Some baseball teams love the hot, sticky days of July – it’s when they are at their best. Others play like they would rather be off at the beach or on the golf course or anywhere other than at the ballpark. There are of course many factors that go into how a team plays at a certain time, and you can get in trouble with broad assumptions. There are some teams, though, that consistently exhibit the same behavior in July. that doesn’t mean that you should be those teams blindly this year, but it does mean that you could keep an eye on them, and if they look like they are going to repeat their past performances then you could climb on board for the ride. Here’s a look at six teams that have shown particular love or hate for July in recent years. I’ll ignore teams like the Royals, Nationals and Orioles – they have been lousy in July, but they’ve been lousy every other month as well:
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The Heisman Trophy presentation is still half a year away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it. Or to bet on it, for that matter. Heisman Trophy college football odds for the upcoming NCAA football season have popped up this week, and there is a lot to find interesting from among them. Here’s a look at some of the highlights and lowlights (odds here are taken from 5Dimes):
Match length has suddenly become an issue of concern for Wimbledon bettors. Roger Federer played a draining five set match in his opener, and had to come from way behind to win it. His second rounder was only slightly easier – he won in a tie-breaker in the fourth set in a very spirited match. Federer’s efforts pale in comparison to the ridiculously epic contest between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut – the fifth set in that one is longer than any other whole match in Wimbledon history, but it’s still a lot of wear and tear on a player in the first couple of rounds.
Let me say right from the start that I am a big Roger Federer fan. I think that he’s the best, most dominant athlete of his generation. In any sport. As much attention as he has received over the years, I think he’s still been under-appreciated. Because of that I am predisposed to think that the current arguments that Federer is washed up and vulnerable at Wimbledon are ridiculous. Even if it weren’t for that bias, though, I would struggle to find a lot of logic in the arguments that Federer shouldn’t be considered the heavy favorite when Wimbledon kicks off on Monday. Here’s a look at the major arguments that people are making against Federer, and why I am just not buying them.
The third chapter of the truly captivating Stephen Strasburg story will be written on Friday when he starts at home against Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox. Strasburg entered the league as perhaps the most hyped pitcher ever to debt thanks to the age of the internet. He’s also one of the rare prospects who has not only lived up to the dizzying expectations, but has probably exceeded them. His first start was a masterpiece like many starters in the league will never throw. The second wasn’t quite as smooth, but it was still very impressive and well above average.
Stephen Strasburg has captured all of the headlines and imagination recently, and he should – his first outing was special in an incomprehensible way. He’s the poster child for the youth movement on the mound these days, but he’s far from the only young guy who is doing some damage against opposing teams. Young pitchers are really paying off at the betting window as well – eight of the 25 most profitable starters who have had at least seven starts this season are under the age of 25, and two more are 25. It seems like it used to take a few years for pitchers to find their stride and settle into the role of strong starter, but guys these days are just jumping out of the gates. Beyond the profitable pitchers there are young guys tearing it up – Tim Lincecum had two Cy Youngs by 25, and David Price is leading the AL in wins at 25.
When the UFC invades Vancouver for the first time on Saturday the card – which just isn’t a good one – is going to be headlined by Chuck Liddell. The Iceman remains one of the most popular fighters and biggest draws for the organization. Unfortunately, his inclusion on this card is also one of the saddest and least responsible things that the UFC has done.
When it comes to betting baseball, not all games are created equally. You can essentially break the season into three broad types of games that teams play – division games, games outside the division but in the league, and inter-league games. Each type of game has different characteristics which the successful bettor will recognize and look to exploit. Today I want to look at division games – why they are unique, and how to deal with them.
The NBA Finals are about to start. Needless to say, that means that there are a whole lot of props available for sports bettors to invest in. Oddsmakers are getting increasingly creative, so you can bet on pretty much any aspect of the series. With so much available, there inevitably are at least a few that are more than a little interesting. Here’s a look at a handful of the props that stand out in my eyes as being worth a closer look. For simplicity I’ll take all of these props from Bodog, but most online books are offering a wide range of their own:
Soccer is the ultimate team sport. Every player on the field has a specific set of tasks, and if they fail to do them properly then their team is going to suffer. The game is so low scoring that mistakes can be massive, and players need to work together. That being said, there are some players who are more important to their success than others. In football terms, it doesn’t really matter how the rest of the offense plays if the quarterback throws five interceptions. Here’s a look at the five most important players at this year’s World Cup. Their play could be the difference between success and failure for their team: