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Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens face off on Sunday in Orchard Park for a week 4 NFL match up. The Ravens are -3.5 point favorites over the Bills with an over/under point total set at 44.5.
The Baltimore Ravens started the season with a rough loss at Denver where they were run over in the second half but just when everyone was ready to cast off the defending Super Bowl Champs they have responded with two wins. QB Joe Flacco has been without Jacoby Jones and even so he has completed 60.5 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions but he has been sacked eight times. Ray Rice missed last week and his status for this week still remains to be seen but Bernard Pierce as found the endzone twice on the ground but he isn’t as much of a factor in the passing game as Rice. Torrey Smith has 16 catches for the Ravens thus far while Dallas Clark has 12 and Marlon Brown has 10. Defensively the Ravens are allowing 21.3 points per game and 344.3 yards on average but some of that is just remnant of their second half in Denver. Daryl Smith has 25 tackles, Josh Bynes has 18 tackles, and Terrell Suggs has three sacks. The Ravens still aren’t at full strength but even so they are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North.
The Buffalo Bills are off to a 1-2 start to the season which is only good enough for sole possession of last place in the AFC East. Rookie QB E.J. Manuel is still learning as he has completed 59.3 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and an interception while being sacked nine times. C.J. Spiller left last game with an injury but he says he will be back this week but Fred Jackson has already seen plenty of action this season. Steve Johnson leads the Bills with 17 catches and two touchdowns while Scott Chandler has 12 catches and Robert Woods has seven. Defensively the Bills are allowing 24.3 points per game, 417.3 yards with nine sacks, a fumble recovery, and four interceptions. Kiko Alonso has 27 tackles and two interceptions, Aaron Williams has 25 tackles, and Mario Williams has 4.5 sacks. The 417 plus yards per game allowed is ranked 28th in the NFL, a number the Bills need to improve on.
Buffalo is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games, 4-10-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 6-2 in their last eight home games following a loss. Baltimore is 5-1 against the spread against the AFC, 4-0 against the spread against a team with a losing record, and 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games.
This one could be tight and while I don’t know if the Bills can get the win at home I do see them keeping it close enough to cover the spread.

Pick
Buffalo Bills +3.5 Baltimore Ravens

History of sportsbetting

A Comprehensive History of Sportsbetting

Betting and gambling are two activities that have been going on for as long as we can remember. Ever since sports have become a popular past time for the people to indulge in, trying to guess the outcome of a match has become another interesting activity that sports fans enjoy. Sports betting took off in the US possibly due to the inherent nature of the population to take risks. After all, the United States was founded by people who were willing to take up risks in the hope of finding new horizons. So it is but natural for their successors to play with risks. The early years of the transition of America saw an attraction to horse races, brawls as well as cockfights, something that their European predecessors took great delight in. In the initial period sports betting were more an act of leisure. Today, apart from being an act of leisure sports betting has metamorphosed into a big business generating millions of dollars and influencing the world economy. The fact still remains that when there are opposing forces; chances are that there will be people who will bet on either side.

Sports betting are a multi-billion dollar industry and countries that legalize sports betting activities generate massive revenues. People not only bet on sports like basketball or football or the horse races, they also bet on the outcomes of some social and cultural events. So, it is not surprising to find wagers being placed on the outcome of the American elections or the Oscars. Neither is the phenomenon limited to the United States. Sports betting are now an international activity with people betting on outcomes of matches being played in far off lands. In fact, you might want to bet for your country winning the next Baseball or Rugby. According to surveys of the past decade, sports betting are an emerging activity and are steadily increasing by the day. Online betting has only widened the scope of the activity. Even with online gaming restrictions in the US, a whopping 15% of the population bet on sports, generating billions of dollars a year. It is a massive industry and steadily growing.

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There are a number of factors that contributed to the development of sports betting as we see it today. For a couple of centuries and even more, sportsbetting has developed into a massive industry and it is not a local happening anymore. It is a global phenomenon that is supported by a lot of people across the world. This activity is here to stay and it will become more sophisticated in the coming years. Even with the government regulations for the said activity it will likely stay and grow even further to become more powerful.

Horse racing- 19th century
During the 19th and 20th centuries horse racing was the sport of choice and people bet on the horses. Those in the upper reaches of society during that period had the means and the money to indulge in horse racing. After the American Civil War, horse tracks began sprouting like mushrooms and the scope of bettors included the middle class and all others who could now go to the race tracks and place their wagers on the horse that they thought would win.

In the early days of horse racing, there was what we call auction pools. This involved making a bet for each horse that would play on the track. However, this trend did not last long. The bettors could go out of luck if the horse was already taken. Then came the concept of bookies. Back then, this was an innovative approach to betting. In this method, placing odds on the horses could increase the handle and could boost the hold of the bookies. If the trend pointed to a certain horse, the bookmaker would lower the odds on the other horses. This would make the other horses more attractive to bet on. This method is implemented even today.

The 1920s saw the peak of the horse racing industry. There were more than 300 racetracks and aside from that, there were thousands of pool halls which were connected using the telegraph wires. This way, bettors could bet on multiple horses across the country. Horse racing had a very lucrative run but it declined considerably in the 1930s. It has still remained as a popular sport to bet on but when other sports became popular and professional leagues started showing up, the industry saw the popularity of horse racing diminish to some extent.

Baseball- 1800s
At the latter part of the 1800s, baseball has become an emerging sport and so many started betting on baseball outcomes. During that time, in the east, there are so called pool cards and this has become the standard in the East. The cards can be said the precursors of the Parlays cards and they offer the bettors a massive option to place bets on top of which, for as little as 10 cents, the common man could place bets too thereby democratized betting so to speak. Sadly, when it comes to the odds, they are skewed very badly in favor of the house which means that very few bettors will be able to make a decent profit. However, the pleasure of the experience seems to overshadow this disadvantage. That or the bettors do not see the effect of spending cent by cent while bookmakers earn by the dollar.

In 1919, there was a big scandal called the BlackSox Scandal. Apparently the players of Chicago White Sox deliberately lost the game at the instruction of the bookies. The players were paid massive amounts to do so. The bookies raked in even bigger profits. But when the news of the secret deal was leaked to the press, all hell broke lose. However, this particular event was not enough to put an end to betting because by then, sports betting either as a way of life or for fun had taken firm roots amongst the people and there was no going back on it.

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College football and basketball-1920s
Despite the BlackSox Scandal sports betting became quite popular and of late, more sporting events have been added. So if there is some sports that excites you, you can probably bet on it.

Now, more than ever, Sports betting has gone global. Millions of people across the world bet on various sports and there are so many options to choose from. Of course the rules have tightened and element of transparency has been brought in. Now, we see a lot of betting centers and it is also very prevalent online so you should try it for yourself and see what the buzz is about.

A MEXICAN SUPER BOWL, SENIOR JOE MONTANA, AND RICO SUAVE

I was nowhere near a television Sunday night, and watched a Mexican upload of the Super Bowl on my I-pad in The Everglades.  Thank the Virgin Mary, that my wireless network reaches into the river of grass.  And thank her again, that the NFL’s draconian blackout powers do not reach across the border into Mexico.

It seems that what I was watching, was being uploaded from a video camera pointed at a television in a small cantina, because every time there was a big play, I could hear 10-15 people clapping with mild enthusiasm.  It was surreal to see the stadium crowd going crazy on the screen, while simultaneously hearing what sounded like a dozen drunk Mexicans, who not really having a dog in the fight, or even an understanding of the rules for that matter, simply applauded anytime they saw a guy hit the turf.

The best parts of this broadcast were the wacky TV commercials.  While the rest of America was watching the coolest, most expensive advertisements from Coke, VW and Doritos, I was experiencing a Mexican variety.  The strangest was a beer ad that featured Joe Montana showing up at a Latin family’s home, drinking beer, and playing a fun game of American football in the backyard with the whole family.

Mexicans getting excited about a strange Gringo with a disturbing haircut showing up at the door?  Kids in a beer ad?  Mexicans giving a crap about American football?  Mr. Quarterback himself, not quick enough to avoid the Senora that just sacked him on an inside blitz by the picnic table?  A hall-of-famer so desperate for money that he’s forced to pitch adult beverages in third world countries?  It was all a bit too much for me to comprehend – I felt a queasy.

As pathetic as it was to see “The Comeback Kid” padding his wallet south of the border, the halftime show made me quickly forget all about it.  Guess what you get when you hire a two hit band to play a gig requiring at least 4 hit songs?  You get The Black Eyed Peas killing time with two horrendous covers of other people’s songs followed by a verbal cluster-fuck best described as a free-stylin’ “hope and change” shit-fest.  Why couldn’t the half time show have been in Spanish?  Rico Suave, anyone?

You tube Rico Suave

Oh ya, the game….. Like I said last week, the outcome of the game would be obvious during the first few minutes of the game.  Los Green Bay Packers were not nervous, and they made far fewer mistakes.  They also overcame a series of devastating injuries to defensive back, Senior Rod Woodson, which allowed Los Pittsburg Steelers to finally throw the ball during the second half, and to Senior Donald Driver, which limited Senior Aaron Roger’s effectiveness.

I’m driving back home tomorrow, and can’t help but wonder if I will see my neighbor Henry, the pretend life-long Steelers fan face down in the lake behind our homes.�

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Chances are he’s not, so I will I pretend to console him over the loss of his pretend favorite team with a case of Joe Montana’s pretend favorite Mexican beer.  And all this while we pretend to listen to the pretend musical group, the Black Eyed Peas.

AFC-NFC

The NFC is favored by 1-point over this AFC is this year Pro Bowl played in Hawaii, with the over/under listed at 64.   NFL football betting fans will need to watch and enjoy this year’s Pro Bowl because, along with Super Bowl XLV, it could be one of the last NFL football games for a very long time. The NFL may be interrupted by a labor strike next season but, in the meantime, there are still two more NFL games this year. The Pro Bowl promises to be very exciting this year.

Ever since the NFL moved the Pro Bowl to the week between the Championship games and the Super Bowl, people have been worried that the best talent in the league is playing in the Super Bowl and not in the Pro Bowl. For the AFC, that is not the case this season. While the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers are a great offensive unit, none of them played to a pro bowl level this year. The three best quarterbacks in the league will be playing for the AFC; Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers.

Defense is where NFC will have an edge over the AFC. Troy Polamalu was supposed to start at safety for the AFC, but his Super Bowl appearance makes him unavailable. James Harrison will also not be available to start at linebacker for the AFC, which takes away some of the intimidation factor. Terrell Suggs takes over for Harrison at starting linebacker. Suggs is a great player, but not nearly the hitter that Harrison is. In the Pro Bowl, that may be a good thing.

If you like watching good wide receivers play against good secondary players, and then you will love this Pro Bowl. It should be fun to watch but, in the end, the NFC should be able to shut down the passing game of the AFC and walk away with a win. The Pro Bowl is all about airing out the football and stopping the pass. The AFC has the advantage in airing out the ball, but the NFC has the advantage in shutting that passing game down.  I will take the NFC to win and I will also take the under 64.

Plays

NFC -1 AFC

Under 64

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Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Preview

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won eight of their last nines games enroot to the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.  The Steelers return to the Super Bowl only two years after beating the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in February of 2009.  There is no other team in the NFL that embodies “finding a way to win” better than the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Steelers are vying for their third Lombardi Trophy in six years.

The Steelers have played five of their last six games at home; with the sole exception being a 41-9 win as a nine-point road favorite against the Cleveland Browns.  The Steelers’ defense was ranked No. 1 in points allowed, only giving up 14.5 points per game and in rushing yards allowing only 62.8 yards per game. Pittsburgh is will certainly be challenged by Green Bay’s passing attack, but having top-notch ability to stop the run will limit the Packers in short-yardage situations.

Pittsburgh’s offense has faced their share of third-down spots in the postseason, moving the chains at a league-best 52 percent.  This success raye was extremely important in beating the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets, two teams that certainly have great defenses, but the Steelers were able to defeat both.

Last season the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Green Bay Packers 37-36.  Ben Roethlisberger threw for an amazing 503 yards in the came and threw a game-winning touchdown to Mike Wallace as time expired in the game.

In the last 10 postseason games played by the Pittsburgh Steelers they have won against the spread in nine of them.  That trend is certainly hard to ignore before placing a bet on the Super Bowl.  Despite their recent success against the spread in the playoffs, they are still a 2.5-point underdog.  As an underdog this year, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won three of their four games.  Additionally, two of those games were on the road.

Personally, I see the spread going down to around a pickem before the kickoff.  If you are thinking about taking the Steelers I recommend putting in your bet sooner than later to get the most value.  Be sure to log-on to sportsbook.com to place you wagers on the big game.

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Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Preview

The Green Bay Packers have won their last five games, including three playoff games that were on the road.  Last weeks NFC Championship game capped off the streak with Green Bay holding on for a 21-14 win as a 3.5-point favorite against the Chicago Bears.

Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a leagues-best QB passer rating of 109.2 in the playoffs.  The 27-year-old quarterback has also done damage with his legs, running for a touchdown in each of the last two games.  Running Back James Starks has rushed for 87.7 yards per game in the playoffs, leading all postseason running backs.  Starks, a rookie, has provided a late surge for Green Bay’s running game, following an uneventful three regular season games in which Starks played.

Green Bay’s defense has played amazingly well this season.  They are allowing only 12.9 points per game in their last 12 games.  Packer’s cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have five interceptions combined in the Packers three playoff games.  Linebacker Clay Matthews has 3.5 sacks in the playoff run.

The Packers Punter Tim Masthay has landed a league-high 6 of 12 punts inside the oppositions 20-yard line.  The poor field position Packers opponents have been getting have really made it to difficult for teams to score against them.

The Packers are 7-4 against the spread in its 11 games away from Lambeau field, including a 2-0 mark against AFC teams.  The Packers have “cashed” at a 5-2 clip in their seven games on turf, making the confines of Cowboy Stadium favorable for the Green Bay Packers.  The extra week off prior to the Super Bowl could be one of the Packers biggest advantages against the Pittsburgh Steelers; despite not wanted their win streak to cool off.  Green Bay is 6-0 against the spread in its last six games that followed a bye week, dating back to 2006.  This season’s bye week came in November for the Packers and they won 31-3 against the Minnesota Vikings as a 3-point road underdog.

Sportsbook.com presently has the Green Bay Packers as a 2.5-point favorite for next Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The over/under total is at 44.

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PACKERS AT CHICAGO – THE BERENSTAIN BEARS

When will the NFL do something about the hideous Packer uniforms?  They look as if they were designed by a color-blind lumberjack with a severe concussion.

And since I’ve got you thinking about woodsmen, how long has it been since you read one of those Berenstain Bears children books?  It’s a series featuring a family of Grizzly Bears: Papa, Mama, Brother, Sister and later in the series, when ratings began sagging and the two siblings ceased being cute, a new born baby girl bear came into the picture.  Papa Bear cut down trees to make furniture for the house, and wore a flannel shirt with overalls.  Judging from his outfits, and his corncob pipe routine, I could easily see him picking yellow and green for team colors.

When my kids where younger, I spent many nights reading books to them.  Sometimes the books are really well thought out.  The Berenstain Bears books are not.

Here’s the lowdown…. Papa Bear’s a lumberjack and the family lives inside a knotted old tree sporting Victorian windows.  The first thing that bothers me about this series of books are the cliché kid behavior and morality lessons that each book has – such as not eating junk food, playing fair, or lying.  I don’t want my kids learning about the evils of sugar from a bunch of honey addicted cartoon characters.  How about a lesson about not breaking into homes (bee hives) and stealing food.  Miraculously, the Bears never get stung.

The second thing is the strange discrepancy of the technology levels that these upright walking Bears have.  The inside of the Bear’s tree house is 1880’s western settler – heavy on the wood and giant nails.  There are no electrical appliances or plastic things.  However, the Bears have a car, drive to a modern shopping mall, and frequent their family doctor’s clinic, which features an x-ray machine.  Wtf?

In the Berenstain Bear world, the sciences and industries that create household technology are lagging 100 years behind everything else.  It is bizarre world in which a Laura Ingles Wilder heroine could churn butter by the fireplace all day, before driving her convertible sports car across town to shop at Bed Bath & Conestoga.  Of course, she’d get eaten by one of the giant Grizzlies working at BB&C.  A bear is a bear, after all.  Even if his name-tag says Dylan – Team Member.

The Chicago Bears should put an image of a mad Papa Berenstain Bear on their helmet.   That lame “C “ decal on there may have seemed like a brilliant design idea way back when, but Chicago needs an image of a cool predator on their helmet like the Jaguars, Lions, and Seahawks have.  But not too cool.  This is Chicago – a city that likes to pretend that its down to earth.

An angry Papa Bear with a couple of crossed axes is what I’m seeing.

They will need that ferocious Bear image when they play host to their division foes for a shot at the Superbowl.  The Packers will not be intimidated by the Chicago weather, nor the Bears.  I have a hunch that this week’s Aaron Rogers performance might be one to remember.  I hope it snows, and despite the fact that I will have to endure another week of looking at those ugly uniforms in the Superbowl, I believe the Packers will win by a touchdown.

Booby C Sportbook Comentator

Steelers defeat Ravens

Yesterday we saw the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens face each other across the field for the third time this season. The first quarter of the game was one of pass interference calls and cheap shots taken by the Steelers.

The Steelers drew blood first with a running touchdown by Mendenhaul that put the Steelers on the board. The Ravens scored as well, with a rushing touchdown of their own.

The Ravens then scored again, hitting Big Ben, effectively causing a fumble.

Now the Steelers are down 14 to 7 in the Ravens favor.

The second quarter didn’t exactly turn things around for th Steelers, in fact, let’s just say this quarter belonged to the Ravens. The Ravens defensive team put the pressure on **Rothesburger** and squeezed The Ravens effectively caused another fumble by the Steelers, and they took that ball right on down to the end-zone, giving the Ravens 14 points, all scored via turnover.

Topping off the quarter, the Steelers miss a field goal, a short, completely achievable field goal, closing the first half out 21 to 7.

Whatever the coaching staff said to these guys over half time must have been effective as the third quarter didn’t go anything at all like the first two. The Steelers owned quarter three.

Two out of three turnovers during this quarter resulted in touchdowns for the Steelers.  Heading into the fourth it truly appeared as though the Steelers were on their way to sealing this game up. But, as it happens in most NFL events, just when you’re sure the Ravens can’t recover, the momentum shifts, the crowd really gets into the game, and we see the Terrible Towels.

By the end of the third quarter, the game was tied up. There’s no shortage of heat, and temperature, as well as plain old unbridled temper seems to be getting the better of a few of the players on the field.

The Steelers scored a field goal and a touchdown in the fourth, the Ravens only scored a field goal, the Steelers took the win, the final score was Steelers, 31-24.

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets: AFC Conference Championship

The New York Jets have for the most part pulled off the upset by defeating the New England Patriots. The jets will now go on to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh but being on the road is to the advantage of the Jets.

Included into that equation is the fact the Jets defeated the Steelers December 19, 22 to 17 however as a  side note there was no Troy Polamalu.

The Jets and Steelers match up well and both play slow ball. Neither team puts  big numbers on the score board and both have good defense’s. For the jets there is no emotional quest like they have against the new England Patriots. Here is a break down of both the Steelers and the Jets.

Points scored on average by the  Steelers 23.4 the new York Jets just less than that at 22.9 in fact, if we round both those numbers to their nearest whole number, we have… two evenly matched teams here.

The steelers are ranked (12) and the Jets (13) in passing Pittsburgh with 225.1 ranked 14 the new York Jets 202.6 rank( 21) passing favors the Steelers. Rushing favors the New York Jets 148.4 (4) the Steelers 120.2 (11).

So what will the difference be for the two teams; defense. The Steel curtain revived has allowed only 14.5 pts per game ranked (1) the jets allow 19 ranked (6). The defense advantage that favors the jets is passing Pittsburgh gives up 214.1 rank (12) the Jets 200.6 (6). On stopping the run it is to the Steelers only allowing 62.8 (1) followed by the Jets 90.9 rank (3).

Now it is time for both teams to either win or go home. the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Ravens but the new York Jets on the road have put to rest The Indianapolis Colts and now the number 1 seed New England Patriots and even though the jets are playing in Pittsburgh it is my opinion that the Jets should be favored but if the Jets rest on just beating the Patriots it will be a long game for them.

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Bears Smother Seahawks

We are one step closer to knowing the 2011 Superbowl participants. The Chicago Bears grabbed their ticket to the NFC’s championship game defeating the Seattle Seahawks 35 to 24. The victory means the Bears will host an all NFC North showdown with the surprising Green Bay Packers who are led by a razor sharp Aaron Rodgers.

This game was never really in doubt. Three minuets into the game the Bears put 7 points on the board with Greg Olson catching a 58 yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler. They never looked back as they scored 2 more touchdowns on short runs to stretch the lead to three scores by half time.

The lead increased to 28 – 0 late in the third quarter on a 9 yard run by Cutler, his second touchdown run of the day. The Bears then tried to let Seattle come back. It started with a special teams breakdown that allowed a long kickoff return to the Bears 30. A 10 yard pass from Hasselbeck to Stokley put Seattle in the red zone then Chicago’s defense stiffened forcing the Seahawks to settle for a field goal. On the next possession a direct snap to running back Matt Forte resulted in an interception and great field position for Seattle again who turned that turnover into a touchdown to edge closer at 28 to 10. The Bears finished their scoring same way that they started it, with a touchdown pass from Cutler to a tight end, this time Kellen Davis makes the grab for the score.

Even with 3 touchdowns in the fourth quarter the Seahawk offense showed little life. The score doesn’t show what a dominate performance Chicago had all game especially on defense. The Bears have earned the right to play for the NFC Championship. They may well earn a trip to the 2011 Superbowl.

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