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Friday, December 30, 2016

UFC : Rousey Favored to Regain Title at UFC 207

Only one UFC fighter has ever successfully defended the Women’s Bantamweight title: Ronda Rousey. On Friday, she returns to the Octagon to reclaim her belt, and she’s the –150 favorite at press time to beat the current champion, Amanda Nunes (+120). They’ll be fighting in the main event of UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Rousey became famous as the UFC’s first female champion, defending her title six times in dominant fashion before falling to Holly Holm (+450) just over a year ago at UFC 193. Holm then dropped the belt to Miesha Tate (+215), who was overwhelmed by Nunes (+163) in a brief and lopsided battle.

The Brazilian native is 13-4 lifetime in MMA and 6-1 in the Octagon; Nunes is the superior striker in this matchup, and her takedown defense is strong, which could cause problems for Rousey on Friday.

There’s also the question of Rousey’s focus. She’s one of the most talented fighters in MMA history, male or female, but this will be her first fight since losing the title to Holm. Rousey has been busy making movies and doing commercials, and she may retire from the Octagon after Friday’s bout, regardless of the result.

UFC 207 odds lines Ronda Rousey Amanda Nunes

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UFC Odds: Will Rousey Reclaim Her Title?

Ronda Rousey hasn’t fought in over a year, but at press time, she’s the –150 favorite for Friday’s main event at UFC 207. Rousey will challenge Amanda Nunes (+120) for the Women’s Bantamweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Rousey (12-1 lifetime) was named the first Women’s Bantamweight champion in late 2012 after the company absorbed Strikeforce, and defended her belt six times – fighting a total of just 18 minutes – before losing to Holly Holm in November 2015. Nunes (13-4 lifetime) is an accomplished striker like Holm, and her takedown defense could frustrate Rousey on Friday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

NHL : Metropolitan Foes Face Off in Washington

The Washington Capitals (20-9-4) welcome the cellar-dwelling New Jersey Devils to town on Thursday (7 PM ET on NBCSN). Both teams are coming off of losses following the holiday break; the Capitals came up short in a 4-3 game against the Islanders, while the Devils fell 5-2 to the Penguins. The Caps currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. That success is largely due to strong team defense, as they rank 3rd in the NHL, giving up a measly 2.06 goals per game on average. Goaltender Brayden Holtby has benefitted from his team’s defensive mindset, posting a 1.98 goals against average and .929 save percentage.

The New Jersey Devils (13-15-7) currently sit last in the Metropolitan Division and second land in the Eastern Conference. The Devils have only won once in their last 10 games and have struggled to find consistency at both ends of the ice so far in 2016-17. No Devils player has reached double digits in goals, and only two players have more than 20 points: Travis Zajac (8 goals, 15 assists) and Taylor Hall (8 goals, 14 assists). Look for Washington to run away with this one.

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NHL Odds: Ovechkin and the Capitals Look to Keep the Devils Cold

Losers of 9 of their last 10 games, the New Jersey Devils (13-15-7) limp into Washington on Thursday (7 PM ET on NBCSN) to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (20-9-4). The balanced offensive attack of the Capitals, led by Nicklas Backstrom (9 goals, 20 assists) and Alex Ovechkin (15 goals, 9 assists), and their third overall team defense, should pose problems for the Devils.

After coming off of a 5-2 loss to the Penguins on Tuesday, New Jersey is looking for answers to end their recent slide. The Devils currently sit last in the Metropolitan Division and have watched their offense dry up, as they’ve scored two goals or fewer in each of their last 11 games.

NFL: Seahawks Need a Win (and Some Help) in San Francisco

The Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1 SU, 8-7 ATS) have already clinched the NFC West, but they have plenty to play for this Sunday when they visit the San Francisco 49ers (2-13 SU, 4-11 ATS). Seattle can claim the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs with a win over the Niners; they also need the Atlanta Falcons to lose or tie their game against the New Orleans Saints. The ‘Hawks are 10-point favorites at press time with a total of 43.

The Seahawks aren’t nearly as dominant as they were during the first four years of the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson Era. Injuries in the backfield have taken the sting out of Seattle’s offense, and the famed Legion of Boom defense lost arguably its most important player when safety Earl Thomas broke his leg in Week 13.

The Seahawks are 1-2 SU and ATS with Thomas out for the season.
In theory, the 49ers can tank Sunday’s game and earn the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. But they’ll need the 1-14 Cleveland Browns to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in their early-afternoon tilt. San Fran and Seattle kick off at 4:25 PM ET on FOX.

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NFL Odds: Plenty on the Line in Seahawks-Niners Finale

The Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1 SU, 8-7 ATS) will be chasing the No. 2 seed in the NFC when they visit the San Francisco 49ers (2-13 SU, 4-11 ATS) on Sunday, starting at 4:25 PM ET on FOX. Seattle is a 10-point chalk with a total of 43.

The Niners won’t make the playoffs this year, but they might have some extra incentive, too. If the 1-14 Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers (–7 at home) in their early-afternoon matchup, San Francisco can claim the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by losing to Seattle.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Soccer : Sunderland at Manchester United

José Mourinho and Manchester United (8W, 6D, 3L) have won seven of their last 10 matches overall with three draws, and they can keep the momentum rolling on Monday with a victory at Old Trafford over a disappointing Sunderland crew (4W, 2D, 11L). The Red Devils are –475 favorites at press time, with Sunderland at +1200 and the draw priced at +525. Game time is 10 AM ET.

Mourinho has tinkered with the MUFC lineup ever since taking the manager’s job, but there’s plenty of talent to go around – players like Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and even Wayne Rooney have been skipped in the starting XI, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic has assumed the leading role with 11 goals in 16 Premiership contests. United’s hot streak has moved them into sixth on the EPL table, 13 points behind first-place Chelsea as the 2016-17 campaign nears the halfway mark.

Sunderland still find themselves in the relegation zone after a very slow start, but they’ve picked up the pace under former Man U manager David Moyes, winning four of their last seven league matches. The Black Cats beat United 2-1 at the Stadium of Light when they last met in February.

Soccer Sunderland at Manchester United

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Soccer Odds: Moyes Returns to Old Trafford

David Moyes is pleased with how Sunderland (4W, 2D, 11L) have recovered after a disastrous start to the 2016-17 Premiership campaign. But Moyes will be in deep Monday when he returns to Old Trafford to face his former team, Manchester United (8W, 6D, 3L). Kick-off is at 10 AM ET.

The Black Cats are +1200 underdogs at press time to United’s –475, and the draw is pegged at +525. Sunderland have won four of their last seven EPL matches, but José Mourinho and the Red Devils are 7-3-0 in their last 10 overall, moving into sixth place on the Premiership table.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NCAAF : Navy Looks for Redemption at Armed Forces Bowl

After losing the Army-Navy Game for the first time since 2001, the No. 25 Navy Midshipmen (9-4 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) will try to save face this Friday when they meet the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5 SU and ATS) in the Armed Forces Bowl. It won’t be easy, though; Navy opened as 4.5-point underdogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, and have already moved to +6.5 at press time. Game time is 4:30 PM ET on ESPN.

The Midshipmen have won their last three bowl games straight up and against the spread, but their fates may have been sealed in Week 14 when quarterback Will Worth broke his foot versus the Temple Owls. Worth’s replacement in the Army-Navy Game, sophomore Zach Abey, threw a pair of costly interceptions in his first college start. Abey was also held to 73 yards rushing on 19 carries out of the triple-option offense.

Louisiana Tech may have already been the better team even before the Worth injury, but they haven’t seen the college football rankings since moving from the WAC to Conference USA in 2013. However, the Bulldogs have won back-to-back bowl games straight up and against the spread for head coach Skip Holtz.

NCAAF : Navy Looks for Redemption at Armed Forces Bowl

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NCAAF Odds: No. 25 Navy vs Louisiana Tech at Armed Forces Bowl

The No. 25 Navy Midshipmen (9-4 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) are the first ranked team on the FBS bowl schedule, but they’re 6.5-point underdogs at press time for Friday’s Armed Forces Bowl matchup with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5 SU and ATS). Kick-off from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth is at 4:30 PM ET on ESPN.

Navy have lost back-to-back games straight up and against the spread since quarterback Will Worth broke his foot in Week 14. Sophomore Zach Abey threw two picks in each of his two fill-in appearances, including the team’s first Army-Navy Game loss since 2001.

NHL : Habs, Wild Collide in Montreal

Two of this year’s top teams versus the puck line will meet Thursday night (7:30 PM ET, SN360) when the 21-7-4 Montreal Canadiens host the 19-8-4 Minnesota Wild. The Canadiens are first in the Atlantic Division and first in profits at +18.27 units (21-11 ATS); the Wild are second in the Central and fourth against the puck line at +11.28 units (17-14 ATS).

Both teams have a sparkling +31 goal differential, but Minnesota’s the hotter commodity right now after winning eight straight games. The Wild are also the healthier club by far. Montreal will be without centres Alex Galchenyuk (nine goals, 14 assists in 25 games) and David Desharnais (three goals, six assists in 25 games) for the next six weeks because of knee injuries.

As long as the Canadiens have Carey Price (.936 save percentage), they’ll be competitive. Price is projected to start again for the Habs Thursday night, but the Wild will likely respond with this year’s leading goalie, Devan Dubnyk (.948 SV%). The pride of Regina has won each of his last seven starts, allowing nine goals combined and earning his NHL-best fourth shutout of the season in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche (+205 away).

NHL : Habs, Wild Collide in Montreal

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NHL Odds: Red-Hot Wild Take on Habs

The 19-8-4 Minnesota Wild go for their ninth straight win Thursday night (7:30 PM ET, SN360) when they visit the first-place team in the Atlantic Division, the 21-7-4 Montreal Canadiens. Devan Dubnyk (.948 SV%) is expected to start for Minnesota in a top-shelf goaltending battle with Carey Price (.936 SV%).

Montreal started the season on fire, but knee injuries to centres Alex Galchenyuk (nine goals in 25 games) and David Desharnais (three goals in 25 games) have slowed their ascent; the Habs are 4-3 in their last seven games, each one with Price between the pipes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NBA : Westbrook Leads Thunder into New Orleans

The top scorers in the NBA go head-to-head on Wednesday night, when Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder hit the road to take on Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.

As we go to press, Russell Westbrook leads the league in points per game and ranks second in assists per game. Amazingly, he’s still averaging a triple-double for the season. The Thunder will need every bit of his production, as they sit with a record of 16-11 through their first 27 games. When Westbrook hits a triple-double, which he has 13 of so far this season, Oklahoma City’s record improves to 10-3.

Power forward Anthony Davis is second in the league in points per game, while ranking ninth in rebounds and first in blocks. But he can't do it all himself. The Pelicans are 24th in points allowed and point differential. If the Pelicans are going to make it to the postseason – or even back to .500 – they need to find some help for Davis.

The Thunder are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five against the Pelicans, who fell 101-92 in Oklahoma City on December 4 behind a Westbrook triple-double.

NBA : Westbrook Leads Thunder into New Orleans

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NBA Odds: Davis, Westbrook Meet for Second Time this Season

Point guard Russell Westbrook and power forward Anthony Davis are first and second in scoring in the NBA this season, and the two will meet for the second time this season on Wednesday. The New Orleans Pelicans host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 PM ET.

Davis and Westbrook met on December 4 in Oklahoma City, and it was Westbrook and the Thunder that prevailed, beating the Pelicans 101-92. Davis had a monster of a game, recording 37 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Despite Davis’ quality numbers, Westbrook came out on top, registering 28 points, 17 boards and 12 assists. Road games have been a challenge for the Thunder, though. They’ve lost two straight and are just 5-6 in away games this season.

NFL : Vikings-Packers in NFC North Playoff Battle

The Green Bay Packers (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) can still win the NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings (7-7 SU, 8-6 ATS) are clinging to their playoff hopes. They’ll meet Saturday at Lambeau Field in the most important game of the season for both teams; kick-off is at 1 PM ET on FOX, with the Packers laying seven points.

These divisional rivals are heading in different directions with just two games left to go in the regular season. The Packers have pulled themselves out of the mire with four straight wins at 3-1 ATS; the Vikings are 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS in their last four games, including a pair of Thursday night losses by a combined five points. Minnesota’s playoff chances depend on victories over Green Bay and Chicago, plus a lot of help from elsewhere.

When these same two teams met in Week 2, it was the Vikings who prevailed 17-14 as 3-point home dogs. That was despite running back Adrian Peterson rushing for just 19 yards on 12 carries before leaving the game with a knee injury. Peterson returned to limited action last week against Indianapolis and ran for 22 yards (with a fumble) on six carries.

NFL : Vikings-Packers in NFC North Playoff Battle

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NFL Odds: Vikings-Packers on Christmas Eve

Playoff fates will hang in the balance this Saturday when the Green Bay Packers (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) host the Minnesota Vikings (7-7 SU, 8-6 ATS), starting at 1 PM ET on FOX. The Packers have opened as 7-point favourites; Saturday’s weather forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies over Lambeau Field and temperatures around the freezing mark.

Minnesota beat Green Bay (–3 away) 17-14 back in Week 2, even though running back Adrian Peterson left the game with a knee injury. Peterson returned to action last week against Indianapolis and is expected to play again Saturday.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

NCAAF : App State Attempt Camellia Bowl Double-Dip

They won the 2015 Camellia Bowl in their first year of FBS eligibility, and now the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) are getting ready to do it again. The Sun Belt co-champions are 1-point underdogs for Saturday’s Camellia Bowl tilt with the Toledo Rockets (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS), kicking off from the Cramton Bowl stadium in Montgomery, Alabama at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

The Mountaineers made a name for themselves as the top program in the FCS, and they’ve proven themselves capable of playing quality football at the FBS level – even if they’re in the Sun Belt. The Rockets are another solid team from a weak conference, finishing second in the MAC West under first-year head coach Jason Candle. They’ll bring the offense to Montgomery; App State will supply the defense, with a slight edge in special teams.

This will be a reunion of sorts for Candle and Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield. They worked together in Toledo under Tim Beckman during the 2009 campaign, Candle as wide receivers coach and Satterfield as QB coach/passing game coordinator. Saturday’s forecast for Montgomery calls for a 55% chance of rain with gusts of wind and a high of 74.

NCAAF : App State Attempt Camellia Bowl Double-Dip

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NCAAF Odds: Coaches Reunite at Camellia Bowl

After working together for one year in 2009, Jason Candle and Scott Satterfield will face each other this Saturday when Candle’s Toledo Rockets (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) take on Satterfield’s Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) at the Camellia Bowl. Kick-off from Montgomery, Alabama is at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN.

App State are the defending Camellia Bowl champs, but they’re 1-point underdogs for Saturday’s matchup. Satterfield (QB coach) and Candle (WR coach) were both part of Tim Beckman’s coaching staff in Toledo before Satterfield left to become offensive coordinator at Florida International.

NHL : NHL-leading Blackhawks visit the Islanders on Thursday

The Chicago Blackhawks (19-8-4 SU, 14-17 ATS) will play their second straight game in New York Thursday night against the Islanders. Coming off of a 2-1 victory against the Rangers on Tuesday, the Hawks will look to extend their winning streak to three games. Despite missing their number one goaltender, Corey Crawford, following an emergency appendectomy, Chicago hasn’t missed a beat. They’ve been able to lean on strong play from their backup goaltender Scott Darling since December 3, who owns a 2.02 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Patrick Kane (8 goals, 20 assists) leads the team in points, while veteran Marian Hossa leads the team in goals with 15.

The Islanders (11-12-5 SU, 12-16 ATS) have struggled to find consistency so far in the 2016-17 season. Losers of their last two games, New York has not been able to keep the puck out of the net. The Islanders are eighth worst in the NHL in goals against, giving up 2.93 goals per game. New York’s goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak (3.13 goals against average, .907 save percentage) and Thomas Greiss (2.42 goals against average, .919 save percentage) have not performed up to standard. Puck drops at 7 PM ET.

NHL : NHL-leading Blackhawks visit the Islanders on Thursday

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NHL Odds: Kane and Toews take on Tavares and the Islanders

The Chicago Blackhawks (19-8-4) visit Brooklyn on Thursday to take on the Islanders (7 PM ET on MSG+). Chicago captain Jonathan Toews (4 goals, 8 assists) will make his second start since returning from injury. Goaltender Scott Darling (2.02 goals against average, .933 save percentage) made 33 saves on the night for his third straight win as the Hawks starter.

The New York Islanders (11-12-5), led by John Tavares (9 goals, 13 assists), have been a model of inconsistency so far this year. Ranking eighth-worst in goals allowed per game (2.93) and 15th in team offense (2.59 goals per game), the Islanders find themselves in last place in the Metropolitan Division.

NFL : Buccaneers Could Sink Dallas on Sunday Night Football

After five straight wins straight up and against the spread, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5 SU and ATS) suddenly find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt. A tough test awaits the surging team Sunday night in Arlington, Texas, where they’ll face the Dallas Cowboys (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS). The Cowboys are 7-point favorites at press time with a total of 46.5.

The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot, but after last week’s 10-7 loss to the New York Giants (+4.5 away), the NFC East is still up for grabs. There’s talk about Tony Romo perhaps replacing Dak Prescott at quarterback, although Prescott is expected to start against Tampa Bay after the Giants held him to 165 yards passing with two picks.

The Bucs, meanwhile, have to be pleased with the performance of sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston. He’s on the verge of becoming a Top-10 quarterback in the NFL, his teammates respect him, and he’s has thrown just three interceptions during Tampa’s five-game winning streak. The rushing attack, on the other hand, is one of the worst in the league at just 3.5 yards per carry.  The Cowboys are second overall at 4.8 yards.

NFL : Buccaneers Could Sink Dallas on Sunday Night Football

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NFL Odds: Cowboys Host Red-Hot Bucs on SNF

The Dallas Cowboys (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) have already sewn up a playoff spot, and they may get to clinch the NFC East if they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5 SU and ATS) on Sunday Night Football. NBC has the television coverage starting at 8:30 PM ET.

The Bucs have won five straight games straight up and against the spread to put themselves in Wild Card position with an added shot at the NFC South title. But they have a point differential of minus-3 on the season, and they’re 7-point underdogs for Sunday’s matchup with a total of 46.5.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NFL: Bengals Can Salvage Season by Beating Steelers

After five straight trips to the playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1 SU, 5-8 ATS) may have finally run out of gas. But they can make things very interesting this Sunday by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, who lead the AFC North at 8-5 SU and ATS. The Bengals are 3.5-point home dogs at press time; kick-off is at 1 PM ET on CBS.

Cincinnati’s level of play has been better than their record would indicate. They have a point differential of minus-1 heading into Week 15, and they’ve played one of the tougher schedules in the league up until now. The Steelers, meanwhile, have a plus-61 point differential, which is about what you’d expect from a 10-3 team using Pythagorean wins. Their schedule hasn’t been quite as difficult as Cincinnati’s, though.

Pittsburgh could be overvalued in this situation after last week’s 27-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills (+3 at home). RB LeVeon Bell had a game for the ages, rushing for a team-record 236 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills have allowed 4.3 yards per carry this year; the Bengals have been even worse at 4.5 yards, but Bell should still find it hard to repeat his performance from Week 14.

NFL: Bengals Can Salvage Season by Beating Steelers

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NFL Odds: Last Chance for Bengals?

After losing (and tying) some close contests in November, the Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1 SU, 5-8 ATS) have won back-to-back games to stay in the postseason hunt. They’ll need another win this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, first the AFC North at 8-5 SU and ATS. Game time is 1 PM ET on CBS.

The Steelers have won four games in a row straight up and against the spread, and back in Week 2, they beat the Bengals 24-16 as 3-point home favourites. Pittsburgh is laying 3.5 points on the road for Sunday’s rematch at Paul Brown Stadium.

NBA : Thunder, Jazz Square Off Wednesday Night

Wednesday's NBA schedule gives fans an intriguing matchup between two second tier teams in the Western Conference: The 15-9 Oklahoma City Thunder and 15-10 Utah Jazz.

The Thunder are powered by point guard Russell Westbrook, who’s first in the league in scoring, second in assists and averages a triple-double. His rebounding prowess is a huge boost for the Thunder, who are fourth in the league in rebound differential at 3.8; only the Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls and Houston Astros are have better rebound differentials.

The Jazz are hanging in there despite struggling through injuries, but small forward Gordon Hayward is back in action after sitting out for a game due to an aggravated finger injury. He leads the Jazz offense, which is no juggernaut, ranking 24th in the league in points per game. That being said, they're efficient. The Jazz shoot over 46% from the floor, which is sixth in the NBA (Oklahoma City isn't far behind in ninth).

Oklahoma City is 7-3 SU (four straight wins) and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games against the Jazz, and seven of those games have gone under the point total. This is their first meeting of the 2016-17 season.

NBA : Thunder, Jazz odds and lines

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NBA Odds: Westbrook Leads Thunder Against Jazz in Utah

So far this season, point guard Russell Westbrook has been an MVP candidate. On Wednesday, he’ll lead the Oklahoma City Thunder in battle against the Utah Jazz.

Westbrook averages a triple-double and recently had a stretch where he triple-doubled in seven consecutive games. He’s first in scoring, second in assists and ninth in rebounds, which is very good for a point guard. He'll look to lead the Thunder to their fifth win in a row over the Jazz, who are battling through some injuries to key players. Tip-off is at 9 PM ET.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Boxing : Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz for Heavyweight Title

History will be made this Saturday in New Zealand when local favorite Joseph Parker (–360) takes on Mexico's Andy Ruiz (+270) for the vacant WBO World Heavyweight title. There has never been a heavyweight champion born and raised in either country, but that will almost certainly change after this fight, which HBO will air on tape delay as part of their World Championship Boxing program (9:35 PM ET). The card at Vector Arena in Auckland gets underway live at 1:30 AM ET.

The WBO title belt was vacated by Tyson Fury in October, after almost a year of inactivity. While Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) is the heavy favorite in this matchup, Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs), who now calls California home, has yet to taste defeat in the squared circle. Concerns about Ruiz' weight and his motivation have been tempered somewhat; the underdog has been training under Abel Sanchez and has dropped about 20 excess pounds in preparation for this fight.

Parker, meanwhile, is two inches taller than Ruiz at 6-foot-4 with a two-inch reach advantage, and three years younger at age 24. But he's yet to prove himself at the higher levels of international competition.

Boxing : Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz for Heavyweight Title

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Boxing Odds: Parker-Ruiz in WBO Heavyweight Title Bout

The buzz is building around Saturday's WBO World Heavyweight title bout between New Zealand's Joseph Parker (–360) and Mexican native Andy Ruiz (+270). Their card in Auckland starts at 1:30 AM ET; HBO will have this fight on tape delay for their World Championship Boxing show (9:35 PM ET).

Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) may be the favorite to capture the vacant title, but Ruiz (29-0, 19 KOs) has stepped up his conditioning for this fight, and neither man has been truly tested by elite competition. This could be a closer contest than the odds suggest.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

NHL : Red-Hot Flames Head to Arizona to Take on the Coyotes

The Calgary Flames (14-13-2 SU, 15-4 ATS) enter Arizona in pursuit of a fifth straight win. The Flames had not won four straight since last season, but thanks to the surprising play of goaltender Chad Johnson (2.04 goal against average, .931 save percentage), the Flames will land in the desert as the NHL’s hottest team. Since taking over the starting job from Brian Elliott in mid-November, the Flames have won 9 of 11 games and have pulled themselves out of the basement of the Western Conference.

Coupled with the return of superstar Johnny Gaudreau (7 goals, 8 assists) following a broken finger, and strong recent play from Shawn Monahan (8 goals, 7 assists), the Flames seem to have turned a corner.

The Arizona Coyotes (8-13-4), meanwhile, are going in the opposite direction as the Flames. Losers of five straight games, including a 4-0 shutout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, the ‘Yotes are searching for answers from the young roster.

 Goaltender Mike Smith (2.77 goals against average, .924 save percentage) can’t be blamed for his team’s struggles this season. Arizona ranks fourth last in the NHL in goals per game with 2.20 and second worst in goals against per game with 3.16. Those ugly statistics won’t result in many games won. Puck drop is at 9 PM ET on Sportsnet.

NHL : Red-Hot Flames Head to Arizona to Take on the Coyotes

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NHL Odds: The Coyotes host the Flames on Thursday

The Calgary Flames (14-13-2 SU, 15-14 ATS) travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Coyotes (8-13-4 SU, 17-8 ATS) Thursday night at 9 PM ET (Sportsnet). Riding a resurgent goaltender in Chad Johnson (2.04 goal against average, .931 save percentage), the Flames are winners of four straight games and will look to push their season-long winning streak to five against the basement-dwelling Coyotes.

Arizona has lost five games in a row, and are struggling to find the back of the net after being shut out in Chicago on Tuesday against the Blackhawks. Led by 35-year-old Radim Vrbata (8 goals, 9 assists), the Coyotes are searching for offense from their young roster.
Get your NHL odds at Bodog today.

NCAAF : Injuries Could Sink Midshipmen in Army-Navy Game

The No. 25 Navy Midshipmen (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) have made a tradition of beating the Army Black Knights (6-5 SU and ATS) in the annual Army-Navy Game. The Black Knights haven't won this rivalry since 2001, and they're 6-point underdogs at press time for Saturday's matchup, kicking off from Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium at 3 PM ET on CBS.

While Army have failed to win these games straight-up, they've done just fine against the spread, covering four of the last five contests – including both games since Jeff Monken took over as head coach. And Navy are in trouble after quarterback Will Worth hurt his ankle in last week's 34-10 loss to Temple (+3 away) for the AAC title. Worth is out for the remainder of the season, along with injured running backs Toneo Gulley and Darryl Bonner.

As a result, most of the early action for Saturday's game has landed on Army's side. The Midshipmen opened as 8.5-point favorites on Monday before slipping to –6. Running is what Navy are all about; both these military programs use a version of the triple-option offense, and Worth was good for 25 rushing touchdowns this year, tops in the FBS.

NCAAF : Injuries Could Sink Midshipmen in Army-Navy Game

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NCAAF Odds: Army, Navy Running for Cover

Two of the nation's top rushing teams will meet this Saturday (3 PM ET, CBS) in the annual Army-Navy Game. But the No. 25-ranked Midshipmen (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) have slipped from – 8.5 at the open to –6 at press time, following the loss of quarterback Will Worth to an ankle injury.

Navy have won this game every year since 2002 inclusive, but the Black Knights (6-5 SU and ATS) have covered four of the last five games, and they could finally snap this losing streak now that Worth is out for the remainder of the season.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NFL Odds: Raiders, Chiefs Fight for AFC West Lead

With just four games left to go in the regular season, Thursday night's game (8:25 PM ET, NBC) between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs is easily the most important matchup on the calendar. First place in the AFC West will be on the line, but the loser also has to worry about missing the playoffs. Kansas City are 3-point home favourites at press time with a total of 46.5.

The Raiders (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) are in the driver's seat. They've already clinched their first winning season since going to the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 campaign. But the Chiefs (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) are only one game behind in the division, and they already beat Oakland 26-10 back in Week 6, cashing in as 1.5-point road favourites after opening at +1.

Both clubs are trying to stay ahead of the third-place Denver Broncos (8-4 SU and ATS), who would earn the second AFC Wild Card if the playoffs started today. Thursday's weather forecast calls for sunny skies over Arrowhead Stadium and temperatures dipping below the freezing mark; the Chiefs should have the advantage with their superior defense and special teams.

NFL Odds: Raiders, Chiefs Fight for AFC West Lead

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NFL Odds: Raiders-Chiefs on Thursday Night Football

Two of the top teams in the AFC collide this Thursday when the Oakland Raiders (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) visit the Kansas City Chiefs (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS), kicking off at 8:25 PM ET on NBC. Whoever wins this game will be first in the AFC West; the Chiefs are 3-point favourites at press time with a total of 46.5.

The Chiefs already have one win over the Raiders this year, beating them 26-10 in Week 6 as 1.5-point road favourites. They should have the advantage again Thursday in what promises to be a cold-weather matchup under sunny skies.

NBA : Warriors, Clippers Square Off in Western Conference Showdown

Wednesday's NBA schedule is highlighted by a pair of title contenders that happen to be massive rivals as well. The Golden State Warriors visit the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center for a 10:30 PM ET tip-off.

The Warriors are, by far, the highest-scoring team in the league, averaging 119.1 points per game. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are both in the top 10 on the scoring charts, and the Warriors as a team are shooting over 38% from three-point land. They also lead the league in point differential at +12.6. If you thought last year’s version was good, this team is even better.

As for the Clippers, they are right behind them in scoring differential at +9.6. They're averaging 108.7 points per game, which is sixth in the league. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul lead a team where five players are putting up double-digit averages in terms of scoring.

The Clippers have had a good season start, but it will be difficult to measure themselves against Golden State. The Warriors have dominated their rivalry as of late, going 8-2 SU (six straight wins) and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 meetings.

NBA : Warriors, Clippers Square Off in Western Conference Showdown

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NBA Odds: Warriors Aim to Continue Dominance of Clippers

The Golden State Warriors have owned the Los Angeles Clippers lately, winning their last six meetings. The Clippers will try to snap that skid when they host the Warriors on Wednesday.

This could be an offensive firefight with both teams ranking in the top six in terms of scoring average. However, the Clippers have a big edge on defense, where they're eighth in points allowed, while the Warriors are tied for 22nd. The Warriors are scoring at historic levels, so something has to give in Los Angeles.

Slots - Koi Garden

Payouts Abound in Koi Garden Slot game.
Koi bring life and fortune to a tranquil garden in the 5-reel, 25-line video slot, Koi Garden. Esteemed for their ability to overcome adversity, koi have been a cherished cultural icon in Japan for hundreds of years. Get up close and personal with the fish by taking the submerged reels of Koi Garden for a spin. Cherry blossoms, temples, water lilies, fountains and dragonflies accompany the fish on the reels, enhancing the zen-feel of this slot game.

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Just because tranquility permeates the reels, doesn’t mean you won’t net some serious wins. The game boasts two scatter symbols: the Dragonfly and the Water Lily. Land at least three Dragonfly icons, and the reels will float to the top of the pond, where the free spins fly. Up to 15 free spins are available, and the payouts will be multiplied by up to 3X the original value, which nicely boosts the bankroll.

The Water Lily symbols trigger the game’s bonus round, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the pond. The glittering koi will be swimming close to the surface, and you simply select your favorites. Each selection provides you with a unique payout, which are all added up at the end of the bonus round and displayed on the screen.

The payouts for each winning combination can be found in the paytable and are based on betting one-coin per line. The amount displayed is multiplied by the amount of coins bet per line, and you can bet up to 10 coins on each line. If you’re betting 10 dimes per line, and using all 25 lines, each spin will cost $25. Land three Bonsai Tree symbols with these wagering configurations, and the 40-coin payout displayed in the paytable is multiplied by 10, paying out $40 instead of $4. The most valuable winning combination consists of five temples or cherry blossom trees, which offer a 1,500-coin jackpot based on betting one coin per line.

As a perk for playing Koi Garden at Ignition Casino, a 125% match bonus is being offered, which will get you up to $125 cash.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Entertainment: Which State Will Legalize Marijuana ?

A green wave is rolling over the United States. The November 8 election saw four states (California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine) legalize the recreational use of marijuana, while three more (Florida, North Dakota and Kansas) approved their first medical marijuana initiatives. Which state will be next? Vermont is the –200 favorite at press time, followed by Rhode Island (+350) and Michigan (+550).

Vermont came very close to legalizing marijuana last spring, but S. 241 was voted down 121-28 in the House. The political climate is different now that Maine and Massachusetts are on board; the topic is expected to come up again during the next legislative session, which starts January 4. Rhode Island, which consumes more weed per capita than any other state, is also likely to turn green rather than lose potential tax revenue from cross-border shoppers.

Michigan voters aren't expected to get another crack at legalizing marijuana until 2018, so Delaware (+700) could be a value pick in this situation. Medical marijuana has been legal there for five years, and the number of registered patients has tripled over the past year. Missouri (+2200) could also sneak in as the winner by passing a medical marijuana initiative in 2017.

Entertainment: Which State Will Legalize Marijuana Next

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Entertainment Odds: Who's Next on the Marijuana Train?

After seven more states voted to legalize marijuana on November 8 (four for recreational purposes, three more for medical use), who will be next? Vermont is the favorite at –200; Rhode Island is a distant second at +350.

Both states have come close to legalizing weed in recent years, and they will have even more incentive now that both Massachusetts and Maine have approved it for recreational use. Other states in the region who could turn green include Delaware (+700) and Maryland (+800), with Delaware considered more likely to get the job done in 2017.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Night With Cleo slot game - Undress Cleo !

Cleo’s here, and she’s waiting for you in her chamber. The new 5-reel, 20-line video slot A Night With Cleo takes you to Egypt, where you’ll face the temptations of a sensual pharaoh capable of seducing the great Julius Caesar.

A Night With Cleo slot game

A Night with Cleo slot game - sexy slot

The game offers a valuable free spins feature that’ll give you a chance to beef up your bankroll. You get 15 free spins for landing at least three scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. Each free spin comes with a 3X multiplier, so you can expect to receive triple the winnings while spinning for free.

The free games definitely add value to the slot, but the feature most people are looking for is the “Pick Me” Double Up. After winning a payout, you’ll have the option to double your winnings at the risk of losing them. If you guess correctly, the game gets interesting; for every correct guess, Cleo removes one layer of clothing, bringing you closer to the ultimate prize. There’s a maximum of five double up guesses, which you can get if you keep guessing right, and if you get that far, Cleo will be topless and waiting.

Optimized for mobile, tablet, desktop and laptop, A Night With Cleo slot game can bring you up close and personal with the legendary pharaoh no matter where you happen to be. Don’t make her wait; she’s powerful enough to make you a ruler in your own right. With a 125% match bonus (up to $125) to get you started, Bovada Casino is the best place to try this exotic new game.

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NHL : Oilers travel to Winnipeg to Face the Jets

The Edmonton Oilers (12-10-2 SU, 13-11 ATS) are arguably the NHL’s most surprising team through the first quarter of the 2016-17 season. After finishing last in the Western Conference the 2015-16 season with a record of 31-43-8, the Oilers have exceeded expectations so far this season. Their strong start can largely be attributed to the early-season performances of team captain Connor McDavid (11 goals, 20 assists) and goaltender Cam Talbot (2.56 goals against average, .917 save percentage). After three tough losses, they’ll look to get back on track at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg Jets (11-12-2 SU, 11-14 ATS), meanwhile, have won their last two games, with the most recent win coming against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. After losing five straight games, the Jets have bounced back and will look to push their winning streak to three on Thursday at home versus the Oilers (8PM ET on TSN3). Jets’ centre, Mark Scheifele, is tied for second in the NHL in goals (13) and points (26), while right winger Patrik Laine leads all rookies this season with 13 goals and 19 points. This matchup will feature some of the most exciting young stars in the league and should be filled with offensive output.

NHL : Oilers travel to Winnipeg to Face the Jets

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NHL Odds: Winnipeg Jets Host the Oilers on Thursday

The Winnipeg Jets (11-12-2 SU, 11-14 ATS) welcome the Edmonton Oilers (12-10-2 SU, 13-11 ATS) Thursday night at 8 PM ET (TSN3) in a matchup of high-flying offenses and youth-filled rosters. The Oilers have lost three straight games, the most recent coming against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Despite their strong season start, the Oilers have been streaky through the first quarter of the season.

The Jets haven’t been a model of consistency either. After a five-game losing skid, Winnipeg won their last two games thanks to strong performances from centre Mark Scheifele and right wing Patrik Laine.

NFL : Defense Meets Offense in Chiefs-Falcons Showdown

The Atlanta Falcons (7-4 SU and ATS) have one of the best offenses in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS) rely on defense and special teams. Both powerhouses meet Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome, kicking off at 1 PM ET on CBS; the Falcons are 3.5-point favorites at press time, with a total of 49.

Atlanta leads the league in scoring at 32.5 points per game, thanks to an MVP-quality performance from QB Matt Ryan (26 TDs, six INTs). However, the Falcons’ defense is suspect, leaving the OVER at 9-2 on the season. Things could get worse after DE Adrian Clayborn left last week's win over Arizona with a torn MCL. He's expected to miss at least one month of action and might not return until the playoffs.

The Chiefs are healthy by comparison, and they should have DT Dontari Poe (back spasms) in uniform Sunday, after he was forced out of last week's victory over Denver. Their combination of potent defense, power running, and “game manager” QB Alex Smith (10 TDs, four INTs) has the UNDER at 8-3 for Kansas City, including six of the last seven games.

NFL : Defense Meets Offense in Chiefs-Falcons Showdown

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NFL Odds: Will Chiefs Offense Catch Fire in Atlanta?

The defensive-minded Kansas City Chiefs (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS) have the UNDER at 8-3 this year, but they've got a barnburner of a matchup this Sunday with the Atlanta Falcons (7-4 SU and ATS), who lead the league in scoring at 32.5 points per game. Kick-off from the Georgia Dome is 1 PM ET on CBS.

Thanks largely to MVP candidate Matt Ryan (26 TDs, six INTs), the Falcons have driven the OVER to a 9-2 record thus far. Sunday's total has been set at 49, and Atlanta is favored by 3.5 points.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NBA : Thunder Welcome Wizards to Oklahoma City

Point guard Russell Westbrook has been outstanding for the Oklahoma City Thunder so far this season. The 5X All-Star is trying to steer the Thunder back to the playoffs for the sixth season in a row. He should be able to continue his hot streak on Wednesday, when the 11-8 Thunder host the 6-10 Washington Wizards.

The Wizards have been struggling this season, especially on the road. They’re 1-5 away from home and 5-5 at home. The main issue has been their offense, which seems to disappear on the road. At home, they’re averaging 105.8 points per game, but on the road, they’re scoring only 96.5, which is 22nd in the NBA.

The Thunder, meanwhile, are 7-4 at home this season, and they’ve won three of their last four contests on home court. They’ve been very streaky overall, with four separate two-game winning streaks this season and two separate three-game losing streaks.

Oklahoma City is 7-3 SU (four straight wins) and 5-4-1 ATS (three straight wins and a push) in their last 10 against the Wizards, who are 0-7 SU and 2-3-2 ATS in their seven trips to Oklahoma City.

NBA : Thunder Welcome Wizards to Oklahoma City

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NBA Odds: Westbrook, Thunder Host Wizards in Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, has been a force this season, and he'll try to continue his MVP-caliber play on Wednesday, when the Thunder host the Washington Wizards.

Westbrook has seven triple-doubles through the first 18 games of the season. He’s second in the league in scoring and assists. The last time he faced the Washington Wizards was February last season, and he put up 17 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds in the 114-98 win. The Thunder have dominated the Wizards as of late, winning four in a row straight up. To make matters worse, the Wizards are just 1-5 away from home this season.