August 28

Barcelona crisis deepens as they lose again

first_imgBarcelona slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Valencia at the Camp Nou to open up the race for the Spanish title.Barca’s third successive La Liga defeat, the first time the Catalans have suffered three straight league defeats for 13 years, means Luis Enrique’s side only lead second-placed Atletico Madrid on the head-to-head with five games of the season to go.Valencia, with Shkodran Mustafi outstanding at the heart of the defence, soaked up early Barca pressure before taking the lead on 26 minutes when left-back Guilherme Siqueira’s shot took a sizable deflection off Ivan Rakitic and flew past goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.Playing for the half-time whistle, Los Che then suddenly stepped up the pace as Daniel Parejo slid in Santi Mina to sweep home from the left channel for his fifth goal in seven matches.Barcelona, who haven’t turned round a 2-0 half-time deficit at Camp Nou since 1947, were handed a crumb of hope on 63 minutes when Lionel Messi broke a 550-minute goal drought from Jordi Alba’s drilled cross from the left.It was the Argentine’s 500th career goal, and 450th in the colours of Barcelona. But Valencia, superbly organised by caretaker coach Pako Ayestaran, held on and could even have extended their lead in the final moments had club captain Paco Alcacer not got his feet in a mess when unmarked in front of goal from Rodrigo’s cross..  –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

August 16

3M Open daily fantasy golf picks, sleepers, fades, strategy

first_imgI doubt very many DFS players will be thrilled to roster Tony Finau for a hefty price after three straight missed cuts, but he may be worth the risk. His recent struggles should keep his ownership very low, and he’s more than talented enough to do damage in this field. Finau is not a flash in the pan, having had plenty of success on the PGA Tour well before this season. Furthermore, Finau has only missed one other cut in 18 tries this season outside of this slump, not to mention three solo No. 2 finishes, an additional top-10 finish, and five other top-25s.While Finau may continue to slide, his track record suggests otherwise. Slumps don’t last forever, and I will side with his longterm results over one poor stretch. Finau is likely to fly completely under the radar this week due to a double dose of recency bias. That should lead to especially low ownership and particularly appealing leverage.Aaron White graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Economics. He has played DFS professionally for several years and has won featured NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and golf GPPs on both FanDuel and DraftKings. After a surprising result at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week, this week’s inaugural 3M Open presents a fantastic opportunity to pounce on inefficiencies created by recency bias.Last week featured not only a shocking winner in Nate Lashley, but also a finish in which none of the four runaway odds leaders placed in the top 10 — and only 1 in the top 25. Two of those four missed the cut, including Dustin Johnson, who was the odds leader by far at 15.4 percent. MORE ROTOQL: Lineup BuilderThe field for the 3M Open has a similar look to that of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, with a few elite golfers at the top followed by a steep dropoff. Due to the ineffectiveness of a strategy built around high-priced golfers last week, I think expensive premier golfers will see an unjustified dip in ownership this week due to recency bias.This can be leveraged by targeting a studs-and-duds approach, and investing heavily in some of the best golfers in the field.*If you are interested in taking your DFS golf lineup building strategy to the next level, you should consider using a lineup optimizer, and RotoQL offers the best optimizer available in the industry.3M Open picks and PGA DFS strategyTarget GolfersBrooks KoepkaIt’s hard to characterize a golfer who leads the field in odds as under the radar, but I don’t think Koepka will be as popular as he should be this week. With 11.8 percent odds, Koepka essentially fills the role Johnson played at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Given Johnson’s monumental flop, I think many DFS players will hesitate to roster the most expensive golfer available. Also working against Koepka is his tied-for-57th finish in his last tournament, the Travelers Championship.Of course, preceding that was a solo second-place at the U.S. Open. But given his price and his most recent result, one could dissuade players from using him. Ultimately, if Koepka is on his game, there’s no golfer in this field who can compete with him, even despite the presence of a few other stars. Koepka’s raw odds combined with lower-than-deserved ownership make him an unmatched play this week.Jason DayDay is one of the few other golfers in the field who’s in Koepka’s stratosphere, and yet I also anticipate lower ownership than what some may expect for him. At such a high price, Day will see slightly diminished interest due to recency bias — just like Koepka — despite having played quite well recently. However, what may keep Day’s ownership down even more is focus on alternatives in his price range. Hideki Matsuyama has been more consistent than Day and is priced similarly, while Bryson DeChambeau has been just as good and is cheaper.I expect both to carry more ownership than Day. With DFS players struggling to find cheap value plays, even options like Patrick Reed, who is certainly a step down from Day, could be higher-owned for no reason other than the discount he offers. Of the four runaway odds leaders in this week’s field, Day will likely be the least-owned. Leverage the opportunity and grab some exposure.Tony Finaulast_img read more

January 18

Rockets hope Paul can escape bad luck and help team to title

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next After signing Paul to a four-year, $160 million extension in the offseason, the Rockets hope the bad luck ends this year and he’ll help them to their first title since 1995.“Chris deserves a championship,” Fertitta said. “It is time. But luck is luck and it just takes a little luck in sports. You have to set yourself up to be one of the best and then you need a few things to fall into place.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe Rockets led the Warriors 3-2 in the conference finals last season before Paul’s season ended with a hamstring injury in Game 5. Golden State won the next two games to advance to the Finals and go on to win the title.Paul scoffed at the notion that his ill-timed hamstring injury was the worst thing that’s happened to him. “(Paul’s) had a remarkable career, so I don’t know how bad of luck it is,” D’Antoni said. “Just sometimes at the end of a season it doesn’t quite work out. Steve Nash was that way where he had just weird stuff happen. It happens.”“But you keep knocking on the door and eventually it will (open),” D’Antoni continued.So, does Paul spend a lot of time sitting around thinking about what might have been if he’d been healthy for those last two games last season?“It sounds crazy but unfortunately I’ve had a lot of different adversities and challenges and whatnot,” he said. “And I know it sounds cliche, but it only made me stronger mentally and everything like that. So for me … I don’t even think about it now.”As the owner of Golden Nugget casinos across the country, Fertitta knows a thing or two about luck. He also knows about heartbreak as a sports fan after cheering on the Houston Oilers for years only to see them fall short of winning a title again and again before leaving for Tennessee.“The Oilers kept trying to kick the door down and it never happened,” he said wistfully.That doesn’t mean he isn’t optimistic that it’s time for the tide to turn for Paul, who is entering his 14th NBA season. But Paul doesn’t think of it that way. Of course, his goal is to win a title and put his years of coming up short behind him. He just doesn’t see it as him being due for some good fortune.“Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen and if that’s the bad luck that I’ve had there’s some people who have had a lot worse luck than I’ve had,” he said. “So, for me … whatever happens you move on and you go to the next thing.” Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Staying home Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul (3) poses for a photographer during media day Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)LAKE CHARLES, La. — Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said this week that his team was a “hamstring” away from the Western Conference title last season.The hamstring he was referring to was Chris Paul’s, with the injury the latest setback for the point guard whose illustrious career at times has seemed cursed.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIES “If that’s the toughest thing, then I’m living a real good life,” he said. “But it’s definitely up there as far as basketball goes, as far as not being able to influence the outcome. If that doesn’t do something to you then you’re in the wrong profession.”But that disappointing end to Paul’s first season in Houston was far from the first time things have gone awry at the worst times for the nine-time All-Star. He was dogged for years about his inability to escape the second round of the playoffs after making nine trips to the postseason without ever reaching the conference finals before finally breaking through with the Rockets last season.Paul looked sure to advance in 2015 when he and the Clippers were up 3-1 over the Rockets in the conference semifinals. But they were routed in Game 5 before squandering a 19-point second-half lead in a loss at home in Game 6 and being eliminated in Houston in Game 7.No one with the Rockets would go as far as to say that Paul might be cursed, but everyone agreed that he’s had more than his share of bad luck. Coach Mike D’Antoni feels for Paul. But this isn’t the first time he’s worked with a superstar point guard with problems such as these.D’Antoni coached Steve Nash for four seasons on those great teams in Phoenix that were never able to win a title. Nash was named MVP twice, but finished an 18-year career without a ring.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READlast_img read more