Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NBA Over/Under 2016-2017

So before the season started, I wrote down, in my daily planner, the Over/Under lines for the total number of wins for every NBA team and made some predictions. I've done this a few times now during the past few seasons, usually while listening to Bill Simmons' podcast on that very subject. I haven't looked at them since, but I will while copying them on this blog. I know I'll feel smart about some, and quite dumb about others. That's quite normal. Here goes:

Eastern Conference:

  • Atlanta Hawks - 43.5 - OVER
  • Boston Celtics - 52.5 - OVER
  • Brooklyn Nets - 21.5 - UNDER
  • Charlotte Hornets - 40.5 - UNDER
  • Chicago Bulls - 40.5 - UNDER
  • Cleveland Cavaliers - 57 - EVEN
  • Detroit Pistons - 44.5 - UNDER
  • Indiana Pacers - 44.5 - OVER
  • Miami Heat - 35 - UNDER
  • Milwaukee Bucks - 36 - OVER
  • New York Knicks - 40.5 - OVER
  • Orlando Magic - 37 - UNDER
  • Philadelphia 76ers - 25 - OVER
  • Toronto Raptors - 50 - OVER
  • Washington Wizards - 42.5 - OVER

Western Conference:
  • Dallas Mavericks - 40 - UNDER
  • Denver Nuggets - 37 - UNDER
  • Golden State Warriors - 66.5 - OVER
  • Houston Rockets - 44.5 - OVER
  • Los Angeles Clippers - 54 - EVEN
  • Los Angeles Lakers - 25.5 - OVER
  • Memphis Grizzlies - 44 - OVER
  • Minnesota Timberwolves - 42.5 - OVER 
  • New Orleans Pelicans - 36.5 - UNDEr
  • Oklahoma City Thunder - 45 - EVEN
  • Phoenix Suns - 29 - UNDER
  • Portland Trail Blazers - 45.5 - OVER
  • Sacramento Kings - 32.5 - UNDER
  • San Antonio Spurs - 57 - OVER
  • Utah Jazz - 47 - OVER
That's about it, I'll write back when the season ends to see how I did. So far I think I'm over 50% right, if not 60%. But some predictions do look quite terrible (like the Wolves and the Cavaliers).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 NFL Playoffs predictions - Wild Card Round

Here's the first of, hopefully, many predictions I'll post here. I'm not pretending to have a expert's grasp on the NFL (far from it, actually). I'm just a fan who reads about the NFL, watches it, listens to podcasts and would like to test his fan's knowledge and "gut-feelings" by predicting.

Lines were taken on the Sports Interaction website. Why this one exactly? Because I know basically nothing about gambling. And that website is the one my sports-loving gambling friends use. I don't, but I heard the name often enough that it stuck with me.

Oakland @ Houston
PICK : Oakland (+3.5)

The reason for this "upset" is quite simple. Oakland has the better team, even with Carr out with injury. The sad thing is that it significantly lowers the Raiders' ceiling (understatement of the year) during these playoffs. Still, I don't trust Houston whatsoever and they usually flame out quite spectacularly in the playoffs. Not only do I think the Raiders will cover the 3.5 points spread, I think they'll win outright.

Lions @ Seahawks
PICK : Seahawks (-8)

We heard from everyone and their mother how the Lions "lucked" into a 9-7 record. I don't really believe in luck, especially not in sports, but there's no question they outperformed their own numbers (They are 29th in weighted DVOA, ahead of only the Jets, the Rams and the Browns. Their expected win total was a tad under 5). The Seahawks should have been in the conversation with the Pats and Cowboys as the front-runners to win Super Bowl LI, but their most important player in their defense is out with that very depressing injury. I love Earl Thomas and wish he were here during those playoffs, the Seahawks are so much more fun when he's there. Still, the Seahawks have playoffs experience behind them and that crazy home field advantage. They will win handily.

Dolphins @ Steelers
PICK : Dolphins (+10.5)

This is simply a matter of me thinking the line is a bit too high. I do believe the Steelers will win this game, but they have been prone to weirdly close games lately, even against inferior competition (won the last 4 games by a total of 18 points). Also, the Dolphins did beat Pittsburgh earlier this season by 15 points. I'm expecting a close game.

Giants @ Packers
PICK : Giants (+5)

Spending a few minutes in sports forums will have you see 3LI all over the place. It does seem pre-destined that the Giants will encounter the Pats for the third time with, again, a lesser (but not bad) team and upset the NFL world. Part of me want to see that narrative play out, if only for the hilarity (Most NFL fans here are Pats fans) and the internet-breaking potential. Also, I don't trust the Packers to come up big when it matters against a world-class defense, as well as they have played the past 6 games.

Going 4-0 wouldn't surprise me, but neither would going 0-4. It's gonna be fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A fresh start

I thought for a while about how I should phrase this article. Why, exactly, have I decided to stop writing exclusively about basketball? The complete answer would be long, tedious and frankly uninteresting for basically anyone except myself. And that's a stretch, because even me thinking about it has me bored. Let's just say, for the sake of brevity that life happens and people change.

For those extremely precise and detailed reasons, I have decided to change the focus of this blog to every sport I'm watching and following. Sure, it won't be as specialized, but it will certainly be way more active. I'm going to try a few things. I don't know what will work and what won't. Knowing myself, there will be a lot of predictions for the NFL and the NBA. I like predicting stuff (I did about half the NBA season's worth of predictions 2 seasons ago and I wasn't bad at all! I was somewhere are 53-54% against the spread for every single NBA game. Not terrible!). Heck, I'd actually gamble if I had money to spare. I find the temptation quite intense, since it's fun to see if your impressions are accurate or not, but I've never done it and don't plan on doing it.

Predicting every NBA games would be too time-consuming, but doing so for the NFL seems reasonable. I'm going to try to start this weekend. However, I did write down my predictions for the Over/Under of wins for every NBA team at the start of the season, I'll copy it here and see how I stack up come April.

I'll also touch on, if possible and pertinent, the EPL, the Champions League, tennis, Formula One and other sports I like.

I might seem all over the place, but it's actually quite liberating for me. Being NBA-only was a bit like chaining myself to a league I don't watch as much as I used to. This is a blog I do for fun, I'm not pretending to be some sort of sports savant. But I like to have proofs lying around so I can evaluate my "skills".

Next up, I'm going to copy my NBA O/U wins predictions over here. And then I'm going to predict all 4 wild card games this coming weekend.

Here's hoping to a successful fresh start!