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And So It Goes....

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

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Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10th, 2009 Picks

It feels much later than 11:30, 3-0-0 today. My first pick was Chez Reavie to card the lower front 9 score. Chez Reavie took an early 1 stroke lead when he birdied the par-5 #2. He bogeyed on #3 to move back to even par but Woosnam hit a bogey as well. At the par-5 8th hole Woosnam managed another bogey giving Reavie a two stroke lead heading into the last hole. Reavie saved his par as did Woosnam and Reavie carded an even par 36 while Woosnam carded a two over 38.

My second pick was Shakhtar Donetsk. Olympique Marseille would have been happy with a draw in this matchup and were playing a more defensive game in the first half. They took four shots in the first 45 minutes as Donetsk were terrific at getting a foot or head on the ball to stop attacks. Marseille played fantastic controlling the tempo and winning nearly every challenge on lobbed passes. Tomas Hubschman scored off a header at 36' minute to give Donetsk the 1-0 lead.

Without an away goal and down by one Marseille went into the attack more taking five shots in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half. Some fantastic saves by Shakhtar’s defense kept Marseille out of the nets and Donetsk eventually regained the momentum. Any time they were within 18 yards they were a danger to score with aggressive passing but waiting to take a shot until a perfect opportunity opened up. It’s a credit to Marseille they only allowed a single goal in the second half to Rodrigues Jadson 65' minute. Shakhtar survived another flurry from Marseilles and came out with the 2-0 victory.

My third pick was Boston University. With the odds favoring them to win at -250 or so it was as good a choice as any one will see on the Streak here. Many times a pick with 90 percent will lose because they are only favored at -150 or even be underdogs in the sports books. Boston came out intercepting crisp passes from Vermont and utilizing outstanding stick play to block shots. Boston was up 2-0 at the end of the first period. Boston players were sent to the box 4 times three of which were converted by Vermont. A power play goal by the Terriers square at three after two. Vermont went up on a power play goal midway through the third period and Boston failed to take any dangerous shots on a power play of their own. Seconds after the aborted attempt they scored to tie things up and scored again a minute later. Their defense held Vermont off and Boston University advanced to the NCAA Championship with a 5-4 win. So on to the picks.

1) Tom Watson or Steve Wilson vs. Ian Poulter – Poulter cards a lower front 9 score
2) Tiger Woods’ 2nd Round Score: 69 or lower vs. 70 or higher – 69 or lower
3) Rory McIlroy vs. Anthony Kim – Kim cards a lower front 9 score
4) Maritimo @ Braga – Braga win
5) Texas Rangers @ Detroit Tigers – Detroit
6) Jim Furyk vs. Phil Mickelson – Mickelson cards a lower 2nd round score
7) Philadelphia Phillies @ Colorado Rockies – Colorado
8) New York Mets @ Florida Marlins – Florida
9) Nashville Predators @ Minnesota Wild – Minnesota
10) Phoenix Suns @ Memphis Grizzlies – Phoenix
11) Larry Hughes vs. Orlando Magic win margin – Orlando win margin
12) St. Louis Blues @ Columbus Blues Jackets – St. Louis
13) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks – Los Angeles
14) Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trailblazers – Los Angeles
15) Boston Red Sox @ Los Angeles Angels – Los Angeles

Shouts to nawledge, i dunno, Boogie, 9@home, and Espiv.

1) Steve Wilson is the current Mid-Amateur Champion which is how he got the invite to Augusta this year. He hit four over in the first round and an even par front 9 would be a terrific accomplishment for him. Tom Watson is another 50+ year old golfer who won in 1981 and so has a lifetime invite to the Masters. Poulter is the clear favorite. I took the front 9 scores of Poulter and Watson going back to 2001 and calculated averages and median scores. Poulter averages +1.29 on the front 9 and Watson averages +1.26, while their median score is +1. I looked at how they did from the first and second rounds and came up with a range of scores they could be expected to hit within. I assigned an equal probability to each score within that range. For wilson I assumed he could hit anywhere from even par to +8. I took the intersection and unions of subsets that would result in a Poulter win, a push, and a Poulter loss. The result was Poulter wins at 60.3%, a push is at 15.9%, and Poulter loses at 23.8%. I was fairly conservative with the range of Poulter’s scores assuming he would hit anywhere from 2 under to 1 over par and fairly generous with Watson assuming he would hit anywhere from 2 under par to 4 over par. At 60% Poulter is a -150 favorite to win. Actual sports books have him a -275 favorite.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

3) Well, it’s too late for this. I had Kim as the pick here because he has a proven track record of success. Kim had won his first PGA Tour event at 22, his second soon after turning 23, defeated the 2nd overall world ranked golfer, Sergio Garcia, in the Ryder Cup last year, and finished 2008 6th on the PGA Tour’s money list. At Doral Kim and McIlroy hit the same score on the front 9 in two rounds, and each hit a lower score on one round. At the Shell Houston Open Kim scored lower on two rounds, they pushed once, and McIlroy had the lower score in one round. With McIlroy not having won a Tour event before I would say it’s safest to go with Kim, even after Kim was two strokes worse on the front 9 yesterday.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

4) Well skybet.com has the odds for Braga a win at 4:5 and a Maritimo win at 10:3 with the draw at 9:4. In terms of money lines that’s -125 for Braga with Maritimo being +333, and the draw being +225. Those are good odds for the home team without the and draw option. Without the bookmakers profits Braga are 50% favorites to win, Maritimo are given a 21.1% chance and the draw a 28.8% chance. Braga is 7-3-2 at home with 15 goals for and 6 goals against. They had a 5-0 home victory over Estrela Amadora so they generally average 0.91 goals at home and allow 0.5 goals. Maritimo is 3-4-4 on the road with 10 goals scored and 10 goals against. Braga has shut out their opponents in all seven of their victories at home but have lost or drawn every match in which their opponent has scored. Maritimo has only been shut out four times in 11 away matches, and only twice did they lose in those matches. They played FC Porto to a 0-0 draw at Porto. Looking at the players who have been called to the teams it looks like Alberto Ze Meyong did not meet fitness requirements for the match and will not play. Still, Braga should be able to win 1-0 as they have never been held scoreless at home, but if Maritimo scores I wouldn’t like Braga’s chances.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

6) In the past 10 years at the Masters Mickelson has averaged 70.2 in the second round while Furyk has averaged 72.6. Furyk shot a 6 under par 66 yesterday which is his best round at Augusta in over 10 years. In the past years he has shot a 68 twice and was seven over par in the subsequent round. He had a round of 69 once and shot a 71 the round after, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Furyk went all the way to even par or over par for this round. Mickelson averages cutting a stroke off his first round score in the past 10 years while Furyk generally adds a stroke to his second round score. Mickelson has been going through a phase where he cuts three strokes off his second round score for two years, then adds a couple of strokes the next two years. He’s in a year where he adds strokes to his round. So if you believe in patterns take Furyk but otherwise go with Mickelson.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

9) Minnesota is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, and 3-0-2 at home recently, including a 4-0 thrashing of Calgary. Nashville is 5-3-2 in their past 10 and 2-2-1 on the road. Nashville is 2-1-0 against Minnesota this season, winning in Minnesota but also losing in Nashville. Nashville is on the second night of a back-to-back with a record of 6-4-2 in such games. I’ll update later with the goalie situation. Nashville needs two points to stay in the playoff race but if Niklas Backstrom is starting for the Wild it means they’re taking the game just as seriously.
UPDATE: Backstrom is starting, and why wouldn’t he? The Wild must win out to have a chance at the playoffs.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

11) Orlando is favored by 11 points in Vegas, so they’ll either not cover the spread and win by 5 or win by 20 or more. A loss is fairly unlikely except for the Knicks have given Orlando trouble this year. The Knicks have lost by 5, 7, and 4 points this year to Orlando. In those games Hughes scored 2 points in 15 minutes, 0 points in 14 minutes, and did not play in the third game. Hughes had a stretch of games from the end of February until the end of March where he averaged 19.8 points per game. He’s been dealing with injury however and should see limited minutes tonight. If Hughes plays 20 minutes and scores 8 points if the Knicks can avoid the blowout Hughes just might win this prop.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

14) The Lakers are a half game back from Cleveland for the best record in the NBA. They’re coming off a solid victory over Denver last night where Andrew Bynum returned to the lineup. At 63-16 you know they have a good record on back to back games and on the road. The 1-2-3 punch of Bynum, Gasol, and Kobe should be too much for the TrailBlazers to handle, just like it was earlier in the year when they lost by double digits in L.A.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

15) For the moment I’m not sure about the pitchers in this game but I do know that the Angels are going to be playing to honor their departed friend and teammate Nick Adenhart.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

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