Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18th, 2009 Picks

A bit better on the day at 2-0-1. My first pick was Davis Love III to card a lower front 9 score. Davis Love III took a lead early as he set himself up with a 30 foot chip for eagle that became a three foot putt for birdie on the 2nd hole. Boo Weekley hit a bogey on the 3rd to go down two strokes. Both bogeyed the 4th hole, and Weekley hit a birdie on the 5th. Love III extended his lead to three strokes nonetheless by making a 26 foot putt for eagle. Going into the 8th hole Weekley was still down three strokes. He was in position to hold par but a two-putt from 8 feet out on the 8th, and a four-putt on the 9th lead to a bogey and double bogey. Davis Love III finished with a pair of pars and carded a 2-under 34 on the front nine, while Weekley finished with a 4-over 40. As a side-note Weekley carded a back 9 one stroke better than Love III.

My second pick was Paul Casey to card a lower 2nd round score. It was a very close match with Casey hitting two birdies, three bogeys, and 7 pars through the first 12 holes and Zach Johnson hitting two birdies, a bogey, a double bogey, and 8 pars through the first 12. From there Zach Johnson began to falter as he dropped behind a stroke or more on 5 of the final 6 holes. Casey hit two birdies, one on the par-5 15th and one on the par-4 18th as he finally started to drop his shorter putts. Zach Johnson hit into the water on the 14th hole to score a double bogey to go along with two other bogeys. Casey finished with a 70 while Johnson finished the round with a 76.

My final pick was the Flyers to score more goals than the Hurricanes in their respective games. The Flyers scored 1 goal in the first period, but the Hurricanes put in a final minute goal to also score in the 1st of their game. The Hurricanes were held scoreless thereafter but the Devils could not get past Cam Ward. Philadelphia scored early in the 3rd period for their second goal, but gave up a late power play goal to the Penguins. Both games went into overtime with the Flyers having scored 2 to 1 goal for the Hurricanes. Philadelphia was hit with a couple of penalties and could not stand firm against the Penguins in the resulting 5 on 3 situation. Carolina was aggressive from the start in their OT, and coupled with two injuries to the Devils’ front lines were able to score a goal to win their game. The prop ended in a push with both teams scoring two goals. So, we find ourselves again at the time where we go to the picks.

1) Aaron Baddeley vs. Justin Leonard – Leonard cards a lower front 9 score
2) Bolton Wanderers vs. Portsmouth – Portsmouth win
3) Atlanta Braves @ Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh
4) Derrick Rose vs. Paul Pierce – Pierce pts.
5) Brian Gay vs. Todd Hamilton – Gay cards a lower third round score
6) Richard Hamilton vs. Mo Williams – Hamilton pts.
7) St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs – Chicago
8) Los Angeles Angels @ Minnesota Twins – Los Angeles
9) Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs – San Antonio
10) Jeff Gordon vs. Tony Stewart – Gordon has a better final position
11) Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks – Chicago
12) Detroit Tigers @ Seattle Mariners – Detroit
13) Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers – Portland
14) Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann – Soszynski

1) Both of these players have won this event in the past, Aaron Baddeley in 2006 and Justin Leonard in 2002. Leonard is 8-5-1 in this prop against Baddeley from 2006-present, yet he has placed lower than Baddeley consistently. That suggests to me it is the back 9 which Leonard has problems with. Looking at Baddeley’s second round he hit quite a few mid-to-long range iron shots to within 10 feet of the hole. That is very good, but even for Tiger Woods is considered lucky to happen on consecutive holes. I think Leonard will do better sinking his mid-range putts and Baddeley will be forced to two-putt for par more often. Each player’s median score is -1 on the front 9 from rounds played in the years 2001-present. Baddeley’s average score is -1.3 and he has carded scores ranging from -6 to +2. Leonard’s average score is -1.0 and his scores range from -5 to +2. I think Baddeley scores -2 at best while Leonard has a good chance to score -2 or -3. Assuming Baddeley has better odds of hitting 2 under, but worse odds of hitting any other score between -4 and +2, I’d say Baddeley’s chances of winning are 40.6%, Leonard’s chances are 41.8%, and the probablity of a push are 17.6%.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

2) Portsmouth sit at even odds to win this game, while a win or a draw for Bolton Wanderers are at 25% and 29%, respectively. That gives Bolton Wanderers a slight edge odds-wise, though either golf pick holds better odds for not losing. Both teams are at full strength though Danny Shittu is a major doubt for Bolton on defense. Bolton will not want to find themselves down at half time as they have not won or drawn a match on the road when in that position. Bolton Wanderers are 0-2-3 (W-D-L) in their past 5 away matches, drawing to West Bromwich Albion and Blackburn Rovers, while losing to Stoke City, Chelsea, and Everton. Portsmouth are 2-1-2 in their past 5 home matches, defeating Everton and Manchester City, while losing to Chelsea and Liverpool and drawing to West Bromwich Albion. Bolton were missing Glenn Johnson on defense and Sean Davis up front in the West Brom match. Both players have started 24 to 25 matches this season. I think Portsmouth has strong victories against stronger teams than Bolton, while Bolton have not managed to win on the road at all recently, managing draws against sides with worse home form than Portsmouth.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

4) Derrick Rose averaged 23.1 points and assists during the regular season and had a very nice finish with a number of terrific games. He averaged 18.7 points and 7.6 assists in the last 10 games of the season. Paul Pierce averaged 20.5 points during the season and 21.9 points in the last 10 games he played. During the season the Bulls and the Celtics played one another three times. Rose had 19 points and assists in all three meetings and Pierce had 14, 16, and 37 points. In the low scoring games Kevin Garnett played and Pierce was in for less than 35 minutes in big victories for the Celtics. He played 39 minutes without Kevin Garnett in the 37 point game. Pierce is the leader of the Celtics and their number one scoring option without Garnett on the floor. This is Rose’s first playoff game and there is a chance his inexperience could lead to turnovers and forcing bad shots. Rajon Rondo is a good defender with playoff experience so the 19 points and assists for Rose against the Celtics could be his ceiling.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

5) Brian Gay and Todd Hamilton have hit rounds of 66, 66, 67, and 68 between them so far at Harbour Town this year. The 68 and 66 are the best Hamilton has ever scored in playing this event from 2004 till now. Gay has carded a round of 66 once before and 67 three times from 2001 till now. Gay’s average score is 71.1 and his median score is 71. Hamilton’s average score is 72.8 and his median score is 73.5. This year and in 2008 Gay has missed the cut in 11 events, finished in the top 10 seven times and won 1 event. In that same time Hamilton has missed the cut in 18 events and has not finished in the top 10 a single time. Gay has proven he has the potential to play at this level in the past two years. Hamilton looks to be overachieving, where even if he hits a 75 today he looks to put in his best performance of the past two years.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

9) What can I say here other than that the team with home court advantage has a great advantage in Game 1. Maybe it’s that the road team knows they’ll have another chance at stealing the next game and even then can even the series up at home and ride that momentum to a road win in Game 5. Whatever it is Dallas’ best chance lies in outstanding play by Jason Terry and Josh Howard. If Jason Kidd and Jose Juan Barea can add strong games on top of that they could win here. The Spurs are missing Manu Ginobili but it is not an unfamiliar position for them to be in and they’ve won without him plenty during the season. More likely than not Dallas’ younger players will have so-so games in a loss.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

12) The pitching matchup in this game features Edwin Jackson for the Tigers and Erik Bedard for the Mariners. Jackson has pitched 131/3 innings this year and given up 5 earned runs, 4 to the Texas Rangers, and 1 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Bedard has pitched 131/3 innings and given up 3 earned runs, all to the Minnesota Twins. Last year Bedard had an ERA of 1.80 against the Tigers and Jackson had an ERA of 0.60 against the Mariners and both pitchers won the decisions when they pitched. The batter v. pitcher stats show the Mariners with a career slugging average of .442 against Jackson and the Tigers with a slugging average of .458. Jackson’s strikeout to walk ratio is 4.0 against the Mariners while Bedard’s is 2.0 against the Tigers. It will be difficult for the Tigers to win on the road in this game against Mariners team improved from last year but Jackson is the pitcher on the mound to do it.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

13) In the Western Conference the team with home court advantage ends up winning the series something like 75% of the time. That team wins game 1 at least that often. The Blazers are continuing to play their best basketball of the season. Yao Ming will provide matchup problems, as he does for any opponent. Scola, Battier, and Artest will need to have great nights offensively to keep up with Portland’s offense, and a strong defensive night will help with that. In the end it will probably be Portland’s bench that extends their leads and keeps the game out of reach for the Rockets, even if the Rockets play an exceptional game.
Confidence: W7 streak or les

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