ATS - College BB: 9-8 NFL: 22-20 NBA: 35-39 MLB: 116-91
The rumors that Reinsdorf was the lead in the Scottie Scowls firing does make sense since I can’t see Pax firing his buddy on X-Mas Eve, but what a smart (gutless) decision to do it ova the Holiday. In a city where Sports Radio banter and newspapers cluttering the L fuel the anger and controversy of the fans, the Bulls are able to skate into the New Year without much hassle from the media. By the time the radio personalities return and the regular commuters are back on their mundane schedules, the majority of talk will have moved on from what an embarrassing situation for an underperforming organization to what the next move should be. As for me, I will continue to play the trumpet for Pau Gasol’s address in the Windy City, say a prayer that Ben Gordon will finally be moved before his value drops any further, and hope the Bulls don’t hire a coach until after the season. With that, on to my picks and pics, and make sure to look for my 2008 Predictions on everything from the top adult performer to how many games my White Sox will lose coming Friday!
NEW YORK KNICKS @ ORLANDO MAGIC (-10.5)
The NBA after the X-Mas Holiday has players returning from family gatherings either dreading a return, or looking to fulfill promises from the dinner-table on how their better than people think. In the Magic’s case, after a ridiculous start they’ve only won 2 of their last 9 and desperately need to find their early season chemistry. With Stan “the Hedgehog” Van Gundy’s leadership, three stars in the frontcourt (The Manchild, Hedu “I’m better than people think” Turkoglu, & Rashard “I have to prove I’m worth it” Lewis), and a deep backcourt needing to prove every night who deserves minutes, I expect Orlando to come out tonight with passion and discipline to prove their back-on-track (Turkoglu - questionable/ankle). As for the Knicks, do you really think they were looking forward to the nightmarish atmosphere on the hardwood while sipping cocktails and the finest foods yesterday? Not to mention...
Not to mention, Zach Randolph & Eddy Curry probably ate twice their body-weight and will hope for the early hook tonight with D. Howard on the docket. I’m not even going mention the Starbary situation that gets crazier by they day. Once Orlando gets up early tonight, look for them to pour it on in the hopes of rekindling the magic that made them so dangerous early in the year. Magic by 15-19 points
WASHINGTON WIZARDS @ CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (-4)
Since the addition of Nazr Mohammed to the starting line-up, the Cats O’ Bob have looked like a different team winning 2 of 3 (Mohammed: 17 ppg, 11 rpg, 2 bpg). As for the Wiz, after looking solid early after the loss of Agent Zero, the loss of Antonio Daniels has left Eddie Jordan’s squad without a PG and amidst a 3-game losing streak. While Charlotte’s PG Raymond Felton hasn’t been spectacular, he’s a solid floor general and should have a field day against Roger Mason & Mike Wilks. Not to mention, Caron Butler (questionable) sprained his ankle and sat out Saturday’s loss to Indiana, leaving Jamison as the only legit scorer in Washington’s line-up. Even if Butler plays, I see the Bobcats winning easy and surprising many teams come the New Year…Bobcats by 8-12 points
COLLEGE FOOTBALL/NBA TEASER
CMU CHIPPEWAS VS PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (teased -2)
DETROIT PISTONS (teased -1.5) @ NEW JERSEY NETS
While the Boilermakers struggled finishing the Big Ten season, they were undefeated in non-conference play and actually crushed CMU by 23 in mid-September. Jr. QB Curtis Painter was nearly flawless in that contest (360 yards 3 Tds, 0 Ints, 74%) and should be excited to see the undersized and overmatched secondary of the Chips. While CMU’s QB Dan LeFevour may be the best hidden talent on the college gridiron (3360 pyrds 23 Tds – 1008 ryrds 17 Tds), his O-Line struggled and the WRs couldn’t find much success over the top against the big-boys. As for the defense, they were sieve against MAC opponents, let alone the 167-43 point totals against Clemson, Kansas, & Purdue. While this Bowl means much more to CMU, and Purdue may be a little lackadaisical early, once the blood gets flowing for the Boilermakers I can’t see how their size & speed doesn’t dominate this game. Final Score: CMU 31 PURDUE 41
As for the 2nd half of my teaser, the Nets realize one of their three stars will be traded soon and probably aren’t looking forward to coming-in the day after X-Mas to play the disciplined, chip-on-the-shoulder Mo-Town Boys. While the match-ups between the backcourt and small forward could be considered a wash (even though I’d still give the edge to the Pistons), the frontcourt of Wallace, McDyess, & Maxiell should have a field-day against the cast of youngsters and underperforming vets the Nets will be sporting. And trust me, all the hype surrounding the Celtics this year and last year’s disappointment in the Conference Finals has the Pistons focused and ready to prove their still the best in the East…Pistons by 6-10 points