Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Burleson injury news great for Lions fans

Detroit Lions fans concerned their offense lacks the spark needed to succeed in the NFC North next season will be pleased to hear injured wide receiver Nate Burleson is way ahead of his scheduled recovery time.

Burleson broke his leg in late October during Detroit’s 13-7 defeat to the Chicago Bears and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the 2012 season. The Lions arguably suffered from his absence, winning just two games after that Chicago game, but now fans can look forward to his return.

"The great news is I'm healed up," Burleson told NFL AM. "I just got news from my doctors that the bone is good. I'm running and jumping three months ahead of schedule."

Indeed, to be three months ahead of the recovery date is great news for both Burleson and Lions fans who bet on NFL, for there is a real chance of healthy competition growing within the team over pre-season training.

Burleson will tussle with veteran receiver Calvin Johnson once more this year and there may even be a surprise draft pick hidden up Detroit’s sleeve come the 2013 Draft this week.

If the Lions can bring in a young WR to learn off Burleson then the 31-year-old’s job of keeping his place will be tough but nonetheless rewarding.

Detroit needs competition in offensive positions as 2012 demonstrated and the departure of Titus Young certainly hasn’t helped things. Despite making the 2011 playoffs the team crumpled to a 4-12 season last term, finishing bottom of the division, and head coach Jim Schwartz needs to get this pack going again if they are to defy the NFL betting odds that are tipping them for another year of struggle.

Hopefully Ryan Boyles can return from injury as good as ever and if Schwartz can add another WR before August Detroit should possess a dangerous forward threat.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Djokovic revels in surprise win

Novak Djokovic admits he did not expect to win the Monte Carlo Masters after going into the tournament with an injury cloud hanging over him. The Serbian was a major doubt after damaging his right ankle on Davis Cup duty just a week before the start of the event in Monaco. The world number one decided to play and was clearly not 100 per cent fit during the early rounds. However, his decision ultimately paid off as he worked his way through to Sunday's final, where he ended Rafael Nadal's incredible stranglehold on the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-2 7-6 (7-1) victory. Nadal had held the title for eight years and entered the Masters 1000 showpiece protecting a 46-match unbeaten run. The clay-court king had no answer in the early stages as Djokovic took a firm grip on the contest. "The first six, seven or eight games were unbelievable. It's the best I can play on clay - well, it's the only way you can win against Rafa" said Djokovic, who lost finals in 2009 and 2012. The win will boost Djokovic's confidence as he prepares to avenge last year's French Open final defeat to Nadal at Roland Garros next month. He regards taking the risk to compete in Monaco as the "best decision of my life". "I cannot be happier than I am at this moment, knowing what I've been through the whole week – trying to recover and make my decision to play," added Djokovic. "If somebody had told me 10 days ago that I'd be winning the trophy, I wouldn't have thought it was realistic." The 25-year-old will continue his preparations for the second Grand Slam of the season at the Madrid Open in May. Don’t forget to head over to bet365 for all the latest tennis betting news odds, tips, advice and expert opinion, as well as their frequently updated promotions, including their latest in-play bet offer.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Higgins Picks up Early Defeat Once Again

Mark Davis took the biggest scalp of this year’s Betfair World Snooker Championship with a 10-6 victory over former four-time champion, John Higgins, much to the joy of fans who placed free bets online.

The pair also met in the UK Championship earlier in the season where Davis came out on top that day too, 6-5.

The man from Hastings was forced to qualify for the Crucible despite finishing inside the top 16 following the cut-off point for the World Championship. This was due to Ronnie O’Sullivan’s decision to defend his title even though he had not played one tournament on the circuit so far this season.

Davis led the opening session against the Scot 6-3, despite trailing 0-2 in the early exchanges. Breaks of 96, 85, 69 and 68 helped him to secure an advantage over night.

When the players returned on Monday afternoon, the world number 16 held his nerve to complete the upset 10-6. A break of 87 in the 16th frame was enough for him to progress into the second round where he will now face either Stuart Bingham or Sam Baird.

The 2012/13 season has been the best of Davis’ career so far. He reached his first ranking semi-final in the Wuxi Classic back in June. Wins over Ding Junhui, Jamie Burnett and Dott helped him into the last four. His run eventually came to an end in a final frame decider against Bingham.

Following his success in China, he continued his momentum into the Australian Goldfields Open where he went as far as the semi-final once again. He opening up with a 5-2 win over the talented youngster Jack Lisowski.

A victory over home favourite Neil Robertson followed as did success over Martin Gould. However, he was denied a spot in the final by the eventual winner Barry Hawkins.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mickelson’s Masters Preparations hit Snag

Phil Mickelson’s hopes of landing a fourth Masters title were dealt a blow following after the 42-year old opted out of playing in a warm-up event ahead of the first major of the year.

Mickelson has always liked to play the week before a major, but the left-hander decided against playing the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio because the tournament did not offer the right conditions in which he could prepare for what he will come up against at Augusta.

Previously, the final event before Augusta was the Shell Houston Open at the Redstone GC Tournament Course, but a switch in the schedule saw that event moved forward by a week, throwing off Mickelson’s preparations for the Masters.

He was fourth in Houston before his impressive third place at Augusta last year and also played there the week before winning the 2010 Masters.

Before that, the pre-Masters event had been the BellSouth Classic at Sugarloaf - which was another tournament prepared with Augusta very much in mind - and Mickelson won there before his 2004 Masters success.

Mickelson has admitted to US Masters betting pundits that he is concerned by his lack of competitive action in the run-up to the season’s first major, especially taking into consideration the unforgiving nature of the course at Augusta.

"I find when I take a week off I come out just mentally not sharp. The more I play, the sharper I get, and usually the second or third tournament is when I play my best,” revealed Mickelson.

"So that's why I like to have a tournament before a major, because a major's penalty for a miss is so severe, you've got to be sharp on each shot right from the gate."