BOB MATTHEWS SPORTS TALK
Weeknights 6:00PM - 8:00PM
on WHAM 1180
Email Bob here.
For over 25 years, Bob Matthews has held the title of Rochester's most popular sports writer/commentator. For over 20 years, Bob has hosted WHAM's nightly sports talk program...consistently ranked at the top of his time slot!
From 1978 to 2012, Bob Matthews was a sports columnist for the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle and a regular "As the Sports World Turns" contributor to the Gannett News Service. He is the only person to be selected Press-Radio Club Sportswriter of the Year (five times) and Sportscaster of the Year, and was a pioneer inductee into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
A Rochester native, Bob graduated from Brighton High School where he played varsity baseball, basketball and served as student council V-P. Bob is also a veteran, serving his country in Vietnam.
Always opinionated and outspoken, Bob's proudest accomplishment is advocating for Frontier Field. His all-time favorite athlete...former Red Wing Luke Easter. One of his sports regrets……not being around for the glory year of the Rochester Royals.
VISITING 49ERS (-3 1/2 OVER JETS IS WEEK 4’S “BEST BET”
WHAT THE BILLS ARE DOING WELL AND NOT SO WELL
TIME FOR BUFFALO TO WIN SOME AFC EAST GAMES
The San Francisco 49ers were last week’s “Best Bet.” Favored by 7 points at Minnesota, they lost by 11 (24-13).
“Best Bets” is defying the trend of underdogs cashing in this season (a profitable 29-17-2 record against the Las Vegas point spread) and will give the 49ers a chance to make amends Sunday at the New York Jets (minus star CB Darrelle Revis).
This week’s “Best Bet”: San Francisco 33, NEW YORK JETS (+3 ½).
Sunday’s other games (home teams in CAPS):
New England 27, BUFFALO (+4) 17 – The Bills are 1-16 in the last 17 meeting and catch the Patriots in an ornery mood. New England lost 34-31 as a 7-point in Buffalo early last season and is coming off a bitter 31-30 loss in Baltimore last Sunday night. If Fred Jackson (expected to play at less than 100 percent) and C.J. Spiller (not expected to play) both were healthy, I’d give the Bills a big shot to win. But they aren’t. If Ryan Fitzpatrick outduels Tom Brady, he’d shut up most of the skeptics. That’s a tall order.
KANSAS CITY (+1) 28, San Diego 20 – The Chiefs looked awful the first two weeks of the season but scored an impressive road upset over New Orleans last week.
ST. LOUIS (+3) 24, Seattle 21 – The Seahawks used up a lot of good fortune in the second half of Monday night ‘s controversial 14-12 home win over Green Bay. WARNING: Seattle is 13-1 straight up in the last 14 meetings and the Rams are 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 games.
HOUSTON (-12) 35, Tennessee 14 – The Texans could be the NFL’s best team. The Titans are close to being the worst.
ATLANTA (-7) 35, Carolina 20 – The Falcons are one of the NFL’s best home teams and 6-1 straight up in the last 7 meetings. The Panthers are 2-8 in their last 10 games in September.
MINNESOTA (+4 ½) 30, Detroit 23 – The Vikings are 0-10 in their last 10 NFC North games but can end that streak if they come to play after last week’s home upset over San Francisco.
ARIZONA (-5 ½), 23, Miami 20 – The Cardinals are 3-0 this season and 10-3 since starting last season 2-4 but the Dolphins are good enough to stick close all the way in this spot.
Cincinnati 27, JACKSONVILLE (+3) 17 – The Bengals are 8-2 straight up in their last 10 games outside their division and have more ways to score than the run-oriented Jaguars. WARNING: Cincinnati is 7-16 straight up in its last 23 road games.
Oakland 27, DENVER (-7) 24 – The Raiders are 6-0 ATS in their last six trips to Denver and the Broncos are 3-7 in their last 10 AFC West games. Carson Palmer is throwing better than Peyton Manning – at least so far this season.
TAMPA BAY (-2 ½) 28, Washington 20 – The Buccaneers are a tough team to gauge but they’re 7-1 straight up in their last 8 home games vs. Washington. The Redskins are 0-10 in their last 10 games on grass and 2-8 in their last 10 games outside the NFC East.
GREEN BAY (-7 ½) 38, New Orleans 24 – The Packers figure to be fired up after being robbed of a victory in Seattle Monday night. The Saints are 0-3 and have been particularly lousy on defense.
PHILADELPHIA (-1 ½) 23, New York Giants 17 – The Eagles are 7-1 straight up and ATS in the last 8 meetings and are due to hold onto the football (2-1 start despite 12 giveaways).
Monday night’s game
DALLAS (3) 28, Chicago 20 – The Cowboys usually play well at home on Monday nights (9-4 in their last 13 tries) and have the pass rush to frustrate Chicago Jay Cutler.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 9-7 picking winning teams straight up (27-21 this season)…6-9-1 picking winners against the Las Vegas point spread (20-25-3 this season)…The “Best Bet” is 0-2-1 after San Francisco, favored by 7 at Minnesota, lost by 11 (24-13)
--The Buffalo Bills are 2-1 entering Sunday’s home showdown against the New England Patriots.
They’ve rebounded nicely from Week’s debacle on the road against the New York Jets (lost 48-28 and it wasn’t that close). Here’s what Buffalo is doing well and a few things that need some improvement:
Buffalo ranks 11th in the 32-team NFL in total offense (371.0 yards per game). The Bills are 3rd in rushing (178 yards per game) and 26th in passing (193 yards per game).
The Bills rank 17th in total defense (348.7 yards allowed per game). They’re 14th in rush defense (100.3) and 19th in pass defense (248.4).
Buffalo has outgained opponents by an average of 22.3 yards per game. The Bills have outscored opponents 87-79 (+8).
The Bills have outrushed opponents 534 to 301, with a gaudy 5.6 yards per carry. Opponents are 4.1 yards per carry.
Opponents have 745 yards passing to Buffalo’s 579.
The Bills have 9 sacks and have allowed only 1 sack (+8).
Buffalo has a +1 turnover margin (6 to 5).
Ryan Fitzpatrick is tied for the NFL lead with 8 TD passes and has interceptions (all against the Jets).
C.J. Spiller is averaging a ridiculous 9.33 yards per rush (33x308).
Stevie Johnson has some decent numbers – 13 catches for 172 yards – but his 13.23 yards per catch is relatively low for a No. 1 wide receiver.
--Since the Bills last made the playoffs following the 1999 season, they’re a brutal 23-50 in against their AFC East rivals. They’re not going to be legitimate playoff contender until they start winning their share of games against New England, the New York Jets and Miami.
Sunday at home against the Patriots would be a great time to start.
Buffalo’s Interconference record by season since 2000: 2-4 in 2000…1-5 in 2001…2-4 in 2002…2-4 in 2003…3-3 in 2004…2-4 in 2005…3-3 in 2006…4-2 in 2007…0-6 in 2008…2-4 in 2009…1-5 in 2010…1-5 in 2011…0-1 in 2012…Total 23-50
Records vs. AFC rivals since 2000: 3-21 vs. New England…9-16 vs. New York Jets…11-13 vs. Miami.
The Bills have been outscored 1,721 to 1,231 over by their AFC East rivals over that span (average score 23.7 to 16.9.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. AFC East rivals with the Bills and coach Chan Gailey is 2-11.
BASEBALL OPINIONS, STATS AND FACTS
R.A. Dickey deserves the National League Cy Young, mainly because he is 20-6 for the 72-84 New York Mets. When he didn’t get the decision, the Mets are 52-78. His 2.69 ERA is 2nd in the NL, behind only Clayton Kershaw’s 2.68 for the Dodgers.
--Best run differential entering Friday: Washington +147…Texas +114…Tampa Bay +108…Yankees +106…St. Louis +102…Baltimore is -1…Worst run differential: Houston -220…Cleveland -173…Cubs -135.
--Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) AL Triple Crown quest update (entering Friday): .326 batting average (1st)…Joe Mauer 2nd .323…Mike Trout 3rd .320; 42 HRs (tied for 2nd with Edwin Encarnacion…Josh Hamilton is No. 1 with 43 HRs; 125 RBI (1st)…Josh Hamilton 2rd 125 RBI…Edwin Encarnacion/Josh Willingham tied for 3rd with 110 RBI.
--Derek Jeter (Yankees) leads MLB with 208 hits. No. 2 Miguel Cabrera has 196 and No. 3 Andrew McCutchen has 190.
--Remember when Pittsburgh was 63-47 (+16) entering Aug. 9 and looked like a cinch to ends its ridiculous MLB-record 19-year losing streak? The Pirates are 13-33 since and need to go 5-1 in their rmaining 6 games to finish .500.
The USA is favored (bet $140 to win $100) over Europe (bet $100 to win $120) in the Ryder Cup, starting Friday at Medinah, outside Chicago. It must be the home-course advantage. The USA team also looks stronger on paper – at least in the eyes of American golf fans. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are the favorites (5-to-1 each) to earn the most points for their teams
--How significant was Seattle’s controversial final-play 14-12 home win over Green Bay Monday night? The Seahawks are 2-1 and the Packers are 1-2. Since 1990, 54 percent of teams starting 2-1 have made the playoffs. Only 24 percent of teams starting 1-2 went on the playoffs.
--The National Lacrosse League entry draft is Monday night in Toronto. The defending champion Rochester Knighthawks are relatively young and loaded, and those are good things because they don’t figure to improve much through this draft. Rochester has only 5 picks and none until the third round (Nos. 26, 29, 38, 47 and 56).
--Syracuse University basketball’s version of Midnight Madness reportedly is set for Oct. 12 at the Carrier Dome. The Orange figure to be loaded and a likely Top 10 team in the preseason polls.
--Departing Rochester Knighthawks coach Rod Baker put up some amazing numbers in his seven season with the team. Here they are courtesy of Bill Flynn:
All-time record 148-36 (.804)…All-time home record 90-11 (.891)…All-time road record 55-25 (.688)…All-time neutral site record (3-0)…All-time regular-season record 130-29 (.818)…(77-9 home; 50-20 road; 3-0 neutral)…All-time playoffs record18-7 (.720); 13-2 home; 5-5 road)…Championship 4 (ABA 2006, PBL 2008, 2009, 2011)…Coach of the Year 3 times (2006, 2008, 2009)…Longest winning streak 16 games (twice)…Longest home winning streak 48 games…Longest road winning streak 12 games…Most points in one game RazorSharks 176, Chicago 96 (3/28/2009).
--U.S. women’s national soccer team update: The next two games on the post-Olympic victory tour are against Germany, Oct. 20 in Bridgeview, Ill., and Oct. 23 in East Hartford, Conn….The U.S. is 23-1-1 and has outscored opponents 100-17 this season…Alex Morgan: 24 games; 24 goals; 15 assists; 63 points; 34 career goals/51 caps…Abby Wambach: 25 games; 21 goals; 8 assists; 50 points; 146 career goals/191 caps…Hope Solo 24 games; 21-1-1 record; 0.68 goals against average; in 127 caps, she has 65 shutouts, including 10 this year.
--Shenise Johnson update: Rush-Henrietta’s three-time All-Greater Rochester girls’ basketball Player of the Year finished her WNBA rookie regular season averaging 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13 record). She played in every game and was 21x51 (.412) from three-point range and 35x41 (.854) from the foul line. San Antonio is in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks (24-10 record). She was the 5th overall pick in the 2012 WNBA draft.