Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Belmont Stakes Picks: Top 5 & Long Shot

The Preakness was solid one as I had the Trifecta box with my top three picks. I keep picking against California Chrome and I'm going to do it again. As much as we all want to see a Triple Crown, I think the number of races and distance catches up to him. 

  1. Wicked Strong (9)
  2. California Chrome (2)
  3. Tonalist (11)
  4. Ride on Curlin (5)
  5. Commanding Curve (3)

Longshot: Samraat (7)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2014 Preakness Picks: Top 5 & Long Shot

Danza came up just a little short for me in the Derby, but it was a good race. Here are the quick Preakness Picks...
  1. Social Inclusion (8) - As long as he can sit on the pace, he should close it in the stretch.
  2. California Chrome (3) - I think he gets caught down the stretch.
  3. Ride on Curlin (10)
  4. Dynamic Impact (1)
  5. Bayern (5)
Longshot: Kid Cruz (7)

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Kentucky Derby Picks: Top 5 & Long Shot

In a field as big as the Derby, I like to make my picks based on strong value upsides. I'm going to make these picks short and simple:
  1. Danza (4)
  2. General a Rod (8)
  3. California Chrome (5)
  4. Dance with Fate (11)
  5. Wicked Strong (19)
Given the large field, I like to offer up two long shots: Chitu (12, 20-1) and Vinceremos (9, 30-1)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Final Four: Pomeroy + LRMC Profiles

If you recall from my "Final Thoughts" post, I thought that this tournament could likely resemble the 2011 bracket. In 2011 there was a 3, 4, 8 and 11 seed, and the group included Kentucky and UConn. This year we have a 1, 2, 7 and 8 seed, which includes Kentucky and UConn.  Go figure.

I think we end up with a Gators v Wildcats championship game with Florida cutting the nets down. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Bracket: Elite Eight and Final Four Picks

The Sweet 16 is here, so let's check in on the teams who made it and how it stacks up to the profiles we created back in Part 3 and the Deep Sleepers Post. The teams highlighted were a part of the original list of most likely candidates to make the Elite 8, while the last three teams were all noted as teams with a profile to be a Deep Sleeper to the Elite 8.

To read the "Change" numbers, if a team has a "Positive (+)" change, it means they improved their OE or DE, and vice versa. Note that all of the Deep Sleepers have significantly stepped up their Defensive Efficiency.

Based on this past weekend's games, and sticking the likely profiles for the Elite Eight and Final Four, here are my picks for the weekend:

  • EE: Florida and Dayton -> FF: Florida
  • EE: Arizona and Wisconsin -> FF: Arizona
  • EE: Michigan State and UConn (If Niang was playing, this would be Iowa State because the pre-tourney 80 OE for UConn is too high for the model.) -> FF: Michigan State
  • EE: Louisville vs Tennessee -> FF: Louisville

Looking forward to another great couple rounds of games and seeing how the picks hold up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Bracket: Picks and Final Thoughts

In the end I think this year's bracket has a really good chance of looking like 2011's.  That said, I think we should be in for some good surprises this year, and I've tried to pick a few of them.  Only taking a few gambles, but ultimately my Elite 8 field holds true to my numbers, so here goes nothing...

Key Upset Picks:

  • New Mexico St to Sweet 16. See some of my previous posts for details. 
  • Baylor to Sweet 16. 
  • Kentucky to Elite 8. KY, Louis and WSU all fit the Elite 8 profile to a "T". I was really high on Louisville before I started digging into the details.  Every Louisville loss was to a ranked opponent, and I fear their #1 LRMC is inflated due to blowouts against really weak opponents. I think the Shockers are paper champions as well, and the Wildcats get them with the size.  If Louisville wins it all, I will follow them blindly in all future years.

Random Notes:

  • Syracuse or Kansas for Elite 8.  If Embiid was playing it would be a no-brainer and I'd actually pick them to win it all. Given he's out for the whole first weekend and maybe longer, I just can't roll the dice on the Jayhawks.   
  • If not obvious below, I think it was Michigan State and not Louisville who was actually under-seeded.  The Spartans have far better wins, and won a significantly better conference tournament.  They somewhat remind me of the 2011 UConn team that won the Big East tourney and had a very similar LRMC/OE/DE at 18/21/31 (MSU: 12/11/39)
  • I'm not loving Iowa State in the Elite 8, but I hate them the least of the other options.  
  • The choices made in the Midwest bracket will ultimately make or break everyone's bracket who picks the right national champion. 

Good luck everyone!

2014 Bracket Picks: Elite 8 Deep Sleepers

This is to try and identify some potential Elite 8 sleeper teams based on historical profiles.

Going back to 2009, there have been five teams to reach the Elite 8 with an LRMC rank higher than 25: Marquette (2013), VCU, Butler and Florida (2011) and Tennessee (2010).  Of these five team, four of them had a better OE rank than DE rank, and the OE rank was less than 60.  Using that same criteria, here is a list of teams that match that profile…

Oddly enough the top three options are all in the bottom half of the West region, but many people are already talking about the Bears as a team to watch, so not sure it totally qualifies as a sleeper.

I haven't been hearing a whole lot about the Friars in the 11 seed, but they certainly have a respectable enough profile to warrant consideration in a weaker bottom half of the East.

While they won't be an Elite 8 pick for me, based on the numbers and top 10 stats, I really believe New Mexico State will be a handful for San Diego State in the first round.  I'll probably pick the upset just because this is the second time I've mentioned it in a post.