Implied Dissent

Friday, April 18, 2014

NBA Playoffs 2014

I'd say the Eastern Conference is a 1.5 team race, and that there are 4 teams that could win the West. Like before I'll give predictions for all rounds now, but only take my Round 1 picks at all seriously (and even those don't take very seriously). I don't think any of my picks are particularly surprising, but maybe I'm wrong (hopefully only on that dimension).

Round 1
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #8 Hawks. The Pacers are scuffling a bit, but are definitely better than Atlanta. Pacers 4-1.
#2 Heat against #7 Bobcats. Big Al might win them one game, but the Heat cruise. Heat 4-1.
#3 Raptors against #6 Nets. An interesting matchup. Old vs. young. Kidd's first playoff coaching experience. The Nets played well the last couple of months, the Raptors have played well since excising Rudy Gay (clearly they weren't ready for a Gay player. Thank you, I'll be here all week, folks). Nets 4-2.
#4 Bulls against #5 Wizards. Don't overlook either team. Bulls 4-3.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #8 Mavericks. The Spurs are much better, all due respect to Captain Dirk. Spurs 4-1.
#2 Thunder against #7 Grizzlies. The Grizz have played really well lately, but I'm still a Durantula believer, and Westbrook is close to his old self. Nice matchup of different styles. Thunder 4-3.
#3 Clippers against #6 Warriors. This will be the most fun series, expect a ton of scoring. no Bogut, though means no Warriors advancing. Clippers 4-1.
#4 Rockets against #5 Trail Blazers. I may be selling them short, but I don't totally buy the Trail Blazers. Rockets 4-3.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #4 Bulls. Wouldn't be shocked at all if the Bulls win this. Pacers 4-3.
#2 Heat against #6 Nets. Probably the toughest opponent in terms of matchups for the Heat. Still the Heat are better. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #4 Rockets. I give the Rockets a very real chance, but they have to show it. Spurs 4-3.
#2 Thunder against #3 Clippers. Thunder 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Pacers against #2 Heat. Maybe the Pacers will get it together by this point and win it, but it sure doesn't look that way now. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Spurs against #2 Thunder. Very conflicted about this matchup. I'll go with the Spurs, due to the slightly easier path. Spurs 4-3.

NBA Finals
Spurs with home-court against the Heat. Rematch. Heat are more likely to make it, so I'll take them, but it's close to 50-50 for this series or for a Heat-Thunder one. Heat 4-3.

NFL Playoffs 2014, recap

A little late, but here's the quick recap. I went 6-5 picking winners, 4-5-2 against the spread. Meh.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Superbowl 2014

Almost forgot to post this, will do a recap later. I'm predicting Seattle 24, Broncos 23.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

NFL Playoffs 2013-14, Round 3

Better last week, though not good enough. 3-1 picking winners, 2-2 against the spread, so so far I’m 4-4 and 2-4-2.

Round 3
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, Broncos favored by 5.5. If the Broncos make it shootout, they will win. However, the Pats are much better against the pass than the run, and their running games has become really good. So I expect both teams to run it quite a lot. So it will go under, and Pats pull it out. Patriots 28, Broncos 27.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks favored by 3.5. I like SF and think they’re right up there with all these teams. Given that defense, it wouldn’t shock me at all if they win it all. However, maybe it’s an illusion, but Seattle seems to matchup really well with them, and are a great home team. Expect a slugfest. A defensive TD (or close to it) could determine this one. Seahawks 19, 49ers 13.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

NFL Playoffs 2013-14, Round 2

Well that wasn't good. Good to watch, but not good for my picks. 1-3 picking winners, 0-2-2 against the spread.

Round 2
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, Seattle favored by 7.5. The Saints answered some questions last week, but I still only half trust them on the road. In today's rain, against a great pass defense I don't expect them to be able to score a lot, while Seattle's run game should be quite good. Seahawks 27, Saints 17.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, New England favored by 7. The Colts looked awful in the 1H of last week, great in the 2H. Don't read too much into either one, they're a somewhat above average team. The Pats have some issues, but were never blown out, and were perfect at home. Also, another game in the weather where the road team is used to playing indoors. Then again, almost all of the their games were super close, expect another close one. Patriots 27, Colts 21.

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers, SF favored by 1. The 49ers are looking good, I definitely give them a real shot at winning it all this year. I also really like the Panthers' defense. Newton still has a ways to go, but this could be when it happens. Also, SF is a West Coast team playing at 1pm on the East Coast, that probably counts for something. Panthers 20, 49ers 17.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, Denver favored by 9.5. Denver has to be the favorite to win the SB. However, given Manning's history, and that San Diego did the best job of anyone holding down the Denver offense, and Rivers, this will be close, and definitely could go either way. Broncos 27, Chargers 21.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

NFL Playoffs 2013-14

First a review of previous years:
2013: 4-6 picking winners, 3-6-1 against the spread
2012: 7-4, 5-6
2011: 7-4, 6-5
2010: 5-6, 4-7
2009: 7-4, 6-4-1
2008: 6-5, 3-7-1
2007: 7-4, 6-5
2006: 5-6, 5-6
2005: 8-3, 7-4
2004: 5-6, 2-8-1
2003: 8-3, 4-7
Totals: 69-51 picking winners (57.5%), 51-65-4 against the spread (44%). So almost, but not quite, bad enough to use me as a negative indicator.

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts, Colts favored by 1. Neither team is great, but the Colts are showing up for their tough opponents, while the Chiefs have yet to beat a good team (Philly doesn't count, based on how they were playing then). Colts 26, Chiefs 17.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles, Eagles favored by 2.5. The Saints are just an okay road team, less than that outdoors in the playoffs. The Eagles recent run has included some cupcakes, but still is very encouraging. Eagles 34, Saints 27.

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, Bengals favored by 7. San Diego's trouble beating the Chiefs' second string last week is concerning, but they have gotten better as the season has gone along. However, the Bengals are a really good home team, and I think are better on both lines; I doubt they'll win a roadie, but this week should work out for them. Bengals 27, Chargers 20 (call it 19.5 for gambling purposes).

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers, 49ers favored by 3. It's hard to know what to make of the Packers. I generally like to look at how a team has done going into the playoffs, but only getting (a rusty) Aaron Rodgers back a week ago complicates that. I think he'll be close to himself this week, and so they should be very good, but this could be all over the place. Then you consider that they've had quite a bit of trouble dealing with Kaepernick, and that SF has the superior coach. And that SF closed the season very well. Then again, SF benefited from weak opponents in their big wins, while good teams play them very close. My gut says to go with Rodgers at home. Packers 27, 49ers 23.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nobody's Safe Anymore

This seems kind of important.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NBA 2013-14

Here are my predictions for NBA wins, team-by-team, plus the playoffs. The over/under is in parenthesis. As usual, please take these as having value beyond being a license to mock. Taking the over/unders from here.

Eastern Conference
Miami: 61-21 (61.5)
New York: 51-31 (48.5)
Indiana: 56-26 (54.5)
Brooklyn: 55-27 (52.5)
Chicago: 60-22 (56.5)
Atlanta: 39-43 (39.5)
Boston: 25-57 (27.5)
Milwaukee: 36-46 (28.5)
Philadelphia: 15-67 (16.5)
Toronto: 26-56 (36.5)
Detroit: 40-42 (40.5)
Washington: 39-43 (40.5)
Cleveland: 32-50 (40.5)
Charlotte: 25-57 (26.5)
Orlando: 20-62 (23.5)
Western Conference
Oklahoma City: 53-29 (52.5)
San Antonio: 57-25 (55.5)
Denver: 52-30 (45.5)
LA Clippers: 59-23 (56.5)
Memphis: 52-30 (50.5)
Golden State: 49-33 (51.5)
LA Lakers: 37-45 (36.5)
Houston: 59-23 (54.5)
Utah: 31-51 (25.5)
Dallas: 42-40 (43.5)
Portland: 34-48 (38.5)
Minnesota: 34-48 (41.5)
Sacramento: 32-50 (31.5)
New Orleans: 40-42 (39.5)
Phoenix: 19-63 (19.5)

Favorite overs: Milwaukee, Denver, Houston
Favorite Unders: Toronto, Cleveland

For playoffs still got to go with Miami as the champs. Currently thinking Houston as coming out of the West.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

NFL Predictions 2013

Here are my predictions for NFL wins, team-by-team, plus the playoffs. The over/under is in parenthesis. Read this post at your own gambling risk.

Washington 10-6 (8)
NY Giants 8-8 (9)
Dallas 8-8 (8.5)
Philadelphia 6-10 (7.5)
Green Bay 10-6 (10.5)
Minnesota 8-8 (7)
Chicago 9-7 (8.5)
Detroit 6-10 (8)
Atlanta 10-6 (9.5)
Carolina 9-7 (7.5)
New Orleans 10-6 (9)
Tampa Bay 7-9 (7.5)
San Francisco 11-5 (11)
Seattle 11-5 (10.5)
St. Louis 8-8 (7.5)
Arizona 5-11 (5.5)
New England 11-5 (11)
Miami 7-9 (8)
NY Jets 4-12 (6.5)
Buffalo 6-10 (6.5)
Baltimore 9-7 (8.5)
Cincinnati 10-6 (8.5)
Pittsburgh 8-8 (9)
Cleveland 6-10 (6.5)
Houston 11-5 (10)
Indianapolis 10-6 (8.5)
Tennessee 6-10 (6.5)
Jacksonville 3-13 (5)
Denver 11-5 (11.5)
San Diego 8-8 (7.5)
Oakland 4-12 (5.5)
Kansas City 6-10 (8)

NFC division winners: Washington (#4 seed), Green Bay (#3 seed), Atlanta (#2 seed), San Francisco (#1 seed). Wild cards: Seattle, New Orleans.

AFC division winners: New England (#2 seed), Cincinnati (#4 seed), Houston (#1 seed), Denver (#3 seed). Wild cards: Indianapolis, Baltimore.

NFC Championship game: Atlanta over Washington.
AFC Championship game: New England over Houston.

Super Bowl: New England over Atlanta.

Favorite overs: Carolina, Cincinnati, Indianapolis
Favorite unders: Philadelphia, NY Jets, Oakland.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

NBA Playoffs 2013, Round 3

I called 3 series correctly in Round 2, 2 in the correct number of games. That makes me 9 for 12 on series winners, and calling 4 of those in the right number of games. Onto Round 3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Miami Heat against #3 Indiana Pacers. This should be fairly easy. Heat 4-1.

Western Conference
#2 San Antonio Spurs against #5 Memphis Grizzlies. This should be a great series. I could really see the Grizzlies' size dominating and taking them to the finals. I also could see the Spurs just carve them up with great execution. I'm leaning towards the latter. Spurs 4-3.

NBA Finals
Heat with home-court against the Spurs. Still think the same stuff here as last time. Heat 4-2.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

NBA Playoffs 2013, Round 2

I called six series correctly on the winner, and two of those right on the number of games. Onto Round 2. (Note I'm posting this during Grizz-Thunder game 1, but it didn't affect my call on that series).

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Heat against #5 Bulls. Got to respect what the Bulls did against the Nets. However, I don't see them taking it any further than this. They can probably win one, but the Heat are just too dominant. Heat 4-1.
#2 Knicks against #3 Pacers. The Knicks showed all of the reasons they can be excellent, and all of the reasons they can be beaten, against the C's. The Pacers are an excellent, physical defensive team, but not a lot better than the Celts on offense. I'm always leery of picking a road closeout, so I'll say 7, but another of those where it's not really that close. Knicks 4-3.

Western Conference
#1 Thunder against #5 Grizzlies. The Thunder are still very dangerous, but I don't see them doing much without Westbrook; I may have been critical of him at times, but it's been in a "he can be even better" way, not that I didn't think he was really good. The Grizz are a team well-built for the playoffs, matching up well with OKC. Grizzlies 4-2.
#2 Spurs against #6 Warriors. I fully expect Curry to put up more gaudy scoring/shooting numbers this series and keep it interesting. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this an all-home winning series. Spurs 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Heat against #2 Knicks. I don't see how the Knicks win this without something seriously going wrong (LeBron injury or something like that). They'll shoot their way to a win or two, but that's likely it. Heat 4-2.

Western Conference
#2 Spurs against #5 Grizzlies. A very interesting series. Matchups could give it to the Grizz, but I'm thinking that Parker will go off and Duncan will limit the damage the Z-Bo/Gasol combo will do. Spurs 4-3.

NBA Finals
Heat with home-court against the Spurs. Kind of a rematch from 2007 (Spurs against LeBron). This time the Spurs won't be able to do much to stop him, and the Heat defense can contain Parker/Ginobili for the most part. Heat win it at home in 6. Heat 4-2.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's that Upton Sinclair Quote?

This is remarkably stupid. Let's see, the federal government, due to sequestration, has some spending cuts. At the same time the Federal Reserve takes a somewhat more aggressive stance on fueling the economy. While this is happening the economy mildly accelerates. However, because the consensus had been for more acceleration than we saw, this proves that the Fed can't offset the impact of fiscal stimulus/austerity. Even leaving aside the problem of revisions (the data is still subject to significant updating up or down), it's a really high degree of confirmation bias in action.