Thursday, November 15, 2018

Super Bowl 51 – The details

February 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Football

What: Super Bowl LI (51)

The biggest game of the American football life happens this weekend, and it is estimated that during it, Americans drink around 325 million gallons of beer, eat 25 billion chicken wings and 4.4 million pizzas. Ticket prices for the Bowl average $4,744, but start at $2,700. The largest group of ticket purchasers from any one place — 45% — appear to be from Houston.

Who: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

Two great quarterbacks will hit the field at NRG Stadium in Houston for the 51st iteration of the Super Bowl. Said quarterbacks lead two of the highest-scoring, driven offensive teams in the NFL. One QB is a newcomer to the Super Bowl; the other has been there a handful of times already. One is an NFL legend, one of the most talented QBs in the league. One is a fast-rising star who holds an equal candidacy for MVP, despite his team’s newness to national prominence up to now.

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Where: NRG Stadium, Houston TX

This was formerly known as Reliant Stadium and has hosted one other Super Bowl, in 2004. The stadium has a huge, retractable fabric roof. It is still TBD whether the roof will be open or not, but the way it is when the teams take the field is the way it’ll stay for the duration. The roof can be opened in as little as 7 minutes. Check here for the current roof status.

The NFL and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo share tenancy of the stadium. In 2012 Houston made the decision to upgrade their end zone displays with vast digital displays of 14,549 square feet, in order to entice the Super Bowl game to the city again.

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When: Sunday, Feb. 5 2017 at 6:30pm EST.

But you knew that already. You’re going to watch, right? It’ll be broadcast on Fox. You can stream it on FoxSportsGo if you have cable subscription or dish TV. Otherwise, you could see it on an old-style TV with an antenna for free. Another way is if you have Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Android TV, or AppleTV: You then download the FoxSportsGo app or NFL’s app, then sign in and watch. You can also watch it on your computer, streamed for free on FoxSports
Or you could watch The Puppy Bowl, its canine version, online for free.

Why: Because it’s so very American.

“Football” elsewhere in the world means some other sport entirely. It’s a US invention: The game was made here and played here.

Ravens Ray Lewis to return next season

January 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Football

The Baltimore Ravens are still licking their wounds after letting a trip to the Super Bowl slip through their fingers against the New England Patriots on Sunday. With the Ravens making two big mistakes late in the game against the Patriots with a dropped touchdown pass by Lee Evans (which could’ve won the game) and a missed chip shot of a field goal by kicker Billy Cundiff, Baltimore was crushed by coming that close to a Super Bowl appearance and missing it due to unfortunate mistakes.

The big question after the 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots for the Baltimore Ravens was whether or not veteran perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis would return. With Lewis not getting any younger at 36-years-old (37 before next season), the consensus has been that he will hang them up sooner rather than later, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for the future Hall-of-Famer as he wants to come back for at least one more season with the Baltimore Ravens.

As for talks of a decline in play for Lewis, those talks can be put to rest as the superstar linebacker recorded 12 tackles against the Patriots on Sunday and showed that he still has something left in the tank. With the Baltimore Ravens being one of the league’s elite teams and seemingly getting better and better with every passing season, it is hard to blame Ray Lewis for coming back for another season as this team’s chances of competing for a Super Bowl title next season are very good to say the least.

This season the Baltimore Ravens proved that they are ready to take the next step under head coach John Harbaugh with a 12-4 regular season record and an AFC North division title. Not only were the Ravens dominant through the majority of the NFL regular season, but they dominated their arch division rivals and defending AFC champions in the Pittsburgh Steelers with two convincing wins.

That success alone is enough to merit the return of Ray Lewis as long as he can stay healthy. With four games missed by the perennial Pro Bowl linebacker, Lewis realized he isn’t made of a steal and will have to retire at some point in the near future. Baltimore still seems to back their face of the franchise as the Ravens are willing to stick with their superstar linebacker next season.

If the Baltimore Ravens do fall short of the Super Bowl once again next season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see both safety Ed Reed and linebacker Ray Lewis call it quits. It is still way too early to anticipate moves being made by the Ravens to improve this football team, but with as good as they looked in the NFL playoffs this team could stand pat with minor moves being made before next season.

AFC Wild Card

January 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Football

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos Sun. Jan. 8, 2012 4:30 p.m. EST

The first week of the NFL playoffs will be a good one with all the Wild Card teams battling it out for a chance to face the cream of the crop in the form of the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Even though most of these Wild Card teams don’t stand much of a chance against the big dogs in the playoffs, there is always a possibility of one of these teams doing the seemingly impossible.

The one team that comes into the playoffs as arguably the biggest underdog is the AFC West division champion Denver Broncos with second-year quarterback Tim Tebow leading the way under center. Not only are the Broncos arguably the biggest underdog, but they will have arguably the toughest challenge ahead of them as they will have to face off against the lockdown defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is a bit banged up coming into this matchup with two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger nursing a sore ankle and running back Rashard Mendenhall (torn ACL, right knee) out for the season, but this team has been good enough on the defensive side of the football that they might be able to takeout the Denver Broncos without much trouble.

With a three-game losing streak coming into this game on Sunday in the Mile High City, the Denver Broncos are struggling with the offense having trouble scoring and the vastly improved offense shouldering the load. Now that Tim Tebow and company have started to struggle on offense, the defense has been on the field much more than usual and as a result this team has begun to fall apart.

Throughout the NFL regular season, the Denver Broncos were without a doubt the most talked about team in the league with Tim Tebow seemingly the one thing this team was missing. Despite winning the AFC West division title and getting back into the playoffs for the first time in quite a while, the Broncos just don’t seem like the same team that was so impressive and driven earlier in the year.

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With that being said, the Denver Broncos will have their hands full against the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend and will not be the favorites even though they are playing on their home field. Like I said before though, anything can happen in the playoffs and there is always a chance for an upset.

As of right now, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the heavy favorites in this AFC Wild Card game with a -9 point spread. Even though I believe the Steelers are capable of blowing out the Broncos and covering this large spread, taking Denver seems like the wise decision.

Take the Broncos at +9.

NFC Wild Card

January 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Football

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants Sun. Jan. 8, 2012 1 p.m. EST

The Atlanta Falcons have been one of the more intriguing football teams in the NFL this season with Matt Ryan and company playing extremely well when firing on all cylinders. Even though this team can play with anyone when on their game, the Falcons have also been very streaky with this team either showing up or struggling right out of the gate.

Despite their struggles this season on both sides of the football, the Atlanta Falcons have been able to clinch a playoff spot via the NFC Wild Card and will take on the NFC East division champion New York Giants as a result. Much like the Falcons, the Giants have also been very good when on their game and terrible when not. The Giants were able to turn it on in the second half of the season and takeout the arch division rival Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale, but there is no telling what team will show up in the playoffs.

As arguably one of the more even matchups in the first round of the NFL playoffs, the New York Giants or the Atlanta Falcons could easily get the win on Sunday and advance to the next round. The team to watch though should be the Giants as they have been impressive over the last few weeks of the NFL regular season and might have hit their stride at just the right time.

With Eli Manning playing more like a healthy Peyton Manning recently, the Giants have a great chance of winning this football game with some potent offense and decent defense. New York has been more of a defensive-minded football team over the year, but this season their bread and butter seems to be on offense with a good mix of run and pass.

This team definitely wins and loses games with the play of Eli Manning and with that being said the two-time Pro Bowler will have a lot of pressure on him to put up some big numbers this weekend. The running game will also play a big factor for the Giants in this matchup with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs looking to get involved in the offense.

As for the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner and rookie wideout Julio Jones could be potentially huge for this team. The Falcons are as good as any team in the league on offense when all four of these guys are playing up to their potential, but it is definitely hit-or-miss with this bunch.

As of right now, the New York Giants are favored to come out on top at home in this NFC Wild Card matchup with a -3 point spread. Conclusion: Our Football Betting Tips Guru says: This game could definitely go either way, but in the end I believe the Falcons will get the win at MetLife Stadium.

Take the Falcons at +3.

Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers early favorites

February 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Football

Almost immediately after the Pittsburgh Steelers sealed the deal against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game last weekend, the Green Bay Packers were given the edge against Ben Roethlisberger and company in Super Bowl XLV.

Obviously, the -2.5 point spread is a bit premature considering the fact that there are many things that could happen between now and Super Bowl Sunday. One of the main concerns before the Super Bowl will be the health of the players on both the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The two players that made headlines on both teams in terms of injuries over this past week have been perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers and All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey. Apparently, Rogers has a sore shoulder from when he rushed for his only touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game while Pouncey has a broken ankle that he suffered in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets.

Despite the shoulder injury being a major concern for the Packers, head coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t really said much about his quarterback’s health issue which leads people to believe that either it is no big deal or they want to keep the media out of it completely.

Even if Aaron Rodgers is banged up heading into Super Bowl Sunday, the quarterback is as tough as they come and has learned from playing behind three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre that you can play even if you’re arm is falling off.

In terms of this matchup, the one thing that everyone will be talking about is the defenses of both of these extremely talented football teams. Even though the Steelers have lived and died by their play on the defensive side of the football, the Packers defense could be just as good if not better than Pittsburgh’s.

Along with having a dominant defense led by Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, the Green Bay Packers also have one of the best offenses in the league with Aaron Rodgers being arguably the best quarterbacks in this league today.

With that being said, the real matchup here will be Aaron Rodgers against lockdown defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Rodgers can get the best of Troy Polamalu and company, I believe the Packers should cruise to victory, but if he struggles and is a good chance he might as the running game will be virtually nonexistent, this game could come down to the wire with yet another thrilling finish in the Super Bowl.

Another thing to watch for is the running game of the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Green Bay Packers defense. Last weekend running back Rashard Mendenhall had a big day against the New York Jets defense and might be key to victory for the Steelers against the Packers.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for both teams, but I am convinced that the Green Bay Packers are the better team and will look to prove that point with a win over one of the most successful NFL franchises in the league on Super Bowl Sunday.

Common Betting Mistakes

September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Football

If you want to make money betting on sports, the first thing you need to do after learning the basics is the same thing you would do to improve your chances of success in any endeavor, so our advice, and one of our top betting tips is that you avoid common betting mistakes. This wagering tip means that you study the most common mistakes that have been made by others in the past and you learn not to make them yourself. Here are some of the more costly errors in sportsbetting that you should learn to avoid.

Betting more than you can afford to lose – The vast majority of people are able to wager responsibly, but some cannot and wind up betting over their heads. While doing so can be a symptom of deeper problems it can also be a simple beginner’s mistake made by a bettor who has not had sufficient experience or instruction. Even your bookmaker does not want you to lose all your money because a client who is broke is no good to him. Set aside only an amount of money that you can comfortably risk without having it affect your ability to cover life’s basic expenses like rent, food and health care. The peace of mind you will achieve by limiting your losses properly will only enhance your ability to make better decisions about sports wagers and thus increase the likelihood of winning your bets. See our article on Bankroll Management for more on this subject.

Trying to win back lost money – This is a mistake that results from an incorrect perspective about money which has been lost on a wager. People who make this mistake see lost money as a negative number on their balance sheet which must be changed into a positive, or at least returned to a break even point. This is a poor and unproductive attitude. Someone in manufacturing or retail sales might be correct in trying to earn more profits after a quarter of poor performance. But money which has been lost on a wager is no longer part of your financial equation. The only reasonable approach to betting after a loss is to place future bets using methods that are designed to minimize the potential for future losses. Not so strangely, these turn out to be the bets that have the greatest potential to be winners in their own right.

Not understanding the percentages – You need to realize that the whole system of betting lines and odds is a very tightly controlled business, and those who succeed are doing so by exploiting small percentage differences. One of the more usual misconceptions about wise guys is that they have winning percentages of about 65% of their wagers. In truth, most winning sport bettors are only successful about 55 to 58% of the time. Does that sound like a low winning percentage? It shouldn’t when you consider that with the standard odds of (-110) you would need to win only about 53% of your bets to make money. And when betting on the underdog with favorable odds you can actually win less than 50% of your wagers and still come out ahead.

Betting the first lines you see – We have just explained that the way successful sports bettors make a profit when wagering on sports is to get an edge by taking advantage of small percentage gains. That being the case, it should be obvious to you that when betting lines from one sportsbook can give you as much as a 3 to 4% advantage over betting lines from a competing sportsbook it would be foolish not to take the extra edge. Shop around before you bet and see what lines are being offered by different bookmakers. And don’t simply take a brief look and assume that all the betting lines will follow that trend. Look specifically at the event you want to wager on and check out the odds for Point Spread, Moneyline and Over/Under bets.

Betting too much on a single event – The people who make profits by wagering on sports will likely be betting the same amount of money on just about every game they are wagering on. Part of this has to do with their understanding of basic betting strategy as explained above and not chasing losses. But the larger reason is that they have accepted the fact that no particular team or player is so likely to win that it warrants risking any more than the amount you would normally bet on a game. Sporting events are uncertain enough even when just considering the strengths and weaknesses of the teams that are facing each other. When you throw in the possibility of poor officiating, colossal goof-ups by otherwise sure handed players or even acts that might be attributed to divine intervention, you start to realize how flawed the concept of a “sure thing” in sportsbetting really is.

Betting on the wrong criteria – For some unfathomable reason many sports bettors still evaluate games using outmoded methods of analysis such as a team’s win-loss record, ranking of the team’s offense and ranking of the defense. Bettors who depend on a team’s winning percentage as an indication of their likelihood to win any given game are giving those stats way too much credit. Even simple performance statistics such as a football team’s net yardage earned per game or yardage earned per passing or rushing play are usually a much stronger basis for comparison than the number of total yards that an offense has gained or a defense has given up. If you have ever wondered why major online sports networks are so focused on power rankings, it’s because performance stats that compare two teams head to head on a per play basis are the better indicator of what’s going on in the trenches and are therefore the better predictor of winners.

By exercising discipline and adhering to the fundamentals of betting you increase your probability of winning. But it is critical that you avoid making the errors listed above. You need to be patient, focused and not overly emotional if you intend to succeed at sports wagering. With a consistent and informed approach by reading our betting tips and following them carefully, you can be a consistent winner at your favorite sportsbooks.