The Sports Bookie Blog

Super Bowl XLIII Preview

January 21st, 2009

Cardinals, Steelers...a great game awaits!Super Bowl XLIII Preview from the team at Bodog Sports.

Sunday, Feb. 1 is the singular red-letter day on the betting calendar, the mother of all sporting events: Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. This year’s gala coincides with the inauguration of President Obama, so it’s only natural that the matchup between the Arizona Cardinals (12-7 SU and ATS) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (14-4 SU, 11-7 ATS) is being treated as a watershed moment for the sports gambling industry.

Nobody’s predicting a possible take of $100 million on the Las Vegas Strip this year. But action is already coming in fast on both sides with the Steelers opening as 7-point favorites (-105). The total is 47, and according to market reports, roughly 70 percent of bettors at press time were taking the over at +100.

Business will pick up over the course of the next two weeks, especially once the market opens for Super Bowl props. This has been a major area of growth for the online industry; bettors love the entertainment value and the potential giant payouts from laying cash on individual athletes. Our live betting feature takes this to another level, allowing you to bet on every single play of the big game as it happens.

We’ll have more coverage of the different betting markets as they open. The most popular prop bets will deal with the most popular players in the game itself. In this case, that would be Arizona QB Kurt Warner. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV leading the St. Louis Rams and their “Greatest Show on Turf” offense to victory over the Tennessee Titans. A series of concussions seemed to derail Warner’s career, but he’s persisted and played his way back into the Super Bowl with a 96.9 QB rating, just a shade below his peak years in St. Louis. The tastiest Warner props will deal with how many TD passes (or interceptions) he’ll throw.

Ben Roethlisberger (80.1 passer rating) is the Pittsburgh quarterback and thus the team’s star player by default. His QB props will also be popular, but it’s the Steelers defense that really runs the show. Safety Troy Polamalu’s name will be heard a lot in the marketplace; he was one of the stars of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XL win over Seattle, and he returned an interception for a TD last week against the Baltimore Ravens.

Bet on Super Bowl XLIII in the Bodog online sports book.

There was some concern about Polamalu’s health after he strained his calf during the Divisional Round, but his play last week against the Ravens was more than reassuring. WR Hines Ward is likewise expected to be fine for the Super Bowl after twisting his right knee against Baltimore. And Roethlisberger now has some sore ribs courtesy of the Ravens. Otherwise, the Steelers are as healthy as an NFL team could hope to be in January.

The Cardinals have a few nagging issues; WR Anquan Boldin (groin) was at visibly less than full capacity in the NFC title win over the Eagles, and LB Travis LaBoy suffered a biceps injury that could knock him out of the big game. LaBoy is a role player whose absence shouldn’t hinder Arizona. Boldin is a top-shelf receiver, but the Cardinals have other options downfield in Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston, and Boldin has another two weeks to heal before the Super Bowl.

These two teams have only faced one another twice during the regular season over the past decade. The Cardinals (+5.5) beat Pittsburgh 21-14 at home last year; Warner and Matt Leinart split the QB duties in that game, and both Boldin and Ward were out of commission, but the two rosters are otherwise much the same for the Super Bowl. The Steelers (-7) downed visiting Arizona 28-15 back in 2003 when the starting quarterbacks were Tommy Maddox and Jeff Blake.

There are strong positive trends for both teams going into the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh has covered seven playoff appearances in a row, while the Cardinals are on a 4-0 ATS run and 12-5 ATS in their past 17 against winning teams. The strongest betting trends are on the over: 12-2 in the last 14 Steelers playoff games and 35-16 in Arizona’s last 51 overall. The over is a combined 23-14 for these two clubs this season. If there’s any line movement during the next two weeks, it’s probably going to be against the total.

 

To visit Bodog Sports - click hereFor more on Bodog Sports check out the latest sportsbook reviews:

>>Bodog Sports Review at BookieLabRat.com
>>Review & Rating of BodogLife.com sportsbook at GoonersGuide.com

>>Compare Bodog with the other popular online sportsbooks for American bettors

 

Australian Open Tennis: Sportsbook Betting Promotions

January 17th, 2009

Australian Open Tennis Betting PromotionsHere’s a round up of the best promotions currently running on the Australian Open 2009. Free bets and cash back deals on the best Tennis betting of the season… starting today!

Visit Ladbrokes online sportsbook - click!Live Streaming Tennis – and a free bet!

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland or Norway bettors only!  Pay a one-off £10 subscription or currency equivalent at Ladbrokes and you’ll be able to view all available Australian Open Streams Live.  Ladbrokes will give you back your £10 subscription in the form of a Free Bet to the value of the subscription. 

Visit BetFred online bookmaker - click! Court Short Down Under – Australian Open

Place a win or each-way single bet on any seeded player in the Men’s or Women’s Australian Open outright market and if your selection is knocked out in the First Round, BetFred will refund your stake as a free bet. Maximum refund is £100 (or your currency equivalent) per customer. Applies to bets placed before 11pm GMT Sun 18th January

Visit BoyleSports online sportsbook - click!Djokes On Us – Men’s Australian Open 2009

BoyleSports will refund all losing single bets places on the men’s outright market if Novak Djovik wins the Men’s Australian Open 2009.  Max refund EUR250 (or currency equivalent). Applied to bets placed prior to tournament start only.

Visit BoyleSports online sportsbook - click!Serbs Us Right – Women’s Australian Open 2009

If either Ana Ivanovic or Jelana Jankovic wins the womens Australian Open, BoyleSports will refund all losing single bets on the outright betting market. Max refund EUR250 or currency equivalent.

Visit Paddy Power online bookmaker - click!Pocket Aces – Australian Open 

If you have a losing in-running match bet on the Australian Open and the final shot of the match is an Ace, Paddy Power will give you a free in-running bet to the same stake on any other Australian Open match. Max Free Bet €300/£200 per customer per match. Does not apply to the finals.

 

For more on these popular online sportsbooks, check out the latest reviews onsite at BookieLabRat.com. For a dialy update on the latest cashbacks, freebets and betting promotions across all sports visit the promos pages on the Gooners Guide to Gambling here.

NFL Championship Round Previews for Sunday

January 15th, 2009

Bet on the NFL Championship RoundSuper Bowl XLIII? Forget that. The best NFL games of the year are usually the Conference Round matchups. Over the past decade, the AFC title game has been called the “real” Super Bowl. But the gulf between the two conferences has closed somewhat, giving us two high-quality games to handicap this Sunday.

Check out the latest NFL Championship Round Betting odds at the following popular online sportsbooks: Bodog Sports (if you’re US based and wanting a great offshore sportsbook) or Bet365 (No US bettors, but THE best bookie for Europeans and UK punters).

Philadelphia at Arizona

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Sunday, 3:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Philadelphia: 11-6-1 SU, 12-6 ATS, Under 7-10-1
Arizona: 11-7 SU, 11-7 ATS, Over 12-6

The Eagles fly into the NFC title game as one of the hottest teams in the league at 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven, all coming after QB Donovan McNabb was benched in Week 12 at Baltimore. This is roughly the same path the New York Giants took to Super Bowl XLII; last week, the Eagles (+4) turfed the defending champions 23-11 at Giants Stadium.

Arizona is also on a roll at 3-0 SU and ATS, starting with Week 17’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks and continuing with playoff wins over Atlanta and Carolina. Those three games included heavy doses of running, as Edgerrin James saw significant action for the first time since he was benched in Week 9. This was in many ways a return to form for the Cardinals; they ran the ball heavily in the first two weeks of the season, when they started off 2-0 SU and ATS before getting a little pass-happy with Kurt Warner (96.9 QB rating) at the controls.

Last week’s 33-13 dismantling of the Panthers (-10) also included something we’re not used to seeing from the Cards this year: strong defense. Arizona forced QB Jake Delhomme into five interceptions and one lost fumble, a definite improvement for a Cardinals team ranked No. 23 in the league against the pass during the regular season. However, it should be noted that the Panthers offensive line was worn down and vulnerable after a long season, leaving Delhomme exposed in the worst game of his NFL career.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, ousted the Giants last week despite a pedestrian effort on offense. The New York defense has certainly outperformed Arizona’s over the course of the season; this was the No. 9-ranked unit in terms of efficiency against both the run and the pass. It’s reasonable to expect Arizona to have more trouble than the Giants did containing McNabb now that he has the benefit of playing indoors, sheltered from the swirling winds and freezing cold of New Jersey.

The Eagles are 4-point favorites (-115) on Sunday with a total of 47. Philadelphia is also 2-1 to win the Super Bowl, while Arizona has the longest odds of the remaining foursome at 5-1.

 

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS
50% chance of snow, 20 degrees, light winds
Baltimore: 13-5 SU, 14-4 ATS, Over 9-8-1
Pittsburgh: 13-4 SU, 10-7 ATS, Over 9-8

It’s still winter back on the East Coast. Heinz Field will be a mess, which is fitting football weather for these two defensive juggernauts. These two AFC North teams have already met twice this year; the first game actually went over the posted total of 34.5 in a 23-20 overtime home win for the Steelers (-6), while December’s rematch in Baltimore was a more familiar 13-9 final, with Pittsburgh (+3) once again prevailing thanks to a last-minute touchdown. The total was 34 points.

With the rubber match returning to Heinz Field, the Steelers are back to laying six points (-105) with a total of 34. But the Ravens are even hotter than the Eagles at 7-1 SU and ATS in their last eight – the Pittsburgh loss was the only blemish during that span. The Steelers are 6-1 SU and ATS in their past seven, with the lone defeat coming in Week 16 against the same Titans team that Baltimore eliminated from the playoffs last week.

The Ravens have been statistically superior to Pittsburgh in just about every way this year. They have the better offense and special teams, but the Steelers rank No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency, with Baltimore right behind at No. 2. Power running could very well be the difference Sunday in the snow; in this aspect, the Ravens are ideally equipped with 260-pound fullback Le’Ron McClain handling the ball in short-yardage situations. Pittsburgh got a surprising 146 yards from Willie Parker last week against the Chargers, but Parker’s forte is speed, and Baltimore has a stronger run defense than the Steel Curtain.

The Ravens are 4-1 to win the Super Bowl compared to 8-5 for the Steelers. And yet it’ll be no surprise if we have an all-Wild Card matchup in the big game. Parity indeed.

 

Sportsbook reviews and ratingsFor more info on either Bodog Sportsbook or Bet365 Bookmaker, and why we rate them, check out the following online sportsbook reviews:
>>Bodog Sports Review
>>Bet365 Bookmaker Review

 

 

Betting on The 2009 Australian Open

January 14th, 2009

Australian Open Tennis bettingHere’s the latest contribution to the BookieLabRat.com blog from popular onlineline sportsbook Bodog Sports: The 2009 Australian Open. 

Bettors all over the world have been waiting for this moment. The first major event of the 2009 tennis season is the Australian Open, starting Jan. 19 at Melbourne Park in Melbourne. The country’s sporting mecca and second largest city will be treated to two weeks of top-flight tennis. And the fields for both the men and women are wide open this year.

WOMENS AUSTRALIAN OPEN BETTING

On the women’s side, defending champion Maria Sharapova is already out of the running; the shoulder injury that took her out of last year’s Olympics and U.S. Open has yet to heal properly. That leaves the two Williams sisters as the leading candidates to win in Melbourne. Serena Williams is the top seed at this week’s warm-up WTA event in Sydney, the Medibank International. Venus Williams is idle this week; she’s never won the Australian Open, while Serena has taken this event three times, most recently in 2007.

The hardcourt at Melbourne Park is a Plexicushion surface (specifically, the Plexicushion Prestige) that made its debut at last year’s event, replacing the old Rebound Ace surface that was criticized for overheating and causing ankle injuries. The slower Plexicushion surface (slow for a hardcourt, that is) doesn’t help Serena exploit her strong volleys; Sharapova, a more classic baseline player who is still developing in other aspects of the game, won her first Aussie Open last year.

The surface change might make Venus the better bet this time around compared to her sister. She’s only been to the finals at Melbourne once back in 2003 and was eliminated in the quarterfinals last year by Ana Ivanovic. But the elder Williams got the better of world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-2 at last week’s World Team Challenge event in Hong Kong. Serena, meanwhile, struggled to beat world No. 46 and Australian native Samantha Stosur in three sets during the first round of the Sydney warm-up. It was Jankovic who eliminated Serena at the Aussie Open quarterfinals last year.

That roadblock might not be there this month. Jankovic pulled out of the Hong Kong event after losing to Venus, citing the flu. “I really have been trying my best to go on the court, but I feel slow,” Jankovic told the BBC on Saturday. “Nobody likes to be sick, and now I’m on medication and I have to rest and try to recover as fast as possible.”

MENS AUSTRALIAN OPEN BETTING

The men’s draw could be less competitive than expected, as well. Marat Safin pulled out of the Kooyong Classic eight-man exhibition on Monday with what he’s calling a shoulder injury. Safin is the 2005 Aussie Open champion and enjoyed something of a revival in 2008 by reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon, normally his weakest Grand Slam.

If Safin is out of the picture, that opens the field up somewhat for Andy Murray, the 21-year-old Scotsman who wowed the tennis world by beating both Roger Federer and Andy Roddick to win the Qatar Open. Murray also beat both players to close out 2008 with a victory at the Tennis Masters Cup in China. Both events were played on the hardcourt.

The United Kingdom is a haven for betting on tennis, and Murray has been the uncrowned champion of punters since he cracked the ATP’s Top 10 last summer. Murray is currently the No. 4 player in the world and expected to ride a wave of British money into the favorite spot for Melbourne.

Federer (No. 2 in the world) and Rafael Nadal (No. 1) figure to be crowding Murray at the top of the Aussie Open odds list. Nadal is still noted as a clay-court specialist, although he did win his first Wimbledon last year. But Nadal has never been to the finals at either the Aussie or the U.S. Open – also a hardcourt event – while Federer won at Melbourne in 2004, 2006 and 2007. For good measure, Murray beat Nadal in the U.S. Open semis last year after losing his first five encounters with the Spaniard.

Available right now are the Aussie Open warm-up events in both men’s tennis betting and women’s tennis betting; single-game matchups will also be available for the Open itself, but the tennis futures market is a very simple and popular way to wager on the Open, especially with the time zone difference Down Under. The futures format is common to tennis, golf and NASCAR, the holy trinity of summertime betting. And it is summer in Australia right now, after all.

Compare Australian Open Odds across the top online sportsbooks

 

Use the following links to BookieLabRat.com to check out the latest LIVE sportsbook prices on the Australian Open (which bookie has the best odds?)

 

>>Mens Australian Open Betting Odds Compared
>>Best Womens Australian Open Betting Prices

Games to Bet on this week (January 12th)

January 13th, 2009

Here’s where popular US sportsbook Bodog think we should all put our money on this week in the way of American sports betting action.  

Congratulations to the Florida Gators on yet another national college football championship. Now it’s time to turn things over to the pros. The NFL enters its Conference Round this week; two Wild Card teams are within one game of reaching the Super Bowl. These two matchups lead our Top 5 list of games to bet on this week – all times are Eastern, and current lines are available at Bodog Sportsbook.

1. NFL: Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Sunday, 6:30 p.m.)

The second game of Sunday’s doubleheader features a nasty, nasty rivalry between two AFC North teams. The visiting Ravens (13-5 SU, 14-4 ATS) dropped both their games against the Steelers (13-4 SU, 10-7 ATS) during the regular season; Week 4 saw Baltimore (+6) take Pittsburgh to overtime at Heinz Field before losing 23-20, while the Steelers (+3) came back to take the Week 15 rematch 13-9 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens were 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS in their previous eight meetings with Pittsburgh.

2. NFL: Philadelphia at Arizona (Sunday, 3:00 p.m.)

The Cardinals (11-7 SU and ATS) are the home team in this matchup as kings of the NFC West, but they’ll be underdogs Sunday versus the Eagles (11-6-1 SU, 12-6 ATS), who advanced to the Conference Round by eliminating the defending champion New York Giants. However, if the Cards play the way they have in playoff victories over Atlanta (+1.5) and Carolina (-10), the sky’s the limit for Kurt Warner and company. Philadelphia disposed of the Giants (-4) in the Divisional Round despite two picks by Donovan McNabb and a safety for intentional grounding in the end zone. The Eagles were much better, however, in their 48-20 victory over the Cards (+3) in Week 13 at the Linc.

NFL odds in the Bodog Sportsbook.

3. NBA: L.A. Lakers at San Antonio (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m.)

That Christmas Day win by the Lakers (29-6 SU, 16-19 ATS) over the Boston Celtics keeps looking better and better. While the Celts stumble, L.A. is 5-1 SU (3-3 ATS) since the holidays. The Spurs (24-12 SU, 17-18-1 ATS) are pretty hot themselves of late at 9-2 SU and 5-5-1 ATS in their last 11, although their level of competition during that stretch was rather shaky: just three winning teams. It’s not known whether Lamar Odom (bruised knee) will play in this game, although he does plan on making the trip to San Antonio. The Spurs are healthy for their first rematch with the Lakers since last year’s playoffs – Los Angeles beat San Antonio in five games at the Western finals.

4. NCAAB: Georgetown at Duke (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.)

Non-conference games don’t get much bigger than this until March Madness. The Hoyas (11-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) are one of the best teams in the Big East, which is trying to unseat the ACC as the top conference in Division I. However, the Blue Devils (14-1 SU, 8-6 ATS) are off to another fast start that includes wins over Purdue (-2) and Xavier (+6). Duke is No. 1 on the Pomeroy efficiency charts and No. 2 on the AP poll, while Georgetown holds down the No. 8 spot in the Pomeroy rankings and No. 9 with AP. Watch for Duke’s outstanding defense to set the tone in a game where neither club figures to provide much offense from beyond the arc.

5. NHL: Montreal at Boston (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.)

Versus has the television coverage in the United States (RDS in francophone Canada) for the never-ending struggle between the 25-10-6 Canadiens (16-25 ATS, minus-1.66 units) and the 31-7-4 Bruins (32-9 ATS, 35.34 units). Boston is by far the No. 1 team against the puckline; the B’s are best in the league in goals scored at 3.62 per game, and they’re best in goals against at 2.14 per game. That’s a difficult combination to beat. The Habs have won their last four in a row with Jaroslav Halak in net instead of Carey Price, who remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Montreal outscored the opposition 23-14 in those four games.

NHL betting in the Bodog Sportsbook.
 
Honorable Mentions

NBA: New Orleans at Cleveland (Friday, 8:00 p.m.)
NCAAB: Notre Dame at Syracuse (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.)
NHL: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.)
Soccer: Wigan at Manchester United (Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)
MMA: Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin, UFC 93 (PPV at 10:00 p.m.)

For more on Bodog Sportsbook check out the latest review at BookieLabRat.com or compare Bodog to the other top 3 online sportsbooks for US sports betting here.

 

Premier League Stake Back Betting January 10th – 11th, 2009

January 8th, 2009

Bookmaker betting promotional offersHere’s the latest rundown of stake back betting offers (money back specials) at the top online sportsbooks for English Premier League betting. How these bets work is that instead of just 2 outcomes (win or lose), you also have a chance of getting your stake back as a free bet.

Click to visit top Irish bookie PaddyPower.comBack with a Bang!

Stoke v Liverpool   –  Sat 5.30pm Setanta
If Fernando Torres scores the last goal in this match then Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast singles on that match.  If Torres plays no part in the match special will revert to last goal scored outside the box. Max Refund E300/£200 per customer. Does not apply to customers whose language of registration is Spanish.

Click to visit top Irish bookie PaddyPower.comBlues Brothers!

Man United v Chelsea  –  Sun 4pm Sky Sports 1
If Didier Drogba or Nicolas Anelka scores the last goal in the above match then Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast singles on that match. If either player plays no part in the match special will revert to last goal scored outside the box. Own goals do not count. Max Refund E300/£200 per customer. Does not apply to customers whose language of registration is Spanish.

Click to visit popular Bet365 BookmakerBet365 Bore Draw Offer

Place a pre-match correct score, double result or scorecast bet on ANY FOOTBALL MATCH and Bet365 will refund losing stakes if the match finishes 0-0.

Click to go to BoyleSports bookmakerHave a Ron on Us

Manchester United v Chelsea  –  Premier League, Sunday 4pm
If Ronaldo scores the first or last goal of the game, BoyleSports will refund all losing single bets on this game  Max refund EUR300 or currency equivalent per customer.

Click to visit BetFred BookmakerFriend or De-Foe

Wigan v Tottenham – Sunday 11th January
After leaving Tottenham for Portsmouth less than a year ago, Jermain Defoe returns to White Hart Lane to join up with boss Harry Redknapp for the third time. If he scores the last goal against Wigan on Sunday, BetFred will refund all losing first/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets as a free bet.  Maximum refund is £100 (or your currency equivalent) per customer. Own goals do not count

Click to go to Aussie bookie CanbetPremier League Second Chance Specials

Middlesbrough v Sunderland   –  Saturday, 10 January

If your bet loses and either side comes back from 2-nil down to win the match, Canbet will refund your bet (Correct Score Only).  Maximum bonus is £50 (€65)…enter the promotional code: EPL10JAN

Manchester United v Chelsea    –  Sunday, 11 January

If your bet loses and 5 or more goals are scored in this match, Canbet will refund your bet (Correct Score Only).  Maximum bonus is £50 (€65)…enter the promotional code: EPL11JAN

 

For detailed cash back betting offers across ALL sports (not just English Premier League football) check out the Money Back Special Bets listing on site at GoonersGuide.com. It’s updated daily so check it out if you’re into betting on horse racing, NFL, snooker, darts, NHL, Basketball golf and other sports.

Win a Fabulous VIP Package to watch Real Madrid v Deportivo at the Bernabeu Stadium

January 8th, 2009

Bernabeu Stadium - Real MadridIt’s time to dust off your BetFred Bookmaker Account for the New Year. (Or set up a new account if you haven’t bet with this popular online sportsbook before).

Canny UK bookie Bet Fred is offering all punters the chance to win a “pretty cool football trip” – yep, it’s official I’d like to win this one! Check it out onsite at BetFred.com – Comptition details below.

Win a Fabulous VIP Package to watch Real Madrid v Deportivo at the Bernabeu Stadium on 25th January 2009.

All you have to do is wager £10 between now and 16th January 2009 at BetFred.com and you will be entitled to one prize draw ticket. The more you wager the more chance you have of winning! The winner will be notified on 17th January 2009. Good Luck!

Hotel Information:

Hotel – Husa Paseo del Arte**** – Situated among the famous “Triángulo del Arte” – amidst the most important museums in Madrid, i.e. El Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía. It offers 260 air-conditioned, state-of-the-art rooms and suites. It has parking, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, salons, etc.  Breakfast is served as a buffet. 

Terms and Conditions:

  • In order to qualify for one prize draw ticket you will have to wager a £10 or greater single on the Sportsbook with odds over evens.
  • This promotion is only applicable to customers who have bet on Sportsbook between 7th January 2009 and 16th January 2009
  • The VIP Package is for the Real Madrid v Deportivo de la Coruna match on the 25th January 2009.
  • The package includes 2 x tickets for the game, superb seats above the president’s box, travel, 2 nights in 4 star Hotel in the heart of Madrid (see above for Hotel information) and Spending Money.
  • Prize Draw finishes on 17th January and the winner will be picked from random from qualifying participants.
  • The Winner will be notified on 17th Jan 2009.

For more on BetFred Bookmaker:

>>GoonersGuide to Gambling BetFred Bookmaker Review
>>BookieLabRat.com’s Review of BetFred Sportsbook 

Basketball Betting Strategy

January 7th, 2009

Basketball Betting StrategyHere’s some betting strategy hot off the press from the team at Bodog Sportsbook. 

Training Camp: Basketball Betting Guide for the Football-Deprived

There’s no getting around it – football season is almost over. That means the end of betting season for a number of players, but why close up shop now? There is money out there to be made, and over the next four months the basketball court is the best place to get paid.

It’s like hitting the easy button for handicappers. Moving from football to hoops gives you an opportunity to play in a less competitive environment where your sharp skills are more likely to pay off. You’ve got the same pointspreads, totals and betting terminology to use, a sport that’s simple to understand, and most importantly, hundreds upon hundreds of betting opportunities.

The worst thing about betting football is the 16-game NFL regular season – and even shorter for college football. If a sharp bankroll is built unit by unit, then there are only so many opportunities to reinvest your football earnings. Now look at the 82-game NBA regular season, and the incredibly bloated 344-team Division I in college hoops. Granted, “only” 259 of those teams have drawn betting odds this season. That’s still a giant platter from which you can choose the softest lines.

College basketball lines in the Bodog Sportsbook

Those softest lines are in the NCAA’s middle and lower major conferences. Just as you may favor a smaller-market NFL team like this year’s Carolina Panthers (9-6-1 ATS), you can find tremendous value in the lesser-known college programs. Look at the ATS records some of these teams have already posted:

Niagara Purple Eagles (MAAC): 10-2
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (Sun Belt): 8-2
Illinois State Redbirds (MVC): 8-2
Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt): 8-2

These are four of the six most profitable teams in college, and there are tons more where they came from. The more research you’re willing to do to learn about these smaller programs, the more money you’ll make. Statisticians like Ken Pomeroy and John Hollinger have made this process a lot simpler with their insightful number-crunching – much of which is available for free on the Internet. Although basketball isn’t divided into discrete plays like football, having only five players per team (and 12 per roster) with fairly specific roles lends basketball to this kind of analysis.

NBA betting in the Bodog Sportsbook

You could make a pretty good living just by exploiting the casual bettor’s attachment to bad information. Nobody thinks the New York Knicks can play defense, simply because they allow 107.2 points per game, second only to Golden State (111.3) in the NBA. But the Knicks also play a very fast pace at 100.4 possessions per game, again second to the Warriors at 100.6. Some of those points opponents are scoring happen because they’re getting the ball more often after the Knicks have taken their shot on offense.

This is where the great value-handicapping buzzword “efficiency” comes in. There are six NBA teams worse than the Knicks in defensive efficiency, which John Hollinger measures in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions rather than per game. New York is far from a defensive juggernaut, but not nearly as bad as the casual bettor may believe based on all those high-scoring results. The under is 18-14 for the Knicks this year.

These are the differences between “real” value and perceived value that you want to exploit as a handicapper. If you’re already using efficiency-based stats to do your football analysis, you’ll have no problem doing the same for basketball. If not, here are some of the advanced stats that have credibility in hoops betting circles:

Team stats

Pace: Possessions per game
Offensive efficiency: Points scored per 100 possessions
Defensive efficiency: Points allowed per 100 possessions
Strength of schedule: A more advanced version of the SOS used by college bracketologists

Player stats

Points/rebounds/assists per 40 minutes (or 36 minutes) instead of per game
Player Efficiency Rating (PER): A useful overall Hollinger stat, but not a good indicator of defense
Roland Rating: A plus-minus stat, best used when looking at specific 5-man rotations
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) and True Shooting Percentage (TS%): Two ways of adjusting a shooter’s percentage to account for the value of 3-pointers and/or free throws

 

Click to visit BodogLife.com online sports bettingFor more on Bodog Sportsbook check out the latest reviews:
>>BookieLabRat.com Bodog Sport Review
>>Gooners Guide to Gambling Review of Bodog Sportsbook

>>Compare the top online sportsbooks popular with USA-based bettors

Smart FA Cup Third Round Betting

January 1st, 2009

Wishing you a properous 2009 from the team at BookieLabRat.comHere’s the latest online sportsbook round-up of stake back betting offers that might just tempt you to place a flutter at a specific bookie on this weekend’s FA Cup Third Round action.

 

Click to visit this popular Irish bookieBruce Almighty!

Tottenham v Wigan  –  Fri 8pm Live on Setanta
If Wigan win this match, Paddy Power will refund all losing single 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets on the match.  Max Refund €300/£200 per customer. Does not apply to customers whose language of registration is Spanish.

Click to visit this popular Irish bookieNo New Years Resolution!

Southampton v Man Utd  –  Sun 4pm Live on Setanta
If this match finishes in a draw, Paddy Power will refund all losing single 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets on the match.   Max Refund €300/£200 per customer. Does not apply to customers whose language of registration is Spanish.

Click to visit Fred Done Bookmaker onlineSweet FA

All FA Cup ties Fri 2nd Jan – Mon 5th Jan 2009
Back any team to win the FA Cup outright and if they are knocked out of the competition this weekend, BetFred will refund your stake as a free bet. Free bets will be credited by 3pm on Tuesday 6th January 2009. Maximum refund is £100 (or your currency equivalent) per customer.

Click to visit top rating Bet365 BookmakerALL Football (e.g. FA Cup 3rd Round…)

Bet365 Bore Draw Offer…Place a pre-match correct score, double result or scorecast bet on ANY FOOTBALL MATCH and Bet365 will refund losing stakes if the match finishes 0-0.

Click to visit Victor Chandler online bookmakerDon’t Hit the Bar!

All Football Markets – e.g this week’s FA Cup Third Round or La Liga Action. Place a five-fold or upwards on ANY football markets and if you have only ONE losing selection VCBet will refund your stake as a free bet. Max refund £100 or currency equivalent.

Click to visit Victor Chandler online bookmakerBuy One Get One Free! 

Place a WINCAST bet on Tottenham v Wigan and, win or lose, Victor Chandler will give you a WINCAST FREE BET to the same stake on Preston v Liverpool!  Max free bet £25 (€25) per person. Free bets available from 11am Saturday. Void bets do not qualify for this offer.

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