NBA Draft Recap + MLB Trade Deadline and NFL ATS Trends

NBA DRAFT—HERE’S SOME BONUS RE-CAP NEWS/NOTES …

THE BASEBALL REPORT:
THE BLOCKBUSTER TRADES YOU’RELIABLE TO SEE IN THE COMING DAYS …

THE NFL UPDATE:
SOME POINTSPREAD HISTORY THAT’LL SHOCK YOU

In the aftermath of Thursday’s NBA Draft, a whole lot was being written/said about the back-to-back picks made at #6 and #7 by the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers:

The Celtics—as you know—drafted hot-headed G Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) while the Lakers tabbed F Julius Randle (Kentucky) and gotta admit we’ve been surprised to hear so much criticism coming in the direction of these two teams the past 24-to-48 hours.

Okay, so we went on the "Jim Sez" record to state we would have grabbed Randle at the #6 spot for Boston, but we sure rate Smart higher than the “C+” grade that we saw handed his way on one sports web site.

P.S., Randle was given an “A+” and we wholeheartedly concur—but the fact of the matter is a potential Rajon Rondo/Smart backcourt should have Beantowners excited provided GM Danny Ainge does not deal away the oft-temperamental Rondo, and we sure-as-heck disagree with the Boston Globe veteran sportswriter Dan O’Shaughnessy who said he would have traded back and gotten an experienced NBA player or two.

Also, now that we’ve had some time to digest the entire NBA Draft, let’s tackle the topic of “first-round” talent going into Round II:

The New York Knicks obtained a pair of second-round choices in a major deal with Dallas one day prior to the Draft, and we hail the pick of Wichita State F Cleanthony Early, who we had going at pick #21 (we had Sacramento trading into that spot). Anthony dropped to pick #34 and we believe he’ll make those teams that drafted late in Round I regret their oversight—the guy is a big-game player, has better-than-you-think offensive skills and will fit neatly into the triangle offense the new-look Knicks will espouse this year.

Then there’s Clemson small forward K.J. McDaniels who we had going with pick #22 to Memphis but he dropped out of the first round and landed in the lap of the Philadelphia 76ers with pick #32. McDaniels is a smooth-stroking sort who has a wingspan of a seven-footer and playing in the ACC the past couple of years surely helped him develop his all-round game.

Finally, we had Syracuse F Jerami Grant going to the Houston Rockets with pick #25 but instead the son of Harvey and nephew of Horace dropped out of Round I and was nabbed at pick #39 by the aforementioned 76ers. Grant was an undervalued and underappreciated part of an Orange team that last year was undefeated for a huge chunk of the season and we’ll keep tabs on him as he became one of Philly’s five second-round picks when our rating system had ‘em a #23-to-#27 type pick overall.

THE BASEBALL REPORT
For those of you folks who believe the Major-League Baseball Trade Deadline of July 31st means there’s ll be little-to-no deals between now and then, think again!

The reports we’re hearing at Jim Hurley’s Network is that with more teams “in the race” for playoff spots of some kind, more teams will be looking to be active in the next couple of weeks.

Here’s a couple of names that figure to be going in blockbuster deals …

DAVID PRICE, LHP, Tampa Bay—There was one report on the MLB Network on Friday afternoon that this uber-talented hurler would wind up in Seattle because the Mariners have the minor-league pieces to satisfy the woe-be-gone Rays, but if we had to set a destination for Price (6-7, 3.63 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP) then we’d say the Rays will deal him to the National League and the St. Louis Cardinals appear primed to make a match.

Price could well be the missing link piece for a Redbirds team that—make no mistake—also needs to upgrade its offense (St. Loo ranks 11th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in the league in home runs) and there could be an ample supply of low minor-leaguers that helps to get this deal done.

ELVIS ANDRUS, SS, and ALEX RIOS, OF, Texas Rangers—The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Rangers are considering deals that involve “core players” Andrus and Rios and this comes on the heels of the Texas shortstop sitting out Thursday’s game after getting ejected the day before after arguing balls/strikes.

It’s quite possible that Andrus and Rios could go in the same package and a very likely destination is Pittsburgh with the Pirates surrendering some prime minor-league talent (especially pitching) in the swap. Andrus would be a major boon to a Pirates lineup that could use some top-of-the-order punch and Rios might get at-bats as a first baseman against lefties and spotting the other three OFs once a week. Stay tuned.

Take note …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners.

Plus, the Football Season isn’t that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear in early August—can’t wait!

THE NFL UPDATE:
MORE POINTSPREAD GOODIES

We know you’ve already marked your calendar—the NFL Hall of Fame Game is set for August 3rd and that’s just a little more than a full month away—and so to temporarily whet your NFL appetite we decided to wheel out some rather mind-blowing pointspread stats:

CHICAGO—Believe it or not, the Bears have enjoyed only one winning spread season in the past seven years and that’s when the Chitowners went 10-7-1 ATS (against the spread) back in 2010.

If you date back to the start of the 2007 season, the Bears are a collective 47-63-6 versus the vig and that’s a shabby .427 winning rate.

The Bears—who registered a 4-10-2 ATS mark last year—are just 17-26 against the odds in NFC North games (a .395 winning rate) the past seven seasons and note last year Chicago failed to cover five-of-six divisional games with the lone cover coming in a 27-20 outright win at 10-point fav Green Bay—the night Packers QB Aaron Rodgers went down with his shoulder injury.

DENVER—Sway what you will about Broncos’ QB Peyton Manning and his “inability to win the big one” but the pointspread facts are clear and they say Denver’s a tidy 22-14 ATS overall ever since Manning came aboard in the Mile High City prior to the 2012 season.

Folks, that’s a .611 winning rate and nothing to sneeze at but go a step further here and you’ll discover the Broncos are a sizzling 21-8 versus the vig as betting favorites during this recent twp-year span (that’s a mind-numbing .724 winning rate as chalk sides).

Go ahead … we defy you to find another NFL team that is playing better than .700 ball as betting favorites in a back-to-back year scenario and consider that last year the Broncos were betting favorites of 7-or-more points on 13 different occasions!

MINNESOTA—The facts are the Vikings have no won a playoff game since the 2009 season and they’ve made it to the post-season just once in the past three years (see 24-10 loss at 10 ½-point fav Green Bay back in the 2012 playoffs), but who would have thunk it that the Vikes would be an electric 21-12-1 ATS as underdog sides since the start of the 2011 season?

Okay, so that’s batting .636 as point-grabbers during this recent three-year timer frame—pretty impressive stuff—and keep in mind last year the Vikes closed out the campaign having covered five of their final six games and all but one of the spread wins came in the underdog role … now who out there in handicapping-land would have thought the Vikings would be major earners in any pointspread category during a three-year span where the NFC North team registered a collective 18-30-1 SU (straight-up) mark?

TENNESSEE—Quick … tell us the last time you think the Titans sported a winning spread record?

If you answered 2008, you win a prize!

The fact is Tennessee—which went 6-7-3 against the numbers last year—now have strung together the following shoddy spread seasons starting with the ’09 campaign: 6-9-1, 8-8, 6-10, 6-9-1 and that aforementioned 6-7-3 log.

Add it all up and the Titans are a collective 32-43-5 vig-wise the past five years and betcha didn’t think this AFC South squad was such a major money-burner during the past half-decade, right?

Tennessee finished last year by going 0-4-1 versus the vig in the final five weeks of play and skidding late in seasons has become a habit for the Titans who ended the 2012 season by going 2-3-1 ATS after finishing 2011 by going 0-4 vig-wise in the final month of action. You have been warned!

NOTE: More MLB News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez, so don’t dare miss out!

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