Category Archives: Sports Picks
Not a day and a half after the NFL lockout was over, BetOnline was the first in the industry to open the always popular Season Win Totals. No surprise that the defending champion Packers are at the top nfl pick with 11.5 wins. BetOnline’s odds-makers also have the New England Patriots at O/U 11.5 wins.
The Indianapolis Colts are handicapped at 10 wins this season. BetOnline is expecting a lot of ‘over’ bets on Indy considering the last time they had fewer than 10 regular season wins was 2001.
On the opposite end of the spectrum the NFL’s worst team last year, the Carolina Panthers, are expected to be bad again this year. BetOnline has them pegged at O/U 4.5 wins.
A lot of people are expecting a possible winning record for the Detroit Lions this year; their season win total currently sits at 7.5. Fact remains that the last time they had 8+ wins was 2000. And during that time frame, they registered seven wins just once.
To see the rest of 2011 NFL Season Win Totals, head over to BetOnline now. And don’t forget about the Lifetime Bonus Guarantee… a 25% bonus, up to $900.00 in free plays, on EVERY qualifying deposit.
Newly acquired outfielder Carlos Beltran didn’t do much in his debut with the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants Thursday, but they won anyway. The Giants now head to Cincinnati for the opener of a three-game series Friday night with the struggling Reds (7:10 pm Eastern). Bookmaker has set the line at Reds -110
San Francisco just took two of three games from the Phillies in Philadelphia, even though they scored a total of just eight runs in the series. So heading into this series the Giants, winners of 13 of their last 18 games, lead the NL West by four games over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Beltran went 0-4 Thursday night, but the Giants beat Philly anyway 4-1.
Cincy, meanwhile, just got swept four games at home by the New York Mets, losing 10-9 Thursday afternoon. So the Reds, who are just 8-15 this month, sit in fourth place in the NL Central, 6.5 games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Ryan Vogelsong (8-1, 2.10), who would lead the NL in ERA if he had one more inning pitched, will start for the Giants Friday night against Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 3.71) for Cincinnati. As of Friday morning BetOnline.com is listing the Reds as -109 favorites for Friday night’s game, with an over/under of 8.5.
Vogelsong, who spent the last four seasons playing in Japan and in the minors, is 13-for-16 on quality starts this year for San Fran. Over his last four starts Vogelsong has allowed just six earned runs on 25 hits in 25 1/3 IP. The Giants are 11-5 in Vogelsong’s starts this year, with the O/Us going 4-12.
Vogelsong has started once vs. the Reds this season, allowing two ER on eight hits in six innings of a 3-2 San Francisco victory back in June.
Reclamation project Willis is one-for-three in quality starts this year. In those three starts lefty Willis has given up seven ER on 16 hits and eight walks in 17 IP. The Reds are 1-2 in Willis’ starts, and all three of his starts have played under the totals.
Willis hasn’t pitched against the Giants since 2007.
San Fran is 29-26 on the road this season, while Cincinnati is 27-27 at home.
The Giants are also 20-8 in games in which their opponents have started left-handed pitchers this season.
In the first encounter between these two teams this year the Reds split four games out in San Francisco back in June. Three of those games played under the totals.
The over/unders are 41-58 in Giants games this season, 56-45 in Reds games and 31-20 in games played at Great American Ballpark.
As for Friday’s game Vogelsong and the Giants have been on a bit of a roll, so we’ll go with San Francisco to open this series with a win.
MLB Odds Provided By BangTheBook.Com
St. Louis -157
The Cincinnati Reds will try and even things up against the NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals tonight in Game 2 of the three-game set. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Cincinnati’s normally active bats went quiet on Monday in a 1-0 shutout loss as a 115 road underdog. The setback dropped the Reds to an even 43-43 on the year and three games in back of the Cardinals in the division. They are 23-21 at home this season and 20-22 on the road.
This is still the most productive lineup in the National League with an average of 4.71 runs per game, but it has only managed to score a total of 10 runs in its last four games. Edison Volquez will be on the mound tonight for Cincinnati. He is 5-3 on the year with an ERA of 5.65 in 15 starts. He got the win against Tampa Bay last Wednesday; giving up three earned runs on four hits in 6.1 innings of work. Volquez is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA against the Cardinals.
St. Louis is now 5-2 in its last seven games including a three-game sweep over Baltimore last week. It is 46-40 overall and one game ahead of Milwaukee and a game and a half ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central. The Cardinals are 24-22 on the road and 22-18 at home.
Albert Pujols, who broke a bone in his wrist in mid-June, has been upgraded to questionable for this game after coming off the DL. His return would be a welcome sight for a lineup that has struggled a bit in his absence. St. Louis still leads the NL in hitting with a .269 team batting average and is second in runs scored with 399, but is 6-7 since he went out.
Jaime Garcia is slated to get the start for the Cardinals. Last Thursday against the Orioles, he gave up five earned runs on 10 hits in just 5.1 innings but still managed to get the win. Overall this season he is 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA. Garcia is a perfect 4-0 against the Reds with an ERA of 4.33.
Head-to-head, the Reds are 4-3 this season including a three-game sweep at home in mid-May. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of the seven games. This time around, stick with Cincinnati to even this series as its lineup bounces back tonight to get the win.
Sports Interaction has made book on Super Bowl XLVI. New England and Green Bay are joint favorites at +700, Pittsburgh is +1000, San Diego +1200 and then it’s +1400 the field.
At first glance, Green Bay is value at +700 and New England isn’t. Both are blessed with two of the best quarterbacks in the League but Green Bay has a defense that can stop Tom Brady and the Patriots don’t have a defense that can stop Mark Sanchez. There’s the difference.
Pittsburgh will there or thereabouts. The Roethlisberger controversy has run its course and is over now, so if that was a factor last year it’s not now. Pittsburgh above any team plays in a very recognisable way, and has done since Chuck Noll was there in the 1970s.
They’ve tweaked as the game has evolved but the Pittsburgh way remains to protect the ball on offense and pound you into submission on defense. It’s worked so far, and there’s no reason to think it won’t deliver again this year.
San Diego’s shortish price is because of the quality of their quarterback. But football is a team game and Philip Rivers can’t carry a team on his own. The Chargers are a bad bet to do anything this year. In fact, in that division, I’d be keeping a close eye on Denver. The raw materials are there for John Fox to make something happen.
Denver wouldn’t be a good bet for the Super Bowl though.. That said, we are now in an era where teams can come from nowhere in a way that would be unimaginable when Dallas, San Francisco or Chuck Noll’s Steelers ruled the League. Look at the Saints and the Giants in recent years. Who’s a good bet to come from the pack and win it all?
Philly could, but they’re so reliant on Michael Vick staying healthy. Vick is at his best in his maturity but there’s a reason quarterbacks don’t play like he does and that’s because they get smashed up. There are people who will never forgive him and you can sympathize but it would be some story of redemption if Michael Vick had a fairytale ending.
The team I like as a longshot sleeper – and America’s Team is hardly ever referred to as a longshot or a sleeper by bookmakers – is Dallas. Dallas has been playing below its talent level for years. If Jason Garrett can make his team and quarterback take the game seriously, maybe the Cowboys will be the last men standing in Indianapolis next February.
Bookmaker Sportsbook is all set and ready to go with Kentucky Derby betting action on this, the 137th Kentucky Derby! We’re all set to take one last look this morning at the live Kentucky Derby odds, and we’ll make our final free Kentucky Derby picks for the biggest race of the year, as 19 colts are set to take to the track at Churchill Downs!
The biggest development over the course of the last two days is that Uncle Mo, who was scheduled to start out of the No. 18 position, was scratched. This really leaves the door wide open for the big favorite of the race, #8 Dialed In to make a big time run without all that much competition in terms of favorites. Of course, there are a bunch of horses that are going to be trying to gun him down, but we know that this isn’t a horse that we are going to see in the lead at the top of the backstretch. Dialed In is going to try to make his move around the far turn, and for the most part in his career, when he has kicked it into gear, it has been all over but the crying. Thus far in his career, Dialed In has three wins and a second place finish, and he is absolutely the bona fide favorite right now on the live Kentucky Derby odds. If there’s a horse that can become the first Triple Crown winner in decades, Dialed In is the one that can do it.
Wet weather could be in the forecast on Saturday afternoon in “My Old Kentucky Home,” and with that most likely being the case, we are going to be looking for horses that can run in the slop and in the long distances. We know that #17 Soldat has a great history of races both in wet weather and on turf. He ran at Gulfstream Park in the wet conditions in the first race of his career on dirt, and he came away as a big time winner, capturing that particular race by 10 3/4 lengths. Whereas we’re not all that sure whether so many other horses can make the distance or not, we know that Soldat has already run three races at 1 1/8 miles, and there is no doubt that he’ll be able to get through this whole race. The question is whether he’ll be able to get position right out of the blocks from the far outside, which has to be the biggest concern of his Kentucky Derby betting fans, knowing that he is generally an on the pace horse.
The trickiest horse to handicap in this entire field might be #11 Master of Hounds. Here in the States, we really haven’t gotten any looks at this three year old, as he was raised in Great Britain and made a name for himself by running in a number of races on the other side of the pond. He was nosed out at the wire at the UAE Derby in March, his most recent prep race, and he has some decent results aside from that at some relatively longer distances as well. Again, rain isn’t an issue, and neither should the length of the race. Master of Hounds is definitely one to look for.
If there are two other horses that you are going to want to throw into your exotic boxes, they are #9 Derby Kitten and #7 Pants On Fire. Derby Kitten is going to go off as one of the longest shots on the board, and though he has never run at a level like this before, he definitely does have the turf background and the solid distance running to be able to get the job done. Our fear with this horse is that JJ Castallano, the jockey of this colt, has never been aboard him before. Pants On Fire has already built a great rapport with his jockey, Rosie Napravnik, who could become the first female jockey to win a Kentucky Derby if she gets the job done.
In the end, we are looking at a trifecta box and a superfecta box circling around the favorite, Dialed In, and the No. 17, Soldat. Don’t be afraid to put some coin down on Soldat to win, place, and show, knowing if Dialed In ends up off the board, we could see some very, very strong prices when push comes to shove.
Kentucky Derby Predictions: 7-8-9-11-17 Trifecta Box
Live Kentucky Derby Odds (As Of 9:45 AM ET)
#1 Archarcharch 13/1
#2 Brilliant Speed 30/1
#3 Twice The Appeal 7/1
#4 Stay Thirsty 16/1
#5 Decisive Moment 37/1
#6 Comma To The Top 42/1
#7 Pants On Fire 20/1
#8 Dialed In 5/1
#9 Derby Kitten 29/1
#10 Twinspired 21/1
#11 Master Of Hounds 19/1
#12 Santiva 29/1
#13 Mucho Macho Man 12/1
#14 Shackleford 2/1
#15 Midnight Interlude 10/1
#16 Animal Kingdom 23/1
#17 Soldat 17/1
#18 Uncle Mo (Scratch)
#19 Nehro 8/1
#20 Watch Me Go 26/1
In one of the biggest fights that we have seen in quite some time, boxing betting fanatics will get their chance to sink their teeth into the bout between “Sugar” Shane Mosley and the “Pac-Man,” Manny Pacquiao.
What we have to remember about this fight is that there are a ton of boxing pundits making Pacquiao picks in this fight, which has pushed the line an incredible ways. Right now at Bookmaker Sportsbook, Pacquiao is a -1000 favorite on the boxing odds, and that might only get higher as the day wears on and there is more and more support coming in for the Philippine.
We have to admit that Pacquiao is, of course, the best pound for pound boxer in the world. There is no doubt that he is going to be the heavy favorite due to the fact that he hasn’t lost a fight in six years and that he is 52-3-2 for his career. There is no doubt that he is going to be the stronger boxer in the ring, especially knowing that Mosley is really pushing an age that boxers tend to disappear. Heck, the American has even threatened retirement if he gets beaten badly in this bout, almost insinuating that the possibility is there that he gets the you know what beaten out of him.
However, the sharpest of boxing betting pundits realizes that every boxer has his moment when he just fails in the limelight. We saw Roy Jones Jr. get taken down not once, but twice by Antonio Tarver, a man who really shouldn’t have been standing in the same ring with the man once known as the best pound for pound boxer in the world. We’ve seen all sorts of crazy things in the ring just like this.
Mosley has never been knocked out before in his career, but with 38 knockouts in 52 victories, many think that this is going to be the time that it happens. That’s why the boxing betting line features this fight to be under 11.5 rounds at -200.
However, take a look at the last few fights that Pacquiao has had. Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey both made it the distance with the Pac Man, while Miguel Angel Cotto ended up losing via TKO with virtually no time left in the bout.
We’re not saying that Pacquiao is going to be beaten in this match, but we know that the Pacquiao vs. Mosley odds just aren’t on his side. Mosley is a strong fighter that is at the tail end of his career, and he knows that he has to do everything he can to try to wear Pacquiao out to stretch this fight out as long as possible. It’s a heck of a lot easier said than done, but we do think that the end result is going to see this one going the distance. We might be seeing Sugar Shane for the last time, but it won’t be with him lying on his back.
The Boston Celtics are on the verge of disaster right now, and the Eastern Conference Semifinals clash that they are about to have with the Miami Heat in Game 3 could prove to be the beginning of the end of their dynasty if things don’t go their way for NBA playoffs picks at the TD Garden.
The Heat have really taken control of this series, and they certainly look like the best side right now in the league. After all of this is said and done, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have combined to make up a fantastic defense, and after a season chock full of losing out to some of the best teams in the league over and over again, it is Miami that is still in the best of shape, while the rest of those teams are either out of the playoffs or in some serious trouble. The Heat have allowed an average of just 85.8 points per game to the C’s in the last four games of this series dating back to February, and they have won three in a row now both SU and ATS, including the one that earned home court advantage in this juncture of the playoffs. The only bugaboo is that it is has been quite some time since Head Coach Erik Spoelstra and company have won a game in Beantown, but the good news is that Miami has earned the right to not have to do that to win this series. Instead, all of the pressure is squarely on the back on Boston to hold serve twice on its home court to have virtually any chance of extending this series too much further.
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The Celts are on the ropes for sure, and in spite of the fact that their injury report is about eight miles long, Head Coach Doc Rivers remains cool, calm, and collected about the whole situation. Rajon Rondo is battling a back injury, Ray Allen a chest problem, and Paul Pierce and Achilles issue, but we know that all three of these men are going to be playing, basically dead or alive. The questions are the O’Neal boys. Jermaine O’Neal has essentially had chronic issues of some kind or another this whole season, and now, it is his back that is acting up that held him to just 19 minutes in Game 2′s defeat. Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t played in a game since April 3rd, and that was his only game in the lineup since February 1st (and for the record, he has only played in five games since January 14th!). The Big Shaqtus did average 9.2 points per game when he was in the lineup this year, but we look at his return as a way to make a team that was already old and decrepit even more old and decrepit.
We could see the Celtics winning this game and making this a series, but it really feels like it would be a bit of a miracle if that were to actually happen. The Heat have been playing the better ball of these two teams for sure, and we think that it’ll show again in the form of a mild upset on Saturday night to give Miami a commanding 3-0 series lead on the defending Eastern Conference champs.
Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t won a heck of a lot of road games in the playoffs since moving from Seattle (in fact, the number is 1), but on Saturday night, they’ll be looking to up that number against a team that hasn’t won a heck of a lot of NBA playoffs betting battles at home in their lives either (in fact, the number is 3) in the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Thunder seemingly woke up from their Game 1 slumber and ended up putting a licking on the Grizz right off the bat in Game 2. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, both of which were given bad raps after an iffy first game of this series, came out with a lot more gusto in a game that looked a lot more like a traditional up and down OKC game with a lot less physicality. Durant score 26 points and had five boards, while Westbrook had 24 points and six assists. The real difference makers came off of the bench on this night though, as James Harden and Eric Maynor had 21 and 15 points respectively. Harden was a pillar at the line, going 11-of-11. Maybe was the three point assassin, coming up with three triples and a total of 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. Nick Collison also had seven points and seven rebounds. Serge Ibaka battled foul trouble the whole night and ended with eight points and six rebounds. Nazr Mohammad and Kendrick Perkins were both relatively unseen with a combined two points and eight rebounds.
The Grizzlies have to be concerned about the way that Game 2 panned out. OKC rumbled to 17 fast break points and had 38 points in the paint, numbers which could be very, very bad for their future in this series. The defense allowed the Thunder to shoot 52.8 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from downtown. On the other side of the court though, Memphis only shot 44.3 percent overall. If you take away the three long range shots that Mike Conley Jr. knocked down, the rest of the team only went 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. The good news is that Marc Gasol had another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Conley looked great as well, going 10-of-15 from the field for 24 points and eight assists. The big man that was missing in action was Zach Randolph. Z-Bo went absolutely bananas in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, but for as great as he was in Game 1, he was that dreadful in Game 2. Randolph shot 2-of-13 from the field and had just 15 points and nine rebounds. OJ Mayo and Darrell Arthur came off of the bench to have respectable games, scoring 16 points and nine points respectively.
On Friday, we saw the Chicago Bulls really assert themselves as the better team in their second round series against the Atlanta Hawks. We expect to see this play out the very same way for the Thunder against Memphis. Expect the new kids on the block to fold under the pressure of a very, very big Game 3, and Oklahoma City will end up prevailing by a relatively comfortable margin.
NBA Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder
Boston Red Sox
A day after breaking a seven game drought at Fenway Park, the Minnesota Twins will look to get back in the saddle once again in MLB betting action against the Boston Red Sox.
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Needless to say, the Twins aren’t really doing much to help out their chances of making the playoffs this year, as they are just 12-18. However, what we do have to remember is that this is a team that is playing its 21st road game of the year on Saturday. It only has 10 games played at Target Field, and some of those have come against some absolutely red hot opponents. Dating back to last season, Manager Rod Gardenhire’s club is just 14-29 though, and that doesn’t bode well for the future. Thanks to a solid pitching performance by Scott Baker and the fact that the team was able to get to Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball quite a bit, Minnesota picked up a 9-2 win on Friday night. Brian Duensing will need to turn in the same type of performance to beat the MLB betting lines on Saturday. At 2-1 with a 2.91 ERA, one could argue that Duensing has been the best pitcher for the Twins all season long. He hasn’t had a start this year in which he has allowed more than four runs, and he has conceded just seven earned runs in his last four starts. The southpaw also has thrown 34.0 innings in five outings, making him a consistent relief on the bullpen to boot.
Boston just hasn’t figured it out as of yet. It has dropped three in a row, all of which have come at Fenway Park, and it is only batting .247 and averaging 4.09 runs per game as a team. Only Jed Lowrie and Adrian Gonzalez are batting anywhere near .300 on the season, and only David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury are batting batter than .237 beyond that. Now it’s up to Clay Buchholz to start to turn the tide in the other direction. Buchholz really hasn’t pitched well in his career against the Twins, going 1-1 with a dud of a 6.57 ERA. This year though, the 26 year old has been awfully consistent, yet not he hasn’t been pitching up to his full potential. Last year, Buchholz had a 2.33 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. This year, his ERA is 4.81 and his WHIP is 1.78. Walking 18 batters against just 17 strikeouts is bad, bad news for Buchholz, and six homers allowed in six starts is nowhere near the nine he conceded in 28 starts a season ago. Buchholz has also given up 20 hits in his last two starts, which is why batters are hitting a stunning .311 against him for the year.
At some point, things are going to turn around for the boys from Beantown. Perhaps we’re overpaying to get the Sox on our side, but we are confident that this is the right MLB pick, knowing that Buchholz should be improving and that the Twinkies have still had absolutely no luck here in Boston.
MLB Free Pick: Boston Red Sox
The Reds have been the dominating team in this series over the course of the last eight games, taking care of the Cubs in seven of the eight duels. To make matters worse for the hosts, Cincinnati is 21-6 in its last 27 games played on Saturday. The bullpen really pitched well in the game on Friday night, and Jay Bruce blasted his seventh home run of the season to help lead the team to victory. Now, Bronson Arroyo hopes that he can get that type of help as well. Arroyo really hasn’t been anything all that special this year, especially of late. He is only 1-3 in his last four starts and has watched his ERA jump from 2.08 to 4.17. Arroyo does have some decent splits though, with a K/BB ratio of better than 4/1 and a 1.31 WHIP. We know that batters won’t hit .277 against him all year as well. There’s also something about the Cubs that brings out the best in this righty, as he is 9-7 with a 2.80 career ERA against them. On the road, Arroyo has been remarkable as well, going 2-0 with a svelte 0.73 ERA.
The Cubs clearly have some major pitching problems right now. They have a 4.70 team ERA and a 1.45 WHIP as a team. Both numbers rank second to last in the league. There are only 10 quality starts in 31 games, and none of those have come from Saturday’s starter, Casey Coleman. We’d like to say that this is a last chance of sorts for the 23 year old from Fort Myers, but we really don’t know what other directions that Manager Mike Quade can turn to if this project doesn’t work out. Coleman is just 1-2 this year with a 7.36 ERA in four starts. He has more walks (13) than strikeouts (12), and he hasn’t made it through six innings yet on the season. In his one previous start at Wrigley Field this year, he allowed six runs in 2.2 innings of work against the Los Angeles Dodgers and got the hook quickly. About the only thing that can save Chicago is a solid offense, which is headed up by Alfonso Soriano and his 11 dingers on the campaign.
It’s so hard to back Cincinnati as road favorites, but we know that the Cubbies are being overvalued right here at just +100. Coleman looks absolutely lost right now and overmatched by some of the best bats in the game, and Cincinnati’s hitters should be able to make mincemeat out of him. As long as Arroyo keeps his head on straight and comes up with a respectable start, the Reds are the right play on the MLB odds.
MLB Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds