Jim Feist’s Comp Pick, Wednesday, October 25, 2017
NBA (517) WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS (518) LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Reason: Your free play for Wednesday, October 24, 2017 is in the NBA game between the Washington Wizards and the LA Lakers. The Washington Wizards are a perfect 3-0 S/U to start the season. They play at an LA Lakers team that is 1-2 both S/U and ATS this season. John Wall is leading the team with 24.3 ppg and 10 assists per game. The offense is ranked 7th in scoring (114.7 ppg) and 5th in free throw percentage (84.2). The Lakers really haven’t been competitive yet, losing by 11, nine and eight points. Jordan Clarkson leads the team in scoring with 19.7 ppg. Rookie Lonzo Ball leads in assists (8.7) and rebounds (9.3). The Wizards have gone OVER in eight of their last 11 games while the Lakers are 5-1 O/U in their last six at home against a winning team. These teams have gone over in 11 of the last 14 meetings in LA. I look for that to continue here on Wednesday. Take the OVER.
NBA | Oct 25, 2017
Nuggets vs. Hornets
Two teams looking to bounce back from defeats will clash at Spectrum Center, Charlotte Wednesday night when the Hornets host the Nuggets.
Denver fell 109-104 as a 5-point home favorite against Washington on Monday while the Hornets took a 103-94 beating as a 7-point dog at Milwaukee. Worth noting that the Nuggets are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up loss while the Hornets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss, and even though those are trends carrying over from last season I think they’re worth taking into consideration.
The Hornets are banged up, and Dwight Howard missed all nine of his free throws against the Bucks. His poor shooting from the charity stripe could very well become the deciding factor here, in what’s expected to be a close game decided down the stretch.
My free pick is on the Denver Nuggets.
NBA | Oct 25, 2017
Wizards vs. Lakers
I’m laying the points with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. All the attention given to Lonzo Ball is going to make him a target for veteran stars. John Wall will likely play with the team’s best interests in mind, but you can bet he also wants to show the young buck a thing or two. We’ve seen current and former players talking about this matchup and there is a desire to make Ball look bad…or at least like a rookie receiving too much hype. As far as the game matchup itself, the Lakers are playing no defense right now. They’re near the bottom of the league in every important defensive category and their only win was a 132-130 victory over hapless Phoenix. Wall and Bradley Beal will look to take advantage with an offense averaging 112 ppg. I don’t believe the Lakers will be able to keep up and play inside the number after four of five starters failed to reach double figures in scoring last time out. Ball, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance, Jr., and Brook Lopez combined to make just 11 FGs against New Orleans on 36 attempts. The four key Lakers also made just 1 of 9 3-pointers. There will be growing pains for the young Lakers and we expect more tonight. Washington has covered six of their last seven at the Lakers and we’re recommending a play on the Wizards minus the points on Wednesday. Thanks & GL! Scott Spreitzer.
My 1* Free Play on Wednesday is the Phoenix Suns (10:05 EST).
Utah comes in gassed after last night’s 102-84 loss at the Clippers, while Phoenix enters motivated after picking up its first win of the season in a 117-115 victory at home over Sacramento.
Utah has won seven straight in the series, but the situation favors the home side in my opinion.
The Jazz so far average just 99.7 PPG, while allowing 94.3. The Suns average 102.8 PPG and in the early going anyways are the worst defensive club in the league in conceding a whopping 125.3 PPG.
After a tough start to the year, Phoenix looked a lot better against the Kings though. Devin Booker had 22 points in the win as he looks to step up and fill the leadership void left by Eric Bledsoe.
I’ll point out that Utah is interestingly just 7-9 ATS in its last 16 against the Pacific division, while Phoenix is 6-2 ATS in its last eight after allowing 115 points or more in its previous contest.
The Suns depth took a hit when Bledsoe decided to quit the team, but Phoenix is still running on adrenaline because of the recent off court turmoil and I think it will continue to ride that energy to another competitive affair this evening.
Consider grabbing the points in this one.
With the batters still trying to figure out the pitchers, best to play Game Two of the World Series Under the total.
Last night’s first game opened with 3 home runs, but just a 3-1 final score, as the Dodgers made it a 5-1-1 postseason Under run their last 7 games played in the month of October. As for Houston, they are 6-3 Under in their last 9 postseason games.
Justin Verlander has been money in the postseason, as he twice held the Yankees at bay in the A.L.C.S., and owns a career postseason ERA of just 1.61.
Rich Hill’s season ERA at Dodger Stadium is 2.79, and he has allowed just 3 runs in his 9 postseason innings this October.
GAME: Houston Astros (108-66) at Los Angeles Dodgers (112-59)
DATE/TIME: Wednesday, October 25 – 8:00 PM EST
WHERE: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
World Series; LA Dodgers leads 1-0
Preview: Astros at Dodgers
Oct 25, 2017
Justin Verlander is 4-0 during his stellar postseason run and looks to continue the success when the Houston Astros visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday. Verlander will aim to help Houston knot the series after Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner guided the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory in Game 1.
Verlander was acquired from Detroit by the Astros to fortify their rotation, and now he’s a symbol of a franchise looking for its first World Series title in the wake of a damaging hurricane that ravaged Houston in August. “In any organization, the opportunity to win your first championship is something special, but really with what’s going on in Houston now specifically, I think it makes it even that much more special,” Verlander said during his press conference on Tuesday. “I mean, given this opportunity, if we come away successful, you leave a legacy and mark on people that won’t be forgotten.” Kershaw allowed one run and three hits with 11 strikeouts over seven innings while Turner belted a tiebreaking two-run homer (his fourth of the postseason) in Tuesday’s victory. “You enjoy it while it happens,” Turner told reporters, “and then you go home and you find a way to prepare, and we’ve got to figure out how to beat Verlander.”
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00)
Verlander has a stellar 11-5 postseason record, but none of those victories occurred in the World Series, where he went 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three career starts for the Tigers. The 34-year-old’s arrival in Houston changed the complexion of the rotation, providing the team with a second ace alongside Dallas Keuchel as well as raising the stature of the organization. “We understand the magnitude of his performance and the magnitude of his entrance into our clubhouse,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said at a press conference. “The way he’s fit in, the way he’s been intellectually curious on how to get better, but let’s be honest, ultimately the way he’s performed, has been second to none.”
Hill is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six career postseason starts and is making his World Series debut. The 37-year-old is trying to keep the moment in perspective after his major-league career appeared to be finished in the summer of 2015, when he signed with the independent Long Island Ducks, but 26 of his 50 career regular-season victories have come since that stint. “I wouldn’t change that for anything,” Hill said at his press conference on Tuesday. “It was learning, reigniting that fire, reigniting that passion for what we do out there on the field. And really getting back into disassociating yourself with the results, and just understanding that it is a pitch-to-pitch process and understanding that the moment is all that matters.”
1. Dodgers CF Chris Taylor led off the bottom of the first inning Tuesday by slugging the first pitch from Keuchel 447 feet over the wall in left field for his third homer of the postseason.
2. Astros 3B Alex Bregman went deep for the third time this postseason to account for his team’s lone run in Game 1.
3. Turner has driven in a franchise-record 14 runs this postseason, and his 26 career RBIs match the club mark set by Hall-of-Famer Duke Snider.
Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach Free Pick NBA Wednesday EARLY: Houston Rockets (-) @ Philadelphia 76’ers @ 7:05 ET – Houston off of a frustrating home loss where they gave up a huge game-ending run to Memphis. The Rockets will be in a foul mood here and they also catch the 76’ers off of their first win of the season so the set-up here is ideal. Houston off first loss of season and Philadelphia off first win of season. Rockets a strong team and Philly, though improved, is still a rebuilding team that is trying to “Trust the Process” as has been their mantra in recent seasons. The Sixers have had 41 turnovers the last two games (opponents only totaled 27) and this is not a good sign for Philly. The 76’ers are 8-71 SU in their last 79 games against teams with a winning record. With the Rockets laying a very small number here I like my chances as they are 38-7 in their last 45 games against teams that allow 106 points or more per game. EARLY Free Pick on HOUSTON
Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach Free Pick NBA Wednesday LATE: Utah Jazz (-) @ Phoenix Suns @ 10:05 ET – Very fortunate Suns backers rejoiced as Phoenix held on for the win in their first game with a new head coach despite the Suns turning the ball over 21 times (compared to just 9 for their opponent). Also, Phoenix took only 77 shots from the field while the Kings (not a good team) had 99 shots from the field. Those stats above show you how damn lucky the Suns were to win that game and now we get a chance to fade them with an angry Jazz team coming off of an ugly loss last night. I’ll take it! Utah lost 102 to 84 last night but they had covered their first 3 games this season. Also, even though this is a back to back spot for the Jazz, they did have 2 days off prior to the loss to the Clippers last night and Utah has 2 days off after this game. In other words, expect a full and complete effort from the Jazz here and they feast on poor defensive teams like the Suns. Utah is 33-11 SU in their last 44 against teams that allow 106 points or more per game. Also, Phoenix is 5-20 SU against good defensive teams that allow 98 points or less per game. Yes we’ve got a spread to cover here but it’s a very manageable one and I’ll lay the small number on the road with an angry Jazz team that got man-handled last night. LATE Free Pick on UTAH