One thing the Cleveland Browns’ fans have looked forward to over the past several years is the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr, the Cleveland Browns no longer have their first-round pick (No. 17 overall) and their third-round pick (No. 95 overall, acquired from the Patriots). There is still a chance […]
Written by National Basketball Association Expert Analyst Greg Nelson.
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The (29-36) SU, (32-32-1) ATS New Orleans Pelicans look to extend their two-game winning streak tonight in the Beehive State. New Orleans took down Denver as 12′ point road FAVORITES ATS their last game on March 2nd.
Point guard Jrue Holiday led New Orleans with twenty-nine points as they overcame a nineteen point deficit against a Denver team who has the best record in the Western Conference.
- UNDER bettors have cashed in the Pelicans last five on Monday’s.
- The Pelicans are 8-2 their last ten AGAINST THE SPREAD on the road.
- New Orleans is 1-7-1 ATS the previous nine between the teams.
- OVER bettors have made a profit in 5 of the last six between the teams in Utah.
The (36-26) SU, (32-28-2) ATS Utah Jazz took down Milwaukee 115-111 as 3′ point home FAVORITES ATS on Saturday for their fourth consecutive victory.
Guard Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 46 points, but Derrick Favors pulled down 18 rebounds against Milwaukee. It’ll be the first of a home and home between the teams as they’ll play Wednesday again in the Big Easy.
- Utah is 4-0 AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD their last four vs. Teams with an SU losing record.
- The Jazz is 6-2 ATS their last overall.
- The OVER is 16-5 the last twenty-one times the teams have played.
- OVER bettors has made profits in 5 of the last six between the teams.
Monday’s game is 9:05 PM EST at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The local network will be broadcasting. The Betting Line has Utah as 10′ point home FAVORITES ATS. The TOTAL is 229′ points for Monday’s contest.
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry described the atmosphere surrounding the team as toxic before the All-Star break. Anthony Davis is still a member of the Pelicans while former General Manager Dell Demps isn’t. The organization didn’t honor Davis trade demand and is expected back in the lineup tonight but will be restricted to around 20 minutes.
With Davis out of the lineup, the Pelicans showed they’re a capable team as demonstrated with the win in Denver. New Orleans has talent, and the oddsmakers understand as they’re 7-0 ATS as double-digit UNDERDOGS which they are tonight. The Pelicans offense averages (115.9) points per game on offense which is third in the NBA. They allow opponents (115.1) ppg on (46.3%) shooting from the field, however, since the All-Star break they’re giving up (55.7) ppg in the post, 26th league-wide.
The top team of NBA handicappers at Charliessports.com believes it won’t Matter that Davis will be playing 20 minutes because of the size and length of Utah’s Rudy Gobert along with Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder.
Bovada.Lv list the New Orleans Pelicans win total at 45′ games for 2018-19.
On the one hand, the Utah Jazz should be thankful tonight’s opponent help shave a game of the Denver Nuggets six-game Northwest division lead over the fourth place Jazz. The Jazz is the sixth seed in the Western Conference with sixty-two games under their belts this season. Bettors should take note the Jazz are 5-4-1 ATS as double-digit FAVORITES which is the situation tonight. Will the be able to hand New Orleans their first loss as 10 points or more UNDERDOGS?
Head Coach Quin Snyder has allowed his team to play at a faster pace than usual; they’ve gone over the century mark scoring in nine of their past ten while giving up 100 or more in the same amount. The Jazz has won the last three SU between the teams, two of them Utah put up over 230 points. Utah averages (110.2) ppg which is the 20th league-wide while they allow they allow the opposition (106.7), sixth overall.
This Sports handicapper is looking at a trend of New Orleans playing three games in four day’s which is why we’re trending towards Utah as our FREE PICK tonight, but they’ll have to tighten up on their defense.
Bovada.Lv list the Utah Jazz win total at 49′ games for 2018-19.
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Written by National Football League Point Spread Analyst Greg Nelson.
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The (13-4) SU, (10-7) ATS San Diego Chargers advanced with a 23-17 wildcard round victory over Baltimore as 2′ point ROAD UNDERDOGS ATS. Los Angeles continued their winning ways last Sunday, and they’ll be flying about three states North of Maryland this times, but it’s still a 10:00 AM PST start. The Chargers were benefices of four Michael Badgley field goals to take a 12-0 lead into the half before letting the Ravens back into the contest late.
- Los Angeles is 9-1 ATS their previous ten on the road.
- The Chargers are 0-4 AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD the last four between the teams.
- The UNDER has cashed in Los Angeles last four playoff games.
- UNDER bettors have made profits 5 of the last six times the teams have played.
The (11-5) SU, (9-7) ATS New England Patriots last played on December 30, 2018, taking down the New York Jets as 14′ point home FAVORITES ATS. As a result, the Patriots earned a first-round bye. Everyone knows how prolific New England is around this time of year and the BETTING public believes the Chargers a great play ATS. New England hasn’t lost a home game since October 2017.
- New England is 3-1 ATS their last four at home.
- The favorite is 4-1 AGAINST THE SPREAD the last five times the teams have played.
- The UNDER is 4-0 New England last four at home.
- OVER bettors have made profits in 8 of the Patriots last nine divisional playoff games.
Kickoff will be Sunday, January 13, 2019. Game time is at 1:05 PM EST at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The CBS Television Network will be broadcasting. The Betting Line has New England at 4 point home FAVORITES AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD. The TOTAL is 47 points for Sunday’s contest.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn watched his team give up two fourth-quarter touchdowns to a rookie quarterback last Sunday in Baltimore. It was the second time in three week’s they would face Raven’s signal caller Lamar Jackson.
Film study was instrumental in holding the rookie in check most of the game after a 22-10 loss to the same team on December 22nd. However, they know it’ll be a different outcome by allowing Brady equal opportunity. The Goat has gotten the best of the Chargers the last two meeting in the postseason including a 21-12 AFC Championship game loss in 2008. Phillip Rivers is undoubtedly a Hall of Famer and like he said after Sunday win Why not us which is an attitude of confidence.
Running Back Melvin Gordon has been in a walking cast due to a minor knee injury suffered in Baltimore. On the other side of the Football, the Chargers are much better than their 22nd NFL ranking. Pass Rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa can take over a game anytime their own the field. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley understands his unit must improve covering out of the backfield. They allowed opponents (973) yards.
Safety Derwin James will be asked to cover a lot of ground both against the run and pass; the former Florida State product is already a star and will be the X-Factor Sunday.
Bovada.Lv, list the Los Angeles Chargers at +1,800 to win the 2019 NFL Title.
Bill Belichick remembers the taste of defeat last year in Minneapolis as the Philadelphia Eagles took the Lombardi Trophy home. The quest is on to reclaim what fans in the Northeast believe is theirs. Snow is in the forecast Sunday which the Patriots welcome but also understand how much talent Los Angeles has on their roster.
New England is (12-2) SU in the postseason with weather condition below 32 degrees. The high powered Patriots offense will get tested by a defense that is better on the field than on paper, and the coaching staff knows this as a fact. They’ll have to dink and dunk to running back Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead. New England is a team that can never be counted out, especially in January and February.
Belichick is friends with University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban who’s Crimson Tide got destroyed in the 2019 BCS title game. This Sports Handicapper believes the long-standing dynasty in New England is on shaky ground.
The organization will pay down the road for trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco; Sunday’s game will be the most anticipated as the Los Angeles Chargers have an excellent shot at dethroning the reigning AFC Champions.
Bovada.Lv, list the New England Patriots at +650 to win the 2019 Superbowl.
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Written by NBA Expert Analyst Charlie Red McDougall.
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The (23-14) SU, (17-20) ATS Philadelphia 76ers were defeated at Portland 129-95 on December 30th as 3 point road UNDERDOGS ATS on their current four-game road trip.
Portland led 70-41 at halftime and never let up as Ben Simmons led the 76ers with 19 points. Philadelphia will visit the Grand Canyon State to take on Phoenix on Wednesday before entertaining Dallas on January 5th.
- Philadelphia is 0-4 AGAINST THE POINT SPREAD their last four on Tuesday’s.
- The 76ers are 6-0 ATS the last six between the teams.
- UNDER bettors have made a profit 3 of the last four between the teams.
- The OVER is 3-2 Philadelphia last five on the road.
The (21-15) SU/ATS Los Angeles Clippers lost to San Antonio as 3 point home FAVORITES ATS on December 29th ending a two-game winning streak.
Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score 21 points in defeat while Danilo Gallinari led the starters with twenty-one. The Clippers are three games behind Golden State for supremacy in the Pacific division.
- OVER bettors has cashed in the Clippers last six at home.
- The Clippers are 0-4 ATS their last four on Tuesday’s.
- The Clippers are 3-4 ATS their last seven at home.
- OVER bettors have made profits in 7 of the Clipper last ten overall
Tuesday’s game is 10:030 PM EST at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Local Television Network will be broadcasting.
The Betting Line has the Clippers as 1′ point home FAVORITES ATS. The TOTAL is 235 points for Tuesday’s contest.
With the recent addition of Jimmy Butler Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown has concerns about young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. It’s always the case when a veteran is inserted into a system with talented youth, ego’s take over. General Manager Elton Brand must find a way for it to work if the 76ers are to soar too elite status.
The 76ers offense averages (114.0) points per game which ranks 6th overall in the NBA while the (112.1) ppg they allow to opponents is 23rd.
Embiid (26.5) points per contest lead the 76ers in scoring is turning into one of the best post players in basketball with an ability to play outside as well as under the basket. However, he’s struggling with a minor knee injury, and his status is uncertain tonight.
Simmons is also an intriguing player who’ll be a household name for years to come. Butler, on the other hand, is a fighter who was once homeless as a teenager and doesn’t take well to the primadonna athlete of this era.
Fans in the City of Brotherly Love believes the three players have what it takes to bring them an NBA title. They also need to mature which shows as they’ve won just 6 of their last twenty-one games on the road.
The Handicapping experts at Charliessports.com is hoping the 76ers begin to bring effort at the defensive end on a regular basis; it must start tonight as the effort in Portland was pathetic.
Bovada.Lv list the Philadelphia 76ers win total at 53′ games for 2018-19.
The Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t find their rhythm in their home loss to San Antonio, and they also allowed the Spurs interior players to shoot freely around the basket. Head Coach Doc Rivers is doing a masterful job on the bench since the Chris Paul era ended.
Los Angeles scores (115.9) points per contest, Danilo Gallinari has scored 21 points or more in 6 of the last eight games. As much trouble as the Clippers had their previous game with LaMarcus Aldridge they’ll be extra concerned with Embiid if he’s available Tuesday.
Guard Lou Williams (18.1) ppg continues to play through a minor hamstring injury while leading scorer Tobias Harris (21.0) ppg is their most consistent player. The Clippers are in the right spot in the Western Conference; they’re the four seed to begin the new year. However, Rivers and his staff understand if they are going to compete in the playoffs the (114.7) ppg they allow opponents must improve and it has to begin tonight against a talented Philadelphia team.
Teams in the final game of road trips tend to struggle, especially after the holidays. The Clippers can score the basketball but what will the mindset be? Williams is 32 years, and Rivers must lean on him to lead.
This Sports Handicapper believes Defense, and more Defense is what will get the POINT SPREAD cover for the Clippers tonight.
Bovada.Lv list the Los Angeles Clippers win total at 36′ games for 2018-19.
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Sometimes bowl games revive old rivalries. Alabama and Clemson first hooked up in 1900. Clemson won the first three matchups, all within five years. The Crimson Tide made up the ground and then some before the First World War and following the Second. Then there were four classic matchups between Frank Howard and Bear Bryant from 1966-69. ‘Bama won them all. Now, Dabo Sweeney and Nick Saban hook up in the National Championship for the fourth time in as many years with Saban edging the series 2-1.
On the other hand, bowl games also create new rivalries. Fittingly on New Years Day, Mississippi State and Iowa hook up for the first time in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
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Both teams are 8-4 [SU]. The Hawkeyes come in unranked but the AP Poll has the Bulldogs 18th. Their respective records in the Over/Under are telling. Iowa comes in 8-4, Mississippi State 2-9.
It’s not just that Kirk Ferentz’s attack loves to go over the top while Joe Moorhead prefers to ground and pound. Mississippi State’s running game produces points. The difference is their defence really gets after it, stifling opponents. When only one team is scoring, the Under comes out on top more often than not.
The strength in defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s unit is the line. Montez Sweat leads the way with 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble on the year. When opposing offensive lines focus on the 6′ 6″ 245 lb senior, Erroll Thompson  and Willie Gay [4.5] find their way to the quarterback. It’s junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons who stuffs the run, however. The 6′ 4″ 300-pounder leads the ‘Dogs with 15.5 tackles in the backfield.
Iowa QB Nathan Stanley and running back Mehki Sargent will be put to the test. Stanley threw for 2,638 yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Sargent added 748 yards on the ground with 10 TDs, nine rushing. Problem: Mississippi State is #1 in the nation in defence, yielding only 12 points per game.
The Hawkeyes’ defence wasn’t too bad, either, ranking 10th at 17.4 ppg. Anthony Nelson [9.5 sacks/11 tackles for loss] and AJ Epenesa [9.5/15.5] lead the charge. The Bulldogs rushing trio [Nick Fitzgerald 1,018 yds/12 TDs, Kylin Hill 691/7 and Aeris Williams 502/4] should be in for a long afternoon, too.
Iowa plays in the Big Ten West and avoided confrontations with Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. They lost at home to their toughest opponent, Northwestern, but gave it a go at 14-10. Mississippi State, on the other hand, counts Alabama, LSU, Florida and Kentucky as their four defeats in the stacked Southeastern Conference. Capitalising on turnovers is the Hawkeyes’ best hope but key for both teams.
The LINE is Iowa [+7].
The TOTAL is a meagre 41
The powers that be are trying to push you into betting the Over but neither side in this one fields a blazing offence. The Bulldogs rank 66th in the nation, scoring 29.1 ppg, the Hawkeyes 42nd at 31.5, but it’s their defensive numbers you should key on. Remember, the two schools bookend the top-ten in the country on that side of the ball. Take the UNDER and run.
Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction. Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.
Schools on opposite coasts rarely meet. Travel time clashes with study time. That said, Stanford and Pitt clashed three times in eleven years. Pitt edged the budding rivalry with 16-7 and 7-0 wins in 1922 and 32. Stanford came away with a 7-6 triumph in 1928. Then Pitt played Floyd Mayweather to Stanford’s Manny Pacquiao, ‘avoiding’ a rematch for eight-and-a-half decades. Finally, the Cardinal have an opportunity to even the score with the Panthers in this year’s Sun Bowl.
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Although the two schools haven’t met in nearly a century, each produced a legendary NFL quarterback. John Elway and Dan Marino were two of the greatest arms the pro game has seen. Elway did get to hand the ball to Pitt alum Tony Dorsett in the Hall of Fame running back’s latter years.
It won’t be like-for-like in this long-awaited reunion. While Stanford quarterback KJ Costello loves to air it out, throwing for 3,435 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the Cardinal’s 8-4 season, Pitt is strictly FedEx Ground.
Panthers QB Kenny Pickett threw for 1,500 fewer yards than his Sun Bowl opponent. He was too busy handing the ball to a pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Qadree Ollison picked up 1,190 yards, Darren Hall 1,021 over Pitt’s 7-6 campaign. Between them, the pair found the end zone 20 times.
Stanford’s defence has their hands full but they’re used to it. Defensive coordinator Lance Anderson’s ball hawks forced eight fumbles in 2018, recovering seven. If Pitt offensive coordinator Shawn Watson tries to catch his counterpart overloading the box, the Cardinal secondary will be ready. As a unit, they picked off 11 throws this season. Sophomore cornerback Paulson Adebo grabbed four and defended 18 passes.
Pitt’s defence loves to dole out punishment too. Randy Bates group forced 17 fumbles. Problem? They recovered just the one. The secondary intercepted nine balls. Damar Hamlin and Jason Pinnock claimed two apiece but senior DB Dane Jackson will be tasked with shutting down KJ Costello’s favourite target. Jackson defended 13 passes on the season. His assignment, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, fell just short of a 1,000 yards for Stanford, catching 60 Costello throws for 969 yards and 14 TDs.
Pitt DC Bates and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge might be thinking about a blitz package to harry the junior signal caller. Tailback Bryce Love elected to sit his 739 yards rushing out at the Sun Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft. Trevor Speights and Cameron Scarlett must pick up the slack. Both had similar yards-per-carry stats to Love but neither reached the 250-yard mark. Scarlett is the more explosive back with seven TDs. Head coach David Shaw may go with him in this one.
Pitt ended their regular season as Clemson’s whipping boys in the ACC Championship. Stanford finished on a high beating arch-rival Cal 23-13 for a third straight win following a mid-season hiccup during which they lost four of five.
The Sun Bowl LINE is Pitt [+4.5]. The TOTAL is 52.
AGAINST THE SPREAD, Stanford is 3-0-1 in their last four, 10-1 in December games. Pitt is 0-4 in neutral site games but 7-1 following a game in which they pass for less than 170 yards. Kenny Pickett was 4/16 for eight yards and an interception against Clemson. [Ouch]
The OVER is 4-0 in Stanford’s last four games after an ATS victory.
Who do I like? It isn’t Bryce Love, although I understand the caution behind skipping bowl games when an NFL paycheck looms and you’ve been busting your hump for free for 2-4 years. It is what it is but it’s a real pain in the ass for Stanford fans and the team as a whole. If Cameron Scarlett isn’t ready to keep Pitt honest, it will be a long afternoon for the Cardinal.
I feel like he’s ready, though. I’m not prepared to say the Cardinal will dominate because Pitt will try to control possession through Ollison and Hall. Still, I expect the scoreboard to light up like the Wall Street ticker at opening bell. Bet the Over here and have a Happy New Year.
Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.
Let’s get the niggling question out of the way first. For those of you who’ve never been to North Carolina, Belk is the region’s classy department store. It’s the Macy’s of the Carolinas [my slogan, not theirs] and even sponsored the Charlotte Thanksgiving Day Parade until 2013.
I google way too much.
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Anyway, minds at ease, we can now turn to important matters, namely football.
South Carolina and Virginia come to town with largely identical records but distinctly different squads. Both are 7-5 Straight Up and Over/Under. Each is 4-4 SU in Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conference play respectively. The Cavaliers are one game better [8-4] Against The Spread and SU at home [6-1]. The Gamecocks boast two SU wins on the road to their opponent’s one.
The big differences lie in how each school arrived at their similar records.
Although South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp appears to have followed another former Florida Gators coach’s trail from Gainesville to Columbia and the Gamecocks are a pass-happy offence in the proud Steve Spurrier tradition, he comes to the top job from the defensive side of the ball. That is a problem for South Carolina, who gave up nearly as many points per game [27.2] as they scored [32.6].
Meanwhile, Bronco Mendenhall’s team play the type of football their coach’s name suggests. Smashmouth. Junior quarterback Bryce Perkins, who sat out two seasons in transferring from Arizona State, isn’t afraid to throw the ball but the Cavaliers boast two players in the backfield who threatened 1,000 yards in 2018. Running back Jordan Ellis put up 920 yards on 189 carries for a solid 4.9 yards per rush. Perkins himself added another 842 with a 4.3yd average. Each ran it into the end zone nine times.
South Carolina QB Jake Bentley lets his arm do the yard work. He has three rushers to leg it out. Rico Dowdle [638yds, 4TDs], Mon Denson [415yds, 2TDs] and Tyson Williams [319yds, 4TDs] do their share but the junior signal-caller passed for 2953 yards and 27 touchdowns, this season, albeit with 12 interceptions. His favourite target is Deebo Samuel who racked up 882yds on 62 receptions for 11 TDs.
Unfortunately for Bentley and the Gamecocks, Samuel elected to skip the bowl to prepare for the NFL draft. Without him, the 35 points Muschamp’s offence put up in defeat to Clemson loses significance. Bryan Edwards caught 52 balls for seven scores and 809yds. He must pick up the slack. Third back in the rotation, Williams is questionable as he rehabs a broken hand.
Virginia’s defence loves a quarterback who stays in the pocket. Senior safety Juan Thornhill has five picks, benefitting from linebacker Chris Peace’s ability to pressure the quarterback. Peace, also a senior, banked six sacks in 2018. As a team, the Cavaliers have 15 INTs and 22 sacks.
South Carolina’s aerial attack v Virginia’s pass defence is the key matchup in the Belk Bowl. Samuel’s absence could be critical. Bowl games are notoriously unpredictable, though, because both teams lose their momentum [or inertia] with several weeks off. Bentley has had all the time in the world to work with other receivers.
Trends conflict. South Carolina is 4-0 ATS v winning teams and in their past four bowls. Nominally the visiting team, they’re giving away four points in the Line. Virginia is 5-0 O/U in their previous bowl games with the Total in this one at 54. The teams haven’t met since 2003.
Overall, you must look at Virginia’s voracious pass defence and South Carolina’s undermanned receiving corps. It’s tempting to bet the Under but this looks like Virginia’s game to lose.
Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.