EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 13, 2012

Sports in a minute


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BETTORS POUND PATS

Talk about an impressive win. The New England Patriots, by thumping the Houston Texans, assumed solo favoritism in the NFL to win Super Bowl XLVII, according to Bovada at www.bovada.lv.

Once co-favorites with the Texans at 9-to-2, the Pats tumbled to 3-to-1 on the board this week, all by themselves.

Denver, Houston and San Francisco all share second place in the wagering now at 6-to-1.

Some interesting bets on the Bovada slate this week include:

Will the Atlanta Falcons win a playoff game? Yes! is still a heavy favorite at -160.

If you like this week’s Pats matchup to be the same as the Super Bowl, 10 will get you 75 that the big game will be New England vs. San Francisco.

And Ray Rice fans can know that his over-under for carries this week with Rice and the Ravens hosting Denver is 19.5.

INTERESTING FIRST STEP

Amid all the high school hoop openers this week was one of the more inspirational ones.

The Presentation of Mary Academy boys opened their initial sub-varsity season with a 52-48 win over North Shore Tech on Tuesday.

“The kids played hard and did a great job,” said coach Blane Gann. “You could really see the work they all put into it.”

TIME TO GO BOWLING

Saturday marks the opening of the college bowl season with a doubleheader on the agenda.

At 1 p.m. from Albuquerque, it’s Nevada vs. Arizona at the New Mexico Bowl.

Then, at 4:30 p.m. in Boise, it will be Toledo and Utah State going at in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

In all, 35 bowl games will be played, climaxing with the BCS Championship game from Miami on January 7, 2013.

WEEKEND BEST

The winter athletic season is well under way.

Here’s a handful of events that should hold your interest:

Tonight -- Have to love a couple of boys hoop collisions. Expect the Dunn Gym in Andover to be rocking as usual as David Fazio’s Golden Warriors host Brockton. Also, we get a closer look at a pair of intriguing Merrimack Valley teams when North Andover travels to Haverhill’s Mansfield Gym.

Both games are slated to tip at 7 p.m.

Saturday -- Of course, the gigantic wrestling battle with Tmberlane hosting North Andover at 7 p.m. takes center stage. Get there early, though, as only 800 tickets will be sold.

If the mat madness isn’t your thing, it’s pick a hockey game, any hockey game.

Me, I think I’m partial to eaither Londonderry at Salem at 6:40 p.m. or Methuen playing at North Andover at 8 p.m.

SCORE FOR GREAT CAUSE

Sunday afternoon at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, the Monarchs of the AHL host the Springfield Falcons at 3 p.m.

Fans attending are asked to bring a new or slightly-used stuffed anmial to the game for the annual teddy bear toss.

Fans will toss their stuffed animals onto the ice when the Monarchs score their first goal of the game. The stuffed animals will be collected and given to local children in need this holiday season. Local elementary school choruses will serenade fans during the first intermission as they sing holiday songs.