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Happy late New Year’s sports world, and welcome to the first Degenerate’s Guide to This Week in Sports in the year of 2022. If this is your first go-around with this type of article, I essentially go over the most important sports events of the week and help the betting crowd pick some games. As for right now, take some picks with a grain of salt as COVID-19 sucks and tends to sideline players, which can affect the outcome of some games. (Yes, we first and foremost support the health and safety of all people and players.) 

As we are just kids here at Phenom, we do NOT encourage underage gambling in any way, shape, or form. This article is for our audience of adult readers or anyone who just wants to help their parents out with a bet.

For each day of the week, I listed my picks for the “Game of the Day”, as well as the other notable games.


NFL – Browns @ Steelers (8:15 PM ET – ESPN)

Browns vs. Steelers Picks Week 17 | Sportsbook Review

Photo: Getty Images

In the final NFL matchup of week 17, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at home against the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North matchup that, for the Browns, doesn’t mean all that much. Why? Because the Cleveland Browns have been eliminated from the playoffs. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the playoff hunt… if they win out. Another improbable event needs to happen, which is that the Jacksonville Jaguars win a game of NFL football… against the Indianapolis Colts. So based off that alone the Steelers chances look pretty slim, but if they take care of business tonight they can still technically make the playoffs as long as they can beat the Ravens in the last game of the year. So with not much playoff implication, what is the big deal about this game? It’s Ben Roethlisberger’s last ever home game in the NFL before he retires at the end of the season. Since the Steelers are at home with tons of motivation to win, I will take the Steelers to take this one and keep their (slim) playoff hopes alive. Also, we should hope that Big Ben doesn’t get Myles Garrett’s helmet thrown at him.

Pick: Steelers




Grizzlies @ Nets (7:30 PM ET – NBATV)

Heat @ Warriors (10:00 PM ET – NBATV)


NCAAM – #16 Kentucky @ #21 LSU (7:00 PM ET – ESPN)

LSU struggles in back-to-back games, losing 82-69 to Kentucky

Photo: WAFB

A ranked matchup of SEC college basketball? Sign me up. Kentucky travels down south to face the LSU Tigers, who are coming off of a 15 point loss on the road to a top-10 Auburn team. Kentucky is on a 4 game win streak after an upset loss to Notre Dame, but haven’t necessarily faced that high of quality teams over that stretch. However, they did blow out all of these teams by a very considerable margin. (North Carolina, Western Kentucky, Missouri, and High Point.) College basketball can go in any direction, but if I had to choose on who to bet on I would take LSU because they are at home and are likely hungry for redemption coming off of that loss.

Pick: LSU




Pacers @ Knicks (7:30 PM ET – NBATV)

Kings @ Lakers (10:30 PM ET – NBATV)

NCAAF (Bowl Games)

TaxAct Texas Bowl
LSU @ Kansas State (9:00 PM ET – ESPN)


NBA – Warriors @ Mavericks (7:30 PM ET – ESPN)

3 things to watch as the Dallas Mavericks face the Golden State Warriors - Mavs Moneyball

Photo: Mavs Moneyball

Steph Curry. Luka. This game. Now, even though Golden State is on the road, they have the best record in the NBA. I’m going to spoil right now that I am picking the Warriors, but this game is set up to be one of the more fun ones of the year. Two superstar point guards that are known for their shooting/scoring that have the potential to go back and forth all game long. Sorry to disappoint, but no, this is not Klay Thompson’s debut game. However, he should be returning very soon.

Pick: Warriors




Jazz @ Nuggets (10:00 PM ET – ESPN)


Blues @ Penguins (7:30 PM ET – TNT)


NHL – Wild @ Bruins (7:00 PM ET – ESPN)

Photo: NHL

No Thursday Night Football? No problem, because we have some NHL action this week on ESPN. While the Wild have a total of 40 points while sporting a 19-10-2 record, they have lost all 5 of their last 5 games as of January 3rd. The Bruins beat the Sabres on New Year’s Day and the Red Wings on the day after. However, it’s probably smarter to bet if the game will be postponed than who will win the actual game. If this one is played, though, I would take the Wild. Even though they are cold, the amount of COVID postponements in NHL games makes momentum a very hard to trail to follow.

Pick: Wild




Celtics @ Knicks (7:30 PM ET – TNT)

Clippers @ Suns (10:00 PM ET – TNT)


#5 UCLA @ Stanford (9:30 PM ET – ESPN)


NBA – Bucks @ Nets (7:30 PM ET – ESPN)

Brooklyn Nets will be tested against Milwaukee Bucks in 2021 NBA Playoffs | NBC Sports

Photo: Getty Images

Yes, I know you’ve been watching basketball for 3 nights in a row and you want more variety. However, it’s Friday, which means there is more basketball. And this matchup specifically is probably the best of the week. In a rematch of one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals from last season, the Milwaukee Bucks go to Brooklyn to face off against the team they eliminated by Kevin Durant’s giant foot. Since it is a home game for the Nets, they will not have Kyrie Irving. However, the Nets and Bucks are in a toe-to-toe battle with each other, and the Chicago Bulls, for the number one seed in the east with the way the standings are looking so far. In conclusion, this is absolute a can’t miss matchup in the NBA to start the weekend off. Now who will win? That’s a question that could come down to one final shot, but I’m going to take the Milwaukee Bucks on the road. Why? The Nets have actually been having a somewhat rough stretch recently (as of Monday), and the Bucks have been tearing things up. I think these teams are fairly evenly matched, but since the Bucks have more momentum on their side, I think that can help carry them to a win, but a very close one.

Pick: Bucks




Hawks @ Lakers (10:00 PM – ESPN)


Capitals @ Blues (8:00 PM ET – NHL NET)


NFL – Cowboys @ Eagles (8:15 PM ET – ABC/ESPN)

Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 18 matchup flexed to Saturday on ABC-ESPN

Photo: USA Today

Yes, both of these teams have clinched a playoff berth, and while the Cowboys will probably win and could blow them out, you never really know what could happen. (Also, this game is probably more interesting than the Chiefs and Broncos game in which the Broncos are eliminated from the playoffs altogether and the Chiefs are likely pissed because of Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow torching them offensively in their last game.) This game is basically about seeding, and it’s always fun to see one of the biggest rivalries in the whole entire league. The Eagles also have a chip on their shoulder after the Cowboys made a pretty easy win out of their last matchup with Philly, so keep that in mind as well.

Pick: Cowboys




Chiefs @ Broncos (4:30 PM ET – ABC/ESPN)


Knicks @ Celtics (7:30 PM ET – NBATV)


Penguins @ Stars (2:00 PM ET – NHL NET)

Maple Leafs @ Avalanche (7:00 PM ET – NHL NET)


Virginia @ North Carolina (1:00 PM ET – ESPN)

#10 Michigan State @ Michigan (2:30 PM ET – FOX)


NFL – Chargers @ Raiders (8:20 PM ET – NBC)

Chargers vs. Raiders Week 4 Winners and Losers: Ekeler shreds Raiders, air guitar on MNF - Bolts From The Blue

Photo: Bolts From The Blue

The last NFL game of the regular season. The only thing we know for certain right now is that both of these teams are 9-7, in the same division, and most importantly fighting for an AFC wild card spot. Now, the exact situations in terms of making the playoffs or playoff seeding will not be determined until all of the other games are finished, so the exact stakes of this game right now are unknown. But, what we do know is that there could be the situation of a playoff spot being on the line here, and a playoff game before the playoffs is a football fan’s dream to end the regular season. The Raiders are at home in this one, but I will take the Chargers to win, as this is Justin Herbert’s time to shine. While the Raiders’ exceeded many people’s expectations including my own being as good as they were (especially with the off-the-field problems that we saw), I think that the Chargers are a very talented football team and will pull away with this one coming off of a convincing bounce-back win over the Broncos. The Raiders have won 3 in a row, but they have all been very close games. Not to mention, the Chargers beat the Raiders by 2 scores the last time they saw each other.

Pick: Chargers



NFL – Week 18


Timberwolves @ Rockets (7:00 PM ET – NBATV)


Stars @ Blues (2:00 PM ET – NHL NET)


Cincinnati @ Memphis (3:30 PM ET – ABC)