Seau Had Brain Damage Due to Hits, Doctors Say

 

Independent researchers have concluded that San Diego Charger Junior Seau was suffering from brain damage at the time of his suicide last year.  The researches, unaware it was Seau’s brain being studied, believe he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease typically caused by multiple hits to the head.

Over 30 former NFL players have been diagnosed recently with CTE, a condition once known as “punch drunk” because it affected boxers who had taken multiple blows to the head. The NFL is facing lawsuits from 4,000 retired players over its failure to prevent  these type of brain injuries in players. The NFL denies the claims, saying it did not know about the dangers of concussions from players and is doing everything it can now to protect them.

Gina Seau, Seau’s ex-wife,  said she and her ex-husband expected physical injuries from playing professional football but never thought “you’re putting your brain and your mental health at a greater risk.”  Seau was never formally diagnosed with a concussion but routinely complained of symptoms associated with concussions after receiving hits to the head during games and in practices in 20 seasons in the NFL.

“What was found in Junior Seau’s brain was cellular changes consistent with CTE,” said Dr. Russell Lonser, chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Ohio State University, who led the study of Seau’s brain while he was at NIH.
Patients with CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death, display symptoms “such as impulsivity, forgetfulness, depression, [and] sometimes suicidal ideation,” Lonser said.

Seau shot himself in the chest at his home in Oceanside, California in May 2012,  leaving behind four children.

 

Class Action Lawsuit Against the BC Lottery Allowed to Continue

A class-action lawsuit against the BC Lottery brought by two British Columbian gamblers is allowed to proceed, according to B.C. Surpreme Court Justice John Savage. The two gamblers (Hamidreza Haghdust and Michael Lee) were enrolled in the Lottery’s voluntary self-exclusion program, a program designed to restrict problem gamblers from BC casinos.

Haghdust and Lee won a total of $77,000 in winnings from the lottery but were unable to collect. The lottery confiscates winnings from those in the self exclusion program to deter participants from trying to sneak in to gamble.

Lee and Haghdust claim the Lottery was negligent in failing to keep them out in the first place. They also argue that the prize confiscation policy was not in place at the time they enrolled in the program.  Both signed up in 2006, while the new policy was introduced in April 2009. The Lottery says it advertised and notified patrons of the new rules at that time.

More than 6,000 B.C. residents are enrolled in the voluntary self-exclusion program and participants have been denied entry or removed from casinos more than 36,000 times from 2007-11.

But many banned patrons are believed to gain entry and gamble anyway. Haghdust was caught on several occasions but said he was never clearly told when he was removed that he’d be refused any future winnings if caught again.

A total of 300 jackpot prizes were withheld from ineligible excluded gamblers between 2009 and mid-2012.

Casinos use staff and licence-plate recognition cameras in parking lots to help recognize problem gamblers, resulting in over 4000 gamblers being detected and refused entry into the casinos.

 

Gaming Law Would Allow Interstate Pools for Online Poker

 

The Nevada State Gaming Control Board has introduced a bill in the Nevada General Assembly that will give the governor the power to enter into interstate gaming agreements with other states, giving Nevada the ability to work with other states to offer online gaming without action from the federal government.

The bill removes language in a previous law that outlawed online gaming licenses until the Department of Justiice approves interactive gaming or until a federal law was passed allowing online gaming. The bill will be considered when the Nevada legistlative session begins on February 4th.

Nevada and Delaware have passed laws allowing intrastate online gaming, a possibility that became feasible when the Department of Justice stated that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. States previously believed that all activities that involved money being moved over state lines were illegal.
Nevada is now in the position to be the leader in offering interstate gaming. They are the only state to have passed regulations governing online poker, and have a great deal of experience in regulating gambling activities.
The benefits to multi-state gambling compacts are obvious. Because some states may not have enough players in the state to offer interesting games, gaming compacts will allow those states to pool their players, allowing for the possibility of many more players to be online at one time. It will also allow a set standard of rules and regulations for each state rather than forcing each state to develop it’s own rules.
Significant questions still remain, including which agency will be in charge of regulating the interstate pools. While the Nevada Gaming Commission would seem the logical choice, many states might be hesitent to give that much power to an out of state agency.

Lakers At Houston Highlights Tonight’s NBA Action

Five games are on tap in the NBA tonight, with most eyes focusing on how the Lakers will cope with their injuries. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill will all miss the Lakers/Rockets game tonight. Houston has won its last four games and are 13-6 at home this year, averaging 113.5 points during the streak. James Harden is the key to the Rockets attack; he has scored 25 or more points in 12 straight games. Chandler Parsons is questionable for the game tonight for Houston; he missed Monday’s practice with flu-like symptons. Parsons is averaging 14 points a game this year.

 
In other games:
Brooklyn at Philadelphia: The 76ers are 1.5 point favorites over Brooklyn. The Nets are 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, while the 76ers have covered just three of their last 10 following a loss. The Nets and 76ers have gone under the total in nine of their last 11 meetings in Philadelphia.

 
Miami at Indiana: The Heat are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games. Miami is a two point road favorites, and the total is 187.

 
Phoenix at Milwaukee: The Suns come into tonight’s game as six point underdogs with a total of 199 on the game. Milwaukee will have a new head coach on the sidelines tonight: Scott Skiles is out after four years with the Bucks. Jim Boylan is the interim coach for Milwaukee.

 
Atlanta at Minnesota: Minnesota has covered four of their last five home games against teams with a winning road record. The T’Wolves favored by one point, with a total of 189.

 
NBA injuries:
* Heat forward LeBron James (ankle) is probable.
* Nets forward Kris Humphries (ankle) is questionable tonight.
* T’Wolves forward Kevin Love (hand) is out indefinitely.
* T’Wolves guard Ricky Rubio (back) is probable tonight.
* Lakers center Dwight Howard (shoulder) is out tonight.
* Lakers forward Pau Gasol (concussion) is out tonight.
* Lakers forward Jordan Hill (hip) is out tonight.
* Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (flu) is questionable.

Favorites Go 4-0 But Bookmakers Breathe a Sigh of Relief as Unders Save the Day

 

 

Sportsbooks dodged a bullet this past weekend as favorites went 4-0 against the spread, usually a clear sign that a rough week was in store. However, all four NFL games stayed under, destroying a number of favorite/over parlays (most parlay bettors like to bet that combination) and keeping sportsbooks from losing their shirts.

 
“We would have been in trouble had both the Packers/Vikings game and Indianapolis/Baltimore game gone over,” said one Las Vegas bookmaker. “It wasn’t a good weekend for us, but it could have been a lot worse.”

 
Books received heavy action on Seattle in the late Sunday game, and early on it looked good. The Redskins, plus three at kickoff after opening pick-em in most places, jumped to a 14-0 lead and seemingly had the game under control. The Seattle defense, however, shut down RGIII and Washington to score 24 unanswered points and win 24-14, their first road playoff win since beating the Dolphins in 1984.

 
In the other Sunday game, Baltimore received the majority of action as well. The Ravens were bet as high as eight point favorites against Indianapolis after opening -6, and won easily 24-9. While books did lose overall on the side, they did win the under in the game. Most punters bet the over, plus there was a very substantial number of bettors who took the Ravens/over in parlays.

 
Sportsbooks will likely be looking at a repeat of last weekend’s action as the NFL’s class teams all play their first playoff games this year. “It’s going to be all Denver/over parlays and New England/over parlays this weekend,” said the Las Vegas bookmaker. The Broncos opened up as 9.5 point favorites over Baltimore, with New England opening up as 9 point favorites over Houston.

Sports Betting: Fiesta Bowl Roundup

 

Six weeks ago, both Kansas St. and Oregon were looking at playing each other in the national title game. Both teams went down on Black Saturday, November 17, leaving Alabama and Notre Dame fighting for the title. This game, however, remains one of the more interesting matchups in the bowl season. Oregon opened up as nine point favorites with a total of 73.5.

Kansas St. has some history to fight tonight. The Wildcats have lost four consecutive bowl games dating back to the 2002 Holiday Bowl during coach Bill Snyder’s first stint at the school. Klein is a run/throw threat  with 2,490 yards and 15 passing touchdowns to go with 890 yards and 22 scores on the ground. Junior John Hubert is his top back, rushing for 15 touchdowns to go with a team-leading 892 rushing yards.  Kansas State gives up only 99.3 rushing yards per game and boasts big-time talent in senior middle linebacker Arthur Brown,  junior free safety Ty Zimmerman, and senior defensive end Meshak Williams. Senior cornerback Allen Chapman and senior cornerback Nigel Malone also have five interceptions apiece.

The Ducks are likely playing their final game under coach Chip Kelly as rumors swirl that he is headed to the NFL. Kelly has three NFL interviews lined up for Friday. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota runs Kelly’s progressive system, completing 69.9 percent of his passes for 2,511 yards and 30 touchdowns. Defensive end Dion Jordan is the leader of the defense with 10.5 tackles for losses. Taylor Hart has a team high eight sacks while cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has developed into a huge playmaker.

Sharp players seem to be on Kansas St. Handicapper Bob Balfe says this about the Wildcats: “they will come into this game more focused with a coach who has been in this for many decades going against a coach that could be in the NFL in 24 hours. Kansas State has the best turnover margin in all of College Football. They also have the best punt and kick return numbers and they control the clock which is huge when limiting Oregon’s possessions. This is a very good run defense and Oregon will be without one of their top lineman tonight due to academics”

The public, however, is backing Oregon. 68% of all bets made are on the Ducks, although the Kansas St. sharp money has dropped the line down to 7.5

TRENDS:

* Oregon is 2-5 ATS in their last seven non-conference games.
* Kansas St. is 0-4 ATS in their last four bowl games.
* Under is 5-2 in Ducks’ last seven bowl games.
* Over is 5-2 in Kansas St.’s last seven non-conference games.