NBA props for Monday, January 8: DD will play at his best

NBA props for Monday, January 8: DD will play at his best

We posted another 2-2 day on Friday, earning a little bit of profit. Perhaps things are starting to turn in 2024. The big event tonight is the NCAA College Football Championship Game between Washington and Michigan. That is not going to stop us from some hoops plays though, is it?

There are six NBA games on the schedule and a couple of good ones with Boston at Indiana and the Suns hosting the Clippers.

Results to Date: 56-96, -144.2 Units

NBA Props for Monday, January 8

John Collins Over 6.5 Rebounds (+120) Alt Line

This is a fantastic price. Usually, when you go with an alt line you are having to exceed average production but that is not the case here. Collins is averaging close to 8 rpg on the season and even though his production has been lower in January, I like the matchup against Milwaukee. The Jazz are going to need all of their frontcourt against Giannis and Co. to have a chance tonight.

DeMar DeRozan 25+ Points (+145) Alt Line

DD is not having the season we are used to seeing. His scoring is down, but he has shown flashes, even if Chicago is a major mystery and might just throw in the towel with a Zach LaVine trade. I like the matchup against Charlotte in this spot for DeRozan. He faced them in his last game and scored just 17 points, but earlier in the season he dropped 29 on the Hornets.

Jrue Holiday Over 5.5 Assist (+105)

The Celtics are at the Pacers tonight and it should be an entertaining game. Holiday is going to have his hands full with Pacers’ guard Tyrese Haliburton and with all of the extra possessions in this game he has a great chance to put up strong numbers of his own too. Yes, I know the data points from previous games this season are not backing this one up, but in this case, we are getting a nice payoff for pretty normal levels of production.

Jalen Green 20+ points (+105) Alt line

I know this is an oldie but goodie. The Rockets are playing the Heat tonight. It is going to be a rugged game and they are going to have to give their most gifted scorer a chance to see if he can heat up. I said most gifted, not best. When Green gets going though he can be tough to stop. In four January games, he has hit 20+ twice.

More must-reads:

Knicks to make final decision on Julius Randle’s future after the season


Warriors’ Draymond Green says commissioner Adam Silver talked him out of making…

Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green was reinstated from his indefinite suspension on Saturday after 22 days and 12 games. The four-time All-Star didn’t return to the court in the team’s loss against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and revealed recently that he nearly made a drastic decision during his suspension. “I told him, ‘Adam this is too much for me. … This is too much. It’s all becoming too much for me — and I’m going to retire,'” Green said. “And Adam said, ‘You’re making a very rash decision and I won’t let you do that.'” The 33-year-old continued, saying that he and NBA commissioner Adam Silver had a “long, great conversation” that was “very helpful” to him. “Very thankful to play in a league with a commissioner like Adam who’s more about helping you than hurting you; helping you than punishing you. He’s more about the players,” Green said. Despite what many basketball fans may think of Green, it’s refreshing to hear that Silver seems to have players’ backs. The Michigan State product isn’t the All-Star player he once was, but it would’ve been a shame to see his career end after the suspension stemming from his punch of Phoenix Suns center Jusif Nurkic in December. The encounter with Nurkic was Green’s second violent incident this season that resulted in a suspension, after he was docked five games for grabbing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert and putting him in a chokehold during a game in November. Following his month of counseling (with sessions expected to continue), the former Defensive Player of the Year is back with the Dubs and should be returning to game action soon. Green’s averaged 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds across 15 contests this season. The Warriors started off hot with Green away from the team, winning five of their first six games but have dropped five of their last seven since then. Golden State is in 11th place in the Western Conference at 17-19, leaving them just outside of the current playoff picture as the regular season nears its halfway point.

NFL coach: Jim Harbaugh ‘wants’ to coach this AFC West team


Broncos players reveal how they felt about benching of Russell Wilson

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton risks losing the locker room after the team benched quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 17 and missed the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season. “Pissed for Russ. Just pissed for Russ, a lot of us,” one player said of the decision, per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. Another player added the timing was odd as Denver (8-9) still had a chance to make the playoffs, and Wilson produced solid numbers. In 15 games, he completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards, 26 TDs, eight interceptions and an above-average 98 passer rating. “We just won five in a row,” the player said, via Legwold. “We’re all going to support [backup] Jarrett Stidham, but Russ was giving everything he had.” Denver went 1-1 in two games with Stidham and averaged 15 points per game. While Payton claimed benching Wilson would provide an offensive spark, he clearly wasn’t the problem, and the HC created a bigger mess. The Broncos will probably release Wilson this offseason, which will be costly. The move will result in $85M in dead money, the largest for a player since the salary cap started in 1994. Even if Denver splits the charges over the next two seasons, it hinders a rebuild. “Look, they’re in a little bit of a box,” a general manager told Legwold. “You try to avoid dead money, kicking that can, because dead money is really players you can’t have because of players you let go and are still paying for — the bigger the number, the more players you can’t have.” Acquiring more talent in free agency doesn’t seem viable, so Denver must nail the draft and find a new franchise QB. Bleacher Report’s mock draft has the Broncos taking Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. — a 2023 Heisman finalist — with the 12th overall pick. If this process fails, the downward spiral will continue, raising doubts about Payton’s ability to revamp the downtrodden organization.

Giants GM addresses futures of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley


Pirates sign former All-Star pitcher away from Rangers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are getting their hands on a World Series champion. The Pirates officially announced that they have signed veteran left-hander Martin Perez to a one-year, $8 million contract for the 2024 season. Perez, 32, had spent the last two seasons as a member of the Texas Rangers, winning the World Series with them last year. He went 10-4 with a 4.45 ERA in a hybrid role for Texas (20 starts and 15 appearances out of the bullpen.) Before that, Perez was named an All-Star in 2022 on the heels of a terrific season where he was 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA. The 12-year veteran also had an earlier stint with the Rangers from 2012-18 and then spent time with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. It remains to be seen what role Perez will have in Pittsburgh. But he is an important lefty addition to a righty-heavy staff with the exception of Bailey Falter and Marco Gonzales. Perez has some other interesting talents to offer too.

Aaron Rodgers addresses Jets future, organizational issues


Bill Belichick reportedly denied big request from OC Bill O’Brien

The New England Patriots were hoping Bill O’Brien could help fix some of their offensive issues this season, but the coach’s second stint with the team has not gone well thus far. A new report raises the question of whether things would have been different had Bill Belichick given O’Brien more freedom. Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald published a piece this week detailing some of the dysfunction that has existed in what could be Belichick’s last season in New England. One of the issues arose early on, when O’Brien supposedly “wanted to clean house and build his own offensive staff upon arriving in January.” Belichick gave O’Brien very little freedom to assemble his own staff, according to the report. The only hire that was allowed was Will Lawing, who replaced former tight ends coach Nick Casey. That means O’Brien inherited a staff that oversaw one of the worst offenses in football last season. The end result was O’Brien running more offensive meetings that involved all players rather than positional coaches meeting with smaller groups of players, which is more typical. There was talk during the offseason that Belichick did not want to hire O’Brien. The 71-year-old coach had very little leverage, however, as his plan to install Matt Patricia as offensive coordinator in 2022 was a disaster. It would not be a surprise if Patriots owner Robert Kraft forced Belichick to bring O’Brien back, but Belichick chose not to let O’Brien come in and clean house on the offensive side of the ball.

Report reveals GM George Paton’s job status with Broncos


Steelers LB T.J. Watt’s timeline to return for playoffs reportedly revealed

The Pittsburgh Steelers received a bittersweet gift over the weekend, securing a coveted spot in the postseason with the help of the Tennessee Titans. However, the celebration was tempered by the news of star linebacker and team MVP T.J. Watt’s injury. Ian Rapoport delivered the update on Monday morning, revealing that Watt had suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain. Steelers’ TJ Watt’s Timeline To Return As the Steelers prepare to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at 1:00 PM Eastern Time in Buffalo, they do so with the knowledge that they will be without Watt. “With the Steelers officially in the playoffs, and star TJ Watt dealing with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, sources say the absolute best-case scenario for this injury is to play in two weeks with a brace. So to get Watt back on the field, Pittsburgh likely needs to win a few.” While this news is far from ideal, it does offer a glimmer of hope compared to the initial fears of a grade 3 MCL sprain or even an ACL tear. Losing your star player, arguably one of the league’s top defensive talents, just before embarking on a postseason journey is undoubtedly a brutal blow. However, the silver lining in Watt’s injury is that it doesn’t involve a torn ACL or a more severe ailment. This provides hope for both the Steelers and Watt as they prepare to make a playoff push without their disruptive force. Hopefully this will add an element of motivation for the Steelers defense to get Watt back on the field for the playoffs. Watt had been having another incredible season in 2023, finishing once again as the league leader in sacks with a total of 19. Going into the Week 18 regular-season finale against the Baltimore Ravens, he was tied for the lead with Cincinnati Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson at 17 sacks. Watt added two more sacks against Tyler Huntley before exiting the game late in the third quarter. For Steeler Nation and the team alike, the road to seeing Watt back on the field this year now appears to be a challenging one. As the seventh seed in the playoffs, Pittsburgh must secure at least two victories to provide Watt with the opportunity to return with a brace. That means they’ll have to win the Wild Card game against the Bills and win the Divisional playoff game. If they do that, the Steelers could see Watt back in the AFC Championship Game. However, with the resurgence of the offense under Mason Rudolph, the Steelers have shown promise, fueling hopes of a postseason run that could reunite them with their star linebacker.

NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators


Falcons act quickly, fire HC Arthur Smith as the clock strikes midnight on regular…

The Atlanta Falcons wasted little time making a change at head coach, sending Arthur Smith packing shortly after midnight Sunday on the east coast. While Smith’s firing isn’t at all surprising, the timing says it’s been on the Falcons’ and owner Arthur Blank’s mind for a while. According to Ian Rapoport of, losing four of the last five games to close the season led the team in a “different direction.” In a statement, Blank said the tough decision to fire a head coach is “never easy.” “We have profound respect for coach Smith and appreciate all the hard work and dedication he has put into the Falcons over the last three years,” said Blank via Adam Schefter of ESPN. “He has been part of building a good culture in our football team, but the results on the field have not met our expectations. After significant thought and reflection, we have determined the best way forward for our team is new leadership in the head coaching position.” On Sunday, Smith and the Falcons dropped an embarrassing 48-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the finale, which couldn’t have helped Smith’s cause. Nevertheless, after three straight 7-10 finishes, the franchise wasn’t inclined to offer him a fourth year. The Falcons brought Smith aboard after he helped mold the Tennessee Titans offense into the fourth-ranked unit (29.6 PPG) in 2020. However, the success failed to follow him to Atlanta, where the offense never ranked higher than 15th in points per game, finishing 26th (18.9) this season. After an up-and-down first year in QB Matt Ryan’s last with the franchise, Smith could not create a consistent and potent offense with Marcus Mariota, Taylor Heinicke and 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder. While it’s fair to say Smith didn’t have the best crop of pass throwers to work with, four came and went without much of a change to the scheme or plan of attack. Furthermore, weapons like running back Bijan Robinson, wideout Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts weren’t as large a part of the offense as many believed they should be, which is another knock on the now-former head coach. Overall, the Falcons went 21-29 with zero playoff appearances through three seasons under Smith. Whether or not the quick trigger on his firing means the team will investigate the potential big fish head coaching candidates rumored to be available, like Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh or New England Patriots future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick, remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear: 2024 will begin a new era for the dirty birds.

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