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Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15th, 2009 Picks

I woke up this morning and saw Liverpool was up 2-1 at the half with two of the goals being scored on penalty kicks. That right there told me this was going to be a chippy one. Liverpool ended up being the more reserved bunch and used that to execute their attacks to near perfection as they won 4-1 at Old Trafford. I had gone with Georgia Tech the other day and lost a close one so today I went with the crowd and took LSU, and we all know how that turned out. I got back into a groove with Chism scoring 27 to 14 for Reed, and Devendorf outscoring Williams 20 to 11.

I also lucked out with switching my pick to USC as they came back and triumphed in the last seconds of regulation. My day was not to end brightly, however, as the sun went down on Pacific in overtime. Pacific was down by 18 early on but fought back to tie the game on multiple occasions. Every time they got the Northridge lead down to 1 or tied it, however, they failed to score or would turn the ball over. All through the second half and overtime this happened and Pacific never led the entire game. So on to the picks.

1) Torino @ Atalanta – Torino win or draw
2) France @ England – France
3) Tottenham Hotspur @ Aston Villa – Aston Villa win
4) Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers – New York Rangers
5) Duke win margin vs. Tennessee win margin – Duke win margin
6) Phil Mickelson vs. Rest of Field – Mickelson wins
7) Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Pittsburgh
8) Dirk Nowitzki pts. + reb. vs. Kobe Bryant pts. + ast. – Nowitzki pts. + reb.
9) Cuba vs. Japan – Japan
10) Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets – Columbus
11) Netherlands vs. United States – 9 runs or fewer
12) Shaquille O’Neal pts. vs. Stephen Jackson pts. – Jackson pts.
13) Mexico vs. Korea – Korea

1) Atalanta have Pinto, Vieri, and Doni out with various injuries. Cristiano Doni has been called up by the coach to be on the team for today. He may be a substitute for this game and only be brought in if Atalanta are already down and are desperate to score a goal. They are also returning Flocari for this match, their leading goal scorer. Atalanta have been on a losing streak lately, even losing to a visiting Chievo Verona 2-0. The last time they won a game they had Pinto and Doni in the forefield along with Flocari, and without those two should be less effective on the attack. Torino are missing Corini and Rosina, but they played Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw at San Siro without Corini and while Rosina played he did not score their goal. Torino are also playing to avoid relegation, while Atalanta have removed themselves from any chance of a Champions League berth yet are still far enough from relegation to not have to worry about it.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

5) I think Duke is a good defensive team, and clutch as well. Should they take a five point lead into the final two minutes they will win the game by five or more. Both Mississippi State and Tennessee are playing for a spot in the NCAA tournament as LSU will probably take the at-large bid for the SEC. The play of Mississippi State, and Jarvis Vanardo in particular, has me thinking the Bulldogs are not finished winning games.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

6) Mickelson shot his worst round of the tournament yesterday and Watney shot his best round, leaving the two tied going into today and four strokes ahead of the rest of the field. I think the pin and tee placements will give Watney more trouble than Mickelson.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

7) Pittsburgh is 18-12-3 at home and Boston is 21-10-5 on the road. Manny Fernandez is in net for Pittsburgh, and he is a capable enough goalie, but we’ve seen him drop a game to the Islanders before. Fernandez has won in a game at home against the Penguins before, but Mathieu Garon should be in goal for Pittsburgh. Garon has only played a couple of games for the Penguins and does not have very impressive statistics except against the Bruins.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

8) Kobe Bryant averages 32.9 assists and points per game this season and 34.9 in his last 10 games. Dirk Nowitzki averages 34.0 points and rebounds per game and 37.2 in his last 10. Both players have been picking up their game down the stretch, Bryant to help his team to home court for the playoffs while Bynum is out and Nowitzki just to keep his team in the playoffs. Nowitzki should collect at least 6 rebounds, but if the Lakers are not missing many shots he’ll have a hard time grabbing more than 10. If the Lakers are making shots then Bryant will end up with more assists than usual. Nowitzki has better shooting percentages in field goals, free throws, and three pointers and I think he’ll bring his A-game for this one.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

12) Jackson has been scoring more and has been playing over 40 minutes per game since Nelson promised him more. He’s been taking over 9 shots per game more than Shaq as well.
Confidence: W9 streak or less

13) Mexico have been playing terrific aside from a defeat from near-champion Cuba. Korea has been even better, however, splitting a pair of games with defending champion Japan.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

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