Friday, December 14, 2018

Pacers go for 6th Straight at 76ers

Pacers Basketball

Both Teams Hope to Get Stars Back Tonight





The fans at Wells Fargo Center will the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers when they take their seats on Friday.





TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Indiana, NBCS Philadelphia





LINE: 76ers -3.5; O/U: 219.





Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP candidate again with Jimmy Butler out of the lineup. The Philadelphia 76ers are missing their closer. The 76ers hope to have Butler back from a groin injury on Friday.





Butler was injured in Monday's win over Detroit. He is considered day-to-day. He sat out Wednesday and watched Philadelphia send the Brooklyn Nets to the free-throw line 43 times in a 127-124 setback.





The Pacers are familiar with playing without a star but got Victor Oladipo (knee) back from an 11-game absence on Wednesday. They fit him in seamlessly while cruising to a 113-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. It pushed their winning streak to five straight.





The Pacers are 18-10 on the season. Indiana is allowing an average of 95 points during its winning streak. They limited Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo to 12 points on Wednesday. Thaddeus Young finished with a team-high 25 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists in the victory.





C Myles Turner is averaging 24.5 points over the last two games.





The 76ers are 19-10 on the season. Philadelphia was also missing reserve power forward Mike Muscala on Wednesday with an undisclosed illness.  Embiid recorded his 25th double-double with 33 points and 17 rebounds. He only attempted only three shots in the second half. That can't happen again against the Pacers tonight.





SG Furkan Korkmaz scored 18 points in each of the last two games. It raised his season average to 5.8 points.





PREDICTION: 76ers 111, Pacers 106





NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Indiana is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indiana's last 5 games
The Pacers are 8-4 SU in its last 12 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games on the road
The Pacers are 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Philadelphia
Indiana is 14-4 SU in its last 18 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
The Pacers are 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
The Pacers are 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Indiana's last 7 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia

Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Philadelphia is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 7 games
The 76ers are 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 15-2 SU in its last 17 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games at home
The 76ers are 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Indiana
Philadelphia is 4-14 SU in its last 18 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games when playing Indiana
The 76ers are 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Indiana
The 76ers are 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 7 games when playing at home against Indiana

Next up:
Indiana home to New York Sunday, December 16
Philadelphia at Cleveland Sunday, December 16





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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Surging Lightning Host Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Hockey

Lightning Offense Finding Groove





The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning will meet on Thursday at Amalie Arena. The Lightning hope to continue their scoring surges in a showdown of the top two teams in the league.





TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TVA, Sportsnet Ontario (Toronto), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)





Line: Tampa Bay -140; O/U: 6.5U -120.





(opens in a new tab)">Steven Stamkos boasts eight goals and four assists during Tampa Bay's seven-game winning streak. They have scored 36 times. Stamkos also posted his club-record ninth career hat trick in Monday's 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Stamkos has 18 goals and 41 points in 35 career games against Toronto.





The Maple Leafs' are six points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning with a game in hand after knocking off Carolina 4-1 on Tuesday. William Nylander led the way for the Maple Leafs. He had two assists in his third game since returning from a contract hold out. He also scored twice in four contests against Tampa Bay last season.





The Maple Leafs are 21-9-1 on the season. Forward Mitch Marner has not scored in 12 games. He does have 13 assists in his last eight outings to take the team lead with 41 points. John Tavares owns a team-high 19 goals after scoring Tuesday. Auston Matthews has 16 goals in 17 contests this season. That makes six during his current six-game point streak since coming off injured reserve. Defenseman Morgan Rielly has at least a point in six straight outings. Defenseman Jake Gardiner is also on a roll with a goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak.





Forward Zach Hyman will sit out the final contest of a two-game suspension for an illegal check.





The Lightning are 24-7-1 on the season. Louis Domingue is 11-3-0 since taking over as the No. 1 goalie. All-Star Andrei Vasilevskiy is healthy again as he is coming off a fractured foot. He has gone through a full practice and could be back in net as early as Thursday.





Right wing Nikita Kucherov has assists in three straight games and leads the team with 45 points. Brayden Point is four behind and has seven of his team-high 21 goals in the last 10 games.





PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3





NHL Betting Odds & Trends






Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto's last 7 games
Toronto is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
Toronto is 12-4 SU in its last 16 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 6 games on the road
Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
Toronto is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
Toronto is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Toronto's last 10 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 7 games
Tampa Bay is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games at home
Tampa Bay is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games at home
Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Toronto
Tampa Bay is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Toronto
Tampa Bay is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Toronto
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Tampa Bay's last 10 games when playing at home against Toronto

Next up:
Toronto at Florida Saturday, December 15
Tampa Bay at Winnipeg Sunday, December 16





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Tulsa Hosts New Orleans in NCAA Hoops

Tulsa Golden Hurricane Sports

The New Orleans Privateers and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane will on Thursday when they meet at Reynolds Center. Both teams have talented players and this is a great game to catch on a light schedule night in college basketball.





TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3 LINE: Golden Hurricane -13; O/U: 136.5.





Tulsa looks to avoid a letdown tonight. It could happen after a pair of impressive performances last week. They try to remain unbeaten at home against New Orleans in a non-conference matchup. The Golden Hurricane knocked off Oklahoma State 74-71 on Dec. 5. They then ground out a 47-46 victory over No. 24 Kansas State on Saturday to extend their home-court winning streak to 13 games, dating back to last season.





Guard Martins Igbanu had the go-ahead basket and the Golden Hurricane held Kansas State to 30.5 percent shooting for their signature win of the season.





New Orleans is among the national leaders in turnovers forced per game at 20.1. They definitely won't be a pushover as the Privateers are coming off a 71-60 victory over South Alabama on Dec. 5.





The Privateers are 4-3 on the season. Guard Ezekiel Charles has scored at least 18 points in three of the last four games. He leads the team at 14 per contest. He has drilled 16-of-30 shots from 3-point range overall.





Forward Scott Plaisance Jr. (10.3 points) scored 13, grabbed six rebounds and added three blocks against South Alabama. Forward Gerrale Gates contributes nine points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds per contest.





Damion Rosser is averaging 14 points over the last three games. Fellow sophomore guard Lamont Berzat dishes out a team-high 3.3 assists per game.





Tulsa is 7-3 on the season. Guard DaQuan Jeffries was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday. He scored 20 against Oklahoma State and aided the defensive effort with two blocks and two steals versus Kansas State. Jeffries leads the team in scoring with 12.5 per contest. That is just ahead of Igbanu who is scoring 12.1. Igbanu tops the Golden Hurricane in rebounds at 5.8 a game and shoots 59.7 percent from the field.





Senior guard Sterling Taplin adds 9.8 points per contest and boasts a team-leading 55 of Tulsa's 120 assists in 10 games. Guard Curran Scott led the way with a season-high 14 points against Kansas State.





F Jeriah Horne is 9-of-19 from 3-point range in the last four games and owns a team-most 14 makes from behind the arc.





PREDICTION: Tulsa 76, New Orleans 63





Next up:
New Orleans home to Williams Baptist Tuesday, December 18
Tulsa at Dayton Sunday, December 16





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Chargers and Chiefs Clash in AFC West Showdown

Kansas City Chiefs

Thursday Night Football features two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs go toe-to-toe with Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.





With the AFC West division on the line in this one, the Chargers will attempt to atone for a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. A win would bring them even with Kansas City in the AFC West standings.





TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network.





LINE: Chiefs -3.5. O/U: 54.5





A lot has happened since the Week 1 meeting. The Chiefs won that matchup 38-28. After 13 weeks that win is all that separates these two clubs.





Following a Week 14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs (11-2) clinched a playoff berth and held on to first place in the AFC West.





With a 10-3 record, Los Angeles sits in the first Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Chargers rank a respectable sixth in the NFL in team offense. They are averaging 28.3 points per game. The Chiefs lead the league with 37 points scored per game. This matchup will be won on the offensive side of the ball.





This and That Plus the Prediction





(opens in a new tab)">The Chargers could again be without star running back Melvin Gordon, who has 13 total touchdowns despite missing the past two games and told reporters Tuesday that he expects to be a game-day decision. Backup Austin Ekeler sustained a neck injury and concussion in Sunday's win over Cincinnati. He is expected to sit out. That leaves the possibility that rookies Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome will carry the ground game.





Philip Rivers is third in the league in passer rating at 114.5. He has thrown for 29 touchdowns against six interceptions. He also has connected with wideout Keenan Allen with a scoring pass in five straight games.





Joey Bosa has four sacks in four games since returning to the lineup.





Patrick enters Thursday's matchup with a league-leading 43 scoring strikes.





Injuries are also a major concern for the Chiefs. They are uncertain about the status of wide receiver Tyreek Hill with a foot injury. "hey also expect to be without running back Spencer Ware (shoulder/hamstring).





Hill torched the Chargers in the season opener with a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown and two scoring passes from Mahomes. The gunslinger also has passed for an NFL-high 4,300 yards.





Kansas City's defense ranks 30th in total yards and is last against the pass by giving up 281.8 yards per game.





DE Chris Jones has at least one sack in nine consecutive games, the longest single-season streak since 1982.






PREDICTION: Chiefs 30, Chargers 20





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NFL Betting Odds & Trends






Los Angeles Chargers
LA Chargers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
LA Chargers is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Chargers's last 7 games
LA Chargers is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
LA Chargers is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Chargers's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of LA Chargers's last 12 games on the road
LA Chargers is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Kansas City
LA Chargers is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Kansas City
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of LA Chargers's last 9 games when playing Kansas City
LA Chargers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
LA Chargers is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Kansas City

Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is 12-5-1 ATS in its last 18 games
Kansas City is 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Kansas City is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas City's last 5 games
Kansas City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Kansas City's last 11 games at home
Kansas City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
Kansas City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing LA Chargers
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kansas City's last 9 games when playing LA Chargers
Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Chargers
Kansas City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against LA Chargers

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rockets Host Trail Blazers on NBA-TV

Houston Rockets Basketball

Rockets Look to Get on Track Against Trail Blazers





The Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets battle on Tuesday when at Toyota Center. It has been a up and down season for both teams, but especially the Rockets.





TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV, NBCS Northwest (Portland), AT&T SportsNet-Southwest (Houston)





LINE: Rockets -6.5; O/U: 220.





The first 25 games of the season have been a disaster for the Rockets. The team looks nothing like the squad that reached the (opens in a new tab)">Western Conference Finals last season. They aim to halt a three-game slide on Tuesday night.





Houston has lost seven of its last nine games. That is just three losses shy of matching last season's total.





Portland hopes it is back on the upswing after posting back-to-back wins. That is following a stretch during which it dropped six of seven.





Portland is 15-11 on the season





Nurkic is coming off a strong all-around performance in Saturday's 113-105 win over Minnesota. He matched his season high of 22 points. He also chipped in 11 rebounds, four assists, four blocked shots and three steals.





Damian Lillard ranks fourth in the NBA with a 27.2-point scoring average. He also is on a roll as he is averaging 30.8, eight assists and 5.8 rebounds over his last four games.





Lillard has made multiple 3-pointers in eight straight contests. He set a Trail Blazers franchise-record 10 on Nov. 28 against Orlando.





Al-Farouq Aminu has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He is averaging 14.8 points during that stretch.





The Rockets are a Disappointing 11-14





Houston quickly parted ways with forward Carmelo Anthony when it was clear he didn't fit. Shooting guard Eric Gordon could be the next player shipped out of town. Gordon is averaging 15.7 points, but is shooting a woeful 36.6 percent. He made critical comments about the team and expressed that he isn't enjoying this season at all. "I'm just not having fun, man," Gordon told The Athletic.





"I'm just not. This sucks. Even the times where I have good games. We're just not using some guys the right way. Are we gonna make the right sacrifices? Do we have the right attitude? Last year was the best year I've ever had being a part of a team. We just never had a bad moment."





The Rockets have won seven of the last nine meetings, but the Trail Blazers never trailed en route to a 104-85 shellacking on Oct. 30.





James Harden is averaging a league-best 30 points. He has scored 30 or more in seven of his last 11 games.





PREDICTION: Rockets 117, Trail Blazers 109





NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Portland Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers are 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games
Portland is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
Trail Blazers are 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Portland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Portland's last 6 games on the road
Trail Blazers are 4-1-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston
Portland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston
The total has gone OVER in 18 of Portland's last 25 games when playing Houston
Trail Blazers are 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Houston
Portland is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games when playing on the road against Houston
The total has gone OVER in 14 of Portland's last 19 games when playing on the road against Houston

Houston Rockets
Rockets are 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games
Houston is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Houston's last 11 games
Rockets are 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Houston's last 6 games at home
Rockets are 1-4-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Portland
Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Portland
The total has gone OVER in 18 of Houston's last 25 games when playing Portland
Rockets are 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Portland
Houston is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Portland
The total has gone OVER in 14 of Houston's last 19 games when playing at home against Portland

Next up:
Portland at Memphis Wednesday, December 12
Houston home to Los Angeles Thursday, December 13





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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Knicks and Celtics Renew Rivalry on TNT

Boston Celtics

Celtics Finally Getting in Gear Just in Time for Knicks



Two familiar Atlantic Division foes will meet again this Thursday when the Boston Celtics (13-10 SU, 10-13 ATS) host the New York Knicks (8-17 SU, 13-11-1 ATS). It’s already their third game of the season; they split the previous two straight up, but the Knicks covered both times.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Boston

LINE: Celtics -13.5; O/U: 217.5

Boston may finally be getting out of the funk they have been in. It has kept them well behind the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic race.

Head coach Brad Stevens has shuffled his lineup by bringing in Gordon Hayward off the bench as a sixth man. He has tried different players in the starting five.

The Celtics are 4-3 SU and ATS since making the change to Hayward coming off the bench. Jaylen Brown, who’s day-to-day with a bruised tailbone, could also join the bench mob when he makes his return.

The Knicks are last in the Atlantic Division. They’ve performed admirably without Kristaps Porzingis. He has yet to make his season debut after undergoing knee surgery in February.

Lance Thomas (knee) remains out indefinitely. Courtney Lee (neck) and Trey Burke (knee) are listed as day-to-day.

The Knicks are 4-4 SU and 6-2 ATS over their past eight games. That includes a 117-109 win over Boston as 14.5-point road dogs.

PREDICTION: Celtics 110, Knicks 102

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Thursday Night Football: Jaguars vs Titans

Tennessee Titans Football

NFC South Rivals Battle Again With Playoff Implications



Thursday Night Football is upon us again and it will kick off Week 14 of the NFL season. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans meet at Nissan Stadium. This game will have major implications on the AFC South and the playoff race.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network.

LINE: Titans -45; O/U: 37.

The Titans were 15 minutes away from a third consecutive loss. It would have all but wiped out their postseason hopes. A dramatic fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday has the team back in contention. The Titans will look to sweep the Jaguars for the second straight season when they battle in Nashville.

Tennessee erased an early 16-point deficit in Sunday's 26-22 victory over the New York Jets. They are among four teams trailing the Baltimore Ravens by one game for the sixth and final playoff slot in the AFC.

"When you're playing on Monday night and Thursday night, you're playing good football and getting more TV games," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "We have to take advantage of those and worry about us, not any of those other teams in the hunt."


The Jaguars showed they haven't given up on the season. They halted a seven-game losing streak by pitching a shutout in a 6-0 win over the red-hot Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The 4-8 Jaguars only loss in September was a 9-6 setback to the visiting Titans in Week 3. That was without star running back Leonard Fournette. He also sat out Sunday's victory while serving a one-game suspension for fighting.

Quarterback Cody Kessler took over for a benched Blake Bortles. He posted his first win in nine NFL starts by throwing for 150 yards and completing 18 of 24 against Indianapolis.

The running game managed only 79 yards in the absence of Fournette, who rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns in his previous two games. Fournette has 197 yards from scrimmage and a TD in two matchups against the Titans.

The Jaguars held Tennessee to 233 yards of total offense in the first matchup. They blanked an Indy offense that averaged more then 34 points in its previous five games.

The 6-6 Titans have an ailing Marcus Mariota. He came off the bench to lift Tennessee over Jacksonville in Week 3. He produced another comeback last week by leading the Titans to 13 points in the fourth quarter. The comeback included a winning touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. Mariota has eight TD passes and two interceptions in seven games versus the Jaguars.

Wide receiver Taywan Taylor provided a spark to the offense Sunday. He returned from a three-game absence with three receptions for 104 yards. Every one of them was in the fourth quarter.

The Titans rank in the top 10 in total and passing yards allowed but give up 119.8 on the ground. Tennessee has limited Jacksonville to 32 points while winning the past three meetings.

PREDICTION: Jaguars 17, Titans 13



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Next up:
Jacksonville home to Washington Sunday, December 16
Tennessee at New York Sunday, December 16

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Gonzaga Hosts Washington in College Hoops

Gonzaga Basketball

Top-Ranked Zags' Host Dangerous Huskies Squad



Top-Ranked Gonzaga returns home Wednesday to face a dangerous Washington squad. This is after coming from behind to win its first true road game of the season.

Sophomore guard Zach Norvell Jr. scored 23 of his team-high 28 points in the second half as Gonzaga remained unbeaten with last Saturday's 103-92 win at Creighton.

TV: 11 p.m. ET, ESPN2

LINE: Gonzaga -15.5: O/U; 161.5.

Norvell Jr. is averaging 18.6 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Bulldogs. The Zags' took over the top spot in the rankings last week following wins over Illinois, Arizona and Duke at the Maui Invitational.

Guard Josh Perkins  had 13 points and 13 assists, forward Brandon Clarke tossed in 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Rui Hachimura contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Creighton. The Blue Jays led by seven at the half but struggled to keep pace with the Zags after the break.

Gonzaga ranks second in the country in scoring at 98.4 points per game. They could be tested by a Washington team eager to record a statement win.

Senior forward Noah Dickerson had 22 points and eight rebounds for the 6-2 Huskies on Sunday. Guard Jaylen Nowell added 17 points the 67-63 win over UC-Santa Barbara.

Nowell averages a team-high 18.1 points on 57.6-percent shooting for the Huskies. They have won two straight following a loss to Minnesota but have struggled with inconsistency on the offensive end.

Dickerson and Nowell carry the bulk of the scoring load. Coach Mike Hopkins will need players such as Dominic Green and Matisse Thybulle to step up against the explosive Zags.

Hachimura averages a team-high 21.9 points for  the 8-0 Zags'. They are a team that is clicking despite playing without standout forward Killian Tillie. He will likely miss most of the non-conference season with an ankle injury.

The Zags' frontcourt has received a major boost from Clarke. He is a 6-8 transfer from San Jose State, who is averaging 17.3 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 77.3 percent from the field.

The team's balanced attack includes Perkins, who was named West Coast Conference player of the week. He recorded 19 assists in wins over North Dakota State and Creighton.

PREDICTION: Gonzaga 92, Washington 77



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Next up:
Washington home to Seattle Sunday, December 9
Gonzaga at Tennessee Sunday, December 9

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Villanova Hosts Temple in NCAA Hoops

Villanova Athletics

Temple Poses Tough Test for Villanova



The Temple Owls and the Villanova Wildcats will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Villanova Pavilion. The No. 21 Wildcats passed its first Big 5 challenge of the season.

The Big 5 is an annual round-robin between five Philadelphia area schools. The Wildcats are actually slated to play four consecutive Big 5 games this month. The run continues on Wednesday against the fast-starting Owls.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1.

LINE: Villanova 8; O/U: 143.

Villanova has won 23 straight Big 5 games. It includes Saturday's 85-78 win against La Salle. The defending national champions continue to win local matchups despite losing many key players to the NBA.

Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are two of the returning players from the title team. They combined for 46 points against the Explorers. The duo hopes to match or exceed that number against the Owls.

Nova' is 6-2 on the season. The Wildcats shot 55.1 percent from the field against La Salle. They made 12-of-21 from 3-point range and connected on 19-of-23 foul shots. it is one of their best performances since dominating Michigan in last season's NCAA Tournament title game.

Paschall is averaging 21.3 points in the last three games and 15.8 overall. He is just behind Booth, who is at 16.9 ppg.  Collin Gillespie is at 11.3 ppg and has 32 points over the last two outings. He is shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point land this season.

In his last four games, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree is 14-of-15 from the floor.

Temple improved to 7-1 with a Big 5 win of its own Saturday, recording a 77-70 road triumph against Saint Joseph's.

The Owls are 7-1 this season. They received 15 points apiece from Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose against St. Joe's. They are continuing their best start since 2012-13 when the team started 8-1.

Alston and Rose average 17.1 points apiece and combine for 8.4 assists and 3.9 steals out of the backcourt.

Nate Pierre-Louis averages 11.3 points per game and scored in double digits in each of the first five games but has not reached the 10-point mark in three straight contests.

PREDICTION: Villanova 93, Temple 90



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Next up:
Temple home to UMass Wednesday, December 12
Villanova home to Saint Joseph's Saturday, December 8

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Raptors Host 76ers on ESPN

Toronto Raptors Basketball

Two of East's Top Teams Clash in Primetime



The Toronto Raptors (20-5 SU, 11-13-1 ATS) have the best record in the NBA. They’re getting the attention that comes with it. The Raptors will lead off ESPN’s Wednesday double-header when they host the Philadelphia 76ers (17-8 SU, 11-14 ATS).

It’s their second meeting of the season. Toronto won the first 129-112 as 6-point home favorites.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Philadelphia, Sportsnet One (Toronto).

LINE: Raptors -6.5; O/U: 229.5.

That was on October 30, before the 76ers acquired swingman Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Three of Philadelphia’s starters from that game are no longer in the lineup. Robert Covington and Dario Saric went to Minnesota in the Butler deal. Markelle Fultz, who’s away from the team with a lingering shoulder ailment.

The Sixers are 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS with Butler on board.

The Raptors were close to full strength during their first encounter. Fred VanVleet was unavailable then, but he’s healthy now. Norman Powell is out with a shoulder injury of his own.

Kyle Lowry missed Saturday’s 106-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers with a sore back. Saturday may have been more of a maintenance day for Lowry than anything else.

This and That for Raptors and 76ers



The Raptors had an eight-game winning streak come to an end with a 106-103 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday. They own the best record in the NBA and forced 20 turnovers against the Nuggets. The team just could not defend without fouling down the stretch. Denver center Nikola Jokic hit three free throws in the final seven seconds to lead to the defeat.

Toronto went 11-of-41 from the 3-point line against the Nuggets. Danny Green went 3-of-9 from the floor in the loss but collected two steals without committing a turnover.

PGs Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet combined to go 2-of-14 from the floor on Monday.

The 76ers rolled through a perfect three-game homestand. It was capped by a 103-95 win over Memphis on Sunday. They are 4-7 on the road as they get set for a tough two-game trip that includes a visit to Detroit on Friday.

The Philadelphia back-court led the way in Sunday's win. Ben Simmons scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and six assists. Simmons is shooting 67.3 percent from the field over the last five games while averaging 16.2 points and 8.4 assists.

PREDICTION: Raptors 115, 76ers 109

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Spurs Visit Jazz on NBA-TV

Utah Jazz

Road Weary Jazz finally Home to Face Spurs



The fans at Vivint Smart Home Arena will see the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz when they take their seats on Tuesday. The Jazz have played 10 of their past 12 games on the road. Thinking that was not enough two thirds (16) of their first 24 games have been contested in away venues.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Southwest (San Antonio), AT&T Sportsnet (Utah).

LINE: Jazz -8; O/U: 216.

San Antonio dropped back-to-back games by an average of 35 points recently. They got things back together with a 131-118 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Utah finished up a three-game road swing by falling 102-100 to the Miami Heat on Sunday. The Jazz host the Houston Rockets on Thursday and the back-to-back home games will be their first since Nov. 7 and 9.

The Spurs are still trying to find themselves and are 11-12 on the season.

Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan was on the mark with a season-high 36 points against Portland. He averaged just 14 in the two blowout loses. DeRozan has six 30-point outings this season. He is also teaming well with power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge had 29 points and eight rebounds against the Trail Blazers.

Marco Belinelli (neck) will likely return after a one-game absence.

The Jazz are expecting to start playing better once they can string a few home games together. They are 11-13 to start the season.

Ricky Rubio scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting against Miami. He averaged just 8.3 points on 7-of-28 shooting over a three-game span.

Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell was just 8-of-24 shooting while scoring 18 points against the Heat. This was after being 50 percent or better the previous two games when he averaged 29.5 points.

The Jazz have won four of the past five meetings.

Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 18 rebounds against Miami for his 21st double-double of the campaign.

PREDICTION: Jazz 104, Spurs 101



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Next up:
San Antonio at Los Angeles Wednesday, December 5
Utah home to Houston Thursday, December 6

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Big XII Championship: Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma Sooners

Big XII Championship Football Game

Shootout Expected Between Texas and Oklahoma



The Big XII Championship game is a rematch of the "Red River Shootout" and it is expected to be Explosive. The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners renew one of best rivals in College Football. AT&T Stadium should be rocking all afternoon for this rematch.

TV: Noon ET, ABC.

LINE: Oklahoma -8; O/U: 78.

Lincoln Riley's dynamic offense at Oklahoma has been explosive enough this season to make up for one of the worst defenses in the country. Texas knows all about the one time it wasn't.

The fifth-ranked Sooners hope to avenge their only loss of the season. They also want to impress the College Football Playoff committee enough to move up from the No. 5 spot in the CFP rankings. No. 9 Texas has to win the Big 12 Championship Game to have a chance at the CFP.

Oklahoma leads FBS in scoring at 50.3 points per game and total offense at 583.8 yards per game. They finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak. This was with little help from the defense. They surrendered 47.3 points per game in its last four of those contests, and at least 40 points in each contest. Luckily the offense averaged 53.3 ppg.

The Sooners have failed to score at least 48 points in only three games this year. The last one came on Oct. 6th. The Sooners needed less than six minutes in the fourth quarter to erase a 21-point deficit against Texas. The Longhorns got a game-winning 40-yard field goal from Cameron Dicker as time expired for a 48-45 victory.

Texas has been living on the edge for most of the season. All but one of its last eight games were decided by one score and they won six of them. The Longhorns are making their sixth Big 12 Championship appearance and first since 2009.

The Sooners are seeking their fourth consecutive conference crown and a ninth championship win in 18 league title games.

Both Offenses are in High Gear



The Longhorns are 9-3 on the season and could easily have had a one or two loss season.

Sam Ehlinger is responsible for the two highest total offense outputs by a Longhorn quarterback in the 113-game history of this rivalry. He produced 386 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns in the first meeting this season and 388 in last seasons' game. He has been playing through a shoulder injury since Oct. 13.

Lil' Jordan Humphrey has 72 catches and 1,058 receiving yards, along with eight TD's on the season. Collin Johnson has 57 catches , 768 yards, and six TD's. They are one of only 14 duos in FBS with at least 55 catches. Humphrey is only the fifth player in school history with at least 1,000 yards and eight receiving TD's in a season.

Dicker's 34-yard field goal against the Jayhawks tied him with Dusty Magnum for the most made field goals ever by a Texas freshman. They both had 16.

The Longhorns are the only school in the Big 12 with a winning record against the Sooners with a 62-46-5 record. The Longhorns 6-3 in one-possession games this season.

The Sooners are 11-1 on the season.

Heisman Trophy candidate Kyler Murray is the first player in FBS history to average at least 300 passing yards and 60 rushing yards for an entire regular season. He averages 306.2 yards through the air and 71.1 on the ground. Murray leads an offense that is the first in FBS history to record at least 500 yards of total offense in nine regular-season games.

Starting running back Trey Sirmon is still limited due to a shoulder injury, so freshman Kennedy Brooks took over the team lead in rushing.  He has 993 yards and boasts an FBS best 9.6 yards per carry.

Since returning to full strength prior to the Oklahoma State victory, junior receiver Marquise Brown has caught 25 passes for 450 yards and three TD's.

Oklahoma's eight-game streak of scoring at least 45 points is tied for the longest among FBS teams since at least 1980.

This game marks the second in-season rematch between the arch-rivals and first since 1903.

PREDICTION: Oklahoma 56, Texas 49



Recent Form









































NameRecordATSOffenseDefenseDiffATS HomeATS AwayOU RecordOU HomeOU Away
Texas9-35-6-131.6725.176.54-2-11-46-63-43-2
Oklahoma11-14-7-150.3332.8317.53-41-3-110-1-15-1-15-0





Power Stats




Yards Per Point
















NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
TEXAS13.0715.58-2.52
OKLA11.613.68-2.08





Yards Per Pass
















NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
TEXAS11.5712.04-0.47
OKLA16.6712.883.79





Yards Per Rush
















NameOffenseDefenseDifferential
TEXAS3.853.94-0.09
OKLA6.974.112.86





Team Records




Texas Longhorns













































NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
Overall9-36-13-25-6-14-2-11-431.6725.176.50
vs Conf7-24-13-14-4-13-1-11-331.7825.895.89
Last 33-01-02-02-11-01-129.6720.339.34





Oklahoma Sooners













































NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
Overall11-17-04-14-7-13-41-3-150.3332.8317.50
vs Conf8-14-04-13-5-12-21-3-151.5637.5614.00
Last 33-02-01-00-2-10-20-0-154.0047.676.33





Supergrid


















TitleStatRankStatRank
Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense31.674532.83100
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense50.33125.1754


Head To Head Summary









































NameRecordATSOUScoreRushYPRPACPPYTYTO +/-
Texas4-66-3-16-427.20157.103.8234.9057.59226.80383.901.80
Oklahoma6-43-6-16-434.60151.504.1133.9061.06278.10429.601.80





Head To Head Detail



























































































































































DateAwayHomeScoreLineTotalOU ResultARYAPYATYATTHRYHPYHTYHTTAway Team AttemptsHome Team AttemptsAway Team CompletionsHome Team Completions
Oct 6, 2018OKLATEXAS45-4822231053231773245010
Oct 14, 2017OKLATEXAS29-2417434451811392894280
Oct 8, 2016OKLATEXAS45-4028239067241802454252
Oct 10, 2015OKLATEXAS17-24672112781313553680
Oct 11, 2014TEXASOKLA26-3114833448211031292320
Oct 12, 2013OKLATEXAS20-3613013326322551904452
Oct 13, 2012TEXASOKLA21-637421528933433346771
Oct 8, 2011OKLATEXAS55-17863674531362232595
Oct 2, 2010TEXASOKLA20-2810726637321242363600
Oct 17, 2009OKLATEXAS13-16-1632731151421272693





Big XII Championship Game Betting Odds & Trends



















Team Last 5 Games




Texas Longhorns































































































DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 23, 2018KANSAS24-17W-15.5/50.5L/U1431542971371592961A
Nov 17, 2018IOWAST24-10W-1.5/50.5W/U17922640562148210-1H
Nov 10, 2018TXTECH41-34W-2/62.5W/O157312469141454595-3A
Nov 3, 2018WESTV41-42L1/58P/O1663545202323465781H
Oct 27, 2018OKLAST35-38L-2.5/60L/O1192834021813215020A





Oklahoma Sooners































































































DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Nov 23, 2018WESTV59-56W-3/86.5P/O3043646681655397040A
Nov 17, 2018KANSAS55-40W-35/69L/O2942725663481765242H
Nov 10, 2018OKLAST48-47W-21.5/80L/O353349702139501640-1H
Nov 3, 2018TXTECH51-46W-14/78L/O3233606831073664732A
Oct 27, 2018KAN.ST51-14W-24/65W/P322380702137108245-1H







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