Archives for May 2009

NFL Odds released on 2009 NFC North Champ

NFL Odds

2009 NFL Betting Lines and Spreads

Vikings +150 to win NFC North

The NFC North Division seems to be wide open in 2009 and bookmakers agree.  The Minnesota Vikings have been labeled the favorite at +150.  However, the big surprise was that the brain trust posting the lines has decided to make the Green Bay Packers a favorite over the Chicago Bears and their new Pro Bowl quarterback, Jay Cutler.
Green Bay is listed at +160 while the Bears have been posted as +200 to win the whacky NFC North.  The Bears won nine games last season opposed to Green Bay’s six wins.  Meanwhile, it was no surprise that the Lions are a tremendous long shot to win the division at +1500.

Everyone in the Windy City is excited about the arrival of Jay Cutler.  Finally, Bears fans won’t have to watch another season go by without someone who can handle the most important position in football.  While Cutler has a solid line and an emerging star running back in Matt Forte, he still doesn’t have much at the wide receiver position.  Devin Hester is the number one receiver and Rashied Davis is the number two.  Cutler will have to perform without stud receivers like he had in Denver.  The defense is getting older but should still be solid for at least one more year.  I think the Bears are the team to beat and at 2-1 odds are a very good bet to win this division.

Front running Minnesota still has huge quarterback issues.  Tavaris Jackson still hasn’t proved to be a reliable starting QB in the NFL and he will have to battle for his job as the Vikings have brought in Sage Rosenfels.  Adrian Peterson is arguably the best back in football and he will be counted on to carry the offense.  The arrival of Percy Harvin gives them another threat but it’s hard to say how a raw, underdeveloped wide receiver will translate in the NFL.  The defense is very good especially up front but without a quality player pulling the trigger, I don’t see Minnesota outlasting the Bears for a second year in a row.

While I expect Green Bay to be improved this year, I still can’t see why they came so close to being pegged the favorite in this division by the odds makers.  They have talent, much more then the six games they won last year would indicate.  Aaron Rodgers had a decent year and should be better.  However, the run game was flat out pathetic and in this division you have to have some sort of a running game to keep defenders off balance.  They will switch to a 3-4 defense which I think will benefit them in the long run.  Cullen Jenkins should be healthy to anchor the defensive line and rookie nose tackle B.J. Raji should clog up the middle.  They have fast linebackers and the new scheme will allow them to roam free and make plays.  I just don’t see them making the playoffs but you never know in the NFL.  However, expect them to be much more competitive this year then last.

The Detroit Lions should also improve but they are more on a five year plan then anything else.  They will continue to struggle and the arrival of Matthew Stafford isn’t going to change things in the first year.  The Lions intend on easing him into the league which is a smart move.  They know they’re not going to be in contention so why not let him take his time?  The odds makers agree that it will be another long year in Detroit as they are listed at 15-1 to win their division.  The NFC North will be a three horse race once again until Detroit has time to develop and build into a contender.
Betting Odds to win the NFC North in 2009:

Chicago Bears            +200

Detroit Lions               +1500

Green Bay Packers      +160

Minnesota Vikings         +150
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Betting Odds on which team will win the NFC East in 2009

NFL Odds

2009 NFL Betting Lines and Spreads

Giants favored to win NFC East

The oddsmakers have designated the New York Giants as a slight early favorite to win the NFC East in 2009.  The Giants are +150 to win the division meanwhile the Philadelphia Eagles are a close second at +160.

Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones gone, the soap opera in Dallas might be coming to an end but you never know in Big D.  However, the bookmakers are predicting Dallas to finish third in the NFC East and have posted them way behind the Giants and Eagles at +300 to win the division.  And it comes as no surprise that the Washington Redskins who appear to be sticking with Jason Campbell at quarterback are a humungous long shot to win this tough, rugged division as they have been posted at +700 to win the NFC East.

The big question mark facing the New York Giants in 2009 will be at the wide receiver position.  Instead of going out and trying to get a big name receiver like Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards, the Giants chose to draft North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.  Nicks is big and fast but rookie wide outs generally have a tendency to struggle in their early years in the NFL.  The defense is solid and the running game is outstanding.  However, Eli Manning needs to step up his game to the level he played at in the playoffs two years ago and someone has to emerge as a go to guy in the passing game for the Giants to win this division.

Betting Odds to win the NFC East in 2009:

Dallas Cowboys           +300

New York Giants         +150

Philadelphia Eagles      +160

Washington Redskins     +700

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The Eagles focused their draft day needs on adding weapons for quarterback, Donovan McNabb.  In the first round they took speedster Jeremy Maclin and in the third round they took Pitt standout running back, LeSean McCoy.  With DeSean Jackson having a year under his belt, he and Maclin can cause havoc for defensive backfields all year long.  McCoy is a nice third down weapon to have and can spell aging Brian Westbrook.  All in all, this is a very good team who had a successful off-season and they look to be the only team that will push the Giants for the top spot in this division.

The Cowboys must find a way to replace Terrell Owens and Roy Williams needs to become the number one threat that he was drafted so highly to be.  The running game is outstanding and I think Dallas will try to rely more on their backs instead of throwing on every down.  The defense needs to step up and play to its potential if this team is going to make the playoffs.  At +300, Dallas isn’t getting much respect and I can see why.  They have a lot of question marks but they also have some talent.  I’m just not convinced they are as good as the two teams ahead of them.

Quarterback Jason Campbell will be lucky to survive this next season in Washington.  He was flat out awful last year and by season’s end so were the Redskins.  Without good quarterback play, it’s tough to say that the Redskins have any shot at winning the NFC East.  Clinton Portis is a stud but he is getting older and I don’t know much longer he can be asked to carry an offense by himself.  Washington wanted Cutler but didn’t get him.  Then they wanted Sanchez and couldn’t find a way to beat the Jets to the punch.  It could be a very long year in Washington.

N.L. Central Champ Odds Shifting Again

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MLB Betting Futures now show Brewers +900 to win NL Central

Brewers +900 to win Central

Coming into 2009, the Cubs were the clear favorites in the NL Central, predicted to finish comfortably ahead of the Brewers and Cardinals. Considering the unpredictability of the baseball season, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Chicago hasn’t exactly run away with the division, getting off to a 16-13 start. In fact, it was St. Louis that came flying out of the gate, beginning the year 17-7.

With the Cubs getting the preseason hype, and the Cardinals getting the attention early in the year, people weren’t paying much attention to the Brewers in April. And rightfully so, as Milwaukee struggled at the season’s outset, beginning the year just 4-9. This caused them to become something of an afterthought, as they’d dug themselves a pretty sizeable hole, especially relative to St. Louis.

But the Brewers have turned their season around incredibly quickly. Since losing nine of their first 13, they’re 13-4, and four games over .500 after their victory over Chicago on Friday night. With the Cardinals coming back down to earth, Milwaukee is actually just two games out of first place after the season’s first 30 games.

The odds have been slow to adjust to this rather sudden change, as Milwaukee’s odds obviously dropped after they got off to a slow start. But now that they’re right back in it, +900 (at BetUS) is good value, since they clearly have the personnel to compete in the NL Central.

Milwaukee’s strength is a lineup that’s solid all the way through. Everyone knows about sluggers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, who have gotten off to their customary excellent starts. But Mike Cameron has actually been the Brewers’ most valuable player thus far, combining 16 extra base hits and 16 walks against just 19 strikeouts in his first 27 games with his customary excellent defense in center field.

Rickie Weeks is also having a solid season, with his OPS up about 50 points from his career mark. His walks are down, which is a somewhat discouraging sign, but he’s more than compensating for that with a significant increase in power, with six home runs already in 2009 after hitting just 14 last year. Corey Hart has also recovered from a dismal second half of 2008, with a very well rounded BA/OBP/SLG line of .273/.352/.455.

Maybe the most encouraging sign to come out of Milwaukee has been the emergency of starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Limited by injuries to just 24 innings last year, he wasn’t able to make a significant contribution, although he did help out in the playoffs. This year has been a different story for Gallardo, who has gotten off to a great start, 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA and a 39:12 K:BB ratio in 41.2 innings of work. He’s shown signs of dominance already, and he has the stuff to continue that trend the rest of the year.

At the other end of the spectrum, rotation mate Manny Parra got off to a very slow start, 0-3 with a 8.16 ERA in his first three starts. Since then, though, he’s been excellent, with a miniscule 2.12 ERA in 17 innings since. Parra has some control problems to work out, but he has a chance to be a solid contributor as well. Combine him and Gallardo with David Bush, Braden Looper, and Jeff Suppan and, while the Brewers may not have any huge names in their rotation, they do have a solid 1-5.

The Brewers also acquired a new closer this offseason, if the 41-year old Trevor Hoffman can possibly be described as “new”. Filling a spot that has been a problem for Milwaukee in past years – the Eric Gagne signing didn’t exactly work out – Hoffman has been all they could’ve expected and then some. In six appearances he’s 5/5 in save chances, with a brilliant 7:0 K:BB ratio, and he’s yet to allow a run.

You certainly never root for anybody to get injured, but it’s undeniable that the dislocated shoulder that Aramis Ramirez suffered in Friday night’s games will help Milwaukee’s playoff chances as well. Ramirez had only played 17 games so far this year, but he was excellent when in the lineup, with a .369/.423/.600 line in 71 plate appearances. He has been a constant contributor to the Chicago offense over the last five years, and his absence will certainly be costly.

The Brewers are obviously not a lock to win the division, as they’re up against some pretty stiff competition in St. Louis and Chicago. But at +900 they don’t need to be automatic, they just necessitate a legitimate chance at claiming the title, and that hope is certainly alive in Milwaukee.

See live 2009 World Series Odds every week of the baseball betting season. Make sure to visit our baseball betting forum on a daily basis. Also check out live Baseball Odds and MLB Lines

5 betting surprises in the young 2009 baseball season

Almost two months in and the 2009 MLB season has already been filled with many twists and turns. Last year’s World Series contestants have looked anything but and some of the weaker rosters have been inspiring. A lot has transpired and here are some of the biggest surprises thus far.

Mariners Competing

No one would have predicted that Seattle would even put up a fight in the early season. Though recently falling under .500, they could be a serious threat in the AL West with a much weaker Angels team and the inconsistent Rangers. The homeruns are only trickling in, however the bats are on fire. Ichiro Suzuki is leading the team with a .318 average while Russell Branyan is the team’s RBI leader with 20 runs batted in. Seattle’s greatest strength is perhaps their pitching as Jarod Washburn, Erik Bedard and Felix Hernandez have all looked sharp. If the Mariners can hit the long ball, they might be able to stay afloat in the shaky AL West.

Blue Jays Soaring High

The biggest surprise of the young season has to be the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays. 27-16 overall, the team is a profitable 16-6 at home and equally impressive on the road at 11-10.
You can almost pencil Jays ace Roy Halladay for the win every time he steps to the mound. 8-1 with an ERA of 2.78, Halladay is currently one of the game’s hottest big money pitchers. Toronto also has stability at the three spot with Scott Richmond and his 4-2 record. With Hill, Lind, Rolen and Bautista all hitting over .300, it may be hard for the Yanks and Sox to keep up with this team.

Tigers Pitching Roaring

Predicted by experts to score more than 1,000 runs in their miserable season, the Tigers have looked mighty good in the early goings. The offense has been solid but surprisingly, Detroit is being carried by their pitching. Rodney and Zumaya have tightened up in the bullpen and Justin Verlander is showing serious flashes from the 2006 World Series run. Everyone keeps waiting for the kitty cats to collapse but the Tigers haven’t folded, looking down from the top of the AL Central in spite of Kansas City’s impressive start.

Big Papi Stinks

From the mouth of the man himself, “Big Papi Stinks,” said David Ortiz after another miserable “0-fer” in a recent defeat. David Ortiz is having one of his worst seasons ever, hitting a lowly .210 with 34 strikeouts. Ortiz didn’t hit his first homer until May 20, but the Red Sox have been carried by the hot bats of Ellsbury, Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis especially. The Sox have been able to display the mental toughness that has made them a post-season regular. Who knows when or if, Ortiz will get the pop back, but it doesn’t look like Boston is waiting for him.

Manny Being Manny?
Even after all the shenanigans with A-Rod and Clemens, you have to admit that it’s at least a little shocking to know Manny is the latest superstar to be linked to performance enhancing drugs. The most surprising part in all this is that the Dodgers have been able to maintain first place in the AL West. Juan Pierre is hitting like he’s from another planet and the bats of Hudson and Castro have started to follow suit. The Dodgers should have no trouble holding first until Manny returns from his 50-game suspension.

See live 2009 World Series Odds every week of the baseball betting season. Make sure to visit our baseball betting forum on a daily basis. Also check out live Baseball Odds and MLB Lines

Even without Favre Vikings favored to win NFC North

NFL Odds

2009 NFL Betting Odds

Vikings +150 to win NFC North

Who needs Brett Favre? The Minnesota Vikings are already favored to win the NFC North in 2009 according to

Even with the divisional rival Chicago Bears adding quarterback Jay Cutler, the Minnesota Vikings remain the favorite to win the NFC North

The Vikings are listed as the +150 favorite to win the division title right now at, while the Bears and Green Bay Packers are listed at +180 odds.

After an 0-16 season last year, the Detroit Lions are a +1800 long shot to capture the title.

Football bettors can place their Futures Wagers right now at Early betting is the best way to get top value on your futures and with the 2010 Super Bowl Champion, Conference Champions, Week 1 lines and odds for every division, this is the perfect time to start betting on the next NFL Season.

You can also wager on whether Brett Favre will sign a contract to play in the NFL this season. Favre has been linked to the Vikings since he was released by the New York Jets last week.

NFC Division Odds

NFC North
Minnesota Vikings +150
Chicago Bears +180
Green Bay Packers +180
Detroit Lions +1800

NFC East
New York Giants +150
Philadelphia Eagles +180
Dallas Cowboys +225
Washington Redskins +800

NFC South
New Orleans Saints +180
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +180
Carolina Panthers +250
Atlanta Falcons +500

NFC West
Arizona Cardinals +125
Seattle Seahawks +200
San Francisco 49ers +200
St. Louis Rams +800

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MLB Betting – Bullpens Can Not Be Overlooked

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MLB Betting picks and tips at

Follow the Bullpens

In my 19 years of handicapping baseball, I continually see novice and amateur bettors completely ignore how good a team’s bullpen is before placing a bet. Everyone is so caught up on the starting pitching match-ups to the point that it is the only thing they focus on while handicapping a baseball game. Thus, I am here to remind you that in almost all games, the starting pitcher is not going to be the only one pitching in that game. Don’t get me wrong, starting pitching is the first thing I look at as well but I also like my money on teams with good bullpens.

Years ago, starting pitchers would pitch 9 innings and three or four days later be ready to go again. Friends, that era of baseball glory is over and it’s been over for quite some time. I mean really think hard: How often do starters go nine innings in a ball game? Not very often. Complete games are becoming a shadow of the past. In this day and age, if a guy goes SIX innings of quality work, he is commended. Therefore, if we get those six strong innings from a starting pitcher, we’ve still got three more innings to go. And who comes into fill those innings? The bullpen!

After I have evaluated the starting pitchers, the teams, and the offenses of both clubs, I immediately look to see who has the stronger bullpens because they will be the guys pitching those crucial late innings. Those innings are even more crucial in a close ball game. I look for bullpens with good ERAs for starters. ERA is the best indicator of how good any pitcher is in my opinion. I also liked to see how the bullpens have fared in their last ten and last three ball games.

Just like starting pitchers, I want my money on teams that have good bullpens and bullpen pitching that has been doing well of late. I then look at the last three games and how many innings the bullpen has worked. I do not want money on a tired bullpen. I want fresh arms that are going to be able to come in and stop opposing hitters from pushing runs across. Trust me, I’ve already lost two big games because of bad bullpen work and I will do anything to not let that happen again.

After you have evaluated the starting pitching, make sure to look at each team’s bullpen. Put your money on teams who have good ERAs and who haven’t been overworked in the last three to five outings. Lastly, do a little research to find out a team or a closer’s save percentage. Nothing hurts worse then losing a game by having a closer come in and blow a lead or the game for you. All these statistics on bullpen pitching will give you a better chance of putting money in your pocket. Don’t be a sucker! Don’t overlook the importance of the bullpens!

See live 2009 World Series Odds every week of the baseball betting season. Make sure to visit our baseball betting forum on a daily basis. Also check out live Baseball Odds and MLB Lines