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Alan Matthews Writer Bio and Archives

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Alan Matthews is a University of Miami graduate and former small-college basketball player before moving on to the "U". He was a sports journalist, covering most major professional team beats at one point or another, at a several newspapers throughout the Northeast for nearly 20 years. Alan has been a full-time freelance writer for the past five-plus years. His favorite sporting memory -- participatory version -- is playing in pickup games against several ex-NBA players at an adult fantasy camp and fairly holding his own. From a fan perspective, the top memory was attending Super Bowl XX when the Super Bowl Shuffle Chicago Bears of the Punky QB, Sweetness and the Fridge took New Orleans by storm and still had enough in the tank to pummel the New England Patriots for what remains the franchise's only Super Bowl title.


Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward

NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, March 28 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/27/2015

I'd like to say there are some great NBA matchups opposite the NCAA Tournament's two Elite Eight games on Saturday. I'd like to tell you that. But there's only one game between teams both in the playoffs right now, and I have a feeling the visitor in that one is going to be less than full strength. Probably the biggest story line of the night is that Portland faces Denver for the first time since acquiring Arron Afflalo from the Nuggets for a bunch of garbage and a protected 2016 first-round pick at the trade deadline. Here's a look at each matchup.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, March 28 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

San Francisco Giants Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner

2015 San Francisco Giants Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/27/2015

Let's go ahead and cut to the chase: No team has repeated as World Series champion since the Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000, and the Giants aren't going to do it this year -- not simply because it's an odd-numbered year. True, I don't think many people had the Giants winning it all last year, either. They finished 88-74, six games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and had to travel to Pittsburgh, one of the majors' best teams at home last year, for the wild-card game.
Read more about 2015 San Francisco Giants Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 27 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/26/2015

The great thing about there being just the one NBA game on Thursday night is that you don't have to worry about any back-to-backs on Friday and thus possibly some guys sitting out for rest (although then some teams play again Saturday). The clear game of the night is Golden State at Memphis, although in reality it means nothing for the Warriors because they are going to clinch the top seed in the West probably by the end of the weekend. The Grizzlies perhaps need to make a statement in this one after getting routed by Cleveland on Wednesday. Here's a look at every game -- lot of home dogs.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 27 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Indians pitcher Corey Kluber

2015 Cleveland Indians Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/26/2015

Are you one of those believers in the Sports Illustrated cover jinx? If you are, then the Cleveland Indians will not be winning the World Series this year and might actually be a disaster. To be fair, the Indians are on one of four regional covers this week, but it asks: "Why Cleveland? Why Not Cleveland? Why The Tribe Will Win Its First Series Since 1948." The cover boys are reigning AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and outfielder Michael Brantley.
Read more about 2015 Cleveland Indians Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista

2015 Toronto Blue Jays Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/26/2015

In determining a schedule for these 2015 MLB season previews, I was going off the list of World Series odds at Sportsbook.ag, working my way from the bottom up. Thus, I almost accidentally overlooked the Blue Jays because their World Series odds were much shorter than currently, with a season-ending injury to presumed ace pitcher Marcus Stroman inflating those odds and dropping the Jays down the pack.
Read more about 2015 Toronto Blue Jays Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Montrezl Harrell Louisville Cardinals Basketball

NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three Final Sweet 16 Opening Lines
by Alan Matthews - 3/25/2015

It's been a great college basketball season, and I close my writing part of it with this preview of the final three Sweet 16 games in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night. I now have a new Bovada prop that's my favorite for the rest of the Big Dance: Will a team with an animal mascot win it all? “Yes” is -400 and “no” +250. I would certainly think yes because you have two Wildcats (Kentucky, Arizona), a Badger (Wisconsin) and a Bulldog (Gonzaga). Those are four of the top five favorites along with Blue Devils (Duke), which I guess aren't animals.
Read more about NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three Final Sweet 16 Opening Lines.

PGA Golfer Jim Furyk

PGA Tour Picks: Valero Texas Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 3/25/2015

I'm happy to eat a little crown when necessary. I would have bet anyone who offered $100 at 500/1 odds last week that Matt Every wouldn't win the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill over a strong field. There was NO chance of that with the way Every had played since his surprise win a year ago.
Read more about PGA Tour Picks: Valero Texas Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions.

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige

NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three More Interesting Sweet 16 Opening Lines
by Alan Matthews - 3/24/2015

I still claim that UCLA doesn't belong in the NCAA Tournament, but the Bruins are the only double-digit seed left among the Sweet 16. I expect that mini-run to come to an end in Friday night's first game as it faces Gonzaga. The Bruins are the longest shots on the board to win the NCAA Tournament, listed at +10000 on Sportsbook.ag. The Zags are at +1500. The team with the second-lowest shot behind Kentucky is one that I think has been most impressive and should win Thursday: Arizona.
Read more about NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three More Interesting Sweet 16 Opening Lines.

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, March 25 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/24/2015

Very busy NBA schedule on Wednesday because there's only one game Thursday night opposite the start of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (thus no opening line report NBA story previewing that day). Clearly the best NBA matchup of the night is Cleveland at Memphis in a potential NBA Finals preview. Both seem likely to finish with the No. 2 seed in their respective conferences. A Cavs-Grizzlies finals is priced as the fourth-favorite on Sportsbook.ag at +700.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, March 25 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

San Diego Padres relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit

2015 San Diego Padres Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/24/2015

I was a fan of the Padres when Tony Gwynn was on the team because Gwynn was such an amazing hitter and nice guy whom I was able to meet once. But since Gwynn retired, I'd argue that the Padres have been the most bland franchise in baseball. Seriously, name me a star on that franchise since (Ken Caminiti? Come on!). Name me five players off last year's club that finished 77-85. It was San Diego's fourth straight losing season and eighth in a row missing the playoffs.
Read more about 2015 San Diego Padres Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan

NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, March 24 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/23/2015

This is my first time writing an NBA story since hearing of the news that Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant has had a setback and now is out indefinitely as he continues to have soreness in that surgically-repaired foot. What a shame! I really wanted to see a first-round Western Conference playoff matchup between No. 1 Golden State and No. 8 Oklahoma City, with the Thunder at full health. Now I'd be shocked if Durant plays this season as there are just too many risks when dealing with that type of foot injury.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, March 24 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead
by Alan Matthews - 3/23/2015

I follow the NHL pretty closely as you might imagine, but I probably couldn't name you more than five Ottawa Senators off the top of my head. It's just such a non-descript franchise. However, the Sens have my attention right now as they are the biggest story in the NHL.
Read more about NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead.

Wichita State's Fred van Vleet

NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three Interesting NIT/NCAA Tournament Opening Lines
by Alan Matthews - 3/23/2015

It's my final week of doing these daily college basketball stories for this season. I will hit on every NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game between now and Wednesday (two today, three Tuesday and three Wednesday) while also including one NIT game from Tuesday night. The ACC is the big winner by far in the Big Dance with five teams remaining, with at least one guaranteed a spot in the Elite Eight because Louisville and NC State play one another. The ACC could earn as much as a record $40 million in this tournament for its members depending on how it plays out.
Read more about NCAA Basketball 3-Point Play: Three Interesting NIT/NCAA Tournament Opening Lines.

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Saturday
by Alan Matthews - 3/20/2015

Here's hoping your bracket isn't totally busted following Thursday's epic first round of the Big Dance. The big losers, easily, were the state of Texas and Big 12. Supposedly the Big 12 was the best conference in the nation. I felt it was overrated, and that's looking accurate for now as No. 3 Baylor, No. 3 Iowa State and No. 11 Texas all lost. The Lone State State's five teams -- also SMU, Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin -- each lost. Time to look forward to spring football in that state. Here's a look at three Round of 32 games Saturday that caught my eye.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Saturday.

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah

NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, March 21 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/20/2015

A rather bland NBA five-game schedule on Saturday as it's definitely overshadowed by the first games of the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. However, one of those NBA games I do want to see is the last of them (10:30 p.m. ET) as Utah visits Golden State. Sometimes defense can be interesting to watch, and that will be on display here. The Jazz have been by far the NBA's best defensive team since the All-Star break, while Golden State leads the NBA with a defensive efficiency rating of 97.6 points allowed per 100 possessions. Guess which way I'll be leaning on the "over/under'" in that one? Here's look at each game.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, March 21 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis

2015 Baltimore Orioles Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/20/2015

Not to ruin the anticipation of reading my picks at the bottom of this story, but I expect very little from the Baltimore Orioles this season. Then again, I didn't expect a ton last year, either. All the Orioles did was win 96 games and their first AL East title since 1997. I didn't expect Baltimore to beat Detroit in the ALDS, that's for sure, since the Tigers had former Cy Young winners Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and David Price lined up to start the first three games. So of course the Orioles swept, although it was largely the Tigers' bullpen that failed, not those three.
Read more about 2015 Baltimore Orioles Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Marcus Thornton Georgia Bulldogs

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Friday
by Alan Matthews - 3/19/2015

It's Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament's first round on Friday as by around midnight or so we will have our Round of 32 set. I put a few potential Top-4 seeds on upset alert: No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 UC Irvine, No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Valparaiso and No. 3 Oklahoma against No. 14 Albany. I happen to think the Cardinals and Sooners, in particular, are overrated. While those are nice matchups, here are three others that caught my eye on another spectacular day of hoops.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Friday.

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 20 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/19/2015

The NBA is point guard-driven league these days. There will be few better individual matchups at that position than you will see Friday night at Staples Center. Washington's John Wall is generally considered the fastest point guard in the league, while the Clippers' Chris Paul is the best defensive player at that position. Those two face off for the last time this season, barring an unlikely NBA Finals matchup, in one of the better games Friday. Here's a look at every game on the schedule opposite the final first-round day in the Big Dance.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 20 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Nic Moore SMU Mustangs Basketball

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday
by Alan Matthews - 3/18/2015

It's one of the best sports days of the year on Thursday as the NCAA Tournament begins in full with games from noon to past midnight. As one who works from home, I certainly enjoy having live sports action going on during the day. Alas, it also makes me want to head to the sports pub (or Las Vegas). I'll likely be previewing many Kentucky games during the Big Dance, but I'll pass on Thursday's matchup against No. 16 Hampton because that clearly will be a slaughter. At Bovada, UK is +110 to win the tournament and -140 not to.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday.

Gordon Hayward (C) of Utah Jazz

NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, March 19 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/18/2015

With the NCAA Tournament kicking off in full on Thursday, it's a light four-game schedule in the NBA and no TNT doubleheader this week as that network is also college basketball focused for a while. The game of the night, in my opinion, is the ghastly matchup between the Knicks and Timberwolves, the teams with the worst records in the NBA. The loser could be the big winner, potentially holding a key tiebreaker by the end of the season for the most ping-pong balls in the draft lottery. Here's a look at all four games.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, March 19 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.


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