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Submitted by Jim Feist on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 12:00 AM

This is a time of year when you are happy to be involved with sports, not only as a fan but as a participant by wagering on games. This is a great time of year to enjoy the purity of sports and the money making opportunities that are available each and every day the NFL, NBA, College Hoops and College Football.

NFL Playoff time is approaching fast, the NBA teams are getting into mid-season form, college hoops is just getting underway and College football is in their Bowl season.  The NBA finally wised up this year, cutting down on the number preseason games and starting the regular season early so they could give teams more rest during the regular season.  Previous years had too many spots where NBA teams were playing back-to-back spots and three in four nights.  The toll on NBA players was great and by the time the playoffs rolled around, players were either playing with injuries or just tired.  The NBA regular season is more about surviving and staying healthy. Teams just want to make the playoffs, 16 in all, eight in both conferences. The regular season gives each team a chance to get their systems in place and work on the flow of their game. Once they get to the playoff, that’s when they can start playing and have a chance to win it all.

The NFL is a bit different then the NBA. There are only 16 games in the season and just six teams make the playoffs in each conference (four division winners and two wild cards).  Take a look at the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both these clubs started the season slowly, but now both are rolling along and well out in front of their respective divisions.  Right now I’d have to say these are the two teams in the East I would expect to be playing for a spot in the Super Bowl

Looking at the NFC, the Eagles are a team to beat and that wasn’t really expected. The New Orleans Saints defense looked horrible in the first few games, allowing 65 points in those losses. Since then, the team has won eight straight games and the defense has been solid.  The Seattle Seahawks lost two of their first three games before winning four straight and five of six. Now they have suffered huge losses to their “Legion of Boom” defense and subsequently lost to the Falcons allowing 34 points at home.  The Denver Broncos won two of their first three games under new Head Coach Vance Joseph. Then came a week 6 loss after their bye to a winless NY Giants team. This team looked like they quit after that and have since lost six straight games and are in last in the AFC West.

The NBA is once again dominated by Golden State.  However, the Boston Celtics have been red hot, mainly due to acquiring Kyrie Irving in the off season from Cleveland.  The Houston Rockets have also been an early season success and could be a challenge to the Warriors in the West. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the talent to go all the way, but this is a team that will likely do just enough to make the playoffs before they kick their game in gear. This has been evident early in the season where they have played just above .500 ball.

College football is always about Alabama. There are some other teams that are good, including Clemson and the defending champion Auburn Tigers. Oklahoma and Ohio State are always playing for a slot in the top four playoff spots, but I doubt either will make that far this season.

College Hoops has some good teams out there folks, but there are some mid-majors that could catch some of the big boys sleeping, especially in the tournament environment. 

This is the most exciting time of year for fans whether they never make a bet or enjoy watching the games they wager and profit from. 

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