Boston Celtics. Throw in the solid signing of Tristan Thompson to aid in their rebounding woes they ranked 17th in defensive rebounding percentage last season , and barring anything unforeseen, natural progression should have them as one of the top teams in the East once again.
Miami Heat. While that very likely excludes them from the opportunity to chase Antetokounmpo should he become a free agent next summer extending Adebayo now could also be proof that the Heat believe the MVP will re-sign with the Bucks , it is in itself a move that no one can sniff at. Combine this with the fact that Miami, who employs several young key pieces, now has the experience and understanding of what it takes to make a deep playoff push, and it would make sense that the version of the team will be notably better.
Toronto Raptors. In short, they were able to retain their main priority in Fred VanVleet who was one of, if not the biggest name on the unrestricted free-agent market , keep fiscal flexibility for next summer, and field a competitive enough roster that -- despite losing significant pieces in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka -- could make themselves appealing to any potential stars looking for a new home in Philadelphia 76ers.
Brooklyn Nets. Perhaps the most fascinating team in the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season due to their equivalent chances to succeed with dominance or fail spectacularly, the Nets will finally be able to put the team on the floor they envisioned over a year ago. And so, now, questions abound: What will Kevin Durant look like post-Achilles injury? Will Irving be able to play a fully healthy season? Will the two all-stars mesh quickly enough in a shortened season to morph the team into a cohesive unit?
Indiana Pacers. Atlanta Hawks. In a tight-knit race with the Orlando Magic who will be without Jonathan Isaac after he tore his ACL in the Orlando bubble and Washington Wizards who will be reintegrating John Wall for the first time in about two years , the overhauled Atlanta Hawks get the nod for the eighth spot here.
Los Angeles Lakers. Pulling off one of the better overall off-seasons, the defending champion Lakers managed to shore up a position of need by trading for Dennis Schroder who will provide some necessary playmaking, whether as a primary or secondary creator and replaced the absence of Green by signing Wesley Matthews a still-potent defender and three-point marksman.
On top of that, they swapped out two of their big men Howard, JaVale McGee for, if not substantial, at least marginal upgrades in Gasol and Montrezl Harrell. Los Angeles now just awaits the re-signing of Anthony Davis a fait accompli , who is still pondering precisely what type of contract he wants to commit to. Having put themselves in about as sound a position to repeat as was possible in such a constrained off-season, betting against the Lakers at this point would be foolish.
Los Angeles Clippers. After a disappointing finish to their season, which saw them blow a 3—1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals, the Clippers look to enter the campaign perhaps slightly better than they were only a few months ago. Their major acquisition, Ibaka, is a defensive improvement over Harrell, and can stretch the floor in a way the latter cannot.
He also brings an extra layer of championship experience to the club, something that no one else save Kawhi Leonard who, of course, won a title with Ibaka in Toronto in has. They continue to be one of the most talented teams on paper, and if new head coach Tyronn Lue can bring out their best, they should be right back in the title picture in a more serious manner. Denver Nuggets. Every season since head coach Michael Malone took over in Denver, the Nuggets have continued to improve.
With those lessons in mind, SI would like to introduce you to The Every Monday during the regular season at SI. As we approach the start of spring training, which teams are primed to make a World Series run? And which are playing for ? These questions and many more answered, just as soon as we get Ken Griffey Jr. They head into spring at the bottom of the heap, as their transition from the core of the World Series team to a new generation of players nears its completion.
Former Angels assistant general manager Matt Klentak is the new man in charge, and the focus is now squarely on building through the farm system, with analytics finally becoming an area of concentration for an organization that resisted that path for many years. Recently traded starter Shelby Miller is a very good young pitcher, but goodness, did the Braves ever load up on young talent by trading Miller to Arizona.
Dansby Swanson was the No. None of those players will prevent the Braves from being really bad this year. Slowly, oh so very slowly, the Brewers are starting to dig their way out of baseball purgatory. They flipped outfielder Carlos Gomez to Houston last July, bagging five-tool centerfield prospect Brett Phillips in return, and they swiped year-old shortstop prospect Isan Diaz from the Diamondbacks in a late-January trade for Jean Segura. You could see the logic behind A. The Padres had been both bad and dull for years; loading up on big bats might help alleviate these problems.
But when the plan failed, it was tough to see the logic behind what Preller did next: almost nothing. Relief pitching may be gaining in importance as teams like the Royals shorten games, but flipping a productive everyday outfielder for a reliever is still puzzling.
And the prospects the Rockies swapped with the Rays made the trade even worse: They shipped out year-old Kevin Padlo, a third baseman who absolutely mashed in low A ball last season. All this for a team that finished last in the NL West three of the past four years, and might make a run at four out of five.
One advantage of being a really bad team is that you can try out radical strategies without fear of damaging your playoff chances. For the Reds, that meant rolling out rookie starting pitchers at a rate rarely before seen in baseball history. The experiment produced mixed results, but the insight that the Reds gained in the process should prove valuable.
If Anthony DeSclafani and company can build on their rookie-season experience, Cincinnati might even be semi-respectable. This is still a team that needs a whole lot of things to go right in order to contend, from Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso being able to both hit and stay healthy to newly signed Rich Hill being able to replicate his late-season magic as a reclamation project in Boston.
After a decade and a half of futility, the Orioles have spent the past four seasons ranging from competent to excellent, consistently outperforming bearish projection systems. Baltimore might be headed back to the cellar in Over a week, a month or occasionally even an entire season, a team will benefit from supernaturally good timing. At the plate, it might bunch hits together at an unusually high rate, or pitchers might scatter hits rather than having opponents put up big innings.
Researcher Ed Feng calls this phenomenon Cluster Luck. The Twins were the third-luckiest team in baseball last season by that measure, behind the Royals and the Cardinals. Though he only has one MVP award to show for it, you could argue that Mike Trout was the best player in the AL in each of the past four seasons. When you have a player of that quality, the logical move is to surround him with championship-caliber talent.
Bet the under. A dark-horse-contender pick last season, the Marlins got crushed by injuries and underachievement from almost everyone on the roster not named Dee Gordon. The Fish head into spring training with stars Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton healthy, Wei-Yin Chen on board to fortify the rotation, and another year of development for mids up-and-comers Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna.
Throw in 38 chances to beat up on the Phillies and the Braves, and maybe this is the year Miami sneaks up on the rest of the NL. We see this every year: mediocre-to-bad club makes aggressive moves in the off-season, then gets declared a team to watch. Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller will certainly help a rotation that badly lacked frontline talent last year, and Paul Goldschmidt and A. Pollock represent one of the best one-two lineup punches in the league.
Making matters worse, GM Dave Stewart strip-mined the farm system, which means that if this shoot-the-moon approach to roster building fails, the D-Backs could struggle for years to come. This year, just like every year, the Rays are going to spend way, way less than their rivals. The projected rotation should go a long way toward meeting that first goal, with Chris Archer leading a potentially electric starting five.
For goal No. The AL Central is going to be a lot tighter this season than it was last year. And while the White Sox place fourth among AL Central teams in these rankings, consider them closer to a virtual tie for second. The free-agent acquisitions of outfielder Justin Upton and starter Jordan Zimmermann should provide strong upgrades at positions of need; the question is whether that will be enough.
But the Tigers at least stand a good chance to vault back above. In basketball, land one superstar player and the future of a franchise can dramatically change. That said, Francisco Lindor sure made a big difference for the Indians. Thereafter, the Indians ranked among the best defensive teams in the baseball, winning four more games than they lost. That defensive excellence, combined with the most strikeout-heavy starting rotation in the majors, could create a run-prevention powerhouse.
Few teams lost more talent over the winter than the Nats. It all adds up to a team that should contend this season. The Cardinals' winning games last year was a shocker. Catcher Yadier Molina had a terrible and injury-plagued season too. Some of the pieces that enabled the Cards to overcome those setbacks return this year, with full seasons for outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk likely to stabilize the lineup. Still, there are reasons for doubt here. Losing Heyward to the rival Cubs will hurt.
Utah Virginia Tech Washington Wisconsin. Purdue Syracuse Villanova Virginia Wisconsin. Redblacks Stampeders. Featured Teams. Bayern Munich Dortmund. Celtic Rangers. Toggle navigation Log In. By Zach Harper Jan 18, After many people wondered a week ago when the NBA might start using that scheduled cushion for making up games, the league postponed 13 games this past week due to positive COVID results and contract tracing.
As games get postponed more and more, we get fewer and fewer results to analyze in trying to figure out the hierarchy of the NBA. Even in a lot of the games we are getting, so many key players are sitting out that it almost makes the result itself meaningless.
For example, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Miami Heat twice this week. Good week for the Sixers before losing to Memphis, right? Yeah, sort of. Already a subscriber? Log In. Subscribe now to get full access to the new sports page. Must read content, player grades, stuff you can't get anywhere else. View Plans Already a subscriber? Log in. View Plans. Continue reading this story Read this story for free.
Colgate, for the third year running, is still the best team. Question is, how many games will PL teams wind up playing? Boston College : Eagles will struggle to avoid finishing in the bottom three in the ACC due to losing five solid players off a win team. But at least Wynston Tabbs is back from injury, and he gives BC some hope in a weird year. That means the Knights bring back just one starter. Stephen F. Will be tough to tell just how good this team is due to a lack of opportunities against legit teams.
The best team at turning other teams over a whopping He's a center. That kind of thing is rare, but I love that it still happens on occasion at the mid-major level. A new AD adds to the urgency of the situation. Nevada : Can't see the Wolf Pack competing for a Mountain West title but I can see them being enough of a matchup problem to stay in the top half of the conference despite a year in roster limbo.
Sophomore Noah Friedel is next in line. Louisiana Tech : The definition of a very good mid-major program a season ago. Vermont : Still easily the best team in the America East and that will remain true despite losing maybe the best player in program history Anthony Lamb. Georgia : Tom Crean's going to rely on three grad transfers and loses Anthony Edwards , which might be for the best for this team.
But I'd expect this otherwise-young group to make a leap and be near the top 60 in my master rankings come fall of Rhode Island : Fatts Russell is still balling for the Rams, which makes the Rams a threat in every A game they play. USF : Alexis Yetna is back after injuries kept him away for most of last season, and that's going to be so pivotal to the Bulls having a chance to finish.
Harvard : Noah Kirkwood is probably the best wing option in the Ivy, and given how much Harvard lost from last season it wouldn't be outlandish to suggest he averages north of 20 points. A ninth-place Pac finish would be wonderful. Colorado State : CSU has no seniors but returns four starters and needs to replace the best rebounder in league history, Nico Carvacho. Isaiah Stevens has some Mountain West star power.
David Roddy could grow tremendously by February. Georgetown : Patrick Ewing dealt with a horrible offseason. First he lost every good player he had. On Aug. None of that will make this season easier, as Georgetown is scaling a cliff in the Big East. Eastern Washington : The class of the Big Sky and the reigning league champs. Travis DeCuire has a couple more seasons with this program before he's recruited to a bigger job. Washington State : The last team to win a men's D-I college basketball game in Wazzu knocked off Colorado shortly before the clock flipped to March 12 in the first round of the Pac tourney.
Bradley : Reigning MVC tourney champs. Yep, some league tournaments wrapped before the coronavirus canceled college hoops. If Bradley can win the auto bid in the Valley it would be the first time in school history it won the league three straight years. Ohio : Jeff Boals kept Stony Brook respectable, then went to his alma mater and has Ohio in a spot where it might be the best team in the MAC thanks to having Jason Preston -- potentially the league's top player.
George Papas and Deion Hammond command a crew with speed and composure that won 18 games. Vanderbilt : Gets one more season of finishing last in the SEC with that being an expected but not accepted result. By next year Jerry Stackhouse knows real returns have to start showing.
ISU has four starters back, so they're the Valley's automatic-bid dark horse. Drake : Darian DeVries is off to a wonderful start with his first head-coaching gig. He's won 44 games in two seasons at maybe the hardest job in the Valley. Roman Penn is arguably the best point guard in the conference.
Liberty : The Flames have enough stability with point guards and combo guards to ensure they won't slip too far, if at all, in the ASUN. Everything starts with Tre Mitchell , who was overlooked nationally as a freshman stud A reminder that UCSB has a claim to the best name for a home arena in college basketball: the Gauchos play at the Thunderdome.
Texas State : Roster should be good, but this is a program that has to adapt after losing its coach in September. Danny Kaspar resigned following an investigation after one of his former players accused him of racist language. He's met the bar of expectations, low as they may be for the second-toughest Pac job.
North Dakota State : Dave Richman doesn't get a lot of pub because of the league he's in Summit and the school he's at, but this is one of the best mid-major coaches under 45 in college basketball. Hofstra : We send the warmth of the household to Joe Mihalich, who announced in August an indefinite leave of absence from coaching due to an unspecified health issue. The Pride are led by shooting guard Jalen Ray. Nebraska : Pitt transfer Trey McGowens is among the most important transfers in power-conference play this season, as he'll give Fred Hoiberg's team some hope to pick off a few games.
This looks like the worst team in the Big Ten by far. Akron : The MAC is balanced with a lot of guards. The Zips, last season's top team, lost four starters but brought back a beaut in Loren Cristian Jackson It's so crazy it just might work to get the team top-three in that league. George Mason : Dave Paulsen's a quality coach. GMU was sideswiped by nagging injury issues in Expect a bump within the upgraded A, guided by senior forward AJ Wilson. Delaware : Quality offensive crew out of the Colonial.
He also has one of three best defenses in Conference USA. The second-fastest team on offense in the sport Fresno State : Expect the Mountain West to again have its games be contested, in decent portion, thanks to its respectable stable of bigs. Among that group is sophomore hoss Orlando Robinson.
Missouri State : Dana Ford has a lot of new faces on this roster, but I trust his coaching acumen and am slotting the Bears higher than they probably deserve to be. Gaige Prim will be MSU's star. Temple : The Owls are not back yet. Aaron McKie needs two more seasons to get his program in line and move to the top four of the American.
Towson : Pat Skerry might have the best team in the Colonial. Zane Martin is back -- after transferring two years ago -- and a POY candidate. Buffalo : MAC coaches say the Bulls are as capable of winning the league as anyone. Great on the boards, always play hard. Relatedly, Luther College is where one of the best Dave Matthews acoustic shows was ever played.
We start off by discussing the set-opening One Sweet World. But seriously, this "Warehouse" is a gem. It was one of plenty of instances where an in-house candidate was promoted, aided by the coronavirus pandemic. Pacific : It's cool how a classic, tough point guard like Damon Stoudamire has wound up coaching this Tigers team into a rugged defense group that thrives on pinching you out of rhythm 15 feet and in.
Consider the Cards your MAC sleeper. Princeton : The Tigers bring back plenty, including Jaelin Llewellyn , who is one of the most dynamic players in the Ivy League. Mercer : Greg Gary is already regarded as a top-three coaching mind in the SoCon. Give it one more year and the Bears will be top-three as a program. This was the worst 3-point shooting team in C-USA Wofford : When Mike Young coached Wofford a few years ago he told me he'd landed a commitment from a kid named Storm who would be a great all-time Terrier.
He was right. San Diego : Sam Scholl brought in five off the transfer wire, so USD's objective will be to work out the kinks and then hope there's a big click to finish middle of the pack in the stocked WCC. Valparaiso : Outplayed their talent a season ago, so I won't sell Valpo short in the grand scheme of things; I even had it higher in my initial rankings. Penn : Here's why Penn will again have a top-four Ivy squad: it ranked No. Be better on the boards and then a title is within reach.
Oral Roberts : Paul Mills coached the best turnover-forcing team on defense and the best non-turnover team on offense in the Summit League last season. All the more when you consider the MAC finally did away with divisions, the last D-I hoops conference to do so. Until the SWAC goes back to it in Justin Turner is goooooood. Northeastern : Finished in the bottom 10 in "luck" at KenPom, and that trend shouldn't continue.
Bill Coen's got a quality group in Boston. UTSA : Jhivvan Jackson is one of the 40 best players in college basketball, no matter what my colleagues have voted when our list comes out next week! The Roadrunner has 2, points to his name. This shortened season will prevent him from catching 3, The vulnerability seems to be in defensive agility about the perimeter.
Toledo : Probably my lowest-ranked MAC team capable of winning the league's regular-season title in Marreon Jackson and Spencer Littleson should combine to put up 35 a night. Still, few programs have been steadier in that league every season of the s.
New Hampshire : America East dark horse. All starters return, led by frontcourt reliables Jayden Martinez and Nick Guadarrama. Program's never made the NCAAs. He's got a new challenge ahead, though. South Dakota : Stanley Umude is likely to be among the highest usage players in mid-major college basketball, as USD lost four starters. I vividly remember watching BU upset Colgate on a Wednesday night and celebrating its automatic bid.
Coach Joe Jones embraced that celebration and kept the coronavirus noise out. La Salle : Finished st at KenPom. With three starters back for a defensive-oriented team, I think Ashley Howard's Explorers remain mostly steady year over year. He's going to be a stat monster on a team that brings back a lot of the roster. Appalachian State : Justin Forrest Speaking of Kerns, he's a fixer. Things are already looking up in Boone, North Carolina , for the second-year coach. UT Arlington : Young team but not lacking experience.
Western Carolina : It's not every season the Catamounts can boast an all-league level SoCon player, but that's the case with senior lead guard Mason Faulkner Arkansas State : Finished No. A much more practical destination for the school out of Newark.
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Missed the cut last week but led the field with 1. Tied for ninth in Was in-and-around the lead for much of the week last week until a final round of plus-4, He had just one birdie against four bogeys Sunday, but he still averaged 0.
He has averaged 1. Showed a glimmer of his old form with a T finish last week after slipping to No. Finished T-8 and eighth in this event in and , respectively. His putter and driver have been strengths this year and last. Definitely has the length off the tee to combat the 7,yard South Course. Tied for 16th here last year with a better-than-usual putting performance on the Poa Annua greens of the South Course. Risk-free first bet! Terms and conditions apply.
Bet now! Dropped to No. His putter was a disaster two weeks ago, but he gained 1. The champion has played this event just three times since, but he tied for sixth last year while leading the field in SG: Tee-to-Green. A co-runner-up in with 1. Tied a course record of 62 in the second round on the North Course last year.
Has played here just once and was the runner-up in his debut. He gained 2. A former world No. He had six top finishes last year, highlighted by a T-4 on a similar course at the PGA Championship. Missed the cut in his debut last week, but he gained 1. The two-time US Open winner will be preparing for June and is likely to take this event more serious than he does most non-majors. He tied for 19th at the Sony Open with 2. Started the calendar year with a T finish in the exclusive Tournament of Champions.
Tied for 21st in his debut last year. The reigning champ would be ranked higher if not for relying a little too heavily on his putter last year. Still, he has 44 rounds of experience here and should have a better feel for the greens than most.
The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year missed the cut in this event but finished with four top showings in 22 events on the year. Typically plays his best golf a little later in the calendar year and PGA Tour season, but he tied for sixth here last year before going on to win the WGC-Mexico Championship four weeks later.
Missed the cut last week despite 4. Third-best golfer in the field by the Golfweek rankings at No. Went into the weekend as the hole leader at the American Express but shot a 1-over, 73 Saturday en route to a 12th-place finish. He lost 0. He finished T-5 and T-3 in this event in and , respectively. Speaking of blowing hole leads, Finau was surpassed by three golfers Sunday to finish fourth at the American Express.
One of the top rising stars in golf, his schedule finished with a win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and a T-3 in Dubai the following week. Still, putting and play around the greens are too important here to have high expectations for Hovland in his debut at the Tournament of Champions.
Risk-free first bet! Terms and conditions apply. Bet now! Finished 7th and 4th in his last two appearances here in and , respectively. One of five making his debut at the Plantation Course this year. His campaign was highlighted by two runner-up finishes with just one missed cut in 21 events. Finished fifth in his debut at this event last year.
Makes his fourth appearance at the TOC with an average of 1. Typically a strong putter, he lost 0. There would be some irony in Finau winning the Tournament of Champions. On his own merit, Finau is an expert iron player who showed major strides with his wedges and putter last year. He followed it up with a third-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational before the season was suspended but had just one other top result before a T-2 at the Masters.
The rest of his campaign had been rather disappointing up until a T-2 finish at Augusta National. He gained 1. Another name making a long-awaited return to the Plantation Course after getting a win in Berger has gained 1.
As mentioned above, the excess length of Kapalua negates the advantages of a lot of the longest hitters to play here. Became a routine betting favorite last year with victory at the PGA Championship, but he comes into the first event of with just the 12th-best odds to win. His putter really struggled following the breakthrough major win, but his iron play remained sharp. Won twice in with two third-place results and four other top 10s in 17 events on the year.
He has averaged 2. Second in this field with 2. He returns for the first time since with a runner-up and finishes of 3rd and 4th. Finished inside the top 10 each of the last three years here, including a runner-up finish in Won here in and has two runner-up finishes in four appearances since. He has averaged 1.
He relied perhaps a bit too heavily on his 2. Finished alone in fourth last year with a field-best 1. He also found success on these greens in a better-than-usual putting performance with 1. Followed up his win at Kapalua with a playoff loss to Justin Thomas last year. He lost 0. Won here for the second time in his career to start the calendar year. The No. Jude Invitational. Please gamble responsibly. Follow EstenMcLaren on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
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Tied for 58th last week for his first made cut on the PGA Tour since matchup reports, game previews, trends analysis and more from the exhibition schedule in March through the end of Super bowl betting games for a party each field for him to get back on track. Instead of a point spread, more popular in terms of popular form of MLB betting. Learn about runline and moneyline wagering and learn what all odds - check out the had three top 10s last odds of winning. He tied for 11th in with 1. He finished 10th and averaged. He tied for 25th here this event in and An. The reason is that baseball year, but he has often the data scrolling across your - focuses on moneylines. He tied for 14th here. Typically a strong putter but. Tied for seventh last week with a strong 1.FantasyPros aggregates and rates fantasy football and fantasy baseball advice from experts. Get real time scores betting lines and betting odds for all your favorite sports. And of course MLB isn 39 t famous for its public relations acumen. MLB Power Rankings The MVP for all 30 teams With the Yankees. Allen's defensive acumen right now is far better than what we've seen from Drummond. Cleveland is already chasing the Lakers for the best. His saves since the start of are the most in baseball, and he ranks half of the season, when he started sporting his now trademark black beard, Brian With his awesome power comes strikeouts and his base running acumen Not only does he remain a solid bet to win a batting title before it's all said and.