Football! Football!! Football!!!

Red Rock Resort Las Vegas Sportsbook
Red Rock Sportsbook

Replace baseball with football in the TV screens above. RIP baseball.

Football season kicks off tonight with a host of college football games throughout the various ESPN, Fox and CBS TV networks. It’s an amazing time of year in Las Vegas and the excitement for the first games of the season rivals the excitement for the big games. More money is bet on football than any other sport and the crowds in the sportsbooks prove that.

Yesterday I was at the Red Rock Casino sportsbook and it was already more crowded than a normal Wednesday for baseball season. There were lines at 3pm with people placing bets and there were football sheets left around all over. The Red Rock sportsbook looked as if they’re expecting a large crowd tonight as they set up cocktail tables which are reserved only for the busiest times of the year.

While baseball is my favorite sport football is catching up the longer I live in Las Vegas and I can’t wait for football! It begins in just a few hours!

FOOTBALL!

FOOTBALL!!

FOOTBALL!!!

I’ll be watching the games somewhere tonight… 

Golf Is The Worst

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson

Betting on sports probably makes up the majority of my gaming. I usually play video poker, craps and blackjack when I’m in a casino but with apps from William Hill and Station Casinos (I don’t bet with Cantor Gaming) I can bet on sports anywhere and I do.

Baseball is my game of choice when I’m at the sportsbook. I’ve loved baseball for my whole life. I play multiple games a week, in part, because it’s nice having a little action while I’m watching the games. When football season gets here I’ll be playing college and pro and when the NBA season kicks off I’ll play that. All of these sports give me a major sport, that I enjoy, to wager on all year around.

I step outside of the sports that I like every now and again when there are major events that I know I’ll be reading about and be curious to watch. I’ll wager on March Madness, Daytona 500 and some of the major Golf tournaments throughout the year. This year I bet on Jason Day to win The Masters. He hung around for the entire tournament and forced me to watch the whole tournament before finally losing. I had a bet on Graeme McDowell to win The British Open and he was out before the first day was even over. Losing stinks but I was able to enjoy my weekend.

Last weekend, at the PGA Championship, I had Henrik Stenson (25-1) and he made me miserable. I couldn’t turn away from the tournament but I couldn’t watch it because I didn’t really care about anything but my bet. He was in and out of contention all weekend making me curious enough to stay near a TV so I could always keep an eye on the bet. The odds for most of these players are somewhere between 20-1 and 50-1 so there is potential to collect a nice win on the line.

I used to play golf pretty often but haven’t played in a while. At this rate I’m not sure I’ll pick up the sticks any time soon. The longer it is since the last time I played golf the less interested in watching the pro game I am. Still, I have a little curiosity about gambling on these tournaments because it’s nice to hit a relatively long shot regardless of my enjoyment watching the game.

Betting on golf can be awful because of that. If my player has an awful first day or two then I have no hope to win my bet. If the player does well I’m stuck watching. Wagering on golf a lose-lose proposition – especially because I can’t pick a winner.

Betting on golf can be great for some people who enjoy the game because you can spend 4 days in a sportsbook rooting for a $5 bet which may pay as much as $500. I’m not one of those people and I think I’m done betting on golf…until the next time I can bet on Jason Day at 20-1. Damn, I think I’m already back.

Photo: CBS 

Las Vegas 51’s Sold And May Move

Holly Madison Las Vegas 51's Baseball Game
Holly Madison

Baseball is my favorite sport. It’s the only organized sport I played growing up and the professional sport I attended most (Go Yankees!). Since I moved to Las Vegas I’ve wanted to get out to a Las Vegas 51’s game but have never made it. That will change this year since they’re now the New York Mets AAA affiliate and have some prospects I’d like to see play. After weeks of rumors the 51’s have officially been sold and may be moving down the street from me in the future.

The biggest new challenge for the new owners is to win public support for their proposal to move the 51s from 30-year-old Cashman Field near downtown Las Vegas to a new $65 million ballpark next to Red Rock Resort in Summerlin near Charleston Boulevard and the Las Vegas Beltway. The owners envision a ballpark called The Ballpark at Summerlin Centre with 8,000-9,000 seats on 16-20 acres to be donated by Howard Hughes Corp., which values the land donation at $40 million.

I think Cashman Field is a great location for the Las Vegas 51’s especially now that downtown Vegas is having such a large business and residential expansion. Unfortunately the stadium is an ancient 30 years old and something needs to be done. Few things in Las Vegas remain the same for that long. There, seemingly, hasn’t been anything done until now to provide a new stadium for the players or fans. It’s understandable since previous owners, who also own The D, had their focus elsewhere.

The 51’s aren’t much of a tourist attraction to Las Vegas but the team does provide an affordable alternative to seeing a show and a good excuse to go to downtown Vegas. Paid attendance was about 4,500 but fewer people actually went to the games. This won’t have a huge effect on business downtown but it will have an effect.

I’m 50/50 with the Las Vegas 51’s moving to my hood. I love baseball but don’t like the idea of giving families another excuse to clog things up in my corner of suburbia. The 51’s will probably move here and I’ll enjoy the games because I can.

photo: 1 blue jays way

William Hill MLB Props And More

One of the great things in sports betting right now is the innovation and expansion of wagering opportunities. William Hill has been very active and has released a slew of new betting options for the MLB season. They’ve been doing this for all sports and they also have a March Madness contest coming up. Check em out.

02.21.13 baseball most hrs

02.21.13 mlb regular season props

3NOut Release – 022813

02.21.13 baseball futures

“Trading Bases” Book Preview

I’m not much of a reader but last year I learned about a book coming out that’s right up my alley. “Trading Bases” by Joe Peta looks at baseball and betting from a more analytic point of view then you’ll find in most mainstream media. Here’s the synopsis of the book and its full title  “Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order)” from Amazon.

An ex-Wall Street trader improved on Moneyball’s famed sabermetrics to place bets that would beat the Vegas odds on Major League Baseball games–with a 41 percent return in his first year. Trading Bases explains how he did it.

After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That’s when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball–and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In Trading Bases, Peta shows how to subtract luck–in particular “cluster luck,” as he puts it–from a team’s statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball “hedge fund” returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011– with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for. Peta takes readers to the ballpark in San Francisco, trading floors and baseball bars in New York, and sports books in Vegas, all while tracing the progress of his wagers.

Far from writing a dry, do-it-yourself guidebook, Peta weaves a story that is often humorous, and occasionally touching; the topic may be “Big Data” but it’s as entertaining as a Bill Simmons column. Trading Bases is all about the love of critical reasoning, trading cultures, risk management, and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.

Towards the end of the baseball season last year I was introduced to Joe by mutual baseball lover and betting dork friend, Gill Alexander. The three of us grabbed a burger (this is when I discovered the awesome “Gold Standard” burger) at Holsteins at Cosmopolitan. After we grew tired of watching gamecasts on our phones we walked across the hall to watch the games at the sportsbook.

It was pretty awesome watching and talking baseball with such great baseball minds. Joe was kind enough to answer a few questions about “Trading Bases“.

What do you think readers will take away from the book?
If I’ve written it well enough, I hope they’ll realize there is a lot of overlap between those who apply sabermetric theory and those who trade stocks and those who bet on sports.  Each set of people, even though they might think they operate in a vaccum, could actually learn from the other groups as well.  Sabermetrics can help the bettor, Wall Street could learn a lot from the sabermetric community in terms of evaluating talent, baseball managers (and some GMs) could stand to learn a little game theory from traders and so on.  In the end, the book really celebrates critical reasoning, regardless of the pursuit.  But if the reader gets there without laughing, without reminiscing about the connection sports means to the relationship with their parents or children, or without smiling about the times he’s been in a sports bar or a casino with his buddies, then I didn’t write it well enough and that’s on me.

Explain the DIY guidebook that’s in the description for the book. 

I spend about six chapters at the beginning of the book describing how I came up with a model to bet baseball games on a daily basis.  Believe me, I knew how dangerous an undertaking that was  —  how many readers who pick up a book about golf would care how the clubs are made?  Yet, I figured I had to establish some credibility in terms of logic and critical reasoning with other gamblers and sports bettors who picked up the book.  So those chapters are filled with pop culture references, Wall Street and NFL analogies and in general try to make it read like a story instead of a data dump.  I’ve always thought that was the underrated strength of Bill James — his ability to weave stories around his data.  Between those chapters and a couple later in the book — which take up roughly a third of the pages — there is plenty of material in there for a would-be model builder to create his own model, with plenty of room for his own modifications.  I love what one early reviewer of the book said, however in discussing the DIY nature of the book, “The topic may be Big Data, but it reads like a Bill Simmons column.”

What are your favorite sportsbooks in Vegas to do bet games? watch games?

Boy, do I love watching sports with like-minded sports bettors in Vegas — doesn’t even matter if I know them well.  I view the experience like rating my favorite pizzas.  Even the ones that are bad – – – are still pretty good!  However, my favorite place to watch a slate of summer baseball games is at the Venitian sports book.  It’s a Cantor-run property so the aesthetics are great.  To top it off, it’s entrance is on the strip, next to a Walgreens so the ability to get in-game hydration is unparalleled   There is a noodle shop adjacent to the sportsbook and a Grimaldi’s Pizza shop upstarts in the Palazzo mall for take-out.  It’s simply perfect.

Honorable mention to the LVH Man Cave, especially if you use a car to get around.  And, as you know, if you have a group of guys coming from out of town, Legasse’s Stadium takes the sports bar experience to an entirely new level.  In general though, I avoided that location unless I wanted a restaurant experience.

As far as placing bets, any Cantor property, especially if you utilize their mobile technology along with the LVH and the Wynn give a baseball bettor access to three different dime lines.  Those three books captured the lion’s share of my handle last year.

I decided to do a preview of “Trading Bases” so that I can let you know about the book before the baseball season begins. I read slowly and I have no idea when I’ll finish the book to give it a proper review. If I get pressed for time I may just skip to the DIY Guidebook. Shhhh. 🙂

If you can’t wait for the book check out the Trading Bases blog where he just started going season previews.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

Play Ball! Not Slot Machines.

New York Mets Citi Field
Citi Field

Pitchers and catchers report to MLB spring training today! Baseball fans, like me, love this day. Not only does it signify that nice weather is around the corner but so is baseball season.

One of the newest baseball stadiums, Citi Field home to the New York Mets, was originally proposed to house a casino. Alas, that fell through.

The owners of the New York Mets reportedly wanted to take a gamble on owning a casino next to Citi Field, the home of their major league club.

Sterling Equities, the real estate company operated by Mets owner Fred Wilpon and family, pitched a casino adjacent to the major league stadium in September 2011 and offered the City of New York $100 million to acquire 62 acres for the site, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

It’s a shame that building a casino to go along with Citi Field fell through. It wouldn’t have been a full casino since casinos in New York City aren’t allowed to have table games yet.

This casino would just have slot machines and video poker but it would have combined two of my favorite things in the world baseball and casinos. It would give this Yankees fan an excuse to check out a new baseball stadium even if it meant sitting through the Muts.

There’s more on the potential of a Queens casino at the New York Post.

Photo waytenmom.blogspot.com

 

What’s Your Best Bet At The Sportsbook?

Earlier this week Dr. Dave Schwartz released a research paper on Sportbook income in Nevada. While there was little new, or surprising, information the data is always fun to look at.

Sportsbooks win the most money from betting on basketball and make the least from baseball. Here’s the data.

  1. Average casino win percentage on baseball since 1992: 3.01%
  2. Average casino win percentage on football since 1992: 4.53%
  3. Average casino win percentage on basketball since 1992: 4.69%

The baseball season is long and not very popular so it takes a back seat to the more popular sports in the sportsbook. That lack of focus on baseball leaves it vulnerable to smart bettors who have the patience and stamina for the entire season so that they can prey on bad lines.

This serves more as a reminder to me, but it’s a good excuse to not slack on that baseball research. There’s much more information on sportsbooks in Nevada on the full report. I’ll be pulling the items I find most interesting and sharing them throughout the week.

Football: Don’t Forget The Situation

I’ve noticed that the situation (not the guy above) is playing a larger role in football betting than ever before. This may not be anything new but I’m noticing it more often now.

Baseball is my number one love in life and baseball is probably my favorite sport to bet on. That’s followed by the NBA. I think I like the grind of the long seasons. Football (college & pro) betting stresses me out because most of the games are on the same day and it falls 3rd on sports I like to wager on.

That said, I may still enjoy the football season more as a fan. Strange, I know. Here are some examples of the situation playing a role in football winners and losers:

  • Home teams on night football games. This is something that goes back to Monday Night Football when I was growing up and carries over to Saturday Night college football games along with Thursday & Sunday night NFL game.
  • NFL non-conference road games. These games matter less to better NFL teams because they weigh a little less in playoff tie-breakers. Teams can be ripe for an upset or not to cover the spread when playing in this situation.
  • Look-ahead games. This is similar to the example above, but seems to effect colleges more. Last week’s USC loss to Arizona may have been because they were looking ahead to a bigger game this weekend against Oregon.

There are more examples of situations playing a role in football betting and I’m noticing myself looking at the schedule more than ever to see if there are games that are a place where a team may not have their head in the game.

This may not be anything new to experienced sports bettors, but it is relatively new to me. I’d rather the games be more about data like baseball and basketball but it seems the mental part of football is a bigger part of the game than ever and it’s something to pay attention to.

Even if it’s nothing especially new, I figured I’d share my revelation. If you know of other situations we should look out for leave a comment below or tweet me and I’ll pass it on.

photo: VH1

Phillies Now 60-1 To Win World Series at Caesars

There’s been a lot of movement since Sunday’s bets on the Phillies to win the World Series.

Here’s a refresher in case you missed the previous article. On Sunday a friend and I each bet $20 on a futures bet for the Phillies to win the World Series at 1,000-1. As I shared, he bet first and after contemplating the wager I ran to the Planet Hollywood (owned by Caesars) sportsbook to place my bet before the odds changed.

I was half joking when I said that our two $20 wagers would move the line. This morning a friend asked me to place two more wagers for him. These were $30. Again, not big bets just more fun bets.

At the time Rio (also owned by Caesars) was 200-1. At 7pm on Tuesday night the line was down to 60-1 at Caesars properties. The line was 150-1 at MGM properties and at sportsbook.ag.

I’m not sure our hundred dollars of bets really moved the line, but it’s possible and this bet has already been more fun than any baseball bets I’ve made all year. At the same time, the Brewers were 500-1 to win the World Series on Sunday at Planet Hollywood and still there this morning at Rio.

With both teams winning last night, I have to imagine both the Phillies and Brewers will get continue to get money bet on them. The Brewers odds went from 500-1 to 250-1 to win it all and should continue to fall, while the Phillies will probably get less money and settle at 60-1.

I’m obsessed with this bet. If you follow me on twitter you know this. #GoPhils

Phillies at 1,000-1!

If you follow me on this blog or anywhere else you’ll know that I’m a Yankees fan and like to bet on sports. I’m also a Jets fan, but that’s not important right now.

Even though I live in Las Vegas I’m not a professional gambler. Nor do I want to be a professional gambler. I’m asked whether I am or not on twitter much more than I should be on twitter.

I had friends in town from the east coast this weekend and after showing them around downtown Vegas on Saturday we watched football on the strip at Planet Hollywood where they were staying. We love Blondies and had to try Flavor Flav’s fried chicken. (See thoughts on Flav’s chicken at Vegas Chatter.)

While I’m not a professional gambler I’m a little more educated on gambling gaming than your average Joe. I’ve been writing about and researching gaming for a few years. I’d like to think I’ve learned something over that time. Still, I gamble for fun…not for a pay check. Of course I want to win, but that’s not going to happen all the time.

Baseball is my favorite sport so I think I know “value” when I see it. While cashing a football ticket at Planet Hollywood my friend saw the Phillies at 1,000-1 odds to win the World Series. He and another friend dropped a $20 on that bet. Hey, it pays $20,000 if they win. Why not?

I took a few minutes before doing anything on my own. The Phillies were 6 games out of a playoff spot but had a game in hand on the Brewers who were only 500-1. Both teams were .5 games aparts by record and Phillies have a better pitching staff while the Brewers have better hitting. If they’re equal on so many levels why are the Brewers offered at half the price? I see the value on the Phillies relative to the Brewers and other long shots.

The playoffs are about pitching, so if the Phillies remain the hot team and somehow make it to the playoffs they have a better chance to advance than the Brewers, if they even make it. Momentum is great in the playoffs. Dropping $20 on the Phillies sounds like a more interesting spend of $20 than playing 6/5 Bonus Poker at the bar.

After contemplating their current record and future schedule I ran to the sportsbook at Planet Hollywood. My friends big bets didn’t move the odds yet (I’m half joking) so I decided to join them with a $20 bet on the Phillies to win the World Series.

I know this isn’t a large bet, but for me it’s an S&G (shits n giggles) bet that has a pretty sweet payout of $20,000. There’s definitely some value in that 1,000-1 number compared to the other long shots and this will make the last couple weeks of the baseball season worth watching a little more.

MLB App

In fact, tonight I went a little crazy with baseball. I was flipping between the MLB app, MLB TV and the Fox Sports to check on the following games.

  • Marlins at Phillies
  • Cardinals at Padres
  • Pirates at Reds
  • Braves at Brewers

It was a pretty intense situation tonight and everything fell right on the first night having this bet in place.

Gambling isn’t always about the money at stake for me, it’s about the win. I like to win. While the risk of here is small, the payoff is huge. I don’t need betting on baseball to keep me interested in the game while footballseason kicks off, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!

This will be fun regardless if I win $20k or lose $20. For the next few weeks,

#GoYanks!
#GoPhils!

…also #GoJets while we’re at it.