. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett has a chance to become a legend by leading a team with few flaws outside of, well, the QB position. Who knows? If Brissett accepts the challenge and excels, Indianapolis might still yet be a Super Bowl contender.

Have a great week!


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