Blondies At Planet Hollywood Is Still A Great Bar For NFL Games

Blondies at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Blondies at Planet Hollywood

There are a lot of great places to watch NFL games in Vegas today. It wasn’t always that way and it feels like forever since I first started going to Blondies at Planet Hollywood to watch NFL games on a Sunday. Blondies is tucked away in the back of the Miracle Mile Shops and even though it’s always packed for NFL games it seems as if people still don’t know that it exists.

Blondies is an old school sports bar with booze, food, beer pong and lots of TV’s. Blondies isn’t a sportsbook so you’ll have walk about 2 minutes into the Planet Hollywood casino to make a bet if you don’t have an app on your mobile phone.

Blondies has become so popular in the past couple of years that they’ve started charging table minimums for watching games on busy days (like NFL Sunday). You can reserve a table for however many you want for the different time frames of games. There are different costs for different events.

We had to make a $100 deposit to reserve for a table for 4 people to watch the 10am games. The $100 deposit would come off of our bill. Four people eating and drinking $100 over a 3 hour period isn’t much of a challenge so the table minimum isn’t a big deal.

Having a guaranteed seat to watch all of the games with food and drink service is much more appealing to me than waking up early and squatting at a sports book. 

The food is fine but not great. The waitress service is on point and there are lots of football fans wearing jersey’s and cheering for their favorite teams. Most importantly there more TV’s than may be necessary. There are so many TV’s that they have extras to show stuff like international soccer while football is going on. The ability to reserve a table might be the best feature.

Watching the games at Blondies almost feels like you’re not on the Vegas Strip. There’s a hometown bar feel. You might notice flags for all Philadelphia teams to the left in the picture. If you’re looking for a sports bar where you can guarantee your seat so you can eat and drink while your watch the games after you place your bets Blondies is a great option.

Monday Night Football Inspired Menu At Lagasse’s Stadium

Lagasse's Stadium Sportsbook And Restaurant At Palazzo Las Vegas
Lagasse’s Stadium

Every Monday Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo will offer a dish that was inspired by each team playing Monday Night Football. I’m not sure why but I find this fun and amusing.

Lagasse’s Stadium is no longer a sportsbook that I’d visit on an NFL Sunday or when there are big events like March Madness but it’s good for a stand alone football game. Here are my current favorite sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

The food at Lagasse’s Stadium is good and the atmosphere is comfortable with plenty of couch seating available. When it’s not too crazy the service is still good. The menu for each game is below. The chef must think that all Jets fans are Italian.

September 15
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts
Philly Cheese Steak & French Fries ($17)/Breaded Pork Loin Sandwich & French Fries ($14)

September 22
Chicago Bears at New York Jets
Chicago Dog & French Fries ($10)/Meatball Sub & French Fries ($12)

September 29
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
Lobster Sliders ($17)/Burnt Ends & BBQ Sauce ($15)

October 6
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins
Fresh Shucked Oysters with Champagne Mignonette ($18)
Grilled Pork Loin on Smoked Ham Black Bean Chili, Green Onion Rice ($20)

October 13
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
Cioppino ($24)/Deep Fried Three Cheese Ravioli & Marinara Sauce ($13)

October 20
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers
BBQ Brisket Sandwich & French Fries ($15)/Primanti Brothers Italian Style Sandwich & French fries ($14)

October 27
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Grilled Pork Loin on Bacon & Beer Braised Cabbage with Creole Mustard Sauce ($20)
Chicken Fried Steak Dinner ($16)

November 3
Indianapolis Colts at NY Giants
Breaded Pork Loin Sandwich & French Fries ($14)/ Manhattan Clam Chowder ($7)

November 10
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles
Carolina Style Pulled Pork Sandwich & French Fries ($14)/Philly Cheese Steak Pizza ($19)

November 17
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
Turkey BLT Primanti Brothers Style Sandwich ($13)
1Ž2 Rack of Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce Glazed Pork Ribs with Corn Bread ($13)

November 24
Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Crab Cakes ($15)/ Turkey Po-Boy & Sweet Potato Fries ($16)

December 1
Miami Dolphins at NY Jets
Fish & Shrimp Ceviche ($15)/Shrimp Scampi & Linguini ($24)

December 8
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
Fried Chicken & Waffle ($15)/Bacon Potato & Cheese Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowl ($10)

December 15
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Shrimp & Chicken Gumbo ($10)/Italian Beef Sandwich with Giardiniera & French Fries ($17)

December 22
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
Lamb Sirloin Sandwich & French Fries ($16)/Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti ($16)

LVH SuperBook Set For Renovations

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH Westgate SuperBook

In case you didn’t hear the news, LVH was sold last week to Westgate. LVH is no longer but the SuperBook will continue and become better than ever!

he (Westgate CEO, David Seagel) vows to make Las Vegas’ largest race and sports book the best in the market with new video screens and other comforts.

This is great new for a legendary sportsbook. I’ve never been a fan of the Hilton or LVH sportsbook because it’s old and makes me feel dirty. That said I think I’ll like the newly renovated Westgate SuperBook when the work is done.

There are no dates for renovations but don’t expect anything before football season later this year or March Madness next year.

UPDATE: Since you’ve asked, SuperContest will not be affected by the sale of LVH to Westgate.

Free $25 Bet When You Sign Up For Station Casinos Sports Betting Account

Sports Connection App From Station Casinos
Station Casinos App

I was bouncing around my Station Casinos App (Vegas Chatter review here, the app is great) and noticed a promotion for a free $25 sports bet when you sign up for a Sports Connection mobile sports betting account. I don’t love the lines and point spreads from Station Casinos (especially for baseball) but I do like how the app connects with the Boarding Pass players club. Sue me, I like that can get some extra players club points from my sports betting. Those “free” cups of Starbucks are nice.

Since you only have to deposit $50 in the account to get this bonus you’re looking at a pretty sweet deal. I wish they had this kind of incentive when I first signed up. If you’re not looking to make Station Casinos one of your regular sports betting outlets in Vegas then this sounds like a good way to grab a free swing at a college or pro football futures bet.

Surprise! ESPN Analysts Aren’t Actual Analysts

NFL Logo
NFL

ESPN on-air talent is mostly made up of former players disguised as analysts and communications majors as the play-by-play or “straight guy”. To be fair most sports on television is set up like this. Players are trusted by the general public to offer an educated opinion based on their experience. That’s a fallacy. The Linemakers shed light on this after analyzing ESPN’s analysis of the NFL schedule earlier this week.

ESPN asked each of the 32 team experts for their predictions of the regular-season records for the teams they cover. ESPN admits the predictions were made independently of other experts, and that’s great, because we want to see what each of these “experts” honestly and independently think without consulting with their cohorts around the league.

Still …. with 32 teams playing 16 games, there are a total of 256 games. Thus, there are 256 winners and 256 losers (ties aside). So when these reporters predicted the regular-season records, we should see exactly 256 winners and 256 losers. But of course, that isn’t what happened.

When the 32 “experts” predicted the each team’s 2014 record after seeing the NFL schedule released on Wednesday:

— There were 290 “wins” and only 222 “losses”

— Only five teams were projected to finish sub-.500: the Redskins (7-9), Bills (7-9), Jaguars (7-9), Browns (6-10) and Raiders (5-11)

–13 teams were projected to record double-digit wins

For comparison, over the last three years, an average of 14 teams per year finished sub-.500.

Furthermore, projecting 290 wins equates to 9.1 wins per team. Essentially, on average, these “experts” project the average team will be BETTER than 9-7! Again, ludicrous and impossible.

I’m not going to bash ESPN because they’re an entertainment network more than a place for analysis. In fact, most of what you see on TV is for mainstream entertainment. It’s a shame that we need to police what’s on TV but it’s great that people like Warren Sharp can analyze this information and share the truth.

Without getting too preachy, it’s important to be aware of what the mainstream media passes of as fact if you bet on sports – especially football. Football is the most popular sport on TV and most popular sport to bet on. The general betting public listens to these talking heads and bets based on this information. While some of the information shared by the talking heads on TV may be true it’s not all true and it’s not all based on fact.

Knowing when false information is being shared on TV is helpful. Use that information to your advantage when betting. There’s a place for mainstream information and a place for analytical information. When combined you have a powerful combination. You can see that by the podcasts I listen to.

Johnny Football Turns 21, Goes Low Rollin At Hard Rock In Vegas

Johnny Manziel Playing Blackjack At Hard Rock Las Vegas
Johnny Manziel Playing Blackjack

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel turned 21 on Friday and like any famous person he went to Las Vegas to celebrate. Can’t argue with that! He hung out at the Hard Rock like many bro’s visiting Vegas. You may remember that Johnny Football is no stranger to casinos.

Now that he’s of age, Johnny Football bro’d down with a little blackjack. Even though he may be the son of a rich man he wasn’t showing it. He was playing $10 blackjack like a normal college bro. All blackjack at Hard Rock pays 6:5. Not the best choice. Johnny Football (and the honey badger) don’t care about payouts.

Johnny Football is already a spoiled rich kid and will become a his own rich man when he enters the NFL draft next year. Maybe he’ll step his game up to compete with Charles Barkley levels of gambling when he has his own money.

Photo – TMZ Sports

Update: A source says that John Football did not step into the sportsbook all weekend.

Prepare For The NFL Season With Player Values

Peyton Manning Broncos
Peyton Manning Broncos

The NFL season starts in about 9 hours with the Baltimore Ravens playing the Denver Broncos. To say I’m stoked is an understatement. I was so ready to get ready for the season that I wrote about 9 great resources for betting football a few weeks ago on Vegas Chatter.

Do what I say not what I do. As much as I wanted to prepare for the season I haven’t studied a lick about the NFL. I’m going in fairly blind and I hate that. I’ll just ease into the season with some (very) light action.

While making the rounds on twitter the other day I found an article on Grantland detailing how the smart guys in Las Vegas value NFL players. This is information that you won’t typically find in the mainstream media.

Quarterbacks

Peyton Manning: 7 points
Tom Brady: 6.5 points
Aaron Rodgers: 6 points
Drew Brees: 6 points

Non-Quarterbacks

Adrian Peterson: 2.5 points
Calvin Johnson: 1.5 points
C.J. Spiller: 1.5 points
Arian Foster: 1.5 points
Jamaal Charles: 1.5 points

I look at this point value list as something similar to a gamblers individual football game version of WAR in baseball. The complete list is much longer for each group in the Grantland article. Knowing the approximate value of players to other gamblers allows you to adjust to any spread if/when one of these guys gets hurt. You may or may not agree with the numbers but it’s a good baseline to work from.

This article is written by RJ Bell from Pregame.com who recently started writing for Grantland. RJ knows a lot of sports bettors in Las Vegas and has a lot of betting specific information to share. RJ’s column seems like it will have some useful information if you’re looking for another resource to prepare for the NFL week. If you don’t need another 5 minute read follow @RJinVegas.

Photo: CBS 

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… 

LVH SuperContest Weekend

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH SuperBook

Just like that….LVH SuperContest Weekend has come and gone. The LVH SuperContest is the largest most known football contest in Las Vegas (there are many). Its $1,500 entry fee makes it worth paying attention to, in part because of the huge prize pool. This year LVH is estimating that there will be over $1 million in prizes given away with the winner taking home over $200,000. Not too shabby!

I don’t play in the SuperContest because I don’t feel like spend enough time handicapping football to I’m not confident that I can win the contest. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying a little bit of SuperContest Weekend. It’s nice to see some of the serious sports bettors that I already know and meet new sports bettors.

I only attend the seminars with the pro sports handicappers discussing their thoughts on the upcoming football seasons (college and pro). I figure that I’d learn a little bit in between beers and chit-chat. Here are my notes from the college football panel.

Because of the $1,500 buy-in and huge prizes there is a lot of interest to be a part of the SuperContest from people all over the country. You can still take part of the SuperContest even if you don’t live in Las Vegas with a proxy service. Vegas Matty, who operates FootballContestProxy.com and the recently launched FootballContest.com, explains: 

“The proxy was put in place by the LVH to allow out-of-state contestants – and those others who can’t physically make it to the SuperBook on a weekly basis – to participate in the greatest football contest in the world. The SuperContest requires picks to be submitted in person, so that requirement would obviously prevent most of an ever-growing field from entering if they could not use a proxy.

“In fact, most of my new clients tell me they would have entered previously but did not know they could use a proxy to submit picks for them.  I definitely believe the growth of the SuperContest is not just directly tied to the exposure created by guys like Chad Millman and Bill Simmons (from ESPN) and marketing genius of Jay Kornegay, who have all contributed greatly to its success.  In my opinion, the realization that contestants don’t need to live in Las Vegas and can use a proxy instead has also had a significant impact on the SuperContest’s spike up the last few years.”

For full disclosure Vegas Matty was one of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas because we have many shared interests. He’s a good follow on twitter if you like football or MMA.

The LVH SuperContest is growing every year which, in turn, makes it more difficult to win because of increased competition. If you like winning the time to sign up for the SuperContest is now. Likewise, if you like big jackpots hold out and prepare for next year. Since 100% of the money is returned to players prizes will only keep increasing.

Tweet @Vegas_Matty

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