26 Feb

Julia Koch in talks to buy minority stake in Brooklyn Nets, per reports

The Brooklyn Nets are in discussions to sell a minority stake in the team to Julia Koch, according to Bloomberg and Sportico.

Koch was married to the late billionaire David Koch. She and her three children — David Jr., Mary Julia and John — are looking to invest in the team, and neither Koch Industries nor any other members of the Koch family are involved, per Sportico.

In the deal, which has yet to be completed, Koch would reportedly acquire approximately 10% of BSE Global, the Nets’ parent company, which also owns Barclays Center, the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the Nets’ practice facility.

Koch has a net worth of $69.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The valuation of the franchise will take into account the NBA’s upcoming broadcast rights deal, per Sportico. It could be as much as $4.8 billion, the New York Post reported, citing industry sources.

Joe Tsai, the co-founder of Alibaba, bought 49% of the Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018 and the remaining 51% in 2019. That deal valued the team at $2.35 billion, not including Barclays Center. Tsai spent about $3.5 billion to acquire both.

26 Feb

NBA suspends Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart three games for punching Suns’ Drew Eubanks

The NBA has suspended Detroit Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart three games for punching Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks on Feb. 14, the league announced Thursday.

The full press release:

The NBA announced today that Detroit Pistons forward-center Isaiah Stewart has been suspended three games without pay for initiating a physical altercation with Phoenix Suns forward-center Drew Eubanks on Feb. 14 before a game between the Pistons and Suns at Footprint Center in Phoenix. Stewart punched and pushed Eubanks during the altercation.

Stewart will begin serving his suspension with the next NBA regular-season game that he is eligible and physically able to play, which is expected to be tonight’s game between the Pistons and Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Stewart has not played since Jan. 28 due to an ankle injury, but, prior to the suspension, but James Edwards III of The Athletic reported Tuesday that he could have potentially been available to play on Thursday.

Stewart was arrested on Feb. 14 and released after being issued a citation for misdemeanor assault. The assault charge filed against him was dismissed on Thursday (Feb. 22), per ESPN.

Here’s what the Phoenix Police Departmennt had to say about an investigation into the incident:

Detectives are investigating an assault that happened late this afternoon between two professional basketball players while in the parking tunnel of the arena in downtown Phoenix.

Around 4:45 p.m. Phoenix police officers were working in a security capacity during a Suns home game at Footprint Arena when they were called to a fight between two players inside the arena’s parking lot. When the officers arrived, they were directed by security to the players involved. The players were identified as 27-year-old Drew Eubanks and 22-year-old Isaiah Stewart.

Officers spoke to both players involved and a number of people who witnesses the incident. They learned there was an argument between both players as they arrived at the arena. Witnesses said the argument escalated when they saw Stewart punch Eubanks, causing a minor injury. Both men were separated by security which ended the fight.

Detectives responded to investigate the incident and collect evidence. Stewart was arrested for assault and issued a citation and released. The investigation remains active.

Assuming that Stewart’s suspension begins Thursday, he will also miss the Pistons’ games against the Orlando Magic on Saturday and the New York Knicks next Monday. The soonest he could return to the court is next Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls. The Suns and Pistons do not play again this season.

26 Feb

Top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy basketball picks for Thursday, Feb. 22 include Nikola Jokic

The NBA returns to competitive action on Thursday after a week off from regular-season contests. Depending on who you ask, the NBA All-Star Game may or may not count as competitive action, so all players should have received significant rest since last taking the floor for their teams last week. The rested NBA DFS player pool, combined with a 12-game slate, means there are many avenues daily Fantasy basketball players can take when forming their NBA DFS strategy and NBA DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

Should you form your NBA DFS lineup with elite superstars such as Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jayson Tatum with some significantly cheaper pieces for NBA DFS picks? Or, could a strong NBA DFS strategy feature taking many similarly priced players for a balanced lineup? The return from the All-Star break doesn’t come at the exact midway point of the NBA season, but it often creates an increased sense or urgency for the postseason push, so how should that affect your NBA DFS strategy? Before making your NBA DFS picks, be sure to check out the NBA DFS advice, player rankings, stacks, and top daily Fantasy basketball picks from SportsLine’s Mike McClure.

McClure is a DFS professional with more than $2 million in career winnings. He’s also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account.

This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They’re a must-see for any NBA DFS player.

On the Thursday before the NBA All-Star break, McClure highlighted Jazz guard Keyonte George as one of his top picks in his NBA DFS player pool on both sites. The result: George had 33 points, two rebounds, six assists and three steals, returning 54 points on DraftKings and 51.4 points on FanDuel. Anybody who included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

McClure has turned his attention to NBA action on Thursday and locked in his top daily Fantasy basketball picks. You can only see them by heading to SportsLine.

Top NBA DFS picks for Thursday, February 22
For Thursday, one of McClure’s top NBA DFS picks is Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who is listed at $11,600 on DraftKings and $12,100 on FanDuel. Jokic is having another MVP-caliber season, posting 26.1 points with 12 rebounds and 8.9 assists per contest. The 6-foot-11 center is fourth in the NBA in rebounds and assists this season, and a rested Jokic will likely be a dangerous Jokic on Thursday night.

Jokic is averaging the second-most rebounds over his eight-year career while averaging at least 26 points for the third time in the last four seasons. The six-time All-Star is about as safe of a play as there is on a nightly basis for NBA DFS lineups due to his ability to contribute in every aspect of the game offensively. The Nuggets play the Wizards, who are allowing the most points in the NBA (123.9 ppg). The two-time NBA MVP had 42 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in his first meeting of the year against Washington and is averaging 38.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists over his last three games against the Wizards.

Another part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy includes again rostering Jazz guard George ($4,700 on DraftKings and $5,800 on FanDuel). Even after scoring 33 points with six assists on Thursday in his final game before the NBA All-Star break, George’s price remains relatively unchanged on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. The No. 16 overall pick in the NBA Draft has taken on a much larger role in recent contests, scoring at least 10 points in nine of his last 10 games while averaging six assists over his last four contests.

The 20-year-old is averaging 11.7 points and 4.3 assists per game and has played at least 29 minutes in each of his last four games. The Jazz play the Hornets, who turned a 10-game losing streak into a three-game winning streak before the All-Star break. But still, the Hornets are allowing the seventh-most ppg (119.4), and George had 10 points in only 13 minutes in their first meeting this season. With George receiving a much larger workload now than he did in the first meeting, McClure expects the rookie to continue to outperform his price tag for NBA DFS lineups on Thursday. See McClure’s other NBA DFS picks right here.

How to set your NBA DFS lineups for Thursday, February 22
McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for massive numbers on Thursday because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

24 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 19 predictions from proven model

The Indiana Pacers will face off against the Portland Trail Blazers in an interconference matchup on Friday. Portland is 11-29 overall and 6-12 at home, while Indiana is 24-17 overall and 11-9 on the road. Pascal Siakam is expected to make his debut for the Pacers after being acquired from the Raptors earlier in the week.

Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. ET at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Indiana is a 5-point favorite in the latest Trail Blazers vs. Pacers odds, according to the SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 238 points. Before entering any Pacers vs. Trail Blazers picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Indiana vs. Portland. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Pacers vs. Blazers:

Trail Blazers vs. Pacers spread: Pacers -5
Trail Blazers vs. Pacers over/under: 238 points
Trail Blazers vs. Pacers money line: Trail Blazers: +168, Pacers: -204
IND: The Pacers are 3-1 against the spread as a road favorite
POR: The Blazers are 5-2 ATS with no rest and are coming off playing last night
Trail Blazers vs. Pacers picks: See picks at SportsLine
What to know about the Pacers
The Pacers are expected to see their first returns on the trade that brought in Siakam from the Raptors. The Pacers traded Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora and three first-round picks to the Raptors for the athletic 6-foot-8 forward. Siakam was averaging 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for Toronto this season. The 29-year-old averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game last season in making his second All-Star team over his eight-year NBA career.

Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) was listed as questionable before Portland’s contest with the Nets on Thursday but didn’t play, so if he can return less than two weeks after what looked to be a serious injury at the time, that would provide a huge lift for the Pacers. Indiana defeated the Kings, 126-121, on Thursday behind 25 points from Bennedict Mathurin. T.J. McConnell had 20 points and 10 assists, while Jalen Smith added 17 points and 13 rebounds. Be sure to keep an eye on the injury report heading into this matchup. See which team to pick here.

What to know about the Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers snapped their four-game losing streak with a 105-103 home victory over the Nets on Thursday. Anfernee Simons, who had 20 points, hit the winning basket on a floating jumper with 0.2 seconds left to break the tie at 103. Jerami Grant led Portland with 30 points and eight rebounds, while Duop Reath added 17 points and seven rebounds on 7 of 9 shooting.

Simons leads the Trail Blazers in scoring at 22.9 points per game with Grant adding 21.4 ppg. Portland plays at one of the slowest paces in the NBA (20th in the league), as opposed to the Pacers who like to run and play at the second-fastest pace. The Trail Blazers are 7-7 ATS as a home underdog this season, including 3-0 ATS over their last three home contests as the underdogs. Whichever team controls the pace will have a huge advantage in this matchup. Shaedon Sharpe (abdominal) is out for Friday. See which team to pick here.

How to make Trail Blazers vs. Pacers picks
The model has simulated Pacers vs. Blazers 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it also says one side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

24 Jan

Anthony Edwards’ dunking legend grows with self-alley-oop off the backboard against Grizzlies

A few years ago, Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards was asked if he would ever participate in the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend. His response was short and sweet: “Nope.”

The reason?

“I’m an in-game dunker,” Edwards said.

That he is, and his legend grew on Thursday when he threw an alley-oop to himself off the backboard in a 118-103 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Late in the third quarter, Edwards was trying to make something happen in isolation, but wasn’t having much success in shaking Xavier Tillman Sr. After picking the ball up at the free throw line, Edwards seemed stuck, but instead of tossing up a low-percentage jumper, he threw the ball off the glass to himself and then threw down the jam.

“That was crazy,” Edwards said. “That was probably my best dunk of my career.”


⭐️ » https://t.co/adpbBYDQ4T pic.twitter.com/Slhm57U20Y

— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 19, 2024
“Swashbuckling and slamming!” was Kevin Harlan’s emphatic call on the broadcast. That just about sums it up.

Here’s a look at a bunch of other angles, all of which are worth watching. The first one, in particular, where you can see the bench’s reaction at the end is awesome.

because you need to see every angle. https://t.co/NNZ6EAmyWv pic.twitter.com/V7QzPBbW4t

— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 19, 2024
“I pretty much did a double between-the legs and I was just trying to get to a spot, like an elbow spot, and he kind cut me off,” Edwards, who finished with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists, added post-game. “I didn’t have nobody to pass to and I pump faked and he jumped, so I was like I might as well try it. I seen somebody do it in the All-Star Game. It did work.”

Edwards clearly enjoyed this dunk, but you can make a case that it wasn’t even his best of the week. In a win over the Detroit PIstons on Wednesday, he exploded to the rim for an unbelievable slam.

Anthony Edwards rises up in traffic and throws it down 😤

Timberwolves-Pistons | Live on the NBA App
📲 https://t.co/hLBL0VW9sq pic.twitter.com/5NPpANS6EP

— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2024
Edwards is not a high-volume dunker — he had 30 entering Thursday night — but he makes the most of them. That’s been true ever since he put Yuta Watanabe on a poster during his rookie season. As fun as it would be to see Edwards in the Dunk Contest, it’s hard to complain when he’s putting on a show like this in games throughout the regular season.

24 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 19 predictions from proven model

The Charlotte Hornets will host the San Antonio Spurs in a cross-conference matchup on Friday’s NBA schedule. Charlotte is 8-30 overall and 4-13 at home, while San Antonio is 7-33 overall and 4-17 on the road. San Antonio had a 36-point victory over Charlotte just last week, which ended a five-game win streak for the Hornets in the head-to-head series. The Spurs are 17-22-1 against the spread this season, while the Hornets are 13-23-2 versus the line.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. The Hornets are favored by 4.5 points in the latest Spurs vs. Hornets odds, per SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 235.5 points. Before entering any Hornets vs. Spurs picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on San Antonio vs. Charlotte. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Spurs vs. Hornets:

Hornets vs. Spurs spread: Hornets -4.5
Hornets vs. Spurs over/under: 235.5 points
Hornets vs. Spurs money line: Hornets: -187, Spurs: +156
Hornets vs. Spurs picks: See picks at SportsLine
What you need to know about the Hornets
The Hornets’ recent rough patch got a bit rougher on Wednesday after their sixth straight loss. They suffered a bruising 132-112 defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite their loss, the Hornets saw several players rise to the challenge and make noteworthy plays. Terry Rozier, who went 7 for 11 from beyond the arc en route to 25 points and four assists, was perhaps the best of all. LaMelo Ball was another key contributor, scoring 29 points with seven assists and five rebounds.

Charlotte struggles on both ends, ranking in the bottom four in both offensive rating and defensive rating. The lack of offensive production may come as a surprise, as Charlotte has three players averaging at least 20 points per game, among its seven players averaging in double-figures. However, they aren’t the most efficient scorers as the Hornets rank 27th in 3-pointers made, 28th in field goal percentage and 30th in free throws made. Gordon Hayward (calf) and Mark Williams (back) are out, while No. 2 overall pick, Brandon Miller (back) is listed as questionable. See which team to pick here.

What you need to know about the Spurs
Meanwhile, the Spurs’ recent rough patch got a bit rougher on Wednesday after their third straight loss. They ended up on the wrong side of a painful 117-98 walloping at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The Spurs were in a tough position after the first half, with the score already sitting at 70-45. Top overall pick Victor Wembanyama led San Antonio with 27 points, but the Spurs are holding him out of Friday’s game due to rest.

San Antonio is 0-5 straight up when Wembanyama sits and 2-3 against the spread. With him out, the Spurs will have to rely more on Devin Vassell (17.7 points per game) and Keldon Johnson (16.9 PPG). The potential return of Zach Collins also looms large with Wembanyama’s absence as he’s missed the last nine games with an ankle injury and is listed as questionable for Friday. See which team to pick here.

Key Betting Info
Some of the betting trends to consider are:

The Hornets are 2-8-1 against the spread in their last 11 games vs teams that win less than 45 percent of games.
The Hornets are 10-21-2 against the spread in their last 33 games after a day off.
The Spurs are 16-18-1 against the spread in their last 35 games after a day off.
How to make Hornets vs. Spurs picks
The model has simulated Spurs vs. Hornets 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Under, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that hits in 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

24 Jan

Why Pacers’ Pascal Siakam trade feels a lot like Timberwolves’ deal for Rudy Gobert

The Indiana Pacers trading for Pascal Siakam feels a little bit like the Minnesota Timberwolves trading for Rudy Gobert. Hear me out: Two small-market franchises, both emboldened by the emergence of a young superstar, both a little a drunk on the possibility of becoming, perhaps overnight, a real postseason player, taking a high-risk flier on a big-name veteran whose best years may or may not be behind him.

In a vacuum, they both probably overpaid to do so. Minnesota basically mortgaged vital organs to get its hands on Gobert. Indiana didn’t give up as much for Siakam (though three first-round picks isn’t exactly a bargain), but the heaviest cost will come with the max contract they’ll likely have to give him this summer.

Siakam is not a max player, and he’s likely a depreciating asset. He’ll be well into his 30s at the end of whatever deal he signs next.

But in the context of a flyover franchise with limited appeal as a big-name destination (even in the case of Indiana, which could’ve had max space at its disposal), overpays are often the cost of business. Gobert is 31 years old and had $170 million in guaranteed money on his contract when the Wolves took him on.

At the moment, it would appear that Minnesota’s gamble has paid off. The Wolves, who made the playoffs just two times in the 18 years preceding the Gobert trade, look like a legit title contender, particularly if they can add some shooting juice at the deadline.

The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t gotten past the first round since the Paul George days. Tyrese Haliburton, like Anthony Edwards in Minnesota, has gotten so good so quickly that the fear of missing out on even an outside opportunity to contend outweighs the fear of a compromised future.

The future, after all, might be now. Nobody is vaulting Indiana to the top of the title conversation after this trade, but nobody had Minnesota as a contender after the Gobert deal, either. Maybe the Pacers are closer than we think. Not every team is the Lakers or Warriors. For some teams, just being really good is the goal, and from there you cross your fingers. Truth is, everyone crosses their fingers these days.

Think about it: Outside of Boston, the East is wide open. The Pacers own the best offense in history. They have beaten the Bucks four times, the Celtics twice, split with the 76ers. And now they add a second All-Star level player, and it’s one that fits.

The Pacers play at a breakneck pace, and Siakam is a gazelle in the open floor. The Pacers drive and kick as much as any team, and Siakam, who is a more respected and capable shooter than his 32% clip would suggest, feasts on closeouts. He’ll live in the paint amid Indiana’s ample spacing. Indiana has deep scoring balance beneath Haliburton, but nobody who qualifies as a real No. 2 option. Siakam, at 22 points per game, is exactly that. He’s not the defender he once was, but he provides the wing length Indiana largely lacks. This really is a perfect marriage.

Where this will get tricky is next season, or a few years from now, if the Pacers are locked into a max-ish deal with Siakam and not really getting any better. The Hawks can tell you about this particular purgatory. They tried to expedite their timeline by trading the farm for Dejounte Murray — only to find themselves in Play-In Tournament perpetuity. It looks like they’re going to be selling him for 50 cents on the dollar at the Feb. 8 trade deadline or later this summer.

That may be the way this goes for the Pacers. Or, maybe, Siakam hits, if not over the rest of this season, then in the near future, like Gobert has in his second campaign in Minnesota. Maybe the Pacers aren’t even done dealing. It’s likely they aren’t, in fact. They still have a 2026 and 2028 pick they can trade. Obi Toppin and/or Jalen Smith could be dangled. Buddy Hield, who’s on an expiring deal, was supposed to be traded a long time ago. Just about every team would pick up a call about Bennedict Mathurin.

Indeed, a consolidation package can still be put together for a third wheel. A two-way wing would be the highest item on their priority list. How about the aforementioned Murray? Indiana has the two first-round picks Atlanta reportedly covets. Murray would be a third top-notch shot creator.

Jerami Grant would be even better. He’s a 41% 3-point shooter, and he and Siakam together would give Indiana the size on the wing to at least compete defensively in the playoffs. He makes a lot of money, and Indiana is already looking at close to a max contract for Siakam and a potential super-max for Haliburton should he make Al-NBA, which is pretty likely.

Want to pay a little less? How about Dorian Finney-Smith? Or Bojan Bogdanovic? The Pacers are dangerous right now. They’re not far from being a lot more than that.

But that’s speculation at this point. For now, Siakam is a major get for Indiana. The deal comes with a lot of risk, which I haven’t heard talked about much, but the potential reward warrants the reach. It doesn’t mean it will work out. But again, in the context of a franchise that can’t depend on optimal circumstances landing in their lap, a long shot is still a shot. Good on the Pacers, and the Timberwolves, for pulling the trigger.

24 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 19 predictions from proven model

We’ve got another exciting Southeast Division matchup on Friday’s NBA schedule as the Miami Heat will host the Atlanta Hawks. Miami is 24-17 overall and 12-7 at home, while Atlanta is 17-23 overall and 9-12 on the road. The Heat have won four straight meetings with the Hawks and five straight matchups at home. The Heat are 19-20-2 against the spread in the 2023-24 NBA season, while the Hawks are a league-worst 10-30 ATS.

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET at Kaseya Center in Miami. The Heat are favored by 7.5 points in the latest Hawks vs. Heat odds, per SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 224.5 points. Before entering any Heat vs. Hawks picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Atlanta vs. Miami. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Hawks vs. Heat:

Heat vs. Hawks spread: Heat -7.5
Heat vs. Hawks over/under: 224.5 points
Heat vs. Hawks money line: Heat: -328, Hawks: +258
Heat vs. Hawks picks: See picks at SportsLine
What you need to know about the Heat
The experts predicted a close game on Wednesday and a win for the Heat, but boy were they wrong. They found themselves the reluctant recipients of a 121-97 punch to the gut against the Toronto Raptors. The Heat’s defeat signaled the end of their three-game winning streak. The Miami trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each scored 16 points in the defeat.

Each of those players are averaging at least 21 points, five rebounds and four assists, though they haven’t spent much time on the court together, going 5-5 in their 10 games in which all started. Jaime Jaquez Jr. is fourth on the team with 14 points per game, but he’s listed as doubtful with a groin strain, while Kevin Love (knee) is questionable. Miami is 2-0 ATS versus Atlanta this season, and the Heat have covered in five of their last six games overall. See which team to pick here.

What you need to know about the Hawks
Meanwhile, Atlanta skirted by the Orlando Magic 106-104 on Wednesday thanks to a clutch jump shot from Dejounte Murray with less than a second left in the fourth quarter. The victory made it back-to-back wins for the Hawks, who haven’t won three straight since the second week of the season. Atlanta shortened its rotation in that victory over Orlando, playing just eight players, but six of them scored in double-figures.

The Hawks average the fourth-most points per game, and while a high volume is their calling card — as they attempt the most shots per game — high efficiency is not as Atlanta ranks 20th in field goal percentage. Leading scorer Trae Young (27.2 PPG) is shooting just 42.1% from the field, which is his lowest since his rookie year. However, the Hawks are simply hoping that Young is able to play as he’s listed as questionable with an illness, while De’Andre Hunter (knee) is listed as out. See which team to pick here.

Key Betting Info
Some of the betting trends to consider are:

The Hawks are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games vs teams that win over 55% of games.
The Hawks are 8-28 ATS in their last 36 games vs teams allowing over 102 PPG.
The Heat are 18-18-2 ATS in their last 38 games vs teams allowing over 102 PPG.
How to make Heat vs. Hawks picks
The model has simulated Hawks vs. Heat 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

24 Jan

2024 NBA picks, Jan. 19 best bets from simulation model

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to host the Brooklyn Nets in a cross-conference showdown on Friday at Crypto.com Arena. Los Angeles is 21-21 overall and 15-7 at home, while Brooklyn is 16-24 overall and 6-14 on the road. The Lakers are looking to win their third straight after knocking off the Dallas Mavericks 127-110 in their last outing. The Nets are aiming to snap a four-game losing streak after falling 104-102 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (ankle) are both going to be game-time decisions for the Lakers. Mikal Bridges (shin) is a game-time decision and Ben Simmons (back) is out for Brooklyn.

Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. The Lakers are favored by 7 points in the latest Lakers vs. Nets odds, and the over/under is 227 points. Before making any Lakers vs. Nets picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven computer simulation model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Nets vs. Lakers and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for the game:

Lakers vs. Nets spread: Lakers -7
Lakers vs. Nets over/under: 227 points
Lakers vs. Nets money line: Lakers: -274, Nets: +221
Lakers vs. Nets picks: See picks here
What you need to know about the Nets
The Nets’ recent rough patch got a bit rougher on Wednesday after their fourth straight loss. They lost 105-103 to Portland on a last-minute jump shot From Anfernee Simons. Mikal Bridges led the way for Brooklyn, scoring 21 points to go with four rebounds and dour assists. Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points and seven assists.

The Nets enter this matchup with a 19-19-2 overall record and a 7-13 road record against the spread this season. The Nets have a strong backcourt nucleus led by Bridges (21.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game), Cam Thomas (20.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game), and Spencer Dinwiddie (13.3 points, 6.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds per game). The Nets may be without Bridges, who is listed as a game-time decision with a shin injury. See which team to pick here.

What you need to know about the Lakers
Even though the Lakers have not done well against the Mavericks recently (they were 2-8 in their previous ten matchups), they didn’t let the past get in their way on Wednesday. Los Angeles strolled past Dallas with points to spare, taking the game 127-110. The win made it back-to-back wins for the Lakers. It was another big night for Anthony Davis, who almost dropped a triple-double on 28 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.

The Lakers have played at a high level when their full starting five is healthy and available to play. Davis (25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.5 blocks per game) and LeBron James (24.7 points, 7.6 assists, 7.2 rebounds per game) are both again having All-Star caliber seasons. Point guard D’Angelo Russell adds 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. The Lakers are 6-6 against the spread in their last 12 games vs teams that win less than 45 percent of games. See which team to pick here.

How to make Lakers vs. Nets picks
The model has simulated Lakers vs. Nets 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over on the point total, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that hits in well over 60% of simulations. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.

21 Jan

Stars kicker goes 8-for-8 for all 24 of team’s points, hits 55-yard walk-off FG

We’ve reached the midway mark of the USFL’s 10-game regular season and if there’s one word that sums up what we know about who’ll win the North Division, it’s this — nothing.

ALL FOUR TEAMS are 2-3 after the Philadelphia Stars upset the New Jersey Generals on Sunday. And if you’re wondering how the Stars did it, the only name you need to know is Luis Aguilar. Philly’s kicker scored every one of his team’s points, going 8-for-8 on field goals, including a walk-off 55-yarder in the final ticks.

Later on Sunday, the USFL saw its last unbeaten team fall, as the New Orleans Breakers were upset by the Memphis Showboats. The Breakers dropped to 4-1, while the Showboats are the fifth of the league’s eight teams to sit 2-3.

We’ll go over that and all the Week 5 games below (check out the standings here). First, a look at the Week 5 scores:

Pittsburgh Maulers 23, Michigan Panthers 7
Houston Gamblers 27, Birmingham Stallions 20
Philadelphia Stars 24, New Jersey Generals 21
Memphis Showboats 17, New Orleans Breakers 10

Stars kicker goes 8-for-8 with three from 50+, scores every Philly point
Luis Aguilar not only connected on the most field goals in USFL history, he did it without missing one, and the point to make here is that if he had missed any of the eight, the Stars very well might have lost. Instead, they won 24-21, as three of Aguilar’s field goals were from 51 yards or more. Here’s the distance for each: 22, 42, 56, 36, 27, 51, 49, and the 55-yard winner, which you can watch below.

🤯 @luisaguilar124 WITH THE WALK OFF 55 YARD FIELD GOAL


🎥: @nbc | @peacock pic.twitter.com/G9Fky5UYu8

— USFL (@USFL) May 14, 2023
While this was obviously not an NFL game, for the sake of comparison, the all-time NFL record for made field goals in a game is eight (Titans’ Rob Bironas, vs. Texans in 2007).

Philly, which made the USFL title game last year, had won only once going into Sunday. The Generals had entered the week atop the division. The Stars won despite quarterback Case Cookus throwing for only 125 yards (0 TDs, 0 INTs) and their leading rusher managing just 22 yards on 15 carries.

New Jersey quarterback De’Andre Johnson led the team in rushing (62 yards, 1 TD) and also threw for 79 yards. Kyle Lauletta also split time at quarterback, completing 10 of 12 passes for 111 yards with an interception.

Breakers suffer first loss as Showboats shock
The New Orleans Breakers were in a prime spot to put two games between themselves and the defending champion Birmingham Stallions in the South Division after the Stallions lost on Saturday. Instead, New Orleans suffered its first loss of the season against a Memphis team that had entered with one win.

The deciding play came with 2:16 left in the game, as Showboats quarterback Cole Kelley found John Mitchell in the end zone.

The @USFLShowboats with the go-ahead score late in the game! 👀pic.twitter.com/9hu0Z68JqT

— USFL (@USFL) May 14, 2023
Kelley finished 24 of 36 for 224 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.

New Orleans simply couldn’t find its offense against a Memphis team that had entered tied for allowing the most points in the USFL. Quarterback McCleod Bethel-Thompson (206 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT) accounted for the only Breakers touchdown.

Saturday’s games
Gamblers upset Stallions with huge fourth quarter
Houston won its third-straight game by upsetting the defending champs, and they did it with a big fourth-quarter where they outscored the Stallions 20-7. Birmingham had led 13-7 entering the final frame, but that’s when Houston backup quarterback Terry Wilson came through.

Wilson, who started the game due to an injury to Gamblers quarterback Kenji Bahar, had thrown for just 48 yards in the first three quarters. He more than doubled that total with one pass, a 50-yard touchdown to Anthony Ratliff-Williams.

Houston running back Mark Thompson had three touchdowns, including two in the final four minutes of the game. He’s got eight TDs this season. Stallions quarterback Alex McGough threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs, and also ran for 76 yards.

The Stallions had some familiar fans in the crowd.

NFL HOFer in the house 🙌

Randy Moss is here supporting his son, @USFLStallions’ @thaddeusmoss 👏 @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/RfEDvy8Sjx

— USFL (@USFL) May 13, 2023
Pittsburgh wins with defense
The Maulers have allowed the fewest points in the league so far, and Saturday’s win showcased why. After falling behind 7-0, Pittsburgh didn’t allow another point.

Quarterback Troy Williams threw for two touchdowns on 184 yards passing and also added a rushing TD, leading the Maulers in rushing with 59 yards.

Pittsburgh’s defense may not have even allowed seven points were it not for Michigan’s Ishmael Hyman returning an early punt 74 yards to the Pittsburgh 26. Panthers quarterback Josh Love hit Cole Hikutini for the TD a few plays later