2017-NFL-Play Offs-Packers at Cowboys game preview

Aaron Rodgers is the lava-hot quarterback who throws Hail Mary touchdown passes as easily as slant patterns and already owns a Super Bowl ring. Dak Prescott is the ultra-cool customer, who seemingly isn’t bothered by any of the pressure that comes with being an NFL quarterback. Prescott looks to guide Dallas to its first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years and that task begins Sunday when the Cowboys host Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers in an NFC divisional-round contest (4:40 p.m. ET, FOX). Prescott was the steal of the NFL draft as a fourth-round selection and he quickly turned then-injured Tony Romo into an afterthought. Dallas went 13-3 and earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed behind Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards during the regular season. “To me, it’s all about being prepared,” Prescott said. “In a way, you get nerves; nerves hit Read More

2017-NFL-Play Offs- Steelers at Chiefs game preview

The old saying goes that revenge is a dish best served cold. Last Sunday, in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers avenged a regular-season loss to the Miami Dolphins, and did it in quite frigid temperatures at Heinz Field, winning by 18 points. This Sunday (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), the revenge table is turned on the Steelers, as they travel to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to play the Chiefs in an AFC divisional round game. The start of the game was pushed back more than seven hours due to a ice storm expected to move through the area on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Oddsmakers have listed the home team as a one-point favorite. In the first days of October, the Chiefs traveled to Pittsburgh and got hammered by the Steelers, losing 43-14 in a Sunday night game. The 29-point deficit was one of the Read More

2017-NFL-Play Offs-Seahawks at Falcons game preview

In the only previous playoff meeting between Atlanta and Seattle, Matt Ryan threw one more touchdown pass than Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Falcons overcame squandering a big lead to win on a late field goal by Matt Bryant. That divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome during the 2012 season, though, probably has little meaning for Saturday’s follow-up in Atlanta. That playoff game is the only victory in five tries for Ryan. Wilson, who was a rookie the first time, has an 8-3 postseason mark and a Super Bowl ring to his credit. What could be of significance is the Seahawks’ controversial 28-26 victory at home in mid-October when cornerback Richard Sherman wasn’t whistled for a late pass interference call on Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. “We felt like we had a chance to win that game. Calls didn’t go our way,” said Falcons second-year outside linebacker Vic Read More

2017-NFL-Play Offs-Giants at Packers game preview

In 2011, the Giants lost at home to the Packers in the regular season, then won at Lambeau for another NFC Championship. It will be a similar story line entering Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game. The Giants lost to the Packers in the regular season — 23-16 at Lambeau in Week 5 — and will try to turn the tables in Green Bay in a playoff rematch on Sunday. “It’s all different teams, different players, different coaches,” said Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who led the team to an 11-5 record and its first playoff berth since 2011. “It’s just a matter of studying their defense, have a great game plan, have a great week of preparation and go out there and just play each play.” Manning has as many playoff wins at Lambeau Field as his counterpart, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Manning is 2-0 while Rodgers is 2-2. “We’re playing Read More

2017-NFL-Play Offs-Dolphins at Steelers game preview

The rematch in Sunday’s AFC wild-card game will likely be decided by quarterback play. Perhaps it will be the play of an experienced veteran, or maybe by a journeyman making his first career postseason start. While the third-seeded Steelers are solid with sturdy veteran Ben Roethlisberger behind center, Miami ruled out regular starter Ryan Tannehill on Thursday and it will be Matt Moore behind center when the sixth-seeded Dolphins visit Pittsburgh on Sunday (1:05 p.m. ET, CBS). Tannehill sprained his left knee in a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 11 and is healing faster than forecasted. Coach Adam Gase didn’t rule out Tannehill early in the week in case of a drastic improvement but he and the staff didn’t see enough progress so Moore was officially named the starter. “He’s our starter,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said of Moore. “The other deal is on the side. It would Read More

2017-NFL-Play Offs-Lions at Seahawks game preview

While a rocky December did not leave the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions appearing to be playoff-ready, history provides an indication as to how their Saturday night NFC wild-card game might go at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks have never lost a playoff game there, the Lions have never won any game there, and Detroit has not won a playoff game anywhere in its past eight tries. “Obviously, there’s a great opportunity in front of us being in the playoffs, one of 12 teams getting that opportunity this year, and (we’ve) got to take advantage of it,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said in a conference call this week. Whether or not the Lions can debunk recent trends and come away with the upset might come down to how good Stafford can throw the ball. A legitimate MVP candidate for much of the season, Stafford has been hampered by an injured finger Read More

2017-NLF-Play Offs-Raiders at Texans game preview

There was something noble in how Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien and his Oakland Raiders counterpart, Jack Del Rio, masked their disappointment while naming respective starting quarterbacks for their Saturday AFC Wild Card postseason game at NRG Stadium. Although hardly planned, the game will feature a duel between quarterbacks who represent the most expensive free-agent disappointment of this last offseason against the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to debut as a starter in a playoff game. To sum up: Oakland rookie Connor Cook debuts on the road in a playoff game against Houston’s expensive, free-agent disappointment, Brock Osweiler. For the Texans (9-7), champions of the AFC South, Osweiler reclaimed his post because Tom Savage was lost to a concussion in the season finale against the Tennessee Titans. Savage supplanted the ineffective Osweiler against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 18. The Raiders (12-4) roared to their first playoff appearance Read More

NBA-Wednesday night-8 games,Cavs host the Bulls in the game of the day

Favorites and underdogs split the eight games in the NBA on Tuesday night as the 76ers, Kings, Pacers, and Lakers all won outright in the ‘dog role. The biggest blowout of the night came between a pair of division leaders in San Antonio as the Spurs drilled the Raptors on the final game of their road trip, 110-82. The highest-scoring contest of the evening took place at the Palace of Auburn Hills as the Pacers outlasted the Pistons, 121-116, marking Indiana’s second victory at Detroit within the last month. Game of the Night – Bulls at Cavaliers – 8:05 PM EST – ESPN These two Central division rivals meet for the second time this season after Chicago knocked off Cleveland at the United Center in early December, 111-105 as two-point underdogs. All five Bulls’ starters scored in double-figures, led by Jimmy Butler’s 26-point effort, while Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double Read More

2017-NFL-Week 17-Final round-Games betting preview

Panthers at Buccaneers (-4 ½, 46) – 1:00 PM ESTCarolinaRecord: 6-9 SU, 5-9-1 ATSThe Panthers finished last season without a home loss in 10 tries, but suffered their fourth home defeat last week in a 33-16 setback to the Falcons. Carolina stumbled to a 2-5 record away from Bank of America Stadium as only one of those victories came in the underdog role at Washington in Week 15. The Panthers look to avenge a 17-14 home defeat to the Buccaneers back in Week 5 as Cam Newton missed that loss due to injury. Carolina has won straight visits to Raymond James Stadium, while holding Tampa Bay to 17 points or less in each victory.Tampa BayRecord: 8-7 SU, 9-6 ATSTwo weeks ago, the Buccaneers were right in the mix of the NFC playoff picture, but back-to-back road losses at New Orleans and Dallas have put Tampa Bay on the brink of Read More

2016-NBA-Tuesday night-4 games scheduled,Boston host Memphis,Utah at Staples

Memphis (20-13 SU, 17-16 ATS) at Boston (18-13 SU, 17-13-1 ATS) These teams met last Monday in Memphis and Boston came away with a 112-109 overtime win as a 2 ½-point road favorite. The Celtics have now won and covered three of the last four versus the Grizzlies and they’re favored (-6 ½) in Tuesday’s matchup. Even though Boston has won and covered five of its last six, you could be hesitant to back the club at home based on what we’ve seen this season. The Celtics are 6-6 at TD Garden and that includes a 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS mark as home favorites. Some pundits believe Boston is a contender but I look at them as a bully who wins games against sub .500 teams (13-5) and fails to get over the hump against elite opponents (5-8). Despite getting run 112-102 at Orlando last night, Memphis owns a Read More