Archive for November, 2012

Thursday Night Football:
New Orleans Saints (5-6) at Atlanta Falcons (10-1):
Line: Falcons favored by 3.5
Over/under: 55.5
My prediction: Falcons- 33, Saints- 24
Falcons cover
Over

College football Conference Championship predictions:
Friday games:
PAC 12 Championship Game- #16 UCLA vs. #8 Stanford
Spread: Stanford favored by 8.5
Over/under: 44
My prediction: Stanford- 23, UCLA- 17… Stanford goes to Rose Bowl, UCLA goes to the Alamo.
UCLA covers
Under

MAC Championship- #21 Northern Illinois vs. #17 Kent State
Spread: Northern Illinois favored by 6
Over/under: 58
My prediction: Northern Illionis- 35, Kent State- 31..  If a Mid Major team is ranked ahead of a major conference’s championship winner AND ranked inside the top 16 of the BCS poll, they get the automatic BCS bowl bid OVER the champion from a major conference. In this case, both Northern Illinois and Kent State are ranked ahead of the top Big East team (non ranked). If Kent State wins, they will almost definitely make a BCS bowl. If Northern Illinois wins, they could still make it. My prediction is that Northern Illni win, but neither team gets in to the top 16. Illni go to Go Daddy Bowl, and Kent State goes to Little Caesars, while Rutgers wins over Louisville and makes the Orange Bowl.
Kent State cover
Over

Saturday Games:
Conference USA Championship- UCF vs. Tulsa
Spread: Tulsa favored by 2.5
Over/under: 55
My prediction: Central Florida- 27, Tulsa- 23.. UCF goes to the Liberty Bowl and Tulsa goes bowling at the Armed Forces bowl.
UCF covers
Under

SEC Championship- #2 Alabama vs. #3 Georgia
Spread: Alabama favored by 7.5
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: Georgia- 31, Alabama- 28.. This game obviously is huge. The winner goes to the National Championship game, and the loser will probably go to the Capital One Bowl. I have a big upset here, with Georgia going to the National Championship game.
Georgia cover
Over

ACC Championship- #13 Florida State vs. Georgia Tech
Spread: Florida State favored by 14
Over/under: 61
My prediction: Florida State- 37, Georgia Tech- 17.. Florida State is a lot better than Georgia Tech, and they have an Orange Bowl bid on the line. Georgia Tech finishes with a losing record, but still goes bowling as they won 6, at the Independence bowl.
FSU covers
Under

Big 10 Championship- #12 Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
Spread: Nebraska favored by 3
Over/under: 49
My prediction: Nebraska- 30, Wisconsin- 20.. Nebraska is just the better team, and they will go to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin will go to the Gator Bowl.
Nebraska covers
Over

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(Late) week 12 Review.

Posted: 11/28/2012 by levcohen in Baseball, Basketball, Football, NCAA

Sorry for posting this a day late…

*= upset pick

Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Chicago Bears (7-3):
Line: Bears favored by 6
Over/under: 38.5
My prediction: Bears- 23, Vikings- 10
Bears cover
Under

Results: Bears- 28, Vikings- 10.. 3/3 on this one, just 5 points off a perfect score.

Oakland Raiders (3-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-5):
Line: Bengals favored by 9
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: Bengals- 30, Raiders- 23
Raiders cover
Over

Results: Bengals- 34, Raiders- 10.. 1/3, with just the pick right. I really overestimated the Raiders.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8):
Line: Steelers favored by 1.5
Over/under: 34
My prediction: Steelers- 20, Browns- 17
Steelers cover
Over

Results: Browns- 20, Steelers- 14.. 0-2-1 on this. I’m surprised that the Browns finally closed a game out, but they proved me wrong.

Buffalo Bills (4-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4):
Line: Colts favored by 3
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: Colts- 35, Bills- 31
Colts cover
Over

Results: Colts- 20, Bills- 13.. 2-3, I totally blew the over/under.

Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-9): – Lock
Line: Broncos favored by 10.5
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Broncos- 30, Chiefs- 10
Broncos cover
Under

Results: Broncos- 17, Chiefs- 9.. Remind me never to pick a team favored by 10+ to cover.. 2/3.

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-6)*:
Line: Seahawks favored by 3
Over/under: 37.5
My prediction: Dolphins- 21, Seahawks- 17
Dolphins cover
Over

Results: Dolphins- 24, Seahawks- 21.. I nailed this one almost exactly. 3/3.

Atlanta Falcons (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4):
Line: Falcons favored by 1.5
Over/under: 52
My prediction: Falcons- 31, Buccaneers- 28
Falcons cover
Over

Results: Falcons- 24, Buccaneers- 23. Only the pick right, although a Matt Bryant missed 20 yard field goal cost me the spread win.

Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)*:
Line: Titans favored by 3
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Jaguars- 24, Titans- 21
Jaguars cover
Over

Results: Jaguars- 24, Titans- 19.. So annoying! I got this upset pick right, and was off by only 2 points, but those points cost me the over/under.

Baltimore Ravens (8-2) at San Diego Chargers (4-6):
Line: Pick ‘em
Over/under: 47
My prediction: Ravens- 24, Chargers- 17
Ravens cover
Under

Results: Ravens- 16, Chargers- 13.. Ray Rice’s amazing 30 yard play on 4th and 29 gave me a 3/3.

San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)*:
Line: 49ers favored by 1.5
Over/under: 50
My prediction: Saints- 28, 49ers- 24
Saints cover
Over

Results: 49ers- 31, Saints- 21.. Got this one wrong, with just the over/under right.

St. Louis Rams (3-6-1) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6)*:
Line: Cardinals favored by 1.5
Over/under: 36.5
My prediction: Rams- 17, Cardinals- 13
Rams cover
Under

Results: Rams- 31, Cardinals- 17.. 2/3, over/under wrong. Who would have thought that the Rams could score 31 in a game.

Green Bay Packers (7-3) at New York Giants (6-4)*:
Line: Giants favored by 3
Over/under: 51.5
My prediction: Packers- 30, Giants- 23
Packers cover
Over

Results: Giants- 38, Packers- 10.. 0/3. The Giants really came out strong.

Carolina Panthers (2-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-7):
Line: Panthers favored by 2.5
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Panthers- 23, Eagles- 20
Panthers cover
Over

Results: Panthers- 30, Eagles- 22. 3/3. I don’t want to talk about this game.

13-3 on pick.. 106-69-1 total
10-6 on spread… 95-81 total
8-7-1 on over/under… 79-92-4 total

I had a pretty good week, but my over/under woes continue.

Upset picks:
Packers over Giants- INCORRECT
Rams over Cardinals- CORRECT
Saints over 49ers- INCORRECT
Jaguars over Titans- CORRECT
Dolphins over Seahawks- CORRECT

That plus my Redskins over Cowboys pick makes it 4-2, 18-25 total.

Lock of the week:
Broncos over Chiefs- CORRECT. 10-1

QB of the week: Cam Newton, Panthers: Cam! Newton carved up the Eagles for 306 yards on 18 completions, and threw two touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also, as always, added value on the ground, running for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

Surprising QB of the week: Russell Wilson, Seahawks: Coming into this game, he had a bad road record with bad stats. He threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and read for 40 yards.

Disappointing QB of the week: Carson Palmer, Raiders: With a juicy matchup against the Bengals and a streak of good performances, we all thought he’d do well. He threw for 146 yards with one touchdown against two turnovers.

RB of the week: Bryce Brown, Eagles: Bryce Brown! With LeSean McCoy out, he ran for close to 180 yards with two touchdowns in a breakout performance. The only negative is the two lost fumbles.

Surprising RB of the week: Shane Vereen, Patriots: Vereen was one of a billion Patriots who played well. He rushed for just 42 yards, but added 91 through the air with a receiving touchdown.

Disappointing RB of the week: Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks: Lynch had just 46 yards on 19 carries, the first time since week 6 that he has ran for less than 100 yards.

WR of the week: Dez Bryant, Cowboys: Dez had eight catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He has now had three straight great games. In his last three games, he has 23 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns.

Surprise WR of the week: Chris Givens, Rams: Givens is the classic hit or miss player, and this year he definitely hit, with five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Disappointing WR of the week: Mike Wallace, Steelers: Wallace had Charlie Batch throwing to him, but you still have to expect more than one catch for nine yards.

TE of the week: Charles Clay, Dolphins: six catches, 84 yards and a touchdown. Pretty solid. He could also be my surprise pick.

Surprising TE of the week: Jacob Tamme, Broncos: Tamme had 48 yards and a touchdown, for his first score since week one. By the way, this was a bizarre week for tight ends. Of the top 14 tight end finishers, only four are in the top 20 overall.

Disappointing TE of the week: Jimmy Graham, Saints: Graham, the top healthy TE in football, had just four catches for 33 yards and didn’t get into the endzone.

Waiver add/drops:

3 good short term adds:
Bryce Brown, Eagles (38.8% ESPN ownership).. This is his second straight appearance, but why not? With LeSean McCoy out again this week, I think Brown will have another good game.

Rashad Jennings, Jaguars (47.1% ESPN ownership).. With MJD out another week and Jalen Parmelee out for the year, horrible Jennings will get a start this week.

Jarius Wright (.4% ESPN ownership).. If Percy Harvin is out again, Wright will be solid.

3 good long term adds:
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (25.5% ESPN ownership).. Moreno snagged the Broncos starting job over Ronnie Hillman. He won’t be great, but he should be low risk.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons (18.8% ESPN ownership).. Rodgers is better than Turner, no doubt about that. Hopefully he takes Turner’s job sooner rather than later.

Mohammed Sanu, Bengals (2.3% ESPN ownership).. Sanu is a touchdown monster, with four in his last three weeks.

3 good adds in PPR (points per reception) leagues:
WR Cole Beasley, Cowboys (0.0% ESPN ownership).. Miles Austin might be out this week, and Beasley is a low risk, decent reward option when starting.

WR Davone Bess, Dolphins (16.2% ESPN ownership).. Bess is an option who is best left alone in standard leagues, but he is decent in PPR leagues.

WR Ryan Broyles, Lions (3.2% ESPN ownership).. Broyles had 6 for 126 last week, and he’s in a great position as Calvin Johnson takes a ton of attention, and Detroit throws a lot. He should continue to get targets.

3 non-injured players at 80% owned or higher who can be dropped if you need a roster spot:
James Jones, Packers (91.4% ESPN ownership).. He posted a big fat 0 last week, and Greg Jennings is coming back. Too inconsistent.

Phillip Rivers, Chargers (87.2% ESPN ownership).. Now the 20th ranked QB, Rivers will be either mediocre or bad every week.

Garrett Hartley, Saints (80.1% ESPN ownership).. Hartley is a kicker, so people may overlook that spot, but it’s actually very important. For example, Lawrence Tynes, a kicker owned less than Hartley, is averaging 5 points per game more than Hartley. That makes a difference.

3 non injured player at 50% owned or higher who should be dropped:
Rashard Mendenhall (70.3% ESPN ownership).. Mendenhall is now in the doghouse for his fumble problems, and he isn’t very good anyway.

Alex Smith (69.8% ESPN ownership).. Colin Kaepernick is the starting QB. Drop Smith.

Ben Tate (64.5% ESPN ownership).. Tate hasn’t even been active recently. Only own Tate if you own Arian Foster, and even then, feel free to drop him.

Injury report:
DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Jackson fractured some ribs and is out for the year. Find a replacement.

Andre Brown, Giants: Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw’s backup (and really they are splitting time), broke his leg and is done for the season.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers: Frank Gore’s backup tore his achillies, and is done.

Matt Forte, Bears: Forte reinjured his ankle and is questionable for this week. I don’t think he plays.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: Stewart has a high ankle sprain and is doubtful for this Thursday’s game.

Miles Austin, Cowboys: Has a hip injury, and is questionable. Might not be 100% even if he plays.

Games of the nights:
NBA: Nets at CelticsNCAA Basketball: Ohio State vs. Duke in the ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY DICK’S SPORTING GOODS

In other news:
The Braves have just signed BJ Upton, a talented young centerfielder. They were in a bidding war with the Phillies, and won out on him with a five year deal worth around 75 million. I’m actually happy he didn’t go to the Phillies, because he is over valued.

Week 4 NBA Power Rankings

Posted: 11/26/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Week 4 power rankings (in parentheses, last weeks ranking)

#1. Memphis Grizzlies (9-2) (#1): The Grizzlies had a 1-1 week. First, they lost to the Denver Nuggets on Monday Night. After three days off, they beat the Lakers at home by 8. Zach Randolph has been the leading rebounder- including both teams- in every Memphis game of the season. The big three of Gay-Randolph-Gasol has been great.

#2. San Antonio Spurs (11-3) (#7): The Spurs had a busy week, going 3-1 on the week. First, they lost a close one to the Clippers. After that, though, they came back with wins against Boston, Indiana and Toronto. They were all on the road. Tim Duncan is amazing. He is still averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds with over two blocks per game in fewer minutes. He looks like he did in his prime.

#3. Oklahoma City Thunder (10-4) (#3): They beat the Clippers and Sixers, but lost to the Celtics. Their two wins were in overtime, which makes it even more impressive.

#4. Miami Heat  (10-3) (#6): The Heat won both games this week, but they were both close. They beat Cleveland and Milwaukee, with LeBron giving them a huge boost in both games, especially against Cleveland, when they were down late in the game.

#5. New York Knicks (9-3) (#2): New York had a bad week, but they still have the best point differential in the NBA. Their defense was very worrisome last week. In wins against New Orleans and Detroit, they gave up 82 and 1oo points. They held New Orleans to below their average, but Detroit scored 14 points above their average. In losses to Dallas and Houston, they gave up 114 and 131 points. Dallas scored 14 points above their average, and Houston scored an amazing 30 above their average. This is bad news for New York, who were thought to have a much improved defensive team (and did, throughout their first 8 games).

#6. LA Clippers (8-5) (Last week, #4): The Clippers are another team who had a bad week, losing 3 of 4.

#7. Brooklyn Nets (8-4) (Last week, #8)- The Nets got their first two good wins of the year, beating the Clippers and Portland.

#8. Atlanta Hawks (8-4) (#14)- 5 game win streak.

#9. Los Angeles Lakers (7-7) (#9)- With a new coach, they will be over .500 soon.

#10. Denver Nuggets (8-6) (#19)- Nuggets have a four game win streak going, with a big win over Memphis.

#11. Milwaukee Bucks (6-5) (#5): They have lost three straight games.

#12. Boston Celtics (8-6) (#11): After losing to San Antonio, they beat Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando.

#13: Philadelphia 76ers (8-6) (#13): More bad Andrew Bynum news. This looks a lot like last years team.

#14: Dallas Mavericks (7-7) (#12): Lost 2 of 3, but beat the Knicks.

#15: Chicago Bulls (6-6) (#15): Lost to Houston, then beat Milwaukee. They will continue to be a .500 team until D-Rose gets back.

#16: Minnesota Timberwolves (5-7) (#10): 5 game losing streak, but Kevin Love is back. They could climb in the rankings.

#17: Charlotte Bobcats (7-5) (#20): The Bobcats can play! They won 3 of 4, including a tense overtime game that kept Washington winless.

#18: Golden State Warriors (8-6) (#18): They won 3 of 4, beating Dallas, Brooklyn, Minnesota. They could well be a surprise playoff team.

#19: Utah Jazz (7-7) (#17): Beat Houston, split a home and home with Sacramento.

#20: Portland Trailblazers (6-7) (#16): Lost to Phoenix and Brooklyn and beat Minnesota. They could fade late in the season with their starters playing so much early.

#21. Houston Rockets (6-7) (#21)- They had a good week, and should be a good home team. They beat New York and Chicago at home.

#22: Phoenix Suns (6-8) (#23)- Before losing a nail-biter to Philadelphia, they crushed Portland and beat New Orleans in overtime.

#23: Indiana Pacers (6-8) (#24)- They move up a spot because of some improved offense in wins over Washington and New Orleans and a loss to San Antonio.

#24: Orlando Magic (5-8) (#26): They had a 2-2 week, and it should have been 3-1. They beat Detroit and Cleveland, and really should have beat Boston, while they ended up losing in overtime.

#25: Sacramento Kings (4-9) (#29): They crushed the Lakers, one of the biggest surprises of the year. They followed that with a home and home split against the Jazz.

#26: Cleveland Cavaliers (3-10) (#28): They lost 2 of 3, but lost those two (against Orlando and Miami) by a combined 6 points. They beat Philadelphia in overtime.

#27: Toronto Raptors (3-11) (#27): They have lost games by an average of 4 points, which isn’t terrible. They lost two one point games and a five point game in overtime to San Antonio last week.

#28: Detroit Pistons (3-11) (#25): Lost to the Knicks (not surprising) and Orlando (a little more surprising) while beating Toronto by 1. Bad week for Detroit.

#29. New Orleans Hornets (3-9) (#22)- 7 game losing streak, with Anthony Davis hurt.

#30. Washington Wizards (#30)- They are still winless, not at 0-11. They had a few close, overtime games, but couldn’t capitalize.

Games of the night:
NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
NCAA Basketball: San Jose State at Kansas

Sunday Week 12 Picks, Thanksgiving review

Posted: 11/25/2012 by levcohen in Football

First, let’s see how I did on my Thanksgiving picks:

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions:
Line: Texans favored by 3
Over/under: 50
My prediction: Texans- 28, Lions- 24
Texans cover
Over

I feel like this will be an exciting game between a running offense (Texans) and a passing offense (Lions). Matt Schaub won’t have another amazing game, but Arian Foster will. This game screams “Letdown!” for the Texans, but the Lions are falling apart

Results: Texans- 34, Lions- 31.. This was an ugly game, much like I thought it would be. The Texans did end up covering, so I went 3/3.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys*:
Line: Cowboys favored by 3
Over/under: 48
My prediction: Redskins- 23, Cowboys- 20
Redskins cover
Under

A division game here. I think the Cowboys are vastly overrated following consecutive wins against two straight poor teams. The Redskins will go into Dallas, and that makes two for two in road team wins.

Results: Redskins- 38, Cowboys- 31.. Here I got my upset pick right, but picked the under, so ended up 2/3 with the o/u wrong.

New England Patriots at New York Jets:
Line: Patriots favored by 7.5
Over/under: 48.5
My prediction: Patriots- 34, Jets- 17
Patriots cover
Over

Results: Patriots- 49, Jets- 19.. This wasn’t even as close as the score indicates. Probably should have been more like 60-3. 3/3.

Sunday Previews:

*= upset pick

Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Chicago Bears (7-3):
Line: Bears favored by 6
Over/under: 38.5
My prediction: Bears- 23, Vikings- 10
Bears cover
Under

Oakland Raiders (3-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-5):
Line: Bengals favored by 9
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: Bengals- 30, Raiders- 23
Raiders cover
Over

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8):
Line: Steelers favored by 1.5
Over/under: 34
My prediction: Steelers- 20, Browns- 17
Steelers cover
Over

Buffalo Bills (4-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4):
Line: Colts favored by 3
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: Colts- 35, Bills- 31
Colts cover
Over

Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-9): – Lock
Line: Broncos favored by 10.5
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Broncos- 30, Chiefs- 10
Broncos cover
Under

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-6)*:
Line: Seahawks favored by 3
Over/under: 37.5
My prediction: Dolphins- 21, Seahawks- 17
Dolphins cover
Over

Atlanta Falcons (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4):
Line: Falcons favored by 1.5
Over/under: 52
My prediction: Falcons- 31, Buccaneers- 28
Falcons cover
Over

Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)*:
Line: Titans favored by 3
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Jaguars- 24, Titans- 21
Jaguars cover
Over

Baltimore Ravens (8-2) at San Diego Chargers (4-6):
Line: Pick ’em
Over/under: 47
My prediction: Ravens- 24, Chargers- 17
Ravens cover
Under

San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)*:
Line: 49ers favored by 1.5
Over/under: 50
My prediction: Saints- 28, 49ers- 24
Saints cover
Over

St. Louis Rams (3-6-1) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6)*:
Line: Cardinals favored by 1.5
Over/under: 36.5
My prediction: Rams- 17, Cardinals- 13
Rams cover
Under

Green Bay Packers (7-3) at New York Giants (6-4)*:
Line: Giants favored by 3
Over/under: 51.5
My prediction: Packers- 30, Giants- 23
Packers cover
Over

Carolina Panthers (2-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-7):
Line: Panthers favored by 2.5
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Panthers- 23, Eagles- 20
Panthers cover
Over

Upset picks:
Packers over Giants
Rams over Cardinals
Saints over 49ers
Jaguars over Titans
Dolphins over Seahawks

Lock of the week:
Broncos over Chiefs

Time for the College post, and the Football preview for tomorrow.

College Football:

Here are the BCS Standings coming into this week:

*= conference leader in the standings (not these polls)

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
RK TEAM AVG PVS RK PTS % RK PTS % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
1 Notre Dame .9973 3 1 2863 .9958 1 1469 .9959 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000
2 Alabama*- SEC West .9333 4 2 2732 .9503 2 1386 .9397 3 5 2 4 3 3 3 .910
3 Georgia*- SEC East .8763 5 3 2573 .8950 3 1348 .9139 6 4 5 7 7 6 4 .820
4 Florida .8434 6 5 2242 .7798 6 1166 .7905 2 2 6 2 2 2 2 .960
5 Oregon .8318 2 4 2483 .8637 4 1227 .8319 7 7 4 6 6 5 8 .800
6 Kansas State*- Big 12 .7692 1 7 2161 .7517 8 1056 .7159 4 3 3 3 10 7 7 .840
7 LSU .7308 7 8 2077 .7224 7 1062 .7200 8 10 7 8 4 8 6 .750
8 Stanford*- Pac 12 N .7077 13 11 1897 .6598 11 934 .6332 5 6 8 5 5 4 5 .830
9 Texas A&M .6526 8 10 1909 .6640 10 994 .6739 10 15 11 10 8 12 9 .620
10 Florida State*- ACC Atlantic .6363 10 6 2231 .7760 5 1199 .8129 17 18 16 15 0 22 16 .320
11 Clemson .6056 11 9 1953 .6793 9 1029 .6976 15 13 13 11 20 23 14 .440
12 South Carolina .5871 9 12 1647 .5729 12 853 .5783 11 14 10 12 11 9 10 .610
13 Oklahoma .5677 12 13 1530 .5322 13 798 .5410 9 9 9 14 9 11 12 .630
14 Nebraska*- Big 10 .4790 14 14 1275 .4435 14 654 .4434 12 11 15 9 12 15 11 .550
15 Oregon State .4499 16 15 1202 .4181 17 563 .3817 12 8 14 13 13 10 13 .550
16 Texas .4235 15 17 1088 .3784 15 593 .4020 14 12 12 16 14 13 17 .490
17 UCLA*- Pac 12 S .3826 17 16 1144 .3979 16 590 .4000 16 16 18 17 16 18 18 .350
18 Rutgers*- Big East .2432 22 19 756 .2630 19 408 .2766 21 20 20 18 25 0 20 .190
19 Michigan .2253 21 20 575 .2000 20 289 .1959 19 19 22 20 17 20 15 .280
20 Louisville .2165 19 18 898 .3123 18 453 .3071 26 23 0 21 0 0 0 .030
21 Oklahoma State .2042 24 22 425 .1478 21 258 .1749 18 17 17 22 19 16 0 .290
22 Boise State*- MWC .1043 NR 21 426 .1482 22 243 .1647 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
23 Kent State*- MAC .0955 NR 25 196 .0682 25 86 .0583 22 24 19 19 0 0 19 .160
24 Arizona .0836 NR NR 21 .0073 NR 5 .0034 20 21 23 23 15 14 21 .240
25 Washington .0643 25 NR 53 .0184 NR 36 .0244 23 25 24 0 18 17 22 .150

This is the second to last week in the season. This week is full of “rivalry games”, the traditional way to finish the regular season, and then next week there are conference championships in some conferences. A note is the top two teams in the Big 10- Leaders division (Nebraska is in Legends) are ineligible for postseason play, so therefore not ranked. They are undefeated Ohio State and four loss Penn State. Here you can see where Ohio State would have been ranked if they were eligible. It’s really a good read, and I recommend it.
With the top two teams going down last week (K-State and Oregon), this year has been great. For now, it looks like the BCS Championship game will be between Notre Dame and the winner of the SEC championship, which will likely be between Alabama and Georgia. However, this season is far from over. Let’s look at this week’s marquee matchups:

#1 Notre Dame at USC:
One of the biggest rivalries in College football, this game is huge, because with USC at home, the Trojans could easily upset the Fighting Irish, even with starting QB Matt Barkley out with an injury. That would totally change the BCS race.

Auburn at #2 Alabama:
This is only on here because it’s one of the fiercest rivalries in College football. ‘Bama should cruise as this is not a good year for Auburn, but it would be surprisingly close at halftime.

#4 Florida at #10 Florida State:
This is a huge matchup in terms of how the BCS will turn out. As you will see later, the Gators still have a chance at making the title game. They also have a chance at getting into the SEC title game if Georgia loses to Georgia Tech and Florida wins. For FSU, it might mean even more. With a win, they clinch a spot in the ACC title game against a lesser Georgia Tech team. If they lose and Clemson wins, they could miss out not just on the ACC Championship but also a BCS Bowl game.

#5 Oregon at #15 Oregon State:
This rivalry is nicknamed the Civil War. This also has big BCS implications. As you will see later, the Ducks still have a chance at making the title game. If not, they will at least clinch a Fiesta Bowl appearance with a win here, and could make it to the Rose Bowl with a win and a Stanford loss. Oregon State has an outside shot at a BCS bowl game, but it’s a distant chance. If they beat Oregon, it’ll be closer though.

#8 Stanford at #17 UCLA:
UCLA has a little to gain with a win, but nothing compared to what it means for Stanford. UCLA already has a PAC 12 title game spot locked up, which gives them a chance at the Rose Bowl even if they lose. Stanford, on the other hand, needs to win to have a chance to get a rematch with UCLA for a spot in the Rose Bowl.

#12 South Carolina at #11 Clemson:
With a win, South Carolina would get into a very good bowl (probably either Cotton, Outback, Capital One, or, perhaps, Fiesta). If Clemson wins and Florida State loses, a real possibility, Clemson would get into the ACC title game with an Orange Bowl spot on the line. If Clemson and Florida State both win, Clemson could still get into the Fiesta Bowl.

#21 Oklahoma State at #13 Oklahoma:
With a win Oklahoma would have a Sugar Bowl bid well within grasp.

Other notable games:
#18 Rutgers at Pittsburgh- with a win Rutgers would have an Orange Bowl spot.
Connecticut at #20 Louisville- with a win and Rutgers loss Louisville would have an Orange Bowl spot.

How each of the top 6 have a real chance to make the championship game:

Notre Dame: This is easy. They just have to beat USC and they have a spot.

Alabama: They must beat Auburn this week and then Georgia or Florida (probably Georgia) in the SEC Championship game

Georgia: They need to beat Georgia Tech and then Alabama in the SEC Championship game

Florida: Scenario #1: They beat Florida State, Georgia loses to Georgia Tech, they beat Alabama in the SEC Championship

#2: They beat Florida State, Notre Dame loses to USC, voters vote them in over Oregon, and they play the winner of ‘Bama-Georgia

Oregon: #1: They beat Oregon State, Florida loses to Florida State, Notre Dame loses to USC, Alabama loses in SEC Championship

#2: They beat Oregon State, Stanford loses to UCLA, they beat UCLA in the PAC 12 championship, Notre Dame Loses to USC, voters vote them in over Florida, and they play the winner of ‘Bama-Georgia

Kansas State: win out, Oregon loses to Oregon State, Notre Dame loses to USC, Florida loses to FSU, voters vote them in over Notre Dame and they play winner of ‘Bama-Georgia OR win out, Oregon beats Oregon State, Notre Dame loses to USC, Florida loses to FSU, voters vote them in over Notre Dame and Oregon and they play winner of ‘Bama-Georgia.

My BCS predictions:

Championship Game (#1 vs #2): Notre Dame vs. Georgia
Fiesta Bowl (big 12 vs. at-large): Kansas State vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl (SEC vs. at-large): Alabama vs. Clemson
Orange Bowl (ACC vs. Big East): Florida State vs. Rutgers
Rose Bowl (Big 10 vs. Pac 12): Nebraska vs. Stanford

Bold predictions: Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Florida State beats Florida this weekend. Stanford beats UCLA twice in a row. Alabama loses again- and still gets into the Sugar Bowl over LSU and Florida. Clemson beats South Carolina. Ok. State beats Oklahoma this weekend.

NCAA:

Here’s the current top 25:

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Indiana (46) 3-0 1,602
2 Louisville (19) 3-0 1,579
3 Ohio State 3-0 1,404
4 Michigan 3-0 1,388
5 Duke 3-0 1,372
6 Syracuse 2-0 1,291
7 Florida 3-0 1,203
8 Kentucky 2-1 1,166
9 North Carolina 3-0 1,064
10 Arizona 2-0 983
11 UCLA 3-0 845
12 Kansas 2-1 797
13 Missouri 3-0 794
14 Creighton 3-0 721
15 Michigan State 2-1 692
16 North Carolina State 3-1 600
17 Gonzaga 3-0 559
18 UNLV 2-0 556
19 Memphis 2-0 548
20 Oklahoma State 4-0 449
21 Connecticut 4-0 321
22 Cincinnati 3-0 265
23 Colorado 4-0 237
24 Baylor 4-1 202
25 San Diego State 2-1 98

I’m going to play contender or pretender with the top 10:

Indiana: Contender- but they will not end the season ranked #1

Louisville: Contender- I believe they are the best team in the country

Ohio State: Pretender- They will finish top 15, but not top 3.

Michigan: Pretender- They have a good big 3 (Hardaway, Robinson III, Burke- Burke could be a surprise player of the year candidate) but not much depth.

Duke: Pretender- They don’t have much depth, but Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly is a great core.

Syracuse: Contender- They always find a way to finish top 10. This year will be no different.

Florida: Contender- They have a deep team, and Kenny Boynton is a great player.

Kentucky: Contender- They’ll figure it out. Look how much talent they have.

North Carolina: Pretender- I just don’t see it working out this year. They really don’t have many great players.

Arizona: Contender- They won’t do well to start the season, but they’ll end top 15.

My player of the year: Peyton Siva, Louisville: This is a surprise pick, as most people have Cody Zeller or Doug McDermot winning it.

NFL: Thanksgiving games

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions:
Line: Texans favored by 3
Over/under: 50
My prediction: Texans- 28, Lions- 24
Texans cover
Over

I feel like this will be an exciting game between a running offense (Texans) and a passing offense (Lions). Matt Schaub won’t have another amazing game, but Arian Foster will. This game screams “Letdown!” for the Texans, but the Lions are falling apart

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys*:
Line: Cowboys favored by 3
Over/under: 48
My prediction: Redskins- 23, Cowboys- 20
Redskins cover
Under

A division game here. I think the Cowboys are vastly overrated following consecutive wins against two straight poor teams. The Redskins will go into Dallas, and that makes two for two in road team wins.

New England Patriots at New York Jets:
Line: Patriots favored by 7.5
Over/under: 48.5
My prediction: Patriots- 34, Jets- 17
Patriots cover
Over

Week 11 Review

Posted: 11/20/2012 by levcohen in Football
Tags: , ,

Week 11 Review.

*- upset pick

On BYE: Seahawks, Vikings, Titans, Giants

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (8-1)
Line: Falcons favored by 9.5
Over/under: 44
My prediction: Falcons- 28, Cardinals- 13
Falcons cover
Under

Results: Falcons- 23, Cardinals- 19.. 2/3, but just the spread wrong.

Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
Line: Cowboys favored by 9
Over/under: 44
My prediction: Cowboys- 24, Browns- 21
Browns cover
Over

Results: Cowboys- 23, Browns- 20.. Wow. I was nearly perfect on this score, but since the over/under was 44, i got that wrong.

Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Detroit Lions (4-5)
Line: Packers favored by 3.5
Over/under: 52.5
My prediction: Packers- 30, Lions- 27
Lions cover
Over

Results: Packers- 24, Lions- 20.. These spreads are so annoying. Only 1/3

Cincinnati Bengals (4-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-8)
Line: Bengals favored by 3.5
Over/under: 43
My prediction: Bengals- 26, Chiefs- 16
Bengals cover
Under

Results: Bengals- 28, Chiefs- 6.. Good old Chiefs, getting me a 3/3.

New York Jets (3-6) at St. Louis Rams (3-5-1)
Line: Rams favored by 3.5
Over/under: 38.5
My prediction: Rams- 23, Jets- 14
Rams cover
Under

Results: Jets- 27, Rams- 13.. 0/3

Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6)
Line: Redskins favored by 3.5
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: Redskins- 30, Eagles- 24
Redskins cover
Over

Results: Redskins- 31, Eagles- 6.. Just over/under wrong.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) at Carolina Panthers (2-7)
Line: Buccaneers favored by 1
Over/under: 48
My prediction: Buccaneers- 31, Panthers- 21
Buccaneers cover
Over

Results: Buccaneers- 27, Panthers- 21.. I went 2-0-1 on this, with the over/under as the tie.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) at Houston Texans (8-1) – LOCK. Easiest lock of the year
Line: Texans favored by 15
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Texans- 27, Jaguars- 10
Texans cover
Under

Results: Texans- 43, Jaguars- 37.. WOW! What a surprising game. Texans won in overtime, getting me a 1/3.

New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-6)
Line: Saints favored by 5
Over/under: 55
My prediction: Saints- 34, Raiders- 24
Saints cover
Over

Results: Saints- 38, Raiders- 17.. Another 2-0-1.

San Diego Chargers (4-5) at Denver Broncos (6-3)
Line: Broncos favored by 8.5
Over/under: 48.5
My prediction: Broncos- 24, Chargers- 20
Chargers cover
Under

Results: Broncos- 30, Chargers- 23. Just over/under wrong. I knew this line was way too high.

Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at New England Patriots (6-3)
Line: Patriots favored by 9.5
Over/under: 54
My prediction: Patriots- 30, Colts- 26
Colts cover
Over

Results: Patriots- 59, Colts- 24.. I was wrong on the line.

Baltimore Ravens (7-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)*
Line: Ravens by 3.5
Over/under: 40.5
My prediction: Steelers- 23, Ravens- 20
Steelers cover
Over

Results: Ravens- 13, Steelers- 10.. Just the line right.

Chicago Bears (7-2) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1)*
Line: 49ers favored by 7
Over/under: 36.5
My prediction: Bears- 20, 49ers- 17
Bears cover
Over

Results: 49ers- 32, Bears- 7.. just over/under correct.

10-4 on pick.. 93-66-1 total
7-7 on spread… 85-75 total
4-8-2  on over/under… 71-85-3 total

Upset picks:
Bears over 49ers- INCORRECT
Steelers over Ravens- INCORRECT

14-23 total.

Lock of the week:
Texans over Jaguars- CORRECT (barely)

9-1 total

QB of the week:
Matt Schaub, Texans: Wow! Schaub had 527 yards passing, tied for second best in NFL history, behind only Norm Van Brocklin’s record in 1951. It’s pretty surprising that NVB has had the record for so long. Schaub threw 55 passes, an uncharacteristically high number, and completed 43 for 5 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Surprise QB of the week:
Chad Henne, Jaguars: How could I not pick Henne? He came off the bench in the first quarter after Blaine Gabbert got hurt, and threw for 354 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Disappointing QB of the week:
Matt Ryan, Falcons: Ryan must be the first guy here to throw for 300 yards and still be considered a disappointment. There is the fact that Ryan was one of the top quarterbacks coming into this game, and the fact that he didn’t throw a touchdown and had 5 interceptions.

RB of the week:
Marcel Reece, Raiders: This was a weak week for RB’s. Reece was the best of the best, with 100 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving.

Surprise RB of the week:
Bilal Powell, Jets: A backup running back, Powell had 11 rushes for just 42 yards, but he added 18 yards receiving and two rushing touchdowns.

Disappointing RB of the week:
Arian Foster, Texans: Foster had a great matchup against the Jaguars, but couldn’t capitalize. He had a bad yards per carry average, with 29 carries for 77 yards. He had 15 yards receiving, and also lost a fumble.

WR of the week:
Andre Johnson, Texans: Another Texans player on this list. Johnson had 14 catches for 273 yards with a touchdown, by far his best game of the season. He had 67 fantasy points going into the game, and had 33 in this game alone.

Surprise WR of the week:
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars: Going into this game, Blackmon had 29 fantasy points. He doubled that in this game. In this segment, the Jaguars and Texans are dominating. You know it’s a special game when Johnson (273) and Blackmon (236) combine for 509 yards on 21 catches with 2 touchdowns.

Disappointing WR of the week:
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: The Falcons don’t have a great defense, so this was supposed to be a good matchup for Fitz. He ended up with one catch for 11 yards.

TE of the week:
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: He caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, but on a late extra point he broke his forearm, and is out 4-6 weeks (more on that in the attached link).

Surprise TE of the week:
Garrett Graham, Texans: Another Texans player. Even with Owen Daniels starting, Graham caught 8 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Disappointing TE of the week:
Antonio Gates, Chargers: Going up against a defense that’s normally soft against opposing tight ends, Gates had just two catches for 17 yards.

Waiver Add/Drop segment- best pickups and drops in fantasy leagues:

3 good short term adds:
Jalen Parmelee, Jaguars (.1% ESPN ownership): He will get the start this Sunday against a weak Tennessee defense. Until MJD gets back, he should start, and had 80 yards last week.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (1.6% ESPN ownership): Alex Smith might be back next week, but if not, Kaepernick will be a top 10 QB with little downside.

Bryce Borwn, Eagles (.3% ESPN ownership): With LeSean McCoy concussed and questionable for this Monday night, Brown could be a good start this week. He is a good player, and certainly talented.

3 good long term adds:
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (.9% ESPN ownership): Willis McGahee is out for a while with a knee injury, and Hillman should start.

Marcel Reese, Raiders (32.8% ESPN ownership): I don’t know when Darren McFadden will be back, but until then Reese will be good.

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (44.6% ESPN ownership): I’m not totally sold on Blackmon, but if he’s available, you have to add him.

3 non-injured players at 80% owned or higher who can be dropped if you need a roster spot:

Anquan Boldin, Ravens (93.4% ESPN ownership): Boldin hasn’t been great. He’s been ok, but he shouldn’t be owned in this many leagues.

Isaac Redman, Steelers (83.5% ESPN ownership): He is now the third string back on the Steelers.

Brandon Pettigrew, Lions (81.6% ESPN ownership): Since the Lions week 5 bye, Pettigrew has over 39 yards just once.

3 non-injured players at 50% owned or higher who should be dropped:

Rashad Jennings, Jaguars (61.8% ESPN ownership): Jennings lost the starters job, for good reason. He had 66 carries for 174 yards in his 4 games starting, a 2.64 yards per carry mark. Awful.

Mario Manningham, 49ers (53.8% ESPN ownership): Manningham just isn’t getting targets, and he shouldn’t be owned in 30% of leagues, let alone 50%.

Eagles D/ST (58.2% ESPN ownership): I can’t believe they are still owned in 58% of leagues. The defense is horrible, and the special teams are horrible.

Injury report:

LeSean McCoy, Eagles: He has a concussion and I’d bet will be out or limited against Carolina. Find a backup plan

Willis McGahee, Broncos: Is out for 6 weeks. Find a backup plan, hopefully new NFL starter Hillman.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: Out for 4-6 weeks with a broken forearm. Possible tight end replacements include Jermaine Gresham and Brandon Myers.

Julio Jones, Falcons: Multiple injuries, is questionable-doubtful this coming week. If he can’t play, teammate Harry Douglas is a good add.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: Hurt his neck, is questionable for this week.

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars: Has an elbow injury, and may have been supplanted by Chad Henne anyway.

Lots of big injuries this past weekend.

Also, in the NBA, Kyrie Irving is out for a month. The consensus top 10 pick will have to be replaced. Ramon Session is a decent PG replacement if still available.

Games of the night:
NBA: New Jersey Nets at Los Angeles Lakers
College Basketball: #1 ranked 4-0 Indiana Hoosiers vs. 3-0 Georgetown Hoyas in the PROGRESSIVE LEGENDS CLASSIC FINAL AT BROOKLYN NY

Time for week 3 of the power rankings.

#1. Memphis Grizzlies (8-1) (Last week, #3): The Grizzlies just keep on proving the doubters wrong. This week, they racked up impressive wins at Oklahoma City (by 10 points), they handed the Knicks their first loss of the season, and they beat a surprisingly good Bobcats team on the road. Leading the way for the Grizzlies are Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. Gay is doing what he always does. He quietly racks up stats, with 20 points and 6 rebounds per game, although he is only shooting 42%. Randolph leads the league in rebounds, with 14 per game, and is also the Grizzlies second leading scorer. The Grizzlies have 8 straight wins, and have four very impressive wins: They beat the Knicks, Thunder, Bucks, and Heat, 4 of the top 6 teams in these rankings. They lost their opener to the Clippers, but opening the season on the road is always tough. In a wide open Western Conference, they could be a surprise favorite

#2. New York Knicks (7-1) (Last week, #2): The Knicks lost their first game, but they still had a good week. They lost to Memphis, but they beat San Antonio on the road. Every win of theirs have been by double digits except for a four point win over the Spurs. They only have three people averaging in double digits, but they have a lot of depth. Rasheed Wallace and Jason Kidd are playing like it’s 10 years ago and they are in their late 20’s.

#3. Oklahoma City Thunder (8-3) (Last week, #5): Outside of a loss to an 8-1 Memphis team, they have won seven straight, beating up mostly on bad teams. Kevin Durant recently had a triple double. Kevin Martin is one of three Thunder players averaging over 17 points.

#4. LA Clippers (7-2) (Last week, #4): I was tempted to rank the Clippers higher than the Thunder, but I couldn’t. They had only two games this week, and won them both. They were both great wins. They beat the Heat by 7 and the Bulls by more than 20. Jamal Crawford is averaging 21 points per game, which is extremely surprising. Eric Bledsoe has been great. In just 18 minutes per game, he is averaging 10.7 points, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. That would be 20/6/3 with starters minutes.

#5. Milwaukee Bucks (6-2) (Last week, unranked): The Bucks could be this year’s underrated team. This week they won three straight games. They have an exciting backcourt. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combine to average 38 points, 6 rebounds and 14 assists per game, to go along with 4.5 steals per game.

#6. Miami Heat- 3 losses already, but Dwyane Wade has been hurt. Not a bad start.

#7. San Antonio Spurs- Fell a bit with a loss to the Knicks.

#8. Brooklyn Nets– 6-2. They’ve beaten up on bad teams

#9. Los Angeles Lakers- New coach, new life? Back up to .500. Kobe is playing amazingly.

#10. Minnesota Timberwolves- Over .500 without their two best players. Bad news: Brandon Roy needs another knee surgery. He probably will never play again.

#11. Boston Celtics- They are over .500, but it’s clear that Rajon Rondo is jeopardizing his team’s chances by trying to boost his assist total.

#12. Dallas Mavericks- Over .500, even without their best player. With Dirk out, OJ Mayo has been great.

#13. Philadelphia 76ers- It hasn’t been pretty, but they are 6-4. The bad news is Andrew Bynum is out until January.

#14. Atlanta Hawks- The Hawks are just a mediocre team.

#15. Chicago Bulls- At .500. If they can hover a little above .500 until Derrick Rose gets back, they should be ok.

#16. Portland Trailblazers- Led by their big 3 (Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard), they have won 3 straight and are up to .500. This team is incredible- they have four players with more than 37.5 minutes per game. All four are in the top 12 in minutes per game, and they have two in the top four.

#17. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are under .500, but have a +.3 +/- differential.

#18. Golden State Warriors- Another .500 team. They’ve done decently when you consider that two of their best players- Brandon Rush and Andrew Bogut are out indefinitely. They have room to improve. Their two best shooters- Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, are shooting poorly (41% and 35% respectively)

#19. Denver Nuggets- Ha! I love that the Nuggets are struggling, not because I hate the city of Denver but because they were stupid enough to take on Andre Iguodala. Iguodala has really stunted Ty Lawson’s growth and has made the team worse.

#20. Charlotte Bobcats- The Bobcats top 20? Whatt?? They are 4-4, but I don’t think they’ll keep it up. Probably finish with around 20 wins.

#21. Houston Rockets- After winning their first two, they have lost 6 of their last 8, and their only wins in that stretch are over Detroit and New Orleans.

#22. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis is a beast, but they are just 3-5.

#23. Phoenix Suns- The last 4 win team on this list, but also the first 7 loss one.

#24. Indiana Pacers- The Pacers have been a big disappointment. They’ve been great on defense, but horrible on offense.

#25. Detroit Pistons- After starting 0-8, they’ve won two of the last 3.

#26. Orlando Magic- At 3-6, the Magic haven’t been horrible.

#27. Toronto Raptors- Hey! The Raptors have a one game winning streak!

#28. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs stink. After starting 2-2, they’ve lost six straight, and they’re just horrible. They aren’t talented enough to do anything, unlike this next team…

#29. Sacramento Kings- The infuriating thing about the Kings is that they have the talent to succeed. They just aren’t doing it.

#30. Washington Wizards- The Wizards are your. last. win-less. team!!!! They were supposed to be a playoff contender. Not at 0-8 they won’t be.

GAMES OF THE NIGHT:
NBA: Clippers at Spurs
NCAA: New Mexico vs Connecticut