Introduction

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Picks are generally graded on a 1-3 Unit ("U") scale, with 3U being highest confidence level. 1U = your standard wager.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

NBA Picks 1/18

Last Night: 0-1 -2.2U
Twitter pick Houston crapped the bed

1U Celtics -8 (-110) – 730PM EST

Full disclosure on this pick, I am attending the game so am picking the Celtics just to increase my interest. Nonetheless, the Celtics have been playing pretty well as of late and that has been with starting SG Avery Bradley injured, and good news, he’s expected back tonight. The Knicks have however gone in the other direction. Derrick Rose missed a game a few weeks ago without telling anyone and recently rumors have been swirling about a possible Carmelo Anthony trade (although those rumors have been squashed by Knicks upper management). The Celtics just play a more consistent team game then the Knicks and I think the Celts will continue their streak of good play tonight and get the victory.

1U Grizzlies +3 (-110) – 8PM EST

Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph have done a fantastic job leading the Grizz this year. They find themselves 7 games over .500, and although in the midst of a little bit of a cold streak, still are an extremely talented team on both sides of the ball with a wide array of scoring ability. The Wizards have really turned their season around after a slow start. John Wall has been awesome as of late and they have won 5 out of 6. When just looking at team to team matchups for this game, I see Conley and Wall as almost a wash (edge to Wall), Beal for the Wiz win the SG matchup, but then the Grizz win or tie at the other positions. While I still think the strong play of the Wizards will continue tonight, I also think that the Grizz will stick around and keep it close throughout and ultimately will cover this spread, and possibly escape with a win.

1U Grizzlies/Wizards Over 205.5 (-110)

While the Grizzlies offense is near the bottom of the league in scoring, 99.6 PPG, their scoring has been up lately. Part of them being near the bottom is that Mike Conley Jr was out for a large portion of games due to injury earlier in the year. If they had him out there, they likely would not be ranked so low. The Wizards offense has been good, scoring over 105 a game. Defensively they basically allow the same amount as they score though, so generally their games end around the 210 point mark. I anticipate both teams crossing the 100 point boundary tonight and have the game break 205.5.

1U Pacers +1.5 (-110) – 1030PM EST


I don’t know if normally I would trust picking the Pacers, especially when they have to travel to the West Coast, but tonight they are playing a team in Sacramento who I just don’t find to be that good. Yes, the Kings have Boogie Cousins who is dominant, and they have some other nice players too, but they just can’t figure out how to play together. The Pacers on the other hand, play pretty well together as a team. Paul George is a great leader for them both on and off the court, and they seem to enjoy playing together. The Pacers just play the type of game that is more conducive to winning, which is why I see them winning tonight.

Flip's FA Cup Overs of The Day - Redux

Lincoln City nabbed the upset over Ipswich in yesterday's FA Cup Over, however, only nabbing a single goal in the process.  That loss cost us just over 4U.  In hindisght, 3U was too aggressive a confidence level for an FA Cup match (vs. a domestic league one) where players and team motivation are not always in lockstep.  As such, today's FA Cup plays are only for 1U each:

Kick-offs scheduled for 2:45PM EST

Plymouth/Liverpool Ov 3 (-120). I'm aware the first let was a 0-0 draw, and the line is a treacherous three, but with 28 attempts during leg one, Liverpool should be able repeat that performance and get 3 or 4 goals to drop during this rematch.  Plymouth will be aggressive in vying for the upset with large home support behind them, only putting more pressure on the Reds to put the game out of reach early.  I do think the Pilgrims efforts will pay off at least once, however, and get a goal past Liverpool.  Final score prediction of 3-1 in favor of Liverpool.

Norwich/Southampton Ov 2.5 (-140). The first leg finished 2-2, and five of Norwich's last six games saw at least three goals scored.  Southampton is the better side and will want to put this one away, and they should be good to net at least a pair again at St. Mary's and Norwich ought to provide us a third goal to cash the over.  Final score prediction of 2-1 in favor of Southampton.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vacation Time

Well Musketeers, the time has come for a little break from the basketball picks (cue the collective sigh of relief).  My plan was to go until the end of the month and then evaluate where the season was at that point, but after the last few days it seems like a good time to alter that idea.  As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, so with that in mind I'm going to take a few days to reevaluate the tools and systems I use to pick the basketball games and then when I feel like I've got a better handle on things go back at it.  I'm not retiring from the game and I'm going to be here at FTM until Sam and Flip show me the door but for now I think it's best to take a short break. I'll still post some degen plays on Twitter for anyone to follow or fade as they see fit because, as we all know, if there's music on I'm gonna dance.

Hopefully I'll get a better grasp on things in a few days and be back to building towards a positive season, there is certainly plenty of time left to get back on the right side of things!  Until then, best of luck!

Flip's Soccer Over of The Day - January 17

Sociedad nets a goal in the 50' and 62', but no third goal to cash yesterday's over (-1U).  We'll move from Spain back to English Football to try and recover that unit and then some.

England FA Cup
3U Lincoln City/Ipswich o2.5 (-135). Kick-off scheduled for 3PM EST.
Great looking over in today's FA Cup replay. The first leg drew 2-2, and both teams are on a nice stretch of high-scoring games.  Lincoln City's gone over 2.5 total goals for seven straight games and  six out of Ipswich's last seven games produced 3+ goals.  Lincoln will be looking for the upset, which should give us an open game with plenty of scoring chances.  I'm willing to stake 3U that at least three of those chances end with the ball in the back of the net.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flip's Soccer Over of The Day - January 16

We took Friday off in anticipation of a big weekend of soccer...and it delivered.  When the dust settled Sunday afternoon, our two-day total was 7-2, + 8.55U.  Hopefully most (all?) of the musketeers tailed and got in on the action...

We've started off 2017 on a nice run and are inching close to a positive-double-digit-unit month (Say that three times fast?)  Current year-to-date record: 12-8, +9.4 Units.

One play today, which if victorious, we'll hit that 10U milestone:

Spain La Liga - Kick-off scheduled for 2:45PM EST
1U Malaga/Real Sociedad o2.5 (+100). 
Recent form of both these teams suggest we ought to see some goals today. Malaga's conceded 14 goals in their previous five matches, but also scored 8 goals. Sociedad's allowed 7 and netted 5 in the same period.  Both teams' matches are averaging about 3 goals score, which, of course, is the magic number for us to cash our unit...so I expect we meet or exceed that average at some point during the 90'+.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jay's running CBB blog for 1/14

Going to try to update throughout the day with plays and see if we can go streaking a bit today.  There will be some potential twitter plays too if I'm out and can't get to the blog so keep an eye out there as well.  There are plenty of games today, hopefully we can get on a nice run.

Noon games:
Duke +4 at Louisville 1 unit
No Jefferson again for the Blue Devils, but their smaller lineup should help against this defense.
Penn State -1.5 vs Minnesota 2 units
Much improved Penn State team and they're tough at home with a good chance to pick up a quality conference win today.
Clemson +2.5 vs Virginia 1 unit
Tough stretch of games for the Tigers right now and they've taken 3 losses but they should bounce back in front of their home crowd today.  Very athletic team that can attack a very good Virginia defense.
Virginia Tech -1.5 vs Notre Dame 2 units (2:00)
The Hokies haven't lost at home yet this season and I like their 3 point shooting and defense.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flip's Saturday Soccer Overs - Early Edition

What happened to Friday Futbol Overs? They are still alive and well, but there wasn't much on today's schedule that tickled my fancy.  As such, I'm going to jump straight into the Saturday plays, as there's an abundance of global soccer action to choose from.

Games are listed by country/league and then start time (EST), so note that some are higher unit plays than others.

England Premier League

7:30AM 1U West Brom/Tottenham Hotspur Ov 2½ (-120). Spurs have rattled off six straight wins (including FA Cup), notching 17 goals over that stretch. West Brom's let up at least a goal in nine straight fixtures, but they've also scored 8 in their previous five EPL contests.  The Baggies and Spurs drew 1-1 the last time they faced, which was in October @ The Hawthorns, but I expect a Spurs lead of 3-0 or 2-1 to this time around at White Hart Lane.

10:00AM 2U Bournemouth/Hull City Ov 2½ (-120). Four straight games witnessing at least three goals for Bournemouth, and four of Hull's last five have done the same. This would be due to the fact that the Cherries and Tigers both display very poor defending.  Bottom-of-the-table Hull have conceded 44 goals in 20 league matches.  Bournemouth isn't much better, allowing 34 so far this season.  The musketeers know my affinity for leaky defending to lead to scoring, so we ought to reach a total of 3 without too much difficulty in this one.

10:00AM 1U Arsenal/Swansea City Ov 3 (-120).  The Swans are top dogs in the EPL...when it comes to games going over 2.5 goals (15 of 20 to be exact).  We all know Arsenal can score (44 goals in this year's campaign...second only to Liverpool's 48).  But we also all know how much Flip despises the total of 3.  Arsenal took the last head-to-head on October 15th by a score of 3-2, and it's a good bet that they can get another three goals at Liberty Stadium during this battle, but I'm limiting this play to 1U in case they can't get a fourth and Swansea is stifled.

12:30PM 1U Chelsea/Leicester City Ov 2½ (-120). We cap off Saturday's EPL matches with "world-class" Chelsea visiting Leicester in what many will call the "reigning EPL champions vs. soon-to-be EPL champions."  I can't see The Foxes winning this match. Mahrez and Slimani are off to play for Algeria in the African Nations Cup and Chelsea has been in tremendous form, save for one blemish on January 4th in their loss to the Spurs.  I'm going to stick to a 1U play in case Chelsea only manages a 2-0 win.

England Championship

10:00AM 3U Norwich City/Rotherham Ov 2½ (-140).   Plain and simple, the top two teams in the EFL Championship for Overs are squaring off, so it's a default play.  Rotherham: 20/25 games this season over 2.5 goals.  Norwich: 18/25 over 2.5.  Norwich was victorious by a score of 3-1 during their meeting in mid-October, and The Canaries should be able to net at least 3 against the worst defense (The Miller's 55 goals allowed) in the league.

10:00AM 1U Nottingham/Birmingham City Ov 2½ (-125). In terms of top overs teams, after Norwich and Rotherham, comes Nottingham.  17/25 games this campaign have seen at least three goals scored. 4/5 of Birmingham's last EFL Championship games have broken the 2.5 total, too. The head-to-head in October delivered four goals, so reaching three shouldn't be too much of an ask during this rematch.

France Ligue 1

11:00AM 2U Paris Saint-Germain/Rennais Ov 2½ (-110). PSG have thumped Rennais the last two times they played, both by a score of 4-0.  In their last five Ligue 1 games, Les Parisiens have netted 10 goals, but let-in seven.  Rennes averaged 1 goal scored and 1 goal allowed in their previous five Ligue 1 fixtures.  I don't think we repeat history with a 4-0 PSG win, but a 2-1 or 3-0 PSG lead should arise before the final whistle.

2:00PM 2U Guingamp/Lorient Ov 2½ (+100).  We'll wrap our day with a top Overs team in France. 13/19 of Lorient's matches have hit 3+ goals, and Guingamp is on a streak of five straight games reaching 3 or more goals. That's enough for me to risk 2U given the even-money odds.

NBA Picks 1/13

Last Night: 1-2 -.2U
Twitter pick Pacers got murdered in London
Needed a 2nd body bag for the Lakers
My 2 unit play came up big as the Warriors stomped the Pistons

1U Celtics +2.5 (-110) – 8PM EST

Tonight will mark Al Horfords return to Atlanta to play his former team, the Hawks. With the outlier of the Raptors game the other night, the Celts have been on a pretty good stretch, winning 5 of their last 6 and 11 of 14. Tonight they play a Hawks team who is just 1 game back of them in the standings, but recently just traded sharp shooter Kyle Korver to the Cavs and have also been hearing a lot of rumors. I expect this game to be close, and back and forth, but ultimately Isaiah Thomas will do what he usually does, and provide some dominant 4th quarter scoring. Additionally, I anticipate Horford will come to play tonight and want to prove something against his former compadres.

1U Blazers -7.5 (-110) – 10PM EST

After a tough start to the year, the underachieving Portland Trailblazers take on the Magic at home following a 2 game win streak. The Blazers are a legitimate talented team but for some reason have really struggled this year. I anticipate that their positive trend will continue tonight as CJ McCollum continues to play well and Damian Lillard continues to prove himself as one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. The Magic has also struggled this year significantly and find themselves as losers of 4 straight and 6 out of 7. I think both teams will follow their trends tonight (Magic Down, Blazers Up) and Portland will get an easy victory.

2U Cavs -6.5 (-110) – 1030PM EST


The slumping Cavs come into tonight’s game in Sacramento as losers of 2 in a row, both games where they did not even come close to scoring 100 points. Lebron also made the comment that the team hasn’t practiced together very much recently and that is what has been causing their poor play. Well, Lebron, you had yesterday to practice, so you should turn it around tonight. Historically, Lebron teams have been pretty darn good when coming off a slump. Earlier this year, they had a 3 game losing streak then had a few days off to recoup and rattled off 10 of 11. I expect the Cavs to turn that corner tonight behind a strong performance from LBJ and move back in to their winning ways. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jay's CBB picks for 1/12

2-1 yesterday, +.8 units after the UNI loss kept us from firing the muskets.  Unfortunately they didn't announce that Jeremy Morgan wouldn't be playing until very close to the tip off, well after the blog went up for the day, and losing the guy who leads the team in five major categories stung. Those are the breaks though, we still had our second positive day in a row and onward we go!

Miami -4.5 vs Notre Dame 2 units
Big game for the Canes in front of their home crowd, Notre Dame shoots the 3 well and Miami plays great defense against it, bounce back game for the Hurricanes as well after a loss to Syracuse.
Utah -5.5 vs USC 2 units
USC has struggled lately, losing 2 out of their last 3, Utah has taken care of business at home this season with 1 exception, I like Utah to be able to slow the USC offense enough to win this one by close to double digits.
Drexel +10 at Northeastern 1 unit
These two teams just played to a 5 point overtime game 10 days ago and was really low scoring before overtime, 61 all.  Likely to see the same type of game only a few days later.
Iowa +5 vs Purdue 1 unit
Hawks have been a bit of a roller coaster but they seem to play to the level of their competition, I expect their pace and 3 point shooting ability to keep them in this one at home.
Colorado +5.5 vs UCLA 1 unit
First home game for the Buffs since December 22nd and after dropping 3 straight to start their conference season I like their defense to limit the potent Bruins offense.  I'm looking for a court storming here.
Portland +12.5 vs St. Marys 1 unit
Both of these teams play at a crawl, with a game that's likely to be in the low 60 point range for the winner I'm taking a chance that this is just too many points on the road for the Gaels.