Detroit Lions (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -3 — Over/Under: 56.5
Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons meet in week 7 NFL action from Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a matchup of two teams needing a win.
The Detroit Lions will look to pick up another big road win after improving to 2-3 on the year with a 34-16 win over Jacksonville last time out. Matthew Stafford has thrown for 1,240 yards, 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 60.7% passing while Adrian Peterson has rushed for a team-high 285 rushing yards with a pair of TDs and D’Andre Swift has 158 rushing yards and 3 scores. Kenny Golladay has a team-high 224 receiving yards on 14 catches with a pair of touchdowns while Danny Amendola has 208 receiving yards. T.J. Hockenson has a team-high 17 receptions for 197 yards and 3 receiving TDs while Marvin Jones and Swift each have 100+ receiving yards. Defensively, Tracy Walker leads Detroit with 35 total tackles including 28 solo tackles while Duron Harmon has a pair of INTs for Detroit’s defense. Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara each have a pair of sacks for the Lions as well this season.
The Atlanta Falcons will look to build off of their first win of the season coming in the form of a 40-23 win over Minnesota last time out. Matt Ryan has thrown for 1,843 yards, 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 65.2% passing while Todd Gurley II has a team-high 422 rushing yards and 5 rushing TDs. Brian Hill also has 161 rushing yards while Calvin Ridley leads Atlanta’s receiving group with 546 receiving yards and 5 TDs through the air. Julio Jones has 23 grabs for 350 yards while Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst each have 200+ receiving yards with Hurst logging 3 receiving TDs. Defensively, Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun each have a team-high 40 total tackles and an interception with Oluokun recording 29 solo tackles as well. Grady Jarrett also has a team-high 2.5 sacks this season.
Detroit is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against a team with a losing record while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win. Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games while the over is 20-7-1 in their last 28 games against a team with a losing record. Detroit is 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
This isn’t a game I’m rushing to the window to bet if we’re being honest, but maybe Atlanta’s first win carries some mojo here or maybe it’s a flash in the pan as Detroit’s been the better team for much of the year. Instead of trying to figure out a side, I’m going to side with the over. I think this could easily be a 33-30 or 30-27 game whichever way it ends up going and I just don’t trust the defenses between a pair of offensive clubs. Give me the over.
Grading the Toronto Raptors’ 2020 NBA offseason – ClutchPoints
After being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the 2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals, one sentiment was echoed by both Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse and star guard Kyle Lowry: it’s highly unlikely that we bring everyone back next year.
It was true, nevertheless. The statements may have been stated to save face and instill a glimpse of silver lining into retaining all of their upcoming free agents, but the overall notion had already settled in. The Raptors would be a slightly different looking team, one way or another. It’s no one’s fault to blame given the insane amount of production from the underdog squad. They were thought to be an aftermath meltdown after the departure of Kawhi Leonard.
Fred VanVleet turned in an insane year from all aspects of his game. It was well known that he wouldn’t retain the measly two-year, $18 million contract of which he’d just come off. The same could be said for Serge Ibaka, who’d had a career year himself and was looking for a huge bump in his salary.
How well the Raptors front office landed on their feet remains to be seen as the season gets underway.
The Raptors had three free agents that they felt the ultimate need to retain in VanVleet, Ibaka, and Marc Gasol. The end result was only being able to keep one, with VanVleet inking a four-year, $85 million deal as free agency commenced. Given both Ibaka and VanVleet’s career years, it was unlikely that Toronto could keep both players.
VanVleet’s scoring averages had jumped from his 2018-19 season in which he averaged only 11 points per game while dishing out 4.8 assists. He was given nearly a 10-minute bump in playing time during the 2019-20 season, which saw his averages increase to 17.6 points and 6.6 assists. He’s one of the more integral pieces of Nurse’s offense, which could suggest that he was a priority ahead of Ibaka.
The speculation was that Toronto brass would keep at least one of their two bigs in Gasol and Ibaka, with Gasol being the likely option. Given Gasol’s age, his asking price would be significantly less than it’s been in prior years. He’s still a formidable big that can stretch the floor and open lanes, but the 35-year-old isn’t getting any younger.
Still, the Raptors weren’t able to re-sign Gasol either, losing him to the new defending champions in the Los Angeles Lakers. Both Gasol and Ibaka were a major reason for the Raptors’ success through most of the season. With two undersized guards in VanVleet and Lowry, having the pair of bigs in sync was critical.
The Raptors were able to sign Aron Baynes, though, who was thought to be a top target for most teams coming into free agency. He secured the bag after the successful season he had with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. While he doesn’t possess necessarily the same skillset as Ibaka, he also comes with a mental toughness that may prove to be better for the Raptors.
Baynes is arguably the better defender in the case of both Ibaka and Gasol, and he can step back and drill the occasional 3-pointer if need be. The 6-foot-10 Australian shot 35.1 percent from deep last season, his highest mark of his career. One area that’ll likely see his production increase is his playing time. With the Raptors being short on legitimate, proven bigs, Baynes will surely see starter minutes this season, which could benefit both the Raptors and him.
The Raptors weren’t heavily rumored to make many moves heading into the draft. They only had two picks slotted at Nos. 29 and 59 in a weak draft class.
They were able to grab Malachi Flynn with the 29th overall pick from San Diego State University. While he still has a bit of development to achieve, the 6-foot-1 guard is coming off an impressive season with SDSU. He averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the field. He’ll likely receive some decent minutes behind Lowry and VanVleet if he can prove himself early on.
They also selected Jalen Harris with the second-to-last pick of the draft. It’s unlikely that he sees an insane amount of playing time in an already-crowded backcourt.
The overall goal for the Raptors wasn’t to go after big free agents or draft high in this year’s draft; it was to continue the player development of their young standouts. Pascal Siakam, who they signed to a max deal nearly a year ago, will look to improve all aspects of his game after a lackluster showing in the playoffs. Still, he’s primed for a bright future compared to the small sample size of slumps he’s had.
OG Anunoby is another young talent that’s becoming more treasurable to the Raptors front office. He’s continuously showed his potential in recent years, while having another breakout year during the 2019-20 season.
Offseason Grade: B+
Toronto is more concerned with building its core for the future, and that didn’t require much work this offseason.
Kentucky vs Richmond College Basketball Picks, Odds, Predictions 11/29/20 – Sports Chat Place
Richmond Spiders (1-0) at Kentucky Wildcats (1-0)
College Basketball: Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center)
The Line: Kentucky Wildcats -7 — Over/Under: 145
Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Richmond Spiders and Kentucky Wildcats meet Sunday in college basketball action at the Rupp Arena.
The Richmond Spiders look for another win after beating Morehead State in their season opener. The Louisville Cardinals are averaging 82 points on 55.6 percent shooting and allowing 64 points on 43.1 percent shooting. Nathan Cayo is averaging 23 points and one rebound while Grant Golden is averaging 16 points and four rebounds. Blake Francis is the third double-digit scorer and Jacob Gilyard is grabbing five rebounds. The Louisville Cardinals are shooting 29.2 percent from beyond the arc and 41.7 percent from the free throw line. The Louisville Cardinals are allowing 26.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33 rebounds per game.
The Kentucky Wildcats look for another win after beating Morehead State in their season opener. The Kentucky Wildcats are averaging 81 points on 55.9 percent shooting and allowing 45 points on 34 percent shooting. Brandon Boston Jr. is averaging 15 points and seven rebounds while Devin Askew is averaging 12 points and three rebounds. Terrance Clark is the third double-digit scorer and Davion Mintz is dishing three assists. The Kentucky Wildcats are shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and 64.3 percent from the free throw line. The Kentucky Wildcats are allowing 14.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35 rebounds per game.
The Spiders are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The over is 5-1 in Spiders last 6 overall. The under is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 home games.
Both of these teams had their way with Morehead State in their openers, but it was Kentucky that had more success on the defensive side and allowed nothing from beyond the arc. Richmond is not a pushover, but I question the depth to be able to hang with this Kentucky team for 40 minutes. The Kentucky Wildcats will have a run in the second half to pull away in this contest. I’ll lay the reasonable chalk with Kentucky.
Kentucky Wildcats -7
Argentine prosecutors investigate death of soccer star Maradona – DAWN.com
Argentine justice officials are investigating the death of soccer star Diego Maradona and ordered the search of properties of his personal doctor on Sunday, a local prosecutor’s office said.
Maradona died at age 60 of a heart attack on Wednesday. The search order was requested by prosecutors in the affluent Buenos Aires suburb San Isidro and signed by a local judge, according to a statement issued by the prosecutor’s office.
“Yesterday [Saturday] the investigation and substantiation of evidence continued with the taking of statements from people including direct relatives of the deceased,” it said.
“By virtue of the evidence that was collected, it was considered necessary to request searches at the home and office of doctor Leopoldo Luque,” the prosecutor’s office said in the statement.
The prosecutor’s office provided no information on what prompted the investigation.
Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Moria, on Thursday said he would ask for a full investigation of the circumstances of the soccer legend’s death, criticising what he said was a slow response by emergency service.
“The ambulance took more than half an hour to arrive, which was a criminal idiocy,” Matias said on Thursday in a Twitter post.
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