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The Toronto Raptors are a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. They were last season and are again expected to be for 2014-2015. This Thursday, atop the Atlantic Division already, the Raptors will take on the Chicago Bulls. Only once they beat the best will their NBA odds reflect it.
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Despite a 6-1 record to start the year and their stellar backcourt operating at full capacity, the Raptors are just 25/1 to win the NBA Championship. The Bulls, in contrast, sit at 6/1 on the same futures list.
Perhaps Toronto’s expectations will change if and when they start beating elite teams on a consistent basis.
The Triple Crown races get all the publicity when it comes to thoroughbred racing in North America, but the richest race is in fact the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Classic is the marquee event of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and it will be held at historic Santa Anita Park in California this Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1.
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The Classic is run at 1 1/4 miles and is open to three-year-olds and up worldwide. The total purse is $5 million. Horses can qualify for the Classic by earning points in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, many of which are classified as “Win and You’re In” events.
The inaugural Breeders’ Cup was held in 1984 at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. Chief’s Crown won the first ever Breeders’ Cup race – the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Wild Again took the Classic with Pat Day aboard.
The Bovada morning-line Classic favorite is expected to be Shared Belief, who will start from Post 6 in the 14-horse field on Saturday. Undefeated in seven starts, Shared Belief is a three-year-old gelded son of champion sire Candy Ride. He has five stakes victories, three of the grade 1 variety, and $1,552,200 in career earnings. Shared Belief was named the Eclipse Award winner as champion two-year-old male for last season.
Three seasons ago, Derrick Rose was a league MVP, and the Chicago Bulls were legitimate contenders to win the NBA Championship. These days, despite having impressive NBA odds, the squad needs to prove that their superstar is officially back.
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Without Rose, the Bulls are a pillar of defensive might. The combination of players like Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol make them an Eastern Conference contender. But their superstar point guard could make the team’s 11/2 odds on the NBA futures market a reality.
You’ve seen him with Team USA and now in preseason. It’s time to make a judgment call about Rose and the Bulls in 2014-2015.
It may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the Cincinnati Bengals are the last undefeated team in the AFC. The hot start shouldn’t come as a surprise considering their young talent on the roster. Now climbing the sportsbook with 9/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, the Bengals are a compelling franchise and worth a second look.
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Giovani Bernard has rushed for three touchdowns so far this season, and wideout AJ Green has added a receiving touchdown of his own. The two young superstars are one of the reasons why things are looking up in Cincinnati.
Slotted to play the New England Patriots in the prime time game this Sunday and listed as -1.5 favorites, the Bengals can further establish themselves as a must-see NFL betting option next match.
With no shortage of capable contenders, the NBA’s Southeast Division will be worth checking out this upcoming season. From early favorite Washington to the more difficult to gauge Miami, Charlotte and Atlanta, there are four teams with legitimate chances for success. Picking a winner is no easy task.
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The Wizards lead the pack at +125 to win the southeast. Paul Pierce will suit up alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal, giving fans reason to feel confident, but there’s no guarantee that will be enough to tip the scales in their favor.
Elsewhere in the division, the Heat will adjust to life with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade front and center (+200 to win their division). The Hornets will look to prove that last year’s playoff appearance was no fluke (+400 to win division), and the Hawks will hope to ride the front court tandem of Paul Millsap and a healthy Al Horford to success (+500).
Committing to one winner is no easy task in the Southeast Division, but that’s part of the fun.
Basketball fans hoping to bet on the NBA MVP race this season have reason to be optimistic heading into the new season. While the award has been dominated by superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant for a while, there’s one third-year big man that could give them a run for their money. We’re talking about Anthony Davis.
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Though Davis spent time on the shelf in his first two seasons, there’s no denying that he has blossomed into an intriguing star. His New Orleans Pelicans were just 34-48 last season; they dealt with many injuries.
Davis is just 21 years old as he heads into the season, and he’s already an established 20-and-10 threat. If the Pelicans can sneak into the postseason, we can expect to hear the dark horse MVP candidate (25/1 odds) on the tips of everyone’s tongues.
Even without the Cleveland Cavaliers or Chicago Bulls, there is no shortage of intriguing NBA betting options in the traditionally less competitive Eastern Conference. The Washington Wizards sit next in line in the east. They’re 33/1 to win the NBA Championship, but they’re not the only team worth discussing.
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Joining the Wizards as threats to the status quo are the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. The Raptors were 46-33-3 last season and managed to bring their squad back together for 2014-2015. Kyle Lowry and company may not contend for a title with 50/1 odds, but they can still claim a playoff berth.
The Heat (40/1 to win NBA Championship) is an intriguing option for basketball betting. Gone is LeBron James, but the King’s departure creates an opportunity for Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. They were superstars before James’ arrival.
The absence of several short-list favorites has made the final rounds of the US Open all the more intriguing. Now with the final grand slam of the season nearing an end, the tennis betting community is charged with the task of predicting the best of the rest.
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Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro have both been absent from the tournament, and Martin de Potro is the only non-Big Four individual to win a grand slam between 2005 and 2013.By default, Novak Djokovic became the No. 1 seed; although, the Serb is a perennial favorite regardless of Nadal being in competition or not.The shaken up tournament has created opportunities for individuals like Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. One a legend of the sport who hasn’t won a grand slam title since 2012 and the other a fringe contender that won his first back at the Australian Open in January.
Through the first rounds of the tournament in New York, both Federer and Wawrinka have navigated the bracket unscathed, the former having lost but one single set. Over the course of the weekend, they’ll duke it out with each other and Djokovic for the tournament’s top honors.
Djokovic is 1/1 to win the US Open, and Federer follows suit with 2/1. Other contenders like Wawrinka (12/1) and Andy Murray (6/1) can be found further down the tennis futures.
While Donald Sterling has been on his way out as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for the better part of the past few months, the news is official now. Incoming owner Steve Ballmer has taken reins of the team. The move bodes well for L.A.’s NBA odds heading forward.
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Make no mistake, the Clippers were legitimate title contenders in 2013-2014. They were 46-35-1 against the spread and made up one of the most intimidating clubs in the Western Conference. However, the distractions at playoff time derailed them.
The team had an unproductive offseason with more focus on transitioning to Ballmer than signing a key free agent. The team, once a short list threat to win the championship, is now 12/1. That’s worth a second look.
Half way through one of the busiest months of the ATP season, tennis betting fans are gearing up for the masters-level Cincinnati Open. The perennial tournament comes just after the conclusion of the Rogers Cup and two weeks prior to the US Open.
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With a plethora of major names on the draw, the tournament serves as an interesting measuring tool for those looking to bet on tennis during the final stretch of the summer. In each of the past seven years, a member of the so-called Big Four has walked away victorious.
Household name Novak Djokovic can keep the trend alive in Ohio. The Serb is the early favorite (6/5 to win the Cincinnati Open).