It's incredible what the pandemic has done to how I react to cancelations and postponements of games. As a college football writer, I now approach each week wondering how many games will be removed from the schedule and hoping that, if any are, they aren't the games I really want to watch.
Well, Thursday morning brought the news that the NFL postponed the Titans and Steelers game, which didn't come as much of a surprise given that we've known about the possibility for a couple of days now. What caught me off-guard, however, was another postponed game that came later.
When MLB announced that Game Two of the series between the Cubs and Marlins was off, my initial reaction was, "oh no! Who tested positive?" It took a moment to dawn on me that baseball games get called for inclement weather all the time, which was the case here. Of course, I should also point out that I live 1.5 miles away from Wrigley Field, and as I type this, it's currently sunny outside with no rain in the area.
Anyway, I wonder how long it will be until my brain gets back to its normal mode of assuming postponed games are due to weather and not this damn virus. Hopefully, it'll be soon.
Elsewhere in the wide world of sports this afternoon:
- Bills QB Josh Allen thinks he'll be fined for using naughty language with a ref.
- Ravens corner Marlon Humphrey got paid.
- How will Goran Dragic's injury affect the Heat?
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Broncos at Jets, 8:20 p.m. | TV: NFL Network
The Pick: Under 41 (-110): Two weeks ago, in my weekly NFL picks column, I took the Jets to cover against the 49ers. It did not work out well because, as you might have noticed, the New York Jets are awful. I would call them a dumpster fire, but at least dumpster fires accomplish something. However, I don't want to bet the Broncos here, either. They're turning to their third quarterback of the season in Brett Rypien. They don't have their best player on defense in Von Miller. They don't have their best receiver in Courtland Sutton. They're probably not going to have Philip Lindsay at running back.
So what do we do when we don't want to bet either side? We rely on two bad teams to be bad. This game will probably be just as ugly as it looks on paper, and that's what we're counting on here. Two bad offenses trying their hardest to be slightly better than the other one for 60 minutes. This way, we're betting against both teams simultaneously.
Key Trend: The under is 4-1 in the Jets last five home games.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: Mike 'Top Dog' Tierney is the No. 1 all-time NFL expert at SportsLine, returning more than $4,000 to $100 players. Here is his play for Broncos-Jets.
Cardinals at Padres, 7:08 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Cardinals (+146) -- Why mess with a good thing? On Wednesday, I told you to take the Cardinals because we were getting a great price, and we still are! The Padres were a great team during the regular season and have young, exciting players, but they're also without two of their top starters in this series. Tonight they're starting Zach Davies, who the Cardinals are familiar with from his time in Milwaukee. And the Cardinals have liked what they've seen. They have an impressive wOBA of .370 against him and are slugging .496. St. Louis might end this tonight.
Key Trend: St. Louis is 10-2 in its last 12 games against a right-handed starter.
Brewers at Dodgers, 10:08 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 7.5 (-120) -- We're going back to the well here too. I liked the under in this matchup on Wednesday, and it's just as attractive here tonight. Brandon Woodruff isn't well-known, but he's been a reliable starter for the Brewers and misses a lot of bats. Current Dodgers hitters have struck out in 35.7% of their plate appearances against him. Then there's Clayton Kershaw taking the mound for the Dodgers, and he's Clayton Kershaw. Sure, he's had struggles in the postseason during his career, but a part of me wonders if playing these games in an empty stadium might benefit his nerves. Either way, I don't see many runs being scored in this one, particularly with a light breeze blowing in from center through most of the night.
Key Trend: The under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model is heavily favoring one side of the Cardinals vs. Padres Wild-Card Round game at 7:08 p.m. ET. SportsLine subscribers can get picks for that game, and for every other MLB game today, here.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Your MVP or Captain
Brett Rypien ($12K FD/$15.3K DK) -- With a matchup like tonight, let's try to fade the public and try to cash in big time. As mentioned when explaining the under pick above, Brett Rypien is Denver's third-string QB. Nobody is going to want him in this spot. Melvin Gordon or Sam Darnold will be the most popular pick, so let's go against the grain with Rypien. He's probably not going to have a big night, but I don't think any offensive players will. But if Rypien somehow throws a touchdown or two? You'll get a boost few others you're facing will.
Sam Ficken ($9K FD/$6.6K DK) -- In low-scoring games, you can win a lot of money by putting a kicker in your lineup. I'm listing Ficken here, but Brandon McManus is fine too. Hell, if you want, take both. If we get a field goal-fest, they're going to be the highest-scoring players in the game.
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 is one of the top MLB DFS experts anywhere. Check out his MLB picks here, and be sure to see what he's picking for NBA DFS here too. Use SportsLine's all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.
🏈 Thursday Night Football Props
Honestly, the only way this game is going to be interesting is if you're betting on it, so you might as well bet on a bunch of different things.
- Sam Darnold Under 234.5 passing yards (-115)
- Melvin Gordon Under 21.5 receiving yards (-115)
- K.J. Hamler Under 36.5 receiving yards (-120)