A disjointed Colts offense means under is the game on MNF | The Cavs defense will keep the Nets in check

I hope the holiday weekend treated you well and that it continues into your Monday. The gifts aren’t over, as the CBS Sports HQ Newsletter is back with three picks for you! Only two are for tonight, as the third is at one of the Tuesday afternoon college football games.

But it’s better than nothing and absolutely better than what Nathaniel Hackett got today. The Broncos fired their coach before finishing his first season in charge, which is never a good thing. That said, it’s understandable. It didn’t work, and it looked obvious that it wouldn’t work anytime soon.

All that said, it wasn’t Hackett who traded that much for Russell Wilson, and it wasn’t Hackett who gave Wilson a giant contract either. It will be interesting to see what potential coaches think of the Denver job because there doesn’t seem to be an obvious solution. We’ll probably see big names attached to it, but I don’t know if we’ll see a big name take it.

OK, let’s make some money.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

πŸ”₯ The Hot Ticket

Chargers at Colts, 8:15 p.m. | Television: ESPN

Latest odds:

Below 44.5

  • Key trend: Under is 6-2 in Colts’ last eight home games
  • The choice: Under 44.5 (-110)

Tonight’s game is one of those times where I have to try a little harder to block what I want to happen with what I think is more likely to happen. You see, like many of you, I’m in the middle of my fantasy football playoffs. Going into tonight’s final match of the week, I have a slight lead on my opponent. I have Chargers receiver Mike Williams and he has Chargers receiver Keenan Allen and Colts receiver Michael Pittman.

The odds are not in my favor. I want Mike Williams’ TD prop to hit more than anything. I would really love it if he scored twice. I would also be fine with Pittman and Allen coming down with the stomach flu shortly before the game and having to sit out the evening.

Still, while I won’t bet on the Williams touchdown, the good news is that I don’t expect this night to be a high-scoring affair, which possibly helps? I do not know. I’m just grabbing for straws.

Jonathan Coachman is joined by Allie O’Neill, Zack Cimini and Jon “Buckets” Eimer to break down Monday’s best plays!

Anyway, the Colts are starting Nick Foles at QB tonight, which isn’t the most confidence-inspiring decision, but Nick Foles can’t be any worse than Matt Ryan has been. Of course, he’s also just as immobile and plays behind the same offensive line without the threat of Jonathan Taylor in the run game.

I’m sure it will be great!

I don’t expect the Colts offense to get much done, but I’m not ready to trust the Chargers. Los Angeles has to settle for field goals far too often when they get into the red zone, and it’s hard to trust teams that don’t complete drives to cover as favorites, even more so when they’re on the road.

Here’s what SportsLine says about the game: The Projection Model doesn’t have a strong feeling one way or the other tonight.

πŸ’°The picks

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πŸ€ NBA

Nets at Cavs, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA TV

Latest odds:

Below 221

The Pick: Under 221 (-110) — I want to take a moment to say goodbye to the NBA Unders on Christmas Day. They were good against us for a very long time and although they had started to slow down a bit in recent seasons, I think the final nail was driven through their coffin during yesterday’s games. Farewell, old friend. We will never forget you. Hopefully we’ll have better luck tonight with a sub in Cleveland.

As I’ve mentioned here a few times, since this isn’t the first Cleveland under we’ve taken this season, the Cavs are the most efficient defense in the NBA. It’s what has made Cleveland one of the best teams in the league, and it’s even better when the Cavs are at home (106.0 at home, 108.8 on the road). That will be tested tonight against a Brooklyn offense that has lit up in December, but much of the damage the Nets have done has been against some terrible teams. They haven’t had nearly the same success against the better defenses they’ve faced in that time.

🏈 College football

Memphis vs. Utah State, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m. | Television: ESPN

Latest odds:

Utah State Aggies +7

The Pick: Utah State +7.5 (-110) — I’ve had trouble trusting Memphis this season. According to my numbers, the Tigers have been consistently overvalued in the market, but they overperform when I’m against them and underperform when I’m on them. So I guess this is good news for the Tigers on Tuesday. In fact, my bet on this game has a lot more to do with the market’s valuation of Utah State, which is skewed.

Utah State has a solid running back in Calvin Tyler, but as important as he has been, the Aggies’ offense has been better with Cooper Legas than without him. The Aggies are 5-2 when Legas starts, and they’re 1-4 when he doesn’t. The games without him still count in Utah State’s rating, but they’re just a better team when he’s in there, and I have a hard time believing Memphis will win this game by more than a touchdown. If it wins at all.

πŸ”’ SportsLine pick of the day: The Projection Model has a healthy lean on the spread in tonight’s game between the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets.

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