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South Carolina at the Swamp - The Game Guide

Hello Friends,
Over in the Fg Discord this season we have put together a game guide each week where each day we look a little deeper into the upcoming matchup. It begins with a short recap of the prior game and moves forward from there. If you are not yet in the discord, please join us! We'd love to have you. We have daily discussions on recruiting, analysis, and most of the time we just hang out and chat Florida Gators.
Discord Invite Link
Without further ado, the Game Guide. Let us know what you think and if you have any ideas or feedback, we'd love to hear it. Special thanks to Chitowngator and Eric-UF for their contributions this week.
Week 1 Recap
Week 4 of Football, Week 1 of SEC play had the Gators kicking off against Ole Miss in the Grove. Your Florida Gators took care of business with a final score of 51-35. Coming into the game Oddsshark, had the line for this game at -13.5, with an estimated scoreline of Florida 41.5 - 23.6 Ole Miss. Turns out that was pretty close, although if you bet on the "over" you'd be a definite winner. This game was nearly a shootout due to "lack of availability" for the Gators on defense for several key players, including an early game ejection of starting safety Shawn Davis. Other notable absences were Stewart and Campbell. Ole Miss came out quick early and Lane Kiffin showed he had a few tricks up his sleeve. Even these tricks were no match for the dueling Kyles of the Gators, who lit up Ole Miss like a Christmas candle. Don't you love fall? The Gators were never in any real danger, however, and played multiple freshmen throughout the game, getting valuable experience on key targets such as Bogle, Whittemore, and more.
The Gators were rewarded for their effort Sunday by a #3 ranking in both the AP and Coaches Poll, seeing Georgia and Oklahoma fall in the poll.
Stat leaders were as follows:
Passing: Kyle Trask - 30/42 - 416 Yards - 9.9 AVG - 6:0 TD:Int - 93.4 QBR Rushing: Kadarius Toney - 2 Carries for 55 Yards - 27.5 AVG - Long of 50, Dameon Pierce - 9 Carries for 54 Yards - 6.0 AVG., Malik Davis - 7 Carries for 49 Yards - 7.0 AVG.
Note: On throws 20+ yards downfield, Kyle Trask went 4 for 5, 126 Yards, and 4 TDs. It was an explosive night for anyone named "Kyle".
Defensively, here's some stats of note:
Ventrell Miller - 15 Tackles (13 solo), 1 Sack, 2 TFL Brenton Cox - 8 Tackles (4 solo), 1 Sack, 2.5 TFL 1 Interception - Gervon Dexter - Forced by Brenton Cox
Team Stats:
3rd Down Efficiency - UF: 6 for 10. Ole Miss: 9 for 14 (0-1 on 4th Down) Penalties - 4 for 40 yards. Time of Possession - 33:29 UF to 26:31 Ole Miss Total Yards: UF - 642, Ole Miss - 613 Total Rushing: 29 Carries for 196 Yards - Good for 6.8 Yards per Rushing Total Passing: 31 for 45 for 446 Yards - Good for 9.9 Yards per Pass.
The FG Discord Mod team has selected a few players from the game as their "Player of the Game". They are as follows:
Zlat: To avoid spoiling the podcast, this selection has been redacted, and will be updated at podcast release Stev: Offensively, my pick has to be Trask. It was always going to be Trask or Pitts but they are two sides of the same coin. Does one have as much success without the other? Defensively, I have to go with Cox. He played up to the expectation of the #1 Jersey to me and my pick reflects it as such. Chitown: "Defense - Ventrell Miller was a dominating force and added a sack as well. He helped anchor down a few of our bigger defensive stops. Most improved player - KT. Seemed to have dedicated himself to learning routes and looked much more complete than his previous plays. Can actually play a vital role in the offense instead of being used in gadget-type plays." Toph:To avoid spoiling the podcast, this selection has been redacted, and will be updated at podcast release
Matchup Preview
This week, the Gators host South Carolina who are coming off a defeat to Tennesee 31-27. Tennessee almost blew a 2-TD lead but Gamecocks weren't able to close it out. Will South Carolina have a rebound, or a slump?
Some stats of note
South Carolina is dealing with a QB situation, much like other teams in the SEC.. They started Colin Hill, a journeyman Senior who was pedestrian at best. He put up a statline of 25 for 39, 290 Yards - 7.4 AVG 1:1 TD-Int ratio and a QBR of 51.1 His rushing stats were far less impressive due to 4 sacks given up.
On the receiving end, though, Senior Shi Smith had himself a night with 10 receptions for 140 yards and a TD. He could have a similar game to Elijah Moore if the UF DB's don't figure out the gameplan quickly.
South Carolina struggled heavily to run the ball against the Tennesee DL. The team only put up 89 rushing yards with a 2.5 AVG and a long of 13. They were able, however, to punch it in from close twice for 2 TDs.
The matchup has opened as high as -22.5 Florida on some sites but has settled down to -19.5 according to Oddsshark. What are your key things to look for in this game? I would watch the Defensive adjustments to see how they handle a lesser offense. There's a good chance Ole Miss was the best offense we'll face all season. Will the younger DBs pickup the scheme? Will we stunt more on the DL?
There's no doubt the offense will continue to fly high and have success with the attention Kyle Pitts commands. What are your predictions? Personally, I'm guessing 41-17.
Today's write-up on players to watch provided by chitowngator USCjr Names to Watch Out For
Offense
QB - Collin Hill (Grad Transfer)* Stephen Garcia Collin Hill is a graduate transfer that arrived at USCjr from Colorado State, following over the Cocks' new Offensive Coordinator, Mike Bobo. Beating out last year's starter, Ryan Hilinski, Hill previously was the starter at CSU, before getting injured 3 games into the 2019 campaign with his 3rd ACL tear. Against Tennessee, he threw for 290 yards with a 64% completion rate, tacking on a touchdown and a tipped pass that resulted in a pick-six.
Look for Hill to stretch the defense North/South and attack the middle of the field, especially after the tape we put against Ole Miss. Against Rocky Top, Hill had 5 completions over 20 yards, including 3 to Shi Smith.
WR - Shi Smith (Senior
To say Shi Smith was USCjr's offense on Saturday is an understatement. Smith caught 13 of the 25 total completed passes for a whopping 140 yards, including a 29 yard touchdown.
After losing Bryan Edwards to the NFL, Smith is the only returning receiver at South Carolina with any meaningful offensive production (43 receptions, 489 yards). Look for Mike Bobo to use Smith's breakaway speed to beat Florida over the top, like Exhibit A(Fade route, man-to-man coverage), Exhibit B(skinny post into double coverage), and Exhibit C(post route)
RB - Kevin Harris (Sophomore)
Following the departures of seniors Rico Dowdle and Tavien Feaster, Harris is stepping in to replace the highly-touted freshman RB Marshawn Lloyd, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in late August. Harris is a physical runner who won't hesitate to try and bowl over an opponent. Harris received the majority of the carries against Tennessee, rushing for 55 yards on 13 carries, and adding a touchdown.
You can also expect to see additional carries split between Deshaun Fenwick and Zaquandre White, as this running back by committee approach combined for 26 of USC's 31 rushing attempts, amassing 105 yards in the process.
Defense
CB - Israel Mukuamu (Junior)
Mukuamu's breakout moment came last year in USCjr's victory over UGA, where he picked off Jake Fromm 3 times, including this beauty of a pick-six, where Mukuamu made Fromm look like the giant baby that he really is.
Last weekend, Mukuamu experienced a groin injury, forcing him out of the game in the second half against Tennessee. While South Carolina returns a relatively experienced secondary in Jaycee Horn (CB, Jr), RJ Roderick (S, Jr), and Jammie Robinson (CB, So, 2019 SEC All-Freshman), they lack depth as corner Cam Smith (RS-Fr) replaced him.
DT - Kingsley (JJ) Enagbare (Junior)
Enagbare was easily the defensive player of the game against Tennessee. In the contest, he had 9 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, including 2 sacks and a forced fumble. As he worked more snaps than any of USC's other defensive tackles, expect him to step up to take the place of 1st round draft pick, Javon Kinlaw. Here's a video of him putting the lockdown on GuantanamoBay last weekend to force the Vols to punt.
You can also expect contributions from Keir Thomas (DT, RS-Sr), Aaron Sterling(DE, Sr), as well as highly ranked 5* underclassmen Zacch Pickens (DT, So), and Jordan Burch (DE, Fr).
Talent/Position Group Comparison
Thanks to our friend Eric-UF, we've gotten a talent comparison (as seen on the sub in prior seasons) of the upcoming matchup for South Carolina. Today, we'll just look at one position group vs. one poisition group. As a recap, the talent ratings are adjusted to account for experience from a freshmen to senior level. The Raw ratings are not.
As many saw and have debated about in length since last week's game, our defense struggled a bit against the Ole Miss up-tempo offense and a scrambling QB. The good news is Collin Hill shouldn't be running on us like Corral did. The bad news is that he's not a terrible quarterback. He's no Drew Lock, though. He's pretty pedestrian but he does have the experience, as he's a senior and has been in college football long enough to be average.
As seen here
Our DBs are at an adjusted 0.861 talent level compared to a 0.908 raw, which means we are very young in the defensive back field. South Carolina's receivers are boasting a 0.901 raw, 0.841 adjusted. Just like us, they have talent receivers who just need a bit more time in college football. We spoke earlier about Shi Smith - He's the dangerous one.
This comes out to be a Draw, or if nothing else a very slight Florida edge for the Florida DB's. This should be a fantastic learning experience against an SEC opponent for our young backfield.
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How to start betting in a cricket match

How to start betting in a cricket match
Cricket is one of the most lovable games in the world. Every year ICC holds hundreds of matches between these countries in different formats such as ODI, Test, and T20’s. It becomes a matter of pride for all the cricketing countries to perform their best and win. But the truth is that it’s not just the players who are playing the match and want to win, but there are several other thousands of people playing off the field, and that is called betting.
You are betting with the help of online cricket predictions and tips from the tipsters or the gurus of cricket generated by analyzing several factors, records, data, history, conditions, pitch, and other variables. To start betting, you need to have enough knowledge of the game’s previous records, stats, and playing condition, etc. otherwise, you may lose the bet.
But, you have shortcuts now, there are many cricket betting prediction websites available over the internet for a new person to start their betting journeys such as predict88.com, playclues.com, and many more. With these websites, it becomes easy for them to bet over a cricket match using their tips and predictions published over the site.

Cricket Betting Tips
Steps to start betting in a cricket match
● Look for the best cricket prediction website over the internet.
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How to trust over a website and their tips
It is notably correct that there are several websites available over the internet, but how to select the best one and trust your money on them is a big question for a new person. You can judge a cricket match prediction site by checking the transparency of their offer and fair predictions, what factors are they considering to predict relating to toss results, players, batting order, match fields, and weather. How many years of experience they have and what expert thinking they used to break down game data into easy-to-understand match predictions and tips. A cricket prediction expert is highly experienced in analyzing statistics about games, players, and tournaments to give fair match predictions and tips. They offer the best cricket match predictions by taking an unbiased approach that puts aside human emotion and feelings in favor of the raw data.
Is it risky to bet using online cricket prediction
Almost every bettor in the world is now using a prediction website to ensure his winning in a match. Whether it is football, basketball or cricket, or any other popular game, people bet using a prediction site. And it is not at all risky since the chances of winning have risen from 50-50 opportunities to 90-10 % winning chances, and that is more than enough to build confidence that there are only 10 % chances that it will backfire; otherwise, it's a win-win situation all along.
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I Read It So You Don't Have To: Secrets of the Southern Belle (by Phaedra Parks)

I hope the past few days have been restful and rejuvenating for you all, but -- as I'm sure you must have learned by this point -- the journey to personal betterment is an eternal endeavor. We haven't got a moment to waste, so let's bid adieu to the sunny serenity of the California coast and settle in down South with Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks, as she descends from her ivory porch swing and illuminates the esoteric in Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment.
True to the title's descriptive and straightforward sentiments, Phaedra begins the book with a concise synthesis of the worldview she hopes to present:
I believe every woman should be a Southern Belle or minimally aspire to being more ladylike, charming, and intelligent, because we should all be treated well.
As she continues, we get our first glimpse of the deep well of compassion that underlies Phaedra's mission to improve the lives of those around her.
Honestly, I sometimes feel sorry for women of northern persuasion. There they are rushing around in their baggy, drab clothes, doing everything for themselves and looking like they just rolled out of bed. They don't seem to understand there's a better way.
Thankfully, I no longer have to count myself among that witless horde. I feel like, until this fateful moment, I have been living like one of those people from the black-and-white "before" footage of an infomercial -- haphazardly bumbling through the most menial of daily tasks with no way of knowing how much brighter my world could be. Phaedra has freed me from Plato's Cave, and I have no choice but to follow her instruction and strive to shape myself in her image.
A true Southern Belle is known -- first and foremost -- for her fundamental kindness and compassion towards others, so it is only appropriate that the book's first section is succinctly titled, "Be Nice." However, even this simple directive has been trampled by the corrupting influence of the modern world. As Phaedra laments,
Unfortunately, as we see more migration from other parts of the world, we also see an increase of poor manners and rude behavior.
She elaborates, providing specific examples of the personal injuries incurred as a result of these unmannered interlopers.
I find it particularly odd in business, when the salespeople or tellers don't speak or thank you for your patronage. Don't they realize that without customers they would not have a job?
I, too, find it offensive when minimum-wage workers have the nerve to act like actual human beings rather than automatons at the mercy of my personal whims, and I appreciate that Phaedra is bold enough to ask the question that has undoubtedly been on the tip of our collective tongue. Yet somehow, she still remains humble enough to freely admit where she has room to learn; here, she lets the reader in on "something I've never quite understood about non-southerners:"
They're suspicious of basic southern warmth because they're worried it's insincere. But at the same time, they will tell you the most inappropriate things! They tell you stuff about their health that you don't want to know. They launch into crazy stories about their terrible childhoods and how misunderstood they are. They complain about what happened long ago, and they fret openly about the future. Then they tell you what they paid for things and you want to crawl under the table.
Frankly, that's not very attractive.
What is attractive, then, you may ask? Effusive compliments, for one thing -- "I don't know why some people are so concerned with being sincere, when being nice is so much more effective." We also learn to "never contradict anyone, even if you know they are wrong." Phaedra illustrates this particular lesson with the following example:
If someone tells you that your taxes are due on April 30 instead of April 15, you look puzzled and say, "Goodness, I had no idea. Did they change the date?"
And what happens after that? Either the person says yes and you're forced to play along with whatever bizarre delusion and/or power-play your companion is currently indulging, or they say no and you say -- what? "Right, of course, I knew that the whole time!" Or, "Gotcha! It's April 15th, you incompetent fraud!" Or maybe, "I don't even know what taxes are -- money is for menfolk!" I just can't imagine any of those scenarios playing out with less discomfort than a simple correction, but after four years living in New England, I can only assume that's just northern negativity clouding my vision.
We are next presented with a list of "compliments that come in handy," a few of which I've transcribed below for immediate incorporation into your own phrasal repertoire.
What an interesting way to think about it. (Good for a point on which you disagree with someone.)

You thought of every little detail; I love a meticulous lady!

Wow! That is so original. I would never have put it together like that. (In this South this might mean, "I hate it," but in a polite way.)
Boss Babe is out -- Meticulous Lady is in! Phaedra reminds us to keep health concerns -- "especially female issues" -- far from polite conversation, then shifts gears to a much-needed lesson in verbal comportment. It's not just their "attractive regional accents" that distinguish Southern Belles from their less-attractive northern counterparts; they also devote great attention to evoking grace through their cadence and tone.
Sometimes northern women can sound awfully abrupt. It's just a habit they have, poor things.
If you'd like to take your place amongst esteemed gentility, however, I urge you to change your ways! For one thing, when speaking, "slip in something affectionate so that a very harsh reality doesn't come across as rude or abrupt." For example, see how much unpleasant confrontation is avoided with the following turn of phrase:
Darling, don't you know you're too smart and pretty to be the town drunk?
Silly girl, haven't you heard? Addiction is for ugly people! You should also feel free to use these compliments liberally throughout conversation -- "You don't have to mean it, you know." As an example:
If you can tell that someone has put a lot of effort into a particular aspect of her outfit, just draw attention to it. Sparkly stars-and-stripes high heels could be terribly tacky, but you bet they're supposed to be noticed, so go ahead and do it. "Those are certainly patriotic shoes!"
Let me take a crack at it -- This book certainly has a lot of words in it! Writing a book is such an impressive achievement -- I'm sure it feels so rewarding to finally see it In print! And I love the way you occasionally use infinity signs as bullet points -- it's so evocative! I think I'm getting the hang of this!
"Another southern difference?" As Phaedra informs us, "we try not to make direct requests. It just sounds so forward and frankly unpleasant if someone comes right out and says what they want from you." Phaedra's Starbucks barista must really despise her -- If it isn't too much trouble, could I bother you for something to drink? No, anything's fine -- I wouldn't want to impose.
Almost like a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the next passage introduces us to the nuanced connotations that pervade a true Belle's vocabulary. For example, Phaedra tells the reader that "if I tell someone 'Goodness, you must have spent all day on your hair. I am so impressed!' it really means I hate it." Before I manage to convey how impressed I am by the book before me, I read on to learn that "when you're discussing a homely girl, you generally say, 'She's so smart!' The general thought is you can't be both ugly and dumb. God wouldn't be that cruel." Please excuse me while I take a few hours to re-analyze every compliment I've ever been given in my entire life.
Now that that's done, here are a few more translations to help you decipher the Belles in your life.
Belle-Speak: She's a nurse-in-training.
Unvarnished Truth: She dates only old men.

Belle-Speak: She's a butter face.
Unvarnished Truth: Everything looks good but her face.

Belle-Speak: Hope he's got money.
Unvarnished Truth: He's unattractive and pays for affection.
The second one is not even really a euphemism so much as Phaedra trying to demonstrate her knowledge of hip modern slang, but I digress. We transition into advice for conversation starters -- "don't throw them complicated or controversial subjects like politics, animal rights, or local zoning." Truly, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached at a party with an opener about municipal ordinances, and it just kills the mood like nothing else. Worried about how you'll ever find something to talk about under these restrictions?
Don't worry about sounding interesting. "Interesting" is an overrated notion. Just fill the empty air.
That…explains a lot, actually.
Our next lesson is in reference to dinner parties -- "don't make a fuss, unless you're complimenting the cook." In case you're confused as to how this guidance should be interpreted, Phaedra clarifies with some examples -- "'Is there meat in here? I'm a vegetarian' is the wrong kind of fuss." Since I typically ask this question while flailing my arms wildly and making intermittent whooping noises, I completely understand how it could be disruptive amongst refined company. Although I'm starting to get a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep track of these seemingly countless rules, Phaedra's next assurance puts my mind at ease: "If all else fails, remember the secret weapon of the Southern Belle is delicate helplessness."
In the next passage, we learn that, "if there's any characteristic that defines a Southern Belle, it's her habit of firing off little notes on any occasion." Just as with verbal compliments, these notes require little to no basis in factual reality -- "obviously it's perfectly all right to exaggerate." But while truthfulness is more or less dispensable, your choice of writing implement could have grave repercussions. As Phaedra exhorts, "Never, ever write a letter in pencil. You might as well not bother at all." Within the realm of pens, however, "blue and black are perfectly acceptable, even if they do lack panache."
We return once again to the topic of appropriate subjects for conversation, and are cautioned against asking anyone their age. Of course, wild speculation is encouraged, "as long as you're out of earshot." In the next tip, Phaedra declares: "Don't discuss the cost of anything. Any discussion of cost is just in poor taste." I just can't help picture how much of a nightmare this woman must be at a fast-food drive-through. Our final instruction?
Don't discuss hair color. Men always pretend they don't dye their hair, so you just have to go with it.
At first glance, this seems reasonable enough, especially in the context of the social graces espoused by the book so far. However, Phaedra's attempt at further explanation quickly begins to careen off-course.
For women, it's a little bit more complicated because you have the question of whether the drapes match the carpet, so to speak. And I do know some who dye the carpet to match -- that was the big thing in high school. Now with all this weird waxing, you don't have to do as much dyeing, but that's another thing you don't talk about either!
Let's see if I've got this straight: I should always believe a man about his purported hair color no matter what, but if a woman tries to lie about hers, she'll get caught…because I will inevitably be forced to confront the realities of her pubic hair? An intimate partner, sure, but I just can't imagine this situation arises with enough frequency to merit even the few lines its given in this text. And honestly, at this point, I don't even think I want to know what Phaedra means by "weird waxing."
This section of the book concludes with a final catalog of "the 'She did what?' mistakes." The list starts off strong with "wearing white to another woman's wedding." However, by the time we end on the most unimaginable of atrocities -- "drinking beer from a bottle" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this list was actually supposed to have been titled "things the sexy homewrecker does in a bro-country music video."
The following section is titled, "Work Hard," and I am immediately inspired to do exactly so by the implicit challenge thrown down in Phaedra's opening lines, in which she coquettishly asks, "Who always delivers a presentation on time, with the printed materials perfectly written and proofread?" I'm usually quite good at taming my most pedantic impulses, but contrarian passions I never knew I had are foaming at the mouth to find an upcoming typo and self-righteously call her bluff. Although perhaps I should find a more feminine way to phrase that; as Phaedra cautions, "we don't like to think of ourselves as driven, because that sounds so neurotic and unpleasant."
We next learn that "you cannot be a Southern Belle unless you understand what it is to be ladylike." But unfortunately, it is all too easy to be caught up in the ways of the world and lose sight of this primary calling.
A lot of women today enjoy being the feisty, brassy, foul-mouthed kind of gal who drinks with men and shows a lot of flesh. They think it's cool.
Phaedra continues and reflects that, "I've heard the argument that this is progress, from the feminist point of view, but I don't necessarily agree." I can never remember -- which wave of feminism was the one with all the feisty gals? But clearly, their agenda has gone too far! How, in contrast, does a delicate Southern Belle behave?
She looks as if she's heard of sex, probably has had sex, but has no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings.
I'm not sure exactly how to convey this highly specific sentiment in any other way than purchasing a t-shirt custom-printed with the phrase, "I have heard of sex, have probably had sex, but have no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings," so I hope that approach will suffice for now. Phaedra follows up by cautioning us that,
A lady never puts in the shop window what isn't for sale.
Personally, I like to think of myself as more of a museum than a gift shop, but to each their own! We next learn more about the delicate balance a Southern Belle must achieve in order to maintain her esteemed position. For example, while "she doesn't cuss and doesn't talk dirty," frigidity is similarly unbecoming -- "if somebody tells a good dirty joke in her vicinity, she'll laugh." I'm barely a third of the way through this book, and I'm already exhausted at the prospect of having to remember all of these hyper-specific edicts. It's no surprise that the Southern Belle has to remain consistently vigilant; as Phaedra intones, "coming from a Pentecostal family, I hate to see a woman down more than two drinks." It seems to me like the simplest way to avoid such emotional turmoil would be to simply refrain from compulsively tallying the beverage intake of strangers, but I soon learn there are far more perilous hazards lurking around every corner. Phaedra shares her personal strategy for avoiding the very implication of incivility in the following excerpt:
I don't ever go to the bar at a party; I think that just looks terrible. If I must have a glass of wine or crave a fruity adult libation, I'll ask a nearby man to procure it for me.
Sir! Procure me a fruity adult libation -- tout de suite! But I would hate to diminish the male gender by implying that they're only good for the acquisition of potables; no -- men can be leveraged in an increasingly broad array of day-to-day tasks. As Phaedra shares:
I have friends who have never in their lives pumped gas for their own cars. They will ask a complete stranger to do it for them. One of my besties from New Orleans will flag down a man, give him her credit card, and have him pump and pay for her gas.
Honestly, I can't help but wonder if this might actually be some kind of avantgarde performance art, in the tradition of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0. Because the idea that this gambit has never gone horribly, horribly awry truly strains credulity. As I read on, however, I learn that my current train of thinking is sorely misguided.
Sometimes when I'm at a grocery store the fellow bagging the groceries will ask if he can take them out to my car. Why would you say no to this? But sometimes women do. And I look at them and sigh and think, "Poor thing. She has a lot to learn."
Thankfully for my personal development, the next chapter — titled "A Crash Course in Being (Selectively) Helpless" — promises exactly the sort of content that I so desperately need to understand. As Phaedra explains, a Southern Belle is "never intimidating, because some things she just can't do on her own." She goes on to offer concrete examples of how to incorporate this ethos into your life on beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.
Experts: assume help will arrive. Flat tire? Pull over to the curb, and don't sweat it. Can't figure out which wrench to buy at Home Depot? Or how to program your DVR? This is what former boyfriends and other gentlemen are for. Believe me, the age of chivalry is not dead.
Rent due? Don't sweat it -- a gallant gentleman likely already has a check in the mail. House burning to the ground around you? You should know a Belle doesn't walk down the hallway on her own two feet! Bear attack? I'm sure a male bear is just around the corner, ready to jump in and defend your honor!
Without a hint of irony, we transition to Phaedra's advice for the workplace. We learn that the quintessential gentlewoman is savvy, competent, and always at the top of her game. For instance, at her workplace, "she figures out how to work the coffee machine and the copy machine." With that kind of go-getting attitude, the Southern Belle will be bound for the C-suite in no time! Provided, of course,
She never does that thing I hear of in the North sometimes of telling you how little she paid for something. Why would you brag about bargains?
I can't hear the phrase that thing I hear of in the North in anything other than the voice of Tinsley's mother, Dale. Except she would probably use it in reference to something like "giving compliments to your daughter" or "weight gain." Regardless, a more appropriate question at this juncture might be, "Are you sure this book was proofread quite as judiciously as you claimed?" As I scan the page, my eyes happen upon the line:
10 percent for tithing, if your religion encourages tithing, which mines [sic] does.
Of course, it would be entirely uncouth for me to brag about my typographical superiority in this context, so now seems as good a time as any to exercise some of my newly acquired techniques. Oh, Phaedra -- bless her heart! I suppose we can't all be detail-oriented, can we? It must be nice to be so casual and carefree when you express yourself!
Without further ado, however, we move along to our next lesson -- "People don't know when you're hungry, because they can't hear your stomach growling, but they definitely know when you're homeless." To be honest, the more I think about this statement , the less sense it makes to me (people…can hear your stomach growling?). Luckily, with the jam-packed schedule of a Southern Belle, I simply don't have time to dwell on the issue for a moment longer!
Our next tutorial? "If you have one fabulous pair of shoes, you will wear them to church. It is the very least you can do for Jesus." As we all know, Jesus appreciates sweet kicks, so he loves nothing more than to see you rock the newest styles when you drop by on Sunday. And besides -- the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! Phaedra summarizes the Southern Belle's can-do attitude with the line: "We all may not be sitting around big ugly Formica boardroom tables, but we get things done." As someone who has only ever attended meetings held around moderately sized tables, I find this to be a validating sentiment.
When it comes to extracurricular pursuits, "beauty pageants are important." However, "as much as she loves performing, the Belle will not take to the stage: some of those theater people are just too peculiar, bless their hearts." Honestly, Phaedra and I come down on the same side on this one. But I will have to heartily disagree with her next passage -- with respect to traditions of stepping within Black Greek Life -- in which she states,
The traditionally white organizations don't have anything comparable.
Um, excuse me? Have you never seen this iconic video?! However, Phaedra does reassure us that she's far from ignorant in the ways of the world. As she states, "I have read about hookup culture and known a few easy women." Of course, easy men don't exist -- or at least, that's what I've read in all the most prominent textbooks regarding hookup culture. But don't mistake Phaedra's awareness for acceptance -- "that doesn't mean I like any of it." However, this sentiment is belied just a few paragraphs later, when our author recalls:
I offended the mother of one of my best friends once by booking some exotic entertainment at this friend's birthday party. My friend loved the anatomically exceptional dancer, but her mother was livid.
I'm sure that it was only your friend who loved the "anatomically exceptional" dancer, and I assume this must have been one of your aforementioned token "easy" friends, besides. A Southern Belle, in contrast, is interested in serious, long-term relationships. And for this purpose, "it would be much better to marry a young man that you can train. I have always said that I would rather be a babysitter than a geriatric nurse." Yet even these kinds of discrepancies seem trivial in comparison to the boundless passions of eternal love. As Phaedra shares,
I want Apollo and me to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, so I try to overlook momentary annoyances.
That aged well. Bless her heart.
We're soon treated to a cheeky list of "what her husband doesn't know," which echoes several key themes from earlier in the book -- most notably in its bizarre fixation with pubic grooming.
He doesn't know what her true hair color is, because the curtains always match the carpet.

He doesn't know how often she waxes, or exactly what waxing entails.

He doesn't know that she has her own credit card, her own savings account, and a safe-deposit box.
I've got to say, that last one hits just a little bit different with hindsight. Always timely, however, are Phaedra's views on the importance of the homemaking arts. In this evocative passage, she describes the primal horror of an encounter with a woman tainted by an unimaginable curse:
A nice lady from another part of the country recently confessed to me that she doesn't know how to do any crafts. In fact, she said, she gets all nervous and antsy in crafts stores, because they're so full of things she doesn't understand. I laughed like I thought she was joking, but really, I felt bad for her. Imagine not knowing how to make all those cute objects that brighten up lives in the South! I shudder to think what the inside of her house looks like!
With that fable still ringing in my ears, we transition to the next section of the book: "Look Pretty." Phaedra reflects, "I am always shocked when I leave the South and encounter the enormous number of women who don't seem to understand how their clothes should fit." Now feels like an appropriate time to draw attention to the book's back cover, in which an open-mouthed Phaedra swivels her torso in such a way as to create a bulging protuberance across one half of her chest. In awe of her commitment to inclusivity, I now realize this could only have been an intentional choice to make herself seem more approachable to us northern oafs, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Phaedra goes on to inform us that, "personally, I prefer skirts and dresses over pants." However, although "high-waisted pants and pants with visible hem cuffs are quite elegant and ladylike," one should take care never to forget that "minimalism and menswear looks are just puzzling and not appealing to a Belle." I, too, must admit that I find menswear looks puzzling -- a girl? in boy clothes? I just can't make heads or tails of it! And this is far from the only contemporary fad that baffles the true Southern Belle. As Phaedra continues:
I've never understood the appeal of the natural look. It's so easy to improve your appearance; why wouldn't you take advantage of the many beauty aids available to you?
In a frankly unexpected dig against the ceramic arts, Phaedra notes that "unless you are a professional potter (and I don't think Southern Belles generally are), your nails need to be clean and filed." More generally, your physical proportions should remain mild and inobtrusive:
Ever since voluminous behinds became fashionable, I often see these lumpy, huge derrieres on women with legs as thin as a chicken's, and I think God would never put a rump roast on toothpicks, so why did you do that?
That's why I always caution my friends to pair their butt implants with a battery of leg implants, in order to really round out the overall contour of the body and mimic that structurally stable, God-given look. After all, as Phaedra quips: "'Knowledge is power' -- that's my motto." But this knowledge doesn’t come without a price; being as world-wise as Phaedra often requires direct confrontation with the atrocities of today's world. As she recounts, for example: "I was astonished to find out that not every woman possesses a lint roller." It's truly a tragedy to learn how the other half lives!
We are next informed that, "you have to have your ears pierced, but only one hole in each ear." The consequences for an infraction of this critical edict are left unvoiced, from which I can only assume that they are swift and merciless. Any self-respecting Southern Belle has a taste for the finer things in life, and Phaedra is no exception. As she remarks:
I love diamonds; I'd have a diamond duvet if I could afford it.
Because I am less fiscally endowed, I have had to settle for stuffing my duvet with assorted Swarovski crystals, at least for the time being. However, I'm eager to upgrade -- I can only imagine that the extra hardness of the diamonds will add a satisfying acupuncture affect to my nighttime regimen!
Phaedra moves on to fashion advice, and cautions the well-heeled Belle to remain conservative in her fashion choices. But don't worry -- there is a time and a place to let loose and express your more artistic side. Or, as Phaedra says, "something a little funky or ethnic may even be appropriate from time to time." To further illustrate this principle, she explains: "If I were going out West, for example, I might wear some turquoise bracelets."
But some things are a bridge too far! Any woman with a modicum of dignity would know never to be caught dead in "polar fleece," "a naughty-nurse costume," or "footed pajamas." We are also encouraged to carry around a hand fan -- "the elegant way to stay cool" -- as well as a "small leather-bound notebook for jotting down inspirations." I lose my train of thought for a moment, caught up in a daydream about the ingenious wonderings that must be contained within Phaedra's hallowed journal. But I'm brought back to reality by a declaration of "what's not in my purse," beginning with the stern pronouncement: "any kind of contraband substance."
Our pilgrimage to polite society continues with a comprehensive exploration of the monogram's social gravitas. As Phaedra intones, "I've even seen cars with a very discreet monogram on the driver's door." But with light must come darkness, and the next chapter bravely confronts an issue many others would fear to face: "Looking Like a Tramp" ("There, I came right out and said it," Phaedra breathlessly gasps below the harsh text of the passage's title). She gathers herself together and courageously reports, "some women look downright sleazy."
Alas -- even more tragically -- couture catastrophes are not restricted to those of legal majority. Phaedra heroically pulls back the curtain on a nationwide epidemic of wardrobe misconduct being perpetrated against society's most vulnerable:
I saw a picture not long ago of some hippies or hipsters or whatever you call them from some remote city. The parents looked the way you'd expect them to look, a little bit bedraggled, but the worst thing was they had this adorable little baby all done up in a black onesie. And as far as I could tell, it wasn't even Halloween!
How to combat this terrifying trend? Phaedra offers words of wisdom: "Little Southern Belles always look sweet and appropriately girlish." Specifically, we are encouraged to incorporate design elements like "tasteful, conservative rickrack." By way of further explanation, she clarifies that, "what they don't do is dress like Lady Gaga in dresses made of butchers' best cuts of beef." I'm disappointed to learn that my idea for an Etsy store selling bespoke meat-based children's clothing might be a nonstarter, but I suppose I appreciate our author giving it to me straight.
Another childcare commandment?
No costumes outside the house. Of course every little girl loves to play dress-up. But I truly dislike seeing Snow White or a fairy princess trailing along behind her mother at the Piggly Wiggly.
As she sits in her living room, most likely waiting for a man to come to her aid for some reason or another, Phaedra is struck by a sharp, blazing pain. As the flash of blinding torment subsides, she catches her breath and shakes her head wearily -- another costumed child has gone into a grocery store. Forgive their guardians, for they know not the harm their actions have caused to our author's delicate and genteel sensibilities.
But it does us no good to dwell on the darker side of life! Rather, we'll move right along into the book's final section, "Have Fun." However, this does not seem to be exactly the same kind of "fun" colloquially mentioned in mainstream circles. Rather, the Southern Belle defines fun with the principle, "everybody needs to know that you made an effort." For example, "if you're pouring punch into paper cups for a gaggle of seven-year-olds, put a spring of mint in it." My previous experiences in the general vicinity of children lead me to believe that at least 75% of the seven-year-olds in this group would respond to this elegant enhancement by dumping the punch out on the ground because it has a gross plant in it. Maybe that's part of the fun?
No analysis of Southern culture would be complete without a discussion of that most hallowed of pastimes -- college football. And although "only a really unusual woman watches football alone," it is imperative that a Southern Belle attend the social events associated with the on-season. What's more, she should take care to do with impeccable style. As Phaedra laments:
Sometimes I see pictures of women in store-bought football jerseys and I feel sorry. A store-bought jersey does nothing to flatter the feminine body.
As for the game itself, minimal understanding is required -- "Naturally a Belle knows how much men enjoy telling her things, so she isn't shy about asking questions." True to her generous spirit, however, Phaedra nevertheless provides a basic primer in the rudiments of the sport:
Basically each team is trying to get the ball through the tall H-shaped goalposts at the end of the field. […] The problem is that the ball can look awfully little from pretty much anywhere in the stands. There's no shame in watching the video replay to see what really just happened.
As a final tip, Phaedra suggests that "belles whose husbands have season tickets might even invest in matching linens and china." Our next unit of instruction concerns the arrival of a newborn bundle of joy; as we learn, "the birth of a baby is a big deal in a southern family." It's so interesting to learn all of these unique cultural details! I don't know if I've ever heard of another culture that places such importance on birth -- I'd love to get an anthropologist's take! There are also strict guidelines to which one must adhere regarding the naming of a debutante-in-training:
A Southern Belle's name:
-- is obviously feminine.
-- is two syllables or more (names like Ann or Joan seem abrupt, like so many Yankees).
-- is a real name, not a geographic feature like Sierra.
-- means something. Preferably something nice.
Once born and appropriately christened, children should be painstakingly shielded from the contaminating influences of the world at large. Phaedra explains that "pop culture is full of children behaving disrespectfully." Without the slightest suggestion of self-reflection, she goes on to declare that "besides, we think TV characters are basically tacky."
Phaedra reiterates a few of the courtship commandments mentioned previously, most concisely in the adage, "Belles don't date losers." And, as any suitor worth his salt should know, "a date with a Belle is no time for a boy to experiment with 'alternative' clothes or grooming either." Instead, a Southern Gentleman takes care to keep his language clean from distasteful or offensive language -- "For instance, why say 'liquor' when you can say 'adult refreshment'?"
As we near the end of the book, it seems only fitting that we take a few pages to cover the traditions and rituals associated with life coming to a close. Buttressed by her extensive knowledge of mortuary science, Phaedra instructs us:
Postmortem is no time to experiment with cosmetics. No one wants their sweet aunt Gertrude looking like some ashy Jezebel when she meets Jesus.
The passage concludes with the brassy observation, "we don't usually cremate in the South; we figure if we wanted to burn we'd just live recklessly and go to hell."
Before the book closes in earnest, Phaedra shares a few of her special, meticulously developed recipes. The most evocative of her culinary optimizations is a recipe for sweet tea, in which she thoughtfully informs us, "sweetness can be personalized by adding more water or ice to the tea."
The book's final pages contain an instrument designed to measure the effect of the preceding 252 pages on one's essential courtesies, charmingly titled "The Belle-O-Meter Quiz." As Phaedra explains:
So, ladies, how are you doing? I'm sure you've all been very attentive to my suggestions and are amazed by the results. You're probably totally used to a steady diet of compliments and flirtation and invitations. But here's a little quiz in case you feel the need to measure how far you've come.
If you'd like to take the full quiz, you can do so here. But if your busy Belle schedule doesn't permit you to devote that much time to something so self-indulgent, a few example questions are provided below:
Your routine greeting when you meet a new person is:
a. A surly glare.
b. "Hi."
c. "Well, hello! How are you today?"

If your gentleman friend brought you a corsage to wear on a date you would:
a. Put it in the refrigerator. Nobody wears corsages nowadays!
b. Pin it to your coat collar and check your coat.
c. Pin it in an unusual spot like your waist or behind your ear, after extracting one little blossom to put in his lapel.
The answer key informs us that answering mostly C's means that "you are a genuine Southern Belle." As Phaedra goes on to suggest, "maybe it's time to share your new skills with a friend and pass along this book. I hope it's been helpful to you." As a book hoarder of the highest order, I will have to skip that suggestion, but I am nevertheless thankful to move one step closer to self-actualization with the help of another Real Housewife. Until next time!
Upcoming plans in comment below!
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Will the Minnesota Vikings win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

The 2019 season had mitigated success for the Vikings. They secured the #6 seed in the NFC before pulling a huge upset win in overtime in New Orleans. The offense completely stalled the following week in San Francisco, though.

The franchise has not gone through a losing season in five years. Head coach Mike Zimmer has really done a good job.

Can the team take a forward leap and make it further into the playoffs? The team has not made it to the Super Bowl since 1976.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Kirk Cousins has received more criticism than praise since signing a huge contract with the Vikings a couple of years ago. Yet, the team posted an 18-13-1 record and Cousins has thrown 56 TD passes versus 16 interceptions. His completion rate has been excellent over those two years: 69.7% (among the best of his career).

The reprimand concerned more the lack of playoff wins than the level of play itself. He cleared a hurdle by leading his team to a big playoff upset in New Orleans last season, thanks to a 4-year TD pass to Kyle Rudolph in overtime.

However, he followed it up with a horrific performance in San Francisco. Don’t be misled by his 21-of-29 passes completed during the game. Minnesota flirted with the postseason record for fewest first downs in a game; they only got 7 and totaled 147 yards of offense.

Still, based on PFF grades, 2019 was Cousins’ best career season. He ranked as the #6 QB in the league with an 84.1 mark.

Sean Mannion will once again back up Cousins. He’s clearly not the best #2 quarterback in the league. Cousins has been extremely durable throughout his career, and the Vikes hope it stays that way.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

In my 2019 NFC North preview, I mentioned how I believed Dalvin Cook was one of the most underrated players in the league. He had only rushed for 354 and 615 yards in his first two seasons, but he had passed my eye test. I knew that, barring injuries, he would breakout as one of the top backs in the league.

He did enjoy a nice 2020 season with 1,135 rushing yards and 519 receiving yards, while racking up 13 touchdowns.

Two things raise some concerns about him, though. First, his lengthy injury history. He seems to get nicked up often.

Secondly, his play tailed off quite a bit towards the end of the season. During the first eight games of the season, he rushed 156 times for 823 yards, which was good for a lofty 5.3 average. However, over his final six meetings (including the playoffs) he carried the ball 84 times for 256 yards, a meager 3.0 average.

After being selected in the 3rd round of the draft out of Boise State, Alexander Mattison showed promise in his first year as a pro. He had 100 rushing attempts for 462 yards, a nice 4.6 yards-per-carry average. It will be interesting to see if he can carry the load if Cook goes down.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

The Vikings had one of the most talented WR duo in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. They caught 113 and 102 passes, respectively, during the 2018 season. Those figures regressed to 30 and 63 last year. Thielen only played 10 games, but he was still on pace for just 48 receptions.

What was the problem? In 2018, Minnesota had the 6th-highest number of passing attempts. In 2019, that rank dropped to 30th !

That being said, the team traded Diggs to Buffalo. He expressed frustration with Cousins and they didn’t seem to be on the same page.

In order to compensate for that loss, GM Rick Spielman signed Tajae Sharpe, formerly of the Titans. He will fight for the #2 role opposite Thielen. The former fifth-rounder posted decent numbers in his first three years in the league. He used to be a starter, but his playing time got cut after Tennessee drafted A.J. Brown and signed Adam Humphries. Sharpe seems to be destined to be a #2 or #3 receiver in the NFL.

The team also has high hopes for first-round rookie Justin Jefferson. He was very productive at LSU and he ranked second in 15+ yard receptions over the last two seasons (only Jerry Jeudy beat him). He wasn’t spectacular as an outside target, but he had a monster season playing in the slot last year. He’s great with contested catches and has a good shot to become an immediate starter.

Bisi Johnson took advantage of Chad Beebe’s injury to grab the number three role last year. The 7th round rookie posted a 31-294-3 stat line, which was “okay”, but he seems like a long shot to become a true starter.

The team finally pulled the plug on the failed Laquon Treadwell experiment. He’s been nothing short of a disappointment since being the #23 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He signed a contract with the Falcons in the offseason.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Kyle Rudolph – Irv Smith combo is very solid.

Both guys played all 16 games with Rudolph recording slightly better numbers. He hauled in 39 passes for 367 yards and 6 TDs, while Smith’s numbers were 36-311-2.

Rudolph made some highlight reel catches, his most important one being the game-winning TD catch in overtime in New Orleans. Smith is expected to expand his role in the offense with one year of experience under his belt and Diggs off the team. He showed very nice potential despite the Vikings relying very often on the running game.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

This unit allowed the sixth-fewest sacks in the league, but that wasn’t necessarily a great accomplishment given the offense ran the ball so often.

Overall, this is an average, or slightly above-average, offensive line. Here is a rundown of each starter’s PFF rankings:

Bradbury and O’Neill were the youngest guys as first- and second-year players. It’s worth noting that O’Neill definitely improved the quality of his play from year one to year two.

Riley Reiff was a candidate for release considering his big contract, which is not in sync with his on-field performance. He’s clearly not among the top left tackles in the league.

After an atrocious 2018 season, Pat Elflein did better last year. He is in his mid-twenties and should remain an adequate starter (albeit, not a great one).

Josh Kline was let go by the Vikings, possibly because of cap reasons and the fact he was now on the wrong side of 30. Still, this is a bit of a surprising move given the team’s lack of depth.

2019 fourth-round pick Dru Samia or career journeyman Dakota Dozier will be fighting for Kline’s spot.

The Vikings selected a late riser in the second round of this year’s draft: Ezra Cleveland. He played over 95% of the snaps in three years with Boise State. He is mobile and very athletic. He seems like Riley Reiff’s heir apparent (who seems likely to be released next offseason).

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The starting lineup remains fairly intact with 9-of-11 starters returning.

The QB, RB and TE positions should provide similar production in 2020.

The WR position took a hit with the loss of Stefon Diggs, a very dangerous playmaker. He was among the best in contested catches. Acquiring a borderline starter like Tajae Sharpe won’t be enough to replace him. Let’s hope rookie Justin Jefferson can have an impact right away.

On the offensive line, Bradbury and O’Neill may take a leap given their young age. However, Josh Kline leaving the team is hardly good news.

Accordingly, I expect Minnesota’s offense to fall a little bit.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski left the team to take over as Cleveland’s head coach, but the system will remain the same under new OC Gary Kubiak. The latter oversaw the offense from the coaches box last year, so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.

Last year, the Vikings offense scored the eight-most points in the league, and I predict this year’s ranking to lie between the 10th and 16th spot.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The best interior defender for the Vikings was clearly Linval Joseph. Unfortunately, the cash-strapped Vikings had to release him.

A few days later, Minnesota signed Michael Pierce. The former Raven performed at a very similar level as Joseph, but he is four years younger. The run-stuffing nose tackle’s acquisition has to be viewed as a bit of a positive for the Vikings defense.

The other guys seeing time on the interior of the defensive line aren’t very good. Both Shamar Stephen and Jaleel Johnson finished way below-average according to the PFF grading system.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

The Vikings had one of the most fearsome DE duo with Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. They racked up 14.5 and 8 sacks, respectively.

Casual fans probably know who Danielle Hunter is. But they don’t realize how good he is; he doesn’t get enough credit, possibly due to playing in a smaller market.

If you look at the numbers, he’s been a beast. Did you know he became the youngest player in NFL history to reach the 50-sack mark? He picked up 14.5 sacks in each of the past two years, and he has averaged 10.9 over his five-year career. The former LSU player was a steal in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft!

Everson Griffen is getting older at 32 years old. At the time of writing, he has yet to sign with a team. He is very likely to find a suitor, but all signs point towards him leaving Minnesota. That will leave a void for sure.

Griffen has averaged 8.8 sacks during the last eight seasons. He has spent his entire 10-year career with the Vikings and has missed very few games. He’s a true warrior.

So, who will take Griffen’s spot? Stephen Weatherly was a key reserve for the team last year, but he left for Carolina. Is Ifeadi Odenigbo ready to pick up the slack? He came out of nowhere to record seven sacks last year!

After being chosen in the 7th round of the 2017 draft, Odenigbo barely played any snaps in his first two seasons. I seriously doubt he can be the long-term answer and I believe last year’s seven sacks were an outlier.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Eric Kendricks had one of the most improbable seasons last year. His PFF marks had varied between 59 and 69 since entering the league five years ago. Then, he earned a jaw-dropping 90.1 grade in 2019, which put him as the second-best linebacker in the entire league. He didn’t do much as a pass rusher, but he was great defending the run and covering people.

Anthony Barr had a subpar year and finished as a below-average LB according to ProFootballFocus. He’s been a steady producer, but his grades have been all over the place during his six-year career. He received his second-lowest mark in 2019.

Eric Wilson has been a reserve player since joining the league in 2017. He’ll likely have a similar role in the upcoming season. He did show adequate skills last year.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Wow, a lot of shuffling has taken place with Minnesota’s secondary during the offseason.

Both 2019 starters, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, are gone to other teams. And their primary slot corner, Mackensie Alexander, also signed with another squad. Ouch.

Waynes never played at the level of a #11 overall pick, but he yielded steady play during his five-year stint with the Vikings. His PFF grades have been very consistent year-over-year, and he repeatedly finished slightly above-average among all CBs. He’s the guy the team will miss the most.

Let’s face the reality: Xavier Rhodes was one of the worst corners in the league last year. His play took a big hit in 2018, and things got even worse in 2019. He really needed a chance of scenery; perhaps joining the Colts will rejuvenate his career.

As for Mackensie Alexander, I feel like the team should have tried harder to keep him. His first two seasons were difficult after getting drafted in the 2nd round out of Clemson, but his last couple of years were much more promising. He could have rendered some valuable services to a team that had just lost its two starters.

The door is now wide open for 2018 first-rounder Mike Hughes. The jury is still out on whether he can assume a starting role in the NFL, but I guess we’ll find out very soon.

The Vikings decided to address the glaring hole at the position by selecting Jeff Gladney with the 31st overall pick in this year’s draft. Gladney is a sound tackler and a good blitzer too.

He was a four-year starter out of TCU, where he was one of just two players with at least 15 passes defended in each of the past two years. However, he has a lengthy injury history.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Harrison Smith is a perennial All-Pro safety. He’s been racking up tackles and interceptions throughout his eight-year tenure in the NFL. Averaging close to 3 picks per season over such a long span is impressive.

Talk about defying the odds. Anthony Harris went undrafted five years ago. Fast-forward to today, and he’s received 89.0 and 91.1 grades from PFF the last two seasons. He finished as the top safety in the NFL out of 87 qualifiers.

In other words, the Vikings may have the best safety duo in the NFL. The only bad news is they lost depth when both Andrew Sendejo and Jayron Kearse left via free agency.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Replacing Linval Joseph with Michael Pierce is a small gain for this Vikings defense, in my opinion. That’s about it for the good news for this unit.

Stud pass rusher Everson Griffen seems destined to leave the team, and one of their main backups, Stephen Weatherly signed with the Panthers.

At linebacker, I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but Kendricks is very unlikely to match his 2019 performance. He had been an average LB for four years; I doubt the switch suddenly went on and that he will keep being a top 5 linebacker in the NFL.

Last year’s top three CBs are gone, as well as two backups at the safety position. As of now, the team hasn’t signed any free agent to replace them. This is not a surprise, considering the bad cap situation the team is in. They drafted a few guys, including Jeff Gladney late in the first round, but their impact remains to be seen.

Many new faces on defense, plus a drop in talent invariably equals a big downgrade. The team allowed the fifth-fewest points in the league last year; they’ll be lucky if they finish above-average in 2020.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Big downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

I'll answer this question via two different methods.

4.1 Professor MJ's Prediction

I won't go into the mathematical details, but here is a summary of my own personal pick (based on my analysis above and my estimated spreads for the Vikings' 16 games):

OVER 8.5 WINS

UNDER 8.5 WINS

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins

4.2 Based on BetOnline's Point Spreads

Here is the methodology I used here:

Here are the results:

OVER 8.5 WINS

UNDER 8.5 WINS

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Vikings’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

Tomorrow I'll preview the Dallas Cowboys!

Professor MJ
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4 Best Tips on Online Football Betting

4 Best Tips on Online Football Betting
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Gambling is fun and profitable as long as you do it in moderation. It is not for everyone though. If you have a knack for guessing and assessing the right team, like sports betting football betting is your cue.
Football is a popular sport with fans around the world, which is why it offers great betting opportunity. Today, football betting has become big things and people bet on their favorite teams and players and get the money. Whether it's your first time or your bets ever, choose the best betting sites will help you get the maximum benefit. Betting online is easy, convenient and affordable.

Here are Some of The Best Tips on Betting Online:

1. Know Sports Inside Out
Whether it's football or any other sport, you have to know everything about it. Right from how the team played, the rules and how much they win, you have to have a talent for spotting a winner. That is how you are going to bet on the right team and win. You can also go online and find the best prediction of bets to help you make the right decision.
2. Choose the Best Betting Sites
Choosing the right betting site is important to get the best results. There are many betting sites which promise to offer lucrative deals. Do not fall for this bidding blindly. Make sure you analyze the site and see that it is authentic and does not offer what the ad. Betting site is also one of the best ways to bet online. So, it is important that you choose the right website to place your bets.
3. Mighty Team Do not Always Win
In a football game you never know which team will win for sure. There is always some uncertainty. You need to keep this in mind when you bet on teams and players. You must have a keen instinct and skill to analyze to find an opportunity when you see one. It is one of the best tips on online betting on football matches. There are many examples in history where great players and the team has lost to the underdog. So make sure you bet on the right potential than the current favorite.

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4. Think Small No Big
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submitted by hridoyahmed9 to YoucanWrite [link] [comments]

My favorite Day 2 Targets

Day 2 Targets

Hey everyone, these are my favorite day 2 targets. All notes on players are from Daniel Jermiah
I expect Carolina to continue to target defense with the main focus being on the DBs and possibly edge rushers.

Ross Blacklock, DT

I know I know, we just took a DT.
Confirmed meeting prior to draft
Blacklock is a dynamic interior defensive lineman. As a pass rusher, he launches out of his four-point stance and his bull rush is ferocious. He creates immediate knock-back. He is ultra-twitchy. He flashes a long-arm move where he can jolt, separate and finish. As a run defender, he successfully stacks and sheds single blocks, but he needs to improve his awareness and effectiveness versus double teams, where he gets washed down the line. He does have some durability concerns, but his skill set is special. Overall, Blacklock comes with some risk, but he's worth it. He has the potential to develop into a top-flight interior pass rusher.

Xavier McKinney, S

McKinney was an instinctive safety for the Tide and he also spent some time playing nickel linebacker. When aligned deep, he is fluid in his movement and he's quick to key/read and drive on the football. His range is excellent. While he can effectively locate the ball, he will occasionally lose a 50/50 battle down the field. He is a dependable wrap/drag tackler. He has a very good feel as a blitzer, displaying timing and burst. Overall, McKinney is an intelligent, versatile defender and he should be very effective in multiple roles.

A.J. Epenesa, Edge

Can never have to many edge rushres
Epenesa is a skilled pass rusher with outstanding size, strength and effort. He has average get-off quickness, but he boasts strong hands, can flip his hips and is a reliable finisher. He has a variety of hand techniques, including a violent club move, swipe move and a push/pull move. He also will flash a long-arm move with his inside arm. He has a great feel when an OT is leaning outside, which creates an opening for his up-and-under inside-counter move. Against the run, he can hold the point of attack easily. His effort on the back side is outstanding, but he lacks the burst to make a ton of plays from distance. Overall, Epenesa has a very high floor as a prospect. He should be a consistent 8-to-10-sack performer at the very least.

Tee Higgins, WR

I know our receiver corps is loaded at the moment but Tee Higgins is just so good. He's arguably as good as Lamb.
Higgins is a tall, long and rangy wideout with elite high-point skills. He uses a quick foot fire to defeat press coverage. He is a smooth, long-striding route runner. He is at his best when on the move: slants, posts and go routes. He lacks snap at the top of his route when working back downhill. He has incredible ball skills down the field. He can elevate and also adjust to the back-shoulder ball. After the catch, he is very smooth and slippery. Overall, Higgins isn't going to do a lot of the dirty work in the middle of the field, but he's very effective on the outside and provides big-play ability.

Jaylon Johnson, CB

Johnson offers an enticing size/speed combination for the position. He plays a lot of press-bail technique, but also flashes a firm two-hand jam. He is very fluid to open up and has plenty of long speed to carry vertical routes. He also excels when he slides inside to cover the slot. He was rarely challenged down the field in the games I studied. His ball production was outstanding in 2018 and opposing teams chose to avoid him last fall. He is very aggressive versus the run. He closes quickly before coming to balance and delivering firm tackles. Overall, Johnson is very talented and should be a Day 1 starter outside with the potential to cover in the slot as well.

Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge

Another edge rusher
Gross-Matos was a tall, long edge rusher for the Nittany Lions. He will stand up on the edge or launch out of his four-point stance. He is a very productive pass rusher. He doesn't have an elite get-off, but he has very active hands and an array of moves. He has a quick swipe move, inside spin and he can also bend/wrap at the top of his rush. I'd like to see him develop more power, but he still has a lot to work with. He is very effective on loops and games. He does need to improve versus the run, as he sometimes plays too high and gets uprooted. Overall, Gross-Matos offers double-digit sack potential, but he does need to add strength at the next level.

Marlon Davidson, Edge

Again, edge rushers....
Davidson has average height and a thick/square build. He typically lined up at defensive end for the Tigers, but also possesses the ability to slide inside. As a pass rusher, he is devastating when he has a runway. He generates a lot of power in his bull rush and has an array of hand moves he can incorporate on the move. He doesn't have an elite get-off, but he wins in the ways just mentioned. He destroys tight ends with his strength and power combination. Against the run, he uses his length to stack blocks, and his effort to pursue is outstanding. Overall, Davidson has some inside/outside flexibility and his production should carry over to the next level.

Zack Baun, LB

Baun is a slightly undersized outside linebacker with excellent athleticism and versatility. He spends a lot of time playing over tight ends and gets the best of them in the run and pass games. As a rusher, he has a good initial burst and can really bend at the top of his rush. He has a nifty inside counter move and he can get skinny before closing on the quarterback. He mixes in a stuttebull rush, but usually stalls out after generating some push. He is very athletic as a dropper in coverage. He is very good as a back-side run defender because of his burst and effort. Teams will differ on where to play him at the next level. He reminds me of former USC LB Uchenna Nwosu, someone whose versatility the Chargers have tapped into. I'd do the same with Baun.

Grant Delpit, S

Delpit is a tall, fast free safety who also possesses the ability to play in the slot. From the deep middle, he trusts his eyes and explodes to the ball, whether run or pass. He has outstanding range and I trust his ball skills. His numbers dropped this past season, but that was the result of some nagging injuries. He is fluid and smooth when lined up in the slot. He is aggressive as a force defender, but he has too many fly-by missed tackles. Everyone at the school raves about his leadership and intangibles. Overall, Delpit needs to clean up some tackling issues, but he has Pro Bowl potential at free safety.

Kristian Fulton, CB

Fulton has good size for the position and he's very fluid, smart and competitive. In press coverage, he switches up his technique. He's primarily patient, but he'll occasionally land a quick two-hand jam. He lacks elite top speed and he's had some issues timing his leap on jump balls down the field. From off coverage, he's very aware and shows some pop out of his plant/drive. He is very aggressive in run support. He fights through blocks and is very reliable in space. Overall, Fulton has some flaws, but I'll bet on his intangibles and toughness.

Jeremy Chinn, LB

Chinn is a fun player to study. He lined up all over the field in SIU's scheme. He has an outstanding blend of size, speed and instincts. He is at his best when he's in the box as a down safety/nickel linebacker. He has tremendous range to make plays sideline to sideline. He can locate and play the ball naturally (see: the high-point INT vs. UMass). He does have a little tightness when he's in space, but he recovers quickly. He is a very firm/reliable tackler. Overall, I believe Chinn is ideally suited to play WLB at the next level. He is exactly what teams are looking for in today's NFL.

Antoine Winfield Jr., S

Winfield is an undersized safety prospect with outstanding instincts and ball skills. His movement skills are very smooth and easy from the back end. He does a nice job playing over the top. He keeps everything in front of him, collecting a bunch of picks on tips and overthrows. He also spends a lot of time covering in the slot. He has enough speed to carry vertical routes down the field and he is also an excellent blitzer. As a tackler, he usually comes to balance, settles his feet and wraps up. Overall, there is some concern due to size and durability (missed time in 2017 and 2018 due to injury), but Winfield is a playmaker from the deep middle and his ability to match up in the slot is a bonus.

Trevon Diggs, CB

Diggs has elite size, athleticism and ball skills. (He also played wide receiver and returned kicks during his career at Alabama.) He uses an effective one-hand jam in press before opening up and staying on the hip. He's fluid for such a big cornerback. It's important for him to stay in phase with the wideout because he lacks elite recovery speed. From off coverage, he reads through the wide receiver to the quarterback and has a good feel for jumping routes and making plays. His ball skills are outstanding -- as you'd expect, considering his brother is Stefon Diggs. He does need to improve as a tackler in space. Overall, Diggs has some room to develop, but he will excite teams looking for a big cornerback to match up with guys like Mike Evans and Courtland Sutton.
submitted by The__Brofessor to panthers [link] [comments]

[SF] Something something immortal guy. Working title

Hey guys. Wrote this while bored at work. Feel free to shit all over it lol. Go for the classic criticism sandwich. Yes my formatting is HOT garbage. Hope you enjoy.
The last thing you think of when you become immortal is the end. In your newfound perspective the end ceases to be a consideration. When people think about being immortal they tend to only think ahead to around the time they would have naturally died. The end you never think of is the end of the world. I gained my immortality in 1944. Now here I am 374 years later floating amongst the remains of earth. Our home. Obliterated by a planetoid larger than our moon. You couldn't imagine the chaos. The fear. Our people with all our technology, and power thought ourselves the rulers of all creation. Yet even with all that we were no more powerful than the dinosaurs before us to prevent our destruction. Even as an immortal I wasn't immune to the fear. The worst part was how long we knew it was coming. A long range satellite telescope caught a random glimpse of it moving through the stars. The first few weeks after its discovery were a mad dash by governments to keep it quiet while they tried to stop it. Every attempt failed, and then they went public two weeks before impact. There was a lot of rioting. Some people just didn't do anything. They just shut down. I didn't know if I'd survive or not, so I did my best to try to comfort those around me. A few days before impact we could all see it coming. Looming over all of us in the sky getting closer by the minute. In a last ditch effort the nations of the world came together and launched every nuclear missile we had at our disposal. What we watched that day in the skies above the earth I doubt will ever be replicated on any world. When that failed to even slow it down everything stopped. People stopped rioting, looting, and fighting. It seemed almost at once that entire world resigned itself to its fate, and gave up. Then it was just over. It made ground just off Chicago in Lake Michigan. I was standing on navy pier watching it. There were a few people who had come as well. Beyond us few the city was deserted. It flash vaporized all the water in the lake. The old couple and young man with me were both killed instantly. After that I don't know what happened. There was the most deafening noise is ever heard, and a wall of ash and fire. Then blackness. While unconscious the impact had shattered the earth. It was over when I woke up. I wondered if anyone else had survived, but quickly abandoned that thought. It's an terribly numbing sensation to realize that you are the last of your kind. It's a crushing loneliness that cannot be described. I curled into a ball and floated for a while. After a long while I decided I had to go somewhere. Over the course of my long life I had studied the stars intently. I can't even tell you how long it took me to find it, but I decided to head towards Proxima Centauri. The closest star to ours. I figured it was my best bet. So I found a piece of debris, and crouched on it then pushed off with all my might. At first I thought I was making good progress then I realized it takes a very long time for light to get from there to earth. Luckily I had spare time. As I floated farther and farther I found myself looking at where I was coming from and not where I was going. Was I being homesick, or just realizing everything I had ever known was back there? I'll tell you sometime if I ever figure it out. What I can tell you about is the view. Looking back on our solar system was a sight to behold. To steal a quote from the hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy. (Cause lets be honest. Who's gonna sue me for plagiarism.) Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly big it is. I realized that Proxima Centauri was a long ways off so I thought I should check out our solar system first, but quickly abandoned the thought. Once I very painfully made landfall on one of the 9 planets in our solar system. (I love you Pluto) I wouldn't be able to leave. Cause I'm no Matt Damon. So I'd either have to get very lucky, and find some crazy alien stuff, or wait for the planet I was on to explode in some way. Both those options weren't appealing, so I opted to keep on trucking to Proxima. I'm gonna go ahead and skip all the boring parts or you'll be reading this for the next few millions years. A few interesting things of note did happen. Seeing a comet in the night sky is always very pretty. Seeing one pass you by, by only a few dozen meters is awe inspiring/terrifying. The other discovery I made very quickly. Space for those of you readers who've not spent time in it. Is cold. Really, really, Fucking. Cold. At least the solar winds are nice and toasty. Rich with skin searing radiation. So let's run down the list of things I have. Ruined clothes Melted phone Body so cold my balls are snuggled up next to my heart. A very long trip ahead of me. One sock. Could be worse.
Let's jump ahead to me leaving the solar system. After blowing a kiss to Pluto. I continued on my trip to Proxima. Now. Let's do some math, Proxima is 4.2 light years away. Earth to the solar rim is about 9 billion miles. One light year is 5.879 x 10 to the power of 12, miles. So I'm about 4.1998 light years away. Only took me about 250 years I think. So I should be there just in time to watch the star die and collapse into a black hole. Wonder if that would actually kill me...You can kiss my ass Steven Hawking you dead genius prick. Busting holes in my very well laid out plans. I gotta think of a way to pick up speed.
I came up with a risky strategy. If I keep pumping my arms straight ahead of me in my current trajectory I should increase in speed little by little. The risk is that I could alter my angle by a few degrees, and that could mess up my approach vector for Proxima. It doesn't sound like much, but a few degrees of difference in angle across a span of light years can result in me missing by billions of miles. Well after thinking for a few days on the pros and cons of my new plan I decided to give it a shot. With very calculated pumps in slow succession I made sure to keep my eyes on my target. With nothing to use as a reference I really didn't know if my plan was working. I'll just say it did. Kinda. I eventually worked myself up to the speed that voyager was moving at. Which is pretty damn fast. Again, kinda. It would still take millions of years to get to Proxima. My only hope was to get picked up by something or crash on some rock with intelligent life on it.
Turns out the scientists back in the 20teens were right. There was in fact a 10th planet in the solar system. It was just a lot lot farther out than they thought. I immediately changed course and aimed for this planet. I'll be honest. In all the science fiction movies, video games, and books I've seen in my life I gotta tell you this was the most foreboding planet I've ever seen. It was black. But it was an unnatural black. The kind of black you put on something you don't want to be found. I glided in silence towards the planet lost in thought. What would I find there? Life? Ruins? Would they be friendly aliens? I know that since it's their planet I'm technically the alien but shut up its my story. As I moved towards it it dawned on me how immense the planet was. By 2120 civilian space flights were pretty common, so I've seen the earth from space. This planet was massive. Dozens if not hundreds of times the size of earth. Finally after what felt like forever I could feel myself being pulled towards the planet. It didn't occur to me until about ten seconds before I hit it that this planet might have an atmosphere. Then I hit it. Hard. All my possessions burned off. My phone, shirt, pants, even my precious sock. Falling out of the sky stark naked at terminal velocity. Not as fun as it sounds. Once I cleared the black skies I was blown away by the amount of lights, and buildings I was seeing. I was so happy. Finally I'd be able to come into contact with someone, or something. That something turned out to be the ground. One splitting headache, and quick climb out of my crater later, I took the time to look around. I walked around for a bit and didn't see anyone. The buildings were pretty pristine. Was everyone on a lunch break? Maybe I can get them to come to me? I yelled as loud as I could a couple of times, but nothing. It was unsettling to say the least. All the buildings stretched way into the sky, so maybe no one lived on the ground anymore? I think there was a cartoon like that a long time ago. Anyway. I picked a building at random and went inside. The doors wouldn't open at first. It took me some time to wiggle them open. As soon as a crack opened a gust of air blew out whipping the doors open and knocking me on my ass. Swearing as I picked myself up I took a step inside. And no it's not what you were thinking. No dead bodies that have been in there for years and years. It was empty. And clean as a whistle. I walked around looking for anything familiar when I found a trio of doors next to each other with tubes rising above them into the ceiling. Raising my hopes thinking they would work I hit a button. To my great delight stuff happened! So that's a win for me today. It took about 15 minutes for it to arrive but there it was. An elevator. The buttons looked familiar enough so I pushed the one that I guessed would be the penthouse. The elevator rose quickly, but I knew it would be a while so for the first time in a few hundred years I sat down. And god damn did it feel good. I realized as I sat down that i was still naked. Kinda forgot about that. New mission. Find, or make clothes. Don't want humanities first contact to go south due to errant dick.
I hit a random button stopping the elevator a few floors short of the top. Again, nobody was there. But there was furniture. I think? It was growing out of the ground like it was molded from the floor. Weird organic shapes. But sitting proved easy enough. The seats were enormous. Way larger than I could ever hope to accommodate. But if there's seats they must have been organic life right? I can't imagine machines lounging around, so my spirits rose. Now if only I could find any of these guys. I hope these guys had curtains or something. I'm getting tired of being naked, and my butts cold. I'm hungry, but at least I don't have to worry about starving. Success! I found clothes. Hopefully. I think it might be some sort of battle suit or something. It's a jet black liquid that was suspended in a clear tube. Every other tube was empty except for this, a very sinister black, and purple one. When I touched the glass it slowly moved towards my hand. I didn't seem evil in its movement. It moved with a sense of want. Like it wanted companionship. Well I hit buttons below the tube till it opened and the black stuff slid onto the floor without a sound. I crouched down, and reached out to touch it. It mirrored my movements exactly. It felt soft. Softer than anything I've encountered. As soon as I touched it ran up my arm, quickly spread over my body. I didn't really panic since it couldn't suffocate me, so I just let it do what it was going to do. It slowly wrapped around my head, and once it had a full seal on me parts of it started to harden and change shape. The shoulders bulged up and out. My legs became almost completely covered in what seemed like armor. It was pretty awesome to watch. The not so awesome part was the pressure I was starting to feel pressing in on my boys. It started to crush me, and when I started to beg the suit to stop while sounding like a soprano singer it relaxed. After everything had settled I decided to test out the suit. It moves with me really well. Like it's not even there. I feel more capable with this thing. Powerful even. I quickly discovered I could run faster, jump higher, and was much stronger. Felt like those PF Flyers I wore as a kid. Now that I had some clothes on I popped back into the elevator and headed to the top. The door opened and there was a barricade. After moving the stuff out of the way I wandered into the room to find no one. Which is confusing the hell out of me. Why barricade the way in to protect no one. And no one before me has made an attempt to get through the barricade. I explored the floor. Mostly one big hallway so far, but I'm not seeing any signs of a struggle. No broken windows. No holes in the walls. Zip. What were these people trying to keep out. I found another much sturdier barricade at the end of the hallway. Took a while to make a hole in it. I'd never be able to without the suit. On the other side there was a massive atrium. It had to be the size of a football stadium. It was completely empty except for something in the middle. After jogging towards it for a few minutes I realized what it was. Bodies. A big pile of bodies. Torn up, gnawed on bodies. Then I realized the barricades weren't about keeping something out. But keeping it in. I started to go back for the entrance when I started hearing thunder. I stopped for an instant when the hud of my suit blasted me with a warning. Before I could finish reading it I found myself flying through the air and slamming into the wall with enough force to be embedded into it. I should remind you that I was close to the center of the ring. I flew a good 300 yards into a wall. I never even saw what hit me. But it was ungodly strong. I pried myself free from the wall just in time to see what hit me.
I'm not a xenobiologist, but I know that this thing wasn't natural. Something seriously deformed this thing. Being immortal pretty much tosses fear out the window. In my entire life I've never known this kind of fear. The creature was tall. At least 12 feet tall. It was horribly deformed. Bones were jutting out of it all over its body. It didn't have eyes. None that I could see. It looked like it grew a couple sizes very quickly and the seams just popped while staying alive. It roared again and again. I know the sound of pain when I hear it. This creature wasn't happy about its current state. Part of me wanted to help the beast, but the very large pile of broken shredded bodies told me that wasn't super likely to happen. I'm gonna have to think about this for a minute.
I'm fucked. That's my breakdown on this situation. Fucked.
I've tried to leave three times only to find myself leaving new me shaped holes in the walls. After that I tried to approach the beast. New hole. Back away to the wall, meet opposite wall. So far the only action that doesn't get me flying lessons is sitting still. I've been here for 2 days, and I gotta say. This planet isn't winning any favors from me. I'm getting annoyed prying myself out of the damn wall. I may be immortal but shit still hurts. The creature hasn't moved an inch since it last hit me. It's currently about 400 yards away glaring at me. I think. No eyes makes it hard to tell. Anyway. I think I'm gonna do what my uncle did when he got drunk. Yell incoherent shit, and hope it pans out. I stood up, and started walking slowly towards the beast. The beast, being the jerk off that it is roared and rushed to reintroduce me to the wall. I kept my pace, and when the creature was 20 meters from me I started yelling. "STOP!!" I bellowed as loud as I could. The creature thundered to a halt right in front of me. Head inches from mine. "That's better. No more hitting you hear me!?" No response. "Well at least you didn't hit me. Ok. What we are going to do now is I'm going to cross this room and find out who that pile of horribleness is. Ok?" Again. No response. I'll take that as an 'yes', so let's get going" I took my first step, and nothing happened. Step two, nothing. I got all the way to step 33 when there was a flash, and I woke up face down a few inches into the floor. "Ok. That's fucking it." I pulled myself upright. Looked over at the creature. It was about 12 yards away. Judging by the groove in the floor it hit me in the back of the head, and I skidded along the ground coming to a halt in my crater for nap time. "Hope you're proud of yourself big guy, because now I'm gonna take it out of your ass." I started sprinting towards the beast. If this thing can die then I'll win. No matter how long it takes I will outlast it. The beast was on me in a matter of seconds. It leapt into the air one arm cocked back, ready to crush me with crazed fervor. I jumped towards it, cannonballing straight into its gut at full speed. I heard the grunt of pain come out of it with satisfaction. Before I could celebrate however it's mighty arms wrapped around me. It turned in mid air, and with all its strength and weight; drove me into the ground. I gasped in pain as the air was forced out of me. It then grabbed my ankle and tossed me like a garbage bag. I slammed into wall hard enough I bounced out of my crater. Picking myself up i could see the creature getting ready to charge. I shouted at my my suit. "Cmon! It's coming! I need a weapon!"
PROCESSING... WEAPONS ACTIVATED... WARNING! AMMUNITION DEPLETED.... WEAPONS RESTRICTED TO SWORD, GLAIVE, SPEAR... "Fine whatever just give me the spear!!!"
-SPEAR ACTIVATED-
Suddenly a spear started forming on my arm. At least a foot long pole did. As soon as I pulled it off of my forearm it extended to the perfect length for me. The tip turned into a wicked point. Even being immortal I wanted no part of that blade touching me. Quickie interruption. In case you're wondering. Over my long life I took up the age old art of "hit stuff really hard." Ive master several disciplines, and many weapons. It's pretty easy when you have multiple lifetimes to work on it. But over that entire time, I gravitated to one weapon above all others. And that my dear readers. Is the spear. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Enjoy the show.
This time with more confidence I charged the beast again. It snarled in rage at my refusal to die like the rest of its visitors. It punched two neat craters into the ground before charging me. As it entered striking distance I pole vaulted over the creature, and swiped a great slash down its back. Bright blue congealed blood oozed out of its wound as it howled in agony. I snapped out my spear sending the blade deep into its shoulder. Twisting the shaft I widened the wound preventing it from closing. The beast was defenseless under my onslaught. The blade danced around me as I cut, stabbed, and slashed countless wounds into the creature. Blood pooled at its feet, but I couldn't deal a killing blow. The bones protruding all over its body prevented my spear hitting its final mark. I'd have to bleed the creature dry. While readying my spear for another thrust, with speed I thought no longer possible its fist came fast and low, crashing into my chest; rocketing me across the room into the wall. I lost my spear as I was flying. Pulling myself from the wall I began frantically searching for it, before spotting it almost midway between the two of us. "Really?.... Seriously. Fuck this planet." "Suit. If you can hear me. I need speed. All you can give me. I have to get to that spear before that thing." -PROCESSING- -SPEED INCREASED TO MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE- The suit changed around me. I could feel it making my legs stronger. Longer. Better suited for high speed. "Oh ho ho. I am never taking this thing off!" As I pressed off with my foot I felt the ground crack, and splinter under the new force of my speed. I was almost passing the spear before I realized where I was. I grabbed the spear, and held it tight. Thinking of a plan. The beast was stunned by my newfound abilities as well, it's head tilted towards one side as it stared at me. It quickly regained its composure, and set off once again to try and kill me. But with my new speed it was no match. If I couldn't cut through its bone I'll have to punch through it. I willed the suits strength into my arm, and threw the spear as hard as I could muster. Spinning as it flew the missile was a blur in the air. It slammed into the beast's chest as it ran at full speed. Combined with the spears speed the bones protecting its chest gave way as if it were tinfoil. The blade pushed out of its back, and with a gurgling growl; the beast slumped to the ground on its side. Lifeless. Panting hard I dropped to my knees and threw my fists into the air in victory. "YES! No more hitting the god dammed wall!!!" I fell back and relaxed for the first time in days. Laying down I took in just how amazing this suit is. I think I might have survived even without being immortal. The impacts definitely hurt, but I know it was much less intense than it should have been. With that moment passed I hauled myself onto my feet, and went to retrieve my weapon. With a quick grunt of effort I pulled the spear free. Placing it against my arm the shaft shortened, and sank back into the black material. "So cool. Alright now. Time to check out this pile of shit that started this mess."
The pile had been there a while. There wasn't much to discern from the bodies. They were all mangled beyond my ability to mentally put them together in any sensible way. What I could figure out is that this species was tall, has 2, or 4 arms. They also unlike the beast sported 2 sunken eyes. Perhaps the creatures mutation spread grew bone over the eyes? They didn't seem to wear any clothes, but then I noticed they are all modified in some ways. Some have hands replaced with mechanical ones designed for combat, while others have they're entire heads replaced with improved optical capabilities, and I'm guessing improved cognitive functions. The biggest one was the most modified. All but it's head had been replaced. It's chest was caved in, but it was easy to tell that it was once very formidable armor. In all honesty this looks like a combat squad. There's about 8 of them. The ring area was not pristine when I got here either. My guess is this creature was lured here, and while this team was trying to kill it whilst others barricaded the hallways out, presumably before moving to the higher floors. That might be what happened here. These creatures arrived, and moved up the buildings driving people higher, and higher as they evacuated. But that didn't make sense. The lobby was utterly unmarked. If I were defending a building, you hold the entrance while the others escape upwards. "Well there's only one way to find out. Back to the elevator." Once back into the elevator I pushed for the top floor. As it started to rise it dawned on me that any survivors running from that beast might not be happy about the elevator going up. "Spear" I said quietly, and the spear unfolded once more from my arm. I stepped to one side of the doors for good measure. The elevator glided to a silent stop, and the doors slid open. Well no gunfire, so that's a plus. But momma didn't raise no fool children. I stuck my hand out, and instantly pulled it back in after a gunshot rang out, a split second later my yelp of pain followed. The armor caught the bullet, but God dammit that hurt! Plus side. At least I'm not alone. Let's hope these trigger happy guys speak English. "Hold your fire!! Friendly!! I'm not that beast!" That's what I said anyway. What came out of the suit was pure gibberish. "Oh god if you're translating, please be translating properly." More gibberish rang out from the hall. Suddenly a voice rang out in my head. "Where is the creature?!" Gotta tell ya. Hearing a voice in your head that doesn't sound like you is trippy. "Dead" I called out. "I fought it for 2 days before spearing it through the heart." I held the spear out into the doorway wiggling it for emphasis. "You lie!" The voice hissed. "Our best warriors fell to the beast." "You mean a few floors down in the big room?" A flurry of voices rose up. "He saw the room, and made it out! He must have killed it!" Said one. "Lies" called the first. "It's more likely this creature saw the beast and fled before it could reach him" I decided to interrupt. The past few hundred years of being utterly alone gnawed at my patience until it was at an all time low. I wanted to talk to someone, and not get thrown into the wall for my troubles. "Listen. I will take you down there. We can both put our weapons down, and see for ourselves. Deal?" The murmuring intensified. "Fine the voice called out, but if you lie, you are dead where you stand." Buddy if only you knew.
A shadow entered the elevator. Quickly followed by a towering figure. Easily 10 feet tall. The man thingy had dark blue skin. Almost black out of the light. It looked down on me. It's deep eyes studying me. It's eyes were spectacular to look at. I found myself staring. They were jet black, but with white light swirling within them. It introduced itself. "I am Forsciun Xelalmos" (For-she-un Ze-lal-mos) of the Shalore people. Who are you?" I steadied myself. "I am Connor Flamewright. A human from the now destroyed planet earth. The third planet of this system. I am the last of my kind." "We know of this planet. We've tried to communicate, but our calls went unanswered. What happened to it?" It was hard to know where to begin. I hadn't thought about it at all in at least 200 years. "It was hit by a planetoid larger than our moon. We tried all measures to stop it, but nothing worked." "And how did you survive where your kin did not?" "An accident long ago left me immortal. Are you familiar with this word? Immortal?" Forsciun nodded. "I take it this was how you killed the beast?" I nodded. "It was very strong, but with my immortality, and this suit I found, I was able to overcome the beast." Forsciun put his hand to his chin thoughtfully. Then he stepped into the elevator, and pressed the button for the floor I just left. "Show me. If you speak the truth we have much to discuss." I twirled the spear, and slid it back into my arm. "Alright then." The elevator descended in silence for what seemed like eternity before Forsciun spoke. "This suit is of our technology. How is it you are able to use it?" I looked down at the suit, and began to wonder that myself. "I found it by itself in a tube. It seemed to like me, or desired to be used, and after drifting through space for close to a thousand years then free falling naked onto your planet. I just wanted to find some clothes."
We stood in silence the remainder of the ride down. I wasn’t sure what Forsciun was thinking, but I’m sure he was working out how to kill me if I was lying. Whatever happened to these people, it had left them with extremely cautious of the unknown. Once we reached the floor the beast was on I led the way through the barricades towards the atrium. Once we reached the opening I pointed out the remains of the beast. Forsciun couldn’t believe it. He sprinted forwards reaching the dead brute quickly. After examining it in silence he began to survey the room, taking in all the holes in the walls and floor that the creature so generously helped me make. “How long were you here with it?” “Just over 3 days.” He nodded thoughtfully. “These creatures are extremely dangerous. They drove us up our towers away from the streets. Once trapped at the top we were cut off from the rest of our people. We don’t know how many of us are left.” “I wandered the streets for some time calling out. I never heard, or saw anyone.” Forsciun shook his head sorrowfully. “That does not bode well. We managed to kill some of these things, but they were so resistant to our weapons. As if designed to be our destruction.” I could feel his pain, and understood his feeling of helplessness. Wanting nothing more than to save your people, but being powerless to do so. I wanted to help him, and his people. “Do you think if we spread the word of how I killed it we could help save the people still living?” “Possibly.” he murmured. “Not all of my people are warriors. The majority of our military is gone. We used to be able to see the fighting from the windows. Explosions in the distance. Fighting in the streets.” He trailed off. “It’s been some time since we’ve seen that. They either retreated, or were wiped out.” I activated my spear and pounded the pommel on the ground. “We’ll find your people. And slaughter these creatures wherever we find them.” Forsciun lifted his head, and stood straighter. “Thank you earther. For too long I have been concerned only with survival. I had long since given up the notion of being able to save my people. We need to go, and gather my men. We will push the next tower!”
As we returned to the elevator I began to ask Xelalmos about this world, and his people. I discovered that Forsciun was in fact not a name but a title. It meant commander. I high ranking member of their military. “We call this world Krionis, but it is not our home world. Our home world Shalore was located in what your people referred to as the Triangulum Galaxy. We spread far and wide across the galaxy. We held sway over the cosmos. We thought ourselves the rulers of all creation.” He shook his head disapprovingly. “The universe as it turns out. Enjoys putting people in its place. We were settling a new world when we encountered a virus. A long hibernating virus. By the time the first people started to die. It had already spread across the galaxy. A quarantine was set around Shalore. No vessel was allowed to enter within 30 light-seconds of the planet. Many tried to escape the virus by returning to our home, but all were destroyed. In the end our leaders decided that all of our kind that lived on Shalore would be put into stasis, and sent out among the stars. To colonize new galaxies. Our ship brought my ancestors here. To the edge of this galaxy. As we left Triangulum we received news that the blockade was broken, and the planet fell. Our ships would be the last of our kind. That was over 200 million years ago. We reached this planet, and quickly adapted it to our needs. But the universe was not through with us. 20 years ago these creatures started falling from the skies. Devouring, and destroying my people. Which brings us full circle.”
The elevator beeped and the doors to the top floor opened. “That’s a hell over a story. I’m sorry to hear the story of your people.” Then it dawned on me. “Wait a minute. How do you know what we call the galaxies?” “As I mentioned earlier. We’ve known of your existence for some time. In our attempts to make contact we learned much of your people. You were a prosperous people. You advance with a pace not often seen in the universe. Given a few thousand years, and your people would have been a power to behold.” My head hung low. “Would have.” I said to myself. The human race was essentially extinct. I would I guess last forever, until something finally wiped me from existence. At least I would be able to tell the stories of my world, and travel the cosmos letting all know of my people. That was a small comfort. Xelalmos put his hand on my shoulder. “Worry not Con Nor. There is battle ahead. We must prepare. Come. Meet my men.” He moved ahead of me, and walked towards his men. The one I would learn to know as Keez glared at me the entire time Xelalmos explained what he saw, and the coming plan. His team consisted of 4 Including himself. Xelalmos would lead, his second in command Niivu welcomed me congratulating me on my kill. If his commander trusted me, that was enough for him. That left their doctor, Marq. When they said his name I assumed they were having fun with me. They didn’t believe me when I said “mark” was an common name on earth. Marq assured me that it was indeed his name. Finally we come to my biggest fan Keez. Keez was what they called an Arcturant. Basically a walking fortress. Covered in thick armor with heavy weapons mounted on his shoulders. Fearless devastating, and a personality to match.
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I am about to post the 3000 most common words in the English lexicon. Wish me luck...

a abandon ability able abortion about above abroad absence absolute absolutely absorb abuse academic accept access accident accompany accomplish according account accurate accuse achieve achievement acid acknowledge acquire across act action active activist activity actor actress actual actually ad adapt add addition additional address adequate adjust adjustment administration administrator admire admission admit adolescent adopt adult advance advanced advantage adventure advertising advice advise adviser advocate affair affect afford afraid African African-American after afternoon again against age agency agenda agent aggressive ago agree agreement agricultural ah ahead aid aide AIDS aim air aircraft airline airport album alcohol alive all alliance allow ally almost alone along already also alter alternative although always AM amazing American among amount analysis analyst analyze ancient and anger angle angry animal anniversary announce annual another answer anticipate anxiety any anybody anymore anyone anything anyway anywhere apart apartment apparent apparently appeal appear appearance apple application apply appoint appointment appreciate approach appropriate approval approve approximately Arab architect area argue argument arise arm armed army around arrange arrangement arrest arrival arrive art article artist artistic as Asian aside ask asleep aspect assault assert assess assessment asset assign assignment assist assistance assistant associate association assume assumption assure at athlete athletic atmosphere attach attack attempt attend attention attitude attorney attract attractive attribute audience author authority auto available average avoid award aware awareness away awful baby back background bad badly bag bake balance ball ban band bank bar barely barrel barrier base baseball basic basically basis basket basketball bathroom battery battle be beach bean bear beat beautiful beauty because become bed bedroom beer before begin beginning behavior behind being belief believe bell belong below belt bench bend beneath benefit beside besides best bet better between beyond Bible big bike bill billion bind biological bird birth birthday bit bite black blade blame blanket blind block blood blow blue board boat body bomb bombing bond bone book boom boot border born borrow boss both bother bottle bottom boundary bowl box boy boyfriend brain branch brand bread break breakfast breast breath breathe brick bridge brief briefly bright brilliant bring British broad broken brother brown brush buck budget build building bullet bunch burden burn bury bus business busy but butter button buy buyer by cabin cabinet cable cake calculate call camera camp campaign campus can Canadian cancer candidate cap capability capable capacity capital captain capture car carbon card care career careful carefully carrier carry case cash cast cat catch category Catholic cause ceiling celebrate celebration celebrity cell center central century CEO ceremony certain certainly chain chair chairman challenge chamber champion championship chance change changing channel chapter character characteristic characterize charge charity chart chase cheap check cheek cheese chef chemical chest chicken chief child childhood Chinese chip chocolate choice cholesterol choose Christian Christmas church cigarette circle circumstance cite citizen city civil civilian claim class classic classroom clean clear clearly client climate climb clinic clinical clock close closely closer clothes clothing cloud club clue cluster coach coal coalition coast coat code coffee cognitive cold collapse colleague collect collection collective college colonial color column combination combine come comedy comfort comfortable command commander comment commercial commission commit commitment committee common communicate communication community company compare comparison compete competition competitive competitor complain complaint complete completely complex complicated component compose composition comprehensive computer concentrate concentration concept concern concerned concert conclude conclusion concrete condition conduct conference confidence confident confirm conflict confront confusion Congress congressional connect connection consciousness consensus consequence conservative consider considerable consideration consist consistent constant constantly constitute constitutional construct construction consultant consume consumer consumption contact contain container contemporary content contest context continue continued contract contrast contribute contribution control controversial controversy convention conventional conversation convert conviction convince cook cookie cooking cool cooperation cop cope copy core corn corner corporate corporation correct correspondent cost cotton couch could council counselor count counter country county couple courage course court cousin cover coverage cow crack craft crash crazy cream create creation creative creature credit crew crime criminal crisis criteria critic critical criticism criticize crop cross crowd crucial cry cultural culture cup curious current currently curriculum custom customer cut cycle dad daily damage dance danger dangerous dare dark darkness data date daughter day dead deal dealer dear death debate debt decade decide decision deck declare decline decrease deep deeply deer defeat defend defendant defense defensive deficit define definitely definition degree delay deliver delivery demand democracy Democrat democratic demonstrate demonstration deny department depend dependent depending depict depression depth deputy derive describe description desert deserve design designer desire desk desperate despite destroy destruction detail detailed detect determine develop developing development device devote dialogue die diet differ difference different differently difficult difficulty dig digital dimension dining dinner direct direction directly director dirt dirty disability disagree disappear disaster discipline discourse discover discovery discrimination discuss discussion disease dish dismiss disorder display dispute distance distant distinct distinction distinguish distribute distribution district diverse diversity divide division divorce DNA do doctor document dog domestic dominant dominate door double doubt down downtown dozen draft drag drama dramatic dramatically draw drawing dream dress drink drive driver drop drug dry due during dust duty each eager ear early earn earnings earth ease easily east eastern easy eat economic economics economist economy edge edition editor educate education educational educator effect effective effectively efficiency efficient effort egg eight either elderly elect election electric electricity electronic element elementary eliminate elite else elsewhere e-mail embrace emerge emergency emission emotion emotional emphasis emphasize employ employee employer employment empty enable encounter encourage end enemy energy enforcement engage engine engineer engineering English enhance enjoy enormous enough ensure enter enterprise entertainment entire entirely entrance entry environment environmental episode equal equally equipment era error escape especially essay essential essentially establish establishment estate estimate etc ethics ethnic European evaluate evaluation even evening event eventually ever every everybody everyday everyone everything everywhere evidence evolution evolve exact exactly examination examine example exceed excellent except exception exchange exciting executive exercise exhibit exhibition exist existence existing expand expansion expect expectation expense expensive experience experiment expert explain explanation explode explore explosion expose exposure express expression extend extension extensive extent external extra extraordinary extreme extremely eye fabric face facility fact factor factory faculty fade fail failure fair fairly faith fall false familiar family famous fan fantasy far farm farmer fashion fast fat fate father fault favor favorite fear feature federal fee feed feel feeling fellow female fence few fewer fiber fiction field fifteen fifth fifty fight fighter fighting figure file fill film final finally finance financial find finding fine finger finish fire firm first fish fishing fit fitness five fix flag flame flat flavor flee flesh flight float floor flow flower fly focus folk follow following food foot football for force foreign forest forever forget form formal formation former formula forth fortune forward found foundation founder four fourth frame framework free freedom freeze French frequency frequent frequently fresh friend friendly friendship from front fruit frustration fuel full fully fun function fund fundamental funding funeral funny furniture furthermore future gain galaxy gallery game gang gap garage garden garlic gas gate gather gay gaze gear gender gene general generally generate generation genetic gentleman gently German gesture get ghost giant gift gifted girl girlfriend give given glad glance glass global glove go goal God gold golden golf good government governor grab grade gradually graduate grain grand grandfather grandmother grant grass grave gray great greatest green grocery ground group grow growing growth guarantee guard guess guest guide guideline guilty gun guy habit habitat hair half hall hand handful handle hang happen happy hard hardly hat hate have he head headline headquarters health healthy hear hearing heart heat heaven heavily heavy heel height helicopter hell hello help helpful her here heritage hero herself hey hi hide high highlight highly highway hill him himself hip hire his historian historic historical history hit hold hole holiday holy home homeless honest honey honor hope horizon horror horse hospital host hot hotel hour house household housing how however huge human humor hundred hungry hunter hunting hurt husband hypothesis I ice idea ideal identification identify identity ie if ignore ill illegal illness illustrate image imagination imagine immediate immediately immigrant immigration impact implement implication imply importance important impose impossible impress impression impressive improve improvement in incentive incident include including income incorporate increase increased increasing increasingly incredible indeed independence independent index Indian indicate indication individual industrial industry infant infection inflation influence inform information ingredient initial initially initiative injury inner innocent inquiry inside insight insist inspire install instance instead institution institutional instruction instructor instrument insurance intellectual intelligence intend intense intensity intention interaction interest interested interesting internal international Internet interpret interpretation intervention interview into introduce introduction invasion invest investigate investigation investigator investment investor invite involve involved involvement Iraqi Irish iron Islamic island Israeli issue it Italian item its itself jacket jail Japanese jet Jew Jewish job join joint joke journal journalist journey joy judge judgment juice jump junior jury just justice justify keep key kick kid kill killer killing kind king kiss kitchen knee knife knock know knowledge lab label labor laboratory lack lady lake land landscape language lap large largely last late later Latin latter laugh launch law lawn lawsuit lawyer lay layer lead leader leadership leading leaf league lean learn learning least leather leave left leg legacy legal legend legislation legitimate lemon length less lesson let letter level liberal library license lie life lifestyle lifetime lift light like likely limit limitation limited line link lip list listen literally literary literature little live living load loan local locate location lock long long-term look loose lose loss lost lot lots loud love lovely lover low lower luck lucky lunch lung machine mad magazine mail main mainly maintain maintenance major majority make maker makeup male mall man manage management manager manner manufacturer manufacturing many map margin mark market marketing marriage married marry mask mass massive master match material math matter may maybe mayor me meal mean meaning meanwhile measure measurement meat mechanism media medical medication medicine medium meet meeting member membership memory mental mention menu mere merely mess message metal meter method Mexican middle might military milk million mind mine minister minor minority minute miracle mirror miss missile mission mistake mix mixture mm-hmm mode model moderate modern modest mom moment money monitor month mood moon moral more moreover morning mortgage most mostly mother motion motivation motor mount mountain mouse mouth move movement movie Mr Mrs Ms much multiple murder muscle museum music musical musician Muslim must mutual my myself mystery myth naked name narrative narrow nation national native natural naturally nature near nearby nearly necessarily necessary neck need negative negotiate negotiation neighbor neighborhood neither nerve nervous net network never nevertheless new newly news newspaper next nice night nine no nobody nod noise nomination none nonetheless nor normal normally north northern nose not note nothing notice notion novel now nowhere n't nuclear number numerous nurse nut object objective obligation observation observe observer obtain obvious obviously occasion occasionally occupation occupy occur ocean odd odds of off offense offensive offer office officer official often oh oil ok okay old Olympic on once one ongoing onion online only onto open opening operate operating operation operator opinion opponent opportunity oppose opposite opposition option or orange order ordinary organic organization organize orientation origin original originally other others otherwise ought our ourselves out outcome outside oven over overall overcome overlook owe own owner pace pack package page pain painful paint painter painting pair pale Palestinian palm pan panel pant paper parent park parking part participant participate participation particular particularly partly partner partnership party pass passage passenger passion past patch path patient pattern pause pay payment PC peace peak peer penalty people pepper per perceive percentage perception perfect perfectly perform performance perhaps period permanent permission permit person personal personality personally personnel perspective persuade pet phase phenomenon philosophy phone photo photograph photographer phrase physical physically physician piano pick picture pie piece pile pilot pine pink pipe pitch place plan plane planet planning plant plastic plate platform play player please pleasure plenty plot plus PM pocket poem poet poetry point pole police policy political politically politician politics poll pollution pool poor pop popular population porch port portion portrait portray pose position positive possess possibility possible possibly post pot potato potential potentially pound pour poverty powder power powerful practical practice pray prayer precisely predict prefer preference pregnancy pregnant preparation prepare prescription presence present presentation preserve president presidential press pressure pretend pretty prevent previous previously price pride priest primarily primary prime principal principle print prior priority prison prisoner privacy private probably problem procedure proceed process produce producer product production profession professional professor profile profit program progress project prominent promise promote prompt proof proper properly property proportion proposal propose proposed prosecutor prospect protect protection protein protest proud prove provide provider province provision psychological psychologist psychology public publication publicly publish publisher pull punishment purchase pure purpose pursue push put qualify quality quarter quarterback question quick quickly quiet quietly quit quite quote race racial radical radio rail rain raise range rank rapid rapidly rare rarely rate rather rating ratio raw reach react reaction read reader reading ready real reality realize really reason reasonable recall receive recent recently recipe recognition recognize recommend recommendation record recording recover recovery recruit red reduce reduction refer reference reflect reflection reform refugee refuse regard regarding regardless regime region regional register regular regularly regulate regulation reinforce reject relate relation relationship relative relatively relax release relevant relief religion religious rely remain remaining remarkable remember remind remote remove repeat repeatedly replace reply report reporter represent representation representative Republican reputation request require requirement research researcher resemble reservation resident resist resistance resolution resolve resort resource respect respond respondent response responsibility responsible rest restaurant restore restriction result retain retire retirement return reveal revenue review revolution rhythm rice rich rid ride rifle right ring rise risk river road rock role roll romantic roof room root rope rose rough roughly round route routine row rub rule run running rural rush Russian sacred sad safe safety sake salad salary sale sales salt same sample sanction sand satellite satisfaction satisfy sauce save saving say scale scandal scared scenario scene schedule scheme scholar scholarship school science scientific scientist scope score scream screen script sea search season seat second secret secretary section sector secure security see seed seek seem segment seize select selection self sell Senate senator send senior sense sensitive sentence separate sequence series serious seriously serve service session set setting settle settlement seven several severe sex sexual shade shadow shake shall shape share sharp she sheet shelf shell shelter shift shine ship shirt shit shock shoe shoot shooting shop shopping shore short shortly shot should shoulder shout show shower shrug shut sick side sigh sight sign signal significance significant significantly silence silent silver similar similarly simple simply sin since sing singer single sink sir sister sit site situation six size ski skill skin sky slave sleep slice slide slight slightly slip slow slowly small smart smell smile smoke smooth snap snow so so-called soccer social society soft software soil solar soldier solid solution solve some somebody somehow someone something sometimes somewhat somewhere son song soon sophisticated sorry sort soul sound soup source south southern Soviet space Spanish speak speaker special specialist species specific specifically speech speed spend spending spin spirit spiritual split spokesman sport spot spread spring square squeeze stability stable staff stage stair stake stand standard standing star stare start state statement station statistics status stay steady steal steel step stick still stir stock stomach stone stop storage store storm story straight strange stranger strategic strategy stream street strength strengthen stress stretch strike string strip stroke strong strongly structure struggle student studio study stuff stupid style subject submit subsequent substance substantial succeed success successful successfully such sudden suddenly sue suffer sufficient sugar suggest suggestion suicide suit summer summit sun super supply support supporter suppose supposed Supreme sure surely surface surgery surprise surprised surprising surprisingly surround survey survival survive survivor suspect sustain swear sweep sweet swim swing switch symbol symptom system table tablespoon tactic tail take tale talent talk tall tank tap tape target task taste tax taxpayer tea teach teacher teaching team tear teaspoon technical technique technology teen teenager telephone telescope television tell temperature temporary ten tend tendency tennis tension tent term terms terrible territory terror terrorism terrorist test testify testimony testing text than thank thanks that the theater their them theme themselves then theory therapy there therefore these they thick thin thing think thinking third thirty this those though thought thousand threat threaten three throat through throughout throw thus ticket tie tight time tiny tip tire tired tissue title to tobacco today toe together tomato tomorrow tone tongue tonight too tool tooth top topic toss total totally touch tough tour tourist tournament toward towards tower town toy trace track trade tradition traditional traffic tragedy trail train training transfer transform transformation transition translate transportation travel treat treatment treaty tree tremendous trend trial tribe trick trip troop trouble truck true truly trust truth try tube tunnel turn TV twelve twenty twice twin two type typical typically ugly ultimate ultimately unable uncle under undergo understand understanding unfortunately uniform union unique unit United universal universe university unknown unless unlike unlikely until unusual up upon upper urban urge us use used useful user usual usually utility vacation valley valuable value variable variation variety various vary vast vegetable vehicle venture version versus very vessel veteran via victim victory video view viewer village violate violation violence violent virtually virtue virus visible vision visit visitor visual vital voice volume volunteer vote voter vs vulnerable wage wait wake walk wall wander want war warm warn warning wash waste watch water wave way we weak wealth wealthy weapon wear weather wedding week weekend weekly weigh weight welcome welfare well west western wet what whatever wheel when whenever where whereas whether which while whisper white who whole whom whose why wide widely widespread wife wild will willing win wind window wine wing winner winter wipe wire wisdom wise wish with withdraw within without witness woman wonder wonderful wood wooden word work worker working works workshop world worried worry worth would wound wrap write writer writing wrong yard yeah year yell yellow yes yesterday yet yield you young your yours yourself youth zone
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I’ll make the next 3000 word sacrifice

3000 most common words in the English lexicon
a abandon ability able abortion about above abroad absence absolute absolutely absorb abuse academic accept access accident accompany accomplish according account accurate accuse achieve achievement acid acknowledge acquire across act action active activist activity actor actress actual actually ad adapt add addition additional address adequate adjust adjustment administration administrator admire admission admit adolescent adopt adult advance advanced advantage adventure advertising advice advise adviser advocate affair affect afford afraid African African-American after afternoon again against age agency agenda agent aggressive ago agree agreement agricultural ah ahead aid aide AIDS aim air aircraft airline airport album alcohol alive all alliance allow ally almost alone along already also alter alternative although always AM amazing American among amount analysis analyst analyze ancient and anger angle angry animal anniversary announce annual another answer anticipate anxiety any anybody anymore anyone anything anyway anywhere apart apartment apparent apparently appeal appear appearance apple application apply appoint appointment appreciate approach appropriate approval approve approximately Arab architect area argue argument arise arm armed army around arrange arrangement arrest arrival arrive art article artist artistic as Asian aside ask asleep aspect assault assert assess assessment asset assign assignment assist assistance assistant associate association assume assumption assure at athlete athletic atmosphere attach attack attempt attend attention attitude attorney attract attractive attribute audience author authority auto available average avoid award aware awareness away awful baby back background bad badly bag bake balance ball ban band bank bar barely barrel barrier base baseball basic basically basis basket basketball bathroom battery battle be beach bean bear beat beautiful beauty because become bed bedroom beer before begin beginning behavior behind being belief believe bell belong below belt bench bend beneath benefit beside besides best bet better between beyond Bible big bike bill billion bind biological bird birth birthday bit bite black blade blame blanket blind block blood blow blue board boat body bomb bombing bond bone book boom boot border born borrow boss both bother bottle bottom boundary bowl box boy boyfriend brain branch brand bread break breakfast breast breath breathe brick bridge brief briefly bright brilliant bring British broad broken brother brown brush buck budget build building bullet bunch burden burn bury bus business busy but butter button buy buyer by cabin cabinet cable cake calculate call camera camp campaign campus can Canadian cancer candidate cap capability capable capacity capital captain capture car carbon card care career careful carefully carrier carry case cash cast cat catch category Catholic cause ceiling celebrate celebration celebrity cell center central century CEO ceremony certain certainly chain chair chairman challenge chamber champion championship chance change changing channel chapter character characteristic characterize charge charity chart chase cheap check cheek cheese chef chemical chest chicken chief child childhood Chinese chip chocolate choice cholesterol choose Christian Christmas church cigarette circle circumstance cite citizen city civil civilian claim class classic classroom clean clear clearly client climate climb clinic clinical clock close closely closer clothes clothing cloud club clue cluster coach coal coalition coast coat code coffee cognitive cold collapse colleague collect collection collective college colonial color column combination combine come comedy comfort comfortable command commander comment commercial commission commit commitment committee common communicate communication community company compare comparison compete competition competitive competitor complain complaint complete completely complex complicated component compose composition comprehensive computer concentrate concentration concept concern concerned concert conclude conclusion concrete condition conduct conference confidence confident confirm conflict confront confusion Congress congressional connect connection consciousness consensus consequence conservative consider considerable consideration consist consistent constant constantly constitute constitutional construct construction consultant consume consumer consumption contact contain container contemporary content contest context continue continued contract contrast contribute contribution control controversial controversy convention conventional conversation convert conviction convince cook cookie cooking cool cooperation cop cope copy core corn corner corporate corporation correct correspondent cost cotton couch could council counselor count counter country county couple courage course court cousin cover coverage cow crack craft crash crazy cream create creation creative creature credit crew crime criminal crisis criteria critic critical criticism criticize crop cross crowd crucial cry cultural culture cup curious current currently curriculum custom customer cut cycle dad daily damage dance danger dangerous dare dark darkness data date daughter day dead deal dealer dear death debate debt decade decide decision deck declare decline decrease deep deeply deer defeat defend defendant defense defensive deficit define definitely definition degree delay deliver delivery demand democracy Democrat democratic demonstrate demonstration deny department depend dependent depending depict depression depth deputy derive describe description desert deserve design designer desire desk desperate despite destroy destruction detail detailed detect determine develop developing development device devote dialogue die diet differ difference different differently difficult difficulty dig digital dimension dining dinner direct direction directly director dirt dirty disability disagree disappear disaster discipline discourse discover discovery discrimination discuss discussion disease dish dismiss disorder display dispute distance distant distinct distinction distinguish distribute distribution district diverse diversity divide division divorce DNA do doctor document dog domestic dominant dominate door double doubt down downtown dozen draft drag drama dramatic dramatically draw drawing dream dress drink drive driver drop drug dry due during dust duty each eager ear early earn earnings earth ease easily east eastern easy eat economic economics economist economy edge edition editor educate education educational educator effect effective effectively efficiency efficient effort egg eight either elderly elect election electric electricity electronic element elementary eliminate elite else elsewhere e-mail embrace emerge emergency emission emotion emotional emphasis emphasize employ employee employer employment empty enable encounter encourage end enemy energy enforcement engage engine engineer engineering English enhance enjoy enormous enough ensure enter enterprise entertainment entire entirely entrance entry environment environmental episode equal equally equipment era error escape especially essay essential essentially establish establishment estate estimate etc ethics ethnic European evaluate evaluation even evening event eventually ever every everybody everyday everyone everything everywhere evidence evolution evolve exact exactly examination examine example exceed excellent except exception exchange exciting executive exercise exhibit exhibition exist existence existing expand expansion expect expectation expense expensive experience experiment expert explain explanation explode explore explosion expose exposure express expression extend extension extensive extent external extra extraordinary extreme extremely eye fabric face facility fact factor factory faculty fade fail failure fair fairly faith fall false familiar family famous fan fantasy far farm farmer fashion fast fat fate father fault favor favorite fear feature federal fee feed feel feeling fellow female fence few fewer fiber fiction field fifteen fifth fifty fight fighter fighting figure file fill film final finally finance financial find finding fine finger finish fire firm first fish fishing fit fitness five fix flag flame flat flavor flee flesh flight float floor flow flower fly focus folk follow following food foot football for force foreign forest forever forget form formal formation former formula forth fortune forward found foundation founder four fourth frame framework free freedom freeze French frequency frequent frequently fresh friend friendly friendship from front fruit frustration fuel full fully fun function fund fundamental funding funeral funny furniture furthermore future gain galaxy gallery game gang gap garage garden garlic gas gate gather gay gaze gear gender gene general generally generate generation genetic gentleman gently German gesture get ghost giant gift gifted girl girlfriend give given glad glance glass global glove go goal God gold golden golf good government governor grab grade gradually graduate grain grand grandfather grandmother grant grass grave gray great greatest green grocery ground group grow growing growth guarantee guard guess guest guide guideline guilty gun guy habit habitat hair half hall hand handful handle hang happen happy hard hardly hat hate have he head headline headquarters health healthy hear hearing heart heat heaven heavily heavy heel height helicopter hell hello help helpful her here heritage hero herself hey hi hide high highlight highly highway hill him himself hip hire his historian historic historical history hit hold hole holiday holy home homeless honest honey honor hope horizon horror horse hospital host hot hotel hour house household housing how however huge human humor hundred hungry hunter hunting hurt husband hypothesis I ice idea ideal identification identify identity ie if ignore ill illegal illness illustrate image imagination imagine immediate immediately immigrant immigration impact implement implication imply importance important impose impossible impress impression impressive improve improvement in incentive incident include including income incorporate increase increased increasing increasingly incredible indeed independence independent index Indian indicate indication individual industrial industry infant infection inflation influence inform information ingredient initial initially initiative injury inner innocent inquiry inside insight insist inspire install instance instead institution institutional instruction instructor instrument insurance intellectual intelligence intend intense intensity intention interaction interest interested interesting internal international Internet interpret interpretation intervention interview into introduce introduction invasion invest investigate investigation investigator investment investor invite involve involved 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