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This Week in Sports Betting, A-Z
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 8/17/2010

Peter Crouch of England

A – Abbey Clancy. The English lingerie model who is engaged to England footballer Peter Crouch could be headed back on the market after a hat trick of allegations has fallen upon the 29-year old striker. Clancy burst onto the scene in this year’s SI Swimsuit Edition wearing nothing but bodypaint. And now she has been spotted without her $300,000 engagement ring on. This is after news broke of Crouch having a fling with a teenage prostitute and after pictures surfaced of him with two other blondes getting frisky on the French Riviera. Crouch was supposed to be on a romantic trip with Clancy to fix the relationship the night the incriminating pictures were taken.

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B – Barkley, Charles. The most quotable man in sports fired back at LeBron James after James tweeted that "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone.” If that list did not include Sir Charles it does now. Barkley called out South Beach-bound James saying, “I heard about LeBron's little tweet today that he's remembering everybody who said anything bad about him. And he said 'everybody.' Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on there.” It got better as Barkley went on a rant saying, "I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move.”

C – Champions League. Ten final berths are up for grabs in the UEFA Champions League playoffs that start Tuesday Aug. 17. Twenty two teams have already secured their spot in the group stage and now 20 more will compete for the final 10 spots, including Tottenham Hotspur FC from England and UC Sampdoria from Italy. To give a good indication the uphill climb the teams playing in this round face, the best odds of the 20 teams  to win the Champions League, belong to Tottenham Hotspur, who are listed at 40/1 on Bodog.

D – Duff, Hillary. The 22-year old former Disney star wed NHL player Mike Comrie over the weekend in California. Duff joins the likes of other blonde celebrities like Carrie Underwood and Elisha Cuthbert in being romantically linked to an NHL player. The NHL uniform features shorts, not pants, so not wearing the pants in this relationship should not be much of a transition for Comrie who is currently a free agent. It was Duff who doled out $3.85 million on a Hollywood mansion for the newlyweds. To put that in perspective, Comrie’s last contract was a 1-year deal worth $1.125 million. Comrie is now one of a few professional athletes who have a wife more famous and with a bigger bankroll. 

E – Eli Manning. First blood was drawn in the 2010 NFL season when the Giants’ quarterback left the field with blood pouring down his head from a three-inch gash after a hit in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Jets. Manning took a pair of shots first from his own running back Brandon Jacobs, who misread the play, and then from Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, who drilled Manning from behind. The hit and subsequent blood drew mostly cheers from a partisan Jets’ crowd at New Meadowlands Stadium.

F – FIBA World Championships. The World Cup of basketball will emanate from Turkey this year starting on Aug. 28 and running through Sept. 12. The event, held every four years, is not dominated by the United States like the Olympics. The U.S. has not won since 1994, but entering this tournament they are the heavy favorites at 4/11 on Bodog. The top-ranked team by FIBA is Argentina, who is 25/1 to win it, as is Brazil, who will rely on Leandro Barbosa, Nene and Anderson Varejao. Spain is defending champion and owners of the second best odds at 7/2. They will not have Pau Gasol, but they will have younger brother Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez, Jose Calderon and Ricky Rubio.

G- Gray, Jim. The broadcaster has now been involved in two of the biggest media blunders of the year. Just a month after partaking in the charade that was “The Decision,” Gray found himself in a shouting match with U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Gray reported that Pavin told him Tiger Woods was assured a spot on the Ryder Cup team, an accusation that Pavin denied. Gray then approached Pavin and placed his finger on his chest and told Pavin “You're going down.”

H – Haslem, Udonis. Possibly feeling left out of all the media hype surrounding the Miami Heat and their big stars, the seven-year veteran Haslem went ahead and got pulled over while speeding in his 2008 Mercedes. Not that big of a deal, but Haslem was also cited for illegal window tinting and upon searching the car drug paraphernalia was found and a passenger was found to have 20 grams of marijuana. The passenger, Antwain Fleming (no relation to former LeBron James teammate Antawn Jamison), claims all 20 grams were for him.

I – INT. Those letters will forever be associated with Mark Sanchez’s first ever pass attempt at New Meadowlands Stadium. The second-year quarterback picked up right where he left off last season when he threw an AFC-worst 20 interceptions. His first attempt of the 2010 preseason was intercepted by Antrel Rolle and returned 59 yards to the Jets’ one-yard line.

J – Jonas Brothers. The trio of brothers, their band mates and road crew accepted a challenge from ESPN to play a charity softball game and the Jo Bros came out on top, 3-0, in an embarrassing display by the crew from ESPN, who took on the nickname G.O.A.T.s, which apparently stood for Greatest of All Time. Instead, the group from ESPN that featured Mike Greenburg, Michelle Beadle and former professional athletes Marcellus Wiley and Eduardo Perez, played like goats in the shutout loss.

K – Kentwan Balmer. Week 1 in the NFC West just got a whole lot more interesting. The San Francisco 49ers traded away former first round draft pick Kentwan Balmer on Monday to division rival and Week 1 opponent Seattle. Balmer went AWOL from the team after meeting with head coach Mike Singletary. Upon returning he was immediately traded for a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft. Balmer never started for San Francisco in 27 games over two seasons but he is expected to start immediately with Seattle. Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan drafted Balmer in 2008 and now with Seattle, McCloughan and Balmer are reunited.

L – Leach, Mike. The most outspoken coach perhaps in college football history has joined the cable network CBS College Sports as an analyst. Leach was fired in December after allegedly mistreating Adam James, son of ABC and ESPN college football analyst Craig James. Pairing Leach and Craig James in studio would have been a ratings bonanza but ESPN opted not to and Leach joins a station that airs mostly Mountain West and Conference USA games.

M – Mannywood. The veteran slugger that is the namesake of the left-field seats at Dodgers Stadium hit the disabled list and so did the large “Mannywood” sign on the left-field fence. The sign has been replaced by a John Hancock Insurance Co. advertisement. Many discovered this once the Dodgers returned home from a seven-game homestand at the end of July and figured Ramirez was on the trading block. The Dodgers did away with the sign but have kept Ramirez and the “Mannywood” offer that sells for $99 and includes two tickets and two T-shirts.

N – November Nine. In the first approach of its kind at the World Series of Poker, nine finalists who survived the first eight days of the poker tournament in July will reconvene to decide the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. The final table beings Nov. 6 with a winner to be crowned on Nov. 8. Bodog has odds posted for the November Nine and overwhelming chip leader Jonathan Duhamel, with over 65-million chips, is a 9/4 favorite. Behind him is John Dolan (46 million chips) at 7/2. Two veteran professionals in the field who have as good a chance as anyone are John Racener (19 million chips) at 15/2 and Michael Mizrachi (14 million chips), who is listed at 7/1.

O – Officials Microphone. The 50,000+ fans in attendance at Heinz Field for the Steelers preseason opener Saturday night got to hear what really goes through an officials head during a booth review. Referee Jeff Triplett accidentally left his field microphone on during a booth review with a torrential downpour falling as the preseason game neared halftime. Either Triplett or another official was heard by all in attendance unleashing a profanity laced rant directed at the replay official that included such gems “If he does that again I’ll kick his fucking ass,” and “He’s trying to get to the Super Bowl already.” Of course who can blame the replay official, isn’t everyone in the NFL trying to get to the Super Bowl?

P – PGA Championship. Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in a playoff win over Bubba Watson, but the biggest story was the devastating two-stroke penalty assessed to Dustin Johnson. Instead of a three-man playoff to decide the PGA Championship, Johnson was docked two strokes after a controversial review determined that he had grounded his club on his second shot on the 18th hole. When a ball lay in the rough a club cannot touch the earth behind the ball prior to the swing. The controversy arose because fans were standing in the area and Johnson did not know it was considered the rough.

Q – Quotes. Jim Caple of ESPN Page 2 compiled the top 100 sports movie quotes. The list included such classics as Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday”, “The inches we need are everywhere around us," (No. 52); "Laces out,” from “Ace Ventura” (No. 45); Hyman Roth in “The Godfather II”, “I loved baseball ever since Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series in 1919,” (No. 36); Clubber Lang in Rocky III, "I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool,” (No. 35); and Marlon Brando’s classic from “On the Waterfront,” “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody,” (No. 9).

R – Revis Island. Darrelle Revis has put himself on an island this time with his training camp holdout going on two weeks. Revis, arguably the top cornerback in the NFL, wants to become the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. The Jets and their star defender remain about $40 million apart with the team offering $120 million over 10 years and Revis looking for $160 million over 10 years. The contract Revis desires would surpass the deal Oakland gave cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the current highest paid cornerback in the league.

S – Sonnen, Chael. The loud mouth underdog put together the fight of his life in the fight of his life against huge favorite Anderson Silva for 23 minutes. The only problem was that the middleweight title bout at UFC 117 was 25 minutes. Despite dominating nearly the entire bout and landing 289 counted strikes to Silva’s head, Sonnen was done in by a moment of madness when he did not notice Silva wrapping his legs around his neck in what ended up being the decisive submission move. Silva retains his title but Sonnen made a huge statement and a rematch seems inevitable at this point.

T – “Teenage Wasteland”. The hit song by The Who may have played a role in the New Orleans Saints upset of the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. In a candid interview this past week New Orleans coach Sean Payton said that it was during the playing of “Teenage Wasteland” that he decided to open the second half with an onside kick.

U – UFL. The other professional football league getting ready to start is doing so with five teams in the fold this year, up one team from last year’s four-team league. The teams competing this year are the Florida Tuskers, Hartford Colonials, Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions and the defending champion Las Vegas Locomotives, although it is doubtful anyone knows they won the title last year. The second UFL season kicks off Saturday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. when the Mountain Lions collide with the Colonials. Strangely enough the five home stadiums include a baseball field, three Division I-A college football stadiums and one Division I-AA college football stadium. The league did recently draw some attention when the Colonials landed former NFL Draft bust and Ivan Drago look alike Josh McCown. 

V – Victor Cruz. There were plenty of rumblings about this rookie wide receiver from UMass, but after his incredible one-handed basket catch along the sideline in a preseason game, a lot more people will recognize the Giants youngest wide out. Cruz, a New Jersey native, backed up his words earlier in the week when he said of the Jets/vs. Giants rivalry that “you always want to beat them…actually you kind of always want to beat the crap out of them.” Cruz’s 64-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter gave the Giants a 17-16 lead in the preseason game and he followed with two more touchdown receptions to put the game away. Cruz finished with six receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns.

W – Whitney Cummings. The annual “Comedy Central Celebrity Roast” went down over the weekend and this year’s victim was David Hasselhoff. Comedian Whitney Cummings delivered the most memorable rant of the evening that had everyone talking Monday morning. Cummings most controversial line came in discussing Pam Anderson. The comedian went on, “Pam you’ve slept with Bret Michaels, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock. Why don’t you just save yourself the time and drink a vat of Magic Johnson’s blood?”

X – XXIII. Arena Bowl XXIII is set for Friday, and while the roman numerals in the official title make you think of the Super Bowl, the location and ‘over/under’ lets you know right away this is not the NFL. The Arena Bowl championship will be decided in Spokane, Washington. The Spokane Shock are 3.5-point favorites over the Tampa Bay Storm. On yeah, and the total is 114.5.

Y – Yadier Molina. At the center of the donnybrook that broke out between NL Central front-runners Cincinnati and St. Louis was Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who took offense to Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips tapping his shin pads. After a heated discussion at the plate between Molina and Phillips, both benches emptied and a scrum developed that pushed its way to the netting above the backstop. The most bizarre part of the fight was Cincinnati pitcher Johnny “Kung Fu” Cueto, who started violently kicking players after being backed up against the netting. The kicking resulted in stitches for Jason LaRue and a seven-game suspension for Cueto.

Z – Miss Zambia. The annual Miss Universe Competition will take place Thursday, Aug. 19 in Las Vegas. Considering the venue it’s no surprise that there are odds for the event. The favorite on BetUS are Miss Mexico and Miss Russia (+700) and Miss Ireland, Miss USA and Miss Venezuela (+750). On the other end of the spectrum is Miss Zambia, Alice Musukwa, who is quite the long shot at +12000.  

 


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