Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)A decent 5-2-0 day for my actual Streak picks though it seemed like I did a lot worse. Started off with a loss at the hands of Young Boys then got back on track quickly with the Sparks and Sun scoring in flurries at the ends of the first and second quarters. Obama got me back to W2. The camera angle made it difficult to see where the pitch went but it looked good on the delivery. Apparently Pujols had to move up a bit and scoop it up before it hit the ground. Tim Lincecum was shaky for the NL to start and the fielding on display was poor for regular players, let alone all-stars. Got three wins in a row to finish though with zero runs in the third, the AL scoring more in the fifth, and the final out being a pop out or ground out. And so on to the picks.

Young Boys' Doumbia Collects All Three Points From The Spot
BSC Young Boys 3 - 2 FC Zürich
FC Zürich started out strong but soon Young Boys were in control of the match as they scored two early on in the first half. FC Zürich fought back to tie the game 2-2 but a penalty on Zürich keeper Andrea Guatelli gave Young Boys a penalty kick and with the quality of strikers on their side it was as much as a guaranteed goal.
``Zürich startete stark in die Partie und erarbeitete sich schon in den ersten Minuten mehrere gute Möglichkeiten. Entgegen dem Spielverlauf waren es jedoch die Berner, die für die ersten Tore besorgt waren. Hätten die Young Boys Doumbia noch mehr in ihr Spiel integriert, der FCZ hätte noch mehr Schwierigkeiten bekommen. Aber als der FCZ nach dem 0:2-Rückstand mit dem 2:2 ins Spiel zurückgefunden hatte, foulte der Torhüter Guatelli den durchgebrochenen Degen (75.). Doumbia verwertete den Penalty zum 3:2-Siegtreffer für die Berner."
Read more....FC Zürich Point Of View & PhotosYoung Boys Point Of View & LineupsEvents

American League Win 13th Straight All-Star Game
American League 4 - 3 National League (Obama's pitch to Pujols' glove; First to score: AL, 2 runs top 1st)
3rd Inning: 0 runs scored; 5th Inning: AL 1 - 0 NL; Final out: M. Tejada pops out
Tim Lincecum started for the National League and got off to a rocky start. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a chopped infield single and Derek Jeter followed by getting on base after Lincecum struck his left hand with the ball. Jeter was OK but the National League was not. Joe Mauer hit the ball directly into the dirt in front of Yadier Molina who hesitated a second, unsure if the ball was fair or foul, before making a fine toss to David Wright at third base for the out. Wright tried to convert the double play but tossed it wide to Albert Pujols who made the catch but had to take his foot of the base. Mark Teixeira hit a grounder on the next play but Pujols was screened by Mauer, failed to see the ball, and kicked it to commit the error allowing Derek Jeter to score. In the third inning Rich Franklin and Mark Buehrle did not allow a single baserunner. Then in the fifth inning it was Chad Billingsley's turn for the NL. He allowed Crawford to get on base before forcing Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter to ground into fielder's choice, but with two outs he gave up an RBI double to Joe Mauer. Edwin Jackson pitched the bottom of the fifth for the AL and he did better getting Molina, Zimmerman, and Hanley Ramirez to hit out in a row. The final out of the game was a Miguel Tejada pop fly to second base as he faced off against Mariano Rivera and with that the American League took the win and home field in the World Series."
``Crawford pulled back a home run with a leaping grab an inning before Curtis Granderson tripled and scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth, giving the AL a 4-3 victory Tuesday night at the new Busch Stadium."
Read more....Box ScorePhotos

1) Argentina vs. England - Argentina
2) How Many Cyclists Will Finish Ahead Of Mark Cavendish: Cavendish In Top 3 vs. 3 Or More - Cavendish top 3
3) San Antonio Silver Stars @ Washington Mystics - Washington
4) Stabæk IF @ KF Tirana - Stabæk IF win
5) Jodie Meeks vs. Joe Alexander - Meeks pts.
6) How Many Points Will DeMar DeRozan Score: 15 or fewer vs. 16 or more - 15 or fewer
7) Estudiantes de la Plata @ Cruzeiro MG - 3 goals or more
8) Jerryd Bayless vs. Joey Dorsey - Dorsey pts. + reb.
9) Detroit Shock @ Seattle Storm: Storm win by 10 or more vs. Shock lose by 9 or less or win - Storm win by 10+
10) International League vs. Pacific Coast League - International League


Five time Champions Trophy medalists Argentina are huge favorites to defeat England today.
1) To start with I know absolutely nothing about field hockey and especially women's field hockey. The closest I've come to seeing a field hockey game is that scene in `Clerks' where they play on the roof. The one thing I do know after searching around for information on this match is that women's field hockey players are actually pretty attractive. The other thing I found out was that Argentina should win this match.

Looking at the standings one sees Argentina is 2-0-0 while England is 0-1-1. OK, so maybe the English team has just played the harder competition at this early stage. Argentina won the Gold at this competition last year, however, and are favorites to repeat or at least finish in the top three. England has never won a medal at the Champions Trophy competition and are not expected to this year either. English betting site BetFair has odds on the match favoring Argentina immensely. Converting to moneyline odds Argentina is a -320 favorite while England is a +620 underdog with the draw being given +410 odds. Aside from Argentina's overall superiority they will be playing a young English squad as England tries out players in preparation for the World Cup. Said English assistant coach Karen Brown, ``This tournament we’re using it for development, we’ve brought a pretty young squad." The match preview gives a host of statistical tidbits such as the fact that England has not scored against Argentina in a competitive match since 1998 when they scored twice in a 4-2 loss. It would be a big upset for England to win and the worst case scenario it would seem for Argentina would be to come away with a draw, which would at least preserve your streak.

Perennial Albanian Champions League entrants host Stabæk IF in the second qualifying round today.
4) The 2008 Norwegian Tippeligæn champions Stabæk IF have arrived and trained in Tiranë in preparation for their match against KF Tirana today. They finished first in the league last season after a one year spell in the second division during the 2004/2005 season. They rose to the top of the Tippeligæn behind the strength of foreign internationals Alanzinho, Veigar Páll Gunnarsson, Somen Tchoyi and Daniel Nannskog. Unfortunately some hard decisions faced the club and the choice was made to upgrade Telenor Stadium leaving them short of funds to hold on to their stars. Of the four mentioned prior only Daniel Nannskog remains with the team and as a result Stabæk now find themselves in 5th place two-thirds through the season. Interestingly, the fourth and last remaining star of the 2008 championship team, Daniel Nannskog, is slated to start today's match on the bench. Rising star Frederik Berglund, who has scored 6 goals in Stabæk's two most recent matches, will start in his place at the tip of a 4-1-4-1 formation.

KF Tirana, as reigning champions of the Kategoria Superiore (Albania's top-flight soccer league), and winners of the league 24 times over, will be making yet another foray into the Champions League. They have never progressed into the group stage of the competition and have yet to make it past the second qualifying round since UEFA implemented the current format in 1992. Although they are currently in the off-season of their domestic league KF Tirana are still beset with a few injury concerns, while Stabæk IF are bringing a fully healthy and full strength squad. Toni Pezo (M), Ansi Agolli (M), and Migen Memelli (F) will all miss the match for Tirana. Laurent Mohellebi (M), Igor Gal (D) and Arber Abilaliaj (F) have been called up to fill in the roles vacated by Pezo, Agolli, and Memelli which are some fairly big shoes to fill according to Tirana trainer Alban Tafaj.

There was one English-language preview I was able to find that seemed to favor even a weaker Stabæk side given their fine recent form in domestic play and the fact they have a few months of competitive play under their belts while KF Tirana have only been able to fit in a few friendlies in that time. This is Stabæk IF's first Champions League entry and the players will be nervous with rumors swirling of Albanian crowds throwing rocks and even knives at visiting foreign teams. KF Tirana, on the other hand, have plenty of Champions League experience though they have found victory or even draws few and far between. They lost both legs of their ties the past two years they have participated, against NK Domzale (Slovenia) in '07 and against CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria) in '05. In terms of how competitive the Norwegian and Albanian leagues are in relation to one another Norway has the better talent. The Tippeligæn is ranked 18th amongst UEFA nations while the Kategoria Superiore is ranked 43rd. The club coefficients for each team are given by UEFA which take into account their past success in UEFA competitions (66%) and their domestic league's rating (33%). KF Tirana has a coefficient of 0.799 while Stabæk IF has a coefficient of 3.760 which reflects Norway's overall success in Europe more than Stabæk's. It will be interesting to see how Stabæk's players deal with playing an intimidating foreign environment but overall I think they will have the talent to come away with a victory today and in the return leg in Norway.

Jodie Meeks has got the shooting edge (.600 FG%) but Joe Alexander has a bigger inside game (23 FTA).
5) The Milwaukee Bucks have to be happy to have a couple of incredible athletes like Joe Alexander and Jodie Meeks playing for them in the NBA Summer League this year. Joe Alexander was a candidate for the slam dunk competition last season while Jodie Meeks was the driving force behind the Kentucky Wildcats' limited success. So far they have each played in 3 games for Milwaukee averaging around 30 minutes per game each. The Bucks are 3-0 with their help and look to continue that success against the Chicago Bulls tonight.

In those three games Meeks is averaging slightly more in the points department with 14, 16, and 20 points for an average of 16.7 while Joe Alexander has scored 14, 8, and 24 for an average of 15.3 points. The main difference between these two is in how those points have been scored. Meeks is shooting 21/35 from the field (60%) including 3/5 from three point range but has only made 5/6 free throws. Joe Alexander is shooting 13/36 from the field (33%) including 1/1 from three point range but has taken 23 free throws, making 19 of them. Joe Alexander is more active down low and has been able to get to the free throw line often but is barely half the shooter that Jodie Meeks is. In terms of points per shot (PTS/FGA) Meeks is at 1.43 and Alexander is at 1.21. I favor Meeks here as he has not had to rely on being fouled and making free throws to score his points and has been much more efficient with his shots overall.

DeMar DeRozan averaged 13.9 points in 33.4 minutes per game in one season with USC.
6) The fans in Toronto are trying to get as excited as they possibly can about the arrival of DeMar DeRozan. Toronto desperately needs to meet with success, both in the regular season and the playoffs, if they want to keep the franchise in the city. Essentially they need every new addition to the club to exceed all expectations which can be difficult when hopes are so high. DeRozan is a young player who will turn 21 years old early next month and completed one season at USC. While at USC he averaged 13.9 points per game in 33.4 minutes. His FG% was over .500 and he managed 1.32 points per shot. So far in the summer league he has played in three games and is averaging near 34 minutes per game, but his FG% is only .435 while his points per shot have been a truly sub par 0.98 meaning he's taking a field goal for every point scored. Part of the reason for that is he's not been getting to the line too often and has settled for jump shots against the tougher defensive competition he's faced. In the three games he's played he's scored 10 points on 12 shots, 20 points on 20 shots, and 15 points on 14 shots, not exactly a model of efficiency. If he can start taking better shots and making a higher percentage he would be a lethal scoring threat, but as it stands he's just one of four players averaging double figures for Toronto. As long as he works to get layups and lays off the jumpers he should score 16 or more, but he's young and I don't think he'll have the patience for it just yet.

Cruzeiro look to retain the Copa Libertadores against challengers Estudiantes de la Plata after a 0-0 draw in La Plata.
7) Brazilian side Cruzeiro will host Argentine squad Estudiantes de la Plata for the second and deciding leg of the Copa Libertadores final this evening. Cruzeiro are the defending champions and being as this is the most prestigious competition in South America both teams will be running on all cylinders to win this, and extremely wary of losing. Evidence for this can be found in the first leg at La Plata where the two teams played to a 0-0 draw. This after the two clashed in the Group Stage with Cruzeiro winning 3-0 in Belo Horizonte and Estudiantes winning 4-0 in La Plata. Both teams average between 2.1 and 2.6 goals scored plus allowed for Estudiantes and Cruzeiro in their respective domestic leagues. Given the low scoring nature of soccer in general and that fewer than half of the matches for either team involve 3 or more goals being scored in domestic or Cup competitions 2 or fewer is the smarter pick. I think the only way this goes over is if either side makes a costly mistake, such as an own goal. If the match is tied 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes plus injury time they will enter into two 15 minute halves of extra time which would give either side more chances to score a third goal. I do not believe the match will remain scoreless through the 90 minutes of regulation. It's crunch time and the first to score will probably win.

The Detroit Shock are 1-4 on the road with all four defeats coming by at least 10 points.
9) The line on this game has the Seattle Storm being given 9.5 points at -110 and the Detroit Shock being given -110 odds of covering 9.5 points. So it's a 50/50 proposition whether Detroit will win by double digits according to these oddsmakers. I see this more as a prop regarding whether the Seattle Storm will win, however, as the Detroit Shock have yet to lose on the road by single digits. Even at home half of Detroit's losses have come by 10 or more. The odds of Seattle winning outright are much more favorable as they are -550 favorites while the Shock are +425 underdogs. Detroit has been beaten by 20, 12, 10, and 16 points on the road and I think 10 is a fairly conservative estimate for Seattle to win today. That's not to say there are not close WNBA games, but blowouts are just as common.