Thursday, December 31, 2009 by Online Sportsbook
Sportsbook Online : Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cleveland Browns

The Jacksonville Jaguars' playoff chances were in their own hands just three weeks ago. Three disheartening losses later, the Jaguars need what amounts to a minor miracle to qualify for the postseason -- and winning their finale is suddenly far from a sure thing.

The Jaguars look to bounce back from a four-touchdown defeat and give themselves a glimmer of hope Sunday when they visit the resurgent Cleveland Browns, who try to close with their first four-game winning streak in more than 15 years.

Jacksonville (7-8) opened with consecutive losses and endured a 41-0 drubbing at Seattle three weeks later, but five wins in its next seven games left coach Jack Del Rio's team in the driver's seat for an AFC wild card berth thanks to a 6-2 conference record.

The Jaguars were in a precarious position after consecutive home losses to Miami and Indianapolis in early December, and after visiting New England last Sunday, now find themselves on the brink of elimination. The Patriots held a five-touchdown lead one play into the fourth quarter, and David Garrard's fourth-quarter run was the only scoring Jacksonville could muster in a 35-7 loss.

"Blew it," said running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who leads the AFC with 15 rushing touchdowns and needs one rushing or receiving to tie Fred Taylor's single-season record (17) set in 1998. "That's pretty much what it came down to. We didn't do what we needed to do to win games. It wasn't really what other teams did to us, we just beat ourselves."

Jacksonville isn't eliminated, but needs to beat the Browns (4-11) and have a bevy of other results go their way. Five teams are ahead of the Jaguars in the wild-card race, meaning they need at least four losses among games involving Baltimore, the New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Denver and Houston to get in.

"For all that to happen it would be crazy," said linebacker Daryl Smith, the team's leading tackler. "That's not our focus. Our focus is on getting a win at Cleveland. The opportunities were there. Three straight home games and we just let it slip away."
Beating the Browns seemed like the least of Jacksonville's concerns a few weeks ago, but it now looks like quite a challenge.
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by Online Sportsbook
Sportsbook Online: Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo Bills
After the Indianapolis Colts all but threw away their chance for an undefeated season -- creating a swirl of controversy in the process -- they have even less reason to play their starters in the regular-season finale.

Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts' stars will almost certainly see an abbreviated afternoon of action in Sunday's postseason tuneup against the host Buffalo Bills.

Leading 15-10 in the third quarter against the visiting New York Jets last Sunday, the Colts were in good shape to improve to 15-0 and win their 24th straight regular-season game until coach Jim Caldwell replaced Manning with rookie quarterback Curtis Painter.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai were also removed, and Painter turned the ball over twice as the Jets surged to a 29-15 victory.

Team president Bill Polian had insisted all season that the Colts' lone goal is to win the Super Bowl, and with the top seed in the AFC already secured, they proved it by removing the three-time league MVP and his top weapons from harm's way.

"The perfect season was never an issue with us," Polian said. "We've said it time and time and time again. It's somebody else's issue, but not ours. That was of no concern. Football logic has to come into play, and that logic is it makes no sense to have guys out there with the potential for injuries."

The decision did not sit well with the team's fans, who booed as it became clear the Colts (14-1) would not become the first team to finish unbeaten since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

"Until any player in here is the head coach, you follow orders and you follow them with all of your heart," Manning said. "That's what we've done as players. We follow orders."

Besides earning critics, Caldwell's move also affected the AFC playoff race, giving the Jets the inside track on a wild-card berth following their victory. There won't be nearly as much controversy about Manning coming out early against the Bills, who are guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the 10th straight season.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 by Online Sportsbook
The undefeated Indianapolis Colts (13-0) have a chance to take one more step towards greatness Thursday when they travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars (7-6). For the home underdog, the win is equally important, but for a different set of reasons; like making the playoffs.

NFL Odds:
Line: Colts -3
Over/Under: 41.5

Jacksonville missed the post-season party last year and was labelled as one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments. When Sportsbook Online posted win totals and odds for the Jags to improve this season the projections were much more modest and the team has responded positively.

Following a 41-0 loss at Seattle in Week 6 the Jags have played their best football since 2007, going 5-3 SU and at least putting themselves in position to make a charge at one of two AFC Wild Card spots. The Jaguars will make the playoffs as a wild-card team if they beat the Colts, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns in their final three games.

Okay, if the first two teams on that list suddenly made you cross the Jags off your playoff party invite list, consider that Indianapolis has one of the longest injury reports in the entire league right now. HC Jim Caldwell has publicly announced that he is treating this game just like any of the first 13 Indy has won this year, but keep in mind, the guy is a rookie. What else can he possibly say?

QB Peyton Manning and all of his receivers will take the field for the final Thursday night game of the year but there is no guarantee they will be out there for the full 60 minutes. On defense we can expect to see DE Dwight Freeney and LBs Clint Sessions and Gary Brackett along with safety Antoine Bethea for much of the first-half but Caldwell has been with the Colts through all of their success the past decade and knows that being healthy for a run to the Super Bowl is far more important than a perfect regular season record.

As for the Patriots and Browns, well, Jacksonville better concentrate on taking this one day at a time. The drama coming out of New England right now is already serving as a big enough distraction for Tom Brady and his crew.

The Jaguars need to be focused on cutting down the number of mental mistakes that were so common last week against the Dolphins because there is little margin for error available. Dropped passes and penalties are what cost the Tennessee Titans in Week 13 at Indy and even if Manning doesn’t plan to finish the game, it doesn’t take him long to capitalize on a mistake.

Jacksonville is the least penalized defense in the NFL and playing in their final home game of the season, which also happens to be their third straight at home, the opportunity for betting on the Jags to keep their playoff hopes alive still exists.

Sportsbook Online is reporting balanced action on this game, with 56% of the volume on the road favorite Colts. This would be higher if the speculation wasn’t about a short game for some of the key Indy players. Hard to be on a team when you don’t know if Manning, Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, etc. will be on the bench in the 4th quarter.
The Over/Under has come down a point or two since opening at 43, as again, the sports betting public feel the Colts might rest key players. The betting trends show that all five Thursday Night Football games this season so far have stayed under the posted total.

I look at this game and like the home underdog. I think if they limit mistakes, they can stay close and have a great shot at the upset win. So I’m playing a unit on the Jaguars.

Good luck and enjoy the game.
Thursday, November 26, 2009 by Online Sportsbook
The Annual Turkey Day trio of NFL games that kicks off the Week 12 card is setup to help the sports betting community ease into the action, starting with a NFC North divisional game between the Green Bay Packers (6-4) and Detroit Lions (2-8). Online sportsbook have listed the Packers (-10.5) as a double-digit favorite and the Over/Under is set at 47.

If it’s beginning to feel like a tradition for Thanksgiving’s first game of the day to seem a little meaningless, as far as playing a part in shaping the playoff picture, it’s because the Lions have only come into this game with a winning record once in the past nine years.

Detroit did excite fans at Ford Field last Sunday with a 38-37 come from behind victory against the Cleveland Browns but QB Matt Stafford was injured on the game’s final drive and has been all but ruled out of this contest vs. Green Bay. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Stafford is in incredible pain and that Daunte Culpepper is going to be the starter.

The Packers lead this series 87-64-7 all-time and even when provided with a generous line from oddsmakers the Lions are 0-4 ATS in 2009 against divisional opponents.

Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Midday action pits the Oakland Raiders (3-7) against the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) and while this game is viewed by many as a token trip to Jerry Land for a Raiders team that has set records for futility, the underdog has been the one getting the Online betting action in this one so far. Online sportsbook reported that over 60% of the volume at -14 was on the Raiders. Since the line move to -13.5, the wagering activity has balanced off on both teams.

Originally sets as a two-TD favorite, Dallas has been bought off the key number down to -13.5 points at sportsbooks. After a Week 2 loss to the New York Giants the Cowboys played three games on home turf, posting a perfect 3-0 ATS record. When the Washington Redskins paid a visit in Week 11 the betting trends were on the road team and the Skins nearly won the game straight-up.

Dallas does not seem content to rest on the laurels of its one-point victory and during its three-game win streak at home the Cowboys did cover the spread by an average of more than 11 points per game. Oakland has gained confidence under the leadership of newly named starting QB Bruce Gradkowski and is playing off a 20-17 upset win over Cincinnati.

It’s the third time the Raiders have surprised an opponent this year, getting a straight up win. However, it is worth noting that after their first two wins they have not performed well in their next start, going 0-2 straight and up and against the spread and it wasn’t even close, as the Raiders were beaten by 20 and 38 points.

NY Giants at Denver:
The New York Giants (6-4) are in Denver (6-4) for the nightcap and just four days after ending a losing streak that lasted 42 days, the G-Men are laying points on the road. Lines opened at Giants -5 but New York seems like the consensus best bet as they have been bet as high as -7 at several betting outlets.

New York has scored an average of 26.6 points per game this year compared to the Broncos average of just 17, but the Giants also allow more than five points per game more than Denver on the defensive side of the ball.

Favs and dogs have split the first two Thursday night matchups this season and both games have stayed under the posted total. That’s a sharp contrast to 2008 when Thursday night primetime games produced six overs to just one under. The total in Denver is 42.

Enjoy all the Thanksgiving Day NFL action.
Friday, November 20, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

Making money with NFL Betting Odds means sometimes risking money on teams who appear to be “down on their luck” and the odds are stacked against them. This week in the NFL, Week 11, it looks like there will be at least six home underdogs, potentially seven, depending what number your online sportsbook puts up for San Diego at Denver…so there are plenty of opportunities to be a “dog” bettor this Sunday.

While overall, the numbers when betting home dogs this year show a subpar 20-24 ATS (against the spread) record, stats from the past seven weeks alone can be looked at in a different light. In Week 7, road favorites went 7-0 straight up and ATS, but from Week’s 4 through 10 (not including the seven wins from Week 7), road favorites were just 11-11 straight-up, covering the spread only seven out of 22 times.

So betting the home dog in that span produced a 15-7 ATS record (68.2-percent), but why is it still so hard to pull the trigger on a pup, even with home field advantage?

First of all, when a team is getting points at home it often means they are either A) Facing a far superior opponent or B) A bad team.

For these bad teams, playing at home can actually be a worse experience than playing in front of opposing crowds, as fans have become disgusted after a few months worth of terrible performances and can be unruly in their treatment of the home side.

Look at last week’s Monday Nighter between the Ravens and Browns. The only thing that quieted the disgruntled Cleveland fans was that fact the majority were heading for the doors early in the fourth quarter.

Things haven’t gotten quite that bad yet for the Week 11 home dogs, so let’s look over the matchups and see if there is any value.

Home dogs for Week 11

**All lines are courtesy online sportsbook

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs +10: Star Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu missed four games earlier this year with a knee injury and the defense was not the same without him. It is all but certain he will miss this date. The Chiefs, despite their record, are actually starting to play better on both sides of the ball.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

Ravens +1: The Indianapolis Colts may be unstoppable at home but on the road they are only 8-1 since Oct. 2008 (smile)…tough spot for this home dog…let’s move on.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Bucs

Bucs +11: Before QB Josh Freeman took over the Bucs were averaging just 13.7 points per game. Since his arrival, they're putting up 30.5 ppg. New Orleans is also 0-2 ATS the past two weeks and add in the look-ahead factor (the Saints play New England in Week 12), and the Bucs could be a "live" dog this week.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

Rams +9: St. Louis hung in against the Saints and seem to be learning Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s new program. Winning this division game vs. Arizona would be a massive step in the rebuilding process.

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders:

Raiders +9.5: Loyal Oakland fans won’t bail out on their team (as tough as things are) and with QB Bruce Gradkowski starting the team is optimistic. Raiders are 2-1 ATS at home in past three non-divisional contests.

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

Bears +3: The Bears will need a magical home field advantage through the next six weeks to salvage this season. But for bettors, this line might continue to move up, giving some value playing on the home dog.

Good luck betting the games.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009 by Online Sportsbook
Bill Belichick is famously unsentimental. That, really, is his legacy as a football coach. Herm Edwards shouted "You play to win the game!" but that was just fun talk. It is Belichick who has lived those words during his amazing career as a coach.

He callously releases and trades beloved players if he thinks it will help the team win. He benches quarterbacks if he thinks it will help the team win. He videotapes the opposition sidelines if he thinks it will help the team win. He has players change position, he has no use for stars, he tears up the team's game plan week after week and replaces it with a new game plan, a specific game plan that, like the prizes on "The Dating Game," was chosen just for you.

This is what Belichick is all about: Winning football games without sentiment. Like Michael Corleone says in The Godfather, "It's business." If the Packers were about Vince Lombardi's pursuit of perfection, and the Steelers were about the Steel Curtain, and the 49ers were about the West Coast Offense ... the Patriots are about business. They are about Tom Brady, I suppose, but they won their first Super Bowl when he was still learning, and their second when they had the best defense in the NFL (and a middling offense). They are about good team defense, I suppose, but they haven't played truly great defense in a while. The truth is they're about winning games. Whatever that takes. It's business.

With that in mind, I fully understand Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 in Sunday's night's remarkable Patriots-Colts game. You already know the situation: The Patriots led by six, they were deep in their own territory -- the first down marker was at their own 30 -- and there were just a few ticks more than two minutes left.

The conventional choice there is to punt. In fact, "conventional choice" does not begin to describe it. It was the obvious choice. The incontestable choice. I suspect 31 other NFL coaches would have punted there without even thinking twice about it. I suspect that had Belichick decided to punt there, nobody -- not one interviewer, not one talk show host, not even one radio caller -- would have second-guessed him there (and anyone who would second-guess him there would have been mocked and told to learn about football). I simply cannot remember any team going for it in a similar situation. You punt the ball and make Peyton Manning and the Colts go 70 yards to try to score the game-winning touchdown. It's as obvious as bringing Mariano Rivera in the game in the 9th. Read More at Sports Gambling Blog

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Monday, November 16, 2009 by Online Sportsbook
Gambling Online - It’s always easy to evaluate a decision based on its results. Sunday’s NFL action gave us two prime examples of what are now being called a good decision and a bad decision based mostly on their results.

The Indianapolis Colts’ come-from-behind 35–34 victory over the New England Patriots in Indianapolis will be remembered for Bill Belichick’s decision to go for it on 4th-and-2 from his own 28-yard line with 2:08 left in the game with his Pats up 34–28.

The New England Patriots head coach made a controversial decision. The other choice would have been to punt the ball away to the Colts and make Peyton Manning run the typical two-minute drill.

Instead, Belichick weighed the balance of probabilities and felt that offense was his best form of defense. He is a Hall of Fame coach with a Hall of Fame QB (Tom Brady) and he has to gain two yards to win the game. He liked that choice over having his above average defense take on the league’s best at the two-minute drill.

“Thought it was our best chance to win,” said Belichick in his Monday morning press conference. “I put the team first. I would hope everybody understands that.”

Belichick did put the team first but, reading between the lines, he did not have enough confidence in his defense’s ability to get the job done.

“You have to give your defense a chance to play defense,” said ESPN football analyst Tom Jackson. Conventional wisdom would say that you have to trust your defense has to come up big when called upon.

On the play, Tom Brady threw a short pass to Kevin Faulk, who bobbled the ball but eventually caught it. But he was stopped short of the first down. Football is a game of inches. Because of that bobble, Faulk was ruled to only have possession of the ball after he had been stopped short of the first down.

Peyton Manning and the Colts got the ball back on the New England 29-yard line with two minutes to play. That’s an easy two-minute drill for the master that is Peyton Manning.

Belichick was slammed for his decision to not punt the ball and make Manning go the length of the field. But Manning is not some ordinary QB. He forced Belichick to do something unconventional. How would we have reacted had Faulk not bobbled the ball and made the first down? It’s not hard to see how Belichick would have been credited with yet another brilliant coaching decision.

Taking a Knee

Sports Gambling - A decision that is widely being labeled as being smart took place near the end of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets.

But it very easily could have gone all wrong.

Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew could have scored the go-ahead touchdown with his team trailing 22–21 late in the fourth quarter. Instead, the running back was instructed not to score the TD so that the Jags could run some more time off the clock before kicking the game-winning field goal.

All went according to plan for the Jags, as Jones-Drew took a knee at the Jets’ 1-yard line. Three plays later, Josh Scobee kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Jags a 24–22 win on the last play of the game.

But, suppose there was a bad snap on the field goal attempt. Suppose the field goal was blocked. Suppose the Jags fumbled on one of the plays following Jones-Drew’s run. Then, in all likelihood, the Jags would have lost.

What if Jones-Drew had scored the TD? The Jags would be up 28–22 and rookie QB Mark Sanchez and the mediocre Jets’ offense would be forced to run the two-minute drill. If you’re a Jaguar, you probably like your chances in this scenario.

A strong case could be made for Jones-Drew scoring the TD. But because the desired result was achieved with Jones-Drew taking a knee, the Jacksonville coaching staff and Jones-Drew’s decision is being lauded as good.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

The NFL Thursday night schedule kicks off this week with an NFC matchup featuring a pair of teams clinging to post-season hopes. This is “must-win” territory for both the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears, at 4-4 on the season, have not traveled well as of late. They sport a dismal mark of 2-7 straight up in their last nine road games and also are 2-7 against the spread in those games as well.

The Niners, sitting at 3-5 on the year, have been a profitable play for their backers, boasting an 8-3-2 mark against the spread in their last 13 starts.

Online sportsbook currently have this line pegged at -3 on the home side 49ers. The Over/Under is set at 43.5. is reporting betting action that slightly favors the home side, with San Fran receiving 57% of all the volume that has come in to this point.

The sports gambling community hasn’t made their mind up on the Total yet either, as the action is 53% tilted to the “Over”. The favorite and the “Over” isn’t an unusual betting pattern for the “public” when it comes to nationally televised games, but this one is more balanced than usual. Rather than really liking a side, it seems bettors feel they can’t fully trust either team.

Looking at the Total, worth noting is that Chicago has a mark of 9 Overs and 3 Unders the last 12 times they’ve played a team from the NFC West.

When these two meet head-to-head, San Fran has had a clear edge, but keep in mind many of these results were produced with teams that bear little resemblance to the current editions.

Dating back to 1985, Chicago is only 4-10 against the spread 14 contests.

Chicago is also on six-game (0-6) ATS and straight up slump in their last six games visiting San Francisco.

Look for the losing streak to continue on Thursday night, as the Niners running game, led by Frank Gore, and their defense lead them to a home win on this Thursday nighter.

Check NFL betting guide and NFL lines

by Online Sportsbook
Sports Gambling - Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin says he has "moved on" after Sunday's critical comments directed at coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff.

Boldin said he has no regrets about those comments.

"I said what I had to say, and I'm done with it," Boldin said Wednesday. "For me, it's not even an issue. That was Sunday, and I've moved on."

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was held out of Sunday's 41-21 victory at Chicago because of a sprained right ankle and complained afterward that "no one was man enough" to tell him he was inactive. Boldin said he felt good enough to play and only found out he wasn't when he returned to his locker after warmups and discovered his gear was gone.

Whisenhunt said after the game that he told Boldin he wouldn't play against the Bears shortly after the inactive list was submitted. The coach didn't want to revisit the incident Wednesday.

"I have no issues with Anquan," Whisenhunt said. "He's a good football player, and I'm just glad to see him back out there practicing today."

Boldin was a full participant in practice Wednesday, and Whisenhunt said he expected the receiver to play in Sunday's home game against the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks.

"My injury's fine. It's not even an injury," Boldin said. "I'm feeling great. I can make every cut without hesitation, so I'm good."

Gambling Online - Boldin injured his ankle during the Cardinals' 28-21 victory over the Houston Texans on Oct. 11. He still played in the subsequent games against the Seahawks and the New York Giants, but he took a direct hit on the ankle during a Nov. 1 home loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Boldin sat out practice last Wednesday and Thursday but was able to go on a limited basis Friday. Whisenhunt said he decided to sit Boldin because of the soft conditions of the turf in Chicago, which he believed could lead to aggravating the ankle injury.

Boldin's post-game criticism was just the latest in a series of issues for the receiver, who remains upset that Arizona hasn't signed him to a new contract, something he insists management promised to do. He has one more year left on his deal after this season.

Boldin has been plagued by injuries, including the nasty facial fracture that came at the end of last year's loss to the New York Jets. The injury required reconstructive surgery, but he only missed one game.

Boldin also injured a hamstring during a 71-yard touchdown pass play in the first-round playoff victory over the Atlanta Falcons and sat out the second-round win at Carolina.

Then came the NFC Championship Game, when Boldin had a nationally televised shouting match with then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sidelines because the receiver wasn't in the game during what turned out to be the winning touchdown drive. He immediately left that game, not celebrating with his teammates.

Against the Panthers this season, Boldin broke Larry Centers' franchise record for career receptions. Afterward, he said the record doesn't mean anything to him.

Despite his off-the-field attitude, Boldin has played with his usual effort and intensity. No one has accused him of letting his feelings toward the organization affect his performance on the field.

"Anybody who plays football risks injury," Boldin said. "Every play, you're out there risking not only injury but your life. That's just football. You have to take the bumps and bruises and get back as quickly as possible, and that's what I try to do whenever I'm injured."

Boldin, who's in his seventh season with Arizona, disputes the notion that his hard-nosed style makes him more susceptible to injuries, a perception that could affect the Cardinals' or any other team's desire to sign him to the big-money, long-term deal he desires.

"People always have an opinion, no matter how you play the game," Boldin said. "People talked about Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce for sliding on the turf, not taking hits. Guys that do mix it up a little bit, people have a problem with that. You just have to be you. I'm comfortable with who I am. I'm comfortable with the way I play the game, and that won't change."
by Online Sportsbook
Betting Guide - Franz Beckenbauer has led the tributes to Robert Enke, the Hannover and Germany goalkeeper, who was found dead yesterday after reportedly jumping from a railway bridge into the path of a train.

Tributes to Enke, whose agent last night indicated he had committed suicide, have also flooded in from his former clubs and team-mates. The goalkeeper began his career at Carl Zeiss Jena and went on to enjoy spells at Borussia Monchengladbach, Benfica, Barcelona, Fenerbahce and Tenerife before joining Hannover in 2004.
"I am infinitely sad. When you receive news like this all other problems pale into insignificance." Beckenbauer, the former Germany captain, said.

Fans have flocked to Hannover's stadium to lay flowers and light candles in memory of their captain, who had been with the club since 2004, while other high profile figures from Enke's career also paid tribute. "This is an absolute catastrophe, I can't come to terms with it," Martin Kind, the Hannover president, added.

A statement on the club's otherwise entirely black website read: "We are mourning Robert Enke, 24 August 1977-10 November 2009."

Germany's players and staff were informed after training in Bonn yesterday. The German FA confirmed today's training session had been cancelled while reports suggest Saturday's friendly against Chile may yet be cancelled. - Betting Lines

"I am stunned. Words fail me," Michael Ballack, the Chelsea and Germany midfielder, said.

Enke leaves behind a wife, Teresa, and an eight-month-old daughter they had adopted in May. His daughter, Lara died, in 2006 of a rare heart condition when she was two.

Enke had been diagnosed with a bacterial stomach infection which had forced him to miss Germany's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in September. However, he reappeared for Sunday's 2-2 draw with Hamburg although he was not selected for the international friendlies against Chile and Ivory Coast next Wednesday.

Germany's coach, Joachim Low, had said Enke – who won eight caps after making his debut in 2007, the last of them against Azerbaijan in August – remained the leading candidate to be his No1 in South Africa.

"This can and must not be true. Robert was such a great bloke," Kevin Kuranyi, the Schalke striker, said. "I don't know how I will tell my wife. She is very good friend's with Robert's wife. I feel for his family."

Hamburg captain David Jarolim added: "I can hardly breathe because I'm so upset. This is a real tragedy, I can hardly believe it. First his little daughter dies and then this."
by Online Sportsbook
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

Gambling Online - Surprise, surprise — the Saints and Colts are in the top two spots in this week’s NFL Power Rankings. New Orleans and Indianapolis both improved to 8-0 and stay at their respective spots for the sixth week in a row.

The Steelers jump two spots to No. 3, ahead of the Vikings, who have a better record and were on a bye this week. The Broncos fall two spots to No.6 after their second loss in a row on Monday night. Denver now is looking up at the Patriots. Let the controversy and angry comments begin!

A steady decline for the Packers has been the pattern over the past couple of weeks. Green Bay now falls to No.20 after an embarrassing loss to the previously winless Buccaneers.

Sports Gambling - The Browns didn’t play in Week 9, nonetheless, they fall to the No. 32 spot after Tampa’s victory. I think we all know if the Browns were playing this week they would’ve lost. Browns fans probably thought they had a week off from misery, but not even a week off can prevent bad news for Cleveland fans.

New Orleans Saints1. (Last week, 1) 8-0-0 The Saints step up and know how to get the job done in the fourth quarter. These comeback wins can only help the Saints become more confident and help them improve.

2. (2) 8-0-0 Two straight weeks of mediocre play from the Colts. However, they still were able to pull out the win in each game. It will be interesting to see how the injuries on defense will affect them.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3. (5) 6-2-0 The Steelers are rolling and are a team that nobody in the NFL wants to face. That is usually the case when the defense is the best in the league. An 18-point victory on the road vs. Denver is impressive.

Minnesota Vikings4. (3) 7-1-0 It will be interesting to see how Brett Favre performs in the second half of the season.

New England Patriots 5. (6) 6-2-0 Now is the time for the Patriots to prove what they are capable of. The play of Laurence Maroney over the past few games has really helped balance this offense.

Denver Broncos6. (4) 6-2-0 The Broncos need to find a way to establish a run game with their talented backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter. The two combined for 27 yards against the Steelers, which is an unacceptable total no matter which team they face.

Cincinnati Bengals7. (7) 6-2-0 People continue to doubt Cincinnati, and the Bengals continue to make those doubters “kiss the baby.” The Bengals still have the Lions, Chiefs, Raiders and Browns on their schedule.

Dallas Cowboys8. (9) 6-2-0 There is a lot of confidence in the Cowboys locker room. That is what a four-game winning streak will do for a team. In this stretch of wins, Dallas has managed to beat two solid teams in the Falcons and Eagles. If Tony Romo can continue to protect the football, this team can compete with the best in the NFC.

9. (11) 5-3-0 Michael Turner turned in another great performance and is helping the offense become more balanced and effective.

10. (8) 5-3-0 The Eagles have four divisional games to play in the second half of the season and will be a tough team down the stretch because of their defense. They are able to get great pressure on the quarterback and that is resulting in a lot of sacks and interceptions. The Eagles are ranked second in the league in both those categories.

Houston Texans11. (16) 5-4-0 The Texans showed signs they can play with the elite teams in the NFL. Losing after missing a field goal that could have sent the game into overtime against the division rival Colts must be a tough pill to swallow. Lots of credit has to go to Houston for being able to shut down Peyton Manning for the most part of the second half. The Texans can take a lot out of this loss.

12. (18) 5-3-0 Impressive final drive by Philip Rivers and the Chargers. San Diego needed a win against a team with a winning record and it got that on Sunday. We’ll learn a lot about this team in the next couple of weeks with Philadelphia and Denver next on the schedule.

13. (10) 4-4-0 Baltimore’s inconsistency continued to be a problem Sunday. The offense relies too heavily on Ray Rice, and that has cost the Ravens this year. They’re lacking a big-play wide receiver.

Arizona Cardinals14. (20) 5-3-0 The only thing we really can take from the Cardinals’ victory over the Bears is that Kurt Warner and his team play really well on the road and know how to win. Four of their five wins have come on the road. This team has been extremely inconsistent. Unfortunately for the Cards, they have to play in Arizona this week.

Miami Dolphins15. (13) 3-5-0 Dolphins players must be scratching their heads after Joey Porter’s performance Sunday. Miami has yet to prove it can beat a solid team in the NFL.

16. (12) 5-4-0 Four straight losses and the Giants might be ready to press the panic button. Eli Manning is playing mediocre at best, the pass rush hasn’t been consistent, and the play-calling has been questionable. If any team was in desperate need of a bye week, it’s the Giants. Let’s see if they’ll be able to figure it out and get back to their winning ways.

Chicago Bears17. (15) 4-4-0 The Bears allowed the Cardinals to score on their first six possessions. Chicago’s defense can’t get any pressure on the quarterback, and the way Cardinals manhandled the Bears proves Chicago needs to figure something out fast defensively before the playoffs are out of reach.

New York Jets18. (19) 4-4-0 Rex Ryan will be called a genius or an idiot after giving his team six days off during its bye week. The Jets certainly will come out rejuvenated at the Meadowlands this Sunday against Jacksonville.

San Francisco 49ers19. (14) 3-5-0 The 49ers’ main problem all season has been at the quarterback position, and that continued on Sunday. Three interceptions really puts a team in a hole, and San Francisco wasn’t able to climb out.

Green Bay Packers20. (17) 4-4-0 Aaron Rodgers committed turnovers and the Packers lost to one of the worst teams in football. This loss could have bounced the Packers out of a playoff spot. Teams that are competing for that last wild card spot in the NFC — the Falcons, Cowboys and Eagles — are playing way out of the Packers’ league.

Buffalo Bills21. (21) 3-5-0 Got to like the idea of Michael Vick going to the Bills. It seems like a perfect fit.

Jacksonville Jaguars22. (24) 4-4-0 The Jaguars responded well to the change to the 4-3 defense. Jacksonville got good pressure on the quarterback and forced some interceptions. However, it’s tough to take much from a win over the offensively challenged Chiefs.

Seattle Seahawks23. (23) 3-5-0 Take a look at the box score from Seattle’s win over Detroit and you’ll see that Matt Hasselbeck was able to complete a pass to nine different receivers. Six of those receivers caught five passes or more. The Seahawks didn’t get rattled after falling to a 17-0 deficit in the first quarter and did a great job coming back.

Carolina Panthers24. (22) 3-5-0 Jake Delhomme didn’t throw an interception for the second straight game, but the offense still is struggling. The Panthers are in desperate need of Steve Smith to step up and make big plays offensively, but that has happened very rarely this year.

25. (25) 2-6-0 Vince Young is playing with a lot of confidence and led his team to another victory on Sunday. The key to the Titans’ success over the past two weeks is Young has been able to protect the football and not commit any turnovers while relying on Chris Johnson to make the big plays and score points.

Oakland Raiders26. (26) 2-6-0 The Raiders are expecting four starters to return to the lineup this week, including wide receiver Chaz Schilens and running back Darren McFadden. However, I’m more interested to see how the Tom Cable story plays out for the rest of the season.

Washington Redskins27. (27) 2-6-0 Will good news ever come out of Washington? Just when Redskins fans thought things couldn’t get any worse, Clinton Portis suffers a concussion.

Kansas City Chiefs28. (28) 1-7-0 One step in the right direction for the Chiefs with the release of disgruntled running back Larry Johnson. Great chance for the Chiefs to get their second win of the season this week against Oakland.

St. Louis Rams29. (29) 1-6-0 The Rams have one of the worst defenses in the league and will play the Saints in week 10. St. Louis has trouble putting pressure on the passer, and with Drew Brees having all kinds of time back in the pocket, I don’t like the Rams’ chances of getting their second win of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers30. (32) 1-7-0 After getting their first win, will the Bucs wear those creamsicle uniforms for the rest of the season? I hope so.

Detroit Lions31. (30) 1-7-0 Growing pains were expected from No. 1 overall draft pick Matthew Stafford. The Lions need to concentrate more on ways to help Stafford improve and less on winning games.

Cleveland Browns32. (31) 1-7-0 With the way things are being run in Cleveland, the Browns could continue to be a horrendous team into the next millennium.

by Online Sportsbook
Betting Guide - The NFL does not intend to further discipline former Chiefs RB Larry Johnson.

League spokesman Greg Aiello told the Kansas City Star the one-game suspension Johnson served on Sunday, prior to his release on Monday, will stand.

"The club took disciplinary action in this matter,and we determined it was appropriate," Aiello told the paper in an e-mail.

Johnson belittled coach Todd Haley on Twitter two weeks ago and then used gay slurs with reporters in the team's locker room. - Betting Online

The NFL suspended Johnson for one game last season for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The Chiefs banned him last month for conduct detrimental to the team.
by Online Sportsbook
Monday, November 9, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

Five years after being traded away in a draft-day swap for Eli Manning(notes), Philip Rivers(notes) came back and stuck it to the New York Giants.

Rivers capped an 80-yard drive with an 18-yard pass to Vincent Jackson(notes) with 21 seconds to play and the San Diego Chargers stunned the Giants 21-20 on Sunday, posting their third straight win while handing New York its fourth straight loss.

San Diego (5-3) is now well positioned for the second half of the season. The Giants (5-4) can only shake their heads in disbelief after blowing their first 5-0 start since 1990.

It’s a big emotional win,” said Rivers, who threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns. “I don’t need a real reason why, but it ranks right up there with the win at Indy in the playoffs (2009). The link between me and Eli is always going to be there. So yeah, it’s a little special. Any time you play against a team that won the Super Bowl, it’s fun. It (the trade) didn’t weigh into my mind and my thinking, but I bet it was there.”

Rivers had the Giants to thank for giving him the chance to pull the game out.

Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas(notes) returned an interception 33 yards to the Chargers 4 with 3:14 to play. If Manning and company had punched the ball in, the game would have been over.

But a first-down holding penalty on Chris Snee(notes) pushed New York back 10 yards and it settled for Lawrence Tynes’(notes) second field goal, a 22-yarder with 2:07 to play for a 6-point lead.

“We had a chance and you can’t leave that team in the game,” said Manning, who was 25 of 33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. “You can’t leave that team an opening. They are good and talented and if you have a chance to end it, you have to end it.”

Rivers did. He hit 6 of 8 passes in the game-winning march, hitting Malcolm Floyd for 12 yards, two to Antonio Gates(notes) and a 21-yarder to Darren Sproles(notes) that put the ball at the 18. On the next play, Rivers found Jackson in the right corner of the end zone for the game-winner.

“Vincent just came open and separated himself from the defender,” Rivers said. “On that play, he was probably the last option to get the ball by the way it set up. But we had all that field and I just wanted to give him a chance to get to it.”

Jackson also caught a 10-yard TD pass in the second quarter.

“He’s calm and confident and that just rubs off on everyone else,” Jackson said of Rivers. “It didn’t matter what the score was or how much time was left. We were going to get the job done.”

Appropriately, the game ended with Shawne Merriman(notes) sacking Manning. San Diego drafted the linebacker in 2005 with one of the picks the Chargers got from the Giants in the Manning deal.

“We showed a lot of team character to bounce back,” Merriman said. “We never want to start off slow, but we’ve learned when we need to hit our stride.”

Rivers also hit Kris Wilson(notes) on a 2-yard TD in the third to give San Diego a 14-7 lead in a game in which the Giants defense rebounded from a miserable efforts the previous three weeks.

Manning drove the Giants 60 yards in 10 plays on the next possession and Tynes got New York within 14-10 with his 38-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

The Giants defense, which gave up 112 points in the first three games of the losing streak, then helped them take the lead, recording three straight tackles for losses and forcing the Chargers to punt from their 4.

Domenik Hixon(notes) returned the ball to the San Diego 39 and Manning needed only six plays to put New York on top, hitting Kevin Boss(notes) with an 8-yard TD on a play when the Chargers were offside.

A bizarre play at the end of the Giants’ opening drive cost them 3 points. New York lined up for a 39-yard field goal attempt, but Tynes never got the kick off. Feagles took the snap and Tynes said Feagles had both hands on the ball so he could not kick it.

“We are all very, very upset, very disappointed obviously in the loss,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We played hard, did a lot of good things but obviously we didn’t do enough.”

Rivers gave the Chargers a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter with his first TD pass to Jackson. It capped a 45-yard drive after a short punt by Feagles.

The Giants tied the game on the ensuing series on Manning’s 6-yard TD pass to Steve Smith. The pair had kept the nearly 11-minute drive alive with a 19-yard completion on third-and-18 from the Chargers 44.
Monday, October 19, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

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When planning out how the conclusion to the NFL betting card for Week 6 would shape up, this matchup between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers couldn’t have been scripted any better. ESPN has to be happy with this matchup.

On one side of the field, an AFC West team that has surprised many with its .500 start and defensive struggles, desperately seeking to generate something positive out of its second divisional game of the year. And then on the other, an opponent that has already established dominance in the West with wins at home and abroad and looks to this game as a chance to prove to a national TV audience that they are indeed for real.

It all sounds about right; only thing is that somebody forgot to let the Broncos in on the plan.

In a complete role reversal, Denver has busted out of the gate this season with a 5-0 SU/ATS start. Critics shot holes in the record at 3-0, citing the win at Cincinnati as fluke and the triumphs over Cleveland and Oakland as compulsory. But come from behind victories the past two weeks against Dallas and a New England silenced most detractors. The Patriots response to that overtime loss in Denver – a 59-0 blowout vs. Tennessee on Sunday – quieted the rest.

Online sportsbooks have the odds on this one set at -3.5 on the home side Chargers heading into Monday’s betting action. San Diego’s 5-1 record vs. Denver in the past six meetings also had to be taken into account.

Denver’s defense has been the real story this year, led by linebacker Elvis Dumervil (five sacks) and inspired by a rejuvenated Brian Dawkins on the back end. It’s taken the heat off QB Kyle Orton, allowing him to pad a now very impressive 26-12 record as a starter by simple managing the football game, not win it on his arm alone.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers has thrived under the Monday Night lights, posting a 4-0 record and a sparkling 106.9 passer rating, but San Diego will need its 32nd ranked run-game to come around if it hopes to compete against Denver. (NFL Live Odds)

Betting on the Broncos D to keep opponents in check has produced a perfect record of five-straight picks on the "Under" and against this Charger team that cranked out 52 points against them in Week 17, capping a miserable 2008 season, revenge is the order of the day.

San Diego is fully rested off its bye week and Denver has a bye on-deck. The Broncos used to play well before a bye (11-2 ATS) but they are 0-2 SU/ATS the past two years, giving up 82 combined points in those losses. Offensive dominated both meetings last year as these hated rivals combined for 150 total points. (Bet on NFL)

This is the first of three-straight divisional games for San Diego but this does not shape up as a look-ahead spot for either team. More likely, this should turn into one of the hardest hitting Monday games bettors have been treated to all year.

NFL Picks: The Broncos season has been very impressive, but I lean to the Chargers laying -3 (buy the hook), as they get the job done at home on Monday night football.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 by Online Sportsbook

It’s been a while since the New York Yankees made a World Series and you need to go back nine years since they captured one, but both the sports betting public and fans alike are having a difficult time seeing anyone beating them this year.

The Yankees had the best record in the entire regular season at 103-59 and swept the Minnesota Twins 3-0 in their American League Divisional Series.

It won’t be a straight path to the World Series however as the Yanks face the Los Angeles Angels, who were 97-65 in the regular season and also had an ALDS sweep, taking down the Boston Red Sox 3-0.

Online Sportsbook have the Yankees as the odds-on faves to win the World Series at -125 while the Angels are +350 to win it all.

Game 1 of the American League Championship Series goes on Friday and the series price on the Pinstripes is -180 while it is +160 for the Angels.

CC Sabathia will start for the home team Yanks, who are -170 faves in Game 1, and John Lackey will do the same for the Angels, who are +155 with a Total of 8.5.

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In the Angels’ last nine visits to Yankee Stadium, there have been 7 Overs and 2 Unders.

The Yanks broke open the bank for Sabathia in the offseason and he has paid dividends.

In CC’s last 20 home starts, New York has gone 15-5 straight up and in his last eight home starts, the Bronx Bombers are 8-0 SU.

Sabathia’s last eight home starts have also produced 7 Unders.

Lackey has not been particularly strong in the month of October when it comes to wins and losses.

In his last eight outings in that month, the Angels have gone 2-6 SU.

He has taken his fair share of Unders in that month however, as his last 11 October outings have yielded 10 Unders and a single Over.

Sabathia is a southpaw and in the Angels’ last 12 games against lefties, they are 10-2 SU and in their last 10 against LHPs, they have posted 9 Unders and an Over.

Lackey is a right-hander and the Yanks have been almost as impressive in their last 10 against righties going 8-2 SU with 7 Unders, 2 Overs and a Push on the Total to boot.

After seeing the Boston Red Sox capture a couple of World Series titles the past few seasons, you know Yankees fans are pining for another championship.

So far, the early sports betting action at online sportsbooks ( baseball bet) has the Yankees seeing almost 80% of the volume in Game 1.

We’ll find out if they can keep rolling starting this coming Friday.