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

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 12/14/2014

The NFL is in crunch time, and teams are scrambling to make the playoffs, and get a good seed.  Nobody had a better Sunday this weekend than the Dallas Cowboys, and they were led by what people might start realizing is the most dominant wide receiver on the planet.  Dez Bryant was completely unstoppable on Sunday Night Football in Philadelphia against the Eagles.  His six catches for 114 yards seem nominal, but it's the 3 TD, all in which he physically outworked the corresponding corner back that was eyebrow raising.  Probably the second game of the year he won on his own ability (see OT win against the Texans).  He is a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Sixteen Picks

Things started out with so much hope last week with a fast 2-0 start.  Then came crashing down in the prime time window.  A microcosm of this season's journey.  There was good times and bad times.  More bad than good.  But here's how it played out:

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$780 (31-38-1, 5-10)
Previous Week: -$230 (2-3, 0-1)
Season total: -$1010 (33-41-1, 5-11).

This week is of course just The Game.  Army vs. Navy.  We'll scratch out five ($110 or money line) bets to keep things interesting, here we go!

Navy (-15) vs. Army (Baltimore)
Army is a hungry team having lost 12 straight in the rivalry.  That's back to 2002.  But Navy is waaaay better.  Their only loss since October 4 was to Notre Dame by 10 points.  Army hasn't really played competitive with any of the bowl teams on their schedule (Stanford, Rice, Air Force, Western Kentucky) with an average loss by 25 points.  Take out the Stanford loss (clearly an overmatched team) and it's only 16.5 point.  But Navy takes this by 3 TD

Navy (+610) vs. Army (Baltimore)
Yes, we'll take the money line, too.  Even if it means putting up $610 to win $100.

Navy (-8) vs. Army (Baltimore) (First Half)
I see Navy jumping on Army early and the second half being closer.  So we'll give the points and take Navy

Navy vs. Army (Baltimore) (Over 55 points)
This is a close one, but Navy's defense does give up points (30+ in 3 of last 4 games, 3-1).  So does Army (20 or more in all games, 30 or more 7 out of 11).  This one will feature some big offensive plays and just give it to the over (like 42-21)

Army (wins coin toss) vs. Navy (Baltimore)
Army has to win something, it'll be the coin toss.

This will be the final installment of this series.  Bowl picks to come out next week (and will include a post-mortem)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 12/7/2014

In the era of video game quarterback statistics, a running back this week was the superstar of a key battle in the AFC North.  Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers was practically unstoppable in a battle that saw his team prevail 42-21. On the road.  Against the first place team, the Cincinnati Bengals.  Bell's final numbers (a fantasy owner dream) were 26 carries for 185 yards (a smooth 7.1 YPC) and two touchdowns.  That's pretty good in and of itself.  But throw in 6 catches for 50 yards and another TD (second most catches on team, 8.3 YPC).  So 32 touches and one complete domination.  Congrats to the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Friday, December 5, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Fifteen Picks

Another good week, buoyed by a S/U pick at +$400.  Two weeks left (oh yes, I AM picking Army/Navy) to recover losses.  But the last two weeks have been a boon.  Here's where we stand.

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$1260 (28-36-1, 4-10)
Previous Week: +$480 (3-2, 1-0)
Season total: -$780 (31-38-1, 5-10)

To take a step back, we're wagering $650 per week, $550 at $110 each on 5 games on ATS plus a $100 S/U underdog (one week we bet twice, it didn't work out).  We're +$770 these past two weeks (yes, it was bad before that).

But, without further ado, here are the big games in the Power Five conferences for your ingestion!

Pac 12 Championship Game (Santa Clara)
Oregon (-15) vs Arizona
This is VERY tempting to give the two TDs.  But Oregon is peaking right now.  And Arizona just survived a slugfest with rival Arizona State.  The Cats beet the Ducks the first time, it won't happen again.  And it will be ugly.  Oregon will be putting it's stamp on a case for a number one seed and will win by 3 TD or more.

SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)
Alabama (-14.5) vs Missouri
Another one where it is tempting to take a lot of points.  But Missouri has done it with smoke and mirrors and doesn't have a win against a ranked opponent this year.  Amazingly, they only had to play one.  Alabama is battle tested and, like Oregon, is peaking.  Both teams come off emotional wins, but I like the Tide easy.


Kansas State (+7) at Baylor
Baylor looked shaky last week in a showdown at Jerry World against a pretty bad Texas Tech team.  And Bryce Petty was shaken up with concussion like symptoms.  But he's going to play (what is the protocol on that again)?  Kansas State plays physical, ball control.  Baylor wants you to score quickly.  The Cats will keep punching the soft Baylor defense and eventually break it.  Baylor won't get in rhythm.  I like the Cats straight up here (see below).

ACC Championship Game (Charlotte)
Florida State (-4) vs Georgia Tech
Everyone keeps waiting for the Seminoles to crumble and every week they pull it out.  This week, Jameis Winston is distracted by hearings, they're without their top running back, and they looked tired as if the stress is getting to them.  Don't worry, they'll pull out another one.  This style of defense will stop the Yellow Jackets.  They win by a TD and crash the playoff party (as much as an undefeated team can be called crashers).


Big 10 Championship Game (Indianapolis)
Wisconsin (-4.5) vs Ohio State
Ohio State even with J.T. Barrett looked shaky at times.  Struggling with Michigan, struggled with a very mediocre Penn State.  Now they did beat a very good Michigan State team, but Wisconsin is going to deliver the knockout punch.  I think they're probably the better team even with Barrett, but they'll bludgeon the Buckeyes into submission by a TD easily.

Straight up Special
Kansas State (+240) at Baylor
A good bet to win, especially at over 2:1 (see above).  Especially if Petty is questionable to make it the whole game.

Have a great week of Championship games.  If the above follows my form, it's an easy choice for the playoff with the current four teams holding.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/30/2014

Thanksgiving and football and synonymous and this Thanksgiving was no exception.  For college football that means rivalries.  Perhaps the biggest college football rivalry and game this weekend was Alabama vs. Auburn.  The offensive starts shined, but none more than Crimson Tide WR Amari Cooper.  The junior tied season highs with 13 receptions for 224 yards and 3 TD leading the Tide to a 55-44 win propelling to team to yet another SEC Title game.  All this while playing with a bruised knee.  The future NFL star looked like a man among boys and is our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Fourteen Picks

The Lord taketh away, the then the Lord giveth back (but not quite as much).  After the worst week of the season, I was able to register a nice recovery week, particularly hitting the upset special.  TWo weeks plus the bowl season to go, maybe a chance I break even?

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$1550 (25-34-1, 3-10)
Previous Week: +$290 (3-2, 1-0)
Season total: -$1260 (28-36-1, 4-10)

Rivalry week is here with lots of juicy matchups, both in conference races and non-conference.  The battleground of the ACC and SEC seems the most ripe, I just happened to stick to games exclusively in those leagues.  I like this set of games for 5-0:

Virginia Tech (+1) vs Virginia
The Hokies have owned this rivarly and I'm not sure Virginia is ready to turn the corner yet.  Winner goes to a bowl game and this is seemingly the first meaningful night game played at Lane Stadium.  And it's a rivalry.  I see a win for the Maroon and Orange.

Georgia Tech (+13) at Georgia
This is a really curiously wide spread.  Georgia Tech is playing some good football and forces you out of rhythm on defense.  They're hungry for a win in this rivalry.  And Georgia is without Todd Gurley once and for all this season.  The Rambling Wreck might just ramble through the hedges for a win, let alone the 13 points.

Clemson (-4.5) vs South Carolina
South Carolina has been off this year and Clemson is hungry to take down the wounded animal.  If not this year, when?  Even without starting QB (who is questionable), Clemson should play inspired against a mediocre Gamecocks squad.  Steve Spurrier doesn't seem to have the fire of years past, this is the Tigers year at home.

North Carolina (-6.5) vs North Carolina State
The Wolfpack doesn't look like that good a football team whereas Carolina does.  Two teams in opposite directions, I see a Tarheel victory in the 10-14 point range.  High scoring, which also lends credence to this spread being too small.

Mississippi State (-2) at Ole Miss
The Rebels looked Dazed and Confused last week at Arkansas.  Like a team that has no confidence left.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs come off a tough loss at Alabama and still look the part of being a playoff contender.  They need a convincing win here to hold off the Big 10 and Big 12 Champion for the final spot, and I think they'll come out guns a blazing.  Ole Miss looks like they're fading. 

Straight up Special

Georgia Tech (+400) at Georgia
For the same reasons above, the Jackets look hungry and might just leave Athens with a "W".  Love the money line on this one.

A sweep of these games would be $900, need it to recover!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



Monday, November 24, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/23/2014

Another week, another 400 yard rusher.  Wait, what? 400 yards?  Is the NCAA just a video game at this point?  Samaje Perine sure made it look that way.  The Oklahoma Sooners freshman shredded the Kansas Jayhawks defense for 427 yards on 34 carries and 5 TD.  Just another day at the office.  The best day of running offense ever in FBS breaking the record set by Melvin Gordon one week earlier.  This was a week after Perine ran for 213.  That's 640 and 8 TD in two weeks.  While the Kansas defense won't exactly strike fear in runners, the performance is far and way worthy of the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week..

Friday, November 21, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Thirteen Picks

It's near the end, and it's not going well.  Here's a summary of last week's picks:


I don't want to talk about it.

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$1000 (24-30-1, 3-8)
Previous Week: -$650 (1-4, 0-2)
Season total: -$1550 (25-34-1, 3-10)

I'm running out of runway to make profit, but I can still recoup some.  Here are this week's picks, do what you will with them!

Wisconsin (-10) at Iowa
There is a clear mismatch in talent here, and Wisconsin still has a lot to play for in a West title (for those worried about a let down).  There might be some concern that Melvin Gordon is tired but even with that, Wisconsin should win by 2 - 3.5 TDs.  Even at Iowa. 


Iowa State (-1.5) vs Texas Tech
A lot of people will jump on Tech here.  Not so fast.  Now 1-7 in their last eight, the Red Raiders have packed it in.  The Cyclones are coming off a bye and will likely play well for coach Paul Rhoads who is on the hot seat.  I see the Cyclones winning their home finale easily.


Louisville (+3) at Notre Dame
The gold shimmer is off the Domers.  Notre Dame has lost three of their last four, while Louisville comes in confident.  Notre Dame has given up 31 points or more in their last 5 games.  This looks more like a pick'em game for me, so I'll take the Cardinals with the Field Goal of points.

Stanford (-5.5) at California
Another one where I see a TD win easily.  Both teams have been dreadful in their last set of games (Cardinal 2-4, Bears 1-4) but the Cardinal losses were mostly road to highly ranked teams.  Three of Cal's losses were at home.  Stanford should have no problem winning by a TD.

Arkansas (+3.5) vs Ole Miss
Arkansas finally busted through with a win last week, their first in the SEC in 18 tries.  I think they enjoyed the taste and want more.  Ole Miss hasn't won a conference game in over a month and look vulnerable to a hungry Hogs team.  Arkansas can lose and cover, but I see a win here.

Straight up Special


Illinois (+210) vs Penn State
I'm not sure how inspired Penn State will be, but I think Illinois will be guns a'blazing with a bowl bid on the line (first of two more wins they need).  It seems as if Penn State is worn down, perhaps the Illini get it done at home.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/16/2014

When you set a single game offensive college football record, you've done something.  With 50 games a weekend times 100 years of football times 15 weeks per season, that's a lot of games.  Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin devoured the single game rushing yard record with 408 yards.  That's almost half way to 1000!  And this wasn't against Midwestern South Trinity college.  This was against Nebraska.  The proud Top 20 Cornhuskers who came into the game with only one loss.  Gordon finished with the 208 yards on only 25 carries for a 16.5 average.  And 4 TD.  His longest was only 68, so without that he still had 340 yards.  The Heisman trophy should probably come calling for Mr. Gordon, our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Twelve Picks

Second week in a row of 3-2 ATS while missing the upset pick.  Somewhat bitter having LSU ATS getting 6.5 to have that crushed in OT.  But that's the breaks.  Here's the stats

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$980 (21-28-1, 3-7)
Previous Week: -$20 (3-2, 0-1)
Season total: -$1000 (24-30-1, 3-8)

Tons of juicy lines this week.  A team with a 25 game winning streak that's barely favored over an unranked.  Number 1 is a TD+ dog.  A team that hasn't won an SEC game in years is favored...against a team that almost just beat a Top 10 team.  Guaranteed 5-0 ATS this week, just place these bets now!

Nebraska (+6.5) at Wisconsin
Neither of these teams has too many impressive wins (both play in the B1G where good teams are few and far between).  Nebraska looks like an improving team and is actually in the palyoff hunt.  Wisconsin isn't even ranked.  Yet Nebraska is getting a TD or so.  I see this as a close pick'em so take the Huskers.

Alabama (-8.5) vs Mississippi State
The number one team in the country is getting a lot of points.  But they are not that good.  Suddenly wins over Auburn and LSU aren't so impressive.  Alabama plays two or three of these big games every year.  They'll win by a couple TDs at least.

Florida State (-3) at Miami
Florida State has 25 straight wins.  Straight.  Miami isn't even ranked.  The line would imply this is even.  Miami's home field advantage ain't what it used to be at all.  This just seems like fans overreacting to FSU struggles.  I like the Noles to win and not by less than three. 

Louisiana State (PK) at Arkansas
Arkansas was favored earlier in the week, but pick'em is probably a more accurate representation.  Although Arkansas is on a 17-game losing streak, LSU doesn't seem that dominant and maybe this is a game they think they can win.  They're still behind the talent gap.  The only questions is that if LSU has a let down after last week's let down.  But a team that takes Alabama to overtime should be able to beat Arkansas.

Arizona State (-9.5) at Oregon State
Arizona State is the latest upstart into the national playoff picture.  Oregon State has lost 5 of 6 and beat nobody.  This just seems very easy to win by more than 10 points.  More like 20 points.  Pac 12 teams have had no issues winning on the road.  Easy money.


Straight up Specials

Since we're down on the season in cash, we're going to start the Hail Mary routine.  I see two tempting underdog S/U wins, here we go.

Maryland (+355) vs Michigan State
Maryland losses are pretty good this year.  Michigan State is coming off a devastating loss.  And Maryland is coming off a bye week.  For this money line, it's worth a dice roll.

Rice (+825) at Marshall
Rice is on a six game winning streak, and two of their three losses are to Texas A&M and Notre Dame.  Marshall is undefeated, but for this money line, very tempting.  Rice never lures gamblers, so for 8/1 this is a great play.

Great week for gamblers, sit back and enjoy.  And win with these picks!