Top five: The hottest bets in sports

Jon Campbell

The headline pretty much explains it. Here's a look at five hot bets in sports that are racking up the cash right now. Results are as of Tuesday, April 15.


Maria Sharapova


She is the hottest bet in sports for more than one reason and chances are you’ve somehow overlooked her because tennis is barely on the radar of most North American sports bettors.


The Russian beauty has three titles in the four tournaments she’s played and her only loss came in the semifinals to Svetlana Kuznetsova at Indian Wells. She has a 22-1 record on the season, which includes a pair of easy victories in Fed Cup play in February.


Most recently Sharapova beat Dominika Cibulkova in the finals of the Amelia Island clay court event in Florida. There was a hilarious moment in the quarterfinals of that tourney against Alona Bondarenko when Sharapova was pleading with the chair umpire to use the washroom, but the ump wouldn’t let her at that moment because of a weird rule in women's tennis.


“But I REALLY have to goooo!” Sharapova could be heard begging. “I’ll be, like, 10 seconds!”


Amazingly, she managed to not muddy the clay over the next couple of points. Look for Sharapova to continue on her dominant run with one grand slam (Australian Open) already in her back pocket.  


Sacramento Kings


Surprisingly, it’s a team that won’t be around for the postseason that is leading the way to the pay window in the NBA right now. The Kings are 8-2 ATS (against the spread) heading into Tuesday’s game against the Lakers, in which they're mammoth dogs of 17 1/2 points.


The money spree is due to a combination of improved play and generous spreads. The Kings have been underdogs in six of their last 10 and they have been dogged by 12 points or more in three of those outings.


The reason for the heavy spreads isn’t just Sacramento’s losing record. The club is also dealing with some key injuries to players like Brad Miller, Shareef Abdur-Raheem and most recently Ron Artest.


Fortunately, the younger players are stepping up. The team has seen Kevin Martin improve this season to score over 23 points per game and lately Francisco Garcia has looked like the all-round threat at guard he promised to be coming out of college.


Garcia has at least 15 points in six of his last seven games and is a key reason why Kings backers are racking up the coin.


Oakland A’s


If you bet $100 per game on every A’s game this season, you’d be up $700. You’d be up even more if you were betting the runline at $851.


The A’s currently have the fifth-best ERA in the majors at 3.35, though their team batting average ranks an unexpected fourth-worst at .243. Oakland has just been getting the key runs at the right times and it’s helped them earn the cash.


Low expectations and a tough early season schedule haven’t hurt the A’s either. They’ve been underdogs in 10 of their 14 games so far.  


Montreal Canadiens


The Habs are coming off a loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their playoff series, but that brings them to a tidy 8-2 in their last 10 games.


The Habs are doing it with uncomplicated hockey. They’re getting the puck low, forechecking hard and getting great goaltending from youngster Carey Price.


Despite the hot play, Montreal has only been favored at higher than -170 three times over its last 10 games and it covered the puckline in two of those contests.


Habs fans have to be a little worried, though, that their last two games have gone to overtime with the eighth seeded Bruins. There’s no news on when captain Saku Koivu will return from a broken foot, but if this series drags on, his absence could show.


Nikolay Davydenko


Watching Davydenko on TV at the Masters event in Miami recently, it was said that he might be the most unheralded No. 4-ranked player of all time. That might be true and chances are you know him better for the controversy surrounding a betting scandal last year, from which he is still fighting to clear his name.


However, this guy is playing some fabulous tennis and the lack of attention he gets in the rankings will only play to a bettor’s advantage. He beat Roddick as a considerable underdog in the semifinals in Miami and then beat world No. 2 Rafael Nadal at +170 in the finals.


Davydenko is smashing his forehands and placing his backhands with precision, but it’s his hot serve that’s bringing him victories right now. The one caution is that he has some nagging injuries, so try to find stories on his health before laying your money down on him before his upcoming matches.


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Posted by claycourtlesson
8 years ago

Sharapova won at Amelia Island on the fake clay...........that green stuff, which is a hell of a lot faster than the European red clay coming up in the next 2 months or so. To have a legit shot at R Garros, she has to be playing on the real clay (red), not the fast green junk in the USA. One thing that will help her at R Garros is that Henin is not fit right now, but if Henin is fit, hungry, and in form in Paris, she'll beat Masha there 5 times out of 6. Cheers

Posted by claycourtlesson
8 years ago

And FTR, matches involving backing Sharapova routinely cost you north of 15-20 bucks on the dollar. Bad, bad, bad, bad odds. The only time you'd want to bet on Sharapova would be with the gameline, but even those prices are routinely -160ish or more. Cheers

Posted by claycourtlesson
8 years ago

Davydenko's a damn good player, no doubt, but I damn sure am not interested in betting on him unless he's a dog. Cheers

Posted by RebelMe
8 years ago

Be careful about Davydenko. He was accused of betting on his own matches, plead unguilty, but still...Also, he is not that sharp in last few matches, especially on clay. He took some bruises and I don't think he is absolutely healthy. For example, a lot of bettors were value betting Ivo Minar today to beat the Russian. In the end, Davydenko won 2-6 6-2 6-4, but for a +430 underdog, Minar but up some good fight.

Posted by HeadOverHeart
8 years ago

Kings got rocked and their season is just about done so no more wagering opportunities on them. A's are a weak hitting team and have no value, most of the time, even as a dog. Davydenko is crooked and fair dinkum if you want to wager your money on a known match-fixer. Canadiens have no Koivu and will more than likely advance to the next round which will see tougher competition and a likely Montreal exit. Sharapova is usually favored and favored with a HEAVY're getting no deals there. It's a good idea for an article, but I think we have to look harder.

Posted by Diamondjake
8 years ago

Kings get crushed last night by 23 and A's go down 4-1. Jon I liked the article, the problem is its like the stock market, when we finally notice something is a good bet so does everyone else and its probably going the other way. Personnaly I like to fade teams that have been doing very well.

Posted by CurtisSumpter
8 years ago

Interesting read, Thanks
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Top Response

Posted by claycourtlesson
8 years ago

"Davydenko's a damn good player, no doubt, but I damn sure am not interested in betting on him unless he's a dog. Cheers"

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