NBA Prediction NBA Saturday Night Preview/Pick- Clippers vs. Rockets

NBA Free Pick & Prediction L.A Clippers vs. Rockets

Los Angeles Clippers (51-22, 20-17 away) @ Houston Rockets (49-22, 29-7 home) 02/29- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: HOU -1.5

Over/Under: 216.5

 

Yet another big Western Conference showdown will take place on Saturday night when Los Angeles visits the Houston Rockets as the Clippers will be going for the season sweep.

 

The Rockets (49-22) will be in quest of their 12th straight home victory on Saturday night and a win against a team they have yet to defeat this season will draw them into a third-place tie in the tough Western Conference.

 

Houston is also riding a five game win streak, having won three of those without center Dwight Howard who was sidelined with a left ankle strain and he responded in his second game back with 17 points and 13 boards in their 120-98 smack down of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

 

James Harden continued his all-star season performance by recording a triple-double with 26 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.

 

We did a great job of coming out tonight and taking care of business,” said Harden who’s been on a scoring tear averaging 31.3 over his last three games. He is also 12 of 23 from behind the arc in that same span.

 

Speaking of tears, the Rockets have been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 118.2 points per game during their win streak and are averaging the same amount of points over their last nine games at the Toyota Center beating opposing teams by an average of 14.6 points per contest.

 

Having Howard back in the mix and with the team putting points on the board, the Rockets will need all they can muster against the Clippers…. a team that has dominated them winning eight of nine, including taking the first three games by an average of 13.3 points this season.

 

Los Angeles (51-22) is challenging the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the West’s best record and are closing in on their second straight Pacific Division crown. However, the Clippers sit just one game ahead of fourth place Houston after dropping two consecutive games before bouncing back with a big 109-103 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

 

The big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all responded against the Mavs after losing the night before to New Orleans and understand there is no room for nights off if they want to challenge come playoff time and make some noise.

 

We knew it was going to be a playoff-type game,” Paul said. “They’re just not playing for their playoff lives; we’re trying to gear up for the playoffs too.”

 

Despite the Clips having their way with Houston of late, the oddsmakers have faith the home town Rockets will get it done on Saturday night making them a slight (minus -1.5) point favorite with an over/under of 216.5, but as always… stay up to date with the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Tough one to call between these two teams, but I too am going to agree with the oddsmakers on this one and predict the Rockets to finally find some success and find a way to defeat the visiting Clippers in a close one.

 

Prediction/Pick- Houston

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

Gators finish off UCLA for 29th straight win

Gators Put Away Bruins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Florida Gators are back where their previous three seasons have ended with one more likelihood to go to the Remaining Four.

Being within the Elite Eight again, though, simply isn't enough.

Michael Frazier II hit 5 three-pointers and finished with 19 points as the Gators beat UCLA 79-68 on Thursday night time to succeed in their fourth consecutive NCAA regional closing.

"We just talked about it, and it isn't sufficient for us," Florida senior Will Yeguete said. "We've got two days to get ready for a superb team, and we're simply going to go for it on Saturday."

The Gators (35-2) additionally prolonged the very best profitable streak in class history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional last.

"From a group side, I believe we've executed an ideal job of just staying in the second and just trying to chase greatness," Frazier mentioned. "Whenever you do that, complacency is not an element, so I feel we have carried out a great job all year of just staying in the moment and chasing greatness."

The tournament's general prime seed will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday night for a visit to the Closing Four. Dayton beat Stanford 82-72 earlier Thursday night time.

"Proper now we acquired to place this game behind us and get focused on Dayton," Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin said. "They're an important staff. Everyone is at this level within the season, and so we received to be locked in and prepared as a result of it will be a battle."

Wilbekin added 13 points for Florida. Casey Prather had 12 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 10. Kasey Hill had 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since Dec. 2.

The Gators misplaced to Michigan a yr ago in a regional closing.

"Nevertheless it's a new workforce that we've got, and we're taking part in a new team so it's a completely different situation," Wilbekin stated. "We're simply excited to get this win and transfer on to the next recreation. We're completely targeted on that. The previous has no impression."

UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 underneath first-12 months coach Steve Alford. But the Bruins just could not match Florida's bodily protection or outshoot the Gators. UCLA now is zero-four against Florida coach Billy Donovan all time – all in the NCAA tournament.

"They played very effectively," Alford said of the Gators. "They're an impressive basketball group."

Florida shot 50 p.c (29-of-58) for the game, together with 59.three % in the second half. UCLA completed at forty two.2 p.c (27-of-sixty four) in only its fifth sport scoring fewer than 70 points this season. The Bruins have been a cold 1-of-12 beyond the arc within the second half.

Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, and Kyle Anderson had 11 and 5 assists with nine rebounds. Travis Wear added 14.

Frazier confirmed off the Gators' capturing expertise. He had hit solely three of thirteen photographs beyond the arc by means of the Gators' first two match wins however hit five of his first six towards UCLA.

The Gators led 36-30 at halftime and clicked on a unique degree within the second half. They hit their first six shots and eight of their first 10. Each time UCLA tried to make a run, Florida answered. First, it was Frazier hitting consecutive three-pointers as UCLA pulled within 43-39.

When the Bruins pulled within 56-55 on a layup by Norman Powell halfway via the half, Finney-Smith hit a jumper for the first of 10 straight points. The Gators had UCLA working up and down the courtroom a lot Adams couldn't even hit the rim with a jumper despite having an open take a look at the basket.

Wilbekin completed off the run with a 3-level play that had the Gators solidly in control, up 66-fifty five with 5:34 left.

"He hit two large shots down the stretch," Anderson said. "That's what you count on out of your senior level guard. He's been right here in the Sweet sixteen 4 years. He made huge photographs. Credit to him."

For all the discuss of Florida's stingy defense, UCLA opened the game blocking the Gators' first two pictures. The Bruins blocked only two extra pictures the rest of the sport.

The Bruins got here in as one of many nation's best scoring groups, averaging eighty one.5 points a game. Florida showed early it might shoot, too, hitting 5 of eight shots from past the arc in spurt that turned a 14-eleven deficit right into a 20-16 lead. Again-to-again 3s from Frazier put the Gators forward to stay.

Each time Anderson acquired the ball close to the UCLA basket, he discovered himself with no less than two Gators making an attempt to smother him.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

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NBA Prediction Thursday Night Preview/Pick- Thunder vs. Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder (46-15, 20-9 away) @ Phoenix Suns (35-25, 21-12 home) 03/06- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: OKC -6.0

Over/Under: 217.5

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder look to keep rolling as they go into Phoenix in search of their fourth straight win and 12th consecutive victory over the Suns in a Western Conference showdown on Thursday night.

 

With star Russell Westbrook back in the lineup and appearing to be in game shape following his knee injury, he has team poised and ready to make a strong push into the playoffs.

 

OKC (46-15) came under fire when Westbrook returned to the lineup and the Thunder dropped three straight at home, but they now appear to have found their game once again lighting up the scoreboard for an average of 118.0 points per game during their win streak.

 

Westbrook recorded a triple-double (13 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds) in the Thunder’s 125-92 spanking of the lowly Philadelphia 76ers, achieving the feat in the smallest amount of time in 59 years.

 

I’m just trying to get my groove back,” he said. “I’m blessed to be able to do that in such in a short amount of time. It was fun.”

 

As good as the Thunder are without Westbrook, he is the man that makes everybody better and makes them a great and dangerous team and is the key to getting the Thunder back into the Finals in a talented and dangerous Western Conference.

 

With Westbrook back into a groove, that spells trouble for the Phoenix Suns (35-25) who are looking to snap an 11-game losing streak at the hands of the Thunder with Westbrook leading the charge averaging 23.0 points, 7.5 assists with a 49.4 shooting percentage.

 

For Phoenix, they are still a good team but seem to have fallen off the grid a little without the star point guard Eric Bledsoe, who’s been out since Dec. 30 with a knee injury. Bledsoe has starting practicing once again and is expected back in the coming weeks which is a welcome relieve with backup guard Leandro Barbosa out for the next six weeks with a fractured hand which he injured in Tuesday’s 104-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The challenge now will be… can the Suns keep it together until then?

 

Other guys will to step up,” coach Jeff Hornacek said.

 

The Suns (35-25) are 2-3 in their last five games and failed to take advantage of a home heavy stretch that will see them play 12 of 15 in Phoenix after Thursday’s contest. 15 of their last 22 games will be played on the road and they will need to find their defense if they want any chance of making a strong playoff run.

 

Oklahoma is 1-0 so far against the Suns after posting a 103-96 win way back on Nov. 3 and with two teams that appear to be headed into opposite directions, the oddsmakers have made the visiting Thunder a (minus -6.0) point favorite but get the latest odds up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I too have to agree with the oddsmakers on this one and just feel the Thunder have too much fire power to leave Phoenix with a loss on Thursday night as it will be hard to go against the likes of Kevin Durant, Westbrook and the rest of the talented Thunder.

 

Prediction/Pick- Oklahoma City

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Thursday Night Preview/Pick- Heat vs. Spurs

heat vs spurs

Miami Heat (43-15, 19-10 away) @ San Antonio Spurs (44-16, 21-8 home) 03/06- 8PM EST

 

Line: SAS -3.0

Over/Under: 209.0

 

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will clash for the second time this season on Thursday night in a rematch from last year’s NBA Finals.

 

The Heat look to bounce back after a tough 106-103 loss at the hands of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night that saw LeBron James score just 22 points a night after going off for 61 points in a 124-107 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

 

Playing on the second of a back-to-back, it is safe say the four-time MVP James didn’t have much left in the tank after having the best night of career the night before. James went only 1 of 7 in the second half and spent most of the beginning of the fourth quarter on the bench.

 

I fought through it in the first half. Second half it just wasn’t there for me,” James said. “Got out of rhythm.”

 

Even with an exhausted James unable to perform to his fullest, the Heat (43-15) made a game of it and had their chances in the fourth quarter but just weren’t able to get over the hump as Michael Beasley and Dwayne Wade both scored 24 points apiece to help keep the Heat close.

 

We were able to push back in the fourth quarter and tie the game up,” Wade said. “But we had to exhaust so much energy trying to come back.”

 

With a Wednesday day off, Miami hopes to enter Thursday’s contest a little better rested as they look to sweep the regular-season series over the Spurs following a blowout 113-101 win back in Miami on Jan 26 that saw the Heat lead by as much as 29 points.

 

The Spurs (44-16) hope to have a better showing in the 3-point department come Thursday after going just 6 of 22 from beyond the arc back in Miami. The Spurs will also have a better compliment of starting players against the Heat on Thursday night after missing Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter in the first matchup.

 

San Antonio is 4-1 is their last five games and have been getting it done from long range distance and sharing the basketball, where in their 122-101 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday night, the Spurs hit 12 of their final 18 3-point attempts and the team combined for 39 assists on 43 field goals.

 

That doesn’t happen very often,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “We’ve been doing that really well all year long, but that’s a ridiculous ratio right there.”

 

Those numbers won’t come as easy as they did on Tuesday night for the Spurs but the oddsmakers have given San Antonio the edge making them a (minus -3.0) point favorite but stay up to date on the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

The Heat have dominated the Spurs of late winning their last five regular-season game but I will favor the Spurs to get it done at home in what is expected to be a great game.

 

Prediction/Pick- San Antonio

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Thursday Night Preview/Pick- Heat vs. Thunder

nba pick heat vs thunder

Free NBA Pick and Prediction Heat vs Thunder

Miami Heat (38-14, 18-10 away) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (43-12, 23-3 home) 02/20- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: OKC -3.0

Over/Under: 207.0

 

Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook is set to make his return on Thursday night just in time as the Thunder get set to host the Miami Heat and go for a season sweep against the two-time defending NBA champions.

 

In a rematch from Jan 29 back in Miami, the Thunder fought back from an early 18-point deficit to roll past the Heat 112-95… a game Westbrook did not play in.

 

Westbrook who has missed 27 games due to swelling in his injured right knee had his third operation in nine months back on Dec. 27. After going through a full practice on Wednesday, Westbrook is eager to get back on the court and help lead the Thunder, who already have the NBA’s best record 43-12 to another playoff run.

 

It’s like trading for an All-Star at the trade deadline,” said Kevin Durant, who leads the league in scoring. “We’re looking forward to it. We’re definitely excited to get him back.”

 

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks wouldn’t make a definite yes or no on Westbrook returning to action against the Heat, but had this to say after Wednesday’s practice…

 

I thought he had a good practice today. We went so hard, no question. We did a lot of things in transition, we did a lot of halfcourt. We did a lot of defensive drills, and he was able to participate in all of our drills.”

 

The Miami Heat (38-14) are expecting the three-time All-Star Westbrook to be suited up for Thursday’s contest and realize the challenge will be tough.

 

It’ll be one of our biggest challenges of the regular season,” Heat’s Dwayne Wade said. “Anytime we play them (is a challenge), especially now, after losing to them at home. And bringing in Westbrook, you’re bringing in a dynamic player at home, where they play very well. We’re going to have to play as close to flawless as we can to beat this team.”

 

As for MVP candidate Kevin Durant, he has been playing like a man among boys in Westbrook’s absence, averaging 35.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists to help lead the Thunder to a 20-7 without their star point guard.

 

Miami will be playing in the final of a six-game road trip that has seen them win three straight and four of five as they try to chase down the Indiana Pacers for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

 

With the Thunder’s impressive 23-3 home record, the oddsmakers have made OKC a slim (minus -3.0) point favorite, but get the latest spread on the game up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Expect a great game on Thursday night as Durant and LeBron James will battle once again, but it’s hard to go against the Thunder with Russell Westbrook back in the lineup for the seasons most important game for Oklahoma City. The line may have it as a close game but I predict the Thunder winning by a comfortable margin to sweep the season series in what can be yet another preview for the NBA championship.

 

Prediction/Pick- Oklahoma City

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Thursday Night Game Preview/Pick- Brooklyn vs. Chicago

nets vs bulls pick

Free NBA Pick Nets vs. Bulls 2014

Brooklyn Nets (24-26, 8-15 away) @ Chicago Bulls (26-25, 14-10 home) 02/13- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: CHI -3.5

Over/Under: 185.0

 

For the first time in more than three long months, the Chicago Bulls have a chance to go two games above the .500 mark with a victory Thursday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

 

Despite the loss of Derick Rose earlier in the season, the Bulls (26-25) have still been playing hard, especially the likes of All-Star Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson and now with the expected return of Carlos Boozer (calf strain) back, the Bulls will be in search of their fourth victory in five games as they get ready for the All-Star break.

 

On Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks in their 100-85 home win, Gibson scored a game-high 24 points and 12 boards but it was Noah who was a one man show recording his fourth career triple-double with 19 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.

 

Noah has been getting it done all season for the most part and over his last four games has averaged 15.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists. Against the Nets in his last five contests, Noah has been effective as well averaging 14.8 points and 10.8 rebounds… including last year’s first-round series that the Bulls won in seven games.

 

I think the big thing is he’s healthy. He’s gotten into rhythm,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think missing camp set him back offensively. Defensively, he’s been terrific all year.”

 

Gibson has been terrific over his last three games in place of Boozer averaging 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds but Thibodeau will send Gibson back to the bench to give the second unit a lift. Boozer, the teams starting forward, leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game.

 

As for Brooklyn (24-26), the seasons early first half proved horrendous, but now have seem to have found their way as of late and will be looking for their fifth win in six games and also to avenge a 95-78 home loss to the Bulls back on Christmas day.

 

The Nets had high expectations with their veteran players and talent coming into the 2013-14 season, but now may be finally finding their groove as well. Point guard Deron Williams (6.7 assists), power forward Paul Pierce (13.4 ppg) and center Kevin Garnett (6.9 ppg) are the cornerstones of the team.

 

A veteran ballclub understands that the games right before the break are important because you’re planning vacations, or planning to go to All-Star weekend, and sometimes the game becomes secondary,” coach Jason Kidd said. “A lot of the guys, for the most part, didn’t play a lot of minutes, so we’ll see what happens (in Chicago).

 

Both teams are not known for their offensive power, but the Bulls under Thibodeau pride themselves on defense allowing an average of just 92.7 points per game and it’s that defense the oddsmakers are counting on as they have made the Bulls a (minus -3.5) point favorite with an over/under of just 185.0, but get the latest lines on the game up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.

 

The Nets have been playing well as of late and although they haven’t faired well in Chicago losing their last 12 of 15 games in the windy city, expect a tight, well fought game from both teams as they look to finish the first half of the season strong, but if Boozer is able to go…. I have to favor the Bulls.

 

Prediction/Pick- Chicago

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

CBS to televise 8 Thursday night NFL games in ’14

Jim Nantz, left, and Phil Simms will broadcast all 16 Thursday night games. (USATSI)

Jim Nantz, remaining, and Phil Simms will certainly broadcast all 16 thurs night games. (USATSI)

CBS will certainly televise eight Thursday night time games in 2014 and will feature play-by-play announcer rick Nantz and color expert Phil Simms on every sport, according to a Wednesday statement by CBS and the national football league.

 

More on the NFL ScheduleSaturday doubleheader coming in 2014In addition to broadcasting 8 early season games, cbs television studios will produce a total associated with 14 Thursday night online games and two Saturday night games. The remaining games will certainly air on NFL system.
The 8 games on CBS will also be simulcast on the NFL system.NFL system hosts will be used in the pregame, halftime and postgame displays along with the CBS Sports announcers. “We are very pleased to build on our exceptional partnership with the NFL simply by expanding our coverage in order to Thursday nights,

” cbs television studios Corporation President and top dog Les Moonves said in a statement. “CBS is a high quality content company and the national football league represents the best premium content material there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday evenings, but across our whole schedule. ”

 

Said CBS Sports chief Sean McManus: “The national football league is the most powerful programming within television. To add a primetime NFL package to our effective Sunday AFC package additional strengthens our position in the sports marketplace. We look forward to having Jim and phil cannella and our top manufacturing team showcased in primary time on Thursday evenings. ” national football league commissioner Roger Goodell furthermore seems pleased with the deal.

“NFL Network constructed Thursday into a night with regard to NFL fans, ” stated Goodell. “Our goal is to bring these games in order to more fans on transmit television with unprecedented advertising and visibility for thurs Night Football on cbs television studios. ”

Hawks’ Horford sidelined with torn pectoral

The Atlanta Hawks had been dealt a big blow Friday when an MRI revealed that forward Al Horford suffered a very torn proper pectoral muscle during the group's double-additional time win Thursday night time at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He's out indefinitely because the Hawks and Horford analysis options.

Al Horford, Anderson Varejao

Al Horford left within the first additional time of Thursday's win towards the Cavs with what was identified Friday as a torn pectoral muscle.

Horford tore his left pectoral in 2012 and missed 4 months while recovering.

"We are going to work with Al and full our due diligence to find out the subsequent greatest steps," Hawks general manger Danny Ferry stated in a statement. "Injuries are part of the problem of an NBA season."

Horford left Thursday night time's win in the first time beyond regulation with the damage and didn't return. The Hawks stated an MRI and examination on Friday by Dr. Michael Bernot in Atlanta revealed the entire tear of the muscle.

Horford is one in all six gamers in the NBA leading his staff in both points (18.6) and rebounds (eight.four) per recreation. The others are LeBron James of the Miami Heat, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Path Blazers and DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings.

It is uncertain how the team will regulate to Horford's damage. Pero Antic, who replaced Horford Thursday night, will be the almost definitely candidate to move into the beginning lineup.

Antic has averaged 3.6 points whereas playing 10.5 minutes per game.

Also for Atlanta, ahead DeMarre Carroll is day after day with a sprained right thumb suffered in opposition to the Cavs.

The Hawks have been one of many few good stories in the Japanese Convention this season. The are sixteen-thirteen and entered Friday in third place.

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NFL Prediction Week 15 Thursday Night Game Preview/Pick

nfl picks

NFL Free Pick and Prediction, Lines & Odds Chargers vs. Broncos

San Diego Chargers (6-7) @ Denver Broncos (11-2) 12/12- 8:25PM EST

 

Line: DEN -10.0

Over/Under: 55.5

 

The San Diego Chargers, who’s slim playoff hopes hang in the balance will have their hands full on Thursday night trying to contain a Denver Broncos team that is putting up big numbers in recent weeks.

 

Denver (11-2) already in the driver’s seat in the AFC West after clinching a playoff spot look to continue their offensive surge where their 1,086 offensive yards in the last two weeks has been their best two-game stretch of the late season, with no signs of letting up.

 

The Peyton Manning lead offense put up a season-high 551 yards against a respectable Tennessee Titans defense in last Sunday’s 51-28 win and securing a playoff spot going into Week 15 doesn’t change the teams mindset.

 

I guess you have some security but our job is not finished- winning this division is number one and winning this conference is number two,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “And we have to make sure that we get better as team as a whole. We have a big goal and expectations for this year and that’s just one week at a time and grinding away.”

 

Manning has been on fire the last two weeks throwing for 800 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions and his 39 completions against Tennessee set a team record. Manning has 45 touchdowns on the season, which is five shy of matching Tom Brady’s single-season set back in the 2007 season.

 

It’s safe to say Manning will recapture his record this season that he originally set with 49 back with the Colts in 2004, but he may be without one his top targets, Wes Walker, who suffered his second concussion in the last four games.

 

Welker is listed as doubtful, but with plenty of weapons at his disposal, who now have four players with at least 10 touchdowns (an NFL record), don’t expect the Broncos to miss a beat the rest of the way.

 

Tight end Julius Thomas (11 TDs) says… “All year, we’ve been talking about how dynamic our entire offense is. There are guys that maybe hadn’t been getting as many touches in the beginning of the season. Now, they’re going out there and they’re showing everybody what they can do.”

 

So, with a hot offense that now seems to be hitting on all cylinders, the Chargers (6-7) realize the task on-hand in Mile High and understand they must play error-free the rest of the way to have any chance for postseason play.

 

I can’t wait,” linebacker Jarrett Johnson said. “It’s going to be a great challenge. As a competitor and an athlete in the NFL, these are the opportunities you want. We worked ourselves into a hole and we have to depend on other people, but the only thing we’re focusing on is what we can control, and right now that’s Denver.”

 

And focused they better be, as the oddsmakers have made the Broncos a big (minus) -10.0 favorite at home. Get the latest lines here at Wonder Punter up until kick off.

 

Despite the spread, the Chargers are feeling good and confidence is high after their big 23-point win over the Giants and hope to continue in the right direction.

 

That is one of our better all-around games,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said.

 

The Broncos enter Thursday night having defeated the Chargers four-straight times, including a 28-20 win back in San Diego on November 10 and predict another win for the Broncos over the Chargers.

 

Too much Broncos offense.

 

Prediction/Pick: Denver

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA Prediction Week 15 College Football Thursday Game Preview/Pick- #19 Louisville vs. Cincinnati

bearcast ncaa pick

#19 Louisville Cardinals (10-1) @ Cincinnati Bearcats (9-2) 12/05- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: LOU -3.5

Over/Under: 51.0

NCAA Free Pick and prediction college football

A share of the American Athletic Conference title will be on the line Thursday night when No. 19 Louisville travels into Cincinnati to battle the Bearcats, who will still have a slight chance of making a BCS bowl.

 

At stake for both teams will be an AAC title to the winning team along with a UCF loss at Saturday at SMU. However, if home underdog Cincinnati can pull out a victory, it will have a chance at the league’s automatic Bowl Championship Series berth because Louisville lost earlier in the year to UCF 38-35.

 

Cincinnati (9-2, 6-1 AAC) did not play UCF this year and would just need to finish ahead of the Knights in the final BCS standings to guarantee a BCS bowl berth.

 

#19 Louisville Cardinals (10-1) @ Cincinnati Bearcats (9-2) 12/05- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: LOU -3.5

Over/Under: 51.0

 

A share of the American Athletic Conference title will be on the line Thursday night when No. 19 Louisville travels into Cincinnati to battle the Bearcats, who will still have a slight chance of making a BCS bowl.

 

At stake for both teams will be an AAC title to the winning team along with a UCF loss at Saturday at SMU. However, if home underdog Cincinnati can pull out a victory, it will have a chance at the league’s automatic Bowl Championship Series berth because Louisville lost earlier in the year to UCF 38-35.

 

Cincinnati (9-2, 6-1 AAC) did not play UCF this year and would just need to finish ahead of the Knights in the final BCS standings to guarantee a BCS bowl berth.

 

Football gets a little bit long and old this time of year. It’s kind of a grind for everybody,” Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. “When your last game really means something—whether it’s a chance to go to a different bowl, or the possibility of a chance of a piece of a championship, it makes it a lot more fun.”

 

The Cardinals lone defeat this season came at the hands of UCF and it’s that loss that is sending Louisville to a lesser bowl game this year.

 

I don’t think it’s deflating (not going to a BCS game), because you’re looking at a team right now who’s won 10 games,” coach Charlie Strong said. “You’re sitting there 10-1, so we don’t get to the BCS. We’re going to get to another bowl game, but you can’t take away what we’ve already accomplished with 10 wins.”

 

The ‘Keg of Nails’ trophy is what both teams will also be playing for, which dates back to 1929. The Bearcats hold an all-time advantage of 29-22 over Louisville, but with the Cardinals moving to the ACC next season, it’s unclear when both teams will play again.

 

Louisville will be looking for it’s second straight win after losing four consecutive games before winning last year 34-31 on a last second field goal as time expired.

 

Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has fallen off his numbers in his last three games throwing for only two scores and one interception while being sacked eight times with a 127.8 passer rating. In his previous eight games, he posted a 191.6 passer rating with 23 touchdowns and two interceptions.

 

The overall offense of the Cardinals has also dropped in those three games going from 495.3 yards per game to 347.7.

 

Bridgewater was an early season Heisman Trophy hopeful and with the possibility of still being a high NFL draft choice if he elects to go pro, his career at Louisville may be coming to an end.

 

I still feel we have a couple more games on the schedule,” Bridgewater said. “Right now, I have my focus on that.”

 

The early spread has made the Cardinals a (minus) -3.5 point favorite on the road Thursday, but as game time approaches, the line may move so be sure to get the latest odds up until kickoff here at Wonder Punter.

 

Expect a close ballgame as defensively as both teams are getting it done… the Cardinals rank second in the nation in total defense allowing teams to only 245.5 yards per game. The Bearcats rank eighth, yielding 302.4 yards per contest.

 

Cincinnati has won 16 of 18 home games, while outscoring their opponents by an average of 23.4 points and have been hot offensively in their last two games totaling 1,192 yards in their wins at Rutgers and Houston.

 

The Cardinals in a close one.

 

PICK: Louisville

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NFL Prediction – Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore Week 13 Thursday Night Game Preview/Pick

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Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (5-6) 11/28- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: BAL -3.0

Over/Under: 40.5

 

With the Pittsburgh Steelers playing their best football of the season, which for many of their fans was long overdue, they are still on the outside of the AFC playoff picture…. But then again, it seems like every other team in the AFC is as well, as they set their sights on Thanksgiving night to pay a visit to their archrival Baltimore Ravens, a team that’s essentially in the exact same position, and wondering what’s going on in the wild AFC?

 

The Steelers and Ravens are two teams that are among the half-dozen in the conference currently tied for the final wild-card berth, making Thursday night’s game a potentially season-altering contest with just five weeks left.

 

“That team is hot,” Ravens running back Ray Rice said of the Steelers. “They’re playing good football right now. They have (a) group, they have their stable of how they want to play football and they’re doing a good job of it right now.”

 

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are tied with Tennessee, San Diego, New York Jets and Miami for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, though Tennessee would make the cut currently if the playoffs started today. The top two tiebreakers for the wild card are determined by their head-to-head records and winning percentages within the conference. With Baltimore having already lost in Pittsburgh, the Ravens may be playing a sense of urgency come Thanksgiving night.

 

“They are a tough team, we have to go into their place and look forward to a good battle,” said Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. “There is a lot on the line with this game like it always is when we play them. It always seems like whenever either team is trying to get somewhere, the other is in their way.

 

“It’s that way this week as we are battling in the division and it’s going to be a good game Thanksgiving night.”

 

Pittsburgh (5-6) winners of three-straight, all by double-digits have stepped it up and during the stretch and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been playing just about mistake-free football, completing 63.3 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns with only one interception.
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Roethlisberger on Sunday threw for two scores in a 27-11 win at Cleveland in Week 12, but it was the Steelers’ defense that really impressed with their performance as they responded with a season-high five sacks, held the Browns to just 55 rushing yards, and cornerback William Gay sealed the win in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown.

 

“Defensively, it was simple. We were able to stop the run, and that put us in position to apply pressure to the quarterback,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “In doing so, we were able to create some turnovers and some big plays, and to actually score.”

 

Since the New England debacle in which the Patriots took the Steelers apart for 8.59 yards per snap in a 55-31 blowout on Nov. 3rd, the Steelers have given up just 4.97 yards per play. So, the Steelers have to feel good about going against the Ravens defense which averages just 4.54 yards per play… a ranking of a dismal 31st in the NFL.

 

When the teams first battled on Oct. 20 at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh defense held the Ravens out of the end zone until Baltimore tied the score at 16 with 1:58 to play. Not to be outdone, Roethlisberger then drove the Steelers down the field, setting up Shaun Suisham for the game-winning 42-yard field goal.

 

Close games is nothing new to these two teams since the start of the 2009 season, where eight of the team’s nine matchups have been decided by exactly three points.

 

And it’s that three point difference that is the difference once again as oddsmakers have given the home Ravens, where they have really shut down teams a (minus) -3.0 advantage, but with a close opening line, be sure to check back here through Wonder Punter for the latest spread up until kickoff.

 

Baltimore (5-6) is also coming off of a dominating defensive win of their own having knocked off the Jets 19-3 on Sunday. The Ravens’ pass defense was stingy, allowing Geno Smith to compete just 40.9 percent of his passes and Baltimore cornerback Corey Graham had a pair of interceptions.

 

“In the end, we just felt like let’s win a game just for the defense, for us,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “Not nobody else, just defense let’s go out and try to win a game on our own.”

 

The Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium have been stellar where they are 4-1 at home, allowing just 10.8 points per game in those home games.

 

But the Steelers have to feel pretty good about going into Baltimore who have won three of their last five visits to Baltimore, including a 23-20 win last December with Charlie Batch filling in for an injured Roethlisberger. Since 2009, the Ravens have lost only five of their other 42 home games.

 

Playing on a short week, don’t expect too many surprises in this important game from these two teams as they both know each other all to well.

 

“We’ll be running stuff that we know and understand against a team that we pretty much understand,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m sure there will be a wrinkle or two that they’ll throw at us that we’ll have to be ready for and just go play football.”

 

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would prefer his team not use the wildcat formation, and prefers to be the one calling the signals at all times, whereas the Ravens utilized backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the wildcat offense often against the Jets. Taylor took five snaps and lined up as a receiver on seven other plays.

 

Flacco was is not to pleased with the offense being messed with.

 

“I don’t like that stuff. … I’m the quarterback,” Flacco said. “I want to be behind the line of scrimmage, I want to be taking the snaps.”

 

I was a big fan of the Ravens last year and this season as well but the offense is just not where it needs to be… wildcat or not. They do play well at home, but Pittsburgh has no problem playing in M&T Bank Stadium and are in a grove. With that said… I predict a close game as these two teams have played the last nine times, but I like the Steelers to win on Thanksgiving night. Pittsburgh… who were one the league’s worse has done a complete 360 degree turnaround from the beginning of the season to put themselves into playoff contention.

 

PICK: Pittsburgh


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

 

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Eight draft cliches to look out for

AFL Draft Day for 2013 has arrived, with nervous gamers from across the country waiting for his or her shot on the large time.

2003's No 1 pick Adam Cooney (left) rocks a blond mop at the Wildlife Park in Darwin after being selected by the Bulldogs.

2003’s No 1 pick Adam Cooney (left) rocks a blond mop on the Wildlife Park in Darwin after being selected by the Bulldogs. Supply: Information Corp Australia

 

The AFL draft is a sport in itself, the place the cliches fly as thick and quick because the choices.

While not all picks are predictable (particularly after the first dozen), you’ll be able to bet some issues by no means change.

 

Commentators will gush over the younger talent while club officials will do their best to try to temper fans’ expectations on that subsequent massive thing.

Here’s some issues to maintain your eyes out for. Tick them off as you watch and see how you go.

1. TEARY MUMS

Families of the probably Top 10 picks have jetted in from throughout the country to the Gold Coast for tonight’s draft. They’ve been flown there as a result of their son is among the hottest prospects in the country.

They know they’re going to be drafted. They’ve identified for fairly some time. So there is no cause to cry, is there? Incorrect.

Cameron Ling was famously chubby when drafted by Geelong recruiter Stephen Wells in 1999.

Cameron Ling was famously chubby when drafted by Geelong recruiter Stephen Wells in 1999. Source: News Corp Australia

2. PET FAT

Taking a look at pics from drafts of yesteryear, we couldn’t help however keep coming again to 1 factor: who are these pimply-faced porkers and the way come an AFL membership ever drafted them? We could also be exaggerating a tad there, however take a superb, hard look at these future stars immediately. They won’t look the identical in a couple of years’ time. They will be imply, lean running machines.

three. AUDIO ISSUES

“Sorry, can you repeat that please, North Melbourne?” With microphones perched on tables in any respect 18 AFL golf equipment – in addition to at the lectern of AFL boss Andrew Demetriou – it is amazing the occasion runs as smoothly as it does. But you may guess the league boss will have to get a minimum of one membership to repeat their desired choose at some stage all through the evening.

A young Western Australian who as soon as dreamt of taking part in within the NBA could be this season’s AFL draft bolter.

four. SNAP-GLAD COMPANIONS

The draft is all concerning the players, but don’t be shocked to see just a few girlfriends getting in on a few of the glitz and glamour of the event.

It’s a long haul from draft evening to the red carpet of the Brownlow Medal, but some young women might get their first style of the AFL footy highlight on draft evening.

5. THRILLED KIDS

Irrespective of how arduous they try to sell it, there’s most likely a hint of disappointment for a lot of draftees compelled to pack up and transfer interstate. But you wouldn’t comprehend it from interviews.

“I’m just thrilled to get a chance to play league footy.. I knew I could possibly be drafted anywhere.. I am unable to wait to get up/over/throughout there and meet the boys” is a typical response.

Occasionally we’d love to see a truthful reply, something along the lines of “I’m a little bit of a Mummy’s boy to be honest and I would have favored to have stayed at residence,” ideally while Brisbane-based mostly Irishman Pearce Hanley shakes his head and tuts disapprovingly in the background whereas Skyping his household sixteen,000km away. We can solely hope.

Brisbane-based Mayoman Pearce Hanley - no fan of mummy's boys. Picture: Jono Searle.

Brisbane-based Mayoman Pearce Hanley — no fan of mummy’s boys. Picture: Jono Searle. Source: Information Corp Australia

6. THE RANDOM CHOICE

There’s one every year. The decide that stuns even commentators. You understand one thing’s up when no photo seems on display screen and Kevin Sheehan, a Jedi Grasp among the draft, struggles to give you something about this “relative unknown”. Let’s hope there’s a few on Thursday night as they all the time boost the night.

7. SPECTACULAR HAIRCUTS

As for those who did not really feel old enough watching folks born within the mid 1990s (!) residing the dream while you munch Cheezels and scratch yourself on the couch, there’ll at all times be one or two haircuts on present assured to show you into your dad.

“What the hell is that!” you’ll yell before shaking your head and reminiscing about the glory manly-mullet-filled days of yore.

eight. EVERYONE’S A WINNER

It’s the one day (or night) of the AFL season when every membership wins. Just ask them.

“We were actually happy with how our night time went.. we expect we’ve managed to fill a couple of holes on our listing, and so on, and so on,” your club will say.

Like point 5, this is another case the place just once we might like someone to tell us that maybe their evening had been lower than preferrred, maybe…: “Every time we wished to select a bloke (insert membership of your choice) swooped in and selected that precise participant we wished! What a load of bull-! You wouldn’t read about it etc.”

 

A young Western Australian who once dreamt of playing in the NBA could possibly be this season’s AFL draft bolter.

 

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NCAA Prediction College Football Week 13 Thursday Night Game Preview/Pick- Rutgers vs. #18 UCF

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Prediction and free pick for Thursday night game Rutgers vs UCF

 

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-4) @ #18 UCF Knights (8-1) 11/21- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: UCF -17.5

Over/Under: 58.0

No. 18 ranked UCF will be looking to improve upon their performance from last week as they will try to remain atop the American Athletic Conference and keep their BCS bowl hopes alive when they host Rutgers on Thursday night.

 

UCF (8-1, 5-0 AAC) had to rally from seven points behind last week against last place Temple and pull out a 39-36 victory with a 23-yard field goal as time expired.

 

It was a good win in a tough situation. When we had the opportunity to make plays, we made them. That was the difference in the game,” UCF coach George O’Leary said.
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With the Knights at 5-0 in the AAC, they still have games with Louisville and Cincinnati, both 5-1 chasing them.

 

O’Leary on last week’s disappointing performance….

We’ve got to play better than that if we’re going to continue to win. We’ve just got to play a team game. Offense and defense have to compliment each other. That didn’t happen.

 

We were very fortunate to come out with a win. We looked like we were out of sync on defense. We weren’t making plays, and you can’t do that. We’ve got to get that fixed before Thursday.”

 

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles passed for a career-best 404 yards and four touchdowns leading the offense to a season-high 657 yards against Temple.

 

However, the Knight’s defense gave up a season-high 518 yards to Temple, but they hope to get back defensive back Jacoby Glenn (ankle) and defensive end Miles Pace (appendectomy) on the field again.

 

Hopefully we get a couple of the starters back that didn’t play against Temple,” O’Leary said. ‘We’ve got to put a lot work in two days of practice. We’ve got to be resilient and move on.”

 

Rutgers (5-4, 2-3 AAC) will try to derail the Knights and become bowl-eligible for the eight time in nine seasons at the same time on Thursday night, but have struggled defensively giving up 600 yards in two of its last three games.

 

The Scarlet Knights are dealing with some turmoil this season as freshman defensive back Jevon Tyree left the team last week after accusing defensive coordinator Dave Cohen of verbal abuse and a physical threat during a study hall session in the spring.

 

According to Rutgers University, it said that Cohen was reprimanded by coach Kyle Flood and has since apologized.

 

Coach Flood, however says he doesn’t think the current allegations are affecting the team.

 

I have seen nothing but a spirited football team with a lot of energy that’s getting ready to play an excellent football team in UCF, he said. “I think the players and the coaches are focused.”

 

With UCF going in as (minus) -17.5 and at home, the odds are stacked in their favor to come away with a win Thursday night. Be sure to check the latest odds here at Wonder Punter up until kick off as the line spread may change.

 

I do expect a better all-around performance from the Knights and predict an easy victory over the Scarlet Knights.

 

PICK: UCF

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NFL Prediciton Week 12 Thursday Night Game Preview & Pick

saintsvfalcvons

Free pick and prediction week 12 Thursday nights game

 

New Orleans Saints (8-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-8) 11/21- 8:25PM EST

 

Line: NO -9.5

Over/Under: 53.0

Place your bets here, upto $1000 bonus

Thursday night’s NFL match-up will feature two football teams going in opposite directions… and last year the roles were reversed as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will battle in the NFC South as the Saints will try to sweep the season series and extend the Falcons’ losing streak to five games… their longest in five years.

 

New Orleans (8-2) will be vying for their third straight victory and keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks who are 1½ games ahead of them in the NFC for best record.

 

These are the (games) that just sharpen you, build confidence moving forward,” quarterback Drew Brees said.

 

Atlanta (2-8) tied for worst record in the conference and one year-removed from an NFC-best 13-3 record has problems everywhere… injuries, poor running game and a struggling defense has caused what many feel around the league to have quit on each other as they have dropped four straight.

 

Cleary, we’re 10 games into this thing and certainly far, far away from where we want to be,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “We’ve got six games to go. It’s about going out there and taking pride in what you do.”

 

These two teams were expected to compete with one another for the South Division title, instead it’s the Carolina Panthers who are challenging the Saints.

 

Drew Brees has led an offense that ranks second in the NFL with 419.1 yards and 28.8 points per game. Brees is completing 68.2 percent of his passes and is second to Peyton Manning with 3,369 yards passing and 26 touchdowns.

 

Defensively, the Saints are getting it done as well ranking fourth in the league with 305.4 yards and fifth with 18.3 points this season.

 

New Orleans enters Thursday’s contest having won 12 of 15 over the Falcons and this season with Atlanta having a down year, the oddsmakers have favored the Saints (minus) -9.5 on the road which may change as the game approaches, so check the latest odds here at Wonder Punter up until game time.

 

This is a test we’re going to have to try and overcome,” defensive Cameron Jordan said. “Honestly, why not have it? It’s a division opponent, it’s our rival. It’s going to talk a lot about the fortitude and what we have on this team.”

 

Atlanta is allowing 29.2 points per game—29th in the league and may have hit rock bottom last Sunday in their loss to the one-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

Despite the backward season the Falcons are suffering through this year.. Atlanta owner Arthur Blank remains confident in Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

 

I absolutely do. And, they’ve earned it over the past five years,” Blank said. “It’s a tough business. We’ve had a lot if injuries, and issues on top of the injuries. These guys are proven leaders and proven by success. … They’ll do the work that has been done with my full support.”

 

With a season virtually lost, can the Falcons finish the season strong and with pride?

 

PICK: New Orleans

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings- Week 3

NBA_PowerRankings

With just about 3 full weeks of NBA action in the books after the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games… let’s take a look the latest Power Rankings as some teams continue to surprise and others continue to fall. Indiana, the last of the unbeatens suffered their first loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.

 

San Antonio and Indiana are playing like the two best teams in the league while early top 10 Philadelphia is falling fast.

 

Teams 1-30 with records and last weeks rankings in parentheses are as followed:

 

1 Indiana Pacers (9-1 LW 1)- They lost to Bulls on the second of a back-to-back. Danny Granger expected back soon.

 

2 San Antonio Spurs (9-1 LW 2)- The Spurs have won 7 straight while Tim Duncan is averaging career-lows of 12 points and 39.4 percent shooting.

 

3 Miami Heat (7-3 LW 5)- LeBron James is averaging 34 points per game during the Heat’s three game win streak.

 

4 Los Angeles Clippers (7-3 LW 7)- The Clippers have won four straight while Blake Griffin is averaging a double-double with 22.9 points and 10.9 boards.

 

5 Golden State Warriors (7-3 LW 8)- Warriors have won three straight while suffering through injuries.

 

6 Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4 LW 4)- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin have formed the league’s highest scoring-duo in the season’s opening month.

 

7 Portland Trailblazers (8-2 LW 13)- One of the league’s early surprises…. the Blazers have won six straight.

 

8 Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3 LW 3)- Thunder will be looking for revenge against the Clippers on Thursday night.

 

9 Houston Rockets (7-4 LW 10)- Back up center Omer Asik wants out of Houston and has been benched the last two games since his request.

 

10 Chicago Bulls (5-3 LW 12)- Derrick Rose hits six 3’s in their big win against Indiana on Saturday night.

 

11 Dallas Mavericks (6-4 LW 11)- Mavs look to get back on track when Dwight Howard and the Rockets visit Wednesday night.

 

12 Phoenix Suns (5-4 LW 6)- Suns have dropped three straight by an average 2 points.

 

13 Atlanta Hawks (6-4 LW 17) Another early surprise team is getting it done with Al Horford, Ronnie Millsap and the return of Lou Williams.

 

14 Memphis Grizzles (5-5 LW 9)- They continue to struggle and have the Clippers and Warriors on the road coming up.

 

15 Charlotte Bobcats (5-5 LW 16)- Continue to surprise with Al Jefferson still nursing a bad ankle. Have five of their next six games at home.

 

16 Philadelphia 76ers (5-6 LW 14)- Back to losing but still in first place in a bad Atlantic Division.

 

17 Denver Nuggets (4-5 LW 28)- Have won of four but have OKC, Chicago and back-to-back against Dallas coming up.

 

18 New Orleans Pelicans (4-6 LW 15)- Ryan Anderson lit it up with six 3’s against the Sixers… can he continue?

 

19 Los Angeles Lakers (5-7 LW 19)- Steve Nash is still out… but good news is Kobe Bryant has begun practicing.

 

20 Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7 LW 20) As Kyrie Irving goes, so do the Cavs. Averaging 27.5 in wins and 17.7 in losses.

 

21 Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 25)- Will Aaron Afflalo be traded? He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and playing well.

 

22 Toronto Raptors (4-7 LW 24)- Have lost three of four and still only getting scoring from Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.

 

23 Brooklyn Nets (3-6)- Too much talent to be struggling but dealing with various injuries.

 

24 New York Knicks (3-6 LW 23)- Disappointing start and Carmelo Anthony is unhappy.

 

25 Boston Celtics (4-7 LW 26)- Started 0-4, won four in a row now has lost three straight.

 

26 Washington Wizards (2-7 LW 22)- Turning into a major disappointment early on… not was expected.

 

27 Detroit Pistons (3-6 LW 18)- Josh Smith makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday night.

 

28 Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 LW 27)- No Brandon Knight, no Caron Butler… now have lost five straight.

 

29 Sacramento Kings (2-7 LW 29)- Only one win in November and three of next four is on the road.

 

30 Utah Jazz (1-10 LW 30)- Avoided tying their worst start in franchise history by beating the Pelicans.

 

 

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

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Iguodala’s late shot lifts Warriors over OKC

Warriors Win Thriller Over Thunder At Buzzer

 

OAKLAND, Calif. – Silence one second, pandemonium the subsequent.

In 2.3 seconds, Andre Iguodala flipped the script on the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder by hitting the largest shot of his Golden State Warriors tenure.

Iguodala made a baseline fadeaway as time expired to lift the Warriors to an exciting 116-one hundred fifteen victory over the Thunder on Thursday night, capping a back-and-forth recreation between two teams anticipated to contend for the Western Convention title.

“Those are the moments when your mind is just racing,” mentioned Iguodala, who completed with 14 factors and nine assists. “When Klay (Thompson) threw the pass, I used to be considering I might get to the basket. As soon because the ball hit my hands, my toes have been set simply to catch, flip around and shoot – something I labored on a lot throughout my profession. The state of affairs was there and the whole lot simply labored out.”

Russell Westbrook’s three-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining put the Thunder forward after they trailed by 14 factors early in the fourth quarter. Warriors coach Mark Jackson referred to as a timeout, drawing up a play that gave Iguodala an option to shoot or go, saying he thought the Thunder would simply switch if Stephen Curry obtained the ball.

Iguodala took the inbounds pass from Thompson and rose up against Thabo Sefolosha for the successful sixteen-footer, sending the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 into a frenzy. Iguodala sprinted toward half court and was mobbed by teammates.

“That final timeout, it was pretty darkish in that huddle,” Jackson said. “You lookup and also you say, `How did they climb all the way in which back? How?’ You begin beating yourself up. That’s when you have a second. They looked at each other and realized there is still time left and we can execute as a result of we work on it day by day.”

Golden State trailed for just 23 seconds combined in its first three home games. The Warriors held a lead in each game – towards the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons – of at the very least 27 factors and received by double digits.

Not on this evening.

The sport began with an outpouring of offense and energy and by no means relented over forty eight minutes.

There have been sixteen lead adjustments, 9 ties and numerous cannot-believe-he-just-made-that shots. Neither team led by greater than seven until the Warriors started to drag away late within the third quarter.

Or so it seemed.

Westbrook’s three set off the Thunder’s celebration simply seconds earlier than Iguodala’s shot. Westbrook kissed his hand and was bumped by teammate Kevin Durant as each flashed grins close to the scorer’s desk.

“It was enjoyable until the final shot,” Durant stated.

“I don’t even know what happened,” Westbrook added. “I used to be guarding Curry down in the corner, so I’m not precisely positive.”

Thompson scored 27 points and Curry had 22 factors and 9 assists for a Warriors team that made 14 of 23 shots from three-level range.

Nevertheless it was Iguodala’s tough midrange jumper that stole the spotlight – the very purpose Golden State signed the free agent away from Denver this offseason with a four-12 months, $forty eight million contract.

“He is precisely who we thought he was,” Jackson said. “We’re so lucky to have him on this basketball crew.”

Oklahoma Metropolis outrebounded Golden State 48 to 31, however could not put collectively enough stops to match a powerful offensive effort from its three big stars.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and 5 assists, Serge Ibaka had 27 factors and thirteen rebounds and Durant had 20 points, eight assists and 7 rebounds as the Thunder lost for the second straight night time to a high Western Convention staff. Oklahoma Metropolis fell at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday evening.

The Thunder made six of their first seven from lengthy range, taking pictures greater than 70 p.c overall halfway by way of the second quarter below the direction of Durant and Westbrook. However 19 turnovers cost Oklahoma Metropolis more than something, handing the Warriors extra alternatives to do what they do finest: shoot.

Reserve Draymond Inexperienced gave Golden State a one hundred-86 lead early in the fourth quarter, twisting his method for a layup after taking a pointy pass from Thompson. The Warriors still had to hold off a furious last push from the Thunder to earn by far their biggest win this young season.

“That was an important NBA sport,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks mentioned. “Playoff depth in November. Great crowd, nice environment. They’re a terrific staff. Couldn’t ask for a greater sport. Unfortunately, any person had to lose.”

Sport notes

Durant was called for a technical foul within the remaining seconds of the first half after shoving Warriors C

Andrew Bogut

… Thunder C

Kendrick Perkins

wasn’t with the team for the second straight recreation after his grandfather died Monday. He was raised by his grandparents in Beaumont, Texas… The Thunder fell to 33-eight following a loss for the reason that begin of the 2011-12 season, one of the best report within the NBA throughout that span. Oklahoma Metropolis was 17-4 after a loss last season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

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Dan Shak To Host Charity Poker Event Thursday

Hedge fund manager and skilled poker player Dan Shak will host the annual charity poker occasion he co-based on Thursday night in New York Metropolis.

Phil Hellmuth was scheduled to emcee the event.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with registration, a poker tutorial session and buffet dinner and cocktails. The tournament officially starts at 7 p.m. The placement is the Mandarin Oriental.

This year marked the first time it’s being filmed for nationwide TELEVISION. The tournament will air as a part of a future World Poker Tour broadcast on Fox Sports activities Web.

Along with some poker pros, other anticipated opponents embrace high CEOs, Wall Streeters, athletes and celebrities. Over the past 5 years, the event has raised greater than $4.3 million.

The money goes to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“This can be a really distinctive occasion and we are honored to partner on it with the WPT Foundation,” Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., the hospital’s chief govt officer, stated.

“CHOP treats thousands of kids from New York every year, so it is also becoming and meaningful to have the occasion right here within the heart of the town.”

“The worth of helping sick children get well from life-threatening sicknesses and serving to them find hope for a better tomorrow can’t be overstated,” the WPT added. “CHOP is on the forefront of this significant mission and WPT Foundation is thrilled to assist assist their ongoing efforts to improve the lives of kids in New York, Philadelphia, and from across the globe.”

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NFL Week 11 Thursday Night Game Recap- Colts Rally Back To Beat Titans

colts

Indianapolis Colts (7-3)- 30

Tennessee Titans (4-6)- 27

 

Line: IND -3.0

Over/Under: 42.5

 

The Indianapolis Colts rallied from an early 14-point deficit on Thursday night to beat the Tennessee Titans 30-27 and stay in control of the AFC South.

 

The Colts (7-3) had their problems once again the first quarter, where in their past three ballgames have been outscored 35-0—two of them victories. They have also trailed in six games after the first quarter this season.

 

It was a nice comeback and good bounce-back game from last week’s embarrassing home loss to the St. Louis Rams 38-8.

 

At the end of the day winning is what matters,” Cots QB Andrew Luck said. “We were fortunate in this game to survive our mistakes and have a chance to win… But we know that’s got to be fixed.”

 

The Colts are 8-0 coming off a loss and have yet to lose back-to-back games under coach Chuck Pagano.

 

Obviously, starting out like that is something we’re all too familiar with,” Coby Fleener (eight catches for 107 yards) said. “That’s something we have to work and get corrected.”

 

The good news is Indianapolis has beaten all three of their AFC South divisional opponents on the road.

 

We’re not worried about that yet,” Luck said. ‘We’re worried about this next game.”

 

After the first quarter slow start, the Colts rebounded and out-gained the Titans the rest of the way 366-340 and ended up 32:23 with time of possession to 27:37 for the Titans (4-6) who have now dropped two straight and five in six games.

 

We’ve got to find that winning formula, whatever it is,” Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “We have to find a way to pull these games out at the end. It’s a tough locker room in there right now. That’s two in a row that kind of slipped away from us. Two big ones, two costly ones for us.”

 

The Titans lost 29-27 last Sunday to the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and in the process lost Jake Locker with a Lisfrac injury to his right foot.

 

The only turnover for the game occurred when the Titans special teams fumbled on the kickoff which led to an Indianapolis touchdown two plays later.

 

For whatever reason, we just can’t hold on to the football,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “Another seven-point play really.”

 

Indianapolis put the game away with an 11-play drive that ended with Donald Brown (two touchdowns) running it in from 11-yards out for a touchdown. The Colts finished with 137 yards rushing and with the win improved to 4-1 on the season.

 

The return of the Colts running game came as a welcomed relieve where they have struggled in that offensive department.

 

They had a point to prove,” Pagano said regarding the Colts offensive linemen.

 

The Titans quickly struck back with a touchdown going 80 yards in four plays with 1:54 left, but they failed to execute on the onside kick when the ball did not travel the required 10 yards. Game over.

 

Luck finished 23 of 36 for 232 yards passing as the Colts won their fourth straight and for the ninth time in 10 games over their divisional rival Tennessee Titans.

 

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri added three field goals on the night including a 50-yarder.

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

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NCAA Week 12 College Football Recap- #8 Clemson Wins Big!

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-4)- 31

Clemson Tigers (9-1)- 55

 

Tajh Boyd had a big night for his No. 8 Clemson Tigers throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns to lead his team to a 55-31 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday night breaking the all-time touchdown record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

 

With Boyd’s four touchdown tosses on Thursday night, he now has 97 for his career, breaking the old-mark of 95 set by Phillip Rivers while at North Carolina State in 2000-03.

 

The fans at Death Valley got a scare in the third quarter when Boyd went down with an apparent collarbone injury as he headed for the locker room, only to return a short time later to the delight of the Tigers faithful although with the Tigers up 41-24 at that point, he was not needed to return to action.

 

With the win, No 8 Clemson moves to 9-1, 7-1 in ACC and for now at least stays in the BCS major bowl bid conversation but most importantly x-rays were negative.

 

It was a dire situation I felt like I needed to play I felt like I could’ve,” Boyd said. “But we were in a situation where it wasn’t needed.”

 

It was the third straight victory for Clemson since losing to Florida State 51-42 last month and have one remaining game at home with FCS opponent Citadel and with rival South Carolina still to play, Boyd has no intentions of slowing down.

 

No, man, I’m not going to miss my last game in the valley,” he said. “I’ll throw a pad in there and I’ll be fine.”

 

He’s a competitor,” Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said. “My gosh, look at the records this guy has broken in the ACC. Wow. And in just three years.”

 

Georgia Tech (6-4, 5-3) went into Thursday’s night match-up with an opportunity of winning the ACC Coastal Division, but once they fell behind 20-0 early in the second quarter, it was too much to catch up.

 

The Yellow Jackets had won four of the past six meetings with the Tigers having success with their triple-option attack, but this time Clemson was up for the challenge shutting down the Yellow Jackets early and often to build a lead they would never surrender.

 

With the Yellow Jackets sporting an ACC-best 311 rushing yards a game, the were limited to only 72 in the first half.

 

The second half saw Georgia Tech cut the score to 27-17 on Robert Godhigh’s 65-yard touchdown run in the early third, but Clemson responded with scores on their next two possessions to take control for good.

 

Once we did that, we started feeling good about ourselves,” Godhigh said. “But when we started kicking ourselves in the foot again.”

 

Godhigh finished with 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns and added 103 yards receiving on five catches.

 

But, in the end it was too much Tajh Boyd.

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

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NCAA Prediction College Football Week 12 Free Pick- # Stanford vs. USC

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NCAA Preview, Pick and Prediction for the Stanford vs USC Game Week 12

 

 

#4 Stanford Cardinal (8-1) @ USC Trojans (7-3) 11/16- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: STAN -4.0

Over/Under: 45.5

 

Coming off their biggest win of the year last Thursday night against then No. 2 Oregon, the No.4 Cardinal will now try to keep the momentum going by going into the Coliseum and taking on a resurgent USC team as they try to keep pace in the BCS race and win a PAC 12 North title and conference championship.

 

The Cardinal (8-1, 6-1) coming off an impressive win over the Ducks have to be feeling good about their chances on Saturday evening as they have beaten the Trojans four-straight times and can control their own destiny with a win and only a weak Cal team and a season finale match-up against Notre Dame standing in their way to hosting a second-consecutive Pac-12 championship on December 7th.

 

I think we’re at that point in the season now where we can’t afford to go up and down,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “It’s November, and there’s only one way you can play in November, and that’s all-out.”

 

The Cardinal know they still have an outside shot at a possible national championship with a #4 ranking in the BCS Poll.

 

(The BCS) is all hypothetical scenarios. It doesn’t matter at this point. We lose a game, whew, it’s all for naught,” linebacker Shayne Skov said. “The recipe for us ending up anywhere relevant is for us to win the rest of our football games.”

 

USC will be trying to stop a four-game (three in a row in L.A.) skid at the hands of the Cardinal with a win on Saturday as they are riding a three game win streak and four-of-five since the Lane Kiffin firing back in September.

 

Interim coach Ed Orgeron has given the Trojans new life as they sit tied for second place with the Bruins for the Pac-12 South title one game behind Arizona State who they lost to earlier which led to Kiffen’s firing.

 

First year Trojan starter Cody Kessler has sparked the Trojans offense and seems to have found his grove during the winning streak having struggled earlier in the season.

 

Kessler has completed 74.3 percent of his passes for 9.24 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and one interception during the three win streak.

 

The Trojan running game has also picked up, however with the Stanford defense allowing only 98.7 rushing yards per game… tops in the conference, we can see why the points spread has made them the favorites, but be sure to follow the latest odds here at Wonder Punter up until game time.

 

I too predict a Stanford win come Saturday with a terrific defense, a seasoned quarterback in Kevin Hogan and a powerful running game (205.0 yards per game) led by senior Tyler Gaffney who is third in the Pac-12 with 1,043 yards while averaging 4.9 per carry with 14 total touchdowns.

 

It will be an entertaining game but too much Stanford.

 

PICK: Stanford

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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