The Washington Nationals are for real.  Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Just ask anyone who had a wager on the Nationals to win the NLCS this year, or all those folks who had picked the Dodgers for the National League Championship Series. They all believe it now!

So with the Dodgers and the Cardinals sitting at home watching the whole pageant on TV, the Washington Nationals will go forth and represent the National League against the winners of the ongoing series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.

Many will be lamenting the fact that the seemingly undeniable Dodgers are out of the playoffs for this year, but hey, the three teams that are left are pretty darned good themselves. These things always seem to work themselves out during the baseball season each year making early wagering on teams to win the NL and AL Pennants very difficult indeed.

The Nationals will now have the luxury of resting up and healing up while the Yankees and Astros have at least 2 and as many as 4 very taxing games left to determine the winners of the American League Pennant this year. As the World Series is scheduled to start on October 22nd, the ALCS champs will have little rest going into the fall classic.

However, the first game of the World Series is scheduled to be played in an American League Ball Park no mater be it in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium or down in Houston at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Astros.

Currently the Astros hold a 2 game to 1 edge on the Yankees and are listed at -320 with the Yankees at +250 to win the ALCS for 2019. But the next two games will be played in Yankee Stadium in front of one of the most raucous crowds in MLB before they go back to Houston to decide the best 4 out of 7 series winners of the American League Pennant.

Game four of the ALCS was postponed due to heavy rain forecast in the area. Both teams will get to rest up on Wednesday, however, this means that they will only get one day of rest before the start of the World Series if the ALCS goes the full seven games.

As they will be facing a Washington pitching staff featuring Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Anibal Sanchez, the AL hitters had better bring their A game from the very beginning to stand a chance against these excellent starters and the potent Nationals’ Bull Pen featuring Sean Doolittle and Patrick Corbin, the designated winning pitcher of game 3 in D.C.

This year marks the first year that the Nationals have ever even won a playoff series, much less a National League Pennant. So, this will also be the first time that the Nationals have ever been in the World Series.

Ironically the Washington Nationals are the only team in MLB to never have participated in the World Series.  That will be remedied on October 22 when the Nats take on either the Yanks or the ‘Stros in the 2019 World Series.



The formally number five LSU Tigers football team has jumped up to the number two spot on the latest AP Poll by defeating the number 7 Florida Gators by a final score of 42-28, which hit the 14 point spread right on the head, but went over by 15 points in a hard fought contest in Baton Rouge.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who was already way up there on the Heisman Trophy hopeful list, passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns completing 21 of 24 passes and rushing for an additional 43 yards on the ground. Running Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 134 yards of his own and scored 2 touchdowns in the winning effort by LSU at homecoming.

The ‘Bayou Bengal’ Tigers have now moved past Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson, for three very different reasons. Ohio State was idle this week but lost ground anyway.

Coach Will Muschamp brought his South Carolina Gamecocks down to Athens, Georgia with his team believing they could actually pull off an upset win against the number three ranked Georgia Bull Dogs last Saturday, and they did it!  Anyone having the foresight to bet the Gamecocks came out big time!  South Carolina led most of the game but it got very tight there at the end.

The ‘Dawgs’ were only 21.5 point favorites going into the game with the over and  under set at 53 points.  In the end only 37 points were scored in a tight game that went into double overtime before South Carolinas’ place kicker Parker White knocked in a 23 yard field goal during the second overtime period to send the Gamecocks up by three at 20-17.

The tenacious Bulldogs got the ball back for their turn from the 25 yard line and but failed to advance the ball any further on the first three downs.  Out comes the now famous Roberto Blankenship in his black horn rimmed glass to ice another game for Georgia from 42 yards out.  This guy just does not miss, right?  Not until last Saturday anyway, the football sailed wide left off of his flat toed shoe and the South Carolina Gamecocks had defeated the mighty Georgia Bulldogs.

So Georgia has dropped all the way down to number 10 in both the AP and Coaches Poll this week and LSU has been vaulted up to number two right behind their good ole buddies from Alabama.  That matchup is coming up on November the 9th when the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban and his perennially strong Crimson Tide team.

The voters for the AP poll didn’t seem to think much of Clemson beating up on an already wounded Florida State team this week.  The game was not pretty to watch and the victory was unimpressive. Nobody likes a bully but Clemson has been making a living beating up on their weaker ‘compadres’ in the ACC for years now…. wonder how they would fair in the SEC?

The annual Red River Rivalry was held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas this year with the highly ranked Oklahoma Sooners traveling down to meet the Long Horns of Texas for the yearly collection of rodeos and livestock shows that also includes a really big football game.

The Sooners came in as 10.5 point favorites and statistically outgunned the boys from Texas who had only lost one game to LSU in the first game of the season. Both quarterbacks were borderline sensational during the game with Heisman candidate Jalen Hurts completing 16 of 28 passes for 235 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns.

The Sooners won 34-27; however, they did not cover the 10.5 point spread or come very close to the highly ambitious 78 point over and under set for the game.  Oklahoma now holds on to the number 5 spot in the AP poll while Texas, now at 4-2, only fell to 15th.

Back to the SEC and the number one team in the land with Tua Tagovailoa and his Alabama Crimson Tide who seem unstoppable so far this year, as if that is anything  new!  The Tide went down to College Station, Texas to take on Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies of Texas A&M as 17 point favorites and every expectation of coming out on top in the contest. And, as usual, they did, easily covering the 17 points and surpassing the 62 point over and under.

These rankings are not likely to change very much after the upcoming week of NCAA action as there are no really significant matchups between highly ranked teams scheduled over the weekend.



The NFL is already going into its sixth week with the Giants putting up a valiant battle against the seemingly unstoppable Patriots on Thursday Night Football.  New York kept the contest within one score up until the fourth quarter when Brady had had enough and scored 14 points in the final period, even bulling one over himself from the one yard line to bolster his rushing stats….and blowing the +18 wager on the Giants on that same little run for bettors across the land in the process.

New England certainly looks to be the best team in the NFL once again at this point in the season and the continued success of the dynamic duo of Head Coach Bill Belichick and Tom ‘Terrific’ Brady garnishes only more and more respect from players, coaches and fans alike, year after year.

The Patriots stiff defense put it to young Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who was under so much pressure all evening that he ended up throwing three interceptions and completing only 15 or 31 passes for 161 yards and one TD.

On a bit of a sour note, Patriots owner Robert Kraft seems to be trying to woo Rob Gronkowski back on the playing field even after Gronk has disclosed that he has had many concussions, including blackouts, and is in obvious danger should he put on the pads for New England, much as he might want to.  Don’t do it Gronk!

At the beginning of the season we were all set up for a race between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees to see who could pass the great Peyton Manning on the all time NFL passing charts.

Early in the second game of the year against the Los Angeles Rams, Brees slammed his hand down on a defensive players’ helmet while throwing a pass and sustained an injury so severe that Drew ended up staying in LA to see a specialist and eventually have surgery on the finger.

Brees is expected to be out for another 4-5 weeks and in the meantime Tom Brady has the field all to himself to attack Mannings’ long standing records unimpeded. He has just passed Brees’s 522 Career Passing Touchdowns and is about to catch Peyton’s record on 539 at some point this season.

However, Drew Brees still holds the Regular Season Career Passing Yards lead going into week 6 with 74,845 to Tom Brady’s 72,257….and closing.  Diehard Saints fans are confident that, just as soon as he is able, Drew will be back on the field and back in the chase.  Then watch out Tom!

Running the football has had a resurgence in popularity this NFL season, which is a good thing.  Good ole hard nose running the ball in fundamental to the game.  Too much passing and it becomes like watching a hi-wire act at the circus.

The stand out rushing leaders so far have been Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers who has accumulated over 585 rushing yards in 5 weeks followed by Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings with 542 and Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars with 512.

Ironically enough, the stats for the pass receiving yardage leaders are quite similar with the New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas out front with 543 yards followed by Amari Cooper of the Dallas Cowboys with 512 and Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 511.

But the season is still young and the competition is starting to mount up between the leaders of each division.  The surprising Buffalo Bills are right behind the Pats in the AFC East at 4-1 with the Baltimore Ravens ahead in the AFC North and the Houston Texans tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the lead in the AFC South, all at 3-2.  Kansas City sits on top of the AFC West at 4-1.

Over in the NFC we find the San Francisco 49ers, still undefeated after only 4 games, leading the West with the New Orleans Saints on top in the South and the Green Bay Packers who are out front in the North, both at 4-1.

The Washington Redskins, the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets have yet to win a game.

It’s still a long way to go until Super Bowl LIV in February and the field is just starting to settle out.  Lots of tight races and lots of opportunities for NFL football fans everywhere to get in a wager or two on their favorite teams each weekend until February rolls around.



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