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Birds of a flipper: As visitors crowd Denver Zoo, African Penguins are living their best life



Birds of a flipper: As visitors crowd Denver Zoo, African Penguins are living their best life

Seventeen African penguins shimmied and twisted, as if part of a single organism, out of the 65-degree water at their new Denver Zoo enclosure and onto the warm deck above it last week.

Impressively, they never lost their tight formation, pressed shoulder-to-shoulder as they were like an elevator full of stiff-armed and tuxedo-clad (if incredibly cute) commuters.

“They’ll start to spread out and use more of the main area as they get more acclimated,” said John Azua, Denver Zoo’s bird curator, as he watched the Zoo’s tiny human visitors squish their cheeks against a clear acrylic divider to get eye-to-eye with the compact creatures. “For now they’re still clumping together.”

You can’t blame them: at the time of this visit, the African penguins had barely been in the public eye for 24 hours, following zoo workers’ removal of the wall separating their exhibit from the rest of the 84-acre campus, just north of City Park, which hosts another 3,000 or so animals.

Located in the former Benson Predator Ridge, the $1.75 million African penguin habitat, which opened Sept. 30, beckons visitors from just inside the main entrance. The zoo painted and fixed up the Ridge’s brown faux-rocks (now gray) instead of demolishing them, while closing their perimeter to create this state-of-the-art, 2,400-square-foot home for its endangered penguins, who are native to South Africa.

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

Children visit the new African penguin habitat at the Denver Zoo on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.

“Their new pool is about four to five times the size of their swimming space in Bird World,” said Jake Kubié, director of communications for the Denver Zoological Foundation, which operates the nonprofit Denver Zoo.

“The long, linear nature of it also allows them to exhibit some natural behaviors, such as porpoising (i.e. what dolphins do), that they weren’t able to before,” Azua added of the 40-foot-long pool. “Their old exhibit was what we call in the industry a ‘dump-and-fill,’ so no filtration, no circulation and lots of wasted water.”

Pinnacle African Penguin Point, as it’s officially called, solves those problems with technology. The new, 10,000-square-foot water tank is temperature-controlled and filtered every 15 minutes, allowing caretakers to reuse water instead of dumping it once or twice a week to avoid the summertime algae blooms that plagued the Bird World exhibit.

1633951402 94 Birds of a flipper As visitors crowd Denver Zoo African

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

A group of African Penguins stand together at their new habitat at the Denver Zoo on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.

There are also heaters under parts of the deck that will allow the penguins easy access to water, even in freezing temperatures, although once it hits 20 degrees or below they’re herded inside regardless. The multiple burrows and nest boxes, and various hardscape and natural substrates, effectively mimic their Cape of Good Hope origins, Kubié said.

It’s modeled specifically after Boulder Beach in South Africa, where Denver Zoo experts have brought their Colorado knowledge to help rehab and save African penguins for most of the last two decades. Animal care experts also return from these overseas trips with new practices that improve the care of Denver Zoo’s captive animals, Azua said.

Vertix Builders, the company that made the exhibit, has plenty of experience in adaptation, having recently finished a major update for the hugely popular Space Odyssey at Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

“Unlike a traditional commercial building, exhibits are singularly unique and the designers, contractors, and Zoo staff had to work closely to develop a vision and then execute to bring it to life,” said Ted Laszlo, Vice President of Vertix, in a press statement.

1633951402 167 Birds of a flipper As visitors crowd Denver Zoo African

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

From left, Holly Samson, 2, and her sister Juniper, 3, of Denver have their picture taken at the new African penguin habitat of Denver Zoo on its opening day, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.

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MLS Odds and Betting Lines Today



MLS Odds and Betting Lines Today

Major League Soccer (MLS) is starting to gain some real traction in the United States, especially in the state of Colorado. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but it still hasn’t become extremely popular here in the U.S.

Along with the sport, MLS odds are starting to become common in the growing sports betting industry. The top international leagues continue to draw the most attention, but MLS is going to be featured at Colorado sportsbooks.

Even if you don’t pay close attention to MLS games on a weekly basis, you should still take a look at the MLS odds. You might find some great betting opportunities, especially if you get some help in receiving picks.

This article will discuss the most common MLS odds that you will find, and will provide some examples of what the odds mean. Hopefully, you take this knowledge to the sportsbooks listed below and make some good winnings while betting on MLS.BetRivers - 100% First Deposit Bonus Up to $250!Betway - Get your $250 Risk-Free Bet!BetMGM - $1,000 - Risk Free Bet!

What is the Best Way to Wager Using Our MLS Odds?

Before you even think about making a wager on MLS, you need to check out and the Denver Post for all of your MLS betting needs. You aren’t going to be able to make a wager at either site, but this is where you will find all of the necessary information to help you win some money.

MLS odds are sometimes hard to understand, especially if you don’t have any knowledge of sports betting at all. This would be a tough sport to get into as your first option, but the two resources above should help make things easier.

Even though MLS isn’t one of the biggest betting markets in the US, you will love all of the betting options that are available to you. Soccer might seem like a difficult sport to understand or follow, but the betting options are pretty simple.

If you are going to be taking a close look at MLS odds then you simply have to take a look at or the Denver Post. Neither resource is going to guarantee that you win big at the sportsbook, but it’s going to give you the best shot.

How to Read Major League Soccer Odds

Reading Major League Soccer odds are very similar to what you are going to find with the more popular sports in the United States. If you already have a good grasp on how to read odds then feel free to gloss over this section.

MLS odds are going to be offered in American format, even though soccer is clearly a top sport internationally. The odds are going to tell you how much money can be won on each side of a wager, and they are also going to tell you what the potential odds payout is going to be.

It’s hard to really explain how to read MLS odds without giving specific examples, but that is coming in the next few sections. It is important to remember that the game of soccer is much different from other sports and that always needs to be in the back of your mind when reading the odds.

Regardless of what type of MLS bet you are looking to make, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. An odd with a (-) sign means that a certain team is the favorite in that matchup and odds with a (+) indicate that the team is the underdog.

There are some other tips that can help you look at MLS odds as well, but that is one of the biggest things that can help you read the odds.

MLS Odds This Week

MLS odds for this week are always going to be changing based on the upcoming matchups. This is similar to what takes place in other sports as there aren’t teams that are always going to be the betting favorites.

The MLS has had to take a few weeks off this year as some of the top players are competing in international events. This is something that the MLS is prepared to deal with, but it does mess up the regular season schedule each time that it occurs.

Before you even start to look at MLS odds for this week, you need to take a close look at the upcoming schedule. There are some games that won’t offer good betting opportunities regardless of the odds, while others are going to get your attention right away.

MLS odds for each week are always changing, but you are still going to see the same betting options offered. Be sure to take a close look at the MLS odds for each week and try to find the best betting opportunities.

MLS Moneyline Odds

If you are thinking that betting on MLS sounds like something that you would like to do, then your first step needs to be looking at MLS moneyline odds. An earlier section already outlined some basics about MLS odds, but now it’s time to use a real-life example to explain MLS moneyline odds.

For this example we will use the Colorado Rapids as the favorites and the Los Angeles FC as the underdogs:

Colorado Rapids -145
Los Angeles FC +155

The moneyline odds clearly tell you which team is the favorite in each matchup based on the sign that is in front of the odds. Not only that, but you can also see how much money you can win if you make the right choice.

A $145 wager on the Rapids would earn a potential payout of $100. On the flipside of that, a $100 bet on the Los Angeles FC would result in a payout of $155.

You are free to wager however much money you want, but using $100 is a great way to explain moneyline odds.

MLS Live Betting Odds

The action on the pitch (another word for soccer field) might be slow at times, but you aren’t going to experience that when looking at MLS odds for live betting. There is no downtime at all when it comes to MLS picks for live betting, and you are going to be forced to make a decision in a matter of minutes.

MLS odds for live betting typically come in moneyline, over/under, or spread betting options. You can sometimes find MLS prop betting odds as well, but that is a little more rare.

The advantage of betting on MLS live betting odds is that you can hedge some previous bets, and it also adds some fun to the soccer game. The biggest disadvantage is that you have no time to do any research, and you need to be following along with the MLS game if you want to win some money.

MLS Over / Under Picks

We will use the same matchup between the Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles FC to explain what MLS odds for over/under might look like. Over/under bets are popular in nearly every sport offered at the sportsbook and that includes MLS.

When you are looking to make an over/under wager then you aren’t going to be focused on the team that wins the game. Instead, you are looking at the total number of goals scored, and it’s usually going to be a pretty low total when it comes to soccer.

Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles FC
Over 2.5 Goals -110
Under 2.5 Goals -110

You are typically going to see the payout for each side of an over/under wager be the same, but that isn’t always going to be the case. All you have to do is pick the correct amount of goals scored with an over number bet to win some money.

If the Rapids and Los Angeles FC combine for at least three goals then the over is going to hit. Two goals or less in the games means that the under is the correct wager.

MLS Futures Odds

MLS odds are also offered on future betting markets, and this is much different than moneyline or over/under betting. Future odds focus on events taking place down the road, and usually at the end of the MLS regular season and playoffs.

The most common MLS futures odds that you will see is a prediction on which team will win the eventual league championship. You can also find MLS odds for individual player awards, but you are going to see plenty of changes in the odds regardless of what you are focusing on.

Here are the current MLS odds for the 2021 season:

  • New England Revolution +333
  • Colorado Rapids +450
  • Seattle Sounders +600
  • Philadelphia Union +700
  • Sporting Kansas City +1000
  • Nashville SC +1000

You are going to notice that the Colorado Rapids are one of the top teams in the MLS and they should probably start to earn some of your attention and respect. The state of Colorado has been without a champion for a few years and it could soon be coming in the sport of soccer.

Best MLS Season Odds

Before you even begin to look for the best MLS season odds, you first have to know when the MLS season takes place. MLS odds are only going to be available as the season moves along, and that’s only about half of the year.

Since the MLS has players from all over the world, the league calendar has to work around some international competitions as well. The traditional MLS season begins around the beginning of March and wraps up some time in October.

MLS season odds are going to be changing all of the time as teams start to establish themselves. The same can be said for MLS odds that are offered on individual player awards.

You are going to find that every MLS game has odds attached to it, and there is always going to be more than one way to wager on each game. You don’t have to bet on each game throughout the season, and it’s fine to take a break to regroup at times.

The next step is to find out what sportsbooks have the best MLS odds to follow.

Best Sportsbooks to Watch MLS Odds

You might think that you only need to look at one sportsbook for the best MLS odds, but that’s not the proper approach at all. You should always do an odds comparison to ensure that you are getting the most valuable MLS odds on the market.

Here is a list of the best sportsbooks to watch MLS odds:DraftKings - Get a Deposit Bonus Up to $1,000BetRivers - 100% First Deposit Bonus Up to $250!Betway - Get your $250 Risk-Free Bet!BetMGM - $1,000 - Risk Free Bet!
If you are going to be betting on soccer then you will want to look at the MLS odds at each site before clicking the “submit” button. Not only do the NCAAF betting sites listed above have the best MLS odds, but they are also going to have the best odds for other sports.

Gambling involves risk. Please only gamble with funds that you can comfortably afford to lose. Whilst we do our utmost to offer good advice and information we cannot be held responsible for any loss that maybe be incurred as a result of gambling. We do our best to make sure all the information that we provide on this site is correct. However, from time to time mistakes will be made and we will not be held liable. Please check any stats or information if you are unsure how accurate they are.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

This sponsored content article is governed by our Online Gambling Content Disclaimer (the “Disclaimer”) available here (or at the following URL:, and this sponsored content article constitutes “Gaming Content” as that term is defined in the Disclaimer.  Among other things, the Disclaimer governs your access to, and use of, this Gaming Content.  By accessing and using this Gaming Content, you expressly agree to the terms and conditions of the Disclaimer. The entire Disclaimer is incorporated herein by this reference. We strongly encourage you to please read the entire Disclaimer carefully. 

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Ravens snap-count analysis: Devonta Freeman takes center stage at running back in loss to Steelers



Ravens snap-count analysis: Devonta Freeman takes center stage at running back in loss to Steelers

Ravens offensive snap counts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 12/5/21

Alejandro Villanueva T 74

Ben Powers G 74

Kevin Zeitler G 74

Lamar Jackson QB 74

Bradley Bozeman C 74

Marquise Brown WR 64

Devonta Freeman RB 51

Mark Andrews TE 50

Devin Duvernay WR 44

Patrick Mekari T 40

Patrick Ricard FB 38

Tyre Phillips T 34

Sammy Watkins WR 34

Rashod Bateman WR 33

Eric Tomlinson TE 25

Latavius Murray RB 14

Josh Oliver TE 8

James Proche WR 6

Nate McCrary RB 2

Tylan Wallace WR 1

Observations: Freeman played a season-high 69% of offensive snaps while Murray played a season-low 19%. Ricard, who was listed as questionable for the game because of foot and thigh injuries, played just 51% of offensive snaps compared to 74% the week before. Watkins and Bateman each played fewer than 50% of offensive snaps for a second straight week. Duvernay has maintained his steady role in the offense no matter who has played around him. The Ravens again called on Phillips to step in for Mekari, and they have stuck with Powers as a full-time starter, even with Ben Cleveland available.

Ravens defensive snap counts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 12/5/21

Anthony Averett CB 60

Chuck Clark SS 59

Marlon Humphrey CB 58

Brandon Stephens FS 55

Tyus Bowser LB 55

Patrick Queen LB 55

Calais Campbell DE 49

Jimmy Smith CB 42

Josh Bynes LB 41

Justin Houston LB 40

Brandon Williams NT 36

Odafe Oweh LB 35

Justin Madubuike DT 26

Chris Board LB 11

Geno Stone SS 11

Justin Ellis DT 9

Tavon Young CB 8

Broderick Washington DT 6

Kristian Welch LB 4

Observations: Queen is back to being an every-down linebacker after he played just 46 defensive snaps combined in Weeks 6 and 7. Smith played more snaps than he had in the previous six weeks combined. If Humphrey is out for the season, will the injury-prone veteran have to step in as a starter, or close to it? Young, meanwhile, played a season-low eight defensive snaps after he was sick all week. Campbell was back to his normal heavy workload after he missed Week 12 in concussion protocol. With Campbell in the lineup, Madubuike saw his defensive snaps cut almost in half. Ellis and Washington also played significantly less than they had against the Cleveland Browns. Bowser was essentially an every-down player for a second straight week. The Ravens again declined to use Malik Harrison at inside linebacker or on the edge, where he’s worked in practice recently.

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The crispiest, lightest shrimp cakes recipe



The crispiest, lightest shrimp cakes recipe

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Whether bite-size Thai shrimp patties spiked with fish sauce, Vietnamese shrimp paste packed onto sugar cane or Southern American shrimp burgers shot through with mayonnaise, savory shrimp cakes are a tasty staple in coastal regions all over the world.

Unsurprisingly, their flavors vary depending on where they’re made. You’ll find them spiced with the likes of white pepper in China, chiles in Latin America or Old Bay seasoning in South Carolina.

Another point of difference is the binder — or lack thereof. Some traditional recipes skip it, mashing and pounding the shrimp until they stick together on their own. This results in a firm, bouncy texture after cooking, with a pleasing chew. Other recipes lace some combination of eggs, flour, cornstarch, bread or cracker crumbs, or rice into the shrimp batter, making for airier, crumblier cakes that are easier to brown when cooked at high heat (usually deep-fried, pan-fried or grilled).

In my somewhat untraditional rendition, I’ve bound the batter with something else entirely: crumbs pulverized from puffed, crunchy rice cakes.

Although this may not seem intuitive, it does make sense, given that both rice and crackers are common binders. Rice cakes just combine the two. You get the mild flavor and gluten-free qualities of the rice along with the crispness of crackers.

Make sure to use the pebbly kind of rice cakes here (either thick or thin), the ones that vaguely resemble popcorn or plastic foam. While you could crush up smooth, waferlike rice crackers for this, the shrimp cakes won’t be quite as airy. The beauty of the rice cakes is how all that air trapped in the puffed rice gives the shrimp cakes a lighter, more ethereal texture.

To make the crumbs, grind the rice cakes in a food processor or blender. Then, the shrimp and aromatics (I use a bracing mix of garlic, basil, cilantro and chiles) can be whirled together in the same container, no need to wash it first.

Chilling the batter for at least an hour (or overnight) makes it easier to form into cakes. And the fried cakes freeze reasonably well, although they won’t be as crisp after thawing. Running them under the broiler helps restore them.

I like to serve these with an herby, chile-flecked mayonnaise that’s sort of like a tartar sauce, but spicier. Then, I nibble them hot from the pan and dream of the beach.

Recipe: Crispy Shrimp Cakes With Chile-Lime Mayo

By Melissa Clark

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 3 to 5 large original or lightly salted rice cakes, or 6 to 10 thin cakes (see Tip)
  • 1 pound shelled large raw shrimp (20 to 24), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot (or use onion or scallion)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons chopped basil leaves, more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced jalapeño or red chile pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime
  • Safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil, for frying


1. In the bowl of the food processor (or you can use a blender), add the rice cakes and pulse until you get 1 1/4 cups rice cake crumbs. Return 1/4 cup crumbs to the food processor, reserving the remaining 1 cup for coating the cakes.

2. Add shrimp, shallot, 4 tablespoons each of the cilantro and basil, and 2 tablespoons jalapeño to the crumbs. Add 2 teaspoons fish sauce and a pinch each salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse, chunky paste. (Be careful not to overprocess; if using a blender, scrape down the sides frequently.) Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce (at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours).

3. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, remaining cilantro, basil, jalapeño and fish sauce. Zest the lime into the bowl, then cut the naked lime into wedges and squeeze in some juice. Salt to taste. Reserve extra lime wedges for serving.

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