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Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 17, 2015
Colorado Rockies vs Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
-232 at betonline
Play Type: Premium

I’m playing on the Los Angeles Dodgers as my 6* Blue Marlin.

The Dodgers enjoyed a day off before welcoming the Colorado Rockies for a weekend series, starting Friday. Los Angeles is coming off a powerful series sweep of the Seattle Mariners.

The bats are heating up for L.A., which has plated 24 runs in the last four games and scored five or more runs in six of its first nine games of the season. The Dodgers are hitting .274 BA with 13 home runs, which ranks third in the major leagues.

Los Angeles may not need all that run support with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound in Game 1 of this series. Kershaw was surprisingly knocked around in his season debut, allowing six runs on 10 hits while walking three batters in just 6 1-3 inning versus Arizona. We fully expect the left hander to rebound from that poor outing.

Colorado is also coming off a series sweep, taking a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants to open the week. The Rockies, however, aren't the best on the road and they won just three times in their last 14 meeting with Los Angeles. On top of that, the Rockies are just 5-17 in their previous 22 outings against Kershaw.

The Dodgers' big bats and Kershaw finding his form are why I’m playing on Los Angeles as my 6* Blue Marlin Friday.

Matchup Selection W/L
MLB  |  Apr 17, 2015
Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
-166 at betonline
Play Type: Premium

I am playing on DETROIT. Any time the chalk isn't too outrageous and a pitcher like David Price is on the mound, I will happily take it and run. 
The smoking hot Tigers have the best record in the majors right now and aren't a team I'd like to bet against on any night at the present time, but throw Price on the mound and we have a very nice play. 
Price has a sparkling 0.00 ERA through his first two starts, both of which Detroit won comfortably. You don't need to say a whole lot more about that but it helps that the Tigers are hitting a smooth .386 this season and the Tigers have put up a combined 13 runs of support in Price's two starts so far. 
The Sox are struggling a bit at 3-5 coming into this series and I expect the Tigers to be too much for them with this kind of pitching on the hill. Detroit has an AL leading 13 stolen bases while the White Sox have thrown out just one of 11 base robbers so far and it looks like everywhere you turn, this is a mismatch. 
Chicago throws Jeff Samardzija up against Price and he is winless with a 6.23 ERA in two starts. I don't anticipate he's going to have much more fun in his third start. 7* Breakfast Club

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 17, 2015
Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens
5 un-110 at 5Dimes
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on the UNDER. I think Game 1, which the Canadiens won 4-3, was out of character for what’s to come in this series and I think Game 2 will be a low scoring affair. 
A number of weird circumstances arose in Game 1 that caused the two arguably best goaltenders in the league to not quite look themselves. Sens rookie sensation Andrew Hammond owns a .938 save percentage while likely Vezina winner Carey Price owns a .933 save percentage, yet somehow these two combined to allow seven goals in Game 1. 
The leakiness started on a strange bounce in the first period that popped onto Andrei Markov’s stick and dripped past Price. If this were soccer, we’d call it an own goal. Then there was the major penalty to Habs defenseman P.K. Subban, who was slapped with a five minute major and a game misconduct for a two-hander on Senators goal scorer Marc Stone. The slash resulted in a fracture of Stone’s wrist. 
Three goals – two for the Sens and one for Montreal – were scored on the ensuing five-minute power play. If you take away the four goals that happened under unusual circumstances, Game 1 is looking more like the low scoring affair I expect to see in Game 2. 
Subban could be suspended and Stone could miss some time but even if they both play, we may see Ottawa dress a lineup that has a little tougher look to it and is focused more on winning with grit than finesse. Keep an eye on any player news leading up to game time and either way, I still like this game to fall below the total. 10* Blue Chip

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 17, 2015
NY Islanders vs Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals
-140 at betonline
Play Type: Premium

I am playing on WASHINGTON. The Capitals looked a little like they forgot the playoffs had started from the drop of the first puck in Game 1 and I expect to see a much different team in Game 2. 
Nobody likes getting embarrassed like that on home ice, especially in the postseaon and I think Washington will play much smarter in Game 2. The home team won every game in the regular season series between these two and I think that trend gets back on track here. 
The Caps out-hit the Isles (46-36), were almost even in shots (27-25) and destroyed New York in faceoffs won (39-23). The one thing they forgot to do was take care of the puck and that sloppy play resulted in most of the damage the Islanders did. 
Washington committed 11 giveaways to the Isles' five and that was really the difference in the game. 
"I think the whole game was pretty sloppy," Capitals forward Curtis Glencross said. "That can happen with it being the playoffs. We'll definitely try to [be better] as the series going on." 
I'm counting on it. I think the errors were mostly mental and the Capitals somehow just didn't come into this game completely focused. I don't expect that to happen two games in a row. 
The Capitals were far better than the Isles in goals against this season (7th vs. 23rd in the league) and I think we’ll see a completely different Washington team in Game 2, one that’s much more careful with the puck. 8* Annihilator

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 17, 2015
Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks
-145 at betonline
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on VANCOUVER. I felt the Canucks outplayed Calgary for most of Game 1 and were a little unlucky to come away with a loss. I don't see them dropping their first two games at home and I'm thankful oddsmakers aren't making them lay more chalk in Game 2. 
Jonas Hiller stood on his head a little for Calgary and was awarded the first star after giving up just one goal in the 2-1 win. I'm not sure how long he can keep that up against a Canucks team that ranks much higher than the Flames on shooting percentage this season. Vancouver ranked seventh in the league in that category this year compared to 27th for the Flames. 
Calgary scored the winning goal while Canucks goalie Eddie Lack was screened after Lack played a great game and was named as second star of the game. 
Another sign that the Canucks outplayed the Flames was they drew three penalties to Calgary's one. Vancouver went 0-for-3 on the power play but I don't expect that to continue. The Canucks had a blistering power play over the final three weeks of the season going 11-for-33 during that span and I think we'll see them find a way to score on the extra man attack in Game 2. 
All that said, I think home ice will still play the biggest factor in the second game of this series. I expect a very loud crowd in Vancouver and Calgary was wasn’t nearly as good on the road as it was at home this season. 10* Personal Favorite

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 18, 2015
Minnesota Wild vs St Louis Blues
St Louis Blues
-140 at BMaker
Play Type: Top Premium

I’m playing on the St. Louis Blues as my 9* Personal Favorite.

The Blues took one on the chin in Game 1 of this first-round series against the Minnesota Wild, losing 4-2 in front of the home faithful Thursday night. That loss will light a fire under St. Louis for Game 2, with memories of the last two postseasons getting drummed up. The Blues have exited in the first round of the playoffs the last two years and will be playing with added desperation Saturday.

Thursday’s result was much closer than the final score would indicate, with the Wild adding two empty net goals in the dying minutes of the third period. St. Louis fell behind quickly in Game 1 and knows it must get off to a better start Saturday to avoid having its back against the wall.

The Blues faced Minnesota in the regular season finale, winning 4-2, and got out to a 2-0 lead in the second period of that game. The Wild are just too good of a defensive team to let take a lead and then lock down the defensive end of the ice. We expect St. Louis to press early and often, hoping to get up on the scoreboard and force the Wild out of their comfort zone.

The Blues' postseason desperation and their early offensive attack are why I’m playing St. Louis as my 9* Personal Favorite.

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Apr 18, 2015
Detroit Red Wings vs Tampa Bay Lightning
5½ un-133 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium

I’m playing on the Under in Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning as my 9* Early Best Bet.

The Red Wings did a great job limiting the Lighting to only two goals in Game 1 of this Round 1 NHL playoff series. Detroit was outshot 46-14 for the game but still managed to turn out a 3-2 victory. The Red Wings took advantage of a shaky Ben Bishop in the postseason opener but goals won’t be that easy to come by in Game 2, now that those nerves have settled down.

The Red Wings were able to lock up Tampa Bay sniper Steve Stamkos, keeping him off the scoresheet and holding him to eight shots on the night, each turned away by goaltender Petr Mrazek. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are two of the best defensive forwards in the game and will continue to be Stamkos’ shadow in the defensive end.

We expect a much sharper game from Bishop in Game 2. The pressure of his first playoff start obviously got to the young goaltender, who was sharp down the stretch of the regular season. Bishop did get two top blueliners back in Game 1, with Braydon Coburn and Andrej Sustr returning from injury, and with those defensemen shaking off the rust, the Bolts will be a much tougher team on that end of the ice Saturday.

The Red Wings’ solid defense and hot goaltender and Bishop’s return to form are why I’m playing on the Under in Detroit at Tampa Bay as my 9* Early Best Bet.

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 18, 2015
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors
205 un-115 at Bovada
Play Type: Top Premium

I’m playing on the Under in New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors as my 10* Saturday Afternoon Best Bet.

A lot of pressure is on Golden State this postseason after such a dominating run to the top of the Western Conference. The Warriors find themselves in strange waters this weekend, playing host to a playoff game with high expectations from a packed house in the Oracle Arena.

We expect some playoff jitters from Golden State with the pressure mounting in Game 1. This team relied so much on its efficient offense to overwhelm opponents, but could be out of sync with the energy and nerves hitting a peak Saturday. It could take the Warriors a little while to settle in, which we expect will have them off to a slow start.

New Orleans plays at a much lower gear than Golden State. The Pelicans rank 27th in the NBA in pace, averaging just 94.9 possessions per game on the season. New Orleans’ best chance of staying close to the Warriors is putting the breaks on this game with a methodical tempo, milking the shot clock and limiting Golden State’s time with the basketball.

The Pelicans and Warriors split Over/Unders in their four games this season (with one of those Overs coming in overtime). However, these teams have stayed below the number in seven of their last nine meetings, including a 2-6 Over/Under mark in their last eight games in Oakland.

The Warriors' big-game jitters and the Pelicans’ slow-motion tempo are why I’m playing on Under in New Orleans at Golden State as my 10* Saturday Afternoon Best Bet.

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Apr 18, 2015
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors
-4 -107 at pinnacle
Play Type: Premium

I’m playing on the Toronto Raptors as my 9* Saturday Breakfast Club.

The Raptors open the postseason hosting the Washington Wizards and aren’t getting much respect from books or bettors. This spread has already come down from its original opener and we see solid value with the home side Saturday.

Toronto did stumbled in the second half of the NBA schedule, falling from as high as second in the East to fourth. However, the Raptors battled hard down the stretch and won seven of their final 10 games. They take that momentum and a healthy Kyle Lowry into Game 1 this weekend.

Toronto is a tough matchup for the Wizards backcourt combo of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Outside of Lowry, who stands just 6-foot, the Raptors have some big guards on the perimeter with DeMar DeRozan, Greivis Vasquez, and versatile forwards Terrence Ross and Patrick Patterson able to come out and guard smaller players.

The Raptors won all three meetings with Washington this season and have covered in six of their last eight head-to-head meetings, with a 7-3 ATS record versus the Wizards at home.

The Raptors’ line value and their bigger guards are why I’m playing on Toronto as my 9* Saturday Breakfast Club.


Ben Burns burst onto the sports betting scene in the 1990s, first making his selections available to the public in 1998. Now entering his tenth year, Ben has become one of the most successful and well-respected handicappers on the entire Internet.

From 1998 to 2006, Ben had his selections documented by the Big Guy Sports Monitor. During that time, he accumulated numerous seasonal titles in all the major sports. In fact, competing against a field of 150, Ben's NFL selections still rank as #1 of all-time there. With such a commanding lead over the field, it is highly unlikely that his all-time NFL record there will ever be matched.

Like all handicappers, Ben goes through both hot and cold streaks. However, whether winning or losing, he always "tells it like it is." Perhaps more importantly, as his many fans are quick to point out, Ben's winning weeks tend to greatly outnumber his losing ones. Note that Ben followed up an extremely strong 2006 with an even better campaign in 2007!

Ben is known as a "Totals Expert" and his over/under plays are highly sought after in all sports. In addition to his "total" success, Ben's "sides" are also known for their sizzling hot streaks. While he advocates playing all his selections equally, Ben's knack for nailing his "Big" plays is truly remarkable.

Ben capped off a highly successful college football season by winning his Bowl Game of the Year, a 41-10 wire-to-wire destruction on Georgia over Hawaii. Ben's NFL playoffs didn't go as well though and he lost his first ever Super Bowl selection, when the Patriots were upset by the Giants. Despite that rare setback, Ben's Super Bowl record remains at 10-1 for his career. Additionally, his NFL playoff picks remain a powerful 47-22 (68%) ATS the past six years. Ben isn't just a football expert though, as his hockey, baseball AND basketball picks are also highly respected.

Ben logs extremely long hours. His hard work clearly shows itself in his high quality writeups and extraordinary long-term records. If you're looking for an honest, hard-working handicapper with a documented history of success, give Ben Burns a try. We're sure that you'll be impressed!