85th Academy Awards Odds

The film industry’s biggest night is almost here. For movie fans, it means they’ll get a chance to see which of their favorite performances form the year will be rewarded and which films will take home the top prizes. For bettors, as always, the Oscars presents an opportunity to make some money. Bovada.lv has odds on all the award categories, but it’s no secret that odds makers aren’t the best at predicting award shows. However, that’s good for film lovers and industry followers like us! Here are our picks for some of the night’s biggest awards.

Best Supporting Actress

Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) – 1/50, Sally Field (Lincoln) – 14/1, Helen Hunt (The Sessions) – 25/1, Amy Adams (The Master) – 25/1, Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) -50/1

Hathaway is a massive favorite here for her performance in Les Miserables and considering she has already taken home a ton of awards for the role – including the Golden Globe – she will likely win this one. However, at 1/50, you aren’t going to make any money even if she does. The best value picks in this category are Sally Field and Amy Adams. Field has garnered a lot of attention for her  turn as Mary Todd Lincoln, while Adams has already been nominated for several Oscars, but has never won. Considering the Academy loves to award performers after they’ve paid their dues, she could be a dark horse contender as well.

Best Supporting Actor

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) – 5/4, Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) – 5/4, Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) – 13/2, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) – 15/2, Alan Arkin (Argo) – 40/1

This category is more of a toss up. Waltz won the Golden Globe this year, but he recently won an Oscar in 2010 for Inglorious Basterds, so the Academy might not give him another. However, every actor is this category has at least one Oscar, while De Niro has two. This makes Hoffman and Arkin good value picks, but if you want to play it safe, go with Jones or Waltz.

Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) – 4/7, Emannuelle Riva (Amour) – 11/4, Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) – 15/4, Naomi Watts (The Impossible) – 33/1, Quvenzhane Wallis (The Beasts of the Southern Wild) – 50/1

Lawrence is the frontrunner here, but Chastain is the best choice considering her value and chance to win. She likely has just as good a chance to win as Lawrence since both actresses claimed Golden Globes for their roles. Lawrence did win the SAG, which is a good sign she might take home the gold statue, but Chastian received an equal amount of praise and attention. The others here are huge longshots. Take Chastain at 15/4.

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) – 1/50, Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) – 10/1, Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) – 33/1, Denzel Washington (Flight) – 40/1, Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) – 40/1

Now this is a shoo-in if I’ve ever seen one. Not only has Day-Lewis won all the awards this season, but this role was tailor-made Oscar bait and there’s no way the Academy won’t bite. Even though Day-Lewis is already an Oscar-winner, the Academy seems to love him, so there’s almost no way he won’t win. However, it wouldn’t hurt to put a couple of dollars down on Hugh Jackman just in case. Jackman is certainly deserving and the Academy likely loved his role in Les Miserables, so just for value sake go Jackman.

Best Director

Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) – 1/4, Ang Lee (Life of Pi) – 4/1, David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Michael Haneke (Amour) – 14/1, Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Most would consider this a shoo-in as well for multiple Oscar winner Spielberg, but I actually like Ang Lee here. Not only do you get more value, but Lee has a good chance to win considering he adapted, what most considered to be, an unfilmable novel into one of the most gorgeous pictures of the year. The other candidates are pretty significant long shots, so take Lee here.

Best Picture

Argo – 1/7, Lincoln – 5/1, Silver Linings Playbook – 25/1, Les Miserables – 50/1, Life of Pi – 50/1, Django Uncahined – 50/1, Zero Dark Thirty – 66/1, Amour – 100/1, Beasts of the Southern Wild – 100/1

With Argo picking up steam in recent weeks, it has nabbed the top odds for Best Picture, but it is far from being the film with the best value. It’s a surprise that Argo is regarded so highly considering it is not up for any of the other three biggies – Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. There’s actually a good chance the Academy will go elsewhere with their vote, perhaps towards Les Miserables or even Zero Dark Thirty, which some considered the frontrunner just a couple of months ago. I like ZDT for the best value at 66/1 but Les Miz or even Life of Pi would not be bad picks. You could go Argo, but it is being way overvalued, so I would stay away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Betting Tips: College Hoops

Michael Carter-Williams and the Syracuse Orange face a tough challenge from Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.

Big games. That’s what we like at this time of the year and this week’s college basketball schedule has been chock full of them.

Five unranked teams have knocked-off AP ranked sides this week, continuing a trend that has proved prevalent this season. Underdogs are having their way so far this season, which means the NCAA tournament is going to be particularly interesting this year.

Big games continue to come thick and fast, so Casino Review has picked out the three biggest on Saturday’s schedule and broke them down for you.

 

#11 Georgetown @ #8 Syracuse

4:00 PM ET

With the Orange shipping out to the ACC at the end of this season, this will be the last time the Hoyas visit the Carrier Dome, for a while at least. What happens with the ‘Catholic Seven’ could change that in a few years. You never know.

#11 Georgetown (20-4, 10-3 Big East) will look to make it a triumphant final visit, while #8 Syracuse (22-4, 10-3 Big East) will look to remain unbeaten at home and against AP Top 25 teams.

The Hoyas have won eight straight and 10 of the last 11 on the way to securing a share of the Big East lead. The Orange meanwhile has won two straight, and four of five. Georgetown handed DePaul a 90-66 loss on Wednesday, while Syracuse defeated Providence 84-59 setting up this top of the table clash.

Both sides will look to solid defenses in this one. The Hoyas ranked 10th in the nation in both points allowed (56.1) and opponents’ shooting percentage (.376). Syracuse is 30th in points allowed (59.3) but limits opponents to .370 shooting, good enough for sixth in the country.

This game is almost impossible to pick. Both schools have fared well against the spread this season, at home and on the road, and as favorites and underdogs. Both have identical conference records. Both have fared well against ranked sides, with Georgetown going 4-1 and Syracuse going 4-0.

Perhaps the main separation point is Syracuse’s current 38-game home winning streak. The side has been unstoppable at home for more than two years, having not lost at the Carrier Dome since Feb. 9 2011. However, that last loss – a 64-56 affair – came at the hands of these very Hoyas. There really is little to choose from here.

This Season: This will be the first time the schools meet this season. A second game is scheduled for Mar. 9.

Last Season: Syracuse defeated Georgetown 64-61 in overtime at the Carrier Dome in the only meeting between the sides last season.

Favorite: Syracuse Spread: 7 Total: 122

Take: SYRACUSE – Ultimately that impressive home winning streak has swayed us in the direction of the Orange, but a win for Georgetown really wouldn’t be a surprise. Take the Hoyas (13-7-0 ATS, 5-1-0 ATS) to cover the spread in a close, emotional game. Even though these sides are defensively orientated, there’ll be enough offense on display for the total to go over.

 

#16 New Mexico @ # 22 Colorado State

4:00 PM ET

#22 Colorado State (21-5, 8-3 MWC) came unglued on the road in Las Vegas this past Wednesday, losing 61-59 to UNLV and dropping a game back of the conference leading Lobos. The Rams will need to win on Saturday afternoon if they’re to stay in this particular race.

#16 New Mexico (22-4, 9-2 MWC) have had a week to rest since handing Boise State a 60-50 loss last Saturday. The Lobos will hope that this break will prove enough of an advantage going into Fort Collins, where the Rams are undefeated this season.

The Lobos have won two straight and five of six, while the Rams’ midweek loss put the breaks on a six-game winning streak.

Both teams enter the game with top 50 defenses, which means this should be a bruising affair. The Rams are second in the nation with 41.9 rebounds per game, something that could prove vital against a Lobos team that does not shoot the ball well.

This Season: New Mexico defeated Colorado State 66-61 in Albuquerque on Jan. 23.

Last Season: The schools split a pair of games with each winning on its own court.

Favorite: Colorado State Spread: 6 Total: 129

Take: COLORADO STATE – Home court has proved advantageous in this series and it will do so again on Saturday, although a well-rested New Mexico side certainly has the potential to steal one. Take the Rams (12-8-2 ATS, 7-3-1 ATS home) to cover the spread. Take the total to go under, a trend familiar with both these teams.

 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina

4:00 PM ET

It’s rare Casino Review steps outside of the AP rankings for its weekly betting tips but this one more than warrants it. With both teams underachieving this season, this game is huge.

North Carolina (18-8, 8-5 ACC) will look to avenge January’s defeat in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, hoping to throw its hat in the NCAA tournament picture at the same time. North Carolina State (19-7, 8-5 ACC) would like nothing better than to ruin its rival’s chances.

The Tar Heels have two straight after dropping a pair of road games to Duke and Miami (FL). Roy Williams’ side has won five of the last seven. The Wolfpack defeated Florida State on Tuesday to build its win streak up to three, following three straight losses and five in seven.

Expect a high-scoring affair as two top 10 offenses collide. The Tar Heels will need to fend-off the sharpshooting Wolfpack, which shoots .497 from the field (fifth in the nation) and .406 from three-point range (sixth).

This Season: NC State handed the Tar Heels a 91-83 loss in Raleigh on Jan. 26.

Last Season: North Carolina handed the Wolfpack three defeats last season, including a 69-67 loss in the ACC tournament.

Favorite: North Carolina Spread: 5 Total: 158½

Take: NORTH CAROLINA – The Tar Heels cost us big time the last time we backed them (against NC State, nonetheless) but that 12-1 home record looks too enticing this week, particularly against an inconsistent NC State side. Take the Tar Heels (15-9-0 ATS, 9-4-0 ATS home) to cover the spread also. Although both sides can score the basketball, 158½ seems a little too much, so take the under.

 

AP Top 25 Weekend Schedule

Saturday

#2 Miami (FL) @ Wake Forest

San Diego @ #3 Gonzaga

Arkansas @ #5 Florida

#11 Georgetown @ #8 Syracuse

TCU @ #9 Kansas

Seton Hall @ #10 Louisville

Washington State @ #12 Arizona

#13 Kansas State @ Texas

#14 Oklahoma State at West Virginia

#16 New Mexico @ #22 Colorado State

#17 Marquette @ Villanova

Southern Miss @ #21 Memphis

Stanford @ #23 Oregon

#24 Virginia Commonwealth @ Xavier

Sunday

#4 Michigan State @ #18 Ohio State

Boston College @ #6 Duke

Illinois @ #7 Michigan

#20 Pittsburgh @ St. John’s

Cincinnati @ #25 Notre Dame

NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Although some minor deals were completed before the NBA trade deadline yesterday, there wasn’t a lot of action in terms of volume or significance, at least it may seem that way on the surface. The deals that went through under the wire actually may have a larger impact on the remainder of the regular season that some bettors realize. And as always, some teams came out with the short end of the stick, while others took advantage of the better part of the deal. Let’s take a look at a couple of winners and losers from the 2013 NBA trade deadline.

Winner – Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks definitely came out on top in a deal they made yesterday with the Orlando Magic. Both teams gave up and received three players, but the trade was highlighted by J.J. Redick, who was shipped to the Bucks.

The Bucks – currently in eighth place in the East – certainly needed a boost on the perimeter and they couldn’t have picked up someone much better than Redick, who is 11th in the league in three-pointers made. Redick is also having a career year, averaging 15.1 points this season. Big win for the Bucks here.

Loser – Orlando Magic

Sure, the Magic saved some cap space by shipping Redick, but what kind of talent did they get in return? Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. Things don’t quite add up here. Orlando didn’t help themselves much with this trade because none of these guys has much future potential and since the Magic didn’t secure a pick in the trade, don’t expect them to improve much next season either.

Winner – Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers, who are in 9th place in the West, were also in need of a push and it looks like they got it by bolstering one of their weaknesses – the backup point guard spot. They haven’t had anyone to fill in for rookie sensation Damian Lillard when he needs a rest, that was until they picked up Eric Maynor from the Thunder. The Blazers also won by not having to give up a player and instead sent a $2.2 million trade exception. So, if Maynor doesn’t work out at the position, Portland can consider him a rental and release him at the end of the season since his contract expires at the end of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Loser – Sacramento Kings

Some would argue the Kings came out a winner from their deal with the Rockets on Wednesday after acquiring Houston’s fourth-leading scorer Patrick Patterson, but considering they had to let go of the highly valuable Thomas Robinson to get him, it looks like the Kings’ already bleak future got a little bleaker.

The Kings – who are likely headed to Seattle soon – threw away their 2012 first-round draft pick Robinson to get under the salary cap, which they did, but they also threw away a player with almost unlimited potential. There’s a reason they drafted him fifth overall, but there’s not a good reason for trading him away so soon.

 

 

 

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Preview

History will be made Saturday night as the UFC hosts its first ever women’s bout, a championship contest between undefeated Ronda Rousey and No. 1 contender Liz Carmouche.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche will come live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., with pay-per-view action starting at 10 PM ET. A full preliminary card – to be broadcast on FX and Facebook – will be held beforehand.

The historic event marks the sixth time the UFC has held an event in Anaheim, and the first since UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos on Nov. 12, 2011. The Honda Center famously saw Cain Velasquez defeat then-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in Oct. 2010.

As well as featuring the Rousey-Carmouche fight, UFC 157 will see light-heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson take to the Octagon in a bid to cement No. 1 contender status for Jon “Bones” Jones’ title.

Rousey vs. Carmouche

Even by UFC standards, the hype surrounding this debut is something else. Saturday night is gearing up to be something special, although it could be over before you know it.

Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) will look to remain unbeaten as she competes in the UFC Octagon for the first time. Her last contest saw her successfully defend the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman, that promotion’s penultimate event.

Rousey has finished all six professional fights in the first round utilizing an armbar. Only one of those bouts went longer than one minute; she defeated Meisha Tate for the Strikeforce title in 4:27 back on Mar. 3, 2012, her fifth pro fight.

After all the hype and publicity, Dana White and the rest of the Zuffa brass will probably be hopeful this one goes a little longer. So will Rousey’s opponent.

After a pair of defeats sent Liz Carmouche (7-2-0) to a 2-2-0 record in Strikeforce, the San Diego fighter appeared at the first two Invicta FC events in 2012, securing two victories. Carmouche handed Ashleigh Curry a TKO defeat and besting Kaitlin Young by submission.

It was reported that the fighter known as “Girl-Rilla” was set to make a Strikeforce comeback last November, but the scheduled event was axed as the promotion set to close its doors. Now she gets to fight on the biggest MMA stage of all.

The UFC has been criticized in some territories for serving up a weak opponent for Rousey in her first bout with the company. Carmouche will look to prove such doubters wrong with a strong performance in Anaheim.

Rousey enters the championship bout as favorite (1/10) with Carmouche considered the underdog (

Machida vs. Henderson

UFC 157 didn’t need another marquee fight to stir up interest, but it got one anyway.

Ranked No. 2 and No. 3 (by Sherdog) in the light heavyweight division respectively, Dan Henderson (29-8-0) and Lyoto Machida (18-3-0) will take to the Octagon in what many believe could be the fight of the year.

After falling to Jon Jones at UFC 140 in a Fight of the Night performance, Machida continues his bid to get another shot at the champ. Machida turned down a short-notice opportunity to challenge Jones last September. The southpaw from Salvador will hope that a win over Henderson will propel him to top contender status in a fully-scheduled bout.

The Los Angeles fighter defeated Ryan Bader last time out (Aug. 4), knocking out the Tempe, Ariz., wrestler in the second round.

Henderson on the other hand will be looking to put the halters on Machida and improve his own standing in the process. The final Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has won four straight and seven of the last eight.

His most recent bout – a victory over Mauricio Rua, the man who stripped Machida of the light heavyweight title – saw him return to UFC after a stint with Strikeforce, and was awarded Fight of the Year honors for 2011.

Henderson had been scheduled to face Jones at UFC 151 last September, but an injury kept him out and effectively cancelled that event.

Machida enters the bout as favorite (5/12) although Henderson (19/10) has seen plenty of action with the bookmakers.

Best of the Rest

Elsewhere on the main card, Urijah Faber (26-6-0) will look to bounce back from two losses in three bouts as he takes on Ivan Menjivar (25-9-0) in the bantamweight division. Menjivar is an impressive 4-1 since joining the UFC, earning two Submission of the Night awards in the process.

Faber is the favorite (4/15) heading into the fight but Menjivar (57/20) will like his chances.

In the welterweight division, Court McGee (13-3-0) will tussle with the veteran Josh Neer (33-12-1). Both fighters have dropped two bouts in a row so a win on Saturday night will be crucial for both parties.

McGee is favored (1/3) over Neer (23/10).

In the main card opener, Josh Koscheck (19-6-0) will square off again former Strikeforce combatant Robbie Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC) in the welterweight division. Again, both fighters are coming off a loss and will be looking to score a victory by any means necessary.

Koscheck (1/5) is favored over Lawler (7/2), who has dropped three of his last four bouts heading into his UFC debut.

 

For a full list of UFC 157’s undercard bouts and current odds, check our quick guide below.

 

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

Saturday 23 February, 10:00 PM ET

Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

All odds supplied by Bovada.

 

MAIN CARD

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) vs. Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (7-2-0)

Class: Women’s Bantamweight (Championship Bout)

Odds: Rousey (1/10), Carmouche (6/1)

 

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (18-3-0) vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-8-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Machida (5/12), Henderson (19/10)

 

Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (26-6-0) vs. Ivan “Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (25-9-0)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Faber (4/15), Menjivar (57/20)

 

Court “The Crusher” McGee (13-3-0) vs. Josh “The Dentist” Neer (33-12-1)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: McGee (1/3), Neer (23/10)

 

Josh “Kos” Koscheck (19-6-0) vs. Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Koscheck (1/5), Lawler (7/2)

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (9-3-0) vs. “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-6-0)*

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Schaub (2/3), Lavar Johnson (6/5)

 

Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (8-0-0) vs. Anton Kuivanen (17-5-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Chiesa (20/41), Kuivanen (33/20)

 

Dennis “The Menace”Bermudez (10-3-0) vs. Matt “The Ral One” Grice (15-4-0)*

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Bermudez (2/9), Grice (13/4)

 

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (19-8-1) vs. Caros “The Future” Fodor (7-2-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Stout (5/4), Fodor (20/31)

 

Kenny Robertson (11-2-0) vs. Brock “The Machine” Jardine (9-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Robertson (27/20), Jardine (20/33)

 

Jon Manley (7-2-0) vs. Neil Magny (7-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Manley (27/20), Magny (20/33)

 

Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2-0) vs. Yuri Villefort (6-1-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Burrell (20/23), Villefort (20/23)

 

Preliminary bouts marked (*) will air on FX.

Preliminary bouts marked (^) will air on the UFC Facebook page.

Thursday Betting Tips: NHL Hockey

Herik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers have struggled on the road early this season. Can they score a win in Ottawa on Thursday night?

With (a noticeably quiet so far) NBA deadline day due to close in little more than three hours, Casino Review turns its head the other way and eyeballs tonight’s action-packed NHL schedule. That might sound crazy but there’s a trio of games that are proving particularly intriguing, starting north of the border.

 

New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators

7:30 PM ET

New York (8-6-1, 2-3-0 road) continue to tick over as fans and bettors alike wait for them to reach the potential that saw the side named preseason favorites. So far, we’ve seen nothing of the sort.

The Rangers have lost two of the last three all told, including a 3-1 defeat to Montreal at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Ottawa (9-6-2, 6-1-2 home) pulled off a 3-1 win over the Rangers’ city mates the Islanders on Tuesday, making it two straight wins and three from five. The side has also won two straight and five from seven at home, and enter this game with the joint (with New Jersey) second best home record in the entire NHL. Only Montreal has fared better at home.

The Senators’ solid home record should strike fear into the Rangers, who have the fifth worst road record in the league. That being said, the Manhattan side has won two of the last three away from the garden.

This Season: Thursday night’s game is the first of three between the sides this season.

Last Season: Ottawa took a four-game regular season head-to-head series 3-1, winning both games played at Scotiabank Place. The Rangers retaliated by winning a seven-game series in the opening round of the playoffs, winning two of three in Ottawa.

Moneyline: NY Rangers (-121), Ottawa (+110) Total: 5

Take: OTTAWA – That home record is impressive and the Rangers have yet to really sell us on their road abilities. This is also an opportunity to back the underdog, something we like around these parts. Only four of Ottawa’s 17 games have seen the total go over, so take the under in this one.

 

Boston Bruins @ Tampa Bay Lightning

7:30 PM ET

Boston (9-2-2, 5-1-1 road) travels to the Gulf Coast – where the weather is nicer than in New England two weeks ago – to face Tampa Bay (8-6-1, 6-2-1 home) on Thursday night.

The Lightning have been solid at home – posting the fourth best record in the league – while the Bruins have been exceptional on the road – with the sixth best road record in the league. Something has to give in this one.

The Bruins snapped a two game losing streak with a 3-2 win in Winnipeg last Sunday. The side – winners of five of six on the road – will be well refreshed coming into this game.

The Lightning has won two straight since dropping six in a row, with the team’s latest success coming on Tuesday against Toronto. That 4-2 win also snapped a three-game losing streak at home. Even with that three-game skid, the Lightning still have an impressive home record.

This Season: After a Feb. 9 meeting was postponed, this will be the first of three games between the sides this season.

Last Season: Both teams one a pair of home games, splitting last year’s head-to-head series 2-2.

Moneyline: Boston (-116), Tampa Bay (+105) Total:

Take: BOSTON – There’s been very few chinks in the Bruins’ armor so far this season, and while the Lightning may have returned to winning ways, those three home losses leave a big question mark next to the team’s name. 10 of 14 Lightning games have seen the total exceed the bookies’ marker, so take the over.

 

Vancouver Canucks @ Dallas Stars

8:3 PM ET

With the play of Chicago and Anaheim this season, Vancouver (8-3-4, 3-1-2 road) may have to wave goodbye to a third straight Presidents’ Trophy, but with three straight losses – the last two both by shootout – the Canucks would trade such awards for a win anyway.

Prior to this three-game skid, the Canucks had taken six straight and eight of 10. The side will be looking to return to winning ways and gain some retribution having fallen to the Stars less than a week ago.

Dallas (8-7-1, 3-2-1 home) has been teetering around the bottom of the Western Conference playoff berths recently. Entering this game the side has edged Detroit for the No. 8 spot. A 4-3 loss to Calgary last Sunday marred a five from six winning streak, but a well-rested Stars team will be looking to make a splash here.

This Season: Dallas handed the Canucks a 4-3 defeat last Friday (Feb. 15) in Vancouver. This will be the second of three meetings this season.

Last Season: The two sides split a four-game head-to-head series last season, with each team winning once at home and once on the road.

Moneyline: Vancouver (-146), Dallas (+133) Total:

Take: VANCOUVER – There’s certainly a temptation to go with the underdog  Stars here, especially with the Canucks having dropped three straight, but ultimately the Canadian side looks good to breakout of this mini-slump, while an inconsistent Dallas team looks set to wrestle with those lower berths until April. Neither team trends towards the over, so take the total to go under here.

 

NHL Schedule (Thursday)

Buffalo @ Toronto

Florida @ Philadelphia

New Jersey @ Washington

Winnipeg @ Carolina

NY Islanders @ Montreal

NY Rangers @ Ottawa

Boston @ Tampa Bay

Columbus @ Detroit

Vancouver @ Dallas

Minnesota @ Edmonton

Rockets, Suns, Kings Execute Deadline Deal

The current NBA season has been noticeably lacking in trades and trade talk, but on Wednesday the Rockets, Suns and Kings pulled off a three-team trade that may spark other teams to make something happen as well before today’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Each team seemed to have different motivations in completing the trade, as Houston looked to acquire talent, Sacramento looked to dump salary and Phoenix aimed to reunite two brothers.

The Rockets received the best part of the deal, acquiring 2012 first-round draft pick Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from the Kings in exchange for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and $1 million in cash. The Rockets then went out and snagged a 2013 second-round pick from the Suns in exchange for Marcus Morris, who will join his twin brother Markieff Morris in Phoenix.

The big winner in all of this seems to be the Rockets, who appear to be loading up for a playoff run this season. Robinson is the biggest piece of the trade, a player who has a large amount of future potential. He’s averaging 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first NBA season after being selected fifth overall by the Kings in 2012. The Rockets will also be happy to add Garcia, who is averaging 5.2 points per game this year.

On paper, the big loser of the trade seems to be the Kings, but after looking closer, they actually helped themselves out financially. The trade will ultimately save the organization – which is likely headed to Seattle next season – $3 million in cap space and they were still able to secure a three-player for three-player trade. They also picked up a very productive player in Patterson, who is scoring 11.6 points per game this season.

Meanwhile the Suns, who were not as heavily involved as the other two teams, picked up a valuable addition in Morris, who is not only scoring 8.6 points per contest, but he will also get the opportunity to rejoin his twin brother Markieff. The two last played together, and had plenty of success in each other’s company, at the University of Kansas.

“It’s my first trade,” Marcus Morris said, via ESPN.com. “All I kept hearing was, it’s a business. It happens. I mean, it does happen. I’m excited to see where my career can go from here.

The Rockets – currently in eighth place in the West – needed a push to stay in the thick of things are maybe this is just what they needed. Meanwhile, the Kings – who are out of the playoff picture – looked like they simply wanted to save some dough.

We’ll have to wait and see if the trade helps the Rockets down the stretch and we’ll also have to see if the trade inspires other teams to make some deals as well.

 

 

 

Wednesday NBA Quick Picks: Feb.20

With the NBA back from its All-Star break, there will be a lot for bettors to keep track of today. There are 11 games in action in the Association today, but don’t worry. We’ve made it easy by providing you with the winning quick picks. Check ’em out!

Memphis Grizzlies +1.5 at Toronto Raptors -1.5

The Raptors may have one of the worst records in the NBA, but they’ve stepped up their game since acquiring Rudy Gay in a trade from Memphis as winners of their last five games. However, the Grizzlies have also continued to win despite losing Gay and are currently on a four-game streak of their own. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the trade.

The Raptors got the better end of the trade, but the Grizzlies are still be far the better team. Take Memphis to cover +1.5 today.

Detroit Pistons -3.5 at Charlotte Bobcats +3.5

The Bobcats only have 13 wins on the season, but one of them came against the Pistons in the teams’ only other meeting this season. This time around, the Bobcats will have the home floor, but the last time they won back-to-back games was back in November. Go with the better overall team and take Detroit to cover -3.5 on the road.

New York Knicks +4 at Indiana Pacers -4

These two will renew their long-standing rivalry for the third time this season, as the Knicks and Pacers have split the previous two games between each other. The Knicks are coming off a two-game losing streak, but should be refreshed after the break, while the Pacers have dominated opponents at home with a 21-5 record. Look for Indiana’s defense to be the difference and for the Pacers to cover -4 today.

New Orleans Hornets 0 at Cleveland Cavaliers 0

Since both teams have been equally horrendous this season with similar records coming into tonight’s game, the odds makers are going easy on us and giving us an even line. Honestly, this one really is a toss-up though. Since Cleveland has the home floor, take the Cavs to win this one.

Miami Heat -5 at Atlanta Hawks +5

The Hawks have been superb at home this season (17-9), but the Heat have been superb everywhere and they are playing their best basketball of the season at the moment, as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak. Look for the Heat to make it eight in a row by covering -5.

Brooklyn Nets +3 at Milwaukee Bucks -3

The Bucks have gotten the better of the Nets so far this season, winning two of the previous three match-ups, but Brooklyn is coming in with plenty of momentum as winners of its last three. Look for the Nets to keep it going by winning on the road and covering +3.

Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 at Houston Rockets +2.5

This match-up should be the highest scoring of the day, as it boasts the league’s top two scoring teams, but it’s a match-up the Thunder have dominated lately, winning the previous two meetings this season by more than 20 points on each occasion. Even on the road, take the Thunder to cover -2.5.

Philadelphia 76ers +3.5 at Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5

Although Minnesota has played better at home than on the road, they haven’t fared well without Kevin Love in the lineup, losing eight of their last 10 games. Look for the 76ers to take this one, covering +3.5.

Orlando Magic +10.5 at Dallas Mavericks -10.5

Yes, the Magic are 1-9 in their last 10 games, but the Mavericks haven’t been fantastic either, making their massive favoritism in this one unwarranted. Orlando should be able to cover +10.5 in the loss today.

Boston Celtics +7 at Los Angeles Lakers -7

I’m sorry, but the Lakers shouldn’t be getting seven points against anybody right now, much less a Celtics team that has won eight of their last 10 games. This should be easy money. Take Boston to cover +7 against the floundering Lakers.

Phoenix Suns +8.5 at Golden State Warriors -8.5

Normally I would love the Warriors here against the Suns, but as losers of their last six games, the Warriors confidence is obviously shaken. Their last win was in fact against Phoenix a couple of few weeks back and they did win by more than 8.5, but that was then and this is now. The Warriors should have enough to snap the streak, but they aren’t playing their best ball right now, so take the Suns to cover +8.5.

 

 

Florida Tops Futures, Falls to Mizzou

Missouri's upset win over Florida on Tuesday night spoiled the mood for the bookmakers' favorite.

Bookmakers declared Florida favorites to win an NCAA title on Tuesday. Hours later the Gators fell to conference rivals Missouri.

Whilst Indiana held on to the top spot on the AP poll this week, it was #5 Florida that held tight to the No. 1 spot on bookmakers’ lists of NCAA tournament favorites.

Odds of the Gators winning the tournament currently stand at 5/1. That makes it two weeks in a row that Billy Donovan’s side has impressed bookmakers enough to be considered the best team in college basketball.

But as has been the case so often this season, Tuesday held one more twist in the tale. The Gators traveled to Columbia, Mo., looking to follow up an 83-52 victory over the Tigers in Gainesville, Fla., by handing the side its first home loss of the season.

Missouri had other ideas and mounted a comeback from 13 points down. With 1:15 left on the clock, senior forward Laurence Bowers hit the go-ahead shot and the Tigers never looked back. Missouri (19-7, 8-5 SEC) edged Florida (21-4, 11-2 SEC) by a final score of 63-60.

It appears that the Gators may not top the futures list for much longer.

#1 Indiana (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) may not have topped bookmakers’ list this week, but the Hoosiers put one foot forward in its bid to secure that very spot when that list is next released, defeating conference rival #4 Michigan State (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) 72-68 on Tuesday night.

The win was that much more impressive when you consider that the Hoosiers defeated the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich., where Tom Izzo’s side had previously been unbeaten this season.

Indiana currently has odds of 11/2 to win the NCAA tournament. Those odds are likely to fall in the wake of Tuesday night’s win, whilst the top spot in the AP poll is all but a guarantee come Monday with the Hoosiers now idle until next Tuesday.

Michigan State meanwhile saw its odds shorten from 12/1 last week to 10/1 this week. Those odds may be lengthening again after this huge loss. Sunday’s game at Ohio State now becomes very important.

Alongside Indiana, #2 Miami (22-3, 13-0 ACC) is also considered 11/2 to win the tournament. Those odds have shortened from 9/1 this time last week. The Hurricanes held off Virginia 54-50 on Tuesday night, and with a trip to Wake Forest this weekend, the side looks good to hold firm both in the AP poll and on the futures list.

After three losses in four games, #7 Michigan (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) may have defeated Penn State on Sunday but the Nittany Lions played it close for much of the game. That wasn’t lost on bookmakers. The Wolverines saw their odds of winning the championship slip slightly, dropping from 7/1 to 15/2. With Illinois and Penn State up next, John Beilein’s side has the opportunity to impress again.

In losing to Maryland on Saturday, #6 Duke (22-3, 9-3 ACC) saw its stock drop slightly, with odds of winning the NCAA tournament falling from 17/2 to 9/1. The Blue Devils will remain a popular bet with the public, while nobody will deny that this team has the potential to go all the way, despite three losses in the ACC this year. A visit to Virginia Tech (Thurs.) and a home game against Boston College (Sun.) will give Coach K’s side a chance to bounce back.

Elsewhere on the futures list, #3 Gonzaga (25-2, 12-0 WCC) not only climbed up two places on the AP poll but also saw its tournament odds cut from 18/1 to 12/1. The Zags are one of only three teams in the futures’ top 10 that saw their odds shorten (Miami, Michigan State). With home games against Saint Clara and San Diego scheduled for this week, those odds may be coming down again next week.

The dominance of the Big Ten and Big East this season reverberates through the futures’ top 25, with both conferences having six sides listed.

In addition to Indiana, Michigan State, and Michigan, the Big Ten is represented by: #18 Ohio State (18-7, 8-5 Big Ten) at 30/1; #19 Wisconsin (18-8, 9-4 Big Ten) at 50/1; and Minnesota (18-8, 6-7 Big Ten) at 60/1.

The Big East is represented by: #10 Louisville (21-5, 9-4 Big East) at 12/1; #8 Syracuse (21-4, 9-3 Big East) at 20/1; #20 Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6 Big East) at 40/1; Cincinnati (19-7, 7-6 Big East) at 50/1; #11 Georgetown (19-4, 9-3 Big East) at 60/1; and #17 Marquette (19-6, 10-3 Big East) at 60/1.

Marquette is one of three sides to have entered the futures’ top 25 this week. The others are #14 Oklahoma State (19-5, 9-3 Big 12) at 50/1 and #13 Kansas State (21-5, 10-3 Big 12) at 60/1.

 

Odds to Win NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Florida 5/1

Indiana 11/2

Miami (FL) 11/2

Michigan 15/2

Duke 9/1

Michigan State 10/1

Gonzaga 12/1

Louisville 12/1

Kansas 14/1

Arizona 20/1

Syracuse 20/1

Ohio State 30/1

North Carolina State 40/1

Butler 40/1

Pittsburgh 40/1

Cincinnati 50/1

New Mexico 50/1

Oklahoma State 50/1

UCLA 50/1

VCU 50/1

Wisconsin 50/1

Georgetown 60/1

Kansas State 60/1

Marquette 60/1

Minnesota 60/1

All odds supplied by Bovada.

Tuesday College Hoops: Indiana vs. Michigan

Indiana knows better than any other team in the country, that it’s not always easy being number one. The Hoosiers have spent much of the 2012-2013 season as the No. 1 ranked team and each of their three losses have come when they’ve been top dog. Today, they will once again put that No. 1 ranking on the line against a very talented and fourth-ranked Michigan State team in East Lansing. And that’s not the only big game going on today in the college ranks. Two other top five squads will suit up for action in what should be a fun-filled Tuesday in college hoops. Check out the three biggest games of the day.

#1 Indiana Hoosiers +2 at #4 Michigan State Spartans -2

In what some of hailing as the biggest regular season game of the year – at least so far, and especially in the Big Ten – the Hoosiers will take on the Spartans in East Lansing, putting not only their No. 1 ranking at risk, but also their top standing in the conference. Michigan State enters today’s game just one game back of the Hoosiers, with a chance to claim the number one spot for themselves.

Both teams enter the ballgame with winning steaks (Hoosiers 3, Spartans 5) and the Spartans will look stay perfect at home this season (15-0). Of course, Indiana beat the Spartans just a few weeks ago on Jan.27 by a score of 75-70, but that game was in Bloomington.

Hoosiers star guard Victor Oladipo expects to play, even after he limped off the court in the win against Purdue last week. They will certainly need him, as he was integral to the win last month, scoring 21 points against Sparty.

However, the home court advantage should be huge in this game. With an undefeated record on their home floor and considering Indiana has struggled with the burden of being No. 1, Michigan State should be able to fend off a slightly banged up Indiana squad. Take the Spartans to cover -2 and shake up the Big Ten.

Virginia Cavaliers +8 at #2 Miami Hurricanes -8

If the Hoosiers do go down, Michigan State may leap up to the No. 1 spot, but a win for Miami over a very good Virginia team would give it a strong argument as well. The Hurricanes will look to extend their impressive winning streak 14 games, while hoping to stay perfect at home as well, as the Canes are 11-0 on their court this season.

Everything seemingly is pointing to the Canes to get the job done, but the Cavaliers have proved to be more than capable  in the ACC this season with wins over Florida State, N.C. State and Maryland. They come in averaging just four points fewer per game than Miami, but they also allow four fewer points per game.

Even if the Canes earn the win, this game should be close. That’s why I like Virginia to cover +8 on the road today.

#5 Florida Gators -5 at Missouri Tigers +5

The Gators also will not have things easy on the road against an 18-7 Tigers squad, especially considering Missouri is also unbeaten on their home floor this season. The Tigers are just three home wins away from perfection and they would love nothing more than to get one step closer by knocking of the fifth ranked Gators.

Florida is beating teams by more than 20 points on average this season, but the SEC has not been the strongest conference in the land this year. However, considering the Gators have already defeated the Tigers once this year – and by 31 points mind you – they should be able to at least cover five today even on the road. Take Florida to cover -5 here.

 

 

 

Tuesday Betting Tips: NBA Basketball

The Celtics and Nuggets go head-to-head Tuesday night in a game that could shine the light on what to expect from both teams for the rest of the season.

Feeling a bit deflated by All-Star weekend? You’re not the only one. Those things used to be fun, right? Alas.

Well, the good thing about the All-Star break is that with its climax the NBA begins for real and everything is up for grabs. By the end of Thursday’s trade deadline we’ll know who has gone where and more importantly, who hasn’t gone anywhere.

After that, we’ll have eight weeks to find out if the Lakers can turn it around; if San Antonio can keep ahead of the rest of the West; if Miami is about to win a second title; and all those other questions that have been brewing over this first half.

Let’s get things started then with the NBA’s return to action on Tuesday night. As usual, Casino Review has picked out three games that should be of interest. Today though, we start with one you’re probably planning on avoiding.

 

Charlotte Bobcats @ Orlando Magic

7:00 PM ET

With seven combined wins between them this calendar year, a skirmish between the Bobcats and Magic isn’t exactly appealing. Even fans of the two teams are planning on boycotting this one.

But, for Casino Review at least, there’s something uncomfortably alluring about watching the two worst teams in the league square-off. Maybe it’s the thought that these two could end up with the No. 1 and No. 2 pick in June’s draft, although with the luck these sides possess, they’ll probably fail at the lottery as well. Regardless…

As far as futility goes, Orlando (15-37, 9-18 home) has topped the Bobcats of late. Since earning a win over the Wizards on Dec. 19, the Magic has gone 3-24 (.111), tallying losing streaks of 10 games and 12 games during that period. The Central Florida side is 2-12 (.143) at home during that time.

Orlando has the added hassle of dealing with Hedo Turkoglu’s suspension.

It doesn’t read much better for the Bobcats. Charlotte (12-40, 5-21 road) has lost 15 of the last 18 games. The side has failed to exceed 100 points in each of its last nine games – 41 of 52 all told this season – and has succumbing to seven straight road losses. The last time the Bobcats won on the road was Jan. 18. However, that night the side defeated Orlando.

While most won’t care who comes out of this one with the ‘W’, both teams have the opportunity to start afresh following the break.

Favorite: Orlando Spread: 6 Total: 202.5

This Season: Orlando defeated the Bobcats 107-98 in Charlotte on Dec. 15. That was the 11th loss of what would turn out to be an 18-game losing streak for the Bobcats. Charlotte defeated the Magic 106-100 on Jan. 18, handing the Florida side its first loss in what would become a 12-game losing streak.

Take: CHARLOTTE – Orlando has home advantage but it hasn’t made anything of that this entire season. The Magic looked like it had lost the plot before the break, and there’s little to suggest that they’ll find it again. If the side trade J.J. Reddick going forward, it will become the bottom of the barrel. The Bobcats can score an upset on Tuesday night, but take the total to go under.

 

Boston Celtics @ Denver Nuggets

9:00 PM ET

Once the bad taste of Charlotte-Orlando is out of your mouth, tune in for the best game on Tuesday’s schedule as the Nuggets host the Celtics.

Having navigated key injuries for the three weeks or so, Boston (28-24, 8-15 road) is about to find out if it can keep afloat in the playoff race. The Celtics play 10 of the next 12 on the road, starting with this trip to the Mile High City.

The Celtics won seven straight following Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury (six of which were at home) and have taken eight of the last nine. Their road record is less desirable though. The Celtics have lost four of the last five on the road and have tallied just three road wins this calendar year.

Meanwhile, Denver (33-21, 22-3 home) will be looking to put the skids on a three-game losing streak. Prior to that trifecta of losses, the Nuggets had won nine straight, 15 of 17, and looked like the hottest team in the league. The side will be happy to be home on Tuesday night.

The Nuggets have won seven straight at home and 12 of the last 13. The side has dropped just three games at the Pepsi Center all season. That trend has seen the side enter this game as a healthy favorite.

Favorite: Denver Spread: 7 Total: 205

This Season: Boston scored a 118-114 overtime win over the Nuggets in Bean Town on Feb. 10.

Take: DENVER – The Celtics’ road woes could illuminate their fragile roster in this upcoming road stretch. They certainly will against Denver. The young Nuggets will run at the Celtics and keep the tempo high, and even Boston’s solid defense will leak points. Take the Nuggets (32-22-0 ATS, 17-8-0 ATS home) to cover, with the total going over – mainly thanks to Denver’s scoring.

 

Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz

9:00 PM ET

The third of our picks features a side looking to rebound from a pre-break slump and one looking to remain consistent.

Golden State (30-22, 14-15 road) dropped five straight heading into the All-Star break, compelling many to ask if the honeymoon season the Warriors have been enjoying is about to go south? Mark Jackson’s side will look to return to winning ways in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

Golden State has found it tough on the road of late, dropping four straight and seven of the last nine.

Meanwhile, Utah (30-24, 20-6 home) continues its consistent play. Having won two straight, four of six, and six of nine, the Jazz is just one-game back of the Warriors for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. With five wins from the last six home games, the side – which has been linked to Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe via the rumor mill – will fancy its chances against the Warriors.

Favorite: Utah Spread: 4 Total: 203.5

This Season: Golden State defeated Utah 94-83 in Salt Lake City on Dec. 26.

Take: GOLDEN STATE – With a refreshed squad, the Warriors will pull off the upset here but whether the team can return to its earlier form remains to be seen. Take the total to go over.

 

Remaining NBA Schedule (Tuesday)

Toronto @ Washington

Milwaukee @ Brooklyn

Memphis @ Detroit

Chicago @ New Orleans

San Antonio @ Sacramento