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Rebounds in season opener by Ben Simmons, who also scores 19 points

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie doesn’t seem to be making trades to help the team win. He makes trades for injured players and those who will never play for the Sixers. Eric Fisher fears Hinkie has Andrew Bynum Syndrome.

The Greek God of Wrestling examines the rapid rise of Jinder Mahal, who will challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Backlash. Achilles Heel also recaps Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds (and previews the show at 2300 Arena), tells you which Ring of Honor star may be headed for WWE, and tells you when you can see the United Kingdom show on WWE Network.

Many people expected that shortstop Freddy Galvis would be replaced by prospect J.P. Crawford by midseason, but, in his Phillies Notebook, Eric Fisher suggests that Galvis may have been the Phillies’ most valuable player during the first half of the season.

Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Putting it on the Line

Posted by Eric Fisher On October - 10 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Coming off my first winning week of the season, I’d love to tell you that I’m about to go on a roll. I would love to tell you that I have some awesome sure-fire winners this week.

But I don’t. The games with close lines seem like tough calls, and the games with really big lines involve home teams (the Vikings and Texans) that have been less than impressive and road teams (the Cardinals and Bills) who could easily be beaten by double digits.

I struggled to select a “best bet,” finally settling on the Panthers (-1) against the Redskins. The Redskins are coming off a Monday night blowout loss to the Saints. The Panthers scored 33 points last Sunday against the Giants. I like the Panthers, but not as much as I usually like my top selections.

The Jets (-2½) over the visiting Colts were almost my top selection, but it’s the Jets. I can’t do it. The Chargers (-1) over the Browns were almost my best bet, but the Browns have played everyone tough. I took the Broncos (-7) over the Rams because the Broncos should never be 7-point underdogs at home.

As for the Eagles (-3), I’m taking them over the Giants, but, as is my advice for most of this week’s games, I’d stay away from it. My best bet and other top picks should be, at most, mild plays. It’s definitely not a week to bet the house. (Not that there’s ever a good week to bet the house.)

Here are my shaky Week 6 selections:

(Home team in CAPS) 

(Winning team against the line in bold)

Eagles -3 at GIANTS  

VIKINGS -10½ vs. Cardinals

Chargers -1 at BROWNS

Bears -3 at DOLPHINS

Panthers -1 at REDSKINS

JETS -2½ vs. Colts

Steelers +2½ at BENGALS

FALCONS -3½ vs. Bucs

RAIDERS +3 vs. Seahawks

Bills +10 at TEXANS

BRONCOS +7 vs. Rams

Jaguars -3 at COWBOYS

TITANS +3 vs. Ravens

PATRIOTS -3½ vs. Chiefs

PACKERS -9½ vs. 49ers

Best bet: Panthers -1 at REDSKINS

Other top picks: JETS -2½ vs. Colts; Chargers -1 at BROWNS; FALCONS -3½ vs. Bucs; BRONCOS +7 vs. Rams

Last week: 8-6-1 (31-41-6 this season)

Best Bet: 1-0 (3-2 this season)

Other top picks: 2-2 (8-10-2 this season)

Putting it on the Line

Posted by Eric Fisher On October - 4 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

There are five games with 3-point lines this week. Those are games that could go either way. In fact, I switched my pick on the Ravens-Browns game twice and was tempted to do so for some other games with 3-point lines. Obviously, I don’t have enough confidence in any of those picks to make them one of my top selections.

Instead, I went in the other direction. I selected the Patriots (-10½) over the Colts as my “best bet.” The Colts won’t have much time to forget about an overtime loss at home. The short week for Thursday night games usually favors the home team. The Colts have suffered narrow losses the past two weeks, but the Patriots seemed to hit their stride last Sunday against the Dolphins. I like the Patriots to win by a wide margin.

I went with the next two largest lines for two of my “other top picks.” I like the Chargers (-7) against the Raiders and the Rams (-7) over the host Seahawks. It’s difficult to imagine picking against the Seahawks as 7-point home underdogs, but they lost several key defensive players within the past week, including safety Earl Thomas to a leg injury and former Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks to suspension.

I also like the Saints (-6½) over the visiting Redskins on Monday Night Football, so the four biggest lines are among my top five selections this Sunday.

As for the Eagles (-3), I’m leaning toward the Vikings, who seem as if they’re constructed to take advantage of the absence of safety Rodney McLeod.

Look for a big rebound with my Week 5 selections:

(Home team in CAPS)                                           

(Winning team against the line in bold)

PATRIOTS -10½ vs. Colts  

Ravens -3 at BROWNS

CHIEFS -3 vs. Jaguars

BILLS +5 vs. Titans

Giants +6 at PANTHERS

Broncos pick ‘em at JETS

Falcons +3 at STEELERS

LIONS pick ‘em vs. Packers

Dolphins +5½ at BENGALS

CHARGERS -7 vs. Raiders

49ERS -4 vs. Cardinals

Vikings +3 at EAGLES

Rams -7 at SEAHAWKS

Cowboys +3 at TEXANS

SAINTS -6½ vs. Redskins

Best bet: PATRIOTS -10½ vs. Colts  

Other top picks: CHARGERS -7 vs. Raiders; Rams -7 at SEAHAWKS; SAINTS -6½ vs. Redskins; 49ERS -4 vs. Cardinals

Last week: 5-7-3 (23-35-5 this season)

Best Bet: 0-1 (2-2 this season)

Other top picks: 2-2 (6-8-2 this season)

Maurice Cheeks enters Hall of Fame