Matt's Picks (4 Live)
Matt's Past Picks
I was leaning Raptors regardless simply as the Knicks played last night in what should have been a scrimmage but ended up being a down-to-the wire battle against the horrid Pistons. Julius Randle, who played 38 minutes (Jalen Brunson played 40 -- ah, Tom Thibodeau, the Derrick Rose ruiner in Chicago), has been downgraded to questionable. This number is available (went up about 10-15 cents) but clearly would shift in either direction if ruled out. When a guy is downgraded day of, that usually means out.
So now Florida State's backup/new starting QB is in some question? Wow. I already was leaning Under the total simply because the weather in Charlotte looks like ... London with rain and fog expected. Guess we'll just play the total now in case Tate Rodemaker does sit, although I can't believe that would really happen (obviously if he's hurt, he's hurt, but why are we finding this out now?) and it might be a bit of gamesmanship. I'm still not sure FSU doesn't win even with third-string freshman Brock Glenn but then I'd truly love the Under.
FanDuel opened this Saturday matinee at 5.5 but did its patented flip so I'll just take 6.5 now in case it goes back, and I'm certainly not online as much on weekends to monitor plus the early start. Shoot, at 2 p.m. ET on a Saturday, I still may be cleaning glitter off myself. You don't want to know. It's two of the world's best goalies in Andrei Vasilevskiy and Jake Oettinger. That hasn't been confirmed yet, but Oettinger got the last game off so I guarantee he starts barring something unforeseen. No reason why Vasy would not play.
Normally my first inclination when a star like Luka Doncic is ruled out is to hammer the Over props (points, etc.) of the No. 2 on said team, which in this case is Kyrie Irving. But am I reading this right: 40.5? So he gets 30 and 10 and we still win? That also would entail Kyrie actually caring/trying hard for a full game and we KNOW that's not happening. Also don't think he's comfortable being the alpha male. But I may never do an optimistic bet on Kyrie because he's such a tool and doesn't realize how lucky he is. And if he's shooting more, his assists obviously should go down.
I miss when Fridays meant clubs, chasing the fairer sex, etc. Now? Sadly, it's all about the Niagaras and Quinnipiacs and Fairfields and Riders of the world this time of year. Feel like the Golden Bachelor and I'm decades from there. But, hey, give me a really grainy stream of any of these games I bet and a little Jager on ice and it's all good (with a win). The SL Model has Niagara by nine. Three home games matter most in college basketball: Overall opener, conference opener and finale. This is the MAAC opener for the Purple Eagles, who are the top shooting team in the league. Why aren't they called the Falls? Saint Peter's is last in FG percentage.
About +210 if you parlayed this and FSU -140 to get into the playoff. Anyone who thinks an unbeaten champion of a Power 5 conference isn't getting into the playoff just because of the Jordan Travis injury ... I'll be happy to take any wagers. Should Texas not get in because star RB Jonathon Brooks is also lost for the year? Talking head nonsense. I despise the Noles, but they absolutely would deserve it. Backup QB Tate Rodemaker isn't some freshman walk-on from Ridgemont High (alright Hamilton!) as the RS junior has been in Tallahassee since 2020 (my condolences). FSU has the superior defense and that it will be rainy in Charlotte should play into the Noles' hands. May have to ponder Under, too.
Was only playing if it got to 10. Is Oregon better? Clearly oddsmakers think so and if compare common opponents, etc., there's evidence despite the first meeting's result. But the Ducks aren't THAT much better than unbeaten UW at a neutral site. This reminds of last year's title game when everyone assumed rolling USC would avenge a regular-season loss to Utah. How'd that work out? Maybe this is just wishful thinking because this should be the most entertaining of all the power conference title games. I'm quite sure Kalen DeBoer has been using this disrespect all week. UO may be without injured starting CB Jahlil Lawrence, who has recorded 27.0 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, one interception and one sack this season.
I'm at the point where I hate the (current iteration) Bulls, which I never thought I would say. MJ's heyday was my favorite sports time ever. They are a true disaster and now Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are both out against a bitter rival. Whatever man, just trade them. Someone has to score tonight and Coby White thinks he's a gunner. Should get to this even if it takes 20 shots.
It would be so Chargers .... err Hawks to lose to a team on a 12-game losing streak but this does feel like a bit of a tricky spot for Atlanta following back-to-back double-digit losses to fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders and the fourth game of a five-game trip with a big one at Milwaukee up next. All the key Spurs have been cleared to play. I truly thought about playing the San Antonio ML, which means Gregg and the Pops will be down by 20 at the first media timeout. Our model has Atlanta by 5.
Key injury news here in that ECU's Ezra Ausar is out -- I nearly played East Carolina ML and glad I didn't as he averages 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Not saying the Pirates lose, but if they were on the road I'd now take UNC Wilmington. Instead, let's throw a sprinkle on the total as all the models liked Under even before this news.
I truly hate backing the Heat because they go through such lulls in every game that it drives me crazy. And I tell you this, I am so glad this is not an In-Season Tournament game because Miami's court on TV looked like Satan's bowling alley. I still don't see colors right. Indiana is down at least one big man in Jalen Smith and possibly another in Isaiah Jackson as well as backup point guard TJ McConnell (latter two are questionable). Jimmy Butler is good to go and that's what we were waiting on.