The Sports Bookie Blog

Bookmaker Bowl Season Best Bets

December 31st, 2009

Happy New Year - welcome to 2010!This blog post is from the team at Bookmaker.com. (US bettors are safe and welcome at this online sportsbook)

By Jeff Frank, Contributing Editor Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network)

This week, Idaho returns to the postseason for the second time in school history in the Humanitarian Bowl against Bowling Green. The Vandals played in this game back in 1998 – a 42-35 victory over Southern Miss as 17-point underdogs.

The line in this one has Bowling Green favored by a single point in a matchup of two teams from conferences – the WAC and MAC – that did not have much success last week with Nevada, Ohio and Fresno State all coming up on the losing end in postseason action.

Idaho was the surprise team the first half of the ’09 season compiling a 6-1 record after winning just three games the previous two years. However, the lights dimmed quickly after becoming bowl eligible with just one victory in the final five games.

The Vandals’ most impressive performance came at Northern Illinois, a game in which they prevailed by three points. Nevertheless, the Huskies were coming off a road win over Purdue the week before, so that partially explains how they lost to Idaho. In fact, the Vandals’ other six wins came against teams with a combined record of 19-55. In addition, their average margin of defeat in the three losses to bowl teams was an alarming 23 ppg.

Bowling Green also defeated just one team still in action this postseason (Troy) but the Falcons’ margin of deficit in their five losses to bowl squads was only 14. More importantly, they are currently riding the wave of a four- game winning streak and would love nothing more than to eradicate the memory of a 63-7 loss to Tulsa in their last bowl appearance two years ago.

Idaho is ranked 113th nationally against the pass and only Nevada gave up more touchdowns through the air this season. Everyone witnessed how poorly the Wolf Pack played against SMU, and the same thing will happen to Idaho when Bowling Green takes care of business.

>>Take the Falcons minus the points.

One of the biggest days of the ’09 season is the first day of 2010 with five games and two top plays. The first comes from Tampa, Florida where Northwestern takes on Auburn in the Outback Bowl.

The Tigers are favored by over a touchdown even though they won just seven games this year. They also finished the regular season losing five of their last six FBS contests. Since the line opened Auburn minus 4.5 points, it seems the betting public has put a lot of stock in the Alabama game as that was the last contest the Tigers played and it’s fresh on everyone’s mind.

If that’s why folks are betting Auburn, they are making one heck of a mistake. Northwestern won six of its last eight with huge wins over Iowa and Wisconsin. Furthermore, the ‘Cats passing attack led the Big Ten completing 65% of their tosses and Mike Kafka threw just seven interceptions in over 400 attempts. Meanwhile, Auburn was last in the SEC in scoring defense allowing 27 ppg.

The Tigers can score points in bunches but Northwestern has proven it can stay with high-powered offenses as shown in the Wisconsin game scoring 33 points while gaining over 400 total yards. The Wildcats are the better team and they’ll prove it in Tampa with the outright victory.

>>Take Northwestern plus the points.

LSU and Penn State hook up in the Capital One Bowl. The Tigers defense looked shaky at the end of the season allowing 24 points or more in three of the last four games. Offensively, the club ranked 10th in the SEC in scoring, 11th in rushing and ninth in passing. The running game has suffered due to injuries and the team’s top two rushers (Charles Scott and Keiland Williams) will not be able to play. The offensive line has also had its share of problems allowing 33 sacks, 11 more than last season.

The Nittany Lions gave up just five passing touchdowns this season one of only three teams to accomplish that feat. The other two are squaring off against each other in the BCS Championship Game.

LSU’s defense was stout for the first two-thirds of the year giving up only 97 points in the first eight games (12 ppg). However, the unit fell apart in the final third, allowing 95 over the last four contests (24 ppg) and the likelihood of any improvement against the Nittany Lions is slim and none. Most observers expect a tight finish in this one as Penn State is favored by two points, but don’t be fooled. This one will be over before the fourth quarter.

>>Take Penn State minus the points.

All three games are Two-Star plays as were UCF (vs. Rutgers), Utah (vs. California), SMU (vs. Nevada) and UCLA (vs. Navy). The lone Three-Star selection this bowl season is Texas (vs. Alabama). For those who want selections on other games, go with Tennessee plus the points vs. Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Oregon minus the points against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Cincinnati plus the points vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and Central Michigan minus the points against Troy in the GMAC Bowl.

Here’s a link to the latest sportsbook review rating Bookmaker.com. Check them out is you’re after a quality off-shore sportsbook for the new betting year.

NFL Betting Week 17 Picks – Falcons @ Bucs

December 29th, 2009

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sportsbook Lines : Falcons -1

There will be no playoff implications on the line when the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but there will be plenty of pride.

Both teams are focusing on 2010 and a win could end their seasons on a high note.

The Atlanta Falcons franchise has never had back-to-back winning seasons but a win on Sunday would finish them at 9-7. For the Bucs, it has been a trying year but they have won two straight and could end the year on a high note with a three-game winning streak.

The Falcons are clearly the better team in this matchup. When healthy, they are a playoff contender and clearly without a healthy Matt Ryan or Michael Turner, they have slid down the ranks.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has been decent in the last couple of weeks but the difference has mostly been in taking advantage of other team’s mistakes. They have run the ball well and played mistake-free, for the most part, and simply taken advantage of teams that lost interest.

Atlanta is still playing hard for head coach Mike Smith and they will be up for this game. They are on the road but they have the better quarterback and the better offense. That should be enough to secure themselves a winning season.

NFL Bet Pick : Falcons -1

NCAA Football Betting – Humanitarian Bowl Preview

December 24th, 2009

Location: Boise, Idaho
Date/Time: Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN 
 

The Humanitarian Bowl is not exactly Alabama-Texas, but don’t tell these kids that bowl games don’t matter. Idaho will be thrilled to be in this game while Bowling Green should also be focused on winning. This should be an interesting game for internet gambling fans.

Idaho Season Recap :

After Dennis Erickson came for a brief stint, then Nick Holt decided against head coaching Idaho, Robb Akey happily took over the Idaho program.

Yes, it has been a glum decade for the Vandals but they finally have had a winning season (7-5) and they are in a bowl game, which for them is huge. This was the Vandals first winning season since 1999 and this will be their second bowl game in school history.

Sure, the start was much better than the finish – Idaho won six of its first seven games – but regardless, the team is thrilled to be hear after a good year and will be ready for this game.

Bowling Green Season Recap :

Bowling Green didn’t compete for a MAC Championship as they were hoping but they still had a pretty good year and they are once again an offensive power. The Falcons had an opposite season to the Vandals as they started the year with losses in four of their first five games but then managed to finish the season 6-1 to get to this point.

But overall, when you look at Bowling Green’s season, all five of their losses came to teams that will be playing in bowl games. At the same time, their only win against a bowl-bound team was a win over Troy.

Sports wagering cappers should know that Bowling Green has a very good offense and they don’t bother with playing defense, which is what makes their games very entertaining.

The Matchup :

Both teams have lethal passing games, which should make this game an air show. The Vandals have the 11th-ranked passing offense while sports handicapping sharps know that Bowling Green is also ranked high in that category, ranking eighth.

Idaho will be fired up to be in their second bowl game in school history but Bowling Green will be a challenge for them. Bowling Green was throttled in their last bowl game as they lost 63-7 to Tulsa and they will be looking to play much better.

Pick: Take Bowling Green -2

 

NFL Betting – Week 15 – Falcons @ Jets

December 19th, 2009

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets
Betting Line : Jets -3.5

The Atlanta Falcons have been in a nose dive for weeks and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better this week. One week after a valiant effort nearly helped them knock off the top team in the NFC, the Falcons head on the road to East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Falcons are an indoor team heading outdoors and they will likely be without their starting quarterback, Matt Ryan, and starting running back, Michael Turner.

Meanwhile, the Jets are expecting their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, to be back in the lineup.
The Falcons were 4-1 at one point this season but have lost six of their last eight games.

Part of the reason they have fallen flat on their face is the fact that their defense is one of the worst in the NFL.This week, the Jets should be able to wear the Falcons down, who will be playing with backups.

The Falcons were competitive over the last three weeks with backups, but those games were at home.

It will be different on the road.

Sports Betting Pick : Take the Jets -3.5 to win and cover

NFL Betting – Week 15 – Dolphins @ Titans Pick

December 19th, 2009

Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans
Sportsbook Lines : Titans -3

The Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans are both battling for their playoff lives, although the Dolphins have a much better chance to make the playoffs.

As it stands now, the Jacksonville Jaguars did the Dolphins and Titans a big favor on Thursday night. They lost at home to the Indianapolis Colts, which dropped them from the No. 6 seed in the AFC to the No. 9 seed.

The Titans are currently all the way down at No. 11, but they are just one win away from the Baltimore Ravens, who are 7-6 in the No. 6 spot.

The Dolphins won on the road in Jacksonville last week and will definitely have a tough task winning two straight on the road.

For the Titans, they’ll get Vince Young back into the lineup, which obviously makes a big difference. He was forced out of last week’s contest with a hamstring injury and Kerry Collins finished the game.

Overall, these are two fairly equal teams with similar styles. Both teams have young quarterbacks that are getting better, both teams rely on the running game and both teams play defense.

With all things equal, home field advantage should be the difference as the Titans find a way to win.

NFL Betting Picks : Take the TENNESSEE Titans -3 to cover

     

 

NFL Betting – NFC East – Giants @ Redskins Pick

December 17th, 2009

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
Sportsbook Odds: Giants -3

The New York Giants are playing for a playoff berth while the Washington Redskins are playing out their string of games. Even so, the Giants are merely a three-point favorite on the road in Washington – that shows you how much division rivalries really mean.
The Giants continue to make mistakes as turnovers cost them a very important game last week against Philadelphia.

To the surprise of many, the Redskins have been playing very well over the last month or so, even though the record doesn’t indicate it.

The Redskins won in Oakland last week and in the three weeks prior against the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, the Redskins lost those three contests by a total of seven points.

The Giants need this game but the Redskins are more than capable of playing spoiler. Look for Jason Campbell to have another good game against a weak Giants defense and for the Redskins to pull the upset.

NFL Betting Pick : Redskins +3

NFL Betting – NFC East – 49ers @ Eagles Pick

December 17th, 2009

San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
NFL Betting Lines : Eagles -8.5

The San Francisco 49ers topped the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football to keep their hopes alive in the NFC West. They’ll need an equal effort if they are to keep their think playoff chances going.

On the strength of six Cardinals turnovers, the 49ers took out their division rivals and kept them from clinching the division.

The 49ers will have a much tougher task as they head out on the road to Philadelphia. The 49ers are a warm-weather West Coast team that now has to go outdoors into the frigid temperatures on the East Coast in Philadelphia.

The Eagles offense is playing at a very high level right now and if the 49ers have one weakness, it is their pass defense. They held up well against the Cardinals at home but the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot. They turned it over six times and still had chances to be in the game.

Look for Donovan McNabb to have a big game this week as the 49ers will struggle on the road. They are just 1-5 away from home while the Eagles are 4-2. The Eagles will definitely key in on Frank Gore and force the 49ers to be a pass-first team, which will be enough for the Eagles to get the win rather easily.

NFL Pick : Eagles -8.5

NFL Betting – Cowboys vs Chargers Pick

December 11th, 2009

On a busy sports betting weekend that includes everything from Army/Navy to a UFC title fight, it’s tough to figure out what to watch – and wager on. One event I’ll watch closely is the Chargers/Cowboys game this Sunday afternoon, as it features two potent offenses and darkhorse Super Bowl contenders. Let’s break down the matchup.

San Diego Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, December 13, 4:15 p.m. ET
Sportsbook favorite: Cowboys -3

It’s interesting to see the Cowboys favored in this game because, if you talk to your betting buddies, most are backing the Chargers. That’s because San Diego has won 15 straight December games, not to mention seven straight overall this season.

There’s plenty to like about the Chargers in this matchup. Their potent passing attack has been the main source of their surge up the standings; Phil Rivers, one of the league’s most underrated passers, makes few mistakes. He’s also really clicking with Antonio Gates, who is on pace to break Kellen Winslow Sr.’s NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,290).

NFL betting sharps are also scared off by the Cowboys because of Tony Romo’s horrific track record in December. However, looking at all the information differently may change your mind about this game. First off, there’s Romo. While December is his worst statistical month, he showed signs of reversing the trend last week. On the road versus the Giants, Romo threw for a career-best 392 yards and three touchdowns.

There’s also mounting evidence that the Chargers are pretenders. Of their nine victories this season, two came against Oakland, two came against Kansas City and one came against Cleveland. Those teams’ passing offenses rank 31st, 28th and 30th in the league, respectively. Suddenly, San Diego’s No. 8 pass defense rank looks pretty inflated, doesn’t it? Also consider that the anemic Brady Quinn threw for 271 yards and three scores against San Diego in Week 13; that’s the same Brady Quinn who completed 31.6 per cent of his passes for 90 yards on Thursday versus Pittsburgh.

We also shouldn’t underestimate the power of Cowboys’ stadium, where Dallas is 5-1 this year. The Cowboys are the more battle-tested team and I think they’ll expose the Chargers this Sunday. Pick the Cowboys to end San Diego’s December run.

NFL pick: Take the DALLAS Cowboys -3

Army vs Navy Picks – Interservice rivals meet for 110th time

December 10th, 2009

Sportsbook players should stand attention for these Army vs Navy picks, as Army attempts to not only end a seven-year losing streak to their interservice rivals, but they’re also looking to sneak into a bowl game for the first time since 1996.

Army vs Navy Picks – Saturday, December 12, 2:30 PM ET

The Black Knights (5-6) can go to the EagleBank Bowl with a win over Navy, kicking UCLA out of the bowl picture. They’re coming off a tough 17-13 victory at North Texas in a game they had no business winning, as they allowed 447 yards while gaining only 287. But the Army defense forced five turnovers to keep them in the game, and then the 14th ranked rushing attack in the country got the Black Knights a win. Trent Steelman, who has had some bumps as a freshman, ran for 132 yards and a touchdown, and this was his second straight road game in which he ran for 100 yards or more.

Navy (8-4) lost 24-17 in Hawaii, and they had no answer for the high-flying aerial attack of the Warriors, allowing 366 yards through the air. Ricky Dobbs rushed for 127 yards and a score, while adding 88 yards through the air, but the defense couldn’t stop Hawaii, especially late in the third and fourth quarters, when they allowed touchdowns in the last 40 seconds of the quarter.

The sports betting odds in your sportsbook for this contest has Navy as a 14-point favorite, and they’ve decimated their rivals over the last two years of a seven-year winning streak, beating Army 72-3. Last year’s 34-0 win was the first shutout in this long series, and Army would love to show that they’re improved.

The Black Knights have gotten better, but their inability to stop the run will be their downfall as Navy’s triple option has been known to shred a defense or two. Army should be able to get on the board at least, but Navy’s defense will want to redeem themselves after their performance against Hawaii, and they’re playing a team that barely throws the ball.

Make Navy your NCAA football betting pick.

Army vs Navy Picks : Navy -14 

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