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Saturday, June 30, 2012

EURO 2012 : Portuguese referee to handle Spain v Italy final

Pedro Proenca of Portugal will referee the Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 final in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday.

Proenca has refereed both of the Euro 2012 finalists in his three matches in Poland and Ukraine.

He handled Spain's 4-0 victory over Ireland in the group stage, and also controlled Italy's quarterfinals win on penalties against England after a 0-0 draw.

Proenca also refereed Sweden's 2-0 win against France and he hasn't shown a red card or awarded a penalty at Euro 2012.

Proenca is now arguably UEFA's top ranked referee as he was also in charge of this years Champions League final as well. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

Friday, June 29, 2012

TENNIS : Paddy Power pays out Wimbledon flop insurance on Nadal

Yesterday we saw Rafael Nadal eliminated in Wimbledon's second round, but for punters who bet on Nadal to win the tournament at Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power there was a silver lining.

Regular visitors to our sports betting specials and cash-backs page will have seen this posted up on our main site  :

Wimbledon Flop Insurance! - Wimbledon - June 25th - July 8th
Paddy Power Money-Back Special : Bet on Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Sharapova, S Williams, Kvitova or Azarenka before the 2nd Round starts, and if they get knocked out before the quarter final, we'll refund your losing outright bets as a Free Bet.

So Nadal's 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 second round defeat yesterday resulted in yet another sports betting refund from Paddy Power.

And if you only bet on Nadal to win the match you were still covered as Paddy Power have another tennis money-back special ...

Wimbledon Flop Insurance! - Wimbledon - June 25th - July 8th
Paddy Power Money-Back Special : If your player loses in the 5th set, will refund your losing match bets.

Paddy Power has already paid out on sixteen matches at Wimbledon via this special this time.

TENNIS : Rafael Nadal loses at Wimbledon in round two

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal was handed a shock second-round defeat by world number 100 Lukas Rosol in a five-set thriller.

Rafael Nadal could not contain a barrage of relentless, brutal groundstrokes from the Czech player Lukas Rosol on his Wimbledon debut.

Play was suspended at two sets apiece while the roof was closed and it was Rosol who settled first to win the final set and the match 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4.

Rosol, who is making his main draw debut at Wimbledon after losing in the first round of qualifying for the last five years, will play Philipp Kohlschreiber next after the German beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

EURO 2012 : Italy beat Germany 2-1 to reach Euro final

Mario Balotelli scored two superb goals as Italy shocked Germany to win 2-1 and reach the Euro 2012 final with Spain in Kiev.

Balotelli's two goals - the first a header, the second a fierce drive - lit up the first half in Warsaw as Italy recovered from an early German onslaught to take control in the game.

Germany desperately sought a way into the game but a 92nd-minute penalty, scored by Mesut Ozil, came too late.

The win sends Italy through to their third European Championship final, where they will start as underdogs against holders Spain.

Germany 1
(Ozil 90)
Italy 2 (Balotelli 20, 36)

EURO 2012 BETTING : Betfred's double delight hits mark

Betfred Football BettingBookmakers bring out all sorts of offers for the big football tournaments - but they are often overlooked by punters and tipsters. One such offer is the "DOUBLE DELIGHT" first goalscorer bet at BetFred. 

BetFred - Euro 2012 - All Matches - June 8th - July 1st
Double Delight : If your player scores the first goal of the match and then goes on to score another, BetFred will double your first goalscorer price.

Let's take a wee look at HOW the BetFred "Double Delight" has worked out so far during Euro 2012.

Here are the payouts on Double Delight at BetFred so far after the first semi-final (29 games) :
Dzagoev (Russia) 8/1 to 16/1
Mandzukic (Croatia) 13/2 to 13/1
Gomez (Germany) 4/1 to 8/1
Torres (Spain) 4/1 to 8/1
Alonso (Spain) 16/1 to 32/1

Usually first goalscorer bets are not my favourite type of punt, mainly due to the bookmaker over-round being around 111% - meaning that there is a margin (or juice) of around 11% for the bookmakers - and it's hard to beat an 11% advantage when betting long term.

However, given the hit rate so far where goalscorer payouts have doubled is 5/29 (17%) and some of these players were clearly among the favourites to score first then there is little doubt that Betfred Sportsbook's Double Delight offer during Euro 2012 has handed an edge back to customers.

So make sure that you know about all the special offers available when you place a bet - we maintain a regular Sportsbetting Cashbacks and Specials page on the main site that details all the offers from our recommended bookmakers and sportsbooks.

EURO 2012 : Spain beat Portugal on penalties to reach Euro final

Cesc Fabregas was the hero as Spain beat Portugal via a dramatic penalty shootout win in Dontesk.

The match finished 0-0 after extra-time with neither side doing enough to win during the match, with defences to the fore during the 120 minutes of play.

Xabi Alonso had Spain's first penalty saved, as did Joao Moutinho for Portugal, but the next five penalties were all scored before  Bruno Alaves hit the crossbar for Portugal, opening up a chance for Spain.

Fabregas ensured Spain reached the final by smashing his penalty into the goal off the left hand upright, giving Spain victory with an unbeatable 4-2 advantage - Ronaldo was an unused penalty taker for Portugal.

See Video Highlights of Euro2012 - Portugal v Spain semifinal from

The world champions Spain have now won their past nine knockout games at major tournaments without conceding a goal.

FULLTIME : Portugal 0-0 Spain - Spain win 4-2 on penalties.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

EURO 2012 : Psychic Animal picks ... we miss Paul the Octopus

Paul the Psychic Octopus died shortly after World Cup 2010 and we've been searching for an animal tipster ever since - without much success.

There have been plenty of creatures being promoted with prediction skills at Euro 2012, including an elephant in Poland, a sea lion in Bangkok, a ferret from the Ukraine, a pig, a german cow called Yvonne and a dragon fish.

None of them have been much good.

The elephant Citta who lives in a Polish zoo started badly picking hosts Poland to beat Greece in the opening match (result 1-1), and then to beat Russia (also 1-1), and finally went with the draw against the Czech Rep, (result 0-1).

The sea lion also picked Poland to win the opening game and was never heard from again.

Yvonne the Cow made headlines last year after escaping slaughter and spending 98 days on the run, so far she's incorrectly picked all four German results, which sort of makes her a tipster to note and then avoid her pick ;-)

If you are looking for OUR latest Euro 2012 football tips then you can find them on the main site.

Monday, June 25, 2012

EURO 2012 : Italy beat England on penalties to reach semi-finals

Alessandro Diamanti struck the decisive penalty after Gianluigi Buffon had denied Ashley Cole as Italy booked a semi-final with Germany.

Video Highlights of EURO 2012 : England v Italy quarter-final

Italy were almost in front inside the opening three minutes when Daniele de Rossi's curling volley from 30 yards crashed back off the post with Joe Hart beaten.

England responded just a few minutes later as Glen Johnson found himself on the edge of the six-yard box, but his shovelled attempt produced a superb reflex stop from Gianluigi Buffon.

England retreated more and more as the game wore on and were almost punished in the first period of extra-time when Italy substitute Diamanti saw his cross come back off the post.

The Azzurri finally had the ball in the net with five minutes left of extra-time, but substitute Antonio Nocerino was fractionally offside when he stooped to head home and England held out to force a shoot-out.

Italy dominated the quarter-final throughout, managing 35 shots on goal to England's nine attempts, but neither side were unable to make the breakthrough as the match finished 0-0 at the end of extra-time.

England suffered penalty heartbreak as Italy won 4-2 on penalties.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

EURO 2012 : Spain beat France 2-0 in quarter-final

Spain eased past a tentative France side, winning 2-0 in Donetsk to set up a Euro 2012 semi-final meeting with Portugal.

Xabi Alonso headed in a Jordi Alba cross after 20 minutes to open the scoring for Spain and then seems content to sit back and play their short-passing game.

France struggled to make a mark and only conjured a rare threat when right-back Mathieu Debuchy headed a Franck Ribery cross over.

Spain sealed the win with a 91st-minute Alonso penalty.

Victory kept Spain on course for a third successive tournament triumph to follow Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Spain 2
(Alonso 20, 91)
France 0

Friday, June 22, 2012

EURO 2012 : Germany beat Greece 4-2 to reach semis

Germany's impressive form at Euro 2012 continued with an attacking 4-2 victory over Greece to earn a place in the semi-finals.

Goals from captain Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus secured the deserved victory for the Germans in Gdansk.

Germany could not keep a clean sheet however, as Georgios Samaras made it 1-1 early in the second half, when Greece fought back into the game, while Dimitris Salpigdis converted a late penalty.

But the result was never in doubt as Germany, who had surprisingly opted to remove Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski from their starting XI, cruised to victory.

Germany will face the winner of the England v Italy match in the semi-finals.

Video of Euro 2012 Quarter-final Germany v Greece match highlights.

Germany 4
(Lahm 39, Khedira 61, Klose 68, Reus 74)
Greece 2 (Samaras 55, Salpingidis 89)

NBA : LeBron James inspires Miami Heat to NBA title

An inspirational performance from LeBron James helped the Miami Heat secure the NBA title with a 121-106 victory in Game 5 and a 4-1 series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James won his first NBA title after weighing in with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller all scored 20 points or more, with Miller scoring seven of eight three-point attempts.

The Miami Heat, who won their only previous championship in 2006, led 31-26 after the first quarter and stretched that advantage to 59-49 at half-time. A run of 16 unanswered points helped them move 95-71 ahead at the end of the third quarter and they coasted to a comfortable victory.

LeBron James was also voted the Most Valuable Player of the series and said of the NBA title win : "It means everything. This is a dream come true for me."

EURO2012 : Bet365 free in-play bet for England v Italy

Top UK bookmaker bet365 have another top free bet offer for ALL customers as England take on Italy in a Euro 2012 quarter-final clash.

Bet365 also offering a free in-play bet for England v Italy on Sunday

Simply place a pre-match bet before kickoff at Bet365 on the Quarter-final game between England and Italy on Sunday 24th June and you will receive a free In-Play bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the big match.

If your FIRST In-Play bet loses, then bet365 will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet.

Bet365 have plenty of In-Play markets available throughout the game, with 70 markets, including Next Goal, Match Goals, Total Corners, Half-Time Result, Full-Time Result and much more.

With an extensive range of pre-match and In-Play markets and a fantastic free bet offer, bet365 is the number one place for your football betting during Euro 2012.

RELATED LINKS : Bet365 site ::: Our full Bet365 review ::: Our Euro 2012 Betting Previews

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NCAAF : Bovada release lines for the 2012-2013 BCS National Championship

Bovada Sportsbook have release their lines for schools to win the 2012-2013 BCS National Championship - and USC have jumped to the top of the list.

Love them or hate them - you can't ignore the title credentials of USC - and their reappearance in the lines at the top is no surprise.

However, SEC fans should not be too upset, as USC's place at the top does mean better prices available for the LSU Tigers and Alabama, so you can get money down at a great price.

USC             +300
LSU             +650
Alabama         +650
Oklahoma        +1000
Oregon          +1200
Florida State   +1200
Georgia         +1400
Arkansas        +2000
Michigan        +2000
Texas           +2800
Notre Dame      +2800
Virginia Tech   +3000
West Virginia   +3000
South Carolina  +3300
Clemson         +3300
Nebraska        +4000
Wisconsin       +4000
Florida         +5000
TCU             +5000
Auburn          +6000

Check out all the NCAA lines at Bovada Sportsbook now.

US players can Sign up for a 20% Free Bet bonus of up to $100.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BASKETBALL : Miami Heat takes 3-1 lead in NBA Finals

The Miami Heat beat visiting Oklahoma City 104-98 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

Oklahoma dominated the first quarter, opening up a 33-19 lead, but Miami got back into the game in the second quarter to go into the half-time break only three points in arrears at 49-46.

Leading 92-90 in the fourth quarter, Miami had a scare when key man LeBron James limped off with cramp and the Thunder regained the lead for the first time in over 18 minutes at 94-92, but James' return then heralded a 7-0 run for his side.

Westbrook cut the gap to three but an underarm lay-up by Chalmers took his side into a two-possession lead with 44.6 seconds remaining.

History says the Thunder are now in deep, deep trouble.

No team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. No team has even forced a Game 7 when faced with that scenario. Game 5 is Thursday in Miami

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FOOTBALL : Arsenal set to sign Olivier Giroud for £12m from Montpellier

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign France international Olivier Giroud for £12m.

The 6ft 3in forward, who was an unused substitute in France's 1-1 Euro 2012 draw with England, scored 21 goals in his club's run to the Ligue 1 title. Giroud will have a medical and paperwork will be completed after Euro 2012 has finished.

It seems that Arsene Wenger intends to play Giroud alongside Lukas Podolski and Dutch striker Robin van Persie in a front three - and that's an exciting prospect for Arsenal fans.

Arsenal were far too dependant on Van Persie for goals last season, with the only other attacking option coming from Gervinho .... with Park, Miyaichi and Chamakh clearly not up to the standard.

Wenger has made a very good start in strengthening the Arsenal squad so far.

EURO 2012 : Quarterfinals and Semi Finals set

The group stages of Euro 2012 have been completed so we now know the quarter-final and semi-final paths of the 8 teams that have reached the knockout stage.


Thu 21st June 2012 - KO 19:45 - Czech Republic v Portugal (0-1)
Fri 22nd June 2012 - KO 19:45 - Germany v Greece (4-2)
Sat 23rd June 2012 - KO 19:45 - Spain v France (2-0)
Sun 24th June 2012 - KO 19:45 - England v Italy (0-0, 2-4p)


Wed 27th June 2012 - KO 19:45 - Portugal v Spain
Thu 28th June 2012 - KO 19:45 - Germany v Italy


Sun 1st July 2012 - KO 19:45 - Portugal or Spain v Germany or Italy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

EURO 2012 : Greece shock Russia to advance

Giorgos Karagounis scored the only goal as Greece produced a major shock to knock Russia out of Euro 2012 and seal their place in the quarter-finals.

Russia dominated the game throughout but could not find a way past the Greek defence and fell behind just before halftime when Karagounis pounced on a error in the Russian defence to scoot into the penalty area and drill a shot past Malafeev in the Russia goal.

Alan Dzagoev sent a late header wide from an Andrey Arshavin cross but Russia fell to their first defeat in 17 games - a defeat that has a high price.

Russia finished on the same points in Group A as second-placed Greece but were eliminated because of their head-to-head record.

Greece 1 (Karagounis)
Russia 0

EURO 2012 : Czechs beat Poland 1-0 to progress to knckout stage

Poland have been knocked out of Euro 2012 after losing 1-0 to the Czech Republic.

The Czechs reached the quarter-finals as Group A winners after a tight game in which Poland will rue a host of early missed chances.

The match evened up after the break and the Czech Republic took the lead in the 72nd minute when Petr Jiracek took a pass from Milan Baros and cut inside a defender to shoot past keeper Przemyslaw Tyton for his second goal of the tournament.

Czech Republic 1 (Jiracek 72)
Poland 0

Friday, June 15, 2012

EURO 2012 : Sweden 2-3 England - a cracker of a game

Danny Welbeck grabbed the winner as England came from behind to beat Sweden in a dramatic Group D game.
England went ahead in the first half when Andy Carroll powered in a header from Steven Gerrard's cross.

After the break Sweden came roaring back and defender Olof Mellberg slid in a shot that bounced in off Glen Johnson to equalise and 10 minutes later put Sweden 2-1 ahead with a header from a curling free-kick.

But England bounced back when substitute Theo Walcott's swerving 25-yard strike completely deceived Swedish goalkeeper Isaksson, and England victory was complete when Walcott crossed for Welbeck to flick in a stylish winner.

Sweden 2 (Mellbery 49, 59)
England 3 (Carroll 23, Walcott 64, Welbeck 78)

NBA Betting : Heat level Series with Thunder Heading Into Game 3

The Miami Heat produced a big first quarter in Game two to level the series in their Finals matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday winning 100-96.

Now as the series shifts down to South Beach for Game 3 on Sunday, fans and critics are struggling with fluctuating NBA odds.
Bet on the NBA Finals at Bovada. Don’t have an account? Join now.

Although the Heat led the NBA futures for much of the 2011-12 regular season, OKC’s dominance in the postseason has been hard to ignore. Are Kevin Durant and the Thunder underdogs as the current moneyline suggests?

Tied at a game apiece heading into the next game of the best-of-seven set, all eyes will be on how the young Thunder respond after losing a nail biter in Game 2.

Current Bovada Odds : Miami are -3½ point favourite for game 3.
Weigh in on the matchup today. Get your NBA Finals odds at Bovada.

EURO 2012 : France beat Ukraine 2-0 after storm interupts match

France secured their first group win at Euro 2012 with a 2-0 victory over co-hosts Ukraine during a rain-interrupted spectacle in Donetsk.

The teams were forced off the pitch with just four minutes played with torrential rain and thunder and lighting, and resumed that match about an hour after the scheduled start time.

French winger Jeremy Menez opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when drifted inside his marker and fired in from 12 yards and Yohan Cabaye added a second with a low strike from the edge of the area just 3 minutes later.

Ukraine 0
France 2
(Menez 53, Cabaye 56)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FOOTBALL : English Premier League TV rights worth £1bn per year

The UK rights to broadcast live English Premier League games from 2013-14 to 2015-16 have been negotiated for a price of £1bn per year.

BSkyB will continue to show the bulk of games, securing the rights to 116 games per season, paying £760m a year. BSkyB said it would cover every club at least four times a season.

While BT has secured the rights to 38 matches a season and is paying £246m per season for its broadcast rights

One of the surprises of the bidding results was the fact that US-based sports broadcaster ESPN had lost its package of live TV rights. Its current deal runs out at the end of the 2012-13 season.

The total of 154 live matches will be broadcast and more than 40% of all top-level matches.

The sales raised £3.018bn over the three seasons, an increase of £1.25bn on the current package which shares rights between BSkyB and ESPN, a rise of 70% on the present deal, worth £1.773bn.

EURO 2012 : Spain beat Ireland 4-0 in dominant display

Fernando Torres scored twice as Spain knocked Republic of Ireland out of Euro 2012 with a dominant 4-0 win.

Torres opened the scoring in just the 4th minute, with a powerful finish on the angle from 10 yards out, and Spain dominated the rest of the first half without finding another goal.

David Silva's composed finish just after halftime doubled the advantage, and Torres grabbed the 3rd goal slotting past Given after a quick break. Substitute Cesc Fabregas drove in a fourth goal in the 83rd minute to complete the scoring in a one-sided game.

The victory was enough to move Spain above Croatia to the top of Group B on goal difference, but these two sides face each other on Monday, and are both sides will still need at least a point in order to progress.

Meanwhile, Ireland have been eliminated, and will play Italy on Monday, with the Italian side needing a win, and in fact needing a 3+ goal victory to be sure of progressing.

Spain 4
(Torres 4, 70, Silva 49, Fabregas 83)
R. of Ireland 0

Video from of goals from Spain v Republic of Ireland

EURO 2012 : Italy 1-1 Croatia

Mario Mandzukic's scored a second-half equaliser of the post to earn Croatia a 1-1 draw against Italy to leave Group C wide open.

The Italians were in control after taking the lead through Andrea Pirlo's quality first-half free-kick. But Mandzukic's third goal of the Euro 2012 championshipa earned Croatia a vital point.

Italy will need to beat Ireland in the final group match to be certain of their quarter-final place, while Croatia may need to earn at least a point against Spain.

Italy 1
(Pirlo 39)
Croatia 1 (Mandzukic 72)

Video from of goal highlights from Italy v Croatia

FOOTBALL : Harry Redknapp out of Tottenham job

Harry Redknapp has left Tottenham after almost four years in charge.
Redknapp, had denied speculation that he had resigned from the Spurs job on Tuesday, but clearly was doing his usual line of double-speak, much like his on-off lobbying for the England job.

The 65-year-old Redknapp had a year left on his contract but reportedly failed to agree a new deal with chairman Daniel Levy. With four years in the role, it made Redknapp the longest-serving Tottenham manager since Terry Venables, whose reign ended in 1991.

Everton manager David Moyes is being touted as a contender for the job but the Toffees have received no approach for the Scot.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

EURO 2012 : Netherlands 1-2 Germany - Gomez strikes again

Mario Gomez gave the Netherlands a lesson in finishing as Germany won 2-1 to leave the Netherlands on the brink of an early exit from Euro 2012.

The Bayern Munich striker turned sharply and slotted home Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass in the 24th minute before lashing in a brilliant second goal on the angle in the 38th minute to give the Germans a 2-0 halftime lead.

Robin van Persie gave the Netherlands hope with a fine strike, but Germany held on to all but cement their place in the quarter-finals.

While the Germans just need a point from their last game to reach the last eight, the Dutch face a monumental task.

Holland must beat Portugal on Sunday, hope Germany beat Denmark, and ensure they finish with a better goal difference than Portugal and the Danes.

See short video highlights of Netherlands v Germany from

Netherlands 1
(van Persie 73)
Germany 2 (Gomez 24, 38)

EURO 2012 : Portugal grab late winner to beat Denmark

Substitute Silvestre Varela's scored a stunning late goal to give Portugal a 3-2 victory over Denmark.

Pepe's powerful near-post header put Portugal ahead, before Helder Postiga smashed in a volley from close range to give Portugal a 2-0 lead.

Nicklas Bendtner pulled a goal back before the break, taking advantage of a passive offside call to subsequently header in from close range.

Denmark pressed forward in the second half, and were rewarded with an 80th minute equaliser from Bendtner, before Varela struck in the 87th minute to claim victory.

see short video highlights of Denmark v Portugal from

Denmark 2
(Bendtner 41, 80)
Portugal 3 (Pepe 25, Postiga 36, Varela 87)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

EURO 2012 : Poland draw with Russia to keep hope alive

Poland produced a stirring performance in Warsaw to hold Russia to a 1-1 draw and keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive.

Russia had taken the lead after 37 minutes, when Alan Dzagoev turned in Andrei Arshavin's curling free-kick, but Poland came from behind during a passionate second half, when captain Jakub Blaszczykowski scored the equaliser with a thunderous left-foot drive from the edge of the box.

Although both teams had chances to win the game late on, the spoils were shared.

The result leaves Group A wide open, with all four teams still able to qualify for the quarter-finals after a night of high drama in the Polish capital.

Watch Poland v Russia video highlights

Poland 1
(Blaszczykowski 57)
Russia 1 (Dzagoev 37)

EURO 2012 : Czech Republic beat Greece but both sides can still qualify.

The Czech Republic beat Greece 2-1 in Euro 2012 group A thanks to two goals in the first six minutes against 2004 champions Greece.

Petr Jiracek scored the opening goal when he collected Tomas Hubschman's defence-splitting pass in the third minute and slotted it past the oncoming keeper, and then Vaclav Pilar scored when he bundled home a cut-back from the goall line to score from two yards out.

Greece had a goal ruled out for offside before Fanis Gekas capitalised on a Petr Cech howler eight minutes after the break.

Greece brought on Kostas Mitroglou late on to add more strike power but they were unable to break down shaky Czech defence.

The defeat leaves the Greeks needing victory against Russia to progress, while the revitalised Czechs will face Poland with both sides looking for a positive result to advance.

Watch video highlights of Greece v Czech Republic

Greece 1
(Gekas 53)
Czech Rep. 2 (Jiracek 3, Pilar 6)

NHL : LA Kings win first Stanley Cup in 45-year history

The Los Angeles Kings have won their first NHL championship by beating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 Monday night to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

With three first-period power-play goals after New Jersey's Steve Bernier was ejected for boarding Rob Scuderi, the Kings finished the job after taking a 3-0 series lead and then losing two potential clinching games last week.

Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis scored two goals each, captain Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists as keeper Jonathan Quick made 17 saves in his latest stellar performance for the Kings.

Los Angeles became the first eighth-seeded playoff team to win the Stanley Cup, completing a dominant two-month playoff run in front of frenzied fans who had waited 45 years for their first look at the Stanley Cup since the Kings' expansion birth in 1967.

Conference Q/Fs : #8 LOS ANGELES KINGS beat #1 VANCOUVER CANUCKS 4-1
Conference S/Fs : #8 LOS ANGELES KINGS beat #2 ST LOUIS BLUES 4-0
Conference Final: #8 LOS ANGELES KINGS beat #3 PHOENIX COYOTES 4-1

Stanley Cup : #8 LOS ANGELES KINGS beat #6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4-2

Sunday, June 10, 2012

EURO 2012 : Croatia beat Ireland - Spain and Italy draw

Two goals from Mario Mandzukic and one from Nikica Jelavic put Croatia in control of Euro 2012 Group C as they beat the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in Poznan.

The match was played in incessant rain for long periods, but the wet conditions helped to spice up the action as Mandžukić struck as early as the third minute – the sixth fastest goal in EURO history.

Ireland rallied to level through centre-back Sean St Ledger, but Mandžukić grabbed his second after Nikica Jelavić had reclaimed the lead and Croatia never looked like slipping up from there.

Link to video highlights of Ireland v Croatia

Ireland 1
(St Ledger 19)
Croatia 3 (Mandzukic 3, 48, Jelavic 43)

Cesc Fabregas cancelled out Antonio Di Natale's opener as Spain and Italy battled to a 1-1 draw in their opening Euro2012 match in Gdansk on Sunday night.

With few clear-cut chances in the opening period, the second half saw an open, flowing game of football which could have produced numerous goals.

Di Natale made an immediate impact after coming on as a substitute, scoring a couple of minutes later, latching on to Pirlo's inch-perfect pass before coolly slotting past the onrushing Casillas.

Spain hit back almost immediately, when Silva flicked a pass with the outside of his left boot to Fabregas and he made no mistake with a crisp finish under Buffon.

Link to video highlights of Spain v Italy

Spain 1
(Fabregas 64)
Italy 1 (Di Natale 61)

EURO 2012 : Danes upset Dutch - Germany beat Portugal

Group B outsiders Denmark caused the first major shock at Euro 2012 by defeating a star-studded Holland side 1-0 in Kharkiv.

The Dutch had by far the better of the game, with 29 shots to 8, but were unable to find a way past the impressive Stephan Andersen in the Danish goal, so Michael Krohn-Dehli's first-half strike for Denmark was enough to claim victory for the underdogs.
see UEFA summary plus goal highlights video of Netherlands v Denmark.

Netherlands 0
Denmark 1 ( Krohn-Dehli 24)

Mario Gomez scored a magnificent header as Germany battled their way past Portugal 1-0 to make a winning start to their Euro 2012 Group B campaign on Saturday night.

Portugal's defensive pattern had frustrated Germany for 72 minutes until Gomez directed Sami Khedira's cross past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Portugal laid siege on the German goal in the last 10 minutes, but German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer brilliantly denied Silvestre Varela to seal the victory.

see UEFA summary plus highlights video of Germany v Portugal

Germany 1 (Gomez 72)
Portugal 0

Friday, June 08, 2012

EURO 2012 : Russia destroy Czech Rep, while Poland draw with Greece.

Russia produced a powerful performance as two goals by Alan Dzagoev helped dismantle Czech Republic 4-1 in their opening Euro 2012 game.

Dzagoev gave Dick Advocaat's side the lead with a shot after Aleksandr Kerzhakov headed against the post. Roman Shirokov made it 2-0 before halftime with a chip following good work by Andrey Arshavin.

Vaclav Pilar reduced the deficit after the break before two quality goals by Dzagoev and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko completed the win.

Russia 4 (Dzagoev 15,79, Shirokov 24, Pavlychenko 82)
Czech Rep 1 (Pilar 52)

Poland and Greece both had a man sent off as an eventful opening match of Euro 2012 ended in a 1-1 draw.

Robert Lewandowski headed Poland into a 17th minute lead before Greece had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off before the break.

Dimitris Salpingidis fired in the equaliser for Greece after the restart before he was brought down by keeper Wojciech Szczesny, who was shown a straight red.

But Giorgos Karagounis's penalty was saved by substitute keeper Przemyslaw Tyton - and neither side could find a winner in the last 20 minutes.

Poland 1 (Lewandowski 17)
Greece 1 (Salpingidis 51)

HORSES : I'll have Another retires - scratched from Belmont Stakes

This years US super horse - I'll have Another - has been sensationally scratched from the Belmont Stakes and retired from all racing as tendonitis was detected in his left front leg.

The New York Post is reporting that the Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion lost definition in his leg and the swelling returned on a subsequent gallop.

Veterinarian Dr. Jim Hunt diagnosed the problem as the start of tendonitis in his left front leg, and this injury could take up to six months to heal. I'll Have Another would need another six months of training after that before he could race again.

Trainer Doug O'Neill and the owners have decided that the investment might not pay off and have elected to retire the horse instead.

With I'll Have Another out of the race, Dullahan has been installed as the 9-5 favorite in a field of 11.

Odds To Win the Belmont Stakes at Bovada
Dullahan +165
Union Rags +250
Paynter +475
Street Life +800
Optimizer +1600
Unstoppable U +2000
My Adonis +2000
Atigun +2200
Ravelo's Boy +4500
Five Sixteen +5000
Guyana Star Dweej +6000

EURO2012 BETTING : Spain v Italy Free Bet Offer with bet365

Top UK bookmaker bet365 have another top free bet offer for ALL customers as defending champions Spain get their Euro 2012 campaign underway with a tough test against Italy.

Bet365 also offering a free in-play bet for Spain v Italy on Sunday

Simply place a pre-match bet before kickoff at Bet365 on the Group C game between Spain and Italy on Sunday 10th June and you will receive a free In-Play bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the big match.

If your FIRST In-Play bet loses, then bet365 will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet.

Bet365 have plenty of In-Play markets available throughout the game, with 70 markets, including Next Goal, Match Goals, Total Corners, Half-Time Result, Full-Time Result and much more.
With an extensive range of pre-match and In-Play markets and a fantastic free bet offer, bet365 is the number one place for your football betting during Euro 2012.

RELATED LINKS : Bet365 site ::: Our full Bet365 review ::: Our Euro 2012 Betting Previews

NBA Betting : OKC Thunder Completes Comeback, Heads To NBA Finals

Online sports betting sharps that were watching the Western Conference finals probably had written Oklahoma City off after San Antonio rolled at home in the first two games.

But - then THAT is why they play the games in a best-of-seven series!

The young Oklahoma City Thunder side regained their composure and protected their home court over the next two games and then led by Kevin Durant the Thunder stunned the Spurs on the road in Game 5. OKC closed out the series in game six at home and now the Thunder await the winner of the East finals.

A few players may have even turned off game six at halftime - expecting the Spurs and Thunder to go back to San Antonio for a seventh game after the Spurs went into game six at halftime up by 15 points ... but Oklahoma City didn’t panic and cut that deficit to a single point in the third quarter before wearing the Spurs down and coming away with a 107-99 win.

Kevin Durant had a monster game with 34 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, while Russell Westbrook added 25 points, eight boards and five assists for the Thunder, who shot 50% from the floor and hit 10 of their 18 three-point attempts. Oklahoma City is now going to go into the Finals as the favorites at betting sites, and Game 6 was a coming-of-age performance for the Thunder.

Tony Parker had a blistering first half for San Antonio en route to 29 points and 12 assists with one turnover, while Tim Duncan notched 25 points and 14 boards for the Spurs, but Manu Ginobili didn’t have a great game with 10 points. Stephen Jackson came off the bench in the Ginobili role with 23 points and hit six of his seven attempts from beyond the arc, but the Spurs seemed to run out of bullets in the second half and they just couldn’t keep up with the younger Thunder.

Now, there are a ton of questions to be asked in the offseason in San Antonio : does Duncan return? The future Hall of Famer is a free agent, but his age (36 years old) will be a bigger sticking point than getting a deal done. He showed he could still play with the best this season, and a returning Duncan would be a boost to San Antonio’s sports betting odds.

However, it is all about the Thunder right now and they could end up ruling the West if they can keep everyone together. Durant and Westbrook are 23, James Harden and Serge Ibaka are 22 and keeping these four are crucial to their success. But for now, they just have to worry about the Finals, where they’ll play either Boston or Miami (who play Game 7 of their series in Miami this weekend).

Regardless of the opponent, Oklahoma City will likely be the favorites in your online sportsbook.

Lifetime Bonus at BetOnline
Check out all the NBA Lines at BetOnline Sportsbook now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

HORSES : Bovada offers Belmont Stakes $20 cash-back

One horse - I'LL HAVE ANOTHER - is racing to change history and catch the first Triple Crown in 34 years. Eleven horses will be there to make sure he doesn’t.

Bet with Bovada Sportsbook on another horse to win the Belmont Stakes, and if I’ll Have Another earns the Triple Crown , you will get $20 of your cash back from the bookie.

UPDATE : I'll have Another has been scratched

Here is how Bovada's Triple Crown Cash-back works:

1) Go to ‘Horse Racing Futures’ in the Bovada Sportsbook or the Belmont Stakes in the Bovada Racebook.

2) Place a single bet on any other contender to win the Belmont Stakes.

3) If I’ll Have Another wins the Triple Crown, you’ll get a bonus for the amount of your first wager on the race, up to $20.


UPDATE : I'll have Another has been scratched from the Belmont Stakes (see report)

FOOTBALL : Uruguay 2nd, England move to 6th in new Fifa world rankings

Uruguay are the second best football side in the world, while England are sixth best international team, according to Fifa's latest world rankings.

FIFA's rankings which are notorious for being heavily over-balanced for world and confederation matches, and fairly useless for comparing between confederations, are still useful within confederations and have been released ahead of the Euro2012 competition.

Uruguay's 2nd position is an all-time high for the South American side, and is a direct result of winning the 2011 Copa America and being the highest placed South American finisher at the 2010 World Cup, Uruguay are ahead of fifth-placed Brazil and seventh-placed Argentina.

Whether that really makes Uruguay the second best football side in the world is doubtful, but it does underline their new strength within the COMNEBOL confederation at present.

South America have two other teams in the top 20 with Chile (11th) and Colombia (20th) also included after good recent results.

In the UEFA Confederation, Spain have retained top spot, while Germany and the Netherlands are third and fourth respectively with England 6th overall - making them the 4th best European side. Croatia, Denmark and Portugal are the other European sides who occupy the top 10.

Italy (12th), Russia (13th) and France (14th) sit outside the top 10 with Greece (15th), Sweden (17th) and the Republic of Ireland (18th) being the other Euro2012 contenders in the top 20..

Poland, despite moving up three places, are the lowest-ranked team in Euro 2012 in 62nd, while fellow host nation Ukraine are 52nd.

The Ivory Cost (16th) are the only African side to make the top 20, while Mexico (19th) fly the flag for the CONCACAF confederation.

There are no sides from Asia in the top twenty, with Japan (23rd) and Australia (24th), while Oceania has only New Zealand (100th) ranked in the top 100 teams.

Fifa world rankings - top 20

1. Spain
2. Uruguay
3. Germany
4. Netherlands
5. Brazil
6. England
7. Argentina
8. Croatia
9. Denmark
10. Portugal
11. Chile
12. Italy
13. Russia
14. France
15. Greece
16. Ivory Coast
17. Sweden
18. Republic of Ireland
19. Mexico
20. Colombia

52. Ukraine 62. Poland

The Fifa world rankings are compiled every month, with ranking points accumulated according to results, the importance of the matches played and the strength of opposing teams.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

NHL Betting: LA Kings Stand To Make History With Stanley Cup Win

The Los Angeles Kings leading the New Jersey Devils 3-0 and are a game away from winning a Stanley Cup after turning the NHL odds on their head in Round 1.

Game 1 : Kings won at Devils 2-1 (OT)
Game 2 : Kings won at Devils 2-1 (OT)
Game 3 : Kings beat Devils 4-0

With history in sight can the #8 ranked Kings come through once more against the New Jersey Devils in front of the California home crowd?

NHL odds and props at Bovada. Don’t have an account? Join now.

Bovada’s Stanley Cup odds show that the Los Angeles Kings have a resounding advantage in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Given the momentum that the Kings have built up over the course of the series. Is a sweep in the cards?

Having beaten the top three seeds in the Western Conference already, all that stands between the hot L.A. franchise and their first cup in team history is a standout performance between the pipes from legendary Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

But the Brodeur in net in 2012 is a far cry from his 2003 equivalent, leaving a lot of the pressure on the New Jersey trio of Ilya Kovalchul, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise. Can the Devils turn things around before it’s too late, or will L.A. put the finishing touches on their heroic postseason before the end of the week?

The moneyline has the Los Angeles Kings at -195 (about 1.53 euro odds) to win game four. and it looks like a lock as the Kings use their momentum to sweep the Devils.

The gloves are off. Bet on the Stanley Cup playoffs today.

Monday, June 04, 2012

EURO 2012 : Group Betting - Paddy Power money back special

Think that you know your football well enough to pick the winners of the four Euro2012 groups?

GROUP A : Russia, Czech Rep, Poland, Greece
GROUP B : Holland, Germany, Poland, Denmark
GROUP C : Spain, Italy, Croatia, Ireland
GROUP D : France, England, Ukraine, Sweden

Then Paddy Power might be the bookmaker to place that bet at - as the Irish bookmaker is offering a refund if you bet loses because ONE team fails to win their group.

That's pretty good insurance - and makes Paddy Power the bookmaker of choice if you are placing a 4-group accumulator.

You can find all the Euro2012 group markets at PaddyPower here - with details of the Money Back Special (MBS)

- Applies to accumulator placed before the tournament only
- Applies to 4-fold accumulator on outright group winner only
- Does not apply to shop bets
- Max Refund €/£100 per customer/bet.

EURO 2012 : Gary Cahill rulled out for England with fractured jaw

England defender Gary Cahill has been ruled out of Euro 2012 with a double fracture of his jaw.

The Chelsea centre-half suffered the injury when he collided with goalkeeper Joe Hart during the friendly win over Belgium on Saturday. Liverpool's Martin Kelly has been called up as his replacement, subject to Uefa's approval, with Rio Ferdinand still being overlooked by manager Roy Hodgson.

Better news for England is that defender John Terry's hamstring injury has been given the all-clear after a scan.

England had already lost goalkeeper John Ruddy (fractured finger) as well as midfielders Gareth Barry (abdomen) and Frank Lampard (thigh) from his original 23-man squad.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

FOOTBALL : Warmups see Portugal beaten while Netherlands, England, Denmark and Poland all win

Portugal's final European Championship warm-up ended in disappointing fashion as Umut Bulut's double helped secure a 3-1 victory for Turkey in Lisbon.

Turkey led 1-0 at the break thanks to Bulut's opening goal, and Bulut made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. Nani replied for Portugal just 5 minutes later, but Ronaldo missed a penalty, and Pepe's own goal in the 88th minute sealed victory for Turkey.

Robin van Persie scored twice as the Netherlands finished their preparations by trouncing Northern Ireland 6-0 at the Amsterdam Arena. Other goals were scored by Afellay (2), Sneijder and Vlar. The Dutch lead 4-0 at the halftime break.

European Championship co-hosts Poland beat Andorra 4-0, Ludovic Obraniak opened the scoring and efforts from Robert Lewandowski and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski made it 3-0 by the interval. Marcin Wasilewski added a fourth in the second half.

England beat Belgium 1-0 in an even encounter at Wembley with Danny Welbeck getting the only goal of the game in the first half.

Denmark defeated Australia 2-0 to round off their Euro 2012 preparations in style in front of their home fans in Copenhagen.

FOOTBALL : Russia beat Italy 3-0 in Euro2012 warmup

Italy's poor recent form was highlighted on Friday when Italy lost 3-0 to fellow Euro 2012 finalists Russia in a warm-up match.

It was Italy's third straight game without scoring, following 1-0 defeats to Uruguay in November and United States in February.

Cesare Prandelli's Italian side created plenty of chances with Andrea Pirlo enjoying an inspirational first half. A lively Mario Balotelli had an early chance saved by Vyacheslav Malafeyeva but the striker faded in the second period.

But it was scoreless at the break and Russia grabbed three goals in the second half, two from Roman Shirokov and one by Alexander Kerzhakov.

Italy played against the backdrop of the match-fixing scandal that prompted coach Prandelli to drop Domenico Criscito from his squad and Prandelli also said he would not mind his side pulling out of Euro 2012 if it was the right move for football in his country.

Friday, June 01, 2012

OLYMPICS : Usain Bolt wins 100m in Rome - fastest this year

Usain Bolt has stormed back to form by winning the 100m race at the Rome Diamond League meeting in 9.76 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.

Bolt exploded out of the blocks in Rome to hit the front early on and power away from compatriot Asafa Powell, who was second in 9.91 secs, with European champion Christopher Lemaitre third in 10.04.

Bolt had recently struggled to victory in a time of 10.04 seconds in Ostrava, the first time since Toronto in 2009 that he had failed to break 10 seconds outside a heat or semi-final.

EURO 2012 : Frank Lampard ruled out of England's squad

Frank Lampard is out of England's Euro 2012 campaign with a thigh injury suffered in training on Wednesday.

The news was confirmed after the Chelsea midfielder was examined by medical staff after a scan.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson will be called into the squad, subject to agreement from Uefa's medical team.

If Henderson, 21, is allowed to replace Lampard then Liverpool will be the most represented club in Hodgson's squad, with five, despite a disappointing season which saw them eighth in the Premier League.