Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NBA Picks October and Early November

NBA Picks 2012-13: -$160

11/15
Boston @ Brooklyn -4.5
Will Rondo questionable, I'm not sure if Boston will show up against a superior Brooklyn team.
Brooklyn -4.5 (1 unit) +$100
11/14
Detroit @ Philadelphia -8
I think tonight will be the night the Pistons finally win.
Detroit +8 (1 unit) +$100
11/12
Oklahoma City @ Detroit +7
The Pistons have only covered +7 once this year in seven tries, against a bad Sacramento team.
Oklahoma City -7 (1.5 units) -$165
11/11
Miami @ Memphis +2
One of the few times you'll see me take the overrated Heat all year. Even if Wade and LeBron won't be 100%, I like them here.
Miami -2 (1 unit) -$110
Atlanta @ Los Angeles Clippers -6
The Clippers are more than 3 points better than a depleted Atlanta squad.
Los Angeles Clippers -6 (1 unit) +$100
11/10
Minor hiatus, but I'm returning.
San Antonio @ Portland +3
I'll put 1 unit on the impressive Blazers.
Portland +3 (1 unit) Push +-$0
Dallas @ Charlotte +6.5
The Mavs are pretty bad without Nowitzki.
Charlotte +6.5 (1 unit) +$100
Detroit @ Houston -7
The Pistons have been playing awful this whole year.
Houston -7 (.5 units) +$50
11/6
Orlando @ Chicago -8.5
I'm going with the Bulls here for a small play, they're the only side I like tonight.
Chicago -8.5 (0.5 units) -$55
11/5
Minnesota @ Brooklyn -7.5
Can someone tell me why the T'Wolves are getting this much respect without Rubio and Love?
Brooklyn -7.5 (1.5 units) -$165
Portland @ Dallas -4
The Blazers have looked very solid in 3 outings so far.
Portland +4 (1 unit) -$110
11/4
Minnesota @ Toronto -3.5
The Raptors looked solid against the underrated Nets last night.
Toronto -3.5 (1 unit) +$100
Phoenix @ Orlando Pick
The Suns will actually be slightly this side of awful this year, unlike Orlando.
Phoenix Pick (1 unit) -$110
11/3
Toronto @ Brooklyn -5.5
I expect the Nets to be sharp in their debut against a really bad Toronto team.
Brooklyn -5.5 (1.5 units) +$150
Portland @ Houston -5.5
Portland has looked good in 2 games so far, while Houston won't go anywhere this year.
Portland +5.5 (1.5 units) +$150
New Orleans @ Chicago -9.5
I maintain my view that Chicago is really underrated even without Derrick Rose.
Chicago -9.5 (1 unit) -$110

11/2
Houston @ Atlanta -5
I like the Hawks here, the Rockets should be pretty awful this year.
Atlanta -5 (1.5 units) -$165
Sacramento @ Minnesota -3
Chicago @ Cleveland +3
I like the Cavs, but the Bulls are really underrated.
Chicago -3 (2 units) +$200

11/1
Not liking either side on Spurs/Thunder tonight.

10/31
Indiana @ Toronto +2
Toronto is going to be one of the worst teams in the East this year while Indiana will contend for the Eastern title in the regular season. Even without Granger, I like Indiana.
Indiana -2 (1.5 units) +-$0
Denver @ Philadelphia -1.5
I like the Nuggets here. I don't get why everyone loves the 76ers, Andrew Bynum was overrated in LA because of his stellar supporting cast.
Denver +1.5 (1 unit) -$110

10/30

It's the start of the season! I only like 1 game tonight, and it's not the marquee one.
Dallas @ LA Lakers -9
With Dirk out, I don't think Dallas is within 6 points of the Lakers.
LA Lakers -9 (1 unit) -$110

Monday, October 29, 2012

NBA Season Preview

Well, since I'm going to be doing NBA picks, I figured I'd roll out a season preview. I'm kind of picking everything up as I go along, this is going to be my first year follow the NBA as closely as I do the NFL/College Football. In a few days, I might do a post talking about how awfully my MLB season preview I made in April was. Here goes.

Eastern Conference (regular season):

1. Miami Heat
2. New York Knicks
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Indiana Pacers
5. Boston Celtics
6. Brooklyn Nets
7. Cleveland Cavaliers
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Philadelphia 76ers
10. Washington Wizards
11. Milwaukee Bucks
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Orlando Magic
14. Toronto Raptors
15. Charlotte Bobcats

The Heat are, obviously, the odds on favorite to win the East. I think it's pretty close to a sure thing that they have the best regular season record in the East, but winning the East in the playoffs is another deal entirely. You never know if they're going to run into a roadblock like the Pacers almost were last year. I think this the year things finally come together for the Knicks with 'Melo and crew, and they develop a rivalry with the Nets. The Bulls' supporting cast will step up in Derrick Rose's absence, and will gel with him when he returns around the all-star break. The Pacers have a solid nucleus built around David West and Danny Granger, but we'll see how far it takes them in the playoffs. We'll see if Father Time catches up with the Celtics, but I have a feeling they're staring down an early round exit. The Nets may take some time to gel over the early part of the year, but I think they should be firing guns-a-blazing come April and May. The Cavs are my surprise pick to make the playoffs in the East, I think that Kyrie Irving will finally display his full form this year. The Hawks slip in the last playoff spot because they get enough wins beating up on the soft underbelly of the Southeast Division.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Los Angeles Clippers
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. San Antonio Spurs
6. Denver Nuggets
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Dallas Mavericks
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
10. Houston Rockets
11. New Orleans Hornets
12. Phoenix Suns
13. Portland Trailblazers
14. Sacramento Kings
15. Utah Jazz

The Thunder are the class of the West in my mind, despite trading away Harden to the hapless Rockets. I'm still amazed that such a dynasty has been built in the middle of Oklahoma. The Lakers clock in at #2, but you have to wonder how much longer Kobe can carry the team for. The Clippers are #3, but I think they'll give the Lakers a run for their money to win the Pacific. The up-tempo Grizzlies led by Rudy Gay are my surprise pick to win the Texas err... Southwest Division. The Spurs are going to be a close second, and their age is likely going to catch up with them over the grind of another 82 game season. The Nuggets are next, and Andre Iguodala could lead them even higher and closer to the Thunder. The Warriors, led by the Bogut-Curry-Barnes trio, could be a factor in the Pacific. In the last playoff spot, we have the Mavericks with an aging Dirk Nowitski.

Eastern Playoffs:
1 Miami beats 8 Atlanta
2 New York beats 7 Cleveland
3 Chicago beats 6 Brooklyn
4 Indiana beats 5 Boston
1 Miami beats 4 Indiana
3 Chicago beats 2 New York
3 Chicago beats 1 Miami
Western Playoffs:
1 Oklahoma City beats 8 Dallas
2 Los Angeles Lakers beat 7 Golden State
6 Denver beat 3 Los Angeles Clippers
4 Memphis beats 5 San Antonio
4 Memphis beats 1 Oklahoma City
2 Los Angeles Lakers beats 6 Denver
2 Los Angeles Lakers beats 4 Memphis
Finals:
3 Chicago beats 2 Los Angeles Lakers in 6

NFL Picks Week 9

4:00 and later picks will be up by 2:00
Blegh. I guess you balance out your good weeks with your bad ones. Depending on how Monday night goes tonight, I might be in the red on the year. One thing I took note of was how well my over/under picks did. I may pit more units on those this week, depends how I feel.

Game 1: Kansas City @ San Diego -7.5
Both of these team are coming off losses to some of the NFL's worst teams. Kansas City went down to a pretty bad Oakland team, while the Chargers fell to the hapless Browns. I'm going small on the visitor, as I think San Diego will win by less than a touchdown.
Unit Change:
I'm bumping this up to 2. The Chargers should not be favored by more than a TD against anybody.
Kansas City +7.5 (2 units) -$220
Under 44.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 2: Denver @ Cincinnati +5
I'm really not sure what to think of this game. On one hand, Denver is absolutely on fire right now. On the other hand, Cincy is is a home dog coming off a bye, always a good play. I like both sides here, so I'm going to lay off the units.
Unit Change: I don't know why this line just jumped a point and a half. I'll place a unit on the host.
Cincinnati +5 (1 unit) -$110
Over 47.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 3: Arizona @ Green Bay -10
I guess this is the space for me to complain about Monday Night Football? Did the Cards just decide to not show up? I was going to take off the unit on them so I wouldn't go red on the year, but decided against it. Sigh. I'm not sure who to lay units on here, as the Cards looked awful and Green Bay struggled with the Jags.
Green Bay -10 (0 units) +$0
Over 43 (0 units) +$0

Game 4: Miami @ Indianapolis +1.5
I will admit that when I first saw this line, I thought dyslexia had gotten the best of me and that was a -, not a +. My second reaction was that I would be all over the Colts, until I realized everyone else would be as well. I'm really not sure the Colts are that good, I think the Dolphins are 3-4 points better. I'm gonna fade the public here.
Miami -1.5 (2 units) -$220
Under 43.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 5: Detroit @ Jacksonville +5.5
Both of these teams are coming off solid covers where they were receiving very little action, making this a difficult game to handicap. The Lions are certainly defying my expectations, but are they really 7 points better than Jacksonville? Can Jacksonville play like they did last week, or will Blaine Gabbert play like Blaine Gabbert? I don't have a read on this one, going with the Jags cause they're a home dog.
Unit Change: Neither of these teams have very good defenses, and the O/U is pretty low. I'll put $50 on the over.
Jacksonville +5.5 (0 units) -$0
Over 44 (0.5 units) +$50

Game 6: Buffalo @ Houston -10.5
This matchup is a major breather alert for the Texans. They're so far ahead of everyone else in the AFC South that I'm not sure how seriously they're going to take this one. The Bills are still very much in the hunt in the AFC East. I'll put a unit on Buffalo.
Unit Change: I'm not feeling as comfortable about this. The Bills are getting blown out a lot. I'm dropping the unit.
Buffalo +10.5 (0 units) -$0
Under 47.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 7: Chicago @ Tennessee +4.5
Well, the Titans failed me last week and the Bears did as well. I'm really not sure where I stand on Tennessee, as I think it depends on where I stand on the Colts. I'll say I think the Titans will go 7-9. The Bears are, in my opinion, the 3rd best team in a top-heavy NFC. They can hang with anyone in the league, including Tennessee. You won't catch the Bears breathing in this one, they have the Vikings and Packers hot on their tail. Bears for 2.
Unit Change: I'm dropping this to 1 unit. I just don't feel as confident.
Chicago -4.5 (1 unit) +$100
Over 44 (0 units) +$0

Game 8: Carolina @ Washington -3
I've decided I'm going to scrap the terrible triangle theory. It just hasn't been working lately as a be-all, end-all thing. Washington has hung with every team they've played, except the Pittsburgh game. Surprisingly, the Panthers have also hung with their opposition in pretty much every game. Their last 4 losses are by a combined 10 points. I'm not sure how up for this game the Skins are going to be after 2 tough losses to good teams. 1 on the Panthers.
Unit change: I'm feeling more confident on Carolina, especially since the spread has stayed at 3. Bumping it to 3. Additionally, both these teams have good offenses, so I'll take $50 on the over.
Carolina +3 (3 units) +$300
Over 48 (0.5 units) -$50

Game 9: Baltimore @ Cleveland +3.5
Gotta hurry these picks up since it's Sunday morning. This looks like a classic "Vegas knows more than the bettor" spread. Baltimore only needs to beat the Browns by 4? Easy money! That's not the reason I like Baltimore. The Ravens are not nearly as bad as people think from the Houston game. I'm not going 4 units on Baltimore because I'm a little wary of the spread past 3.
Baltimore -3.5 (3 units) +$300
Under 44.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 10: Minnesota @ Seattle -4
Well, Seattle is at home, and I think they normally get a 4 point edge for home field (with their loud crowd). So Vegas is saying that the Vikings and Seahawks are equally matched. I don't buy that. Christian Ponder is a slightly worse than average quarterback, while Russell Wilson is slightly better than average. Seattle is just more gritty, and has more experience than this young Minnesota team. The Vikings are starting to slide downhill, I'm going 3 on the Seahawks. I'll also put half a unit on the over, I have no idea why the O/U is in the 30's.
Seattle -4 (3 units) +$300
Over 38.5 (0.5 units) +$50

Game 11: Tampa Bay @ Oakland -1
I don't have a real read on this one. The Raiders have looked quite solid since their bye going 2-1, but their wins are over a bad Jacksonville team and a worse Kansas City one. However, they did hang with the undefeated Falcons. However, Tampa Bay has also looked better than expected since their bye. These are 2 teams that I really think could either surprise or flounder in the next few weeks. I'll go Oakland cause I think they're maybe a point worse than Tampa.
Oakland -1 (0 units) -$0
Under 47 (0 units) -$0

Game 12: Pittsburgh @ New York Giants -3.5
The first thing that I'm thinking about this one is the fact that the Steelers are arriving in New York the morning of the game. I have no idea if this isn't going to be a factor at all (likely) or it's going to make them far less prepared (probably unlikely). The Giants however, are one of, if not the best team in football while the Steelers probably clock in around #9. I think the Giants are 4-5 points ahead of Pittsburgh, so I'll place 3 units on them.
New York Giants -3.5 (3 units) -$330
Under 47.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 13: Dallas @ Atlanta -4
I learned my lesson about picking against the Falcons last week in the Philly/Atlanta game. Granted, those were the unstable Eagles, but these are the unstable Cowboys. I don't see any way that any logical person could make an argument that Dallas is within 1 point of Atlanta on a neutral field. This spread isn't screaming too good to be true at me either. I'm placing my 4 unit pick here.
Atlanta -4 (4 units) +$400
Over 47.5 (0 units)

Game 14: Philadelphia @ New Orleans -3
I really don't know which side to like here. I was planning on picking against both these sides this week before I realized they were playing each other.  The Eagles have been pretty dissapointing the last few weeks. Meanwhile, the Saints seem to finally coming out of their funk. I don't really like either side, 0 units on New Orleans. I'll put a unit on the under, as neither of these teams have spectacular offenses.
New Orleans -3 (0 units) +$0
Under 51.5 (1 unit) +$100

Prop/Teaser/Pleasers:
Moneyline: Kansas City +290 (1 unit) -$110
Moneyline: Carolina +152 (1 unit) +$152
Teaser: Chicago +2.5, Baltimore +2.5 (2.5 units) +$250
I'm dropping the 'Skins from my teaser, as I'm more skeptical about them after more research.
Teaser: Seattle +2, Atlanta +2 (2 units) +$200
I don't see either of these teams losing at home to unstable squads.
NFL Picks Week 9: +$1162
Total NFL 2012: +$1117

Sunday, October 28, 2012

College Football Power Ratings Through Week 9

Hey guys, my computer has churned out a new set of rankings through this past weekend's games. Things of note:
1) Notre Dame climbs up to #2 after their schlacking of now #5 Oklahoma.
2) Kansas State takes a big rise to #6 after their beatdown of Texas Tech.
3) Florida remains a hair ahead of Georgia after that crazy game in Jacksonville
4) I feel pretty confident in these power ratings. Now that I have a way to figure out what the spread should be for games, it seems to be within 3 points of the Vegas spread about 70-80% of the time (just testing out the marquee games of the week). However, it seems to be broken for games with huge lines (for example, it said Oregon should've been a 13 point favorite against Colorado). I'll have to find a fix for that.
5) My flight out of Baltimore back home to Detroit was fine, so I have escaped the wrath of the Frankenstorm. Yeah! Here's my computer's top 25.

1 Alabama
2 Notre Dame
3 Florida
4 Georgia
5 Oklahoma
6 Kansas State
7 Florida State
8 Oregon
9 South Carolina
10 LSU
11 Clemson
12 USC
13 Ohio State
14 Oklahoma State
15 Nebraska
16 Texas
17 Oregon State
18 Texas A&M
19 BYU
20 Texas Tech
21 Rutgers
22 Stanford
23 Boise State
24 North Carolina
25 Tennessee

Next 5 out: UCF, UCLA, Mississippi State, Penn State, West Virginia

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Other Sports Picks

This page will be used for my "other sports picks". I.e., I don't have a baseball picks page I'm currently using. Since I want to make a futures bet on the world series winner, I'm using this space to do so. Let's say I like some futures for the NBA/NHL season. I'll post them here as well.
Other sports picks:
10/24 Giants to win the World Series +155 (3 units) +$465
NBA Futures picks:
Every sensible bone in my body is telling me not to make futures bets, but I'm going to anyways. We'll see how they do.
10/29
Oklahoma City Thunder to win NBA championship +450 (2 units) -$200
Chicago Bulls to win Eastern Conference +750 (1 unit) -$100
Indiana Pacers to win Eastern Conference +1400 (.5 units) -$50
Los Angeles Clippers to win Western Conference +1100 (.5 units) -$50
New York Knicks to win Atlantic Division +350 (1 unit) +$350
Los Angeles Clippers to win Pacific Division +300 (.5 units) +$150
Cleveland Cavaliers to win Central Division +5000 (.2 units) -$20
Memphis Grizzlies to win Southwest Division +300 (.5 units) -$50
1/1
Northern Illinois Moneyline +480 (0.5 units) -$55

NFL Picks Week 8

Updated Sunday 11 AM Eastern (O/U picks, unit changes, teaser/ ML underdog)

Wow! That was most definitely a good week. I'll take +$1105 any time. The call that lost me Tampa/New Orleans was a little shady, but I'm not exactly in a mood to complain right now. My gut was telling me to lower the Rams pick to 2 units, but whatever. Before we begin, I'd like to make a brief note about my teaser last week. After games started I did some research and discovered that teasing a team from +6 to +12 is actually a very bad idea. It worked out last week, but I likely won't be doing it again. 

Game 1: Tampa Bay @ Minnesota -5.5
We start off, of course, with Thursday Night Football. These Thursday nighters have been my arch nemesis all year, I think I'm like 2-5 picking them. However, I can take advantage of my "terrible triangle" theory here. Not only does the public not understand how absolutely awful Tampa Bay is, they're coming off an emotional loss where the game was "stolen" from them. Additionally, the Bucs will have to rely on Josh Freeman more against a stout Vikings rush D. This feels like the Cards/Vikings game last week. I really like one team (last week Arizona, this week Minnesota) but there's a factor holding me back (last week backup QB on the road, this week it's Thursday Night). I'll go 2 units here.
Minnesota -5.5 (2 units)
 -$220
Under 45.5 (0 units)

Game 2: New England @ St Louis +7
Oh joy, our annual game in London. You know, I've never understood the annual game in London. If you want to expand the NFL's fanbase in Europe, this is not the way to do it. I consider myself a big NFL fan, but I've never been to a game. The real way to build a fanbase in Europe is to show games on TV during off times. I remember being able to watch a Vikings/Steelers game in New Zealand on TV when I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night. (On an unrelated New Zealand note, rugby is actually awesome). OK, as for the game, the media is absolutely trashing New England right now after the Jets game. They're saying that the Patriots are a middle of the road team that won't make the playoffs. Breaking news, guys. They're on top of the division with Brady at the helm. Excuse me, but didn't they pound Denver, the media's favorite team? On the other hand, St Louis has been very inconsistent, beating Washington, Seattle and Arizona but not Miami. I'm going small on New England.
New England -7 (1 unit) +$100

Over 47 (0 units) +$0

Game 3: Indianapolis @ Tennessee -3.5
The Colts are coming off a solid win on the road against the Browns. Thankfully for the Colts, Trent Richardson neglected to show up last week. The Colts are still 2-1 since Chuck Pagano was hospitalized, however. Andrew Luck is doing a remarkable job considering the lack of talent surrounding him. On the other hand, I won 6 units last week thanks to the Titans (2 on the teaser). Because they were relatively unimpressive, I don't think the public has caught on to just how good this team is. I like the Colts a little bit thanks to the Pagano psychology factor, so I'm limiting this to 3 units on the Titans.
Tennessee -3.5 (3 units) -$330

Under 47 (0 units) +$0

Game 4: Jacksonville @ Green Bay -14.5
So last week as I was looking through this week's games, I notice this one. So I think "OK. That spread will probably be 11 or 12 ish and I might put a unit on the Packers". But no. This spread opened at 16. 16 points!!! I'm really not sure I want to touch this game. Jacksonville was not as good as the score indicated last week. The Packers, however, should be sitting at 5-2 if it weren't for the infamous touchdowngate incident. I'm going Jaguars 0 units, but might put a unit on them if this spread gets crazier. 

Unit Change: I'm putting half a unit on the under. Jacksonville won't score 20 or so.
Jacksonville +14.5 (0 units) +$0
Under 45.5 (0.5 units) +$50

Game 5: San Diego @ Cleveland +3
The most interesting thing to me in this matchup is the psychology on both sides. The Chargers are feeling ready to rebound after having 2 weeks to shake off their tough loss to the Broncos. The Browns, meanwhile, are coming off a loss in which they were favored, which isn't gonna happen much this year. The Browns would appreciate it if Trent Richardson could actually contribute. I don't have a feel for this one. If forced, I'd go with the Chargers.
San Diego -3 (0 units) -$0

Over 41 (0 units) +$0

Game 6: Atlanta @ Philadelphia -2.5
This is the game with the most interesting spread this week in my opinion. Looking at this game last week, I was thinking I was going to go big on the Eagles thinking I'd see the Falcons as a 1-2 point favorite. And then I see the Eagles are a 2.5 point favorite! I have strong arguments for both sides. For the Eagles, all the action is on an undefeated Atlanta team . Atlanta almost lost to Oakland last time out. For the Falcons, Vegas is saying they're even with an Eagles team that has 3 wins by a total of 4 points. For now, I'm penciling in a medium sized wager on the host.

Unit Change: I don't understand why the over/under is so low as both teams have capable offenses. I'm laying half a unit on the over.
Philadelphia -3 (2 units) -$220

Over 41.5 (0.5 units) +$50

Game 7: Seattle @ Detroit -2.5
Both of these teams are coming off tough road losses against the NFC's elite on a national stage. The Seahawks are 0-3 in divisional games (1 loss against each NFC West team), and 4-0 in non-divisional games. However, they're a completely different team at home than on the road. The Lions, meanwhile, shot themselves in the foot last week and sneaked away with a backdoor cover against Chicago. The amount of drops and stupid penalties on their part was absolutely astounding. I'm going small on Seattle here, I really like the line value as I feel Seattle is more than a point better than Detroit, but line value hasn't exactly won me a lot of money this year. 

Unit Change: This spread has moved in my favor, I'm bumping it up.
Seattle +2.5 (2 units) -$220
Over 42.5 (0 units) +$0

*** OK, I had analysis typed up for the following games on my phone but it disappeared. I'm going to be very abridged in my analysis***

Game 8: Miami @ New York Jets -1

Miami is better than people think, Jets are coming off of a tough loss. Jets are generally overrated, 1 unit on Miami.
Unit Change: I'm dropping the unit on this game as the spread has moved 1.5 points in the Jets' favor.
Miami +1 (0 units) +$0
Under 38 (0 units) -$0

Game 9: Carolina @ Chicago -7.5

Terrible triangle in effect here, Chicago is quite good. Up there with the Giants and Texas for best team in the league in my mind. A little tenative about high spread, 2 on Chicago.
Chicago -7.5 (2 units) -$220
Over 42 (0 units)

Game 10: Washington @ Pittsburgh -4
Washington is very good, as proven against the Giants last week. Steelers have a thousand and a half players injured. RG3 might lead the 'Skins to victory straight up. 4 units.
Unit Change: I'm just not feeling as confident on this one. Dropping to 3 units.
Washington +4 (3 units) -$330
Over 44 (0 units)

Game 11: Oakland @ Kansas City -1
Kansas City might be worse than Cleveland. Oakland has hung with some good teams (Pittsburgh, Atlanta). Not sure I like Oakland's ability to finish games, 3 units on the Raiders.
Oakland +1 (3 units) +$300
Under 42 (0 units) Push +-$0

Game 12: New York Giants @ Dallas +2.5
Normally I'd like the Giants here, reeks of a trap game. Dallas looking for a season sweep, needs a win while the Giants really don't. Giants for 0.
New York Giants -2.5 (0 units) +$0
Under 48 (0 units) -$0

Game 13: New Orleans @ Denver -6.5
Terrible triangle, but Denver is overrated. I think New Orleans might be separating themselves from Tampa/Carolina. 0 on Denver.
Denver -6.5 (0 units) 
Under 55 (0 units)

Game 14: San Francisco @ Arizona +7
Going small on 'Zona here. They're closer to SF than 9.5, but I see no reason to pick them other than line value.
Arizona +7 (1 unit)
Over 38 (0 units)

Pleasers/Teasers/Parlays/Other:
Moneyline: Washington +180 (1 unit) -$110
Moneyline: Seattle +127 (1 unit) -$110
Teaser: Tennessee +2.5, New York Giants +3.5 (1.5 units) -$165
Total NFL Week 8: -$1150
Total NFL 2012: -$45

Sunday, October 21, 2012

College Football Power Ratings: Week 8

Well, another week as gone by, and my power ratings are updated through week 8. You can see them here. I'm going to give my computer's top 25 teams and the ratings for the top 10 in this post.
1. Alabama 146.41
2. Florida 135.18
3. Oklahoma 134.52
4. Notre Dame 109.69
5. Georgia 101.68
6. Oregon 100.21
7. South Carolina 98.39
8. USC 94.55
9. Florida State 92.2
10. Kansas State 88.84
11. LSU
12. Clemson
13. Texas
14. Texas Tech
15. Rutgers
16. Oregon State
17. Ohio State
18. Michigan
19. Texas A&M
20. Oklahoma State
21. Mississippi State
22. Stanford
23. Penn State
24. Nebraska
25. Boise State

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NFL Picks Week 7

Last update: Saturday 11:40 PM (lines updated, unit changes, added O/U picks to all games)

OK, to start off, I'd like to say that I've been doing NFL picks all year. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was doing very well before the last few weeks (especially week 6). Week 2 was really my miracle week, as I went 13-3. Before I get into my picks, I'd like to discuss a few things:
1) I never actually make picks with real money. Because a) it's illegal in Michigan and b) I don't want to risk my money. I'm fine to make picks all day with fake money, but I don't want to risk actual cash.
2) I have a strange unit system compared to what most people use. I do all my games on a unit scale of 4 to 20 units, with all my picks for a week averaging out to 11 units. I've placed approximately 850 units this year and I'm +1.94 units on the year (with the vig) which means I'm pretty much dead even. I'm still going to make picks with my buddies like that, but that's not how I'm going to do it on here. Here, I'm going to go with a more traditional unit system, with 1 unit = $100. I'm going to start myself off as even, as that's pretty much what I am under my old system.
3) I'll post the over/under at the beginning of the week, but not update it over the course of the week unless I plan on betting it (which is rare).
4) The line my pick goes by is the final line. I.e., if the line moves in between the time I make my pick and the game starts, I go with the latest line.
I'm not going to do all my picks at once. I'm going to do them, bit by bit, over the week so they'll all be done by Thursday afternoon. I'll put up any teasers/pleasers/parlays by Sunday morning. Away we go!

Game 1: Seattle @ San Francisco -8
This is quite an intriguing matchup, much more so than most people would've thought before the season started. You've got Russell Wilson, the scrappy youngster, against the strange up-and-down San Francisco 9'ers led by unpredictable quarterback Alex Smith. Seattle looks to be the right side, as they're definitely within 4 points of San Fran (which is what the line suggests). However, Thursday night games have been one of my arch-nemeses all year. A common rule is that if you've got a divisional matchup where both teams are on short rest, take the home team as they don't have to travel. I'll go with that for now, but both these teams have been hot and cold all year.
San Francisco -8 (0 units) +$0
Over 37.5 (0 units) -$0

Game 2: Tennessee @ Buffalo -4.5
One of the games I tend to like, 2 relatively unknown, weak teams battling each other. Despite the fact the Bills are 3-3, they're pretty awful. 2 of their wins are over Kansas City and Cleveland, easily among the worst 5 teams in the league. Their other win was a very strange one this past week over a reeling Arizona team with quite possibly the strangest late field goal kicking you'll see for a while. Meanwhile, Tennessee is coming off a strong win over Pittsburgh, so you'd think that they'd be getting most of the action. That's not the case, as about 65% of the action is on the Bills. However, there's one main reason I like the Titans: they've played only strong teams, and they've played them tough. The 3 weakest teams Tennessee has played, San Diego, Detroit and Minnesota are about at the midway point of the league. Tennessee beat 2 of those.
Unit Change: I'm bumping this up to 4 units. Not only has this spread moved a pivotal half point in my favor, I'm just feeling more confident about the Titans.
Tennessee +4.5 (4 units) +$400
Over 46.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 3: Arizona @ Minnesota -7
Both these teams are surprise teams, and have overachieved a lot in my opinion. John Skelton is under center for the Cards instead of Kevin Kolb. I'm not sure this is too much of a downgrade, as they looked pretty interchangeable in the preseason. The thing that has saved the Vikings' bacon this year is the health of Adrian Peterson. He healed quicker than expected from his ACL injury, and the improvement of Christian Ponder decreases his workload. I like Arizona in this matchup because Minnesota could be looking forward to their Thursday nighter next week. I'm sticking to 1 unit because they've got a backup QB on the road against a solid team.
Arizona +7 (1 unit) +$0
Under 40.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 4: Cleveland @ Indianapolis -1
Yet another game between 2 pretty bad teams. I'll start off with Cleveland. So Cleveland gets their first win last week over an overrated Bengals squad, right? So they get a new owner. Another good sign, right? And then they fire one of their main front office guys. Look, I get it if the new owner wants Holmgren out. However, why can't he wait to fire him until after the season, or at least a long losing streak? Whatever. Trent Richardson should be back from his "flank injury" at the very least. The Colts meanwhile, have an 8-8 or so offense if they could only discover a running game. I like the Browns for a small play, mainly because the public is all over the Colts. I expect the spread to move to -5 or so in the wake of the Holmgren firing, and I might raise this to 2 units if it happens.
Unit Change: And the spread moves the opposite way I expected. I don't think Cleveland is really solidly better than the Colts, so I'm bumping this to 0 units. However, I'm putting a half unit on the under, as I think both of these offenses could come out flat.
Cleveland +1 (0 units) -$0
Under 46 (0.5 units) +$50

Game 5: Baltimore @ Houston -6.5
The storyline everyone is talking about in this one is the Ray Lewis injury. However, in my mind, people should be talking about how the Texans will respond after being dealt their first loss of the year. The Texans just came out completely flat last week on their first nationally televised game of the season. Meanwhile, the Ravens were less than impress themselves. They likely would've lost last week if the Cowboys had any sense of clock management. If this spread was given to me last week, I would've been all over the Ravens. However, they looked like a fringe playoff team last week. I've swung back around to the Ravens again, as the 3.5 point line movement for Ray Lewis is ridiculous.
Baltimore +6.5 (0 units) -$0
Under 47.5 (0 units) -$0

Game 6: Green Bay @ St. Louis +5
This is quite an intriguing game in my opinion. The Rams are one of the leagues' more underrated teams, and they're 3-3, which is surprisingly also the Packers' record. One of the reasons the Rams are such an unknown is that they have no high level fantasy guys (except for maybe Stephen Jackson). The Packers, meanwhile, are under an extremely intense spotlight, and the public is all over them. In fact, some sources are saying that over 90% of the action is coming in on Green Bay. That's reason #1 I like St Louis for a large play, as the books have been slaughtering the public all year (example A: Raiders Falcons last week). The other main reason I like the Rams is that the Packers have been one-dimensional all year, and the Rams have done solid against the pass.
St Louis +5 (3 units) -$330
Over 45.5 (0 units) +$0

Game 7: Dallas @ Carolina +2.5
I mentioned in the write-up for the Titans Bills game that I like games between 2 teams that are relative unknowns. What I dislike are games like these: games between teams talked about ad nauseam. I want to fade Dallas, after their complete lack of leadership and clock management shown last week. On the other hand, the Panthers and the Bucs are neck-and-neck for the title of worst team in the NFC in my mind. I'm going to go with Dallas here, as I'm not sure the public realizes how atrocious Carolina is.
Unit Change: I convinced myself into putting 2 units on Dallas with my whole "terrible triangle" idea in the Tampa/New Orleans write-up.
Dallas -2.5 (2 units) +$200
Under 45 (0 units) +$0

Game 8: Washington @ New York Giants -6
I'll start with the visitor here in my analysis. The Skins may be 3-3, but they've suffered major in-game injuries in all 3 of their losses. RG3 has certainly exceeded my expectations so far, but he could fall into a sophomore slump like Scam Newton (still hate him from Auburn) this year. The mess that is the Redskins backfield is actually producing, with Torain, Helu and Hightower all providing valuable contributions. On the Giants' side, it's amazing they're 2 games behind Atlanta considering the way both teams are playing right now. Everybody thinks the Giants are back, and it shows in that the action is on them. I'm going with the Skins mainly because everybody is all aboard the Giants bandwagon, and the Giants aren't very consistent.
Washington +6 (2 units) +$200
Over 51.5 (0 units) -$0

Game 9: New Orleans @ Tampa Bay +1.5
The Saints are taking on an absolutely awful Buccaneers squad in this one. I'm not sure the public realizes just how bad the NFC South teams not named the Falcons are. The only win any of the Bucs, Saints or Panthers have outside of their little triangle is a strange New Orleans win over San Diego on Sunday Night a few weeks back. That's 1 win. For 3 teams. In 15 or so tries. However, I can't overly exploit this, as 2 of the 3 "terrible triangle" are playing in this matchup. However, I am picking the Buccaneers for a unit because I don't think any of the triangle teams are a touchdown better than any of their counterparts.
Tampa Bay +1.5 (1 unit) -$110
Under 49.5 (0 units) -$0

Game 10: New York Jets @ New England -11
In this matchup, we have our biggest spread of the week, always an interesting play (Packers-Rams would have a higher spread if they were playing at Lambeau. Surprisingly, the Jets and Patriots do have the same record. It'll be interesting to see how the Pats fare after their emotional loss last week in Seattle. If I was the Pats, I wouldn't get too down. Winning in Seattle is not an easy task, and it's near impossible when the replacement officials are on Seattle's side. On the other side, the Jets shocked me last week with their competitive performance against the Colts. I like the Jets here for a unit, as I'm not sure the Pats will be able to blow out a streaky Jets team.
New York Jets +11 (1 unit) +$100
Over 47.5 (0 unit) +$0

*** OK, so I've been really busy this week and I didn't realize how much work this was. I'm going to write a little less for the rest of the games, and likely in future weeks as well***

Game 11: Jacksonville @ Oakland -6
As mentioned earlier, this is a matchup between 2 lesser-followed teams that isn't getting a lot of action on either side. I like these matchups because I feel that the average public is especially un-educated about these types of tilts. Oakland put all their weight into their tilt with the Falcons last week, and are going to be emotionally spent. On the other hand, the Jaguars are not even with Oakland in my mind, by any stretch of the imagination. Line value hasn't been doing too well for me over the past few weeks, so I'm going to stick with the Jags for a unit.
Unit Change: I got some favorable line movement, and I'm feeling more confident about this one. I'm making this 2 units on the Jags.
Jacksonville +6 (2 units) +$200
Under 44.5 (0 units) -$0

Game 12: Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati +1.5
Ooh, do I have something to say about this one. The Steelers have had a rash of injuries on defense, like the Redskins, but they may finally be coming out of that funk. The Bengals on the other hand are extraordinarily overrated. Their 3 wins are over Cleveland, Jacksonville and Washington. Besides a strange victory over the 'Skins where just about every Redskins defender went out with an injury, they have 2 wins over Jacksonville and Cleveland. Not exactly lighting the world on fire with those. On the other hand, the Steelers are still a very solid team, as they lost a close one to the underrated Titans last week. I like the Steelers for a big play here, I'd make it 4 units if they didn't have to start Dwyer at RB.
Pittsburgh -1.5 (3 units) +$300
Under 47 (0 units) +$0

Game 13: Detroit @ Chicago -6
On Monday Night Football this week, we've got my favorite team (the Lions) taking on one of my favorite plays all season, the Bears. The Lions have not played well on a national stage the past few years, as evidenced on Monday Night Football last year and multiple Thanksgiving Day massacres I've suffered through. The Bears have a methodical Jay Cutler at the helm, who despite his prima donna ways at times, is helped by the outstanding tandem backfield of Bush and Forte. In my opinion, that backfield is possibly the best tandem in football. I like the Bears for a few units, but I'm keeping it at 2 because I feel I'm underrating the Lions in my head because I'm just being pessimistic. Also, the line value of Chicago being 3 points better than Detroit just seems a little fishy.
Chicago -6.5 (2 units) -$220
Over 47.5 (0 units)

Pleaser/Teaser/Parlay etc. picks:
Moneyline: Tennessee +165 (1 unit) +$165
Moneyline: St Louis +190 (.5 units) -$50
Teaser: Tennessee +8.5, Jacksonville +12 (2 units) +$200
Total NFL Week 7: +$1105

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What I plan to do on this blog... and College Football Power Ratings

I haven't posted in a while, so here's a quick update on what I plan to use this for:
1) NFL picks. I've been doing them throughout the season with some friends, and I did quite well the first few weeks. However, weeks 4-6 have not been so kind, and I'm down to just a hair above dead even on the season
2) College Football Power Ratings. I've been updating my power ratings every week (which you can find in read-only format here, go to the sheet entitled "ratings".) I have a new college football tool called the "spread maker" which, using my ratings, determines what I believe the spread should be for the game. Note this is in the extreme alpha stages, I just made it last week and I'm still calibrating it,
3) College Football Opinion Poll. I've been doing this for the last few weeks (here). It's not at all related to my power ratings.
4) And the big one, once NBA season starts, daily/weekly NBA picks. This will be my first year doing them, but I'm already planning strategies.
5) And of course, my favorite, starting January 1st, bracketology. Bracketology is really my bread and butter, it's my favorite thing to predict. It's also the only way I survive the awful Michigan winters.

On that note, I'd like to give you guys my power ratings for this week. Note that you can find the whole ratings at my spreadsheet linked above under the weekly sheet, in column entitled R7 (Rating 7). Without further ado...
1 Alabama
2 Oklahoma
3 Florida
4 South Carolina
5 Notre Dame
6 Georgia
7 USC
8 Oregon
9 Florida State
10 LSU
11 Texas
12 Texas Tech
13 Rutgers
14 Kansas State
15 Ohio State
16 Clemson
17 Texas A&M
18 Oregon State
19 Michigan
20 West Virginia
21 Nebraska
22 Tennessee
23 North Carolina
24 Mississippi State
25 Boise State
I obviously do not agree with all of these. Oklahoma is too high, and 4 SEC teams in the top 6 is baloney. However, there are a number of things I like about these ratings.
1) Texas Tech is #12. This team can go places, and I've been high on them all year. I wouldn't be shocked if they make a run at the Big 12 title if Kansas State stumbles a few times from here on out.
2) Ohio State is low. The Buckeyes have not looked like an undefeated team, with close calls against abysmal Cal and Indiana teams.
Things I dislike about these ratings:
1) Georgia #6. What? My computer has liked them all year, but I'm just not getting it. They've looked pretty middle of the top-25 ish to me this whole year.
2) Kansas State #14. Colin Klein and company have looked like national title contenders to me this whole year. I think that they have a shot at running the table.

That's all for now guys.