The Sports Bookie Blog

NHL Game Previews for Sat 13th Feb

February 13th, 2010

Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers

In the world of NHL betting odds the Flyers are favored in this home game to beat the Canadiens. The slow development of goaltender Carey Price has been a constant source of inconsistency for the Canadiens. Instead of being the number one goalie, he has been sharing time with Jaroslav Havlak. The two teams are battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and both teams come into this game with winning records in their last 10 games. The Flyers offer a more consistent and punishing scoring attack with power forwards such as Jeff Carter. At this point the Flyers may be more than the Canadiens can handle.

Pick: Flyers 4-2

New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Those who bet on sports know that for years the Rangers have tried to tip the winning scales in their direction by investing in what appeared to be top-flight talent. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez were brought in to add some toughness to the scoring attack of the Rangers. But those who give sports betting tips weren’t falling for it, and when Jaromir Jagr left to go play hockey back in his home country the Rangers fell apart. Scott Gomez left the team at the end of last season, and now the Rangers are a shell of what they used to be. Even though the Rangers are favored in this game, they don’t have the fire power to hang with the Stanley Cup champs.

Pick: Penguins 3-1

Toronto Maple Leafs @ St. Louis Blues

Oh what a difference a trade can make. When the Leafs acquired goaltender JS Giguere and hard-nosed defenseman Dion Phaneuf people knew the Leafs would be a better team, but few expected the effects of the trade to wear off. But for some reason, even though the Leafs have only won 2 of their last 10 games, they continued to be favored in these away games since the trade. The Blues have a gem in goaltender Chris Mason and even though Mason is not posting great numbers, when set in the context of how awful the Blues are it is amazing that Mason has a winning record. Keith Tkachuck is about the only person on the Blues roster capable of putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. But even with all of that going against them, the Blues are still a better team than the new and improved Maple Leafs.

Pick: Blues 4-1

Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche

This will easily be the best game of the night. The Avalanche and the Coyotes both play a hard-nosed and fast paced brand of hockey that is fun to watch. The visiting Coyotes are favored, but the Colorado Avalanche are a much-improved bunch compared to last year. Colorado goaltending standout Craig Anderson has put the Avalanche in a position to challenge for the Northwest division lead. The Coyotes have the misfortune of being stuck behind the runaway train known as the San Jose Sharks, but the Coyotes have put up enough points to lead in 3 of the 6 divisions in the league. Both teams are solid defensively, they both have great goaltending and they both have rising stars and veterans on offense that know how to play the game. This game will come down to a shoot out.

Pick: Avalanche 3-2 (shootout)

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Betting

February 11th, 2010

Here’s a posting on Winter Olympics betting submitted by the team at Bodog Sportsbook.

Winter OlympicsNeed a cure for that Super Bowl hangover? The 2010 Winter Olympics will help you get right back into the sports gambling swing. It might not look like winter in Vancouver, but, by hook or by crook, there will be snow in the right places once the Games begin. Athletes from over 80 nations are expected to gather at Friday’s opening ceremonies; billions will be watching on television, and more than a few dollars will exchange hands.

Of the 15 sports involved, most of the action will be on men’s hockey. This is the first time the Games will feature a standard NHL rink (200-by-85 feet) instead of the international 200-by-98 surface, which should play right into the hands of the host Canadians. They’re the favorites at 11-10, followed by Russia at 21-10 and Sweden a distant third at 11-2. Team USA, who should also benefit from the smaller dimensions at GM Place (de-branded as “Canada Hockey Place” for the Olympics), is next at 7-1.

Canada may be the consensus birthplace of hockey, but they went 50 years without winning the gold medal thanks to the rise of the Soviet team and the exclusion of NHL players. Neither of those obstacles exists anymore; however, that’s no guarantee the Canadian version of the Dream Team will come out ahead. They didn’t even reach the podium in 1998 or 2006. Canada’s one shining moment was in 2002 at Salt Lake City, when Mario Lemieux, Eric Lindros, Joe Sakic, and Steve Yzerman were on board.

Canada’s team for 2010 doesn’t have quite the same jaw-dropping collection of talent. Martin Brodeur (.917 save percentage this year) is back in goal, and he’ll see some familiar faces behind the blueline in Scott Niedermayer (32 points in 59 games, but a minus-17) and Chris Pronger (40 points in 57 games, plus-20). Up front, it’s none other than Sidney Crosby (39 goals, 35 assists in 58 games) picking up the torch for the retired Lemieux. But does the roster as a whole possess enough skill as well as that elusive team chemistry to merit such short Olympic odds?

The Russians might have the solution. In addition to familiar NHL names like superstars Alexander Ovechkin (42 goals in 51 games), Evgeni Malkin (61 points in 52 games) and Ilya Kovalchuk (31 goals in 52 games), Team Russia has included several players from its very own Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Four of those players are from the same Salavat Yulaev Ufa team; another three are from Ak Bars Kazan. Put those skaters in front of Evgeni Nabokov (.927 SV%), and you have a serious gold medal contender with nearly twice the potential payout as Canada.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about the expectation level Canada has for its hockey team at these Games. This is the third time the Great White North has hosted the Olympics (following the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary), and Canada has yet to strike gold of any kind on home soil. That’s very likely to change this year, according to these Olympic betting odds:

How many gold medals will Canada win?

0-5                37-20
6-9                  5-6
10 or more     19-10

Canada’s gold-medal viability got a major boost in 1992 when short track speed skating was made a full Olympic sport. South Korea has won 17 gold since then, followed by Canada with five and the United States with four. This can be a tricky sport to handicap because of the high frequency of disqualifications for making improper contact with other skaters – it’s like NASCAR out there. But with eight different events involved (four for the men, four for the women), Canada should wrangle some gold from the short track. Charles Hamelin has some value at 8-1 to take the men’s 1500m; Hamelin is also +110 in a head-to-head matchup with Team USA star Apolo Anton Ohno (-150).

The chances of Canada grabbing at least six gold look even better when you look at the rest of the Olympic futures market. Germany is a heavy 1-1 favorite to take home the most gold medals from Vancouver, followed by Canada at 5-2 and Team USA at 7-2. There are 86 events in total. Canada won six gold in Nagano and seven each in Salt Lake City and Turin. They could win even more this year as the host country – for a change.

Click to visit Bodog SportsbookCheck out the latest Winter Olympics betting markets and prices at Bodog Sportsbook. (US bettors welcome too).

Free to Enter Competition for Rugby Six Nations Fans

February 5th, 2010

Popular Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power has once again launched a competition that is aimed at the true sports fan.

Here’s how the bookie’s marketing crew describe their latest promotion:

Click to visit PaddyPower.com for more info“Think you can handle 22 sweaty jockstraps? You won’t be joining the prawn sandwich brigade in the corporate boxes. No. You’ll be getting down and dirty with the team and their legendary bagman ‘Rala’ in the bowels of Croke Park on Sat 13th March for Ireland v Wales. From the dressing room to the pitch, you won’t be watching the game – you’ll be part of it! ”

We’re not so fussed for jockstraps, here at BookieLabRat.com, but do like the sound of a side line seat during the game, so close that your eyes water from the liniment. Plus the other prizes listed below sound good too:
The Prize:

– Helping the Bagman for the Day
– Overnight Stay in a Dublin Hotel
– €100 Paddy Power bet on the game
– €100 Beer Money (you’ll need a pint after all that hard work!)
– Signed Irish Jersey by the Team & Rala

Check out the Be The BagMan Competition onsite at Paddy Power – just answer a simple Six Nations related question to go in the lucky draw… and here are a few Ts & Cs… Prize applies to the Ireland v Wales 6 Nations Game, Saturday 13th 2010 only. The Prizewinner can be male or female but over 18. One Entry per person. Competition ends midnight Monday 8th March.

Super Bowl MVP Odds – Quarterbacks lead the way in MVP race

February 4th, 2010

It’s no surprise that Super Bowl MVP odds have the two quarterbacks at the top of their list: on 22 occasions, a quarterback has won this award, including this year’s favorite. Here’s a look at the top five players to watch in this list.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (-200)
Manning won this award in 2006, when the Colts beat Chicago, and he also beat out Drew Brees this year for his fourth regular-season MVP award, which is a record. Manning completely controls this offense, which is based on his impeccable timing and quick release, and the Saints will try to get some pressure on him, but he was sacked just 14 times this season.

Drew Brees, New Orleans (+300)
Brees will need to have the game of his life for the Saints to pull out the upset, but if you look at the numbers since he’s been in New Orleans, you could put Brees right beside Manning. He hasn’t thrown a pick in the playoffs, and turnovers will likely play a huge factor in this game.

Reggie Bush (+1000)
Betting on Bush is like betting in an online super casino : sometimes you win big, and sometimes, not so much. Bush was a monster in the Saints’ rout of Arizona in the divisional round of the playoffs, racking up 217 all-purpose yards, which included a late punt return for a touchdown. He didn’t have the same impact against Minnesota, but he did catch a fourth-quarter touchdown from Brees. If the Saints can get Bush out in the flat and in space, where he is a terror, the Colts could be in big trouble.

Austin Collie, Indianapolis (+1800)
Collie gets the nod over teammate Pierre Garcon, as both exploded on the Jets, who took away Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. Garcon earned his numbers where Wayne usually does, catching an AFC championship record 11 passes, while Collie took Clark’s place in the slot and ended up with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Saints like to pressure the quarterback, which means that Collie could be open for some quick slants over the middle.

Darren Sharper, New Orleans (+2500)
If the Saints are going to have any success at all against Manning, Sharper will probably have a lot to do with it. Sharper has been a force since coming to New Orleans, racking up nine picks and returning three of them for scores during the regular season, and he’s been all over the place in the playoffs, recovering a fumble against Arizona and then blitzing Brett Favre into oblivion in the NFC championship game.

NFL Betting Pick :

Take Manning to win MVP as the smart play here. No one player controls their team’s destiny like he does.

Fancy a Free Trip To Las Vegas?

February 3rd, 2010

New UK/European bettors at stylish online sportsbetting site Bodog have the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Las Vegas.

Click to visit Bodog Sportsbook for a lookseeYou could win a free trip to Las Vegas when you bet GBP10 or more in the Bodog Sportsbook between now and 28 February 2010.

The VIP Package includes
– A luxury trip for 2 to Las Veags
– Return airfares from London
– 3 night stay at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
– £500 in spending money

It’s really easy to enter, simply sign up as a new member at Bodog and then bet £10 on any sporting event(s) between now and February 28th – at odds of even money or greater – and you will be entered into the lucky draw.

The crew at Bodog Sportsbook will notify the winners by March 7th, 2010.

(FYI: Bodog is the offical betting & gaming partner of Fulham FC and offers betting markets on all major European football leagues – plus a whole lot more… here’s a link to the best review of Bodog Sportsbook that we could find)

NFL Betting – Colts Look For Second Championship in Four Years

February 2nd, 2010

New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts @ Miami, FL

Super Bowl 2010 Odds :
Colts -5.5,
Over/Under 56

When the Saints and the Colts hit the field for the NFL Championship game in Miami this Sunday, there is a good chance that it will be a high scoring affair. Two big time offences will be attack two defences that are not highly ranked and should be able to put up points easily, especially after putting up big numbers against some of the best defences in the league already this offseason.
 
Primetime Performers 
Saints : The New Orleans Saints have been carried on the arm of Drew Brees to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Posting the second best passer rating, 109.6, since 2005 in route to his best statistical season , this Purdue product lead the league in touchdowns with 34. He has an offensive line that boasts three Pro Bowlers and a talented group of receivers that allows him to spread the ball all over the field. The Austin, Texas native has never been out of the conference championship round of the playoffs, in his nine year career, but one can be sure he will still make a lot of noise on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.

Colts : Peyton Manning is at the top of the game at reading and reacting to the defence before the ball is ever snapped, leading to a league best 4,500 passing yards in the regular season. Not known for scrambling or avoiding the rush in any manner besides sliding around in the pocket, the Colts QB was only sacked 10 times this year. Tom Brady finished second in that category with 16 and Brees was brought down 20 times. Having already won a Super Bowl in 2006, the four time AP NFL Most Valuable player knows how to deal with the pressure and intensity of the big game.

X-Factors 
Saints : Reggie Bush has been on a tear in the post season, making big plays in each of the Saints’ post-season games. Not only is he a threat on the ground but he is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield.

Those looking for betting tips should know that with the Colts giving up close to 100 yards receiving to running backs over their two playoff games, none of which had the skill of Bush, there is the strong possibility of Reggie adding to his post-season totals of 149 combined yards and two touchdowns.
 
Colts : All-Pro wide-receiver Reggie Wayne should make up for below average numbers in the Conference Championships with a monster day for the Colts. Even though Peyton Manning put up great numbers last game, he only connected with Wayne and tight-end Dallas Clarke for seven receptions and 90 yards combined. These were per game numbers that each of them would put up during the rest of the season. This does not bode well for the Saints defence.

The Matchup 
Before making NFL picks know that in their respective conference championship games the two teams combined for 574 yards and 6 touchdowns through the air en route to 61 total points against the number one and fifth ranked defences in the league of the Jets and Vikings. 
When the Colts and Saints meet at Dolphin Stadium, they will bring the 18th and 25th ranked defences, respectively, and this means that the record 75 points, set by San Francisco and San Diego in 1995, for highest scoring Super Bowl could be in jeopardy when these high powered offenses hook up this Sunday.

Betting Pick : Indianapolis Colts to win

Powered by WordPress