Sunday, December 14, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 15

Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports
As we head to the final week of school before Winter Break, with schoolwork and college apps controlling my universe at this moment, it's time for quick picks again. I'll return next week with a full picks column.

It all began Thursday, when I made my pick on Twitter a few minutes after the game began, after just getting out of seeing an amazing Broadway show (everybody go see Disgraced. Seriously. This is a can't miss). I correctly picked:

Cardinals (+4) over RAMS. 

Yay for me.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Steelers (-3) over FALCONS.

Jaguars (+14) over RAVENS.

Packers (-3.5) over BILLS. 

DEREK ANDERSON (-3) over Buccaneers.

JAMBOOGIE (-2.5) over Bengals. 

COLTS (-7) over J.J. Watt.

Raiders (+11) over CHIEFS.

Dolphins (+9.5) over PATRIOTS.

Washington Professional Football Team (+7) over GIANTS.

CHARGERS (+4.5) over Broncos. UPSET ALERT.

TITANS (+3) over Jets. UPSET ALERT. 

Vikings (+7.5) over LIONS.

SEAHAWKS (-9.5) over 49ers.

Cowboys (+3.5) over EAGLES.

BEARS (+3) over Saints. UPSET ALERT.

Last Week: 8-8

This Week: 1-0

Season: 96-110-2

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 14

Quick picks again. I was at a 3 day conference, so I have a lot of work to catch up on. And because of that conference, it wasn't until the fourth quarter that I realized that the Cowboys and Bears were playing football. So, clearly, I hadn't made my pick. This happened once earlier this year, and I resolved the situation by honestly, retroactively making my pick. I will do the same year. I would have picked the Cowboys -4 in a heartbeat. Yes, that looks like the easy way out because the Cowboys covered, but that's what I would have expected.

BENGALS (-3) over Steelers.

BROWNS (+3) over Colts.

LIONS (-10) over Buccaneers.

JAGUARS (+6.5) over Texans.

DOLPHINS (-3) over Ravens.

VIKINGS (-3.5) over Jets.

SAINTS (-9) over Panthers.

TITANS (+2.5) over Giants. 

Rams (-3) over WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM. 

CARDINALS (+2.5) over Chiefs. 

BRONCOS (-10) over Bills.

RAIDERS (+8.5) over 49ers. 

EAGLES (-1) over Seahawks.

Patriots (-3.5) over CHARGERS.

PACKERS (-13) over Falcons. 

Last Week: 6-10

This Week: 1-0

Season: 88-102-2

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 13 Preview: Dolphins at Jets

Photo courtesy of the NY Post

OUT
Dolphins: LB Johnathan Freeny (hamstring), G Nate Garner (illness), CB Jamar Taylor (shoulder)

Jets: TE Jace Amaro (concussion), DL Muhammad Wilkerson (toe)

DOUBTFUL
Dolphins: TE Charles Clay (hamstring/knee), CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle)

Jets: None

QUESTIONABLE
Dolphins: T Ja'wuan James (neck)

Jets: None

PROBABLE
Dolphins: G Daryn Colledge (back), WR Rishard Matthews (groin), RB Lamar Miller (knee), C Samson Satele (foot), WR Mike Wallace (chest)

Jets: DL Sheldon Richardson (lower back). Everyone else is healthy. 

STATUS UNKNOWN
Dolphins: WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (ankle/knee), DT Jared Odrick (neck), QB Ryan Tannehill (shoulder), S Jimmy Wilson (hamstring)

Jets: None

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 13

Photo courtesy of USA Today
I started this week by tweeting (@WilliamBotchway) all of my Thanksgiving Day picks. After it looked like I was in for a rough day after the first quarter of the early game, I actually started off pretty well:

Then things changed:



Yikes.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 12 Preview: Jets at Bills...Sort Of

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Bills
OUT
Jets: None

Bills: DE Jarius Wynn (knee)

DOUBTFUL
Jets: None

Bills: None

QUESTIONABLE
Jets: None

Bills: CB Ron Brooks (groin), RB Fred Jackson (groin)

PROBABLE
Jets: Every player with an injury concern is listed as probable, and has practiced in full all week

Bills: K Dan Carpenter (groin), WR Marquise Goodwin (ankle), WR Chris Hogan (hip), DE Manny Lawson (ankle), QB Kyle Orton (toe), FB Frank Summers (neck), G Kraig Urbik (shoulder), WR Sammy Watkins (groin)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 12

Photo courtesy of Fox Sports
I'm back!

After two straight weeks of longing for my wonderful commentary, and having to settle for my impersonal quick picks, I'm finally able to write a full picks column.

It feels good.

I made my Thursday night pick on Twitter, as per usual, when I don't forget of course (@WilliamBotchway). Here was this week's pick:

Swing and a miss!

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 11

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report
Once again, I have a lot of work to do, so I'm going with the quick picks for the second straight week.

I know, I know, I'd hate to deprive you all of my wonderful commentary on each game, but I just missed three days of school last week for college visits, and there's a lot of things to be done.

Speaking of college visits, while visiting a school in North Carolina, I completely forgot to make my pick for Thursday night's game. You're going to have to trust me here when I say that I definitely would have taken Dolphins -4. They're the better team, and playing at home. That's a win for me.

I make the rules here, damn it.

PANTHERS (+2) over Falcons.

BEARS (-1.5) over Vikings.

BROWNS (-3.5) over J.J. Watt.

CHIEFS (-1) over Seahawks.

Bengals (+7) over SAINTS.

49ers (-4) over GIANTS.

Broncos (-9.5) over RAMS.

WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM (-7) over Buccaneers.

CHARGERS (-10) over Raiders.

PACKERS (-5.5) over Sanchize.

Lions (+1) over CARDINALS.

COLTS (-3) over Patriots.

TITANS (+6) over Steelers. 

Last Week: 6-7

This Week: 1-0

Season: 67-79-1

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shootout Drama Means Rangers Frustration

Photo courtesy of NBC Pro Hockey Talk
The Rangers just beat the Penguins in an awesome and hard-fought game in Pittsburgh 3-2 on a shootout goal by Dan Boyle.

Or did they?

Boyle snuck the puck around Marc-Andre Fleury while falling down in round 3 of the shootout to give the Rangers a 2-1 win in the shootout. Or so we thought.

The Rangers celebrated awkwardly, and both teams left the ice, but the referees stood huddled in front of the official scorer's table. A few players straggled back onto the ice before the refs officially called everyone back out to continue the shootout. Before most people could get a handle on what just occurred, Brandon Sutter beat Henrik Lunqvist with a wrist shot before Marc-Andre Fleury saved a Rick Nash shot to secure the victory for the Penguins, who had just left the ice dejected a few minutes prior.

As Sutter was about to begin his penalty shot, I received this notification:

Oops.

It was the right call, because NHL rule 24.2, Penalty Shot Procedure, states:
No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper, and the directly into the goal)
Boyle's shot hit his stick again after coming off the post, leading to it sneaking past Fleury, who had absolutely no chance to save it. So, everything in that situation went according to the book. What the refs should have done was made sure to keep both teams out of their clubhouses while reviewing the goal.

But, it's only fitting that a game that involved Lee Stempniak tying the game in the first period 15 seconds after Blake Comeau gave the Pens a short-lived lead, a 4-on-3 power play in overtime that ended with two players on each team exiting the box and playing 5-on-4 regular season overtime hockey for a few seconds before an incredible save by Lundqvist on a Kris Letang breakaway, Evgeni Malkin laying a clean, but powerful hit on Dan Girardi in the third period, sparking a scrum and seemingly concussing the Ranger defenseman, only for Girardi to return to the game in overtime would end in such a weird fashion.

And it's also fitting that the Rangers would get their fans hopes up for a couple of minutes before breaking us down again. With the loss, they fall to 7-6-4 on the season, including a terrible 1-4 record in shootouts.

Their next game should be another fun one, as they welcome Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, and that Stamkos dude to MSG on Monday night.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 10

Photo courtesy of US News
Quick picks this week. I have to visit a college, so I have absolutely no time. In fact, I don't know if I can even watch any of today's games.  

I was right on Thursday, as Andy Dalton played like the red-headed bastard child of Quincy Carter and Jamarcus Russell. The Browns obviously covered the 7 points that they were given.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.


Titans (+10) over RAVENS.

BILLS (+1) over Chiefs.

LIONS (-2.5) over Dolphins.

Cowboys (-7) over "JAGUARS" (Game Played in London.)

I reserve the right to flip my pick to Jaguars +7 if Tony Romo is inactive on Sunday.

SAINTS (-5.5) over 49ers. 

Steelers (-) over JETS.

Steelers (-3.5) over JETS.

BUCCANEERS (+2.5) over Falcons.

RAIDERS (+11) over Broncos. 

CARDINALS (-6.5) over Rams. 

Giants (+9) over SEAHAWKS. 

PACKERS (-7) over Bears. 

SANCHIZE (-7) over Panthers.

Last Week: 8-5

This Week: 1-0

Season: 61-72-1

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 9 Preview: Jets at Chiefs

Photo courtesy of NY Post
OUT
Jets: QB Geno Smith (shoulder), CB Darrin Walls (calf/knee)

Chiefs: WR Donnie Avery (groin), CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring), LB Josh Martin (hamstring), CB Chris Owens (knee)

DOUBTFUL
Jets: None

Chiefs: None


QUESTIONABLE

Jets: None

Chiefs: None

PROBABLE
Jets: OL Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Philip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), TE Jeff Cumberland (shoulder/finger), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LB David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), OLB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (wrist/ankle), CB Darrin Walls (knee)

Chiefs: S Eric Berry (ankle), RB Jamaal Charles (back), TE Anthony Fasano (shoulder), CB Phillip Gaines (quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (hand), WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring), TE Travis Kelce (ribs), OL Mike McGlynn (foot), QB Alex Smith (shoulder), CB Sean Smith (groin)