THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
NFL WEEK 1:
PITTSBURGH at NEW ENGLAND
Details/TV: Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 4
SEATTLE at ST. LOUIS
Details/TV: Sunday at 10 a.m.
DETROIT at SAN DIEGO
Details/TV: Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
CINCINNATI at OAKLAND
Details/TV: Sunday at 1:25 p.m.
NEW YORK at DALLAS
Details/TV: Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 4:
How you know it’s NFL season?
When the covers of Rolling Stone and the Sports Illustrated league preview issue are put side by side, and you’re not sure which is which.
When a biography of Rob Gronkowski comes out – published by Derek Jeter.
And when seemingly everyone from Rachel Ray to “Ray Donovan” is making references to whether Tom Brady got the wrong end of a Roger Goodell suspension, and whether the appeals process vindicated him so he can now suit up for the Thursday night opener at home when the Patriots’ championship banner is raised.
This is also the time when we try to gauge which horse to pick in the race to L.A. – should we follow the Rams, Raiders or Chargers? What happened to the Jaguars, Vikings and Panthers? Do the networks start airing those team’s games to Southern California to whet the appetites?
What else to look for – A new female sideline referee. More cameras in the pylons as the TV networks look for better angles of breaking the plane of the goal. Point-after-touchdown kicks move from the 2-yard back to the 15, more games will stream online, and the Vegas odds for the Patriots to repeat may flex by the minute.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
MLB: DODGERS at ANGELS
Details/TV: At Angel Stadium, Monday-Wednesday, Fox Sports West, SportsNet L.A.:
As long as the Dodgers are in the neighbor and won’t get in trouble from some umpire, why not detour into American League territory for these Freeway Series non-exhibitions. The Dodgers’ sweep of the visiting Angels at the start of August included wins posted by Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, and a two-run walk-off homer in the 10th by Andre Ethier in the finale. Greinke and Kershaw draw the first two starts of this series as well. The Angels’ Mike Trout is 5-for-10 lifetime against Greinke and 2-fot-6 against Kershaw, with no homers against either. For the record, since 2005 when the Angels changed their name from “Anaheim” to “Los Angeles,” they’ve won 34 of the 59 regular-season meetings. But the Dodgers have taken eight of the last 11.
Monday’s game is 6 p.m., with Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Also this week: Dodgers at Arizona, Friday-Sunday, SportsNet L.A.
Angels vs. Houston at Angel Stadium, Friday-Sunday, FSW
THE REST OF THE WEEK:
The 135th U.S. Open works its way to the women’s final (Saturday, noon, ESPN) that includes Serena Williams facing sister Venus Williams in the Tuesday quarterfinals, and the men’s final (Sunday, 1 p.m., ESPN) … Floyd Mayweather says his fight Saturday in Vegas against Andre Berto will be his last (pay-per-view, $74.99) … UCLA will also be in Vegas that night, facing UNLV (7:30 p.m., CBS SportsNet) while USC stays home against Idaho (Coliseum, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Net) … Del Mar finishes its summer season, the Galaxy resumes MLS play (Saturday, StubHub Center vs. Montreal), and the Basketball Hall of Fame decides it’s time to induct Lisa Leslie (Friday, 3:30 p.m., NBA TV) … Find more at this link.