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UFC Betting and Prediction Information Site

Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bodgo Fight Recap

by Stan Leung

After the preliminary rounds were completed, Team USA was ready with there 8 final contestants (Michael Patt, Keith Wisniewski, Nick Agallar, Nick Thompson, Tara Larosa, Chael Sonnen, Mario Rinaldi, and Trevor Prangley). Along with the USA versus Russia match ups the card also had one of the three Super fights featuring Roger Gracie in his professional MMA fight debut fighting against WWE, Pride, and UFC veteran Ron H2O Waterman, Antonio Silva versus Eric Pele, and hard throwing Eddie Alvarez against UFC and Pride FC veteran Aaron Riley in a welterweight MFC championship bout.

I don't know if the event lived up to the hype but USA versus Russia did not produce great MMA events. The best match of the night was the ladies match up between Tara Larosa from the US team versus Julia Berezekova from the Red Devil team. Larosa's 11 and 1 record is no joke as she has all the skill and stand up to be a great fighter. The match with Berezekova was incredible with great jujitsu and stand up striking. At the end of the day, Larosa was the more skilled and made Berezekova submit with an armbar.

Joke of the Day - Love Dress

A woman goes over to her married son's house and walks in to find her daughter-in-law sitting in a chair, entirely nude. The mother-in-law says, "What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm wearing my love dress," responds the daughter-in-law, "We haven't made love in a long time."

So the mother-in-law says, "Hm, maybe I should try that."

She goes home to find her husband is not in, so she gets undressed. Two hours go by and finally she hears her husband's car. He walks in the front door and says, "What the fuck are you doing?"

"I'm wearing my love dress," says the wife.

"Well," responds the husband, "it needs to be ironed."

Friday, December 08, 2006

betED.com has Odds on Whose Babymaker will be Photographed Next

With Britney Spears unintentionally baring it all lately, it’s only a matter of time before another female celebrity gets caught in an uncompromising position by a strategically positioned photographer.

And now betED.com is offering bettors a chance to wager on just who will be the next female celebrity to get caught with a crotch shot.

Which of the following celebrities will be the first to have a crotch shot captured by the paparazzi? Here are some, but not all, of the candidates on http://www.beted.com/B=6b21237a-f490: Jessica Simpson (+300); Madonna (+800); Tara Reid (+100); Halle Berry (+1000); Pink (+400)

It appears Spears will have a tough time living this latest incident down. Ever since Spears’ crotch shots appeared, the international press has noted she is behaving more like her soon to be ex-husband, Kevin Federline, than a pop princess on the verge of a career comeback.

Fresh from her split from the club-hopping Federline, Spears looked hip and wholesome weeks ago in a surprise appearance on David Letterman's show and while ice skating in New York's Rockefeller Center in a Gap sweater. But now she's unleashing her inner wild child, running around with party girls Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, sporting unflattering hair extensions and flashing her apparently panty-less crotch to the paparazzi.

"She's a beautiful girl and now that she's single and she's having fun, I think she's just trying to express herself," said New York-based celebrity image consultant Amanda Sanders. "Unfortunately, it's the wrong message that's coming across. And the shame is she was really such a role model."
Spears, who just turned 25, and Hilton were inseparable while hitting L.A. hotspots over the Thanksgiving weekend. Representatives for Hilton and Spears did not respond to messages Wednesday.
Many of Spears’ fans are getting tired of her antics. In a post on Spears' MySpace.com page, a female fan urged Spears "to read this so you understand how your fans may see the situation ... now your children need you so do the right thing Brit, and be a mother and forget the partying."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Great MMA and MIxed Martial Arts Site

There is a great new MMA aite i just came across

check it out



The annual tradition that falls on the 3rd Thursday of November: watching NFL football during the day whilst cramming Turducken – a turkey stuffed with a duck, which itself is stuffed with a small chicken* – down our throats is upon us once again… along with the almost universal requirement for an industrial strength Alka-Seltzer.

So before we drift off into our tryptophan-induced coma, it’s time to partake in the other tradition of trying to figure out what or whom we are truly thankful for in sports right now.
In football: Let us give thanks for the hyper-hyped Ohio State and Michigan game that actually lived up to it all. (And let’s hope we see a rematch in January). I’d like to thank Bill Parcells for making the jobs for every talking head and ink stained wretch who has to cover the Cowboys on a daily basis the easiest in sports journalism. Here’s a big shout out to NBC's "Football Night In America." They helped me keep to my diet this week when they insisted on showing, during my dinner hour, highlights of Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith puking his guts out into a garbage can. It’s great that Ben Roethlisberger survived his motorcycle crash – but what is probably more impactful is this – if there needed to be any further proof that always wearing a helmet is essential – his performance this season surely will convince more folks to strap one on when they ride. Let’s all be especially glad we are around right now to watch LaDainian Tomlinson play – on the rare occasion when the networks allow it that is. The MVP co-favorite is smashing records and the biased, but perhaps not wrong, folks in San Diego are already declaring him the greatest running back - ever.

In hockey: What used to be the signature joke of the NHL: “I went to a boxing match last night and a hockey game broke out,” appears to be going the way of the dodo. Phoenix Coyote Georges Laraque said this week that due to the rule changes, designated NHL fighters would be extinct in two years. He should know as he used to be one of ‘em. Now – he rarely gets to fight and thus has spent more time actually working on his game. The results are in: he has seven points in his past four games.

In baseball: It nice to know that a 25-year-old, third-year Canadian making $385,000 a year can win the American League MVP trophy over a $20-million dollar man from the New York Yankees. The New York Post headline may have screamed “Jeeted,” but looking at who did what for their respective teams, the first Twin MVP award in nearly 30 years was well deserved. However, what we should all be most thankful for in baseball is this: labor peace. The Onion put it best: “World Series Overshadowed By Thrilling New MLB Labor Agreement”.
In soccer: There is not another World Cup until 2010.

In racing: I’d like to talk about F1, CART and the IRL, but since these racing series spend most of their time shooting themselves in the tires (or in F-1 talk, tyers), few would know what I was prattling on about. Instead, let’s be very thankful the NASCAR season came to a merciful end with the feller whose team was busted for cheating at race number one, ending up winning the Nextel Cup at race number thirty-four. His name if you can remember (after all it was way back on Sunday) is a walking snore named Jimmie Johnson. After decade of seeming to do be able to overcome anything, 2006 was marked by uneventful races, an unsatisfying conclusion and perhaps most shockingly – empty seats. Let’s be thankful that they are going to make changes for 2007.

In golf: Though the PGA season ended months ago -- it was all over after the PGA as far as most fans are concerned -- next year that’s going to change. Inspired by, of all things, the aforementioned NASCAR, 2007 is going to see a chase for a $10-million payoff and the Player of the Year title. This way we’ll get to see Tiger take home even more money. Won’t that be fun.
In basketball: It’s early in the season, but at least there is Steve Nash. Though now more often injured than not, he remains an exciting player, he is the two time MVP and best of all he’s now mullet-less!

Eat well everyone. Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It Really is a Whole New NHL

You know how I know? Tie Domi is no longer looking to punch someone in the face – instead he’s making keen observations on the game of hockey. For a guy who, while playing, couldn’t scrape together a cognitive thought with two hands and a flashlight, his transformation to a broadcaster has to be seen as very improbable. Yet on his first night on the air, he wasn’t too frikin’ bad.

That transformation is also a perfect allegory to how the league has changed – hopefully for good.

Last season, the first with the new rule changes designed to speed up the game, there was an average of 0.38 fights a game. That was down almost half the number of fights from the previous season.

The rule changes worked. The game did become markedly faster, more exciting, and as a result, less pugilistic. There were fans who railed against the lack of knuckles being thrown because they insisted that fighting was the best part of the game.
Stupid fans in other words.

It was also clear that the majority of the fans weren’t that kind of stupid. Attendance was dropping. Everywhere but Canada, where hockey is more than the national sport, it’s a cultural identity, television ratings were abysmal. In no small part, it was due to the culture of fighting. For years, slow-footed tough-guys whose only job was to put on a nightly show for the crowd plagued the NHL.

It was always predictable. They would face off first in the press, exchanging not-so-witty repartee and then during the games at night, they would inevitably “get it on.” The league tolerated this gladiatorial behaviour because it helped mask the fact that the NHL had become a defense-first, boring, unimaginative soccer like exhibition. Night-in, night-out the NHL was defined by low scoring games, where the best, most creative players spent their nights bottled up against the boards by oversized defensemen.

All of that changed forever by one tragic incident in Vancouver in 2004. The Vancouver Canucks all-star Todd Bertuzzi blindsided Colorado Avalanche rookie Steve Moore with a punch from behind on March 8th of that year. Moore crumpled to the ice, and was hospitalized with three broken vertebrae in his neck, as well as a concussion.

The NHL suspended Bertuzzi indefinitely and did not reinstate him until August 8th, 2005 - exactly 17 months later. Steve Moore has yet to return to the NHL – and it’s doubtful he ever will.

Besides their personal stories, the result was a debate that raged across the hockey world about the role of rough justice in game. Bertuzzi was “paying back” Moore for some perceived injustice his team had suffered in a previous game. He was playing the role of enforcer, instead of leaving the on-ice justice to the officials. His actions brought into stark relief the problems with violence in the game.

The NHL decided things had to change for the league to survive. First they were going to free up their best players by calling the rules as they were first written, not what they evolved into. And second, they were going to return justice to the referees.

We saw the some of the results last season. This season we will most likely be seeing even more, if this is any indication:

The Toronto Maple Leafs bought out Tie Domi’s contract because, in today’s game, there is almost no need for an enforcer anymore. For decades, brawlers had been a staple on most teams. In last season’s new NHL however, where speed and playmaking proved essential, teams no longer could afford to have a spot on the bench taken up with a slow-footed fighter.
Even that 0.38 fight-pre-night mark is misleading. A high percentage of the fights last season were between these dinosaurs, who were desperately trying to prove that they had a purpose.
Yes, they still made the fans get out of their seats and cheer, but they had little impact on game results. They rarely contributed to deciding game outcomes because when push came to shove, players of that ilk could not punch what that could not catch.

Now most are out of the game altogether, or else, like in Domi’s case, up in the booth. Even he has embraced the new NHL – he spent time on his TV debut praising high-scoring finesse player Alexander Ovechkin, even recommending that he stay out of fights.

If fight-fanatic Don Cherry were dead, he would be spinning in his grave now.

And if he did hear Domi say that, it just might have killed him.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

U - S - A: Ah OK?

Being the object of everyone’s attention gets exhausting after a while. Maybe that’s why America is taking more than its fare share of shots of late.

Since time immemorial it seems the USA was the world leader in, well, just about everything. Recently the world has been catching up by leaps and bounds. The European Union is tied with America for GDP, and China and India are closing fast. American cars are being outsold everywhere. Columbia’s Shakira tops the music charts. The most anticipated movie of the year is a British film about a Kazakhstani newsman named Borat. Yup, it has been catch-up time for a while, and in many, many things America has been passed.

Even in what they used to be able to always count on: sports.

In the world of fun and games, it has been U-S-A, U-S-A, dating back a hundred years almost. Now? Not so much.

Be it any of the name games - baseball, basketball or golf - the former dominant nation is playing second fiddle or worse. The only exception is football, and that’s because the American brand of football isn’t as popular elsewhere as futbol is, what Americans call soccer.
It’s been a long spring and summer of discontent sports (and other) wise for Americans. It all began with the game an American invented, baseball. In March in San Diego Japan defeated Cuba to win the championship of the World Baseball Classic. The 3-3 American team lost one game to Mexico, another to Korea and another to Canada.


Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and most of the top pros in the NBA took on the world in another game invented there, basketball. (Well, sort of - James Naismith was a Canadian, but his first peach basket was used in Massachusetts). Spain won the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. The U.S. men lost to Greece.


The world gathered in Germany to settle the question, who was best at the silly sport we know as soccer. The answer: anybody but the Americans, who failed to win a single game.All four of tennis’ majors were thrillers – but not a single American raised a single singles trophy in victory. Switzerland, France, Russia, Spain and Belgium dominated.


And finally there is golf. The Ryder Cup put a cap on this summer-long sporting swoon. Tiger Woods is clearly the best golfer in the world – and by a long shot. However, those American’s who follow him aren’t even close to imitating his act.

Over the weekend at the K Club in Ireland, records were falling left-rough, right-rough and never center cut. For the first time a team won all five sessions of the competition, and it wasn’t the Americans who did it. They could only manage to win 21% of their matches. In golf a Mendoza line winning percentage is more than just embarrassing, it’s pathetic. It left flabbergasted team captain Tom Lehman asking journalists if they had any answers as to why Team USA sucked so bad.

None of the wordsmiths did.

All that’s left for the poor American’s to dominate is the NFL – because no one else seems that interested in taking it up – and NASCAR. The good ‘ol Amurican boys in their multi-colored racing suits remain unchallenged on the international stage. Yup – the ‘ol red, white and blue is the force in racing cars with fenders. So, at leaset they’ve got that going for them.

Until they don’t of course. This week former Indianapolis 500 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya made his first test run at the Talladega Superspeedway.

A Columbian in NASCAR?

I hope in the South they serve tacos as well.

Say it ain’t so Juan.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Joke of the Day

Jimmy goes to see his computer genius friend Charlie, in his office. The first thing he notices is a really sexy looking secretary who leads him into Charlie’s room.

Charlie is busy working on his computer. "Hey Charlie, how ya doin’ my man?" He says, "When did you hire your new secretary?

She’s hot." "Oh I didn’t hire her, I actually develped her." replies Charlie, still working on his computer, "She’s a robot." "Are you serious?" says Jimmy with a whistle, "She moves and talks just like a real girl."

"Yeah, and that’s not all. She makes coffee, does my filing and I can fuck her all I want." replies Charlie with a smile, "In fact, you can take her to the next room and give her a fuck yourself. She’s really good."

"FUCK" Laughs Jimmy and taking the secretay’s hand, he drags her into the next room, intent on fucking the daylights out of her. Soon afterwards, there’s a loud scream from Jimmy.

"Oh Hell," Says Charlie, "I forgot to tell him her asshole is a pencil sharpener."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Joke of the Day

Vancouver Zoo in had acquired a female gorilla named Pernell. Within a few weeks, the gorilla became very difficult to handle.

Upon examination, the Zoo veterinarian determined the problem. The gorilla was in heat. To make matters worse, there were no male gorillas of the species available. While reflecting on their problem, the Zoo management noticed a dumb labor worker named Cam Powell responsible for building crap around the zoo.

Cam Powell had little sense, but so the Zoo administrators thought they might have a solution. The Zoo was approached Powell with a proposition: Would he be willing to have sex with the gorilla for $500? Cam showed some interest, but said he would have to think the matter over carefully.
The following day, Cam announced that he would accept their offer, only under three conditions.
"First," he said, "I don’t want to have to kiss her.

Secondly, you must never tell anyone about this."

The Zoo administration quickly agreed to these conditions, so they asked what his third condition was. "Well," said Cam "You gotta give me another week to come up with the $500."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Betting on Stupidity Really Can Pay Off

For once, being a brainless buffoon could actually pay dividends.

In a truly unique betting opportunity, online wagering giant betED.com is offering a chance to place wagers on the world’s most idiotic acts, as odds are now available for the 2006 World Stupidity Awards (www.stupidityawards.com).

Bettors can put money down on who they think will win such categories as Stupidest Man of the Year, an award in which one nominee is Oklahoma district court judge Donald Thompson, who operated a powerful penis pump beneath his robes during three trials while they were in session.

Perhaps surprisingly, Thompson is not the favorite (+300).

Other nominees for Stupidest Man of the year are: Dick Cheney - Vice President of the U.S. (+125); Michael Brown, Former Director of FEMA (+200); Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran (+220); Kim Jong IL, North Korean Dictator (+230).

The annual World Stupidity Awards, now in its 4th year, salute achievement in stupidity and ignorance. The awards are organized by ARSE - The Academy Recognizing Stupidity Everywhere – in conjunction with New York publisher Disinformation.

“The Romans had coliseums; the Egyptians had pyramids, we have stupidity,” said official World Stupidity Awards Spokes Moron, Robert Spence. “With all that we know today, the fact that we can rush into wars, destroy our planet, and act like complete idiots, and then, be proud of it, shows we’re in an era of superstupidity.”

Another category is Stupidest Trend of the Year. The nominees, with their odds, are: Ass Cleavage (+150); Killing People for God (+150); Killing People (+180); WW III (+350); Post Reality TV Reality TV (+400).

There’s also the Dumbest Moment of the Year award, which features these deserving nominees: Vice President Dick Cheney shoots friend (-120); Zinedine Zidane head butts Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final and is ejected (+180); Protesters violently demonstrate against the Danish Mohammed cartoons (+250); Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishes the controversial Mohammed cartoons (+300); Britney Spears speeds with her baby's head close to steering wheel (+400).

Other categories include: Stupidest Movie of the Year; Media Outlet which has Best Furthered Ignorance; Being Most Out of Touch with Reality; and Reckless Endangerment of the Planet.
To place a bet on stupidity, go to www.betED.com and click on Entertainment Props under Hot Props or link directly to http://www.beted.com/lines.aspx?l=Other

The awards will be announced Sept. 20.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

“Who is the greatest athlete in the world?”

“Who is the greatest athlete in the world?”

That is the one question that has been asked since there has been this thing we call sports. Okay, maybe there are two eternal sports questions, the other being “where can I bet on that?”
This week people have been asking that question again due to a meeting in New York between perhaps the best player the game of golf has ever seen, and arguably the greatest tennis player of all time.

Watching Roger Federer decimate the field at the U.S. Open over the weekend was remarkable mostly due to the ease that he demonstrated in doing it. Seeing him collapse in what appeared to be relief as his final winner whizzed past a completely overmatched Andy Roddick, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was faking it. He had to be putting on a show there at the end, because it looked like he’d scarcely broken a sweat over the two weeks.

John McEnroe, who was calling the match on the tube, suggested that Tiger Woods be the one who should present the trophy, implying he was the only one in the world who was qualified.
Woods, who has struck up a recent friendship with Federer, was there watching from Federer’s box.

Since these two icons of the recent sports history were so perfectly juxtaposed, it is impossible for me not to try to make a case for whom I think really is the greatest athlete in the world today.

The two likeliest candidates are Woods and Federer.

Woods has had quite the summer run. After missing the cut in a major for the first time in his career at the golf’s version of the U.S. Open, he came back with a vengeance. Winning two majors and five straight tournaments, he’s so far ahead in the world rankings, dividing his 22.8 point total in two would give him both the first and second spots, with Jim Furyk a distant third with only 8.99. With 12 majors already in his career, Woods is second in the all-time list behind Jack Nicklaus' 18.

Most concede now that it’s a matter of “when,” not “if” that he catches the Golden Bear’s total.
Federer has been just as impressive. He’s won Wimbledon the past four years, the U.S. Open the past three, and the Australian Open twice for a total of nine majors. That puts Federer sixth in the career tennis major standings, needing five more slams to catch Pete Sampras. Sampras admitted his record is going to be not just broken, but smashed.

Woods has set the title bar so high, and at a remarkably early age. He’s reached his majors total three full years ahead of anyone else.

So – digesting all those numbers – who truly is the greatest?

Drum roll please….

Jim Toop

Jim Toop you say? Well this guy was a miracle soccer player up until grade 9 and than the beer started. Now he’s fat and milks cows.

Ok OK I’m kidding.

I have no idea who the greatest is and either should you…

But it is an interesting debate anyways huh?

Monday, September 11, 2006

NFL Starts

Last week I prattled on for an entire column explaining why I thought hockey and soccer was better than the NFL.

Now that the NFL is here… I say Stan, you ignorant slut.

That and the many hate mails and death threats I received from people. (Thanks Mom)
Before I go into me weekly tirade, I like to point out and say congratulations to my friend who got married over the weekend. I have never seen a bride with a better rake. My buddy Paul was parading her off like a show pony. Good luck with those fun bags.
The NFL is a masterpiece.

Tune in opening night Thursday and we get to see the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Miami Dolphins. Who is the underdog? According to betED.com – nobody. The first game is a pick-em and will be presented before our adoring eyes in a tight three-hour super-produced package. At the end of it all, the loser won’t have to start dreaming about next season. They have a chance to pick themselves up over the rest of this season and go for the Super Bowl.

NFL teams have to actually fight through a defined playoff system, which in itself is hard to get into Last season the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl was watched in an average of 45.85 million homes, the second-highest total in television history.
45.85 million homes can’t be wrong.

Now – the obligatory predictions. I figure the best way to discern who will win it all come next February 4th is to first decide who won’t...

You can dump Tennessee, St. Louis, Houston, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York Jets, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Oakland and San Francisco. If you are a fan, no offense… (Or defense for that matter).

Both Kansas and Arizona have plenty of the former, but little of the latter, so they’re both done. Except for Tom Brady, New England no-star moniker has finally come true. Out. Baltimore has Steve McNair now, so he should be injured by week two. Buh-bye. Maybe Miami? A weird stat is no home team has ever won a Super Bowl, and stats don’t lie. Both Jacksonville and Cincinnati’s owners must have said or done something wrong at the annual meetings, ‘cause their schedules are brutal. Tampa Bay has a great defense, but they are almost older than I am. Atlanta can run with their QB, but can’t stop anyone running at them. San Diego has the great LaDainian Tomlinson, but their QB is someone named Phillip Rivers.

Next goes the kiss of death teams. Carolina got the nod from Sports Illustrated - so they are goners. Seattle’s Shaun Alexander is on the cover of Madden 2007 – so he’ll be out before thanksgiving. Ben Roethlisberger is spending more time in the hospital than the practice field so the defending champs are toast. Terrell Owens is being Terrell Owens so the Cowboys aren’t going anywhere. Payton Manning is missing his running back and his brother hasn’t been to the post-season so the Colts and Giants are both finished.

So that leaves the Bears as the NFC Champions and Denver in the AFC.
The Bears have both the best and youngest defense in the NFL, but that won’t be enough for Jake Plummer and the balanced Broncos.

Denver 28 – Chicago 10

Sports once again became fun (wait till the Champions league or NHL starts)

Friday, June 16, 2006

World Cup: No major surprises so far

The first round of group action has been completed and all 32 participants now have a game under their belts. The round featured a little bit of everything but has yet to see a major upset which has been characteristic of past World Cups. A quick recap.

Pre-tournament favorites England, Argentina, Italy, Brazil and host Germany all won their openers with the South Americans particularly sharp against eager opponents. Germany has since won again with an extra-time goal against Poland to become the first team to advance to the knockout round.

Dark horses Ecuador, Mexico, Czech Republic and Spain were all impressive in their wins. The Czechs struck in the sixth minute against the U.S. and went on to spank the highly-touted Americans 3-0. The Matadors also tickled the twine in the early minutes to derail the Ukraine train 4-0.

Africa has had a tough tournament to this point losing all matchups until Tunisia was able to salvage a point with goal in the 92nd minute to earn a 2-2 tie with Saudi Arabia. In their defense, the teams from the Dark Continent couldn't have drawn worse opening round opponents and all played relatively well. The Ivory Coast was especially tough in losing 2-1 to Argentina with Chelsea sniper Didier Drogba notching the goal.

England, Holland and Italy were all lackluster in their wins, although all three super powers are battling injuries to significant starting players. Wayne Rooney (broken foot five weeks ago) could be cleared to play as early as today. The Italians simply need to convert some of their many chances.
The round's most shocking performance was turned in by Sweden who was a prohibitive favorite in their opener against Trinidad and Tobago but was held to a 0-0 draw. Almost funny to watch, the Swedes were out-hustled and bullied by the Soca Warriors. Even reduced to 10 men after a 46th minute red card, TNT had the better of play.

Australia showed guts, determination, and resilience in their 3-1 win over Japan. A horrible blown call by the referee, who missed a clear goalie obstruction foul in the box, put the Socceroos down 1-0 after 27 minutes. It remained that way through 83 minutes before the Aussies were able to score three times in the final seven minutes to secure the win.
The tournament's best goal to this point came in the World Cup opener between Costa Rica and Germany. It will likely be the most important goal to of the tournament for the punters as well.
In the 87th minute with Germany leading 3-2 (-1 1/2), German midfielder Torsten Frings unleashed a bomb from better than 35 meters that found a home in the upper right hand corner of the Tico goal. Keeper Jose Porras never had a chance of stopping the laser much to the chagrin of sports books who reported as much as 89 percent of their action coming on Germany.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

World Cup 2006 - First Round Predictions

As everyone may know World Cup is coming up on June 9. Thank God because we all know that one of my friends Jay Bergen has been masturbating on Wayne Rooney’s Jersey for the last 5 days. So please hurry up and play already

Please see bellow my comments about the World Cup.
Stats are important too. But soccer is probably the sport where stats are less important compared to other sports. A very bad team can win over a good team, and in Basketball, Volleyball, American Football, you don´t see these things... Let´s remember last World Cup when Argentina and France were out in the Group Stage. France lost to Senegal in the debut.... amazing.

Group A – Germany, Poland, Ecuador and Costa Rica
Germany will qualify and will win the group. Only a big shock will kick the Germans out. They must be considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup for their tradition and as they host the World Cup. Germany has not a good team. They have good Midfielders and Forwards but their defense is ridiculous in my opinion. But they are at home, with supporters help and they can do it. They reached final in 66, 74, 82, 86, 90, and 2002. So, from 66 to now, we had 10 World Cups and Germany reached the finals in 6 Tournments. More then 50%.
Press say that Poland is the favorite for the 2nd place in this group, but I don´t agree with it. In my personal opinion Ecuador can surprise and Costa Rica too. I don´t see Poland so much better than Ecuador and Costa Rica. Costa Rica is probably the worst team here, but they are FAST team and they will play all in defense going to counter attack. Ecuador has probably their best team in history, which is not superb, but it is good. They won Brazil and Argentina at home in the Qualifiers. That´s fine that during the qualifiers they had the super “friend” of high altitude in their home matches, and we know that play in high altitude cities is very hard to oponents who are not used to that.

I would bet GERMANY to win and ECUADOR to 2nd place

Group B – England, Sweden, Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago
England is the favorite here. But let´s remember that Rooney and Owen are still injured. Will they be ok for the World Cup? That´s a big doubt. England has probably one of their best squads for the World Cup. Good defense, and TREMENDOUS midfield with Lampard, Gerard, etc. If Owen and Rooney are recovered then England is one of my favorites to win the WC. Favorite to win the group too.

Trinidad and Tobago is terrible. They will lost all 3 matches. Only a big surprise will give them a point in the World Cup. That´s my opinion.

Sweden and Paraguay will fight for the 2nd place. Sweden is probably a little bit better but Paraguay has one of the best defensive systems of play. Paraguay is known as a team that can defend a lot. Their strikers are not too bad, so they can go faster to attack and score too. Paraguay has Roque Santa Cruz (From Bayern Munchen) as their best striker. Sweden has a strong way of play with fast forwarders too (Larson, Ibrahimovic). Sweden is better and may be the 2nd place, but it won´t be a surprise if they are kicked out by Paraguay.

England 1st Place, Sweden 2nd

Group C – Argentina, Holland, Serbia and Ivory Coast
The most difficult group of World Cup. All 4 teams are good. Even Ivory Coast is not bad. I consider them as the best African Team in this World Cup and let´s remember that some African team always make a surprise in the World Cup. Argentina and Holland can win the World Cup and for this reason they should be considered as favorite to qualify. Serbia can surprise as the team is also good and they won the Group of Spain in the WC Qualifiers. Serbian players are very good and they play a “latin way” of soccer, so different from European way.
Ivory Coast is a big doubt. They are the worst team if compared to all other 3 in this group, but as an example, they would be favorite to qualify if they were in Germany Group. They are better than Ecuador, Costa Rica and Poland. But if they play against Holland, Argentina and Serbia, they can surprise but they are not favorites.

Argentina come from a ridiculous 2002 World Cup and the team now MUST play better. Argies have a great team and can reach the Finals. Messi is still injured but Argentina guarantee he will play the World Cup. Holland always have a good team but Holland is known as a team that play very good but do everything to LOSE the match (hehehe). Normally they have problems between black and white players (two groups) and the relation between players can cause problems to them.

Argentina 1st , Serbia 2nd

Group D – Portugal, Mexico, Angola and Iran
Portugal and México must easily qualify.
I watched Angola in the African Nations Cup (January – February) and I didn´t like it. They played very bad and looked like very poor. Iran is a weak team too.
There is no doubt about the power of Portugal and Mexico in this group. Mexican soccer is growing a lot lately and one curiosity is that Brazil can´t win Mexico. In all the last matches or Mexico won, or they tied. Mexican soccer is rich now and the investments made their soccer better and better. Portugal has good players such as Figo, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Christiano Ronaldo but their best “player” is the coach LUIS FELIPE SCOLARI (Brazilian who won the World Cup 2002 for Brazil and who let Portugal to the final of Euro 2004). Scolari is known as a coach specialized in Cup matches and he can put this into the brain of the players. He does not have a team of 23 players, but a “family” of 23 persons that together can do anything. I won´t be surprised if Portugal reaches the FINALS of this World Cup.

Portugal 1st, Mexico 2nd

Group E – Italy, Czech Rep, USA, Ghana
It´s not an easy group but not hard too. Not easy to explain the situation here, but although I think that Italy and Czech Rep can easily qualify, I think that USA and Ghana can surprise.
Italy is the FAVORITE to win the World Cup in my personal opinion. They are strong in Europe, have a superb defensive way of play and have Midfielders and strikers that can decide a match. Czech Rep is very good too and can win this group. Czech has a fast team, with players with many skills and Pavel Nedved will be their man in the World Cup.

USA is playing their 5th World Cup in a row and they were ok in the last World Cup, winning over Portugal and going to the quarter finals (after beating Mexico in 1/8 round). They have also a good defensive way of play (as the defense is very important in all other American Sports, they do the same for the soccer). And Ghana, well... Ghana is a team that can be a surprise like Senegal was in the last World Cup. Ghana was ok in the African Nations Cup and showed that if their players are in a “good day” they can surprise. Strong players and fast too.

Italy 1st, Czech 2nd (let´s remember that 2nd place of this group will play BRAZIL in the 1/8 round if Brazil wins its Group)

Group F – Brazil, Croatia, Japan, Australia

Brazil is the big favorite in this group. I don´t consider Brazil favorite for the Championship as in all history JUST ONE TIME one team from other continent won the World Cup in Europe (Brazil won in 1958 in Sweden). But all other World Cups played in Europe was won by an European Country. It is not easy to win it inside Europe. Brazil is too favorite, too favorite, that I believe that they won´t win. And as it was wrotten above, Brazil will have probably a tremendous difficult 1/8 round match against Italy or Czech Rep.]

Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaka, Ronaldinho Gaucho are superb players. Robinho in the bench can decide too... But the defense of Brazil is not that good. Lucio, Juan, Luizão and Chris are not the dream defensive players of Brazilian supporters. The back wingers are very old (Cafu and Roberto Carlos), but I doubt that Parreira (Coach) will line up Cicinho and put Cafu in the bench.
Croatia is the favorite for the 2nd place and like Serbia, they have also a “latin way” of play soccer with many skill players. I like a lot the way Croatia played in the Qualifiers and Prso is a very tall and good player in their forward. But this is also an open group. Japan has a Brazilian coach (Zico), but although press consider them with chances, I think that they are the worst team of the Group. Australia may surprise. Mark Viduka, Kewell and other players who play in English soccer can surprise here. They have a very hard and fast way of play and I won´t be surprised if they qualify.

Brazil 1st, Croatia 2nd

Group G – France, Switzerland, South Korea and Togo
Like Group F, France is the big favorite here to qualify in the 1st place.
France has a good team, but I don´t consider them favorite. Zidane is not the same player of some years ago. Not so fast anymore, and with not so good phisical. Zidane is the guy that can make the difference if he is fit for the World Cup. Henry and Trezeguet are tremendous strikers and Henry is playing superb. But I have some doubt about France´s defense too. They can reach semifinals, quarterfinals, but I don´t bet them in a FINAL. I think that Brazil, Italy and Spain are better than France.

Switzerland qualified after beating Turkey in the playoffs of European qualifiers. Big surprise as Turkey is better. I will be different from all other here, but I don´t see Switzerland qualified in this group. South Korea and Togo will surprise over Switzerland. If I had to bet, I would bet South Korea to qualify as 2nd place. They are a fast team with good system of play, not skill players but they can do it. Some players already play in some good European clubs and now they are more experienced players. Let´s remember that South Korea reached semifinals in 2002 World Cup but they played at home.

Togo can surprise as they are an African team and they will run a lot. But I´ve watched them in African Nations Cup and I didn´t like what I see.

France 1st , South Korea 2nd

Group H – Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia
Spain and Ukraine will qualify here.
Tunisia and Saudi Arabia are very poor teams in my personal opinion. Saudi Arabia is the worst forsure, and Tunisia may surprise although I think it is very difficult.
I like the Spanish team. They have a young team with very good players. I don´t bet them to win the World Cup, but they will be a hard team to be beaten. Spain, like Holland, is a team that always fail in the moment of a win. Ukraine is a team that surprised in the qualifiers but I don´t see them reaching semifinals. Their best player, Schevchenko (from AC Milan) is injured but Ukraine believe that he will be fit for the World Cup.

Spain 1st , Ukraine 2nd

Friday, May 19, 2006

Toronto Blue Jays (J. Towers) @ Colorado Rockies (A. Cook)

Toronto Blue Jays (J. Towers) @ Colorado Rockies (A. Cook)
Friday, May 19, 2006 (9:00 ET)
Current Line: Colorado -130

My how times have changed! This starting pitching match-up looks like a mismatch, and it is the COLORADO pitcher that appears to have the huge advantage!Cook may be a modest 4-3, but he has an impressive 3.27 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 55 innings of work. Remarkably he has a lowly 2.79 ERA in four starts here in the altitude of Coors Field! Cook has six Quality Start out of eight total starts this season, and he allowed just four runs in each of the two non-Quality efforts. Also Cook is backed by what has been a surprisingly effective Colorado bullpen that has a nice collective ERA of 3.69.

Now Towers has some of the ugliest numbers of any starting pitcher in baseball. He is 1-7 overall with a hideous 8.45 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. As bad as those numbers sound, they are even worse on the road where he has a 9.38 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. Throw in the fact that this is the first start that Towers has ever made in Colorado, and the Rockies should keep the scoreboard operator very busy tonight!

I recommend a play on COLORADO ROCKIES -130.

Monday, May 15, 2006

AL Game of the Day Red Sox (Beckett) @ Orioles (Lopez)

Red Sox (Beckett) at Orioles (Lopez)

The Boston Red Sox should be relaxed Monday night when they face the Baltimore Orioles.
The BoSox opened a three-game set with the Texas Rangers on Friday evening after coming off an emotional 2-1 series victory over the rival New York Yankees.

The Rangers got out to a 6-0 lead when the game was called due to rain midway through the sixth inning. That was the last time the Red Sox were on the field because the remaining two games of the series were postponed.

Josh Beckett was scheduled to get the start for Boston on Sunday, but will now get the call Monday in Baltimore.

Beckett has a respectable 4-1 record, but a slightly inflated 4.70 ERA. The Sox are 4-3 overall when Beckett has started.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander was solid in his last outig, allowing just three runs on six hits over seven innings in a 14-3 victory over the Yankees.

Beckett will not get a break against the Orioles, who are hitting .293 versus right-handed starting pitchers.

Red Sox hitters will be licking their chops over the pitcher they are scheduled to face. Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez has a 1-5 record and a fat 7.03 ERA. The Orioles are 3-5 when Lopez has started.

Baltimore pitchers have a collective 5.57 ERA, second worst in baseball behind the woeful Kansas City Royals.

The Red Sox, 7-3 in their past 10 games, have beaten Baltimore in six previous meetings this season. Boston was favored in all six games, with the ‘total’ getting split.

Lopez has faced the Red Sox twice and has lost both times. He yielded four runs on eight hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss during his first start. He also allowed four runs on nine hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-3 loss during the rematch.

Beckett has not started against the O’s this season.

Friday, May 05, 2006

NHL Playoffs

in NHL hockey could one single position player dictate the play and even the result of a playoff series. That player of course is the goaltender.

The first round of the playoffs is now complete, and goaltending certainly was the storyline.
We’d be remiss by not starting with the New Jersey Devils and their four-game demolition of the New York Rangers. The sweep may not have been as surprising as the 17-4 aggregate score. Future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur was brilliant stopping all but four shots, with three of the Rangers’ goals coming on the power play.

The Devils have now won 15-straight and Brodeur has stopped 139 of the last 146 shots he’s faced. In his three previous Stanley Cup triumphs, Brodeur has Mariano Rivera-type credentials when given a lead, so the Devils will have to be considered prohibitive favorites in their second round match up with Carolina despite splitting the season series 2-2.

The Canes had their bacon saved by backup goalie Cam Ward. After allowing 12 goals and losing their opening two home games to Montreal, Ward replaced starter Martin Gerber and won four-straight allowing just six goals with a save percentage of better than 94 percent. Ward also won four one-goal games, three in overtime.

Both finalists in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, Tampa Bay and Calgary are now playing golf. Tampa Bay was completely outclassed by the Ottawa Senators in their match up, perhaps the only series where Goaltending was not a factor.

Senator goaltender Ray Emery was shaky throughout the series allowing the Lightning 13 goals in five games. Tampa Bay was unable to stave of the Ottawa offensive onslaught however, allowing 23 goals with John Grahame the sacrificial lamb.

Teargas wouldn’t have kept the Senators out of the Lightning defensive end but Ottawa will have to be much sharper against a much more disciplined Buffalo Sabre outfit. The Sabres dispatched the Philadelphia Flyers in six games winning the final two 3-0 and 7-1.

Ryan Miller was sharp with his 2.16 goals against average and turning back 155 of 168 shots. He’ll have his work cut out for him as with the Ottawa shooting gallery coming to town. Ottawa won the high-scoring season series 5-3 with both teams lighting the lamp and average of seven times per game.

(Tomorrow, Part II, Western Conference)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Free Pick of the Day

Detroit at Edmonton
Edmonton -160

Detroit looks slow old but still pass the puck around the go get them Edmonton Oilers. This is good game to pick the Underdog for all betters. Despite being down 3-2 in the series the Red Wings has passed the pucks with so much efficiency it looks like a game of keep away but Edmonton is at home and will try as hard as possible not to go back to Joe Louis. Experience trumps youth in tonight's game.

Detroit are 12-3-0 in their last 15 vs. Northwest and Under is 20-6-2 in DET last 28 Mon. games and are 39-15-0 in their last 54 overall.

Edmonton are are 2-6-0 in their last 8 games following a win and Under is 6-2-1 in EDM last 9 home games.EDM are 8-21-0 in their last 29 playoff games.

All you have to do is look at the number of Stanley Cup rings on the players fingers.This will go to a game seven.

Play on the Detroit on the Moneyline

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NHL versus NBA

Ten reasons why NBA playoff games are better on TV than hockey:

1. The stars come out. NBA playoff games are either won or lost by the best players on the team. Players that you know who, when the win is on the line, they are the go-to guys or goats. In the NHL the hero of the game is rarely the face of the team. Usually it’s just some guy who that night happened to score the big goal.

2. Games are over fast and if there is overtime, it’s short and sweet - and if it ends in a tie, there is just another short sweet overtime.

3. Playoff officiating allows the games to take on a new dimension of toughness. Seeing the chosen one, Lebron James, in full whine mode and completely taken out of his game after facing actual post-season body contact for the first time gives the second season of hoops a great added dimension.

4. Hubie Brown.

5. Back when the NHL had Gretzky, every playoff game with him was required viewing due to his mind-numbing creativity. He’s gone but the NBA’s got that now with another Canadian, the MVP Steve Nash.

6. The schedule is genius. The start times are staggered allowing you to see the starts and finishes of up to three games a night and four on the weekend.

7. With the games on so many networks, you only have to hear Bill Walton occasionally now.

8. Dance packs.

9. Star vs. Star. Each series has a built in head-to-head matchup between the best players. Forget the teams, in the first round we’re all watching Kobe vs. Nash and Arenas vs. James.

10. Charles Barkley.

Ten reasons why the NHL playoffs are better TV than squeak, squeak, swish:
1. Upsets. With parity, there are no “sure thing” series in hockey. Each one is up for grabs the second the puck drops. Detroit had the best record in the NHL, yet they are facing elimination in the first round against the Oilers who made it to the playoffs on the last regular season weekend.

2. In my humble opinion, there is only one play more exiting in all of sports than a NHL playoff series-winning goal in overtime. (I’ll let you know what tops the list the next time it happens.)

3. Hitting. The refs are letting the boys go, and unlike in the regular season, when guys get hit, they get up (if they can) and just keep on playing.

4. Fox isn’t covering it.

5. For the first time, the games are being broadcast in Hi Definition and for the first time watching hockey on the tube is almost as good as seeing it live. Almost.

6. Pierre McGwire. If you haven’t heard him explain hockey yet, tune in an NBC broadcast, because it’ll be worth it. He’s the voice of hockey for TSN in Canada and is now working the post-season for the American national audience.

7. NHL players are nice.

8. Fighting. Once upon a time, the NHL was plagued by this sideshow. However with the rule changes, the goons are gone and in the post-season, due to the penalties counting for so much more, fighting is very, very rare. So when one does break out, you know its for a good reason, and since it is so rare, it shouldn’t be missed.

9. The toughest championship grind in sports is the Stanley Cup playoffs. For a team to win, first they have to survive.

10. Don Cherry.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hot playoff goalies

In most professional sports, the reward for having a successful regular season is a higher seed in the playoffs. That ultimately results in a home field advantage of an extra game being played in “your house.”

In basketball, home court is often the ultimate decider. In fact, since the NBA instituted it’s current 16 team format, the higher seed has advanced out of the first round 70 percent of the time and 82 percent of all Game 7’s have been won by the home team.

It’s not always that way in hockey. Home ice in the NHL playoffs is less important than any other sport. That’s because a series in other sports usually is not decided by a single position player. That’s not the case in hockey where a red-hot goalie will take precedence over home ice advantage.

It happens almost every year. Some No. 6 seed’s goalie catches fire and stands on his head night after night as his team advances against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Neither of this year’s NHL top seeds, Ottawa out of the East and Detroit out of the West, has dominating goaltending. The Senators got off to a brilliant start behind the Dominik Hasek. However, the ‘Dominator” has not played since the Olympics. Ray Emery, his replacement, is just 14-11-4 after setting an NHL record for winning his first nine starts.

The Red Wings had the best record in the league and won the President’s Trophy. The team’s 124 points was a full 12 points ahead of the second-place Senators. Though Detroit starting goalie Manny Legace was third in save percentage, he is an unknown quantity with the money of the line.

A list of goaltenders that could help their respective teams capture the Stanley Cup appears below.

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)
Brodeur, who has already won three Stanley Cups, led the league in wins with 43. He’s also currently playing his best hockey of the year. The Devils trailed the Rangers by 19 points on Feb. 1 before winning their final 11 games.

Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames)
Kiprusoff burst onto the scene in 2004 by leading the upstart Flames to the Cup finals. The Fin has had a tremendous year this year with 42 wins, a league leading 2.09 goals against average and an incredible 10 shutouts. Calgary has significantly more offense and defense than it had in its 2004 run.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
Giguere was impenetrable in leading Ducks to the 2003 Cup Finals where they lost in Game 7. Despite the loss, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP). Giguere sports 30 wins, a 2.77 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Free Picks of the Day - NHL Playoffs

NHL San Jose @ Nashville
Many believe the story of this series will be the absence of Preds goalie Tomas Vokoun. A more telling sign with be the parade (or lack of) to the penalty box in this series. The sharks come into the playoffs as one of the most disciplined teams while Nashville is on the polar end of that as they are the 3rd worst in the league for PIM. With that being said, defense wins cups and both clubs should play the opening game close to the vest and provide us with a low scoring affair. The sharks have gone under 6 of their last 9 overall and 5 of their last 6 on the road. Nashville meanwhile has gone under 16 of the last 23 overall. As a matchup, 4 of the last 5 meetings have gone under. 2-1 or 3-2 final tonight as we find value and cash in on the under in game 1.Play on: Under 6

NHL Playoffs - First Round
Anaheim Mighty Ducks @ Calgary Flames
Friday, April 21, 2006 (10:00 ET)
Current Total: 5 u15

These teams went UNDER in all three meaningful head-to-head meetings during the regular season, and playoff games are generally even tighter checking and lower scoring.Yes these teams went OVER in a 4-3 Ducks victory in the regular season finale, but that was nothing more than an exhibition game with both teams having their playoff positions sewn up. The previous three meetings averaged just a combined 4.0 goals, with none of those games exceeding five goals. We expect nothing differently tonight as Calgary is the best defensive team in the league. Thanks to the combination of a stiff Flames defense and the world class goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary allowed just 2.35 goals per game for the entire season. Moreover, that average dropped to a miniscule 1.71 goals per game at home, where Flames games averaged a combined 4.34 goals, by far the lowest combined home average in the NHL.Anaheim also played well defensively all year allowing 2.71 goals per game and the Ducks allowed slightly fewer goals on the road (2.66). The UNDER went 23-15, 60.5 percent in all Anaheim road games this season, as well as an incredible 28-10, 73.7 percent in Calgary home games, and we think these teams will be hard-pressed to exceed four goals combined tonight with so much at stake.

We recommend a play on DUCKS/FLAMES UNDER 5 -115.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And You Thought Poker Players Were Honest....

I had a conversation with Barry Greenstein today. Barry’s been very gracious with his time in answering questions for me on occasion over the last half-year. This time around, I left a message for him asking for some thoughts on Puggy Pearson. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know that Puggy passed away a few days ago.

Barry gave me a lot of information with permission to post it here. The most shocking revelation to come out of the conversation was that while Puggy was enormously proud of his 1973 World Championship, he should have won the previous year also.

The ’72 championship was down to three players; Pearson, who was more or less the king of the Vegas poker world, Doyle Brunson, then the usurper to Johnny Moss’ Texas throne, and Amarillo Slim, the aw shucks-con man/pool hustler/road gambler. Doyle and Puggy wanted no part of the title; it would prove to be a tax burden, and for Doyle, who comes from a Christian family, it would be seen as a dubious honor. An agreement was struck that saw Doyle drop out for his cut of the pot, while Puggy would ‘play out the final, agreeing to fold at opportune moments so Slim could take the title in front of the cameras.

Slim and Pearson started playing and good to his word, Pug folded the winning cards in key moments in order to throw the match. Slim, always a showman, celebrated his “bluffs” by turning his rags over and showing them off to the crowd, which didn’t sit too well. It was what came after Slim’s victory that really hurt.

Carrying the crown with him, Slim made the rounds, appearing on the Tonight Show and other mainstream outlets. The exposure gave organized poker its first major dose of public attention, and Slim got a lot of credit for that attention. Of course, Puggy realized that could have been him. He spent a good part of the rest of his life celebrating the Series, showing up in costume, regaling spectators with stories and even wallpapering his home with Series news clippings and the like.

In addition to his win, Pearson was Vegas’ dominant poker player at the turn of the seventies, the first non-Texan to take the championship and the possible creator of the freezeout. Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 will go down as a day on which poker lost one of its pioneers. R.I.P. Pug,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wheres the Pitching

After two weeks of major league baseball action, all of the talk here in Las Vegas is about the high scoring games.

We're not talking about high scoring games just in a few particular ballparks, or with a few pitchers. It's happening EVERYWHERE to EVERYONE! The scoreboards have already lit up in great pitcher's parks in San Diego, Washington, Los Angeles and Detroit. Ace pitchers with great career ERA's look like they're throwing batting practice. And, if you put back-end pitchers on the field in a hitter's park, the sky's the limit!

What's going on and what should handicappers do about it?

First, let's keep our heads on straight. Two weeks doesn't prove anything. I've heard people say that the balls are definitely juiced. I've heard a few people say that global warming is causing an unseasonably temperate spring in the northern cities. I've heard people say that the muscle contingent has uncovered a "new" steroid that doesn't trigger positive tests. These kinds of conspiracy theories are famous for making Las Vegas sports books rich.

Don't make the mistake of betting because you've seen some weird scores in the first couple of weeks. This stuff happens all the time. You're just paying more attention than normal because everything that happens right at the beginning of a sports season is under the microscope. Let's study this high scoring phenomenon for a few more weeks before drawing firmer conclusions.
I'm not going to a full scale ‘over’ strategy right now. But, I can tell you what key factors I'm examining.

The early warning signs for steroid use in past seasons brought about this category. Abnormal spikes in production basically announced that something was going on.

The temperatures did warm up quickly this year, particularly in many of the day games up north. Also worth noting, the wind was blowing out in many of the high scoring games this past week. If the home runs stop once the wind does, then much of the mystery will be solved.

This is where you'll first see a return to normalcy. If we don't start seeing gems soon when the top of the rotation is on the mound, then something is definitely up. We'll still see high scoring games when rag arms are throwing. But if the big name guys still have ERA's over 4.50 at the end of April…we'll have very strong evidence that we need to devise some handicapping adjustments.

For now, I'm watching the scoreboards and these items very closely. I've made some minor tweaks already that have served me well. I can tell you for sure that these high scoring games caught the oddsmakers napping. You barely saw an increase at all in the posted totals even when the wind was blowing out in great hitting parks.

How can we take advantage if we determine that the offense will continue? A variety of ways appear below.

Most simply, playing the ‘over’ wherever there's value. It could turn out that's more in the pitcher's parks than the hitter's parks because the adjustment will be slowest there. It could turn out that we only get involved when the forecast has the wind blowing out. I've already got these early results logged from a variety of perspectives.

Play UNDERDOGS with home run potential. Outside factors that promote offense often serve as an equalizer in baseball. The differences between best and worst most likely involve pitching. Anything that lessens the impact of pitchers rewards underdogs.

Play SLUGGING TEAMS when they match up against "small ball" teams. Last year's Chicago White Sox were mischaracterized a bit as a "small ball" team when they won the title. They had power too. But there are some teams that decided to rebuild themselves in the "small ball" mode on the assumption that steroid testing would take power out of the game. If the power is back in, those teams will be in big trouble.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Free Pick of the Day - Blue Jays Versus Red Soxs

Toronto Blue Jays (T. Lilly) @ Boston Red Sox (M. Clement)
Thursday, April 13, 2006 (7:00 ET)
Current Total: 10 o15

Matt Clement can be as nasty as any pitcher in the American League when he is on, while Ted Lilly seems to save his best outings for when he faces the Red Sox.In fact, Lilly has now posted an amazing six consecutive Quality Starts vs. Boston! He has a miniscule 1.85 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over those outings, and unlike many other southpaws, the Fenway Park Green Monster in left field has not intimidated him. Lilly has allowed just three runs in 12 2/3 innings in his last two starts here in Boston, and a case can be made that the Boston offense is not as imposing this year as in past seasons without Johnny Damon setting the table.

Now Clement was touched up for four runs on nine hits in his seasonal debut, but keep in mind that he was staked to a huge lead and he still got the win in a 14-8 Boston victory. He did have seven strikeouts in seven innings in that contest in Baltimore as opposed to just one walk, so he did have good command of his pitches and probably would have had a better game line had he not tried to avoid walking people with a big lead.

We recommend a play on BLUE JAYS/RED SOX UNDER 10 -105.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Baseball Prop bets

Looking to make a future bet for the upcoming baseball season but don't want to tie up the bankroll until October? Palms bet boss Richie Baccellieri has solved that conundrum by posting propositions on which team will have the most wins at the All-Star break.

That's just one of several interesting baseball betting opportunities offered at the popular Las Vegas venue. The Palms has the usual bill of fare with odds on the World Series and the pennant and division races. But Baccellieri has also posted odds on which slugger will hit the most home runs and which pitcher will have the most victories.

The half-season win props offer head-to-head matchups between teams playing in the same city, as well as traditional rivalries.

One of the most popular props figures to be the one that features the fiercest rivals of them all, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Yankees fans have to lay three games and $1.25 to win $1.00 if they think their team is going to have a better record than the Red Sox at the All-Star break.

The Bronx Bombers are a bigger favorite over the Mets, the other guys in the Big Apple. One has to lay 3 1/2 games and $1.15 to win $1.00 to wager on the Yankees having more wins at intermission than the Mets.

The Chicago White Sox have received a lot of attention from bettors in their matchup against their cross-town rivals the Cubs. The defending champs opened at minus -4 (minus $1.20) over their Wrigley Field neighbors. However,that number has moved to $1.35.

The Cubs also aren't getting much respect against St. Louis. The Cardinals hit the board at minus -4 (minus $1.10) and they are now listed at $1.25.

There are 26 different matchup opportunities for this particular prop, including the Dodgers/Angels, Astros/Rangers, Angels/ White Sox and Giants/A's.

Though Atlanta's Andruw Jones led the majors last season with 51 home runs, the Braves slugger isn't favored to defend his title in Baccellieri's book. That honor goes to Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.

Rodriguez, who led the American League last season with 48 long flies, hit the board as co-favorite with St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols at 7/1. Pujols' odds have been increased to 10/1 to attract action, while the odds on Rodriguez have dropped to 4/1.

The top-10 home run hitters last season are all back at the top of the list in 2006. They are joined this year by Barry Bonds and Jim Thome, who both spent the better part of last year on the sidelines. The controversial Bonds opened at 12/1, but is currently 16/1. Thome, peddled to the White Sox this winter, is available at 18/1.

Mark Teixeria of Texas (12/1 down to 9/1), David Ortiz of Boston (16/1 to 8/1), Adam Dunn of Cincinnati (18/1 to 12/1) and Derek Lee of the Cubs (25/1 to 15/1) have attracted a good deal of action. Cincinnati's Ken Griffey, Jr. has also been a popular play, dropping from 35/1 to 22/1.
Toronto's Roy Halladay is the favorite at The Palms to finish the season with the most victories. The Jays ace was headed for a Cy Young caliber season in 2005 until he was sidelined with an injury. Halladay opened at 12/1 and is currently listed at 13/2.

Minnesota's Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez of the Mets opened as co-favorites at 8/1, but both are currently available at 10/1. Houston's Roy Oswalt is the second choice in the betting, dropping from 10/1 to 8/1.

Chris Carpenter was second behind Willis last year with 21 wins, and early bird bettors are expecting more of the same. The St. Louis ace hit the board at 20/1, but that quickly dropped to 10/1. Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs, who pitched better last season than his 14-6 record indicates, went from 22/1 to 12/1.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Joke of the Day

Tommy C an 80 year old man is having his annual checkup. The doctor asks him how he’s feeling. "I’ve never been better," he replies. "I’ve got a twenty two year old bride who’s pregnant with my child!

What do you think about that?"

The doctor considers this for a moment, then says, "Well, let me tell you a story. I know a guy who’s an avid hunter. He never misses a season. But, one day he’s in a bit of a hurry and he accidentally grabs his umbrella instead of his gun. So he’s walking in the woods near a creek and suddenly spots a beaver in some bush in front of him. He raises up his umbrella, points it at the beaver and squeezes the handle...

*BAM* The beaver drops dead in front of him." "That’s impossible!" said the old man in disbelief, "Someone else must have shot that beaver."


Friday, March 24, 2006

Pick Your Nose Like Nobody’s There

Coming from a small town where the local business for young people seems to be breeding; our town slogan should be Chilliwack: Teen age pregnancy capital of Canada. I mean most of the people I have graduated with are married and pumping out offspring like a Pez dispenser. Most of them have never stepped out of the city limits as if they would catch on fire the moment they cross town outskirts. I don’t like people wearing my socks let only dating someone that my friend has dated before.

I must tell the readers I’m pretty much a jerk. I mean I hate everyone. You name it I hate. The only saving grace in my life is my dog otherwise I think I would be dating Bubba in cell block D and selling smokes for protection.

Stepping out of myself onto a metaphysical state I have come to appreciate kids more and more these days. I mean, I must have some kids around somewhere in the world. I just assume they will be contacting me when they turn 18 and are looking for money.

My recent foray into the lighter side of humanity is the fact that one friend just recently had a baby girl who is way cuter than my friend (who is famous for his gigantic sack. I’ll let the readers visualize this image). Thanks God genetics is a mad scientist, though his mom is quite a catch so that might explain the cutest of the little girl.

My recent friend’s ability to spawn and my recent viewing of 6 year olds play soccer across my apartment has made me less cynical towards life and sports in recent days. Though I am starting to warm to kids I do like playing with them but when the big hand hit the 12 on the clock I go home.

Amidst all this cuteness arises the most ugly aspect of sports. The sports parent. Nothing worse than middle aged men living vicariously through there children. The saddest thing in the world is trying to live through your child vicariously with your shattered expectation draped upon them. I mean less than 1% of the people ever make it to the pros. Come on parents you really think you have a shot. If you were not recruited by the universities and play on some beer league team as a means of sport glory; get a life.

The world is full aware of these people as they grow up. For example.
Albert Belle
Tanya Harding
Theron Fleury Barry Bonds
Terral OwensKenny Rogers

For the love of god don’t let your kids grow up to be Tanya Harding unless you want you sons and daughter to dance on a pole for a living.
Aside from the pushy parents and very hot soccer moms (or as I like to call them yummy mummies) there is a true meaning of sport: The Children. Yes the children are our future; corny as it seems watching 6 year old kids play any sports can warm the cockles of even the hardest men.

I must have watched those kids play for over an hour. No systems, no technique, no plans or schemes, just a bunch of midgets following a soccer ball around with the exception of that one boy picking flowers, his nose and dancing (now that’s multi tasking). I think I might have spotted the next Rudi Gulindi.

The purest sense of sports is having fun without the media, criticism or fan backlash. No one is going to yell at the kid for picking his nose because that’s the way he plays. He is not worried about the fans, parents or coaches. He is having fun without monetary compensation.

Watching, wagering and critiquing sports have made the world into one big asshole, with opinion which may or not be valid. I say no profession athlete should get paid to play sports which would only create players that play for the love of the game. Of course this would be the best case scenario for a utopian world and I know for sure that the world is full of losers living vicariously through their children. Pushing them to play a game they no longer love.

I know my friend will be better parent than that; he has to be since his really had no sports expectations to begin with. Though a good soccer player I’m and sure he won’t push his kid like some of the parents we see on TV but in event he is I have child services on speed dial.

So I say to all of the professional athletes, Sunday warriors, and Olympics athletes;

Pick your nose like nobody’s there cause that what I will pay to see.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Free Pick of the Day - Edmonton Oilers @ Vancouver

Edmonton Oilers @ Vancouver Canucks
under 6.5
Thursday March 23rd 2006

The Vancouver Canucks enter into this home contest having only scored more than 3 goals two times in their 11 times to the ice and have failed to eclipse the total in 9 of those contests ! The Edmonton Oilers have not scored more than 3 goals in their L/11 games overall.

The Oilers have combined to score with their opponents an average 5.3 GPG on the road this season! Needless to say both teams offenses are currently not been performing very efficiently! With that said and considering the opening Total attached this contest it will be easy for me to recommend a conservative wager on the UNDER!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Day One of the 2006 men's tournament featured a little of everything. There were blowouts, close calls for some high seeds, some pointspread 'nightmares' and as always, upsets. The NCAA defines a major upset as the winner being seeded five or more places beneath the loser. Using that definition, Montana and Texas A&M's wins (both 12-seeds) over Nevada and Syracuse (both five-seeds) fit the bill, as does Wisconsin-Milwaukee's (11-seed) win over sixth-seed Oklahoma. Alabama's (10) win over Marquette (7), falls short.

As far as pointspread upsets go, only Montana's win over Nevada is of note. The Wolf Pack opened a seven-point favorite in that game and were bet down to 5 1/2. Oklahoma was a three or 3 1/2 point favorite over Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette a two-point choice over Alabama, so neither of those outcomes should be considered much of a surprise. In the case of the Texas A&M/Syracuse game, Syracuse opened a one-point choice but A&M closed a one or 1 /2-point favorite.

Texas A&M and Montana's upsets came in the now-famous (or infamous) 5/12 matchups. Washington (also a five-seed), avoided the curse by beating 12th-seeded Utah State, 75-61. The last of the four 5/12 matchups will be played tonight at 7:10 ET, when Pittsburgh takes on Kent State. Pitt, the five-seed, is favored by 6 1/2 points.

Duke was the only one of the four No. 1 seeds in action on Thursday and the Blue Devils did little to dispel the notion that they are no more than a two-man team. Redick and Williams each scored 29 points, accounting for all but 12 of Duke's points in an uninspiring 70-54 win over Southern. The remaining three No. 1 seeds (U Conn, Villanova and Memphis) all play Friday.

Three high seeds, No. 2 Tennessee. No. 3 Gonzaga and No. 4 Boston College, were lucky to win. Tennessee needed an off-balance jumper by Lofton with 2.9 seconds left to get by 15th-seeded Winthrop. Gonzaga, a three-seed, needed a late comeback and a 35-point effort from Adam Morrison to get past Xavier (14), 79-75. The win extended the Bulldogs' winning streak to a nation-best 19 games but it should be noted that the team is just 7-12 ATS in those wins.

As for BC, the Eagles trailed Pacific (13) 71-65 with just under three minutes to go but somehow forced OT. Pacific also took a six-point lead in the first OT but again BC tied it. In the second OT, the Eagles outscored the Tigers 14-2, leaving Pacific bettors (at plus-eight) shaking their heads. It was not fun to have had NC-Wilmington, either. The Seahawks were 2 1/2 or three-point underdogs versus George Washington but led 64-46 with 11:11 left in regulation. GW used a 19-0 run to help send the game into OT and then Wilmington blew an 85-81 lead with 2:06 left, before losing 88-85!

Day One also had its share of blowouts as Wichita State began the day with an easy 86-66 win over Seton Hall, Florida had little trouble with South Alabama (76-50) and UCLA posted the day's largest margin of victory, beating Belmont by 34 points (78-44).

The Big East set a record on Sunday when it received eight bids but it was hardly a good day for its schools. Besides Seton Hall and Syracuse losing, Marquette lost to Alabama (90-85), giving the Big East an 0-3 Thursday. Alabama's win gave the SEC a perfect 4-0 day (Fla, LSU and Tenn also won), while the ACC (Duke and BC), the Big-10 (Illinois and Indiana) and the Pac-10 (UCLA and Washington) all went 2-0.

There are 32 more first round games Friday (all on CBS), beginning with Davidson vs Ohio State (12:15 ET) and ending with the latest scheduled tip-off, UAB versus Kentucky at about 9:45 ET.

The NIT is also playing, although it's hardly getting much ink. After home teams went just 4-4 SU (3-5 ATS) in the tourney's eight opening round games on Tuesday, home teams have ruled the day in the first round. Wednesday, home teams went 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS and last night, were a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS! Of note, all four visiting teams last night were playing their second game in three days, while the home team was playing for the first time.

The NIT's first of four No. 1 seeds played last night, as Michigan beat UTEP, 82-67. Two more No. 1 seeds play tonight, Louisville hosting Delaware State at 7:00 ET (Cards are favored by 16 points) and Cincinnati hosting NC-Charlotte at 8:00 ET (Bearcats are favored by 6 1/2 points.) Again in tonight's action, all four visiting teams will be playing their second games while the home teams are playing for the first time. Tonight however, the visitors do have an extra day of rest. The NIT's final No. 1 seed (Maryland) plays tomorrow for the first time, four days after the tournament began!

Miami came back from a 25-point deficit last night against the Celtics (trailed 59-34 in the second quarter) to win, 107-104. It matched the league's largest comeback win this year. Miami has now won 13 of 14 games and is a season-high 22 games above .500 at 43-21. However, the Heat are in no danger of catching the Pistons, as they trail Detroit by 8 1/2 games in the Eastern Conference.

Seattle beat Philly last night (anyone care?) and despite Kevin Garnett's 22nd consecutive double-double (he owns a league-best 51 on the year!), the T-wolves lost to the Warriors, 105-97. It marks Minnesota's seventh straight loss (tying New Orleans for the longest current losing streak), its eighth straight road loss and its 21st loss in its last 24 road games!

Tonight's NBA schedule contains 11 games, highlighted by Ron Artest's return to Indianapolis (Kings at Pacers) and a huge Western Conference showdown, the Suns at the Spurs. The Kings lost their first two games with Artest but have since gone a remarkable 15-5 SU and 16-3-1 ATS! At 33-31, the Kings are now in the 7th playoff spot out West, just two games behind Memphis. as for the Pacers, they occupy the East's sixth playoff spot, 4 1/2 games inside the "cut line." The game tips at 7:05 ET and the Kings are favored by 1 1/2 points with a total of 194.

The Spurs recently beat the Suns in Phoenix 117-93, but Nash missed that game, as did Barbosa. Phoenix comes into this game winners of 14 of their 16 and with a record of 19-10 (19-9-1 ATS) on the road. The Spurs have gone 23-5 since losing to Detroit back on Jan 12 and are 28-4 at home this year, although just 17-15 ATS. San Antonio is favored by 5 1/2 points (205 1/2).

Buy your picks at Who2beton or at Don Best

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Final Four Notes and Final Four Picks

NCAA tournament notesEveryone knows that No. 1 seeds have never lost a first round game (84-0) and that just four No. 2 seeds have lost in the first round. However, while the top-two seeds may be 55-1 SU the last seven years, they have gone just 29-27 ATS! Favorites have posted losing pointspread records in each of the last five years in the NCAA's first round (including the play-in game). The closest they came to a winning mark was in 2002, when they went 17-16, or minus-.6 units!

Overall, favorites are just 73-91-1 ATS the last five years."Non-board" teams have posted a respectable 50-47-2 ATS the last six years, including a 17-10 mark the last two years! Among the six "power conferences", Big-10 teams have been the best favorites, going 24-14-1 ATS since 2001, while SEC teams own the worst mark, going just 12-28 ATS when favored.

However, SEC 'dogs' have posted a 9-5 ATS mark, just ahead of Big East dogs, which have gone 15-9. Teams out of the CAA have gone 5-1-1 ATS the last five years with MVC teams not far behind, posting a 9-2-1 ATS mark.Over the last 15 years, the title has been won 12 times by a school from either the ACC, Big East or SEC. Only two Pac-10 teams, UCLA in 1995 and Arizona in 1997 plus Michigan State of the Big-10 in 2000, have broken through. While all four No. 1 seeds have never made it to the Final Four in the same year (seeding began in 1979), only one Final Four has been played without a single No. 1 seed. That was in 1980, when Louisville (a two-seed) beat UCLA (an eight-seed) in the national title game. The two other Final Four teams that year were Iowa (5) and Purdue (6).

The Pistons won 105-98 in Toronto last night and at 51-12, continue to own the NBA's best record. The Mavericks won 95-81 in Houston and upped their NBA-best road record to 22-9 and more importantly, moved a half-game up on the idle Spurs (51-14 to 50-14). The Rockets are now 2-16 in games without McGrady.

The Suns easily took care of the Clippers, winning 126-95, a night after scoring 129 points in Seattle. Phoenix leads the Clippers by 7 1/2 games in the Pacific Division and at 108.4 PPG, is the league's highest scoring team again this year. Even without the injured Stoudemire (not to mention the traded Johnson and Richardson), Phoenix is averaging a mere two PPG less than last year's 110.4 PPG average. The Suns also own a plus-6.9 PPG differential, the third-best figure in the league and only slightly lower than the plus-7.1 PPG they posted last year.

While the Magic entered last night's home game with the Jazz having lost 19 of their previous 23 games and the Knicks entered their home game with the Hawks losers of 24 of 28, both teams won. Orlando beat Utah 114-108 in overtime and New York edged Atlanta 121-117 in double-overtime. Things did not go as well for two other struggling teams, the T-wolves and the Blazers. While Minnesota did cover in its 95-92 loss to the Lakers, it marked the team's sixth straight loss, its seventh straight on the road and its 20th in its last 23 road games!

The Blazers lost in New Jersey to the Nets, 78-65. The league's lowest scoring team (88.4 PPG) had scored just 66 points the night before in a loss to the Bulls but outdid themselves in this one. Portland scored just five fourth-quarter points against the Nets, the second-worst 4th quarter in NBA history. Almost unbelievably, the Warriors scored just two points in the 4th quarter of a game against the Raptors back on Feb 8, 2004.

It's a short three-game card in tonight's NBA, including a TNT doubleheader. The Celtics are in Miami to take on the Heat at 8:05 ET and the T-wolves continue their road trip in Oakland against the Warriors at 10:35 ET. Opposite a busy NCAA tournament schedule, one wouldn't expect much interest in these rather ordinary matchups. However, that's why God created pointspreads! The Heat are favored by nine points (208) and the Warriors are favored by six points (199).

Here are my opening day picks for hte final four


Are pigs flying? Has hell frozen over? Is it raining cats and dogs? I find myself answering the word "No" to all three questions, yet find myself scratching my head as to why the Tom Izzo led Michigan State Spartans are laying less than a couple of buckets to the George Mason Patriots. That being said, the lines low for a reason, and that's because A. GM is a damn good basketball team, and B. the Spartans have underachieved all season long. Mason won its first CAA regular-season championship since 1999-2000 and matched its school-best record of 23 wins set in 2003-04. Now, the Patriots have a chance to prove themselves against the 21-11 Spartans that edged them 66-60 in the consolation round of last year's BB&T Classic at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Its 11th seed is the highest ever for a Patriots team and the highest for a CAA team since UNC Wilmington was an 11th seed back in '03. HC Jim Larranaga will be without the services of second leading scorer PG Tony Skinn after giving Loren Stokes of Hofstra a groin blow late in their game a few weeks back, but the Patriots are deep enough and match up well to really give the Spartans a ruin for their money shorthanded. This lines low for a reason people, and the Spartans might suffer a groin blow of their own if their not careful. Grab the points!!!

ORAL ROBERTS (+12') VS. MEMPHIS 2:50 ET Dallas, TX

Friday's game marks Oral Roberts first NCAA Tournament appearance in 22 years, as they dropped a 92-83 opening round decision to the same Tiger program in Memphis during the 1984 tourney. This is a squad that played the likes of 5 tourney participants this season that includes Oklahoma, Marquette, Montana, Utah State, and Monmouth (whom they beat by a 62-54 count in the Great Alaska Shoot-out). They lost to a very sound Utah State team by 5 in OT, by a triple at Marquette, and by 8 at Oklahoma. The Golden Eagles, led by seventh year HC Scott Sutton, enter the tournament winners in 13 of their last 15 contests including a three-game sweep of the Mid-Con Tournament to punch their ticket to the dance. There's no doubt that Memphis is the superior team in this match-up, but the Tigers recent form hasn't been the greatest. If their shots continue not to drop, which has been the case of late, the Golden Eagles have an excellent shot of covering this lofty spread with ease. OR's resume shows they've been battle tested this season, and I'll gladly take the gracious amount of points against the weakest #1 seed in the tourney.

Buy your picks at Who2beton or at Don Best

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Free Pick of the Day - Final Four March 16,2006

Winthrop +7.0
Thu Mar 16 '06 2:40p

Many were left shaking their heads when the Vols popped up on the screen as the #2 seed in the DC bracket Sunday night, including HC Bruce Pearl who muttered "Holy feces" in astonishment. This high a seeding was definitely an afterthought after the Vols floundered to close out the season. That being said, their opponent will give them all they can handle and more. Winthrop comes into this match-up very battle tested, and will no doubt be playing with loads of confidence after playing the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Memphis, S. Carolina, and Marquette. They beat HC Tom Crean's club SU earlier this year, and had both Alabama and Auburn on the ropes before falling by three and two points respectively. HC Coach Gregg Marshall said he would like his team's chances against any of those on a neutral court after falling at Memphis. Well, ask and you shall receive. The Eagles are a veteran club that plays solid defense and cleans the glass well. They gave Gonzaga a major run for the first 35 minutes of their 1st round game a year ago, and I expect them to give the Vols all they can handle and more this Thursday afternoon.

Texas A&M +1.0
Thu Mar 16 '06 9:30p

You can't help but be impressed with the run the Orange had this past weekend in the BE tourney. Their Cinderella run earned them a bid in the big dance when many had them penciled in the NIT before they tipped off with the Bearcats Thursday afternoon. Not only are they firmly supplanted in the tourney, but the committee was gracious enough to tab them as a #5 seed. A 5 SEED!!! YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! This is not the caliber team of a #5 seed, and I don't think their miraculous run in the BE tourney has all of a sudden transformed them into one. The Aggies closed out their regular season campaign winning 8 of its L/10 games SU with both losses versus Texas. HC Billy Gillespie has done an excellent job transforming this group into a competitive unit, and one that will challenge for the Big 12 Title in the coming years. They only went 5-6 SU on the road this year, but covered the number eight of the 11 times. Cuse got the benefit of a pro-orange crowd in the MSG; otherwise known as Cuse's second home for the BE tourney. That won't be the case down in Jacksonville, and I really foresee Cuse's youngsters getting rattled by the stifling "D" the Aggies come at you with on every possession. It was a treat to see Gerry Mac's run this past weekend, but it all comes to an end down in Jacksonville. Aggies move on!!!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Free Pick of the Day - NIT Tournament: Georgia Southern @ NC Charlotte

NIT TournamentGeorgia Southern @ NC Charlotte
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 (7:30 ET)
Current Line: NC Charlotte -8

For whatever reason, NC Charlotte did not play as well at home (8-6 SU) this season as it did on the road (10-6), and this is no easy assignment here either.Georgia Southern finished at 20-9, but its NCAA Tournament dreams were shattered when Appalachian State upset the Eagles in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament. They now look to make some noise in the NIT vs. some major conference schools, and this team just may be up for this task. The Eagles were 4-4 SU and 4-2 ATS in their non-conference road games this season, and they were a fine 6-2 ATS including an outstanding 5-3 STRAIGHT UP in this underdog role!

Charlotte was a dismal 3-9 ATS at home, and while the 49ers did have a positive average winning home margin of +2.6 points per game, that would not be nearly enough to cover this spot. Moreover, the Niners were 0-4 ATS in their last four lined home non-conference games, and they even lost outright at home to Valparaiso in a non-lined home non-conference affair! They have not covered a number vs. a non-conference opponent in this building since beating Coppin State 82-65 way back on opening night, and even then the 49ers barely covered the 16-point spot.


Buy your picks at Who2beton or at Don Best

Monday, March 13, 2006

Baseball over/under win totals

Offshore early birds apparently have already bagged their limit of worms when it comes to wagering on baseball over/under win totals. The Palms Casino in Las Vegas became the first local venue to post numbers on season win totals, lagging far behind one offshore outfit that has offered this proposition since the first of February.

It's interesting to compare the early win totals posted by Palms bet boss Richie Baccellieri to the opening numbers offered at Pinnacle.

The New York Yankees topped the offshore list at 100 1/2 victories. However, that number shrunk to 97 by the time the number hit the board in Las Vegas. The defending American League East champs were just one of many teams across the betting board that enticed 'under' bettors.

Washington and Florida experienced the biggest fluctuations. The Nationals were in the NL-East title chase for most of 2005 in their first season in the nation's capital en route to an 81-81 finish. Pinnacle, expecting more of the same from the Nationals in 2006, posted their win total at 81. The Palms countered by putting up a 75.
Florida, financially strapped because of an unstable stadium situation, pared down its payroll after winning 83 games last season. Offshore bookmakers thought 70 1/2 was an appropriate adjustment, but by the time number surfaced locally it was down to 65.

The New York Mets and Toronto were arguably the most active teams in the trade market during the offseason. The Mets improved by 12 games from 2004 to 2005 when they won 83 times. The addition of Carlos Delgado and Paul LoDuca has fans in the Big Apple dreaming about unseating Atlanta atop the NL-East. New York's projected win total opened at 91 1/2 offshore and hit the board in Las Vegas at 90.

There are more than a few baseball pundits who think the Toronto Blue Jays can compete with the Yankees and Boston in the AL-East. Toronto ownership opened its purse strings, giving general manager J.P. Ricciardi some spending cash. A.J. Burnett steps in as the No. 2 starter behind Roy Halladay. Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay add punch to the offense.

The Jays were one of the few teams on the board that attracted 'over' activity, opening at 85 1/2 offshore and 87 at the Palms.

The defending champion Chicago White Sox, winners of 99 games in 2005, are once again among the favorites to win the American League crown. Yet, the win total for the Pale Hose is a relatively modest 91.

Houston still has Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt at the top of its starting rotation, but questions concerning the future of Roger Clemens and an anemic offense haven't excited oddsmakers. The Astros won 89 games last season to earn a wild-card berth. Expectations are lower in 2006, with their win total set at 83.

Fans in Colorado and Kansas City didn't have much to cheer about last season and apparently their optimism would be misplaced in 2006. The Rockies cashed 67 times last season and their number this year was offered at 68. The Royals’ many offseason moves, plus the Marlins' demise, give them a chance to avoid finishing with the worst record in baseball. Kansas City, which won 63 games last year, opened this season at 61 offshore and 63 at the Palms.

Complete over/under win totals appear below.

TEAM 2005 WINS 2006 PINN 2006 PALMS

ARIZONA 77 77 74

ATLANTA 90 90 88 ½

BALTIMORE 74 75 1/2 75

BOSTON 95 92 90 ½

CHI CUBS 79 84 85 ½

WHITE SOX 99 92 91


CLEVELAND 93 89 1/2 89 ½

COLORADO 67 68 68

DETROIT 71 76 1/2 77 ½

FLORIDA 83 70 1/2 65

HOUSTON 89 83 1/2 83

KANSAS CITY 56 61 63

LA ANGELS 95 89 89 ½

LA DODGERS 71 84 1/2 84 ½

MILWAUKEE 81 77 80 ½

MINNESOTA 83 79 1/2 82 ½

NY METS 83 91 1/2 90

NY YANKEES 95 100 1/2 97

OAKLAND 88 87 88 ½


PITTSBURGH 67 74 1/2 75 ½

SAN DIEGO 82 77 1/2 78

SAN FRAN 75 79 1/2 82 ½

SEATTLE 69 73 1/2 75

ST LOUIS 100 95 93 ½

TAMPA BAY 67 68 67

TEXAS 79 78 81

TORONTO 80 85 1/2 87