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World Champion Sports Handicapper, Michael Blake, has been handicapping football, basketball and baseball for 20 years. He has made his clients a considerable amount of money over the years with his sports picks; as he preaches money management and patience. Blake feels you can make money betting on sports if you stick with him over the long haul. He doesn’t believe in get rich-quick schemes but in long-term money management.


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2016 National League East Predictions 4/1/16

Baseball

2016 National League East Predictions As expected, the Senior Circuit’s World Series participant came from the East. Quite unexpectedly, though, it was the Mets representing and not the heavily favored Nationals. It appears that it’ll be a two-team race this season, as the Braves and Phillies are in rebuilding mode, while the Marlins teeter on the border between success and rebuild again. Washington Nationals Washington woefully under performed last year, despite the valiant efforts of Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer. Injuries had a lot to do with it, but former manager Matt Williams lost this squad early on and never got them back. Enter Dusty Baker, a notorious player’s manager who has some outstanding regular seasons under his belt.  The rotation will challenge that of the Mets, though they aren’t as talented at the back end. Scherzer and Steven Strasburg are dominant; a full season from the latter is a necessity, though, if he wishes to cash in during the next offseason.  Gio Gonzalez, Joe Ross, and either Tanner Roark or Bronson Arroyo will back them up, and young buck Lucas Giolito isn’t far behind.  The bullpen is average at best, and the Nats couldn’t find any takers for closer Jonathan Papelbon’s attitude and contract. Losing Drew Storen stings, as there is no longer a clear back-up. The lineup is talented, but very brittle. Moving Ryan Zimmerman to 1B is just the latest effort to keep him in the lineup. Fear not, as he’s certain to find the DL again this year. LF Jayson Werth is certain to join him at some point. 3B Anthony Rendon missed half of...

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2016 American League West Predictions 3/30/16

Baseball

2016 American League West Predictions Texas dominated the division last year; the STATE of Texas, as the Rangers and the Astros both made the playoffs in a shocker of a season for both squads.  The Rangers rode the backs of some crafty veterans while the ‘Stros relied on an outstanding youth movement to become the new face of what rebuilding can do. Houston Astros The Astros had one of the biggest turnarounds in league history, improving by a whopping 35 games over the past two seasons. Relying on an outstanding farm system rather than expensive free agents, second year manager AJ Hinch has the luxury of coaching a young, very talented squad who should only improve. The outfield of Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, and George Springer is fast and will cover a ton of ground, while Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve will be two of the best middle infielders in the game; Correa could be an MVP candidate as soon as this year – this year’s version of Trout and Harper. Springer is ripe for a monster breakout season; expect .280/.370/.550 with a couple dozen steals and solid power tossed into the mix for the budding star. The corners of the infield are the team’s Achilles heel. Luis Valbuena and Jon Singleton possess nice power, but strike out far too much and could struggle to hit .225. The pitching staff is strong from top to bottom, especially in the bullpen where newly acquired closer Ken Giles will be an upgrade, as he allows Luke Gregerson to shift back to a set-up role. Will Harris and Tony Sipp will handle...

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2016 American League Central Predictions 3/30/16

Baseball

2016 American League Central Predictions The AL Central is enjoying a nice rebirth; they’ve represented the American League in three of the past four World Series and possess some of the brightest and more exciting young stars in the game. Don’t be surprised to see the trend continue, as the East & West don’t appear to have the same balance as some of the squads in the Central do. Kansas City Royals Kansas City was the first non-AL East team to win the Series in ten years, and it wasn’t a fluke.  Their success can be measured in three simple words; defense, speed, and bullpen.  Should be much of the same this year as the entire lineup is back and intact, and the bullpen remains deep and powerful.  They completely overpaid to keep leader Alex Gordon on the roster, but continuity on a team like this speaks volumes – especially with the rest of division improving behind them. The lineup is loaded with clutch hitters, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see slight declines from Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales though both should still be solid.  The rotation is questionable at best; it’s time for Yordano Ventura to become the ace that they sorely need. FA Ian Kennedy is in dire need of a career rebirth; he is just one of a slew of reclamation projects slated to start for KC.  If they can, however, simply make it through six innings, the #1 bullpen in the league will slam the door shut more often than not, though the trade-off of injured Greg Holland for the inconsistent Joakim Soria weakens...

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2016 American League East Predictions 3/30/16

Baseball

2016 American League East Predictions The former ‘Beast’ of Major League Baseball has quickly sunk into mediocrity.  Parity in the game, along with a substantial luxury tax, has handcuffed some of the elaborate spending habits that used to dominate the division.  That being said, it should be an interesting race that comes down to the final week or so of the season. Toronto Blue Jays Toronto should be the team to beat despite some concerns in the rotation. Marcus Stroman has the stuff to be an ace at the top, but the rest of the staff is old (R.A. Dickey), inconsistent (Marco Estrada & J.A. Happ), or unproven (any fifth-starter candidate).  The good thing? This team will be able to out-score just about anyone – and two of their top sluggers are playing for contracts.  Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will probably combine for 80-ish HRs and 220 RBIs as they set their sights on big bucks.  Toss in the defending MVP, Josh Donaldson, and perennial MVP candidate Troy Tulowitzki and the Jays will should slug their way to the playoffs. Health will be key, however, as all but Donaldson have an injury history (as does 2B Devon Travis, a key cog to the infield and lineup).  There isn’t much quality depth, and any injury to one of the stars could prove extremely costly. Take the Blue Jays over 87 wins (-115) Boston Red Sox Boston made the biggest splash in division, bringing in perennial Cy Young contender David Price in to anchor a shaky rotation, and top closer Craig Kimbrel to finish games.  Price is fantastic for the...

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Georgia vs Florida Free Football Pick 10/30/15

College Football

Georgia vs Florida Free Football Pick Date/Time: Saturday, October 30 3:30 pm ET TV: CBS College Football Betting Line: Florida -2.5, O/U 48 The top two teams in the Eastern division of the SEC square off in what might be the most important game of the season for both teams. The Bulldogs started the season off with four easy wins against inferior foes before they ran into an Alabama team that was coming off a critical loss. Georgia’s QBs were only able to connect on 11 passes for 106 yards as the Tide secondary clamped down on Georgia’s receivers. While the offense got back on track against Tennessee the following week, it was the defense that gave up 519 yards and 38 points in the team’s second consecutive loss. After disposing of Missouri 9-6 in a defensive battle, the Bulldogs got a much needed week off to prepare for this key battle. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators surprised a few teams by rolling over six straight opponents, including then #3 ranked Ole Miss 38-10. The winning streak came to an end after the Gators headed into Baton Rouge where the LSU Tigers took the Gators to task with a 35-28 victory. Over its last five games, the Gators have proven to be very one-dimensional on offense with a running game that has only averaged 89 YPG. They too have had an extra week to prepare for this showdown. It’s quite apparent that both teams have issues with consistency and come into this game evenly matched on paper. The difference in the game might come down to the revenge factor. Last...

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Tennessee at Alabama Free Pick 10/23/15

College Football

Tennessee at Alabama Date/Time: Saturday, October 23 10:30 pm ET TV: CBS College Football Betting Favorite: Alabama -16.5, O/U 52.5 The Volunteers just might be the best 3-3 team in the country. The team’s three losses have come by a total of 12 points to two top 20 ranked teams in Oklahoma and Florida plus a surprising loss to Arkansas at home when the offense was held to two field goals in the second half. They rebounded from that loss with a terrific 38-31 victory over then #19 ranked Georgia, using 519 yards of total offense to dominate the game. With the offense now moving in the right direction, the bye week came at the perfect time, allowing them two weeks to prepare for the hottest team in the country. After starting the season with two solid victories, Alabama ran into an inspired Mississippi team that handed them a shocking home loss 43-37. Like all great teams, Bama did not take well to dropping out of the top 10 and proceeded to start steam rolling opponents, including then #8 ranked Georgia in Georgia 38-10 and last week’s beating of #9 Texas A&M 41-23. Best of all, the team is playing like a Sabin team with an explosive rushing attack and a defense that simply refuses to budge. The Crimson Tide are surely aware that #5 LSU is coming to town next week for a huge SEC showdown. After an emotional win over Texas A&M, this game sets up as a classic “sandwich” game. No one is suggesting the Volunteers will march into town and give the Crimson Tide a...

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San Francisco 49ers Predictions 9/4/15

NFL, NFL Previews

2015 San Francisco 49ers: 4th NFC West (2014 record: 8-8) Head Coach: Jim Tomsula NFC West Division Odds: +1800 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +5000 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 6.5 (+130), Under 6.5 (-160) Key Additions: Reggie Bush (RB), Torrey Smith (WR) Key Losses: More than half of the starting defense, Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, Frank Gore (RB) The 49ers offseason can be summed up in one word; ugh. It seemed like another starter was either traded or retired every day for about a month straight at one point. Add to it the imploded relationship between Harbaugh and the front office, and the disaster that was the 2014 season looks to have sent the Niners spiraling into full rebuild mode just two years after reaching the NFC Championship game. Defense Unbelievably, San Francisco lost six starters from this unit in the offseason, and the replacements that were brought on board don’t even come close to the level that departed. On the line, draftee Arik Armstead and the regressing Darnell Dockett appear to be the front runners to start alongside the underwhelming Glenn Dorsey. The linebacking corps will get NaVorro Bowman back, but one has to believe that his knee will never be the same after the gruesome injury he suffered to it. Corey Lemonier is going to be given one more shot; he’s been an annual disappointment. Aldon Smith returns as well, but one has to wonder how long he’ll be able to stay out of trouble. He’s saying and doing all of the right things in camp, so perhaps he’s finally grown up. The secondary lost two...

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St Louis Rams Predictions 9/4/15

NFL, NFL Previews

2015 St Louis Rams Predictions: 3rd NFC West (2014 record: 6-10) Head Coach: Jeff Fisher NFC West Division Odds: +700 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +3500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8 (+130), Under 8 (-160) Key Additions: Jimmy Graham (TE), Cary Williams (CB), Frank Clark (DE/OLB) Key Losses: Byron Maxwell (CB), Max Unger (C), Malcolm Smith (LB) Key Additions: Todd Gurley (RB, Nick Foles (QB), Nick Fairley (DT), Akeem Ayers (LB) Key Losses: Sam Bradford (QB), Zac Stacy (RB), Jake Long (OT), Joseph Barksdale (OT) The Sam Bradford saga finally came to an end, as the Rams finally tired of his inability to stay healthy and shipped him Philly for Nick Foles. But that was the least of the Rams worries last season, as the annual lack of a consistent running attack again doomed them. The defense held up their side more often than not, and will again be counted on to carry the team due to some new offensive challenges. Defense The latest edition of The Fearsome Foursome makes the line of the Rams, again, one of the best in the league – and if they get the Nick Fairley who is interested in playing football rather that loafing about, they’ll be even better. The returning Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and Aaron Donald will continue to be stellar against both the run and the pass. Those five linemen will continue to make the secondary look very good, and they aren’t terrible in and of themselves. CB Janoris Jenkins did struggle a bit last season, but he’s now fully recovered from a knee injury and should...

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Arizona Cardinals Predictions 9/4/15

NFL, NFL Previews

2015 Arizona Cardinals Predictions: 2nd NFC West (2014 record: 11-5) Head Coach: Bruce Arians NFC West Division Odds: +450 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +2500 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 8.5 (-105), Under 8.5 (-125) Key Additions: Jimmy Graham (TE), Cary Williams (CB), Frank Clark (DE/OLB) Key Losses: Byron Maxwell (CB), Max Unger (C), Malcolm Smith (LB) Key Additions: Mike Iupati (OG), DJ Humphries (OT), Sean Weatherspoon (LB) Key Losses: Antonio Cromartie (CB), Dan Williams (NT) Again, it was a tale of two halves for the Cardinals in 2014, just like the previous year. Last season, however, a fast start was destroyed by the loss of their top two QBs as both Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton were injured. The defense just couldn’t keep enough points off of the board and a disappointing first-round loss to Carolina couldn’t be avoided. The o-line was improved so we’ll see if improved protection can keep Palmer on the field this year. Defense The Cards defense performed admirably last year, holding their opponents to 20 points or less in a fantastic thirteen games. Unfortunately, they lost key members in Williams and Cromartie and didn’t make significant upgrades in deficient areas. Cromartie actually outplayed Patrick Peterson last year, but Peterson was dealing with some health issues that have since been resolved. He should be back to his top shelf self. Unfortunately, there is nobody to play alongside him, and the roster is paper thin at the position. Safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Deone Bucannon, though very young, should be improved after experiencing some growing pains last year. A replacement for the mountainous Williams wasn’t found...

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Seattle Seahawks Predictions 9/4/15

NFL, NFL Previews

2015 Seattle Seahawks Predictions: 1st NFC West (2014 record: 12-4) Head Coach: Pete Carroll NFC West Division Odds: -500 Super Bowl Champion Odds: +300 Season Win Totals Over-Under Odds: Over 11 (-125), Under 11 (-105) Key Additions: Jimmy Graham (TE), Cary Williams (CB), Frank Clark (DE/OLB) Key Losses: Byron Maxwell (CB), Max Unger (C), Malcolm Smith (LB) The Seahawks were one bone-headed play call away from becoming the first repeat NFL champion in a decade. Instead, they had to travel back to Seattle with their tails tucked between their legs and find a way to recover from that inexplicable gaffe. Enter TE Jimmy Graham, a perfect complement to the offensive weapons that remain in place. Defense The squad that limited the opposition to just under seventeen points per game returns almost completely intact. The lone exception is the tradeoff of former Eagle Cary Williams for Byron Maxwell at corner. They’re very similar, but nobody will notice because the rest of the secondary is dominant; nobody can match the triumvirate of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas. The rest of the defense returns and is equally outstanding – and they get a (literally) big piece back from a late-season injury. DT Brandon Mebane missed the last couple of months and the playoffs with a bad hammy; Carolina and Green Bay were able to run successfully in his absence, and he’ll be a welcomed returnee. The Hawks also added another pass rushing threat by drafting Frank Clark for some added depth. Nobody was able to step in for Michael Bennett when he was injured against the Pats and it was...

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