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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...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

NFL Week 12 Picks and Previews

I am just about ready to jet off to Dallas so I won't have full previews of all the games I will be picking this week, although all the picks will be in the post.

I will make all updates as soon as I am back and in time for Week 13 picks.

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12489-Green-Bay-Packers-at-Detroit-Lions.htm)

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12490-Buffalo-Bills-at-New-York-Jets.htm)

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12492-Houston-Texans-at-Jacksonville-Jaguars.htm)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12493-Pittsburgh-Steelers-at-Kansas-City-Chiefs.htm)

MY PICKS: Green Bay Packers - 6 Points @ 1.95 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
New York Jets - 8 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Houston Texans - 3.5 Points @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Pittsburgh Steelers - 10 Points @ 1.92 BetFred (2 Units)
Miami Dolphins + 7 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Baltimore Ravens - 3.5 Points @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Minnesota Vikings + 9.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Denver Broncos + 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

College Football Week 13 Picks and Previews

I'll be away from Wednesday so picks are going up a little early this week and I will have full update from the last couple of weeks once I am back before Week 14.

My picks will come out in the next 24 hours and will be posted here as soon as they are locked in:

Michigan State Spartans @ Northwestern Wildcats Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12481-Michigan-State-at-Northwestern.htm)

Alabama Crimson Tide @ Auburn Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12482-Alabama-at-Auburn-Tigers.htm)

Virginia Tech Hokies @ Virginia Cavaliers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12486-Virginia-Tech-at-Virginia-Cavaliers.htm)

Penn State Nittany Lions @ Wisconsin Badgers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12487-Penn-State-at-Wisconsin-Badgers.htm)

UCLA Bruins @ USC Trojans Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12488-UCLA-Bruins-at-USC-Trojans.htm)

MY PICKS: Michigan State Spartans - 6.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Alabama Crimson Tide - 20.5 Points @ 1.90 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Virginia Tech Hokies - 5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Wisconsin Badgers - 14.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
USC Trojans - 14.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Georgia Bulldogs - 6 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Mississippi State Bulldogs - 17 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Florida State Seminoles - 1.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

Midweek Football Picks and Preview (European and English Football)

I won't be posting much this week as I will flying out to Dallas and then on to Vegas, so my posts will literally picks and previews.

These are picks from the Champions League games to be played on the 22nd and 23rd of November:

Manchester United v Benfica Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12476-Manchester-United-v-Benfica.htm)

Napoli v Manchester City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12477-Napoli-v-Manchester-City.htm)

Bayern Munich v Villarreal Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12479-Bayern-Munich-v-Villarreal.htm)

Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12480-Arsenal-v-Borussia-Dortmund.htm)

MY PICKS: Manchester United win to nil @ 2.63 Coral (2 Units)
Napoli-Manchester City Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Bayern Munich win to nil @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Arsenal @ 2.15 Pinnacle (2 Units)

November Update: 11-11, + 3.49 Units

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

English Football Weekend Picks (November 19th-21st)

It feels like a really long two weeks whenever the Internationals are played, but it is even longer when the majority of those are International Friendlies, games I consider to be the ultimate waste of everyone's time.

Thankfully it will be back to the Premier League this weekend and then a full midweek slate of games from the Champions League and the Europa League.

This time of the year is usually very busy as teams gear up to a full Christmas programme of games, while we also get closer to the big draws that will shape the new calender year.

I will be posting my picks during the next couple of days from the weekend list and, as with all picks, you can follow me on Twitter where I will post any updates:

Norwich City v Arsenal Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12412-Norwich-City-v-Arsenal.htm)

Swansea v Manchester United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12413-Swansea-v-Manchester-United.htm)

Manchester City v Newcastle United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12414-Manchester-City-v-Newcastle-United.htm)

Everton v Wolves Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12415-Everton-v-Wolves.htm)

West Brom v Bolton Wanderers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12420-West-Brom-v-Bolton-Wanderers.htm)

Stoke City v QPR Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12422-Stoke-City-v-QPR.htm)

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12425-Tottenham-Hotspur-v-Aston-Villa.htm)

Chelsea v Liverpool Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12434-Chelsea-v-Liverpool.htm)

MY PICKS: Norwich City-Arsenal Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.63 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Swansea-Manchester United English Handicap Draw (United to win by 1 goal) @ 3.60 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Manchester City-Newcastle United First goal after 22 minutes @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Everton-Wolves Both to score @ 1.92 BetFred (2 Units)

West Brom-Bolton Wanderers Draw @ 3.50 BetFred (1 Unit)
Stoke City @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tottenham Hotspur - 1 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (3 Units)
Chelsea-Liverpool Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)

November Update: 6-8, - 1.47 Units

NFL Week 11 Picks and Previews

Week 10 Thoughts
1) Bonehead play-calling leaves me scratching my head: Now I have never coached in the NFL and I have a full-time job outside of watching sports so I don't have the time to break down tapes of the previous week games as much as a full-time coach would have, yet if I can see something on tape, I find it incredibly shocking that these people being paid a hell of a lot of money fail to see it. There were 2 occasions this week:
(1a) Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Plan: I wrote in my preview of the Eagles-Cardinals game how easy Steven Jackson had trampled all over Arizona before this game, and that should give LeSean McCoy a chance to have a big game, yet I have no idea how he only got 14 carries in a tight game.

McCoy was averaging 5.79 yards per carry, had already scored a TD on the ground, and the Eagles were missing their two top receivers, yet the play-calling did not utilise their advantage. Fine, McCoy did rip off 29 yards from 1 carry, but the Eagles were never in a hole that they had to throw their way out of, and it does make you scratch your head as to what they were thinking.

And all of this is while confirming Michael Vick had broken ribs on the SECOND play of the game...

(1b) Haven't we been through this before with the Baltimore Ravens?: After the loss to Jacksonville, the Ravens Defensive leaders expressed their surprise that Ray Rice had been used so little in the Offensive plays, yet Baltimore's Cam Cameron surpassed that feat this week by having Rice carry just 5 times.

That put immense pressure on Joe Flacco, who continues to fluctuate between the ultimate highs and valley lows, as the Ravens once again lost their iron-grip on the AFC North.

Rice is the best Offensive player on the Ravens team, so to use him so little is another head-scratching moment that has me wondering what the Offensive Co-Ordinators do all week.

2) Talking of the Baltimore Ravens: What is up with this team that has beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers twice, the Houston Texans and the New York Jets, but have lost to Tennessee, Jacksonville and now Seattle?

I did put a warning out that this team seems to play up and down to their opposition, although I was a little surprised to see another preview picking the Ravens because they 'destroy the weaker teams'- maybe last season they did, but they have been poor against the weaker teams on their schedule so far.

It was a tough spot for the Ravens as the game came between the Steelers and the Bengals, but that is no excuse to losing to a team like Seattle. Baltimore fumbled TWO kick-offs in their own half that kind of killed any momentum they picked up when reducing a 13-0 deficit by 7 points, but again there is no excuse.

The defeat also means they have a fight on their hands in the AFC North, while also losing their edge in the race for the Number 1 seed in the AFC, and I wonder if a team that has so many ups and downs can really win in the Play Offs and get to the SuperBowl, surely the aim for this veteran group this season.

In saying all that, I fully expect the Ravens to knock off Cincinnati at home this weekend- it is a 'big' game after all.

3) Congratulations Indianapolis, your QB situation is clear for the next 15 years: The Indianapolis Colts opened up a 2 game lead in the race for the Number 1 Draft Pick next April as they continued to shoot themselves in the foot in a loss to Jacksonville last weekend.

It is clear they have Andrew Luck in mind when Bill Polian says he has spoken to Peyton Manning about drafting a QB high next April.

There are some rumours that that could also mean trading Manning, but I doubt that happens. It is much more likely that the Colts look to get every last drop out of Manning in the next 3 years, allowing Luck to learn the Offense and seamlessly fit into the system in around 2015.

4) Houston looked like being a real contender in the AFC... Until this weekend: Wade Phillips has worked wonders as the Defensive Co-Ordinator in Houston and it looked like the team were heading for big things in the AFC, but they may have suffered the one injury they cannot overcome.

Houston have missed Andre Johnson for a few weeks, while Mario Williams is out, but both of those super-star players' absence has been covered as they team kept winning, but the loss of Matt Schaub this weekend could be the final straw.

That means Matt Leinart will come in as QB and I have little to no faith in him on previous performances. He is lucky enough to come into a system with Arian Foster and Ben Tate running the ball so effectively, and I do think the Texans make the Play Offs in the poor AFC South, but can I see Leinart leading the team to wins against New England? Pittsburgh? Baltimore?

I really like what the Texans have done this season, but I just think the Schaub loss will be too much to overcome, especially in January.

5) The Jets are in a tough position after being swept by the Patriots: The Jets only hope, in my opinion, is to sneak one of the Wild Card spots this season as they are now effectively 2 games behind New England in the race for the AFC East, and the Patriots have one of the weakest schedules left on paper.

That means the Jets can't falter any more down the stretch with teams like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego and Buffalo also involved in the mix, while the game on Thursday at Denver is huge as a defeat would see the Broncos tie with the Jets record AND hold the head to head.

Oh, and anyone who hasn't seen what Rex Ryan feels about fans' perceptions of his team and the Patriots, check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57-PDpVwjmg

Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (9-0): Enough said
2) San Francisco 49ers (8-1): Proving themselves every week
3) Houston Texans (7-3): No we get to see how good the Texans are with Matt Leinart at QB
4) New Orleans Saints (7-3): In control of the NFC South and capable of out-scoring anybody on their day
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)
6) Chicago Bears (6-3): A real dark horse in the NFC
7) Baltimore Ravens (6-3): Cannot keep losing to bad teams and expect to be taken seriously
8) New York Giants (6-3): Big game against the Eagles this week
9) Cincinnati Bengals (6-3): Lost to the Steelers, now face the Ravens... All questions of this young team will be answered.
10) Dallas Cowboys (5-4): This team looked amazing against Buffalo last time out, and are back in contention in the NFC East.

My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                          32) Indianapolis Colts
2) Pittsburgh Steelers                           31) Cleveland Browns
3) San Francisco 49ers                         30) Washington Redskins
4) Baltimore Ravens                             29) Seattle Seahawks
5) New Orleans Saints                          28) Minnesota Vikings

Week 11 Pick and Previews
I will be posting up picks for Week 11 over the coming days. As always, you can follow me on Twitter where I will update any time new picks are locked in place.

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos Pick and Preview ( http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12416-New-York-Jets-at-Denver-Broncos.htm)

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12459-Dallas-Cowboys-at-Washington-Redskins.htm)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12460-Cincinnati-Bengals-at-Baltimore-Ravens.htm)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12461-Tampa-Bay-Buccaneers-at-Green-Bay-Packers.htm)

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12462-Oakland-Raiders-at-Minnesota-Vikings.htm)

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12463-Buffalo-Bills-at-Miami-Dolphins.htm)

Due to time constraints, I have not been able to write full previews for the remaining picks I have made, but you can find them below.

MY PICKS: New York Jets - 6 Points @ 1.92 BetFred (2 Units)
Dallas Cowboys - 7 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 6.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 14 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Oakland Raiders + 1 Point @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Miami Dolphins - 1.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers + 7 Points @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Arizona Cardinals + 10 Points @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
St Louis Rams - 2.5 Points @ 2.00 Stan James (2 Units)
San Diego Chargers + 5 Points @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

WEEK 10: 4-6, - 3.74 Units
WEEK 96-2, + 7.04 Units
WEEK 83-5, - 6.44 Units
WEEK 75-4, - 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 UPDATE42-41-2, - 11.23 Units

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

College Football Week 12 Picks and Previews

The top 2 teams in the nation continued with their surge towards a National Championship encounter in January as both the LSU Tigers and, more impressively, the Oklahoma State Cowboys remained unbeaten.

This match-up would be very intriguing as the Tigers success is based on their Defense and would be going up against the best Offense in College Football in the form of the Cowboys.

The weekend also showed up all those people who had laughed when I said the Oklahoma Sooners were not out of contention for a tilt at the big game- the Stanford and Boise State losses means the Sooners have moved up the rankings and they are sure to get a lot of votes if they knock off Oklahoma State in their game on December 3rd.

The problem for Oklahoma is trying to keep up with the Cowboys without Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley who are both out for the season. Another thing that doesn't sit well with many voters is how the Sooners lost to the awful Texas Tech team that were bludgeoned at home by Oklahoma State this weekend.

Alabama will also be feeling they are back in contention to play in the National Championship Game after another win at Mississippi State over the weekend, although they may be looking for Arkansas to knock of the LSU Tigers in the final game of the season before the SEC Championship Game is set.

In terms of the picks, it was one of the poorer weeks of the season as the finished 4-5... Hopefully we will have a little more luck than Week 11 as I look to bounce back.

The picks will come out in staggered periods during the next couple of days and you can follow me on Twitter where I update whenever anything is posted:

Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Iowa State Cyclones Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12437-Oklahoma-State-at-Iowa-State-Cyclones.htm)

Mississippi State Bulldogs @ Arkansas Razorbacks Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12438-Mississippi-State-at-Arkansas-Razorbacks.htm)

Wisconsin Badgers @ Illinois Fighting Illini Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12439-Wisconsin-Badgers-at-Illinois-Fighting-Il.htm)

Southern Methodist Mustangs @ Houston Cougars Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12440-Southern-Methodist-at-Houston-Cougars.htm)

Kentucky Wildcats @ Georgia Bulldogs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12446-Kentucky-Wildcats-at-Georgia-Bulldogs.htm)

Louisiana State Tigers @ Ole Mississippi Rebels Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12449-Louisiana-State-at-Ole-Mississippi.htm)

Clemson Tigers @ North Carolina State Wolfpack Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12450-Clemson-Tigers-at-North-Carolina-State.htm)

Penn State Nittany Lions @ Ohio State Buckeyes Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12452-Penn-State-at-Ohio-State.htm)

MY PICKS: Oklahoma State Cowboys - 27 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Arkansas Razorbacks - 13 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Wisconsin Badgers - 14.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Houston Cougars - 19.5 Points @ 1.92 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Georgia Bulldogs - 30.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Louisiana State Tigers - 30 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers - 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Ohio State Buckeyes - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

WEEK 11: 4-5, - 1.21 Units
WEEK 105-3, + 1.74 Units
WEEK 94-2, + 1.82 Units
WEEK 82-4, - 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 UPDATE: 45-24, + 18.40 Units

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

College Football Week 11 Picks and Previews

Where else can you start this week but the allegations surrounding Penn State and the fallout from that.

The allegations look bad for everyone connected with the Nittany Lions, especially considering how long they have been brushed under the carpet and the amount of damage that could have been prevented if the necessary steps had been taken years ago.

It looks like this could also be the end of Joe Paterno as Head Coach after 46 years in that position- the stories coming out at the moment are that his support has been 'eroding' as more and more allegations come out and it already looks like he will not be seeing out the season.

This is no way for Joepa to be leaving this post after a storied career, but there looks to be no way out for the Coach who should have had done more from a moral standpoint even if he did all he was legally required to do.

This story is going to run and run, but it leaves a sick feeling in the mouth already and there are plenty of heads that should be rolling once everything is taken out of the darkness and brought to public light.

On the field, we saw the 'Game of the Century' last week when LSU beat Alabama by 3 points in OT in a tight defensive battle. It was a tough game and I felt the Crimson Tide were the better team but were let down by poor field goal kicking (missing 4 FGs in the contest), but there are still some demands for the teams to meet one another in the National Championship Game and are very much in line to do so if they can run the table and see a couple of defeats for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Stanford Cardinal.

The Tigers control their own destiny after earning that tough win in Tuscaloosa, but they have to be careful with a couple of tough spots in front of them, including a game with the Arkansas Razorbacks and a SEC Championship Game, but they are the clear Number 1 in the Rankings and it would be a big surprise if they are not in the big game this season.

As always, my picks will come in staggered form throughout the week and you can follow me on Twitter when I will update any time I post some picks.

Baylor Bears @ Kansas Jayhawks Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12378-Baylor-Bears-at-Kansas-Jayhawks.htm)

Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Penn State Nittany Lions Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12379-Nebraska-Cornhuskers-at-Penn-State.htm)

Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Texas Tech Red Raiders Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12380-Oklahoma-State-at-Texas-Tech.htm)

Alabama Crimson Tide @ Mississippi State Bulldogs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12381-Alabama-at-Mississippi-State.htm)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Clemson Tigers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12382-Wake-Forest-at-Clemson-Tigers.htm)

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Cincinnati Bearcats Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12384-West-Virginia-at-Cincinnati-Bearcats.htm)

Wisconsin Badgers @ Minnesota Golden Gophers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12387-Wisconsin-Badgers-at-Minnesota.htm)

Miami Hurricanes @ Florida State Seminoles Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12388-Miami-Hurricanes-at-Florida-State.htm)

Tennessee Volunteers @ Arkansas Razorbacks Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12389-Tennessee-Volunteers-at-Arkansas-Razorbacks.htm)

MY PICKS: Baylor Bears - 20 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Nebraska Cornhuskers - 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oklahoma State Cowboys - 17 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Alabama Crimson Tide - 17.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Clemson Tigers - 16.5 Points @ 1.92 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
West Virginia + 4 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Wisconsin Badgers - 27 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Florida State Seminoles - 9 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

Arkansas Razorbacks - 14 Points @ 1.92 Stan James (1 Unit)

WEEK 10: 5-3, + 1.74 Units
WEEK 94-2, + 1.82 Units
WEEK 82-4, - 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 UPDATE: 41-19, + 19.61 Units

NFL Week 10 Picks and Previews

Week 9 Thoughts
1) San Francisco are the cream of the NFC West: This is obvious considering they already hold a big lead in the otherwise poor Division, and they look on course to securing a Play Off spot way before the end of the season.

Their record also means they are in a good position to secure the Number 2 seed in the NFC and thus earning one bye week and also a Divisional Championship game at Candlestick Park.

5 of their last 8 games are very winnable as they are against fellow teams from the NFC West and I would not be surprised at all if they are the one of the top two seeds come January.

2) The teams from the respective North Divisions control entry to the Play Offs through the Wild Cards: The AFC North and NFC North are arguably the best two Divisions in the NFL (although the AFC East and NFC South have arguments against that statement).

Both Divisions have 3 teams with winning records and, if the Play Offs were to begin this week, both Divisions would have 3 teams in the Play Offs.

The problem for these teams is that they have to play each other so often in a 16 game season that at least one is going to have too many losses to get through to the Play Offs unless they can essentially win most of their non-Divisional games.

This week we have the Steelers going to Cincinnati and the Lions going to Chicago and those are the kind of games that could determine who makes the Play Offs and who wont.

3) What is wrong with the New England Patriots?: Well to start off, the Patriots are still in good shape in the AFC East with their 5-3 record, but they have lost back to back games and have not been playing well on either side of the ball.

Tom Brady is not getting the protection from his Offensive Line and has looked a little confused in defeats to Pittsburgh and the New York Giants, while the Defense couldn't stop anybody right now.

They are in a tough Division with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets both with the same record, and the trip to the Jets this week is a huge game for New England.

The bottom line for New England is they need their Offense to play great football all the time if they to win games, and anything less means their 32nd ranked Defense is expected to do something they haven't managed to all season.

It was also telling that Bill Belichick decided to kick an onside kick against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field recently in a game they were trailing by 5 points and with 3 timeouts in his pocket- the Head Coach did not believe in his Defense and no team has been successful with a Defense that has struggled as the Patriots have this season.

4) Indianapolis in pole position for the Number 1 Pick: Miami became the 31st team this season to win a game and thus leave the Colts as the only team yet to win a game and in the pole position to win the Andrew Luck 'sweepstakes'.

The last couple of games for the Colts have been brutal to say the least, they have struggled on both sides of the ball and a few of their veteran players have looked a little disinterested in helping this team move forward.

Peyton Manning is unlikely to return this season and I am not entirely sure how he will feel playing with his replacement already at the franchise, but Luck looks a little too good to bypass and it does pose some interesting questions for the future.

Curtis Painter was pulled in the last game against the Falcons as he struggled throughout that game and it will be interesting to see how they perform against a Divisional rival in the form of Jacksonville at home this week.

I thought the team looked desperate for their bye week, but this looks like one of their few remaining winnable games this season if they dont want to suffer the ignominy of going through a season without a single win.

Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (8-0): The Defense is a concern, but remain the team everyone needs to beat
2) San Francisco 49ers (7-1): They keep winning, but a big test awaits this week as the Giants come to town.
3) New York Giants (6-2): Beating the Patriots with that last 90 second drive was impressive
4) Baltimore Ravens (6-2): Sweeping the Steelers gives them control of the AFC North
5) Cincinnati Bengals (6-2): Big test against Pittsburgh this week
6) Detroit Lions (6-2)
7) New Orleans Saints (6-3): Great in the Dome, but much more beatable on the road
8) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3): Swept by the Ravens will hurt, but can get back on the horse at Cincinnati
9) Houston Texans (6-3): Control of the AFC South as they close in on their first Play Off appearance in franchise history
10) Chicago Bears (5-3): Looked so good in their last 3 wins including an impressive one on the road at Philadelphia on Monday Night Football

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

Week 10 Picks and Previews
I will update this during the week as the picks are locked in.

You can follow me on Twitter where I will update whenever new picks are locked in, while also remember that the first Thursday Night game of the season will take place this week.

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers Pick and Preview ( http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12371-Oakland-Raiders-at-San-Diego-Chargers.htm)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12390-Pittsburgh-Steelers-at-Cincinnati-Bengals.htm)

Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12391-Tennessee-Titans-at-Carolina-Panthers.htm)

Buffalo Bills @ Dallas Cowboys Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12392-Buffalo-Bills-at-Dallas-Cowboys.htm)

Baltimore Ravens @ Seattle Seahawks Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12393-Baltimore-Ravens-at-Seattle-Seahawks.htm)

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12394-New-York-Giants-at-San-Francisco-49ers.htm)

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12395-Detroit-Lions-at-Chicago-Bears.htm)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12396-Jacksonville-Jaguars-at-Indianapolis-Colts.htm)

Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12397-Houston-Texans-at-Tampa-Bay-Buccaneers.htm)

Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12398-Arizona-Cardinals-at-Philadelphia-Eagles.htm)

MY PICKS: San Diego Chargers - 7 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Pittsburgh Steelers - 3 Points @ 1.83 BetFred (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers - 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Dallas Cowboys - 5.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
New York Giants + 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Chicago Bears - 2.5 Points @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Indianapolis Colts + 3 Points @ 2.00 BetFred (1 Unit)
Houston Texans - 3.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles - 14 Points @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

WEEK 9: 6-2, + 7.04 Units
WEEK 8: 3-5, - 6.44 Units
WEEK 75-4, - 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 UPDATE: 38-35-2, - 7.49 Units

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

RIP Joe Frazier 1944-2011

The Champ has had his final battle and, at age 67, Smokin' Joe Frazier is now no longer with us.

The news on Saturday about his illness had prepared me for what was going to happen, but I was still shocked when I heard the news.

These great Heavyweight Champions of the past are like gods to me, far better than us mere mortals and true heroes, which makes it all the harder to accept Frazier is gone.

His era in the ring had already passed on by the time I entered this World, but my love for boxing came from watching tapes of the classic fights between himself and George Foreman and Muhammed Ali, and hearing the stories my old man told me about these great fighters of yesteryear.

There has already been a lot of talk about the fights Frazier and Ali had, particularly the brutal 'Thrilla in Manila' that effectively finished both of their careers as neither was ever the same fighter again.

Joe Frazier may have gone 1-4 in his fights against the other two great fighters of his time, but the trilogy with Ali shows why he is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and he extracted every bit of talent from his 5 foot 9, 205 pound frame.

I always had Frazier in my personal list of top 10 heavyweights of all time, but I wish he had received more recognition while he was still with us. There are calls for a statue to be erected in Philadelphia, especially as the city honoured a fictional boxer in 'Rocky Balboa' in that way already, it is just a shame Smokin' Joe will not be able to see it himself.

His strength of character, his heart and desire and belief to be the best will always be remembered, and you only hear pleasant things from those who were fortunate to spend any time in his company.

A man who showed compassion when providing Ali with financial support during his years of exile from the ring, a man who then commissioned the President Richard Nixon to overturn the ban on Ali.

He was also a man who was punished in the ring by George Foreman, but kept getting up despite taking some of the biggest shots he could- that fight showed the heart and courage Frazier had.

And then we get to the Thrilla in Manila where Frazier could barely see by the end of the 14 Rounds, but still pushed himself against his greatest rival and still wanted more.

Ali remarked in that fight that 'they said you (Frazier) were through', only to be given a quick reply from Joe exclaiming 'they lied'. Anyone who hasn't watched that fight must see it as both took each other to the limit, both being hurt at points in the fight, yet showing the desire to do anything to win.

These are the memories of Joe Frazier that will cement his place in all boxing fans eyes for years to come as stories of this great era of heavyweight boxing is passed down the generations.

Eddie Hutch, Frazier's legendary trainer, pulled his fighter out between the 14th and 15th Round of the fight in Manila, to save Frazier from more punishment.

Hutch told Joe 'no one will forget what you did here today'... I will take those comments further and say no one will forget you Joe Frazier.

RIP, 1944-2011

Sunday, 6 November 2011

NFL Week 9 Picks and Previews

Due to work commitments this week, I will not have time to recap last weeks NFL news, but I have got a few picks locked in.

I will update season tally, power rankings and my top 5 and bottom 5 all next week in the Week 10 Picks.

Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12359-Green-Bay-Packers-at-San-Diego-Chargers.htm)

San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12360-San-Francisco-49ers-at-Washington-Redskins.htm)

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12361-Atlanta-Falcons-at-Indianapolis-Colts.htm)

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12362-Miami-Dolphins-at-Kansas-City-Chiefs.htm)

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12366-Denver-Broncos-at-Oakland-Raiders.htm)

New York Giants @ New England Patriots Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12367-New-York-Giants-at-New-England-Patriots.htm)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12368-Cincinnati-Bengals-at-Tennessee-Titans.htm)

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12369-Baltimore-Ravens-at-Pittsburgh-Steelers.htm)

MY PICKS: Green Bay Packers - 5.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
San Francisco 49ers - 4 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Atlanta Falcons - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Kansas City Chiefs - 4 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Oakland Raiders - 7 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
New York Giants + 9 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Cincinnati Bengals + 3 Points @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens + 3.5 Points @ 1.92 Coral (2 Units)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

English Football Weekend Picks (November 5th-6th)

I will be starting this post with a few thoughts recapping the last week of football events and will then have my picks up for the coming weekend football.

Things We Learned (October 29th-November 4th)
1) Congratulations to Sir Alex Ferguson for the last 25 years: It will be 25 years on Sunday that Alex Ferguson walked through the doors of Old Trafford with the aim of 'knocking Liverpool off their fucking perch' and he has since cemented his legacy as one of the greatest managers in British football history, if not the greatest.

I will be writing a short piece on Sir Alex, and my memories of the last 25 years on Sunday.

2) Someone needs to have a word in Kenny Dalglish's shell: It is not the first time that Liverpool have insinuated that Patrice Evra should be 'punished' for daring to report Luis Suarez to the FA for alleged racist comments.

However, you would think someone would have told Dalglish not to fan the flames of the argument when he said that either Suarez or Evra should be punished once the FA conclude their findings.

Now I know a little bit about the legal system and know that even if Suarez is found 'not guilty' that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen... It could solely mean there was no evidence to prove Evra's claim.

The only way Evra can be punished if it is PROVED that he made up the allegations and I would love to know how Dalglish believes that will occur?

I assume, judging by his comments, that Dalglish will expect Anton Ferdinand to be 'punished' if John Terry is not by the FA for the alleged racist remarks in that game too?

I don't know what happened between Suarez and Evra and I don't think anyone but the two players in question will know, but Liverpool's attempts to undermine Evra and demands for punishment are a joke.

No surprise the media, who kiss Dalglish's feet, failed to actually say anything to him regarding his remarks or to make anything of them.

3) Have Arsenal convince me yet?: It was a fantastic performance from Arsenal last week at Stamford Bridge, but they were aided heavily by a Chelsea team that decided they won't defend properly and even then it took a freak moment when John Terry slipped to finally give Arsenal the chance to win the 3 points.

I still remain unconvinced as the Gunners have a shocking defence, while Robin Van Persie is always liable to miss 3 months of a season dealing with injuries. If RVP was to miss significant time, or his form was to cool down, I think Arsenal will have a hard time again.

One player I have been impressed with that is perhaps not getting the plaudits thanks to Van Persie's incredible form is Aaron Ramsey... The young Welsh player has grown in confidence and is a very clever player with passing that has unlocked a few defences already this season. If he could add a few more goals to his game, the Arsenal fans can look forward to a bright future in the middle of the park, especially when Jack Wilshire returns.

4) Wigan are already reaching a desperate stage of their season: Roberto Martinez must surely have thought, at least privately, that he should have left the DW Stadium when he had a chance this Summer as Wigan have really struggled this season and already look in danger of being cut off.

They have failed to win a point against any side that was a Premier League team last season, and could find themselves 5 points from safety if they fail to earn something from their trip to Wolves on Sunday.

There are a few positive signs though, as they have been unlucky to lose their last 2 games, but their defending is beyond suicidal and leaves the team with mountains to overcome. They have also lost the magic that Charles N'Zogbia provided last season when he would score or create a goal out of nowhere.

The lack of match winners has proven to be tough to overcome so far and it looks like being a long, dark winter for the club.

I really like Dave Whelan and respect what he has done for his local club, but they need a fast change in fortunes if they want to maintain their Premier League status this season.

5) And finally: I know this racism debate has been raging on all over the place at the moment and it just seems like people have lost their mind.

The Chelsea supporters chants on Tuesday night aimed at Anton Ferdinand were disgusting and they should rightly be weeded out and banned from attending games in the future as they are sullying that clubs name.

We have also seen some action being taken against people who think they are smart to send racist views from behind a computer screen via social networking sites. Someone was arrested for comments sent to Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi, while Stan Collymore has been 'retweeting' comments sent to him which shows how prevalent racism remains.

I also saw a Villarreal supporter making 'monkey' taunts at Mario Balotelli during Man City's 0-3 win in Spain on Wednesday, but the Spanish authorities leniency on racism means it is unlikely anything will be done even though they could clearly see the culprit on TV.

The weekend picks will follow here and I will update this post whenever I lock in some more picks. You can follow me on Twitter where I provide a link to the new picks:

Manchester United v Sunderland Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12307-Manchester-United-v-Sunderland.htm)

Liverpool v Swansea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12309-Liverpool-v-Swansea.htm)

QPR v Manchester City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12311-QPR-v-Manchester-City.htm)

Arsenal v West Brom Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12312-Arsenal-v-West-Brom.htm)

Aston Villa v Norwich City Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12314-Aston-Villa-v-Norwich-City.htm)

Newcastle United v Everton Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12319-Newcastle-United-v-Everton.htm)

Blackburn Rovers v Chelsea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12320-Blackburn-Rovers-v-Chelsea.htm)

Wolves v Wigan Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12321-Wolves-v-Wigan.htm)

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12325-Fulham-v-Tottenham-Hotspur.htm)

MY PICKS: Manchester United win to nil @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Liverpool - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Manchester City - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.83 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Robin Van Persie to score first @ 4.33 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Norwich City + 0.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Newcastle United-Everton Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.10 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Blackburn + 1 English Handicap @ 2.70 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Wigan + 0.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Tottenham Hotspur to score over 1.5 goals @ 2.20 Sky Bet (2 Units)

November Update: 2-3, - 3.4 Units

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

College Football Week 10 Picks and Previews

Time just seems to be flying at the moment, especially when considering the NCAA College Football has reached Week 10, while the NFL is about to kick off Week 9... And I still haven't started my Christmas shopping, yet I have seen some decorations up and the first jingling of the same, tired old songs.

While the NFL is proving to be a tough League to predict, I was back to a winning week from the College games I picked, although I have made a mental note NOT to back Arkansas this week after they twice cost me in consecutive weeks by fumbling the ball inside the opponents 30 yard line (Arkansas will probably smash South Carolina out of the Stadium now).

Week 9 proved to be a tough week for all those who blindly followed the top 10 teams to cover the spread, with it being their first losing week of the season against the spread, and I was not spared the losses either with Arkansas and Clemson both letting me down.

In saying that, I was pleased to see the Oklahoma State Cowboys once again show the nation how good they are and I still think they are being vastly underrated by the layers.

The Sooners also bounced back with a win, and I still don't know why people think they are going to be de-motivated when the chance to play in the National Championship Game is still there. Stanford were so close to losing their unbeaten record and are yet to play Oregon, so I don't expect a let up from the Sooners just yet.

And then we get to the biggest game of the season, and most likely being bigger than the National Championship game as the LSU Tigers visit Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. I won't be having a bet on the game, but instead will sit down with a nice cold beer and enjoy what should be a great game. Once I lock down my picks, I may just give my take on how some other games may go, even if I am not putting down anything concrete myself.

As always, my picks will come out in staggered periods. You can follow me on Twitter where I will update whenever I have locked in some new picks and let's all hope for another winning week:

Florida State Seminoles @ Boston College Eagles Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12302-Florida-State-at-Boston-College.htm)

USC Trojans @ Colorado Buffaloes Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12304-USC-Trojans-at-Colorado-Buffaloes.htm)

Texas A&M Aggies @ Oklahoma Sooners Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12330-Texas-A&M-Aggies-at-Oklahoma-Sooners.htm)

Michigan Wolverines @ Iowa Hawkeyes Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12331-Michigan-Wolverines-at-Iowa-Hawkeyes.htm)

Louisville Cardinals @ West Virginia Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12332-Louisville-Cardinals-at-West-Virginia.htm)

Houston Cougars @ UAB Blazers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12333-Houston-Cougars-at-UAB-Blazers.htm)

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles @ East Carolina Pirates Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12346-Southern-Mississippi-at-East-Carolina.htm)

Louisiana State Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12347-Louisiana-State-at-Alabama.htm)

MY PICKS: Florida State Seminoles - 14.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
USC Trojans - 21 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Oklahoma Sooners - 13.5 Points @ 1.92 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Michigan Wolverines - 3.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
West Virginia Mountaineers - 13 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Houston Cougars - 27.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles - 8.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Alabama Crimson Tide - 4.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet365 (1 Unit)

WEEK 9: 4-2, + 1.82 Units
WEEK 82-4, - 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 UPDATE36-16, + 17.87 Units

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Midweek Football Picks and Preview (European and English Football)

It was a decent end to October that ensured I picked up a little bit of profit, but I am still making amends for a horrific September.

November will hopefully be the month that brings us back up on the season, but I don't want to 'chase' as that is the first sign of trouble and a sure-fire way of digging a deep deep hole.

Slowly, but surely, I am looking to build the bank up.

This week we have Champions League, Europa League and Championship action that will hopefully give us a good start to the month. My picks will be updated whenever I lock them in and I will post them here during the day, while also updating Twitter whenever new picks are made:

Southampton v Peterborough United Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12281-Southampton-v-Peterborough-United.htm)

Arsenal v Marseille Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12285-Arsenal-v-Marseille.htm)

Genk v Chelsea Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12287-Genk-v-Chelsea.htm)

Manchester United v Otelul Galati Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12290-Manchester-United-v-Otelul-Galati.htm)

Benfica v Basel Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12291-Benfica-v-Basel.htm)

Ajax v Dinamo Zagreb Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12293-Ajax-v-Dinamo-Zagreb.htm)

MY PICKS: Southampton Half Time-Full Time @ 2.40 BoyleSports (1 Unit)
Arsenal @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Chelsea - 1.75 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (3 Units)
Danny Welbeck to score @ 2.00 Stan James (2 Units)
Benfica - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Ajaz - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

October Final: 24-26, + 3.53 Units