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What are the odds?

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the Supreme Court ruling earlier this month  that will pave the way for states besides Nevada to legally bet on Pro and College football, there will be even more scrutiny on the betting lines in 2018.

So, we decided to take a quick Memorial Day Weekend off season look at some of the latest odds on things like win totals and awards. Here goes:

NFL Rookie of the Year- With the NFL Draft recently completed, everyone has their opinions about which top picks will help what teams? And this item lays out the case for the best chance to be the top rookie in pro football in 2018.

It’s interesting that Giants new RB Saquon Barkley gets the nod over the Browns Baker Mayfield at the top the list, but we thought the “darkhorse” pick of the Bucs Ronald Jones at 30-1 and the rationale from Oddshark.com was intriguing:

“The Buccaneers have very little in front of Jones entering the season – with nothing but mediocrity in their current running back depth chart. Jones is a big play waiting to happen, with his slashing style and foot speed making him a dangerous runner. He is a little lean and could wilt under a full NFL workload but he is actually taller and heavier than Jacquizz Rodgers…”

Heisman Trophy- It seems every year that the award is quarterback driven, unless you were Mark Ingram or Derrick Henry at Alabama, and last year was no exception with Mayfield of Oklahoma taking in the honor. However, for 2018, Oddshark had two running backs at the top of these recent odds and also eventually included an FSU runner.

Yes, Cam Akers is in mix at an early 25-1, but clearly players like RB Bryce Love of Stanford, QBs Tua Tagovailoa of Bama and Jake Fromm of Georgia will get more notoriety.

As for winning games?

Vegasinsider.com has the win totals for all of the “Power Five” conferences in this item.  The usual suspects like Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are intially set at 10.5 wins for their under/over total

We are most interested the ACC and in them having Miami at 9.5 wins and the Noles at 8.5 for the line. And, on their SEC list, the Gators are installed with just an under/over of 7 wins.

In the NFL, the Westgate Sportsbook has these early win totals out: The Patriots are on their usual lofty perch with 11 wins, the Eagles and the Steelers are right behind at 10.5 and not shockingly, the Browns are at the bottom with 5.5.

For our state Pro squads:

Jaguars at 9 wins for the under/over total, the Bucs at 6.5 and the Dolphins at 6 wins for the future odds.

And, if you just can’t wait to bet the spread for the opening weekends in college and NFL (even though fall practice and NFL Preseason haven’t happened), Vegas Insider has those also:

Labor Day weekend for college football sees UCF a -21 favorite at AAC opponent, UConn, Miami is -3 favorite in the neutral site showdown with LSU, and Florida State is a -5 favorite on Labor Day night in the ACC opener against Virginia Tech.

USF hosts Elon and the Gators welcome Charleston Southern and those games don’t have lines on them.

And in the NFL, week one: The Jaguars are in New York against the aforementioned Barkely and the Giants and are -3.5, while the Bucs open at NFC South Rival New Orleans and are +7.5 underdogs. Finally, Miami hosts the Titans and are a +2.5 underdog.

Again, it’s not even July 1st, but if you crave the pigskin, you are interested.

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New Jersey authorities charge Janoris Jenkins brother in homicide at his home

Florida Football Insiders

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

It only took a little over 24 hours for authorities in Bergen County, New Jersey to make an arrest in the homicide at the home of New York Giants defensive back Janoris Jenkins. And as it turns out, Jenkins older brother William is being charged aggravated manslaughter in the death of 25-year-old Roosevelt Rene.

Rene, who had been staying at the Jenkins home as a guest and friend of the family, was found by a worker in the basement of the home on Tuesday morning.

The 34 year old older brother, William Jenkins had been taken into custody early Tuesday in New Jersey and was sent to Ontario County, New York on a parole violation. He is in the process of being extradited across the New York/New Jersey state lines to Bergen County to face the manslaughter charge.

On Monday evening the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Rene had been strangled or suffocated to death.

Meanwhile. Janoris Jenkins, who just completed his second season with the Giants after signing as a free agent, is reportedly still in Florida. And, he has yet to comment either himself or through a spokesperson about the death at his home.

Janoris Jenkins was not believed to have been home this weekend as neighbors  reported that he and his girlfriend had gone to Florida two weeks ago after Giants mini-camp at concluded.

The Giants have had no comment other than they are monitoring the situation.

As we wrote on Monday, Jenkins is a former star at Pahokee High School where they won the state championship and was part of the Gators National Championship season of 2008 as a freshman in Gainesville.

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Is there a referee crisis for the NFL?

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the past couple of weeks a story has developed that isn’t getting nearly as much attention as it probably should.

Yes, whether or not Bucs QB Jameis Winston is suspended for at least the first three games of the season is a big deal.

Whether or not Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski are happy or unhappy with the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick is also a big deal.

And yes, whether or not players, like Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, can get new contracts or will be holding out come training camp next month is again, a big deal.

However, we haven’t seen nearly as much coverage on something that is also very significant once the game start being played. There are four former NFL referees from a year ago that have all resigned/retired and that’s a big number all at once.

As is laid out here, with the NBC official announcement Thursday that former referee Terry McAulay will be joining NBC Sunday Night Football in the booth, that means three of them will be in the Network TV booth this fall:

There has already been some eyebrow raising at Triplette going to Monday Night Football as a rules expert for ESPN, but they obviously had a need when Gerry Austin agreed to go join former MNF analyst Jon Gruden in a newly created position with the Raiders.

And as for Steratore, who worked Superbowl 52 last year, he will serve not only in the booth with the Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, but will be used as a college basketball rules analyst this winter for CBS’ hoops coverage. He’s shown above dealing with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll being on the field and flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in their December loss at the Jaguars.

The fourth referee is Ed Hochuli, who is retiring and yet to have a TV role, if there is one for him.

The bigger point is that everyone of these head referees are long time veterans and represent approximately 25-30% of the referees who work weekends in the NFL.

And in the cases of Steratore and McAulay, they are younger than Triplette and Hochuli, and could have conceivably been referees another 10 years or so, had they wanted.

So, why didn’t they want to continue?

Former supervisor of the NFL officials and now Fox TV rules analyst, Mike Pereira, has repeatedly expressed that due to the micromanaging that HD replay reviews have caused, that many of the “rank and file” are disgruntled and discouraged.

And, if several on field officials can follow his lead and end up with a high paying network TV gig, then who can begrudge them?

Still, we at F.F.I. can’t hope but wonder if this kind of turnover with head referees will have some effect with the new ones taking over botching calls or situations come this fall.

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Former Bucs first round pick McCants arrested, again

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The sad tale of former Buccaneers number one pick Keith McCants continues, as early Monday morning he was arrested, yet again, this time in St. Petersburg for drug possession.

McCants, who was taken fourth overall as the Bucs first round pick in 1990, was booked in the Pinellas County jail for felony possession of crack cocaine.

According to jail records, this is the ninth different time that McCants has been arrested on some charge in the Tampa Bay area in the last eight years.

McCants, now 50 years old, never lived up to the billing of being taken in the top five, as he played only three seasons in Tampa Bay,. He battled weight and knee problems and only registered 12 sacks in three seasons. He also played for the Oilers and the Cardinals in subsequent seasons, but was out of the NFL by 1995.

McCants has repeatedly tried to get his life in order, including giving motivational speeches and writing an essay in the Sporting News in 2011 warning younger players about dangers with drugs, etc. and his troubles. 

The former Alabama All American was also featured on the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Broke” in 2012, where he detailed how he had lost all of his $4.5 million dollars from his playing career.

McCants was booked at 4:24 a.m. in the Pinellas County Jail Monday morning and bonded out at $2,000  on the felony charge for drug possession, and also for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

One of McCants previous arrests was for driving with a suspended license in January of this year and he was to have stood trial on July 10th on that charge.

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