Nuggets vs Pacers Prediction & Pick NBA

free nba pick nuggets vs pacers

Free NBA Pick & Prediction Nuggets vs Pacers

The Nuggets have been dealing with accidental injuries to alot major players before the season started, however they took another big strike the other night, and it could deliver them into free fall over the next few weeks.

the particular NBA Odds for their sport against the Pacers Monday night time has them as +10 ½ underdogs, with a number of 199. Will Denver Colorado overcome a short bench this evening, or will they obtain run out of Indianapolis towards a pissed off Pacers team?

 
Lawson down

ty Lawson broke a rib a few nights ago, plus although there has been no recognized word released yet on his status tonight in indianapolis, I almost guarantee this individual won’t play.

He stated yesterday he was getting some pain just standing up, so trying to play a basketball game towards one of the most physical teams in the league seems unlikely this evening.

The Nuggets have been actively playing down two starters with regard to virtually the entire season, and now potentially without Lawson, their own offense is going to take a large dip.

Denver is currently 5 games out of the 8th place in the Western Conference along with 33 games to go, and with Lawson likely out for at least the immediate future, this particular injury might force the Nuggets to pack this in this season.

They currently own the Knicks’ draft , and another high lottery pick for them would be incredible to continue rebuilding this group.
All of this makes me think that even if there is a small opportunity Lawson could take a bunch of pain meds and put on a flak jacket to play tonight, the Nuggets will not risk their best player for a game against Indiana.

without having him, Randy Foye plus Evan Fournier are really going to have to step up in this sport.

Although I like both of their matchups, their scoring along with Wilson Chandler’s will not be close to enough to score on the Pacers. Denver already has no tall guys to matchup towards Roy Hibbert and jesse West, so… to jump shots against indianapolis is not a winning strategy.

Sharp Pick

The Nuggets have missed Lawson within four total games so far throughout this season, and in all those four, Denver is only hitting 91 ½ points for each game. However tonight towards Indiana’s defense, things might get even harder for the Nuggets offensively. Despite the fact that the Pacers played last night, their defense is still going to be very good at home. Indiana is probably not  pleased about losing to the Magic last night, so anticipate a much better effort tonight.

we doubt the Pacers give up another 29 point one fourth like they did in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game.
The Nuggets are going to have no inside presence in this game due to going up against the Pacers, and with a much smaller sized front court, and a bumped up back court, the particular Pacers will not only outrebound the Nuggets, but they will slow the game down enough  to where neither team will certainly score a lot.

I don’t believe in either team to cover for our NBA picks, but I do think this might be an ugly game as both are ready for the All Star crack.

NBA Pick: UNDER 199

Seattle’s Sherman bows out early with ankle injury

Sherman left early in the 4th quarter with an ankle injury. (USATSI)

Richard Sherman remaining early in the fourth with an ankle injury, but it did not matter. (USATSI)

 

Two weeks ago, it was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman who likely a last-second pass in order to teammate Malcolm Smith that will sealed the 49ers’ destiny in the NFC Championship sport. The storyline between then plus Sunday night revolved mainly around two players: Sherman, the face of the Legion associated with Boom, and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.The brash younger defensive back out of Stanford, who now seems specific for pointing out Manning’s penchant for throwing ducks, has been supposed to parlay his NFC title game play into standing as the NFL’s top part on the NFL’s biggest phase. 

Except that once the game started, Manning and the Broncos offense looked like it was the first day of minicamp – a botched take on the first series led to a safety and served as a metaphor for the rest of the night — and Sherman had a mainly quiet evening.And this is where you may point out that there really was not much for Sherman to do. Between the Denver turnovers plus special teams gaffes, points were pretty much decided simply by halftime.Sherman left the game for good early in the 4th quarter, with the Seahawks top 43-8. He limped to the sideline with an ankle injuries and eventually made his way to the locker room on a cart.The official announcement listed Sherman as doubtful to return, even though we’d like to imagine that there would have been no way to keep your pet off the field if the rating had been closer. Still, this individual finished with two tackles and a pass defended.

But this is bigger than Sherman, even if that’s the story the media insisted upon pushing. This is about that defense

 

. it can about Kam Chancellor, that intercepted Manning in the 1st quarter. It’s about jones, whose pick-six late in the second quarter was one of many first-half shows. It’s about the front 4 abusing the Broncos unpleasant line all night, as well as the rest of the Legion of Boom, which includes safety Earl Thomas, that encapsulated what it all indicates after the game. “It’s all about producing history, ” he stated. “This was a dominant overall performance from top to bottom. You had guys (that) stepped up that you more than likely even think (would step) up. That’s what this particular team is all about… Everybody upon defense played heat. This was a great win. ”

And that’s exactly what should concern the rest of the little league: Even with Sherman hobbled, the particular Seahawks’ D dominated.Or because Sherman put it after the sport: “The Legion of growth, baby. “Then he added: “I hope we etch our own names in the history publications. This is the No. 1 criminal offense in the history of the national football league and we were able to play a good game against them. Peyton Manning may go down as one of the greatest to ever perform the game, and we’re simply blessed to have an opportunity to perform against him. I can’t think it. ”

More bad news: All that talk about Russell Wilson having difficulties the last month and a half of the season? You wouldn’t possess known it to watch your pet carve up the Broncos supplementary like he was.. well, Peyton Manning.

Fox: Expect the unexpected in Super Bowl

Brodeur blasts Yankee Stadium ice

Brodeur had a rough day with six goals against on 21 shots. (Getty Images)

Brodeur had a rough day with six goals against on 21 shots.

(Getty Images)
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You never know what you're going to get from the ice surface when you take the game away from the sheltered confines of NHL arenas and go outdoors on rinks that were built in a matter of weeks under the pressure of Mother Nature. Still, there have been nothing but positive reviews of the ice in the two games this weekend, and that included a game in warm Southern California.

 

Well we'll take that back, there was one complaint courtesy of legendary Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur about the sheet at Yankee Stadium. Brodeur: "Worst ice I ever played hockey on. "— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) January 26, 2014 Considering Brodeur has been playing in the NHL for 20 seasons now, he has a lot of experience to draw on when he makes a statement like that. He's been around and seen plenty of ice sheets, so when Brodeur says it's the worst he's played on, that's saying something. Of course, that could merely be the six goals against on 21 shots talking for Brodeur on that one. He got the start for the Devils at Yankee Stadium, something that was given out as much or more for the simple fact that Brodeur is a Devils legend and it was the right thing to do to give Brodeur the honor. Two periods later, he was riding the pine after a brutal day for he and his teammates. After the game his coach Peter DeBoer talked about the ice and was much more neutral on his take, unwilling to blame his team's 7-3 loss on the rink.

"Yeah, everything was great, " DeBoer said. "I'm not going to complain about anything. You're not going to get perfect conditions when you stick a rink in the middle of a baseball stadium in February or late January, but I thought the entire event, from the ice to the production to the environment to the crowd, was outstanding. "

 

Stadium Series

Brodeur's day ends after two periods, six goals

What's interesting is how Sunday's result will affect things going forward for the Devils. Schneider has been playing more lately but has still started three fewer games than Brodeur this season. But now, after Brodeur was shelled, his save percentage has dipped to899 while Schneider's up around930. That's a massive difference, definitely one that can't be blamed away on bad ice at Yankee Stadium.

It's getting harder and harder to argue that Schneider doesn't deserve to be the goalie getting the bulk of the work, and that's with even ignoring what wasn't the most ideal conditions on Sunday.

Hartley fined

Hartley pays for their role in the brawl with a fine.

(Getty Images)Hartley pays for his role in the brawl with a fine. (Getty Images)
More NHL: Scores | Standings | League frontrunners | Odds| Injuries| Power Rankings

Calgary fire flames coach Bob Hartley has been fined $25, 000 by the NHL on Monday with regard to his role in the collection brawl that opened sunday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

 

NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, merlu Campbell said on the judgment: "We are holding mister. Hartley responsible for the actions associated with Flames' right wing Kevin Westgarth, who took the particular game's opening face-off plus attempted to instigate a premeditated fight with an unwilling challenger – the Canucks' Kevin Bieksa. " Hartley turned in their lineup for the game simply by starting his fourth collection, a line that makes upward a few fighters and that has been seen as a provocation by Canucks coach John Tortorella, that responded by starting their fourth line. The result was a brawl just seconds into the game and more than a hundred and forty penalty minutes. Tortorella was hanging for 15 days as he required the issue into the halls in the first intermission when he tried to approach Hartley. Read The Original Article

Cesc angered by score, not benching

 

With Lionel Messi back in the starting lineup, Fabregas started the game in midfield but was withdrawn on 72 moments as Martino sent upon youngster Sergi Roberto along with Barca looking for a winner. Fabregas has now been substituted in 6 of the last eight online games he has started for batel, and looked unhappy as he trudged from the pitch plus banged the dugout roofing with his fist. But speaking to reporters after the game, he stated his reaction had been exclusively due to the match situation. "I was upset because of the match up, not because I was becoming subbed. I felt great and we were creating probabilities. It was the frustration you get when you get into the area but the ball just doesn't want to go in.
"We could have played much better in the first half, but in the second we dominated. all of us controlled the game – we were a bit unlucky. " Barca conceded another set-piece goal whenever Levante's Loukas Vyntra going in early on. Gerard pick up equalised soon afterwards, but the visitors were unable to find a champion, with keeper Keylor Navas in inspired form.

Martino informed his post-match news meeting he did not feel a second successive league draw was a cause for concern, explaining: "It was not our day in front of goal. It is not worrying for the future if we understand that at the start [of the season] we received without playing very well. Now it is the contrary.

 

"The result is a bit negative, because this is not what we came here to play with regard to. But I would be worried if we had regressed in our perform, because that would lessen our own chance of winning the little league. This game does not be concerned me because, out of 10, we win nine occasions. "

 

Messi, who has been easy in Copa del campeón games since his come back from injury, was unable to find a way past Costa Rica worldwide Navas as Barca upped the tempo in the 2nd half.

 

He told the club's official website: "We do everything possible to earn, but they closed themselves away at the back and they didn't give us any space.

 

"It is a hard stadium to play in, yet we tried. We do enough to deserve the particular win – we simply lacked a bit of luck. inch

 

batel, who beat Levante 7-0 in their first La banda meeting of the season in August, return to the Ciutat sobre Valencia ground for a copa do mundo del Rey quarterfinal 1st leg this week, and Messi said: "I think este will play the same way on wed. "

 

Arkansas downs No. 13 UK with OT slam

 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Michael Qualls contains a history of poster-worthy dunks in his two seasons in the state of arkansas.

his / her latest might just become an issue of legend around the assert.
 

this win arrived at a time involving desperation for the Razorbacks (12-4, 1-2 Southeastern Conference), who had opened SEC enjoy with a couple of losses — including a tragic overtime beat to No . 7 Fl on Saturday in the home.

And it also emerged in dramatic fashion, thanks to the high-flying Qualls, who says he also won a couple of games in high institution using last-second rebound dunks.

The particular sophomore entered the sport leading the exact Razorbacks in scoring near the 12. several points every game, nevertheless he had battled mightily in SEC enjoy — shooting a blended 3-for-22 (13. 6 percent) in the particular first two seminar games.

"Crashing the boards in this sort of situation is typically the best time to crash the boards, micron Qualls stated. "They forget about you. We just saw the opportunity plus took it. micron

the state of arkansas offers won three upright from home over the Wildcats (12-4, 2-1), whose four-game successful streak was clicked.

Qualls over with 18 points, none of them larger than his last a couple of. He travelled in from the baseline mainly because time was winding down, corralling Ky Madden's 3-point pass up and sending the season-high Bud Walton Arena bulk of 18, 619 right into a frenzy with his dunk.

Madden obtained 18 points regarding the state of arkansas, while Alandise Harris finished with 12 and Bobby Portis 11.

It was Qualls – which made national highlight programmes earlier this particular season with his fabulous one-handed tomahawk dunk more than 6-foot-10 Southern Illinois-Edwardsville frontward Keaton Jackson – whose final take up is sure to be appreciated.

"It was initially an unbelievable finish, " illinois coach Mike Anderson explained. "He merely came out of nowhere fast. It was fortunate regarding us he was playing regarding the Razorbacks. inches

adam Young led Kentucky along with twenty three points, while Julius Randle had 20 plus Aaron Harrison 16.

Arkansas almost earned the game in legislations, taking a 74-71 lead by using 9. 4 seconds lodging on a three-point play from Harris.

However, Toby Harrison replied for typically the Wildcats – falling beneath a screen and binding on a wide-open 3-pointer coming from in front of the Wildcats' bench to help tie the game along with one 2 seconds staying.

The particular game was headed regarding a second overtime, nevertheless, after Young's 3-pointer using 10. 2 seconds eventually left tied the game in eighty five.

soon after Young's shot, Arkansas did not call an additional time. Madden tried to win the game with a 3-point attempt from the proper corner, but it struck the front of rim and bounced directly into the hands associated with the running Qualls.

"It had been just these fault, inches Young stated. "I ceased playing at the last 2nd, thought it was heading to rebound off in addition to time was gonna work out. I just stopped enjoying at the previous second. "

The Wildcats had been then unable to have the ball inbounds with2 secs remaining.

The Razorbacks led by simply as many as eight points inside the first fifty percent before negotiating for a new 43-41 lead.

They did which means by scoring 14 elements off 10 turnovers with the Wildcats, who controlled the interior but struggled against Arkansas' pressure defense.

"I hate melting away, but I'm fine, inches Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "Those kids did not quit… We had a bunch of renouvellement early on, but I thought offensively we basically made your plays we wanted.

"You've have to give them credit. "

Mardracus sort gave the Razorbacks all their largest lead regarding the primary half along with a 3-pointer the fact that produced it 37-28 as the state of arkansas tried to rebound after having its 23-game home winning ability snapped by typically the Gators.

Kentucky resolved the run with a 10-0 broken of its own, accomplishing this behind a dominating inside of game. Young had 6 points during the operate, together with a steal and layup to increase 38-37.

The teams mixed in order to commit 60 fouls. the state of arkansas was 29-of-41 (70. seven percent) from the totally free chuck line, while typically the Wildcats were definitely 26-of-40 (65 percent).

The Razorbacks were outrebounded by Kentucky 50-32, yet Qualls got the many important one.

"I guess we'd enough plays in people to find a method to win, inches Anderson said.

Seahawks to 44 states: No NFC title tickets for you

Fans may have to wish that the particular force is issues side if they want entry pass to the NFC name video game.

(USATSI)Fans will have to hope the force is on their side if they want tickets to the NFC title game. (USATSI)
If an individual want to go to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in detroit and an individual were hoping to pay back face value for an entrée, that’s probably not proceeding to take place, but is actually definitely not likely to take place if you live within among the 44 states of which have been penalized by simply the Seahawks.
The team declared that prices to the particular title game should go about sale on Jan. tough luck and will only become available to enthusiast who have a credit cards that has a payment address in Washington, or, Montana, Idaho, Alaska in addition to The hawaiian islands. If you live within idaho, you’re out regarding luck, but if you act like you live in Canada, you’re not. entry pass will also be accessible in the Canadian zone of British Columbia and additionally Alberta.

The ticket restrictions will probably keep scalpers and rival fans out. The Seahawks will play either San Francisco or perhaps Carolina in the NFC label game and as you’ll look at, tickets aren’t available to be able to men and women in either California or even North Carolina. When 49ers or perhaps Panthers enthusiasts want to be at only CenturyLink Field, they’ll have to hit the secondary marketplace where the cheapest seat tickets are already going for more than $330.

Of course, even though you live in one of typically the six locations where a person can buy tickets, you aren’t probably not going to be able to get one. fines to the Seahawks’ divisional circular playoff game went about sales agreement on Dec. thirty-one plus lasted all of 26 time.

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Knicks, with Smith on bench, pull past Heat

 

Knicks Win Despite Drama

Knicks Win Despite Drama

Are The Knicks Back? Melo's Future With The Knicks

Melo's Future With The Knicks

NEW YORK – They don't look like the lowly losers of last month. The New York Knicks are playing as if it's last season – when they even had mighty Miami's number.Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the Knicks beat the Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight victory.

"You can tell it's different than one month ago, " Bargnani said. "Our faces are different, our body language is different. "

Raymond Felton had 13 points and 14 assists for the Knicks, who seized control with a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and beat the Heat for the fourth time in five meetings over the last two seasons.New York was second to Miami in the Eastern Conference last season when it won the series 3-1, but there was little reason to suggest until recently the Knicks were ready to compete with the NBA champions this season. New York is 13-22 but has won four of five in 2014, with victories over San Antonio and Miami – last season's NBA finalists.

"It wasn't going to last all season like that, " Felton said. "We were just going through a slump, now I feel like we're out of it. "

With Tyson Chandler out sick and J. R. Smith stuck on the bench as an apparent punishment, Amar'e Stoudemire had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.LeBron James scored 32 points for the Heat, who played without injured starters Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier and didn't get much from Chris Bosh, who was held to six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

"All I know about this game is they outplayed us and they earned that win, " Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Dwyane Wade scored 23 points but missed all six free throws after sitting out the morning shootaround as Miami had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"I only missed six, " Wade said. "I didn't miss 20. It wasn't that damn bad. "

Smith didn't play after the reigning Sixth Man of the Year's latest trouble, a $50, 000 fine when he attempted to untie an opponent's sneaker for the second straight game, after he'd been warned by the NBA not to do it again. Knicks coach Mike Woodson criticized Smith's behavior during a radio interview Wednesday but said before the game he wouldn't discuss Smith any longer.

But the benching did the speaking for him. Smith often stood far away from the huddle during timeouts, but his teammates sure didn't miss him on the court.

Woodson again wouldn't comment after the game, but no Knicks player, not even Smith, seemed to know he wouldn't play.

"I didn't know anything about it, " Smith said. "I expected to do the same thing I always do. I did my same routine and it didn't happen. "

Though the roster is different and the results are way worse, Woodson said before the game he believed the things that worked so well against the Heat last season could still do so, and for this night he was right as New York shot 54 percent from the field.

"We're moving forward, " Anthony said. "We're taking strides. We're getting better. We're learning from our mistakes we've made in the past and we're going to continue to build on this and see what happens. "

The Knicks surged into the lead late in the third. Bargnani answered back quickly after James blew by him for a dunk, converting a three-point play to tie it and ignite a 9-0 spurt that helped New York lead 75-71 entering the final 12 minutes.

New York ran off seven in a row to open the fourth, making it 82-71 on Stoudemire's basket, and there was never really a run for the Heat, who couldn't get closer than five from there.

"They played a great game, " James said. "They made some timely shots. "

The Heat were opening a six-game trip, but the start of it couldn't be more convenient. They are just a few miles away Friday to visit Brooklyn in a game in which players from both teams will wear nicknames on their jerseys.

But the best they can do is salvage a New York split, even after shooting 54 percent in this one.

Miami scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 27-21 lead. The Knicks scored 11 in a row early in the second, but Rashard Lewis made two 3-pointers from the corner in the final 1: 11 to help the Heat grab a 48-43 halftime edge.

 

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Benched J.R. Smith wary

J. R. Smith didn’t play against the Heat.

(USATSI)J.R. Smith feels pretty good about the Knicks next season. (USATSI)
The J. R. Smith saga took another turn on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Woodson didn’t play him.

After being fined $50, 000 by the league for untying opponents’ shoelaces on the free throw line, which brought on heavy criticism from his coach and was part of the Knicks exploring trade options, Smith was stuck on the end of the bench against Miami.

Asked after the game if he sees himself as part of the team’s future, Smith responded with probably too more candor.

“Honestly, I don’t even know at this point, ” Smith told reporters. “At one point I was for sure and now it’s rocking the boat. But it is what it is. It’s part of the business. “

For most of the first half, Smith sat on the end of the team’s bench, even past the injured Metta World Peace and didn’t actively participate in timeout huddles. But as the Knicks finished off the Heat, the camera caught Smith jumping and clapping enthusiastically on the bench.

What happens next for Smith and the Knicks? Will he play in New York’s next game against the 76ers on Saturday? Hard to know, because Woodson basically no-commented every question about Smith after the game Thursday.

Until the next turn.

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Carolina-Buffalo game PPD amid blizzard warning

More NHL: Scores | Standings | League Leaders | Odds | Injuries | Power Rankings

Not even ice hockey is immune to the polar vortex that has descended on North America this week as the sport on Tuesday evening between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres has been referred to as off.

Buffalo has been beneath siege not solely by the freezing cold temperatures hovering right around 0 levels Farenheit but in addition to the snow that retains on falling. Presently the town is below a Blizzard Warning by means of 6 a.m. on Wednesday and the native weather alert issued for Buffalo says seven to 14 inches of snow are expected with a pair more inches in a single day. In total there could be three toes of snow on the ground.

Officially, the game is being “postponed because of the hazardous weather conditions in the
Buffalo space.”

All of this combines to make travel to the game awfully difficult not only for the teams but for the fans as nicely. It becomes a dangerous situation so as a substitute the sport known as off and will be pushed again to another date.

The Hurricanes are scheduled to make one other journey to Buffalo in two weeks on Jan. 23 but the potential for squeezing in a again-to-again can be too tough because the Canes are in Philadelphia on the 21st and then again in Carolina on the twenty fourth. Playing 4 video games in four nights isn’t feasible, in order that they’ll must find a spot to suit the game in down the road.

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Jeff Triplette is the Referee For Chargers-Bengals, How Did He Get a Playoff Game?

jeff triplette referee stinks

Jeff Triplette was one of the worst referees in the NFL this year, and found himself embroiled in controversy 3 times in December. First, his crew botched a name late in a detailed Redskins/Giants game; then he badly blew this call in a Cincinnati Bengals game; in the Seahawks/Rams season finale, his crew misplaced management of the sport very early.

And who can overlook him angrily screaming at Clay Matthews in 2012? And the flag he by chance threw into the facemask of Orlando Brown, briefly blinding him?

Well, here’s some information that may make Marvin Lewis and Mike McCoy cringe: Triplette and his crew will referee the San Diego-Cincinnati Wild Card game Sunday, the NFL announced.

Gulp.

The Chargers are 7.5 point underdogs, but it surely needs to be noted San Diego solely misplaced twice by greater than a landing (28-20 at home in opposition to Denver; 27-17 in Oakland in early October) this season. And if anyone tells you that the climate can be an element as a result of the Chargers play within the heat climate and it’ll be in the 30’s with rain or snow … the Chargers gained in Kansas Metropolis and Denver in colder temperatures not too long ago.

 

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Report: Triplette to referee Chargers-Bengals

 

Lucky you, you'll get to see Jeff Triplette referee this weekend. (USATSI)
Fortunate you, you will get to see Jeff Triplette referee this weekend. (USATSI)

 

It has not been a terrific month for referee Jeff Triplette.

The tip of the Giants-Redskins recreation was marred, in part, by the game officers moving the primary-down chain when, in reality, it ought to have been third down (and then, they moved it back for fourth down).

Then, the following week, Triplette seemed to botch a replay evaluation in which he gave the Bengals a fourth-down touchdown they most likely didn't deserve.

But that won't cease Triplette from continuing his season, as Footballzebras.com reports that Triplette will referee Sunday's Bengals-Chargers playoff recreation.

But here is the thing. The assignments for postseason football assignments are benefit-based mostly, so clearly, Triplette was graded high sufficient that the NFL appears like he deserves to be rewarded.

With Triplette, the perception of his job efficiency is most definitely infinitely times worse than his precise grades. But nonetheless, when Triplette is officiating your favorite group's video games, there's almost no probability you are going to be assured that all the things will run smoothly.

But this is the excellent news. Unless Chad Johnson can save town of Cincinnati, fans who aren't attending the game will not have to watch Triplette and his efficiency anyway.

Comply with Josh Katzowitz on Google+

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post

NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Michigan vs. Kansas State

wolverines

Michigan Wolverines (7-5) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) 12/28- 10:15PM EST

 

BUFFALO WINGS BOWL- Tempe, AZ

 

Line: KSU -5.0

Over/Under: 55.5

 

The Kansas State Wildcats, winners of five of their final six games and feeling confident, head into Tempe on Saturday night in search of their first bowl game victory since 2002 as they take on a Michigan team that has struggled down the stretch and will be without their starting quarterback.

 

The Wildcats (7-5) have been a successful program under coach Bill Snyder, but haven’t tasted a bowl win in five postseason games since beating Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

 

It is obvious that one of my many failings is that I do not have to answer to that,” the 74-year old Bill Snyder said. “It could be a multitude of things, and perhaps it is, or maybe it’s something simple that I am overlooking. …. The bottom line is I really do not know.”

 

Kansas State was eluded victories in its last two major bowl games in the 2011 Cotton Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl, but like their chances this year in the Buffalo Wings Bowl with a Wolverines team without their star quarterback.

 

After a 2-4 start, the Wildcats went on a 5-1 run to put themselves in a great bowl game after Big 12 foes Baylor and Oklahoma wound up in BCS bowls this year. They were headed for the Holiday Bowl, but Saturday’s bowl game is a step up and they plan to take full advantage of it.

 

Nobody on our team has won a bowl game, with the exception of the coaches,” junior linebacker Jonathan Truman said. “We need it. We want it really bad.”

 

Michigan (7-5) started out 5-0, but lost four of five to finish the season with four of those losses by four points or fewer, with its last loss at the heals of their biggest rival Ohio State 42-41 back on November 30th.

 

It was that game that knocked Devin Gardner out of Saturday’s contest with a turf toe injury, a big blow after their star threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns. It was that impressive showing that gave the Wolverines the nod over Nebraska, who had two more wins in the Big 10 than Michigan a spot in Saturday’s game.

 

With Gardner out, the spotlight will be on freshman quarterback Shane Morris to lead the Wolverines as he makes his first career start.

 

Obviously, we recruited him at Michigan to be the quarterback at Michigan,” coach Brady Hoke said. “This is a great opportunity. We have a lot of faith in how he goes about his business getting ready to play.”

 

With a Michigan running game that ranks 112th in the nation with a paltry 3.2 yards per carry, it will be vital for the young Morris to find success through the air to have a chance, so look for Morris to target Jeremy Gallon, who had 80 catches for 1,284 yards with nine touchdowns.

 

Kansas State will counter with Tyler Lockett who had 71 receptions for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Wildcats, who use a two-quarterback approach… junior Jake Walters averages 9.43 yards per attempt and sophomore Daniel Sams, who ran for 784 yards with 11 touchdowns.

 

I’ve never been a fan of having two guys at that position that play equally,” Snyder said. “But both of them are very deserving of having the opportunity to play.”

 

With Gardner out, the oddsmakers have made the Wildcats a (minus -5.0) point favorite on Saturday night, but as always, get the latest spread on the game(s) up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

On defense, watch for Michigan cornerback Blake Countess tied for fourth in the nation with six interceptions and Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller who had 11 ½ sacks and a Big-12 leading 18 ½ tackles for loss.

 

It’s tough to go with a young quarterback without much game experience and without a solid running game for the Wolverines, I like and predict the Wildcats notching their first bowl win in over a decade.

 

Prediction/Pick: Kansas State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

Dez Bryant: ‘No doubt’ I will play against Eagles

Dez Bryant says there's 'no doubt' he'll be playing against the Eagles. (USATSI)
Dez Bryant says there’s ‘little doubt’ he’ll be playing towards the Eagles. (USATSI)

Tony Romo isn’t the one one in Dallas coping with a back issue, vast receiver Dez Bryant is just too. Bryant was restricted in practice on Thursday for the second straight day, however, that is not going to maintain him from enjoying in opposition to the Eagles. Bryant told ESPN.com that there’s ‘no doubt’ he’ll be enjoying on Sunday.

“I am good. I am enjoying. Don’t fret about it,” Bryant instructed the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bryant injured his back throughout the Cowboys 24-23 win over Washington, a game where Bryant completed with 4 catches for seventy three yards and a landing.

This is not the primary time this season that Bryant’s shown up on the weekly harm report with a again damage. Bryant was coping with a back challenge before the Cowboys Week 10 game against New Orleans. Main as much as that game, Bryant missed a apply and was restricted in two different practices.

Despite the damage, Bryant ended up playing against the Saints and was limited to at least one catch for 44 yards.

With a lot at stake, it is almost not possible to think about Bryant missing this Sunday’s recreation against the Eagles. The NFC East title and the playoff berth that comes with will probably be on the road in Dallas.

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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Miami (FL) vs. Louisville

ncaa predictions hurricanes vs cardinals

Miami Hurricanes (9-3) vs. #18 Louisville Cardinals (11-1) 12/28- 6:45PM EST

 

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL- Orlando, FL

 

Line: LOU -3.5

Over/Under: 57.5

 

In what will likely be Teddy Bridgewater’s final game in a Louisville Cardinals’ uniform as he is expected to declare for the NFL draft, he will lead his football team against the Miami Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday night.

 

Saturday’s bowl matchup will also feature two teams that will become conference rivals as #18 Louisville will be moving into the ACC next year to join Miami.. a team that Florida native Bridgewater had originally committed to before deciding on Louisville.

 

With Bridgewater expected to be a sure top 10 NFL pick next April, the junior quarterback who was a leading candidate for the Heisman before falling off is looking to go out on top come Saturday.

 

With a 38-35 defeat to Central Florida back on October 18th and failing to throw for 300 yards in his final four games with only five touchdown passes, he saw his Heisman Trophy chances go by the wayside as he was not invited to New York as a finalist.

 

Despite his lack of production towards the end of the season, Bridgewater still finished with 3,523 yards and 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions to finish as the nation’s fifth-leading passer, but in the end couldn’t get his Cardinals (11-1) back to a BCS bowl after last year’s Sugar Bowl win over Florida.

 

This is a very talented young man. He has great command on the offense,” Miami coach Al Golden said.

 

Miami (9-3) had recruited Bridgewater successfully and had a verbal commitment back in 2010, but after the firing of then head coach Randy Shannon following a 7-6 season, Bridgewater bolted for Louisville.

 

The Cardinals have 23 Miami-area natives on their team and are thrilled to be going back home to face a Miami team of players many have played against growing up.

 

When they found out, it was like ‘We’re playing back at home again, we’re playing basically our teammates and the people that they play in high school,’” said senior defensive end Marcus Smith, a Georgia native who is the AAC defensive player of the year. “Feeling that with them is gonna be great one.”

 

Miami will be playing in their first postseason game since 2010, when the university implemented a self-imposed two-year bowl ban due to improper benefits from a booster. Former Miami assistant Clint Hurtt who was implicated in the scandal is now on the Cardinals staff.

 

Early on, the Hurricanes were a top 25 team but lost three in a row and fell out of the rankings, but now look to post their first double-digit wins since the 2003 season.

 

Our kids are excited, I think they’re grateful.” Golden said. “They’ve been through a lot the past two years, and they have not been able to have this opportunity.

 

They’re practicing with a purpose, they’re excited, and clearly they have a really tough opponent coming up.”

 

The Hurricanes feel they have a great quarterback of their own in the likes of Stephen Morris, who threw for 2,868 yards with 21 touchdowns and looks forward to matching up with Bridgewater.

 

It’d be a great challenge and a great headline for a lot people,” Morris said

 

Louisville will be moving to the ACC’s Atlantic Division next season, while the Canes are in the Coastal but are scheduled to play one another next year.

 

When we go play in the ACC next year, I think (the bowl) will put our stamp on this season, and it will tell the world that we can play with teams in the ACC and we can play with anybody,” Smith said.

 

The oddsmakers feel the Cardinals can play with the Hurricanes now as they have made them a (minus -3.5) point favorite, but get the latest lines on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Smith finished second in the nation with 12 ½ sacks and with a Cardinals defense that ranked second in the FBS allowing only 257.9 yards per game and has been dominate against the run allowing just 86.3 yards per contest, I like and predict the Cardinals making it a happy home coming for many of its players.

 

Miami top rusher Duke Johnson suffered a season-ending injury with a broken ankle back in mid-season to make the challenge that much greater against the Cardinals defense, but expect an entertaining bowl game.

 

Prediction/Pick: Louisville

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Cincinnati vs. North Carolina

ncaa prediction and picks

Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-6) 12/28- 3:20PM EST

Line: UNC -2.5

Over/Under: 56.5

Belk BOWL- Charlotte, NC

Two teams that mirrored each other during the season will take the field on Saturday afternoon in the Belk Bowl hoping to end the year on a high note.

 

Cincinnati (9-3) and North Carolina (6-6) both struggled in the early season, then made some midseason changes at quarterback which led to long winning streaks before both teams lost close games to longtime rivals in their regular-season finale.

 

They are a lot like us because they had a slow start and then won a lot of games in the end,” Bearcats coach Tommy Tuberville said. “We are probably a much better team now than we were at the beginning of the year, as they are.”

 

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said of his team… “This is a resilient bunch of guys that kept believing in one another throughout the year and I’m glad they were rewarded with a bowl game. We’re looking forward to facing a very good Cincinnati team led by an outstanding coach in Tommy Tuberville.”

 

The Bearcats will be making their second consecutive appearance in as many years in the Belk Bowl defeating Duke last year 48-34, and this year are back in it thanks in part to a six-game winning streak during the middle of the season that helped them finish third in the AAC.

 

Quarterback Brendon Kay took over the signal calling for the Bearcats in the second game of the season replacing injured first-stringer Munchie Legaux and responded well throwing for more than 3,000 yards in a season, despite not always being 100 percent healthy.

 

I tell you that kid competed and he did it on one leg. His ankle is so bad. He’s been wanting to play and push through it and it’s been that way for about six weeks and he has only practiced about one or two days a week,” Tuberville said of Kay following his team’s 31-24 loss to then-No. 19 Louisville on December 5.

 

He doesn’t throw the ball much because his shoulders are so banged up but I tell you he is a warrior.”

 

The Tar Heels also made a quarterback change with Marquise Williams taking over for Bryn Renner who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury back on November 2nd. The more mobile Williams generated 14 touchdown passes while also rushing for 531 yards and six scores to lead the Heels.

 

Look for North Carolina’s Eric Ebron, one of the nation’s top tight ends to be a main target as he leads the team in catches with 55 and with yards with 895, as he looks to challenge the Cincinnati defense.

 

I just go there out there and do what I do best,” Ebron told the school’s official website.

 

Ebron is a finalist for the Makey Award which is given to the top tight end in all of college football and has already declared himself eligible for the 2014 NFL draft following the Belk Bowl.

 

North Carolina finds itself in the Belk Bowl by way of a 1-5 start followed by a five game winning streak to become bowl eligible before losing to in-state rival Duke 27-25 to end the regular-season.

 

Coach Fedora is proud of the way his team performed after a horrible start. “I’m excited for our team, especially our seniors, who fought through some early season adversity and won five of the last six games to become bowl eligible.”

 

The Bearcats may have the better record, but the oddsmakers are giving the Tar Heels a slight (minus -2.5) point favorite playing close to home in Charlotte, but get the latest spread on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

The Tar Heels are 2-0 all-time against the Bearcats, but I predict Cincinnati, who outscored their opponents by 166 points through the backend of their schedule to continue the trend on Saturday and leave the state of North Carolina with the Belk Bowl trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick: Cincinnati

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction Rutgers vs. Notre Dame College Bowl Game Preview & Pick

ncaa picks notre dame

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-6) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4) 12/28- 12:00PM EST

 

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL- Bronx, NY

 

Line: ND -14.0

Over/Under- 53.0

 

The No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl with hopes of closing out the season on a positive note for what has been a disappointing year to Irish standards.

 

A year ago, the Irish found themselves in the BCS championship thanks in part to a magical season that ended in a blowout loss to Alabama and this year expectations were high once again as they found themselves at 7-2 on November 2nd before dropping two out of their last three.

 

Notre Dame (8-4) fought hard at then-No. 8 Stanford in their regular-season finale back on November 30, but in the end fell 27-20, as Tommy Rees threw two picks late in the fourth quarter.

 

Not good enough obviously. Proud of the guys and my teammates and how we fought all year but you don’t come to Notre Dame to go 8-4, and everyone understand that,” said Rees. “You have to be better.”

 

The Irish have a long history of some memorable games in the Bronx going all the way to back to 1928 to as recent as 2010 when they beat longtime rival Army 27-3.

 

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had this to say about the Irish returning.

 

We were privileged to play in New York City and Yankee Stadium in 2010. The treatment our university received from the Steinbrenner family, the New York Yankees and the entire organization was unlike anything we’ve experienced in my tenure at Notre Dame,” he said.

 

Starting next season, the Irish will be part of the ACC bowl lineup, which will include the Pinstripe Bowl, which is now four-years old.

 

Rutgers (6-6) also suffered a disappointing season losing three in a row before beating South Florida 31-6 to become bowl eligible for their eighth time in nine years. The Scarlet Knights will be moving from the AAC to the very competitive and tough Big Ten starting next year and would like a win Saturday to carry that momentum going into a new conference.

 

But, to have any chance against the Irish, the Scarlet Knights must get it together on defense where they gave up 38.0 points in their previous seven games before shutting down a woeful South Florida team.

 

The Rutgers secondary has been torched this season allowing 311.4 passing yards per game and have given up 3,596 yards through the air… the most in school history, so look for Rees to take advantage of a porous Rutgers defense where he has passed for 2,938 yards and 27 touchdowns with a 138.1 passer rating.

 

Notre Dame’s TJ Jones leads the receiving corps with 1,042 yards and nine touchdowns.

 

Oddsmakers don’t have much faith in the Rutgers defense stopping the Irish as they have made Notre Dame a huge (minus -14.0) point favorite going into Saturday’s contest, but get the latest odds up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Despite the sub-par seasons from both teams, expect a big crowd come Saturday as both teams are expected to draw well, especially the Irish with their fan base and the Scarlet Knights proximity to Yankee Stadium.

 

It’s a really attractive matchup,” embattled second-year Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said.

 

The Irish have won all four meetings against Rutgers and I predict an easy victory on Saturday for Notre Dame to take home the trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick: Notre Dame

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

Bosh, Wade both net 23 as Heat streak at 6

Heat Maintain Off Lakers

 
 

Enjoying with out its greatest star, Los Angeles stayed right with the Miami Warmth for a lot of the day before slipping to a one zero one-ninety five loss towards the defending NBA champions on Wednesday.

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had 23 points apiece, and James added 19 factors in the Heat's sixth straight win. Bosh grabbed eleven rebounds and Ray Allen made four 3-pointers for 12 factors, helping Miami improve to five-0 in opposition to the Lakers on the vacation.

"I knew we would get an excellent game out of them, and I believe the NBA needed a very good sport," James mentioned, noting the blowout results of the primary two video games on the league's vacation schedule.

Bryant was relegated to the sideline together with his fractured left knee, leaving him unable to extend his NBA record for Christmas Day appearances to sixteen.

"It isn't as particular when Kobe's not out there," said James, who shared a postgame hug with Bryant.

Streaky reserve Nick Younger scored 20 factors for the Lakers, who had been tied four times within the fourth quarter. Jodie Meeks added 17 factors, Xavier Henry had 14 and Pau Gasol added 13 factors and 13 rebounds.

Miami shot fifty one % from the sphere whereas bettering to 7-zero against the Western Convention this season. It was its 19th straight win overall towards West opponents.

Bosh scored thirteen of his 23 factors within the first half, when Miami trailed 27-21 after the first quarter.

"I just made an effort to get to the basket a bit more," he said. "We simply saved sporting on them offensively. They made some tough shots."

Los Angeles shot 42 percent in its third straight loss. The Lakers were 14-of-36 from 3-level vary as they tried to go excessive to beat the Warmth's rugged interior.

"Teams will try to get us transferring and play out of our rotations," Warmth coach Eric Spoelstra mentioned. "Early on they were getting some broad-open ones. A few of these Nick Young hit were tough."

Jordan Farmar returned from a left hamstring tear after lacking 10 video games, giving the Lakers a true point guard to run the offense. But he was ineffective, with three factors and two assists in 32 minutes.

"I hadn't even performed 5-on-5 since I received damage, so this is the first time I've truly played basketball," he stated. "Well being-smart, the whole lot stayed intact and I felt good on the market, so it's progress."

The Lakers performed a competitive game in opposition to the loaded Heat despite their poor taking pictures and the absence of Bryant, Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Steve Blake (right elbow). They led by 10 factors and by no means trailed by more than that.

Kobe Bryant

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant might only watch as Dwyane Wade and the Warmth beat the Lakers for his or her fifth straight win towards the purple-and-gold on Christmas.

"I assumed we attacked them the way we wanted to," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni mentioned. "We can step it up a bit and be a bit bit tougher, especially on the boards and locations like that. These issues are irritating, but the effort is nice."

Young's basket tied the sport for the final time at 83-all. The Warmth promptly took off on a thirteen-5 run. Wade, Norris Cole and James scored the entire Heat's factors.

Younger answered together with his fourth 3-pointer of the game and Meeks made 1 of 2 free throws to drag the Lakers to ninety six-ninety two with 1:26 to play. However Wade had an acrobatic reverse layup and James made two foul shots to offer Miami some respiratory room.

Younger scored 12 factors within the third, when the Lakers trailed by nine before scoring the final seven points of the period, capped by Younger's three-pointer, to path 76-74 heading into the fourth.

Allen and Wade combined to score the Warmth's first 13 factors of the second, with Allen hitting 3-pointers to bookend the run and pull the Warmth right into a 34-all tie.

Bosh took over and scored 10 factors in a row, including a layup that gave Miami just its second lead of the sport, 40-39. James interrupted Bosh's offensive spurt with a one-handed dunk off Wade's quick-break alley oop.

"Any time Dwyane will get on the break I try to chase him down," James stated. "I did not know what he was going to do. The one manner I can catch it's with my left (hand). I simply tried to improvise. I bought to see it again."

Game notes

Heat F

Chris Andersen

did not play in the second half after his again tightened and his neck turned sore… The Lakers played for the 40th time on Christmas and fell to 21-19, including 13-10 at home… Miami improved to eight-2 on the vacation, including 5-2 on the highway… The Lakers used their 14th completely different starting lineup by means of 29 games… The teams played with sleeves on their jerseys. "Every time I shot I felt a bit of tug," James mentioned… The Heat wore a mix of holiday-themed red and green footwear, some with touches of glitter. Some of the Lakers wore inexperienced-soled footwear… Bryant received up and hugged Samuel L. Jackson throughout a timeout in the second quarter. Jack Nicholson, Kevin Hart, George Lopez and Dyan Cannon had been among the different celebs in attendance.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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NFL Prediction Week 16 Game Preview/Pick- New England vs. Baltimore

patriots vs ravens pick

New England Patriots (10-4) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-6) 12/22- 4:25PM EST

 

Line: BAL -2.5

Over/Under: 44.5

 

The defending Super Bowl champions have played themselves back into playoff contention after many thought they were dead in the water just a month ago.

 

The Ravens have rattled off four straight wins and now control their fate in the AFC North and can clinch a postseason berth for the six straight season with a little help from the league.

 

For the visiting New England Patriots, the formula is a lot easier… beat the Ravens and win the AFC East title for a fifth straight year.

 

Baltimore (8-6) will be in search of their fifth straight win and third in a row over the Patriots, whom they beat in the regular-season last year and in the AFC championship.

 

We’re playing our best football right now,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We’re going to have to continue to improve with what we have in front of us down the stretch.”

 

The Ravens offense sputtered once again in last Monday night’s win at Detroit 18-16, but thanks to Justin Tucker’s leg, he connected on six field goals to bail out the offense including the game winner from 61 yards away in the final minute to set a franchise record.

 

Tucker has made 33 straight field goals dating back to a Week 2 miss at Cleveland and owns the NFL’s longest streak since Matt Stover made 36 in a row for the Ravens from 2005-06.

 

What can you say about Justin Tucker?” Harbaugh said. “When we got the ball here, I think at the 45-yard line, I said, ‘Hey, are we kicking this?’ .. He said, ‘I got it.”

 

New England (10-4) will try to earn the AFC East title once again after failing last week in a 24-20 defeat to Miami in which the offense couldn’t punch it in on four plays from the Dolphins 19 yard line with 27 seconds left.

 

We didn’t do a good job in the red area, and didn’t do a good job finishing drives,” Tom Brady said. “We came up on the short end of the stick. It wasn’t a good day. Just couldn’t make enough plays.”

 

Brady will have to rely on heavily on slot receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola with tight end Rob Gronkowski back on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL suffered on December 8.

 

Edelman and Amendola combined for 23 catches for 270 yards in last week’s loss. Edelman’s 89 receptions ranks fifth in the league and has helped sparked a passing game over the last six weeks where Brady leads the NFL with 2,225 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions in that span since November 3.

 

While the Patriots are an undefeated 7-0 at home, they have lost four of their last five on the road and with their three road wins against the likes of Buffalo, Atlanta and Houston—all last place teams with a combined 11-31 record, they understand the importance of beating a quality team on the road come Sunday.

 

They’re playing better football now then they were in the beginning of the season,” New England defensive end Rob Ninkovich said.

 

With the Ravens taking care of the ball turning it over only four times during the winning streak and a defense that has not allowed more than 26 points since a Week 1 49-27 loss at Denver, the oddsmakers have made them a (minus -2.5) point favorite at home. With a slim line such as that, it may move, so get the latest spread on the game up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

The Ravens have also figured out their pass protection for Joe Flacco, where he has been brought down a career-high 42 times, but only five of those sacks have come in the last three games.

 

The Patriots have not loss back-to-back games since Weeks 3 and 4 of the 2012 season, but Sunday will be a tough challenge for them to avoid losing two in a row again. This game will be a closely fought battle, but I will give the Ravens a slight edge due to home field and predict Baltimore getting it done to win their fifth straight.

 

Prediction/Pick: Baltimore

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter