Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Hooptie

-Here's my audition to become an ESPN announcer: If you didn't enjoy the Duke v Indiana game, then you just don't like sports.

This game featured two teams I hate, plus Dick Vitale, and I was still glued to my tv. It was an absolute circus atmosphere in Indiana, all the way down to the stilt walker costumes being worn by the Indiana bench (still looking for a pic). Indiana forward Marcus Killingsworth was an absolute manchild, going 15 for 20 with 34 points and 11 rebounds. I thought the day of the dominant bigman was gone in college hoops, but Killingsworth absolutely dominated the post; and he was being guarded by last year's defensive player of the year, Sheldon Williams. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, he wasn't able to extend his defense 20 feet out where JJ Redick was drilling threes, all to the delight of Dick Vitale, who is likely tossing his salad in the showers as I type.

-The NBA refuses to give Las Vegas a sniff at a franchise because they're afraid of the gambling implications. Yet the Nuggets' broadcast was sponsored by And the commercials featured former NBA player Dennis Rodman talking about how he loves to gamble. Um, ok. What Rodman didn't mention is how much fun it is to gamble against the Nuggets when George Karl is missing from the sidelines. I don't know if head coaches are worth the multimillion dollar contracts they get, but the Nuggets are just a totally different team without Karl. They don't push the ball, their offensive sets are sloppy, and the defense is lazy. Other than that, they're a dream team.

-Does Ray Allen have a personal blog or something where he discusses whether he feels like playing that day or not? It would be really helpful to the casual bettor such as myself to know if he was dropping 30 that night.

-Back in the day, I used to cheer courtside with the student body at UCLA games and one of the players I loathed the most was Stanford point guard, Brevin Knight. Ten years later, Brevin gets two technical fouls that were essentially the difference between me losing and pushing my bets. So just for old time's sake, "F*ck you, Brevin Knight."

Today's hoops 1-2. Season: 10-17-1.

Heil Stern!

George Karl has been suspended for two games by the NBA for publicly criticizing the officials after the Nuggets' last game against the Nets. On one hand I'm pleased, because I'm betting against the Nuggets today, and Denver played terribly at the beginning of the season when Karl was out. On the other hand, here were Karl's scathing remarks:

"There's a rumor out of the league office that we're trying to take flopping out of the game, but I don't think that was orchestrated very much in those two calls," Karl said.

That's it?? I already knew that David Stern was a megalomaniac and power freak, but that's ridiculous. There's really only one explanation for this policy. David Stern must recognize that his league has the worst officiating in sports; but rather than actually try to clean up the crews, he'd rather just discipline anyone who even suggests that mistakes are made. He took the same course of action last year when he fined Jeff Van Gundy $100,000 and threatened to kick him out of the league for suggesting the officials were out to get Yao. Someone should introduce Stern to Dick Cheney- I think they'd get along great.

Where's My Primoz Brezec Jersey?

Now that I have a two game NBA winning streak to push my record all the way up to 9-15-1, I'm feeling invincible. To test my new found immortality, I will now attempt to win money by betting on two of the worst teams in the NBA. Today's picks:

New Orleans +8 at Denver. Carmello Anthony is hopefully missing the game with a high ankle sprain. Of course this might actually backfire on me as now the motion of the Denver offense won't come to a complete stop everytime he touches the ball. The Nuggets also have both Camby and KMart playing, but that will be countered by last year's MVP finalist, P.J. Brown. Chris Paul against Andre Miller is a matchup that favors the Hornets. Dammit, even as I type this, I can't convince myself it was a good bet. Too bad my sportsbook doesn't have an "undo" function.

Charlotte +7 at Seattle. The Kings have lost 3 in a row to the Hornets, Lakers, and Jazz. Ray Allen has redefined the meaning of a Contract Year player, and there is speculation that the Sonics are intentionally sabotaging Vladimir Radmanovic now that he's in a contract year. That's just not a team I'm comfortable laying 7 points with, no matter who they're playing. The Hornets don't win a lot, but they play hard every game, which is a foreign concept to the Sonics. If he doesn't get into foul trouble, Brevin Knight should be able to harass and frighten Ridnour into some turnovers. When Ridnour was in college, he allegedly carried/dribbled a basketball with him wherever he went. But I'm sure if ever ran into Brevin Knight in a dark alley, he'd surrender the ball and his wallet. Okafer and Brezec against Collison and Reggie Evans should go the Hornets way. I'd like to be bold enough to predict the upset, but a six point loss will suit me just fine.

...And just so I have some money on a good team, I'm also teasing Duke -1 at Indiana and over 146.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

DirecTv and Sportsbooks Make Strange Bedfellows

The ACC/Big 11 challenge started today, with Wisconsin/Wake Forest and North Carolina/Illinois both playing close, hard-fought, skillful games. Unfortunately, thanks to gambling motivations and alumni allegiances, I found myself spending most of my time watching two of the ugliest basketball games of the season.

13. 14. 14. 19. That was the quarter by quarter scoring for the Utah Jazz. In an arena where the few fans who did show up should be asking for a refund, the Pacers and Jazz met for some very uninspired basketball. Police should investigate if someone had substituted the A&W Root Beer in the local Salt Lake City bars with Barq's last night, because both teams were playing like they were hungover. But since I had the Pacers giving 5 points, I had to watch the bricklaying convention until midway through the 3rd period when they finally pulled away. But at least I got to see part of history. The 60 points scored was the lowest point total at home in Jazz lore, breaking a record that had lasted for all of two weeks. I won my bet, but it was the most painful way to earn 50 bux I've endured since college...

UCLA invited Albany from the America East conference into Pauley Pavilion. Albany plays in a conference with such storied schools as Binghamton, Stony Brook, and Maryland Baltimore Community College. UCLA was missing starting point guard Jordan Farmar with a stress fracture. Ben Howland reacted by going to his notes from the Jeff Van Gundy school of coaching and put the handcuffs on his entire squad. The Bruins rarely got out on the break, instead pulling the ball back and running down the shot clock before taking an outside jumper, which played right into the upset-minded Great Danes.

Meanwhile, the UCLA centers continued to show that they're only a few stages away from becoming dominant players. Unfortunately those stages include: catching the ball, outmuscling 5'7" guards for defensive rebounds and learning to walk without falling over their own legs. Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey are just painful to watch. It's as if someone found a baby giraffe, taught it to walk on its hindlegs and thought to themselves, "you know with this kind of length, this giraffe could be unstoppable." So they put a UCLA jersey on him and let him take the post. Only, anytime someone pushed him, he'd tumble over his spindly legs. And if someone threw him a pass, he'd only have hooves to catch it and the ball would deflect off them out of bounds. That's Ryan Hollins. For Michael Fey, pretend the baby giraffe never learned to walk on its hindlegs, so every ball just bounced of its face.

Despite the Toys R Us mascots at center and Van Gundy syndrome on the sidelines, UCLA still barely pulled it out 73-65, thanks to some great rebounding by the Prince of Dunkness and clutch play down the stretch by freshman point guard Darren Collinson. Nevertheless, it's going to be a long season for the Bruins if they can't get something resembling a basketball center to play some minutes for them.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

There's a Gleam

This week's gameball goes to LaDanian Tomlinson. Laying 3.5 points in an overtime game coached by Marty Schottenheimer is usually a death knell for anyone's bankroll. And sure enough, Martyball was in full effect in OT, as the Chargers were just trying to run with the ball into FG range. But Tomlinson knew that while a comeback win certainly is nice, it wouldn't completely satisfy the Charger fan who bet on his team. So he delivered a straight-arm reminiscent of a young Emmitt Smith and cleared his own way into the endzone for the score and the cover. It was a thing of beauty, and I thank you LT. If I ever run into you at a San Diego Hooters, the wings are on me.

After Dick Vermeil and Jon Gruden went for wins instead of ties in successive weeks, there was talk that there was a new wave of aggressive coaching in the NFL. Apparantly, that message didn't make its way to Tom Coughlin. Not once, not twice, but THREE times Coughlin played for a 40+ yard field goal rather than try to drive towards the endzone. While the Tuna is long gone from the Giants, the smell of fish was most definitely in the air on the G-men sidelines. The football gods made ol' Tom pay for his transgressions, as the field goals missed wide left, short, and short again. Jay Feely will be the goat for missing the kicks, but in my opinion it was Tom Coughlin's playcalling that really lost the game.

How badly do the Texans want Reggie Bush? They were only able to pull off the loss to the Rams after the "hands" team couldn't catch an onside kick and then a 3rd string QB out of Harvard drove down the field for scores. Thats a difficult feat to achieve. Only a few teams in the league- the Jets, Saints, and Texans- are capable of such a choke job. But congrats to the city of Texas. That #1 pick in the draft is yours. Now don't screw it up by picking Leinart.

Technically speaking, the Dolphins beat the Raiders today. But this shouldn't make anyone in Miami any happier than they were yesterday, because the score doesn't matter. As far as Saban is concerned this was just an intrasquad scrimmage. In fact, I'm not even sure this game was timed. I think they just sounded a horn once everyone got a good sweat in, then afterwards Ricky Williams and Randy Moss compared notes on where to get the best weed.

Finally, for anyone that said to the TV, "What are you smoking?" to Michael Irvin when he repeatedly defended Terrell Owens on ESPN, it appears the better question is what wasn't he smoking?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Haves vs Have Nots

Last week, I was both frustrated and embarassed as I lost money on marginal games while watching good teams (San Diego, Denver) put beatings on inferior teams (Bills, Jets). I'm not going to allow that to happen again. So despite having to lay out a lot of points, my pick of the week is:

Cincinnati -9 vs Baltimore. This is a bounce back game for both teams. The Ravens just picked up a rare win against the Steelers and should let down a little bit for a game they're supposed to lose anyway. Meanwhile, the Bengals should be looking to take out their anger from last week's Colts game on the Ravens. With Jamal Lewis looking like he'd be riding the pine for the penal team in The Longest Yard 3, the Ravens have a very meager running game- and that's their strong point. Chris Simms has not introduced Kyle Boller to the devil yet, so you can count on him to suck. Carson Palmer on the other hand is going to have a field day picking on The Artist Formerly Known as Primetime. This one will be over by halftime.

Other games I like for Sunday:
San Diego -3.5 at Washington. I know the Chargers travelled to New York a few weeks ago and almost blew it. And the Redskins are certainly better than the Jets. But Marty Schottenheimer should be motivated not to go into a shell with the lead in this one. Martyball was only given one year by Daniel Snyder in Washington before Schottenheimer was axed. Marty does forget things, such as the forward pass and that touchdowns are worth more points than field goals, but he shouldn't forget being fired, right? I think he keeps piling on points in the 4th and the Chargers runaway by at least 2 tds.

San Francisco +9 at Tennessee. What have the Titans shown that should make me believe they could beat anyone by nine? I know the Niners' secondary is awful, but McNair only throws the ball 5 yards down the field these days, and to his tight ends at that. The Niners have also been very tough in defeats to the Giants, Bears, and Seahawks. I'm not predicting victory, but I do think that they can keep this one close. Something along the lines of 16-13 is where I peg this one.

...I haven't been posting my NBA picks lately, but I have been continuing to get my ass kicked. I'm now at 7-15-1 on the season. So I really, really need the Bengals to cover Sunday just to be even on the week.

God vs the BCS

As a little background, I've never been a Notre Dame fan. Notre Dame has always been the Yankees of college football- an organization with deep pockets and a long tradition that fans either love or hate. So I took some joy when the Irish hit the skids during the reigns of Bob Davie and Ty Willingham. But now, thanks to some soft scheduling and good coaching, Notre Dame is relevant again. While my first reaction was to find a leprechaun and kick it, I'm now realzing that perhaps this can actually be good for college football. Maybe, just maybe, the power of Notre Dame can be used to do what no other organization, not even ESPN, has been able to achieve. The introduction of a playoff system into college football.

The Irish already have wheelbarrows of cash coming in from NBC and their $14.5 mil guarantee from the BCS, but the one thing that they're missing is a chance at the national championship. The Irish are not good enough to run the table and get a #1 or #2 ranking; but because they have so much favor with the pollsters, they can lose two games and leapfrog more deserving teams to get a BCS bid (as they have this year). This gives them a shot at a top 5 final ranking if they win their bowl game, but no shot at the national title itself. However, if there was a playoff system of eight teams, then perhaps Notre Dame could get in the title hunt in a way that Touchdown Jesus doesn't like to talk about- with some backdoor action.

Under an 8 team playoff system, the champs of the SEC, Big 12, ACC, Big 10, and Pac 10 would get automatic bids with 3 at large bids. (note: I left out the Big East, although I'm sure in reality they would insist on being included). A selection committee would then seed the teams and the games would be played at various bowl sites, which could rotate in a similar manner to the existing BCS schedule. Notre Dame would be guaranteed one of the at-large bids if they met certain generous criteria. Then with the right pairing and a first round upset, Notre Dame might actually have a shot at winning the title. For argument's sake, let's say the system were in place this year and the teams selected were:
1. USC 2. Texas, 3. Penn St., 4. LSU, 5. Va Tech, 6. Notre Dame, 7. Ohio St. 8. Miami/West Va (if Big East gets an auto-bid)

Notre Dame gets a very favorable matchup with Penn State. Ohio State has a rematch with Texas. Let's say ND beats the Nittany Lions and Ohio State manages to get the victory against Texas. This then pairs Notre Dame against Ohio State in the semifinal, which would be a potentially winnable game. Assuming USC wins their side of the bracket, the national championship game is a rematch between USC and Notre Dame, which would probably be the highest rated college football game of the last decade.

Knowing that the real reason the NCAA doesn't want a playoff system is $$ and not academics (Johns Hopkins' football team could participate in football playoffs but The U can't because of missed class time?), they need to sign off on this. The playoffs would make the NCAA richer, as I'm sure they'd be able to milk the networks for money. More importantly, it would give Notre Dame boosters a chance to lay claim to a title despite having only a moderately successful regular season. And when Notre Dame is happy, God is happy. And isn't that what football is all about? It's either that or trying to beat the hell out of the guy in front of you. Whichever it is, it's reason enough to blow up the BCS and give college football what it so richly deserves- a playoff system that's blessed by the Pope.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing. Let's Start with Lindsey Lohan.

I'm not a huge fan of awards shows, but I was at a friend's house tonight and she was watching the first hour or so of the American Music Awards. I think the theme was supposed to be that music is universal, but here are the impressions I was left with.

I knew this was the year of Mariah Carey's big comeback. What I didn't know is that she had come back as a man. Good god, Lorenzo Neal doesn't have thighs that big. I wasn't sure if she should be singing the opening number or picking up a blitzing linebacker. Any guy that had her poster up in the 90s must now be wondering if they're secretly gay.

If you do discover that you are in fact a gay man but don't know how to come out to the world, you could join Hilary Duff's team of backup dancers. Words can't describe the spastic yet flamboyant dance they were doing, but I'll give it a try. It was like if you went back to the 80's, took the Talking Heads, then pile-drived them in the ass for a decade and sent them out to dance for the world.

Pharrell looks like he just bought everything from the Junkyard Dog's estate sale. He's lucky David Stern isn't running the AMA's, or he would be subject to a month long suspension and a million dollar fine for the chains he's wearing. There's also a group of skaters doing some stunts in the background during Pharrell's routine. No doubt the result of a misunderstanding of Pharrell's request for a 'half-pipe' during the show.

Speaking of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani is also featured in this song. Her only line is "You got it like that." Gwen, I hate to break it to ya, but in Pharrell's world, you are a holla back girl.

I wish I could have seen the look on Lindsey Lohan's face when she was told that there wouldn't be any lip synching during the live performances. To her credit, she sucked it up and went out on stage- where she proceeded to keep on sucking.

A half-decade or so ago, there was the Britney Spears v Christina Aguilera rivalry in the underage pop category, with Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson on the periphery. That was some top quality jailbat catfighting. Now we have to settle for Hilary Duff v Lindsey Lohan, with Ashlee Simpson doing a ho-down on the sidelines. It's like having the Playboy channel come in on your tv for free for a few days, only to suddenly fade out and be replaced by The View. And if I had to choose whether to beat off to Lindsey Lohan or Meredith Vieira, I think I'm going with the one who looks like she's actually swallowed something in the last week.

And following the lead of every winning artist, I'd like to thank Jesus for making this blog possible. I never could have written about how I miss jerking off to an underage Jessica Simpson without you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Parity schmarity

Notes from a day wasted...

I was wrong about the Ravens. Nobody is so bad that even Tommy Maddox can beat them. If Cowher can't get Mr. Miyogi to work on Roethlisberger's knee, he may just have to line up Antwaan Randle-El at QB next week.

Reason #1 to have your sportsbook on speed dial: You never know where you might be when you hear the phrase, "Dolphins to start Sage Rosenfels at QB."

Saints get a garbage time Field Goal to beat the spread and win my bet. I love the garbage time score. Ten minutes later, the Titans get a garbage time touchdown to beat the spread and kill my bet. I freakin' hate the garbage time score.

Welcome back to earth, Redskins' fans. I hope you enjoyed your trip.

I don't know how Tampa Bay has suddenly become a scoring machine with Jake Busey at QB, but I do know you can expect a few "Jon Gruden is a genius" pieces on ESPN, NFL network, and HBO this week.

Any young QB that wants to learn how to look off a safety should study game film of Drew Brees. Brees has turned it into an artform. It must be a great feeling to be a receiver for the Chargers and know that if you beat the cornerback, Brees will take care of the safety for you.

Chargers may have to run the table to make the playoffs, and they're playing like that's what they're prepared to do. Of course, there should be some tempering of enthusiasm since it is just the Bills. If you beat destroy a 10 year old at chess, it doesn't mean your ready to start searching for Bobby Fischer.

Chris Berman has said one thing that I agree with during his career. The Chargers' throwback powder blues are the best unis in the league, bar none.

It's pretty apparant that there are seven teams competing for six playoff spots in the AFC. And looking at the schedules, most of these teams have a pretty easy road the rest of the way. There might be a team in the AFC that goes 11-5 and misses the playoffs.

My latest sports' pet peeve: When a team does something good, and the announcer responds with, "That's what makes this team so good." Thanks for the insight.

The fact that I lost money on a day when Denver and the Chargers had predictable beat down victories and the Bengals and Colts combined for over 80 points is inexcusable. My sportsbook account should be closed and all the money given away to strippers putting themselves through college.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Slim Pickings

Other than Indy/Cincy, there aren't very many compelling games this Sunday. If you're in need of earning some points with a girlfriend, wife, or mistress, this might be a good day to skip the tv and go out. Or you could be a man, throw back a few beers, and sit through KC and Houston.

Two weeks ago, the favorites weren't given enough respect by the bookmakers. Last week, they overcompensated, and the dogs were the better bets. This week, it looks like the lines are pretty much where they should be, which really annoys me. But there are still a few games out there that I like:

New Orleans +9 at New England. I never thought there'd come a day when I would pick an Aaron Brooks led team over Tom Brady. But if Gus Frerotte could go pass for over 300 yards against the Patriots' secondary, then Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth, Devery Henderson, and Az Hakim should be able to put up big numbers. The Patriots will also be starting Heath Evans, the greatest white Patriots' running back since Craig James, since Dillon and Pass are both still out. The Patriots will still win because they're the Pats and the Saints are the Saints, but it should be a close one.

Jacksonville -4 at Tennessee. In the past, the Titans had the Jaguars' number. In the past, the Titans also had Eddie George, Derrick Mason, Jevon Kearse, and a healthy and mobile Steve McNair. The Titans only two wins this season have come against the Ravens and the Texans, two of the worst teams in the league. Jacksonville is hitting its stride. Jacksonville's quarterback turned WR, Matt Jones, will have a touchdown. Tennessee's quarterback turned WR, Drew Bennett, will struggle. I think this one will be a blowout.

Pittsburgh -3.5 at Baltimore. How bad are the Ravens? So bad that even Tommy Maddox will beat them.

...13 straight road picks from me....noticing a tendency here.

Philadelphia at New York under 41. Up until last week, Eli Manning had quietly been stinking up the joint, only to be saved by his teammates. Then the Vikings came to the Meadowlands, and Manning's funk was so pungent that he was forced to apologize to the city. The Eagles have a few well-publicized components missing from their offense. This is going to be an ugly game. The worst part is that this game is only about the 6th least interesting game of the week.

Venido a Miami

There will be no gangbangs on the 7th floor tonight. This time, it's the Hurricane players whose asses are sore. Chan Gailey now has more big wins at Ga Tech (one) than he had during his entire tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. Georgia Tech's defense absolutely manhandled the Miami offense today, showing more focus, and surprsingly, more speed than the Miami players in a tremendous 14-10 upset. Suddenly, a lot of teams that thought they were on the outside looking in for BCS bids are celebrating a potential invite. The Vick household is slammin' Hypnotiq and Valtrex with the Blacksburg High drill team. Oregon cheerleaders are rubbing oil on each other between pillow fights. Notre Dame fans are proclaiming this as God's confirmation that they are superior to everyone.

This game took away all of the sting from yet another terrible day of college bets. If not for Antonio Pittman doing his DeShaun Foster impression going into the end zone, I would have been shutout. Oregon St. and Stanford both put up pathetic peformances, and Michigan State was just sad to witness. In fact, I'd put that whole team on suicide watch tonight. I'm not saying they beat themselves, but Mike Tyson is calling them self-destructive. On four occasions, they had the ball inside the 30 and ended up with no points (2 INTs, 2 Missed FGs). I'm not sure why John L Smith ever even bothers sending in the field goal unit. Stat of the day: the Spartans only made 5 of 17 field goals for the entire season. Dayum.

But this is not a day to lament my losses, but rather to celebrate the hope that Miami gave the rest of the nation. It's the first positive thing to come out of "The U" since God gave Jimmy Johnson to the Dallas Cowboys.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tupac +2 vs Biggie

It's rivalry week in college football. This is usually a difficult day of football to handicap, but since I'm about .500 on the college season anyway, I may as well give it a shot.

Ohio State -3 at Michigan: If Penn St. loses, then the winner of this game wins the Big 11. Jim Tressel has done what John Cooper could never do: regularly beat Michigan (he's 3-1). The best athelte on offense (Ginn) and defense (Hawk) both play for the Buckeyes. Troy Smith will do his best Vince Young impression against the Michigan defense. As for Michigan...well, Chad Henne is more John Navarre than Tom Brady. Last season, Ohio St. 'disrespected' Michigan by having bomb-sniffing dogs waiting for the Maize and Blue when they got off their bus. This season, the dogs will be barking. Michigan is getting bombed in their house. Ohio St. 31 Michigan 13.

Oregon St. +13.5 at Oregon. Since Kellen Clemens went down, the combination of Dennis Dixon and Brady Leaf (yes, Ryan's brother) has been winning games, but just barely. The last 3 Oregon wins have been 28-21, 27-20, and 34-31. Oregon State has their own inexperienced QB with sophomore Ryan Gunderson getting the start for the injured Matt Moore. On the other end of the experience spectrum, it's Matt Hass' last game as a Beaver. I think he'll light it up against the Oregon defense. I don't know if the Beavers can win, but I do think they'll score enough points to stay close. By the way, famous Oregon State alumni include Nobel winner Linus Pauling and PMOY Jodi Ann Paterson. Guess which one I'm posting a pic of? Oregon 34 OSU 31.

Michigan St. +7.5 at Penn St. It's time for Joe Paterno to wake up from his dream season....and to realize that he's soiled himself. Michigan St. 24, Penn St. 9

Stanford +5 vs Cal. Cal has lost 4 of their last 5 and now Steve Levy is being given the start at QB for the Bears. Get out of town and I mean it! (By the way it took me 15 minutes to think of the SportCenter anchor's catch phrase- not exactly "en fuego"). Granted anyone is an upgrade over Joe Ayoob, but I don't see Levy channeling the spirit of Kevin Moen for this one. This time the Stanford band will be out on the field, and someone will likely slam into them- but it will because the band is full of obnoxious pricks, not because Cal has won the game. Stanford 27, Cal 17.

Righting my Wrongs

To not include a pic of Jessica Alba in the last post was inexcusable. Consider this reparations...

Marbury Admits He Sucks at Point Guard

For years Stephon Marbury played just like Allen Iverson: well except for playing with heart, picking up teamates or winning anything. Now he wants to make it official. The New York Daily News reported that Stephon Marbury requested to be moved to shooting guard so he could score more. Always the master of timing, this request came after a 2 of 9 shooting night. Surprisingly, Larry Brown didn't think the best route for the team would be for the guy that shot 22% to take more shots. I'm pretty sure that rather than treat Starbury like the next A.I., Larry would rather treat him like the next Darko. Brown has already benched him for the majority of the 4th qtr of one game and I'm willing to bet this is just the beginning of a trend. Ideally, Larry would like to trade Stephon, but since he has the worst contract in the NBA, that's going to be difficult. So instead, we'll be treated to Larry and Stephon battling each other in the press and Stephon will be treated to a nice view of Jessica Alba from the Knicks' bench.

Christmas Idea

What to get for the person that has everything? Well for at least $200,000 on Ebay , you can bid on a 1910 T210 Old Mill Shoeless Joe Jackson card. This card is considered to be rarer than the famous T206 Honus Wagner card. Of course if you have that kind of money to burn, you could probably just buy a minor league baseball team, put yourself on the roster and see if Bowman will make a rookie card of you. But I guess this is easier to get into a stocking in time for Christmas.

Bruins Handle Hooters

When I was a kid, I'd go down to the courts to look for a pickup game. Sometimes there'd just be one kid who was like 3 years older and a foot taller than me. We'd play 1-on-1, but to equalize things, we'd make a rule that all shots had to be taken outside of the key. I think Ben Howland and John Chaney looked at their rosters before last night's matchup and agreed upon the same rule. While both teams have solid perimeter players, there was no inside game at all. The only purpose of the centers in this game was to fumble rebounds. UCLA center Ryan Hollins' lack of development has been a major disappointment. When he first came to the Bruins, I thought he had the potential to develop into a Marcus Camby type player. But I suppose that when you look like Jaye Davidson, that's just too much to overcome.

Arron Afflalo on the other hand continues to impress. He has immediately stepped into the role of team leader now that Dijon Thompson is lighting up the NBDL. The more I watch him, the more I expect him to go pro after this season. My only hope is that he gets word that the Toronto Raptors are intrested in him, and he decides that there are some things you just can't be paid to do.

UCLA beat Temple 54-47 and will move on to play Memphis. John Chaney gets to fly back to Philadelphia, where he can be seen wandering the streets, talking to the little men on his shoulder.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Occam's Razor

I was at CompUSA last night and they had an XBox 360 hooked up to one of their LCD tvs. I played Call of Duty 2, and while the graphics were impressive, they weren't any better than a PC game (as long as you have a good graphics card), and I thought the gameplay was lacking. For example, I was caught in a crossfire and yelled to the screen, "Stop shooting me!" but the bullets kept flying. I really would have expected a better response from a next generation system. Kudos to XBox and UbiSoft for releasing the most awkward "please don't sue us for copyright infringement" title: "Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie." Perhaps Activision can release "Hero That Shoots Web Like a Spider but is Not *The* Spiderman." Or since EA has the NFL, SegaSports can release "The Naturalized Football League 2k6" featuring foreign-born US citizens like Tomlinstein at RB, Mossovic at WR, and at QB, Ron Mexico.

As I stepped out of CompUSA, I heard a loud explosion which was immediately followed by all of the lights in the strip mall and parking lot going out. As the generators kicked in (In and Out had the fastest response time by the way), I searched the area for the cause of the blackout. Finding nothing, my mind came to one conclusion: it must have been the EMP from a nuclear blast. This seemed odd, since I couldn't see a mushroom cloud, nor was I melting, but there was no other explanation. Having been close enough to be affected by the EMP, I also assumed that I had just been exposed to massive doses of radiation; and therefore, should have superpowers developing any minute. So far, I haven't noticed the ability to run faster, lift more, levitate, or communicate with squirrels. But it did burn when I peed this morning, so I'm taking that as a positive sign.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Whither T.O.?

My sportsbook has placed odds as to what team Terrell Owens will be playing for first in 2006. They are:

Denver 2-1
Dallas, Miami, Atlanta 3-1
Minnesota: 6.5-1
New Orleans: 8-1
Baltimore: 10-1
Green Bay: 11-1
Oakland, Jets: 15-1
All others: 20-1
Won't play at all: 22-1

I know Chris Mortensen already did his very scientific "Space Invaders" breakdown that indicated that Owens would be a Bronco, but I'm not so sure. I think Owens will go to a team that reaches the playoffs in 2005, but doesn't make it to the Super Bowl. That way he'll feel like he's the difference maker between a championship team and an also-ran. The Broncos definitely fit that description, but two other teams intrigue me as well.

Dallas Cowboys. Jerry doesn't remember that Owens ran onto the star at Texas Stadium. What he does remember is that Owens burned his defense for two touchdowns that day. Jerry brought in Keyshawn after his similar ordeal with Tampa Bay. It definitely provides a good road map for how to proceed with Owens. All we need now is for Owens to come on TV and say, "Bill. I won't be playing for you next year," and we'll know it's a done deal.

Seattle Seahawks. I know right now management is saying that they have no interest. But what happens if they lose another playoff game because their wide receivers couldn't make the big plays when they needed them? Owens would also allow Darrell Jackson to move to the #2 WR slot where he's better suited. Assuming they sign Shaun Alexander next year, that's quite a run/pass threat. Also if the Seahawks don't go to the Super Bowl this year, then Holmgren will be on the hot seat and might be desperate to try anything to keep his 'genius' status.

My prediction is that the next time T.O. grabs a set of pom poms after a touchdown, it will be from a Dallas Cowboys' Cheerleader.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hoop Dreams- Cash Nightmares

Another winless night of basketball puts me at 5-9-1 on hoops for the season. According to my calculations, that's...well, that's not good at all. I've missed my last two over/under picks by a combined 70 points or so, which is pretty impressive actually. Luckily, I've only been wagering small amounts while I try to get a feel for things. I may have to revert to coin-flipping.

UCLA had their season opener in the NIT against Reggie Theus' New Mexico State Aggies, winning by double digits. The Bruins' backcourt looks pretty good. Jordan Farmer, aka "Goat Boy" still has his occasional Marbury moments where he fires up a 3 at the beginning of the shot clock without running the offense; but overall, he's effective at managing the game both offensively and defensively. Arron Afflalo looked so good tonight that now I have to worry about him turning pro early. He's worked on his outside shot and is now a weapon from distant. Cedric Bozeman at the point forward will provide all kinds of matchup problems for opposing teams. He can take larger guys outside and beat them off the dribble, or he can post up and find open cutters. Until Josh Shipp gets healthy, freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will be getting a lot of minutes in the low post (they're not saying Booo, they're saying Mooooooute). A prince of his village in Cameroon, Mbah a Moute originally considered going to Georgetown before later being swayed by UCLA. I'm still working on a nickname for him- so far all I've got is "Prince of Dunkness," but I'm hoping I'll find inspiration as the season goes along.

Where the Bruins will have problems all season is at center. The duo of Michael Fey and Ryan Hollins won't be confused for Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton. Heck, they won't even be confused for George Zidek or Jelani McCoy. George Mikan would be rolling in his grave if he saw these guys playing the center position. Heck, you could dig ol' George out of his grave and prop him up in the low post and he'd be more of a presence than Fey and Hollins. Unless Hollins has some sort of awakening, this team looks no better than 3rd in the Pac-10.

For what it's worth (zero), here's my forecast for the top half of the Pac 10:
1. Arizona- lost a lot but Hassan Adams and Mustafa Shakur make for a formidable backcourt.
2. Washington- plays an aggressive, pressing, wide open style of ball that I really like.
3. UCLA- Afflalo hitting from outside. Shipp rebounding inside. But oh that center position.
4. Stanford- I know they're #13 preseason and that Chris Hernandez is a gunner, but after that, I'm not so sure about this squad.
5. Cal- Best froncourt in the Pac-10, hands down. Leon Powe is a manchild in the low post.

...Thursday, UCLA plays Temple in round 2 of the NIT. If the Bruins are favored by double-digits, I'd take the Owls. As long as Temple is able to keep UCLA from getting out on the break, I think their trademark zone will limit UCLA's scoring. I just hope that if John Cheney decides to break a UCLA player's arm, he goes after Lorenzo Mata.

Need the Action

Despite every insinct telling me to take a few days off from betting on hoops and just play the role of observer, I'm going to give a couple games a shot today.

Denver at Dallas over 201.5 The Nuggets haven't been scoring much on the road this year, but they also haven't played at Dallas yet. The Mavericks defense should be just what the doctor ordered for Denver's offense. I like George Karl's move of starting DeMarr Johnson instead of Voshon Lenard. It adds a lot more athleticism and makes the Nuggets more of an up-and-down the court team, which is where they're at their best.

Washington -15 vs Air Force. Nate Robinson may be gone, but dont sleep on the Huskies this year. Washington plays a pressing defense that leads to a lot of easy baskets. Air Force prefers that the final score is somewhere in the 50s, whereas the Huskies target around 80. I think both teams get their wish: Washington 80, Air Force 54.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Breaking story at MNF

I wasn't planning on watching the game at all. I guess I wasn't ready for some football. But then James Woods showed up on my tv and pumped me up with a poem about the gridiron. And before I knew it, I was in fact Ready For Some Football!!!

I'm not sure if anyone was aware of this, but there was a whispered backstory to the Eagles/Cowboys game. Did you know that some wide receiver named Terrell Owens had been suspended from the Eagles team? In case you didn't, the Disney family of networks had you covered. By my count, here was the breakdown of the times Terrell Owens was mentioned by name:

Monday Night Countdown
Stu Scott: 28
Michael Irvin: 9
Tom Jackson: 3
Ron Jaworski: 4
Chris Mortensen: 14
Sal Palantonio: 10
Ed Werder: 10
Total for show: 78

Monday Night Football:
Al Michaels: 12
John Madden: 7
Sam Ryan: 0
James Woods: 3
Total for show: 22
Total for network: 100

Assuming T.O. was watching the game, it's safe to assume he was high-fiving everyone in the building after watching the Eagles' 4th qtr meltdown. His replacement Reggie Brown had at least 4 drops in the game, including one that would have put them in position for the game winning field goal. Donovan McNabb threw the worst INT I had seen since....well since Drew Bledsoe's sky hook earlier in the game. That was vintage Jake Plummer/Aaron Brooks stuff there.

Speaking of which, along with injury reports, it would be helpful for us gamblers if would post information like, "Drew Bledsoe's 2005 deal with the devil ends Monday at 10 pm EST."

The game started off great for Donovan as he was able to get his first rushing TD of the season, upon which he did a tribute to Michael Jackson by moonwalking. Fortunately, he didn't score another TD or he might have continued his MJ tribute by finding a little boy in the front row and turning his pants into a hand puppet.

Rumor central: After Mike McMahon's near game-winning drive, the Miami Dolphins should be offering a first and a third round pick for his services next year.

I was disappointed that the crew in the MNF van opted to only give the viewer subliminal views of the cheerleaders. I was hoping to scout out which two were most likely to be found in a bathroom stall at Kielbasa Adrian's later that night.

Monday Night Karma: Roy Williams, whose tackle of TO was responsible for the "horse collar" rule, was put on the horse trailer for his game winning pick six.

Thanks to Roy's "look what I found" INT, I was able to salvage a break-even monday night of sports betting. The Lakers and Bulls were both spanked on the road, putting me at 5-7-1 on my NBA ATS and Teaser bets. Maybe I should stick to the NFL (3-1-1 this week). But, I never let a silly thing like discipline stop me before. Why start now?

Today's NBA Bet

Only 3 games on the slate today, and nothing really stands out. In these instances, I like the teasers. So tonight I'm going with:
LA Lakers +9 at Memphis and Chicago +10 at Golden State.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Mass

A few quick thoughts after today's NFL action:

My game ball goes to Kerry Collins. The Broncos kept trying to give the game away, but you just wouldn't let it happen, Kerry. And for that, my bankroll thanks you.

Shaun Alexander should threaten to hold out right now until the Seahawks sign him to a long term deal. I'm serious. Just let the Seahawks play a game without him and see what happens. The organization has been screwing him for years now and all he does is put the team on his back and win games for them. He already has 15 tds on the year, the fourth year in a row he's reached that mark. What more do they want from him?

Memo to Greg Robinson: Stop blitzing Chris Simms! It's not working. See those guys wearing a pirate flag on their helmet and a number in the 80's on their jersey? They shouldn't be running down the field all by themselves. Give your DBs a chance.

Stat of the Day: Steelers WR Antwaan Randle-El had more passing yards than Cody Pickett, Tommy Maddox, and Kelly Holcomb.

Eli Manning- You need to stop playing the "I'm still young...I've got a lot to learn" card. You are the quarterback for a playoff contending team. If you want to keep that status, you need to start being a leader now. Otherwise, you can go sit at the kiddie table w/ David Carr, Joey Harrington and all the other first round flops that were unable to assume the responsibilities of being a franchise QB.

Gus Frerotte had 360 yards passing against the New England secondary. Gus Frerotte! Does anyone know where I can send Belichick film of my days as a DB for my intramural flag football team? Maybe I can help out in a dime situation?

Michael Vick's mandate for reporters to stop criticizing him has been lifted after 7 days. Way to go Mike. You were only 9 points away from knocking off the team with the worst record in the NFC, at your home no less. I'm sorry anyone ever doubted your abilities.

So now the Texans have the pole position for the first overall pick in the draft. Yes, I'm already starting to think about the 2006 draft So I'll start the rumor now: The Texans will decide to stick with Carr and will trade the #1 pick to the Titans who will draft Leinart to be reunited with Norman Chow.

Have you seen the Domino's commercial where the guy does the Monday Night Fooball music into the phone as his way of ordering the Steak Fanatic Pizza? How annoying would this guy be if you were standing in your little 10x12 Dominos branch trying to take his order? I'm pretty sure he's getting that delivered with a loogie as a bonus topping.

Over/Under on times Terrell Owens is mentioned on Monday Night Football tomorrow: 1,451.5

Deja Vu?

Last week I had a mediocre day of college betting but followed it up w/ a great Sunday. After going 1-3 on my college picks today, let's hope I can repeat my previous NFL success. As I mentioned a few days ago, I think the books are overcompensating for last weekend when all the home chalk covered and have inflated the lines. So I'll be going primarily w/ the underdogs.

Washington +1 at Tampa Bay. The Redskins will do what every other team has done against Tampa in the last few weeks: stack the box and make Chris Simms beat them. It's a tried and true strategy and I think Washington wins a low scoring game.

San Francisco +13 at Chicago. I was really hoping this line would get pushed up to 14 points, but no such luck. Frank Gore and Kevan Barlow will combine for 40 carries. If either of them are able to break one of them, that should be enough for the cover.

New York Jets +9 at Carolina. I'm just not sold on the Carolina Panthers as being the best team in the NFC. They have a 5 game winning streak, but the wins are against Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, Arizona, and Tampa Bay. The Jets won't be mistaken for a playoff team either, but I think they'll stay within striking distance. Carolina will win, but only by a score of 17-13.

Denver -3 at Oakland. Newsflash: Mike Shanahan still hates Al Davis. Mike Shanahan will do whatever he can to embarass the Raiders. The Broncos are coming off of a bye, giving Shanahan even more time to prepare for this game. Broncos by 20.

Dallas +2.5 at Philadelphia. I know the Eagles will be the sentimental pick to win without TO, but what was it that people saw in the game verse the Redskins to make them think they're even close to being a good team right now? I will however be Tivo-ing the game for the Eagles cheerleaders. In that category, Philly still has the best roster in the league.

Crap, I just realized that my last 10 NFL picks are all road teams. That doesn't seem to bode well. We shall see...

One point total game: Seattle at St. Louis under 52. The Rams won't score more than 17, so as long as the Seahawks don't score more than 35, the under is good.

Bonus NBA game: Seattle at Toronto under 194.5 Two of the worst teams in the NBA square off. In matchups like this, it's usually incredibly high scoring w/ no defense or unbelievably low scoring w/ no offense. I'm choosing no offense.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

College Gameday

This week's slate of college games seems especially difficult. Maybe I'm still hungover from that extreme ass-whoopin' the Bruins took last week. I'm hopeful that UCLA will bounce back this weekend verse Arizona State; but if Karl Dorrell's past is any indicator, then a Bruin collapse is in order. We shall see. On to the picks.

Wake Forest +16.5 vs Miami. A lot of factors going against the Canes this weekend. Tyrone Moss is out for the year. Devin Hester will likely miss the game. And most of the players should be exhausted from a week-long orgy w/ Miami cheerleaders after the big win over Va Tech. Just has all the makings of a trap game.

USC -18 at Cal. On the flipside, the Trojans are very motivated to beat up on Cal. This is the team that handed USC their only loss over the last 3 seasons, however that was with Rodgers and not Ayoob at QB. This one should be over by halftime.

Florida St at Clemson under 47. Boring offenses. In fact, I don't even want to discuss this game. Just know that I'll be betting the under.

Florida -4 at South Carolina. South Carolina had a big win vs Tennessee. But Tenn's offense is horrible. Chris Leak and Co. should be able to do far more damage against the Cocks than Fullmer's team. Besides the Ol' ball coach has already had one revenge win this season. Let's not get too greedy.

I am a Warrior, bang bang.

I was lucky enough to have courtside seats for tonight's Warriors matchup verse the Knicks. In person, it's even more apparant how much Mike Dunleavy sucks and that the Warriors overpaid for him. My seats were right next to the Warriors bench, which is where Dunleavy spent most of the first half after getting into early foul trouble. The seats were also near the baseline, so I had the added bonus of being next to the Warriors cheerleaders. Or at least so I thought. The Warriors cheerleaders came out for the pregame introductions and then took their rightful spots along the baseline. A mere 3 minutes into the game they all left for the locker room (insert Banana Joe's joke here) and did not reappear until the 2nd quarter! When they showed up in the 2nd, they had new outfits for a dance routine, then as soon as they finished, they went back to the lockers again. Halftime came and went without a cheerleader appearance, as did the entire 3rd quarter. Finally with about 8 minutes to go in the game, the squad re-emerged and sat down at the baseline, where they stayed for the remainder of the game. I know that cheerleaders only make like 15 bux a game, but still, that's ridiculous. The basketball gods will frown upon this. When the Warriors miss out on the playoffs, they'll wish that they had more spirit on the court for their games (they'll also wish they were hotter- but I barely saw enough of them to bother going into their general lack of talent).

As for my NBA bet, the Pistons gave me a scare at the end, but Chauncey Billups was clutch at the line to seal the deal. I'm still looking at the games for tomorrow, but Memphis at Atlanta is an early candidate.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A City Rejoices

Larry Bird will be involved in developing a new wine called "Legends" which will retail anywhere from $20 to $70 a bottle.

Watch for prices to skyrocket in beantown as this is the closest Boston fans will get to living out their fantasy of sucking on Larry's grapes.

As for Friday's games, nothing too exciting. I'm taking the money line Detroit -325 at Portland.

Everyone's getting screwed on my TV.

Very strange night of channel surfing this evening...

MSNBC: Pat Robertson scolding citizens of Dover, PA for "rejecting God from (their) city" by voting out the local school board which had supported Intelligent Design. He also told them not to be surprised if disaster struck and God wasn't there for them since they voted Him out of the city.
Pat Robertson, you are a douchebag; and moreover, you're unwittingly destroying your own causes. Isn't the company line in religion supposed to be that God is always there for you? Pastor Pat could find messages in the Bible that indicated that Orlando, Florida was making themselves vulnerable to disaster by allowing homosexual organizations to put up rainbow flags, but "Knock, and I shall answer" is a little too vague? Secondly, the 'church and state' loophole that Intelligent Design proponents try to exploit is that I.D. does not explicitly mean teaching about God. But by going on this rant, you are confiming that Intelligent Design is in fact introducing religion into the schools. It's no wonder your political career has stalled. Well that, and the fact that you're a lunatic.

ESPNEWS: Clinton Portis fined $20,000 for wearing socks that didn't match the rest of his team. Um, sure, that sounds fair. This is just poor planning on Clinton's part. If you're going to do get fined, make sure it's for something that will help sell books- spit in a guy's face, push a referee, or go on a cocaine binge with Lawrence Taylor and Michael Irvin.

HBO: G-String Divas: Why does HBO only go to the strip clubs with the really skanky women? Or am I just too drunk/horny when I go to a club that I don't realize how bad the talent really is? Right now they're featuring some stripper who says it's been her dream since she was a little girl to be in Playboy magazine; and when she became a stripper she told herself, "I'm almost there." I'm so happy for her that she's living her dream. That's my America. Tho' it's a weird strategy that she's chosen to be a stripper in a club full of skanks as her path to Playboy. Doesn't she know that all she has to do is get gigantic implants, industrial bleach for her hair, then screw Hef and she's in?
....Ok, I've been watching G-string Divas for about 15 minutes, and now I'm convincing myself that "you know what- these girls aren't that bad..." Also, these guys in the club seem a lot sleazier than I am when I visit, right? (gulp). I had to change the channel before getting introspective.

Cinemax: Cabin Fever is playing. Jordan Ladd is in this, so I flip over. Right as I tune in, some chick (Cerina Vincent) is sodomizing her boyfriend in a cabin. I guess it should come as no surprise that a fever comes next. Actually, this movie is about a flesh eating virus that kills everyone on a camping trip. That sucks- but on the bright side, after having a finger jammed up your ass, the flesh eating virus probably doesn't seem quite as bad...

Encore: From Dusk Til' Dawn. Still a ways to go before Salma Hayek's scene. I'll flip back later.

Showtime: Wicked Pleasures. Some dude that looks like a gayer version of Mike Piazza is one of the leads. He's boning some chick who can't act, has a scary face, but nice implants...and whaddaya know, a tattoo right at her tailbone, aka, the 'mark of the whore.' Syren is also in this flick. She's a classic butterface, but good lord I love her body. I'm sure if she was on G-String Divas, I'd think she was hot by now...

"Foreign Student," "Red-Headed Stranger" and "Book of Love" are also on. Unfortunately, they all appear to be legitimate movies. That was a disappointment.

Still waiting for Salma Hayek's scene...

Univision: El Gordo y La Flaca. This show tests the theory that any chick is hot if she's standing next to a 300 pound old guy. Sound hypothesis, but it fails in the end. I think the story now is about a fashion show in Mexico. Either that, or it's 3rd world teenagers being sold as prostitutes to wealthy businessmen. My Spanish is rusty.

NBC: Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Robert Downey Jr and Steve Irwin are guests. I assumed that NBC was for some reason showing a rerun from 1998, but this appears to have actually been taped recently. I guess Dennis Rodman was unavailable today.

CNBC: CNBC World is on. I'm not really that involved in world business, but one of the correspondents is kind of hot. Speaking of hot news anchors, does anyone know what happened to Natalie Morales? It seems like after MSNBC destroyed her credibility by having her do the 'photo wall' during the beginning of the Iraqi war, she's disappeared from my tv. Is she now being assigned kiddy talent pageants in Des Moines? I miss her.

Fox "News": The O'Reily Factor. If you watch this show and instead of laughing at Bill, you're nodding your head, then you and I will never really be able to get along. There will always be something dividing us. I like to refer to it as "humanity."

SALMA!!!! You were worth the wait.

NBA Action is Fantastic Again

I'd like to send a personal thank you to Chauncey Billups for catching fire tonight, making the over an easy cover. I'm surprised the bookmakers haven't realized that the Pistons will put points on the board this season; but until they do, I intend to capitalize on it.

I was watching the Clippers and Hawks game to do a little scouting. This is the 4th Hawks game I've watched this season, which I think qualifies me as their #1 fan. Saturday, the Hawks host the Grizzlies and the first 12,000 fans in attendance get a magnet schedule. There was no further info on what they'll do with the 8,000 they'll have left over. Right now, the Hawks are just way too young to be competitive. The team has six players on their roster that are 22 or younger, and most of them look lost on the court- especially Josh Smith. Salim Stoudamire at 23 is one of their older players, and he just graduated college in June! Every game, they'll go through an eight minute stretch where they completely lose focus- turning the ball over, taking bad shots, missing defensive assingments, etc.- and then you look at the scoreboard, and they're down 15 pts. In other words, they look like a college team playing against pros. Big surprise there. Fearless forecast: Hawks will go 0-11 before finally winning a game at home against Portland, Nov 27.

(Today's NBA: 1-0 ATS; YTD- ATS: 5-5-1; SU 2-0)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Looking Ahead

I'm trying to stick with the coaching adage to take 'em one game at a time, but with only 3 NBA games on the schedule for Thursday, I figured I'd take a peek at the NFL lines. Last week all of the favorites covered, except for the Chargers. Additionally, there was unevenly weighted action on the favorites last weekend, and the sportsbooks took a beating. It looks like the books have responded by inflating the lines a bit this week. Take a look at a few of these lines:
Bears -13 vs San Francisco
Colts -17 vs Houston
Falcons -9 vs Green Bay
NY Giants -9.5 vs Minnesota
Panthers -8.5 vs NY Jets

I can't bet against the Colts with the way they're playing, but the underdogs in all of the other games are very tempting. The Bears can't score and the Niners play good D; The football gods will punish Vick for saying he doesn't deserve any further criticism, plus I think Tagliabue is looking into a way to get Favre a win; If Brad Johnson doesn't fumble any of the 5 times the Giants sack him, he should be able to put some points on the board; the Panthers' pregame ritual of inviting cheerleaders into the bathroom stalls has been stymied, so who knows how they'll respond.

Of all these, I'm most tempted by the Niners, even tho betting on Cody Pickett is bankroll suicide. We'll see. I still have a few more days to waver.

As for Thursday's NBA action, I'm going w/ Detroit at Phoenix over 201.5. Flip Saunders has a more wide open offense for the Pistons than they had under Larry Brown. I think they'll get caught up in the up-and-down tempo of the Suns. Even Darko might have more than 5 points in this one.

Pinky Ring Worth About Fiddy

Feels good to finally win some basketball bets again. Ok, so I had to go the cheap route and play money line bets on the heavy favorites. And maybe Gerald Wallace wasn't so "doubtful" afterall. And maybe Tim Duncan had to wash out his nappy fro at the half because he played the first two quarters with his head up his ass. It's still a win, and I'll take it.

In the other money line matchup, the Cavaliers easily took care of the Sonics. I'm shocked at just how bad Seattle is. Apparantly, Ray Allen should only be signed to one year deals, because the only time he's a team leader is during a contract year. C'mon Ray- What would Jesus (Shuttlesworth) Do? Maybe Nate McMillan leaving has something to do with the Sonics change of fortune. But I'm sure new coach Bob Weiss has some words of inspiration:
"It didn't seem like we had the fight," Sonics coach Bob Weiss. "I think a lot of it was hustle plays. They had a lot more juice than we did."

Ok. Maybe not. Until Seattle starts playing like they care about anything other than their checks clearing, the Sonics look like a great team to bet against.

In my 'off the record' pick, the Under between the Nuggets and Kings was good w/ 10 pts to spare. Hopefully this means I'm starting to see things well again.

(NBA YTD: ATS: 4-5-1; SU: 2-0)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Gerald Wallace is listed as doubtful tonight with a concussion. If he doesn't play, then I don't think the Bobcats have enough firepower to stay w/ the Spurs. I know this seems like a soft pick, but the Bobcats could easily be 4-0 this season, and the Spurs seem like they're in a feeling out period (insert Tony Parker joke here.)

Nevertheless, I'm going w/ San Antonio -400 at Charlotte

NBA Isn't So Fun Right Now

I currently stand at 4-5-1 on the NBA season. It's even worse since I started the season 3-0. So today, I'm picking a "safe" bet. I'm taking the Cleveland Cavaliers money line -400 vs the Seattle Supersonics.

I also like the under (208) of Denver at Sacramento. I won't be betting it, so I'm sure it will cover.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ice cold

Reaction to today's NBA action:

F*ck me.

That is all...

Making most of League Pass

One of the truisms of NBA games is that every team always stages at least one rally. After dropping 4 of my last 5 bets, I'm ready for my rally. Sometimes to spark a rally, a coach will go with a gimmick move, such as bringing Mark Madsen off the bench for some energy on the court. Well in the betting world, the teaser is my gimmick move. Let's hope it gets things started.

Bet #1: Tease Los Angeles Lakers -1 at Atlanta, Milwaukee Pk vs Golden State. I'm a little concerned about the Lakers on the road. Not because I think the Hawks are that much of a challenge, but I'm worried about Kobe, Kwayme, and Bynum hitting up the Gold Club before the game. And even if they survive that, Kobe may be distracted by some of the young dancers on the sidelines, including Ginger- who when she isn't dancing is a manager at Victoria's Secret. But in the end, the Zenmaster will be set on beating down Atlanta, home of hip-hop icons Ludicris and Jermaine Dupri, and the Lakers will win a close one.

Bet #2 Detroit at Sacramento over 190. This is the home-opener for Sacramento, so I don't want to bet against the Kings, even though I think the Pistons should handle this game. If I'm wrong and the Pistons lose, then bet on them Thursday at Phoenix. Based on what I've seen on the Kings' defense so far, I do think that this game will be in the low 100's; so the over seems pretty safe.

Good luck to me.

A Display of Manhood

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — For 40 exhausting minutes, Wayne Goldsberry battled a buck with his bare hands in his daughter's bedroom.
Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday.
When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay dead on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.
Goldsberry was at his daughter's home when he heard glass breaking. He went back to check on the noise and found the deer.
"I was standing about like this peeking around the corner when the deer came out of the bedroom," Goldsberry said.
The deer ran down the hall and into the master bedroom, he said, "jumping back and forth across the bed."
Goldsberry, about 6-feet-1 and 200 pounds, entered the bedroom to confront the deer and, after a brief struggle, emerged to tell his wife to call police. After returning to the bedroom, the fight continued.
The man finally was able to grip the animal and twist its neck, killing it.
Goldsberry, sore from the struggle, dragged the dead animal out of the house.
"He got kicked several times. He was walking bowlegged for a while," Deputy Doug Gay said.
At this time of year, a buck that sees its reflection in a window often charges, believing it is fighting off a rival, Gay said.
Goldsberry had the deer butchered.
"He's in the freezer," the man said before walking to the kitchen and showing off pounds of freshly wrapped venison.

Damn. Thanks for making me feel like a little girl, Wayne. Perhaps the reason you were walking bowlegged for awhile is because of those giant balls you're sportin'.

Although the details of this story are pretty vague and I'm a bit suspicious. Why isn't the daughter named? Could it be that she is under investigation? Perhaps the story actually unfolded like this:

Wayne Goldsberry and his wife are visiting their daughter in their mountain home in Arkansas. After telling old family stories and throwing back a case of beer, everyone goes to bed. In the middle of the night, Wayne is awakened by his cottonmouth and a desperate need to piss. He walks down the hallway to the bathroom when he feels a cold draft coming from his daughter's room. He opens the door to discover the window wide open and even more surprising, a buck lying in bed with his daughter. Filled with rage, he jumps into the bed and grabs the buck by the antlers. With the daughter screaming, "No daddy! We're in love!," Wayne twists the buck's head, snapping its neck. Remembering the shame the Goldsberry family felt after the incident with his son and a bighorn sheep, everyone agrees that nobody can learn the truth of this deadly night. They then proceed to stage a break-in, smashing the window, cutting the buck, and smearing his blood throughout the house. Once the scene is set, they call the police, and only the father is allowed to talk, with the rest of the family nodding in the background. While the story isn't convincing, Deputy Gay (yes that's his name) is sympathetic to the Goldsberry's situation and suggests, "Perhaps the buck saw his reflection in a window and charged it." And this is how the police report is officially filed.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Well Patriots fans, the bad news is that you won't be travelling out for the Super Bowl this year. The good news is that the SB is in Detroit, so you really aren't missing out on that much.

Man, that was a beating the Pats took. Their defense couldn't make a single stand in the game, and I can't remember them getting pressure on Manning at all. They might still be able to win the AFC East at 8-8, but once they play any quality teams in the playoffs, it will be over.

Forget taking things one game at a time, now I'm looking ahead to the playoffs. I need the Bengals to win the North w/ the Steelers as a Wild Card. The Steelers then beat the Colts in the playoffs and the Chargers beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. Long shot...sure, but that's what we dreamers do...we dream.

Same ol', Same ol'

The Clippers had a statement game today. Unfortunately that statement was, "Hey, we're still the Clippers."

Lesson learned.

On a bit of a cold streak w/ the NBA. Now at 4-4 on the season.

The Rematch

The eagerly awaited rematch finally happens tonight. Can one superstar who has lost some key veterans around him lead his team to victory with the home crowd behind him, or is the opposition's undefeated start too much to be overcome? I'm of course referring to tonight's epic battle between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Clippers were able to squeak by with a win at home a few days ago, and now the TWolves look for revenge. But being beaten by the Clippers is a wound that doesn't heal quickly. I like the Clippers with the points.

LA Clippers +4.5 at Minnesota.
(NBA YTD: 4-3)

Oh, and in that other game tonight that a few people might be watching, I'll tease the Patriots +10.5 w/ the over 42.5....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bankroll bonanza

A few notes from today's game while I help Ty Law look for his jock after that move LaDanian Tomlinson put on him...

I could have 8 tvs in my house, a half dozen active players from my fantasy team going, the 'entertainment' from the Lake Cruise on the sidelines, plus a bill on the game, and I still wouldn't be able to watch the Lions/Vikings matchup. I wonder if it's too late for Harrington to use the old Testeverde excuse and say that he's color blind?

The length of Panthers' games could be cut in half if the league would just let John Fox announce "handoff to Stephen Davis," upon which the refs would advance the ball 3 yards and take 40 seconds off the clock.

You're never out of the game as long as Quentin Jammer is the "shut down" corner on the opposing team.

Does anyone still think that Brian Billick is an offensive genius? Aside from Billick himself, that is. I know that asking him to direct a high powered offense with his collection of QBs is kind of like asking Peter Jackson to direct an Oscar winning movie with a bunch of porn actors, but at least Jackson would put some excitement on the screen. If you're at a Ravens game and the team falls behind by more than a touchdown, you have two options: either move to a seat with a good view of the cheerleaders, or head to the parking lot and try to beat traffic.

How have the Seahawks not signed Shaun Alexander to an extension yet? Don't they realize they have one of the 3 best runningbacks in the league on their team? Wouldn't it be a good idea to keep a guy like that around?

Eli Manning didn't throw a single good pass the entire game, but Shockey, Burress, and Toomer all made amazing catches to save his ass (not to mention my bets). Nice job by Coughlin on 4th down to call the play action pass after previously having run into what looked like a 10 man front on an earlier 4th down play. The Giants have officially surrendered "sleeper" status and are now my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Nice job by the Eagles for saying FU to TO this morning by signing Brian Westbrook to an extension.

Not so nice job by me cutting Reggie Brown a few weeks ago. But hey, at least I have Mark Boerigter.

Finally, there's no better feeling in the gambling world than to have 4 of 5 teams covered in a parlay and the only way you can lose is if Kurt Warner leads a 4th qtr comeback in the 5th game...

Gambling recap: The Perfect Day! Hit the 5 team parlay plus I bet the 3 picks I'd posted individually yesterday. +$500 on the day. Now I just have to keep myself from blowing it in hoops again this week. (still shellshocked by the spurs performance).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rally Time

The brightside of gambling online is that even when you lose, there's always the next game. Well, as long as you have cash in your Neteller or Firepay account. So it's time to get the bankroll flowin' in a positive direction with the NFL. I'm going to keep the gameplan simple this weekend- bet against the god-awful QBs.

Carolina Pk at Tampa Bay. Did you see last week's Tampa Bay/San Francisco matchup? Of course you didn't, because Chris Simms was absolutely unwatchable. Add in the fact that Michael Pittman is dinged up and Cadillac obviously isn't right, and I think Carolina's defense might outscore the Bucs offense.

Cincinnati -3 at Baltimore. Remember a few weeks ago when Dom Capers was so afraid of David Carr throwing the ball that Carr only had 9 pass attempts for the entire game? I think Brian Billick may adopt the same gameplan for the Ravens with Anthony Wright at the helm. Just try to pound the ball with Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor. But in the end, the Bengals offense will be too much. The biggest challenge for the team should come for Chad Johnson as he tries to create a new endzone celebration. My guess: he hides a bunch of Mr. Potato Head pieces by the goal post and jams them into the ball.

New York Giants -10.5 at San Francisco. There won't be many opportunities in your lifetime when you get to bet against Cody Pickett as a starting QB in the NFL. You have to take advantage of them when they come along. Eli Manning should pick the Niners defense apart, creating some internal conflict for Chris Berman, as his new favorite boytoy will be beating up on his perennial NFC superbowl pick.


It's a good thing nobody actually reads this blog, because like my beloved Bruins, I was absolutely slaughtered this Saturday. I knew when it was raining in Oregon and the Ducks cheerleaders came out in parkas that it wasn't going to be a good day; although it did work out fine for Dan Fouts, who was calling the Ducks/Bears game. I do however question whether it was appropriate for him to charge the field with the fans after the overtime victory.

The Spurs really surprised me with how sluggish they looked. They reminded me of a boy at a junior high dance- afraid to get onto the floor and never able to find a rhythm. Just a strange night.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Statement Game

There are a few games on the NBA board for Saturday that I like, but one stands above the rest.

San Antonio -2 at Dallas. David Stern better hope this isn't a Western Conference Finals preview, because the Spurs might win this game by 20. This is Dallas' home opener and they might be able to hang around in the first half; but we've already seen this season that once the Spurs decide they're ready to play, the game is over.

And while Tony Parker may not have eyes in the back of his head, he's definitely shown an innate ability to hit his targets.

Pigskin Picks- College version

Here are the bets I'm looking at for Saturday:

Rutgers -2.5 vs South Florida. The Bulls are winless on the road this season. Entering the season, Rutgers had the longest current drought of seasons without making a bowl game. Now there's an outside chance that they could be in a BCS game.

Tennessee +9 at Notre Dame. The defense is going to have to come up big for the Volunteers. This is really the last chance Tenn has to salvage the season. There's also the added bonus that if Tennessee wins, then Scoop Jackson and Jason Whitlock will have another week of 'Notre Dame is racist' columns to write, and that's always fun.

Oregon -2.5 vs Cal. I'll be honest- with Dennis Dixon getting his first start at QB for the Ducks, I have no clue how this game will go. But anytime I have an excuse to post pics of the Oregon cheerleaders, I'm going for it.

Stanford +34.5 at USC. The scary thing is, I might have to buy a point just to push this spread over 5 touchdowns.

Iowa at Northwestern Over 60.5. This game has the potential of being a quadruple overtime 58-56 game that nobody watches on ESPN Classic the following Monday.

Hercules! Hercules!

When did Professor Klump become head coach of the Hawks? And what's he doing having Tyronne Lue walk the ball up the court every possession? The only edge the Hawks have is their youth and athleticism, you'd think they might want to push the ball from time to time. Can someone get Paul Westphal on the horn?

...Tonight's record: 1-2. YTD: 4-2.

NBA bets- Keep the Streak Alive!

Friday night's picks:

Detroit -3.5 at Boston. Detroit didn't win on the road the entire preseason, but I can counteract that with another meaningless stat: So far this season, Darko is averaging 11 pts, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 5 steals per 48 minutes! Why is he ever on the bench?! Al Jefferson is solid, but other than that, the Pistons' 2nd team has a major edge over the Celtics. That will be a big factor at the end 3rd period/start of the 4th, during which Detroit will build a double-digit lead. This should put Paul Pierce into pout mode thereby rendering a comeback implausible.

LA Clippers vs Atlanta OVER 198.5. Young teams like the Hawks hate to play defense for 48 minutes. Old gunners like Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley love to take shots for 48 minutes. This should be a replay of the Hawks/Warriors game from Wed night.

Washington at New York UNDER 199.5 I can't visualize the Knicks being a 100 pt/game team. It's just not part of their identity. They did reach the century mark in their first game, but it took overtime to get there. This just has the feel of a 89-85 game to me.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hoops recap

I was hoping one of the road teams would pull off the victory, but when both the Pacers and Lakers got wins as road dogs tonight, this became a pretty stress-free night of gambling. I have a feeling I'll be betting on the Pacers a lot this year. I think they'll play with a chip on their shoulder all season long.

As for the Lakers, their low-post defense has been atrocious to start the season. To quote my friend Coop, "The Lakers give up the back door quicker than no-name porn girls."

I haven't had much of a chance to look at Friday's lines yet. Look for a post a little later.

(Today's record: 1-0; YTD: 3-0)

Sucker's Bet?

My sportsbook currently has Phoenix +2.5 and Indiana +5. I'm a little annoyed with myself for missing out on the Pacers getting 6. I like the road teams in both of these games, even though I have no clue what to expect from the Suns.

I'm going with a funky bet today just to have a little fun, and because it's impossible for me to watch the NBA unless I have some action on the game. I've got a proposition bet of both road teams at +8. Hopefully one of the underdogs will win outright and give me a little bit of cushion.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NBA hiatus

No picks for Thursday's games for now. Pacers intrigue me, but for now- no bets.

Yesterday's results (2-0, plus the bonus w/ the Cleveland info)

YTD: 2-0

Kobe laying the Beef...

Lakers open the season at Denver and there's a lot of hostility directed towards Kobe Bryant, with the crowd booing him everytime he touches the ball. Kobe's hit tons of buzzer-beaters, but does anyone in Denver call him "clutch?" Noooo. He's still one of the league's best dunkers, but does anyone call him "hops?" Noooo...

But you rape one high school chick.....

He Couldn't Beat the Marlins...Now He's a Fish

According to this article, Alex Rodriguez has been seen with Phil Hellmuth playing at underground Poker Clubs in New York. Yankees management apparantly isn't too happy about the image problem this presents. I'm not sure whether they're referring to AFold playing poker or being seen in the company of the petulant one, Phil Hellmuth. This is just another example of what distinguishes ARod from Derek Jeter. You know that if Jeter were to be seen in a poker club, he'd be hanging with Phil Ivey or Evelyn Ng.

My first reaction to reading this article is "How can I get to New York to play in this game?" Rodriguez would be such an easy target. I have the feeling that he'd prefer to play $3/$6 limit, but assuming you could get him on a no-limit table, here's how he'd play:

-He'd overbet Aces or Kings preflop, assuring himself of only winning a small pot, but he'd have a look on his face like he'd just broken the bank.

-He'd rarely play speculative cards, but any time he did, he'd just limp in and could easily be raised out of the pot.

-Anytime he was on a draw, his lips would turn blue.

-He'd buy-in for 5 times more than anyone else had, lose about a third of his chips and then take off but consider himself a winner because he was still leaving with more chips than anyone else had.

But hey, good luck to ARod. Maybe he figures poker is his only way to get a sniff at a World Series title.

Trend Watching

I'm not a huge fan of historical trends since coaches and players change from season to season. But just as an FYI, this comes into play tonight:

Since 2003, the Hornets are 13-28 ATS after a win by 10pts or more.

Current Line: Cleveland -11.5 vs New Orleans/Oklahoma City

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Time for some action

For entertainment purposes only, here are a few early selections for Wednesday's games:

Atlanta at Golden State over 204. Should be an up-and-down game. Neither team plays any defense and both teams love to run. Of course we saw the same combination with Phoenix and Dallas, but that ended w/ a lower score than expected (at least in regulation). But there should be plenty of easy buckets for Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams.

Portland +11 at Minnesota. Poor Kevin Garnett. There's a difference between being the man on a team and being on a one-man team. The TWolves have no talent around him. Teams can triple team KG and still be fine. The Twolves will be the Packers of the NBA (except I don't anticipate seeing KG take shots backwards over his head with his eyes closed in the 4th qtr).

Stick it to the Man

Tim Duncan appears to be the first player to have found a loophole in David Stern's new "businessman" policy. While he may have to wear respectable clothes to the arena, he can keep his hair looking like a homeless dude in an alley. I guess Marcus Camby was right and the players do a need a stipend for some style. Maybe for the next game, he can cut holes in his socks and wear them as gloves on the sidelines to complete the look.