The Raptors over under for wins is 48.5

The Las Vegas odd for the Toronto Raptors over/under for wins is 48.5 in 2014 -15 season, which is high for a team that over achieved last year. Kyle Lowry played for hard for his next contract now that he has a 4 years for $48 million dollars will he revert to the old Lowry who was traded multiple times?
DeMar DeRozan will have another great season and has gain a lot of confidence after playing in the FIBA World Championships. Lou Williams adds another player who can handle the ball and score.
Coach Dwayne Casey expectation for a 49 win season will depend on his two third year players. Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross must score consistently every night. Valanciunas must take the next step by averaging over 30 minutes, 15 points and at least 10 rebounds a night. Coach Casey must play Jonas more minutes and call a few more offensive plays for him. Ross despite his inconsistencies still averaged 10.9 points a game. Williams’ presence may cut into Ross’ minutes, which can affect his progression.
Patrick Patterson and Tyler Hansbrough on the second unit as the two big men are too small handle the defensive rebounding responsibilities. Coach Casey loves to play with a smaller line-up. He won’t be able to get away with it as much this year.
The Raptors do have good team chemistry that can help them get through tough times and keep them out of long losing streaks. It will be interesting to see if Coach Casey will adjust to his opponents on occasion.
Many teams have improved their rosters, changed coaches and won’t be surprised by the Raptors when they play them. It is totally different this year because now the Raptors opponents will play them harder. The Dallas Mavericks sat Dirk Nowitzki when they played in Toronto and Raptors won. It won’t happen again this year.
The Raptors should finish in top 4 of the East with a 45 wins. The improved teams in the East will reduce every teams win total. The Cleveland Cavaliers won 33 last year will win more than that with some teams’ records dropping.
Enjoy your weekend!
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NBA Western Conference playoff teams

The Western Conference top 3 will be the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs looking to repeat as Champions, Clippers are a great regular season team and the Thunder will be fine without the league MVP Kevin Durant.
The remaining five playoff spots will be interesting because there are many teams on the cups of being title contenders. The Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are the group of seven that will challenge for the final 5 spots.
The Trailblazers core group have remained intact they will absolutely be in the playoffs. The Nuggets and Pelicans are young hungry and have made great additions. The Nuggets are getting a healthy JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari and the return of Aaron Afflalo with Kenneth Faried makes them a playoff team. The Pelicans have added Omer Asik, who can play big minutes at center, which will permit Anthony Davis to play his natural position power forward. Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon will provide long range shooting. Holiday, Evans and Gordon should be able to play together after a full season together. The Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki with the help of Chandler Parsons and the return of Tyson Chandler should put them back in the playoffs.
The Warriors despite losing their popular head Coach Mark Jackson they should finish ahead of the Rockets and Grizzlies. The Splash Brothers: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will score enough to get them in the playoffs.
The eight seed will be a jump ball between the Rockets and Grizzlies. The Rockets have lost their third scorer Parsons to Dallas. James Harden and Dwight Howard will need to show that they can be leaders not just statistics machines. The Grizzlies may trade Marc Gasol if they are not in the top 4 in the standings by the trade deadline.
The teams that don’t have any hope for the playoffs are: Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves. These teams will be eliminated from the playoffs by their 30th game of the season.
Who are your Western Conference playoff teams?
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NBA Eastern Conference playoff teams

There 15 teams in the Eastern Conference with 8 playoff spots available. The Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers will fight for the number one seed, which leave 6 spots for everybody else.
The question is who will get the third and fourth spot for home court advantage in the first round? The Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards are teams that had great seasons and have most of their successful line-ups from last year back for another season. The Lou Williams (Raptors) and Paul Pierce (Wizards) will help each team with late game scoring.
The last four spots will be harder to decipher with 6 teams fighting them. The Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks have the best scorers of the remaining group with Al Jefferson and Carmelo Anthony. They will get the fifth and sixth spots if their stars stay healthy with a good, but not great supporting players.
The Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons will battle for the two remaining spots. The Atlanta Hawks had a good playoff run without Al Horford and many believe they will get a spot. The Hawks big three Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague with additions of Adreian Payne and Thabo Sefolosha should be enough to win a playoff spot. The Heat playoff spot rest with the knees of Danny Granger and Dwayne Wade because if they can’t play over 75 games they won’t make the playoffs. The Nets can’t seem to get a full season out of Brook Lopez who is the key to their playoff chances.
The Pistons is once again my pick to get the last playoff spot. New Coach Stan Van Gundy will be to maximize the athletic ability, height and get them to play better defense.
The five remaining teams: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia Sixers absolutely have no chance to make the playoffs. They are one great lottery players away from a playoff spot.
Who will get the 8 playoff spots in the Eastern Conference?
Enjoy your weekend!
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Week 8 free NFL point spread picks

My Week 7 was a .500 one with a 3 – 3 record. I’m 21 – 16 after 7 weeks and looking to climb my way to a 70% winning percentage right now I’m at 57%. I will give you 5 picks this week:
The Indianapolis Colts are of the hottest teams in the NFL and play great football in any stadium. The Colts – 3 in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team that needed the Houston Texans collapse in the second quarter to win.
The Steelers are an overvalued and is no longer a 10 win team.
Take the Colts – 3
The Baltimore Ravens have a very good defense again and the offense is formidable with the addition of Steve Smith. The spread started at Ravens + 2.5 and has dropped to + 1. The Cincinnati Bengals are not the same team with injured middle linebackers and A.J. Green.
Take the Ravens + 1
The Green Bay Packers + 2 against the New Orleans Saints has now dropped to + 1. The Packers are playing much better than the Saints who are not the same offense without Darren Sproles. Ignore the fact the Saints are playing at home.
Take the Packers + 1
The Oakland Raiders + 7 against a Cleveland Browns team that let the Jacksonville Jaguars win their first game last week. Could the Browns let 2 teams win their first game of the season? The Raiders are close to winning and a one touchdown spread to tempting. Who are the Browns with Brian Hoyer as quarterback to be favoured by 7?
Take the Raiders + 7
The Houston Texans were good for 1 quarter last Monday Night before getting destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This week could be Jadeveon Clowney’s first game, which would boost the good Texans defence from good to very good. J.J. Watt would finally get some help along the defensive line. The Tennessee Titans have Charlie Whitehurst as quarterback enough said.
Take the Texans – 1
Good luck this weekend!
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Seahawks Harvin trade doesn’t make sense

The Seattle Seahawks have traded the one player on their roster who can score as a kickoff returner, pass receiver or as a running back. There is no one else on the Seahawks roster that can score a touchdown in so many ways. The offense has struggled lately and the 3 – 2 record has put doubt in the effectiveness of the offense.
The Seahawks wide receivers are average and only seem to get open after Russell Wilson scrambles to give them extra time. The team has only one explosive player and he was traded for a conditional pick. The Harvin trade affects the Seahawks so many areas that they will need multiple players to fill his shoes.
It is clear the trade was done to clear up salary cap space for next year. Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are due for a huge salary increase. It would have made sense to trade Harvin during the summer after another Super Bowl run.
The Seahawks have scored 133 points after 6 games, which gives them a reasonable 26.6 points a game average. If we take away the 36 points scored in week one against the Green Bay Packers it leaves the Seahawks with 97 points in 5 games and the average drops to 19.4. The offense is struggling to complete drives and score more than 27 points a game. The Seahawks defense is not as dominating in terms of creating turnovers to give the offense short drives.
What are the New York Jets thinking completing this trade? Harvin brings a player with great pass success, but he can’t stay healthy. He can’t save the Jets who are 1 – 6 and make them a playoff contender. Geno Smith has another player who should make plays that doesn’t mean it will lead to success.
The Jets have to do what they did against the New England Patriots and run the ball between the tackles to give themselves a chance. Smith will be happy; I’m not sure he can get the ball into Eric Decker and Harvin’s hands consistently. Coach Rex Ryan knows how to build a great defense; he just can’t seem to find himself an offensive coordinator who can call a good game every week.
The Seahawks won because they created salary cap space to pay Wilson and Lynch next season and they will use the pick to select a talented player who will help them win games immediately. The Jets got another big name offensive talent that they won’t be able to get the ball in his hands often enough.
Who in your opinion won the Harvin trade?
Enjoy your weekend!
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MLB players’ union ecstatic about World Series match-up

The World Series match-up is between two wild card teams that are small market teams. The Major League Baseball players’ union is extremely happy that the San Francisco Giants are ranked 7th and the Kansas City Royals are ranked 19th in the 30 team league.
The players union don’t have to worry about the owners trying to convince fans or players their needs to be a salary cap to curb the spending and level the playing field. The playoff success of the small market teams will prevent the salary cap. The Oakland Athletics (25th) and Pittsburgh Pirates (27th) also played in playoffs.
The Royals have won 8 games in a row and are 4 wins away from being a World Series Champion.
The Royals have done a fabulous job drafting and developing their players: Billy Butler (2004 first round with the 14th pick), Alex Gordon (2005 first round 2nd pick overall), Jarrod Dyson (2006 50th round pick), Eric Hosmer (2008 1st round with the 3rd pick), Mike Moustakas (2007 first round 2nd pick overall), Greg Holland (2007 10th round pick) and Brandon Finnegan (2014 1st round with the 17th pick). The cores of the team grew up through the bad times and are now reaping the benefits as a team.
The Giants are 8 – 2 en route to their World Series participation. They are going for their 3rd championship in the last five years (2010, 2012). The Giants may only have 2 Hall of Fame players on their roster with Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum and a bunch of clutch players. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy will be a first ballot Hall of Fame for leading his team to a third World Series participation.
The World Series champion will be a team that could do all the little things well such as bunting, defense, clutch hits and great defensive plays. The Giants and Royals have players who understand their roles and don’t complain about being pinch hitters, late game substitution to run or play defence, great bull pens and players who play for each other.
It will be a great a World Series will be fun to watch and hope the Royals can continue their undefeated playoffs. I want to see Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas continue to dominate their opponents.
Who is your World Series Champion?
Enjoy your weekend!
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Yahoo Sports

Week 7 free NFL point spread picks

My Week 6 was a bad one with a 2 – 3 record what was I thinking taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the bad Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers who didn’t respect their opponent . I’m 18 – 13 after 6 weeks and looking for consistency. I will take 6 picks because I couldn’t decide on which game to drop.
My 6 picks this week will be:
The Carolina Panthers + 7 in Green Bay against the Packers will be a close game. The Panthers are a confident team and have a good defense. The Packers are not a team that blows opponents out.
Take the Panthers + 7
The Seattle Seahawks were embarrassed by the Dallas Cowboys display of power football. The Seahawks defense should dominate a weak Saint-Louis Rams offense led by a rookie quarterback.
Take the Seahawks – 6.5
The 4 -1 Arizona Cardinals are in a great position to keep their NFC West division lead with a victory against the young Oakland Raiders. The – 4 point spread is not a ridiculous amount. The Raiders played over their head against the Chargers last week.
Take the Cards – 4
The Miami Dolphins + 3 against the Chicago Bears will be a close game. The Dolphins power running game and very good defense might win the game. The Bears Jay Cutler looked great against no pressure Falcons defense. The Dolphins will put pressure on Cutler and create a few turnovers.
Take the Dolphins + 3
The Cleveland Browns are 3 – 2 and facing the 0 – 6 Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be interesting to see how the Browns handle being the favourite. The Jaguars offense is non-existent; therefore the Browns defense should keep them off the score board.
Take the Browns – 4
The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills will be a close game with minimal points. I believe Teddy Bridgewater will make enough plays to keep the score close. Both teams struggle offensively and depend on their defense to win games.
Take the Vikings + 4 .5
Good luck this weekend!
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Coach Tomlin job might be on the line

The Pittsburgh Steelers organization doesn’t like mediocrity and a 3 – 3 start after two 8 – 8 seasons is bad news. Head Coach Mike Tomlin will have to take the play calling away from offensive coordinator Todd Haley to get the Steelers back on the right track.
Le’Veon Bell and LaGarrette Blount are the type of power backs that the old Steelers would send at their opponents regularly throughout a game. Bell is second in the NFL in rushing yards with 542. Bell and DeMarco Murray have each played 6 games so far with the latter having 54 more carries than Bell. The Dallas Cowboys number one back has 9 more carries per game than the Steelers’ number one.
Bell leads the NFL in average per carry with a minimum 100 attempts with a 5.2. Why don’t they run the ball more with Bell and Blount to help their offense with ball possession, the old defense would be on the field less and force their opponents to start deep in their territory.
Ben Roethlisberger has the sixth most pass attempts in the NFL with 219 compare that to the Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles who has 237 is second. Big Ben has been sacked 17 times, lost 2 fumbles and threw 3 interceptions. The Steelers receiver corps lost Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders in the last few years without replacing them with the same talent level.
Bruce Arians was let go as offensive coordinator to bring in Haley. Now Arians is having success with the Arizona Cardinals as a head coach after one year as associate head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
The sack leader for the Steelers Cameron Hayward has only 3 sacks after 6 games. The Buffalo Bills on the other hand have 3 players with more than 4 sacks. The Steelers defense can longer create pressure and turnovers to impact the game.
Coach Tomlin will have to decide is his team a smash mouth football team or a finesse one? The Steelers don’t have enough talent at the skilled positions to be a finesse offense.
Will the Steelers miss the playoffs again this year?
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NFC East is relevant again

The winner of the NFC East will have a shot at the Super Bowl title this year. The Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles are as good as anybody right now in the conference. The first order of business is who will win the division and get a home playoff game.
The Cowboys are looking like a Super Bowl contender after their victory over the Seahawks in Seattle. The Cowboys overall improvement comes down to their new found commitment to the running game. The offense ran the ball more than they threw it against a very tough defense.
Tony Romo finally understood that his team can win games without him throwing over 40 times and 300 yards. DeMarco Murray tied a record by rushing over 100 yards for the first 6 games of the regular season. The offensive line deserves credit: Tryon Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Doug Free. The Cowboys have 3 offensive linemen who are 23 years old and 1 who is 25 in their dominating starting line-up.
The defense has dramatically improved because of the Cowboys ability to run the ball and increase the time of possession, which in turn reduces the amount of time they are on the field. The improved offensive line play and Murray running the ball also reduced Romo turnovers.
The Eagles vaunted offense has not produced points this year with any type of consistency. Darren Sporles has replaced the dynamite plays that DeSean Jackson used to provide the offensive unit. He has scored a punt return, rushing and receiving touchdown.
LeSean McCoy finally had a big game with a 22 rushing attempts and 149 yards against the New York Giants. His total for the year is 422 yards with almost forty percent coming in last night’s victory.
Nick Foles has been good not great with his 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
The Eagles special teams with block punts and return touchdowns have stepped in to score points while the offense has been struggling. The defense is very fast aggressive, but not very big.
The New York Giants and Washington will be left with the spoiler roles due to injuries.
The Cowboys right now are the best team in the NFC East and their big physical offensive line with a power back will give them the edge. The Cowboys will win the Division and Romo could have playoff success as long as he doesn’t audible out of run for a pass.
Who do you believe will win the NFC East Division?
Enjoy your day!
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OKC will be fine without Durant

The Oklahoma City Thunder found out that NBA MVP Kevin Durant will be out 6 to 8 weeks. The good news is the injury will not affect their playoff run. He will be healthy and ready to go after only missing 25% of the season.
Russell Westbrook will have an opportunity to show everybody in the NBA he is an MVP candidate who will lead his team to an excellent start. He will either show that he can handle the role of being the “Da Man” or a ball hog that only cares about his statistics. Westbrook will prove he is a top 10 player in the world and may lead the league in triple doubles.
The Thunder organization is one of the best teams in the NBA at evaluating, drafting and trading for talent. Durant’s scoring will not be replaced one person it will be a combination of players. Reggie Jackson scored more than 20 points 8 times last year; he won’t mind getting more shot attempts. He finished the season with 13.1 points a game average.
Jeremy Lamb (12th) and Perry Jones (28th) were picked in the first round in 2012. They will have an opportunity to show if they are ready to play heavy minutes and are in the third year of their entry level contracts.
Lamb scored more than 15 points 7 times and over 20 once last year during Westbrook’s absence. He finished the year with 8.5 points with an opportunity to get more minutes and shot attempts with Durant’s absence. He will score more than double digits a game.
Jones scored more than 10 points only 4 times last year. He was supposed to be the steal of the 2012 draft. This can be his opportunity to show he can play or be a journey man who should have stayed in the NCAA one more year. His 3.5 points a game average last year is not a reflection of his talent; Durant’s injury will guarantee Jones playing time.
Anthony Morrow three point shooting ability will also help during the MVP’s absence.
The 32 point a game which disappeared from the Thunder line-up will be replaced by committee of players. The Thunder will actually have to use an 8 to 9 man rotation to win games that could only make them better in the playoffs.
Will the Thunder struggle during Durant’s absence?
Enjoy your day!
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