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NBA DFS: Khris Middleton and top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy basketball picks for Dec. 4, 2021

Jacob Scott

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The Saturday NBA schedule has a pair of marquee games in the Eastern Conference as the Brooklyn Nets host the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks host the Miami Heat. All four of those teams have considerable star power, but some key pieces will be missing with Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf), Bam Adebayo (thumb) and Jimmy Butler (tailbone) out, while Chicago defensive guru Alex Caruso is questionable with a hamstring injury. However, those absences could create some opportunities for NBA daily Fantasy players, and finding affordable options stepping into larger roles can unlock some intriguing NBA DFS lineup combinations.

Tyler Herro will obviously take on an even larger role in the Miami offense with Butler and Adebayo on the sidelines and he dropped 27 points in just 24 minutes against the Bucks in the season opener. So should you be rostering Herro on Saturday or looking elsewhere in the NBA DFS player pool with the Bucks likely to be keying in on him? Before making any NBA DFS picks for Saturday, be sure to check out the NBA DFS advice, player rankings, stacks and top daily Fantasy basketball picks from SportsLine’s Mike McClure

McClure is a DFS professional with nearly $2 million in career winnings. He’s also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. 

This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They’re a must-see for any NBA DFS player.

On Friday, McClure listed 76ers center Joel Embiid as one of his top NBA DFS picks on FanDuel and DraftKings. The result: Embiid scored 28 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out four assists and blocked two shots, which returned 55.5 points on DraftKings and 54.4 points on FanDuel. Anybody that included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

Now, McClure has turned his attention to the Saturday, December 4 NBA DFS slate and locked in his top daily Fantasy basketball picks. You can only see them by heading to SportsLine.

Top NBA DFS picks for Saturday, December 4

One of McClure’s top NBA DFS picks for Saturday includes Trail Blazers point guard Dennis Smith Jr. at $3,400 on DraftKings and $4,400 on FanDuel. With Damian Lillard (abdominal) and Anfernee Simons (ankle) out, Smith slides into the starting lineup at point guard after having played sparingly this season.

In his career as a starter, Smith has averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 assists per game and he’s had 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals in just under 36 minutes over his last two games. With Smith in line to see a lot more playing time, but still priced as an end-of-bench guy, he’s a clear value in all NBA daily Fantasy formats.

Another part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy includes rostering Bucks wing Khris Middleton at $7,500 on DraftKings and $7,400 on FanDuel. It’s been a tough shooting season for the two-time NBA All-Star, as he’s hitting just 41.2 percent from the floor and 34.1 percent from the 3-point line.

But Middleton has shot at least 47 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc in the last two seasons, so there’s reason to be optimistic about positive regression in his game and the Bucks need him to step up on Saturday with Antetokounmpo out. He had 22 points and eight rebounds on Thursday with the two-time MVP out, and he’ll have an opportunity to put up big numbers against the shorthanded Heat. 

How to set NBA DFS lineups for Saturday, December 4

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for massive numbers on Saturday because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS lineups for Saturday? Visit SportsLine now to see optimal NBA DFS picks, rankings, advice, and stacks, all from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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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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