Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 2/21/17

I might as well weigh in with my two cents on the big NBA deal between Sacramento and New Orleans. DeMarcus Cousins is now a Pelican, and pairing the explosive superstar with Anthony Davis now gives the franchise a frontcourt that will be the envy of most NBA teams. I understand Cousins has some temperament issues, and there is no question he has to cut down on the volatility if he really wants to help make the Pelicans a contender. Whether or not New Orleans makes the playoffs this season doesn't matter much. Cousins and Davis together is sure to be an attractive lure for an elite backcourt free agent. Pelicans fans have every right to be in a highly optimistic state of mind right now. As for the Kings, they're still the Kings. Here comes yet another rebuilding phase. I think this trade was beyond awful for Sacramento. Buddy Hield was a terrific college player at Oklahoma, but I see him with limited upside at the NBA level. If he's the crown jewel of the deal from Vlade ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 2/20/17

No show on Monday thanks to the holiday, and with a very light overall schedule (no NBA, just two NHL, and a small handful of college hoops), I'm going to enjoy as close as it gets for me to a day off. So no commentary on anything tonight. My Sunday turned out to be pretty sensational thanks to the Dustin Johnson win at Riviera. The overall tally for the day was +7.15 net and the February bottom line is looking mighty nice right now. I've got just one play on Monday, and that's in college basketball. Here's what is for now an added opinion for Monday evening. Note this is NOT a personal play at this time. 711 COASTAL CAROLINA at 712 SOUTH ALABAMA Take: COASTAL CAROLINA +3 Both Coastal Carolina snd South Alabama are showing signs of life down the Sun Belt stretch. The Chanticleers had won four of five before falling at Troy on Saturday. The Jaguars are also 4-2 in their last six games following Saturday's win at home against Appalachian State. This is the only meeting ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 2/19/17

Our Monday editions of "The Las Vegas Sportsline" (weekdays 2-3 PM, ESPN Las Vegas) have a segment called the "Clown of the Weekend." It would appear as though we have a runaway leader in the clubhouse for the next award. LaVar Ball has every right to be a very proud father. Lonzo, LaVar's son, is one of the most talented and exciting players in college basketball this season. There appears to be little question Lonzo will be plying his trade in the NBA as a future lottery pick. But, even while allowing for some bias on the part of Dad, LaVar went beyond ridiculous when he declared that his son is better than Steph Curry. That's not down the road. He said today. Right now. "Put Steph Curry on UCLA's team right now, and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens," LaVar said. Okay, I'll offer my opinion as to what would happen. UCLA would have a great chance to win the national championship. The Warriors would not have a great chance to win the NBA championship. I ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 2/18/17

My usual cut right to the chase wee hours of the Saturday morning blog. The variables I put the most trust in as far as college basketball is concerned show up in great volume late in the regular season. So the task for me on days like this is not to find good spots, but actually to find reasons to throw out a good number of the opinions. As of now, I've played six college games, plus one in the NHL. I'm sure to add some hockey in the morning and will likely end up grabbing a couple more colleges at some point once I assess the market. Friday was fun as I win another huge NHL underdog with Colorado upsetting Carolina. The hoops went 2-1 with only a needless late game foul by UALR costing me the sweep. No complaints, though. For info on my personal service plays or the daily Pros vs. Joes rundowns, contact me via email at Here's one of the games on my Saturday college slate. I play more dogs than chalk, especially late in the season, but this is a favorite that ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 2/17/17

Thursday was Grapefruit League media day, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was center stage. Baseball's head honcho spent much of his press conference talking about some proposed rule changes designed to speed up the game along with one that would likely increase offensive production. I'll offer my take on the possibilities that were discussed. Manfred talked about streamlining instant replay in a couple of ways. One was a 30-second rule for managers to issue challenges. Another was imposing reasonable time limits for the replay center umpires. Thumbs up on both ideas. The whole concept of replay challenges is to get bad calls correct. I have no problem if a really marginal call goes one way or the other, and I really don't think we need to sit on our collective hands for three or more minutes on those types. That's why I'd like a one-minute time limit for the reviews. If no decision can be made after viewing for sixty seconds, the call stands. I think MLB is going to do away ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 2/16/17

I'm skipping the commentary tonight as the editorial is part of the daily free play. As for the Wednesday results, 2-1 on my full game plays but I did lose a half unit second half selection. One of those days where I wish I'd gone a bit deeper with the personal plays, but hindsight is almost always 20/20. The Pros vs. Joes fits were spectacular, and that's been the norm rather than the exception. Make no mistake, even though these are not my personal plays, the info is producing tremendous results, and I definitely play these myself. For info on how to get these emailed every morning, along with a couple of updates during the day, shoot me an email at The fee is quite reasonable, and let's just say no one is beefing about the results. Oklahoma City started slowly on Wednesday night, but the Knicks turned back into the Knicks midway through the second quarter and the Thunder got the win and cover as the daily free play. I'll head to the Big West for my ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 2/15/17

Well, that didn't take long. Pitchers and catchers just reported to camp, and it now appears as though Alex Reyes will likely be reporting for surgery. Reyes, the crown jewel of the St. Louis Cardinals organizational prospects, and a consensus top five guy overall, has elbow problems. Results of his MRI will likely be released today. But word is Reyes is going to require TJS, and that he's already looking for a second opinion. No one looks for a second opinion unless the first one is lousy news. This is a huge blow to the Cardinals. Reyes was very likely to be at worst the #5 starter coming out of spring training. I know there was some speculation he might start the season in the minors, but I just wasn't buying that. Reyes was ready to take his place in a big league rotation, particularly one that at least had some question marks already. As it now stands, the St. Louis rotation is Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha. That sounds ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Tuesday 2/14/17

LaMarcus Aldridge is a little bit peeved. The Spurs forward doesn't think it's right that his team will have only representative participating in this weekend's NBA All-Star game. In spite of being 42-13, the second best record in the league through tonight's action, Kawhi Leonard will be the only San Antonio player in uniform this Sunday for the festivities taking place in New Orleans. Aldridge has a point. It does seem a little peculiar that a team as sound as the Spurs was able to land only one All-Star roster spot. But then again, that's kind of what the Spurs are all about. It's been all about the team and not the individual for as long as I can remember. Perhaps that's why Monday night's win over the Pacers got little fanfare, despite the fact it clinched an amazing accomplishment for this franchise. That victory insures the Spurs will finish the season with a winning record for the 20th consecutive campaign, and that's a new all-time NBA record. Congrats to the ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Monday 2/13/17

Here's an item that I can pretty much guarantee almost no one paid any attention to. I barely noticed it myself doing a bit of web surfing on Friday. The Chicago Cubs announced a number of organizational promotions, and one of them involved a recently retired player, a former catcher named John Baker. Baker will now be a coordinator in the mental skills department. To be honest, I haven't done any research as to whether other MLB teams have individuals with similar titles. So I'm just guessing when I speculate they mostly don't. The fact the Cubs have a longtime big leaguer working specifically on the mental aspects of the game impresses me as yet another reason why their organization is ahead of the curve. This should be something every MLB team addresses, and my guess is that if the Cubs are doing it, the follow the leader mentality will definitely take place, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'd like to see basketball teams at both the NBA and college level ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 2/12/17

Even I didn't think it would be this ugly. Let's call it straight. I've been a UNLV fan ever since I moved to Las Vegas, and was actually already a Runnin' Rebel fan even back in my Rhode Island days. Nevertheless, my expectations for the program over the past 20 or so years have probably been less than the typical Rebel fan. I had a more optimistic viewpoint during the Lon Kruger years. I never once thought the program was suddenly going to become an annual national title contender. But I rightfully believed the Rebs would be in the hunt for the Mountain West crown virtually every season as long as LK was the head coach. However, Oklahoma wanted Kruger in the worst way. After he rejected their offers on several occasions, the monster deal was finally put on the table, and Kruger decided to make the move to Norman. Like so many of us who consider UNLV to be our home team, I was excited to see Dave Rice take over the coaching reins. Having the Rebels in the mix and landing a ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 2/11/17

It's my usual abbreviated late Friday/early Saturday blog. Loads of college basketball battles to try and dissect, so no time for any editorializing tonight. My Friday was okay, thanks to the easy win by Golden State and a very fortunate finish for the O/U portion of the Blackhawks-Jets clash on the ice. I couldn't do worse than split once Chicago went up 3-1. But anyone on the Over caught a great break when the Hawks took a late penalty. Winnipeg pulled the goalie to try and effect a two-skater advantage. Chicago scored into the empty net, then still on the power play, the Jets answered to make it 4-2. Another empty netter closed it out at 5-2. Here's my Saturday free play, and this one will be in the NBA. 509 WARRIORS at 510 THUNDER Take: THUNDER +7 This is Oklahoma City's game of the year. It's the return of Kevin Durant for the first time since leaving to join Golden State. The Thunder will be juiced for this game and so will a sellout crowd. That's the easy part ... More

Cokin’s Corner, Friday 2/10/17

How's this for crazy? I had two late games on Thursday night. I took San Diego plus the points at Pacific, and was also on San Francisco as home chalk against Santa Clara. San Diego, coming off a totally humiliating home loss to San Mary's, arrived with fire in their eyes and played a strong first half against the Tigers. The Toreros then reverted to form and got smoked in the second half. I actually was watching this thing unfold online while also enjoying a great game between Oregon and UCLA on the big screen. Long story short, as soon as the Ducks-Bruins game ended, I shut down the computer, hit the off button on the TV remote, and left the house to get dinner. I had given up on San Diego as they were down 12 with two minutes to play, and I didn't think they could get within the +4.5 if the Pacific players all wore blindfolds for the final two minutes. While the aforementioned was taking place, my San Francisco play looked to be solid gold. The Dons were absolutely ... More