The NBA offseason started with a bang yesterday. As you know, because you're brilliant and subscribe to this newsletter, Chris Paul was traded from the Thunder to the Suns yesterday afternoon. Well, that was just the start of the action. As the evening went on, the rumors of James Harden demanding a trade to Brooklyn only grew louder, and we saw the Bucks swing a couple of big trades.
For me, aside from the playoffs, this is the best time of the year in the NBA. All the crazy stuff happens and anything seems possible. Generally, once the season starts, we have a solid idea of how things will go. Still, I'd have appreciated it if the trades had started happening during last night's NFL game. I could have used the distraction from watching the Chicago Bears continue to be horrible.
Of course, what's always funny to me about Bears games being on in primetime is that everybody on Twitter is reacting to them like, "this is the worst football game I have ever seen." Meanwhile, I'm sitting there in the comfort of my home thinking to myself, "this is every Bears game I've ever watched." I figure I'm a few more seasons of Bears misery away from achieving immortality. If they can't kill me, nothing can.
Anyway, let's see what's in the news today.
- Theo Epstein is stepping down as the president of the Chicago Cubs.
- Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall has resigned.
- Pete Rose and I have something in common.
- The injury to Bears QB Nick Foles isn't as bad as first feared.
OK, let's make some money
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Akron at Kent State, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Akron +27 (-110): There is nothing about this bet that you're going to enjoy. It's one of those decisions you make because the numbers tell you it's the right decision and then you just strap in and hope for the best. With the scheduled game between Ohio and Miami (OH) being canceled, it's left us with two MAC games featuring spreads of roughly four touchdowns. Of the two large dogs available tonight, Akron is the one I have the most confidence in.
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Which isn't to say Akron is good. For years I've been writing a weekly column called The Bottom 25, in which I use my rating system to determine the worst teams in the country. Akron was our Bottom 25 champion last season, and it enters tonight's contest 0-2. But -- BUT! -- this year's Akron is better than last year's. While Western Michigan blasted the Zips in their opener, they showed signs of life last week in a 24-10 loss to Ohio. The Zips outgained the Bobcats in the game and might have found a weapon on offense in running back Teon Dollard.
Tonight the Zips face a Kent State team that is much better, but the line for this game opened up closer to 21 in most places and has been bet to where it sits now at 27. The value on the Golden Flashes is gone, but it has provided some on the Zips.
Key Trend: The underdog has covered 10 of the last 14 in this series.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model has a couple of leans for tonight's matchup as well.
🏈 College Football
Buffalo at Bowling Green, 7 p.m | TV: CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Buffalo -31 (-115) -- I don't think there's anything I like less than taking a massive favorite on the road when it comes to betting. I'm doing it here, however, because it's the smartest play available on the board. There's no value to be found on the total. Instead, we're just going to rely on one of the better teams in the MAC to blow out one of the country's worst teams.
The Falcons don't just lose -- they lose big. Since the start of last season, Bowling Green has lost 11 games, and it's lost them by an average of 39 points. Only two of those 11 losses -- a 35-7 loss to Louisiana Tech and a 38-20 loss to Central Michigan last season -- have come by fewer than the 31 points in the spread for tonight's game. Last year, Buffalo beat the Falcons 49-7. We're talking about a Bowling Green team that has allowed 42.1 points per game in its last 10 conference games. It's bad. Very, very, very bad.
Key Trend: Bowling Green is 5-21 ATS in its last 26 home games.
SportsLine Lock of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model, which has generated over $3,900 profit for $100 college football bettors over the past four-plus years, has revealed its picks for both MAC games on Tuesday.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Isaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State -- When it comes to your QB tonight, you should be fine with either Kent State's Dustin Crum or Buffalo's Kyle Vantrease. I lean slightly toward Crum, mostly because I want to pair him with McKoy. McKoy finished last season tied for the most receiving touchdowns in the MAC with eight, and he's already had three through two games this season. Tonight he's going against one of the worst pass defenses in the country. He's as close to a lock as a lock can be to find the end zone at least once.
Xavier Williams, RB, Kent State -- Williams presents a strong value play because Kent State runs a lot of plays and likes to run the ball. Also, as 27-point favorites in the game, odds are the Flashes will have a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter. Williams has already seen 12 carries through the first two games of the season, but should the Flashes have a comfortable lead, he could see an increase in snaps tonight. For his price, he won't have to produce much to be useful in your lineup.
Full lineup advice
SportsLine's team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation's most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
⚽ UEFA Nations League Parlay
This is for Wednesday afternoon. It pays out at +276.
- Belgium -163
- Czech Republic -200
- Italy -300
- England -600