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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.


Geno Smith, New York Jets quarterback

Monday Night Football Predictions: Chicago Bears at New York Jets Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/19/2014

When seeing the Bears would play the Jets in the 2014 season, you just knew it was going to be a prime-time game with the NFL's two biggest media markets facing off (since L.A. still doesn't have a team). I am fascinated to see how these teams react in Monday night's game. Chicago is coming off an incredible high in last week's big upset in San Francisco, while the Jets are probably still kicking themselves for blowing a great upset chance in Green Bay.
Read more about Monday Night Football Predictions: Chicago Bears at New York Jets Odds & Picks.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday September 20, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/19/2014

I don't know what to say about the Oakland A's at this point. They were just swept three games by the Texas Rangers, the worst team in baseball. Entering Friday, the A's are 11-25 since Aug. 10 when they led the AL West by four. Blame the offense. Everyone lauded Billy Beane's trade for Jon Lester, but he only helps once every fifth day.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday September 20, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning

Free Expert NFL Picks: Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/18/2014

It's a game we all circled when the NFL schedule came out months ago as Denver visits Seattle on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch that should draw monster ratings for CBS. What, are you going to watch Chiefs-Dolphins or 49ers-Cardinals instead? Those are the other two late-afternoon starts. In all honesty, Broncos-Seahawks really isn't that important this early in the year. Sure, you want to win every game to get the top seed in your conference, but if you are going to lose the best possible scenario is an out-of-conference game.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks Odds and Predictions.

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday September 19, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/18/2014

I hear some people say that baseball's regular season should end in late August so it doesn't interfere with football season. I respectfully disagree. Look at a day like Friday where you have five live baseball betting options at Bovada: Dodgers at Cubs, Blue Jays at Yankees, Red Sox at Orioles, Rangers at Angels and Giants at Padres. I'm guessing all those games will be more exciting than the college football matchup between UConn and South Florida. Just saying.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday September 19, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Blue Jays starting pitcher R. A. Dickey

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday September 18, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/17/2014

I am interested to see how the Los Angeles Angels play things out over the final nine games or so of the regular season. Do they keep pushing to ensure that top overall seed in baseball -- remember, the AL hosts the World Series -- or do they prefer to rest guys and not care all that much were Baltimore to catch them for that No. 1 seed? It's an interesting choice for Mike Scioscia. I'm a believer that if you are playing well you keep going, but at the same time make sure your rotation is set up for that first playoff series.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday September 18, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco

NFL Football Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/16/2014

It's just about impossible to start 0-3 in the NFL and make the playoffs as just three clubs have done it since 1990 and none since the 1998 Buffalo Bills, who were quarterbacked by Doug Flutie (and Rob Johnson). You know it's been a long time if I'm using the words Bills and playoffs in the same sentence. Thus, it's must-win time for these 0-2 clubs in Week 3: the Giants, Buccaneers, Saints, Colts, Jaguars, Raiders and Chiefs.
Read more about NFL Football Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday September 17, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/16/2014

The Los Angeles Angels clinched their first playoff berth since 2009 on Monday night, baseball's first team to officially make the postseason. L.A. also appears a lock to win at least 100 games, which no team has done since 2001. However, not all the news was potentially good for the Halos. Here's a look at their game Wednesday, in which they could clinch the AL West, and four other interesting matchups.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday September 17, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Milwaukee Brewers Starting pitcher Wily Peralta

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday September 16, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/15/2014

It's that time of year where we have to start looking at magic numbers, and as many as three teams could clinch playoff berths this week with the Angels on the verge of clinching the AL West, the Orioles the same in the AL East and the Nationals in the NL East. How interesting would an Orioles-Nationals World Series be considering those two are still battling it out in court over a dispute about rights fees from the MASN TV network.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday September 16, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Quarterback Nick Marshall of the Auburn Tigers

NCAA Football Predictions: Week 4 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/15/2014

Pretty solid Week 3 on my NCAA picks even though Kentucky nearly made me look like an idiot as I expected the Gators would crush the Wildcats. Instead, it took UF three overtimes to avoid a huge home embarrassment. A loss there would have all but guaranteed that Will Muschamp was a goner after the season. I did call Houston covering at BYU in a bit of a letdown game for the Cougars as well as writing this about East Carolina-Virginia Tech, a letdown game for the Hokies :"I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see an outright ECU win here." The Pirates did.
Read more about NCAA Football Predictions: Week 4 Opening Line Report and Picks.

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles

Monday Night Football Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts Odds
by Alan Matthews - 9/12/2014

Well, you have to figure that Eagles coach Chip Kelly knows as well as anyone how to try and defend Colts quarterback Andrew Luck -- not that anyone has had much success at it yet. Of course, Kelly's Oregon Ducks and Luck's Stanford Cardinal faced off three times during Luck's career on The Farm, with Oregon winning the final two meetings.
Read more about Monday Night Football Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts Odds.

Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday September 13, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/12/2014

What a scary sight Thursday night at Miller Park in Milwaukee as Miami Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton was hit in the face with a pitch by the Brewers' Mike Fiers (I recommend not watching the video). Stanton was carted off on a stretcher, and that injury surely will end his season and officially hand the NL MVP Award to Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Stanton wasn't the only one plunked on Thursday. Here's a look at five interesting games on Saturday with two other injuries involving HBP.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Saturday September 13, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday September 12, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/11/2014

Perhaps you are one of those old-school types of people where you believe that MLB should never have added a wild card in each league, much less two. And that's fine. But look at the schedule this third-to-last weekend of the regular season, and nearly every matchup has some sort of playoff significance. I only see three series on the slate that don't: Marlins-Phillies, Twins-White Sox and Padres-Diamondbacks. Here's a look at five interesting matchups on Friday.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Friday September 12, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

Free Expert NFL Picks: Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/11/2014

It's never too early to think about potential playoff ramifications in the NFL, so Sunday's matchup between the 1-0 Lions and 1-0 Panthers could be important down the road as a possible tiebreaker for seeding or even a wild-card spot.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers Odds and Predictions.

The San Francisco Giants' Angel Pagan

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday September 11, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/10/2014

We all know there is no crying in baseball -- thank you, "A League of Their Own" -- but there is definitely tanking in baseball. And you are going to start seeing it as teams jockey to finish with one of the 10 worst records to avoid having to cough up a first-round pick to sign a top-tier free agent. Several guys already have been or will be shut down very soon on teams that have no chance at contention and would benefit by losing.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Thursday September 11, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour golfer.

FedEx Cup Picks: Tour Championship Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/10/2014

Alas, it appears I will make it through the entire PGA Tour season without picking a single winner --after four last year -- unless I can nail one of the 29 guys in this week's season-ending Tour Championship. That's not to say it hasn't been a successful season. Done very well on Top-10 finishes and head-to-head results. In all honesty, it's not usually a smart bet to wager on one guy to win a tournament. Too hard to do. But I'll keep on going into next season.
Read more about FedEx Cup Picks: Tour Championship Odds and Predictions.

Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger

NFL Football Predictions: Week 2 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/9/2014

Pretty solid opening week of the NFL season from a betting perspective. I looked at six games in the Week 1 Opening Line Report, and I only face flopped on two of them: Chicago losing straight up at home to Buffalo -- which I know ruined some Survivor and Confidence Pools -- and Tampa Bay somehow losing at home to a Carolina team that started Derek Anderson at quarterback. Here's a look at a few games and opening lines that caught my eye for Week 2.
Read more about NFL Football Predictions: Week 2 Opening Line Report and Picks.

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday September 10, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/9/2014

At what point do we start talking about how epic the collapse of the Milwaukee Brewers has been and where that fits in baseball annals? I mean, are we in the ballpark of the 1969 "black cat" Chicago Cubs? The Brew Crew led the NL Central all year but now enter Tuesday having lost 11 of 12. The NL Central rice is probably over, and the team doesn't seem likely to even grab a wild card. Ron Roenicke could go from potential Manager of the Year to unemployment. Stunning.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Wednesday September 10, 2014 Opening Line Report.

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill

NCAA Football Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/8/2014

If you are a fan of the Big Ten in football, all I can say to you is my condolences. There will not be a Big Ten team in the first College Football Playoff. That's just fact after what happened this past weekend. Michigan State's defense was shredded at Oregon, but at least the Spartans didn't embarrass themselves. They played pretty well for a half.
Read more about NCAA Football Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks.

Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels

Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday September 9, 2014 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 9/8/2014

Just in case your team already has been eliminated from the playoffs, the 2015 baseball schedule already has been released. This is why MLB just doesn't get it. It should make the schedule a big release after the season like the NFL and NBA do. The 2015 baseball season will begin a week later than this year, on Sunday, April 5.
Read more about Five to Follow MLB Betting: Tuesday September 9, 2014 Opening Line Report.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning

Monday Night Football Predictions: New York Giants at Detroit Lions Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/5/2014

I'm sure New York Giants fans already have booked airfare and hotel rooms to the greater Phoenix area for the first weekend of February. That, of course, is where Super Bowl XLIX will be played. Fans of Big Blue are giddy because the Giants were 5-0 this preseason, the team's first unbeaten preseason since 2006. I can't tell you how little that means. Last year, for example, the Redskins were unbeaten when it didn't count and won three when it did.
Read more about Monday Night Football Predictions: New York Giants at Detroit Lions Odds & Picks.


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