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09/09/2012 04:08 PM
Late Games:


San Francisco - 4:25 PM ET Green Bay -5 500
Green Bay - Over 46.5 500

Seattle - 4:25 PM ET Seattle -2.5 500
Arizona - Under 41 500

Carolina - 4:25 PM ET Carolina -2.5 500
Tampa Bay - Over 45.5 500
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09/09/2012 07:23 PM
Sunday Night Pick:

Pittsburgh - 8:20 PM ET Denver -2.5 500

Denver - Under 45.5 500
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09/09/2012 07:25 PM
Steelers @ Broncos— Denver KO’d Steelers from playoffs 29-23 with OT TD last January; now they’ve upgraded from Tebow to Manning at QB. Fox lost eight of his last nine home openers; before he got to Denver, Broncos had won 11 straight Mile High openers (8-3 vs spread). Manning won seven of last eight home openers, covering six of last 10 as favorite. Over is 3-1-1 in Denver’s last five home openers. Pittsburgh is just 4-8 in last 12 road openers, 4-3 in last seven, scoring average of just 10 ppg in last five, with four of those five staying under total- they scored 14 or less points in four of those five games. New OC Haley said to have installed more run-happy offense, which may explain why Big Ben didn’t get his shoulder fixed. Since ’88, they’re 4-5 in Week 1 openers on road. Steelers are 5-10-1 all-time in Denver, 3-4 vs Broncos in playoffs.
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09/09/2012 07:26 PM
NFL

Week 1

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Sunday Night Football: Steelers at Broncos
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Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (-1, 46)

Peyton Manning moving to the Denver Broncos and his recovery from multiple neck surgeries was one of the big stories of the offseason. On Sunday night, Manning and the Broncos will get a real look at just how far the four-time NFL MVP has come in his recovery when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers. This version of Denver, with Manning instead of Tim Tebow under center, is very different from the team that knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs last winter - at least offensively. The defense, which sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times and picked him off once, remains largely intact. The Steelers will throw a defense at Manning that led the NFL last season while surrendering only 171.9 passing yards per game.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.

LINE: Broncos -1. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE STEELERS (2011: 12-4): Pittsburgh finished 21st in scoring at 20.3 points in 2011 and let offensive coordinator Bruce Arians leave in the offseason, replacing him with former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. The first order of business for Haley will be protecting Roethlisberger and his running backs, who have been operating behind a line with several holes. Roethlisberger has been sacked 122 times in the last seasons. Haley has installed sets with two tight ends and a fullback to help with protection and provide extra weapons beyond wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. The defense returns intact and a year older, though starting free safety Ryan Clark will miss the opener due to a sickle-cell trait that is aggravated at high altitude.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2011: 8-8): Tebow provided plenty of excitement for Denver fans in 2011, but Manning brings the prospect of consistent production from the passing game. Wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas give Manning a strong set of targets while Willis McGahee and Lance Ball headline the running game. Thomas provided the picture that the Steelers saw all offseason, breaking for an 80-yard touchdown in overtime in the playoffs. The less-talked about addition to the Broncos was former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, who takes over as defensive coordinator. Del Rio has a pair of ends in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil that combined for 21 sacks last season. Each pulled down Roethlisberger once in the playoff win.

TRENDS

* Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Under is 6-1 in Steelers last seven games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Broncos defense will not have LB D.J. Williams, who has been suspended six games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

2. Manning is 2-1 with six touchdowns and four interceptions in three career regular-season games against Pittsburgh.

3. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is 4-1 in season openers.

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09/10/2012 04:27 PM
NFL

Week 1

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Tale of the tape: Bengals at Ravens
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Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s AFC North showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens:

Offense

Ravens OC Cam Cameron’s plan is to let QB Joe Flacco take more leadership on the field and implement a no-huddle offense this season. That means more emphasis on the passing game and finding second-year wideout Torrey Smith, who impressed as a rookie last season. The Ravens have a lethal weapon to fall back on in RB Ray Rice, should the new passing scheme falter.

Cedric Benson is out and the BenJarvus Green-Ellis era begins in Cincy. Bernard Scott is out with a hand injury, so expect the former Patriots’ running back to get the majority of the carries. Quarterback Andy Dalton will be looking for A.J. Green to stretch the Baltimore defense, but doesn’t have much depth to rely on if Green is double-teamed. The club's other six receivers on the roster have a combined 51 career NFL receptions.

Edge: Ravens


Defense

Cincinnati had one of the top defenses in the league last season, achieving a Top-10 ranking in total defense for the second time in three years. The unit is led by second-year tackle Geno Atkins, who paced the team with 7.5 sacks - tying him for the league lead among interior lineman.

The absence of reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is a huge blow to the Ravens’ pass rush. However, there’s still a guy named Ray Lewis that inspires the defense in Baltimore. The 37-year-old inside linebacker is set to begin his 17th NFL campaign and Lardarius Webb is projected to become one of the elite cornerbacks in the NFL this year.

Edge: Ravens


Special teams

Mike Nugent had two game-winning field goals last season but also missed four of his 11 kicks down the stretch. However, the Bengals have boasted one of the league's best coverage teams in recent years.

The Ravens were one of four teams to allow three touchdowns on returns last season. Baltimore addressed the weakness with the signings of Pro Bowl special-teams players Corey Graham and Brendon Ayanbadejo in the offseason.

Edge: Bengals


Word on the street

“I think A.J. Green is a special talent, he is a really special talent. The guy can go down the field; he can go across the middle. But, when he goes across the middle, he has to see us. And that’s not taking anything away from him, but this is what we live for. When we see receivers come across the middle, if we are in the right defense, we are going to smack you, and we are going to let you know that you came across the middle on the wrong team.” -- Ravens safety Bernard Pollard.

“Offensively, they’ve gone to an up-tempo offense. They have not huddled with their first group in any of their preseason games. That’s what they’re looking to do – at least they’ve worked on it thus far in the preseason. Whether or not we see that, we’ll see. The most important thing is for us to stay sound and be very relaxed in what we’re doing, and to defend and attack their offense in that situation.” -- Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on the Ravens’ new offense.

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09/10/2012 04:30 PM
NFL

Week 1

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Tale of the tape: Chargers at Raiders
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Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s AFC West showdown between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders:

Offense

Chargers QB Philip Rivers topped 4,000 yards for the fourth straight season in 2011 but also had a career-high 20 interceptions. Vincent Jackson packed his bags for Tampa Bay and was replaced by wideouts Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem in the offseason. San Diego will be without the services of running back Ryan Mathews, who is still recovering from a broken collarbone.

Raiders RB Darren McFadden was limited to just seven games in 2011 because of a foot injury. He hasn't played in all 16 games in any of his four NFL seasons and will get the chance to play alongside QB Carson Palmer for the first time Monday. Receiver Jacoby Ford won’t play in the opener because of a left foot injury.

Edge: Chargers


Defense

San Diego has a new defensive coordinator, John Pagano, as it tries to bounce back from an 8-8 campaign last season. The club used its first three draft picks to select defensive players, including outside linebacker Melvin Ingram in the first round.

The Raiders look to tighten up a defense that became the sixth since the 1970 merger to give up at least 4,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in one season. The silver and gold will debut a new defensive scheme Monday night. The team has a whole new set of cornerbacks, led by Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer and two new starters at linebacker in rookie Miles Burris and Philip Wheeler.

Edge: Chargers


Special teams

The Chargers’ special teams unit was a disgrace last season. The unit surrendered 21 points through the first five games and punter Mike Scifres had five of his punts blocked last season. Rich Biasaccia, who was the highly-regarded special teams coordinator for the Buccaneers in 2010, is now in charge of sorting out of the mess.

Nobody attempted more field goals of over 50 yards last season than Sebastian Janikowski. The Florida State product has nailed at least 80 percent of his field-goal attempts in each of the last four seasons.

Edge: Raiders


Word on the street

"It’s a challenge. When you think about the things that are involved in going up there to play, you’ve got the crowd noise, the environment, and the Raiders’ defensive players who are very physical. You also have the energy of opening day and Monday Night Football on top of that. We’re going to have to be very smart in terms of managing the situations we’re in.” -- Chargers head coach Norv Turner on playing in Oakland.

“Looks to me like (Antonio) Gates is fully healthy and running really well so he’s obviously a challenge. They lost one of their wide receivers and replaced him with another guy that I’m familiar with, Robert Meachem, who can run down the field and stretch the field so they’ve obviously changed but I don’t think the philosophy of what they’re going to do has changed.” -- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen on what he expects from the Chargers in Week 1


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09/10/2012 04:32 PM
NFL

Week 1

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Chargers at Raiders: What bettors need to know
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San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-1, 46.5)

The Oakland Raiders begin their latest quest for an elusive playoff berth under new coach Dennis Allen on Monday night when they host the San Diego Chargers in the season opener for both teams. Oakland has not reached the postseason since 2002, when it lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Raiders went 11-5 that year, their last season with a winning record.

Oakland has shown improvement of late, going 8-8 each of the last two seasons following seven straight campaigns with fewer than six victories. It has won nine of its last 12 games against AFC West rivals but has had little success against San Diego recently, losing 14 of the last 17 overall meetings and seven of eight at home. The Chargers, whose 38-26 road triumph in the 2011 season finale cost the Raiders the division title, have missed the playoffs each of the last two years after claiming the AFC West four consecutive times.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Raiders -1. O/U: 46.5.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for clear skies and temperatures in the low-60s Monday night in Oakland. Winds will be light out of the south.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS: Philip Rivers is the main factor for San Diego. Last season, the veteran joined Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in league history to throw for 4,000 yards in four or more straight campaigns. However, he also threw a career-high 20 interceptions. Rivers has performed well against division rivals since becoming the club's starting QB in 2006, posting a 26-10 record. The Chargers hope to have running back Ryan Mathews in the lineup Monday. Mathews, who suffered a broken clavicle in the preseason, returned to practice Monday but has yet to be cleared for contact.

ABOUT THE RAIDERS: Full seasons from two key offensive players could help Oakland get back to the postseason. Quarterback Carson Palmer appeared in only 10 games last year after being acquired from Cincinnati, throwing for 2,753 yards and 13 touchdowns. Meanwhile, running back Darren McFadden was limited to seven contests in 2011 due to a foot injury. He has yet to play a full season since being drafted fourth overall in 2008. Defense was Oakland's sore spot last season as it became the sixth team since 1970 to surrender 2,000 rushing yards and 4,000 passing yards in one campaign.

TRENDS

*Chargers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Oakland.
*Underdog is 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings.
*Over is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the teams in Oakland.
*Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last four games in September.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Palmer's top two career passing performances have come against the Chargers. He threw for 440 yards versus San Diego in 2006 while with the Bengals and registered 417 yards in the 2011 season finale.

2. Oakland is 36-15-1 in home openers, the third-best mark in the NFL.

3. Rivers has thrown for 24,137 yards since becoming San Diego's starter, ranking behind only Brees (28,394).


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09/10/2012 04:35 PM
MNF Doubleheader

September 9, 2012

Week 1 of the NFL wraps up with a doubleheader involving AFC divisional matchup on Monday night. The Raiders and Chargers wrap up the evening at the Black Hole in Northern California as the two AFC West rivals look to make a move up the division ladder this season. We'll start in Baltimore with a pair of playoff teams from last season hooking up, as Cincinnati plays with double revenge.

Bengals at Ravens - 7:00 PM EST

Baltimore staved off Cincinnati twice in the final seven weeks of last season, winning each matchup by eight points or less. The Ravens made it all the way to the AFC Championship before falling short in a 23-20 defeat at New England, as Baltimore had several late opportunities to tie and even win the game. John Harbaugh's team has huge expectations once again in 2012, while plenty of questions surround the Bengals to see if this team can duplicate last season's success.

Cincinnati seemed like it was headed for a last-place finish in the AFC North when Carson Palmer refused to report to camp. The Bengals turned to rookie Andy Dalton, who helped lead Cincinnati to its first playoff berth since 2009 with a 9-7 record. Most of the damage was done against non-playoff competition, as the Bengals went a perfect 9-0 in this situation. However, all eight (including playoffs) losses came to teams that qualified for the postseason, including the two defeats to the Ravens.

Baltimore finished a perfect 6-0 SU and 4-1-1 ATS against division opponents in 2011, as the lone 'push' came at home against Cincinnati. The Ravens led the Bengals, 31-14 with 14 minutes remaining in regulation, but Cincinnati scored the final 10 points of the game. In fact, Dalton took the Bengals down the field for a potential game-tying touchdown in the final minutes, but the Ravens' defense held for the win.

Six weeks later, Baltimore cashed as a three-point road favorite, 24-16 at Paul Brown Stadium in the last game of the regular season. Ray Rice broke off a pair of long touchdown runs, as the game went 'over' the posted total of 37 ½, the sixth 'over' in eight regular season road contests for the Ravens. The ATS loss as a home underdog was just the fifth in the last 15 for the Bengals, dating back to 2008.

Since posting a perfect 6-0 SU record in 2009, Cincinnati owns a 4-8 SU and 4-7-1 ATS mark against division opponents. Both victories last season inside the AFC North came against the lowly Browns, while getting swept by the Ravens and Steelers, both consistent playoff teams.

The Ravens are listed as seven-point home favorites, while the number is slowly rising to 7 ½ at several outlets. The total hasn't moved much since 41 was posted months ago, as it sits at 41 ½. The game can be seen at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN.

Chargers at Raiders - 10:15 PM EST

San Diego finished short of the playoffs for a second straight season after putting together an 8-8 campaign in 2011. The Chargers wrapped up last season with a victory over the Raiders, 38-26 as 2 ½-point road underdogs, as San Diego finds itself at the Black Hole to open up 2012. The Silver and Black went 8-8 for the second consecutive season, but will have Palmer for a full campaign under center after getting picked up last October from Cincinnati.

The Raiders split six divisional contests last season following a perfect 6-0 SU/ATS record in 2010 against AFC West rivals. All three losses inside the division came at home, all by double-digits to the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers. Following the defeats to Kansas City and Denver at O.Co Coliseum, Palmer picked up his first win in a Raiders' uniform at San Diego, a 24-17 victory as seven-point underdogs. That triumph jump-started a three-game winning streak for Oakland, but the Raiders stumbled to a 1-4 finish in the final five contests.

The last loss came to the Chargers, who managed to break the 30-point plateau for the fourth time in five games to conclude the season. Norv Turner's squad stumbled to a 6-10 ATS record, as the lone ATS cover as a road underdog for the Lightning Bolts came at Oakland (1-3 ATS in that role). In six Monday night games since 2009, the Chargers are 2-4 ATS and 3-3 SU, while failing to cover in each of the last four openers.

San Diego will be without running back Ryan Mathews, who suffered a clavicle injury early in the preseason. The Chargers were a middle of the road team in rushing last season (116.5 yards/game), while ranking 20th in rushing defense. The Raiders ran for 191 yards in the victory at San Diego last season, but Darren McFadden missed the game with a leg injury.

Oakland is listed as a one-point favorite at most outlets, but several books have the game listed as a pick-em. The total is set at 46 ½, as late kickoff comes at 10:15 PM EST and will be seen nationally on ESPN.

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09/10/2012 04:37 PM
Armadillo: Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up Opening Day in the NFL.....

13) Bronco fans have to be happy as hell, watching Peyton Manning lead Denver to a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh; Steeler defense never stopped the Broncos after the first quarter (36 plays, 291 yards on last four drives that weren't kneel-downs at the end of each half).

12) Robert Griffin III's first six passes were all behind the line; his 7th pass went for an 88-yard TD, as Washington took advantage of a Saints' squad that doesn't have its head coach, and is learning a new defense. Redskins posted a 40-32 upset in the Superdome; three 1st round picks for RGIII didn't look bad on this day.

Redskins averaged 11.5 yards per pass attempt. best in NFL; Jets' 9.9 was next-highest figure. Could've won big bucks betting that exacta.

11) Teams that scored a TD on defense or special teams were 4-5 this week, surprisingly bad; Miami's punt return TD was their only touchdown all day. It doesn't help that the Dolphins' best WR might be their rookie starting QB Taneyhill, who played WR for two years at Texas A&M.

10) Michael Vick had a brutal day, with one TD and four INTs on his first 14 drives of the day, but he led the Eagles 91 yards for a TD when it mattered most, and the Iggles escaped the Dawg Pound with a 17-16 win.

9) Atlanta led the Chiefs 20-17 in Arrowhead when the Chiefs missed a game-tying 40-yard FG with 9:07 left in third quarter; they went into the tank after that, and got drilled 40-24 in their home opener.

8) Kevin Kolb came off the bench to save Arizona after John Skelton hurt his ankle; he led the Redbirds to the winning score in a strange 20-16 game when the refs gave Seattle an extra timeout in the last minute, when Seahawks had the ball inside the 10-yard line at the end of the game.

All 16 Seattle points came on drives that started in Arizona territory.

7) Green Bay ran ball 14 times for 45 yards, not winning numbers; they lost 30-22 at home to San Francisco, which ran ball 32 time for 186 yards. You're not beating good teams without some balance on offense.

6) Jets hung 48 points on Buffalo, scoring a defensive TD and one on a punt return, proving for the 10,000th time that exhibition games mean next to nothing- they converted 10 of 14 on third down in crushing Buffalo.

5) We're charting plays of 20+ yards this season, think its an important statistic. In 14 games this weekend, there have been 117 explosive (20+ yard) plays, an average of 4.2 per team.

Chicago led league with nine explosive plays Sunday; Carolina/Indy both had seven. Rams/Seahawks had the least (one each) and both of them lost, too. Anyway, we'll track it this season to see if it is significant.

4) Breaking down explosive plays by downs, we find that 47 of them came on first down, 46 on second, 20 on hird and four on 4th down. Think there are teams out there who aren't aggressive enough on first down.

3) Home favorites are 4-5 so far this week, home dogs 3-2 (2-0 in divisional games). Over is 8-6 heading into the Monday doubleheader.

2) Teams with a positive turnover ratio are 8-2 this week; only Rams (+3) and Browns (+1) lost, and both those teams were winning in the last 90 seconds. Young teams need to learn how to finish off close games.

1) Five rookie QBs started this week; they went 1-4, 2-3 against spread, with Redskins only team to win. RGIII didn't play like a rookie.
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09/10/2012 04:40 PM
Las Vegas Betting Notes

September 10, 2012

After 611 days away from his last NFL regular season start, Peyton Manning made his debut with the Denver Broncos on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. No one quite knew what to make of the 36-year old four-time MVP -- coming off of four neck surgeries -- and how it would all relate to the Broncos team rating in relation to the betting numbers.

Las Vegas sports books actually gave Manning the benefit of the doubt by increasing the Broncos ratings by about 5-to-6 points from last year's Tim Tebow-led squad, but it was more of a cautionary rating, kind of like dipping your foot in the water to see if it's it cold. When the LVH posted early Week 1 spreads in April, they posted Denver as two-point favorites. They got a little bit of Steelers action, dropped to -1 ½ and it stayed there for most of the summer all the way through Sunday night, which shows that sharp money was just as cautious and curious about what Manning would do as well.

During the preseason, we didn’t get too much to look at. Manning had a couple games where he threw a few interceptions off tipped passes, but then in the third game of preseason against a great 49ers defense, he went to work and put up 17 points in his one quarter of action. It was in that game that he showed he still had something left in the tank and gave us a preview to what would happen Sunday night.

After a sluggish start Sunday night, and some slow playing by the Steelers offense that led to a 10-minute advantage in possession time, Manning got into a groove and scored on four straight possessions to end the game. He ran the hurry-up no-huddle offense, calling plays on the fly and moving players around with hand signals just as he did in Indianapolis. It was a thing of beauty to watch as he completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns, doing so against the top-rated defense from last year.

The betting public was all in with Manning and the Broncos Sunday night. Straight bets, which move the numbers, were close to being even which is why there wasn’t any line movement. But as far as Joe Public with his $20 parlay -- which consists of the majority of play, about 75 percent of them had the Broncos with another 50 percent of those having the OVER.

Needless to say, the 31-19 win by the Broncos wasn’t a good decision for the books. The first 12 games on Sunday went well for the house with the public favorites going 5-7 against-the-spread, but half of the winnings from those games were wiped away with one Manning Denver debut.

Earlier, the books had taken their biggest lumps with the Texans blasting the Dolphins, 30-10 as 13-point favorites. They also got toasted on the Patriots beating the Titans, 34-13, despite having large sharp action on the Titans pushing the line down to -5. When those were the first two games posted, it looked like it would be the beginning to a very bad day.

But everything was gravy from there on out, or at least prior to the Broncos game. Sharp money had bet the Redskins all week pushing the Saints from -9 to -7, but the public didn’t care what the spread was. They were intent on firing away on the Saints 'til they came marching home with another home cover. Why not, they covered all nine home games last season and had the highest home rating in football. Redskins dominated, 40-32 with a money-line payout of +320.

Although the books hate losing to the sharps, they were pleased this time because of the mounting risk piled up from the Patriots and Texans going into the Saints. Had it not been for Peyton Manning’s return, Robert Griffin III would have been the lead topic on all sport talk radio shows.

When the Lions failed to cover eight points against the Rams, and then the Eagles didn't cover nine points at Cleveland, it eliminated any real serious risk damage from eight, nine, and 10-team parlays.

Things got even better in the afternoon when all three underdogs won outright. The Packers, Panthers, and Seahawks had all the public support and the sports books raked in most of the chips with those games. Not only did they knock out the parlays and straight bets, but they eliminated most of the live teasers and the favorite money-line parlays that were still alive.

It was looking like the perfect weekend for the sports books that had begun with the Cowboys beating the public’s popular choice of the Giants on Wednesday night. College football had once again been excellent with 14 of the 26 underdogs that covered winning outright. They had weathered the parlay storm with the Texans and Patriots, now the only thing left to extract almost every piece of loose change in the bettors pocket was knock down the Broncos, and keep the game UNDER.

Well, you know how the story ends. But to make the burn sting a little more, Denver cornerback Tracy Porter took a pick-six back for the final Broncos score to send it OVER in the final three minutes that sealed the deal.

Don’t feel sorry for the books, though. They still won on the day. Most of all, they should proud for putting on such a great show everywhere in town. Sorry Tao, Pure, or any one of the countless clubs hard to keep up with, the most exciting places to be over the weekend in Las Vegas was at the sports book. Even the most rubbish game on paper between the Jaguars and Vikings turned out to be one of the best games of the day.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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