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Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - December 5, 2018

We have a diagnosis for Markelle Fultz. It’s Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOC).

It’s a nerve/vein/artery compression issue that severely affects the neck and shoulder area, which is why Fultz hasn’t looked good shooting the ball. And with that, he’s out indefinitely.

But he could be back soon, per Woj:

That’s interesting. He’ll also rehab in Los Angeles.

Overall, this sounds like we may have found the definite problem that’s lasted a year and a half. But who knows if this is the end or just another part to a crazy saga.

As for the rest of the team, they take on Toronto tonight at 8 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia and nationally on ESPN. There are some distractions when playing in Toronto, according to Jimmy Butler.

Also, check out a new episode of the Crossing Broadcast.

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Premier League Picks Week 15

Philip Keidel - December 5, 2018

Photo Credit: Brad Penner, USA TODAY

Come on, you didn’t really think I forgot you, right? Yes, there were Premier League matches on Tuesday, but none of them were especially interesting. I went 1-2 on the picks I would have made. I had West Ham as easy winners, but I thought Manchester City would cover 1.5 goals away to Watford and I thought Crystal Palace would win away to Brighton and Hove Albion. In the parlance of true degenerates, sometimes the best bet you ever made is the one you didn’t make at all.

There are six more Premier League fixtures set for this midweek slate, and there are winners aplenty, so let’s get to it.

BURNLEY v. LIVERPOOL

Let me first come out and admit that I am aware that Burnley is awful. You don’t find yourself 19th out of 20 in the table based on great talent, strong effort, and bad luck. This is not a good Burnley side. But here’s the thing…it’s quite possible that Liverpool isn’t really all that good either.

Oh, sure, Liverpool is second in the league table and putatively keeping up with Manchester City. You see the scenes of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp charging onto the pitch as his men snatch a late winner against Everton a few days ago and say “there’s a club that has a collective spirit!” That’s true enough. What’s also true is that Liverpool has yet to play the sort of wide-open, hell for leather football that was expected of them when the season began.

More to the point for this wager, in the 12 matches Liverpool has played since skinning West Ham 4-0 in their league opener, the total goals scored in their serial league matches has exceeded two just four times, and has exceeded four just once. That’s not Liverpool goals, mind you — that’s total goals in those matches. Liverpool is away to a moribund Burnley side after spilling its bucket against Everton in a derby that Liverpool won at the death. It’s too much to expect the Reds to put a big number on Burnley. Take Liverpool to win AND under 3.5 goals at 21/20.

WOLVERHAMPTON v. CHELSEA

Wolves were very good for me early in this season, but a quick look at the form table shows that the ship is sinking, and fast. Wolves hasn’t won in the league since October 6, and has only claimed one of 18 possible points over its last six league matches.

This is the exact wrong time for Wolves to be seeing Chelsea, a club that got some of its frustration out from its recent derby loss to Spurs out with the win over Fulham a few days back. The Blues undoubtedly see a wounded foe in Wolves, and with Wolverhampton midfielder Ruben Neves missing this match due to a suspension for a fifth yellow card (one of the dumbest rules in the game, by the way), there is little reason to think Chelsea will not pick up three crucial points in the quest to stay in the top four. Take Chelsea to win at 4/5.

MANCHESTER UNITED v. ARSENAL

It tells you all you need to know about where these clubs are now that this fixture is third on the docket to be picked. Three years ago, five years ago, ten years ago, this match would supersede any other offering on any week, any time. But time, like LaVar Ball, is undefeated, never lost. United is a hollowed-out shell of its past glory, 19 points behind Manchester City and happy to eke out a result against a Southampton club that was moments from sacking its manager.

In fairness, Arsenal is on the rise. The weekend derby victory over Spurs (which I called) was a great display, even though it was over an exhausted XI at home. As for this pick, we are officially in “don’t overthink it” territory. Arsenal has not lost in any competition since August 18. You read that right. Arsenal lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in mid-August, and since then the Gunners have a 19-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

As the great Maya Angelou once wrote, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. Take Arsenal to win draw no bet at evens.

SOUTHAMPTON v. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

That’s right, we have the rare BONUS PICK here. As described earlier, Spurs lost a cracking match to Arsenal over the weekend. There is no question that exhaustion played a part in that outcome. Spurs had played a Champions League match days before, whereas Arsenal was more or less fully rested. That probably explains how Arsenal turned a 2-1 deficit at halftime into a 4-2 win. Sometimes it really is that easy to see what will happen.

So Spurs is a little ragged now…but that ain’t nothing compared to what is going on at Southampton. Mark Hughes was fired for committing the cardinal sin of losing to United (har har), and as of this writing expect to play this Premier League match without a full-time gaffer in place. Can Southampton keep it close? Yeah, maybe, but they won’t win and they won’t draw, even against the change side Mauricio Pochettino is apt to field. Take Tottenham Hotspur to win at 4/11.

Good luck on this midweek round of fixtures.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Arsenal to win over Tottenham Hotspur (draw no bet) at 4/5: WIN

City to win to nil over Bournemouth at 20/23: LOSS

Romelu Lukaku to score at Southampton at 13/8: WIN

LAST WEEK: +$143

TOTAL: -$491

 

Sports Betting Updates

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Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - December 4, 2018

A win is a win, but honestly it was meh. The mascots may have had a better game.

It was great to see the Eagles beat the Redskins and stay alive in the playoff picture, but was it a convincing one? Colt McCoy left the game and also had his season end with a fractured fibula. The Redskins had MARK SANCHEZ play the majority of the game. He went 13 of 21 for 100 yards and a pick.

Washington’s biggest play was Adrian Peterson’s 90 yard run for a touchdown. He ran for eight more yards on each of his other eight carries. But it’s obvious the Redskins are starting to deplete.

As for the Birds, Golden Tate and Darren Sproles showed up again, while Zach Ertz set a franchise record for receptions in a single season. Overall, they played better than Jeffrey Lurie’s cornhole throwing form.

We’ll have more on this game later today. But prior to the game, the Birds didn’t claim Kareem Hunt off waivers.

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Your Monday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - December 3, 2018

It’s going to be a big game tonight down in South Philly.

The Eagles host the Redskins at the Linc on ESPN in a game that could be the season for the Birds. The Eagles have gotten a little healthier with Darren Sproles returning barring a last-minute setback, but are still a little banged up. So are the Redskins who have Colt McCoy as their starting quarterback.

There’s also been some reported controversy within the locker room with a possible chemistry issue and Zach Ertz getting targeted too much. A loss only makes the chemistry worse while a win heals everything for now. A win over Washington puts the Eagles closer to the 2nd wild card spot and holding the tiebreaker over the Redskins for now. They play each other in the final week of the season.

We’ll have more on the game later today.

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Premier League Picks Week 14

Philip Keidel - November 30, 2018

Christian Eriksen will look to quarterback another Spurs win, but he’d be forgiven for being exhausted. Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY.

It wasn’t a bank-breaker by any means, but last week’s positive returns take us ever closer to getting out of the red in time for the holidays. It’s a packed weekend ahead, and there is more winning to do, so we’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get right to it.

ARSENAL v. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Two clubs that have treated me quite well as of late. It’s difficult to pick one over the other, but I don’t duck the tough matchups here. The eye-opening statistic I happened upon in my research for this piece was this one:

Seven derby wins in a row for Spurs, who are doubtlessly still feeling pretty good about their league form after easily dispatching Chelsea last week to hop into third place in the league table. Arsenal’s recent history hosting the North London Derby isn’t so great, either: a win last season but three draws before that.

The deciding factor in this analysis is recent exertion. Arsenal sent a second-team side to Ukraine to claim an easy 3-0 victory over Vorskla in Europa League qualifying on Thursday, whereas Spurs had to play their very best on Wednesday to scratch out a 1-0 win over Inter Milan via Christian Eriksen’s 80th-minute strike in Champions League qualifying. Spurs didn’t have to travel, but the toll that match took on their legs is apt to show in this match.

It’s tempting to grab Arsenal to win at 6/4, but the smartest wager on the board looks like Arsenal to win (draw no bet) at 4/5.

MANCHESTER CITY v. BOURNEMOUTH

The irresistible force against the movable object. After beating Fulham on October 27, Bournemouth had 20 points and was challenging for the European places. A month and three straight league losses later, Bournemouth has the same point total but are sliding down the table toward their more likely middle-of-the-pack placement. What Bournemouth really need is a week off; what Bournemouth is getting is the exact opposite.

Manchester City is still unbeaten in league play, with only two draws marring an otherwise perfect record through 13 matches. City did travel to France mid-week to secure Champions League knockout round qualification, but a quick survey of their league results following their first four Champions League qualification matches this season reveals three wins and a lone draw at Anfield against Liverpool. City is 1/10 to win, so again we need to pull the odds down by adding a contingency.

City have jumped inferior sides at the Etihad this season and have posted far more clean sheets than wins tarnished by opposition goals. In Bournemouth’s only visit to a top-4 Premier League club this season, they were blanked at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 Chelsea win. And look at that Tweet above — the last five times City have played Bournemouth in the league, they have won without conceding. It should be another win and another shutout for Ederson — take City to win to nil at 20/23.

SOUTHAMPTON v. MANCHESTER UNITED

Here’s another statistic that jumped off my Twitter feed. United supporters, maybe look away:

But if Lukaku is so impotent in front of goal, why is he only 13/8 to score at St. Mary’s tomorrow? Why does he have the lowest payout of any United player to score in this match? Marcus Rashford is 2/1, Paul Pogba is 21/10, Jesse Lingard is 3/1…they’ve all been far more prolific for United than Lukaku these last couple of months.

Then you do a little bit of research, and you see that in the last two league matches between these clubs, the only goal scorer was…Lukaku. And the goal came at St. Mary’s. So take Lukaku to score at 13/8, and once he does, you can switch this otherwise uninspiring matchup off.

Good luck this weekend.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Both teams to score in Spurs/Chelsea at 8/15: WIN

Under 3.5 goals in West Ham/Man City: LOSS

Arsenal over Bournemouth at 21/20: WIN

LAST WEEK: +$58

TOTAL TO DATE: -$634

Your Friday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - November 30, 2018

It’s been a wild week for the Flyers.

They only played in one game, a 4-3 loss to the Senators after leading 3-1 in the 2nd period, but a ton of the news came off the ice.

The biggest came on Monday with GM Ron Hextall being let go. People were clamoring for Dave Hakstol to be the one getting axed, but Hexy was the odd man out. Then on Wednesday, assistant GM Chris Pryor and assistant coach Gord Murphy were fired. Flyers President Paul Holmgren noted that the team did not “anticipate any further personnel moves in the near term.”

We’ll see if that last sentence lasts for long because GM front-runner Chuck Fletcher met with Holmgren yesterday. He could also bring in Joel Quenneville as head coach. There’s another candidate the Flyers might interview:

The week started with Hextall and will also end with Hextall. He’ll speak to the media today at 11 AM at a place close to the Skate Zone.

The team put Calvin Pickard on waivers and was claimed by the Coyotes. Scott Darling, formerly of Carolina, is also on waivers but is unlikely to be claimed by the Flyers. They play tomorrow night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.

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Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - November 28, 2018

I’m not surprised at all the Flyers blew a 3-1 3rd period lead against the Senators. Not even close.

In fact, I kind of expected something like that. It’s been typical of the Flyers to do something like this anyways.

With under nine minutes left in regulation, Ottawa scored three times in a span of 5:29 with two goals from Brady Tkachuk and an unbelievable goal from Matt Duchene to take home a 4-3 win. The defense collapsed late.

Travis Konecny, Jake Voracek, and even Radko Gudas scored for the Flyers in the first two periods against Mike McKenna in what looked like a much-needed win. Instead, the disaster continues. Take a listen to Voracek after the game:

Ed Snider would fire probably everyone he could at this point if he was alive, which they still should do. This team has lost all confidence and with that they are now in dead last in the Eastern Conference. And this comes after Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott gave a pretty bad press conference they had over 24 hours to prepare for after firing Ron Hextall.

I don’t think the coaching staff should go, but in a perfect world the ownership should change hands as well. It’s clear they care more about money than what could be best for the franchise, but that’s business. Attendance wasn’t big when the Sixers tanked, and looked where they’re at now.

It doesn’t get any easier, as the Flyers travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins on Saturday. I’d be a little surprised if the team doesn’t have a new GM or even coach by then.

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Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - November 27, 2018

The Flyers did something yesterday. They fired GM Ron HEXTALL. Dave HAKSTOL lives on, for now.

At first, I thought it would be because Paul Holmgren wanted Hexy to fire Hak and start with a new head coach. But as the day went on, that might not have been the case:

(Audio of McGuire’s explanation here)

It’s a little similar to the Sam Hinkie era with the Sixers. Hexy isn’t completely tanking and trading players for draft picks as the former Sixers GM did, but he was also preaching patience with the rebuild. But the fan base lost patience, and so did front-office personnel. It wasn’t as well-received as The Process.

So who’s next? According to Frank Seravalli, it’s former Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher. Other candidates include Ron Francis, Steve Greeley, Chris Pronger, Scott Mellanby and Garth Snow. Hell no to Garth Snow.

Holmgren and Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott will hold a press conference this morning at 11 AM. Oh, and they play tonight at home against the Senators.

And with that, take a listen to an emergency podcast of Snow The Goalie.

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