5/7/14 Podcast- Mock Draft Special

Its less the 24 hours till we get to hear Commissioner Goodell say "with the first pick of the NFL Draft..."

Its less the 24 hours till we get to hear Commissioner Goodell say “with the first pick of the NFL Draft…”

With the first pick of the NFL draft less than 24 hours away, we’re breaking out our 2014 mock draft special.  We pick all 32 first round picks, look at each teams major needs, and analyze some of the most recent rumors.

If you want to let us know what you think about the NFL draft, feel free to tweet us @jamsportz, email us at thejamsportz@gmail.com, or comment below.

We’ve waited a long time for this years draft, lets enjoy it!

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5/1/14 Podcast

Can Kevin Durant shake off the press and right the ship in OKC?

Can Kevin Durant shake off the press and right the ship in OKC?

Hope everyones enjoying the NBA Playoffs so far, it’s been really exciting. How many games 7’s will be forced? Are the Heat getting a free ride to the finals? Find out what we think here.

Also we discuss both the NFL and NBA Drafts. The NFL one is right around the corner and we analyze some of the recent rumors that have come up. Enjoy the playoffs!!

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2014 Draft Preview- Offense

Johnny Manziel is one of the most controversial draft prospects in the last couple of years

Johnny Manziel is one of the most controversial draft prospects in the last couple of years

It’s that time of year again! With the NFL Draft now less than two weeks away, it is time to release my complete list of top fives for each position for 2014. Just like last year, included in each positional ranking will be a sleeper candidate as well as a potential bust to go along with a write up for certain positions. And as always, it should be noted that these are my personal rankings, and do not reflect what I think NFL GM’s will do in the draft. Enjoy!

Quarterback

David Fales may not be a household name yet, but has some upside as a mid round pick in May

David Fales may not be a household name yet, but has some upside as a mid round pick in May

1)    Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2)    Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
3)    Blake Bortles, Central Florida
4)    Derek Carr, Fresno State
5)    David Fales, San Jose State

Summary: I like this crop of quarterbacks much more than the group drafted in 2013. Leading the charge is Johnny Football, a man that you probably either love or hate as a prospect. I think that if you look at what he is rather than what people in the media make him out to be, you will find a leader who plays the game with poise, exactly what you want at the QB position. Match this with his incredible knack for making plays and to me you’re looking at the best quarterback in the draft. Bridgewater has gotten absolutely blasted by both media pundits and anonymous GM’s, but in reality he’s one of the safer QB prospects in recent memory. Think a more athletic Andy Dalton with a slightly better arm. Bortles and Carr possess tremendous upside, but will require a lot of coaching in the pros. It may be considered hyperbole to rank Fales fifth in this class, but after watching him play, I think he possesses all of the qualities you look for in a quarterback from the neck up, and that has a lot of value to me.

Sleeper: South Carolina’s Connor Shaw is not usually a signal caller you hear about in draft discussions, but I think he deserves some more chatter. Metrics guys probably favor him more than film study guys due to his six foot frame, but he is third amongst draft eligible QBs in adjusted yards per attempt, threw 24 touchdowns to just one interception this season, and ran a 4.66 official forty time at the combine. Since it will cost relatively little to acquire him (probably a mid to late day 3 pick), it seems worthwhile to roll the dice on a player who could have much more upside than anyone is currently giving him credit for.

Bust: There are a few quarterbacks getting hype that deserve to be here, perhaps none more than Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage. He has an ideal frame (6’4” 228 lbs) to go along with NFL caliber arm strength, but has not shown that he possesses any other NFL attribute. Savage was a career 57% passer between his time at Pitt and Rutgers, was only a starter for two seasons, and is already 24 years old. If a team is truly planning on taking him in the second round this year, they will be sorely mistaken.

Bishop Sankey may be the most complete back in the entire draft

Bishop Sankey may be the most complete back in the entire draft

Running Back

1)    Bishop Sankey, Washington
2)    Tre Mason, Auburn
3)    Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State
4)    Andre Williams, Boston College
5)    Jeremy Hill, LSU

Summary: This running back class is not expected to have as many impact runners as the 2013 class did, but I think that a few teams will be pleasantly surprised. Bishop Sankey blew up the combine, being a leader in the broad jump, three cone, and short shuttle. He projects as a three down player. Tre Mason ran great for the BCS runner ups this season and has tremendous power for a 207 pound back. Isaiah Crowell is perhaps the most talented runner in the entire class, and jumps off of every tape I’ve seen of him, so why is he ranked third? After being named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2011, he was kicked off the Georgia Bulldogs after three weapons charges and transferred to Alabama State. He continued to be dynamic as a member of the Hornets, but would not finish runs at times (supposedly saving himself for the NFL). If these presumed character flaws can be overcome, Crowell could be a true workhorse back at the next level. Andre Williams can’t catch the ball to save his life, but after a 2,000 yard college season, he projects as the best two-down banger the class has to offer. I think he has better athleticism than advertised as well after posting a 10’9” broad jump and a 4.56 forty yard dash at 230 pounds at this year’s combine. LSU’s Jeremy Hill is another big back (233 pounds) who could have an NFL impact from day one.

Sleeper: You’d probably be interested in a runner who ran a 4.41 official forty, had 32 bench reps, a 40.5” vertical, an eleven foot broad jump, and 6.83 three cone time right? Meet Georgia Southern’s Jerick McKinnon. He will be making the jump from triple-option quarterback to running back in the NFL, but looks as though he possess NFL quality vision and power. Don’t be surprised to see McKinnon make an impact for an NFL team this season.

Bust: I don’t think that Carlos Hyde is a particularly bad runner, but I consistently see him ranked as the best or second best back in this class. As a result, he will probably be drafted in the second round of May’s draft, perhaps even the late first. I simply cannot accept that price for a player who may not be able to play all three downs, and benefitted greatly from the Urban Meyer system and Braxton Miller at quarterback.

Wide Receiver

1)    Mike Evans, Texas A&M
2)    Sammy Watkins, Clemson
3)    Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
4)    Davante Adams, Fresno State
5)    Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

Summary: Wide receiver this year is incredibly deep. I would expect many players from the 2014 class to make an NFL impact at some point in their careers. At 6’5”, 231 pounds, and the owner of a 4.53 official forty time at the combine, Evans leads the pack. He is a pass catcher in the mold of Vincent Jackson, showing an incredible knack to win balls in traffic down the field. Watkins is often heralded as one of the best receiver prospects in recent memory, but I firmly disagree with that statement. At 6’1”, he will struggle to have the NFL impact of Julio Jones, A.J. Green and other monsters we’ve seen go to the next level. That being said, he is incredibly safe and should still produce from day one. Brandin Cooks blazed the forty this year (4.33 official) and projects to be a plus version of DeSean Jackson. Adams and Matthews both had premier level college production, with the former set to be a huge red zone weapon, and the latter a sneaky good receiver between the 20’s.

Sleeper: My sleeper choice in our March breakdown of the position, Cody

Cody Latimer has the ideal combo of size and speed you look for in a NFL receiver

Cody Latimer has the ideal combo of size and speed you look for in a NFL receiver

Latimer, has steadily risen up draft boards to the point where he is now considered to be a second or even late first round pick by some. However, he is still ranked outside of the top ten at his position by NFL.com (22), Sports Illustrated (not listed), Walter Football (16), and CBS Sports (13). This seems like a mistake for a player who is 6’2”, 215 pounds, and ran a 4.38 forty at his pro day. Latimer also dominated the competition at Indiana, averaging almost a hundred yards and touchdown per game in the Big Ten.

Bust: LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. is regarded as a top receiver by many in the draftnik community, and while he did run a 4.43 official forty at the combine, I think it is a huge mistake if a team takes him in the top half of the first round, as is being rumored. Beckham stands at just 5’11” and recorded just three SEC touchdowns in his career. It seems as though he is a player who just beat up on weak competition, and failed to produce against the best. It is more likely that Beckham finds his niche in the NFL as a slot player and returner than top end number one or two receiver.

Tight End

1)    Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
2)    Eric Ebron, North Carolina
3)    Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
4)    Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
5)    C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

Summary: This is a very strong tight end class at the top, but rather weak otherwise. ASJ is a physical freak at 6’5” and 262 pounds. We have not been able to see him in field drills due to a fractured foot, but he is the best two-way tight end in this draft. He shows prowess both as a blocker and a pass catcher, especially in the red zone. Amaro is a skilled pass catcher in a big (6’5” 255 pounds) body. Troy Niklas is the second best combination of blocker and receiver after Jenkins, though he may be primarily the former given his 6’6”, 270 pound body. Fiedorowicz is an underwhelming receiver, but should carve out a role as a second tight end in the pros due to his blocking ability.

Sleeper: Colt Lyerla has a checkered history after quitting the Oregon Ducks and being arrested for possession of cocaine within the last calendar year. However, he showed to be explosive (4.61 forty, 39” vertical, 10’8” broad jump) albeit small (6’4” and 242 pounds) at the combine. Couple that with what was probably looking like a first round pedigree before his off the field problems, and Lyerla becomes a player worth rolling the dice on in the late rounds or free agency.

Bust: Eric Ebron is talented and should be an NFL asset, but probably doesn’t deserve to be taken in the top 15 picks in May’s draft. He is not overwhelmingly large (6’4”, 250 pounds) or fast (his 4.6 forty is excellent, but not Vernon Davis-like as has been advertised) and is a pitiful blocker. He will likely man the slot for whatever team drafts him.

Tackle

1)    Greg Robinson, Auburn
2)    Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
3)    Taylor Lewan, Michigan
4)    Zack Martin, Notre Dame
5)    JuWaun James, Tennessee

Sleeper: Joe Bitonio, Nevada

Bust: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

Guard

1)    David Yankey, Stanford
2)    Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
3)    Anthony Steen, Alabama
4)    Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
5)    Trai Turner, LSU

Sleeper: Clemson’s Brandon Thomas was my third ranked guard before tearing his ACL in a private workout. This will essentially make his rookie year a “redshirt” year in the NFL, but it also will push down his draft stock by at least a round, making him a value over the long haul.

Bust: Cyril Richardson, Baylor

Center

1)    Travis Swanson, Arkansas
2)    Weston Richburg, Colorado State
3)    Tyler Larson, Utah State
4)    Marcus Martin, USC
5)    Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

Sleeper: Russell Bodine, North Carolina

Bust: Bryan Stork, Florida State

-Anthony Amico (follow on twitter @jamsportz & @amicsta)

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2014 NBA Mock Draft

There's a good possibility in this years draft a Kansas Jayhawk will be the number 1 overall pick.

There’s a good possibility in this years draft a Kansas Jayhawk will be the number 1 overall pick.

Version 2.0 (Round 1) Updated 4/26/14 by John Schrank follow @jpschrank

1. Milwaukee Bucks: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas, 7’0, Fr.

I believe we’re down to a clear cut top 3 with Embiid, Parker, and Wiggins. All three have great potential in the NBA, but still have their flaws as well. I think that by the time draft day comes scouts and GM’s are going to be enamored by Embiids athleticism, size, and footwork. By then his foot and back issues may be fully healed and a thing in the past. He probably has the highest celing of any prospect and we’ve seen this scene in the past where highly regarded wingmen are passed over for big men.

2. Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas, 6’8, Fr.

Andrew Wiggins could easily be the number 1 player taken in the draft but some people only see him as a defensive specialist and spectacular athlete that needs to work on their shooting and consistency. He’s my number 1 player on the board with his potential on the wing. With Embiid out we saw some glimpses of some star talent scoring 41 & 30 points in back to back games.

3. Orlando Magic: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke, 6’8, Fr.

Jabari Parker has had the best regular season of all the top prospects, and many GM’s view him as the most NBA ready right now. Parker didn’t have a great tournament showing and has recently been looked at as someone a little bit slower athletically and not a good defender.

4. Utah Jazz: Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky, 6’9, Fr.

The safest prospect in this entire draft is Julius Randle. He’s going to rebound well and has good strength and power for his size. The only thing he’s really missing is the franchise changing potential the other three ahead of him have, but that unexpected tournament run really boosted his stock and locked him as a top 5 pick.

5. Boston Celtics: Dante Exum, SG, Australia, 6’6

Exum is one of the big question marks in this draft. We know he has talent, size, and athleticism at his position. We don’t know well it will translate due to the low level of competition he has faced internationally. There is certainly a chance he can rise up to number 3 or 4 if he performs well in all the pre-draft workouts. The versatility in possibly being able to play both PG and SG is going to be very intriguing for teams. Especially now that were seeing more teams employ more two PG rotations and sets.

6. Los Angeles Lakers: Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona, 6’9, Fr.

Outside of Shabaz Napier and the Kentucky boys, nobody has lifted their stock as much as Aaron Gordon has with his tournament play. He reminds me of a mix of Blake Griffin and Kenneth Faried, a player with freakish athleticism and a non-stop motor. Shooting, particularly at the FT line will shy some people away, along with his size being a “tweener”. I still think potential is too high and LA needs to try and find a star desperately.

7. Sacramento Kings: Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana, 6’10, Fr.

Indiana didn’t make the NCAA tournament so a lot of people don’t know much about this guy. He’s a terrific athlete and the ideal stretch 4 in the NBA. He is still incredibly raw down low in both ends but the potential is there. A little bit of a project here, but could be a good compliment to DeMarcus Cousins.

8. Detroit Pistons: Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma St., 6’4, So.

Detroit Pistons need a “bad boy” and get their reputation back from the late 80’s. All jokes aside Marcus Smart does have a lot of talent. He possibly could go higher but he hasn’t really done anything to help his stock between underperforming this year as an individual and with his team. The suspension didn’t help his case either.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke, 6’8, So.

Similar to Jabari, Hood’s performance in the tournament isn’t going to help him. He does have potential though and showed some signs of a great player. The Cavs have been looking to for a SF since LeBron has left, and there’s been no indication that Deng will be staying.

10. Philadelphia 76ers(acquired via Pelicans): Gary Harris, SG, Michigan St., 6’4, So.

Gary Harris should have come out last year where he could have been one of the top players taken; instead he falls to the back end of the lottery. The 76ers get their shooting guard who can score in various ways to go along with Carter-Williams who has his own issues shooting the ball.

11. Denver Nuggets (acquired via Knicks): Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia, 6’10

Saric can possibly be a Point Forward in the league, having the ability to dribble, being a former point guard. He’s also the number one European prospect that scouts have watched last couple years.

12. Orlando Magic(acquired via Nuggets): Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse, 6’2, Fr.

Tyler Ennis is not afraid to attack the rim and draw contact. NBA scouts are going to love that about him along with his ability to lead already as a freshmen and make clutch shots. Some team is going to fall in love with Ennis making him a lottery pick. Size and athleticism could cause him to slip a bit in the end.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky, 6’6, Fr.

Everyone got a first hand look at James Young’s athleticism in the National Championship with that dunk over UCONN’s big men. He also possesses great size for a shooting guard and a great looking jump shot. Timberwolves could really use some athleticism and scoring to add to their offense.

14. Phoenix Suns: Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan, 6’6, So.

Three point shooting is as highly regarded as ever and this guy can stroke it. He also showed in the tournament that he can put the ball on the floor a bit and run the pick and roll which helps nudge him into the lottery.

15. Atlanta Hawks: Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton, 6’8, Sr.

The senior McDermott has had a tremendous season and is one of the better scorers in the draft. At worst he will be a good outside shooter and reminds me of a Ryan Anderson type player where teams can go small and put him at the 4. Athleticism and defense will be an issue but the guy is a proven scorer, ranking 5th all time in NCAA history. We know the Hawks love to shoot the 3.

16. Chicago Bulls(acquired via Bobcats): Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan St., 6’10, Sr.

Boy do the Bulls need offense desperately. Adreian Payne has become one of the most polarizing NCAA athletes this season with his relationship with the girl who passed away, and also his play in the NCAA tournament. Let’s also not forget the athleticism he showed in the dunk contest. As a stretch four the Bulls could really use his offensive abilities.

17. Boston Celtics(acquired via Nets): Kyle Anderson, SF, UCLA, 6’9, So.

The Celtics are in a rebuild mode and need another guy that can handle the ball. They take Kyle Anderson who at 6’9 has plenty of potential to become a dynamic SF in the league because of his ball-handling ability. Some have compared him to Andre Iguodala because of his playmaking ability.

18. Phoenix Suns(acquired via Wizards): TJ Warren, SF, N.C. State, 6’8, So.

TJ Warren is a terrific athlete who showed his scoring ability carrying N.C. State through the first couple rounds of the tournament. The Suns are looking for athleticism and offense to work into there fast pace system.

19. Chicago Bulls: Shabazz Napier, PG, UCONN, Sr.

Shabazz Napier could go earlier after he carried and lead a 9-seeded UCONN team to a National Championship game. Some have concerns over his size but he has no question marks in terms of the intangibles. He also showed the ability to create his own shot and generate his own offense will help his stock out as well. All it takes is one team to love him and he can be a lottery pick.

20. Toronto Raptors: Cleanthony Early, PF, Wichita State, Sr.

Cleanthony Early is a high energy type player that can space the floor. His season with Wichita boosted him into the 1st round. There are still some questions on whether he can play the PF, but the Raptors could use a player like him.

21. Oklahoma City(acquired via Mavericks): Zach LaVine, SG/PG, UCLA, 6’5, Fr.

OKC like always goes best player available and that is Zach LaVine. LaVine is incredibly raw but reminds some of Russell Westbrook with his explosiveness.

22. Memphis Grizzlies: Clint Capela, PF, France, 6’10

The international guys are starting to take over and sometimes when theirs no tape on you it’s hard to be critiqued and you end up going earlier than you should. That’s what happens here. Capela is very raw and a major work in progress but has all the starting tools to be a good PF in this league. At this point in the draft it’s ok to take some risk, Capela may be playing overseas for another year or two.

23. Utah Jazz(acquired via Warriors): Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse, 6’8, Jr.

Jerami Grant is an already willing defender with great size and strength. He’ll be able to come in right away and help out the Jazz defensively.

24. Charlotte Bobcats(acquired via Trail Blazers): DeAndre Daniels, SF, UCONN, 6’9, Jr.

The Bobcats love drafting champions. We’ve seen it with both regimes. The Bobcats take DeAndre Daniels from UCONN here. He also helps them with his three point shooting ability that the team currently lacks.

25. Houston Rockets: Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri, 6’5, Jr.

The Rockets are eventually going to need a point guard that can score the basketball to fit with their offense. Jordan Clarkson has size and he can score the ball. Missouri’s season was somewhat of a disaster, hopefully this doesn’t hurt his draft stock too much.

26. Miami Heat: Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier, 6’3, So.

Christon’s shot has much to be desired for, but his quickness and perimeter defense is already excellent. The Heat will need another PG once they let Chalmers walk this offseason. Christon should be able to help the Heat do what they do best, run and play defense.

27. Phoenix Suns(acquired via Pacers): Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia, 6’5

Micic may be the best passer in the entire draft, but is a little bit slow and reminds some people of Ricky Rubio. He could be a good distributor on their bench unit, while the Suns space the floor with their 3 point shooters.

28. Los Angeles Clippers: Elfrid Payton, PG, Louisiana-Lafayette, 6’3

Payton is a very similar player to Semaj Christon except played against worse completion and for a smaller school. Payton is also a very rangy defender and great athlete.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Glenn Robinson, SF, Michigan, 6’6

Robinson should have came out in last year’s draft and been a potential lottery pick. This season was very disappointing for him, but some still think he has a lot of talent waiting to be unleashed. Hopefully Durant and company can get the most out of him.

30. San Antonio Spurs: Bogdan Bogdanovic G/F, Serbia, 6’6

The Spurs add another international player to their team with Bogdanovic. He could definitely end up being stashed until next year but he shows great ball handling ability where he could possibly play 3 different positions in the NBA. There is a lot of potential here at the back end of the first round.

 

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NBA Picks- 4/24/14

Is Tony Allen truly the "Durant Stopper?"

Is Tony Allen truly the “Durant Stopper?”

Tough night of games to pick tonight with 3 road favorites taking the floor.  All 3 series are tied at 1-1, and the team that wins game 3 in that situation will win the series at a 77% rate.  Lets see who we like for tonight.

Matt (3-0):  Oklahoma City Thunder -2

Continuing with the zig-zag theory tonight, and my belief that the Thunder will ultimately win the series.  The Grizzlies got an unexpected boost with 14 points from Beno Udrith in game 2, and I don’t see that happening again.  If Durant and Westbrook can score efficiently, the Grizz just don’t have enough firepower.

Anthony (1-2):  Indiana Pacers -2.5

Anthony believes Indiana righted the ship with their dominant second half performance in game 2, and that effort should carry over to tonight.  We’re still getting some spread value with the Pacers thanks to their late season funk, as a 1 seed on the road should be laying more than 2.5 against a sub .500 team.  Indiana is the much better team.

John (0-3):  Oklahoma City Thunder -2

John sees a bigger night for the Thunder role players tonight, specifically Serge Ibaka.  Athletically, the Grizz just can’t match up with the Thunder, and that should lead to plenty of fast break points.  Sefolosha’s defense on Conley could be a huge deterrent for a shaky Grizz offense, and Scott Brooks must do a better job calling plays to get Durant open against Tony Allen.

Enjoy what should be 3 good games tonight!

-Matt LaMarca

***These picks are posted for fun only and are not intended as gambling advice.  Jamsportz does not advocate gambling where it is illegal within the United States***

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NBA Picks- 4/23/14

The Rockets need James Harden to do what he does best tonight- attack the rim

The Rockets need James Harden to do what he does best tonight- attack the rim

On today’s NBA slate, we’ve got two road teams trying to break long losing streaks against their current opponents and a home team trying to get the series back to even.  Last night, I managed to squeak out a half point cover with the Raptors, while Anthony and John went down with the Nets and Bulls respectively.

Lets break down who we like for tonight.

Matt (2-0)- Charlotte Bobcats +11

For tonight, I’ll be using the zig-zag theory again.  Despite losing by double digits, Charlotte kept it close with Miami for most of the game even though they got only 18 points from Al Jefferson.  He’s banged up, but I still think he can top that number tonight.  And call it a hunch, but I just have a feeling Miami might coast for three quarters before eventually turning it on and winning by single digits.  We’ve seen that from them in the playoffs before against teams they know they don’t have to get up for.

Anthony (1-1)- Houston Rockets -6

Anthony’s going with Houston tonight based on the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge can’t possibly go off for 46 points again.  Couple that with the fact that James Harden has to play better, and that a few more threes are bound to fall for Houston, and the Rockets should be able to win and cover the number.

John (0-2)- Houston Rockets -6

Houston applies to the zig-zag theory as well, and thats part of the reason John likes them tonight.  He thinks Howard and Harden will have more efficient games score the ball at the rim, and that Houston can control the glass tonight.  As always, the hack-a-Howard is a scary factor that could make the game closer than it should be, but John thinks Houston ultimately gets it done.

Enjoy the games tonight.  Lets pick some winners!

-Matt LaMarca

***These picks are posted for fun only and are not intended as gambling advice.  Jamsportz does not advocate gambling where it is illegal within the United States***

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NBA Playoff Picks- 4/22/14

 

The Raptors need to win game two against the "dinosaurs" or this series could be over quick

The Raptors need to win game two against the “dinosaurs” or this series could be over quick

If you listened to yesterdays podcast, you heard the first edition of a new segment called gun to your head playoff picks.  Basically, we’re going to pick our favorite spread for each day and keep track of our progress throughout the playoffs.  Anthony and myself jumped out to a 1-0 start thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies, while John unfortunately went down with the Thunder.  Here’s what we like for today:

Matt (1-0):  Toronto Raptors -4.5

I’m personally a fan of following the zig-zag theory in the playoffs.  That’s why I liked Memphis last night, and its why I’m backing the Raptors tonight.  If you’re too lazy to click on the link, basically it means that you take the loser of the previous game to cover the spread in the next one.  The logic behind it is that the losing team needs to win more, and that you’re possibly getting some spread value coming off a loss.  In addition to that, I like Toronto tonight because DeMar Derozan should get back on track tonight after having a serious case of the jitters in game 1.  I also think the crowd will continue to be electric in Toronto since the fans know this is a must win.

Anthony (1-0):  Brooklyn Nets +4.5

Anthony ultimately likes the Nets defense and experience for game 2 tonight in Toronto.  Valanciunas scares Anthony a bit, but he’ll take the points in what he thinks will be a close game.

John (0-1):  Chicago Bulls -5.5

John likes the Bulls to bounce back and win game 2 and cover the number as well.  Thibedau is a great head coach coming off a loss and this team should be ready to go tonight.  Noah should make life more difficult in the paint for John Wall, Nene, and Professor Andre Miller tonight.

Good luck to everyone tonight!

-Matt LaMarca

***These picks are posted for fun only and are not intended as gambling advice.  Jamsportz does not advocate gambling where it is illegal within the United States***

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