Friday, May 29, 2009

Can Billups Do It Again?

"Everyone knows what I have been through. Guys that have been through what I have and lost are a dime a dozen. They brought me here to win. Guys can pull from me what I have been through and learn from how I got out if it."

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This was Chauncey Billups, as reported by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, upon leaving a team meeting on Thursday. It's no secret that Billups has bought into his role as the inspirational and steady-headed leader of the Denver Nuggets. Most are betting that the Nuggets will ride the home court advantage wave to force a Game 7 back in Los Angeles. As of 5pm the Nuggets are five point favorites and most analysts and so-called experts have picked them to win.

But with Kobe Bryant playing the way he has and the overpowering force the Lakers can be at times, some people are still skeptical.



The hardest thing to do in the NBA playoffs is finish off a team. Especially teams like Denver, who has been forced to taste the bitterness of elimination year after year. This is their year and they want it like they've never wanted it before. The Nuggets, perpetually fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot, had finally secured a high seed in the Western Conference bracket. To just make it out of the first round for the first time since 1994 and make it to the conference finals for the first time since 1985 (where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers) might be considered an impressive feat by some.

Rest assured though, it is not enough for Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and the rest of the Nuggets who have grown tired of being the league's 'almost there' team. And you can bet that Billups will be hungry for another Finals appearance since losing to San Antonio in 2005.

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The statistic has been beaten to death, but it's truly impressive that Billups-led teams have made the conference finals for 7 straight years. Wow. The guy's nothing but a winner, no doubt about that. And now, facing elimination from the playoffs at the hands of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Chauncey Billups knows that his time has come to lead the Nuggets to the Promised Land for a shot at an NBA Title.

I opened this article with a quote from Billups. In it, he states, "Guys that have been through what I have and lost are a dime a dozen. They brought me here to win." It's not just that he's been there. It's that he's been there and he got it done.

Perhaps most importantly, Billups himself has the confidence that comes from being there and doing the impossible- or at least the highly unlikely. Down 3-2 to the top seeded Miami Heat and mighty Dwyane Wade in the 2005 Eastern Conference Championship, Billups led the second seed Detroit Pistons to two straight victories to win the East.

Down 3-2 to the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers and mighty Kobe Bryant, Billups finds himself facing a similar situation.



Written By Danny Hobrock

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Delaware Supreme Court Gives Sports Betting The OK

At the request of Governor Markell, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion today that a "sports lottery" would indeed be legal and constitutional for the State of Delaware.

This comes after a new sports betting bill was signed into action only days ago, a bill that received immediate and strong opposition from the NFL and NCAA.

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The NFL's stance on the matter is that sports betting relies too much on skill to be considered a game of chance- an important legal distinction. But the court stated in their 22 page report that while skill can be involved, chance is still the "predominant factor."

The Court's opinion was one solely regarding a sports betting lottery consisting of parlays and no official opinion was rendered regarding straight bets against a spread. But optimists, including the Delaware State Lottery Office believe that the "predominant factor" requirement would carry over to straight betting as well.

Markell and company plan to hire from without to ensure a well run sports betting program- one that attracts the most people and produces consistent revenue. The plan is to have the sports betting product installed and operational by this coming NFL season. The NFL may proceed legally with their opposition.

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Do or Die for LeBron and The Cavs.

When you come off a season in which you lost only 16 games, secured the top seed in the East, had the best record in the NBA and call the league's MVP and best player one of your own, you just don't lose. How could you?

It's time for LeBron James to shine like he's never shined before. Remember the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit? That was nothing compared to what LeBron's performance must be if the Cavs are to pull off a 3 game winning streak against the red hot Magic to win the East and make it to the Finals.

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To beat the Magic, it appears as if it's all up to LeBron. His teammates have yet to step up to provide him with a consistent helping hand that even the all-time greats need to win championships. We've all heard the list of dynamic duos before, so I won't delve too much into that. LeBron needs his Robin, though, that much is evident.

He had it in the regular season it seemed. With the arrival of Mo Williams and the emergence of Delonte West, LeBron seemed to be getting the help he needed. Wally Szerbiak bought into his position as a role player and Zydrunas Ilgauskas continued to be the steadying force in the middle. But now, in the Eastern Conference Championship, where it has never mattered more for this team, LeBron is screaming, but nobody else is chiming in.



It goes beyond scoring though. I'm sure by now some are arguing that Mo Williams has contributed about 15-20 points each game this series and others have added around that as well. But the Cavs' needs go beyond scoring. When LeBron sits, nobody answers the call to keep the Cavs up and the Magic down. Without their fearless leader, the Cavs are nothing when stacked up against the energy the Magic have brought to this series.

Take nothing away from the Magic. They have played outstandingly. Dwight Howard has been tough to contain in the middle and the perimeter shooters for Orlando have killed the Cleveland defense more than once. They have surely benefited when LeBron sits, but who wouldn't. All series long, they have stuck to striking when they have to, at opportune times and when the game depends on it. The Cavs have failed to answer Orlando's hot streaks.

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LeBron has missed big free throws late in games, contributing to Cleveland's collapse, and has thrown away a few costly turnovers, also not helping matters. But when nobody seems to have your back, you've got to do whatever you can to make something happen. LeBron was trying to force something to happen, or will it that way. It just did not work out in Game 4, or in their other two loses it seems.

Amazing struck in Game 2 when LeBron hit one of the most ridiculous shots I've ever seen to win a playoff game. Outside of that we have seen little of the out of this world, 'what just happened?!' play from LeBron. Like all of the greats, you need that second option/threat to truly take over a game. LeBron still doesn't have it.

Written By Danny Hobrock

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Serving Up Redemption: A-Rod Fights Back with his Bat

Amid rumors of extended steroid use during his time with the New York Yankees- perfectly timed to coincide with both A-rod's return to the Yankee lineup and the release of a new book aimed at profiting as much as possible off of the living legend's lore- A-rod is out to prove himself to his critics, skeptics and doubters. And he is not doing so with his mouth, as some might expect him to. He has taken the high road and has begun to prove everybody wrong with his bat.

We all know the story so I'm not going to regale you with the tale once more. What I will say is that I find the way Alex Rodriguez has handled the steroid rumors and revelations both extraordinary and admirable. Instead of flatly denying the claims, as so many ballplayers have done, he admitted to using steroids while with the Texas Rangers and apologized to his fans and teammates. What more can the man do? Without a way to go back in time (and I'm once again forced to draw upon the Doc Brown reference), A-rod can only express his remorse and apologize to those that feel betrayed.



A-rod avoided the embarrassment that comes when you lie to Congress only to have facts and evidence thrown in your face shortly after. He has taken nothing but gut punch after gut punch since the so-called 'tell-all' book came out. Instead of hiding under a rock, he took a different approach. He gave the media an interview (with Peter Gammons), prepared a 30 minute speech regarding the allegations and addressed his teammates in an emotional display. And then he hid…from the media that is. He has been no stranger to the diamond, batting cages or weight room, evidently.

I do not mean to defend A-rod or what he has done, as it will obviously go down as a black mark on his career and yet another black mark on the modern era of baseball. But I do have one question for the unrelenting, never-say-die critics out there: What more do you want from this man?

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Ever since coming off the disabled list this season, Rodriguez has been spectacular. In the 17 games he has played in this season, he has hit .259 (respectable, but not spectacular), batted in 17 runs and hit 7 home runs including one in his first at-bat of the season and a four game stretch in which he hit a home run a game.

His game last night, May 25, was nothing short of remarkable: 5-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs and 4 RBIs. It looks as if A-rod is out to prove that he never needed those steroids after all. He never needed them to hit all of those home runs, although his home run production certainly takes a leap during his Texas years. It will be interesting to follow A-rod's road to redemption as he proves that all he needs to be successful is his sweet swing and exceptional hitting dynamics. That is what makes him the home run powerhouse and RBI machine that he is- he never needed steroids.

Written By Danny Hobrock

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

For The Love Of The Game?

Wouldn't you be happy to play in the Majors or in the NBA or the NFL? I know I would. To make heaps of dough for doing something that I love and others love me for (when I'm performing well, of course) would be a dream come true for almost any Joe Schmoe. The heaps of dough may not come in the millions, but to make even the league's minimum for playing basketball or football or whatever sport would be something special.

Picture leaving your job and going into professional sports making the league's minimum. For most of us, it would be a significant hike in salary. Would you do it? Most would. I would. Maybe this is why some fans get so frustrated with athletes who seem to portray themselves as larger than life and above the game. No-trade clauses, vetoing certain deals, holding out for more money- it gets painful to watch year after year and takes away from the splendor that these athletes hold in society.

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When reports surfaced that Jake Peavy rejected a proposed trade to the Chicago White Sox, some speculated that he did so because he loves the National League and has grown accustomed to the pleasant weather of Southern California. Rumors of his desire to play for the Cubs, across town in Chicago, tells us that he either didn’t want to play in the American League or did not want to play for the White Sox. Either way, it gets some people aggravated to see players dictate front office decisions and interject themselves into matters that, ideally, would be left to the general manager.

Of course, Jake may also be looking out for his family's best interests. Maybe they don't want to leave their home or their school. If this is the case, Jake has done right by his family. But the question here, for our purposes, is: How much say do the players deserve in front office decisions. And if a contract is signed, shouldn't they honor it?



Players often get bad raps when they hold out for more money, prolonging the ordeal through training camp, preseason, the regular season, whatever. Chad Ochocinco is the king of chatter and we all remember his ordeal last season, and possibly this season, where he made a stink over his contract and over playing for the Bengals. Anquan Boldin is currently stuck in a similar stalemate with the Cardinals; he wants to get paid close to what his counterpart, Larry Fitzgerald, makes.

Jamarcus Russell, the 2007 NFL first overall pick, held out into the start of the season, hurting his own development and familiarity with the offense, and thus his chances of landing the starting job. Still, he does not seem to have grasped anything as of yet. Ronnie Brown, the 2005 2nd overall pick in the NFL, prolonged his holdout as well. Many blame this on the agent, but at some point, the player has to recognize that the agent may not be considering the player's long-term career when he makes these deals, but looking at it as strictly financial strategy. Professional athletes should consider what got them there in the first place: hard work, practice, development, studying , etc. When you sit, you get none of that. Call your agent and tell him you want to hit the practice field ASAP and to get the deal done already!



Anyways, it goes farther than that, even. John Elway was drafted first overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1983. He didn't like that all too much. He demanded a trade and became a Denver icon, winning back to back Super Bowls in the late 90's. Eli Manning was drafted first overall by the San Diego Chargers in 2004. He also was not pleased and demanded a trade. He went onto win a Super Bowl with the New York Giants a couple of years ago. Seems to have worked out for both players if you ask me.

Wait. Am I contradicting myself?! This argument could go both ways. On the one hand, athletes have their place on the field, court, ice, wherever, and rarely would somebody agree that their role extends into the front office. In a perfect world, the general manager and their team would handle the personnel side of things, coaches would coach and players would play.

On the other hand, players do have that basic human right to do what is best for them and their families. After all, they are all people and deserve to get as much as they can out of life.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a tricky matter. If a no-trade clause is present, most fans do not seem to have a problem with a player refusing a proposed trade. The no-trade clause was agreed upon by both parties from the start. However, when a player attempts to break their contract, or is dissatisfied with the team that drafts them, they are 1) creating the image of an immature child, 2) pissing off the fans- you know, those people who buy tickets, jerseys and are really the only reason they have a job, and 3) they show that they believe themselves to be above the game and in the process slap all those Joe Schmoes, who would kill to get into their position, right in the face.

Hmm. More on this subject another time. Perhaps in a few weeks when Chad Ochocinco decides not to show up for mandatory workouts and ESPN and Sports Illustrated set up their own camps in the Bengals facility parking lot.

Written By Danny Hobrock

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Fear LeBron!

So the Magic beat the Cavaliers in Game 1 in Cleveland, LeBron James' city. Did anybody see this one coming? Put your hand down Van Gundy! Not even you could've predicted this one.

It's a great win for Orlando. No doubt about that. But now they must face a hungrier, meaner LeBron James in Game 2.

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Everybody knows that guy from the company softball league that, when another player shows him up or his team is losing, comes to play the next inning with the will and fervor of an angry bull among apathetic lambs (see Budweiser's Real Men of Genius- Mr. Overly Competitive Touch Football Game Player).

Well, imagine that, but on a scale as large as the NBA Eastern Conference Championship Series. And imagine that guy is 6-8, 250 lbs and plays regular season games against the league's worst teams with an unparalleled passion already. *Gulp*

Good luck Orlando.



After losing Game 1 you can bet that LeBron won't get stuck in the comfort zone, or whatever that was, that comes from sweeping the playoff field so far. I mean, it's not like he wasn't trying in Game 1. Nobody scores 49 points, grabs 6 rebounds and has 8 assists without some effort. Not even the great LeBron James. So what happened once Cleveland went up by 14 in the first quarter and went into the half leading by 15? Did they lose their edginess? Did they lose that ice ball in the stomach that keeps you wanting more and more?

Probably a little bit to begin the third. And consequently, Orlando was allowed to catch up. And once they did, it was anybody's ballgame. Don't get me wrong, LeBron never gave up and neither did the Cavs as a team. But when you have a 16 point lead and haven't lost in the playoffs yet, you tend to get a little content.

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Trading clutch shot for clutch shot down the stretch, the Cavs and Magic both deserved to win Wednesday's game. Rashard Lewis hit a key threes and Dwight Howard added 30 points and 13 rebounds to help Orlando pull out the win, so there was certainly no lack of effort on Orlando's part.

Once the Magic put themselves back in it- or in it to begin with- Game 1 was some of the best basketball you will ever see. It was what playoff basketball is chalked up to be. Fearless shots were taken on both sides of the court. Leaders played their roles. And it was good. Last man standing takes it.

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Any basketball fan that missed the 4th quarter of Game 1 for whatever reason- outside of turning away to get the digits from Megan Fox- should be ashamed of themselves. Find a tape, scour the Internet, take a ride with Doc Brown, do something!

When the game comes down to a jump ball with 1 second left in the fourth quarter and Mo Williams catches and shoots the tipped ball in mid air missing by an inch you know you've seen something special. It seemed that whoever had the ball last in that game was going to win. Cleveland actually had the ball last, ironically, but couldn't get it done. Maybe LeBron shouldn't have passed away that last real opportunity. But then, you've got to trust that Mo Williams or Delonte West would hit that last shot if given another chance.

Needless to say, LeBron James will come out on Friday night with redemption on his mind and passion in his heart. I would be surprised to see Cleveland squander another big lead in these playoffs. Not after their lesson Wednesday and not with LeBron James on the floor.

Game 2 Pick: Cleveland 98, Orlando 93

Written by Danny Hobrock

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Myth vs Reality

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets are squaring off in the Western Conference Finals as we speak. The Lakers are currently up 1-0 in their best of 7 series, thanks to a nail biting finish in Game 1. Game 2 takes place in Los Angeles tonight, at the Staples Center. Let's take a closer look at this series and separate myth vs. reality.

The Lakers beat the Nuggets 105 - 103 in Game 1. The Nuggets had the lead throughout the game, as they got off to a great start in the first quarter. Carmelo Anthony was especially hot, specifically in the first half. He ended up with 39 points! Better yet, he scored 39 off of 20 shots. That's amazing efficiency right there. As a group, the Nuggets shot almost 49% for the game, and hit 8 of 19 three pointers. On the flip side, the Lakers shot only 41% from the field. The Nuggets also out hustled the Lakers and were the far physical team in Game 1. So, to sum up the game, you had the Nuggets play a very efficient game, with the proper game plan. Yet, they still LOST.

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Am I being hard on the Nuggets? I don't think so, as look at the expectations that they were saddled with heading into the Western Conference Finals. This was the "IT" team, that had the WOW factor. This is the team that had demolished their opposition in their first two playoff series. This was the team that had the athletes to be able to run and compete against the Lakers. This was also the team that "experts" thought would beat the Lakers, and represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

Is this series over? Far from it! However, I think it's time to look in the mirror and see the Nuggets for what they really are! I mentioned in my first article about how important it is to look ahead, and to stay ahead of the curve. If you can successfully do this, sports betting will be a profitable venture for you. So again, I ask you to look in the mirror and ask yourself how good the Nuggets truly are.



I know professional oddsmakers already have looked in the mirror. Game 2 is a TRAP. Oddsmakers want you to take the Denver Nuggets in Game 2. After all, the Nuggets nearly won Game 1 while covering the point spread, so of course they will win Game 2 right?? That's what the average sports bettor is thinking. But the goal is to be anything BUT average. Can the Nuggets really perform like they did in Game 1? Can the Nuggets really have the lead for the majority of the game like they did in Game 1? Oddsmakers have set the Lakers as 5.5 favorites heading into tonight’s game. More importantly, the general betting public is all over the Denver Nuggets on both the point spread and the moneyline. So why has the point spread not moved since its inception, despite heavy action on the Nuggets?

As mentioned in my first article, look in the mirror yet again and find out why Vegas is setting the line they are. I'll answer this question for you! This line is set the way it is because of the public perception of the Denver Nuggets. Oddsmakers are playing off the fact that the Nuggets are the "IT" team. Oddsmakers are using the public against themselves!

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Ever heard of the statement if its too good to be true, it probably is? Ever heard of how easy it is to jump on the bandwagon? Oddsmakers are fully aware of these public shifts in opinion. If you still don't believe me, go around the web and look at other betting message boards. You will find nothing more than a popularity contest, where everyone follows a select few "experts" and then chime in with the same exact thoughts. Watching this happen, you will realize this is a small sample size of what the actual sports bettor does with their own betting patterns. This scenario is what burned Boston Celtic backers in Game 7. More importantly, it's what is going to burn Denver Nugget backers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

In closing, don't be afraid to step up to the plate, to jump OFF the bandwagon, and to separate myth from reality! Your confidence and bankroll will grow with every win!

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Written by Mike Harness of TopSportsBets.com

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chauncey Billups: Mr Good Guy For Sure

Wrtitten by Danny Hobrock

Chauncey Billups, a perennial image in the NBA playoffs, could be called a lot of names. You could call him the X-Factor for his role as the catalyst in bringing Denver past the first round. Mr. Big Shot, a name he earned while a member of the Detroit Pistons for his nerves of steel, unmatched leadership at the point guard position and his late game heroics in the playoffs. But let me argue another nickname: Mr. Good Guy.

The nickname was first given to him by Keith Langlois in an article that appeared on the Detroit Piston's website. The article was sparked by Billups' recognition as the 2007-08 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner. The award is given out annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association for exceptional involvement and devotion in the community. His contributions to Detroit area charities and his commitment to the underprivileged youth in the area earned him the award.

He stayed active in various charities in many cities along his well-traveled NBA career including Minnesota and Denver. Yeah, he's the man off the court, but let's talk about Billups' on the court.

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Before Billups returned to Denver this season, former NBA MVP Allen Iverson handled the point guard duties. In Iverson's lone full season in Denver, he averaged 26.4 points, 7.1 assists and 2.0 steals. Not too shabby. Denver, the eight seed in the West that year, was swept in the first round by the top seeded, and eventual Western Conference Champion, Los Angeles Lakers.

In 77 games with Denver this year, Chauncey Billups averaged 17.9 points, 6.4 assists and 1.2 steals. Not bad either, but he doesn't match Iverson's numbers from the previous year in any of the three categories. Denver is the two seed in this year's playoffs and is preparing to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals tonight, a rematch from the previous year's playoff series. This time, something tells me the ball will fall differently for Denver.

Talking to my dad on the telephone today, he asked me a question that stuck with me. He asked me, "Who would you rather Carmelo Anthony spend his time with after the game, Allen Iverson or Chauncey Billups?"

Chauncey of course!



He is nothing but a positive influence in the locker room, on the court and in his community. Having Billups on the roster and starting every game has inspired the rest of the Nuggets to pick up their own game. Despite his lesser numbers, Chauncey makes everybody on the floor better.

Denver last year was running around like chickens without heads. Just throwing the ball at the basket every chance they got.

This year, with Mr. Big Shot running the show, the Nuggets have a clearly defined leader. They have stability and a rhythm to their game. They have a man not afraid to take that shot when his team needs him to. It has inspired others to step up to the plate when their time is called as well.

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Carmelo Anthony is probably the best all-around player on the Denver roster. He is the most skilled as a basketball player. Few people would argue with that. He has not yet, however, made the leap to the league's elite players. By elite, I mean the top 5 guys in the league (i.e. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dywane Wade, Paul Pierce and Chris Paul). What sets them apart from guys like Melo is their leadership. All 5 of those guys have superior skills and are clear cut leaders on and off the court.

With Billups as the leader on the court the Nuggets do not require Anthony to be the leader they needed him to be in the past. With Iverson, neither he nor Anthony ever stepped up to be the type of leader needed to excel in the NBA.

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This is not to say that Anthony will never be the type of leader that puts him alongside the league's elite. Billups' presence on the team will only help him to learn to be the leader he should be. Maybe we saw a snippet of his development into the Billups mold in Game 3 of the Dallas series when he stepped up, played through a no-call foul and hit the game winning three to put Denver up 3 games to none.

Chauncey on the roster pushes the Nuggets into the game's elite teams. It makes them good enough to play with the big boys and not get squashed. In fact, it makes them one of the big boys. It allows them to compete with Kobe's Lakers in the Conference Finals. Hey, it may even be enough to conquer the West.

Written by Danny Hobrock

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Horse Racing- Still a Fun Bet

Written by Tyler Hunt

Horse racing is a sport that relies and survives on gambling more so than any other sport. The percentages of people who watch horse racing, but yet don’t place bets are few and far between. The sport thrives on events such as the Kentucky Derby, which in 2009 $104,563,501 was wagered both on track site as well as off track wagers. Due to the level of difficulty to keep up with the ever changing horses, it is almost impossible to stay educated. This leads to horse betting having more misinformed money wagered on it than any other sport.

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In the day of million dollar horses being flown into the races on private jets, the 2009 Kentucky Derby was a breath of fresh air to the average sports fan. The winner of the race was a horse named Mine That Bird, which was purchased for a mere 9,500. It was a 50-1 underdog and by winning provided the second largest upset in the history of the race. If you bet a 2.00 exacta correctly the payoff was 2074.80. A 2.00 trifecta paid 41,500 and a superfecta paid 557,006 on a simple two dollar bet. This has generated interest in a sport which has been struggling to be become mainstream. The image of a wealthy woman wearing a large hat and cheering on her rich husband’s million dollar horse does not relate to the average sports fan.

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I am a sports fan in general and would not consider myself an expert on horse racing by any means. The reason I am interested in the sport is because every year the thought of the possibility of a Triple Crown winning horse is exciting. Everybody remembers the excitement followed by the let down of Big Brown leading up to the 2008 Belmont. The build up to a three minute race is unlike any other sport when it comes to training and preparation.

The money involved in the sport will always keep it interesting; however it is a sport which is also marred by scandal. Animal rights activists have been raising concerns following Eight Belles having to be euthanized on the track after collapsing following the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Steroids are just as prevent in horse racing as any other sport and this is something which comes with the territory of the sport. Horse racing is really walking a tight rope, because if another horse collapses and needs to be euthanized on the track again it could lead to negativity which the sport may never be able to overcome.

Written by Tyler Hunt

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Art Of The Line

Betting on sports is becoming more and more popular by the day. In the old days, you either had to go to Vegas, or have your own bookie, for some side action. Now you see the odds of the games on the bottom scroll of ESPN. As was noted the other day, Delaware just made it legal to bet on sports. So with the added popularity comes more acceptance! You no longer need to keep it quiet that you have action riding on a late night game.

I bring this up for one simple reason. To be successful in life, you always need to be thinking one step ahead. With regards to sportsbetting, you need to clearly identify WHY you are doing it. To make money?? For pure enjoyment??? An addict??? This might sound rather funny or dumb, but it's the first step in becoming successful. If you answered to MAKE MONEY, then keep reading, as the rest of this article is for you.

Every deal and every sale that's made in this world has a price. A price between at least two people, that is agreed upon by both parties. Betting on sports gives you the opportunity to bet what oddsmakers set the line of the event on. Before you just start betting, it's vitally important that you understand what factors were considered in the oddsmaker making the line that they did.

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What better example to use then TODAY! There was a full card of Major League Baseball, and even some playoff NHL Hockey. However, there were also two Game 7's in the National Basketball Association. It's no secret that these games had the most bets and money placed on them out of all games on todays betting card. The first game of the day had the Lakers hosting the Rockets. Tons of money was being bet on the Lakers (no surprise there as they are traditionally one of the two biggest bet NBA teams) compared to the money coming in on the Rockets. Oddsmakers set this line at -12, yet at game time this line was up to -13.5 in most places.

It's vitally important that you understand why oddsmakers were raising this line so close to game time. Vegas ultimately wants the same percentage of money on BOTH teams. They then win either way because they collect the amount it costs just to make the wager, otherwise known as JUICE. Vegas only loses when there is only heavy action on one side, and that side ends up covering the spread. More often that not, oddsmakers will move the betting line with the way the public money is going. That's how they get people to then move off one team, and in fact, bet the other team. In this specific case, no matter how much the oddsmakers were raising this Laker line, the public was still betting the Lakers.

We all saw the Lakers end up winning this game by 19 points. Two things happened after this game went final. The first thing being that the PUBLIC was quite happy, since the majority of them had just won their bet. Second, Vegas and it's oddsmakers took one on the chin, as they ended up losing money on this game. They still had about 2 hours to try to make amends for their losses in the first game. This is where it gets interesting.....

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Oddsmakers had originally made the Celtics 1 point favorites once the Magic had won Game 6. Quickly, the betting public was all over the Boston Celtics. They were going into Game 7 at home, and the public was biting on all the SportsCenter statistics showing how great the Celtics are in Game 7's, and their impressive numbers when ahead in a series. The oddsmakers took note, and raised this line all the way up to -3. So what happened in the last half hour prior to the game???? The line went DOWN!!!! The line went down despite over 81% of the total amount of money bet on this game coming in on the Celtics. Why would the line drop???? You must keep asking yourself this question to truly understand the art of sportsbetting.

I started this article asking you why you bet on sports. It's imperative to truly be able to understand LINE MOVEMENT. This is my first article of many here, and I think this is arguably the most important factor in being successful in sportsbetting, besides money management. This line went down for a reason. Either HUGE money came in late on the Magic, or the oddsmakers were on to something more. Ever heard of a trap????? This was a classic example of exactly that. Take a look back and realize the popularity of this game. Take a look back and realize it was the last possible game to bet on for the week. Look at the big picture, and realize what Vegas and oddsmakers were trying to do!



We all know the Magic ended up crushing the Celtics on the road in Game 7. More importantly, Vegas and its crew got their money back and some. Just another trap game to end the week!

In closing, understanding the making of the line and following it up till gametime is a key factor in being successful in sportsbetting. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to keep track of these numbers and statistics. I personally track them all day long, every single day. If you already watch line movement and track it, then you already know how vital a tool it is in your bankroll. If you are just now beginning, take it seriously and put in the time. There aren't many guarantees in sporstbetting, but I can guarantee you that your bankroll will grow learning this skill!

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Keep Basketball Classy

Written by Danny Hobrock

The Western Conference Finals are upon us and what makes this matchup so sweet? The Denver Nuggets? The Los Angeles Lakers? Chauncey Billups leading his hometown team back to prosperity? Kobe Bryant making another run at a fourth title? No. Knowing the Dallas Mavericks are staying home? Oh, yes.

If the Mavericks soil their diapers every time the ball bounces the other way, why would anybody want to see them in basketball's greatest professional tournament? The Dallas Mavericks in their current form are bad for basketball. The ownership and the players…well, some of the players.

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I think they proved it beginning in the 2006 NBA Finals when we witnessed the total, cataclysmic meltdown of the team. Most notable was the image of Dirk Nowitzki kicking exercise bikes and Mark Cuban being the arrogant, bad-for-basketball owner that we are all so sick of. We couldn’t help but think of these embarrassing episodes following Game 3 of this year's Western Conference Semi-Finals after the Nuggets defeated the Mavericks in the wake of a controversial no-call.

Spilling onto the court after the final buzzer, the Dallas Mavericks showed exactly why fans should be thrilled to see them sent home by the Nuggets. Mark Cuban was full throttle. Shoving a camera man out of his way, Cuban further exposed himself as the delusional, disgusting man-child that he is. Oh, and in a fit of frustration that a teenage girl could have controlled better, he told Kenyon Martin's mother that her son is a punk/thug and then blogged his apology. Stay classy, Mark.

Nowitzki has failed to be the leader he needs to be on that team. The team is leaderless in the face of adversity. When Nowitzki's Mavs had a 2-0 lead on Dywane Wade's Heat in 2006, what did Wade do with his team behind in Game 3? He told himself, "Not like this." And his team won. What did Nowitzki do as Miami jumped out to a series lead? He was overwhelmed and succumbed to his emotions. And his team lost.

When things get edgy and the ball bounces the wrong way nobody steps up to keep the team in the game. The Mavs are unable to accept defeat as an opportunity to make the necessary changes and perfect their game. Like all perpetual losers they blame others, not themselves, for their failures.



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I'm excited to see the Denver Nuggets take on the Los Angeles Lakers. It's the playoffs so things may get a little chippy- they always do when you have two passionate teams fighting for a spot in the Finals. We've seen both teams lose their cool for a moment or two, but I will be dreadfully surprised if either team walks off the court with as little class as the Dallas Mavericks in the '06 Finals or in Game 3 of the Denver series.

You'd be hard pressed to find anybody with a justified reason to call the Cavilers' LeBron James a black mark on the game. Kobe Bryant was once seen as a ball hogging, cocky kid, whose skill was always overshadowed by his blatant attempts to prove his place among basketball's elite with his mouth, not his game. He has lately let his game speak for itself. Not surprisingly, but maybe surprisingly for old Kobe, his place as one of the game's best has not been tainted.

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Carmelo Anthony has a bit of a rough reputation (marijuana, DUI, punching Mardy Collins in the face), but he's had the positive influence of Billups for most of the season and I seriously doubt he punches anybody during the Conference Finals or NBA Finals. I'm not so sure that the Mavericks could've stopped themselves from throwing another collective hissy fit.

There is something terribly wrong with the Dallas Mavericks organization and something needs to be done by the front office to change the atmosphere. But alas, no plan is flawless. The flaw here? The front office's number one is Mark Cuban. And he won't change.

The Pick: Denver over L.A. in 6 Six Games

Written by Danny Hobrock

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baseball Betting: What Works For Me

***This article was written by guest sports writer Tyler Hunt***

Baseball is a tough sport to bet on because so many factors play into the final outcome of a game. This is what makes is so great. Everybody has their own opinion on how to be successful betting on games, and I am no different. I have tried multiple different techniques such as parlays, run lines, money lines and betting multiple games separately and have found what works for me and what hasn’t. Please note that the starting pitchers are much more important than any other factors when the odds makers determine the money lines.

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Home field advantage is a far second, unlike all the other major sports. In both pro basketball and pro football home field advantage is the key factor in determining the final odds. I will take 2 pitchers who over the last three years are considered front line starting pitchers. Roy Oswalt and Johan Santana are the pitchers I will use in this example. For these players the average money line when they are starting is typically between +180 to +250 for the opposing team. This means you can almost always get 2 to 1 odds when betting against their teams. Sure you are probably wondering why I would bet against the top pitchers in baseball. Here are my reasons, and for an example I will use a +200 money line for bets against them because this is a fair number to use.



In 2008 Roy Oswalt started 32 games for the Houston Astros and in the games he started his teams record was 19 wins and 13 losses. If you had bet one hundred dollars against the Astros in each start and had a +200 money line for each one of those games you would have made 700.00 at the end of the year. This is taking into consideration the money you layed out, and the money you brought in.

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A worse example which still proves the point is Johan Santana. He had 34 starts in 2008 and the Mets were the winning team on 22 of his starts. 12 times the team lost during his starts throughout the season, so if you bet one hundred dollars on each start and if the Mets were a 2-1 favorite when he started then you would have one 2400 dollars on the games they won. Minus the 2200 you would have lost on the games the Mets won, you would have come out up 200 dollars on top at the end of the year. This is sports betting and it is always going to be difficult, but by betting the front line starters to win is fools gold. You will have to put out much more money than you will get back. I feel the best way to win is to spot bet against a guy like Santana when the Mets bullpen is tired and been struggling.

Sometimes you can get a good money line against a team like the Marlins who have a solid young pitcher that doesn’t get the respect buy the odds makers, and lay out a couple hundred against the Mets. There is no exact science, but I feel this gives me the best odds in the long run.

***This article was written by guest sports writer Tyler Hunt***

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Delaware Legalizes Sports Betting And Maybe Not Just Parlays.

It has been one step backward, three steps forward, soon to be four, five, six...

The step backwards was when the Delaware House initially voted down the bill by a slim margin of two votes.

But, after some renegotiating and making the deal sweeter for the so called racinos (race tracks combined with slot machine casinos) the bill, adjusted as it was, passed the house just days later. Part of this "revamping" of the bill included what we consider the second step forward. This being the fact that the bill offers stronger language about promising the racinos table games in the near future.

And now the third step has been competed. On Tuesday, the Delaware Senate passed the bill 17-2. Governor Markell will sign the law into action later this week (four) and then the Delaware Supreme Court would vote on whether or not to allow straight bets instead of just parlays (step 5 if they allow them).

While estimates of the state budget deficit range from $600M to $800M, the governor is confident that allowing state run sports betting in Delaware will net some $50M in the first year alone. The goal is to have the sports betting mechanism implemented in time for the upcoming NFL season, by far the most bet on league in the U.S. (If you're still counting, that would be seven)

Step eight will be up to the local and not so local sports betting community and if they show up to throw down a legal bet on an NFL football game. We predict that they will show up in droves.

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Not everyone is excited about the new law. The NFL and NCAA are notably against the new bill citing jeopardizing the integrity of the game and promoting gambling among the young as their main arguments.

With Maryland just recently allowing slots in order to compete with Delaware, it remains to be seen whether a state like Maryland or other bordering states will seek to follow suit. The Governor of New Jersey has filed a suit against the Federal Government stating that it is treating the states unfairly by allowing some states (four, to be exact) to have sports betting and others not.



With politicians struggling for answers of how to dig the economy out of the current mess, this may just be one example of implementation of laws whose mere mention only recently was considered taboo. Suddenly, we have Califonrnia Governor Schwarzenegger lobbying for the legalization of marijuana and the Governor of New Jersey trying to allow for all states to decide whether or not they want to host sports betting.

Only time will tell if those efforts will be successful, but, regardless, Delaware is moving forward and, for now, moving forward alone. If successful, others, if smart, are sure to follow.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Delaware Sports Betting Bill Passes The House!

In our last blog about the Delaware sports betting proposal, after the house rejected it by 2 votes, one of our last lines was "We hope Markell continues to fight to push this proposal through. If this means renegotiating, he should do it." Well, it looks like our wish came true.

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After several hours of talks and negotiations, a new agreement was reached whereby the state will allow for the casinos to receive a higher cut of the sports betting action. The deal also promises table games in the near future to the casinos as opposed to simply "looking into" table games. Additionally, the sports betting licensing fee was reduced from $4.5M to $4M for the three participating casinos.

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The bill was originally rejected, losing by two votes. This newer version passed with 30 votes, 5 more than the necessary 25. The bill now moves on to the Delaware State Senate. The NFL and the NCAA are still notably against this proposal.

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So, great news for the mid-Atlantic sports bettors and gamblers. Not only might you be able to legally and securely place a wager on football this year, but your favorite table games might be soon to follow. If this deal does indeed pass the Senate and get implemented by this football season, many speculate that other bordering states will soon follow suit, mainly out of the necessity to compete. The sports betting legislation is expected to bring in $52M during the fiscal year starting July 1.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope the State Senate does the right thing too!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

NFL Rule To Ban Blocking Wedges: Better Safety, More Thrills.

When you watch an NFL football game, what is the most potentially exciting play? Many of you would probably answer this question with: a kick-off returned for a touchdown. This is because it is truly thrilling to see a player take it the distance, past eleven potential tacklers, following their blockers, cutting it back, and usually lastly, reminding everyone why the kicker is just that: a kicker. Not many plays can turn a game around, break open a game or break the spirit of an opponent like a kick-off returned for six.

Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Not only does it not happen often, but, when it does happen, it's not always so thrilling. Exciting, yes. Thrilling? This depends. The majority of returns happen like this: The returner catches the ball, runs straight up Field behind his blocking wedge, bounces it to the outside and runs up the sidelines into the endzone.

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With the wedge in place, as a returner, you'd be foolish not to follow their lead. If the wedge gets in the way of enough defenders, the returner can just usually make one smart cut to his left or right and, if the other would be defenders have over pursued, he's off to the races.

But, this year, wedges will not be allowed. We all recall many scary moments over the past few years of players colliding with each other during kick-off returns resulting in one player falling down limp. When players collide at those speeds, all it takes is an awkward angle and BOOM- a player's life has changed, his career is over and everyone just prays he'll walk again.

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Many of these injuries were the result of the wedge blockers and resultant "wedge busters," whose sole purpose was to sprint down the field and disrupt the wedge, usually resulting in the most violent collisions that occurred in a given football game. Now that the wedge will be no more in the NFL, the potential for this type of career and even life threatening injury should be seriously diminished and I think most people are happy about that.

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An added side affect, however, I predict, will be a huge bonus for the NFL. With no wedges, the action on a kick-off will be spread more widely across the field. With the wedge, it was obvious where the return was to go- behind the wedge. Basically, if the wedge worked to perfection, a good returner with some vision and, of course, speed, could spring one the distance. Wedge perfection is rare and therefore, so were returns. And, even when a kick-off was returned, because all the action centered around the wedge, many times it was simply a matter of the returner getting passed the initial wave of a cluster of players and the attention that the wedge draws. Therefore, as I said earlier, the returner often only had to make one smart cut and that was basically it. Exciting, yes. All touchdowns are exiting. Thrilling? Not so much.

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Without the wedge, the action can go anywhere. It will be more in the hands (and heart) of the returner as to where the best place to run is. A Kick-off return will start to have more elements of a punt return. The runner will be able to and will have to be more creative and make more cuts. The days of a "one cut to the house" returns will be over. A kick-off returned all the way will now involve several missed tackles, many amazing blocks, superior vision, quickness and speed by the runner. A return for a TD will not only be a safer version of the most exciting play during a football game, but the most thrilling as well.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delaware Sports Betting Proposal Rejected

It was supposed to be a sure thing. People local to the mid-Atlantic region were already mentally making their bets. But, as it turns out, people on the east coast and anywhere other than Vegas for that matter will have to wait even longer to place a bet on sports legally.

The bill needed 25 votes to pass and it only received 23. The three "racinos" (casino and racebook) that were to host the sportsbooks lobbied hard against the proposal, citing potential bankruptcy as the bill included an increased share for the State of the racino's revenue. The racinos didn't think that sports betting would add enough to their bottom line to justify the tax increase.

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Unfortunately for the racinos and for the avid American sports bettor, Delaware got it wrong! There would be so much excitement over the first legalized sports betting system on the east coast since 1979 that people would have lined up in droves to throw down on the NFL. Of course, this would mean added spill over revenue for the casinos, race tracks, and other attractions.

Governor Markell said that it's not over and that the state still needs to find a way to dig out of the recession and their current $700M deficit. To do this, they need to compete with bordering states like Maryland whose new slots look to take away much of what used to be revenue strictly delegated to Delaware.

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There is a massive underestimation of the amount of illegal online gambling that takes place in the U.S. If the racino owners and operators understood the real numbers they were turning down, they'd kick themselves for the rest of their lives. And, assuming that the sports betting system was profitable, other states would surely follow suit, if not to compete to simply reap the same rewards.

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We hope Markell continues to fight to push this proposal through. If this means renegotiating, he should do it. This bill shouldn't go to the house again until it is all but a done deal so no last minute lobbies can cause panic. Forget about the NFL, forget about the NCAA. They are after their own well being- as they should be. But they will be just fine. Think about Delaware, the money and the local sports bettor who just wants to throw down some loose change on a fun parlay wager.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is The NFL Really Against Legalizing Sports Betting?

Not if they know what is good for them. And, let's face it: The most influential and successful American sports league knows what is good for them. Part of knowing this is also knowing what to say and what to pretend to think.

Think about your favorite football team. You watch them every week, right? you don't leave the couch until a commercial. Well, what about the other games? Sure, you may be interested, especially if the other game 's result has some sort of bearing on your team. But, even if it doesn't, you still love football. You are still interested in the outcome. But, are you glued to your seat? Are you hanging on every play? Unless you have some money riding on the outcome, probably not.

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So, putting money on a game makes you watch other games besides those of your favorite team with the same intensity as those of the teams about which you are a fanatic. For the NFL, this means more consistent viewership, which, of course, means more advertising dollars.

But there are other, more subtle benefits that the NFL reaps from sports betting. The more people that bet on the NFL, the more people will tune into programs like NFL Live on ESPN or their local or a national sports radio show. This helps bring the NFL more into the consciousness of the public. People start to equate the NFL with regular daily activities. Basically, the more that people think about the NFL, the better it is for the league. And, who thinks more about the NFL than someone who bets on it regularly?

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The fact is that people bet on the NFL already. This is no secret. It is the most bet on league in the U.S, by far. But, most of this betting is performed illegally online or through a bookie. It is currently almost considered taboo for mainstream football talk shows to discuss point spreads or sports betting, other than for purely "fun purposes." Yet, when you look at the yearly football sports betting figures, the American football community is starving for such opinions. They are thirsty for sports betting insights and tips.

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By legalizing sports betting throughout the U.S, or somewhere other than Vegas, it will serve to simply bring something that already exists into the forefront of the mainstream sports culture. and it will add a dimension to the reporting of the sport that many people watch the reporting for anyway.

The NFL states that it does not want the integrity of its games to be threatened. But, this assumes that no betting takes place as it is now. But, the fact is that people bet anyway. If current bets do not affect the outcomes of games, why would future legal betting? It wouldn't.

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The NFL must be against sports betting- publicly. It is the "proper" stance to take. It is the "right" thing to say. But, ultimately, they should be glad to have people talking that much more about their league and their sport and the result of their sporting events. You think the NFL can't get substantially bigger or more powerful? Legalize sports betting and see what happens.

The NFL knows what is good for them and the legalization of sports betting (in any capacity) is good for them.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Sports Betting Strategy: The Parlay vs The Straight Bet

Which bet is better: the parlay or the straight bet? Well, this depends what you are trying to achieve.

If you simply want to have a little fun and you want the "most bang for your buck," the parlay is the way to go. In a parlay, you wager on at least two different outcomes within the same bet. You must pick both outcomes correctly in order to win. If one part of your bet is wrong, you lose. The advantage of the parlay is that you can win more by betting on two outcomes within one bet than you would by betting on each outcome separately. For example, if you hit a two-outcome parlay, many sportsbooks have the odds at 5/2 or 13/5.

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In most cases, if you push (tie) on one of your parlay wagers, your parlay is simply reduced to the next teir down (a 4-outcome parlay reduces to a 3-outcome parlay).

So, if you are just playing around with a relatively small amount of money (this amount may be different for different bettors), you may want to try a parlay. Some people like to risk a very small amount on a ridiculous parlay (7-15 outcomes). The chances of winning all these bets is slim to say the least, but you would be risking a very small amount and the potential reward makes it fun.



If you are a more serious bettor, someone who is actually looking to make some money by betting on sports, you probably want to stick with the straight bet. If you can pick winners at a high enough percentage, it may be a good strategy to simply bet the same amount on all of your bets, always betting on one outcome (straight bet) and you should make money in the long run. When doing this, it is important not to give into the temptation to bet more than normal on any given outcome.

You may think you know what a certain outcome will be, but you must have the philosophy that if you are willing to bet on it, it is worth the same as any other bet- no more, no less. This means that if you win you mustn't start telling yourself that you should have wagered more and if you lose that you should have wagered less. Just be prepared for ups and downs and trust in your long term percentage.

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Of course, the odds for winning a single straight bet are greater than hitting any parlay and you usually will have to wager 10% more than you would win. If you are just looking for a quick "big hit," you can p;ace a small wager on a parlay or you can bet more on a straight bet. Either way, have fun, and good luck!

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