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Virginia has gone 4-1 following its last five matchups with Duke and 3-1 following a regular season loss to Duke. The one loss? @ UNC in the 2016-17 season

https://www.theduel.com/posts/6294094-college-basketball-betting-trends-favor-virginia-against-unc
Also, was shocked to see that Virginia has gone just 1-5 against Duke in its last 6 regular season meetings ...
submitted by SportsMonitor to CollegeBasketball [link] [comments]

Free Promo Codes for new Trends Analysis Apps for NBA and NFL

Update: We are out of codes! Thanks for all the response, and I look forward to your feedback. I hope you enjoy a bigger bankroll from using the apps this season! I will be sure to post when we release a new version
We at Bet Smart Media just released 2 new trends analysis apps into the app store yesterday:
Pro Basketball Betting Trends 2012
Pro Football Betting Trends 2012
The NFL one has been picking ATS and O/U at over 62% this season, NBA is going to get more accurate as the season progresses.
We would like to get feedback from the sportsbook community! Message me or reply which products you would like coupon codes for and I will reply with one time download promotional codes for the app store.
If you love the app, please let us know and tell people about it!
If you hate it, let us know. We are working are to make these apps more accurate and easy to use for bettors. Message me your feedback and we will make it happen in the next update.
Thanks!
Note: these apps are also available on Google Play for Android users, but Android does not allow for the generation and distribution of coupon codes. Sorry!
NFL
NBA
submitted by TrendsGuy to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Free basketball picks with betting trends for Sunday

Free basketball picks with betting trends for Sunday submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Free football and basketball picks with betting trends for Wednesday

Free football and basketball picks with betting trends for Wednesday submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Free basketball picks and more with betting trends for Wednesday

Free basketball picks and more with betting trends for Wednesday submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Wednesday College Basketball picks with latest betting trends

Wednesday College Basketball picks with latest betting trends submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Free basketball picks and betting trends for Friday

Free basketball picks and betting trends for Friday submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Tuesday free basketball picks and more with betting trends

Tuesday free basketball picks and more with betting trends submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Thursday basketball picks and more with betting trends

Thursday basketball picks and more with betting trends submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

NBA Basketball ATS Trends: Betting Cheat Sheet (Wednesday, March 13 ) - Sports Gambling Podcast

NBA Basketball ATS Trends: Betting Cheat Sheet (Wednesday, March 13 ) - Sports Gambling Podcast submitted by trex67846 to sportsgambling [link] [comments]

Wednesday basketball picks and more with betting trends

Wednesday basketball picks and more with betting trends submitted by sharpsq to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

What does it take to move up in the draft? An informal analysis

I am open to hearing what you all believe what it takes to move in the draft.
In almost every mock that involves trades we see drastic moves from anxious GMs playing with their fantasy team's monopoly capital. What does it really take to move in the NBA? I'm going to look through several drafts to try to pin down what a star player is worth, what a lottery pick is worth.
We would like to believe that modern GMs understand the value of a pick, and have better people in these multi-billiion dollar companies that keep people from making the same mistakes of old.
Something of note to begin with. It appears that to NBA teams 2nd round draft picks past 50 are worth bags of chips. In basically every situation these picks can be purchased with cash and no basketball capital is generally moved around these spots. Cheaper franchises in playoff positions will routinely sell to any bidder. Past 40 and usually a 2nd round swap in the future will get the job done.
To look at the most recent drafts (2014 - 2019) we saw many trades in the lottery:
2019:
ATL trades NOL :8th, 17th, and 35th for 4 and 57.
MIN trades PHX : 11th and Dario Saric for 6
2018:
DAL trades ATL : 5th and a future top 5 protected 1st for 3rd overall
LAC trade CHA : 12 and two second round selections for 11
PHX trade PHI: 16 and an unprotected Miami 1st for 10
2017:
PHI trade BOS : 3rd overall and a lightly protected SAC first for 1
CHI trades MIN : Jimmy Butler and 16 for 7, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn
POR trades SAC: 15 and 20 for 10
Utah trades : Trey Lyles and 24 for 13
2016:
ORL trades OKC : Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and 11 for Serge Ibaka
PHX trades SAC : Bogdan Bogdanovic, 13, 28 for 8
2015: No lottery transactions
2014:
Three team trade, technically after draft night, but since it involves a number 1 overall, and that is so rare, I felt like including it.
CLE Send/ Receive - Andrew Wiggins (Number 1 overall), Anthony Bennet/ Kevin Love
MIN Send/Receive - protected 2015 Miami First, Kevin Love, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved/ Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thad Young
PHI Send/Receive - Thad Young/ Protected 2015 Miami 1st rounder, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved
ORL trades PHI: 12, a future 2nd rounder, and protected 1st round pick back for 10
CHI trades DEN 16 and 19 for 11
Okay, so that is all of the lottery pick trades from the last 6 drafts. My conclusion is that it generally takes a small kings ransom to move in the lottery at all. The near constant in every trade is that GMs are not moving lottery picks without getting another pick in that same draft back. They are not willing to bet on uncertainties. It might be fair to say that the trades only happen if someone high on their board they predict will drop further, they don't want to unload lotto picks for vets in almost any situation we have seen recently. The teams in the lotto have (probably wisely) by and large gone for betting on youth, the only question is where in the draft they see valuable youth.
The average lottery trade moves for a pick 5 spots lower (2 trades, the Wiggins and Ibaka trades are not included due to not moving down)
So the GMs are usually not willing to budge much down the board, and to budge the most common bargaining chip is a mid draft (15 to 25), or perceived VERY valuable future first (kings pick, miami pick) . So on average to move 5 spots in the lottery you need another pick in the same draft. If you are looking to trade a player to cover that distance, the player had better be a disgruntled all-star, or you need to get lucky and the org is looking for a more established player (Suns/Saric).
One of the more interesting moves imo is the 12 -> 11 move from PHI and LAC. To move up one spot cost 2 decently valued 2nd rounders (no one knew Khwai/PG was gonna be a thing) So 2 seconds projected to likely be 40-50 range, not quite in the fire sale range. This trade also was the only small mover in the back of the lottery. Most trades in the 10-14 range were movements of 5 to 9, the smaller and more expensive moves happened in the 6 to 1 ranges. This trade might inform us how this coming draft could look with many similarly tier prospects that could be ever so slightly out of reach for a team. Additionally, if you ever believed that 2K trades were realistic, this data shows that second rounders don't mean shit for lottery trades. No one cares when you move more than 1 spot.
If you break down other trades, such as the Trey Lyles for Mitchell trade, when you see players moved with picks to get into the lottery they are often recent lottery or fringe lottery selections in the range that we might expect a same draft pick compensation to be needed to move up (15-25). Saric also fills this requirement, and might help prove it since he was a higher selection that helped his team move higher in the lottery than most players (In a way it was like sending 11 and 12 for 6, which isn't too far off from the ATL trade of 8 and 17 for 4)
Late Lottery
So that was my ramble of what it takes in the lottery, usually what people care about the most, but truly excellent teams find good players everywhere. What does it take to get your guy later in the draft?
2019:
PHI trades BOS: 24 and 33 for 20
MEM trades OKC : 23 and future second rounder for 21
PHX trades BOS Future MIL 1st for 24 and Aron Baynes
LAC trade BRK Future 1st and 56 for 27
CLE trades DET : 4 second round picks for 30
2018: No new trades
2017:
LAL trade BRK : D Lo and Mozgov for 27 and Brook Lopez
PHI trades ORL : A conditional future first and a second round selection for 25
UTA trade LAL: 30 and 42 for 28
2016:
BRK trades IND: Thad Young for 20 and a second rounder
SAC trades CHA: Marco Belinelli for 22
2015:
ATL trades WAS: 15 for 19 and 2 second rounders
MIN trades CLE: 31 and 36 for 24
POR trades BRK: 23 and Steve Black for Mason Plumlee and 41
2014:
MIA trades CHA 26, 55 and a future second rounder for 24
So, for the non lottery first round we see that second round picks begin to move the needle in trades. Most trades involve the good ole 2k "throw a few seconds at em and they will eventually accept" What I was surprised about was how littler salary dumping was happening. Maybe the asset gathering phase of the process isn't fully represented here, but I felt as though there were more instances of bad contracts being unloaded for late first. The team that really did the best with accepting bad contracts on draft night was the Nets, and they gave up a pick instead of receiving.This makes me feel silly as someone that would frequently do trades in mocks with salary dumping in mind. It appears that when salaries are dumped they are generally done for players or futures, not for draft picks on draft night.
I was also surprised to see that not many players were moved in general. Most of these trades were GMs trying to get the most assets they could while getting their guy, rather than getting established vets for draft capital.
As evidenced by what happens at the end of the 1st round going into the second round, GMs greatly value the ability to lock a player into 4 years of control plus RFA, to get a final pick in the first round costs either 2 very high second rounders in the same draft, or MANY second rounders in future drafts. I think it is fair to say that the value of RFAing a player has much more value to a franchise than basically any value the average 2nd round pick will usually produce. Proof of this is there is only one instance of a first being traded for anything that isn't a current NBA player or another first.
As someone might expect from glancing at RealGMs draft capital page, 2nd rounders are thrown around very freely, and it is fair to say they have value, but little of it.
TLDR:
Lottery trades, on average teams trade down 5 spots, it is very rare for a team to trade out out of a draft in which they have a lottery pick. (Hello? Orlando? At least Cleveland got a chip out of their trade out) The typical compensation for moving up in the lottery is a mid first round pick (15 to 25) or a perceived very valuable future first. Disgruntled All-Stars can move the needle too, but not as much as one might think. For All Stars GMs clearly value young talent over draft picks.
Non lottery first rounders : 2K rules do apply. Throw second rounders at the problem and you will eventually get what you want. Though that only applies if you are also trading a first rounder as well. 25 -> 20 can happen with 2nd rounders as sweeteners. 35 - > 20 probably wont happen, even if you empty your 2nd round stash. RFA contacts are obviously perceived as one of the most valuable commodities in the NBA. There also is not much salary dumping that goes on during draft night.
Second round selections : Open season, the rules don't matter. Pray you draft Draymond. If you don't care about the 2nd round, teams will buy your pick.
If you agree or whatever, leave a comment. I am trying to make my mocks with trades more accurate, and try to point to trends when I disagree with this sub when they inevitably trade Beal for the 1st overall pick and salary filler.
submitted by VanguardHawk to NBA_Draft [link] [comments]

PUT ME IN [as] COACH: the Top Coaching Candidates on the Market

Right now, there are 3 open head coaching jobs (Brooklyn, Chicago, New Orleans), and there could be more to come following the playoffs
Here are my personal picks for the most qualified candidates.
Top "Re-tread" Candidates
(1) Kenny Atkinson, formerly Brooklyn
Kenny Atkinson checks all the boxes of what I'd look for in a modern NBA head coach. He developed under a successful mentor (Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee), and came to Brooklyn looking to install a "pace and space" offense. Better still, he helped develop players across the roster. He entered a nearly impossible situation with the Nets, but slowly and surely built a winning culture and helped the team overachieve expectations.
Clearly, Atkinson didn't fit the vision of the new power brokers in Brooklyn -- Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- and got left on the side of the road as a result. Still, if KD and Kyrie end up reaching the promised land and winning a title in Brooklyn, Atkinson deserves a lot of credit for helping get that engine started in the first place. He'd be a great hire for any team looking to jumpstart their own franchise.
best fit: Chicago. Atkinson would join a team with a good amount of offensive talent, but not much offensive cohesion so far. The Bulls finished 27th in offensive rating this season.
(2) Ty Lue, formerly Cleveland
Ty Lue tends to be a punchline among a lot of casual NBA fans who think he was nothing more than LeBron James' caddy in Cleveland. To me, that belittles his resume and shows a little bias against former players. A Doc Rivers' protege, Ty Lue was a legitimate coaching candidate before LeBron James. In fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the highest paid assistant in the entire league prior to the King's return to town. Lue also did a solid job in the playoffs to help the Cavs win that title.
After that? It didn't go well. The wheels fell off on defense (allegedly Lue's specialty) during James' last two seasons there, and the entire car imploded after he left. It looked like Lue may have been completely burnt out emotionally and physically. Still, since then, Lue has started to rehab his coaching reputation by returning to Doc Rivers and the Clippers, where he's helped the team go from the 21st best defense to top 5 (to be fair, some new roster additions may have helped.)
best fit: Brooklyn. Lue has also been a rumored candidate in New Orleans to coach under old boss David Griffin, but he appears to be a better fit for Brooklyn's veteran roster than New Orleans'.
(3) Stan Van Gundy, formerly Detroit
It's not easy for older coaches to keep up with the modern NBA, both in terms of player connections and in terms of new-age offenses and analytics. Some -- like Gregg Popovich or Rick Carlisle -- manage to adapt and evolve; they age as well as Christie Brinkley. Others age like Nikki Cox.
Based on his second job in Detroit, Stan Van Gundy may fit into the latter category. Still, if the Knicks are willing to give Tom Thibodeau the benefit of the doubt after he flamed out in Minnesota, can't we do the same here? SVG's teams in Detroit weren't good (44-38, 37-45, 39-43 the last three years), but they didn't have worlds of talent either. No doubt, Van Gundy is to blame for a lot of that, as his front office decisions didn't go well. However, if we relegate him to a "coaching only" role, then perhaps he'd have success again. I'd take that chance over rolling the dice on his brother Jeff (a more rumored candidate), as Jeff hasn't coached in the NBA since 2007. Based on their TV commentary, Stan is also more up to date with the current trends in the league as well.
best fit: Philadelphia. If the Sixers fire Brett Brown, a veteran coach like Van Gundy isn't a bad option. In Orlando, he managed to build a team around Dwight Howard and maintain spacing.
Other solid candidates: Dave Joerger (SAC), Mike Brown (GS), Jeff Hornacek (NYK)
Candidates I would NOT hire: Jason Kidd (MIL), Mark Jackson (GS), David Fizdale (NYK), George Karl (SAC), Jeff Van Gundy (HOU), Derek Fisher (NYK), Drill Sergeant Jim Boylen (CHI)
Top "Rookie" Candidates
(1) Chris Finch, New Orleans assistant
I'm not claiming to be a coaching guru by any means, but sometimes even amateurs like myself can see obvious great candidates under our noses. I had hyped up Nick Nurse a few years before he got the head job in Toronto, and I've been doing the same for Chris Finch over the last few years.
The similarity is simple: an amazing resume and a proven history of success. Chris Finch started coaching in Great Britain, where he was quickly named their league's Coach of the Year. Later on, he migrated to Belgium, where he guided his team to the league title. He eventually came back to the U.S. and coached in the D-League for Rio Grande. Surprise surprise -- Finch's team won the title and he won Coach of the Year.
Since then, Finch has been a top assistant with Houston, Denver, and now New Orleans. Throughout, he's developed a reputation for running fast-paced offenses, oftentimes facilitated through bigs like Nikola Jokic or Anthony Davis. He's exactly what the NBA is looking for, and it's a surprise that he hasn't been snagged up yet. Among all coaching candidates, he may be my top candidate overall.
best fit: New Orleans. Politically, it may be a little difficult to oust a likable veteran coach and promote his assistant instead, but it worked out quite well in Toronto. The Pelicans may be smart to do the same, as Finch would be familiar with the roster and have a headstart on any revisions.
(2) Ime Udoka, Philadelphia assistant
Unlike Chris Finch, Ime Udoka doesn't have experience as a head coach at lower levels, so we can't point to the resume and feel confident about his chances of success in the same way. Still, as far as pure "rookie" coaches go, he has the pedigree you'd want. He's a former player who became a long-time assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. He left this past season for Philadelphia in an attempt to spread his wings. While it didn't exactly work out as planned, you have to admire the intent and the ambition.
(Aside from experience), Udoka checks all the boxes that you'd want in a head coaching candidate. He's been rumored for a lot of the open jobs already, so I imagine this will be the year that he finally lands one.
best fit: Brooklyn. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (presumably) clashed with Kenny Atkinson, but they may buy in to Udoka. As mentioned, he's a former player, had experience on the respected Spurs staff, and also worked with the two of them in the Team USA circuit. GM Sean Marks also cut his teeth with the Spurs, so you imagine he'd be in lockstep with Udoka as well.
(3) Wes Unseld Jr., Denver assistant
Two rising assistants -- Wes Unseld Jr. and Stephen Silas (DAL) -- have very similar resumes and career paths. Both grew up as the sons of veteran NBA coaches. Both ended up going to top universities -- Johns Hopkins for Unseld Jr. and Brown University for Silas. Both found their way back to basketball, and became top assistant coaches. Both are rumored to be among the top candidates for head coaching jobs now.
Based on resume, you may lean to Stephen Silas more. He's been a lead assistant for a longer period of time, and most recently helped Dallas' offense achieve historic heights. Personally, I'd lean a little more to Unseld Jr. myself. Based on media interviews, he comes across with more charisma and leadership traits.
best fit: Chicago. I always thought Washington would be a karmic fit for Unseld Jr., but Chicago appears to be his best bet right now. Top exec Arturas Karnisovas came over from the Denver organization, and should be familiar with Unseld's virtues.
Other solid candidates: Stephen Silas (DAL), Nate Tibbetts (POR), Nate Bjorkgren (TOR), Darvin Ham (MIL), Jay Larranaga (BOS), Chris Fleming (CHI), Alex Jensen (UTA), Melvin Hunt (ATL), Johnny Bryant (UTA). Adrian Griffin (TOR) would have been on that list, but his wife made some nasty domestic violence accusations against him on twitter; even if we presume that her goal was to lie and ruin his head coaching prospects, then mission: accomplished, because that's a situation that teams may not to dig into.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

Live Betting Trends?

I have way more success live betting than I do betting on pre-game money wagers without odds boosts or some type of insurance.
What are some reliable trends you like to capitalize on mid-game? Maybe a weakness for your home team you watch on a regular basis or something specific you look for throughout the course of a game.
For example, I’m a Philly sports fan and I know the Phillies have the worst bullpen in all of baseball and that the Sixers have difficulty holding onto 4th quarter leads. I don’t bet against them, but have thought about it many times.
I also coach basketball and pay close attention to how coaches game plan against star players. If a coach likes to trap/double-team a star player on screens then I have a competitive advantage by betting the over on assists or under on points.
What trends do you pay attention to give you an edge in live betting? Thanks for the responses and good luck!
submitted by VeryTiredDad to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Lakers vs Heat NBA Finals Game 5 - Analysis, Predictions, Odds, Betting Trends & Prop Action + $1000 Deposit Bonus Offer!

Lakers vs Heat NBA Finals Game 5 - Analysis, Predictions, Odds, Betting Trends & Prop Action + $1000 Deposit Bonus Offer!
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Lakers vs Heat NBA Finals Game 5 - Analysis, Predictions, Odds, Betting Trends & Prop Action + $1000 Deposit Bonus Offer!

Written by Lester Cullen on October 7, 2020
Friday’s matchup (October 9, 2020) between the Los Angeles Lakers (52-19, 15-4) and the Miami Heat (44-29, 13-6) features the Lakers as strong 7.5-point favorites. The game’s oveunder is 217. The clash between these two teams is the NBA’s only action on the day. Tip-off for Game 5 of the NBA finals is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Reunion, Florida.
Put some cash on the Lakers like a mover or bet the Heat like a shaker!

Los Angeles has taken five of its six head-to-head meetings with Miami this season, could this be the spirit of Kobe helping the Lakers??..The Heat hold a 4-2 edge against the spread when matched up with the Lakers.

Head to Head

Date Favorite Spread Total Favorite Moneyline Underdog Moneyline Result
10/6/2020 Lakers -7.5 218.5 -336 272 102-96 LAL
10/4/2020 Lakers 9.5 219.5 -455 345 115-104 MIA
10/2/2020 Lakers 10.5 216.5 -625 463 124-114 LAL
9/30/2020 Lakers 4.5 217.5 -196 162 116-98 LAL
12/13/2019 Lakers 5.5 212.5 -233 292 113-110 LAL
11/8/2019 Lakers 8 218 -340 272 95-80 LAL
Lester's Breakdown -
The 102-96 victory on Tuesday puts the Lakers one win away from a championship. LeBron James dominated Miami's weaker defenders, using pick-and-rolls to finish with 28 points on 8-for-16 shooting, plus 12 rebounds and eight assists. Davis had 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting, with nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including a crucial layup late in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead despite the return of Bam Adebayo. The Heat center had 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting and seven rebounds in 33 minutes in his first game back from a neck injury. Jimmy Butler had 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting, with eight assists, 10 rebounds and three steals. Miami was down by two points with three minutes left, then Butler missed a 3 and Caldwell-Pope hit a 3 in transition. The Heat shot 11 for 32 from 3-point range and just couldn't get it done.
Game 5 is Friday and Lester has 3 takeaways from Tuesday night's action:
Through 3 quarters, the Heat were shooting like a bunch of beach bum basketball boys (22 for 57, and 6 for 25 from deep), they made 22 out 24 free throws, as if the refs weren't responsible for that...yeah right...and they played their defensive game like they were getting bullied before lunch. Los Angeles had not done much damage in transition or on the offensive glass, and had shot just 7 for 9 from the free throw line, hitting 3s (12 for 28) and making Miami work. After a messy first quarter, the Lakers had cleaned up their turnover issues. The fourth quarter, was a different story, The Heat went just 1 for 2 from the line, and the Lakers went 11 for 12 -- LBJ made all 7 of his attempts.

Lakers Betting Information

  • Los Angeles and its opponents have reached the oveunder in just 43 of 90 games this season (47.8%).
  • Los Angeles is solid against the spread, going 46-42-2 on the season.
  • The Lakers have posted a losing record of 18-19-1 against the spread when the spread is -7.5 or bigger.
Think the Lakers can win the NBA Championship???

Heat Betting Information

  • Miami has combined with its opponents to hit the over in 55.4% of matchups this season (51 out of 92 contests).
  • Miami has a 50-38-3 record against the spread, covering in 54.9% of their contests.
  • When they are 7.5-point underdogs, the Heat have a record ATS of 6-2.
Want to throw some money away and bet on the Heat to win the NBA Championship??

Point Total Analysis Games Over 217 % of Games Over 217 Average PPG Combined Average PPG Average Opponent PPG Combined Average Opponent PPG Average Total
Lakers 54 60% 113.4 225.2 107.4 216.3 220.8
Heat 55 59.8% 111.8 225.2 225.2 216.3 220.7
Lakers Leaders
  • Anthony Davis leads the Lakers in scoring (26.1 points per game) and rebounding (9.3 rebounds per game).
  • The squad is led in assists by LeBron James’ 10.2 per game.
  • James knocks down 2.2 threes per game to lead the Lakers.
  • Davis leads Los Angeles in both blocks and steals, averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.
Heat Leaders
  • The Heat go-to guy, Jimmy Butler, leads the team in both scoring (19.9 points per game) and assists (6.0 assists per game).
  • Bam Adebayo collects all of the boards and is the Miami leader in rebounds, getting 10.2 per game.
  • Nobody on Miami grabs more steals than Butler (1.8 per game) or blocks more shots than Adebayo (1.3 per game).
  • Duncan Robinson makes more threes per game than any other member of the Heat, cashing in 3.7 treys per game.
Bet Smart and watch the Live Lines for opportunity here
RedAlertWagers.com Free Plays + Props + Future Bets
1st Quarter - Miami Heat -2.5 (+265)
Total Points O/U - First Half - Under 100.5 (+330)
Odd/Even Total Points - Even -115
Highest scoring half - 2nd +120
Get MAC's Gambling Report Free for 90 Days - The Gambling Report
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The Best Guides... Are Those That Tell You What You Know Already

Hi guys,
I cracked the Top 200 on Battlegrounds leaderboards for the first time a couple nights ago and thought I'd summarize some underappreciated Battlegrounds principles I learned along the way. Hopefully, these are some good food for thought, and help you take your game to the next level.
ADWCTA (Grinning Goat)
Three Fundamental Truths of Battlegounds:
Winning is Losing. The first step of your re-education is recognizing what a "win" is in the game of Battlegrounds. Because MMR is granted strictly based on your finishing position, with absolutely ZERO bonus for placing first, you should correspondingly place ZERO emphasis in your game plan of getting first place. Not "less" emphasis, but ZERO emphasis. In fact, actually placing first in Battlegrounds is the least efficient result of your risk/reward calculus. Much like how in Arena, you are capped at 12 wins, even though your deck may have been strong enough to get 15 wins, 20 win, 100 wins, in Battlegrounds, you stop gaining MMR after beating your entire lobby and getting only +90-100 MMR, even though your comp is oftentimes strong enough to theoretically continue and obtain more MMR. Blizzard set up the MMR system in this redistributive way to punish first place finishes by artificially capping the amount of MMR you can gain. However, in your risk/reward calculus, for every position you drop below first, you lose ~30 MMR until you hit the bottom at 8th. This means that unless you get 8th place as often as you get 1st place, it is mathematically inefficient to aim for first place finishes. Much like in real life, there is a penalty for being in the top 15% of a lobby, and a larger % of the MMR you earn will be redistributed to the bottom 15% of a lobby. Sure, it's great to get 1st and be like basketball superstar Lebron James, and certainly better than get 2nd and be like my tax accountant Steve. I do not mean to try to convince you that 2+2=5. However, as in life, your entire big picture strategy should focus not on getting first place, but rather of placing as high as possible while avoiding the inefficient and high risk practices of chasing first place. Steve is doing just fine in life, more than fine, and it's a hell of a lot easier for us to be Steve than Lebron James. In practice, this means comps that typically are NOT in contention for first place, should get extra consideration (Demons, Mechs), while comps that finish the most often in first place (Murlocs, Dragons) should get less consideration. It means that "going for it" and suffering the risks for the reward of completing a comp that easily challenges for 1st place is less efficient than not going for that exodia comp and instead completing a comp that can realistically obtain 2nd or 3rd. This is simple Battlegrounds logic and math. Now, sometimes Blizzard will bless you with a fortunate tavern and you will be presented with the physical gifts that make it possible for you to indeed be Lebron and that's okay. But, you should never have that be your goal, and given the choice, the risk/reward for a career path toward being an accountant is much more realistic and has a higher net +MMR than repeatedly trying to make it as an NBA superstar without remarkable physical gifts. Finishing first place is a fortunate experience, but a terrible plan.
Strength is Weakness. Step two in your re-education is to stop being a sheep. Behhh. Sheep are fuzzy and cute, but they are also delicious and will get eaten alive in Battlegrounds. Because the minion pool is shared among all players, for every player that stocks up on a minion type, you will have lower odds of being able to obtain these units in the game. Like the MMR system described above, this pooling feature is an artificial redistributive construct meant to redistribute strength for a fairer life experience. Mathematically, it means that if there are 15 copies of Warleader in the pool, and 4 players are going Murlocs with an average of 1.5 Warleaders each, then you will have roughly a -40% chance to find a Warleader (whether for your comp or to hit your triple). The reduction is especially sharp for tier 5 and 6 units. If just one person has a Kalecgos, you are -15% chance to find one yourself. If 3 of the 4 murloc players have hit a Bran, you are -33% chance to find one yourself. These are terrible odds and you should avoid them. On the flip side, because your fellow sheep keep taking the same types of "strong" minions out of the pool, the denominator of the pool is smaller than you think, while the numerator of tribes people don't go for remains the same, creating a bonus in offering odds to the "weak" units. Your best chance to triple a unit (and triples are still key to getting an earlier tier 5 or tier 6 unit without dying) is to collect the strongest units that others do not target. Personally, I love Rat Packs and Harvest Golems. I've probably trippled up more Kindly Grandmothers than any other Top 200 player. On the flip side, your worst chance to triple a unit is to collect popular units everyone is going for, such as Murlocs in the current meta. This problem is particularly problematic for hoard tribes like Murlocs, Beasts, Shooty Demons, who need almost your entire warband to be of the same tribe to properly function in the mid-game. If a hoard tribe is popular, your odds of finding triples on ANY of your units goes down dramatically, which increases even riskier behavior like hard leveling and creates a whole spiral downwards into a high swing gameplan that trends negatively overall. If the popular reddit complaints of "everyone's going Murlocs, they so OP, nerf nerf nerf!" is true in your lobby, then it will be to your advantage to not go with the "strong" Murlocs. Instead, other very functional tribes, like Mechs, Demons, Pirates and if you get a proper tier 6 discover, Dragons, Beasts should be your focus. In my final 10-game stretch into the Top200, I went Murlocs zero times. That's no accident. It's very hard mathematically in this Murloc propaganda meta to obtain a good Murloc midgame when everyone else is going for Murlocs. I think Flurgl is pretty good in this meta, and Brann can also force Murlocs. But if your hero power is not skewing things heavily toward the "strong" tribe, don't lean into it. Instead, lean into anything else functional when the opportunity is presented. For most normal heroes, the "strong" tribe is a trap. This is how you end up 7th/8th. Remember, do not BE the delicious sheep. Behhh. Eat the delicious sheep.
Perfection is Error. Finally, to complete your re-education of Battlegrounds, you must accept your inherent limitations as an insignificant human, and stop pursuing the perfection of a god. If planning for first is losing, and focusing on the strongest comps is a weakness, then it should be no surprise that the biggest trap in Battlegrounds is the pursuit of perfection itself. I too have seen the plays of many top Battlegrounds players. They are gods among men and women with lighting fast thinking, perfect aim, and the ability to plan their next step while executing the current plan so that sometimes for 30 seconds straight there is non-stop near-perfect execution of an always shifting plan that they have to consistently readjust with new information from tavern rolls, discovers, and god knows what else the game throws at them. Sometimes, I can follow what's happening. Most times, I am a clueless spectator. Always, I am aware of one simple truth: I cannot do this, ever. I can dream of it. But it will sadly be the unrealistic dream of being basketball superstar Lebron James, and not the realistic dream of eating delicious meat lovers pizza for dinner tonight. These unrealistic dreams of being a perfect god should be dropped. Only by dropping these unrealistic dreams, can you explore and develop your Battlegrounds game in peace without the anxious specter of a Brann-Kadghar transition looming over you saying "you can never be this good". I have never completed a Bran-Kadghar transition in my entire life, but I'm proud to say that I can beat most players who have. While it may sometimes feel like you need to copy what the top players do in order to succeed on any level, this is simply not true. Battlegrounds is a highly complex, underdeveloped and underexplored strategy game, which means that there are all sorts of strategic efficiencies to explore in this game that will matter much more than perfect execution. Fundamentally, what matters most in a strategy game, is always strategy. If you improve just +2% on your big picture strategy, you can make up for a LOT of small mistakes in execution. As a boomer apm player who is also prone to sloppy play, I am living proof of this truth. I still get roped on 25% of my turns (25% no position, 10% hang gold, 5% unable to discover or play card). I still make basic misplays on another 25% of my turns (counting, ordering, positioning, reading tavern rolls). Despite these objective shortcomings, I guess I am now a Top 200 Battlegrounds player. So therefore, Perfection is overrated. You will get a much higher return on your efforts by focusing on your core big picture strategy rather than trying to do silly things like winning your lobby, having the best comp, or being the best player.
That's it! These may seem basic, but judging by the sheer number of Murloc players in my lobbies and number of complaints about such strategies on this subreddit, I'm pretty sure most players in the 8k+ range do not play according to these principles, and I'll bet that their MMR suffers for it.
For details about more specific strategies I employ, please read my first Battlegrounds guide, the "Guide for Kids Who Can't Click Good And Want To Do Other Battlegrounds Stuff Good Too". While the pace of the game has shifted with the addition of Pirates and larger mid-game health swings, the conservative principles I advocated for in the guide are the same ones I'm still using today.
I've also uploaded the last leg of my climb into the Top 200 onto YouTube here for those looking to see application of these principles in game. Warning, as you can probably tell from this guide, this is all some pretty vanilla gameplay. On the nerdier side of things, Merps4248 and I do a weekly podcast 5 years running the Lightforge Podcast, which covers Arena and Battlegrounds, so check that out if you want more discussion.
Woohoo! Top 200 =D ADWCTA (Grinning Goat)
edit: changed term "socialist" to "redistributive" to better capture the idea presented here.
submitted by adwcta to BobsTavern [link] [comments]

Cheat-by-Mail. Months-Long Recounts. Riots. Endless Court Drama. The Democrats' 7-Step Strategy to Win the Election Using Vote-by-Mail Chaos

1. Never let a Covid crisis go to waste! Use the pandemic to push for a nation-wide vote-by-mail scheme.
By now we’re all familiar with the inequities, even idiocies, of the Covid-19 lockdown rules. In many states and cities, it’s forbidden to have normal assembly for social gatherings, businesses, church services, and even hospital visits.
On the other hand, it’s okay to have massive Black Lives Matter protests, Antifa riots, and anything else the left approves of, at least tacitly. Obviously, such unequal treatment is a formula for societal frustration, rage, and, yes, chaos.
And what a friend the Democrats have in crisis and chaos!
In fact, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has said that this sort of chaos is likely to continue—and should continue—through the election. “Everyone beware because they’re not going to stop,” Harris said about the (often violent) protests erupting in American cities. “They’re not going to stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not going to stop after Election Day.”
But according to the Democrats, the only certainty in all of this chaos is that Americans—who are safe to take to the streets in mass protests and riots—are not safe to vote in person on November 3. We must vote by mail, they tell us.
Mail-in voting is “essential from a health reason because we want to keep people at home to vote without having them all collect on Election Day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last month. “People should not have to choose between their health and their vote.”
If you’re still scratching your head wondering why it’s safe to riot but not to vote, veteran political consultant Dick Morris explained the Democrats’ game plan: “If they feel they’re legitimately losing the election, [they] are going to use the excuse of the Covid virus—nobody can come out and vote in person, they claim … and they’re going to deliberately game the system by sending out millions and millions of mail-in ballots for people that don’t exist or have already voted.”
“And the states will not verify the [mail-in ballot] signatures because they are under the control of Democrats,” Morris added.
2. Enlist all the messengers at your disposal (Hollywood, Corporate Media, Big Tech, Pro Sports) to push for vote-by-mail.
The Democrats are using every tool in their considerable arsenal to push the vote-by-mail messaging, including multi-million-dollar super PAC ad campaigns. Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar has teamed up with failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to mandate a national vote-by-mail system, and a group called Stop Republicans has launched a digital blitz to push for the idea.
But the Democrats’ favorite tool is, of course, Hollywood and pop culture.
As early as April, about a month into the coronavirus shutdown, the Hollywood wing of the Democrat-Media Complex kicked into high gear to push vote-by-mail.
Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, who were among the first big name figures to contract Covid-19, teamed up with former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Obama White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett in April for an ostensibly non-partisan virtual voter registration drive that encouraged states to loosen vote-by-mail requirements.
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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson joined former First Lady Michelle Obama for a virtual get out the vote event on April 20, 2020, to encourage people to sign up for mail-in voting. (YouTube)
In August, a group of A-list celebrities hosted a virtual “United to Save the Vote” gala—which they claimed was “fiercely nonpartisan”—to raise money to “protect the 2020 election” by, in part, increasing trust in mail-in voting. The virtual roster included Jennifer Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Dave Matthews, Ed Helms, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Sia, Jake Johnson, Sarah Silverman, Kenan Thompson, Chelsea Handler, Gloria Estefan, Randall Park, Erich Bergen, Nick Kroll, Sophia Bush, Jonathan Scott, Kenny G., George Lopez, etc. You get the picture.
According to the event’s website, these zealously anti-Trump “fiercely nonpartisan” celebs gathered virtually to counter the efforts of “politicians who are undermining the security and validity of mail-in voting.”
Meanwhile, the Democrat-Media Complex is engaged in a bit of journalistic jujitsu churning out stories about how the Republicans are the ones who plan to steal the election. Here’s a headline from the Washington Post: “Republicans’ long-term vote heist matters more than Trump’s tantrums.” And here’s one from Rolling Stone: “The Plot Against America: The GOP’s Plan to Suppress the Vote and Sabotage the Election.” But it’s hard to top this headline from the Daily Beast: “This Is How Republicans Steal an Election, and Maybe Kill Some Dems in the Process.”
At the same time, the Democrat-Media Complex is also celebrating the new wokeness of pro sports, which is busy helping Democrats win in November. On September 7, Politico asked, “Could LeBron James Defeat Donald Trump?” As has been widely reported, the National Basketball Association has agreed to set up a “social justice coalition” to help get out the (Democrat) vote.
3. Get millions of questionable mail-in ballots into the system.
Here we might pause to note the distinction between the various kinds of voting by mail.
It is true that absentee voting by mail has been with us for many years. Even President Trump has voted by mail, and our active duty military regularly votes by mail. In fact, Republicans have been quite successful in the past with absentee voting. In Florida in 2016, for example, more Republicans voted by mail than Democrats, and Trump carried the state. There is even legitimate concern that any disparagement of mail-in voting could unintentionally hurt Republicans in November because their voters like voting by absentee ballots. Indeed, there are sincere and legitimate reasons for why absentee voting should be available during the pandemic.
However, there is a big difference between allowing absentee ballots as an option for people who are unable to make it to the polls and mandating that an entire election be done by mail-in voting.
And there is a really big difference between the long-standing practice of sending absentee ballots to voters who take the initiative of requesting them and the new Democratic proposal to mail out unsolicited ballots (or applications for ballots) to every registered voter regardless of whether those voters are still alive or eligible to vote in that jurisdiction. And, as we shall explain, this new effort to mail out ballots to every registered voter is coupled with the left’s years-long fight to prevent these same voter rolls from being updated to remove dead and ineligible people from the lists.
And to make matters extra complicated and chaotic, every state has a different standard for mail-in voting. Some states have more safeguards in place than others. For example, some states require that every mail-in ballot include a verifiable signature, additional witness or notary signatures, and even an enclosed copy of the voter’s photo ID. Some states have few, if any, such safeguards. Some states are loosening or experimenting with the rules for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And then there is the issue of sending all these ballots through the mail. Can the U.S. Postal Service process them all in a timely manner? Every state has a different deadline for when these ballots need to be postmarked. What happens if they don’t arrive in time? Can election officials process them all in a timely manner? Counting mail-in ballots is much more time-consuming. It can involve matching signatures, checking postmarks, flattening out ballots that were crumpled in the mail, etc. If the recent primaries in Wisconsin and New York are anything to go by, mail-in ballots will take weeks to process and that process will be fraught with problems and potential for fraud.
(To give you a flavor of the postal chaos to come, the chief clerk for Brooklyn’s Kings County Board of Elections testified in federal court last month that in 2018, the USPS delivered “several hundred absentee ballots from the previous November” — which was “five months after Election Day.” And in Wisconsin this week, three trays of mail, which included absentee ballots, were found in a ditch.)
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Election officials take receipt of a dolly loaded with mail-in ballots at election offices in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, on May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
There is also the issue of how voters can apply to vote by mail and who is eligible to do so. According to FiveThirtyEight, nine states and the District of Columbia will simply mail every registered citizen a ballot. In another 14 states, authorities will mail everyone an application to vote by mail. (Although, as we shall see, some states take a generous view of who, or what, might be eligible to receive such applications if outside interest groups decide to mail them out.) In 16 states, nothing is automatically mailed to voters, although voters can apply online to vote by mail. In six states, voting by mail is permissible only with a “valid excuse.” And the remaining states are some hybrid of the preceding categories.
All of these different rules provide plenty of opportunity to game the system on questions ranging from the verification of identity, addresses, and signatures to the timeliness of postmarks and the ability of the postal service to deliver ballots in a timely manner. Because there are so many “moving parts” to the vote-by-mail process, mail-in ballots are fraught with the potential for fraud. Yes, we’ve seen voter fraud before, but we ain’t seen nothing yet. The further we get from requiring that voters go to the polls to vote in person, the more we expand the avenues for fraud.
Consider, for example, the fraud potential that comes with mailing ballots to every registered voter. Back in 2012, a Pew Center study found that 1.8 million dead people were still registered to vote and that 24 million voter registrations were un-confirmable.
Though some states have made progress in updating their voting rolls since the 2012 Pew study, a comprehensive analysis conducted this year by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) found that 349,773 apparently dead people still remain on the voter rolls across 41 states. And apparently the dead still vote! The report also discovered a surprising number of people who apparently voted more than once.
The report found:
During the 2018 General Election, 37,889 likely duplicate registrants are apparently credited for casting two votes from the same address, and 34,000 registrants appear to have voted from non-residential addresses. Additionally, 6,718 registrants were apparently credited for voting after death.
According to the report, New York, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California were the top five states with dead voters on the rolls, accounting for 51 percent of all the dead registrants. The crucial swing states of Michigan and Florida had 34,225 and 25,162 dead registrants respectively.
That would seem to be a serious indictment of the system and a warning against mailing unsolicited mail-in ballots or even mail-in ballot applications to everyone on the voter rolls. But Democrats are working hard to bulldoze the path for vote-by mail, or, as Breitbart News often calls it, cheat-by-mail. Democratic governors in New York and Pennsylvania have already moved to ease vote-by-mail, as have local officials in Harris County, TX, population 4.7 million. Oh, and did we mention that in Nevada’s June primary, more than 223,000 ballots in Clark County (Las Vegas) went to a bum address? That means almost a fifth of all the ballots mailed out in the county went to a bum address.
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Election workers process mail-in ballots during a nearly all-mail primary election in Las Vegas, NV, on June 9, 2020. (AP Photo/John Locher)
But, you might ask, why don’t we just make sure the voter rolls are accurate by removing people who have moved or died? Why don’t we have a standardized signature verification protocol and a requirement for an additional witness signature and photo ID for mail-in ballots to ensure they are legit? Good questions. The answer is the left fights these reforms.
Left-wing groups want to expand access to voting by registering as many people as possible, but they also fight to block meaningful efforts to ensure that only eligible American citizens are voting. When Republicans enact legislation to encourage transparency and accuracy in our voting process by removing dead or ineligible voters from the rolls or mandating some form of identity verification, left-wing activists challenge these initiatives in court to stop any reform.
Eric Eggers, the author of Fraud: How the Left Plans to Steal the Next Election, explained to Breitbart News how left-wing interest groups have fought for years to keep the loopholes that could potentially create a “tsunami of voter fraud” in November.
“Organizations that are funded by George Soros both fight to keep those vulnerabilities in place, as in Ohio, by trying to prevent efforts to pass voter-ID laws or to make the voter rolls more secure,” Eggers said. “But then they also — and this is really the insidious part — they fund organizations that go out and round up voters, regardless of legality of their status, and force them through the vulnerabilities in the system.”
“There are 248 counties in this country that have more registered voters than actual citizens of legal voting age,” Eggers said. “It’s a problem because it creates opportunity for organizations like the formerly known ACORN and La Raza — they’re all funded by [billionaire George] Soros — to go and figure out where the vulnerabilities are and force the voters — whether they’re legal or not — through the gaps.”
But according to the establishment media, the instances of mail-in voter fraud are “infinitesimally small.” And to prove this, the media loves to quote the “non-partisan” Brennan Center for Justice. What the media fails to tell you is that the Soros-funded Brennan Center is leading the charge to expand mail-in voting. They don’t just have a dog in this fight — they have a whole kennel! Quoting the Brennan Center to deny the reality of mail-in voter fraud is like quoting Big Tobacco to deny that smoking causes cancer.
And yet when Donald Trump or any Republican points out the obvious vulnerabilities in our voting system, the Democrat-Media Complex quotes biased sources to vilify Republicans. Nancy Pelosi actually called President Trump and Republicans “enemies of the state” for expressing concerns about vote-by-mail’s fraud potential.
It seems fair to say that Democrats are making sure that the system works for them. Recently, Politico headlined a long piece, “Inside the Democratic Party’s plan to prevent vote-by-mail disaster,” detailing the efforts of the party, and its well-funded allies, to win the November mail war.
A key part of that plan is legal challenges. For instance, in Georgia, the American Civil Liberties Union accused the state government of wrongfully purging nearly 200,000 voters from the rolls. In this legal battle, the ACLU is joined by the Palast Investigative Fund, one of the myriad “non-partisan” foundations that the Democrats always have at their side.
Yet in the meantime, the ACLU has nothing to say when we discover, for example, that during the 2020 Michigan primaries, the number of ballots counted in 72 percent of Detroit’s absentee ballot precincts didn’t match the number of ballots cast. And the votes counted in 46 percent of all of Detroit’s precincts–both absentee and in-person–didn’t match the number of ballots tracked in the precinct poll books. For perspective on what such abnormalities might portend for the next election, we might observe that Detroit has a population of 670,000. In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan by a mere 10,704 votes.
Oh, and did we mention that a federal lawsuit filed last year alleged that the city of Detroit had over 2,500 dead people still registered on its voter rolls, and about 4,788 registered Detroit voters were flagged as having potentially registered to vote twice or even three times. But I’m sure none of those dead people will vote by mail, right?
Oh, and while we’re on Michigan, we should also mention that Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State who was endorsed by Joe Biden and was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention, misprinted the ballots that were created for Michigan voters serving in the military overseas. Guess which candidate was listed incorrectly? You guessed it: Trump! The bad ballots list the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate as President Trump’s running mate instead of Mike Pence. But don’t worry. The spokesperson for Michigan’s Democratic-Biden-endorsed-DNC-speaking Secretary of State has assured us that clerks “will be instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump” for any military voter who mails in one of these misprinted ballots.
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Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) speaking during the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 20, 2020. (DNC via AP)
In the face of all this potentially embarrassing data, the Democrats have decided that the best defense is a good offense. For instance, Joe Biden stays on the offensive, regularly accusing President Trump of seeking to squelch vote-by-mail; but he never allows that vote-by-mail might need to be reformed. Biden charged on September 7 that Trump “wants to make sure those mail-in ballots don’t get where they’re supposed to get.”
We might wonder: If Biden routinely accuses Trump of cheating, should we be surprised if Democratic activists get the hint and decide that they could, and should, cheat on Biden’s behalf? After all, they might rationalize these efforts as fighting fire with fire.
Cheat-inclined Democrats might draw inspiration from an anonymous Democratic consultant in New Jersey who recently confessed to the New York Post that “fraud is more the rule than the exception.” The consultant explained the various ways in which political operatives can harvest mail-in ballots, change them by inserting different ballots into the envelope, use friendly postal workers to disappear ballots in neighborhoods that lean Republican, and so forth. A few hundred bogus ballots here and there can change an election.
“An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the Democratic operative said. “It could be enough to flip states.”
Indeed, even Democratic pets can make a difference—and they don’t even have to be alive! Recently in Atlanta, a family got a voter registration application in the mail for their deceased house cat named Cody.
How did that happen, you ask? Well, outside third-party groups can rent mailing lists and randomly send everyone on the list an absentee-ballot application or voter registration application that they downloaded from the state’s election website. Have you ever used your pet’s name to subscribe to something because you didn’t want junk mail in your own name? If so, don’t be surprised if Fluffy or Spot gets a voter registration or absentee ballot application in the mail.
Georgia’s election officials assure us that Cody the cat would not have been able to vote at the polls in the Peach State because the cat doesn’t have a license or state ID. But one wonders if he would be allowed to vote by mail, assuming his registration application cleared. And, of course, not every state requires a photo ID to vote like Georgia does.
Speaking of Georgia, its Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, announced on September 8 that his office had identified 150,000 Georgians who had applied for an absentee ballot and then showed up at the polls to vote in person in the June primary; that is, they wished to vote, carelessly or purposefully, for a second time. This in a primary in which a little less than 950,000 people voted; in other words, the attempted (or at least potentially attempted) double voting accounts for around a sixth of total ballots cast. Of these 150,000, Raffensberger added that perhaps 1,000 had actually succeeded in voting twice.
Were these innocent mistakes? Simple confusion? Or guilty action? Whatever the truth about these would-be double voters and actual double voters, we should applaud Georgia authorities for minimizing what could have been a major electoral debacle; thanks to their good work, it was only a minor electoral debacle. In any case, the Georgia ACLU has nothing to say about that.
Voter fraud exists even when you vote in person, but mail-in voting blows the doors wide open in fraud potential. And the Democrats are ready to fight for every ballot—pets and all!
4. Send Democratic lawyers into key districts to fight for every challenged ballot. Use the courts and progressive election officials to keep the count going as long as possible with as little verification as possible.
As we have seen, each mailed-in ballot has the potential to foment a legal fight over its validity. In fact, the Washington Post reported on August 24, that more than 534,000 primary votes in 23 states have been rejected for one reason or another:
Democrats and voting rights groups are now waging court battles to ensure that absentee ballots are not discarded on technicalities, pushing to require that ballots postmarked by Election Day be counted and to make signature-matching laws more voter-friendly.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, a federal judge ruled that Hoosier election officials cannot reject ballots for dissimilar signatures without notifying the voter and giving him or her—aided, of course, by partisan pals—a chance to “cure” the ballot. In fact, 20 states allow a voter to attempt to cure a faulty ballot so that it can be counted. That might be a good idea, but we can see that each “cure” will take a lawyer, not a doctor.
In fact, with such legal fights in mind, the Biden-Harris campaign has already built a SWAT team of 600 lawyers, expecting many more recruits to come.
And just on September 14 came this headline, courtesy of the New York Times: “Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting.”
According to the Times, two Democratic legal veterans–Dana Remus, who has served as Biden’s general counsel in the 2020 campaign, and Bob Bauer, a former Obama administration White House counsel–will co-head this legal effort. Others involved include former Obama attorney general Eric Holder and two former solicitors general in Democratic administrations, Donald B. Verrilli and Walter Dellinger. In all, the Times tells us that “hundreds of lawyers will be involved, including a team at the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, led by Marc Elias.”
The name Marc Elias might ring a bell because, as Breitbart News has reported, he was in the middle of the infamous fake-news Christopher Steele dossier, having retained the firm of Fusion GPS on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. And come to think of it, Bob Bauer, mentioned above, was also a longtime Perkins Coie lawyer, having been there, alongside Elias, during the 2016 presidential campaign and its Steele-y aftermath.
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris herself is keeping up the drumbeat, warning Democrats of the many bad things Republicans are thought to be doing.
“There will be many obstacles that people are intentionally placing in front of Americans’ ability to vote,” Harris said. “We have classic voter suppression. We have a president who is trying to convince the American people not to believe in the integrity of our election system and compromise their belief that their vote might actually count.”
By “voter suppression,” she means any effort to make sure that only eligible living non-pet American citizens are voting in November.
But while we’re on this topic, we should note that the Department of Justice announced this week that it’s investigating reports that nine military mail-in ballots were discarded in Pennsylvania. Seven of the ballots were cast for President Trump; the contents of the other two are unknown. Yes, it’s only nine ballots, but the campaign season is young, and there are lots of places where marked ballots can be discarded.
And the crickets you hear is the sound of Democrats, normally so up-in-arms about vote suppression, now being oh-so-quiet about vote destruction.
Democrats are armed and ready for a vote-by-mail total war. We can expect they will have a ground game in every district. Every disputed ballot will get its own Democratic lawyer. Every critical district and state will see litigation over signature-matches, addresses, postmarks, and anything else that might affect Democratic balloting.
In fact, the Democrats’ legal team has already scored potentially game-changing court victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina on how long ballots can be counted after Election Day.
In Wisconsin, a federal judge ruled Monday that mail-in ballots can be counted up to six days after Election Day, and a ballot can be counted even if there is no “definitive” sign of a postmark on it.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s Supreme Court ruled last week that mail-in ballots can be received up to three days after Election Day; and, similar to the Wisconsin ruling, these ballots can be counted even if there is no evidence that they were postmarked on time. (The Pennsylvania court handed the Democrats a second victory by keeping the Green Party candidate off the ballot, thereby preventing the Greens from peeling off any progressive voters. We note that the court didn’t grant the GOP a similar favor by kicking the Libertarian Party off the ballot.)
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State also issued an order last week instructing clerks not to conduct signature matches on the mail-in ballots – which means that Pennsylvania essentially nullified signature verification because the state’s election officials won’t be verifying anything.
In Michigan, a judge ruled that postmarked mail-in ballots can be accepted up to 14 days after Election Day, and third parties are allowed to deliver these ballots. This fraud-friendly delivery service is commonly known as “ballot harvest.” It’s all the rage in California and other third world countries.
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A ballot drop box in Detroit, MI, on Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
In North Carolina, a coalition of Democrat-aligned special interest groups got the state to agree to accept mail-in ballots up to nine days after Election Day and to allow voters to “cure” any problems with these ballots. North Carolina election officials also agreed to create vote-by-mail ballot “drop-off” stations, which is essentially an invitation for “ballot harvesting.”
You’ll notice that these are all swing states, and three of them – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – were the Rust Belt blue wall states that put Trump over the top in 2016. He won them by 22,748 (WI); 44,292 (PA), and 10,704 (MI) votes. And the Democrats are stopping at nothing to win them back.
Of course, these court victories were concerned with when the mail-in ballot delivery window will close. Let’s not forget the question of when the in-person polls will close. It’s a safe bet that Democratic lawyers will argue—and even sue, as they have in the past—for extra hours in places where their voters might come straggling in late. After all, many protestors and rioters seem to be night people.
submitted by Venus230 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The loner should be worth 3 points

The loner should be worth 3 points, not 4. The truth is a loner is too easy and the risk/reward is not nicely balanced. This may sound like heresy to some, but I'm not trying to destroy the game. My only intention is to correct to a perceived imbalance.
The loner, it seems to me, intimidates new and uninitiated players. Understandably so, it's scary without your partner having your back (you can always count on them for one). Thus, many think it worth the 4 points for this "giant" risk the lone player is assuming. But a seasoned player knows that loners happen regularly, perhaps once or twice a game (anyone have stats on this?) and the risk just isn't that high. I think the 3 point loner still rewards the player with more points than otherwise possible but it also forces the player to consider the 2 point play before calling.
This has become a recent fascination of mine. I've been playing euchre on playok a lot since March 11, 2020 and here are some trends I've observed that support the change to 3 points:
Therefore, I propose we all stop with this 4 point nonsense and start playing for 3 points instead. All in favor?
p.s. Like many of so many of you on euchre, I come from a family with a deep rooted euchre playing tradition. They have flatly rejected my 3 point proposal (I'm looking at you Aunt Joanne) favoring tradition over aesthetics. But, being from Indiana, I see the 4 point loner like I see the 3-pointer in basketball. The long range 2-pointer is been made obsolete by statistics and changed the game in ways that I find disagreeable.
p.p.s. A little bit of honesty here, I actually think the loner should be worth 4 points but you have to get ALL 5. If the lone player takes only 3 (or 4) out of the 5 tricks, then it counts as a euchre.
p.p.p.s. I've found some references online stating that the 3 point loner is a thing in some places. Who are you people? And what is heaven like?
submitted by maxie2422 to euchre [link] [comments]

Tea Leaves, Pork Futures, and chickens running loose. A brief update.

Previous Post:https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/g83zcp/special_saturday_edition_what_exactly_are_tea/
First, we skipped yesterday. Why did we skip yesterday Diicembr? Well, yesterday was boring boring boring, AND it fit right in with our model, which for reminder is that we're in the float before the fall. Or, since everyone likes Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/Z3mN39L
So, we have some due diligence to start looking at:
Agriculture:
Pork:https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2020-04-21/coronavirus-pork-pig-farmers
Chicken
https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/covid-19-impact-tough-times-for-poultry-farmers-as-prices-crash-by-60-811297.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-28/trump-says-he-s-issuing-order-for-tyson-s-unique-liability?utm_content=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&cmpid%3D=socialflow-twitter-politics&fbclid=IwAR2VMjFDKCL0-Ya-E5QiXyKUbZsUBjR5bOKWFa1gnxRbM-xjEjJzrcCuWXE
Super Interesting, the fed is going to try and make it illegal to shut down a commercial factory? This will be interesting to watch play out.

Chicken problems affecting India too:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/18/indias-poultry-sales-decline-amid-coronavirus-rumors-linked-to-chickens.html

Potatos and Onions affected:
https://www.producebluebook.com/2020/04/17/onion-potato-struggles-see-no-end/#

Oil Has crashed, and continues to look poor:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-prices-drop-to-lowest-level-since-1986-11588066453

Housing:
Over extended models (like airbnb) feeling the squeeze:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/tech/airbnb-hosts-coronavirus/index.html

Evictions bans being used to hide the mess under the rug for the time being:
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/emergency-bans-on-evictions-and-other-tenant-protections-related-to-coronavirus.html
and evictions are happening anyways:
https://time.com/5820634/evictions-coronavirus/

Somewhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of mortgage deferments:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2020/04/14/mortgage-deferment-relief-coronavirus-covid-19/2983675001/
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/ap14/lenders-in-uk-grant-12m-mortgage-deferments

We got a stimulus, and as predicted, the larger companies are having an easier time getting millions of dollars than the small companies are getting thousands.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/26/business/coronavirus-small-business-loans-large-companies.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/21/large-public-companies-are-taking-small-businesses-payroll-loans.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/26/small-business-loans-public-companies-took-855-million.html
Even Basketball players got money faster than small businesses:
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/national-international/l-a-lakers-received-4-6-million-from-federal-loan-program-but-returned-payment/2358833/
Meanwhile small businesses:
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/27/846197794/small-business-loans-site-crashes-on-1st-day-of-reopening
https://www.vox.com/2020/4/7/21209584/paycheck-protection-program-banks-access

And Jobs? What jobs? 26+ million unemployed, over 20%+, and its not like its going back up tomorrow.
https://fortune.com/2020/04/23/us-unemployment-rate-numbers-claims-this-week-total-job-losses-april-23-2020-benefits-claims/

Don't worry though, if we start having record jobs growth right away, it'll only take up 95.23 years to re-hire 26 million people!
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/03/06/us-added-273000-jobs-in-february-will-the-record-setting-growth-continue/#4e226fc74ec0

Remember when we started talking about states running out of money, and needing to steal it from other programs just to make an extra payment or two? Nah, just file bankruptcy, duh
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/coronavirus-mcconnell-states-bankruptcy.html

So we're pretty much on track for exactly what we thought. Meanwhile the Gov't has promised unlimited QE spending to fix this, but...cut unlimited in half? Hey, if it sounds good in the presser at 5pm, :stonks go up:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/17/us-treasury-yields-higher-amid-covid-19-drug-reports.html

So. Where does that put us? Well. No where exciting. The days continue exactly as previously stated, trends of 1-2% green, and 1.5% negative, although we did see about a 10% bump in volume today at 105m. We did have a super exciting night last night, if you're on a platform with real after-hours market info (no, not Robinhood). So far tonight we're seeing another similar movement in the post market, but we'll see if holds up tomorrow or produces anything meaningful. We did notice a pretty solid rejection of SPY 290 today, and if I were a betting man I'd put tomorrow red too, and maybe starting a leg to re-test the 270 region.
But, because we're firmly in our model, and our signals are lining up, we're really in a 'wait and hold' pattern. That's OK, you can make some monies here and there off smaller movements. Remember, we're not invested one way or the other with if it should crash, we're just watching indicators, which are still on track for some time in the next 1.5-3.5 weeks. We're also about to really ramp into the first month we're expecting to see more and more about rent/mortgage problems, and mortgages can tumble the markets quick if 2007 taught us anything.
edit: I forgot to add, if we do see some sort of monthly stimulus, we should expect this to fuck with our timeline quite a bit. Free moneys though!
For now, we wait. Happy hunting.

tl:dr The pins are starting to get placed on the lane markers, now we're just waiting for the ball to arrive up the mystery chute the balls come out of. Why do bowling shoes always fit so weird?
edit edit: for you people who can't see the real after-market stuffs. edit edit edit: updated the overnight market picture. Fancy charts and shit.
https://imgur.com/a/8w8ocEJ
submitted by diicembr to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

[OC] The Chicago Bulls rebuild imploded again this year. How can they pick up the pieces and make it better next time?

As we continue to wait for real basketball to happen (or not?), it may be a good time to monitor teams that will definitely be missing out on all the playoff bubble hijinks.
Here's a look at the CHICAGO BULLS, with a special shoutout to true Bulls' fans like celsius_two_3_two for helping me review the content.
PART ONE: From Playoff Challenger to Challenger space shuttle
Like any proper degenerate, I like to make a few Las Vegas "oveunder" bets before the season (note: don't try it at home, it's usually a waste of time and money.)
Still, a few win totals jumped out at me. Among them: the Chicago Bulls, oveunder 33.5 wins.
Now, the logical move may have been to pound the "under" here. After all, this was a team coming off two seasons with 27-55 and 22-60 records. However, I couldn't help but overthink this one. Sure, the Bulls had a very bad 2018-19 season (highlighted by Fred Hoiberg getting fired and Drill Sergeant Jim Boylen taking over). At the same time, they played better in the second half of the season. Boylen (douche or not) would presumably keep improving their defense. Moreover, Boylen and the front office were on shaky ground in terms of their job security, which usually motivates an organization to push forward and win as much as possible.
The front office clearly had that in mind as well, signing Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young to sizable $10M+ contracts. Neither are great players, or perhaps even good players, but they're solid and reliable veterans whom the team could immediately plug into a rotation. These Bulls felt deep, balanced, and perhaps ready to strike. After all, star Zach LaVine would be set to enter Year 6 in the league. Otto Porter would be entering Year 7. Some of their other "young" pieces weren't that young; for example, Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine are both 26 right now.
Overall, this felt like a recipe for success. Or at least, semi-success. The Bulls were ready to take a jump. Making the playoffs may have been unrealistic, but 35-38 wins felt doable. "OVER" it is!
Flash forward nearly a year later, and I've got so much egg on my face that vegans won't even talk to me anymore. Turns out, these "new Bulls" were the "same ol' Bulls." They'll end the season with a 22-43 record, which would have put them on pace for 27.8 wins over 82 games, well under the 33.5 set by Vegas.
So what went wrong? How did this potential darkhorse run so far off the rails that it needed to get shot and turned to glue? Let's take a closer look.
PART TWO: Missing Otto Porter III + D
One of the major reasons the Chicago Bulls disappointed in 2019-20 was injuries. Center Wendell Carter missed time, and Otto Porter III barely played due to lingering hip injuries. He appeared in 14 games, and only drew 9 starts (averaging 23 minutes per game.)
On the surface, Porter shouldn't feel like a huge loss. After all, this is a player who's never averaged as much as 15 PPG in any season in his career and has never sniffed an All-Star team.
That said, the loss of Porter had a trickle down effect that hurt the team in numerous ways.
Offensively, Porter is a low-usage player who's about as efficient as anyone in the league. For his career, he shoots over 40% from three (40.4%). Better yet, he's only averaged 0.8 turnovers per game (1.1 TO per 36 minutes.) He's what you'd call a role player / assassin. He gets in, hits his target, and slips out without being noticed. Porter actually has a little more versatility to his offensive game than the average catch-and-shoot player (he can take you down on the block, for example), but most often, he's used as a spacer and he thrives in that regard. Without Porter's shooting, the Chicago Bulls' offense looked even more sluggish than usual. Their offensive rating ranked 27th out of the 30 teams in the league.
Porter's loss also showed up in other ways. Porter's not a great defender -- he's probably "above average" -- but that's still an asset to have in your lineup. He's a savvy player who's usually locked in defensively, despite one infamous Shaqtin' A Fool moment. He also has good size and length for his position at 6'8" with a 7'1" wingspan.
That size is a key element to this discussion. Porter has "plus" size as a small forward. In his absence, the Bulls struggled to fill that void with the same. They ended up shifting Zach LaVine (6'6", 6'8" wingspan) over to small forward quite a bit. LaVine played 67% of his minutes at SF this past season according to basketball-reference. You can take those positional play-by-plays with a grain of salt because it's not easy to track and label, but that's still a notable difference in terms of the roster composition. The Bulls were smaller than average at SF, and smaller than average at SG with rookie Coby White (6'4", 6'5" wingspan) playing the majority of his minutes there.
The natural follow up to this may be: so what? Even with those size limitations, Jim Boylen's Bulls still finished with the 14th best defense (up from 25 last year.) However, the lack of size on the wings helped contribute to the Bulls' problems on the glass. They finished 30th (out of 30 teams) in total defensive rebounds, and 28th in rebounding differential (-3.6 per game). Using rebounding totals isn't always the best metric to use because bad teams miss more shots (and thus allow their opponents more rebounds). However, if you dig deeper, the numbers still aren't pretty. The Bulls' grabbed 75.6% of their potential defensive rebounds -- 5th worst in the league. Overall, they grabbed 47.9% of all potential rebounds -- 2nd worst in the league. "Rebounds" may be not be an en vogue stat in general, but it's a weakness that still hurt the team at the margins. When you're a mid-level team, those extra few possessions per game could mean the difference between a win and a loss.
The good news? Porter will likely be back and healthy next season. The bad news? He's not cheap. He'll almost certainly pick up his oversized $28M player option. In another circumstance, he may try to rip it up and renegotiate a long-term deal with the Bulls or another team instead, but the murkiness around the cap and around his health makes that too difficult to imagine. Barring a trade, he'll be back with the Bulls next year, and will help the team win a few more games.
PART THREE: Misusing their offensive weapons
The Chicago Bulls are a young team, built around young stars like Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. Both LaVine and Markkanen have some limitations overall, but they're both gifted offensive players. So given that, how is it that the team only finished 27th in offensive efficiency?
In terms of the national media, a lot of the blame tends to fall on Zach LaVine. After some inefficient play early on in his career, the narrative has stuck that LaVine is an "empty calorie" or "volume" scorer. However, the results on the court don't really justify that anymore. Sure, LaVine shoots a lot, but he doesn't take as many bad shots as you may expect. He takes 8.1 threes per game (and makes an above-average 38%). He takes 5.6 free throw attempts per game (making 82% for his career.) Overall, that's a winning formula. LaVine's efficiency and true shooting is above league-average, no small feat for a player averaging 25.5 points per game this year. You'd like to see him hammer his way to the line even more, but he's not the problem for this team (offensively.)
Meanwhile, Markkanen has some work to do. For a 7-footer, he's a gifted shooter. He shot 42.3% from three in college (and even flirted with 50% early in the season.) He carried that success over to the NBA for his first two years, netting over 36% from three each year. His results at the free throw line (84% then 87% as a second-year player) illustrated his potential to keep improving from there. 7-footers tend to get labeled as "stretch bigs" if they can get anywhere over 30% from three; Markkanen has the potential to get closer to 40%.
However, that leap didn't happen in Year 3. Markkanen sagged to 34.4% from three, and "only" 82.4% from the free-throw line. But those percentages aren't what bothers me. Percentages will go up and down over smaller sample sizes like that. What's more concerning is how Markkanen's role shrunk offensively. After averaging 15.3 field goal attempts last season, he slipped down to 11.8 attempts this season per game. Even if you account for a few less minutes, he dropped from 17 FGA to 14 FGA in terms of "per 36" numbers.
As mentioned, Markkanen is an offensive player. He's a shooter. I'm no coaching genius (and neither is Jim Boylen apparently), but I'd encourage a shooter to SHOOT. Because if Markkanen isn't a focal point of your offensive attack, then he's not doing much good for your team. He's not a good defender -- he's not a good rebounder. This is like the Justice League sending Aquaman off to the find evil aliens in the desert; we're misusing his talents here, people.
Practically speaking, the next Bulls' coach needs to rethink the approach with Markkanen. Personally, I believe he has more in the tank offensively than he's been allowed to show so far. Maybe he's not Dirk Nowtizki, but he's still an extraordinary talent as a shooter for his size; I'd make a point of funneling him the ball. And if the problem is that he's getting marginalized by ball-dominant LaVine, then Markkanen should come off the bench as a 6th man scorer instead. He needs to be an offensive priority whenever he's in the game. And consequently, a better offensive philosophy and system needs to be installed in order to allow that to happen.
PART FOUR: Natural growing pains
When the Chicago Bulls' playoff chances slipped away, Jim Boylen and the front office finally unleashed their rookie, Coby White.
White took advantage of that greenlight and turned up the gas as a scorer. He'll end the season with a modest 13.2 points per game, but that undersells his impact as a scorer. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 18.5 points per game. That trended upwards over the course of the season as well. White averaged over 20 points per game in February and March (albeit over a limited 14 game size.) If White can do that as a 20-year-old rookie, then it's fair to suggest that he could be routinely scoring over 20 PPG in his prime.
While Coby White has some obvious virtues -- highlighted by his quickness and his cool hair -- there are some natural concerns and growing pains that he showed. He scored, but he didn't necessarily do that with efficiency. He shot only 39.4% from the field, and netted only a 50.6 true shooting percentage that's well below the league average.
Defensively, White also struggled. Playing "up" at SG for 71% of his minutes (and even at SF for 17%!), White's limited size and limited experience showed. ESPN's real/plus minus metric graded him as -1.9 impact per 100 possessions. If you wanted to count White as a point guard, that would rank 89th best (out of 94 qualifiers.) If you envision him as a shooting guard, that would rank 134th (out of 137 qualifiers.)
That debate -- is Coby White a point guard or shooting guard? -- is an important one. Sure, we're in an era of "position-less" basketball to some extent, but players still have certain roles offensively and certain assignments defensively. White's limited size and length (6'5" wingspan) projects best as a point guard. However, he's more of a scorer than a natural distributor. He only averaged 3.8 assists per 36 minutes this season, not far removed from the 5.2 assists per 36 minutes he averaged back in college at UNC. His playmaking can improve, but he's more of an attack dog by nature.
This combination of strengths and weaknesses makes you wonder about the long-term fit next to Zach LaVine. If the Bulls' long-term plan is to play White at SG and LaVine at SF, then they're always going to be behind the eight-ball in terms of length and rebounding (especially with Lauri Markkanen at the 4.) If their plan is to start White as a point guard, then they're going to have to rely on LaVine to be more of a lead facilitator, or on the entire team to adopt more of a ball-moving offense 1-5.
Most realistically, White projects best as a super-scorer off the bench, a la Lou Williams. To excel in that role, he'll need to continue to draw more free throws (he was at only 2.0 FTA per game as a rookie), but the potential is there to improve his shot selection and become a big-time scorer. Staggering White and LaVine would also allow them to be aggressive as scorers without stepping on each other's toes.
PART FIVE: Done with Dunn?
The other reason that it'll be important for the new Bulls' coach and front office to devise a long-term plan for Coby White is because it will affect other decisions on the roster. Among them: the fate of Kris Dunn.
Like Coby White, Dunn has some extreme strengths and weaknesses -- they just happen to be in opposite order. He EXCELS defensively. He has a big frame (6'9" wingspan) and natural instincts on that end. He nabbed 2.0 steals this season in only 24.9 minutes of action. A lot of times, "steals" can be misleading because they amount to gambling. For Dunn, it's more reflective of his actual talent. He has extremely quick hands; he could have made a lot of money as a gunslinger back in the Old West. In some ways, he reminds you of Andre Iguodala on the ball defensively, combining length, strength, and savvy.
The rest of Dunn's game is a mixed bag. He's not a bad distributor (averaging 6.0 assists in both 2017-18 and 2018-19), but he's a poor shooter. He's also had injury issues flare up over the course of his career. As mentioned, he's already 26 years old, so it's unrealistic to expect him to become a wholly different player in the next few years. With Kris Dunn, you mostly know what you're getting to get. So the question is: do you want it or not?
The Bulls will have to make that choice this offseason, as Dunn enters his (restricted) free agency. There's a chance that COVID will infect the cap and allow them to retain him on his one-year qualified offer of $7M. Alternatively, there's a chance that another team will swoop him and sign him to an offer sheet. He'd make some sense for a team like the Detroit Pistons, who could invest in him as an heir apparent to Derrick Rose at PG. If a team like that offers Dunn a deal in the 3 year, $8-10M per year range, will the Bulls match it? TBD.
Again, a lot depends on their views regarding Coby White. If they envision White as a future starter at PG, then there's less of a need for Kris Dunn. The Bulls would be able to start White at PG as soon as next year, with Tomas Satoransky as a combo guard off the bench and Ryan Arcidiacono serving as a third point guard and insurance policy. If the team envisions Coby White as a SG (or combo guard off the bench) then there's more of a need for Kris Dunn to platoon with Satoransky as a lead guard.
This game of musical chairs may be getting more crowded, because there's also another element at play: yet-another lottery pick.
PART SIX: Drafting some Help
Currently, the Chicago Bulls are slated in the # 7 position in terms of the NBA Draft order. They have a 9% chance of moving up to # 1, and a 32% chance of moving into the top 4. If they can make that leap, then that would mean adding another potential star to the fold. It's not a strong draft by any stretch, but SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia) and C James Wiseman (Memphis) have the potential to be good starters. If they can land someone like that, you ignore "fit", take the potential stud, and work out the rest later.
More likely, the Bulls will be picking in that 7-8 range. That's still a good pick, of course, but not one that should cause you to throw the baby out with the bath water and ignore the composition and needs of your team.
Again, this is why the "Do the Bulls need a PG?" question becomes so critical. This is a poor draft, but it's strongest in terms of its point guard depth. According to ESPN's draft experts, 5 of the top 13 prospects are point guards (LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony). A few of those -- namely Hayes and Anthony -- are "pure" point guards who don't have enough size to switch around and play minutes at the 2.
Among the crop that's likely to be available around pick 7, here are some potential fits.
PG TYRESE HALIBURTON, IOWA STATE (# 8 on espn). Haliburton is one of the easiest "fits" for the Bulls and for basically every team, because he offers a versatile set of skills. He's technically a point guard (averaging 15.2 points and 6.5 assists last year) and can capably fill that role. Better still, he can be effectively off the ball. His three-point shot looks a little wonky, but he converts it well, hitting 42.6% of his threes in college. Defensively he's got good size (6'5" with a 6'10" wingspan) and instincts (2.5 steals, 1.3 fouls last year). In a sense, Haliburton can be a "3 + D" point guard that plays alongside a ball-dominant player, be it Zach LaVine or Coby White. If the team drafts him, you figure it'd be with the intention of using him as an upgrade on Dunn (slightly worse defense but better offense.)
SG DEVIN VASSELL, FLORIDA STATE (# 16 on espn). Like Haliburton, Devin Vassell is another player who could fit well on virtually every team because of his 3+D potential. He's hit 41.7% of his threes in his two years at FSU with a good-looking form that's aided by good size for his position and a higher release than Haliburton. Right now, Vassell is listed around 6'6" with an estimated 6'10" wingspan, but he looks bigger than that to my eye. That's crucial because it would allow him to play both SG and SF and draw some different assignments defensively. I also like Vassell's personality off the court; he seems like a good kid that should continue to improve. Like Haliburton, Vassell is the type of player that should easily into a lineup with LaVine and/or White.
SF DENI AVDIJA, ISRAEL (# 5 on espn). I'm not going to pretend to have as much confidence in my projection of Avdija, who's played in the international youth circuit and has been a rising star with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Based on what I do know, he could be an intriguing boom/bust pick around # 7. He's a big forward (6'9") who can convert inside, and better yet, has a real knack for playmaking. The Bulls' young stars -- Zach LaVine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen -- are all better scorers than passers right now, so perhaps Avdija can operate as a de facto point forward and help the offense click into place. Right now, his shooting results have been shaky though, so he's not someone you can just throw out there and tell to stand in the corner as a 3+D option. If you take him, you need an actual plan to highlight his skill set. The Bulls' top exec Arturas Karnisovas is from Lithuania originally, so you presume that he'd have no qualms about selecting an European like Avdija (whose dad is Serbian) if need be. Of course, that logic didn't quite work out for Sacramento GM Vlade Divac and Luka Doncic.
SHAKIER FITS. Alternatively, there are some players in the Bulls' draft range that may not be ideal fits. As mentioned, Killian Hayes and Cole Anthony are more of traditional ball-dominant point guards; I don't love the idea of that next to Coby White and Zach LaVine. I'd also be wary of Dayton's PF Obi Toppin. Toppin has strong scoring potential with a decent shot and good athleticism inside. That said, he's a little stiff in the hips defensively, and may duplicate Lauri Markkanen in that regard.
PART SEVEN: Buh-Buh Boylen
One of the Chicago Bulls' biggest decisions will be among their first. Technically, the new front office has not fired coach Jim Boylen yet, but it appears that his clock is ticking on that decision. It's only a matter of time.
Candidly, Boylen gets too harsh of a rap from national media and fans. He's not a complete asshat. He's had success as a defensive assistant in the past, and did help the Bulls' defense improve some over the past few years. He'd be a fine assistant coach somewhere in that limited capacity.
However, he does seem woefully out of his depth as a head coach. He's never had success in that role before, and he didn't have any now. His offensive system is virtually nonexistent, and his attitude is boarish. Usually those "Drill Sergeant" coaches get a short-term year or two of improvement from a young team, but he couldn't even do that. We need to pull him out of there before there's a full-on Full Metal Jacket rebellion here.
Looking ahead, the Bulls need to pick a coach that can get the team back on track, especially in terms of their offensive philosophy. That said, the Bulls have to be careful not to "zigzag" too much in their coaching hires. They went from Tom Thibodeau (the gruff, defensive-heavy coach) to the Anti-Thibodeau in Fred Hoiberg (likable, low-key former player), and then jumped on the seesaw again with the complete opposite in Boylen. There's always a tendency to go for the opposite of your last coach, but presumably there's a happy medium in between these two poles. Goldilocks was happy to find something "just right," so Karnisovas should be as well.
According to media reports, Ime Udoka is a top candidate, and would be a natural fit. While Udoka doesn't have head coaching experience yet, he's about as "ready" as any first-time coach would be. He's a former player, and a long-time assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio (and now has worked the last year in Philadelphia.) The Spurs' philosophy is an ideal template for the Bulls to use, both in terms of their offensive ball movement and their locker room culture.
I'd also recommend Kenny Atkinson as a viable candidate. He didn't mesh with the new superstars in Brooklyn, but he'd done a great job prior to that in terms of rebuilding a broken Brooklyn team. He specializes in pace and space offense, and player development. That sounds ideal for this team right now.
There are a few other candidates out there that would be worth interviews (Chris Finch, Wes Unseld Jr., Chris Fleming, Nate Tibbetts, Alex Jensen, Dave Joerger, etc) but Udoka and Atkinson represent a very solid top two. Hiring either of them would be a great first step for this new administration.
TL;DR
The Chicago Bulls' "breakout" didn't happen; instead, they broke down. However, the foundation isn't bad here. If the new front office wants to push for the playoffs next year (manifested by keeping Otto Porter and continuing to play veterans) then it's not unrealistic that they can get up to 35-40 wins with better health and a better offensive system. Conversely, the team may decide they're further away than that, and take a step back to collect their bearings.
other offseason blueprints
ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, GS, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NO, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, SA, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
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Evaluating Line Movement in College Basketball

I recently did some in-depth research in the value of line movements in college basketball. My first project evaluated every game I bet on in the 2019-2020 season. My findings were actually very surprising, and I wanted to share them to get my mind off of not watching sports. One quick note before getting into the data. For the purposes of this breakdown I made the assumption that line movements are strictly due to the "public" betting one side more heavily than another. This is obviously not always the case, but makes explaining the data much simpler. First, lines only moved in favor of favorites 2.5% more often than underdogs. I had always assumed that "the public loves favorites" was a narrative that would show much more evidence of truth. Next, I learned that lines have to move 1.5 points or more in order to be a strong (profitable) indicator of which team will cover the spread. This applies to movement towards favorites and underdogs, alike. One difference though, is that a greater magnitude of line movement towards favorites does not become an even stronger indicator, while for underdogs, it does. My sample size of games was only about 2,000 games, and didn't always capture lines from open to close. I wanted to see if these trends held up with significantly better data in quantity and quality. So I repeated the analysis on every game from 2011-2020 (that had complete line movement data). This giant sample size showed that the public does, indeed, love favorites. Lines moved towards favorites 45.9% of the time (compared to 34.9% for underdogs). They also prefer visitors more than home teams, which I found surprising. Lines moved towards away teams 3.5% more often than home teams. It also became clear that line movement is, in absolutely no way, an indicator of which team will cover the spread. In fact, strictly "fading" the public at tip-off would save you over 1,000 units compared to "tailing" them (steam-chasing), despite the fact that you're getting the "worst of it".
I have graphical representations of all of my data and further explanations on my webiste: Initial sample: https://gamblingandsubmarines.com/evaluating-line-movement-in-ncaa-basketball-spreads/ Follow-up sample: https://gamblingandsubmarines.com/evaluating-line-movement-in-ncaa-basketball-spreads/
Feel free to message me if you have any thoughts or questions, and stay safe!
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Oscars 2021: An inside look (like, really inside) to 50 possible contenders in the next awards race

Another Oscar ceremony happened, and we got our fair share of joy and disappointment. After Parasite surprised the world and took Best Picture, it seems like the game has changed for the awards race, now that non-English speaking films can actually fight and be recognized as well as classics as… Green Book. The Oscar race is still full of pain and glory, and even though the year has barely started, we have a bunch of movies that are fighting for air. And here’s 50 of them. Yes, I had some free time in my hands and this is a cool hobby, so I took the liberty to introduce most of the movies that will have Film Twitter entertained for the following 12 months. I say most, because there are always contenders who come out of nowhere later in the year, so this is the starter set. Here we go.
-Annette: Since Parasite’s road to the Oscars started at Cannes, it seems fair to talk about a movie that is circling a premiere in the world stage that is set in France. After delivering weird, indie classics like Mauvais Sang and Holy Motors (yes, the kind of movies that make you seem like a snob when you recommend them to people), Leos Carax is making his first movie spoken in the English language… and it has a musical screenplay written by the cult rock duo of Sparks. Recently robbed Adam Driver and previous Oscar winner Marion Cotillard sing in this tale of a stand-up comedian and a famous soprano singer who rise and fall in Los Angeles while their daughter is born with a special gift. It seems like a wild bet, but we already know that Carax is a master with musical moments, so this is one of the most intriguing question marks of the year.
-Ammonite: It’s time to talk narratives. On the one hand, we have Kate Winslet, a known name who hasn’t been very successful in the Oscar race since her Oscar win for The Reader over a decade ago (with the exception being her supporting performance in Steve Jobs, where she had a weird accent). On the other, we have Saoirse Ronan, a star on the rise who keeps collecting Oscar nominations, with 4 nods at the age of 25, including her fresh Best Actress loss for Little Women. What happens if we put them together in a drama set in the coasts of England during the 19th century where both of them fall for each other? That’s gonna be a winning formula if writedirector Francis Lee (who tackled queer romance in his acclaimed debut God’s Own Country) nails the Mary Anning story, and Neon (the distribution company founded three years ago that took Parasite to victory) is betting on it.
-Benedetta: We know the Paul Verhoeven story. After isolating himself from Hollywood for over a decade, he took Isabelle Huppert to an Oscar nominated performance with the controversial, sexy, dark and funny thriller Elle. Now, he’s back with another story that perks up the ears, because now he’s covering the life of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century lesbian nun who had religious and erotic visions. If you know Paul, you already can tell that this fits into his brand of horniness, and a possible Cannes premiere could tell us if this has something to carry itself to Oscar night.
-Blonde: With a short but impactful directorial credits list that takes us from Chopper, to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik is back with a film about Marilyn Monroe, a woman who has transcended the ideas of fame and stardom, in ways that are glamorous and nightmarish at the same time. After failing to launch with Naomi Watts or Jessica Chastain,the rising Ana de Armas takes the lead in the retelling of Monroe’s troubled life based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, which is said to be covered in the screenplay as somewhat of a horror movie. We don’t know what that means yet, but Netflix is gonna push hard for this one, especially considering how the Academy loves throwing awards to stars playing previous stars, and that also can possibly include co-stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody.
-Breaking News in Yuba County: While he hasn’t gone back to the heights of his success achieved by the box office and award success of The Help (a movie that did not age well), Tate Taylor is still enjoying himself economically due to recent thrillers like The Girl on the Train and Ma. For his next movie, he’s made a dramedy that once again reunites him with Oscar winner Allison Janney, where she plays a woman who has to keep appearances and a hidden body when she catches her husband cheating on her, and then he dies of a heart attack. With a cast that also includes Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Samira Wiley, Wanda Sykes, Jimmi Simpson and Ellen Barkin, this could be a buzzy title later this year.
-C’mon C’mon: You may love or hate whatever Joaquin Phoenix did in Joker, but you can’t deny the benefit of playing the Crown Prince of Crime in an Oscar-winning performance. The blank check that you share with indie directors afterwards. Now that Joaquin’s cultural cachet is on the rise, Mike Mills gets to benefit with this drama that stars Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann, with him playing an artist left to take care of his precocious young nephew as they forge an unexpected bond over a cross country trip. We only have to wonder if A24 will do better with this movie’s Oscar chances compared to 20th Century Women.
-Cherry: After killing half the universe and bringing them back with the highest grossing movie of all time, where do you go? For Joe and Anthony Russo, the answer is “away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The Russo brothers are trying to distance themselves and prove that they have a voice without Kevin Feige behind them, with a crime drama that’s also different than their days when they directed You, Me and Dupree or episodes of Arrested Development and Community. To help them in the journey, they took Tom Holland (who also needs to distance himself from Spider-Man, lest he ends up stuck to the character in the audience’s eyes) to star in a crime drama based on former Army medic Nico Walker’s memoir about his days after Iraq, where the PTSD and an opioid addiction led him to start robbing banks.
-Da 5 Bloods: After bouncing back from a slump with the critical and commercial success of BlackKklansman, Spike Lee is cashing a Netflix check to tell the tale of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure. With a cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Paul Walter Hauser and Chadwick Boseman, this sounds like an interesting combo, although we still should remember the last time that Spike tried his hand at a war movie, with the dull Miracle at St. Anna.
-Dune: If you are on Reddit, you probably know about the new film by movies’ new Messiah, Denis Villeneuve. While the epic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert is getting a new chance in the multiplexes after that David Lynch movie that was forgotten by many, some are hoping that this will be the beginning of a new franchise (as seen by the release date of December 18, taking the spot of the usual Star Wars opening), and a return to the whole “remember when stuff like Return of the King or Fury Road were nominated for Best Picture?” question. Timothee Chalamet will be riding a lot of hope, and sandworm.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: As you start to see, there are several musicals that are gonna be fighting for attention over the next year, and Annette was the first one. Now, we also have this adaptation of the hit West End production, that centers around a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar Brits (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), the creative team of the stage musical will jump to the big screen with the help of Fox Searchlight (sorry, just Searchlight), who has clear Oscar hopes with a release date right in the middle of awards heat, on October 23.
-Hillbilly Elegy: Even though the Parasite victory gave many people hope for a new Academy that stops recognizing stuff like previous winner Green Book… let’s be honest, the Academy will still look for movies like Green Book. This year, many people are turning their eyes towards Ron Howard’ adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio, filled with drugs, violence and verbal abuse. If this sounds like white trash porn, it doesn’t help to know that Glenn Close, who has become the biggest living Oscar bridesmaid with seven nominations, will play a character called Mamaw. And if that sounds trashy, then you have to know that Amy Adams, who follows Glenn with six nominations, is playing her drug-addicted, careless daughter. I don’t want to call this “Oscar bait”, but it sure is tempting.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things: After his stopmotion existential dramedy Anomalisa got him a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars but at the same time bombed at the box office, Charlie Kaufman is getting the Netflix check. This time, he’s adapting the dark novel by Iain Reid, about a woman (Jessie Buckley, who is on the rise and took over the role after Brie Larson had to pass) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), in a trip that takes a turn for the worse. If Kaufman can deliver with this one, it will be a big contender.
-In the Heights: Yes, more musicals! This time, it’s time to talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony-winning musical, that was overshadowed because of his other small play about some treasury secretary. Now, his Broadway ensemble tale about life in a neighborhood in Washington Heights is jumping to the movie screen with Jon Chu at the helm, following the success of Crazy Rich Asians. This Latino tale mixes up-and-comers like Anthony Ramos (who comes straight from Hamilton and playing Lady Gaga’s friend in A Star is Born), names like Corey Hawkins and Jimmy Smits (who is pro bits), and Olga Merediz, who starred in the Broadway show as Abuela Claudia and who could be the early frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress, if Chu allows her to shine like she did onstage.
-Jesus Was My Homeboy: When looking at up-and-coming Black actors right now in Hollywood, two of the top names are Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, who already appeared in the same movie in Get Out, which earned Kaluuya a Best Actor nomination. This time, they share the screen in Shaka King’s retelling of the story of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader… as well as the story of William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent by J. Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the party and arrest him. With the backing of Warner Bros, this will attempt to make an impact with a clash of actors that will have to fight with an August release date, not the ideal time to release an awards movie.
-King Richard: Starting with Suicide Squad, Will Smith has been trying to prove that he’s back and better than ever. Some attempts to get back to the top of the A-list (Aladdin, Bad Boys For Life) have worked, while others (Gemini Man, Spies in Disguise)... have not. But Will is still going, and now he’s going for his next prestige play as he plays Richard Williams, the coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena, who pushed them to their full potential. While it’s weird that the father of the Williams sisters is getting a movie before them, it does sound like a meaty role for Smith, who has experience with Oscar notices with sports biopics because of what he did with Michael Mann in Ali. Let’s hope director Reinaldo Marcus Green can take him there too.
-Last Night in Soho: Every year, one or two directors who have a cool reputation end up in the Dolby Theatre, and 2020 could be the year of Edgar Wright. After delivering his first big box office hit with Baby Driver, the Brit is going back to London to tell a story in the realm of psychological horror, which has been supposedly inspired by classics like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. With a premise that supposedly involves time travel and a cast that includes Anya-Taylor Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg, Wright (who also co-wrote this with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was just nominated for Best Original Screenplay for her work in 1917) is making a big swing.
-Let Them All Talk: Every year there’s more new streaming services, and that also means that there’s new players in the Oscar game. To secure subscribers to the new service, HBO Max has secured the rights to the next Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges, again) in a journey to find fun and come to terms with the past. The last time that Soderbergh and Streep worked together, the end result was the very disappointing The Laundromat. Let’s hope that this time everything works out.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Now that Netflix got the deal to adapt August Wilson’s acclaimed plays with Denzel Washington’s production company, the next jump from the stage to the screen is a meaty one. Viola Davis is playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, with a cast that also includes Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo. The Tony nominated play talked about race, art and the intersection of the two, and it’s gonna be explosive to see that unfold on screen, even if director George C. Wolfe’s previous filmography isn’t very encouraging.
-Macbeth: In a shocking development, the Coen brothers are no more. Well, just this time. For the first time in his career, Joel Coen is making a movie without Ethan, and it’s a Shakespeare adaptation. Denzel Washington is playing the man who wants to be king of Scotland, and Frances McDormand is playing his Lady Macbeth. While this just started filming and it will be a race to finish it in time for competition in the awards race, the potential is there, and this project has everybody’s attention.
-Mank: After scoring 24 Oscar nominations and only winning 2 awards last Sunday, Netflix has to wonder what else must they do to get in the club that awards them. They tried with Cuarón, they tried with Scorsese, they tried with Baumbach, they tried with two Popes, and they still feel a barrier. Now, the big gamble for awards by the streamer in 2020 comes to us in the hands of David Fincher, who is basically their friend after the rest of Hollywood denied him (Disney dropped his 20,000 Leagues adaptation, HBO denied the US remake of Utopia, and Paramount drove World War Z 2 away from him). In his first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl, David will go black and white to tackle a script by his late father about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Will the Academy fall for the ultimate “power of da moviesshhh” story?
-Minari: Sundance can be hit or miss with the breakout films that try to make it to the Oscars. However, you can’t deny the waves made by A24 when they premiered Lee Isaac Chung’s new drama there, ending up winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition. If Parasite endeared Academy voters to Korean families, Steven Yeun hopes that the same thing happens with this story, where he plays a father in the ‘80s who suddenly decides to move his family to Arkansas to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, we must also remember that last year, A24 had in their hands The Farewell, another Sundance hit about an Asian family that ended up with no Oscar nominations. Let’s hope that this time, the Plan B influence (remember, that’s Brad Pitt’s production company, of Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave fame) makes a difference.
-Next Goal Wins: It’s a good time to be Taika Waititi. Why? Taika Waititi can do what he wants. He can direct a Thor movie, he can win an Oscar for writing a comedy set in WW2 about a Third Reich boy who has an Imaginary Hitler friend, or he can pop up in The Mandalorian as a droid. Taika keeps winning, and he wants more. Between his press tour for Jojo Rabbit and his return to the MCU, he quickly shot an adaptation of a great documentary about the disgraced national team of American Samoa, one of the worst football teams known to man, as they try to make the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Everybody loves a good sports comedy, and Searchlight bets that we’ll enjoy this story led by Michael Fassbender as the new (and Dutch-American) coach in town who tries to shape the team for victory.
-News of the World: Seven years after their solid collaboration in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks reunite for more awards love in what seems to be Universal’s main attraction for the Oscars. This time, Hanks stars in a Western drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel where he plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. With a Christmas release date, Universal is betting big in getting the same nomination boost that 1917 is enjoying right now, and the formula is promising.
-Nightmare Alley: Following his Best Picture and Best Director wins for The Shape of Water, everybody in Hollywood wondered what would Guillermo del Toro do next. Well, as Del Toro often does, a little bit of everything and nothing. Some projects moved (as his produced Pinocchio movie on Netflix, or his Death Stranding likeness cameo), others stalled and die (like his proposed Fantastic Voyage remake). But now he’s rolling on his next project, a new adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel that already was a Tyrone Power film in 1947. This noir tale tells the story of a con man (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to trick people and win money, and how things get out of control. With a cast that also includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara and more, this could play well if it hits the right tone.
-Nomadland: There’s breakout years, and then there’s the amazing potential of Chloe Zhao’s 2020. On the one hand, after making Hollywood notice her skill with the gripping story of The Rider, she got the keys to the MCU kingdom to direct the next potential franchise of Kevin Feige, The Eternals. And just in case, she also has in her sleeve this indie drama that she wrote and directed beforehand, with two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand playing a woman who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. If Chloe nails these two films, it could be the one-two punch of the decade.
-One Night in Miami: Regina King is living her best life. Following her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk and the success that came with her lead role in the Watchmen show on HBO, the actress is jumping to a new challenge: directing movies. For her big screen debut, she’s adapting Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown.
-Over the Moon: After earning praise and Oscar nominations with I Lost My Body and Klaus, Netflix will keep its bet on animated movies with a film directed by the legendary Glen Keane. Who? A classic Disney animator responsible for the design of characters like Ariel, the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and more](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jRkx2PNVr8), and who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, which he co-directed with the late Kobe Bryant. Now, he brings us a musical adventure centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess.
-Passing: It’s always interesting when an actor jumps behind the camera, and Rebecca Hall’s case is no exception. For her directorial debut, Hall chose to adapt Nella Larsen’s acclaimed novel set in Harlem in the 1920s, about two mixed race childhood friends (Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson) who reunite in adulthood and become obsessed with one another's lives. With a premise that explores tough questions about race and sexuality, it looks like a tricky challenge for a first timer, but it would be more impressive if Hall manages to rise over the challenge.
-Prisoner 760: An interesting part of following the awards circuit is looking at when it's appropriate to talk about touchy subjects in recent history. I’m saying that because this next movie tells the real life tale of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), a man who, despite not being charged or having a set trial, is held in custody at Guantanamo Bay, and turns towards a pair of lawyers (Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley) to aid him. Based on the famous journal that the man wrote while he was being detained, the movie (that also counts with Benedict Cumberbatch) is directed by Kevin Macdonald who, a long time ago, helped Forest Whitaker win Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland. Could he get back in the race after almost 15 years of movies like State of Play?
-Raya and the Last Dragon: This year, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ bet for the Oscars is a fantasy tale set in a mysterious realm called Kumandra, where a warrior named Raya searches for the last dragon in the world. And that dragon has the voice of Awkwafina. Even though they missed out last Oscars when Frozen II got the cold shoulder by the Academy in Best Animated Feature, this premise looks interesting enough to merit a chance. One more thing: between last year’s Abominable, Over the Moon and this movie, there’s a clear connection of animated movies trying to appeal to Chinese sensibilities (and that sweet box office).
-Rebecca: It’s wild to think that the only time that Alfred Hitchcock made a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture was with 1940’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel, more muted and conventional than his more known classics. Now, Ben Wheatley and Netflix are giving the Gothic story a new spin, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca. The story is a classic, and we have to see how much weird Wheatley stuff is in the mix.
-Red, White and Water: Between 2011 and 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was everywhere and people loved it. She was America’s sweetheart, the Oscar winner, Katniss Everdeen. But then, everything kinda fell. Those X-Men movies got worse and she looked tired of being in them, her anecdotes got less charming and more pandering to some, she took respectable risks that didn’t pay off with Red Sparrow and Mother!, and some people didn’t like that she said that it wasn’t nice to share private photos of her online. Now, she looks to get back to the Oscar race with a small project funded by A24 and directed by Lila Neugebauer in her film debut, about a soldier who comes back to the US after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. Also, Brian Tyree Henry is in this, and it would be amazing if he got nominated for something.
-Respect: You know what’s a surefire way to get Academy voters’ attention? Play a real singer! Rami Malek took a win last year for playing Freddie Mercury, Renee Zellweger just won the gold after portraying Judy Garland, and now Jennifer Hudson wants more Oscar love. Almost 15 years after taking Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls, Hudson will try to get more by playing soul legend Aretha Franklin, in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy that practically screams “give me the gold”. How am I so sure? Well, see the teaser that they released in December (for a movie that opens in October), and tell me. It will work out better for Hudson than Cats, that’s for sure.
-Soul: Unless they really disappoint (I’m looking at you, The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2 and Cars 3), you can’t have the Oscars without inviting Pixar to the party. This year, they have two projects in the hopes of success. While in a few weeks we’ll see what happens with the fantasy family road trip of Onward, the studio’s biggest bet of the year clearly is the next existential animation written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (voice of Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a promising first trailer, and it also promises a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as new songs by Jon Batiste. The only downside so far for the marketing was the fact that the trailer reveal led people to notice a suspicious trend involving black characters when they lead an animated movie.
-Tenet: When Leonardo DiCaprio finally touched his Academy Award, an alarm went off in the mind of a portion of Internet users, who have made their next crusade to give themselves to the cause of getting Christopher Nolan some Oscar love. And his next blank check, an action thriller involving espionage and time travel, could pull off the same intersection of popcorn and prestige that made Inception both a box office hit and a critically acclaimed Oscar nominee. It helps to have a cast of impressive names like John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson, as well as a crew that includes Ludwig Goransson and Hoyte van Hoytema. In other words, if this becomes a hit, this could go for a huge number of nominations.
-The Devil All the Time: As you may have noticed by now, Netflix is leading the charge in possible Oscar projects. Another buzzy movie that comes from them is the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos, a filmmaker known for delivering small and intimate but yet intense and terrifying dramas like Simon Killer and Christine. Using the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, Campos will follow non-linearly a cast of characters in Ohio between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, with the help of an interesting cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough.
-The Eyes of Tammy Faye: After being known as a sketch comedy goofball because of The State, Wet Hot American Summer and Stella, Michael Showalter reinvented himself as a director of small and human dramedies like Hello, My Name is Doris and The Big Sick. For his next project, he’s gonna mix a little bit of both worlds, because he has before him the story of the televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain, who has been really trying to recapture her early ‘10 awards run to no avail) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield, who was previously nominated for Hacksaw Ridge, instead of Silence, because why). With a real life tale that involves Christian theme parks, fraud and conspiracies, this is the kind of loud small movie that Searchlight loves to parade around, especially as an actors showcase (Jojo Rabbit being the most recent example). The first image looks terrifying, by the way.
-The Father: It’s weird to be in the middle of February and say that there’s already a frontrunner for the Best Actor race at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance a couple of weeks ago, every prognosticator pointed in the direction of Anthony Hopkins (recently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Two Popes), who delivers a harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). With reviews calling it a British answer to Amour (in other words: it’s a hard watch), Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play not only benefits from having Hopkins and Colman together as a selling point, because it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, a distributor with experience in getting Academy voters to watch adult movies with heavy themes. If you don’t believe me, watch how they got Julianne Moore a win for Still Alice, as well as recent nominations for Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Glenn Close for The Wife, and Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. They know the game, and they are going to hit hard for Hopkins and Colman.
-The French Dispatch: If you saw the trailer, we don’t need to dwell too much on the reasons. On the one hand, we have the style of Wes Anderson, a filmmaker who has become a name in both the critics circle and the casual viewer, with his last two movies (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs) earning several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for the one with Gustave H. Then, we have a long cast that goes from the director’s regulars like Bill Murray to new stars like Timothee Chalamet, and also includes people like Benicio del Toro. The only thing that could endanger the Oscar chances for this is that the story, an anthology set around a period comedy with an European riff on The New Yorker, will alienate the average Academy member.
-The Humans: There’s the prestige of a play, and then there’s the prestige of a Tony-winning play. Playwright Stephen Karam now gets to jump to the director’s chair to take his acclaimed 2016 one-act story to the big screen, and A24 is cutting the check. Telling the story of a family that gets together on Thanksgiving to commiserate about life, this adaptation will be led by original performer Jayne Houdyshell (who also won a Tony for her stage performance), who’ll be surrounded by Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun and June Squibb. If it avoids getting too claustrophobic or stagey for the cinema, it will be a good contender.
-The Last Duel: Always speedy, Ridley Scott is working on his next possible trip to the Oscars. This time, it’s the telling of a true story in 14th-century France, where a knight (Matt Damon) accuses his former friend (Adam Driver) of raping his wife (Jodie Comer), with the verdict being determined by the titular duel. It’s a juicy story, but there was some concern when it seemed that the script was only being written by Damon and Ben Affleck (who’ll also appear in the film). A rape story written by them after the Weinstein revelations… not the best look. But then, it was revealed that they were writing the screenplay with indie figure Nicole Holofcener, who last year was nominated for an Oscar for her script for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Let’s hope that the story is told in a gripping but not exploitative way, and that it doesn’t reduce the role of Comer (who deserves more than some of the movie roles that she’s getting after Killing Eve) to a Hollywood stereotype.
-The Power of the Dog: We have to talk about the queen of the indie world, we have to talk about Jane Campion. More than a decade after her last movie, Bright Star, the Oscar and Palme d’Or winner for The Piano returns with a non-TV project (see Top of the Lake, people) thanks to Netflix, with a period drama centered around a family dispute between a pair of wealthy brothers in Montana, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons), after the latter one marries a local widow (Kirsten Dunst). According to the synopsis, “a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn”. Can’t wait to see what that means.
-The Prom: Remember the Ryan Murphy blank check deal with Netflix that I mentioned earlier? Well, another of the projects in the first batch of announcements for the deal is a musical that he’ll direct, adapting the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (now played by the one and only Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and, uh, James Corden, for some reason) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. The show has been considered a fun and heartwarming tale of acceptance, so the movie could be an easy pick for an average Academy voter who doesn’t look too hard (and you know that the Golden Globes will nominate the shirt out of this). It’s funny how this comes out the same year than Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and then it’s not funny realizing that Film Twitter will pit the two movies against each other.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7: After getting a taste of the director’s taste with Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin wants more. For his second movie, he’s tackling one of his specialties: a courtroom drama. And this one is a period movie centered around the trial on countercultural activists in the late ‘60s, which immediately attracts a campaign of how “important” this movie is today’s culture. To add the final blow, we have a cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance. If Sorkin can contain himself from going over the top (and with that cast, it would be so easy to surrender to bouts of screaming and winding speeches), this could be one of the top contenders.
-Those Who Wish Me Dead: Having made a good splash in the directorial waters with Wind River, Taylor Sheridan (also known for writing the Sicario movies, the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water or that Yellowstone show that your uncle raves about on Facebook) returns with yet another modern Western. For this thriller based on the Michael Koryta novel, Angelina Jolie stars as a survival expert in the Montana wilderness who is tasked with protecting a teenager who witnessed a murder, while assassins are pursuing him and a wildfire grows closer.
-Untitled David O. Russell Project: Following the mop epic Joy, that came and went in theaters but still netted a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence, the angriest director in Hollywood took a bit of a break (it didn’t help that he tried to do a really expensive show with Amazon starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore that fell apart when the Weinstein exposes sank everything). Now, he’s quickly putting together his return to the days of Oscar love that came with stuff like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, with a new movie that is set to star Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan. Even though we don’t know many details (some people are saying the movie is called Amsterdam) except for the fact the movie hasn’t started shooting yet, David is a quick guy, so he’ll get it ready for the fall festival circuit. If there’s one thing that David O. Russell knows (apart from avoid getting cancelled for abusing people like Lily Tomlin, Amy Adams and his niece), it’s to make loud actor showcases.
-Untitled Nora Fingscheidt Project: When Bird Box became one of the biggest hits on Netflix history, the streamer decided to keep itself in the Sandra Bullock business. Sandy’s next project for Ted Sarandos is a drama where she plays a woman who is released from prison after serving time for a violent crime, and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. To get redemption, she searches her younger sister she was forced to leave behind. With the direction of Fingscheidt, who comes from an acclaimed directorial debut with Systemsprenger (Germany’s submission to the last Academy Awards), and a cast that also includes Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal, this will also hopefully try its luck later this year.
-Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project: We don’t know if this movie will be ready for the end of the year (although last time, he managed to sneak Phantom Thread under the buzzer and earn several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture), but PTA is apparently gonna start to shoot it soon, with the backing of Focus Features. After several movies with prestige locations and intricate production design, Film Twitter’s Holy Spirit will go back to the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, to tell the story of a high school student who is also a successful child actor.
-Stillwater: Tom McCarthy’s recent career is certainly puzzling. After delivering the weird lows of The Cobbler, he bounced back with the Best Picture winner that was Spotlight. And following that, he… helped produce the 13 Reasons Why series. And following that… he made Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, a Disney+ original movie. Now, he’s back to the award race with a drama starring Matt Damon, who plays a father who rushes from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison after being suspected for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.
-West Side Story: To close things, we have to see one of the possible big contenders of the season, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the iconic musical that translates Romeo and Juliet to the context of a street gang war in 1950s New York. While the decision to adapt again something that has been a classic both in Broadway and in movie theaters almost 60 years ago is a challenge, the idea of Spielberg doing a musical closer to the stage version with Tony Kushner as the writer is too tempting for the average Academy voter, who is already saving a spot in major categories in case Steven nails it in December. However, there’s two question marks. First, how well will Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler stand out in the roles of Tony and Maria? And second, will In the Heights steal some of the thunder of this movie by being, you know, more modern?
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