Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Quickies

Busy day for a Sunday, so just a couple of quick afternoon baseball picks:

Nationals -105, 1.05 units to win 1 unit

Twins +168, 1 unit to win 1.68 units

Probably back later to hedge our futures bet on the Magic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Four Pack

Let's not dilly-dally. There's beer in the fridge with my name on it. All lines from Matchbook:

Washington Nationals +101, 1.01 units to win 1 unit.

Money pouring in on Phils, line hasn't moved much. What if I told you that the Washington Nationals, butt of jokes from here to Timbuktu, have a better third-order record this season than the World Series Champion Phillies. Is that something you might be interested in? Here they also have the better starter, if only slightly, and Lannan's lefthandedness should come in particularly handy against the famously lefty-happy Phillies lineup. And yet you can get a plus number on them. In Washington. With the Nats coming off a rest day and the Phils coming off extra innings. How is that possible? I dunno. Why ask why.

Cleveland Indians +152, 1 unit to win 1.52 units.

Hambone likes this number, which he thinks affords too much respect to Kazmir and the Rays. I'm iffy, but I like Injuns, so I'm on board.

Baltimore Orioles +202, 1 unit to win 2.02 units.

Nobody said it was gonna be easy to win money betting on baseball. Betting with us here requires you to put money on Adam Eaton over Zach Greinke. Ugh. Not easy to pull the trigger there. But the fact is, as awful as that matchup sounds, public perception probably exaggerates it a lot. Greinke's not gonna break Bob Gibson's ERA mark, but as long as he's getting lines that seem to suggest he will, we might as well take advantage. And Eaton's not the worst pitcher in the history of baseball. He's been mediocre but not terrible this year. Really only one terrible start. O's are worth a shot at better than 2 to 1 here.

Minnesota Twins +121, 1 unit to win 1.21 units.

I challenge you, the reader, to give me one single reason to think that this pitching matchup (Liriano vs. Hughes) favors the Yankees. It doesn't. Sure, the Yankees have the more talented offensive lineup, but I'm gonna need to see some 2009 production, not just famous names, before I think they deserve to be the favorite in a game in which the opponent has the better starter and the better bullpen. In the meantime, I'll keep fading Hughes at numbers like +121 and take my chances, thank you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Night - Betting & Line Movement

That's all I looked at for these, lines from Matchbook:


Orlando Magic -7 -106, 1.06 units to win 1 unit


Carolina Hurricanes +192, 0.5 units to win 0.96 units

Anaheim Ducks +224, 0.5 units to win 1.12 units

Enjoy the games, folks.

Thursday Afternoon

Just one baseball game that we both like today so far:

Padres +151 (Matchbook), 1 unit to win 1.51 units

FYI, this game is scheduled for 2:20 PM Eastern time. Gaudin is not as bad as that line would suggest, and Dempster is not that good. Public is betting on the Cubs, but the line has been tumbling the opposite direction since last night. Exactly what we like to see.

Back later with NHL/NBA.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lets Go Caps!

As a Tar Heel, I am one of the very few residents of the greater Washington, DC area who has seen one of "his teams" win it all in the last fifteen years or so. I challenge you to find a city that has lived with more sports-related pain and disappointment over the last two decades. It's not just the lack of titles: none since the 1991-1992 Redskins, and only one runner-up spot (1998 Caps). It's the abject misery of the last decade. The Dan Snyder Era. Michael Jordan missing the playoffs, Gilbert's bum knee, and LeBron's many four-step game-winners. Thirty years without baseball, followed by four years of watching a AAA team play in the major leagues.

Thanks to Roy Williams, I personally have no grounds for complaint about the last decade or two as a sports fan. But please, Caps, get it done tonight, and give my D.C. brethren a reason to love sports again.

Anyway, back to gambling. Here's the unofficial play:

Los Angeles Dodgers

I love them as an underdog in this game. No Manny? Really? That's all it takes to make a 22-12 team underdogs facing a Jamie Moyer who is very obviously (finally) done and a Phillies team that has, frankly, sucked this season? Are bettors still stuck on that whole "World Series Champions" thing? Have they completely missed how mediocre this team is? Their third-order record is under .500. Sure, Rollins can't be this awful all year ... but Ibanez can't stay this hot, either. Fading this team the rest of the way, or at least until America catches on, should be profitbale.

Unfortunately, Hambone is out of commission today and I can't look at lines at work, so I can't make it a play until I got home, probably close to 7 PM. Thus the "unofficial" status for now. Posting picks at 6:55 for a 7:05 first pitch is of no use to you, and we're all about customer service here.

EDIT: OK, let's make it official:

Los Angeles Dodgers +102 (Matchbook), 1 unit to win 1.02 units.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday baseball

Ah, good to be back. All lines from Matchbook today:

Seattle Mariners +137, 1 unit to win 1.37 units.

Our Mariners love this year is well-documented. Neither starter is anything to write home about, so we'll play the better team at that number.

Pittsburgh Pirates +100, 1 unit to win 1 unit.

We're not buying the Cards this year, and the third-order numbers back us up on that, so we'll take even money with the slightly inferior club but the better starter at home. Simple as that.

Washington Nationals +131, 1 unit to win 1.31 units.

It hurts to get off the Cain train, but there's gonna be a ton of value in the Nats the rest of this year. Teams that are 10-20 in the standings but who have third-order records of 14.6-15.4 tend to be that way. Just stay away from the Olsen and Cabrera starts if you want to preserve your sanity. Zimmermann can keep you sane.

K-Mart Slaps Cuban's Daughter, Cuban Orders Hit on Kenyon's Cat

The Mark Cuban/Kenyon Martin feud is getting out of hand. David Stern considered intervening, but the confrontation is boosting ratings in what was a boring series, so the NBA is predictably staying out of it for now.

One pick in the NBA Tuesday night:

Magic +2 -102 (Matchbook), 1.02 units to win 1 unit

Hmmmmmm. The Celtics Game 4 win in Orlando has been discussed, and the last shot replayed, on ESPN 412 times already, and now in Boston, the Magic are only 2-point underdogs? Ridiculous. 70% of the bets coming in on Boston, but the line has actually retreated from the opener of -2.5 down to -2. Something's up here, and we'll climb on board for 1 unit.

Grover will be back in a couple of hours with the baseball picks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Action - Mother's Day Edition

Never made it back to the computer before last night, which is a shame considering both NHL underdogs won and even the Nationals picked up another road win. Moving on to Sunday, Mother's Day commitments make it unlikely we'll be available later, so here's everything for today, lines from Matchbook:


Braves +135, 1 unit to win 1.35 units

Pretty much a coin flip, although Kawakami has been slightly better, but the public is on the World Champion Phillies. And they're saying it like that when they put in their bets.

Orioles +131, 1 unit to win 1.31 units

Only +131 against the mighty Yankees and Joba the Hut? Seems a little short. More strikeouts and more walks for Chamberlain. Hoping the the latter bites him on his big fat ass like that swarm of gnats in Cleveland a couple of years ago.

Mariners -109, 1.09 units to win 1 unit

No real contrarian angle on this one, just a complete pitching mismatch. Not a lot of hitting expected in this one, so we'll take the more dominant starter and the bullpen (Nathan excepted) that's been performing better so far.

Padres +149, 1 unit to win 1.49 units

Not as much history to look at with Geer as opposed to Oswalt, but so far, so good. His strikeout rate isn't very high, but Oswalt hasn't exactly been mowing them down either. Line drop overnight makes me think there's value in the nice dog number.


Anaheim Ducks +210, 0.5 units to win 1.05 units

Public huge on the home team (Hockeytown!) today, but the Ducks continue to surprise, taking one game in Detroit already (and 2 in San Jose) this postseason. Ducks are virtually even with the Wings on both sides of the power play, and have the best goalie in the playoffs. Tons of value here.

Good luck everybody, and don't forget to phone your Mom. When I rolled over and woke her up this morning she said she was expecting a call.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Baseball

Wow, a winning night in baseball and hockey. I guess miracles can happen. Recovering from an all-night poker game, so just the picks, without any fanfare or my lame attempts at humor (and there was much rejoicing...). Lines from Matchbook, all risking 1 unit:

Oakland A's +100

San Francisco Giants +136

Atlanta Braves +106

Good luck everybody. Back later. Probably.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Night Moneyline Sports

Baseball and hockey, all lines from Matchbook, all risking 1 unit:


Braves +162

Hamels hasn't pitched as badly as his ERA would have you believe, but Jo Jo has been solid and this line is over-inflated.

Padres +150

Ditto on this one. Gaudin's FIP so far is a respectable 3.56 and his strikeout rate is higher than Wandy's.

Nationals +117

The worst team in the history of baseball (at least, if you ask anybody living in the DC area) is only +117 on the road? Ludicrous.

Tigers +122

I don't know how to check this, but Verlander has got to have the most deceiving ERA in a long time. His ERA is 5.66, but that's inflated by his .381 BABIP, and look at his other numbers (K/BB = 45/12, K/9 = 11.57, WHIP = 1.37, etc.). He's pitching incredibly well, but you wouldn't know it unless you looked deeper, and most people don't.

A's +107

Richmond's 4-0 record must be keeping the Bluejays as the favorite in this game, because it doesn't make any sense otherwise. Over 70% are taking the road favorite.


Carolina Hurricanes +111

Boston in a "must-win" situation on the road tonight, and the public is jumping on board. Predictably, we're going the other way and backing the home dog.