We are nearing the best sports month of the year – October – and as we enter the month things look promising for sports fans in Wisconsin. It is just a shame sports bettors must travel to Illinois to place in-person wagers on their favourite teams – and the state is missing the tax revenue.
The Green Bay Packers Shake Off a Bad Start to Lead the Division
After a “throw out the tape” loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Green Bay Packers are back. They pulled off a last-second win against the San Francisco 49ers to move to 2-1 and take the lead in a weak NFC North Division.
“Green Bay Packers huddle” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
As long as the Packers keep winning, talks around Aaron Rodgers and his future in Green Bay will remain muted. If they keep winning in dramatic fashion as they did against the 49ers on Sunday night, the focus will shift to how good the Packers are and whether they can win the Super Bowl.
The Packers should roll through their division and make the playoffs with relative ease. The NFC West – the best division in the NFC – may cannibalize itself – giving the Packers an easier path to another first-round bye. As long as the play calling does not nose drive in the postseason, Rodgers could finally make that second Super Bowl.
Milwaukee Brewers are Going to the Postseason
The Milwaukee Brewers are heading to the MLB Playoffs after winning the NL Central. The Brewers are one of the best teams in baseball this season with a +130-run differential and two Cy Young contenders (Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff) to head their rotation.
The Brewers will finish as the second seed in the National League. That is beneficial for their shot at winning the World Series. The top seed in the National League – likely the San Francisco Giants – will have to play the Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers have the best run differential in the MLB and have the prohibitive favourite to win the NL Cy Young (Max Scherzer). The St. Louis Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball, currently riding a franchise-record 16-game winning streak.
The Brewers get the winner of the NL East in the NLDS – either the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies. Neither team is as good as the Brewers this year. Expect the Brewers in their third NLCS since 2011.
Milwaukee Bucks Start Their Title Defence in less than a Month
The Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship last season – the first title from a Wisconsin team since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011. The team brings back much of the roster that won the title – including their three best players. They open their title defence against the Brooklyn Nets on October 19 – their biggest threat in the Eastern Conference.
“Gordon Hayward and Giannis Antetokounmpo.” by rchdj10 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Can the Bucks defend their title in 2021-22? It is always a challenge to repeat in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are better than they were last year. However, the Bucks have one advantage over those clubs that people do not talk about – they do not deal with distractions.
No one talks about the Bucks players disappearing or showing up out of shape. No one is worried about a disconnect between the stars and their coach if they try for a load management approach. The seas are calm in Milwaukee, which could help the team put together another stellar season and challenge for a second chip.
Other Wisconsin Sports
Troubles in Madison: The Wisconsin Badgers season goes from salvageable to nearing disaster after the collapse against Notre Dame. The Badgers and Fighting Irish entered the fourth quarter tied at ten apiece. They proceeded to collapse in epic fashion, losing to Notre Dame 41-13. Poor quarterback play once again plagues a promising Badgers roster.
Will the MLS ever come to Wisconsin: No league in North America has pursued expansion at such an aggressive rate the last two decades as Major League Soccer. By 2023, the league will have teams in 29 North American cities – more than doubling from 14 teams in 2008. One of the few large cities in the US without a team is Milwaukee. Could they announce Milwaukee as the 30th team to join the league? Who knows.