Monthly Archives: November 2018

NFL Odds: Week 9 Betting Lines & Trends

Category : Football , NFL , Sports , Sports Betting

One of the greatest post-game rants by an NFL head coach ever was Monday, October 16, 2006, in Phoenix. The Arizona Cardinals blew a 23-3 third-quarter lead and lost to the unbeaten Chicago Bears. Cards coach Denny Green then spouted the infamous: “They are who we thought they were!” speech.
What does that have to do with Week 9 of the 2018 season? The Bears are 10-point favorites on the NFL Week 9 odds at sportsbooks monitored by at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It’s the biggest Chicago has been favored on the road since that Arizona classic. The Bills are easily the NFL’s worst offensive team, on a short week, and have to turn back to interception machine Nathan Peterman at quarterback due to injuries. Chicago has won just three of its past 19 road games straight up.
Two games clearly stand apart in Week 9: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints in the Sunday afternoon late window, and Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots in the prime-time game. The former could be an NFC title game preview, while the latter a Super Bowl preview – although obviously, both can’t be true because the Packers also play in the NFC.
The Rams are the NFL’s only unbeaten team – after barely escaping the Packers last Sunday – and 8-0 for the first time since 1969, which was right before the AFL-NFL merger. Los Angeles is the 25th team in the Super Bowl era to start 8-0, and eight of the previous 24 won it all. Alas, the Rams are 1.5-point underdogs at the 6-1 Saints. The winner has a crucial tiebreaker for the NFC’s top seed. New Orleans is 2-6 ATS in the past eight against the Rams.
Two of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks in history will meet for only the second and quite possibly last time when the Packers visit New England. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady previously met in 2014 and the Packers won at home. In 2010 when the teams played, Rodgers was hurt. Hard to believe they haven’t met in a Super Bowl, and time is running out on Brady’s career.
The Patriots are 6-point betting favorites for a game that should draw the biggest regular-season TV ratings of the year. Green Bay is just 3-7 ATS in its past 10 overall and its playoff hopes will be in jeopardy with another loss.
History varies on what teams do when a head coach is fired midseason. Some find a spark, some go in the tank and some just continue on as they were. The Cleveland Browns will find out Sunday what that’s like as they play for the first time since ownership fired Hue Jackson along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Browns are +9 against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have the AFC’s best record at 7-1 but are 0-3 ATS in the past three in this series.
Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

San Antonio NFL Team: Best Potential Franchise Names

Category : NFL , San Antonio , Sports

Fans of San Antonio sports may want to gear up for the future because it apparently could include an NFL team. While the city currently has five professional sports teams as well as minor league and plenty of college athletics, the latest rumor points to the next move being a football team.
In a recent interview with RJ Marquez of KSAT, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg revealed the news. He’s expecting an NFL team in town within the next 10 years.
“I really believe the momentum that San Antonio has experienced over the last few years, most recently with the announcement of major jobs coming to Brooks City Base as well as the downtown UTSA campus and the rise of Texas A&M, the community college districts as well, you will see an NFL team in San Antonio in the next 10 years.”
The mayor went on to cite the economic growth of the city and the fact that professional teams and leagues are “looking to San Antonio as a place where they can find success.” It’s an eye-opening statement, but one that does make sense. The San Antonio Spurs have had major success in the NBA and are beloved by the city. There’s no question NFL owners would surely take note of that.
So with the rumblings of this future move, we’re going to take a look at a few possible team names for a San Antonio NFL franchise.

Potential NFL Team Names for San Antonio Franchise
*Note: There is no factual basis behind any of these suggestions, it’s all in good fun.
San Antonio Brigades
The popular city of San Antonio is known for a wide range of things, but they are certainly a military city. So what better way to pay homage to that than by naming an NFL team in a fashion that relates to the military? The name has a pretty nice ring to it as well, and the fanbase could come up with a few pretty unique nicknames for themselves.
San Antonio Diamondbacks
According to the National Park Service, the city has quite a few pretty terrifying snakes. And while quite a few of them have unique names, I’m not sure we can get away with the “Diamondback Water Snakes” or “Diamondback Rattlesnakes.” So, just the Diamondbacks will have to do. Sure, the MLB team in Arizona may not be thrilled, but it’s still a solid name.
San Antonio Toros
People don’t forget about the Toros. As W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal pointed out, the Toros were a semi-pro football team back in 1967. As Bailey so delicately put it, the team was “first looked upon simply as another schedule filler for the fledgling Texas Professional Football League.”
Full disclosure here, I wasn’t actually alive when the Toros played, but it seems they drew a big audience and turned out to be a good team. So, if an NFL team does come to San Antonio, why not bring back the popular name and memory that comes with it?
READ NEXT: Jon Gruden Website Counts Down Days Until Raiders Contract Ends

Namaste! You can now talk to Google Home in Hindi

Google has announced Hindi language update on Google Assistant for Google Home smart speakers for users in India. Google Home will also be able to respond in Hindi with uniquely Indian contexts.
Earlier this year, Google Assistant was made available in Hindi on smartphones allowing more users in India to take advantage of the Assistant. Last year, Google launched the Assistant in Hindi in Allo as well as made a special version available for Jio feature phones.
To converse with Google Home in Hindi, you’d need to set up Google Assistant to recognize the language on the Google Home app on your phone. Tap the ‘Account’ icon at the lower-right corner, then select ‘Settings’. Upon navigating to the ‘Assistant’ tab, select ‘Add a language’, and set ‘हिंदी (भारत)’ as the first language in the list.
Once set up, you can just say “Ok Google” to start a conversation with the Google Assistant on Google Home and ask a question in Hindi. Here’s a list of all the things that Google Assistant can do in Hindi.

DeMarcus Cousins Return: Kerr Says Boogie’s Injury Rehab Has ‘A Ways to Go’

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was very honest in his assessment of DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, and his hopeful return to the court. The good news is Cousins has begun to practice with the team, but the downside is the Warriors big man is not close to returning to game action.
“Conditioning-wise he’s still got a ways to go,” Kerr told ESPN. “I love how far he’s come, but I don’t want people to get the idea that he’s getting close to coming back. It’s still going to be some time. It’s a totally different deal playing in an NBA game and playing against [assistant coaches] Willie [Green] and Chris DeMarco.”
The team has not released a timeline for Cousins to return, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported when Cousins first signed with Golden State that it could be January 2019 before the big man played again. Here’s some footage of Cousins practicing with the Warriors.

Here’s a couple possessions of DeMarcus Cousins scrimmaging. One possession he challenges a shot, then leads a break then gets a dunk in transition.
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) November 1, 2018

Steve Kerr Called DeMarcus Cousins a “One-Year Rental”
Kerr was surprisingly honest on Cousins’ status beyond this year and admitted the big man is a “one-year rental.” Kerr also went as far as saying Cousins would be playing on another team in 2019.
“We made no bones about it when we signed him,” Kerr noted to ESPN. “It’s a one-year deal. We’re not going to have money to sign him next year, he knows that. So we’d like him to help us win a championship. We’d like to be able to help him get a great contract next year somewhere else. That’s the reality. So the best way to do that is to play really well and enjoy this season and everybody do the best we can and have fun with it.”
Former Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis has already begun his recruitment for the two big men to reconnect.
“He will be a free agent next year,” Davis told The Undefeated. “Hopefully, down the line we can reconnect…I tried to call our GM. He said he had no idea. I tried to call ‘Cuz’ [Cousins], but something happened with his phone. It sucked that it happened. But life goes on… I know the situation [Cousins] was in. He had to make a business move for him and his family. He had to do what was best for his career. You can’t do nothing but respect it.”
Steph Curry noted that Cousins’ presence at practice is already helping the team bring energy each day.
“I know he’s just eager to go out there and play,” Curry explained ESPN. “We all know he’s just chirping at the bit. I feel like what he’s been able to do in practice hasn’t been substantial, but I think he’s playing [in] live action [situations] and ramping it up so I don’t know how long it’s going to take for him to take the next steps and whatnot but just having him out there, having him be part of practice is huge for us and huge for his morale I’m sure. And it’s another step in the right direction.”

Wizards Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Thunder

The Washington Wizards received some good news ahead of their matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. After a 1-6 start to the season which has left the team looking for answers, they at least have some help on the way. The Wizards will have offseason signing Dwight Howard on the floor for this game, marking the official debut with his new team.
ESPN first revealed the news, which came from head coach Scott Brooks. Howard was able to practice on Thursday after missing the first seven games of the year with a strained muscle in his buttocks. While his return is certainly a big deal, it’s unknown how many minutes he’ll play, but the veteran center should provide an immediate spark.
To this point in the season, the Wizards have primarily started Ian Mahinmi at center. He’s drawn six starts with the other one going to Jason Smith in a game Mahinmi missed. Brooks has opted to play small-ball lineups more often than not to this point, though, as Mahinmi averages just 16.8 minutes per game.
Let’s take a look at how the Wizards’ starting lineup is projected to look Friday against the Thunder.

Wizards’ Projected Starting Lineup and Roster vs. Thunder
*Notates projected starter
C: Dwight Howard*, Ian Mahinmi, Thomas Bryant
PF: Markieff Morris*, Jason Smith
SF: Otto Porter Jr.*, Kelly Oubre, Jeff Green, Troy Brown Jr.
SG: Bradley Beal*, Tomas Satoransky, Jordan McRae
PG: John Wall*, Austin Rivers
It’s expected Howard will enter the starting lineup right out of the gate, but as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington revealed, he’s still dealing with quite a bit of pain at this point.
“It just doesn’t go away. It’s a lot better than it was,” he said. “I haven’t even been able to sit down. It hurts to sit down. Every time I get home, I can’t watch a movie sitting down. I’ve gotta lay down on the floor. It’s very painful.”
Of the Wizards’ seven games, they’ve seen Wall, Beal and Porter start each of them, with Morris starting six while missing one game due to injury. Green has also drawn one start, taking Morris’ place during his absence. The Wizards are likely to stick with this starting group throughout the bulk of the 2018-19 NBA season. Now, the hope is that the group can flip the script on what’s been a slow start to this point.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard

Politics Podcast: How To Judge Our Forecasts

By Nate Silver and Galen Druke and Nate Silver and Galen Druke


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In this installment of Model Talk on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Nate Silver explains how to judge the performance of the forecast, given that we expect the less likely scenario to happen sometimes. Nate also responds to listener questions, including explaining how all of the data in the forecast is collected.
You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.
The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with occasional special episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Timberwolves Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Warriors

Category : Basketball , NBA , Sports

It seemed originally that Jimmy Butler had grown tired of the Minnesota Timberwolves opting to push his potential trade to the backburner. While the team may be hoping he’ll have a change of heart (highly unlikely), Butler had reportedly put his foot down on the situation. And prior to last game, it seemed the All-Star guard wouldn’t be on the floor for a while.
This came after The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed that Butler was beginning a six-week process which may include an extended absence in order to push for a trade.

Jimmy Butler is taking next step in six-week-long process aimed at getting the All-Star out of Minnesota by sitting tonight against Utah, and could lead to extended absence for Butler, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 31, 2018

Butler started contemplating not playing tonight on Tuesday, and the final decision was made Wednesday morning, sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. Timberwolves termed it "general soreness and precautionary rest,” but Butler informed Tom Thibodeau of his decision.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 31, 2018

Although Butler did sit out against the Utah Jazz, Timberwolves analyst Alan Horton revealed that Butler will play Friday against the Golden State Warriors, per head coach Tom Thibodeau. He also revealed that Jeff Teague will be out once again while Tyus Jones will play.
With Butler set to play, let’s take a look at the projected starting lineup for the team, which may include Jones starting at point guard.

Timberwolves’ Projected Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Warriors
*Notates likely starters Friday against the Warriors
C: Karl-Anthony Towns*, Gorgui Dieng
PF: Taj Gibson*, Anthony Tolliver
SF: Andrew Wiggins*, James Nunnally, Keita Bates-Diop, Luol Deng
SG: Jimmy Butler*, Josh Okogie, C.J. Williams
PG: Tyus Jones*, Derrick Rose
After Derrick Rose’s 50-point explosion against the Jazz, there’s a chance he could wind up starting. I do believe the Timberwolves like his scoring off the bench, so leaving him in that role makes sense. Also pairing Rose with Okogie, the team’s first-round pick out of Georgia Tech, would be ideal. He’s flashed upside while averaging 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
The injury to Teague is the big spot to watch, but Butler’s return to the lineup will make the Timberwolves starting group look similar to what fans have become accustomed to seeing. Now, we just have to wait and see how long Butler remains not only in the starting lineup but on the team with trade rumors still swirling.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard

Dwight Howard Injury: Latest on Status of Wizards Center

The Washington Wizards have had a tough start to the NBA season, going 1-6 thus far with the lone win coming in narrow 125-124 fashion over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Wizards need to right the ship sooner than later, and a large part of making that happen will be the return of center Dwight Howard, who’s yet to play this season.
Howard was signed by the Wizards this offseason, addressing a big need for the team. The obvious hope is that Washington has added a player with the upside to dominate inside while playing alongside two top-tier NBA guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal. And after the slow start, his return to the floor can’t come fast enough.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Howard’s status and any news on his potential role when he returns to the floor.

Dwight Howard Set to Debut Friday vs. Thunder
Wizards coach Scott Brooks provided some good news on Howard ahead of the team’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. As ESPN revealed, Brooks made it known Howard’s debut is set for this intriguing early-season matchup. The news comes after the veteran center was able to practice on Thursday with a strained muscle in his buttocks.
Howard is expected to start immediately, which will push Ian Mahinmi to the bench after starting all six games he played in. Over that stretch, Mahinmi averaged 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while playing just 16.8 minutes per game. The Wizards often opted to play small ball instead of using a prototypical center.

Howard’s Role & Comments on Return
Although Howard will play in this game, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington revealed the  32-year-old said he still can’t sit without pain but does feel better than before.
“It just doesn’t go away. It’s a lot better than it was,” he said. “I haven’t even been able to sit down. It hurts to sit down. Every time I get home, I can’t watch a movie sitting down. I’ve gotta lay down on the floor. It’s very painful.”
Howard sounds like he’s just excited to return to the floor and told Hughes that he’s “just looking forward to doing what I can to help this team win.”
As far as his role goes, ESPN revealed that Brooks didn’t shy away from the obvious fact that the Wizards want to get Howard rolling to the rim. The team is also interested in trying to get their big man some mid-range looks as well.
“His strength of his game is rolling. His strength of his game is finishing around the the rim, but he’s also a good mid-range shooter. … He’s going to get his share of those.”
This is Howard’s sixth NBA team and he spent last season with the Charlotte Hornets. The former No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while playing 81 games in 2017-18.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard

Amazon is celebrating Alexa’s fourth birthday with some great hardware sales

Category : Amazon Alexa , News

Amazon is celebrating the fourth anniversary of its Alexa digital assistant with a big sale.
It includes discounts on Alexa-enabled devices like Echo smart speakers, Fire tablets and more
The Alexa birthday sales lasts from now until Nov. 6.

Happy birthday to Alexa. Four years ago, Amazon publically announced it had created the Alexa digital assistant to work with the first version of its Echo smart speaker. Since then, Alexa has expanded its reach and is now available not just on Amazon’s own hardware products, like its Fire TV devices and Fire tablets, but also on tons of third-party hardware products as well.
To celebrate, Amazon is holding a big Alexa birthday sale from now until November 6, with special discounts and offers on many Alexa-based devices.  Here’s a look at just some of the products with price cuts and offers:

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) – $29.99 (save $10)
Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) – $100 for four (save $60)
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – $80 for two (save $20)
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – $117 for three (save $33)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K  – $90 for two with code TWOPACK (save $10)
Amazon Echo Look camera/speaker –  $99.99 (save $100)
Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition  – $59.99 (save $10)
Amazon Echo Show (2nd Edition) – $360 for two (save $100)
Acer Spin 5 Windows 10 notebook with Alexa built-in –  $759.99 (save $140)
Anker Roav Viva Car Charger with Alexa built-in – $39.99 (save $8.52)

You can check out all of Alexa birthday sales at the link below. Which one of the discounted devices will you be buying during the sale?
Check out all of Amazon’s Alexa birthday sales

Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: Latest on Future of Timberwolves Guard

The Jimmy Butler trade saga of the 2018 NBA offseason has been one of the most well-documented and head-scratching in recent memory. While Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau seemingly has no interest in moving his All-Star guard, that may not be a great option.
The Timberwolves could technically opt to hold Butler throughout the season, but they’d eventually lose him in free agency. In turn, this has led to trade talks ramping back up and rumors beginning to fly once again. After the earlier stages of the offseason were loaded with a plethora of rumors and a wide range of options, it’s become far more streamlined as of late.
Butler’s potential landing spot via trade has been narrowed down somewhat, largely due to the fact that many teams pulled back after hearing Minnesota’s high asking price. But let’s take a look at the latest rumors which have come out on a possible deal.

Potential Miami Heat Trade Cools Off
Originally, the Heat seemed to be the most likely landing spot for Butler. They wanted the 29-year-old badly and apparently came closer than any team has to this point. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first revealed, the Timberwolves nearly had a deal in place with the Heat, but it fell apart when Butler’s current team pushed for more.

ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend – only to see trade fall apart. Minnesota shared Butler’s medical info with Miami, owners were involved and sides prepared to finalize. Minnesota pushed for more, talks fractured.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018

The two sides were unable to bounce back from that, at least to this point. And shortly after that news came to light, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel revealed the Heat were reportedly not re-engaging with the Timberwolves.
The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, “are not trying to re-engage” in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler’s recent behavior and comments.
For now, the talks of a potential move to Miami are on hold, and very well may be dead altogether.

Houston Rockets Offer Their Future in Picks
Shortly after Butler had accepted the fact that he’d be with the Timberwolves to start the season, the Rockets upped the ante a bit. As ESPN reported, Houston offered a deal which included an eye-opening four first-round draft picks. While that wasn’t enough to get the deal done, largely due to the fact that these picks would have been at the bottom of the round, it got the ball rolling again.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania later detailed that along with the first-round selections, the Rockets included Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight in the deal. After turning down Houston’s previous deal, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported that Eric Gordon is a “mandatory” piece of any trade for the Timberwolves.
So as of now, it seems that unless Gordon is included in a deal from the Rockets, the Timberwolves won’t send Butler to the Western Conference juggernaut.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard