JANUARY is associated with cold weather, the midpoint of the NBA and College Basketball seasons and of course the NFL playoffs. Another small schedule with just eight games presents a few tricky picks, with the Conference championships the headliners.
Last Sunday Picks: 5 – 2
Overall: 433 – 324
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Orlando Magic (13-32) at Boston Celtics (34-12)
KYRIE should return and Orlando is tied for the most losses in the league. No need to read any more into this.
Verdict: Celtics W
New York Knicks (21-25) at Los Angeles Lakers (16-29)
IN Porzingis’ only other game against the Lakers at Staples he messed around and put up 26 points, 13 boards and seven blocks. Earlier in December, he dropped 37 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks against LA. I’m sensing a bit of a pattern and Porzin-God will need to be at his best to help the Knicks grind out a W.
Verdict: Knicks W
Brooklyn Nets (17-29) at Detroit Pistons (22-22)
DETROIT’S last win came against the Nets before they went on a four-game skid. With D’Angelo Russell’s return to action and the Pistons recent defensive struggles, I think Brooklyn can find a way to upset the home team.
Verdict: Nets W
Indiana Pacers (24-22) at San Antonio Spurs (30-17)
EVEN though Kawhi will be missing for an indefinite period of time, the Spurs are still a juggernaut that should be feared. Boasting a 19-2 record at home (best in the league) I expect them to flex their muscle against the Pacers Sunday night.
Verdict: Spurs W
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) at #1 New England Patriots (13-3)
NO is actually buying into the hype of the Jacksonville winning right? Even if Tom Brady’s hand had been cut off I’m sure he would find a way to throw left-handed and beat Blake Bortles’ Jags. There is a recipe for success that could expose the Patriots, but I just don’t think it’s possible for them to come up shot with TB12 in uniform.
Verdict: Patriots W
#2 Minnesota Vikings (13-3) at #1 Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
THIS one is much harder to pick. I’m scared that the Vikings will be high on emotion after their miracle win over the Saints which could lead to a shaky start. Both defenses are going to make life hell for the opposing quarterbacks so we could be in for an ugly affair. I think that Minnesota is the best team and that would usually translate to a trip to the SuperBowl for the Vikings. Not this time though, I’m predicting the home side to advance on the back (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Nick Foles’ play.
Verdict: Eagles W
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (12-8) at #23 Michigan Wolverines (16-5)
SINCE upsetting one of the nations best teams in East Lansing, the Wolverines have looked downright average. With a visit to Purdue (8-0 in conference play) coming up, a big win over Rutgers will be just what they need to get back on course.
Verdict: Wolverines W
Image from mlive.com
#25 Miami Hurricanes (13-4) at NC State Wolfpack (13-6)
LOSSES to Duke and Clemson in their last two has seen Miami tumble down the table, setting up a tough challenge against a hungry Wolfpack squad. Having already conquered the same teams that the Hurricanes lost to, NC State will come into this one with plenty of confidence. Bad news for Miami fans.
Verdict: Wolfpack W
#2 Virginia Cavaliers (17-1) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-10)
ON one hand, there’s the 17-1 No. 2 ranked team in the country. On the other an 8-10 team riding a four-game losing streak. However. Wake Forest has a winning record at home and Virginia has played just four games on the road, owning a 3-1 record. The Cavs will still win this, but don’t expect a whitewash.
Verdict: Cavaliers W