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FIBA Women’s World Cup Takeaways: Learning experience for Canada in loss to U.S. – Sportsnet.ca

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Breanna Stewart scored a game-high 17 points and added eight rebounds as the United States demolished Canada 83-43 in the semifinals of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022. 

The loss saw Canada move onto the bronze-medal game, while the United States will compete for its fourth straight World Cup gold. 

The star Las Vegas Aces pick-and-roll combo of A’Ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray combined for 19 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the U.S. in the win. 

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Laeticia Amihere led all Canadian scorers with eight points. 

The Americans jumped on Canada right from the opening tip, getting out to a 15-0 run to begin the game. The U.S. held the Canadians without a single point for nearly five full minutes before Amihere finally ended the drought with 5:09 left in the first quarter. 

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“I was really pleased with our team’s attention to detail in the scouting report,” Cheryl Reeve, Team USA’s head coach said after the game. “Canada’s had, I think, a terrific tournament and so I told our group that they’re a win against the hosts away from being the No. 1 seed on that side. So, I wanted them to understand what they just did and how hard they made it for Canada to score the ball – and Canada’s a very good defensive team. 

“So, that was a quality win for us and, as we said, our goal is to win a gold medal and we’re in position to do that.” 

Canada scored just seven points in total in the first quarter as it carried a 27-7 deficit that would never really shrink much. 

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Overall, the Canadians looked to be thoroughly overmatched by the United States’ superior length, strength, speed and athleticism. Canada only shot 21.9 per cent from the field while the U.S. finished the game having shot the ball a tidy 48.4 per cent from the field. 

Here are a few takeaways from a rough Canadian defeat in the semifinals to a powerful U.S. squad. 

Valuable learning experience for Canada

Despite the lopsided nature of the loss, there’s certainly positives for Canada to take from its game with the U.S. 

For one, it’s abundantly clear what the top of the mountain looks like for this team as it looks to build towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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The United States is an unfair team filled to the brim with not just WNBA talent, but WNBA stars – Kelsey Plum and Sabrina Ionescu comes off the bench for the U.S. Yet, this is the kind of obstacle that will need to be overcome if Canada is to achieve its gold-medal dreams. 

Understanding what you’re up against is never a bad thing, even if it may seem demoralizing as you embark upon the journey. 

For Canada head coach Victor Lapena, this game, and all the others Canada has played in so far, have been valuable building blocks for what’s to come. 

“It’s very, very important to be in these games for us,” said Lapena. “Before coming here we didn’t talk, we didn’t expect to be in the semifinal, but on the other hand we didn’t think that we wouldn’t be able to do it. … 

“I’m very happy with the group because all our games were difficult work for us. Serbia, France, Japan. Very difficult, but this is experience and experience and experience and they’re very different styles. So, for our team, looking to the future, looking towards Paris, looking after the Olympics, looking at the next six, eight years [playing in these games] is very, very important.” 

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U.S. runs down Canada’s throat

When Canada went down 15-0 to begin the game it, essentially, finished right there in that moment. 

The United States appeared to have a shock-and-awe gameplan by playing very quickly, something that had Canada on its toes from the opening tip, leading to tentative play and no chance to retaliate before it was already too late. 

“They played amazing from the beginning of the game,” said Lapena. “When you play against USA in the semifinal it’s pretty clear that you’re either perfect or they’re going to break the game open in 10-15 minutes.” 

Dissatisfied with how they started against Serbia in their quarterfinal matchup, the U.S. looked like they were playing with just a six-second shot clock at times. They continually pushed for transition and semi-transition looks and, when Canada’s half-court defence was actually set, would force quick post-ups for easy lay-ups or a kick-out for three. The Canadian defence was helpless in the face of the American ball movement. 

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Team USA finished the game scoring 14 points off 15 Canadian turnovers, tallying 16 fastbreak points and eating up the entire with 48 points in the paint. 

“I think for any team playing quicker earlier in the offence, before the defence is well positioned, is a goal for any team,” said Reeve. “That’s been an identity that we’ve really hammered and when we’re at our best. And like I said, any team is at their best when they’re playing earlier in the possession. And so, we’ve just really put a strong emphasis on that area. 

Looking ahead to the bronze-medal game

Canada will see Australia in the bronze medal game, Friday at 11:00 p.m. ET on Sportsnet. 

Should they come out on top, it would be Canada’s first FIBA Women’s World Cup medal since 1986, when the national team topped Czechoslovakia 64-59 to win bronze. 

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Australia fell to China in a heartbreaker 61-59, setting up a gold-medal matchup between them and the United States. 

The host Aussies failed to reach the gold-medal game despite China being without leading scorer Li Meng. The guard missed the semifinal game after reportedly suffering a fever because of fatigue. 

For Canada, the chance to square off against Australia for bronze is an opportunity. 

Canada’s lone defeat in the group stage came to Australia, 75-72, where Canada blew a 14-point lead and saw Australia storm back in the fourth quarter to steal a victory. 

The chance to exact some revenge for an earlier defeat with a podium spot on the line has to be enticing for Team Canada. Better yet, it’s fair to think the Canadians will have something of an advantage. 

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This late into the tournament, fatigue has set in, especially with how many games teams must play in such a short amount of time. 

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Given the seesaw, physical affair Australia went through in an all-out scrap against China and the chance Canada got to give its key players rest in a blowout with the U.S., the Canadians should have fresher legs heading into the bronze-medal game. 

At the very least, Lapena wants his players to rest up before the big game. 

“The players just need to sleep to recover their bodies, and to eat the perfect food to be ready,” Lapena said. “Yes, sleep is very important.” 

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It’s not a huge advantage, but when you’re fighting for a medal for the first time in 36 years any edge that can be eked out is worth exploring.





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Kansas State vs. Texas Tech odds, line: 2022 college football picks, Week 5 predictions from proven model

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The No. 25 Kansas State Wildcats will try to back up their upset win over then-No. 6 Oklahoma when they host the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday afternoon. Kansas State picked up one of its biggest wins in recent memory when it knocked off the Sooners as a 13.5-point underdog last week. Texas Tech is coming off a big win of its own, taking down No. 22 Texas in overtime.  

Kickoff is set for noon ET. The Wildcats are favored by 7.5 points in the latest Kansas State vs. Texas Tech odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under is set at 57. Before entering any Texas Tech vs. Kansas State picks, you’ll want to see the college football predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of more than $3,100 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

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Now, the model has set its sights on Kansas State vs. Texas Tech. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college football odds for Texas Tech vs. Kansas State:

  • Kansas State vs. Texas Tech spread: Kansas State -7.5
  • Kansas State vs. Texas Tech over/under: 57 points
  • Kansas State vs. Texas Tech picks: See picks here

Featured Game | Kansas State Wildcats vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Why Kansas State can cover

Kansas State has as much momentum as any team in the country following its upset win over then-No. 6 Oklahoma last week. Senior quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 234 yards and one touchdown while also rushing 21 times for 148 yards and four touchdowns. Junior running back Deuce Vaughn added 25 carries for 116 yards, and he has now rushed for 468 yards overall this season. 

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The Wildcats are facing a Texas Tech defense that has allowed at least 27 points in each of its last three games. This is Texas Tech’s fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent, making this a difficult scheduling spot on the road. Kansas State is on a six-game winning streak in this series, while Texas Tech is 2-15 in its last 17 road games overall. 

Why Texas Tech can cover

This is a potential trap game for Kansas State following the program’s biggest win in recent years, especially since the Wildcats are facing a team that they have beat six straight times. They lost their most recent home game to Tulane two weeks ago, despite being 13.5-point favorites in that game. Martinez was held to 150 passing yards or less in his first three games of the season, which will not be enough to keep pace with Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders have already knocked off a pair of Top 25 teams this season, including last week’s 37-34 win against then-No. 22 Texas in overtime. Sophomore quarterback Donovan Smith threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns in that victory, while running back SaRodorick Thompson rushed for 70 yards and a score. Texas Tech has covered the spread in four of its last six games. 

How to make Kansas State vs. Texas Tech picks

The model has simulated Texas Tech vs. Kansas State 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Over on the total, and it also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Kansas State vs. Texas Tech? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Texas Tech vs. Kansas State spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.

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Arsenal vs. Tottenham prediction, odds: Soccer expert reveals North London derby picks for Oct. 1, 2022

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It’s a critical early-season North London derby when Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur in an English Premier League matchup Saturday at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal (6-0-1) enter the weekend sitting atop the Premier League table, but Spurs (5-2-0) are just one point back, in third place behind Manchester City on goal differential. The teams hope the international break didn’t sap any momentum. The Gunners last played Sept, 18, cruising to a 3-0 victory against Brentford, while Tottenham crushed Leicester City 6-2 the previous day. The teams have split their matchups the past two seasons, with the home team winning each time.      

Kickoff is set for 7:30 a.m. ET in London. Caesars Sportsbook lists Arsenal as a +106 favorite (risk $100 to win $106) on the 90-minute money line in its latest Arsenal vs. Tottenham odds from. Spurs are a +250 underdog, a draw is priced at +260 and the Over/Under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before locking in any Tottenham vs. Arsenal picks or North London derby predictions, you need to see what soccer insider Jon Eimer has to say.

Eimer is a high-volume bettor who has vast knowledge of leagues and players across the globe. Since joining SportsLine, Eimer has covered the English Premier League, Serie A, the FA Cup and much more. He is 37-20-1 on his Premier League picks for SportsLine in 2022, for a profit of more than $1,400 for $100 bettors.

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Now, Eimer has broken down the Arsenal vs. Tottenham matchup from all sides. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for Tottenham vs. Arsenal:

  • Arsenal vs. Tottenham spread: Arsenal -0.5
  • Arsenal vs. Tottenham over-under: 2.5 goals
  • Arsenal vs. Tottenham money line: Arsenal +106, Tottenham +250, Draw +260
  • ARS: The Gunners have at least two goals in five straight home meetings.  
  • TOT: Spurs have scored in 12 straight Premier League matches
  • Arsenal vs. Tottenham picks: See picks at SportsLine

Featured Game | Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Why you should back Arsenal

The Gunners have rebounded since suffering their loss to Manchester United in a tough environment at Old Trafford. Since their first setback of the season, they eased past Brentford and beat FC Zurich 2-1 in a Europa League match on Sept. 8. They had a game in between postponed by the queen’s death, so Arsenal should be pretty well rested. They also will be at home, where they have beaten Spurs by a combined 5-1 the past two years. The Gunners haven’t lost a league match at the Emirates in this North London derby since 2010 (7-4-0).   

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Arsenal should dictate the pace, as they have a possession rate almost 10% higher. The Gunners keep the ball almost 59% of the time on average (fourth in EPL), while Spurs are below 50% (12th). Tottenham have scored one more goal than the Gunners, but just five of their 18 have come on the road. 

Why you should back Tottenham 

Spurs will be looking for another big game from Son Heung-min, who had a hat trick off the bench against Leicester to break his scoring drought. The South Korean shared the league lead with 23 goals last season, but had a slow start to the season. Harry Kane got off to a flying start, and he has six goals in the first seven league matches. Tottenham lead the league in shots on target (45), and as usual they are one of the most efficient, putting 41.3% of their 109 shots on the net.     

Arsenal haven’t given up many shots, but they are among the worst in the league at keeping them away from the net. The Gunners have allowed just 20 on targets, but that is 38.5% of the total of 52, the fourth-worst percentage in the league. Against a team like Spurs, that could become a problem. Spurs are dangerous on the counter-attack, so as Arsenal hold the ball in their half, they will be looking to spring Kane and Son for opportunities. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale has saved 14 of 20 shots (65%), while Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris is fourth in the EPL in save percentage (72.7). 

How to make Tottenham vs. Arsenal picks

Eimer has analyzed the Tottenham vs. Arsenal matchup from all sides and has revealed three confident best bets and a full breakdown of the match. He’s only sharing his Arsenal vs. Tottenham predictions at SportsLine.

So who wins Tottenham vs. Arsenal on Saturday? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets for Arsenal vs. Tottenham, all from the soccer expert who has crushed his recent soccer picks for SportsLine, and find out.

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