Tuesday’s Den: NBA trends

NBA trends (thru Sunday’s games)
Hawks (37-37):
— 6-3 last nine games SU.
— 6-15 ATS as road underdogs
— 0-6 ATS if they played on road the night before
— under 4-1 last five road games. 

Celtics (47-28):
— 24-3 last 27 games SU.
— 8-3 ATS last 11 road games.
— 14-8 ATS as road favorite.
— last four games went over total.

Nets (39-36):
— won 7 of last 10 games SU.
— 4-17 ATS last 21 home games.
— 4-8 ATS if they played night before
— under 3-1 last four games.

Hornets (39-36):
— won seven of last eight games SU.
— 3-7 ATS last last 10 games as home favorite.
— 7-3 ATS as a road favorite.
— under 4-2 last six home games

Bulls (43-31):
— lost five of last seven games SU.
— 1-9 ATS last ten road games.
— 10-4 ATS last 14 home games.
— under 7-1 last eight home games.

Cavaliers (41-33):
— lost 8 of last 13 games SU
— 3-6-1 ATS last ten home games.
— 2-6 ATS last eight road games
— over 7-3 last ten games

Mavericks (46-29):
— won 17 of last 23 games SU.
— 9-3 ATS last dozen home games
— 0-4 ATS last four road games.
— Under 5-0 last five games

Nuggets (44-31):
— split their last ten games SU
— 11-3 ATS last 14 road games 
— 1-6 ATS last seven home games
— over 6-1-1 last eight games

Pistons (20-55):
— Lost eight of last 10 games SU
— 15-2-1 ATS last 18 games.
— 8-0 ATS last eight road games
— under 10-3 last 13 games.

Warriors (48-27):
— lost five of last six games SU
— 3-8 ATS last 11 home games
— 4-9 ATS last 13 road games
— over 7-2 last nine road games.

Rockets (20-55):
— won three of last four games SU
— 3-9 ATS last 12 road games.
— 6-4 ATS last ten home games
— under 6-0 last six games 

Pacers (25-50):
— 3-8 SU last 11 games.
— 4-9 ATS last 13 road games
— 6-3-1 ATS if they played night before
— under 5-0 last five games

Clippers (36-39):
— lost last five games (0-5 ATS).
— 1-4-1 ATS last six road games.
— 5-7 ATS if they played night before
— under 8-2 last ten road games

Lakers (31-43):
— 4-11 SU since All-Star Game
— 1-6 ATS last seven road games.
— 4-9 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 4-1 last five home games

Grizzlies (52-23):
— won eight of last nine games SU 
— covered 14 of last 17 home games.
— 8-5 ATS if they played night before
— over 4-1 last five home games

Heat (47-28):
— lost last four games SU
— 0-7 ATS last seven games.
— 1-7 ATS last eight home games
— under 6-4-1 last 11 home games.

Bucks (46-28):
— won 10 of last 13 games SU
— 5-1 ATS last six home games
— 4-10 ATS as an underdog
— under 6-2 last eight games.

Timberwolves (43-33):
— lost three of last four games SU
— 8-1 ATS last nine home games
— 6-12 ATS last 18 road games
— over 16-5 last 21 road games

Pelicans (32-43):
— won four of their last six games SU.
— 6-9 ATS last 15 home games
— 11-2 ATS last 13 road games
— under 5-1 last six games

Knicks (33-42):
— won five of last seven games SU.
— 10-3 ATS last thirteen games
— 7-3 ATS if they played night before
— over 9-2 last 11 home games 

Thunder (21-53):
— lost 11 of last 12 games SU.
— 7-1 ATS last eight games.
— 11-2 ATS last 13 road games
— over 7-1 last eight home games

Magic (20-55):
— lost five of last seven games SU
— 13-7 ATS last 20 road games 
— 6-8 ATS last 14 home games 
— over 5-2 last seven games. 

76ers (46-28):
— won five of last seven games SU
— 2-5 ATS last seven home games.
— 1-4-1 ATS last six road games.
— 4-6 ATS if they played night before

Suns (61-14):
— won last eight games SU
— 5-1 ATS last six road games
— 10-13 ATS last 23 home games
— over 8-1 last nine games 

Trailblazers (27-47):
— 2-13 SU since All-Star Game
— 2-9 ATS last 11 home games.
— 5-9 ATS last 14 road games
— under 4-1 last five games

Kings (27-48):
— split last six games SU.
— 6-1-1 ATS last eight road games
— 4-9 ATS on first night of back/back
— over 5-2 last seven games

Spurs (30-44):
— won four of last five games SU
— 7-3-1 ATS last 11 road games.
— 4-11 ATS last 15 home games
— last four games stayed under.

Raptors (42-32):
— won eight of last 10 games SU.
— 6-1 ATS last seven road games
— 2-5 ATS last seven home games
— under 10-4 last 14 games

Jazz (45-30):
— lost last four games SU, all on road
— 8-2-1 ATS last 11 home games
— 1-9 ATS last ten road games
— under 5-1 last six games

Wizards (32-42):
— lost eight of last 11 games SU
— 4-2 ATS in last six games.
— 1-9 ATS as road favorites.
— 1-10 ATS first night of back/back

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up 2nd day of March Madness

Illinois 54, Chattanooga 53:
— Chattanooga led this game 20-6 early on.
— Illinois’ first lead came with 0:46 left.
— Illini outscored Chattanooga 8-2 over final 3:42 of game.

Ohio State 54, Loyola Chi 41:
— Ugly game; Loyola shot 25% inside arc, Ohio State was 1-15 on arc.
— Just second win in last six games for Buckeyes.
— Last nine years, favorites are 20-13 ATS in 7-10 games.

Auburn 80, Jacksonville State 61:
— Gamecocks led by 6 early, but shot only 31.1% from floor.
— Auburn’s opponents shoot only 42.4% inside arc (#4)
— Tigers have much tougher test Sunday, against Miami.

Texas Tech 97, Montana State 62:
— Game was 32-12 after 10:00; no contest. Tech was 12-20 on arc.
— Tech’s game Sunday will be lot more interesting than this was.
— Last seven years, Big Sky teams are 1-5-1 ATS in first round games. 

Purdue 78, Yale 56:
— Yale shot 36.5% from floor; Purdue was too big, too athletic.
— Boilers are 25-0 when they score 70+ points, 3-7 when they don’t.
— From 2010-19, Ivy League teams were 8-2 ATS in this round.

Villanova 80, Delaware 60:
— Villanova made 13-28 on arc, scored 1.31 ppp.
— Blue Hens shot 63.3% inside arc, still lost by 20.
— Last three years, CAA teams lost in this round, by 34-29-20 points.

Miami 68, USC 66:
— Miami led by 7 with 0:44 left, blew that lead, then hit two FT’s with 0:03 left.
— Hurricanes had only three turnovers on 68 possessions in this game.
— USC was down 31-20 at half; they lost three of their last four games.

Notre Dame 78, Alabama 64:
— Alabama lost its last four games, giving up 81.8 ppg.
— Notre Dame made 10-16 on arc, Alabama 8-24.
— Alabama G Quinerly hurt his knee early on, played only 3:00.

Texas 81, Virginia Tech 73:
— Longhorns made 10-19 on arc, snap 3-game losing skid.
— Hokies’ leading scorer scored 19 points in 19:00 off bench.
— After struggling in NCAA’s last few years, ACC teams are 4-2 ATS this week.

Duke 78, Cal-Fullerton 61
— Duke won 10 of its last 12 games.
— Blue Devils never trailed, shot 58.3% inside arc.
— Duke played only six guys more than 8:00.

Arizona 87, Wright State 70:
— Wildcats shot 55% on arc, 55% inside arc, scored 1.14 ppp.
— Arizona won seven in row, 16 of its last 17 games.
— Horizon teams improve to 3-7 ATS in this round over last decade. 

Iowa State 59, LSU 54:
— Iowa State was 12-37 on arc, only 8-19 inside arc.
— Only three Cyclones scored more than four points.
— LSU lost five of its last eight games.

Houston 82, UAB 68:
— Cougars jumped out to a 34-16 lead.
— Houston won 10 of its last 11 games.
— UAB (38.1% for year) shot 5-19 on arc.

Michigan State 74, Davidson 73:
— Michigan State is 10-2 out of conference.
— Davidson hit a trey at the buzzer to push the spread.
— Since 2014, A-14 teams are 10-12-1 ATS in this round.

TCU 69, Seton Hall 42:
— Seton Hall shot 28.8% from the floor.
— Big X teams went 6-0 ATS in first round.
— Big East teams went 3-3 ATS in first round.

Wisconsin 67, Colgate 60:
— Game was 28-all at halftime.
— Colgate shot only 12-35 inside arc (10-22 on arc)
— Last five years, Patriot League teams are 4-1 ATS in this round.

Friday’s Den: Wrapping up the first day of March Madness

Survive and advance, that’s the theme for this month. 

Saint Peter’s 85, Kentucky 79, OT
— Kentucky led by 6 with 3:16 left in regulation.
— Wildcats were 1-6 on foul line in overtime.
— First tourney win for MAAC since Siena beat Ohio State in 2OT’s in 2009.

New Mexico State 70, UConn 63:
— Teddy Allen scored 37 of Aggies’ 70 points.
— New Mexico State made 11-17 on arc.
— UConn gave up 1.21 points/possession. Not good.

Providence 66, South Dakota State 57:
— Jackrabbits were only 7-23 on arc; they were 44.2% coming in.
— No one on Providence scored more than 13 points.
— Since 2012, Jackrabbits are 0-6 SU in first round games (2-4 ATS).

Michigan 75, Colorado State 63:
— Michigan outscored Rams 46-27 in second half.
— Wolverines shot 64.7% inside arc.
— Michigan won 11 of last 14 NCAA tourney games.

Memphis 64, Boise State 53:
— Broncos shot 31.5% from the floor.
— Memphis won 13 of its last 15 games.
— Mountain West teams are 3-14 SU in last 17 NCAA tourney games.

Baylor 85, Norfolk State 49:
— When the better team goes 11-27 on the arc, things get ugly.
— Baylor led 43-27 at half, had stress-free game.
— Since 2009, MEAC teams are 2-8 ATS in this round.

Tennessee 88, Longwood 56:
— Tennessee has won 13 of its last 14 games.
— Vols made 14-24 on the arc.
— Last seven years, Big South teams are 1-6 ATS in this round.

Richmond 67, Iowa 63:
— 10.5-point underdog Spiders post first big upset of the tournament.
— Richmond held seven of last eight opponents to 66 or less points.
— Last six tournaments, underdogs are 14-9 ATS in 5-12 games.

Gonzaga 93, Georgia State 72:
— Zags outscored Georgia State 58-39 in second half.
— Gonzaga made only 16 of 30 foul shots.
— Georgia State shouldn’t have been a #16-seed; they’re better than that.

North Carolina 95, Marquette 63:
— Tar Heels ran out to a 53-25 halftime lead.
— UNC was 13-35 on arc, Marquette 8-31.
— Carolina plays #1-seed Baylor Saturday.

Creighton 72, San Diego State 69, OT
— Aztecs led by 14 with 4:01 left in first half.
— Bluejays were 20-24 on foul line, San Diego State 10-17.
— Mountain West went 0-4 in this year’s tourney, is 3-15 in last 18 tourney games.

Saint Mary’s 82, Indiana 53:
— Gaels outscored Indiana 42-25 in second half.
— Hoosiers shot 34% from the floor.
— Saint Mary’s outrebounded Indiana 39-28. 

Arkansas 75, Vermont 71:
— Davis scored 14 points off bench for Arkansas.
— Razorbacks outscored Vermont 20-10 on foul line.
— Last 11 years, America East teams are 7-4 ATS in this round.

Murray State 92, San Francisco 87, OT:
— Great ballgame; Racers play 15-seed Saint Peter’s next.
— San Francisco made only 9-35 on the arc.
— Skipper-Brown had 12 points, 10 boards off bench for Murray.

UCLA 57, Akron 53:
— Bruins closed game on a 15-4 run.
— UCLA shot only 35.2% from the floor.
— MAC teams covered their last six first round games.

Kansas 83, Texas Southern 56:
— Jayhawks led 47-19 at halftime, coasted home from there.
— Kansas is 4-1-1 ATS in last six first round games.
— Tougher game Saturday; Kansas plays Creighton. 

Monday’s Den: Some quick thoughts after first glance at the brackets

This is going to be fairly short; it is time to get to work on the four play-in games, and 28 first-round games where we know the matchups.

— Last time the #1 team in top 25 on Selection Sunday won the national title title was Kentucky in 2012. Gonzaga is the #1 team right now.

— When Richmond upset Davidson Sunday to win the A-14 tournament, they bounced Dayton out of the tournament.

— High drama for the San Francisco Dons; their matchup with Murray State was second-last one revealed on CBS; they had to be thinking they were on the outside looking in, before CBS showed that matchup. Just getting in is a big deal; USF was last in the NCAA’s in 1998.

— Murray State-Kentucky second round game would get Racer fans fired up, getting to play their in-state big brother. I’m thinking Murray-USF is my favorite first round game.

— I thought Gonzaga got a tougher draw than Duke; Memphis in the second round? Gonzaga has to hope Penny Hardaway’s Tigers look past Boise State and get beat by the Broncos.

Georgia State won its last ten games; I’d rather play Cal-Fullerton than the Panthers. Sun Belt is a better league than the Big West.

Duke plays a Fullerton team that won Big West final by a point- Titans shot 11-20 on arc and won by a point? Fullerton is 0-3 vs top 100 teams, losing by 7-10-13 points. Whoever survives the Davidson-Michigan State game won’t be as tough an opponent as Memphis-Boise winner.

— Big 14 got nine of its 14 teams in tournament; they got nine teams in last year, too, going a combined 8-9. Michigan was only team to survive the first weekend last year.

— Tennessee just won the SEC tournament for first time since 1979, winning on Sunday; they got a Thursday/Saturday draw, which is tough, but they’re playing Longwood in first round, a Lancers’ squad making its first NCAA appearance.

— Shaka Smart got to the Final Four back in 2011; he lost his second round game in both 2012 and 2013, but since then, he is 0-5 in NCAA Tournament games. Marquette-North Carolina is an excellent 8-9 first round game. Winner will be a tough second-round game for #1-seed Baylor.

— Purdue is 3-7 this season when they score less than 70 points, 24-0 when they score 70+; Yale won’t run with Boilers, but they’re also 0-5 vs top 100 teams this season, with four losses by 14+ points (closest of those losses was 61-53 at Vermont). Ivy League teams are 9-2 ATS in last eleven first round games.

— Vermont won its three America East tourney games by 39-32-39 points, but America East is a cruddy league. Vermont is 22-1 since December 10; Catamounts lost by 11 at Maryland, by 10 at Providence, their highest-profile games this season. Vermont-Arkansas is an intriguing 4-13 tilt.

— Wisconsin gets to play the first weekend in Milwaukee; their second round game is the winner of Iowa State-LSU. Cyclones lost their last three games, are 8-12 in 2022. LSU just fired their coach for being a shameless cheater. Seems like an easy first weekend for Wisconsin.

Back to Iowa State; they lost their last three games, scoring 48.3 ppg, they look like a dead team, but were carried into the tournament by their 12-0 pre-conference mark, which included wins over Iowa, Creighton, Memphis.

— Wright State plays Bryant of the NEC in a play-in game; last two years, Wright State is 4-0 vs Robert Morris, winning by 9-30-10-2 points. Robert Morris jumped from the NEC to the Horizon League two years ago, so Wright State appears to be a superior team there.

Bryant lost to these higher-profile teams:
— 83-64 at Rhode Island
— 93-70 at Clemson
— 111-44 at Houston
— 73-58 at Cincinnati 

Bryant’s only wins over team in top 200 were two wins over Wagner, whose best player was hurt and didn’t play.

— South Dakota State is 30-4; they haven’t lost since December 15. Jackrabbits are making 44.2% of their 3’s, best in country. Intriguing matchup with Providence- opponents shot 31.2% on arc against the Friars this season (#57 in country).

Jackrabbits are 2-2 vs top 100 teams; they beat Bradley/Washington State, lost to Alabama by 16, by 12 at Missouri State.

— I’ll obviously be back every day with more tidbits; sometimes you can learn stuff when you look at the times when these games will be played. If the powers-that-be sense an upset, that game ain’t going to be played at 3 in the afternoon, I’m just saying.

Time to get to work. 

Saturday’s Den: My 13 favorite TV shows

In couple days, I’ll remember that I forgot a show from long time ago, and I’ll have to re-do this list, but this is the list for today

13) In Plain Sight— Show about a US Marshal’s unit that relocates federal witnesses; show ran for four years, but it was on USA Network, and it ended when the show’s star got a role on a show on regular network TV, which obviously was more lucrative.

Not lot of TV shows are set in Albuquerque; this was a very good show.

12) Ray Donovan— The most violent program on this list; just about everybody on this Showtime series that isn’t related to the Donovans eventually winds up dead.

Ray Donovan is a fixer for rich people, but he can’t fix his own family; his wife passes away from cancer, his father is a creep, his daughter seems destined to follow in her dad’s footsteps. 

Live Schreiber plays Ray, Jon Voight plays his father (a genuine creep); they’ve had guest stars like Susan Sarandon, James Woods, Wendell Pierce, Hank Azaria. Alan Alda, C Thomas Howell. 

Very good show but also very violent.

11) M*A*S*H— Years later, after watching re-runs of this show on our local channel 10 and the Boston channel for hours at a time, it dawned on me that this was actually a very sad show, with humor/jokes masking the grotesque sadness of wartime Korea.

The McLean Stevenson episodes were the best; he was Colonel Henry Blake for the first 75 episodes, and a lot of them were classics, just funny as hell.

10) Green Acres— As a kid, I spent lot of hours watching Green Acres re-runs; my dad would walk into the room, say “Why the hell are you watching this?”, but within five minutes, he’d be sitting there laughing harder than me and would leave the room before my mother came in and saw the both of us laughing. She wasn’t a big fan of Hank Kimball or Arnold Ziffel.

9) Billions— Showtime series about rich hedge fund traders who push the boundaries of the law while New York prosecutors  try to catch them in the act of doing illegal stuff.

Chuck Rhoades is an attorney who claims to be the moral compass of New York, but he is also into S&M- his ex-wife was his dominatrix, and she is also the psychiatrist for the hedge fund company. Small world.

This show is really well-written, especially since the main hedge fund character had to be written out of the show because his wife died in real life- they’ve successfully changed the tenor of the show with the new hedge fund guy, a less sketchy trader.

Trivia: Paul Giamatti plays the prosecutor; he is the son of former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti. I suggested a cameo role for Pete Rose, but so far, that hasn’t happened.

8) West Wing— Martin Sheen plays the President in this show; his cabinet included Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, John Spencer— great cast.

Actor Duke Hill was in both West Wing and Suits; Mary Louise Parker was in this and is also in Billions. Alan Alda was in this, Ray Donovan and of course, M*A*S*H

Jimmy Smits, Mary MacCormack, Tim Matheson, Gary Cole, just a ton of excellent actors. 

In one episode, President Bartlet has to throw out the first pitch at an Orioles’ game, but he never played ball, so one of his aides has to teach him how to throw a baseball in a hallway in the White House, where an errant toss breaks an expensive vase.

7) Without a Trace— Show about the FBI Missing Persons Squad that finds missing people by applying advanced psychological profiling to reveal the victims lives.

Anthony LaPaglia was great as Jack Malone, the squad’s leader. Like a lot of main characters on TV, he is better at his job than he is at managing his own personal life. 

6) White Shadow— Ken Howard plays a washed-up NBA player who becomes a high school basketball coach in Los Angeles. Show only lasted three years, because well, high school kids graduate so they would’ve had to turn most of the cast over every other year. 

The basketball scenes were really well-done; Gwyneth Paltrow’s father was the creator of the show. Lot of the issues they tackled in this show were issues that real high school in the inner city had to deal with. Ken Howard was great as Coach Reeves; he wasn’t some all-knowing guy; he had flaws but he fought for his kids and they respected him for it (most of the time).

5) Mr Ed— This show ran on network TV from 1961-66, so I never saw it until the re-runs came on at 4:30 weekdays on a local channel in the early 70’s.

Mr Ed was a talking horse, but he only talked to Wilbur Post, an architect who worked at home but never seemed to actually work. 

Mr Ed was a big Dodger fan; his favorite player was OF Willie Davis. In one episode, the horse takes batting practice against Sandy Koufax, and hits a ball off the wall at Dodger Stadium, with the bat held in his mouth. A fun show, not necessarily a realistic one.

4) CSI— I spent a good chunk of my work career searching fingerprints and working for the NY State Division of Criminal Justice, so I enjoyed all the CSI shows, but especially the one set in Las Vegas— the actors seemed to have a chemistry working together.

The episode where Warrick Brown gets murdered and Gil Grissom gives his eulogy in church is just horrendously sad, but a great scene.

I have this idea (a teacher friend of mine scoffed at this) that CSI should be taught to all high school kids, so they realize how difficult it is to get away with crimes, so maybe there would be fewer crimes. What could it hurt?

3) Odd Couple— As a kid, Oscar Madison was one of my heroes; a sportswriter who always spilled food on his clothes but was a good natured guy who somehow dated a doctor, one of the Pidgeon sisters, or the princess of some obscure country (“You bought her a salty pretzel!!! Oh boy!!!”). 

To this day when I see my cousin’s husband, we recite lines from Odd Couple episodes; when they owned a greyhound racing dog, or appeared on Password (a game show). Great stuff.
(Trivia: they played against Betty White on Password; White was married to Allen Ludden, the host of Password)

Never, ever say the word “assume” to me, or I’ll recite the scene where Felix is in court, writes “assume” on a chalkboard, then says, “When you assume, you make an ass of u and me”

Even the judge was impressed with that one. 

2) Law and Order— 20 years, 456 episodes, a great launching point for lot of acting careers, not to mention the spinoff shows that branched off this original show. 

Take Billions; there are 32 actors who have appeared in 12+ episodes of Billons; 14 of those 32 actors appeared in at least one episode of Law and Order, and two others were in Law and Order SVU, and that doesn’t count Eric Bogosian, who was in Law and Order: Criminal Intent for 61 episodes, but was only in 10 episodes of Billions (so far).

1) Magnum PI— I’ve never been to Hawai’i, but if I ever went, would like to visit Robin Masters’ estate; I’m told you can visit there, it is a museum or something. 

One of the best episodes was when Frank Sinatra played a retired New York City cop whose granddaughter was murdered— this was near the end of both the series and Sinatra’s career. 

The overriding themes of the show were that great friends will do all kinds of stuff for each other, and if you’re really good looking and drive a Ferrari, women will like you 🙂