A full, complete, unmitigated disaster everywhere you look. When it rains, it pours, and we managed to find ways to pick losers in some of the most insane ways possible.
The Hoosiers were covering by 10 points with 1 quarter to play, and promptly committed 3 straight turnovers to blow it.
The Clippers let the Knicks shoot over 50 free throws in a regulation length game to give away what should have been a very winnable game.
The Browns forced 6 Jacksonville turnovers (yes, SIX!) and then let Maurice Jones-Drew break off a 75-yard screen pass to blow another cover.
And the nightcap...oh, the nightcap. Eli Manning and the Giants turned the ball over 5 times, but were still a 4th down stop away from, most likely, forcing the Eagles to run some clock and beat them with a FG. Then, with an opportunity to get back into it, Manning fell to the ground on a run and simply lost the ball.
We picked a team with a +6 margin that lost, and a team with a -3 margin that lost. We got beat by Joe Paterno airing it out with a 10-point lead and 3 minutes left. We lost on a 50-yard TD run on 4th-and-1.
Simply, no matter what we tried, we got kicked squarely in the groin. It was the kind of 2-day stretch that can bankrupt a man with no money management. It was the kind of weekend that makes the previous 9 super-successful weekends seem like they never happened.
But, fortunately, they did. And while this weekend makes us all a little more suicidal than we were on Friday, we will live to bet another day. Still, I don't think talking about it more than we have to is going to help anyone. Vent Sunday night, because Monday, it's time to 'cap and get confident!
Staying with the theme of podcasts, this week's feature is the College Football Weekly Show
(with guest Pro, Sac Lawson) -- the College Football season is starting to wind down, and folks not taking a listen for late-season strategies are missing out. Monday through Wednesday I'll be featuring last week's show as a teaser, then we'll switch it up for this coming weekend on Thursday.
Pro Features: The Weekly Package got the spotlight last week, but this week I want to point everyone's attention to the ultra-cheap FLEX ACCESS PACKAGE -- just $195 for a full month of all sports. And don't tell, but you can actually switch Pros 3 times!
And, of course, the daily package -- I'm not touching that Broncos/Chargers game. This is a week to get back to grinding out line value in the NFL, so we'll step back and reassess for week 12. Thus, it's off to the hardwood!
Now, read the damn blog...
Sports Wagering: NBA
Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks with a total of N/A;
The only note that stands out about this line-less game is that Boston, so far this year, has been a whole lot slower on the second half of back-to-backs, which hurts their team defense, and hurts their outside shooting. This game, too, the young legs might be hurt. Rajon Rondo missed the game yesterday morning in Toronto, so the engine for the Celtics is making plunking noises, and you have to wonder how they'll handle a fairly physical team like Atlanta. It also strikes me that the Hawks probably want this one more than Boston, but that might be stretching our assumptions too far. Bottom line is that because Boston played yesterday morning, they actually have almost a day and a half to rest up for this one, so the legs might actually be alright, but the line is going to be adjusted 2 points regardless. Too many competing angles, in my opinion, but I will say that I wouldn't be surprised to see some shooting issues for both teams in a heated contest. NO LEAN on the side, lean to the UNDER.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat with a total of N/A;
I would assume this line is off because of the injury to Dwyane Wade. I almost hope he plays through pain, because I feel like his presence will inflate the line to a spot where Indiana has a hope of covering. In my mind, I'm seeing Miami winning this game by just under 10 points, and with Wade playing, I wouldn't be surprised to see this one open near 11. With him out, I'm not sure. Looking at the schedule, this game looks like a potential play on the Pacers. Indiana is coming off a hard-fought home loss to the Magic, but they played their butts off, and actually played some defense. The Pacers also host the Cavaliers tomorrow, which is a trademark letdown game off contests with Orlando and Miami. That makes me think Indiana is going to be amped to play in the House of Kings. On Miami's side, they return home off a disappointing loss in Memphis, and most folks are going to back the Heat on the remedial logic that they "won't look bad two games in a row." However, Miami plays in Orlando in their next contest in a revenge game for the Magic, and you have to think that game is on LeBron's mind. Let's wait on injury news and the opening number, but if things go the way we want, lean to PACERS and the UNDER.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Oklahoma City Thunder with a total of N/A;
More injury woes, we must be in the middle of the NBA season...or getting there. Kevin Durant and Jeff Green are both game time decisions on this one, so we'll know more soon. The things to remember about this one. The Thunder, with or without superstars, just collected monster road wins in Boston and Milwaukee, and their very next game is with the road warrior Dallas Mavericks. Doesn't this Minnesota home game feel like the perfect spot to relax the sphincter for a day? I'd be very surprised if Oklahoma City played with the same tenacity in this game that they exhibited in their two most recent road wins, or even the two victories prior over Utah and Houston. The thing that does concern me here is that Minnesota has failed to cover their last 2 games, narrowly beating the hapless Clippers before getting smoked by the Lakers. Those 2 ATS losses followed 5 straight ATS wins, so I can't help but think that the Wolves aren't getting such inflated lines right now. Still, they're competing most nights, as Michael Beasley can get his own shot, and Kevin Love is a monster on the boards. The Thunder do a lot of their rebounding by outjumping other teams, so Love should have a shot to get a few off the offensive glass. Slight lean to MINNESOTA, and lean to OVER.
Phoenix Suns @ Houston Rockets with a total of N/A;
More injury concerns. Will Steve Nash go? Can the Suns compete without him? Are the Rockets really this bad? This could very well be a battle of the ugly if Nash is out. Teams that don't give a flying [censored] about defense just trying to outscore the other. We all know Nash is the issue for the Suns, but Houston's issue is the bench. I had the displeasure of watching a Houston game on Friday, and what absolutely floored me was how pathetic this team looked when the second unit was on the floor. I think hot shooting from Chase Budinger in a few games has masked what is otherwise a terrible bench. Kyle Lowry got inserted into the starting lineup due to Aaron Brooks' injury, and with Yao out, guys have to play out of position. The end result is that they have zero firepower coming off the bench, and if the opponent has ANY, those first 4 minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters can be disastrous. If Nash is healthy, the Suns have a decent second unit. If Nash is out, the whole ship goes down with him. Tiny lean to PHOENIX, but PASS if Nash is injured, and NO LEAN on total.
Orlando Magic @ San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) with a total of 196;
Wow, apparently the World really loves the Spurs. I suppose San Antonio hasn't given them any reason not to, winning 11 of their first 12 games, including a dominant defensive effort in Utah, and then a beating of the Cavaliers back home the next night. This game will be a real test for the Spurs, playing, arguably, their best competition of the season...but something tells me they'll be up for it. The Magic have a nice record so far this year, but haven't really been that impressive. They rely very heavily on the 3-point shot, same as always, but it just seems like the older bodies are 1 year older, and Rashard Lewis is one year closer to going the way of Hedo Turkoglu. The interior defense is always going to be decent, with Howard near the rim, but the Spurs have a very clever set of schemes to attack most defenses. I will say, the Magic defend the pick-and-roll about as well as any team in the NBA, so we'll see if the Spurs try a few things. One thing is for sure, they'll be trying to get Dwight Howard in foul trouble. Covering 3.5 isn't easy in a tough game, and I worry that we're starting to see a little inflation. Even still, I think the Spurs have the chemistry advantage. Tiny lean to SAN ANTONIO, lean to the UNDER.
Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz (-11) with a total of 199.5;
This is a very, very tough spot for the Kings. They played Sunday evening and got locked in an ugly defensive struggle with the New Orleans Hornets that they lost, but covered by a point. Then, they had to hop a plane and head into the altitude in Utah to take on the Jazz. Utah is coming off a nice win in Portland on Saturday, and I must admit, the potential for a letdown here is the one thing keeping me off that Utah side. It's a huge number, and probably inflated even more by the fact that the Kings have been stinking, but those second games in altitude are just a disaster for most teams. We saw the Nets handle themselves pretty well in Denver in just such a spot, but the Nets play a slower game, and the Nuggets are notorious for half-assing games, at least this year. The Jazz are not. Jerry Sloan would not stand for a weak effort, so the thought process is basically that if Utah wants to, they can win this game by 15-20. But off the win in Portland and with a game against New Orleans on the horizon, I am a little scared that we'll see 45 minutes of strong play, which might be enough for a 10-point win, but maybe not 15. Still, situationally, lean to UTAH and the UNDER.
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors with a total of N/A;
I'm having trouble, after watching the Nuggets in a few games this year, backing this Denver team if they're not personally invested in a game. They're not running and gunning like in years past, and I can't help but feel like they believe they've peaked. Chauncey isn't shooting like he used to, and can't defend like he used to, which has led to Denver becoming a little weak in the pick-and-roll defensively. The Nets exploited that all night long, and the Warriors run an absolute ton of pick and roll plays. Though, for the most part, the ball-handler just drives wildly to the rim and hopes someone else comes open. In truth, I don't think the Nuggets really care enough to cover most big lines, but against a team that doesn't really play any defense, this is just the type of game where Denver might actually play well. Just out and messing around. If David Lee was healthy, and the Warriors had their full complement of "tough guys" I'd lean in their direction, but given the issues that both teams have (mental vs. physical), it's hovering dangerously close to stay-away. Tiny lean to WARRIORS and OVER.
New Orleans Hornets (-6.5) @ Los Angeles Clippers with a total of 197.5;
This is another game where, if the better team cares, they should win by a mile. The Clippers are just plain awful, and the only thing they have going is that Blake Griffin is a beast. The Hornets, though, have a couple large bodies on the interior that can do some boxing out. The Hornets have some big games coming up in Utah and Portland on this 4-game road trip, and while I know this line might be inflated (on the back end of a b2b), I just can't back the Clippers. Add to all that the fact that the Hornets are a perfect 8-0 SU and ATS against the Clippers the last 3+ years, and you've got yourself another series featuring "ownage." Just leave the sharp side alone in this one, and barring this one comes way, way down, avoid the square side, too. NO LEAN on the side, total lean to the UNDER.