Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 10/28/14

  • October 28, 2014

I get asked frequently about sources I rely on myself for information in the various sports. It’s  a difficult question to answer, as it’s easily triple digits. But I have a couple that I believe should be on everyone’s list as far as a couple of sports are concerned.

Neither of these is really geared toward gamblers, though the data one of them is of immense value as far as in depth statistical breakdowns are concerned, both from a team and individual player standpoint.

Kenpom.com is exactly what it says it is, which is advanced analysis of college basketball. There are game score predictions, but those are of little use to me as there’s no handicapping included. But the wealth of information as far as pertinent data goes is spectacular. For anyone working with metrics, it’s invaluable and a phenomenal time saver. I don’t know what I’d do without it, to be honest.

The baseball season is about over, but I’m a seamhead and I follow the game 365 days a year. My one must read is Joe Sheehan’s newsletter. This isn’t geared toward gamblers, but I think it’s the best read around. It’s consistently thought provoking and at times is just plain fascinating. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll like it.

Note these are unsolicited endorsements. I think I spoke with Ken Pomeroy once several years ago in a radio spot. I’ve gotten to know Joe Sheehan pretty well over the years, and chances are you’ve read his work in Sports Illustrated or various other publications, either on line or in magazine form. But the main thing is these are each very inexpensive subscriptions, and for my money, worth way more than either Ken or Joe is charging.

I would definitely recommend visiting kenpom.com and joesheehanbaseball.blogspot.com to sign up. I feel confident you’ll be glad you did.

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I passed Monday’s action, but will definitely be involved tonight with a slew of NHL games and the opening night slate in the NBA. I’ve already sent out four college football plays and it looks like a substantial card this weekend.

I’ll be running a new special for November that should be available in the next day or two. I’d recommend waiting for that to appear in the “buy now” menu. But in the meantime, feel free to contact me for info on what’s coming up or about my net winners program. The email address is cokin@cox.net.

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I’ve already got a free NBA play posted for this evening. Here’s one from tonight’s enormous NHL slate that looks promising.

10/28  5:35 PM  NHL  (15) ST. LOUIS BLUES  at  (16) DALLAS STARS

Take: (16) DALLAS STARS -120

A pair of solid squads in action tonight on the ice as the Blues head to Dallas for a duel with the Stars. The home team is off a wild game that concluded with Dallas on the wrong side of a 7-5 decision against the Islanders. St. Louis gained some momentum last start with a tense divisional win against the Blackhawks.

You can put an asterisk next to that Dallas loss to the Isles. The Stars played Anders Lindback in goal, and the Dallas #2 netminder is getting close to a demotion to the minors. Lindback was terrible in this game and while he wasn’t the only member of the team having an off night, it’s safe to say he was the worst player on the ice.  Kari Lehtonen will be back in goal tonight for Dallas, and going back to the last couple months of last season, Lehtonen has been one of the hotter goalies in the NHL.

Brian Elliot will start for the Blues and he’s looking reliable enough. Unfortunately, Elliot won’t have a fill complement of skaters in front of him. The Blues got hit with a team-wide flu bug last week, and a couple of key guys might still be missing tonight. Paul Stastny is hopeful of returning this weekend, but the star center is still out for this game with a shoulder injury.

I’m bullish on Dallas this season and it’s hard not to be impressed with this team’s offensive firepower. The defense has been a bit on the shaky side to start the season, but I’ll just call that a work in progress that should continue to show improvement.

As for tonight, it looks like a bright spot for the Stars. The sloppy defensive effort against the Islanders doesn’t figure to be duplicated, and Dallas has a big edge on offense right now, particularly with Stastny out for the visitors. I see Dallas as an undervalued entry right now, and feel the number on this game could easily be 10-20 cents higher than it is. Not a bad situational spot, either, so my call is on the Stars to skate away with the hime ice win this evening.