The Latest from: Josh Nagel
If you’re in Nevada, the opportunity likely will come soon, but others are in for perhaps a prolonged wait.
Nearly one year has passed since Black Friday delivered a black eye to the poker world and, although the swelling might have subsided, the wound is still visible.
Being a little less greedy, and betting teams with medium-shot odds to win the Big Dance, is probably a better decision for enjoyment purposes and payout potential.
What’s more, I decided long ago to not let NBA referee stats become part of my menu – not even an appetizer – of options when it comes to handicapping a game.
So I picked up the phone and called the office number he freely gives out on Twitter, and Sheridan called me back the same day. I figured he could use the interview as something as a platform from which to answer his critics, and that observers – myself included – could draw their own conclusions.
Danny Sheridan is a man of many contradictions and claims. The contrasts are easy to pinpoint: he believes he’s an elite handicapper, but admittedly does not wager on sports. He likes a good game of craps, but thinks the stock market is a bad gamble. He says he does not care what his critics think, but in the same sentence, he asks for a reporter’s ideas to help silence them.
We had a printed guest list of approximately 300 people and, by the end of the night, there weren’t many names on it that hadn’t been checked off. In fact, at times it was standing-room only at the Munchbar near the sportsbook in Caesars Palace.
The idea of being a sports bettor and passing on the Super Bowl just isn’t right. It’s like working as a mechanic but taking the bus home – something’s wrong with this picture.
It’s a fascinating dichotomy – these are guys are world-class card players, master psychologists who could bluff you and I off top pair with millions at stake, but can’t seem to pick a winner if you handed them a box score.
Vaccaro said his first instinct was Saints -2 but knew there was no way he could hope to generate two-way action with this number, given the court of public opinion. So most books opened at New Orleans -3.5, and Vaccaro noted that some parlors already were dealing -4. That’s when he made the following statement that stuck with me:
My solution began with giving myself an allowance I call “funny money.” I let myself take the equivalent of one-half of a standard unit and put it on as many long shots as I please.
In the most fundamental sense, backing good teams is something of a sharp strategy. Moreover, sometimes the ignorance of the amateur bettor is bliss. In other words, sharp angles often come from a school of thought that might or might not be as significant as the cash tossed on the counter behind this theory suggests.
Underdog Sunday wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for Nevada sportsbooks, which usually savor the opportunity to land an uppercut to public bettors. Instead, they took a knockout blow from the sharps.
In that spirit, we bring you a bowls-only Lines That Make You Go Hmmm… with a look at games that likely will hinge on which team makes the most of its postseason opportunity and decides to at least win half the battle by showing up and giving you a sweat for your cash.
In this week’s Lines That Make You Go Hmmm … we’ll look at a handful of rematches taking place during conference championship weekend, and decide if there’s any value to be found in backing a team that has had a reversal of fortune since the first meeting.
On Black Friday, underdogs come to play, and their spirited efforts tend to come in bunches. Teams that have either underachieved or haven’t shown much suddenly look like BCS-bowl caliber clubs against their regional or conference rival.
Moreover, the climate of today’s college game gives oddsmakers more factors to consider than ever. Teams with an outside shot at the BCS picture such as Wisconsin have incentive to show no mercy on their opponents.
Penn State’s problems start with the legal issues facing a former longtime assistant coach, and the potential that Joe Paterno may soon lose his job because of the case. On the field, the Nittany Lions (8-1, 2-7) have struggled to find consistent quarterback play and score points.
If either Heinz or Staszko has the 2011 WSOP champion’s bracelet fitted on his wrist before ESPN’s cameras at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino, sportsbooks that offered futures and props on the event for the first time will walk away a winner.
We might as well cut straight to the Main Event. In what already is being promoted as the most important regular-season college football game of the decade, analyzing the factors on either side is enough to make your calculator explode.