<![CDATA[NBA RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![CDATA[Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks - 9/30/16 WNBA Game Two Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/30/chicago-sky-vs-los-angeles-sparks-9/30/16-wnba-game-two-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks play game two of the WNBA semifinals Saturday at the Staples Center on ESPNews.

The Chicago Sky need a win here to have a realistic chance of winning the series. The Chicago Sky are averaging 86.5 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allowing 86.2 points on 43.9 percent shooting. Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 15.5 points and three rebounds while Cappie Pondexter is averaging 14 points and three assists. Tamera Young is the third double-digit scorer and Jessica Breland is grabbing 11.5 rebounds. The Sky are…

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The Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks play game two of the WNBA semifinals Saturday at the Staples Center on ESPNews.

The Chicago Sky need a win here to have a realistic chance of winning the series. The Chicago Sky are averaging 86.5 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allowing 86.2 points on 43.9 percent shooting. Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 15.5 points and three rebounds while Cappie Pondexter is averaging 14 points and three assists. Tamera Young is the third double-digit scorer and Jessica Breland is grabbing 11.5 rebounds. The Sky are shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and 82.9 percent from the free throw line. The Chicago Sky are allowing 35.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.7 rebounds per game. The Chicago Sky have lost four of their last five road games.

The Los Angeles Sparks can take full control of this series by snagging another victory. The Los Angeles Sparks are averaging 83.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting and allowing 75.9 points on 43.2 percent shooting. Candace Parker is averaging 30 points and nine rebounds while Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 27 points and six assists. Jantel Lavender is the third double-digit scorer and Kristi Toliver is dishing three assists. The Los Angeles Sparks are shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. The Sparks are allowing 30.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 31.6 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Sparks have won 11 of their last 14 home games.

The Sky are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss. The Sparks are 20-44-1 ATS in their last 65 home games and 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 games playing on 1 days rest. The Sky are 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles and 0-6 ATS in the last 6 meetings overall.

It's going to be hard for the Sky to compete in this series without another offensive weapon in Elena Delle Donne. However, this is a ton of points to lay again with a Sparks team that can struggle at times and hasn't been the best team in the world in terms of covering numbers. The Sky still have a talented roster that can put points on the board and play hard. Chicago won't win, but is more than capable of keeping it within the number given the fact this is probably a must win game.

I'll take the points here. 

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:42:38 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=58047
<![CDATA[Phoenix Mercury vs. Minnesota Lynx - 9/30/16 WNBA Game Two Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/30/phoenix-mercury-vs-minnesota-lynx-9/30/16-wnba-game-two-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx square off Friday night in game two of the WNBA semifinals at the Target Arena on ESPNews.

The Phoenix Mercury need a bounce back win here if they want a realistic chance to win this series. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 85.4 points on 46 percent shooting and allowing 84.2 points on 44.6 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 25 points and 3.3 assists while Brittney Griner is averaging 18.7 points and seven rebounds. Penny Taylor is the third double-digit scorer and Candice Dupree is grabbing four…

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The Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx square off Friday night in game two of the WNBA semifinals at the Target Arena on ESPNews.

The Phoenix Mercury need a bounce back win here if they want a realistic chance to win this series. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 85.4 points on 46 percent shooting and allowing 84.2 points on 44.6 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 25 points and 3.3 assists while Brittney Griner is averaging 18.7 points and seven rebounds. Penny Taylor is the third double-digit scorer and Candice Dupree is grabbing four rebounds. The Phoenix Mercury are shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc and 84.1 percent from the free throw line. The Mercury are allowing percent 35.3 shooting from deep and are grabbing 31.9 rebounds per game. The Phoenix Mercury have lost five of their last eight road games.

The Minnesota Lynx can take full control of this series by winning yet another home game. The Minnesota Lynx are averaging 86.6 points on 47.6 percent shooting and allowing 77.5 points on 42 percent shooting. Maya Moore is averaging 31 points and eight rebounds while Lindsay Whalen is averaging 19 points and seven assists. Sylvia Fowles is the third double-digit scorer and Renee Montgomery is dishing three assists. The Minnesota Lynx are shooting 34.2 percent from beyond the arc and 80.2 percent from the free throw line. The Lynx are allowing 32.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.9 rebounds per game. The Minnesota Lynx have won 11 straight home games.

The Mercury are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 Friday games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Lynx are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Mercury are 1-7 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Minnesota and 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings overall.

The Lynx have won the last seven games against the Mercury and has been able to cover the number in most of those games as well. Minnesota has also won 11 straight games at home and seems to playing its best ball of the season overall. The Mercury will have a chance to make this a series in Phoenix, but it's going to be tough for them to compete or win in Minnesota, as we saw in game one.

Give me the Lynx and the reasonable line. 

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Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:30:23 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=58044
<![CDATA[Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks - 9/28/16 WNBA Game One Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/28/chicago-sky-vs-los-angeles-sparks-9/28/16-wnba-game-one-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks play game one of the WNBA semifinals Wednesday at the Staples Center on ESPN2.

The Chicago Sky are fresh off eliminating the Atlanta Dream Sunday afternoon. The Chicago Sky are averaging 86.8 points on 46.5 percent shooting and allowing 85.9 points on 43.6 percent shooting. Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 21 points and 13 assists while Jessica Breland is averaging 20 points and 16 rebounds. Cappie Pondexter is the third double-digit scorer and Tamera Young is dishing three assists. The Sky are shooting 37…

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The Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks play game one of the WNBA semifinals Wednesday at the Staples Center on ESPN2.

The Chicago Sky are fresh off eliminating the Atlanta Dream Sunday afternoon. The Chicago Sky are averaging 86.8 points on 46.5 percent shooting and allowing 85.9 points on 43.6 percent shooting. Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 21 points and 13 assists while Jessica Breland is averaging 20 points and 16 rebounds. Cappie Pondexter is the third double-digit scorer and Tamera Young is dishing three assists. The Sky are shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc and 82.9 percent from the free throw line. The Chicago Sky are allowing 35.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.8 rebounds per game. The Chicago Sky have split their last eight road games.

The Los Angeles Sparks have had the luxury of getting 12 days off since their last game. The Los Angeles Sparks are averaging 83 points on 48.7 percent shooting and allowing 75.9 points on 43.3 percent shooting. Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 19.7 points and 9.1 rebounds while Candace Parker is averaging 15.3 points and 4.9 assists. Kristi Toliver is the third double-digit scorer and Jantel Lavender is grabbing 3.6 rebounds. The Los Angeles Sparks are shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. The Sparks are allowing 30.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 31.5 rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Sparks have won 10 of their last 13 home games.

The Sky are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Sparks are 19-44-1 ATS in their last 64 home games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Sky are 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings. 

The Sparks have won the last five meetings against the Sky and all of those games were won by double digits. Elena Delle Donne is still out for Chicago and that's not a good thing when going up against a Sparks team that plays at a high level at home and has several scoring options. Don't love big chalk, but Los Angeles should be able to cover it, especially after getting so much rest between games.

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Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:52:58 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57654
<![CDATA[Phoenix Mercury vs. Minnesota Lynx - 9/28/16 WNBA Game One Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/28/phoenix-mercury-vs-minnesota-lynx-9/28/16-wnba-game-one-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx square off Wednesday night in game one of the WNBA semifinals at the Target Arena on ESPN2.

The Phoenix Mercury have eliminated the Indiana Fever and New York Liberty in back-to-back victories. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 85.2 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 83.4 points on 44 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 25 points and three assists while Brittney Griner is averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds. Penny Taylor is the third double-digit scorer and Candice Dupree is grabbing five…

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The Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx square off Wednesday night in game one of the WNBA semifinals at the Target Arena on ESPN2.

The Phoenix Mercury have eliminated the Indiana Fever and New York Liberty in back-to-back victories. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 85.2 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 83.4 points on 44 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 25 points and three assists while Brittney Griner is averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds. Penny Taylor is the third double-digit scorer and Candice Dupree is grabbing five assists. The Phoenix Mercury are shooting 34.4 percent from beyond the arc and 84.4 percent from the free throw line. The Mercury are allowing percent 34.9 shooting from deep and are grabbing 32.2 rebounds per game. The Phoenix Mercury have split their last eight road games.

The Minnesota Lynx enter this game with a ton of rest having not played in 11 days. The Minnesota Lynx are averaging 85.8 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allowing 77 points on 41.7 percent shooting. Maya Moore is averaging 19.3 points and 4.2 assists while Sylvia Fowles is averaging 13.9 points and 8.5 rebounds. Seimone Augustus is the third double-digit scorer and Lindsay Whalen is dishing 3.8 assists. The Minnesota Lynx are shooting 33.7 percent from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent from the free throw line. The Lynx are allowing 32.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.8 rebounds per game. The Minnesota Lynx have won 10 straight home games.

The Mercury are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games. The Lynx are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 vs. Western Conference. The Mercury are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Minnesota and 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings overall.

This has been a hell of a rivalry and you can expect a lengthy and tight series. However, for this game, you have to like the huge rest advantage for the home team. The Lynx have been chilling for a week and a half while the Mercury had to win two elimination to get to this point. Not to mention the Lynx have beaten the Mercury in six straight tries.

Give me the home team and small line. 

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Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:17:48 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57516
<![CDATA[Chris Bosh Failed Physical: Looking at Miami Heat Projected Win Total For 2016-17 Season]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/23/chris-bosh-failed-physical-looking-at-miami-heat-projected-win-total-for-2016-17-season#comments We now have more insight on the Chris Bosh situation, as he failed his physical and his playing status for the Miami Heat this season or in the future is extremely bleak at this very moment. The Heat will likely play the entire 2016-17 season without an All Star for the first time under the Pat Riley era.

So, how does this affect the Heat’s over/under win total of 36.5 victories?

Well, I’m assuming Vegas put that win total out with the idea Bosh wouldn’t be cleared because you can still find that number on various…

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We now have more insight on the Chris Bosh situation, as he failed his physical and his playing status for the Miami Heat this season or in the future is extremely bleak at this very moment. The Heat will likely play the entire 2016-17 season without an All Star for the first time under the Pat Riley era.

So, how does this affect the Heat’s over/under win total of 36.5 victories?

Well, I’m assuming Vegas put that win total out with the idea Bosh wouldn’t be cleared because you can still find that number on various sites. The Heat also haven’t won less than 37 games since the 2007-08 season.

Now, majority of people will automatically think this is going to be a tank season for Miami and would suggest taking the under. Dwyane Wade and Bosh leave the same season? The sky is falling!

Not so fast…

First off, RIley is never a fan of tanking and does everything he can to win now. While the options aren’t great in terms of adding somebody before the deadline, the staff along with head coach Erik Spoelstra aren’t going to go down without a fight.

The Heat are a combined 37-30 without Bosh the last two seasons and finished 48-50 with him. Last year, the Heat finished 19-10 without Bosh on the court. This team has already shown it can win without one of the top-20 players in the league.

Goran Dragic is going to be able to return to his Phoenix days with his run-and-gun style that adds a spark to the offense. Last season, the Heat were slow offensively, finishing 23rd in points per game and 27th in total field goal attempts. Wade and Bosh aren’t there to slow down the tempo and the Heat’s preseason roster has 15 guys who are 29 years old or younger. This is a roster built for quicker pace and getting more looks at the bucket. Expect a breakout season from the starting point guard and better offensive numbers all around.

The Heat are also a hungry team with a lot of guys eager to prove themselves. Hassan Whiteside plays with a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove he’s worth the massive contract he just received. Tyler Johnson the same thing. Josh Richardson is a pitbull at shooting guard and has a little attitude to his game as well. Justise Winslow proved to be one of the better on ball defenders as a rookie and should only improve offensively. Not to mention players such as Derrick Williams, Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington and James Johnson are playing on one-year deals with a chance to get a big payday if they thrive in this situation. This hunger should result in a feisty team that wants to prove some of the naysayers wrong.

Also, the best two-man combination for the Heat last season in almost every major category was Richardson and Whiteside. That includes field goal percentage, rebounds and assists.

Under 37 wins would put the Heat in the same boat as the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks from last season. It’s fair to say Miami has more talent and is better coached than both of those clubs were a year ago. Both of those teams were disasters for much of the season and still sniffed around this total.

Sure, the Heat are no longer going to be a dark horse in the East and have a lot of question marks moving forward. But this team is one of many capable of fighting for one of the last few playoffs spots and should be able to get over the projected win total.

Even without Bosh, the Heat can win 37 games.

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Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:14:32 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57390
<![CDATA[2016-17 NBA MVP Prop Bet Odds, Prediction, Dark Horse, Pick]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/10/21/2016-17-nba-mvp-prop-bet-odds-prediction-dark-horse-pick#comments After power ranking the teams entering the preseason and looking at some dark horse champion picks, it’s time to look at NBA MVP odds. There’s always some great value out there and a few guys flying under the radar who are worth a few dollars based on the odds.

Of course, with future and prop bets, I always try to get more bang for my buck and go for longer odds to make the long term investment worth it.

Here are five players who are worth consideration for your card when handicapping the 2016-17 NBA MVP.

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After power ranking the teams entering the preseason and looking at some dark horse champion picks, it’s time to look at NBA MVP odds. There’s always some great value out there and a few guys flying under the radar who are worth a few dollars based on the odds.

Of course, with future and prop bets, I always try to get more bang for my buck and go for longer odds to make the long term investment worth it.

Here are five players who are worth consideration for your card when handicapping the 2016-17 NBA MVP.

LeBron James - It may have been three years since LeBron James won the MVP, but he’s won the award four of the last eight years. After last years NBA Finals, it’s quite clear he’s still the best player in the world and is arguably the most valuable player every season based on how much he does for his team. LeBron makes a strong case to win this award every year and is by far the most consistent player who has never had a serious injury to damper his chances. LeBron may be one of the favorites, but you can still get him with odds of +450, which is good enough for me.

James Harden - Just a couple of years ago James Harden finished second in the MVP voting and was actually voted by the players to win the award. Harden has improved his scoring average the last three seasons and is coming off a career-high of 2.9 made threes per game. Now that he has a great offensive mind in head coach Mike D'Antoni, Harden could possibly have his best season yet on that side of the court. If the Rockets end up being a historic offensive team, The Beard is once again worthy of hosting this individual trophy. Harden is definitely worth some change with odds of +1800.

Dwight Howard - One of the long shots worthy of a look is Dwight Howard and odds of +20000. Howard is consistently a great defensive player and has earned awards to back that up, but now he has a chance to return to the player we saw in Orlando. Dennis Schroder will be the best point guard Howard has ever played with and will allow him to thrive offensively. Howard is also playing for his hometown team, so he should feel comfortable and eager to prove himself. Keep in mind, Howard is still just 30 years old and has great basketball left in him. I see Howard having a bounce back season and if the Atlanta Hawks do well in the East, he could get serious consideration for the MVP.

Chris Paul - The Los Angeles Clippers are loaded with talent and are looking at this as really their best and last chance to win the NBA Finals. Not only is everybody healthy and there’s added depth to the roster, but Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Reddick are free agents at the end of the season. It’s time to show and prove. CP3 is the Clippers leader and has been one of the more consistent players in the NBA the last five years or so. If the Clippers fulfill their potential and make a serious run for an NBA crown like I think they will, Paul could become the first Clippers’ player to win the MVP. Odds of +4000 are worth a stab.

Paul George - There was a point last season when Paul George made a strong case to win the MVP. The Golden State Warriors winning 73 games kind of rained on that parade. Still, George is coming off probably the best season of his career in which he averaged 23.1 points, seven rebounds, 4.1 assists and shot 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. PG13 is now in his prime at 26 years old and appears to be hungry since returning from his freakish injury. If the Indiana Pacers end up being a surprise team in the East this season and George puts up another ridiculous stat line, he’ll make a strong argument for the award. Give me George and odds of +2200.

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Fri, 23 Sep 2016 02:41:06 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57372
<![CDATA[2016-17 NBA Preseason Power Rankings]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/10/22/2016-17-nba-preseason-power-rankings#comments The 2016-17 NBA preseason is just a couple of weeks away and it won’t be long after that when the real fun begins. The league is slowly becoming less top heavy and there’s bundles of storylines to keep an eye on. But before we get into anything else, let’s take a look at how every team stacks up before play begins.

Here are the 2016 NBA preseason power rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors - The Golden State Warriors won 73 games last season and now added Kevin Durant, a top-five player in the world.…

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The 2016-17 NBA preseason is just a couple of weeks away and it won’t be long after that when the real fun begins. The league is slowly becoming less top heavy and there’s bundles of storylines to keep an eye on. But before we get into anything else, let’s take a look at how every team stacks up before play begins.

Here are the 2016 NBA preseason power rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors - The Golden State Warriors won 73 games last season and now added Kevin Durant, a top-five player in the world. There’s holes with Golden State such as lack of depth and rim protection, but the Warriors should be the overwhelming favorite to win it all regardless.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers - The defending champs still have LeBron James and a roster that is super confident now that the monkey is off the back of Cleveland. We’re starting to see peak Kyrie Irving, which is a scary sight when he pair him with the best player on the planet.

3. Los Angeles Clippers - The Los Angeles Clippers have the second best starting five in the league behind only the Warriors. The Clippers have their best chance to win the title this season and the addition of Brandon Bass will prove to be super underrated.

4. San Antonio Spurs - The San Antonio Spurs still have Gregg Popovich as head coach and replacing Tim Duncan with Pau Gasol is actually an upgrade. The Spurs aren't going anywhere.

5. Boston Celtics - The Boston Celtics are one of the most well coached teams in the league that returns everybody and added Al Horford. The Celtics are maybe one of two other teams in the East that can push the Cavs in terms of reaching the Finals.

6. Utah Jazz - The Utah Jazz were good last season and they didn’t have Dante Exum, George Hill, Boris Diaw or Joe Johnson. Oh, my, the Jazz are going to be fun to watch this season and are going to be that team nobody wants to see come playoff time.

7. Toronto Raptors - The Toronto Raptors were a couple of wins away from winning the East last season and that was with a DeMarre Carroll who wasn’t 100 percent. The addition of Jared Sullinger makes the Raptors a deeper and better basketball team than a year ago.

8. Portland Trail Blazers - I was driving the Portland Trail Blazers bandwagon last season and I’m making sure to be the first one on again. The baby Trail Blazers experienced playoff success last season and then added Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli. Portland is only going to improve with a roster that includes just one player above 30 years old.

9. Oklahoma City Thunder - Even without Durant, Russell Westbrook isn’t letting OKC sink that easily. Victor Oladipo gives the Thunder the most explosive backcourt in the league and Steven Adams is starting to come into his own. The Thunder have dampered expectations now, but are still a competitive and respectable team.

10. Memphis Grizzlies - The Memphis Grizzlies are bringing the band back together with a healthy Marc Gasol and now have an outside shooter in Chandler Parsons. The Grizzlies could be much better than last season.

11. Indiana Pacers - The Indiana Pacers won 45 games last season simply with Paul George carrying the team most nights. Now PG13 has some offensive help with the additions of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young. Pacers are the sleeper team in the East.

12. Houston Rockets - The Rockets have had defensive problems for years and now have Mike D'Antoni as head coach. Dear lord. However, on the flipside, how many teams have the firepower to outmatch the Rockets offensive talent in his system? Add Ryan Anderson to the mix and Houston is going to run a lot of teams out of the gym.

13. Atlanta Hawks - Dennis Schroder is the best point guard Dwight Howard has ever played with in his career. Sorry Jameer Nelson. The Hawks have a lot of underrated pieces that could mesh well.

14. Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons have one of the top coaches in the league and will get a full season out of Tobias Harris. The potential is big time for the Pistons, it just comes down to putting everything together.

15. Miami Heat - The Miami Heat are a giant question mark mainly because nobody knows what’s going on with Chris Bosh. If he returns, the Heat have a competitive roster in the wide open East when you add Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic. If not, Miami will be undermanned most nights and struggle to return to the playoffs and their ranking drops quite a bit.

16. Minnesota Timberwolves - Everybody knows the upside with the Minnesota Timberwolves is through the roof, it’s just a matter of youth that’s holding them back from really taking off. Still, with this much talent and a great coach in Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota has a shot to make the playoffs in the West this season.

17. Charlotte Hornets - The Charlotte Hornets return their key players from last season and will get back Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Vegas doesn’t believe in the Hornets much with a O/U total set under 40 wins, but Kemba Walker hasn’t beaten the odds many times throughout his basketball career.

18. New Orleans Pelicans - The Pelicans success all comes down to whether or not Anthony Davis can stay healthy. The additions of Langston Galloway, E'Twaun Moore and even rookie Buddy Hield also make New Orleans a deeper team that could sneak into the playoffs.

19. Milwaukee Bucks - The loss of Khris Middleton really hurts the Bucks heading into the season even if Michael Beasley is better than most give him credit for being. There’s still a lot to like with the Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, but Milwaukee is now without its leading scorer and top three point shooter on a team that struggles to score to begin with.

20. New York Knicks - Are we sure Derrick Rose can return to his MVP ability? Can Joakim Noah play 70 games for the first time since 2013-14? Is Carmelo Anthony still capable of carrying a team at 32 years old and with knee issues? The Knicks have a lot of questions but the good thing is most people will be watching to find out.

21. Chicago Bulls - I’m not sure how the Bulls are going to score, as they have a backcourt that combined for 69 made threes last season. No spacing at all on this team. But, like the Knicks, the name and starpower is there with this team, so, uh, we’ll be watching?

22. Denver Nuggets - There’s a lot to like with the Denver Nuggets, as they’re a young team and were the only club to beat the Spurs and Warriors last season. The Nuggets have a lot of intriguing pieces and are maybe a star away from being taken seriously as contenders. Kind of like Minnesota.

23. Dallas Mavericks - Mark Cuban continues to try to surround Dirk Nowitzki with everything he can, as he added Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut to a group of aging veterans. The Mavs have a shot to be better than expected, but all in all, it’s going to be the same mediocre season in Dallas.

24. Washington Wizards - The Wizards got a solid head coach in Scott Brooks and have an explosive backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal. After that, it’s a bunch of blah. Washington needs playmakers and depth to make a splash in the East.

25. Sacramento Kings - The Sacramento Kings are a decent late night NBA League Pass team due to the youth and potential. But the Kings aren’t ready to do anything this season and still need a couple of drafts or key free agent signings to help DeMarcus Cousins finally make the playoffs.

26. Orlando Magic - I’m not sure what the Magic were doing in trading Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova for an aging Serge Ibaka. The good news is that Orlando does have Frank Vogel as head coach and that can translate into a few wins.

27. Los Angeles Lakers - The Lakers have some decent pieces and the addition of Luol Deng will help on and off the court. I also have Brandon Ingram winning Rookie of the Year. Baby steps Lakers fans, baby steps.

28. Phoenix Suns - The Suns want to get back to that run-and-gun style and have the players to do it. But that Phoenix defense is very bad and adding a 33-year-old Leandro Barbosa won’t improve things. Still, another fun team to watch late nights.

29. Brooklyn Nets - Quick, name five players on the Brooklyn Nets roster besides Brook Lopez. Times up. At least the Knicks are going to be entertaining for New York, right?

30. Philadelphia 76ers - Even with Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers have won a combined 47 games the last three years. Three years of victories would have made the 76ers a seventh seed in the East last season.

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Thu, 22 Sep 2016 18:31:47 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57285
<![CDATA[Atlanta Dream vs. Chicago Sky - 9/25/16 WNBA Second Round Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/25/atlanta-dream-vs-chicago-sky-9/25/16-wnba-second-round-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky square off Sunday afternoon in the second round of the playoffs at the Allstate Arena on ESPN2.

The Atlanta Dream look for another playoff win after beating the Seattle Storm Wednesday night. The Atlanta Dream are averaging 82.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting and allowing 84 points on 43.4 percent shooting. Angel McCoughtry is averaging 37 points and seven assists while Bria Holmes is averaging 21 points and seven rebounds. Layshia Clarendon is the third double-digit scorer and Elizabeth Williams is grabbing 16…

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The Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky square off Sunday afternoon in the second round of the playoffs at the Allstate Arena on ESPN2.

The Atlanta Dream look for another playoff win after beating the Seattle Storm Wednesday night. The Atlanta Dream are averaging 82.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting and allowing 84 points on 43.4 percent shooting. Angel McCoughtry is averaging 37 points and seven assists while Bria Holmes is averaging 21 points and seven rebounds. Layshia Clarendon is the third double-digit scorer and Elizabeth Williams is grabbing 16 rebounds. The Atlanta Dream are shooting 29 percent from beyond the arc and 75.3 percent from the free throw line. The Dream are allowing 31.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 36.5 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Dream have lost six of their last seven road games.

The Chicago Sky enter this matchup winning seven of their last 10 games. The Chicago Sky are averaging 86.2 points on 46.2 percent shooting and allowing 85.6 points on 43.6 percent shooting. Cappie Pondexter is averaging 12.9 points and 2.7 assists while Allie Quigley is averaging 9.5 points and 0.9 rebounds. Courtney Vandersloot is dishing 4.7 assists and Tamera Young is grabbing 4.5 rebounds. The Sky are shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and 83.1 percent from the free throw line. The Chicago Sky are allowing 35 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.6 rebounds per game. The Chicago Sky have won five straight home games.

The Dream are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 Sunday games. The Sky are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Dream are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

The Dream were outplayed by the Storm in the first round until McCoughtry went into out-of-this-world mode. If she can come close to that performance again, Atlanta will win this game. The Dream are also going to get back Tiffany Hayes who served her suspension. But the difference in this game is that the Sky will be without Elena Delle Donne, one of the top players in the world. The Dream have to be favored to win this game. 

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Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:44:18 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57255
<![CDATA[Phoenix Mercury vs. New York Liberty - 9/24/16 WNBA Second Round Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/24/phoenix-mercury-vs-new-york-liberty-9/24/16-wnba-second-round-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty clash Saturday night in the second round of the WNBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on NBATV.

The Phoenix Mercury look for another playoff win after beating up on the Indiana Fever Wednesday night. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 84.7 points on 45.6 percent shooting and allowing 83.1 points on 43.8 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 20 points and three assists while DeWanna Bonner is averaging 18 points and four rebounds. Brittney Griner is the third double-digit scorer and Penny Taylor is…

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The Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty clash Saturday night in the second round of the WNBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on NBATV.

The Phoenix Mercury look for another playoff win after beating up on the Indiana Fever Wednesday night. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 84.7 points on 45.6 percent shooting and allowing 83.1 points on 43.8 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 20 points and three assists while DeWanna Bonner is averaging 18 points and four rebounds. Brittney Griner is the third double-digit scorer and Penny Taylor is dishing four assists. The Phoenix Mercury are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 83.9 percent from the free throw line. The Mercury are allowing percent 35 shooting from deep and are grabbing 32.3 rebounds per game. The Phoenix Mercury have lost six of their last nine road games.

The New York Liberty enter this matchup after losing five of their last seven games. The New York Liberty are averaging 81.6 points on 43.4 percent shooting and allowing 80.9 points on 41.3 percent shooting. Tina Charles is averaging 21.5 points and 9.9 rebounds while Sugar Rodgers is averaging 14.5 points and 2.4 assists. Shavonte Zellous is dishing 2.2 assists and Kiah Stokes is grabbing 7.4 rebounds. The New York Liberty are shooting 36.3 percent from beyond the arc and 77.7 percent from the free throw line. The Liberty are allowing 32.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.6 rebounds per game. The New York Liberty have won six of their last nine home games.

The Mercury are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Liberty are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Mercury are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

The Liberty have had a lot of time off and extra preparation for this game after the Mercury just played a draining game Wednesday. However, New York was falling apart down the stretch and will be without Stokes and Shoni Schimmel for this contest. The Mercury have several players who show up under the bright lights and you can see everything is starting to come together for the team that opened the year as the WNBA favorites.

Give me Phoenix to advance yet again. 

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Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:22:50 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57252
<![CDATA[Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream - 9/21/16 WNBA First Round Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nba-picks/2016/09/21/seattle-storm-vs-atlanta-dream-9/21/16-wnba-first-round-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream square off Wednesday night in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs at the Philips Arena on ESPNews.

The Seattle Storm head into this matchup red hot after winning six of their last eight games. The Seattle Storm are averaging 80.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 80.2 points on 44.5 percent shooting. Breanna Stewart is averaging 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds while Jewell Loyd is averaging 16.5 points and 3.4 assists. Sue Bird is the third double-digit scorer and Crystal Langhorne is grabbing 5.5 rebounds.…

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The Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream square off Wednesday night in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs at the Philips Arena on ESPNews.

The Seattle Storm head into this matchup red hot after winning six of their last eight games. The Seattle Storm are averaging 80.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 80.2 points on 44.5 percent shooting. Breanna Stewart is averaging 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds while Jewell Loyd is averaging 16.5 points and 3.4 assists. Sue Bird is the third double-digit scorer and Crystal Langhorne is grabbing 5.5 rebounds. The Seattle Storm are shooting 35.5 percent from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent from the free throw line. The Storm are allowing 33.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 31.3 rebounds per game. The Seattle Storm have split their last eight road games.

The Atlanta Dream head into this matchup after splitting their last 12 games. The Atlanta Dream are averaging 81.8 points on 42.2 percent shooting and allowing 84 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Angel McCoughtry is averaging 19.5 points and 2.8 assists while Tiffany Hayes is averaging 15 points and 3.4 rebounds. Elizabeth Williams is the third double-digit scorer and Layshia Clarendon is grabbing 4.3 rebounds. The Atlanta Dream are shooting 28.7 percent from beyond the arc and 75.1 percent from the free throw line. The Dream are allowing 31.2 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 36.5 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Dream have won seven of their last nine home games.

The Storm are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Dream are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 home games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Storm are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Atlanta and 4-9 ATS in the last 13 meetings overall.

Seattle has beaten Atlanta in two of the three matchups this season, including a road win a couple of weeks ago. I've said before that the Storm are a club peaking at the right time and could cause some damage in the playoffs. The Dream have been inconsistent all year and I'm not sure they have the firepower to match with Stewart and others taking over the game.

Look for the Storm to advance. 

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Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:46:06 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=56886