Dave Carney 12/22/2020
Overall record: 109-85
How did I get here?: Another solid play (on paper), and another BAD beat that’s how! On Monday (Muppet) Night Football the Cincinnati Bengals were supposed to lose big-time to the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers, and the game was supposed to be a super low scoring affair going well UNDER the total of 41 points.
However, the Bengals and second year QB Ryan Finley had other plans as Cincinnati pulled off a stunning 27-17 win, making Big Ben look like absolute garbage in the first half, and putting genuine fright in the heart of Steelers fans who’ve seen their club go from a best-ever 11-0 start, to now facing the possibility of losing the division to the Cleveland Browns who they play in Week 17.
The most shocking thing about last night’s game, aside from the 27 that the Bengals scored (more than they’ve scored in SEVEN weeks…when rookie Joe Burrow was still in the lineup), was how bad the Steelers looked on defense. The offense for Pittsburgh has been limited of late especially, but the defense, so consistent, was a shell of itself, and let what amounts to straight As%-whoopin’ occur on the games national stage. Sad.
Listener “Old-School” might have ALMOST been right when he declared after the Steelers lack-luster 11th win over the Ravens (19-14), with 20+ Ravens out including QB Lamar Jackson, that Pittsburgh would finish just 12-4. After last night however, that’ll be a tough task versus the likes of Indianapolis and Cleveland in the next two weeks..
**For more info on TOTAL plays, OVER/UNDER, and PLUS/MINUS plays check back through some previous columns for detailed information*
What’s on the table today?: NBA Opening Night!!! The NBA season, which for the Lakers ended just 71 days ago is back tonight with a pair of games to open the festivities; Golden State at Brooklyn, and the Clippers (at) the Lakers.
The Warriors vs Nets game is intriguing because of the many interconnected story-lines both teams share, like KD in his first game against his former team, Steph Curry back in action, and how number two overall pick James Wiseman will look.
That game however holds just a flicker of interest for me personally when stacked up against the Clippers/Lakers game in the night-cap. It’s no secret I’m a life-long Lakers fan, and to get a chance to watch last year’s west-coast darlings (the Clippers) have to stare at LeBron, AD, and the Staples Center banners, and watch ANOTHER Lakers flag go up, I’m riveted, I’m pumped, and I’m all in on these two clubs going UNDER the hefty opening night total of 223.
Generally speaking the first night of an NBA season is filled with pomp and ceremony, hype and celebration, and while the NBA will undoubtedly try to do something to accomplish that it certainly won’t have the juice or excitement without the crowds.
That said, the Lakers are getting their NBA Championship rings, raising a banner, and dealing with the emotions that will be brought up from winning such a grueling Finals series….just 71 days ago!
I have a feeling that tonight the shots will be a little short, the teams will be a little tight, the rotations will be as well, and because of all that we’ll be looking at a game with a final score somewhere around 102-96 (Lakers).
The Clippers and Lakers also have some good recent history on the UNDER plays, each of the past four meetings between the Lakers and Clippers have gone UNDER, and the Clippers are hitting the UNDER in eight of the past eleven games they have been an underdog, which they are tonight at (+3).
Tomorrow, the Bucks and Celtics open their 2020-2021 NBA season so be sure to check out this column tomorrow for my take on that game, and recap tonight’s NBA Opening Night.
REMEMBER – don’t bet based upon my recommendations. Do your research. Stay in your lane. Don’t take college basketball!