Thursday, February 28, 2019

Jazz and Nuggets on TNT

Denver Nuggets

Nuggets & Jazz Look to Make Playoff Noise





Two of the NBA’s best small-market teams will finally get to show their stuff on the national stage this Thursday when the Denver Nuggets (42-18 SU, 33-27 ATS) host the Utah Jazz (34-26 SU, 31-27-2 ATS). The Nuggets are near the top of the Western Conference, while the Jazz are in sixth place at press time.





TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT LINE: Nuggets -7; O/U: 225.





The Nuggets have made great strides over the past four years under head coach Mike Malone. They’re not as fast as other teams, but they play with effort on defense. They have one of the league’s leading MVP candidates in center Nikola Jokic, also in his fourth year in the NBA. Jokic is putting up 23.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per 36 minutes this season.





On Thursday, Jokic will run into Rudy Gobert, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Gobert (17.4 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 blocks/36) is the anchor of this Jazz ensemble. He absolutely should have been invited to the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, his team lacks overall scoring punch outside of Donovan Mitchell (24.4 points/36), leaving them in danger of missing the playoffs entirely.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Jazz's Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points against the Clippers. He has poured in 20 or more in 20 of his last 21 contests. Mitchell was 10-for-22 from the field and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line. The 12 attempts matched his second-highest total of the season. Ricky Rubio (hamstring) departed the victory over the Clippers and his availability for Thursday contest is uncertain.





The Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic recorded 36 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to narrowly miss his 13th triple-double of the season in the win over the Thunder. Jokic the leading reason why Denver has turned into one of the top teams in the West. Will Barton scored 23 points against Oklahoma City after recording just three versus the Clippers two nights earlier.





PREDICTION: Nuggets 114, Jazz 105





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NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Utah Jazz
Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Utah is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Utah's last 10 games
Utah is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Utah is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Utah's last 5 games on the road
Utah is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games when playing Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Utah's last 15 games when playing Denver
Utah is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver
Utah is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver

Denver Nuggets
Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 6 games
Denver is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games at home
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Denver's last 11 games at home
Denver is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games when playing Utah
Denver is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games when playing Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Denver's last 15 games when playing Utah
Denver is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 5 games when playing at home against Utah

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NHL -- Showdown Between Eastern Conference’s Top Teams

Boston Bruins Hockey

Lightning and Bruins Have Talent to Win Stanley Cup





Tonight, hockey fans will get a preview of what is likely to be a late-round Eastern Conference matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins have been two of the most consistent teams all year. That consistency has put them atop the Eastern Conference. These two clubs are truly the cream of the crop in the East.





TV: 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, TVA; LINE: Bruins -120; O/U: 6.5 Over -115.





The Boston Bruins have been on a roll of late. They’ve collected at least one point in each of their last 14 games and have won eight of their last nine matchups. Tukka Rask has been all-world over that stretch and they’ve surrendered just five goals in their last three games. He’s now up to an impressive .920 save percentage and 2.40 goals against average. It won’t be easy going up against a potent Lightning lineup. Tampa Bay enters Thursday’s matchup in first place in the NHL. It’s hard to believe how good Jon Cooper’s group has been this season as they’ve already eclipsed the 100-point mark. Nikita Kucherov is sure to be at the center of the action on Thursday.





The Bruins sit 19 points behind Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division, but are just one ahead of Toronto for second place and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Tampa Bay set a franchise record on Wednesday with its 10th straight victory as it coughed up a two-goal lead. Then defenseman Victor Hedman scored in overtime for a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers as it matched Boston's 14-game point streak (12-0-2), all this month. Nikita Kucherov set up Hedman's game-winner for his third assist of the contest and league-leading 104th point of the season for the Lightning, who can reach 50 wins on Thursday.





This, Than, and a Dart Throw





The Lightning are 49-11-4 on the season. Kucherov is four points shy of matching the franchise single-season record set in 2006-07 by Vincent Lecavalier. Brayden Point reached 80 for the first time in his career on Wednesday with an assist. Captain Steven Stamkos added a pair of assists in the win, giving him 16 of his 77 points in his last 10 games. J.T. Miller has scored in three of his last four contests. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 29th win on Wednesday. He is 9-0-2 with a .950 save percentage in February. Backup Louis Domingue has won a franchise-best 11 straight starts. The Lightning were 6-for-6 on the penalty kill during Wednesday's win. They are 25-for-25 over their last seven contests.





The Bruins are 37-17-9 on the season. Brad Marchand has picked up his production level in David Pastrnak's absence. He has collected 17 of his team-high 74 points in the last 11 contests. He scored one goal and set up two others on Tuesday. Krejci also has been a major factor during Boston's 14-game run. He has registered five goals and 10 assists over the last 12 contests to push his season total to 55 points. Marcus Johansson notched an assist in his team debut on Tuesday.





PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Lightning 2





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NHL Betting Odds & Trends






Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Tampa Bay's last 9 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Boston
Tampa Bay is 5-15 SU in its last 20 games when playing on the road against Boston

Boston Bruins
Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Boston is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games at home
Boston is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
Boston is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
Boston is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
Boston is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay

Get your NHL odds at Bovada today.





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Three NBA Finals Underdogs Worth Considering

The Finals

These Three Teams Have Talent and Value





The Golden State Warriors are by far the favorites to win the NBA Finals for
a fourth time in five seasons, as they sit atop the Western Conference yet
again. But behind the Warriors are some interesting teams that find themselves
playing some excellent basketball as the second half of the season heats up.
These three teams are dangerous and could be worth a serious look for NBA
futures bettors heading into the stretch run.





Oklahoma City
Thunder +2500









Oklahoma City has been a real roller coaster ride over the last few years,
with the team losing all hope after losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State
Warriors. They thought the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony would
be an instant cure, but the Thunder only regained their footing after getting
rid of Anthony. Now, George is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate, with
Russell Westbrook still causing plenty of havoc on his own.





NBA betting odds to win the Finals have the Thunder at a juicy +2500 to win it all, even though the Thunder could be a tough matchup for the Warriors later in the playoffs. George is one of the few players in the league who can match up with Kevin Durant on both ends of the floor, while Steven Adams gives them one of the few big men in the league who can make a tangible difference against Golden State.





Houston Rockets
+1300









Buried in all the confetti of yet another Warriors championship last season was the fact that they were against the ropes against the Houston Rockets in last year's Western Conference Finals. The Warriors were down 3-2 in that series before a Chris Paul injury and some historically bad three-point shooting derailed the Rockets once and for all.





This year, the Rockets haven't been playing to their full potential, but
should be getting some of their most important players back from injury ahead
of the playoffs. Chris Paul has had his minutes restricted somewhat but appears
to be ready to aim for revenge against the Warriors, while James Harden has
shown that he can score any amount necessary to keep the Rockets in games. At
those odds, the revenge-minded Rockets are another strong contender to dethrone
the Warriors.





Milwaukee Bucks
+1000









If an Eastern Conference team is going to shock the world and win the NBA Finals this season, the Bucks might just be the team with the best chance to do it. The reason for that opportunity is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has taken the league by storm with his combination of size and otherworldly athleticism. As long as his recent knee soreness isn't a long-term issue, the Bucks may just be the class of the Eastern Conference.





More importantly, they might be the perfect team to stop the Warriors.
Giannis is a more athletic version of Durant, while role players like Khris
Middleton are just the right guys to cancel out Klay Thompson. Based on roster
strength alone, the Bucks might be the most underrated team in the league right
now.

Bookie Industry News: Future of Integrity in Sports

Many fans are concern about the integrity of the sport that they love, especially after the Supreme Court opened the door for each state to legalize sports betting. Major sports leagues joined into the sports wagering bandwagon even after years of trying to avoid it. However, the future of integrity in sports is still unclear.





At present, the MLB, NHL, and the NBA signed deals with MGM Resorts. In addition, the NFL signed up with Caesars Entertainment. More leagues are more likely to sign deals with gambling firms soon.





However, Nevada never paid a single penny to sports leagues since it started taking sports wagers in 1949. At present, lawmakers from various states didn’t include an integrity fee in their proposed bills.





Future of Integrity





Senior vice president of MLB Bryan Seeley told sports news outlets that casinos don’t want to pay integrity fee to sports leagues. In addition, the casinos don’t want to notify leagues of suspicious or abnormal betting on sports.





Bookie Industry News: Future of Integrity in Sports




Seeley wants sports organization to have access to betting data. They want to use the data to monitor problems that casinos might miss. In addition, Seeley said wants data to sport integrity problems.





Some bookie pay per head providers don’t want to share their data with sports leagues. However, the increase in mobile betting use also increases the chances of integrity incident. A bet where a few people can influence the result can lead to an integrity risk. While it is hard to fix a nine-inning game, Seeley said that some people can fix the outcome of one at-bat.





Sports leagues want gambling firms to change with the times. The latter should follow DraftKings’ lead by using bookie software that supports royalty fee. On the other hand, some lawmakers are in favor of the gambling companies and don’t want to include integrity fees in their bills.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Preview

LA Lakers

Pelicans vs. Lakers NBA Preview & Pick





Wednesday, February 27 at 10:30
PM ET





STAPLES Center





Coverage: ESPN





LINE: Lakers -5.5; O/U: 239





The Los Angeles Lakers clash with
the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, desperate to get a win. The Lakers
are just 4-9 since Lonzo Ball went out with an injury, losing by an average of
16.8 points per game and they're now three games behind the Spurs for eighth
place in the Western Conference standings.





Recent Takeaways





The Pelicans are coming off a
tough 111-110 home loss against the 76ers last Monday, when their late comeback
came up just short. The Pelicans outscored the Sixers 27-18 in the fourth
quarter but poor 3-point shooting on the night cost them. The Pels did force 19
turnovers but they won't beat the Lakers going 5-for-28 (17.9 percent) from
beyond the arc again.





After losing 110-105 against the
Grizzlies last Monday, the Lakers are now 1-4 in their last five games,
including a 128-115 road loss against the Pelicans last Saturday.





Brandon Ingram led the way in
Memphis with 32 points and six rebounds, LeBron James had a triple-double with
24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists and Kyle Kuzma added 22 points but the
rest of the team combined for 27 points (14 from Reggie Bullock) and the
Grizzlies outrebounded the Lakers 62-48.





X-Factor





After losing to the Grizzlies
LeBron James said: "If you're still allowing distractions to affect the
way you play, this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just
come in and be like, 'Listen, I can't do this.'" 





James certainly wasn't referring
to Brandon Ingram, who's one of the few Lakers playing like he's trying to get
to the playoffs. 





Ingram in February (eight games):
21.1 points on 49.6% FG's, 41.2% 3's, 76.4% FT's, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists.





Last three games: 29.3 points on
56.6% FG's, 60% 3's and 75.9% FT's, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists.





NBA Trends:





Odds and News

The New Orleans Pelicans are:





6-1 ATS in their last seven games
following a straight up loss





6-2 ATS in their last eight games
when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game





8-3 ATS in their last 11 games
after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game





The Los Angeles Lakers are:





6-13-2 ATS in their last 21 home
games against a team with a losing road record





1-5-1 ATS in their last seven
games against a team with a losing straight up record





1-5 ATS in their last six games
when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game





1-5 ATS in their last six games
after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game





These two teams met on Saturday
and the Pelicans beat the Lakers 128-115 in New Orleans, without Anthony Davis.
Jrue Holiday hit five 3-pointers and scored 27 points and former Laker Julius
Randle had 24 points. Randle also played well against the 76ers, scoring 19
points and he needs to have a big game in Los Angeles if the Pelicans want to
beat the Lakers again.





Brandon Ingram carried the Lakers
with 29 points but the Pelicans forced 23 turnovers and led most of the game
and by as many as 20 points.





It will be interesting to see the
reaction that Anthony Davis gets from the Los Angeles crowd if he plays, the
Lakers clearly want him and their fans will make sure he knows. 





Davis can still be a
difference-maker in this game, he had 18 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes
against the 76ers last Monday and although the Pelicans will reportedly keep
cutting his playing time, he's productive with the minutes he gets and it
wouldn't surprise if New Orleans wins this game outright.





NBA Pick: Pelicans +5.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports





Check odds here: Jazz Sports





Odds and News

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bruins and Sharks Do Battle Tuesday Night

Boston Bruins Hockey

Both Teams Jockeying for Playoff Position





In what could easily be a Stanley Cup Final preview, the
streaking Boston Bruins will host the San Jose Sharks at the TD Garden on
Tuesday. Boston is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, having
secured at least one point in 13 straight games and winning nine of those
matchups. Conversely, the Sharks have gone on a bit of a run of their own,
winning seven of their last 10 games and inching within three points of the
Calgary Flames for top spot in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division.





TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, NBCS California (San Jose), NESN (Boston); LINE: Sharks -113; O/U: 6 Over -133.





It was just one week ago that the Bruins defeated the Sharks
in an exciting 6-5 final in San Jose. It was an epic night for long-time
veteran Joe Thorton, who registered a hat-trick, but it wasn’t enough to stop
the surging Bruins. Since then, the Bruins have only continued to win. They’ve
now pulled away from Eastern Conference Wild Card Spot and have been able to
maintain a slim three-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs.





The Sharks will be out for revenge in a game that they likely should have won against the Bruins. They were up late in the third, but surrendered a last-minute tying goal and ultimately the OT winner. We’ll be eager to see how they respond.





This, That and a Dart Throw





The San Jose Sharks are 38-18-8 on the season. Nyquist, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, put together back-to-back seasons of 28 and 27 goals in 2013-15 and scored 21 times last season. Nyquist may play alongside Joe Thornton, who had a hat trick against the Bruins last week could be playing his last game in Boston. The Bruins are the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 1997. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski has six goals and five assists in his last seven games, including one and two versus Boston.





The Boston Bruins are 37-19-9 on the Season. Marcus Johansson scored a career-high 24 goals in 2016-17. He then spent two injury-ravaged seasons with New Jersey. That included sitting out more than 2 1/2 months when he took an elbow to the head from Boston's Brad Marchand that gave him a concussion. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said the incident will not be an issue going forward for Johansson. Johansson has scored in six games and had as many assists over the past 13 games.





PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Sharks 3





NHL Betting Odds & Trends






San Jose Sharks
San Jose is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
San Jose is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Jose's last 6 games
San Jose is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games on the road
San Jose is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 11 of San Jose's last 15 games on the road
San Jose is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Boston
San Jose is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Jose's last 6 games when playing Boston
San Jose is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone OVER in 8 of San Jose's last 11 games when playing on the road against Boston

Boston Bruins
Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Boston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Boston is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games at home
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
Boston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing San Jose
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing San Jose
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing San Jose
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against San Jose
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Boston's last 11 games when playing at home against San Jose

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Duke vs. Virginia Tech Free NCAA Basketball Pick

VaTech Hokies

Duke vs. Virginia Tech Meet in Key ACC Clash





Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 PM ET





Cassell Coliseum





Coverage: ESPN





Line: Duke -3.5





Total: 144





The Duke Blue Devils clash with the Virginia Tech Hokies in a big
ACC clash on Tuesday night. Duke bounced back from their tough home 88-72 loss
against North Carolina with a convincing 75-65 road win against Syracuse last
Saturday, while Virginia Tech is coming off an impressive 67-59 road win
against Notre Dame on Saturday.





Duke has lost two in a row at Cassell Coliseum and this will be a
big test for them, playing in a wild atmosphere, potentially without Zion
Williamson. Virginia Tech will likely miss Justin Robinson, so it will be
interesting to see what adjustments these teams will make.





Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. will be the player to
watch in this game, as he's averaging 24.7 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.0
assists, while shooting 71.4 percent from the field in his last three games,
after scoring at least 20 points in all those contests.





Guard Alex O'Connell can be a difference-maker for Duke, he set
career-highs in points (20) and made three-pointers (5), and tied a career-high
in minutes (34) against Syracuse. His 3-point shooting was just what Duke
needed against the Syracuse zone and he made the most of the opportunity that
was given to him without Zion Williamson in the lineup. Can O'Connell continue
that level of play on Tuesday? A big game from him would really help Duke in
this one.





Virginia Tech doesn't have great 3-point defense (35.8 percent,
11th in the ACC in conference play), so if O'Connell continues his hot
shooting, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones can get lanes to penetrate
against a two-point defense that allows 48.0 percent two-point shooting in
conference play, (ninth in the ACC).





Zion Williamson update





Zion Williamson is officially listed as day-to-day with a 'mild' knee sprain suffered in the first minute of Wednesday's game against North Carolina and he is not expected to play against Virginia Tech, as he's resting ahead of Saturday's contest against Miami.





Odds and News

NCAA Basketball Trends:





The Duke Blue Devils are:





7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win





4-1 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a
winning home record





4-1 ATS in their last five road games





The Virginia Tech Hokies are:





2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win





2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning
percentage above .600





2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning
straight up record





1-4-1 ATS in their last six games overall





1-5 ATS in their last six home games





Zion Williamson and Justin Robinson could miss this game, so which
absence will make the most impact? The answer to this question can help
determine the outcome of this contest. I expect a close game throughout, Duke
has to keep Virginia Tech off the offensive glass but I still see them doing
enough to get the win and cover because they just have too many weapons on
offense.





NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke -3.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports





Check odds here: Jazz Sports





Odds and News

Monday, February 25, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies NBA Preview

Memphis Grizzlies

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies NBA Preview & Pick





Monday, February 25 at 8:00 PM ET





FedExForum





TV: 8 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), FS Southeast (Memphis) LINE: Lakers -5 O/U: 222.





LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Memphis Grizzlies, desperate for win as they're still out of a playoff spot.





Pelicans crush Lakers





The Lakers appeared to turn a corner when they pulled off an epic
comeback in their 111-106 home win against the Rockets, rallying from a
19-point deficit in the third quarter to eventually win and get back to .500.
LeBron James, who said he had activated "playoff mode" for the final
third of the season, had 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.





But then the Lakers took a step back to square one in Saturday's
128-115 road loss to the Pelicans, who were without their star Anthony Davis.
James finished with 27 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds but he couldn't
will his teammates to a victory and he had some interesting comments after the
game.





"How many know what's at stake if you've never been
there?" James told reporters after the loss. "It's kind of a fine
line when you talk about that, because when you've never been there or know
what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you're
afraid to get uncomfortable."





Complicated road ahead for Los Angeles





If the Lakers are going to make a playoff push, their defense has
to play way better. The other problem they have is their schedule, as it
doesn't exactly favor them in the final 23 games. The Lakers have 11 contests
on the road, including tonight's clash in Memphis and a five-game road trip
starting March 12 in Chicago.





Los Angeles is just 12-18 on the road this season and they will
only have seven games against teams unlikely to make the playoffs, as they have
to face the Golden State, Oklahoma City and Boston in this stretch, as well as
two games against Milwaukee and MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo.





The only apparent advantage the Lakers will have is their
competition for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. As
of this writing, the Lakers are three games behind the Clippers and two games
behind the Kings and they still have some games against them.





The Clippers, who traded their star Tobias Harris to the 76ers at the deadline, will play the Lakers twice. The Kings, who are led by the dynamic backcourt of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, play the Lakers once. Los Angeles is 1-1 against the Clippers and 2-1 against Sacramento this season and the head-to-head tiebreakers are will be extremely important in determining who secures the last playoff spot.





Odds and News

NBA Trends:





The Los Angeles Lakers are:





4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss





4-1 ATS in their last five games against Western Conference
opponents





The Memphis Grizzlies are:





7-19 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up loss





6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following an ATS loss





7-20 ATS in their last 27 games after allowing 100 points or more
in their previous game





3-15 ATS in their last 18 games after scoring 100 points or more
in their previous game





The Lakers are in this spot partly due to James wanting to trade half
the team for Anthony Davis and his 17-game absence due to injury. As the leader
of this team, James has to make sure the Lakers are ready for the future and
stop throwing his teammates under the bus.





It all starts against a Grizzlies that has lost four straight and
five of their last six, including a 112-107 road setback against the Cavs last
Saturday. This is a must-win game if the Lakers want to make the playoffs and I
see James coming out fired up, so I like them to get off to a fast start.





NBA Pick: Lakers 1st half -2
(-115) at Jazz Sports





Check odds here: Jazz Sports





Odds and News

NBA Free Monday Betting Pick- Mavericks at Clippers

LA Clippers NBA Basketball

Mavs on 4 Game Losing Streak





The Dallas Mavericks head to the West Coast this Monday night in a late 10:30 p.m. tip against the Los Angeles Clippers on NBA TV. BetAnySports has the Clippers as 3.5-point home favorites with the total set at 230 points.





The Mavericks bring a four-game losing streak into Monday night’s contest both straight-up and against the spread. Going back to a loss to Milwaukee at home on Feb. 8, they are 1-5 both SU and ATS in their last six games with the total going OVER or ending as a PUSH in four of those contests. Dallas is 26-33 SU overall, but it improves to 34-24-1 ATS. It has a 22-14 record this season ATS at BetAnySports when closing as an underdog.





Dirk Nowitzki was able to turn back the clock a bit in Sunday’s loss with a season-high 15 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. posted 21 points in the losing effort as the Mavericks’ top scorer. He helped fill the void left by Luka Doncic, who has missed his last two starts with an ankle injury. Doncic has been the team’s leading scorer this season with 20.7 points per game, but he remains day-to-day for this contest.





Clippers Look to Bounce Back From Denver Shellacking





The Clippers were on the wrong end of Sunday’s 123-96 loss to Denver closing as nine-point road underdogs on BetAnySports’ betting line. The total stayed UNDER 235 points in that game after going OVER in their previous four outings. Los Angeles is 16-12 SU on its home court this season as part of an overall record of 33-28. It is also 33-28 ATS with a 15-13 record ATS at home. The Clippers are a profitable 21-10 this season ATS when closing as favorites.





LA traded
Tobias Harris to Philadelphia earlier in February, so Lou Williams is now the
team’s top scorer with 19.9 PPG. He put up a game-high 24 points in Sunday’s
losing effort with the Clippers going 30-for 87 from the field and just
3-for-21 from three-point range. This was a far cry from a team shooting
percentage of 47.0 from the field and 38.3 from outside the perimeter. Los
Angeles is averaging 113.9 points a game which is ranked seventh in the NBA.





Even if Doncic is able to go, Dallas will be hard-pressed to keep this game closer than the current 5.5-point spread. The Clippers should shoot the ball much better on Monday night with the game being played on their home court.





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NBA Betting Odds & Trends






Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Dallas is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Dallas's last 23 games
Dallas is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Dallas is 4-16 SU in its last 20 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Dallas's last 11 games on the road
Dallas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
Dallas is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers
Dallas is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Clippers's last 5 games
LA Clippers is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games at home
LA Clippers is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LA Clippers's last 6 games at home
LA Clippers is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Dallas
LA Clippers is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Dallas

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Tennessee Vols Travel to Face LSU Tigers

LSU Tigers Athletics

LSU and Tennessee Jockeying for SEC & NCAA Seeding





Two of the Southeastern Conference's best will face off in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon. This should be a exciting game as both teams can play with anyone in the nation. The Volunteers lead the league in defensive rebounding at 27.6 per game. The Tigers top the SEC on the offensive glass grabbing 13.2 per game.





TV: Noon ET, ESPN; LINE: Tennessee -1; O/U: 157.





Fifth-ranked Tennessee did not need its best effort to rebound from a loss for the first time since Thanksgiving. They must come up with a better performance Saturday afternoon when they travel to play No. 15 LSU. The first-place Volunteers followed up their loss at Kentucky by shooting just 41.1 percent and scoring a season-low 58 points. They ended up with a 12-point victory over last-place Vanderbilt on Tuesday. That type of effort will not work against the talented Tigers.





The Volunteers hold a one-game lead over Kentucky and LSU in the SEC with five games left. They will again lean on forward Grant Williams. He scored 16 in an 84-61 rout of LSU last season. In that game, Tennessee shot 54.1% from the field and drained 12-of-25 from 3-point range. The Tigers are unbeaten on the road in SEC. They have dropped two of six on their home court this season. The last one was Wednesday's 82-77 loss against Florida.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





The Tennessee Volunteers are 24-2 on the season and 21-1 in the SEC. The Volunteers are among the nations leaders in field-goal percentage at 50.7%. They have connected on just 40.9% the last two games. Including an abysmal 13-of-46 from 3-point range. Williams tops the team in scoring at 19.1 ppg and rebounding at 7.6 rpg. Guard Admiral Schofield is chipping in 16.5 ppg and is a major threat. G Jordan Bone (13.2 points) is 12-of-20 from the field the last two games and leads the SEC in assists (6.5).





The LSU Tigers are 21-5 on the season and 11-2 in the SEC. Guard Tremont Waters tops the Tigers in scoring at 15.7%, assists at 5.9 apg, and steals at 3.0 spg. That leads the SEC. He was limited to 3-of-12 shooting for an SEC game low of 10 points against Florida on Wednesday. Forward Naz Reid adds 13.8 ppg and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per contest. He posted his third double-double in six games. He had 16 points and 15 Windexes before fouling out Wednesday. Guard Skylar Mays scored 18 against Florida to raise his season average to 13.2 ppg. Guard Javonte Smart throws in 10.2 ppg and was 2-of-8 from the field Wednesday. F Kavell Bigby-Williams (7.8 rebounds, 6.0 rebounds) is 18-of-24 from the field the last five games.





PREDICTION: LSU 78, Tennessee 72





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SEC Basketball Betting Odds & Trends






Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Tennessee is 20-1 SU in its last 21 games
Tennessee is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
Tennessee is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tennessee's last 5 games on the road
Tennessee is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games when playing LSU
Tennessee is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing LSU
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee's last 5 games when playing LSU
Tennessee is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against LSU
Tennessee is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against LSU
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee's last 5 games when playing on the road against LSU

LSU Tigers
LSU is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games
The total has gone OVER in 10 of LSU's last 14 games
LSU is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Tennessee
LSU is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games when playing Tennessee
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LSU's last 5 games when playing Tennessee
LSU is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Tennessee
LSU is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Tennessee
The total has gone OVER in 4 of LSU's last 5 games when playing at home against Tennessee

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AAF Week 3 - Birmingham Iron vs Atlanta Legends

Atlanta Legends Alliance of American Football Club

Atlanta Legends Make Home Debut





One has to wonder what the crowd is going to look like in Atlanta on Sunday. The Legends haven’t exactly made an impression on anyone in the first couple of week. The team continues to start quarterback Matt Simms over Georgia Bulldog alum, Aaron Murray. Murray hasn’t exactly proven anything yet, he is a household name in Georgia. Take a peek at many of the AAF fan pages, and you’ll see fans all over the nation begging the Legends to start Murray over Simms. It’s hard to imagine the Legends are going to have much of a home crowd to play for. Especially with up to 8" of rain falling on the area this past week.





Date: Sunday, Feb. 24 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Georgia State Stadium -- Atlanta, Georgia
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream:CBS Sports Network





Line: Iron -7.5; O/U: 38.





This is a do-or-die game for the Legends. Going 0-3 will further cement their position as the league’s worst team. It will all but ruin their chances at making the AAF playoffs in April. A win at home could begin to turn the tide and put them on a different trajectory. The Legends face an uphill battle against one of the league’s best teams this weekend. It will take a solid effort on both sides of the ball.





Players to Watch





Matt Simms, QB: As much as you all would like to see Murray start Atlanta’s first home game, it appears the team will be sticking with Simms for the time being. His completion rate did jump between the first and second weeks. It went from 54% to 68%. He threw one interception in San Diego. He also threw for a touchdown. Despite the losing streak, Simms is progressing.





Tyson Graham, DB: Graham continues to be as one of Atlanta’s best defensive players. Through two tough road games, he’s recorded 14 total tackles (11 solo) and a single quarterback hit. The defensive back faces a tough matchup against Birmingham quarterback Luis Perez. He was instrumental in the team’s comeback win over Salt Lake last weekend.





Malachi Jones, WR: One half of the Legends very own Jones Bros. He is the only Legends player to score a touchdown. Jones caught all three of the passes thrown to him last weekend for 27 yards. Both Simms and Jones were able to beat double coverage in the team’s first touchdown of the year, hinting that Jones is better than what we’ve witnessed so far.





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Birmingham Iron Hit the Road





The Iron ranked third in most of the AAF power ranking this week. But an argument could be made that they’re simply tied with the Arizona Hotshots for second. Outstanding defensive play has shot Birmingham to the top of the rankings. They are definitely one of the top units in the league and when you have a defense this good, your team has a shot.





The team hits the road for the first time, and it almost seems that their first road game is an easy pick. How can Atlanta’s stumbling offense find ANY traction against a dominating Iron defense? Even with the potential “home-field advantage” it seems doubtful that Atlanta can bowl over the solid Birmingham Iron.





Players to Watch





Trent Richardson, RB: So far, Richardson is showing himself to be the AAF’s own James White. He’s walked in three touchdowns and a 49.5 YPG average. He’s hauled in a successful two-point conversion as well. Richardson is easily one of Birmingham’s best offensive weapons. The Atlanta defense has allowed 64 points over two games will most likely struggle to contain him.





Luis Perez, QB: Perez is starting off hot with an average of 218 yards per game and completing 60.6% of his passes. The young quarterback is among the best in the league. He has been pivotal in Birmingham’s success over the first two weeks. Atlanta’s secondary does have a lot of talent in Doran Grant and Graham. Iron fans shouldn’t expect Perez’s performance to slide on Sunday unless all the rain hangs around on Sunday.





Jeremy Faulk, DL: Faulk was a monster last week with four tackles (one for a loss), two quarterback hits and a sack. As important as Perez was in leading Birmingham’s comeback over Salt Lake, Faulk equally as instrumental in setting the team up for the comeback. That is thanks to two tipped passes in the fourth quarter. The defensive lineman has racked up eight total tackles. He is proving himself the cog of the Iron’s top-shelf defense. Faulk will cause havoc for the Legends this weekend as well if Atlanta’s offensive line continues to deteriorate.





AAF Week Three Matchup





This matchup doesn’t bode well for the Legends. There’s simply no other way to put it. It would take serious adjustments to overcome the deficiencies that Atlanta has. You almost have to respect their stubborn persistence in sticking with Simms as quarterback.





The Irons offense struggled against the Stallions. The Stallions are a largely better team than the Legends. This game may not be a bloodbath, but we expect Atlanta to head into Week Four with an 0-3 record.





Pick: Iron -7.5, Over 38. We see this game 25-15





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AAF Week 4 Schedule





GameDateTimeNetwork
Orlando at Salt LakeSaturday, March 24 p.m.B/R Live
San Diego at MemphisSaturday, March 28 p.m.NFL Network
San Antonio at BirminghamSunday, March 34 p.m.CBS Sports Network
Atlanta at ArizonaSunday, March 38 p.m.NFL Network

Friday, February 22, 2019

AAF Week 3 - Memphis Express vs Orlando Apollos

Orlando Apollos Alliance of American Football Club

High Powers Apollos Face Stiff Express Defense





The Memphis Express travel to play the Orlando Apollos in week 3 AAF action. They are seeking their first win of the inaugural Alliance of American Football. The undefeated Orlando Apollos are standing dead in the way. Orlando is the highest-scoring team in the AAF. They are averaging 38.5 points per game, and is second best in yardage gained.





Date: Saturday, Feb. 23 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Spectrum Stadium -- Orlando, Florida
TV: NFL Network | Live stream:fuboTV (Try for free)





Line:Apollos -15;O/U: 44.5.





Memphis is not chopped liver. The Express pass rush and running game stand out, and up to the best in the league. The Express are tied for second in the AAF in sacks as a team with four. Express running back Zac Stacy is the league's leading rusher with 159 yards. They’re coming off a tough Week-2 loss to the Arizona Hotshots. They ran out of gas in the fourth quarter after leading for most of the game. It was by far the most exciting game in the AAF so far this young season.





Both teams have household names leading them. The Express head coach, Mike Singletary, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his career as a linebacker in the NFL. He played all 12 of his seasons with the Chicago Bears. Apollos head coach Steve Spurrier is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame twice over. He is in as both a player and a head coach. Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at the University of Florida. He became a coach following 10 seasons in the NFL. He won the 1996 National Championship as Florida’s head coach. He is the winningest head football coach in history at two Southeastern Conference schools. Those schools are Florida and South Carolina.





When the Express have the ball





The Express leaned on Stacy throughout most of the game against the Hotshots last week. Stacy finished the game with 19 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. He became the first player in the history of the AAF to surpass 100 yards rushing in a game. He scored the first touchdown in the history of the Express.





If the Express want to keep drives alive, it will be Stacy moving the chains. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg’s stat line wasn’t the prettiest last weekend. He was 14 of 25 for only 102 yards. The Penn State alum displayed a grittiness against the Hotshots. He used his legs to extend drives and convert long downs. The Apollos’ defense gave up some big runs to quarterbacks in their come-from-behind win at San Antonio last week. They will be looking to limit big runs by Hackenberg. Hackenberg needs to be better in the passing game for the Express to come out with an upset.





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When the Apollos have the ball





The Apollos’ offensive line struggled at times to protect quarterback Garrett Gilbert last week against the San Antonio Commanders. Gilbert was sacked four times and hurried six more. One of those sacks led to a fumble and a defensive touchdown for the Commanders. The line played a lot better in the second half of the game. They gave Gilbert enough time to complete some deep passes to his receivers. The protection allowed the Apollos back in the game, and eventually get the win. Charles Johnson had 192 yards receiving and scored a touchdown.





Memphis has an excellent pass rush and is very physical up front. The O-line will have to play more consistently to keep the Apollos at bay. Orlando also struggled to establish the run through the first three quarters of its Week 2 matchup. Being able to run effectively and keep Memphis’ defense honest, and on the field, will also be key for the Apollos to stay undefeated. That won’t be easy against a front seven that includes Express linebacker DeMarquis Gates. He leads the AAF in solo tackles with 16.





Express DB Channing Stribling has been a lock-down force in the secondary. He excelled Saturday against the Hotshots with six tackles, three pass breakups and an interception. The Michigan product leads the Express secondary with four pass breakups and one pick on the season. His most impressive stat is that opposing quarterbacks have a 52.1 passer rating when targeting Stribling (according to Pro Football Focus). He’ll have his hands full trying to cover Apollos wide receivers Johnson and Jalin Marshall.





Apollos RB D’Ernest Johnson has to get the ball a lot. The Apollos didn’t get their running game going in Week 2 until the fourth quarter. That is when Johnson got the ball more often. He’s averaging more than 7 yards per carry this season. He has proven to be a physical runner who can make his own holes when needed. Johnson also has good speed and the hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. He has the best skill set of all the Apollos’ running backs. Spurrier said earlier this week that Johnson's play in Week 2 may have earned him more carries.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





A total of 96 of Stacy’s 101 rushing yards against Arizona came after first contact. Gilbert leads the AAF in passing yards with 620. The Apollos’ defense is tied for the AAF lead in interceptions with four. The Express defense leads The Alliance with 12 tackles for a loss. Home teams are 6-2 in the AAF through the first two weeks of the season.





Pick: Apollos -15.5, Over 44.5





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AAF Week 4 Schedule





GameDateTimeNetwork
Orlando at Salt LakeSaturday, March 24 p.m.B/R Live
San Diego at MemphisSaturday, March 28 p.m.NFL Network
San Antonio at BirminghamSunday, March 34 p.m.CBS Sports Network
Atlanta at ArizonaSunday, March 38 p.m.NFL Network

AAF Week 3 - Arizona Hotshots at Salt Lake Stallions

Salt Lake Stallions Football

Stallions Ready for First Home Game





The Salt Lake Stallions will be playing in front of their home fans for the first time in history. They are hosting the Arizona Hotshots at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The hometown fans should see a pretty good game.





Date: Saturday, Feb. 23 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium -- Salt Lake City, Utah
Live stream: B/R Live (Subscription or Per Game Service)
Line: Hotshots -4.5; O/U: 44.





Through the first two weeks the Hotshots are unbeaten. They have proven themselves to be a second-half team so far. The Stallions played the Hotshots in Sun Devil Stadium in Week 1. Arizona outscored Salt Lake 19-6 after halftime to win by 16. At Memphis last weekend, the Hotshots overcame a 12-0 deficit to win 20-18. They seem to make plays when they are needed





This week may be a different story. Arizona will have a challenge playing in 30-degree weather and more than 4,632 feet above sea level. It could make for some tired players near the end of the game.





When the Stallions have the Ball





The Stallions will once again not announce their starting quarterback until game time. Josh Woodrum has been practicing this week, but Matt Linehan and Austin Allen have been receiving an even amount of reps. For us sports bettors it makes it a little more hard to figure out things.





The Hotshots won the first meeting by 16 points. It is misleading, as they scored only one more touchdown than the Stallions. Running back Matt Asiata, wide receiver Jordan Leslie and tight end Nick Truesdell each found the end zone in Week 1. They will look to do so again against the Hotshots solid D. They are led by defensive back Robert Nelson, defensive tackle Will Sutton and linebacker Steven Johnson.





Speaking of Johnson, he has been one of Arizona's best defensive players so far. He had an interception and seven tackles against the Stallions in Week 1. He then turned around and had nine tackles with a forced fumble in Week 2 against the Express.





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When the Hotshots have the Ball





Arizona's run-pass option (RPO) offense has struggled to get going early in the first two games. It is like they have to see how the flow of the game is. When they do get going and the Hotshots are clicking they are hard to stop. Quarterback John Wolford spreads the ball around really well. His favorite target has been Rashad Ross, who has 170 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The running game is pretty devastating as well. Tim Cook and Justin Stockton have found the end zone while Jhurell Pressley leads the crew with 121 yards on the ground.





It’s no secret that the Stallions defensive line is locked in. Head coach Dennis Erickson has been confident in the unit since preseason. The defense as a whole came together in Week 2 against the Iron. They held Birmingham to more than 100 fewer yards than it had in Week 1.





When the Memphis Express put pressure on Wolford in Week 2, he made mistakes and threw two interceptions. The key for the Stallions pass rush is to put consistent pressure on Wolford throughout the game. If they can.





Stallions Players to Watch





DE Karter Schult: In the Week-2 matchup against Birmingham, Schult forced a fumble, deflected a pass, picked up two sacks and recorded six tackles. He consistently put pressure on Iron quarterback Luis Perez. It was key as Perez threw for only 184 yards after going for 252 in Week 1.





RB Joel Bouagnon: The Stallions back scored the team's only touchdown in Week 2 against the Iron. He led all rushers in the game with 70 yards.





CB Will Davis: This former Utah State and NFL corner has disrupted passes and taken down ball carriers in the first two weeks. He has made 12 tackles and defending four passes.





Hotshots Player to Watch





LB Steven Johnson: The veteran inside linebacker has 16 total tackles (13 solo) to lead Arizona. He also has an interception, forced fumble and four tackles for loss.





By the Numbers: Schult is tied for the lead in The Alliance with three sacks. He is second with 11 quarterback pressures. Hotshots WR Richard Mullaney is second on the team with seven receptions. He is expected to miss this weekend's game. Look for WRs Freddie Martino and Marquis Bundy to get more looks. aDon't be surprised if the tight ends are more involved. Arizona is No. 1 in The Alliance in total yards per game, at 400, rushing yards per game at 179, red-zone efficiency with touchdowns on 80 percent of possessions, and two-point conversions coming in at 71%.





Pick: Hotshots -4.5, Under 44 (opened at 46).





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AAF Week 4 Schedule





GameDateTimeNetwork
Orlando at Salt LakeSaturday, March 24 p.m.B/R Live
San Diego at MemphisSaturday, March 28 p.m.NFL Network
San Antonio at BirminghamSunday, March 34 p.m.CBS Sports Network
Atlanta at ArizonaSunday, March 38 p.m.NFL Network

DeRozan, Spurs Visit Raptors

Toronto Raptors Basketball

DeRozan Should be Welcomed by Fans of Raptors





DeMar DeRozan will make his first return to Scotiabank Arena this Friday when the San Antonio Spurs (33-26 SU, 31-27-1 ATS) visit his former employers, the Toronto Raptors (43-16 SU, 26-33 ATS).





TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, TSN 1/3/4 (Toronto) LINE: Raptors -7.5; O/U: 227.





When the same two teams met in San Antonio on January 3, DeRozan dropped a triple-double on the Raptors. He had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in a 125-107 victory for the Spurs (–3.5). He’ll almost certainly get a warmer reception from the Toronto fans than Kawhi Leonard got in his return to the AT&T Center. After demanding a trade during the offseason, Leonard was shipped north with Danny Green for DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick.





Toronto’s lineup will look much different than it did in San Antonio. Kyle Lowry didn’t play that day. Delon Wright and C.J. Miles went to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Marc Gasol trade. Greg Monroe was sent to the Brooklyn Nets for cash. Finally, Lorenzo Brown was put on waivers. Patrick McCaw has since joined the club; the Raptors have also signed Jeremy Lin for the rest of the year, while Fred VanVleet is out with an injured thumb.





DeRozan was a four-time All-Star for the Raptors. He holds the franchise records for games played (675), minutes (22,986) and points (13,296). He is expected to be greeted warmly by the Toronto crowd. The Raptors have done just fine without DeRozan. They sit in second place in the Eastern Conference coming out of the All-Star break. They went into the break hot as fire, with wins in six straight. DeRozan's Spurs are in a more precarious position and went into the break in seventh place in the West. They have dropped four of the first five on their eight-game Rodeo Road Trip.





This, That, and a Dart Throw





San Antonio struggled through the Western Conference portion of the trip prior to the break. They fell at Sacramento, Golden State, Portland and Utah before recovering with a 108-107 victory at Memphis on Feb. 12. DeRozan, who missed out on the All-Star game in his first season with the Spurs, is averaging 23.5 points on the trip. All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge went into the break strong with three straight double-doubles. San Antonio finishes out the trip with a back-to-back at New York and Brooklyn on Sunday and Monday. They then get to play eight of their next 10 at home.





Leonard did make the All-Star Game in his first season with Toronto. He started for the winning Team LeBron. He scored 19 points in as many minutes. The Raptors made a splash ahead of the deadline by bringing former All-Star center Marc Gasol over from the Grizzlies. They are undefeated in three games with him in the lineup. Gasol, 34, is still ironing out his place in the rotation. He came off the bench in each of his first three games, averaging 10 points in 20 minutes.





PREDICTION: Raptors 118, Spurs 110





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NBA Betting Odds & Trends






San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
San Antonio is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games
San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
San Antonio is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games on the road
San Antonio is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Toronto
San Antonio is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 10 of San Antonio's last 15 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 6 of San Antonio's last 8 games when playing on the road against Toronto

Toronto Raptors
Toronto is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games
Toronto is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games at home
Toronto is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing San Antonio
Toronto is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Toronto's last 15 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto's last 8 games when playing at home against San Antonio

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Could Soccer Ever Be Our New National Sport?

Can Soccer Become US National Sport with MLS Growing in Popularity

Soccer Gaines in Popularity in the US





The idea that soccer becoming the national sport of the USA
is preposterous to some, but with the dismal Super Bowl performance, (and we’re
not just talking about Maroon 5), could it be time for a new national
sport? 





Soccer has long been a British expat among the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. As a nation we consider basketball, baseball, and football before we even begin to think about soccer. However, with news that former pro soccer player David Beckham is purportedly moving ahead with plans for a brand new soccer team and stadium in Miami, as well as the dispatch of several home players to big soccer nations such as England and Germany, Major League Soccer could be in for international elevation. 




In 2013, Don Garber, Head of MLS, announced that Beckham
had joined with an eclectic mix of business associates to build a new Major
League team in the wake of the closure of Miami Fusion. It is now known that
the owners of the new Inter Miami team include co-founder of Brightstar
Marcello Claure and former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, who managed Beckham’s
wife Victoria during her Posh Spice days. 





Inter Miami will have a new stadium, which has been given the green light after residents near the international airport voted in favour of converting a nearby golf course into the soccer team’s home ground, Miami Freedom Park. The team is due to join other MLS teams for the 2020 season, and is set to shake up current standings. 







 


 

 



 

 


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This is Miami Freedom Park. #thisismiami #thisismiamifreedompark #miami #mls


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The February Super Bowl didn’t exactly hit the spot this
year. Not only was the half-time entertainment deemed lousy, it was one of the
lowest scoring Super Bowl games of all time, and fans claimed to be 'bored'.
It is true that football is a long game, which cannot match soccer in
simplicity. In a time when even our politics is simplified into tweets, it
could be time for our sport to be simplified too. 





Soccer has taken off in the USA, and alongside a bigger following in Britain’s Premier League, soccer video games have taken off too. FIFA has been hailed the perfect dorm game, and many have claimed that it is responsible for the USA’s recent soccer fascination. The trend shows no sign of letting up, with online gaming seeing soccer’s potential too. Fans can now play both Safari Soccer and Sensible Soccer on Party Casino, two very different games that allow users to enjoy the fun of soccer and potentially win some prizes. Right now, Real Money are offering bonuses to new users to try the two different games. 










Soccer may not be our national sport, but it is certainly
gaining traction around the country. The speed and simplicity of the sport
makes it easy to watch and enjoyable to follow. The birth of a new team in
Miami, headed by an international sporting legend, can only be a good thing for
soccer, and it could be the start of the MLS having an international platform
from which the country could shine.