Dave’s Free Play, Friday 10/31/14

  • October 31, 2014

I’m not real big on gimmicks. That’s pretty much right down the line, whether it’s sports or basically anything else. I’m not knocking anyone who likes them, they’re just not for me.

So you’ll understand why I’m so against the MLB All-Star game deciding which league hosts the World Series. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I’ve detested the three-point field goal in basketball since its inception. Ditto for the designated hitter. You can toss in the college football overtime system as well. To me, these are all gimmicks. I’m not going to preach here in hopes of gaining support. If you like any or all of these deals, that’s cool.

But the worst gimmick of all for me is the hockey shootout. This one drives me batty. It’s a team game, and suddenly games that go 65 minutes and remain tied are decided in duels between a single skater and the goalie. This idea is so awful the NHL throws it away once the playoffs begin. Thank goodness for that, at least.

The good news is that the shootout in its current form is on its last legs. The AHL is the guinea pig for prospective rules changes. For those not up on the hockey scene, the AHL is hockey’s top minor league, similar to baseball’s AAA leagues.

The AHL rule is 4-on-4 for four minutes of overtime. At the next whistle, it become 3-on-3. If the game is still tied after seven minutes, the teams then go to a three-player shootout. I’d still like to see that aspect eliminated completely, but based on the early returns, the games are almost all being decided before that happens.

Fan reaction has been hugely positive. It’s wide open hockey, but there’s still a team element, and the fans apparently love it. I think it’s a great idea, and I’d say that this change coming to the NHL next season is a huge favorite.

Now if we can just get college basketball officials to actually call intentional fouls at the end of games intentional fouls, since that’s exactly what they are… but that’s a rant for another day.

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The luck bitch nailed me on Thursday night, with a nasty beat on Louisville, and two more OT/SO losses on the ice. I’m 19-3 in regulation NHL results, and 1-6 in games that go past regulation. And yes, that probably has something to do with my intense dislike of the current NHL OT rule.

I’m up more than 16 net units in October, with all the plays being one unit, and that’s in spite of a ghastly 2-8 in anything that goes beyond regulation. In other words, the results have been really good and that’s with a substantial dose of rotten luck.

The November special is buy one month, get a second free. In essence, $750 takes you through the end of the calendar year, and all my plays across the board are included. Sign up using the “buy now” feature on this page. Or, simply email me at cokin@cox.net for payment details. Also feel free to inquire about my exclusive net winners program.

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No good on the Thursday free play, aa the Ducks were the wrong side. They played a very sloppy game with a boatload of defensive zone turnovers and that’s going to generally result in a loss. I’ve got a Sunday NFL game for today’s comp.

11/2  01:05 PM   NFL   (465) ST. LOUIS RAMS  at  (466) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Take: (466) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -10

So here’s something a little different. I’m generally not even mildly interested in laying doubles in the NFL. But in breaking down this particular game, I’m having a difficult time envisioning how the Rams have a real chance to compete.

This has been a tough year for the Rams on the injury front, and it just keeps getting worse. They’ve got some real issues at this point. The Jake Long injury is a killer as far as the offense goes. The secondary is seriously beat up as well. In fact, you can pretty much take a look at almost every position on this football team and you’ll find someone having to sit out.

The 49ers should come to play here. They already own a victory over the Rams, but that was a game in which San Francisco stumbled out of the gate and trailed 14-0 before taking charge.

I don’t see much difficulty for the favorite here. The only question I really have is whether or not the 49ers will come with the intensity necessary to deliver a knockout punch. Fact is, this has not been a great team coming out of its bye week. But this time, it’s also off a real thumping administered at Denver. Plus, with just a 4-3 record, the chalk has to know they absolutely cannot afford to take a loss in a game of this type.

I can’t say I love the idea of spotting this many points in almost any NFL battle. But the intent here is to try and take advantage of a mediocre underdog that’s gashed pretty badly right now. If the home team come out of the gate quickly, this is blowout material. Even if they don’t, I believe San Francisco has an excellent chance to pretty much wear down the shorthanded Rams. I’ll therefore bite the bullet and will look to lay the lumber with the 49ers on Sunday.