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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.


Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 6 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/5/2015

Honestly, if I'm the Atlanta Hawks then I'm happy to lose Friday's home showdown with Cleveland in the game of the night in the NBA (sadly not on national TV). The Hawks are the first team to clinch a playoff spot and are going to be the East's top seed without question. What they need is to have Cleveland finish with either the No. 2 or 3 seed as opposed to the No. 4 to avoid the Cavaliers until potentially the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs remain the -180 East favorites at Sportsbook.ag with the Hawks next at +280. I think Cleveland will get to No. 2.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, March 6 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

The Kansas City Royals Jeremy Guthrie

2015 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/5/2015

It was the best season for the Royals in more than a generation in 2014 as Kansas City earned a wild-card spot with an 89-73 record for its first playoff berth since 1985, ending the longest drought in the major leagues. The team did it with the best bullpen in the major leagues, perhaps the best defense and an old-school offense that ranked dead last with just 95 home runs but first in stolen bases and in fewest batter strikeouts. The Royals just got on base and created havoc. And when they had the lead entering the seventh inning, the game was essentially over.
Read more about 2015 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson

PGA Tour Picks: WGC-Cadillac Championship Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 3/4/2015

I was very happy to see good-guy Padraig Harrington win the Honda Classic on the first stop of the PGA Tour's Florida Swing at PGA National. I had mostly forgotten about the multiple-time major championship winner. He beat rookie Daniel Berger in a Monday playoff at the Honda, site of his first PGA Tour victory a decade prior. It was Harrington's first win since he won the 2008 PGA Championship only a few weeks after taking the British Open. Harrington, who lost his Tour card last year, needed a sponsor's exemption just to play the Honda. He won't have to worry about an exemptions for a while now.
Read more about PGA Tour Picks: WGC-Cadillac Championship Odds and Betting Predictions.

russell westbrook

NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, March 5 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/4/2015

It's the second week in a row where we are given only the two TNT games on the NBA schedule for Thursday, but again they are good matchups with all playoff teams. We had another coaching firing Tuesday in Denver's Brian Shaw. That should be it for the firings this season, but what's interesting in Thursday's Thunder-Bulls matchup is that I could easily see both OKC's Scott Brooks and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau elsewhere next season. Brooks might get the blame if the Thunder don't have a good playoff run, while Thibs just doesn't get along with the Chicago front office.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, March 5 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Treveon Graham VCU Rams Basketball

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday
by Alan Matthews - 3/4/2015

Davidson's basketball program is probably best known as the alma mater of likely 2015 NBA MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. He led the Wildcats to the regional final of the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Davidson didn't return to the Big Dance until 2012 and was back in '13 but missed out last year. The school has big one at home against Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday night to help boost the Wildcats' at-large chances for this March. Davidson is the type of well-coached club no Power 5 team would want to face in the first round. Here's a look at that game and two others that caught my eye.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday.

Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan

NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, March 4 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/3/2015

As usual, a very busy Wednesday schedule in the Association with 26 teams in action. Three matchups clearly stand out as potential playoff previews: Cavaliers-Raptors, Grizzlies-Rockets and Trail Blazers-Clippers. That latter game is nationally televised on ESPN as is, unfortunately, the Lakers at Heat. Guess ESPN wasn't able to change that one. Hornets-Nets also could have some importance down the line in terms of playoff tiebreakers at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Here's a look at every game.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, March 4 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez

2015 Miami Marlins Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 3/3/2015

Because I try to be a glass half-full guy, let's first look at what went right for the Marlins last season in their 77-85 campaign. The team was in the wild-card hunt into September and had a 15-win increase from 2013. Young slugger Giancarlo Stanton led the National League with 37 homers and was second with 105 RBIs. Youngsters like Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Adeina Hechavarria all showed signs of being very good major-leaguers. Pitcher Henderson Alvarez had his best year and proved he could be a good No. 2 to ace Jose Fernandez.
Read more about 2015 Miami Marlins Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Bryce Alford UCLA Bruins

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

I'm going to be leaning mostly home favorites this week because I believe those regular-season home finales -- Senior Night -- are always great value. It's an emotional night, and the players don't want to blow it in their senior teammates' final game at home by losing, especially if it's a game where potential seeding for the conference tournament is involved or, more importantly, to gain the NCAA Tournament selection committee's attention. Two bubble teams play their home finale on Wednesday in UCLA and Tulsa. Here's a look at those and one other matchup that caught my eye.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Wednesday.

DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento Kings

NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, March 3 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 3/2/2015

Did you happen to watch Friday's Oklahoma City game against Portland? Red-hot Russell Westbrook took a knee to the face from teammate Andre Roberson. It left Westbrook with a very freaky-looking dent in his face. He underwent surgery on Saturday to repair a fractured cheek bone, and the team will re-evaluate him this week to determine when Westbrook can return. Currently he is +450 to win the NBA MVP Award at Sportsbook.ag but obviously more multiple games missed severely hurts his chances. Steph Curry remains the -220 favorite. Here's a look at Tuesday's schedule.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, March 3 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Tuesday
by Alan Matthews - 3/2/2015

It's time for your updated Sportsbook.ag odds on whether Kentucky will run the table through the NCAA Tournament. An impressive win Saturday over ranked Arkansas has “yes” that UK will finish with a zero in the loss column at +150. “No” is -185. Tuesday is a big night because it's Kentucky's final true road game of the season as the Cats visit a good Georgia team. I'd argue this will be UK's toughest game until probably the Sweet 16. Here's a look at that matchup and two others that caught my eye.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Tuesday.

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead
by Alan Matthews - 3/2/2015

The biggest injury by far this NHL season occurred last Tuesday night in Chicago when Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was checked into the boards by Florida's Alex Petrovic. It clearly was a bad injury with the way Kane skated off the ice, and the Hawks got the bad news on Wednesday as Kane underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his left clavicle. He is expected to miss 12 weeks, which obviously means the rest of the regular season and at least the first two rounds of the playoffs should Chicago advance.
Read more about NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead.

Branden Dawson Michigan State Spartans Basketball

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Sunday
by Alan Matthews - 2/28/2015

Can you believe that this Sunday is the second-to-last one of college basketball's regular season? I certainly can't. Only two weeks until Selection Sunday. With Wisconsin's loss earlier this week to Maryland, I think the Badgers' chances of getting a No. 1 seed are all but gone -- barring a collapse down the stretch by Virginia, Duke or Gonzaga. Kentucky will be a No. 1 no matter what. The Badgers can wrap up the Big Ten regular-season title Sunday as they try to avoid their first losing streak of the season. Here's a look at that matchup and two others that caught my eye.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Sunday.

Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks

NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, February 28 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/27/2015

I want to hit on something that has nothing to do with Saturday's games but that I'm hugely in favor of and that Mavs owner Mark Cuban said this week many owners are as well: stretching the regular season a few weeks. We all know that the month of July is the worst from a sports betting perspective. Why not have the NBA Finals at least in the first week of the month? July 4 could become a big-time NBA night.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, February 28 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Saturday
by Alan Matthews - 2/27/2015

There were dozens of nice matchups to choose from on a huge Saturday of college basketball action. But as usual I will look at Kentucky's march to history as the Cats face a ranked team for the first time since winning at Louisville in their nonconference finale. UK's unbeaten odds have taken a slight shift since their win Tuesday. The Wildcats are now +180 at Sportsbook.ag to run the table all the way through the Big Dance and -225 not to. Here's a look at that game and two other Top-10 teams potentially on upset alert Saturday.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Saturday.

Coco Crisp Oakland Athletics

2015 Oakland Athletics Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 2/27/2015

The Oakland A's were quite an interesting team in 2014. They were the best club in baseball for the first half, entering the All-Star Break at 59-36 and with a run differential of plus-145 that was nearly double the second-best team. Oakland is a small-market team, but aggressive General Manager Billy Beane made a big trade in early July, sending the team's top two prospects, shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Billy McKinney, to the Cubs for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.
Read more about 2015 Oakland Athletics Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

Andre Iguodala of Golden State Warriors

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, February 27 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/26/2015

This late in the season, I figured every NBA coach was safe from being fired until the offseason. I mean, what's the point of dumping a guy with only 25 games left or so? Now I'm not so sure, mostly about Washington's Randy Wittman, a guy who has had only one good season there. His Wizards are in a complete tailspin and I might start getting my references ready if I'm Wittman. Especially is his team loses at Philly on Friday. Here's a look at every game on the schedule.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, February 27 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish

2015 Texas Rangers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
by Alan Matthews - 2/26/2015

The Texas Rangers entered last season having won at least 90 games each of the previous four years and fully expecting to again in 2014. After all, the Rangers had made two big offseason additions, trading second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Prince Fielder, one of the top sluggers in baseball, and signing big-money free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. I certainly thought the Rangers would be in the mix in the AL West again.
Read more about 2015 Texas Rangers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series.

PGA Tour player Keegan Bradley

PGA Tour Picks: The Honda Classic Odds and Expert Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 2/25/2015

The 2014-15 golf season had largely seen well-known players -- at least to those who follow the sport a bit more than casually -- win the tournaments thus far. That changed last week on the final leg of the California Swing, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera outside Los Angeles.
Read more about PGA Tour Picks: The Honda Classic Odds and Expert Predictions.

stanford cardinal basketball

NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday
by Alan Matthews - 2/25/2015

Only four ranked teams in action on Thursday, and all four should have little trouble winning, although I suppose Memphis could knock off visiting No. 21 SMU. Thus, I'm taking a look at three unranked NCAA Tournament bubble teams on Thursday's schedule. All three are at home against teams they should beat -- and they will need to with the regular season coming to a close a week from Sunday. Neither Temple nor Purdue nor Stanford is winning its conference tournament, so only an at-large bid will get them in. Here's a look.
Read more about NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Thursday.

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors

NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, February 26 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/25/2015

Just the two NBA on TNT games on this Thursday's schedule, but they are pretty big ones. There's a potential NBA Finals preview between the Warriors and Cavaliers in Cleveland to open the doubleheader. That is the +300 favored exact Finals matchup on Sportsbook.ag. Then the Thunder visit the Suns in the nightcap as those two are fighting for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. I fully expect Oklahoma City to take that no matter how long Kevin Durant is out.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, February 26 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.


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