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The Crosswalk: It’s Your Fault Our Teams Lose

Kyle - April 19, 2016

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. This one, by Jason Mitchell, has been selected to be featured. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

 

UPDATE: Reminded by this Tweet from Maurice…

… I decided it was a good time to re-post this Crosswalk piece from Jason Mitchell. It was originally posted last June 2. Continue Reading

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Mark Schelerth Is an Egomaniac Troll

Kyle - October 14, 2015

Crosswalk
This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. This post, by Violations Greg, has been chosen to be featured. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

 

First let me say that I respect Mark Schlereth’s road to the NFL. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of high school, and ended up going to University of Idaho, which was Division I-AA at the time. He was a 10th round draft pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. Schlereth then went on to play 12 years in the NFL (six as a Redskin and six as a Bronco), win three Super Bowls, and go to two Pro Bowls. Dude fought against the odds and won.

However, for some reason, he feels the need to take shots at the Eagles and their fans. Did Eagles fans hurt his feelings by calling him names or having clever signs about him when he played here? I doubt it, because he was an offensive lineman and they aren’t on most fan’s radars. I actually don’t even remember him as a Redskin. Joe Jacoby. Russ Grimm. Jeff Bostic. Mark May. Sure, I remember those Washington linemen. Schlereth? Nope. I Think of him more as a Bronco. For the most part, he was irrelevant to Eagles fans. Maybe that’s the bug he’s got up his derriere.

I only stumbled onto his fondness of trolling Eagles fans this weekend when I saw this on my timeline.

I retweeted that and PhillyMike jumped onto Schlereth and this followed: Continue Reading

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Gambler’s Guide to the 2015 Eagles Season: Part 1

Kyle - August 14, 2015

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

Marc Lawrence’s Playbook 2015 Football Preview Guide is here, available online and at Barnes and Noble.

Some Philadelphia sports fans might recognize Marc as the soft-spoken football handicapping tout on WIP’s Howard Eskin Show each weekend during football season. Granted not the most accurate football prognosticator on the planet (who is?), Marc has been more wrong than right.

For ten bucks I’m not aware of any other widely available publication that offers more football betting trends. Many football experts and gamblers scoff at trends, but in my experience they offer a very valuable guide. I’m no gridiron Nostradamus, but I won over $1200 in 2012 in an online college football handicapping contest (first place) and even managed to win an extra C note in the Mock Hilton NFL contest (fifth) in part by using Lawrence’s trends.

Digging into this year’s Philadelphia Eagles section, there are some gems that offer some insight into how the season might go. Before the tour, some nomenclature and acronyms: ATS= “Against the Spread” indicating the teams W-L record versus the Vegas line. While not a predictor of wins and loses, certainly an ATS analysis can offer some insights into whether or not a team will be in a favorable or unfavorable situation to win or lose the game ”Straight Up” or “Outright” (to quote Mike Missanelli, who threw me under the bus on the air blaming me for his predicting Frenso State to cover v USC in Game 1 of the 2014 season).

In Part One of Three we will sort through the good news according to Playbook. In Part 2, the Bad News trends. And then we will conclude in Part 3 with an exhaustive week-by-week analysis of these trends, as well as my opinions to see how the Eagles might fare this season.

Is there a Super Bowl in our immediate future? Or will the denizens of Philadelphia march down Broad Street with pitchforks demanding Chip Kelly be run back into the NCAA?

Perhaps the answer might be somewhere in between. Lets take a look right now at the things we as Eagles fans can look forward to according to The Playbook:

Chip Kelly has a Straight Up 23-2 Record Away vs. NFC East and Conference Opponents in his Career

5-1 of that is against the NFC East; based on this, its safe to surmise the Eagles will win at Washington, Dallas and in an eerie repeat of last season (more on THAT in Parts 2 and 3) the Giants at the second straight Meadowlands season finale.

This trend should not be a shocker. Chip Kelly is so anal he makes his players wear sleep monitors. We can only assume he micromanages every detail of his teams road travels, and makes every use of every frame of footage of a team he plays twice a year (or in college every year).

Eagles are 6-1 Against the Spread on Monday Night Road Games

Conclusion: Opening night win at Atlanta as the Eagles are 9-4-1 ATS v the Falcons. I don’t think predicting an opening night win here is a stretch. Chip can claim 3-0 of this trend, and again it appears he MIGHT be a good road coach (only 9-7 ATS NFL) and takes advantage of that extra day of preparation offered by Monday night games.

Eagles are 7-1 Against the Spread in November

Buddy Ryan once said that in order to get in the playoffs, you have to win games in November. God I hope so because you wont like what I predict the Eagles do in December in Part 2 and 3.

Things look to break Philadelphia’s way that month as they play one of those three Monday Night road games in Dallas, which is off of a bye, and the Eagles are indeed 21-6 straight up off a week of rest, making this Dallas game seem like a lock (to be fair we can thank Andy Reid for a lot of that bye trend but it’s still hard to ignore).

I don’t have 2013 stats, but Chip’s Eagles went 4-1 ATS last November. Seems as if it’s a good month for Chip Kelly. After Dallas the rest of November actually looks good for the Birds and we will go over that good news in Part 3 (yes, after the Bad News in Part 2)

NEXT: Feeling good about the Eagles chances in 2015? You might not want to read Part 2 of this Gamblers Guide to the 2015 Eagles Season without downing a stiff drink.

What do you think of betting trends in sports? What method do you use to beat the Bookie? Is there a trend you know that Marc does not? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below or @danmoreland

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Phillies Are Cash Money Since All-Star Break

Kyle - August 10, 2015

Phillies$

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

While the city is pining over the loss of Brandon Boykin (aka Deion Sanders), I’m pining over missed  gambling opportunities. When I place my daily MLB wagers, I constantly ignore the Phillies. The thinking is that the luck has to run out or that I’ll jinx them.

The Phillies have gotten zero respect from Vegas oddsmakers while being the hottest team in baseball. They’ve gone 16-5 since the All-Star break. Only once in those five losses were they a favorite (Aug 2nd vs. Atlanta -105).

How much could you have won? Do you really want to know?

If you got even odds on $100 bets, you’d be up $1,100. However, the Phillies have been heavy underdogs in a bunch of these games, meaning you would’ve won more than the amount wagered.

For example, on July vs. the Cubs, the Phillies were +235 dogs. So, the Phillies 5-3 victory was worth $235 to anyone betting $100 on the Phils.

If you wagered $100 on the Phillies to win every game since the All Star break, you’d be up $1,969.00! $50 would’ve net you $948.00 and $25 would’ve put $492 in your account.

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2015 NFL Predictions Based on Vegas Odds

Kyle - August 10, 2015

Super_Bowl_50_logo

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

Here are Jawnville’s 2015 NFL Predictions based on current Vegas odds.

For starters, Sam Bradford will be the Philadelphia Eagles starting QB on Week 1. Bradford to start Week 1 is at -450. For non-degenerates, that means you’d have to risk $450 to win $100. Betting that Sanchez starts Week 1 nets you +265 (that’s $265 for every $100 bet). Those odds are pretty heavy that Vegas believes Bradford starts.

Below are the predicted standings and win/loss records based on the odds for the total wins over/under for each team.

NFC EAST:
1. Dallas Cowboys 10-6 (over 9.5 is -120)
2. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 (under 9.5 is -155)
3. New York Giants 8-8 (under 8.5 is -160)
4. Washington 6-10 (under 6.5 is -160)

NFC NORTH:
1. Green Bay 12-4 (over 11 is -115)
2. Detroit 8-8 (under 8.5 is -145)
3. Minnesota 8-8 (over 7 is -215)
4. Chicago 7-9 (under 7.5 is -170)

NFC SOUTH:
1. New Orleans 9-7 (over 8.5 is -120)
2. Atlanta 8-8 (under 8.5 is -115)
3. Carolina 8-8 (under 8.5 is -135)
4. Tampa Bay 5-11 (under 6 is -120)

NFC WEST:
1. Seattle 12-4 (over 11 is -140)
2. Arizona 9-7 (over 8.5 is -145)
3. St. Louis 7-9 (under 8 is -145)
4. San Francisco 6-10 (under 7.5 is -240)

The NFC teams with the best odds to make the Playoffs are: Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas, Eagles, New Orleans, Carolina.

Carolina is an odd choice because Falcons odds to go over are 8.5 are better than Carolina, but odds to make the Playoffs are Panthers +130 and Falcons are +140.

AFC EAST:
1. New England 10-6 – there are no current odds due to deflategate.
2. Miami 9-6  (over 8.5 is -200)
3. Buffalo 9-7 (over 8.5 is -120)
4. New York – 8-8 (over 7.5 is -145)

AFC NORTH:
1. Baltimore 10-6 (over 9.5 is -135)
2. Pittsburgh 9-7 (over 8.5 is -130)
3. Cincinnati 9-7 (over 8.5 is -135)
4. Cleveland 6-10 (under 6.5 is -145)

AFC SOUTH:
1. Indianapolis 11-5 (over 10.5 is -175)
2. Houston 9-7 (over 8.5 is -140)
3. Jacksonville 6-10 (over 5.5 is -145)
4. Tennessee 5-11 (under 5.5 is -120)

AFC WEST:
1. Denver 10-6 (under 10.5 is -170)
2. Kansas City 9-7 (over 8.5 is -145)
3. San Diego 8-8 (under 8.5 is -135)
4. Oakland 6-10 (over/under 5.5 are both -110)

Teams with the best odds to make the AFC Playoffs are: New England* (no odds yet), Indianapolis, Denver, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati.

AFC North looks to be a brutal conference with three solid teams.

Current Odds to win the Super Bowl 50:
Seattle +350
Green Bay +500
Indianapolis +750
New England +750
Denver +1000
Dallas +1200
Baltimore +1700
Philadelphia +1700

For more like this and Philly related stuff check out Jawnville or check me out on twitter.

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Not Necessarily a Slow Sports Week

Kyle - July 13, 2015

Photo Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports


Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

Ugh. It’s that time of year again: All-Star Week. That black hole on every sports fan’s calendar when the only two choices for entertainment are the miserable Home Run Derby followed by the baseball All-Star Game circus.

This is the week every true sports fan dreads, usually finding many of us crawled up behind the recliner of our man cave, shivering in the fetal position as we don’t even have the woeful Phillies to point and laugh at.

The NHL and NBA are weeks away, and the overrated boring routine of NFL training camp still seems a distant milestone.

Hell, even the sports talk radio wars have declared a cease-fire, with both Josh Innes and Mike Missanelli taking individual vacations, so vacant is the talk show fodder.

Yes, the dark cloud of sports nothingness is about to descend upon us starting Monday, frightening fans as the solar eclipse scared the bejesus out of the omen-embracing ancients only to be lifted Friday night when we will be surprisingly grateful to see the Phils take the diamond once again for yet another humiliation.

Or is it? Does it have to be?

Fear not, faithful sports fan: Open your eyes, expand your horizons and not only get through this annual dirge for all things athletic … but, dare we say, celebrate it as surprisingly, there ARE some very exciting events taking place this week to help you make it to the next Phillies loss Friday night. Namely:

THE BRITISH OPEN (ESPN)
Rory McIlroy stupidly spudded the event, injuring his ankle playing soccer, which means of course even more attention will be on Tiger Woods to see if he can make the cut. But the big story will be young stud and Lehigh Valley spawn Jordan Spieth at 7/2 in an attempt to be the first to win the Grand Slam in one year since Benjamin Franklin, which would make him American Pharaoh, Secretariat, and Seattle Slew all rolled up into one in golf.

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE (NBATV)
The Las Vegas SL ramps up this week as overzealous pundits make nightly comparisons between Jahlil Okafor and Wilt Chamberlain because he scores 20 points and blocks shots against other rookies. That said, Philadelphia fans need something to cheer for, and this is as good as it will get this week. The Sixers play the Knicks Tuesday at 5:30, then Wednesday starts the playoffs.

TOUR DE FRANCE (NBC SPORTS)
The seemingly interminable bike race tour enters its middle stages this week. You know the winner will only be brought down by doping charges, but at least the scenery is spectacular, and if we’re lucky, there will be a good crash or two.

CONCACAF GOLD CUP (FOX SPORTS 1)
Monday Night Soccer features a somewhat surprising Jamaica playing El Salvador where Salvador MUST win to advance to the knockout stage. The next night Cuba, who lost to Mexico 6-0, faces Guatemala who must defeat Cuba to advance as well, giving Cuba at least a chance to act as spoiler after being humiliated by Mexico. I’d love to interject a USA! USA! angle into this but 1) they already advanced and don’t play until Saturday when you will stop caring and 2) it’s only the Gold Cup.

HOWEVER, remember later this month the third place game takes place right here in the Del Val at PPL Park, and the Gold Cup Final will be at the Linc. Speaking of the beautiful game, the Union play a friendly against Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth at PPL Park Tuesday night, so there is another way to pass some time.

PAN AMERICAN GAMES (FOX SPORTS 2)
The 27th edition of these mini-olympics from Toronto will feature over 30 medal events taking place during the All-Star break. What, you’re not excited about proving to Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and French Guyana that we are still #1 at weightlifting, water polo and archery?

SEC MEDIA DAY (ESPN U)
The biggest, best and baddest conference in college football kicks off weeks of NCAA pressers with its “media days” this week. I have absolutely no idea why anyone gets obsessed with coach and player interviews like Eagles fans and sports talk radio hosts do, but they do and the big stories in college football come out of the SEC.

Can Alabama climb back up? Was Ole Miss a fluke? Will LSU and Auburn return to greatness? College football geeks get a chance to decipher clues to all this and more this week. Bonus: hopefully someone will say something really stupid and give the WIP and Fanatic benchwarmers something to gripe about.

AND, for those 5 of you baseball addicts out there I give you:

CAPE COD LEAGUE (FSC, various)
Who will be the next Ron Darling, Cris Carpenter, Cory Snyder, Robin Ventura, Chuck Knoblauch, Tyler Green, Doug Glanville, Billy Wagner, Mark Teixeira or Max Pentecost? Find out as FSC broadcasts games from this collegiate summer league.

Is there a non-MLB sports event you’re looking forward to that we missed? We’d love to hear from you!- Dan Moreland @danmoreland

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Thank you, Tony Bruno

Kyle - July 9, 2015

Voila_Capture 2015-07-08_03-34-44_PM

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

Wednesday was a somber day for the sports radio industry in Philadelphia. Tony Bruno, a personality whose career took him from local prominence at WIP to the lofty peaks of national outlets ESPN and Fox Sports Radio, has decided to hang up his headphones and step away from the microphone. Although Bruno has maintained that he will continue to release podcasts on his personal website, it appears that the radio host’s time on the FM dial has come to an end. According to Bruno:

After 45 years of pursuing my dreams and goal of radio and climbing the sport radio stairs to the highest rungs, the format and industry in general no longer provide me joy and satisfaction, even after reaching number 1 in pm drive in record time in my hometown.

I decided to resign from WIP and from regular long-form terrestrial radio as a result and will pursue my podcasts and other things to keep me occupied and happy.

For the past five years, I have been an avid fan of Tony’s shows as he brought his special brand of “intensity and alacrity” to the Fanatic and, later, WIP. His voice stood out amidst the inane babble that tends to dominate the format. In a sea of hot takes issued by brand-building loudmouths who mistake outrage for critical thought, Tony’s program was an island of lightheartedness that offered a comical approach to sports. Unlike some of his self-satisfied colleagues and competitors, Tony never took himself or the material too seriously. Sports, after all, are meant to serve as a diversion from the frequently frustrating and occasionally ulcer-inducing realities of life. There’s no need to add to one’s stress level because the Eagles quarterback situation is unsettled or because the Phillies resemble a mediocre Triple-A team. Better to laugh about it. In the grand scheme of things, this stuff really is not all that important. And, frankly, the opinions and analysis offered each day by sports radio hosts and “experts”  are as evanescent as an ice cube on a hot summer’s day. It’s all just noise that will be replaced by different noise tomorrow. Tony seemed to grasp these truths better than most, which freed him to focus on entertaining his listeners rather than trying to outsmart them.

I’ll miss Tony’s “stone cold, lead pipe guaranteed locks” and the “Mr. Monday Night” football picks (offered for amusement purposes only, of course). I’ll also miss the 12 Days of Bruno and the hilarious, well-deployed clips from Tony’s soundboard (i.e. Christian Bale’s “What don’t you f#%&ing understand!” and Brad Pitt’s “What’s in the box?” line from Se7en). Furthermore, I’ll miss the goofy tangents (like the time when Tony, a bald white guy, started waxing about hair care products for black men) and the allusions to long-forgotten incidents in Philadelphia sports history. I’ll miss the special chemistry Tony developed with Harry Mayes during their 10-to-noon show on the Fanatic. Finally, I’ll miss turning on sports talk radio and experiencing original, funny content.

However, life goes on. Thank you, Tony, for making the workday feel a little less interminable and a little less dull. Sports radio in Philadelphia won’t be the same without you. Here’s hoping retirement agrees with you. Now, in the words of Harry Mayes, “Get out! Get out!”

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The Old Sixers/Celtics Rivalry is Just a Matter of Time … and Hoarding

Kyle - July 9, 2015

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

The Flyers have their rivals: Rangers, Capitals, Penguins. The Phillies and Mets haven’t been the friendliest competitors. We Philadelphians live and breathe a deep and long hatred of the Dallas Cowboys. The only rivalry, in my lifetime, that could come remotely close to the Eagles/Cowboys was the Sixers/Celtics rivalry of the late 70s and 80s. Exhibit A:

I didn’t have ESPN to follow out-of-town games. Most people in Philly didn’t. I still knew the names from the clashes against the Sixers. Names like: Parrish, Bird, Archibald, Ainge, McHale, Greg Kite, Cornbread Maxwell, and so on. The Sixers/Celtics rivalry was one of the greatest in NBA, and in all of sports.

It’s been a while since both teams have been good at the same time. As a result, the rivalry kind of fizzled out. Sure, I will always hold a deep-seeded hatred of the Celtics, but that’s based on the past. However, that could change. Both of these teams are tanking a slow, calculated approach to rebuilding and are poised to improve simultaneously.

Somebody call A&E. The NBA Atlantic Division has a hoarding issue in Boston and Philadelphia that would make the actual hoarders on reality TV look like innocent pack-rats. What are they hoarding? Players and picks.

Think about this. Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers have 3 players (Embiid, Stauskas, Saric) in their system from Top 12 players selected in the 2014 NBA Draft. For those without calculators, that’s 25% of the top 12 players selected last year are part of the Sixers franchise. That’s kind of insane. Granted, Embiid hasn’t played, Stauskas stunk on a bad team, and Saric is stuck in Europe for another year. It’s still insane.  Add Noel from 2013 and Okafor from 2015 and the 76ers have 5 lottery selections from the past three years.

hoarderhinkie

Danny Ainge, the GM of the Celtics, is doing a solid job of hoarding himself. The Celtics have 5 first round picks from the past three years as well, but only one of those is a lottery selection (Marcus Smart, 6th pick 2014). In this case, you have to figure that Hinkie’s garage has a bit more value than Ainge’s, based on potential. For comparison purposes, Toronto, New York, and Brooklyn each have only 2 first round players in their respective systems from the past three years.

This is just the beginning of the Hinkie and Ainge hoarding. Between 2016 and 2019, the Sixers have 8 more first round picks. That includes their own picks, 3 additional next year and one coming from Sacramento in the future. The Celtics have 9 first round picks coming their way in the next 4 years.

If we look at 2nd round picks, the hoarding is crazier. The 2nd round details gets a bit confusing so my math may be off. Tweet at me (@ViolationsGreg) if you know better. I used RealGM.com for this article. My calculations have the Sixers owning 8 second round picks between 2016-2019 and the Celtics having 6. That’s 31 Sixers and Celtics picks coming in the next four years.

Add a couple of free agent signings between the clubs and the Sixers and Celtics should be bad-ass in the near future, barring complete Ruben Amaro-like maneuvering. Bring it! Step aside Knicks, Raptors and Nets, this Atlantic Division is about to old-school real quick. I can’t wait to get to a meaningful Sixers game and BOO a strong Celtics rival.

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