Who am I?

I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports


LHD_PotW (299) MLB (116) NFL (111) NCAA (99) NBA (50) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Twelve

Yeah haw, this has been a season of making dough
After a huge week of key matchups that shook up the college football rankings, we get a little break this week.  Not that anybody wanted it.  Most teams are gearing up for their rivalry games on Thanksgiving weekend, then many for conference title games the following week.  Meanwhile, the air is crisp, the pads are popping, there is still a lot that could go wrong for a number of teams this weekend.

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) One main reason to discount early polls...just wait until they play the games.  Teams get better or worse over the season. Have off weeks.  Injuries.  By the end, it all works out.
2) The only comment I'll make about the college football playoff is that I hope the committee avoids two teams from a single conference.  Exception might be an 11-1 non SEC East champion Alabama.  Otherwise, it should basically be four conference champions. Don't care who, don't care from which conference.
3) The college football coaches free-for-all got serious quickly, with Tennessee joining Florida in the immediate hunt.  To go with Ole Miss.  Maybe Arkansas and Texas A+M.  And that's just one conference.  This year is going to be a doozy.
4) Last week we noted road games are always dangerous.  Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Washington all faced big tests.  Only Alabama won.  Barely.
5) The three teams with the most to lose this week are Wisconsin, Georgia, and TCU.  All are favored, but face dangerous conference opponents.  The pressure is getting intense!

My Dawgs may be down, but just like me, they'll be back!
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. Coming off a difficult loss, Georgia faces a beatable but dangerous Kentucky team.  Texas is fighting for bowl eligibility with yet another tough Big 12 conference game in Morgantown, WV.   We also add a Group of 5 game, there really aren't that much to pick from.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan "Bulldog Babe" (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo). Can we give some love to BDB's hot new profile photo? A tribute to T-Roy from Montgomery Gentry.

Last week
JR: 4-1 S/U, 3-2 ATS
BDB: 2-3 S/U, 1-4 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 33-21 S/U, 30-22 ATS
BDB: 41-14 S/U, 37-17 ATS

Last week BDB had by far her worse week.  It was just one of those times when nothing goes right.  Her season numbers are still amazing at over 68% ATS.  You could make good money in Vegas on that!  .  Both pickers missed Georgia and Michigan State ATS.  J.R. successfully picked upsets (S/U) for Miami and Stanford while also getting Oklahoma (for which DBD picked a TCU upset).  BDB last minute changed her pick to Miami (see below) salvaging one ATS and another S/U.
Will she do better this week? My money is on "yes".

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Michigan (+7.5) at Wisconsin (Noon EST)

JR Ewing:
I've been a Wisconsin doubter all year. Not for anything other than they haven't played anybody.  I guess Michigan is anybody, but they are still barely in the Top 25.  Wisconsin gets the game at Madison and the crowd will be pumped.  I like Michigan in the role of spoiler here.  They have a variance on performance wider than most teams.  Harbaugh has them ready and they win. 
Michigan 28, Wisconsin 24

Bulldog Babe: 
Michigan @ Wisconsin: I think this is gonna be a good game. Wisconsin is having one strong season and it’s very impressive! I don’t think Michigan will be able to keep up with Wisconsin, but they will keep it close. Wisconsin will win though. 32-28.
Wisconsin 32, Michigan 28

Game 2: Texas (+3.5) at West Virginia (Noon EST)

JR Ewing:
As mentioned Texas is fighting for bowl eligibility.  Outside of Week 1, all their losses are to teams in the Top 13, two in OT, only one at home.  This is the time that Coach Herman has them ready for an upset.  And the point spread is tight on the road for a team ranked in the AP poll.  Texas wins a close one.  Maybe overtime.
Texas 28, West Virginia 26

Bulldog Babe:
West Virginia has impressed me a lot this season, they are a very put together team. Texas on the other hand has gotten stronger with every passing week. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with WVU though, WVU will definitely continue bringing their A game and WVU will win this weekend.
West Virginia 34, Texas 20

Game 3: Central Florida (-14) at Temple (Noon EST)

JR Ewing:
Central Florida is rocking an undefeated record.  But the pressure mounts.  Tough road game in cold weather has this game closer than the spread.  UCF wins, but not by that much.
Central Florida 31, Temple 24

Bulldog Babe:
UCF is one of those surprising teams this season. They’re ranked in the top 15 after tonight’s (11/14/17) CFB playoff rankings and they definitely deserve it. Temple on the other hand won’t be able to handle the tough UCF team, so UCF will win.
Central Florida 34, Temple 17

Game 4: Navy (+18) at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. EST)

JR Ewing:
One of the greatest David vs. Goliath rivalries in college football.  Disciplined Navy vs. Behemoth Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is coming off a very disappointing loss while Navy is scrappy.  I see this as reasonably close, but the Irish win.
Notre Dame 31, Navy 20

Bulldog Babe:
Notre Dame is the second team that got exposed last weekend, with a blowout loss against the Miami Hurricanes. Despite that, I think they will come back and win this weekend against Navy. They’re too good of a team to be kicked down like that. Notre Dame wins.
Notre Dame 40, Navy 25

Game 5: Kentucky (+21) at Georgia (3:30 p.m. EST)

JR Ewing:
This is dangerous for Georgia.  Licking their wounds from a thumping at Auburn, they return home to face a hungry Kentucky squad.  Kentucky is probably better than experts think.  Will Georgia bounce back?  Yes.  But they're looking forward to rivalry week as well as the SEC title game so this one again is closer than experts think.
Georgia 38, Kentucky 24

Bulldog Babe:
Georgia definitely had one of the toughest losses of last weekend against Auburn. While it severely dented their CFB playoff hopes, it’s not all over for the Bulldogs. If they win their next three games (Kentucky, Georgia Tech, SEC Championship), they will be back in the top 4. I think the Dawgs will bounce back in dominating fashion and it will be a smooth sailing win this weekend for UGA.
Georgia 35, Kentucky 7

Amazing the season is winding down.  But the excitement is reaching peak with rivalries and playoff talk.  Enjoy the penultimate regular season college football weekend!

- JR and BDB

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/12/2017

Same sport.  Same conference.  Same state.  New Sportsman of the Week.  The Big 12 has been a wide open offensive football league since the days of Mike Leach and Art Briles but there seems to be no bounds to the video game stats put up.  And before you say it doesn't work against good defense, reminder that the conference went 4-2 in bowl games last year (losses to Georgia and Miami who turned out to be on the upswing).  But back to the gridiron, Oklahoma State's senior quarterback Mason Rudolph is rolling through the meat of Big 12 play.  This was the Cowboys' third ranked team in three weeks, 2 of 3 on the road.  This week's stats were 25/31 for 376 yards and 3 TD in a key 49-42 victory over Iowa State.  That's only 6 incompletions.  Two of the TD came in the last 3 minutes as Oklahoma State scored the last 15 points of the game for the win.  Even in the loss to Oklahoma last week, he threw for nearly 450 yards and 5 TD but  came up short against last week's Sportsman of the Week.  Rudolph would be right in the Heisman talk if not for the slinger from Norman.  But he is our Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Eleven

Texas no longer worthy of picking
We are in the home stretch of the college football season.  In two weekends, we'll be to the big Thanksgiving finale of rivalries, conference championship posturing, and yes, playoff talk.  There are some huge games this week that will help separate contenders to pretenders.  And we have you covered picking all the big games.  But enjoy this fans. Weather is getting cooler.  Teams are hitting their stride.  And it's going to be an entertaining final month.

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) It seems like this is the year of conference parity. Other than the SEC which has two clear an away great teams, the rest literally have 4 or 5 that could win the conference.
2) The Big 10 is deeper than I have been giving it credit.  If Michigan State and Iowa can beat Penn State and Ohio State, then legit, it's got more than just a handful of good teams.  I still have an eye on Wisconsin for weak schedule.  I think if they win the Big 10, they'll get trucked by whomever they face.
3) Alabama will actually face a good team on the road.  Vanderbilt and Texas A&M is all they've faced in enemy territory. Since they don't play non-conference true road games by policy, they really limit their exposure to losses well with only four on the year.  And reap the benefits of 7 home games plus a neutral.
4) Road games are always dangerous.  Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Washington all facing big tests.  Expect a shake up.
5) The Miami vs. Notre Dame game brings back so many amazing memories from the 80s and 90s.  Jimmy Johnson, Lou Holtz, the Ibis with the fire extinguisher, the "Catholics vs. Convicts" T-Shirts.  Those were good times.

Don't doubt the Bulldogs.  The team, or me, the Babe.
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. Georgia faces its biggest test this year at Auburn while Texas faces Big 12 punching bag Kansas.  That game will not be picked.  So many good games to pick from, but we definitely spread the love around the country!

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo). 

Last week
JR: 4-1 S/U, 3-1 ATS
BDB: 5-0 S/U, 4-0 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 29-20 S/U, 27-20 ATS
BDB: 39-11 S/U, 36-13 ATS

Last week BDB missed like nothing.  She never misses nothing.  Like seriously?  Almost 75% against he spread?  How is this happening?  In two to three sentences she's telling us every week what's going to happen.  Heck, I'm happy at 7 games over .500.  But I'm so far behind.  Oh well, credit where credit is due.  No truth to the rumor I'm going to start a picks service with her as my expert!  Meanwhile JR only missed Oklahoma State.  Which could have gone either way.

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Washington (-6) at Stanford (10:30 EST)

JR Ewing:
Stanford is a very tough team at home.  All three losses on the road so far this year, and they have a history of spoiling championship runs in Palo Alto.  This week should be no different.  They are well coached and Washington isn't really tested.  I see a Stanford win straight up. 
Stanford 31, Washington 24

Bulldog Babe: 
I feel like this is gonna be an easy one to predict mainly because of the teams’ record on the season. Washington is a really strong team this year, and as Ohio State proved in 2014, you can still get in the CFB Playoff being ranked below the top six. I think Washington has a good resume this year and they will win this weekend.
Washington 27, Stanford 14

Game 2: Michigan State (+14.5) at Ohio State (Noon EST)

JR Ewing:
Michigan State coming off a big win.  Ohio State coming off a big loss.  The Big 10 has had more surprises than I expected.  I think Ohio State exerts their will at home and wins but close. I think too many people are seeing the vintage Buckeyes and not the ones that can get frustrated offensively. 
Ohio State 31, Michigan State 24

Bulldog Babe:
This matchup will be interesting to see the outcome of, considering Ohio State is a 14.5 point favorite. I don’t think it’ll be that easy for them, I think Michigan State will give them a lot of competition. Will they win? Time will tell, but I optimistically think they will pull out the win. 28-17.
Ohio State 28, Michigan State 17

Game 3: Georgia (-2.5) at Auburn (3:30 EST)

JR Ewing:
Here we go for Georgia.  This is their biggest test.  Well, since they went to Notre Dame.  Auburn is tough, but really has just one good win against Mississippi State.  I've been on the Georgia train, only picking them to win close in large point spreads. They'll be ready to invade Jordan Hare Stadium and win a close game.
Georgia 24, Auburn 16

Bulldog Babe:
This game, in my opinion, will be the best of the SEC games this weekend. Georgia is crushing their opponents left and right and that week 2 win against Notre Dame is looking better and better as the weeks go by. Everybody thinks Auburn is gonna ruin their season, I don’t think so. Auburn won’t be able to keep up with Georgia’s run game and they will be intimidated. I think Georgia will win this one and continue their dream season.
Georgia 37, Auburn 14

Game 4: Texas Christian (+6.5) at Oklahoma (8:00 p.m. EST)

JR Ewing:
Oklahoma is the current and future king/champ of the Big 12 until someone stops them.  TCU is a good road team, but I think Oklahoma is getting better.  They have so many good wins at Ohio State and Oklahoma State.  They'll focus in this on and win comfortably.
Oklahoma 41, Texas Christian 30

Bulldog Babe:
This matchup will be one of the best of the weekend, in my opinion. It consists of the first two teams out of the College Football Playoff top four. I️ think Oklahoma has more than proved themselves, but I think TCU has the stronger team. So I’m taking TCU in this one.
Texas Christian 37, Oklahoma 27

Game 5: Notre Dame (-3) at Miami (8:00 p.m. EST)

JR Ewing:
To be honest, I don't see either of these teams as Top 5.  That being said, Miami being undefeated seems to be overlooked by experts.  Mark Richt has this team believing and Notre Dame will have a stiff road test.  I think the Hurricanes announce their arrival back on the national scene with a close victory.
Miami 31, Notre Dame 30

Bulldog Babe:
This will be one of the top two matchups of the weekend. Notre Dame still looming with the one loss to Georgia earlier in the season and with the second rankings out, it looks like they have the third seed in the CFB Playoff locked down (unless a major upset happens of course). Miami is a dream team this year, like I said last week. I’m so excited to see what Coach Richt is doing with that program. I don’t wanna pick against them, but it’s gonna have to happen this weekend. Notre Dame has a stronger team on both sides of the ball, give me the Irish in this one.
Notre Dame 37, Miami 24

Bulldog Babe and I want to give a huge shout out to our Veterans on this Veterans Day weekend.  It's the Home of the Free because of the Brave.  My grandfather was of the Greatest Generation in World War II and both of us have cousins who have dedicated their life to being in the service and have our respect.  Thank a veteran this weekend and fly the American Flag proudly.

- JR and BDB

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/5/2017

As the calendar turns from October to November, football takes center stage.  While it's always too premature to discuss playoff options prior to Thanksgiving, the Oklahoma Sooners are in a strong position to win the Big 12 and that conversation thanks to a surging Heisman favorite.  Baker Mayfield, a former walk on quarterback, is putting up video game numbers.  But not against bad competition, but rather the best in the conference.  This week in a huge rivalry game, on the road, against a ranked team, he lit up the scoreboard.  Oklahoma scored 62 points.  He finished the day just 2 yards under 600 (school record from a school with a ton of Heisman QB winners) with 5 TD passes.  On only 24 completions, that's about 25 yards per pass completion.  A quarter of the field.  Before you jump on Oklahoma State's defense, against two likely bowl teams the two previous weeks, they snatched 5 INTs and held both QBs combined under 550 yards.  Oklahoma is in good hands with Mayfield, and he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/1/2017

Special edition this week, we extended the Sportsman of the Week to include all the World Series.  And we have an obvious winner.  The Houston Astros secured their first World Series championship behind their lead off hitter.  But it wasn't walks or stolen bases that got his team going.  It was home runs.  After a disastrous World Series opener (0-4, 4K, it was against Clayton Kershaw), George Springer set the pace for the Astros.  Over the final six games, he hit 5 HR (record), 3 2B, and also walked 5 times.  He ended the series batting .379 (in what was a low hitting series, other than Springer, only Evan Gattis and Joc Pederson hit over .300 with 10 AB or mor,e and both teams hit .230 or lower).  Houston, you have a title.  And a Sportsman of the Week!

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Ten

I will never pick against Texas again
Is it really Week Ten? Like double digits? But it seems like the season just started!?  Nevertheless, as evidenced by the first College Football Playoff poll, we are entering the stretch.  It is November.  Rivalries are kicking up.  And conference races are about to be decided.

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) Ohio State with their backs against the wall once again take hold of the Big 10 East race.  With a two game lead over Michigan, tiebreaker on Penn State, and Michigan State at home, they're in the drivers seat.
2) Can we take Iowa State seriously yet?  Having defeated both Oklahoma and TCU, they're in the middle of the Big 12 race. The Big 12 so deep, though, they still have to play another Top 15 team, and then road trips to previously ranked West Virginia and Kansas State.  I do think the Big 12's depth is it's biggest barrier against a playoff appearance.
3) Alabama has no wins over a team currently ranked this year.
4) We had our first major program head coaching axe to fall at Florida. Now it becomes a land grab, with other schools (Tennessee, Texas A+M, or Nebraska) behind the coach hunt curve if they do indeed part ways.
5) Miami is back on top for teams in the state of Florida.  First test (really, they've played no one decent) this week vs. Virginia Tech, then Notre Dame next week.  I hope the "Catholics vs. Convicts" 30 for 30 plays all week next week.

I'm hot, baby, don't doubt!
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. Georgia faces a scrappy South Carolina team while Texas faces their 4th Top 12 opponent in seven games at TCU. It's that time of year when finding only five huge games is difficult.  LSU/Bama and Michigan State/Penn State didn't even make the cut!

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo). 

Last week
JR: 2-3 S/U, 2-2 ATS
BDB: 5-0 S/U, 4-1 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 25-19 S/U, 24-19 ATS
BDB: 34-11 S/U, 32-13 ATS

Last week BDB only missed a Georgia cover.  She had them by 13 against a 13.5 point spread.  That's it.  She has been amazing, almost 75% ATS, not missing any straight up either!  J.R. did miserable picking Baylor and West Virginia and Penn State (although Nittany covered)

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: South Carolina (+23.5) at Georgia (3:30 EDT)

JR Ewing:
Georgia just keeps rolling.  A couple of non-covers, but only the one tight game in South Bend.  They have been starting fast (sign of a good game plan and well prepared players) and this week will be no different.  South Carolina has six wins, but none are overwhelmingly impressive.  Georgia wins but under the number.
Georgia 34, South Carolina 14

Bulldog Babe: 
The Gamecocks are Georgia’s second to last SEC East matchup of the season, but it won’t be that easy for South Carolina. They’re headed into a tough fan environment to play a team that is undefeated and statistically one of the best teams in the nation. South Carolina players have already given some bulletin board material on this weekend’s game, I feel like that will once again give the Dawgs a lot of motivation. Georgia wins.
Georgia 34, South Carolina 17

Game 2: Clemson (-7) at North Carolina State (3:30 EDT)

JR Ewing:
Clemson gets some new life from the playoff committee overlooking their single loss.  They're on a mission now and it starts in Raleigh.  This was a tough matchup for them last year, that will be this year, also.  Clemson wins, but close. 
Clemson 26, North Carolina State 23

Bulldog Babe:
NC State almost upset Clemson last year, but they fell just short of that feat. I don’t think they’ll come close this time around. Clemson is so strong on both sides of the ball and they have completely exceeded my expectations, despite the one loss against Syracuse. Clemson wins it this weekend.
Clemson 30, North Carolina State 14

Game 3: Oklahoma (+3) at Oklahoma State (4:00 EDT)

JR Ewing:
It's Bedlam.  One of the best rivalries in the Big 12 and the teams have the talent to match.  Oklahoma has been sputtering a bit, Oklahoma State is in a tough stretch of their schedule.  I like the home team here.  Better offense.  They're hungry.
Oklahoma State 37, Oklahoma 31

Bulldog Babe:
The two teams of Oklahoma are completely dominating this year, despite both of them having one loss on the season. Oklahoma was put as the first team out in the CFB playoff rankings and I think if they continue their winning ways, they have a case to sneak in the top 4. Baker Mayfield has a case for the Heisman as well, he’s a great quarterback who I think has been doing so well this season and it will continue into this weekend. Oklahoma wins.
Oklahoma 27, Oklahoma State 17

Game 4: Texas (+7) at Texas Christian (7:15 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
Remember when I said I wouldn't pick against Texas again (see caption above)?  I lied.  After all, I am J.R. Ewing so that shouldn't be a surprise.  TCU has had Texas' number the past few years.  None of the games close.  And TCU is wounded.  The Frogs roll the Horns.
Texas Christian 35, Texas 7

Bulldog Babe:
TCU has exceeded my expectations at the halfway point in the season. They have one loss on the season and they have talent on both sides of the ball. Texas has been sloppy from start to finish. Currently at 4-4, they’re struggling just to become bowl eligible. I think TCU will come out and dominate this game against Texas.
Texas Christian 37, Texas 7

Game 5: Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Miami (8:00 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
This is a sneaky greatest game of the day.  Both of these teams have ACC title aspirations and deservedly so.  Both are well coached (with new coaches).  Miami may be getting their 1980s swagger back.  At night in the Orange Bowl (or whatever their stadium is).  Miami wins and puts out notice they are a force to be reckoned with.
Miami 31, Virginia Tech 14

Bulldog Babe:
I am LOVING what Coach Richt is doing at Miami. Leaving Georgia has worked to his benefit and it’s so awesome seeing him do so well in his second year. Miami definitely deserves all of the hype they’re receiving. Virginia Tech in my opinion is one of my top 2 one loss teams. Even they have exceeded my expectations on this season. This is a tough matchup to predict the winner, to be honest. I gotta go with my gut feeling, I think Miami will win it but in another close game.
Miami 27, Virginia Tech 20

November is the best time of the college football calendar!  Have a fun Saturday!

- JR and BDB

Thursday, October 26, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Nine

Thank goodness I have oil money
Can you say perfection?  Bulldog Babe nailed 5-0 straight up AND 5-0 Against the Spread in Week 8.  She's on fire folks!  JR meanwhile may need to sell off some oil land to pay off his debts.  Not so good, Al.  Still a good chunk of season left and overall, our experts are well over .500 in all categories.  Bulldog Babe is an amazing 28-12 ATS.  28-12 people!!!!

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) The Big 10 has all of one win against a currently ranked team.  One.  It was Iowa over Iowa State (H/T to Shehan Jeyarajh).  I still think the conference lacks depth and a mediocre team can go 10-2.
2) Let's not let the SEC off the hook.  Two really really good teams, then you have to go down to number 19.  Hard to see Georgia and Alabama not making the SEC title game.
3) Is Notre Dame football back? People are starting playoff talk (which I know Bulldog Babe notes that they shall always remain in line behind Georgia).
4) Iowa State's strong season may put Oklahoma back in the playoff conversation.  If they can win the Big 12 at 11-1, hard to see them out.
5) Ohio State and Penn State should be a great game.  Nice that it's mid-afternoon instead of night.  In fact all the games we pick this week are prior to prime time (might be some World Series avoidance).  I enjoy the mid-afternoon time slot for the best games.  Sun setting over the edge of the stadium in the second half, time to unwind after and not be up past midnight.

Call me Miss Perfection!
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. This week Georgia has Florida in the World's Largest Cocktail Party while Texas plays winless, but dangerous, Baylor.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo).

Last week
JR: 1-3 S/U, 2-2 ATS
BDB: 5-0 S/U, 5-0 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 23-16 S/U, 22-17 ATS
BDB: 29-11 S/U, 28-12 ATS

Last week BDB had Louisville and Memphis upsets, then Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Notre Dame winning and covering.  JR just got an Oklahoma State win, and Louisville/Texas covers.

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Texas (-9) at Baylor (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
Baylor is winless this year, so it's easy to simply pencil in a tough Texas team and move on.  I think not so fast.  Baylor hung really tough against a ranked West Virginia team last week.  Texas took Oklahoma State to the end but lost (third loss against a Top 10 team).  I think Baylor make this their signature win.  Hard for me to gulp, but I see a Baylor win
Baylor 24, Texas 21

Bulldog Babe: 
Texas and Baylor is a battle of the Texas teams. Baylor is off to its worst start to date, 0-7 on the season. You think it’d be an easy win for the Longhorns and I will have to agree. Baylor has been very disappointing and they haven’t lived up to expectations. Texas wins it in a blowout.
Texas 44, Baylor 3

Game 2: Oklahoma State (-7) at West Virginia (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
This line seems fishy. Oklahoma State had to pull out a win in overtime at Texas, now going to a better team in West Virginia late.  Meanwhile as mentioned before, West Virginia was tested by Baylor last week, but has a good team.  At home, I like West Virginia behind a good home crowd. 
West Virginia 34, Oklahoma State 31

Bulldog Babe:
Oklahoma State and West Virginia is a Top 25 matchup, with both teams having their own strengths and impressive talent to show for their poll rankings. I think Oklahoma State is the stronger team, they have a strong offensive line and a stellar quarterback in Mason Rudolph. They will win in Morgantown this weekend.
Oklahoma State 33, West Virginia 19

Game 3: Georgia (-13.5) vs Florida (3:30 EDT) - Jacksonville

JR Ewing:
I've been on a "always pick Georgia" kick all season, but backed off a couple of weeks ago in a trap game against Missouri.  Florida will have all their attention, and after a bye week, Georgia has all it's weapons.  Florida is in a tail spin.  No way this is close.
Georgia 34, Florida 13

Bulldog Babe:
Georgia and Florida will be the best matchup of the weekend, by far. One nasty bitter rivalry that has shown its fair share of twists and turns. Florida is on a three game win steak against Georgia, but I think that will be broken this weekend. I know what Florida players have said already, but that trash talk will come back to bite them on Saturday. Georgia will come out and completely dominate Florida and wear them down.
Georgia 33, Florida 20

Game 4: Penn State (+6.5) at Ohio State (3:30 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
A rare Big 10 elite team matchup.  Only about 3 or 4 this year.  Ohio State is out for revenge against the Big 10 Champions.  Penn State wants to know why they were left out of the playoff despite having beat Ohio State last year.  I've been impressed with Nittany, and they win on the road.
Penn State 27, Ohio State 24

Bulldog Babe:
Penn State and Ohio State is the one game Georgia fans like me will be watching this weekend, considering Penn State is ranked #2 and the CFB Media has Georgia matched up with Ohio State in the CFB playoff. I think Ohio State has proven they’re legitimate playoff contenders and they will beat Penn State this weekend, in a close game. 
Ohio State 30, Penn State 27

Game 5: North Carolina State (+7) at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. EDT) 

JR Ewing:
North Carolina State has come out of nowhere to be in the ACC title race.  As mentioned earlier, Notre Dame is on a roll since the razor thin Georgia loss (which looks good the way Georgia has played).  I think the Irish win, and they do it by 7 points.  So this is a no-play on the spread.
Notre Dame 27, North Carolina State 20

Bulldog Babe:
NC State and Notre Dame, I predict, will be another blowout. NC State isn’t a strong enough team to compete with Notre Dame’s mobility and strength. Easy win for the Irish.
Notre Dame 44, North Carolina State 17

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

- JR and BDB

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/22/2017

With MLB Baseball postseason entering it's climax, it's easy to forget that NFL Football is in full swing.  We're only in Week 7, but it seems as if all teams have been written off, or considered favorites for the Super Bowl.  Parity.  The Oakland Raiders appear to be bouncing back after a rough start to the season.  Partially due to the injury to Derek Carr.  Nobody is more happy he's back than Amari Cooper.  In what could be a season-saving game, Cooper had a huge day, with 11 catches for 210 yards and two TD.  The best part, the Raiders won 31-30 over the rival and first place Kansas City Chiefs with a TD on the final play and the PAT to follow.  Cooper was a man who could not be contained, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Note, this is Cooper's second nod, and he's the second player to get this honor in both college and pro (Le'Veon Bell)

Friday, October 20, 2017

College Football Picks - 2017 Week Eight

I love October Saturdays
With some bigger spreads last week, it wasn't too hard to hit 80% of the straight winners action (as both of our pickers did).  ATS there were some close calls, but overall our pickers went 5-5.  On to the next, we're still hitting winners at a pretty good rate.  This week we have some much tighter spreads and spoiler alert, we will have some disagreement!

So now our weekly take on last week and this week, in five bullets:

1) It's always way too early to talk playoff teams, especially seeding, in October. Evidence Clemson, two Washington schools, and Auburn going down. None of these teams are out of it BTW (except maybe Auburn).
2) Michigan took a big step back last week, looking like a two horse race in the Big 10 East to play Wisconsin.  That being said, I feel a few more upsets are in the cards in the top heavy Big 10
3) I believe the Pac 12 and Big 12 are the deepest conferences with fewer soft teams.  It might result in both missing the college football playoff, but strong Bowl game performances
4) It's nice to have USC and Notre Dame be a big national game again. One of the great rivalries in college football.  Two national brands and there will be a lot of NFL talent on the field in South Bend this Saturday.
5) Is this the swan song for Butch Jones? I have trouble believing he'll do anything but get destroyed by Alabama, and I can't see how he can be kept much longer.  If nothing else, Tennessee gets a jump on the hot candidates. And they might as well, this season is a dumpster fire.

No Georgia game this week makes me sad
This blog will typically pick five games, including the Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs by default (unless bad matchups).  We try and go for one game in each of the Power 5 conferences, sometimes skipping one that might not have a marquee.  For each week's games, we give you final scores, so you can do your own ATS and S/U comparison. This week Georgia has a Bye (sad face for Bulldog Babe) while Texas plays their third Top 10 opponent in five games.  We had one snafu, because of personal commitments the blog was not released prior to the Memphis vs. Houston matchup.  Bulldog Babe got her pick in so we'll give her credit for that winner!.

Our two analysts are J.R. Ewing, Texas Longhorns fan and general loud mouth.  And we feature big time Georgia Bulldog fan Bulldog Babe (BDB) (@bulldogbabexo) as a guest expert.

Last week
JR: 4-1 S/U, 3-2 ATS
BDB: 4-1 S/U, 2-3 ATS

Season to date:
JR: 22-13 S/U, 20-15 ATS
BDB: 24-11 S/U, 23-12 ATS

Both of us missed Auburn winning and covering; BDB went on to miss both Georgia covering and Oregon beating the spread, while JR foolishly underestimated the Longhorns.

Spreads are from a great pick site, Capped Sports

Game 1: Memphis (+3) at Houston (8:00 p.m. EDT, Thursday)

JR Ewing:
Missed pick window

Bulldog Babe: 
Memphis is the final team inside of the AP Top 25. They face off against Houston this weekend and I think they can keep their winning ways going. They’re 5-1 on the season and they have the talent to show for it. Memphis wins.
Memphis 20, Houston 14

Game 2: Louisville (+7) at Florida State (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
Here we have two teams that have been nothing short of disappointment.  A returning Heisman winner for the Cardinals and Florida State with a Heisman contender hurt the first game.  The teams are a combined 3-5 in the ACC so far and are reduced to spoiler.  Both teams will fight hard, and Florida State wins by a FG late. 
Florida State 24, Louisville 21

Bulldog Babe:
 I love this matchup! Two very talented football teams with their own storylines on the season. They both have three losses on the season, but Florida State just hasn’t lived up to any expectations this season. Louisville wins.
Louisville 34, Florida State 20

Game 3: Oklahoma State (-7) at Texas (Noon EDT)

JR Ewing:
I will not pick against Texas again.  At least against the spread. They are now 5-1 against the spread and really are playing up to their competition; noting that this week will be their third Top 10 matchup in five games.  They fight hard at home with emerging freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, but fall short in a shootout.
Oklahoma State 38, Texas 35

Bulldog Babe:
This is an interesting matchup, which will hopefully be fun to watch. Oklahoma State is ranked #10 in the country, so they will bring their best game against Texas. I think they will pull off the win
Oklahoma State 30, Texas 24

Game 4: Michigan (+9.5) at Penn State (7:30 p.m. EDT)

JR Ewing:
Finally the Big 10 has a matchup of their best four teams.  That being said, Michigan has slipped with a loss and overtime win that should have been bigger.  But Michigan is talented and I'm not sold on Penn State, who hasn't played a team currently ranked yet.  This will be tight, Michigan escapes with a win.
Michigan 21, Penn State 20

Bulldog Babe:
This is one matchup where I cannot decide between, two very talented teams with a lot of strengths. Michigan is ranked #19 and Penn State is ranked #2, but the difference is one team is undefeated. Penn State hasn’t had impressive wins up until this point, but I think they will change that this weekend against Michigan. 
Penn State 34, Michigan 21

Game 5: Southern California (+3.5) at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. EDT) 

JR Ewing:
It's great for college football when these teams are good.  And good they are.  Notre Dame has bounced back from a really bad 2016 while Southern Cal lost a heartbreaker to Washington State.  Both teams have been tested, but I think the Trojans get the victory in South Bend.  More talent.
Southern California 27, Notre Dame 24

Bulldog Babe:
Another AP Top 15 matchup, there’s been a good bit of those matchups already and they have been exciting. I think Notre Dame is the stronger team on both sides of the ball, they showed that against most of the teams they played & I think they’ll win. 30-17 .
Notre Dame 30, Southern California 17

Have a great college football Saturday, American!

- JR and BDB

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/15/2017

A thrilling MLB postseason so far, and a new hero has emerged on the only team west of the Pecos still alive.  The Los Angeles Dodgers Justin Turner has rekindled the momentum that the team had during their stretch of 56 wins in 67 games over the summer (56-11).  But for the postseason, the Dodgers are up to 5-0 overall record through Sunday and marching toward the Fall Classic.  Turner has done his part, going 9-21 with 2 HR, and 10 RBI, the biggest of which was a walk off 3 run HR to win Game 2 against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.  He's become the man in LA, and is hoping to deliver the first Dodgers title in nearly 30 years for Tinsel Town. Meanwhile Turner is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!