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The best bet for Wednesday’s lone Top 25 matchup in college basketball, plus other top picks

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I don’t think I’m ready for football season to end. It’s the same sense of anxiety I get every year around this time. Come late August, football begins at both the professional and college level, and I become immersed in both. It happens for professional and leisure reasons, as I cover the sport for a living, but I also love the sport.

Then, for the next four months, my life is essentially football, football, football. Then it all comes to a close in December as college football‘s bowls are played, and I’ve got at least one game to watch nearly every day. It also comes in handy for this newsletter because it provides plenty of gambling opportunities.

But the Texas bowl was last night, and it was the last college game of the season aside from Monday’s title game. The NFL is wrapping up its regular season this weekend and isn’t playing on Thursday night.

So now I’m staring at a sport slate that will be missing football most days, and I’m unsure what to do with myself. The good news is, I’ve been here before, and I’ll get out of it just fine. This all just means I can concentrate my attention on basketball, soccer and maybe even baseball if it still exists in a few months. But right now, it’s anxiety. It’s as if a part of me is missing. A part of me I must fill with gambling and these news stories.

Now let’s bet on the ability of teenagers to make jump shots.

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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

No. 25 Texas Tech at No. 11 Iowa State, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPNU

Latest Odds:

Iowa State Cyclones
-4

The Pick: Iowa State -4 (-110): I’m not entirely sold on Iowa State just yet because it has played one of the easiest schedules in the country. That said, the Cyclones did start 12-0 and picked up nice wins over Xavier, Memphis, Creighton and Iowa along the way before finally losing to Baylor over the weekend. The problem is, Creighton is the only road game the Cyclones have played this season. Everything else has either been in Ames or at a neutral site.

This is why the 77-72 loss to Baylor is the most impressive thing I’ve seen the Cyclones do this season. Not only did Baylor win a national title last season, but it’s also a serious threat to do so again this year, and the Cyclones played well against them. If they hadn’t gone a ridiculous 1-for-14 from three, they might’ve won the game.

I expect a rebound performance tonight because, like Iowa State, Texas Tech has played an easy schedule of its own. While it picked up a nice overtime win against Tennessee, it lost to the only other top-100 teams it played in Providence and Gonzaga. That Providence loss was the only road game the Red Raiders have played this season. Tonight’s trip to Ames will be the second.

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Key Trend: Texas Tech is 1-8 ATS in its last nine road games.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: If you think I’m a big, stupid idiot who isn’t to be trusted, well, then why are you subscribing? Don’t stop, it’s an odd choice. Anyway, if you think I’m stupid and want to know what somebody else with, SportsLine’s Projection Model has shared its findings.


💰The Picks

🏀 College Basketball

Nebraska at No. 10 Michigan State, 7 p.m. | TV: Big Ten Network

Latest Odds:

Nebraska Cornhuskers
+15

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The Pick: Nebraska +15 (-110) — I won’t lie — there’s a little more gut to this than math. Nebraska is not a good team. The Cornhuskers are only 6-8 on the season and there’s a clear divide in their schedule. They’ve gone 6-1 against teams ranked outside the top-200 by KenPom and 0-7 against teams ranked inside the top-200. Essentially, they play to their level, which isn’t high.

But I think they can hang within 15 points of Michigan State. The Spartans are 12-2 and have played one of the more difficult schedules in the country, but they’re not a great shooting team. While they’ve killed it from three (38.9%), they don’t shoot a lot of threes, and they’ve struggled inside the perimeter and at the free-throw line. Also, there’s a lookahead factor at play here. The Spartans have played a tough schedule and have a game against rival Michigan looming this weekend. Considering who the Spartans are used to playing and who they have next, it’s not crazy to think they might get caught looking past the Cornhuskers tonight.

Key Trend: Michigan State is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against teams with losing records.

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IPFW at Cleveland State, 7 p.m | TV: ESPN+

Latest Odds:

PFW Mastodons
+10

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The Pick: IPFW +10 (-110) — Who is ready for some Horizon League action? Come on in, the water’s warm! This is an instance where the Mastodons (what a name) of IPFW (Purdue Fort Wayne) just aren’t getting enough credit, particularly since these two teams played each other last week.

Yes, that’s right, last Thursday, Cleveland State beat IPFW 90-81 at the Wolstein Center, and tonight they’re playing in the Wolstein Center again. There wasn’t much defense in the first meeting, and IPFW had a lead with five minutes to go, but the Vikings finished the game on a 20-2 run. I don’t know if we’ll see such a run again, nor do I know if IPFW will have a late lead, but I do believe they’ll be able to hang within double-digits again.

Key Trend: IPFW is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Looking for an NBA play? SportsLine’s Projection Model has an A-graded play on one side of the total in tonight’s game between the Timberwolves and Thunder.


⚽ Thursday Serie A Parlay

Serie A returns to action on Thursday morning, so here’s a nice two-leg parlay to celebrate. It pays +113.

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  • Inter Milan (-240)
  • Atalanta (-200)



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Two-time champion Simona Halep advances past Coco Gauff at National Bank Open

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TORONTO — Two-time champion Simona Halep has moved on to the semifinals of the National Bank Open.

The Romanian player dispatched Coco Gauff of the United States 6-4, 7-6 on Friday.

The 30-year-old Halep won the title in 2016 and 2018 when it was still called the Rogers Cup.

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Halep will face seventh-seeded Jessica Pegula in a semifinal on Saturday. 

Pegula, the highest-rated player left in the tournament, downed Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-3 in their quarterfinal match.

Halep is now 4-0 in singles matches against Gauff on the WTA Tour.

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Later, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos of Mexico defeated Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi 2-6, 6-2 (10) to advance to the doubles semifinal.

The quarterfinal between Halep and Gauff on Friday was the only one at the National Bank Open with two seeded players. Gauff is the tournament’s 10th seed and Halep is 15th.

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An evenly contested first set saw both players take turns controlling the pace. Halep pulled away in part thanks to a pair of deep returns from Gauff that were well out of bounds.

The crowd at Sobeys Stadium on York University’s campus also seemed equally split, with Romanian flags dotting the stands but calls of “Let’s go Coco!” often punctuating the breaks in play.

Gauff was down a double break 4-1 in the second set, battling back from the brink to tie it up. The 18-year-old American clenched her fist and yelled “come on!” when Halep’s return landed out of bounds to tie the set 5-5.

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The see-saw match continued, with Halep digging deep to rally from a 30-0 deficit to take a 6-5 lead. Gauff then used her powerful forehand to force tiebreak, with a deep lob going past the charging Halep.

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Gauff had a poorly timed double fault to give Halep a 6-2 advantage in the tiebreak and force match point. The teenager then put a backhand into the net to end the match as Halep advanced.

In later quarterfinals, 12th seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland was set to face Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and 14th seed Karolina Pliskova was scheduled to take on China’s Zheng Qinwen.

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Trea Turner Has Historic Stats In His Dodgers Tenure

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(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

 

Trea Turner, the shortstop of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is about to become a very rich man when the World Series ends.

The 29-year-old star, one of the main actors in the Washington Nationals’ 2019 World Series win, will become a free agent after the Fall Classic, and he is putting up some insane numbers.

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His season performance has been magnificent, but if we extend the search for the last 162 games (to include portions of 2021 and 2022), we will find some historically great numbers.

“Trea Turner has played 162 games with the Dodgers: 208 H, 110 R, 28 HR, 47 2B, 109 RBI, 31 SB, 142 wRC+, 7.1 fWAR, .318/.359/.524/.883. He’s the 5th player in MLB history to have a 162-game stretch with those first 6 categories,” Dodgers insider Blake Harris tweeted.

The Dodgers acquired Turner before last year’s deadline, in the same deal that netted them ace Max Scherzer.

 

A True Star

Ever since coming over from Washington, he has been a true star for the Blues.

Turner represents the rare breed of player that can do absolutely anything on the field: he can hit for a high average, he has power that results in both doubles and home runs, he has blazing speed, and plays a fantastic shortstop.

He is the complete package for a contending team, and he is not even 30, so he should have several years left of his prime.

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The thing is that he will be very, very expensive, perhaps commanding more than $200 million.

The player has expressed his desire to stay in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers would very much love if that happened.

They seem like a functional marriage, but once he enters the market, everyone will be able to make a play.

The bidding will start soon.

The post Trea Turner Has Historic Stats In His Dodgers Tenure appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Dolphins owner Stephen Ross changes succession plan, will hand franchise to his daughter, per report

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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has had a change of heart regarding his succession plan for the NFL franchise. The 82-year-old has notified the league of his intentions to change his successor of the Dolphins to his daughter, Jennifer Ross, according to the Sports Business Journal. The process has not yet been completed, but Ross has reportedly made it clear to NFL executives of his desire to pass the team on to his children. Before this development, Dolphins vice chairman Bruce Beal would have had the opportunity to ascend to be the club’s owner. 

Of course, both Ross and Beal are no strangers to seeing their names in headlines over the last few months. Back on Aug. 2, the two were suspended and fined by the NFL for “tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity.” 

That punishment stemmed from the club pursuing both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. The league’s findings noted that the organization had “impermissible communications” with Brady on two different occasions. In August 2019, Beal had contact with Brady while the quarterback was still a member of the Patriots. Later, both Beal and Ross were “active participants” in discussions with Brady following the 2021 season while the future Hall of Famer was still with the Buccaneers

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Beal was suspended from league meetings for the remainder of the 2022 season and fined $500k. Meanwhile, Ross was suspended through Oct. 17, 2022, is not allowed to attend league meetings until 2023, removed from all league committees indefinitely, and fined $1.5 million. The Dolphins were also docked a 2023 first-round pick and a third-rounder in 2024. 

The Sports Business Journal reports that Ross deciding to have his daughter succeed him is not related to the latest punishment by the league and possibly even predates the investigation entirely. While that may be the case, a transition to Jennifer Ross, who already has an ownership stake in the team, may be the cleaner approach. 

In 2016, the NFL approved a plan that would allow Beal the first right to buy the Dolphins in the event of Ross’ death or sale. However, owners would have to vote again to allow him to take control of the team, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that these tampering charges could’ve been a major speed bump. 

In 2008, Ross bought 50% of the Dolphins franchise and later purchased an additional 45% in January 2009 at a total value of $1.1 billion. 

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