NFL Odds: Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips Safe for Now

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Despite the fact the NFC preseason favorite Dallas Cowboys enter this Sunday’s game at a hugely disappointing 1-3 and two games out of the NFC East’s three-way logjam at first, Coach Wade Phillips’ job apparently is safe.

Team executive vice president Stephen Jones said at the owners meetings in Chicago that Phillips' job was "absolutely" safe and owner Jerry Jones said much the same.

"I think in our organization everybody is taking responsibility, not just Wade," Stephen Jones said. "He does. He takes responsibility. The coaching staff takes responsibility. The players take it. We all take it. We're a team, we're an organization, and when we fall short we accept it as a team."

Phillips, whose previous contract expired after last season, signed a new two-year deal in January after leading the Cowboys to the NFC East title and a playoff win. He is 35-20 during his four-season tenure in Dallas. But there is no hotter seat in the NFL than the Cowboys’ job and Jerry Jones fully expects his team to play in the Super Bowl this season with Dallas hosting the game. All three of the Cowboys' losses have come by seven points or fewer and there have been some questionable decisions by the coaching staff.

Meanwhile, Phillips said that Leonard Davis would remain the team’s starter at right guard. Davis has started all 143 games in which he was been active in his career but was pulled in favor of Montrae Holland in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to Tennessee after poor play. He returned when Holland suffered a cut over his eye when his helmet came down over his face.

Dallas is currently a 1.5-point underdog on Bodog’s NFL odds for Sunday’s must-win game against fellow 1-3 Minnesota.

Get all your Cowboys-Vikings props and odds at Bodog

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NHL Odds: Short-Handed Islanders Visit Capitals in First Road Game

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Alexander Ovechkin will take part in the Winter Classic

The New York Islanders will be without two key players tonight when they visit Washington for their first road game of the 2010-11 season. The Caps are huge -300 favorites on Bodog’s NHL odds.

The Islanders enter off a 6-4 win over the New York Rangers in which they played without forward John Tavares, their stellar rookie from a year ago. Tavares, who had 24 goals a year ago, sustained what the team calls a minor concussion in Saturday night’s season opener against Dallas. The 2009 No. 1 overall pick is hoping to get back by this weekend. Meanwhile, the Isles won’t have defenseman James Wisniewski for the next two games after he was suspended for two games for making an obscene gesture to New York Rangers forward Sean Avery during Monday's game.

The Islanders enter this game leading the league in goals per game (scoring five of 10 on the power play), a stat the Capitals led the NHL in last season. Blake Comeau has been the star so far for New York with three goals and an assist.

The Caps are 2-1, having beaten Ottawa 3-2 in overtime on Monday. Alex Ovechkin's goal with 31.1 seconds left was the winner. It was Ovechkin's eighth overtime goal in his six seasons in the NHL, tying him with Saku Koivu and Daniel Sedin for the league high in OT tallies over that stretch. It was already Ovechkin’s third goal of the season. Caps starting goalie Semyon Varlamov remains out with a groin injury,

The Islanders have gone 1-2-1 in the clubs' last four meetings, three of which have gone in to overtime.

Get all your Islanders-Capitals props at Bodog

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NHL Odds: Maple Leafs Visit Penguins Looking for Rare 3-0 Start

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

It’s obviously too early in the NHL season to make any blanket statements, but the Toronto Maple Leafs already look improved over the past few seasons. The Leafs have opened the season with home wins over Montreal and Ottawa but now get their first road test of the season at the Pittsburgh Penguins. And Pittsburgh is a -165 favorite on Bodog’s NHL odds.

While a 2-0 start might not sound like much, it’s the first time Toronto has won the first two games of a season in 11 years. And last October this team had all of one win and started 0-7-1. There is now only one NHL team left that hasn't won its first two games of a season in the 21st century. That's the Blackhawks, who haven't started a season with consecutive wins since 1996-97. The Leafs haven’t started 3-0 since 1999-2000, the last time they won the Northeast Division title. J-S Giguere has been tremendous, having allowed just three goals so far and the penalty-kill unit is a perfect 7-for-7.

The Penguins dropped the first two games in their new Consol Energy Center home, but got into the victory column on Monday with a 3-1 win at New Jersey. So far Penguins defensemen have more points (10) than the team's forwards (9). Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each have just one point so far. Two defensemen are questionable tonight: Brooks Orpik (undisclosed) and Zbynek Michalek (right shoulder). Orpik missed the Devils’ game and Michalek was injured in that one. Pittsburgh won three of the four matchups with Toronto last season.

Get all your Leafs-Penguins odds and props at Bodog

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Pointless Anaheim Ducks Host Vancouver Canucks

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks have yet to register a point

Two pointless clubs remain in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers, but only one of them has an excuse. After starting relatively late (they didn't play their first game until Saturday), the Panthers found themselves on the road in the unwelcoming Northwest. Not exactly the easiest way of getting into a routine.

The Ducks, on the other hand, have no such justification for their poor performance. Through the first three games of the 2010-11 season, Anaheim has gone 0-3, with just two goals for and 13 against. In losses to the Red Wings, Predators and Blues, the Ducks have struggled epicly.

With a Wednesday night match up scheduled against the Vancouver Canucks, will this be the day the Ducks finally show at least some signs of life. Superstar center Ryan Getzlaf is back in action for Anaheim, along with Corey Perry and recently resigned Bobby Ryan. Now the team must simply wait for the offense (and defense) to start clicking.

The Canucks aren't exactly easy fodder, but if Anaheim can put forth a solid effort, a win, or at least a point, is not out of the question. The Bodog Sportsbook gives the Vancouver Canucks 8/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup. The Ducks, in contrast, come in at just 35/1.

Naturally the Canucks are favored with a moneyline of -140 compared to one of +120 for Anaheim.

For this and all of the individual game odds set for tonight's match ups, check out Bodog.com.

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New Jersey Devils Struggle To Assemble Full Roster

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

That Ilya Kovalchuk signing is still causing troubles

The New Jersey Devils just can't seem to put this whole Ilya Kovalchuk/salary cap fiasco behind them. On Tuesday it was announced that the NHL Players' Association would look into the team's recent failure to field a full-sized roster due to salary limitations.

You see, the Devils aren't exactly hard up for cash, just players to fill their bench. With forward Brian Rolston and defenceman Anton Volchenkov injured, and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond suspended, the club didn't have the minimum amount of skaters required by the NHL. Given their absurdly tight budget as a result of their having too much money tied up in too few players, they were unable to sign or call up another person without going over the salary cap.

Things don't look so hot in New Jersey these days, and that's without considering the fact that they've started their season 0-2-1. With Stanley Cup odds coming in at 15/1, according to the Bodog Sportsbook, it will be a miracle they even live up to people's expectations, let alone surpass them.

The New Jersey Devils are next in action on Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres. Will the team have their personnel issues sorted out by then? Even if they do, will it be enough to take down a Sabres franchise hungry to win one at home in honor of injured Jason Pomnville?

For individual game odds, NHL futures and player props, check out Bodog.com.

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MLB Playoff Odds: Rangers Beat Rays, Win First Playoff Series Ever

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

Behind the blazing arm of Cliff Lee the Texas Rangers move on the MLB Playoffs for the first time in team history.

The Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 and displayed the offensive and defensive versatility that will make them a tough opponent for the New York Yankees.

Lee, who is now 6-0 in the postseason in his career, pitched nine innings, allowing just the one run while striking out 11.

The Rangers, a team that was only built for power in the past, displayed their ability to play big and small ball in the decisive game. Elvis Andrus stole second in the first before being driven home. Nelson Cruz stole third then was waived home on a throwing error by catcher Kelly Shoppach. And Ian Kinsler jacked a two-run home run in the ninth to seal the victory.

The Rangers were on the road when they won their first playoff series, and also made history by playing in a series where no team won at home. This proves, once again, that home field doesn’t matter when placing a bet on MLB odds.

Be player and get in on the second round of MLB postseason action in the Bodog Sportsbook.

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NFL Odds: Brett Favre No Longer in Trouble with Goodell?

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is probable for Week 1

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre might be in the clear.

After news dropped that Favre was texting former New York Jets sideline reporter Jennifer Sterger dirty messages and crotch shots the knee-jerk expectation was that commissioner Roger Goodell would investigate then suspend the 41-year-old QB.

However, because Sterger didn’t want any part of the process and has no plans to file harassment chargers, it appears the commish and co. are going to let the matter drop. They don't even plan to interview him on the matter.

The media has been pushing Favre’s buttons in an attempt to make this national news. However, with Sterger not even wanting Deadspin to publish the story in the first place, there was never really any chance the story was going anywhere.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately) we won’t be getting any leaked messages or photos from this embarrassing matter anytime soon.

It is rather suspicious that this story leaked just when Favre and the Vikings were going to meet the Jets on Monday Night Football. And it’s just as suspicious that the story dropped off a cliff a day later.

If this story was dropped to scramble No. 4’s brain it worked, for one half. The Vikings struggled on offense all evening before turning it up and making for an entertaining finish.

A late pick sealed the Vikings’ fate however, the Jets won 29-20 and covered the -4 spread.

NFL Odds are already up in the Bodog Sportsbook. Don’t throw picks like Favre, be a player and make money off 'em!

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NBA Odds: Chicago Bulls 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

The term “much-improved Eastern Conference” has been thrown around a lot lately, and Chicago is a major reason why. With 16/1 NBA odds to win the championship, the Bulls have officially rejoined relevancy. This is your Chicago Bulls 2010-11 preview.

The Bulls were busier than a Picasso painting in the offseason, and the biggest addition was, without a doubt, Carlos Boozer. Chicago struggled to score last year, ranking 24th at just over 97 points per game. Boozer should help improve that number quite a bit, as he’s usually a good bet to finish with about 20 points per game at the end of the year.

The forward is also as good at rebounding as he is at selling out franchises (see: Cleveland, Utah) which is, to say, very good; Boozer has averaged double-digit boards in four straight years. Chicago should dominate on the glass after already leading the NBA last year. Unfortunately for Bulls fans, they won’t get to see their new toy in action for about a month; he’s recovering with a broken hand.

Chicago added a few other new faces, including Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Kurt Thomas and C.J. Watson. However, it’s the mixture of Boozer and the incumbents that makes 2010-11 so exciting for the Bulls.

Derrick Rose finally has someone to which to pass the ball. The youngster excelled without any viable threats around him last year, and he could very well establish himself as one of the two or three best point guards in the league — if he hasn’t already.

The club also retained Joakim Noah despite several trade requests. Noah not only is a fantastic rebounder and regular double-double threat, he’s also one of the best agitators in the NBA.

The NBA season starts in less than two weeks – bet on futures at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Cleveland Cavaliers 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

100/1. Those are Cleveland’s NBA odds to win the championship this season. Needless to say, the Cavs’ situation has gone from “great” to “smoldering pile of rubble” faster than you can say South Beach. This is your Cleveland Cavaliers 2010-11 preview.

LeBron James is gone. The painful manner in which he executed his exodus has been well-documented, and it’s hard to say if Cleveland will ever recover from The Decision. The Cavaliers lost the best player in the NBA and any chance they had of winning a championship (or signing a half-decent free agent) in the next decade or three.

If there’s one tangible benefit of the outcome — for non-Cleveland fans, anyway — it’s that we’ll finally get to see just what kind of impact King James really had on this club. After winning 61 games and finishing first in the East a year ago, how hard will Cleveland fall? Will it win 40 games? Twenty? Can a basketball team somehow win negative games?

The impact of James’ departure won’t just be on the court; it will carry on throughout the arena, dragging down the team. You see, ownership decided to make season-ticket holders renew their seats BEFORE James had made his decision, meaning they just forked over several thousand dollars to watch a pretty boring basketball team when they were expecting the most exciting player in the NBA. It’s not hard to imagine Cleveland crowds turning on these guys, and fast.

Which is pretty unfair to the current roster, which is … “fine.” Mo Williams and Anthony Parker are respectable guards. Antawn Jamison is a talented-enough scorer. Sometimes Jamario Moon wows with his athleticism. Anderson Varejao has funny hair.

But that’s the problem. “Fine” isn’t good enough, not after James, not now. There’s an “all hope is lost” attitude around this club, and it will be incredibly difficult to shake it for a very, very long time.

The NBA season starts in less than two weeks – bet on futures at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Detroit Pistons 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 12, 2010

Detroit looks positively stacked on paper, thanks to an athletic lineup that should offer plenty of scoring and — whoops, sorry, it isn’t 2006. Detroit actually has an old, injury-prone lineup with terrible 100/1 NBA odds to win the title. This is your Detroit Pistons 2010-11 preview.

If it were 2006, though, the Pistons would be sitting pretty. Richard Hamilton would be one of the league’s best guards, averaging 20.1 points per game and shooting nearly 50 percent from the field; now he cannot stay healthy and hit just 40.9 percent of his shots last season.

Ben Gordon
would be one of the league’s bright, young stars with a fantastic scoring touch and some clutch shooting; now, he’s coming off his worst season across the board and is somewhat of a malcontent.

The newly acquired Tracy McGrady would be one of the most dangerous players in the league, capable of huge nights and creating his own shot, not to mention opening the floor for others; now, T-Mac has played just 75 games in the past three years while watching his speed and scoring average drop to embarrassing levels.

Ben Wallace, though declining, would be one of the league’s better defenders and rebounders; now, he’s dead (OK, he’s not dead … but his drop-off has been so vast it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference).

Anyway, you get the idea. The Pistons are old, injury prone, and a shell of their former selves. Even Tayshaun Prince showed signs of wear and tear in 2009-10 after appearing in just 49 games. Fourth-year point guard Rodney Stuckey has at least shown promise, but he’s not going to carry this team.

At the end of the day, this is just a washed-up franchise desperately trying to cling to its recent glory years. It’s not going to work.

The NBA season starts in less than two weeks – bet on futures at Bodog

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