Ryder Cup Odds

The 2014 Ryder Cup starts on Friday, September 26th, as the golf team from Europe, the reigning champions, takes on the team from the United States at the Gleneagles Resort in Gleneagles, Scotland. The U.S. leads this competition, which is held every two years. The U.S. has 25 wins, 12, losses, and 2 ties, while the European/Great Britain/Ireland teams are at 12-25-2. (Originally, this competition was between the U.S. and Great Britain or Great Britain and Ireland; in 1977 European players were added.)

In order to win the cup, the current holders of the title must score 14 points; for the current champs to be dethroned, their opponents must earn 14.5 points. Points are earned in match play with a team receiving one point for winning a round and a half-point for a tie. There are 12 players on each team, and every player does not have to participate in every round. Although the U.S. has the most wins, Europe has won three straight, and they are favored to win the Ryder Cup once again.

How will Tom Watson handle the matchups in this Ryder Cup? His ability to put together the right teams will be important. Team members Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have prior success in this event. That experience may be a big help to the team from the United States.

There are various grinders on the club, and they will certainly be valuable in a competition that calls for grit and determination, as golfers traverse a very tough course. Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson are precision golfers; they won’t hit the ball a mile, but they will place it where it should be.

Look for Rickie Fowler to play a big role on this team. Fowler is 25 years old, ranked 10th in the world, and has placed in the top five of the four majors this year. He’s got flare, style, and the ability to get the ball in the cup under par again and again. In the last few months, he’s playing the best golf of anyone in the world.

At 44 years old, Phil Mickelson brings the experience of nine Ryder Cups with him. His overall record is 14-18-6. Look for the cagey veteran to thrive on the energy of some of his younger colleagues. He could be instrumental at crucial moments.

Paul McGinley, the Captain for Europe, is a first-time captain who is playing in his fourth Ryder Cup. Each time he has played, his team has taken the Cup. He’s savvy and experienced.

Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher are all making their Ryder Cup debuts. Donaldson, who is 38, has had one of the best seasons of his career, while 24-year-old Victor Dubuisson from France, who notched 10th place finishes at the British Open and the PGA Championship, is enjoying a breakthrough year. Gallacher, who is 39 years old, is from Scotland and a hometown favorite.

There’s a lot of experience on this team, including Thomas Bjorn, 43 years old from Denmark, who has been on two winning Ryder Cup teams; Sergio Garcia, who after playing in six Cups (4 of which his team won) has amassed an impressive record of 16-8-4 record; and Graeme McDowell, who is on his fourth team and has a 5-5-2 record.

Justin Rose, from England, is the 2013 U.S. Open champ; Ian Poulter (12-3-0), on his fifth Ryder Cup team, was inspirational in the last Cup; and 41-year-old Lee Westwood, who has been on eight teams and has 18 wins, 13 losses and six ties, brings a load of leadership with his winning ways.

Finally, there is Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, who is ranked first in the world, has played on the previous two winning Ryder Cup teams. His 4-3-2 record is good, but less than impressive. This is the year for him to excel in this competition.

Everyone says that this is Europe’s Ryder Cup to lose. There’s no doubt that they have the top-ranked golfer, McIlroy, on their team. Plus, so much of the European team brings winning Ryder Cup experience to the current competition. But watch out for Fowler of the U.S.. He could be the dark horse here. Plus, you can’t help but think that Mickelson, along with a strong group of guys who really want to win, might just pull an upset.

Ryder Cup Tee Times

The tee times follow with all being given in US Eastern Time:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Morning, 4 Matches- Fourball: 2:35 a.m., 2:50 a.m., 3:05 a.m., 3:20 a.m.
Afternoon, 4 Matches- Foursomes: 8:15 a.m., 8:30a.m., 8:45a.m., 9 a.m.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Morning, 4 Matches- Fourball: 2:35 a.m., 2:50 a.m., 3:05 a.m., 3:20 a.m.
Afternoon, 4 Matches- Foursomes: 8:15 a.m., 8:30a.m., 8:45a.m., 9 a.m.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Morning Start, 12 Matches- Singles: Starts at 6:36 with tee times at 12-minute intervals thereafter.

Coverage of the Ryder Cup is provided by the Golf Channel on day-one from 2:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on NBC on day-two from 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. and NBC on the final day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Ryder Cup is a unique sporting event featuring some of the finest and most competitive play you’ll see. Enjoy the action. The tee times are set and if you live in America, you’ll need to rise early to see all of what is a classic and exciting golf contest between the United States and Europe. For many golf enthusiasts, the early morning tee times are well worth the extra caffeine they’ll need to ingest and the sleep fatigue they’ll feel later in the day.

Types of Play

The Ryder Cup features three types of play: fourball, foursomes and singles match play. The morning session of each of the first two days is composed of four matches of fourball, while the afternoon session of each of these days offers four matches of foursome play. The final day, Sunday, is composed of singles matches. In each type of play, the team that wins the hole is given a point. Thus, the number of strokes taken are used to determine which team, U.S. or Europe, will receive a point.

A fourball match involved two golfers from each team playing together. The teams are in competition with one another. In fourball, each golfer plays his ball throughout the round. A team’s number of strokes for each hole are equal to the lowest score of that team’s players. In match play, the team member with the lowest score for a hole wins that hole and the team is awarded a point. The team with the most points at the end of the round wins the match.

With foursomes the play is much different. Although there are two teams composed of two golfers for each round, as is the case with fourball, this time each team has one ball in play. Team members alternate hitting the ball during each hole. They also alternate in terms of which player tees off. The team that finishes a hole with the fewest strokes wins that hole, and they are awarded a point. When the round is over, the team with the most points wins the round.

With singles play, which is featured only on Sunday, two golfers, one from each team, play against one another. Whoever has the lowest score for a hole wins a point for that hole. The winner of the match is the golfer who has won the most points during that round.

Celtic v Hearts Odds Preview

Celtic take on Hearts today evening (19:15 hrs) at Parkhead in the third round clash of the Scottish League Cup. Jambos have gone off to a swimmingly good start, winning five out of their six league games while Hoops have just one win to their credit across all competitions.

Celtic suffered an embarrassing exit at the hands of Morton last season. They otherwise have an excellent record, winning the League Cup 14 times, the most recent being in 2009. Hearts have won the cup four times, and were finalists at last year’s competition.

The pressure is on Ronny Deila to end the winless drought or his manager job may be in jeopardy. He is confident the side will bounce back in this game, and said that the Scottish League Cup is an important milestone in their goal to win the Treble.

Celtic drew 1-1 in their latest game against Motherwell last weekend, where Deila made six changes. The side was missing winger Mubarak Wakaso and midfielder Stefan Johansen; they are expected to play in this game. However, Mikael Lustig, Charlie Mulgrew, James Forrest and Adam Matthews are out with injuries. Striker Leigh Griffiths is expected to play. He has not played in the squad’s recent games and rumours of a possible move to Hibernian F.C have been floating around.

Celtic captain Scott Brown admitted that the squad has had a rough start to the season, but believes they can shrug off the poor performance in the upcoming games. He said that the side will start playing as a cohesive whole more comfortably once the new players settle down.

A home game typically serves as a morale boost, but by Celtic assistant manager John Collins’ own admission, the crowd will most probably be modest. He also admitted that Jambos have been playing well, and is pinning his hopes on Griffiths to deliver the goods.

After their 5-1 demolition of Cowdenbeath on Saturday, Jambos are confident of extending their winning streak to Parkhead. Coach Robbie Neilson is however taking a cautious stand. He said that the game against Celtic was just another one they must win to maintain their upper edge. He also admitted that the Hoops were favourites to win the game, which means his squad will have to perform at its best. Midfielder Sam Nicholson and left-back Kevin McHattie are expected to play after sitting out during the Cowdenbeath encounter.

In the past couple of weeks, the side has seen an influx of new players, many of whom have considerable experience playing at a level higher than the second-tier they’re currently playing at. The club’s turnaround has been eventful and under Neilson, emerged as one of the favourites to win. If they defeat Celtic, a league above them, they will have only Rangers in their sights; Jambos are currently leading Rangers by four points. If Hoops bounce back against them, Neilson will have to work harder to maintain his squad’s top position in the league so far.

Tottenham Hotspur v Nottingham Forest Odds Preview

The League Cup/Capital One Cup showdown between Tottenham Hotspur and Nottingham Forest is scheduled today evening (19:45 hrs). It is an important game for the Spurs who’ve suffered a lacklustre start to the season. With their most recent 1-0 EPL defeat to West Brom on Sunday, they’ve notched a four-game loss across all competitions in the new season. They’re currently placed ninth on the Premier League table, behind such squads as Swansea, Leicester, Aston Villa and West Ham.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino recently said that they’d like to ‘win something this season’. The former Southampton manager will be hoping for a win to bolster his side’s confidence well in time for their huge game against arch rivals Arsenal this weekend.

For Nottingham Forest, it is a chance to continue displaying their excellent form so far into the season. Manager Stuart Pearce has helmed the club since July this year, and Reds’ successive winning streak earned him the league’s ‘Manager of the Month’ nomination for August.

Spurs and Reds last went head-to-head in the 2005 FA Cup fifth round game. Spurs won the away game 3-0 at City Ground, but not before being held to a 1-1 draw at a home game. Between 1989 and 1993, the sides have met thrice in the League Cup, and on all occasions, Reds have emerged victorious. However, in their last four encounters across all competitions, Spurs have got the better of Reds.

Interestingly, both Tottenham Hotspur and Nottingham Forest have lifted the League Cup four times each. While the Spurs’ latest win was in 2007-2008, Reds’ dates back to 1989-1990. Spurs have progressed past the third round eight out of ten times, while Reds haven’t made it past any of their last three round games.

Michel Vorm is expected to make his goalkeeping debut for Spurs following his move from Swansea City. Aaron Lennon, Benjamin Stambouli, Roberto Soldado, Kyle Naughton, Fazio and Ben Davies are likely to feature. Winger Andros Townsend’s leg injury has healed, but Kyle Walker, who has been out of action since March, will most likely sit this one out and possibly a few more. The 24-year old Spurs defender is recuperating after surgery for persistent abdominal pain. Pochettino has said that players’ name and reputation don’t mean anything to him; they must perform to show that they deserve to be in the line-up.

Pearce has said that everyone in the squad will have a role to play this season. Right-back Jack Hunt, who sustained a minor ankle injury against Millwall last weekend will be checked for fitness. Midfielder Andy Reid and striker Matty Fryatt are out with groin problems, while defender Jack Hobbs will be seeking a specialist’s opinion on his ankle injury. Should Pearce decide to move around his starting line-up, Dan Harding, Jamaal Lascelles, Daniel Fox, Ben Osborn and Jamie Paterson are available.

The third round clash between Spurs and Reds is poised to be an exciting one. It’s to be seen if Spurs’ new signings prove their mettle, and how confidently Reds play against a Premier League team.

NFL Betting: Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets Pick

This week’s Monday Night Football game offers two teams who have even records as the Chicago Bears (1-1) travel to the Big Apple to play the New York Jets (1-1). Chicago lost its home opener in week one in OT to the Bills 23-20, while the Jets got by Oakland 19-14 in their home game. The second week saw the Bears defeat the 49ers 28-20 and New York lose to the Packers 31-24.

Chicago offers a solid passing game and a finely tuned defense that can really win games. For the Bears to be ultimately successful times this year, they will need to add an active running attack to their arsenal of weapons.

Quarterback Jay Cutler has been able to get the ball in the end zone repeatedly in the early days of this season. He’s thrown six TDs, while giving up two picks. Although mobility can be a factor for him, he’s been sacked just three times. There are four Bear receivers who have accumulated 100-plus yards thus far: WR Brandon Marshall (119 YDS with 4 TDs), WR Alshon Jeffery (118 YDS, averaging 14.8), DE Martellus Bennett (102 YDS with 2 TDs), and RB Matt Forte (102 YDS). Forte, the Bears running back, has also gained 103 yards on the ground.

Putting a quality defensive squad on the field is a Chicago tradition, and this year the team continues that tradition. Of the five sacks Chicago is credited with, Willie Young owns three of those. They also have accumulated 6 TFL, 4 INTs, and 1 FF, which they recovered. They are stingy when defending against the pass and excel at red zone play.

If defense wins games, and it does, and a stable, experienced QB can be a difference-maker, and he can be, then the Bears have a shot at being victorious against New York.

The Jets can run the ball, and they can defend, but they still don’t have a solid passing game. What will the number one rushing offense do against the Bears, who are so good at stopping the ground game?

No NFL team is gaining more yards on the ground than the New York Jets. RB Chris Ivory has proven to be ultra reliable, averaging 6.3 YPC while scoring 2 TDs. Chris Johnson, also at running back, is averaging 3.6 YPC. Ivory has run for 145 yards and Johnson for 89. In only his second season, QB Geno Smith is playing better than one would expect, connecting on 65% of his passes, tossing 2 TDs and 2 INTs. WR Eric Decker, who is averaging 15.2 YPC and has 1 TD, leads the team in yardage with 145.

The Jet defense has been very tough versus the run. In fact, they lead the league in least number of yards allowed on the ground. However, the team’s secondary is vulnerable. New York is one of the few teams that does not a have pick this season. Cutler may be able to exploit the Jets in the middle and deep.

Placekicker Nick Folk offers New York that weapon that they need in a tight game. Folk is four for four this year in field goals, including a 52-yard score. This contest may be close. Folk could be the difference in this game.

This will be an in-the-trenches football game with the final outcome being determined on the line. It’s the Jets’ running attack versus the Bears’ air game. Although Chicago is a 3-point underdog and they are on the road, their defense is so solid that they travel to New York with a true advantage. Stop the Jets rush attack, cause some turnovers, and Chicago wins. That is certainly possible.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction, Pick & Spread

In week three, the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) find themselves on the road again, playing the Carolina Panthers (2-0) on Sunday night. After beating Cleveland 30-27 in their home opener in week one, the Steelers went on the road and were defeated by Baltimore 26-6. How will they hold up during their second straight road game? It’s hard to say, as they are playing a very good Panther team that beat Tampa Bay 20-14 and Detroit 24-7.

The Steelers can certainly rack up yards in the air but they are having a tough time turning those yards into points. The team will be looking to get it done this week when they are in the red zone.

QB Ben Roethlisberger is a big guy and a big factor in any Steeler game. He’s connecting on 63.4% of his passes and averaging 8.2 yards per toss. But Roethlisberger has thrown two picks and one TD and has been sacked five times. Productivity is a prime issue for the 11-year vet. Antonio Brown, who caught his one touchdown pass, leads the team with 12 catches, 206 yards, and 17.2 yards per reception. In his second season, RB Le’Veon Bell is proving to be a real asset. He has 32 carries for 168 yards and an average of 5.3 yards per attempt.

The Pittsburgh defense has just three sacks, and they have been unable to create a turnover. They have no interceptions, forced fumbles, or blocked kicks. The D is doing a decent job of stopping opponents in the red zone and making them take the field goal. But to win the team needs more from the guys on this side of the ball.

Pittsburgh placekicker Shaun Suisham is five for five on field goals. That’s great news. However, the Steelers would certainly like to score more TDs and have Suisham split the uprights less for 3 pointers. They need touchdowns to win.

Carolina is ably performing on offense and defense. The team has quality starters and solid depth. That was clear when backup quarterback Derek Anderson led the team to a win in game one and then starting QB Cam Newton played in game two of the season and did not miss a beat.

Both Newton and Anderson have been flawless with neither committing a turnover and both garnering QB ratings of 100-plus. Newton is listed as probable this week and should be on the field. The Panthers like to pass, but they are also able to put a good rushing game on the field, keeping opponents off-balance. DeAngelo Williams is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Primary passing targets are Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin; each has caught a TD pass.

Carolina puts a very solid defense on the field. LB Luke Kuechly leads the team with 20 total tackles, while CB Antoine Cason is second with 19. Together they have three forced fumbles. Both DT Dwan Edwards and DE Mario Addison are tied for the team lead in sacks with 2.5. Roethlisberger and his offense will have his hands full with this defense, which has 7 sacks, 3 TFL, 3 INTs, and 6 forced fumbles, 3 of which they have recovered.

The Panthers will be led by one of their two fine QBs and their defense should be able to put pressure on Roethlisberger who has a history of being non-mobile.

Caroline is the favorite by three points. If their D can perform to expectations, look for the margin of victory to be wider. However, never negate Roethlisberger. He’s a tough, resilient quarterback, and he comes into this gaming looking to get back in the win column.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins Prediction, Pick & Spread

The Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) visit the Miami Dolphins (1-1) after consecutive losses to the Tennessee Titans (26-10) and Denver Broncos (24-17). In their first game, which was at home, Miami surprised New England, beating them 33-20. Then the Fins travelled to Buffalo where they lost 29-10. The question regarding this game is which team will get on the winning track?

Kansas City is in search of some offense and they need to mount an effective pass defense at some point this season. In every major area, they are in the bottom half of all NFL teams.

Quarterback Alex Smith has given up 3 INTs and been sacked six times while passing for just one touchdown. The team’s top offensive weapon is running back Knile Davis who has rushed for 2 TDs and a total of 82 yards. He’s also caught seven passes for 29 yards. Receiver Donnie Avery is the only player to reach the double-digit number, 10, on catches.

The Kansas City sack leader is Justin Houston, who’s earned two of the five takedowns. LB Josh Mauga, who is second in tackles with a total of 14, is a solid player. Strong safety Eric Berry leads the team in total tackles with 15. The Chiefs are a team that is challenged in stopping the pass. This being the case, they may have a log day in Miami.

The one thing that may help the Chiefs in this game is the fact that Miami is so lacking as a NFL team. In this matchup of two less than mediocre clubs, Kansas City can win if they can take advantage of Miami’s weak defense.

Is this Dolphin team any good? On paper, they look better than the Chiefs, but the question is how will they execute? They’ve had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde start to their season, scoring 33 against the Pats and just 10 points in Buffalo.

QB Ryan Tannehill has scored 3 TDs and given up 2 INTs. He’s been sacked five times and has a QB rating of 76.1, which is fairly low. His primary receiver is Mike Wallace who has caught two of his three TD passes. RB Knowshon Moreno, who is the only running back to cross the goal line for Miami, is averaging a healthy 5.5 YPC.

Although the Dolphins secondary is weak, they do possess some solid pass rushers and tacklers. The team has 4 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles recovered, and one blocked kick. Still, the Miami secondary has a tough time defending against the pass. The Fins have no interceptions.

The Dolphins are lacking some essential personnel, but, yet, they do have potential to win due to the fact that they can stop some teams, and their offense can make some play. Placekicker Caleb Sturgis could be a difference-maker in a close game. Thus far he’s five of five for field goals.

The Dolphins are 3.5 favorites, but that seems low when you consider how poorly the Chiefs have performed this season and how well Miami did against New England when they played them in the home opener. This looks like a win for the Fins.

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction, Pick & Spread

In a late afternoon contest on Sunday of week-three, the Denver Broncos (2-0) play the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks (1-1). The Broncos have faced and beaten the Colts (31-24) and the Chiefs (24-17). Seattle got off to a good start, beating Green Bay (36-16) at home and then losing on the road to San Diego (30-21).

The Broncos, with Peyton Manning at the helm, have a solid pass attack. In the first two games of the season, Manning and company have done well, making one wonder if the Colts in their present state don’t regret having lost him. Especially after he beat his former teammates in the first game of the season.

The Broncos put a pass-oriented offense on the field. In two weeks, Manning has thrown six touchdown passes and no interceptions. His QB rate is an astounding 126.5, and he has connected on 69.4% of his passes. Three of his receivers have gained 110 yards or more this season and are averaging 12 yards or better per catch. Julius Thomas has caught four of Manning’s six TD passes. Montee Ball is the team’s leading rusher, accumulating 127 yards and one touchdown.

The Bronco defense is especially fine against the run. They’ve accumulated 7 tackles for a loss and 2 forced fumbles. The squad has also sacked quarterbacks five times. Together linebackers Brandon Marshall and Nate Irving notched 34 tackles and 2 sacks.

The Broncos are a good team but they are vulnerable on D when it comes to the pass. However, you can never count them out, not with Manning calling signals.

The Seattle team is coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Chargers in San Diego. They are back home and are totally focused on winning this one.

Seattle QB Russell Wilson may not pass a lot, but when he does he tends to be on the money. With a QB rate of 114.7, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs, he’s proven to be adept at moving the offense in the right direction. RB Marshawn Lynch (26 ATT, 146 YDS, 5.6 AVG) has scored 2 TDs running and another as a receiver, while wideout Percy Harvin has caught 8 passes for 64 yards and rushed 6 times for 86 yards. This is a solid and versatile team on offense.

The Seahawks defense is adroit at stopping the run. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright have amassed a total of 38 tackles and 3 tackles for a loss. Defensive end Michael Bennett is the sack leader with three. The Seattle defense is vulnerable against the pass. Look for the Broncos to try to exploit that weakness.

This is a very good team that is capable of stopping opponents and putting points on the board. It will be important for the defense to apply pressure on Manning to get him out of his rhythm.

The Seahawks are 5.5-point favorites. They can certainly win this game. To do so Seattle will have to mount a balanced attack. The fact is this team has a lot at stake and they do not want to be 1-2 after Sunday. Still, Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs in the business when it comes to finding pay dirt and winning.