The Sports Bookie Blog

NHL:Can Sidney Crosby and the Penguins defend the Stanley Cup?

September 30th, 2009

The NHL returns this Thursday and here’s a quick summary of betting action from the crew at BetOnline.com. Compare BetOnline to other popular offshore sportsbooks for US and Canadian bettors

NHL is back!Can Sidney Crosby and the Penguins defend the Stanley Cup?

ANAHEIM DUCKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Weren’t the Ducks supposed to be rebuilding? Thanks to some astute moves by management, they’re ready to contend again. Anaheim boasts one of the league’s premier first lines in Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan and should improve as Saku Koivu and Joffrey Lupul give the Ducks secondary scoring. The Ducks could surprise.

ATLANTA THRASHERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

Expect more of the same in one of the NHL’s worst hockey cities. Rookie Evander Kane has a bright future but may not make the team this season. The Thrashers must improve to keep Ilya Kovalchuk interested in re-signing but Toronto imports Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina may not be enough to do that.

BOSTON BRUINS – Stanley Cup Odds: +900

2008-09 was a banner year for Boston, it they dominated the Eastern Conference in the regular season, but that was just the beginning. This team is young, massive up front, defensively sound and cohesive. The East – and maybe even the Stanley Cup – is Boston’s to lose this season.

BUFFALO SABRES – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

It’s strange to see a team that clearly needs some tinkering do nothing to improve in the offseason. The Sabres are fast up front and strong in goal but will get bullied by tougher teams and have zero talent on defense. Don’t expect a playoff berth.

CALGARY FLAMES – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Calgary plugged a hole in the offseason, bolstering its defense by acquiring Jay Bouwmeester and defensive-minded coach Brent Sutter. However, the Flames didn’t replace Mike Cammalleri or Todd Bertuzzi on offense. They’ll have to hope Mikael Backlund is NHL-ready if they want to contend.

CAROLINA HURRICANES – Stanley Cup Odds: +2500

After scuffling for a few seasons, the ’Canes have regained the form that made them Cup champs in 2006. They rely on stellar goaltending from Cam Ward and great depth and size at forward. If they can acquire help on “D,” they could make noise in the East again.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +800

The envy of practically every fan and GM out there, the Blackhawks have it all. They have a dynamic group of forwards led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and a dynamite blueline anchored by Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. They only thing between Chicago and a Final berth is Cristobal Huet. Can he become a No.1 goalie again? 

COLORADO AVALANCHE – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

The Joe Sakic era ended and took Colorado’s competitiveness with it. The Avs are several years away from contending again and will spend this season developing Matt Duchene while preparing for another top-five draft selection.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

Everything finally clicked for the Blue Jackets last season, as they earned their first-ever playoff berth. However, we should still temper our expectations this season. They depend heavily on Rick Nash for offense and Steve Mason for defense. It’s too early to tell if the supporting cast can step it up now.

DALLAS STARS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

The consensus in hockey betting circles is that the Stars are a total mystery this season. They went from darkhorse Cup contender to non-playoff team in one season. After management pinched pennies this summer, it’s hard to imagine a big improvement in the Lone Star State.

DETROIT RED WINGS – Stanley Cup Odds: +450

The Wings seem like they’ll contend for all eternity, largely because they’re so good at rebuilding from within. They lost Marian Hossa but Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are just the latest group of home-grown talents who will become stalwarts. Detroit has tougher competition this year but will be in the hunt.

EDMONTON OILERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Can the Oilers finally live up to their potential? They have youth and speed to spare and a legit No. 1 goalie in Nikolai Khabibulin. Now it’s up to Pat Quinn to prove he can translate his success coaching Canada’s world juniors into success with a young NHL team. The Oil should compete for the last playoff seed in the West.

FLORIDA PANTHERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +5000

The Panthers came within a hair of playoff hockey last season and won’t be satisfied if they don’t reach the big dance this year. They have some good young forwards but Jay Bouwmeester’s departure will sting; a regression could happen.

LOS ANGELES KINGS – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

Sleeper alert! Like the Blackhawks a couple of years ago, the Kings have lurked in the Western Conference basement for years, stockpiling high draft picks and young talent. One of these years, the young core will break through and become a playoff team. This could be that year.

MINNESOTA WILD – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Minny’s defensive style may have departed with Jacques Lemaire. New management wants to convert the Wild to an up-tempo, offensive team, but that may not be a good thing for Minnesota just yet. The defense-first system maximized role players’ potential and generated wins without top-flight talent. A run-and-gun attack only works on a team with lots of scorers and the Wild don’t have many yet. A playoff berth is wishful thinking.

MONTREAL CANADIENS – Stanley Cup Odds: +3000

Has a team ever made itself over so significantly in one offseason? Montreal built a new, veteran blueline through free agency and imported several small, creative forwards in Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. The end result will be much of the same; Montreal will score plenty and get pushed around by their tougher divisional rivals.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

The Preds have the defensive tools to be a shutdown team but they’re offensively challenged up front. Unless Steve Sullivan stays healthy and jumpstarts Nashville’s attack, Music City will be on the outside of the playoff picture again.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

After an exciting season in which the Devils finally loosened up and scored some goals, the vintage Devils may return this season. Jacques Lemaire, the man who built New Jersey’s system, returns. Is New Jersey’s speedy unit suited to his strategy, though? This is a playoff team, but we could see growing pains.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

One man can only do so much. John Tavares should become a top-notch scorer and will give Isles fans something to cheer for, but this is still a bad, bad hockey team years away from relevancy.

NEW YORK RANGERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2500

The high-profile Broadway Blueshirts will be competitive. However, unless Marian Gaborik stays healthy and really jumpstarts the offense, the Rangers could be a bust this season. Competitors like Ottawa and Toronto improved dramatically in the offseason and want to steal a low seeding from New York.

OTTAWA SENATORS – Stanley Cup Odds: +4800

Even if they could’ve gotten more for Dany Heatley, Ottawa got better in the summer – maybe a lot better. Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo give Ottawa a second good scoring line for the first time in years and Pascal Leclaire could be the goalie the city’s been waiting for…if he stays healthy.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS – Stanley Cup Odds: +1500

It’s a fun time for Flyer fans, as Philly has oodles of scoring talent and Chris Pronger seriously bolsters the blueline. The big question mark is Ray Emery. If he shows up, the Flyers are Cup contenders. If not, they’ll stay in the second tier.

PHOENIX COYOTES – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

Maybe all the talk of moving to Hamilton is a distraction from how bad they were last season. The Coyotes disappointed in 2008-09 but the news isn’t all bad; they have plenty of good young players and could take a big leap forward any time.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS – Stanley Cup Odds: +500

The Pens proved last year that two or three superstars with little else can win you a Stanley Cup. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury ran the show while deadline acquisitions like Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin filled the gaps. There’s no reason to think the Pens can’t make another deep run, though the young defenseman must step up after unsung heroes Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill left town.

ST. LOUIS BLUES – Stanley Cup Odds: +4000

Is the development phase officially over in St. Louis? Young as can be and full of rising offensive talent, the Blues are positioned to contend for the next decade. They may have been slightly ahead of schedule in making the playoffs last year, so a tiny step backward could happen, but the Blues’ future is bright.

SAN JOSE SHARKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +700

After years of “is this the year?” talk, it’s time to wonder if this is the year San Jose’s cup dream ends. The Sharks thinned out their roster to get Dany Heatley and have one year of Patrick Marleau left; if the Sharks don’t win this season, it may be time to rebuild.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – Stanley Cup Odds: +6000

Always a tough team to handicap, the Lightning have the talent to improve dramatically. Steven Stamkos broke out late last year and could be a dynamic offensive presence alongside Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Who knows how ultra defensive prospect Victor Hedman will transition to the NHL? Tampa probably won’t make the playoffs but could inch closer.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – Stanley Cup Odds: +10000

One of the busiest teams this offseason, Brian Burke’s Leafs are bigger, tougher, stronger and more talented, especially after acquiring Phil Kessel. The blueline rocks but the Leafs are still shallow offensively and a lot has to go right for them to make the playoffs.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS – Stanley Cup Odds: +2000

Vancouver seemed overrated entering last season; now, it may be underrated. Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows have transformed Vancouver into a two-line team. With tough “D” and elite goaltending from Roberto Luongo, the Canucks are good enough to earn home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS – Stanley Cup Odds: +1000

The Caps are maddening. They’re loaded with scorers, as exciting as any team in the league, but did nothing to improve their thin defense. We should expect Washington to match last year’s solid effort, not improve on it.

NHL is back!

 

Free in-depth NHL previews are available on site at BetOnline.com

PGA: The Golfing Week – October 1st through October 4th

September 28th, 2009

This news release is contributed by the team at Bookmaker.com. This betting site is popular with American and Canadian sports bettors. For player reviews visit GoonersGuide to gambling for the latest player review of Bookmaker.com.

CHAMPIONS TOUR – CONSTELLATION ENERGY SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, Baltimore Country Club (East Course), Timonium, Maryland

The major championship season wraps up this week with the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. Last year, D.A. Weibring closed with rounds of 66-68 to knock off Fred Funk by a single stroke. For Weibring, it was his first major championship title on any tour. It was his fifth win on the Champions Tour to go with five wins on the PGA Tour.

Weibring will defend his title this week against a field that includes three of the four major champions from this season. Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen is playing on the PGA Tour this week, while Senior British Open winner Loren Roberts, U.S. Senior Open champ Fred Funk and JELD-WEN Tradition champion Mike Reid will be at Baltimore Country Club with Weibring. Roberts won this title in 2007.

This is the fifth oldest event on the Champions Tour, dating to 1983. There have only been two playoffs and six players won this title in their first appearance.

Golf Channel will have two hours of coverage the first two days, while NBC takes over on Saturday and Sunday. After taking next week off, the Champions Tour returns to action October 16th with the Administaff Small Business Classic, where Bernhard Langer won last year.

PGA TOUR TURNING STONE RESORT CHAMPIONSHIP, Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort, Verona, New York

Dustin Johnson broke through for his first PGA Tour win at this event last year. Johnson birdied the final two holes to deny Robert Allenby the title. Allenby has won four times on the PGA Tour, but is winless since the 2001 season. The win for Johnson was especially important since he entered the event ranked 128th on the money list with the top 125 keeping their tour cards for the following season. Not only did he secure his tour card for two years with the victory, he soared into the top 50 on the money list. Along with that, the win also helped Johnson secure spots in all four majors in 2009. He shared 30th at the Masters, tied for 40th at the U.S. Open, missed the cut at the British and shared 10th place at the PGA Championship.

The Turning Stone Resort kicks off the Fall Finish on the PGA Tour. With the race for the FedEx Cup over, the focus will be one those trying to keep their tour cards for next season. Among those around the top 125 on the money list entering this week are former PGA Champion Rich Beem, former British Open winners David Duval and Todd Hamilton, Stuart Appleby, Tim Herron, Chris DiMarco and Harrison Frazar, who is No. 125 entering this week.

Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds this week from 4-6 p.m. (ET).A fter a week off for the Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour returns to action in Las Vegas with the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Marc Turnesa was victorious there last year.

EUROPEAN TOUR ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP, Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Fife Scotland

The European Tour hosts its annual pro-am this week at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The event rotates over three courses — Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course at St. Andrews. The final round will be contested on the Old Course. Robert Karlsson returned to action last week for the first time since May after dealing with an eye infection. Last year, Karlsson fended off Ross Fisher and Martin Kaymer with a birdie on the first playoff hole to secure his ninth European Tour title.

Former champions Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie, Lee Westwood and Nick Dougherty re all in the field this week. Golf Channel will broadcast four hours of action the first three days, then five hours of play on Sunday.The European Tour returns to Spain next week for the Madrid Masters, where Charl Schwartzel won in 2008.

LPGA TOUR NAVISTAR LPGA CLASSIC, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (Capitol Hill – The Senator), Prattville, Alabama

Lorena Ochoa parred the second playoff hole last year to defeat Candie Kung and Cristie Kerr to win the Navistar LPGA Classic. The win for Ochoa was her seventh of the season, but first since May. She has won two events this season, but her last crown came in April. The final round was close throughout as seven players had at least a share of the lead. The three players in the playoff finished one stroke clear of Song- Hee Kim and Shanshan Feng, while five more payers were two shots back.Along with Ochoa, five of the top 10 players in the world are competing this week.Ochoa will be joined in the field by Suzann Pettersen, Kerr, Yani Tseng and In Kyung Kim.Golf Channel will have tape-delayed coverage of all four rounds this week. After three weeks off, the LPGA returns to action with the Hana Bank-KOLON Championship, where Kung won last year.

NATIONWIDE TOUR SOBOBA CLASSIC, The Country Club at Soboba Springs, San Jacinto, California

The Soboba Classic is a new event on the Nationwide Tour and will offer a $1 million purse. The field this week will include 18 of the top 20 players on the money list. Only No.1 Michael Sim, who graduated to the PGA Tour with his third win earlier this year, and Mathias Gronberg are scheduled to miss the tournament. Golf Channel has two hours of coverage all four days. Next week is the Chattanooga Classic, where Arjun Atwal won last year.

CANADIAN TOUR RIVIERA NAYARIT CLASSIC, Punta Mita Club de Golf (Pacifico Course), Nayarit, Mexico – This was the second event postponed earlier this year due to the Swine Flu outbreak. It is a new event on the Canadian Tour and will be the final stop of the 2009 season. Just nine of the top 20 players from Canadian Tour’s Order of Merit are scheduled to be in the field this week.

NFL & NCAAF Weekend Game Preview And Analysis

September 25th, 2009

Betting on the NFLHere’s a second take on the Week Three NFL Betting action, this time from the team at Bodog Sportsbook.

It looks so easy watching it on television – just advance the ball 10 yards, and you get four downs to do it. But football teams in the pros and in college have to design increasingly complex offensive strategies to move the ball downfield against defenders that get bigger, faster, and stronger every year. It can take a game or two to work the bugs out. Not coincidentally, the over was the winning football bet in both the NFL (9-7) and FBS (34-30) last week.

We’ll see if the nation’s offenses continue to mature this week. All times are Eastern; for the latest football betting lines, visit Bodog Sports.

Saturday: No. 9 Miami-Florida at No. 11 Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC)

The Hurricanes (2-0 SU and ATS) are 3-point road favorites and getting plenty of attention in their return to the national spotlight. The offense is rolling with QB Jacory Harris (five touchdowns and five picks in two games) earning some early Heisman buzz as a sophomore. And QB Tyrod Taylor finagled a win for Virginia Tech (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) last week against Nebraska. But the Cornhuskers run defense was good enough to cash in as a 5-point puppy, and Miami is also stout against the run. Taylor picked up negative yardage in each of Tech’s two ATS losses. The ‘Canes are 1-7 ATS in their last eight yearly visits to Lane Stadium, with the under at 5-2.

Saturday: Iowa at No. 5 Penn State (8:00 p.m., ABC)

Last year’s 11-win season (7-4-1 ATS) and trip to the Rose Bowl put at least a temporary end to the questions surrounding the abilities of Penn State’s octogenarian coach, Joe Paterno. The Lions are off to another strong start at 3-0, but only 0-3 ATS, failing to cover spreads of nearly 30 points in each game. They’re laying only 10 points (–105) this week, and it’s to the only team that beat them in the regular season last year, the Hawkeyes (3-0 SU, 2-0 ATS). Iowa will blitz Penn State QB Darryl Clark (eight TDs, three INTs) and take advantage of the holes in his offensive line. That should keep the game fairly close as Iowa attempts to mask its own deficiencies in protecting QB Ricky Stanzi (five TDs, three INTs). The underdog is 7-2 against the football odds in their last nine matchups.

Sunday: Tennessee at N.Y. Jets (1:00 p.m., CBS)

The Jets are one of this year’s early and pleasant surprises at 2-0 SU and ATS under first-year head coach Rex Ryan and first-year QB Mark Sanchez (91.3 passer rating). The Titans, on the other hand, are 0-2 (1-1 ATS) after losing to Pittsburgh and Houston by a field goal. The spread for this matchup is also Jets –3 (+105) with a low, low total of 37. Without the gigantic and versatile Albert Haynesworth on the defensive line, Tennessee’s pass rush has taken a step back this year, while Sanchez is getting excellent protection from left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Sunday: New Orleans at Buffalo (4:05 p.m., FOX)

The Bills have been even more surprising than the Jets, nearly upsetting the Patriots (-13) in the season opener and beating the Buccaneers (+4) quite handily. QB Trent Edwards (104.9 passer rating) has responded nicely to the simplified playbook of new offensive co-ordinator Alex Van Pelt, although he has been sacked six times already. The Saints’ offense exploded in a pair of easy wins over the Lions (+14) and the injured Eagles (+2.5). That gives us a massive total of 52 points for Sunday’s matchup with the Bills getting six points (-105) on their own field. Buffalo is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games as an underdog.

Sunday: Indianapolis at Arizona (8:20 p.m., NBC)

Although Peyton Manning (110.3 passer rating) has a pair of 300-yard passing games and a pair of victories under his belt, the Colts (1-1 ATS) are gaining very little on the ground and were fortunate to win both times. The Cardinals (1-1 SU and ATS) rebounded from a poor opener to beat Jacksonville (–3) in one of QB Kurt Warner’s finest games ever: 24-for-26, 243 yards, two TDs. The Cards are also getting positive results from first-round pick Beanie Wells (5.2 yards per carry). They’re 2.5-point home faves on Sunday night with a total of 48.

Football season is in full swing – and the Bodog Sportsbook has all the Football lines to keep you going!

NFL Week 3 Betting Picks

September 25th, 2009

Here’s the latest installation of picks on the NFL betting action from the team at BetOnline sportsbook. More in-depth game analysis is available on site at this US friendly bookmaker.
>> Review and rating of BetOnline.com

ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Patriots -4

Tom Brady and the Patriots are struggling to regain their 2007 form, while the Falcons—last year’s surprise playoff team—look even better this season.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 8:20 PM ET
Spread: Cardinals -2

With Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald involved, expect the skies to be filled with footballs on Sunday night.

TENNESSEE TITANS @ NEW YORK JETS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Jets -2.5

Can Rex Ryan keep the magic rolling with his impressive Jets defense? The Titans better hope not because they’re staring 0-3 in the face.

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – 8:30 PM ET
Spread: Cowboys -9

Tony Romo will be trying for his first win in Dallas’ new stadium; Jake Delhomme will be trying to keep his job.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Vikings -7

This is a battle of two of the NFL’s best running backs. Adrian Peterson leads the league with 272 yards on the ground; last week, Frank Gore did his best Adrian Peterson impression and ripped off 207 yards and two scores.

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 4:15 PM ET
Spread: Chargers -6

The Dolphins are desperate to prove they weren’t flukes last year, but they could be in over their head against Philip Rivers, who threw for 436 yards against Baltimore last week.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ BUFFALO BILLS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 4:05 PM ET
Spread: Saints -5

Averaging 46.5 points per game, New Orleans’ offense looks unstoppable. Buffalo will turn to rising star Fred Jackson for points after he ran for 163 yards against Tampa last week.

CHICAGO BEARS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 4:05 PM ET
Spread: Bears -1.5

Bears fans can breathe a sigh of relief after Jay Cutler got a win against Pittsburgh. Seattle fans should be worried, though—Matt Hasselbeck injured his ribs in last week’s loss to the Niners.

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Packers -6.5

The Packers suffered a surprising loss to the Bengals and their offensive line is in complete disarray, but it’s debatable whether the Rams, who have been outscored 37-7 this year, can take advantage.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Eagles -9

The Chiefs gave up a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive to Oakland, dropping them to 0-2. Philly was spanked by the Saints and will be looking to rebound against the lowly Chiefs.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ HOUSTON TEXANS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Texans -3.5

Houston bounced back from an embarrassing Week 1 loss, largely thanks to Matt Schaub (357 yards, four touchdowns). Jacksonville has a tough task ahead to get its first win of the year.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ DETROIT LIONS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Redskins -6.5

Detroit and Washington are both 0-2, so something has to give. Don’t expect a lot of points in this one—they combined for just 20 points last week.

NEW YORK GIANTS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Giants -6.5

New York hasn’t missed a beat without Plaxico Burress, opening the season with two wins over division rivals. Tampa Bay will need a better effort than what its shown to knock off the Giants.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 4:15 PM ET
Spread: Steelers -4

The Steelers need their running game to get going and help Ben Roethlisberger out. Speaking of running games, Cincy’s Cedric Benson is reviving his career after rushing for 141 yards against Green Bay.

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Ravens -13

Thanks to quarterback Joe Flacco and a great running game, the Ravens’ offense is more explosive than it’s ever been. Cleveland will have a tough time tarnishing Baltimore’s 2-0 record.

DENVER BRONCOS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 4:15 PM ET
Spread: Raiders -1

After a terrible offseason many expected the Broncos to plummet, yet here we are and they’re 2-0. A win will put Oakland in a tie for first in the AFC West, though, and the Raiders showed some mental toughness in last week’s comeback against Kansas City.

This Week in Auto Racing September 25 – 27

September 24th, 2009

This blog post is provided courtesy of the team at BetOnline Sportsbook.

After kicking off the “Chase for the Sprint Cup” championship last Sunday at New Hampshire, round two of the playoffs moves to Dover, DE. Nationwide will join Sprint Cup at Dover, while Camping World Truck teams head to Las Vegas. Formula One gears up for the second nighttime running of the Singapore Grand Prix.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 – Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE

Last Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire began the first of the 10-race “Chase for the Sprint Cup” championship. Mark Martin, who entered the Chase as the top-seed, kept his points lead intact with the victory. Martin capitalized on a late-race pit strategy and then held off Juan Pablo Montoya and Denny Hamlin in a three-lap shootout for his first win at New Hampshire in 26 starts there. Martin won his fifth race of the season, which tied Harry Gant’s 1991 Cup Series record for most single-season victories by a driver 50 years of age or older. He now holds a 35-point lead over his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, as the series heads to the one-mile, concrete-surface Dover International Speedway.

Seven of the 12 drivers competing in the Chase have won at Dover. Martin, Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead all active, full-time drivers with four wins each there. Ryan Newman has won at Dover three times, compared to two for Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart. Carl Edwards has one victory there. “Dover is one of my very favorite racetracks on the whole circuit,” Martin said.”I really have been blessed with a lot of great race cars there. The cars seem to run really good there. [Crew chief] Alan [Gustafson] and our team are really excited about getting back there. I look forward to getting there.”

Johnson is looking for a season-sweep at Dover after winning the spring race there.He swept Dover in 2002, becoming the first rookie to win both races at the same track in the same season. Johnson also took the fall event there in 2005. Newman is the last driver to sweep Dover, doing it 2003. Newman, in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing, holds the seventh spot in points (-76). He is just five markers behind his teammate and owner Stewart. Newman’s last win in the series came in the 2008 Daytona 500 when he drove for Penske Racing. After winning at Richmond and finishing second at New Hampshire, Hamlin carries a lot of momentum into Dover. But Hamlin considers “The Monster Mile” as one of his most challenging tracks.”It’s a racetrack that is almost like Talladega, you never know what can happen there,” Hamlin said.”You can get caught up in a wreck pretty easily. It’s a long, grueling race for us, and it’s very physically demanding.”

Hamlin’s best finish at Dover is fourth, which came in June 2007. Since then, he has finished 36th or worse there.With his third-place finish at New Hampshire, Montoya made the biggest gain in the championship standings, moving from 11th to fourth. He trails Martin by 55 points.Montoya, in his first career Chase race, started on the pole and led an event-high 105 laps.”The first race of the Chase, of course, you’re going to jump one way to another depending how you run,” Montoya said. “We had a very good day, and we gained a lot of grounds.At the same time, I think the leader is the only person that really counts right now.” Montoya is hoping to improve his track performance at Dover, where he has finished 30th and 39th in the last two races.Biffle, currently ninth in points (-92), won last year’s fall race at Dover. Biffle grabbed the lead from his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth with eight laps to go and then held it for his second victory of the season. Kenseth, who led a race-high 136 laps, finished second. Edwards came in third to give Roush a 1-2-3 finish at Dover.

Biffle also won the week prior at New Hampshire. A Roush driver has won a Sprint Cup race at Dover in each of the last five years — Martin (2004), Biffle (2005 and ’08), Kenseth (2006) and Edwards (2007). Forty-four teams are on the preliminary entry list for this weekend’s AAA 400. During the off-season, Dover underwent a pit-road renovation. The new 1,592- foot concrete wall extends from turn four down the frontstretch and into turn one.The construction allowed track officials to widen and improve pit road, which is now four feet wider. All 43 stalls are four feet longer than the previous length.

Nationwide Series Dover 200 – Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE

After taking a week off, the Nationwide Series returns to action on Saturday at Dover. Second-place Carl Edwards is currently 201 points behind leader Kyle Busch, but Edwards might be staging another late-season rally based on his most recent performance.Driving with a broken right foot at Richmond, Edwards qualified 39th but had to start from the rear of the field since his team changed the spark plugs prior to the start of the race. The Roush Fenway Racing driver beat Kevin Harvick out of the pits and took the lead for the first time during a caution with 24 laps to go.He held off Harvick at the finish for his fourth Nationwide victory of the season. Edwards has faced a triple-digit deficit in the series before. With eight races remaining in the 2008 season, he was 207 points behind Clint Bowyer before ending the year just 21 markers short of taking the title from Bowyer. “The Nationwide battle is still alive,” Edwards said. “We’ve got enough races left that a lot can happen. I feel like right now, in a way, that’s more important than what’s going on the Cup side.” Edwards has excelled on concrete-surfaced tracks, with five of his 24 career Nationwide wins coming on those tracks. He has finished sixth or better in the last five races at Dover, including a victory in the spring 2007 event. Bristol, Dover and Nashville are the concrete-surfaced tracks on the Nationwide circuit. Busch won at Dover for the first time one year ago. He appeared to be on his way to another victory there in May, but a late-race tangle with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano cost him the win. Brad Keselowski went to Victory Lane, while Busch ended up with a 17th-place finish after cutting a tire during the incident.Forty-four teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Dover 200.Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. are among the 10 Sprint Cup regulars competing in the event.Hamlin, Kenseth and Truex have two Nationwide victories each at Dover compared to one for Newman. Hamlin has won two of the last four races there.

Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas 350 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, NV

Ron Hornaday Jr.’s quest for a record-fourth Camping World Truck Series championship got a boost last Saturday at New Hampshire. Hornaday finished second to Kyle Busch and padded his lead to 217 points over Matt Crafton with six races remaining in the season. Crafton finished fourth.While Busch went to Victory Lane, Hornaday and his team owner Kevin Harvick quarreled on pit road when Harvick felt poor team communication cost them a possible victory. During the final 50 laps, Harvick made numerous attempts to pass Hornaday for position, but Hornaday would not allow him to get around — which apparently upset Harvick. Hornaday felt he didn’t make any mistakes while racing his boss.Now that the dust has settled at Kevin Harvick Inc., Hornaday is looking forward to Saturday’s race at Las Vegas. Hornaday holds the series record for career victories with 45, but has yet to win at 1.5-mile oval in the desert.”I have come really close to winning at Vegas,” Hornaday said. “This year, we have a really good shot at it. We have run pretty well at the 1.5-mile tracks. I’m really excited to get back there. This has sort of been the year of marking tracks off my list. I was finally able to win at Kentucky and Nashville earlier this year.” Three of the remaining six races this season are on intermediate (1.5-mile) tracks — Las Vegas, Texas and Homestead. Hornaday has scored six top-10 finishes in eight races at Las Vegas, with a best finish of second coming there in 1998, the year he won his second series title. He finished fifth in last year’s race.Mike Skinner is the defending race winner. Skinner, with three victories to his credit this year, is third in the championship standings, 246 points behind Hornaday, but only 26 in back of Crafton. Thirty-two teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Las Vegas 350, four short of a full field. Aric Almirola is scheduled to drive the No.51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota this week. Busch has driven the No.51 truck into Victory Lane five times so far this year. Almirola finished a career-best second earlier this month at Iowa.

FORMULA ONE Singapore Grand Prix – Marina Bay Street Circuit – Singapore

This weekend in Singapore, Renault returns to the scene that nearly cost the French team permanent expulsion from Formula One competition. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) handed Renault a two-year suspended ban on Monday after the team admitted to intentionally causing a crash in last year’s inaugural Singapore Grand Prix.Investigations by the Council and Renault found that team principal Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds, both of whom have now left the team, planned the crash with driver Nelson Piquet Jr. in order to benefit the race strategy of Fernando Alonso, who went on to win. Neither Alonso nor any other Renault personnel were aware of the conspiracy.

The FIA accused Renault of conspiring Piquet to cause a deliberate crash early in the race. The wreck forced the deployment of the safety car.  Alonso started on a light fuel load and made his first pit stop prior to Piquet’s accident. The safety car period helped Alonso move to the front of the field after starting 15th on the grid. Briatore has been banned indefinitely from any involvement in FIA-sanctioned motorsports, while Symonds received a five-year suspension. Piquet, who was fired by Renault in July, was granted immunity from sanction for volunteering his evidence in the investigation. Alonso also won the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks after Singapore, but has not recorded a victory since then. The Spaniard’s best finish this year is fifth, which came three times, most recently at Monza, Italy earlier this month. He has accumulated 20 world championship points so far this season.”The car is working well at most circuits, so I believe we are competitive enough to get close to the podium, which has to be my target this weekend,” Alonso said.”Last year, I decided it was better to remain on a European schedule rather than adjusting to local time, so I will do the same this year, as it’s the best way to manage my energy levels.”

After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello gained ground in the championship battle with four races remaining in the season. Barrichello moved to within 14 points of current leader and Brawn GP teammate Jenson Button, who finished second at Monza.Button and Barrichello, as well as Red Bull Racing teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are the only drivers who remain eligible in this year’s title hunt. Vettel is 26 points behind Button, while Webber trails by 28.5.Lewis Hamilton won’t repeat as the world champion this year, but the McLaren driver is hopeful for more victories before this season concludes.”I remember my race in Singapore last year was all about damage limitation,” Hamilton said. “I was driving with one eye on the world championship and wasn’t going to take too many risks. I was happy to finish on the podium. This year, it’s very different. I know I’m out of the title hunt, and I want to attack these last four races, pushing for as many victories as I can.” Hamilton finished third in last year’s first-ever F1 nighttime grand prix.

For the 2009 grand prix at Singapore, track officials have made modifications to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The pit exit is one of the most significant changes. The exit has been realigned to join the track after the first corner. The entry to the pits has also been altered, with cars now leaving the track before turn 22. After drivers complained of bumps in last year’s event, the circuit underwent a resurfacing between turns five and seven. The apexes of turns 13 and 14 have been tightened slightly, while the second and third apexes of turn 10 have been moved left and right respectively to make the chicane slower.

NFL Week 2 Betting Summary

September 22nd, 2009

Profitable NFL BettingHere’s a quick run down on each NFL betting line from last weekend. The Saints’ offense looks unstoppable, the Jets continued their impressive start to the season, and the talented Titans surprisingly slipped into an 0-2 hole.

Falcons 28 Panthers 20
Matt Ryan continued his superb play with three touchdown passes. Much to the surprise of online sports betting fans, Jake Delhomme was respectable after last week’s meltdown – but the Panthers are still in a 0-2 hole.

Vikings 27 Lions 13
Detroit staked a 10-0 lead but the Vikings rallied thanks to 100-plus total yards from Adrian Peterson. Rookie Percy Harvin looked great (134 total yards and a touchdown).

Bengals 31 Packers 24
Green Bay’s offensive line woes continued in this stunning upset. Antwan Odom had five of Cincinnati’s six sacks and the Packer offense would have been completely hopeless without two takeaways from the defense (one for a score).

Texans 34 Titans 31
Houston’s explosive offense was back in from with Matt Schaub throwing for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Titans running back Chris Henry was sensational in defeat (284 yards and three scores), but now 0-2 Tennessee faces a long, uphill battle.

Raiders 13 Chiefs 10
It was an ugly game, but JaMarcus Russell finally showed some development by leading a game-winning drive—Darren McFadded punched in the go-ahead touchdown with a minute left in the game. Matt Cassel underwhelmed in his Chiefs debut.

Jets 16 Patriots 9
Rex Ryan has completely turned around this Jets defense, which swarmed and pestered Pats quarterback Tom Brady. Brady doesn’t look like his old self yet and now New York has sole possession of the AFC East—something no sportsbook bettor could have predicted.

Saints 48 Eagles 22
Drew Brees and the Saints show no signs of slowing down; this offense is downright terrifying. The Eagles, meanwhile, have a bevy of problems to sort out on defense. Kevin Kolb moved the ball in place of the injured Donovan McNabb but he turned it over three times.

Redskins 9 Rams 7
The Redskins have yet to find an identity on offense and they’re lucky to escape with a win. The Rams, meanwhile, could use a better effort from Marc Bulger (125 yards passing).

Cardinals 31 Jaguars 17
Kurt Warner rebounded from a poor Week 1 showing to break the NFL record for completion percentage in a single game. The Jags defense hit Warner just once — not nearly good enough.

49ers 23 Seahawks 10
Frank Gore turned back the clock with a masterful performance (207 yards, including touchdowns of 79 and 80 yards) while the Niners “D” suffocated the passing game. Matt Hasselbeck suffered a rib injury and his status is questionable.

Bills 33 Buccaneers 20
Terrell Owens caught his first touchdown as a Bill, but the real story behind their offense is Fred Jackson, who rolled up 163 yards on 28 carries; Marshawn Lynch should be concerned. Tampa Bay’s defense had another brutal week, while the running game fell back to earth after a nice Week 1 effort.

Bears 17 Steelers 14
Bears fans can breathe a sigh of relieve as Jay Cutler looked much better (two touchdowns, no turnovers). Unless Big Ben is going to throw for 350 yards every week, the Pittsburgh running game needs to get going fast.

Ravens 31 Chargers 26
Suddenly, Baltimore’s offense looks very intimidating. Joe Flacco is off to a nice start in his second year, while the Ravens running game features a nice rotation of backs. This was a tough loss for San Diego, especially after learning a day earlier that defensive tackle Jamal Williams will miss the season.

Broncos 27 Browns 6
After all the hand-wringing in the offseason, the Broncos are 2-0. They got 17 carries from rookie Knowshon Moreno, which is a very positive step. Cleveland’s offense was pathetic, generating just 200 yards while turning it over three times.

Giants 33 Cowboys 31
No Plaxico Burress? No problem. Steve Smith and Mario Manningham combined for 20 catches, 284 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants. Dallas remained in this game only because of a dominant running game (251 yards, three scores), as Tony Romo threw three picks and played terrible.

Colts 27 Dolphins 23
In Monday night football betting, Ronnie Brown showcased the Wild Cat at its finest by rolling up 136 yards and reaching the end zone twice. It was all for naught, though, as Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark (183 yards, touchdown) simply outgunned Miami.

 

Recommended online sportsbooksIf you’re looking for popular, safe sportsbooks online for NFL betting you can’t beat Bookmaker.com (for US and Canada based bettors) and Bet365 (for Europeans and UK punters).  

The Golfing Week: September 23rd to September 27th

September 22nd, 2009

PGA TOUR – THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia

Following a week off, the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings return for the final event of the playoffs, the Tour Championship. In a new twist this year, every player in the 30-man field has a mathematical chance to win the FedEx Cup and its $10 million top prize.The top five players in the standings — Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum — control their own destiny. Each of them can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake. The players outside the top five will need help, some more than others.

For instance: No. 6 Padraig Harrington can capture the Cup if he wins and Woods finishes third or worse. Sean O’Hair, No. 7 in the standings, would need to win and have Woods and Stricker both finish outside the top three. Even John Senden, who sneaked into the 30th spot when Brandt Snedeker four-putted the 72nd hole two weeks ago, has a chance to claim the $10 million windfall.

Of course, that scenario would require a Senden victory and several other improbable events, including Woods finishing in last place. But because the rules were changed to re-set each player’s point total following the BMW Championship, the PGA Tour will avoid what happened last year, when Vijay Singh wrapped up the FedEx Cup after just three playoff events. All Singh needed to do was play four rounds at East Lake — he tied for 22nd place, 16 shots behind winner Camilo Villegas — to become the second player to capture the Cup after Woods in 2007. It didn’t matter that Villegas won the last two playoff events — Singh had won the first two and collected enough points to seal it up. Villegas, after beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff last year, will not defend his title. He didn’t earn enough points to make it past the BMW Championship.

Golf Channel has coverage of the first two rounds and NBC will broadcast the weekend action.Next week is the first event of the Fall Series, the Turning Stone Resort Championship, where Dustin Johnson claimed his first tour win last year.

EUROPEAN TOUR THE VIVENDI TROPHY, Saint-Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club, Paris, France

Formerly called the Seve Trophy, this biennial event pits two teams of professionals against each other — one from Great Britain & Ireland and one from Continental Europe.

The Ryder Cup-style match, which is still honoring Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, will take place over four days and features matches played in four ball, greensomes, foursomes and singles formats. European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie hand-picked the captains for both teams, selecting Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn to lead the Continental Europe team and Ireland’s Paul McGinley to skipper the Great Britain & Ireland side.

Bjorn’s 10-man team includes Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Anders Hansen, Soren Hansen, Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson, Soren Kjeldsen, Francesco Molinari, Alvaro Quiros and Henrik Stenson.

McGinley’s side features Nick Dougherty, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Robert Rock, Anthony Wall, Steve Webster, Oliver Wilson and Chris Wood.

Nick Faldo led the Great Britain & Ireland team to a five-point win in 2007, its fourth consecutive victory over the Continental Europeans, who haven’t captured the trophy since its inaugural year in 2000. A total of 28 points are awarded over the four days, with 14 1/2 needed to win the trophy.

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four days. Next week is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where Robert Karlsson won last year.

LPGA TOUR CVS/PHARMACY LPGA CHALLENGE, Blackhawk Country Club, Danville, California

Last year, In-Kyung Kim opened with three consecutive rounds in the 60s on the way to a three-shot win. Kim, despite closing with a one-over 73 on Sunday, captured her first LPGA Tour victory at 10-under 278 (she has since won again). The talented young South Korean will defend her title this week against a field that includes fellow former champions Suzann Pettersen (2007), Karrie Webb (2006), Christina Kim (2004), Helen Alfredsson (2003), Se Ri Pak (2001) and Juli Inkster (1999, 2000).

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds this week.Next week is the Navistar LPGA Classic, where world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa won last year.

CHAMPIONS TOUR SAS CHAMPIONSHIP, Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina

Eduardo Romero fired a six-under 66 in the final round last year to beat Tom Kite by three shots. Romero, who broke 69 in each of his three rounds, closed out his third victory of the season at 15-under 201. He will be in the field this week at Prestonwood to defend his title.Golf Channel will have coverage of all three rounds. Next week is the fifth and final major of the season, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, where D.A. Weibring won his first major last year at the age of 55.

NATIONWIDE TOUR WNB GOLF CLASSIC, Midland Country Club, Midland/Odessa, Texas

Australia’s Marc Leishman peaked in windy conditions last year to win the WNB Golf Classic by 11 shots, tying the Nationwide Tour record for largest margin of victory. Leishman carded four rounds of 68 or better to claim his first career tour win at 21-under 267. He is currently thriving on the PGA Tour — where he is among the 30 players who made the field for the Tour Championship this week — and will not be in Texas to defend his title. Next week’s event is the Soboba Classic, a new tournament on the Nationwide Tour schedule.

CANADIAN TOUR IBEROSTAR RIVIERA MAYA OPEN, Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club, Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Canadian Tour returns to Mexico for the Iberostar Riviera Maya Open, which was one of the events postponed earlier this season amid the Swine Flu outbreak. The tournament is now situated as the second-to-last event on the 2009 schedule — the Riviera Nayarit Classic, a new tournament, will also be held in Mexico next week. Last year in Riviera Maya, Daniel Im won his first Canadian Tour start with a three-under 69 in the final round, beating Brent Schwarzrock and Oscar Serna by a stroke. He will not defend his title.

UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION USGA MEN’S STATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, The Country Club of St. Albans (Lewis and Clark Course), St. Louis, Missouri

This championship, held every two years, pits three-man teams against each other. Each state association is given the option to choose their teams by any method, with one restriction: college players are ineligible because of NCAA bylaws. There will be 51 teams in the field this year — one from each state plus the District of Columbia. In 2007, Texas became the first three-time winner and first back-to-back champion in history.The championship runs Wednesday through Friday.

This posting was contributed by the team at Bookmaker.com. Check them out if you’re US or Canada-based and require a safe, confidential sports betting site. For non-US bettors we recommend the golfing markets at Ladbrokes.com.  

Golfing Week: September 17th through September 20th

September 16th, 2009

Betting on the PGA and LPGA golfing action This article is courtesy of Bookmaker.com, check them out if you’re looking for a good safe offshore sportsbook. Here’s the latest review of Bookmaker.com from the team at GoonersGuide.com.

LPGA TOUR – SAMSUNG WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course), San Diego, California

The LPGA heads to Torrey Pines this week for the 20-player, invitation-only Samsung World Championship.Paula Creamer will defend the title she won at Half Moon Bay last year. She closed with a three-under 69 to fend off Song-Hee Kim by a single stroke. Two shots back were Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Lorena Ochoa and Suzann Pettersen. Including Kim, all five of those players played their way into this year’s field as well. Inkster is the lone sponsor exemption into the field. Creamer’s win last year ended a run of six straight non-American winners. The last two world No. 1’s — Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam — had won the last four crowns and five of the previous six. Sophie Gustafson won in 2003, with Sorenstam winning the year prior and the two years following her fellow Swede’s title.Creamer, Gustafson, Ochoa, and three-time champion Inkster are all in the field, as are 2002 runner-up Cristie Kerr and two-time runner-up Karrie Webb. The field has combined to win 16 of the 20 official LPGA events so far in 2009. Pat Hurst, Ji Young Oh, Eunjung Yi and M.J. Hur are the only winners not to earn a spot in this week’s field. Torrey Pines will be the 15th different venue to host this prestigious event.

Golf Channel will have two hours of coverage the first two days and NBC will air two hours of action on Saturday and Sunday. Next week is the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge, where In-Kyung Kim is the defending champion.

EUROPEAN TOUR AUSTRIAN GOLF OPEN, Fontana Golf Club, Vienna, Austria

Last year, the tournament was shortened to 54 holes after Thursday’s play was completely washed out. In the third and final round, Jeev Milkha Singh made some history. He became the second person in European Tour history to par all 18 holes in the final round and win the title. The other was Nick Faldo, who did so en route to winning the 1987 British Open Championship. Singh fended off Simon Wakefield, who finished one back despite closing with a three-under 68. The win was Singh’s third on the European Tour. Hometown favorite Markus Brier, who lives within an hour of Fontana Golf Club and is attached to the course, has won this title as part of the European Tour and the Challenge Tour.

Golf Channel will have three hours of coverage all four days this week. Next week is the inaugural Vivendi Trophy, in which continental Europe will battle a team from Great Britain & Ireland.

CHAMPIONS TOUR GREATER HICKORY CLASSIC AT ROCK BARN, Rock Barn Golf & Spa, Conover, North Carolina

Last year, R.W. Eaks successfully defended his title thanks in part to an opening-round, 11-under 61. From there, Eaks cruised to a 16-under 200 total to beat Tom Jenkins and Tom Kite by four strokes. Eaks missed his own tournament scoring record by a single shot. His 61 was the low round of the year on the Champions Tour. The event is in its seventh year and Eaks is the only multiple champion.

Golf Channel will broadcast action from 3:30-6:00 p.m. (et) all three days. Next week is the SAS Championship, where Eduardo Romero is the defending champion.

NATIONWIDE TOUR ALBERTSONS BOISE OPEN, Hillcrest Country Club, Boise, Idaho

For the second straight week, there is a defending champion on the Nationwide Tour. Chris Tidland carded four rounds in the 60s last year en route to a four- stroke victory over Scott Piercy. Tidland returns to defend his crown this week and will try to become the Nationwide Tour’s first repeat winner. The Boise Open is one of four original events on the Nationwide Tour and Hillcrest Country Club has hosted the event every year.

Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds. The tour heads to Texas next week for the WNB Golf Classic, where Marc Leishman won last year.

NFL Betting – Week 1 Recap

September 15th, 2009

Betting on the NFL for profitHere’s a follow-up to our last post previewing the first week of the NFL action… (Courtesy of the team at BetOnline.com – compare popular online sportsbooks for American and Canadian sports bettors)

NFL betting fans have a lot to digest after a busy Week 1 of action. There weren’t many upsets, but there was certainly enough surprises to keep bettors on their toes moving forward. Here’s a brief recap of each game, with key news and notes, to get you up to speed for NFL Week 2 betting.

Steelers 13 Titans 10 (OT)
The Steelers won, but they suffered a big blow after losing safety Troy Polamalu to a knee injury. Pittsburgh also struggled to run the ball and could rely on the pass more heavily this year. The Titans looked fine without Albert Haynesworth on defense, and they may have solved their receiver problems with Justin Gage and Kenny Britt, who combined for 163 yards and a score.

Falcons 19 Dolphins 7
Many speculated the Dolphins would crash with a new, much-tougher schedule this season; looks like they were right as Miami’s offense struggled (four turnovers). Tony Gonzalez (73 yards, one touchdown) looks like a great addition for quarterback Matt Ryan, who showed no signs of a sophomore slump.

Broncos 12 Bengals 7
If you subtract Kyle Orton’s fluky, last-second bomb to Brandon Stokley, Denver’s offense did nothing (215 yards). Unless the running game picks up or Brandon Marshall turns things up fast, this is going to be a pitiful unit. Some minor Bengals preseason hype is quickly erased after Carson Palmer tossed two interceptions. Stay away from Cincy against the Packers this week.

Vikings 34 Browns 20
Brett Favre didn’t show much in his Vikings debut, and he won’t have to if Adrian Peterson keeps this up (180 yards, three scores). Minny defense stood strong, forcing two turnovers. On Cleveland’s side, Brady Quinn did little to solidify his position as the team’s starting quarterback. Back-up Derek Anderson is lurking.

Indianapolis 14 Jacksonville 12
David Garrard is looking more and more like a one-year wonder (14/28, 122 yards, no touchdowns). The Jacksonville defense needs to create more pressure after hitting Peyton Manning just twice all day. Speaking of Manning, another day, another 300-yard passing effort. Anthony Gonzalez was lost to a knee injury, though. Expect more action in Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne’s corners.

Saints 45 Lions 27
Six touchdown passes for Drew Brees; let the MVP talks begin. Mike Bell look great as the starting back (143 yards) and could steal some more carries when Pierre Thomas returns. Rookie Matt Stafford was erratic for Detroit, completing less than half his passes and tossing three picks. Stay away from the Lions.

Cowboys 34 Buccaneers 21
Obviously Tony Romo isn’t worried about losing Terrell Owens after throwing for 353 yards and three touchdowns. Oddly, no sacks or turnovers for the Dallas D—don’t expect that to become a trend. Tampa Bay got a great day from its running backs (174 yards, 5.6 average, two touchdowns) and will need a lot more of that to stay competitive this season.

Eagles 38 Panthers 10
Jake Delhomme looks finished; he’s turned it over 11 times in his last two starts. That’s bad news for the Panthers because they have no one else to turn to. Donovan McNabb broke his ribs on a touchdown run, so either Kevin Kolb or recently signed Jeff Garcia will likely start this week.

Ravens 38 Chiefs 24
Joe Flacco looked great, throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns. The Baltimore running game also dominated, racking up 198 yards and a pair of scores. Brodie Croyle played decently in place of injured Matt Cassel, but the running game (29 yards) and defense (501 yards) were awful—two trends you can expect this season.

Jets 24 Texans 7
Sleeper hype for the Texans might have been premature. Houston had no answers for a swarming Jets defense, which Rex Ryan had operating at full bore. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was solid if unspectacular in his New York debut.

Giants 23 Redskins 17
New York’s defense held Washington to just 272 yards while creating two turnovers and a touchdown. The Giants offense will have to be a little sharper against the Cowboys next week, though. ‘Skins quarterback Jason Campbell didn’t look particularly confident, and seven of Washington’s points came off special teams.

49ers 20 Cardinals 16
Mike Singletary has turned this defense around, holding the prolific Cardinals to just 299 yards and 16 points. Offensively San Fran must bring more to the table to stay competitive, and that begins with Frank Gore (22 carries, 30 yards). Kurt Warner looked out of synch for Arizona and, surprise, the Cards couldn’t run the football.

Seahawks 28 Rams 0
Matt Hasselbeck and tight end Jon Carlson made some sweet music together, hooking up for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Even Julius Jones had it going with 117 yards and a score. Marc Bulger got beat up again, taking three sacks and numerous hits.

Packers 21 Bears 15
In a much-anticipated quarterback duel, defense was the key to the game. Jay Cutler looked impatient and awful in his Bears debut, throwing a career-high four interceptions. Aaron Rodgers tossed a late game-winning touchdown for Green Bay, but he was harassed mercilessly by the Bears’ defensive line (four sacks). Both teams have room for improvement in Week 2.

Patriots 25 Bills 24
Horrific meltdown for the Bills. The much-talked about hurry-up offense produced just 276 yards, although Fred Jackson looked impressive in the loss (140 total yards and a score). Tom Brady struggled with accuracy and didn’t go downfield much, but he still finished with 378 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Sportsbook fans take note: he’s back.

Chargers 24 Raiders 20
Oakland was surprisingly feisty. The running game was solid, though JaMarcus Russell struggled (two picks). Richard Seymour was brilliant in his Raider debut, though, registering six tackles and two sacks. The Chargers gutted their way through this one. LaDainian Tomlinson is obviously going to lose playing time to Darren Sproles (14 touches each), and the former didn’t show the same burst he had a few years ago.

Week 1 NFL Picks – Our Picks for every Week 1 NFL game

September 10th, 2009

NFL's Back! Got a sportsbook to place a few wagers?Here’s the latest NFL heads-up from the team at BetOnline Sportsbook. For more on BetOnline check out the latest BetOnline Review and Rating on site at GoonersGuide.com and compare BetOnline to the other 3 sportsbooks especially popular with US based bettors.

Week 1 NFL picks are ubiquitous right about now so let’s throw ours into the hat. Online betting cappers need to know everyone’s picks and everyone’s insight, so as we get set to kickoff the NFL season, here are our Week 1 NFL picks:

 

Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a revenge game from Week 16 last year as the Titans took it to the Steelers. Now, on opening night, the Steelers return the favor. Chris Johnson and LenDale White get shut down while Kerry Collins is baited into mistakes.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Steelers -6
Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
Falcons are overrated while the Dolphins are still underrated. Miami goes to the Georgiadome, plays a disciplined game and exposes the Falcons defense. Miami wins outright.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Dolphins +4
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
Chiefs just fired their offensive coordinator and starting quarterback Matt Cassel has a sprained MCL. Playing in Baltimore is not the place where you cure offensive issues.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Ravens -13
Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers
Eagles are the popular pick but the Panthers were 8-0 at home last season. They’ll be able to run the ball against the Eagles, which means they’ll probably win.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Panthers +1
Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals
This is a statement game for the Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis. Their team is healthy now and they need to win these types of games if Lewis is to keep his job. Denver is a wreck and their defense won’t be able to do much on the road in Week 1.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Bengals -4
Minnesota Vikings @ Cleveland Browns
Trap alert! Vikings only a four-point favorite in Cleveland? Cleveland gets the job done outright. We’re not exactly sure how they do it, but this is a fishy line.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Browns +4
New York Jets @ Houston Texans
Don’t believe the Texans hype. The Jets defense is for real and they are going to stifle that supposedly awesome Texans offense. Jets squeak one out at Reliant Stadium.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Jets +4.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are a seven-point favorite in the sportsbook and, considering they dominate this series, why not? All they have to do is slow down Maurice Jones-Drew and pick apart a soft Jags defense. Take it to the house.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Colts -7
Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers will keep it close for a quarter or so and then the Cowboys will pull away. What are your thoughts about statue Byron Leftwich going up against DeMarcus Ware?

Week 1 NFL Picks: Cowboys -6
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
NFL betting fans should note that the Cardinals are a much different team at home than they are on the road. San Francisco just doesn’t have the tools to match points with Arizona.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Cardinals -6.5
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
The Redskins and Giants games are always close, so why would anyone lay the points? The Giants have looked shaky in the preseason and this game should be right around a field goal. Take the Redskins as they win this contest outright.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Redskins +6.5
St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are clearly the better team and their defense could be one of the best in the NFL. Look for them to shut down Steven Jackson and force the Rams to be one-dimensional on the road. That won’t work.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Seahawks -7
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
While all eyes are on the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, keep an eye on the Packers. They are underrated bunch and are one of the youngest teams in the league. They’ll make a statement in Week 1.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Packers -3.5
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
The Patriots are going to roll in this contest. With Tom Brady back in the lineup, they’re going to give the Bills a beating. The Bills offense has had a lot of problems in the preseason and their offensive line is a complete mess. Good luck to them matching points with one of the best offenses in the NFL.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Patriots -10.5
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders defense is an absolute mess right now. In the preseason, they allowed an average of 192 rushing yards per game and now they have LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles coming to visit. Good luck.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Chargers -9.5

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