Links, Opinions and HOT AF NBA picks!
Published on Wednesday, 1/15/20, at 11:55 a.m. Eastern.
Updated on Wednesday, 1/15/20, at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Before we get into a variety of topics in multiple sports, please forgive the shame-free self promotion here. After all, hot streaks like this don’t come along nearly as often as I would hope.
Since Jan. 2, my NBA picks are on fire. I went into last night’s card on a 16-1 roll over a 12-day span. From Friday to Monday, I went 6-0 against the spread with those six winners beating the closing lines by 85.5 combined points.
In other words, all my winners were absolute no-doubters.
I went 1-1 last night, easily cashing on the Memphis Grizzlies as five-point home underdogs in their 121-110 win over Houston. My loss was ‘over’ 224 points in Dallas’s 124-97 win at Golden State.
Nevertheless, my NBA picks are on a 17-2 roll (89.5%, +14.8 Units) in the last 13 days. This has my overall record at 32-16 (66.7%, +14.32 Units). You can view my season-long record here at VegasInsider.com.
As you can see here, I’m ranked #1 at VegasInsider out of 33 handicappers in NBA winning percentage, #1 in overall money on guaranteed picks, #4 in overall money (units earned) and #2 in money earned over the last seven days.
–If you missed my story on Mississippi State’s home-run hire of Mike Leach at MajorWager, check it out here. In multiple columns and YouTube videos on MajorWager’s channel in December, I said Arkansas and Missouri should target Leach and make him an offer he can’t refuse. Neither school went that direction. When the Mississippi St. gig opened, I penned a column on Joe Moorhead’s pink slip and once again suggested that Leach should be MSU’s top choice (six days before he was hired). This time around, MSU AD John Cohen made it happen. Props to him on a job well done!
–My story on Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly announcing his retirement last night.
–Check out the lines for all four potential matchups from the Westgate SuperBook for Super Bowl LIV. Gamblers can bet those games right now and if the matchups doesn’t materialize, those bets become ‘no-plays’ and are refunded.
–You can see the odds to win next year’s College Football Playoff in this embedded tweet from the Westgate’s Jeff Sherman:
2021 National Championship Game winner
Ohio St 3/1
Notre Dame 30/1
Penn St 30/1
Texas A&M 30/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) January 14, 2020
–THE MIGHTIES have been receiving all sorts of good news since their Orange Bowl win over Virginia, including the return of Marco Wilson.
–Missouri State, an FCS school in college football, hired Bobby Petrino as its new head coach earlier today. The school reportedly considered Art Briles, too. (What the hell is wrong with those people?!)
–Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald has signed a one-year deal and is coming back for a 17th season with the Cardinals.
–You can check out all my by-lines at MajorWager at this link.
–SI’s Pat Forde’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 has the Gators ranked eighth. Forde’s top five in order is Clemson, Georgia (huh?!), Ohio State, Alabama and Penn St.
–Oklahoma St. RB Chuba Hubbard announced earlier this week that he’s returning to Stillwater for another season rather than entering the 2020 NFL Draft. Hubbard led the nation in rushing yards in 2019.
–This portion of Brett Okamoto’s interview with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is why he’s suck a F’n LEGEND!
Talking about this matchup with other fighters, coaches … virtually all of them said they’d like to see Cowboy (@Cowboycerrone) take Conor (@TheNotoriousMMA) to the ground, at least a little. I got the opportunity to ask him … will he? Full interview on @espnmma YouTube. pic.twitter.com/e2kLrxpSg2
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 14, 2020
–If you haven’t seen Dayton play yet this year, you need to make it happen! I cashed with the Flyers last night in their home win over VCU. I’m extremely happy for Anthony Grant, the long-time top assistant to Billy Donovan at Florida. Grant had a nice, albeit brief, run as head coach at VCU (beating Duke on Eric Maynor’s buzzer beater in the NCAA Tournament), but his tenure at Alabama was a disappointment. Now he’s back at his alma mater and has Dayton’s best team in a long time (and Archie Miller took the Flyers to the Elite Eight in 2014, and I was there in the second row at mid-court for my Gators to take them down in Memphis). Obi Toppin, a forward out of Brooklyn who is a likely lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocked shots per game. The Flyers are a legit national title contender. They’ve only lost twice — in overtime vs. Kansas in the finals of the Maui Classic and in OT at Colorado.
–I mean Joe MF’n Burrow! My goodness gracious, that DUDE just had one helluva season. He’s just a STUD and yes, that’ll carry over to the NFL for two decades. The only comparable college players I can think of (I’m mostly thinking one-year runs here) are Danny Wuerffel in 1996, Tim Tebow in 2008 and Cam Newton in 2010. Burrow, Wuerffel and Newton won natties and the Heisman in those years, while Tebow won the Heisman in ’07 and natties in ’06 and ’08.
–Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported last night that Va. Tech’s Justin Fuente will interview today for the Baylor vacancy left open when Matt Rhule left to take the Carolina job. (And ICYMI: Rhule hired LSU’s Joe Brady as the Panthers’ OC y’day). Other candidates for the Baylor gig are LSU DC Dave Aranda, Arkansas St. HC Blake Anderson and UL-Lafayette HC Billy Napier.
–According to report from WholeHogSports, former Florida QB Feleipe Franks will visit Arkansas this weekend. He’s also interested in Mississippi St. and visited Kansas last month.
–Washington State has hired Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich as its next head coach to replace Leach. I love that hire for the Cougars. According to SI’s Ross Dellenger, who has done incredible work recently on LSU’s run to the national title and the Coaching Carousel, reports that Aranda could be in play to replace Rolovich on the island. Aranda spent four years as an assistant for the Rainbow Warriors.
–LSU star WR Justin Jefferson has announced that he’s leaving school early to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.