No need to panic in San Antonio

The Western Conference No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs didn’t exactly tear it up down the stretch as they headed into the NBA Playoffs, even getting overtaken for top spot overall in the NBA by the Chicago Bulls on the last day of the regular season. And that indifferent play continued into Game 1 of their opening round playoff series Sunday, when they were stunned 101-98 by the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies , a game in which the Spurs had been a 6.5-point home favorite. It was the first ever playoff win for the Grizzlies franchise. But the Spurs have no intention of making major changes or adjustments for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Read More

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

Advertisements

Release of NFL schedule ruined by lockout

Tuesday was one of the biggest nights in the NFL offseason: the unveiling of the 2011 NFL schedule . Too bad about that gosh-darn lockout, which pretty much took all the fun out of an event that usually sparks much anticipation for football betting fans. With the league tangled up in a work stoppage, there is nothing certain but uncertainty. Every game on the schedule is, at best, tentative until the NFL and its billionaire owners can reach a deal with the league’s players. Opening night is slated for Sept. 8 and will feature the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers , but all fans can do, at least at this point, is dream about such a scenario, one in which the games on the schedule will actually be played. Read More

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

Bet on the Royal Wedding. It’s true People will bet on anything

Love it or hate it, the first Royal Wedding in 30 years is approaching and if you’re on the “hate” side of the ledger, you better not turn on a computer or TV in the next two weeks or so, because the coverage is going to be everywhere. If you Googled “Royal Wedding” when the engagement was first announced in November, you’d get about 2 million results. With the April 29 wedding date fast approaching, you would now find just under 37 million hits for the same search. Hell, you can even get a Royal Wedding app that enables wireless contraption users around the world to take a virtual walk up the aisle of Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot. Read More

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

Point Shaving scandal represents dark side of sports betting

The dark side of sports betting has been revealed this week with news of an alleged points shaving and basketball gambling ring at the University of San Diego . Federal authorities say 10 people have been charged them with running a sports betting business that affects the outcome of games. Any time the FBI is involved in something, you know it’s serious. The NCAA says it plans to conduct its own investigation after the FBI completes its work. NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach called the allegations sad, which may be the understatement of the year. But she did add that they are very serious. The charges were unsealed on Monday in San Diego. Those charged include Brandon Johnson, USD’s career scoring leader who is now playing in the NBA Development League , as well as former assistant coach Thaddeus Brown and former player Brandon Dowdy. On Tuesday, eight of the 10 people pleaded not guilty in federal court. Six of the eight defendants were granted bail ranging from $35,000 to $50,000. Read More

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

NBA Basketball News Bulls Pacers & Lakers Oklahoma

There are still some regular-season games to be played in the 2010-11 NBA campaign, but we do know which 16 teams will be playing in the NBA Playoffs . All the playoff matchups have yet to be decided, but we do know of a couple, and one of them pits the Chicago Bulls , the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, against the No. 8 seed Indiana Pacers . While the Pacers and their fans are undoubtedly very happy to be in the postseason, they’re probably not happy about facing the Bulls, the best team in the NBA since the New Year Read More

The NBA Playoffs open this weekend, and the defending champs are hurting. For NBA Finals’ MVP Kobe Bryant , the hurting is literal and figurative. After the Lakers’ 120-106 loss Sunday to the Oklahoma City Thunder , Bryant was probably happy to be suffering from various ailments, because it gave him an excuse to slip away from reporters, most of whom wanted to ask repetitive questions about why the 2010 NBA Champions seem to be collapsing at the worst possible time. Bryant has to go to the medical room after games to receive treatment on a number of injuries, most notably his surgically repaired right knee and arthritic right index finger. But usually that’s after dealing with the press. Not on Sunday, as Bryant skipped both talking with his teammates in the dressing room and the media scrum Read More

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

Legalized Internet Gambling Likely?

Leave it to the credit rating companies to make a push that could see Internet Gambling legalized in the United States.On Monday, a prominent credit rating agency said it sees Internet gambling gathering momentum in various states and in Congress. Fitch Ratings , the agency whose bond ratings the state of Massachusetts uses as a measure of the state’s economic strength, said in a new report that legalized online gambling is “increasingly likely.” It said the changes may happen on either a regional basis or at the federal level.“Multiple states have been considering intrastate online gaming proposals, new federal proposals are being discussed, and the budget outlook at both state and federal levels remains strained,” according to the Fitch analysis. “Companies have been ramping up online initiatives and/or entering into alliances, such as Wynn-PokerStars and Caesars-888 Holdings .” Read More


Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com

Injury-riddled Portland Trail Blazers limp into NBA Playoffs

It’s been a déjà vu season for the Portland Trail Blazers , who find themselves back in the NBA playoffs despite another injury-plagued season.Portland wrapped up its third straight postseason berth, but it wasn’t the way teams want to clinch a playoff spot: On Tuesday, the Houston Rockets’ loss to the Sacramento Kings sealed a postseason position for the Blazers, who turned around and got blown out by the Golden State Warriors.Still, the Trail Blazers have a lot to be proud of, and will finish sixth, seventh or eighth in the Western Conference. Last season, Portland won 50 games and finished sixth in the conference, despite a ton of injuries. Portland players missed a combined 311 regular-season games because of injury, second in the NBA, and this season Portland leads the league in injury games missed with 225. Read more

Daily Free Pick at smpicks.com