NBA PicksAfter the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic failed to get the job done against the Los Angeles Lakers in consecutive NBA finals, the Chicago Bulls will get their chance to deliver the Eastern conference its first title since 2008. The Bulls emerged with more wins than any other team in the association this season, but none of those 62 victories will compare to the ones that they have clinched in the postseason. That has prepared them to challenge the Lakers for NBA supremacy, but even now it’s unlikely that Chicago will have enough in its arsenal to handle everything that the two-time defending sports betting champions will throw at them.

It goes beyond talent and depth to the experience of three straight Western conference championships and consecutive NBA titles. While superstar guard Kobe Bryant has continued to prove that he can dominate the game even when nagged by a variety of injuries, his supporting cast has developed to a level where they can consistently overcome adversity. While it didn’t help their cause in pursuit of the top spot in the west during the regular season, the injury to Andrew Bynum allowed them to play with Lamar Odom in the starting lineup and give their bench more minutes. That experience has added another element to their game, with arguably the best head coach in Phil Jackson the Lakers are rarely behind in terms of strategy, so much so that the MLB betting Dodgers’ staff can take a note or two on the lessons of Zen.

While Derrick Rose has dominated in an MVP-caliber season, Los Angeles has two of the game’s best defenders that they can match up against him in Bryant and Ron Artest. Unlike in the east where Chicago boasted one of the best groups of big men to dominate down low, the Lakers can matchup Bynum and Gasol against Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer and earn the edge in that category as well. The Bulls won’t get as many second-chance opportunities without the rebounds available, and that will put pressure on their pay per head scorers to perform.

With the Miami Heat lacking the big men and reserves to stop them and the Celtics slowed by fatigue after reaching two of the past three NBA finals with a veteran core, there wasn’t enough to slow them down in the Eastern conference. But a matchup against Los Angeles will represent an entirely different animal, one that the Bulls might not be ready for. Chicago’s success has had a lot to do with the fresh legs of their young talent, but that won’t make up for a serious lack of experience in the finals. The Bulls have laid the foundation for future success by surprising nearly everybody with their run through the eat, and will learn a valuable lesson about what it takes when they clash with the best team in the NBA. Like the Kentucky derby betting race there can only be one Thoroughbred that gets the job done, and this year it will be Los Angeles.

NBA Betting: Looking Ahead To a Bulls-Lakers Final

NBA Finals Odds2011 Kentucky Derby betting players have a wide-open race to look forward to next weekend as there are a number of horses who could come away with the victory in the “Run For The Roses”. In the NBA playoffs, it’s the same case as there is as much parity in the NBA as there has been in years, and in our prediction for the Finals, we’re picking a young team to dethrone the two-time champions.

Eastern Conference

Boston is like an aging UFC betting option who is looking for one final big fight (Randy Couture this weekend, anyone?), but we think their age will eventually catch up to them because they really should have lost at least two games, both at home, to New York. We’re not comfortable with Miami’s inability to score in tight games. Orlando or Atlanta? They likely won’t make it past the next round. So we’re going with Chicago, who play great defense and unlike the Celtics or Heat, everyone knows who is going to get the ball in a close game: Derrick Rose, the probable MVP of the league.

Western Conference

Even if San Antonio comes all the way back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Memphis, they probably won’t have enough left in the tank to make it out of the West. Oklahoma City has the tools and now they have experience and toughness with Kendrick Perkins, but can Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant co-exist down the stretch, unlike their Game 4 loss in Denver? The Nuggets and Grizzlies, if they make it out of the first round, won’t make it past the second round. We have to stick with their defending champions from Los Angeles, even though we think the Thunder could push them. When the Lakers are clicking on all cylinders, they’re the best team in the West, by far.

NBA Finals

You don’t need to read 5dimes reviews to realize that Bulls-Lakers is a big series, you only have to know NBA betting lines history: in 1991, Michael Jordan’s Bulls took out Magic Johnson’s Lakers, and it was a symbolic changing of the guard. This year, it’ll be Rose and his Bulls who put the Kobe Bryant and his Lakers to bed, a fitting end to one of the best seasons we’ve seen by a single player. The Bulls have the size and length to contend with the Lakers, and they also have the players to come off the bench and play with Los Angeles’ bench. It’ll also spell the end of Phil Jackson, who has won six titles with Jordan’s Bulls, and now five championships with Bryant and the Lakers. Lay a sports bet on Chicago to win it all.

MLB Betting: Baltimore 4-1 Victors Over Red Sox

Baseball PicksBaltimore moneyline bettors cashed on Tuesday courtesy of a 4-1 win against the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.

The Orioles were a +116 underdog in the MLB Picks win. The combined score dipped UNDER the total, which closed at 9.5.

Baltimore got 6 innings from Zach Britton, who gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits, while striking out 2. He earned the victory, while the Orioles got 2 RBIs from Adam Jones in the win.

Boston's starting pitcher Clay Buchholz worked 6 2/3 innings, giving up 12 hits and 4 earned runs while striking out 5 in the loss. They got 1 hit from Jacoby Ellsbury in a sports picks losing cause.

The battle of the bats favored Baltimore as they had 12 hits, while Boston only had 6.

Kevin Gregg pitched the final 1 inning for the save. He struck out 1 and allowed 0 hits in his outing.

NFL OddsThe teams that are looking for a quarterback can have the Philadelphia Eagles on their phone before the NFL Draft.

The inability to put together a trade for Kevin Kolb due to work stoppage does not mean the Eagles are not an attractive partner for a expert picks team that needs a quarterback. All this is because Philadelphia has the place 23 in the first round, a place where many quarterbacks are projected to be selected.

"Especially in the place you have in the first round, I think it is when you expect some quarterback to be elected," said General Manager of the Eagles, Howie Roseman. "Obviously we're in a great location in the Draft to get something if someone wants to use that position to get a quarterback."

The Eagles are known for their willingness to make changes to the time of the Draft. They have made ​​29 changes during the past eight years, including 16 in the past three Drafts and six last year.

"We're open to exploring any NFL Picks option that we think makes us better, and if that means moving forward or backward, we are definitely open to it," said Roseman.

NHL PicksSports Betting Overview

If it helps the Montreal Canadiens feel any better, they were not expected to perform this well in their quarterfinal match-up against the Boston Bruins. As online betting for Kentucky Derby favorites heats up, the Canadiens are still in this series and could force a seventh game with a win in game six. NHL fans expected the bigger and stronger Bruins to dispatch the Canadiens in straight games. But Canadiens have been able to push back against the size and speed of the Bruins, and the result is a game six in Montreal.

The pay per head observers have noticed that the Canadiens seemed to have the Bruins’ number early in this series. Montreal won the first two games of the series in Boston, but then lost the next three games in a row. Through the fog of losing three straight, the Canadiens have the play of their goaltender Carey Price to fall back on. Price faced 51 shots in game five and willed the game into overtime. The Bruins eventually took game five in sudden death, but the Canadiens made it clear that they are not going anywhere quietly in this series. If the Canadiens can take just one game on home ice in this series, then it goes back to Boston to decide the winner.

Boston Bruins

It took two overtimes before Boston’s Nathan Horton scored his second goal of the playoffs to finally beat the Canadiens. Boston goaltender Tim Thomas turned away 44 of 45 shots which included a 14-shot third period onslaught by the Canadiens. The Bruins seem to be having some problems dealing with the speed of Montreal. While the Canadiens do not offer any threat in terms of size, the inability of the Bruins’ defense to keep up with the Canadiens has been causing problems. The Bruins’ offense, on the other hand, has been going back and forth with Montreal goaltender Carey Price all series long. Price was at his best in game five, but the relentless crashing of the Montreal net finally got a puck past Price. The Bruins will continue their physical play and try to slow the Canadiens forwards be grinding along the boards.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are unable to push back against the Bruins when the Bruins decide to flood the Montreal zone. If Montreal can control of the puck in the defensive zone, then they are having decent success clearing the puck. But the challenge for the smaller Canadiens is wrestling the puck away from the stronger Bruins. Boston goaltender Tim Thomas has been surprisingly inconsistent in this series, but he was strong in game five. The Canadiens have learned that if they keep the puck moving around Thomas, then they can eventually find an opening. Thomas uses a very unconventional goaltending style that sometimes finds him out of position. The Canadiens need to exploit that to win game six.

The Bottom Line

The Bruins are rolling and there does not seem to be much that Montreal can do about it. This game will be close but, in the end, the Bruins will move on to round two of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

BSNblog Pick: Boston Bruins

After stealing the first two games of their best-of-seven opening round series against the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens have squandered what was an excellent opportunity to get through to the second round and will now face elimination in game six on Tuesday. The Canadiens have lost three straight and will need to beat Boston twice in as many night to advance.

Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday April 26, 2011 – 7:00 PM ET


Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec


Online Sports Betting
Odds: Montreal – 120

The Bruins looked lost against the much faster and more disciplined Canadiens through the first two games of the series, but have found their rhythm through three straight wins. Boston know just how much momentum means in this NHL playoff series, and will look to put Montreal away while they have the chance.

NHL Playoff Preview: Boston Bruins

The Bruins have found ways to get to the net and make life difficult for Montreal netminder Carey Price in three wins. A look at where the goals in this series have been scored from offers the perfect illustration of just how important causing traffic is to both teams, and Boston’s big forwards such as Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have done an excellent job as the series has shifted in their favor. After struggling through two losses to open the series Tim Thomas has been excellent to help the Bruins bounce back, and the team will go as far as he can take them. Zdeno Chara has looked better with every game, but Boston will need to get its powerplay going after failing to score a special teams goal through the first five games of the series to avoid suffering the same April letdown as the MLB betting Red Sox.

NHL Playoff Preview: Montreal Canadiens

Price was the difference in the first two games, but has yet to find his form since and has allowed some soft goals to allow the advantage to sway in favor of the Bruins. He’ll need to be much sharper on Tuesday after being the team’s most valuable player throughout the regular season, and you can bet that he will be focused and ready. The Canadiens had plenty of chances to pull ahead in the series in game five, but failed to capitalize on their opportunities and will need to bury when they have the chance to keep their postseason hopes alive. Montreal’s smaller forwards used their speed perfectly in their opening two wins, and will need to work to make sure they don’t suffer another letdown.

NHL Playoff Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Canadiens may not win the series, but it’s hard to imagine them being swept at home in front of that incredible crowd. One of these teams will be eliminated before this year’s Kentucky derby betting race, but that won’t be until game seven Wednesday as Montreal rallies to keep their chances alive with their most complete game of the series.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Montreal Canadiens - 120

Baseball Betting: Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels Odds

MLB OddsThe fans at Angel Stadium will be treated to a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels when they take their seats on Saturday.

Righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the mound for the Red Sox to start this MLB betting game. Matsuzaka is 1-2 this season with a 6.43 ERA.

It'll be Ervin Santana toeing the rubber for the Angels in this contest. Righthander Santana is 0-2 with a 5.26 ERA so far this season.

Oddsmakers at BetED sportsbook currently have the Angels listed as 120-moneyline favorites versus the Red Sox, while the game's total is sitting at 9.

Boston was a 4-3 winner in its last match on the road against the Angels. They won as +100 underdogs, while the total score of 7 made winners of UNDER bettors.

Current streak:

Boston has won 3 straight games.

Los Angeles has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:

Boston: 8-11 SU

Los Angeles: 12-8 SU

Boston most recently:

When playing on Saturday are 7-3

Before playing LA Angels are 8-2

After playing LA Angels are 6-4

After a win are 5-

Los Angeles most recently:

When playing on Saturday are 4-6

Before playing Boston are 1-9

After playing Boston are 3-7

After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:

Boston is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Angels

Boston is 11-1 SU in their last 12 games when playing LA Angels

Boston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games

Boston is 3-10 SU in its last 13 games on the road

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Angels's last 6 games at home

The total has gone UNDER in 9 of LA Angels's last 12 games

LA Angels are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games

LA Angels are 1-11 SU in their last 12 games when playing Boston

Bet on Baseball

NBA Playoffs OddsThe Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets will meet on the court at Pepsi Center on Saturday in a battle of division rivals.

Oddsmakers at Bodog sportsbook currently have the Nuggets listed as 5-point favorites versus the Thunder, while the game's total is sitting at 207½.

Denver lost its last outing, a 106-89 result against the Thunder on April 20. The Nuggets failed to cover in that game as a 4.5-point underdog, while the 195 combined points took the game UNDER the total.

Oklahoma City:

Team record: 55-27 SU, 43-38-1 ATS

is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games

is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Denver

The total has gone OVER in 4 of last 5 games

is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games on the road

When playing on Saturday are 3-7

Before playing Denver are 3-7

After playing Denver are 8-2

After a win are 8-2

Denver:

Team record: 50-32 SU, 44-34-4 ATS

is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games at home

is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City

is 9-2-1 ATS in its last 12 games at home

When playing on Saturday are 4-6

Before playing are 5-5

After playing are 6-4

After a loss are 6-4

Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

If there weren’t so many more promising moments ahead, Derrick Rose may just want to have this one for life. The 23-year old has combined for 75 points through the first two NBA games of the Chicago Bulls’ best-of-seven opening round series against the Indiana Pacers, and following an MVP-caliber season has restored optimism in the Windy City. As the series shifts to Conseco Fieldhouse in Indiana, all eyes will be on Rose and whether or not the Bulls can sweep.

Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers

Thursday April 21, 201 – 7:00 PM ET


Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana


Online Sports Betting Odds: Chicago Bulls - 200

The Pacers will look to regroup in front of the hometown crowd after pushing a Chicago team that won 62 regular season games to the limit on the road through the first two games. The problem is that there may be more Bulls’ fans on hand than those that actually support the home team for Indiana’s first home playoff game in five years. The franchise had a ton of tickets still available after game two, and that could lead to hundreds of fans making the trip.

NBA Betting Preview: Bulls

Rose and head coach Tom Thibodeau haven’t shifted their focus away from finding ways to improve despite clinching the first two games in the series. Although they can put a stranglehold on the series with a win at Indiana in game three, the team understands that there are still several areas for improvement. The All Star guard admitted to reporters that his team’s defense hasn’t been as strong as it was during the regular season, when it was a big reason for the Bulls’ fast break transition offense that was so potent. It could be a good thing that the team is headed on the road where it won’t face the pressure of not wanting to letdown its sellout crowd of supporters. Chicago has a young team that will continue to grow with the experience of every sports betting bonus game.

NBA Betting Preview: Pacers

Indiana has kept these games close down to the final minutes, but now the challenge becomes finding out what it takes to finally get over that hump and into the win column. The Pacers managed to keep up with Chicago even after point guard Darren Collison left with a sprained ankle, and will need to continue to rally without him as it now looks as though he could miss the rest of the series. Slowing down Rose will be the key to getting the job done, a task that’s much easier said than done. Indiana’s big men will also have to do a better job under the basket in terms of shooting after center Roy Hibbert and forward Tyler Hansbrough combined to shoot 5-for-19 in game two.

NBA Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Pacers have thrown everything they have at Chicago and although they’ve been able to keep games close, it simply hasn’t been enough. That won’t change in game three, as the Bulls actually attack them with a more focused and relaxed demeanor to push Indiana to the brink of elimination. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are barely hanging on in the NHL, and their two MLB betting teams haven’t looked like anything special, leaving the Bulls as Chicago’s team in 2011.

BSNblog Pick: Chicago Bulls - 20

Those who bet on the Kentucky Derby still have some time before the “Run For The Roses”, but there are plenty of other sports worth wagering on, and in the NBA, there may not be a better thoroughbred than Chicago’s Derrick Rose, who has led the Bulls to a 2-0 series lead as they head to Indiana for Game 3 on Thursday night.

Bulls Pacers Betting – Thursday, 7:00 PM ET

Rose had another huge game with 36 points, eight boards and six assists in a 96-90 victory at the United Center, and even though he had six turnovers, you’ll take it with that sort of output, not to mention Rose has the ball in his hands in essentially every Chicago offensive possession. Carlos Boozer also stepped up with 17 points and 16 boards after a poor Game 1, and led by Boozer and Joakim Noah, the Bulls outrebounded the Pacers 57-33, including 20-9 on the offensive glass. Even baseball betting players in Chicago have to be enamored by this Bulls team, and they haven’t even come close to playing their best game yet over the first two games of the playoffs, but it’s definitely encouraging.

One thing that’s not encouraging for the Pacers is the ankle injury suffered by point guard Darren Collison, who is doubtful for this game. He played only 15 minutes before exiting, and while A.J. Price and T.J. Ford did well in his absence, combining for 18 points, they aren’t as good defensively and Collison makes Rose work for his points. Danny Granger led the way with 19 points for the Pacers, while Price was next with 13, but the key in Game 2 is that the big me didn’t play as well as they did in Game 1. Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert held their own in the series opener, but they were run over by Boozer and Noah in Game 2, and that was the difference.

You don’t need sports bookie software to tell you that the Bulls should be favored in this game, and currently they are 4.5-point favorites but it could go up if news comes out that Collison will definitely miss the game. The Bulls are 2-3 SU and ATS in their last five trips to Indiana, and they split a pair of meetings there during the regular season, both SU and ATS, with one of the games going under the posted total. Even if Collison can play, he won’t be at full strength, and the Pacers will need him at extra strength to pull out a win on Thursday as the Bulls are just too good for them. Take Chicago to cover the online sports betting spread.

Play Blackjack Online—Where Is The Best Place To Play?

Play Blackjack Online.

If you are looking to play blackjack online—and it's your first time—then you will want to heed my advice.

First, not all online blackjack sites are the same.  A lot of them use different software platforms, and some online blackjack sites are even rigged.  How many?  More than you think!

If you are thinking about playing blackjack online, then you need to remember that it is your hard earned money that you will be playing with—so please, find a reputable site before you just start jumping into things.

The online blackjack sites that I advertise through this blog have always been good to me.  Whether or not you choose to go with one of the blackjack sites recommended here is up to you—but be warned—stay away from Ultimate Bet.  I have had freakishly large losing streaks using their blackjack software.

In my personal opinion, the best place to play blackjack online is either Cherry Red, or Mount Rushmore.  These online blackjack sites seem to give a fair payout.

Wherever you decide to play blackjack online, always follow basic strategy, and set a limit for yourself.

Online Sports Betting Overview

The Chicago Blackhawks did what everyone expected them to do in game three of this series. They threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks. In the end, it was Luongo who slammed the door on the Blackhawks and brought Chicago sports fans one step closer to betting on MLB baseball. The NHL news the next morning included headlines that heralded Luongo’s amazing third period glove save that allowed the game to end 3-2 in favor of the Canucks. The Blackhawks kept on fighting, but they could not break through before time ran out.

The Vancouver Canucks, for their part, are playing very sound defensive hockey. It could be that one of the problems that the Canucks have had in the past is focusing too much on offense and leaving Roberto Luongo on his own in the defensive end. In this series everyone, including the Sedin twins, are coming back to play defense and keep the Blackhawks at bay. In game three, the Canucks only allowed a total of 16 shots on goal in the last two periods combined. The most telling stat is that the Canucks themselves also only generate 16 shots on goal in the last two periods. A balance between offense and defense with the Vancouver Canucks means problems for the rest of the Western Conference.

Chicago Blackhawks

It is time for the Chicago hockey fans to face the facts. When players like goaltender Antti Niemi and forward turned defenseman Dustin Byfuglein were let go from the team in a salary purge after winning the Cup last year, much of the competitive edge also left Chicago. The Blackhawks are taking the majority of their shots from the outside with no real presence in front of Luongo to tip the puck or cause the screen. Patrick Kane no longer has any one to blaze a trail for him, so he is forced to create his own opportunities. Kane is capable of it, but it takes away much of his scoring touch when he has to focus on grinding to the net. Corey Crawford is a fine goaltender, but he is young and inexperienced. He is not the reason that the Blackhawks are losing the series, but he is also not one of the factors that will help Chicago come back.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks managed to completely change their game from last year to this year, and now it is paying off. Everyone is coming back to play defense, and the Canucks are no longer trying to use those long zone-clearing passes that would inevitably come back the other way. Vancouver has replaced flash and flair with hard work and determination. That will prove to be a good move by the time these playoffs are over.

The Bottom Line

Chicago just does not have the fire power to come back in this series. There are no more role players to help pin the Canucks in their own end or crash the net and make things uncomfortable for Luongo. In this game, the Canucks will focus solely on staying one goal ahead of the Blackhawks and playing a very disciplined game. That sort of game plan will have both teams lining up to shake hands when this one is over.

BSNblog Pick: Vancouver Canucks

Hockey OddsOnline Sportsbook Overview

Baseball betting is lingering in the background right now as Anaheim sports fans concentrate on the Ducks’ playoff series against the Nashville Predators. The NHL hockey news writers have tended to ignore the Nashville Predators over the past few years, but Nashville has slowly been building a winning team and is a force to be reckoned with in these playoffs. The Predators love to crash the opposing net, they can keep their own crease clear of opposing players, they can skate with almost any team in the league and they have solid goaltending. These are all factors that the Ducks were well aware of when the series started, but are still unable to do anything about them.

A 5dimes review of the Anaheim Ducks’ season shows a team that was looking to reach for the upper-levels of the Western Conference after a slow start. The difference in the Ducks was the play of goaltender Jonas Hiller. When Hiller found his groove, the rest of the team was able to spread out a play more offense. When Hiller was lost for the season a few weeks before the playoffs, Ducks fans panicked. Veteran goaltender Ray Emery has stepped in and done a great job, but he lacks the foot speed that Hiller had and the Ducks are finding themselves forced to come back and play defense again. Falling back to play defense is what cost the Ducks points in the standings early in the season, and it is coming back to haunt them now.

Nashville Predators

Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne has been one of the best-kept secrets in the league for years. In the 2010-2011 regular season, Rinne finished second in the league with a .930 save percentage and third with a 2.12 goals against average. He is a Vezina Trophy contender, but yet many hockey fans do not know who he is. In this series, Rinne has not shown his full effectiveness yet. His stats are poor, but he is winning games. Things looked especially troublesome in game three when Rinne faced only 16 shots but gave up three goals. But the team in front of Rinne is playing so well offensively and defensively that he has some time to bring his game up.


Anaheim Ducks

While it can be easy to point at goaltender Ray Emery as the weak point for the Ducks, it is important to remember that Emery faced 37 shots in the game three loss. As was mentioned previously, when the Ducks do not have confidence in their goalie, they tend to collapse in towards the net and give up a lot of shots on goal. Even in their 5-3 game two win, the Ducks gave up 34 shots on goal. Anaheim is going to have to trust Emery and start bringing the play to the Predators or this series will be over very soon.

The Bottom Line

It is difficult for a team to lose its starting goaltender right before the playoffs. The players feel like they need to alter the way they play the game to adjust for the new goalie. The Ducks need to get back to attacking the opposition’s net or this game could be a blowout.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Nashville Predators

NBA Betting – Heat the Betting Favorite To Win It All In 2011

With the rise of a couple of key contenders in the Eastern conference, the NBA playoff landscape will look very different this season. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have put themselves in position to challenge the defending conference champion Boston Celtics in the east, while out west it appears as though it is still the two-time defending NBA champions and everyone else. Here is a look at the top online sports betting contenders for the 2011 NBA playoffs.

The Favorites

Los Angeles Lakers + 150

The Lakers will have more than history working against them in their quest for a third straight NBA title, as the Western conference appears much stronger with the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder all improved and at full health. Los Angeles will need center Andrew Bynum to be healthy to have any shot at making another run, something that could be a concern after he hyper-extended his knee against the Sacramento Kings. Bynum will be a key piece alongside Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, and it is hard to argue with a team that has looked dominant at times this season. As long as they are healthy the Lakers have the talent and pay per head experience to go all the way once again.

Miami Heat + 400

The Heat have been the favorite team to talk about since the infamous “Decision”, and despite holes in their roster they are also among the sports betting favorites. Miami has serious question marks beyond the big three of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh with a lack of presence in the paint, and their bench has been very suspect at times this year. The Heat feel that they made a statement with a big win over Boston in the final meeting of their season series, but that won’t mean much until they show it in the NBA postseason.

Next In Line

Boston Celtics + 600

There is confusion among some sports betting bonus players as to why the Celtics have been knocked down underneath Miami and Orlando in terms of favorites to emerge from the East. After reaching the NBA finals in two of the past three years, Boston is stronger than they have ever been, and have the experience to get back to the top.

Orlando Magic + 700

The Magic will rally around Dwight Howard with a team that more closely resembles the one that went to the NBA finals two years ago. Jameer Nelson is healthy and averaging 13.2 points and six assists per game, and will find Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu at every opportunity. Orlando will need their top scorers to perform when the pressure is on, and they will have every chance to perform with Howard dominating down low.

The Darkhorse

Oklahoma City Thunder + 1500

The addition of Kendrick Perkins gives the Thunder the missing piece that they have lacked in previous years, a strong inside presence that they will need if they are going to compete with the Lakers and Spurs. Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook experienced what it takes to be a true contender in last year’s postseason, and one year later could help Oklahoma City surprise.
NBA OddsOnline MLB baseball betting season is just getting underway, which means you have a couple of months before you can start making your serious picks for the World Series. In the NBA, the time is now as the regular season ends on Wednesday, and we’re going to see a youth movement heading into the postseason.

Eastern Conference – Chicago

Everyone is pointing to the Bulls being a young team with not much playoff experience, but at this point, we’re not sure that it matters. Derrick Rose is, by far, the MVP of the league and he has reached the finals at every level he’s played at. Coach Tom Thibodeau has the Bulls playing defense, and they have a guy in Joakim Noah, who does all the dirty work (it also helps that he won back-to-back NCAA titles at Florida). Boston looks old and the loss of Kendrick Perkins was a killer, Miami is still struggling offensive late in games as anyone watching NBA scores will tell you, and Orlando, you have no idea what you’re going to get outside of Dwight Howard.

Western Conference – Oklahoma City

The Los Angeles Lakers may be going into the postseason without Andrew Bynum, and while they’re still great with Kobe Bryant, they’re not the same team without Bynum in the middle. San Antonio, even with 60-plus wins, can’t be trusted, especially if anything happens to any of the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Ask your price per head bookie what they think of Denver and Dallas and you could get any range of answers. The Nuggets have been brilliant without Carmelo Anthony, but we think they’ll run out of steam in the playoffs, while the Mavericks are San Jose of the NBA: great in the regular season, comes up short in the postseason, and that’s what counts. So we’re left with the Thunder, and the pickup of Perkins really gives them a rock in the middle and a toughness they’ve never had. They also have a duo in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook who are as good as anyone in the league.

NBA Finals Pick

This is going to be fun to watch, but we’re giving a slight edge to the Bulls because of their defense, and even though we think the world of Durant and Westbrook, Rose has willed the Bulls to this point and he’ll continue to do so. The Bulls have the size to bang with the Thunder, and we also think that Thibodeau is a better coach than Oklahoma City counterpart (and last year’s Coach of the Year) Scott Brooks, by the slimmest of margins. Jump on Chicago’s odds in your online sportsbook.

Hockey BettingFor as much as a look into the history of this rivalry can provide, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have provided ample fuel to the fire that burns in this Original Six battle this year. The big bad Bruins have answered the call after four straight losses to open the season series against their Northeast division rivals with consecutive wins and a flurry of physical victories, and it is now on the Canadiens to respond in the opener of this seven-game series.

Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins

Thursday April 14, 2011 – 7:00 PM ET


TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts


Online Sports Betting Odds: Bruins – 130

Montreal was battered and bruised in the final two games of the series, with the loss of Max Pacioretty from that vicious hit by Zdeno Chara and the 7-0 beatdown in the series finale. The toll was both physical and mental, and if the Canadiens are going to have any chance of pulling off the upset, they will have to avoid falling behind early in the series.

NHL Betting Preview: Montreal Canadiens

There is no hiding the fact that the Canadiens will need to use their collective speed to answer Boston’s size, but a couple of key defenseman can make the biggest difference of all. Hal Gill, Paul Mara, and PK Subban all have enough size to jockey the Bruins’ bigger forwards, and they will need to make sure they clear the traffic in front of netminder Carey Price. Montreal went on a brilliant run to the Eastern conference finals as the eighth seed a year ago, and if Price can continue to play the way he has all season then it will come down to the Canadiens’ ability to solve Tim Thomas. Thomas will win the Vezina trophy after what was the most dominant season for a goaltender in recent history, but Montreal has had his number in the past and will need their NHL powerplay to click.

NHL Betting Preview: Boston Bruins

Thomas will need to prove that the Canadiens aren’t in his head after struggling against them more than any other team over the past couple of years. The Bruins have a strong defense core, but they could be susceptible against a much faster group of Montreal forwards. That is where Boston’s forwards will need to make the difference by setting a physical tone and wearing the Canadiens down. There is no lack of scoring touch on the Bruins’ top three lines, they just need to find their pay per head opportunities.

NHL Betting: Outlook & Pick

While the Canadiens are a speedy group that proved they can compete during a long sports betting bonus run in last year’s playoffs, they ultimately lost to a much more physical Philadelphia Flyers’ team that wore them down. That will happen again this year beginning in game one on Thursday night, as a physical Boston team lays out the body and doesn’t allow Montreal’s forwards to get going.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Boston Bruins – 130

NHL OddsSports Betting Update

The regular season baseball betting is getting started, which means the NHL playoffs are underway. The pay per head experts had no idea what every playoff series would look like until the last game of the regular season was played, and that is what makes the NHL playoffs so exciting. The Buffalo Sabres had no idea whether they would finish sixth or seventh in the Eastern Conference, and who they would face in the first round of the playoffs. When the standings all settled down after Sunday’s final games, the Sabres finished seventh and will face the second place Philadelphia Flyers.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are made up of big and strong forwards such as Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, who can fight for the puck in the corner as well as power past defenses in front of the net. Smaller forwards such as Danny Briere are still excellent goal scorers with the ability to set up plays anywhere on the ice.

On defense, the Flyers are big with veterans like Chris Pronger watching the defensive zone. But the Flyers defense is a little slower than other top defenses in the league. They make their living with their size, but that may not be a good matchup against a fast Sabres team.

In goal, the Flyers look solid until their second to last game of the season against these Buffalo Sabres. It was obvious by the end of the game that the Sabres had figured out rookie staring goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. It can be dangerous to head into the playoffs with a rookie goaltender, and that could be the biggest strike against the Flyers.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres forwards have come to life since the team was purchased by new owner Terry Pegula, and the goals are coming a bit easier now. Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford are trying their best to make up for the loss of Derek Roy, and they are doing an excellent job. Rookie Tyler Ennis has had a great rookie campaign and needs to be a contributor in the playoffs.

The Sabres defense is just awful. Most of the time, the defense looks lost and confused. They are wildly inconsistent with their ability to shut down the middle of the ice, and they all have a bad habit of trying to clear the zone by passing the puck in front of their own net. The Sabres defense cannot keep opposing players out from in front of their own net, and the constantly attempt to make blind back passes to get out of their own end. All of that will be a huge problem against an aggressive offense like the Flyers.

Ryan Miller is healthy and ready for the playoffs. He came in during the Sabres’ second to last game of the season against the Flyers and pushed the team to victory. This has not be a typical Ryan Miller year, but with the defense he has had to work with, he has had a great season.

The Bottom Line

The Flyers have not played well at all in the last two or three weeks of the regular season, and the Buffalo Sabres have. The only question is whether or not that imbalance in momentum will be enough to carry the Sabres through this series. In reality, the Flyers offense is just way too much for the feeble Buffalo defense to handle. That will be the difference in this series.

BSNblog Pick: Flyers in 5

Horse BettingOnline betting for Kentucky Derby odds can start now, even though the “Run For The Roses” isn’t until May 7th at Churchill Downs. One horse could separate himself from the field this weekend, but it should be another exciting showdown in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Betting – Saturday, May 7th, 5:00 PM ET

Uncle Mo is the consensus favorite right now at +200, and his grip on this status could be strengthened by a solid performance in the Wood Memorial this weekend. He is a perfect 4-for-4 in his racing career so far, and 11 horses that have won the Wood Memorial have gone on to win the Derby, while four have gone on to win the Triple Crown. Many feel Uncle Mo has the potential to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. He’s also trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his first Derby in 25 tries last year, and John Velasquez is the only jockey Uncle Mo has ever known.

Dialed In is next with horse betting odds of +600, and he surged up the ranks with a phenomenal last-to-first romp in the Florida Derby with Julien Leparoux leading the way, and two-time Derby winner Nick Zito in his stable. Dialed In was patient before storming to the front for a major win, and the winner of the Florida Derby is usually given a good chance to win at Churchill Downs.

The Factor expects to be a factor at +800, and he still has to run the Arkansas Derby in a couple of weeks’ time, so that should be a better indication of his chances in Louisville. The Factor has three wins in four races, and he has a great team behind him with three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert as his trainer, while jockey Martin Garcia paired with Baffert and Lookin’ At Lucky to win the Preakness Stakes last year.

Two other horses to watch out for have varying odds, but they’re still worth a look with your sports bookie software. Premier Pegasus has odds of +1250, steered by Alonso Quinonez and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, and he has three wins in four starts as well. Another thing to factor in is that his sire, Fusaichi Pegasus, won the Derby in 2000, so he has a winning pedigree. Soldat is rated at +3000, and his odds dropped drastically after a fifth-place run in the Florida Derby, which should show the importance of that race. But prior to that, Soldat had finished either first or second in seven straight races, including three victories, so he could definitely be worth a bet at most online betting sites.

Kentucky Derby Betting PicksThe most prestigious horse racing event in North America will get underway for the 137th time this May 7, 2011, with one of the most highly anticipated running in the history of the sport. 20 of the most promising three-year-old horses will take to historic Churchill Downs once again, in what is shaping up to be an online sports betting race that could feature one of the most dominant performances in the history of the race. Uncle Mo is the obvious favorite to win the race, as the first leg in the 2011 Triple Crown goes on the 1 ¼ mile track.

Favorite

Uncle Mo 10/1

The obvious favorite to win this year’s Derby is Uncle Mo, another Todd Pletcher-trained horse that will get its shot to give him a second consecutive Derby award after his horse Super Saver won the event a year ago. Pletcher has won four straight Eclipse Awards for the outstanding jobs he has done over the years, and has handled Uncle Mo through three first place finishes since last October, including this year’s Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park. A balanced horse that has the speed and endurance to rival any other horse in the competition, Uncle Mo has yet to run a 1 ¼ mile race, which is the only reason why its odds aren’t even better.

Next In Line

Dialed In – 35/1

The winner of this year’s Florida Derby instantly shot up the sportsbook promo charts in terms of odds for this year’s Kentucky Derby, and for obvious reasons. With two wins already in 2011, Dialed In appears to be exactly that after a breakout year in 2010. Owner Robert LaPenta and trainer Nick Zito have already teams up to send three horses to the Derby in past years, but have never finished higher than fifth in any of those races. That should change with Dialed In for 2011.

To Honor And Serve – 40/1

The horse in this pay per head race that was most appropriately bred to run the classic 1 ¼ miles, To Honor And Serve will be among the favorites to at least show at this year’s race. The Bill Mott-trained horse finished third behind Dialed In at this year’s Florida Derby, and could be primed for even more success at Churchill Downs. Mott won his first Triple Crown race with Drosselmeyer at last year’s Belmont Stakes, and will have another experienced rider to rely on in John Valasquez. The Live Oak Plantation hasn’t had a contender in the Kentucky Derby since 2005, but To Honor And Serve will not disappoint.

Dark Horse

Stay Thirsty – 125/1

A longshot to win it all, Stay Thirsty is another sports betting horse that has been trained by Todd Pletcher leading in to this year. A disappointing finish at the Florida Derby hurt its odds for this year’s Kentucky Derby, but with the 2010 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Jockey on its back in Ramon Dominguez, there is no reason to think that Stay Thirsty won’t be in position to show if it draws a solid post position.

Welcome to the drive for the green jacket. Yes its time for the first major of the golf season and everyone is very excited about the Masters. I am a professional golf handicapper and have been for the past 7 years. Masters week is easily my busiest week of the year and this year has been no exception. Everyone in the golf world is talking about Phil and Tiger, while there are 97 other golfers who would also love to win this week’s event. My job this week has been finding out the players to bet on so my clients and I can profit again on the Masters.

Let me first tell you a little about some recent success I have had…


Three weeks ago I had Webb Simpson as my long shot at 120/1. He looked like he was going to win the championship only to lose by 1 shot to Gary Woodland. Two weeks ago I had Martin Laird and hit him at 38/1. We were all very happy to hit this winner after such a heartbreaking defeat just one week prior. Our bankrolls are now ready to hit another solid winner this week at the Masters. Click Here To Get Steve’s Masters Picks


With the Masters being the most bet on golf event in North America, my reputation is built through my success at this tournament. Just two years ago I hit a winner that almost no one had on his or her radar. Angel Cabrera was paying 140/1 and won the 2009 Masters through a playoff. The celebrations that ensued were legendary. Then last year I had Phil Mickelson as my favorite at 11/1. He won the event and my clients were again happy after we hit a second straight Masters champion. This year we look to make it 3.


I utilize what I like to call a 6 pack of players for each tournament. Through my research and knowledge I compile a list of 6 players I feel have the best chance to win the tournament and are set with good value. I can assure you there is nothing better than hitting a 100/1 long shot on Sunday afternoon while watching a golf tournament. Well I suppose hitting Cabrera at 140/1 was better, but you know what I mean.


Augusta is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Playing at 7435 yards as a Par 72, the players will be forced to navigate through 18 holes that can make even a professional look foolish. Be sure to pay attention to the 12th hole as it has a history of making professionals look like amateurs. Measuring only 155 yards the 12th will force players to judge the wind more than any hole on the course. This hole will be fun to watch, along with all the drama the Masters always brings.


Whether you are entering an office pool or placing bets on the Masters, be sure to check out the picks I have compiled for the first major of the year. This is what I do for a living and I would love to see everyone profit come Sunday afternoon.


Click Here To Get Steve’s Masters Picks


Enjoy Masters week everyone,


Steve.

2011 Masters Picks

Golf Betting PicksIt’s time to give away the green jacket again in golf. Masters week is upon us and golf fans could not be more excited. As a professional golf handicapper this is my busiest time of the year. I have people emailing and calling it seems like 24/7 to ask questions about the odds they have on golfers.

CLICK HERE FOR 2011 MASTERS PICKS

To give my clients the proper answers, weeks of research have to be done on the tournament and its field. Golf can be the most fun you will ever have betting on a sport and the Masters is its pinnacle. Below I will give you the process I go through to making my Masters picks, along with a few storylines to follow. My exclusive picks for the Masters can be found at the bottom of the page by clicking the link.

Augusta is a course players dream about when they are small. For 19 players this year they will be getting their first taste of the historic grounds the Masters are played on each year. Will it be a rookie or will it be a favorite you bet on? To pick the correct golfer you must take everything from current mental state, golf statistics, recent play and history at Augusta into your decision. Through watching golf every week (PGA Tour and European Tour) you can compile a log on each player.

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods will overshadow this week at the Masters. Woods will be vying for his 5th green jacket and looking to get a win under his belt for the first time in far too long. His issues with the driver have been well documented but I have never seen him miss more 7-foot putts than he has this year. Last year he was able to come to the Masters with little to no competitive golf leading up to it, and still found himself near the top of the leader board. He can do this because he owns Augusta. Tiger knows all the shots he needs to hit and maybe only Jack Nicklaus can read the greens better. Will the positives of Augusta outweigh the issues in Tigers golf game this week? Well isn’t that the million dollar question.

Phil Mickelson on the other hand comes in playing great golf. He used weekend rounds of 63 and 65 to win the Shell Houston Open last week. Mickelson won an emotional Masters last year, one he shared with his wife Amy. Phil will be looking to tie Tiger this week and win his 4th green jacket. Maybe most importantly for Phil, he has the confidence this week at Augusta to enter as the favorite and leave with the championship.

Phil and Tiger may absorb most of the attention leading up to Thursdays tee off, but there are 97 other players who would love to win a Masters championship. I have spent this entire year leading up to this tournament and am very excited with the 6 pack (6 players to win outright) of players I have selected to win the tournament. Through my years of golf handicapping I have learned the in and outs of the business. I hope everyone has an excellent Masters week and joins us with our winning pick.

If you want my winning picks please visit GolfBanker.com

NHL PicksSports Bet Overview

As the betting on March Madness winds down, the sports betting bonus hockey fans in Vancouver are excited about the post-season and a bit nervous as well. Once again, the Canucks enter into the playoffs as one of the best teams in the regular season. In this case, the Canucks go into the playoffs as the best team in the NHL in the regular season. The betting services are well aware of the poor track record that President’s Trophy winning teams have in the playoffs.

The other thing that is causing some concern for Vancouver fans is the way the team is playing out their last few games. Last season, the Canucks “mailed in” their last few games and wound up playing flat in the playoffs. This season, the Canucks are doing the exact same thing they did last season. They are sitting Roberto Luongo late in the season, and losing games to terrible hockey teams. Case in point is the most recent home loss for the Canucks which was a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are an incredibly young hockey team with a bright future and nothing to lose. The Oilers went into the road game against the Canucks looking to use the game as an indicator to see which players would make the Oilers next season, and which players will wind up in the minors. The Canucks sat back and let the Oilers look like NHL all-stars. Edmonton is 1-6-3 in the last 10 games, but they are a very dangerous team for the Canucks to be taking lightly.

Vancouver Canucks

Any Vancouver Canucks fan that is having that “here we go again” feeling is justified in his concern. The Canucks have clinched the President’s Trophy and seem to have nothing to play for. But the fans have seen this movie before, and it did not end well last time. The Canucks are 8-2-0 in the last 10 games, and they only have three games remaining on the regular season. But throwing games away to teams like Edmonton is not the ideal way to bring your team into the playoffs. The Canucks third and fourth lines are getting a lot of ice time in these last few games to save the first and second line from getting hurt. How long will it take the first and second lines to get their scoring rhythm back when the playoff starts? Shouldn’t Roberto Luongo, a habitual playoff failure, be playing as much as possible leading into the playoffs? These are all questions floating around GM Place in Vancouver, and the buzz is getting loud.

The Bottom Line

The Canucks will be their own undoing again this playoff season. There is no switch you can turn on and off with hockey teams. Taking games like this one lightly will set the Canucks back when the playoffs start. Those young kids on the Edmonton team plan on taking full advantage of a sleeping Vancouver club.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Edmonton Oilers

Hockey OddsBetting Online Overview

The Chicago Blackhawks are barely holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. As the online March Madness betting starts to wind down, Chicago is holding off ninth place Calgary by one point and 10th place Dallas by three points. The Blackhawks hit a sudden goal drought that has not been very helpful as the team tries to defend its Stanley Cup title in this post-season. The Montreal Canadiens are not the kind of team that is likely to give the Blackhawks much of a chance to get their scoring groove back.

The Montreal Canadiens have gone from battling the Boston Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division, to trying to fend off the Buffalo Sabres for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The sportsbook promo experts are wondering if the Canadiens will fold under the pressure that the Sabres are providing and relinquish their one-point lead in the standings. A 5dimes review of the Canadiens’ play in the past couple of weeks indicates that the Habs are up for the challenge and ready to defend their playoff spot.

Chicago Blackhawks

The NHL Western Conference has been a nightmare for fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks. Those four teams have been swapping positions in the standings all season long. Right now, the Blackhawks hold on to eighth place in the Western Conference and have been playing good hockey. In the last 10 games, Chicago is 5-4-1. The Blackhawks are 19-12-8 on the road, and have been a very aggressive road team lately. There is still some concern about the goaltending in Chicago since Stanley Cup goaltender Antti Niemi went to San Jose in the off-season. But the Blackhawks are facing a situation where they will probably have to win both of their remaining two games to have any shot at making the playoffs.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are slipping a little lately as the team has gone 4-6-0 in the last 10 games. But their last game was a win over the pesky New Jersey Devils in New Jersey. The Habs were able to outskate a very good defensive team and put three goals past legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur. The Blackhawks offer a similar challenge to the Devils in that the Blackhawks play a very tough defensive style of hockey. The Canadiens need to play another gritty game if they want to come away with the win. With only three games left on the schedule, the Canadiens need to put as much room between themselves and the Sabres as possible.

The Bottom Line

The whole feel of this game shifts towards the Canadiens. Montreal is 23-11-6 at home and just coming off a difficult road win. The Blackhawks are still having problems in almost every aspect of their game and they are not going to find the answers to their questions in Montreal.

BSNblog Pick: Montreal Canadiens

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