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And So It Goes....

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

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5th, 2009 Picks

Wow, a terrifically bad day where my first blog pick went through along with the last two with all 8 in between being losers. For my SFTC picks I went 1-3-0. My first pick was Sunderland win or draw. I overestimated the effect of Cole, Bellamy, Collison, and others being out for West Ham United as Stanislas and Tomkins scored their first ever Premiere League goals in the 42nd and 53rd minutes, respectively. Sunderland had plenty of opportunities with 8 on target shots but were unable to convert and West Ham defended their home ground 2-0.

My second pick was Richard Hamilton points. Hamilton got off to a rocky start as he faced double teams and traps from the Sixers every time he touched the ball as well as missing the rare open jumpers he did get. Iguodala on the other hand was on fire, hitting 7 of 11 shots and scoring 15 points in the first quarter alone. Iguodala cooled off from there scoring 2 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters each. Hamilton eventually started to find his groove and closed the gap to 4 points early in the 4th quarter. He missed a three point attempt that would have made it 19-18 and on the next possession Detroit blocked a shot directly to Iguodala who then buried a three. From there Hamilton was quiet and Iguodala put on another scoring spree, finishing with 31 points to Hamilton’s 15.

My third pick was Connecticut. Michigan State played terrific defense and was also the superior team when it came to transition offense. They forced 16 turnovers from UCONN and only turned it over 11 times themselves. The rebounding was fairly even with Michigan State grabbing one more offensive rebound in total. Overall the Spartans played much better as a team with Connecticut trying to force shots and fouls by playing one-on-one basketball. The Huskies had a 0.5 assist-to-turnover ratio for the game while the Spartans assisted on over 50% of their field goals. Michigan State pulled away at the end and sent themselves into the championship game, 82-73.

My final pick was North Carolina. Villanova tried to play a tough physical style of basketball but North Carolina was able to match it. When Villanova did knock the ball away the Tar Heels were able to track the loose ball down. In general the Tar Heels out hustled them and played better defense. They harassed Villanova into 5 of 27 shooting from behind the arc while shooting 11 of 22 on threes themselves. North Carolina shot only 40% from the field but held Villanova to 33% shooting for the game. In the end North Carolina was too strong as they won by 14 points, 83 to 69. So on to the picks, for now….

1) Germany vs. Switzerland – Switzerland
2) Wigan Athletic @ Everton – Everton win
3) Tony Parker vs. LeBron James – Parker ast. + pts.
4) Norm Duke vs. Any Other Bowler – Norm Duke
5) Kyle Busch vs. Jimmie Johnson – Johnson
6) Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks – Dallas
7) Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers – Pittsburgh
8) Indiana Pacers @ Oklahoma City Thunder – Oklahoma City
9) Women’s NCB: Louisville vs. Oklahoma – Louisville
10) San Jose Sharks @ Anaheim Ducks – Anaheim
11) Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies – Philadelphia
12) C. Jones and B. McCann vs. C. Utley and J. Rollins – Utley and Rollins record more total bases
13) Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings – Sacramento

2) There are a few injury concerns in this match, though the most notable absence for Wigan Athletic is Amr Zaki who is not injured per se, but has simply neglected to return to the club after playing for the Egyptian national team. Wigan will also be missing Jason Koumas but should have everyone else available. Everton is waiting on a late fitness test to determine if Tim Cahill will play and are still waiting for Tim Howard to return from the United States where he recently tended the net against Trinidad & Tobago. Everton are overwhelming favorites to win at 55 percent odds. The best team Everton has defeated outright at home is 9th place Fulham, while the best team Wigan Athletic has won or drawn against on the road is 11th place Tottenham Hotspur. It would be best to see if Cahill and Howard are playing for Everton, if they are Everton is a very good pick and if they are not it is really a toss-up.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

3) The last time Cleveland and San Antonio played the game was in San Antonio and Parker had 6 assists and 11 points on 3 of 16 shooting. LeBron had 30 points on 12 of 23 shooting. LeBron has had 31 and 26 points in Cleveland’s last two losses to Washington and Orlando on the road and had no more than 25 in their last 4 wins at home. In March the most LeBron scored in a home win was 43 against Orlando and the least being 14 points in a win against Miami. In San Antonio’s last 5 road games Parker has put up 36, 35, 52, 27, and 42 points plus assists.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

5) This race is scheduled to last about 4 hours and it is a 334 lap race. In 12 years on this track Chevrolet’s have won the Sprint Cup race 3 times and Toyota’s have never won. Johnson is driving a Chevrolet and Busch is driving a Toyota. Johnson placed higher than Busch in this race in '08, ’06, and ’05 with Busch placing 37th to 38th for Johnson in ’07. Anybody could be involved in a crash, however, which would obviously put them at a disadvantage.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

6) The Phoenix Suns need to win this game to keep themselves close in the playoff race; if they win they’re 2 games back from Dallas with 5 games to go and if they lose they’re 4 games back and all but eliminated. Dallas must have the same thing on their minds. The game is in Dallas where the Mavericks have won 9 of their last 10. Phoenix is 2-8 on the road in their last 10 with the two victories coming against the Clippers and Golden State. Nash and Nowitzki always seem to bring their A-game when they play one another so it should be a great game but Dallas should prevail in the end.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

7) Florida is 4-4-2 in their last 10 games and Pittsburgh is 6-1-3. Both teams are coming off losses and each team are on a 1 game losing streak, at home for Florida and on the road for Pittsburgh. Florida is 2-2-1 at home recently and Pittsburgh is 3-0-2 on the road with the two overtime losses coming against Carolina and Columbus. Florida’s home losses have also come against Carolina and Columbus but they also lost recently to Atlanta. Florida is a -120 favorite and the odds are even on Pittsburgh. Head-to-head this season Florida is 1-1-1 against the Penguins with the win coming in Pittsburgh and the regulation loss being at home in Florida. Vokoun is projected to be in net for the Panthers and Fleury for the Penguins.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

10) San Jose lost at home to Anaheim last night, 5-2. It’s very difficult for any team to win both games in a home-and-away series. It takes a team like Boston or say San Jose to be capable of it. Anaheim has been on a tear lately, however, winning 9 of their last 10 games, while San Jose is 6-3-1 in their last 10 and 2-2-1 on the road recently. San Jose did win their last two road games, against Calgary and Edmonton. Anaheim is on a four game winning streak. Currently it is Boucher and Hiller projected to be in net for San Jose and Anaheim, respectively. Anaheim is a -120 favorite and San Jose has even odds. San Jose should win this game hands down, but with as well as Anaheim has been playing the past few weeks I think they can win in overtime here.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

13) Sacramento lost on the road to Golden State last wee 143-141 in overtime. Sacramento is 3-7 at home in their past 10 and Golden State is 1-9. Sacramento defeated Denver and Phoenix in two of those 3 home wins while Golden State’s road win was against Minnesota. It looks as if Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Corey Maggette will miss this game as well, though it did not stop the Warriors from handling Chris Paul and the Hornets. Kevin Martin has been playing on a bum ankle all season but the latest reports from the Sacramento Bee have him playing tonight against the Warriors.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

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