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 (629) MLB (185) NFL (165) NCAA (129) NFL Playoffs (73) NBA (70) NHL (64)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

College Football Picks - 10/31/2015

I am dressed up like an Oil Barron for Halloween
Happy Halloween to all the spooks, ghosts, and goblins out there.  Last week wasn't too shabby as a recovered some of my gambling losses.

Week of 10/24
Winnings last week: +80 (3-2)
Winnings to date: -$170 (17-17-1, 4.4% loss) - Just the houses take.

This week I found a number of games that I liked but didn't quite make this (see at the end).  But here are the J.R. Ewing winners mostly from the SEC and Big 12.

Auburn (+7.5) vs. Mississippi (11:00 am CDT)

I like being given a touchdown plus at home in the SEC West.  Ole Miss has lost (straight up) its last two road games, I see the Tigers circling the wagons and at least keeping it close.

Texas Tech (+2.5) vs Oklahoma State (2:30 pm CDT)  - Pick of the Week

Oklahoma State has skated through the season so far without facing any of the big boys and has an undefeated record to go with it.  Lubbock is a tough place to play, this will be the Cowboys biggest challenge and I see Tech winning in a shootout (what would you expect with Red Raiders vs. Cowboys).  As a side bet, take the over on 77.5

Georgia (+2.5) vs Florida (2:30 pm CDT) - Jacksonville

Another game where I like getting point.  Before the season, experts would have had Georgia a double-digit favorites.  Now on a slide and without their star RB, the Bulldogs are getting points.  Both sides have very green QBs in a large stage.  I see the more experienced coaching staff of Georgia coaxing them to a victory.

Texas (-4) at Iowa State (6:00 pm CDT)

Everyone knows I have a bias here, but the Cyclones have only won three Big 12 games the past 2+ seasons and most of those were against Kansas.  The Longhorns are improving every week with Heard at QB and an improving running game.  I could see it being about a TD, but I could also see it being about 3 TDs.  Heck, the Longhorns could win in overtime and cover this.

Notre Dame (-10.5) at Temple (7:30 pm CDT)

With all due respect to Temple, this is a big step up in competition.  Also of note, the crowd will probably be split pretty evenly given the Irish's popularity in major east coast metropolitan areas (like Philadelphia.  Notre Dame is so well coached, they'll roll up their sleeves and take care of the Owls by 2 TD or more.

Other teams I like: Houston (-10.5), California (+4), South Carolina (+15.5), Washington State (+10.5).  Just didn't have enough room!

No tricks above, only treats!  Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/25/2015

The Kansas City Royals are rolling this postseason, and their leadoff hitter is a big reason why.  Alcides Escobar could not be kept off base in the American League Championship Series.  For the last week, he was 8/16 plus a HBP edging his on-base percentage north of .500.  Throw in 4 RBI and 4 runs scored and he was essentially involved in two runs per game for his team.  Throw in some gold glove caliber defense, and the ALCS MVP is a big reason that the Kansas City Royals are poised to win their first World Series in 30 years, and maybe one of several in the next decade.

Friday, October 23, 2015

College Football Picks - 10/24/2015

Recap of last week's picks
Another rough week for picks.  For the four losses, none were even close.  Alabama carried the day to save from complete disaster.  I drank way too much of the Bill Snyder and Jim Harbaugh cool-aid.  But we do not dwell in the past, we look to the second half of the season. 

First a recap of where we are:

Week of 10/17
Winnings last week: -$340 (1-4)
Winnings to date: -$250 (14-15-1, 7.6% loss)

And here are this week's picks.  All road warriors, including three ranked teams touted as underdogs.

Note that it's $110 to win $100 on each, odds from vegasinsider.com

Clemson (-7) at Miami (11:00 am CDT)

Miami used to be a stadium to be feared.  But that was when all the games seemed to be at night and fans actually showed up.  Early kickoff should keep the home field advantage at bay.  Meanwhile Clemson is putting together a playoff resume.  Conference wins on the road over second tier teams is a must.  By more than a TD.  They'll do it.

Houston (-22) at Central Florida (11:00 am CDT)

The Houston Cougars have been a major story under the radar this year, streaking out to an undefeated record with a win over Louisville on the road.  No matter what point spread you throw at them, they cover.  They average 46 points per game.  Central Florida has been awful at 0-7 giving up 30+ points per game.  This will be high scoring and 3 TD plus is no problem.  UConn beat this team by 27.

Duke (+3) at Virginia Tech (2:30 pm CDT)

Duke is always a favorite of this blog.  Bettors still don't take them seriously because of basketball.  Once again they're ranked in all polls.  Facing a middling Virginia Tech team that doesn't seem to be improving.  Give me points on the road?  I like it.  Also worth noting the game isn't at night where the Hokies play with more of an edge.

Texas A&M (+5.5) at Mississippi (6:00 pm CDT) - Pick of the Week

Despite a final score nowhere near the line, Texas A&M looked like they could hang with Alabama if they just didn't make so many mistakes.  The defense is vastly better than last year and if their QB tandem can avoid disastrous mistakes they are the better team here.  The Aggies have always played well on the road in the SEC as well, including 2-0 in Oxford.  Ole Miss is 1-2 in their last 3 games with the only win over a rollover OOC.  Aggies probably win straight up.

Utah (+3.5) at  Southern California (6:30 pm CDT)

Last week I thought Southern California might surprise Notre Dame.  They hanged around but didn't deliver any sort of knock out punch.  Utah probably has the most complete resume of a Top 5 team, with wins over California and Michigan (ranked) as well as Arizona State and Oregon (formerly ranked).  The Pac 12 tends to have strong records on the road, I don't see why Utah shouldn't win straight up against a Trojans team adjusting to a new Head Coach.

Enjoy your college football Saturday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/18/2015

The Major League Baseball playoffs continue and a new hero emerged.  The New York Mets continued an amazing season with an improbable postseason run.  Previously unsung infielder Daniel Murphy has put his team and an entire city on his back in etching his name into New York Postseason lore.  In NLDS Game 5 in Los Angeles, the game and series turned when he surprised the Dodgers by stealing an unoccupied third base after a walk against the shift.  He scored on a sacrifice fly to tie it.  He followed his next at bat with a solo home run in a 3-2 win.  Against the favored Chicago Cubs in the NLCS Games 1 and 2, he hit home runs in each game and led his team to a pair of wins.  For the week, he was 8-20, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R.  In the last four games, he knocked in 6 of his teams 12 runs and scored the 7th run.  His 5 HR burst in the postseason is much more than his 14 HR in 2015 would expect.  If the Mets get past the Cubs, you can put a cape on Murphy and call him Superman.  Or the Sportsman of the Week!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

College Football Picks - 10/17/2015

Hook'em Horns!
A mediocre week in which two favorites picked to cover (Oklahoma and Georgia) couldn't win straight up.  Combined with TCU barely holding on for a win and it was a downer overall.  But I was glad to see my Longhorns beat those Sooners so it was all worth it.

So far for the season, treading water eeking out a meager profit.

Week of 10/10
Winnings last week: -$130 (2-3)
Winnings to date: +$90 (13-11-1, 3% profit)

There are tons of great games this week, so I'm leaning toward selecting the biggest one from each of the major conferences except the ACC which doesn't have the marquee matchup.  So we go wildcard with Notre Dame vs. USC

Kansas State (+4) vs. Oklahoma (2:30 pm CDT)

Unlike last week, I like the Wildcats at home to cover.  They're always sneaky good at matching up well with teams perceived to have more talent.  And Oklahoma looked bad.  Very bad.  This might inspire them (Stoops rebounds well from losses historically).  But I don't think the Cats lose two in a row at home.

Michigan (-7.5) vs. Michigan State (2:30 pm CDT) - Pick of the Week

The line grew over the week but for good reason.  They haven't allowed points since September 19 and haven't allowed more than 7 since their opener on Labor Day weekend against #4 Utah (a mere 7 point loss).  Sparty has been underwhelming enough to fall to number 7, this is only their second trip away from home (the first a blah win at Rutgers).  Only a TD seems short, Michigan is back.

Alabama (-4.5) vs. Texas A&M (2:30 pm CDT)

Having won two straight against teams that many picked to win their divisions, Alabama rolls into College Station with a bit of an edge.  This game was a blowout last year.  Texas A&M isn't the world beaters at home you might think, didn't win a game last year at Kyle Field.  Alabama has the Aggies number without Manziel.  A TD win would be expected.

Southern California (+6.5) vs. Notre Dame (6:30 pm CDT)

Southern Cal comes in after a crazy week in which they lost their head coach due to behavioral issues.  Notre Dame has lost a lot of their opening day starters and hasn't played that many good teams if you look back (Georgia Tech, Texas, and Navy aren't necessarily blockbuster wins).  Why not the Trojans, sometimes incidents like what happened to Sarkesian pull teams together.  I think they surprise in a hostile environment.

Washington (-3) vs. Oregon (9:30 pm CDT)

Oregon is eroding from within.  With Chip Kelly a few years gone and Marcus Mariota now in the NFL, things aren't what they were.  One year away from playing for the National Championship, the Ducks are ailing.  Washington is improving, close losses to Boise State and Cal, both of whom are poised for 10 win seasons.  Just seems like the Huskies will roll in this one.

Big games, big teams, big conferences.  October.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/11/2015

The first full week of Major League Baseball playoffs produced nailbiting games and surprise teams.  One of them was the Houston Astros, who stormed through the American League Wild Card game and surged to a 2-1 lead against the 2014 American League champion Kansas City Royals. And two of the three wins were attributable to probable AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.  The only 20-game winner in the American League shut down the New York Yankees (on short rest) with 6 innings of only 3 hits, no runs.  On full rest in NLDS Game 3, he allowed but a run in seven innings on four hits in a victory against the Kansas City Royals.  For the week, 2-0, 0.69 ERA, below 1.0 WHIP and 14 K in 13 innings.  The Houston Astros future is bright, thanks to our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

College Football Picks - 10/10/2015

Saved the season last week
First we'll start with the bad.  The week of 9/26.  Straight disaster as it was a 1-4 performance.  I just about took out a second mortgage on South Fork.  But alas, I recovered (didn't have time to fully blog) with the below (timetag verifies).  Yessir, 5-0.  Yee Haw!

KSST kept it close vs. OSU, Houston blew out someone, TCU destroyed Texas, Oregon rolled, and Clemson won by more than 1 just barely.

So a summary (all bets are $110 to win $100)

Coming into the week:
Winnings to date: $60 (5-4-1, 5.4% profit)

Week of 9/26
Winnings 9/26 week: -$340 (1-4)
Winnings to date: -$280 (6-8-1, 17% loss)

Week of 10/3
Winnings last week: $500 (5-0)
Winnings to date: +$220 (11-8-1, 10% profit)

But none of that is why your ready my blog.  Here we go for this week's picks:

Oklahoma (-16.5) vs. Texas (11:00 am CDT) (Dallas)

Texas looks somewhere between inept and just plain bad.  They have covered this game two straight years being double digit underdogs.  But I just don't see a team that can run with the Sooners.  Until the defense steps up, they're going to give up more points than their fledgling offense can generate.  Sooners big.

Georgia (-2.5) at Tennessee (2:30 pm CDT)

You feel like Charlie Brown with the football with Tennessee.  They play competitive but can't get the "W".  Georgia is beat up (physically and emotionally) after the loss to Alabama so you think this might be a trap game.  Georgia always bounces back well from SEC losses under Richt and is just plain better.  Go with the Dawgs.

Texas Tech (-11.5) vs. Iowa State (2:30 pm CDT) - Pick of the Week

The Red Raiders have had a tough schedule, playing Arkansas, TCU, and Baylor in consecutive weeks.  They lost but hung with the latter two.  Their offense can put up points, no doubt.  Iowa State doesn't seem to have the offense to match and their defense isn't shut down, either.  Seems like a 2 TD win at least in Lubbock.

California (+7.5) at Utah (6:00 pm CDT)

The Utes are no longer flying under the radar nationally.  Neither is undefeated Cal, who has racked up some impressive wins at Texas and Washington.  Road teams in the Pac 12 are winning at an impressive rate, so with the 7 point spread, seems like a juicy pick.  This is a bit of a hunch, but I like playing hunches!

TCU (-9) at Kansas State (6:30 pm CDT)

TCU rounded into form last week answering a lot of questions that plagued them early, particularly on defense.  Kansas State is tough at home, but TCU seems poised to get on a big Big 12 run up to the showdown with Baylor.  I think they win this by more than the points against a banged up Wildcat offense.

Lots of Big 12 action above, it's an intriguing conference with explosive offenses.  See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/4/2015

In desperate need of a win, the New Orleans Saints venerable quarterback Drew Brees stepped up.  Having missed Week 3 with a bad shoulder, he was uncertain to play on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys.  But play he did, and perform he did.  In a thrilling overtime victory, Brees went 33-41 for 359 yards and 2 TD.  The last 80 yards were the most sweet, as he ended the overtime affair with an 80 yard pass and catch with speedster C.J. Spiller.  The previously winless Saints really needed his heroics after missing a short field goal to end regulation.  Brees stepped up and willed his team to victory.  For that, he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

This is Drew Brees second nod as Sportsman of the Week (w/e 10/7/2012)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sportsman of the Week Ending 9/27/2015

One of the surprise teams in the NFL so far is the Cincinnati Bengals, one of just three AFC teams to sprint to 3-0 on the season.  They got a big win over a major division rival on Sunday on the back of A.J. Green.  The 27-year-old torched the Baltimore Ravens defense for 10 catches, 227 yards, and 2 TD.  Both TDs came in the critical fourth quarter, both under 7 minutes, both with his team trailing by 4 points.  The first was an 80 yard streak, the second a 7-yard reception in the corner of the end zone for the final points in a 28-24 road victory.  Green was the man of the match, and our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!