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5 College Football Sleeper Teams For 2012

With the 2012 College Football Season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about teams that this year’s college football bettors can find value.


Of course, there are always the usual suspects that will once again top the 2012 pre-season football rankings. Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, and the post-sanction era USC Trojans.
And while these picks offer football bettors an almost sure fire return on their investment, the payoffs are not necessarily very lucrative.

What bettors really need to know is who the sleeper teams will be. You know the teams that usually begin the season, for the most part, under the radar of odd makers and the betting public. The teams that creep up on the unsuspecting masses, except for the few who took notice before the first snap of the college football season, locking in their wagers at unbelievable odds that will pay generously when all is said and done.

So, to assist our faithful followers here at BetVega, we have assembled five of those teams, in no particular order, that, when wagered upon, may seem risky to most, but could leave fellow bettors scratching their heads in disbelief as you sack the coin.




5. Stanford Cardinal: 250/1 BCS Champ Odds – Andrew Luck is long gone, but if second-year head coach David Shaw can come up with a suitable replacement, and a few other key players, the Cardinals could threaten for the PAC-12 on the heels of another 11-win season. Despite only getting nine of their 2011 starters back, Stanford ushers in a very talented freshman class, which includes RB Barry Sanders, Jr., and a handful of highly touted prospects along the offensive line. The defense, which was ruthless last season, holding the opposing team to only 21.9 ppg, will return All-Conference DE Ben Gardner, as well as All-Conference OLB Chase Thomas.

Finally, don’t forget that this team, even with Luck, was more effective running the ball in 2011, and with All-Conference RB Stefan Taylor, who accounted for almost half of the yards on the ground last year coming back, Stanford could shock the football world.



4. Michigan State: 60/1 BCS Champ Odds – The Spartans are another team that lost their star quarterback, but to add to that, they also lost his favorite target, B.J. Cunningham too. MSU does however; return 13 starters, including RB Le’Von Bell, who racked up 948 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He should have another solid year, behind eight experienced offensive linemen. The defense should be good, or even better than it was last year, and special teams should still be solid. The Spartans fate lies in how quickly it can rebuild its passing game, and QB Andrew Maxwell will have the weight of East Lansing on his shoulders.

However, with three retuning wide outs that combined for a decent 7.8 yards per catch in their freshman years, and a tight end that is also a former four-star recruit, Maxwell should be able to step right in with a good amount of success.When you win your division one year, and return almost your entire defense and running game the next, you’re chances of winning are increased.



3. Notre Dame: 30/1 BCS Champ Odds – Last season’s Irish offense was dynamic, balanced, and well…its own worst enemy at times. Even in wins, they blew opportunities. So, the million-dollar question is whether Notre Dame can change all that in less than a year. Well, for starters the Irish quarterback controversy that plagued the team last season should be over. With Dane Crist transferring to Kansas, that will leave Tommy Rees, who despite some late-season struggles, should get all the time he needs in 2012 to improve his mediocre–and at times blasphemous performance–from last season. Don’t forget the kid put up 2,871 yards and 20 touchdowns, completing a strong 65 percent of his passes. If Rees finds consistency, he could turn out to be just what Notre Dame had hoped for.

Meanwhile, the run game looks good. Junior Cierre Wood was solid last season, and with a very good supporting cast, the Irish backfield could be incredible in 2012. They will get the added benefit of running behind a line that was one of the country’s best last season. Brian Kelly has led spectacular offenses nearly everywhere he has been. And considering the 2011 Irish improved from 42nd to 22nd, this year, they can only go up.



2. Kansas State Wildcats: 100/1 BCS Champ Odds – The Wildcats return a whopping 15 starters, including eight on defense that finished a surprising second in the Big 12 last year before losing to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Quarterback Collin Klein, who ran for 1,100 yards and 27 TDs last year, makes his way back onto the field, and even more important—is the return of 5-foot-7 tailback John Hubert. And though the backfield is short on depth, what does exist are upperclassmen with starting experience.

However, in order for the ground attack to have any success, the Wildcats will need to retool much of the offensive line. KSU is just on the edge of that a Top 10 class, and you can expect them to creep into it if they can continue to bulk up the defense, stock up on a few key blockers, and at least throw the ball with more effectively to balance out the attack.



1. South Carolina Gamecocks: 35/1 BCS Champ Odds -The Gamecocks return 15 from a team that went 11-2 last year, and played the last half of the season without its best offensive weapon–QB Connor Shaw. Coach Steve Spurrier however, will get the added benefit this season of getting Shaw back–and hopefully all season. Shaw will nevertheless, miss last year’s leading receiver Alshon Jeffery, but there is obviously talent in an offensive backfield that also gets back Heisman candidate RB Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore and Shaw together, should be able to keep the SC in the hunt all season long.

Meanwhile, the defense also return its share of eight game changers, which could be instrumental in helping SC not only win the East Division, but capable of knocking off LSU or AlaBama in the SEC title game.



2012 AFC East Vegas Odds & Predictions: Patriots Favored Over Jets

New England Patriots

Over 12 wins -150
Under 12 wins +120
Odds to win AFC East: 2/7
Odds to win AFC Championship: 3/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 12/1
Patriots 2012 Schedule

The Patriots are coming off a 13-win season, and along with the Packers has odd makers, boosting up the win total for 2012 in anticipation of another run a Super Bowl title for Tom Brady and recently signed TE Rob Gronkowsk. With quite possibly the easiest schedule in the NFL–with their combined opponents having less than a .500 winning percentage last year. I would expect the Patriots to go OVER here.



New York Jets

Over 8½ wins -145
Under 8½ wins +115
Odds to win AFC East: 6/1
Odds to win AFC Championship: 12/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 28/1
NY Jets 2012 Schedule

A mediocre 8-8 season ended with a three-game losing skid, ultimately knocking the Jets out of playoff contention. It was a brutal letdown for a team that struggled without captain and wide receiver–Santonio Holmes.  New York’s total was posted at 10 last year, so it’s not surprising to see that number drop. Now amid a quarterback storm that is brewing, and a talent-depleted roster, I have to say I expect no more than another pedestrian finish, and the UNDER.



Miami Dolphins

Over 7½ wins -110
Under 7½ wins -120
Odds to win AFC East: 12/1
Odds to win AFC Championship: 25/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 75/1
Dolphins 2012 Schedule

Until the Dolphins can make up their mind who will be their starting quarterback, this team remains an enigma from most football prognosticators. They finished much better than I expected last season, and if they decide to go with Matt Moore under center, I would tend to lean more towards the OVER here.



Buffalo Bills

Over 6½ wins -120
Under 6½ wins -110
Odds to win AFC East: 7/1
Odds to win AFC Championship: 25/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 50/1
Bills 2012 Schedule

Historically, the Bills have always been an under bet, and despite rattling off four wins in their first six games to begin the 2011 campaign. Buffalo imploded, winning just two of its last 10.  Nevertheless, if C.J. Spiller and Steve Johnson are effective, and if Ryan Fitzpatrick can build on last year’s progress, this team could inch closer to an eight-game win season.



2012 NFC East Vegas Odds & Predictions: Eagles Favored Over Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Over 10½ wins +100
Under 10½ wins -130
Odds to win NFC East: 8/5
Odds to win NFC Championship: 13/2
Odds to win Super Bowl: 12/1
Eagles 2012 Schedule

After dropping four of their first six to start 2011, the Eagles rebounded nicely to an 8-8 finish with some huge victories over eventual Super Bowl champion the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. If they can rise above their biggest problem of last season—blowing fourth quarter leads– Philly could very well be a team that could come in right around 10 wins.




New York Giants

Over 10 wins -105
Under 10 wins -125
Odds to win NFC East: 2/1
Odds to win NFC Championship: 9/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 18/1
NY Giants 2012 Schedule

Really, just 10 wins even after beating New England in the Super bowl? Well, if you look at the G-men’s schedule you may realize why. Plus, we all know how hard it is for a team to defend its title. Despite playing in a weak division, I’d still have to say that 10 wins seems a little high. Remember, this is a team that lost five of six from mid November to mid December a season ago. Take the UNDER here.




Dallas Cowboys

Over 9 wins -120
Under 9 wins -110
Odds to win NFC East: 5/2
Odds to win NFC Championship: 12/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 18/1
Cowboys 2012 Schedule

You knew it was going to be a disappointing year when the Cowboys started the 2011 season 2-4 on their way to an 8-8 finish and well out of the playoffs. So, the biggest challenge this year will be to get a better start right? Easier said than done, as Dallas opens their 2012 campaign playing six of their first nine on the road, which includes bouts with the Giants, Ravens, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Personally, I expect another poor start which the Cowboys cannot recover from, finishing just ahead of the Redskins with seven wins.




Washington Redskins

Over 6 wins -130
Under 6 wins +100
Odds to win NFC East: 7/1
Odds to win NFC Championship: 28/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 50/1
Redskins 2012 Schedule

Everyone is curious to see if Robert Griffin III can live up to the considerable amount of hype out there about him. And even though he has yet to throw his first NFL pass or take his first blindside hit, RG3 has been anointed as a star. The crude reality is, he will be running for his life behind a team that won just five games despite playing the third-easiest schedule in the league. The Redskins are terrible, and are at most, the fourth-best team in their own division on another five-win season.



2012 Election Odds: Who Will Be GOP Vice President Candidate?



Placing a wager on a political election is something that has been in play for a long, long time. I’m not just talking about the end all, be all of elections either. While the Presidential race will likely get the bulk of the action just because it is the Presidency of the United States, the Vice Presidential pick is likely get some attention as well.

As we get closer to the critical 2012 election, let’s run through some of the possible GOP candidates to line up next to newly-named GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

First up is Florida, Marco Rubio who has been consistently rumored to be a candidate for this position for a while now, and the Republican party likes what he brings to the table.

One reason, is that Rubio is a senator for what figures to be a very key state in the 2012 Presidential election. Another one of his key assets is his Hispanic background. With that he would not only be helpful in Florida, but other heavy Latino voter states as well. Such as California, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Rubio (11/4 odds), is also thought of in a high regard in terms of his verbal communication skills. With the potential to get the Republican base riled up. His only real downfall is his inexperience.

His two-year term as the senator of Florida is his only experience in office, but if that is his only pitfall, I would say he has a pretty good chance. These factors make him one of the favorites in my opinion.

Next up is Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan who chairs the House committee on the budget right now, and has recently emerged as a leading GOP candidate for the President’s number two.

A key asset of his is, while he is socially conservative, he is much less confrontational when he chooses to express his conservatism as opposed to other candidates. People who want to reduce the federal spending as well as the ones who want the government to cut taxes will also be pro Ryan (17/2 odds). As he will likely be helpful in both of those areas.

Nevertheless, Ryan is another candidate in which inexperience could be a factor. Not overall experience, but in terms of foreign policies he would not exactly be the countries go-to-guy. When you attempt to couple him with a guy like Romney, who also has inexperience in that regard, it doesn’t  seem like that good of a match. However, Ryan is still near the top of the list as of now.

Next in line, is Chris Christie (52/2 odds), the current governor in the state of New Jersey. Which is pretty impressive from a Republican standpoint as the Garden State has been dominated by the Democratic party in recent years.

Christie was often mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate in this election, but he was not interested in running. Moderate views, and a strong personality could be just what the doctor ordered though to help balance out the GOP party, and Christie has the panache.

His only downfall really is his success. There may be little value for him to play second fiddle when he can possibly get into the head chair in the 2016 race. Making him a weak pick as far as betting is concerned.

Finally,  state of Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels is another member of the group that declined to run for the GOP seat this year. His key asset is that he is extremely popular in the state in which he resides, which could translate to success in the rest of the Midwest. An area that Obama enjoyed success back in 2008. With Romney’s lack of popularity in this region, Daniels (25/1 odds) would be a nice fit for Mitt.

His only downfall is that he is associated with the Bush campaign, and more specifically the Iraq War. Something that sours even the most staunch Republican voter.

It’s  hard to predict the vice presidency.  That pick relies so much on what the current climate is.  With that being said, I  still think that Rubio is a smart choice for a VP candidate. He is popular in a key state and he can help pull Hispanic votes. With immigration going to be a hot topic in the 2012 election debates, someone with some pull in the Latino community will be important.


2013 BCS Champ Odds & Longshot Prediction

With some spring games already underway, it’s not too early to start thinking about the 2012 college football season and its bowl games, including the 2013 BCS National Championship.


Just days after the 2011-2012 season came to an end, Vegas odds makers where already scrambling and looking ahead to post this season’s odds.


With that being said, we here at BetVega are already taking the time to look at the 2013 college football national championship odds in an effort to find some big time winners with great value.



LSU

First up, is 2012 BCS runner-ups LSU, who is currently listed at 5/1 after initially being slated as the favorite to win it all next season..


The Tigers, who have won three national titles with the last coming in 2007, went undefeated in the 2011 regular season to reach the 2012 title game, but were properly thumped by the Crimson Tide, 21-0.


And things aren’t going to get any easier, as they not only have to face Auburn (60/1), Florida, new SEC contender Texas A&M (150/1), and Arkansas (20/1) on the road, but they will have to get by South Carolina (30/1) and eventually Alabama if they want to win the SEC. Something they will have to do to get back the title game. Don’t let the odds for some of those teams fool you, as they had a combined record of 37-15 in 2011.


The Tigers do however have less of a fearsome non-conference schedule  in 2012, featuring cupcakes North Texas, Washington, Idaho, and Towson, with all four games being played at home.


But perhaps the biggest thing going for head coach Les Miles in 2012, is the fact that he will be returning a lot of players from last year’s team, and combined with the fact that their game against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide is going to be at home, LSU’s chances of not only returning to the title game but winning it, are pretty strong.



ALABAMA

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean Alabama is going to just roll over, as it looks to notch its 15 national title and third under Saban.


The Tide has lost some key players, but they don’t seem to ever have a problem stacking the roster,  and after bringing in the nation’s top recruiting class in February, there seems to be a stockpile of A-level talent on Alabama’s roster at nearly every position.


They are currently at 11/2 to win the 2013 BCS National Championship, and after making it to a BCS bowl in three of the last four seasons, we don’t see why this year should be any different.



USC

Going outside the SEC, another team to watch out for is the USC Trojans (7/2) who will be coming off the schools’ postseason ban, and will be eligible to win its 12th national title should senior quarterback Matt Barkley who decided that he was going to come back to school for his senior year, guide the Boys of Troy to their first championship since 2004.


With USC back in the mix, it could spell trouble for Oregon (10/1), who have played in a BCS bowl the last three seasons.


While the Trojans’ non-conference slate is difficult, we wouldn’t be completely shocked if USC dominates the PAC-12 in 2012, and in its first year back from its two-year bowl ban and led by possibly the best QB in all of college football–take it all.



OKLAHOMA

While finishing the 2011 season ranked 14 and a trip to the Insight Bowl may have been an accomplishment for most teams, it was a huge disappointment for an Oklahoma Sooner (10/1) team that started off the season by steamrolling opponents, outscoring them to the tune of 272-17 to get out to a 6-0 record. Then the wheels fell off the bus as the Sooners lived up to their  reputation of losing games they shouldn’t during the season and damaging their chances to play for a title.


Something they haven’t done since 2000 under current coach Bob Stoops.


They will return quarterback Landry Jones, who will give them plenty of fuel to fire up their high-octane offense so we expect the Sooners to be in the thick of it all at the wire.



Long shot to win the 2013 BCS National Championship?

The Boise State Broncos (50/1) will play their final year in the Mountain West Conference, and that should give them one last really good opportunity at finally winning an elusive national title after positing undefeated or single-loss seasons over the past four years.


Although the Broncos will lose quarterback Kellen Moore, they do keep head coach Chris Petersen for another year, and with the TCU Horned Frogs out of the way and now playing in the Big 12, young freshman QB Nick Patti will punctuate another marvelous recruiting class.


Could the Broncos end their MWC era with a title? We think it’s highly possible.



Vegas Odds To Win 2013 BCS National Championship

USC
3/1

LSU
5/1

Alabama
11/2

Oregon
10/1

Georgia
12/1

Oklahoma
12/1

Florida State
14/1

Arkansas
20/1

Michigan
25/1

Notre Dame
25/1

Texas
28/1

Virginia Tech
28/1

Clemson
30/1

South Carolina
30/1

West Virginia
30/1

Nebraska
35/1

Wisconsin
40/1

Boise State
50/1

Florida
50/1

Kansas State
50/1

Michigan State
50/1

TCU
50/1

Auburn
60/1

Miami (Florida)
75/1

Mississippi State
75/1

Oklahoma State
75/1

Cincinnati
100/1

Iowa
100/1

Missouri
100/1

Penn State
100/1

Stanford
100/1

Washington
100/1

California
125/1

Pittsburgh
125/1

Arizona
150/1

BYU
150/1

Georgia Tech
150/1

Tennessee
150/1

Texas A&M
150/1

Boston College
200/1

Oregon State
200/1

South Florida
200/1

UCLA
200/1



Odds To Win The 2012 World Series: Movers & Losers

With the 2012 Major League Baseball season well under way, it is no surprise that the odd makers have already begun tweaking the World Series futures odds.


Those adjustments should remind bettors that it is a good time to get on board if you already haven’t, picking out this year’s top contenders and eventual Fall Classic winner.


Below you will find our picks for the top five clubs who have made the biggest or most interesting climb up  or took the hardest fall off the top of the heap of the current futures board.


There could be some hidden gems, providing some extra value on those who could still turn their seasons around since there are still five more months to play ball.




Los Angeles Dodgers — The Dodgers have surprised a lot of people. And after they stormed out of the gate on their way to winning nine of their first 10 games en route to a spectacular 16-7 April, the odds makers have moved them from 35-1 all the way up to 15-1. That’s a marked improvement. While the rival Giants are still favored to win the division, the Dodgers are not to be overlooked.

Slugger Matt Kemp is having a remarkable year, and is leaving no room to doubt he will capture this year’s National League MVP honor. He currently leads the League in home runs with 12, and is third in the NL in batting. (.388).  On top of that the Dodgers are getting some pretty solid pitching too. Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly and 33-year-old Chris Capuano are all doing a stellar job shutting down opposing bats. If the Dodgers can keep their roster healthy, I don’t see why they will not be serious contenders come October.



Washington Nationals — Perhaps one of the biggest surprises this young season is the Nationals who after being pegged as  50-1 long shots to win the World Series, have been bumped up to 18-1 after an impressive 18-10 start. The Nats solid beginning has been primarily backed by their starting rotation that boasts a league-best 2.59 collective ERA, led  by 26-year old Ross Detwiler (1.59). The top of the  rotation is rounded out with a healthy Stephen Strasburg and the hard slinging Gio Gonzalez.

With a couple of Washington’s top sluggers battling injures, the team has still been getting pretty good production from Adam LaRoche, Bryce Harper, and Rick Ankiel. When Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Worth return, the National’s should find themselves in even better company offensively. As always the NL East is going to be a tough division to win, especially when the Phillies get healthy. But for right now Washington is a great price to be had.



Philadelphia Phillies — Speaking of the Phillies, they have slipped a tad in the MLB futures, from 5-1 to 10-1, and for that price could be a real bargain if they can get back on the rails with a healthy roster. Philadelphia is currently sitting in last place, 4 1/2 games back of the NL East division-leading Nationals with 14-15 record. While as a team the Phils are pitching a collective ERA of 3.39, it’s the offense that is struggling, scoring only 3.79 runs a game while batting a combined .252 (12th overall). Injuries to perennial slugger Ryan Howard and Chase Utley seriously limited the Phils’ offense before the season even began, but further dings to the lineup that include Jim Thome hasn’t helped.

The rotation has also taken its share of lumps, losing Cliff Lee from the rotation for two weeks, and now top pitching ace Cole Hamels who will serve a five-game suspension starting on May 7. Still, the Phillies are just a few missing pieces away from heading back to the World Series by season’s end, and could be the best buy for a safe bettor at the moment.



Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox (11-16) have fallen from grace, sitting last in the American League East, and have squandered a 4th ranked offensive effort with an abysmal bullpen that boasts an embarrassing 5.36 ERA. Second worst only to the pitiful Twins. However, they do get the honors of being the worst in earned runs with 150.  Because of this the BoSox have plunged from 10-1 to 18-1 in terms of World Series futures.

Those odds won’t last long so it bettors may want to seize the moment to buy in now as Boston will be due to get back a few of the 11 players currently residing on the DL, including pitchers Josh Beckett, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Both will provide a much-needed boost  to the rotation. And should the Red Sox return the big bats of Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury  and Carl Crawford before the end of August, they could make a serious push towards the postseason.



Miami Marlins — Seems we should have seen better from a Marlins team that got a new namesake, logo and ballpark to ramp up their 2012 campaign. And let’s not forget the always controversial Ozzie Guillen.  But instead it’s been nothing but mass disappointment as the Fish have fallen to just .500 on the season and from 20-1 to 22-1 odds to win this year’s World Series. They had fallen all the way to 30-1 after one month. On the bright side, they are 1/2 game out of last in the NL East, but those hefty offseason free-agent signings haven’t paid dividends. At least not yet.  But it shouldn’t be long before Carlos Zambrano’s (3.24 ERA) three quality starts get the run and bullpen support needed to improve his current  0-2 record.

The Marlins also have a respectable 3.38 ERA with Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco all turning in respectable starts. Miami’s pitching staff gives the club a fighting chance and a good shot at a championship. So buying in at 30-1 could offer a huge payout.



CURRENT WORLD SERIES CHAMP ODDS 2012





















































Super Bowl Betting Guide: How to bet on the 2012 Super Bowl

You’d think that since the Super bowl is the most wagered, single event in North America, there would be a book on how to bet on it. But there’s not.

Never to fear, because we here at BetVega.com have put together a simple guide to help you make the most return on your bet for this year’s big game.

While many people tend to fall into a very flawed line of thinking when placing their Super bowl bets, a few easy tips will help clear of some of the most common Super bowl betting gaffes, that leave the vast majority to over bet this game for a couple of different reasons.





LINE: -3 (New England), O/U 55

Prop Bets: CLICK HERE

Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

Free $100 Super Bowl Bet: CLICK HERE

The most common reason usually comes from how the teams have played during the regular season. It turns into a situation where people will try to “get it all back” in a single game. We cannot stress enough just how important it is to avoid betting the Super Bowl with that mind set.

Bettors should treat this just as they would any other game. Basically, do not bet just for the sake of betting. If you cannot find a clear edge, then you should do what you have done every other time in the same situation in the games leading up to this one. Pass or do more research.

So you still can’t find the edge you are looking for? That is when you can turn your attentions to the numerous amount of prop bets that are available for the Super bowl. This is where you have the opportunity to find some true, value plays.



Here are a few betting tips to help handicap the 2012 Super Bowl:



- Compare the game line to a reliable set of power ratings:


Some people do their own ratings, and there are a wealth of other reliable ratings out there, but the rating system preferred by most is the Sagarin Ratings. Jeff Sagarin has been providing ratings for USA TODAY since 1985, and the reason these are highly used amongst the betting community is because he has a set for every sport, and people like to stick to a certain comfort zone.


For this year’s Super bowl matchup, he has the teams about three points apart, with the Patriots holding a slight advantage. Does that look familiar? Well, it should as it is the overall line in this one.



- Compare the total to the average scores for the entire year for each team:

When combining the total points in New York’s games this season, you get a total of a little over 48. When switching focus over to the Patriots you get a number that is just shy of 53.


Then take into account the total of this game, which is 55. You can clearly see that both of the team’s totals fall short of that number. This is an early indicator that the under could have some value that is worth looking into a little more closely. But read on before you make up your mind.



- Compare the strengths and weaknesses of each offense to the strengths and weaknesses of each opposing defense and adjust the spread and/or total accordingly:

In this particular case, these two teams are quite similar all across the board. We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball.

Both of these teams are heavily reliant upon the passing game, and they both do this quite effectively as the Giants and Patriots sat in the top five in the league during the regular season. They are similar in the rushing department as well, in that they are both pretty poor in this area. The key difference on offense is in the giveaways. The Patriots were one of the best in this area all season long, while the Giants were pretty average.

If you are looking for one advantage between the two offenses, the turnovers is where you will find it.

Meanwhile, both New England’s and New York’s defense are also quite similar, in that they are both below average units with huge deficiencies in the passing department. With to pass-happy teams, this could end up being a shootout that is destined to go higher than their season averages would predict to date.

The one true advantage that the Giants hold in this match-up is that they get after the quarterback as well as any other team in football. Look for that to be a possible momentum shifter in this one.



- Take injuries for both teams into account:

Both of these teams could be without the services of a starting defensive player in this one.

The Giants could be without linebacker, Chase Blackburn. While he is a starter for this team, his impact is not quite as big as the possibility of New England’s star cornerback, Kyle Arrington missing out on Super Sunday. He was forced out of action against Baltimore and remains questionable for this one. This may end up being a big deal, as Arrington is a key contributor to the Patriots outstanding takeaway rate, as he led the NFL with seven interceptions during the regular season.
That could be a huge blow to an already bad pass defense for the Patriots.



- After getting an idea of how you think the game will play out, examine peripheral bets such as halves, quarters, and props:

The prop that deserves some attention is the total rushing yards on both sides. Given that this game is likely going to be decided through the air, the under on both of these should warrant a look.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully, this guide helps add a little more fun and excitement to your Super bowl betting experience.








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Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, GoDaddy Bowl Score Prediction 2012

The last bowl before the big dance – the Allstate BCS Championship Game the next day– and what a doozy as both teams come into this game with a combined 17-game winning streak.

These two teams have met seven times before between 1990 and 1996, with Northern Illinois having won six of those seven meetings. The last meeting in 1995 was a 31-30 NIU win.

But this year, the two could not be more different on offense. Both of these teams sit in the top 25 in total yards, but that is where their similarities end.

While Arkansas State is led by their “do-it-all” quarterback Ryan Aplin, who likes to pass the ball as much as he can, the Huskies’ Chandler Harnish leads a run-first Northern Illinois scheme.



When: Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 9:00 PM EST

Where: Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL

TV: ESPN/ESPN3

LINE: -1.5 (Arkansas State), O/U 63

Expert Picks: Click Here

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The spread and total number set by the odd makers suggests that this game will be a close, shootout type game. Honestly, it is pretty hard to argue against that with the two teams involved.



Both of these teams average well over 30 points per contest which should make the high total number very attainable. However, Arkansas State’s defense could throw a wrinkle into things if Northern Illinois doesn’t bring its “A” game. The Red Wolves will likely cover the spread if they just continue to play good, disciplined football.



ARKANSAS ST. vs. NIU Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



Sure, that may sound a little cliché to say in a bowl game of this magnitude, but there really is not much else to be said. Arkansas State is a very good, well coached football team. They could run into trouble if Aplin makes a few mental mistakes, but if they continue to ride their strong passing attack, they should be able to fend off the Huskies.




It is worth noting that the Red Wolves have a very strong rushing defense, which is probably the reason they are a slight favorite in this one. If they are able to slow down Northern Illinois’ rushing attack, they will win this one by quite a bit more than the 1.5 points given.



I realize that it is just a small number on paper, but my gut tells me it is going to be a lot tougher than that for the Huskies. They rely very heavily on running the football, and it won’t be an easy thing to accomplish against the Red Wolves who possess the 15th ranked run defense in the county. So for the Huskies to pull this one out, they are going to have to get something done through the air.



Northern Illinois is going to have to score at least thirty points in this one just to keep pace, fist they will have to get past a Red Wolves’ defense that is allowing under 20 points per game.



For the Huskies to take this one, they will have to force multiple turnovers, and try to get at least one or two defense scores. They will need a +2 turnover differential to take this one in the end.




Arkansas State vs. N. Illinois Bowl Game Prediction:



This just doesn’t appear to be an even match when you take a closer look, but then again both teams do come into this contest on a roll and we all know stranger things have happened in a bowl game. Like when Boise State was upset by the 7-5 East Carolina Pirates, 41-38 in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl.


No matter, this will be a high scoring game, but one that the Huskies find themselves behind in almost constantly. I think the under would be a safe bet here, with Arkansas State covering the spread by a decent amount.


Matt’s Prediction: Arkansas State 38 – Northern Illinois 30








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Arkansas vs. Kansas State Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Cotton Bowl Score Prediction 2012

This will be the first-ever meeting between two schools, as the Cotton Bowl–a bowl game that seems to have fallen off the radar in recent years–boasts a very good matchup between two highly-ranked and fairly local teams.


The 10-2 Arkansas Razorbacks, who were once ranked No. 3 this season, and the 10-2 Kansas State Wildcats, a pleasant surprise this season under their old-school coach.



When: Friday, January 6, 2012, 8:00 PM EST

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

TV: FOX

LINE: +9(Kansas State), O/U 62.5

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And these two teams could not be more different on the field.

While, Arkansas relies on quarterback Tyler Wilson to sling the ball around for a pass-happy offense, Kansas State on the other hand relies on their quarterback for whole different reason. Collin Klein will not blow you away with his passing statistics, but instead with his outstanding rushing totals with over 1,000 yards and five 100-yard games during the regular season.



The spread in this one might appear a little too much at first glance for the more casual fan, and although this is a game between the No. 6 and No. 8 ranked teams in the country, if you look a little closer you will see just how big of a mismatch this is.



ARKANSAS vs. KSU Expert Picks | Who is the public betting on?



Kansas State has a horrible pass defense. One of the worst in the country in fact. This is an area that may decide the outcome in this one when going up against one of the better passing offenses in the nation.



Even with the high spread number, odds makers are still prognosticating this game to be a shootout with a total near the 63 mark, but that’s a drop from the 64 or so most places started it at.. I don’t agree.




If Kansas State is going to win this game or even come close, a lot of things are going to have to fall in place. The main thing the Wildcats are going to have to do is find a way to slow down the Razorbacks’ vaunted passing game. The Hogs are averaging 308 yards per game passing this season, compared to their 138 yards rushing.



Nevertheless, Kansas State is a good football team in large part. They do a pretty good job at hanging on to the football and they are a pretty efficient on offense. And despite their secondary deficiencies — allowing 399 YPG overall, 267 of those through the air –they can slow down the run pretty well. The Wildcats could cover this spread if they are able to get out ahead early and are able to use their outstanding running game, which is averaging 194 YPG rushing, 150 YPG passing, to control the clock.




Meanwhile, Arkansas just needs to keep doing what they have been doing. They have been playing outstanding football this season and should be able to pick apart a porous Kansas State pass defense.

Arkansas could blow the doors off this one if they are able to get ahead by two or more scores early on, forcing KSU to leave their comfort zone and throw the ball a little more than they are used to, which could lead to costly turnovers.



Arkansas vs. Kansas State Bowl Game Prediction:



The Wildcats are averaging 194 YPG rushing per game, and will need to utilize their masterful running game mostly behind a solid effort from Klein to its fullest effect, to keep this one close heading into the fourth quarter.

I expect this will fall short of the 63 points based solely on the premise that I do not feel Kansas State will be able to mount any threat through the air, slowing the game down and ultimatley resulting in a much lower total.


Matt’s Prediction: Arkansas 34 – Kansas State 21








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2012 Final 4 Champion Odds Favorites & Dark Horses To Win NCAA Tournament

It seems like just yesterday when the Connecticut Huskies were battling it out the Butler Bulldogs for the National Championship. We all were watching as Kemba Walker led the Huskies in cutting down the nets last April, but it’s that time of the year again.

The start of the 2011-12 college basketball betting season has begun and it’s time to discuss the favorites and the dark horses for the 2012 final four in this upcoming spring. Let the 2011-2012 madness begin.





Xavier: (dark horse)

60/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

First Round


The first time team on our list suffered a first round exit a year ago. They are a bit of a dark horse, but when you have Tu Holloway in the back court, anything is possible. With Holloway, along with a couple of returning players that made an impact a season ago. plus a very solid recruiting class, and this team will have every opportunity to make some noise in March this season. Along shot worth taking a look at for the serious bettor.



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Connecticut:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

National Champs


They lost Kemba, but they still have the man that came up huge in that Championship game. Jeremy Lamb is the guy I am talking about here. He returns alongside Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi. That trio will be expected to lead this team to a deep tournament run yet again. They will be joined by the incredibly talented Andre Drummond. He was able to receive eligibility a year earlier than they thought, and he will be a tremendous boost to the team. A lower risk wager here for a marginal return.



Duke:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Sweet 16


This team brings back a ton of talent for the 2011/2012 season. Seth Curry is the one that has people talking so far. He will be joined by Andre Dawkins, and Mason and Miles Plumlee who will likely make up four fifths of the starting lineup. The fifth member will no doubt be freshman Austin Rivers. A lot will be asked of him in his first, and possibly last college season. Young by talented this Blue Devils team could be a solid pick with a nice return.




Louisville:

12/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

1st Round


A young squad a season ago, whose season ended earlier than it should, will no doubt have the Cardinals motivated for a better finish this season. They bring back most of the talent from a season ago, and the group is highlighted by junior point guard Peyton Siva. The Cards will go as far as Siva can take them basically. They also bring in three key freshman that will all make an impact at some point this year. Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, and Kevin Ware. A safer bet here, still with a decent return.



Syracuse:

8/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

2nd Round


This Syracuse bunch will be a force to be reckoned with all season long with their returning talent. The group is led by the trio of Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and Kris Joseph. They also bring back project big man Fab Melo. A guy they hope to get a lot out of in his second season with the team. The Orangemen also brought in a couple of players they hope to get something out of right away. Wingman Michael Carter-Williams should be able to have an impact immediately in whatever role they ask of him with his talent, and the same can be said about big man Rakeem Christmas. A solid pick here.



Ohio State:

8/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Sweet 16


The main thing that can be said for this Buckeye team is that they are bringing back Jared Sullinger. That will certainly almost instantaneously put them back into the Championship hunt. He is an outstanding player that would have easily been a top three pick in the draft had he entered. Be careful with this one. If Sullinger succumbs to injury, so may your wager.




North Carolina:

3/1 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Elite 8


The Tar Heels have an incredible cast of returning players. This group is led by the trio of Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, and Tyler Zeller. A threesome that is undoubtedly unmatched across the country due to their experience and their talent. However, despite all of the returning athletes, it didn’t stop Roy Williams from bringing in a couple of blue chippers for this season as well. P.J. Hairston and James McAdoo were both very highly touted players coming out of high school, and will unquestionably add to the depth of this very potent North Carolina attack. As always UNC is a big favorite, and this year may prove to be their best shot, and yours for a sure return.



Kentucky:

7/2 odds to win 2012 Final 4

Finish last season:

Final 4


The University of Kentucky is fresh off of a Final Four appearance, but because head coach John Calipari, seems to bring in one and done types and rarely returns much talent to build off of, that kind of performance may be hard to duplicate. This season however, they are returning three key contributors in Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller. it will remain to be seen whether the trio will take a back seat in order to make room for the plethora of freshman brought in by Calipari, including Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It will likely take some time for this team to find their way, but as they grow, they will turn into the contender Vegas sees them as now. If you’ve got the patience, the Wildcats could pay big dividends.



Odds to win the 2012 Final 4:

Final Four Champ Odds from BOVADA




North Carolina
7/2

Kentucky
13/2

Duke
8/1

Louisville
8/1

Ohio State
8/1

Syracuse
12/1

Texas
15/1

Florida
18/1

Kansas
20/1

Memphis
20/1

Pittsburgh
20/1

UCLA
20/1

Connecticut
25/1

Michigan State
25/1

St. John’s
25/1

Indiana
30/1

Arizona
35/1

Baylor
35/1

Butler
35/1

Georgetown
35/1

Gonzaga
35/1

Michigan
35/1

Notre Dame
35/1

Vanderbilt
35/1

Kansas State
50/1

Texas A&M
50/1

Villanova
50/1

Washington
50/1

Wisconsin
55/1

Alabama
60/1

Temple
60/1

Tennessee
60/1

West Virginia
60/1

Florida State
65/1

Boston College
75/1

Cincinnati
75/1

Illinois
75/1

Minnesota
75/1

Mississippi State
75/1

Missouri
75/1

Oregon
75/1

Purdue
75/1

UNLV
75/1

Xavier
75/1

Arkansas
100/1

California
100/1

Clemson
100/1

Colorado
100/1

Georgia
100/1

Georgia Tech
100/1

Marquette
100/1

Maryland
100/1

New Mexico
100/1

North Carolina State
100/1

Oklahoma
100/1

Oklahoma State
100/1

Richmond
100/1

San Diego State
100/1

Seton Hall
100/1

St. Mary’s
100/1

Stanford
100/1

USC
100/1

Utah State
100/1

VCU
100/1

Virginia Tech
100/1

Washington State
100/1

Iowa
125/1

Mississippi
125/1

Arizona State
150/1

BYU
150/1

LSU
150/1

Miami FL
150/1

Old Dominion
150/1

Penn State
150/1

South Carolina
150/1

Auburn
200/1

Rutgers
200/1

South Florida
200/1

Texas Tech
200/1

UAB
200/1

UTEP
200/1

Virginia
200/1

Wake Forest
200/1

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