5-at-10: Fab 4 picks aim to stay hot, Rangers grab first title, goodbye Bobby Knight

Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien holds the trophy as the Texas Rangers celebrate after winning Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, in Phoenix. The Rangers won 5-0 to win the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien holds the trophy as the Texas Rangers celebrate after winning Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, in Phoenix. The Rangers won 5-0 to win the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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Fab 4 picks

The gambling world is a crazy ride.

Have I ever told you guys the story about brilliant idea to bet several thousands of dollars on a can't-lose-favorite just to win to maker a few hundred bucks to pay for a keg party?

It was easy money, but alas the bookie — you spoiled online players can ask your parents who their neighborhood bookie was — was not taking anymore bets of any size on Mike Tyson against Buster Douglas.

It's clearly the best bet I never made, but it also brings us to the gambling aspect of our daily conversation.

Bet wisely. Bad beats are part of the equation. Lines that look too good to be true generally are. Trains almost always crash because that's why Vegas builds billion-dollar buildings with 5-star entertainers performing nightly and $5 filet mignon specials.

(Side note: Every time — every single time — my mother, who is where I got whatever sense of humor I have acquired from, would order a filet, she called it a Fill-it Mig Non. Every time. She did the same thing with Horse Do Vers.)

(Side question on the side note: Is there a word you purposefully mispronounce because of the spelling? I know a lot of folks who use the K in Knoxville or the O in oppossum. Thoughts? Hey, it's an anything goes Thursday, or AGT as the cool kids call it.)

Where were we? Oh yes, the ebbs and flows of gambling. Got a great email last night from show regular J-Mac. We'll address it in depth Friday.

But the past 10 days have been harsh for Jay's Plays — and thank the baseball Gods of Hank, Ruth, Jackie and Junior that the World Series is over — but the best way to handle the ebbs and flows of the betting world is to stay true to your wagering plan.

If you bet 1 unit on every normal game and may increase that on games you really like, stay with that. When you try to chase quick returns after a dreadful run, the losses can compound quickly.

Be smart, gang, and I'm always here if you have questions because I have been on every part of the gambling spectrum. Trust me on that.

(Next week, I'll tell you a little story of a college kid you may currently know who lost $50K in early 1990s dollars in one weekend. Dumb bleep.)

Let's make like this week's musical offering — here's "Dear Rodeo" from cowboy Cody Johnson — and do some pickin' right?

Jacksonville State plus-15.5 against South Carolina. Man, is this potentially the swing game for Shane Beamer, who this time last year was about to embark on a magical month of beating Tennessee and Clemson? I'm tempted to put a little taste on JSU on the money line at plus-500. JSU is better rested and is every bit as good across both lines of scrimmage. Yes Spencer Rattler could go do NFL QB1 things, which is why I suggest taking the points.

Florida minus-6 over Arkansas. KJ Jefferson is about to have to make some business decisions. And yes, he's the best player on the field, but this entire ordeal in Arkansas has unraveled. The offense is so bad — even with a dude like Jefferson at QB1 — the likable OC was escorted out of the building. The defense has been plagued by injuries and future Sunday dudes making business decisions. This is a nice spot for the Gators, especially laying less than a TD since they still have modest goals to play for at it kicks at noon Eastern.

Washington minus-3 against USC and over whatever it is. Actually the over is extremely large. It's 76 at most shops, but we still have to dance with who brought us, right? And let's be fair. Would anyone be surprised by a 35-28 halftime score here? This feels like Vegas is trying to jack this thing so high you won't bet the over. Well, Mr. Smart Vegas Fellows, this calls for an act of extreme recklessness on someone's part, and I am just the guy to do it. Also, here's betting Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr. combine for 900 passing yards. At least.

Georgia-Missouri over 54.5. How many times this week, do you think, Kirby Smart has reminded his team that THE Ohio State has the top spot in the first college football playoff poll. I'd go over 54.5 on that, too. Missouri can score. And Georgia is finding its stride offensively, even without Brock Bowers. (Side question: Ladd McConkey is an NFL dude, right? Man that's a white kid who can scoot.) And yes, Bearddawg, Mike Bobo has been extremely impressive calling ball plays over the last several weeks. This may become every bit the beat down the Bulldogs gave the Gators, but I know the Mizzou offense is better than Florida's.

LSU-Alabama over 60.5. LSU and overs are death and taxes. And how this one is barely over 60 is the only thing that gives me pause. And yes, Lord Saban and the Tide may try to slow the game down, but they are going to have to score to keep up. That LSU offense is close to 2019 special. That LSU defense is, well, special in its own right.

Last week: 4-2 against the spread (66.7%)

This season: 32-23 against the spread (60.4%)

A Texas first

So the Texas Rangers are a World Series winner.

That sounds strange for a lot of us in a certain age because the questions are numerous in the aftermath of realizing that the Texas Rangers have now won a World Series ring.

Who is the first player you think of when you hear "Texas Rangers" or see that logo? Heck, their most famous moment before last night's clinching celebration was likely Nolan Ryan whipping Robin Ventrua's arrogant bleep.

A lot of you will say Nolan Ryan as the image of the Rangers. Maybe Pudge. Maybe Vlad.

But that has been a forgettable franchise. Which leads me to this:

In the three major sports leagues here in these United States of America, which franchise winning a championship would be the most head-scratching?

Is the it the Browns, maybe?

What about the Clippers?

Heck, the Rangers were kind of on that list until their torrid finish to this season that culminated in a title. (And there was a time in my life — before John Schuerholz — when the Braves were high on that list too.)

Who else?

Are the Padres there? Are the Hornets?


It also makes you think what, among those big three leagues, is the biggest outlier in terms of one-time title winners of the last 50 or so years?

Could it be the Knicks way back in the day?


Good bye and smile

Bobby Knight famously said "When my time on Earth here is done and my activities here are past, I want they bury me upside down and my critics can kiss my bleep."

Bobby Knight got his wish Wednesday as his arrogant and cantankerous bleep kicked the bucket.

Of course Bobby Knight could not be that Bobby Knight in this day and time. And that's not completely a good thing.

But if you think Bobby Knight is the poster boy of the sadness of the changing times to cancel culture, you are picking the wrong patient zero for this experiment.

Bobby Knight is dead, so I refuse to speak ill of the dead. So in terms of being a decent human being — and dad — Bobby Knight was a helluva basketball coach.

And his vertical smile can point to the Heavens for all of eternity and all of his critics grant his sarcastic post-mortem final wish.

But Knight was among the all-time lightning rods for the line between cancel culture and consequence culture. Dude was over the top. And abusive. And a bully. And physically violent to his players. And had the public awareness of a fart in a stuck elevator.

He's a better poster discussion for a by-gone era of abusive coaches who were allowed to assault players because they won at extreme levels.

And ending that change is one of the few things that can be said positively about being more aware in this day and age.

That's not about being politically correct. That's about being correct in your mission and actions.

Because if my son or daughter played for any coach at any level who put their hands on your kid in anger — and we know about several incidents, which means there are dozens (if not more) that we don't know of — well, I would have cracked his skull to the point that his crack would have been facing the Heavens long before now.

This and that

— Speaking of college picks, did you know that there are two college football games — Army-Air Force and Iowa-Northwestern — with an over/under of 31.5 this weekend? That's odds makers thinking this is 17-14 (max). Crazy.

— You know the rules, and speaking of picks, here's Paschall's SEC picks column.

— Paschall being including is part of the rules around here. You know this. Want to know who is approaching "rule" status? Andrew Schwartz writing about the whole Jonathan Frost ordeal. Here's Andrew's latest.

Today's questions

We have a few AGTs above. Fire away. We'll also add, who else beside Bobby Knight would have gone from 1970s-80s Hall of Famer to 2010 three and out firing because of their style?

Is Bear Bryant on that list?

Also, on an AGT morning, tonight's NFL game could be a good one. Titans at Steelers. If we had a steel-cage match among NFL head coaches, I think there is a real chance that Mike Vrabel and Mike Tomlin would be right there to the very end. Thoughts?

As for today, Nov. 2, let's review.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson was released 40 years ago. I am pretty sure we have done multiple MTV Rushmores, but "Thriller" — and that criminal Michael Jackson — is on the short list of all of the MTV lists.

Also on this day three years ago, "Baby Shark" becomes the most watched YouTube video ever with more than 7.04 billion views.

Have we ever done a Rushmore of ear worm songs, because "Baby Shark" has to be a contender?

Go and remember the mailbag.

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