Thursday, January 27 2022
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Kyle Terada / USA Today

I have a question for you, and I’d love to know what you think. I am in two fantasy football leagues. I’m the commissioner of one, and I wield my power there mercifully and omnipotently. My best friend and old college roommate is the commissioner of the other, and it’s in his league where we’ve got a situation on our hands.

I’m 7-1 this season. The team I beat over the weekend fell to 1-7. On Wednesday, the 1-7 team completed a somewhat lopsided trade, but nothing insane. It was more of a “well, I need to do something” kind of trade. But it’s what he did afterward that has led to the question.

The 1-7 team immediately began dropping players from his roster, and I don’t mean bench-warming scrubs. I mean starting-caliber players, players whom he selected in the first five rounds of our draft. He even dropped San Francisco running back Elijah Mitchell, who he just picked up in the trade he consummated minutes before! He’s throwing a tantrum, but I’m trying to figure out if he should be allowed to.

It’d be one thing if this were just a league between friends with no money on the line. But it’s not. It’s a league where owners pay a buy-in, and there are transaction fees. The league winner receives roughly $1,500 most seasons, while other playoff teams receive smaller payouts.

If you were the commissioner of this league, would you allow the owner to do this? I’m leaning no because it’s one thing to mess with your team, but now you’re messing with other people’s money. My problem is I don’t know if I’m reacting this way because I’m 7-1 and last in the waiver order, so I have no shot at any of these players. That means my direct competitors all have the chance to improve their rosters significantly, while I don’t.

So I’d love to know what you think as an objective observer. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter and let me know.

Now let’s drop some winners like that guy in my league is dropping players.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

🏀 Hornets at Warriors, 10 p.m. | TV: ESPN

Latest Odds: Under 226.5

The Pick: Under 226.5 (-110): I’m sorry I’m making everybody not on the west coast stay up late for this one, but it’s my favorite play of the night. On Monday, I wrote about how the under has been a solid play in the NBA this season because of rule changes. I also wrote about how the books had caught on and lowered totals. This is part of the reason why the under has gone only 6-8 in the two days since, but it’s still 65-42 on the season.

It’s also 5-1 in Golden State games this season, which mirrors the 5-1 record the Warriors have. And why are the Warriors 5-1 and the under so successful in their games? Because Golden State plays defense!

Sure, the focus of the Warriors during their dynasty run was always The Splash Brothers and Kevin Durant, and the way this team could go nuclear at any time, but it’s always been built on a foundation of defense. That has not changed with Durant long gone, Klay Thompson sidelined and Stephen Curry and Draymond Green not getting any younger. Entering the night, Golden State ranks second in the NBA in defensive efficiency.

Tonight they’ll be tested against a Hornets team that’s third in the league in offensive rating, but while the Hornets have an offensive rating of 117.1 in four home games, that number drops to 111.0 on the road. It’s still good, but that’s a significant drop. The Warriors are the better team, and they’re at home. This should allow them to dictate the game’s pace more often than not, which makes the under a very attractive option.

Key Trend: The under is 5-1 in Warriors games this season.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: If I’m not good enough for you, don’t forget to check out what SportsLine’s Projection Model likes about tonight’s game.


💰 The Picks

🏀 NBA

Mavericks at Spurs, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass

Latest Odds: Dallas Mavericks -2

The Pick: Mavs -1 (-110) — I swear this isn’t a jilted lover play. The Spurs did not come through for us on Monday, but that happens. Tonight’s play is nothing more than finding value on the Mavericks in this spot. While the Spurs are better than their record suggests, so are the Mavericks. The problem Dallas has faced is that it’s been something of a mess on the defensive end, but that was expected. I don’t look at this Mavericks roster and think it’s going to be stopping many teams.

The surprise has been on the offensive end. A team with this talent should not rank 24th in the NBA in offensive rating and 27th in true shooting percentage. Things need to correct course eventually, and considering one of Dallas’ most efficient offensive performances this year came in a 104-99 win over the Spurs, there’s a good chance we’ll see some of that tonight. Oh, and that five-point win over the Spurs? The Mavs shot 4-for-13 from the free-throw line in that game.

Dallas ranks 27th in the league in free-throw percentage at 70.1%, but if you remove that game, they’re shooting a more respectable 73.9% from the line, which would rank 19th. Know who the worst free-throw shooting team in the league is? Yep, the Spurs. Things like that matter in close games.

Key Trend: The Mavs have covered eight of the last nine meetings in San Antonio.

🏈 College Football

Northern Illinois at Kent State, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN2

Latest Odds: Northern Illinois Huskies +3

The Pick: Northern Illinois +3.5 (-110) — Northern Illinois has been one of my favorite stories in college football this season. They began the season with a win total of four at most sportsbooks, yet they’re already 6-2 and 4-0 in conference play as they enter November. They’ve been one of the biggest surprises in the country, and tonight they’re facing Kent State in a battle of the two teams currently atop their respective divisions in the MAC.

And I think the wrong team might be favored. You see, the Huskies have not been dominant. While they’re 4-0 in the MAC, they’ve only outscored their four conference opponents by 18 points. Then there’s Kent State, which is 3-1 in the MAC, but has been outscored 140-149 in those four games! Of course, most of that damage was done in a 64-31 loss to Western Michigan, but that proves my point a bit.

Western Michigan is the only MAC team with a winning record the Golden Flashes have faced, and they lost by 33. Their three MAC wins have come by a combined 24 points against teams with a combined record of 9-18. The Kent State defense ranks 113th nationally in defensive success rate, 112th in points allowed per possession and 92nd in defensive explosiveness. Does that sound like the kind of team you want to trust as a favorite?

Key Trend: Northern Illinois is 19-7-1 ATS in its last 27 as a road dog.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model’s favorite NBA play of the night is one side of the moneyline in Denver/Memphis.


🏀🏈 Wednesday Night Parlay

Who’s up for a three-leg moneyline parlay across two sports that’s paying +156?

Source: CBSSports.com

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