The New England Patriots are your Super Bowl Champions, which means there's a chance that we will see the city of Boston win multiple championships in the four major U.S. sports leagues in the same calendar year. The NBA's Celtics will certainly make the playoffs and have a minor shot to upset the Cleveland Cavaliers and at least reach the NBA Finals. I still think GM Danny Ainge will add a big piece ahead of the Feb. 23 deadline (Jimmy Butler?) to improve his team's chances. The NHL's Bruins probably aren't a Stanley Cup threat and aren't even playoff locks. Boston's best second chance would be MLB's Red Sox, who are the favorites to capture the AL pennant after trading for White Sox ace Chris Sale this offseason and not giving up anyone on from the major-league roster to do so (Yoan Moncada was up for a cup of coffee briefly but expected to start the season in Triple-A).
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The last city with multiple titles in the same year was Pittsburgh in 2009 with the NFL's Steelers and NHL's Penguins. Cleveland came close last year with the Cavs upsetting Golden State in the NBA Finals and the Indians up 3-1 in the World Series against the Chicago Cubs before losing the final three games. Boston did the NFL/MLB double in 2004.
Nets at Hornets (-10.5, 218)
The Barclays Center is reportedly evicting the NHL's Islanders after the 2018-19 season. I suppose the Nets are safe from that since their Russian owner also owns the arena, but that franchise is a wreck at 9-41 overall and having lost 20 of 21. Brooklyn also doesn't have its own first-round pick until 2019. So things aren't getting better this decade. The Nets bring a nine-game skid into this one after a 103-95 home loss to Toronto on Sunday. Brook Lopez scored 20 for the Nets, who had 22 turnovers in dropping their 12th in a row at home. I honestly don't think this team will be favored the rest of the season. The Nets have only been twice. Charlotte has lost seven straight following a 105-98 loss in Utah on Saturday. The Hornets led by 10 in the fourth quarter. Miles Plumlee played his first game with the Hornets after being traded from the Bucks for Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert on Thursday. Plumlee had four points and eight rebounds in 18 minute. Charlotte is 2-1 vs. Brooklyn this year and has won the past three at home in the series.
Key trends: The Nets are 5-0 against the spread in the past five meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Charlotte's past six at home.
Early lean: Hornets and over.
Magic at Rockets (-11.5, 222.5)
NBA TV game. Orlando lost 113-86 in Atlanta on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back. The Magic allowed the Hawks to hit 13 of their first 16 shots and were down 26 at halftime. The Magic made only 27 of 78 shots (35.1 percent) overall. Orlando has yet to win back-to-back games in 2017. Houston beat Chicago 121-117 in overtime on Friday. James Harden hit the tying bucket in regulation and finished with 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. The Rockets made 15 or more 3s for the 27th time this season, matching the NBA record set by Golden State last season.The Rockets are 23-4 in those games. Houston has won four in a row at home vs. the Magic and won in Orlando 100-93 on Jan. 6.
Key trends: The Magic are 5-1 ATS in their past six trips to Houston. The under is 8-3 in the Rockets' past 11 overall.
Early lean: Rockets and under.
Trail Blazers at Mavericks (-2.5, 207)
Dallas was in Denver on Monday riding a four-game winning streak. Portland lost its second straight Sunday, 105-99 in Oklahoma City. Damian Lillard had 29 points and seven rebounds. These teams played Friday in Portland and the Mavericks won 108-104 behind 32 points from Yogi Ferrell. He became just the third undrafted rookie in NBA history to have a 30-point game within his first 15 games. Former Blazers guard Wesley Matthews added 27 points for the Mavericks. The Mavs have won four of the past six meetings dating to last year.
Key trends: The Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their past five in Dallas. The over is 8-2 in the previous 10 meetings there.
Early lean: Mavericks and over.
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