Category Archives: Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at Vancouver Canucks

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The Canucks look to shake off a loss and pull back to the .500 mark with a home ice win on Wednesday against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes look to rebound after back to back overtime losses and they have a great shot at it here against a Canucks side that has had a tough time with consistency this season and have the added factor that Eddie Lack will be motivated to beat his former team who cast him aside two years ago. The Canes have been playing much better of late and while they still have a ways to go and will likely fall short of the playoffs it is nice to see them being more competitive and jumping up the standings in the Metropolitan division. Eddie Lack will go up against Jakob Markstrom who continues to man the crease for the Canucks of late.

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The Canucks have been up and down all season long and sit in fourth place in the Pacific division and while that doesn’t sound too bad when you hear it you have to know just how bad the Pacific has been this season to understand the magnitude of it. Vancouver has but 39 points in 40 games and if they were in the Central division they’d be in dead last so thankfully they are in a position to claim one of the top three spots in the Pacific or else they could miss the playoffs entirely.

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Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets

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Toronto Raptors (21-15) at Brooklyn Nets (10-24)
NBA Basketball: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm (Barclays Center)
The Line: Brooklyn Nets +5.5 — Over/Under: 198.5
The Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets square off Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

In the first meeting against the Brooklyn Nets this season, the Toronto Raptors will try to reassert themselves after two heart-wrenching losses on a back-to-back.

The Toronto Raptors prepare for the second contest of a five-game road trip against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday evening, the team has is left with more questions than answers. Fresh off back-to-back disappointing losses to the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors have looked like anything but the club that was seemingly hitting its stride as the calendar turned to 2016.

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The Toronto Raptors look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 100.3 points on 43.7 percent shooting and allowing 97.6 points on 43.6 percent shooting. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 22.9 points and 4.3 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.7 points and 6.5 assists. Jonas Valanciunas is grabbing 9.1 rebounds and Cory Joseph is dishing 2.9 assists. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 35.6 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. The Raptors are allowing 37.3 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 13.7 turnovers per game. The Toronto Raptors have won six of their last 10 road games. DeMarre Carroll is questionable with a knee injury.

The Brooklyn Nets need a big win after losing seven of their last 10 games. The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 97.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting and allowing 103.2 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Brook Lopez is averaging 19.8 points and 8.6 rebounds while Thaddeus Young is averaging 16 points and 9.3 rebounds. Jarrett Jack is dishing 7.4 assists and Bojan Bogdanovic is grabbing 3.9 rebounds. The Brooklyn Nets are shooting 31.1 percent from beyond the arc and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. The Nets are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.4 turnovers per game. The Brooklyn Nets have lost seven straight home games. Joe Johnson is questionable with a quad injury.

The Raptors are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Wednesday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Nets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Wednesday games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games. The Raptors are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

Probable starters

Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jonas Valanciunas.

Brooklyn: Shane Larkin, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez.

Key matchup: Brook Lopez vs. Jonas Valanciunas.

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Dallas Stars at New York Rangers

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Rangers -110 / Dallas Stars +100 — Over/Under: 5.5

Tuesday night will be an active night in the NHL this week. In one interesting game, the Dallas Stars will be in New York to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The game will be played following a precedent-setting occurrence in the Dallas Stars’ season – they recently lost back-to-backs for the first time all year. 

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The Dallas Stars suffered a rare loss against the New York Islanders in their last outing and will look to salvage a split against the Rangers on Tuesday and put up their league leading 29th victory of the season. Dallas is known for their offensive prowess but they were dealt a taste of their own medicine on Sunday as the Isles put up six goals on them as they fell by a 6-5 final in what was their ninth regulation loss of the year. The Stars will look to get back on track here though and improve their road record to 13-5-4 but will be up against Henrik Lundqvist who needs to snap the Blue Shirts out of their funk that currently has them on a 3-6-1 stretch and sitting in a very congested Metro division.

The Rangers meanwhile have been up and down this season and much of their success has come at home while they have looked pedestrian most of the year on the road with a 7-9-3 mark outside of MSG. The Rangers remain a serious threat in the East but until they get some of their big dogs back in action they will be hard pressed to keep up offensively with the likes of Washington and Dallas and that is exactly the scenario they find themselves in here.

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Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

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It’s an Eastern Conference match-up as the Chicago Bulls host the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center as the regular season of the National Basketball Association continues.

The game is on January 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET.

This is only the first meeting between the two squads and they are set to clash four times in the regular season so this first game should be interesting as they will be able to gauge how they rank against each other.

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The Bucks were going for a third straight win last night, but instead got run off the court by the Spurs in a 123-98 beatdown. All five starters finished in double figures, with Khris Middleton scored 19 points, Michael Carter-Williams added 16 points and Greg Monroe chipping in with 15, but the Bucks just couldn’t find a way to slow down the Spurs who shot 54 percent from the field to finish with a season high in total points. With the loss, Milwaukee falls to 14-22 on the season overall and 9-7 at home.

The Bulls have won five of their last six and will be aiming for a fifth straight win after sneaking past the Raptors in a 115-113 thriller on Sunday. Nikola Mirotic had 17 points while Pau Gasol added 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, but this win was all about Jimmy Butler who poured in a record 40 points in the second half after scoring just two points in the first half. With the win, Chicago improves to 20-12 on the season and 6-7 on the road. Derrick Rose was once again absent from the starting lineup as he deals with his right hamstring injury.
BUZZER BEATERS

  1. Butler also had one steal against Toronto to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one theft to 40.
  2. Bucks C John Henson is 16-of-22 from the floor during his last five games.
  3. Rose averaged 19 points and a team-high 6.5 assists in the six-game playoff series against Milwaukee.

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Detroit Red Wings at New Jersey Devils

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Matchup: Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings
When: Monday, 7 p.m.
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.

The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils meet Monday night at the Prudential Center. Both teams have 45 points and are in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race

Between Oct. 18 and 24, the Devils won four in a row. Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on John Moore’s goal extended New Jersey’s second streak to three straight wins.

Leading scorer Mike Cammalleri remains questionable with an upper body injury that kept him out of Saturday’s game.

The Red Wings are coming off a 4-3 victory Saturday night in Buffalo.

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The Detroit Red Wings need a big road win after losing seven of their last 10 games. The Detroit Red Wings are averaging 2.5 goals per game and are scoring on 18.3 percent of their power plays. Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 13 goals, Henrik Zetterberg has 22 assists and Tomas Tatar has 88 shots on goal. Defensively, the Detroit Red Wings are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 79.1 percent of their power play chances. Petr Mrazek has allowed 55 goals on 725 shots faced and Jimmy Howard has given up 42 goals on 466 shots. Mrazek has allowed seven goals in his last three games.

The New Jersey Devils look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The New Jersey Devils are averaging 2.3 goals per game and are scoring on 20 percent of their power plays. Kyle Palmieri leads New Jersey with 17 goals, Mike Cammalleri has 21 assists and Adam Henrique has 74 shots on goal. Defensively, the New Jersey Devils are allowing 2.3 goals per game and are killing 83.2 percent of their power play chances. Cory Schneider has allowed 67 goals on 919 shots faced and Keith Kinkaid has given up 18 goals on 190 shots. Schneider has allowed five goals in his last three games.

The Red Wings are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference and 3-7 in their last 10 overall. The Devils are 2-8 in their last 10 games following a win and 4-1 in their last 5 overall. The Red Wings are 11-5 in the last 16 meetings.

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Boston Celtics At Brooklyn Nets

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The Boston Celtics (18-15) take on the (10-23) Brooklyn Nets tonight  in the second game of a home and home series between the two teams.

The Celtics had won four of five before Saturday’s 100-97 home loss to the Nets. Isaiah Thomas led the team with 24 points and six assists, Jae Crowder added 16 points while Evan Turner had 12 off the bench, but the undersized Celtics simply had no answer for the Net’s Brook Lopez who poured in 30 points on 11 of 24 shooting. Coming off a disappointing loss to the struggling Lakers, the Celtics really wanted to bounce back and get back into the winner’s circle but the second straight loss drops them to 18-15 on the season and 9-9 at home.

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Meanwhile, the had lost seven of nine before beating the Celtics on Saturday. As mentioned earlier, Lopez dominated the paint but he also had plenty of help as Joe Johnson snapped out of his shooting slump to add 20 points while Thaddeus Young had 16 points and 10 rebounds in a much-needed win for the Nets. Unfortunately, Jarrett Jack’s knee gave out on him during the win and while it was orginally called just a sprain, further analysis has confirmed that he tore his right ACL meaning he will miss the remainder of the season.

In ATS trends, the Celtics are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a losing home record, while the Nets are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.

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San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators

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The Sharks look to build on last night’s overtime victory in Toronto as they continue their Ontario road trip in Ottawa tonight to face the Senators.

Ottawa was spitting out road goals like a loose slot machine in the early part of the season, but an abrupt end to that binge made things difficult during a recent stretch in which five of six were played on opposing ice.

who have continued their puzzling success on the road while struggling at home.

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The San Jose Sharks got through by the skin of their teeth on the road in Toronto last night as they gave up a two goal lead, then battled back from a two goal deficit, until scoring the overtime winner in what was a crazy swing of momentum type of game but typical of these Sharks. San Jose continues to find ways to make victories hard on themselves and we can expect another unpredictable effort tonight in a back to back in front of their back up goaltender who hasn’t had a ton of success this season. The Sharks sit in second place in the pacific division despite a 3-6-1 stretch in their last 10 contests but without anyone other than the Kings playing overly well this season it is San Jose’s spot to lose for the time being. The Sharks are an impressive 11-5-1 on the road this season while the Sens are 8-4-4 at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Ottawa heads into their Friday night encounter with the Sharks looking to improve on their 16-11-5 record and reclaim one of the top three seeds in the Atlantic but with a 4-6 mark in their last 10 they also haven’t been playing their best hockey of late. The Sens went with Andrew Hammond against the Caps on Wednesday night and while he played well the Sens didn’t get him enough support and ultimately the Capitals took a 2-1 victory and left Ottawa empty handed. The Sens are in a good spot here though as the Sharks are playing in a back to back after going to overtime with Toronto, are putting in Alex Stalock, and conceded four goals in a victory that left them emotionally and physically drained
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New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers

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New York Knicks (12-14) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-26)
Wells Fargo Center (7:00 pm)

The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers will be facing off for the second time this season tonight
The New York Knicks will look to keep their winning streak alive tonight when they travel to take on the lowly Philadelphia 76ers. It will be the second time this season that the two teams face off, as the Knicks won the first matchup 99-87. That time the game was at Madison Square Garden; this time it will be at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.

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The New York Knicks need a big road win after splitting their last eight games. The New York Knicks are averaging 97.7 points on 42.6 percent shooting and allowing 99.3 points on 43 percent shooting. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 21.7 points and 7.5 rebounds while Arron Afflalo is averaging 13.6 points and 1.7 assists. Kristaps Porzingis is grabbing 8.3 rebounds and Langston Galloway is dishing 2.1 assists. The New York Knicks are shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc and 80.7 percent from the free throw line. The Knicks are allowing 30.4 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 11.5 turnovers per game. The New York Knicks have lost five of their last six road games.

The Philadelphia 76ers need a victory in order to snap an eight-game skid. The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 91.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting and allowing 104.2 points on 45.6 percent shooting. Jahlil Okafor is averaging 17.8 points and 8.1 rebounds while Robert Covington is averaging 13.7 points and 1.9 assists. Isaiah Canaan is dishing 2.1 assists while Jerami Grant is grabbing 4.8 rebounds. The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 32.5 percent from beyond the arc and 69.9 percent from the free throw line. The 76ers are allowing 35.9 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.5 turnovers per game. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 20 of their last 26 home games. Nerlens Noel is questionable with an eye injury.

The Knicks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest and 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 road games. The 76ers are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 home games and 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Knicks are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Philadelphia.

Game Notes:

  • The last time they met, the Sixers had just beaten the Lakers for their first (and only) win of the season. New York prevailed, 99-87, although Philadelphia was without center Jahlil Okafor. The No. 3 overall pick leads all rookies in scoring (17.8 PPG) and is third in rebounding (8.1 RPG) behind Porzingis and Towns.
  • Okafor returned from a team-imposed suspension and has shown improvement in one key area of weakness — free throw shooting. The Duke big man has converted 22 of his last 24 attempts from the charity stripe after shooting just 51 percent in college.
  • Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall have returned from injury, giving Brett Brown two experienced options at point guard. Okafor could stand to benefit from their playmaking abilities, as could Philly shooters, who have combined to make 32 percent of 3-pointers this year — 25th best in the NBA.

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New York Rangers at Minnesota Wild

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New York Rangers (19-9-4) at Minnesota Wild (16-7-6)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -130 / New York Rangers +118 — Over/Under: 5

The Minnesota Wild’s eight-game point streak is all the more impressive considering how little offense they’ve generated during that stretch.
Although that formula has worked fine throughout the streak, the Wild would happily take more results similar to their most recent one.
After blowing out its latest opponent with a season-high goal total, Minnesota looks to shut down the visiting New York Rangers on Thursday night.

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The New York Rangers head into Minnesota on Thursday night looking to win back to back games and retake their spot atop the Metro division standings but against a Wild team that has been lights out at home the Blue Shirts know they have a tall task ahead of them. New York lost their spot in first place to the Washington Capitals after a 3-5-2 stretch dropped them into second but with Henrik Lundqvist in the crease you can’t fret for too long as he is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and he can single handily win a game for his team which they may need for him to do here. The Rangers are 6-5-3 on the road this season while the Wild are 11-3-1 at home and will send Devan Dubnyk to the crease to match up against King Henrik

The Wild look like one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference this season and if they can somehow leap into a spot where they have home ice advantage they are going to be really tough to beat come playoff time. The Wild trail the Stars by 10 points in the Central division but do have two games in hand and Dallas’ pace is likely to slow down a little bit as the year moves along but with so much talent in that division alone the Wild will have to sustain an impressive pace of their own the rest of the way if they’re going to land a top three spot in the division. Tonight’s game should be very exciting and while I am a little weary of Dubnyk’s return coming ina tough spot I think the team will account for that and as such this one should stay under the number, which is going to be a very popular play on the board.

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Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers

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Houston Rockets (12-14) at Los Angeles Lakers (4-21)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Lakers +6.5 — Over/Under: 213

The Rockets will face the 4-21 Lakers tonight who were able to get a quality win 113-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night.  This was the result of the return of Jordan Clarkson, their true point guard who seems to have ignited their offense after missing some time with an ankle injury

The Rockets are a mess right now. Every game involves at least one of three things:

  1. The Rockets cannot score, especially during one long stretch that dooms them.
  2. The Rockets cannot defend. At all.
  3. The Rockets stare at James Harden as he tries to do everything, usually resulting in turnovers or bad jump shots

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The Houston Rockets look for a nice road victory after splitting their last six games. The Houston Rockets are averaging 104.1 points on 43.5 percent shooting and allowing 107.1 points on 47 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 29 points and 6.7 assists while Dwight Howard is averaging 12.6 points and 11.6 rebounds. Trevor Ariza is grabbing 5.4 rebounds and Patrick Beverley is dishing 2.4 assists. The Houston Rockets are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 72.3 percent from the free throw line. The Rockets are allowing 34.9 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 16.4 turnovers per game. The Houston Rockets have lost four of their last six road games.

The Los Angeles Lakers need a big victory after losing six of their last seven games. The Los Angeles Lakers are averaging 97.7 points on 41.4 percent shooting and allowing 106.8 points on 46 percent shooting. Kobe Bryant is averaging 16.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while Jordan Clarkson is averaging 15 points and 2.1 assists. Louis Williams is dishing 2.3 assists and Julius Randle is grabbing 9.5 rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers are shooting 32.6 percent from beyond the arc and 78.2 percent from the free throw line. The Lakers are allowing 35.2 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 12.7 turnovers per game. The Los Angeles Lakers have lost five of their last seven home games.

The Rockets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss and 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games overall. The Lakers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Southwest and 9-19 ATS in their last 28 games overall. The Rockets are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Los Angeles and 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings overall.

 

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