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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Recap of yesterday:

  • The 76ers beat the terrible Wizards by an even 10. I’ll consider that in my wins column, since I think anything that isn’t a loss is a win, especially in parlays.
  • Wasn’t sure on this one. Bucks beat the Raptors, oh well.
  • So, my first “obvious upset pick” that didn’t win was the Heat against the Warriors… at home. They had a ton of chances and let the score slide in the 4th. The Warriors got their first road win of the year against a +.500 team. Wow.
  • My shoddy pick: Hawks won and killed. I thought they would win, but not cover 7½.
  • I can’t believe that after being tied at the half, the Cavaliers managed to win by more than 15½. Jeebus that was a second half. Cav’s won by 18.
  • The Lakers won by 13, as expected.
  • The Jazz won by 20 against OKC. Finally, somebody beat them like they should get beaten every time. I picked the Jazz to win, but not cover the 10 point spread. Oh well. I like seeing OKC get destroyed.
  • The Nuggets won by 11 on a 10 point spread. Barely beat it, but made me right on the game.
  • Um, my “Hornets win… and cover. Done.” review was wrong apparently. The Hornets played like crap at home.
  • In my crap vs. crap pick I chose Chicago. They killed the Kings. Congrats.
  • My one NCAA pick was Valparaiso vs. Butler with an 18 point spread. I didn’t really care, but picked Butler to win and cover. They won, but didn’t cover.



Overall, I was 7 out of 10 for NBA win picks and a “meh” 5 out of 10 on spreads. I was right on my NCAA Basketball win pick, but wrong on the spread. So, I was 8 for 11 in win picks and 5 for 11 in spreads. Not a bueno day, but not terrible. I’ll work on the spreads and possibly not spread my “support” quite as thin, but I still like the idea of spreading it out a bit. F-ing Heat/Hornets is all I have to say. Today’s picks:

NBA

New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers (-3½)

This should be a close game of mediocre teams. Both have beaten good teams lately and the Pacers are at home. I would probably give this to whoever of the two was at home, so I say the Pacers win.

New Jersey Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (-7½)

The 76ers are a slightly better team and they’re playing at home. Again, I will go with the home team on this. However, the game should be close and less than 7½ point difference, based on how even these teams are.

Dallas Mavericks (-2) vs. Miami Heat

Well, the Heat let me down yesterday, but I still feel like I’m in some bizarro-NBA world where they aren’t favored… at home… against a team with an almost even record. I will go with the Heat for the upset again, but I swear if they lose this I might have to stop giving Dwayne Wade so much credit.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Washington Wizards (-4½)

This is the true battle of crap, to end all battles of crap. The two worst teams in the league are facing off. I flipped a quarter and it said that the Wizards are going to win. In truth, I think they will because they’re at home and Chris Kaman of the Clippers is hurt. I think they’ll cover the spread as well because both of these teams fall apart when losing.

Los Angeles Lakers (-11) vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Lakers are still right at the top of all teams in the NBA, while the Memphis Grizzlies are right at the bottom. Home game aside, the Lakers will destroy the Grizzlies and most likely cover this spread.

New Orleans Hornets vs. San Antonio Spurs (-6½)

For once, the Spurs are actually favored. Of course, now they’re playing one of the top teams in the NBA and they are actually supposed to win by 6½. I think they will, but this is a tough call.

Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets (-8)

The Rockets are at home against what should be a terrible team. The Warriors just beat New Orleans at home, though which was a giant shocker to me. I can’t expect them to keep playing like that, but New Orleans was supposed to win by 9 and lost. I still pick the Rockets to win by 8 or more, but yesterday shook me a little on them.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks (-1½)

The Hawks have a better record, despite a recent semi-streak of losses. The Bucks are at home. I give this one to the spotty Hawks because I feel like they will start to pull some wins together, especially against the Bucks sans Michael Redd.

Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns (-9½)

The Suns are at home and the Bulls are terrible. The Suns win and while they are spotty at covering spreads, I still think they will cover this one.

Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers (-9½)

The Trail Blazers are at home, so they should gain an advantage. The Jazz have been pretty terrible lately, so I definitely give the Trail Blazers the win. This is a big spread, but I think they will cover it.

NCAA Basketball

Most of the games are already started, so it’s unfair to put picks out (sorry I got a late start). I would have picked UCLA over Stanford and Wake Forest to win (which they didn’t at the last second). I’m not putting picks out for either of these, but I felt like stating my opinion anyways.

MMA

George St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn

I may be biased, but I’ve always liked St. Pierre and never liked BJ Penn. That being said, St. Pierre is slightly favored anyways. I’ll go with St. Pierre to win this and hopefully take the title.

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Recap of yesterday’s picks:

  • I’m absolutely stoked on how well I picked the Cav’s/Magic game. I called that whoever established the lead would blow out the other team, even though both teams are evenly matched. I also said that the Magic would be the team to do it. Magic 99 Cavaliers 88, after the Magic let up.
  • I picked the underdog Spurs to beat the Suns aging squad and All-Star center (seriously?) and they did… by 10.
  • Michigan State killed Iowa, no surprise.
  • Virginia Tech dominated the start of the game against Clemson and then threw it away. Oh well, I picked wrong.
  • F-ing Washington. They did basically the same as Virginia Tech, throwing away a decent lead and never recovering.
  • Arizona State lost to Washington State, apparently I had my states/non-states mixed up in these last two picks. I didn’t watch the game so no real input.
  • UCLA beat Cal and finally played like they should have been all along. They’re ranked in the top 20 in the nation and were #4 in the Pac-10 yesterday… think about it.



Overall, I was 2 for 2 in NBA win picks and spreads on a tough day. I was 2 for 5 (ouch) in college picks with no lines up at the time, so I was 4 for 7 overall on the day. I think this shows that only my NBA picks should really be followed at all, but I’ll still pick NCAA, NFL, MMA, and whatever else I feel like picking because it’s fun.

My problem is that I pick the right teams (at least NBA), but I get worried about my picks and put my “support” behind something besides my picks or too much “support” on one pick that happens to fall through. This is especially true with the ever-spotty college basketball picks. My strategy today is fairly evenly spreading my “support” of teams on my picks and seeing if picking more than 50% of the winners won’t yield me a decent result… of “support” haha. Today’s picks:

NBA

Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers (-10)

The Wizards are absolutely terrible and playing in Philadelphia, against the 76ers who beat Houston in their last game. Philadelphia definitely wins this game. That’s a big spread, but the Wizards are really that bad and should lose by more than 10.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors (-7½)

The Bucks lost Michael Redd and are playing in Toronto. Toronto is also on a mini-winning streak. I say Toronto wins and tentatively covers the spread.

Boston Celtics (-6) vs. Detroit Pistons

The Celtics beat both Miami and Orlando by 10 on the road. Both of which are better teams than Detroit. I say Boston wins this and covers the 6 point spread.

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers (-3)

The only reason I can see the Pacers being favored is that they are playing at home and haven’t lost a home game since December. That being said, they have only played one good/decent team at home (The Rockets) in January. I say the “underdog” Heat beat the Pacers, covering their +3 spread. Am I on some foreign substance or is that not an obvious upset pick?

New Jersey Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks (-7½)

So, it’s the crappy team with the OK record against the spotty as hell team with the decent record at home. The Hawks have lost 3 in a row and the Nets have lost 4 of their last 5. I don’t care who wins and neither should you, but for the sake of solidarity I pick the Hawks to win and the spread to be right around 7½, but possibly the Nets stay within that 7½ point range. That’s my shoddy bet for the day.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-15½)

Get ready for some serious ass-kicking. The Cav’s just got demolished by the Magic and I’m sure are looking to put some of that anger to use on the Clippers, who by the way suck if you didn’t know. That is a monster of a spread, but I think the angry Cav’s will pull it off.

Los Angeles Lakers (-7) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Lakers lost to the Bobcats in their last game at home, let that sink in… Now that we’ve gotten over that, the Timberwolves are not very good and the Lakers are arguably the best team in the league, who win by a lot lately. I say they win this handily, covering the 7 point spread.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz (-10)

The line says it all. OKC sucks and the Jazz are favored enough, especially at home to garner a 10 point spread. I think that is a giant spread however, for a spotty team and I pick the Jazz to win, but not cover the spread.

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Denver Nuggets (-10)

Charlotte has been picking it up somewhat lately, even though they are terrible. Denver is sans Carmelo most likely. I still pick the Nuggets to win and cover the spread, but tentatively.

Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Hornets (-9½)

Hornets win.. and cover. Done.

Chicago Bulls vs. Sacramento Kings

It’s crap vs. crap in a pick. Nobody can decide which crap is better. I say Chicago wins because they should be better than this and the Kings are absolutely as bad as their record says.

NCAA Basketball

Valparaiso vs. Butler (-18)

Holy crap, apparently Butler should win this. Valparaiso is terrible and loses by a lot when they lose. Butler is really good and wins by spotty amounts. I say Butler covers because I want to see a game of destruction in the NCAA to match the Cavaliers/Clippers game tonight.

Yesterday’s picks recap:

  • Hey look, the Pacers covered the spread. The Bucks are still crap and I can go on living life.
  • The Celtics beat the Kings by 19. I said the Celtics would win and tentatively the Kings would stay within 17½. Sue me, I missed a giiiiant spread by 1½ points.
  • The Heat won, I swore. They had a scary start, but pulled through and covered the horrible play that the Rockets had tonight.
  • I gave this one to the underdog Nets. They lost, but only by 1 on a 2½ spread, so for the first time I lost my pick on the win, but won my pick on the spread.
  • Another underdog pick I made, the Knicks over the Hawks. This time the underdogs pulled it out and killed the Hawks.
  • I was worried, but picked the Hornets to win. They killed it and easily covered the spread.
  • The Pistons beat Minnesota easier than I thought they would. Good thing I picked them to win and cover the spread, eh?
  • Apparently, the Trail Blazers can pull off large margin victories. I picked them to win, but not cover the 11½ point spread and they won by 14. Touche Trail Blazers, touche.
  • GD Rockets. I swear they’re so spotty. Of course T-Mac misses a 3 at the end and they lose to the 76ers. Grr, my angry pick for the day. I picked Houston and… they lost.
  • In the battle of crap, the lesser crap won. I picked the Bulls over the Clippers and they delivered, woo.



Damn, that was long for just NBA scores. Overall, I was 8 for 10 in win picks and 7 for 10 in spread picks. I underestimated large victories today. Oh well, something to think about tomorrow. Today’s picks:

NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic (-4)

So, this is the day when I might go 0 for 2, eh? I mean, the Cavaliers with close to the best record in the league are underdogs to the Magic, who are right there with them. It’s a Magic home game obviously, or there is no way in hell they would be favored over the undefeated at home Cavaliers. I have to say though, Orlando has lost only 1 game at home since November, which is almost as impressive considering they beat the Lakers and Spurs. Either way, I think the team that wins this will pull away and demoralize the other team, covering a 4 point spread on either side. I will tentatively give this to the Magic, one of the few times and possibly only time I will pick against the Cavaliers.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns (-1½)

Here we go again, and why I said I may go 0 for 2. The Spurs are underdogs and I’m confused why they have been the last two times I made picks on them. I hate them, but they are good. I understand again that the team with the slightly worse record is the home team, but still the Spurs just beat the Jazz, who have a much greater home court advantage. My underdog pick of the day, for the second day in a row, is the San Antonio Spurs to win this one over the Suns.

NCAA

*There aren’t lines up yet, so I will pick winners with very little to say about my picks.

Michigan State vs. Iowa

Michigan State wins because… they’re better and supposed to win.

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech

I still can’t believe Virginia Tech beat Wake Forest. Ridiculous, I say. At home, against a team I consider worse? I say they pull off the win that I’m guessing will have them as an underdog against the #12 team.

Washington vs. Arizona

Washington wins hands down. They’ve beaten teams I think are better than them, while Arizona has lost to the same teams. Washington will kill it.

Washington State vs. Arizona State

Take what I said in the last pick and reverse the states. Arizona State will kill this. They have beaten all of the good teams that Washington State has lost to and they’re at home. Done.

California vs. UCLA

I can’t believe that two of the teams out of the 4 above this pick have beaten UCLA, and in the past 2 weeks no less! What the hell happened UCLA? I still think you’re a final four contender, but pick up the f-ing slack. It’s really a toss up in my mind with UCLA’s recent slacking and Cal losing to random teams they should beat recently. I’ll give this to my team, UCLA, who better start playing like the team everyone knows they can be.

I’m a little late, I apologize. This post will come out after the first game today starts, but I promise I picked that game before any scores were up.

Recap of yesterday:

  • The Magic killed the Pacers… big surprise.
  • The Cavaliers beat the Kings, but didn’t cover 14½. Right pick on win, wrong on spread on my part.
  • The Nuggets destroyed the Grizzlies.
  • The Spurs beat the Jazz as an underdog, as I thought they would… Josh haha.
  • F-ing Bobcats! Really?! The Charlotte Pussycats beat the G.D. LA Lakers, for shame.
  • Kentucky lost to Mississippi and played terribly the entire game.
  • Texas beat Baylor, as I thought.
  • Purdue barely beat Wisconsin, which is exactly what I thought would happen.



Overall, I was 6 for 8 on wins picked, 4 for 5 in the NBA which I know more about. As for spreads, I was 5 for 8. Not terrible again, but there’s room for improvement. Today’s picks:

NBA

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers (-5½)

The Bucks are crap, the Pacers are decent. I give this one to the Pacers, most likely covering the spread.

Sacramento Kings vs. The Boston Celtics (-17½)

Obviously, the Celtics are winning. The question is on this giant spread. I deliberated for a while on this and I’m still not sure. I’m saying the the Kings stay within 17½, but very tentatively, and only because they only lost to Cleveland at Cleveland by 7 in their last game.

Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat (-9)

The Heat will win this, I swear. I would be very surprised if they don’t cover.

Toronto Raptors (-2½) vs. New Jersey Nets

Both teams are middle of the road. I’m tentatively giving this to the underdog Nets. They’re at home and I think they might turn around a little bit on this bad losing streak. They are a bad team, but Toronto is worse until proven otherwise.

Atlanta Hawks (-1) vs. New York Knicks

Again, I’m tentatively going with the underdog Knicks in this. They’re at home and have won a lot of games at home lately, while the Hawks are all over the place.

Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Hornets (-4)

This one is very questionable for me and I don’t know why. I would never think the Nuggets could beat the Hornets at the starting of the season, but now… maybe? I’m still going with the Hornets to cover the spread, but not very positive on that pick.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (-7½)

How in the hell Oklahoma City is ever favored is a wonder to me. They… suck. The Grizzlies are terrible as well, though. I’m saying that Oklahoma wins this, just so I can say that once this season. However, I’ll pick the Grizzlies to stay within 7½ because… I don’t know, why the hell not?

Detroit Pistons (-1½) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Detroit should win this. They’re better and all signs point to this. My only doubt is Minnesota’s recent streak of wins, but that shouldn’t matter. Detroit wins and obviously covers the 1½ spread.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets (-5)

The Rockets are off-and-on, but they just got back Artest and McGrady. Yao will hopefully be there as well, so I’m going with them beating the 76ers and covering the spread.

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks (-6½)

Mavericks should win and cover? That’s really all I’ve got for this one.

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Portland Trailblazers (-11½)

Hey, remember yesterday when I said the Lakers would cover the same spread against this same team and the Bobcats beat them in double overtime? Oh ya, because I do. Ugh, I still have to say the Trailblazers win this, but the Bobcats stay within 11½.

Chicago Bulls (-3) vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Bulls suck and have lost their last 5 games. The Clippers are terrible. It’s a battle of crap. I have to go with the Bulls on this one, but who cares?

No NCAA today, too many damn NBA games and a late start for me.

Recap of yesterday:

  • The Suns handily covered the spread.
  • I can’t believe the Rockets blew their lead against the Knicks. For shame.
  • The Heat covered the spread.
  • OKC Division 2 Women’s Lacrosse team beat the Nets.
  • The T-Wolves beat the Bucks in an upset, as I thought, on their amazing… 15-27 record!
  • The Hornets beat the 76ers and covered the spread.
  • The Trail Blazers beat the Clippers, and easily covered the spread. I said that “possibly the Clippers will pull within 10” so I’ll take that as a loss on my part on the spread, but overall right pick on the win.




Overall, I was 5 for 7 on wins picked and 4 for 7 on spreads. Not bad, and definitely better than 0 for 4, which I still can’t get over. That guy should be replaced with a random number generator. Today’s picks:

NBA

Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic (-9½)

The Magic destroy all right now and the Pacers are mediocre at best. The Magic should cover even this large of a spread.

Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-14½)

That is a giant of a spread to cover and don’t get me wrong, the Cavaliers are amazing this season. But, LeBron has a tendency to falter under pressure. Luckily for him, the Kings are absolute rubbish and I think the king himself can lead the Cavaliers to a huge victory, tentatively even a 14½ or more victory. The Cavaliers will cover the spread, I hope. There is no doubt, however, that they will win this game even if all of their mothers sub in for them.

Denver Nuggets (-6½) vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Nuggets are a pretty f-ing good team and the Grizzlies are a pretty f-ing bad team on a five game losing streak. I’m a little wary of a home game on a 5 loss streak, but the Grizzlies are terrible and should lose by more than 6 to the formidable Nuggets, even without Carmelo.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz (-2½)

I have and will always hate Tim Duncan. He slows the game down and makes every team he plays slow their game down as well. However, you can’t deny his presence and prowess at his position. That being said, the Jazz are supposed to win by 2½ or more? This is the obvious upset of the day in my mind. The Spurs, with a better overall and recent record, will beat the Jazz straight up, obviously covering the +2½ spread placed against them. I hate you Spurs, but you should win this one.

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-11½)

Oh my Lord, if there were ever a terrible team, with a terrible name, it would be the Oklahoma City Thunder. But, a close second would be the Charlotte Bobcats. The Lakers are off and on the team with the best record in the league. The Bobcats are small cats prancing around the court. This is a big spread, but Bynum is picking his game up in a major way and oh ya, Pau and Kobe are there too. The Lakers should cover this spread.

NCAA Basketball

*I will most likely only pick on games with top 25 teams, as I don’t know a lot about random schools from across the country.

Kentucky (-9½) vs. Mississippi

I’m going to say that Kentucky beats Mississipi. The problem I have with the spread is that it’s a Mississippi home game and 9½ is a lot to cover. I will tentatively say that Kentucky will cover the spread though, since most of their recent wins have been 10+ points.

Texas vs. Baylor

This game is a pick right now. Both teams are good, but Baylor lost to Oklahoma worse than Texas did, as well as losing to Texas A&M, who Texas beat. On the other hand, this is a Baylor home game and we all know how spotty even the best college teams get on the road. I will say Texas wins this one, but that is only after a lot of deliberation and finally having to go with the #11 team in the nation.

Purdue (-1) vs. Wisconsin

Wisconsin has lost its last 4 games, including 1 to Purdue. However, that was at Purdue. Purdue has won 4 out of its last 5 games and its only loss was to Penn State, who are really good this year. Tentatively again, I have to go with Purdue, although I’m not very positive on that pick.

So, for anyone who doesn’t know me or hasn’t kept up with me lately, I have a lot of downtime due to situations beyond my control. I’ve decided to use a decent amount of this passive downtime to improve my poker game and learn how to handicap sports (sports bet). I don’t claim to be a professional or mildly competent in any kind of sports handicapping, but I want to learn. This all started when my buddy Josh and I decided to bet on random sports when we were in Las Vegas in December. I ended up winning every single bet we made, picking 3 winning horses, and the winning underdog boxer that weekend. While that may be luck, I think it’s really fun and funny to beat Josh when we’re picking random horses or over-under’s on a basketball game that we have no idea what the real over-under is (We guessed 200 and I said under. The total final score was 198 haha).

This blog will merely be my recording of picks in order to hopefully teach myself how to pick, as well as give any reasoning behind my choices. I will give my opinions on each game, as well as which ones I would actually bet on, then recap my previous day’s picks on the following day so I can track how well or horrible I did. This is in no way betting, just trying to learn how to sports handicap and letting anyone else in on my sports opinion and knowledge, or lack thereof. You can ask me to bet on anything sports related and I will try my best to give a valid pick. I’m not afraid to be wrong on my pick of an Australian B-league Rugby match or a Yo-yo Championship in Japan. I’m guessing I’m better than this guy though… and he’s a professional. 0 for 4? How does that work statistically? Get monkeys and a dartboard next time ESPN.

NBA

*I made most of these picks without any lines up yet.

Phoenix Suns (-4½) vs. Washington Wizards

The Suns will win this game or go home ashamed. Even with the Suns playing horribly and Shaq and Nash aging like Charles Barkley, the Wizards play like a high school team. I would be surprised if they could pull out more than 22 wins this season. The Suns will most likely cover the spread.

Houston Rockets (-1½) vs. New York Knicks

Wait until 2010 before I pick the Knicks to beat anyone beyond the bottom 3. The Rockets just got Artest back and hopefully for their sake, T-Mac will be back for this game. Even with Yao’s sore knee, the Knicks are the Knicks. The Rockets will win handily.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat (-3½)

The Heat are spotty at best and Shawn Marion is possibly hurt. The Hawks on the other hand have let me down almost every time I’ve put my support behind them. Combine that with a Heat home game and I’m tentatively saying the Heat win this one, even with a worse record. I think this game will be close, but the Heat should cover the spread.

New Jersey Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (-2½)

Despite a sub .500 record and losing 4 out of the last 5 games, I pick the Nets over the Thunder. The Thunder are terrible and no amount of “3 out of 5” winning streaks is going to prove otherwise to me. I will pick against them almost every time. I would pick the Nets to win straight up and I think this is one of the only times of the year I will say that.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks

I don’t like either of these teams and I don’t hate either of these teams. The only deciding factor for me is that Minnesota is really trying to turn it around in a big way… for a 14-27 team. Regardless of that record, I think they may pull off the win against the Bucks.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. New Orleans Hornets (-3)

I had high hopes for the Hornets this year and so far they’re a “Meh Team” in my opinion. The 76ers are an even 21-21 and the game is in New Orleans so I have to give the win to the Hornets, but it’s tentatively, as they aren’t panning out to be a consistent team so far. With a spread of 3, I would think that they can cover the spread, but who knows.

Portland Trail Blazers (-10½) vs. Los Angeles Clippers

I have said and will always say, there is only one team in LA. A lot of bias will come with that mindset, but fortunately for me, the Clippers rarely prove me wrong. 10-32? Have they seen that other LA team play? They should trade places with the Sparks for a year to build their confidence up a little and maybe go above .500 for once. The Blazers are no prize pony, but they should beat the Clippers. As for the 10 1/2 spread, I think it will be close and possibly the Clippers will pull within 10, but the Trailblazers will still win.