gfoss59's Blog

Posted Thursday, December 27, 2012 07:09 PM

Celtics, Lakers - safe yet?


Several weeks ago, we wrote that we'd be laying off the Lakers and Celtics until injured players returned and these veteran teams began to gel.

("NBA Minus, Plus, and About to Change," December 9, here: http://spaces.covers.com/blog/gfoss59/NBA/12092012-NBA-plus-minus-and-about-to-change.html).

We were also looking for either the coaches, or veteran leaders, or both, to issue a little bit of a kick of a pants into the rear ends of players like Dwight Howard, and even Rajon Rondo (little bit of a matador on defense this year) -- a cri de couer to "play like your hair's on fire."

Well, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are back; Avery Bradley isn't; and Kobie Bryant, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, and Mike D'Antoni have all placed their feet in the desired location to rally the laggards on their respective teams.

Accordingly, we dipped a toe in the water and took the Lakers against Golden State, though not against the Knicks, last week -- and the Celtics against the Nets.

But is it safe to make a systematic ATS bet on either team in the coming weeks?

In a word, no, though we generally like each team to out-perform expectations heading into January.  In other words, we're looking for reasons not to back them in any given game.

The Celtics-Nets game was a no-brainer.  Boston was motivated by the Rondo-Humphries mini-brawl in their last meeting, and Brooklyn's general uppity-ness and physicality in recent meetings.  Plus they ... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 23, 2012 03:30 AM

"Record Braking" - Dickerson roots vs. AP


There's something laudable about Eric Dickerson's statement that he'd prefer not to see his single-season rushing record broken by Adrian Peterson.

(And mind you, we're rooting for AP for MVP -- and will make a statistical case for that in a few days.)

Granted, it's politically incorrect.  Maybe that's part of the charm.

Or perhaps it's that we've always suspected many athletes who claim they're rooting for the new guy seem to protest a bit too much.

There's none of the insincerity in Dickerson's stand on the matter -- but at the same time, no malice or personal detraction.

“I don’t want him to break it,” Dickerson said last week. “I’ll be honest. I don’t want to see it.  (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/13/eric-dickerson-doesnt-want-adrian-peterson-to-break-his-record/)

"Adrian is a class guy...  but I like having the record."

Can't say we're rooting for him to keep it, but somehow, we like Dickerson's candor a lot more than the usual pieties.



Posted Saturday, December 22, 2012 02:45 AM

Lions and Falcons and Squares (oh my)


One of the more interesting contra-CW calls we've seen in a while is LeagueCapper's post this week arguing for taking the Lions +4 points against the Giant-slayer Atlanta Falcons (in Detroit.)

Here's the link, which -- sorry -- you have to cut and paste:
http://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=21&sub=101509391&page=1

(You know how to cut and paste, dontcha, Sam?)

I agree with most everything the skeptics are saying in response...  it's so hard to picture the Falcons losing, or winning by a handful, against the woeful Lions.

On the other hand, as a Packer fan, I've seen just how talented this team is -- how the Lions, through bone-headed penalties and muffed review flag tosses, manage to give away games (wins and losses, not ATSs) -- usually by thin margins.

And there is, as one poster observed, something "square," in the 1960s sense of the word, in taking the Falcons this week.

Let's look at the Lions at home this season:

Date vs. Score Line O/U 09/09/12 STL W 27-23 L -9 O 46 09/30/12 MIN L 13-20 L -3.5 U 48 10/28/12 SEA W 28-24 W -2.5 O 42.5 11/18/12 GB... [More]

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:41 PM

"Pound the Lions" vs. Falcons

Hard to believe, but some great stats from our friend LeagueCapper make the contrarian case, here:

http://www.covers.com/postingforum/post01/showmessage.aspx?spt=21&sub=101509391




Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 05:28 PM

Fave avatars / icons at Covers

Here's 3 that we like -- add your own...

http://spaces.covers.com/Candeeman

http://spaces.covers.com/KktdocT

http://spaces.covers.com/BookBeater

(if anyone can tell me how to embed the image on the boards here, i'd be gr8ful.)






Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 05:15 PM

Heat hits the road


Still nervous about the Heat during the regular season -- hard to get motivated for the NBA's long grind once you got that ring.  But we're dipping a toe tonight as Miami takes the road against Dallas at -5.5.

After a long home stretch, punctuated only by a one-nighter to the Wizards, the Heat will be on its first road trip since Nov. 9-17.  That road trip started with a win, and a cover, at Atlanta -- and a 4-2 mark SU, 3-3 against the spread.

Since then, Miami's started to get in a better groove.  The team, and especially LeBron, realizes there's work to do.  (Witness his postgame weight-room workout after the humiliating home loss to the Knicks.)

Often, veteran teams coming off a championship or long playoff run do better ATS on the road -- see the Lakers and Celtics in 2009-2010 -- and a road trip can actually be the place where they get it together.  Fewer distractions, more of a siege mentality.

So, in goes the toe.  Wish us BOL, and we'll let you know how the water feels away from South Beach.



Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 02:41 AM

Two more bowl picks


1. Cincinnati -7 vs. Duke




2, Florida -13 vs. Louisville





Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 01:53 AM

"Passing grade" for Russell Westbrook




Like our friend from "First Take," Skip Bayless, one of our main concerns about the Oklahoma City Thunder center around point guard (if you can call him that) Russell Westbrook.

Well, so far so good.  Despite the departure of James Hardin, Westbrook's points are down about 2.0 a game... 

But his assists are up at 8.8 a game, which would be a career high, compared to 5.5 last year.

His steals per game are up a tad, too; turnovers, down.

Sometimes, the departure of one talented guy allows another (Westbrook) to emerge unencumbered, and that may be the case with Westbrook.

All of which bears watching as the Thunder continue to exceed the expectations of many -- including us.... [More]

Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012 08:11 PM

Power Rankings - responding to Teddy

NFL Power Rankings -- our top 10 responses
Current Rank Last Week Change Team W-L-T
(ATS) Power Rating Team Comments 1 2 1 11-3-0
(8-6-0) -7.5 Denver
Nine straight wins, all by a TD or more. A defense that's starting to dominate games. A balanced attack that's scored 30-plus nine times this year. Yep, Denver is No. 1.  Comment:  Hard to say given weak division.  Might be #1, but hard to know that.
2 1 1 10-4-0
(8-6-0) -7.0 New England
The Patriots offense will get even more dangerous if Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski can return to the lineup this week following a four-game absence.  Gronk not just a plus, but essential for Pats.  Coaching puts them up at #2 or even #1.  
3 3 10-3-1
(9-5-0) -6.5 San Francisco
The Niners looked like the best team in football for more than a half against New England, then bumbled away a four-TD lead in less than a quarter.  Better against teams like GB, NE that are more in love with the pass.  Houston, the Giants -- other physical teams -- more difficult for SF.  Seattle will be a great test.
4 5 1 12-2-0
(9-5-0) -6.0 Houston
The Texans se... [More]

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012 02:53 AM

The Top 10 Avatars at Covers


10. grasking



somehow, sesame street never gets old. 

 9. buckeye61



classic sports memorabilia is always, well, classic.

 8. pcb525


yah, remember Bill Goldsworthy, Gump Worsely, and the Minnesota North Stars?

 7. centralflaguy



ah, the Tasmanian Devil, animated.

 6. Johnnypicks



John Wayne... he was the king.

 5. rokodesh



Santa Claus is Cutler's home town. 

 4. joe shmoe



reminds us of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

 3. Book Beater



an anarchic energy here...  and those eyes seem so real...

 2. KktocT



Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush....  auq#hw&heeh%gh*gh!!!

 1. Candeeman



there's a quiet dignity to this squirrel we strive to emulate...


... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 04:44 AM

3 bowl picks

College football, not our cheeze, but IrishEyez asked, so here are three games we like:

3. Florida State -11 vs. NIU. 

2. Georgia -7 vs. Nebraska.

1. Notre Dame vs. Alabama.  They're +10, but we kind of like the moneyline.

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 04:41 AM

Heisma-NFL-BA predix: a potpourri


a colleague and i are going head to head on the following:

1. NFC North / 59 - Packers SB - Packers

Comment: Preseason, 59 had the Bears, but with a heavy caveat on their aging defense.  So far, it's the Packer d that has spent more time in the whirlpool, but suddenly Chicago's Medicare ward is catching up.  Gotta like GB the rest of the way, especially with the Bears on the road 3/4.

2. Heisman / 59 - Johnny Manzell SB - M. Teo

Don't get us wrong; we think Teo is the right choice.  But the sportswriters and jocksniff chattering class love a QB. 

3. NFC East / 59 - Giants SB - Redskins

The Giants are the anti-Cowboys, coming through when they need to and sluffing off when they can afford it.  Somehow, we think they'll pull a 3-1 to match the Redskins, who will lose one somewhere. 

4, Texans at Pats / 59 - Pats SB - Texans (s.u.)

No strong conviction on this one, even on the moneyline.  When in doubt, go with the home team (Pats), especially if there's cold vs. dome implications working in someone's favor (Pats), not to mention the better QB (Pats), and the smarter coach (yah, Pats.) 

5. NBA  champ / 59 - Grizzlies SB - Thunder

Both respectable bets, likely to hinge importantly on Zach Randolph's injury-prone knees and ankles, and on Westbrook's development as a point guard.  We're skeptical of the latter. 

Why not the Heat?  The "he... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 01:51 AM

NBA plus minus, and about to change

Still strong:

Sticking with our conviction at season's start that the Memphis Grizzlies would not only be the league's best first half team, but its best against the spread.  Love that Zach Randolph since his Clipper days, as a "power cover" forward.


Likewise, the Spurs, especially given reasonable health.  Just a good, steady, boring...  cover!

The Thunder have shocked us performing so well without Hardin, but we've simply stayed off them, and will continue to do so.  Still not convinced Westbrook can carry the load.

Still weak:

Our fave team (as fans), the Boston Celtics, are, predictably,  weak against the spread this year, as are the Lakers, for similar reasons: Roster turnovers, key elements missing, adds up to a 20-40 game adjustment time. 



We've enjoyed systematically going against both, and will continue to do so for another 10-20 games... roughly, at least a week or two after Nash and Bradley, respectively, make their returns.  With an occasional foray like our Boston-to-cover position on Rondo's return against Minnesota.

About to change:

We like the Bulls to continue their recent upturn after a dismal 4-12 ATS start.  Well coached, defense doesn't slump, &tc.



Ditto the 76ers, another well-coached team, whom we took to cover against Boston at home, then flipped on the next night in Boston.  Easy money...   didn't anyone watch ... [More]

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