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And So It Goes....

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

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19th, 2009 Picks

One of the worst 2-2-0 days I can remember. If you avoided my NBA picks there’s a good chance you went 4-0-0 today. Oy. My first pick of the day was Justin Leonard to card a lower front 9 score. Leonard raced to a two stroke lead after three by birdying the first three holes. He stuck the ball within four feet of the hole for birdie putts on the first two holes and sank a 12 foot putt for birdie on the third. Baddeley and Leonard hit par on the next three holes and Leonard took a three stroke lead with his fourth birdie on the par-3 #7. Leonard hit into a green-side bunker on #8 and took two strokes to get himself out of it. He sank a 10 foot putt for bogey to avoid giving back two strokes. Baddeley hit his second birdie on #9 but Leonard hit par to preserve a one stroke lead. Baddeley was 2 under while Leonard was 3 under.

My next pick was Paul Pierce to score more points. Derrick Rose showed why he is the Rookie of the Year in spectacular fashion. He would have won the prop easily even without including his 11 assists. He had 20 points by half time while Pierce had only taken 4 shots by the half and scored 4 points. By the time the Bulls had pulled of the upset victory in overtime Rose had 36 points, tying the record for most points by a rookie in their first playoff game set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Wilt Chamberlain is second on that list with 35 in his first playoff game. That Rose is a guard makes it all the more remarkable.

My third pick was the Chicago Cubs. St. Louis took an early lead when Ryan Dempster walked the first two batters at the bottom of the Cardinals’ order to start off the third inning. He gave up two more hits and walked another batter and the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead. The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the inning but Khalil Greene put St. Louis back on top with a lead-off solo home run in the fourth. By the middle of the 8th inning the score was tied 5-5 and it remained that way until the bottom of the 11th whenl Aramis Ramirez had his first hit of the day, a home run, to score two for the Cubs and win the game 7-5.

My last pick of the day was the Portland Trailblazers. Yao Ming was stellar as he made every shot he attempted in the game, scoring 24 points in 24 minutes of play. Brandon Roy had a good game, but got no support from LaMarcus Aldridge and Travis Outlaw. Houston started to run away with things as the first half ended and continued in that vein throughout the second half, eventually winning Game 1, on the road, 108-81. So on to the picks.

1) Joe Durant vs. Rory McIlroy – McIlroy cards a lower front 9 score
2) Marseille @ Lorient – Marseille win
3) Milwaukee Brewers @ New York Mets – New York
4) Brian Gay vs. Rest of Field – Gay wins the tournament
5) Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers – Philadelphia
6) Deron Williams vs. Pau Gasol – Williams pts. and ast.
7) Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Francisco Giants – Arizona
8) Andre Iguodala vs. Hedo Turkoglu – Iguodala pts., reb., and ast.
9) Vancouver Canucks @ St. Louis Blues – Vancouver
10) Dwyane Wade vs. Joe Johnson – Johnson pts. and ast.
11) St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs – St. Louis
12) Albert Pujols vs. Alfonso Soriano – Soriano hits, runs, and RBIs
13) Chris Paul vs. Carmelo Anthony – Anthony pts.

1) Joe Durant has plenty of experience on this course. He’s played 27 rounds from 2001-present. His average front 9 score in that time is -0.3, with a median score of even par and a range of scores of (-5 to +4). This is Rory McIlroy’s first appearance in this event. He has carded scores of even par, 1 under, and 1 over. There are a couple of par-5’s McIlroy has birdied in two consecutive rounds. All of his bogeys have been on different holes. He double bogeyed #7 today after laying his tee shot up short into the water. He also bogeyed #4 by hitting into the water. Durant also has bogeys sprinkled on all different holes through the first three rounds so he’s not likely to bogey on any particular hole. He picked up his only two birdies on the front nine in the tournament today on #2 and #9. It’s close but McIlroy is more likely to continue to birdie those par 5’s and is not likely to pick up penalty strokes again. Durant could sink one or more 10 foot putts this time, however, and push or win by a stroke.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

2) Marseille are the current leaders of the French Ligue 1 with 61 points. Lorient currently lie in 11th place with 38 points. The 25 point lead for Marseille is more than enough reason to choose against Lorient at home with the ‘draw’ option. Marseille were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday so their only hope for a trophy out of this season comes from winning their domestic league title. They are 1 point ahead of Lyon and will be motivated to come out of this game with a victory and three points. Marseille will be missing striker Mamadou Niang and defender Taye Taiwo along with midfielder Julien Rodriguez. The absence of these players may be a concern against stronger competition, but not here. Lorient will be missing Marchal, Boutruche, and Soro on defense, with Marchal being the most notable absence. Le Pen and Pinard in the fore field will also miss, though they have few starts this season to begin with. Notable results, Lorient lost at home to Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 on March 9th. Marseille defeated Paris Saint-Germain away 3-1 on March 15th.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

4) Brian Gay currently sits at 13 under with a three stroke lead over the rest of the field. Wilkinson, Janzen, Hamilton, Briny Baird, and Davis Love III are the main threats with Wilkinson at 10 under par and Baird and Love III at 7 under par. Davis Love III should be considered the main threat here. The other challengers are playing above themselves and have already carded rounds of 66 or 65 which they’re not likely to do again in this event. All should hit 69 or worse. Davis Love III’s best round thus far has been a 67, but in the past 5 years his best final round at Harbour Town has been 69. Gay missed the cut in this event last year and his final round scores the two years previous were 73 and 70. That 73 came after hitting a 67 in the 3rd round. 70 or 71 are likely from Gay, but 72 or 73 are just as likely. There is a pretty good chance Gay wins this one with the players below him being unlikely to mount a run.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

7) Silence is the norm for the Diamondbacks and Giants recently, as in the crack of the bat is not heard too often. In the first two games of the series between these teams there have been 4 runs scored. The Diamondbacks are averaging 3.4 runs in their past 5 games and the Giants have averaged 2 runs in their last 5. Randy Johnson and Max Scherzer are the starting pitchers today. Scherzer has a 5.40 ERA in 5 innings pitched against St. Louis this season. Randy Johnson has an 11.42 ERA in 82/3 innings pitched this season, 5 against the Brewers and 32/3 against the Dodgers. Johnson has recorded 12 strikeouts in those 82/3 innings compared to 4 walked. Scherzer has walked two batters and struck out only one in his first start. These teams have not faced these pitchers very much in their careers. Johnson’s opponents, however, have a slugging percentage of 0.707 in 82/3 innings. The Cardinals had a slugging percentage of .364 against Scherzer. Johnson’s strikeout to walk ratio is impressive at 3.0, especially compared to Scherzer’s 0.5 ratio. With the bats being quiet Johnson’s propensity for giving up big hits seems less important than his ability to strike out batters. The bullpen for the Giants is not too strong however, and with their bats being quiet as well it will be difficult for them to maintain a lead.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

8) I haven’t looked at the stats behind this one, the story behind the prop if you will. All I know is this is Hedo Turkoglu’s first game back from injury and limited production offensively on return from injury is the rule in basketball, even for the most talented players in the league.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

10) Dwyane Wade averages 30.2 points on the year compared to 27.2 points and assists for Joe Johnson. Wade has averaged 27.0 points in his last 5 road games. Johnson has averaged 25.8 points and assists in his last 5 home games. In their three meaningful head to head matchups during the regular season Wade scored 21, 35, and 21 points. Johnson had 24 points, 4 assists, 21 points, 3 assists, and 24 points, 5 assists, winning this prop 2 out of 3 times this season. Last year Wade averaged 23.5 points in the playoffs and Johnson averaged 24.0 points and assists. Wade is the more consistent of the two, but if Johnson is on his game he should win easily. I like Johnson at home to be on his game.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

12) This matchup has been cancelled.

13) During the season Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony each averaged 22.8 points per game. Last year in the playoffs Paul averaged 25.4 points in home games and 22.2 points away. In the past two years in the playoffs Anthony has averaged 23.5 points at home 26.0 points away. It looks like Paul thrives on his home court more than on the road, whereas Anthony is the type who steps up his game more on the road. In the regular season Paul averaged 26.0 points at Denver compared to Carmelo who averaged 23.0 points at home against the Hornets. Both players are capable of scoring 30-plus, especially in the playoffs. I have to give Chris Paul the advantage here as his last 5 road games of the season he has averaged 29.2 points, scoring 26, 9, 42, 26, and 43 points. Anthony averaged 24.4 points in his last 5 home games. On the other hand, Paul will likely try to build his teammates’ confidence in Game 1.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

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