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 (279) NFL (109) MLB (108) NCAA (96) NBA (50) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Week 14 Upset Specials

At this point, the word "special" is starting to lose meaning.  Another shut out last week.  A tough week, with the passing of the actor who played me so brilliantly in the 80's.  One game went to OT, shockingly I lost.  Again.  The other two weren't even close.  So I'm down $12,750 for the season.  I just didn't get mojo going late in the year.  It happens.  I conclude this column with three more picks, who knows if I'll win, there weren't that many teams to pick from, I'm chasing lost money with bad money.  But I persist!

Georgia (+8.5, +260) vs. Alabama
I think Alabama is a little overrated, they really only beat LSU (barely) as far as good ranked teams.  Turns out the East was a beast this year in the SEC and Georgia won the battle royal with a lot of impressive wins.  Neither of these teams played the best from the other division (some calling shenanigans) but I think it's closer to a 3-4 point game than the TD+.  Go Dawgs!

South Florida (+7, +248) vs. Pittsburgh
The Big East has been ridiculous with upsets.  It's called parity, and when a team from the cold mid-atlantic goes to sunny Florida in a game they really don't have much at stake in, I might take the team from Florida.  In fact, I will!

Texas (+10.5, +315) at Kansas State
For some reason, Texas responds well after bad losses.  The fan base gives up (I can speak from personal experience) and then suddenly they pull things together.  Kansas State has had 2 weeks to stew over their loss, their confidence is broken and there is something to play for, but not as much as 2 weeks ago.  Texas has nothing to lose, nobody thinks they'll win.  So they just might!

For my own sake, I'm going to wipe the slate clean after this and have some bowl props for you, format TBD.  But it's been a fun season!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/25/2012

Don't ever accuse me of bias, this week's Sportsman of the Week is another rival of the Texas Longhorns.  Landry Jones chucked for 500 yards against the rival Oklahoma State Cowboys, keeping his team in the shootout eventually leading to the 51-48 OT win.  It doesn't get any bigger than starring in your senior day against your rivals.  It was his second 500 yard passing game in a row, he completed 46 out of 71 including 3 Touchdowns.  And his team needed every one of them in keeping their Big 12 and BCS bowl hopes alive.  Landry Jones has had a great career, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A sad day for the LHD on Sports Blog

A moment of silence for the brilliant actor who brought me to life in the iconic 80's series, Dallas.  His persona will live on in this blog from time to time as I'm sure he would have wanted it.  His character was larger than him, but it is a sad day for this blog.
Larry Hagman: 1931 -  2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 13 Upset Specials

I at least hit one of three last week (Baylor d. KSU), but was oh so close on Boston College over Virginia Tech for a big payday.  New Mexico was close, too (all three picks covered).  Profit was $1,700 after the other two losses trimming my losses to $9,750.  For the season, I'm 6-38.  For those just joining the blog, I'm picking TD or more underdogs, but straight up against the money line.  Hence the poor record.  $1G each bet, three bets a week.

So with 2 weeks left, I need to start hitting big time.  I have to fight the temptation to find higher money line odds at the expense of chance of the win.  Still looking for anything +7 or more.  Desperately need to hit 2 of these!

Georgia Tech (+13, +390) at Georgia
Tech has quietly won 3 straight to clinch the [whatever it is] division in the ACC.  Georgia's schedule, while SEC worthy, was a little light (no LSU, A&M, Alabama, or Miss St.) so their high ranking may be over talent.  Tech has lost in this rivalry 3 years in a row, you know the seniors are hungry.  And there's something about late in the season, teams that find themselves in the BCS picture suddenly play scared.

Oregon State (+9.5, +290) vs. Oregon
Oregon may be a wounded Duck.  So much emotion last week and now a tough rivalry road game.  Another case in which Oregon has won 4 in a row and State is probably ready to end that streak.  State is undefeated at home this year, both road losses were 4 points or fewer.  They're going to hang, maybe win.

Oklahoma State (+7, +230) at Oklahoma
Oklahoma State may be the hottest team in the Big 12 right now with two lopsided wins scoring tons of points.  Oklahoma has more talent, but has kind of sleep walked through it's last few, struggling to put teams away.  The game is in Norman, but outside of the Texas game, I just haven't been that overwhelmed by Oklahoma, they seem to just be ordinary.  Oh, and don't forget, Oklahoma is 0-2 vs. ranked teams at home this year.

So banking on rivalry games, all three underdogs have won and won lately and seem to be hot.  Let's get it on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/18/2012

This weeks winner threw for the 2nd most yards in a single game, and his team needed every last one of them.  Matt Schaub was 43-55 (78%) for 527 yards and 5 TD in a barnburner in which arguably the best team in the NFL needed just about the full overtime period to beat the worst team in the NFL.  His longest pass of the day was a 48 yard TD strike to Andre Johnson to end the game in overtime, after both teams scored field goals in their first possession, then scuffled until the final Texans drive.  Schaub writes his name in the NFL record books, and is a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week 12 Upset Specials

This is rough.  I just can't buy a break.  Was close to hitting some big totals with Virginia Tech and Penn State, but both fell just short in the final minutes.  The bath is in full effect at -$11,450 for the season.  I don't know if even mathematically I can catch back up.  But I keep going.  S/U, I'm at 5-36.

And on top of that, the options this week are so limited.  A lot of really soft games (ehhh hmmm SEC) and just not that many underdogs I can believe in.  I drudged up three, I think this might be good b/c my level of faith is inversely proportional to performance.  At least all three picks are at home, you figure one can catch lightning in a bottle?

New Mexico (+10.5, +315) vs. Nevada
Nevada has lost three straight and is giving up a lot of points.  New Mexico ain't bad and might be improving.  This is a stretch, but at home, I'll see if the Lobos got something up their sleeve.

Baylor (+12.5, +370) vs. Kansas State
This is the time of year when undefeated teams start to struggle to get wins as the pressure of the BCS rankings begins to mount.  Baylor is a good team and is at home.  They can hang, with potential to get up big and make KSU catch up.  Night game in Waco, this is a trap.

Boston College (+10, +290) vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has lost 4 of their last 5 and this is probably getting old.  Boston College is decent at home, early kickoff, potential to execute and catch VT on a let down.  That's all I got.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/11/2012

You cannot deny that this week's winner injected a great deal of excitement and new found debate into the college football landscape.  Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel shocked the nation and especially the Alabama Crimson Tide faithful in putting on an offensive show at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Nobody thought the freshman would be able to hold up against the Tide's athleticism, but Manziel was 24-31, with 2 TD's and no INT's and 253 yards.  He added 92 yards rushing and over 5.1 yards per carry, he couldn't be stopped in the pocket, or out of it.  A deserving Sportsman of the Week (and now Heisman candidate)!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 11 Upset Specials

Finally hit something after a long drought.  Got $250 net (yep, that's it after the other two misses) for the Longhorns defeat of Texas Tech.  Was probably the least confident of the three, but I'll take it.

Brings my overall (S/U) record in these to 5-23 through 10 weeks.  We skipped one week and one week I picked 4 (albeit it was reduced betting money on a real long shot).  Purse is now sitting at -$8,450.

I got some good picks this week, one hit should move that line up significantly, two and I'm really back in the game.

Start with tonight...
Virginia Tech (+12.5, +390) vs. Florida State
I don't buy that Virginia Tech is better, I'm betting their better in one game, at home, in prime time, on TV, against a high profile opponent.  Getting this kind of money line love at Lane Stadium is rare.

West Virginia (+9.5, +290) at Oklahoma State
We'll see if West Virginia is tired of being kicked around by their new Big XII teams. I have a feeling they are, and Oklahoma State is good, but still has some holes that WVU could exploit.

Penn State (+9, +290) at Nebraska
Penn State is 6-1 since their stumble out of the block, admittedly with huge distractions.  Loss vs. Ohio State.  Nebraska still seems a little soft to me, I think this will be close, Penn State might be hitting their stride.

Happy football watching all, Yee Haw!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/4/2012

Transitioning to the NFL, a new record was set for passing yards by a rookie QB.  Not only that, Andrew Luck needed all those yards and points to hold off fellow Wild Card contender Miami Dolphins.  Quietly the Colts have positioned themselves strongly for a Wild Card position, and even have two games left against the Texans, if they were to sweep they could contend for the AFC South.  Luck's final numbers today, 30-48, 433 yards, 2 TD, only one sack.  He spread the ball well with his top 4 receivers catching between 5 and 7 for the game.  A great effort worth of Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Lance Armstrong Elephant

Those following my blog know I'm a big fan of competitive cycling. You can see previous posts of Longhorndave Sportsmen of the Week, tweets on @lhd_on_sports (on twitter), etc.  I more or less came around to the sport toward the tail end of Lance's domination.  I've definitely watched 10x more coverage since he's retired.  But I always had some pride that an American could do so well.  There are so many cyclists representing their country, you just needed to watch last year to see how important it was to England when Bradley Wiggins won (right).  I was extraordinarily proud of Tejay Van Garderen and the way he represented the Stars and Stripes.  But what Lance did was beyond that.  It was Babe Ruth, it was Johnny Unitas, and it was Michael Jordan sport domination in an arena that Americans were usually also rans.

But to paraphrase many who have been caught in the PED age, "the proponderance of evidence can no longer be ignored".

Specifically, he won his titles in an era in which dozens, if not hundreds of cyclists have been caught up in scandal, positive tests, and general consensus that testing was years behind practice.  This is like looking at McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds shattering records, then deciding that Sosa was probably clean but the other two were definitely guilty.  Uh, you're fooling yourself.

The famous "look" in 2001 (click for video)
He didn't just win, he dominated.  Most of his wins were more or less landslides by the last few stages.  Again, not in and of itself damning, but when nobody breaks Roger Maris record for decades, then guys plus it by more than 15% in several years in a row, then you might be onto something.

There's a 1000 page report of testimony, evidence, accounts of practices.  There can't be that many people conspiring against him if he's innocent.  I admit that there are agencies and organizations that have biased reasons to bring him down.  But when teammates, former associates, etc. are involved, we have to listen. It's beyond "he said, she said"

Stepping back, I think the Tour De France (and other organization) authorities need to make a sweeping adjustment to results in these years.  Not just pick and choose who's titles to vacate.  But start with the first time it was obvious someone did it, and wipe them out through a point in which reasonable testing can account for a clean winner.  Which is probably within the past couple of years.  Most of that era had cyclists implicated or associated with scandals, just because resources weren't available to develop aforementioned 1000 page reports doesn't mean their title shouldn't be vacated, too.

And if there is a winner that never tested positive ever in his life, maybe he, and only he, should keep the title.  Wait, that's Lance.  Then wipe it.

Week 10 Upset Specials

This is getting ugly.  Another 0-3 week, this week the teams didn't even really cover (maybe UTEP).  So down to -$8,700.  I'm going to have to start selling oil fields if I don't turn this around.  The good news is, a couple of hits, and the debt goes away.  Again, the strategy is pick TD or more underdogs straight up for $1G, three a week...

Last week I stayed in Texas, I'm looking at more Texas teams this week again...

Mississippi State (+7, +250) vs. Texas A&M
Taking the SEC home team laying points last week killed me, but this team is ranked.  A&M struggled at Ole Miss on the road, MSU might be chippy after last week.  Maybe I'm the last guy buying into A&M, but I'll take a gamble this week.

Texas (+7, +225) at Texas Tech
Texas variability is wide.  They might show up this week after the near escape in Lawrence.  I've seen nothing to justify this pick, but it's rare that Texas gives points to Tech, even in Lubbock.  So I'm going to take it.

Tulsa (+9, +310) at Arkansas
Okay, not Texas but neighboring states.  Not sure where Arkansas is at, but loss to Ole Miss at home and now Tulsa comes a calling which hasn't lost since Labor Day.  I have a feeling Tulsa might have more to prove.

Interesting fact about these games, all started well below a TD and grew, as if odds makers knew they'd be close, then bettors took the lead on the favorites.

I really need to hit two of these to get back in the game.