🏴‍☠️ Pirates Booty

Raiders rout Chargers in historic fashion, NFL Week 15 preview, NBA, NHL, and more...

Happy Friday! A lot of people go down big in Vegas without having to worry about losing their job as a repercussion. Brandon Staley is not one of those people. With Justin Herbert sidelined, Easton Stick got the nod last night against the Raiders. No, he is not a piece of hockey equipment; he is a man. But his first career NFL start was borderline dehumanizing. Thursday Night Football was an all-time whooping, folks. A blasting. A thrashing. A beatdown. A volcanic barrage of resounding pounding that would leave even the most valiant fighter mentally and physically mangled. Yup, the Chargers got worked. And Brandon Staley may be looking for work today. We’ll recap last night’s laugh riot and then preview the rest of Week 15 in the NFL, which should be slightly more competitive. Away from the gridiron, we saw perhaps the best NHL game of the young season and more high-scoring affairs around the NBA. Also, the Blitz is heading to the big leagues. Just win, baby!

BREAKING: We’ll be back in your inbox today at Noon ET with a very exciting (and profitable) announcement. It’s almost Prime Time!

WTF Stat: Last Sunday, the Raiders scored zero points. Last night, they scored 63 points and had 42 at halftime - Las Vegas had scored 46 total points in their previous four games entering Thursday.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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⚾️ Dodgers acquired SP Tyler Glasnow and OF Manuel Margot in a trade with the Rays for SP Ryan Pepiot and OF prospect Jonny Deluca - the deal is contingent on Glasnow signing a contract extension with Los Angeles, which both parties are hopeful will happen by Friday

🏈 Thursday Night Frights + Week 15 Preview

Photo: Pirates Kick Booty | Source: USA Today

NFL - Thursday Night Football

  • Las Vegas Raiders (6-8) 63, Los Angeles Chargers (5-9) 21: By the time you’re reading this, Chargers HC Brandon Staley may already be fired. Four days after losing 3-0 to the Vikings, Aidan O’Connell (20/34, 248 YDS, 4 TDs) and the Raiders led 42-0 at halftime against Los Angeles, just three points shy of the biggest halftime margin in NFL history. O’Connell threw all four of his touchdown passes in the first two quarters, and the Chargers fumbled three times before the break. Las Vegas’ defense added second-half touchdowns on a scoop-and-score and a pick-six, and Easton Stick (22/32 257 YDS, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 2 FUM) and the Bolts didn’t cross midfield until the 3rd quarter as the Raiders rolled to an all-time rout against LA, setting a franchise scoring record in the process - the win snapped a three-game losing streak for Vegas, and it’s the Chargers fifth loss in six games

  • Quick Hits: Stick was making his first career start in place of the injured Justin Herbert. Las Vegas became the first team since 1950 to have eight different players score a touchdown. It was the first 60-point game in Raiders franchise history and the most points allowed in Chargers franchise history. And Brandon Staley had a rather awkward postgame presser.

See the full box score here.

Week 15 - Top Games

  • Dallas Cowboys (10-3) @ Buffalo Bills (7-6) 4:25pm ET, FOX: The Cowboys are red-hot. They're also 7-0 at home this season. But they won’t be hot, and they won't be at home on Sunday. Dak Prescott and company will take their talents to Western New York this weekend, where the weather could get nasty. Heavy gusts of wind are expected, and rain is also on the radar. This favors Buffalo for obvious reasons, as reflected in the spread. It could also make Josh Allen's legs a significant factor, which have been much more active lately. In Buffalo's last two games, Allen has run a season-high 19 times for 133 yards and three scores, sparking a Bills offense that looked dead a few weeks ago. Buffalo is also 12-1 in the regular season at home the last two seasons, and they're 10-2 overall in Week 15 or later since 2020, including an active six-game winning streak. That's not good for Dallas, who has looked like a completely different team on the road, specifically at quarterback. Prescott has completed 74.0% of his passes for 20 touchdowns and two picks at Jerry World this year. Outside of Arlington, he's completed 63.5% of his passes for eight touchdowns and four interceptions, resulting in a 3-3 record. The Cowboys are loaded on both sides of the ball, and a win could put them on the inside track for home-field advantage in the playoffs. But it'll be hard to avoid a letdown after a massive win over the rival Eagles, and the Bills' season is on the line. Pick: BUF -2

  • Baltimore Ravens (10-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) 8:20pm ET, NBC: A few weeks ago, the Jags looked like legitimate contenders in the AFC. Now, they're only one game up on the Colts in a bad division because they’ve dropped two straight games against backup quarterbacks. In those losses, the defense has looked very suspect, allowing 34 points to Jake Browning and the Bengals, and then 31 points to Joe Flacco and the Browns. They also have a laundry list of injuries, and Trevor Lawrence is (miraculously) playing through a high-ankle sprain. On the other side, the Ravens have the best record in the AFC and are one of the healthier teams in the league right now, a rarity for them in December. Their offense is averaging 378.9 yards per game, the sixth-most in the NFL, and Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP-caliber level. He should have time to operate on Sunday, as the Jaguars are applying pressure on just 57% of dropbacks, which is fifth-worst in the league. But Jacksonville can still put up points, and RB Travis Etienne and TE Evan Engram pose dangerous threats as unique matchups in the passing game. You can expect a lot of points, and the Jags have the firepower to keep it close. But they just have too many problems right now defensively. Pick: BAL -3

2023 NFL Pick Record is 21-13-1. Looking for more insight from our experts? Stay tuned for our new exclusive product dedicated to putting money in your pockets. Check your inbox today at Noon ET today!

The Rest of Week 15

Saturday

  • Minnesota Vikings (7-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) 1:00pm ET, NFL Network

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-6) 4:30pm ET, NFL Network

  • Denver Broncos (7-6) @ Detroit Lions (9-4) 8:15pm ET, NHL Network

Sunday

  • Atlanta Falcons (6-7) @ Carolina Panthers (1-12) 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • Chicago Bears (5-8) @ Cleveland Browns (8-5) 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • Houston Texans (7-6) @ Tennessee Titans (5-8) 1:00pm ET, CBS

  • Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) @ New England Patriots (3-10) 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • New York Giants (5-8) @ New Orleans Saints (6-7) 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • New York Jets (5-8) @ Miami Dolphins (9-4) 1:00pm ET, CBS

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) @ Green Bay Packers (6-7) 1:00pm ET, CBS

  • San Francisco 49ers (10-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-10) 4:05pm ET, CBS

  • Washington Commanders (4-9) @ Los Angeles Rams (6-7) 4:05pm ET, CBS

Monday Night Football

  • Philadelphia Eagles (10-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-7) 8:15pm ET, ESPN

See the full NFL standings here.

Photo: Toronto Thriller | Source: USA Today

NHL - Top Games

  • Columbus Blue Jackets 6, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 (OT): Things got crazy last night in Toronto, and I mean crazy. Columbus entered the second intermission up 5-0, seemingly on their way to an easy win. But against all odds, the Leafs somehow managed to reel off five unanswered goals in the 3rd period, capped by two Auston Matthews (2 G, 1 A) bingos in the final 75 seconds to force overtime. However, Toronto squandered the epic rally, as Kent Johnson (2 G, 1 A) ripped a nasty wrister for the OT-winner, and the Blue Jackets survived a nightmarish collapse for a wild win above the border

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 7, Edmonton Oilers 4: Connor McDavid (1 G, 1 A) and the Oilers held a 3-2 lead after the 2nd period, but then Steven Stamkos (4 G) took over, scoring three of his career-high four goals in the final frame to lead the Bolts past Edmonton in Alberta, snapping the Oilers eight-game winning streak - Stamkos notched his fourth goal with an empty-netter to put the game away

  • Vancouver Canucks 4, Florida Panthers 0: The Canucks are for real. Thatcher Demko (36 SV) stood on his head, Dakota Joshua (2 G) lit the lamp twice, and Vancouver took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission to coast past the Cats, sealing their fourth consecutive W - fittingly, Demko’s performance came on the same night Vancouver added former star goalie Roberto Luongo to their Ring of Honor

  • Philadelphia Flyers 4, Washington Capitals 3 (SO): Bobby Brink (1 G) opened the scoring in the 2nd period and then closed it with a shootout-winner, lifting the Flyers over Dylan Strome (1 G, 1 A) and the Caps for their fifth win in six games

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NBA - Top Games

  • Minnesota Timberwolves 119, Dallas Mavericks 101: It was just another day at the office for Luka Doncic (39 PTS, 6 REB, 13 AST), who dropped 14 in the 1st quarter to help give the Mavs a 15-point lead just eight minutes into the game. But Karl Anthony-Towns (21 PTS, 17 REB) and Naz Reid (27 PTS, 7-11 3PT, 6 REB) rallied the T-Wolves back, and Minnesota outscored Dallas 32-19 in the 4th quarter to match the Celtics for the NBA’s best record at 18-5 - the win ended the Mavs’ four-game winning streak, and it was a season-high for Reid

  • Los Angeles Clippers 121, Golden State Warriors 113: The good news for the Warriors? Klay Thompson (30 PTS, 8-12 3PT, 5 AST) finally got some shots to fall. The bad news? Things are unraveling. This time, Stephen Curry (17 PTS, 3-13 3PT, 4 AST) couldn’t get anything to go, and Golden State suffered their eighth road loss in a row at the hands of James Harden (28 PTS, 7 REB, 15 AST), Kawhi Leonard (27 PTS, 8 AST), and the surging Clippers, who have notched eight straight wins - it was Golden State’s first outing since Draymond Green’s suspension

  • Boston Celtics 116, Cleveland Cavaliers 107: Jayson Tatum (27 PTS, 11 REB) and Jaylen Brown (22 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) were up to their usual tricks, and the Celtics never trailed to improve to 13-0 at home this season, cruising past Donovan Mitchell (31 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST) and the Cavs at TD Garden for the second time in three days - Boston has won six of their last seven

  • Sacramento Kings 128, Oklahoma City Thunder 123: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (43 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST) was in his bag, but De’Aaron Fox (41 PTS, 7 AST) had himself a night as well, and the Kings outpaced the Thunder for a win in Sac-Town - light the beam!

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

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Where did Chargers backup QB Easton Stick go to college?

A. Old Dominion

B. Northwestern

C. North Dakota State

D. Eastern Michigan

Photo: The Old Garden, 1932 | Source: Madison Square Garden

On December 15, 1925, the New York Americans lost to the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, in the formal opening of the third Madison Square Garden. Two venues called Madison Square Garden existed before the third’s official opening. The original Garden was in use from 1879 to 1890, and the second Garden was open from 1890 to 1925. Both were primarily used as concert halls and were eventually demolished. In 1925, a boxing promoter named Tex Rickard funded the construction of the third Madison Square Garden, which would serve as an arena for live sporting events, unlike the two prior two concert halls. Now known as “the Old Garden,” Rickard wanted the arena's first event to be extravagant. So, he insisted the Americans host the Canadiens, the second-best team in the NHL that season. Seventeen thousand people attended, and in the lower bowl, men wore tuxedos while women wore furs and evening gowns. The Americans, who ceased to exist after 1942, were New York's first NHL team. They were supplanted by the Rangers, who began play in 1926. In 1968, the current MSG opened down the street, and the "Old Garden" was demolished.

Friday

  • EPL: Tottenham Hotspur @ Nottingham Forest 3:00pm ET, NBC Sports

  • NBA: Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs 7:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NBA: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, Local

  • NBA: New York Knicks @ Phoenix Suns 10:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: #5 UConn @ #10 Gonzaga 10:00pm ET, ESPN2 / ESPN+

  • NHL: Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders 7:30pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • NHL: Ottawa Senators @ Dallas Stars 8:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • NHL: Buffalo Sabres @ Vegas Golden Knights 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

Saturday

  • NFL: Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00pm ET, NFL Net

  • NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts 4:30pm ET, NFL Net

  • NFL: Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions 8:15pm ET, NFL Net

  • CFB: New Mexico State vs. Fresno State 5:45pm ET, ABC - Cure Bowl

  • CFB: UCLA vs. Boise State 7:30pm ET, ABC - LA Bowl

  • CFB: California vs. Texas Tech 9:15pm ET, ESPN - Independence Bowl

  • CFB: Full Bowl Schedule

  • EPL: Crystal Palace @ Manchester City 10:00pm ET, NBC Sports

  • NBA: Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings 10:00pm ET, NBATV

  • NCAAM: #2 Kansas @ Indiana 12:30pm ET, CBS

  • NCAAM: #1 Arizona vs. #3 Purdue 4:30pm ET, Peacock

  • NCAAM: #9 North Carolina vs. #14 Kentucky 5:30pm ET, CBS

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #18 Louisville @ #17 UConn 12:00pm ET, FOX

  • NCAAW: #24 Miami @ #10 Baylor 5:00pm ET, Big12 / ESPN+

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

  • NHL: New York Rangers @ Boston Bruins 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • NHL: Florida Panthers @ Edmonton Oilers 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

Sunday

  • NFL: Full Schedule

  • EPL: Brighton & Hove Albion @ Arsenal 9:00pm ET, USA Network

  • EPL: Manchester United @ Liverpool 11:30pm ET, NBC

  • NBA: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics 3:00pm ET, Local

  • NBA: Washington Wizards @ Phoenix Suns 8:00pm ET, Local

  • NCAAM: USC @ Auburn 1:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Purdue @ #14 Notre Dame 12:00pm ET, ACCN

  • NHL: Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks 3:00pm ET, NHL Net

  • NHL: Washington Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes 6:00pm ET, NHL Net

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Trivia Time Answer

C. North Dakota State. Easton Stick played college football at North Dakota State from 2014 to 2018. He was a four-time FCS champion with the Bison, and he holds the record for most wins by a starting quarterback in FCS history, with 49. He was selected by the Chargers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

"Lock" of the Day

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College Football - Starco Brands LA Bowl

  • UCLA vs. Boise State: Under 48.5 (-110)

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The Titans will wear their Oilers throwbacks against the Texans this weekend, a hilarious middle finger to a Texans fanbase that, for some reason, thinks the uniforms belong to them.