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UFC Odds: Fight for the Troops 2 Preview

If you like your UFC fights wild ‘n’ bloody, this Saturday’s Fight for the Troops 2 is probably the card for you. The event is dedicated to the U.S. troops; the last time the UFC fought for the troops, it was a night of pure carnage, with some devastating knockouts and submissions. Let’s try a few UFC betting picks.

Evan Dunham (11-1) vs Melvin Guillard (26-8-2, 1 NC)

Betting odds: Dunham -230, Guillard +190

It’s amazing how close Evan Dunham could be – or should be – to a major fight at 155 pounds. Most sports betting sharps believe he won his last fight against Sean Sherk. That would’ve extended his record to 12-0. Instead, he was saddled with a loss. He drew Kenny Florian as his next opponent anyway but Florian pulled out with an injury.

The next thing he knew, Dunham was slated to fight Melvin Guillard instead. It’s almost a step down in competition from Sherk, isn’t it? Well, not so fast. Guillard has major knockout power for a lightweight and has quietly taken six of his last seven fights. So Dunham won’t win this in a cakewalk.

Not that he won’t win, though. Guillard is a one-dimensional fighter who likes to stand and trade but is lost on the ground. Dunham’s standup is underrated and his ground game is outstanding. Look for him to survive on his feet before getting Guillard to the canvas and tapping him out.

Today’s free pick: Dunham -230

Matt Mitrione (3-0) vs Tim Hague (12-4)

Betting odds: Mitrione -250, Hague +210

Matt “Meathead” Mitrione has come a long way since being a heel on the Ultimate Fighter. Maybe we didn’t take his former NFL career seriously enough; it should’ve reminded us that the guy is a world-class athlete. Mitrione has flashed surprising agility to match his major knockout power over his first three pro fights – all victories. He seems to get better every time out and Hague is more than likely just a pin for him to bowl over in a showcase fight.

Today’s free pick: Mitrione -250

Pat Barry (5-2) vs Joey Beltran (12-4)

Betting odds: Barry -220, Beltran +180

It’s put up or shut up time for the brash kickboxer Pat Barry. His last fight was a bizarre spectacle; he faced his idol, Mirko Cro Cop, in an awkward matchup filled with hugs and high fives. Barry lost via submission and took a lot of criticism for supposedly going easy on Cro Cop. To keep his job in the UFC , he probably has to win on Saturday. That shouldn’t be too difficult against a brawler like Joey Beltran. Look for Barry to win via superior technical striking ability.

Today’s free pick: Barry -220

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Free Picks Basketball Against the Spread

Matt Rivers free pick for Thursday is on Auburn (+12.5) to Florida.

The Tigers aren’t a very good team at all but it’s not like Florida is a monster that should go on the road in-conference and win going away by a billion. Billy Donovan’s boys are experienced and good but they are not a juggernaut that is great at all.

Parsons, Walker, Macklin and the rest of the Gators will win this game and improve to a quality 14-4 as Auburn is as down as down could be but the Tigers did man up at home a few weeks ago against Florida State as a similar dog and a few days later we saw those same Seminoles upset Duke giving the Blue Devils their first loss of the season. This pattern isn’t the end all or mean a definite cover and certainly doesn’t make Kenny Gabriel and the 7-10 Tigers good but it does show me there is at least something there where at home Auburn can cover a big number like this.

Frankie Sullivan appears to be done for the year and Tony Barbee’s team has failed miserably thus far this season in every single aspect of the game. But the Gators are nothing better than good and in the end here I will take my chances on this home dog, even if they are in the midst of a fairly awful season.

For more information: Right around 500,000* of profit yesterday as the 400,000* on Notre Dame cashed with ease and the 300,000* on Oklahoma State took an extra session but came through in the end just the same. I have isolated a dog today that is just ridiculously undervalued and I mean ridiculously. The number is probably a solid touchdown off and a play that must be made. 400,000* Underdog that absolutely rocks the hut and does so with conviction. Click now to purchase

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AFC Championship Betting Line Jets vs. Steelers Official Betting Preview

Could we rename the AFC Championship the Villain Bowl? With Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison and Hines Ward all showing up at Heinz Field on Sunday, many of the NFL’s most hated personalities will be on hand. Should be fun for NFL betting fans.

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, January 23, 6:30 p.m. ET

Betting favorite: Steelers -3.5

Over/Under: 38.5

The New York Jets are sports betting underdogs for the third straight week but they’re growing comfortable in that role. The Jets are 8-3 against the spread over their last 11 as an underdog; 12-4 ATS over their last 16 road games; and 4-1 ATS over their last five playoff road games. Riding a regular-season win over Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh earlier this year, New York is also 4-1 ATS over its last five games against the Steelers.

Despite all those positive trends, the betting numbers are strong for the Steelers as well. Pittsburgh has beaten the spread in eight of its last nine playoff games and five of its last six games as a favorite. The Steelers have also beaten the spread in five consecutive playoff home games.

Though the Jets and Steelers have the No. 3 and No. 2 defenses in the NFL, respectively, and their last seven meetings have gone UNDER the total, most of the trends in this matchup point toward the OVER. Of the Jets’ last 11 road games, 10 have gone over the total. Also, 14 of the Steelers’ last 16 playoff games have gone over.

While Mark Sanchez has surprised in the playoff thus far, the Jets were a run-first team in the regular season, ranking fourth with 148.4 yards per game. But does that mean New York plays into Pittsburgh’s hands? Nobody stops the run like the Steelers do. Pittsburgh allowed an NFL-low 62.8 rushing yards per game this season.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers managed to penetrate the Ravens’ secondary last week – but the Jets could provide a tougher challenge. Led by cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, they had the No. 6 pass defense in the league over the regular season, allowing 200.6 yards per contest. Football betting fans can’t underestimate the talent of the Jets’ secondary.

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College Basketball Pick Against the Vegas Spread: George Washington-Richmond

Sensational sports handicapper Matt Rivers picks George Washington (+13.5) at Richmond.

Reasoning: I am not making the Colonials a premium play because it almost feels a little too easy and that’s scaring me a bit too much for my liking.

I admit that Richmond is the far superior team in terms of sheer overall talent led by a couple of studs in Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper. Both of those guys could dominate any game they are in and tonight may be no exception but overall the Spiders have not exactly been tearing things up of late and to be laying around a Baker’s Dozen just seemed way too steep. Chris Mooney’s team has regressed a little bit of late. Losing at home to both Rhode Island and Bucknell is beyond inexcusable and earlier in the season fell to Iona and on a neutral site to a pretty lacking Georgia Tech squad. Those are four games that a very good team should get. Maybe one underachieving loss is acceptable in that mix but not to all of those teams, no how no way. Something just does not seem to be fully right with these Spiders right now.

George Washington is a solid enough squad these days, not good but not the horrific junk they became in a few recent seasons. No doubt the road is never easy and I’m not coming close to calling for Karl Hobbs’ boys to get the outright but these visitors have won their first three conference games and should be feeling fairly confident right now, even if the victories were against the lower level Atlantic-12 teams.

The Colonials had won five in a row and eight of 9 before that last loss to Harvard. Falling to the Crimson certainly isn’t great but Tommy Amaker is doing a quality job in Cambridge so it’s not all that bad.

GW will have to step up its game here for sure against a Richmond team that can be elite in the conference like last season but until the Spiders regain some of that form I’ll grab this number with Tony Taylor and the fellas.

The pick: George Washington

For more information: Nobody can win every day as was the case yesterday with the Georgia Bulldogs but the best will win most days. That is the epitome of what I do and will do one more time today. A trio of winners that will inflict some pain on that Crookie today. 400,000* Cincinnati-Notre Dame, 300,000* Iowa State-Oklahoma State and a 200,000* Duke-NC State. Rivers premium picks are up

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Packers vs. Bears NFL Odds Preview NFC Championship Game

It’s hard to ask for a better sports betting matchup than two bitter NFC North rivals meeting in the conference title game. Let’s have a look at the key trends and stats to consider for the Packers vs Bears in the NFC Championship.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Sunday, January 23, 3:00 p.m. ET

Betting favorite: Packers -3.5

Over/Under: 44

The Pack enter the Bears matchup with a ton of momentum, as you might guess with them favored by 3.5 points on the road. They’re 4-1 against the NFL betting spread over their last five games overall; 5-2 ATS over their last seven road games; and 7-3 ATS over their last 10 against the NFC. They’ve even beaten the spread in nine of their last 12 trips to Chicago.

However, the Packers’ playoff trends aren’t as positive. They’re 1-5 ATS over their last six playoff games when favored. Maybe they’re more comfortable in an underdog role.

Most of the Bears’ spread betting trends look favorable, too. The Bears are 4-1 ATS over their last five home games. They’re 6-1 ATS over their last seven against opponents with winning records. They’ve also beaten the spread four straight times. But are they happy being the dogs at home? Chicago is 2-9 ATS over its last 11 as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.

The UNDER is the prevalent trend in this series; each of the last six Packers/Bears meetings have fallen under the total. While eight of Green Bay’s last 10 road games have gone under the total, four of its last five playoff games have gone OVER.

The Bears are all about the over; it’s 5-1 over their last six playoff home games and 6-1 over their last seven games overall. The individual playoff online sports betting trends suggest this game will go over but the history between the teams suggests otherwise.

The Packer defense, which ranked fifth overall this season and second with just 15 points allowed per game, will try to force mistakes out of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Green Bay was second in the league in both sacks and interceptions this season and has continued those trends in the playoffs. Tramon Williams has three picks in two games.

The Packer offense does most of its damage through the air via Aaron Rodgers, ranking fifth in that regard. But it’s only 24th in rushing and, aside from one good game against the Eagles in the Wild Card round, hasn’t shown much improvement.

The Bears were just 30th in total offense this season but that didn’t stop them from rolling up 35 points on lowly Seattle last week. Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more. Is Green Bay’s offense an awkward matchup for Chicago’s “D,” however? The Bears are second in run defense but Green Bay doesn’t run. The Bears are just 20th against the pass and Green Bay loves to throw.

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Matt Rivers Sports Handicapping Service Continues to Ride Northwestern

Matt Rivers has another sports pick against the spread winner Tuesday is on Northwestern.

I really should start cutting and pasting my analysis on the Wildcats because I have been on them a ton this season and will have very similar thoughts today as in most of the past games and write-ups.

Northwestern is no longer the absolute mess of a team that they used to be. These guys are a top 25-type squad that is going to make the tournament this season; you can mark that down in pen. No doubt they had a couple of recent clunkers at Illinois and Purdue but those teams at home are borderline great and all in all John Shurna and the boys from Evanston are pretty darn solid these days.

The ‘Cats almost just won at the Breslin Center as they gave Michigan State all it could handle for the full 40 minutes in a pretty easy cover and are a well coached team with Bill Carmody running the show. Add in guys like Drew Crawford, Michael Thompson and Luka Mirkovic to help out Shurna and there is no reason why these guys won’t beat up a perennially bad road team in Michigan.

The Wolverines are not dreadful and did just take Kansas to overtime last week but there is a huge difference between playing in Ann Arbor and going on the road as we have seen game after game and year after year with this program. We saw these guys compete hard in tight losses at home to Kansas and Ohio State and then in that last game get embarrassed at Bloomington against what is still not a good Indiana squad. The maize and blue have now dropped four straight and five of six and not much positive should all of a sudden happen for them here against a good and underrated Wildcat team in their barn.

This is a double-digit victory for Northwestern in the range of 70-58.

Top expert pick on this game: Northwestern -6.5

For more information: Matt Rivers says  it’s not the biggest or greatest slate ever in terms of quantity but there is one game that I have isolated and will conquer. Another major, major 400,000* release and it comes from the SEC involving Tennessee and Georgia. Earlier in the season the Volunteers would have been the definite favorite here at Stegman Coliseum but the Bulldogs have been playing great making them the current home chalk. Is this a value on the talented boys from Knoxville or is UGA a legitimate top 25 squad? Locked and loaded once again baby! Today’s card is up

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NFL Injury Report For Conference Championship Games Packers-Bears, Jets-Steelers

With four old-school, smack-you-in-the-mouth teams qualifying for Conference Championship week, injuries will be extra important to monitor before making your NFL betting picks in the next few days.


Perhaps because they played in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome over the weekend, the Pack left Atlanta pretty much unscathed. Linebacker Frank Zombo (knee), safety Atari Bigby (groin) and fullback Korey Hall (knee) all missed their third straight games and are again questionable this week. But Green Bay suffered no new losses. Even Donald Driver bounced back from his knee injury to face the Falcons on Saturday.


The Bears enter their clash with the Packers feeling relatively healthy – except for one fairly notable exception. Starting free safety Chris Harris injured his hip against the Seahawks on Saturday and is questionable to play this Sunday.


Gang Green’s biggest injury news came before their Divisional Playoff sports betting triumph over New England: they lost offensive tackle Damien Woody (Achilles) for the season. Wide receiver and return man Brad Smith missed Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Antonio Cromartie replaced him on return duties. Smith is questionable to play against the Steelers.


Not surprisingly, the winner of the Ravens/Steelers war enters the AFC Championship with a laundry list of injuries.

Four new injuries emerged from last Saturday’s game. Big, bad linebacker James Harrison injured his shoulder but is expected to be good to go against the Jets in Sunday’s big online betting matchup. Defensive tackle Steve McLendon may not be so lucky; he’s questionable after suffering a shoulder stinger.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden is questionable for Sunday after injuring his hip against Baltimore. Offensive tackle Flozell Adams left the Divisional Playoff game with an undisclosed illness. No word yet on his status but this sports betting blog would assume a full week to recover will be enough to get him ready for Sunday.


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Knicks Rout Suns Says on MLK Day Says Star Sports Handicapper

Feedback continues on the 60 Minutes interview with Las Vegas Gambler Billy Walters

Monday is on the Knicks (-6) hosting Phoenix.

The Suns did come back to beat the Trailblazers in that last game but right now this Phoenix team is pretty awful. The window has completely closed on the Suns and they might as well get rid of Steve Nash because this team has no chance at all to do anything with this surrounding cast. Bringing Vince Carter in hasn’t helped and all in all the Suns are a declining organization that has been horrific a lot of this season.

Meanwhile you have a Knicks team that is on the complete rise and is coming off of a total stinker against a far inferior Sacramento team. Add in the fact that Amare Stoudemire will once again want to beat his former team and the head coach in Mike D’Antoni knows a thing or two about Nash and the Suns and I can’t help but belive the New Yorkers will flex their muscles for the second time this week against this semi familiar foe.

I’m not going to act as if I am all in on this Knick team and they have dropped three of the last four after the 121-96 victory in the land of the sun but after a few days to rest and stew about the ugly 10 point defeat to the lowly Kings this is the perfect opponent coming to Madison Square Garden. It’s the lamb coming to town ready to get slaughtered. Phoenix is all the way across the country and after losing six of their last seven on the road I can’t see this thing ending up all that good for the visitors.

Both teams can and will run and in the end it’s another double digit New York win.

Top expert pick on this game: NY Knicks

For more information: Matt Rivers says I did lose the lone football play yesterday, so the run falls to 11-3 on the gridiron, but all in all another quality 2-1 winning day led by the monster 400,000* bomb on West Virginia along with the 200,000* on Georgia Tech outright cashing that ticket.

I’ve been absolutely destroying that Crookie of late and once again nothing at all changes today. A pair of college hoop plays on this Martin Luther King Day and a pair of college hoop winners on this Martin Luther King day. Another 400,000* major release lock from Waco between Kansas and Baylor along with another 200,000* winner from the Big East involving Villanova and Connecticut. Get Rivers card for today

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Gambler Billy Walters, How He Influences Sports Bettors

Billy Walters Las Vegas Bettor Influence

"Billy Walters, Las Vegas gambler was featured on 60 Minutes. Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy, CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com, the top sports betting site in the world explains how Walters has influenced him today and how Walters inspiration is among the reasons why Duffy is widely considered the top professional sports handicapper of all time."

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