2012 Sports with Balls Blog Super Bowl Predictions

Super Bowl XLVII will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  We have a full season to go before it is determined what teams will participate in the big game but that is not stopping us from making our preseason picks.

SwBS Staff Super Bowl Picks:

Mike Orzechowski

AFC Champion – New England Patriots

NFC Champion – Chicago Bears

Super Bowl Champion – New England Patriots

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NBA Playoffs Arrive


2011-2012 NBA season spent much of the offseason in doubt.  While the lockout lingered fans were left to wonder whether the season would ever get off the ground.  On December 8th basketball fans received an early holiday gift  as both the owners and players ratified a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement, enabling training camps and the free agency period for the 2011-12 season to begin on Friday, December 9th. The agreement officially ended the 161-day lockout and regular season play began on Christmas day.  Teams were able to fulfill a 66-game season, a total that didn’t look possible only weeks earlier.  As with any major sports season there were thrill and chills, pleasant surprises and major disappointments.  Injuries derailed some while new stars were born and history was made.  The long 66-game regular season has concluded.  The playoffs are here.  16 teams remain with one goal in mind, the opportunity to bring home a championship, a chance to play on the national stage and make a name for one’s self on the sports biggest stage.

2012 NBA Playoff Schedule

2012 NBA Playoff Bracket

Sports with Balls – 2012 NBA Playoff Preview & Predictions

It’s time to win or go home…..the 2012 NBA Playoffs have arrived!

2012 Sports with Balls Show MLB Preview

There is optimism in the air. Spring is here with summer around the corner, and ballparks around the nation are preparing to open their doors for the very first time this year.  Baseball is back and so is this “Sports with Balls” crew with our 2012 MLB Season preview & predictions.  So grab a hot dog, some cracker jacks and lets play ball!

Each member of the SwBS staff submitted a ballot, which was tabulated to form consensus picks. Individual Division, Wild Card, League Champion and World Series Champion picks for each staff member can be viewed at the bottom of the page.  

An asterick (*) denotes a consensus playoff team.

American League:

AL East

1. New York Yankees* – “In what is shaping up to be a four-team race, the Yanks could finish anywhere from first place to just above the basement.  But barring injuries and poor performances from the rotation as a whole, New York should find their way to the playoffs yet again.  The starting staff looked to be a major strength, but with the Michael Pineda out of shape and heading to the DL, that unit comes down a notch.  Even so, the bullpen appears to be rock solid and the lineup is still extremely strong.  The Yankees are certainly among of handful of AL World Series contenders.” – sherms18

2. Tampa Bay Rays – “The biggest off-season move for the Rays was bringing back Carlos Pena which will add some thump to a team that was 15th in runs scored last season. The Rays’ bread and butter will be their starting rotation that stars James Shields and David Price. Jeremy Hellickson, who won the AL Rookie of the Year posting a 2.95 ERA, will also be in the rotation. Matt Moore, who is ranked as the top prospect in baseball, will be the 5th starter for a team that ranked in the top ten in team ERA. The offense might struggle, but the rotation will keep them in contention all year.” – warrencroxton

3. Boston Red Sox – “Bobby Valentine takes over a team that had the worst collapse in baseball history last September. They added Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross to a still dangerous lineup that will miss Carl Crawford for the first few weeks. After the top 3 starters in the rotation the Sox  hold a lot of question marks with Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront.” – scottyb4

4. Toronto Blue Jays – “The blue uniforms are back and so is the talent in Toronto. The Jays have a powerful lineup lead by Jose Bautista and youngster Brett Lawrie along with an underrated pitching staff which is full of talent.  They may not break though in the East just yet but they aren’t far off” – Mike O

4. Baltimore Orioles – “Exceptions are not high in Baltimore as they appear to have their hands full in what may be the strongest division in baseball. That being said this might be a make or break year for an organization drawing ever close to a crossroads.  They will have to decide whether to extend the contracts of Adam Jones & Nick Markakis or move on with yet another rebuilding project. ” – williamfucich

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NFL Picks – Super Bowl Sunday

It’s time for the “Sports with Balls” weekly NFL playoff picks! Our final picks for the 2011 season.

Standings:  Current overall record (previous week-line)<previous week-straight>[playoff record line/straight up]{regular season record}

Mike Orzechowski 60-30-1 (2-0)<1-1>[7-3/7-3]{53-27-1}

Warren Croxton 49-41-1 (0-2)<1-1>[5-5/5-5]{44-36-1}

Matt Sherman 47-41-3 (1-1)<1-1>[7-3/5-5]{40-38-3}

Bill Fucich 42-47-2 (2-0)<2-0>[7-3/6-4]{35-44-2}

Scott Boutcher 41-50-0 (1-1)<1-1>[6-4/5-5]{35-46-0}

Super Bowl Sunday is here and ready to go.

Matt Sherman
New England -2.5 vs. NY Giants; New England to win outright.
Patriots 24, Giants 20; MVP: Tom Brady

-Aaron Hernandez and even a gimpy Rob Gronkowski will give the Giants trouble. Expect Brady to pull out the stunning last drive this time around.

Matt is obviously pumped up for another Giants Super Bowl! Follow him on twitter here.

Mike Orzechowski
NY Giants +2.5 vs. New England; New England to win outright.
Patriots 28, Giants 27; MVP: Wes Welker

-The Giants seem to have the edge on paper.  But its hard not to have faith in the Brady/Belichick combo.  I expect the game to come down to the final minutes much like the last several times these teams have faced off.

Mike O is gonna start getting nervous around 6:15pm! Check out his twitter.

Scott Boutcher
New England -2.5 vs. NY Giants; New England to win outright.
Patriots 24, Giants 21; MVP: Tom Brady

-The Patriots offensive line keeps Brady clean for the majority of the game, while the Giants o-line has trouble blocking Vince Wilfork. Eli makes one bad throw that puts the Pats in great field position and Gronkowski makes an impact in the red zone.

Scotty B is anti Giants this week for personal reasons not involving Matt. Follow him on twitter for the rare tweet.

Bill Fucich
NY Giants +2.5 vs. New England; NY Giants to win outright.
Giants 28, Patriots 20; MVP: Jason Pierre-Paul.

-Manning’s trio of wide outs (Nicks, Cruz and Manningham) prove to be too much for the Pats’ secondary. Pierre-Paul and the defense contain Brady but eventually wear him down with constant pressure.

Bill is on the Giants bandwagon for at least 24 hours. follow him in twitter land.

Warren Croxton
NY Giants +2.5 vs. New England; NY Giants to win outright.
Giants 28, Patriots 27;  MVP: Victor Cruz

-I’m going to play the part of the grumpy Eagles fan. It’s a back and forth game. The smart Eagles fans are begging, just once, for the Patriots to win because:
A. They don’t want to listen to Giants fans
B. a 9-7 Giants team…Really? Kick in the gut.

Eli to Victor Cruz with 2:20 remaining to give the Giants the lead (Somehow Nnamdi’s fault), Way too much time for Brady right? Brady drives down the field and has a first and goal with 25 seconds. Just when you think Brady is going to do his magic…. Bang. Sack, Fumble, Recovered by Jason Pierre Paul (Picked after Brandon Graham)…..There is no god.
Warren bitter?. Take a look inside Warren’s world via twitter.

Check back next season for another year of NFL picks.

NFL Season Kickoff Linked Up

The Saints & Packers, the leagues two most recent champions kickoff the 2011 season in Green Bay.

Drew Brees


Aaron Rodgers


Sports With Balls – 2011 NFL Preview (Audio)

Sports With Balls NFL Picks Week #1

2011 Sports With Balls NFC Predictions

2011 Sports With Balls AFC Predictions

Sports With Balls, No Peyton Manning in 2011?