There's so much NFL news flying at us today! If you didn't know, today is the first day of the NFL legal tampering period in free agency, and it didn't take long for deals to get leaked. Honestly, it's been hard to keep track of, but thankfully, we're keeping track of everything here for you.
One of the biggest deals to go down so far is San Francisco signing Javon Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal. That means one of the best defenses in the NFL added the player many consider the best defensive free agent available this year. I guess the 49ers want a contingency plan in place in case they find themselves playing in another playoff game with their fourth-string QB. You can't lose if you don't allow any points!
- Austin Ekeler isn't a free agent, but he may be leaving the Chargers.
- Jimmy G has a new home.
- Former Texas coach Chris Beard wasn't out of work long.
- MLB's new rules are working so far.
Now let's get through the final night before the NCAA Tournament begins.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Suns at Warriors, 10 p.m. | TV: ESPN
- Key Trend: The Suns have covered five straight on the road.
- The Pick: Suns +4.5 (-110)
Today is an odd day on the sports betting calendar for me. I've spent the last week in the lab grinding college basketball for championship week and preparing for the NCAA Tournament. This is the one day of that stretch when there isn't any college basketball to bet on. So now I've got to look back to the NBA -- which I've largely ignored of late-- to find some plays.
While Phoenix is already getting the full Kevin Durant experience of having him return from injury only to injure himself shortly after, this Phoenix team was already pretty good before Durant showed up. They'll be facing a Warriors team that's been banged up itself, and it's a Warriors team that I believe Phoenix is much better than.
Golden State is 23-11-1 ATS at home and 18-11-1 ATS as a home favorite, but the Suns have been excellent ATS on the road, and they've crushed division opponents. Phoenix is 9-2 ATS against Pacific Division teams this season and 23-16-1 ATS against Western Conference teams. That includes a mark of 3-0 against these Warriors.
So not only have the Suns covered all three games against Golden State this season, but they've won all three by at least double-digits. That's right, they've outscored the Warriors by 52 points, including a 125-113 win in San Francisco in January. Maybe the Warriors pick up their first win of the season against the Suns tonight, but asking them to do that and cover is a bit much.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model and I disagree on the spread, but it's a bigger fan of a play on the total.
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💰 The Picks
Celtics at Rockets, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Rockets +13 (-110) -- There's data to this pick, but there's also a lot of gut. The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA (they rank 4th overall in defensive efficiency) but have been slipping a bit on that end of the court lately. Since the All-Star break, Boston ranks 17th in the league in defensive efficiency.
I don't think that's enough to expect they'll lose tonight in Houston, but asking a team that's been slacking to cover 13 points is a lot. Especially when they'll be playing the second game of a six-game road trip that lasts 10 days. Houston is a young team, and that leads to wild inconsistencies, but it's not a team that lacks confidence. These kids love to get shots up, and if those shots start to fall, the Rockets can put points on you in a hurry.
⚽ Champions League
Porto vs. Inter Milan, Tuesday, 4 p.m. | TV: Paramount+
The Pick: Porto (+160) -- I took Inter at home in the first leg because I thought it was undervalued and because Porto hadn't been nearly as solid defensively in Champions League play as it is in Portugal. And that's what happened, as Inter won 1-0, and the expected goals finished 1.6-1.5. But that 1.5 Inter allowed caused me to raise my eyebrow for the second leg back in Portugal.
Inter lost to Spezia 2-1 over the weekend. In its first match following the Porto win, it lost to Bologna 1-0. Both matches were on the road, and both matches saw Inter struggle defensively. In fact, Inter hasn't won any of its last three away matches. The third was a draw to Sampdoria. For those who don't pay attention to Serie A, Spezia, Bologna, and Sampdoria sit in 17th, 9th and 20th place, respectively. If Inter is struggling on the road against them, how can I trust it against one of the more prominent teams in Europe?
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine's Stephen Oh has been crushing it on NBA totals lately and he's got a play for tonight's game between the Miami Heat and Utah Jazz.