Implied Dissent

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NBA Playoffs 2015

It looks a lot like the Cavs and Warriors are on a collision course, but there are a few “upstarts” that could derail that. 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). Also like before, I don't think any of my picks are particularly surprising, but maybe I'm wrong (and hopefully only on that dimension).

Round 1
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #8 Brooklyn Nets. An upset is possible, especially with the Sefolosha situation and Millsap maybe not himself. Then again, the Nets aren’t good, and I doubt Millsap will take all that long to be good again. Hawks 4-2.
#2 Cavaliers against #7 Celtics. The Celtics are better than people think. Thomas and Zeller are really good, Crowder and Smart of pretty good, and the next 4 guys are solid. Unfortunately that’s not enough to beat the LeBrons. The games in Boston are tossups, the games in Cleveland will be blowouts. Cavaliers 4-1.
#3 Bulls against #6 Bucks. Things are shaping up for the Bulls, finally. They still need Noah to take seriously as a contender (he’s supposed to play, we’ll see). I like the Bucks, but don’t see them doing much this year. Bulls 4-1.
#4 Raptors against #5 Wizards. Both teams started the season very well, both slowed a lot, and both perked up a bit at the end. I just have a feeling the Wizards with Beal back are better. Wizards 4-2.
Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #8 Pelicans. Got to love Anthony Davis, top 10 player, best young big man today, could well be MVP next year. However, Curry is either #1 or #2 this year, and the rest of his team is much better. Warriors 4-1.
#2 Rockets against #7 Mavericks. The talent is close enough that I’m going with the superior coaching of Carlisle enabling the mini-upset. Mavericks 4-2.
#3 Clippers against #6 Spurs. These are the 2 teams most likely to take down the Warriors in the West. It’s too bad they’re playing in round 1, but it should be an excellent series. Go with the champs. Spurs 4-2.
#4 Trail Blazers against #5 Grizzlies (Grizz with home-court). A healthy Portland would be interesting. Oh well. Grizzlies 4-1.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #5 Wizards. Hawks 4-1.
#2 Cavaliers against #3 Bulls. Health could be a big issue for this series. For now, Cavs 4-1.

Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #5 Grizzlies. A small chance of an upset due to the very different styles, but unlikely. Warriors 4-1.
#6 Spurs against #7 Mavericks. These teams always matchup well. Stick with the Spurs, but it will be a basketball purists dream series. Spurs 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #2 Cavaliers. Cavs 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #6 Spurs. An awesome series. Warriors 4-3.

NBA Finals
Warriors with home-court against the Cavaliers. Warriors 4-2.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

2014-15 NBA season predictions in review

I did much better this year. See my predictions here, and actual standings here. To sum up, I went 19-11 across all teams, and 7-1 on my top picks. To be fair, I called half of them as 1/2 picks, so I really went 5-1 on my top picks. Still, pretty, pretty good. This brings my 3-year record to 51-39 overall, and my top picks record to 12-5. Woo!
On the less important prediction vs. actual win total question, I had 2 exactly right (Washington and San Antonio), and on 7 was off by 1 or 2 (Brooklyn, Detroit, Philadelphia, LA Clippers, Portland, Dallas, and Sacramento). I also was way off on both top seeds (17 for both Golden State and Atlanta), and the two worst teams (16 off for Minnesota, and a whopping 24 for the Knicks). Interesting. The average error was 6.8. I'll take it.

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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Superbowl 2015

Round 1
3-1 picking winners, 2-2 against the spread.

Round 2
3-1 picking winners, 1-3 against the spread.

Round 3
2-0 picking winners, 1-1 against the spread.

Total so far
8-2 picking winners, 4-6 against the spread.

New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, Patriots favored by 1. When the matchup is this close, it will come down to small things. Such as the Pats center that had stabilized the line being hobbled. Or maybe something big, like whether Seattle gets a defensive touchdown. People are talking up their struggles against tight ends, but that almost all came while Wagner was out; Gronk should be good, but he won’t dominate. I do expect the Pats to largely shut down the Seahawks’ passing game, and they should be able to find holes underneath; they’ll need to stay patient to win. I just have the feeling that o-line problems will be the ultimate problem. Seahawks 23, Patriots 20. Go Pats!

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

NFL Playoffs 2014-15, Round 3

Round 1
3-1 picking winners, 2-2 against the spread.

Round 2
3-1 picking winners, 1-3 against the spread.

Round 3
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks favored by 8. Since putting up 108 in 2 weeks mid-season, the Packers’ offense has been good to very good, but not great. Seattle’s D has benefitted from whom they’ve played, when, but has been pretty great for 7 weeks; maybe opponent adjusted we lower that to excellent, but still top notch. If Rodgers was 100% it would be close, but hard to see them going into Seattle and doing it. Plus I’m sure Seattle is aware of how Rodgers’ performance fell off when pressured last week. Seahawks 26, Packers 17.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, Patriots favored by 7. Good job by the Colts last week, but that felt like it was more (maybe 60-40) about the Broncos losing than Indy winning. The Pats seemed rusty to start the Bal game; once they shook that off they largely dominated. Add in Luck’s history against Belichick, and I again see a home favorite covering. Patriots 31, Colts 20.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

NFL Playoffs 2014-15, Round 2

Round 1
3-1 picking winners, 2-2 against the spread.

Round 2
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, Patriots favored by 7. The Ravens may be better than I credited them with, especially as a playoff team. Plus their weakness is hard for the Pats to exploit for big plays. Still, I remember that Flacco has only looked good against the Pats when they haven’t had a strong CB, and Revis is probably the #1 CB in the game, and I don’t see them containing Gronk without exposing huge holes elsewhere. Patriots 30, Ravens 20.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks favored by 11.5. Still not totally buying into the Panthers, but the D is strong enough that I don’t expect a blowout. Of course, Seattle’s D is back to quasi-all-time levels, so it could generate its own points. Seahawks 20, Panthers 12.

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers, Packers favored by 6. Dallas is good, but even with his injury I expect Rodgers to slice them apart. Packers 31, Cowboys 23.

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos, Broncos favored by 7.5. Not ready to pick the Colts on the road. However, Manning has looked off to me lately, like they’ve reduced his workload because they were forced to, not by choice. I guess this is the game that will let us know if that’s the case. I’ll stick with the rested team, but Colts slow them enough to cover. Broncos 27, Colts 21.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

NFL Playoffs 2014-15, Round 1

First a review of previous years:
2014: 6-5 picking winners, 4-5-2 against the spread
2013: 4-6, 3-6-1
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: 75-56 picking winners (57.3%), 55-70-6 against the spread (44%). So almost, but not quite, bad enough to use me as a negative indicator.

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, Panthers favored by 5.5. My initial reaction is that the line was too high. Lindley is bad, but the Carolina streak to end the season wasn’t as good as it looked, and the ‘zona could score. However, Arizona isn’t playing all that well on defense lately, and they have trouble with mobile QBs such as Newton. Panthers 20, Cardinals 10.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers favored by 3.5. Even with Le’Veon Bell out, the Steelers are a better team, and have the passing attack to exploit the bad Ravens secondary. Steelers 24, Ravens 17.

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts, Colts favored 4. Admittedly the Colts have come by their record by beating up on a very weak schedule, going 2-5 against legit teams. However, Luck has shown he can compete with the best, and Andy Dalton/Marvin Lewis have not. Colts 26, Bengals 17.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys favored by 7.  I’m not a believer in the Lions, and Stafford’s career record on the road against good teams (I think 0-15) is remarkable. While Dallas definitely has to prove something, I’ll take the better team at home. Cowboys 26, Lions 17.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I'll Just Leave This Here

Please read.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NBA 2014-15

Will post a cleaned up/edited for style version of this later, with top over/under picks, but here are my predictions for NBA team win totals this season.
10/30 note: Updated to include over/unders (taken from cbssports). Everything below the 32 teams is new content. Wishing I could change some of these #s, but won't.

Indiana: 34-48  (32.5)
Miami: 42-40  (43.5)
Toronto: 46-36  (49.5)
Chicago: 56-26  (55.5)
Washington: 46-36  (49.5)
Brooklyn: 36-46  (41.5)
Charlotte: 43-39  (45.5)
Atlanta: 43-39  (40.5)
New York: 41-41  (40.5)
Cleveland: 59-23  (58.5)
Detroit: 34-48  (36.5)
Boston: 29-53  (26.5)
Orlando: 28-54  (28.5)
Philadelphia: 19-63  (15.5)
Milwaukee: 28-54  (24.5)
San Antonio: 55-27  (56.5)
Oklahoma City: 52-30  (57.5)
LA Clippers: 54-28  (55.5)
Houston: 51-31  (49.5)
Portland: 50-32  (48.5)
Golden State: 50-32  (50.5)
Memphis: 47-35  (48.5)
Dallas: 48-34  (49.5)
Phoenix: 43-39  (42.5)
Minnesota: 32-50  (25.5)
Denver: 37-45  (40.5)
New Orleans: 41-41  (41.5)
Sacramento: 30-52  (40.5)
LA Lakers: 31-51  (31.5)
Utah: 25-57  (25.5)

Favorite Overs: Philadelphia, Minnesota, Milwaukee (I never learn)
Favorite Unders: Toronto, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Washington, Brooklyn. However, only really Sac as a near-lock, so let's count the other four as half picks. So that's effectively 3 Overs, and 3 Unders.

Obviously Cleveland and Chicago in the Eastern Finals. For now going with same Western Conference Finals, San Antonio and OKC. NBA Finals OKC over Cleveland (even though I have them as a semi-favorite Under).

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Problem? Or the Solution?

I’m not calling him a saint by any means, and he could learn some lessons in how to express ideas better, but where others see a problem, I see the solution. Well, most of the solution. Change doesn’t generally happen because people in power are super nice, it happens because it gives someone an advantage. Branch Rickey hired Jackie Robinson partly because he was less racist than others, but largely because he was looking for a way to get ahead. After a while it became obvious to everyone that their racist “thinking” was hurting them, and baseball as a whole changed.

When companies hire programmers in India for less than they’d make here, but more than they’d make otherwise, is that immoral? I’m sure Thornley saw people (women) at other companies he wanted to hire, figured out what he had to offer to bring them over, and offered that. In a sexist industry that means they’ll still make less than they should, but more than they would have. I wish we could snap our fingers and make prejudice disappear, but it doesn’t happen like that.

Tabarrok is good on this also.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014

Here are my predictions for NFL wins, team-by-team, plus the playoffs. The important parts should be fairly straight forward, but explanationof columns: Team, Wins-Losses, Las Vegas Hilton Over/Under, moneyline for betting the Over, moneyline for betting the Under, and what I calculated those moneylines imply for what "Vegas" thinks a team's chances of going over are.

NFC EAST Over/Under Over Under Implied Likelihood of Going Over
Philadelphia 11-5 9 +115 -135 45%
Dallas 7-9 8 -110 -110 50%
NY Giants 7-9 7.5 -135 +115 55%
Washington 6-10 7.5 +125 -145 43%
Chicago 10-6 8 -140 +120 56%
Green Bay 9-7 10 -145 +125 57%
Detroit 7-9 8 -150 +130 58%
Minnesota 6-10 6 +105 -125 47%
New Orleans 10-6 9.5 -150 +130 58%
Carolina 9-7 8 -130 +110 54%
Tampa Bay 8-8 7 -120 Even 52%
Atlanta 8-8 8 -130 +110 54%
Seattle 11-5 11 -120 Even 52%
San Francisco 10-6 10.5 -120 Even 52%
Arizona 8-8 7.5 -120 Even 52%
St. Louis 6-10 7.5 -110 -110 50%
New England 11-5 10.5 -135 +115 55%
NY Jets 8-8 7 -125 +105 53%
Miami 6-10 8 +110 -130 46%
Buffalo 5-11 6.5 -130 +110 54%
Cincinnati 9-7 9 -135 +115 55%
Baltimore 8-8 8.5 -120 Even 52%
Pittsburgh 6-10 8.5 -120 Even 52%
Cleveland 6-10 6.5 -150 +130 58%
Indianapolis 10-6 9.5 -150 +130 58%
Houston 8-8 7.5 -145 +125 57%
Tennessee 7-9 7 -130 +110 54%
Jacksonville 5-11 4.5 -150 +130 58%
Denver 11-5 11 -140 +120 56%
San Diego 10-6 8 -120 Even 52%
Kansas City 9-7 8 -120 Even 52%
Oakland 4-12 5 +130 -150 42%

NFC division winners: #1 seed Philadelphia, #2 Seattle, #3 Chicago, #4 New Orleans. Wild cards San Francisco, Green Bay.

AFC division winners: #1 seed New England, #2 Denver, #3 Indianapolis, #4 Cincinnati. Wild cards San Diego, Kansas City.

AFC Championship Game: New England over Denver.
NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia over Seattle. (Yep, both #1s over both #2s)

Super Bowl: New England over Philadelphia. (Yes, I'm a homer, but Revis Island and Gronk seem like they'll be enough to do it)

Favorite Overs: Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego.
Favorite Unders: St Louis, Pittsburgh, Miami, Buffalo. I'd add Washington, but that's a stay-away team.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hapless? Austerity? Hapless Austerity Maybe

Lol. A nice two-fer. Krugman (column and post) goes on at length about how France's problems stem (at least largely) from their austerity. I don't see it in the data.
France Government Spending
source: tradingeconomics

Admittedly they've also raised taxes a decent amount. Perhaps that's what he meant. Perhaps it would be nice somewhere in there for him to acknowledge that he was quite supportive of those moves.

Later, he talks about how Europe's problems are that its left is hapless, unlike the US. Really? You can seriously look at how European governments act regarding their economies and claim the left there isn't far more powerful than here? I agree that the European Central Bank's monetary policy has been too tight for years (more than the US Fed), and I'll admit there is some left/right divide on that issue. However, their left are more powerful/influential/hap-full than the US left on at least 80% of economic issues. YMMV on whether that's good or bad, but it's clearly the case.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

More HL

When the government actively requires people to take actions it will inevitably run up against deeply and sincerely held moral beliefs. They may be wrong, irrational, annoying, and/or anachronistic, but at some point they will be your beliefs that are put on the spot. "Government that is big enough to give everything you need and want is also strong enough to take it away." I'm no fan of Hobby Lobby, and don't like that religions are getting special treatment, but these types of conflicts are inevitable given the direction policy has and is going.