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And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4th, 2009 Picks

Ehhh… not a good day as I went 1-2-0. I started off with Schalke 04 who went up 1-0 just before time ran out in the first half with a header off a corner kick. Schalke were lucky to have the lead, not just because they scored right as the half ended, but also because Arminia Bielefeld missed on some great opportunities. Both sides looked strong again in the second half but Arminia Bielefeld missed some close shots and it was Kevin Kuranyi who scored a second for Schalke right as the second half ended. Schalke 04 had two additional scores waved off for offsides calls, one of which was questionable. Schalke 04 won the match 2-0.

My next pick was the Washington Capitals. They drew first blood with a power play goal by Ovechkin but Buffalo evened things up a few minutes later. A minute later MacArthur had a pass accidentally knocked into the goal by the Capitals’ Kozlov giving Buffalo the 2-1 lead. Washington continued to play strong on power plays and scored two goals 9 seconds apart in the second period to go up 3-2. Washington had another 5 on 3 situation halfway through the second period but failed to increase their lead. Derek Roy converted a power play for the Sabers to even it at 3-3, but the Capitals got it right back less than a minute later to go into the third period up 4-3. Afinogenov tied the game in the third period and Washington was held scoreless to put the game into overtime where Jason Pominville slipped one between the legs of Simeon Varlamov less than two minutes in to give the Sabres the 5-4 victory.

My final pick of the day was Kobe Bryants’ points. It was a disappointing game to watch as Bryant took only 11 shots despite playing 38 minutes. Bryant has never taken fewer than 11 shots in a game this season and the two times he has taken that many before tonight were games in which he played fewer than 30 minutes. He was 7 of 11 from the field. Yao Ming had an alright game, totaling 10 rebounds and 16 points. He had 19 points and rebounds by the half so it was a quiet 3rd and 4th quarters from the giant but it was enough. Once Yao Ming was pulled from the game down the stretch the Lakers exploited the mismatch between Pau Gasol and Luis Scola and Kobe never took another shot. So on to the picks, eh?

1) Justin Leonard vs. Phil Mickelson – Leonard has a lower 2nd round score
2) Sunderland @ West Ham United – Sunderland win or draw
3) Germany vs. United States – Germany
4) Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards – Edwards has a better finishing position
5) Richard Hamilton vs. Andre Iguodala – Hamilton pts.
6) Michigan State vs. Connecticut – Connecticut
7) Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks – Atlanta
8) New Jersey Devils @ Buffalo Sabres – Buffalo
9) St. Louis Blues @ Dallas Stars – St. Louis
10) Villanova vs. North Carolina – North Carolina
11) Phoenix Coyotes @ Los Angeles Kings – Los Angeles

2) Sunderland will be returning midfielder Kieran Richardson for today’s match who was conspicuously missing in their recent losses to Wigan Athletic and Manchester City. West Ham United will be missing strikers Carlton Cole and Jack Collison who starred in their recent victories over Wigan and Man City. Since Collison and Cole have been out West Ham United have struggled to score playing to a 0-0 draw at home against league worst West Bromwich Albion and a 1-1 draw away at Blackburn Rovers. Fortunately for the Hammers they will be returning defenders Upson and Collins. West Ham United are 7-2-6 (W-D-L) at home this season and Sunderland are 3-5-7 in away matches. Sunderland are a long shot to win but West Ham United may have trouble scoring themselves. A 0-0 or 1-1 draw seem likely, but a 1-0 or 2-0 win for West Ham are just as likely.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

5) With Allen Iverson out Rip Hamilton should be seeing plenty of minutes on the court. Hamilton is difficult to stop for any defender and the Sixers do not have a defensive ace up their sleeve. The Pistons, however, can put Tayshaun Prince or Walter Hermann on Iguodala. Both players are capable scorers but Hamilton is more likely to take over 20 shots while Iguodala rarely does.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

6) Michigan State is playing a scant 40 miles from their home campus so they should hear the crowd roaring for them this afternoon. Goran Suton is a good outside shooter so he will be able to move Hasheem Thabeet out from under the basket. UCONN has other good shot blockers, most notably Stanley Robinson, and would still average more blocks than most schools even if Thabeet had 0.0 per game. Michigan State has done well with Suton scoring from the outside but I think Thabeet will limit him to a passing role today. With A.J. Price, Kemba Walker, and Jeff Adrien able to penetrate I think Michigan State will eventually become overwhelmed. UCONN is also a strong rebounding team, and when I say strong I mean they pull down rebounds strongly. Michigan State is the best in the nation at blocking out and going to the ball to collect boards, but if the Huskies get a hand on the ball they’re more likely to end up with the rebound. I think neither team will have a strong advantage on the boards.
Confidence: W3 streak or less

8) Both the Devils and the Sabres won in overtime last night so rest is not an issue for one team over the other. Buffalo is 2-1-0 against the Devils this season. New Jersey is 3-6-1 in their past 10 games but are 0-4-1 in their past 5 road games. Buffalo is only 5-3-2 in their past 10, but have done better at home winning their last two and going 3-1-1 there recently. Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller are expected to start for New Jersey and Buffalo, respectively. Buffalo is a -130 favorite and New Jersey is a +110 underdog.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

9) St. Louis is 3-0-0 against Dallas this year, but haven’t swept a season series with the Stars since the two franchises entered the NHL in 1967. St. Louis is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and 3-2-0 away from home recently. Dallas is 2-6-2 overall and 1-3-1 at home recently. Even worse, they have lost 4 home games in a row. Marty Turco is dealing with an injury and Stephan Tobias is likely to start for the Stars tonight while Mason will make the start for the Blues.
UPDATE: Tobias will be the backup goalie and Dallas will be giving Matt Climie his first NHL start today.
Confidence: W6 streak or less

10) North Carolina is a -330 to -400 favorite in the Vegas casinos this morning. That means you would make $25 on a $100 bet. Those odds don’t come around too often. I’m surprised they’re favored so heavily because Villanova really isn’t a bad team. Dwayne Anderson, Dante Cunningham, and Scottie Reynolds are terrific players and I can see North Carolina having a hard time stopping them on offense. North Carolina’s Ty Lawson is healthy, however, and adding him to the 1-2-3 punch of Hansbrough, Ellington, and Green may well be too much for the Wildcats.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

11) Los Angeles is at home and is a -140 favorite while Phoenix is a +120 underdog. Phoenix rallied in the third period two nights ago by scoring two goals and winning 2-1. It’s very difficult for a team to win both games in a home-and-away series and Phoenix is not a dominant team in the NHL. Los Angeles is 2-6-2 in their past 10 games and are on a 3 game losing streak. They are 3-2-0 at home recently, but have lost their last two there. Phoenix is on a three game winning streak and are 6-3-1 in their past 10, but are only 1-3-1 on the road recently. Al Montoya is expected to start again for the Coyotes and Jonathon Quick for the Kings.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

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