The Teaser

January 5, 2023

Congratulations Rondé!

SuperBook Sports host Rondé Barber named finalist for Class of 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame

© Reinhold Matay / USA TODAY NETWORK

The SuperBook Sports Family is proud that our very own Rondé Barber has been named a finalist for the Class of 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame. In his sixth year of eligibility, this is Barber’s third time on the finalist list.

Drafted by the Buccaneers with the 66th pick on the 1997 NFL Draft, Barber, who retired following the 2012 season, combined durability with productivity. Over 16 seasons, he played in 241 regular season games – most notably starting in 215 consecutive regular (224 counting postseason). Barber finished his career with 47 regular season interceptions for 923 return yards and eight touchdowns — all Tampa Bay franchise records. He also totaled 14 defensive and special teams touchdowns (8 INT, 4 FR and 2 on deflected punts). He twice intercepted three passes in a game and six times forced at least two turnovers in a game. Barber is the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks for cornerback and the only player in NFL history with a least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks. He was a three-time All-Pro, selected to five Pro Bowls and is a member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

As a SuperBook Sports personality, Barber has become a mainstay. Catch his take each week on “Betting with Barbers” alongside his brother Tiki and host Ron Kruck.

Kornegay’s Korner: The Great Equalizer

“The spread is the great equalizer,” said Jay Kornegay, easing into a cup of coffee on Monday morning, the first of 2023.

And he wasn’t talking about the cream cheese he was about to put on his bagel, either.

Specifically, he was pontificating on the upcoming national championship game in college football, where TCU will unexpectedly get a shot against mighty Georgia, the team that’s been ranked No. 1 from start to finish. At current, the Bulldogs are a 13-point favorite with the over-under set at a whopping 63.

“The lopsided spread could take away from the handle, but it’s still a national championship,” Kornegay said. “The game will have the main stage to itself, which generates plenty of interest.”

But does a 13-point spread in the year’s biggest college football game generate trepidation or opportunity? Ultimately, that’s for you to decide. Kornegay warns to study what actually took place rather than jumping on the sticker shock of any particular spread.

“I’m sure some will look at Georgia’s nail-biter as a way to lean towards the TCU side,” he said. “If you look at what happened in the TCU game, you’ll see that Michigan was the better team; that’s why we’re seeing a big number for the championship game. Again, the spread is the great equalizer, which will make many hesitate to bet Georgia blindly.”

Where will the line settle by Monday? Outside of any unexpected news, one thing is for certain: The two teams playing won’t change; the only thing that could is our view of the matchup and the great equalizer.

Three Things We Learned This Week

© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Vikings are slumping at the worst-possible time

The NFL regular season is coming to an end and with that comes surprises. Things that have held true all season long are beginning to crumble into uncertainty. The best example of this is the Minnesota Vikings.

They have already clinched a division championship and a spot in the playoffs, cruising most of the season through the NFC North. But now, even at 12-4 with one game to play, it’s hard not to wonder if they are even worthy favorites come Wild Card Weekend?

In their last four games, the Vikings have lost twice, with their latest defeat coming this past weekend at Green Bay, where they were dominated 41-17. The game arguably wasn’t even as close as that score would indicate.

One of their two wins in that span required the largest comeback in NFL history. If not for that victory, Minnesota would really be reeling.

The Vikings have taken a turn for the worst at the most crucial point in the season. That is something to keep an eye on.

Can they resurge? Or are they total frauds?

Time will tell. But right now, they are no sure thing against the Bears in Week 18.

2. The 49ers are red hot and a great value

It’s no question as to who holds the title of “the hottest team in the NFL” right now. It’s the San Francisco 49ers.

At one point this season, the 49ers were 3-4. Now, they hold the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a 12-4 record. That’s a nine-game win streak for those keeping score.

The win streak is one thing, but what’s more impressive is the adversity that they have dealt with along the way. First, Trey Lance went down in Week 2. Then, Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season in Week 13. Not many teams can overcome the loss of one starting quarterback, let alone two.

Flash forward to Week 14, however, and Brock Purdy got his first career start. Through his first four games as an NFL starter, Purdy (aka Mr. Irrelevant) is 4-0 and is on track to make a deep playoff push with his team.

It’s really a testament to Kyle Shanahan’s coaching ability, as well as a nod to how good the surrounding cast is in San Francisco. With players like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle on offense, it’s helps Purdy perform at a high level.

Throw in an outstanding 49ers defense, one that includes Pro Bowl players like Nick Bosa, Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga, and it’s a winning formula. Obviously.

The 49ers are now the second-highest favorites to win the NFC at +230 and +500 to win the Super Bowl. Even at that number, the hottest team in the NFL seems like a great value.

3. Changing of the guard in the NBA

While the NFL hits the stretch run and college football prepares for the national title game, attention will soon turn from football to other sports. Thus, it’s time to play a little catch up.

Foreign-born NBA players are taking over the league. Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic are three of the top-four candidates to win MVP are leading some of the top teams in the East and West.

Jokic and the Nuggets are 24-13 and are atop the Western Conference. Luka and the Mavericks aren’t far behind in fourth, just 2.5 games back of Denver. And in the East, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks sitting in the No. 3 spot at 23-13.

The NBA has long been a sport in which players from overseas can succeed. Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki are both top-25 players of all-time. They paved the way for the type of NBA that we are seeing today.

But 2022 is the first year where it is not only open to foreign-born players but dominated by them. It’s been Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry for as long as most can remember. But now, the tables have turned.

Giannis, Luka and Nikola are the three faces of the NBA. And that’s a very good thing for professional sports as a whole and it’s something we’re going to see for a very long time.

Video of the Week: Another “catch of the year” candidate