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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22nd, 2009 Picks

Man, another sub-.500 day after going over .500 on my picks in here. 1-3-0. I forgot they play in twosomes after the cut on the PGA Tour so I avoided picking de Jonge needlessly. He was fortunate to win by a stroke as Mediate bogeyed #8 and #9 to give up two strokes. Baylor started the day off right as they just out executed Virginia Tech. The Hokies couldn’t make a shot in the first half and Baylor just rolled. Baylor ended up winning 84-66. Then things started to go wrong. I definitely underestimated Villanova as a Big East school and they decimated UCLA, 89-69. UCLA could not get their offense flowing and were mercilessly outhustled for rebounds. Villanova shot the ball great, finishing with 46% field goal shooting.

Then it was on to Purdue vs. Washington. Washington started off cold and got themselves into a 12 point deficit, 20-8, with 10 minutes to go. Other than that first 10 minutes the Huskies played well and made a strong run. In the end, however, Brockman couldn’t tip in every miss Washington had. Isaiah Thomas led the team with 24 points, but he had to take 20 shots to do it. Washington shot 50% on their last six free throw attempts. Purdue also played a great game and only let Washington back into it after cooling off a few minutes into the second half.

The last game I picked was Gonzaga margin of victory. Texas stuck with Duke for nearly the entire game, but failed to successfully make a single clutch play in the final 90 seconds. They lost by 5. Gonzaga had a 7 point lead with 2 minutes to go but Orlando Mendez-Valdez helped make sure Western Kentucky would stay close. Gonzaga ended up winning by only two on a last second shot. Western Kentucky was more efficient on the offensive end than was Texas and that made all the difference. I hope you excuse this extra long intro, because it’s on to the picks.

1) Ajax Amsterdam @ NAC Breda – Ajax Amsterdam win
2) Siena @ Fiorentina – 2 goals or fewer
3) Arizona State vs. Syracuse – Syracuse
4) Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Pittsburgh
5) Miami Heat @ Detroit Pistons – Miami
6) South Africa vs. U.S.A., Australia, South Korea – U.S.A., Australia, South Korea
7) Carl Edwards vs. Jeff Gordon – Edwards has a better finsihing position
8) Wisconsin vs. Xavier – Xavier
9) Cleveland State vs. Arizona – Cleveland State
10) Marquette vs. Missouri – Missouri
11) USC vs. Michigan State – Michigan State
12) United States vs. Japan – Japan
13) Colorado Avalanche @ San Jose Sharks – 6 goals or more

22 NCAA/NIT games I’ve looked at and adjusted points has been on the side of 15 winners, 14 have had an advantage in steals, 13 have had the rebounding margin on their side, and 12 have had a better assist/turnover ratio, 3P, turnover margin, and/or fewer empty possessions. Also, I may have just sealed the Spartans’ fate vs. the Trojans. Whenever I’ve put a wickedly high confidence rating on a game that pick has been wrong. Fair warning, and great luck for advancement for streak!

1) Ajax Amsterdam and NAC Breda are both dealing with a large number of injuries. Vertonghen is a big part of Ajax Amsterdam along with Gabri in midfield. They have been dealing well without one or the other or both lately. NAC Breda are missing a few more core players with Penders, Elshot, Mtiliga, Tamerus, van der Leegte, de Graaf, and Reuser out. All of these players have started for NAC Breda in midfield or on defense. They played without any of them and picked up a 3-0 victory on the road over Vitesse Arnhem, but lost to Feyenoord Rotterdam at home in the match before that. They’ve been playing well at home, but have yet to win at home with all these injury concerns.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

2) Fiorentina have gone over 6 out of 13 home matches and Siena have gone over 5 of 14 away matches. That means 59.3% of their matches have gone under. The under is favored on most any betting line, though not by much on some. Siena have gone under in 80% of their matches with teams who concede as few goals as Fiorentina. Fiorentina have gone under in 25% of their matches with teams who give up as many goals as Siena. Siena concede 1.36 goals on average in away matches. Fiorentina concede 0.77 goals on average in home matches. That’s 2.13 goals against combined. Their combined goals scored on average is 2.25. Either way it looks like two or less goals, but one never knows if that third will bounce off the post or not.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

3) This is another potentially close game, along with Cleveland State/Arizona. Arizona State has an advantage in turnover margin and assist to turnover ratio. They’ll need to take care of the ball and force more turnovers than they give up to have a shot at winning. They also have an advantage in three point shooting. Syracuse’s advantages are in fewer empty possessions, adjusted points, steals, and rebounding margin. I think Syracuse will capitalize on rebounding and do well with their big men scoring inside. Their physical presence will have to disrupt Arizona State’s offensive flow to take away their advantages in A/T and turnover margin. I think Syracuse can do these things and the Sun Devils will find themselves making too many mistakes to win.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

5) Wade is ailing a bit for Miami, but he will play. Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson will be out for Detroit and there’s a good chance Rip Hamilton will miss the game to rest his groin for a game. Add in that Jermaine O’Neal seems to have rediscovered his offensive game and I think Miami wins here.
Confidence: W6 streak or less

6) This prop is asking what the nationality of the Transitions Open will be. Tom Lehman (U.S.A.) leads Retief Goosen (S.Africa) by one stroke. The next closest competitors are three strokes back and include two Americans, an Australian, and a South African. The next closest South African is Brendan De Jonge, 10 strokes back. So basically it’s Goosen and Immelman vs. Rest of Field. Considering how difficult the course has been it’s really just Lehman vs. Goosen unless they both hit over par. So this is a real tossup and I’ll go with the guy with the one stroke handicap.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

9) At first I was thinking Cleveland State had outdone themselves in beating Wake Forest and Arizona should take this matchup. Cleveland State has fewer empty possessions, more steals, and a better turnover margin. Arizona has a better adjusted points rating, greater rebounding margin, and three point shooting. I like Cleveland State’s defense, however, and after Washington’s performance I’m not impressed by a PAC-10 team out rebounding their opposition. That means overall I have to give the advantage to the Vikings here.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

11) Michigan State has the number one rebounding margin in the nation, and they did it playing in the Big 10. USC is probably going to get murdered on second chance points in this game. Michigan State also holds advantages in adjusted points, turnover margin, three point shooting, and assist to turnover ratio. USC has been more efficient with fewer empty possessions on average this season.
Confidence: W20 streak or less

12) It’s Japan, the defending World Baseball Classic champions. For some reason the sports books have this game as even or U.S.A. as a slight favorite. I really think Japan controls this game, but I have not the baseball insight to say why.
Confidence: W9 streak or less

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