Belmont Stakes odds, predictions 2020: Surprising picks from longtime expert who's nailed five straight races

The 2020 Belmont Stakes already was going to be one of the most memorable horse races in recent history, but now it could be contested without one of the primary pre-race favorites. Charlatan, who at 4-1 is near the top of the 2020 Belmont Stakes odds, may not be able to participate after reportedly testing positive for a banned substance after winning the Arkansas Derby earlier in May. Fellow Bob Baffert-trainee Nadal, who was also listed as one of the top 2020 Belmont Stakes favorites, will reportedly be retired due to a fracture.

Florida Derby winner Tiz The Law is the overall 2-1 favorite in the latest Belmont odds 2020. But is backing a favorite the way to go, or are you better off looking down the odds board to find a winner? Before making any horse racing picks,

Why Yankees' Gerrit Cole could lose out on hardware and a strengthened Hall of Fame case in 2020

A few weeks ago, I took a look at 10 current active baseball players who I believe have the most to lose from a canceled 2020 season in terms of their Hall of Fame candidacies. Since we’re still waiting around for baseball to happen, we’re running through extended looks at the cases. Today’s selection is Gerrit Cole

Cole signed a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees this past offseason. He’s right in the middle of his prime, so he’s nowhere near having a complete case, such as we reviewed with Zack Greinke and Jon Lester. Cole is closer to Jacob deGrom territory in that losing a prime year is losing a chance to capitalize on hardware. 

As opposed to deGrom, Cole doesn’t have a Cy Young, though. He finished second last season, his third showing in the top five. 

What Cole

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says Wolverines are 'as close as you can possibly be' to national title

When Jim Harbaugh was hired to coach Michigan, his alma mater, in 2015, it was with one thing in mind: a national title. The last time the Wolverines took home a share of college football‘s ultimate prize was in 1997, when Charles Woodson and Co. were crowned champion by the Associated Press.

Harbaugh, who is 47-18 in five seasons with the program, says that they are close … really close. 

He sat down for an interview in the 247Sports “Social Distance” series and shared his thoughts on the current state of the program.

“I mean, just look back over the last the last years that we’ve been here last five years,” he said. “About as close as you can possibly be. But you got to put it over the top. That’s what drives us.”

How close has Michigan been

Fantasy Football Rankings 2020: Top sleepers from same simulation that nailed Derrick Henry's huge season

The NFL Draft brought in a fresh crop of talent to the league, and owners across the country are now trying to figure out which 2020 Fantasy football rookies will make the biggest impact. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow should be the Week 1 starter in Cincinnati and has an intriguing supporting cast with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon and Tee Higgins. But where should Burrow be in your 2020 Fantasy football rankings? Meanwhile, Clyde Edwards-Helaire joins a loaded Kansas City offense.

Owners are also on the lookout for underappreciated players who can outperform their 2020 Fantasy football ADP. These 2020 Fantasy football sleepers could be the key to making your league’s playoffs. Before going on the clock this season, be sure to see the latest Fantasy football rankings 2020 and cheat sheets from the team at SportsLine, given the

A way-too-early look at the 2021 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

Butler v North Dakota StatePhoto by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

Which signal-callers could be donning the black and gold next year? Let’s look at the top quarterbacks Steeler fans should be watching this college football season.

I know what you’re probably thinking right now.

A 2021 draft primer? The season hasn’t even started yet!

Admittedly, “way too early” draft predictions are exactly what they’re titled: Way too early— and as a result, are very rarely, or perhaps never, accurate at all.

In this draft primer series, we won’t be mocking players to any teams, but rather looking at the top players at each position who could get drafted by the Steelers with their first few picks in 2021. Prospects such as Trevor Lawrence, Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Fields, and Penei Sewell, who are all expected to be gone long before where the Steelers are projected to pick in the first round, will not be included.

The goal? Not to make any “hot take” predictions, but rather to look at some players that Steelers fans might want to watch a little closer than usual this college season.

Starting off the series will be the hardest position to evaluate: quarterbacks. They are ranked in no particular order.

Trey Lance, QB #5, North Dakota State

2019 stats: 2,786 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 1,100 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns.

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 221 lbs.

Lance might be the biggest rising prospect since the end of the 2020 draft. The FCS superstar recorded incredible numbers his redshirt freshman year at North Dakota State, leading his team to a 16-0 season and the FCS championship. The dual-threat passer has shown just about everything you could want in a quarterback: accuracy, arm strength, athleticism, and the ability to take care of the ball.

The only knocks on Lance are his competition, as the FCS is a far-cry from the NFL level, and his lack of experience as a starter entering this season. If he can put up similar numbers this year as a redshirt sophomore, it shouldn’t effect his NFL stock at all.

Lance will have massive expectations on his shoulders this year, and if he’s consistent, especially against a much larger school in Oregon, he may be long gone before the Steelers pick. NDSU has had a history of putting out NFL quarterbacks, most recently Carson Wentz and Easton Stick.

The 2021 season will be important for Lance to prove he is not a one-trick pony. A big season in the national spotlight could cement him in the first round with a legitimate chance at being a top-5 prospect.

Some notable articles about Trey Lance:

“Tanking for TREY”? Could Trey Lance be the first overall pick in 2021?NFL Draft Diamonds

2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State University – NFL Draft Diamonds

Bucky Brooks: Trey Lance in Mix with Trevor Lawrence for No. 1 in 2021 NFL Draft – Bleacher Report

NDSU quarterback Trey Lance has first-round upside in 2021 – Pro Football Network

Jamie Newman, QB #12, Georgia

2019 stats: 2,868 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 574 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns.

Height/Weight: 6’4”, 230 lbs.

Another dual-threat quarterback with an opportunity to make the first round in 2021. Jamie Newman transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia for his final year of eligibility as Jake Fromm’s succesor.

The Draft Network describes Newman as being “built like a tank”, and he runs like one, too. Newman runs well and hard, putting up 574 rushing yards during his last season at Wake Forest, and drawing some Cam Newton comparisons due to his tough running style.

As a passer, Newman has a good arm and a fast release, with excellent pocket awareness. He doesn’t have the strongest arm you’ll ever see, but his deep ball is definitely strength.

Similarly to Trey Lance, we’ll need to see more of Jamie Newman before we can know where he’ll go in the draft. At Georgia, Newman will be surrounded by much better talent, but will also be playing on a bigger stage against better defenses. It will also be interesting to see how Newman handles the scheme change from Wake Forest to Georgia.

Newman has the physical tools to excel at Georgia and beyond, but his level of play after the change of scenery will be indicative of his future in the NFL. Newman is considered by many to be one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, but still has a lot to prove.

Some notable articles about Jamie Newman:

Jamie Newman Draft Profile – The Draft Network

QB expert calls Jamie Newman a blend of Jalen Hurts, Cam Newton – 247 Sports

Why the 2020 NFL Draft’s best-kept quarterback secret has first-round potential – CBS Sports

Kellen Mond, QB #11, Texas A&M

2019 stats: 2,897 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 500 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns.

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 217 lbs.

Mond is a good quarterback one play, and a terrible one the next. If consistency wasn’t such an issue, his name could be right next to those near the top of this year’s class. Mond’s flashes of brilliance include his excellent arm strength an athletic ability, but his accuracy remains a major question. He is aggressive to a fault at times as well, which can lead to some ill-advised throws.

As a runner, Mond certainly has the ability, and while his team didn’t incorporate many designed QB runs last year, he was still able to use his athleticism to save some broken plays.

Mond suffered what some considered to be down year in 2019, and wisely sat out the 2020 draft in hopes of raising his stock this year. If Mond can match his skill with his talent, he will be a dangerous quarterback to play against this season, and might have a successful NFL career.

Mond is currently in the second and third round conversation, but a big season would easily push him into the first round.

Some notable articles about Kellen Mond:

Is Kellen Mond a 1st Round Quarterback? – Pro Football Draft

2020 A&M spring preview: QB position is almost all about Mond – 247 Sports

Kellen Mond Draft Profile – The Draft Network

Can Sam Ehlinger and Kellen Mond be backup plans for Justin Fields next year? – Pro Football Network

Sam Ehlinger, QB #11, Texas

2019 stats: 3,663 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 663 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns.

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 230 lbs.

Ehlinger has quietly put together quite the career at Texas, finishing 2019 with some impressive numbers. He’s stayed rather underrated due to Texas’ moderate success, but has every chance this season to become one of the top passers in all of college football.

Ehlinger is continuing to develop as a passer, with a solid skillset and an NFL-caliber arm. He is known for his toughness and as being a good teammate, but that doesn’t mean much if he can’t succeed at the other aspects of the game. Like most college quarterbacks, he’ll have to work on his accuracy and anticipation to succeed on the next level.

Ehlinger’s mobility is one of his strengths, as he has enjoyed success as a runner and scrambler. He is a surprisingly powerful runner as well.

Ehlinger might be one of the most underrated quarterbacks to enter the draft this year. More exciting prospects like Jamie Newman have stolen much of the quarterback spotlight, but Ehlinger has remained productive and consistent during his time at Texas.

Much like Kellen Mond, Ehlinger decided to return to school and forgo the 2020 NFL Draft for an attempt at raising his draft stock. If Ehlinger continues to improve, he has a chance at sneaking into the first round this year, especially if his team can progress with him.

Some notable articles about Sam Ehlinger:

Can Sam Ehlinger and Kellen Mond be backup plans for Justin Fields next year? – Pro Football Network

Sam Ehlinger Draft Profile – The Draft Network

What the experts are saying about Sam Ehlinger in the NFL Draft – Longhorns Wire

Brock Purdy, QB #15, Iowa State

2019 stats: 3,982 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 249 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns.

Height/Weight: 6’1”, 210 lbs.

Athleticism is a common theme in this year’s class, and Purdy is no different. The Iowa State passer has put together a great career so far in college, and is considered to be a fringe first-round prospect entering what could be his final year. Thanks to his accuracy and athleticism combination, Purdy nearly put up four thousand passing yards last year, a difficult task for even the best of college passers.

Despite being an above-average athlete, Purdy lacks ideal NFL arm strength. However, he has enough power on his throws to be a competent NFL quarterback. Despite being undersized, Purdy has shown enough football IQ and awareness to make up for his lack of height.

Purdy still needs to prove himself in big moments— especially coming from a lesser known school in Iowa State. A Pro Football Network article highlighted some flaws in Purdy’s consistency, especially in important, close games.

Brock Purdy has the upside to be a more athletic version of Drew Brees— an accurate-yet-undersized quarterback with enough smarts to overcome arm strength limitations. Purdy is firmly in the first/early second round conversation right now for the 2021 draft, and his stock should only go up from here.

Some notable articles about Brock Purdy:

NFL mock draft: Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy a first-round pick in 2021 NFL draft? – AZ Central

2021 NFL Draft: Brock Purdy is a dark-horse top prospect – Pro Football Network

What will set Brock Purdy apart from everyone else who’s played quarterback at Iowa State? – Des Moines Register

Some other names to look out for this season include Mississippi State’s K.J. Costello, Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan, Florida’s Kyle Trask, and Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez.

Obviously, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are currently the two best quarterbacks in their class, and don’t look to be coming down any time soon. They will likely not be around by the time the Steelers expect to pick, but are still great prospects to study and watch.

So, will quarterback even be a factor in the Steelers’ draft plans after this season?

The short answer? We won’t know until then.

How well Ben Roethlisberger plays in 2020, combined with the possibility he could retire at the end of the season, always makes quarterback a possibility for the team.

The Steelers have shown confidence in Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges as their #2 and #3 options, but it remains to be seen if they believe in Rudolph as a full-time starter post-Big Ben, or would be more interested in drafting a successor.

With so many variables set to change between now and the actual draft, all of the names mentioned in this article and more, have a chance at being a future selection for Pittsburgh Steelers.

If a quarterback is available at the right value, in the right slot in, there’s a good chance the Steelers will pull the trigger.

Let’s just hope that pick is at #32.

Knicks hire 3 execs to work in Rose's front office

May 27, 2020

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Knicks hired three executives Wednesday as they build the front office around new team president Leon Rose.

Brock Aller was hired as vice president of basketball and strategic planning, Walt Perrin is the assistant general manager for college scouting and Frank Zanin the assistant general manager for pro scouting.

Aller spent seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the last three as senior director of basketball operations. Perrin had been with the Utah Jazz for 19 seasons, including the final 12 as vice president of player personnel.

Zanin is a former assistant general manager for the Brooklyn Nets and had most recently worked as Oklahoma City‘s pro scout for three years.

The Knicks also announced a one-year extension for general manager Scott Perry through the 2020-21 season. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Rose, a longtime player

NBA sued for $1.25M in missed rent on NY store

May 27, 2020

NBA Media Ventures is being sued by a landlord who alleges the league has failed to pay $1.25 million in rent on its store on New York’s Fifth Avenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York by a plaintiff identified as 535-545 Fee LLC, which has leased the retail space to NBA Media Ventures LLC for its NBA Store since November 2014.

The rent at the store is $7.5 million per year, or $625,000 per month, the suit says, and NBA Media Ventures did not pay rent for April and May, when the store was closed.

“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass said in a statement Wednesday. “Under those circumstances, we

Bradley Beal excels as No. 1 option, which is why he's not eyeing a trade

By | May 29, 2020

Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal has been at the center of recent trade rumors, though it seems unlikely that he’ll be moved.

Of course, his name has been mentioned often when discussing potential moves around the NBA. We wrote about his potential fit with the Los Angeles Lakers in November 2018 and what Washington would need back in a trade from the Brooklyn Nets in January 2019.

Wizards general manager Tommy Shepard has said that Beal is the type of player to build a team around, which is precisely why they have no plans to trade him (via CBS Sports):

“The way that I look at this is pretty simple: If you were looking to build a team, Brad would be the type of player anyone would want to start with. You look at the character, the talent, the age,

Keep reading this article on HoopsHype - NBA.

The NFL’s desire to play in full stadiums this fall is a fantasy

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Do you think it’s a good idea for the NFL to even be thinking about playing its games in stadiums full of fans this fall? With other leagues forging ahead with plans to play without fans amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it just doesn’t make sense for the NFL to even be considering it.

Things may be getting back to normal amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has had team sports on the Injured Reserve list since mid-March. When I say “normal,” I mean the new normal, of course. Take the NHL, a league that officially announced the end of its 2019/2020 regular season on Tuesday, a decision that paves the way for an agreed-upon 24-team Stanley Cup playoff tournament that is supposed to begin some time this summer.

That’s if the NHL deems such a tournament safe for all involved, obviously.

If hockey does resume, it will do so in designated hub cities in arenas without fans. When it comes to the no fans part of the equation, the NBA and MLB are right in-step with that idea, even if those two leagues haven’t officially worked out final plans to resume and start, respectively.

Then there’s the NFL, a league that is apparently still hopeful for stadiums full of fans when the regular season kicks off in about three and a half months.

“We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise,” said Troy Vincent while appearing on the Brian Mitchell Show on Friday in a quote courtesy of “Now remember when we’re talking— we’re talking about September, August, September,” Vincent continued. “So there’s a lot that can happen here. So we’re planning on full stadiums.”

In fairness to Vincent, the NFL’s Head of Football Operations, he did throw in a caveat in the event that the pandemic continues to dominate in time of possession: “We also know that we have to plan for half stadiums. Three-quarters. So we’re planning for all of these different scenarios. But first and foremost, we’re making every effort, working with the medical community, if we can have those stadiums with all people until they tell us otherwise when that time comes, that’s our plan. That’s our plan of action.”

I get it, the NFL has to be prepared for everything, and given that we’re still over three months away from seeing real football in action, maybe it’s a bit premature to write off the notion of full stadiums in September.

Also, there’s the matter of revenue and how much every NFL team stands to lose while playing games inside stadiums devoid of fans. For instance, the Steelers could lose roughly $156 million in total stadium revenue in 2020, according to Forbes. As for the league as a whole? About $5.5 billion.

That’s a lot of money, but is it enough to bring the league to its knees?

If playing games without fans isn’t enough to destroy the NHL— of the four major professional leagues in the United States, that’s the one that can least afford it— the NFL, the league with the mega-TV contract, will survive. Will a loss of revenue affect the players and how much they’ll be paid? In a salary cap league, one where the players get a percentage of the revenue— 47 percent in 2020— yes.

But, again, it’s not the end of the world.

What could cripple the NFL is another massive outbreak of the Coronavirus that is traced back to a stadium full of football fans. In terms of public perception, forget Spy-gate, forget the anthem controversy, this could be the PR hit which brings the league to its knees once and for all.

The most realistic plan the league should be aiming for is to play its games in stadiums which are a third-to-half full. How would it look if the NHL, NBA and MLB spent their summers playing in front of nobody, and then the NFL opened up its season with thousands of fans sitting shoulder to shoulder in stadiums all across the land?

That was a rhetorical question, because it would look bad.

If you would have asked me in March, when the pandemic first swept through the country, if we’d have stadiums full of football fans by September, I would have said yes. But now, knowing all that we do? It just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

At least the Steelers are preparing for the new normal, as the team held back 50 percent of its available single-game tickets when they went on sale last Friday.

Just my opinion, but that should be how all 32 teams operate. It’s better than not operating at all— something that could ultimately happen if the NFL gets a little too confident and comfortable over the next few months.

Podcast: The Glory of being a Steelers Fan

In the latest episode of “The Steelers Preview” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the week that was and celebrate Jeff Hartman’s final show at BTSC.

For fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers there is a huge honor and a genuine sense of pride rooting for the Black-and-Gold. There are so many great moments over the course of the last 50 years, Join Dave Schofield, Bryan Anthony Davis and Jeff Hartman in his final BTSC podcast as they celebrate Steelers fanhood. Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Steelers Preview. On this show Jeff, Dave and BAD break down all things Steelers.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • The Glory of being a Steelers fan.
  • Memorable moments in the five-year BTSC career of Jeff Hartman
  • Steelers Trivia
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.