2006: The Year in Sports and SportsInsights.com

2006 has been an eventful year within the world of sports — as well as for SportsInsights.  In this article, we summarize some of the big events of 2006.  The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited.

Who’s Been Naughty and Nice?

The “Naughty Award” was easy: The Knicks and Denver for turning a basketball game at Madison Square Garden into a 10-player melee!  There are all kinds of stories flying around — from a feud between Denver coach George Karl and Knick GM & Coach Isiah Thomas — to cheap shots or running the score up.  In any case, the brawl was cheap, dirty and definitely Naughty!

Nice?  Hmmm…  Let’s give this to Tiger Woods and Roger Federer who quietly dominated their sports.  And also to Oscar de la Hoya who took off almost two years — before coming out of retirement to knock out trash-talking super welterweight champion, Ricardo Mayorga.  Who says that nice guys always finish last?

Who’s Hot and… Who’s Not

Who’s Hot Who’s Not
In the NFL, the old stand-by’s are hot — including the Patriots, Colts, and Bears! Add in some red-hot upstarts like the Chargers and the Ravens — and this year’s playoffs will certainly prove that “on any given Sunday, any team can win.” The NBA’s Atlantic Division.  You KNOW an entire division is NOT HOT when the first place team, the NJ Nets, need a hot streak to get over 0.400 ball!
Rocky Balboa.  Yes, believe it or not, the new Rocky movie has gotten decent reviews.  Many of us sports fans will always appreciate a good underdog story, right? Philadelphia.  Both the Philly NBA and NHL teams are in last place in their respective divisions — by a wide margin.  Maybe the Eagles will bring some balance to the City of Brotherly Love.
Even in the middle of the winter, the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry is hot.  The Red Sox signed Japanese starting pitcher, Daisuke (pronounced “Dice-K,” really!) Matsuzaka, to a 6-year contract for $52 million — AFTER paying $51.11 million JUST to negotiate with the pitcher.  Currently, Boston’s ace reliever Papelbon is targeted for a starting pitching role, as the Red Sox try to strengthen their overall pitching staff.  The Yankees countered by signing their old warrior, Andy Pettite and are finalizing a deal with another Japanese pitcher, Kei Igaka.  An interesting off-season that shows that the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry stays hot year-round! Barry Bonds and the whole baseball steroid issue.  Need we say anymore?
UCLA in College Hoops.  After losing to Florida in the finals of the Final Four, UCLA is sitting at # 1 in the polls.  At the time of this writing, they are undefeated at 10-0 and looking to grab a 1 seed in the NCAA March Madness brackets. The NHL.  After the strike/lockout two years ago, the NHL is back and there have been nice surprises and good parity in the league.  However, the lockout and strike caused the NHL to lose their TV contract with ESPN, causing the NHL to definitely NOT be HOT…
Maria Sharapova stays hot.  Since Sharapova took the tennis world by storm by winning Wimbledon back in 2004, she has been consistently good.  This year, she cemented her place as one of women’s top players by winning the US Tennis Open — and continues to dominate the sports endorsement world. John Daly, who says he lost more than $50 million in “during 12 years of gambling.”   Now that’s a lot of “vig!”

Champions

We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge 2006’s champions.  Here’s a summary of this year’s champions, including SportsInsights’ very own Championship Race.

  • SportsInsights 2006 Championship Race: “seemorebutts” is SIs Contest Champion, followed by “knssctysprts.”
  • NCAA Football: Texas beat USC 41-38 in a shootout for the National Championship last January.  When will we get a playoff so that the College Football players and teams can play it out on the field?
  • NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 over Seattle Seahawks in Superbowl XL.
  • NCAA Basketball: Florida blows out UCLA 73-57 in the final of the Final Four.
  • NBA: Miami Heat, led by Dwayne Wade & Shaq beat Dallas for the NBA Title.
  • NHL: The Carolina Hurricanes win the 2006 Stanley Cup, defeating the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
  • World Cup:  Italy beats France 6-4 in the final, with a wild ejection of French great Zinedine Zidane in overtime.
  • MLB: The St. Louis Cardinals show, yet again, that the regular season isn’t very meaningful.  They limp into the playoffs with a mediocre record of 83-78 (0.516) but go on to beat Detroit in the World Series.

SportsInsights Highlights

2006 was also an exciting year for SportsInsights and our members.  A year ago, some people labeled the 2005 NFL Season “The Year of the Favorites” and wondered whether the sports marketplace had changed.  This year, there was a “reversion to the mean” (and more!) as underdogs took home more than their share of the winnings — and football was one of SIs’ strengths this year.  Here are some other highlights of SportsInsights’ 2006:

  • Square Plays: SportsInsights.com’s Members have enjoyed a spectacular year, with SIs Square Plays hitting almost 60% in sports with point spreads.  MLB didn’t do quite as well, but we’d expect a bounceback year for baseball (as in football).  Including ALL sports for the year, Square Plays (based on information from our industry contacts such as sportsbooks and sharps) are up about 40 units for the year.  Square Plays are available toPremium Members.
  • BettingCharts.com: SportsInsights, along with its sister company, BettingCharts, is pleased to have successfully launched a sports investing research firm.  BettingCharts focuses on research, sports investing methods that obtain “value” (such as bounceback and momentum systems), as well as statistical research.  BCs has shown consistency on “sides” and looks very strong on “totals.” 
  • SIs Smart Money Feature: SportsInsights launched a new, improved Smart Money feature in 2006.  The feature makes selections based on proprietary algorithms that seek out Smart Money flows.  Results can be broken out by sportsbook and have been generally impressive.  Please click on this article for more information on how to use this valuable feature, available only to Premium Pro Members.
  • SIs Steam Move Feature: SportsInsights also launched a feature to monitor Steam Moves in 2006.  Results are generally as expected: that you can actually bet against large line moves.  This bias is relatively small, however, as the results indicate that line moves by themselves do not have much information.  This is another Premium Pro feature.
  • Personalized Settings: SportsInsights ALSO made big strides in setting up customized layouts for our Members.  Sports investors can view multiple openers from various sportsbooks.  They can view the latest lines from a large variety of books and put them in any order they like.  In short, you can set up a “trading screen” to operate like a “Wall Street trader” in the sports marketplace

Thank You and Some New Year Resolutions

As 2006 draws to a close, we want to thank ALL of our Members for being a part of our community.  Thank you for your continued support as we strive to make SportsInsights one of the best sports information services.

And finally, as we enter the New Year, we thought we’d highlight a few good New Year Resolutions that we all, as sports investors, can appreciate:

Wishing you and yours — a great holiday season and a happy and healthy 2007,

The Team at SportsInsights.com.

Disclaimer
We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.

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