So fall lasted nearly an entire two weeks this year. I think that's the longest it stuck around for a while, at least here in Chicago. I'm sad to see it go, too, because it's my favorite time of the year, but all the signs of it receding were apparent to me this morning.
That's when I took the dog for a walk as I always do, and I wore my fall walking attire: jeans, a flannel shirt, and a hoodie above it to serve as a jacket. Sadly, a few minutes into the walk, I realized this wouldn't be enough. I was doing that thing where you try to pull your arms up into your sleeves to shield your hands from the cold weather because they were cold. This was when I thought I should check the temperature on my phone app and discovered it was 33 degrees.
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It's not supposed to be 33 degrees in the fall. Not even in Chicago. So, almost two weeks after the official first day of fall and a couple of days ahead of daylight savings, I have declared fall over.
Let's do it again next year. Maybe we'll get the full 14 days.
Now let's bundle up and make some picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
???? The Hot Ticket
Latest Odds: Under 45
The Pick: Under 45 (-110): Now, this is what a Thursday night NFL game was supposed to be. We've had too many games this season between teams that matter and are worth watching, and that's not what Thursdays are supposed to be about. I want games on Thursday between teams filled with players that aren't fantasy relevant to me because there's nothing worse than having a bunch of players on your fantasy team play early and play poorly. It ruins your entire weekend before it even started, so I'm grateful to this throwback matchup.
As for the game itself, all due respect to the great Mike White, but I'm not expecting a repeat performance of what he did last week. Now that teams have seen the Jets with White at QB and have a better idea of what they're trying to do and what he's capable of, there should be a better defensive game plan against him. On the other side, we have a Colts offense that is very average. It ranks 15th in the league in points per drive and 19th in success rate. What makes the under even more attractive is Indianapolis' inability to finish drives.
The Colts have scored touchdowns on only 51.6% of their red-zone possessions this season. That's well below the league average of 61.1% and ranks 29th in the league. Tonight they're facing a Jets defense that ranks 13th in the NFL in red-zone efficiency, allowing opponents to reach the end zone only 57.6% of the time. These are also numbers that could push you toward taking the Jets and the points, and while I don't hate that, I'd rather not rely on Mike White tonight. The under is far more appealing.
Key Trend: Here's a trend for you: John Hussey will be the referee for tonight's game. The under is 58-43 in games he's officiated during his career.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's Larry Hartstein is 19-8-3 ATS in his last 30 picks involving the Colts and he's posted a play for tonight's game.
???? The Picks ???? NBA
Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBA TV
Latest Odds: Boston Celtics +6.5
The Pick: Celtics +6.5 (-110) -- The Heat have been the best team in the NBA through the first few weeks of the season, and there isn't a close second. Miami's net rating of +16.4 is not only the best in the league, but it's a full 4.3 points better than Utah in second place. There's a real chance this team could end up with the No. 1 seed in the East and make a title run.
All that said, I think this line is inflated a bit because of how well Miami is playing. Mix in some disarray on the Boston side of things, and lines start getting a little unrealistic. In short, I think the Heat are good but probably aren't as good as they've been playing. The Celtics aren't special, but they aren't nearly as bad as they've been playing, and they have too much talent to be as sub-par offensively as they have been. I'm taking the points in what I think is going to be a close affair.
Key Trend: There are no trends to support this pick, which means they're all due for regression!???? College Football
Georgia State at Louisiana, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
Latest Odds: Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns -13.5
The Pick: Louisiana -13.5 (-110) -- Let me start by saying that I have not had much success betting Sun Belt games this season. My numbers have often told me one thing, and results have gone the other way far too frequently for my liking. That said, my numbers are firm in their belief that this line is short, and the Cajuns aren't favored by nearly enough. But even if I throw those numbers out, my instincts and overall lack of knowledge of college football still tell me this is the right play.
Georgia State's defense is not good enough to trust it against a team as strong as this Cajuns squad. The Panthers rank 83rd nationally in defensive success rate, 97th in points