Featured post

Boxing Picks 2021- Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders (May 8th)

There have been some solid cards over the last several months, but the largely absent fans has been a big miss for Boxing as much as other s...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

NFL Week 8 Picks and Previews

Another tough week for the picks, but not because of the quantity, but more to do with poor money management as both the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens failed to cover the spread in contrasting manners as my two biggest plays of the week.

The Packers failure was a little unlucky as a couple of lucky throws from Christian Ponder were completed on the Minnesota late drive that resulted in a TD, although they were also aided by a very strange official call.

Baltimore just laid an egg in losing outright to the Jaguars on Monday Night Football in a terrible Offensive performance as they could not get anything going until it was far too late.

The poor officiating is beginning to annoy not just us betters, but also teams across the NFL with many of them now agreeing this is as bad as it has been for years with so many strange calls.

I won't moan too much about them considering I had a big winner in the Green Bay-Chicago game earlier this season when a phantom call prevented the Bears covering, but I have been hit on at least 3 occasions off the top of my head so am hoping that 'evens up' for my wagers.

Week 7 Thoughts
1) We stink... No, you stink... Yes, we all stink: I don't know how many of you managed to watch the Miami-Denver game last week, but it was brutal. Miami finally looked like they were going to win a game, but the Miracle of Tim Tebow occurred to allow Denver to come back from 15-0 down with 3 minutes left to tie, and then win the game in OT.

There have been a lot of talk over what went wrong which all began when a few Miami players indicated that the Defense was in the wrong formation to stop the Tebow run that tied the game.

We then heard Reggie Bush say the team 'stinks', only for Yeremiah Bell to respond that 'he (Bush) stinks'... Bush has since said Bell is correct and that the whole team stinks as well as anyone who is connected with the Miami Dolphins.

It just looks like this team is pretty much falling apart at the moment, while the news that all Dolphins fans were really hoping for came through this week- they have signed JP Losman and he could very much be involved this weekend as Matt Moore is suffering from sore ribs and now faces the sack happy Giants.

I feel so blessed to be paying to see this team(!) Urghhh...

2) Was that the worst Week we will see in the NFL this season?: I said before the week started that there were some awful games on the schedule last week and was not disappointed as the game mentioned in point 1, the Seattle-Cleveland game and the Baltimore-Jacksonville game all stunk out the day.

We also saw Tennessee and Indianapolis get ripped for huge numbers, while Oakland threw SIX Interceptions in their loss to Kansas City.

It just seems the bad teams this season really suck, and I am not sure how much of that is down to the lockout either.

Here's hoping Week 8 is more fun to watch.

3) Kansas City are surprisingly back in the AFC West race: I will be honest and say I really thought the Chiefs were going to have a big fall back season after reaching the Play Offs last season as I just thought they had taken advantage of a very soft schedule and through the first 3 Weeks of the season I was feeling comfortable with what I thought they were going to be.

Kansas City also lost Eric Berry on the Defense and Jamaal Charles on the Offense so I really didn't think they would be challenging in the AFC West this season... Until last Sunday.

I picked the Chiefs with the points last week, but I still thought they would ultimately lose the game. However, they won big and now know they can be tied for the Division lead at 4-3 if they can beat San Diego at home on Monday Night Football.

That will also allow them to move to 2-1 in the Division, while having to play Denver twice and hosting Oakland and all of a sudden the Chiefs are a real threat in this Division again.

4) San Francisco could be the first team to secure a Play Off place... and by Thanksgiving no less: I am being a little dramatic with the suggestion they secure a Play Off spot so soon, but the NFC West is BAD again this season and the 49ers already hold a 3 game lead over second placed Seattle, who scored just 3 points against Cleveland last week.

7 wins secure this Division last season, and I think that could be the case again this season, but the 49ers already have 5 wins on the board and their schedule reads Cleveland, @ Washington, New York Giants, Arizona, @ Baltimore, with the last of those taking place on Thanksgiving Day.

Now I can see the 49ers going at least 3-1 in their next 4 games, which will leave them at 8-2 before the Thanksgiving Day game at Baltimore and I think that would be good enough to see them make the Play Offs, even if it is not official by then.

Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (7-0)
2) New England Patriots (5-1): Team to beat in the AFC, but big test at Heinze Field this week
3) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2): Biggest test since being hammered by the Ravens in Week 1 as they host the Patriots
4) San Francisco 49ers (5-1)
5) New Orleans Saints (5-2): Anyone take the New Orleans - 50 point spread last week?
6) New York Giants (4-2)
7) Baltimore Ravens (4-2): Ugly loss at Jacksonville has people questioning whether they can win the big one again this week.
8) Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
9) Detroit Lions (5-2): Can they really afford to lose a 3rd game on the bounce being in the tough NFC North?
10) San Diego Chargers (4-2): One more loss to Kansas City on Monday Night Football and people will begin wondering if this talented team will ever get to the big game.

My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                             32) Miami Dolphins
2) New England Patriots                         31) Indianapolis Colts
3) New Orleans Saints                             30) St Louis Rams
4) Pittsburgh Steelers                              29) Arizona Cardinals
5) Baltimore Ravens                                28) Minnesota Vikings

Week 8 Picks and Previews
I have not locked in any picks yet this week as I have been trying to tweak my system just a little as I have been reading about how the same things that have worked in the past have not been working this season.

The rumours in Vegas is that all the 'wiseguys' have had a terrible season so far, while a lot of the public plays keep coming in.

I can't imagine that will last all season, but it has meant I have been following line movements more this week before I begin locking in picks.

It was almost a wonderful week for the picks last week and, while going 5-4, it was the bigger picks that let me down from having a very profitable week and instead left with a loss.

As always, I will update my Twitter page whenever I lock in picks, but you can start expecting them to be placed in the next few hours and updated throughout the day tomorrow.

The picks:

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12261-Miami-Dolphins-at-New-York-Giants.htm)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12262-Jacksonville-Jaguars-at-Houston-Texans.htm)

New Orleans Saints @ St Louis Rams Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12264-New-Orleans-Saints-at-St-Louis-Rams.htm)

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12266-Arizona-Cardinals-at-Baltimore-Ravens.htm)

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12268-New-England-Patriots-at-Pittsburgh-Steelers.htm)

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12269-Cleveland-Browns-at-San-Francisco-49ers.htm)

Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12270-Detroit-Lions-at-Denver-Broncos.htm)

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12271-Dallas-Cowboys-at-Philadelphia-Eagles.htm)

MY PICKS: New York Giants - 9 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (3 Units)
Jacksonville Jaguars + 9.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
New Orleans Saints - 13.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 12.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (3 Units)
New England Patriots - 2.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
San Francisco 49ers - 8.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (3 Units)
Detroit Lions - 3 Points @ 1.95 Pinncale (2 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles - 3 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)

WEEK 7: 5-4, - 2.61 Units
WEEK 64-4-1, - 2.24 Units
WEEK 55-3, + 3.15 Units
WEEK 4: 4-7, - 6.66 Units
WEEK 3: 4-3-1, + 2.77 Units
WEEK 2: 3-5, - 5.03 Units
WEEK 1: 4-2, + 2.53 Units

SEASON UPDATE29-28-2, - 8.09 Units

Thursday, 27 October 2011

English Football Weekend Picks (October 29th-31st)

I am still not quite over the result from Old Trafford last weekend, but I have to say I am getting a touch annoyed with the coverage from the game since then, and the total misapprehension that it was a deserved final scoreline.

While I have felt United have been acting a little naive with their defending and that they were going to get a hammering from someone soon, let's not forget the fact that 3 of the goals conceded last week came in the final 3 minutes of the game (the first of which was offside that has been overlooked), and a lot of people seem to have completely ignored the fact United were down to 10 men with the scoreline still in the balance.

The whole first half had been a close game and I didn't think United were going to definitely lose until Jonny Evans was given his marching orders... yet it seems that everyone else believes it was a scoreline that showed the difference between the teams.

United have bounced back in the past from heavy defeats, and I fully expect they will again although this weekend is a ridiculously tough test at Goodison Park, a venue where they have always had to fight for results.

So we finally get to the last week of October in what has been a long month with 5 Saturday, Sunday and Mondays thrown in, the first time in a long time that has happened. I will be posting my weekend plays as soon as I lock them in and you can follow me on Twitter for updates as to when they are posted along with my NFL and College Football picks:

Everton v Manchester United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12232-Everton-v-Manchester-United.htm)

Chelsea v Arsenal Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12238-Chelsea-v-Arsenal.htm)

Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12235-Norwich-City-v-Blackburn-Rovers.htm)

Manchester City v Wolves Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12234-Manchester-City-v-Wolves.htm)

Wigan v Fulham Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12236-Wigan-v-Fulham.htm)

West Brom v Liverpool Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12237-West-Brom-v-Liverpool.htm)

Tottenham Hotspur v QPR Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12241-Tottenham-Hotspur-v-QPR.htm)

Stoke City v Newcastle United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12242-Stoke-City-v-Newcastle-United.htm)

Millwall v Ipswich Town Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12252-Millwall-v-Ipswich-Town.htm)

Crystal Palace v Reading Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12254-Crystal-Palace-v-Reading.htm)

Southampton v Middlesbrough Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12256-Southampton-v-Middlesbrough.htm)

MY PICKS: Everton-Manchester United Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Chelsea - 1 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Norwich City-Blackburn Rovers Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Manchester City win to nil @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Wigan-Fulham No Goalscorer @ 10.00 Stan James (1 Unit)
West Brom-Liverpool Both NOT to Score @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Tottenham Hotspur - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Stoke City @ 2.20 BetFred (2 Units)
Millwall-Ipswich Town Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Crystal Palace-Reading Time of Last Goal at 73 minutes or later @ 2.00 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Southampton Half Time-Full Time @ 3.00 Bet365 (1 Unit)

October Update18-21, - 1.07 Units

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

College Football Week 9 Picks and Previews

The great start to the season always meant I was a little wary that I was going to have a 'down' week at some point and Week 8 proved to be that week as the picks went 2-4.

A couple of the picks were a little unfortunate, but I think I put myself in trouble by offering my 'advice' to a friend, who proceeded to put a lot more money than I recommended on a 4 team accumulator.

Unfortunately, Arkansas were the team that let him down after I had mentioned how they were the one team I was most confident about this week (ooooops).

The top 10 also had a disappointing week compared to the early stages of the season, while we saw some big upsets as Wisconsin and the Oklahoma Sooners both lost their unbeaten records. This has blown open the BCS National Championship game and has left the path clear for some surprising schools like Stanford, Boise State and most importantly the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The Cowboys probably have their destiny in their own hands if they can run the table and win the Big 12, but they have some huge tests in their way, starting with Baylor this week.

And I have still not ruled out Oklahoma being one of the teams to play in the National Championship Game if they can run the table from now and win the Big 12.

This week is a bye week for the top 2 teams in the nation as the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers both get ready for the biggest game of the season so far when they meet in Tuscaloosa on November 5th.

As always, I will update this post as I lock in my picks from the action this week and you can follow me on Twitter where I will add a link whenever I have updated these picks:

Purdue Boilermakers @ Michigan Wolverines Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12217-Purdue-Boilermakers-at-Michigan-Wolverines.htm)

Arkansas Razorbacks @ Vanderbilt Commodores Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12222-Arkansas-Razorbacks-at-Vanderbilt.htm)

Baylor Bears @ Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12224-Baylor-Bears-at-Oklahoma-State.htm)

Oklahoma Sooners @ Kansas State Wildcats Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12226-Oklahoma-Sooners-at-Kansas-State.htm)

Georgia Bulldogs @ Florida Gators Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12258-Georgia-Bulldogs-at-Florida-Gators.htm)

Clemson Tigers @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12259-Clemson-Tigers-at-Georgia-Tech.htm)

MY PICKS: Michigan Wolverines - 13 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Arkansas Razorbacks - 10 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 14 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma Sooners - 13.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Georgia Bulldogs - 2.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers - 3 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

WEEK 8: 2-4, - 2.16 Units
WEEK 75-3, + 1.8 Units
WEEK 66-1, + 4.66 Units
WEEK 53-3, - 0.21 Units
WEEK 44-2, + 1.80 Units
WEEK 3: 5-1, + 3.60 Units
WEEK 2: 3-0, + 2.82 Units
WEEK 1: 4-0, + 3.74 Units

SEASON UPDATE32-14, + 16.05 Units

The John Terry-Anton Ferdinand Racism Issue

The last couple of weeks have been an embarrassment for the Premier League with two high-profile players being accused of racism in consecutive weeks.

First we had the Patrice Evra-Luis Suarez issue... As I said at the time, I don't want to make judgements because I don't feel I can be unbiased as I am going to back what the player who plays for my team says.

BUT that doesn't mean I have to blindly believe the allegations made or the denial from the other party just because the player happens to wear the right shirt for my eyes.

What has bothered me, and it is something that has been reported to a lesser degree than it perhaps should have, is the suggestion that Evra is the 'Boy who cried Wolf' on a number of previous occasions, when this is actually the FIRST time he has ever alleged this has happened to him in his time at Manchester United.

Now I don't know whether Suarez did or didn't say anything untoward to Evra, and I have a feeling we are unlikely to find out, but the issue has once again come to the fore after the QPR-Chelsea game on Sunday.

I am not a master lip reader, but I am sure the England Captain called Anton Ferdinand a 'black cunt' after viewing the video. Terry claims he was asking Ferdinand if that what he thinks he said, but we don't have a clear shot of the whole discussion and this where there won't be enough evidence to actually have anything done to Terry as Sergio Busquets proved when getting away with something even more derogatory aimed at Marcelo in the Champions League Semi Final last season between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Terry's behaviour has been somewhat questionable in the past and I really don't think the guy should be England's Captain, because of these issues.

I remember a game between Tottenham and Chelsea back in 2006 when Terry was sent off for what looked like an innocuous challenge in the box, yet it was later reported that he had potentially said something racist to Ledley King, something Graham Poll had heard and sent him off for.

This was never investigated as Spurs believed there was nothing to the allegations, although the reaction of King, Pascal Chimbonda and Bobby Zamora was completely over the top for something that really didn't look that bad.

The last two weeks have raised some awkward questions in the media, one that was so passionate, and rightly so, in going after the Bulgarian fans for their disgraceful treatment of the black players who started for England in a game in Sofia recently.

Is racism still rife in English Football?

That is a debate that has been raging through the airwaves and on social networking sites for much of the day, but I think there is something quite disturbing from the amount of hate that has been sent towards people who wish to discuss this point.

The worst article of all has come from the Daily Mail (is that really a surprise? I loved Ian Brown putting it one of their reporters last week with the question of 'how does it feel to work for the paper that supported Hitler?' Still, I guess even the lead singer of the Stone Roses didn't believe it was still a paper that tolerated racism).

Just read the last paragraph of that article:

So, Mr Evra and Mr Ferdinand, I know you feel insulted. But perhaps in this case you could just put up with it and get on with the game

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2052843/John-Terry-racism-row-Anton-Ferdinand-game.html#ixzz1bqItXLDb

Is this for real? They should get on with it because things have improved markedly in the last 30 years? What a pile of crap...

So I guess the author was backing Andy Gray and Richard Keys after their comments about women? Or maybe he feels it is fine to abuse homosexuals because most people are more tolerant these days?

Racism should have no part to play in the national sport of this country, and ONE proven incident is far too much and should result in a very severe punishment for the guilty party.

The FA have a HUGE couple of weeks in front of them as they have two high-profile incidents to deal with and I will be watching on with interest.

I might be wrong in saying this, but I have spoken about a remaining undercurrent of racism in football, whether in the media or in stadiums, for a few years now and recent incidents as well as some lethargy in reaction to the incidents is worrying to say the least.

There has also been a very lukewarm response to ideas that the 'Rooney Rule' from American Football be introduced to our game here which further has me believing that the 'Kick It Out' campaign still has a lot of work to do, regardless of how much we pat ourselves on the back of how we deal with racism compared to other nations.

I have a feeling there will be more to this story in the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Things we Learned from the Weekend Football (October 22-24)

It wasn't a horrible weekend for the picks as I actually came away with a small profit, although it could have been so much better if Chelsea had not faltered at QPR... Still it makes a change from the horrendous September I suffered.

This would have been written on Monday usually, but I have barely recovered from the Manchester Derby on Sunday and only now feel a little better.

Here are a few of my thoughts from the last few days:

1) It was coming...: I have been a little pessimistic about Manchester United's performances so far this season, with only a couple being really good, while the vulnerability at the back had me musing that we were going to take a beating at one point or another.

Now I predicted that shelling may have come at Anfield last weekend, but Sir Alex must have felt the same negative vibes and ensured he played a team that could defend from the front and make life difficult for Liverpool, although we may have been a touch fortunate to escape with a draw after they created 2/3 very good chances in the last 10 minutes.

On Sunday, the onus was on us, as the home team, to push the game forward, but once Jonny Evans was sent off, it was always going to be a mountain to climb with the movement City have in their forward players.

That does not excuse the ridiculous defending from our boys at the end of the game, something that the boss seemed to agree with, as we went in search of a consolation after City went 1-4 up. At that point we should have settled for the loss and maintained some element of a goal difference, but to concede 2 more goals in the last 3 minutes is sloppy at best, and naive and stupid at worst.

I was vastly disappointed with the 'fans' who started leaving Old Trafford once City went 0-3 up (that is the time to support the boys who are trying their asses off, not the time to desert them). These are the same fools who make the most noise when United win trophies, yet leave the boys in their time of need... 

I have seen a couple of beatings in my life, but I have NEVER left the stadium early and I was disgusted with those who think that is the best way to support United, especially in a game of this magnitude. The same thing happened in a 1-4 loss to Liverpool a couple of years ago, although those season ticket holders were given a crushing time the week after when they returned to their seats.

Don't get me wrong though, I think I came out with more curses than I have in all of 2011 when United conceded the 6th.

2) Chelsea may have lost, but come out with plenty of credit: There were another bunch of controversial decisions from Chris Foy, who I personally cannot stand as a referee, that left Chelsea in a big hole on Sunday, but the fans have to be pleased with the effort and desire they showed in the 2nd half to almost come back and snatch something from this game.

1-0 down with 9 men is usually a damage limitation exercise, but Chelsea created chances and were very unfortunate to get nothing from this game.

This tells me that Andre Villa-Boas has created a real good atmosphere at the club and they are willing to fight for one another and that can only lead to good things for the Blues in the coming months.

3) Do the Wolves fans feel a little silly now: I really am no great fan of Mick McCarthy, and haven't been since he removed Roy Keane from the World Cup in 2002, but he didn't deserve the level of abuse he took in the Wolves-Swansea game at the weekend.

Yes, Wolves are struggling... Yes, even I was wondering what he McCarthy was playing at with his substitutions... Yes, being 0-2 down at home to Swansea is not good for a team that wants to survive in the Premier League... But McCarthy did not deserve chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' and 'you don't know what you're doing' considering where he has brought Wolves in his time as manager of the club.

I noticed McCarthy also came out today and described those fans as 'idiotic', probably not the wisest move considering they are playing Manchester City at home on Wednesday night, but I can understand his frustrations.

You could see it in his face after the game how annoyed McCarthy was, but the only way to get the fans off his back is by leading Wolves back to winning ways. The 6th November home game against Wigan is going to be pivotal.

4) Racism again takes centre stage: I don't know what to make of the latest issue involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand, just a week after the Patrice Evra-Luis Suarez issue.

This was apparently brought up by a spectator who could read what John Terry was saying, although there hasn't been too much coming out of the QPR camp so far, and I don't have a clue what is going to happen from here.

The FA cannot be too pleased with all this, especially considering it started during the latest in the 'Kick It Out' campaign that has been so successful over the years.

5) Can Newcastle really get a Champions League place?: Newcastle have picked up 19 points, the same number as Chelsea, in the early part of the season, but they have taken advantage of a soft schedule. To be fair, you can only beat what is placed in front of you, but the next 6 weeks will tell the Toon Army all they need to know about their team.

Newcastle's next 5 games are : Stoke City (a), Everton (h), Manchester City (a), Manchester United (a) and Chelsea (h)... If they are still in 4th place after that run of games, then I would say get dreaming of a European adventure to all Geordies out there.

Carling Cup Picks and Preview October 25-26

Sometimes you look at the way a game has developed and think that there is no way you could have foreseen the result that comes out of it... I had that feeling twice on Sunday after the Manchester Derby, and later in the QPR-Chelsea game that had more than its fair share of controversy decisions and somehow the away side failed to score, let alone win a game where they created a hatful of chances with only 9 men on the field.

This is where I am going to put up my Carling Cup plays for the week, although I am keeping stakes to a minimum in a regularly strange competition where managers seem to play weakened teams regardless of where they are in the table:

Aldershot v Manchester United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12185-Aldershot-v-Manchester-United.htm)

Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12186-Arsenal-v-Bolton-Wanderers.htm)

Crystal Palace v Southampton Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12187-Crystal-Palace-v-Southampton.htm)

Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12190-Blackburn-Rovers-v-Newcastle-United.htm)

Stoke City v Liverpool Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12191-Stoke-City-v-Liverpool.htm)

MY PICKS: Michael Owen score anytime @ 2.25 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Arsenal-Bolton Wanderers First Goal at 22 minutes or after @ 1.92 (1 Unit)
Crystal Palace-Southampton Last Goal at 73 minutes or after @ 1.92 (1 Unit)
Blackburn Rovers-Newcastle United Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.92 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Stoke City-Liverpool Both NOT to Score @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)

October Update: 14-20, - 4.08 Units

Friday, 21 October 2011

NFL Week 7 Picks and Previews

First things first- I really hope I don't come off as someone who whines about missed wagers, simply because luck goes around in circles, but wow was I annoyed with the Miami-New York Jets game on Monday Night Football.

A quick look at the scoreboard suggests the pick was not close to coming in, but watching the game, it was hard to believe that it didn't win.

First off, Darrelle Revis somehow got away with choke-slamming Brandon Marshall on an Interception he then took back 100 yards for a pick 6- it was an infringement so obvious that Jon Gruden was going mad in the commentary booth at the non-call.

That alone should have given the ball to Miami on the Jets 1 yard line with a 3 point lead but instead they were down 4.

Miami also outgained New York by over 150 yards in the first half, yet were somehow down by 8 points and then the huge number of dropped passes and Matt Moore missing open receivers that would have led to TDs was scary and was probably the most frustrating loss of the season so far.

Week 6 Thoughts
1) Carson Palmer traded to Oakland: This was the biggest news of the last week as Oakland traded for the former Cincinnati Bengal and at the same time have made themselves a real contender in the AFC to at least reach the Play Offs.

Palmer is a definite improvement on Kyle Boller and on Jason Campbell (whose injury means he is unlikely to ever play for the Raiders again) and they look like an Offense that should be able to roll.

That is not to say Mike Brown and the Bengals have not had a great day either- they have picked up two 1st Round picks for Palmer and already have the makings of a good team in Ohio.

The biggest question at this moment is whether Carson Palmer still has what it takes to be an effective  QB in the NFL and how long it will take for him to get involved with the Oakland system.

2) Brain dead plays are killing teams and punters alike: I don't know what it is, but there seem to be more dumb moves made by players this season than I recall in recent years, plays that don't need to be made.

The latest to fall foul of this was Pierre Garcon who inexplicably threw the ball as a lateral with his team down by 3 and with around 2 minutes to go. The Cincinnati defender gladly picked up the ball and ran it back for a TD that gave the Bengals the cover against the Colts when Indianapolis were in a position to at least find a way to drag the game to overtime.

It has not just been the players- officials have made a few 'suspect' calls in the first 6 weeks of the season that have essentially decided whether teams cover or not... The Darrelle Revis incident on Monday Night Football essentially helped the Jets cover, while a 'unnecessary roughness' penalty on Denver a couple of weeks ago allowed San Diego to kick a FG to cover a spread (the Denver call was so bad that the officials didn't even call a number to indicate who the foul was against, while the commentators couldn't figure it out either).

3) Tony Sparano should be out of Miami within the next month: I will be very surprised if Tony Sparano is coaching the Dolphins by the time I get to Dallas at the end of next month, as the Miami team just seem short of ideas and don't look like they can buy a win, let alone earn one.

They had everything going for them against the Jets, but killed themselves with dropped catches, while the Defense has been getting little to no pressure.

I say fire Sparano, let Mike Nolan take over for the rest of the season and then give Bill Cowher a call and ask him how he fancies restoring the Dolphins to some semblance of respectability.

4) Jim Harbaugh v Jim Schwartz: This had to be the weirdest incident of the weekend as the two coaches almost got into blows at the end of the San Francisco 49ers win over the previously unbeaten Detroit Lions.

At first I agreed with Schwartz that Harbaugh had been a little over the top with his celebrations, but then an interesting story emerged that the two, along with John Harbaugh of Baltimore, had met for dinner during the lockout where it was suggested by Schwartz that Jim Harbaugh would have 'no chance of winning' in San Francisco with the lockout taking full effect.

Harbaugh bit his tongue on that occasion, but it sounds like this game may just have meant a little more to him after those comments.

The whole game had been a little chippy anyway, with Schwartz shouting at Harbaugh at one point when the 49er Head Coach mistakenly tried to challenge a TD (against the rules now) and it seemed to have culminated with that crazy ending.

4) Rex Ryan v Norv Turner?: After the Harbaugh v Schwartz appetiser, we could possibly some tense moments in the San Diego-New York Jets game this weekend after Rex Ryan was quoted as saying he would have had a 'couple of rings' if he had been given the Chargers job in 2007.

That is a slight on Norv Turner who has obviously not even reached the SuperBowl in that time, but who shot back about Ryan adding those to the 'couple he guaranteed in the last two seasons'... Get ready for the handshake!

Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (6-0): Say no more...
2) New England Patriots (5-1): How many teams need to learn that you do not give Tom Brady a chance with 2 minutes left on the clock and only down a score?
3) Baltimore Ravens (4-1): Another impressive Defensive effort with just enough Offense to keep rolling.
4) San Francisco 49ers (5-1): Jim Harbaugh is doing an excellent job with this squad.
5) San Diego Chargers (4-1): Almost time for the Chargers to go on their usual run.
6) Detroit Lions (5-1): Still a good team, but the long term absence of Jahvid Best will really hurt them.
7) Oakland Raiders (4-2): Right in the thick of things in the AFC West and big improvement at QB with Carson Palmer.
8) New York Giants (4-2): Big win over Buffalo to stay in front of the NFC East.
9) Cincinnati Bengals (4-2): Most surprising team in the top 10 at this stage of the season.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2): The AFC North is loaded with some talented teams this season and the Steelers are right in the thick of things as expected.

My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                                   32) Miami Dolphins
2) New England Patriots                               31) St Louis Rams
3) Baltimore Ravens                                      30) Indianapolis Colts
4) New Orleans Saints                                   29) Minnesota Vikings
5) San Francisco 49ers                                  28) Arizona Cardinals

Week 7 Picks and Previews
This is where I will be placing my picks for Week 7 from the NFL as soon as I have locked them in with the lines I like.

Last week was disappointing as I was so close in some games, but 3 of the 4 bigger picks fell and that left me with a loss on the week. It has been a tough season so far, but I have full faith it will be turned around.

I will update my Twitter page whenever I put up new picks and let us all hope for a bit more luck this week:

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12153-Green-Bay-Packers-at-Minnesota-Vikings.htm)

Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12154-Baltimore-Ravens-at-Jacksonville-Jaguars.htm)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12155-Kansas-City-Chiefs-at-Oakland-Raiders.htm)

San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12156-San-Diego-Chargers-at-New-York-Jets.htm)

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12157-Atlanta-Falcons-at-Detroit-Lions.htm)

Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12158-Denver-Broncos-at-Miami-Dolphins.htm)

Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12159-Washington-Redskins-at-Carolina-Panthers.htm)

Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12160-Indianapolis-Colts-at-New-Orleans-Saints.htm)

Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12162-Chicago-Bears-at-Tampa-Bay-Buccaneers.htm)

MY PICKS: Green Bay Packers - 8.5 Points @ 1.92 Coral (4 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 7.5 Points @ 1.92 Coral (4 Units)
Kansas City Chiefs + 5 Points @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
San Diego Chargers - 1 Point @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Atlanta Falcons + 4 Points @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Denver Broncos + 1 Point @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers - 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Indianapolis Colts + 14 Points @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Chicago Bears - 1 Point @ 1.92 Coral (2 Units)

WEEK 6: 4-4-1, - 2.24 Units
WEEK 55-3, + 3.15 Units
WEEK 4: 4-7, - 6.66 Units
WEEK 3: 4-3-1, + 2.77 Units
WEEK 2: 3-5, - 5.03 Units
WEEK 1: 4-2, + 2.53 Units

SEASON UPDATE: 24-24-2, - 5.48 Units

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

College Football Week 8 Picks and Previews

College Football continues this week as the first BCS Rankings were released last week and we still have a situation where the big teams are creaming the rest, as I found to my cost when picking Tennessee + 17 points against LSU last week.

Apparently the top 10 teams this season are 48-13-2 against the spread this season, a winning percentage of just under 79% so the average Joe should be having a great season.

That kind of record also means Vegas are making sure they get as high as possible with their lines so we could see a drop off of those stats as we come towards the end of the regular season- it is definitely something to look out for as we move through the weeks.

We have already seen some kind of reaction to the trend of the season as both LSU and Alabama are big favourites, being forced to lay more than 3 TD's in games against Auburn and Tennessee respectively, and I think we need to tread carefully for the rest of the season to avoid blindly going with the trend and falling apart all the good work we have done this season so far.

Right now it looks like we have two dates to circle in the calender to determine who will be playing in the National Championship game- the first of those is November 5th when LSU go to Tuscaloosa to meet Alabame, the second is when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State meet on December 3rd.

The likes of Wisconsin, Boise State and Stanford are very much looking in and hoping 3 of the teams mentioned lose at least 1 game while they can run the table themselves, but I would be surprised if any of these 3 schools get a chance to play in the big one.

Remember to check out Twitter where I will update whenever I have locked in the lines for this weeks picks and let us hope for another successful week to add to a very productive season so far:

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Syracuse Orange Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12109-West-Virginia-at-Syracuse-Orange.htm)

North Carolina Tar Heels @ Clemson Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12110-North-Carolina-at-Clemson-Tigers.htm)

Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Missouri Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12111-Oklahoma-State-at-Missouri-Tigers.htm)

Arkansas Razorbacks @ Ole Mississippi Rebels Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12112-Arkansas-Razorbacks-at-Ole-Mississippi.htm)

Texas A&M Aggies @ Iowa State Cyclones Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12123-Texas-A&M-Aggies-at-Iowa-State-Cyclones.htm)

Wisconsin Badgers @ Michigan State Spartans Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12124-Wisconsin-Badgers-at-Michigan-State.htm)

MY PICKS: West Virginia Mountaineers - 13.5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers - 10.5 Points @ 1.92 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 6.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Arkansas Razorbacks - 15 Points @ 1.92 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Texas A&M Aggies - 20.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Wisconsin Badgers - 7 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

WEEK 7: 5-3, + 1.8 Units
WEEK 66-1, + 4.66 Units
WEEK 53-3, - 0.21 Units
WEEK 44-2, + 1.80 Units
WEEK 3: 5-1, + 3.60 Units
WEEK 2: 3-0, + 2.82 Units
WEEK 1: 4-0, + 3.74 Units

SEASON UPDATE30-10, + 18.21 Units

English Football Weekend Picks (October 22nd-23rd)

I didn't get a chance to put down a few thoughts from the action last weekend in the Premier League, so I will begin this weeks picks post with a few points that I thought could be interesting moving forward:

1) Arsenal are over-reliant on an injury-prone Robin Van Persie: Robin Van Persie is a really good player, and would be in the elite of World Football if it was not for a career where injuries have played a big part.

In the past, Arsenal have managed to still perform when Van Persie has periods of injury, but I fear for them if something like that happens this season.

The Dutch International was in special form against Sunderland on Sunday, scoring 2 goals to win the game for the home side, and he has been on a tear for the Gunners throughout 2011. I just feel Arsenal cannot begin to perform without him as he dragged them through to another 3 points on Sunday and I think this side would really struggle to get near to a top 6 finish if Van Persie does take his usual 2 months of injury related absences.

If I was an Arsenal fan, I would pray every day that RVP manages to get through the season unscathed.

2) Wigan's luck may be running out: Wigan have always found a way to survive in the Premier League since joining the top flight, including a couple of occasions where they won on the last day to avoid relegation. However, it just looks like their luck may be running out if the 1-3 home defeat to Bolton is anything to go by.

The defending was terrible against a team that had lost 6 Premier League games on the bounce, while they did not create enough chances against the worst defence in the League.

The absence of Charles N'Zogbia is telling (I also feel N'Zogbia is missing being a big fish in a small pond as he has struggled at Aston Villa), and there just doesn't seem to be enough goals in the side.

The next 5 games are crucial for Roberto Martinez and he must look to get at least 7 points from the games at Newcastle, home to Fulham, at Wolves, home to Blackburn and at Sunderland as their Christmas schedule sees them meet Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United and Wigan could be cut off a little too far for any last day heroics.

3) The pressure on Steve Bruce is really building: Another defeat for Sunderland leaves the side in 17th position in the Premier League and I am not sure how much more time Steve Bruce is going to get to turn things around.

They have struggled for goals, while the performances have hardly set pulses racing at the Stadium of Light as the fans' frustrations are beginning to boil over.

Sunderland play at Bolton on Saturday and I would hazard a guess that a defeat may see Bruce out of a job before the end of the month.

4) Chelsea continue to quietly go about their business: Chelsea earned a 3-1 win over Everton on Saturday evening, even after struggling to get going for the majority of the first half and they have quietly moved just 1 point behind Manchester United.

With the two Manchester clubs meeting on Sunday, Chelsea could begin their game against QPR later that afternoon knowing a win could see them move just 1 point off the lead.

Andre Villa-Boas doesn't seek the attention of the press, but his team are playing some very good attacking football when they get going, although the defence has been a little vulnerable, and I think they are going to be there or thereabouts come May.

5) Patrice Evra-Luis Suarez incident: It would be hard to talk about last week without mentioning this unsavoury incident that allegedly occurred on the day the FA's 'Kick It Out' campaign started a new period.

I don't know what happened because I am neither Luis Suarez nor Patrice Evra, but I have a feeling this story has some length of time to go before it is resolved.

After watching that 'Dispatches' programme on Channel 4 recently, I wonder if either of these players picks up an 'injury' that sees them missing a large chunk of the season...

6) Scrapping relegation from the Premier League: Wow, I have seen some dumb ideas recently that will kill the integrity of the game, beginning with the suggestion TV rights should be sold on an individual club basis and the latest being the idea that relegation should be removed from the Premier League.

I don't understand how these 'foreign owners' expect this to work, and I feel they are worrying about lining their pockets rather than having an effective League ladder that has worked for 120 years.

The franchise system just would not work in this country and would ruin football as a spectacle- imagine no more last day drama where a team escapes relegation by the skin of their teeth, the joy those fans get when that happens, and no more fairytale stories for the likes of Blackpool.

It is the stupidest idea I have heard for some time, and one that cannot ever be allowed to pass.

Below you can find my picks from the weekend football and, as always, I will update Twitter whenever I lock in new picks:

Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12114-Bolton-Wanderers-v-Sunderland.htm)

Liverpool v Norwich City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12115-Liverpool-v-Norwich-City.htm)

Manchester United v Manchester City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12118-Manchester-United-v-Manchester-City.htm)

QPR v Chelsea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12121-QPR-v-Chelsea.htm)

Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12125-Blackburn-Rovers-v-Tottenham-Hotspur.htm)

Arsenal v Stoke City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12127-Arsenal-v-Stoke-City.htm)

Wolves v Swansea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12131-Wolves-v-Swansea.htm)

Fulham v Everton Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12133-Fulham-v-Everton.htm)

Cardiff City v Barnsley Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12134-Cardiff-City-v-Barnsley.htm)

Ipswich Town v Crystal Palace Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12148-Ipswich-Town-v-Crystal-Palace.htm)

Leicester City v Millwall Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12150-Leicester-City-v-Millwall.htm)

MY PICKS: Bolton Wanderers-Sunderland Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Liverpool-Norwich City Both Teams to Score @ 2.20 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Manchester United-Manchester City Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Paddy Power (3 Units)
Chelsea - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.85 Pinnacle (3 Units)
Tottenham Hotspur @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Robin Van Persie to score first @ 4.50 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Wolves-Swansea Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fulham @ 2.4 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Cardiff City-Barnsley Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Ipswich Town-Crystal Palace Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.90 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Leicester City - 0.75 Asian Handicap @ 1.92 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

October Update: 9-15, - 5.93 Units

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

European Football Picks (October 18th-20th)

Due to work commitments, I have not been able to put my 'Things We Learned' post that I usually manage each week, and even this post will not be very long as I get ready to to start breaking down the College Football games and the NFL games coming up in the next week.

I will update this post as the day progresses and my European plays are put down. I have had a mixed start to October so far, but am breaking down the games to the best of my ability and trying not to overthink things, that leading me to bypass winning picks and going for something a little more 'exotic'.

I'll update the Twitter page whenever new picks are put down.

My picks are:

Manchester City v Villarreal Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12061-Manchester-City-v-Villarreal.htm)

Otelul Galati v Manchester United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12068-Otelul-Galati-v-Manchester-United.htm)

Real Madrid v Lyon Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12079-Real-Madrid-v-Lyon.htm)

Chelsea v Genk Pick: The Champions League has been a tough tournament to predict as some teams are playing way below expectations, while the big difference in quality between other teams means the Handicaps are being set ridiculously high.

The only bet I will be having tonight is on Fernando Torres to score first- Torres should be fired up for the game as he has been serving a domestic suspension (which still has 1 game to run) and I feel he will be getting the nod up front for some game time.

Genk will give Chelsea chances, and Torres is more than capable to adding to the goals he scored against Manchester United and Swansea, and he has definitely been looking livelier of late. I would recommend taking this at BetFred at 3.75 as they offer a special where they will double the odds if your player scores first and then scores another goal, or treble the odds if he scores first and goes on to complete a hat-trick.

This is a pick only for the followers of the blog as I didn't have time to write a full preview of the game.

MY PICKS: Manchester City - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (3 Units)
Manchester United - 1.75 Asian Handicap @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Real Madrid win to nil @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Fernando Torres to score first @ 3.75 BetFred (1 Unit)

October Update: 7-13, - 4.78 Units

Friday, 14 October 2011

NFL Week 6 Picks and Previews

I don't know if it's just me, but this week seems to have flown by- I honestly feel like it was yesterday that I saw the Lions prove themselves as a legitimate team by knocking off the Chicago Bears at home, yet here I am writing down my picks for Week 6.

Week 5 was an effective one as far as the picks were concerned, although it could have been a lot better if San Diego had not kicked their FG with 12 seconds remaining to get a front door cover against my Denver pick, but the week still ended 5-3 thanks to Green Bay and Detroit both covering in their games.

The Detroit pick could have been a kick in the nuts as Jay Cutler threw a ball to the Detroit 2 yard line with no time left on the clock for what would have been an absolutely meaningless TD, so I got away with that one even if the Lions deserved their easy win.

Week 5 Thoughts
1) Roll on Thanksgiving Day: It is a bit early to be thinking of Turkey, but I am much more interested in seeing the first meeting between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions in what should be a cracking game.

They are both unbeaten this season while sitting in the same Division, Green Bay's last loss came against Detroit, while the Lions have not stopped winning since beating the Packers.

I'll actually be in Dallas getting ready to watch my Dolphins move to 0-11 and stay in the lead for Andrew Luck next April, but I am already planning on grabbing some food from the tailgate party and finding a place where I can drink beer and watch this Lions-Packers game.

2) Either bet on Green Bay, or stay away from their games: It's funny the amount of comments I was reading about how people were confident Atlanta were going to cover when they took a 14-0 lead against the Packers early in the 2nd Quarter last week, yet the Green Bay Packers played some great football from that point onwards to win the game with ease.

I understand the Pack will not be covering every game they play, but right now it is equivalent to throwing your money away when you go against Green Bay so either play on them, or move away from their game.

There is too much Offense for any team in the NFL to deal with right now and I find it hard to see any team stopping them consistently enough to keep them from scoring at least 25 points per game.

3) Tim Tebow is the right choice to QB the Broncos: Now I am not convinced this guy has what it takes to make himself a top QB in the NFL, but what I do know is that the fans and his teammates seem to love him and he inspires them far more than Kyle Orton who should have been traded to the Dolphins in the off-season.

You could just see the lift in the performance of the Broncos in the game against San Diego last week when Tebow came into the game and he was very close to leading Denver to a surprise comeback win.

The fans were lifted, the Offense got something going and there is no doubt he is the correct choice to start for those reasons alone- Denver were going nowhere this season, least this way they get to see if Tebow is where they put their future or not.

Tebow's first start is going to come at Miami, in the State where he made his name... On the day former Florida Gators are going to be honoured; how apt! Now all I need is to find a layer that lets me put down some cash on Tebow running in the winning score with 5 seconds left on the clock.

4) Philadelphia really are in big trouble: I said I was being a bit dramatic last week when I said the Eagles had a 'must win' game against the Buffalo Bills, but now they really are in big trouble if they cannot get a win in Washington against a fellow NFC East rival.

The Eagles killed themselves with bonehead plays, summed up by the jump on 4th and 1 with just under 90 seconds left on the game that effectively sealed their loss.

Philadelphia outgained the Bills during the game, and were not having too many issues moving the ball up and down the field, but 4 Interceptions and 1 Fumble cost them any chance of winning the game.

The team has to cut the mistakes, whether it is turnovers, penalties or bad calls, because the NFC East is still there for the taking, although I think the Eagles need to go 9-2, or 8-3 at worst if they want to give themselves a shot.

5) The best play of the weekend goes to Victor Cruz: For all the World it seemed like Eli Manning was throwing another Interception during the Giants loss to the Seahawks, but Victor Cruz made an exceptional play to catch the ball and score a TD.

Cruz is becoming a big piece of the Giants Offense and he had some nice moves at the end of the play too.


1) Green Bay Packers (5-0): Still head and shoulders the team to beat
2) Detroit Lions (5-0): As I said above, I cannot wait for the Thanksgiving Day between the Lions and Packers
3) New England Patriots (4-1): Would still be unbeaten if not for that horrific day in Buffalo
4) New Orleans Saints (4-1): Somehow survived against Carolina in a tough road encounter and now face another one at Tampa Bay
5) Buffalo Bills (4-1): Big win over Philadelphia to get back on the horse after a loss in Cincinnati
6) San Francisco 49ers (4-1): Another team whose only loss came from a commanding position, but one who have looked better than expected this season. Game at Detroit on Sunday will tell us a lot about them.
7) Baltimore Ravens (3-1): They were on a bye last week, but still look the team to beat in the AFC North
8) San Diego Chargers (4-1): Have not looked that good so far, but keep winning and avoiding their usual early season blues.
9) Washington Redskins (3-1): Were on a bye but had their position in the NFC East strengthened and can now effectively finish off the Eagles
10) Oakland Raiders (3-2): Had to overcome the emotions of losing their owner Al Davis, but showed the heart and character in the team to win on the road in Houston.

My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                      32) Miami Dolphins
2) New England Patriots                  31) Indianapolis Colts
3) New Orleans Saints                      30) St Louis Rams
4) Detroit Lions                                29) Denver Broncos
5) Baltimore Ravens                         28) Arizona Cardinals

Week 6 Picks and Previews
This is where I will be updating the picks I am making as I lock down and place my wagers. I will update my Twitter page whenever I lock a new pick in so that anyone reading this can also get on the same lines as me, especially with the amount of late movement we see on lines all the time as soon as Sunday comes around.

Remember, these are just my views and the picks I am making each week:

Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12027-Cleveland-Browns-at-Oakland-Raiders.htm) Locked Thursday

Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12028-Dallas-Cowboys-at-New-England-Patriots.htm) Locked Thursday

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12029-Miami-Dolphins-at-New-York-Jets.htm) Locked Thursday

Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12030-Buffalo-Bills-at-New-York-Giants.htm) Locked Friday

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12031-New-Orleans-Saints-at-Tampa-Bay-Buccaneers.htm) Locked Friday

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12032-Minnesota-Vikings-at-Chicago-Bears.htm) Locked Friday

St Louis Rams @ Green Bay Packers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12047-St-Louis-Rams-at-Green-Bay-Packers.htm) Locked Saturday

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12048-Carolina-Panthers-at-Atlanta-Falcons.htm) Locked Saturday

Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12049-Houston-Texans-at-Baltimore-Ravens.htm) Locked Saturday

MY PICKS: Oakland Raiders - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
New England Patriots - 6.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (3 Units)
Miami Dolphins + 8 Points @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (3 Units)
New York Giants - 3 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
New Orleans Saints - 4.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (3 Units)
Chicago Bears - 3 Points @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 14 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers + 4.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 7 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (3 Units)

WEEK 5, 5-3, + 3.15 Units
WEEK 44-7, - 6.66 Units
WEEK 3: 4-3-1, + 2.77 Units
WEEK 23-5, - 5.03 Units
WEEK 14-2, + 2.53 Units

Thursday, 13 October 2011

College Football Week 7 Picks and Previews

Week 6 proved to be a great bounce back week as 6 of the 7 picks came is as winners, but I think Week 7 is proving to be a much tougher minefield to negotiate.

We still have a number of unbeaten teams and this is the time of the season when we begin to separate the best from the rest so it can be difficult to keep the profits churning.

With teams looking to improve their rankings by blowing opponents out, I think it can be tough to pick against the best teams, yet I have decided to do that this week. I am hoping the underdogs can get some joy considering I have picked 2 of them in my locks.

The picks are below and I will update on Twitter when new ones are locked in:

Louisiana State Tigers @ Tennessee Volunteers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12021-Louisiana-State-at-Tennessee-Volunteers.htm)

Miami Hurricanes @ North Carolina Tar Heels Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12023-Miami-Hurricanes-at-North-Carolina.htm)

Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Texas Longhorns Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12022-Oklahoma-State-at-Texas-Longhorns.htm)

Florida Gators @ Auburn Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12024-Florida-Gators-at-Auburn-Tigers.htm)

Michigan Wolverines @ Michigan State Spartans Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12025-Michigan-Wolverines-at-Michigan-State.htm)

South Carolina Gamecocks @ Mississippi State Bulldogs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12026-South-Carolina-at-Mississippi-State.htm)

East Carolina Pirates @ Memphis Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12041-East-Carolina-at-Memphis-Tigers.htm)

Clemson Tigers @ Maryland Terrapins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12042-Clemson-Tigers-at-Maryland-Terrapins.htm)

MY PICKS: Tennessee Volunteers + 17 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Miami Hurricanes + 3 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Florida Gators - 2 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Michigan Wolverines + 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Mississippi State + 3 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
East Carolina Pirates - 14 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers - 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

WEEK 6: 6-1, + 4.66 Units
WEEK 53-3, - 0.21 Units
WEEK 44-2, + 1.80 Units
WEEK 3: 5-1, + 3.60 Units
WEEK 2: 3-0, + 2.82 Units
WEEK 1: 4-0, + 3.74 Units

SEASON UPDATE: 25-7, + 16.41 Units

Tennis Picks Thursday 13 October (Shanghai Masters)

Not quite the final outcome I was looking for yesterday as Fernando Verdasco won a tight first set against Juan Carlos Ferrero, but then proceeded to fall apart and lose in 3 sets.

It has been a strange tournament so far with big surprises, for example Kei Nishikori beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 3 sets, but the big favourites Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are still there and could only have shortened in the outright markets.

We have reached the last 16 now and my picks for Thursday are below:

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games vs Florian Mayer: Rafael Nadal has been in very good form since the US Open and has not dropped off from that bad defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Final and he has plenty of ambitions to reach the Number 1 ranking in the World again.

He should be too strong for Florian Mayer, who surprised me in the last round by beating David Nalbandian, as the German's serve will not give him enough free points and I expect him to be ground down by the Spaniard.

Alexandr Dolgopolov vs Bernard Tomic: I am not the biggest fan of backing Alexandr Dolgopolov because he can play so hot and cold at times that he is hard to read. However, he is a player that can build momentum in tournaments and I think he is in line for a big week.

Bernard Tomic has had a big win this week over Mardy Fish so confidence should be high in the young Australian, but he too is a player that has not gained the consistency in his play just yet and I have a feeling this could be after the Lord Mayor's show for him as he tries to build on the win over Fish.

Dolgopolov has taken care of Tomic twice before, both wins coming on the hard courts in Australia, and I think he can complete his hat-trick at a decent price.

MY PICKS: Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Alexandr Dolgopolov @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Shanghai Masters: 1-2, - 2.20 Units

English Football Weekend Picks (October 15th-16th)

Well it has been a couple of weeks since the Premier League last had any action and the international break is now over so it is back to the 'real' football this weekend.

England qualified for Euro 2012 over the last few days, although that seems to have been forgotten since the news has been all about the Wayne Rooney sending off and what it means to England's chances at the tournament next year.

Now call me boring, but I think it has almost no impact on how England are going to do next year- they look like they will lose Rooney for 2 games at most in the group stages, usually one that should be negotiated fairly comfortably, especially by sides who have serious ambitions of winning the tournament.

With the hosts Poland and Ukraine likely to be seeded in the Number 1 pot, England could potentially face one of those in the group stage, which is traditionally tougher than World Cup groups, but England should have enough to cover one player, even one as talented and important as Wayne Rooney.

It was a silly and pointless sending off for Rooney last Friday, but one I will not be too concerned about. Fabio Capello has said he will not play Rooney in any England games until the tournament next year, and that is good news for Manchester United so I am not so bothered as I am sure many out there are.

As per usual, I will update the picks on here and will also update my Twitter page when they are posted. I have been putting these out slightly earlier than usual because of the spare time I have had with no football to watch on TV, and will soon be updating with my picks from College Football and the NFL in the coming days.

Liverpool v Manchester United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11999-Liverpool-v-Manchester-United.htm)

Manchester City v Aston Villa Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12000-Manchester-City-v-Aston-Villa.htm)

Stoke City v Fulham Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12005-Stoke-City-v-Fulham.htm)

Wigan v Bolton Wanderers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12002-Wigan-v-Bolton-Wanderers.htm)

Norwich City v Swansea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12007-Norwich-City-v-Swansea.htm)

Chelsea v Everton Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12001-Chelsea-v-Everton.htm)

Arsenal v Sunderland Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12008-Arsenal-v-Sunderland.htm)

West Ham v Blackpool Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12035-West-Ham-v-Blackpool.htm)

Brighton v Hull City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12040-Brighton-v-Hull-City.htm)

MY PICKS: Liverpool @ 3.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Manchester City - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Stoke City-Fulham Both NOT to Score @ 1.83 Stan James (2 Units)
Wigan-Bolton Wanderers Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Norwich City-Swansea Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Chelsea-Everton Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.15 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Arsenal - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
West Ham-Blackpool last goal from 74th minute or later @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Brighton-Hull City Over 2.5 Goals@ 2.10 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

OCTOBER UPDATE: 4-7, - 1.8 Units

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tennis Picks Wednesday 12 October (Shanghai Masters)

It was a mediocre start to the week as Feliciano Lopez covered the spread in his win over Janko Tipsarevic, but David Nalbandian was easily pushed aside by Florian Mayer. That leaves me with an extremely small loss for the day as the Masters event continues today.

Just before I get on with my picks from the Wednesday schedule, I would like to put down my two-cents on this whole story about the big players potentially 'striking' if things are not changed with the schedule.

Now, I want to begin by saying I love sports and I really respect the people that are capable of playing it at a high level, but all this nonsense about striking is beginning to get on my nerves.

Boris Becker was the latest former player to give his support to the players, but I find it astonishing that people being paid as well as they are find time to complain about things.

Yes, the schedule is tough, but there is little room for manoeuvre as far as the ATP are concerned... Well little room without a complete overhaul of what we have come to expect with the Australian Open in January, the French Open in May, Wimbledon in June and the US Open in September. None of these Grand Slams want to move so that means there is unlikely to be a major overhaul at any time soon.

So what are the players complaining about? They feel they have to play too much compulsory tennis, with the top players expected to play in 4 Grand Slams and 8 Masters events in the course of the season. Their results in 6 other tournaments are also counted, whether that comes from the 500 Events or the 250 Events is up to the player in question.

This is a lot of tennis, and they feel there is a need for a off-season as you get in most sports- however, my sympathy does not run that deep for them here.

First off, a lot of these players are subsidised to ridiculous levels to take part in the 'lesser' tournaments, while an exhibition tournament (without ranking points) in the Middle East is attended by top players at the beginning of January- they are given very generous appearance fees for such an event and shouldn't take part if there is too much tennis being played.

Straight away, I don't understand how they can complain about the amount of tennis being played, yet take up offers to appear in events that count for nothing- I don't begrudge someone making their money through their talents, but to then COMPLAIN about TOO MUCH tennis looks a little silly.

It is correct that there is only around 5 weeks between the end of the tennis season to the beginning of a new one, even less if players take part in the Final of the Davis Cup, but let's not skirt the amount of time the top players miss during the season.

There can be around a month after the Australian Open that the top players are not seen, and around 6 weeks after Wimbledon before they begin their US hard court challenge, so there are times DURING the season that they can recover from physical ailments.

I understand the complaints that were made at the US Open (while my favourite Grand Slam, the scheduling in the early stages leaves a lot to be desired), but even that tournament has to give way to TV demands, without which these tennis players would not be earning as much as they are right now.

A lot of these players are putting in a ton of hard work to get to where they are, but they need to perhaps be reminded of the hardship 'normal' people are going through to make ends meet and it these people that make tennis players millionaires.

I am just a little fed up with all this super rich people complaining about things when there are so many out there that just about feed a family of 4 after working five continuous shifts of 14 hours a day...

Tennis players, like other sports stars, are doing something they love and the complaints seem a little out of context with the grand scheme of things.

That is just my opinion on things, I don't think sports stars should be treated as robots at our beck and call, but to talk about strikes is beginning to get on my nerves a tad.

Picks will follow below once the prices and schedule for the days play are released:

Fernando Verdasco vs Juan Carlos Ferrero: I think Fernando Verdasco is being slightly underrated after his hammering at the hands of Tomas Berdych last week, but I think he is still good enough to take care of Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Verdasco has won 3 of the last 4 meetings between the players and I think he will continue that run, albeit in 3 sets, and I don't think he should be dogged in this match up.

MY PICK: Fernando Verdasco @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Shanghai Masters: 1-1, - 0.20 Units

Season Total: + 82.02 Units

Monday, 10 October 2011

Tennis Picks Tuesday 11 October (Shanghai Masters)

It has been a while since I last played any tennis matches as we have had the break from the US Open while the tournaments being played have not really appealed to me too much.

However, we come to one of the final Masters Events of the season and I didn't make any outright picks as both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic pulled out with fatigue and injury, and that obviously means Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are the short priced favourites to win the tournament.

4 of the top 10 are missing this week, while the dangerous Juan Martin Del Potro is not playing either, so the prices were significantly short on the top two players and I decided to give the outright market a miss.

I expect both Murray and Nadal to go close this week, if not win the tournament, but I will stick to the daily picks and hopefully keep the profit going upwards as the season draws to a close.

On to the Picks:

Feliciano Lopez + 3 games vs Janko Tipsarevic: Tipsarevic has been in the better form of late after winning a tournament in Kuala Lumpur, but Feliciano Lopez has the game to give him plenty of fits as he can win plenty of free point off his booming serve if it is on its game.

Lopez is a former Semi Finalist in this tournament, and he holds a 4-1 head to head record against Tipsarevic so I think he can at least keep this match close, hopefully pushing it to 3 sets if he does lose.

Tipsarevic does have the potential of making the World Tour Finals if he absolutely aces the last few weeks of the season, but this looks like being a tough 1st Round encounter for him so I will take the games.

David Nalbandian - 3.5 games vs Florian Mayer: David Nalbandian has been playing some good tennis recently, even if he is coming to the back end of his career, and he does have the game that can give Florian Mayer fits.

Mayer does not have the big weapons off the ground that will bother Nalbandian, and will not get too many free points off a weak serve, and these are areas that the Argentine should be able to exploit.

Nalbandian has won the previous pair of meetings between the players, although the last was back in 2005, but I think he should be good enough to come through tomorrow.

MY PICKS: Feliciano Lopez + 3 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
David Nalbandian - 3.5 games @ 1.90 Bodog (2 Units)

SEASON TOTAL: + 82.02 Units

Thursday, 6 October 2011

College Football Week 6 Picks and Previews

It looked like the bad week I have been dreading all season was ready to rear its ugly head last week as the first 3 picks all went down the drain, only I was saved with Alabama, Wisconsin and Stanford all winning big and covering the spread.

It would have been a disappointment if I had ended with a big loss considering Boise State and Baylor both allowed 10 unanswered points in the 4th Quarter to allow the cover to come in, although my South Florida pick clearly was a stinker after watching the 1st Quarter of their abysmal performance at Pittsburgh.

All in all, it does mean I had the smallest of losses last week, although the season record has now moved to 19-6 so I am not going to complain at all.

Below I will update my picks as I lock them in over the next couple of days. Follow me on Twitter where I will post any time I put up some new picks:

Boise State Broncos @ Fresno State Bulldogs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11938-Fresno-State-Bulldog-v-Boise-State-Broncos.htm)

Florida Gators @ Louisiana State Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11940-Louisiana-State-v-Florida-Gators.htm)

Colorado Buffaloes @ Stanford Cardinal Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11948-Stanford-Cardinal-v-Colorado-Buffaloes.htm)

Ohio State Buckeyes @ Nebraska Cornhuskers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11950-Nebraska-v-Ohio-State.htm)

East Carolina Pirates @ Houston Cougars Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11951-Houston-Cougars-v-East-Carolina.htm)

Connecticut Huskies @ West Virginia Mountaineers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11952-West-Virginia-v-Connecticut-Huskies.htm)

Oklahoma Sooners @ Texas Longhorns Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11959-Texas-Longhorns-v-Oklahoma-Sooners.htm)

MY PICKS: Boise State Broncos - 20.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Louisiana State Tigers - 13.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Stanford Cardinal - 29 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Nebraska Cornhuskers - 11 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Houston Cougars - 9.5 Points @ 1.92 SportingBet (1 Unit)
West Virginia Mountaineers - 20 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma Sooners - 10 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)

WEEK 5: 3-3, - 0.21 Units
WEEK 44-2, + 1.80 Units
WEEK 3: 5-1, + 3.60 Units
WEEK 2: 3-0, + 2.82 Units
WEEK 1: 4-0, + 3.74 Units