Archives for June 2010

Ohio State is a big favorite to win the Big 10 in 2010

The Big Ten only has one more year left of being a conference with 11 teams, as the Nebraska Cornhuskers will join the fold in 2011. Even though there is a clear cut favorite in the conference this year, there are several other squads that can steal the show and snag the slot in the Rose Bowl.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (-250 odds to win Big 10 in 2010) – For HC Jim Tressel, this season is really Rose Bowl or bust (unless the Buckeyes have National Championship dreams). The Bucks went 11-2 last season and had the second best defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 12.5 points per game. This is the third year in Columbus for highly touted QB Terrelle Pryor. He totaled 25 touchdowns in 2009 between his passing and rushing and accounted for 2,873 total yards to boot. Many feel as though Pryor is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate considering the fact that all of the finalists from last year aside from RB Mark Ingram are now in the NFL.

Trips to Iowa and Wisconsin could be dangerous for the Buckeyes, but one would like to think that a slip in just one of those two games will still be alright as long as they hold serve at home. This is a chalky bet, but Ohio State is certainly the team to beat in the Big Ten.

2. Wisconsin Badgers (+350 odds to win Big 10 in 2010) – HC Brett Bielema certainly knows what he’s doing with the Badgers in Madison; especially defensively. Wisconsin held opposing teams to 305.7 yards per game in 2009, including finishing fifth in the land at 88.2 rushing yards per game. There is a big question about who is taking over under center for the Badgers, but this isn’t exactly a team that has had stellar quarterback play in quite a few years. Instead, expect a rushing game that averaged a whopping 203.8 yards per game in 2009 to take center stage.

The other reason that we really love what Bucky the Badger might be able to do this year is that his schedule sets up fantastically. There is no reason for Wisconsin to be anything less than 4-0 going into Michigan State in the first week of October. Games against Ohio State and at Iowa could be the last hurdles towards a Big Ten title.

Best ROI Pick: Michigan Wolverines (+1500 odds to win Big 10 in 2010) – The Wolverines started last season at 4-0 and even snuck into the Top 25 at one point, but they failed to get to a bowl game once again. This is probably the last chance for HC Rich Rodriguez to impress Big Blue nation before a change is made. QB Tate Forcier really stepped up in his freshman year to take over the reins under center. Though 13 touchdowns against ten picks isn’t fantastic, Forcier showed that he can lead a team both with his arm and his legs. Look for him only to improve in his sophomore campaign.

Yes, Michigan has to travel to Ohio State and Penn State, which is going to make life a lot more difficult in the Big Ten, but if there is a coach that can pull all of this off, Rich Rod is the man to count on. If not, he’ll be on the unemployment lines by this time next year.

Betting Odds to win the Big 10 Conference in 2010:

– Illinois +2000
– Indiana +3000
– Iowa +350
– Michigan +1200
– Michigan State +1200
– Minnesota +3000
– Northwestern +2000
– Ohio State -250
– Penn State +650
– Purdue +2000
– Wisconsin +350
(Place Your Bets now on who you think will win the BIG 10)

See live Football Odds every week of the College Football Lines season. Make sure to visit our College Football Picks on a daily basis. Also check out updated 2011 BCS Champion Odds

2010 Heisman Trophy Odds: Mark Ingram, Jake Locker, Case Keenum in Focus

Last season all of the talk was about Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow, Oklahoma Sooners QB Sam Bradford, and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy for the Heisman Trophy. Though Bradford was injured, the other two made it to the Big Apple as a finalist for the award. It was Alabama’s RB Mark Ingram that took the honors though as just a sophomore, and he is back along with a host of others that are going to try to win college football’s most illustrious personal achievement in the 2010-2011 college football betting season.

1. Mark Ingram, Alabama Crimson Tide (+385 odds to win Heisman) – Truth be told, we’re not much for Ingram’s chances of repeating as a Heisman Trophy winner. First of all, this is only something that has ever been done once before in the history of college football, and if neither Tebow nor Bradford could pull it off, we don’t like Ingram’s chances either. Not only can we expect less than 1,658 yards and 20 total touchdowns out of the junior because of attrition and the fact that the SEC defenses will all be keyed in to him, but reserve RB Trent Richardson, who had 144 carries last season, is bound to steal a good chunk of the load as well.

2. Jake Locker, Washington Huskies (+800 odds to win Heisman) – Locker may have the best chance to put up the best numbers amongst anyone in major college football this year, but unless the Huskies have plans on playing in a respectable bowl game this year, their quarterback probably doesn’t stand a chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. Locker is clearly one of the most dynamic QBs in the country right now, as he can throw the ball 60 yards down field or bowl over any linebacker in the land on the run, but without some help, he won’t play a role in the Heisman race when it is said and done.

3. Case Keenum, Houston Cougars (+1500 odds to win Heisman) – After throwing for 44 touchdown passes in each of the L/2 seasons and having well over 12,000 passing yards at Houston, Keenum is back to try to win the Heisman Trophy in his final year as a collegiate. It seems rather inevitable that another 5,000 yard year is in the cards for Keenum, but much like Locker, without a ton of help from his teammates, winning the Heisman Trophy seems like nothing more than a pipedream. It is going to take at least a C-USA championship and most likely an undefeated season for Keenum to be a finalist for the award.

Great ROI Potential Pick: Christian Ponder, Florida State Seminoles (+1800 odds to win Heisman) – Here’s a bit of a dark horse that no one is talking about for the Heisman Trophy. Ponder, by most accounts, is going to be either a first or second round NFL Draft selection next year. When he was healthy in ‘09, Ponder was the best quarterback in the ACC, and if that remains the case this year, he’ll be on the Heisman board for a long time. Especially considering the fact that the Seminoles are now going to have a lot more of an offensive mentality to them with Jimbo Fisher calling the shots, Ponder may be worth an investment.

Odds to win 2010-2011 Heisman Trophy:

(bet these odds today)
– Mark Ingram +300
– Terrelle Pryor +500
– Ryan Mallett +1000
– Case Keenum +1200
– Dion Lewis +1200
– Jacory Harris +1200
– John Clay +1200
– Noel Devine +1200
– Jake Locker +1200
– Evan Royster +1200
– Andrew Luck +1500
– DeMarco Murray +1500
– Kellen Moore +1500
– Christian Ponder +1500
– Damon Berry +1800
– Jacquizz Rodgers +2000
– Garrett Gilbert +2500
– LaMichael James +3000
– Matt Barkley +3000
– Tate Forcier +3000
– Landry Jones +4000
– Blaine Gabbert +5000
– Jerrod Johnson +5000
– Jordan Todman +5000
– Josh Nesbitt +5000
– Robert Griffin +6000

See live Football Odds every week of the College Football Lines season. Make sure to visit our College Football Picks on a daily basis. Also check out updated 2011 BCS Champion Odds

USA-Ghana World Cup Predictions & Betting Odds

The second round of the World Cup starts on Saturday, and in one of the premier events of the weekend, the United States will take on Ghana for the right to play the winner of the Uruguay/South Korea match in the quarterfinals. Check out the three keys to this World Cup betting tussle.

USA vs. Ghana Betting Odds:

USA is listed at -150 to win (bet now)

Ghana is listed at +190 to win (bet now)

Key #1 – Did the United States learn anything from four years ago? – When the World Cup was in Germany in 2006, the Americans took on the Black Stars on the final day of group play in their group. The US needed the full three points to progress into the second round, while Ghana needed just a draw. Manager Bob Bradley’s team came out as flat as could be and ultimately ended up losing 2-0. At this point, the Americans look like a completely different offensive team though, so we are expecting a better effort from that standpoint.

Key #2 – Is Landon Donovan ready to shine and become a hero in American sports? – Truth be told, if soccer was big in the United States, Donovan would already be looked at as a hero because of his two goals in the first round of this tournament. His first strike helped spark the comeback against Slovenia from down 2-0, while the second was the real savior, as it was a thrilling strike against Algeria in stoppage time that sent the Americans through to the second round. Against a Ghana defense that has generally been strong throughout the first round of this tournament though, Donovan could find himself under tight wraps. If he can break through once again, the US is probably advancing into the quarters.

Key #3 – Does Ghana have enough offensive firepower to score against the Americans? – Probably not. Yes, this is a team that netted a pair of goals in their three Group D matches, but both came as penalty kicks from Asamoah Gyan. Yes, the lone African team left in this tournament does have plenty of offensive capabilities, but so far, it has yet to find the back of the net without the help of an infraction in the opposing box. Save for one bad half of soccer against Slovenia, the United States has played fantastic defense all tournament long. I have a hard time believing the Black Stars are going to be able to strike when a significantly more powerful British team went the final 86 minutes of the match failing to hit pay dirt.

This is probably a great revenge spot for the United States from four years ago. Ghana is not as strong of a team as it was in Germany in 2006, while the Americans are absolutely at least as strong if not stronger than they were at that point. The bottom line is going to be the Black Stars offense. If they can’t score, the Stars and Stripes are going to find a way to eke out a goal to get through to the quarterfinals for the second time in the L/3 World Cups.

USA vs. Ghana World Cup Score Prediction:

United States 1 – Ghana 0

2010 NFL Vegas Odds List San Diego Chargers As Big Favorites to Win AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (-275 odds to win AFC West in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 13-3 (1st)

The Chargers are an overwhelming favorite to capture a fifth straight AFC West title this season. Quarterback Phillip Rivers leads an offense that has ranked in the top five in the league in scoring offense in each of the last six years. The running game will have a new look in 2010. Longtime standout LaDainian Tomlinson is now with the New York Jets. Top draft pick Ryan Matthews is set to take over in the backfield. The defense has failed to rank in the top 15 in the NFL in total defense in each of the last two years. San Diego should be able to get out to a quick start this season.

Chargers 2010 NFL Schedule Tip: In the first six games of the year, the Chargers will face five teams that had losing records in 2009.

2. Denver Broncos (+500 odds to win AFC West in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 8-8 (2nd)

Denver has started quickly in each of the last two years before fading down the stretch. With the departure of star wideout Brandon Marshall, the Broncos offense will likely regress a little in 2010. Rookie quarterback Tim Tebow will add a new wrinkle to the unit this season. Denver’s vastly improved defense ranked 7th in the league in total defense in 2009 after being one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2008.

Broncos 2010 NFL Schedule Tip: The Broncos will have to face three 2009 AFC playoff squads within the first six weeks of the season.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (+550 odds to win AFC West in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 4-12 (4th)

With only ten wins over the last three seasons, the Chiefs could be still another year or two away from mounting a threat to San Diego’s reign atop the division. However, there are some glimpses of hope for Kansas City entering 2010. The club could have one of the best running tandems in the NFL this season. Jamaal Charles had a breakout season in 2009 with over 1,100 rushing yards. Veteran Thomas Jones has landed in Kansas City after leading the AFC in rushing for the Jets a year ago. The defense will need to improve after ranking in the bottom four in the NFL in total and scoring defense in each of the last two seasons.

Chiefs 2010 NFL Schedule Tip: In the first five games of the year, the Chiefs will face only one squad that posted a losing mark in 2009.

4. Oakland Raiders (+800 odds to win AFC West in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 5-11 (3rd)

Since winning the AFC championship in 2002, the Raiders have been limited to five or less wins in each of the last seven years. Offense has been the main problem in Oakland. The club has finished in the bottom four in the NFL in total and scoring offense in three of the last four seasons. The Raiders are hoping that former Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell can jumpstart the offense after the organization gave up on former top NFL overall draft pick JeMarcus Russell in the offseason.

Raiders 2010 NFL Schedule Tip: Oakland’s first six road games in 2010 will be against squads that were .500 or better last season.

Check out the 2010 NFL Monday Night Football Schedule and 2010 NFL Sunday Night Game Schedule season. Also check out updated 2011 Super Bowl Odds and winning NFL Picks once the 2010 NFL season kicks off.

Yankees, Twins, Rays now top 3 favorites to win 2010 A.L. Pennant

In the last three years, three different AL East squads have represented the league in the World Series. This season, all three clubs are in the hunt again. The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for the best record in the majors through June 14th at 40-23. After a slow start, the Boston Red Sox are in striking distance in the division race at 37-28. While these squads are among the favorites in the AL, a team that has plenty of postseason experience can’t be counted out either.

1. New York Yankees (+150 odds to win 2010 A.L. Pennant)

The defending World Series champion Yankees haven’t skipped a beat in 2010. While the club’s veteran stars can still do plenty of damage, one of the squad’s younger performers has led the way this season. Second baseman Robinson Cano leads New York in average, home runs and runs batted in. His .371 batting average is the highest in the majors. The Yankees deep pitching staff has been solid again in 2010. Veteran lefty Andy Pettitte is putting together one of the best years of his career while young right-hander Phil Hughes has come through for New York with a 3.01 earned run average.

2. Minnesota Twins (+300 odds to win 2010 A.L. Pennant)

In the weaker AL Central, the Twins have a much clearer path to the playoffs than the top three clubs in the AL East. While Minnesota has reached the postseason in five of the last eight seasons, the Twins are trying to win a pennant for the first time since 1991. With a couple of former MVP winners in the lineup, Minnesota’s offense can do some damage. This season, first baseman Justin Morneau is leading the way. He is hitting .350 with 13 home runs and 43 runs batted in to top the squad in all three major offensive categories. 2009 MVP Joe Mauer hasn’t been as productive this season but is still having a solid campaign with a .319 average. On the mound, lefty starter Francisco Liriano has rebounded from some injuries to post a 2.90 earned run average in 2010.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (+350 odds to win 2010 A.L. Pennant)

Since rolling out a blazing 32-12 start, the Rays are just 8-11 in its last 19 contests. Pitching has fueled Tampa Bay this season. Young lefty David Price has emerged as a serious Cy Young candidate by posting a 2.23 earned run average in his first 12 starts of the year. On offense, third baseman Evan Longoria (.320 average, 48 runs batted in this season) continues to be one of the top young sluggers in the game.

Solid ROI Potential Pick: Los Angeles Angels (+1200 odds to win 2010 A.L. Pennant)

After failing to retain free agents Vladamir Guerrero, Chone Figgins and John Lackey during the offseason, many skeptics wrote off the Angels heading into 2010. Los Angeles has dominated the AL West with five division crowns in the last six seasons. The club stumbled out of the gate with a 21-26 start but has caught fire to post a 15-5 mark in its last 20 games. Veteran center fielder Torii Hunter leads the offense with 45 runs batted in while ace pitcher Jered Weaver tops a solid rotation with a 3.29 earned run average.

Updated Betting Odds To Win 2010 A.L. Pennant:

Baltimore Orioles

Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox

Cleveland Indians

Detroit Tigers

Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles Angels

Minnesota Twins

New York Yankees

Oakland Athletics

Seattle Mariners

Tampa Bay Rays

Texas Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays

San Diego Padres will pay 11-1 odds if they win 2010 N.L. Pennant

With just under a month to go before the All-Star break, the two-time defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies are in a major funk. Since a solid 26-15 start, the Phils are just 6-14 in its last 20 outings. During the stretch, Philadelphia’s potent offense has scored more than three runs on just four occasions. While the club is struggling right now, the Phillies are still one of the top three contenders in the NL. In addition to the top three favorites, there is one long shot that could be in the mix when October rolls around.

1. Atlanta Braves (+350 odds to win 2010 N.L. Pennant)

Since surviving a nine-game losing streak early in the season, the Braves have posted a record of 29-13 in its last 42 contests heading into play on June 15th. In his final season in the dugout, manager Bobby Cox is hoping to lead Atlanta to one more World Series after capturing five pennants in the nineties. A couple of newcomers have boosted the club’s offense. Veteran Troy Glaus and rookie Jason Heyward have combined to hit 23 homers while driving in 92 runs. The pitching staff is one of the best in the league.

2. St. Louis Cardinals (+450 odds to win 2010 N.L. Pennant)

The Cards are one game behind the surprising Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central. In the last decade, St. Louis went to the postseason on seven different occasions. Reigning MVP Albert Pujols is once again producing solid numbers. However, outfielder Matt Holliday isn’t living up to the huge free agent contract that he signed with the team during the winter. On the mound, elite starters Adam Wainwright and Cris Carpenter have combined to post a 16-5 record this season. Rookie lefty Jaime Garcia has complimented the club’s top two starters with a dazzling 1.49 earned run average.

3. Philadelphia Philles (+450 odds to win 2010 N.L. Pennant)

Despite its recent problems, Philly is just 3.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East. In the last few seasons, the Phillies have boasted one of the top hitting middle infields in all of baseball. This season has been a struggle for shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley. Injuries have limited Rollins to just 12 games in 2010 while Utley is batting just .256 with 26 runs batted in. Pitching has kept the Phillies in striking distance in the division. In his first year with the squad, staff ace Roy Halladay has posted a stellar earned run average of 1.96.

Solid ROI Potential Pick: San Diego Padres (+1100 odds to win 2010 N.L. Pennant)

Even though San Diego is tied with Atlanta for the best record in the National League, the squad still isn’t getting much respect. The Padres weren’t expected to be much of a factor in the NL West heading into 2010. However, the pitching staff has been able to come through for the club this season. The team’s 3.01 earned run average is the best in Major League Baseball. While the offense is one of the weaker units in the league, San Diego does have one of the top sluggers in the senior circuit. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez leads the Padres attack with 15 home runs and 44 runs batted in.

Updated Betting Odds To Win 2010 N.L. Pennant:

Arizona Diamondbacks

Atlanta Braves

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Colorado Rockies

Florida Marlins

Houston Astros

Los Angeles Dodgers

Milwaukee Brewers

New York Mets

Philadelphia Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates

San Diego Padres

San Francisco Giants

St Louis Cardinals

Washington Nationals

USA vs. Algeria World Cup Predictions & Betting Odds

Group C is still the most wide open of all of the World Cup groups in South Africa. All four teams still control their own destiny to make it into the Round of 16. Check out the three keys to the match for both the Stars and Stripes and the Desert Foxes for what needs to happen to advance.

USA vs. Algeria Betting Odds:

USA is -110 to win and -1/2 goal for -110 (bet now)

Slovenia is +290 to win and +1/2 goal for -110 (bet now)

Key #1 – Does Algeria have enough offense to contend? – Even though the tactic was perfected against England, Algeria really didn’t show the ability to do much else but defend. It performed the task well and held on to a much deserved point to be in this situation. However, only a win is good enough now, as three points is the only option for survival. In African qualifying for this event, Egypt saw just how strong this team can be with its back against the wall, but there is a big difference between a top African team and what the United States is about to throw its way on Wednesday. (see live World Cup Odds)

Key #2 – What will Bob Bradley’s starting 11 look like on Wednesday? – This will tell a lot about how the Americans are going to play this match. If players like Maurice Edu and Hercules Gomez are in the lineup or called upon early as substitutes, it will be clear that the Stars and Stripes are searching for the three points that would most likely win Group C and set up a date with one of the squads from Group D in the first knockout round. However, if the same starting 11 comes onto the pitch that started against Slovenia, expect a slower game, which could insinuate that Bradley is hoping that a draw is going to be enough to get the job done.

Key #3 – Which USA team will show up against the Desert Foxes? – It was a tale of two halves for the Americans against Slovenia on Friday morning. The first half was slow, lackluster, and showed very little energy to boot. In the second half, the squad looked totally different and was ready to pounce on anything and everything that came its way. Chance after chance opened up in the box, and players flooded forward from both the back line and the midfield. If that is the team that shows up, Algeria is going to be in a world of trouble. If not, the United States is going to be doing a lot of scoreboard watching to see whether Slovenia can do it a favor against England. (see odds to win 2010 World Cup)

This is the USA’s match to lose. American soccer has proven time and time again that it can succeed at this level, and teams like Algeria are ones that should be beaten and beaten soundly. We expect nothing more than an inspired effort out of players like M Landon Donovan and M Clint Dempsey, as an early goal should set the stage for what could be a huge American romp into the second round as the winners of Group C.

USA vs. Algeria World Cup Score Prediction: United States 3 – Algeria 0

Also popular for 2010 World Cup Betting:

Live World Cup Betting Lines

Brazil vs. Ivory Coast World Cup Predictions & Betting Odds

The “Group of Death” continues its play this weekend, as the Brazilians will tango with the Ivory Coast in a crucial tilt that could leave either team reeling in its quest to make the second round of World Cup betting action. Brazil knows that three points parlayed with a Portugal win over North Korea will guarantee advancement into the second round, though a draw and a Portugal win makes it very, very difficult on Les Elephants to get through.

Brazil vs. Ivory Coast Betting Odds:

– Brazil -150 to win and -1/2 goal for -145 (bet now)

– Ivory Coast +475 to win and +1/2 goal for +125 (bet now)

– Brazil vs. Ivory Coast Over-Under is 2.5 Goals (bet now)

Check out the three keys to this match which will determine if either team is capable of grabbing those three crucial points.

Key #1 – Can Didier Drogba play a full 90 minutes? – Just last week, we were wondering whether or not Drogba would be able to play at any point during this entire tournament, let alone in the first match. The Chelsea striker is playing following arm surgery. He came onto the pitch midway through the second half in the scoreless draw against the Portuguese, and though he didn’t produce a goal, his very presence on the pitch made a huge difference. Drogba has scored 41 goals in his 69 appearances for Ivory Coast, and he and fellow English Premiership veteran D Kolo Toure are expected to lead the way for Les Elephants. (See live betting lines for Brazil vs. Ivory Coast)

Key #2 – Can Brazil control the tempo of this match? – Brazil is coming off of a 2-1 win against North Korea which wasn’t overly impressive. The clip of the game was remotely high, but all in all, the Brazilians are always looking to attack with more gusto. Ivory Coast is coming off a match in which the pace was kept down, so this could be an entirely different type of fixture for one of the top African sides. If Drogba is at full strength, he can stretch the field and keep the game at a frantic pace for the Ivory Coast as well, but we tend to believe that he isn’t going to be fully fit, which could make him a little timid. (See prop bets Brazil vs. Ivory Coast)

Key #3 – Will Brazil avoid another “check out” moment? – It goes without saying that the Brazilians didn’t play their best 60 minutes of soccer to start off against North Korea, as a scoreless result through the first hour of play was embarrassing. If not for Spain losing to Switzerland this next day, perhaps manager Dunga would be taking a lot more heat right now for the disappointing start of play. Ivory Coast has a tendency of being able to keep star-studded teams down, and Brazil may be no exception. If the Brazilians don’t come to play in this one, the end result could be an ugly one that leaves the team in danger of not making the second round for the first time since 1966. (Try live in-game world cup betting now!)

We tend to believe that Les Elephants are going to give Brazil everything that it can handle. However, on the downside, there is still far too much talent to go around for the Brazilians to not strike gold once in this match. That one may be enough, particularly in Drogba is grounded.

Brazil vs. Ivory Coast World Cup Score Prediction: Brazil 1 – Ivory Coast 0

Also popular for 2010 World Cup Betting:

Live World Cup Betting Lines

USA vs. Slovenia World Cup Odds & Prediction

Fresh off of an inspiring match against England, the United States will look to hop in front of Slovenia in Group C in their World Cup betting battle. Here are the three keys to the match for these two squads to determine if, and who will grab the three points in this contest.

USA vs. Slovenia Betting Odds:

– USA +105 to win and -1/2 goal for +105 (bet now)

– Slovenia +265 to win and +1/2 goal for -125 (bet now)

Key #1Is Tim Howard really 100% healthy? – After allowing a goal early on against the Three Lions, GK Tim Howard was fantastic. However, he took a knock in the rib cage from F Emile Heskey, and many thought that he might have sustained broken ribs in the collision. Fortunately for the Stars and Stripes, that wasn’t the case, and a pain killer shot at halftime carried Howard through the remainder of the match. Many feel as though the American goalkeeper is amongst the best in the world, and if by chance he isn’t at full strength, the United States could struggle in what has become an imperative match.

Key #2Is “talk really cheap” for Slovenia? – Slovenia’s Andrej Komac came out in the media this week and predicted that his side would knock off the Americans on Friday, which would send the Slovenians into the second round of the tournament in their first effort in the World Cup. Howard, who has recently been the center of all things US soccer related, fired back by saying that, “… talk is cheap.” At least in the eyes of the media, the Americans have seemed to use this as a rallying cry; as if the prospects of moving into first place in Group C weren’t enough motivation on Friday.

Collect Your $250 World Cup Betting Bonus!

Key #3The US found pay dirt against England, but it was a fluky goal. Is there better on the horizon? – There had better be, or the USA is going to effectively be finished here in South Africa with a premature first round exit. Yes, M Clint Dempsey has his name on the score sheet after getting credit for a goal that slipped right through the hands of GK Robert Green for England on Saturday, but anyone watching the match knows that the goal was far from deserved. F Jozy Altidore had a bunch of chances in the match, which was one that was fairly evenly contested for the majority of the last 70 minutes or so. M Landon Donovan also struck his share of chances at the British net. The draw was rightfully deserved by the Stars and Stripes, and if that is the type of performance that the team comes up with again versus Slovenia, more goals should be expected.

This is a match that the USA really should get three points from. At least with one point, a chance of survival is still in the cards, but this should be a “go for broke” situation. As long as Howard isn’t having trouble in net as he did at the very beginning of the England match, the red, white, and blue should get their three points.

USA vs. Slovenia World Cup Prediction: United States 2 – Slovenia 0

Also popular for 2010 World Cup Betting:

Live World Cup Betting Lines

Vegas NFL Odds Favor Baltimore Ravens to win AFC North in 2010-11 Season

1. Baltimore Ravens (-140 odds to win AFC North in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 9-7 (2nd)

Baltimore will try to reach the postseason as a division champ in 2010 after being a wild-card squad in each of the last two seasons. An offense that progressed in 2009 is poised be even better this year. The acquisition of wideout Anquan Boldin should enable the unit to take some more steps this season. On the ground, running back Ray Rice emerged to become one of the top runners in the league. After ranking third in the NFL in total and scoring defense in 2009, the Ravens stout defense should be a force again in 2010. The schedule is challenging. Baltimore will not face a team on the road that had a losing record a year ago until its final away contest in Cleveland.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (+220 odds to win AFC North in 2010-2011 season)

2009 Record: 9-7 (3rd)

After winning the Super Bowl in 2008, the Steelers failed to make the playoffs in 2009. An eventful offseason has cast some doubts about the club’s ability to respond in 2010. The suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the year could put the Steelers in an early hole. The offense will also have to adjust to the departure of wide receiver Santonio Holmes. After ranking second and first in the league in scoring defense in the previous two years, Pittsburgh slipped to 12th in the category last season. While the schedule isn’t too difficult, the team will have to face the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on the road in 2010.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (+375 odds to win AFC North in 2010-2011 season)

2009: 10-6 (1st)

The Bengals came out of nowhere to win just its second division title in the last 19 years in 2009. With that kind of history, most aren’t expecting the club to repeat in 2010. After ranking last in the NFL in scoring and total offense in 2008, the offense improved to rank 22nd in scoring offense as quarterback Carson Palmer was able to stay on the field. The addition of veteran wideout Antonio Bryant should enable the squad’s air game to develop some more this season. The defense carried the Bengals to the playoffs by ranking fourth in the league in scoring defense. Like Baltimore, Cincinnati will face only one team on the road that had a losing record a year ago.

4. Cleveland Browns (+1500 odds to win AFC North in 2010-2011 season)

2009: 5-11 (4th)

After winning the final four games of last season, the Browns have some cautious optimism heading into 2010. With Mike Holmgren in charge of the front office, Cleveland fans are hoping that his solid track record will continue. Veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme will try to rebound from a tough campaign in Carolina last season. The Browns have finished in the bottom two in the NFL in total offense in three of the last four seasons. The defense also must step up after ranking 31st in the league in total defense in 2009. In a tough division that featured three winning teams last year, the slate will be a challenge for the Browns.

Check out the 2010 NFL Monday Night Football Schedule and 2010 NFL Sunday Night Game Schedule season. Also check out updated 2011 Super Bowl Odds and winning NFL Picks once the 2010 NFL season kicks off.