NCAA Picks ATS Week 12

Season Record: 28-29

Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Wolverines -28

The Wolverines are on fire.  The Hoosiers kind of stink.  Still 28 points seems like way to much here.  Jim Harbaugh will have a problem keeping his team focused with a rivalry game coming up next week against Ohio State.

Running the ball will not be an option against this stout Michigan defense. Hoosier QB Peyton Ramsey will have to stay accurate, a 67% passer for the season will need to be that accurate to keep his team in the game. Indiana will have to take whats given and continue to move the ball down field, the Hoosiers are solid on third down and will have to continue that on Saturday.

Michigan will most likely grab an early lead, which could be beneficial for Indiana bettors, both teams have much more to play for next week.  Michigan winning by 30 won’t be whats on their mind.  The Wolverines will take a lead early and play smart to avoid injuries.  I like Michigan to win but four touchdowns is too much for me.

PicksIndiana Hoosiers +28

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders  at Kentucky Wildcats -16

MTSU has won six of their past seven games.  While they are not a power five team they still bring in a hot streak that can’t be ignored. Sitting at 5-2 ATS over their last seven games the Blue Raiders are a promising choice for this weekend.

The Wildcats became a basketball school again after last weeks beat down by Tennessee. They are not a strong offensive team scoring 14, 14, 15, 17, and 7 in their October games.  16 points for a team that can’t score is too much. Kentucky will most likely win an ugly game but don’t be shocked to look up Saturday morning and see an early deficit for the Wildcats.

PicksMiddle Tennessee State Blue Raiders +16

Syracuse Orange vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish -10 (Neutral Site)

The Irish are in the drivers seat for the College Football playoff.  The decline of USC has left a matchup with the surprising Syracuse Orange as the biggest threat to their chances.

The Fighting Irish have been unstoppable since placing Ian Book into the starting role, despite a rib injury that forced him out against Florida State Head Coach Brian Kelly believes Book will be ready to go.  The Notre Dame offense should be in full force heading into Yankee Stadium, that could me trouble for the Orange.

This game smells like a blowout for the Fighting Irish.  Veteran QB Eric Dungey and Head Coach Dino Babers don’t do anything but cover though.  The Orange have the experience and leadership to keep this close.  This is their second four game win streak of the year, that last streak was ended by the Clemson Tigers, another College Playoff team, the Orange won’t win but double digits is to much for this team.

PicksSyracuse Orange +10

NC State Wolfpack -17 at Louisville Cardinals

This is a straight fading a bad team situation here.  The Louisville Cardinals are just not good.  They have finally solved their coaching situation but will that really make a difference for this season.  Can they magically become a credible team? No.

NC State just got demolished by Wake Forest on primetime.  They are coming for blood.  Louisville is a disaster on both lines and they will get shredded by Ryan Finley if they can’t get pressure.  Look for the NC State passing game to have a field day.  Lousiville may have a direction now but they are already looking to next year.  Bet NC State and take a nap during the game.

PicksNC State Wolfpack -17

UConn Huskies at East Carolina Pirates

I know everyone is excited about this matchup of titans! 1-9 UConn vs 2-7 East Carolina is not a sexy game for college football fans looking to watch games with any meaning.  For football fans that like offense, this one should be fun.

East Carolina has lost 5 straight after starting the season 2-2.  They have played Memphis and Tulane tough over their last two week and were in need for a bit of a break. Their break comes this weekend whent they play a hapless Uconn team that has allowed everyone to steam roll them all season.  East Carolina will throw and throw and throw until they are up by 20.  Then they will throw some more.  East Carolina is not a great team, but they roll in this one.

PicksEast Carolina Pirates -17

Other Picks:

USC -3

OK State +5

Iowa -14.5

Boston College -1.5

 

NBA Trade Candidates- Where should Terry Rozier go?

Jimmy Butler is finally out of Minnesota, as he heads to the Sixers to create perhaps the biggest 3 the NBA has seen since Lebron and Bosh took their talents to South Beach what is going to happen to the other big names on the trade market. Terry Rozier has been rumored to be on the move as the Celtics don’t seem to have a place for him . Kyrie is cemented as the starter, as he enters free agency the Celtics will be forced to open up the check book, Marcus Smart just signed a 4-year, $52 million contract.  With no money for Rozier they Celtics and Danny Ainge will look to try get what he can for the talented point guard.

Unlikely but intriguing: Indiana Pacers

The Celtics wouldn’t likely be in the business of making a fellow Eastern Conference contender better but if the shoe fits sometimes you have to put it on.  The Pacers have a lot of young talent a well as role players they could move in order to make this work.  If the Pacers were to send Cory Joseph and either Thaddeus Young or Dom Sabonis to the Celtics for Rozier both teams would win.

The Celtics would have veteran backup that doesn’t need to play big minutes in Joseph and provide better depth in the front court.  Both Young and Sabonis would be able to fill a need that the Celtics have, which is established depth behind Al Horford.

The Pacers would be able to pair Oladipo with Rozier and create a dynamic guard tandom that can play on both end of the floor.  This deal would be great for both parties but unlikely with both of them contending.

Makes Sense: Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are pretty set on big men.  Mo Bamba, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Johnathon Isaac are the cornerstones of the organization.  With a litany of bigs to build around the Magic have a need for points and leadership at the guard position. DJ Augustin has been a solid NBA player for a number of years but is simply a ball control point guard that will limit mistakes but not make the big plays.  Rozier would walk into Orlando and immediately be the best guard on the roster.  He can initiate offense at a high level and be a perfect fit to work along side Aaron Gordon.

Rozier could be in attack mode the entire game, fitting the perfect style of new Head Coach Steve Clifford.  The Magic have young pieces as well as vets that could intrigue Ainge to make a move.

Makes to much sense: Phoenix Suns

The Suns have been in rebuild mode since Steve Nash parted ways with the organization. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton are the pieces to build around, adding a hard noised defender with the ability to run a proficient offense could be just the ticket that the Suns need.  Booker has been working the point a lot during the 2018 season which is not ideal for a shotmaker of his caliber.

Bringing in Rozier would give them two guards that can compete every night forcing opposing defenses to utilize their best defender on one while the other can be freed up. Rozier running the pick-and-roll with the explosive Deandre Ayton would also be an exciting form of offense for Phoenix, were they to acquire the Celtic guard.

The Suns are not afraid to take on big contracts so signing Rozier long term wouldn’t be a problem for the rebuilding franchise. A piece like Trevor Ariza could be intriguing to move.  Ariza on the Celtics could can add toughness on both ends of the floor as well.  Win/win for both teams.

Should do it: San Antonio Spurs

Losing Dejounte Murray was a big deal to begin the season. The third year guard was set to take the place of long time great Tony Parker. A torn ACL ended his season and put the Spurs guard options behind DeMar DeRozan very limited. Young guards Derrick White and Bryn Forbes have filled the role admirably but are not difference makers.  Both would be served better playing a bench role or spot start during rest days.

The Spurs are not a team that likes to make changes in season.  Adding a player like Rozier along with the veterans and rising stars can make a huge impact on a team that has played above expectations so far.  Rozier is a grinder that would be worth a flyer for the right cost.

Rozier is a star in the making if given the chance.  With the leadership in place for San Antonio the transition from Boston to San Antonio would be seamless.  This move would put the Spurs in a better place, making them a legit playoff contender.

 

 

NCAAF Week 11 Pick ATS

Season Record: 25-25

Vanderbilt Commodores at Missouri Tigers -17

The Missouri Tigers are coming off their biggest win of the year dominating the Florida Gators last week.  This week they get the Vanderbilt Commodores whom create rather different matchup.

The Commodores can keep up with the Missouri offense, Kyle Shurmur brings a bigger threat in the passing game then the dismal effort shown by Felipe Franks last week. The Commodores can also run the ball effectively, running  for a season-high – against FBS teams – 250 yards with four touchdowns in the win over Arkansas a few weeks ago, led by a 176-yard day from Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

This is just to many points to for a Missouri team that loves to let down its fans.  I see Mizzou winning this game but 17 points seems like to much.

PicksVanderbilt Commodores +17

Maryland Terrapins at Indiana Hoosiers -1.5

Indiana has lost four straight games including a rather embarrassing effort against Minnesota. The Indiana defense has given up over 150 yards rushing in each of its at four games.  When the Terrapin can run the ball, they can win.

The Terrapins also have the ability to cause turmoil on the defensive end. With a suspect Indiana passing game going against a strong secondary, I see turnovers for the Hoosiers.

PicksMaryland Terrapins +1.5

Ohio State -4 at Michigan State

If you just went off of analyst opinions you would think the Ohio State Buckeyes are at .500 or worse.  The Buckeyes sit at 8-1, still technically in the running for a shot at the College Football Playoff.  A win over a strong conference foe could be just the ticket to get them back on track.

Overshardowed by the negatives has been the terrific season by Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. He set the OSU single-season record for completions against Nebraska and can break the single-season yardage mark with 278 against MSU. The Spartans, usually known for their stingy defense actuallly rank 98th in the country in pass defense.

Haskins will be to much for Michigan State, the Spartans will not be able to produce enoiugh on the offensive end to compete.  Ohio States defense is bad but they don’t have to be great this weekend to cover.

PicksOhio State -4

UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils -13.5

I don’t try to have many trends in my College Football bets.  Mainly I just look at the lines I like and go with it.  But I have seemed to find a nice niche in fading the UCLA Bruins. Last weeks Oregon game was easy money and I look to see the same outcome this week.

Two teams going in two different directions.  It’s been a tale of two diffrerent coaches, while Chip Kelly has disappointed in his first season, Herm Edwards has already exceeded expectations.  Arizona State has more weapons and have been tough at home.  Look for the Sun Devils to roll.

PicksArizona State -13.5

 

Other Picks:

Kentucky -5.5

Purdue -11.5

Ole Miss/ Texas A&M Under 67

Game One of the NCAA Basketball Season

The NCAA Basketball season is back! November basketball doesn’t mean much in the long landscape of college basketball.  Teams that struggle on the first night mostly can regroup  when crunch time hits in February and March but as a sports community we are always quick to judgement so let’s judge away.

The Good- The ACC

As a Duke fan I try and keep my ACC biasis in check most of the time but this league is just to good to ignore.

Syracuse and Virginia will most likely be the most boring teams in basketball but their defensive ability will smother teams of all leavels.  Combined they both gave up just 76 points.

North Carolina avenged their loss to Wofford last year (they also covered -10.5).  Wofford is veteran team that gave them all they wanted.  North Carolina has a very underrated freshma class to compliment Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson.  This team is good.

We will get to the biggest statement win at the end of this article, don’t ignore the domination that Florida State showed last night. Florida is a solid team out of the revamped “basketball” conference the SEC.  Florida was never in that game.

The ACC showed how dominate they could be last night,  even Pittsburgh won!

The Bad- The Atlantic 10

The A-10 was set for some regression in 2018-19. Rhode Island lost their big stars and their coach.  St. Bonaventure lost a litany of starters, VCU has not been able to return to  since Shaka Smart moved on to Texas and the SLU Billikens are still transitioning into relevance under Travis Ford but opening night for this league did not go well.

George Mason, took a loss at home to the Ivy League’s Pennsylvania Quakers, traditionally not a terrible loss but for a team many saw as a top three contender in the Atlantic 10 this was very surprising.

George Washington continued its irrelavane after a dismal 2017-18 seaosn falling at home to American East’s Stony Brook Seawolves.  A game that saw George Washington blow an earyl 22-0 lead! George Washington is not good but this was a game that they were suppose to cruise to a win.

The Temple Owls were able to pull out a victory over La Salle but they did not look impressive to say the least struggling to keep the lead against a very unimpressive Lasalle squad.

Finally conference preseason favorite the SLU Billikens won but showed their potential issues in a ten point victory of Southeast Missouri State.  The Billikens could not find any shooting stroke making just 4-25 three point shots.  In today’s game lack of shooting will come back to haunt them.

Davidson and Rhode Island looked good beating two lesser teams but overall this was not a night to remember for the respected Atlanic 10 Conference.  Luckily for them they were over shadowed by a few games that had a bit more media draw.

THE SEC also had a pretty rough night.  Cough, Kentucky, Cough, Florida.

The Zion

There is a belief that Zion is the Holy Land and it truly exists.  Duke’s Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett and Tre Jones are the Zion of college basketball. The domination of the number two ranked Kentucky Wildcats was the tip of the iceberg of what this team can be.

While the four freshman bring the flash, role players Jack White, Marques Bolden, Alex O’Connell and Javin Delaurier complemented them perfectly on Tuesday night.  Talks of this team going undefeated are premature in the loaded ACC.  Games against defensive minded Syracuse and Virginia will give the Blue Devils trouble this season, but they established themselves as the true contenders, potentially the favorites to win it all.  There is a lot of basketball to play anything can happen over these next few months but as you watched the destruction of an extremely talented Kentucky team you could almost hear a collective groan from the rest of the college basketball world.

Fantasy Football- Players we hate

The NFL season is half way over, which means that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner.  If you are a playoff team you probably avoided these players. Let’s list off the top five players we hate (that we drafted).

This list is based on guys that have been playing but not producing.  If they are injured I give them a pass.  If they are LeVeon Bell I refuse to speak his name out loud in public.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry was suppose to have his coming out party in the playoffs last year.  Damn was I wrong.  The Titans left DeMarco Murray walk in the off season, which meant that Henry would be the guy right?? Nope Dion Lewis has taken over the bulk of the carries in the backfield.  Henry is averaging a staggering 3.3 yards per carry so far in 2018.

Henry also gives you nothing on the receiving end with eight catches the entire season! Henry is trending in the direction of fellow Alabama alumni Trent Richardson, I would look for him to be moved in the off season unless things change drastically. I hate you Derrick Henry!

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

McCoy has had a great fantasy career, but currently I have the same amount of Touchdowns as he does this season.  It’s zero in case that wasn’t clear.  I know the Buffalo offense is a joke.  Nathan Peterman is the equivalent of a dumpster fire while on the field, but McCoy is still only averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season.  Chris Ivory has become more relevant out of the backfield.   I really don’t need to say much more than that.  I may not have drafted you in any leagues LeSean but I hate you for those who did.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Drake has had his moments this season, especially when I have had to face him.  But overall he has been a bust this season.  The ageless Frank Gore has taken away carries from the 2017-18 fantasy surprise.  Miami has had their issues at Quarterback, starting Brock Osweiler (not sure that’s how you spell it but who cares).  The QB situation has caused problems for the Dolphins but they should still be able to utilize Drake out of the backfield in passing situations but for some reason they refuse to do it consistently.

I added Kenny Stills to this list because I am tired of hearing about his potential.  Stills disappears in games to the point where he literally gets no targets.

Kenyan and Kenny I hate you both equally.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson had a great start to the season then the return of Alshon Jeffery made him basically disappear. Agholor had 8 Touchdowns last year, half way through the season he is sitting at one.  He has been so bad that literally the Eagles went out and found a replacement for him at the deadline, adding Golden Tate.

Has Agholor forgotten how to run a route?  Has Carson Wentz forgotten that he is on the team.  Why do you suck now Nelson?  I hate you!

 

 

NCAAF Picks ATS- Week 10

Season Record: 21-22

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio State Buckeyes -18

Nebraska is in rebuild mood under first year Head Coach Scott Frost.  This team will not always stink, but this season they do.  They are going to be running into an angry buzzsaw on Saturday when they face the Ohio State Buckeyes

Defensively, Nebraska allows an average of 272 passing yards per game, which is the 20th-most in college football and could be an issue against the likes of Dwayne Haskins. Despite the loss to Purdue two weeks ago Haskins was still good throwing for 470 yards against Purdue.  This will be an offensive onslaught from the Buckeyes early and late.  Ohio State wants to make a statement after their upset loss to Purdue and have had a whole week to sit a stew over the loss.  This will be ugly.

PicksOhio State -18.5

Georgia Bulldogs -9 at Kentucky Wildcats

The Georgia Bulldogs have won eight straight meetings with the Kentucky Wildcats by an average of 20 point per game.  Wildcat fans should be proud of the way their team has played this season.  Pulling off the victory at Mizzou in the final seconds has kept their teams SEC title dreams alive.  Beating Mizzou is great but this is the Georgia Bulldogs.  A team that fell just short of a National Title and knows they have work to do after suffering an embarrassing loss two weeks ago to LSU.

Any chance to a Georgia let down was wiped away two weeks ago.  The Bulldogs will be gas on the pedal full adrenaline the entire night.  Sophomore QB Jake Fromm will limit the turnovers and keep the ball in their hands.  Georgia will stack the line to make sure Benny Snell will not be a factor.  Bulldogs not only need to win but need to win convincingly.

PicksGeorgia -9

Memphis Tigers-13 at East Carolina Pirates

This one is simple to me.  I began this article when the line was a -13 fro Memphis, I have seen it go as low as -11 on some sights.  This almost seems to easy, Memphis will have the best player on the field in Darrell Henderson.  UCF ran wild on the East Carolina defense, look for Memphis to ride Henderson early and often.

East Carolina will get a few big plays in but they won’t be able to keep up with the Memphis offense.

PicksMemphis Tigers -13

Boston College Eagles at Virginia Tech Hokies +2

The return of AJ Dillon has made a huge difference for the Boston College Eagles. But they have a matchup against a team that will have the tools needed to defeat them on Saturday beginning with Virginia Tech QB Ryan Willis.

Boston College’s two losses came on the road against teams that throw a bit. The Hokie O line might not be amazing, but it should be able to give Willis just enough time to operate.

The Eagles will need to create turnovers to win and that is not easy to do against Virginia Tech.  The home field advantage will play a large role in this one.

PicksVirginia Tech Hokies  +2

South Alabama Jaguars at Arkansas State Red Wolves -15

I always like to pick a game no one is going to watch in case I am losing.  Arkansas State can score, I have covered two games I have bet on with them.  I’m gonna let it ride.

PicksArkansas State Red Wolves -15

Other Picks:

Florida State +9

Penn State Michigan over 53

Charlotte +22

SLU Billikens can take over St. Louis

High expectations.  They are hard to live up to in the sports world.  The Saint Louis Men’s Basketball team will face that during their upcoming season.  With high expectations comes excitement.  The city of St. Louis has a hunger for sports, but a thirst for winners.  You can live a lot longer with no food then water. The Billikens are set to provide the city with all of the refreshment they want in 2018-19.  They may even take over the sports scene in this city. I can be as bold as to say in three months SLU Basketball could take over the #2 role in the city behind the Cardinals and a head of the Blues.

Most polls have the Billikens as the team to beat in the Atlantic 10.  Lead by stars and Preseason All Conference Second Team selections Javon Bess and Jordan Goodwin the Billikens will look to take a step forward in the exciting A-10. If rising sophomore Hassan French continues his development, the Billikens will be an A-10 title contender for the next several years. From a talent perspective, this is the best team on paper in the conference. But with there being so many new faces, there may have been chemistry concerns in the preseason.  Those concerns were wiped away after game one of the preseason as SLU dismantled Quincy with a dominate 85-42 victory.  Transfer Tramaine Isabell lead the way with 19 point and 7 assists.

St. Louis is a city that loves its sports, despite not having an NBA team the city still shows its passion for basketball every year during the Arch Madness Tournament (Missouri Valley Conference Championship) held at the now Enterprise Center.  Fans also made their passion for the game very evident when the SEC tournament made its way to St. Louis in 2018.  It is also hard to find a fan base that takes a basketball rivalry as serious as the Bragging Rights Game between Illinois and Missouri. I know most North Carolina basketball fans will rightfully argue their rivalry is bigger but from a midwestern standpoint there is very little that lives up to hype of that game.  As good as that rivalry is though both Illinois and Mizzou have not been conference championship contenders for a few years now.  SLU is a legitimate contender in a conference known for shaking up  March Madness.  Dayton and St. Bonaventure just last season made an impact in the tournament of basketball Goliath’s.  Why can’t SLU be next? Since the exit of the Rams just two years ago there has been a gap in the sports community.  The Cardinals have struggled for relevancy in the NL Central, the Blues have broken our hearts on more than one occasion and the dream of a soccer team is still a few years away.  This is the perfect time for the Billikens to take advantage of a city that still feels abandoned.

The talent of this team is great but their charismatic leader is the perfect person to lead them to victories on the court and victories in the local media.  Ford has a knack for recruiting high level talent going back to his days with Oklahoma State when he convinced Marcus Smart, now of the Boston Celtics, to not only come there but stay an extra year.  Ford has begun to work his magic on the transfer market with Tramaine Isabell, as well as the local market convincing local 4-star recruit Cart’Are Gordon to join his already rising SLU squad.  Ford is what the city needs after dealing with a litany of coaches whom have personalities that are not exactly media friendly or attention grabbing. Cough, “Mike Matheny”, Cough “Jeff Fisher”, Cough “Ken Hitchcock”.

For a good example of the personality of Travis Ford check it his role in the comedy movie “The Sixth Man”.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sixth+man+travis+ford+funny+moments

 

The Blues have not lived up to expectations. Mizzou Basketball just lost its best player Jontay Porter. Mizzou Football is a mid-level SEC team, that’s being polite. The Billikens have a chance to take this city by storm and create a new love for the sport of basketball.  We early season matchups with Florida State, Seton Hall and Butler will show us what this team is really going to be all about.  They have the potential to be great.  The expectations are high, isn’t that where we want them to be.

Check out the next SLU preseason game against UMSL Thursday November 1 at Chaifetz Arena.