Monday's betting tips: Favorite flounders in Saints-Falcons games
NFL: Atlanta is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 December games.
NBA: Houston is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in Orlando.
NBA: The over is 22-6 in the last 28 Lakers-Kings meetings.
NHL: Vancouver is 12-4 in its last 16 games.
NHL: The under is 8-3 in Buffalo’s last 11 games.
NFL: The favorite is 0-5 ATS in the last five Falcons-Saints games.
NBA: Detroit is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games vs. Indiana.
NBA: The under is 0-7 in the last seven Hornets-Suns games in Phoenix.
NHL: The Ducks are 5-17 in their last 22 games vs. winning teams.
NHL: The Red Wings are 2-5 in their last seven road games.
17 – That’s how many catches Roddy White has made over the past two games. Those grabs have produced 219 yards and 3 TDs. White is looking to atone for a weak performance against the Saints back on Nov. 13, when his critical drop led to an interception. White finished with four catches for 62 yards. The Falcons are 6.5-point road underdogs on Monday night.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Nuggets C Nene (back, hamstring) looks ready to play in Monday’s game at Dallas, according to Denver beat writers. Nene, who practiced over the weekend, led the team in points (14.5), rebounding (7.6), shooting percentage (61.5) and blocks (1.0) last season. It is Denver’s season opener, while the defending champion Mavs will be playing for the second straight day.
Game of the Day
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-6.5, 52)
"We're peaking at the right time. I'm talking about jelling as far as a team - offense, defense, special teams." -- Saints LB Jonathan Vilma. New Orleans, riding a six-game win streak, is laying 6.5 points at home against NFC South rival Atlanta.
Tips and notes
The Maple Leafs extended coach Ron Wilson’s contract, confident he has the team headed back to the playoffs after a six-year absence. Wilson is the winningest active NHL coach with 637 victories. He’s in his fourth season with Toronto. Heading into Monday’s action, the Leafs are 18-13-4, good for second in the Northeast Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Paul Pierce missed the Celtics’ season-opening loss at New York with a bruised right heel, and is day-to-day. He’ll accompany the team on its road trip to Miami and New Orleans, but was unsure if he’d practice Monday. “I’ll just wake up and see how it feels,” he said. “It's been improving, week by week. If it was a regular bruise, it'd be a couple days. But it's a bone bruise on a place where I have to walk every day and have to apply pressure every day just by walking. Maybe it slows down the healing process."
Illinois’ struggling offense took another hit when leading rusher Jason Ford (600 yards, 7 TDs) was declared academically ineligible for the Dec. 31 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against UCLA. The Illini are 2.5-point favorites in a matchup of non-winning teams. Illinois is 6-6, UCLA 6-7.
Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants battle for the NFC East title has been moved from 1 p.m. ET on FOX to 8:20 p.m. on NBC as part of the league’s flex scheduling. Also, the Ravens-Bengals and Steelers-Browns games have been moved to 4:15 p.m. ET. Baltimore can win the AFC North and a first-round playoff bye with a win, while Cincy would clinch the AFC’s No. 6 seed by winning. If the Bengals win, Pittsburgh would take the AFC North by beating Cleveland.