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PICKS FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 (TODAY) [refresh]
9/25/2020
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PICKS FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 (YESTERDAY) [refresh]
9/24/2020
12:00 PM EST
SOCCER
SONDERJYSKE VS. VIKTORIA PLZEN

PICK: VIKTORIA PLZEN (-201)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:02 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 3:04 PM EST
+5.47
[report pick]
9/24/2020
1:00 PM EST
SOCCER
ANORTHOSIS VS. FC BASEL

PICK: FC BASEL (-215)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:03 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 5:28 PM EST
+5.12
[report pick]
9/24/2020
1:00 PM EST
SOCCER
ABERDEEN VS. SPORTING LISBON

PICK: SPORTING LISBON (-208)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:03 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 5:59 PM EST
+5.29
[report pick]
9/24/2020
2:00 PM EST
SOCCER
PIAST GLIWICE VS. FC COPENHAGEN

PICK: FC COPENHAGEN (-154)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:04 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 5:09 PM EST
+7.14
[report pick]
9/24/2020
2:00 PM EST
SOCCER
HAJDUK SPLIT VS. GALATASARAY

PICK: GALATASARAY (-166)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:04 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 5:09 PM EST
+6.63
[report pick]
9/24/2020
2:00 PM EST
SOCCER
VOJVODINA VS. STANDARD LIEGE

PICK: STANDARD LIEGE (-215)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:05 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 4:40 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
2:30 PM EST
SOCCER
BODO GLIMT VS. AC MILAN

PICK: AC MILAN (-316)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:06 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 6:00 PM EST
+3.48
[report pick]
9/24/2020
3:45 PM EST
MLB
COLORADO ROCKIES VS. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

PICK: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (-231)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The San Francisco Giants can bolster their playoff chances while also formally eliminating the visiting Colorado Rockies from contention when the National League West clubs meet for a final time on Thursday afternoon. By virtue of two consecutive wins over the Rockies after a series-opening loss on Monday, the Giants (28-27) are in a virtual tie with the St. Louis Cardinals (27-26) and the Cincinnati Reds (29-28) in the NL wild-card race. The Cardinals and Reds are tied for second in the NL Central, and the top two teams from each division will receive automatic playoff berths. The Philadelphia Phillies (28-29) and Milwaukee Brewers (27-28) loom just one game behind in the battle for the final two playoff spots in the NL. The regular season ends Sunday. The Rockies (24-31) have fallen four games behind the Giants and Reds with just five to play. Rockies right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-2, 7.53 ERA) and Giants righty Kevin Gausman (3-3, 3.76) are the scheduled starters in the season finale, which will determine whether Colorado wins the season series or if the clubs finish in a 5-5 tie. As the Giants await the return of injured outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson has celebrated the birth of his son with an offensive explosion this week. He had a home run, a double and a single in his first game back on Monday, then smacked a pinch-hit homer in Tuesday's win. Dickerson was back in the starting lineup Wednesday and responded with two doubles and a single, raising his season average to .307. The second-year Giant has owned Gonzalez in their brief history, going 4-for-5 with two doubles. Gonzalez has faced the Giants four times in his career, three times as a starter, amassing a 0-2 record with a 5.40 ERA. Five different Giants drove in runs in Wednesday's win, including Brandon Belt, whose RBI was the 500th of his career. He reached base in all five of his plate appearances with three hits and two walks as his average soared to .313. "We've all heard hitting is contagious, and it really is," he said after the game. "This really does remind me of back in the day when we were winning championships and it seemed like somebody new stepped up every single night. It looks like that's happening right now, and we feel good about it." Gausman, a Colorado native, will be making his fourth career start against the Rockies. He has gone 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in the first three head-to-heads. One Rockies hitter who has gotten the better of Gausman over their careers is ex-Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar, who has gone 13-for-36 (.361). An in-season acquisition by the Rockies last month, Pillar has made such a favorable impression, Colorado manager Bud Black noted earlier this week that he would love to have him back next year. "There's a steadiness to him that I've come to appreciate -- he plays the right way," Black said. "In a short period of time, our guys and I have come to respect the way he plays from the time he gets to the ballpark. He does it the right way. That's professionalism for me." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:07 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 9:02 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
7:10 PM EST
MLB
MIAMI MARLINS VS. ATLANTA BRAVES

PICK: ATLANTA BRAVES (-163)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Marlins try to salvage series finale vs. Braves The visiting Miami Marlins will turn to Pablo Lopez to help them salvage a game in the four-game series with the Atlanta Braves and trim a game off their magic number to sew up a playoff spot. Atlanta (34-22) has won the first three games in the series between the two National League East rivals and is trying to hold onto the No. 2 seed for the playoffs. The Braves have a two-game lead over Chicago for the league's second-best record. The Marlins (28-28) still have a magic number of three after Philadelphia won on Wednesday. Miami is trying to secure a place in the postseason for the first time since 2003. The Marlins have lost four straight, but cling to a half-game lead over Philadelphia (28-29) for second place in the East. "We're trying to preach to take care of our business," said Miami left fielder Corey Dickerson. "Play for one another. Be a good teammate. There's no reason to play a different way right now. We're thankful to have this opportunity ahead of us." Miami manager Don Mattingly is trying to get his club to play the way it has most of the season. The Marlins don't need anything extra, just what they've already shown over the last two months. "The best players don't get to the playoffs or down to the last week of the season and say, 'Now, I've got to be really good.' You've got to be just what you've been," Mattingly said. "That standard should be really high, and it should be higher than your standard for them." The series finale will feature Lopez (5-4, 3.96 ERA) against Atlanta's Ian Anderson (3-1, 2.36). Lopez has made 10 starts and pitched at least five innings in eight of those. In his last start on Saturday, Lopez went 5 1/3 innings against Washington and allowed two runs on three hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. He was beaten by the Braves on Sept. 9, getting knocked out after allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. In seven career starts against Atlanta, Lopez is 1-4 with a 5.05 ERA. Anderson, a rookie who was the organization's top pitching prospect, got his first start on Aug. 26 and has become the team's second-best starter. Anderson is coming off his first loss, suffered on Saturday against the New York Mets when he allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Anderson started on Sept. 7 against Miami and left after three innings because of a high pitch count. He gave up two runs, one earned, and was not involved in the decision. The Atlanta offense continues to put up big numbers since the return of second baseman Ozzie Albies, who missed a month with a right wrist bone bruise. In the 14 games since Albies returned, the Braves are averaging 7.8 runs per game. Albies hit cleanup and went 2-for-4 on Wednesday. He is batting .404 (23-for-57) since he returned. The Braves have hit 99 home runs, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have 51 homers in September, five short of the franchise record for the most homers in a month set in June 2019. "This is pretty satisfying, given how crazy this whole year has been," first baseman Freddie Freeman said. "For us to lose so many guys over the year, it's pretty amazing what we were able to do." --Field Level Media by
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:08 AM EST
PICK GRADED TODAY AT 1:35 AM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
8:20 PM EST
NFL
MIAMI DOLPHINS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

PICK: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS -3 (+104)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: It's the Beard versus the 'Stache in prime time. Fitzmagic on one sideline, Minshew Mania on the other. Maybe the loser should have to shave. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night. Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. "I think the beard is a cooler look," Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. "I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache." The 24-year-old Minshew politely fired back at Fitzpatrick, 37. "I'll let mine speak for itself," Minshew said. "I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I'm going to have respect for my elders, especially when they're much, much elder. I'll be respectful." One of Minshew's teammates, defensive end Josh Allen, might have a tougher time choosing between the two looks. "We were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, `Bruh does have a really good beard because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere.' It's kind of cool," Allen said before quickly adding that he'll "rock with G-Money." Allen is more of a fan of Fitzpatrick's beard than the quarterback's wife. "She hates when it's long like this," Fitzpatrick admitted. "She hates when it's long because, for some reason, she thinks I'm handsome. But when it's long, I'm not handsome." Both QBs looked just fine in close losses last week. Minshew threw three TD passes for the third consecutive game, but he had two somewhat-fluky interceptions in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee. Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Buffalo. He put the Dolphins ahead in the fourth quarter before Josh Allen rallied the Bills against Miami's struggling defense. Fitzpatrick has won his past four starts against Jacksonville -- each one with a different team. He beat the Jags with the New York Jets in 2015, with Houston in 2014, with Tennessee in 2013 and with Buffalo in 2012. He's a part of one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year and will be facing another one filled with first- and second-year players, led by Minshew. "I haven't seen him play a ton, but the few times I have, I like watching him," Fitzpatrick said. "I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he's out there having fun. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league. It's not easy to play as a young quarterback. He's already had a lot of success. "He's had a great start to the season. He's a guy that I don't think I've played against him, so I'm excited to watch him play and see how he does." NOT BUSY After Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last year, the team acquired veteran running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to improve the ground game. Through two weeks they've combined for only 70 yards rushing on 25 carries, an average of 2.8 per carry. Myles Gaskin, a seventh-round pick in 2019, leads Miami with 86 yards rushing. "There is only one football," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "Nobody ever gets it enough. When you have good running backs, everybody cannot touch it as much as they would like." SACK SEARCH The Jaguars don't blitz much, but they might need to start if they can't create more quarterback pressure. They have two sacks in two games -- only Carolina and Las Vegas have fewer. "We all have to take that pride in just getting to the quarterback more, especially I do," said Allen, who had 10 1/2 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. "So I've just been grinding as much as I can and I've been thinking about all the missed rushes that I could've had. Just learn from that and just move forward." NO DEFENSE The Dolphins' secondary is sure to get tested by Minshew after allowing 413 yards passing last week against the Bills. Josh Allen's receivers were often wide open, and Miami's cornerbacks were repeatedly exposed on crossing routes in man coverage. After Byron Jones was sidelined in the first quarter by a groin injury, former Pro Bowler Xavien Howard and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene both struggled. The solution? "My message to the guys is the guys we put you on, those are the guys we expect you to cover," Flores said. --- AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed.
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 5:19 PM EST
PICK GRADED TODAY AT 12:17 AM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
8:20 PM EST
NFL
MIAMI DOLPHINS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

PICK: UNDER 49 (-102)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: It's the Beard versus the 'Stache in prime time. Fitzmagic on one sideline, Minshew Mania on the other. Maybe the loser should have to shave. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night. Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. "I think the beard is a cooler look," Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. "I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache." The 24-year-old Minshew politely fired back at Fitzpatrick, 37. "I'll let mine speak for itself," Minshew said. "I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I'm going to have respect for my elders, especially when they're much, much elder. I'll be respectful." One of Minshew's teammates, defensive end Josh Allen, might have a tougher time choosing between the two looks. "We were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, `Bruh does have a really good beard because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere.' It's kind of cool," Allen said before quickly adding that he'll "rock with G-Money." Allen is more of a fan of Fitzpatrick's beard than the quarterback's wife. "She hates when it's long like this," Fitzpatrick admitted. "She hates when it's long because, for some reason, she thinks I'm handsome. But when it's long, I'm not handsome." Both QBs looked just fine in close losses last week. Minshew threw three TD passes for the third consecutive game, but he had two somewhat-fluky interceptions in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee. Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Buffalo. He put the Dolphins ahead in the fourth quarter before Josh Allen rallied the Bills against Miami's struggling defense. Fitzpatrick has won his past four starts against Jacksonville -- each one with a different team. He beat the Jags with the New York Jets in 2015, with Houston in 2014, with Tennessee in 2013 and with Buffalo in 2012. He's a part of one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year and will be facing another one filled with first- and second-year players, led by Minshew. "I haven't seen him play a ton, but the few times I have, I like watching him," Fitzpatrick said. "I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he's out there having fun. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league. It's not easy to play as a young quarterback. He's already had a lot of success. "He's had a great start to the season. He's a guy that I don't think I've played against him, so I'm excited to watch him play and see how he does." NOT BUSY After Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last year, the team acquired veteran running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to improve the ground game. Through two weeks they've combined for only 70 yards rushing on 25 carries, an average of 2.8 per carry. Myles Gaskin, a seventh-round pick in 2019, leads Miami with 86 yards rushing. "There is only one football," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "Nobody ever gets it enough. When you have good running backs, everybody cannot touch it as much as they would like." SACK SEARCH The Jaguars don't blitz much, but they might need to start if they can't create more quarterback pressure. They have two sacks in two games -- only Carolina and Las Vegas have fewer. "We all have to take that pride in just getting to the quarterback more, especially I do," said Allen, who had 10 1/2 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. "So I've just been grinding as much as I can and I've been thinking about all the missed rushes that I could've had. Just learn from that and just move forward." NO DEFENSE The Dolphins' secondary is sure to get tested by Minshew after allowing 413 yards passing last week against the Bills. Josh Allen's receivers were often wide open, and Miami's cornerbacks were repeatedly exposed on crossing routes in man coverage. After Byron Jones was sidelined in the first quarter by a groin injury, former Pro Bowler Xavien Howard and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene both struggled. The solution? "My message to the guys is the guys we put you on, those are the guys we expect you to cover," Flores said. --- AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed.
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 5:19 PM EST
PICK GRADED TODAY AT 12:14 AM EST
+10.78
[report pick]
9/24/2020
8:20 PM EST
NFL
MIAMI DOLPHINS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1ST HALF)

PICK: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS -2.5 (+105)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: It's the Beard versus the 'Stache in prime time. Fitzmagic on one sideline, Minshew Mania on the other. Maybe the loser should have to shave. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night. Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. "I think the beard is a cooler look," Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. "I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache." The 24-year-old Minshew politely fired back at Fitzpatrick, 37. "I'll let mine speak for itself," Minshew said. "I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I'm going to have respect for my elders, especially when they're much, much elder. I'll be respectful." One of Minshew's teammates, defensive end Josh Allen, might have a tougher time choosing between the two looks. "We were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, `Bruh does have a really good beard because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere.' It's kind of cool," Allen said before quickly adding that he'll "rock with G-Money." Allen is more of a fan of Fitzpatrick's beard than the quarterback's wife. "She hates when it's long like this," Fitzpatrick admitted. "She hates when it's long because, for some reason, she thinks I'm handsome. But when it's long, I'm not handsome." Both QBs looked just fine in close losses last week. Minshew threw three TD passes for the third consecutive game, but he had two somewhat-fluky interceptions in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee. Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Buffalo. He put the Dolphins ahead in the fourth quarter before Josh Allen rallied the Bills against Miami's struggling defense. Fitzpatrick has won his past four starts against Jacksonville -- each one with a different team. He beat the Jags with the New York Jets in 2015, with Houston in 2014, with Tennessee in 2013 and with Buffalo in 2012. He's a part of one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year and will be facing another one filled with first- and second-year players, led by Minshew. "I haven't seen him play a ton, but the few times I have, I like watching him," Fitzpatrick said. "I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he's out there having fun. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league. It's not easy to play as a young quarterback. He's already had a lot of success. "He's had a great start to the season. He's a guy that I don't think I've played against him, so I'm excited to watch him play and see how he does." NOT BUSY After Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last year, the team acquired veteran running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to improve the ground game. Through two weeks they've combined for only 70 yards rushing on 25 carries, an average of 2.8 per carry. Myles Gaskin, a seventh-round pick in 2019, leads Miami with 86 yards rushing. "There is only one football," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "Nobody ever gets it enough. When you have good running backs, everybody cannot touch it as much as they would like." SACK SEARCH The Jaguars don't blitz much, but they might need to start if they can't create more quarterback pressure. They have two sacks in two games -- only Carolina and Las Vegas have fewer. "We all have to take that pride in just getting to the quarterback more, especially I do," said Allen, who had 10 1/2 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. "So I've just been grinding as much as I can and I've been thinking about all the missed rushes that I could've had. Just learn from that and just move forward." NO DEFENSE The Dolphins' secondary is sure to get tested by Minshew after allowing 413 yards passing last week against the Bills. Josh Allen's receivers were often wide open, and Miami's cornerbacks were repeatedly exposed on crossing routes in man coverage. After Byron Jones was sidelined in the first quarter by a groin injury, former Pro Bowler Xavien Howard and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene both struggled. The solution? "My message to the guys is the guys we put you on, those are the guys we expect you to cover," Flores said. --- AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed.
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 5:19 PM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 10:53 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
8:20 PM EST
NFL
MIAMI DOLPHINS VS. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1ST HALF)

PICK: UNDER 24 (-107)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: It's the Beard versus the 'Stache in prime time. Fitzmagic on one sideline, Minshew Mania on the other. Maybe the loser should have to shave. Quarterback facial hair is sure to be front and center when the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Thursday night. Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bushy beard that covers much of his face and engulfs his chin strap; Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew has a unkept horseshoe mustache that seems to go perfectly with his flowing locks. "I think the beard is a cooler look," Fitzpatrick said Tuesday. "I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards, so they just stick with the mustache." The 24-year-old Minshew politely fired back at Fitzpatrick, 37. "I'll let mine speak for itself," Minshew said. "I think I've shown I can grow a beard with no patchy sides. But you know, I'm going to have respect for my elders, especially when they're much, much elder. I'll be respectful." One of Minshew's teammates, defensive end Josh Allen, might have a tougher time choosing between the two looks. "We were in a little team meeting and somebody just brought up the beard and I was like, `Bruh does have a really good beard because his chinstrap is so small, and the beard is just everywhere.' It's kind of cool," Allen said before quickly adding that he'll "rock with G-Money." Allen is more of a fan of Fitzpatrick's beard than the quarterback's wife. "She hates when it's long like this," Fitzpatrick admitted. "She hates when it's long because, for some reason, she thinks I'm handsome. But when it's long, I'm not handsome." Both QBs looked just fine in close losses last week. Minshew threw three TD passes for the third consecutive game, but he had two somewhat-fluky interceptions in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee. Fitzpatrick threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to Buffalo. He put the Dolphins ahead in the fourth quarter before Josh Allen rallied the Bills against Miami's struggling defense. Fitzpatrick has won his past four starts against Jacksonville -- each one with a different team. He beat the Jags with the New York Jets in 2015, with Houston in 2014, with Tennessee in 2013 and with Buffalo in 2012. He's a part of one of the youngest teams in the NFL this year and will be facing another one filled with first- and second-year players, led by Minshew. "I haven't seen him play a ton, but the few times I have, I like watching him," Fitzpatrick said. "I enjoy his playing style. It looks like he's out there having fun. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league. It's not easy to play as a young quarterback. He's already had a lot of success. "He's had a great start to the season. He's a guy that I don't think I've played against him, so I'm excited to watch him play and see how he does." NOT BUSY After Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing last year, the team acquired veteran running backs Matt Breida and Jordan Howard to improve the ground game. Through two weeks they've combined for only 70 yards rushing on 25 carries, an average of 2.8 per carry. Myles Gaskin, a seventh-round pick in 2019, leads Miami with 86 yards rushing. "There is only one football," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "Nobody ever gets it enough. When you have good running backs, everybody cannot touch it as much as they would like." SACK SEARCH The Jaguars don't blitz much, but they might need to start if they can't create more quarterback pressure. They have two sacks in two games -- only Carolina and Las Vegas have fewer. "We all have to take that pride in just getting to the quarterback more, especially I do," said Allen, who had 10 1/2 sacks and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. "So I've just been grinding as much as I can and I've been thinking about all the missed rushes that I could've had. Just learn from that and just move forward." NO DEFENSE The Dolphins' secondary is sure to get tested by Minshew after allowing 413 yards passing last week against the Bills. Josh Allen's receivers were often wide open, and Miami's cornerbacks were repeatedly exposed on crossing routes in man coverage. After Byron Jones was sidelined in the first quarter by a groin injury, former Pro Bowler Xavien Howard and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene both struggled. The solution? "My message to the guys is the guys we put you on, those are the guys we expect you to cover," Flores said. --- AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed.
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 5:20 PM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 10:55 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/24/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS

PICK: LOS ANGELES LAKERS -6 (-109)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Los Angeles Lakers seek to take another commanding lead while the Denver Nuggets attempt to avoid another huge hole when the clubs meet in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. The third-seeded Nuggets got back into familiar territory -- a 2-1 series deficit -- when they held off a late Lakers rally for a 114-106 triumph in Game 3 on Tuesday night. They have lost Game 4 in each of their first two series against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, to fall behind 3-1 before making a pair of historic comebacks. The top-seeded Lakers, meanwhile, have seized control in their first two rounds against Portland and Houston with a Game 4 win that put them up 3-1 on each occasion. Los Angeles won those games by an average of 15.0 points. The key to reversing Tuesday's defeat? LeBron James believes it's taking better care of the ball and fouling less. "They played better than us, more aggressive than us through three quarters," he assessed in the wake of the loss. "We had 16 turnovers for 25 points and put them to the line 29 times. It's not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that. And we knew that, even after Game 2, we talked about that, trying to assure that. Got to be better than that Game 4." Turnovers have been an issue, but not necessarily a disadvantage, for both teams in the series. The Nuggets have averaged 17.7 in the three games, the Lakers 16.7. Meanwhile, Denver has flipped a free-throw deficit in the series opener (37-28) by shooting 21 more than the Lakers in the last two games (62-41). Nuggets coach Michael Malone credits a more aggressive mindset for the increase in his team's trips to the line, a style of play he told his guys after the Game 3 win that has fans nationwide pulling for the underdogs. "We're in this series," he said in a postgame gathering. "We let them know we're not going anywhere. That's what you guys have done this whole postseason. That's why everybody is rooting for us. Keep on showing that grit and resilience and playing for each other." In a series where the scoring of Anthony Davis (95 points) and James (71) has been nearly offset by that of Jamal Murray (74) and Nikola Jokic (73), the impact of a third scorer has aided each team. The Lakers got 18 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in its 12-point win in Game 1, while the Nuggets benefitted from Jerami Grant's postseason career-high 26 in their eight-point win in Game 3. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo notched a piece of NBA history with his eight assists Tuesday. He passed Kobe Bryant for ninth place on the NBA's all-time postseason list, with another heavyweight -- Scottie Pippen -- now on Thursday's radar, just six ahead. Game 5, which is no longer an "if-necessary," is scheduled for Saturday. The Lakers have wrapped up both their previous series in five games. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:01 AM EST
PICK GRADED TODAY AT 12:32 AM EST
- - - - -
[report pick]
9/24/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS

PICK: OVER 214.5 (-104)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Los Angeles Lakers seek to take another commanding lead while the Denver Nuggets attempt to avoid another huge hole when the clubs meet in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. The third-seeded Nuggets got back into familiar territory -- a 2-1 series deficit -- when they held off a late Lakers rally for a 114-106 triumph in Game 3 on Tuesday night. They have lost Game 4 in each of their first two series against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, to fall behind 3-1 before making a pair of historic comebacks. The top-seeded Lakers, meanwhile, have seized control in their first two rounds against Portland and Houston with a Game 4 win that put them up 3-1 on each occasion. Los Angeles won those games by an average of 15.0 points. The key to reversing Tuesday's defeat? LeBron James believes it's taking better care of the ball and fouling less. "They played better than us, more aggressive than us through three quarters," he assessed in the wake of the loss. "We had 16 turnovers for 25 points and put them to the line 29 times. It's not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that. And we knew that, even after Game 2, we talked about that, trying to assure that. Got to be better than that Game 4." Turnovers have been an issue, but not necessarily a disadvantage, for both teams in the series. The Nuggets have averaged 17.7 in the three games, the Lakers 16.7. Meanwhile, Denver has flipped a free-throw deficit in the series opener (37-28) by shooting 21 more than the Lakers in the last two games (62-41). Nuggets coach Michael Malone credits a more aggressive mindset for the increase in his team's trips to the line, a style of play he told his guys after the Game 3 win that has fans nationwide pulling for the underdogs. "We're in this series," he said in a postgame gathering. "We let them know we're not going anywhere. That's what you guys have done this whole postseason. That's why everybody is rooting for us. Keep on showing that grit and resilience and playing for each other." In a series where the scoring of Anthony Davis (95 points) and James (71) has been nearly offset by that of Jamal Murray (74) and Nikola Jokic (73), the impact of a third scorer has aided each team. The Lakers got 18 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in its 12-point win in Game 1, while the Nuggets benefitted from Jerami Grant's postseason career-high 26 in their eight-point win in Game 3. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo notched a piece of NBA history with his eight assists Tuesday. He passed Kobe Bryant for ninth place on the NBA's all-time postseason list, with another heavyweight -- Scottie Pippen -- now on Thursday's radar, just six ahead. Game 5, which is no longer an "if-necessary," is scheduled for Saturday. The Lakers have wrapped up both their previous series in five games. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:01 AM EST
PICK GRADED TODAY AT 12:33 AM EST
+10.58
[report pick]
9/24/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS (1ST HALF)

PICK: OVER 110 (-103)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Los Angeles Lakers seek to take another commanding lead while the Denver Nuggets attempt to avoid another huge hole when the clubs meet in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. The third-seeded Nuggets got back into familiar territory -- a 2-1 series deficit -- when they held off a late Lakers rally for a 114-106 triumph in Game 3 on Tuesday night. They have lost Game 4 in each of their first two series against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, to fall behind 3-1 before making a pair of historic comebacks. The top-seeded Lakers, meanwhile, have seized control in their first two rounds against Portland and Houston with a Game 4 win that put them up 3-1 on each occasion. Los Angeles won those games by an average of 15.0 points. The key to reversing Tuesday's defeat? LeBron James believes it's taking better care of the ball and fouling less. "They played better than us, more aggressive than us through three quarters," he assessed in the wake of the loss. "We had 16 turnovers for 25 points and put them to the line 29 times. It's not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that. And we knew that, even after Game 2, we talked about that, trying to assure that. Got to be better than that Game 4." Turnovers have been an issue, but not necessarily a disadvantage, for both teams in the series. The Nuggets have averaged 17.7 in the three games, the Lakers 16.7. Meanwhile, Denver has flipped a free-throw deficit in the series opener (37-28) by shooting 21 more than the Lakers in the last two games (62-41). Nuggets coach Michael Malone credits a more aggressive mindset for the increase in his team's trips to the line, a style of play he told his guys after the Game 3 win that has fans nationwide pulling for the underdogs. "We're in this series," he said in a postgame gathering. "We let them know we're not going anywhere. That's what you guys have done this whole postseason. That's why everybody is rooting for us. Keep on showing that grit and resilience and playing for each other." In a series where the scoring of Anthony Davis (95 points) and James (71) has been nearly offset by that of Jamal Murray (74) and Nikola Jokic (73), the impact of a third scorer has aided each team. The Lakers got 18 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in its 12-point win in Game 1, while the Nuggets benefitted from Jerami Grant's postseason career-high 26 in their eight-point win in Game 3. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo notched a piece of NBA history with his eight assists Tuesday. He passed Kobe Bryant for ninth place on the NBA's all-time postseason list, with another heavyweight -- Scottie Pippen -- now on Thursday's radar, just six ahead. Game 5, which is no longer an "if-necessary," is scheduled for Saturday. The Lakers have wrapped up both their previous series in five games. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:01 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 11:12 PM EST
+10.68
[report pick]
9/24/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS (1ST HALF)

PICK: LOS ANGELES LAKERS -3.5 (-113)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Los Angeles Lakers seek to take another commanding lead while the Denver Nuggets attempt to avoid another huge hole when the clubs meet in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. The third-seeded Nuggets got back into familiar territory -- a 2-1 series deficit -- when they held off a late Lakers rally for a 114-106 triumph in Game 3 on Tuesday night. They have lost Game 4 in each of their first two series against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, to fall behind 3-1 before making a pair of historic comebacks. The top-seeded Lakers, meanwhile, have seized control in their first two rounds against Portland and Houston with a Game 4 win that put them up 3-1 on each occasion. Los Angeles won those games by an average of 15.0 points. The key to reversing Tuesday's defeat? LeBron James believes it's taking better care of the ball and fouling less. "They played better than us, more aggressive than us through three quarters," he assessed in the wake of the loss. "We had 16 turnovers for 25 points and put them to the line 29 times. It's not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that. And we knew that, even after Game 2, we talked about that, trying to assure that. Got to be better than that Game 4." Turnovers have been an issue, but not necessarily a disadvantage, for both teams in the series. The Nuggets have averaged 17.7 in the three games, the Lakers 16.7. Meanwhile, Denver has flipped a free-throw deficit in the series opener (37-28) by shooting 21 more than the Lakers in the last two games (62-41). Nuggets coach Michael Malone credits a more aggressive mindset for the increase in his team's trips to the line, a style of play he told his guys after the Game 3 win that has fans nationwide pulling for the underdogs. "We're in this series," he said in a postgame gathering. "We let them know we're not going anywhere. That's what you guys have done this whole postseason. That's why everybody is rooting for us. Keep on showing that grit and resilience and playing for each other." In a series where the scoring of Anthony Davis (95 points) and James (71) has been nearly offset by that of Jamal Murray (74) and Nikola Jokic (73), the impact of a third scorer has aided each team. The Lakers got 18 points from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in its 12-point win in Game 1, while the Nuggets benefitted from Jerami Grant's postseason career-high 26 in their eight-point win in Game 3. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo notched a piece of NBA history with his eight assists Tuesday. He passed Kobe Bryant for ninth place on the NBA's all-time postseason list, with another heavyweight -- Scottie Pippen -- now on Thursday's radar, just six ahead. Game 5, which is no longer an "if-necessary," is scheduled for Saturday. The Lakers have wrapped up both their previous series in five games. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE YESTERDAY AT 9:02 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 11:11 PM EST
+9.73
[report pick]
PICKS FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020 (2 DAYS AGO) [refresh]
9/23/2020
2:45 PM EST
SOCCER
ARSENAL VS. LEICESTER CITY

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-123)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:27 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 5:44 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/23/2020
2:45 PM EST
SOCCER
NEWCASTLE UNITED VS. MORECAMBE

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-138)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:27 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 5:45 PM EST
+7.97
[report pick]
9/23/2020
2:45 PM EST
SOCCER
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY VS. FULHAM

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-110)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:28 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 4:55 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/23/2020
2:45 PM EST
SOCCER
EVERTON VS. FLEETWOOD TOWN

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-122)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:28 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 5:44 PM EST
+9.02
[report pick]
9/23/2020
4:10 PM EST
MLB
LOS ANGELES ANGELS VS. SAN DIEGO PADRES

PICK: SAN DIEGO PADRES (-178)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Padres complete the home portion of the regular season Wednesday afternoon hoping to clinch the right to open the playoffs at home in San Diego. Right-hander Mike Clevinger (3-2, 3.10 ERA) will start for the Padres against right-hander Jaime Barria (1-0, 3.26) of the Los Angeles Angels, who still retain a playoff shot. The 34-21 Padres have clinched the No. 2 playoff berth in the National League West. What they are still playing for is the No. 4 seed -- and the home-field advantage -- in the first round of the National League playoffs. Their magic number for the No. 4 seed is two, with competition provided by the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, the 25-31 Angels cling to the slimmest of playoff hopes. The Angels moved past Seattle into third in the American League West Tuesday night. But they trail two teams -- Houston for second in the division and Toronto for the eighth and final berth -- by 3 1/2 games in the playoff hunt with only four games remaining. The Angels' elimination number is down to two. Even after Tuesday night's win, the Angels are just 9-16 on the road ... with only road games remaining. The home field at Petco Park has been quite an advantage for the Padres this season, although they have lost four of their last six games at home. Overall, the Padres are 21-10 at Petco Park -- a mark that includes three extra games against the Mariners when last weekend's three games scheduled for Seattle were shifted to San Diego due to poor air quality in the Pacific Northwest. Padres manager Jayce Tingler decided to start Clevinger in Wednesday's game after he threw a bullpen session on Monday's day off. Clevinger had experienced some biceps soreness after his last start. It will be Clevinger's final tuneup before the playoffs. Clevinger is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts since being acquired from Cleveland at the trading deadline. His first outing as a Padre was at Anaheim Stadium on Sept. 3. He allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts in six innings to be charged with the loss. In his most recent outing, Clevinger allowed two hits in a seven-inning complete game in the first half of a Sept. 18 doubleheader against the Giants. Tingler already has the Padres in semi-playoff mode. Three recent returnees from the disabled list -- first baseman Eric Hosmer, left fielder Tommy Pham and relief pitcher Austin Adams -- all played Tuesday night. "That's a plus for them going forward," said Tingler. Adams made his first appearance as a Padre and gave up a hit and a walk before striking out two in a scoreless inning. The Padres offense has been in a bit of a funk. "Before tonight, I could feel the group pressing a little . . . wanting it a little too much," Tingler said, which is headed to the postseason for the first time since 2006. "We had better at-bats early (Tuesday night). But Griffin Canning got us out of whack and the strikeouts began mounting up." Barria is a 6-foot-1, 24-year-old Panamanian who is in his third Major League season. In fact, he faced the Padres once before in a 2018 start, allowing one run on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over five innings to earn the win. This season, Barria has made six appearances with four starts. He has given up 11 runs on 24 hits and nine walks with 27 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. He has a 1.088 WHIP with a .214 opponents' batting average. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:30 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 8:33 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/23/2020
6:10 PM EST
MLB
CHICAGO WHITE SOX VS. CLEVELAND INDIANS

PICK: CLEVELAND INDIANS (-154)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Perhaps the only thing that might slow down Jose Ramirez is a day off. Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians (31-24) look to ride the momentum of his dramatic three-run homer in the 10th inning into Wednesday's game versus the visiting Chicago White Sox (34-21). The homer that capped Cleveland's 5-3 victory on Tuesday was Ramirez's sixth in as many games and 12th in his last 24. He is also riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is 14-for-28 with 16 RBI. Ramirez's torrid play has made him a trendy candidate in the American League MVP discussion, even if he isn't interested in talking about it. "I consider myself as a guy who works a lot," Ramirez said in a postgame interview with FOX Sports Ohio. "Everything I have achieved is through hard work. I've been a finalist for two years. But if it happens, it happens. I don't think about it. What I focus on is having a blast every time I'm on the field." The Indians have won five of their last six contests overall and six of eight meetings with Chicago this season to pull within three games of the AL Central-leading White Sox. Right-hander Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.74 ERA) will get the nod on Wednesday after seeing his scheduled start pushed back a day. The move was made to put the 25-year-old in line to start Game 1 of the AL wild-card series when postseason play begins next Tuesday. Bieber, a leading candidate for his first AL Cy Young Award, carried a shutout into the eighth inning in his last outing and struck out 10 batters in Cleveland's 10-3 win over Detroit on Thursday. He has fanned at least eight in all 11 of his starts this season. The 2019 All-Star Game MVP owns a 2-2 record with a 3.27 ERA in seven career starts versus Chicago, however he had a no-decision in his last meeting on Aug. 9. He surrendered two homers and three runs total on four hits in six innings in that contest. While the Indians punched their ticket to the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons, the White Sox are clinging to their lead atop the AL Central after dropping three in a row. "It's not just getting in," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. "We want to accomplish the ultimate goal. ... We're all on the same page with that, we all want to go as far as we can." And how far is that? "If we don't win the World Series, then we haven't really done what we came to do," said right-hander Lucas Giolito (4-3, 3.53 ERA), who will get the start on Wednesday. "I thought that making the postseason was a good step in the right direction. But now that we're here, it's: Why not go out and win the whole thing?" Giolito, 26, has recorded a pair of no-decisions against Cleveland this season. He scattered four hits over six scoreless innings on July 29 and worked around five walks in seven innings on Aug. 9. Giolito sports a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA in six career starts versus the Indians, although Francisco Lindor (5-for-16) and Ramirez (5-for-17, homer) have fared well against him. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:31 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 10:23 PM EST
+7.14
[report pick]
9/23/2020
7:10 PM EST
MLB
MIAMI MARLINS VS. ATLANTA BRAVES

PICK: ATLANTA BRAVES (-169)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Atlanta Braves and visiting Miami Marlins both still have plenty riding on their final series of the season. The Braves (33-22) have clinched the NL East and have now moved past the Chicago Cubs as the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The Marlins (28-27) have a magic number of three to sew up a wild-card spot and nail down their first postseason spot since 2003. It is the 20th division title and third in a row for Atlanta, which won a record 14 straight from 1991-2005 -- excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season -- as well as 1969, '82, 2013 and the previous two seasons. "This has been different," said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. "I'm proud of them, how they handled the whole situation. Everything is different, but it's hard (to win a division) once, let alone three in a row." The Braves have won the first two games of the series and continue to hit at a torrid pace. They hit five home runs on Tuesday, the seventh time they have hit four or more this season. They have 50 home runs in September, six short of the club record set in June 2019. Marcell Ozuna had two homers and five RBI on Tuesday, giving him 17 homers and 53 RBI -- both NL-leading figures. Ozuna has reached base safely in 20 of 21 games in September and raised his batting average to .327. "I don't know if we could have done better," Snitker said. "He's done everything and more than what we've needed in that spot." Ozzie Albies hit a towering solo homer, his sixth. The second baseman went 3-for-4 and is hitting .396 (21-for-53) in 13 games since being activated off the injured list. Freddie Freeman had three hits in the division-clincher, one of them his 12th homer. Freeman is batting .347 and has 50 RBI, second in the NL behind Ozuna. Miami will try to slow the Atlanta offense when it sends young Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 2.75 ERA) to the mound, where he will be opposed by Max Fried (7-0, 1.96), Atlanta's No. 1 pitcher. Sanchez is coming off his worst outing of the season when he was beaten by Washington on Sept. 18. He pitched four innings and allowed a season-high five runs. Sanchez faced the Braves on Sept. 8 and worked six scoreless innings in an 8-0 win. Fried showed no issues in his return after missing a start with back spasms. The left-hander pitched five innings against the New York Mets on Sept. 18, allowing just one run. He has made one start against the Marlins this season and received no decision despite throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out seven. Miami's efforts to clinch a playoff spot got a boost when Philadelphia, the third-place team in the East, was swept by Washington in a doubleheader Tuesday. Manager Don Mattingly admitted he'll be watching the scoreboard, particularly the Phillies-Nationals game. "This time of year, it's only natural that you're watching all the teams that are involved," Mattingly said. "It is nice when you're in a tight race and you lose a tough game and see the team that's chasing loses one also. It's kind of a breath of fresh air." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:32 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:12 PM EST
+6.51
[report pick]
9/23/2020
7:40 PM EST
MLB
DETROIT TIGERS VS. MINNESOTA TWINS

PICK: MINNESOTA TWINS (-285)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Right-hander Kenta Maeda takes the mound for his final playoff tune-up as the Minnesota Twins try to complete a sweep of their two-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night in Minneapolis. Maeda (5-1, 2.52 ERA) is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers but has pitched well at Target Field, where he is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four career starts. He'll be opposed by rookie right-hander Casey Mize (0-2, 6.08) who has a pair of no-decisions with a 6.43 ERA in two career starts against Minnesota. Depending on how things play out, the Twins (34-22), who have won three in a row and are an MLB-best 22-5 at home, could be playing for first place in the American League Central. Minnesota closed to within a half-game of the first-place Chicago White Sox with a 5-4 walk-off victory in 10 innings over the Tigers in Tuesday night's series opener. The White Sox, who have dropped the first two games of their four-game series at Cleveland, face Cy Young Award favorite Shane Bieber on Wednesday night. One thing is for certain: The Twins won't go down without a fight. All one has to do is check out the wardrobe in the dugout during Tuesday night's comeback win. Third baseman Josh Donaldson gave his teammates and support staff matching long, thick blue robes with their names and numbers etched on the back prior to Tuesday night's contest. Nelson Cruz, who sat out the game resting a sore knee, actually wore his into the dugout and then draped it around Byron Buxton after he led off the first inning with his 13th home run of the season and eighth in 12 games. Mitch Garver then got to wear the "rally robe" after returning to the dugout following a fourth-inning homer. Max Kepler got to don it twice following a game-tying home run in the eighth and then after his walk-off bloop single that drove in Eddie Rosario with the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th. "I think it has a chance to stick," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. "When I saw it (Cruz's robe) in the dugout, I wasn't expecting it. A little surprised. And then I'm like, 'Yeah, why would we not wear a robe in the dugout?'" "I got to wear it twice today," Kepler said following his second consecutive three-hit game. "I hope we keep it going because it brought us some luck today." Rosario, who singled in pinch-runner Jake Cave to tie the game 4-4 and then stole second before coming around to score the game-winner on Kepler's blooper into shallow left, was asked if he was jealous that he didn't get to wear the robe. "Hell yeah," Rosario said. "I want to start hitting homers. But maybe tomorrow." It was a bitter loss for the Tigers, who had taken a 4-3 lead in the top half of the 10th on Jeimer Candelario's RBI single. "It's a tough loss," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "One thing I explained to the club is nobody feels sorry for you. ... You think about it, you figure out what happened and then you turn the page and get ready for tomorrow because that same tough team is going to be out there again tomorrow." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:33 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:58 PM EST
+3.86
[report pick]
9/23/2020
8:05 PM EST
NHL
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING VS. DALLAS STARS

PICK: OVER 5 (-118)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Having seen their three-goal edge whittled to a 3-2 lead and a much-needed insurance marker called back because of an offside play, the Tampa Bay Lightning could have crumbled in the final stages of Monday's Stanley Cup Final clash with the Dallas Stars. Instead, the Lightning buckled down to hang onto a clutch victory. Tampa Bay evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1. The Stars managed only two shots on goal in the final 14:33 while trying to push for an overtime-forcing equalizer. "We banded together," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "We started making more plays, putting pucks in and hemming them in, and we did a great job to lock it down." "The one thing that this team has done is they just never put themselves in panic mode," coach Jon Cooper said. "Instead of trying to protect the lead, they went out there and actually they kind of took it to them. Not in the sense that we were trying to score, but we were completely engaged. ... They knew the job at hand, the talk on the bench was to close this out, and that's what they did." When the puck drops Wednesday for Game 3 in Edmonton, the Lightning will look for more of the same. The Stars must find a way to install their game plan. "After the first game, we knew we (could play) better, and we knew we were going to come strong. We did," said Lightning forward Ondrej Palat. "And that's what I like about our team. We just stick together, and I thought we fought hard." The biggest key for Dallas will be to play with more discipline. Tampa Bay's power play has struggled for much of the playoffs, but the Lightning have shown they can break open a game when given the opportunity, and did just that in scoring a pair of first-period power-play goals Monday en route to the 3-0 lead that was too much for the Stars to overcome. Dallas has been short-handed 79 times in their 20 playoff games (not including the round-robin portion of the restart), by far more than any other team that reached the second season. By comparison, Tampa Bay has been short-handed 63 times in 18 playoff contests. The Stars may be the underdogs in the championship series, but have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the Lightning during five-on-five play. "We need to stay out of the box. It helps," forward Joe Pavelski said. "When we stay out of the box, we've showed it so far that we're a good team." The Stars may have suffered a big hit to their chances with veteran forward Blake Comeau leaving after a second-period check by Ryan McDonagh. Dallas is already without Radek Faksa, so that would mean two key checking forwards on the shelf. "He's a big part of our club, the leadership, the compete, the penalty killing," coach Rick Bowness said of Comeau. "He's on that checking line. Losing him hurt us. There's no question." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:25 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:43 PM EST
+9.32
[report pick]
9/23/2020
8:35 PM EST
NBA
BOSTON CELTICS VS. MIAMI HEAT

PICK: MIAMI HEAT +3 (-101)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Rejuvenated by a lengthy layoff following their Game 3 victory, the Boston Celtics look to even their Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night near Orlando. The Celtics dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series before leading wire-to-wire in a 117-106 win Saturday. The game was followed by three days off for scheduling purposes, with the series set to resume its every-other-day format Wednesday. Boston is looking to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since the start of its second-round series against the Toronto Raptors. Miami attempts to respond to just its second loss of the postseason. The Celtics were aware of the break they would be afforded when they leaned heavily on their stars in Saturday's crucial win. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker combined for 72 points, each playing more than 40 minutes. Even Gordon Hayward, who took the court for his first game since an ankle injury sustained on Aug. 17 sidelined him for more than a month, played 31 minutes off the bench. "I didn't anticipate playing him 31 minutes, but I didn't think he looked like he was completely gassed either," said coach Brad Stevens. "I thought there were times where he obviously wanted to come out, and we took him out for a quick breather. I was more worried about the conditioning aspect of it than necessarily the structure of the ankle." With Hayward back in tow, Boston maintained control throughout Game 3. The Celtics shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and outscored the Heat 60-36 in the paint, leading by as much as 20 in the fourth quarter. It was a much-needed response for a team that showed signs of cracking with a locker room shouting match as reported in the wake of losing Game 2. "Even though we go through adversity, we still are a family and we are going to need to have moments like that where we go through adversity, we say what we have to say, we all come together and get our emotions out, and we go take it out on the other team," said guard Marcus Smart. Miami has been even-keeled throughout the series, with players often citing the trust they have in each other as a factor. But after falling behind by double digits in each of the first three games of the series (14 points in Game 1, 17 points in Game 2), the need for more urgency is apparent. "I think it gets old, playing from behind consistently," Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. "Especially against a great team like Boston and what they bring to the table." Butler is averaging 17.0 points per game through the first three games, ceding scoring responsibilities to Bam Adebayo (22.0) and Goran Dragic (21.7). The five-time All-Star might need to be more aggressive as the Celtics try to battle back. "We have to play basketball the way we have been playing the games that we have been winning," Butler said. "We understand that. There's nothing that coach can say. There's nothing that (team veteran Udonis Haslem) can say. We get it. We have to be the ones to fix that." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:23 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 12:32 AM EST
+10.89
[report pick]
9/23/2020
8:35 PM EST
NBA
BOSTON CELTICS VS. MIAMI HEAT

PICK: OVER 211.5 (-108)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Rejuvenated by a lengthy layoff following their Game 3 victory, the Boston Celtics look to even their Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night near Orlando. The Celtics dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series before leading wire-to-wire in a 117-106 win Saturday. The game was followed by three days off for scheduling purposes, with the series set to resume its every-other-day format Wednesday. Boston is looking to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since the start of its second-round series against the Toronto Raptors. Miami attempts to respond to just its second loss of the postseason. The Celtics were aware of the break they would be afforded when they leaned heavily on their stars in Saturday's crucial win. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker combined for 72 points, each playing more than 40 minutes. Even Gordon Hayward, who took the court for his first game since an ankle injury sustained on Aug. 17 sidelined him for more than a month, played 31 minutes off the bench. "I didn't anticipate playing him 31 minutes, but I didn't think he looked like he was completely gassed either," said coach Brad Stevens. "I thought there were times where he obviously wanted to come out, and we took him out for a quick breather. I was more worried about the conditioning aspect of it than necessarily the structure of the ankle." With Hayward back in tow, Boston maintained control throughout Game 3. The Celtics shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and outscored the Heat 60-36 in the paint, leading by as much as 20 in the fourth quarter. It was a much-needed response for a team that showed signs of cracking with a locker room shouting match as reported in the wake of losing Game 2. "Even though we go through adversity, we still are a family and we are going to need to have moments like that where we go through adversity, we say what we have to say, we all come together and get our emotions out, and we go take it out on the other team," said guard Marcus Smart. Miami has been even-keeled throughout the series, with players often citing the trust they have in each other as a factor. But after falling behind by double digits in each of the first three games of the series (14 points in Game 1, 17 points in Game 2), the need for more urgency is apparent. "I think it gets old, playing from behind consistently," Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. "Especially against a great team like Boston and what they bring to the table." Butler is averaging 17.0 points per game through the first three games, ceding scoring responsibilities to Bam Adebayo (22.0) and Goran Dragic (21.7). The five-time All-Star might need to be more aggressive as the Celtics try to battle back. "We have to play basketball the way we have been playing the games that we have been winning," Butler said. "We understand that. There's nothing that coach can say. There's nothing that (team veteran Udonis Haslem) can say. We get it. We have to be the ones to fix that." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:24 AM EST
PICK GRADED YESTERDAY AT 12:33 AM EST
+10.19
[report pick]
9/23/2020
8:35 PM EST
NBA
BOSTON CELTICS VS. MIAMI HEAT (1ST HALF)

PICK: OVER 106 (-114)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Rejuvenated by a lengthy layoff following their Game 3 victory, the Boston Celtics look to even their Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night near Orlando. The Celtics dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series before leading wire-to-wire in a 117-106 win Saturday. The game was followed by three days off for scheduling purposes, with the series set to resume its every-other-day format Wednesday. Boston is looking to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since the start of its second-round series against the Toronto Raptors. Miami attempts to respond to just its second loss of the postseason. The Celtics were aware of the break they would be afforded when they leaned heavily on their stars in Saturday's crucial win. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker combined for 72 points, each playing more than 40 minutes. Even Gordon Hayward, who took the court for his first game since an ankle injury sustained on Aug. 17 sidelined him for more than a month, played 31 minutes off the bench. "I didn't anticipate playing him 31 minutes, but I didn't think he looked like he was completely gassed either," said coach Brad Stevens. "I thought there were times where he obviously wanted to come out, and we took him out for a quick breather. I was more worried about the conditioning aspect of it than necessarily the structure of the ankle." With Hayward back in tow, Boston maintained control throughout Game 3. The Celtics shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and outscored the Heat 60-36 in the paint, leading by as much as 20 in the fourth quarter. It was a much-needed response for a team that showed signs of cracking with a locker room shouting match as reported in the wake of losing Game 2. "Even though we go through adversity, we still are a family and we are going to need to have moments like that where we go through adversity, we say what we have to say, we all come together and get our emotions out, and we go take it out on the other team," said guard Marcus Smart. Miami has been even-keeled throughout the series, with players often citing the trust they have in each other as a factor. But after falling behind by double digits in each of the first three games of the series (14 points in Game 1, 17 points in Game 2), the need for more urgency is apparent. "I think it gets old, playing from behind consistently," Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. "Especially against a great team like Boston and what they bring to the table." Butler is averaging 17.0 points per game through the first three games, ceding scoring responsibilities to Bam Adebayo (22.0) and Goran Dragic (21.7). The five-time All-Star might need to be more aggressive as the Celtics try to battle back. "We have to play basketball the way we have been playing the games that we have been winning," Butler said. "We understand that. There's nothing that coach can say. There's nothing that (team veteran Udonis Haslem) can say. We get it. We have to be the ones to fix that." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/23/2020 AT 11:24 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 10:53 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
PICKS FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 (3 DAYS AGO) [refresh]
9/22/2020
2:30 PM EST
SOCCER
HULL CITY VS. WEST HAM UNITED

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-126)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:40 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 5:28 PM EST
+8.73
[report pick]
9/22/2020
3:15 PM EST
SOCCER
MANCHESTER UNITED VS. LUTON TOWN

PICK: OVER 2.5 (-141)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:40 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 6:32 PM EST
+7.80
[report pick]
9/22/2020
6:40 PM EST
MLB
MILWAUKEE BREWERS VS. CINCINNATI REDS

PICK: CINCINNATI REDS (-148)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:39 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 10:08 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/22/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS

PICK: OVER 213.5 (-102)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Denver Nuggets prepare for the Los Angeles Lakers facing a 2-0 deficit in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando. A series deficit is par for the Nuggets' course this postseason. The Nuggets have been the king of comebacks in their two earlier series this postseason, rallying from 3-1 deficits to advance at the expense of Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. "We're a group of guys that hate to lose," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. The Nuggets lost 126-114 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven and came within seconds of a get-even win in Game 2, falling 105-103 when Anthony Davis buried a contested 3-pointer just before the final horn. The back-to-back wins give the top-seeded Lakers a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since 2012, when they still needed seven games to discard Denver in the first round. The Lakers haven't lost a best-of-seven in which they led 2-0 since the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The last time Denver moved on after falling behind 2-0 was in 1994 in the memorable best-of-five, first-round matchup with Seattle. The Nuggets were the No. 8 seed and the SuperSonics were No. 1. Malone left the court Sunday night believing another comeback remained a possibility. "Some guys like to win, some guys hate to lose," he said. "One thing I know about our group: Even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3." The Nuggets' biggest improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 came on the defensive end, where they limited the Lakers to 44.6 percent shooting overall and 36.1 percent on 3-pointers after getting scorched for 53.0 percent overall and 44.6 percent on threes in the opener. Denver forced 24 turnovers in the rematch after just 12 in Game 1. An area of concern remains the defensive boards. The Lakers corralled 13 offensive rebounds in Game 2, including one by guard Danny Green in the final seconds to make Davis' dramatic hoop possible. Davis has been the series' Most Valuable Player through two games, averaging 34.0 points. He is 23-for-44 from the field and 19-for-22 from the free throw line. Superstar teammate LeBron James wished just one thing had been different about Davis' game-winner in Game 2. "I wish we were playing at Staples (Center)," he said of the Lakers' home floor. "It probably would have blew the roof off. I would have loved to have that moment." The Nuggets' best counter to Davis has come from Nikola Jokic at 25.5 points per game in the series. He's gone 17-for-34 from the field and 16-for-19 from the line. Denver was able to flip the Lakers' Game 1 advantage in free throws, getting 14 more opportunities than the Lakers (33-19) in Game 2 after shooting nine fewer in the opener (37-28). Jamal Murray, who finished with 25 points in Game 2, doubled his trips to the foul line in the rematch, going 7-for-8 after a 4-for-4 opener. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:38 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 12:34 AM EST
+10.78
[report pick]
9/22/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS

PICK: LOS ANGELES LAKERS -6.5 (-105)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Denver Nuggets prepare for the Los Angeles Lakers facing a 2-0 deficit in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando. A series deficit is par for the Nuggets' course this postseason. The Nuggets have been the king of comebacks in their two earlier series this postseason, rallying from 3-1 deficits to advance at the expense of Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. "We're a group of guys that hate to lose," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. The Nuggets lost 126-114 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven and came within seconds of a get-even win in Game 2, falling 105-103 when Anthony Davis buried a contested 3-pointer just before the final horn. The back-to-back wins give the top-seeded Lakers a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since 2012, when they still needed seven games to discard Denver in the first round. The Lakers haven't lost a best-of-seven in which they led 2-0 since the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The last time Denver moved on after falling behind 2-0 was in 1994 in the memorable best-of-five, first-round matchup with Seattle. The Nuggets were the No. 8 seed and the SuperSonics were No. 1. Malone left the court Sunday night believing another comeback remained a possibility. "Some guys like to win, some guys hate to lose," he said. "One thing I know about our group: Even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3." The Nuggets' biggest improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 came on the defensive end, where they limited the Lakers to 44.6 percent shooting overall and 36.1 percent on 3-pointers after getting scorched for 53.0 percent overall and 44.6 percent on threes in the opener. Denver forced 24 turnovers in the rematch after just 12 in Game 1. An area of concern remains the defensive boards. The Lakers corralled 13 offensive rebounds in Game 2, including one by guard Danny Green in the final seconds to make Davis' dramatic hoop possible. Davis has been the series' Most Valuable Player through two games, averaging 34.0 points. He is 23-for-44 from the field and 19-for-22 from the free throw line. Superstar teammate LeBron James wished just one thing had been different about Davis' game-winner in Game 2. "I wish we were playing at Staples (Center)," he said of the Lakers' home floor. "It probably would have blew the roof off. I would have loved to have that moment." The Nuggets' best counter to Davis has come from Nikola Jokic at 25.5 points per game in the series. He's gone 17-for-34 from the field and 16-for-19 from the line. Denver was able to flip the Lakers' Game 1 advantage in free throws, getting 14 more opportunities than the Lakers (33-19) in Game 2 after shooting nine fewer in the opener (37-28). Jamal Murray, who finished with 25 points in Game 2, doubled his trips to the foul line in the rematch, going 7-for-8 after a 4-for-4 opener. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:38 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/23/2020 AT 12:33 AM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/22/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS (1ST HALF)

PICK: LOS ANGELES LAKERS -3 (-114)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Denver Nuggets prepare for the Los Angeles Lakers facing a 2-0 deficit in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando. A series deficit is par for the Nuggets' course this postseason. The Nuggets have been the king of comebacks in their two earlier series this postseason, rallying from 3-1 deficits to advance at the expense of Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. "We're a group of guys that hate to lose," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. The Nuggets lost 126-114 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven and came within seconds of a get-even win in Game 2, falling 105-103 when Anthony Davis buried a contested 3-pointer just before the final horn. The back-to-back wins give the top-seeded Lakers a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since 2012, when they still needed seven games to discard Denver in the first round. The Lakers haven't lost a best-of-seven in which they led 2-0 since the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The last time Denver moved on after falling behind 2-0 was in 1994 in the memorable best-of-five, first-round matchup with Seattle. The Nuggets were the No. 8 seed and the SuperSonics were No. 1. Malone left the court Sunday night believing another comeback remained a possibility. "Some guys like to win, some guys hate to lose," he said. "One thing I know about our group: Even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3." The Nuggets' biggest improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 came on the defensive end, where they limited the Lakers to 44.6 percent shooting overall and 36.1 percent on 3-pointers after getting scorched for 53.0 percent overall and 44.6 percent on threes in the opener. Denver forced 24 turnovers in the rematch after just 12 in Game 1. An area of concern remains the defensive boards. The Lakers corralled 13 offensive rebounds in Game 2, including one by guard Danny Green in the final seconds to make Davis' dramatic hoop possible. Davis has been the series' Most Valuable Player through two games, averaging 34.0 points. He is 23-for-44 from the field and 19-for-22 from the free throw line. Superstar teammate LeBron James wished just one thing had been different about Davis' game-winner in Game 2. "I wish we were playing at Staples (Center)," he said of the Lakers' home floor. "It probably would have blew the roof off. I would have loved to have that moment." The Nuggets' best counter to Davis has come from Nikola Jokic at 25.5 points per game in the series. He's gone 17-for-34 from the field and 16-for-19 from the line. Denver was able to flip the Lakers' Game 1 advantage in free throws, getting 14 more opportunities than the Lakers (33-19) in Game 2 after shooting nine fewer in the opener (37-28). Jamal Murray, who finished with 25 points in Game 2, doubled his trips to the foul line in the rematch, going 7-for-8 after a 4-for-4 opener. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:39 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 11:09 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/22/2020
9:05 PM EST
NBA
LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS. DENVER NUGGETS (1ST HALF)

PICK: OVER 109.5 (-107)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Denver Nuggets prepare for the Los Angeles Lakers facing a 2-0 deficit in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night at AdventHealth Arena near Orlando. A series deficit is par for the Nuggets' course this postseason. The Nuggets have been the king of comebacks in their two earlier series this postseason, rallying from 3-1 deficits to advance at the expense of Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. "We're a group of guys that hate to lose," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. The Nuggets lost 126-114 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven and came within seconds of a get-even win in Game 2, falling 105-103 when Anthony Davis buried a contested 3-pointer just before the final horn. The back-to-back wins give the top-seeded Lakers a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since 2012, when they still needed seven games to discard Denver in the first round. The Lakers haven't lost a best-of-seven in which they led 2-0 since the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. The last time Denver moved on after falling behind 2-0 was in 1994 in the memorable best-of-five, first-round matchup with Seattle. The Nuggets were the No. 8 seed and the SuperSonics were No. 1. Malone left the court Sunday night believing another comeback remained a possibility. "Some guys like to win, some guys hate to lose," he said. "One thing I know about our group: Even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3." The Nuggets' biggest improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 came on the defensive end, where they limited the Lakers to 44.6 percent shooting overall and 36.1 percent on 3-pointers after getting scorched for 53.0 percent overall and 44.6 percent on threes in the opener. Denver forced 24 turnovers in the rematch after just 12 in Game 1. An area of concern remains the defensive boards. The Lakers corralled 13 offensive rebounds in Game 2, including one by guard Danny Green in the final seconds to make Davis' dramatic hoop possible. Davis has been the series' Most Valuable Player through two games, averaging 34.0 points. He is 23-for-44 from the field and 19-for-22 from the free throw line. Superstar teammate LeBron James wished just one thing had been different about Davis' game-winner in Game 2. "I wish we were playing at Staples (Center)," he said of the Lakers' home floor. "It probably would have blew the roof off. I would have loved to have that moment." The Nuggets' best counter to Davis has come from Nikola Jokic at 25.5 points per game in the series. He's gone 17-for-34 from the field and 16-for-19 from the line. Denver was able to flip the Lakers' Game 1 advantage in free throws, getting 14 more opportunities than the Lakers (33-19) in Game 2 after shooting nine fewer in the opener (37-28). Jamal Murray, who finished with 25 points in Game 2, doubled his trips to the foul line in the rematch, going 7-for-8 after a 4-for-4 opener. Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:39 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 11:12 PM EST
+10.28
[report pick]
PICKS FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 (4 DAYS AGO) [refresh]
9/21/2020
7:05 PM EST
MLB
CHICAGO CUBS VS. PITTSBURGH PIRATES

PICK: CHICAGO CUBS (-150)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Pittsburgh Pirates could face veteran left-hander Jon Lester in a Cubs uniform for the last time Monday when Chicago opens a four-game series at PNC Park. Lester, 36, signed a six-year, $155 million contract as a free agent in 2014 and helped Chicago win the World Series in 2016. He had 19 wins that year and has been an All-Star for the Cubs twice. This year hasn't been stellar for Lester (2-2, 4.91 ERA), but it was clear Wednesday how much his time with Chicago has meant. He made what might have been his final start at Wrigley Field if the Cubs let him hit free agency again. "This year hasn't been easy for a lot of reasons," Lester said during an emotional interview before that game, when he gave up four hits and two runs in five innings in a no-decision against the Cleveland Indians. "I didn't think six years would go this fast." Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Sunday the team isn't ruling out re-signing Lester but is putting off any decisions until after the season. That would seem to make sense considering Chicago (31-22) appears to be earmarked for the playoffs despite losing two straight. The Cubs lead the National League Central. But Hoyer is far from dismissive about the Lester situation. "He's the biggest and best and most impactful free-agent signing in club history," Hoyer told 670 The Score. "His influence and his impact on this organization is sort of beyond reproach. It's very rare that you set a plan and it works out almost exactly as you want. But in the case of Jon, what we signed him to do both in the clubhouse and on the mound, I mean you can't deliver more than he did." Lester is 12-6 with a 3.30 ERA in 25 career starts against the Pirates. Pittsburgh (15-38) has lost four straight and 12 of its past 13. In each of the past two days, the Pirates got six scoreless innings from their starter -- Mitch Keller on no hits Saturday and Joe Musgrove on one hit Sunday -- before St. Louis rallied against the bullpen. The Cardinals won four games of a five-game series that ended Sunday. In Pittsburgh's win in the first game of the series, Steven Brault pitched a complete game. "It's frustrating that we got out of it with one win," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of the series. "In the long term of it, we had three really good starts that we're going to build on. That's a really good sign for our starters moving forward. "Those are the things that we need to focus on. For us to win games, we're going to have to score runs, and we haven't scored runs. But the pitching side of it, it's really positive." In the opener against the Cubs, Pittsburgh is expected to give rookie right-hander J.T. Brubaker (1-2, 4.79 ERA) the start against Lester. Brubaker will make his eighth big league start and 10th appearance. He had a strong outing Wednesday against Cincinnati, giving up one run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, with four strikeouts and one walk. In two career appearances, one start, against the Cubs, Brubaker is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. The win came in his Sept. 3 start, when he gave up two runs, one of them earned, in five innings. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/21/2020 AT 10:48 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/21/2020 AT 11:26 PM EST
+7.33
[report pick]
9/21/2020
8:05 PM EST
MLB
ST LOUIS CARDINALS VS. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

PICK: ST LOUIS CARDINALS (-186)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The St. Louis Cardinals and the host Kansas City Royals enter the penultimate series of the season with differing goals. The two teams play the first of three games Monday at Kauffman Stadium with the Cards looking to extend their season and the Royals looking for clarity for next year. The Cardinals (26-24) are involved in a muddy playoff situation in the National League. They enter Monday's action a half-game ahead of the Phillies for the seventh playoff spot. A half-game behind the Phillies is a three-way gaggle of the Reds, Brewers and Giants. One of the three teams from the NL Central will claim the second automatic spot from the division. The other four teams will be battling for two spots. The problem for the Cardinals is they still may have to play 10 games. There are eight games remaining on the schedule, including a five-game series with the Brewers in St. Louis to conclude the regular season. But if the two other games need to be played, they'll be played in Detroit Sept. 28 against the Tigers. The Cardinals, who will send Adam Wainwright to the mound Monday, beat the Pirates 2-1 Sunday to extend their winning streak to four games. The Royals (21-32) are all-but eliminated from the 2020 postseason, but they still can impact the National League race with this series against their cross-state rivals. Wainwright (5-1, 2.87 ERA) has pitched well against the Royals in his 15-year MLB career. He's 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). That's the most appearances and starts against any American League team, with the exception of the Astros, who were in the National League for the first seven years of Wainwright's career. He took a no-decision against the Royals Aug. 25 in St. Louis. He allowed four earned runs in seven innings, striking out four and walking two. "It's almost hard to describe what Waino does for us. He does so much," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after Wainwright threw a seven-inning complete game in a double-header victory over the Brewers last Wednesday. "He goes down 2-0 in the first after a rough night and just bears down. Just went out and dominated, was in complete control. Displays yet again the art of pitching, and displays yet again what it means to be an ace with all caps." The Royals are looking to find answers for 2021 and beyond, including rookie pitcher Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 3.86 ERA). While much of the attention has been on rookie starters Brady Singer and Kris Bubic, two of four Royals pitchers to be taken in the first round of the 2018 draft, Hernandez has worked his way into the conversation. He made his first career start Sept. 12 against the Pirates. He gave up three runs on three hits -- all solo home runs -- in three innings. "I thought he had some really good stuff," Royals manager Mike Matheny said after pulling him and sending him to work on things in the bullpen. "The velocity was there. Even his misses were close misses. There are some things he needs to work on. "There were a couple things he was doing we thought he could work on better in the bullpen, and that's what he did afterward. It's something really simple that he can make the adjustment." Hernandez's longest outing this year was 3 2/3 innings in relief, so the Royals bullpen will need to be ready early. --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/21/2020 AT 10:47 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:01 AM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/21/2020
8:05 PM EST
NHL
DALLAS STARS VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

PICK: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (-149)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Listed at 5-foot-11, Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin is considered too short for today's NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning became the latest team to discover how large Khudobin can loom during Dallas' 4-1 victory to kick off the Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton. The Lightning look to solve Khudobin and the Stars when the series resumes for Game 2 on Monday. "He's a very good goalie. When he's on, he's on," Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson said. "We generated some pretty good chances and he made some really big saves. Did we do enough? No, because we lost the game. We've got to do more. We've got to do more than score one goal." Khudobin stopped 35 shots, including 22 in a third period dominated by the Lightning. Originally the backup, he was pressed into action because former Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has been "unfit to participate." Khudobin has posted a 13-6 record in the postseason with a .923 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against average. "His play's been speaking for itself," said defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who scored the game-winning goal in the opener. "He's been great for us and it looks like whenever he's out there, he's having fun, and we're feeding off that energy." That said, expect a more complete effort from the Lightning on Monday. Coming off their Eastern Conference finals clinching win over the New York Islanders on Thursday, the Lightning had far less jump in the first two periods compared to a Dallas team that had four full days between games. The Lightning won't likely dominate all game like they did in Saturday's third period, but it will be shocking if they're not much better to start instead of -- as coach Jon Cooper described -- watching the Stars skate around. "We finally just played our game in the third period," Tampa Bay defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "The first two, we kind of waited and allowed them to bring the game to us." Although the Stars are a strong defensive team that is similar to the Islanders, Dallas does use a different strategy in its back end. "The Islanders, they kind of sat back," Johnson said. "Dallas was in our face on the blue lines. I think the first two periods we were kind of forcing it a bit too much, trying to make those entry passes where I think our recipe is getting it deep and working. We had to adjust. We had to adjust against Boston as well. We've just got to keep doing that, grind and play our game and go from here." The Stars are well aware they need to brace for a response from Tampa Bay, but plan to withstand it by continuing with that in-your-face defense. "That's just the makeup and identity of our team," forward Blake Comeau said. "It's not just against Tampa, that's been our approach all playoffs. I think we're playing our best hockey when we're engaged emotionally, physically and getting in on the forecheck, and pressuring their defense. "When there's a chance to finish the hit, you finish the hit, and ... it's something that we got to continue to do, and it's what makes us successful as a team." --Field Level Media
PICK MADE ON 9/21/2020 AT 10:48 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:02 AM EST
+7.38
[report pick]
9/21/2020
8:15 PM EST
NFL
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

PICK: LAS VEGAS RAIDERS +5.5 (-107)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The only thing missing when the Las Vegas Raiders get the chance to show off their shiny new stadium will be the fans. What was supposed to be a big celebration of the NFL's arrival in Las Vegas has been dampened a bit by the decision not to allow fans at Raiders games this season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the national TV audience will be there for a high-profile matchup against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (1-0) on Monday night, the Raiders (1-0) won't have anyone cheering for them in the empty $2 billion stadium near the Las Vegas Strip. "It still is as a football fan a cool feeling to be able to play on Monday night," quarterback Derek Carr said. "We wish our city here, Las Vegas, we wish they could experience it with us. I'm sure they will be around somewhere. I'm sure there is a certain street or strip that they'll be on that our fans will be at. But I wish they could be there, but hopefully it still feels the same energy and all those kinds of things." (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a) The Raiders have been waiting for this moment for years. They spent the past 25 seasons playing in the rundown Oakland Coliseum. They were unable to get an agreement on a new stadium in the Bay Area and were blocked from moving to Los Angeles so ended up in the desert instead. Owner Mark Davis pulled off what his father, Al, couldn't by getting the Raiders their own stadium, but he has said he won't attend games until the fans are allowed in next season. "Mark Davis is the owner of this team and he's very passionate about our fan base," coach Jon Gruden said. "We were so excited to have our debut in front of Raider fans here in Vegas. It's disappointing." OLD FRIENDS The game marks the first time Saints coach Sean Payton and Gruden, who are old friends and colleagues, have been on opposite sidelines since Gruden left Tampa Bay after the 2008 season. Gruden was the Eagles offensive coordinator under coach Ray Rhodes when Payton was hired to his first NFL job as Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach in 1997. "My office was basically a little corner couch in his office and I had just a cell phone," Payton recalled. "But it was a chance to learn, really." The two coached rival NFC South teams when Payton got his first and only head job with New Orleans in 2006. They met six times, splitting 3-3. CARR INSURANCE The Raiders' offensive line did a stellar job protecting Carr in the opener despite losing starting right tackle Trent Brown after one series and backup Sam Young later in the first half. Backup guard Denzelle Good stepped in as the emergency tackle and fared well. Carr was under pressure on only 10% of his dropbacks for the game, the best rate in the league in Week 1, according to Pro Football Focus. RUN STOPPERS The Saints enter the game with a defensive front that has been among the NFL's best against the run the past couple of seasons. New Orleans has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 44 consecutive games, going back to when Samaje Perine eclipsed that mark in November 2017. Payton expects his run defense to be tested against Las Vegas, calling Gruden "one of those coaches who does a great job staying committed to the running game ... It's something that's kind of followed Jon wherever he's been. "I've worked with Jon and watched his preparation, the attention to detail in everything he does and there's always going to be a presence physicality-wise, running the football," Payton added. Raiders back Josh Jacobs ran for 93 yards and three TDs and caught four passes for 46 yards in the opener. NO CASINO While the Saints will be the first NFL team to have a road game in Las Vegas, Payton said that because of the coronavirus pandemic, he doesn't have to even concern himself with discussing guidelines for players in casinos that virtually never close. "I don't have to make any rules. The league has done it, fortunately, for us," Payton said, noting that teams are supposed to be in a "hard bubble" while on road trips. "We'll be in a secure area, period. So, it's not like you can just stroll down the lobby and roll some dice for an hour." UNDER PRESSURE The Raiders struggled to generate any sort of pass rush in the opener, getting just one sack and four quarterback pressures against Carolina. Free agent defensive tackle Maliek Collins was supposed to bolster the interior rush, but had little impact in his Raiders debut. Carolina also did a good job neutralizing Maxx Crosby off the edge. Vegas will need to be better this week up front to contain Drew Brees. --- AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report ---
PICK MADE ON 9/21/2020 AT 10:49 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/22/2020 AT 12:33 AM EST
+10.28
[report pick]
PICKS FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 (5 DAYS AGO) [refresh]
9/20/2020
8:30 AM EST
SOCCER
FC TWENTE ENSCHEDE VS. FEYENOORD

PICK: FEYENOORD (-234)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:26 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 11:22 AM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
9:00 AM EST
SOCCER
WEST HAM UNITED VS. ARSENAL

PICK: ARSENAL (-184)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:26 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 9:14 PM EST
+5.98
[report pick]
9/20/2020
9:30 AM EST
SOCCER
MAINZ 05 VS. RB LEIPZIG

PICK: RB LEIPZIG (-262)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:27 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 12:39 PM EST
+4.20
[report pick]
9/20/2020
10:00 AM EST
SOCCER
KV KORTRIJK VS. STANDARD LIEGE

PICK: STANDARD LIEGE (-164)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:28 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 1:12 PM EST
+6.71
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
NEW YORK GIANTS VS. CHICAGO BEARS

PICK: CHICAGO BEARS -5.5 (-104)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Chicago Bears came into the season determined to show they're more like the team that won the NFC North in 2018 than the one that missed the playoffs a year ago. A narrow escape last week wasn't exactly a strong opening statement. Maybe now, they'll start making a convincing case. The Bears aim to win back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in seven years and deny the Giants their first victory under new coach Joe Judge when New York visits Soldier Field on Sunday. Chicago rallied from 17 points down behind three fourth-quarter touchdown throws by Mitchell Trubisky and hung on for a 27-23 victory at Detroit last week. The Giants lost 26-16 to Pittsburgh on Monday night. "To battle back the way we did says a lot about this team and this offense and what we're capable of," Trubisky said. Coming off an 8-8 year, the Bears looked for three quarters like they were headed toward a loss. But they came out on top in a season opener for the first time since a 3-0 start in 2013. The Giants, with 12 wins since the 2016 playoff season, also have much room to improve. Saquon Barkley got swarmed by the Steelers and was held to 6 yards on 15 carries in one of his worst games since he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He'll try to get going against a top 10 defense that got picked apart at times last week. "We've got to do some things to help Saquon throughout the game," Judge said. "He's a key part of our team, he's an integral part of our offense. We're going to keep feeding him the ball and he's going to make some plays for us." UNDER CENTER A shotgun quarterback since he was in middle school, Trubisky might have a new home under center. He took about half his snaps there in the opener. And it looks like more of that is coming. "You want to be able to keep things off-balance, and we still have a lot of stuff from the gun," coach Matt Nagy said. "But as we're trying to create this identity of who we are you can probably feel there's a little bit more of that for sure this year." The change stems from the Bears' self-scouting in the wake of last season. They decided the offense would work better and keep defenses guessing more with the quarterback taking fewer shotgun snaps. Trubisky felt the line blocked better when he was under center, that play-action functioned more smoothly, and the passing game benefited as a result. "If you're just going gun every time, I think it makes it hard on the O-line, they're going to pin their ears back and get a lot of tough rushing," he said. "And if you go under center, it really slows the rush down because they have to respect more of the run factor." RUN GAME The Giants' didn't have a running game against the Steelers. Not only was Barkley shut down, he had eight rushes for negative yards. His longest run was 7 yards. New York finished the game with 20 carries for 29 yards, largely because quarterback Daniel Jones had four runs for 22 yards. Much of the pressure is on the revamped O-line. While guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler returned, there are three new starters, Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 overall draft pick, is at left tackle. Nick Gates has been converted to a center and veteran Cam Fleming is at right tackle. Look for improvement -- or some changes up front. THIRD RATE When it came to third-down conversions last week, the Bears were third rate. No surprise, extending drives was a big point of discussion this week. The Bears were 2 of 11 on third downs in the opener, failed on all six in the first half and missed their first seven in all. They finally broke through late in the third quarter, when Anthony Miller caught an 18-yarder to keep a touchdown drive going. At 18%, Chicago tied San Francisco for the worst rate in the NFL. THE OTHER CORNERBACK The Giants signed a solid cornerback, getting James Bradberry from the Panthers in free agency. They are still looking for somebody to play the other side. DeAndre Baker was supposed to start, but he was released because of an offseason arrest. Second-year pro Corey Ballentine got the start against the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger went after him. Ballentine, who was good in run support, probably will be in the starting lineup again. Don't be surprised if either Isaac Yiadom or Darnay Holmes gets a little more playing time. GETTING DEFENSIVE The Bears' defense ranked among the NFL's best in recent years. It was hard to tell at times in the opener. The Monsters of the Midway gave up 426 yards and sacked Matthew Stafford just one time. They also came up with one turnover, though it was a big one: Kyle Fuller's interception to set up the go-ahead touchdown. --- More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:36 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:02 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
NEW YORK GIANTS VS. CHICAGO BEARS

PICK: OVER 42 (-105)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Chicago Bears came into the season determined to show they're more like the team that won the NFC North in 2018 than the one that missed the playoffs a year ago. A narrow escape last week wasn't exactly a strong opening statement. Maybe now, they'll start making a convincing case. The Bears aim to win back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in seven years and deny the Giants their first victory under new coach Joe Judge when New York visits Soldier Field on Sunday. Chicago rallied from 17 points down behind three fourth-quarter touchdown throws by Mitchell Trubisky and hung on for a 27-23 victory at Detroit last week. The Giants lost 26-16 to Pittsburgh on Monday night. "To battle back the way we did says a lot about this team and this offense and what we're capable of," Trubisky said. Coming off an 8-8 year, the Bears looked for three quarters like they were headed toward a loss. But they came out on top in a season opener for the first time since a 3-0 start in 2013. The Giants, with 12 wins since the 2016 playoff season, also have much room to improve. Saquon Barkley got swarmed by the Steelers and was held to 6 yards on 15 carries in one of his worst games since he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He'll try to get going against a top 10 defense that got picked apart at times last week. "We've got to do some things to help Saquon throughout the game," Judge said. "He's a key part of our team, he's an integral part of our offense. We're going to keep feeding him the ball and he's going to make some plays for us." UNDER CENTER A shotgun quarterback since he was in middle school, Trubisky might have a new home under center. He took about half his snaps there in the opener. And it looks like more of that is coming. "You want to be able to keep things off-balance, and we still have a lot of stuff from the gun," coach Matt Nagy said. "But as we're trying to create this identity of who we are you can probably feel there's a little bit more of that for sure this year." The change stems from the Bears' self-scouting in the wake of last season. They decided the offense would work better and keep defenses guessing more with the quarterback taking fewer shotgun snaps. Trubisky felt the line blocked better when he was under center, that play-action functioned more smoothly, and the passing game benefited as a result. "If you're just going gun every time, I think it makes it hard on the O-line, they're going to pin their ears back and get a lot of tough rushing," he said. "And if you go under center, it really slows the rush down because they have to respect more of the run factor." RUN GAME The Giants' didn't have a running game against the Steelers. Not only was Barkley shut down, he had eight rushes for negative yards. His longest run was 7 yards. New York finished the game with 20 carries for 29 yards, largely because quarterback Daniel Jones had four runs for 22 yards. Much of the pressure is on the revamped O-line. While guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler returned, there are three new starters, Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 overall draft pick, is at left tackle. Nick Gates has been converted to a center and veteran Cam Fleming is at right tackle. Look for improvement -- or some changes up front. THIRD RATE When it came to third-down conversions last week, the Bears were third rate. No surprise, extending drives was a big point of discussion this week. The Bears were 2 of 11 on third downs in the opener, failed on all six in the first half and missed their first seven in all. They finally broke through late in the third quarter, when Anthony Miller caught an 18-yarder to keep a touchdown drive going. At 18%, Chicago tied San Francisco for the worst rate in the NFL. THE OTHER CORNERBACK The Giants signed a solid cornerback, getting James Bradberry from the Panthers in free agency. They are still looking for somebody to play the other side. DeAndre Baker was supposed to start, but he was released because of an offseason arrest. Second-year pro Corey Ballentine got the start against the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger went after him. Ballentine, who was good in run support, probably will be in the starting lineup again. Don't be surprised if either Isaac Yiadom or Darnay Holmes gets a little more playing time. GETTING DEFENSIVE The Bears' defense ranked among the NFL's best in recent years. It was hard to tell at times in the opener. The Monsters of the Midway gave up 426 yards and sacked Matthew Stafford just one time. They also came up with one turnover, though it was a big one: Kyle Fuller's interception to set up the go-ahead touchdown. --- More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:37 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:03 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
NEW YORK GIANTS VS. CHICAGO BEARS (1ST HALF)

PICK: CHICAGO BEARS -3.5 (+104)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Chicago Bears came into the season determined to show they're more like the team that won the NFC North in 2018 than the one that missed the playoffs a year ago. A narrow escape last week wasn't exactly a strong opening statement. Maybe now, they'll start making a convincing case. The Bears aim to win back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in seven years and deny the Giants their first victory under new coach Joe Judge when New York visits Soldier Field on Sunday. Chicago rallied from 17 points down behind three fourth-quarter touchdown throws by Mitchell Trubisky and hung on for a 27-23 victory at Detroit last week. The Giants lost 26-16 to Pittsburgh on Monday night. "To battle back the way we did says a lot about this team and this offense and what we're capable of," Trubisky said. Coming off an 8-8 year, the Bears looked for three quarters like they were headed toward a loss. But they came out on top in a season opener for the first time since a 3-0 start in 2013. The Giants, with 12 wins since the 2016 playoff season, also have much room to improve. Saquon Barkley got swarmed by the Steelers and was held to 6 yards on 15 carries in one of his worst games since he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He'll try to get going against a top 10 defense that got picked apart at times last week. "We've got to do some things to help Saquon throughout the game," Judge said. "He's a key part of our team, he's an integral part of our offense. We're going to keep feeding him the ball and he's going to make some plays for us." UNDER CENTER A shotgun quarterback since he was in middle school, Trubisky might have a new home under center. He took about half his snaps there in the opener. And it looks like more of that is coming. "You want to be able to keep things off-balance, and we still have a lot of stuff from the gun," coach Matt Nagy said. "But as we're trying to create this identity of who we are you can probably feel there's a little bit more of that for sure this year." The change stems from the Bears' self-scouting in the wake of last season. They decided the offense would work better and keep defenses guessing more with the quarterback taking fewer shotgun snaps. Trubisky felt the line blocked better when he was under center, that play-action functioned more smoothly, and the passing game benefited as a result. "If you're just going gun every time, I think it makes it hard on the O-line, they're going to pin their ears back and get a lot of tough rushing," he said. "And if you go under center, it really slows the rush down because they have to respect more of the run factor." RUN GAME The Giants' didn't have a running game against the Steelers. Not only was Barkley shut down, he had eight rushes for negative yards. His longest run was 7 yards. New York finished the game with 20 carries for 29 yards, largely because quarterback Daniel Jones had four runs for 22 yards. Much of the pressure is on the revamped O-line. While guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler returned, there are three new starters, Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 overall draft pick, is at left tackle. Nick Gates has been converted to a center and veteran Cam Fleming is at right tackle. Look for improvement -- or some changes up front. THIRD RATE When it came to third-down conversions last week, the Bears were third rate. No surprise, extending drives was a big point of discussion this week. The Bears were 2 of 11 on third downs in the opener, failed on all six in the first half and missed their first seven in all. They finally broke through late in the third quarter, when Anthony Miller caught an 18-yarder to keep a touchdown drive going. At 18%, Chicago tied San Francisco for the worst rate in the NFL. THE OTHER CORNERBACK The Giants signed a solid cornerback, getting James Bradberry from the Panthers in free agency. They are still looking for somebody to play the other side. DeAndre Baker was supposed to start, but he was released because of an offseason arrest. Second-year pro Corey Ballentine got the start against the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger went after him. Ballentine, who was good in run support, probably will be in the starting lineup again. Don't be surprised if either Isaac Yiadom or Darnay Holmes gets a little more playing time. GETTING DEFENSIVE The Bears' defense ranked among the NFL's best in recent years. It was hard to tell at times in the opener. The Monsters of the Midway gave up 426 yards and sacked Matthew Stafford just one time. They also came up with one turnover, though it was a big one: Kyle Fuller's interception to set up the go-ahead touchdown. --- More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:37 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:29 PM EST
+11.44
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
NEW YORK GIANTS VS. CHICAGO BEARS (1ST HALF)

PICK: OVER 21 (+103)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Chicago Bears came into the season determined to show they're more like the team that won the NFC North in 2018 than the one that missed the playoffs a year ago. A narrow escape last week wasn't exactly a strong opening statement. Maybe now, they'll start making a convincing case. The Bears aim to win back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in seven years and deny the Giants their first victory under new coach Joe Judge when New York visits Soldier Field on Sunday. Chicago rallied from 17 points down behind three fourth-quarter touchdown throws by Mitchell Trubisky and hung on for a 27-23 victory at Detroit last week. The Giants lost 26-16 to Pittsburgh on Monday night. "To battle back the way we did says a lot about this team and this offense and what we're capable of," Trubisky said. Coming off an 8-8 year, the Bears looked for three quarters like they were headed toward a loss. But they came out on top in a season opener for the first time since a 3-0 start in 2013. The Giants, with 12 wins since the 2016 playoff season, also have much room to improve. Saquon Barkley got swarmed by the Steelers and was held to 6 yards on 15 carries in one of his worst games since he was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He'll try to get going against a top 10 defense that got picked apart at times last week. "We've got to do some things to help Saquon throughout the game," Judge said. "He's a key part of our team, he's an integral part of our offense. We're going to keep feeding him the ball and he's going to make some plays for us." UNDER CENTER A shotgun quarterback since he was in middle school, Trubisky might have a new home under center. He took about half his snaps there in the opener. And it looks like more of that is coming. "You want to be able to keep things off-balance, and we still have a lot of stuff from the gun," coach Matt Nagy said. "But as we're trying to create this identity of who we are you can probably feel there's a little bit more of that for sure this year." The change stems from the Bears' self-scouting in the wake of last season. They decided the offense would work better and keep defenses guessing more with the quarterback taking fewer shotgun snaps. Trubisky felt the line blocked better when he was under center, that play-action functioned more smoothly, and the passing game benefited as a result. "If you're just going gun every time, I think it makes it hard on the O-line, they're going to pin their ears back and get a lot of tough rushing," he said. "And if you go under center, it really slows the rush down because they have to respect more of the run factor." RUN GAME The Giants' didn't have a running game against the Steelers. Not only was Barkley shut down, he had eight rushes for negative yards. His longest run was 7 yards. New York finished the game with 20 carries for 29 yards, largely because quarterback Daniel Jones had four runs for 22 yards. Much of the pressure is on the revamped O-line. While guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler returned, there are three new starters, Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 overall draft pick, is at left tackle. Nick Gates has been converted to a center and veteran Cam Fleming is at right tackle. Look for improvement -- or some changes up front. THIRD RATE When it came to third-down conversions last week, the Bears were third rate. No surprise, extending drives was a big point of discussion this week. The Bears were 2 of 11 on third downs in the opener, failed on all six in the first half and missed their first seven in all. They finally broke through late in the third quarter, when Anthony Miller caught an 18-yarder to keep a touchdown drive going. At 18%, Chicago tied San Francisco for the worst rate in the NFL. THE OTHER CORNERBACK The Giants signed a solid cornerback, getting James Bradberry from the Panthers in free agency. They are still looking for somebody to play the other side. DeAndre Baker was supposed to start, but he was released because of an offseason arrest. Second-year pro Corey Ballentine got the start against the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger went after him. Ballentine, who was good in run support, probably will be in the starting lineup again. Don't be surprised if either Isaac Yiadom or Darnay Holmes gets a little more playing time. GETTING DEFENSIVE The Bears' defense ranked among the NFL's best in recent years. It was hard to tell at times in the opener. The Monsters of the Midway gave up 426 yards and sacked Matthew Stafford just one time. They also came up with one turnover, though it was a big one: Kyle Fuller's interception to set up the go-ahead touchdown. --- More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:38 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:29 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS. NEW YORK JETS

PICK: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -7 (+100)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The San Francisco 49ers are heading across the country banged up and bitter after blowing a fourth-quarter lead in their season opener. The defending NFC champions are 0-1 -- and will try to avoid a two-game skid to start the year when they face the hapless New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. "We've just got to move on, get to Week 2 and get this thing rolling now," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "You've got to deal with the situation that you're given and control what you can control." For the 49ers, it's about not letting another late lead slip through their hands, as they did in a 24-20 loss to Arizona last Sunday. They became the first Super Bowl runner-up to lose a season opener since Carolina fell 21-20 to Denver in 2016. San Francisco will also try to avoid becoming the first to start 0-2 since Seattle in 2015. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a ) While the Jets looked awful in a 27-17 loss at Buffalo last Sunday, a victory at the Meadowlands might not be such a sure thing for the 49ers who are dealing with numerous injuries. Cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) is out, tight end George Kittle (knee) is uncertain to play, and wide receivers Deebo Samuel (foot) and Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) didn't play in the opener. "We've dealt with this before," Garoppolo said. "I think every team, you've got to deal with your injuries. Next man up mindset." GROUNDED JETS The Jets know exactly what the 49ers are dealing with. They'll be without star running back Le'Veon Bell (hamstring), who's on injured reserve, and leading receiver Jamison Crowder is uncertain to play after also injuring his hamstring. That will put even more strain on quarterback Sam Darnold, who struggled mightily in the opener with his mechanics, footwork and decision-making. He finished 21 of 35 for 215 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but those numbers were largely padded by a strong final drive. "My timing needs to be better," Darnold said. "I think I did hurry some things. I feel like just at the beginning of a game I've just got to relax and take a deep breath, ease myself into it and make the throws when they're there." CORNER CONCERNS The Niners will be missing a key piece on defense after placing Sherman on injured reserve. He was by far the most dependable part of the secondary last season for a team that allowed the fewest yards passing in more than a decade. Emmanuel Moseley struggled across from Sherman in the opener. There are questions about the other starter with Ahkello Witherspoon trying to get back from a concussion. The 49ers have lost all three games Sherman has missed the past two seasons, allowing nearly 10 points more per game and a passer rating that is 11 points higher without him. "I know guys are ready to step up," linebacker Fred Warner said. "I think guys are ready and if we put the right week of practice in like we know we should, we should be firing on all cylinders this week." BIG ADMIRER Niners coach Kyle Shanahan remembers studying Frank Gore's college film back when he was getting his start in the NFL as a quality control coach in Tampa Bay in 2004. Gore is still going 16 years later and is set to get the start for the Jets this week against the team that drafted him in 2005. The 37-year-old Gore is the third-leading rusher in NFL history. "I loved him then, I loved him every year," Shanahan said. "He runs so hard. The guys that run that hard very rarely can play to his age, which just shows how dedicated he is, how much of a football player he is and obviously extremely talented, but he's a special dude." MIGHTY MAYE One of the few bright spots for the Jets against Buffalo was the play of safety Marcus Maye, who stepped into the role Jamal Adams played before he was traded this summer to Seattle. Maye was all over the field, racking up 10 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, two passes defensed, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. "Talk about a guy that probably did everything imaginable at the safety position," Jets coach Adam Gase said. "I don't think there's many guys that could do what he did this last week, as far as the variety." FEATURED BACK Running back Raheem Mostert played a big part in the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl last season, rushing for 773 yards and 12 TDs in his final 10 games in the regular season and postseason combined. He did all that work as a backup but made the most of his first career start in Week 1. He had 151 yards from scrimmage and scored on a 76-yard TD pass, showing off his improved receiving skills. "Raheem has grown in every aspect," Shanahan said. "He gets better and better the more opportunities he gets. He got a real good opportunity on that look Sunday and did what he was capable of and that was a house call. So, it was awesome." --- AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:40 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:03 PM EST
+11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS. NEW YORK JETS (1ST HALF)

PICK: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -3.5 (-107)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The San Francisco 49ers are heading across the country banged up and bitter after blowing a fourth-quarter lead in their season opener. The defending NFC champions are 0-1 -- and will try to avoid a two-game skid to start the year when they face the hapless New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. "We've just got to move on, get to Week 2 and get this thing rolling now," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. "You've got to deal with the situation that you're given and control what you can control." For the 49ers, it's about not letting another late lead slip through their hands, as they did in a 24-20 loss to Arizona last Sunday. They became the first Super Bowl runner-up to lose a season opener since Carolina fell 21-20 to Denver in 2016. San Francisco will also try to avoid becoming the first to start 0-2 since Seattle in 2015. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a ) While the Jets looked awful in a 27-17 loss at Buffalo last Sunday, a victory at the Meadowlands might not be such a sure thing for the 49ers who are dealing with numerous injuries. Cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) is out, tight end George Kittle (knee) is uncertain to play, and wide receivers Deebo Samuel (foot) and Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) didn't play in the opener. "We've dealt with this before," Garoppolo said. "I think every team, you've got to deal with your injuries. Next man up mindset." GROUNDED JETS The Jets know exactly what the 49ers are dealing with. They'll be without star running back Le'Veon Bell (hamstring), who's on injured reserve, and leading receiver Jamison Crowder is uncertain to play after also injuring his hamstring. That will put even more strain on quarterback Sam Darnold, who struggled mightily in the opener with his mechanics, footwork and decision-making. He finished 21 of 35 for 215 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but those numbers were largely padded by a strong final drive. "My timing needs to be better," Darnold said. "I think I did hurry some things. I feel like just at the beginning of a game I've just got to relax and take a deep breath, ease myself into it and make the throws when they're there." CORNER CONCERNS The Niners will be missing a key piece on defense after placing Sherman on injured reserve. He was by far the most dependable part of the secondary last season for a team that allowed the fewest yards passing in more than a decade. Emmanuel Moseley struggled across from Sherman in the opener. There are questions about the other starter with Ahkello Witherspoon trying to get back from a concussion. The 49ers have lost all three games Sherman has missed the past two seasons, allowing nearly 10 points more per game and a passer rating that is 11 points higher without him. "I know guys are ready to step up," linebacker Fred Warner said. "I think guys are ready and if we put the right week of practice in like we know we should, we should be firing on all cylinders this week." BIG ADMIRER Niners coach Kyle Shanahan remembers studying Frank Gore's college film back when he was getting his start in the NFL as a quality control coach in Tampa Bay in 2004. Gore is still going 16 years later and is set to get the start for the Jets this week against the team that drafted him in 2005. The 37-year-old Gore is the third-leading rusher in NFL history. "I loved him then, I loved him every year," Shanahan said. "He runs so hard. The guys that run that hard very rarely can play to his age, which just shows how dedicated he is, how much of a football player he is and obviously extremely talented, but he's a special dude." MIGHTY MAYE One of the few bright spots for the Jets against Buffalo was the play of safety Marcus Maye, who stepped into the role Jamal Adams played before he was traded this summer to Seattle. Maye was all over the field, racking up 10 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, two passes defensed, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. "Talk about a guy that probably did everything imaginable at the safety position," Jets coach Adam Gase said. "I don't think there's many guys that could do what he did this last week, as far as the variety." FEATURED BACK Running back Raheem Mostert played a big part in the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl last season, rushing for 773 yards and 12 TDs in his final 10 games in the regular season and postseason combined. He did all that work as a backup but made the most of his first career start in Week 1. He had 151 yards from scrimmage and scored on a 76-yard TD pass, showing off his improved receiving skills. "Raheem has grown in every aspect," Shanahan said. "He gets better and better the more opportunities he gets. He got a real good opportunity on that look Sunday and did what he was capable of and that was a house call. So, it was awesome." --- AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:41 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:25 PM EST
+10.28
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
CAROLINA PANTHERS VS. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1ST HALF)

PICK: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -4 (-113)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect to be better against the Carolina Panthers. The six-time Super Bowl champion struggled in his debut with his new team, was called out by his coach for throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown, and only knows one way to move on from a rare season-opening loss for him. Keep working. "Every week's a different challenge," Brady said. "I think it starts with great communication, understanding how to win the game, how to lose the game, being on the same page with my teammates so we can go execute. "Obviously, to turn the ball over, makes it difficult to win. ... It's a game of scoring points. You've got to figure out how to score more points than the other team," he added, noting the Bucs (0-1) also need to eliminate penalties and other negative plays. "There's been a lot of focus on those things this week." (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a ) There's also been unwanted attention from the outside following coach Bruce Arians' blunt assessment of the quarterback's two-turnover performance in a 34-23 season-opening loss at New Orleans. Arians shrugged off criticism of his decision to express his feelings publicly, saying the relationship between him and Brady is fine. "So I don't really care what other people think," Arians said. "It's just what he and I think." For his part, the quarterback didn't say much. "He's a coach. I'm a player," Brady said. "Just trying to win a game." The Panthers (0-1) expect the 43-year-old Brady to rebound and play well. "I have the utmost, utmost, utmost respect for Tom Brady," said first-year coach Matt Rhule, a 34-30 loser to the Las Vegas Raiders in his Carolina debut. "To me, you (learn) about a quarterback when things go wrong," Rhule said. "Some things went bad in the game, but Tom brought them back, got them within 10 points and still had a chance to win. ... We know we'll have our hands full. No one's better in bouncing back from a loss than Tom Brady." YOUNG DEFENSE Brady will face a young Panthers defense that includes three rookie starters, including tackle Derrick Brown, end Yetur Gross-Matos and cornerback Troy Pride Jr. Carolina's defense struggled in Week 1 against the Raiders, allowing Derek Carr to lead six scoring drives in the Raiders first eight possessions, three of which resulted in touchdowns. "We need to do a better job of tackling," Rhule said. Getting off the field on third down was a struggle for the Panthers. FACING TEDDY The Bucs are familiar with Teddy Bridgewater, though not necessarily the offensive system the quarterback is running in his first season with the Panthers. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing cancellation of preseason games, the only tape of what Carolina is doing under Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady was last week's season opener. Arians was impressed with what he saw. "The coach and the quarterback have history in the same offense, so it's not like they're starting from scratch," Arians said. "Teddy is a very, very bright guy and has very few turnovers in his history. That part of it didn't surprise me at all," the Bucs coach added. "(Christian) McCaffrey never surprises me because if he gets a crack, he's going. It all starts with him. I thought they did a good job of feeding him and Teddy played really well." McCAFFREY'S TOUCHES Rhule said the Panthers want to get McCaffrey about "25 to 28 touches per game," which was right along the game plan last week. However, Rhule also would like to work in No. 2 running back Mike Davis a little more against the Buccaneers. Rhule said because the Panthers only had three offensive possessions in the first half against the Raiders that was difficult to do. LONGEST YARD Panthers left tackle Russell Okung said it has been a tough week for the offensive line knowing they failed to pick up 1 yard on a fourth down run late in the game on a potential winning drive in a 34-30 loss to the Raiders. Fullback Alex Armah was stopped cold on a run up the middle, turning the ball over on downs. "Honestly, the game comes down to fourth-and-1," Okung said. "We did not do enough to win the game, especially when it was on our backs. ... We needed more. And we've got to figure out a way to win those situations." --- AP Sports Writer Steve Reed contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:44 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:28 PM EST
+9.73
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
CAROLINA PANTHERS VS. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

PICK: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -9.5 (+111)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect to be better against the Carolina Panthers. The six-time Super Bowl champion struggled in his debut with his new team, was called out by his coach for throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown, and only knows one way to move on from a rare season-opening loss for him. Keep working. "Every week's a different challenge," Brady said. "I think it starts with great communication, understanding how to win the game, how to lose the game, being on the same page with my teammates so we can go execute. "Obviously, to turn the ball over, makes it difficult to win. ... It's a game of scoring points. You've got to figure out how to score more points than the other team," he added, noting the Bucs (0-1) also need to eliminate penalties and other negative plays. "There's been a lot of focus on those things this week." (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a ) There's also been unwanted attention from the outside following coach Bruce Arians' blunt assessment of the quarterback's two-turnover performance in a 34-23 season-opening loss at New Orleans. Arians shrugged off criticism of his decision to express his feelings publicly, saying the relationship between him and Brady is fine. "So I don't really care what other people think," Arians said. "It's just what he and I think." For his part, the quarterback didn't say much. "He's a coach. I'm a player," Brady said. "Just trying to win a game." The Panthers (0-1) expect the 43-year-old Brady to rebound and play well. "I have the utmost, utmost, utmost respect for Tom Brady," said first-year coach Matt Rhule, a 34-30 loser to the Las Vegas Raiders in his Carolina debut. "To me, you (learn) about a quarterback when things go wrong," Rhule said. "Some things went bad in the game, but Tom brought them back, got them within 10 points and still had a chance to win. ... We know we'll have our hands full. No one's better in bouncing back from a loss than Tom Brady." YOUNG DEFENSE Brady will face a young Panthers defense that includes three rookie starters, including tackle Derrick Brown, end Yetur Gross-Matos and cornerback Troy Pride Jr. Carolina's defense struggled in Week 1 against the Raiders, allowing Derek Carr to lead six scoring drives in the Raiders first eight possessions, three of which resulted in touchdowns. "We need to do a better job of tackling," Rhule said. Getting off the field on third down was a struggle for the Panthers. FACING TEDDY The Bucs are familiar with Teddy Bridgewater, though not necessarily the offensive system the quarterback is running in his first season with the Panthers. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing cancellation of preseason games, the only tape of what Carolina is doing under Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady was last week's season opener. Arians was impressed with what he saw. "The coach and the quarterback have history in the same offense, so it's not like they're starting from scratch," Arians said. "Teddy is a very, very bright guy and has very few turnovers in his history. That part of it didn't surprise me at all," the Bucs coach added. "(Christian) McCaffrey never surprises me because if he gets a crack, he's going. It all starts with him. I thought they did a good job of feeding him and Teddy played really well." McCAFFREY'S TOUCHES Rhule said the Panthers want to get McCaffrey about "25 to 28 touches per game," which was right along the game plan last week. However, Rhule also would like to work in No. 2 running back Mike Davis a little more against the Buccaneers. Rhule said because the Panthers only had three offensive possessions in the first half against the Raiders that was difficult to do. LONGEST YARD Panthers left tackle Russell Okung said it has been a tough week for the offensive line knowing they failed to pick up 1 yard on a fourth down run late in the game on a potential winning drive in a 34-30 loss to the Raiders. Fullback Alex Armah was stopped cold on a run up the middle, turning the ball over on downs. "Honestly, the game comes down to fourth-and-1," Okung said. "We did not do enough to win the game, especially when it was on our backs. ... We needed more. And we've got to figure out a way to win those situations." --- AP Sports Writer Steve Reed contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 11:44 AM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:06 PM EST
+12.21
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
DETROIT LIONS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS

PICK: GREEN BAY PACKERS -6 (-108)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams. Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them. The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener. "It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a) The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week. That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November. "It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick." Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer. The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018. Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record. But the Packers are taking nothing for granted. "Quite frankly, they should have won last week," LaFleur said. "There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us." Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game. OFFENSIVE LINE UNCERTAINTY The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota. Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. The Packers' injuries on the offensive line could create an opportunity for tackle Rick Wagner, who was Detroit's starting right tackle from 2017-19 before getting released in March. CORNERBACK CONCERNS Detroit has hamstring issues with its cornerbacks. The Lions placed Justin Coleman on injured reserve and are unsure of Desmond Trufant's status after he was unable to practice Wednesday. Detroit's cornerback situation should get a boost from rookie Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State. Okudah has been practicing this week after missing the Bears game with a hamstring injury. ALEXANDER'S ENCORE Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished in the season opener. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game. FAMILIAR FOE Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes. The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played. OLD RIVAL RETURNS TO GREEN BAY Adrian Peterson had many memorable matchups with Green Bay during the veteran running back's years with the Minnesota Vikings. After making stops in New Orleans, Arizona and Washington the past three seasons, Peterson is back in the NFC North with Detroit. Peterson rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Lions debut. "In my generation playing in this league the last 15 years, to me he's the most talented back we've seen," Rodgers said. "There have been a lot of great ones, but we played him twice a year seeing him in his prime. Not many people that can combine speed, power, moves all in one, and you hated seeing him get out in the open field because he rarely got caught and he just had all the tools as a back. "And he's still got most of the tools. I mean he's still so talented, tough, strong, athletic. I just have a respect for how he's played his career and what he's accomplished." --- AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:09 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:05 PM EST
+10.19
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
DETROIT LIONS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS

PICK: OVER 49.5 (-111)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams. Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them. The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener. "It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a) The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week. That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November. "It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick." Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer. The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018. Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record. But the Packers are taking nothing for granted. "Quite frankly, they should have won last week," LaFleur said. "There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us." Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game. OFFENSIVE LINE UNCERTAINTY The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota. Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. The Packers' injuries on the offensive line could create an opportunity for tackle Rick Wagner, who was Detroit's starting right tackle from 2017-19 before getting released in March. CORNERBACK CONCERNS Detroit has hamstring issues with its cornerbacks. The Lions placed Justin Coleman on injured reserve and are unsure of Desmond Trufant's status after he was unable to practice Wednesday. Detroit's cornerback situation should get a boost from rookie Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State. Okudah has been practicing this week after missing the Bears game with a hamstring injury. ALEXANDER'S ENCORE Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished in the season opener. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game. FAMILIAR FOE Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes. The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played. OLD RIVAL RETURNS TO GREEN BAY Adrian Peterson had many memorable matchups with Green Bay during the veteran running back's years with the Minnesota Vikings. After making stops in New Orleans, Arizona and Washington the past three seasons, Peterson is back in the NFC North with Detroit. Peterson rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Lions debut. "In my generation playing in this league the last 15 years, to me he's the most talented back we've seen," Rodgers said. "There have been a lot of great ones, but we played him twice a year seeing him in his prime. Not many people that can combine speed, power, moves all in one, and you hated seeing him get out in the open field because he rarely got caught and he just had all the tools as a back. "And he's still got most of the tools. I mean he's still so talented, tough, strong, athletic. I just have a respect for how he's played his career and what he's accomplished." --- AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:09 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:02 PM EST
+9.91
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
DETROIT LIONS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS (1ST HALF)

PICK: GREEN BAY PACKERS -3.5 (-101)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams. Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them. The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener. "It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a) The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week. That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November. "It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick." Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer. The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018. Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record. But the Packers are taking nothing for granted. "Quite frankly, they should have won last week," LaFleur said. "There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us." Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game. OFFENSIVE LINE UNCERTAINTY The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota. Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. The Packers' injuries on the offensive line could create an opportunity for tackle Rick Wagner, who was Detroit's starting right tackle from 2017-19 before getting released in March. CORNERBACK CONCERNS Detroit has hamstring issues with its cornerbacks. The Lions placed Justin Coleman on injured reserve and are unsure of Desmond Trufant's status after he was unable to practice Wednesday. Detroit's cornerback situation should get a boost from rookie Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State. Okudah has been practicing this week after missing the Bears game with a hamstring injury. ALEXANDER'S ENCORE Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished in the season opener. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game. FAMILIAR FOE Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes. The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played. OLD RIVAL RETURNS TO GREEN BAY Adrian Peterson had many memorable matchups with Green Bay during the veteran running back's years with the Minnesota Vikings. After making stops in New Orleans, Arizona and Washington the past three seasons, Peterson is back in the NFC North with Detroit. Peterson rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Lions debut. "In my generation playing in this league the last 15 years, to me he's the most talented back we've seen," Rodgers said. "There have been a lot of great ones, but we played him twice a year seeing him in his prime. Not many people that can combine speed, power, moves all in one, and you hated seeing him get out in the open field because he rarely got caught and he just had all the tools as a back. "And he's still got most of the tools. I mean he's still so talented, tough, strong, athletic. I just have a respect for how he's played his career and what he's accomplished." --- AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:10 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:25 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
DETROIT LIONS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS (1ST HALF)

PICK: OVER 23 (-145)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams. Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them. The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay's home opener. "It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. (For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a) The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week. That marked Detroit's 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November. "It doesn't matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "You've got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick." Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer. The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under coach Matt Patricia, who just took over in 2018. Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise single-game record. But the Packers are taking nothing for granted. "Quite frankly, they should have won last week," LaFleur said. "There's no doubt about it. And they definitely could have beaten us twice last year. So you know we've got a big task in front of us." Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game. OFFENSIVE LINE UNCERTAINTY The Packers lost starting right guard Lane Taylor to a season-ending knee injury against Minnesota. Right tackle Billy Turner sat out the Vikings game with a knee problem, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. The Packers' injuries on the offensive line could create an opportunity for tackle Rick Wagner, who was Detroit's starting right tackle from 2017-19 before getting released in March. CORNERBACK CONCERNS Detroit has hamstring issues with its cornerbacks. The Lions placed Justin Coleman on injured reserve and are unsure of Desmond Trufant's status after he was unable to practice Wednesday. Detroit's cornerback situation should get a boost from rookie Jeff Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick from Ohio State. Okudah has been practicing this week after missing the Bears game with a hamstring injury. ALEXANDER'S ENCORE Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished in the season opener. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game. FAMILIAR FOE Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes. The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played. OLD RIVAL RETURNS TO GREEN BAY Adrian Peterson had many memorable matchups with Green Bay during the veteran running back's years with the Minnesota Vikings. After making stops in New Orleans, Arizona and Washington the past three seasons, Peterson is back in the NFC North with Detroit. Peterson rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Lions debut. "In my generation playing in this league the last 15 years, to me he's the most talented back we've seen," Rodgers said. "There have been a lot of great ones, but we played him twice a year seeing him in his prime. Not many people that can combine speed, power, moves all in one, and you hated seeing him get out in the open field because he rarely got caught and he just had all the tools as a back. "And he's still got most of the tools. I mean he's still so talented, tough, strong, athletic. I just have a respect for how he's played his career and what he's accomplished." --- AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report. ---
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:10 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:27 PM EST
+7.59
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1ST HALF)

PICK: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -2.5 (-127)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Indianapolis Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor to complement their ground game. Now he's the starter -- and perhaps the finisher, too. On Sunday, the Colts are giving a 21-year-old rookie his chance to play a familiar part: workhorse back. "Jonathan, I think has been in this mindset of he's been a star and a starter all his life," coach Frank Reich said. "So for him to step into this role I think is a pretty easy transition." Taylor is the perfect fit. At 5-foot-10, 226 pounds, he's powerful enough to be effective inside. His breakaway speed makes him dangerous outside. And in last weekend's pro debut he had six catches for 67 yards. He excelled in the job at Wisconsin, too, where he logged 926 carries and became the first Football Bowl Subdivision player to top 6,000 yards in three seasons. But with the injured Marlon Mack handing off the starting job, the Colts need Taylor to take on a heavier workload against a Minnesota defense that has typically ranked among the league's best. The Vikings (0-1) certainly didn't look the part last week. Minnesota allowed 43 points, the most in coach Mike Zimmer's seven-year tenure, 522 yards, the second most of the Zimmer era. They can't afford to let it happen again or the Vikings could leave town with their first 0-2 start since 2013. What needs to change? "I just feel like we came out flat, you know what I mean?" recently acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. "People want to say, I guess, not having fans and things like that, but at the end of the day it's just like playing backyard football. We didn't have any fans back then. We just went out there and had fun." The Colts have other problems. New quarterback Philip Rivers threw two interceptions and Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton dropped the last two passes of the game -- a feeling that has gnawed at him all week. One possible solution is a more balanced offense, with the spotlight shining on Taylor. "You're excited for Jonathan," Reich said. "This will be a great opportunity for him." ROAD TRIP After last week's strange home opener, the Vikings make their first road trip of the COVID-19 era to Indianapolis, where a crowd of up to 2,500 fans could congregate. Indy opened the season at Jacksonville, where fans were socially distanced. "This might be a little bit more `normal' now that we've been through this one time," Zimmer said. "We just have to be focused on our job and what we're going to do, and we can't worry about crowds and protocols and anything like that." But the Colts have been inhospitable to Minnesota, which has lost all 11 games played in Baltimore or Indy. The Vikings own at least one road win against the other 30 franchises. MILESTONE WATCH Philip Rivers remembers hanging posters of some quarterback greats in his bedroom. This week, he could be joining some and surpassing another. Rivers needs two touchdown passes and 366 yards to become the sixth member of the 400-TD and 60,000-yard clubs, and 24 completions to pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino (4,967) for fifth in NFL history. If he makes consecutive start No. 226, he'll tie Terrell Suggs for the league's 11th longest streak. And one more win will give him 124, tying Hall of Famer and former Vikings great Fran Tarkenton for No. 8. "That's what matters most, finding a way to help lead the team to a win," he said. "If that means 80 yards passing and handing it off 55 times, then let's do that. If it means something different, then let's do that." FAMILIAR FOE The Vikings' last trip to Indy was for Andrew Luck's home debut. But Ngakoue played at Lucas Oil Stadium four times with Jacksonville before he was traded. In eight career games against the Colts, Ngakoue has 6 1/2 sacks, 15 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and one interception. The Colts were eager to get him out of the division -- but not happy to see him back so soon. "He has a relentless motor," coach Frank Reich said. "He's a fierce competitor. That was a very good pickup for the Vikings." Ngakoue had only four full practices with the Vikings before his debut last week against Green Bay. He was a nonfactor in the loss and acknowledged this week he was rusty. REUNITED Xavier Rhodes spent seven seasons with Minnesota before signing with Indianapolis as a free agent in March. He's not bitter, just excited to hit some old friends. "When I was practicing against those guys when I was there, we were competing each and every play, so it's going to be the same right there on the field," Rhodes said. "But I'm going to be able to tackle them this time." --- AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis also contributed.
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:11 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 3:27 PM EST
+8.66
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:00 PM EST
NFL
MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

PICK: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -3 (-121)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK WRITE-UP: The Indianapolis Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor to complement their ground game. Now he's the starter -- and perhaps the finisher, too. On Sunday, the Colts are giving a 21-year-old rookie his chance to play a familiar part: workhorse back. "Jonathan, I think has been in this mindset of he's been a star and a starter all his life," coach Frank Reich said. "So for him to step into this role I think is a pretty easy transition." Taylor is the perfect fit. At 5-foot-10, 226 pounds, he's powerful enough to be effective inside. His breakaway speed makes him dangerous outside. And in last weekend's pro debut he had six catches for 67 yards. He excelled in the job at Wisconsin, too, where he logged 926 carries and became the first Football Bowl Subdivision player to top 6,000 yards in three seasons. But with the injured Marlon Mack handing off the starting job, the Colts need Taylor to take on a heavier workload against a Minnesota defense that has typically ranked among the league's best. The Vikings (0-1) certainly didn't look the part last week. Minnesota allowed 43 points, the most in coach Mike Zimmer's seven-year tenure, 522 yards, the second most of the Zimmer era. They can't afford to let it happen again or the Vikings could leave town with their first 0-2 start since 2013. What needs to change? "I just feel like we came out flat, you know what I mean?" recently acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. "People want to say, I guess, not having fans and things like that, but at the end of the day it's just like playing backyard football. We didn't have any fans back then. We just went out there and had fun." The Colts have other problems. New quarterback Philip Rivers threw two interceptions and Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton dropped the last two passes of the game -- a feeling that has gnawed at him all week. One possible solution is a more balanced offense, with the spotlight shining on Taylor. "You're excited for Jonathan," Reich said. "This will be a great opportunity for him." ROAD TRIP After last week's strange home opener, the Vikings make their first road trip of the COVID-19 era to Indianapolis, where a crowd of up to 2,500 fans could congregate. Indy opened the season at Jacksonville, where fans were socially distanced. "This might be a little bit more `normal' now that we've been through this one time," Zimmer said. "We just have to be focused on our job and what we're going to do, and we can't worry about crowds and protocols and anything like that." But the Colts have been inhospitable to Minnesota, which has lost all 11 games played in Baltimore or Indy. The Vikings own at least one road win against the other 30 franchises. MILESTONE WATCH Philip Rivers remembers hanging posters of some quarterback greats in his bedroom. This week, he could be joining some and surpassing another. Rivers needs two touchdown passes and 366 yards to become the sixth member of the 400-TD and 60,000-yard clubs, and 24 completions to pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino (4,967) for fifth in NFL history. If he makes consecutive start No. 226, he'll tie Terrell Suggs for the league's 11th longest streak. And one more win will give him 124, tying Hall of Famer and former Vikings great Fran Tarkenton for No. 8. "That's what matters most, finding a way to help lead the team to a win," he said. "If that means 80 yards passing and handing it off 55 times, then let's do that. If it means something different, then let's do that." FAMILIAR FOE The Vikings' last trip to Indy was for Andrew Luck's home debut. But Ngakoue played at Lucas Oil Stadium four times with Jacksonville before he was traded. In eight career games against the Colts, Ngakoue has 6 1/2 sacks, 15 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and one interception. The Colts were eager to get him out of the division -- but not happy to see him back so soon. "He has a relentless motor," coach Frank Reich said. "He's a fierce competitor. That was a very good pickup for the Vikings." Ngakoue had only four full practices with the Vikings before his debut last week against Green Bay. He was a nonfactor in the loss and acknowledged this week he was rusty. REUNITED Xavier Rhodes spent seven seasons with Minnesota before signing with Indianapolis as a free agent in March. He's not bitter, just excited to hit some old friends. "When I was practicing against those guys when I was there, we were competing each and every play, so it's going to be the same right there on the field," Rhodes said. "But I'm going to be able to tackle them this time." --- AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis also contributed.
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 2:11 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 4:48 PM EST
+9.09
[report pick]
9/20/2020
1:07 PM EST
MLB
NEW YORK YANKEES VS. BOSTON RED SOX

PICK: NEW YORK YANKEES (-164)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:29 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 5:39 PM EST
-11.00
[report pick]
9/20/2020
4:10 PM EST
MLB
SAN DIEGO PADRES VS. SEATTLE MARINERS

PICK: SAN DIEGO PADRES (-213)

RISK: 11 UNITS
PICK MADE ON 9/19/2020 AT 9:30 PM EST
PICK GRADED ON 9/20/2020 AT 9:22 PM EST
+5.16