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31 - Apr. 6, 2017

Issue #30

SOCCER TIPS

AND PICKS

GREG DEMPSON

NHL PLAYS

FINAL FOUR PICKS


IN THE ISSUE

IN THE ISSUE

10

3 The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

4 Greg Dempson

5-6 Wine and Whining

7 Kyle’s Picks

8 Improv for Business

9 NHL Analysis and Picks

10 Futures Foray

11 Tea time

7

5

11

2


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

THE GOOD, THE BAD

AND THE UGLY

As we crown another

NCAA Champi-

WINFO

We’re

on, it becomes nap

time for us. As we

did with Winner’s

Mar. 31 - Apr. 6, 2017

Issue #30

Edge over the

years, we go on a brief hiatus

from April to mid-summer,

launching the weekly publishing

schedule again when the

NFL starts back up with their

pre-season schedule.

SOCCER TIPS

AND PICKS

GREG DEMPSON

+NHL PLAYS

Obviously, the sports world

isn’t in “hiatus” mode. Quite

the opposite actually. I love

this time of the year. Not

as much as the Fall, but

with the Masters teeing off

(check out Jeff Sherman’s

updated Masters’ Odds on

page 11), the loooooooong

grind known as the MLB

season in the starting

FINAL FOUR PICKS

blocks, NHL playoff time, NBA playoffs, kick-off for the CFL...there is a lot

of daily activity happening for the sports gaming enthusiast.

But still, the drop-off in interest is enough, that it works as a window to

take a bit of a break. And we don’t really hide from the fact we are a football

first publication (NFL as the priority and then college).

Here on these pages for the upcoming NFL and college football season

you’ll see the same coverage as last year, plus we’ll be adding more college

coverage and two more columnists. One Winner’s Edge readers will

be very familiar with and one is new to us, but someone we’ve had our

eye on for a couple of years.

looking to build on what was a

solid NFL campaign with our magazine

picks, including going 10-2 ATS

with our Best Bets, 57% with our

overall NFL game-by-game analysis

and a 12-3 ATS record with all of

our playoff picks (still can’t get over

the fact that record isn’t 13-2 ATS,

as the bad taste from being on the

Falcons in the Super Bowl continues

to linger – run the freakin ball and hit

a chip shot FG dammit!)...I digress.

Be sure to check out Winfo.com for

weekly articles and picks with NHL

playoffs, NBA and baseball picks.

Greg Dempson will be contributing

plays here and there as well.

This Week

As you’d expect, we have a breakdown

on the Final Four games in

Greg and Kyle’s columns. Kyle has

a pick from each Final Four game,

while Greg has a total play from the

South Carolina –Gonzaga matchup.

We also have soccer from Neil, NHL

plays as usual, Futures betting and

updated odds and tips for betting on

the Masters next week.

Have a great few months and we’ll

see you over at the site and back

here with the weekly firing up again

the for the Hall-of-Fame game.

3


GREG DEMPSON

by Greg Dempson

TOTAL PLAY - GONZAGA BULLDOGS VS.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

This is a unique match-up as both

teams are making their first Final

Four appearance in school history.

For almost 25 years I lived in the great

white north, (Edmonton, Alberta).

Back in the day the Edmonton cable

feed came from Spokane, Washington

which gave me many opportunities

to watch the Gonzaga Bulldogs

long before they became a “fashionable”

team to follow. To be sure,

they do play in a lesser or second tier

conference while the Gamecocks play

in the mighty SEC.

To many, including myself, this line

might appear a bit on the high side

at -6.5. Having said that, how many

of you reading this were duped into

backing the Xavier Musketeers as

+8.5 dogs in Gonzaga’s last game?

The Bulldogs crushed the Musketeers,

(83-59.). That said, I am still

not comfortable laying the points, so

I looked at the first half over/under

instead.

South Carolina has been able to come

out of the locker room after the first

half and “batten down the hatches!”

Thus they’ve steam rolled the likes of

Florida, Baylor, Duke, Marquette and

Alabama in their previous neutral site

contests. Their scoring has been limited

in the first half in those five contests

as they averaged only 32.8 PPG

in the first half while allowing 31.9

points. In the second half, in those five

contests they averaged approximately

one-third more on the scoreboard

tallying 45.4 while holding those previous

five opponents to an average of

36.6 points per second half.

This 2016/2017 edition of Gonzaga

is by far the best defensive team I’ve

watched, and as stated, I have been

following the Bulldogs since they were

little pups! When reviewing their past

five neutral site tournament games

I note the Bulldogs are scoring an

average of 36.4 while allowing an

average of 25.8 first half points for a

positive net average of 10.6 first half

points. That margin is significantly

higher than the +0.9 average noted by

the Gamecocks.

Doing the Math

When factoring recent performances

by each team we have a combined

total of 62.2 for and against points for

Gonzaga vs. an average combined total

of 63.45 for South Carolina. When

adding those two totals the number

becomes 125.65, and dividing by two

gives us a total of 62.825. Looking

at the total in the first half the most

common number is 64.5 with the

Bulldogs at -3.5 @ -115 at one of the

outs I have.

Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-

Empty System?

When a team from a major Division

1-A Conference plays a foe from a

second tier conference playing with

five or six days of rest, play the first

half under the total when the Over/Under

is between 60.5 to 65.5 points. By

backing the under in this first half the

success of this system is 14-32 = 70%

to the UNDER the past five seasons.

The average first half score in this

system is 59.9 points.

In Review

Last week’s selection lost and I am

4-3-2 with my basketball selections

here at Winfo and 1-0 ATS with my

lone Blog offering.

Final Four Play

This is what I call a “beer and pizza”

bet, as it will be a recreational type of

a play only for me, but I am on Gonzaga/South

Carolina to stay under the

first half total of 64.5 points

Good luck with all your plays!

4


WINE AND WHINING

WINE &WHINING

by Neil Alexander

It must have been the Tuscan wine that

clouded my judgment last week. What

was I thinking with half unit bets during

the World Cup qualifying matches? After

going 3-0, I should have instead placed twounit

bets! Like everything else in life, it’s so

easy in hindsight, isn’t it?

I backed the draw in both the Ireland v

Wales and Romania v Denmark matches,

and low and behold, two 0-0 draws at +200.

I then repeated my crazy FA Cup parlay, by

backing heavy favorites, however this time it

was a four teamer — Turkey, Austria, Italy,

and Spain and wouldn’t you know it, all four

come through at +124.

After sweeping the card, the column record

now stands at 12-9 and finally out of the red,

up 1 unit overall! Huzzah!!

5


WINE AND WHINING

AFTER A SLUGGISH START, THE

COLUMN SOCCER PICKS ARE 12-9

AND IN THE BLACK!

Chateau St. Jean was at the

forefront of separating wines

from specific vineyards to

capture their unique character.

The Wine

2015 Chateau St Jean Chardonnay

Sonoma, $19

This has been a favorite of mine over

the years. It’s mass-produced but with

consistent quality year over year for

the price.

On the nose, there are aromas of toffee,

apple, and vanilla. On the palate,

it is rich and full-bodied with notes

of apple pie, pineapple, melon, and

hazelnut. The medium acidity is balanced

with the 13.6% alcohol and rich

fruit flavors. The medium finish offers

a bit of spice from the oak barrels.

This is on the higher end of the oak

spectrum, so if unoaked chardonnay

or aromatic whites are your preference

look elsewhere. This is meant for

the “no-wood, no-good” advocates.

The Picks

The England Premier League is back

this weekend and I’ve got another

three picks locked and loaded.

Watford v Sunderland

It is the battle between #14 and #20

in the table. Dead last Sunderland

is bound for relegation, and I don’t

see them securing any points in this

away fixture. The Black Cats have

played 13 road games this season

and have earned points in only three

of them. I don’t see much changing

this weekend. Take Watford -125.

Manchester United v West Bromwich

Albion

Man U has conceded more than two

goals only three times this season,

and only once at the friendly confines

of home. Turning to WBA,

they have scored two or more away

goals only three times this season,

and have only conceded two or

more away goals only four times. I’m

confident in the Man U win, however,

I don’t want to lay the -334 for the

privilege. I think Manchester wins

but all trends point to the under, so

I’m backing Under 2.5 +100.

Arsenal v Manchester City

The Gunners are in uncharted waters

with their season crumbling down all

around them. They are currently in

6th, and it is unlikely that a couple

of their stars re-sign contract extensions.

Their beleaguered manager,

Arsene Wenger is rumored to be

coming back for two more years. The

polarized Gooners are restless and

are chartering biplanes with contradicting

messages for their manager

to stay and also to go. City is in fantastic

form with three wins and two

draws in their past five. I look for City

to hammer another nail in the Gunners’

coffin. Take Man City +125.

6


KYLE’S PICKS

TAR HEELS ROLL!

by Kyle Clifton

The Final Four is all set! We have

had an up and down betting tournament

so far, but no fear, as we

look at booking a 2-0 Final Four!

South Carolina vs. Gonzaga

In the first matchup, the Cinderella’s

of the tourney, South Carolina, take

on the #1 seed of the West Region,

Gonzaga. Many had the Gamecocks

losing in their opening round match

against Marquette, but South Carolina

had other ideas as they’ve knocked

off not only Marquette but Duke,

Baylor and Florida to reach Glendale,

Arizona. Gonzaga has finally reached

the Final Four, albeit never playing an

opponent higher than a 4 seed this

tournament.

South Carolina comes into this game

as quite big underdogs; it currently

sits at Gonzaga -6.5. If the line stays

there, this would be the 4th biggest

spread against South Carolina all

year. South Carolina is 4-0 against the

spread in this tournament, while Gonzaga

is just 1-2-1 against the spread

in the tournament. Being the most talented

Gonzaga team Mark Few has

had, I still think the Gamecocks have

the best player on the court, Sindarius

Thornwell. Thornwell is averaging

nearly 26 points per game in the tournament,

along with 7.5 rebounds and

2.25 steals per game.

South Carolina hasn’t pulled off these

upsets by buzzer beaters either; they

are winning by over 13 points per

game in the tournament. They have

a better defense than Gonzaga, and

the best player on the court. March

Madness is all about being hot at the

right time, give me South Carolina. I

think they have a very good chance

of winning this game, but the spread

makes this an easy decision.

Kyle’s Pick: South Carolina +6.5

Oregon Ducks vs. North Carolina

Tar Heels

In the final matchup of the Final Four,

the North Carolina Tar Heels take

on the Oregon Ducks. I was a huge

fan of this Oregon team all season,

multiple times blogging about how

they are a Final Four team, but I’ll

admit I took at least one foot off the

bandwagon when they lost Chris

Boucher late in the season. Despite

my pessimism and thinking they had

no chance to beat Kansas, the Ducks

now find themselves one game from

the Championship.

North Carolina was one of the favorites

coming into the tournament,

and they haven’t disappointed. They

did almost lose to Arkansas in the

second round, but they have bounced

back to destroy Butler in the Sweet 16

and beat a really talented Kentucky

team in the Elite 8.

Oregon is just 3-3 against the spread

in the last 6 games, while UNC is not

much better at 2-2-2 in their last 6

games against the spread. Oregon

has only been going 6 players deep for

the most part this tournament, while

North Carolina goes at least 7 deep.

Too be honest, I think the National

Championship was played in the

evening last Sunday when North

Carolina played Kentucky. UNC

survived that matchup, and I think this

current Oregon team is a solid step

down from Kentucky. With the spread

at just -4.5, I think North Carolina will

comfortably cover this and then win

the National Title on Monday Night.

Kyle’s Pick: North Carolina -4.5

Season Record: 7-6 ATS

Aside from being a diehard fan of the

Indiana Pacers, Chicago Cubs, Duke

Blue Devils, Green Bay Packers and

FC Dallas – Kyle is also a college

basketball handicapper with a proven

record of success. You can get more

of Kyle’s picks daily by following him

on Twitter @KyleCliffy and checking

out his blog http://kylecliftonsports.

weebly.com/

7


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8


NHL GAME PICKS AND ANALYSIS

SENS GET ROAD WIN

IN MANITOBA

Friday, March 31st

San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames

The Flames catch a tired Sharks team that

they should be able to lean on. Look for Calgary

to start winning more battles as the game

wears on, finding a little more time and space

than the Sharks, resulting in higher quality

scoring chances.

Take the Flames

Saturday, April 1st

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red

Wings

Good set-up for the Leafs in this spot. Don’t

love playing on Toronto as you usually have to

pay a little extra due to them having a fan base

that loves to back them, but with the Red Wings

playing four games in the last seven days and

Toronto enjoying the edge with the top two line

matchups, we’ll put a unit on the visitor.

Take the Leafs

Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets

We’ll be on the Senators as a small road

underdog in this matchup. Going though the

matchups and the way this game sets up, we

give the edge to a motivated visitor who will be

looking to bounce back from getting spanked

by the Wild in their last start.

We’ll take Ottawa.

Sunday, April 2nd

Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames

We don’t see the Ducks getting the sweep in

Alberta. We’ll be playing on the Flames if Anaheim

pulls off a win in Edmonton. If they lose

vs. the Oilers, we’ll pass here.

LAST WEEK’S RECORD:

-3.12 UNITS

(bad week)

SEASON RECORD:

+3.32 UNITS

9


FUTURES FORAY

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FUTURES

As I write this, and peak through the window

to the dreary outdoors, it’s difficult to

imagine that the MLB regular season starts

Sunday. This is largely due to the months of

crap weather, as the calendar hasn’t yet realized

that winter is done and spring has arrived.

The onset of spring brings to mind the start

of the MLB season. So there is no better time

than now to get in on a baseball futures bet.

We’ve tossed around a few options in the office,

but the consensus favorite given the return

on investment, is, wait for it . . . Houston. Yes,

the Astros!

Sure you’ve got the public darlings of late –

Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers but the payoff

isn’t worth the uncertainty of what can happen

during a grueling six-month season.

Here’s our rationale for the Astros. They kept

their powerful hitting triumvirate of Altuve, Correa,

and Springer together. However, they went

out and added some underrated players in our

opinion. Guys who have shown a propensity to

get on base like Aoki, Reddick, and McCann,

arguably the best hitter at his position. And

don’t forget about Carlos Beltran. This mix

should dramatically increase their run output

this season.

Their fierce, and possibly league best, bullpen

remains intact. Yes, their starting pitching is

a concern, but this is also a common thread

throughout the remainder of the league.

Now here’s the best part. You can get them

from anywhere from 10-1 to as high as 14-1.

We’re not betting the farm on them, but they

are ridiculous value at the price.

At 14-1, the

Astros will have

us jumping for joy

in October!

THE COMBINATION OF INCREASED RUN SUPPORT WITH A SHUT-

DOWN BULLPEN MAKE THE ASTROS OUR PICK.

10


TEA TIME

MASTERS ODDS AND PICKS

by Mike Quinn

It’s not the crack of the bat for me.

No, for me, it’s watching that first

drive at Augusta that signals spring

has finally sprung.

And that opening round is less than a

week away.

Let’s have a look at the most updated

odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman from

GolfOdds.com (and the Las Vegas

Westgate Sportsbook).

DJ heads the field as the favorite,

with odds to win it all at 11-2. He’s

followed closely by Rory McIlroy

sitting at 15-2 and Jordan Spieth with

7-1 odds. Jason Day slots in at number

four (15-1) just a head of a pair

of veterans at 20-1: Justin Rose and

Phil Mickelson. Hideki Matsuyama

shows up here. Jon Rahm has been

steadily climbing the odds board,

joining the group at 20-1.

A couple of players I’m looking to play

on in head-to-head matchups this

week are:

• Justin Thomas: no reason the

impressive start to the season can’t

continue here. I’ll be looking to play

on Thomas in matchups he’s an

underdog or very small favorite.

• Matthew Fitzpatrick: booked a Top

10 finish here last year and I really

like the “under the radar” feel with

Fitzpatrick. He can definitely be a contender

come Sunday, which makes

him attractive in his matchups.

The Masters Odds

Augusta National Golf Club - Augusta,

Georgia

April 6 - 9, 2017

ODDS to Win:

Jason Day 15/1

Jordan Spieth 7/1

Rory McIlroy 15/2

Dustin Johnson 11/2

Bubba Watson 30/1

Adam Scott 30/1

Henrik Stenson 25/1

Rickie Fowler 25/1

Justin Rose 20/1

Phil Mickelson 20/1

Hideki Matsuyama 20/1

Branden Grace 80/1

Brooks Koepka 60/1

Danny Willett 100/1

Louis Oosthuizen 50/1

Brandt Snedeker 40/1

Patrick Reed 40/1

Sergio Garcia 30/1

Zach Johnson 80/1

Tiger Woods 100/1

Charl Schwartzel 80/1

Paul Casey 40/1

Matt Kuchar 40/1

Jim Furyk 150/1

Jimmy Walker 80/1

Jon Rahm 20/1

Lee Westwood 80/1

J.B. Holmes 100/1

Justin Thomas 30/1

Matthew Fitzpatrick 60/1

Shane Lowry 125/1

Martin Kaymer 125/1

Bill Haas 100/1

Daniel Berger 80/1

Emiliano Grillo 125/1

Marc Leishman 60/1

Byeong Hun An 150/1

Rafael Cabrera Bello 100/1

Kevin Chappell 250/1

Jason Dufner 150/1

Steve Stricker 250/1

Angel Cabrera 200/1

Russell Knox 125/1

Charley Hoffman 150/1

Scott Piercy 150/1

Kevin Na 150/1

Gary Woodland 80/1

Kevin Kisner 100/1

Andy Sullivan 200/1

Tyrrell Hatton 50/1

Francesco Molinari 150/1

Chris Wood 250/1

Ryan Moore 125/1

Odds provided by Jeff Sherman oddsmaker

at the Westgate Las Vegas

SuperBook and one of the world’s

foremost authorities on golf odds.

Stop by to check out Jeff’s Twitter

feed at twitter.com/golfodds and his

website at www.golfodds.com

11

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