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Forecasting the outcome of each NFL Week 13 game

Jacob Scott

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Last week: 6-6 after I mistakenly omitted a couple of games. It’s upsetting because I would have had the Bengals winning and the Rams losing, but after-the-fact boasting matters not. 110-67 straight up on the season.

This week sees a predominance of home underdogs. We’re approaching the time of year where disappointing teams tend to check out, so be wary…

All lines are from BetOnline as of 8:30 AM on Dec. 2nd

Sunday Games

– Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+7): The first meeting between these two NFC North rivals was decided on a 54-yard field goal from Vikings kicker Greg Joseph as time expired. Minnesota has enough injury issues to give the winless Lions some hope, but only if the Detroit offense actually tries to win — something they’ve yet to do since head coach Dan Campbell took over playcalling three weeks ago.

Vikings 26, Lions 17

– Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears (+7.5): The Cardinals return to Chicago 62 years after fleeing the city for the friendlier confines of St. Louis. It figures to be the last time they play at Soldier Field. Beware the early start in an outdoor venue for a dome team from the West. Having said that, the Cardinals are the better team on both sides of the ball and can establish that quickly.

Cardinals 32, Bears 18

– Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (+11.5): Tampa Bay won the first meeting 48-25 back in Week 2. The Falcons haven’t scored 25 points in the last three weeks combined and haven’t beaten a team yet that currently has a winning record. Guess what? We’ll still be able to say that after this weekend.

Buccaneers 34, Falcons 10

– Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (+9): The only way the Texans stand a chance here is if the Colts are overzealous to get to their freakishly late Week 14 bye. Indianapolis won the first meeting 31-3 in a game where Johnathan Taylor ran for 145 yards and two TDs. He can do it again and solidify his grip on the NFL rushing title. Tyrod Taylor is good enough to add a touchdown to the Texans tally they netted with Davis Mills at QB, but not much more. Good week to flex in TY Hilton at wide receiver for fantasy purposes; Hilton has 1.798 yards and 11 TDs in 19 career games against the Texans.

Colts 31, Texans 10

– Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets (+6.5): I saw a bald eagle this week while driving along the Lake Michigan shoreline just south of Grand Haven. I’ll take that as a sign to trust in the Eagles here. Then again, I see a jet plane almost every day. Eh, the more unusual object still wins out.

Eagles 35, Jets 23

– Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3): Huge game for the AFC playoff race, pitting two of the conference’s three current wild-card teams against one another in Cincinnati. The Bengals offense has been orange-hot in the two games since their bye, scoring 73 points in routing both the Raiders and Steelers. The Chargers are capable of keeping up, but the Justin Herbert restrictor plate that is L.A. offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi makes it unlikely. If the Chargers are going to win this one, it’s incumbent upon their defense to force takeaways and get off the field on third downs reliably. Entering the game, the Chargers defense is 31st on third downs and they’re 22nd in interceptions. D’oh.

Bengals 33, Chargers 27

– New York Giants at Miami Dolphins (-4): Tua Tagovailoa gets a lot of criticism, including from this analyst, but give the Dolphins QB some credit. He’s posted very impressive and consistent lines from three of his last four starts.

32-of-40, 291 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, QB Rating of 109.5 in Week 7

27-of-33, 273 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QB Rating of 108.7 in Week 11

27-of-31, 230 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, QB Rating of 108.3 in Week 12

If he can keep the consistency against the Giants, it will be an impressive feat. New York’s pass defense has picked off 8 passes in the last 3 weeks. The Giants do give up yards and sustained drives, however.

Dolphins 24, Giants 14

– Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5): Two of the most unpredictable teams from week to week means it’s time for the magic 8-ball (still the best low-tech gift for a 12-year-old boy ever made).

Will the Raiders win at home?

“Most likely”

Can’t argue with the magic 8-ball!

Raiders 27, Football Team 24, most likely…

– Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams (-13): Just what the doctor ordered for the ailing Rams, losers of three in a row since going “all-in” to win this year: the lowly Jaguars. Jacksonville has also lost three in a row and is struggling to score. The Jaguars have scored a total of 47 points in the last five weeks. They’re not going to score much in Los Angeles either, barring Matthew Stafford throwing a pick-six for the fourth straight week. And that could happen, but don’t bet on it.

Rams 22, Jaguars 13

– Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5): After watching the two QBs here, Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger, and how they played last weekend, I’m absolutely flabbergasted the line here is only 4.5 points. Baltimore has its foibles, but these Steelers look positively cooked. And that starts with the guy throwing the ball like a minor-league junkballer.

Ravens 29, Steelers 10

– San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (+3.5): Speaking of teams that look positively cooked, Seattle has sunken to the bottom of the NFC West. There is only so much more frustration Pete Carroll can take out on his prolific chewing gum when his team fails to execute the way the Seahawks are playing in the last few weeks. Sorry, Pete, but the bottom is deeper than you’ve reached right now. The 49ers will help sink Seattle lower.

49ers 30, Seahawks 20

– Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-10): For all the consternation about the demise of the Chiefs, they’ve been one of the AFC’s two best teams (with New England) for the last month. But these Broncos are no pushover, having won three of four and doing so with a defense that doesn’t appear to miss Von Miller nearly as much as expected. I’m very comfortable with expecting the Chiefs to prevail, but that point spread seems disrespectfully ignorant to Denver’s ability.

Chiefs 30, Broncos 24

Monday Night

– New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-3): I want to trust the Bills at home, I really do. But the inconsistent play from Buffalo’s defense and also QB Josh Allen is a tough sell against the surging Patriots, who seized first place in the AFC East last week. Turning the ball over 11 times in four weeks as the Bills have done is not the kind of track record to bring into a game with Bill Belichick and the schematically strong Patriots coming to town.

Patriots 26, Bills 20 

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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