Archives for November 2007

2009 March Madness Brackets

March Madness Brackets

Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

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2009 March madness brackets

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BCS Championship Mess

Another BCS Championship Mess

Shane M. Dayton

Some call it a mess, others call it a thing of beauty.  Division I college football has never seen a season like this.  From 2 different #1s and 4 different #2s losing, to the rapid rise and fall of many programs, the parity and enjoyment of this season for the football fan has been unparalleled.  But what does this mean for the BCS, and is it a good thing, or a bad thing?

Well the “play-offs” vs. “bowl game” argument will never be settled, but I for one, have liked the BCS system (the idea at least, if not the execution) because every single week becomes the play-offs, and the ability of up and coming teams to strike it big in a BCS bowl (see Boise State, Wake Forest) allows them to build in a way that play-offs would not, since lower divisions show that play-offs will reduce the field to 4-5 teams who win it every single year (or around 15 in a row at the Division-III level).

My friend, Allen, has long supported the play-offs, but even he admits, if every year is going to be like this, then he would be all about keeping the BCS.  Good football can trump a lot of arguments, and this season has had plenty of that.  So, since we have the BCS, what does Ohio State’s loss mean to the national title picture?  You may be surprised.

The top 6 teams right now are LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and West Virginia.  West Virginia plays two ranked opponents, but at #6 they need a series of miracles that, even in this season, aren’t going to happen.  LSU is a somewhat controversial #1.  Oregon is definitely the sexier pick, but LSU will face a tough Georgia team in the SEC title game, and if Flynn can’t stop sucking, that could knock the Tigers out of contention.

In the past Big Ten and Pac-10 teams have profited from not having a title game, but this year it could bite Oregon in the butt.  LSU has a chance to solidify its place with a game against an excellent Georgia team, while the Big 12 Title game really throws a wrench into it.  Barring an Oklahoma loss to Texas Tech this week, read this: a Big 12 team will play for the national title.

How?  Look at it.  Kansas is 3rd, Oklahoma 4th, and Missouri 5th.  Let no one kid you, the Big 12 is back, as Texas is just outside the top 10.  Kansas and Missouri play next week to see who goes to the Big 12 championship game.  This means one of the two will beat a top five team, before facing another top five team.  Whoever wins that championship game will have to beat yet another top five team.

These added wins will not only boost the eventual winner in voters’ polls, but in a tight computer poll, it’s almost a certainty one of these teams will leap frog Oregon into that #2 slot.  After all, how can you keep out a top five team who beat one, or two, other top five teams in the final weeks?  You really can’t.

If Oklahoma wins out to the title game, a Big 12 team will play in the championship game.  Oregon will need LSU to lose the SEC championship to stay in the rankings.  While everyone is talking Oregon-LSU, LSU-Oklahoma or even Oregon-Kansas is more likely.  Missouri can even get in by winning out.  These last weeks are going to be amazing to watch, but the Big 12 is in prime shape to go to a national title game, and Oregon fans are in a position to be sorely disappointed

NBA Season Betting Predictions

kg.jpg2007-2008 NBA Predictions

The NBA season is all set to go, and every NBA fan, and especially commissioner David Stern, is praying that it’s a great one.  Between all the referee gambling scandals (and man does that one keep adding up) to pissed off Suns fans and low ratings, the NBA could be in serious trouble without a strong season.  It’s my opinion they’re likely to get it this year.  Here are 5 early predictions for the 2007-2008 NBA season….

1) Not only will the Boston Celtics win the East, but they will win it all. Why?  Well while all the news about Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce has been encouraging, one major statistic has been overlooked: the worst of them shoots 79.5% at the free throw line.  So who are you going to foul?  They’ve worked great as a team, have really upped the defense, and somehow many experts are picking against them now allowing a “no respect” card.  Kobe has never been a good teammate.  If he goes to the Bulls, I think it’s even less likely they can win the East.

Besides, for you conspiracy buffs out there (and let’s be real, the NBA is the closest sport to WWE wrestling), having Phoenix “finally” win only underlines the quite possibly fixed officiating against the Spurs last year, and brings out “they got it because they got screwed last year” whiners.  But a rejuvenated Boston franchise suddenly relevant again as Garnett and company get their first rings?  It’s too good for the commissioner to not be hoping for.

2) The New Jersey Nets will surprise, and take out the Bulls before losing in seven to the Celtics.  The Nets had a great team last season that faced a lot of injuries.  They re-signed Vince Carter, they still have Jason Kidd.  With strong supporting cast, if this team can stay healthy, they are more than good enough to run with anyone in the East, and they have a solid veteran core that will help them over younger teams like the Bulls or the Cavs.

3) Contrary to popular belief, the Suns will NOT make it over the hump.  Say all you want about b.s. officiating, but the Spurs are still day in and day out the best team in the NBA, the Mavs are still an extremely dangerous team, and we’re seeing something in Phoenix we haven’t seen: discontent, players arguing and publicly bashing the team while the owner is a cheapskate.  You only get so long to make a run, and the owner’s unwillingness to go over the luxury chance has killed this team.  They are very good, they will remain very good, they will not find a way to go all the way.  Don’t forget, the teams ahead of them are not “old” teams, either.

4) Kobe will end up traded, but there is no accurate front runner. Chicago makes sense.  Almost too much sense.  The Lakers aren’t going to give Kobe up without getting a lot in return, and this is a young team that can possibly go all the way now without Kobe’s help, even after badly overpaying Wallace.  Do they really want to break up that young tough defense with some promising young players for a “me first” player who has never won anything without being surrounded by some of the best players in the game’s history?  Kobe will force a trade, but as to where he’ll go, that could be anybody’s guess.  Most of these situations will settle down, but I just don’t see that happening with Kobe.  If he isn’t traded this year, it’s a forgone conclusion the Lakers will do everything in their power to trade him before next season.

5) The Rockets will shock the West—and may even go all the way.  This coach can play defense like nobody’s business, but the way Van Gundy handled offense and his spot players was so mind boggling it was Art Shell like, to use an NFL analogy.  They hired a solid coach who should get Wells fired up, to give the Rockets a desperately needed 3rd shooter.  No team in the NBA needed a third man worse than the Rockets, and if Steve Francis can play well as a role player, this is the one team who could cause match up problems for all three of the West’s big teams: the Mavs, Spurs, and Suns.  This team bears watching.