CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS: 8-2 ATS
CONFIDENCE EFFICIENCY RATING (CER): 77/110 or .70
TOP CONFIDENCE PICKS THROUGH DAY 21: 14-6 ATS
Well, sadly our run of picking conference semi-final games ended at seven in Oak Town last night. Nonetheless, 8-2 ATS has got to be up there with the best of them.
Five Observations from Friday Night's Sports Line-Up
5. Joakim Noah has to be the most loved and hated player in the NBA next to LeBron James. The seminal moment in my developing that opinion came when Chris Bosh was laying into Mario Chalmers about a defensive lapse and Noah walked up to them, started clapping and yelling "Yeahhhhh" as loud as he could. He's probably a real sweetheart off the court.
4. The stock of every single Chicago Bulls starter who has battled through a round and a half of long-minutes, physical play, and injuries has gone through the roof. Noah - priceless. Nate Robinson - Little Big Man. Marco Bellinelli - lost the belly somewhere in Brooklyn. Carlos Boozer - don't let the last name fool you. Beast. And, of course, Jimmy "The Cloak" Butler. Not even his mom believed in Jimmy - throwing him out on the street at the age of 13 because she "didn't like the look of him." Here are the rest of the 21 things you may or may not want to know about Jimmy B.
3. As much as I hate to admit it, LeBron James is phenomenal. There are better shooters in the league, better ball handlers, better passers with better court vision. There are bigger players, stronger players, and definitely better looking more charismatic players. There are no players, however, as complete as he is. I still don't think that makes him an MVP every year.
Suppose you take two rocket scientists and stick them on separate teams - one full of rocket scientists and other full of average Joe's - and tell them their goal is to reach the moon (NBA title). Both teams put together impressive presentations (regular season) on how they're going to get to the moon, and in fact the sole rocket scientist with the average team indicates that he could reach the moon, too (playoff run, things fall into place, possible championship). Which scientist is more valuable?
2. The Spurs made better adjustments in the Game 3 and the Marco and Vinny conference semi-final picks ATS streak ended at 7. I still don't think Curry and Thompson will have shooting stats like that on the same night again, so I'm going to predict this series goes 7 games. I don't want to talk about this game anymore.
"Je ne te veux pas pass the ball to anyone else, Tony."
That was Coach Pop's first quarter strategy - and it worked. Just trying to impress my Canadian readers with some basic French verb conjugation.
1. Speaking of impressive Canadians, my number one observation from last night's line up was that people should really start following the advice in our Bonus Coverage from Kyle's Corner. He lit up the majors going 11-2 last night with a perfect 5-0 on selected pitchers to ride. Just imagine what he could have done if the Expos were still around. Seriously, though, boy's on a roll. Pay attention.
And now on to today's continued coverage of the NBA's conference semi-final showdowns. For those you who can't remember which teams are playing in the other series', don't worry - you don't have Alzheimer's and you might still be a valuable rocket scientist to somebody. Actually, outside of the four cities represented, you're probably quite normal.
For some unknown reason, TNT and the NBA decided to give Indiana, New York, Oklahoma City, and Memphis four days off between games. Intuitively, I think this type of lay-off helps the higher seeded road teams, because both series head to new cities with the series' tied at 1-1. Nonetheless, with the small lines, Marco and I have learned to go with the teams we believe win the game.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (-5) over Oklahoma City Thunder: How many different ways can I write the fact that the Thunder are out-sized on the interior and - outside of Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin - lack the perimeter shooting to compete with Memphis. Meanwhile, with Russell Westbrook sidelined for the playoffs, Mike Coneley Jr. will continue to have his way with the slower OKC point guards. Confidence Rating: 2
INDIANA PACERS (-4) over New York Knicks: Although New York fared well as an underdog (14-8-1 ATS) during the regular season, they are 2-5 SU in their last 7 visits to Indiana. Meanwhile, the Pacers are 7-3 SU in their last ten at home. New York might get the split in Indiana because they can play defense when they want to - seventh ranked during the season (94.7/game) - but their jump shooting will be rusty early and hot too late to cover. Indiana goes up 2-1. Confidence Rating: 1
Enjoy the basketball, folks, and don't forget to read on if you want to make some real money.
BONUS COVERAGE FROM KYLE'S CORNER IN CANADA
There's no other way to start this post but: MLB 11-2! A perfect 5-0 on the pitcher ride, oh what a majestic day! A pedestrian 2-2 in NHL but both loses were 1 goal games so, "whatcha gonna do about it."
Anyways full recap:
Every game was super close, coin flippers. Today only has 1 game but it's a beauty.
Pittsburgh @ New York Isles. This should be where Pittsburgh ends this, but, listen carefully to these bets I'm about to post are ONLY VALID if Thomas Vokoun is starting in net for Pittsburgh, otherwise if it's Fleury they are deciding to throw the game the like 1919 Chicago White sox. Poor Shoeless Joe...
Pittsburgh to win, and in regulation, and by (-1.5)
Pittsburgh to score more than 3 goals, and
Vokoun to save more than 30 shots. That's 5 bets on 1 game.
Yesterday: 11-2 Boom.
Hot Pitcher ride:
TEX: Darvish (5-1, 2.56 ERA)
CIN: Latos (3-0, 2.23 ERA)
BAL: Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
WSH: Strasburg (1-4, 3.45 ERA) This is not a hot one, this is a gut feeling play on my part.
DET: Verlander (4-2, 1.55 ERA)
STL: Wainwright (4-2, 2.72 ERA)
BOS: Buchholz (6-0, 1.60 ERA)
TOR: Buehrle (1-2, 7.02 ERA) @ BOS: Buchholz (6-0, 1.60 ERA) Boston team over 5, not game.
CLE: Jimenez (2-2, 6.37 ERA) @ DET: Verlander (4-2, 1.55 ERA) Detroit team over 5, not game.
CHC: Jackson (0-5, 6.39 ERA) @ WSH: Strasburg (1-4, 3.45 ERA) Over 7
ATL: Maholm (4-3, 3.09 ERA) @ SF: Bumgarner (3-1, 2.31 ERA) Over 7
BAL: Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) @ MIN: Worley (0-4, 6.95 ERA) Over 8.5