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NFL preview: Raiders unit analysis
2013-09-02

The biggest mistake that general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen made last year was messing with the offense, and a switch from the power, gap scheme to a zone-blocking one was disastrous. Darren McFadden is running straight ahead again this year, and free-agent signee Rashad Jennings looks like a nice, powerful backup. Long-striding quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who could be the starter sooner than later, is the X-factor. The loss of left tackle Jared Veldheer to a triceps injury hurts a lot.
Pass offense Carson Palmer completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards but took a lot of the blame for the fall from 8-8 to 4-12. He's gone, and Matt Flynn was supposed to run an offense that was more horizontal than vertical. Flynn's marching orders were to avoid turnovers, and then he threw two interceptions and fumbled in the third preseason game. That has opened the door for Pryor, whose escapability and run-away-from-you ability might be better suited for this patchwork offensive line, anyway. Denarius Moore should be the No. 1 receiver, but the coaching staff has been questioning his want-to and focus. Applications to play tight end are still being accepted.
Run defense Defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly didn't really buy in last year with Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, so they're gone. All the staff really wants out of experienced defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker is for them to stand up against the run. Fourth-year defensive end Lamarr Houston came to camp in the best shape of his career and will be asked to blow up some plays. Middle linebacker Nick Roach, previously with the Bears, is an immediate upgrade over retired bust Rolando McClain, though if we were nitpicking, 6-foot-1, 234 pounds is a little small for a middle linebacker.
Pass defense Oakland signed free-agent cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, drafted cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round and then signed free-agent safeties Usama Young and Charles Woodson in the offseason. They, and returning safety Tyvon Branch, are the core of this defense. With the different looks, pass-coverage ability, blitzing and expected ball-hawking skills of the defensive backs, the rest of the defense can ride the secondary's experience, play-making and excitement. The pass rush is counting on, among others, a fifth-rounder last year (end Jack Crawford) and a seventh-rounder this year (end David Bass). Did we mention the secondary?
Special teams Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on 25 field-goal attempts from 49 yards or closer, and was 6 of 9 from farther. He is back and will be joined by either Chris Kluwe or Marquette King at punter. King, the second-year player, has a bigger foot, but Kluwe, the former Viking, is better at coffin-corner kicks. There is a very good chance the loser of the competition gets a job elsewhere in the NFL. Special teams was a focus at training camp - last year's kick-return and coverage units were lackluster enough that coach Bobby April was added to replace Steve Hoffman.
Coaching Dennis Allen definitely is carrying himself with more confidence in this his second season. He has more younger players and guys with a chip on their shoulder than he did last season. Whether he has enough talent to improve on 4-12 is debatable, as is whether he makes his players better with his game plans or game-day adjustments. Tarver hopes his defense's energy and communication skills can match his, and offensive coordinator Greg Olson is saying all the right things, even though when he accepted the job, it was to work with Palmer.




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2013-01-30




Sunday Night Football Preview, Cowboys visit Green Bay
2010-11-05

Sportsbook.com Cowboys vs. Packers Betti Apuestas UFC fashion motorcycle boots Handmade Costa Rica ng Odds: Green Bay -7.5, Total: 45.5


Dallas tries to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 1997 as it travels to Lambeau Field for a Sunday night matchup with Green Bay. The injury-riddled Packers are coming off an impressive 9-0 shutout over the Jets and are looking for their third straight win before their bye week arrives Monday. Dallas is the biggest disappointment in the NFL so far tallying a 1-6 record both straight-up and against the spread (ATS).


Dallas has allowed 33.5 PPG during the four-game losing skid, allowing its opponents to gain an average of 151 rushing YPG. Dallas also has 11 turnovers in the four-game stretch and just 3.8 yards per carry. The good news is that backup QB Jon Kitna has played pretty well in place of injured starter Tony Romo. The 38-year-old Kitna completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and threw for 379 yards in last week’s loss to Jacksonville. All three of Kitna’s interceptions bounced off receivers’ hands. He also threw for 187 yards, two touchdowns and no picks against the Giants two weeks ago when Romo broke his collarbone.


Green Bay’s defense has been stellar as of late, pitching a 9-0 shutout over the Jets last Sunday. The Packers have allowed just 17.0 PPG this year (fourth-best in NFL) and rank third in the league in sacks (24) and interceptions (12). NFL sacks leader Clay Matthews is expected to play despite being held out of practice with a calf injury. QB Aaron Rodgers will be without his No. 2 receiver Donald Driver, who is suffering from a quadriceps injury. This isn’t a major loss considering Driver did not have a catch in his past two games.


Last season, the teams played a defensive slugfest in Lambeau, with the Packers winning 17-7 on two fourth-quarter touchdowns and three Dallas turnovers.


These two NFL betting  trends show why Dallas will fail to cover the point spread yet again.


Play On - Any team (GREEN BAY) - good team (outgain opp. by 0.4 to 1 YPP) against an average team (+/- 0.4 YPP), after being outgained by opp by 100 or more total yards last game. (77-35 since 1983.) (68.8%, +38.5 units. Rating = 3*).


Mike McCarthy is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) off a non-conference game as the coach of GREEN BAY.

The average score was GREEN BAY 26.8, OPPONENT 19.2 - (Rating = 3*).


61 percent of Sportsbook.com bettors are backing the ‘over’ and here is why:


The last 13 times these teams squared off, the ‘over’ covered 10 times.


Wade Phillips is 14-3 OVER (+10.7 Units) in weeks 5 through 9 as the coach of DALLAS. The average score was DALLAS 25.4, OPPONENT 25.9 - (Rating = 3*).


For more NFL betting trends and to check out the NFL Week 9 betting odds, head over to Sportsbook.com now.