2024 NBA playoff picks, Game 1 best bets from top model

Game 1 of a first-round series in the 2024 NBA playoffs features the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks colliding on Saturday. The Knicks won the season series 3-1 over the Sixers. New York went 27-14 at Madison Square Garden this season. Meanwhile, Philadelphia notched a 22-19 record on the road. Julius Randle (shoulder) will miss the entire postseason for the Knicks.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks are 3.5-point favorites in the latest 76ers vs. Knicks odds from SportsLine consensus. The over/under for total points is 208.5. Before making any Knicks vs. 76ers picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven computer simulation model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 88-58 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,600. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Sixers vs. Knicks and just locked in its picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Knicks vs. Sixers:

76ers vs. Knicks spread: New York -3.5
76ers vs. Knicks over/under: 208.5 points
76ers vs. Knicks money line: New York -161, Philadelphia +137
NYK: The Knicks are 44-37-1 against the spread this season.
PHI: The 76ers are 48-35 against the spread this season.
76ers vs. Knicks picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the 76ers can cover
Center Joel Embiid is listed as questionable (knee), but he is widely expected to play. He remains of the most impactful players in the NBA. The seven-time All-Star owns a nasty face-up game and will knock down perimeter jumpers with ease. Embiid averages 34.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. On April 12 versus the Magic, Embiid had 32 points, 13 rebound and seven assists.

Guard Tyrese Maxey thrives as a shot-creator for the 76ers. Maxey will attack the paint to either score or dish the rock to a teammate. The Kentucky product also has a reliable jumper on the outside to space the floor. Maxey logged 25.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. He dropped 19 points and six assists in the Play-In win over the Heat. See which team to pick here.

Why the Knicks can cover
Forward OG Anunoby is one of the best defenders in the league due to his ability to guard any position 1 through 4. Anunoby has very active hands to alter shots and get into passing lanes. The Indiana product averaged 14.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season. On March 12 against the 76ers, Anunoby notched 14 points and four boards.

Guard Josh Hart continues to be a high-impact player. He is a tenacious rebounder and is always running the floor. The Villanova product is an active cutter while being a pesky defender. Hart logged 9.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. In his last contest, Hart totaled 12 points, 10 boards and four assists. See which team to pick here.

How to make 76ers vs. Knicks picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 213 points. The model also says one side hits in well over 50% of simulations. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine.

So who wins 76ers vs. Knicks, and which side hits in well over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Knicks vs. 76ers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,600 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.

Nuggets coach says week ‘has not been easy’ for Michael Porter Jr. after NBA ban, jail sentence for brothers

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone spoke to reporters on Friday about recent off-court events that occurred this week involving the brothers of forward Michael Porter Jr.. On Wednesday, the league announced the lifetime ban of Porter’s brother, Jontay Porter, for betting on NBA games, and among other things, disclosing confidential information to sports bettors. It was then announced on Friday that Porter’s younger brother, Coban Porter, was sentenced to six years in prison for killing a woman in a DUI crash in 2023.

Porter Jr. was not at practice on Friday, as he was attending Coban’s sentencing in Denver, but Malone as well as Porter Jr.’s teammates spoke about how Porter Jr. has handled the situation.

“It has not been easy for him,” Malone said. “That’s why I give him credit, because he’s carrying so much in his heart and on his mind. For him to go out there and do the job that he’s doing, it speaks to how much strength that young man has.”

Porter spoke at his brother’s sentencing on Friday, mentioning how he looked up to his younger brother.

“I truly don’t think I’d be in the position I am today as a professional basketball player without a brother like Coban pushing me every day,” Porter Jr. said. “He would get up earlier than me, work out harder than me. I know it’s not often that a big brother looks up to a younger brother, but that is how it was for me.”

Porter also said at the hearing how he was the first to hear about the car crash as police officers called him the morning of January 22, 2023.

“He said, ‘Coban has been in a fatal accident.’ He didn’t specify if Coban was the one who died or if it was someone else,” Porter Jr. said. “I understand your family’s pain and hurt. When he didn’t specify what it was, I felt that. I know that if I were in your shoes and it was reversed, I would have a lot of feelings as well.”

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said that while he hasn’t talked to Porter Jr. about either situation, he and the rest of the team support him as he deals with his family matters.

“I don’t think we’ve spoken to him about it. That’s just not something we talk about,” Murray said. “We’re just keeping it professional here and we all support him. He’s handling it really well. Obviously, it’s not easy. But yeah, we’re just letting him deal with it.”

While Porter Jr. was not at practice on Friday, he’ll likely be in the starting lineup for the Nuggets as they begin their title defense against the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night. Porter Jr. is the third-leading scorer for Denver, averaging 16.7 points and seven rebounds, in a year where he’s played 81 games, the most in his career.

Knicks vs. 76ers TV channel, live stream, how to watch NBA playoffs online, game time, odds

The New York Knicks’ reward for earning the second seed in the Eastern Conference? A matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers and the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid.

It is unclear, however, how close Embiid will be to his MVP-caliber form. The Sixers fell to the seventh spot because he had surgery to address a meniscus injury in his left knee in February, and didn’t return until April. Embiid’s play toward the end of the regular season was encouraging, but he had to limp off to the locker room in Philadelphia’s second-to-last regular-season game, sat out the finale and looked far less than 100% against the Miami Heat in the Play-In.

The Knicks had their share of injuries, too. On the same night in late January, Julius Randle suffered what turned out to be a season-ending shoulder injury and OG Anunoby hurt his elbow, which required surgery and sidelined him for 27 of their remaining 36 games. New York overcame this and finished 50-32, largely thanks to the brilliance of Jalen Brunson, who averaged 31.6 points on 58.5% true shooting (with a 35.6% usage rate) from February 1 onward.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Saturday’s series opener.

76ers at Knicks
Date: Saturday, April 20 | Time: 6 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden — New York
TV channel: ESPN | Live stream: ESPN app
Odds: Knicks -3.5; O/U 209.5
Knicks: New York isn’t afraid of this matchup, and Brunson, who ended the regular season by scoring 35-plus points in six of the final seven games (and 30 in the other one), will surely test Philadelphia’s stars defensively. Will Embiid be in a deep drop when Brunson runs high pick-and-rolls? Will the Sixers willingly switch Tyrese Maxey onto him? The Knicks should feel great about how they’ve played with Brunson and Anunoby on the court — in 636 regular-season minutes, they scored 125 points per 100 possessions and allowed 101.7 per 100 — but there could be some trepidation about the offense in the few minutes that Brunson is on the bench.

76ers: In theory, Philadelphia is a more complete team than it was when James Harden was around, but that’s only remotely true if Embiid is at or near the top of his game. There are tons of smaller stories from the Sixers’ regular season, but the two biggest ones are simple: Embiid got even better after his MVP season, and the team became less equipped to handle his absence. It is ironic, then, that while neither Embiid nor Maxey were great against Miami, they were saved by Nicolas Batum knocking down 3s and Buddy Hield attacking closeouts. Now that Philadelphia is facing a better opponent than that the undermanned Heat, can its stars and role players thrive at the same time?

If healthy, Philadelphia is the biggest threat to the Boston Celtics in the East, but that’s a mighty big if. Had Embiid not been seen ambling around uncomfortably earlier this week, it would have been much easier to pick the Sixers to win this game (and this series). After that, though, it feels almost disrespectful to pick against New York. The Pick: Knicks -3.5

Tyreek Hill says refs saved Chiefs during Jets matchup, just like in Super Bowl vs. Eagles

The Kansas City Chiefs were able to squeeze by the New York Jets last Sunday night, 23-20, thanks to a 15-play, 45-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that helped Patrick Mahomes and Co. run out the clock. There was a very controversial call on that drive that played a large roll in deciding the game.

On a third-and-20, Mahomes dropped back and attempted a pass deep to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The pass was intercepted by Michael Carter, but there was a flag on the field. Jets star cornerback Sauce Gardner was called for defensive holding. That penalty gave the Chiefs a fresh set of downs, and they were able to run out the clock.

On his “It Needed To Be Said” podcast, former Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill said that defensive holding penalty was a “50/50” call.

“When the game on the line, you gotta let the players play,” Hill said. “It’s a good game! It’s a good game!”

Hill also pointed out that this same penalty “saved” the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII vs. the Philadelphia Eagles just months ago.

If you recall in last year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes led the Chiefs down to the Eagles’ 15-yard-line with 1:54 remaining in the game, which was tied at 35 apiece. Facing a third-and-8, Mahomes attempted a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the left corner of the end zone, but the ball was overthrown. However, there was some yellow laundry on the field. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for holding, which gave the Chiefs a first down.

Partnership with Matthew Stafford, more

Puka Nacua is making it look easy. Through four games, the rookie fifth-round pick has taken the NFL by storm while putting his name in the record book in the process.

No receiver in league history has caught more passes in his first four games than Nacua, whose 39th and most recent catch resulted in his first NFL touchdown while lifting the Rams to an overtime win over the Colts.

Nacua currently leads the NFL in receptions, and his 501 receiving yards are second to only the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson’s 543. Nacua is on pace to have over 2,100 receiving yards this season, which would smash Hall of Fame wideout Calvin Johnson’s single-season mark of 1,964 yards in 2012.

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Puka Nacua
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Why has Nacua been able to have so much success so early? Here are five reasons why the 22-year-old has and should continue to excel in Los Angeles.

Early success
It’s safe to say that Nacua’s background is paying dividends now.

While he’s currently getting national recognition, Nacua was already somewhat of a household name in Utah after he set state prep records with 260 receptions, 5,226 yards and 58 touchdowns. During his senior season, Nacua set single-season records in all three major receiving categories en route to being named “Mr. Football 2018” by the Deseret News.

Nacua’s football roots began long before his high school success. While other kids were watching cartoons, Nacua was more interested in watching film with his father.

“He’s like a player coach,” Nacua’s high school coach Jeremy Hill said in a 2018 interview. “The stuff he sees, the covers and matchups, he’s always coming off the field saying, ‘This is what I see.’ There are actually times when he’s coming up with the fourth-down play or giving us his input.”

Hidden gem
Despite having a sparking prep career, Nacua’s college career mimicked many high school stars who for whatever reason don’t produce up to their potential in college. For Nacua, the reason for his solid yet unspectacular college stats was due to being a victim of circumstance. After breaking his foot during his freshman season at Washington, Nacua and his teammates played in just three games during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.

Nacua transferred to BYU the following season and, despite being new to the program, caught 43 passes for 805 yards and six touchdowns. He battled through several injuries in 2022 but still finished as the team’s leader in receptions (48), yards (625) and touchdowns (five).

His lack of gaudy numbers in college ultimately led to Nacua slipping to the fifth round before the Rams scooped him up with the 177th overall pick.

Physical gifts
Like most elite players, Nacua is blessed with physical gifts. While he’s not necessarily tall, the 6-1, 205-pound Nacua possesses the perfect blend of height and strength. He’s tough to bring down in the open field and often uses his strength to pick up several extra yards after first contact.

Nacua also has excellent hands, which has allowed him to make tough catches in traffic as well as on the sidelines. And while he isn’t known for his speed, Nacua plays faster than his pro day 40 time of 4.57 seconds. According to Next Gen Stats, Nacua hit 21.05 mph on one of his routes this season, which is one of the six fastest speeds of any player on a route this season (h/t USA Today).

Nacua’s nine catches this past Sunday came in a variety of ways: posts, slants, deep crosses, a deep out and a bubble screen. He did most of his damage on deep crosses that included his game-winning, 23-yard touchdown catch in overtime.

His impressive route tree is being maximized by Rams coach Sean McVay, who in many ways is using Nacua the way he’s used Cooper Kupp in previous years. While he may have been a victim of circumstance in college, Nacua is in the perfect situation in Los Angeles.

Nacua’s situation is similar to what Terrell Davis experienced 28 years earlier. After being under utilized at Georgia, Davis (a sixth-round pick), flourished in Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme in Denver. Davis ultimately won two Super Bowls, league and Super Bowl MVPs and is in the Hall of Fame.

Cowboys’ Tony Pollard ‘felt like he let team down’ after injury at 49ers last postseason, excited for rematch

NFL playoff losses always sting. Unlike the other three major North American professional sports league like the NBA, MLB and NHL, one playoff loss in the professional football postseason means a team’s season is over just like that. In the case of the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers have been the team to slam the door shut on their path to the Super Bowl in each of the last two years. First, there was the 23-17 defeat in the 2021 NFC wild card round at AT&T Stadium. Last season, it was a 19-12 slip-up in Santa Clara, California, at Levi’s Stadium. Dallas now has an opportunity to avenge the losses on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 5 as they return to the Bay Area to face their playoff nemesis. In their most recent showdown, a game in which both teams only scored one touchdown, a big play here or there could have made a significant difference in the outcome.

That’s why Cowboys Pro Bowl running back Tony Pollard, who suffered a fractured fibula just before halftime, feels like he let the team down. With the game tied 6-6 and under two minutes left in the first half, Pollard caught a checkdown from quarterback Dak Prescott for 8 yards down to the San Francisco 18, just inside the red zone. He was tackled by then-49ers safety Jimmy Ward and after Ward came off of him, Pollard could only crawl. Instant replay revealed Ward had landed on the back of the running back’s left foot/ankle area, and the forced applied on that impact resulted in a devastating injury. The play after Pollard’s injury resulted in a Prescott interception as he tried to squeeze a pass to top receiver CeeDee Lamb. His pass was tipped by Ward and then picked off by 49ers All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.

“It was frustrating, especially when I got hurt,” Pollard said. “We were in the red zone about to score, driving the ball. We had a good drive going and then that kind of killed the momentum. I felt like I kind of let my team down so it hurt. Yeah, it hurt. Once you’re so invested, you have so much invested into the season, you have goals and you know what you want to be, but it hurts once you get cut short like that. Most of all just frustrated I couldn’t help the team and be out there to help us try to get a win.”

Pollard averaged 5.9 yards per scrimmage touch, which led the NFL in 2022. This season, his 311 rushing yards rank fifth in the NFL while his 18 rushing first downs are tied for the third-most in the NFL along with Falcons rookie rusher Bijan Robinson. Pollard’s five rushing touchdowns of 40 or more rushing yards since 2020 are tied for the most in the league along with Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry and Colts Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor, meaning Pollard is liable to take one to the house at any time. That ability could make a difference this time around.

“Yeah, Tony is special, and just watching that game last year, obviously, when he went out, I don’t want to say things changed for our offense but not having that explosive weapon could have helped, could have damn sure helped,” Prescott said Thursday. “When you’ve got a guy like that who’s one broken tackle, two broken tackles from 30 yards, 50 yards, a big touchdown or a long run you know what I mean? That’s huge.”

“His injury obviously was very unfortunate, and he is obviously a big part of the game plan,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “This is a different year. We’re doing a lot of things differently. Tony is our lead back. He’ll be a big part of the game plan this week.”

Because of the injury, Pollard only has 10 carries across the two postseason matchups against the 49ers. He is now champing at the bit to go up against San Francisco’s imposing 49ers defensive front seven that includes Warner, 2022 NFL Defensive Player Nick Bosa and the stout Arik Armstead. There aren’t many way to replicate that ferocity in practice for most teams, but Pollard going up against All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons and Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence every day certainly helps.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, these first four games we’ve been going against some pretty good, stout defensive lines [the Giants, Jets and Patriots] so far,” Pollard said. “Going against that defense every day in practice, one of the best defenses in the league, you can only get better. It’s just iron sharpening iron.”

If Pollard can get past the line of scrimmage, Warner will be waiting for him.

“He is one of the best linebackers in the league,” Pollard said. “His speed, his IQ for the game, the way he is always able to be in the right positions. He’s a sure tackler. He is a guy that we have to be aware of on the field. He hits different. He is a hard hitter.”

Prescott said the Cowboys think about the disappointment of coming up just short against Warner and the rest of the 49ers “every day.” Now, Dallas has the chance to partially wipe away that feeling Sunday night.

“We definitely have it in the back of our minds, that disappointment, that feeling,” Pollard said. “At this point, we’re just using that as motivation, leaving the past in the past, and we’re ready for this year. I look forward to those big games, you’re on the big stage. Everybody is looking. We’re ready for that moment.”

The ultimate Cowboys revenge can only come by them knocking the 49ers out of the postseason in January, but here in Week 5, Pollard and his teammates are ready to start chipping away at their disappointment on Sunday night.

Two-time All-Pro to undergo season-ending knee surgery

The Green Bay Packers will be without their star left tackle for the remainder of the 2023 season. Bakhtiari told reporters on Friday that he will miss the rest of the season due to a cartilage issue in his knee that requires surgery. The Packers had already placed the two-time All-Pro on injured reserve prior to their Week 4 game against the Lions. Bakhtiari said his goal is to return in 2024.

Bakhtiari had been dealing with a knee injury and missed the club’s Week 2 and Week 3 matchup before the team ultimately decided to put him on injured reserve. Now he’ll be missing all of the remaining games.

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David Bakhtiari
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When healthy, Bakhtiari is one of the top blindside tackles that the NFL has to offer. However, his health has been a key storyline for the Packers offensive line over the past few seasons. On New Year’s Eve in 2020, Bakhtiari tore his ACL in practice and was ruled out for the remainder of that season. He played just one game the following year. In 2022, he appeared in 11 of the Packers 18 regular-season contests.

Bakhtiari has spent his entire career with Green Bay ever since the franchise selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Colorado. During his tenure, Bakhtiari has earned three Pro Bowl nods along with his All-Pro accolades.

In the immediate, Rasheed Walker has started the previous three games at left tackle for the Packers, and it would appear that would be the option the team will proceed with going forward.

‘If you want to run, let’s run’

New York Giants rookie cornerback Tae Banks isn’t afraid of the challenge the Miami Dolphins fast-paced offense present this week. Banks is looking forward to facing the speed the Dolphins possess, especially since he’s a fast guy himself.

“Speed doesn’t scare me. But we will respect it,” Banks said, via NorthJersey.com. “I’m a fast guy, too. If you want to run, let’s run. If you want to run, we can run.”

The Dolphins have the five fastest speeds by a ball-carrier in the NFL this season, two by Devon Achane, two by Tyreek Hill, and one by Raheem Mostert. Banks will certainly be seeing Hill and Jaylen Waddle — who surprisingly isn’t on this list — on Sunday.

Per Next Gen Stats, here are the fastest ball-carriers:

Can Banks handle what’s coming with the Dolphins offense? Banks is undergoing a trying rookie season, as opposing quarterbacks targeting him have completed 58.8% of their passes for 105 yards with two touchdowns for a 102.8 passer rating. He hasn’t allowed a completion of 20-plus yards and just 6.2 yards per attempt.

Banks hasn’t been beaten on deep passes yet, even though the Dolphins are a different beast. He’s ready for the test, which is why he was a first-round pick in the first place.

“I belong here. I don’t feel like I need approval or anything like that. You feel me,” Banks said. “I know I belong here, and I don’t back down from nothing. I’m gonna line up the next play and be ready to go, keep going.”

Broncos veteran pass rusher joining 49ers for swap of late-round picks

The Denver Broncos were reportedly set to release veteran pass rusher Randy Gregory unless a trade partner emerged in the eleventh hour. According to CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, that trade partner is the San Francisco 49ers, who agreed to send a 2024 sixth-round pick to Denver for Gregory and a 2024 seventh-rounder, per ESPN.

The 30-year-old outside linebacker signed a five-year deal worth up to $70 million with the Broncos during the 2022 offseason, and it was a decision general manager George Paton likely regrets. In 10 games with Denver, Gregory recorded 21 combined tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Per ESPN, the Broncos will pay Gregory roughly $10 million for the remainder of the 2023 season. The 49ers will pay Gregory the veteran minimum. Something else to note is that while Gregory has three years remaining on his current deal, none of it is guaranteed beyond 2023. When it came to the decision to release the pass rusher, ESPN reported that the Broncos wanted, “to focus on its young players.”

In 60 career NFL games, Gregory has recorded 106 combined tackles and 19.5 sacks. Now, the former second-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys gets a change of scenery — and it’s a pretty good one at that. Gregory joins a pass-rush rotation that includes the likes of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell and Drake Jackson. The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the league, and allow 14.5 points per game through four weeks. That is tied for third-best in the NFL.

Let’s attempt to grade this trade:

Broncos: F
On one hand, the Broncos got a sixth-round pick for a seventh-round pick for a player they were going to release. But this transaction is more about money. It’s hard to ignore the fact that this original signing was a mistake for Denver.

Back in March of 2022, Gregory walked away from a five-year deal in Dallas that was worth upward of $70 million with $28 million guaranteed. Why? There was language included in the contract that Gregory’s camp did not like. So, the pass rusher was off to Denver on what was virtually an identical deal. After just 10 games played for the Broncos, he’s gone.

The five-year contract was viewed as a risk from the jump, and now, the Broncos will be paying Gregory $10 million to rush the passer for arguably the best team in the NFL.

49ers: A-
A low-risk, high-reward move for San Francisco. Gregory, at the very least, can be a rotational spark plug brought off the bench for the 49ers, and they don’t have to 1) pay him big money in 2023, and 2) commit to him past this season. A solid get for general manager John Lynch as he continues to chase a Super Bowl.

A.J. Brown wants to recreate Citizens Bank Park magic Phillies experience with Eagles fans at the Linc

PHILADELPHIA — The vibes at Citizens Bank Park in October are why Philadelphia is an established baseball town. An entire city is captivated by the Philadelphia Phillies in the postseason, making sure they play their role in the city’s 141-year old baseball team chasing a third World Series title.

Once an All-American baseball player himself, those fans impacted A.J. Brown this week. Brown certainly gives those same fans reason to be loud across the street at Lincoln Financial Field every Sunday this time of year, yet those passionate fans give him the itch to put on his baseball spikes again.

“Playing in front of The Bank would be crazy,” Brown said. “I could just tell watching that Bryson (Stott) home run, that was just crazy. Everybody was singing his walk up song and he goes out there and hits a grand slam. It was electric.

“I would love to play in The Bank in center field. Even if I was on the opposing team, just to see the atmosphere.”

Don’t worry Philadelphia Eagles fans. Brown isn’t pulling a Deion Sanders and playing Major League Baseball in addition to his full-time job. That’s just the fan coming out of Brown, which is what makes him so relatable to the people that watch the Eagles every Sunday and enjoy him catching touchdowns.

Brown wants to be part of that atmosphere too, even when he can create that same feeling himself.

“Everyone is just on their toes on every pitch. You can change the game on one swing,” Brown said describing a Philadelphia crowd at a baseball game. “In football, you may run the ball, you may hear some cheers (or) you may not. You know, its different.

“Sometimes during a big play, everybody goes crazy. In baseball, they (the fans) are on the edge of their seats every single pitch.”

Unfortunately Brown had to miss the Phillies playoff sweep of the Miami Marlins this week, even though he works two blocks down Patterson Avenue. A father himself, priorities took over.

“At 8 o’clock, I’m putting my daughter to sleep. It’s over with, I’m going to bed,” Brown said with a smile. “I’m able to catch a couple innings, but a decent time? For sure, I’m gonna be there. If it’s a Monday or Tuesday, I’ll definitely be there.”

The Phillies won’t be playing at Citizens Bank Park until Wednesday or Thursday, during the middle of the Eagles’ preparation for that week’s opponent (the Jets). Unfortunately Brown will probably be watching the games from home, even if the fans would go berserk if they saw him in attendance.

“Oh for sure. But it has to be at a decent time,” Brown said. “As of late, I just been watching the games until I gotta go to bed. The games start too late. That’s just my opinion.”

Philadelphia is experiencing the best time of of year with its two prominent sports teams. The Phillies are set to square off in a gauntlet with the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. The Eagles are 4-0 for the second consecutive year heading into the second week of October.

Sound familiar? The Phillies ended up upsetting the Braves en route to the National League pennant last year, while the Eagles started 8-0 and won the NFC Championship three months later.

Seeing how the city embraced the Phillies, from “Dancing On My Own” to singing along to Tai Verdes “A-O-K” when Bryson Stott came up to the plate. Add in how crazy the fans were when Brown was terrorizing defensive backs during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run last year, Brown was convinced he made the right choice coming to Philadelphia.

“I was a little nervous when I first came here, from the fans and everything,” Brown said. “But I’ve learned to kinda block out the negative and just really enjoy the positive. There’s more positive in anything to be honest.

“Let’s just say they’re honest. That’s the best way to put it. They’re very passionate and they love their sports here. We love them back. It’s been everything for me. I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”

Brown is ready to experience the same feeling again this fall, with the Phillies leading the way. Let’s not forget the Eagles are 4-0 and one of only two unbeaten teams left in the NFL either. They have the Super Bowl expectations in front of them, and might be on the verge of doing something special again.

“You know, I can’t look ahead. I mean, I thought about (that) last year. Playing in the Linc in the NFC Championship. That was crazy,” Brown said. “Hopefully we can keep doing what we doing and keep getting wins and trying to bring it back here again.”

Everything starts with the Phillies. Just don’t ask Brown to throw out the first pitch if he shows up.

“Oh I’m chill on that,” Brown said with a laugh. “I’m just gonna root for them.”