Five Things: What To Watch This Weekend

With the Super Bowl over a week away, The Combine’s Joe Nicely offers five ways to get your sports fix this weekend.

Thanks to the NFL’s constant attempt to make itself feel important, we don’t have a Super Bowl to watch until next weekend. Next week we’ll get the ridiculous “Media Day” and non-stop TV coverage of the upcoming big game…basically a week-long NFL commercial. So, what is a football-starved sports fan supposed to watch this weekend? Here are five things that will help tide you over until Super Bowl Sunday.

1. College Basketball: Kentucky vs. Kansas (Sat. 6:00 PM)

We all know that the NCAA basketball regular season is just about jockeying for postseason position. The big boys are trying to play their way into a high seed for the NCAA Tournament in order to make their championship road as easy as possible when March rolls around. The #9-ranked Kansas Jayhawks head to Rupp Arena to face the #8-ranked Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday for what may well be a Final Four preview. This game features two perennial national powerhouse programs that have championship aspirations this season. I really like that it’s at Rupp Arena instead of being one of those chickenshit “neutral court” games. The best thing about college sports is the amazing atmosphere and “Big Blue Nation” will be fired up for this one.


2. Men’s Tennis: Australian Open Final – Novak Djokovic vs. Rafa Nadal (Sun. 3:30 AM)

I’m not a big tennis fan, but this is a clash of the titans matchup between Djokovic and Nadal, two of the game’s all-time greats. We’ve been living in what is perhaps the “Golden Age” of the men’s game with these two players and the great Roger Federer constantly battling for supremacy over the last 10-plus years. This will be the 53rd career matchup between Djokovic and Nadal, but just their second meeting at the Australian Open, with their first duel, a five-set marathon in the finals, becoming an instant classic. They have 31(!) combined grand slam titles and Djokovic is trying to win his record-breaking seventh Australian Open title. Both men are still playing at a world-class level, but we have to wonder how many more of these Djokovic/Nadal/Federer grand slam final matchups we will have a chance to watch.


3. PGA Golf: Farmers Insurance Open (Sat. and Sun.)

While I don’t watch much tennis, I actually am a big golf fan and this should be a great tournament to watch this weekend. The Farmers has the best field of players we’ve seen in 2019 and is being held at a really fun Torrey Pines golf course that will host its second U.S. Open in a couple of years. Tiger Woods is making his 2019 debut and has won at Torrey eight times in his career. It’s always fun to see the best golfers in the world doing battle on a challenging golf course. Torrey Pines has an amazing par-5 finishing hole that has water in play and always makes for riveting TV. Jason Day won last year’s epic tournament on the SIXTH(!) playoff hole.


4. NBA Basketball: Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics (Sat. 8:30 PM)

After a couple of lackluster starts, both of these teams are coming into this possible NBA Finals preview in hot form. Golden State has ran off nine straight wins and is looking like the unbeatable juggernaut we all thought they would be. DeMarcus Cousins made his Warriors debut a few nights ago and makes their starting lineup look even more unfair than it already did. It seems like a different player leads the Warriors to victory every night. The Celtics got off to a sluggish start this season and the mediocre play lasted a lot longer than anyone thought possible. Boston appears to have things heading in the right direction, winning seven of their last 10 and five straight. Kyrie Irving is a one-man whirlwind and Boston is one of the few teams with roster talent that is in the same ballpark as the Warriors.


5. NFL Football: Pro Bowl (Sun. 3:00 PM)

I don’t watch the NFL Pro Bowl. It’s undoubtedly the worst All-Star game in any of the major sports, but yet the NFL refuses to let it die the death it deserves. Major League Baseball can give us amazing hitter vs. pitcher matchups and I’m always down to watch NBA players team up and do some awesome dunks…but football just isn’t a sport that lends itself to an exhibition game. NFL players don’t have guaranteed contracts and you can’t blame them for not wanting to play in this game. About the only thing that makes this farce watchable is the fact that you can bet on it. Do yourself a favor and take the Over…you have to be a little dead inside to bet the Under in the Pro Bowl.




FanDuel NBA DFS 1/25/19 Value Plays

@TheCombineJosh give his best value plays for the day

There are ten games on the NBA DFS slate for Friday, January 25th and here are The Combine Presidente’s value picks for the day.  I typically play one lineup per night on FanDuel for fun and you can check my results from the previous night at the bottom of the article.  Follow @TheCombineSports and @TheCombineJosh on Twitter for updated information.


WAS @ ORL (ORL -3.5, O/U 218.5)

NYK @ BKN (BKN -9.5, O/U 223)

MIA @ CLE (MIA -8.5, O/U 208.5)

LAC @ CHI (LAC -5.5, O/U 220.5)

TOR @ HOU (TOR -3, O/U 227.5)

SAC @ MEM (MEM -2, O/U 212.5)

DET @ DAL (DAL -4.5, O/U 209)

CHA @ MIL (MIL -11.5, O/U 230.5)

PHO @ DEN (DEN -16, O/U 224)

MIN @ UTAH (UTAH -11, O/U 218.5)


Value Plays:

PG Shabazz Napier ($3800)

  • With Dinwiddie out, I think Napier sees some minutes tonight.  I’m taking a flier on Napier tonight and he could be the “lowest score drop”… but worth it (Bonus pick: Ellie Okobo ($3600), I’m playing both tonight). Follow me on twitter for where I’m putting those extra dollars tonight.

SG Justin Holiday ($4900)

  • With Kyle Anderson out for MEM, Holiday will see a spike in minutes… and hopefully output.

SF Gary Harris ($4400)

  • Harris just returned from injury and is still cheap.  An easy 5x-er tonight vs a depleted PHO team.

PF Paul Milsap ($5800)

  • With PHO potentially having Ayton, Warren, and Holmes out tonight, this could be a big game on the boards for Milsap and he can have his way offensively (as will Jokic). (Bonus pick: Josh Jackson ($5300)

C Jarrett Allen ($6600)

  • Jarrett Allen should have his way with a bad Knicks team that is missing bigs… it could realistically be a 20/20 game


Presidente’s Lock of the Night:

PF Paul Milsap ($5800)


Previous Night’s Results:

PG Seth Curry ($3500)

  • 36.7 FD Points

SG Kentavius Caldwell-Pope ($4200) * My lock of the night

  • 21.9 FD Points

SF Kelly Oubre ($6000)

  • 48.7 FD Points

PF Dragan Bender ($4600) 

  • 27.6 FD Points

C Jahlil Okafor ($5500)

  • 26.6 FD Points

FanDuel NBA DFS 1/24/19 Value Plays

@TheCombineJosh give his best value plays for the day

There are only four games on the NBA DFS slate for Thursday, January 24th and here are The Combine Presidente’s value picks for the day.  I typically play one lineup per night on FanDuel for fun and you can check my results from the previous night at the bottom of the article.  Follow @TheCombineSports and @TheCombineJosh on Twitter for updated information.


GS @ WAS (GS -9, O/U 234.5)

NO @ OKC (OKC -12.5, O/U 233.5)

POR @ PHO (POR -7.5, O/U 220.5)

MIN @ LAL (MIN -1.5, O/U 230)


Value Plays:

PG Seth Curry ($3500)

  • The PG position is thin tonight as far as values… Elfrid Payton is the only other “value” and I see him struggling to even do a 4x.  I’m taking a flier on Seth Curry tonight and hope Lillard gets a scratch.

SG Kentavius Caldwell-Pope ($4200)

  • With Ball and LBJ out, he will get minutes. At only $4200, could be a big value play/drop the lowest score.  With the savings, you can grab an elite player tonight.  Follow me on twitter for where I’m putting those dollars tonight.

SF Kelly Oubre ($6000)

  • Oubre may get some minutes tonight thanks to the injuries to PHO.  I like his chances of upside on a day with only 4 games.

PF Dragan Bender ($4600)

  • With Ayton, Warren, and potentially Holmes out tonight, this draft bust could have an opportunity to make a case for his next contract.

C Jahlil Okafor ($5500)

  • I’m not sure how he’s still $5500… but I’ll take him again tonight with Davis out.  He has put up 41 and 42 FD points in his last 2 games


Presidente’s Lock of the Night:

SG Kentavius Caldwell-Pope ($4200)


Previous Night’s Results:

PG Fred VanVleet ($4600)

  • 18.9 FD Points

SG Jordan Clarkson ($4700)

  • 15.5 FD Points

SF Justice Winslow ($6400)

  • 13.9 FD Points

PF Kenneth Faried ($5000) * My lock of the night

  • 38.1 FD Points

C Jahlil Okafor ($5500)

  • 42 FD Points

FanDuel NBA DFS 1/23/19 Value Plays

@TheCombineJosh give his best value plays for the day

There are ten games on the NBA DFS slate for Wednesday, January 23rd and here are The Combine Presidente’s value picks for the day.  I typically play one lineup per night on FanDuel for fun and you can check my results from the previous night at the bottom of the article.  Follow @TheCombineSports and @TheCombineJosh on Twitter for updated information.


TOR @ IND (IND -5, O/U 218)

CLE @ BOS (BOS -16.5, O/U 216.5)

ORL @ BKN (BKN -6.5, O/U 219)

LAC @ MIA (MIA -5, O/U 215.5)

HOU @ NYK (HOU -7.5, O/U 226)

ATL @ CHI (CHI -1.5, O/U 222)

SAS @ PHI (PHI -4, O/U 226)

CHA @ MEM (CHA -1.5, O/U 209)

DET @ NO (NO -5, O/U 221.5)

DEN @ UTAH (UTAH -3.5, O/U 216)


Value Plays:

PG Fred VanVleet ($4600)

  • With Leonard expected to rest again tonight, VanVleet should see increased action… and the lil bastard put up over 41 FD Points last night for $4800.

SG Jordan Clarkson ($4700)

  • Ditto. At under $5k, could be a big GPP play.  With the savings, you can grab an elite player tonight.  Follow me on twitter for where I’m putting those dollars tonight.

SF Justice Winslow ($6400)

  • With Winslow playing “point guard”, he has a high ceiling every night and I like the risk tonight.

PF Kenneth Faried ($5000)

  • Look for the man-imal to grab a ton of rebounds for his new team in HOU.  He is easily capable of a 6-8x game tonight.

C Jahlil Okafor ($5500)

  • I am not a fan of Okafor… but with Davis out, he has the most to gain.  Should easily see 30+ minutes tonight barring foul trouble.


Presidente’s Lock of the Night:

PF Kenneth Faried ($5000)


Previous Night’s Results:

PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($3900)

  • 13.7 FD Points (took 2nd most shots last night… just didn’t hit)

SG Avery Bradley ($3800)

  • 24.5 FD Points

SF Mikal Bridges ($4000)  * My lock of the night

  • 19 FD Points (also took 2nd most shots last night… also didn’t hit)

PF Dario Saric ($3900)

  • 14.3 FD Points

C DeAndre Jordan ($7000)

  • 53.2 FD Points

PF Dragan Bender ($3800) * Per my Twitter, switched out Saric for him

  • 27 FD Points

FanDuel NBA DFS 1/22/19 Value Plays

@TheCombineJosh give his best value plays for the day

There are only four games on the NBA DFS slate for Tuesday, January 22nd and here are The Combine Presidente’s value picks for the day.  I typically play one lineup per night on FanDuel for fun and you can check my lineups from last night at the bottom of the article.  Follow @TheCombineSports and @TheCombineJosh on Twitter for updated information.


Kings @ Raptors (TOR -10, O/U 228.5)

Blazers @ Thunder (OKC -6, O/U 227)

Clippers @ Mavericks (DAL -4, O/U 222)

Timberwolves @ Suns (MIN -4.5, O/U 230)


Value Plays:

PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($3900)

  • With Gallinari out and Lou Williams banged up, loock for SGA to get some extra minutes on the court tonight.  At under $4k, could be a big GPP play.  With the savings, you can grab an elite player tonight.  Follow me on twitter for where I’m putting those dollars tonight.

SG Avery Bradley ($3800)

  • Ditto

SF Mikal Bridges ($4000)

  • PHO is giving him 30 minutes/game and he can fill up a stat sheet in a hurry.  This is an easy 5-6x player in my opinion tonight.

PF Dario Saric ($3900)

  • With Tibbs no longer coaching MIN, Saric has seen some extra minutes over Taj Gibson and produced a few 5x games lately… look for that to continue tonight in what could easily be a blowout game.

C DeAndre Jordan ($7000)

  • For no reason other than revenge, I like Jordan vs his former team tonight.  He’s been steady as a 4-5x/game player lately and I think the extra edge is there tonight for a 6-7x game.


Presidente’s Lock of the Night:

SF Mikal Bridges ($4000)

Five Things: NFL Conference Championship Games

Joe Nicely examines five things to keep an eye on in Sunday’s NFL Conference Championship games.

What’s up Combiners? We’ve got a pretty damn exciting Conference Championship Sunday coming up. For the first time in a long time, it feels like we are actually getting to see the four best teams fighting for trips to the Super Bowl. There is a common theme this year, as all four teams have great QBs that direct high-powered offenses. Let’s take a look at five things to keep an eye on this weekend.

1. The Saints Run D vs. The Rams Rushing Attack

In the words of the great Gorilla Monsoon, this is a true “unstoppable force vs. immovable object” matchup. We don’t normally think of the Saints as a defensive team, but as the season has progressed, that’s surprisingly what New Orleans has morphed into. Beginning in Week 10 of the regular season, the Saints defense had an amazing six-game stretch where the held opponents to just over 12 points per game! The New Orleans run defense has been nearly unbreachable and finished the season ranked second in the league in yards allowed per carry.

On the other side of this matchup is a downright dominant Rams offensive line. Linemen are the unsung heroes of the NFL and this unit has shined throughout the season. We all know that Todd Gurley is a generational talent, but this line has helped C.J. Freakin’ Anderson rush for 422 yards and four TDs over L.A.’s last three games.

The battle at the line of scrimmage may very well determine the outcome of this game. New Orleans won round one, holding Gurley to just 68 yards rushing when these teams met in Week 9 of the regular season. If the Saints can contain Gurley (and Anderson) again, they might be marching to another Super Bowl appearance.

2. Bill Belichick vs. Patrick Mahomes

It’s probably not fair to boil any matchup down to a head coach vs. a single player, but this will be an interesting chess match between these two. Belichick obviously has numerous strengths as a head coach, but perhaps his best quality is his ability to take away an opponents best player. In Sunday’s AFC Championship game, he will need to figure out a way to slow down KC’s Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes has been a revelation this season and has played at an MVP level. He can make throws that boggle the mind. His arm is so amazing that his very high football IQ is often forgotten about, but his ability to read and process information will be put to the test by the defensive looks that Belichick throws at him this Sunday. He shredded the Pats when these teams met in Week 6 of the regular season, throwing for 352 yards and four TDs in a loss at Foxboro.

This is nearly as much about Andy Reid’s ability to adapt as it is Mahomes’ play. The offense that Reid has imagined for years has become a fully-formed entity this season. He took a major chance by letting Alex Smith walk and Mahomes has repaid his belief in spades.

3. Marcus Peters vs. Sean Payton

This is a situation that you will hear the media talking about in the lead-up to this game. There were some strong emotions flowing from both L.A.’s Marcus Peters and New Orleans coach Sean Payton after the first meeting between these squads back in Week 9. Peters was absolutely TORCHED by Saints WR Michael Thomas, to the tune of 12 catches for 211 yards and a TD. Payton decided to add a little insult to injury after the game and Peters…didn’t take it well.

While the matchup against Peters and Thomas is highly anticipated, it’s one we won’t actually see much of on the field. L.A.’s veteran CB Aqib Talib was injured the first time these teams squared off, but will be ready to go this Sunday. The Rams will try to get Talib on Thomas as often as possible in this one in an attempt to avoid the Peters vs. Thomas matchup.

4. Kansas City & New England Offenses vs. The Weather

Earlier in the week the expected game-time temperature in Arrowhead Stadium was around -5 degrees with snow. The forecast has improved throughout the week and the game-time forecast is now for a “balmy” 20 degrees.

We all know how weird the weather can be, so we probably won’t know exactly what type of conditions these teams will be facing until the game starts. This is an interesting story line to keep an eye on. Both of these teams are known for their explosive offenses and frigid weather could impact this game in a major way.

These units do most of their damage through the air, but both have ground games that can be effective. Rookie Sony Michel gives New England a legitimate between-the-tackles threat that they’ve lacked over the past couple of years and Kareem Hunt’s replacement Damien Williams has played very well for the Chiefs. It could come down to which team adapts to the weather best.

5. Rob Gronkowski vs. Time

New England’s Rob Gronkowski is one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the position. However, years of injuries have taken their toll and Gronk is currently just a shell of his former self and it’s not hard to notice that he’s laboring out on the field this year.

Despite his reduced explosiveness, Gronk is still a huge wild card heading into this matchup. KC has been destroyed by opposing TEs and allowed the most touchdowns in the league to the position this season. Gronkowski himself racked up 97 yards receiving against the Chiefs back when these teams met in Week 6.

So, even though I’m pretty sure that Gronk is being held together with popsicle sticks and duct tape at this point, he could still have a huge impact in this game. He’s had a string of difficult matchups, but this will be Gronk’s most favorable spot since he went for 107 yards and a TD against the Miami Dolphins in Week 14.

It will be interesting to see if Gronkowski has enough gas left in the tank to help the Patriots reach one more Super Bowl. At the very least, he’s a huge X-factor in this matchup.

The Review of Comethazine “Bawskee 2”

In the newest edition of Combine Culture, Sparky reviews “Bawskee 2” by Comethazine

In case you the reader didn’t know not all trap music is the same and the album “Bawksee 2” by Comethazine proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Trap music can be one of the most energetic forms of rap and if done right can not only be awesome to listen to in your car but also really allow a lyricist to show off their skills due to less intricate production.  This what brings me to “Bawksee 2” it isn’t just simple in production but also doesn’t seem very inspired.

On “Bawksee 2” Comethazine lyrical content is not very creative and many times feels lazy and tired.  It is normal for many rappers to use crime, drugs, violence, and sex as regular topics of songs but usually, it is either to detail the situation that the artist comes from but then go further into their psyche and lets the audience know how it shaped them or how they are still being affected by these themes.  Well, Comethazine just lets the listener know what atrocities he is doing without any further context.   Many times during the album it seems both contrived and forced and most of the time.  It is almost like Comethazine is trying to pander to the audience and not reach them.  Throughout “Bawksee 2″  he just matters of factly tells you about the acts he is going to commit and doesn’t make you feel his story or struggle.

The production on Bawksee 2” is what it is.  It is a trap album and while the production is very simple and it is mostly percussion loops that are enhanced by different instrument loops.  If this is how we are grading the production of “Bawksee 2” it is passable as the production is clean throughout the entirety of the album and has the definite feel of a trap record.  Songs feel foreboding and very grim but the beat still lets Comethazine have priority instead of the music.  The problem with the instrumentals is that they aren’t progressing musically at all and it feels like it was made a decade ago.

When listening to “Bawksee 2”  I was kept wanting more either musically or lyrically and never got it.  Both instrumentals and lyrics seem like both the producers and Comethazine just got in and got out of the studio and weren’t motivated at all and just wanted to release an album to further the notoriety of Comethazine, since the album came out when not much else was released at this time.  If you enjoy trap hip-hop I would either recommend going back to the classics or even some albums from just last year.  If you are looking to get into this subgenre of hip-hop I wouldn’t start with “Bawksee 2” and if you enjoy trap I would just listen to the stuff you already have and avoid this record like the plague.