Monday, April 30, 2012

Tony Romo?

We put the question mark after his name as we still have exactly that - questions about the Dallas Cowboys signal caller who will be 34 after his contract expires following the 2013 season. All quarterbacks in the NFL fall under plenty of scrutiny but Romo is seemingly in the spotlight more than most, if not the most of all of them.

Most of the time it feels as though he’s getting beaten up by the critics with very few – apart from the Cowboys fans – putting up much in the way of a cogent defence, although if you take a deeper look at his numbers and statistics a rather different story starts to emerge. Romo was and still is a productive passer but the fact remains that if you judge him on playoff wins he has just one to his name and with the core roster around him he really should have done an awful lot better, but he and the team have continually failed when the pressure is on down the stretch of the season.
What makes this season even more important is what do the Cowboys do for the future at quarterback, after an under achieving campaign last season Romo is under pressure to produce a winning season and a deep run in the post season. If he does then a contract extension is likely to be forthcoming but if we see the same old, same old then what then – will it be time to groom a new franchise quarterback?
The question could well be important even in the context of this year’s draft as the talent in that area runs pretty deep this year, we are not expecting Dallas to do anything with their first two picks to address this situation but taking a look in the later rounds is a big possibility.
Parting with Romo may well be painful for some Cowboys fans but we are sure others have thought about it and while it’s unfair to blame Cowboys stumbling efforts on the NFC East solely on his shoulders it may be time for Dallas to start looking at other options very soon.

Those wanting to bet on NFL or place NFL bets should follow the developments of this story.

Tebow Mania

After all the furore of TimTebow mania last year and to a certain extent on into this year and the post-season with the Broncos and his subsequent move to the Big Apple to compete with Mark Sanchez for the starting role at the Jets. The NFL now look to have jumped on the bandwagon themselves as they have released their latest offering from the NFL Films entitled the Top 10 Heisman Trophy Winners in the NFL and surprise surprise there is Mr Tebow at #7.
We thought that we could rely on the NFL Films franchise to accurately document the history of football, but it would appear in this case they would rather distort history and go with the today wave of Tebow mania.
The full list is as follows:
1. Barry Sanders
 2. Roger Staubach
 3. O.J. Simpson
 4. Paul Hornung
 5. Charles Woodson
 6. Tony Dorsett
 7. Tim Tebow
 8. Earl Campbell
 9. Marcus Allen
 10. Cam Newton
While we are about it the inclusion of Cam Newton on the list is also a shocker. Both Newton and Tebow have it must be said had an impact on the NFL but Newton has only played one season and Tebow is a quarterback with 14 career starts and a completion rate of 47.3 percent. How does that entitle him to be placed above two Hall of Famers in Marcus Allen and Earl Campbell and that’s’ before you start to look at the people that are left off the list so that the NFL can squeeze in the more marketable and current players like Tebow and Newton.
The Top 10 programmes on TV are usually very entertaining and in most cases enlightening but this one is bordering on laughable if you want to include players like Tebow and Newton above players who had very successful NFL careers like Tim Brown and Eddie George.
Lists such as these will always create debate but the decision to include Tebow at #7 is a very hard one for anyone to defend.

Those wanting to make NFL bets or to bet on NFL should follow the developments of this story.

NFL: Top Defensive Draft Prospects

While the exciting half of the 2012 NFL Draft is for those on the offensive side of the ball the practical half is to be able to improve your defence and possibly look to draft a game changer on the defensive side of the ball.
Taking a look through the defensive group as a whole there appears to be plenty of talent and potential at a variety of positions, so here we take a look at the best that the 2012 Draft can offer on that side of the ball.
Our first pick would be a Defensive Tackle where Dontari Poe from Memphis is a real athletic prospect, he may be a little raw but his potential quotient is extremely high, and we can see somebody taking a chance to see if they can realise that potential in the NFL.

Linebackers are always going to be important no matter what defensive system you are playing and out two standouts in this particular category would be Melvin Ingram from South Carolina and Luke Kuechly, Boston College. The former has a great combination of size and athleticism both of which will make him a natural pass rusher, the latter who some have expressed doubts about looks to have a great all-round game coupled with the ability to make plays all over the field. Punters who bet on NFL will be watching their progress closely.

If you are drafting in the secondary this year there are a host of good prospects especially at cornerback where plenty of NFL bets have backed Morris Claiborne from LSU. Claiborne is a true shutdown cornerback who can get physical at the line of scrimmage, as well as drop back into coverage, turn his hips and run with the receiver. He also has great ball skills and the ability to locate the football and cause the turnover. Whilst at the safety positions we would definitely be taking a good look at Oklahoma State’s Markelle Martin who whilst not the most instinctive player we have ever seen is extremely athletic with some natural coverage abilities, as well as speed and quickness.

The sexy half of the NFL draft is always the offensive side of the ball but all great NFL teams need to have balance within their squads and we have no doubt that there are some top defensive prospects available within this year’s NFL Draft.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gerrard, Kuyt Admit League Struggles

Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt admit Liverpool have not been good enough this season, despite their success in the domestic cup competitions.

Liverpool have won just three times in the Premier League, since the turn of the year, and are facing their worst position and points haul since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. 

The Reds sit two points behind Merseyside rivals, Everton, in eighth, and are in real danger of finishing in the bottom half of the table. The development has been upsetting for Liverpool fans betting on football

They have been a different side in the cup – lifting the League Cup in February and reaching the FA Cup final with a last-four victory over their neighbours – but the season is in danger of being overshadowed by their league struggles.

Gerrard wants Liverpool to build towards next season, during the final four games of the campaign.

"We know our league form hasn't been good enough, particularly in the second half of the season. We have to concentrate on getting it right - and forget about Chelsea in the FA Cup final", said the Liverpool skipper.

Dutch star, Kuyt, echoed his captain’s sentiments, saying the Reds will "not be satisfied" with their league position, regardless of how they end the season.

"We are playing for Liverpool, and when you do that you have to win every game. We have lost too many games and too many league points", said Kuyt.

"We can't look back; we want to change things, and we have to do that now by winning as many games as possible, between now and the end of the season." Reap the rewards of your Premier League betting predictions before the close of the current campaign.

Liverpool travel to Norwich City and host Fulham before the FA Cup final against Chelsea, on May 5, with another clash at home to the Blues coming a few days later. The Reds finish their season at Swansea City.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dunn Ready for 'Three Cup Finals'

Blackburn captain, David Dunn, is preparing for "three cup finals", as Rovers fight to avoid the drop. Blackburn are currently dead certs for the drop in the Premier League best odds.

Victory over Norwich City at Ewood Park, on Saturday, ended a five-game losing streak, and kept Blackburn alive in the battle for Premier League survival.

Rovers’ position is far from comfortable, however. They remain second from bottom, three points from safety, with only three games to save their season.

Blackburn travel to face out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur, on Sunday, before hosting fellow strugglers, Wigan Athletic, on May 7. Steve Kean’s side complete their season with a tough trip to Chelsea on the final day of the season.

Kean and the club’s owners, Venky's, have come in for much criticism, this season, with off-field problems sometimes overshadowing matters on the pitch.

Dunn has called for focus during the final few weeks of the season, and is well aware that they cannot afford any more slip-ups.

"I think, this year, everyone knows it has been a really testing season for us, both on and off the pitch", he told Sky Sports News.

"We have got to go down to Tottenham, really give them a good game, and try and win. The Wigan game, a week after, is a really big one. I would say that the next three fixtures are three cup finals for us."

Blackburn could be as many as six points away from safety by the time they kick off against Spurs, on Sunday afternoon, should the sides immediately above them claim all three points.

In that scenario, a defeat at White Hart Lane would all but relegate Rovers. The Championship beckons for Blackburn, but they will not give up the fight. Tottenham are heavy favourites for the win in the Betfred latest odds.

Swift Ready to Support Cav

Olympic hopeful, Ben Swift, has changed his plans for this summer, by opting to drop the track, in order to focus on supporting Mark Cavendish in the road race. 

The 24-year old was part of the Great British team pursuit team that went to the World Championships, in April. However, Swift then saw himself dropped from the team for Melbourne, encouraging the Yorkshireman the switch his focus for this summer.

Rather than battling it out for a place in the four-man, four-kilometre team pursuit, Swift will instead focus on challenging for a place in the five-man team for the 250km road race, with Cavendish looking to win gold for Britain, and Swift hoping to assist him

Swift made the decision following talks with British Cycling head coach, Shaun Sutton, road head coach, Rod Ellingworth, and men’s endurance chief, Dan Hunt. He admitted that, while it wasn’t final, the focus would now be on the road race in the run-in to this summer’s event in London

"I think I'm going to step away from the track now and try to pursue a place in the road team", Swift said. "I had a talk with my coaches, and made the call. That's going to be my goal now, to get into that road team.

"The road race will be harder to get selected and, while I’d never say never, at the minute, it's the road.” Swift will not feature in the Tour de France odds, despite his switch to road racing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chiefs will 'Never Give In' - Camacho

Exeter winger, Gonzalo Camacho, says that he and his team-mates will ‘never give in’, as they look to seal a place in the end of season play-offs.

The Chiefs were promoted to the top flight in 2010, and enjoyed an impressive first season in the Premiership, finishing eighth in the table. 

They have continued to improve, this term, and, after a strong start to the campaign, now lay just a single point outside the top four, with one game remaining.

Rob Baxter’s men could have sealed their place in the play-offs last Sunday, but they were beaten by Northampton, a result that saw Jim Mallinder’s side go above them in the standings.

The Chiefs now need to beat defending champions Saracens on the final day, and hope that Worcester can spring a surprise against the Saints’ at Franklin’s Gardens.

The sports betting odds are certainly against the Devonshire club, but Camacho says he and his team-mates will not give up on their dream of making the play-offs. 

The Argentine will miss the Sarries clash due to suspension, but he has backed his side to succeed. He is confident that the Warriors can do them a massive favour by winning at Northampton.

"It has been a great season for ourselves, and to be in with a chance of making the play-offs is massive", Camacho told Sky Sports."We are looking forward to one more chance of making the play-offs. We know it will be tough against the Saracens but it is great to be in this position, and we will look to bring back the result we need.

"Worcester play some really good rugby. They are a strong and physical side, so hopefully they can do well against Northampton for us”, he added.

Injury blow for O'Connor

The Wallabies have been dealt a potential blow with news Melbourne Rebels full-back James O'Connor is a doubt for the Tests against Scotland and Wales in June because of a lacerated liver.
Rugby previews expect the 21-year-old  to stay in hospital in Sydney for the remainder of the week and early reports have indicated he will not resume contact training for six weeks.
O'Connor took an accidental knee to the ribs in a heavy collision with Wallabies team-mate Berrick
Barnes in Saturday's Super Rugby defeat by the Waratahs.
It means he could miss the start of the Wallabies' 2012 campaign and a one-off Test against Scotland in Newcastle on June 5 before the visit of RBS 6 Nations winners Wales to Australia for a three-Test series.
Early reports suggest O'Connor could be available for the second Test against Warren Gatland's men in Melbourne on June 16, subject to his rehabilitation, although head coach Robbie Deans is unlikely to take any risks.
Another blow to Deans is the loss to injury of Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai, who could be missing for three months.
The 23-year-old, who made his Test debut against Wales in Cardiff in November, broke his collarbone in the Reds' loss to the Stormers on Saturday night - a result that went against the majority of the online bets placed on the game -and he now needs surgery.
Reports have suggested it is highly unlikely he will play any further part in the Reds' Super Rugby campaign.
The Reds will regroup and leave on Wednesday for New Zealand to take on the Blues in Auckland, where flyer Digby Ioane will return from a five-week suspension.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Caspar books his 2000 Guineas ticket

The admirable Caspar Netscher, a tough as teak juvenile last season who took his trainer Alan McCabe to all the big meetings throughout last summer and autumn, has carried on this year where he left off last by proving he has trained on in style in impressively winning the Group 3 AON Greenham Stakes at Newbury, in the process booking his place in the line-up for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5, writes Elliot Slater.
A winner last term of both the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury over six furlongs and the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York over the same trip, Caspar Netscher had arguably been very unlucky in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October when repeatedly denied a run inside the final two furlongs, eventually finishing full of running in being beaten just over a length in a blanket finish behind the Aidan O’Brien-trained Crusade.
Not disgraced when coming home eighth behind Wrote at Churchill Downs in November in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile, Caspar Netscher, a son of Dutch Art, had reportedly done well over the winter and arrived at Newbury with hopes high amongst horse racing betting tips that he would give a good account of himself.
Although he had never before raced on genuinely soft ground, any fears that McCabe’s charge would struggle on the testing surface were soon allayed as he travelled well under Shane Kelly before switching to the stands rail approaching the final furlong where he came through to take it up off Boomerang Bob and Bronterre before drawing away to win by a length.
Bookmakers reacted by trimming the Newmarket-trained colt to best racing odds of 25/1 for the 2000 Guineas having been available at 50/1 prior to his pleasing Greenham win. The likelihood is that the rock solid Caspar Netscher will finish with more horses behind than in front in the first colts’ classic of the 2012 campaign.

Not the time to falter for Spurs

Having impressed so much during the early stages of the season things have been going badly wrong for Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks and now the club are on the verge of missing out on the Champions League.
Spurs were sitting pretty in third place in the table just a couple of months ago and were even considered outsiders in the premier league betting.

But seemingly since manager Harry Redknapp was heavily linked with the England job following the resignation of Fabio Capello, things are not been well at White Hart Lane.
It’s hard to say how much of an impact Redknapp’s future at the north London outfit is having on the squad but the players must start turning their football scores around quickly, or their season will c
ertainly be looked upon as a failure by the Spurs faithful.

Tottenham were not counting on Newcastle United enjoying such a fine spell in the top flight and the
Magpies currently sit in that all-important fourth spot in the Premier League table.
However the Lilywhites do have a decent run in, with Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Fulham all left to come before the end of the season.
It will be a nervy time at the Lane in the coming weeks, as they hope to turn their fortunes around but Redknapp is confident four wins would get them into the Champions League.
He said: "We've just got to pick ourselves up. Nothing's change. I think maybe one or two are looking a little bit tired and we've run short in terms of having a strong squad. I'm not in a position where I can change my squad and make eight changes.
"No excuses. We've got four games to go. We can still do it. We've got to win four games. We've got to go on a good run now."

Smith Ready to Bring in New Era

London Irish director of rugby, Brian Smith, admits that the club are entering a transitional period, but insists that he is excited at the prospect of bringing in a new era.

The Exiles have had a disappointing season in the Premiership, and will lose a whole host of star names in the summer. 

Nick Kennedy, Delon Armitage, Paul Hodgson, Shontayne Hape, and Dan Bowden are all leaving Irish, while Bob Casey is retiring at the end of the season.

Half-backs, Shane Geraghty and Tomas O'Leary, are among the players joining the club in the summer.

"It's sad in a way to see senior players leaving, but on the other hand it is quite exciting", Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Smith hopes that the outgoing players are rewarded for their loyalty with a fitting tribute in their final game of the season, against Gloucester. The result of the fixture is too close to call in the rugby betting.

"It is very important to give these players a send off.  We've had some great warriors at this club, and the team that was built in 2005 is coming to an end, with Bob Casey playing his last game and Nick Kennedy leaving", added Smith.

"But there is a great bed of players here. We are going to rebuild with English-qualified players off the back of our academy, with a touch of Irish flavour, but we also want to sign some world-class players."

The former England attack coach added he was enjoying being back at the club he left in 2008. "I feel like I've come back home, everyone has welcomed me back with open arms", Smith said.

"There are a few things we are needing to do behind the scenes to freshen things up, to make sure we are putting some money into the playing squad, so that we have a very strong side for next season."

Prepare yourself for the Irish's upcoming clash, by checking out the best rugby betting offers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Brilliant Every sets new course record

Matt Every put the likes of Matt Kuchar, Freddie Jacobsen and Ben Curtis in the shade as he fired a superb nine-under-par 63 to lead the Texas Open after the first round in San Antonio.

The American’s round set a course record, as he improved the mark set by Ryan Palmer and Scott Piercy in 2010 by one stroke.

However, it could have been very different for the 28-year-old who got away with a badly-pulled approach shot on the first hole.

Every admitted afterwards: "That was really lucky. Pulled it. Knew it was going to be no good and then it hit the rocks and kicked up right next to the green. One of the best breaks I've ever gotten and I've been on the other end of those. I'll take it.

"No bogies is always good no matter what course. I didn't even know what the course record was until I got done.”

Kuchar, who finished tied for third at the US Masters earlier this month, stepped up his preparations for the US Open in June, by firing an opening round of 70, while Jacobsen shot a 68 and 2003 Open champion Curtis a five-under 67 that featured no dropped shots.

Hunter Haas is Every's nearest challenger though after he produced a spectacular eagle at the par-five final hole after hitting his second shot to five feet to finish with a 66, three strokes behind Every.

The best performing international player was Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson who shot a 68 for a share of a five-way tie for fourth.

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