NFL Betting: Bills Aim For Fourth Win While AFC Gives Chase

NFL Betting PicksThe Buffalo Bills are alone at the top of the AFC at 3-0, but fans in and around Orchard Park aren’t taking anything for granted after watching their team fall behind by 21 points in each of their past two wins. The Bills will look to keep their run going this week with a short trip west to face the Cincinnati Bengals, while the rest of the NFL betting lines conference plays catch up early on.

Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

While it is not as surprising as that they are 3-0, the fact that Buffalo is listed as only three-point favorites this week against a struggling Bengals’ team has to have turned at least a few heads, especially considering the Bills were able to overcome a powerful New England Patriots’ team a week ago. But after falling behind in each of their last two contests, there are question marks about how long Buffalo will be able to overcome those early struggles, and they will look to avoid another slow start this sports betting week against Cincinnati. The Bills’ rushing attack ranks fourth in the NFL with running back Fred Jackson setting the tone on the ground with 303 rushing yards and three touchdowns through three wins, and he and CJ Spiller are averaging 6.4 and 8.2 yards per carry respectively. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to produce but will need to do a better job with not turning the ball over.

NFL Betting Pick: Buffalo Bills - 3

Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns (-1)

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Titans are perfect through two home games, but they did lose to Jacksonville in their lone road game so far this season, and Cleveland has looked good in consecutive wins. The Browns have done a good job of bending but not breaking defensively, but they need to do a better job against the run after allowing an average of 128.7 yards per game through three contests. Tennessee hasn’t been able to get its running game going, with a league-worst average of 51.7 yards through three games, with Chris Johnson earning just 2.1 yards per carry. The Titans will need to get their rushing game going if they are going to have any chance at contending in the AFC this season, and it begins this NFL betting picks week against Cleveland.

NFL Betting Pick: Tennessee Titans +1

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans (-4)

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Steelers survived a close fishing games outing against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football even without Peyton Manning in the lineup, because they continued to struggle with turnovers. Pittsburgh has the weapons to keep this one close, but unless they can do a better job of securing the ball and not turning it over, they will have a hard price per head time getting a win on the road against a talented Texans’ team.

NFL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers + 4

Baseball BettingIt was nearly a month ago, that MLB betting enthusiasts felt that the 2011 season was the most predictable, as all of the playoff spots including the Wild Cards in each league appeared to be decided. Now on the final day of the season, the Tampa Bay Rays have stung their way back to a tie with the Boston Red Sox for the American League Wild Card. Meanwhile, in the National League, the Atlanta Braves have gone on a cold streak, while the Cardinals have been hot, as a result, fishing games enthusiasts are also witnessing a tie in the National League wild card race. Today being the final game of the regular season, it all comes down to this.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been a feel good story in sports betting circles since 2008, when they went on an improbable run to the World Series and lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Now nearly three years later, the Rays and their low budget of $41 million, have fans and analysts from across the nation, hoping that they out gun the super team known as the 2011 Boston Red Sox.

A month ago, the Tampa Bay Rays were 10 games out of a wild card spot. Entering tonight’s final game of the season against the MLB leading New York Yankees, Tampa must at the very least win to force a one game playoff with the Boston Red Sox. At the same time, the Boston Red Sox, experiencing a meteoric collapse similar to the 2007 New York Mets whom blew a 12 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies, are hoping that their pitching gets its focus together. If Boston fails to win the wild card, they would become one of only 11 teams in the history of the league to have the best World Series betting odds prior to the season, only to lose the first six games of the season, and then fail to make the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Atlanta Braves are basically begging the St. Louis Cardinals to take the wild card spot from them. Since the beginning of September, the Braves have gone nine and 17 including a seven to one loss to Philadelphia yesterday. At the same time, St. Louis has accumulated a record of 17 and eight this month, including a five to nothing victory over the lowly Houston Astros last night.

Theoretically, if all four wild card teams remain in sync after tonight’s action, it would be the first time ever, that both the AL and NL played a one game playoff in the same year. With a rumored second wild card team being added to each league as early as next year, fans should expect to see a 163rd game almost every season, to determine the final entrants in the playoffs.

If each league’s wild card comes down to a one game playoff, expect the scores to go under the total, as each game will have great pitching matches. In the AL Josh Beckett takes on James Shields, and in the NL Edwin Jackson takes on Jair Jurrjens.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Syracuse Orange: College Football Betting

NCAA Football PicksThe Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Syracuse Orange will meet on Saturday at Carrier Dome.

We’re not sure which was more blatant. The phantom holding call on a punt return in the final minute of the Green Bay-Chicago game that cost the Bears a backdoor cover or the blown extra-point call in regulation that gave the Orange the cover as they eventually outlasted Toledo in overtime (maybe it IS time to bring Tim Donahue on our staff).

However, despite a 6-2 ATS mark at home in this football betting series, we feel they’ll be no such ‘luck’ today for Doug Marrone’s men.

Rutgers’ offense fi nally awoke in its win-and-cover over the Bobcats last Saturday and that’ll serve as a buy sign in this contest.

And despite the Knights’ poor road record in the Free NFL Picks series, two of their last three trips to the Carrier Dome have resulted in a pair of SU wins and covers.

With the Scarlet Lettermen a red-faced ‘Mission Dog’ seeking revenge from a 13-10 home loss last season, we expect an A-type effort this afternoon in the Dome.

Grab the points early in the week and Fuggedaboutit as Schiano and company squeeze out the ‘W.” No ex-‘Cuses.

Current betting lie is: Syracuse listed as 1-point favorites versus the Scarlet Knights, while the game's total is sitting at 49½.

Sportsbook betting pick: Rutgers over Syracuse by 3.

College Football BettingThe Demon Deacons and the Eagles will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Alumni Stadium.

Another coach taking a leave of absence for health reasons is Boston College fi rst-year offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers. Our college football betting database tells us that the Eagles’ offense has been on leave all season (13 PPG versus FBS foes) so we’re honestly not sure that Mr. Rogers will be all that missed in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood.

Don’t be fooled by last week’s 45-point outburst against Division 1-AA UMass – the Minutemeneked out single-digit wins over Holy Cross and Rhode Island prior to last week’s visit to Alumni Stadium.

And while we’re not willing to back the feeble Eagles and their 0-3 SU and ATS record against Division 1-A competition this season, there’s just no value in making a pledge to the Demons in this pick ‘em affair, as they arrive with an 0-4 ATS series record since 2007 (as well as a dog role in all four of their previous visits).

Wake’s 1-5 ATS mark with revenge versus .400 or less opposition also keeps us in bed for this 12:30 kickoff. Like AT&T, we’ll let you make the call in this snooze-fest.

Sportsbooks currently have the Demon Deacons listed as 1-point favorites versus the Eagles, while the game's total is sitting at 50.

Trends to consider:

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Wake Forest's last 6 games when playing Boston College

Wake Forest is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games

Wake Forest is 3-10 SU in its last 13 games

Wake Forest is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston College

The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Boston College's last 10 games

Boston College is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Wake Forest

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston College's last 5 games at home

Boston College is 16-7 SU in its last 23 games at home

NFL Betting Lines: Top Games to Watch in Week 4

NFL BettingIf you’re fishing for some games to wager on in the fourth week of the NFL’s regular season, you won’t have to look very far as all of the rust should be shaken off by now, and we’re going to really start to see what teams are made of. Here are the top three games of the week in pro football.

Panthers Bears Odds – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Bears will be favored at home against the Panthers, who got their first win of the season against Jacksonville, and while No.1 overall NFL betting picks Cam Newton didn’t have a big game, Carolina was efficient and their defense did the rest. Chicago’s defense has come under fire this year, but you have to look at their competition: Atlanta, New Orleans and Green Bay, three of the top offenses in the NFC, and they should bounce back this week at home against Carolina, who will face former Panther Julius Peppers. The former North Carolina Tar Heel was huge against the Panthers last year, and Peppers should have a big game again; Chicago still has to protect Jay Cutler, though. Take Chicago to cover at home.

Patriots Raiders Odds – Sunday, 4:15 PM ET

The Patriots should be the NFL road favorites in Oakland, and they’ve scored 79 points in their last two meetings with the Raiders, who upset the New York Jets last week. New England’s defense let them down in losing a 21-0 lead in Buffalo, but it was also an uncharacteristically bad day for Tom Brady, who had four touchdown passes, but he was also picked off four times. Look for Brady to take out some frustrations on the Raiders, who managed to rush for 171 yards against a tough New York defense. They’ll need more of the same this week, but we’re rolling with the Patriots.

Jets Ravens Odds – Sunday, 8:20 PM ET

Finally, the Ravens should be a slight favorite according to NFL betting lines as Jets head coach Rex Ryan returns to Baltimore, where he spent 10 years as the architect of their defensive scheme. Ryan’s Jets will be hungry to bounce back from their loss to the Raiders, while the Ravens rebounded from a disappointing loss to Tennessee by blasting St. Louis at home. Ryan has some insights into how to beat the Baltimore defense, Mark Sanchez had a great game against the Raiders and you can expect the defense to step up after Oakland ran through them. Last year’s meeting was a 10-9 win for the Ravens on the road; look for the Jets to return the favor and come away with a victory in your online sports betting book.

NFL Betting PicksSports Betting Online Overview

Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton finally won his first NFL game in a rain-soaked week three affair against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The remaining hurricane conditions swept into Carolina and made it difficult to see the game, much less play it. But even in the muddy slop that he was forced to deal with, Newton still threw for 158 passing yards and a touchdown. Nothing that the Panthers experienced in its week three win over the Jaguars will prepare it to meet the Bears in week four. The Jacksonville defense was assisted by the weather conditions and still could not stop Newton and the Carolina offense. The Bears will not have that sort of problem in week four.

The NFL betting picks fans in Chicago are still not warming up to starting quarterback Jay Cutler. But what Chicago fans should really be worried about is the Bears’ offensive line. In its week three loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Bears were only able to manage 13 total rushing yards and Cutler accounted for 11 of those yards. The Bears’ offense could not stay on the field due to turnovers and a series of three-and-outs. The boos were cascading down on Cutler as he threw two interceptions that stalled Chicago drives and handed the ball back over to Green Bay. Cutler should have an easier time of it in week four, but if the offense does not pick up the pace then offensive coordinator Mike Martz may be bass fishing next year instead of coaching the Chicago offense.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton appears to be the real deal at quarterback for the Panthers. He faced some seriously bad weather in week three and was able to pull out the win. In the first two games of the season, the Panthers were hampered by a bad defense. The bad weather seemed to really help the Carolina defense keep the Jacksonville offense under control. That bad defense will come to the forefront again in week four as the Chicago Bears are just waiting for a defense to tee off on and the weather conditions in Chicago rarely approach hurricane force winds and rain. Jay Cutler may be called upon to win this game for the Bears, and there may be little that the price per head Carolina defense can do about it.

Chicago Bears

The betonline reviews of the Chicago Bears defense this season have been extremely impressive. Veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher is playing like a man possessed and picking up interceptions at a frightening pace this season. But that Chicago defense will have its hands full with the elusive Cam Newton. The Bears’ secondary may not be able to keep up with the Carolina receivers and Newton could very well have another 300 to 400-yard passing day. But the Bears will keep the Panthers out of the endzone just enough to allow the Chicago offense to win this game.

The Bottom Line

The Carolina defense will get better as the season goes along, but it still lacks any kind of sustained pass rush that can give the Panthers a real chance at winning games. This one might be close, but it will be a Chicago win in the end.

Pick: Chicago Bears

Football Betting: Spotlight On NFC East Rivalries Week 3 in The NFL

NFL PicksWith the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles all considered to be among the contenders to win their division, it may come as a surprise to some that it is the Washington Redskins at the top of the NFC East heading in to week three. The Redskins have escaped with two close wins at home and will look to parlay that in to success on the road this Monday night, but not before the Giants and Eagles clash at Lincoln Financial Field as the NFC East rivalries take the NFL betting lines spotlight this weekend.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5)

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

Despite escaping with a sports betting win over the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football, the Giants looked like a shadow of the team expected to compete for a division title this season with the injuries that have ripped through the roster. With starters missing on every level of the defense, quarterback Eli Manning and the offense have done the best they can to keep New York competitive through two weeks, and they could be in trouble with a trip to Philadelphia. The Eagles were exposed against the Atlanta Falcons after Michael Vick went down with a concussion, and that one potential injury for Philadelphia could outweigh all of New York’s if he isn’t able to go on Sunday. The Eagles have the best cornerbacks in the league but their front-seven was exposed by Atlanta, and could be again if they don’t go fishing to tighten things up front. Philadelphia should win, but the Giants will keep it close if they can establish a running game.

NFL Betting Pick: New York Giants + 5.5

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (-4)

Monday, 8:35 PM ET

The Redskins scored 10 straight points late in the fourth quarter to rally against the Cardinals at home, but they will need to be better overall to escape Dallas with a win this week. That is unless Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo cannot go after suffering cracked ribs and a punctured lung in his heroic comeback sportsbook odds win over the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which he literally willed his team back to prevent consecutive losses to open the year. The extra day off could help Romo and company in this matchup, and regardless of whether he plays or not, head coach Jason Garrett will need to get more out of his running backs. Felix Jones has not gotten enough touches early on this season and that has left Romo exposed, so the entire offense should benefit from a better running game. Washington quarterback Rex Grossman has been good through two starts but did toss a pair of interceptions in his last start, and that should have Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan salivating at the possibilities of what his units can do this NFL picks week.

NFL Betting Pick: Dallas Cowboys - 4

NFL PicksThe 2011 NFL betting lines season is underway, and fans and bookies alike have begun to scratch their heads at the results. From the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs experiencing dastardly records thanks to a slew of injuries, to the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins combining to go six and zero for the first time in nearly 30 years, fans have seen it all. Today for your fishing games pleasure, we will be looking at a few trends and lines that have us saying ‘what the heck is going on with the NFL this year?”

For the first time in nearly 30 years (coincidentally a lockout season) the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, are giving their fans reasons to be optimistic. The Buffalo Bills pulled off one of the biggest blowouts in team history in week one, when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick dismantled what was believed to be a great Kansas City defense. Buffalo would then follow it up, by winning the game of the year against the Oakland Raiders in week two.

On the other hand, after winning the first two games of the sports betting NFL season, the Detroit Lions have their fans and some analysts believing, that they are finally ready to contend. The Lions epitomize an underdog that everyone rallies around. Similar to movie character Rudy, the Lions are the team you cheer for, whether they are struggling or having success. At two and zero to start the season, and putting up back to back 40 point performances, the Lions have college football betting enthusiasts wondering if a Super Bowl is in the cards.

For many sportsbooks, the belief was that in the upcoming game between the Lions and Minnesota Vikings, the Vikings would be the favorites. However, for the second week in a row, the Lions find themselves in unfamiliar territory, as they are a three and a half point favorite.

While the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions are causing bettors to question whether they should be fading or backing these historically bad teams, other teams are making bettors jobs much easier. For example, the Seattle Seahawks are flat out terrible, and have become a safe NFL pick to fade early and often. To put how bad the Seahawks are into perspective, you only need to look at the first two games of the 2011 season, as the Seahawks haven’t been inside their opponents red zone more then a combined two times.

Another team returning to terrible form are the St. Louis Rams. Coming off what can be argued as the team’s best season in the last five years an eight and eight finish in 2010, the Rams have stumbled out of the gate losing both of their games. Mind you, the Rams were in tough in both games, as they faced the dream team Philadelphia Eagles in week one, and followed up with the New York Giants in week two. Regardless of their opponents, the Rams under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have been terrible in the red zone, as they lead the league in dropped passes.

NFL Week 3 AFC Matchup Preview: Patriots (-9 ½) vs. Bills

NFL OddsSports Betting Overview

For the first time in a very long time, the football fans of Western New York have a lot to cheer about. The Buffalo Bills are 2-0 after blowing out the Kansas City Chiefs in week one on the road, and then coming back to beat the Oakland Raiders at home in week two. Now the Bills face the ultimate AFC test as the 2-0 New England Patriots come to town. The most impressive part of the Bills’ game is its offense. After scoring almost 80 points in the first two games of the season, the Bills have shown an unforeseen ability to adjust to an opposing defense and put up points. While some will argue that it was not the New England defense the Bills were facing in week two, there are enough similarities between the Raiders’ defense and the Patriots to make this upcoming game interesting.

The NFL betting lines on the Patriots still have New England as the favorite to win the AFC East. But there are still cracks in the New England armor that head coach Bill Belichick sees and that the Buffalo Bills can try to exploit. The Patriots just got done dismantling the San Diego Chargers’ defense and pressuring the San Diego offense into the ground. The question that this game raises is whether or not the Buffalo Bills defense can do what Miami and San Diego failed to do; stop Tom Brady. Brady has had his problems in Buffalo early in games, but he usually comes out the winner. The online sportsbooks fans in Buffalo may have to sit and watch as Brady finds a way to beat the Bills yet again.

Buffalo Bills

If you are fishing for ways to give the Bills an edge in this game it would have to be at running back. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are proving to be a potent running combination, and the Bills’ offensive line is finding all kinds of ways to give the two running backs room to operate. But, even with some new players on the defensive line, the Buffalo Bills still cannot get consistent pressure on the quarterback. The Bills got to Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell enough time to pull out the win. But if Buffalo wants to stop Tom Brady, it will need consistent pressure on the New England quarterback. That was something that not even the San Diego defensive line was able to do.

New England Patriots

The New England offense is so potent that it could strike at any moment. If Wes Welker does not catch a timely pass in the slot, then Chad Ochocinco will take you deep. If you manage to somehow catch little Danny Woodhead, then the next play you will have to deal with the power of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The only weakness on the Patriots’ team that may affect it in this game is the defensive secondary. If Buffalo quarterback can consistently get the ball past the front defensive seven, then the Bills can score points. But will the Bills be able to stop Tom Brady and the offense?

The Bottom Line

This is one of those NFL picks where you want to believe the upset could happen but you know it probably will not. It is conceivable that the Bills could hang with the Patriots for three quarters of a shoot-out. But, eventually, the Pats will pull away and put the Bills in second place in the AFC East.

Pick: New England Patriots

NFL PicksSports betting enthusiasts have received more then they could have asked for during the first two weeks of the 2011 NFL season. From crazy blowouts in week one, to wild finishes in week two, save for five games going to overtime in week three, things simply can’t get any wilder. On the online sportsbooks lines, the twilight zone results have caused many bookmakers both online and in person to question if they know how to properly set a line. Despite the St. Louis Rams and New York Giants having yet to play, here is a recap of all the action that has gone down thus far in the NFL fishing games week two.

The Carolina Panthers almost cost several bookmakers to go bankrupt on Sunday, after they jumped out to a 13 to six lead over the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers heading into halftime. Entering the game, Aaron Rodgers and company were favored by eight points over Cam Newton’s Panthers. However, it was the rookie turning heads, as he would throw for over 430 passing yards for the second week in a row, even though he threw three interceptions. In the end the Packers would mount a historic comeback, winning the game outright 30 – 23. Nevertheless, the Panthers were still able to cover the college football betting line spread, which had moved up to eight and a half points to start the second half.

Another game that had fans and bookies alike scratching their heads featured the Buffalo Bills taking on the Oakland Raiders in Buffalo. On paper, regardless of each team winning their week one matchup, fans and handicappers alike expected this game to go under the total of 48 points. Both the Bills and Raiders had two of the top defenses in 2010, and that was expected to carry over in yesterday’s matchup. If you decided to be a wise guy and make an NFL picks on the over in this game, we salute you. What was believed to be a defensive gem, turned into a shootout at the Okay Corral. The Bills and Raiders combined for 73 points, as Ryan Fitzpatrick out dueled Jason Campbell and won the game in the final seconds of regulation on a game winning touchdown pass.

The most surprising win of week two, came in the afternoon affair between the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions. A week after getting killed 41 to seven by the Buffalo Bills, many fans and analysts alike, we included, believed that the Kansas City Chiefs would have a bounce back game against the Detroit Lions. Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs continued to resemble the 2010 Cincinnati Bengals, as they were lit up by Matthew Stafford and Lions in a 48 to three blowout. To make matters worse, the Chiefs lost star running back Jamal Charles to a torn ACL during the first half of the game.

NFL Betting: Overview of Upcoming Sunday NFL Games

NFL PicksFew would have been bold enough to project before the NFL betting lines lockout came to an end that while the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, and defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers struggled out of the gate, it would be the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and new-look Cincinnati Bengals opening the year on a winning note. The fact remains however that it is just one week after all, and heading in to week two there is a lot that can change in the AFC. Here is a quick look at three AFC matchups for this weekend.

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Bills came out and absolutely dominated the Kansas City Chiefs in hostile territory week one to the tune of a 41-7 final at Arrowhead, opening the game with 20 straight points before allowing the defending AFC West champions the chance to even get on the board. Buffalo will look to parlay those efforts against one of the Chiefs’ divisional rivals as they open the home portion of their schedule against the Oakland Raiders, who managed to knock off another AFC West team on the road with a 23-20 win at Mile High. One of the biggest keys to victory for the Bills in week one was their ability to stop the run while opening things up through the air, and those sports betting strengths match up well again this week against the Raiders.

NFL Betting Pick: Buffalo Bills – 3.5

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Ravens absolutely dominated from the outset against the Steelers, putting to rest any fishing talk about how they wouldn’t be able to beat their biggest rivals with Joe Flacco under center. All Flacco did was throw for 224 yards and three touchdowns while his opposing quarterback threw three interceptions and fumbled twice for five of Pittsburgh’s seven turnovers on the day. Baltimore was able to move the ball almost at will whether through the air or on the ground with running back Ray Rice, and that shouldn’t change against a Titans’ team that lost at Jacksonville week one. Tennessee is a team in transition, and why this spread is so low may be one of the biggest NFL mysteries heading in to week two.

NFL Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens - 6

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

While the Colts were expected to falter against a tough division rival on the road week one with Peyton Manning out, much more was expected of the Browns. Cleveland spent too much time concentrating on being conservative on offense rather than taking their shots downfield, and the defense ended up making them pay for it when they allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to score 14 in the final frame to lose at home. It doesn’t get much worse than that for the Browns, and it’s hard to imagine them now going on the road and laying an NFL picks beat down on the Colts even without Manning.

NFL Betting Pick: Indianapolis Colts + 3.5

Baseball Betting OddsWith the MLB betting season winding down for another year, hardcore handicappers are having a difficult time finding much value. For the first time in nearly five years, every division winner and wild card winner is pretty much set. However, looking closer at the AL West and AL wild card, fans sports betting on the MLB, will see several teams still in the thick of making the price per head playoffs. Today we will be looking at a few teams that have inherited the role of spoiler.

Toronto Blue Jays – The youthful Blue Jays have pretty much been out of the playoff picture since the middle of May. After officially being eliminated from fishing games contention yesterday, the Blue Jays became just another team looking to spoil a team’s shot at the playoffs. In 2010, Toronto found themselves in a similar situation, as they went 12 and four in their final 16 games, including a nine and two record to close out the MLB season.

Last week, the Blue Jays (74-74) took three of four from Boston, before taking two of three from Baltimore. Yesterday, Toronto was killed by Boston 18 to five. However, today they send ace Ricky Romero to the mound against John Lackey. Lackey has been an Achilles heel to any momentum Boston has built this season. With that in mind, a split with Boston and then a series win over the LA Angels later this month, would go along way in spoiling both teams World Series betting chances.

Los Angeles Dodgers – One of the most storied franchises in professional sports, the 2011 edition of the LA Dodgers, houses both an MVP candidate in Matt Kemp and a possible CY Young winner in Clayton Kershaw. Regardless, the Dodgers, who are currently run by the MLB betting , find themselves in the basement of the NL West division. Nevertheless, the Dodgers have embraced the role of spoiler over the last few weeks, as they have hampered the plans of NL wild card hopefuls the St. Louis Cardinals, and 2010 World Series winner the San Francisco Giants.

Despite losing the last two games to the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have gone 15 and three in their past 18 games. Theoretically, the Dodgers may have a bounce back game in them tonight, as they look to prevent the Diamondbacks from clinching their first division title in nearly five years.

If LA is able to avoid the sweep, they could have a huge influence on the outcome of the NL West division in a couple of weeks, when they face the Giants and the Diamondbacks in back to back series.

Washington Nationals – Considered by many casual and hardcore baseball fans alike to be one of the worst teams in the MLB, the Washington Nationals have a wealth of young talent, that could help them finally contend in the ever daunting NL East. With games against Atlanta and Philadelphia, Washington has a shot at playing spoiler.

NCAA Football Odds: Akron Zips vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

College Football PicksAkron Zips will face the Cincinnati Bearcats this Saturday September 17th, 2011 at Nippert Stadium.

Our price per head betting readers realize the Zips are in ‘Dire Straits,’ starting the 2011 campaign 0-2 SU, ATS and ITS while losing both games by double digits (combined score of 83-3).

Sportsbooks odds currently have the Bearcats listed as 31-point favorites versus the Zips, and the game's total is sitting at 56.

And while these avenging squads (lost 17-15 at home to Cincy in 2008) are usually reliable play-on teams, the problem for Akron this afternoon in the Queen City is they’re facing a ‘Mission Team’ that heard Rocky Top for all four quarters last Saturday in Knoxville.

You can bet – though we won’t – that the Bearcats are itching to get back on the win track after that 45-23 thumping. And though they’ve averaged more than 52 PPG in their five wins under head coach Butch Jones, we can’t lay this kind of wood… not with an NC State revenger on deck and the Zips in that aforementioned ‘Dire Straits’ situation.

We’re also not ready to grab the points with Akron second-year man Ron Ianello (1-13 SU, 5-8 ATS), whose tread is wearing awfully thin in the Rubber City. Another nooner that just doesn’t pique our interest.

Trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Akron's last 6 games

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Akron's last 6 games on the road

Akron is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games on the road

Akron is 1-13 SU in its last 14 games

Cincinnati is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games at home

Cincinnati is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games

Cincinnati is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games

College Football OddsSaturday, September 17

Maryland over West Virginia by 6

The meeting between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Maryland Terrapins si this Saturday at Byrd Stadium.

The current pay per head betting line is Terrapins listed as 1-point favorites against the Mountaineers, and the total is sitting at 53½.

Danny O’Brien and the Maryland offense looked good – though their uniforms did not – in their season-opening win over Miami. In fact, according to BSN Sports, “you couldn’t even ‘pay’ Miami players to wear those outfi ts.”

What does look good (and SMART) is the Terp’s 12-day respite. They’ll certainly need it as the Mountaineers are 10-2 ATS away before back-to-back homers, not to mention a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS in this series since 2005.

First-year head coach Randy Edsall will also be battling a nasty 0-6 ATS Game Two log as well as a 0-4ATS mark in the second game of three straight home contests. Yes, the trends all point to West Virginia but the handicappers warns otherwise and we’ll heed that advice.

One more word of caution: watch this line. Should the Hillbillies turn to chalk, they own a 0-9 ATS log as Game Three favorites of less than 10 points.

Whatever the case (pick, plus or minus), it’s venom over denim this afternoon in College Park as the Terps exact some revenge.

West Virginia most recently:

When playing in September are 8-2

When playing on grass are 3-7

After outgaining opponent are 6-4

When playing outside the conference are 7-3

Maryland most recently:

When playing in September are 6-4

When playing on grass are 7-3

After outgaining opponent are 3-7

When playing outside the conference are 6-4

Between Addiction and Fun

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Years ago, casinos were known to be places where there was live entertainment and other sorts of fun activities could be found. People went to these casinos to watch plays or shows, listen to music played by a live band and to dance with their family and friends. Now, a lot of things have changed despite the fact that casinos still offer amazing live entertainment and exhibits. People no longer visit the casinos for the social activities like balls. Instead, they go to casinos to play a friendly game of poker or perhaps to try their luck at slots. The amazing showcase of talent has been pushed into the shadows of casino games. Did you know that there are casinos with more than a thousand machines, tables and other equipment and that all these are operational at all times? That’s just a concrete proof of how popular casino games have become.

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What makes them so popular among the people? Casino games are actually quite notorious when it comes to causing addictive behaviour in people and different theories have arisen to answer why. It has been proposed the adrenaline bursts you get as you play makes you want more. Adrenaline heightens your senses and makes you feel energized. Of course, feeling like you’re on the top of the world makes you want to keep playing more and more. There’s also the theory that the frustration from losing only builds up the desire to keep trying to win. Personally, I think that casino games are a combination of these two things. They are fun and they make you feel good. At the same time, losing drives you to keep trying again.

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There’s nothing addicting about the games per se. However, the environment and also the conditions surrounding the game makes one want to keep playing more and more. Winning money is always a good motivator for anything. Now, you get to play a fun game plus get money for it. What more could you ask for? Casino games are meant to be extremely relaxing and enjoyable. You also get to play with other people as in poker. You can bring out your aggressive side out as you join tournaments and compete with the other gamers. There are also non-competitive games like the slot machines where all you really do is push buttons and maybe pull a lever every now and then. There are just so many things that you could try out. Not everyone gets addicted to the games try to keep that in mind as you venture into a casino to play.
NFL OddsThe opening week to the 2011-2012 NFL season was full of surprises. Some of the results even have the online betting world rethinking the odds for who will make the playoffs and who will not. There were several contenders that came through in week one and teams that showed significant improvement over their performances last year. Week two promises to be just as interesting as the top NFC teams try to shake off the rust that an abbreviated training camp created.

Philadelphia Eagles (-1) @ Atlanta Falcons

The preseason NFL betting lines had been very favorable for the Atlanta Falcons. After all, the Falcons had added wide receiver Julio Jones in the draft to add to veteran receiver Roddy White as deep passing threats. But for all of its offensive prowess, the Falcons forgot to address their defense. That lack of defensive ability was on display in week one as the Bears ran through and around the Atlanta defense. The Eagles looked much better in its regular season opener than in any of the preseason games played this year. Michael Vick threw and ran the ball effectively while the Philadelphia defense shut down the upstart St. Louis offense. All of this does not bode well for the Falcons as they prepare for what should be one of the better games in the NFC for the first half of the season.

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints

The Saints looked much better in this year’s season opener than it did in last year’s, but the results were different. The Saints won its season opener last year and lost it this year to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. But the price per head football fans in New Orleans should not give up hope. The Chicago Bears are not coming to New Orleans to enjoy the great bass fishing in the area, the team is coming to win. The Saints do not have the same kind of defense that the Falcons have which the Bears torched on opening day. If this turns into a shootout, the Bears are in trouble.

Pick: New Orleans Saints

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers

Are the Cowboys that bad? Are the 49ers that good? The Cowboys were barely beaten by a very good Jets team while the 49ers clobbered a sub-standard Seattle ball club. The strength of the 49ers is its defense, but that may not be enough to carry them to a win. The thing working against the Cowboys is injuries. If the Cowboys cannot get some of their injured cornerbacks back by this game, then it could be another close game and very long week for the Dallas Cowboys players and fans.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers

St. Louis Rams @ New York Giants

This game is incredibly important to the final NFC standings for several reasons. The Giants were one of the popular NFL picks to compete for a playoff spot in the NFC this year. But Eli Manning and the Giants offense looked absolutely terrible against the Washington Redskins in week one. The St. Louis Rams made a lot of mistakes in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Rams may have just enough defense to keep the Giants off the scoreboard.

Pick: St. Louis Rams

NFL PicksEven those who play fishing games had to be enthralled by an outstanding first week of regular-season action in the NFL, but it’s just getting started as Week 2 begins on Sunday (there are no Thursday night games until Week 10). Here is a look at the best sports betting matchups of Week 2.

Chiefs Lions Odds – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

Look for the Lions to be favored in Detroit as Kansas City looked downright awful against Buffalo, and they may be without safety Eric Berry. That doesn’t bode well for a secondary going up against the Lions’ Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, a duo that might make Detroit one of the most popular darkhorse NFL picks of the season.

Bears Saints Odds – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

In this clash of NFC contenders, the Saints should be favored at home despite losing in a shootout in Green Bay, while the Bears are coming off a manhandling of Atlanta in their opener. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees doesn’t have great numbers against the Bears in his career, but NFL fans still have to consider the Saints after what the offense did in Green Bay. The problem is, they should be without receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore because of injury.

Packers Panthers Odds – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Packers should be favored on the road in Carolina, and the defense will be out to prove a point after they were lit up by the Saints. They’ll also be out to slow down the Panthers’ Cam Newton, who set a NFL record for passing yards in his debut in a loss against Arizona, and now he has to try and follow that up against a unit many feel is the best defense in the league.

Chargers Patriots Odds – Sunday, 4:15 PM ET

NFL betting lines should favor the Patriots at home, but they may be at a slight disadvantage as they’re in Miami on Monday night. That should be negated by San Diego’s cross-country travel, and to be honest they didn’t look that great in a win over Minnesota that needed a fourth-quarter rally. If the Chargers are going to prove that they’re a threat in the AFC, a win in New England would help.

Eagles Falcons Odds – Sunday, 8:20 PM ET

Finally, the Falcons should be favored in Atlanta, where they were phenomenal last year until the playoffs, but they’ll be trying to recover from the 30-12 beating they took in Chicago. Philadelphia beat St. Louis 31-13 on the road, but they still have some things to work on after their busy offseason. This could end up being the best game of the weekend, and a win for either team would give online sports betting players some faith in their chances.

NFL Betting: NFC Playoff Teams Look To Open New Season With A Win

NFL OddsEvery sports betting bonus year the division standings realign, and while some make a push and compete for a playoff spot, others fall and are left on the outside looking in. Here is a quick look at the matchups for four NFC playoff teams from a year ago, as they look to open up their NFL betting lines season with a win.

Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Chicago Bears

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

A loaded roster and consistent approach led to the Falcons winning an impressive 14 games last season, finishing with the best record in the NFC and clinching home field advantage for the playoffs. Unfortunately, their first postseason game was against the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, a home loss that left a bitter taste in their mouths through the offseason. Head coach Mike Smith’s group is back this year and with the addition of a playmaking wide receiver in Julio Jones, which the Falcons moved up in the first round to grab in the top-10. A dynamic receiver, Jones has looked good with Matt Ryan this preseason, and teamed with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta isn’t lacking firepower. The Bears ended last season with a loss to the Packers as well, only in the NFC Championship game with their starting quarterback watching from the sidelines after a knee sprain. That didn’t go over well with Chicago fans then, and as soon as he falters in this NFL picks game it’s likely he is going to hear about it.

NFL Betting Pick: Atlanta Falcons - 3

Philadelphia Eagles (-5) @ St. Louis Rams

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

The Eagles have already been labeled the “Dream Team” for the upcoming sports betting season, but now it is time for Philadelphia to be the “Nightmare” team for a young Rams’ team with a ton of potential week one. St. Louis enters this season with several reasons to believe that they can contend for a division title after falling one game short in Sam Bradford’s rookie season a year ago, but it won’t be easy to get that first victory this week as the Eagles look to load up once again. The Rams’ defense showed improvement as last year wore on, but now they will be asked to defend Michael Vick.

NFL Betting Pick: Philadelphia Eagles - 5

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)

Sunday, 1:00 PM ET

Both the Lions and Buccaneers are expected to contend for an NFC playoff spot this season, but only one can emerge with the win in week one. Considering that Tampa Bay has done it before and they are playing at home, it could be Josh Freeman and the boys that come out on top. How the Buccanners’ slow the Detroit pass rush and protect Freeman in the pocket will be a key, as well as how the Tampa Bay defense is able to slow down Matt Stafford by fishing for some pressure of their own up the middle.

NFL Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1.5

Which Teams Will Rise And Fall During The 2011 NFL Season

2011 NFL PicksWith week one of the NFL season only a day away, we figured today was as good a day as any for fishing around for neat trends. Essentially, every year, there are several teams at the start of the season, predicted to rise and fall based on a slew of factors, including last season, the offseason and training camp. Today for your sports betting pleasure, we will be looking at a few teams expected to rise and a team expected to fall this season.

Expected To Rise:

Green Bay Packers – Despite winning the Super Bowl for the 2010-11 seasons in February, the Green Bay Packers enter this season, with plenty of room to grow. Last year, the Packers got into the playoffs, using the sixth and final spot in the NFC and by being beneficiaries of the New York Giants late season collapse.

According to NFL betting lines statistics, the Green Bay Packers underachieved in the regular season last year. Looking at the statistics, the Packers should have technically ben a 12 and three team, as they had the second best point differential in the NFL during the regular season. However, due to injury and other factors, the Packers only had a 10 and six record, and had to win out to get into the post season. With the entire Green Bay roster healthy headed into the start of 2011, the defending Champions are expected to have a much better season then a year ago.

Cincinnati Bengals – The Cincinnati Bengals went from AFC North division Champions in 2009 to AFC North division basement dwellers in 2010. What’s hard to believe, is that on paper, the 2010 Bengals should have been the team to get to the Super Bowl for the first time in 22 years. However, after a four and 12 record in 2010, there is nowhere to go but up in 2011.

The four and 12 record for the Cincinnati Bengals was a bit misleading, as on average, the Bengals were not having smackdown laid on them, but rather losing by an four points or less. Using a variety of different calculations, the Cincinnati Bengals record, should have actually been six and nine.

This offseason, Head Coach Marvin Lewis was brought back for reasons we can’t even explain, while long time quarterback Carson Palmer and offensive coordinator Bob Bartkowski were exiled from Cincinnati. In there places are 2011 second round draft pick Andy Dalton from TCU and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. While Cincinnati is expected to endure some growing pains from the youth of the team, this isn’t the worst Bengals team to watch.

Expected To Fall:

Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jacksonville Jaguars are considered by many to be one of the worst run teams in professional sports. Nevertheless, last season, the Jaguars managed to go eight and eight when their point differentials suggested, they should have finished six and nine, like the Cincinnati Bengals in the riser column. Jacksonville Head Coach Jack Del Rio wants to open the offense up more this season. However, on Tuesday, he cut long time quarterback and fan favorite David Garrard, in order to explain giving first string snaps to back up quarterback Luke McCown. What’s more, the Jaguars run game this year is virtually non-existent, as both Maurice Jones – Drew and Rashad Jennings will miss the season with knee injuries.

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NFL 2011 Season Week 1 Preview: Key AFC Games


The sports betting world finally gets to see NFL football for real when the 2011-2012 season starts this Thursday. There are some exciting questions to be answered such as the condition of Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning and whether or not the Patriots can turn around a less than impressive preseason when the ball kicks off for real. The NFL betting lines are now open, and the AFC starts its quest to take back the Lombardi Trophy after two consecutive years of NFC dominance.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-2 ½)
What will be considered the epic struggle for domination in the AFC North between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers gets kicked off early with the first of two meetings taking place in week one. Last year, it took the Ravens a few weeks to get rolling and start dominating opposing teams. It could be the same situation this year as the Ravens are still shifting their offensive line around and getting used to new receivers like veteran Lee Evans. The Steelers looked sharp on offense and defense all preseason, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks ready for the season to begin. The Steelers lost some depth at quarterback with the injury to Byron Leftwich that could end the veteran quarterback’s season. But as long as Big Ben is in the pocket, the Steelers will be very tough to beat.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
It looks more and more like Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Peyton Manning will not be able to start week one. It ends a streak of over 200 consecutive starts that began prior to the turn of the millennium. Without Manning, the Colts are not nearly as effective. There has been speculation that veteran backup Kerry Collins would start this game, but the other backup Curtis Painter is getting support from the Indianapolis locker room. The Texans are in no hurry to have Peyton Manning back on the field because Houston is still trying to figure out new defensive coordinator Wade Philips’ new 3-4 defense. It is a work in progress, but it already looks like an improvement over the past few seasons. The Houston offense is healthy and ready to go, and that sets up a very interesting opening game. The NFL fans in Houston would love an upper hand in the battle for the AFC South title.
Pick: Houston Texans

New England Patriots (-7) @ Miami Dolphins (Monday Night Football)
This is one of the more interesting NFL betting picks in the AFC in week one. In a perfect world, the Patriots should dominate this game and blow out the Dolphins in week one. But the world is far from perfect, and the Patriots had a lot of question marks going into this regular season. The Patriots secondary is suspect while the Dolphins have enjoyed success throwing the ball in the preseason. The Patriots’ offensive line has been weak while the Dolphins’ pass rush has been effective. The Patriots will be in Miami fishing for answers to the pressing questions for the season. This is a hard one to call because New England has been known to lie dormant in the preseason and then destroy teams in the regular season. If that is the case, then this game will be played in a perfect world.
Pick: New England Patriots

AFC Games In Week 1 Have Fans Chomping at The Bit

Fishing games enthusiasts from across the nation are counting down the days until Thursday’s official kickoff to the 2011 NFL season. After what many fans and analysts alike consider to be one of the longest off-seasons in NFL betting lines history, Thursday will mark a fresh start for the world’s most popular sports league and their fans. Today we will be looking at the sports betting week one games coming out of the AFC. As has been the case the last few years, the AFC has appeared to be the stronger conference during the regular season, while the NFC is the strongest during the playoffs. Here are a few week one games to consider gambling on.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans – For NCAA football betting enthusiasts looking for a big NFL game to gamble on during week one, the clash between AFC South rivals Indianapolis and Houston is your best choice. The rivalry between the Colts and Texans, is considered to be one of the most important going into this season, as the Texans are believed to stand the best chance at winning the division, since the Colts enter the season injured.
In an ideal world, the Houston Texans, a team fans and handicappers alike have waited to breakout for years, should lay the proverbial smackdown on the injury depleted Colts. What’s more, the Colts are without star quarterback Peyton Manning, whose off-season neck surgery, has taken longer to recover from. Making matters worse for the Colts, backup Kerry Collins did not look good in his only start during training camp. Meaning to say, on paper, everything for this game is in Houston’s favor. Look for the Texans to cover the spread and then some, as they open up week one with a victory over Indianapolis.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens – Betting enthusiasts still bitter about the divisional round of the 2011 playoffs upset victory by the Steelers over the Ravens, will waste little time watching the revenge game between these two AFC North divisional foes. Entering their week one clash, both Pittsburgh and Baltimore have made many changes to their offenses. In for Pittsburgh is former New York Jets fan favorite Jericho Cotchery, and out is Antwan Randle El.
For Baltimore, Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmanzadeh are the only returning members of the 2010 – 11 seasons wide receiving corp. The overhaul for both Pittsburgh and Baltimore’s offenses indicates to fans and bookies alike, that each team is making this the year they win the Super Bowl. For all intents and purposes, we are picking the Baltimore Ravens, as this is the final year that defensive captain Ray Lewis plans on playing. Meaning to say, the Ravens should be more emotionally charged for this game, then the Steelers.
NFL PredictionsOf the four divisions in the AFC, perhaps once again it is the West that appears to be the most wide-open heading into this regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs will look to defend their title and hold on to the division heading into this NFL betting lines season, but they will face a tough test as each of the other three teams have all shown improvement this preseason.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers



Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

The Chiefs have been a major question mark in the NFL futures this week, with a debate about whether they have a legitimate shot to repeat as division champions, or if they are simply one-year wonders. Kansas City does have a ton of talent on its roster, but whether or not those core players are capable of excelling for years to come has yet to be proven. The Chiefs have a tough preseason finale against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and although it won’t mean much in the long run the first quarter could serve as a strong test of sportsbook promo merit.

NFL Betting Pick: Kansas City Chiefs +3

Denver Broncos @ Arizona Cardinals



Thursday, 10:00 PM ET

While the Chiefs have to prove that they can repeat, the Broncos are simply trying to prove that they can compete as they look to close out their season on a winning note against Arizona. Denver will open the season with Kyle Orton as its starting quarterback, which leaves Tim Tebow to hold off Brady Quinn as the team’s second-string pivot. Tebow may not get another true shot at game action until a few weeks in to the season, and he likely will put on an NFL spectacle before taking a seat.

NFL Betting Pick: Denver Broncos + 3

San Francisco 49ers @ San Diego Chargers



Thursday, 10:00 PM ET

The Chargers’ offense has looked in midseason form so far this preseason, and will look to keep it going and avoid a slow start out of the gate this regular season. Phillip Rivers continues to emerge into one of the elite quarterbacks in the game today, and as long as the defense can play to an average standard San Diego should be golden. The Chargers have nothing left to prove heading into this exhibition finale, but they do have more depth than the 49ers and that will make the sports betting difference.

NFL Betting Pick: San Diego Chargers - 3

Oakland Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks



Friday, 10:30 PM ET

Terrelle Pryor will see his first NFL action on Friday night, as the Raiders take to the field in Seattle looking for their first win of the preseason. Things haven’t been pretty in Oakland so far in 2011, and you have to think that head coach Hue Jackson would like to see his team go fishing for at least one.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Oakland Raiders + 3.5

Baseball PredictionsThe American League East is the toughest fishing games division in the big four sports in North America. Made up of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, the playoffs essentially begin at the start of the season for the five AL East teams. The MLB is also the only league without a salary cap, leaving many to wonder, how can anyone compete fairly? Today for your sports betting pleasure, we will be assessing whether the Toronto Blue Jays can contend in the world’s toughest division.

Toronto Blue Jays fans are some of the most patient in the history of sports. The last time MLB betting Jays fans saw a playoff game, was the 1993 World Series when Toronto defeated the Philadelphia Phillies. In the 18 years since the World Series victory, Blue Jays fans have had little to cheer for. Whether it is the daunting task of winning the division, or poor management, Jay’s fans have been messed around on multiple occasions.

Since the 2010 season, the Toronto Blue Jays have provided their fans with a false sense of hope that they can contend in the next couple of seasons. Essentially, Jays GM Alex Anthopolous has revamped the entire minor league system, which in turn has allowed him to deal away veteran players and fill the current roster with youth. While the man known as AA is praised by the media for building up the youth of the roster, the rare veteran pieces he has added have been more then suspect.

For the reason that the 2010 and 11 Toronto Blue Jays have more or less appeared to be their own worst enemies, fans are really questioning if there is light at the end of the tunnel. AA’s Achilles heel has been his lack of attention spent on the bullpen. As a result of his neglect, Toronto has lost many games that they otherwise should have been in.

What’s more, in any other division in baseball, it takes roughly 90 wins to make the playoffs. Yet, in the AL East, it takes a minimum of 105 wins. Which means, that AA’s inability to fix the bullpen has caused the team to constantly hover around a 500 record, when really; they could be performing more consistently.

Now, some will argue, that the Blue Jays would have the proverbial smack down laid on them regardless of who is in the bullpen, but we disagree. As we noted earlier, the Blue Jays farm system has been revamped dramatically. This in turn should allow the team to not only deal from an area of strength for bullpen help, but also reveal to Jays fans, that a youthful bullpen can get the job done. By using homegrown talent, AA and the new look Toronto Blue Jays, should be able to contend for an MLB highlights playoff spot sooner rather than later.

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