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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LHD_PotW (147) MLB (77) NFL (66) NCAA (59) NBA (35) NHL (26) NFL Playoffs (24)
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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!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/9/2014

There were several huge performers on NFL Sunday, but this week's Sportsman shined above the rest.  QB Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers humiliated their arch-rival Chicago Bears defense, literally making it look like he was throwing against air.  Even with receivers wide open, Rodgers put the ball where it had to be for a total of six TDs before halftime, tying an NFL record that hadn't been done in 45 years.   Afforded most of the second half on the bench, his final stat line was 18-27 for 315 yards and six TDs.  Worth of our Sportsman of the Week!  This is Rodgers second nod, joining Peyton Manning (3), LeBron James (2), and Kevin Durant (2) as the only multiple time winners (through 150 weeks).

Friday, November 7, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Eleven Picks

It's November, crunch time for college football teams and gamblers alike.  A near wash last week, but we're starting to hit on the ATS now 7-3 the past two weeks.

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$960 (18-26-1, 3-6)
Previous Week: -$20 (3-2, 0-1)
Season total: -$980 (21-28-1, 3-7)

Lots of BIG games this week with TD or less spreads.  All the games we pick this week will involve ranked teams and conference deciding games.  Here you go!

#24 Georgia Tech (-3.5) at North Carolina State
Georgia Tech has Rambling Wrecked their way through opponents so far this season to a respectable 7-2 record.  North Carolina State has been very uneven, losing their first four ACC games before finally beating Syracuse last week.  A lot of people remember the Wolf Pack's effort against Florida State, that was an anomaly.  I just see this as a good team against a bad one and only have 3.5 points to give.

#12 Baylor (+5.5) at #15 Oklahoma
Oklahoma seems like a team that can beat inferior opponents but has yet to demonstrate they can step up their game against elite ones.  Baylor is the most explosive team in the Big 12, with just one loss in a very sloppy (penalty-filled) game at West Virginia.  Baylor is a better team and I'm getting 5.5 points.

#16 LSU (+6.5) vs #5 Alabama
Riding LSU at home at night is a winning combination.  It paid off for us for Ole Miss.  Alabama has just one win against a ranked team (West Virginia) so they haven't proved they can play at the elite level.  I wouldn't be surprised if they had a solid game here, but 6.5 points given to me is too much to pass up.

#7 Kansas State (+6.5) at #6 TCU
TCU is starting to feel the effects of having a big game every week instead of just two per year in previous conferences.  After a thrilling win at West Virginia, they will have to get their act together quickly against the Wildcats, who are still undefeated in conference play.  Bill Snyder always has his team ready on the road, I think they are able to keep TCU down (and again, I'm getting 6.5 points)

#9 Arizona State (-2) vs #10 Notre Dame
Arizona State fans and players have had this game circled on the calendar for years.  The fabled Irish come west for a showdown in the desert.  The Sun Devils will be ready.  We aren't sure if Notre Dame can play against this style of offense, I'm going to give the two points and see Arizona State by about a TD.

Straight up Special
#7 Kansas State (+200) at #6 TCU
For same reasons above, I see a methodical attack on the Frogs by the Wildcats.  This will come down to the end either way, and I'll take the 2:1 straight up odds that KSU pulls it out!

Just look at the rankings above, we're going to see some poll shift after Saturday (I think rising for the teams in the left column).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/2/2014

With the World Series complete, it's back to football.  There's been some strong performances in the NFL for quarterbacks, but this week's Sportsman has been head and shoulders above the rest (and not just because he is tall).  Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has had the two week span of his life.  For this week, he threw a record six TD passes (vs. no INTs) while netting 340 yards against an aggressive Baltimore Ravens defense.  And he led his team to the key Division victory. He was coming off a 522 yard performance in which he might have set an all-time record if he'd have kept throwing.  The Steelers are looking vintage, and Big Ben is the reason why, and our Sportsman of the Week!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

College Football 2014 - Week Ten Picks

What's this?  A second straight week in the black?  You betcha.  Starting to get a little momentum and I don't plan on stopping this week! Still time to pull this out!

Stats (ATS, S/U upset pick)
Coming into week: -$1150 (14-25-1, 3-5)
Previous Week: +190 (4-1, 0-1)
Season total: -$960 (18-26-1, 3-6)

Another full slate of conference games and great options, here are the five best bets plus a S/U special!

Duke (+3.5) at Pittsburgh We've been riding Duke on a number of occasions.  They keep getting points and they keep winning.  Here more than a FG seems like too much against a Pittsburgh team that's lost 4 of their last 5 and are 1-3 in conference play.  We roll with the Blue Devils.

Auburn (+2) at Mississippi
This might be the beginning of the end for Mississippi.  Great effort last week for the Rebels, but the schedule isn't going to let up.  And they're getting banged up as they run the gauntlet.  I like the Tigers if you're going to give me a couple of points.

Georgia (-11.5) vs Florida (at Jacksonville)
Florida has had two weeks to stew on their humiliating home loss to Missouri.  Coach Muschamp is in "bunker mentality", I think this is a coach without answers and a team that knows the end is near.  Georgia is rolling, they'll win by two TDs.

Iowa State(+16.5) vs. Oklahoma
Oklahoma has one win since September 20 and that was a game in which they were outplayed by the stumbling Texas Longhorns.  Iowa State has played good teams tough (Iowa, Kansas State, Texas) and should be able to keep it within a couple of TDs.

West Virginia (+4.5) vs. TCU
West Virginia is a beast at home.  When the rest of the teams travel east, there's an adjustment to make.  A rowdy crowd is guaranteed.  TCU piled up points against a Texas Tech team, but it will be tougher sledding against the Mountaineers.  I like home teams getting points.

Straight up Special
Arizona (+230) at UCLA
UCLA hasn't been sharp this year but keeps finding ways to win (Texas, Colorado).  Arizona has been extremely strong and looks poised to raid the Rose Bowl and leave with a win.  It's not the juiciest underdog, but this looks on paper more like a pick'em game for me.  You could take the 6.5 points as well, just like the above better.

Good luck to your team and have fun!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why the first college football playoff poll isn't worth the paper it's voted on

On Tuesday October 28, 2014, the first College Football Playoff poll will be released.  Experts and pundits are convinced that it will reveal all when it comes to which four teams will face off in the Rose and Sugar Bowls, then in Dallas North Texas for the BCS College Football Championship.  I don't mean to temper your enthusiasm, but this poll is pretty much meaningless. Here's why.

1) There is so much season left to play

It's amazing how spun up people get when talking about whether Notre Dame should be number 6 or 7, why Auburn or Alabama is still ranked high, and why no Big 12 team is in the Top 5 when they have just as many losses as SEC teams ranked there.  You know what? IT DOESN'T MATTER.  It will all play out.  We're convinced that the top teams will win out and somehow a worthy team will be left out.  Now with four slots, I'm more worried about an overrated team getting in.  A team like Baylor.  Or Georgia.  Or Ohio State.  Or maybe Florida State or Notre Dame.  Show me the quality wins for those?  Just let it play out and the cream will rise.  The only argument I want to hear is in December for teams number 5 or 6.  Not number 11 right now against a Top 3 team that will lose 3 of their next five.

2) The poll isn't going to differ from the AP/Coaches poll

It turns out, the people that vote in the AP and Coaches poll aren't dumb.  In fact, their paid to know college football.  Are they perfect?  No.  Are they awful? No.  The fallacy of "those polls come out too soon and are biased" have always baffled me.  Each pollster starts with a blank piece of paper every week, bound by no rules of moving up or down teams.  So the fact that Mississippi State was unranked coming into the year is why they're not number one is nonsensical.  Just look at today's polls.

3) Win the conference, make the playoffs.

The only races people should be talking about are the conference races.  If you are in one of the so-called "Power Five", you probably have an 80% chance to make the playoff.  With all the hubbub of the SEC getting two, maybe three teams, when it comes down to it, all but one of those teams have lost once, and many (many) more still have to play.  They're not going to take two-loss SEC teams over one-loss teams from other conferences.  The one extra spot as I see it is if the Pac 12 and Big 12 have nothing but two-loss teams.  Then maybe a two-loss Alabama might sneak in.  But other than that.  Win the conference, make the playoffs.  Finally, conference titles are back in vogue.

4) Really, this is just an expansion from a 2-team playoff to a 4-team playoff with a different criteria

This isn't that different than the BCS.  That was a 2-team playoff, this is a 4-team playoff.  That had a objective, mathematical criteria, this has a committee, subjective criteria.  At the end, I bet the old BCS poll was right more than wrong.  Or at least no worse.  The main thing now is that one loss really leaves you still in play.  And I think two losses does.  Not for any other reason that the big conferences have a bit more parity.  We don't have Oregon, OU, Ohio State, and Alabama ripping everyone.  The Utah's, TCU's, Michigan State's, and Ole Miss's are right there.  So we'll get the top four teams. From about ten deserved (instead of two out of three or four).

Here's my college football poll if you based it solely on performance on the field.  I'm subtracting significant points for losing to unranked teams and blowout losses.  Minus a few points for a close win against inferior opponent.  And you're not going to see teams that haven't beaten anybody ranked (East Carolina or Marshall).

My College Football Playoff poll:
1) Mississippi State (7-0)
2) Florida State (7-0)
3) Notre Dame (6-1) loss to Florida State
4) Oregon (7-1) loss to Arizona
5) Michigan State (7-1) blowout loss to Oregon
6) Auburn (6-1) blowout loss to Mississippi State
7) Kansas State (6-1) lost to Auburn

8) LSU (7-2) lost to Auburn and Mississippi State
9) Ole Miss (7-1) lost to LSU
10) Alabama (7-1) lost to Ole Miss AND struggled with Arkansas
11) Arizona (6-1) loss to unranked USC
12) TCU (6-1) lost to Baylor
13) Baylor (6-1) blowout loss to West Virginia
14) Oklahoma (5-2) lost to Kansas State and TCU and struggled with Texas


15) Georgia (6-1) loss to unranked South Carolina

16) Clemson (6-2) lost to Georgia (blowout) and Florida State
17) West Virginia (6-2) lost to Oklahoma and Alabama
18) Nebraska (7-1) loss to Michigan State AND struggled with McNeese State
19) Arizona State (6-1) blowout loss to UCLA

20) Ohio State (6-1) blowout loss to unranked Virginia Tech
21) Duke (6-1) lost to unranked Miami
22) Utah (6-1) lost to unranked Washington State

23) UCLA (6-2) lost to Oregon and Utah
24) Texas A&M (5-3) lost to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama (blowout)
25) Louisville (6-2) lost to Clemson and unranked Virginia