Second Round Betting
February 22nd NFL news ... Second Round Betting at secondroundbetting.com
The Pelicans went into the All-Star break losing three straight games SU and ATS. Their most recent game was a 106-93 loss as 1-point favorites against the Pacers in New Orleans. The team has failed to score 100 points in each of the past three games and theyve allowed 104.3 PPG in those contests. Theyll need to tighten things up and it should be a lot easier with PF Anthony Davis (24.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 1.5 SPG) returning to the lineup. The Magic, meanwhile, won 89-83 as a 6-point home favorite against the Knicks heading into the break. Orlando has won two of its past four games SU and is also 4-1-1 ATS in its past six. The Magic and Pelicans met on opening night this season, when New Orleans won 101-84 as a 9-point favorite. The Pelicans have won-and-covered in two straight and seven of the past nine games in this series. Orlando, however, won-and-covered the last time it hosted New Orleans. The Pelicans have played surprisingly poorly against the Eastern Conference this season, going just 8-12 SU and 10-10 ATS. They are, however, 15-7 SU and ATS when coming off of an ATS loss. Orlando has had success ATS when playing the Western Conference this season, covering in 12 of their 21 games versus opponents out west. The Magic are also a pretty impressive 29-26-1 ATS overall on the season. PF Anthony Davis (Shoulder) is expected to play for the Pelicans, but PF Ryan Anderson (Elbow) is questionable and PG Jrue Holiday (Ankle) is out indefinitely for the team. PG Luke Ridnour (Personal) and PF Tobias Harris (Knee) are both questionable for Orlando.
The Pelicans lost three straight games heading into the break, but they should now have PF Anthony Davis back in this one. Davis has played like an MVP this season, giving the team a consistent source of offense and some of the best rim protection in the entire league. When these teams met on opening night, the forward was dominant on both ends of the floor. Davis played 36 minutes in that game and finished with 26 points, 17 rebounds, nine blocks and three steals. The health of his shoulder could hold him back a little, but his presence on the floor is missed and he should make the team better regardless. C Omer Asik (7.0 PPG, 9.9 RPG) played excellent defense the last time these teams played, finishing with 14 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks. Asik will be guarding C Nikola Vucevic (19.6 PPG, 11.3 RPG), who is one of the premier offensive bigs in basketball. If he is not on his game defensively, Vucevic will really kill the Pelicans inside. SG Eric Gordon (12.6 PPG, 3.8 APG) has been extremely inconsistent for this team, scoring just six points against the Pacers after pouring in 31 against the Jazz just two nights before. Gordon will need to start contributing on a nightly basis for this team, as they need his production with PG Jrue Holiday (15.2 PPG, 7.1 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG) out for at least the next month. SF Tyreke Evans (16.8 PPG, 6.1 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.2 SPG) has taken over as the distributor with Holiday out. Evans has done well in that role recently, averaging 14.8 PPG, 8.4 APG, 5.8 RPG and 1.4 SPG in 34.0 MPG over the past five games. He has, however, struggled with his shot in those games (40percent FG) and will need to find a way to score more efficiently while also running this offense.
The Magic have underperformed this season, but they strung together two wins in their past four games before heading into the break. C Nikola Vucevic continues to be one of the best offensive players in the league and is averaging 21.2 PPG and 11.8 RPG over the past five contests. He had 28 points (12-for-20 FG) and 18 rebounds in a win against the Knicks before the break and will need to play well in this game. He had 15 points, 23 rebounds and four blocks when these teams met on opening night and must provide the same rim protection that he did in that game. He struggles as a shot blocker (0.7 BPG) and a guy with his size should be able to make more of an impact on the defensive end, like he did in the first meeting between these teams. PG Elfrid Payton (7.9 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG) has really found his game for this team recently. Over the past five contests, Payton is averaging 10.2 PPG, 5.4 APG, 5.4 RPG and 2.6 SPG. He should be able to get to the rim at will against the Pelicans, as theyre going big at the point guard position and sacrificing speed in the process. SG Victor Oladipo (16.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.6 SPG) had 19 points (11-for-11 FT), five rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal in a win over the Knicks before the break. Oladipo wasnt on the floor when these teams met earlier in the season and his presence will really change this game. He is a very talented scorer and can also take his opponents out of games with his play on the defensive end. PF Tobias Harris (17.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG) had 25 points and eight rebounds in the opening night game between these teams. It would be big if he is able to give it a go in this game, and its looking good after he returned to practice on Wednesday.
Pereira breaks down Week 2 NFL calls
A little crazy March Madness Challenge and a lot of wonderful. It's just one of the many reasons we love the NFL.
We had it all Sunday: close games eight of the nine early games ended within eight points or less of each other and amazing finishes that included one in overtime that had four field goal attempts at the end of regulation. We also had three others that ended within a point of each other.
Two of the four late games were also close and we even had a lightning delay for more than an hour in Tampa for the Saints-Bucs game which also ended on a last-play field goal.
Overall, it was a pretty well-officiated Sunday, especially considering we had a variety of different rulings to deal with.
1. Helmet-to-helmet hits, some legal, some not, which I'm sure we'll be discussing every week this season.
2. A ball becoming loose, then touching the pylon that resulted in a touchback.
3. A punt that was illegally touched inside the 5-yard line that resulted in a touchback.
4. An illegal touch of a pass after a receiver stepped out of bounds
5. And a celebration that was legal with one guy, but was illegal with three.
Folks, it might not take a rocket scientist to be an official, but it does take somebody to be well versed in the 114-page NFL rule book. And it almost seemed like we had a play from every page Sunday.
As complicated as the rule book is and considering the fact that a penalty was mis-enforced last weekend in the Green Bay-San Francisco game it is pretty amazing that the officials get it right almost all the time, but not always.
What I get a kick out out of is how excited fans get , i.e. mad, about the "not always" part.
I sit in the FOX NFL Command Center ever Sunday pouring over replay after replay, going frame-by-frame in super slow motion and I'm amazed how often the officials get it right.
I know you think I'm a little jaded because I used to oversee these guys, but with the size and especially speed of the games these days, I just wanted to make a point of how hard it is to do what these guys do.
A couple of plays in the New Orleans-Tampa Bay game at the start of the second quarter got Bucs fans fired up on twitter, but I have to tell you the officials got both calls right.
At the start of the second quarter, Saints quarterback Drew Brees took a hit from Tampa Bay's Adrian Clayborn. Brees fumbled on the play, but Clayborn was called for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.
I have to be honest, it was a close call, but officials are told to err on the side of safety on high hits. The hit was around the head and neck area so while I'm not crazy about it, the officials are doing what the league wants.
Two plays later, Brees attempted a pass to Darren Sproles and he was hit by Dashon Goldson, who was called for unnecessary roughness for a hit on a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver.
Goldson was fined $30,000 for two hits he made against the Jets last week and can expect a heftier fine this week. Goldson can also expect some discussion by the league for a possible suspension.
Like it or not, these kinds of calls are here to stay. Remember, they are tryingt to protect the players.
An interesting punt play in the Dallas-Kansas City game.
Kansas City had the ball, fourth-and-11 from its own 35-yard line. Dustin Colquitt punted the ball 65 yards and it was downed by Marcus Cooper at the 1-yard line. However, Cooper had stepped out of bounds at the 9-yard line and was called for illegal touching because it occurred within the 5-yard line.
When that happens, it's ruled a touchback. The Cowboys got the ball at the 20-yard line.
It was a good first half for the Packers. Could have been a great one if wide receiver James Jones had a little luck.
Here was the situation. The Packers were up 24-0, had the ball, second-and-5 from the Washington 10-yard with with 15 seconds left in the half. Jones caught a pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and headed for the end zone. Right at he was heading to the pylon the ball came out of his hands hit the pylon and went out of bounds.
It was ruled a touchback, which was the correct call. The interesting part, if Jones had maintained possession, it would have been a touchdown.
I also got a couple of tweets from fans questioning the hit that DeAngelo Hall put on Jones at the goal was a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was clearly not. Hall was not lining him up at all, he was trying to push him out of bounds.
Hits to the head have been a point of emphasis throughout the NFL this season and it didn't take long in Week 2 for a big one to have taken place in the Washington-Green Bay game.
On the Packers' opening drive, Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy carried the ball for 10 yards and was hit in the head by the Redskins' Brandon Meriweather with no foul being called on the play. Lacy was immediately taken out of the game for a concussion test.
At first glance, I wasn't sure if was not the new crown of the helmet rule, and after watching the replays, I'm still not sure. The rule is designed for two guys lining up each other. Meriweather is coming from the side, however, the rule is designed for the tackler and the rusher going directly at each other.
The question is going to be weather Meriweather "lined him up'" with a direct shot. It's going to take some examination by the league to determine whether they feel this was a foul, but the intent of the rule would seemingly make this be a foul they want called.
Lacy was deemed to have a concussion and is out for the rest of the game.
Kroenke mum on Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri
The Nuggets allowed Masai Ujiri, the NBA's Executive of the Year, to meet with the Toronto Raptors about their GM vacancy over the weekend, Yahoo Sports reported. Ujiri's contract with Denver expires June 30.
As president of the Avalanche as well, Kroenke attended Roy's announcement on Tuesday. He remained mum about Ujiri, saying, "There are no Nuggets questions today. Sorry. It's all about Avalanche."
Yahoo recently reported that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke is prepared to offer Ujiri $3 million annually to return to Toronto, where he was assistant GM for three years before joining Denver in 2010.