Betting tips for the NFL

Though the new NFL season does not actually begin until September, it would be crazy to think that fans of the sport, or of sports betting in general, will hold off until then to start thinking about which teams could be in the hunt for the NFC and AFC leagues and the Super Bowl next season. Ever since the bookies released the pre-season odds, the debate has been on about which teams might be in the running this time. So who are the favourites?

Certainly one of the teams considered in real contention by the bookmakers is last season’s beaten Super Bowl finalists – the San Francisco 49ers – who are hot favourites to win the NFC, but also third favourites for the Super Bowl. Given that they reached the final of this last season, it is not unreasonable to expect them to be strong in the league again this year – making 4/1 odds realistic – but they were outclassed by the Ravens in the Super Bowl final, which makes their odds of 8/1 for this look a little short. The Patriots were leading the pre-season odds reckoning for a long time, and even now are positioned just behind the Broncos in second place, and their overall strength is likely to make them a favoured bet for many, although you may prefer to see how things develop once the season is underway – and play at an online casino site while you do.

In previous times there would have been little to entice NFL fans to these sites, but nowadays sporting themed slots games – like the NFL themed $5 Million Touchdown which you can Play here – have really caught on. This game is named after the size of its maximum jackpot, which will be reason enough to entice many fans, but the bonus game where you have to pass the ball from player to player until you drop it or score a touchdown, features ultra realistic video graphics and sound effects, that represent the next best thing to being out their on the field yourself – possibly even slightly better than actually watching the games from the stands or on television.


Pinnacle Bank Arena Floor Rendering



Spring Football Practice is Underway

Spring Practice opened today. Some good video highlights.

Undisciplined offense. Defense getting confused, and Bo Pelini blowing a gasket. Then this happened.

Husker Harlem Shake

 

Darin Erstad Getting National Attention

Baseball America just released their Top 10 College Head Coaches Under 40 list and Darin Erstad made the list at #9

Erstad, after his 14-year career which included 3 Gold Glove awards and World Series Championship, is entering his second season as head coach at his alma mater, Nebraska. Here’s what Baseball America writer Aaron Fitt had to say:

The Skinny: A two-time all-star during his 14-year big league career, Erstad carried his hard-nosed approach to his alma mater and led the Cornhuskers to their first 35-win season since 2008 in his debut as head coach last year.

What They’re Saying: “I was very impressed with his approach to the game, with how his players approach the game. They’re very businesslike; they get their work in before the game. To me, how a team does before the game starts tells me a lot about a program. I can’t see how other teams practice, so I look at how they approach their pregame work. I thought there was a dramatic difference in what they did, whether it be their infield work, their outfield work, their BP. They really emphasized a lot of things people are looking at, the speed component.”
—Creighton coach Ed Servais

Baseball season is quickly approaching, get ready for the Huskers to make some noise this season.

Nebraska 31 – Georgia 45

Nebraska held close, then fell upon the self-destruct button as they lost 45-31 to Georgia in the Capital One Orlando Bowl. The final score came pretty close to what my initial predictions were on the game when the match-up was first announced, but the Huskers played hard through 3 quarters, making the loss a bit harder to take.

The 2012-13 Season is in the books. People much smarter than me are/will be calling for coaching changes.

I’ll let them debate the merits of firing Bo Pelini (link to my comments last year, which are very much the same after this year), firing Barney Cotton, firing Tim Beck and/or firing John Papuchis. Everyone has pointed to the 2013-14 season as the year the Huskers will be making a run to the top of the polls. I’ll say this though, Nebraska loses 7 starters from defense next year, and this veteran team is giving up yardage to their opponents like the sun gives us sunshine. Something is broken, and something needs to be fixed if Nebraska is going to make that run.

Nebraska gave 589 yards to a Georgia team that was averaging only 467 yards of offense per game. Turnovers were an issue, but turnovers don’t put yardage on the board.

Offensively, yes turnovers are a concern, but this is only part of the problem. Taylor Martinez has continued to get these losses hung on his head because he is the offensive leader, but many of these turnovers are happening in come-from-behind situations. Times where big plays are in need and the risk/reward factor is high. He has improved dramatically in three years, and is an adequate quarterback and should put up similar – if not improved – numbers next year. Rex Burkhead will be gone next season, but I am encouraged by the depth at running back.

But then there is the Defense that I have mentioned previously. The Bend-but-don’t-break philosophy has failed. Youth will be taking over at key spots and that is troublesome to me. Losing 2/3 of your starting defense – a defense that has been getting blown out of the water – and replacing them from the bench. Big problems. And if there are improvements at key positions that have been sitting on the bench, you have to ask the question “Why haven’t they been starters?”

My brief tally on the season:

Offense Overall: B+
QB: A-
O-line: C+
RB: A

Defense Overall: C-
D-Line: C
Run Defense: C-
Pass Defense C+

Special Teams Overall: B
Punt Teams: A
Field Goals: B- (not sure why Maher struggled this year)
Return Team: A

I’m sure I’ll have more to say as I start breaking this game down further. But the season is over. I bleed Husker Red.

 

Husker Gift Guide: Husker Coffee

GameDay600x600_largeLarue Coffee Roasterie in Omaha recently launched a line of officially licensed, specialty roasted coffee blends for the coffee drinking Husker fans.

Take your pick from:

  • Calvin Jones #44 – A light roast coffee with a medium body
  • Game Day Coffee – Smooth and Balanced, this blend features an up-front brightness, full-mouth flavor, and a lingering finish.
  • Rowdy Nation – A mid-depth body and mild acidity.  The oils rise to the surface to create a European style coffee.
  • Night Game Decaf – Relax with the mellow flavor of our decaf Arabica blend.
  • Java Jones –  Buttery caramel with a hint of vanilla and chocolate.
  • Red and White – Delicious red and raspberry meets White Chocolate essence, good to the last drop!

Available directly from Larue Coffee Roasterie and various retail outlets.

Don’t forget, as part of Husker Holiday Gift Guide series, we’re giving away a pair of Sol Republic Huskers’s Tracks Headphones (a $129 value). Enter the giveaway.

Husker Gift Guide: Capital One Bowl Trip

Short of getting your special someone a skybox at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, a trip to the bowl game is something every Husker fan would like to find in their stocking.

Husker Sports Travel, has you covered with a comprehensive travel package to Orlando with prices starting at $1799/person.

  • Capital One Bowl 2013 Nebraska vs. GeorgiaRoundtrip, non-stop air from Lincoln, Nebraska to Orlando, Florida
    • Flight schedule:
    • Sunday, December 30th: Departs Lincoln 8:00am; Arrives in Orlando 11:45am
    • Wednesday, January 2nd: Departs Orlando 9:30am; Arrives in Lincoln 11:50am
  • Roundtrip airport transportation, including luggage handling at the airport and hotel
  • Three (3) nights’ accommodations at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Orlando, Florida – the official Nebraska Team/Alumni hotel
    • Check in on Sunday, December 30th 2012
    • Check out on Wednesday, January 2nd 2013
  • Nebraska Alumni Association hospitality desk at the hotel
  • Game ticket to the 2013 Capital One Bowl in the official Nebraska section
  • Admission to the Husker Huddle – Nebraska’s official pre-game event
  • Roundtrip, deluxe motorcoach game day transportation, including parking
  • Capital One Bowl Souvenir and patch
  • Souvenir name badge, credential, and lanyard
  • Fully escorted by Premiere Global Sports staff “at your service”
  • All taxes and gratuities included

For more information, visit: Husker Sports Travel

Don’t forget, as part of Husker Holiday Gift Guide series, we’re giving away a pair of Sol Republic Huskers’s Tracks Headphones (a $129 value). Enter the giveaway.

Husker Gift Guide: Husker Garden Gnome

Husker Garden GnomeSpruce up your garden or your front step with this durable Husker Garden Gnome.

I’ve had mine for a couple of years and it hangs out on the front step. It has survived windstorms, snowstorms, and back in the days when we used to get rain, it survived that as well. A hail storm took a piece out of the back of his head. But he’s been no worse for the wear.

Good gift for the hard-to-shop for Husker fan that seems to have everything already.

Buy now at Amazon.com: Husker Garden Gnome

Don’t forget, as part of Husker Holiday Gift Guide series, we’re giving away a pair of Sol Republic Huskers’s Tracks Headphones (a $129 value). Enter the giveaway.

Husker Gift Guide: Sol Republic Track Headphones

Sol Republic, maker of the high-quality, luxury Tracks line of headphones recently debuted a line of collegiate-branded Tracks.

Keep reading down below for your chance to win a pair!

Sol Republic Tracks by Sol RepublicDesigned for fans that bleed scarlet and cream, the SOL REPUBLIC Nebraska Collegiate headphones are the best way to show your Husker pride. Whether you’re in the Sea of Red or heading down O Street, or roaming Orlando on New Years Day, you can bring the bass while cheering on the Huskers.

  • Powerful Sound You Can Feel:  Featuring V8 Sound Engines, Tracks are fully loaded with deep bass and high clarity so you can feel the full power of your music.
  • Listen In Comfort: SonicSoft™ Speaker Pads and extra wide ear cushions let you enjoy your music in comfort for hours.
  • Virtually Indestructible: Constructed of a seriously advanced polymer compound, our FlexTech™ Sound Track headband is built to withstand heavy abuse. Twist it, bend it, drop it – it’s not going to break on you.
  • Personal Style: The world’s first interchangeable headphones, you can swap out our Cleartalk™ cables and Sound Track headbands with ease.
  • 3-Button Mic + Music Control: Lets you adjust the volume, pause/resume/skip music and answer/hang-up calls. The high clarity mic captures every word possible.
  • Compatibility: 3-button mic + music control is designed specifically for full feature compatibility with recent generations of Apple devices. The audio and mic are likely to work with most devices that have a 3.5mm jack, including but not limited to, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices

Buy Today at Amazon.com: Husker Sol Republic Tracks Headphones

Best of all, I have at least one pair to give away to my HuskerZone.com fans. Simply leave a comment on this blog post with your prediction of the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2013, and you’ll be eligible to win*. First deadline to enter is 11:59 pm Central Time on Tuesday, December 18th (additional drawing may take place).

 

*One entry per person. Eligibility based on score prediction comment, not subject to accuracy of score prediction. Must be a resident of the United States. Must be over 18. Product(s) provided to Huskerzone.com in exchange for this promotion.

Giveaway Entries:

1. T Husker
2. Tim Eurich
3. Lance Hinschberger
4. Craig Bourduin
5. Kiley Ward
6. Joe
7. Daniel
8. Jon
9. Chip Duden
10. Tyler Wellman
11. Frank Tudor
12. Travis Bellinghausen
13. Keri Kearns
14. Jill L
15. Ashley K
16. JMenendez
17. Joe Hayes
18. Brady Allen
19. Ann Parrish
20. PickSix
21. William Blake

 

Winning Entry:

Congratulations to Kiley Ward

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Huskers Drop in the Polls

The Huskers expectantly tumbled in the polls after their loss 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game.

In the poll that matters, the BCS, Nebraska dropped from 12 to 16.

In the AP Poll, Nebraska tumbled to #23, behind Big 10 foes Ohio State (#3, not bowl eligible), Michigan (#19) and Northwestern (#21)

In the USAToday Coaches Poll, Nebraska fell to #21, behind #17 Northwestern and ahead of Michigan (#22) and Wisconsin (#23). The coaches poll does not allow teams with bowl ineligibility punishments to be ranked.

See the rest on ESPN.com at Week 15 Polls.