A contract has yet to be signed, but the Colts are a lock to pick Luck, who will try to fill Peyton Manning's shoes. Some have called him the top quarterback prospect in the draft since John Elway. Hey, at least they're not putting any pressure on the kid.
Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner, will be compared to Luck throughout both players' careers. Luck is the consensus top prospect, and he could very well end up with the superior career, but Griffin is the more likely to succeed in 2012 because the Redskins are currently a more complete team than the Colts.
The Redskins gave the Rams a king's ransom to acquire this pick, but no one will criticize the move if Griffin turns into a franchise quarterback.
Since the Vikings have three or four prospects they'd consider drafting here, a trade down is possible. Maybe the Rams would move up for Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Perhaps someone will move up here to secure Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS: TRENT RICHARDSON, RB, ALABAMA
A No. 1 receiver is probably the bigger need, but wide receiver is the draft's deepest position and the Browns could easily grab one at pick No. 22. It's too hard to pass up on Richardson, who could instantly become one of the league's top five running backs.
Perhaps the Bucs' front office's hearts will sink a little when Richardson goes to the Browns, but Claiborne will be a nice consolation prize. Ronde Barber's likely in his final season, and Aqib Talib is facing a June trial that could affect his availability for all or part of the 2012 season.
This could be a real wild card spot in the first round for several reasons. The Rams have plenty of needs, and they reportedly like Blackmon and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox a lot. They also covet Trent Richardson, which would require a trade up to No. 3 or No. 4. Don't count it out, though, because the deal with Washington gave St. Louis plenty of ammunition to move up.
Recently I had an email debate with an angry reader who said I did not understand "the science of oddsmaking", as he called it.
He said I was wrong for suggesting oddsmakers care about who wins or loses games.
"Oddsmakers only care about splitting the betting public 50/50 on both sides of the line and keeping the commission (a.k.a. juice)," he wrote.
He might have been right about not understanding "the science of oddsmaking". After all, I'm not an oddsmaker. That said, I stick to my assertion that oddsmakers (a.k.a. sportbooks) often do care about who wins games.
Granted, as a general rule, sportsbooks try to balance their action so that they're not exposed to big losses. However, there are times when this is difficult to pull off, regardless of how much a line has moved. There are also times when that general rule is ignored and a book pursues risk.
Generally speaking, it's safe to say the books in Vegas are risk-adverse. Unlike in the past when the wise guys ruled the town, Vegas is now corporate and the goal of most casinos is to make as much money as possible with as little risk as possible.
Thus, Vegas sportsbooks try everything in their power to balance the action. They're satisfied simply collecting the juice. But these profits are small, especially compared to the take from other casino games, namely slot machines.
Because the profits at Vegas sportsbooks are so small, you could argue that many casinos operate sportsbooks simply as a novelty to keep the tourists happy.
With a growing aversion to risk, it should come as no surprise that Vegas bookmakers have been panicking this NFL season.
Despite huge pointspreads, a disproportionate percentage of bettors are still laying their money on favorites like the Eagles, Colts, Pats and Vikings rather than the dogs (a common trend for the largely recreational bettors that visit Vegas).
And much to the dismay of the books, those favorites are finding ways to cover the thick chalk. In fact, prior to Week 7, the four teams listed above are a combined 16-2-2 (88 percent) against the spread. (The tables turned dramatically in Week 7, but more on that later.)
The result has been an early-season beating for the books, and a bonanza for bettors.
While Vegas increasingly hates risk, it's no longer a major player in the sports betting world. Most of the betting action now takes place offshore where sportsbooks are not as obsessed about balance. In fact, some books encourage exposure to risk because the rewards can be so much bigger.
Consider MySportsbook.com. On its website, the book has odds pages which actually display the amount of action it's getting on games. In other words, you can see how much action the book is taking on both sides of a pointspread, moneyline or over/under.
One look at these numbers and it's obvious MySportsbook.com does not balance every game. In fact, far from it.
Take last weekend's matchup between St. Louis and Miami. By game time on Sunday, 83 percent of the betting action at MySportsbook.com was on the Rams; only 17 percent was on Miami.
What's interesting is that MySportsbook.com opened the pointspread with Miami at +6 1/2. By game time, the spread had lowered to +5.
That goes contrary to the balancing theory. If MySportsbook.com had wanted to balance the action, it would have given Miami more points; instead, it took away 1 1/2. World Series odds are now up as well.
MySportsbook.com exposed itself to even more to risk, and rolled the dice on the underdog Dolphins. Why? I contacted a representative with the book to find out. His answer was simple.
"The line moved early based on 'smart money' from sharp players," said Jeff Gilroy, a spokesperson for the book. "We also knew from early in the week that we would need Miami, therefore (we dropped) the spread to encourage Rams money.
"At the end of the day, we liked the home team."
So the conclusion is this: MySportsbook.com respected the sharp action, and gambled that the sharp bettors had a better take on the game than the recreational bettors, who were hammering the visiting Rams.
In the end, the gamble paid off. Miami, desperate for a win in front of its home fans, pounded the overrated Rams, who are terrible on the road and even worse on grass. Final score: 31-14 Fish.
MySportsbook.com was also heavily exposed on numerous favorites in Week 7, including Philadelphia, Seattle and Denver. All three failed to cover.
The fact that sportsbooks are exposed to risk on certain games is really nothing new. The fact, that Sportsbook.com is willing to show the public where it's exposed is intriguing.
Armed with this type of information, bettors can make more educated wagers. They can get an idea where the sharp money is going and conversely where the public money is headed.
MySportsbook.com is opening up its cashbox, letting bettors look inside and challenging them to take their best shot at grabbing the cash.
To visit this online football betting got to MySportsbook.com for all your football betting odds needs. Mysportsbook.com online sportsbook accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
American Idol Betting Odds: Season 6
The online gambling websites are in the process of deciphering each American Idol contestant and his or her chances of winning Season 6 to come up with the early American Idol betting lines.Tim Dalton of MySportsbook.com has been locked away in a soundproof room coming up with all the latest tallies, we are told. "American Idol has become one of the most significant betting events of the year," claims Jack Black of MySportsbook.com. "Last year, millions were bet during the season across the globe, not just in America.
It's tough early on since we really do not have a glimpse as to how well each of these individuals will perform solo on a week-to-week basis. It's like Week 1 of the NFL. Pre-season means nada!
We do know the 24 finalists however.
Sanjaya Malakar is the young man whose sister failed to make it into the Top 24. He's very low key but - unless he totally flubs - will probably win over the young girlie vote for a few weeks anyway. He's too young to go all the way, according to Payton O'Brien.
Brandon Rogers - Who?
Phil Stacy is the military guy who missed his daughter's birth because of the Memphis audition. He should go a good distance.
Chris Sligh - He's got the humor and in many ways he's the Anti-American Idol much like last year's winner Taylor Hicks was. And this is why he'll probably get pretty far in this competition. He's chubby, white with a big curly afro....but more importantly, a great voice! People love "real", not "real cute" to go all the way.
"Blake Lewis should go far because of his uniqueness and looks. He's the boy next store with a twist - he beat boxes. But on top of this, he's a great singer, and I adore him," Payton O'Brien relayed.
A talented beat-boxer Blake Lewis was a hit during the group sing in Hollywood but Simon explained that this is a singing contest just before he told him he was “in.”
Paul Kim has caught our own roving reporter, Jenny Woo's eyes.
"I love the fact that there is a Korean American on the show and he is bound to get more Asians tuning into the show," Woo said from her Miami Beach estate. "There has never been a major presence of Asian-Americans on American Idol in the past. He's a hottie with a nice voice so that should help to take him far. Expect heavy betting action from the Asian community."
Sundance Head - He's not perfect, but he's got the personality that will take him through a few weeks, plus he's got the lineage (son of Roy Head - whose 1965 single, "Treat Her Right," hit No. 5 in the charts)
And the others:
AJ Tabaldo - the 5th time is the charm
"Melinda Doolittle has one of the best voices," says MySportsbook.com Reporter and an acclaimed dancer in her own right, Destiney Lewis. "It is great to see a back up singer step out like she has. The girl needs to gain more confidence but that can also be a positive. I think she will go far."
Alena Alexander - Those tears (she never seems to stop bawling) should get her far.
"Single mom Lakisha Jones I suspect will be a pretty big favorite entering Week 1 of the competition," says Destiny Williams. Jones is an excellent singer and down to earth. "She'll have a wide appeal," echoed O'Brien.
Nicole Trellis - Seems to exert confidence.
Amy Krebs - a powerful singer.
MySportsbook.com is offering a 20% signup bonus with an initial deposit (i.e. open your American Idol betting account with $300, receive another $60 in which to bet with).
Last two contestants will be?
1 Male/1 Female +100 (a $10 bet pays $10 plus your initial $10)
2 Males +170 (a $10 bet pays $17 plus your initial $17)
2 Females +130 (a $10 bet pays $13 plus your initial $10)