Friday, November 20, 2015


OK, hot take enthusiasts. I've got ya back in my crosshairs. So here are a few hot takes on some of today's hot topics. And then, of course, I'll present you with this week's prodigious picks. So enjoy...

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports is gambling. OR is it Daily Fantasy Sports are gambling? Either way, that thing you see all of the commercials for? That's gambling. The government even called it gambling when it allowed it to exist (as they had thoroughly underestimaTed the potential tax windfall had they decided to regulate it from jump street). And it probably should be regulaTed, for the sake and safety of the players more than anything else (see: online poker). It sucks that the UniTed States government have to be the ones doing the regulating. Because they'll probably opt to burn it down and slowly build it back up (see: online poker), effectively killing the industry as we've come to know it. But regulation, in some official and transparent form, is definitely necessary. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took a very sane and reasonable stand yesterday that I'd like to hope many other states will emulate. But I don't have much faith that they will. Ya know, because they want their respective cuts...

That all being said, anyone citing the fact that only a small % of players actually win as a reason to shut it down is just as ignorant as they are undoubTedly hungry for power and fame (see: NY attorney general). What separates the "luck" based games (scratch tickets, slot machines, etc) from the "skill" based games (poker, daily fantasy, the stock market) is the competition. In the luck games, you're playing against the "house", and its massive house edge. In the skill games, you're playing against other players, while paying the house a flat fee for the right to do so. If you can garner a win rate that makes you more than the house fee, you profit. And whether you're able to profit will ultimately depend upon your ability to use information and experience to your advantage. The better informed and more experienced players will win. The rest will break even or lose. Luck is involved, of course. But you show me a business venture in which luck doesn't play a role, and I'll show you a sucker that doesn't deserve to be separaTed from their money....

And of course only a small % of people are going to be successful! That's like every industry EVER! But I digress...

So yeah. It's gambling. But no more than any other money making venture. Fact is, the government just wants their slice. And they'll probably get it. AKA Enjoy it while it lasts. Because most good things never do...

Boston Red Sox

I liked when the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski to run their baseball operations. I really did. Guy's got a good track record, he likes pitchers who throw hard. OK, good stuff! Let's do this! But when he "chose" to bring back John Farrell as manager, I immediately knew this was a "Meet the old boss..." type of situation. Really? Guy gets the reigns and he decides on his own that the middling manager in place is the first guy he'd choose? Yep, I'm not buyin' it. Dombrowski's just the latest lackey for the ownership group, and the moves he makes or doesn't make will almost definitely continue to reflect that fact. It's disappointing, but I'll be pleasantly shocked if that doesn't turn out to be the case...

Oh, and I don't like the Craig Kimbrel trade. Not because of that preceding mini-rant, and not because I love those minor leaguers and/or dislike Kimbrel. Kimbrel is fine, and I don't know those minor leaguers from Adam. I just know that the currency the Red Sox just used for a closer is typically reserved for acquiring a frontline starting pitcher or a big bat for the middle of your lineup. Not for a guy who's only going to throw about 60-70 innings. No matter how impressively efficient hose innings may be. Ya know, because it's common knowledge at this point that, while it looks important on TV and feels good as a fan, it doesn't actually matter when a guy pitches, so much as it matters how often he pitches. And with that being the case, I'd rather use my best assets to acquire a guy who's gonna have a bigger impact (i.e. the potentially disgruntled Jose Fernandez???). But that's just me...

As for Big Papi's impending retirement. I'm gonna miss him. I just hope he doesn't mail it in this year with no contracts left for which to play. Which, yeah. I'm considering a distinct possibility. Not that I could blame him...

College Basketball


When 'Hate Me Now' was a popular(?) song, a friend of mine would always replace the word 'Escobar' in the very beginning with the word 'basketball'. He even wanted us to play it as the intro on our high school basketball warm up tape, figuring we would just will everyone into believing that's what was actually being said. A noble thought, but no. Even so. BASKETBALL SEASON HAS RETURNED!

Yep, and it's gonna be glorious, per usual. Well, maybe not for my Syracuse Orange. Who'll likely be going through some growing pains. But it should still be plenty entertaining, per usual. So keep your eyes here for any pertinent updates, and I'll even start rolling out my weekly top 25 right around Christmas time. So you've got that to look forward to. Which is nice...


The terror attacks this past week in Paris were tragic. Your changing of your social media profile picture to reflect your support, if that's all that you did? It's lazy at best, and pathetic at worst...

Yep. Not sorry, and not mincing words. Because, what? Your friends and family didn't know that you were anti-terrorism? Because those are the only people you're informing with your one-size-fits-all tribute. No, you did it to draw attention to yourself AND/OR to fit in. Plain and simple. And to use such a tragic event to draw attention to yourself is pathetic. Always has been, and always will be. So do something, even if it's just something as simple as adding to the ongoing discussion. Or do nothing. Whatever makes you comfortable. But don't be a slacktivist, and let your pseudo-support bastardize and trivialize the whole situation. This is terrorism. It's not an opportunity to make a Facebook memory. So act accordingly...

OK. Yeah, so sorry for ending with the grumpy GET OFF MY LAWN rant. But here we are. We can be better. So let's be better, Teds. And let's start by being richer Teds! No comma there. Because we'll all be rich Teds. Ya know, after we all take my advice and use it to profit off of this week's football slate. Ya! Rich Teds!

Good luck, friends. And I'll catch you next week...

Week 11 Picks
New England Patriots (-7) vs Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts (+6) @ Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears (-1) vs Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions (+2) vs Oakland Raiders + OVER 48.5

Dallas Cowboys (pick) @ Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) @ Philadelphia Eagles

Carolina Panthers (-7) vs Washington Tedskins

Baltimore Ravens (-1.5) vs St. Louis Rams

Kansas City Chiefs (-3) @ San Diego Chargers

Minnesota Vikings (pick) vs Green Bay Packers

San Francisco 49ers (+13) @ Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals (-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals

Last Week: 7-9-0

Overall: 75-69-4 (.521)

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(9) Michigan St. (+14.5) @ (2) Ohio St.

(4) Oklahoma St. (pick) vs (10) Baylor

Boston College (+15.5) vs (5) Notre Dame

(7) Oklahoma (-10) vs (18) TCU

(12) North Carolina (-3.5) @ Virginia Tech

Penn St. (+4.5) vs (14) Michigan

(15) Stanford (-11) vs California

(25) Mississippi (-4) vs (17) LSU

(18) Utah (-2) vs UCLA

(21) Wisconsin (-10) vs (20) Northwestern

(23) Oregon (-3.5) vs (22) USC

Last Week: 6-7-0

Overall: 55-54-1 (.505)



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