NBA’s wild offseason

The Golden State Warriors are still the reigning kings of the NBA, and obviously the big favorites for next year. That’s what you get when an MVP decides to join a 73-win team instead of trying to beat them. Steph Curry and the gang couldn’t beat the Cavs when healthy, so they added Kevin Durant to create a super team.

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Odds Are the Racetrack is Your Best Bet

Nothing beats the excitement of the horse track. Sure, the casinos do have their appeal, but they’re somewhat limiting on the types of entertainment they offer. Casinos also limit who can visit and in a very short period of time, you could be out some serious cash. For the finance and family friendliness factors, head to the races!

You don’t need to visit the Kentucky Derby to enjoy the thrills of the track. Horses race at venues all across the country. The horses, the people, and the atmosphere make the racetrack a great destination for everyone. The races are just about the only gambling venue that allows families with children. With so much to do, a good time will be had by all.

Many racetracks have special Family Fun Days with additional activities to keep the little ones amused. The adults (most states allow gamers age 18 and up) can wage their bets on their favorite horse. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Based on odds of winning, wagers start at around two dollars. A day at the track is something new and exciting to do without breaking the bank. And, if you’re lucky or skilled, you may even be cashing in before it’s all over.

The racetrack program is your guide to the races. It details the horses’ names, descriptions, and odds. Use the program as your map to plot which horse you’re betting to win, the amount of your wager, and how the winner will end (win, place, or show). The “win” is the first horse to cross the finish line, “place” is second place, and the third horse “shows”. To better assist you when determining the outcome of a race, pick up a daily racing form. It details recent histories of horses and how they placed. The form will give you a better feel for which contestants to bet on. Studying the odds will prepare you for possible outcomes.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, wage your bets on more complex placements with each race. The odds of winning exotic wagers are less, but the payouts are typically much greater. With the “exacta”, for example, the horses you’ve chosen to cross the finish line in first and second place must end in exactly that order. The “trifecta” features first, second, and third place winners in the very order you placed them on your racing ticket. Or, win big and gamble on a series of races (a new race starts about every twenty minutes). For a “Pick 3”, the winning horse you’ve selected must win three consecutive races. Although the stakes are high for these types of wagers, the chances of winning a Pick 3, 4, or 5 decrease exponentially versus simpler options.

Many racetracks are covered by the local newspaper’s sportswriter. A seasoned horse betting professional offers top picks based on history and facts of the contestants in a particular race. The track offers this information for a nominal fee. Horse handicapping is great information to have a better understanding on which racer will fare best.

With these tools to your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your day at the racetrack. Pick your favorite horse, choose one that’s had a history of winning, or elect a random selection. If you bring your children, consider involving them in helping you make choices. The kids will have fun watching the horses whip around the course. Everyone will enjoy the food and the fun atmosphere. Racetracks are a great place to have some bonding time with your family while opening possibilities to make your bank account grow. And even if you don’t win, you’re only out a few bucks.

Delaware wants to legalize single-game betting…

…and, of course, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NCAA are fighting it.

Delaware politicians are ready to battle their new multi-headed opponent on the issue of legalized sports gambling, but it appears a compromise could be made with the sports leagues if the state promises to stick with a parlay betting system.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA filed a joint lawsuit last week in an attempt to prevent Delaware’s motion to legally open sports betting within the state.

Delaware is one of four states that are exempt from aspects of this law. The state’s previous foray into sports betting was a disaster in the 1970s because of poor line setting.

The leagues argue that when wagering is allowed, every blown call, missed shot, etc. is seen as something more nefarious. The problem with this argument is that single-game wagering is already legal in Nevada (and happens illegally all over the country and online), so keeping Delaware from allowing this kind of wagering isn’t going to do much to help the perception that the games could be fixed.

Besides, doesn’t NBA commissioner David Stern remember Tim Donaghy? He can’t even keep his officials from gambling, yet he wants to police the entire country.

Like alcohol or smoking, wagering on games is a vice. Some people have it under control and see it purely as entertainment, while others have a problem. Whether or not Delaware makes it legal will have very little bearing; people are already wagering on games, they’re just doing it illegally.

A Chat with Al DeMarco of SportsGamingEdge.com

With March Madness set to tip off, we thought it would be nice to pick the brain of someone who knows a little about the sports gambling world to see if we could get any tips for betting the games (legally of course).

Al DeMarco is the General Manager of SportsGamingEdge.com and is the featured handicapping analyst on SportsNet New York’s Daily News Live. He’s also a regular contributor on FoxSports.com and MSNBC.com. We recently caught up with Al to talk a little about his site and the tourney, including which team he likes as a dark horse this year.

The Scores Report: Thanks for giving us the opportunity to pick your brain, Al. Can you talk a little about Sports Gaming Edge – how you got started, what your goals are and what people who haven’t been to your site can expect to find when they visit it for the first time?

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Blogging the Bloggers: Saturday, 12/20

Yi Jianlian– The apparent evidence is in: Yi Jianlian is actually 24, not 21. That lying bastard… (AOL FanHouse)

– Bills fans are weird. Case in point, one male Bills fan told another male Jets fan that he was going to make him pregnant. Seriously. (SPORTSbyBROOKS.com)

– For ESPN’s First Take and Skip Bayless, it’s come down to ranking the top five best looking quarterbacks in the NFL to fill segments. Just ridiculous. (Deadspin)

– Here’s a top 10 list of shocking realizations for gamblers of the NFL. (Epic Carnival)

– Here’s an article to help ensure you get something nice for your girlfriend this holiday season. Just kidding, it’s actually a guide to help you better tailgate this college football bowl season. (The Love of Sports)

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