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And So It Goes....

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

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7th, 2009 Picks

2-2-0 today. I started out picking Norway which was as close as could be expected. The United States scored 1 rock in the 9th end to tie everything up at 5-5. Norway managed 2 rocks in the 10th, however, to pull off the 7-5 win and remain undefeated in the Worlds.

My next pick was Gaziantepspro to win or draw. Galatasaray dominated the first 30 minutes of the game but Gaziantepspro gained the momentum and controlled the action from there on out. Unfortunately for them Milan Baros scored on an incredible bicycle kick in the 10' minute and they were unable to answer. Gaziantepspro had numerous opportunities to score close to the net but every one of their shots was saved by Martin De Sanctis. Not to take away from De Sanctis’ performance but most of Gaziantep’s shots were directed directly at his chest. Gaziantepspro kept trying to force the ball in to a man further up the field but surrounded by defenders and lost out on many more scoring opportunities. Galatasaray turned those mistakes into ferocious counter attacks, but with the one goal lead they tended to be less aggressive or they could have easily won 3-0. As it went Gaziantepspro had the better opportunities and were putting pressure on to the very last, but could not find the net as they went down at home 1-0.

My third pick was the Yankees to defeat the Orioles. C.C. Sabathia may be a tremendous pitcher with a tremendous salaray but tonight he played like a rookie fresh out of the minors as he gave up 6 runs in 4.67 innings with 5 walks and zero strikeouts. The kicker was when the Orioles loaded up the bases and Sabathia walked the next batter, prompting him to be pulled. The Yankees did well with their middle relief as they rallied back to within 1 at 6-5 but the Orioles had the answer when they blasted in four more runs in the top of the 8th. The Yankees never could find that 6th run and wound up losing 10-5.

My final pick was North Carolina. The Tar Heels simply dominated in the first half as they jumped out to a 22-7 lead. It wasn’t until mid-way through the second half that Michigan State made the basket that gave them more field goals than turnovers. By the end of the game the Spartans had committed 21 turnovers while making 22 field goals. North Carolina handled the pressure well with 7 turnovers. Michigan State did out rebound the Tar Heels 40 to 33 but, perhaps not unsurprisingly, it was the North Carolina defense which was the better of the day, holding Michigan State to 40% shooting on field goals and 30% from the three point line. North Carolina became the 2009 NCAA Champions, downing the Spartans 89 to 72. Ty Lawson tied the NCAA tournament record for steals in a single game with 8 and North Carolina set a new record for points in a half with 55 in the first. So on to the picks already, yeesh.

1) Kansas City Royals @ Chicago White Sox – Chicago
2) FC Porto @ Manchester United – 2 goals or fewer
3) Arsenal @ Villarreal – Villarreal
4) Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox – Boston
5) Atlanta Hawks @ Toronto Raptors – Toronto
6) Philadelphia 76ers @ Charlotte Bobcats – Charlotte
7) New Orleans Hornets @ Miami Heat – Miami
8) Chicago Blackhawks @ Nashville Predators - Nashville
9) Chicago Cubs @ Houston Astros – Houston
10) Orlando Magic @ Houston Rockets – Houston
11) Angel McCoughtry points vs. Connecticutt win margin – McCoughtry points
12) St. Louis Blues @ Phoenix Coyotes – Phoenix
13) Oakland Athletics @ Los Angeles Angels – Oakland

2) Manchester United is coming off a 3-2 win at Old Trafford over Aston Villa where Federico Macheda put in an injury time game winner in his first Barclay’s Premiere League start. Manchester United were without Nemanja Vidic and Fernando Rio who, as the Dude would say, really tie the defense together. Manchester United were in poor form but it is safe to say they are still one of the best defensive squads in the world. FC Porto is a greater offensive threat than Villa but I would expect Manchester United to bring their A-game to Old Trafford this time around. Vidic returns for the Red Devils but Rio remains out while injured. Manchester United should be very concerned about conceding any away goals to FC Porto. FC Porto’s four away matches have all gone over, but in all but one their opponents were held under 3 goals. Arsenal defeated them 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium. One fun bit of information: FC Porto start a Brazilian striker named Hulk. The current odds on this are over 2.5 goals at 47.8% and under 2.5 goals at 52.2%.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

5) Atlanta is a 1.5 point favorite on the road here where they have a record of 14-24 on the season and have lost their last 5. The Raptors are 7-3 in their last 10 games including a 99-95 win over the Magic in Orlando. Atlanta is 4-6 in their last 10 games but those six losses have come to Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon will be key for Toronto in this game. Calderon can only beat himself and Mike Bibby has little chance of slowing him down. Bargnani has averaged 19.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 three pointers, and 2.0 blocks while shooting 48 percent from the field in his past three games. Toronto has already beaten Atlanta once at home, 93-88
Confidence: W2 streak or less

6) The Charlotte Bobcats are 4.5 point favorites in this game. They are 2-1 against the Sixers this season, winning a game at home and in Philadelphia already. Thaddeus Young is out for Philadelphia and Raja Bell is out for Charlotte. The Bobcats have one of the best rookies in the league backing up Bell, D.J. Augustin. The Sixers have Reggie Evans, Marreese Speights, and Donyell Marshell backing up Young. I think the Sixers will bounce back after losing on the road to New Jersey 96-67, but not by enough to defeat the Bobcats.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

8) Nashville is 5-2-3 in their last 10 games and Chicago is 6-2-2. The Predators are 3-1-1 at home recently and have won their last 3 in Nashville. The Blackhawks are 1-3-1 on the road, but did win their last road game, a 1-0 overtime win against Columbus. This season Chicago is 2-2-1 against Nashville and are 0-2-0 against the Predators in Nashville. Huet was the goalie for Chicago in all 3 losses and Khabibulin started in both wins. Khabibulin is starting tonight for the Blackhawks and Pekka Rinne should be starting for Nashville. Khabibulin’s record against Nashville in the past 3 seasons is 5-5-2. The odds on this game have Nashville as the barest of favorites. I like Nashville’s recent home performance against Chicago on the road.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

9) Wandy Rodriguez and Ryan Dempster are both solid pitchers for their respective teams. Over the past 3 years Rodriguez has an ERA of 3.10 in April with a 5-3 record. His ERA against Chicago in that time is 3.75 with a 3-1 record. Rodriguez has pitched in two games against the Cubs in Minute Maid Park in the past two years and his combined ERA is 1.27. Dempster has an ERA of 2.59 in April the past 3 years with a record of 4-1. His ERA against the Astros over those 3 years is a formidable 2.61, yet his record against Houston is only 1-4 in that time. In the last 8 games Dempster pitched any number of innings at Houston Dempster’s ERA is 2.44 and the Cubs have a 5-3 record.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

12) Phoenix is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and 4-0-1 at home recently. They’ve won their last 4 home games including a 5-1 beating of Vancouver. They are 5-0-1 at home in their last 6, with the additional victory being a 4-3 win in regulation over San Jose. The Blues are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and 3-1-1 on the road, though they lost their last road game in overtime 5-4 to Dallas. This season St. Louis is is 3-0-0 against Phoenix, but had to come back from a 1 goal deficit in two of those games. Bryzgalov is expected to return to the net in place of Al Montoya and Mason will be starting for St. Louis. Phoenix are +125 underdogs and the Blues are -145 favorites.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

13) Moseley is 1-1 against Oakland in his career with an ERA of 7.57. Cahill is a rookie and is playing in the major leagues after pitching for a AA team. Los Angeles is a slight favorite but Oakland should win if Cahill is capable of retiring the Angels batters early and often since Oakland is likely to score a few runs off of Moseley.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

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