Bet LA Tech (+23) to Beat the Spread at Miss State
One thing I can absolutely guarantee about the game between Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State on November 03, 2018, is that the Bulldogs are as safe a bet as I’ve seen all year.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs that is to say. Louisiana Tech has been an underrated football team all year. The thought of picking against them as a 23-point underdog to a one-dimensional football team whose offense has scored 7 or fewer points in three of it’s last five games is difficult to fathom.
Vegas has been artificially high on Mississippi State at times this season, most recently the weekend before last against LSU, when the line broke sharply toward MSU as kickoff approached. LSU easily beat the spread with a dominating 19-3 victory that could have been much worse had LSU not played for field goals knowing State was unable to score.
Louisiana Tech on the other hand has been very good all season long, with only losses to #3 (CFP), and #4 (AP) LSU — a game that was 24-21 in the third quarter before LSU’s depth started to overwhelm their neighbor from Ruston. Their only other loss was to a good UAB team. The LA Tech Bulldogs have a quality win against North Texas, and played LSU tougher than the Bulldogs from Starkville did.
The bottom line is I see the LTU offense scoring at least 3 times, likely for at least 17 points, more likely 20-24. J’Mar Smith isn’t a bad quarterback and that team has capable playmakers at WR. Mississippi State on the other hand has been completely and totally unable to pass the ball more often than not this season. While Bulldog QB Nick Fitzgerald did perform better against Texas A&M, Danny Etling also nearly threw for close to 400 yards against the Aggies in last season’s finale’ while averaging half that for the season going in.
I just don’t trust Mississippi State to score the 42 or so points I think they’ll need to cover a 23 point point spread against a Louisiana Tech team whose offensive strength is the passing game, which MSU’s legitimately stout defense thrives by taking away the run first. Well, they can’t take away what isn’t there to begin with, and LA Tech has managed to go 6-1 against everyone not named LSU without much of a running game to speak of. They scored 21 on LSU, which is similar to MSU’s defense in terms of talent, only LSU’s D matches up better against LTU than State’s does since the Tigers’ strength is in its secondary.
If you’re going to be betting on college football November 03, forget LSU-Bama. Take the easy money and bet Louisiana Tech +23. They may not score 23, but they’ll score enough to beat that irrationally large point spread. MSU’s offense isn’t very good (7 or fewer points in 3 or last 5 games), and LTU’s offense is capable of moving the ball and scoring some points against MSU’s dominant defense.
*** Peter’s Pick ***
Mississippi State 27, Louisiana Tech 16
This post will be updated periodically as new odds are released, particularly the O/U (Over/Under, i.e. “point total”).
In the very near future, everyone reading this (and everyone else) will be able to make their/your own free football picks at WePick.com and we’ll do all the work keeping up with the stats. Those who consistently pick at a high rate of success will be featured on the home page and will have the opportunity to make money selling picks to bettors seeking winning advice.
Peter Egan and Mellenia Kloyo Now Formally Engaged
The informal engagement between Peter Egan of Louisiana and Mellenia Kloyo of Lake Sebu, S. Cotabato, Philippines, is now formal. The two are now formally engaged. They had been informally engaged since August 27 of 2017.
Egan visited Lake Sebu (Philippines) in late May through early June. On his first day at the Sunrise Garden Lake Resort (where Peter and Mhellie stayed for the duration of the trip) and second total day in the Philippines, he got down on one knee and formally proposed, and to which she said, “yes.”
Peter and Mhellie met on Facebook, spoke for a year and fell in love before Peter finally got around to visiting, formally proposing and starting Mellenia’s immigration application.
The two enjoyed two weeks together touring Lake Sebu, city built around mountainous lakes with magnificent scenery. Lake Sebu is in South Cotabato Province, Philippines. It is home to the T’boli tribe of indigenous Filipinos.
Peter got to spend time, get to know and share many meals with Mellenia’s (Mhellie’s) friends and family. 17 members of Mhellie’s family drove 3 hours to the airport to greet Peter upon his arrival.
See the next few posts to be published for the full collection of photos from Peter’s adventure in the Philippines.
Peter and Mellenia are tentatively planning on having the wedding in April or May of 2019.
New Orleans Pelicans Looking Like Serious Contender in 10-Game Win Streak
By: Peter Egan
The New Orleans Pelicans are in unfamiliar territory. The perennially mediocre Western Conference NBA franchise is typically trying to make up ground in order just to make the playoffs around this time of the season. For much of the season, it looked like the Pels ceiling was 7th place in the West, and would have surprised no one had they finished in 10th place.
Even while they had a winning record at the time, the loss of DeMarcus Cousins sparked a downturn that saw the Pelicans fall to the 9th place position. However a free agent signing of a long-retired center and a blockbuster trade that brought the diverse Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans. After a five or six games, the Pels had lost the majority of games since the trade. Then the newly acquired players began to gel with guards Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Ian Clark and E’Twuan Moore, not to mention Anthony Davis and 3-point specialist Darius Miller (acquired from Europe in the offseason).
Since the team became familiar with one another, they’ve looked unbeatable. They seem unbeatable, having won 10 consecutive games, a streak second only to the West’s First-Place team, the Houston Rockets, who have won 17 in a row. During that time period, the Pels have moved from 9th place in the NBA’s Western Conference to 4th, and are only 1/2-game out of third place. The team now sits at 12 games over .500 at 38-26, well on pace to top their record the last time the team made the playoffs. That would be the ’14-’15 season, in Monty Williams’ final season as coach, when the team went 45-37 during the regular season, nearly upsetting the Spurs in the opening round of the playoffs. Had they won that game, who knows how the series would have played out, as the Pelicans traditionally play the Spurs tough.
Anthony Davis has been putting up historic numbers since Cousins’ injury, and the Pelicans appear to have figured out a way to win close games that are decided in the final few minutes.
They also appear to have shaken their 3rd quarter woes, which have been well-documented. The Pels probably have an extra 3-4 wins had it not been for atrocious third quarters in which they blew a big halftime lead, and several close games would have never been in doubt.
In their most recent outing, a 114-101 road win over the Sacramento Kings, the Pels played the Kings to an even 23 apiece in the 3rd frame after building an 18-point halftime lead. Similarly, in their previous game before that they played the Los Angeles Clippers to a 30-30 tie in the third after the Pelicans built a 15 point halftime lead. In their win 126-109 win at Dallas, the Pels only game up 3 net points in the 3rd after building a 16 point halftime lead. The Pelicans actually outscored the San Antonio Spurs by 1 in the 3rd after San Antonio led by 9 at the break in their 121-116 loss to New Orleans.
Should the Pelicans continue this level of play through the remainder of the regular season, with 18 games remaining, the Pelicans could realistically have the conference’s best record aside from Golden State and Houston. If they revert back to their typical form since the franchise was re-branded from the Hornets to the Pelicans, they could just as possibly get edged out for the 8th and final playoff spot. As of March 08, 2018 at 7:20 pm, a grand total of 4 games separate the would-be #3 playoff seed from the #8 seed. Two additional teams (Nuggets & Jazz) are within 1/2 game of being tied with the Clippers for 8th place in the Conference.
While James Harden will likely win the NBA’s MVP award for the season, a strong case can be made for Pelicans forward Anthony Davis. During the month of February, Davis averaged 35 points, 13 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.2 blocked shots and 2.5 steals per game, averaging 37.8 minutes per game for the month. For the season Davis is averaging 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in 36.5 minutes.
Holiday has been playing much more aggressively lately, something the Pels need to happen if they are to have success short-term or long with the amount of money they committed to Holiday. Mirovic can score in a myriad of ways, can defend multiple positions and shoots the 3 at a high clip, even with DeMarcus Cousins out for the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, the Pels have plenty of firepower and there’s a legitimate debate as to whether they’re a better team in general without the superstar center.
My personal hope is that the Pelicans do re-sign Cousins in the offseason, providing the Pelicans with the most dominant front-court in the NBA. I like the idea of having at least one of the two in the game at all times, and I think the improvement as a team the Pelicans have experienced since the All-Star Break would have happened anyway had Boogie been present. Those two with Rondo and Holiday as your starting guards and Mirotic at the wing (3, small forward… whatever you want to call it) is as formidable a lineup as any. That lineup, especially with guys like Ian Clark and E’Tuan Moore coming off the bench (both shoot better than Rondo fro outside), all the team lacks is depth. They need another good wing player (perhaps Solomon Hill when he returns from injury) and another big (Okafor works if he can maintain the level of play he’s provided since coming out of retirement to play for Alvin Gentry’s Pelicans, provided he wants to play another season). Cheick Diallo, while he still needs to add weight, has looked very promising as an up-and-coming young player with lots of upside. Diallo recorded 13 points and 15 rebounds in the Pels’ recent win over Dallas.
This is a Pelicans team missing one of the best players in the league and arguably the league’s best at his position to injury has played their way to hosting a playoff series if the season ended today. This is a team that at 28-26, and in 9th place in the West looked like the least likely team of the ten in contention to secure one of the top 8 spots and allow the season to continue.
Perhaps the most impressive detail about this ten-game winning streak is that seven of the ten games have been played on the road, and the Pels have played some good teams during the streak, such as the Bucks, Spurs and Clippers – all appear to be playoff-bound and all three games were on the road.
At 38-26, having won ten in a row, the Pels’ next three games are winnable, at home against Washington, Utah and Charlotte. Following that are the three games that may tell us more about this Pelicans team than any they’ve played so far. The team has to go back to San Antonio and play the Spurs again, this time with a presumably healthier lineup. They then come home for games against the league-leading Rockets and one of the best teams from the Eastern Conference in the Boston Celtics.
If the Pels can figure out how to go 4-2 in those six games, I would wager that barring a major injury, the New Orleans Pelicans are going to host a playoff series this season.
If they’re good enough as built to get the 3rd or 4th seed in the West without Cousins, I think that assuming he makes a full recovery and re-signs, this team will be every bit as dangerous a title contender as the Warriors and Rockets are this year. I think this year they definitely make the playoffs, perhaps win a series, then bow out when matched up with Golden State or Houston. I think next season, the Pelicans – as constructed plus Cousins, are a legitimate title contender.
The NBA’s next “super team” may well be the New Orleans Pelicans. I think next year they’ll be a legitimate title contender that can use it’s strengths to dictate style and tempo, leveling the playing field between themselves and teams like the Rockets and Warriors.
Maness Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Election for LA’s Disctrict 77 State Legislative Seat
Rob Maness looked to be cruising on his way to victory after the primary election for Louisiana’s 77th District seat for the State Legislature. He garnered 12% more votes than the closest of his three competitors, eventual runoff opponent Mark Wright. All he had to do was not self-destruct and the election was his. Unfortunately for Maness, that proved to be too much to ask.
It must have been a solemn night at the Maness headquarters on election night as election day voting followed the trend of early voting, as Wright turned a 12-point deficit after the primary election into an 18-point landslide defeat in just one month. Essentially, everyone who didn’t vote for either candidate in the primary voted for Wright in the runoff save for 18 people, at least in terms of net results.
That kind of massive turnaround in such a short period of time is rare in politics and usually requires some kind of unusual event to occur swaying undecided voters and perhaps even some of the primary winner’s voters as well. That happened, as did a few other key events.
For anyone interested in the science of political campaigning, the following can be used as a lesson in what to do and what not to do when campaigning for public office.
Before breaking down how we arrived at the final results, let’s review them. Shall we?
So how exactly did such a momentous shift occur in just a month?
First, Wright focused more on promoting himself as a good candidate, whereas Maness’ primary message was that he was the ‘one true conservative’, and that powerful “political insiders” were holding him back from winning an election. Thus, once the field was whittled following the primary, Wright made quick work to secure the endorsements of the other two candidates who lost in the primary but did not make the runoff.
This was a very prudent and politically intelligent move on Wright’s behalf. Maness had been adversarial with the other candidates during the primary, levying accusations and loads of innuendo. In other words, he didn’t do anything to make any friends or even give himself a chance at winning the endorsements of either of the two candidates who were eliminated following the primary, whereas Wright was poised to court their support the moment the primary results were in.
With early voting showing a trend toward wright (albeit not enough of one to change the outcome without winning big on election day too), Maness began to self destruct.
The author of this blog, a friend and supporter of Wright, and more importantly experienced campaign operative, decided to become involved with about two weeks remaining, starting with a social media campaign that went viral, locally speaking (within the district). The posts got a lot of exposure, were eloquent and completely disarmed Maness’ unfounded claims that “political insiders” were conspiring against him by claiming to be among the people Maness was referencing as “insiders” conspiring and colluding to keep him down.
The problem this posed for Maness was that this author is more popular within the district, and more highly thought of. Therefore when people saw that I’m who he’s referring to, the claim became extremely suspect – perhaps even to the extent it backfired. For the record, there were no insiders conspiring to keep Maness out of office… Except for myself, if you define me as a “political insider.” Also, in order for there to be a conspiracy you need more than one person. I guess I conspired and colluded with myself, because I acted totally independently of anyone including Wright’s campaign, save for dropping by one time to pick up door hangers, flyers and signs (typical campaign literature).
One of the Facebook posts that was extremely effective in getting inside Maness’ head was this one:
If you click “read more” and read the entire post, you an see how that might have bothered Rob just a little.
Maness actually messaged me to ask why I had posted what I had. The reason is because what I posted was accurate.
Just a few days after that post, with polling showing Wright starting to catch up to Maness’ lead, disaster happened for the Maness campaign. To make a long story short, he had a complete meltdown on live radio, in which he make comments that appeared to be insane about nuclear weapons and him being the most qualified person in history to hold the keys to America’s nuclear arsenal (not sure how that’s relevant for a Louisiana state legislator, but it gives us a glimpse into the mindset Maness was in at the time). Then he shouted obscenities at a caller (again, on live radio) five times — FIVE — before the call screener hung up on the caller. However by that time the damage was done. Nothing he said was censored and voters of the district got to see a side of one one of the men running for state legislature that he’d rather not have shown.
The Facebook posts may or may not have played a role in his radio meltdown, but my suspicion is they did. To what extent I won’t even attempt to guess.
Following the radio debacle, Maness continued digging when rather than issue a statement apologizing and saying the pressure of the campaign had gotten the better of him and that the behavior he exhibited was not indicative of who he is. However, that wasn’t what Rob had in mind. He issued this letter to the editor of a local newspaper, which had inklings of remorse, but the overwhelming theme was to attack the columnist who had written what everyone was already thinking. That certainly didn’t do anything to help undo the damage his radio tirade had done to his plummeting numbers.
In the final days of the campaign Wright received some grassroots assistance from yours truly, which is actually probably a bigger deal than it may sound on the surface. I’ve worked (as a paid campaign staff member) congressional campaigns, statewide races for U.S. Senate, and have been sought out by Congressmen seeking advice on whether or not to run for Senate. I served on Newt Gingrich’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. In southeast Louisiana, I’m as formidable a campaign asset as you’ll find, particularly with regard to grassroots.
In addition to the campaign’s own canvassing efforts, I distributed what must have been 40-50 pounds worth of door hangers and flyers, put up about 20 yard signs including in key locations along major thoroughfares. I also got a few up in some rather unconventional locations, like the wooden beams surrounding the cement structures holding up the Interstate-12 bride over the Tchefuncte River. Every boat passing under the interstate would have seen the signs. I would estimate that number of boaters at at least 1,000 between the time they were posted and the actual election.
Between the campaign astutely courting voters who cast ballots for candidates who did not make the runoff, the campaign’s effective advertising (particularly following the radio incident), grassroots efforts by the campaign and social media posts and grassroots canvassing areas that hadn’t been targeted by renegade volunteer Peter Egan, by election day the outcome was a mere formality. Mark Wright had won in an 18 point landslide, a result no one could have foreseen following the October primaries.
Why Did I Get Involved?
The reason I got involved was because I was unsure of the outcome of the election and wanted to erase that uncertainty – at least to the extent I could.
A PAC that had supported Fleming in the 2016 Senate race was behind a series of negative ads against Maness, a little retribution for him mucking up the Senate race a year prior.
I am friends with former Congressman Dr. John Fleming, MD. Rep. Fleming was not only Louisiana’s most conservative member of the delegation, he had a much better chance of beating Kennedy in a runoff (Kennedy was a lifelong democrat until a few years ago). Maness angrily refused, allowing Charles Boustany to sneak into the runoff. Boustany is a “moderate” Republican well to the left of Fleming, as is Kennedy. So Maness in essence cost the only conservative candidate in the race with a shot at winning a chance at the runoff.
My motivation was to ensure Mark Wright won first and foremost. Secondly, I wanted to do all I could to run up the score so that Rob would never be able to impact a major election (like a Senate race) and use his presence to hand the election to a wishy-washy moderate over a conservative. Whether I had any impact and if so how much, we’ll never know. What is known is that my objectives were met regardless of whether I played a substantial role in that or not.
I do not foresee Maness running for office again in Southeast Louisiana after he handed this race away by failing to maintain his composure when the pressure was on.
To be clear, I’m not taking credit for the outcome of this election. I’m not taking credit for any part of it. I did help out though and Mark and his campaign achieved the result I was hoping to see. Whether I personally played any role in the outcome and if so how much is anybody’s guess. I personally believe Mark would have won comfortably without my support and involvement.
After all, as a HayRide article about Maness’ future eloquently observed:
That seat was winnable (for Maness). But the problem was that Wright, who had been a conservative activist in St. Tammany and had served the movement’s cause for years before taking the plunge and running for the city council in Covington (in other words starting small and moving up, rather than the opposite approach Maness took), had already entered the race. Wright had already learned the retail political skills required to win a state legislative race and he was already building a coalition capable of winning.
Meanwhile, Maness’ approach was to immediately cast himself as the One True Conservative and bash Wright as a Washington lobbyist (which was a stretch; he’s vice president of American Waterway Operators, a trade organization for tugboat and barge companies) when Maness himself is a registered lobbyist, and to trash him as having made crooked deals with the state’s party establishment. That was never going to work, because Wright was a known commodity. People on the Northshore know him better than they know Rob, they know Mark is a conservative with a record of governing like one on that city council, and they like Wright better. And it especially didn’t resonate that Mark was a “career politician;” you don’t get to run for office three times in four years and call anybody else a professional politician. When you start running for office you become a politician, period. Accusing others of that when they run less often than you do simply pisses voters off.
Robert Mann: Disgusting Human Being, Liar and Coward
UPDATE: I’m sure no one who reads this post will be surprised to learn this but it has been confirmed that Mann is a Political Science professor at LSU. Intellectual dishonesty the likes of which Mann has displayed in his defamation of two people who’d never even heard of him is unbecoming of anyone paid by the state to teach. This guy must be terminated from the LSU faculty. He is the reason colleges and universities are cesspools of Marxism where race, gender identity and a desire to disarm law-abiding citizens trump learning.
I came upon a post by a pathetic individual by the name of Robert Mann while conducting research. The post consisted of intellectually dishonest, misrepresentations of both myself and my father. These misrepresentations were deliberate, and in my own personal case even the most cognitively-challenged individual could have figured out that the Facebook post Mann cited in an effort to attack my character was a lighthearted joke.
It’s pretty creepy to know that some weirdo that I’ve never heard of is Facebook stalking me. I’m not going to link to his site, because I don’t want to give him any publicity, but I will post my response to it below in the form of an open letter.
The following is an open letter to Robert Mann:
You are quite possibly the least intellectually honest person whose work I’ve ever read.
Your misrepresentation of what my father said coupled with you dragging me into it by trying to misrepresent what was obviously a lighthearted joke as a “racist comment” is as intellectually dishonest an act as I’ve ever witnessed.
For one thing, my father was absolutely right in his description of political prostitute Jay Dardenne. You totally and deliberately misrepresented what he said, and you did it with malicious intent.
You dragging me into it with yet another deliberate misrepresentation of a JOKE crossed the line.
If you can’t construct logical arguments as a means to persuade others of your political views you have no business writing or even speaking about politics.
You’re an angry old man and your willingness to lie and deceive is disgusting. What’s more disgusting is that low-character individuals such as yourself actually influence others. It is a sad reflection on society when someone like you is taken seriously by others.
You’re not man enough to make those same comments about myself and my father to either of our faces. If you care to prove me wrong, I would be delighted. We both know that won’t happen however… Because you’re a coward, and cowards don’t confront people with malicious, unprovoked attacks in person.
You are a lying, intellectually dishonest coward. I’d be miserable too if I had no conscience, and used lies and misrepresentations to impugn the character of people who have never even heard of you, much less wronged you in any way.
I am flattered to know that you’re Facebook stalking me however. It is creepy, no doubt. But I’m more than capable of defending myself from sinister creeps such as yourself, and would welcome the opportunity to do so in person.
But seriously though, using my dead dog and best friend of 17 years as a means of attacking my character is one of the lowest, most pathetic acts I’ve ever witnessed. You really are a despicable human being.
In conclusion, you’re a loser. In the future, if you wish to attack my character with lies and misrepresentations, I kindly ask that you do so directly to me face. I have a feeling your cowardice will never allow that to happen.
Peter Egan Jr.
* Update *
Unlike Mann, who wrote his libelous attacks in hopes that the subjects of his defamation would never learn of his deed, this letter was sent directly to Robert Mann via Twitter. He was notified of its existence within ten minutes of it being published.
Rather than attempt to defend his deliberate mischaracterizations and character assassination, he did what I expected him to do. He blocked me on Twitter and issued no response or defense of his sinister blog. I guess the old cliche is true that you can’t defend the indefensible.
Provided with an opportunity to explain why he felt it necessary to launch vicious personal attacks on two different people he doesn’t even know and whom he has never met, Mann took the coward’s way out. His response is fitting, and consistent with the rest of his cowardly behavior.
Robert Mann is a coward whose cowardice is his defining characteristic.