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On September 13, 2019, in Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed


All players who make it to the Major League level, aka ‘the Big Leagues’, are already the cream of the crop when they arrive. Having gone through college championship teams and played in the minor leagues, they are the best baseball players in America, perhaps on the planet.  The MLB annual awards are for only the very best of the best and are considered among the greatest honors in all of sports.

This year’s race for the National League Most Valuable Player, or MVP, recently lost one of its principal contenders when the Brewer’s Christian Yelish went down on a freak foul ball off his knee which hit him so hard that the perennial All-Star is now listed as out for the season although subsequent reports indicate that no surgery will be necessary for the healing process.

That leaves the Dodgers Cody Bellinger sitting in a pretty good spot to take the NL MVP Award for 2019.  Bellinger has been at the forefront of the home run race for all of MLB all season long and continues to demonstrate his 5 tool skills on a daily basis.

Not only that but ‘Beli’, as he is known in the clubhouse, seems to be playing in a different position for almost every game.  Right field, center field and all over the field, but where Bellinger seems to fit best is at first base where his exceptional length and quickness can be utilized to their fullest making spectacular catches from all over the field for outs at first base.

Over in the American League, once again it’s the Angels’ Mike Trout in the lead, actually Trout should have a class of his own and let all the rest compete for the regular MVP Award.  He is still that good and he means that much to the Angels organization.

Value to the team is what the MVP Award is all about and young Alex Bregman has been a valuable asset on the Houston Astros team since they drafted him out of LSU just before winning the World Series a couple of years ago. Of course the Astros boast one of the most talented rosters in all of baseball, so Bregman must be extraordinary to excel among them, he is.

One of the most difficult decisions to be made each year is picking the AL and NL managers of the year.  Almost always there is more than one clear cut candidate for this coveted award.  Dave Roberts should be considered in the running for the National League Manager of the Year, but Dave has already won the award before and has his sights set on nothing less than victory in the World Series in October.

Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals is the most likely candidate to take the award this year. The NL Central has been a perennial log jam of good teams in recent years but Shildt has the Cards on top with two weeks to go.  If St. Louis is able to come out victorious over both Milwaukee and the Cubs, no easy task, they will take the NL Central going away and move on to the post season, probably against the Atlanta Braves on the road to the World Series.

Other National League managers deserving serious consideration should be Craig Counsell of the Brewers, now without Christian Yelish, and Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals, who, after falling to 19-31 at one low point this season, has rallied his team into a position where they stand a good chance of taking on the Dodgers as the NL Wild Card selection for 2019.

The Minnesota Twins of the American League were way under .500 last year and preseason speculation didn’t have them doing much better this year. However, they had not counted on first year manager Rocco Baldelli to motivate his club into first place in the AL Central, a position they have held for most of the season and sitting pretty to go into post season play once again for the Twins.

Baldelli will obviously be in stiff competition with Aaron Boone of the Yankees who, despite an unusually unfortunate number of injuries to members of the team, has still managed New York to the top of the AL East and a major contender for post season play.  The Yankees are the winningest team in baseball with two weeks left in the regular season.

The Manager of the Year Awards and the Most Valuable Player Awards are among the most coveted prizes to win in any sport at any time.  When it’s ‘America’s Favorite Pastime’, so much the better.

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On September 12, 2019, in Bookie Advice, PPH Reviews, Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed


Now that both NFL and NCAA Football have finally gotten underway, bookmakers across the country can settle into high season mode and take in more action than at any other time of the year.

While Baseball may still be ‘America’s Favorite Pastime’, Football, both pro and college, is now ‘America’s Favorite Sport’ and the overall favorite wagering option for bettors everywhere. More money is wagered on football in North America than on any other single sport.

Elsewhere in the world, it is Soccer that takes first place in wagering world-wide.  It is ironic that Soccer is referred to as ‘Football’ everywhere except in North America. Even the Canadians have their own peculiar brand of ‘football’, and they bet on it quite frequently as well.

Once again we had to suffer through four meaningless ‘preseason’ NFL games when wagering was somewhat impaired by bettors not knowing beforehand just who would be on the field for these games.  Still, this year saw wagering on preseason games reach new highs in terms of dollars wagered on the contests.

Sadly, the first few weeks of NCAA college football are a bit like the NFL preseason games in that they feature outlandishly mismatched teams with point spreads reaching into the 40’s and 50’s.  Wagering on these games becomes a little ridiculous at times, but many still do and those huge point spread are often not met.

But now we are finally down to the real nitty-gritty games that really count for both pro and college football games.   The NFL is going into their third week and college teams are beginning to face some real competition after completing their annual ‘cupcake’ games.  Divisional and conference races are starting to unfold and the cream is beginning to separate a bit.

Football season could also be a time when today’s bookmaker finds himself being outclassed by the local competition and should then seek out help to bring his business back into line and profitable once again.  This is where a quality pay per head service can be of tremendous help to a bookie and his clients.

Host PPH has been in the business for almost 20 years working exclusively with ‘local guy’ bookmakers like you.  Host provides first class pay per head service to hundreds of bookies and tens of thousands of daily players every day of the week, 24/7 and has the infrastructure and experienced staff to insure that all aspects of the wagering and accounting experience go smoothly and effortlessly at all times.

If you are a local bookie who has yet to try a good pay per head service like Host PPH, do yourself a favor and check them out.  It could change your life for the better as it has already done for many guys just like you.  Host offers a two weeks free trial and requires no deposit or down payment to get started, so, what have you got to lose?

If you are already working with a pay per head company but are unsatisfied with the service, once again, check out the folks at Host PPH who have everything you need to take your bookie business to the next level and beyond. They simply care more and do a better job for you than the competition.

Host PPH is staffed by experienced professional agents who have been working with bookies for many years now and understand what is needed to get things done for you quickly and correctly.  Host has its own lines and customer service departments working for you 24/7 and does not run a sports book on the side.

One important thing to remember, the agents at Host PPH will take your clients calls and wagers, answer all their questions and be very nice to them, however, at the end of the day, Host PPH works for you, the professional bookmaker.  That will show up both in your bottom line and your peace of mind.

Give them a call today at 866 601 4678 and see just what Host PPH can do for you.

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On September 11, 2019, in Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed


The Los Angeles Dodgers are the National League West Champions and the first team to clinch a MLB division after just 146 games have been played of the 162 game season.  Loyal Dodgers fans will well remember that LA had to play a tie-breaker game 163 last season to even get into the playoffs before ending up in the World Series against the Red Sox.

The Major League Baseball Playoffs are the gilded royalty of sports in America to many fans.  Only the best of the best stands a chance to even get invited to play in the post season and determine the divisional champions. Then only the top teams from the American League and the National League get to participate in what many consider to be the greatest annual event in sports, the Major League Baseball World Series.

The National and American Leagues are each divided, more or less geographically into three divisions, East, Central and West.  The winners of each of these divisional races, based on the team’s overall record, get to go to the post season and compete for the League Pennant, which in itself in a coveted honor to win and hold.

There are also two wild card teams selected from each league based on their highest win-loss percentage at the end of the regular season.  Those 4 teams play 2 one game, winner-take-all, contests on October 1st and 2nd to determine which club will face the team with their leagues’ top win-loss percentage.

Then begins the real race for each leagues’ pennant.  The final four teams will battle it out in two best-of-five game series’ to determine who wins the league pennant and goes on to the World Series.  The second and third highest win percentage teams will play each other while the winner of the wild card game will take on the top team in the league.  These divisional games will take place between October 4th and October 10th.

On or before October 20th the winners of the National and American League pennants will be determined and the 2019 World Series agenda will be set to begin on October 22 in the home park of the pennant winning team with the best regular season record.

The Dodgers were 18.5 games in front of second place Arizona in the National League West with a .644 win percentage when they clinched.  Elsewhere in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves boast the second highest win percentage in the NL at .616 with a comfortable 9.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals. The St. Louis Cardinals hold a tenuous 4 game lead over the Chicago Cubs with the Milwaukee Braves close behind.  At this point the Nationals are looking like the best bet for the #1 wild card selection with the #2 pick up for grabs.

Over in the American League the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at are neck and neck at .651 for the best record and in control of the East and West divisions while the AL central will be between the Twins of Minnesota and the Cleveland Indians.  The American League wild card contest looks to be between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s.

This was the 7th consecutive National League West title won by the Dodgers. Only the Atlanta Braves with 14 NL East titles won between 1991 and 2005 and the New York Yankees with 9 AL East titles won between 1998 and 2006 have won more consecutive MLB divisional championships than the Dodgers.

Dodgers fans are hoping that ‘the third time around’ holds the charm after making it to the last two MLB World Series only to lose to the Boston Red Sox last year and to the Houston Astros the year before. Doc Roberts’ loaded lineup certainly looks capable of going all the way ‘this third time around’.

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On September 10, 2019, in Gambling Headlines, Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed


We finally got a full weekend agenda of college football and while the big marquee games were great, there were just too many of the typical early season ‘Bambi vs. Godzilla’ games that the powers that be still seem to think are viable.  However, real football fans are getting pretty tired on them.

Even if you are from one of the small colleges playing a major powerhouse, and receiving lots of money in addition to the national television exposure, the games themselves are lackluster and often downright embarrassing for the little guys.

It couldn’t be a whole lot of fun either for the players on the winning team to defeat a team that quite obviously can offer them no real competition.  Even nationally ranked teams like to start off the season with what are known as ‘cupcake’ games, but it’s getting a bit out of hand when they start with 3 ‘cupcakes’ in a row.

When the point spread gets to be over 25 points or so, one begins to wonder ‘what is the point?’.  Point spreads of 45 & 55 points are ridiculous and wagering on them amounts to pure speculation, like throwing the dice.

The two big college games were hard fought and good games. Texas A&M put up a valiant show against the defending FBS champion Clemson Tigers.  The Aggies, coached by ‘Jimbo’ Fisher, are a good football team and should rank high in the SEC standings this season, even though they will close with LSU.

A late touchdown by Texas A&M closed the winning gap to 14 points, sadly for the bettors who backed Clemson, the spread at kickoff was 16.5.  They almost had it, but, such is the nature of wagering on college football.

In 2018 the Aggies played the Clemson Tigers to a nerve racking 28-26 final score.  Clemson didn’t cover that one either.  But Clemson in the ACC has a much easier go for the rest of the season than do their SEC counterparts and they will no doubt be double digit favorites most of the way.

Clemson gets to play previously ranked #21 Syracuse, a team which was trounced by Maryland last week, in the ACC next week while the Aggies will be taking on Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama in coming weeks. It’s just not the same.

The great state of Texas once again took center stage as the Bayou Bengals from LSU came into Austin to take on the University of Texas under highly touted head coach Tom Herman.  Both teams ranked in the AP Top 10 with LSU at number 6 and the Longhorns at number 9. I figured to be a great contest, and it was.

The entire first quarter went by with only one 3 point field goal from LSU, but, before it was all over, the two teams would put up 83 points with the Tigers coming out on top by a final score of 45-38. LSU won by 7 points covering, barely, the 6.5 point spread.  What a game!

The biggest upset of the day came with North Carolina, which came in at +6 managed to defeat the University of Miami.

Out on the West Coast, Cal beat #14 Washington 20-19 while #23 ranked Stanford was soundly beaten by an inspired USC team 45-20. Number 16 Oregon, which lost last week to Auburn, defeated Nevada 77-6 and number 22 Washington State beat North Colorado 59-17 in two more ‘Bambi vs. Godzilla’ games.

Outrageously one sided games in the SEC included #3 Georgia 63 and Murray State 17, #2 Alabama 62 and New Mexico State 10 & #11 Florida Gators 45 and UT Martin 0.

Really now, how much longer will these silly lopsided games be allowed to go on?

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On September 9, 2019, in Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed


Thursday night football for 2019 premiered at last and what more could a die -hard football fan ask for that the Packers and the Bears going at it at Soldier Field in Chicago on a Thursday night.

What was expected to be an offensive contest between veteran Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky turned out to be anything but with only 13 points being scored all evening and Green Bay grabbing the victory 10-3.

Then finally on Sunday we got the whole enchilada.  A full seven hours of NFL action on NFL Red Zone, not counting the night game, and it was fast and furious for awhile there with young Patrick Mahomes providing the most spectacular action in the early going.

The Chiefs’ quarterback had an astounding first half leading broadcasters to predict his breaking some all time records.  He did slow down in the second half but still ended up with 378 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to the speedy Sammy Watkins who finished with 9 catches for 198 total yards. Kansas City put up 40 points to the Jags 26.

In that same game, after scoring an early touchdown, the new Jacksonville quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken collar bone when he was sandwiched between two beefy defenders while being sacked.  Foles just signed an 88 million dollar 4 year contract with the Jags!

The Panthers hosted the Rams in Charlotte in a close contest where the most outstanding player was clearly Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey who finished with 2 rushing touchdowns and 128 yards on the ground plus 10 receptions amounting to another 81 yards in the air.  Los Angeles still edged Carolina by a final score of 30-27.

While the Vikings pretty much dominated the Atlanta Falcons at home in Minnesota, the Redskins took off to an early lead against the Eagles only to have Philadelphia chip away until finally coming away with the win 32-27 at home.

There were some other good close games as well on Sunday.  The Seahawks hosted the Cincinnati Bengals as Andy Dalton led all quarterbacks this Sunday by passing for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns in a losing effort to the Seahawks 21-20.

Out in Los Angeles the Chargers had the Colts in for a visit and managed a 30-24 victory behind Phillip Rivers’ 333 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes.

Cowboy quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead Dallas to a 35-17 win over Eli Manning and his New York Giants.

After such great expectations, Baker Mayfield’s opening performance at home in Cleveland fell far short of what his Twitter fans were expecting.  Perhaps a bit too much hype and trash talk has distracted the talented new Browns quarterback from his real job.  His 285 yards passing was not bad but Mayfield threw 3 interceptions while scoring only one touchdown. The Browns were embarrassed at home by the Titans 43-13.

Down in Tampa Bay Jamis Winston also managed to throw 3 interceptions while scoring only one touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t a whole lot better throwing for only 166 yards, but the 49ers did come away with a 31-17 win over the Buccaneers.

The most impressive showing by any quarterback on Sunday has to have been Lamar Jackson playing for the Baltimore Ravens against the hapless Dolphins.  Granted that Miami did not put up much of a defense to overcome, but Jackson went 17 for 20, threw 5 touchdown passes and racked up 324 yards in the air.

While it does not happen very often, ties are still possible in the NFL.  The Arizona Cardinals hosted the Detroit Lions in Glendale and the two teams played to a 24-24 tie at the end of regulation play and then each team could only manage a 3 point field goal in overtime resulting in a 27-27 tie.

For the night game the Pittsburg Steelers would have been better on getting lost on route to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough the way the game turned out.  Ben Roethlisberger and company only scored one meaningless field goal in the third quarter while Tom Brady and the finely tuned Patriots put up 33 points behind Brady’s 341 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.

And we still have two NFL games on Monday night!

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