ACC Championship Game: Florida St’s Jimbo Fisher Discusses the Game

The oddsmakers think the Florida St./Duke is going to be a blowout. Florida St. is a 30 point favorites against the Blue Devils. But don’t tell that to Florida St. Jimbo Fisher. He discusses the matchup in a Monday press conference:

COACH FISHER:
Duke right now is playing tremendous football. They’re on a great hot streak. They’ve won I think eight games in a row. Very balanced as an offense, can throw it, can run it. David has done a tremendous job with this group. They’re very big, they’re athletic and he’s done one heck of a job, and we’re going to definitely have to bring our “A” game, but we’re looking forward to the opportunity and looking forward to the challenge, and hopefully finishing off the season on a good note, the regular season here, until we get to the bowl games and where everyone is going to go.
But I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great venue there in Charlotte, and looking forward to playing Duke and the team that David has created there. They’ve done a tremendous job.

On what Duke has done this year to improve:
COACH FISHER: Well, in terms of Xs and Os I think it’s confidence in what they’re doing. I think last year they got into the first bowl game in a long time. David did a great job and he’s built their confidence, and I think they understand what they’re doing. And I think their quarterback, the two?headed quarterback situation is a very tough problem to have. They can both run and throw the ball, both of them equally, and I think just they’ve grown in confidence in everything that they’ve done, and they’ve become much bigger and more physical and they run better in the secondary and have just gotten overall better talent, and David has done a great job recruiting and developing his players.

On Duke’s two quarterback system:
COACH FISHER: Well, I think they’ve created roles for each other, and they understand what each guy is going to do. I’ll tell you the funny thing, being the head running quarterback and passing, now I think now both of them are throwing it and running it pretty equally. So I mean, they’re very tough guys to defend, and it gives them two different guys, and each guy is fresh.

On the importance of his solid relationship with Jameis Winston:
COACH FISHER: Well, I think it’s been very critical, and I think because on the field you have to be the boss, you have to be this is what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it. But I think off the field they have to see that you care. If you’re going to coach them hard and demand from them, they’ve also got to know you care off the field, and I definitely do care not only for Jameis but for every one of our players. I’m very tough and challenge them to be the player they can become, not the one they are. But at the same time when they’re off the field let them know that we do care about you. I do care what happens to you as a person, as a student and everything else, and I think that’s critical time so that you can coach them the right way on the field, and I think that’s even more critical, like I say, to the relationship than when you get to the field.

On what he was doing when Auburn beat Alabama:
COACH FISHER: We were watching on the bus at five minutes to go. I actually heard it, I was driving home in my truck from the stadium. I was listening to it. I was driving home and had it on the radio, and I was just listening to what happened in the game, and I was going, huh? I never dreamed of it ending that way, either. Just caught me off guard and I had to get home and see it on TV. Kind of was astonishing, really was.

On if he would attempt a field goal under a similar situation:
COACH FISHER: If I had Roberto I would kick it. I mean, Nick knows his players better than anybody. We can all doubt, but you don’t know what that guys is capable of. He watches him every day, and he’s been hitting 60 yarders and he had the wind at his back, why not try and win that game on the road and have a kick, and the odds of that happening. Now, you’ve got to go over and cover him. I’ll guarantee Nick has coached that up, I promise you that. We do it here, and that’s the way we handle that.
There’s chances in everything you do. If he makes it, he’s a hero. You play to win the game, you don’t play not to lose the game.

NBA Betting: Celtics Big Favorites Against Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks +7.5 at Boston Celtics -7.5 Total: 186.5

The Bucks and Celtics face off for the second straight time tonight in Boston. Milwaukee snapped their longest losing streak in over 16 years in the opener of a home-and-home set with the Celtics, and will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The Bucks are 3-13 on the season, but have beaten Boston twice already this year. Milwaukee used its team speed and scored easy baskets against Boston on Saturday, holding a 16-4 edge in fast break points in a 92-85 win. O.J. Mayo led the way with 22 points, with Brandon Knight throwing in 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Defense was the story last Saturday, however. Milwaukee held the Celtics to 4-of-19 shooting from 3-point range Saturday.

“We were running zone,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “We didn’t run a lot of man-to-man that first half, but when we started running our zone, we just waited to see if they were going to make shots. They didn’t fall for them, so we stuck with it and it seemed to have an effect.”

Boston is 7-12 on the season, averaging 93 points per game while giving up 96.6. They are 10-9-0 against the spread, with their over/under record 6-13-0. When their opponents have the ball, the Celtics are allowing 45% shooting from the field, including 32% from the three point line. Its defensive rebounding rate off those misses is 73%, and the team is averaging 8 steals and 4.8 blocks per game so far this season.

On offense, the Celtics are shooting 45% from the field, including 33% from deep. Their free throw percentage so far this season is 76%, and they have gotten rebounds off their own misses 25% of the time. Boston has turned the ball over 16.7 times per game this year, and have seen their shots blocked an average of 4.9 times per game.

The Bucks are scoring 89.2 points per game so far this season, en route to a 3-13 record overall and a 5-11-0 record against the spread. Milwaukee has given up 98.7 PPG, and have an O/U record of 6-10-0 on the year.

On defense, the Bucks have held their opponents to a 47% field goal percentage, 34% from three point land. They are creating 16 turnovers per game , and blocking 4.6 shots per game. Their assist to turnover ratio is 1.26. The Bucks are shooting 42% from the field so far this season, with a 38% success rate from beyond the three point line. Their overall rebound percentage is 47%; its offense rebound rate is 23% with the defense collecting 72% of their opponent’s misses. The Bucks are shooting 77% at the free throw line this year.

NBA Betting: Orlando Underdogs to Philadelphia

Orlando Magic +3 at Philadelphia 76ers -3 Total: 207.5

Philadelphia has had some good luck against Eastern Conference opponents this year, going 8-3 so far. Led by rookie of the year candidate Michael Carter-Williams, the 76ers have struggled lately. Philadelphia, 6-12 on the season, lost 115-100 at Detroit on Sunday. Thaddeus Young had 24 points and Evan Turner scored 20 for the 76ers, who were outscored 70-46 in the first half and never recovered. The 76ers are giving up a whopping 110.1 points per game to rank last in the league, 7.1 more than the next-closest team. They’ve also yielded a league-worst 192 3-pointers. This is a good spot for them on the schedule, however. Orlando is in the second game of a six game road trip and started poorly last night. The Magic were blown out 98-80 at Washington. Arron Afflalo had 21 points and Maurice Harkless added 16 off the bench, but the Magic shot just 39.0 percent while being held to a season low in points.

“We had great looks, we had great opportunities, but we didn’t finish,” said rookie Victor Oladipo, who scored 13 points. “So you live to play again. We got a back-to-back, so we just got to bounce back.”

The Magic have dominated Philadelphia over the years, winning three straight games and 21 of 25 dating to December 2006. They won 105-94 last Wednesday behind 21 points and 16 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, outscoring Philadelphia 52-36 in the paint.

“When you look at their interior bigs, we couldn’t guard them, and we had to go to schemes and different ways to get help to our bigs,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “It’s a problem.”

Vucevic injured his knee last night, however, and is questionable for the game. He is averaging 16 rebounds a game against his old team.

Philadelphia is 6-12 on the season, averaging 103 points per game while giving up 110.1. They are 9-9-0 against the spread, with their over/under record 13-5-0. When their opponents have the ball, the 76ers are allowing 46% shooting from the field, including 38% from the three point line. Its defensive rebounding rate off those misses is 75%, and the team is averaging 9.7 steals and 7.4 blocks per game so far this season.

On offense, the 76ers are shooting 45% from the field, including 33% from deep. Their free throw percentage so far this season is 70%, and they have gotten rebounds off their own misses 26% of the time. Philadelphia has turned the ball over 17.8 times per game this year, and have seen their shots blocked an average of 4.8 times per game.

The Magic are scoring 98.3 points per game so far this season, en route to a 6-11 record overall and a 8-9-0 record against the spread. Orlando has given up 100.9 PPG, and have an O/U record of 7-9-1 on the year.

On defense, the Magic have held their opponents to a 45% field goal percentage, 37% from three point land. They are creating 14.6 turnovers per game , and blocking 6 shots per game. Their assist to turnover ratio is 1.22. The Magic are shooting 46% from the field so far this season, with a 37% success rate from beyond the three point line. Their overall rebound percentage is 51%; its offense rebound rate is 23% with the defense collecting 77% of their opponent’s misses. The Magic are shooting 76% at the free throw line this year.

Bad Weather Expected For Some NFL Games this Weekend

It’s going to get ugly over many of the states this weekend, and football games are going to be affected by it.

Baltimore is a favored by seven points over the Vikings, with the temperature expected to be in the lower 30s with a chance of snow. On the plus side, there won’t be much wind. Wind speed will be around 5 mph.

The Bengals will see similar weather; the high on Sunday is expected to be 30 degrees for Cincy’s home game against Indianapolis. The Bengals are 5.5 point favorites.

Oakland is a 2.5 point underdog at the Jets on Sunday. Temperatures will be in the mid 30s, with a good chance of rain.

Miami comes north to face off against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is favored by three points. The weather will be chilly (upper 20’s), but no rain is expected. There might be some wind, however.

December games in Green Bay are rarely pleasant, and Sunday’s game between the Packers and Giants will not be an exception. The high will be around 14 degrees, with 10 mph winds coming out of the west. There is a small chance of snow.

Denver is in line for some harsh weather, and it will be interesting to see how Peyton Manning performs. His history in bad weather certainly hasn’t been impressive. The Broncos are favored by 13, a tough number to reach when the high on Sunday is going to be eight degrees.