David_Payne's Blog

Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:02 AM

I'm surprised Duke is favored

According to the Pomeroy Ratings, Duke should be a five-point favorite over West Virginia.

Oddsmakers opened the Devils as -2.5-point favorites, with Sportsbetting.com releasing -1.5.

I seriously thought the Mountaineers would be favored. In my mind, Huggy Bear’s boys undoubtedly have looked like the better team during the tournament. Am I wrong?

Plus, I keep thinking back to Georgetown’s emphatic beat down of the Dukies in late January. The Hoyas’ physical guards has a field day against Duke’s skinny backcourt. They  led by 23 with four minutes to play.

But Georgetown shot 71 percent from the field that day. President Obama was in the stands, so there was a lot of excitement. I’m not sure the Hoyas could have played any better.

But, even if I downplay the significance of Duke’s loss to Georgetown, my eyes tell me that West Virginia is the better team.

I just wonder if Coach K will out-coach Huggins enough to make up for what, in my eyes, is a disparity in athleticism. Duke really picked apart Baylor’s zone in the second half. It will be interesting to see how much success they have against WVU’s 1-3-1 zone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Huggins elect to use more man-to-man and try to harass the Duke guards. That could lead to a faster pace.

Would be nice to finish the season on a winning note, so I’d love hear some opinions on the game. Best of luck …

Finally, a shameless plug for Covers.com’s Fa... [More]

Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:17 PM

Take Urban Meyer in your death pool

If you haven’t seen it yet, Florida coach Urban Meyer—the Gator with the suspect ticker—went off on Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler this week.

Meyer threw a hissy fit because Fowler quoted Gator receiver Deonte Thompson as saying something to the effect that Tim Tebow wasn’t “a real quarterback.”

Thompson obviously meant a prototypical, pocket passer. Fowler’s story didn’t sensationalize the quote in any way and several of the reporters that were in the interview with Thompson had the exact same quote. But it pissed Meyer off something fierce.

He berated Fowler at practice, even going as far as to say, “If [Thompson] was my son, we’d be going at it right now.”  Here’s the video.

Classy move, Coach, and a great mentality to teach your players: If someone does something that you don’t like--for instance, their job--just fight them. That will show them.

Meyer, of course, is supposed to be cutting back on the stress that led to some heart complications. Those complications initially forced him to step down as Head Gator. He then decided to just take a leave of absence, but is back coaching the Gators during spring practice – when he’s not yelling at reporters.

If this is a more laid back version of Urban Meyer, I can’t help but believe tougher times are on the way for the coach. Just think what he’d do if a reporter actually misquoted one of his players.

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Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:17 AM

Saints vs. Vikings opener: What will the line be?

The NFL will continue its tradition of having the defending Super Bowl champion open the season on a Thursday night.

The Steelers, Vikings and Falcons seem to be the most likely candidates to visit the Superdome on Sept. 9.

With Ben Roethlisberger’s judgment issues, I don’t see the NFL throwing him out there in a showcase game. And the Falcons, well, they’re just not that interesting. That leaves the Vikings, with or without Favre, as the obvious choice.

Will Favre be back for the 2010 opener?

If we are blessed with a rematch of the NFC Champion Game, what do you think the line will be?

With Favre, I’m guessing Saints -2.5. Without him, I’ll say Saints -4.5.

Will football season ever get here?

Check you later ... DP

Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 01:15 PM

What do you make of Villanova's struggles?

Is Villanova really as bad and uninspired as it looked in the first round in an overtime win over Bob Morrris?

I was convinced that, after struggling to put away American in the first round of last year’s tourney, the Wildcats would be focused. Then, news broke that their two veteran guards, senior Scottie Reynolds and junior Corey Redding, were benched to start the game for violating a team rule. Clearly, they aren’t focused.

I hate handicapping teams like Nova, which has obvious talent but just can’t seem to put things together. Plus, Reynolds is really over-rated. He has a tendency to disappear. He was 2 of 15 from the field on Thursday. 2 of 15? C’mon, man.

So, now, what do we do with the Cats? They’re 4.5-point favorites Saturday against St. Mary’s. I’m not exactly in love with the Gaels either. But right now I’m worried about Villanova, a team I have going to the Final Four, mostly because of a weak bracket.

Do you guys think the Cats are done or will the opening-round scare wake them up for a deep run?

At least, I don’t have to worry about picking Texas to beat Kentucky any more.


Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 02:31 PM

So I'm thinking about taking Texas over Kentucky

Am I an idiot?

I know all about Texas’ stumbles down the stretch. But the Horns really match up well against Kentucky. They can throw multiple big men at DeMarcus Cousins and are quick enough on the perimeter to force John Wall and the underrated Eric Bledsoe to shoot contested jumpers.

Like Kentucky, Texas has NBA talent in Damion James. I’d like to say Dexter Pittman, too, but he’s really struggled of late.

With all that said, I could easily see Wake Forest jumping on Texas early, causing the mentally-soft Horns to fold their tents.

This bracket is kicking my butt.

Other bracket quandaries:

Gonzaga-Florida State: The Seminoles are more impressive on paper than they are on the court, but those stats have produced an 8-18 ATS mark this season. I think I believe in the Zags.

Oklahoma State-Georgia Tech: Live in Atlanta and have watched the Yellow Jackets dribble off their feet over and over and over. My family is all Cowboys. Dad says Jackets. Brother says Pokes. Mom doesn’t know who’s playing.

Marquette-Washington: Really like the over here. Huskies push the tempo and foul a ton. Marquette got involved in uptempo games against Providence and Seton Hall and is a good free throw shooting team.

Xavier-Minnesota: No clue.

Happy drink lots of Green Beer and Irish Car Bombs Day … DP

Musical suggestion: New White Stripes “Under the Northern Lights.” For 20 bucks, you get a cool documentary that some say... [More]

Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 02:06 PM

Sixers want a piece of Stephen A. Smith

So the Sixers are mad at Stephen A. Smith for his column suggesting Allen Iverson’s life is spinning out of control.


In a March 7 column, Smith wrote that “Iverson will either drink himself into oblivion or gamble his life away.”

Reports have one Sixer saying that Iverson is actually partying a lot less these days than he did in recent years. The unnamed player added that some players wanted to confront Smith the next time he’s in the locker room. And do what? Are you going to beat him up to prove that Iverson is still thug-tastic? That’ll show him.

For the record, I’m not a huge fan of Smith, or, for that matter, any sports writer that is more shock jock than journalist. But I doubt he’d exaggerate Iverson’s partying ways in a print column. And, seriously, knowing Iverson’s track record, does Smith’s take seem unreasonable?

The only thing unreasonable to me is that players still think Iverson’s anti-social behavior is cool. One report had the younger players on the Sixers deferring to Iverson on the court, even though the veteran, frankly, was awful. Guess you got to make sure the cool guys like you, right?

Hopefully, in the end, Smith’s sources were exaggerating Iverson’s partying ways. But if not, kudos for Smith for using his platform to instigate a call for help for Iverson.

Now, if we can just get one for the idiotic Sixers.
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Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 03:15 PM

Tiger Woods mistress pageant on Howard Stern

Congrats to Jamie Jungers, who captured the crown in the Tiger
Woods beauty pageant on the Howard Stern Show Wednesday.

And congrats to Tiger, who, according to third-place finisher Loredana Jolie Ferriolo, has a bigger penis than Michael Jordan.

Other highlights from the highly-anticipated skank-off, courtesy of The Big Lead:

--Tiger didn’t wear a condom with Jungers. Gross.

--Tiger loves to play dress up and would often put on a suit to get the party started. Dorky.

--Jamie Grubbs said she slept with Tiger two days after the birth of his kid. This doesn’t bother me that bad. Should it?

As much as I enjoyed the whole Tiger story—which, bottom line, is just really sad—I’m ready to move on. I’m done with all the mistresses saying they didn’t do anything wrong. I’m done with the trashy side of the story.

I hope, but don't think it's likely, that golf fans act maturely when Tiger returns. Heckling him will only hurt the game and will just make watching it uncomfortable.

Will you heckle Tiger Woods?

Posted Tuesday, March 09, 2010 09:37 AM

Olbermann vs. Bill Simmons: What a waste ot time

Why do members of the media criticize athletes who air out their beefs with others in the press, but when it comes to their own grievances they take to Twitter and the world wide web to repeatedly take shots at each other?

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons and MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann are the latest.

I’m not going to waste time digging up where this all started. The gist of it is Olbermann ripped Simmons’ recent column comparing the difficulty of Tiger Woods’ comeback to Muhammad Ali’s, after he was suspended from boxing for his stance on the war.

Olbermann on his show, “I am again left to marvel how somebody can rise to a fairly prominent media position with no discernible insight or talent, save for an apparent ability to mix up a vast bowl of word salad very quickly.”

Simmons hurled a tweet back: “KO, please know the feeling is mutual. You’re my worst case scenario for my career in 12 yrs: a pious, unlikable blowhard who lives alone.”

Simmons later added that he was sorry for saying Olbermann lived alone, because he forgot about his cats. Funny, but pointless.

Back and forth, the two have continued to take shots at each other, wasting time they could be using to do some actual journalism.
Gentlemen, just grow and shut up.
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Posted Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:31 PM

Ever got real drunk and screwed up placing a bet?

One night, about four years ago, I got really drunk at a buddy’s house in New Orleans.

We wanted to gamble on the late NBA game, Warriors at Clippers.

We took the Clippers minus a couple of points. Led by Eric Piatowski, the Clippers rolled in the first half. We celebrated with more Crown and chants of “Clipper Basketball.”

We decided to bet the Clippers in the second half as well. I placed the halftime wager on my account and kept drinking.

The Clippers kept rolling and easily covered in the second half.

We were halfway out the door, headed for the French Quarter, when I decided to check to see if our winnings had been added to my account.

They hadn’t. And they weren’t going to be.

My drunk ass failed to hit submit on the bet. Whoops.

Fast forward to last Friday.

I got really drunk. I decided to bet the MAAC showdown between Rider and Siena.

I read a quick comment about the game on Covers Facebook Page (Become a fan today!). Armed with all the information I could ever need, I was ready to get down on Rider. Only I clicked the box next to Siena -6.5. Whoops.

Siena led by 19 at halftime and cruised to a 26-point win.

I know I’m not the only one on Covers ever to get really drunk. And I’m betting that I’m not the only one to ever screw up when placing an intoxicated wager. Or am I?
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Posted Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:09 AM

Bubble teams bursting bankrolls

I had an interesting interview with Covers Expert Teddy Sevransky last week. You can read the entire article here.

One thing that really stuck out, but I didn’t have room for, was his philosophy about betting bubble teams.

“You really want to make some money,” Sevransky said, “bet against bubble teams. Bubble teams are mediocre teams that bettors, for some reason, think are going to be able to elevate their play solely because of the extra motivation of being on the bubble.”

Teddy used Seton Hall as example. The Pirates were giving double digits to visiting Rutgers last week.

“That line is ridiculous,” said Sevransky.

Of course, as it turned out, the longtime Vegas pro was spot on. Rutgers easily covered the 12.5 points.

Florida and Illinois are a couple other examples of bubble teams biting the dust this week. Just something to think about as we wrap up the final couple of days of the regular season.

Good luck … DP

Music suggestion: Check out the new Johnny Cash, “America VI.” Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ... [More]

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