Niklas Hjalmarsson Suspension Lifts In Time For Rematch

by Best Betting on October 14, 2010

The Buffalo Sabres will seek revenge for the hit that left Jason Pominville concussed

The Chicago Blackhawks will be in for a long one on Saturday night, as the Buffalo Sabres have not been subtle about their attempts to seek revenge for a Niklas Hjalmarsson hit that left Sabres forward Jason Pominville sidelined with a concussion.

Though Pominville's return date is still indefinite, Hjalmarsson's is not.

After serving a two game suspension doled out by the NHL, the Hawks defenceman will be in action just in time for the rematch on Saturday night. Given that the start of the Buffalo Sabres' season has been frustrating enough (they are 1-2-1 through the first four games), the fact that they will be without one of their top-six forwards only makes things worse.

On Monday night, Hjalmarsson hit Pominville directly into the side boards from behind while Pominville was watching play unfold in the Buffalo zone corner. Even though Hjalmarsson has since apologized, it's not likely to make a difference in the eyes of the upset Sabres.

Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff has commented publicly that he felt as though the suspension should have been longer.

According to the Bodog Sportsbook, the Sabres have 30/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup. With goaltender Ryan Miller in net and defensive protege Tyler Myers on the blue line, 2010-11 could turn into quite the rewarding campaign. Unfortunately, one thing that is certain is that they would be even better with Pominville in the line up.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, have 15/2 odds of defending their Stanley Cup title.

When the two clubs square off on Saturday will the referees be able to maintain sanity and composure in an emotionally-charged tilt? For all your NHL futures, individual game odds and player props, check out

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Tavares Out, Nino Nieddereiter Becomes Youngest Islander To Score

by Best Betting on October 14, 2010

John Tavares is still suffering from a concussion

The New York Islanders don't have a whole lot to be excited about these days. Through the first three games of the 2010-11 season they've gone a pedestrian 1-1-1. They've seen 26-year-old defenseman James Wisniewski suspended for two games for inappropriately gesturing towards New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, and the one star player who was suppose to lead them all back to relevance is sidelined with a concussion.

But wait, maybe there is somebody else. Somebody who can shoulder the load, if not points-wise, then at least hope-wise, until Tavares is back on the ice. On Wednesday night Nino Niederreiter became the youngest New York Islander to ever score a goal.

Just weeks removed from his 18th birthday, Niederreiter out of Switzerland via the WHL has arrived. Perhaps better known for being the recipient of the Mike Cammalleri slash that earned the Montreal Canadiens forward a one game suspension, Niederreiter is charged with the task of helping an injury-depleted Isles roster survive the first month of the season.

The Bodog Sportsbook currently gives New York some 100/1 odds of winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. With Tavares out, and joined by forward Kyle Okposo and defenseman Mark Streit, the pessimism isn't unjustified. Even with a healthy line up, the Islanders would be hard pressed to find their way into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

When Niederreiter scored his goal last night, the only Islanders goal in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, it was a reminder that even a broken clock is right twice a day. And even though they aren't likely going to host the Stanley Cup in June, they could be reasonable bets in the occasional individual regular season game.

For individual game odds, as well as NHL futures and player props, be sure to check out

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Toronto Maple Leafs Make It 3-0

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

The Toronto Maple Leafs are now 3-0

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it three in a row with a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. The victory gives the Leafs six early points when last year it took them over nine games to register their very first win. It is the first time the franchise has stormed out to such streak since 1999.

Leading the way for Toronto was Clarke MacArthur who scored his third and fourth goals of the young season. In each of the club's prior games, victories over Montreal and Ottawa, MacArthur also tallied a goal.

The good news for Leafs fans, however, comes at the expense of the Pittsburgh Penguins who, in three attempts now, have failed to win in their brand new stadium. After calling the Civic Arena home for 49 years the Penguins are anxious to break in the Consol Energy Center.

On Friday night the team will have another shot of getting a W at home (they are 1-3 overall) when they host the New York Islanders. It is unknown whether John Tavares will play after missing time with a concussion.

Speaking of highly-touted Canadian hockey players, Sidney Crosby finally scored for the first time of the season, but it was not enough to change the outcome of their 4-3 loss.

Heading into the match up, the Penguins were obvious favorites with a league best 6/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup, according to the Bodog Sportsbook. The Toronto Maple Leafs had odds of just 60/1. If they keep playing like they do, those might change.

Next up for the Toronto Maple Leafs will be the New York Rangers on Friday. If the club can make it four in a row, they'll continue to turn heads.

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NBA Odds: Miami Heat 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Soon, the Great Experiment begins. The Heat made the biggest free agent splash in NBA history, and they’ve been rewarded with favored 7/4 Bodog NBA odds to win the championship — the best in the league. This is your Miami Heat 2010-11 preview.

As you might have heard, Miami added a few bodies this summer. LeBron James was signed from Cleveland, Chris Bosh was acquired from Toronto and Dwyane Wade was given a new contract.

Once the Big Three were installed, many observers figured the Heat wouldn’t be able to build a decent roster around them; too much money was tied up, so Miami would basically consist of James, D-Wade, Bosh and a handful of players from the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks.

But if signing all three superstars was the biggest coup ever in NBA free agency, it was followed up by the biggest surprise ever in NBA free agency — players started taking less money to play for the Heat. Most people figured we’d see oil companies start shipping free barrels before basketball players left money on the table.

But it happened. Udonis Haslem took a deal. Zydrunas Ilgauskas took a deal. Eddie House took a deal. Mike Miller took a deal.

And suddenly the Heat weren’t just the Big Three anymore — they were a pretty complete team. Now, Miami’s ceiling is downright terrifying. If the superstars can stay mostly healthy, there’s a legitimate chance this team will challenge Chicago’s record of 72 regular-season wins.

Health is a big if, of course — Wade is already nursing a hamstring injury -– and a bigger concern than players meshing. James has been criticized throughout his career for not wanting to be the alpha dog. That’s a role Wade has always relished, and it won’t be surprising to see the King defer to D-Wade in clutch situations — at least in Year One.

Miami has assembled a fantastic roster. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the Great Experiment begin.

The NBA season is just days away so get those futures bets down at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Atlanta Hawks 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

The Hawks reloaded in the offseason, but it’s hard to believe they have the firepower to compete in the top-heavy East. With 40/1 NBA odds to win the title, oddsmakers obviously agree. This is your Atlanta Hawks 2010-11 preview.

Atlanta finished third in the Eastern Conference with 53 wins last season, but the team could be surpassed by several improving clubs, including Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Boston. That could mean fighting for a playoff spot this season, and adversity is the last thing the Hawks need with a fragile locker room situation.

Jamal Crawford was rumored to be skipping camp until he was awarded a contract extension, but the guard showed up anyway. The team has refused to open negotiations or even pin a date on extension talks, which is a pretty big slap in the face.

Remember, the Hawks were like a long-time bachelor with no job or dating prospects. Then Crawford — among others — showed up and cleaned his apartment, found him a new career, and provided regular companionship for the first time in a decade. So you can’t blame him/them at all for expecting a long-term commitment in return; they turned Atlanta’s life around.

The problem is, Atlanta isn’t sure if Crawford et al is “the right girl.” Yes, the last few years have been great, especially compared to years past, but can this group really win a championship?

The other key pieces of the team — Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Mike Bibby – are all back. While the Hawks maintained status quo, just about everybody behind them in the East got better. They might have a title run in them but, if the past few years are any indication, fans might have to settle for a first-round playoff victory.

The NBA season is just days away so get those futures bets down at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Charlotte Bobcats 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

After sneaking into the playoffs last year, Charlotte shipped off some key parts and now has 80/1 NBA odds to win the championship. This is your Charlotte Bobcats 2010-11 preview.

After qualifying for the postseason for the first time in Bobcats history, the team decided winning wasn’t for them and promptly allowed several key players to escape so the club could save money. Point guard and third-leading-scorer Raymond Felton signed with the Knicks, while enigmatic center (but quality rebounder) Tyson Chandler was dealt to Dallas.

Admittedly, Chandler was hurt much of last season, but he was a former lottery pick who could have helped do some dirty work. Now the team must turn to several retreads to get the job done at center; Nazr Mohammed, DeSagana Diop and Kwame Brown. None of them inspire much confidence.

The bigger loss is Felton, who leaves Charlotte very weak at point guard. Former first-round pick D.J. Augustin will likely open the season as the starter. He has a solid pedigree and averaged 11.8 points per game as a rookie, but he has sizable shoes to fill now that Felton is gone.

The Bobcats must now lean very heavily on Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. Jackson set a career high with 21.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last year. Unfortunately, they call them “career years” for a reason: they only happen once. At least a small regression from Jackson should be expected.

Wallace has been pretty consistent for Charlotte over the past few years, and he showed some nice improvement on the glass, averaging a career-high 10.1 boards per game. He’s only 28 years old so it’s possible he’ll maintain the pace in 2010-11, but losing Chandler increases the pressure on Wallace to be a quality rebounder.

Head coach Larry Brown has already conceded the team has taken a step back. The playoffs seem pretty unlikely at this point.

The NBA season is just days away so get those futures bets down at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Orlando Magic 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Is the third time the charm? Orlando has won a pile of games the past two seasons but failed to win a championship; this year, the Magic have 12/1 NBA odds to win the championship. This is your Orlando Magic 2010-11 preview.

Despite winning 59 games in back-to-back seasons, Orlando doesn’t have a title to show for it. That’s a pretty impressive run, though, so you can’t fault the Magic for mostly maintaining the status quo this year.

Expect the Magic to experiment with playing a little bigger this season, at least occasionally. Playoff losses to the Lakers and Celtics over the past two years have convinced the team it can’t bang enough in crunch time, so Rashard Lewis will see some minutes at small forward (rather than power forward) while Marcin Gortat joins the lineup. Throw in Dwight Howard at center, and that’s a rather intimidating frontcourt.

Speaking of which, Howard will again be the focal point of the team at both ends of the floor. Fans just need to maintain some perspective. The big center is not a superstar like Shaq was; he’s a very good offensive player who is fantastic on the glass and on “D.” There’s no shame in belonging to the Hall of Very Good, however, where Howard is carving out a nice spot for himself.

The most notable addition is Quentin Richardson. The swingman could play a very large role in Orlando this year, as he’ll make an adequate fill-in when Vince Carter is injured, loafing, or quitting on the team. At least one of those three happening is as inevitable as Miley Cyrus winding up on Celebrity Rehab someday, so “Q” should pan out nicely.

Ultimately, the Magic are a very good team. Keeping the core together was prudent, especially if the team can make a few in-game adjustments to deal with bigger lineups. If so, a title may be on its way to Orlando.

The NBA season is just days away so get those futures bet down at Bodog

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NBA Odds: Washington Wizards 2010-11 Preview

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

The Wizards are coming off a terrible season and have just 60/1 NBA odds to win a championship this year. But with top rookie John Wall in the fold, there’s hope for a better tomorrow. This is your Washington Wizards 2010-11 preview.

It wasn’t long ago that Washington was handing out huge contracts to Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler, with the hopes of putting together a long-term contender. That effort imploded faster than a reality TV star’s career, and now the Wizards might as well be starting over.

Starting over is much easier to swallow, however, when you have the first-overall pick in the draft to spend on Wall. The guard was nothing short of brilliant in one year of college basketball with Kentucky and, while he’ll need some seasoning, he could turn around this sorry franchise’s fortunes.

That process will likely be slowed by Arenas. His Agent Zero nickname has been sadly appropriate over the past three years, as he’s put pretty much nothing into the Wizards; Arenas has played just 47 games in that span.

He’s still owed $80 million and, for the moment, his nickname should be changed to Agent Albatross. The best-case scenario for the Wizards is Arenas shows up healthy, plays some basketball, and is dumped on some sucker from Memphis or Minnesota.

There are reasons for excitement besides Wall. Al Thornton played just 24 games for the Wizards last year, but the fifth-year forward is not without potential; he averaged 16.8 points per game in his second season with the Clippers and is a former first-round pick.

Washington also acquired Yi Jianlian. Yi has mostly been a bust three years into his career, but he showed signs of life with the awful Nets last year, setting career highs with 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

The Wizards aren’t expecting anything extraordinary this season — just some promising play from Wall and the other youngsters and a steady improvement in the win-loss column. If they can ship Arenas and his dead contract out, the season can be considered a big success.

The NBA season is just days away so get those futures bet down at Bodog

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Golf Odds: PGA Tour Open

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

The field is wide open at this weekend’s PGA Tour Open. Three players are tied with 16/1 golf odds to win the tournament — Rickie Fowler, Tim Clark and Bo Van Pelt – with several more packed closely behind them.

Fowler is long overdue for a big-time effort. He’s finished no better than 33rd in any of his last five tournaments. Fowler hasn’t been on the PGA Tour links since early September, when he struggled to a 45th-place finish at the BMW Championship. He is capable of putting together a solid run though; in June and July, Fowler finished among the Top-15 in three of his five tournaments, including a second-place effort at the Memorial Tournament.

Clark has at least played decent golf in the last month. The South African finished 13th at the Tour Championship in late September, breaking up a cold streak of five tournaments finishing 21st or worse. Clark has six Top-10 finishes this season, so he has a good shot against this weak field.

But if it is really recent results you’re looking for, Van Pelt is your man. He was in action last weekend, when he finished sixth at the McGladrey Classic. Van Pelt’s last Top-10 finish before that came in August, when he placed third at the World Golf Championships.

J.B. Holmes is next in line with 25/1 golf odds to win the Open. He was also at the McGladrey last weekend, though he finished 59th. That was only a one-spot improvement from his effort at the BMW Championship in September.

Justin Leonard rounds out the top five contenders with 28/1 PGA Tour odds for this week’s tournament. He placed 45th last weekend, his fourth consecutive tournament finishing 30th or worse. Leonard has made it into the Top-10 just once all season, so you’re probably better off avoiding him this weekend.

Get all your golf props and odds at Bodog

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Get In On The Punta Cana Poker Classic For $1

by Best Betting on October 13, 2010

Bodog Poker is sending five players to this year’s Punta Cana Poker Classic in the Dominican Republic and they’ve made it possible for you to get in on the action for as little as $1! If you're one of the winners who qualify in the Punta Cana Classic Satellite, you'll get a $3,000 prize package that will take them away from the chill of autumn and down to one of the most beautiful places in the world to play poker.

Qualifiers are already underway with a series of $10+1 SemiFinal tournaments going down at 7:35pm and 10:35pm ET each and every day. Three seats in the Punta Cana Classic Satellite tournament are guaranteed to be awarded from each of these tournaments, and if $10+1 isn't a good enough deal for you, Bodog's also running special Punta Cana Classic Cheap Seat tourneys every day at 8:35pm. Each of these $1 buy-in events offer up five guaranteed seats in the Punta Cana Classic Satellite. If you're confident in your abilities, however, and want to jump straight to the top, the Punta Cana Classic Satellite goes down on Saturday, October 30th at 4:35pm with a $100+9 buy-in.

If you win, you'll need to pack pretty quickly: the Punta Cana Poker Classic 2010 runs from November 10th through 14th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, one of the Dominican Republic (and the world's) premiere beach destinations. Your $3000 prize package includes your $2,000 buy-in for the tournament, $1,000 cash for your flight and spending money and you’ll stay at the all-inclusive Punta Cana Moon Palace Hotel and Resort.

You can get more information when you visit the Punta Cana Poker Classic page on Bodog Poker!

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