Two of the most revered college basketball programs in the country will butt heads Saturday, when the top-ranked Florida Gators try their luck against John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. Both have significant odds of winning March Madness, but only one can top their 2013-14 regular season campaign off with a win.
No. 1 Florida may hold a slight advantage over their opponents on the college basketball futures, but don’t think that their 5/1 odds mean that they won’t still have their work cut out for them at home against the Wildcats.
Kentucky may have fallen to Florida already this season, en route to their No. 17 ranking down the stretch, but they’ve also knocked off the reigning champion Louisville Cardinals.
Now, so long as NBA Draft hopefuls Julius Randle, James Young and Willie Cauley-Stein are leading the charge – each a prospective lottery pick – the team’s 16/1 odds of going all the way are at least worth a second look.
Losses to MSU, Baylor, UNC and a couple of unranked SEC rivals have damaged their stock, but the potential is there. Can they redeem themselves in a big way with a win over Florida this weekend?
(Press Release) San Jose, Costa Rica – February 27, 2014 – Its known industry-wide as Sit & Crush, but players might want to sit down for this. Just weeks after moving Sit & Crush to a weekly format, ACR has announced that they’re adding an additional $2,500 to each weekly leaderboard competition during the month of March. The top finisher set to take home an extra $1,000.
“We want to give Sit and Go players the chance to compete for even more money next month,” said Americas Cardroom spokesperson Michael Harris. “So rather than wait for the prize pool to feed itself, we thought we’d get things started by throwing extra money on the table every single week in March.”
Sit & Crush is a progressive points race that’s funded entirely through the poker site’s jackpot tables, using players’ shared jackpot contribution money. The leaderboard competition gives poker players a new chance to race to the top of a leaderboard for cash prizes and tourney seats each week, just by playing in qualifying Sit and Go tournaments. At the end of each 7-day period, the Sit & Crush prize pool is distributed to players who rank on the weekly leaderboard.
Each week during the month of March, Americas Cardroom will top up the top 5 players with extra cash. First place receives an extra $1,000, 2nd place earns $600, 3rd place takes home $400, 4th place walks away with $300, and 5th place pockets another $200. The money is paid on top of the weekly leaderboard payout schedule, which varies based on how much money is contributed to the leaderboard.
With a new leaderboard each week, Sit and Go players have the opportunity to participate in a brand new large-scale Beast and Sit & Crush tournaments every seven days. For the next few weeks players will be winning their way into the OSS III Highroller events.
As March and spring approach this time of year, it’s hard not to get caught up in golf. Fortunately, as we all start thinking more and more about how we’ll fix our swings this season, we can also unwind and bet on the PGA as the tour starts raring up. If you missed out on last week’s World Golf Championship, you can bet on the Honda Classic this Thursday.
While WGC-Accenture Match Play winner Jason Day won’t get the chance to defend his recent win with another in Florida, he does stand to be a contender on the circuit this season with 8/1 odds of winning at least one Major.
The PGA odds favorites for the Honda Classic in particular are Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Tied with 8/1, McIlroy will look to replicate his 2012 success. Woods, playing in his first Honda Classic in 19 years last season, finished second.
After the Honda Classic, it won’t be long until golf courses across the country start to open and fans get ready for the Masters. Whether this is the year you finally get a handle on your slice or simply just predict the winner of one of the four Major events, the season of opportunity awaits.
While the Phoenix Suns may have once looked like an easy team to ignore on the NBA betting line, their play thus far in 2013-14 has suggested anything but. Currently the No. 8 seed in a relentless Western Conference, the club guided by rookie head coach Jeff Hornacek even has 75/1 odds of winning the NBA championship.
We get it, their spot on the basketball futures doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents. That’s just reality for an up and coming team in a dominant conference. While we love what Hornacek and All-Star snub Goran Dragic have done with the place, even we think it would be bold to buy in to a team that until this season was largely unproven.
But hold on a second.
The thing about Phoenix is, with each passing week that the Suns remain a factor in the West, they gain respect in the sportsbook. Last weekend the club took on Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Houston Rockets and were only two-point underdogs.
Now that rumours have started to swirl that Eric Bledsoe may be back in the lineup as soon as early March, we can’t help but consider them a dark hose candidate to make noise on the NBA betting scene.
They may have some work to do before oddsmakers start taking them seriously as title contenders, but it’s not exactly a stretch to consider them a force to be reckoned with night in and night out.
With a pair of emphatic victories already under her belt, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will look to add a third this Saturday, when the 27-year-old hops back in the octagon for a date with veteran Sara McMann. Early UFC odds favor Rousey, but can she live up to the expectations that come with being the constant favorite?
Favored with -400 odds for UFC 170, Rousey is the more recognizable betting option heading into her first scrap since December. In that bout it took just three rounds for the California native to submit Miesha Tate with what’s fast becoming a notorious armbar.
This time out Rousey will take on an experienced McMann who’s established herself as a versatile threat capable of either going the distance or submitting opponents in a variety of different ways. Will the older, wiser McMann be able to avoid the revered submission that Rousey has applied in each of her previous eight bouts?
Though just 2-0 since becoming the first female fighter to sign on with UFC back in November, 2012, Rousey’s fight portfolio stretches back to her days with Strikeforce and beyond. In every single victory it’s been that armbar delivering the final blow. Now it’s time to find out if the trend continues.
(Press Release) Popular casino software and platform provider SkillOnNet has entered into an agreement with Williams Interactive LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation, to provide the full portfolio of authentic Vegas-style slot games from Williams Interactive to SkillOnNet Casinos including EUCasino, PlayMillion and MegaCasino.
Through integration with the Williams Interactive Remote Game Server players visiting the various SkillOnNet online properties will have access to an unrivalled content portfolio of online slot games on both desktop and mobile devices including player-favourites THE WIZARD OF OZ™ Ruby Slippers™ and Spartacus Gladiators of Rome™ and recent launches Zeus™ III, Crystal Forest™ HD and Rainbow Riches™.
Commented Michael Golembo, SkillOnNet Marketing Chief, “we are really excited to launch the fantastic Williams Interactive catalogue of branded and popular slots. We believe the addition of WMS and Barcrest slot games to our casino platform will help continue the huge growth that SkillOnNet has seen over the past few years and increase our penetration in new markets.”
Added Golembo, “the slot games and game engines from Williams Interactive will complement our suite of top performing games, increasing player value and giving our players more choice when they want to play. We expect them to be a big hit at SkillOnNet.”
Jordan Levin, Managing Director for Williams Interactive, added, “We’re thrilled to expand the reach of our proven catalogue of casino games, recently enhanced with the addition of UK-famous Barcrest content alongside fan-favourite WMS Gaming slot themes. We’re confident that SkillOnNet players will enjoy the one-of-a-kind game engines and slot excitement for which Williams Interactive has become known.”
Call him Durantula, Slim Reaper, The Servant – call him whatever you want, it all means the same thing. Kevin Durant is a legitimate MVP candidate in the process of putting forth one of the most impressive individual campaigns hoops fans have seen in some time. No wonder the Oklahoma City Thunder have become an appealing option on the NBA futures.
The Thunder are good and they’ve been good for a while, but until this season they hadn’t really proven themselves as “genuine, honest-to-goodness title contender” good. Trust us, it’s a thing. Might Durant’s historic season be enough to push the franchise over the hump?
With 13/4 odds of winning the NBA championship, OKC sits first in the Western Conference and third in the entire league. That trail just two teams: the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.
The latter, the two-time NBA champion, is who they’ll really have to get through if they plan on being anything more than just the impressive Western Conference squad with the second best player in the league. Believe it or not, even that gets old after a while.
Fortunately for Durant, they’ve done so already once this season and will get the opportunity to do so again this Thursday. On January 29th, projected to lose by 4, the Thunder responded with a 17-point blowout. Can they cover the spread against LeBron James and company all over again?
The Duke Blue Devils have looked relatively mortal thus far throughout the 2013-14 NCAA campaign, but did wonders for their long-term forecast in an overtime clash with the Syracuse Orange earlier this month. Since then, their rank has soared (up from No. 17 then to No. 5 now) and their odds of winning March Madness have begun to climb as well. Now the two are set to clash all over again.
For Jim Boeheim and Syracuse, things have stayed more or less the same – not a bad thing when your team is the top-ranked program in the country and among the favorites on the college basketball futures.
The Orange, in fact, sit No. 2 in the sportsbook with 6/1 odds of winning March Madness while the Blue Devils sit further down the list at 9/1.
More than a battle of two potential NCAA Tournament contenders, however, the February 22 rematch pits a pair of legitimate ACC rivals against one another in a heated reminder of one of the most memorable games of this season so far.
Expect Duke’s success to rely heavily on the production of freshman phenom Jabari Parker. The NBA-bound swingman’s 19.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game give the Blue Devils a chance any time they take the court, and the game will take place on Duke soil as well.
Is Syracuse’s undefeated record at risk?
We’re half way through the season, the Miami Heat look relatively mortal, Kevin Durant (31.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG) is playing some of the best basketball of the decade and sports fans are getting ready to bet on the NBA All-Star Game. Not a bad 2013-14 so far, by any means. Will the midseason festivities do justice to what’s already been a fantastic year?
Whether you’ve started to wager on the NBA All-Star Weekend just yet or not, the February celebration is one that can’t be overlooked.
Since November we’ve seen some of the greats fall to injury (Derrick Rose, Brook Lopez, Al Horford just to name three that are out for the season), but we’ve also seen some fresh faces rise up among the elite.
The Portland Trail Blazers have 16/1 odds of winning the NBA championship and a major reason for that is LaMarcus Aldridge (24.1 PPG, 11.5 RPG) emerging as a legitimate MVP candidate. First-year All-Star Damian Lillard has pulled his share of the weight as well.
The All-Star Game will also give fans a chance to scout out Paul George (22.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG) from Indiana. George hasn’t made the Pacers a title threat all alone, but his rise to superstardom has helped Indy evolve from an NBA futures candidate to NBA futures contender.
It may have taken them some time to convince everybody, but the Syracuse Orange have finally established themselves as the top team in the country – they’ve done it both in the polls and on the college basketball futures too. This Wednesday, leading scorer CJ Fair and company will look to defend their No. 1 rank against an ACC rival.
The Orange have already proven themselves against the No. 25 Pittsburgh Panthers this season (in a 59-55, January 18 victory), but if they plan on living up to their 11/2 odds of winning the NCAA championship, they’ll have to show that they can handle fringe contenders just like them, day in and day out.
Pitt hasn’t had success against ranked opposition in 2013-14, but boasts an 8-3 ACC record, good enough for third in the conference behind Syracuse and Virginia.
Oddsmakers may not increase the Panthers’ 75/1 March Madness odds anytime soon, but they’ll serve a valuable gauging tool for their opponents on this and other occasions throughout the rest of the season. The question is, can the Orange fit the bill as the new team to beat in the sportsbook?
Between Fair’s 16.8 points per game and the fact that he’s not even one of the teams’ two best NBA prospects (that would be Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant), Syracuse is starting to emerge as a must-see program.
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off one of the most impressive blowout Super Bowl victories in the history of the NFL. The core that led them to the championship is among the youngest in the league and their major 2013 offseason acquisition will actually suit up for them for more than one regular season game in 2014 – no wonder they top the NFL futures heading into next season.
With 11/2 of winning Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks hold the slight edge over NFC West Division rival San Francisco. Richard Sherman being Richard Sherman or not, the elite cornerback did go as far as to say that the NFC Championship Game between the two contenders was more or less the real Super Bowl. Can you disagree?
This year’s runner-up Broncos have just 10/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, while Tom Brady and the Patriots have leap frogged them with 9/1 odds of their own. The window is closing for Peyton Manning in Denver.
Perhaps next season will bring about new faces altogether. The Green Bay Packers have regressed ever so slightly since their 2010 championship, and the upstart Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers are even further removed from franchise success. Andrew Luck and Cam Newton represent the new generation of NFL quarterbacks and while their playing styles may differ, they’re two young stars capable of guiding their teams to new heights over the course of the next decade.
Will 2014 bring about much of the same? Or is a shift in the football landscape brewing? It may be early to say for sure, but betting on the NFL futures early does have its advantages.
By the end of the work week, the 2014 Sochi Games will be officially underway and that means that a weekend of betting on the Winter Olympics is well within reason. Whether prepping for a specific event or just hoping to enjoy the quadrennial festivities in general, there are plenty of ways to get ready for the events. Fortunately the sportsbook is ready for all of them.
When it comes to betting on the Sochi Games in general, sports fans are likely going to lean toward their home and native land. Oddsmakers, on the other hand, are unmoved by such biases. As a result, despite the US sending 230 athletes to the games (the most of any country), Norway is the favorite to win the most gold medals at the games.
Winter Olympic Betting Odds
Norway’s 23/20 odds of dominating the Olympics lead America’s 5/2 mark, Germany’s 7/1, Russia’s 9/1, Canada’s 9/1 and every other country in the world. The States, however, thanks to power in numbers, have the highest odds of winning the most Olympic medals (1/1).
Betting on Olympic events is half the fun of engaging with the Winter Games though, so betting lines exist for everything from the outright women’s luge winner to the probability of Jamaica’s fan favorite bobsled to win a medal (a ‘Yes’ bet currently pays +5,000).
Most importantly, the Olympics serve as an opportunity for casual and diehard sports fans alike to give in to the temptation of watching event after event for the duration of the two-plus-week celebration. Don’t even leave the couch if you don’t want to – we won’t judge.
While a worthy head-to-head matchup if nothing else, this week’s Eastern Conference clash between the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers marks the opportunity for two bubble playoff contenders to kick off the second half of their season on the right foot. Where they fall on the NBA futures after that, then, is very much up in the air.
While it’s hard not to give the Wizards the benefit of the doubt considering that they currently find themselves in the playoff picture, it wasn’t long ago when the Cavs were regarded as the more likely postseason candidate.
In the sportsbook the Wiz have 100/1 odds of winning the NBA championship, but Cleveland intrigues further down the list at 300/1.
On paper the battle of John Wall and Kyrie Irving is one of the best that basketball fans could ask for. We know this isn’t LeBron James versus Kevin Durant, though, and while both Wall and Irving are regarded as some of the game’s brightest young stars, it’s very much an off-the-radar affair.
That means basketball bettors interested in getting a better look at two of the next generation’s guards will welcome the February contest between dueling franchises with open arms.
The Wizards may be playoff-bound today while the Cavs are on the outside looking in, but that could change several times over before the end of the regular season.
When it comes to betting on college basketball, the Kansas Jayhawks are a tough team to resist. While they may not be the most accomplished in the standings, they’re certainly the most intriguing. This Monday, with five losses already, they’ll try their luck on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats.
The reason Kansas’ loss count is relevant is because they’ve still managed to capture the hearts of the NCAA Basketball betting community. This is a team that’s lost to two unranked opponents and three others lower than No. 19, yet remains one of the top teams to beat on the March Madness futures.
That’s right, with 9/2 odds of winning the National Championship, the Jayhawks are expected to finish second on the totem pole despite their current No. 6 ranking in the AP polls. Perhaps that’s the benefit of having the top two NBA prospects on your roster in the middle of an unpredictable NCAA season.
We like Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid as much as the next guys, but if No. 6 Kansas wants to be a No. 1 team, they’re going to have to show us that they deserve it.
The Wildcats, currently unranked, have just 300/1 NCAA futures and their work cut out for them if they hope to earn the level of respect they’ve had at times in the past. A victory on home soil against a heated rival like the Jayhawks could be just the kick in the right direction.
If the biggest strength of the Denver Broncos happens to coincide with the biggest strength of the Seattle Seahawks, then something will have to give at Super Bowl XLVIII. The question that the NFL betting community needs to answer, then, is whether Jake Fox and Pete Carroll stick with what’s worked for them all season, or start thinking outside of the box.
For Peyton Manning and the Broncos, taking to the air to put points on the board is almost inevitable. When you’re the best in the game at doing something, why do anything else? This week, however, Denver’s aerial assault will be tested by the best secondary in football. What would work against 30 other teams in the NFL may not necessarily work against this one.
It begs the question, will the Broncos attempt to beat Richard Sherman and the Seahawks as they would anybody else or look to implement more of a running game in order to keep from playing right into Seattle’s hands – and what does that mean for Knowshon Moreno’s 20/1 odds of winning Super Bowl MVP?
It’s easy to understand the benefits of both approaches and the reality is that we’ll likely see a combination of both. That means betting on the Super Bowl comes down choosing which of the two teams will bring forth the best overall package and isn’t that what the NFL championship should be about anyway? Denver’s the 3-point favorite for Super Sunday.
(Press Release) San Jose, Costa Rica – January 29, 2014 – It’s not just The Beast’s roar that’s making big noise each week at Americas Cardroom. Just days after announcing that The Beast is moving to a weekly format beginning February 1st, the leading online poker site today announced that its Sit & Crush tournament points race is also moving to a weekly format.
“More players, rewarded more often – in cash games and in tournaments,” said Americas Cardroom spokesperson Michael Harris. “That’s been our goal for a long time and today we’re making the move to make our two big point races the most lucrative in all of online poker.”
Like the new weekly Beast competition, Sit & Crush gives poker players a new chance to race to the top of a leaderboard for cash prizes and tourney seats each week, just by playing in qualifying Sit&Go tournaments. Each weekly race runs from Saturday at 00:00 until the following Friday at 23:59. Poker players who win a cash prize will see the money paid into their account by end-of-day every Monday. Any tournament seat wins are paid out on the Sunday following the cash prize payout.
The Beast is Americas Cardroom’s progressive points race that’s funded entirely through the poker site’s jackpot tables, using players’ shared jackpot contribution money. At the end of each 7-day period, the prize pool in The Beast is distributed to players who rank on The Beast leaderboard.
Sit & Crush is modeled after The Beast, however it’s built exclusively for Sit & Go players. While the weekly Sit & Crush competition runs on the same schedule as The Beast, the leaderboard competitions are completely independent of one another.
The new weekly format means that players will now have the opportunity to participate in a brand new large-scale Beast and Sit & Crush tournaments every week, winning their way to land-based events like the LSOP and the Punta Cana Poker Classic.
Although their 2013-14 campaign hasn’t gone exactly how they envisioned, the Brooklyn Nets have rediscovered their fire of late, emerging as a threat in the unpredictable Eastern Conference. This Thursday they’ll look to continue to climb the NBA futures with a strong showing against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It’s not every day that a thoroughly revamped NBA team struggling to gel is charged with the task of going head to head with the most formidable force in the Western Conference, but on this day that’s exactly what head coach Jason Kidd and the Nets have to do.
If nothing else, the opportunity serves as a way of gauging just how capable this Brooklyn squad is.
Between OKC’s 11/2 odds of winning the NBA championship and Durant’s daily campaign for the 2014 MVP award, the Thunder are genuine contenders by every stretch of the imagination, so it will be telling to see how the Nets can fare.
Right now Brooklyn has 28/1 odds of winning the championship, but could improve those significantly if they continue to play as well as they have over their past 10 games.
The Memphis Grizzlies have never really taken the Western Conference by storm; yet they’re a perennial contender as capable of qualifying for the conference championship as any other team on the left-hand side of the map. This season, with the West in transition, they’ll have to prove they can hang with the best. Can they do so with a big win against the Houston Rockets on Friday?
It’s one thing for a team like the Grizz to slowly and gradually trot along, sneaking into the postseason and exiting without leaving much of an impact. It’s something else entirely to be able to push forth as a legitimate title contender.
Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies have a relatively modest 50/1 odds of winning the NBA championship while home run hitters like the Oklahoma City Thunder (6/1), Los Angeles Clippers (12/1) and even Rockets (16/1) sit much higher up on the list.
Can Memphis’ team approach prevail against star-studded opponents like Dwight Howard and James Harden? The Rockets squad that Daryl Morey has assembled is a genuine contender with the potential to unseat any team they line up against in a seven-game series. The Rockets may not attain the level of consistency that Memphis has, but they’re a prolific team that could make at least one legitimate push for a championship.
Gauge both types of contender when they tip-off this week.
The Arizona Wildcats are good – we get that. They’re No. 1 in the polls, unbeaten all season, tops in their conference, 18-0, all that – but are they really team with the greatest odds of winning March Madness? According to the college basketball futures, not quite. This Thursday the Cats will face their toughest test and first ranked opponent since No. 6 Duke in November.
Simply put, while Arizona has been winning games and taking names, they haven’t exactly been flexing their muscle in such a manner that they’ve leapfrogged their peers on the sportsbook’s shortlist. Bettors aren’t exactly tripping over themselves to invest.
With 7/1 odds of winning the 2004 NCAA National Championship, Arizona sits third on the futures behind No. 15 Kansas and No. 4 Michigan State.
This week, with the No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes in town, Arizona will look to show that they’re more than just a predator of less-than-impressive opponents. Colorado sits third in the Pac-12, having beaten the likes of then-No. 10 Oregon and then-No. 6 Kansas earlier this season.
If the Wildcats can’t come up big against a No. 21 opponent, perhaps the gap between themselves and the top of the March Madness futures will be validated. The question is, how seriously will they be taken if they do?
(Press Release) San Jose, Costa Rica – January 17, 2014 – While New Jersey and Nevada online poker sites struggle to push their guarantees above five figures, one national online poker site is going all in by dropping $900,000 in guarantees on the table this March. Americas Cardroom today announced the return of its popular Online Super Series.
Dubbed OSS, the third installment of the popular weeklong tournament series will feature a staggering $900,000 in guarantees, including a $200,000 Main Event. In an unanticipated move, Americas Cardroom is launching satellites for the series this Saturday, January 17th, much earlier than usual.
“Our community is growing by leaps and bounds, and while we’ve made the live tournament circuit a main part of our world with the Punta Cana Poker Classic and the upcoming LSOP Millions, we’re returning to our roots this April with our famous Online Super Series,” stated Americas Cardroom spokesperson Michael Harris. “And we’ve decided to get an early start by launching satellites this weekend.”
>From March 28th to April 6th, Americas Cardroom will spread out $900,000 in guarantees over 63 separate online poker tournaments. Buy-ins for the tournaments range from just $0.52 to $530. Available tournaments include re-entries, re-buys, and add-ons.
The Online Super Series culminates with a $200,000 Guaranteed No Limit Hold’em tourney on Sunday April 6th at 5:00pm ET. The event costs just $200+15 to get into and a number of low buy-in satellites for the tournament are now live. The event offers re-entries for the first five hours.