ROCKIN’ ROBIN

By Marc Lawrence — The NHL playoffs open today and with just three games to play in the opening round, no seed is a lock. Anything can happen in such a small number of games, especially with eight of the league’s best teams involved against each other. Here’s how the round robin round should shake out: Boston and St. Louis are your favorites from each conference with both managing a higher probability thanks to the tie-breaker. That actually has a pretty substantial effect on things by the fact that Tampa Bay rates higher than Boston, but the Bruins still finish as the top seed. Ditto with Washington and Philadelphia. For a look at how the top eight teams (four from each conference) shake out, click here.
Trending Today
Apparently its New England head coach Bill Belichick’s contention that the Patriots starting quarterback position is wide open. This after the Pat’s inked Cam Newton to an incentive-laden free agent contract last month. Granted, Newton has ground to make up after missing the team’s virtual offseason program during the coronavirus pandemic. But can you seriously see Belichick naming Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham as the starter to fill Tom Brady’s monster shoes? “That spot is the same as all the other spots on the team. We have a long way to go. We’ll see how things turn out,” Belichick said Friday in his first public remarks since Newton signed with the team. “I can’t control how players perform; that’s up to them. We’ll give everyone an opportunity and see what happens. I don’t know.” That’s coach-speak for saying Hoyer and Stidham stand no chance.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the PLAYBOOK ADVANTAGE for August: .534 is the win percentage of home teams in MLB the last five full seasons back in the days when real fans were in the stands. With cardboard cutouts taking their place in 2020, you have to wonder whether there will even be a home field advantage this season.
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