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Sports To Bet On (Week of January 19, 2009)

Sports Betting Games to Bet on – Jan. 19 Edition

This is the proverbial calm before the storm. The Super Bowl is in two weeks, and although the Big Game is already taking up a lot of handicapping attention, business will be relatively quiet until closer to gametime. This week is golden for betting on hoops. We’ve got the most compelling pro and college matchups leading off our weekly list of the top betting attractions; all times are Eastern, and updated lines are available at the Bodog online sportsbook.  

1. NBA: Boston at Orlando (Thursday, 8:00 p.m.)

The first game of the TNT doubleheader features the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics (33-9 SU, 22-20 ATS) facing the Southeast-leading Magic (33-8 SU, 28-12-1 ATS). Orlando is easily the hotter of the two teams, going 6-0 SU and ATS and beating the Lakers on the road. The Celtics tried to do that on Christmas Day and failed; they’re 6-6 SU and 5-7 ATS since, against mostly substandard competition. Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) sat out the last four games and would desperately be missed against Dwight Howard on Thursday. Howard is scorching hot with 21.8 points and 15.2 rebounds per game this month.

2. NCAAB: Clemson at North Carolina (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m.)

The Tar Heels (16-2 SU, 7-9 ATS) are still one of the most talented teams in Division I, even with those losses to Boston College (+23) and Wake Forest (+6.5). Nobody’s going to make it out of the ACC this year without a few scratches. Wake also handed the Tigers (16-1 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) their first defeat of the season on Saturday, a 78-68 final with Clemson favored by 2.5 at home. Roy Williams has North Carolina running at a very fast pace without turning the ball over, a combination that makes the Heels the most efficient offense in college hoops. Clemson thrives on generating turnovers; the Tigers are No. 7 in the nation in steal percentage (14.2 percent) and No. 5 in blocks (17.6 percent). Those extra possessions won’t be so easy to come by in Chapel Hill.

College basketball betting in the Bodog Sportsbook.

3. NHL: 57th NHL All-Star Game (Sunday, 6:00 p.m.)

The NHL generated a ton of positive publicity with their latest Winter Classic; now they’ll get a chance to show off their product during the NFL’s bye week. This year’s All-Star Game follows the East vs. West format for the fifth time in a row. The West won this matchup in 2003 and 2007, while the East prevailed in 2004 and 2008 (there were no games in 2005-06). This year’s contest is being held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, so the East will enjoy a decided home-ice advantage. Four Habs – including goaltender Carey Price – are in the starting Eastern lineup. They’ll be playing with a little more zeal as the Canadiens use the event to showcase their 100 years of existence.

NHL odds in the Bodog Sportsbook.

4. MMA: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski (Saturday, PPV at 9:00 p.m.)

This Affliction PPV may be sandwiched between two UFC events, but the smaller promotion has the better heavyweight division, starting with Emelianenko as the best fighter anywhere. He’s only been taken to the second round once in his past six bouts, crushing former UFC champion Tim Sylvia in 36 seconds at the last Affliction event. Arlovski also held the UFC heavyweight strap back in 2005 and, like Emelianenko, has a background in Sambo. But Arlovski’s last two losses were both to Sylvia in 2006, and he’s a dubious pick at +300 on Saturday despite standing three inches taller than the 6-foot Emelianenko.

MMA lines in from Bodog Sportsbook.

5. Boxing: Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley (Saturday, PPV at 10:00 p.m.)

This fight is for Margarito’s WBA welterweight title, and the champion is a –500 favorite versus his more famous opponent. Mosley (+325) is coming off a 12th-round KO over Ricardo Mayorga in September; he’s the No. 3-ranked welterweight according to The Ring, but Margarito is ranked as the No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Margarito is also seven years younger at age 30 and two inches taller at 5-foot-11. His last bout was an 11th-round TKO over previously undefeated Miguel Angel Cotto to take the WBA strap.
Honorable Mentions

NBA: Phoenix at N.Y. Knicks (Friday, 8:00 p.m.)
NCAAB: Purdue at Minnesota (Wednesday, 12:00 p.m.)
NHL: Vancouver at San Jose (Tuesday, 10:30 p.m.)
Soccer: Boca Juniors at River Plate – Copa Torneo de Verano (Saturday, 7:10 p.m.)
MMA: Matt Lindland vs. Vitor Belfort (Saturday, PPV at 9:00 p.m.)
Tennis: Early-round Australian Open action, all week.



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