• Today is: Sunday, July 22, 2018

It’s 2017 and You’re Still Playing with a Local Bookmaker?

It’s 2017 and You’re Still Playing with a Local Bookmaker?
Karen Alfaro
September22/ 2017

Will your local pay your winnings on time?

Offshore sportsbooks are large, solid companies with lots of money in the bank. Offshore books don’t run out of cash. They don’t depend week to week on other players losing to pay you. You won’t hear excuses about why you can’t meet up with your local after having a winning week. Local bookmakers have limited financial resources. This leads to situations like  “slow plays” and “no plays.”

Does your Local Bookie offer you bonuses?

Short answer, No! Local bookies need to worry about getting paid. They operate on thin margins with almost no capital. Because of this, they can’t offer bonuses or cash back programs. Also, they’re usually not in competition with other local bookmakers. This means they don’t have to offer a better product to keep their customers from going elsewhere. Offshore sportsbooks are in constant competition with one another. The end result is that players get bigger bonuses, more cash back, loyalty programs, juice discounts, and promos.

Our Top Two World Class Sportsbooks offer monthly calendar promos, huge bonuses on every deposit, up to 25% cash back twice a year, and a loyalty program. You’ll never get so much from a local.

Don’t you prefer your winnings delivered to your door?

If you’re like us, you’re over meeting up with your local in seedy bars, gas stations, at rest stops, and other sketchy places. We don’t need the hassle, want the trouble, or have the time to deal with those meetups when we want to collect.

When you bet offshore, you can count on your money getting to your fast and delivered to your doorstep. Moreover, we can track it the entire way. Even better, if you use bitcoin, you can get your money in hours. That’s the sort of service a local can’t compete with.

Do you like being taken advantage of?

Local bookies are always on the low end when it comes to payouts on parlays and teasers. They jack up the juice on teasers, and lower the payouts on parlays. They do the same thing on props and futures. The juice they charge on live betting (when they offer it) is obnoxious. A dirty secret is local bookies charge extra juice or short a half point when you bet on your local teams. In contrast, offshore books offer a wide array of betting options at fair odds.

BetPOP, one of our Top Two Sportsbooks for 2017, offers some of the highest parlay payoffs and lowest teaser juice in the industry. Youwager, our Top Sportsbook, has a 105 juice special football season on Friday evenings. You’re never going to get such lucrative offers from a local bookmaker.

Read Between the Lines

What your local says and what he means aren’t always the same thing. We help you decode some of the more common local bookmaker deceptions.

Situation What He Says What He Really Means
You win big on the weekend and hit your settle figure. “I got a lot of stuff going on, why don’t we let the figure roll into the next week?” “I got stiffed by some players and don’t have the money to pay you this week.”
You have a losing weekend and hit your settle number. “We need to meet up early this week. I’m going out of town.” “I don’t have the money to pay my other players and need your cash before I see them.”
You can’t log into your account and call your agent. “We’re updating our software so I’m going to give you a new account number. The system will be back online in a day.” “I got kicked out of my per-head shop for not paying and am switching to a new company.”
You’re waiting at the bar to collect you’re winnings. Your local is an hour late and sends you a text. “Sorry, had an emergency. Let’s reschedule for next week.” “I have no money to pay you and never intended on showing up.”

Ten Reasons Why Youwager Crushes the Competition – 2017

Karen Alfaro
September22/ 2017

50% Signup Bonus on your initial deposit. Deposit $300 and get a $150 Bonus!

TIP: Deposit using Bitcoin and get an extra 10% bonus. That’s a 60% Bonus. 50% Buddy Referral Bonus. 20% to 30% on ALL Redeposits.

Get back up to 25% of your losses 2X a year.

15K Prize Pool. Top 10 places paid out. All regular season long.

105 Juice every Friday night during football season.

Other books rebate deposits of $200, $250, $300, or even no rebate at all. Deposits of $100 qualify for a rebate at Youwager.

Youwager has been in business for 22 seasons and has the best payout track record in the industry.

No one pays faster than Youwager. They process payouts the same day. Get your Bitcoin payout in hours. Free payout every 30 days.

Guess the correct score to either the Monday Night Football game or Thursday Night Football game and win. Guess correctly on Monday and win up to $5,000. Guess correctly on Thursday and win up to $2,500. Over 35 times to play over the season.

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Smart Parlay Players Pick BetPOP.eu

If you’re asking yourself the question, “Youwager offers so much, why play anywhere else?”, you’re not the first.
Simple answer is if you’re a parlay player then BetPOP is the book for you.

What’s So Special About BetPOP’s Parlay Prices?
Higher parlay payouts add to you’re bottom line. If you bet lots of two- and three-team parlays, you’re wasting money betting anywhere but BetPOP.

The Four Factors for Choosing the Right Sportsbook

The Four Factors for Choosing the Right Sportsbook
Karen Alfaro
September21/ 2017


How solid is the sportsbook?

What do the watchdogs say?

What do the clients say?

These are questions you must ask yourself before you send money to a book this season.

How long has the book been in service? The longer the better. However, there’s more to being a secure book than years in operation. Before you deposit funds, take the time to check them out. How big is the operation? Are they up at crunch time? Do they pay? These things tell you how secure the place is. Make sure to study watchdog websites like OSGA.com for specific recommendations and guidelines. Don’t send your money just anywhere. It pays to be an educated consumer. If the deal seems too good, it usually is.

Places don’t stay in business for years giving away the house. You can always check out the OOBG website, Sportsbook Advisor, or SBR for more information about your sportsbook. The more information you have now the less issues you’ll have later. Take our word for it.


What’s fast?

Before joining a sportsbook, ask, do they offer same-day payouts? It’s your money, you shouldn’t have to wait for it. Some books take two weeks or more to send your winnings. That’s not OK. A Bitcoin payout should take hours at most. A check a few days. Anything more than a week doesn’t make sense. Cash transfers should be the next day. But it’s 2017 and you should be using bitcoin by now.

Your sportsbook should offer you multiple ways to deposit. They should be able to take your credit card. Western Union or Moneygram (or even Ria) is a little old fashioned but your sportsbook should be able to offer you the methods that work for you. Our personal favorite method, bitcoin, is a must have. Make sure your sportsbook is paying your transaction fees on deposits.

More importantly than deposits, your sportsbook should also offer you fast, inexpensive payout methods. Checks and money orders are good, but in our opinion, you should bitcoin for the fastest payouts possible.

Make sure they offer you a free payout every couple of months. Ask around: how long do they take send your cash after you request a payout? Do they take your money out of your account immediately or leave it in there, hoping you lose it back? Do you get a tracking code? Our Top Two Sportsbooks (see page 68), are known for paying out rapidly and reliably, which isn’t always true for some of their competitors.


Does the sportsbook offer all the latest betting options like Live Betting and Live Dealer Casino?

Is the website easy to use?

Can you always reach a live person when you need to?

A top sportsbook should offer state-of-the-art technology and easy to use software. Bets should be easy to place and quick to enter. You should be able to do everything on your phone that you can on your desktop. That includes Live Betting, Horse Racing, Casino, etc.

When you want to fund your account or place a bet before Monday Night Football, you don’t want to deal with an operation that’s understaffed and has a shortage of clerks. Someone always needs to pick up the phone or else you won’t get that play in, and those plays you don’t get in always turn out to be the winners.

Technical support with a real, live human should also be an option, and that interaction should be first rate. Customer service clerks should be pleasant, English-speaking, and knowledgeable. You should be able to reach customer service by phone, live chat, or email. This is the true sign of a professional operation.


Deposit bonuses are important but not the sole thing you should be thinking about.

A big bonus is important but the best sportsbooks offer loyalty programs, cash back on your losses, free promos and contests.

An overlooked area is easy to understand and fair rules.

A rollover should be fair (a rollover is the amount you must bet to earn your bonus).

You should always be able to take out your winnings, even before you complete the rollover.

You shouldn’t have to pay back the amount you won in the past before you get a bonus.

The rules should be in an easy to find place on the website. They should be in clear and concise language.

You should be notified of the rollover before you take the bonus.

Getting a big bonus for referring friends to your sportsbook is something all quality sportsbooks offer. Youwager, our choice for the Top Sportsbook of 2017, offers monthly free cash promos for anyone who is playing. They have a season long NFL handicapping contest and a NFL survivor pool. They have a loyalty program that gives rebate points on every bet you make, and 5% juice every Friday during regular season NFL. You need to take advantage of these; they can make the difference between a winning and a losing season. Make sure you are always looking out for new specials and promotions as well and enter every contest as you can.

Over the course of a season, every extra dollar you earn (or save) counts. It’s unusual for a sportsbook to offer any cash back program. Youwager gives you up to 25% of your net losses back two times a year. There’s no rollover on the cash-back. You only need to bet 10 out of 26 weeks to qualify, that’s only 38% of the NFL season.

To truly enjoy this football season, you’ll want to sign up with a sportsbook that gives you the most value for your dollar. You should look at these “four factors” when deciding where play this season. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work for you already (see our review of the Top Two Sportsbooks of 2017 on page 68). Sports bettors looking for a safe, solid, reputable company should go with either one of our Top Two Sportbooks. Youwager pays the biggest bonuses, gives the most cash-back rebates, and pays the fastest out of any sportsbook in the industry. BetPOP offers the highest parlay payoffs and the lowest teaser juice.

NFL Head Coaching Changes – 2017

NFL Head Coaching Changes
Karen Alfaro
September20/ 2017

Buffalo Bills, Sean McDermott

Rex Ryan was fired after two disappointing seasons. He’d always been known for coaching great defense and zany antics. However, the Bills finished last season with a below-average defense.
Anthony Lynn was the most likely successor. After all, Lynn had been a highly successful assistant coach and was named the Bills’ interim head coach for the last game of the season. However, the Bills went with Sean McDermott, a deserving candidate, whose personality sharply contrasts that of Rex Ryan. It’s no secret that Rex Ryan’s teams have had discipline issues, and that’s something McDermott is sure to address.
McDermott excelled as a defensive coordinator for the Panthers with defenses that have consistently ranked towards the top of the league. McDermott, a first-time head coach, will have the former Vikings’ head coach, Leslie Frasier, as his defensive coordinator.

Denver Broncos, Vance Joseph

Denver Broncos, Vance Joseph

Gary Kubiak resigned due to health issues after the season ended. John Elway spoke about Vance Joseph’s vision and leadership after making the hire. Joseph was one of the more sought-after assistant coaches in the league. His biggest challenge will be improving the Broncos’ stagnant offense.
Vance Joseph has spent most of his career as a defensive backs coach. Last year, he was hired by the Dolphins to be the defensive coordinator. It was a disappointing year for the Dolphins’ defense, which ranked near the bottom of the league statistically and was decimated by injuries. Injuries would be the only possible excuse for a disappointing performance from the Broncos’ elite defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Doug Marrone

Jacksonville Jaguars, Doug Marrone

Gus Bradley was fired after four seasons with a 14-48 record. The team seemingly responded well with Marrone as the interim head coach. Previously, Marrone coached the Bills to a 15-17 record over two years. But he inexplicably opted out of his contract after leading the Bills to their first winning season in over a decade. Since then, he’s been the assistant head coach / offensive line coach in Jacksonville.
There’s talent on this roster, but the main point of emphasis will be addressing the struggling quarterback, Blake Bortles. And that leads to the controversial decision to promote Nathaniel Hackett from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator. Then again, this offensive pair (Marrone & Hackett) has had success together at Syracuse and with the Bills.

Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay

Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay

Jeff Fisher is out of the NFL after 22 seasons as a head coach (17 with the Titans and 5 with the Rams). Apparently, the Rams decided upon a fundamental shift in experience and hired the NFL’s youngest coach (age 31). However, the addition of Wade Philips as the defensive coordinator will make matters much easier. Philips has struggled as a head coach, but he’s been consistently one of the best defensive coordinators in the business.
Sean McVay has received much of the credit for the transformation of the Redskins’ offense over the last six years. Rams fans are hoping that some of that success will carry over to one of the worst offenses in the league. They’ll need to be patient because McVay’s pass-happy philosophy will take time to develop with this roster.

Los Angeles Chargers, Anthony Lynn

Los Angeles Chargers, Anthony Lynn

As mentioned earlier, Anthony Lynn was presumed to be the next head coach of the Bills after being named interim head coach. Lynn was one of the most prized assistant coaches in the league. He has a proven track record of brilliantly scheming the run game. His specialty should complement the Chargers’ roster, which has a solid passing attack but a below-average ground game.
Although this is Lynn’s first time as a head coach, he has two former head coaches as his coordinators—Ken Whisenhunt and Gus Bradley.

San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

Don’t cry for Chip Kelly. He was fired by the 49ers, but he received nearly every man’s dream job as a commentator for ESPN. The 49ers landed one of the splashiest hires in Shanahan. It was only a matter of time before he received his first head coaching opportunity. His results have been quite impressive in his 13 years as an assistant coach in the NFL.
He was obviously groomed under the West Coast offense of his father, Mike. However, Kyle has masterfully modified that philosophy to fit his personnel and the modern NFL rules. If given time, there’s no reason to believe that Kyle Shanahan won’t have similar success in San Francisco. However, patience has not been a strength of the 49ers’ ownership. Shanahan is the fourth head coach for the 49ers in four years.

Team Out New Head Coach OOBG Grade
Buffalo Bills Rex Ryan Sean McDermott A
Denver Broncos Gary Kubiak Vance Joseph B-
Jacksonville Jaguars Gus Bradley Doug Marrone B-
Los Angeles Chargers Mike McCoy Anthony Lynn A-
Los Angeles Rams Jeff Fisher Sean McVay B+
San Francisco 49ers Chip Kelly Kyle Shanahan B+

2017 NFL Regular Season / Win Predictions

Karen Alfaro
September20/ 2017

What good are predictions if you don’t keep records?

We asked ourselves that question last year and made a note to tally our 2016 picks for the
2017 magazine.

How did we do?

We only bet when our prediction differed from the posted line by at least half of a win.
+ We passed on 8 of the 32 teams.
+ Out of the remaining 24, we won 14 and lost 10 for a 4-unit profit.

Not bad! We expect to do better this season.


Current Odds
Team Regular Season Wins Over Under
ARIZONA 8 -145 -125
ATLANTA 9.5 -110 -110
BALTIMORE 9 -105 -125
BUFFALO 6.5 -125 105
CAROLINA 8.5 -120 100
CHICAGO 5.5 120 -140
CINCINNATI 8.5 -105 -115
CLEVELAND 4.5 -110 -110
DALLAS 9.5 -120 100
DENVER 8.5 -105 -125
DETROIT 8 140 -160
GREEN BAY 10.5 120 -140
HOUSTON 8.5 -130 110
JACKSONVILLE 6 -125 -105
KANSAS CITY 9 -125 105
LA CHARGERS 7.5 -125 105
LA RAMS 6 120 -140
MIAMI 7.5 110 -130
MINNESOTA 8.5 105 -125
NEW ENGLAND 12.5 110 -130
NEW ORLEANS 8 100 -120
NY GIANTS 8.5 -150 130
NY JETS 5 200 -250
OAKLAND 9.5 -120 100
PITTSBURGH 10.5 -125 105
SAN FRANCISCO 4.5 -140 120
SEATTLE 10.5 -120 100
TAMPA BAY 8.5 -125 105
TENNESSEE 8.5 -140 120
WASHINGTON 7.5 -115 -105

Draft Grades – 2017

Karen Alfaro
September20/ 2017

Arizona Cardinals Grade B +

Haason Reddick (#13) is an athletic linebacker from Temple who is a perfect addition to an already strong defense. He’s a speedy pass rusher who has the hips to cover downfield. Another versatile athlete, S Budda Baker (#36), will wreak havoc in the secondary.


Atlanta Falcons Grade B

The pass rushing specialist Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA will be a perfect complement to Vic Beasley. He has great speed and even better effort. Grabbing Sean Harlow (OG from Oregon State) at #136 was a fortuitous pick. Harlow will likely be a starter this year.


Baltimore Ravens Grade B +

As always, the Ravens shine during the draft. Alabama legacy CB Marlon Humphrey fits the mold of a Ravens defensive back. The Ravens landed multiple future contributors, including another former member of the Crimson Tide, Tim Williams. The fourth rounder out of San Diego St, Nico Siragusa, is a powerful run blocker who may be a starter this year.


Buffalo Bills Grade A –

The Bills probably added three immediate starters  with their first three picks, CB Tre’Davious White (#27 LSU), WR Zay Jones (#37 East Carolina), and versatile offensive lineman Dion Dawkins (#63 Temple). Nathan Peterman (QB Pittsburgh) will likely win a backup spot and could eventually challenge to be a starter.


Carolina Panthers Grade B

Christian McCaffrey (#8) has tremendous upside. He’ll not only play running back, but he can split out wide as a receiver and is a dangerous returner. The question is whether the Panthers will capitalize on his versatility. Grabbing the hard-hitting cornerback Corn Elder from Miami in the fifth round was a fantastic value.


Chicago Bears Grade C

To move up one spot, the Bears traded two third round picks and a fourth round pick. Obviously, there’s a premium on quarterbacks, but drafting Mitch Trubisky this early seems like a reach. Trubisky is walking into a tough situation without much new talent walking through the door. This draft lies solely on Trubisky’s shoulders.


Cincinnati Bengals Grade A

This was arguably the most talented collection of draftees by any team. However, the blazing speedster, WR John Ross (#9), seems like a reach. His 40 time (4.22) may have artificially boosted his stock. No one questions the talent of Joe Mixon (#48); it’s his history that scared off other teams. The Bengals also drafted two supremely talented players, DE Carl Lawson (#119) and WR Josh Malone (#128), whose production didn’t match their potential.


Cleveland Browns Grade A

Believe it or not, the Browns had one of the best drafts and didn’t reach for a quarterback in the first round. Myles Garrett was a no-brainer. The Browns, however, did reach with Peppers (see above). They picked up a legit quarterback prospect in the second round, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. In fact, this draft was loaded with great value picks for the Browns, such as defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and Roderick Johnson in the third and fifth rounds. Both of those players have fantastic upside and look like potential starters. And drafting the former Gator, DT Caleb Brantley, in the sixth round could end up as the steal of the draft.


Dallas Cowboys Grade A –

America’s team needed some pass rushing assistance, and their first pick, DE Taco Charlton (#28 Michigan), fits the bill. He has good length, athleticism, and he plays with aggression. In fact, the Cowboys did a masterful job of filling needs in this draft with CBs Chidobe Awuzie (#60) and Jourdan Lewis (#92). Also, the shifty slot receiver from North Carolina, Ryan Switzer (#133), has great hands and tremendous upside.


Denver Broncos Grade A

The first round pick, Garett Bolles, is an extremely talented left tackle from Utah. He’s a 25-year-old rookie due to a lengthy history of off-the-field problems. If he can keep it together, Bolles looks like a future Pro Bowler. The Broncos second rounder, DeMarcus Walker, doesn’t have great measurables. Instead, the former DE from Florida State relied upon great technique and hustle to register a combined 27.5 sacks in his final two seasons. Getting WR Carlos Henderson in the third round adds to an impressive haul that included Jake Butt and Chad Kelly.


Detroit Lions Grade B –

Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis (#21) seems like a can’t-miss prospect. The Lions added another excellent linebacker with Jalen Reeves-Maybin (#124 Tennessee). However, their second pick, CB Teez Tabor (#53 Florida), did himself no favors with his 40 time and the Lions could have drafted him later.


Green Bay Packers Grade A –

CB Kevin King (#33) out of Washington has tremendous upside. Watch out for the Packers’ third round pick Montravius Adams. He’s a versatile DT who will make an instant impact in both pass and run defense. As mentioned earlier, the Packers organization is the perfect organization to bring out the talent of their last pick, WR Malachi Dupre (#247 LSU).


Houston Texans Grade B

Houston traded next year’s first round pick to move up to #12 from #25. Typically, teams reach on a QB when they need several other pieces. However, the Texans are a quality QB away from contending for the Super Bowl, and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson may be that missing piece. Also, picking DT Carlos Watkins at #142 was a very fortunate decision.


Indianapolis Colts Grade A

This was a very successful draft from top to bottom. Every one of these players has a great shot to make the roster. The Colts landed a star in Ohio State S Malik Hooker (#15). He is part of deep group of quality defenders drafted by the Colts—CB Quincy Wilson, DE Tarell Basham, and LB Anthony Walker Jr. Also, landing South Florida RB Marlon Mack was a great value pick.


Jacksonville Jaguars Grade B +

What’s the best remedy for a struggling quarterback? A solid power run game. RB Leonard Fournette and the powerful OT Cam Robinson (#34) are exactly what Jacksonville needed. The Jags may have found a quality CB with their seventh round pick, Jalen Myrick from Minnesota.


Kansas City Chiefs Grade C

This whole draft will center around Patrick Mahomes. This seems like a bad fit (see above), but the kid is loaded with talent. Until he shows success on the field, this draft will have to be viewed as a lost opportunity for the Chiefs. The second round pick, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (#59 Villanova), likely could have been picked in the next round.


Los Angeles Chargers Grade B –

That name still looks strange, right? The Chargers picked a baller in the first round with WR Mike Williams (#7). When Clemson’s offense sputtered, it seems that the plan shifted to throwing the ball anywhere near Mike Williams. His catch radius is simply ridiculous. The Chargers also added two quality offensive lineman, Forrest Lamp (#38 Western Kentucky) and Dan Feeney (#71 Indiana), but their team needed help on defense.


Los Angeles Rams Grade C –

Ok, the “Los Angeles Rams” is starting to feel more normal. However, the Rams are still feeling the pain for trading up for Jared Goff. This team needs to take the pressure off Goff by building around Todd Gurley. Instead, their first pick was an undersized TE, Gerald Everett (#44), who could have been drafted later.


Miami Dolphins Grade A

The Dolphins not only addressed needs, but they did so without reaching. First rounder Charles Harris will help immediately by getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The second rounder LB Raekwon McMillan is a tackling machine. The Dolphins grabbed an underrated player in the third round, CB Cordrea Tankersley. And OG Isaac Asiata (#164) from Utah is a powerful run blocker who might start by game one.


Minnesota Vikings Grade B +

As mentioned earlier, Dalvin Cook has the potential to be star, but he needs to be on the right roster for his talent to shine. Long story short, this isn’t the one. However, the Vikings began addressing their weak offensive line with excellent value picks: C Pat Elfein (#70 Ohio State), who may be a  day one starter, and G Danny Isidora (#180 Miami), who should compete for a starting spot.


New England Patriots Grade B –

It’s tough to grade a team’s draft when they only used four picks. However, it looks like the Patriots have found some future contributors from small schools, i.e., Derek Rivers (#83 Youngstown State) and Antonio Garcia (#85 Troy). Not to mention, there’s a diamond in the rough, Conor McDermott (OT – UCLA).


New Orleans Saints Grade A

The Saints landed one of the best draft classes. Their defense will immediately improve via CB Marshon Lattimore (#11 Ohio State), S Marcus Williams (#42 Utah), and LB Alex Anzalone (#76 Florida). And grabbing the pass rushing DE Al-Quadin Muhammad out of Miami in the sixth round was a nice pick. Also, OT Ryan Ramczyk (#32 Wisconsin) looks like a future starter and RB Alvin Kamara (#67 Tennessee) will provide quality depth.


New York Giants Grade C

Their first pick, Evan Engram (#23), is listed as a TE, but he plays more like a WR. He’s very talented, but the Giants should have filled needs, particularly offensive line. Case in point, their best value pick was RB Wayne Gallman (#140 Clemson). He’s a solid player, but he lacks the shiftiness that is necessary behind a bad offensive line.


New York Jets Grade C

The Jets top pick, S Jamal Adams (#6 LSU), was a no-brainer and looks like a future star. However, the Jets’ roster was begging a makeover that didn’t happen with the draft. Worst of all, the Jets didn’t pick a QB even though there were legit options available in the later rounds.


Oakland Raiders Grade B –

The Raiders took a chance with their first pick, CB Gareon Conley (#24 Ohio State). He has been accused of rape and the investigation is pending. The Raiders landed a super-talented DT out of UCLA, Eddie Vanderdoes (#88). He’s battled a knee injury in the past, but he would be an absolute steal if he can return to prior form. Also, RB Elijah Hood (see above) will be a nice addition.


Philadelphia Eagles Grade B +

The Eagles did more with less. They traded away this year’s first rounder to acquire Carson Wentz. They started off with a great pass rusher from Tennessee, Derek Barnett (#14). The Eagles added two quality cornerbacks, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, along with two very good receivers, Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson.


Pittsburgh Steelers Grade B

Their first pick, LB T.J. Watt, is an excellent pass rusher. The Steelers also drafted a notable running back, James Conner (#105), who overcame cancer. He has unbelievable character and is a powerful runner. Fourth rounder QB Joshua Dobbs could be a quality backup for Roethlisberger.


San Francisco 49ers Grade A

The 49ers landed quality and quantity. Solomon Thomas seems like a can’t-miss defensive lineman. Drafting the heat-seeking missile LB Reuben Foster at #31 was a great pickup. Furthermore, they also grabbed Ahkello Witherspoon (#66), who is a highly-talented CB. This would have been an A+ grade for the 49ers if the team had not drafted Iowa QB C.J. Beathard in the third round. He could have been drafted later.


Seattle Seahawks Grade B +

As mentioned earlier, DT Malik McDowell was one of the best value picks in the draft, if not a steal. They followed that up with a versatile lineman, C Ethan Pocic (#58 LSU). Time will tell on this draft class. It looks like the Seahawks took the best players available instead of addressing needs. They added a lot of depth to an already terrifying defense.


Tampa Bay Grade B –

That’s a low overall grade considering that the Bucs landed the steal of the draft, O.J. Howard. The reason is that Tampa Bay continues to put offensive talent around Jameis Winston, but in the wrong places. They picked up a quality RB from Boise State, Jeremy McNichols, in the fifth round. However, Tampa’s porous offensive line hasn’t been addressed.


Tennessee Titans Grade A –

Unlike the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Titans built their offense from the inside out. Tennessee has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. That’s why they could draft three very talented receiving targets this year—WR Corey Davis (#5 Western Michigan), WR Taywan Taylor (#72 Western Kentucky), and TE Jonnu Smith (#100 FIU). Versatile CB and returner Adoree’ Jackson from USC has the potential to shine in this league.


Washington Redskins Grade A –

One of the steals of the draft, Jonathan Allen, fell into their lap. The Redskins landed an underrated CB from UCLA, Fabian Moreau, in the third round due to an injury. They also grabbed the very productive RB from Oklahoma, Samaje Perine, in the fourth round. Their seventh round pick, Josh Harvey-Clemons, looks like he will be a solid nickelback in this league.



Signs your sportsbook may be in trouble

Signs your sportsbook may be in trouble
Karen Alfaro
September20/ 2017

Online gambling has grown from a handful of places in the ‘90s to hundreds of global companies serving millions of customers. However, with this huge growth, also comes the possibility of less than reputable sportsbooks, casinos, and poker rooms that for any number of reasons simply close up shop and disappear. Here at the Off Shore Gaming Association (OSGA), we rate sportsbooks mainly on their ability to pay winning players. After all, what good is winning if you can’t get paid?

There are hints that a sportsbook may be in trouble, and when these signs are present, it’s time to grab your cash on move on, before it’s too late!

Let’s take a look at some signs that your sportsbook may be in trouble.

Slow Pay

Most every sportsbook can pay customers around the world in just a few days. When we get reports of players owed money for three weeks and up to three months, we start to worry that the place they are playing at is not just underfunded, but in danger of going out of business. If players can’t get paid, they will leave in droves, tell their friends, post on Facebook, and soon any slow paying operation will be in BIG trouble.

Blaming Payout Delays on a Third Party

We hear all the time that people are being slow-paid because of “processing problems.” While it is true that sending money back to U.S. players is difficult, the most reputable places get money out the door despite problems with their money sending companies. The size of the company you are playing with matters, as there is an inherent problem with smaller companies sending payouts.

Most of the sportsbooks use the same processing companies. There aren’t many that are willing to send money back to the United States. The big sportsbooks, like YouWager and most of the sportsbooks OSGA rates as Elite, take up a vast amount of the check writing, bank wire, and MoneyGram payout transactions that the handful of third-party processors can provide. So, smaller books have to get in line and wait. Then their payouts get backlogged and then slow pay starts. Despite this, even the smallest reputable outfit can still get a payment out within a week or so.

New Huge Bonus Offers

If a sportsbook’s regular offer is a 100% bonus and then it jumps to 200%, there may be cause for concern. Most reputable places will have an offer for Super Bowl or March Madness, but these specials run for a few days or a week and aren’t their “new” bonus offers. Sudden, dramatic changes in a sportsbook bonus policy could signal a last-ditch effort to shore up the books, or, even worse, a cash grab before disappearing.

Combination Bonuses

In our 19+ years we have repeatedly seen that a place in trouble will offer huge bonuses, free half points, reduced juice, and even free payouts all for one deposit! These are all BIG items that affect a sportsbook’s bottom line and profitability, but often suck in unsuspecting clients. It’s the combination of these offers that is the killer for many smaller operations. When something looks too good to be true, it usually is, especially in the offshore sportsbook world.

Lack of Communication

In today’s day and age, there are many ways to keep in touch with players. If the sportsbook you are playing at suddenly takes a long time to answer an email or the phone rings and rings, there’s likely a problem. Sportsbooks that appear to be avoiding their own players are doing it for a reason, and this is a huge cause for concern.

Players who see any of these signs should immediately check with OSGA and around the internet to see if these “warning signs” are an indication of a larger problem. The #1 thing players can do is sign up at only Elite-rated sportsbooks. These are companies that have been in business a very long time, exhibit none of these warning signs, and have weathered the worst storms that the gambling sphere has endured over the last 20 years.


By Jim Quinn, CEO, Off Shore Gaming Association (OSGA.com)

2017 NFL Draft Recap

Karen Alfaro
September19/ 2017

Our picks for the best, worst, and most confusing choices in this year’s NFL Draft.


#19 overall – O.J. Howard (TE – Alabama)

Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Tampa Bay had this absolute gem of an athlete fall right into their hands. Some draft pundits listed Howard as a top five talent. He is a capable blocker. But more importantly, he’s a legitimate threat to change the scoreboard. However, he will be most valuable as a third-down target for Jameis Winston, who needs to improve upon working through his progressions. O.J. will be the perfect remedy for that issue and Tampa Bay’s passing attack will now have a huge target in the middle of the field.

#17 overall – Jonathan Allen (DE – Alabama)

Here’s another freak athlete from Nick Saban’s NFL factory who has excellent technique. Allen had some injury issues, which led to him slipping later in the draft. Nonetheless, Allen is both a “high-ceiling” and “high-floor” prospect, meaning he has Pro Bowl potential with very low risk of being a bust.

Some people labeled him as a “tweener.” However, the versatility to play on the inside or outside is quite valuable on a 53-man roster. He’s best suited as a DE on first and second down with the ability to slide inside on passing downs.


# 41 overall – Dalvin Cook (RB – Florida State)

No one would have blinked if Cook had been drafted in the mid to late first round. No running back was better at forcing missed tackles. And that leads to the reasons why Dalvin Cook was not a “steal.”

Cook’s strengths are unlikely to be showcased and his weaknesses will be exposed on the Vikings roster. Unlike Leonard Fournette, he doesn’t project to drag the pile and make three-yard carries out of apparent one-yard carries. What Cook does best is make tacklers miss in the open field. He’s a 1-on-1 match-up nightmare for defensive coordinators. But he will rarely get that opportunity in Minnesota, which has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Furthermore, Cook isn’t a great pass blocker, which will be exposed behind the Vikings’ O-line.

With that said, Cook could be a superstar in this league if there are decent blockers in front of him.


# 35 overall – Malik McDowell (DT – Michigan State)

The Seahawks landed McDowell in the second round even though he has obvious first-round talent and athleticism. The rich get richer and that’s one reason why he’s not a “steal.” The Seahawks front seven is loaded and their team had needs that weren’t addressed.

His technique is his only weakness, but that can and will be taught. Also, McDowell won’t face the double teams he saw in college. Arguably the scariest defense in the NFL just became even more terrifying with the addition of McDowell.


# 142 overall – Carlos Watkins  (DT – Clemson)

Watkins is a versatile lineman who can play on both the inside and outside. He’s best suited as a DT in a 4-3 defense or a DE in a 3-4 defense. He’s a better pass rusher than run defender. He was a very productive and disruptive defender who stood out among a ridiculously talented front seven for Clemson. Watkins will add to an already imposing list of Texans pass rushers, including Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney, and J.J. Watt.


#145 overall – Jake Butt (TE – Michigan)

Before tearing his ACL in the Orange Bowl, Jake Butt was projected to be a top five TE prospect. Butt is a capable blocker who has outstanding hands and a wide catch radius. He would have been drafted much earlier if not for the injury. However, there’s no reason to believe he won’t fully recover. Besides, Butt was never a super athlete. He beats defenders with good technique. That led him to winning the Mackey Award last year. Snatching that kind of productivity in the fourth round is a fantastic value pick.


# 198 overall – D.J. Jones (DT – Ole Miss)

D.J. Jones lacks the measurables that scouts drool over, particularly height (he’s 6’1”). There’s nothing flashy about his play. However, Jones clogs up the middle in the run game and commands double teams.


# 211 overall – Conor McDermott (OT – UCLA)

This is what the Patriots do best. They find the players who fit their system for bargain basement prices. Despite his sixth-round status, McDermott will likely be a solid contributor in this league. He’s a 6’8” former basketball player who is a good pass blocker. He needs to work on his strength and run blocking, but that will come with time. McDermott started for two and half years as the left tackle for the Bruins.


# 242 overall – Elijah Hood (RB – North Carolina)

The Raiders have many running backs on the roster, but Hood is no slouch. At 5’11’’ and 231 pounds, Hood runs through tacklers and has some wiggle on the outside. His running stats declined after a very successful sophomore year with 1463 yards on the ground. However, that had more to do with the impressive passing skills of Mitch Trubisky. Hood is a legit power back with nice hands.


#247 overall – Malachi Dupre (WR – LSU)

Every school in the country recruited Dupree out of high school. However, that potential didn’t result in great production at LSU. That’s not entirely on Dupre. LSU hasn’t had a potent passing attack in years. Dupre has a ton of upside with good size and leaping ability. He’s still a little rough around the edges, but the Packers’ coaching staff and Aaron Rodgers will nip that in the bud.


# 253 overall – Chad Kelly (QB – Ole Miss)

Chad Kelly was taken by the Broncos with the last pick, aka Mr. Irrelevant. He has some well-known maturity issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately for Kelly, those red flags would be less worrisome if he played any position other than quarterback. However, Chad Kelly has undeniable NFL talent. He can make every throw as well as run outside the pocket. Furthermore, the quarterback situation in Denver is begging for more competition.



# 25 overall – Jabrill Peppers (S – Michigan)

The Browns definitely reached with this pick. Peppers certainly would have been available later in the draft. The Browns didn’t have a first round pick to waste on a player who doesn’t project as a three-down player. Peppers’ talents are best utilized as a nickelback. Granted, Peppers is a heck of an athlete. He explodes toward the ball in running situations and racks up a lot of tackles. However, he’s not great in coverage.



# 10 overall – Patrick Mahomes  QB – Texas Tech

There’s always been a premium on quarterbacks and, worst case, Mahomes belonged in the second round. He has all the tools,  i.e., confidence, size, athletic ability, and a big arm. However, Mahomes seems like a prospect with high potential for boom or bust. And the problem is that he was drafted into a situation that doesn’t match his skill set. Kansas City is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Mahomes’ experience in the pass-happy, air raid offense at Texas Tech doesn’t seem like a good fit for Andy Reid’s methodical West Coast offense. Mahomes has a cannon for an arm, but it seems unlikely that Reid will alter his coaching style to suit this young talent.



The 49ers – Not trading the number two overall pick for Kirk Cousins. 

All of the talking heads enjoyed debating this juicy rumor. Obviously, the quarterback situation in San Francisco isn’t ideal. However, the 49ers didn’t panic. In fact, they may end up signing Kirk Cousins as a free agent next year.

The 49ers traded the pick to the Bears and moved down one spot. Solomon Thomas was a great pick at number three. He perfectly fits their system and looks like a future Pro Bowler. The 49ers also received another third and fourth round pick in this draft from the Bears. That’s in addition to another third round pick next year.

The 49ers obviously remembered recent history. Kirk Cousins was drafted in the fourth round after the Redskins made one of the worst trades in NFL history. The Redskins moved up four spots to number two to draft Robert Griffin III, giving away a second round pick and two future first round picks.


Be the last one standing.

8 tips to help you win your NFL Survivor Pool - OOBG.com
Karen Alfaro
September19/ 2017

8 tips to help you win your NFL Survivor Pool

Also known as Suicide Pool, Elimination, or Last Man Standing Leagues, the rules for a survivor are deceptively simple – just pick one winner each week from the list of NFL matchups on the schedule to win straight up. Point spreads don’t apply. The catch? You can’t select the same team twice. Unfortunately, many players forgo logic when it comes to playing in pools. To approach survivor pool intelligently, consider these tips:

1- Your ego may be your toughest opponent

Many players try to prove they are smarter than everyone else. The goal here isn’t to impress your friends, it’s about winning everything. If your pick wins, you move on to the next week. If you lose, you are out. Unlike a game of musical chairs, the last person standing gets the big prize. Choose the team that is most likely to win regardless of how it looks. Don’t try to pick a seven-point dog to win outright just so you can brag to your friends how sharp you are later. Don’t be scared to make the “public” pick because it looks square.

2- Wait till the last minute

There’s nothing wrong with mapping out a
long-term game plan early in the season. But a team that looks very strong might not be so powerful later in the season due to injuries, a slump, or a recent problem. Also, you don’t earn extra points by putting in your pick early in the week. Part of the game is positioning yourself apart from the other players. This can only happen when you have an idea of what other players are selecting.

3- Be wary of divisional games

It’s very difficult to predict the performance of a road team in a divisional contest. These games are often much closer than others because of grudges or revenge factors. These teams are familiar with their opponents. Upsets are more frequent in these games. Try to stay away from these games if you can, especially early in the season.

4- Let the point spread be your guide 

Online oddsmakers are very aware of how each team looks at any given time in the season, so you might as well let them do all the hard work and follow their leads. Select the team that is the biggest favorite of the week. Sound too simple? If your favorite is an underdog, the risk factor may be higher. Sometimes the smart play is to go with the experts’ opinion.


5- Play it safe

Players who win suicide pools are usually very disciplined, the ones who carefully minimize risks and analyze matchups like a clever handicapper. Focus on the teams with proven track records and favorable matchups. Playing it safe does not mean saving a strong team for later in the season. This will do you no good if you are eliminated.


6- There’s no place like home

Why choose a road team battling issues like travel, rest, and unfamiliar weather conditions when you can select a team playing at home? There are no guarantees, of course, but selecting powerful home favorites has proven to be extremely effective. This doesn’t mean that a 13-point home favorite should automatically be selected without any research, but these options should definitely rank at the top of your weekly list. Check the playing conditions. Know the stats. Spotting trends under the radar will give you an edge.


7- Fade the bad teams

Identifying the winners isn’t enough. If you want to advance into December, pay attention to the teams that are most likely to lose too. You’ll need to plan for a total of 17 wins to get to the money in a suicide pool. Keep a close eye on which clubs are playing disappointing teams, like the Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Jets, each week.

8- Beware of Thursday night games

Factors such as rest and travel distance can create an advantage for the home teams during Thursday night games, but the numbers may not reflect this. The 2012 NFL season quickly showed everyone that these contests can be more of a crapshoot than other games. If you can, avoid Thursday. The results have been unstable the last few seasons.