Bater’s Best Bets: Week 17 NFL

Previous Week’s Record:  2-1
Overall Season Record:  26-18 

 

As we finish this first year of NFL Best Bets, we are glad to do so with a guaranteed winning record and having provided a little respite from the sheer awfulness that was 2020. 

 

Now we begin 2021 with an injection of optimism and perhaps facing the biggest challenge of the season thus far, because Week 17 is perhaps the riskiest of the past 20 years to gamble in. 

 

Think about it: As of Thursday, the Cleveland Browns were facing a potential win-or-go-home game unable to practice because of COVID-19 cases on the team, the Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting their most important starters but the Buffalo Bills may or may not pull theirs. Add the fact that the Los Angeles Rams will place their own playoff hopes in the hands of a backup quarterback who has never thrown a pass in the NFL and you have a recipe for craziness in the making. 

 

Alas, we go forth and place our bets because we are bold with Mahomian confidence and a healthy dose of Fitzmagic. 

 

You can find all odds for this weekend here, via Yahoo! Sports. 

 

BUFFALO BILLS (12-3) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (10-5) 

 

The Bills are just 1.5-point favorites at home. Hosts usually are at least a +3, so that means Vegas is thinking that the Bills will A) rest their starters or B) play at least a healthy portion of the game with Matt Barkley as their QB. 

 

This will be Tua’s first start against the Bills, who defeated the Fitzpatrick-led Dolphins 31-28 in a game that had the Fins leading 20-17 with six minutes left in the game before consecutive passing touchdowns by Josh Allen. 

 

If Tua can clear the cobwebs in his mind and play with confidence while the Dolphins defense plays with much more zeal and desperation than a Bills offense looking to stay healthy, I like Miami to win and finish fifth in the AFC. 

 

My pick: Bills 24-27 Dolphins (+1.5) 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS (5-10) vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (6-9)    

 

The most meaningful game for two teams that hope to drunkenly stumble into a playoff game at home. The Indianapolis Colts may miss the playoffs with a 11-5 record in the AFC, but the NFC East might gift the 6-10 Giants a divisional title. 

 

The Cowboys have won three games in a row averaging 36.0 points per game during that streak, while the Giants lost all the swagger they had after beating the Seahawks in Seattle and have averaged 8.6 points per game during their latest three-game slide. In fact, they haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

 

Dalton is hot, New York is not. 

 

My pick: Giants 17-20 Cowboys (-2) 

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) vs. CHICAGO BEARS (8-7) 

 

The Bears have lost eight of their last nine against the Packers and haven’t prevailed in Green Bay since 2015, when Jay Cutler was their quarterback. 

 

Aaron Rodgers was the Packers QB back then and he still is now, with the NFC’s number one seed and consequent bye week in his sights and the fresh memories of putting up 41 points and four touchdowns on the Bears in Chicago during a 41-25 spanking that was 41-10 after three quarters in Week 12. 

 

A motivated Rodgers is a lethal Rodgers, and I’m afraid that the Bears will be glued to the TV in the locker room hoping for a Rams win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. 

 

My pick: Packers (-5.5) 31-20 Bears  

Tua Tagovailoa had reason to celebrate as the Dolphins won in his first NFL start against the Rams.

Martin’s Best Week 16 NFL Bets: Dolphins and More

Previous Week’s Record:  1-2
Overall Season Record:  24-17 

 

We have arrived in the last week of 2020 for the NFL, the penultimate one of the season. And you know what? Good riddance to the worst year ever. The one that made us play with fear and uncertainty, the one that infected players and coaches from coast to coast, the one that kept fans away from cheering on the teams they love!  

 

No matter what happens the rest of this year, the best bet you should make is that 2021 will be better for everyone.   

 

Now let’s take a look at what Week 16 has in store for us. One thing is for sure, I am not putting any money on the Pittsburgh Steelers. They couldn’t even beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football to give us a winning slate last time around. For shame. 

 

You can find every game’s odds here on the Yahoo! Sports website. We took the ones as of Thursday morning. 

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (7-7) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5)  

 

Two teams heading in opposite directions.  

 

The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five games, just a push away from being eliminated from playoff contention and from their 17th season with eight or fewer wins in their last 18 tries dating to 2003. Their defense has allowed 36.0 points per game since they were 6-3.   

 

The Dolphins are 8-2 in their last 10 and 5-2 with Tua as their promising starting quarterback that doesn’t seem to make the same mistake twice. He takes care of the ball and the defense forces opposing turnovers while allowing 21 points or less in five of their past six contests. 

 

I don’t really care whether Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota start at quarterback for the Raiders. I’m going with the Dolphins, and the Raiders don’t even cover at home. 

 

My pick: Raiders 20-27 Dolphins (-3) 

 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9) 

 

The NFC East is such a shitshow that it is currently being led by a team whose owner currently believes he is the victim of a extortion while their backup quarterback is fined for “pulling a Harden” (AKA breaking COVID-19 protocols for stupid reasons). 

 

An organization in such a state of disarray shouldn’t be just two wins away from a division title and the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and yet that is exactly where the Ron Rivera Riverboaters find themselves.  

 

Christian McCaffrey looks to be MIA for the Panthers for the sixth straight game, and why wouldn’t he be? All his presence can do is increase his risk of aggravating his quad injury and putting Carolina’s top five draft pick in jeopardy. 

 

The Panthers have allowed seven sacks combined in their past two games against the Broncos (11th in the league in that category) and the Packers (10th). Now they will face a hellacious Washington front four led by rookie sensation Chase Young that’s tied for fourth in the league in sacks. 

 

My pick: Washington (-2) 20-17 Panthers  

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-8) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (11-3) 

 

As if 2020 wasn’t bizarre enough, we end it with the division-leading Buffalo Bills that boasts a quarterback that is also an MVP candidate facing a Patriots team with nothing to play for and serious questions under center for this game and for the future. It’s like the Freaky Friday of football. 

 

The Pats were a Cam Newton fumble away from at least forcing overtime in Buffalo back in Week 8, but they ended up losing 24-21 instead during what would be the beginning of the end for them. 

 

The Bills’ offense has averaged 34.8 points per game since then, and they are a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in Arizona away from being 8-0 since Week 7. 

 

Their firepower and motivation to secure the second seed in the AFC will be too much for Belichick and his players to overcome. 

 

My pick: Bills (-7) 31-23 Patriots   

Betting Better: How to Win in the NFL Game

Though betting in the NFL may still pose some risk percentage, there are still useful ways to improve your winning chances when placing a wager. Most bettors just kind of know the tip of the iceberg when predicting some game’s outcome, but there are still some critical betting factors that only a few people take into account, and that’s what makes them expert bettors. 

 

If you’re still reading here, then you will know in a bit what some of these vital betting factors are. As long as you’re open and willing to learn, you will soon reap the rewards and will shortly become a better NFL bettor. To explain further, provided below are some powerful tips that help improve your winning chances in NFL betting. 

Look For The Edge

One of the best ways to gain a better chance of winning your NFL bet is to look for some clear edge in some matches by trying to identify which is the best NFL team to win in a particular game. There will always be those matches where the other team is dominating over the other, though there is still a risk of losing, the percentage is far lesser than most typical games. 

 

For example, the Philadelphia Eagles are not in the top ranks but still have an incredible offense. They won 5 games against teams in the top 15 defense. Although they won in the two games, they even failed to cover the spread of 6.5 when they played against these two teams, especially with the ones that have higher passing defenses that ranked 12th and 10th in the league. They had a rough time going through their opponents’ pass defenses. 

 

When they played against a team with a passing defense ranked 24th, they easily won by 38-21, covering a higher spread of 7.5. And when they played against Arizona, whose strongest passing defense only ranked 30th in the league, it was a no-brainer match for them, and got the easy W. 

 

Given that it was an easy win against the team ranked 24th, how much more against a team who’s passing defense ranked 30th? This is what pro bettors call an edge. Pro bettors identify these edges so easily because they do their homework way better than typical bettors do.

Set A Safe Budget

One of the most common cliches that every bettor has heard is to “only bet money that you can afford to lose.” Being too familiar with this idea, many bettors tend to sweep this truth under the rug. And for some, they continue to bet whenever they want without reservations. With that said, it is one of the best formulas to become broke in betting. 

 

Expert bettors consider the worst-case scenarios all the time, especially when things do not go their way. With that said, successful bettors, most of the time, prevent gambling temptations by limiting a budget only for betting. They make it a non-negotiable! That’s why they are successful in a general perspective.   

Numbers Don’t Lie

Another essential attitude when engaging in NFL betting is to check the numbers because they never lie. Numbers like facts, statistics, ranks in the offense, ranks in defense, etc., reveal almost every strength and weakness of all the currently active teams. And not everyone takes the time to study and analyze these critical factors.  

Many bettors, mostly amateurs, make poor bet judgments because they tend to rely on uneducated guesses or emotions rather than do their research and acknowledge what the current numbers tell. This is where most bettors lose their money and fail. Acknowledging the numbers and facts in NFL betting are critical components to become a successful bettor.

Continue Expanding Your Game Knowledge

Expanding your game knowledge is one of the critical components to increase your winning chances in NFL betting. Successful NFL bettors do not stop learning things about the sport. Even though they have become so familiar with the game’s critical aspects, they do not take this as an excuse to stop studying and learning more about the sport. 

 

For instance, a particular NFL team is ranked 20th in passing defense in the past season. But because they have adjusted their roster by acquiring some key players and a promising rookie in the current season, their defensive qualities and numbers can go up. And who knows, they might just make their way to the top 5 rankings in best passing defense. 

Discipline is Everything

In the game of NFL betting, discipline is everything. If you do not discipline yourself to look for the edge in specific matches, you won’t profit. If you don’t discipline in setting a safe budget, you might end up using important money. 

 

If you don’t discipline yourself by considering what the numbers tell, you will have wrong predictions most of the time. And if you don’t discipline yourself to expand your sports knowledge, your winning chances will decline sooner or later. Although discipline sounds cliche, it undeniably influences the success of a pro bettor. 

Takeaway

The ideas above are beneficial, mainly if your goal is to become a successful bettor. Remember that to absorb these ideas successfully, you must make sure to execute them every time you decide to bet to improve your winning chances in NFL betting significantly.

 

Dolphins Loss Chiefs

Week 15 Dolphins/Patriots Odds and Prediction

 

 

The Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots in Week 15 at 8-5 and in control of their playoff destiny.

 

Miami Dolphins (8-5) vs New England Patriots (6-7)

Sunday Dec. 20th, 1PM EST

Line: Dolphins -2.5

O/U 41.5

 

For the changing of the guard in the AFC East to be complete the Patriots must be eliminated from playoff contention outright, even though Buffalo has nearly clinched the division.

The Dolphins are just a slight favorite despite a better record and being at home. Both teams are in vastly positions after New England beat Miami convincingly 21-11 in Week 1. Cam Newton has struggled and the Dolphins’ defense has become one of the best in the league.

 

Newton has just five touchdown passes against 10 interceptions but his 11 rushing scores are tied for the second highest total in the NFL. In Week 1 Newton was very efficient through the air completing 15-of-19 passes for 165 yards. However it was on the ground where Newton did his most damage with 15 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Miami is playing much better on both sides of the ball and since Tua Tagovailoa took over at quarterback they are limiting mistakes with the football. Ryan Fitzpatrick started under center in Week 1 and threw three interceptions without a touchdown. Conversely Tua has so far thrown just one pick in seven starts.
New England is the 5th best rushing team in the NFL entering Week 15 averaging 147.5 yards per game, while Miami’s defense ranks 21st in the league allowing 120.2 yards per game. Where Miami excels is in pass coverage and their 16 interceptions are second in the NFL. Xavien Howard leads the NFL with nine picks and has firmly entered the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Newton will be without wide receiver Julian Edelman which gives him even fewer weapons.

 

Miami will need to be careful as New England still has a solid defense led by Stephon Gilmore, they are right behind the Dolphins with 15 interceptions. Tua will need to take what the defense gives him, and if Mike Gesicki and Devante Parker can go that will give the offense a huge boost.

The Dolphins need to find a running game to help Tua against a tough New England defense, and Bill Belichick will try to take away anything easy. New England’s run defense is worse than Miami’s, ranking 23rd allowing 124 yards-per-game. If Miami can run the ball in this one it bodes well for success to close out the season.

I predict Miami will finally get the ground game going and control a fairly low scoring game. The Dolphins’ defense can force Newton into mistakes and I see that trend continuing in this matchup. Field position will be critical and the Dolphins have perhaps the best kicker and special teams in the NFL.

That could make the difference in a close game.

 

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

 

Related:

Tua Tagovailoa made his debut in a brief appearance, but the big story of the Miami Dolphins is their rise as a playoff contender.

Five Reasons, Martin’s NFL Best Bets: Week 15

Previous Week’s Record:  1-2
Overall Season Record:  23-15
 

 

Note:  Martín had been posting his NFL plays since Week #1 for the Canadian betting site point spreads under the pseudonym of “El Hombre” (that clearly took a lot of imagination on his part). Most importantly, though, is the fact that he has been racking up the profits and now he is able to put his name on his picks (no pressure, we know). Now he makes his Five Reasons gambling debut with three games left in the regular season, he’s hitting about 65 percent winners – wow, not bad for free analysis! – Here is his latest on this week’s games and his three best bets. 

 

All odds are based on the lines from Yahoo! on Friday afternoon. 

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-5) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-7) 

This game is tricky, because my brain is telling me two very different things.

The first is that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is the venom that poisons opposing rookie quarterbacks. He is 21-5 in his career against them, and he hasn´t lost to one since Geno Smith defeated him in 2013 (???). His latest victim was Chargers sensation Justin Herbert, who had a big slice of humble pie in a 45-0 drubbing by the Pats. Tua is not playing better than Herbert this season, even though he did show flashes of his potential against Arizona and most recently mounting a comeback against Kansas City.

On the other hand, these were the coaches of the rookie QBs that Belichick faced since that loss to Geno: Anthony Lynn, Pat Shurmur, Sean McDermott, Bill O´Brien, Jeff Fisher, Tony Sparano.

Brian Flores is better than all of them. He not only knows Belichick´s defensive tendencies after working for him, but he now also has seen what Cam Newton can do as Patriots QB (not much). That was a luxury he didn´t have when the Dolphins lost to the Patriots 21-13 in Week 1 with Fitzpatrick as quarterback and little to no offseason work.

Miami´s defense is leaps and bounds better 14 weeks later, and Tua is brash enough to end Belichick´s streak.

My pick: Dolphins (-2.5) 23-17 Patriots 

 

DALLAS COWBOYS (4-9) vs. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (5-8) 

 

Dallas has a worse record, but more to play for in a must-win game for them to stay alive in the NFC East race. However, they haven´t been able to win two games in a row all season, and that is just sad.

Meanwhile, the Niners are 4-2 on the road with a defense that sits in the top half of the league allowing 23.9 points and didn´t allow an offensive touchdown in last week´s  23-15 loss to Washington.

Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton´s winless playoff record shows us he isn´t known to rise up to the occasion in must-win situations, and they really can´t count on the worst defense in the NFL to do so either.

My pick: Cowboys 20-24 49ers (-3) 

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK 

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-10-1) 

 

The formerly undefeated Steelers are pissed off after consecutive losses and face a Bengals team that is averaging…10.0!? points per game during the five-game losing streak that began when Joe Burrow got injured.

Watch that romantic comedy your girlfriend has been begging you to, stop procrastinating on your Christmas shopping, call your grandma…do anything but watch this game.

My pick: Steelers (-13) 30-10 Bengals 

Three U.S. Soccer Players Excelling Overseas

Association football – soccer – is not the most popular sport in the United States. Actually, it’s the least popular among the top 5 sports in the country – gridiron football (aka football), baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. Even with its sharp increase in viewership – due in part to the influx of major international soccer stars like Englishman Wayne Rooney who recently ended his tenure with DC United and David Beckham, who strengthened the ranks of LA Galaxy for five seasons before returning to Europe and ultimately retiring in 2013. 

There are approximately 250 million soccer players in the world, with more than 100,000 of them playing professionally. Standing out from this crowd is about as easy as hitting a jackpot at the JackpotCity online casino. Maybe harder, actually: the odds of hitting the jackpot at JackpotCity are about 1 in 50 million, and all you need to do is play the game. Becoming an outstanding player, in turn, requires a combination of talent, skill, hard work, perseverance, and luck – while talent scouts are continuously looking for great players, they are not perfect either. 

The US is not the greatest soccer nation in the world. Still, it’s a breeding ground for talented players – increasingly in the recent years. And there are quite a few great, outstanding players coming from the US making a name for themselves overseas.

 

Giovanni (Gio) Reyna

Born and raised in New York City, Gio Reyna joined the youth team of the local club New York City FC in 2015. During his time there, he was spotted by talent scouts from Europe, ultimately joining the ranks of the German club Borussia Dortmund last year.

 

Reyna made his first-team debut in Dortmund’s Bundesliga (Germany’s top-flight soccer league) last January, coming on as a substitute in a match against FC Augsburg. Since then, he became a regular, playing 22 league games and scoring one goal for the team. He was also called up repeatedly for the US national team, playing more than 30 games in the team’s youth matches, and twice (with one goal) for the senior team.

Reyna is excited about his future with Borussia Dortmund, saying that he’s ready for an even bigger role in the team going forward.

Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic is perhaps the most expensive American soccer player to date: English Premier League club Chelsea paid £58 million ($77 million today) in 2019 to have him, which made his transfer the third-most-expensive in the year.

Born and raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Pulisic tried his hand (or better said, feet) in soccer at the age of seven, when he lived a year in England. Later, he joined Michigan Rush while his family lived in Michigan, and after returning home, he joined the ranks of the “PA Classics” academy in 2008. During his teens, he trained with Penn FC before he was scouted by German club Borussia Dortmund in 2015. He joined Dortmund’s youth team, standing out through his skill (he scored 10 times and assisted 8 times in his first 15 U17 games). As a result, he joined the senior team in the winter of 2016, after turning 18.

After two seasons with Dortmund, Pulisic left for the misty Albion, joining English Premier League club Chelsea in the summer of 2019. His first goals in the Premier League – a hat-trick against Burnley – followed soon. 

Pulisic has played 34 games for the US National Team so far, scoring 14 times in the process.

 

Zack Steffen

A good goalkeeper is just as important for a soccer team as a forward or a defender – yet goalies are rarely in the spotlight. So, let’s correct this and take a look at the career of US goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

Steffen started playing football recreationally at the age of five, and started training professionally when starting high school. In the early 2010s, he played with the Philadelphia Union youth academy, and was ranked the #1 goalkeeper of his generation by TopDrawerSoccer.com. In college, he played two seasons with the Maryland Terrapins before being signed by German soccer club SC Freiburg in 2014.

He made his senior debut with Freiburg’s second team in 2015. A year later, he joined Columbus Crew SC for three seasons (and a loan spell at Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2016) before being signed by the Premier League club Manchester City last summer. His career in the Premier League was interrupted by a loan spell with German Bundesliga team Fortuna Düsseldorf, where sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel called him “the perfect example of a modern goalkeeper”. Steffen returned to Manchester City for the 2020-2021 Premier League season as a first-team goalie.

Grading the Miami Heat’s 2020 offseason

After an unexpected run to the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat are re-tooling for another run. Although they haven’t acquired Giannis Antetokounmpo or another NBA superstar, they’ve made enough big moves to keep them in the title picture.

 

The Heat will still be popular in the Florida sports betting circles as one of the favourites to emerge from the East. 

 

Keep a close eye on Miami as they aren’t done yet though we look and analyze at all the signings they’ve done these past few weeks: 

The Heat’s best deals

“Miami Heat” by HumongoNationphotogallery is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

 

Miami may not have lured a certain superstar yet, but their best moves came in the form of securing two key players to their championship run plus getting the best fit during the draft.  

 

Signing Bam Adebayo to max rookie contract extension (A)

 

Although Miami tried to get Adebayo to wait, namely to structure his contract to allow for signing another max player like Antetokounmpo, they knew they had to secure their franchise cornerstone. 

 

Adebayo signed to the tune of $195 million over five years for an AAV of $39 million. The Kentucky product broke out last season posting 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 33 minutes. 

 

Most importantly, Adebayo is the centerpiece of this team. He anchors the team’s defense and is continually evolving as an offensive playmaker. 

 

At just 23, Adebayo can grow into a multiple time all-star and one of the best big men of his generation. This contract proves Miami is all-in on Adebayo even if it comes at the expense of other superstars.

 

Signing Goran Dragic to two-year extension (A)

 

Next to Adebayo, Dragic was the next crucial piece Miami needed to lock up and they not only did that but did so at a discounted price. 

 

The former All-Star signed a two-year deal for just $37.4 million with the second year being a team option.

 

Dragic was arguably the best Sixth Man last season posting averages of 16.2 points and 5.1 assists in 59 games. In the bubble, Dragic averaged 19.1 points a game and will continue to be one of the team’s main scoring options.

 

Drafting Precious Achiuwa with the no. 20 pick (B+)

“God’s gift Achiuwa about to make a pass at Madison Square Garden” by Marianne O’Leary is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

 

Few front offices can match the drafting prowess of the Heat as they scored another homerun in taking Memphis’s Precious Achiuwa.

 

The 6’9” forward is a defensive specialist and will slot in as a back-up PF. While his offensive game leaves plenty to be desired, coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff are used to molding specimens like Achiuwa.

 

While point guard was a bigger need for the Heat, Achiuwa has significant upside and could form one of the most defensively threatening frontcourts with Butler and Adebayo.

 

Secondary deals for the Heat

The biggest splash Miami made was in re-signing Adebayo. But they didn’t lay low in free agency and made some solid under-the-radar signings.

 

Signing Avery Bradley to a two-year contract (B+)

 

Miami bolstered their guard corps by adding Bradley, a two-time All-Defensive team standout. Bradley didn’t participate in the NBA bubble but was on a roll offensively averaging 10.9 points while shooting over 45% from deep in his final 17 games with the Lakers.

 

Bradley will be epitome of “3-and-D” and will slot in nicely as an alternative option to either Duncan Robinson or Tyler Herro.

 

Signing Maurice Harkless to a one-year contract (B)

 

Losing both Derrick Jones Jr. and Jae Crowder stings, but the Heat mitigated the losses by acquiring veteran Moe Harkless via their biannual exception. This means the Heat get the services of the eight-year pro at a discounted rate of just $3.6 million.

 

Harkless provides the Heat the ability to play both forward positions with some shooting on offense. He will fit in nicely behind Butler, Leonard, and Achiuwa.

 

Signing Meyers Leonard to a multi-year contract (B-)

 

Miami wasted little time in bringing back Leonard, inking him to a two-year deal north with a rough AAV of $9 million, which includes a no-movement clause and a team option for the second year akin to Dragic’s.

 

Although Leonard fell out of the rotation, he’s the quintessential backup 5 and spells Adebayo from the rigorous season. There were other free agent bigs the Heat could’ve gone for, but the team loves Leonard and that fosters better continuity in the group. 

 

Bringing back Udonis Haslem (Off the board)

 

While Haslem will be taking up that roster spot instead of a hungrier two-way guy, there is no Heat culture without Haslem. Expect to see the 40-year-old as a coach soon. But for now, Haslem rides for one more year.

Betting on Horse Racing: Updates on the Pegasus World Cup

Horse racing is a game enjoyed by millions of spectators and bettors around the world. It has been around for centuries with varying rules over time but is nonetheless a thrilling sport. The Pegasus Cup is one of the many anticipated horse racing events in North America. The South Florida-based event will be coming back in January 2021 for its fifth annual race.

 

Whether you’re new to this particular franchise or a fan of horse racing in general, or you just want to know more about the upcoming race, here’s a few information on the Pegasus World Cup 2021.

 

About the race

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is an annual American Thoroughbred horse race event in Florida’s Gulfstream Park. It is a Grade 1 race, which means it is in the highest tier in thoroughbred horse racing standards, such as the Triple Crown Series and the Breeder’s Cup. 

 

Competing in the race are horses ages four and above, but such horses to join the race are invitation-only. There are currently two signature races for the event: the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, which tracks spans 1 3/16 miles, and the $3 million Pegasus World Cup, which tracks spans 1 ⅛ mile.

 

History of the Pegasus World Cup

Compared to its fellow grade 1 thoroughbred horse racing events, this is not an old racing franchise as the first Pegasus World Cup event was held last January 2017. 

 

The idea for the event was brought up in January of 2016 by businessman Frank Stronach, who proposed a race that would not interfere with the schedules of other big races like the Breeder’s Cup and the Triple Crown races. It would also be a fitting final race for competing horses before they finally retire.

 

The Pegasus World Cup races would then continue to the present, with the races held in late January. Since 2017 there have been four champions, namely: Arrogate, Gun Runner, City of Light, and Mucho Gusto, in chronological order.

 

Pegasus World Cup 2020

The Pegasus World Cup 2020 was the most recent race, which happened on January 25 just this year, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, State of Florida. Ten competitors were there that day to compete for the $3 million titles, as witnessed by millions of viewers. The 2020 title race’s purse was $3 million, which was significantly lower than all of the previous races, but there are no longer entry fees, as people can witness the race for free.

 

Participants

There have initially been twelve competitors for the race.

 

The competitors were;

 

  • True Timber, with jockey Joe Bravo and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, 
  • Tax, with jockey Jose Ortiz and trainer Danny Gargan, 
  • Diamond Oops, with jockey Julien Leparoux and trainer Patrick Biancone, 
  • Seeking the Soul, with jockey John Velazquez and trainer Dallas Stewart, 
  • Omaha Beach, with jockey Mike Smith and trainer Richard Mandella, 
  • Higher Power, with jockey Flavien Prat and trainer John Sadler, 
  • War Story, with jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Elizabeth Dobles, 
  • Mr. Freeze, with jockey Luis Saez and trainer Dale Romans, 
  • Spun to Run, with jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero, 
  • Mucho Gusto, with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and trainer Bob Baffert, 
  • Tenfold, with jockey Tyler Gaffalione and trainer Steve Asmussen, 
  • Bodexpress, with jockey Emisael Jaramillo and trainer Gustavo Delgado.

 

A few days before the event, Omaha Beach and Spun to Run were scratched from the race due to an injury and a skin rash, respectively.

 

Odds

The ten final competitors of the Pegasus World Cup are now assigned odds. Odds in horse racing mean that the first number will represent the profit you will get in return for investing the amount of the second number. 

 

For example, if the odds read 8-3, it means that there will be an 8 dollar profit in return for every three dollars invested. If you win the bet, you will get 11 dollars back, which will increase depending on the number of times you placed your bet on your horse. There are always odds that are released once there is an official lineup, but the initial odds can change.

 

The following were the odds for the Pegasus World Cup: True Timber with 30-1, Tax with 8-1, Diamond Oops with 10-1, Seeking the Soul with 20-1, Higher Power with 5-2, War Story with 30-1, Mr. Freeze with 15-1, Mucho Gusto with 2-1, Tenfold with 30-1, and Bodexpress with 15-1. The favorite among the lineup is then five-year-old Higher Power.

 

Results

Among the ten contenders that participated in the race, it was Mucho Gusto who emerged victoriously. He gave out an $8.80 win, $5.00 place, and $3.80 show. The competitor second to the said horse is Mr. Freeze, and the third is War Story. The rest of the results, in order, are Diamond Oops, Bodexpress, Seeking the Soul, True Timber, Tax, and Higher Power.

 

Takeaway

The Pegasus World Cup, despite being younger than most grade 1 thoroughbred races, has proven its audience a thrilling race for four years now. As it approaches its fifth year in a few weeks, several speculations are now being made on who competes for the 2021 cup. Who do you think will be the competitors, and who among them will get the Pegasus World Cup 2021? Always remember to bet wisely.

 

It is time for Tua Tagovailoa to start at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.

What is Tua’s Status After Injury?

The Miami Dolphins had a great win from their march with Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday with an ending of 8-4. With that, the team was able to maintain its position in the AFC playoff race ladders and the team’s fans are just now more looking forward to seeing their play now that Tua Tagovailoa is back on the game.

Tagovailoa’s availability for the last game of the Dolphins was questionable due to his thumb injury but he was still able to play last Sunday. His left thumb injury happened when he hit his teammate’s helmet on a follow-through as he attempted to make a pass during the team’s match on November 25. Since then, he was only able to participate in practices with a limited capacity. 

During the match against the Bengals last week, the athlete appeared to have a slow start in the first half of the game with the Bengals but he seems to have been able to ramp it up in the second half.

Even if he is still limited in practice participation for the next game, he will likely be involved in all of the upcoming Dolphins’ schedule. On Wednesday, he was no longer wearing a black splint on his left hand for his injury but coach Brian Flores said that Tua is already feeling better.

Flores said, “Like everyone else, he’s got bumps and bruises he’s attained over the last few games. He’s feeling better as far as the hand. He’s preparing as best he can for a very, very strong opponent. They do a lot of things from a disguise standpoint, a front standpoint. He shed that on his hand but he’s got other issues dealing with the Chiefs.”

As Tua’s injury completely heals, he may be able to play with more ease in the coming weeks. Tua recently talked about the whole experience with the NFL. He said, “It’s a continuous learning process in the NFL. You learn day to day, week to week. There’s always something to learn because defenses aren’t going to stay the same.”

With his return, he was also able to work closely with the veteran offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey. When asked about Gailey, he said, “I’d say I’m comfortable with what I’m given, whatever plays that I’m given, I’m comfortable with them.

“Mind you, we talk about these things, me and Chan, we talk about what I like, talk about what I don’t like. I have as much input as anyone else does in our quarterback room and that’s what makes me feel comfortable to tell Chan, you know, ‘Hey, can we run this, or ‘Can we not run this?’ So, yeah, I would say I’m pretty comfortable with what I’m given.”

There are a few great reasons why Tua will feel more comfortable with being back on the game. He was not sacked last Sunday as he was able to perform solidly. He has also been using up-tempo plays that he enjoys. 

He also explained how seeing the defense helps the team perform. He said, “It helps to see the defense and see what the defense is going to give us.  they want to blitz or if they’re checking out of a blitz into coverage, that helps. That’s the biggest thing — indicator formations.”

Coach Flores also spoke about how Tua has been doing in the professional league. Flores said, “He’s kind of learning on the fly how to be a professional in this league, the things you’ve got to do in meetings and walkthrough and practice, to have success in games. I think he’s improving every day, getting better, and hopefully, we just continue to get better. We are about developing players.”

The coach also said how Tua is a tough and resilient athlete. He’s been accurate and continuously improving. He said that the fact that the athlete did not wear a splint or some sort of brace on this left hand to protect his thumb injury during the practice that is open to the media is a positive act.

Tua is also great inside the locker rooms as he appears to have good relations with his teammates. Raekwon Davis shared how fun Tua could be. Davis said, “Oh, he’s got this little weird dance he does. I recorded him doing it one time. It’s so funny. I don’t know where he got it from, a Hawaiian thing, I guess. He’s got some moves. But I’ve got (Jerome Baker). Bake is the best dancer on the team right now.”