Archive for August, 2007

USC Trojans vs. Idaho Vandals

August 31, 2007

You would think a lot of bettors would be scared off by the huge point spread in this game, with USC favored by 46 points at Sportsbook. But apparently not, as the line has actually moved from 44 points earlier this week, and shows signs of pushing to 47 or 48. 

The USC Trojans are unquestionably one of the top teams in the nation, if not the best, and the Idaho Vandal are not in the same league as the Trojans even in a good year, which 2007 won’t be. The Trojans are bringing back a ton of starters, have early Heisman Trophy favorite John David Booty leading a powerful offense, and have what most consider to be the No. 1 defense in the country.

The Vandals, on the other hand, lost starting QB Steve Wichman, who is being replaced by a redshirt freshman, and have a new coach. Many expect the Vandals to finish very last in the WAC this year. 

Coaching is an interesting angle in this game, and it also heavily favors the Trojans. Former Idaho coach Nick Holt is back with USC. The Vandals’ bench boss last season was Dennis Erickson, and now Robb Akey, a former WashingtonState defensive coordinator. In other words, Akey is the Vandals’ fourth coach in five years. 

There is no question USC will win this game, and win big. But 46-plus points? It’s the first game of the season, and USC coach Pete Carroll has hinted that he will ‘discourage’ his team from running up the score, to prevent his team from getting too cocky too early in the season. Plus, no matter how weak your opponent, beating a team by 46 points is not easy. And there is no rivalry here; USC has nothing to prove. 

Can’t see USC covering the spread. Take Idaho to beat it. 

Nick Bailey

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Bodog.com – Whose nightmare is it anyway?

August 29, 2007

The other day the Bodog.com site went down. A quick little email went out telling all of their members and affiliates that this was a temporary problem. The next day when the site was still down the speculation as to why started to show up in various blogs and industry related forum threads.

I can not claim to have any inside knowledge here but some of the things I have read are…
The domain has been high jacked and is being held for ransom by those pesky evil doing Russians, who ever they might be. The reasons offered vary quite a bit but I think that that the most prevalent was for phishing.

Another interesting reason offered on the threads has to do with a court case involving patent infringement. It is suggested that there was a 48 million dollar default judgment against bodog.com and bodog.net awarded to 1st Technologies whoever they might be. I am not sure what part of the patent was infringed upon as I am not about to read the application as I have more important things to do like watch the grass grow and some paint dry but, this thread seems a little far fetched to me. Who wouldn’t send someone to represent their company when it was being sued for 48 million bucks?

Whatever the reason for these sites going down is not as important as the effort it is going to take to replace all of the tracking codes by affiliates. If you are an affiliate of bodog’s and you have 1 site this will still take a bit of time. For some companies that are considered to be super affiliates, this represents a lot of work as they may need to edit thousands of pages across many sites.

Fortunately for me I don’t have to worry about that but there are guys in the office that do which reminds me… I better go make sure they are doing just that.

E. Zack Lee

Betting the U.S. Open Tennis Championships

August 29, 2007

Betting on the U.S. Open Tennis Championships is quite different than betting on most major sports events, largely because of the sheer size of the tournament.  

In both men’s and women’s competition, there are 127 matches played on either side over two weeks before the champion is declared. So, while betting on the outright winner is still the most popular wager with the smaller bettors, a lot of the big action is on the singles matchups played throughout the U.S. Open – the matches played leading up to the finals. 

For example, at Betmaker.com, the list of matchups for Wednesday, Aug. 29 lists 10 matches on the men’s side. You can bet on Rafael Nadal, one of the overall favorites, to beat Alun Jones, but with moneyline odds of -5000 for Nadal, you would make very little profit on a win. On the other hand, if Jones does the unthinkable and knocks off Nadal, you could get rich on +2500 odds. You might be better off wagering on the Olivier Rochus (+120) Robby Ginepri (-150) match. 

But as is almost always the case, most bettors will wait for the semis and the finals and put their money on the big favorites, like defending champion Roger Federer, Nadal, or maybe Andy Roddick.  

But between now and Sept. 9, take a look at the matchups day to day, and maybe you’ll have more money to bet on the final. 

Nick Bailey

Poker in Eastern Europe: Popularity Rises

August 27, 2007

Being an occasional home games poker player I am missing some action while on a trip in Europe. So the other day I browsed through all sorts of TV channels to see whether I can watch some professional poker. And I could, even in my native language – Slovak.

I am currently visiting Slovakia, an eastern European (former communist) country, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw poker on their TV. The tourney was from PartyPoker tour, or something like that, but the cards where the same :))

I wasn’t aware about popularity of poker in eastern European countries at all but now I am getting some “inside” look. Of course it isn’t like in North America where you can talk poker strategy with almost anyone on the street but surely poker is getting more attention over here.

I’ll be keeping my eye on people to see whether poker topics are discussed at least occasionally. If not I will try to seed some poker enthusiasm within eastern Europeans thus we can enjoy a more competitive poker in the future which can be assured only by an increasing poker players’ base around the world.

Stanoo Calista

Dallas Cowboys: America’s Team once more?

August 23, 2007

Are the Dallas Cowboys ready to reclaim the title of America’s Team? Maybe not this season, but there are several signs that the Cowboys, once as famous for their dominant play on the field as for their cheerleaders on the sidelines, could be climbing back to respectability. The Cowboys are 2-0 this preseason, beating the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. 

Dallas finished with a decent 9-7 record last season, and went up against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card game. With the Cowboys trailing 21-20, kicker Martin Gramatica was about to make a 19-yard field goal try. Some would say a field goal of that distance is a ‘gimme.’ But then QB Tony Romo mishandled the snap and the Cowboys flushed any hope of their first playoff win since 1996 down the toilet.  

Also heading down the crapper was head coach Bill Parcells, who resigned and was replaced by Wade Phillips. Phillips is a better defensive coordinator than a head coach, but he also has a decent chance of taking a pretty talented roster and turning it in a positive direction.  

Romo should be much more consistent this season. He seems committed – driven, even – to lead his team deeper into the playoffs. Romo engineered two long, impressive drives in a 23-10 win over the Colts, completing 10-of-11 passes for 93 yards. Against Denver, Romo was 11-of-18 for 122 yards with one interception. 

This Saturday, the Cowboys take on the Houston Texans in an all-Texas game at Reliant Stadium. Both teams are expected to play their starting line-up for the first half, and maybe into the third quarter.  

Betus.com has the Cowboys as 2.5-point favorites and the Over/Under at 40. 

Rob Gerein

Chicago Bears weakest link: Grossman

August 21, 2007

Ok, it’s only preseason, but the fact is, Da Bears are Unbeaten! The Chicago Bears head into Week 3 of the NFL preseason with a 2-0 record, as they prepare to host the San Francisco 49ers Saturday night.

As usual, the Bears are winning while barely outscoring their opponents. In their two wins, the Bears have beaten the Houston Texans 20-19 and the Indianapolis Colts 27-24, for a combined total of 47-43.

In Monday’s Super Bowl rematch against the Colts, there was no mistaking what was causing Chicago’s chronic offensive troubles. After struggling for most of QB Rex Grossman’s 26 plays, the Bears’ backups bailed him out and eventually overcame his multiple miscues to beat the Colts.

One week after completing 8 of 10 passes in Houston – a sign of progress, the Bears had hoped – Grossman took a big step backwards against the Colts. He fumbled three times, twice on snaps, threw a pass that was intercepted deep in Chicago territory and was sacked once. Even his one good moment, a 1-yard touchdown run, came with an unusual twist: He carried twice for minus-1 yard on the drive.

There have been calls for a more consistent replacement for Grossman for quite a while now, and you can hear them again after Monday’s performance – and we’re still two weeks from the regular season.

The Bears have a pretty solid team, and the sooner they acquire a quality quarterback, the sooner they’ll be considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. In the meantime, the Bears – with or without Grossman – should have enough to get past the 49ers this weekend. The Bears are a 6-point favorite at Bodog.

Nick Bailey

Forsberg a Canuck?

August 17, 2007

Well the speculation on where Peter Forsberg might show up next season has actually become interesting from a Vancouverite’s perspective. Usually when there is talk about bringing in super star players to the Canucks it winds up being just that – talk.

This time it might be a little different with Canuck captain Markus Naslund stating on CKNW Radio

“I’m doing what I can,” said Naslund (Forsberg and Naslund were childhood friends in the Swedish city of Ornskoldsvik.) “I’m sure there is lots of interest in him. We’ll see where he ends up. I think his main focus right now is trying to get healthy with his foot and after that he’ll make a decision.”

For me, and I am sure to catch a lot of heat at the office for what follows but, the last thing this team needs is another “Swedish Meatball” floating around on the ice. Sure Forsberg used to be a great player but I think this team has had it’s fill of aging ex-super stars collecting their pre-retirement packages.

It might be interesting to see Naslund and Forsberg playing together for a while but you know we will see enough of that prior to them getting spit out of the back end of the NHL Old Timers exhibition circuit. Come to think of it, why not take the Sedins on the Old Timers circuit with you cause their act is getting a little old too.

E. Zack Lee

NFL Preseason: Super Bowl rematch, Colts-Bears

August 15, 2007

Week 2 of the 2007 NFL preseason features a Super Bowl XLI rematch, but whether the outcome between the two teams will be the same is highly debatable.

The Chicago Bears face the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, Aug. 20 at the RCA Dome in a game nationally televised on ESPN (8 pm ET). It will be the Colts’ first home game since beating the Bears 29-17 to win the Super Bowl last February in Miami.

While it’s only preseason, and early in the preseason at that, these two teams already seem to be headed in different directions.

The Colts were dumped 23-10 by the Dallas Cowboys in their first preseason outing last Thursday. The Bears, meanwhile, beat the Houston Texans 20-19 on Saturday.

They say defense wins championships, but the Colts bucked that trend last season by winning the Super Bowl with a defense that was dead-last against the run (although pretty good against the pass).

Against Dallas, the Indianapolis defense gave up almost 300 total yards and 23 points – mostly to Cowboys’ rookies and second-stringers. Not a good start for a team that must essentially rebuild a defensive line that wasn’t exactly outstanding last season. The Colts must replace three DTs: Montae Reagor was released in a salary cup move, former Pro Bowl tackle Corey Simon had his contract terminated Aug. 4 after missing all of last season with an illness, and, in the only completely unexpected and unwelcome development, Anthony McFarland, a Super Bowl starter, was placed on injured reserve after patella tendon surgery. That last one stings, as it means the Colts have lost their biggest and most experienced run-stuffer for the entire season.

In Chicago, the Bears’ defense has dominated in recent seasons and nearly every starter is back this season from a team that was sixth overall defensively last season. It seems like new defensive coordinator Bob Babich has few decisions to make.

Against the Texans, the Bears held Houston to 235 total yards, even though Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher and defensive tackle Tommie Harris did not play. Even the off-season issues seem to be sorted out. Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs threatened a prolonged holdout after the team slapped him with the franchise tag. Defensive tackle Tank Johnson served two months in jail on firearms charges, then got released by the team after he was pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. But Briggs accepted a one-year, $7.2 million franchise tender offer just before training camp started, and the Bears replaced Johnson with Darwin Walker, who had 26½ sacks over the past five years for Philadelphia, making him the fourth-most productive defensive tackle during that span.

And even though it’s preseason, you can’t help but think Chicago will want to avenge their Super Bowl loss at the earliest opportunity, which will be this coming Monday.

Oddsmakers don’t have lines available for the game as of this posting, but check out Bodog or BetUS in the next few days, and take a long look at the Bears.

Nick Bailey

Betting on Barry Bonds

August 7, 2007

There are few baseball Prop Bets that are getting as much attention this season than those involving Barry Bonds and his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home-run record. And the various sportsbooks offering Bonds bets are reporting increased wagering activity ever since Bonds tied the record at 755 homers Saturday night.

Bonds will try again tonight, as the San Francisco Giants host the Washington Nationals in the second game of a four-game series that got underway Monday night with the Giants edging the Nationals 3-2. Bonds was 0-3 including one strikeout last night.

Here are some of the sportsbooks offering Prop Bets on the slugger’s pursuit of Aaron’s record.

At Bodog, bettors can wager on which inning Bonds will hit the record-setting dinger, with the first inning the favorite at 3-1. Another interesting bet at Bodog is what the pitch count will be when Bonds cranks 756 over the wall: the favorite is 0-1 (One Ball, No Strikes) at odds of 3-1.

Sportsbook is offering odds on whether the record-breaker will come in tonight’s tilt against Washington – yes (+240), no (-320).

And at betED, Barry Bonds bets include whether the home run will be a solo shot (-155), two-run (+200), three-run (+500) or grand slam (+625).

Or if you want to bet the outcome of the game, BetOnline has the Giants as 150-moneyline favorites and the game total at 8.

Facing Bonds and the Giants tonight will be lefthander Mike Bacsik, who is 5-6 with a 4.19 ERA this season. San Francisco will counter with ace lefty Barry Zito, who is 8-10 and has a 5.12 ERA.

Nick Bailey

2007 NFL Pre-Season

August 7, 2007

It’s time once again for the NFL season to begin. This year’s season is going to prove to be one of the most exciting season’s in years. Before the 07 season begins, teams test their players and skills in the pre-season.

Bodog.com lets you bet on pre-season games. There will be 4 pre-season games per team. To fing out who’s playing check out Bodog.com.
When the regular season starts i will post games and give betting tips on who should win.
By Scotty