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Daily Sports Roundup: August 14

Daily Sports Roundup: August 14

The National Football League heads north of the border on Thursday night to kick off the second week of its preseason schedule. Here’s your Daily Sports Roundup . . .

Event of the day . . .

The Buffalo Bills are starting to tap into the lucrative Toronto market this season, and it all begins with their exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Rogers Centre on Thursday night (with the kickoff set for 7:30pm ET). And Bills supporters hope that their team will be lucrative at the betting window once again this season.

Buffalo went 7-9 straight-up in 2007, but they were 10-6 against-the-spread. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, was 10-6 SU last year, and only 8-8 ATS. For Thursday night the Vegas oddsmakers have pegged this neutral-site game as a pick’em, despite Buffalo’s proximity to Toronto. The total for the game has been set at 33 points.

Steelers starting QB Ben Roethlisberger should see just limited time on Thursday, with newly-signed backup Byron Leftwich getting more snaps. Don’t expect to see much of RB Willie Parker either. Bills starting QB Trent Edwards will be looking to bounce back from a poor outing in Buffalo’s preseason opener against Washington.

Non-event of the day . . .

Talk about a nondescript pitching matchup – the Royals will send Kyle Davies (5-3, 4.66 ERA) to the mound on Thursday afternoon to battle the White Sox and Lance Broadway (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Davies lasted just 2 1-3 innings in his last outing, giving up three earned runs to the Twins. Broadway has been toiling in the minor leagues.

Also on the schedule . . .

The Eagles will host the Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field in the other NFL preseason game on Thursday night (kickoff is 8:00pm ET); Philly is a 3-point home favorite in that contest. In other pigskin action on Thursday the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will get a visit from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League; Winnipeg is listed as a 3.5-point home favorite in that contest, with the total at 54 points.

On the diamond, the top pitching matchup will see the Brewers’ Ben Sheets (11-5, 2.95 ERA) face the Padres’ Jake Peavy (8-8, 2.68 ERA). Other NL games on Thursday: San Francisco at Houston, Arizona at Colorado, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, the Mets at Washington, the Cubs at Atlanta, St. Louis at Florida, and Philly at the Dodgers.

Over in the American League the Red Sox will send Daisuke Matsuzaka and his impressive numbers (13-2, 2.90 ERA) to the mound against the Rangers. Also on tap in the AL: Toronto at Detroit, Tampa Bay at Oakland, and Baltimore at Cleveland.

Finally, the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship will begin at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina on Thursday morning, with Vijay Singh the most notable golfer in the field. Meanwhile, the LPGA’s CN Canadian Women’s Open will get underway at the same time; it’s being played at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

News from the wire . . .

With starting pitcher Tim Wakefield on the disabled list, the Red Sox made a deal with the Indians to acquire Paul Byrd on Tuesday afternoon . . . Struggling Dodgers outfielder Andruw Jones is on the DL with a sore knee, while the team activated Nomar Garciaparra . . . Blazers center Greg Oden has impressed so far in practice, reporting no pain in his knee . . the Islanders have hired Scott Gordon as their head coach.

Peek at the future . . .

There is one preseason NFL game on the schedule for Friday night – Oakland at Tennessee at 8:00pm ET . . . Carlos Zambrano (12-5, 3.22 ERA) will take on Josh Johnson (3-0, 3.19 ERA) in the Cubs/Marlins matchup in Florida on Friday night . . . The USA men’s hoops team will take on Spain at 10:15am ET on Saturday morning, and they’ll play Germany at 8:00am ET on Monday morning.

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