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Underdog Bayne Wins Daytona 500: NASCAR Betting Season Begins

February 22nd, 2011

Trevor Bayne became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500 last Sunday.  While Bayne looked strong in practice and during his Gatorade Duel at Daytona on Thursday, he had only one Sprint Cup Series start under his belt.  He had never won any type of NASCAR race.  His highest finish before Sunday was third in last year’s Nationwide Series.  Bayne was never considered a serious challenger for the 500 crown.

The Daytona 500 took place this past Sunday to officially begin the NASCAR betting season.  The new sticky, asphalt track surface at the Daytona Speedway offered one of the most exciting upset races in years at the event.  Recent track speeds were reported as high as 206 mph during last week’s Shootout.  NASCAR requests made slight alterations to the carburetor restrictor plate in order to slow down the pace a bit.  Nevertheless, two-car packs were common at the Shootout and also at the recent Gatorade Duels.  Nose-to-tail drafting techniques were prominent during the 500.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had won the pole in practice runs last weekend, but lost it on Wednesday due to wrecking his car.  Crashes could be more prevalent due to the tightly bunched runs taking place.  Junior is still listed as the pole-sitter on the official lineup, but he will start at the back of the pack as the race begins on Sunday.  He won the Daytona 500 in 2004, but hasn’t won a race in his last 93 starts.  Kurt Busch, who won the Gatorade Duel, last week started on the pole last Sunday for the Daytona 500.  Busch also won last week’s Shootout.

As is custom, the winning team, Wood Brothers Racing, and driver, Trevor Bayne, unveiled the No. 21 Ford inside the Daytona International Speedway Track Tours building behind Turn 4 on Monday morning.  The car will stay parked there on public display for one year.

Sports Betting Trends: Online Video Game Wagers

February 7th, 2011

Virgin Gaming and Electronic Arts (EA) have merged a partnership for online gambling with popular online video games such as Madden 11, NBA 2K11 and Halo.

President of Virgin Gaming, William Levy, reports “This is the biggest deal we’ve ever had.  We have entry fee-based tournaments.  We also have sponsored tournaments.  Let’s say there was a $10 entry fee tournament, you could click ‘enter now,’ agree to the terms and conditions and then we deduct the $10 from your account and put it towards the pot.”

This format, currently available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, is in process just as Levy describes.  There is a buy-in fee, similar to a poker tournament, which is deducted from a player’s account.  The winner takes the pot.  You can also find sponsored tournament action.  Recently, Virgin Gaming and Maxim Magazine held a Madden 11 tournament on the PS3 online platform.  Winning prizes included a trip to the Maxim Super Bowl party in Dallas, totaling over $25,000.

Virgin Gaming reports about 170,000 users in 30 countries.  With the new wagering on video games format in process, the number of players is bound to heighten.  Next on the docket is the launching of Madden NFL 11 Red Zone, which should be in play within several weeks.  The new feature will allow players to create open and private tournaments in order to play at their own leisure.  Current online video games, which have been successful in tournament wagers for Virgin Gaming, include NBA 2K11 and Halo.  The recent inclusion of EA titles are expected to be a major boost to the company’s user base.

“Competitive online gaming is an increasingly popular component of our industry and a great way for EA Sports and Virgin Gaming to help connect gamers around the world through the global language of sports,” said Peter Moore, President of EA Sports, in a statement. “Virgin Gaming demonstrates the system-wide integrity we desire, and this is a great opportunity for EA Sports fans to experience secure and impeccably managed online tournaments for some of our top titles.”

Virgin Gaming has taken precautions to protect its gamers.  Tournament winners have their game play and activities monitored to ensure there is no cheating.  Users also are allowed to only load $500 onto their account each week.  Larger deposits require direct contact with customer service.

This is an innovative move for Virgin Gaming, owned by Richard Branson, and EA Sports, one of the most recognized video game companies.  Around $2 billion is believed to be wagered on sports in Las Vegas every year, but as much as $60 billion is estimated to be wagered online annually.

This is a major amount of money that is available for businesses to tap into if they can find a means to reach users.  By combining sports betting and the currently most popular sports video games, these companies believe they have created that platform.

Super Bowl XLV Point Spread

February 2nd, 2011

Several major offshore sportsbooks have moved the Super Bowl XLV spread from 2.5 to 3.  You can find many of the markers remaining at -2.5 from this past weekend activity, but the boost adjustment has been in place as of yesterday.

Books are claiming that sharp money from notable gambling arenas on the Packers -2.5 has pushed the move to a field goal for this coming Sunday’s Lombardi Trophy race.  A notable 70% of the total action on the side has been geared toward the Green Bay Packers, but oddsmakers believe the move to -3 will carry through the kickoff.

The Super Bowl spread isn’t the only adjustment taking place.  Moneyline odds have also shifted taking the Packers to a -140 favorite to win over the Steelers this coming weekend.  The adjustment is taking place even though 65% of the moneyline wagers are being placed on the Steelers.  Pittsburgh is now at +120 to win their 3rd Super Bowl in six years.  This creates an attraction to bet on the moneyline with a spread of this nature, rather than taking the underdog and points, bettors might instead take the plus money on the Steelers moneyline.

At the moment the total for Super Bowl XLV is at 44 or 44.5 points in most markets.  Oddsmakers predict the gambling community to push the number in the next couple of days toward 46.

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