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Friday, January 25, 2013

Hoopshysteria: Showdown Weekend

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Showdown Weekend
By Wild on Sports Basketball Analyst Talyon Perry
 January 25, 2013

The weekend is finally here, and that means 3 days of basketball action. But first lets look back on the headlines of last week:

The only real news this week was the Sacramento Kings were sold to a Seattle investment group. For more info about that check our last article Sacramento SuperSonics

Now lets look into the future and see what games we can look forward to this weekend. Friday night the Boston Celtics travel to the Atlanta Hawks, if Al Horford is able to play (currently questionable) this will be a great low post game with Horford going toe to toe against Kevin Garnett. Saturday we will be treated to a match-up between four fantastic guards Brooklyn's Joe Johnson and Deron Williams versus Houston's Jeremy Lin and James Harden. Johnson and Harden with be going up against each other all night, and we will see if Houston can defend Brook Lopez. Lastly, Sunday we have two classic match-ups, the Heat versus the Celtics and Thunder against Lakers. Watch for Paul Pierce to try to prove that he can still run with King James (don't bet on it). Pierce has been a shell of his former self lately. This may be a last chance for him to show he's still got it before GM Danny Ainge listens to the trade whispers and possibly ships "The Truth" out of Boston. Out on the West Coast, watch for Kobe to return to form and score 30+ in a losing effort, with Durant and Westbrook leading the thunder to victory.

Puckmania Weekly Blog: Cranking It Up for Week #2

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Puckmania Weekly Watch
Cranking it up for NHL Week #2
By Wild On Sports NHL Insider Erin Gilman
 January 25, 2013

Looking Back at Last Week:
       With the exciting but at times horrible opening week behind us, we can now move on to the next week of games and hope that the competition improves even if just a little. Touching briefly on last week; as suspected the Bruins vs. Rangers and Penguins VS Flyers games were exciting from beginning to end. All games you could see the players have to attempt to get back in to the swing of it, dust off the rust and get their game legs back. With those games it happened with in the first period but the Vancouver VS Ducks game.... I think the Canucks just forgot to show up.

        The goalie war I spoke of seemed to be very evident in the games last Saturday as well.. Tukka Rask was amazing in net, with several incredible saves. He looked very comfortable in the starting position. Cory Schneider on the other hand in my opinion had no business being in net, at least not yet. While he improved slightly in the shoot out win over Edmonton he did not improve enough to have Vancouver fans confident in his abilities to carry this cup contending team in to the playoffs. With the trade rumor mill buzzing this week on the uncertainty of Roberto Luongo's future in Vancouver we are going to have too see a lot more from Schneider before anyone will be comfortable with a trade choice by Mike Gillis.

Key Match Ups:

        This week is looking to be a very exciting week as well, with some great rivalry match ups scheduled. I picked four of the best rivalries for my key match ups this week. Starting with the battle of Alberta on January 26th. Edmonton and Calgary have had a long standing rivalry, actually this is more than a rivalry these two teams hate each other. It could be in large part to the regional proximity between Calgary and Edmonton, but whatever the reason this game is sure to be action packed right from puck drop. My player to watch in this game is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 18 goals last season in his rookie year, I expect big things from him this season.

        Next we have the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks,   In the entire history of the NHL these two teams have met more times over the course of a season then any other teams. This rivalry is more then just a hockey rivalry it actually has caused fights and animosity between the two cities as well. This is going to be a loud and very hostile game for the Detroit fans attending the game in Chicago. Both these teams have mostly established rosters but I think we should keep our eye out for Detroit Red Wings right winger Todd Bertuzzi. His sometimes controversial play always makes for an entertaining game. His dislike for this Chicago team began to burn years ago when he played for the Canucks, only adding over the course of his career with the Red Wings. So keep your eyes out for him, and expect to see some fights.

        Buffalo Sabres will travel to the TD Garden on Thursday January 31st. Though this rivalry is not one of the NHL’s 10 biggest rivalries it as quickly become one to both Bruins and Sabres fans alike. It was secured last season when Ryan Miller, goalie for the Sabres called out the Bruins Milan Lucic and referred to him as a “punk” enraging both Bruins players and the Bruins fans. Because of this I would choose Lucic to be the player to watch on the ice this Thursday. Known for his need to “settle the score” he will be out for blood in true Bruins style. This game is going to be intense.

        Finally we have the Chicago Blackhawks visiting the Vancouver Canucks for the first time this season on February 1st. Another rivalry that has not yet made it to the NHL’s top 10, but it is definitely a contender worth mentioning. The Canucks have had the Blackhawks eliminate them from the Stanley cup two years in the past three, only getting there pay back in the 2011 Stanley cup run where they went on to face the Bruins for the cup. This rivalry has caused full on line brawls and its become a rivalry both Blackhawks and Canucks fans can count on. I expect an intense game from beginning to end, and an even better game if Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider decides to play his best this game. My choice for player to watch this game is a combination of the Sedin Twins for the Vancouver Canucks. Having yet to accomplish much (still a little rusty maybe?) I expect good things from the twins.

Notable players to watch this week:

Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues, with 5 points and 3 goals already this season and a plus/minus rating of plus 3 this rookie is just getting started. He is definitely heading towards rookie of the year with his skills and puck handling. Someone to keep an eye on this season.

Cory Conacher of the Tampa Bay Lightning, already leading all rookies with 3 assists this season I expect great things from this center. I for see his first goal when the Winnipeg jets visit the lighting on February 1st. If not before when the Panthers visit Tampa Bay on Tuesday the 29th of January

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Upton Family Reunion in Atlanta

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Upton Family Reunion in Atlanta

Huge news in Major League Baseball today as the Atlanta Braves have acquired All-Star outfielder Justin Upton as part of a 7-player deal that will send Martin Prado and a group of prospects high lighted by pitcher Randall Delgado to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The trade unites brothers Justin and B.J. Upton who the Braves signed to a five year deal in November.

Deal breakdown...

Atlanta Braves Get
Justin Upton OF
Chris Johnson 3B
Arizona Diamondbacks Get
Randall Delgado P
Martin Prado INF
Nick Ahmed SS
Brandon Drury 3B
Zeke Spruill P

The trade creates one of the most impressive outfield tandems in baseball with Upton, Upton and Jason Heyward. The 25 year old Upton hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs and a career-high 107 runs in 2012. The 2005 #1 overall pick will fit quite nicely into the heart of the Braves potent line-up. Atlanta GM Frank Wren is certainly excited about his new right fielder: "We've been looking for that young dynamic, right-handed, power-hitting outfielder that can hit in the middle of the lineup and makes that other team think a little bit."

For the Diamondbacks, Prado, a 2010 all-star will be a nice fit for the line-up GM Kevin Towers hopes to build that will be much less reliant on the homerun. The real prize in this deal for Arizona is Delgado. He has been rated the #3 prospect in the braves system each of the past two years. He figures to be in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation this season as a 23-year old.

The deal seems to make sense for both clubs as Upton was an expensive luxury for a mid to small market Arizona franchise. The additions of both Prado and Delgado fill both immediate and long term holes (Towers said Thursday in a press conference that extension talks have already begun between the club and Prado's agent).

What do you think of the trade? Comment below or hit us up on Twitter @WildonSports.

NBA Fanduel Friday Players to Start

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NBA Fanduel Friday Players to Start - January 25th Edition

With the NFL Fanduel season over it is now time to shift gears to the NBA. Here is a look at the best players, match-ups and sleepers for each position for Friday night's games. Good Luck everyone!

PG - Kyrie Irvin  vs.  Milwaukee Bucks  $9,300
Irvin is coming off a huge game Tuesday night in which he put up 40 points on a decent Boston defense. Friday night Irvin will be going against Brandon Jennings and a Milwaukee defense that gives up 97.7 points per game. A good match-up for the young PG. Expect another strong performance.
PG - Tyreke Evans  vs.  Oklahoma City Thunder $6,600
Evans is finally starting to get healthy and back up around the 30 minutes per game fantasy owners are use to seeing from with. His counterpart on OKC Russel Westbrook left his last game early with an apparent ankle injury. He has never missed a game in his pro career and will likely give it a go even hobbled a little bit. This could serve as a nice little match-up for Evans with Westbrook off a step.
SG - Klay Thompson  vs.  Chicago Bulls  $5,900
After getting off to a slow start this season Thompson has scored 50 points over his last two games including 29 Saturday against the Hornets. Over that stretch he has hit nine 3-pointers in 18 attempts. With Golden State likely to be playing from behind they will look to the 3-point shot of Thompson to keep them in the game.
SG - Carlos Delfino  vs.  New Orleans Hornets  $4,400
Delfino is coming off a monster game on Monday night where he made 8-of-10 shots, including six 3-pointers for 22 points and added four rebounds, eight assists and a steal in 30 minutes. Bit of a risk-reward play has he comes off the bench most night but this could be an excellent case of playing the hot hand.
SF - Kevin Garnett  vs.  Atlanta Hawks  $6,400
Garnett has scored 16 points and 5+ rebounds in 3 consecutive games translating to between 30-35 fantasy points per game in that stretch. Boston has been in a bit of a tail spin having lost four in a row. They will need Garnett to step up big to end that skid against the Hawks.
SF - Carl Landry vs.  Chicago Bulls  $4,600
Landry is averaging 35-30 minutes a game over the last 10 games thanks to injuries to players like David Lee. He has surpassed the 20 fantasy point mark in 6 of those 10 including 4 of his last 5. At just $4,600 he is a steal while he continues to see the minutes.
PF - Kevin Durant  vs.  Sacramento Kings  $9,900
Durant and Lebron continue to duke it out for the title of best Fanduel play each week. Durant is averaging 51.5 fantasy points per game over the past 4 games. He is a must start for Friday night.
PF - Chandler Parsons  vs.  New Orleans Hornets  $5,700
Parsons has been a little hit and miss lately with a hand full of 30+ fantasy point nights mixed with a few games in the teens. He is capable of being a difference maker. We are going to roll the dice with him here and hope its a 30+ night.
C - Chris Bosh  vs.  Detroit Pistons  $6,900
Bosh has been pretty good lately averaging 28.8 fantasy points per game. In the month of January he has been consistently 20+ with a couple of 40+ nights mixed in. You know what you are going to get from Bosh which always makes him a good play.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

AFC & NFC Championship Game Reactions & Superbowl Sneak Peak

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AFC & NFC Championship Game Reactions & Superbowl Sneak Peak

What a weekend it was in the NFL this week! Plenty of drama in both games. Lets take a look at how each game unfolded and the implications they have as we gear up for the Superbowl.

San Francisco 49ers 28   Atlanta Falcons 24

For the second week in a row the Atlanta Falcons came out firing, opening up to a 17-0 lead. Lead by the two touchdown attack of Frank Gore and efficient passing by Colin Kaepernick the 49ers slowly chipped away at that deficit while holding the Falcons to just 7 second half points, managing an impressive comeback victory.

The loss for the Falcons in all likelihood ends the Hall-of-Fame career of TE Tony Gonzalez who confirmed after the game that he had "probably" played his final game. The 36 year old Gonzalez caught 8 passes for 78 yards in a touchdown. "I've had such a great life," he said following the game. "I wish it would've culminated with the Super Bowl, but it didn't."

For the 49ers, it is validation for a team that has overcome a lot in the past year. After coming oh so close in the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants last season, San Francisco finally made the plays late in the game to seal their fate. Instead of a botched kick-return it was stellar defense shutting down Matt Ryan and finding a way to keep the ball out of the hands of Julio Jones late. Jones had 11 catches on the game for 182 yards and 2 TD's but had just 23 yards in the 2nd half.

The win also officially validates the decision made by 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh who made a mid-season QB change from veteran starter Alex Smith to unproven 2nd year QB Colin Kaepernick. The decision at the time was under much scrutiny. Now having gone deeper in the playoffs behind Kaepernick than ever before with Smith, those critics appear to be silenced.

Baltimore Ravens 28   New England Patriots  13

Led by three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and a defense that turned back the clock to the Ravens of old, Baltimore shocked the heavily favored Patriots. The win extends the career of Ray Lewis one more game and gives Baltimore their first trip to the Superbowl in 12 years.

The Patriots took a 13-7 lead into halftime at which which point Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led teams were 62-0 at home in their tenure together. They would never score another point in the game as costly drops and uncharacteristic Brady mistakes, coupled with fantastic pass defense from the Ravens led to and end to this phenomenal statistic.

The afore mentioned Flacco continues to silence skeptics with fantastic playoff performances that have included a total of 853 passing yards and 8 touchdowns. Flacco is a free agent at season's end and has called himself an elite quarterback in the past. His performance this post season very well may put him in the discussion moving forward.

A look ahead...

Perhaps the biggest story in all of this is the match-up that it sets up in Superbowl 47 between the brothers Harbaugh (John from Baltimore, Jim from San Francisco). The match-up marks the first time that brothers have ever coached against each other in the big game. The Harbaugh brothers did face each other once in the regular season on Thanksgiving day in 2011 with John's Ravens coming out on top with the 16-6 victory. Both brothers are down playing the headline saying they are proud of eachother but then quickly shift the focus back to the players.

There will be plenty of play on this topic and many others as we inch our way closer to Superbowl XLVII. Stay tuned to Wild on Sports for the last news and headlines!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sacramento Super Sonics?

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By Wild on Sports Basketball Analyst Talyon Perry
 January 21, 2013
Sacramento Super Sonics?

As released today, the Sacramento Kings have been sold to a Seattle investment group for $525 million dollars. Hmm...wasn't last year's lockout because owners didn't make enough money? I digress; a quick look over the financials shows the Seattle group buying out the Maloof Family's 53% and Bob Hernreich's 12%. If approved the Group will most likely apply for relocation before the March 1st deadline. 

What impact does this have for the two cities and the NBA as a whole?

Unfortunately for Sacramento this could be the end for their pro basketball chances (don't worry King's fans, there is plenty of room on the Clipper's bandwagon). Mayor Kevin Johnson has been given permission to find a counter-offer that would keep the city in Sacramento. That could be a tough sell. Who wants to buy the 4th best team in California when you can be the #1 team in most other states? Until the deal closes the people of Sacremento can hold a little hope. If the team does leave, you can be sure that the fans there will push for the return of a team. You know the fans are dedicated when they sellout 19 out of the last 27 seasons with a less than stellar team.

For the people of Washington or former SuperSonics fans this deal is bitter-sweet. On one hand, you get a professional team back in Seattle and can keep the "SuperSonics" name. On the other hand, you get a team that can't work together (27th in Assists per game) and seem to not know the meaning of the word defense (27th in points allowed). The Kings currently stand at 16-25 which is an improvement from last year's 22-44 record. This team is full of young players that could potentially do great things from Thomas Robinson to the improved DeMarcus Cousins. Either way, you really can't complain if you live in Seattle.

How does this impact the NBA as a whole? Many new owners come in and change the dynamics of the franchise, new coaches or a retooled roster (like with Magic Johnson's Dodgers). This could mean some guys are available for trades. Tyreke Evans has become a regular in trade whispers, he could be dangerous on the court in the right system. Jimmer Fredette also has emerged in trade rumors. Imagine how good he could be after a couple of seasons under the tutelage of a veteran like Steve Nash. Yes, I'm talking to you Mitch Kupchak. 

No matter what way you cut it, this deal could change the dynamics of the league and revive a city.

NFL Conference Finals Fanduel Recap

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A look back at the week that was NFL Conference Finals Fanduel.

Click here to see the picks:  Fanduel Conference Finals Picks

QB - Colin Kaepernick  vs.  Atlanta Falcons  $8,800       15.42
233/1/0  Bit of a surprise to see the 49ers go to a conventional attack on the ground this week limiting the extra points that have made Kaepernick such a valuable play in past weeks. The passing yards were about what we would expect but the rushing totals (21yds) and touchdowns (1) left a lot to be desired.
WR - Jacoby Jones  vs. New England Patriots  $5,400      1.10
1/6  Swung for the fences on this one and missed horribly. If you got points for return yards he would have salvaged a respectable week but outside of that a big BIG disappointment.
RB - Stevan Ridley  vs.  Baltimore Ravens  $7,200           5.0
70yds, 1 rumble and oh what a fumble it was. The poor guy was out cold before he hit the ground. Prior to that he had a decent game going. Injuries happen. Tough break.
TE - Tony Gonzalez  vs.  San Francisco 49ers  $5,900      17.8
8/78/1  By far the best pick of the week. Sadly this will be the final time we can say that about the incredibly reliable Gonzalez who is "probably" hanging up the cleats once and for all. He put up a heck of a fight, as did the entire receiving corps for the Falcons.
K - Stephen Gostkowski  vs. Baltimore Ravens  $5,500     7.0
2 FG's, 1exp  Highest point output of all the kickers this week. We'll take the 7 points.
DEF - New England Patriots  vs.  Baltimore Ravens  $5,600   1.0
Ouch New England! OUCH! In the upset of the weekend the Ravens were able to out score Tom Brady & co.

And so that brings an end to NFL Fanduel for the 2012/13 season. It was a fun ride with a lot of ups and a couple downs. Overall, if you followed our picks you probably ended up on the positive side more weeks than not. Hope we were able to help! Be sure to stay tune as we shift gears to NHL and NBA Fanduel in the coming weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NFL Conference Championship Cash-In

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Stevan Ridley - New England Patriots v Baltimore Ravens

NFC Conference Championship Cash-In
With just two games on the docket this weekend lets take a look at the latest trends to give you the information need to cash-in big this Sunday! Good luck everyone!

#2 San Francisco 49ers @ #1 Atlanta Falcons
3:00pm  FOX
Line: San Francisco -4, O/U 48
SAN FRANCISCO is 22-12 ATS in the last 2 seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO is 9-2 ATS games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points in last 2 seasons.
ATLANTA is 4-16 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992.
SAN FRANCISCO is 1-0 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
ATLANTA is 1-0 straight up against SAN FRANCISCO over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

 #4 Baltimore Ravens @ #2 New England Patriots
6:30pm CBS
Line: New England -7.5, O/U 52
NEW ENGLAND is 8-2 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season.
NEW ENGLAND is 18-8 ATS against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 51-31 ATS revenging a loss against opponent since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 94-68 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 66-41 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 1-1 against the spread versus BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
NEW ENGLAND is 2-1 straight up against BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Pick: NEW ENGLAND -7.5


NFC Conference Finals Preview

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#2 San Francisco 49ers @ #1 Atlanta Falcons
3:00pm  FOX

One of these two teams will finally get the monkey off of their back and prove they have what it takes to make it to the big game. For the other, the questions will continue to circle. Is Matt Ryan the quarterback to get the Falcons over the hump? Did Coach Harbaugh make the right decision giving the keys to the city to a young back-up QB over a proven veteran?

#2 San Francisco 49ers
How they got there: Wild Card - BYE, Divisional Round - Defeated Green Bay 45-31
Key Injuries: The 49ers have a slew of players listed as probably and all will play. Aside from late season scares to TE Vernon Davis and DL Justin Smith, the 49ers have been relatively injury free this season.
Keys to Victory: The #1 key for the 49ers is to stop the passing attack of Matt Ryan and his 3 star targets WR Julio Jones, WR Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez. On the offensive side of the ball the pistol offense led by the Colin Kaepernick should pose problems for the Falcons defense whose strength is in the pass defense. This could hint to a quiet day for Michael Crabtree who has dazzled over the past few weeks building a strong relationship with Kaepernick.
Potential 49ers Storylines: Both 49ers and Ravens victories would lead to an all Harbaugh brothers Superbowl, marking the first time in NFL history that brothers have coached or played against eachother in the big game. Last season the 49ers lost on a late muffed punt deep in their own zone. A fair catch, in all likely hood, would have sent them to the Superbowl. The microscope will be on them again should they make another costly error.

#1 Atlanta Falcons
How they got there:  Wild Card - BYE, Divisional Round - Defeated Seattle Seahawks 30-28
Key Injuries:  DE John Abraham (knee) and DT Johnathan Babineaux (shoulder) are both listed as questionable but both will likely play. WR Roddy White who was injured for the final couple of regular season games appears to be back to nearly 100%.
Keys to Victory: The key for Matt Ryan and the offense will be ball security. The San Francisco defense is as good as any in the league and were 9th in the NFL in takeaways. Look for the Falcons to get Tony Gonzalez involved early forcing safety help which should open up one on one coverage on the outside for Jones and/or White. On defense the key will be containing Colin Kaepernick and not letting him beat you with his legs. It they can force the young QB to the air it plays into the defensive strength forcing Kaepernick into potential turnovers.
Potential Falcons Storyline:  This is likely the last hurrah for future Hall-of-Fame TE Tony Gonzalez. Until last weekend he had never won a NFL playoff game in his career. It would be quite a way to go out if he was able do so by going to the Super Bowl. The elephant in the room is the skepticism surrounding QB Matt Ryan who despite terrific regular season numbers, has yet to take the Falcons deep into the playoffs. How will he perform with the pressure squarely on his shoulders?

Click Here for AFC Championship Preview

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