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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:55 am 
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Here are mine in full view;

Thursday thoughts;

UCONN/Purdue - -6.5/134 - 7:05 - wagering = under 134 - both teams are very strong defensively but Purdue, like many other teams, will have a lot of trouble with UCONN's big men. They are going to try to pull Thabeet away from the basket but the problem is UCONN has 2 other shot blockers to account for. This, as it does many teams, will cause major disruption to any inside game that Purdue would attempt. Against Texas A&M, the big 3 for Uconn negated any inside game and the guards smothered the perimeter shooters. I think Purdue will do a better job attacking that defense but still will have trouble. Purdue is also pretty good defensively. The only major outside threat for UCONN, AJ Price has been shooting lights out lately and it is hard to believe that will continue. Straight up - Purdue is playing their best basketball of the season. Robbie Hummel is finally healthy but I just don't think they have enough to get past UCONN. If my gonads depended on a pick on this game - UCONN -6.5 would be it but I would not be surprised one bit if this is a close game.

Pittsburgh/Xavier -7/138.5 - wagering - possible under 138.5 - these teams play about the exact same style of overall game. They play good half court basketball on both sides of the ball. Xavier is ranked 11th in the country in effective defensive field goal %. Defense has been the trademark of Pitt and this year is no different. I expect this to be a very physical game. The outcome of this game could be determined on how the Ref’s decide to call the game. I expect they will let them play, thus the play on the under. Pitt wins this game but it is very close.

Memphis/Missouri - -4.5/141.5 – wagering – Memphis +4.5 – over 141.5– If you look at FG%, Turnover rank and Rebounding rank on both side of the ball, Missouri is ranked in the top 100 in every category except defensive rebounding and that is mostly due to the up-tempo style they play. Their coach, Mike Anderson, is no stranger to the Memphis program as he coached UAB for a couple years and had success in the tournament with them. Memphis is very young this year and has played a very soft schedule. Even against a weak schedule they are only ranked 157 in offensive FG%. This is going to be a pressure on both sides of the ball, in your face type of game. I think Missouri will force Memphis into some bad shots and turnovers. I am picking Missouri to win the game and think Memphis’s inexperience will be evident.

Duke/Villanova - -2.5/148.5 – wagering – Villanova +2.5 and possibly under 148.5 – in a nutshell, I think Nova’s speed at the all positions, experience and underrated interior players are better than Duke’s. Duke barely got by a very average Texas team. They built up a decent record against in a conference that has not performed well under the lights of the NCAA tournament this year. Villanova has had trouble against teams with multiple big men underneath (UCONN, Syracuse, Pitt). Unfortunately for them, the upper tier of the big east is big men dominated. Fortunately for them tonight, they play a Duke team that has been succeptable to the same type of big men dominated teams. Duke’s interior has length but is not overwhelming with size and presence. They are average rebounding and below average in shot blocking. They have mostly relied on Gerald Henderson driving the lane and the others outside shooting. Watch for a very big game out of Scotty Reynolds. One factor that always must be considered when playing Duke is the referees. In this instance, Villanova has the depth to overcome the normal “Dukee bias” that usually occurs. I definitely don't like Duke being a UNC fan (and homer Pitt fan) but my analysis is based on what is witnessed on the court.


Good luck to all! If you bet with my local and tell him what I am playing, i cracka your head.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:15 am 
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Looking pretty good on your picks. :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:51 pm 
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THANKS! It was a profitable night.

Fridays to come here shortly.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:37 pm 
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The results last night were very nice. Villanova was my top play and they showed they are a team that can win it all. The matchup with Pitt will be intriguing. (see below)

Lousiville/Arizona -9/139 – wagering – Louisville -9 and over 139. Arizona is ranked 248 in defensive field goal % out of say 315 ncaa div I teams. They are talented but lack defensive discipline. They lost 13 games this year in an average Pac 10 and barely made the tournament. They got a lucky draw in that they played a Utah team that clearly was outclassed in terms of athletes. Then, they got a Cleveland State team that I thought would beat AZ but looked like they were happy to win one game in the tournament and go home. Louisville defensive fg% is ranked 10th in the country. This team can match Arizona athleticism, has a deeper bench and definitely the coaching advantage. If you give Rick Pitino a week to prepare, he will make you pay. I think Louisville wins this one handily.

Syracuse/Oklahoma – wagering – small lean Syracuse +1…These teams are evenly matched and in those instances I always look at guard play. Syracuse has superior guard play in Johnny Flynn and Devendorf. This would normally be a play but Syracuse does not defensive rebound very well as they are ranked 289th in the country. This could be a major problem with Blake Griffin as he is a monster on the boards. Syracuse has the bodies to match up with Oklahoma’s inside guys on defense and they have better guard play.

Kansas/Michigan St - -1/138.5 – wagering – small lean Michigan State – I have many wagering brethren who are all over Michigan State but I don’t follow completely. The statistics say Kansas but my gut says Michigan State and Izzo. Kansas lost all but 1 one player from last year’s national championship team. Michigan State is very talented but has laid some bad eggs in certain spots this year. Talent for talent, I think MSU has a slight edge. Coaching – even. Experience is an edge to Michigan State. I think this game could be under the point’s total.

UNC/Gonzaga - -8.5/162.5 – wagering – small lean under 162.5 – I am a diehard UNC fan and this game scares the **** out of me. This is one of Gonzaga’s best teams of all time and a team that nobody is talking about. Gonzaga plays very good team defense and is ranked in the top 10 in effective offensive field goal %. While they don’t have the athletes to match UNC (not many teams do), they are well-coached and are a very good team. This is also a team that won’t be scared by the big lights of the tournament as they play a very tough out of conference schedule. There are two major keys to this game; offensive rebounding – UNC will get there chances but I think Gonzaga may be limited to one shot trips down the floor as they are only ranked 197th in offensive rebounding and they play in a conference that is not known for strong rebounding teams. The second factor is Ty Lawson – when healthy he can not be covered. His ball handling and drives in the lane open up many shot opportunities for teammates. He has a bad toe and if you follow these toe injuries in football (ex. LaDanian Tomlinson) they can greatly affect the ability to maneuver. He seemed to get around ok on Sunday but he clearly is not 100%. One point that keeps coming back to me is that although UNC is not ranked very high in defensive fg%, as a typical Roy Williams team, they have vastly improved from the beginning of the year to now. Although these 2 teams can put points on the board they are also strong defensively and 162.5 is a lot of points. Once again, if somebody put a nutcracker to my nads and said “pick the game” I would take Gonzaga +8.5 but I definitely rooting for the heels.


Good luck to all.

Of note, Pitt opened as a 2 point favorite over Villanova. If Pitt playsy anywhere close to how they played the first 3 games of the tournament, they are gonna get blown out. Pitt seems to be playing very tight. Good teams this year are playing very loose and open basketball. That is not the case with this Pitt team. Villanova on the other hand is playing as well as any team in the tournament other than maybe Uconn. They have the talent to match Pitt and already beat them once this year. There is very good value in taking Villanova +2 points.

Uconn is favored by 5.5 over Missouri….I think we will see a very worn out Missouri team. At the end of the game last night, they had trouble getting up and down the floor as Memphis came back from 20 points down. Uconn on the other hand, keeps rolling along….

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:22 am 
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Thank you Mark Few for trying to run with the Tarheels. There is not a team in the country that can do that. I am sure we will see a halfcourt game against Oklahoma.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:26 pm 
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Louisville/Michigan State - -7/138 -wagering - Louisville -7 and small lean on Over 138. Louisville forces a lot of turnover, Michigan State turns it over more than average. Michigan State's rebounding will give the Ville some trouble. But, Louisville is a much better team.

UNC/Oklahoma -7/164 - wagering - Under 164 - Both teams are good defensively and rebounding. I fully expect that Jeff Capel will have Oklahoma walk the ball up the court. He watched Gonzaga try to run with UNC and realizes he does not have the horses for that race. Hanborough & Griffin battle should be a classic. Oklahoma may actually have UNC outmuscled under the boards. Oklahoma guards shot very well versus Syracuse, above normal. When I factor in the tempo that is expected with the highly likely possibility that the Oklahoma guards will not shoot as well, the under is the play for me. As far as the game, you will go broke playing against UNC so my theory is either I am playing on them or not playing the game at all. In this instance, I am not playing the side. I think UNC will win but this could be close if it is a lower scoring game, which is what I expect.

Good luck to all!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Tweedlee wrote:
Louisville/Michigan State - -7/138 -wagering - Louisville -7 and small lean on Over 138. Louisville forces a lot of turnover, Michigan State turns it over more than average. Michigan State's rebounding will give the Ville some trouble. But, Louisville is a much better team.


I knew MSU had it in them. ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:21 pm 
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It is easy to 2nd guess after the game is over.....in any event, the pick was horrible...as was the total....congrats to MSU....their interior defense was incredible. They are going to need another performance like that as up next is Thabeet & Company.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Tweedlee wrote:
It is easy to 2nd guess after the game is over.....in any event, the pick was horrible...as was the total....congrats to MSU....their interior defense was incredible. They are going to need another performance like that as up next is Thabeet & Company.


Well honestly, I never would have bet on MSU winning. I just thought they had a chance. ;)

Tom Izzo vs. Jim Calhoun should be fun to watch. :thumbleft:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Yeah, that should be a fun game. MSU big guys did a great job on both ends of the floor today. They will need to do the same versus Thabeet & company from UCONN.

This may be Izzo's best tournament coaching job. This team was very talented but didn't play like it until tourney time.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:35 pm 
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I am struggling with these two matchups. Anybody have thoughts on these games? All opinions are welcomed!

Questions:

Any advantage to Michigan State and UNC with having already played at ford field? This is not a normal basketball arena from a shooting standpoint.

Can MSU defense turn in another stellar defensive performance against a big UCONN team? Uconn present a different challenge for MSU than Louisville.

Will Villanova try to run with UNC or will they slow the game down? If they run, who has the advantage?

Who is the better defensive team Villanova or UNC? Who is better offensively?


By asking these questions has helped me come up with some theories. Will share later but would love to hear others opinions.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:52 pm 
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Tweedlee wrote:
Can MSU defense turn in another stellar defensive performance against a big UCONN team? Uconn present a different challenge for MSU than Louisville.


I really don't have an answer to any of the other questions, since I haven't followed Nova or UNC at all this year.

Disclaimer: what I am about to say is probably 90% incorrect. But an opinion's an opinion, right?

MSU will not hold down UConn as well as they did Louisville, but I'll be surprised if they can't keep it close. Two key players for the Spartans will likely be Goran Suton (again) and Travis Walton. Walton is the best defender in the Big Ten, and from what I've read, the only player to really burn him was Ty Lawson. He'll have to keep UConn's Price in check. Guarding Hasheem Thabeet will be no easy task for Suton since Thabeet is, well, Hasheem Thabeet. However, it seems to me that Thabeet hasn't really developed a great post game yet, other than just being 7'3. He doesn't appear to have much of a mid-range game, either. His main role seems to be to just grab the rebounds and block anyone foolish enough to come into his area.

But then after Thabeet, there's Stanley Robinson, Jeff Adrien, etc...

Also, will Izzo decide to have his players run? UConn is very, very talented, but they're not all that deep in the front court and MSU could certainly take advantage. Who knows, MSU might be better off running instead of letting UConn's front bash them in a half-court game.

If only these games were scheduled for Sunday instead of when Lincoln/Port are running.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Under 134 UCONN/MSU
Nova +7 in a classic game....

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