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And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7th, 2009 Picks

Man, what a day, 2-6-2 on my picks overall and 2-2-2 for my SFTC picks. I started the day on the leaderboard, hoping to move up a game on the leaders, but ended up just off of it. The Sparta/Willem match was a real punch in the gut as well. I’ve rarely been as confident on a soccer match as I was for the Sparta victory. Billups played an average game. Coming off a game the night before he’s averaged 12 points in the last six now. Okur was sub-par and had plenty of opportunities, but missed a free throw and some open threes. Calgary got smashed by Carolina. It’s not all Kiprusoff sitting that did them in either; the other five on the ice were thoroughly outplayed. Cleveland played really soft on defense and it cost them the chance to make a game of things. Calderon had such a bad game that Jay Triano was playing Jason Kapono down the stretch instead. Well, tomorrow is another day and I’ll bounce back! So on to the picks.

1) Udinese @ AS Roma – AS Roma wins
2) Manchester United @ Fulham – Manchester United wins
3) Y.E. Yang vs. Jeff Overton – Yang cards a lower front 9 score
4) Justin Morneau vs. Derek Jeter – Morneau records more total bases
5) Missouri @ Texas A&M – Texas A&M
6) Todd Bodine vs. Ron Hornaday Jr. – Hornaday Jr.
7) Maryland @ Virginia – Virginia
8) Minnesota Wild @ Los Angeles Kings – Minnesota
9) LSU @ Auburn – LSU
10) Carlos Lee vs. Alex Rios – Rios records more total bases
11) Washington State @ Washington – 129 points or more
12) Buffalo Sabers @ Ottawa Senators – Ottawa
13) Louisville @ West Virginia – West Virginia
14) San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks – Vancouver
15) Nevada @ Boise State – Boise State
16) Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Carwin – Gonzaga wins

1) AS Roma is at home with a record of 9-2-1 (W-D-L), while Udinese is 2-3-8 away from home. AS Roma is playing for an automatic berth in the Champions League next year and Udinese is just trying to stay abroad of relegation. Udinese defeated visiting AS Roma 3-1 in a match on October 25th. At that point in the season Udinese were tied with Inter for 1st place in Serie A and AS Roma was in the relegation zone. So, was Udinese playing above themselves at the time? Or are AS Roma playing above themselves since then? Two of Udinese’s defenders from that match are missing for today’s. Totti is out, but Menez, Baptista, and Vucinic are all named to the team for today. (http://www.asroma.it/NewsDoc.aspx?Categoria=ITArchivioNews&Documento=10108). AS Roma may rest some starters, especially those who have been ill or are nursing an injury, but they will have many others responsible for their 9 wins at home playing.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

2) Manchester United is the talk of Europe and their potential for winning five European and English tournaments this year. They won the Carling Cup at Old Trafford against Tottenham Hotspur, currently 13th in the Premier League, but it took penalty kicks for it to be decided. They lost 1-0 when visiting a Derby County team which currently sits in 16th place in the 2nd tier English League Championship and had only won 7 of 17 matches at home! In both of these matches O’Shea, Tevez, Rooney, Ronaldo, and others were playing, some as substitutes and some as starters. The common thread is that Edwin van der Sar was not on goal. Van der Sar will be resting for this FA Cup 1st leg against Fulham. Fulham is in the 10th spot in the Premier League and have lost only twice at home. Manchester United have drawn or lost to worse teams than Fulham in their tournament runs, and I think they will draw at best here, knowing they can return to Old Trafford to advance to the next round.
UPDATE: ManU is playing Edwin van der Sar, and the majority of their starters for this one. They must have caught wind that people were betting against them.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

3) Both Yang and Overton have been playing very well in the first two rounds of The Honda Classic. Yang’s statistics such as % of greens in regulation, and putting average are above his career long averages (plus 7.9% GIR and plus 0.071 putts per GIR). The same statistics for Overton are also inflated from his career averages and to a greater degree (plus 10.7% GIR and plus 0.184 putts per GIR). Yang is expected to do better from these stats and Overton is more likely to see a larger drop in play as they go into the third and fourth rounds.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

5) Missouri is coming off a great home win over the Oklahoma Sooners, a game in which they dominated from beginning to end. Texas A&M is seeking their sixth consecutive conference win on their home court. Young teams can have a tendency to have a drop in play after an impressive win, especially when their next game is away from home.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

9) Auburn will give LSU a run for their money just as they did in their previous game at LSU. The Tigers will be looking to recover from a tough loss against Vanderbilt in their most recent game where they cut an 11 point half time deficit to 1 with 5 minutes to go but were unable to score thereafter. LSU are a good enough team to shake off that loss and give their best against Auburn.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

11) Every one of Washington’s conference home games have gone over 129 points. Five of Washington State’s eight conference away games have gone under. Two of the three that went over were against UCLA and California, two of the top three schools in the PAC-10. The other top three team is Washington who averages more points per game than either UCLA or California. Washington State can play a 65-55 type of game against Arizona State, who average 69.2 points per game, but Washington is exactly the type of team they haven’t been able to hold under 70.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

12) Buffalo has lost 3 of 4 games against Ottawa this season, twice at home and once on the road. Their one victory came at home. Ottawa’s home record is 14-12-6 and Buffalo’s away record is 14-13-5. Mikael Tellqvist may make his first start for the Sabers this season. Brian Elliott is the most likely goalie for Ottawa and is 2-0 against Buffalo this season with a 1.50 GAA and 0.952 save percentage.
UPDATE: Looks like Lalime will start over Tellqvist, but not for certain. It would improve Buffalo’s chances for victory, but not by enough to make me pick them to win.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

13) Remember, this is the West Virginia team which laid Villanova out cold to end their two game streak of scoring over 100 points. They dug themselves into a deep hole in their previous matchup and were down 20 at the half, then fought back to end up losing by six. The Mountaineers shot poorly in that game, only 35.6% on 59 field goals, 21.4% on 14 three pointers. That’s 6% and 11% below their season averages. West Virginia will be prepared for Louisville’s athleticism and will take care of the ball more than they did in the first half of that game. West Virginia is 12-2 at home, losing to Pittsburgh and Connecticut. Louisville is 7-1 on the road losing to Notre Dame. If West Virginia can avoid giving up many easy baskets inside and can take care of the ball for 40 minutes I think they will win.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

16) Shane Carwin has an impressive undefeated record with each one happening in the first round. Carwin’s opponents have been beginners and fighters with losing records for the most part. Gabriel Gonzaga has three losses, but two of those are to Werdum and one a third round TKO at the hands of Randy Couture. Gonzaga knocked out Mirko Cro Cop with a kick in a previous fight. Gonzaga has more experience and toughness as he has gone toe to toe with some of the top fighters out there. Either Carwin will wilt in the face of a challenge or he will prove he really does deserve to be one of the featured fighters in UFC.
Confidence: W2 or less

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