NFL Preseason Football Betting: Running Back Questions Highlight Dallas at Minnesota
Will Adrian Peterson see the bulk of the carries when the Vikings face the Cowboys? (AP Images)
Thursday's bout between Dallas and Minnesota will all be about sorting out the running game. Questions on who will start for the Cowboys still loom and Minnesota is still looking to sort out its time-share situation with five-year back Chester Taylor and rookie Adrian Peterson.
I think that's still coming about, Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. Obviously, you don't want to show your hand all the way at this time in the preseason. I think we'll just have to wait and see.
After three preseason games it seems like Peterson is ready to take the bulk of the carries, the seventh overall pick has been shredding defenses in preseason, including an eight carry, 70 run performance versus the New York Jets.
He's very fast, explosive, runs with a lot of power and vision, Vikings corner Cedric Griffin said. He's built like a house and runs like a horse.
In Dallas, the shifty Julius Jones has been the starter but many on the squad have been crying for power back Marion Barber to get the first-team carries.
I don't think nothing of it, man, Barber said of those calling for him to start. That's their opinion. Right now I'm looking for the coaches' opinion. And right now the coaches are using me how they're using me.
The Cowboys play the Viking at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Vikings opened as -1.5 favorites in the Bodog Sportsbook. The total is at 37.
NFL Preseason Football Betting: Quinn Battles for No. 2 Job Tonight at Chicago
Brady Quinn should see plenty of playing time versus one of the best defenses in the NFL. (AP Images)
The statement has already been made about Brady Quinn's a chances to start in Week 1 of the regular season, but Quinn still has a chance to grab the No. 2 spot if he's impressive versus the Bears tonight.
I've got to show the guys I've got a strong grasp of the offense, the concepts, and am ready and willing whenever they want to call my number. Quinn said.
Since his 11-day holdout kept him off the field for the Browns first preseason game, Quinn has been on fire. The Notre Dame star has complete 20 of 31 passes for 3 TDs in his two preseason games, and Browns fans are already demanding he see starter snaps. And despite ownership saying otherwise, Quinn still thinks there's a chance he'll be the guy come Week 1.
I'd say never say never, Quinn said. I think guys are still competing.
Bears QB Rex Grossman hasn't been as sharp in Chicago. Grossman has endured a shaky, turnover-laden preseason in which he has made questionable decisions and had trouble receiving the snap from center. He'll likely see a lot for time tonight to hopefully fix some of those issues.
The Browns face the Bears tonight at 8 p.m. EST. The Bears have opened as 3.5-point favorites. The total is at 37.
NFL Preseason Football Betting: Larry Johnson to Play Versus Rams
Larry Johnson could play versus the Rams Thursday night. (AI Wire Photo)
Chiefs and fantasy fans will have their eyes glued to the screen as running back Larry Johnson makes his preseason debut Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams. It won't be for long though.
It will be real fast, Chiefs coach Herm Edwards explained. Don't blink.
Johnson will be using the playing time to get back into game shape. The four-year back missed most of training camp with a contract dispute. Because of this, both him and Edwards think it could take a couple of games before he puts together the skills that generated 2199 total yards and 19 touchdowns.
You can run sprints all day, Johnson said. But if you're not out there running plays, cutting and dodging and accelerating that stuff can tire you out quickly.
I'm really going to push myself this next week and see where my body is after that.
St. Louis has been without their primary runner for most preseason games but for them it's by choice. The Rams have given top-flight back Steven Jackson the L.T. treatment, his preseason resume consists of two passes for eight yards.
Taking out unnecessary hits is really a key, Jackson said. Even though the games don't count, the hits can become effective. I think being cautious and making sure everyone gets to opening day safe is a smart thing and a new trend.
Despite missing their primary offensive weapon, the Rams are still looking for a drastic improvement from their starting offense. Marc Bulger has no TDs in preseason.
The Rams opened as three-point favorites in the contest, the total is set at 36.5. Game starts at 8:00 p.m. ET, get your NFL odds in the Bodog Sportsbook!
NFL Preseason Football Betting: Miami at New Orleans
There's no Brees on the forecast tonight as New Orleans takes on Miami in NFL preseason action. (AP Images)
With NFL coaches forced to trim their rosters from 75 to 53 this weekend, the stakes will certainly be high for tonight's exhibition games despite the fact first-stringers won't be doing much. In New Orleans, there are several position battles set to take place as the Dolphins take on the Saints in what will be the final preseason contest for both teams.
Miami coach Cam Cameron said he does not expect any of his projected starters to play a down this evening. Included among those being rested are running backs Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman, even though they are still competing for the starting nod.
Also expected to sit out is top draft pick Ted Ginn Jr. The former Ohio State receiver is not a projected starter. To the contrary, he has struggled. But he also has been hampered by a minor thigh injury.
Saints coach Sean Payton said he normally would prefer to rest all his starters in the preseason finale, but wants his top two receivers, Marques Colston and Devery Henderson, to get some work after they missed the past two exhibition games.
Henderson has been out with a hamstring pull from an Aug. 10 game against Buffalo. Colston has been sidelined by soreness in his right knee that gradually developed during the first three weeks of training camp, when the Saints were practicing twice a day.
Currently, the Dolphins are listed in the Bodog Sportsbook as -1.5 point favorites heading into tonight's contest. The total is set at 38 points.
NCAA Football Betting: LSU In Action Versus Mississippi State Tonight
NCAA football returns to ESPN tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET. (AP Images)
Mississippi State tries to shock the world on the first day of college football when they take on the No. 2 LSU Tigers. Unfortunately they may not have the talent to make it happen, the Bulldogs haven't had a winning season since 2000.
People are very passionate about Mississippi State football and I'm looking forward to this game and this season with a great deal of excitement, Bulldogs coach Sylvester Croom said.
History will be against them too. The Bulldogs have lost seven straight to the Tigers by a total of 295-81, and last year they were down 35-3 by halftime. But LSU coach Les Miles doesn't plan on taking them lightly.
I think all you have to do is look at their film when they're playing well and you can see very quickly that they're capable and talented, and that we're going to have to play well, Miles said.
The Bulldogs opened as 20-point underdogs at home in the Bodog Sportsbook. The total is at 46. Get your NCAA Football odds in the Bodog Sportsbook!
McGahee Impresses as Ravens Crush Eagles, 29-3
You know the Baltimore Ravens' defense is awesome, but it was the team's offense that stole the spotlight in their first game of the NFL preseason on Monday night.
The Ravens completed passes to 16 different receivers and the first-string offense scored on its first possession en route to a dominating 29-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore covered against the point spread of four and their unexpected output on offense helped send the betting total over 31.
With Willis McGahee playing in the Ravens' backfield for the first time, Baltimore put together a 93-yard touchdown drive on their first series. The drive culminated with a 6-yard TD pass from Steve McNair to second-year tight end Quinn Sypniewski. McGahee totaled 20 yards on four carries and left with McNair (6-for-8, 73 yards) and most of the other starters after that series. Two Matt Stover field goals gave Baltimore a 13-3 lead heading into halftime.
Last season, the Ravens were a Super Bowl favorite heading into the season, but they're flying under the radar at the moment. With Indianapolis, New England and San Diego getting much of the hype in the AFC, the Ravens present a solid value with Super Bowl odds of 18/1.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles looked out of sync, which isn't surprising since Donovan McNabb didn't play. The most promising performance for Philadelphia came from rookie QB Kevin Kolb, the team's top draft pick. He went 11-for-20 for 77 yards and played the full second half. The Eagles hold 20/1 Super Bowl odds.
For more NFL exhibition odds, visit the Bodog Sportsbook. And make sure you read Bodog Nation for previews, opinions and betting analysis heading into the NFL regular season. Published Monday are Market Flux: Breaking Down the Bulls and Bears of Pigskin and Adalius Thomas Is the Patriots' Ultimate Weapon.
NFL Futures: Super Bowl XLII Odds - Market Flux
Market Flux: Tom Brady's Pats and Michael Vick's Falcons have seen their Super Bowl XLII odds move in different directions this summer. (AP Images)
It's been a wild summer for the markets.
Among the top stories: The subprime mortgage meltdown created a full-blown credit crisis; free-falling Yahoo ousted its CEO, Terry Semel, and replaced him with co-founder Jerry Yang; and Rupert Murdoch got his greedy hands on The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, if you think it's been crazy in stock circles, consider what certain NFL teams have experienced in recent months.
Which teams have been movers and shakers in the constantly shifting market of NFL Super Bowl Odds? Read Bodog Nation's article, Market Flux today to find out!
Madden NFL 2008: Does the Madden Curse Equal Winning Wagers?
Do you believe in the Madden Curse ? Then you might want to bet against Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans this season. (Photo coutesy of EA Sports)
Are you a bonafide Maddenite ? Are you addicted to Madden NFL football? Do you pass up relationships and sexual encounters during the month of August to ensure you have time to memorize your favorite team's entire playbook? Do you put more time and effort into your 30-year franchise then your own career? Because of Madden, do you feel you have the skills to be a head coach at the NFL level?
Then you'll be in line come August 14th for your copy of Madden NFL 2008, and you know that Titans quarterback Vince Young, this year's cover athlete, will likely suffer the Madden Curse (which by definition is an injury that screws him and his entire team).
To celebrate the release of Madden NFL 2008, we outline how the second-biggest curse in pro sports (second only to the Chicago Cubs' Curse of the Billy Goat ) has affected wagers since it was born in 2000:
- 2000-01 Titans RB Eddie George
There have been arguments from those feel the Madden Curse is a myth that Eddie George didn't suffer any curse-like set backs in the 2000-01 season. In fact, he had his best season ever with 1509 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. But in the betting world, the curse was alive and kicking. The Titans, despite having an impressive 13-3 record, were a ugly 7-9 against the spread and 5-9 ATS as favorites. And to put icing on the cake, a key bobbled catch by George led to a nail-in-the-coffin INT by the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. The Titans would lose 24-10 and Ray-Ray and the Ravens would continue to bore NFL fans all the way to the Super Bowl.
- 2001-02 Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper
See how the Colts are now, that was the Minnesota Vikings back in the day. With Randy Moss and Cris Carter on the wings, Culpepper used his monster arm to pass for nearly 4000 yards in 2000 and was 11-5 as the starter. This made the second-year starter the perfect choice for a game that loves up-and-coming athletes on their cover. But early in the 2001-02 season, injuries slowed Culpepper. His numbers dipped to 2612 passing yards in just 11 starts. The Vikings went 5-11 straight up, 6-10 ATS, and a brutal 1-6 ATS as favorites.
NFL Preview: Philadelphia at Baltimore, Denver at San Francisco
Has Jay Cutler progressed with a full season under his belt? Find out tonight on ESPN's Monday Night Football. (AI wire Photo)
- Philadelphia at Baltimore (-3.5) tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET
With the Eagles planning on sitting quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Ravens have opened as 3.5-point favorites in the Bodog Sportsbook. The Ravens get to test out new running back Willis McGahee, who comes to Baltimore after three semi-successful seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Look for Ravens coach Brian Billick to get McGahee touches as a receiver as well as a rusher to add a new dimension to their offensive attack. Also, expect quarterback Steve McNair to look better on offense with one season in Baltimore under his belt.
The Eagles are being cautious with Donovan McNabb's return from last year's ACL injury, and that's why he won't be playing tonight. Expect to see A.J. Feely starting in his place, then Kelly Holcomb and rookie Kevin Kolb to enter in the third and fourth quarter. Running back Brian Westbrook will be in the lineup, however he may be negated by a Ravens D sure to use eight-man fronts with no real threat in the air attack.
- Denver at San Francisco (-3) tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN (Game can be played on Bodog Live)
All eyes will be on the QBs when the Niners and Broncos meet on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Jay Cutler is one year removed from a successful rookie year, in which he showed flashes of the strong-armed gunslinger the Broncos were looking for. On the Niners side, fans are looking for QB Alex Smith to truly display the skills that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft.
Both starting running backs will not be in the lineup tonight. Frank Gore is coming off a broken hand suffered in practice, he'll likely miss all of preseason. And Travis Henry injured his leg Sunday during a practice drill. With the aerial attack being a question for both offenses, expect the Niners and Broncos to air it out early.
Wakefield Hopes for Better Outing Monday
Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield has been roughed up in recent starts. (AI Wire photo)
Tim Wakefield (13-10, 4.81) has a record he doesn't deserve. Despite winning seven of his last nine games, he's hardly pitched like a Cy Young winner. In five of his last seven appearances, he's given up at least four earned runs.
Wednesday, Wakefield gave up six earned runs over just four innings in a 10-4 loss to the Angels.
Just didn't have my best stuff tonight, he said at the time.
Tonight, Wakefield takes the mound at Fenway versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The Sox have won five of six at Fenway and dominated the Devil Rays of late. Boston has won 37 of their last 45 meetings in Boston.
Betting preview: Oddsmakers currently have the Red Sox listed as 178-moneyline favorites versus the Devil Rays, while the game's total is sitting at 9.5.
James Shields (9-7, 4.32) goes for the Rays.
MLB baseball betting
Rugby World Cup Betting Odds: Can All Blacks Be Toppled?
New Zealand looks like the team to beat at the Rugby World Cup (photo courtesy Wikimedia)
There may be an element of wishful thinking involved, but Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll reckons New Zealand's unconvincing form in Tri-Nations gives hope for the other contenders at the 2007 Rugby World Cup starting on Sept. 7.
The All Blacks won the recent Tri-Nations but failed to totally convince ODriscoll as they lost 20-15 in Australia and only just defeated South Africa.
Said the Ireland skipper today, I saw most of the game in which Australia beat New Zealand and Aussies showed that the longer you hang in the game, the more the All Blacks are there for the taking.
Do you think Brian is clutching at straws? Bodog certainly think so and have the mighty All Blacks at 1/2 to win the event.
If results go as predicted the Irish will meet Graham Henry's New Zealand side in a quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium.
That scenario would materialise if they finish runners-up in tough Pool D, which also includes hosts France and Argentina.
O'Driscoll continued, It all comes down to taking your opportunities and Australia did that very well when they scored the match-winning try when Scott Staniforth went over.
Ireland are 10/1 to win the event and ODriscolls form will be crucial to Irelands chances.
New Zealand showed greater form last year than they have in this summer's Tri-Nations, but they could turn it back on come World Cup time, he added.
The Lions skipper was expected to miss this weekends trip to Scotland to allow coach Eddie O'Sullivan to concentrate on putting the finishing touches to his 30-man World Cup squad.
However, ODriscolls lack of recent matches has tempted O'Sullivan to pitch him into the Murrayfield encounter.
I didn't actually have to ask to play, said O'Driscoll. I probably would have put my name forward if I had needed to, but Eddie felt I could do with a game. We were both singing from the same hymn sheet.
Inspirational second row Paul O'Connell will also play against the Scots.
Very few places remain available in Ireland's World Cup squad with O'Sullivan yet to decide on only two or three spots.
Players competing for those positions are all in action on Saturday - effectively turning the match into a World Cup trial.
2007 World Cup betting with Bodog.com:
- New Zealand 1 /2
- South Africa 6/1
- France 10/1
- Ireland 10/1
- England 20/1
- Australia 10/1
- Wales 40/1
- Argentina 50/1
- Field (Any Other Team) 80/1
Tennessee Titans Lose to Washington Redskins in Preseason NFL Action
Tennessee Titans quarterback VinceYoung watches from the sidelines as his team plays the Washington Redskins in an NFL preseason football game in Nashville. (AP Images)
Minus their star quarterback, the Tennessee Titans didn't generate much offence and lost to the Washington Redskins 14-6 in a preseason game Saturday night.
Vince Young, last year's NFL offensive rookie of the year, was benched for Saturday's game after violating an unspecified team rule.
The Redskins weren't much offensively either, but did score a pair of touchdowns in the final three minutes to get the win.
Kerry Collins took Young's place, playing the entire first half and completing 10-of-17 passes for 79 yards.
Jason Campbell, the Redskins' third-year quarterback, also played the entire first half but couldn't get Washington on the scoreboard. He completed 6-of-14 for 104 yards and lost one fumble after being blindsided by Vincent Fuller on the game's first possession.
For all your NFL odds and bets, visit the Bodog Sportsbook.