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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.


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton

Monday Night Football Predictions: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Odds & Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/19/2014

There have been a lot of duds on “Monday Night Football” this season, but thankfully ESPN has saved the best for last with a potential AFC Playoff preview between the Broncos and Bengals in the Monday finale of 2014. It's a very important game to both division leaders.
Read more about Monday Night Football Predictions: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Odds & Picks.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

Free Expert NFL Picks: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/18/2014

Huge game in the NFC on Sunday night this week with the top seed in the conference likely on the line when Seattle visits Arizona. The Cardinals (11-3), by some minor miracle, have the best record in the NFC. They are in the playoffs no matter what -- remember, the Super Bowl is in the Cardinals' stadium this February. Arizona clinches the NFC West and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (literally in this case) with a win.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Odds and Predictions.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, December 19 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/18/2014

Don't be surprised if you see a trade by the end of Friday -- especially by Houston. I won't go into full detail, but essentially a player acquired by trade can't then be re-traded for two months. Dec. 19 is important then because two months after is Feb. 19. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 20. The Rockets have an $8.4 million trade exception they want to use but then still have the option to potentially flip said player before the deadline.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, December 19 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant

NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, December 18 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/17/2014

I almost didn't miss weeknight college football this week because the NBA had such great matchups. There was Golden State at Memphis on Tuesday, then the Grizzlies at Spurs on Wednesday. No offense to Memphis, however, but the Grizzlies aren't all that exciting. Thursday's TNT late game between Oklahoma City and Golden State should be terrific television between high-scoring teams and two of the league's premier players.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, December 18 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies

NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, December 17 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/16/2014

I liked Milwaukee's Jabari Parker to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award before this season began, but his chances of doing so likely will be determined by the results of an MRI on Tuesday. He has a knee injury, and at least X-rays were negative. That often doesn't mean much, however. Parker was hurt in Monday's win over Phoenix, and the team is hoping it’s just a minor sprain and he misses a few games. Here's a look at every game on Wednesday's schedule, with Nets-Raptors and Rockets-Nuggets on ESPN and available for live betting at WagerWeb.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, December 17 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins

Free Expert NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/16/2014

Philadelphia can't clinch a playoff spot with a win in Washington on Saturday afternoon (yes, Saturday), but if the Eagles lose they are on life support to make it to the postseason. Philly (9-5) is a game behind Dallas for the NFC East lead after losing at home to the Cowboys in Week 15. If the Eagles beat Washington this week and then win at the New York Giants next, they only need Dallas to lose to Indianapolis on Sunday or in Week 17 at Washington to win the division.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Odds and Predictions.

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston

NFL Football Predictions: Week 16 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/16/2014

We didn't have a single playoff spot wrapped up entering Week 15, but now four clubs are in: New England, Denver and Indianapolis clinched their respective division titles while Arizona clinched at least a wild-card berth. The four teams to have qualified through Week 15 is the second-fewest number since the field expanded to 12 in 1990. Depending on what happens this week, all four NFC division crowns could be up for grabs entering Week 17 for the second year in a row. That has never happened in back-to-back seasons in a conference dating to the merger.
Read more about NFL Football Predictions: Week 16 Opening Line Report and Picks.

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry

NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, December 16 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/15/2014

What more do the Golden State Warriors have to do to become the Western Conference betting favorites at Sportsbook.ag? Golden State enters a huge matchup in Memphis on a 16-game winning streak yet still remains the +300 second-favorite to win the conference title behind San Antonio (+250). I mean, I get that books list prices mainly on what will draw the most action, but come on! That Warriors-Grizzlies games is on ESPN As is Thunder-Kings. Here's a look at every matchup.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, December 16 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Jamaal Williams BYU Cougars

NCAA Football Predictions: Bowl Week Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/15/2014

Thank you Marcus Mariota! I dropped a few dollars on Mariota's Heisman chances before this season, and it paid off nicely Saturday night when he became the first Oregon winner of college football's top award. It was one of the biggest landslides in Heisman history and well deserved if you ask me. He won't be back at Oregon next season, so we again won't have a repeat Heisman winner. The Heisman was really the only college football note of importance last week, although Navy won its 13th straight game over Army, 17-10. It was only the third time in that winning streak that the Midshipmen didn't beat their rivals by double digits.
Read more about NCAA Football Predictions: Bowl Week Opening Line Report and Picks.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby

NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead
by Alan Matthews - 12/15/2014

I mentioned last week when Ottawa fired head coach Paul MacLean that on any short list of the next coach to go had to be Edmonton's Dallas Eakins. I just didn't expect that to come true so quickly. Eakins was fired Monday, with general manager Craig MacTavish to serve as the interim coach until handing over the job to Todd Nelson, who will be promoted from Edmonton's AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City and learn under MacTavish's wing for a while.
Read more about NHL Hockey Odds and Picks: Scouting the Week Ahead.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

Monday Night Football Picks: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/12/2014

Earlier this week, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said he thought that this Saints-Bears matchup between 5-8 disappointing teams should be taken off “Monday Night Football”. I tend to agree even though New Orleans could be in sole possession of first place in the NFC South by Sunday evening. Alas, the NFL doesn't do flex scheduling for the Monday game, only the Sunday night ones. Marshall doesn't have to watch. He's out for the season after suffering rib and lung injuries last week against Dallas, ending his streak of consecutive 1,000-yard seasons at seven.
Read more about Monday Night Football Picks: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Odds.

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul

NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, December 13 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/12/2014

It's the most depressing Saturday since August from a sports betting perspective this week as the college football regular season has concluded -- well, you still have Army-Navy if that's your thing. The good news is that the NBA can partially fill the void with a 2 p.m. ET tip between Golden State and Dallas, which should be a great, high-scoring game. The Warriors look like the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls right now -- that historic team also started 19-2. Here's a look at every game on Saturday's schedule.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Saturday, December 13 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant

Free Expert NFL Picks: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/11/2014

With all due respect to Broncos-Chargers or 49ers-Seahawks or whatever game you want to give me, the clear top matchup of Week 15 is the Sunday night NFC East showdown between Dallas (9-4) and Philadelphia (9-4) for first place in the division. Guarantee you it draws the most betting action of the week and does monster ratings because that's just what Dallas does -- especially when good.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Odds and Predictions.

John Wall of the Washington Wizards

NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, December 12 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/11/2014

Busy schedule on Friday night with 12 games on the NBA schedule. WagerWeb is offering live betting on the two ESPN games: Portland at Chicago and L.A. Lakers at San Antonio. Doesn't it bother you that the Lakers are on national TV so much? Were the television executives not aware of how bad that team was going to be this season? I guess it's still entertaining to see Kobe Bryant shoot 30 times a game and make about 10 of them. Here is a look at every game on the schedule with several key injuries to monitor.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Friday, December 12 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, December 11 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/10/2014

It's one of those games you circled on the NBA schedule back in the spring in the TNT opener on Thursday night as the Magic-Bird rivalry of this generation is renewed for the first time this season when LeBron James and Kevin Durant square off. Certainly they could meet in the NBA Finals for the second time as the Cavaliers now look like the East's best team while the Thunder are climbing the Western Conference standings since Durant's return from a broken foot. Here's a look at that game and the TNT nightcap, the only two games on Thursday's schedule.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Thursday, December 11 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin

NFL Props Odds and Predictions: Head Coaching Specials
by Alan Matthews - 12/10/2014

If you read my stuff here regularly at Doc's, you know I love head coaching props from Bovada. Alas, I haven't hit on them much this season. However, with the NFL season in the homestretch, the site has released a handful on the futures of some embattled coaches. Each prop asks if he will be the head coach of his current team for Week 1 next season. I'll examine one by one. Bit surprised that the Jets' Rex Ryan isn't on that list, but I suppose it's because it's such a sure thing he's not back.
Read more about NFL Props Odds and Predictions: Head Coaching Specials.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

NFL Football Predictions: Week 15 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 12/9/2014

I have no statistical proof, but in my memory I can't recall a season that entered Week 15 without a single playoff spot clinched in the NFL. That's truly amazing. I do expect that to change this week when three of the four AFC divisions can be clinched with a win by favorites Indianapolis, New England and Denver (only road team among the trio) -- also the three-best teams in the conference, no doubt. However, and unfortunately, the big story in the NFL this week won't be huge divisional games between San Francisco-Seattle and Dallas-Philadelphia, but instead the Bengals-Browns matchup at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Read more about NFL Football Predictions: Week 15 Opening Line Report and Picks.

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, December 10 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/9/2014

So, Golden State ownership is looking rather smart right now for getting rid of successful head coach Mark Jackson and replacing him this offseason with Steve Kerr, who had zero coaching experience. The Warriors are a sick 18-2, making Kerr the second coach in NBA history to win 18 of his first 20 games. The other was Al Cervi of the 1949-50 Syracuse Nationals, and that team finished 51-13 and reached the NBA Finals. Kerr is your clear Coach of the Year favorite. The Warriors go for their 14th straight win Wednesday. Here's a look at every game.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, December 10 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.

Free Expert NFL Picks: Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 12/9/2014

It's the penultimate Thursday night NFL game of the 2014 season, and you might want to enjoy the Cardinals-Rams matchup because we are stuck with the worst Thursday game of the year in Week 16: Titans-Jaguars. I suppose that has 2015 draft ramifications, but that's about it.
Read more about Free Expert NFL Picks: Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams Odds and Predictions.

Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, December 9 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/8/2014

Since the last time I wrote one of the stories, the Philadelphia 76ers won not just once but twice to avoid tying an NBA record with a 0-18 start. I'm not even sure the Sixers are the worst team in the NBA right now. That designation has to go to the utterly disappointing Detroit Pistons. I was in the camp that thought the Pistons would be fighting for a playoff spot under new coach/team president Stan Van Gundy, but they are 3-18 and enter Tuesday's game on a 12-game losing streak.
Read more about NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, December 9 Opening Line Report and Handicapping.


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