Who is Going to Win the NBA Finals?

Who is Going to Win the NBA Finals?

by Ernest Ronk

The NBA might have more talent from top to bottom right now than at any time in its history. There is also a bigger gap between the best teams in the league and the worst teams in the league than there ever has been. Star players are jetting the teams that drafted them to join already great teams for a better chance at winning. Some people think this is practice indicates a lack of loyalty. Others think that it’s good business to try and win and promote your personal brand simultaneously.

Every team is doing their best to build a super team. The salary cap is doing its best to keep parity in the league, but it can only do much when a team is prepared to pay the luxury tax. The two biggest superteams in the league right now are the teams that met in the NBA Finals last year, The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State had the best regular season record in NBA history, but they were upset by the Lebron James-led Cavaliers in Game 7.

That was the second year in a row that those two teams collided in the championship. Just about every basketball expert thinks that it will happen again this year. It stands to reason. The Warriors only got better as they added former MVP Kevin Durant to their team in the offseason. This acquisition might make Golden State the most potent offense in league history if they can gel.

The Cavaliers roster didn’t change much over the summer. They do have the best player in the league, though. Their balanced offense and veteran experience combined with the talent of Lebron should help them win the Eastern Conference this year. If I were a betting man, I would bet that these two teams will be battling it out again next June.

There is one sleeper in the West that I think could upset the Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs. The team has one of the best coaches in NBA history, Greg Poppovich. They lost legendary PF Tim Duncan to retirement, but the team won 67 games last season with him playing sparingly. They then went on to replace him with Pau Gasol who, despite Duncan’s career contributions to the team, is an upgrade at this point in his career.

The Spurs are an even better team than they were last year. It is Kawhi Leonard’s team now. The fact that they are already familiar with each other and are so well-coached could give them a chance to upset the Warriors in the playoffs. It is unlikely, though.

The only real contender against the Cavs for the East crown is the Boston Celtics. They are a young team even with the addition of veteran big man Al Horford. I think they are still a few years off from being a contender for the best team in the NBA thanks to their youth. They also have a great young coach in Brad Stephens.

The Golden State Warriors are the odds on favorite to win the NBA championship this year. It’s hard to imagine a team right now that could beat them in 4 games out of 7. They will win, of course, barring any major injuries during the season. The only team that has a legitimate chance to beat them out is Cleveland.

Who is Going to Win the 2017 Super Bowl?

Who is Going to Win the 2017 Super Bowl?

by Ernest Ronk

The 2017 Super Bowl only has a few teams that have a true chance of winning, and this article explains how you may select the team that is most likely to win. Your review of the teams in contention will remind you that the NFL is quite talented even though there are a handful of teams at the top of the heap. Consider which team you believe has the finest opportunity to win, and you may watch to learn if you were correct.

#1: New England Patriots

It is a fact that the Patriots are well within their rights to claim a spot in contention for a championship. They may have something fall in their way as they go, but they are a very good team that is quite well coached. Tom Brady has proven to be hot after coming off his suspension, and the defense is playing extremely well. All the stars have aligned for the Patriots again to make a run at a Super Bowl.

#2: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have a right to be here solely because their offense is so good. They have set the record for receiving yards in a game when Julio Jones went over 300, and Matt Ryan looks quite efficient in the pocket. The defense has improved, and they have a young head coach in Dan Quinn who knows what he wants from the team. The combination of a young coach and offensive talent will go quite a long way for this team.

#3: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys has Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dex Bryant. They do not need much else because their offense is so good. They will start to plow through teams week after week without a thought as the young offense gets better, and there are many who believe the Cowboys may have reconfigured their big three just as they did with Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith.

#4: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will be a very good team for a long time simply due to Russell Wilson. He is quite talented, and he has a good supporting cast around him. The supporting cast has gone a long way to helping him achieve his goals of winning a Super Bowl, and they are now in contention every year. The defense is quite good, and Russell Wilson runs an office that is extremely efficient.

#5: Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could be on his way to a stellar career that may include an appearance in the Super Bowl this year. He has come out of the gate very strong, and he is proving that rookies are capable of offering good performances to their teams. They may not be the best team in the league, but they are very solid because of Carson and his performance under center.

Choosing the proper team to win the Super Bowl requires quite a lot of work on the part of the handicapper. You must ensure you have selected wisely from the list of teams available, and you must watch for any change in their status. The team that wins the Super Bowl will do so with a combination of talent and luck. Each of the five teams listed has enough talent to win a Super Bowl, but they must have enough luck to perform well. Anyone who wishes to place bets on the Super Bowl must keep each of these things in mind as they make their selections. You will do quite well to bet on a team that has proven through eight weeks that it may contend for the Lombardi Trophy.

Biggest Surprises of the 2016-17 NFL Season

Biggest Surprises of the 2016-17 NFL Season

by Ernest Ronk

With the sixth week down in the 2016-17 NFL season and the seventh on the way, there have been a couple of surprises. Teams that usually aren’t on top have fallen into the playoff picture and teams that were once on top have fallen to the bottom. With the first month down and the second coming fast, here are the top surprises of the season so far.

Matt Ryan Emerges As The Early MVP Front Runner
There has been quite a bit of trash talk about this 31-year-old quarterback this off season, but Ryan has since then silenced those trash talkers by playing at an MVP-caliber level. During the first month of the season, he leads the Atlanta Falcons at a 3-1 start and has completed 72.1% of his passes for 1,473 yards, 11 touchdowns, only two interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 126.3.

The Carolina Panthers Are Coming Out On The Bottom
Last season’s undefeated Carolina Panthers were the team to look out for at the beginning of this season, but as it pans out, they look nothing but mediocre. They have already lost more games this season than they did last season in 2015. With their struggling offensive line and Cam Newton being out due to a concussion he suffered from in Week 4, they could wind up missing the postseason in 2016.

The Minnesota Vikings’ Success
Despite being without quarterback Teddy Bridgwater, running back Adrian Peterson and left tackle Matt Kalil to season-ending injuries, the Vikings somehow have managed to stay undefeated. Their defense is being considered as being in the same class as the Broncos and Seahawks, and their offensive has the potential to get even better as the season goes on.

The Los Angeles Rams Are A Legitimate Playoff Contender in 2016
This may shock a lot of football fans, but The Rams are becoming a serious contender for the playoffs this session; despite their awful loss in week one, 28-0, to the 49ers. After that loss, they then countered it by winning three games in a row, some of the top Super Bowl contenders in the league.

The Cleveland Browns Lead, The League In Rushing Yards
It may be funny to say, but it is true. Despite being win-less and being well on their way to the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft; The Browns somehow lead the league in total rushing yards after four weeks.

Jimmy Graham Is Playing As His Old Unstoppable Self
From 2011-14, Graham looked to be unstoppable with 355 caught passes for 4,396 yards and got 46 touchdowns, but once New Orleans willing parted with him, it looked as if Graham didn’t mesh with the Seahawks as much as he did with The Saints. There was even talk of him being put on the trade market this off season. He is now proved to be completely healthy and in the fourth week, he became the first tight end in Seahawks history to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. As his game begins to pick up with Russell Wilson, the offense of the Seasons will be difficult to contain.

With nearly the first half of the NFL season coming to an end, there are much more surprises to come and more game-changing things to happen.

MLB Season Predictions

MLB Season Predictions

by Ernest Ronk

Here at More Than Just a Game we love sports. With spring training coming to a close and the start of the season a week away we thought this was a perfect time to offer up some predictions on the 2016 MLB season.

Here is a few sentences about every team. I used the Vegas over/under win totals and used the PECOTA and Fangraphs projections.

NL East
New York Mets – 88

The two experts disagree here. Fan graphs likes the Mets for 88, while Pecota is pencilling in 91.

Washington Nationals – 87

Both sites think this number is dead on.

Miami Marlins – 80.5

This seems to be a popular sleeper pick. Fan graphs sees them getting to .500, but Pecota thinks they come up short of the over/under.

Philadelphia Phillies – 66.5

This number is probably dead on. This is a team trying to build from the ground up.

Atlanta Braves – 65

Both sites see this team with 68 wins. It’s a full rebuild going on here.

NL Central
Chicago Cubs – 89

The Cubs brought in Jason Hayward and Ben Zobrist to add to an already impressive hitting lineup. Pecota has them for 92 wins while Fangraphs likes them for 94.

St. Louis Cardinals – 87.5

The Cardinals always over achieve, so it’s never a surprise that both projections show them coming up 4-5 wins short. St. Louis lost two top players in Jason Hayward and John Lackey.

Pittsburgh Pirates – 87

The run probably stops here for Pittsburgh. Neither site thinks another 90 win season is in site. Both have them 3-4 wins under the mark.

Milwaukee Brewers – 71.5

Who knows about this team. Fan graphs doesn’t think they get to 71, while Pecota likes them to go over by six.

Cincinnati Reds – 71

No Chapman. No Frazier. No improvement. Both sites thinks Vegas is close.

NL West
San Francisco Giants – 90

Neither projection thinks the Giants get to 90. The signing of Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto bolsters and already solid rotation, but Fangraphs only sees 85 wins and Pelota likes them for 87.

LA Dodgers – 87

The Dodgers lost a stud in Zack Greinke, but did add Scott Kazmir. Still, Pecota has them for 94 wins while Fangraphs projects 91.

Arizona Dbacks – 84.5

They made a splash by stealing Greinke away from the Dodgers, but neither site seems them making the jump past 80 wins.

San Diego Padres – 74

Fan graphs thinks Vegas is dead on, while Pecota believes it’s a 77 win season. Losing Craig Kimbrel, Justin Upton, and Ian Kennedy spells trouble for me.

Colorado Rockies – 68.5

Is there some value in the over here? Both sites have the Rockies at 74.

AL East
Toronto Blue Jays – 87

This is a small lean towards the under with both sites thinking 87 is high. There is plenty of offense, but not a lot of improvement.

Boston Red Sox – 85.5

Signing Dave Price should help their rotation. Both projections think this team will be improved and go 3-5 wins over their total.

NY Yankees – 85

This number looks dead on. An already exception bullpen added Aroldis Chapman.

Baltimore Orioles – 80.5

Another one Pecota sees as being off. They have the O’s at 72 while Fangraphs has a more generous 78.

Tampa Bay Rays – 78

Here’s a sleeper. Both sites see them going over. Fan graphs by four, but Pecota by a whopping 13. Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison, Brad Miller, and Steve Pearce were all brought in.

AL Central
KC Royals – 87

The Royals might be the best under bet on the board. Neither site thinks Kansas City gets to 80.

Detroit Tigers – 85

A lot of big money was spent here. Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmerman got paid, but can they deliver? Neither site thinks they get above .500.

Cleveland Indians – 84

Don’t sleep on the Cleveland Indians according to Pecota. They have them going over by 8. I don’t know if I like that since there aren’t any big additions.

Chicago White Sox – 80.5

I like the addition of Todd Frazier, but both sites see this projection as dead on.

Minnesota Twins – 77.5

This total is probably about right, even though the Twins did add Byung-ho Park. He’s a Korean slugger who hit 105 home runs the last two years.

AL West
Texas Rangers – 86

This total seems high as both sites like the under by 5 wins.

Houston Astros – 85.5

There might be some value in the over here. The young core should only improve and both sites like the over.

Seattle Mariners – 83

A new manager but the Mariners probably will still find themselves right around .500.

LA Angels – 82.5

Pecota doesn’t love the Angels. Fan graphs thinks this number is about right.

Oakland A’s – 75.5

The A’s probably won’t be very good, but Fangraphs thinks they go over by 3 wins.