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

Labels

LHD_PotW (303) MLB (116) NFL (112) NCAA (99) NBA (50) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 10/29/2016

I may have a perfect hat, but I'm not perfect.
The win streak was finally broken after six non losing Saturdays, but only at a 2-3 record.  Manageable.  And I told you my feelings weren't strong.

Summary:
Previous Week: 2-3 (-130)
Season: 23-16-1 (+$540, 12.2% profit)

This week is tantalizing with a lot of highly ranked teams on the road.  I believe if you go across the board on underdogs you'll do well.  But which are the best chances?  And which favorites are undervalued?  All is revealed.

Michigan State (+24.5) vs Michigan (Noon EDT)

I don't like huge point spreads but this is just too many points.  Just too many.  For a Michigan State team playing for pride.  Note Michigan has only had to leave the Big House once this season to a soft Rutgers team (yes, they did cover).  But State can at least make a game of it, the Big 10 home field means something.

Georgia Tech (-6.5) vs Duke (Noon EDT)

This is my small game pick of the week.  Georgia Tech has controlled teams they are better than.  And Duke is one of them.  Outside of a Notre Dame win, Duke really hasn't competed well.  A TD seems like an easy target to control.

Notre Dame (+2) vs Miami (3:30 EDT)

Miami has lost three straight football games and doesn't have a banner win this year (Georgia Tech and Appalachian State don't count).  Notre Dame season has been nothing short of disaster of Oregon or Texas proportion.  But if they get a couple of points at home, I can't resist.  This might be circle the wagons time, but, again, just don't see enough out of Miami to justify the road favorite.

Baylor (-3) at Texas (3:30 EDT)

Texas is undefeated at home, but even their last home win against Iowa State they were losing at half time.  Barely beat a bad Notre Dame team in overtime.  Baylor is much better than both of those teams.  The Longhorns defense has been the Achilles heel all year and this week won't be kind.  Heck, Baylor can win in OT and still not lose the cover.  Also, for the love of what's good, take the Over 72.

Florida State (+4.5) vs Clemson (8:00 EDT)

This has become a premier ACC game every year and you know it was circled on both teams' schedules since the final whistle last year.  Something hasn't quite been right with Clemson and Florida State has been pretty good save one dud against Louisville (and an uninspired effort against North Carolina which they should have won).  This one is in their wheel house (and they win for a tight loss).

I think there are at least three winners, maybe four among this group!  Did I mention to take the over on Baylor/Texas?

- JR

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/23/2016

When you're in the company of Earl Campbell, O.J. Simpson, and Ricky Williams, you know you're in an elite running back fraternity.  That's exactly where Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi finds himself.  The second year running back torched the Buffalo Bills for 214 yards and a TD on Sunday in a 28-25 for the surging Dolphins.  This was after a week in which he ran for 204 yards and two TD against perennial playoff contending Pittsburgh Steelers.  So he joins Campbell, Simpson, and Williams as the only RB in history to run for back-to-back 200 yard games.  During the two game stint, he carried the ball 53 times, which edges near 8 yards per carry.  For a whole lot of carries.  With the retirement of Arian Foster, he is the back of the present and future in Miami.  And a surprise Sportsman of the Week!

Friday, October 21, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 10/22/2016

I don't always win. Actually, yes, I do always win
The win train continued last week with another 3-2 week.  60% won't give me enough to retire, but we are padding winnings at this point.

Summary:
Previous Week: 3-2 (+80)
Season: 21-13-1 (+$670, 25.8% profit)

It's been since September 3 I had a losing week.  That's six straight winners (one was a push).  Just saying.

This week I'll be blunt.  Struggled to come up with strong winners.  A lot of fat spreads in big games (just can't go on the Michigan, Ohio State, or Alabama games), or unproven teams squaring off (I'm looking at you Mississippi State vs. Kentucky or Michigan State vs. Maryland).  I think we'll pull out another winner but this is a week to go tread lightly.  Note there is one Game per Power 5 (minus ACC plus AAC).

Wisconsin (-4) at Iowa (Noon EDT)

Iowa's offense is lethargic (former Longhorn coordinator Greg Davis I might add).  Wisconsin has stood toe to toe with Michigan and Ohio State and took them to the end.  I would expect Wisconsin to win by 10 points or more.  The only hesitation is the Ohio State hangover.  But the way Wisconsin plays I don't see that as a factor.  If North Dakota State can come into Iowa City and win, so can Wisconsin.  By a few more points.

Stanford (-1.5) vs. Colorado (3:00 p.m. EDT)

A very intriguing tilt.  A near pick'em game at home, Stanford has Christian McCaffrey as questionable but did well at Notre Dame last week without him.  Meanwhile Colorado is 7-0 ATS.  Yes, 7-0.  They can't keep it up, right?  This is a week Stanford circles the wagons.  Stanford's losses have been against higher flying teams, they'll hold home court here, and you even win on a last second FG or overtime win.

Arkansas (+10.5) at Auburn (6:00 EDT)

This just seems like more of an even matchup to me than 10 points.  Both teams have losses to good teams (Texas A&M both, Clemson, and Alabama).  The game is at Auburn and at night, but I think this goes within a TD at least.  To me, a matchup of good SEC West teams with 2 losses.  Maybe the insiders see something I don't.

Oklahoma (-14) at Texas Tech (7:00 p.m. EDT)

I've been a Texas Tech picker most of the year, but they are falling apart.  They've given up 92 points and only scored 45 in their last two games.  Outside of Kansas and FCS teams, it's 40+ a game.  Throw in an inspired Baker Mayfield returning to Lubbock and I don't see many defensive stops.  Meanwhile, Tech's offense is slowed with a hurt Pat Mahomes.  This ends up like 60 to 30.

Cincinnati (-2.5) vs. East Carolina (7:00 p.m. EDT)

I don't often go for games with non-contending teams but in absence of anything else.  East Carolina has lost four straight games and is on the road.  In those losses they've given up about 46 points per game.  They also dealt with Hurricane Matthew last week which was disruptive.  They haven't won since September 10.  Cincinnati has lost two straight but seem like the more talented team.  And it's just a FG to win.  Go with the Bearcats.

Enjoy your Saturday of football!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/16/2016

Autumn sports in full swing, with football (college and pro), MLB baseball playoffs, and now NHL starting.  But the baseball playoffs have everything you want.  Including star power in Tinseltown.  Clayton Kershaw seems to pitch just about every game.  Well, this week he almost did.  In four games (2 NLDS against the Washington Nationals and 2 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs), Kershaw started two and saved one.  Dodgers, 3-1 (and two of the three were elimination games, the third might as well have been if Los Angeles lost).  Numbers are decent (3.14 ERA, 18K in 14.1, 1W, 1Sv).  Note that 3 of the 5 runs he gave up were inherited runners, but his work has been key to the Dodgers hanging around and in the NLCS against a heavily favored Cubs team.  Kershaw will start again in Game 6, making Games 3-5 suddenly must win games.  Unless he starts Game 5, and relieves Game 7.  Either way, Kershaw is the biggest weapon in the NLCS and he is our Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 10/15/2016

I'm tickled blue to pick two teams from Texas this week!
I just keep winning.  Another 3-2 week ATS which means profit.  Profit is good.  Greed is good.  Love the greed!


Summary:
Previous Week: 3-2 (+80)
Season: 18-11-1 (+$590)

Lines are provided by VegasInsider.com and these bets are also registered on CappedIn.com.

Hard to believe we're in Week 7, but glad to know we're not even half way through October yet.  So much more football to play starting this week!  Here's another set of winners!


Texas Tech (Pk) vs. West Virginia (Noon EDT)

I love a good pick'em game, and I love offense.  Texas Tech is another team I pick frequently because they can beat any spread easily.  In this case, they just need to win.  They do that well at home.  West Virginia hasn't beat a point spread since Week 1.  Seems like Tech wins this one with lots of tortillas thrown around.

Nebraska (-3) at Indiana (3:30 p.m. EDT)

Let's pump the brakes on Indiana for a minute.  This line has dived from a TD to a FG and I don't see a resurgent Nebraska team coming off a bye week to have a slip up.  They should outclass the Hoosiers and win by a TD or even double digits.  Remember, Indiana lost to Ball State and Wake Forest.

Alabama (-13) at Tennessee (3:30 p.m. EDT)

I'm still drunk on Alabama success.  Rode them to an easy win last week (okay, by a couple of points).  Tennessee is banged up and came off a devastating loss at Texas A+M.  This after pulling some close games out.  This one could get ugly.  And they never beat Alabama.  Tide Rolls by 3 TD or more

Texas (-13.5) vs. Iowa State (7:00 p.m. EDT)

Intriguing matchup between two teams combined 3-8.  Both coming off disappointing losses.  As a Texan, I sense a circling of the wagons for the Longhorns.  They lost to Oklahoma but pushed a good team to the end.  Iowa State has been a hard luck team, blowing leads to Oklahoma State, Baylor, and TCU and covered four straight games.  They take a dip here and the Longhorns win by 3 TD or more.


Ohio State (-10) at Wisconsin (8:00 p.m. EDT)

Ohio State has been covering like mad, only missing a misaligned ATS against a good Indiana team.  Wisconsin has grinded out some wins, but this level of talent will be an upgrade.  Seems like if it's close the Buckeyes could win by two TD.  They'll cover the 10 points.

Given some even lines I wouldn't be surprised at a push, but the wins keep coming!  Have a great weekend!

-JR

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/9/2016

College Football is full of upsets, but one thing you can usually lean on is that both teams get all the top recruits and it just so happened that the perceived lower talented team put it all together for a win.  Service academies are a different lot.  This week, the United States Naval Academy did what few thought they could in defeating a Top 6 opponent that many had tagged for a strong playoff contender.  Two key plays to cement the surprising result was Josiah Powell receptions.  However, Powell is not a wide receiver, he plays on defense as a linebacker.  And the receptions were from Heisman hopeful Greg Ward Jr, the quarterback of the Houston Cougars.  The most critical was in the 3rd quarter with Navy clinging to a 6 point lead and he returned the offering for a TD.  Houston went from tied at halftime, to traling by 14 5 minutes into the third quarter.  The other was important in stopping the Cougars in Navy territory just before halftime.  Instead of trailing by 10 had the Cougars scored, Navy tied it up to the locker room.  Game changing performances by unexpected sources, that's what our Sportsman of the Week is about!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 10/8/2016

I'm making money.  You should too.
Business is booming.  A second big week of wins, going 3-2 ATS last week (3-1 after a bad Friday pick).  I'm starting to feel the games, especially which ones to stay away from and which to jump on.


Summary:
Previous Week: 3-2 (+80)
Season: 15-9-1 (+$510)

This week's theme, finding games that should be near pick'em, but one team is being given about a TD.  I don't like picking games more than 8 or 9 points (because wins then are subject to loss via late touchdown).  So here are this week's winners

Pittsburgh (-6.5) vs Georgia Tech (12:30 p.m. EDT)

Okay, for this pick, I'm going with the TD favorite.  Not quite a TD that is.  I still am a Georgia Tech doubter.  Pittsburgh is a grinding team that should be able to win this at home by 10 points or more.  Even a TD win at the end gets this cover.

Tennessee (+6.5) at Texas A+M (3:30 p.m. EDT)

This is about the time that Texas A+M schedule gets tougher and they start to drop SEC games.  Tennessee has had big game after big game every week and maybe this one they will start better.  I see this as a toss up, so give me 6.5 points and I'll take it.

Alabama (-14) at Arkansas (7:00 p.m. EDT)


I admit I have a problem.  An Alabama problem.  I just can see more scenarios where they beat the spread than not.  They don't always, but this game seems like one they can take control of.  So tee me up again, I'll take the Tide and give the two TD

Texas Tech (+7.5) at Kansas State (7:00 p.m. EDT)

Texas Tech video game offense can render any game into a pick'em.  Kansas State nearly picked up a win at West Virginia, but I don't like this matchup with Red Raiders speed as much as that one.  Tech's defense will give up points, but I think win the game (or at least lose by a TD or less).

Florida State (+3) at Miami (8:00 p.m. EDT)

Florida State is much more battle tested than the Canes.  This is just another big game in a series and I think the rivalry inspires them to step up their game.  Home field at Miami is not what it used to be, and I think Florida State is angry after last week's disappointment and gets the job done.

Good luck to your team, and enjoy your college football Saturday!

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/2/2016

Once again, we turn to the NFL for an amazing performance that is in the Top 6 all time for a single game.  Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons cracked triple digits in receiving yards.  Not just 100, but triple 100.  Jones torched the Carolina Panthers for 12 catches and 300 yards.  The defending NFC South and NFC Champions had no answer for him.  His biggest catch came after the Panthers erased a 21 point deficit to pull within 8.  One 75 yard touchdown answer, it became apparent that Carolina could not stop Jones if the game went on indefinitely.  Jones has established himself as one of the Top 5 if not Top 2 or 3 receivers in the league, and he's our Sportsman of the Week!