NFL Wild Card Weekend, MLB Free Agency, Tua Tagovailoa Going Pro, College Basketball Rankings, NBA Recap

The Lakers are back on track in the NBA, a top free agent remains unsigned in Major League Baseball, and Texas Tech is rolling in college hoops. Also, 2 preseason Super Bowl favorites didn’t escape Wildcard Weekend. Check out a recap of what happened this past week in sports!

Weekly Sports Update – January 5th Edition

Weekly Sports Update – January 5th Edition

NBA: Lakers Back on Track, But…

For 4 games, it appeared as if the Lakers might not be the NBA juggernaut we saw at the beginning of the season. The Pacers beat LeBron’s and Anthony Davis’s crew 105-102. The Bucks took down LAL 111-104. The Nuggets dominated Showtime 128-104 while the rival Clippers beat Los Angeles 111-106.

But since the 4-game losing streak, Los Angeles has blitzed their opponents. They handled Luka Doncic and the Mavericks 108-95. They took down the Phoenix Suns 117-107 and beat New Orleans 123-113. On January 5, they got the win against Detroit 106-99.

The Los Angeles Lakers are back on track. They’ve got a 5-game lead over the Clippers in the Pacific Division. But even though the Lakers are winning games straight up, they aren’t against the spread. That makes Los Angeles a team to stay away from in the MyBookie Sportsbook.

The Lakers sit at 18-17 against the spread. Contrast that with the Eastern Conferences best team, the Milwaukee Bucks, and it’s obvious. The Bucks are a much better team from a betting perspective.

Milwaukee has a sweet 21-16 ATS record. That’s great because the more a team wins, the more attention they get from odds makers. The odds makers already have a feel for the Lakers. They don’t have a feel yet for the Bucks.

MLB: Donaldson Leads Top Remaining Free Agents

Last season Josh Donaldson hit .259 with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs for the Atlanta Braves. Those are decent offensive stats. He’s also a great fielder. At 34-years-old, Donaldson remains one of the top third basemen in baseball.

As of January 6, he’s unsigned even though the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, and Minnesota Twins need a third baseman. Donaldson could help any of those teams. He should end up back with Atlanta. If Atlanta resigns Donaldson, they might become the favorite to win the National League.

Josh Donaldson isn’t the lone top-tier free agent that remains unsigned. Nick Castellanos had 88 extra base hits last season. Castellanos can help a team, but he doesn’t play the outfield as well as many of his peers. If Castellanos doesn’t hit, he doesn’t contribute. That’s one of the reasons he remains unsigned.

Marcell Ozuna’s value has dropped big time since his breakout season in 2017. He hits a lot of ground balls. Teams don’t pay hitters that blast ground balls. Ground balls lead to double-plays. Not to mention that ground ball hitters almost never get the extra base. Right now, some teams have Ozuna on their radar. None of those teams will pay Ozuna what he got 3 years ago.

Donaldson’s the lone remaining free agent prize while Ozuna and Castellanos will both find homes. Teams won’t pay up for either, though.   

NCAAB: Texas Tech Moving Up

Last year’s NCAA Tournament runner-up has gotten it together this season. The Texas Tech Red Raiders started the season winning their first 4 games. They then lost 3 in a row to Iowa, Creighton, and DePaul. Since then, Texas Tech has won.

It started with the 70-57 win over Louisville on the road. The Red Raiders followed that up with lethargic victories against 3 overmatched teams. No worries about the lethargy. Texas Tech blasted Oklahoma State 85-50 in their first Big 12 win.

Texas Tech could be the best team in a deep Big 12 Conference. The Kansas Jayhawks and West Virginia Mountaineers are at 11-2. Baylor is at 11-1. Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas are all at 10-3.

The ACC is deep. The Big 12 is deeper. Expect most teams in the conference to continue to play well. So much so that the conference winner could end up with 6 to 8 losses.   

NCAAF: Tua Decides to Go Pro

On Monday, Jan. 6, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa decided to turn pro. Tua suffered a massive hip injury in Alabama’s win over Mississippi State. Although the injury should affect his NFL Draft position, Tagovailoa and his family decided it was time.

Makes sense. At least, he will get drafted. He might even get drafted in the first round. That’s big bucks for a player who must go through rehab. Plus, quarterback is different than any position in the NFL. A team like the Patriots, or anyone else who must plan for the future at quarterback can take their time with Tua.

Tagovailoa will get on a team that mustn’t start him right away. That’s good news. Also, it’s never a great idea to play another year of college football unless you must. The game has become too physical on the college-level to take the chance.

NFL: Vikings Bounce Saints, Titans Bounce Patriots

Nobody saw this coming. Okay. Well, some of us did. 2 pre-season Super Bowl favorites, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, started their offseason early. The Saints fell to the Vikings. The Titans knocked out the Patriots.

New Orleans has no excuses. N’Awlins has plenty of chances to get a lead over the Vikings. They didn’t execute. The Vikings got the ball first in overtime, cornerback Marcus Lattimore got hurt on a play, and before Saints fans knew it, the Vikings scored a TD in OT for the win.

The Titans beat the Patriots  Tennessee held Tom Brady and the offense to 13 points. The Titans scored 20. No excuses for the Patriots, either, but things are different between the two teams.

New Orleans will bounce back because even if Brees retires or doesn’t have the his mojo, Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill can start. The Patriots won’t bounce back because the heir apparent, Jimmy Garoppolo, plays for San Francisco.

NFL Wildcard Weekend 2020 was a watershed moment. Two of the most dominant teams in the past decade failed to live up to the hype. No future NFL Season will be the same. 

Have a great week!  


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