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The CJ McCollum trade will have a huge impact on Rockets vs. Pelicans, plus other best bets for Tuesday

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Good afternoon everyone, it’s Chris Bengel here. Welcome to one of the most fun weeks of sports betting on the entire calendar. The last six months of NFL action come down to just one more game on Sunday before the offseason truly begins 😞

Caesars Sportsbook and others make it fun for fans to get involved in just about any angle of the action during the Super Bowl. You can bet on everything from the length of the national anthem to the color of Gatorade that the winning coach will have poured on him. Oh, yeah, you can also bet on the game itself. 

Speaking of the game itself, this one is definitely tough to get a barometer on. As of this writing, the Los Angeles Rams are 4.5-point favorites — and deservedly so. However, if there’s one thing that the betting public has learned throughout this postseason, it’s that you should never count out Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. I’m still debating, but I’m leaning more towards the Bengals side and may even like them to pull off the upset.

Before we get to the “Big Game,” we’ve got some action on the hardwood and the ice that I love tonight. Let’s dive into the picks!

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

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🔥 The Hot Ticket


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🏀Rockets at Pelicans, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV

Latest Odds:

Under 224.5

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The Pick: Under 225.0 points (-110): While the Super Bowl has most people talking, bettors can’t forget about the NBA trade deadline and its significance over the next three days. On Tuesday, the Pelicans made a trade to acquire star guard CJ McCollum from the Trail Blazers

To make that move a reality, the Pelicans had to part with guards Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. With these talented guards switching teams, that will leaves the Pelicans without two of their top five leading scorers and they won’t have the services of McCollum until later this week. Since the Pelicans will be shorthanded, I love the under in this spot.

Throughout the 2021-22 season, the Pelicans are averaging 105.8 points-per-game, which is good for 26th in the league. In addition, the under is 6-2 in the Pelicans’ last eight home games against a team with a road winning percentage less than .400. With a 15-38 record, the Rockets have the worst mark in the Western Conference and the third-worst across the NBA. The Rockets also average just 108.3 points-per-game (No. 18 in the league) and sure the Pelicans should score their fair share of points. However, with New Orleans being without two previous members of their backcourt, I don’t see these teams hitting this fairly large total.

Key Trend: The under is 5-0-1 in the Pelicans’ last six games

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💰 The Picks


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🏀 NBA

Clippers at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV

Latest Odds:

Los Angeles Clippers
+8.5

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The Pick: Clippers +8.0 (-110)This may not seem like the greatest spot to side with the Clippers after getting manhandled by the Bucks on Sunday. However, the Clippers have had a mentality of bouncing back after big losses as of late. The Clippers are 5-0 ATS over their last five games after allowing over 125 points in their previous game. On Sunday, the Clippers yielded a staggering 137 points to the Bucks and ended up falling, 137-113.

The Grizzlies are one of the more prolific offenses in the NBA as they average 112.7 points-per-game (No. 5 in the NBA). However, the Clippers are also one of the better defensive units as they surrender just 107.4 points per contest. The Clippers also hold their opponents to a 33.5 percent shooting clip from three, which is the third-best mark in the league. Certainly, it hasn’t been an easy road without Kawhi Leonard and now Paul George in the lineup this season, but the Clippers are a resilient group that I feel confident will bounce back in this spot. 

Key Trend: The Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a road underdog

🏒 NHL

Penguins at Bruins, 7 p.m. I TV: ESPN+

Latest Odds:

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Pittsburgh Penguins
+110

The Pick: Penguins (+110) — The Penguins return from the All-Star break in the midst of one of their biggest slumps of the 2021-22 season. This is a group that lost four consecutive games prior to the All-Star break, including three of those losses coming in overtime or shootout. Still, I like the Penguins to bounce back in this spot.

Even in the midst of their four-game losing streak, the Penguins are still 7-2 over their last nine games against Eastern Conference foes. The Penguins do possess one of the most dangerous offenses around as they average 3.3 goals-per-game — good for eighth in the NHL

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Now, it’s worth noting that Pittsburgh will be without star forward Evgeni Malkin, who was placed in COVID-19 protocol on Monday. While it’s not great to be without Malkin, the star center did miss the first first three months of the season due to offseason knee surgery. They’ve been without Malkin before and excelled, so I expect the Penguins to be able to pull off the win as the road underdog in this spot. It also doesn’t hurt that the Penguins are facing a Bruins team that has dropped four of their last six games.

Key Trend: The Penguins are 9-2 in their last 11 road games



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USC avoids upset vs. Oregon State after Caleb Williams connects with Jordan Addison for game-winning TD

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Oregon State pushed No. 7 USC to the brink of an upset on Saturday night before the Trojans survived for a 17-14 victory thanks to a late touchdown from a largely ineffective offense. After connecting just twice for 21 yards over the span of 58 minutes, quarterback Caleb Williams found Jordan Addison for a 21-yard score down the right sideline with 1:13 remaining. The Trojans defense, which came up huge all night, then produced a game-clinching interception — the fourth of the evening —  as Max Williams picked off Chance Nolan with 35 seconds remaining.

The touchdown connection between Williams and Addison was a rare moment of brilliance in an otherwise frustrating night for the Trojans offense. Williams finished just 16 of 36 passing for 180 yards and was held without a touchdown until his go-ahead toss to Addison, who finished with just 42 yards on receiving on three receptions.

USC started the night with a turnover on downs, a missed field goal and a punt before finally getting on the scoreboard with a 42-yarder from Denis Lynch with 5:38 left in the first half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Trojans finally found the end zone, when Travis Dye surged in from 7 yards out to make it 10-7 with 14:18 remaining.

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The Trojans averaged 50.7 points per game in their first three wins against RiceStanford and Fresno State; Oregon State similarly entered averaging 45.7 points. Defense won the day, however, as USC’s four turnovers gives the Trojans an astonishing 14-0 turnover edge on its opponents so far this season.

Jam Griffin scored from 18 yards out with 4:41 remaining to give the Beavers a 14-10 lead. Then, with its back against the wall, the Trojans delivered their response to improve to 4-0 in coach Lincoln Riley’s first season.



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Bowl projections: Clemson jumps into College Football Playoff as Kansas State upsets Oklahoma

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Despite a season that has already been filled with upsets, change finally comes to the College Football Playoff projection for the first time following Week 4 action. Falling 41-34 to Kansas State on Saturday night, Oklahoma has been bounced from the field of four and replaced by Clemson.

While the Sooners’ loss to the Wildcats for the third time in four seasons does not put them out of the running for the Big 12 championship, the Tigers are now far more likely to end their regular season as an undefeated conference champion out of the ACC. Clemson beat Wake Forest 51-45 Saturday afternoon and looks to only have one ranked opponent remaining on its schedule, which it gets at home (NC State next week).

Michigan beat Maryland 34-27 this week and was the first team out of the last projection; however, it still has top-15 programs Penn State at home and Ohio State on the road over the second half of the season.

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The other top-four teams held serve Saturday. Georgia was not as impressive as usual despite a 39-22 win over Kent State, Ohio State blasted Wisconsin 52-21, and Alabama routed Vanderbilt 55-3.

Check back Sunday for Jerry Palm’s complete bowl projections after Week 4.

College Football Playoff

Jan. 9

National Championship
Inglewood, Calif.

Title game Semifinal winners

Dec. 31

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Peach Bowl
Atlanta

Semifinal

(1) Georgia vs. (4) Clemson

Dec. 31

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.

Semifinal

(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Alabama

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Stampeders beat Lions, both teams lock up playoff spots

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VANCOUVER — The Calgary Stampeders avoided a season sweep at the hands of the B.C. Lions with a defensively impressive 25-11 win at B.C. Place on Saturday.

The win ensures the Stampeders will go to the playoffs for the 17th year in a row.

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A spectacular 54-yard catch by rookie Jalen Philpot of Delta, B.C., set up the only major score of the first half, landing the Stampeders (9-5) on B.C.’s three-yard-line for a touchdown conversion by Ka’Deem Carey.

Calgary failed on its two-point convert attempt. Peyton Logan added a 19-yard touchdown run with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter, and Dominique Rhymes caught B.C.’s lone touchdown pass from Antonio Pipkin with 29 seconds remaining. Pipkin carried the ball across the one-yard-line for a successful two-point convert.

Calgary’s field-goal kicker Rene Paredes was good on four-of-five attempts, from 39, 33, 31 and 33 yards. He added a convert for 13 total points.

For the Lions (9-4), Sean Whyte extended his CFL field-goal streak to 13 with a 34-yard kick to get his club on the scoreboard with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

Paredes kicked wide to the right on his first field-goal attempt of the game. That came just 2:08 into the contest — the Stampeders had marched down to the B.C. 41-yard line after opening the first quarter by recovering Paredes’ 11-yard onside kick.

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One week after grabbing a 31-29 overtime win over the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium, the Lions could not find a spark to ignite their offence.

In his first home start at B.C. Place after being acquired in a trade with the Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 19, quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. was 12-for-24 in the air for 151 yards. He added 11 yards on the ground. Anthony Pipkin stepped in under centre late in the fourth quarter, going 4-for-6 for 66 yards and one touchdown throw.

Kicker Stefan Flintoft had a busy night for the Lions, punting for 417 yards.

The Lions also came out on the wrong side of the penalty tally. After last week’s thriller at McMahon Stadium included 215 yards in total penalties, B.C. was whistled for six penalties for 65 yards on Saturday. That included a critical major foul on Jordan Williams which gave Calgary good position near centre field before Philpot’s monster catch shortly before halftime.

A major foul for roughing the passer also negated an interception by T.J. Lee with just over three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.

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As Calgary’s defence kept the Lions pinned in their own half of the field for most of the game, quarterback Jake Maier had a strong outing. He completed 27 of 33 pass attempts for 294 yards and added 14 rushing yards. The Stampeders finished with five penalties for 36 yards.

With the win, combined with losses this week by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks, Calgary clinched its 17th-consecutive CFL post-season berth on the night Dave Dickenson coached his 100th career game with the Stampeders, improving his record to 70-28-2.

After the Lions won both matchups at McMahon Stadium for the first time since 2010, the Stampeders extended a winning record at B.C. Place that stretches back to 2016.

Despite the loss, B.C. also clinched its first playoff spot since 2018.

FOOT NOTES: Stampeders’ veteran offensive lineman Derek Dennis was taken off the field on a cart late in the first quarter after suffering a leg injury …Injured B.C. wide receiver Josh Pearson led the crowd in the singing of `O Canada’ before the game … The B.C. Football Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2022 before Saturday’s game … The Lions also held their Salute to Amateur Football … Next week, the Lions will host the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday, while the Stampeders will be back at McMahon Stadium to take on the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday.

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