"I looked up and saw four seconds on the clock," said O'Reilly. "I managed to get the shot off on time and got lucky with it."
Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who have won two straight. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 39 shots in the win.
Carolina scored 7:22 into the first period on Tim Brent's eighth of the year, but Colorado tied it with 54 seconds left in the first off a wrister from Gabriel Landeskog at the left circle.
Colorado tied the game 3:15 into the second on a tic-tac-toe play as David Jones sent a pass from the left wing to the right wing where Stastny sent it back to the slot and Milan Hejduk redirected it in.
Colorado hasn't lost to the Carolina franchise over the past 10 games. The last loss came on February 6, 1996 when the then Hartford Whalers took an overtime victory...Colorado hits the road for the next four games starting in St. Louis on Saturday...Carolina plays in Montreal on Monday.
Antti Niemi stopped 30-of-33 shots for the win.
San Jose held a 3-2 lead entering the third period, but Dave Bolland slid a pass from the left corner to the right circle through the legs of a Sharks defender that was one-timed home by Bickell to knot the game at three 2:15 into the final stanza.
(This is an update of a sportsbook for the May 4th issue of ESPN The Magazine).
The Kentucky Derby's post-position draw happened on Wednesday. And, as is always the case, shortly afterwards, a buzz raced around Churchill Downs. It was a low rumble at first, nothing that the squares in the mint julep crowd pick up right away. But by the time the sun set over the twin spires, the chatter was impossible to ignore. Everyone -- sharps, trainers, owners -- was talking about one thing: the wise guy horse, the pre-draw long shot us mopes didn't have on our radar until it was too late.
"You think you're hearing the scoop," says handicapper Lane Gold. "Then you get to the window, the odds are short, and you missed it."
Recognizing a wise-guy horse early is as hard as picking a Derby bonnet. That's because handicappers don't like hype (see ya, I Want Revenge). They want Thoroughbreds who look good losing prep races like the Santa Anita Derby. They eye horses who ate up the field after starting wide or made an easy transition from synthetic tracks to dirt. They look for ponies who showed muscle gain race to race and those who ran hard after several weeks' rest.
"A wise guy," says John Avello, a bookmaker at Wynn Las Vegas, "looks for a horse who can improve."
When I first wrote Horse Betting for The Mag, which I turned in a three weeks before Wednesday's draw, I predicted these three horses had wise guy potential:
CHOCOLATE CANDY (15-1 in mid-April, currently 20-1 according to Avello): His second-place finish at Santa Anita, following a seven-week layoff, proved two things: He can run after resting, and -- by losing a high-profile prep race -- he wouldn't be overhyped.
DESERT PARTY (15-1; 15-1): He was upset in the UAE Derby by a horse he had beaten twice. The public remembers his loss, but the wise guys his wins.
PIONEEROF THE NILE (8-1; 4-1): The big favorite at Santa Anita struggled to win, so he initially got less hype than Quality Road and I Want Revenge.
You may have noticed that the odds on Pioneerof the Nile have been cut in half, from 8-1 to 4-1. Which means the wise guys took a shine to him long before the post-position draw. But, to be honest, this is one of those years with four elite horses getting everyone's attention, squares and sharps alike.
"You're not gonna get a lot of chatter about a horse that isn't in that group, which includes Pioneer, I Want Revenge, Dunkirk and Friesan Fire," Avello told me Wednesday. "We don't have a group of horses behind those top four who look like real legit contenders."
Come Derby week, the final two elements in picking a wise guy horse are how he's working out and what gate he's coming out of.
(By the way, picking a Preakness favorite is a whole different bale of hay, partially based on how horses finish in the Derby. You can see my analysis of who has the best shot at Pimlico on Insider Sunday morning.)
Well, early in the week I Want Revenge, Pioneerof the Nile and Friesan Fire were working out better than anyone. Some thought Friesan Fire, currently 6-1, might have run too fast, burning a five-furlong run in :57 4/5. "When you are running that fast you have the sense that it took something out of him," says Gold. "The Derby is longer than any horse has run, and if they need that extra surge you worry they won't have it because they burned it in the workout."
But, Gold points out, Friesan Fire's trainer is Larry Jones, Two years ago his horse Hard Spun did a five-eighths workout in :57 3/5 and then went on to finish second, behind Street Sense, in the Derby. "Every trainer has different methods," says Gold. "And clearly he knows what he's doing."
Now, as for starting position, Gold says to remember this: Churchill Downs traditionally has 14 starting gates. For the Derby, it brings out auxiliary gates and between the original 14th gate and the new 15th gate, there is a little more space than there is between gates 1-14. "That 15 position will give you a precious second or two to sort out what's happening to your inside," says Gold. "Sixteen is also okay because you can follow the horse in front of you."
Dunkirk, one of the race favorites, is coming out of gate 15. In 16 is Baffert's Pioneerof the Nile. I Want Revenge drew 13, where Smarty Jones won from in 2004, and Friesan Fire picked the sixth position. "He doesn't have a lot of speed to the inside of him," says Gold. "So he will get a clear shot to be near the front."
All the jibber-jabber means this: Pioneerof the Nile has leapfrogged from 8-1 to being the second favorite, along with Dunkirk, behind I Want Revenge. Meanwhile, Friesan Fire, with a good trainer, a strong week of training and a decent post position, is still at 6-1. "By Saturday, it's possible he could go from fourth to the favorite," says Gold.
In other words, meet Friesan Fire, your 2009 wise guy horse.
"Now," says Avello, "it's time for action."
Let’s take a look at the Super Bowl 2009 betting odds and the betting line and figure out where they’ve been and where they are going to go.
MySportsbook.com put up the Super Bowl 2009 betting odds late on Sunday night with the Pittsburgh Steelers favored by 6.5 points and a total betting line at 47.5 points.
Since then, however, the Super Bowl 2009 betting odds have seen a good deal of movement and you’ll want to be on top of where they are likely to move to make sure you get the best line value for the big game.
Since opening, the Super Bowl 2009 betting lines went to Steelers -7 in the span of roughly 3 hours but were quickly bought back down just minutes later to 6.5 again.
After that is took about 5-6 more hours before the betting line went back to -7 where it has sat for a while now and is likely to remain. The opening betting total of 47.5 was bet down right after the line became available and went to 47 within minutes.
Roughly a day later it has been bet even further down to the 46.5 tally it currently is set at.
Roughly 60% of gamblers seem to be on the Cardinals here so the point spread will be bet down and a 7.5 would not last very long at all with many taking the early 6.5 in hopes of finding a potential middle in the Super Bowl 2009 betting odds.
If you like Arizona and see a 7.5, I’d take it as soon as possible because it’s unlikely to last. For Pittsburgh backers, the -7 might be the best you’ll be able to find but a 6.5 is definitely possible close to game time.
Regarding the Super Bowl 2009 betting odds for the total, most tracked gamblers are already on the over and with those who took the under 47.5 already securing a middle on the over 46.5, the only way I see it moving is back up to 47 so if you like the over, I’d recommend betting now.