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NFL, NFLPA running out of time on HGH agreement
2013-08-29

The tentative agreement -- contingent on the parties agreeing to whether or not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appeal power over cases involving the law and evidentiary cases -- relies on preseason collection of blood samples in order to conduct a population study, which would set the threshold for a player's positive test. The league then would collect samples for testing starting in Week 1, with potential suspensions coming once the population study is completed.
Saturday is roster cutdown day, so the reality is that the time is now for a deal. George Atallah, NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs, told NFL.com last week that it would take one to two days to organize the blood draw and three to five additional days to execute it, meaning that even a finalized agreement Tuesday would mean a rushed process.

"It's one of those things that's tough to put an end date on, but we're certainly at the point where every second matters," Adolpho Birch, NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy, said Tuesday. "The longer we wait, it becomes increasingly hard to do what the parties agreed to. Players are starting to be released, and with every player released, that's one less eligible to participate in the population study. We're already starting to erode our ability to do what was agreed to."

Atallah said that, "at this point, things have pretty much been status quo."

Birch didn't rule out the idea that testing could go midstream during the 2013 season, but he said that it would be more difficult logistically.

"Anything is possible, but it's logistically challenging to figure out a method by which we could carry out the plan as the parties agreed to it," Birch said. "To implement the regular testing, we'd have to allow players to understand the system, clubs would have to have an understanding of how it would work, collectors, independent administrators those issues are all compounded with a makeshift system that doesnt have a fluid start."

The sides have only briefly touched base since last week, according to Birch.

"We've touched base, we resent them the letter (on the population study agreement) recently, reminding them what we agreed to," Atallah said. "But I mean, we're status quo."

Birch also emphasized, in explaining the league's position, that the NFL has made several concessions to have testing implemented.

One such agreement was on the controversial issue of Adderall. Birch said that, as part of the tentative plan, Adderall would be treated as a recreational drug during the offseason and a performance-enhancer during the season under the policy. That would mean that, in the offseason, a first positive would not lead to a suspension.

Birch took exception to the idea that the NFL and NFLPA don't want testing and are conveniently avoiding an agreement.

"We've been asking for HGH testing since 2008. It's been part of every proposal we've put together," Birch said. "When you look at the number of concessions we've made in order to fulfill the commitment to do HGH testing, one would have a hard time arguing that we'd make those concessions if we didn't want the testing. And look at the nature of the concessions we've made, they're sizable, but in the interest of resolving the issue and getting testing, we've made those concessions.

"From a PR standpoint, we've always maintained the best PR is to have an effective policy that restores public confidence in the game, is fair for the players and sends the right message to kids."
Atallah echoed Birch's thoughts there, saying in response to any question of the union's motivation, "I think that's silly."




2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
2015-04-15

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March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins Betting Odds and Preview
2010-10-23

Ben Roethlisberger goes on the road for the first time this year as his 4-1 Steelers travel to Miami in search of their fifth straight win over the Dolphins. The Steelers vs. Dolphins point spread is currently Pittsburgh -3 points at Sportsbook.com.

Miami is coming off an overtime win at Green Bay, but the Fins are in for a different challenge this week. The Packers never tried to establish the run, allowing Miami to dominate the ball. Pittsburgh will run (131 rush YPG), and the Dolphins have been burned by good rushing teams, yielding 156 yards to the Vikings and 146 to the Jets.

In Week 17 last year, the Steelers won 30-24 in Miami behind three touchdown passes from Roethlisberger. In his season debut last week against the Browns, Roethlisberger was 16-of-27 for 257 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Pittsburgh’s defense has been the strongest in the league, leading the NFL in scoring defense (12.0 PPG) and rushing defense (63.8 YPG). The Steelers have also forced 15 turnovers, which ties them for the league lead with Detroit.

Dating to last season, Miami has lost four straight SU & ATS at home. Its offense has also sputtered this year with 17.8 PPG (24th in NFL) and 348 total YPG (23rd in NFL). QB Chad Henne has a mere seven touchdowns in five games. Despite placing fourth in the league with 63 targets, WR Brandon Marshall only has one touchdown this season and just 12.6 yards per catch.

The teams have met four times since 2004, with Pittsburgh going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS. But this NFL betting trend from Sportsbook.com indicates that the Fins will finally beat Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Play Against - Any team (PITTSBURGH) - opportunistic team (2.5+ TO/game forced) against a team with <=1.25 TO/game forced, after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers. (24-4 over the last 10 seasons.) (85.7%, +19.6 units. Rating = 3*).<P>

After scanning some additional betting trends, the ‘over’ seems to hold value as well:

Play Over - Road teams where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points (PITTSBURGH) - off 1 or more straight overs, with a good scoring defense - allowing 17 or less points/game. (34-8 over the last 5 seasons.) (81%, +25.2 units. Rating = 4*).

MIAMI is 10-0 OVER (+10.0 Units) versus excellent rushing defenses - allowing <=70 rushing yards/game since 1992. The average score was MIAMI 22.0, OPPONENT 25.5 - (Rating = 4*).

To check out all of the NFL Week 7 betting odds and to place your bets, head over to Sportsbook.com now.


NFL: Favre, Minnesota on NBC Sunday night football
2010-08-21

Favre-watch for the summer of 2010 is over as the 40-year old indecisive legend has chosen once again to come back for another season. For a second straight year, he will put on the pads and purple for the Minnesota Vikings, looking to take last year’s magical campaign one more step. His first action, albeit for just a series or two will come on Sunday night in San Francisco, when his club travels to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in an exhibition game. Sportsbook.com lists the hosts as 3.5-point favorites with an accompanying total of 34.5.

The biggest question in San Francisco on Sunday night won’t have anything to do with the 49ers; it’ll focus entirely on who is under center for the Vikings. The summer drama that is Brett Favre is quickly becoming an August tradition, and Favre is now back with the Vikings. Of course, the way Sage Rosenfels started the preseason, there may be no need for Favre. Rosenfels was 23-34 for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota’s 28-7 win over St. Louis. The Vikings defense was equally as impressive, only allowing the Rams only 150 yards of offense.

On the injury front for Minnesota, wide receiver Percy Harvin is not expected to be in uniform following a scary episode on Thursday that saw him collapse on the practice field. Harvin, who has battled migraines throughout his life, was hospitalized overnight but is not expected to be out of the lineup for an extended period. Linebacker E.J. Henderson (leg) is a question mark for the Vikings on Sunday.

The 49ers opened the preseason in grand style with a 37-17 rout of the Colts in Indianapolis. David Carr was solid in relief of Alex Smith, connecting on 9-of-11 attempts for 98 yards and a TD. Rookie Anthony Dixon handled the load on the ground, rushing 21 times for 100 yards. The 49ers will have to take better care of the ball this week. Smith threw an INT and the team fumbled four times (losing three) vs. Indy.

After the strong defensive effort against St. Louis, one particular FoxSheets system points to Minnesota here:

Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (MINNESOTA) - after allowing 75 or less rushing yards last game. (27-8 over the last 10 seasons.) (77.1%, +18.2 units. Rating = 2*).

Interestingly, the line and total for Sunday night’s game moved in exactly the opposite direction of what you would expect upon Favre’s return. After opening a 3-point favorites, the 49ers are now off the key number and laying 3.5. The total has actually dropped from the initial number of 35 to 34.5.

Look for Sunday’s contest in primetime on NBC, starting at 8:00 PM ET.