The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is finally upon us after years of anticipation, and we're going to look at the United States Men's National Team's clash with England in their second game in Group B to provide you with some soccer picks. It's the eighth time in the last nine World Cup's that the USA […]
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Tom Brady Suspended 4 Games; Sportsbooks Adjust Odds
The NFL didn't waste much time in the wake of the Wells report on the New England Patriots' deflating of footballs before last season's AFC title game against the Colts. That report found it more probable than not that Tom Brady knew what was going on with the balls and the NFL on Monday suspended him for the first four games of the season, although he can appeal. Brady, who was cited for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL, may participate in all offseason, training camp and preseason activities, including preseason games.
Pats Also Hit Hard
In addition, the league fined the Patriots $1 million and the club will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round selection in 2017. If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of these rounds, the earlier selection shall be forfeited. The club may not trade or otherwise encumber these selections. The fine matches the largest the NFL has handed out, to Ed DeBartolo Jr., then the San Francisco 49ers' owner, who pleaded guilty to a felony in his role in a Louisiana gambling scandal in 1999.
Commissioner Roger Goodell authorized the discipline that was imposed by NFL Executive President Troy Vincent, who made it clear that Brady's lack of cooperation with the league's investigation was a factor in the punishment.
"With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots' employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge," Vincent wrote in a letter to Brady. "Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence."
The Garoppolo Era Begins!
So what does this mean for New England assuming the suspension isn't reduced? Last year's second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois is expected get the starting nod. The Pats had opened as 6.5-point favorites for the season opener at home against Pittsburgh but that game is now a pick'em.
In Week 2, the Patriots go to Buffalo. Week 3 the Pats are home against Jacksonville. Then comes the bye week. Brady's last suspended game will be Week 5 at Dallas. I'm thinking a 2-2 record without Brady, with losses to the Steelers and Cowboys. These will be the first games that Brady has missed since he tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Brady's return will draw monster ratings as it's against the team that turned the Patriots in, the Colts, on Sunday night, Oct. 18.
The sportsbooks have yet to repost Patriots win totals for the season. The Pats are now +1000 to win the Super Bowl, behind Seattle (+600), Green Bay (+750) and Indianapolis (+900). New England is still a -200 favorite to win the division with Miami second at +320. Indy and New England are each +400 to win the division.
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