The Houston Astros benefited from a piece of magic from their best player, the NBA Regular Season starts on Oct. 22, another College Football Playoff contender fell, and a Super Bowl contender lost their quarterback. That’s a lot to digest, but what else would you expect in the big, wide, world of sports? Check out what happened this past week in sports!
Weekly Sports Update – October 21st Edition
Altuve Blasts Walk-off Home Run to Send Astros to World Series
It’s fitting that Jose Altuve is the Astros player who delivered the knockout punch to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Facing closer Aroldis Chapman with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, Altuve sent a rocket into the stands for a 2-run homer. The Astros beat the Yankees 6-4.
Houston now heads to the World Series a massive -225 favorite to beat the Washington Nationals and take their second Fall Classic title in the past three seasons. The odds make the Astros the biggest favorites to win the MLB Championship since the Boston Red Sox in 2007.
Why so bullish on Houston? After all, Washington does have a couple of excellent ace starters in Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.
The reason for so much love heading to the Astros is three-pronged: three ace starters, a team that can hit against any rotation or bullpen in baseball, and their own excellent bullpen.
Gerrit Cole has been unhittable during the playoffs. Justin Verlander had a tough game against the Yankees in Game 5, but he should turn it on at home in Game 2 while Zack Greinke has shut down the Washington Nationals in the past.
Also, the Astros hit .274 as a team during the regular season. The bullpen ranked second with a 3.75 team batting average allowed during the regular season. That doesn’t mean Washington has no shot to win the World Series. They might have to play perfect to take down the Astros, though. Game 1 between the Astros and Nationals is on Tuesday, October 22. We won’t have to wait long to find out if Washington deserves to be such a big underdog in the 2019 world Series.
NBA Regular Season Starts on Oct. 22
With controversy swirling, the NBA starts its Regular Season on Tuesday, Oct. 22. If you haven’t paid attention to the issues regarding China and Hong Kong, it might be a good idea to not start now. Why get into the drama when on opening night the LeBron and Anthony Davis led L.A. Lakers take on Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the rival L.A. Clippers?
Lakers-Clippers should be a theme this season. They’re two of the top three choices in the future book to win the NBA Championship. Will the Lakers take the NBA Finals? Or, will the Clippers get it done?
Game 1 of the World Series might be over before Lakers-Clippers tip-off. If it’s not, get the remote ready to switch back and forth because you don’t want to miss the first huge matchup of the 2019-2020 NBA Regular Season.
College Football Update: Wisconsin Falls to Illinois Ending Playoff Dream
The Wisconsin Badgers take on the Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday. Maybe, Wisconsin was paying too much attention to that game. On Saturday, the Badgers lost straight up to the Illinois Illini. Let’s repeat that for a moment. The undefeated Wisconsin Badgers lost to the Illinois Illini, one of the worst teams in the Big Ten Conference.
How big of an upset was it? Wisconsin entered the game a massive favorite. The Badgers lost straight up as a -28 ½ favorite. The Illini beat Wisconsin 24-23.
What’s really disturbing if you’re a Wisconsin fan, and the reason Ohio State probably dominates on Saturday, is how the Badgers’ defense fell apart in the fourth quarter. Even after Jack Coan threw a pick, the Illini still had to get into field goal position to make the winning kick. That’s on the defense, not Coan.
Outside of Wisconsin’s massive loss, it was a fairly drama less week in college football. Tua Tagovailoa, the Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, had surgery on his ankle, but he’s only missing a single game. Bama should have no trouble beating Arkansas this week without Tua. Tagovailoa will be healthy when the Tide battles the LSU Tigers and Joe Burrow on Nov. 9.
Bama-LSU could be the most important game this season since it pits the Top 2 ranked squads on the AP Top 25 Poll.
NFL Update: Chiefs Lose Mahomes, Cowboys and Rams Get Back to Winning Ways
Although the Kansas City Chiefs stopped a 2-game losing streak with a spirited 30-6 victory over the Denver Broncos last Thursday, it came with a cost. Patrick Mahomes suffered a knee injury that will keep him out of action until late November. That’s important because even though the Chiefs should win the AFC West, they’ve got a tough 4-game stretch before their bye: Green Bay and Minnesota at home, and Tennessee and the L.A. Chargers on the road. Chiefs will have to step it up big time if they hope to get Wildcard Weekend off.
While the Chiefs losing Mahomes was the biggest news for an AFC team in Week 7, a couple of NFC squads got back on the winning track. Let’s start with Dallas who showed how they felt about Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson guaranteeing a victory by pummeling the Eagles 37-10 on Sunday night.
Coaches shouldn’t guarantee things. Pederson knows that now. Unfortunately, the lesson arrived with yet another Philadelphia loss. With each passing week, the 2018 Super Bowl is looking more and more like a mirage.
The L.A. Rams also got back on track. L.A. shelled out a couple of first round draft picks for Jacksonville star defensive back Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey immediately upgraded the Rams’ defense and, man, it showed against the Falcons.
L.A. ended a 3-game losing streak by handing Atlanta a 37-10 loss. They knocked out Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury. Atlanta a mess. Things won’t get any better soon. They face an angry Seattle Seahawks, losers to the Ravens in Week 7, this Sunday before their bye. After their bye, they have road games versus the Saints and Panthers.
Speaking of N’awlins, they continue to mow through opponents with Drew Brees on the bench. The Saints are on a 5-game SU and ATS winnings steak.
Have a great week!
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