Sports Betting – Advice for Accurate Bookkeeping of Your Sports Bets

One of the major characteristics resulting from the realization of regular and constant sports bets is that you are your own boss. Therefore, in addition to being able to enjoy an ample range of advantages and ease, a series of obligations must be added that become indispensable if we wish to have success in sports betting.

One of these obligations is, without a doubt, maintaining a rigorous and trustworthy accounting records. In spite of how heavy and tedious it can become to account for all of our bets, as much keeping a record of our predictions like we do with the predictions of those we normally follow, this task can be one of the most useful tools when talking about analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the improvement of results.

We don’t need powerful statistical programs to keep an accounting record of sports bets, but just an Excel spreadsheet, which we can customize to our liking. Excel has a multitude of functions and formulas that we can use in accordance with the time and knowledge we have.

Nevertheless, there are a series of recommendations and basic advice for when we create our accounting sheet:

-Basic Columns: There are a series of basic fields that I don’t suggest you leave out, because they can be very useful when breaking down statistics, which we can highlight:

Date of event, Game, Prediction, Odds, Stake, Result (if the bet was won or lost), G/P Stake, Amount Betted, G/P Amount Betted, Tipster, Sport, Competition, and Segmented Odds. Obviously these fields are just a suggestion and in practice, you should add those parameters that you find useful, and remove those that you deem useless.

-Establishing Filters: The application of filters lets us select the statistics of a tipster or a determined group of tipsters. In addition, we can select and study the selections of a determined sport or competition, completed bets during a selected period of time, etc.

-Make regular evaluations: It’s very important to make these evaluations at least every two months. Monthly is recommended. In my opinion, between 600 and 1300 annual bets is an acceptable volume of bets if you want to focus your path on sports betting in a professional or semi-professional way. Comparing month to month our journey through the world of gambling can be very useful in identifying possible mistakes we’re making or determine the impact of luck, because a very basic mistake is not looking at it with perspective, concentrating on the short-term.

-Assessing all completed bets: Another very common mistake among gamblers, in beginners as much as experts, is make bets outside of our chosen system and that we make only because we have a hunch. These bets, like the rest, should be documented and assessed for post-analysis. If when we have sufficient samples that these bets are not profitable, we will need to eliminate them from our behavior.

By Matt Sacoche

Advantages of Online Sports Betting to the Economy

The sports betting industry shows no signs of slowing down. Because it is a flexible business venture, it can stand against the blows of the biggest economic recession the world is experiencing now. It even demonstrated an increase of 12% in revenues last year during the height of the financial crisis. Online sports betting continue to maintain a bright market even as other industries surrounding it continue to crash and burn.

Although many moralists and prohibitionists are pushing for its complete eradication on the internet, economists could attest that the industry has nothing but advantages to offer to the economy at large. Here are some of the advantages that sports betting offer.

  1. The competition that online sports betting wage against its real-life casino and gambling counterparts will only force the industry to improve. Innovation in practices and corporate traditions will inevitably take place because it becomes a necessity to survive and remain in business. Online betting sites will improve their software and graphic display capabilities to entice more players and increase their betting volumes. At the end of the day, consumers and bettors will be the ones to benefit from the competition among online sports betting sites.
  2. Online sports betting will force real-life betting casinos to lower their prices and widen their options for consumers. No one can deny that gambling sites are attractive to bettors around the world primarily because they are very accessible. Anyone can wager no matter where they are in the world, 24 hours a day around the clock. This fact will make live casinos consider lowering their customer fees to offer a more competitive and attractive consumer service.
  3. Online sports betting will serve as the wellspring of other industries. BPO and KPO businesses all over the world will ultimately benefit from gambling sites. They serve as the backend of the business and if more sites become rampant on the net, the more in demand their services become.
  4. The industry will create more employment opportunities especially for those who are working in the BPO and KPO industries. Call center solutions and pay per head data solutions will also improve, which will lead to generation of more jobs for people around the world.

By Matt Sacoche

What is a Circled Game Mean in a Sports Betting Event?

Visitors to Las Vegas or online sportsbooks may come across some games on the betting board that will have special rules attached in the betting. Such games will be circled on the betting board. A red box means that the line is “circled” and subject to reduced betting limits.

Often time’s sportsbooks will circle games on the betting board due to injuries to impact players. NFL teams competing on Sunday’s must submit their injury reports on Friday and provide updates on Saturday. In recent years the NFL adopted a rule forcing teams to disclose on Wednesday through Friday who missed practice and who had limited work during practice. The best practice for sports betting professionals would be to browse individual team websites that post the injury and practice information about the health of their players.

The injury reports have been very accurate in recent years because the NFL wants to protect the integrity of the league because inside information on injuries could be exploited. So teams have been very forthcoming about the health of their players. Injuries to impact players like the starting quarterback, running back and impact wide receivers will cause Las Vegas and online sportsbook to circle the game on the sports betting board until their status come game time is determined. Sharp sports bettors follow the best practice of shopping individual sports books to shop for the odds that are best set on the side they want to bet on.

Sometimes Las Vegas or online sportsbooks may miss important injury information on teams and a smart bettor may bet into a good betting number that favors the bettor. Professional gamblers look for knee, foot and ankle injuries to running backs. A running back who is not 100% healthy and playing with ankle, foot or knee injuries will see their average yards per carry often fall well below their average. This puts the offense in second and third and long situations or what is known as obvious passing situations. Defenses who know the pass is coming can adjust into pass coverage creating less space for the wide receivers to run routes making a pass completion by the quarterback much more difficult which raises the possibility of a turnover. With a capable back up running back it is often better for a team to not play a running back that sports ankle, knee or foot injuries. Many professional sports bettors will look to play against a team who is starting an impact running back who is playing with an ankle, foot or knee injury.

If inclement weather is forecasted for the site of an outdoor game a sportsbook will circle the game and bettors will have betting limits reduced on the game up until about an hour until game time. Wind can factor greatly in the passing game and the best practice for professional sports bettors will look to play under in college and pro football if the betting line has not already been bet down. There are times when the professional has the inclement weather information before the Las Vegas or online sportsbook and this is a scenario when they make advantage bets.

Many sports bettors will find NBA games circled on the Las Vegas or online sports betting board. Often times an NBA team will report a mild ailment from a player in their rotation and list them as questionable or doubtful. Smart betting professionals will tune into NBA team’s pregame show 30 minutes prior to the start of the game to get specific injury information about teams impact players on their rotation. In the NBA if an impact player is lost to injury the replacement player will often step up and the team will have point spread success in the first game the team plays without their impact player in the lineup.

A line may be circled when factors other than game play (e.g., injuries or weather conditions) could affect the outcome of the game. As many bookmakers don’t have enough information on the game and can’t accurately balance the action as it comes in, circled lines can’t be added to a parlay. Some online or Las Vegas sportsbooks may have too much action on one side of the game and even with a line move they cant attract action on the other team. Most sportsbook business models are set to attempt to balance trade on all games and protect their bottom line. Most sportsbooks try to attempt to have all of their lines un-circled. The red box may be removed closer to the start of the game.

By Matt Sacoche

American Sports Betting Explained: Understanding Odds

Sports betting can be a bit intimidating if you’re trying to bet on sports played in a foreign country. However, one of the best opportunities to profit from sports betting is to place bets on American sporting events.

Now that the United States has passed laws making it even more difficult for Americans to place bets on sporting events in their own country, there will be even more opportunities for astute gamblers to win big money betting on sports. Why? Because sports betting is a competition among the people who participate in it. The sports books set the point spreads based on how people are betting, not necessarily on who they think will win the game. This creates an opportunity for the “smart money” gamblers to place high percentage bets, and to win lots of money!

But before you can hope to do this, there are three important things you need to understand about American Sports Betting:

1. You Must Understand The Betting Odds

Let’s just stick with American Football. The way most people bet these football games is by using the pointspread, also known as the “line” or simply as the “spread.” Here’s how this works. Say the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Cleveland Browns and everybody expects the Steelers to win easily. The sports books will put a “line” on the game to try to get an equal amount of money bet on both teams. They might say the line is Pittsburgh -7. This means that if you bet on Pittsburgh, you have to “give” the Browns 7 points. You win your bet if Pittsburgh wins by more than 7 points. If Pittsburgh wins by exactly 7 points, it’s called a push, and you get your bet back.

2. There Are Also “Money Line” Betting Odds

In addition to the point spread, you must also be aware that there is a “money line” with each game. There are only two types of money lines -one when you bet on the favorite, and the other when you bet on the underdog. These money lines work differently.

When you bet on the favorite, the money line shows how much money you have to bet to come out ahead by $100. If the money line is -110, that means you have to bet $110 and if you win, you get your $110 back PLUS your $100 winnings. In other words, when you see -110 that shows the amount you are risking to win $100.

When you’re betting on the underdog, the money line works differently. For example, you might see a money line at +135. When you see a + sign in front of the number, that means that this bet is on the underdog. What this represents is the amount of money you win if you bet $100. For example, if the money line is +135 that means if you bet $100 and you win your bet, you get your $100 back, PLUS your $135 winnings.

3. Even With Point Spread Bets, There Are Still Money Line Odds

Typically when you make a bet using the point spread, the money line is -110. What this means is that whether you take the team getting points, or the team giving points, you still need to bet $110 just to win $100. For example, if the Steelers are -7 and you bet on them, you bet $110 that the Steelers will win by more than 7 points, and if you’re right, you get your $110 back, PLUS you’re $100 winnings.

 

By Matt Sacoche

The best sports books of 2014

Roy Keane

Roy Keane opens this year’s autobiography with a discussion of the expensive and embarrassing legal case that resulted from comments in his last autobiography. If the reader imagines this experience might lead Keano to play it safe this time round, he disabuses us on page 16 when he describes a hotel punch-up with his Manchester United team-mate Peter Schmeichel.

He clearly revels in confounding expectations: later on, he admits he joined Celtic – turning down Real Madrid – primarily because their manager, Gordon Strachan, didn’t seem especially bothered to have him and he needed to prove him wrong. This compulsion makes The Second Half (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £20), written with Booker-winner Roddy Doyle, comfortably the most engrossing sports autobiography of 2014.

The other sports book to dominate headlines this year was Kevin Pietersen’s KP(Sphere £20)correct, ghosted by David Walsh. This is less ambitious stylistically, but similarly titillating, perhaps because neither he nor Keane is constrained by much self-doubt. Reading between the lines, however, KP does offer a sly insight into a peculiarly English sport mentality. Had he played for any other nation, the South African-born Pietersen would not only have flourished on the field, as he did for England, but also been revered off it, too. His blustery autobiography makes it clear why his hook-up with England was always a marriage of convenience doomed to end in divorce.

There are more lurid revelations, though of a very different and more challenging kind, in Anna Krien’s Night Games (Yellow Jersey £12.99). In the past decade, there have been more than 20 accusations of sexual assault made against Australian sportsmen, many of them Aussie Rules players. Krien’s book follows one case, though it’s not a high-profile one; instead, it involves a friend of some young stars – “a hanger-on”, the prosecution calls him – who was alleged to have raped a woman in Melbourne after a match in 2010. This is powerful, important writing, and Krien shows her workings throughout, including uncomfortable twinges of empathy for the accused.

A much higher-profile court case is picked apart in an avalanche of Oscar Pistorius books. Again, the power of these accounts comes from the light that one incident can cast on disturbing cultural problems, specifically violent crime against women in South Africa, a country where police estimate that a woman is raped every 36 seconds. The fullest and most analytical of the new batch is John Carlin’s Chase Your Shadow (Atlantic £17.99).

The boom in cycling books shows no signs of being punctured. Lance Armstrong still looms large over the sport, but publishers seem to be becoming more creative, even esoteric, with their subjects. One example is Herbie Sykes’s moving and enjoyable The Race Against the Stasi (Aurum £18.99), which tells the story of the Peace Race, the Eastern Bloc’s answer to the Tour de France, and specifically of a cyclist from East Germany in the 60s called Dieter Wiedemann, who defected to the west in 1964.

Another offbeat collection is Lanterne Rouge (Yellow Jersey £16.99) by Max Leonard, which concerns the men who finish last in the Tour de France, literally the longest-suffering competitors in perhaps the world’s most painful race. Leonard extracts the dignity that sometimes exists in sporting failure; this is not the world of Armstrong, Keane or Pietersen and all the more appealing because of that.

Can the Revolution ever thrive in the Boston sports market?

The Revs are surrounded by some of the most famous teams in US sports. They’ll need titles if they are to make any kind of impact

New England Revolution

 New England Revolution went down to another MLS Cup defeat on Sunday. Photograph: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

Stepping into the Banshee on Sunday afternoon was like stepping into an alternate dimension, one where local fans embraced the New England Revolution as strongly as they do the Boston Red Sox or New England Patriots. There was barely room to stand in the Dorchester Bar, the site of a MLS Cup final viewing party, which was filled with fans clad in Revs gear, an experience something like stumbling into a stable full of unicorns. These fans, however, were very real and very loud. Before and during the championship game between the Revolution and the LA Galaxy the loyal supporters contributed profane chants, along with theatrical cheering and booing, trying to will their team to victory despite the fact that the game was taking place several time zones away.

Despite their best efforts, the underdog Revolution, of course, lost the game. That’s what they do at the MLS Cup final. Sunday was their fifth trip to the championship game and their fifth loss. It’s officially at the point where calling the Revs the “Buffalo Bills of MLS Cup” is completely unfair. To the Bills. But the defeat does raise serious questions for the Revs – can they survive (and even thrive) in a market that boasts some of the most successful teams in US sports. Teams that have histories stretching back decades before MLS – and the Revs – even existed.

OK, it’s a bit unfair to label the Revolution as perennial losers. Historically speaking a team has to be good just to get that many chances to fail in the last game of the season. Still, outside of New England, this year’s Revolution team will be a footnote to the story of Landon Donovan ending his career with a championship. Inside of New England, it probably won’t be remembered much at all. In Boston, news of the Galaxy’s victory over the Revolution was mostly drowned out by pregame coverage of Sunday’s regular season Patriots game against the Chargers.

 Robbie Keane’s game-winner.

It’s no secret that MLS, despite its growth in popularity is some way off the riches of the NBA or NFL, but the Revolution have had a particularly tough time getting fan support. A large problem is, oddly enough, that the region is too obsessed with sports. While the Revolution have been five-time MLS Cup runners up since 2002, the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins have all won championships (multiple ones in the case of the Patriots and Red Sox). That’s a lot of teams, and a lot of sports history. It doesn’t leave much room for the Revolution, a team playing a game that’s still in the early stages of being accepted as a spectator sport locally.

It also doesn’t help that the Revolutions’ owners, the Kraft family, devote most of their time and energy to the much more popular and lucrative Patriots. The worst aspect of this arrangement is that the Revs play their home games in Gillette Stadium, a football stadium closer to Providence, Rhode Island than Boston. In an April article for Boston Magazine entitled “The Krafts are the Worst Owners in the League,” Kevin Alexander detailed the Revolution’s attendance woes in painful detail:

A week later, the Krafts’ other team, the New England Revolution, faced off against the Columbus Crew in their final MLS home game of the year. At 26,548, the crowd was the best of the season, but the fans’ uneven distribution throughout the lower bowl of the 68,756-capacity stadium left big pockets of empty seats. A red tarp covered a large swath behind the first 20 rows in back of the southern goal. Across the field, the Revs’ biggest supporters’ group, the Midnight Riders, did their best to bring the ruckus, but at times Gillette was so quiet that you could clearly hear the players’ yells and the dull thud of boot on ball. And this was with a crowd 78%bigger than usual: The Revs averaged 14,844 fans per game last season, fourth worst in the 19-team league.

The good news for the Revolution is that recent events have rendered some of Alexander’s points moot. It’s harder to argue that the Krafts are too cheap to sign a Designated Player to draw in more soccer fans after they signed Jones for $4.3m in August. As the Revs went on their post-Jones signing tear, Gillette Stadium was bringing in record crowds, their last home game of this season was attended by 30,000 fans. There’s even been renewed talk of there eventually being an actual soccer stadium for the team to play in.

Ultimately, there is only one sure thing that would allow the Revolution to truly capture the headlines away from their peers and that would finally be taking home the Cup. Until New England somehow reverse their history of failing at MLS’s highest stage, the sight of huge gatherings of Revs fans will remain what it is now: an occasional novelty that has to be sought out.

Geraint Thomas wins BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014

Geraint Thomas claimed Road Race gold at Glasgow 2014, having also won bronze in the Time Trial and riding brilliantly in the Tour de France just weeks earlier

Cyclist Geraint Thomas has been voted the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014 at an awards ceremony in Cardiff.

The Team Sky rider succeeds rugby union star Leigh Halfpenny, whowon in 2013.

Results of a public vote were revealed at the Wales Sport Awards,  in which BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales celebrated Welsh sporting success.

Jo Coombs took the Coach of the Year award after leading the Welsh rhythmic gymnastics squad to eight medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Thomas, 28, went straight from his highest-placed finish in the Tour de France to the Commonwealth Games, where he won a bronze in the Time Trial and then claimed gold in the Road Race in dramatic fashion – overcoming a late puncture and a wheel change to cross the finish line first.

Those performances helped Thomas, who won Olympic gold in 2012, secure the public vote just ahead of second placed gymnast Frankie Jones and mountain biker Manon Carpenter in third.

Thomas, who is away at a training camp in Mallorca preparing for the start of the season in Australia in January, was presented with the trophy by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Thomas.

“You look at all the previous winners – Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes, Colin Jackson, Tanni Grey-Thompson – all household names.

“I just want to say a massive thanks to all who voted and all those who’ve supported me throughout the year.

“The Welsh flag is one of the ones you see the most now on the roadside during races, and it was just fantastic to cap that off in Glasgow in a Welsh jersey – which I don’t get to wear that often.”

Jones won one gold and five silvers to become the most successful individual Welsh athlete at the Commonwealth Games. Wales’ flag bearer at the opening ceremony, the 24-year-old then scooped the David Dixon award for outstanding athlete of the Games based on performance, fair play and overall team contribution.

Carpenter won the Mountain Biking Downhill World Cup series and the 21-year-old was gold medallist at the Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships.

The other seven nominees chosen by an expert panel for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2014 were footballer Gareth Bale, cyclists Elinor Barker and Rachel James, swimmers Jazz Carlin and Georgia Davies, golfer Jamie Donaldson and Judoka Natalie Powell.

The individual nominations were peppered with athletes who had performed outstandingly at Glasgow 2014, and that saw Team Wales named Team of the Year for their Commonwealth Games exploits that saw a record 36 medals won.

Snooker legend Terry Griffiths was given the Lifetime Achievement award . Griffiths won the World Championship in 1979 and had a glittering career as a player at the highest level, then became the leading coach in the game.

The Community Lifetime Achievement honour was given to Swansea boxing stalwart Terry Grey. He took over the running of the Gwent Amateur Boxing Club in 1971 and has built a thriving boxing and sport venue in one of Wales’ most deprived communities.

Taffs Well RFC’s Donna Marshall picked up the Volunteer of the Year for work that includes giving young people with autism opportunities to play the game, while theYoung Volunteer of the Year went to Bridgend’s Rhys Young.

Rhyl FC Academy coach Niall McGuinness took the Young Coach of the Year prize for boosting numbers and helping players make the step-up to professional clubs.

The Carwyn James Sportsman of the Year prize was was given to David Omoregie. The 19-year-old 110m hurdler won bronze at the World Junior Championships in July 2014 in a time of 13.35 seconds.

Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnast Laura Halford won the Carwyn James Sportswoman of the Year. After taking the Welsh and British senior titles earlier in the year the 18-year-old won three medals at Glasgow 2014.

Paul Jenkins was crowned top Coach to Disabled People of the Year after leading the British Invictus Games wheelchair rugby team to gold alongside his work with the South Wales Pirates club.

The BBC Cymru Wales Unsung Hero award went to Newtown’s Bill Marlow, a former teacher who now dedicates his time to getting kids in Mid-Wales involved in orienteering. After winning the BBC Cymru Wales award, Bill will now go on to represent Wales in the UK final, which will be announced during BBC Sports Personality of the Year on BBC One Wales on Sunday, 14 December.

To complete the list of winners, triathlon coach Royden Healey was named Community Coach of the Year, having given hundreds of young people the opportunity to try the sport.

Chair of Sport Wales, Professor Laura McAllister, said: “Every year we strive to achieve more as a nation in sport, and winners at the Wales Sport Awards highlight that we have stepped up another level.

“At both the elite and grassroots level we are seeing unprecedented success in terms of medals and the numbers of people taking part in sport.

“Our next challenge is to support more and more individuals to have the same impact as our Awards winners. It’s the only way we’ll continue the positive momentum in Welsh sport.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: “What an extraordinary year it’s been for Welsh sport. The ceremony was the perfect opportunity to focus on the achievements of those inspirational teams and individuals who have made the last 12 months so special.

“From cycling and football to boxing and gymnastics, it’s a thrill to see this wealth of world-class sports men and women competing for Wales – as well as recognising those talents behind the scenes who make it all possible.”

The ceremony will be replayed in full on the Red Button at 22:00 GMT on Monday, 8 December. BBC iPlayer viewing will be available for seven days.

 

The Anti-Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2014

Some possible contenders for anti-Spoty 2014?

Ben Stokes

It has been a bad year for sportsman-door interactions and Stokes got this particular ball rolling in March when his West Indies tour ended with a first-ball duck in his final innings and a furious assault on a locker that left the all-rounder nursing a broken wrist and ruled out of the World Twenty20. “It was a huge error in judgment following a frustrating tour for me,” he said. “It’s obviously something I regret doing and hopefully in the future, if I get to that point again, hopefully I can deal with it in a way where I don’t break a wrist.” Chance would be a fine thing – in his pre-professional days Stokes once broke a bone attacking a fire door, so this was not even a first offence. He has since returned to the England squad but in 11 innings from that day onwards he has averaged 8.40 with the bat in all internationals, with eight of his innings ending for six runs or fewer (and mostly fewer; there are five ducks on that list).

Josh Hodgson

More door-sportsman interaction, though this time the battle had a different winner. Hodgson has not had a terrible sporting year and ends it having swapped Hull KR for Canberra Raiders but it will be remembered for the moment after England went out of the Four Nations, when a night out ended, in the early hours of the morning, with Hodgson launching himself at the flimsy door of a student flat in Dunedin, flying straight through it and leaving a Hodgson-shaped hole behind. All of this, and the celebration that followed it, was videoed and swiftly uploaded to the internet, which enjoyed it very much. “Josh has said that he is embarrassed by what he has done,” sniffed a spokesman, but trips to New Zealand – where a few years ago the union side endured a series of ferry-leaping, dwarf-throwing and indeed sporting humiliations – are swiftly becoming problematic in both codes (and not always for the tourists).

Aaron Cruden

Cruden was in the All Blacks squad preparing to depart on a tour of Argentina in September but, when their flight was delayed from Saturday afternoon to the following morning, a group of players decided to go out for the night. The good news is that – unlike several of the alcohol-fuelled evenings mentioned elsewhere in this list – Cruden’s night at the Zookeeper’s Son, a bar in Auckland, passed without major incident and at its end he went to bed and swiftly fell asleep. The bad news is that he was still asleep when the rest of the squad took off the following morning. Cruden later revealed that he “made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake” and that as a result would forever “carry the burden of shame and disappointment”. Fortunately the New Zealand coach, Steve Hansen, is the forgiving sort – “Our team is like a family and, if one of your family members mucks up, you don’t stop loving them” – and Cruden was swiftly welcomed back into the fold.

Jack Wilshere

Wilshere not only forced Sky to apologise (not for the last time, as we will see) by turning an apparently innocuous Arsenal FA Cup trophy parade into an anti-Tottenham swearfest but he was then pictured smoking at least two different smokable goods while lounging in a large Las Vegas hot tub during a post-World Cup luxury break with assorted pals and Joe Hart. There is nothing wrong with a footballer letting off a bit of steam after a long and difficult season but on this occasion it was the Jacuzzi that was letting off steam, while the sportsman exhaled smoke instead. Having been pictured smoking outside a London nightclub last October one would have thought Wilshere might know better, but apparently not. “I made a mistake then and I made a mistake again – people make mistakes,” the midfielder said. “It’s unacceptable. I’ll accept the consequences and move on.”

Andrew Strauss

Wilshere was not the only person this year to force Sky into an embarrassed apology, nor the most memorable. Gerhard Berger popped up before the Austrian Grand Prix and promised to be on his best behaviour, apparently because “you already told me not to use the words shit or fuck”; and there was the fan on transfer deadline day who crept up behind a Sky Sports News reporter, who was gamely attempting to bring the world the latest Everton-related rumours from a Merseyside car park crowded with assorted hoodlums and ne’erdowells – there are easier jobs, probably – before assaulting him with a large purple dildo. But the winner of this particularly unedifying battle has to be Andrew Strauss, whothought Sky had turned the microphones off before Nick Knight asked for his opinion of Kevin Pietersen and declared himself “mortified and profusely sorry” after his explicit response was broadcast worldwide.

Awk-ward.

Pinterest

Awk-ward. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

Danny Coles

Increasingly British-based footballers confine their misdemeanours to Twitter, which snared high-profile victims from Rio Ferdinand to Mario Balotelli over the course of the year. But the then-Exeter City captain Coles suffered a particularly bad case of microblogging madness, when responding to a bit of badinage from a teenage fan (“I just thought it was a bit of banter”) with a blunt exhortation to “fuck off cunt”. As a result of his shamefully Straussian language Coles was stripped of his captaincy and transfer-listed. “I have deleted my Twitter account and will be making sure that I impress upon the rest of the squad the importance of realising what damage ill-judged remarks on social media can do,” Coles said. Sadly he did not pay much attention himself – a few weeks later he was in trouble again for posting a rude message on Instagram (“I genuinely didn’t think anyone else was going to see it. I’ll watch my language from now on”), and two weeks later he joined Forest Green Rovers on a free transfer.

Kevin Grosskreutz

For all that his summer ended with a World Cup medal round his neck and a large tattoo of the trophy on his left shoulder (no matter that he saw not a single minute of Brazil-based action), it started pretty poorly for Kevin Grosskreutz. First there was the time in early May when he “felt my private sphere violated” by some chanting rival fans while on a night out in Cologne and threw a doner kebab at them (one of them said the chilli sauce hurt his eyes and reported the incident to the police). Then a couple of weeks later, after his Borussia Dortmund side lost the German cup final to Bayern Munich, a team night out ended in the early hours with Grosskreutz urinating in the lobby of a plush Berlin hotel. “I was totally frustrated after the game,” he explained. “I had a blackout, I’m sorry.” (Grosskreutz had fled the scene by the time police arrived, something the Australian rugby star Greg Bird could not manage after a similar incident on the night of his wedding this month but then he did not give himself much of a chance: he had urinated on a police car.)

Vanessa-Mae

If entries in this list were judged purely on sporting performance the violinist would probably deserve a place, having finished a miserable last out of 67 entrants in the Olympic giant slalom. “With my limited experience at my age I’m happy I made it down,” she said, grinning, at the time. But her presence here was guaranteed once news broke that she had qualified for Sochi by (allegedly – the case is now in the hands of lawyers) fixing four qualifying races in Slovenia, by hiring skiers to perform badly in them, including in the results athletes who were not even there, and an assortment of other comedy felonies. “At first we were laughing when we heard about it,” the FIS president, Gian-Franco Kasper, said, after discovering the ruse. “But then we realised it’s quite a serious thing.” The fiddler has found herself with a ban that will rule her out of the next four seasons, leaving her free, perhaps mercifully, to concentrate on the Four Seasons.

Vanessa-Mae on the slopes during the Sochi Olympics
Fiddled races? Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Hydrogen

In 2012 Sheik Fahad al-Thani of Qatar lavished £2.625m on Hydrogen, half-brother of the 2007 Derby winner Authorized and son of the 2001 Derby winner Galileo, making the horse the most expensive yearling sold anywhere in the world in 2012. Nothing much has gone right since, starting with a couple of training injuries in 2013, as a result of which he spent so much time stuck in his box that he got frustrated, kicked a wall and injured himself again. This year, with his trainers still talking up a possible attempt at the Derby, we finally got to see him race. Hydrogen bombed, finishing sixth in a not particularly taxing line-up at Newmarket in May.

Sjinkie Knegt

There is being a sore loser and then there is reacting to a narrow defeat by trying to kick the victor while aiming a series of commonly understood hand gestures in his direction. Stinky Sjinkie took the latter route after Russia’s Viktor Ahn swept past him in the dying stages of the men’s 5,000m relay final in January’s European short track skating championships in Dresden. Knegt accurately deduced that it was “not the smartest thing I’ve ever done”, after the Dutch team were stripped of their silver medals and Knegt of his individual bronze. Even before the incident the fiery Dutchman had earned the nickname Kung Fu Knegt after angrily assaulting a door (another one!) during a domestic tournament. “It was a lot of accumulated frustration coming out,” he explained, promising not to do it again. Karma was to treat Knegt kindly – in the Olympics a few weeks later he was knocked out of the men’s 1,000m in the semi-finals, reinstated on a technicality and promptly hustled his way to Holland’s first ever short-track Olympic medal, a bronze. The man who won that race? A certain Viktor Ahn, this time mercifully unassaulted.

E-Sports at College, With Stars and Scholarships

Loc Tran is a big man on campus at San Jose State University in Northern California.

“A lot of people stop me when I’m walking,” said Mr. Tran, a 19-year-old sophomore, who speaks in quick and confident bursts. “They congratulate me.”

But Mr. Tran is not a star on the football team, or a leader in student government. He is a top player on the school’s competitive video game team, helping San Jose State claw its way to victory in June over California State University, Fullerton, in a tournament watched online by nearly 90,000 people. When the new school year started this fall, classmates’ heads swiveled toward him when professors said his name during roll call.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” Mr. Tran said.

Video game competitions, also known as e-sports, have taken off on campuses across the country, including Harvard and Florida State University. More than 10,000 students now play in the biggest college league, 4,400 more than last year and 4,600 more than the number of men who play on Division I college basketball teams.

What is a Circled Game Mean in a Sports Betting Event?

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Visitors to Las Vegas or online sportsbooks may come across some games on the betting board that will have special rules attached in the betting. Such games will be circled on the betting board. A red box means that the line is “circled” and subject to reduced betting limits.

Often time’s sportsbooks will circle games on the betting board due to injuries to impact players. NFL teams competing on Sunday’s must submit their injury reports on Friday and provide updates on Saturday. In recent years the NFL adopted a rule forcing teams to disclose on Wednesday through Friday who missed practice and who had limited work during practice. The best practice for sports betting professionals would be to browse individual team websites that post the injury and practice information about the health of their players.

The injury reports have been very accurate in recent years because the NFL wants to protect the integrity of the league because inside information on injuries could be exploited. So teams have been very forthcoming about the health of their players. Injuries to impact players like the starting quarterback, running back and impact wide receivers will cause Las Vegas and online sportsbook to circle the game on the sports betting board until their status come game time is determined. Sharp sports bettors follow the best practice of shopping individual sports books to shop for the odds that are best set on the side they want to bet on.

Sometimes Las Vegas or online sportsbooks may miss important injury information on teams and a smart bettor may bet into a good betting number that favors the bettor. Professional gamblers look for knee, foot and ankle injuries to running backs. A running back who is not 100% healthy and playing with ankle, foot or knee injuries will see their average yards per carry often fall well below their average. This puts the offense in second and third and long situations or what is known as obvious passing situations. Defenses who know the pass is coming can adjust into pass coverage creating less space for the wide receivers to run routes making a pass completion by the quarterback much more difficult which raises the possibility of a turnover. With a capable back up running back it is often better for a team to not play a running back that sports ankle, knee or foot injuries. Many professional sports bettors will look to play against a team who is starting an impact running back who is playing with an ankle, foot or knee injury.

If inclement weather is forecasted for the site of an outdoor game a sportsbook will circle the game and bettors will have betting limits reduced on the game up until about an hour until game time. Wind can factor greatly in the passing game and the best practice for professional sports bettors will look to play under in college and pro football if the betting line has not already been bet down. There are times when the professional has the inclement weather information before the Las Vegas or online sportsbook and this is a scenario when they make advantage bets.

Many sports bettors will find NBA games circled on the Las Vegas or online sports betting board. Often times an NBA team will report a mild ailment from a player in their rotation and list them as questionable or doubtful. Smart betting professionals will tune into NBA team’s pregame show 30 minutes prior to the start of the game to get specific injury information about teams impact players on their rotation. In the NBA if an impact player is lost to injury the replacement player will often step up and the team will have point spread success in the first game the team plays without their impact player in the lineup.

 

By Matt Sacoche