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 (161) MLB (77) NFL (76) NCAA (63) NBA (37) NFL Playoffs (32) NHL (26)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/22/2015

Spring sports always bring a mixed bag of stars and this week continues that Blog tradition.  In the Great American Race, a new face emerged as the winner.  With eyes on Jeff Gordon in his final Daytona 500, and other eyes on Dale Earnhardt Jr. to see if he could repeat last year's success.  It was Joey Logano who made the leap from promising talent to immortality with a razor thin win at the Speedway.  He controlled the race for the late laps, then a wreck with around 10 laps to go put him in control for the green, white, checkered finish.  It went green/white, but then another wreck, with Jeff Gordon in the middle of it, ended the joust.  And Logano emerged.  Others should have maybe considered getting in front on the late laps just in case.  That is, if they could have!  Congrats to Joey Logano, our Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/15/2015

Winter sports are in full swing and if it's an odd number year, that means the World Ski Championships.  This year's event was held on United States home soil, but podium finishes were sparse.  That was until Utah-born Ted Ligety saved the Stars and Stripes.  Ligety navigated the Giant Slalom ahead of the field for his third straight World Championship (2011, 2013, 2015) and 23rd World Cup championship overall (second place in history for GS).  He also won the GS at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.  The three straight championships are a record for the GS, and only two others in different disciplines have won three straight World Championships.  For his work this week, he also claimed bronze in the Alpine category.  A great week for a great American skier and our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/8/2015

With football season over, it's time to turn to hockey and hoops for weeknight sports entertainment.  Our Sportsman of the Week entertained indeed, as Russell Westbrook of the surging Oklahoma City Thunder dominated over four games.  He dropped in 34 points per game, averaged 9 rebounds AND 9 assists.  He hit >50% from the field and 95% from the line.  The team went 3-1, as Kevin Durant gets more and more healthy, the dynamic duo appears poised for a postseason run, despite sitting outside of the playoff picture.  Let's just say I wouldn't want to face a hot Westbrook and Durant in the first round and I wouldn't bet against them getting in.

This is Westbrook's second nod, joining teammate Kevin Durant (2) as well as Peyton Manning (3), LeBron James (2), Aaron Rodgers (2) and Ezekiel Elliott (2) with multiple nods through 165 weeks.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/1/2015

** This is late due to vacation **

The biggest event in American Sports produced a nail-biting, spine-tingling finish rarely matched in the big game.  Super Bowl XLIX was a back-and-forth affair to the last minute.  By the time the clock struck zero and the confetti reigned, Tom Brady cemented his status as a short-list candidate for the greatest of all time.  In his sixth Super Bowl start (record), he tossed for 328 and 4 TD in winning his fourth Super Bowl (tied for record with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana).  Another key element, his first and last Super Bowl titles were 13 years apart (record) and he won Super Bowl MVP for the third time (tied for record with Joe Montana).  Hard to believe this is his first nod as Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX Preview

This week, we experience the ultimate single game in American Sports.  The Super Bowl.  There have been 48 to date, and each literally wrote history, from players to teams to coaches to dynasties. The 49th chapter features two evenly matched teams, here yours truly, J.R. Ewing, evaluates who I think will prevail.

I'm not even going into the disaster that has been my gambling record this postseason.  It went from decent, to Broncos implosion, to complete loss last week.  But note.  I nailed the Super Bowl last year, few were picking the Seahawks straight up over Manning.  But me.

February 1, 2015: 18:30 EST - Glendale, AZ
Seattle Seahawks (+1, +102) vs. New England Patriots (-1, -108) O/U 47.5

This was similar to last year, you look at the sleek AFC team that looks so good and unstoppable on offense, vs. a choppy Seahawks offense that looks borderline inept.  And a Seahawks defense that's salty with momentum vs. an AFC defense that's good enough, but doesn't strike fear into the opponent.  Here it is.  Defense. Wins. Championships.  Period.  The Patriots will suffer the same fate as the Broncos.

Reasons why New England might win.  The Seahawks secondary is dinged, two key players in Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman were hurt by the end of the last game.  Maybe this deflategate will give them reason to have the mentality "it's us against the world.".  Gronk.  Blount.  An opportunistic defense.  And Tom Brady, who if he wins this, I'll put in the pantheon of great QBs with Joe Montana and...that's about it (don't get me wrong, others are good, but for Super Bowls, there are no others, Aikman and Bradshaw won with a same set of weapons around, not quite like Montana/Brady who have won with different talent).

Reasons why the Seahawks WILL win.  That defense.  They were much better against Green Bay than the score, the offense defied them.  Marshawn Lynch is a big game and big play back.  They are a team of destiny, did you see last week?  Eight straight wins and 11-1 in their last 12 games.  A team that took a little time to gel, after the departure of Harvin and some strife.  And a team that is playing loose after they won last week (can you say "house money")? 

I think the pressure and distraction of deflategate plays in.  This isn't a set of Patriots that have won the Super Bowl before, the Seahawks have.  The Seahawks have a better running game and defense, that goes a long way in these games.  They are the team that everyone loves to hate.  And they thrive.

Final Prediction: Seahawks 31, Patriots 14 

So to recap, Seahawks ATS, S/U, and the under (defense reigns this game, no deflated ball for Brady to throw).

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/25/2015

It's not often and NBA scoring record of any sort is broken, but our Sportsman of the Week did it.  Klay Thompson of the dominant Golden State Warriors put on a display that the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, or LeBron James has never done.  That is score 37 points.  In a quarter.  The average NBA team scores less than 30 points per quarter.  But on Friday, Thompson was a perfect 13-13 from the field, including nine three pointers in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings.  Nine, that's one every 80 seconds.  In a quarter.  Thompson is a big reason the Warriors are 36-6 and over five games ahead of the next best team in the field.  And an amazing Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/18/2015

Extremely rare that we'd give a nod to the same player in a three week span, but rules are made for exception.  When you're as dominant as this guy, I give up.  Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott backed up his amazing Sugar Bowl performance with a jaw dropping effort in the first ever College Football Playoff Championship game to beat the Oregon Ducks.  The previous two weeks (Big 10 Championship Game and Sugar Bowl) "only" registering 20 carries (for 220 and 230 yards respectively), he needed 36 carries for 246 this week.  And four touchdowns.  Single-handedly outscoring the favored Oregon Ducks.  He was the star of the past few weeks, and now for two of three weeks, our Sportsman of the Week!

Editors note, Elliott joins elite company in repeat winners: Peyton Manning (3), LeBron James (2), Aaron Rodgers (2) and Kevin Durant (2) (through 160 weeks).

Friday, January 16, 2015

2014-15 NFL Conference Championship Playoff Preview

Things were looking okay last week.  Then Peyton happened.  After a 2.5% profit in week one, the market crashed as fast as Peyton Manning's future prospects.  Total losses -29%.  Key losses were Cowboys and Broncos S/U, and missing three out of four ATS.  So don't listen to me.  Unless the law of averages is back in my favor...proceed at your own risk!

Each week of the NFL Playoffs, I'll preview the games, predict final scores, and oh, by the way, keep track of my overall oil money for straight up, ATS, and O/U on each game.  For ATS and O/U, $1100 is the Wager.  For S/U (a.k.a. Money Line), it's $1000 on either side.

Betting information courtesy of 5dimes.com at the time of post (this blog has no affiliation with that site). 

January 18, 2014: 15:05 EST

Green Bay Packers (+7.5, +295) at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5, -325) O/U 46.5

Green Bay Packers (13-4)
Last nine games: 8-1
Road: 4-4 (avg score GB 21 vs. Opp 23)
Against Playoff teams: 4-2 (0-2 on road)
Key Injuries: Aaron Rodgers (calf, probable). 

Seattle Seahawks (13-4)
Last seven games: 7-0
Home: 8-1 (avg score Sea 27 vs. Opp 15)
Against Playoff teams: 6-1 (4-1 at home)
Key Injuries: None

The Packers are going to be out of gas this week.  The Seahawks beat them by 20 in the season opener, and they're playing as good or better now than then.  The Packers are but a lucky bounce away from probably losing to the Cowboys.  The Seahawks put up an impressive amount of points against a good Panthers defense.  The Packers are downright lousy on the road.  This is a route in the making.  The only thing I don't like is the noon kickoff in Seattle, hopefully the crowd gets up early.

Final Prediction: Seahawks 28 Packers 14.

January 18, 2014: 18:40 EST
Indianapolis Colts (+6.5, +235) at New England Patriots (-6.5, -255) O/U 54

Indianapolis Colts (13-5)
Last eight games: 7-1
Road: 6-3 (avg score Ind 28 vs. Opp 26)
Against Playoff teams: 4-4 (2-3 on road)
Key Injuries: Josh McNary (suspended).

New England Patriots (13-4)
Last five games: 4-1
Home: 8-1 (avg score NE 33 vs. Opp 19)
Against Playoff teams: 5-1 (4-0 at home)
Key Injuries: None

The Colts were really impressive in Denver last week.  They baffled Peyton Manning with their game plan.  Their offense was efficient in a hostile environment.  Andrew Luck seems to be growing up before our eyes.  Tom Brady and his Patriots won a seesaw battle against a good, but not great Ravens team at home.  Including some shenanigans on lining up.  The Colts are a team on a mission, I see an upset here.

Final Prediction: Colts 31 Patriots 28.

If I had to pick the three "best bets" (3-3 so far) it would be:
Seahawks: ATS
Seahawks: S/U
Colts: ATS

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/11/2015

The most hyped game of the NFL Divisional Playoff weekend was probably the Green Bay Packers vs. the Dallas Cowboys.  Echos of the Ice Bowl were evident (although temps were balmy in the mid-20s.  But it was a rookie Wide Receiver that burst on the scene.  The Packers Davante Adams was targeted by once and future NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers 11 times, hauling in 7 passes for 117 yards and a TD.  Adams did some of his best work after the catch, including a highlight reel 46 yard TD scamper that changed the momentum of the game.  He also hauled in a critical 3rd down pass to seal the game in the fourth quarter.  You never know who your star is going to be, this week it's Davante Adams, our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014-15 NFL Week Two Playoff Preview

2014-15 NFL Week One Playoffs in the books and a slight profit was made.  Join me, J.R. Ewing, yes, that J.R. Ewing, weekly for playoff handicapping.  Here's how I roll:

 Each week of the NFL Playoffs, I'll preview the games, predict final scores, and oh, by the way, keep track of my overall oil money for straight up, ATS, and O/U on each game.  For ATS and O/U, $1100 is the Wager.  For S/U (a.k.a. Money Line), it's $1000 on either side.

First week I was 4-0 on over/under, 1-3 ATS, and 2-2 money line.  Profit for $315 for $12,800 wagered (or 2.5%, includes house take at -110 per $100 won).  Not bad .

So what do I think this week?  Much more confident.  See why below.

Betting information courtesy of 5dimes.com at the time of post (this blog has no affiliation with that site).

January 10, 2014: 16:35 EST

Baltimore Ravens (+7, +260) at New England Patriots (-7, -290) O/U 47.5

Baltimore Ravens (11-6)
Last five games: 4-1
Road: 5-4 (avg score Bal 26 vs. Opp 23)
Against Playoff teams: 3-4 (1-3 on road) 
Key Injuries: None.

New England Patriots (12-4)
Last five games: 3-2
Home: 7-1 (avg score NE 33 vs. Opp 17)
Against Playoff teams: 4-1 (3-0 at home)
Key Injuries: None

I am tempted to take the Baltimore Ravens.  They have looked strong on the road this year.  Joe Flacco turns into Joe Montana in the postseason.  They're balanced in all phases.  But this is the Patriots.  Their 7-1 at home includes a lone loss at seasons end after home field was earned.  Tom Brady seems especially motivated this year.  Gronk has transformed the offense since returning.  I see this going for the Pats.

Final Prediction: Patriots 35 Ravens 24.

January 10, 2014: 20:15 EST
Carolina Panthers (+10.5, +435) at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5, -500) O/U 39.5

Carolina Panthers (8-8-1)
Last five games: 5-0
Road: 3-4-1 (avg score Car 24 vs. Opp 27)
Against Playoff teams: 2-4-1 (0-2-1 on road)
Key Injuries: None

Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
Last six games: 6-0
Home: 7-1 (avg score Sea 26 vs. Opp 15)
Against Playoff teams: 5-1 (3-1 at home)
Key Injuries: None

I'll say from the jump, 10 points is too much.  Neither of these teams has lost since 11/30 (Thanksgiving weekend).  The Panthers offense on the road has defied odds (avg 38 points in that span).  However, in the last three games for the Seahawks at Seattle, only 16 points allowed by their defense (total, not average).  But the Seahawks haven't scored more than 20 in their last three home games.  The Seahawks win this in a low scoring affair (their first matchup was won by the Seahawks 13-9 at Carolina).  I think more on the Seattle side, but low scoring and within the points.

Final Prediction: Seahawks 20 Panthers 13.

January 11, 2014: 13:05 EST
Dallas Cowboys (+5.5, +220) at Green Bay Packers (-5.5, -240) O/U 52.5

Dallas Cowboys (13-4)
Last five games: 5-0
Road: 8-0 (avg score Dal 34 vs. Opp 26)
Against Playoff teams: 3-1 (1-0 on road)
Key Injuries: None.

Green Bay Packers (12-4)
Last six games: 5-1
Home: 8-0 (avg score GB 40 vs. Opp 20)
Against Playoff teams: 3-2 (3-0 at home)
Key Injuries: Aaron Rodgers (calf, probable).

This has to be the first time two teams met in the playoffs in which one was 8-0 on the road and the other 8-0 at home.  The Packers mojo at home is renown.  The Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers are the Minnesota Vikings.  The Cowboys really did look shaky last week, but settled down after the first 14 points to actually control the game (sometimes because of bad no calls).  Dallas' balance (can run or pass, and pass long or short) looks better than a gimpy Rodgers and their relatively one dimensional attack (he bails them out more often than not).  And the Packers defense isn't that strong.  I like the Pokes.

Final Prediction: Cowboys 24 Packers 21. 

January 11, 2014: 16:40 EST
Indianapolis Colts (+7, +280) at Denver Broncos (-7, -255) O/U 54

Indianapolis Colts (12-5)
Last six games: 6-1
Road: 5-3 (avg score Ind 29 vs. Opp 28)
Against Playoff teams: 3-4 (1-3 on road)
Key Injuries: None.

Denver Broncos (12-4)
Last four games: 4-0
Home: 8-0 (avg score Den 35 vs. Opp 21)
Against Playoff teams: 2-3 (2-0 at home)
Key Injuries: None

If you look at the points for and allowed by these teams, it will be high scoring.  At an even seven points, I think the Broncos, behind Peyton Manning and his experience, perform well in this game.  Andrew Luck has had little success in the playoffs on the road.  The Colts defense was impressive against a Bengals team without A.J. Green, but the Broncos will be a whole new beast.  Surprising the Broncos had a losing record against playoff teams, but those were all on the road.  The teams met Week 1 and the Broncos won 31-24.  They'll win by more this go around.

Final Prediction: Broncos 38 Colts 28

If I had to pick the three "best bets" (was 2-1 last week) it would be:
Cowboys: ATS
Broncos ATS
Seahawks/Panthers: Under