Category Archives: Sports

Kansas, Xavier seek payouts on conference tournament odds

For the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers (28-2) and Big East’s Villanova Wildcats (27-4), top seeds in the NCAA Tournament appear locked up based on their regular-season performance. But for others such as the Big East’s Xavier Musketeers and Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks, there is some work left to be done this week during their respective conference tournaments in order to prove they should earn No. 1 seeds as well.

Odds courtesy of

Kansas is favored to win the Big 12 Tournament at +200 while Xavier is the +325 second choice to win the Big East Tournament behind favorite Villanova.

The top-seeded Musketeers (27-4) – who are also ranked third nationally – will play the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between the eighth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas (15-14) and ninth-seeded St. John’s Red Storm (15-16) in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and they might need to win the championship game to get a top seed in the Big Dance on Selection Sunday.

The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in the Big East Tournament and ranked second in the country with two winsKansas, Xavier Seek Payouts on Conference Tournament Odds over Xavier during the regular season.

The Jayhawks (24-7) are the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament but ranked just ninth nationally after getting swept by the Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-13) in their regular-season finale. Kansas may meet Oklahoma State for a third time in the quarterfinals if the eighth-seeded Cowboys can get past the ninth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners (18-12) on Wednesday.

A loss in the conference tournament, especially before the title game, would likely end any talk of the Jayhawks as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Arizona Wildcats (24-7) are ranked 15th in the country with an identical overall record as Kansas, and they are the top seed and favorite in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Wildcats are listed at +175 to win the Pac-12 Tournament and will play the winner between the eighth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes (16-14) and ninth-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils (20-10) on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The Sun Devils may be a solid sleeper pick to win the Pac-12 Tournament at +850 considering they might need to win two games to get into the Big Dance, including an upset of Arizona.


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Rockhold favorite to win UFC Interim middleweight title against Romero

An injury to middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has shaken up the betting odds for the main event at Saturday’s UFC 221 card in Perth, Australia. Instead of sitting as a solid underdog against Whittaker, challenger Luke Rockhold (16-3) is now a -160 favorite (bet $160 to win $100) versus No. 1 contender Yoel Romero (12-2).

Odds courtesy of

Rockhold favorite to win UFC Interim middleweight title against RomeroRomero is listed as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) and coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Whittaker for the interim title on July 8 at UFC 213 in Las Vegas, snapping an eight-bout winning streak. He got the call to fight for the belt again when Whittaker did not properly treat a staph infection in his stomach and was forced to withdraw from his originally scheduled championship bout against Rockhold.

Whittaker had been promoted to middleweight champion when Georges St-Pierre gave up the belt after defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last November 4. The winner of Romero-Rockhold will then take on Whittaker at a later date to unify the titles.

Rockhold bounced back from a surprising first-round knockout loss to Bisping at UFC 199 nearly two years ago by submitting David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116 last September 16. He had earned the middleweight championship by scoring a fourth-round TKO of Chris Weidman at UFC 194 before relinquishing the title to Bisping.

Leading up to that matchup, a local favorite remains on the card in heavyweight Mark Hunt (13-11-1, 1 No-Contest), who will battle Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) in the co-main event. The 43-year-old New Zealander picked up a fourth-round TKO of Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland on June 11 to break a two-fight winless streak.

Hunt is the +140 underdog and was knocked out in the third round by Alistair Overeem in his previous bout after a UD loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 was later overturned to a NC because his opponent tested positive for a banned substance. He had won two in a row before that skid, knocking out Antonio Silva and Frank Mir, both in the first round.

Meanwhile, Blaydes is the -170 favorite and tested positive for marijuana a year ago following a TKO win over Adam Milstead at UFC Fight Night 104, turning that into a NC as well. Otherwise, he would be riding a four-fight winning streak, with his lone loss coming against Francis Ngannou, who just lost to Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title.


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EPL review week 25: Arsenal & Chelsea stutter; Spurs take advantage

Week 25 of the English Premier League sees Spurs become a serious contender for a Champions League spot after beating Man Utd. Arsenal and Chelsea both suffer unlikely defeats. 

Man City 3 v 0 WBA 

EPL Review Week 25: Arsenal & Chelsea stutter; Spurs take advantageWest Brom remains rooted at the foot of the table after a predictable hammering at The Etihad. The Baggies were the anvil, City’s forward line the hammer. Alan Pardew knows his team is not going to go down based on defeats against the best sides in the world, but he will be worried about the way his team failed to advance beyond the halfway line.

The Baggies didn’t touch the ball in the City box in the entirety of the first half and Liverpool loanee, Daniel Sturridge, was the only West Brom player to have a shot on goal and that came with time running out. If Pardew is to avoid the drop, you sense Sturridge will play a key role.

But this night was not Sturridge’s night. It belonged to Kevin De Bruyne who marched around the pitch as if he owned the place. The Belgian had a foot in both of City’s goals, putting Fernandinho through to score his third of the season, and finding the net himself after finishing off a driving run, and cute one-two with Raheem Sterling. And he nearly scored the goal of the season, trying to lob Ben Foster from the halfway line only for the England keeper to tip the mischevious effort over the bar.

After the second goal, Pep Guardiola gave De Bruyne a rest. As he sat on the bench looking like a smurf, Sterling pirouetted Diego Maradona style on the halfway line, drove into the guts of West Brom, slid Sergio Aguero in, and the Argentine chipped the ball into the net for his 24th goal of the season.

The defeat means West Brom have now failed to win in their last 12 away games in the Premier League. Meanwhile, City registered their 18th straight home win.

“They were in full bloom tonight. They kept coming.” Alan Pardew told reporters after the match. 

Full bloom indeed. 

Spurs 2 v 0 Man Utd 

The gap at the top is now 15-points after Man Utd put in a horror show in front of the largest Premier League crowd in history at Wembley last night.

Jose Mourinho joined 82,011 souls in the capital with his side having not conceded a goal in their previous six matches, but it took Christian Eriksen 10.52 seconds to change that. A long ball into the box straight from kickoff eventually ended up at the feet of Eriksen, and the Dane put the ball away with aplomb.

It was the perfect tonic.

The crowd roared, Spurs drove on, and United looked shell-shocked. Then in the 28th minute, the game was all over. Kieran Trippier rampaged down the right, sent a sweet daisy-cutter into the box and Phil Jones slammed it comically into the roof of his own net.

“The confidence of my players was totally broken with the second goal,” Mourinho told reporters after the game. 

Alexis Sanchez made his Premier League debut for United. Juan Mata made way. But he never saw enough of the ball to make an impact. Spurs won the game from the middle of the park where Mousa Dembélé had Paul Pogba chasing him like an untrained six-year-old. With Pogba chasing shadows, the Spurs midfield ran Nemanja Matic ragged, and from that strategic point, Spurs won their third home game in a row against United, the first time they’ve achieved that feat since 1966.

The Best of the Rest 

It was a good night for Spurs as both Chelsea and Arsenal lost ground in the race for Champions League positions. Chelsea, watched by their £18m new signing Olivier Giroud, crumbled at home to a resurgent Bournemouth. The trident of Callum Wilson, Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanislas cut Antonio Conte’s men to shreds. Goals from Wilson, Stanislas and former Blue Nathan Aké sealed the points for the Cherries who rise to tenth after a dodgy start to the season.

Arsenal fell to strugglers Swansea. Carlos Carvalhal remained faithful to the starting eleven that beat Liverpool before the FA Cup break. That meant five at the back, but it didn’t stop them from scoring three at the other end. Sam Clucas scored twice, and Jordan Ayew got the third on the day his brother rejoined the club in a record $18m deal. On a more positive note, Arsenal did sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £55.4m, and Mesut Ozil signed a new three-year contract worth £350,000 per week.

That win for Swansea sees them move into second from bottom. Joining them and the Baggies in the bottom three are Southampton who could only muster a 1-1 draw in the South Coast derby against Brighton. Glenn Murray opened the scoring from the penalty spot for his ninth of the season. A Jack Stephens backheel saved a point for the home side.

Fellow strugglers Newcastle will be kicking themselves after failing to hold on to all three points against Burnley at home. Chelsea loanee Kenedy excelled in a positive Newcastle performance, and they went ahead in the 65th minute thanks to a powerful header from Jamaal Lascelles. Burnley’s late pressure paid off when a Sam Vokes header was tipped onto the crossbar by Karl Darlow only for the ball to rebound into the net off his face.

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a comfortable away win at Huddersfield. Emre Can. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah got the goals in a 3-0 win. Everton stopped the rot with a 2-1 win over Leicester. Theo Walcott grabbed a brace. Jamie Vardy scored his 12th goal of the season from the spot. Riyad Mahrez sat the game out after his move to Man City fell apart at the last hour.

Results in Full

Swansea 3 v 1 Arsenal
West Ham 1 v 1 Crystal Palace
Huddersfield 0 v 3 Liverpool
Southampton 1 v 1 Brighton
Chelsea 0 v 3 Bournemouth
Everton 2 v 1 Leicester
Newcastle 1 v 1 Burnley
Man City 3 v 0 West Brom
Spurs 2 v 0 Man Utd
Stoke 0 v 0 Watford

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 68
2. Man Utd – 53
3. Liverpool – 50
4. Chelsea – 50
5. Spurs – 48
6. Arsenal – 42
7. Burnley – 35
8. Leicester – 34
9. Everton – 31
10. Bournemouth – 28
11. Watford – 27
12. West Ham – 27
13. Crystal Palace – 26
14. Newcastle – 24
15. Brighton – 24
16. Stoke – 24
17. Huddersfield – 24
18. Southampton – 23
19. Swansea – 23
20. West Brom – 20

Premier League Winning Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)

Man City 1/100
Man Utd 100/1

Premier League Relegation Odds

Huddersfield 4/6
Swansea Evens
West Brom 5/4
Brighton 6/4
Newcastle 5/2
Stoke 5/2
Southampton 9/2


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Vwin sponsor AC Milan; UK online betting sponsorship own goal

vwin-ac-milan-regional-partner-online-bettingItalian football club AC Milan has inked its first Asian regional sponsorship deal with online gambling operator Vwin.

On Monday, the Philippine-licensed Vwin announced its new role as Official Regional Partner of Serie A side AC Milan, marking the first such regional deal with the club. Club COO Lorenzo Giorgetti said the deal marked an “important step in the development of our commercial strategy in this key market.”

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, while the duration was described only as “multi-year.” Vwin inked a similar partnership with Milan’s Serie A rival Juventus one year ago. Vwin doesn’t have a license to offer wagers in Italy, meaning the deal is entirely focused on boosting the operator’s profile among football-mad Asian punters.

In less positive sponsorship news, several UK-licensed online gambling operators are wearing egg on their faces after some of the English Premier League clubs they sponsor posted images of their junior teams’ players wearing official kit emblazoned with the betting companies’ logos.

The Sunday Times was first to spot the posts, which featured underage players for teams including Newcastle United, Stoke City, Swansea City and West Ham United, wearing kit promoting their respective sponsors Fun88, Bet365, Letou and Betway.

The photos were taken offline following publication of the Times’ investigation, and the embarrassed clubs claimed the photos had been ‘inadvertently’ uploaded.

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) acknowledged that the photos represented a breach of the existing gambling advertising rules but RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood suggested the “inappropriate” usage was down to the clubs’ “marketing guys,” who “just treat it as any other product.”

The timing of this cockup couldn’t be worse for UK online gambling operators, whose activities are under an increasingly powerful microscope. Last October, the UK Gambling Commission and other regulatory bodies specifically ordered online operators to purge kid-friendly marketing from their websites, even if the activity being promoted wasn’t for real-money play.

That same month, the UK government’s triennial review of the gambling industry opted not to impose further restrictions on advertising on television or via team sponsorship, based on studies that showed “the prevalence of advertising did not appear to be linked with the prevalence of problem gambling.” Operators would be wise not to give the government cause to rethink this conclusion.


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EPL odds review week 19: Liverpool v Arsenal, Swansea v Palace, Stoke v WBA

A look ahead at three critical ties in the English Premier League this weekend including Liverpool and Arsenal battling it out for Champions League points, and Swansea/Crystal Palace and Stoke/West Brom partaking in relegation six-pointers.

Arsenal v Liverpool

Arsenal +140
Liverpool +180
Draw +250

It’s the match of the weekend. But it’s not got the tasty edge of a title contention clash. Instead, the best these two ‘Big Six’ teams can hope for is to finish in fourth place, and a Champions League spot.EPL Odds Review Wk 19: Liverpool v Arsenal, Swansea v Palace, Stoke v WBA

Arsenal is kinda monstrous at home. Only Man City have a better home record that the Gunners and they have beaten Liverpool during their last three meets, and had drawn the two before that.

Olivier Giroud misses out with a hamstring injury, and although he is a benchwarmer these days, they will miss the Frenchman. He has the super sub vibe to him, and since smashing BATE Borisov for six, they’ve only banged in three goals in the last four outings. Shkodran Mustafi returns after recovering from a thigh injury.

Liverpool is currently sitting on that fourth spot, one point more than their rivals, and have been banging goals in for fun. Since losing to Spurs at the back end of October, Jürgen Klopp’s side has put together a 12-match unbeaten streak, scoring an average of 3.3 goals per game.

Emre Can returns from suspension, but Albert Moreno continues to play FIFA on the PlayStation because of an ankle injury. Daniel Sturridge is a maybe.

Both sets of fans ha

ve seen 20-goals in the previous four meetings, and so with Liverpool hitting the trend in that department, I’m going to pencil them in for a rare Emirates win.

Verdict – Liverpool win

Swansea v Crystal Palace

Swansea +220
Crystal Palace +135
Draw +210

 These two recently resembled the old couple sitting in their deck chairs, holding hands while the Titanic turned into a giant metallic erection before disappearing into the sea.

Crystal Palace donned a life vest after sacking Frank De Boer and bringing Roy Hodgson into the club, and the former England Manager has earned 17-points since his arrival, putting together an undefeated run of seven games, and three clean sheets.

Swansea looks to avoid drowning by replicating Palace’s fancy footwork. The itchy trigger finger of a board has sent Paul Clement into the wilderness (the third casualty since Garry Monk left in 2015), and rumours have it that De Boer is on his way to the green, green, grass of home.

Oh dear.

Swansea has only lost to Palace once in 14 games in all competitions, and the Eagles have not so much as plucked a feather from the Swans at their home nest. But history means nowt if you can’t score a goal. Swansea has only ten goals all season, fewer than any other side, and Wilfried Bony (who scored in his previous two league games), misses the tie after limping off early in their defeat at Everton.

With Palace not conceding, Swansea not scoring, and Leon Britton in temporary charge, I think the bookies have this one right.

Verdict – Crystal Palace win

 Stoke v West Brom

Stoke +125
West Brom +245
Draw +210

Do you know those phone calls you don’t want to take?

You know that the person on the other end of the phone (likely your mum) is going to bore you to death, but you answer it anyway?

That’s life for Stoke and West Brom fans this weekend.

With both of these teams staring down the barrel of an EFL Championship shotgun, it becomes the most critical 90-minutes of the season, and you can expect to see paint dry.

Unlike Paul Clement, the Stoke board wisely decided to keep Mark Hughes in his job for this crucial tie, but he remains the 1/2 odds-on bet to be on the dole queue before the new year settles into life.

Stoke has lost three on the tamp since beating Swansea at home at the start of the month, conceding nine and only scoring once. All told, Stoke has conceded 39 goals, more than any other team in the division.

West Brom began the season better than Man City with two wins from two and two clean sheets, and yet they haven’t won a single game since. The Baggie board sacked Tony Pulis, drafted in Alan Pardew, but the key hasn’t yet clicked in the lock.

Pardew is winless in his four games, losing half of them, but he has steadied the ship somewhat with two clean sheets. Pardew’s problem, like most sides at the wrong end of the table is a lack of goals. He only has one in 360 minutes of football.

Taking a look at the history books and the Baggies are a bogey side for Stoke. The West Midlands side has won four and drawn two of their previous six encounters, and Stoke has only won once in six home ties against their weekend opponents.

Verdict – A Draw (-2.5 goals)

Here are the rest of the weekend fixtures, and odds.

Everton v Chelsea

Everton +500
Chelsea -165
Draw +280

Brighton v Watford

Brighton +160
Watford +190
Draw +210

Man City v Bournemouth

Man City -1100
Bournemouth +2300
Draw +1000

Southampton v Huddersfield

Southampton -175
Huddersfield +525
Draw +285

West Ham v Newcastle

West Ham +110
Newcastle +260
Draw +220

Burnley v Spurs

Burnley +575
Spurs -200
Draw +305

Leicester v Man Utd

Leicester +340
Man Utd -125
Draw +260

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 52
2. Man Utd – 41
3. Chelsea – 38
4. Liverpool – 34
5. Arsenal – 33
6. Burnley – 32
7. Spurs – 31
8. Leicester – 26
9. Everton – 25
10. Watford – 22
11. Huddersfield – 21
12. Southampton – 18
13. Brighton – 18
14. Crystal Palace – 17
15. West Ham – 17
16. Bournemouth – 16
17. Stoke – 16
18. Newcastle – 15
19. West Brom – 14
20. Swansea – 12

Premier League Winning Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)

Man City 1/33
Man Utd 20/1

Premier League Relegation Odds

Swansea 2/9
West Brom 11/8
Newcastle 13/8
Brighton 15/8
Bournemouth 5/2
Stoke 11/4
Huddersfield 3/1
Crystal Palace 4/1
West Ham 11/2


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Cavaliers favored to win NBA Eastern Conference despite early struggles

Even a 16-game winning streak for the Boston Celtics that ended on Wednesday has not changed the minds of oddsmakers, who still believe the Cleveland Cavaliers are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

Odds courtesy of

The Cavaliers have been playing well lately, currently riding a six-game winning streak and sitting as -125 favorites to advance to the NBA Finals out of the East for the fourth straight year.

Cleveland’s LeBron James has made it to the championship round of the playoffs each of the previous seven years, going 3-4 between playing for the Cavs and Miami Heat. The presence of James – who many believe to be the best player in the league since Michael Jordan and arguably the greatest of all-time – has made it hard to bet against his team until at least the NBA Finals.

Cavaliers Favored to Win NBA Eastern Conference Despite Early StrugglesThis season though, former teammate Kyrie Irving is doing everything he can to make sure the Celtics win the East.

Boston is listed as the +200 second choice to win it behind Irving and a talented young roster. After getting traded from Cleveland in the offseason for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, Irving has proven his worth as a legitimate NBA MVP candidate, especially since free-agent forward Gordon Hayward went down with a leg injury in a season-opening loss to the Cavs. Hayward is not expected to return this year.

Besides the Celtics and Cavs, there is just one other team that seems to have a remote chance of winning the East, the Washington Wizards as the +1000 third choice. The Southeast Division-leading Wizards are led by point guard John Wall but are at least one All-Star player away from seriously competing with the top two in the conference.

In the Western Conference, it remains the Golden State Warriors and everyone else. The defending NBA champion Warriors are strong -250 favorites to win the West for the fourth year in a row, with the Houston Rockets (+600), San Antonio Spurs (+800) and Oklahoma City Thunder (+1000) the only teams with any real shot of unseating them.

The Thunder have struggled at times this season with their new “Big Three” of reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook plus All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. But Oklahoma City routed Golden State 108-91 on Wednesday and showed its potential.

Meanwhile, the Rockets and Spurs are both fighting for the Southwest Division title. Houston appears to be the top threat as one of two teams to win at Oracle Arena this year. The Detroit Pistons also handed the Warriors a rare home loss, and they are a good value pick to win the East now at +3300 as early leaders of the Central Division.


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Celtics NBA title odds suffer with likely loss of Hayward for season

The Boston Celtics appeared to be a legitimate threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers this season with the addition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the offseason.

Odds courtesy of

However, Hayward was able to play about five minutes in Tuesday’s regular-season opener between the teams before suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia that will likely keep him out the entire year.

Celtics NBA title odds suffer with likely loss of Hayward for seasonBoston is now a smaller threat to win its 18th NBA championship at +1200 odds, up from +800 earlier.

The Celtics still hung tough with the Cavaliers before falling 102-99 after Hayward left the game, but they then proceeded to lose 108-100 to the Milwaukee Bucks in their home opener on Wednesday. They are expected to get an $8.4 million injury exception to use on a replacement for Hayward, although there are no players currently available who can fill in for the All-Star who was just entering his prime as a big-time scorer.

Cleveland remains the +450 second choice to win its second NBA title in three seasons behind the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who are strong favorites to repeat at -150.

The Cavaliers have some injury concerns of their own with point guard Isaiah Thomas (hip) sidelined until at least December. Thomas was acquired for Irving along with Jae Crowder back on August 22. Until he returns to the court, the oft-injured Derrick Rose is filling in for him at the point.

The Western Conference is a lot more loaded than the East, and some of the top contenders there probably wish they were competing with Cleveland and Boston instead.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets are also +1200 to win the NBA championship this year like the Celtics. Oklahoma City has made the biggest moves since last year, bringing over two stars from the East this offseason in an effort to help reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook make a title run.

The Thunder picked up Paul George from the Indiana Pacers and Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks in separate trades and hope their new Big Three will jell enough to dethrone the Warriors.

The Spurs still have the NBA’s best coach in Gregg Popovich and will need to keep MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard healthy first and foremost. In addition, the Rockets traded for point guard Chris Paul to form an All-Star backcourt with James Harden, who may be better off moving back to shooting guard.


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McDavid enters NHL Camp as favorite on Hart Trophy odds

Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid earned his first career Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League‘s Most Valuable Player last year, in just his second season in the league. McDavid also sits as the favorite on the odds to win the Hart Trophy once again in 2017/18.

Odds courtesy of

McDavid is the +150 favorite on the Hart Trophy odds for the season ahead, with NHL training camps getting underway this week. The young superstMcDavid enters NHL Camp as favorite on Hart Trophy oddsar led the league in scoring last year with 30 goals and 100 points in 82 games, and led his Oilers back into the playoffs. McDavid’s rookie campaign in 2015/16 was cut short due to injury; he had 48 points in those 45 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby finished second behind McDavid in the Hart Trophy voting last season, having already picked up the award twice in his career (2006/07 and 2013/14). Crosby is McDavid’s closest competitor on the Hart Trophy odds for the season ahead at +250, as he looks to lead his Penguins to a third consecutive Stanley Cup victory.

It’s then Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews third at +850 on the Hart Trophy odds, after he had 40 goals and 69 points last season to win the NHL’s Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. The last Maple Leafs player to win the Hart was Ted Kennedy in 1954/55.

Two former Hart Trophy winners then round out the top five players on the betting prop, with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals at +900 and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks at +1400. Ovechkin has won the Hart Trophy three times in his career, in 2007/08, 2008/09, and 2012/13. Kane took home the award after the 2015/16 campaign.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues is then at +1500 on the odds, with 2011/12 Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins at +1800, and 2014/15 Hart Trophy winner Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens joining John Tavares of the New York Islanders at +2000. Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars join Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators in the next tier at +2500 on the Hart Trophy odds board.


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Bengals bigger home favorites with Watson starting for Texans

Bengals bigger home favorites with Watson starting for TexansDeShone Kizer was the first rookie quarterback to start in 2017 for the Cleveland Browns when he faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Deshaun Watson is expected to be next in line for the Houston Texans (0-1), who visit the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) on the road in the Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup.

Odds courtesy of

Bettors have picked up on Houston’s anticipated quarterback change, as the Bengals have gone from opening 3-point home favorites up to 6.5-point chalk.

Fourth-year player Tom Savage had started the season opener for the Texans, but he was so bad against the Jacksonville Jaguars that he made counterpart Blake Bortles look good. Savage completed 7-of-13 passes for 62 yards before giving way to Watson, who was 12-of-23 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The duo was sacked a combined 10 times for 54 yards in a 29-7 loss as a six-point home favorite.

Cincinnati did not look any better in a 20-0 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens (1-0), with veteran quarterback Andy Dalton turning the ball over five times, including four interceptions. Regardless, the public seems to like Dalton a lot more in this spot than a rookie making his first road start, which is a popular handicapping angle bettors like.

Speaking of the Jaguars (1-0), they are underdogs for the second straight week, only this time they will be at home hosting the Tennessee Titans (0-1). While that is not really surprising, bettors will be curious to see if the Jaguars can somehow find a way to improve to 2-0 behind Bortles as 2-point home dogs.

Jacksonville rookie running back Leonard Fournette had an outstanding debut to help take some pressure off Bortles, carrying the ball 26 times for 100 yards and scoring a touchdown. Defensively, the Jags will get a bigger challenge from the Titans, who are coming off a 26-16 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

One more game worth watching is a reunion between head coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) and his mentor Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs (1-0). Of course the Chiefs shocked the world to open the season with a road upset of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last Thursday. But the pressure is on Kansas City after that victory as a 5.5-point home favorite after opening at -4.


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Ohio State favorite to win first Big Ten Championship since 2014

After two somewhat disappointing campaigns, the Ohio State Buckeyes are hoping to bounce back in 2017 and put themselves in position for their second national championship in four years.

The Buckeyes have failed to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game the past two years yet find themselves as strong -120 favorites to take home the title this year, according to oddsmakers.

Last year, Ohio State lost a tiebreaker with the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big Ten East, with each of them finishing at 8-1 in conference play. The Buckeyes still made their way into the College Football Playoff semifinals though, getting blanked by the eventual national champion Clemson Tigers 31-0 to end up 11-2 overall.

Ohio State favorite to win first Big Ten Championship since 2014This year, defending Big Ten champ Penn State returns quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley, who has already set school records for most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore. Barkley looks to be one of the early favorites to win the Heisman Trophy along with Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, with both players sitting at +800.

The Nittany Lions are the +550 co-third choice to repeat as conference champs with the Michigan Wolverines.

The Wolverines lost a thrilling double-overtime affair against the Buckeyes 30-27 in their annual rivalry game a year ago and have yet to get to the Big Ten Championship Game since Jim Harbaugh became their head coach. Michigan went 7-2 in the Big Ten East last season behind Ohio State and Penn State and 10-3 overall.

The Wisconsin Badgers are the +375 second choice to win the Big Ten, mostly because they compete in the conference’s West Division. The Badgers have played in two of the last three Big Ten Championship Games as the West representative, losing 38-31 to the Nittany Lions in 2016 after blowing a 28-7 lead.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers, Iowa Hawkeyes and Northwestern Wildcats are the top challengers for Wisconsin in the West. The Cornhuskers are the +1600 co-fifth choice to win the Big Ten with the Wildcats, while the Hawkeyes are right behind them at +2000.


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