Armadillo: Thursday's six-pack

Some interesting NFL trends for the week:

— Steelers are 2-8 vs spread in their last ten games.

— Chargers are 2-11 vs spread in last 13 AFC West home games.

— Minnesota is 12-3 vs spread in its last fifteen games.

— Chiefs are 7-2 in last nine games as a home favorite.

— 49ers are 3-10 in their last 13 games as home favorites.

— Washington is 2-8 in game following its last ten byes.


Armadillo: Thursday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) One of the coolest things about coming to Las Vegas is that this is the big leagues of gambling; sometimes I lose sight of that on my visits here. Tuesday, a guy cashed $41,500 worth of baseball futures winnings and used that money on five futures wagers on NBA/NHL teams, and a baseball bet.

Full disclosure: this gentleman likes the Heat/Mavericks in NBA, Sharks/Sabres in NHL, and the Brewers to win the World Series.

12) After scoring a TD with 0:26 left in Sunday’s game and up 31-12, Jacksonville went for two points; why? Does Doug Marrone hate the Jets? Did the Jets get mad? Why is this smart?

Just kick the PAT and go home; whats the point of making an enemy for the future?

11) Patrick Mahomes sat the first 15 games LY and then played the last game; did sitting and watching almost a whole season of games help him this season? Is it fair to throw a rookie into the fray right out of college, especially if he left college early?

These are billion dollar questions that NFL teams have to answer. Answer them wrong, and you’ll be looking for a new job.

10) One person on ESPN who is well worth watching: Scott Van Pelt on the late SportsCenter. He is smart, has a sense of humor and his people work at their jobs- they provide good info.

9) 76ers-Mavericks are playing two games in China this weekend; hopefully no one will steal anything and embarrass our country, the way the UCLA kids did last year.

8) Was fun to flip channels Monday night and find an Orlando-Philly preseason game; I’m a basketball guy, though more of a college hoop guy, but was fun to see an NBA game.

7) Le’Veon Bell will return to the Steelers during their bye week (Week 7) so he’ll miss two more games. Would be interesting to see the greeting he gets from teammates when he returns.

6) Tampa Bay did the expected and named Jameis Winston starting QB for their game next week; Buccaneers have their bye this week.

Did Ryan Fitzpatrick do enough to earn a contract form yet another team next year?

5) Scapegoat: a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.

Arizona fired hitting coach Dave Magadan this week. Yup, it was all his fault; maybe they shouldn’t have put a humidor in the stadium, to deaden the baseballs. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t Magadan who decided to do that.

4) Minnesota Twins surprisingly made the playoffs LY, went 78-84 this year, and then fired Paul Molitor Tuesday after four seasons running the team. Why?

The worst part of the Analystics Era is that the pencil pushers don’t value managers nearly enough, and believe me, I’m a pencil pusher myself. But I know how important a manager is in setting the tone for the team and keeping things positive.

Computers and charts don’t win games; players do, and the human interaction between players and coaches is very important.

3) Backup PG DJ Augustin has finally found a home with the Orlando Magic; this will be his third year in Orlando, after he played for seven different teams in five years, from 2012-16.

2) Last six times Baltimore Ravens beat their rivals the Steelers, they went 4-2 vs spread the next week, so not much post-victory letdown for them.

1) Surprising fact: Over last 23 years, only five times has the team with the best regular season record won the World Series.