Morning Coffee: Steelers, Patriots On Pace For Historically Low Total
The NBA In-Season Tournament is a success.
All it seemed to be missing was the type of controversial finish that forced basketball fans into a frenzy on social media.
That’s exactly what we got last night.
In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 106-103 to advance to the NBA In-Season Tournament semi-finals.
With the Lakers leading by two points with 15.1 seconds left on the clock, Austin Reaves took an inbound pass, lost the ball after taking a bump from Devin Booker, and it looked like the Suns would recover with a chance to tie or take the lead.
Instead, the officials granted LeBron James a timeout, even though the ball was clearly no longer in Reaves’ possession.
Anthony Davis hit one of two free throws, Durant missed a three-ball to tie it, and Los Angeles advanced to the NBA In-Season Tournament semi-finals.
Booker was furious about the call after the game.
His post-game comments went viral.
It was all that basketball fans seemed to want to talk about on social media late into the night.
Whatever you think about the call, it’s clear that fans have been enticed by the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.
As we head to the final four, it’s clear that the event has been a resounding success.
Sign me up to watch what should be a thrilling finish.
This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday December 6th, 2023.
Lakers, Bucks Advance In NBA In-Season Tournament
While the finish stole the spotlight, nobody is overlooking what LeBron James did for the Lakers in the win.
LeBron went for 31 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals in the victory.
He’s the oldest player in NBA history to ever record at least 30 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and five steals in a single game.
Everybody was talking about what Booker’s comments following the loss.
Looking at the box score from last night, I’m blown away by LeBron’s production.
Clearly, he’s serious about chasing an NBA In-Season Tournament title.
Meanwhile in the East, Giannis Antetokounmpo went off for 35 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks 146-122 to advance to the semi-final.
The Bucks have not lost an NBA In-Season Tournament game yet.
Their semi-final opponent – the Indiana Pacers – have not lost an NBA In-Season Tournament game either.
Milwaukee is now the favourite to win the NBA In-Season Tournament at +165 odds.
Indiana has the longest odds to win the tournament at +440.
The Lakers are +230 to win the title, while the New Orleans Pelicans are down to +380 to win it.
The stage is set for what should be a thrilling finish to the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.
Patriots, Steelers Trending Towards Historically Low Total
FanDuel isn’t expecting much scoring for this week’s Thursday Night Football meeting between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
FanDuel initially posted the total at 35 on November 28th.
One week later, the total for that game is down to 30.5.
If that current number holds, it would be the lowest NFL total since the 2005 Divisional Playoffs.
For perspective, the last time that there was an NFL total in the 20’s was all the way back in 1993, when three games closed between 28-29.5 in Week 17.
All three of those games went over the total.
The Steelers are 10-2 to the under this season – the highest under percentage in the NFL this season.
The Patriots are 9-3 to the under – tied for the second-highest under percentage in the NFL.
Each of the last six head-to-head meetings between these teams have stayed under the total.
It might not be pretty to watch, but Pittsburgh and New England have the potential to combine for the lowest scoring game of the NFL season in Week 14.