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Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

2005/06 Heisman Race

Reggie Bush had a career-defining game two weeks ago against Fresno State when he 'ripped' the Bulldogs for 513 all-purpose yards. Vince Young had his national stage this past Saturday against Texas A&M, but things did not go as well. Young had one of his worst games of the year against a Texas A&M defense that entered the game ranked 109th in the nation.
It seems this year's Heisman race will come down to where it all began, a choice between USC teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. My latest Heisman update appears below.

1) REGGIE BUSH (USC) Last Week: 1.
I wrote two weeks ago that I couldn’t imagine that even Bush's most ardent supporters don't feel as if the Heisman is slipping from Reggie's grasp. It seemed a fair statement at the time. After all, Bush had failed to top 100 yards in three of his previous four games (averaged 85.8 YPG), scoring just two TDs. How quickly things can change. Bush's game against Fresno State was "one for the ages" and his performance likely won him the Heisman. His 50-yard TD run late in the third quarter, not only capped a 28-point outburst by USC, but left anyone watching believing that Gale Sayers had been reincarnated! Reggie's performance defies description and is likely his Heisman-defining moment, much like Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2004) had in their games versus Notre Dame. Bush ran for a career-high 294 yards with two TDs. He caught three passes for 68 yards and added 151 yards in kick returns. That adds up to 513 all-purpose yards, a total that shattered the previous USC record of 368 held by Anthony Davis in 1972! The game vaulted him from No. 3 in all-purpose yards this year to No. 1, averaging 212.6 YPG. He now has more yards rushing this year than he's had in his two previous years combined and after entering the season with just two career 100-yard games, has had seven in 2005. Reggie will try to put an exclamation point on his season against UCLA this Saturday (had 204 yards against the Bruins last year). His season stats are: 163 carries 1398 yards 8.6 YPC 13 TDs / 31 catches 383 yards 12.4 YPC 2 TDs.

2) MATT LEINART (USC) Last Week: 2
I'm a huge supporter of Leinart and give him extra-credit for all his career accomplishments but like everyone else, I was blown away by Bush's performance against Fresno State. Leinart had a relatively quiet game, although as always, he calmly directed USC in its comeback win. He finished 22-of-33 for 200 yards with one TD and no interceptions (also ran for one score). Leinart is the unquestioned leader of this team and if he can lead the Trojans to two more wins (UCLA on Dec 3 and then in the Rose Bowl on January 4), there will few if any players in college football history, that will be able to match his career accomplishments. As of today, Leinart has led USC to 33 straight wins, the fifth-longest streak since 1900. He's had USC atop the AP rankings for 32 straight polls, an all-time record. The team has tied a Pac-10 record with 26 straight home wins and its 23 straight conference wins, is also a new Pac-10 record. Leinart is now 36-1 as a starter at USC with a TD-to-interception ratio of 95-23! His season stats are: 233-of-351 66.4 3217 yards 24 TDs 7 INTs / 6 rush TDs.

3) VINCE YOUNG (Texas) Last Week 3
Vince Young had a national showcase on Friday afternoon at College Station, but played a very poor game and pretty much left the Heisman race to Bush and Leinart. Playing against a defense that entered the game ranked 109th in the nation in Texas A&M, Young completed 13-of--24 for 162 yards with one TD and one interception. The 162 passing yards was his second-worst performance of the season and his 11 carries for just 19 yards, extended his rushing slump to 68 yards (25 carries / 2.7 YPC) in the three games since his 267-yard effort versus Oklahoma State. Texas won 40-29 for its 18th straight win and Young moved to 28-2 in his career as Texas' starting QB. He's had a great season but in my view, I'm not completely convinced he deserves to be ranked ahead of Quinn and Olson. I just don't understand the logic of people who have him ranked ahead of Bush and Leinart. Young will lead Texas against an undeserving Colorado team in Saturday's Big-12 title game and I doubt he can to much to improve his Heisman hopes against the Buffs. His season stats are: 168-of-268 62.7 2576 yards 23 TDs 9 INTs / 128 carries 793 yards 6.2 YPC 8 TDs.

4) BRADY QUINN (Notre Dame) Last Week: 4
Quinn continues to be a record-breaking 'machine' this year for Notre Dame. However, those records would not have meant as much if Quinn had been unable to lead Notre Dame on that final drive last Saturday night at Stanford. The Irish, more than two-TD favorite, found itself down 31-30 to the Cardinal with 1:46 remaining in the game. Starting at his own 20, Quinn led the Irish on a six-play 80-yard TD drive that took just 51 seconds. He was three-for-three for 67 yards and ran once for three yards. Walker's short TD run gave Notre Dame a 38-31 win and likely assured the school of a HUGE BCS payday. Quinn, who opened the game with an 80-yard TD pass on Notre Dame's first play of the game, finished 25-of-38 for 432 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. It marked his fourth 400-yard game this year and fifth of his career. In two years under Willingham, Brady completed just over 50 percent of his passes (50.8), throwing 26 TDs and 25 interceptions. However, under the tutelage of Charlie Weis, Quinn has spent the season re-writing the Notre Dame record book. He now has nine straight games of more than 250 yards passing, giving him a school-record 16 in his career. Two weeks ago, he went over 3,000 passing yards for the season, a first by an Irish QB. He passed Ron Powlus as the school's all-time leader in passing yards in the game versus Syracuse (has 8,050 career yards) and his three TD passes against Stanford gives him 32 on the year, extending the Notre Dame single-season record. His school-record streak of games with at least one TD pass is up to 16 and in the five games since the USC loss, Quinn has averaged 349.6 YPG passing and thrown 18 TDs with just three interceptions. His season stats are: 263-of-405 64.9 3633 yards 32 TDs 7 INTs / 1 rush TD.

5) DREW OLSON (UCLA) Last Week: 5
Bruin fans will argue that Olson is having the best year of any QB in the city and they may just be right. Olson had three TD passes and 295 yards passing by the end of the first quarter, in UCLA's 45-35 win over Arizona State back on 11/12. He opened the game with a 91-yard TD pass on the game's first play from scrimmage and never looked back. He finished the game 22-of-27 for a career-high 510 yards with five TDs and no interceptions. He missed by just FOUR yards, of setting a single-game school record for passing yards (Cade McNown threw for 513 yards in UCLA's infamous 49-45 loss at Miami in 1998). His 30 TD passes this year (just three INTs!), easily breaks McNown's single-season record of 25, set in that 1998 season. Olson was the main QB at UCLA for the last two years when the Bruins went 12-13. Similar to Quinn, Olson entered this year without much fanfare (32 TDs and 25 INTs in his three-year career) but has been BRILLIANT! Olson's 172.5 QB rating ranks him first in the nation. By the way, Young is third, Quinn fourth and Leinart fifth. Olson, idle since 11/12, will get his showdown with Los Angeles' "other" QB on Saturday. His season stats are: 218-of-322 67.7 2909 yards 30 TDs 3 INTs.

Typically, I list five other players six through 10 but it hardly seems worth it. In my final Heisman update, available on Wednesday, December 7, I will list my final top-10. Monday's column will deal with the final BCS standings and the bowl matchups.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Upcoming College Football Games

The Colts made short work of the Steelers last night, winning 26-7. The win moves them to 11-0, making them the 11th team in NFL history to open a season 11-0 or better. It's the third-best start of any team since the merger (1970), behind only the '72 Miami Dolphins 14-0 regular season, Denver's 13-0 start in 1998 and Chicago's 12-0 start in 1985. Speaking of Chicago, the 8-3 Bears have won seven straight games and through 11 games, own the league's stingiest defense, allowing just 120 points (10.9 PPG). The Colts have the league's second-best scoring defense, allowing 159 points, 39 more than Chicago. Not surprisingly, Chicago has allowed a league-low 10 TDs, EIGHT fewer than Indy's 18. Steve Mariucci became the first NFL head coach to be fired this year (by the Lions) and one wonders, can Dom Capers and Norv Turner be far behind?

The latest BCS standings saw the entire top-10 unchanged from the previous week. That's just the SECOND time that's happened in its eight-year history! USC is No. 1 for the fifth straight week and no team that's entered the final weekend of the regular season ranked No. 1 in the BCS, has ever failed to reach the title game. Oklahoma was No. 1 in 2003 when it lost 35-7 to Kansas State in the Big-12 title game on that season's final Saturday, yet the Sooners remained No. 1 in the BCS' final standings the following day. That was the year that USC, ranked No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches' poll, was left out of the championship game. As for teams ranked No. 2 entering the season's final weekend? Only twice have they failed to qualify for the BCS title game. UCLA lost at Miami-Fla 49-45 in 1998 and Tennessee lost 31-20 to LSU in the SEC title game in 2001.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Are the Colts the Southern Version of the BC Lions?

Indianapolis, despite its 10 straight victories, is still considered a finesse team that likes to jab and dance its way to winning with a velvet hammer. If any f you follow the CFL you will know that the BC Lions went 11 and O before going on 1 and 7 and finally bowing out in the Western Final. Will the Colts be the Southern version of the BC Lions?

That provides a nice contrast of styles Monday night when the Colts host Pittsburgh, a team that throws haymakers and embodies toughness.

This game has enough luster as it is. However, it could have been a battle of unbeaten teams with a few bounces of the ball. The Steelers’ three losses this season have all occurred on the game's final play.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to start after missing the last three games following knee surgery. Steelers coach Bill Cowher is 6-0 against Indianapolis. Roethlisberger is 18-1 in his career, including a 9-0 road record.

The Colts will try to become the 11th team in NFL history, and first since the 1988 Denver Broncos, to open a season with 11 straight victories.

Indianapolis won its first seven games against opponents who currently have a combined 23-47 record. The Colts proved that was no fluke this month after victories over defending champ New England and Cincinnati.

The Steelers will come at Indianapolis with an offensive line whose slightest starting member is 299-pound center Jeff Hartings. Pittsburgh will alternate running backs Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley, who average 235 pounds.

Cowher's biggest dilemma is who to try and stop, Peyton Manning and his deep corps of receivers, or versatile running back Edgerrin James. Manning showed against the Bengals what happens when the defense focuses on James. He rose to the occasion, picking apart a strong Cincinnati secondary for 365 yards and three touchdowns.

The Colts showed they can still win a high-scoring game when their defense yielded season highs in both points and total yardage (492).

Pittsburgh's zone blitzing scheme is fifth in the NFL with 30 sacks. The Steelers are third in scoring defense at 16.1 points allowed per game and total yards allowed with a 290.7 average. Pittsburgh has also not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 consecutive games.

The Steelers are 4-1 both straight-up and against the spread on the road. The Colts have failed to cash three of their first four at the RCA Dome.

Indianapolis has topped the total in its last five games after ducking 'under' in its first five outings. Pittsburgh has taken the low road in four of its first five away from home.

Most offshore books opened the Colts as a seven-point favorite, with the total set at 46. That number ballooned to as high as 8 1/2 by the end of the week and the total has risen to 47.

Today's Picks Game and Trends

Friday and Saturday were full of 'hits' and misses in college football. Texas struggled with A&M but won 40-29 and is still on track for its Rose Bowl showdown with USC. LSU survived against Arkansas on Friday (19-17) and will meet Georgia in this Saturday's SEC title game, while Colorado seemingly lost its chance to play in the Big-12 title game, by getting embarrassed at home by Nebraska 30-3. However, Iowa St gave Colorado new 'life' on Saturday, losing at Kansas in OT, 24-21. UTEP lost at SMU (40-27), blowing its chance of playing in next Saturday's first-ever C-USA championship game (Tulsa is now in). South Florida lost in the cold of Connecticut 15-10, rendering its meeting with West Va this Saturday, meaningless. Arkansas St won 31-24 at North Texas, meaning the Indians take the SBC and will represent the conference in the New Orleans Bowl. Virginia Tech struggled for a while with North Carolina but won 30-3 and will play an undeserving 7-4 Florida State team in Saturday's first-ever ACC title game. And finally, Notre Dame's six-play 80-yard TD drive in the game's final two minutes, gave the Irish a 38-31 win at Stanford, virtually assuring them of a BCS bid and a $16 million payday!

Through the NFL's first seven weeks, there had been just four OT games and entering Week 12's action on Thanksgiving, the season had seen just six. However, the Broncos and Cowboys played an OT-thriller on Thursday and Sunday's action produced three more OT games! It was "heartbreak city" for Redskin and Texan bettors on Sunday, as the Chargers (laying 3 1/2-points) scored with just over three minutes left to send the game into OT and then won by SIX, when LT broke a 41-yard TD run in the extra-period. In Houston, the Texans (plus-3) led the Rams 24-3 at the half but allowed a 43-yard TD pass with 26 seconds left and then a 47-yard FG with just four seconds remaining, to allow the Rams to send the game into OT. The Rams then won it, on a 56-yard TD pass! In Seattle, the Seahawks couldn't stop the Giants down the stretch, as they tied the game with just under two minutes left, on an 18-yard TD pass followed by a successful two-point conversion. Seattle then survived, as New York's Jay Feely, 21-of-23 in FG attempts this year entering the game, missed from 40 yards at the end of regulation and then from 54 and 45 yards in OT. The Seahawks won it on Brown's 36-yard FG.

Tonight in MNF, the Steelers take on the Colts. The Colts are the EIGHTH team to open a season 10-0, since Miami's famous "prefect season" in 1972. For the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger returns at QB and has not lost an NFL starter to any team not named New England. The Colts are an eight-point favorite and the total is 47.

Buy your picks at Who2beton or at Don Best

Friday, November 25, 2005

The NFL Top Ten

Top ten in the NFL

1. INDIANAPOLIS (10-0 SU, 7-3 ATS)
It's no longer a question of whether the Colts have the overall best performing team in the league. Now it's a matter of whether they are perfect. As in 16-0 perfect, then 18-0 perfect and on to 19-0 perfect. With a quarterback like Peyton Manning controlling games the way he does, the countless options this offense can turn to and a harder-hitting defense its ever had, Indy could become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go undefeated.

2. DENVER (8-2 SU, 7-2-1 ATS)
This team was nowhere near being a top 10 team, let alone one of the top two. However, here it is sitting on deck to Indy as we head into Turkey weekend. The offense ranks fourth in the league with a tally of 367.5 yards per game, thanks to the league's second-best rushing game. The defense ranks fifth in points scored and second in rushing yards allowed. It’s incredible what rankings can do.

3. NEW ENGLAND (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS)
The Patriots had to hold on for their win against the Saints last week, and life is still an uphill battle in struggling with injuries. Seriously, look at the reversal on words with this one: New England is in first place in the AFC East, it has its longest win streak of the season and the team is still being led by a two-team Super Bowl MVP who is having a career passing year at quarterback. Here's the double reverse: the AFC East is weak, the streak is only two games and Brady is benefiting statistically because his cohorts are dinged up and have been all season.

4. SEATTLE (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Last week, I told you the conversation was about whether the Panthers were the best team in the NFC. I stayed firm on my thoughts that Seattle was the team on the senior circuit that was the most impressive. Well, here we are a week later and the Seahawks have another win under their belts. The Panthers are left scrambling after being stifled by this year's version of the Monsters of Midway. Seattle is above and beyond the many expectations critics had for this team, and it's only getting better. Something tells me this team will not be rolling out any red carpet when Indy gets to town.

5. CHICAGO (7-3 SU, 6-3-1 ATS)
Rex Grossman is questionable, but let's hope for Chicago's sake that Lovie Smith is not thinking of making a change. After all, if it ain't broke … you know the rest. Under thee guidance of Kyle Orton, The Bears have won six straight, are a surprising 7-3 and lead the NFC North. This could cause a dilemma and even make Orton a little nervous with the "starter" waiting in the wings. Chicago has the right formula - a top-ranked defense, a solid offensive line that protects young Orton and an effective running game to balance the attack.

6. PITTSBURGH (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return Monday night in Indianapolis, which would be a huge lift for a Steelers offense that hasn't been operating well, hasn't been completing many passes and didn't necessarily show much effort in losing to Baltimore last Sunday. But Black and Gold fans don't get too excited with Big Ben back under center – let's not forget this is Peyton's Place the Steelers are visiting, and a vicious slide could ensue from here for Pitt.

7. CAROLINA (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS)
The Panthers went to Chicago and underestimated Chicago’s defense. But if there is one thing I know about this team and this coach – this Sunday won't come soon enough. The Panthers' visit to Buffalo will provide an opportunity for redemption for the offensive line that allowed eight sacks to the Bears in a 13-3 loss. This should be a solid chance for the Carolina rushing game to also redeem itself, against a Buffalo defense that's giving up nearly 150 yards per game on the ground.

8. CINCINNATI (7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
Thrice this team has had an opportunity to make good on its claim to fame as much improve team and also that it belongs in the same talk of the upper echelon. Look over there in its loss column, and you'll see how many times it failed! Losses to Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis leave question marks as to whether this team can handle the rough-and-tumble postseason. The positive spin is the Bengals' three losses have come against solid playoff contenders, while the pessimistic approach is their seven wins have come against teams with a combined record of 23-45, and only one of those teams (Chicago) has a legitimate chance of entertaining the postseason.

9. TAMPA BAY (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Is Chris Simms coming alive? Two straight weeks, two huge comeback wins, and suddenly it doesn't look as if Jon Gruden's bunch needs as much defense as it might have thought. This may be the game of the season for the Buccaneers, as they ace the team they should be thanking for last week's knock off of Carolina. Carolina's loss coupled with Tampa's stunning win in Atlanta, and now the NFC South has become interested.

10. DALLAS (7-3 SU, 6-3-1 ATS)
Dallas is still finding ways to win. It is dominating in games where it is playing scrubs, like Detroit last week. Thursday's result figures to have much to say about the NFL's postseason picture, with both teams entering Week 12 at the top of their respective divisions. As mentioned, Denver has the league's second-ranked rushing attack, and it will try to penetrate a stop unit that is allowing less than 100 yards per game. Dallas is also an impressive fourth in the league with points allowed, giving up just 16.4 points per game.
Dropped out: Atlanta

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Number of Things to be Thankful for

It is the annual overindulgence fest that is the Thanksgiving holiday in the US of ahem, I’ve gotta lie down and nap, so it’s time to tally the list of things to be thankful for - from the sports fan’s point of view of course. As well as the things we’re not thankful for.

Be thankful for some nameless faceless arbitrator saving sports from athletes acting Owen-ish for personal gain by declaring a player can be suspended for conduct proven a “destructive and continuing threat” to his team.

Be thankful you’re not the guy who was inspired to strip Brett Favre of the football because not only would you be facing three years probation, but you will be saddled with this on your life resume. Dishing out the charge the judge said, “Usually these kinds of antics are the province of 18- and 19-year-olds. You're 31.”

Be thankful for the NHL coming back. No, honest, I’m not kidding. You should really check it out. No? The NHL’s not registering? Let me explain. The NHL is this league focusing on something called hockey. It’s a game. It’s played on ice with this thing called a puck. Trust me; you’ll love it if you give it a chance. At least now you will.

Be thankful you are not Terrell Owens’ agent. Not only would you have to be Drew Rosenhaus, you’d have to try to explain to your almost certainly psychotic client why you made the moves you did while being the only friend he’s got.

Be thankful for the Hall of Fame keeping its doors closed to 17-time All-Star - and bane on the game of baseball - Pete Rose.

Be thankful you are not Terrell Owens’ fiancĂ©, Felisha Terrell. Not only does she now have the man who she wants to marry home for richer or poorer (way poorer) - but also for breakfast lunch and dinner - she’s now faced with a future being introduced as Mrs. Terrell Terrell-Owens.

Be thankful Jiri Fischer is going to be okay.

Be thankful you are not Samir Saric, the Sarajevo soccer player who, unhappy with a call attacked referee Dusko Pekija. Unlike most officials however, Pekija wasn’t about to take it and knocked Saric unconscious with one punch - and out of the league.

Be thankful if your team does not face Duke this season. In the quarterfinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off they waxed Seton Hall 93-40. In what may perhaps be the No.1 understatement of 2005, Seton Hall coach Louis Orr said, "This is one of those games you just want to forget about."

Be thankful for the intelligent designer who came up with the magnificent turkey in the first place. I mean, if you want proof there is some almighty power looking over us all, look no further than the humble gobbler who clearly is made to be gobbled.

And finally, be thankful you are not Terrell Owens.

NHL Notebook Nov 24, 2005

After recently losing a game in which the team I selected dominated play and doubled it's opponent's total number of shots, I received an email asking me what is the most important ingredient necessary to win in today's NHL.

I responded by saying that I didn't have a definitive answer. Obviously, the key to winning is outscoring the opposition. However, pinpointing a single specific factor which enables a team to score more goals than its opponent is not so obvious.

Is it more important to score the most goals or to allow the fewest? Is it more important to have the best penalty-killing or to have the best power-play? How relevant are shots on goal?
Let's take a closer look at the top-10 teams in a number of statistical categories and see if we can answer some of the above questions and determine the secret formula for success.

Team Goals Per Game League Rank

Ottawa* 4.7 2
Philadelphia 4.4 9
Colorado 4.0 13
Los Angeles 3.8 4
Toronto 3.7 11
Detroit 3.6 1
Carolina 3.6 3
Dallas 3.6 10
Atlanta 3.6 26
Buffalo 3.4 17

*Note: The Sens would have the most points but have played fewer games than most teams


Team Allowed Per Game League Rank

Ottawa 2.1 2
Minnesota 2.4 19
Detroit 2.5 1
NY Rangers 2.5 6
Phoenix 2.6 14
Calgary 2.6 12
Nashville 2.7 8
Los Angeles 2.9 4
Carolina 2.9 3
Vancouver 2.9 7
Anaheim 2.9 24


Team Shots On Goal League Rank

Ottawa 36.1 2
Philadelphia 33.8 9
San Jose 32.8 21
Boston 32.7 22
Atlanta 32.6 26
Montreal 32.0 5
Anaheim 32.0 24
Detroit 31.9 1
Tampa Bay 31.8 16
Buffalo 31.7 17


Team P.P. G.P.G. League Rank

Atlanta 1.75 26
Toronto 1.57 11
Philadelphia 1.47 9
Detroit 1.41 1
Buffalo 1.35 17
Colorado 1.35 13
Ottawa 1.28 2
New Jersey 1.25 20
Vancouver 1.24 7
Montreal 1.24 5
Pittsburgh 1.24 25


Team P.P. G.A.P.G League Rank

Minnesota 0.65 19
New Jersey 0.80 20
Tampa Bay 0.82 16
NY Rangers 0.87 6
Buffalo 0.90 17
Colorado 0.90 13
Los Angeles 0.90 4
Detroit 0.91 1
Nashville 0.94 8
San Jose 1.00 21
Ottawa 1.00 2

There are many other statistics I could have analyzed, including goaltending, power-play conversion percentage, the percentage of shots and/or power-plays converted, and the percentage of penalties killed, to name just a few.

Still, I feel that those results would have demonstrated the same conclusion. There isn't necessarily a single factor which has the biggest impact on success in the NHL.

One dimensional teams, like the defensive-minded Minnesota Wild or the offensive-minded Atlanta Thrashers, can be competitive. However, the best teams in the league, like the Ottawa Senators and the Detroit Red Wings, are extremely balanced and perform well in virtually all facets of the game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The NFL in December

One would think that December is generally the month when NFL teams that are hot are determined to stay hot as they make their playoff push. Our research has found that, while this is VERY true when the hot team is at home, it is a totally different story when it goes on the road. In fact, if you simply bet EVERY SINGLE HOME TEAM blindly during the month of
December since 1985, you would be 620-551-25, 52.9 percent ATS.

While that record would produce just a modest profit, it does underscore the fact that home field advantage becomes more important as it gets later in the year regardless of the climate the home team plays in. Getting back to our point regarding hot teams, the following data shows that they are a virtual gold mine at home in December, and simultaneously a nice fade on the road (All records are since 1985):

ALL TEAMS AFTER W3+ SU (December Games Only)

Home: 102-64-5, 61.4% ATSAway: 81-119-6, 40.5% ATS

ALL TEAMS AFTER W4+ SU (December Games Only)

Home: 66-38-3, 63.5% ATSAway: 53-63-5, 45.7% ATS

Starting with the teams that have won exactly three games in a row straight up, if you simply bet the home team in the following game regardless of if it is the hot team or its opponent, you would be 221-145-11, 60.4 percent ATS! That is an extraordinary percentage given the sample size. As you can see, if we then expand the parameter to include all teams that have won four or more games in a row, the home winning percentage jumps up to 63.5 percent.

However, fading teams off of W4+ on the road only yields a 54.3 percent win rate, which while still good pales when compared to the other home angles we have discussed.

Therefore, our advice would be to play ON any home team that has won four or more consecutive games, but to play AGAINST only road teams that have won EXACTLY three straight contests.

So far all of the streaks we have discussed have been straight up, so we decided to take a look at teams that have either won or lost three or more straight games against the spread. Here are those results (Again, all since 1985):

ALL TEAMS AFTER W3+ ATS (December Games Only)

Home: 81-60-6, 57.4% ATSAway: 59-89-5, 39.9% ATS

ALL TEAMS AFTER L3+ ATS (December Games Only)

Home: 86-85, 50.3% ATSAway: 52-79-3, 39.7% ATS

Here, it looks like there is money to be made betting AGAINST these teams on the road, regardless of whether they are coming off of a W3+ or L3+ ATS steak. If we combine the road fade records for both occurrences, we would be 168-111-8, 60.2% ATS!

Finally, look for those special occasions when you can get a December home team that has won three or more in a row BOTH SU and ATS, as well as December road teams that have lost three or more in a row BOTH SU and ATS. This is because the former is 59-32-4, 64.8 percent ATS, while the latter is 31-55-1 ATS for a fade percentage of 64.0 percent!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Blackhawks/Canucks preview November 22, 2005

Blackhawks/Canucks preview November 22, 2005

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Behind Mark Bell, the Chicago Blackhawks appear to have found a winning formula.

The Blackhawks seek their first four-game winning streak in nearly three years when they continue a five-game road trip Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Bell has scored five goals during Chicago's surge and finished with three points in a 4-3 win at Edmonton on Saturday.

Martin Lapointe and rookie Rene Bourque also scored as the Blackhawks recorded their first three-game winning streak since February 3-14, 2004. They have not won four in a row sinceMarch 24-31, 2002.

However, the Canucks have won seven of the last nine meetings between the teams, including a 6-2 triumph here October 18 in which defenseman Mattias Ohlund scored a pair of goals andBrendan Morrison added a goal and two assists for Vancouver.

The Canucks finished a 2-1-0 road trip with Sunday's 3-1 win over Anaheim. Sami Salo scored twice and Dan Cloutier made 31 saves to improve to 3-1-0 this month.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Today's Picks, Articles, Trends - November 21, 2005

Rose Bowl officials were holding their breath as Fresno State battled USC on Saturday night. The Trojans eventually won 50-42 and now own the 5th-longest winning streak in college football history, at 33 straight wins. USC gets the week off (plays UCLA on December 3), as the nation's attention will shift to College Station, Texas on the day after Thanksgiving. No. 2 Texas will play Texas A&M on Friday and the early number has the Longhorns as 26 1/2-point favorites. Penn State clinched the Big-10 title on Saturday while Georgia clinched the SEC East crown. LSU needs to beat Arkansas this Friday (Tigers are favored by 17) to claim the SEC West title and Miami's loss to Ga Tech has opened the door for Va Tech to reach the ACC title game (FSU is already in) with a win over North Carolina on Saturday (Hokies are favored by 23 ). In the Big East, West Va and South Florida seemed headed for a December 3 showdown in Tampa for that league's BCS bid. Notre Dame needs only to win at Stanford this Saturday (Irish are 17 1/2-point favorites ) to clinch a BCS bowl bid, leaving just one at-large bid available with Ohio State and Oregon as the top-two contenders. Of course, this all assumes that USC and Texas will win-out. If one or the other loses (or God-forbid both do), all 'hell' will break loose!

The Colts beat the Bengals 45-37 on Sunday and at 10-0 with a three-game lead in their division, are starting to look like they may just go 16-0. Seattle is the only other team that has a comfortable division lead, as the 8-2 Seahawks lead the Rams by four games in the NFC West. Denver has a two-game lead in the AFC West over the Chargers and Chiefs but it's hardly safe.The Pats, at 6-4, lead the AFC East by two games and may win that division by default. The 7-3 Bears have won five straight games and could be up by three games in the NFC North if Green Bay beats Minnesota tonight. The Bengals and Steelers top the AFC Central at 7-3, the Panthers and Bucs are both 7-3 in the NFC South plus the Cowboys and Giants are both 7-3 in the NFC East.

Back to tonight's Monday Night game, where the 2-7 Packers host the 4-5 Vikings. The Pack blew a 17-0 halftime lead at Minnesota in Week 7 (lost 20-17 on the game's final play-a 56-yard FG!) and Minnesota has won two straight with Brad Johnson at QB. Despite the team's 2-7 record, Green Bay has outscored its opponents 201-184. Does that mean the Packers are better than their record indicates, or worse? Green Bay is a 5 1/2-point favorite and the total is 44 1/2 . College football is also on tonight's menu, as Miami-Ohio is at Ohio U. Miami is favored by 10 points and the total is 57. College hoops fans get treated to a loaded-field at the Maui Invitational, as well as two excellent games in the semifinals of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City.

Friday, November 18, 2005

NFC West Overview

Seattle Seahawks

I must admit that I have never really been a fan of the Seahawks. I have always felt they were an underachieving team incapable of winning the big game when it counted. I felt that when Mike Holmgren took over in 1999 that we would see just how mediocre a coach he was without a Brett Favre at the helm. My suspicions were proven correct as the Seahawks struggled for a number of years. That is, until now. Actually it was over the past two seasons that we’ve seen a transformation of the Seahawks into a real contender.

Finishing first in the NFC West last year, the Seahawks, at 7-2 are poised to win the division again. They have won five straight games and their upcoming schedule, which includes three of the next four against much weaker opponents (SF/ Philadelphia/ SF), favors them to improve substantially on that record.

QB Matt Hasselbeck has gotten the job done with a 63.5 passing percentage and an 11 to 7 TD/Interception ratio. RB Shaun Alexander has also been a big part of the teams’ success rushing for over 1100 yards and 17 TD’s. That coupled with the fact that the defense is allowing only 18 PPG, only injuries or a complete breakdown will prevent the Seahawks from capturing the NFC West title.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams (4-5) are the only team in the NFC West that has a shot at overtaking the Seahawks but that is unlikely to happen. Joe Vitt, replacing ailing head coach Mike Martz has not gotten the job done. Nor has Marc Bulger who missed two games to injury. To add salt to the wounds, key injuries and the Rams defense, which is allowing over 29 PPG., makes things even worse. All in all it is not a formula that wins football games.

The only thing that may bring a glimmer of light to a disappointing season is their upcoming four games. In the next four weeks they face Arizona, Houston, Washington and Minnesota. Only the Redskins have a record that is better than .500. These are winnable games for the Rams, and now is the time to step up their game or they could be officially out of the running in the next two weeks.

Arizona and San Francisco

I lump these to dogs in the same category. Both are 2-7. They give up an average of 26.6 and 29.3 PPG respectively and are going nowhere fast. Perhaps they should continue to play as poorly as they have because one of them might just win the Matt Leinart sweepstakes and have an actual shot in the future. Other than that, stick a fork in them because they’re done.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

NFL Week 11 trends

Carolina @ Chicago

Panthers are 2-0 ATS L/2 vs Chicago
Panthers have gone 'over' in 7 of the L/8 overall games
Panthers have gone 'over' in 5 of L/6 against conference opponents
Panthers have gone 'over' in all 4 road games this season
Panthers 12-3-1 ATS L/16 on the road
Panthers are 9-1 against the moneyline L/10 outside of the division
Bears are 5-10 ATS L/15 at home
Bears have gone 'under' in 6 of the L/7 overall games
Bears 4-1 ATS L/5 vs conference opposition
Bears have the NFLs stingiest defense allowing just 11.9 PPG
Bears are 1-5 ATS L/6 vs NFC South division opponents Bears/Panthers have gone 'over' in the L/2 series meetings

Detroit @ Dallas

Lions are 2-4 ATS L/6 in this series
Lions have gone 'under' in 5 of their L/7 road games
Lions are 4-0 ATS L/4 as a road underdog of 7 1/2 to 10 points
Lions are 1-4 ATS L/5 vs NFC East division foes
Lions are 11-5 ATS L/15 against a team with a winning record
Cowboys are 4-0-1 ATS L/5 overall
Cowboys have gone 'under' in 5 of the L/6 at home
Cowboys are 12-4 ATS L/16 at home as chalk of 7 1/2 to 10 points
Cowboys are 1-4 ATS L/5 after a Monday Night football contest
Cowboys /Lions have gone 'under' in 4 of the L/6 meetings

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

Jaguars are 2-5 ATS L/7 games against Titans
Jaguars have gone 'under' in 17 of the L/26 games
Jaguars have gone 'under' in 9 straight vs a losing team
Jaguars are 5-1 ATS L/6 away contests
Jaguars 7-2 ATS L/9 in weeks 10 through 13
Jaguars 1-5 ATS L/6 after two more consecutive wins
Titans 1-5 ATS L/6 overall
Titans have gone 'over' in 10 of the L/15 games
Titans are 4-10 ATS L/14 vs division opposition
Titans are 12-25 ATS L/27 vs conference foes Titans/Jaguars have gone 'under' in 5 of L/6 meetings

Miami @ Cleveland

Dolphins are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS L/3 meetings in this series
Dolphins have gone 'over' in L/2 off a division tilt
Dolphins are 11-8 ATS L/19 on the road
Browns are 1-4 ATS L/5 overall
Browns have gone 'under' in 6 of the L/7 overall games
Browns have gone 'under' in 12 of L/15 as a 3-point or less home favorite
Browns are 1-8 ATS L/9 in Weeks 10 through 13 L/3 years
Browns are 1-4 ATS L/5 vs AFC conference opponents
Browns a 10-20 ATS L/20 vs conference opponents Browns/Dolphins have gone 'over' 2 of the L/3 meetings

New Orleans @ New England

Saints are 5-1 ATS L/6 vs Patriots
Saints have gone 'under' in 12 of the L/17 games
Saints are 1-4 ATS in true road games this season
Saints are 0-4 ATS L/4 as a TD-plus ‘dog on grass vs divisional foe
Saints turn the ball 'over' more than any team at 3 per game
Pats are 32-13 ATS L/45 overall
Pats in the L/4 with a with a total of 45 ½ and 49 points
Pats are 24-10 ATS L/34 as a favorite
Pats 8-2 ATS L/10 November games
Pats 16-5 ATS L/21 at home Pats/Saints have gone 'over' in the L/4 meetings

Oakland @ Washington

Raiders are 2-0 SU/ATS L/2 at DC
Raiders have gone 'over' in 6 of their L/9 away games
Raiders are 7-15 ATS L/22 away
Raiders are 1-5 ATS L/6 this season and 8-20 ATS L/28 as underdogs
Raiders are 5-11 ATS L/16 against a team with a losing record
Redskins are 6-1 ATS L/7 at home
Redskins have gone 'over' in 5 of the L/7 games
Redskins have lost 7 of L/9 against the moneyline in November
Redskins are 5-0 ATS L/5 as chalk the week after scoring 24 points or more
Redskins are 3-6 ATS L/9 non conference games Redskins/Raiders have gone 'over' in 2 of L/3 overall meetings

Philadelphia @ NY Giants

Eagles are 4-0 SU L/4 but just 1-4-1 ATS L/5 vs the Giants
Eagles have gone 'under' in 18 of L/26 overall
Eagles 1-6 ATS L/7 on the road
Eagles 8-3 ATS L/11 November games
Eagles 34-18 ATS L/52 in week 10 through 13
Eagles own the second worst rush offense in the league, 72.2 YPG
NY Giants are 9-3 ATS L/12 overall dating back to last season
NY Giants have gone 'over' in 5 of the L/7 at home
NY Giants have gone 'under' in 9 of the L/11 November contests
NY Giants 0-8 ATS L/8 Weeks 10 through 13
NY Giants are 2-7 L/9 vs the moneyline after playing the Vikings NY Giants /Eagles have gone 'under' in 3 of the L/4 meetings.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

Steelers are 17-8 ATS L/25 vs the Ravens
Steelers have gone 'under' in 4 of the L/5 road games
Steelers have won 11 straight road games vs the moneyline
Steelers have covered 5 straight road games
Ravens are 3-9 ATS L/12 overall
Ravens have gone 'under' in 4 of the L/5 home games
Ravens have gone 'under' in 6 of L/7 vs conference opponents Ravens own the leagues worst offense, averaging 11.1 PPG Ravens /Steelers have gone 'over' in 7 of L/9 in this series

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Buccaneers are 5-2 ATS L/7 at Falcons
Buccaneers have gone 'under' in 12 of L/17 overall
Buccaneers have gone 'under' in 22 of L30 vs conference opposition
Buccaneers are 1-9 ATS L/10 away
Buccaneers are 1-5 ATS L/6 as a road underdog of 3 ½ to 7 points
Falcons are 8-1 L/9 vs the moneyline after a loss
Falcons have gone 'over' in 5 of L/7 games at home
Falcons have gone 'under' in 7 of L/9 November contests
Falcons are 4-2 ATS L/6 home games Falcons /Bucs have gone 'over' in 10 of the L/14 overall meetings

Seattle @ San Francisco

Seahawks are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS L/3 at San Fran.
Seahawks have gone 'over' in 17 of L/23 games overall
Seahawks have gone 'over’ 21 of L/30 played on a grass field
Seahawks have gone 'over' in 5 straight on the road
Seahawks is 5-1 ATS L/6 as a favorite
49ers 3-7 ATS L/10 at home
49ers have gone 'over' in 8 of the L/11 at home
49ers are 'under' in 7 straight home games with a total between 42 1/2 and 45
49ers 3-7 ATS L/10 November games 49ers /Seahawks have gone 'over' in 6 of the L/9 meetings.

Buffalo @ San Diego

Bills are 2-4 ATS L/6 at Chargers
Bills have gone 'under' in 18 of L/25 away
Bills are 4-1 ATS L/5 overall
Bills are 5-1 ATS L/6 against conference opponents
Bills are 1-3 ATS this year and 6-10 ATS L/16 getting points
Chargers are 18-3-1 ATS L/22 overall
Chargers have gone 'over' in 12 of the L/16 at home
Chargers 8-3-1 ATS L/12 at home
Chargers are second highest scoring team in the NFL with 28 PPGChargers are 13-4 ATS L/17 against a losing team

Indianapolis @ Cincinnati

Colts are 8-4 ATS L/12 vs Bengals
Colts have gone 'over' in 4 of L/5 games
Colts have gone 'under' in 4 straight vs AFC North opposition
Colts are 12-3 ATS L/15 off a division contest
Colts 15-7 ATS L/22 on the road
Bengals are 1-5 ATS L/6 at home
Bengals have gone 'under' in 7 of the L/9 games
Bengals have gone 'under' in 5 of L/6 when total is between 42 ½ to 49.
Bengals are 8-2 ATS L/10 in November Bengals/Colts have gone 'over' in 5 of L/6 meetings

NY Jets @ Denver

Jets are 2-5-1 ATS L/8 vs Broncos
Jets have gone 'over' in 7 of L/11 November contests
Jets are 0-5 ATS in road games this season
Jets are 7-14 ATS L/21 as an underdog
Jets are 3-1 ATS L/4 vs AFC West division foes Jets 6-3 ATS L/9 after two or more consecutive losses
Broncos are 6-1 ATS L/7 overall
Broncos have gone 'over' the L/5 home games
Broncos have gone 'under' in 11 of L/14 off a division game
Broncos are 0-5 ATS L/5 as home chalk of between 10 ½ and 14 points
Broncos/Jets have gone 'under' in 4 of the L/5 meetings

KC Chiefs @ Houston

Chiefs have gone 'under' in 5 of L/6 away games
Chiefs are 5-12 ATS L/17 on the road
Chiefs are 2-8 ATS L/10 November contests
Texans are 1-4 ATS L/5 at home
Texans have gone 'under' in 10 of the L/14 games
Texans have gone 'over' in 6 in a row at home with total of 42 1/2 and 45
Texans 7-3 ATS L/10 November contests
Texans 11-4 ATS L/15 after two or more consecutive moneyline losses

Minnesota @ Green Bay

Vikings are 8-5 ATS L/13 as road dog on MNF
Vikings are 7-2 ATS off a SU dog win Packers are 6-2 ATS L/8 avenging a lossPackers are 12-3 ATS L/15 MNF games

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Getting Things Right

It only took forty years, but finally, Major League Baseball got it right.

Sure, they’ve have been around since the 60’s – and athletes have been serial abusers since then - but today you gotta hand it to MLB after announcing seriously stiff penalties for steroid use.

Hey. Sometimes it takes 40 plus years to wake up and smell the laced coffee.
The agreement calls for a 50-game suspension for a first-time steroid offence, 100 games for a second-time offence and a lifetime ban for third-time offenders.

Ya, that’s a “Three-strikes-and-your-out” policy. Considering it’s baseball, wonder why they couldn’t have thought of that one before?

My major concern is – they might be going too far with this anti-drug craze. The plan also provides testing for amphetamines.

You thought the games were long before! Those were played when the guys were on speed!
So – why the sudden change? It took a seriously cowed players union to surrender to these new rules. After Rafael Palmeiro was caught, apparently perjuring himself before Congress – a federal crime – no one who plays between the lines were willing to step over the line and say, “You’re going too far.”

It’s all about the Congress. You know, the guys and gals in Washington who get things done so prudently and effectively the world is a better place because of them? No? Never heard of them doing that?

That’s because on this case Congress could do to baseball what it likes because they came to the table with a heavy bat. The game's anti-trust exemption makes it especially susceptible to political pressure.

Congress loves to use political pressure – and this time they swung for the fences – and got almost all they wanted.

Now the fans will get what they wanted, a clean game, played over seemingly endless hours, full of wee little punch and judy hitters.

Instead of the long ball, will chicks dig the seeing-eye single or the blooper to center? Baseball sure hopes so.

They’ve cleaned up their act. Is there anyone else out there in the world of sports that needs our attention?

How about NASCAR…
Defending Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch came up a few cans more than a six-pack during an intoxication test last week. He was charged with reckless driving after being clocked going 60 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone and attempting to flee from the police by running a stop sign and making erratic lane changes.Not to make light of a DUI charge, but isn’t this further proof that all NASCAR drivers can do well is turn left? When F-1’s Juan Pablo Montoya was caught speeding, he was going 100-mph over the speed limit and the police arrested him after he got home ‘cause they couldn’t catch him.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the defending racing series champ is busted going 15-mph over the limit. OK, so he was drinking but the premise is just embarrassing.
However, not as embarrassing as this: NASCAR and Harlequin have teamed for a series of romance novels with a stock-car theme. The first one, In the Groove, is to be released in January to coincide with the Daytona 500. Insert your “NASCAR fans can read?” joke here.

Then there’s tennis…
At this week’s Tennis Masters tournament, the $4.45-million season-ender that assembles the world's eight best players, half the top guys either took their appearance money and went home claiming injury – or they didn’t even bother to show up in the first place. Roger Federer, who was almost a lock to win anyway, was the only top-five player left. Nothing says “tennis” better these days than almost complete indifference. But this time it’s from the players?Surely that would never happen in the women’s game right? Well, Venus Williams says winning her third Wimbledon title was exciting - but it wasn't the best thing that happened this year.
What was you ask?

No. 1 was attending a 1980s-themed prom. ''Seriously, it was the best time of my life,'' she said. “I had lace gloves. I was so '80s it was ridiculous; I was disgusted with myself.'' Neither Venus nor her sister Serena attended public high school you see, so Serena threw a party with a high school theme – for herself.

So – let’s recap: Winning Wimbledon lost out to a Madonna dress up party.
I score that as: Men 15 – Women Love

How about broadcasting?

ESPN was criticized from all quarters for its “All-Terrell Owens, All-the-time” coverage so Fox NFL Sunday, after quick look at the clown, took the brave stance of dropping the subject. Host James Brown said: "OK, folks, I promise. No more T.O. talk the rest of the show." That lasted for about 10 minutes when Frank Caliendo went totally TO for his silly bit.
You can always count on Fox can’t you? Earlier this week, that class-act network announced they will show fans running onto the playing field during games.

Fox boss David Hill said that his network has changed its policy and will allow cameras to broadcast intrusions live.Why? Because, they say, viewers deserve to understand why there's been an interruption in a game. Like we couldn’t figure that out? The reason broadcasters stopped showing these clowns was to stop them from having their 15-minutes of fame.
Now? Get ready everyone. It’s gonna be all-yahoo TV on Fox. And that’s not just in the broadcast booth.

When one thing gets fixed in sports, there always seems to be plenty more fill to its place to outrage us fans.

Yet we remain fans. Does that make us masochists?

Well, in the words of the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant, after getting booed mercilessly by the fans in Philly:

“I love it. I love it. I love it. I mean, I love it.”

"That's why they play the games!"

The MAC 'treated' us to two blowouts last night, Bowling Green winning at Miami-Ohio 42-14 and Akron winning at home over Ohio, 27-3. Tonight's "MAC ATTACK" on ESPN2 at 7:30 ET is Northern Illinois at Toledo. Toledo owns a 17-game home winning streak, third-best behind Boise St and USC in current home winning streaks in the nation. Toledo also owns an 11-game winning streak over Northern Illinois, going 9-1-1 ATS with an average winning margin of 17 PPG. With those figures in mind, one might wonder why Toledo is JUST an 8 1/2-point favorite (total is 50 1/2)? However, as Chris Berman says so well, "That's why they play the games!"

Two weeks into the NBA season, the Pistons are the lone remaining unbeaten at 7-0. Two clubs, Atlanta and Toronto (both 0-7), remain winless. The Raptors host the 76ers tonight, a team they lost to last night in Philadelphia by the score of 104-92. The 76ers, on a five-game winning streak, are 4 1/2-point favorites. Tonight on ESPN (10:05 ET), Phil and Larry meet for the first time since the NBA Finals of two years ago. Since then, Brown has moved on to the Knicks and Phil, after a year off, is back with the Lakers. LA hosts New York tonight and is a 5 1/2-point favorite with a total of 180.In college basketball the nation's No. 1 team, the Duke Blue Devils, host Seton Hall in a second round game of the NIT Season Tipoff. Duke opened its season on Monday with a non-covering 64-47 over Boston U on Monday (Blue Devils were 31 1/2-point favorites!), while Seton Hall won on Monday also, beating Manhattan 66-52. Duke is a 21 1/2-point favorite tonight.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This Weeks Sports Overview

The Cowboys scored two TDs in a span of 21 seconds late in the 4th quarter last night, propelling them to a 21-20 win over the Eagles. Philadelphia, a team which owns the longest current playoff streak in the NFL with five straight postseason appearances (four straight NFC title games!), is now 4-5. With 10 weeks in the books, the Patriots are just 5-4 and are the only team with a winning record to have allowed more points (203) than they've scored (236). The Packers, despite a 2-7 record, find themselves as the only losing team to have scored more points (201) than they've scored (184).

USC and Texas remain solidly ahead of the rest of the college football world in the latest BCS standings. BCS 'nightmare' scenarios include USC or Texas losing down the stretch, Florida State winning the first-ever ACC title game, South Florida winning out and capturing the Big East title, the SEC East-winner upsetting LSU (assuming it doesn't lose before then!) in the SEC title game and Penn State losing at Michigan this Saturday with an 8-3 Michigan team claiming the Big-10 title by beating Ohio State. There are no BCS implications tonight in college football, as Bowling Green visits Miami-Ohio and Ohio visits Akron.

It's another $20 Tuesday at Don Best and ALL of our Experts' offers are available for just $20! Besides tonight's two college football games, the NBA features an 11-game card, college basketball features 14 tournament games and the NHL has a six-game schedule.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Flyers/Lightning preview

Flyers/Lightning preview
November 14, 2005 TAMPA, Florida

The red-hot Philadelphia Flyers hope to extend their winning streak to seven games Monday when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.The second-best goal scoring team in the league with 4.53 per game, the Flyers posted a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday thanks to Mike Knuble's shorthanded goal with just over three seconds remaining.

Philadelphia has not lost since October 28 at Carolina and has won each of its last four games by a one-goal margin.

Tampa Bay hopes to put an end to its season-worst six-game losing streak.
After jumping out to an early two-goal lead on Friday, the Lightning surrendered five unanswered tallies en route to dropping a 5-2 decision to the Atlanta Thrashers.

Vaclav Prospal and Ruslan Fedotenko tallied in the contest for Tampa Bay, which has not posted a win since edging the Thrashers, 3-2, on October 29.

Get free odds for all the hockey games as well as matchup reports for all the action.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

NHL Notebook

In the new-look NHL, power play opportunities have increased dramatically. Combine that with the fact that overtime games are now decided via the shootout and it's logical to believe that good goaltending is more significant then ever before. After all, there is no better defense then having a hot goalie!

However, there has been somewhat of a changing of the guard between the pipes this season. Household names like Brodeur, Belfour and Khabibulin have yet to excel the way they previously did. In fact, each has combined for a losing record.
A statistical look at the leading goalies appears below.

Legace (Detroit) 10Theodore (Montreal) 9Hasek (Ottawa) 8Labarbare (LA) 8Kiprusoff (Calgary) 8

Legace (Detroit) 1.76Lundqvist (NYR) 1.76Fernandez (Minnesota) 1.85Hasek (Ottawa) 1.85Schaefer (San Jose) 1.94

Hasek (Ottawa) 3Kiprusoff (Calgary) 3Legace (Detroit) 2Luongo (Florida) 2Joseph (Phoenix) 2

Save Percentage
Fernandez (Minnesota) .941Lundqvist (NYR) .938Roloson (Minnesota) .938Hasek (Ottawa) .935Legace (Detroit) .938


I believe that the following five teams are currently the best in the league. I'll update this list on a weekly basis throughout the rest of the season.

1. Ottawa Senators
There are a handful of teams that have more points than the Senators. However, the Senators have scored the most goals in the league (64) and allowed the fewest (28). They have three of the league's top five scorers and have Dominik Hasek in net.
2. Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings have the most points (27) in the NHL. They have a balanced lineup and already have eight players with 12 points or more. Manny Legace has been very strong in net and Osgood has been solid as his backup.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
After going 9-0-1 their past 10 games, the Hurricanes now boast a surprising 10-2-1 record. Carolina, which has a perfect 6-0 record at home, has demonstrated an amazing ability to fight back after falling behind. The Hurricanes have trailed in five of their past six games, yet have won all six. They were down by two goals or more on four occasions!
4. Montreal Canadiens
Like the Hurricanes, the Habs have been a surprise team thus far. With an 11-3-1 record, they currently sit on top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Canadiens have six wins in seven road games. Their lone road loss came at Ottawa in overtime, and there's no shame in that! The fact that the Canadiens have only seven more goals (48)than their opponents (41) demonstrates an ability to win close games.
5. Philadelphia Flyers
With the possible exception of the Senators, the Flyers have arguably the most talent in the league. Forsberg (21 assists) and Gagne (15 goals) may be the deadliest 1-2 combo in the NHL. As has been the case in previous years, the question in Philadelphia revolves around whether the club has the goaltending to carry it deep in the playoffs.

Monday, November 07, 2005

UFC on Spike TV Great Event Except for the Judges

Whats does hooker and a turtle have in common?

Once their on their back they're FUCKED

Well this applies to most things except fighting. All in all the Ultimate Fghting 2 show on Spike TV was a great show. Every fight was awesome. What I do have to complain about are ther stupid judges and fans in America that dont know anything about fighting.

The last fight between Diego Sanchez and Nick Diaz was an epic battle. Diaz was on his back and defending and striking on the ground while Diego was on top. Diego never landed a punch on the top position. By no means that this was one sided affair but Diaz lost primarly on the fact that the judges automatically think that being on the bottom in a fight means you are losing. Look at the Pride rules where you get points for defending and attempts in submission. When was Diaz in trouble? Never. He was actually upkicking and striking hard from the bottom.

Remember fighting is a chess match and an art form. Ever hreard of the sweet science of boxing. The UFC judges dont know what fighting is and a large proportion of the fans boo every time fighters go on the ground. Both the judges and fighting fans need to educate themselves in fighting before you can appreciate fighting. The fans in Japan and much around the world all appreaciate fighting and its art form. American fans would rather see two guys just stand up and pound each other till one goes down. Though I love these fights too there is more to fighting that a big punch. I love to see fighters set up submission 2 or 3 moves before they execute them. I love to see arm bars, omaplata and americanas.

I feel the event on Spike TV will progress MMA but before it can really explode fans and judges need to know the fight game better. I have to say hats off to all fighters on Satuarday night but thumbs down to the judges.

I do know what i am talking about.

I know I can beat up 80% of the population in the ring and the other 20%............ I can just shoot.

Who 2 Bet On? Monday Noght Football's Game of the Year

Virginia Tech and UCLA fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday, leaving just USC, Texas and Alabama without any losses. After a five-week stretch that saw just two top-10 teams lose to an unranked opponent, No. 9 Florida State joined No. 7 UCLA (lost at Arizona 52-14!), losing 20-15 to NC State. With Va Tech's loss (27-7 at home to Miami), it's clear sailing for a Rose Bowl showdown between USC and Texas, assuming those schools both win-out. Alabama, the nation's only other unbeaten, still has LSU (the early line has them a small home underdog to the Tigers this Saturday) and Auburn left on its regular season schedule. Even if the Tide beats both of those schools and either Georgia or Florida in the SEC title game, they won't catch USC or Texas. Can you just here the screams coming from the SEC if, for the second consecutive year, the conference sees one of its schools finish 12-0 but once again gets left out of the BCS title game?

Home teams entered Week 9 on a record winning pace, having gone 78-38 or .672. However, road teams won EIGHT of Sunday's 13 games! Home 'dogs' entered Week 9 11-14 SU and 15-10 ATS but did very little 'barking' on Sunday, losing all SEVEN games and going just 1-5-1 ATS! Speaking of home 'dogs'. You may have heard that the Colts are playing the Patriots tonight. The Pats have won three of the last four Super Bowls and including playoff games, have won 22 of their last 23 home games. In six games of Manning versus Brady, the Pats are 6-0 SU (5-0-1 ATS), winning by an average score of 31.8-17.5. Brady has thrown 10 TD passes with just four interceptions (98.0 QB rating), while Manning has nine TD passes and 10 interceptions (QB rating of 73.3). So why are the Colts favored? If you've seen the two teams play this year, you KNOW why? That being said, it remains to be seen if the Colts are up to the task of beating their long-time nemesis. The Colts opened a three-point favorite with a total of 46. The Colts are four-point favorites as of this morning and the total is as high a 49.

Friday, November 04, 2005

San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks

The San Jose Sharks come into this contest on a season high 4 game winning streak and are currently form-ing into a very strong looking NHL entry. The Anaheim Ducks their hosts have won 6 straight at home this year and can set a franchise record with a win. Bottom line: The Sharks are surging and will be a difficult foe for a Ducks team that will be without stalwart defenseman Sandis Ozilnish and star forward Sergei Fed-erov. The Sharks have won 4 straight meetings in this series and their L/2 to Anaheim. Look for them to add to those numbers tonight.

Play on the Sharks against the moneyline

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NHL notebook

Let's take a look at what's been going on around the National Hockey League during the first month.

Surprise teams

Nashville Paul Kariya and the Predators jumped out of the gate by going a perfect 8-0 their first eight games. They are currently 8-1-1.

Carolina The Hurricanes' 17 points has them sitting on top of the Eastern Conference with a highly respectable 8-2-1 record. Considering that most preseason pundits predicted that they would finish near the bottom of the Conference, this has to be classified as a major surprise.

Detroit The Red Wings
have been a strong team for years. However, with a payroll only half the size of what it was prior to the lockout, nobody expected them to lead the league in scoring or for them to get off to an 11-1 start.

Buffalo The Sabres
, at 7-4-1, have performed better than expected so far. Like Carolina, Buffalo was projected to finish near the bottom of the Conference.

New York Rangers The Rangers have been loaded with talent for years but have been perennial 'under-achievers'. A promising 6-3-3 start gives hope to Rangers fans that this may be the year that they actually play up to their potential.


Pittsburgh With a lineup loaded with offensive fire-power, Penguins' fans were thinking Stanley Cup. Not so fast! The Pens have allowed a league-high 53 goals and have just one win in 11 games.

Calgary After reaching the Stanley Cup finals prior to the lockout, expectations were sky-high in Calgary. The Flames have crashed and burned so far though and are currently residing in the basement of the Northwest division.

The Hawks were aggressive in upgrading their talent during the offseason. The moves have yet to pay dividends though as Chicago has just six points. The play of Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has been particularly disappointing.

The Thrashers have some weapons on offense and were thought to be a team on the rise. However, six points in 11 games ties them with the Hawks and the Blues for the fewest points in the league.

St. Louis The Blues are in rebuilding mode and weren't expected to be as strong as they have been in years past. Still, after reaching the playoffs for 25 straight years, St Louis fans have to be disappointed with their current 2-7-2 record.

Rookie watch Sidney Crosby continues to impress. Through 11 games, he has two goals and 12 assists. Alexander Ovechkin has managed eight goals and five assists through 11 games.

Free Pick of the Day - Columbus Blue Jackets vs Edmonton Oilers

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Edmonton Oilers on 11/01/2005 at 18:05

Pick: Edmonton Oilers on straight moneyline

To say that Edmonton has dominated Columbus would be an understatement. The Oilers are 7-0-3 their last 10 meetings with the Blue Jackets and 11-2-3 all-time. After going winless in seven straight games the Oilers have played well in winning their last two games by a combined score of 10-4. The Oilers should be highly motivated tonight as a win will get them back to the 500 level and they know that they are departing on a season-high seven game road trip after tonight's game. Look for them to continue their series dominance. Play on EDMONTON