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.


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:


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, theyfall 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
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)

Jets: None

Chiefs: None


Jets: None

Chiefs: None

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)

NFL Picks: Week 9

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report
I hate the Colts. I finally decided to believe in them last week, as their defense has improved greatly over the last few weeks. Then they proceeded to allow Ben Rothlisberger to complete 40 of 49 passes for 522 yards, with the completions being tied for the eighth highest mark ever, and the yards being tied for the fourth best single-game in NFL history. Nice job.

The Saints finally decided to show up last week. Thanks a lot.

The Bears decided not to show up last week. Thanks a lot.

If you couldn't tell, I'm not happy with how my picks turned out last week, so I think we should move on to this week. On Thursday night, I made my pick on Twitter (@WilliamBotchway).


Let's get on with it...

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014-15 NBA Preview

Photo courtesy of Deaspin
I'm very excited for this NBA season. A wild offseason has conjured up a great amount of interest all across the league, and I think we're in for one of the more fun seasons in recent memory. A star came home in a move so big it forced me to basically write an NBA Preview in July, teams added key pieces that should raise the entire team to a new level, there are quite a few breakout candidates, and of course, everyone is excited to see what should be the best rookie class in recent memory.

So, with that in mind, it's time to get started with this giant preview that will get you set for the season, complete with projections for each and every team, standings, awards,m and of course, a champion.

Let's kick if off with the Eastern Conference standings:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 8 Preview: Percy Harvin's Debut (Bills at Jets)

Photo courtesy of ESPN
Bills: WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), LB Ty Powell (ankle)

Jets: None

Bills: RB Fred Jackson (groin)

Jets: None


Bills: WR Marcus Easley (knee), S Aaron Williams

Jets: OLB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (wrist/ankle)

Bills: LB Brandon Spikes (ribs), WR Sammy Watkins (groin), DE Mario Williams (thumb), CB Ron Brooks (groin)

Jets: OL Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Philip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), LD David Harris (shoulder), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), RB Bilal Powell (foot), CB Darrin Wals (knee)

NFL Picks: Week 8

Photo courtesy of Fox Sports
I have no real qualms about how I ended up with another losing record last week. It happens. You win some you lose some.

As for this week, it kicked off with Thursday night football. As always, I tweeted out my pick. Follow me (@WilliamBotchway) for my random musings, and Thursday night picks like these:
As you all probably know by now, that was a win for me. I'm still well under .500 for the year however, and I don't see when that will change. Hopefully I can pull off a streak when the bye weeks are over and these are 16 games every week. Hopefully.

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 7

Photo courtesy of ESPN
Last week I got two of my picks wrong because of stupid touchdowns in the final minute of the game by the favorite, allowing them to cover. Even worse, both of those touchdowns were pick-sixes during desperate attempts by the underdog to tie the game, or in the case of Washington, have a chance to win it on their final drive. But, Geno Smith threw a pick to Aqib Talib, who scored with 15 seconds left in the game, while Rashad Johnson returned a Kirk Cousins interception for a touchdown with 18 seconds remaining. 

Those are two of the dumbest backdoor covers I've ever seen.

We now live in a world where the Browns have a great chance of being 6-2, and the Cowboys have a great chance of being 9-1. Yup. 

My week got off to a good start on Thursday. As always, I made my pick on Twitter (@WilliamBotchway):

It turns out I was right. And, just when I thought that the Jets were going to complete their comeback drive and salvage their season...

Make it stop.

But hey, at least I'll be getting a Percy Harvin jersey by the end of the year. If it sounds like I'm underselling my excitement for that trade, I am. I'm saving it all for a later article. 

Quick picks this week, as my computer decided that it doesn't feel like connecting to the internet this morning.

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