Eagles-Bengals, Stann-Silva and Kingsbury

Published on Thursday, 12/13/12, at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

–As of early this afternoon, most betting shops had the Bengals favored by 4 or 4.5 with a total of 45. Gamblers can take the Eagles on the money line for a plus-190 payout. If you want to check out my preview of tonight’s NFL game, you can do so at VegasInsider.com.

–Brian Stann will move up from the middleweight division to light heavyweight to face PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva in the main event at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in Japan. In other UFC news, Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald will meet again at UFC 158. Condit handed MacDonald his only career loss in come-from-behind fashion at UFC 115, rallying to earn a KO win with only seven seconds remaining in the third and final round. MacDonald had clearly won the first two rounds and was likely headed to a decision victory.

–Tennessee and Wichita St. will collide tonight in Knoxville in the best game on the college hoops card. Most spots have this game as a pick ’em or the Vols as one-point home favorites. There’s also a nice mid-major matchup with Belmont (-1.5) hosting Middle Tennessee.

–The Falcons are 32-4 straight up at home in games Matt Ryan has started. They are 1 1/2-point home favorites Sunday vs. the G-Men.

–Great hire yesterday by Texas Tech, which brought back former quarterback Kliff Kingsbury to be its next head coach. Kingsbury, the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, replaces Tommy Tuberville, who bolted Lubbock (in the middle of a dinner with recruits) for Cincinnati this past Saturday. Many felt the 33-year-old Kingsbury was too young to be a serious candidate for the SEC openings, and that’s the Red Raiders’ gain. It will be interesting to see who Kevin Sumlin chooses to replace Kingsbury and lead an offense that will have Johnny Freakin’ Football/Heisman for another three years.

–I’m extremely interested to see how the Bret Bielema hire works out at Arkansas. You have to give kudos to AD Jeff Long, who isn’t scared to go after the best in the business. There’s no shame in taking Heisman treatment from the likes of Les Miles and Chris Petersen. Ditto for getting denied by Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, who has done a remarkable job for the Commodores. When Long struck out on those three, TCU’s Gary Patterson and Oklahoma St.’s Mike Gundy, he went after the head coach of the Big Ten champs over the last three seasons. And he got him! Beilema is busy assembling his staff and he made an outstanding hire yesterday by getting former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to run the Hogs’ offense.

–Two SEC running backs announced their intentions of leaving early this week: South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Arkansas’s Knile Davis. Everybody is rooting for Lattimore and I can’t wait to see this kid make a comeback from that gruesome injury.

–Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it GREAT to watch the Lakers struggle? Man, they suck and I LOVE it!

–I’m a proud uncle for a second time with the birth of my niece yesterday on 12/12/12. However, my sister has yet to name her. What’s up with that, Becca? And congrats!

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