A Bracket Buster Matchup

Sportsbook.com | Sports Information ( Sat 21st, February 2009 )

The Butler Bulldogs at the Davidson Wildcats kick off a great day of Saturday wagering at noon ET

This is the gem of the ‘Bracket Buster’ matchups this weekend. These two teams are all but certain to be in the field of 65 teams in mid-March; however they have made their situations more tenuous with their recent play.

Over the last two seasons, Butler (22-4, 15-9 ATS) has won a staggering 26 games away from home. The Bulldogs do this by playing outstanding defense, limiting both made baskets and quality shots, and the offense is not afraid to run down the shot clock to earn a better look at the rim.

Since Butler became an elite mid-major, their players have gotten noticeably more athletic, providing even greater versatility. That being said, they have dropped two in a row in Horizon League play, which will not help their cause. The Bulldogs are 12-4 ATS playing against a team with a winning record this season.

With Davidson (22-5, 12-12-1 ATS) losing to the College of Charleston and the Citadel at home, this meeting suddenly takes on greater importance. The earlier losses on the road to ranked teams didn’t hurt the Wildcats value, but this pair of defeats certainly does.

All-American Stephen Curry missed the last game with a sprained ankle and will be game time decision. Beating a team like Butler, who has been ranked for sometime, would help restore faith among those that matter.

Look for Davidson to want to set the tempo and they are 17-6 ATS versus teams outscoring opponents by eight or more points a game after 15 contests have been played.

Davidson is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games and could use a win to stem the negative tide.

StatFox Power Line –Davidson by 6 (With healthy Curry)

Boxing/MMA: Fight Night

Fight Night at Sportsbook.com returns this Saturday with some great action in the boxing ring and from UFC 95 across the pond in London.

We begin with boxing where World middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (34-1, 30 KO’s) is defending his titles against Mexico's Marco Antonio Rubio (43-4-1, 37 KO’s). The bout will be held in Pavlik’s hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.

Rubio claims to have a secret plan to knockout the -825 favorite Pavlik and he better because he’s a big 525 underdog in this fight.

Pavlik last fought in October against the venerable 43 year-old Bernard Hopkins. Pavlik was upset as the favorite but since it was a non title fight in the higher 170 pound weight class, he maintained his middleweight titles which he puts on the line Saturday night.

Note this is the second part of a great Pay-Per-View event. The first comes from Madison Square Garden and has former 147-pound champ Miguel Cotto (32-1, 26 KOs) facing Britain’s Michael Jennings (34-1, 16 KOs). This is for the vacant WBO welterweight championship.

Cotto is the heavy favorite at -1300, while Jennings comes in at 700. The Puerto Rican Cotto last fought in July in Las Vegas against Mexican Antonio Margarito and he was stopped in the 11th round for the only loss of his career.

However, Margarito has since been suspended for having illegally wrapped hands and you have to assume he used them against Cotto as well although it can’t be proven.

UFC 95 from London

Headlining this event are lightweights Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez (21-2) and Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (34-9). Sanchez is at -325 odds and Stevenson 250.

Stevenson has lost two of his last three bouts. He lost by submission in January, 2008 to B.J. Penn and then last October to Kenny Florian. Sanchez is making his debut at lightweight after a solid career at welterweight and some think he’s a little too big of a favorite here and the value lies with the dog.

One of the co-features is welterweights Rory Markham (16-4) and Dan Hardy (20-6). They are each -115 odds right now. Hardy will have the ‘home octagon advantage’ as he’s a local hero from Britain going against the American.

Also attracting attention are middleweights Wilson Gouveia (12-5) and Nate Marquardt (30-8-2).  Marquardt is -290 chalk and Gouveia 230.

Other UFC 95 Odds

Demian Maia (-275) Chael Sonnen ( 215)
Josh Koscheck (-550) vs. Paulo Thiago ( 350)
Junior Dos Santos (-260) vs. Stefan Struve ( 200)
Terry Etim (-220) vs. Brian Cobb ( 180)
Paul Kelly (-290) vs. Troy Mandaloniz ( 230)
Mike Ciesnolevicz (-125) vs. Neil Grove (-105)
Per Eklund (-160) vs. Evan Dunham ( 130)

Sunday Content

NASCAR: Auto Club 500 betting

NASCAR heads west for the next two weeks starting with a Sunday evening affair at Auto Club Speedway.

Note we have a contest for this race: Enter the Sportsbook.com ‘Dash for the Cash’ and we’ll add $1,000.00 to your account if you can correctly pick the Top 3 finishers in this weekend’s Auto Club 500.

This race is always somewhat anti-climatic following the hype and hoopla of the Daytona 500, but rest assured, the drivers realize that in the grand scheme of point racing, the Auto Club 500 means every bit as much.

Series leader Matt Kenseth won this event in both 2006 and 2007 before Carl Edwards halted his chance for three in a row. Jimmie Johnson is the most recent winner at this track, having won last year’s Labor Day race which has now been moved to fill one of the 10 spots in this year’s Chase.

In all, 11 different drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway’s 17 previous Cup races, with Jeff Gordon and Johnson, each three time winners, the only drivers to reach victory lane more than twice.

Not coincidentally, both of those guys hail from the state of California and each stakes claim to this being his “home track”. Another California driver, Kevin Harvick, also comes into this week’s race with high hopes, sitting second to Kenseth in the point standings after one race.

A quick look at the overall stats for Auto Club Speedway finds Johnson at the top of most categories, including average finish (5.9), Top 5’s (8), and laps led per start (43.6).

He has run 12 prior races here heading into Sunday. Gordon boasts nearly as strong of stats in 17 starts, and leads in average starting position (6.7). Carl Edwards (6.7), Matt Kenseth (9.6), and Kyle Busch (9.9) are the only drivers besides Johnson to be under 10.0 in average finish.

Kasey Kahne boasts seven Top 10 finishes among his 10 prior Cali starts, and Mark Martin and Tony Stewart have compiled that same number in 15 starts each. Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, and Joe Nemechek are the only drivers to have started every prior race in Fontana.

There are a few drivers who should be given strong consideration in race matchup wagers and/or prop offerings this week. The odds are reflective of their prospects.

Johnson is the favorite at 4-1, but Edwards, 9-2, and Kyle Busch, 5-1, are just behind. Those are the only drivers that break the 10-1 barrier. Incidentally, Kenseth is 10-1.

The success of Roush Racing in California makes virtually every one of their five drivers worthy of consideration. In which case, Greg Biffle (10-1), David Ragan (25-1), and Jamie McMurray (40-1) are a few others to watch.

One other true longshot would be A.J. Allmendinger at 100-1. He is coming off a strong 3rd place Daytona finish in his first race for the new Petty Motorsports and is actually 5th best among active drivers in average finish at California Speedway, 10.7.

Check out all the Auto Club 500 odds at Sportsbook.com and place your bet.

NBA: Top Weekend Trends

NBA wagering in the first weekend after the All-Star break gets a lot more exciting with our exclusive Statfox power trends.

On Saturday, Miami hosts Philadelphia. Keep an eye on a couple of angles for this game, most notably that Miami is 9-22 as a home favorite over the last two seasons, and 8-19 ATS versus the Atlantic Division in that same time frame.

In the other key matchup on Saturday, New Orleans takes a quick turnaround trip from L.A. to Utah, quite a difficult back-to-back scenario. The Hornets are 2-6 ATS playing the second of back-to-back games on the road this season.

On Sunday evening, ESPN offers up a doubleheader with Miami and Orlando followed by Detroit and Cleveland. The Pistons have dropped to 7th in the East by losing 15 of their last 21 games.

Here’s a look at some Top StatFox Power Trends to consider as you analyze your weekend wagering options in the NBA.

Saturday, 2/21/2009

Philadelphia vs. Miami

PHILADELPHIA is 17-5 ATS ( 11.5 Units) in road games on Saturday games over the last 3 seasons. The average score was PHILADELPHIA 97.2, OPPONENT 97 - (Rating = 1*)
San Antonio vs. Washington

WASHINGTON is 14-30 ATS (-19 Units) in home games second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was WASHINGTON 100.3, OPPONENT 102 - (Rating = 1*)
New Orleans vs. Utah

NEW ORLEANS is 16-1 UNDER ( 14.9 Units) revenging a road loss vs opponent of 10 points or more over the L2 seasons. The average score was NEW ORLEANS 90.9, OPPONENT 88.7 - (Rating = 5*)

New Orleans vs. Utah

UTAH is 18-6 ATS ( 11.4 Units) as a home favorite of 6 points or less over the last 2 seasons. The average score was UTAH 106.4, OPPONENT 95.5 - (Rating = 1*)
Oklahoma City vs. Golden State

GOLDEN STATE is 10-20 ATS (-12 Units) versus poor pressure defensive teams - forcing <=14 TOs/game this season. The average score was GOLDEN STATE 107, OPPONENT 112.3 - (Rating = 1*)
Sunday, 2/22/2009

Miami vs. Orlando
ORLANDO is 23-4 ATS ( 18.6 Units) revenging a same season loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons. The average score was ORLANDO 105.3, OPPONENT 96.9 - (Rating = 4*)
L.A. Lakers vs. Minnesota
MINNESOTA is 1-13 ATS (-13.3 Units) in home games revenging a home loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons. The average score was MINNESOTA 88.9, OPPONENT 101.8 - (Rating = 3*)
Detroit vs. Cleveland

DETROIT is 0-10 ATS (-11 Units) on Sunday games this season. The average score was DETROIT 86.7, OPPONENT 97.5 - (Rating = 4*)

Monday Content

NCCAB: Jayhawks ATS gods

The Kansas Jayhawks have been extremely profitable this year and they hope to continue that trend Monday night at the Oklahoma Sooners.
Kansas is an incredible 14-5-1 ATS overall heading into weekend play, which was the 4th most profitable record out of the 259 teams listed.

The Jayhawks record also includes a 6-2 ATS mark on the road and a perfect 6-0 ATS on the road in the Big 12 conference.

The road is where they find themselves on Monday night as they take on the highly ranked Sooners. Tip-off for this ESPN ‘Big Monday’ game is 9 pm ET as it comes right after a Big East encounter between Louisville and Georgetown.

You can get all the latest odds here for this game and don’t forget our $20.00 Free Play for New Mobile bettors. The first $20.00 wager you make through your mobile phone on any NCAAB or NBA Half-Time Line is Free.

The Jayhawks are the defending national champs, but they lost all five of their starters and weren’t considered an elite team heading into the season. That’s despite bringing back guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich, two players who were ready to explode this year with more playing time.

Four non-conference losses dampened the start of the season, but Kansas has jelled lately and has KO’d the point spreads in the process. Kansas began the Big 12 season at 10-1 straight-up and the only loss was 62-60 at Missouri in a game they let slip away in the second half.

More importantly for bettors, the Jayhawks are 9-1-1 ATS in the Big 12 heading into their toughest test to date on Monday night.

Tough is the word that describes Oklahoma as they have the best player in college basketball, Blake Griffin, surrounded by an underrated group of supporting players. Griffin is a man among boys down low as his 22.8 point and 14.2 rebound averages have proven. 

However, Aldrich has a big size advantage over Griffin at almost seven-feet tall and 250 pounds. If Aldrich can stay out of foul trouble, then he may be able to limit Griffin some offensively and keep Kansas in the game on the road.

The Sooners still have other weapons like Blake’s brother Taylor as well as guards Tony Crocker and Willie Warren. Oklahoma is only 5-5 ATS at home this season but they do get up for the big games like Texas earlier in the season, a convincing 78-63 victory as 5-4 ½-point chalk.

Kansas must withstand the initial blow and energy from the home crowd and if they can, they do have enough solid players to stay in the game and be dangerous as a live road dog.

Can the Jayhawks continue their winning ATS ways in Norman?

You be the judge at Sportsbook.com.


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