Will Lamar Jackson have another MVP year

Russell Wilson was awesome this season with 4110 passing YDs, 31 TDs, and just 5 picks – Christian McCaffrey had a monstrous season with 2392 total yards from scrimmage and 15 TDs, and Derrick Henry can’t go unrecognized with his 1540 rushing YDs and leading the NFL with 16 rushing TDs for the NFL this season.
But then there’s Lamar Jackson – what Lamar did was beyond any semblance of normal – 36 passing TDs and 7 rushing TDs are pretty hard to overlook. With 6 games of 300+ of total offensive yards including 4 games of 100+ rushing yards or better, he dominated the AFC. Teams knew he was coming and he still racked up 4333 YDs of offense for Baltimore this season.
Lamar made the Baltimore Ravens Oline look better than they are – the Ravens have the same front that couldn’t block for Joe Flacco. As Baltimore’s Oline was banged up quite a bit – guys that were hurt for numerous games – so they barely had the same front all season long. If Jackson couldn’t get outside the pocket, when things went sideways – there would have been a lot more sacks. The 23 year old QB also did more with less with his receiving corps – as he only had Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown as his primary guys to throw to, and neither are really looked at as elite players, that are ripping up teams on the field. Lamar had very few weapons around him, but was lucky to be on a team that has a defense one that gave up just 17.6 ppg – which I think is based solely on the fact of their offense being so potent. The defense was able to tee off – because they found themselves ahead and putting up so many points – it forced teams to start throwing. Their receivers wouldn’t be starters for most offenses in the NFL. Andrews is a solid weapon – but otherwise they don’t have a ton of guys to throw the ball to, without Lamar – the Baltimore Ravens probably win 6-8 games. Tops.
Jackson put together an amazing season while leading his team to 14 wins – including wins over he Niners and the Pats and they hung 33 pts per game because of him. The MVP is the player who was most valuable to his team, the guy who, if without him, the team would’ve been a middling team at best.
That is what the NFL MVP should be – it has been slowly turning into the player who is the most flashy over the last few years. We have to really remember the MVP is for the most valuable player – not necessarily the player that did the coolest things. At the beginning of the season, the Ravens were projected to finish around 3rd place in the North – but suddenly people are going to say he has a great amazing team – I don’t think so. Lamar Jackson was fun to watch. He led the league in TD passes with 36 – and he lit up the ground with 1206 YDs on the ground rushing, giving him a total of 4333 yards of offense he was responsible for.
Pretty top notch.
Conventional, no.
Everybody’s cup of tea, no.
But a weapon on the field, absolutely. How long his career lasts, who knows – but for now, his timing and rushing ability was pretty phenomenal to watch.
Lamar Jackson was the #1 reason Baltimore won the games they did this season. And without the 23 year old – the Ravens would never have accomplished much of anything nearly as to what they did during the 2019 campaign.

The NFL MVP Race

There are 3 real front-runners in the NFL for league MVP right now. There is Patrick Mahomes, and his ridiculous ability on the field, Todd Gurley getting an incredible amount of touches and scoring ability out of the backfield. And, of course, Drew Brees and his mind blowing play so far are the elite top players playing right now in the league. Let’s take a snapshot of where these players stand in the race. VTD’s big-3 in the NFL MVP race. This is a fun time to examine who the top leaders for the MVP award are, and then see if they can maintain their daunting play throughout to hold onto that prestigious award.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
This season, Mahomes has gone beyond nuclear putting up 41 TDs, and a whopping 327 YDs per game. And the 23 year old QB has also not been afraid to push the ball with a 9.3 YPA. The Mahomes-led Chiefs are in strong position right now looking at the playoffs, at 10-2, and tops in the AFC West division. Last year, they fought through the season and ended up with a 10-6 record. The cannon armed slinger has gripped the reigns and led the Chiefs to a top spot at this point in the season, making them a potential favorite in the AFC. Their team has been ravaged by off the field issues and they have below average production from their defense, as they have had almost no positive contribution from their D – yet here they are, still fully in charge. And that is on Mahomes’ shoulders.
Mahomes has been shining like a diamond in every aspect of the passing game. If you think about what Mahomes could be going forward, after having a full season under his belt, you realize it’s not crazy to think he has a chance to become one of the best QBs in the league for many, many years to come. It looks like Mahomes is going to crush KC records with ease, but he could become the first Chief to win the MVP award.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The consistent brilliance of Drew Brees sticks out like a sore thumb. His passing performances this 2018 season have been nothing but spectacular to watch play out. The competition for the MVP award includes fellow QB, Patrick Mahomes, of Kansas City, who is by far the most outstanding QB under 24, so far this season. And he too, easily, belongs in the MVP discussion, in the constant, age old battle of young vs old, past vs present.
But, here we are, 12 games in, and the guy who started the season white hot, by not throwing a pick over the first 6 games – has continued his dominance, and has pushed the Saints to the next level this year leading them to a 10-2 record. Brees leads the NFL in QB rating, and while having thrown just 3 ints, and is the genuine centerpiece of the unstoppable Saints offense. And for the 39 year old QB, Drew Brees, what else is new?  Brees has taken the Saints and has carried the lions share of the load of the teams offense – that hasn’t put up a bad version of offense, except for their recent 13-10 loss to Dallas. It’s just astounding to think about Drew Brees ending the NFL season with possibly 34-35 TDs along with a 75%+ completion percentage – but I think he is going to do it. Brees can pass the ball with the best, and always has been able to with his ability to never panic and his quick arm.
Todd Gurley, RB, LA Rams
The talent and high ceiling for Gurley have never been in question. The arguments for Gurley includes his athletic skills and also how incredibly valuable he’s been to the Rams with his ability to slice open an opponent pretty much anywhere from the field. And the Rams feel comfortable putting him anywhere on the field for them, behind the QB, split him out, toss him in the slot. He is a devastating weapon for HC Sean McVay.
Gurley is chasing some bigtime goals, his on field ability is never in question, so a 25 total TD, or another 2000+ total yard season is not out of the question. Gurley has had 8 games running for a TD for the Rams and that’s his mastery, including 5 games of 2 TDs or more – but he has a ton of skills away from just running the ball – his pass catching is awesome as well, as he is 3rd on the team, as a RB. It opens up the teams method of attack, and uses his speed and his vision for him to use his football IQ on how to attack what he sees in front of him. His individual brilliance running the ball is even better with his partnership with the Rams WRs, who have been nothing but astounding, as well. Gurley is hands down, one of the best players who also happens to be on one of the best teams in the league.
Drew Brees is still showing the rest of the NFL who is the top of the crop and DBs have been on high alert all season. He’s kept the Saints alive with his cunning eyes and QB trickery, he has been phenomenal. Drew Brees is just amazing, as he precisely demolishes teams weekly, giving the Saints constant hope, keeping teams never feeling safe on the field when he is out there. He almost has come out of nowhere, after last seasons pedestrian season, when some were thinking he was starting to fade – he came back this year, and has played out of his mind, with heart and precision. Oh, and he also has 30 TD passes with just 3 interceptions.
There are some big games to go in this season still, of course, but seasons like this, when such great individual play, reminds us, as fans, of just how entertaining and unpredictable the NFL can be. No one thought Drew Brees would still be slinging the ball quite the way he has…still.
But, here we are, with Drew as the likely NFL MVP.

James Harden is the NBA MVP this year

The 2017-2018 season has been a great season with a multitude of players doing some great things on the courts. From Anthony Davis in New Orleans to the Greek freak and his career season, even to LeBron James and his never ending skills. Then there is a special player for Boston, who has been putting up big numbers and shooting 40% from deep.
James Harden laid out the NBA’s 1st 60pt triple-double in it’s history vs Orlando back on 1.30.2018. What he did was beyond something that most would have ever considered a possibility. Hitting 63% from the field and putting the team on his back – along with clutch buckets when his team needed it most. They needed every bit of his massive amounts of production. It was what many would consider an “MVP moment.” That awesome outing vs the Magic seemed to plop Harden, as the favorite for the prestigious award. The award that has gone to players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook over the last 5 seasons.
The MVP has found a way to elude Harden twice in the past three seasons. He was 2nd to Stephen Curry in 2015 and yet again to Russell Westbrook last year. And he put together seasons that were certainly worthy of the MVP. The idea of excellence and the definition of the MVP, is of course, purely subjective. Even though the 6-3 Westbrook was the MVP last season with a dismal shooting efficiency, on a sad non-contending team, was last year’s MVP. The 28-year old PG won it last season based on his triple-double gimmick game. When  Westbrook won the MVP in 2016-17, it seemed the standard shifted from best player in the league to just the best entertainer. When things like that happen, you can get the feeling that that winning is no longer relevant. But it should hold some semblance of value, not all of it, but I just cannot see a team that wins only 47 games on the season, having the leagues “Most Valuable Player.”

 

Harden is talented enough to be in the MVP conversation every year. He is an incredible player that more often then not, finds the best way and most efficient route to get his numbers.  As of this article, Harden has gotten a league leading 657 free throw attempts this year, as always, he gets to the line frequently, 5 of the last 6 seasons he has attempted 10 or more/game, which adds greatly to his point total, stops the clock, and gets his team “free points” as he is a very good free throw shooter, at 86%.
Harden has a history of complaining a lot to the refs – and it takes him out his game sometimes. But, if we are being 100% honest, what player doesn’t sell the call in this day and age, whether you like it or not. Harden has been known to embellish contact. If players know he does this, they shouldn’t keep their hands down, defend with their hands up. He is great with crossing the ball over to draw lazy low handed defenders into slapping him on so many shot attempts it’s incredible. Yes, it slows the game down, yes it makes the game boring and can get the team out of rhythm- but as a team, if getting uncontested shots vs contested shots is a bad thing, then call me bad.
Harden has 4793 career free throws vs 4591 field goals made, which is beyond comprehension, as well. As long as the league gives the calls to him, he is going to continue doing his thing.Just because some fans find his style of play distasteful doesn’t mean it isn’t efficient and smart. In an MVP race, it isn’t a beauty contest, and points from the foul line are just as valuable as points from anywhere else on the court.
As every year, we have to mention Lebron James in the MVP race this year. Yes his 27ppg and 9 apg are in the top 5 of the league. But, James still has not been overly dominant this season, and he certainly hasn’t brought the Cavs to the next level, in fact, LeBron doesn’t have the Cavs even to be the favorites in the East. LeBron has had an outstanding career – but he does not deserve to be the MVP conversation this year.
Harden has been more efficient than both LeBron and Curry, leading the Rockets to a far and away better record than the Cavs and a couple of huge wins over Golden State. Harden and Kyrie, in my opinion, should be the frontrunners, but Harden is still the clear choice.
Opponents often have attempted to attack Harden, based on his reputation as a sloppy defender, in hopes of slowing him down offensively, by forcing him to work hard on the defensive end. But this season – Harden is averaging career highs in steals at 1.9 and blocks at 0.7 per game, which leaves most opponents confused as what to do with him.

 

Harden is way ahead of the pack this year. Even if someone is not a big Harden fan, watching him play, verifies that he’s the most valuable player. And when watching Kyrie, Curry, even James, I just don’t feel like any of them quite hold a candle to him. If I am putting together an NBA team, a legit NBA championship contender. And I’ve got the 1st pick, I’m taking James Harden over everyone else. His smooth shot, excellent vision, and basketball smarts make him beyond guardable, and his ability to get to the line whenever he seemingly wants to – brings his team to another level.
Who in their right mind, wouldn’t acknowledge Harden making the Rockets better? He truly is the Houston Rockets. If you were to switch Harden and Curry out,- do you think Golden State would still be anywhere near the top in the West, would the Rockets still be winning like they are? We know the answer.
James Harden is the #1 player in the NBA  this season and my clear selection for the league MVP.

What is the definition of a sports dynasty

We as sports fans have watched a multitude of great teams come and go over many tears of watching the amazing sports that we love. Teams like the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and most recently, the New England Patriots. What is one thing that we could all actually be in agreeance on.  Odds are, they have been consistent historical winners, and oftentimes, the sheer mentioning of these teams brings anger and frustration to fans of other teams, and opposing fan bases get annoyed and aggravated when hearing about them.
Because they have been incredibly successful. They had a period where they were dominating their division, their conferences, and their leagues for a lengthy amount of time, and this in itself, angers others. And if we are being completely honest with ourselves, as fans, they are the teams that we wish our teams could emulate. Who wouldn’t love their underachieving, yet steady 7-9 football team to rack up 12 wins in the season every year, like the New England Patriots or have the reputation and great players, seemingly always, like Pittsburgh and be a preseason favorite to win it all, before the season even begins? We all would love that.
By definition from dictionary.com – a dynasty is regarded as a noun 1. a sequence of hereditary rulers: an Egyptian dynasty or 2. any sequence of powerful leaders of the same family: the Kennedy dynasty
But is that what you, as a sports fan consider as a dynasty?
A ruler?
Lets examine.
A teams season wins count for something. A winning team that has been putting up a large amount of wins a season for a lengthy and long period of time is a huge component for being called a dynasty. In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers have racked up a .654 win pct over the last 3 seasons – which is far ahead of the next best teams in the Eastern conference  like hot teams like the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics. Winning is hard anyway you look at it, but winning 65% of your games for a lengthy period of time is pretty impressive. Not having the oddball eye opening season of big wins, like the New York Giants or the Portland Trail Blazers – but the 15 straight seasons of 10 wins or more like the New England  Patriots or 8 of the last 11 seasons, like the Pittsburgh Steelers  is something to be admired.
Playoff appearances have to count for a huge part of the equation, absolutely. For instance, New England has made the tournament for 9 straight seasons. The fact is, a team that has been able to utterly dominate their division and blow passed them, and get to the playoffs for so many years straight, is pretty impressive. Who wouldn’t want to feel they had a team that did that every single season? And making it to the championship of their sport is beyond comprehension for the vast majority of sports fans. It isn’t commonplace, which is sometimes misunderstood. What the Buffalo Bills did back in the 90’s was amazing, lets be completely honest about that. How many teams make the Super Bowl – let alone, 4 straight? I will tell you…. it doesn’t happen, that is why we always cherish the precious moment if our team makes it there.
Do you seriously consider the Bills a dynasty though? Or when you think of dynasties do you think of Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys? You think of Dallas and I will tell you why. Not only did they win 3 Super Bowls during a 4 year timeframe, but they were one of the teams to beat for about a decade. And going back to an original statement – why do you think Dallas has so many fans that dislike the team? Because they won and they won for a long period of time.
That’s why.
Championships are the ultimate way to openly judge a dynasty. How many times have they won the top honors as the ultimate team to beat. The Yankees won 5 championships over 14 years from 1996-2009, and made it to the World Series 6 times in 8 years. The Patriots have made it to at least the conference championship at least 10 times over 15 seasons. And the Celtics hung up 11 titles from 1956 to 1968.
It’s trying for most of teams, especially those that are usually a middling organization, like the New Orleans Saints, the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers and you may question why or what happened, or the best of the hypothetical questions  the “what if…” Trust me, we all have entertained those deep thoughts in our heads….but then reality comes back around, and who  actually completed their goals and made the right draft picks and hired the right coaches.
Regardless of how you calculate the way you measure a teams success factor to be a dynasty. A team that wins and wins big consistently for a multitude of years, that’s what a dynasty is. A team that doesn’t play down to their opponents, a team that teams fear, and wins across their league – that is the true signs and key to being called a real dynasty. A team that seems to never get worse, a team that thrill their fans and infuriates fans of other teams, based on their immense amount of success, that is when your team has become a real dynasty.
In sports games we often judge a team, by their championships, or a player, often unfairly, by the 5 boxes that we look at. But a team that brings championships to teams, is the ultimate sign of success for an organization, and those are considered what makes a true dynasty.

VegasTopDogs NFL All-Pro Team

The 2017 NFL season is almost over – which means we have seen some great play and some not so great play from teams this year.
And on those teams, we have watched players play great and players play amazing top notch football.
We will honor the top players from their position this season in the 2017 VTD All-Pro team.
Offense –
QB: Tom Brady, 30 TD, 8 int, 293 YPG, 68 %, 8.1 YPA,  six 300+ YD games as of 12.30.2017.
RB: Mark Ingram, 12 rushing TDs, 5 YPC, 2nd in the NFL in rushing TDs.
RB: Todd Gurley, 19 total TDs, 4.7 YPC, leads the league in total TDs.
WR: Antonio Brown, 9 TDs, 15.2 YD/catch, 101 recpt, 1533 YDs, tops in the NFL in yards
WR:  Adam Thielen, 4 TDs, 14.3 YD/catch, 85 recpt, 1215 YDs
WR:  DeAndre Hopkins, 13 TDs, 14.4 YD/catch, 96 recpt, 1378 YDs
TE:  Travis Kelce, 8 TDs, 12.5 YD/catch, 83 recpt, 1038 YDs
OT:  Alejandro Villanueva
OG: Kelechi Osemele
C: John Sullivan
OG:  Zack Martin
OT: Tyron Smith
K: Matt Prater, 28 FGM, 7-11 FG 50+, 7-8 FG 40-49, 37-38 XPM-XPA
KR: Pharoh Cooper, 27.4 avg, 1 TD, 103 long, 932 YDs, tops in the NFL
PR: Jamal Agnew, 16.0 avg, 2 TD, 88 long, 416 YDs, tops in the NFL
On the defensive side
DE: Everson Griffen, 13 sacks, 31 tackles, career high in sacks
DT: Geno Atkins, 9 sacks, – forced fumbles, 28 tackles, having his best season since 2015
DT: Malik Jackson, 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 29 tackles, career high in sacks
DE: Joey Bosa, 11.5 sacks, 52 tackles, leads the team in forced fumbles with 4
LB: Bobby Wagner, 1.5 sacks, 6 passes defended, 94 tackles, 2 int
LB: C.J. Mosley, 1 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 91 tackles, 2 int
LB: Telvin Smith, 1 sacks, 1 forced fumbles, 69 tackles, 3 int
CB: Xavier Rhodes, 2 int, 9 PD, 52 tackles
CB: Desmond Trufant, 2 int, 11 PD,  39 tackles
S: Harrison Smith, 5 int, 11 PD, 72 tackles, Hands down, the best safety in the game today.
S: Darius Slay, 7 int, 23 PD, 58 tackles, tops in the NFL in 2017 for interceptions
It has been a truly riveting season – with some great ups and some very controversial and disappointing downs, but on the whole – the game carries on. The players that make us cheer, and the players and their amazing skills that we enjoy to watch take the field and lay the beat down to their opponents keep us cheering for more. Some of the guys here are used to the accolades and honors as being the best –  some, not so much. But, like they say, you have to start somewhere.

2014 NBA Finals

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by Jim Feist of VegasTopDogs.com

 Say, what happened to “Youth Must Be Served?” Last year a pair of veteran teams met in the NBA Finals, with Miami winning its second straight title in seven games against the aging Spurs. Lo and behold, the same team teams made it to the Conference Finals again, with the young Pacers and Thunder trying to break through. Two years ago it was supposed to be the time the kids stepped up in Oklahoma City stepped up. OKC came close, winning Game 1 of the Finals before Miami won four in a row. The previous year a younger Miami team came close, carving out a 2-1 series lead before collapsing, as it was those old fogies in Dallas who came away with the title – another veteran team winning the whole thing. You get the sense the NBA is suddenly an old man’s game. In fact veteran NBA teams have been on a roll, with the Celtics winning it all in 2008, the Lakers in 2009-10, the Mavericks in 2012 out of nowhere, and the Heat the last two years. This year young teams from Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, Memphis and Golden State made the playoffs but are gone.

In 2012 the thirty-something Mavericks won it all as a No. 3 seed. Despite then 26-year old Jose Barea running all over the place, it was a veteran Dallas team behind then 33-year old Dirk Nowitzki, 34-year old Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic (both 34) and 39-year old Jason Kidd. This year the NBA’s Final Four has a pair of young teams (Pacers and Thunder) against the old men of San Antonio and Miami. While the NBA is more of an athletic game, primed for young legs, the experience of the Mavericks certainly helped them two years ago and helped the Spurs plow their way to the No. 1 seed for the second season in a row. But at some point age can work against a team, breaking down from injuries. There really haven’t been many youthful teams winning the NBA title lately. The Celtics and Lakers were veteran teams that clashed in the Finals in 2008 and 2010. The experienced Lakers topped the young Orlando Magic in 2009, blowing out the kids in Game 1, 100-75. Prior to that veteran teams like the Spurs, Pistons and 2006 Miami Heat won titles. Ahh, the Miami Heat. They really aren’t that youthful, with LeBron James the only kid at age 29, and even he’s been in the league ten years. He’s also been in the NBA Finals in 2007 with Cleveland. Dwyane Wade (age 32) already has a ring with the 2006 Heat, a veteran team that also had Shaq, Antoine Walker and Gary Payton. One thing that stands out with the NBA’s Final Four of 2014 is defense.

The Thunder, Pacers, Spurs and Heat all finished in the Top 10 in the NBA during the regular season in either points allowed for field goal shooting defense. Oklahoma City was tops in the West in FG shooting defense, while the Pacers were best in the NBA. This shouldn’t surprise. Two years ago Miami was sixth in points allowed during the regular season, Dallas was 10th; Miami was second in field goal defense (.434%), while Dallas was 8th (.450%). The Western Conference Finals was a terrific clash of Youth vs. Experience. Oklahoma City has 25-year old 6-10 Kevin Durant and 25-year old Russell Westbrook (23.7 ppg), while the Spurs are filthy with age and talent. The Spurs have 38-year old Tim Duncan, 36-year old Manu Ginobili and 31-year old Tony Parker, though the Spurs rely heavily on their bench, which leads the league in scoring for the fifth straight season. So how did defending champion Miami do against the Best of the West? They got crushed by the Thunder (112-95) at home, won at OKC (103-81), got blown out at San Antonio (111-87) and won at home over the Spurs (113-101). Which shows how little stock you should put in regular season meetings, as situational factors and injuries come into play. Are the kids ready to take over? Or will we see another bunch of old men hoist the trophy?

Understanding Sports Betting for your Super Bowl Wagers

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The Understanding of Sports Betting in Vegas:

Don’t let the numbers at the sports books confuse you. The Super Bowl is here and some of the pros at VegasTopDogs put together a list of the terms to better understand the basic knowledge of sports betting.  Please take a look at our Sports Dictionary terminology below.

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Football:

How To Read The Betting Odds
If you are new to sports betting online, one of the most confusing things is how the betting odds (also known as betting lines) are displayed.
The majority of bets are referred to in relation to $100. If there is a minus symbol in front of the number (eg -150) then the number refers to how much you must bet in order to win $100. So, for example, if the betting line for this years Super Bowl is -150 you must bet $150 to make a $100 profit. If the betting line is -300 then you must bet $300 to make $100 profit.
If the number is positive (eg +150) then it refers to how much you will win when you bet $100. So, if the betting line is +150 then you will make $150 profit for your $100 bet.
Remember always that you also get your stake back. So, if you bet $100 at +170 and your team wins then you get $170 profit plus your $100 stake back, for a total return of $270.
The fact that everything is expressed in terms of $100 does not mean you need to bet $100 every time. If you bet $10 at +170 then when you win you get $17 profit.

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The Types Of Sports Bets:
On most US sports events, there are three different types of odds available for every event: the side, the money line and the total.
The most simple of these is the money line. The money line bet is simply a bet on who will win the game.
The most popular way to bet is the side, also known as the point spread or line. In order to balance the two teams in the betting, the linesmaker (the person who sets the betting odds) will give the stronger team a handicap to balance the two teams out in the betting. So, using the same example as above with the Broncos and Seahawks meeting in a Super Bowl, the linesmaker have decided that Denver is 3 points superior to the Seahawks.

If you bet on Denver -3 you will get odds of -110 but you only win if the Broncos beat the Seahawks by more than 3 points. If the Broncos win by fewer than 3 or they lose the game, all bets on the Seahawks +3 are winners. If the game is won by Denver by exactly 3 points then that is known as a ‘push’ and all bets are refunded to the players.

The side or point spread is widely used across all American sports and is the most popular form of betting with US bettors.
The total is a bet on how many points in total will be scored by both sides combined in a particular game. Using the Broncos vs Seahawks example again, the linesmaker may decide this game is likely to be very high scoring and set the total at 48. If you think there will be fewer than 48 points in total, you bet on the ‘under’. If you think there will be more, then you bet on the ‘over’. If there are exactly the total number of points then that is a ‘push’ and all bets are refunded.

Sometimes you will see the total line expressed in half points – for example the total might be 48.5. This means it is impossible for there to be a ‘push’ because there is no game where you can score half points – the linesmaker sets the line that way so there is guaranteed to be a result. To bet on football, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet, with the point spread and the amount you wish to wager. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. This means that a wager of $11 would win $10 and return $21.

This is called a straight bet. A straight bet is the most common type of football bet.

The point spread: When betting on football, the team you bet on must “cover the spread.” This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of points.

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Baseball:

Note: The bottom team is always listed as the home team unless otherwise noted and both of these sports use a moneyline.

The Braves’ odds are -120, meaning a $12 bet would win $10, for a return of $22. The Dodgers’ odds are +110, meaning a $10 bet would win $11, for a return of $21.

On Today’s Line we use a different format, the idea is the same. You will not find the odds for the Underdog. The Underdog’s odds are based on what the casino has for its line. Most use a “Dime Line” or something close to that.

You have just seen an example of a dime line.
Braves -120
Dodgers +110

A 20-cent line would be this below with a difference of 20.
Braves -130
Dodgers +110

Here are two more examples of a dime line and a 20-cent line. See whether you can tell them apart.

Braves -105
Dodgers -105

Braves -120
Dodgers Even-money

You can arrive at the underdog’s price by looking at the favorite’s line. Dime lines are slowly disappearing as sports books look to make a larger profit during what is traditionally the slowest betting season throughout the summer. Several books still offer dime lines.

Money lines change constantly. The listed money line the time you make your bet may be different from the money line when the game starts. The listed line on your ticket is your official odds, unless starting pitcher is changed. This is explained later.

Total: Total runs scored in a game. Also called the over/under.

You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed. It makes no difference which team wins. Simply add the final scores of each team. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11. (-110)

Note: When betting a total, these rules apply:
(a) The game must go nine innings, or 8 1/2 innings if the home team wins.
(b) Both listed pitchers must start the game.
If either doesn’t happen, the bet is refunded.

All runs scored in extra innings count in over/under bets.

Baseball Run Lines:

The run line: a point spread of 1 1/2 given to a baseball game.

A favorite must win by 2 runs or more, or the underdog must either:
(a) Win the game.
(b) Must lose by only one run.
The payout varies according to the money line odds assigned to each outcome.

Baseball Parlays

You may combine several teams into one wager. All teams must win to win the bet.

Baseball parlays are figured out by calculating the payout for the first game, based on the money line, then applying that amount to the next game, and so-forth.

If a game is postponed for any reason, the parlay reduces by one team. The bet is treated as if the postponed game were never included in the parlay.

Here’s an example of how to figure out a baseball parlay:

Listed pitcher(s) option

When making a baseball bet, you are betting team vs. team. You have the option to specify that either or both listed pitchers must start the game.

Since baseball odds are determined on starting pitchers, any late pitching changes often force an adjustment in the odds. This will increase or decrease the payout on a winning ticket. However, if you list starting pitchers, and your pitcher doesn’t start, then the bet is refunded.


Futures

Sports books offer bettors the opportunity to wager on the outcome of a season — for example, which team will win the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup or the American League East pennant. This is known as “futures book” or “future book” betting.

As an illustration, let’s look at Super Bowl futures. Sports books list each NFL team with corresponding odds to win the Super Bowl. For example, the Dallas Cowboys may be 5-1, the Redskins 12-1, the Cardinals 100-1, etc. If you place $10 on the Redskins and they go on to win the Super Bowl, you collect $120 plus your $10 back for a total payoff of $130. It does not matter whether your team covers the point spread in the Super Bowl. For the purposes of future book betting, the team has to win only the Super Bowl.

When you make a futures bet, your odds are “locked in.” That means if you bet the Redskins at 12-1, you will get paid off at 12-1 odds, even if the sports book later adjusts the odds (to 6-1, for instance).

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Hockey

To bet on hockey, tell the ticket writer the bet number of the team you wish to bet and the amount you wish to wager. If your team covers the goal spread, you win. The payout is based on a “Money Line”.

The Goal Spread:

When betting on hockey, the team you bet on must “cover the spread.” This means the team must win or not lose by a predetermined margin of goals.

The Money Line: Odds for a game based on $1.00 A “minus” (-) preceding the number indicates the team is a favorite. A “plus” (+) preceding the number indicates the team is an underdog.

Example:

Note: The bottom team is always listed as the home team unless otherwise noted.

The Red Wings are 1 1/2-goal favorites to win. The Red Wings must win the game by at least two goals to be a winner. If you bet on the Sharks, you win your bet if:
(a) The Sharks win the game.
(b) The game ends in a tie.
(c) The Sharks lose the game by not more than 1 goal.

Note: The money line is used in conjunction with the point spread. If the Red Wings win by 2 goals; a $15 bet would win $10 and return $25. If the Sharks win, tie or lose by one goal; a $10 bet would win $13 and return $23.

It is common for a team to be listed as a 1/2-goal favorite and be listed with a +120 price. This means that by giving up 1/2 goal, a $10 bet would win $12 for a return of $22.

Total: Total points scored in a game. Also called the over/under.

You may wager that the total score of the game will be more or less than the number listed. It makes no difference which team covers the spread. Simply add the final scores of each team. The payout, unless stated otherwise, is figured at odds of 10/11 (-110).

Hockey Parlays

You may combine several teams into one wager. All teams must win to win the bet. Hockey parlays are figured out by calculating the payout for the first game, based on the money line, then applying that amount to the next game and so forth.


Horse racing

Thanks to satellite feeds from racetracks around the nation, Las Vegas is a sort of nirvana for horse racing bettors (or “horseplayers,” as they are sometimes called).

Because there are so many tracks to choose from, in Las Vegas race books it is usually necessary to identify which track you want when you place your bet. For example, tell the ticket writer, “Churchill Downs, eighth race, five dollars to win on No. 4.”

Otherwise, betting procedure in the race book is the same as at the track: For you to collect on a “win” bet your horse must win the race, to collect on a “place” bet he must finish first or second, and to collect on a “show” bet he must finish first, second or third.

Betting a horse “across the board” is really three separate bets: one to win, one to place and one to show.

Hitting an “exacta” entails picking the first two finishers in a race in the correct order; a “quinella” is the first two finishers in either order. A “trifecta” is the first three finishers in exact order; a “trifecta box” is the first three in any order. A “superfecta” is the first four finishers in exacta order.

A “daily double” is a wager that calls for picking the winners of two consecutive races. A “daily triple” entails picking the winners of three consecutive races. And a “Pick Six” calls for picking the winners of six consecutive races, an extremely difficult feat that is usually rewarded with an enormous payout.

In Las Vegas, race books frequently offer promotions such as free contests with cash prizes, special house-banked betting pools that grow larger if no one hits them for a few days or horse racing tournaments. Rules and details vary greatly by casino so be sure to shop around to find those that appeal to you.


Propositions:

Nevada sports books are not permitted to accept wagers on presidential elections, the Academy Awards or the winner of the TV show “Survivor.” Some sports books may post odds on these events as a publicity stunt, but these odds are for amusement only. They are not real betting lines.

Under state law, wagers must involve the outcome of “athletic contests” rather than elections or votes of any kind. This means you cannot even bet on who will win awards such as the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and the like.

Even so, “wacky” proposition bets can sometimes be found in Las Vegas sports books. They are often linked to the Super Bowl or another major sporting event.

For instance, in the Super Bowl gamblers could bet on whether the Broncos would score more points than what the Boston Celtics score in the 1st quarter of their NBA game on Super Bowl Sunday — and that was just one of countless “wacky” propositions.

As another example, to generate interest in Monday Night NFL games, many sports books offer odds on which player will score the first touchdown in the game.

These “wacky” bets can be lots of fun, but odds and details vary tremendously by casino, so read the fine print before getting involved.


Here is a compiled list of sports betting terminology that may help you in Las Vegas with your sports wagering:

Action: A wager of any kind and the total amount of money being wagered on any game. In baseball betting, this means placing a bet regardless of the listed pitchers.

Across the Board: Where (particularly US horse racing) win, place and show pools are offered, this is a bet of equal stakes on each outcome.

Action: A bet or wager of any kind is deemed Action if valid. Different rules apply in different sports in determining if a bet is action or no action (e.g. baseball bets are action when the game gets beyond 41/2innings).

ATS: “Against the Spread”. The outcome of using a point spread. Ex. The Ravens were a -7.5 favorite to win and actually won the game by 8. This means they won “against the spread”.

Bankroll: The total amount of money the bettor plans to gamble with.

Bet: Any wager that is risked on the outcome of any sporting event or any event for that matter.

Blind Bet: A bet made by a racetrack bookmaker to draw other bookmakers’ attention away from his sizeable betting on another horse- and thus to avoid a shortening of the odds on the other horse.

Book: A bookmaker’s tally of amounts bet on each competitor, and odds necessary to assure him of profit.

Bookmaker: A person or company who accepts bets from the public, usually on racing or sports events (also known as a “bookie”).

Buck: A $100 bet.

Chalk: A team or player that is favored to win.

Chalk Player: A player who mostly wagers on favored teams and rarely bets on underdogs.

Circled Game: A game where the maximum bet is reduced and cannot be included in parlays or teasers. Betting action is limited due to uncertainties of key injuries, weather conditions or rumors regarding a team.

Client: Purchaser of betting information from horseman or other tipster.

Cover: To win a bet against the point spread.

Daily Double: A horse racing wager where a player must pick the horses to win in each of two designated races.

Dead Heat: When two horses finish in a tie.

Dime bet: A $1000 wager.

Dog: The team or player predicted to likely lose a game or matchup. The dog always has a + sign on lines and point spreads. Also known as the underdog.

Dog Player: A bettor who usually bets on underdogs.

Dollar Bet: A $100 wager.

Double Action: An “if bet” that is processed if the precedent bet wins, ties or cancels.

Edge: An advantage.

Even Money: A wager on which neither side lays any juice or vigorish. The odds are even for both teams.

Exacta: The first two horses to place in a race.

Exotic Wager: A bet such as first half, second half, futures, run lines or money line wagers.

Exposure: The amount of money the bookmaker will risk losing on a game or race.

Favorite: The team or player expected to win an event. The odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favored.

First Half Wager: A bet placed on only the first half of a game.

Form Player: A bettor who makes selections from past-performance records.

Furlong: A unit of distance used in horse racing equal to 1/8 of a mile or 220 yards.

Futures: Odds posted on an event or outcome taking place some time in the future, such as the Super Bowl, World Series, the Stanley Cup and the NBA Championship.

Gross Win: The amount of winnings before subtracting the expenses.

Grand Salami: The grand total of goals scored in all hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go Over or Under the total.

Half Time Bet: A bet placed only on the second half of the game. ( Includes Overtime).

Handicapper: One who handicaps, studies, rates and wagers on sporting events or horse races.

Handicapping: Studying and predicting the outcome of sporting events.

Handle: The total amount of bets taken.

Hedging: Placing a bet on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a profit from the same previous wager.

Hook: A half-point in point spreads.

Hot Game: A game that draws a significant amount of action on one side by professional handicappers.

In the Money: Describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to bettors, depending on the place terms.

Juice: The bookmaker’s commission, also known as vigorish or “The Vig”.

Laying points: Betting the favorite by giving up points.

Laying the price: Betting on the favorite by laying money line odds.

Limit: The maximum amount a bookmaker will allow you to bet before he changes the odds and/or the points.

Lines: The current odds or point spread on any particular sporting event.

Linemaker: The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.

Listed Pitchers: When betting on baseball, a wager placed that pitchers scheduled to start a game, actually start. If they don’t, the bet is voided.

Lock: A sure winner.

Longshot: A team or horse unlikely to win or have a chance at winning. (e.g. 100 to 1)

Middle: To win both sides of the same betting proposition. Betting the favorite team at -2 1/2 with one sportbook and then taking +3 1/2 with another one. The game ends up with the favorite winning by exactly 3 points, you have then “middle the game”. A favorite betting method of “wise guys”.

Moneyline: Odds expressed in terms of money. The amount you must bet to win 100 in favorites or the amount you win on underdogs. Whenever there is a (-) minus you lay that amount to win a hundred dollars, where there is a plus (+) you receive that amount for every hundred dollars wagered.

Morning Line: Forecast of probable odds

Move The Line: A player pays an additional price to receive a half-point or more in his favor on a pointspread.

Mutuel Pool: Total amount bet to win, place or show in a race. Also total amount bet on daily double, exacta, quinella, etc…

Nickel: A $500 wager.

Nickel Line: A line where the juice is 5%.

No Action: A bet in which no money is won or lost. A cancelled or voided wager.

Odds: Odds are the bookmaker’s view of the chance of a competitor winning (adjusted to include a profit).

Odds-Against: Where the odds are greater than evens (e.g. “5 to 2”).

Odds Compiler The person working for the bookmaker who sets the odds following research and his own feelings.

Off the Board: A game on which bets are no longer accepted.

Off-Track: Betting conducted away from the track.

Official Lines: The line that the sports books use for wagering purposes.

Overlay: When the odds of a given propositon are more in favor of the bettor than the house.

Over/Under: The combined scores of both teams competing in a game being wagered on. Betting whether the total score will be over or under the expected posted total.

Parlay: A single bet including two or more teams in which all teams must win or cover for the bettor to win and receive higher payouts.

Perfecta: In horse racing, a wager in which the player selects the two horses in a race to finish in 1st and 2nd places in exact order.

Pick’em Game: A game which neither team or betting option is the favorite. Also called a “pick”.

Place: A horse racing wager in which a horse finishes first or second.

Pleasers: A pleaser is a group of NFL side straight bets combined into one bet.

Pointspread: A form of handicapping in which oddsmakers predict how many points one team needs against another in order to even out the public betting on a particular game.

Press: To bet or wager a larger amount than usual.

Price: The odds or pointspread.

Push: A pointspread that ties or combined scores of the two teams that tie the total.

Proposition Bet: A wager on a particular aspect of a game, such as how many touchdowns will be scored, etc.

Quinella: In horse racing, a wager in which the player selects the two horses in a race to finish in 1st and 2nd places in any order.

Reverse: In horse racing, to ask for a second exacta wager which specifies two horses in reverse order of the first exacta wager.

Round Robin: A series of three or more teams in 2-team parlays.

Run Down: A line update. All the lines for a specific date, sport, time, etc.

Run Line: In baseball, a spread used instead of a moneyline. Usually set at 1½ either way.

Scratch: In horse racing, a horse that has been withdrawn from a race before the start. Wagers on this horse are voided.

Show: A horse racing bet in which you collect if the horse finishes first, second or third.

Sides: The names of the two teams playing: the underdog and the favorite.

Sided: When one side of a betting proposition wins and opposite side ties.

Single: A bet on a single result or outcome.

Single Action: An “if bet” that is processed only if the precedent bet wins.

Spread: An abbreviated form or another word for a point spread.

Square: Unsophisticated or unknowlegable gambler.

Straight Bet: A bet on one team or player.

Taking the points: Betting on the underdog and taking the advantage in the point spread.

Taking the price: Betting an underdog and accepting money odds.

Teaser: A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in the favor of the bettor by a fixed number of additional points. Like a parlay bet, all selections must be correct for the teaser to win.

Ticket: Any Wager.

Total: The combined number of points scored by both teams during a game, including overtime.

Totals Bet: A bet in which the bettor speculates that the total score of both teams will be more or less than the line posted.

Trifecta: A horse racing bet in which a player selects three horses in one race to finish first, second and third in exact order.

Under: A bet in which the total points scored by two teams will be under a certain amount.

Underdog: The team perceived to likely end up losing. The team given points in a pointspread.

Value: Getting the best available odds on a betting proposition.

Vigorish: The commission paid to the Sportbooks.

Wager: Any bet.

Win: The term used to describe a 1st place finish.

Winning Margin: A bet to predict the winning margin of one team over another.

Wise Guy: A well-informed and knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.

Written for VegasTopDogs.com who feature the Best Professional Sports Handicappers in the World. These Handicappers featured on VTD have made millions with their offshore contacts and WiseGuy connections in the sports betting industry throughout their career. Check out all of their BIG GAMES and special package deals now!

Tattoo Jinx: Seattle Is Not Winning The Super Bowl

seattle-seahawks-champions-tattoo

If you are looking on betting on the NFC Championship game this might make it easier: The Seattle Seahawks have been jinxed by this man by getting a tattoo boasting about their Super Bowl 2014 victory before the season even began.

You just can’t do that bro. Tim Connors, of Edmonds, Washington, got the Seahawks logo and ‘XLVIII Champs’ inked on his arm months ago.‘I’m not crazy, I’m not crazy at all. I’m confident, I’m 100 percent confident in every single player on that team,’ Connors told ABC. The Seahawks take on the 49ers in an exciting match-up on Sunday night, and if they get through that play-off game either New England or Denver await in the Super Bowl on February 2. –

He pretty much mushed their chances in winning the big game.  See more at: http://entertainment.wagerweb.ag/sports/football/tattoo-jinx-seattle-is-not-winning-the-super-bowl-video-57604.html#sthash.MQuIfTLJ.dpuf

Nets window to win NBA title is a “this season only” situation

Nets

When Brooklyn pulled off their sizable moves, I felt it was a great move by the Nets GM. It showed a ravenous want to win, and win now, as in immediate. This was a hired gun situation, to make Brooklyn pertinent, at least presently. It was never looked at as a long term solution, but let’s win now, bring some excitement to a deadened city, and shake things up. It’s fun to have New York relevant again, because we all know the Knicks aren’t doing their part either. Another disappointment, this could have been such a fun intense feud for the year. Not looking quite the same as of right now.

Brooklyn has been atrocious this season, scoring 96/ game, and giving up 102. They aren’t even close to being in the playoff hunt, whats the deal in New York? They have an upper limit of 2 seasons from the guys they snatched, with any hopes of making any push at all, and overall, they still cannot match up with the Heat or the Pacers. Talent-wise, speed, or coaching wise. Jason Kidd was a great player, and should be 1st ballot HOF’er, but his coaching skills so far have to be examined. They can’t win on the road, and they can’t win at home, which are bad, I understand possibly struggling on the road, it can be weary, but at home, with your crowd? You have to bring it even more, and they haven’t, having lost games by 12 and 10 already in their home arena.

Unacceptable.

When the Brooklyn Nets, made their off-season moves, on paper, it got people excited, it got me excited, and I bought into the hype, hook, line and sinker. Especially sinker. Then came the grotesque realization that the guys they signed are 37,two 36 year olds, and haven’t been great players in the last several seasons.

The thinking of them pulling out some “old school magic” is always fun and we as fans love it and eat it up like stuffing on Thanksgiving. But the understanding is that the older players get, the less their game becomes effective on the court, lets be painfully honest.

KG is no where in any sense of the word, the same player he was, even in 2008, putting up 20 and 9 nightly. Paul Pierce isn’t a 20 point scorer anymore, hes “hot” if he scores 12 on a consistent basis now. And Jason Terry, has forever been the spot up guy to stick a jumper from deep for that spark player, at 36, hes not quite a “spark” in any sense of the word, shooting a dismal 38% so far.

The one thing the Nets have going for them, is the lack of good teams in the Eastern conference. Sad, but true, with only 2 teams, the Heat and the Pacers really showing any promise on the early season. The way it looks now, there could potentially be 2-3 teams that make the playoffs under .500, which is beyond pitiable.

With the age factoring in strongly recently in particular, the Nets are not looking like a playoff team in any sense of the word. Which obviously undoes them as a championship competitor.

Written by Mike Anthony of VegasTopDogs.com

Tracy McGrady and the Spurs

How much will Tracy McGrady impact the Spurs for the playoffs, if at all? The Spurs picked up the 33 year old Tracy McGrady bringing him to a team that has been punctured with injuries. He will give them depth and experience on the team.

Make no mistake about it; McGrady has had a very good career, with averages of 20 pts, 6 boards and 4 assists in 15 seasons. And he yet individually plays better in the playoffs, at 25 pts, 6 boards, and 6 assists, but his playoff record has never been good, his teams have never done much.

He has gone through a surplus of teams in his career, bouncing around and playing for the Raptors, Magic, Rockets, Knicks, Pistons, and Hawks. Obviously he was mainly successful when he played for Orlando, where he averaged 28 in his career there. Coming off his worst season for Atlanta in 2012, scoring 5/game, he fell off into the Chinese basketball league, where he was averaging 25 pts and 7 rbs. The guys he was playing in China certainly cannot compare to the athletic capacity the NBA owns in its amazing cache.

They obviously picked up T-Mac to help them in their injured areas they are dealing with. How much is he really going to help the Spurs? How much more is left in the tank on this guy? Teams keep trying to pick him up economically and roll the dice, hoping they can get a touch of what he used to be, back 5-6 years ago. But we are still talking about a guy who has averaged only 7 ppg over the last 3 seasons in the NBA. Do they feel he has a game or 2 where he can drop 25 off the bench?

He has had some really first-class playoff games in his career, with 42 pts, 8 rbs, and 10 asts vs the Bucks in 2001, and 37, 8, and 7 vs Dallas in 2005. But that was a long time ago. How far behind are those days of T-Mac? At 33, he is certainly on the back 9 of his career, along with all the injuries that beat him. And he has always been considered a fragile player, always will be under the “what if umbrella.”

As a back up, he is still a guy who could get another 2-3 years, and get a team 8-10 a night. Look at Ray Allen at 37 and what he is doing. Let alone, Paul Pierce at 35, still putting up 19 & 6 for the Celts. When Tracy was playing for the Hawks, he was only playing 16 minutes/game. How much time do the Spurs plan on playing him, I would expect around 15-20 minutes. As long as his soft shot hasn’t left him, he can make a team pay if they leave him open, or him splicing off screens.

The Spurs are losing momentum rapidly, and are spiraling. Tony Parker being not 100% is an enormous blister against them; I just don’t see the Spurs seeing a long run in the playoffs. Any team that plays them now, I think feel they have an advantage over them, no matter how team oriented the Spurs are.

The Spurs who rank 5th shooting the deep ball, they can put McGrady as a spot up deep ball shooter, McGrady, for his career is a sturdy shooter from long range. He could fit in well, in their scheme.

I do think this is going to be a rough ride for the Spurs though. I think the Spurs did the best thing they could do with what they were forced to deal with. With a potential 1st round out, it wouldn’t shock me by any means. They don’t match up well vs some of these younger, faster teams.

It’s easy to forget how good T-Mac was, 10 years ago, when you see him now, only a ghost of his former self, when he was a real big time baller, scoring 28/game. I hope McGrady does well, but I think that the belief may have assembly.

Written by Mike Anthony of VegasTopDogs.com