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I don't know about you, but I put on about five pounds this weekend. It was glorious. Sure, I'll have to pay the price for it in the weeks ahead and spend more time working out because of it, but I don't care. If you aren't willing to put in the work for four days of feasting and football, then what are you willing to work for? Money? Who are you? Max Scherzer?

Yes, that's the big news of the day. It turns out Mets owner Steve Cohen being so personally offended by Stephen Matz not signing with the team might be the best thing to ever happen to the Mets. He's taking the frustrations out on his savings account, as it's being reported the Mets are signing Scherzer to a three-year deal worth $130 million. That gives the Mets two of the most dominant pitchers of this era in their starting rotation, as Scherzer will be paired with Jacob deGrom.

Of course, they're still the Mets, so it's safe to assume they'll probably mess it up somehow, and in hilarious fashion. Let's check out what else is happening in the world of sports on this fine Monday.

All right, while you read these picks, I'm going to get on the bike and work off that extra piece of pecan pie.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

🏈 Seahawks at Football Team, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Seahawks -2.5 Alternative Line (+100)
: Dearest reader, we are making newsletter history today. For the first time, I am taking an alternate line. For novice gamblers, while point spreads and totals exist for games, sportsbooks also offer other spreads and totals with different prices on them. As I write this on Monday afternoon, the line at Caesars Sportsbook has the game as a pick-em, meaning there's no spread. You're just picking a winner. That's fine, but I see some value on the alternate spread of Seattle -2.5 at even odds.

Why? Well, because I don't think Washington is a good Football Team. Washington is 4-6 on the season, but three of those wins have come against the Giants, Falcons and Panthers. Sure, there was also the win over Tampa Bay, but that struck me as a lightning strike game more than an indication of anything. This is still the same Washington team with an offense that ranks 20th in offensive EPA and 31st in defensive EPA. Now, the Seahawks haven't been much better, but we can't look past the chunk of time Seattle spent without Russell Wilson.

Nor should we ignore how badly the Seahawks have looked with Russell Wilson since his return. However, my inkling here is that Wilson returned too soon because he saw his team's season slipping away, and he hasn't been close to 100%. I don't know if he's there yet, but he's getting closer, and had Wilson been healthy all season long, I don't think we're looking at a pick-em tonight. I think the Seahawks would have been favored by a field goal, which is where I'm taking them tonight. I might be a genius, or it might blow up in my face. Whatever happens, at least we'll have introduced the practice of alternate lines into the newsletter.

We're learning and growing together!

Key Trend: Washington is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games and all six of its losses this season have come by at least four points.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's Mike Tierney is 24-11-1 ATS in his last 36 plays involving the Washington Football Team, and he's published his pick for tonight's game too.


💰 The Picks

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USATSI

🏀 NBA

Thunder at Rockets, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass

Latest Odds: Under 217.5

The Pick: Under 216.5 (-110) -- What's interesting about these teams is that while they're both bad and will miss the playoffs, they aren't terrible defensively. Hell, Oklahoma City's actually pretty good. The Thunder rank 14th in the league in defensive rating, while the Rockets rank 20th. That might not seem like much, but it's not bad given how young and inexperienced these teams are. Where the youth and inexperience show up is on the offensive end.

The Rockets rank 29th in the NBA in offensive rating. The only team they're ranked ahead of? Yep, it's the Thunder. Find an important offensive stat, and odds are these two can be found among the five worst teams in the NBA at it, and that makes me think this total is too high. Another factor we can't ignore is that Houston will be without its top pick in the draft, Jalen Green. Green suffered a hamstring injury in Houston's surprise win over the Bulls last week and has been out since. He's the team's second-leading scorer this season, and a lot of the offense runs through him when he's on the court. It usually doesn't make the offense better when you have a terrible offense and take away one of its best players.

Key Trend: The under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings.

🏀 College Basketball

Notre Dame at Illinois, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPN2

Latest Odds: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +4

The Pick: Notre Dame +5 (-110) -- It has been a rough start to the season for my beloved Illini, and it's only going to get rougher tonight. Illinois began the season ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll but weren't ranked at all this week following a 4-2 start to the season. The team was without star center Kofi Cockburn for the first three games of the season and has been dealing with plenty of other injuries as well.

Cockburn's fellow Naismith Award nominee Andre Curbelo has been dealing with a concussion and is unlikely to play tonight. Guard Trent Frazier hurt his knee in the team's win over Kansas State last week and will be out tonight as well. Then there's Jacob Grandison, who is dealing with the flu and will miss this game. That's three starters the Illini are down, which was the case Friday night when the Illini played some team called UT Rio Grande Valley. They won that game 94-85 but didn't pull away until the final minutes as they struggled mightily on the defensive end.

Tonight they face a solid Notre Dame squad that is one of the few teams in the country with enough size to match up effectively with Cockburn. While the Irish aren't a great three-point shooting team, they rank 19th nationally in KenPom's offensive efficiency metrics, and they take care of the basketball. Illinois does not, as its turnover rate of 24.2% ranks 334th nationally. The Illini might manage to squeak out a win in this one, but even if they do, it's hard to imagine they'll be capable of pulling away from the Irish given how thin they'll be. I'm taking the Irish and the points, but I'm strongly considering a money line play too.

Key Trend: The Illini have failed to cover the spread in four straight games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Looking to make some prop bets? SportsLine's Projection Model shared all of its favorite prop bets for tonight's Monday Night Football game.


🏀 Tonight's Parlay

Here's a four-leg college basketball money line parlay that pays +142.

  • Appalachian State (-420)
  • Boston College (-230)
  • St. Mary's (-475)
  • Oregon (-800)