To all those of you who have read my blog here at the fantasy sports bureau. I’ve been asked to become the editor of fantasyCPR on the Fansided network. You can check us out at fantasyCPR.com and find all the same info you’ve been accustomed to getting here and a whole lot more. Thanks for the great 4 months at FSB and I look forward to interacting with you over at the new site. Come on over, join in the discussion, play the games with us, check out some of the new features, and as always Keep Pickin’!
Head on over to fantasyCPR.com for today’s NFL Pigskin Pick’em and Streak for the Cash picks
Happy Thanksgiving Eve to those of you across the US gearing up for the annual day of family, friends, feasting, and (of course) football. It’ll be all the more enjoyable to watch your streak grow through sleepy eyes after over-eating if you start a good roll today. Yesterday was an up-and-down day for me as I got off to a good start with soccer before Tyler Tettleton took the first half easy (before owning the 2nd) and lost my streak. Thanks to the hot-shooting Missouri Tigers I do start the day on the plus side though as they dismantled the Cal Golden Bears in the CBE Classic final. Plenty of “appetizers” to get us ready for the main NFL courses coming up tomorrow and here’s my picks of the day here at the Bureau:
12:00-Apoel Nicosia lose by 1, draw, or win: Apoel Nicosia are the reigning champions of Cyprus and not a huge name on the international circuit, but they’ve been tearing up Group G so far in the Champions League. They are undefeated so far after beating Zenit St. Petersburg (their opponent in this prop) and Porto at home and going on the road and drawing against Shakhtar and Porto. In their last 9 road games Nicosia hasn’t lost by 2 and they beat Zenit already at home. The Russian squad won’t soon forget that and they’ll be fired up to win this one, but I think a draw is a good possibility and even if St. Petersburg does pull it out I don’t see them winning it by 2 (it would only be their 2nd time in their last 9 tries). If this was win/draw I’d still take the Cypriots but with the extra goal, I feel like I can give this game a confidence level (CL) of 3 out of 5.
7:00-Pittsburgh Penguins: The only reason not to jump on the Pens is if you’re into the 99% curse. (On streak, whenever it’s 99% or greater the team usually loses). The Penguins welcomed Sydney Crosby back by dominating the Islanders on Monday night and now get the St. Louis Blues up next on their home schedule. The Blues have been scuffling of late on the road losing their last 4, and they’re coming off a home loss last night to the Kings. On the back half of a back-to-back it’s hard to see them pulling this tough road win out so I’ll take Pittsburgh with a CL: 4 1/2.
9:35-Syracuse win by double digits: It’ll be close to get to this one after the hockey, but it’s also part of the preseason NIT which means it may get delayed if the game before it (Stanford-OK St) goes long. Syracuse has not been challenged and playing at the Garden will be like a home game for the Orange. The distractions of ongoing investigations don’t seem to bother them and they should be able to handle a young Va Tech team that does have some talent but not to score with ‘Cuse. CL: 4
Some pretty good warmups today in soccer, hoop, and hockey as we get ready for the football feat tomorrow. I’ll try to have the picks up early tomorrow so after you get your turkey in the oven swing on by for the picks-of-Turkey-Day. Have a great Wednesday and Keep Pickin’!
current Streak: W1
record for the month: 40-28-3
The Streak board is now fortified with some solid matchups for tonight. I’m on W2 right now and have Tettleton going over 150 in the first half as he leads the Bobcats of Ohio against the Redhawks of Miami (of Ohio). Here’s the plan for the late games:
10:05-Missouri-This should be an awesome game to watch as the 20th and 21st ranked teams square off in the final game of the CBE classic. Don’t get caught up in the fact that Cal is the home team, since the game takes place on a “neutral court” which happens to be in Kansas City, which still happens to be in Missouri. Both teams shot the lights out in routs of quality opponents (Notre Dame and Georgia) in the semi-finals and both teams have opened 4-0. I love the pressure defense and small lineup the Tigers can run out there, so I’ll take the Tigers in the nightcap with a confidence level of 3 out of 5 and enjoy some great college hoops this evening.
After an up-and-down day in which following my own picks proved impossible for me do to internet unavailability where I was, I did get to Kansas and finish the day on the winning side of streaksville with a W1. That leaves me lots of work left to do today, so this is my plan for building up some green.
12:00-Lille win/draw: The odds actually favor Lille if they get the draw even on the road in Moscow. It’s a tough call because CSKA has been good at home lately and sits higher in the Champions League group. However, since they’ll be missing their top striker (Seydou Doumbia) who scored both their goals in a 2-2 draw against Lille in their previous meeting I’m leaning toward taking the French side to secure the draw here. The Russians are solid though so I can’t give this a confidence level (CL)of more than 2 out of 5.
2:45-Trabzonspor win/draw: Don’t just jump at the Inter name without checking out the facts. Trab has played well so far in the Champions League losing just 1 of their last 5 games which was on the road in Moscow. The Turkish club also beat Inter at San Siro 1-0 in the group opener. I’m not sure that they’ll get 2 wins over a solid Inter Milan squad, but I think they’ll salvage at least a draw at home and I’ll take this pick with a CL: 2 1/2
7:05-Over 150 total yards for Tyler Tettleton in the first half: The dual threat Tettleton should be able to get his Bobcats offense in gear at home against the RedHawks from Miami of Ohio. I think he’ll account for most of his team’s yards like he has all year and get not way over 150, but over 150 as he tries to get his team ready for their MAC championship appearance at Ford Field 12/2. Plus, anything called “The Battle of the Bricks” (more info here on MU’s site) is cool and I want to have a pick as a part of. Give me Tettleton with a CL: 3
I’m thinking ESPN will add us some more board bets with the later college basketball games. I’m hopin’ they’ll put something up from at least the Maui semis. I’ll update mid-afternoon with my fantasy football helplines and make any comments or additions to my picks at that point. Later this week, I’ll have my college picks up (only 2 weeks left of pick’em before it’s time for Bowlin!) and the final week of college challenge. Have a good Tuesday everybody and get ready for the short work week and plenty of turkey-time coming soon. Keep Pickin’!
current streak: W1
overall this month: 38-27-3
If you’re still not stuffed full of football after this last weekend of upsets, surprises, and special plays head on over to FantasyCPR and check out our weekly Fantasy Football star watch. It’s a quick, solid recap of the important goings on from yesterday’s Week 11 action. I thoroughly enjoyed all the games both Saturday and Sunday and ended up (thanks to the Galaxy, Chargers TD, and Raiders) on a 3 game winning streak. Plenty on the board today from Maui to Monday Night Football we’ve got all your picks right here:
3:00-Memphis Tigers: The Maui Invitational has a great opener as the 10th ranked Tigers take on the 17th ranked Michigan Wolverines. Michigan has won their first 4 games, but hasn’t found much rhythm offensively. The Tigers meanwhile looked good in their opener against Belmont (who played right with Duke) and are a more cohesive team since they almost all returned from last year. This should be an awesome game to watch, but in the end I think Michigan will lose it’s 4th game for the 4th year in a row as Memphis’ offense will be too much for them to contain. My confidence level (cl) on this one is 2 1/2 out of 5
7:30-Boston Bruins: The Bruins have been on a tear lately and although that doesn’t guarantee anything on the road in a rivalry game against Montreal, I see them extending their winning streak to 9 and continuing their red-hot roll on offense. CL: 3
11:50-Kansas Jayhawks: Kansas will look to bounce back from a loss to the #2 Kentucky Wildcats as they battle Georgetown in the nightcap from Maui. It will be Georgetown’s first real test of the young season and they’ll also be making their first appearance in this stacked tournament. KU should be able to handle the Georgetown guards and I’m not sure the Hoyas have figured out who’s going to be their offensive playmaker after losing their top 2 scorers from last year’s team. Look for Tyshawn Taylor to shoot much better from the field and lead the Jayhawks into the 2nd round of the invitational. CL: 4
Have a great start to the week, enjoy the hoops and the Pats on the Monday and make sure you keep pickin’!
current streak: W3
so far this month: 37-24-3
Last week I pulled out 9 of the 16 games despite dropping the Thursday night game. I’m off to the same start again this week thanks to the Sanchize coming crashing down. As a Pats fan, I couldn’t be happier that the Jets are struggling and the Ryan Express is coming to a screeching halt. I’m still not sure I’m buying that they’re that bad since they were on a crazy short week or that the Broncos are that good, but no more about them since they’re done for the week. As for the teams that still have games this weekend, here’s my picks against the spread (taken from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em) for the rest of this week’s slate:
Buffalo at Miami (-2.5): Buffalo has been stumbling since a scintillating start to the year. Ryan Fitzpatrick tore up the league the first 3 games with 9 TDs and just 3 INT’s. In hist last 4 though, he’s thrown only 7 TDs and a whopping 9 INTs. Last week the Bills were demolished by the Cowboys, while the Dolphins won their 2nd in a row over the hapless Redskins (more on them later). I by no means think this will be a blow out or a pretty game, in fact, it’s probably going to be a sloppy, turnover-filled affair. Last week in Miami it was much the same and the ‘phins came out on top. I think they’ll do it again and Sparano will have won 3 in a row with Matt Moore as his starting QB.
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-7.5): Both teams took tough losses last week. Cincy played close but lost to Pitt and Baltimore laid an egg in Seattle. I see this one much like the Bengals matchup last week as I think it’ll be close, defensive, and it’s very possible that the Ravens edge them out in the end like the Steelers did. Here’s why I’m taking the Benglas though, 7.5 points is way too much to give when the Ravens D will also be without Ray Lewis and Andy Dalton’s development as a passer continues to progress along with his young Bengals team. I’m not sure they win, but I do think they’ll at least cover.
Jacksonville at Cleveland (+0.5): The Jags have ridden MJD and a solid D to their 3 wins (2 in their last 3 games). Cleveland also has 3 wins but 2 of them were in their frist 3 games. Recent form would definitely then favor the Jags, but the game is in Cleveland. It’s a true pick-em game so the points are no help either. It’s a tough call, but I see more room for improvement with Gabbert and a solid running game than with McCoy and the injury riddled Browns offense. The Jags D is a touch better than Clevalnd’s too, so it’s not an easy pick, but I’ll take Jacksonville.
Dallas at Washington (+7.5): Speaking of easy picks… Picking against the Redskins seems almost too easy. They’re at home hosting their hated division rivals, but I still feel fine giving the 7.5 since Dallas has been playing well and yes, the Redskins really are that bad. If Rexy starts again, this may be the “bad Rex” game since Rob Ryan’s D will be coming at him from all over the place and looking to create TOs. I see a huge game for Demarco Murray and the Cowboys D as they roll over the hapless, hopeless ‘skins.
Carolina at Detroit (-6.5): Both teams were phenomenally disappointing last week coming off their bye. The Lions got crushed by the Bears, who’ve looked really good lately, and the Panthers got dismantled at home by the Titans. The parallels between the teams (QBs breaking out but taking a step back, large powerful cat mascots, etc) are numerous, but it doesn’t help us to get a pick. The Lions are at home and have had the more consistent season until last week. My only question is if they win by the 7 or not. Cam’s been master of the late cover, but I think Megatron and Stafford are enough to put this one far enough away that the Lions will head into their Thanksgiving game with some momentum after a 2 or 3 TD trouncing of the Panthers.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay (-14.5): Tampa Bay was a playoff team last year, but going into Lambeau I think they’d have to be getting 25 for me to even think about taking them. That’s how good Mr Rodgers and his neighbors have things rolling up in Green Bay. I think they’ll lose a game before the playoffs, but I’m pretty sure this ain’t it.
Oakland at Minnesota (-1.5): Am I missing something here? The Raiders looked good with Palmer under center last week and beat the Chargers. The Vikings are on a short week after getting beat down by the Packers. Even if your a Ponder believer, do you think he and AD are better than the Chargers? Maybe it’s that the Raiders lost Jacoby Ford and will still be without runDMc, but I’ll still gladly take them to beat the Vikings. Palmer’s had another week and a half of practice, Denarius Moore has emerged as their go-to wideout, Michael Bush controls the running game just fine, and their D gets pressure on the QB. Look for the Raiders to win this one handily.
Seattle at St. Louis (-2.5): Games like this one make me thankful for San Francisco. Remember it was just last year we had to talk about which one of these teams was going to sneak into the playoffs from the AFC West. Thanks, Jim Harbaugh, for making this game between 2 bad teams as meaningless as it should be. That being said, the Seahawks are bad away from home and the Rams are decent at home (including the big Saints win). Bradford needs to step it up if he wants to continue to be seen as the answer for the Rams franchise and I for one think he will this weekend.
Arizona at San Francisco (-9.5): Jim Harbaugh’s work in San Francisco is not going unnoticed any more. The big win over the Giants last week again highlighted how he’s gotten these same players that Singletary couldn’t get to the playoffs to 8-1. The Cardinals meanwhile embarrassed the Eagles last week on the road and now try to do the same for ‘Frisco. The 9ers though, are not the Eagles and I don’t see Skelton game like that in the cards for this weekend. The 9 points is a lot, but I’ll give them because Hunter and Gore will win this one for Harbaugh on the ground.
Tennessee at Atlanta (-6.5): Atlanta hung right with the Saints last week and except for a bizarre call in OT could be on top of the decision. The ground-first attack has served them well (except on 4th and 1 in OT) and their D plays well at home. The Titans looked better last week against the Panthers but still play too inconsistently to take them on the road. I’ll go with Matty Ice and the Falcons offense to bounce back this week and get the win for Mike Smith.
San Diego at Chicago (-3.5): If the Bears defense is as good as it’s looked the last 2 weeks they may be a team to contend with in the playoffs. The offense still begins and end with Matt Forte, but Cutler’s been doing enough to get his team into the win column which is all you can ask for. It’s also more than can be said of Philip Rivers and the Chargers lately as they’ve been struggling to get their offense going. Key turnovers have killed the Bolts and that’s what the Bears D has been so excellent at creating. Look for more of the same Sunday as the Bears continue their strong play at home, while the Chargers keep right on fading away into the west.
Philadelphia at New York Giants (-3.5): No Vick and no Maclin is bad news for an Eagles team that has struggled in recent weeks to establish any kind of offensive rhythm. It’s a good thing Desean Jackson took the week off last week to rest up and prepare for his big night with Vince Young at QB. With Eli and the Giants losing last week they’ll be more than ready to come home and get a big divisional win at home. I still don’t buy Eli as an elite QB, but as John Skelton showed us last week you don’t have to be to beat up this defense. The Giants and Eagles don’t like each other at all, and the G-men will take out their frustration on VY as they roll over Phily on Sunday Night.
KC at New England (-14.5): Tom Brady at home against Tyler Palko. Thanks, I’ll give the 14.5 points and take the Pats to blow out the Chiefs much like they did Miami to start the year on Monday Night Football.
last week: 9-7
Overall this year: 81-62
What a wild, wild Saturday with all the upsets in college football I’m sure mine’s not the only streak that got trashed and headed the wrong direction. I start today on an L2 thanks to 4 yards from Barkley/McNeal and a late TD from Cal. My NFL picks will be up momentarily, but these are the picks I’m watching for streak pickin’ on this week 11 Sunday.
9:00-Palermo lose by one, draw, or win:I’ll start my Sunday across the pond in Italy since I’m on a losing streak. In their last 4 Serie A games Juventus hasn’t won by 2 goals and in 9 games they’ve only done it twice. Palermo has been playing well recently and is just one slot behind Juventus in the table and has only lost 1 of their fist 10 games by 2 or more. Last year Palermo won both of the head-to-head meetings between the 2 clubs. I guess the extra goal gets thrown in because of Juventus’ name recognition, but I don’t see much of a reason to take Juventus so I’ll go with Palermo with a confidence level (CL) of 3 out of 5.
1:00-Oakland Raiders: See my NFL Picks column for the details, but I’ll take Palmer in the dome with a CL: 3 1/2
4:15-Chicago Bears: Da Bears at home are always a good pick (as I explained in my NFL Picks column), and I’ll take them over the struggling Chargers with a CL: 3
8:30-149 yards or fewer: The Eagles D usually doesn’t hemorrhage yards until the 4th quarter and Eli has a tendency to start slow as the G-men try to establish the ground game. CL: 2 1/2 and depending where I am and what the score of the game is, I’ll let you know in the comments if I’m taking the 2nd half prop.
Current Streak: L2
record for November: 34-23-3
Yesterday I went 2 for 2 on props from college basketball and football, and then missed the start of my Stars pick. Missing the deadline actually turned out to be a good thing since the Stars got beat by the Avs and instead of it ending my streak I get to start today on a W3.
10:00-Everton win: If you need an early pick, it’s going to be tough sledding. The Big 10 matchups are both toss/ups as they appear on the board, so I’d hop across the pond if I were you and take Everton to beat Wolverhampton at home in the Premier League. The Wolves have lost 3 straight road games, while getting outscored 7-2. Everton has also had a rough go of it at home so far in the young season, but has played ManU and Liverpool in 2 of their home defeats. It’s no sure thing because of the possibility of a draw, but I’d take Everton to win as a slight favorite with a confidence level (CL) of 2 out of 5. I’ll be sitting this one out with my W3 and waiting for…
3:35-Clemson to win by double digits: As I laid out in my pick’em column, Clemson should roll in this one. The only hesitation is that it’s a conference game on the road, but I’ll still take it with a CL: 3
8:05-Thomas and James more yards in the first half: This’ll be a fun prop to play in the first half and since I think Oregon’ll be pouring on the points give me the 2 Ducks over the 2 Trojans with a CL: 3 1/2
10:00-Chicago Blackhawks: The Oilers are a surprising feel good story of the young NHL season, but I think the Blackhawks will bounce back from having their 4 game winning streak snapped in their last game and continue their domination in Edmonton ( 6-0 in their last 6 visits with a 30-8 goal advantage). The ‘Hawks have the look of a team that will be there in the chase for Lord Stanley’s cup at the end of the year. CL: 2 1/2
Should be a great sports-filled Saturday all across the country and if Friday’s thriller is an indication of the college football, we’re in for a wild ride. Enjoy all the ups and down of your streak day and I’ll have tomorrow’s picks and my NFL picks for week 11 up tomorrow morning. Have a great day and keep pickin’!
current streak: W3
record for the month: 34-22-3