Behind home-rain-forest advantage, Brazil was the only team to score twice in the quarterfinals. (http://at-web.org/)

The Semis are set, and it was a tough battle all around. Upstart Costa Rica forced Netherlands to penalty kicks. All other games were decided by one goal as well, two of those by the score of 1-0.

That made extra points tough to come by for our experts, who all unanimously picked the winners of all four games. Still, with four more games in the tournament, there’s plenty of time to make up room.

So check below for the updated results, and come back Tuesday evening for the Semifinal selections. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Quarterfinals Results »

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The USA isn't in the tournament anymore, but the Quarterfinals still kick off on the Fourth of July. (http://dianegottsman.com/)

The Quarterfinals are about to begin, starting with a huge all-Europe match between France and Germany. With a great performance to win a tough group, and as the only team left not from Europe or South America, Costa Rica could be fun to watch, despite a tough game against the Netherlands. Argentina and Belgium look to build off tough elimination wins, while host Brazil faces Columbia in the round’s all-South America game.

This round, it was easier for our experts to choose the winners, with differences in finals scores to make the most difference in scoring before the Semifinal Round. As before, choosing the winner of each game is worth two points, while picking the goals scored by each team is worth one point.

So check below for everyone’s picks for this round, and check back once the round is complete for updated results. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Quarterfinals »

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Belgium eked its way through against a late US rally to win the final spot in the Quarterfinals. (http://www.brusselspictures.com/)

The Round of 16 is complete. Host Brazil had to work harder than anticipated to get by. Team USA couldn’t keep things together in extra time of the final game. After all eight group winners advanced, we’re left with four European squads, three from South America and one from Central America. Two games were decided by two goals, four by one goal and two had to go to penalty kicks.

In our Pick ‘Em, Columbia over Uruguay was the one big surprise, with Belgium over USA being a split decision. Points from guessing each team’s final goal tally also provided a great avenue towards points, especially with the lower scoring teams.

So check below for the updated results, and come back on Independence day for the Quarterfinal selections. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Round of 16 Results »

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The bracket is set for the knockout games with a very good field. (http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/)

The knockout bracket is set and underway. Brazil continues their quest to win as host country. USA looks to beat a European opponent (after a tie and loss in the group stage) to move on. And of course, there are plenty of great games in between.

Our picks provide an interesting view, with group winners favored in general, though with blowouts kept to a minimum. For each pick, choosing the winner of each game is worth two points, while picking the goals scored by each team is worth one point.

Check below for the complete pick set, and come back once the round is complete for the updated results. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Round of 16 »

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Adam Silver, Marcus Smart (Boston.com)

Prior to Thursday night’s NBA Draft, there was a lot of talk about whether the Celtics should take highly-touted, but injured, Kansas center Joel Embiid, once a candidate for the top pick, if he were available at number six. Soon, the 76ers threw all that discussion right out the window by selecting Embiid with the third overall pick. Three selections later, Boston was on the board with plenty of talent to choose from in one of the deepest drafts in years, including, unexpectedly, Indiana power forward (and Haverhill native) Noah Vonleh, whose stock fell sharply in the last days before the draft.

General manager Danny Ainge, however, took Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, and later added another perimeter player, shooting guard James Young out of Kentucky, with the 17th pick. While it’s no surprise that Ainge addressed the backcourt considering that the Celtics’ two SGs, Jerryd Bayless and Avery Bradley, are set to become free agents, the selection of Smart ensured that the conversation immediately turned to the future of Rajon Rondo. Let’s take a look at the two newest Celtics, and at what their selections could mean for Boston’s roster over the remainder of the offseason: Continue reading Celtics Address Backcourt in Draft: Analysis and Roster Implications »

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Evander Kane (Jets.NHL.com)

After an exciting sports week following a team USA advancement to the semifinals in the World Cup and the opening of the NBA draft that saw the Celtics take two young studs, what better way to wrap up the month than with the NHL Draft? This is one of the most exciting nights of the year for NHL die-hards and tonight promises to be one of the best drafts in years.

As I’ve said in previous articles, there is plenty of reason to believe that the draft and subsequent free agent signing period will be an exciting one. There are several premier players that have demanded a trade, there is a wealth of free agent talent available, the salary cap is going up for the first time in a while, and many teams find themselves pressed against the cap and will need to make a trade.

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the things to watch for regarding the Bruins and around the league. Continue reading Quick Hits: 2014 NHL Draft Preview »

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Defending champs Spain met with an inglorious end, but there are plenty of worthy new champions. (http://marbellamarbella.es/)

After the Group Stage, the field has gotten more open with defending World Cup champion Spain not even making it past two games while in contention. The U.S. held off Portugal to advance despite giving up a game-tying goal against Portugal itself. Costa Rica won a group with three former World Cup winners.

With some big surprises, some of our experts were thrown for a loop. There were plenty of games that led to leads being opened up, but plenty more to come to make up the deficit. But for now, check below for the updated results, and check back Saturday for the Round of 16 picks. Continue reading 2014 FIFA World Cup Expert Picks: Group Stage Results »

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