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NCAAB Pick: Will Rogers betting Duke -22.5 over Furman on November 20th 2017

Furman vs. Duke
College Basketball Point Spread Pick: Duke -22.5 (November 20th 2017)
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The set-up: Duke was a preseason No. 1 and remains there at 4-0 (new poll released Monday afternoon will confirm). Duke should be a little more focused on Furman (bad news for the Paladins?), after the Blue Devils struggled somewhat to defeat Southern 78-61 on Friday. The Blue Devils made just four 16 of their 20 three-pointers and committed a season-high 15 turnovers, while the bench contributed virtually nothing, combining to shoot 2-of-8 with six turnovers. Furman won its first two contests (at home over Bob Jones and Elon) over but then fell by 17 at Butler. Things won’t get easier Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where Duke has won 135 straight non-conference home games!

Furman: Saturday’s 82-65 loss Saturday at Butler began a stretch of four consecutive games away from home for the Paladins. Furman comes off a 15-17 season but does return all five starers, so the Paladins have some experience on their side. “Our team is just battle-tested and we’ve got an old group and we have a group that likes to fight,” first-year Furman head coach Bob Richey said. “We have some versatility and we have to use that.” The Paladins are led by Devin Sibley, who was voted the So-Con Player of the Year in 2016-17. He’s averaging 19 points and 4.7 rebounds and has terrific shooting percentages across the board. The senior guard is shooting 55.3 percent from the floor, including making 9-of-16 from the arc. Another senior guard, Daniel Fowler (13.3 & 5.0), had a team-high 19 points against Butler, while 6-8 junior Matt Rafferty (10.3 & 9.3) set a season high with 11 points in the loss.

Duke: The Blue Devils have four freshmen in the starting lineup but this just in, they are pretty good. The non-freshman starter is senior guard Grayson Allen (21.8), who stepped up with a career-high 37 points in a win over the then-No.2 Spartans when freshman sensation Marvin Bagley III (18.0 & 9.3) got hurt against Michigan State. He had posted 25 points and 10 rebounds in the season-opener, then followed with 24 & 10 in his second game. Bagley notched his third double-double (19 & 11) of the young campaign in the win over Southern, while he 6-10 Carter (13.0 & 8) sparkled against Southern with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman PG Trevon Duval (12.5) has 34 assists and six turnovers on the season. The team’s fourth freshman starter is Gary Trent Jr (12.3 & 6.0).

The pick: The impost is high but lthe Paladins were outclassed at Butler, with their best player (Sibley) limited to 11 points. “Second verse, same as the first,” here. Lay it!

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Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Point Spread Pick from Ben Burns: November 20th 2017

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks
NBA Point Spread Pick: Mavs +7.5 (November 20th 2017)
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Early money is on Boston to extend its winning streak to 16 games, but not so fast. Dallas might be ready to turn the corner after a horrific start and its out-of-nowhere 32-point thrashing of a solid Milwaukee team on Saturday night could be a sign of good things to come as the Mavs adjust to a smaller lineup with Dirk Nowitzki now playing the 5.

Boston, meanwhile, has had to dig itself out of double-digit holes in several recent games and coach Brad Stevens is warning that doing that on a regular basis is not sustainable. Dallas looks ripe for a cover in this one as oddsmakers start posting lines that will inevitably eat into the Celtics’ amazing 14-2-1 ATS record.

Browns vs. Jaguars Week 11 NFL Spread Pick from Will Rogers: November 19th 2017

Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 11 NFL Point Spread Pick: CLE +7.5 (November 19th 2017)
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The setup: The Browns will suit up once again on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, to host the Jacksonville, Jags. The Bowns have followed their 1-15 season of 2016 by opening the 2017 season at 0-9 and remain the lone win-less NFL team. Meanwhile, the Jags have been on of 2017’s biggest surprise, as after entering 2017 having failed to win more than five games in any of the previous six seasons, Jacksonville is 6-3 heading into this Week 11 game. A victory over the win-less Browns would give the Jags a 7-3 record and a one-game lead over the 6-4 Tennessee Titans in the AFC South!

Jacksonville: The Jags enter on a three-game winning streak beating the Colts, Bengals and Chargers. In that Chargers game, QB Blake Bortles threw for 273 yards with a TD and two picks. His starting job was on the line in the preseason but Bortles has cut down on his mistakes and while hardly doing anything special, has been adequate up to this point (58.6% with 11 TDs & 7 INTs for an 81.8 QB rating). Jacksonville ranks 24th in passing yards (207.8 YPG) but led by rookie Fournette (629 yards / 4.3 YPC / 6 TDs) when healthy plus a deep RB ‘stable’ when not, the Jags lead the NFL with 163.0 YPG on the ground. Then there’s the Jacksonville defense, which is allowing an NFL-low 14.9 PPG on 285.8 YPG, which ranks second-best. The Jaguars also lead the NFL with 35 sacks.

Cleveland: I guess it’s fair to ask, how does Hue Jackson (now 1-24 with the Browns) keep his job but is it possible any coach could do much better with this ‘mess’ in Cleveland? Both QBs, DeShone Kizer and backup Kevin Hogan,appeared on the injury list  this week with issues but Kizer is expected to start. However, promising WR Corey Coleman is expected to be activated from the IR after having surgery on a broken bone in his hand. Kizer wasn’t bad last week in a 38-24 loss at Detroit, throwing 232 yards with for one TD and one INT. However. Kizer completes just 52.8% with four TD passes and 12 INTs (QB rating is a horrific 54.4!). The offense ransk 31st scoring 15.9 PPG and the defense ranks 30th, allowing 26.7 PPG).

The pick: The Jaguars have beaten some pretty good teams this year and they’re starting to morph into a contender but this is their first three-game winning streak since 2013. Six Jaguars did not practice Wednesday, linebacker Blair Brown (hamstring), wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle), left guard Patrick Omaneh, right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and defensive end Dawuane Smoot (knee). As for the Browns, the 24 points they scored vs. the Lions were the most they’ve scored since a 31-28 loss to the Colts at Indianapolis back in Week 3. Also, while Cleveland allows 26.7 PPG (20th), the defense ranks 11th in YPG at 317.0. The Browns got a useful list of bulletin-board fodder during the week when the Jags’ Tashaun Gipson said Cleveland will probably go 0-16, the Jaguars will shut them out and that he hopes the offense scores 40 points against them. Take the home dog!


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