Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ouch. ESPN takes a jab at the Terps

Trying to get my impressive "Streak for the Cash" run up to two consecutive successful picks, I was perusing the options for tonight's action at ESPN.com and found one item particularly amusing/sad.


That's scrunched to fit, but what you're being asked to pick is which total will be greater: UNC's margin of victory or Greivis Vasquez' total of points PLUS assists. ESPN was so giddy about this hilarious option that they named it the "Progressive Matchup of the Day." So ... I guess that's something to be proud of, Terps fans.

The Streakers for the Cash (that sounds bad) are overwhelmingly liking Greivis' chances on this one, as right now just a hair over 75 percent of the players who picked in that matchup went with the feisty Venezuelan. But are they right to do so?

At first it seems like a pretty big slap in the face that this is an option at all, but then you consider that Greivis is averaging 16 and 5, AND that the Heels are laying 21.5 points to the Terps. And that's before you look at this miserable box score and realize that if they had run the same matchup in the Maryland-Duke game just 10 days ago, Maryland's point guard would have fallen juuuust short ... by 36.

Do I think the Terps lose by 41 tonight? No. And honestly if I was going to bet on this game (which I highly advise against) I'd take the Terps to beat the spread. But even if they DO beat the spread it could still be hard for Vasquez to put up the numbers required to get him the win in this made-up matchup.

As for my Streak for the Cash, tonight I'm taking the well-rested and red hot Dallas Stars to beat the Northwest-leading Calgary Flames, who will be playing on the road for the second night in a row and could be resting starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. (Although you should probably never assume Kipper is taking a night off. He's started 46 of Calgary's 49 games this season and he's played more than 90 percent of the team's games since the start of the 2005-2006 season.)

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