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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.


The Kansas City Royals Jeremy Guthrie

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 26, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/25/2014

The 2014 San Diego Padres are one of the least interesting teams in baseball this decade. They are great to bet against and on the "under" because the Padres have what could be a historically bad offense and already have traded two of their best players in third baseman Chase Headley and closer Huston Street. That said, it's worth watching the Padres, and maybe even backing them occasionally, when Cuban Odrisamer Despaigne is on the mound. Here's a look at his matchup on Saturday and four other games.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 26, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/25/2014

I'm not an NFL historian and don't have a week to look this up, but has any team's three straight seasons ended as painfully as San Francisco's past three have? Yeah, don't tell me about those Bills that lost four Super Bowls in a row. They only were in place to win one of those. In 2011, the Niners won 13 games and reached the NFC title game. There's really no way they should have lost to a mediocre Giants team at Candlestick Park, but Kyle Williams picked a bad time to have two fumbles and the Niners lost in OT.
Read more about San Francisco 49ers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski

New England Patriots Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/24/2014

You can't count on much in sports these days, but one thing you can is the Patriots winning at least 10 games. They have every season since 2003, even in 2008 when Tom Brady was lost for the season in Week 1. The only time a Brady-led team has missed the playoffs was in 2002, and that club was a solid 9-7. It's still a minor miracle the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since repeating in the 2004 season.
Read more about New England Patriots Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday July 25, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/24/2014

Even in those years where it's fairly quiet at the trade deadline, which this one might be with so many teams thinking they are still in the playoff hunt, you always see relievers dealt. They are essentially a dime a dozen and generally on fairly team-friendly contracts. Every team needs bullpen help. With that said, the first domino in that market might have fallen Wednesday night when the plummeting Rangers sent closer Joakim Soria to Detroit. Who closes for Texas now? Here's the answer to that and four other interesting matchups on Friday.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday July 25, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday July 24, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/23/2014

With four matinee games on Thursday, it's another one of those days where you will want to monitor which starters might get the day off following a night game before dropping down some money on the early starts. For example, the Red Sox and Blue Jays will play their series finale about 12 hours after Wednesday night's finish.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday July 24, 2014 Opening Line Report.

PGA golfer Justin Rose

PGA Tour Picks: Canadian Open Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/23/2014

As usual, I will take a look back before looking ahead to this week's PGA Tour event, the RBC Canadian Open, and by far my favorite statistic from last week's 143rd British Open was that Rory McIlroy's father made about $150,000 more than Tiger Woods did.
Read more about PGA Tour Picks: Canadian Open Odds and Betting Predictions.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/22/2014

There are six matinee series finales on Wednesday, meaning some starters in those games are likely going to take a seat playing a day game after a night game and then having to travel afterward. The Mets are a good candidate to rest a few guys because after playing in Seattle on Wednesday they have to fly back halfway across the country to open a series in Milwaukee on Thursday night. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on Wednesday's slate.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/21/2014

Another potentially important trade was made over the weekend with the Angels giving up about the only good prospect they had left in the minors as part of a package for San Diego's Huston Street. I believe that solidifies the only major weakness on the Halos and makes them, not Oakland, the favorites in the AL West. The A's remain -250 division favorites with L.A. at +120. The Angels' game with Baltimore on Tuesday will have live betting at Bovada. Here's a look at that and four other matchups.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/21/2014

It's hard not to envy the way the Green Bay Packers go about their business, no matter what team you are a fan of. The Packers are owned by the people, play in the most historic stadium in the NFL and in front of the most rabid fans in the league's NFL's smallest market by far. They almost never make a huge splash in free agency (Reggie White aside), preferring to build from within and the draft and the occasional trade (Brett Favre). It's just a really smart organization.
Read more about Green Bay Packers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 19, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/18/2014

Now that the World Cup is over, the next three Saturdays are pretty empty of sports action other than baseball. Thankfully, NFL teams have begun reporting to camps. MLB graciously has given up four matinee game this Saturday to occupy your day with Rangers at Blue Jays and Dodgers at Cardinals both having live betting available at Bovada. Here's a look at those two matchups and three other interesting ones on the schedule.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 19, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/17/2014

I don't think anyone would argue that the three best teams in the NFL during the 2013 regular season were Seattle, San Francisco and Denver in whichever order you would like to list them. One team beat all those clubs: Andrew Luck's Indianapolis Colts. Luck led the Colts to a second straight 11-5 record and the AFC South title.
Read more about Indianapolis Colts Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/17/2014

I honestly the believe the Saints would have multiple Super Bowl titles, instead of just the one after the 2009 season, if they could play every game indoors like an NBA team. That's basically what the Saints of Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees are: a track meet NBA team, at least offensively. No team is better suited for its home field in the NFL. There's a reason the Saints never lose in the Superdome.
Read more about New Orleans Saints Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday July 18, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/17/2014

Entering the second half of the baseball season we know that the American League will have home-field advantage in the World Series. Thus, you can get a Fall Classic price right now at Sportsbook.ag with the AL as a -115 favorite, although the Series rarely goes seven games these days. The favored World Series matchup by far is Dodgers against A's at +700. I wonder if any of the books might put out a prop on a California team winning the Series against the field. Think I'd take the Golden State. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on Friday.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday July 18, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout

MLB Betting: AL & NL MVP Odds at All-Star Break
by Alan Matthews - 7/16/2014

I didn't do a spring AL & NL Most Valuable Player preview story this season, but you will have to take my word for it that my choices back then were Toronto's Jose Bautista in the Junior Circuit and the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton in the National League. I still have a shot on getting both right, but more so on Stanton.
Read more about MLB Betting: AL & NL MVP Odds at All-Star Break.

Adam Scott of the PGA Tour

2014 British Open Picks with Betting Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/15/2014

Freaking Brian Harman! It looked like my 2014 winner's drought would finally end last week at the John Deere Classic. I went with Zach Johnson, who is from nearby Des Moines. Johnson shook off a recent slump to shoot 21-under, which wins this tournament every other year but three. Alas, Harman was better by one shot to take his first PGA Tour victory in his 88th career start. Some compare Harman (5-foot-7) to Jim Furyk because he's such a little guy who plays gritty golf.
Read more about 2014 British Open Picks with Betting Odds and Predictions.

Chicago Bears QB, Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/15/2014

When the Chicago Bears dumped successful Coach Lovie Smith after the 2012 season despite a 10-6 record, some around the NFL were a bit puzzled that GM Phil Emery replaced Smith with Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. He had been a successful coordinator in the NFL previously, but it seemed like his chance to become a head coach in the league had passed. Plus, it was just very un-Bear like as it's one of the most conservative franchises in the league. It generally hires defensive-minded head coaches and tries to win on that side of the ball. The whole Monsters of the Midway thing.
Read more about Chicago Bears Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/14/2014

Remember that first half of the Philadelphia Eagles' Monday night season opener in Washington last season? The Eagles scored 26 points, put up tons of yards and there were gaping holes everywhere in the Redskins' defense thanks to first-year Coach Chip Kelly's unique up-tempo system. It was a sight to behold, and it looked like the NFL was going to have to adjust or be run over. Well, the Eagles weren't quite the same offense in the second half of the game or the rest of the year for the most part. While Kelly's group did play pretty fast all season, it wasn't quite revolutionary.
Read more about Philadelphia Eagles Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/11/2014

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't had a losing record since 2003, which shows how well-run this franchise is. However, the Steelers finished 8-8 last year for the second straight season, and missing the playoffs in back-to-back campaigns just isn't acceptable in the Steel City.
Read more about Pittsburgh Steelers Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton

Cincinnati Bengals Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures
by Alan Matthews - 7/11/2014

The Cincinnati Bengals should be celebrating probably the greatest three-year regular-season stretch in franchise history. The keywords there are: "regular-season stretch." Cincinnati has gone from nine wins in 2011 to 10 the next year and 11 in 2013, when the team won the AFC North for the first time since 2009. It was the first time in team history it reached three straight postseasons. One could argue the Bengals were the most dominant home team in the NFL last season, blowing out the final five opponents at Paul Brown Stadium to finish 8-0 there, covering the spread in all of them.
Read more about Cincinnati Bengals Odds to Win the Super Bowl and Betting Futures.

adam wainwright

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 12, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 7/11/2014

I can't remember a day like Thursday in baseball in a long time. The Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), Blue Jays (Adam Lind), Cardinals (Yadier Molina) and Reds (Brandon Phillips) all got terrible news on guys they can't afford to lose for an extended period. The beneficiaries of those injuries are clearly the Orioles in the AL East and Brewers/Pirates in the NL Central. If I'm one of those teams, I'm making a trade now because the division is there for the taking. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on Saturday's schedule.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday July 12, 2014 Opening Line Report.


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