Peyton Manning strongly denies report he used HGH in 2011

12 Comments

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning strongly denied a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.

In a statement Saturday night, Manning said: “The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never.”

He added, “I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up.”

The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that is set to air Sunday and was shared in advance with the Huffington Post.

The report claims Manning received HGH from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011 while he was still with the Colts. It said the drug, which was banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife, Ashley, so that the quarterback’s name was never attached to the shipments.

Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at the Guyer Institute, the Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic.

However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.

“The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect,” Sly said. “To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those recordings, statements or communications be aired.”

The NFL and players union added human growth hormone testing to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 but the side didn’t agree to testing terms until 2014. Nobody has tested positive, which would trigger a four-game suspension.

Manning, who joined the Broncos in 2012, has been sidelined since Nov. 15 by a left foot injury. Brock Osweiler makes his sixth consecutive start in Manning’s place Monday night when the Broncos (10-4) host the Bengals (11-3).

 

NFL Thanksgiving odds: Cowboys, Lions both betting favorites for Thursday

Leave a comment

The line has shifted well in favor of Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys as they renew their historic NFC East rivalry with the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. The NFC-leading Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites on the NFL point spreads against Washington, with a 51-point total, at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Dallas is 9-1 straight-up and 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games as a favorite of seven points or more, while Washington is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games as a road underdog of 7.5 points or fewer.

Dallas is 9-1 SU and 9-0-1 ATS on the season. Prescott has proven to be a superb decision-maker and should once again get ample rushing support from Ezekiel Elliott and perhaps the NFL’s best offensive line. Washington also allows 4.6 yards per carry, second-worst in the NFL. Tight end Jason Witten also has an excellent matchup.

Washington, which is 6-3-1 SU and 7-3 ATS, will also pit a potent offense against a mid-level Dallas defense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is benefiting from balance in the receiving corps with deep threat DeSean Jackson healthy and able to clear space for WR Pierre Garcon and WR Jamison Crowder.

The total has gone over in 13 of the Redskins’ last 15 games.

Thursday begins with an NFC North first-place showdown, as the Detroit Lions are the 2.5-point favorite against the Minnesota Vikings with a 43-point total. Matthew Stafford and the Lions, who are 6-4 SU and ATS, are the hotter team coming in but have a tough matchup against a Vikings defense that allows the second-fewest yards per pass (6.2).

The Vikings, also 6-4 SU and ATS, are trying to turn around a woeful rushing attack in order to reduce the pressure on QB Sam Bradford. Minnesota is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games as an underdog of 2.5 or fewer points. Five of the teams’ last six games have finished under.

And the likelihood of Andrew Luck (concussion protocol) being unable to play during a short week has cast the Pittsburgh Steelers as the nine-point road favorite on the moving betting line against the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 47 points.

The Steelers and Colts are each 5-5 both SU and ATS. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell, based on form, could have a big night against a Colts defense that has the lowest interception rate in the NFL. Pittsburgh is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 November games, which seems low for a consistent playoff team.

Scott Tolzien, who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass since 2013, is the Colts’ backup QB. The Colts have been consistently churning out yardage and the Steelers defense has yet to find a rhythm, but playing Tolzien would probably hasten using a limited playbook.

The last four Steelers-Colts games have gone over the posted total at the sportsbooks.

Sunday Night Football odds have Patriots favorites over the Seahawks

1 Comment

There is an expectation that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be untouchable in a post-bye week game, but their record against the spread in recent instances might suggest otherwise.

The Patriots are 7.5-point betting favorites against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks with a 49-point total in the Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. New England, due to road games and their bye week, is playing at Gillette Stadium for the first time in four weeks.

The OddsShark NFL Database points out the Patriots are 19-0 straight-up in their last 19 home games after consecutive road games. Interestingly enough, since 2009 New England is 5-2 SU and 2-4-1 against the spread in games following a bye week.

The Patriots are 7-1 SU and ATS, with the lone loss occurring when No. 3 QB Jacoby Brissett was starting during Brady’s Deflategate suspension. Brady, whose team is 9-1 SU and 7-2-1 ATS over their last 10 November home games, should have all hands on deck in the passing phase as slot WR Julian Edelman (foot) and TE Martellus Bennett (ankle) wait for minor ailments to heal.

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman will take away some routes from Brady, but that could leave openings for TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Chris Hogan. The Patriots might have some success going after Seahawks CB Jeremy Lane, who had a short week to get over a rough outing against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.

The Seahawks defense, with DE Cliff Avril and DE Michael Bennett leading the front line, are tougher against the run than against the pass. New England mainly uses RB LeGarrette Blount to try to tire out opposing defenders and slow up the pass rush.

The Seahawks, at 5-2-1 SU and 3-4-1 ATS, are in good position to regain the NFC West title, but this is their biggest test of the season. Wilson, with a great deal of help from WR Doug Baldwin and TE Jimmy Graham, has kept Seattle’s offense functional even though they are third-last in the NFL in rushing.

Being one-dimensional against the Patriots, whose only loss came against the Buffalo Bills (who lead the NFL in yards per rush), is hardly a winning strategy.

New England, with a solid secondary led by FS Devin McCourty and CB Malcolm Butler, emphasizes preventing the deep pass. Wilson, who’s facing a tepid pass rush which has only 13 sacks, should be able to make his progressions and complete underneath routes.

Seattle, which has not been this big of an underdog on the NFL betting lines since 2012, barely ran the ball against Buffalo even though they led throughout the game. They will need some output from RB Christine Michael, since three-and-out possessions against the Patriots are a killer.

The total has gone under in six of the Seahawks’ last eight road games. The total has gone over in five of the Patriots’ last seven home games.