Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, in Boston, Tuesday, July 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Lester, Buchholz the key

The Red Sox plan for the 2013 season is starting to become a little more clear after its recent signings.

Boston has signed solid, high character players who are all known to be good in the club house to short term deals. This means the chances of these players turning into dead money the way Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford did is slim.

This offseason Boston added a solid and versatile outfield option in Shane Victorino, a slugger that has put up big numbers at Fenway as a visitor in Mike Napoli and a pitcher that is a strong addition to the middle of any rotation in baseball in Ryan Dempster.

Still, the Red Sox prospects in the 2013 season depend on two familiar faces, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Both disappointed in 2012, yes Buchholz was able to turn it around in the second half of the season, and both must be very good for the Sox to have a shot at contending in 2013.

If Lester and Buchholz bounce back and pitch their best, the Red Sox will be in the thick of the wild card race. If not the, basement of the AL East is a strong possibility no matter who else the Sox bring into the fold.

Bettors pound Pats

Talk about an impressive win. The New England Patriots, by thumping the Houston Texans, assumed solo favoritism in the NFL to win Super Bowl XLVII, according to Bovada at www.bovada.lv.

Once co-favorites with the Texans at 9-to-2, the Pats tumbled to 3-to-1 on the board this week, all by themselves.

Denver, Houston and San Francisco all share second place in the wagering now at 6-to-1.

Some interesting bets on the Bovada slate this week include:

Will the Atlanta Falcons win a playoff game? Yes! is still a heavy favorite at -160.

If you like this week’s Pats matchup to be the same as the Super Bowl, 10 will get you 75 that the big game will be New England vs. San Francisco.

And Ray Rice fans can know that his over-under for carries this week with Rice and the Ravens hosting Denver is 19.5.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru

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