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A short history of bicycle racing

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Sport |

With summer here and people out and about enjoying the weather, it’s easy to tell that the summer sport season has arrived with the weather. The rivers and lakes are filled with people kayaking and canoeing, the parks and fields are filled with people playing football, field hockey and nearly everything, and, of course, the pavements and parks and fields and mountains and, well, everywhere, are filled with bicycles! Not only are people using bicycles, but people everywhere are racing bicycles. Unsurprisingly, bicycle racing has been around for as long as there have been bicycles. What might be a little more surprising is the fact that bicycle racing has been around longer than bicycles!

The earliest bicycles, weren’t actually bicycles, but rather velocipedes (from the Greek words meaning ‘speed’ and ‘feet’). These two-wheeled devices had a primitive saddle and handlebars, but no pedals. The user’s feet touched the ground (unlike most of today’s bikes) and the riders propelled themselves by kicking the ground. But as this was a machine that could take people faster than they could run it’s natural that people began having races. The races went on for years before the bicycle as we now know it was developed.

In the late 1800s, the first bicycle as we might today recognise it was developed. This was after nearly a century of peace, following the Napoleonic Wars, and as often happens in times of prolonged peace there was a massive concentration on leisure pursuits, to even an indulgent level. Betting on bicycle races was a huge past-time. In the gentlemen’s clubs of London, people would be massive fortunes—even country estates, yachts, and townhomes—on the outcome of these early and often informal races. With decidedly more caution, bicycle races today are still a source of tremendous fun for gamblers and often draw huge audience—just consider the worldwide popularity of the Tour d’France.

Perhaps one of the more exciting times in the history of cycling could easily have been this heyday and betting and biking. The bicycles were often known ‘ordinaries’ but by our standards today, little was ordinary about these machines. The front wheel was much, much larger than the back, allowing for phenomenal speed, but a decrease in stability. That made races a joy to watch and a danger to partake in.

In the 1890s however the size of the wheels began to even out and the pedals that had hitherto been attached directly to the front wheels of the bike, were placed directly under the saddle and connected to a drive chain that gave an increased control and stability for the user.

Since then the bike has only developed in the technology and production but little has changed and today, like in the 1800s, the bicycle and especially bicycle races have become a stable of the summer sports scene.

Five tips for placing a successful bet

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Sport |

You’ll want to remind yourself why you’re placing a bet. If you are placing bets with some colleagues from the office or your best friends, you probably don’t have to think too much about it. But if you’re making a lot of bets, and turning it into something more than a hobby you’ll want to have a more professional approach. Here are a couple of tips to help you with that:

  1. Make sure you’re in the right condition to bet. Again, if you’re just betting with friends then it’s not that big of a deal to place an emotional bet or to put some money the outcome of a match after you’ve had a couple of drinks. For the professional however you will need to reflect on yourself and if you’re in the right condition to make a bet.
  2. Know what you’re betting on. As exciting as it can be to place bets when you’re first getting into a new sport, you’ll need to know what you’re betting on and don’t place a bet if you’re unfamiliar with the sport. In the long term you’ll lose a lot more than you make if you’re betting on things you don’t know. Stick to sports you know well or at least keep your bets extremely small when you’re starting out with betting on a new sport.
  3. Stay up-to-date. Follow whatever sport you bet on most very closely. Keep track of the teams’ (or athletes’) statistics, changes in management, weather condition in the cities in which the events are taking place and sometimes even a bit of gossip. You know never what will affect the outcome of a game or match or bout, so remember to think about everything and factor in how it might affect gameplay.
  4. Always bet within your means. As obvious as this sounds, it’s worth being repeated. Many a gambler has gone down a dark road by placing his or her hope in one big final bet. It’s not that you can’t win that way, it’s just that it’s so mind-numbing improbable that you’d have to have a numb mind to consider it. Remember to stay within a budget or whatever you system is. If you start getting stressed out and panicking then it’s almost certainly time for a hiatus from gambling. Get some rest and take a break and come back with some fresh strategies and write off your losses. There’s no point dwelling on what’s already happened.
  5. Keep track of your wins and losses. You won’t be capable of improving your rate of success if you’re not comparing your own statistics over time. Get a dedicated betting notebook and keep track of your wins and losses. Analyse what made your wins or losses successful (or a failure) and try to duplicate the results.

Miami Hurricanes vs Cincinnati Bearcats

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Sport |

This has the makings of a high-scoring affair as the Miami Hurricanes (3-0) play the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-2). The ACC’s third-leading passer, Brad Kaaya (839 yards, 5 TDs), will be key to the outcome of this contest. It starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct 1 and will air on ESPN.

Cincinnati was defeated by Memphis 53-46 last week. Hayden Moore had an outstanding performance passing the ball in the loss, completing 31 of 53 passes for 557 yards, four TDs and two interceptions. Max Morrison also had a big game with 162 receiving yards and two TDs on nine receptions. Miami (FL) is hoping for another victory like its last game, when it won a close one over Nebraska 36-33. Rashawn Scott had a big game for the Hurricanes, registering nine receptions for 151 yards. Brad Kaaya had a big game as well, totaling 379 yards and two TDs through the air.

The Bearcats, a five-point underdog, will be looking to defend their home field when Miami (FL) comes to town.

Heading into Week 5 of the college football season, the Bearcats are 2-2 Straight Up (SU) and 1-3 Against The Spread (ATS). A major reason for success this season is the Cincinnati passing game, where they average 14.2 yards per pass. Transitioning to the Cincinnati defense, there are a few things to keep in mind when it is on the field. When it comes to defending the pass, Cincinnati is one of the best in the country, only giving up a completion percentage of 52.6%. Cincinnati can top most teams in terms of time of possession. The Bearcats have an average time of possession of 33:00 per game for 25th-highest in the nation.

On the other side, the Hurricanes have 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS records this season. Miami (FL) could plan on tossing the ball frequently. The Bearcats defense is usually ineffective at containing the pass, giving up 14.2 yards per pass. Switching gears to the Miami (FL) defense, it has some favorable matchups that it may be able to take advantage of as well. The Hurricanes are the best in the nation at preventing their opponents’ passing attack, allowing a completion rate of only 48.9%. The Bearcats will need to secure the ball against the turnover-minded Hurricanes. The defense ranks third in the country in turnovers with 3.3 per game. There is no feeling-out process to start a game for the Hurricanes, who average 12.7 points in the first quarter.

Predictions: SU Winner – Miami, ATS Winner – Miami

Miami is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Miami’s last 9 games.

Miami is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games on the road.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 5 games on the road.

Miami is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games on the road.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cincinnati’s last 5 games at home.

Miami (FL) is 3-0 SU when leading at the start of the 4th quarter this season. Cincinnati is 1-1 SU when leading at the end of the third quarter.

Nationally, the Cincinnati passing attack is ranked second, while the Miami (FL) pass defense is only ranked 24th. The Hurricanes passing game is ranked 27th, compared to the 69th-ranked pass defense of the Bearcats.

Miami (FL) has given up 17.7 points per game this year, which is ranked only 52nd in the country. Cincinnati has scored 40.2 points per game this year and is ranked 17th overall.

NL East Race and NL East Odds & Picks

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Sport |

The National League East is a two-team race between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals.  The Mets made a number of trades to improve their offense before the trading deadline and now have enough offense to go along with their excellent pitching.  The Nationals didn’t do much at the trading deadline other than getting closer Jonathan Papelbon who they really didn’t need.  The Mets and Nationals are now co-favorite picks to win the NL East heading into the final third of the season while the Atlanta Braves are longshots. The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies are out of contention.  Here is a look at the NL East race and NL East odds.

2015 MLB Pick Odds to Win NL East

New York Mets -125

Washington Nationals -125

Atlanta Braves 100-1

Miami Marlins 500-1

Philadelphia Phillies 500-1

Mets or Nationals which MLB Team To Pick?

It was thought that the Washington Nationals would run away with the National League East this season. They were heavily favored before the season began and for a while they were the clear top choice to win the division.  That is no longer the case as the Nationals haven’t played well recently while the Mets have surged into first place.

The Mets have a dominating pitching staff that is second in the MLB in ERA, allowing just 3.2 runs per game. They have a feared trio of starters in Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard and an excellent closer in Jeurys Familia. The offensive numbers overall for the Mets are poor as they score just 3.7 runs per game but the offense has been much better in the past couple of weeks since the team added Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.  The Mets also have David Wright on a rehab assignment and he may contribute before the season is over.

The Nationals simply don’t have good chemistry and it didn’t get any better when the team traded for closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies.  The bullpen was not the problem for the teams as Drew Storen had been excellent in the closers role. The problems for this team go deeper than the players as general manager Mike Rizzo has made some strange moves and manager Matt Williams continues to make bonehead moves. The Nationals are scoring 4.2 runs per game and allowing 3.6 per contest.

No Other Contenders to Pick?

The Braves, Marlins and Phillies are all looking to next season.  Atlanta was a nice story early in the season as they played better than expected but this team was not expected to contend as they are building for the future. The team has traded away most of their top players as they look to next season and beyond. The Marlins were expected to contend this season but they didn’t play well early in the season and an injury to slugger Giancarlo Stanton ended their hopes.  The Phillies have not been a contender for years and they did nothing to build for the future other than trade away closer Jonathan Papelbon.