The Good, the Mad and the Ugly: 3/15/2020

The Good
It’s great to see everyone step up in the wake of this pandemic. We see countless owners and athletes giving back to those financially impacted by this virus. In my town, the schools are closed but setting up grab and go points for all families to get breakfast and lunch. In shitty times like this, it’s nice to see the good in people.

Also good? I am loving the story about Trevor Bauer trying to assemble a sandlot game with major and minor league players. I’ve always liked Bauer as a player and something like this can help boost some spirits.

Trevor Bauer (left) and crew get ready for a fun game of baseball.

The Mad
I’m not going to rant on Coronavirus. Been there. Done that. Instead, I want to focus on ESPN’s simulation of the next decade of the MLB in MLB’s The Show. Why am I mad about this? Well, for one, the Mets suck in it and don’t win a title. Which I guess is realistic. But still pisses me off. What’s worse is they have the goddamn Cubs winning like 2 titles in that span before ushering in a dynasty by the goddamn Tigers. In fact, they have the Cubs winning this season! I don’t even think they make the fucking playoffs! 

Yeah, fuck this.

The Ugly
The financial repercussions of this coronavirus nonsense cannot be underestimated. Arch was already talking about the hit his stocks took but I am thinking of small businesses, restaurants and bars that might go under as a result of this. Bars will definitely be impacted here. For 1, getting into a room and drinking out of the same glasses is not the ideal way to avoid diseases. And 2, losing sporting events such as March Madness will instantly hit their bottom line. For restaurants, people will avoid eating there so they could close up temporarily – but will still have expenses and lost inventory to deal with. I’m hoping the toilet paper and hand sanitizer manufacturers can bail out the small businesses. Because they will definitely need it. 

Don’t be like this.

The Good, the Mad and the Ugly: 3/8/2020

The Good
Well, not much good in my sports betting this week so let’s not talk about that. But we can talk about the Flyers. As the NHL season winds down there a few teams that look like they can make a legit run and the Flyers is definitely one of them. They have 14 games left and 8 are at home. They have won 77% of their home games this season so their chances of being a top seed are looking good. Especially with the Capitals and Penguins both slumping lately.

Also good? The idea of starting the NBA season in December and ending in August. That’s an idea by Hawks owner Steve Koonin. It would give the NBA the spotlight by avoiding college football and NFL and then also give us something to talk about when NHL ends and it’s only baseball. It’ll lead up perfectly to the NFL. I love this idea.

Gritty is ready to make you forget about Nick Foles in Philly.

The Mad
The Nets fired Kenny Atkinson yesterday. I honestly can’t believe it. Atkinson got that team last season playing so damn well and then you take away his best player in D-Lo and sign two superstars who aren’t playing this season. And his team is out of the playoff picture right? No. They are currently 7th. 

The Nets will inevitably try to hire a coach that will push them to be title contenders. I just don’t know who that will be. It’s not going to be Phil Jackson. Steve Kerr isn’t leaving. Pop won’t leave San Antonio. Spoelstra is too loved by Riley to leave Miami. 

So who does that leave? Larry fucking Brown? He’s still cashing paychecks from the Knicks. Tyronn Lue? If he doesn’t have LeBron I’m not sure he’s worth it. Thom Thibideau? Mark Jackson? Jason Kidd again?
It really pisses me off when a team gets rid of a good coach so they can “take the next step” or “get a new voice.” This change reeks of KD and Kyrie and it’s pathetic.

Maybe the Knicks will hire him.

The Ugly
Well, it’s hard not to talk about the coronavirus here. It’s spreading quickly and most countries are dealing with some kind of outbreak. As it relates to sports, leagues are already discussing playing games without fans, postponing or canceling events. The XFL had an uphill battle as it is and started getting traction now something like this could derail it. People are dying so it’s hard to bitch about sports being cancelled. Yet here I am doing just that. 

The projections for this disease are all over the place. It could be getting better in China or it could be bullshit. We know Italy is on lock down and parts of the U.S. are dealing with huge outbreaks. 
I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to do but I’m approaching it cautiously. And all I can say is wash your fucking hands, stop touching your goddamn face so much and just be careful out there. I’m hoping this ends soon and we can get excited about baseball season.

This guy is ready for urban combat or attending a Lakers game.

Today’s Board
Lakers at Clippers
Both teams playing extremely well here. The Clippers have won 6 in a row and the Lakers have won 3 straight. Call this a home game for the Clippers but it’s not really. I know Kawhi and crew got the better of LeBron before but not this time. I’ll bet the Lakers.

Spurs at Cavs
San Antonio is still without LaMarcus Aldridge and are 11-21 on the road this season. The Cavs are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games. Slew of injuries here but I can’t see the Spurs as this big of favorites here. I’ll bet the Cavs.

Thunder, Nets, Pelicans, Suns (Giannis out), Bullets, Mavs, Magic, Raptors, and fuck the Pistons and Knicks

Hurricanes at Penguins
The Penguins will break this slump eventually. Coming off the home loss yesterday to the Capitals they host the Hurricanes – who had a road win over the hapless Islanders yesterday. Money is all over the Penguins and line is getting better. It’s a trap and I’m off it.

Lightning at Red Wings
To answer the question: no. There no value in Detroit here. And it’s way too chalky to bet Tampa.

Golden Knights at Flames
Vegas is only 15-13-4 on the road and coming off that Friday loss against the goddamn Jets. Calgary is only 3 points behind the Golden Knights and now Vegas is tied with Edmonton. I think they come out big for the win. I’ll bet Vegas.

Blue Jackets at Canucks
The Blue Jackets can’t lose them all, right? Maybe then can. I bet against them yesterday and was rewarded. The Blue Jackets most recent win was a 5-3 win over the Canucks. Vancouver won their last game – a big win over Colorado at home. The Canucks are a solid home team at 21-8-4 and I’ll bet them to improve that today.

The Good, the Mad and the Ugly: 3/1/2020

Happy March everyone! Time for another installment of the Good, the Mad and the Ugly. The audio format of this will be released later today. But with some early games, I wanted to get this posted earlier.

The Good
Better Call Saul is back for its penultimate season. I was late to the game on Breaking Bad and ended up binging the whole series in three weeks leading up to the series finale. But I’ve been in Better Call Saul since the beginning and it has not disappointed. This season focuses on the true birth of Saul Goodman and I’m excited to see where it goes to lead up to the events before and after Breaking Bad.

Also good? How about a 364 pound offensive tackle that can run a 5.1/40 at the combine? Mekhi Becton did just that. The Louisville tackle is also 6’7” and he is the top tackle on the draft board.

It’s Saul Goodman.

The Mad
I promised not to get into politics on this show but the outrage this week for Garth Brooks donning a Barry Sanders jersey in concert in Detroit is the kind of stupidity that defines politics. The fact that people didn’t realize it was a Barry Sanders jersey and not a Bernie Sanders 2020 jersey is complete maddening. Seriously people. Barry Sanders is arguably one of the top 5 best players of all time. And he happens to be old friends with Garth Brooks. Take a few fucking minutes to think and research before saying something stupid. Just like I do every morning.

Sanders #20 or Sanders 2020. You decide! (Only one correct answer though)

The Ugly
How about Tim Tebow falling a few feet shy of catching the final out of a spring training game? I wasn’t a fan of him in the NFL and his attempt at the MLB isn’t anything that interests me. And the fact he’s donning a Mets jersey while doing it? Well, that’s typical Mets for you.

Also ugly? How about Nathan Gerbe from the Blue Jackets knocking the shit out of Claude Giroux of the Flyers? What makes that so bad? Gerbe stands at 5’4” and Giroux is 6’3”. 

Also ugly? This ongoing feud between Giannis and Jimmy James Harden. Harden went on the offensive this week after Giannis had taken several shots at him lately. I almost put this in my Good section until I realized that these teams won’t both make it to the finals – so it’s all just pointless childish shit and nothing to get excited about.

The NY Mets are my favorite squadron.

Today’s Board

Bucks at Hornets
The Hornets have won 2 in a row and are puffing their chests out a bit after beating the Raptors in Toronto. But the Bucks are in town fresh off a dismantling of a damn good team in OKC. Bucks as a -11 favorite on the road seems like a square sucker play and I’ll take it. Betting Milwaukee.

Mavs at Timberwolves
This line seems about right to me. Luka is listed as questionable and the Mavs are coming off that loss to Miami. The Timberwolves got a shocking win over Miami last week but their 7-21 home record makes me think that Dallas is the play here today. I’ll lean the Mavs.

76ers at Clippers 
The Clippers will have all of players healthy and after winning 3 in a row, their eyes are focused on playoff seeding and a title. The 76ers are without Embiid and Simmons. Their 9-21 road record makes matters worse. I think the Clippers cover this one. Call me Chalk Max today. I’ll bet the Clippers.

Raptors at Nuggets
Two teams coming off bad losses. The Nuggets lost to a great team by a lot of points and the Raptors lost to a shit team at home by 3. I think the Raptors loss is worse. Both teams have some injuries hanging over them. Millsap is the key one for Denver and VanFleet for Toronto. The Raptors are 19-8 on the road and Denver is mediocre at home ATS. I’ll bet the Raptors.

Pistons at Kings
Fools gold has been cashing in lately. But the Pistons got a surprise win in Phoenix on Friday and is a crap team that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. I think the Kings will won but too many points for me to trust them with. I’ll lean Detroit.

Lakers at Pelicans
Lakers got blown out last night by Ja Morant and the Grizzlies and now they turn around and play Zion and the Pelicans. LeBron and Davis played last night so be interesting if they play in the back the back. I know the league would want them to for the TV ratings. I’ll lean the Lakers here expecting the stars to all play.

Wizards at Warriors
Steph Curry won’t be back – making this a much less interesting game to watch or bet on. The Warriors have not been competitive at all and Bradley Beal is trying to will the Bullets to wins. I’ll lean the Bullets.

Flyers at Rangers
The Flyers got the better of the Rangers on Friday but that was in Philadelphia. They are only 14-15-3 on the road. They might be hot but that stops today. Betting the Rangers +104.

Flames at Panthers
The Flames are a dangerous road team with a 19-14-3 record. They have lost their last two but they were close ones. This team won in Boston and Florida should not take them lightly. I’ll lean Calgary.

Canucks at Blue Jackets
Columbus fell off the face of the earth after making strides for a playoff run. Vancouver has lost two in a row and are not stellar on the road. The Blue Jackets have a great season home record but lately – they’ve been beatable. Leaning Vancouver.

Capitals at Wild
Damn good matchup here. I’ve been on Minnesota for a good chunk of the year and they get tested with the Caps in town. Washington is 21-10-1 on the road but are 3-6-1 in their last 10. Minnesota has won 3 straight and their goal differential over their last 5 is pretty remarkable (+11). I’ll bet the Wild here.

Devils at Ducks
I’m done with the Devils for a while. They’ve bitten me in the ass twice in a row now. The Ducks have played solid hockey their last few games and have beaten two elite teams. I’ll lean Anaheim here.

Kings at Golden Knights
I love Vegas to make it 9 wins in a row. At -307 I can’t suggest betting it. But maybe toss them into a parlay. I’ll lean the Golden Knights.

The Good, the Mad and the Ugly: 2/23/20

The Good
So many good concerts this summer. My wife already got me tickets to see Rage Against the Machine but there’s a slew of shows I want to go to. Murder by Death in March. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats in May. Ministry and KMFDM in July. The Deftones are playing with Gojira. Primus is playing a Rush album in its entirety and joined by Wolfmother and The Sword. And now I’m seeing Korn and Faith No More touring. Damn, I hope I can win more at NBA to afford all of these shows. You can expect me to be hungover on a lot of episodes.

Speaking of, my homemade gin is pretty good. I’ll need to mess around with it some more next time since it’s a tad bit heavy on the clove taste, but still good for sipping gin and tonics.

Also good? Baseball is back! Kinda sorta. Was nice to see spring training games starting up. My Mets enthusiasm countdown starts now. It’ll be dead by May.

Mad Max may not show up for the episode after this show.

The Mad
Well, I already had a rant about the NFL playoff format. So I’ll refrain from that.

What about the Lakers cutting Boogie Cousins and he’s still allowed to hang out courtside and rehab with the team? It’s a smart move by the Lakers who will pick up Markieff Morris to join his brother on the other side of the Staples Center. But still irks me that he’s allowed to rehab with a team he’s not signed with.

Fucking Lakers…

The Ugly
How about that swat that Dwight Howard had on Ja Morant? Yikes. 

What about former NFL offensive tackle Greg Robinson and wide receiver Quan Bray being arrested with 157 pounds of marijuana? Huh, where has Kyle been lately anyway.

I could also nominate John Beilein’s exit from the Cavs. Dude couldn’t even last a season there.

But my decision is Kyrie Irving who will miss the remainder of the year with a shoulder injury. Here’s a guy who definitely has talent but just can’t stay healthy and when he does play, he’s too much of a headcase to contribute. The Nets landed Durant because of Kyrie and maybe if and when both are healthy they can make a difference. But for this season, the Nets are paying $71 million to two players not on the court.

Sorry rookie.

Today’s Board
Celtics at Lakers
Kemba is out for Boston so line looks on par to me. I’ll still lean Boston. I think they can show up.

Timberwolves at Nuggets
The line is a tad high here. Denver is not great at covering but Minnesota is atrocious right now. I’ll lean Denver.

Pacers at Raptors
Both teams won in their first game back from the break. The Pacers are still trying to fit Oladipo into the mix but he might miss today’s game anyway. I’m liking Toronto here to cover. I’ll bet the Raptors.

Wizards at Bulls
I was wrong about the Bulls. I guess they can keep losing. Can they break their 8 game losing streak today? They should but I can’t trust them enough even to lean them. I’m off this game entirely.

Spurs at Thunder
The Thunder have statistically the best lineup in crunch time and in general, their three headed guard monster along with Steve Adams and Danilo Gallinari are the most efficient 5 players in the league this season. The Spurs are finalizing their annual 8 game road trip today after winning their last two – including a road win over the Thunder. But that ends today. I’ll bet the Thunder to cover this one.

Pelicans at Warriors
Curry is slated to be back in about a week. Not going to help Golden State today against the surging Pelicans. But this line seems a tad too high for the Pelicans. I’ll lean Golden State here.

Pistons at Trailblazers
The Blazers need some wins. They have lost 3 in a row and should get an easy one today against a Pistons team that has lost 5 straight. This line seems right to me. I’ll lean the Blazers.

Penguins at Capitals Two very good teams both on losing streaks. Both played and lost yesterday to surprisingly lesser trams. The value is on Pittsburgh and I’ll take a shot. I’ll bet the Penguins.

Jets at Sabres
The Sabres are a team of streaks this season. Right now they are playing solid hockey and got a big win in Pittsburgh yesterday. The Jets got handled by the Flyers yesterday. Public is all over Winnipeg but I’m following the money. I’ll bet the Sabres.

Blackhawks at Stars
The Blackhawks have a winning record on the road but the Stars are pretty good at home. Dallas should win this one but way too chalky.

Sharks at Islanders
Third game in 4 nights for the Sharks. They lost to the Devils on Thursday, the Rangers last night and now play the Islanders today. All of the money is on the Islanders today and they should win this game but they have not been stellar today so might be a nice value play on San Jose.

Flames at Red Wings
The Red Wings are officially eliminated from the playoffs. Calgary isn’t a great team and this is a chalky line. I can’t do it but I wouldn’t be mad if someone bet Detroit today.

Blues at Wild
Minnesota is 17-9-5 at home and host a Blues team that has won 3 in a row after being on a terrible losing streak. Money and public are on the Blues and line is getting better for them and worse for the Wild. I’ll lean Minnesota here.

Golden Knights at Ducks
Vegas beat the Panthers yesterday to win their 5th in a row and put them on top of the Pacific. I like them to win their 6th but it’s past my chalk threshold and it’s also trappy with all of the money on Vegas and line getting better.

Oilers at Kings
The Kings lost to the Avalanche yesterday and turn around to host the Oilers today. The Oilers are a better road team than they are home team. LA has been decent recently and the money is all over them. But the line is getting better for them. I’ll lean Edmonton here.

The Good, the Mad and the Ugly: 2/16/20

The Good
Man, Curb Your Enthusiasm is so damn good this season. If you don’t want Curb, it’s like an unfiltered and R-rated version of Seinfeld. Larry David is not holding back any punches this season as he deals with the Me Too phenomenon and opens up a spite store because he gets some cold coffee.
Also good, the quality of dunks we got out of Aaron Gordon and Derrick Jones Jr. last night in the dunk contest. I gotta say I was certain that Gordon was going to win this one but Jones Jr put up some amazing dunks. I was a little bothered that his former teammate Dwayne Wade was a judge but Gordon’s attempt at jumping over Tacko Fall was a little short so I can’t argue with the dunk off results here.

What I think could make the dunk contest better is have non-NBA players involved. I saw one dunk from a Harlem Globetrotter recently that was ridiculous. So basically have an online dunk off with 3 finalists chosen based on Twitter votes. Bring them in on Friday to dunk before the shooting stars game. And the winner of that gets a spot on Saturday to take on 3 NBA players. That would make things really interesting.

Some good shit here.

The Mad
The Astros cheating scandal took an interesting turn this week when the owner of the Astros came out and nonchalantly shrugged off the cheating. Would have Houston won in 2017 without cheating? I think so. They were still a damn good team. But the Nationals knew they were cheating and created a system to break their code. And they ended up winning the World Series. 

But the thing that has me mad in this is that some pitchers will want to throw at some Houston players this season and they will get suspended for it. So MLB will end up further protecting cheaters. Manfred didn’t have the balls to go after the players and instead, a manager and gm became the fall guys. It’s the equivalent of putting away street corner drug dealers and giving a pass to the drug lords. MLB took the easy way out and now they will further fucking protect these cheaters.

Listen, I’m fine with retribution from pitchers but there’s risk there. A good plunk in the leg or back is fine. But a fastball to the hand or face could be devastating. So I don’t want to encourage more pitchers doing this but for those who do I think they should get a pass on their first offense this season as long as it’s not a dangerous hit by pitch. 

Let each of the remaining 2017 Astros hitters get pegged in the leg at least once this year. And we can call our version of an MLB code red.

Some happy motherfuckers here.

The Ugly
Could start off with my Saturday hockey picks. I went 0-3 as the Blackhawks dropped 8 goals on the Flames last night and the Islanders and Capitals both shit the beds too.

But the Ugly happened yesterday in Colorado as fans were stuck in hours of traffic to get to the Avalanche game at Falcon Stadium. This is just ridiculous. When leagues plan for these types of special games their needs to be an analysis of whether it’s feasible or not. We’ve seen this shit before in other leagues. Good intentions aren’t always enough. 

Traffic, traffic, looking for my chapstick.

Today’s Board
Looking at today’s games in the NHL I am seeing a few I like.

Blue Jackets at Devils
Blue Jackets are mired in a huge losing streak and head to NJ where the Devils have played decently at recently. Money and public are on Columbus and line is getting better. I’ll bet my home team and take the Devils +123.

Blackhawks at Jets
The Jets have lost 2 in a row both at home and face a Blackhawks team that might still be scoring goals from last nights game. But I’m going to bet the Jets here and regret it tomorrow.

Other Games
• No value in taking Detroit +367 over Pittsburgh today
• I might like the Rangers today if Shesterkin starts. They have won 4 in a row and even against the mighty Bruins them as a home dog right now seems right.
• Money is all over Carolina and getting worse for them. Seems like Vegas wants you on Edmonton. I would avoid that one.
• St. Louis is slumping but will get out of it. Could be nice to get them at a slight plus line today but it’s trappish. Money is all over them and line getting better.