The Venetian Anchor Bar NFL Specials

Anchor Bar at The Venetian
Anchor Bar at The Venetian

Earlier this summer Anchor Bar, “Home of the Original Buffalo Wings, opened a Vegas location at the Grand Canal Shops food court at The Venetian.

The wings aren’t the cheapest in Vegas but they’re fairly priced and probably the best I’ve had in Vegas. The menu is huge and offers a wide variety of Buffalo’d foods. (You can see the full review on Vegas Chatter while it’s still live.)

When I visited Anchor Bar in June I didn’t notice that they had 2 TV’s to the left side of the bar because they were turned off. You can see a picture of the screens here. During NFL Sunday’s these TV’s will be showing NFL games. One TV will always be dedicated to the home town Buffalo Bills.

Anchor Bar will offering specials if you want to eat some wings with a side of Bills football. I don’t like missing NFL action so I’d probably wait for the 1pm games since there are usually only 3 or 4 games at once. Here are the specials available on NFL Sunday:

Anchor Bar is offering a limited number of special “Hot Seat” packages during the game of your choice – from kickoff to the last play – for $100:
·         Guaranteed front row Anchor Bar seat for the game of your choice (there are less than 10 seats)
·         Double Wing Combo
·         Unlimited Genesee or PBR
·         20% all other purchases during the game
·         A free wing sauce pack during Buffalo Bills game if they win!

Football lovers can also enjoy a special game day menu with –
·         Mini Beef on Weck, Wings & a Beer $16
·         Single Wing Combo & a 16 oz. Beer $19
·         Two Commemorative Flask 64oz Beers & Double Wing Combo $90
·         Single Wing Combo & 40oz. Cocktail $30
·         Double Wing Combo & Two 16oz Beers $36
·         Four Quarters & Four Shots $20
·         Bucket of Four 24oz Beers (PBR or Genesee) $25
·         Wing Head Hat Special – Commemorative Wing Head hat filled with 20 Wings $45

2016 NFL Super Bowl Futures (Yes, Next Year)

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2016 NFL Super Bowl Betting Odds

William Hill is not messing around. They’ve already released NFL Super Bowl futures odds for 2016. Yes, next year.

These will surely change but I figure that I’d share them now to give you something to read in between playoff games.

(As of 1/18/2015)
SEAHAWKS 5/1
PATRIOTS 6/1
PACKERS 6/1
COWBOYS 10/1
COLTS 12/1
BRONCOS 12/1
49ERS 18/1
STEELERS 20/1
EAGLES 20/1
LIONS 22/1
SAINTS 25/1
BENGALS 25/1
CARDINALS 30/1
CHIEFS 30/1
RAVENS 30/1
CHARGERS 40/1
PANTHERS 40/1
GIANTS 40/1
TEXANS 50/1
FALCONS 50/1
DOLPHINS 50/1
BEARS 50/1
BILLS 60/1
RAMS 60/1
VIKINGS 60/1
BROWNS 75/1
REDSKINS 100/1
JETS 100/1
BUCCANEERS 150/1
TITANS 250/1
RAIDERS 250/1
JAGUARS 250/1

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)

Sportsbooks In Vegas Crush The Public In Week 1 Of The NFL Season

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NFL

Casinos in Vegas have sportsbooks because they make money. Sportsbooks did great business in the first week of the NFL season. Underdogs were 10-3 against the spread (!) and 7-6 straight up in the first week of the NFL season.

Underdogs winning almost always favors the casino. While there are more educated sports bettors they still make up the minority of sports bettors.

From Linemakers:

“This was the best opening day we’ve ever had here,” said Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller. ”Just about every game we needed came through for us beginning with our biggest, the Falcons, and then the rest just followed suit like the Browns, Dolphins and then the Panthers. It wasn’t a good day for those that bet parlays.”

Note, it’s never a good day for parlay bettors. Casinos win over 35% of parlay wagers.

From Vegas Insider:

Wins by the Miami Dolphins (33-20 vs. the New England Patriots), the Atlanta Falcons (37-34 in overtime vs. the New Orleans Saints) and Buffalo Bills (23-20 in OT at the Chicago Bears) as dogs set the tone for a great day, according to Jay Kornegay, the (WestgateSuperBook’s Vice President of Race & Sports Operations.

From Covers:

Carolina was the biggest win for us, beating the Bucs,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, tells Covers. “That, then the Bills and the Bears tied for second. A short third was the Falcons beating the Saints.”

This sounds like a big win for the sportsbook operators but it could have been bigger. The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped out to a 17 point lead against the Philadelphia Eagles, who were favored by 10 or 10.5 only to lose by 17. Thankfully I teased this game to 17.5.

The first week of the NFL season was fun to watch and fun to bet. There was too much early game action for me to consider heading out to a sportsbook to watch. I had a single wager on the Tennessee Titans, a 7 team tease and my first two daily fantasy football games (more on this later) to track. I couldn’t handle tracking this much action in a public setting.

On to the next one…

Best Sportsbooks In Las Vegas

It’s time for my semi-annual update of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas. There hasn’t been much change since the last time I detailed my favorite Vegas sportsbooks. Here are some things to note with my rankings:

  • I’m mostly concerned with great TV screens and comfortable seating.
  • Since I bet mostly via apps I don’t concern myself too much with finding drink tickets. Besides, they’re usually only good for a well drink, Bud, Miller or Coors. Bleh.
  • I care about access to charging my mobile phone.
  • Drink service is important as is access to grabbing a quick bite.
  • I like a clean environment. I don’t want to itch when I walk in or out of a casino.

1. The Venetian

Venetian Las Vegas Sportsbook
Venetian Sportsbook

Without a doubt there are no better TV screens at any sportsbook in Las Vegas than The Venetian. The combination of crisp color of the TV’s and the dark ceiling and perfect lighting make this almost like going to a movie theater. The seating is the same as every CG Technology (Cantor) sportsbook. The ugly red work desks don’t really matter since you’re watching the games. The chairs are comfortable office chairs. Each betting station has an outlet so you can charge your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Even though the staff isn’t always nice there isn’t a better sportsbook to watch the games.

2. The Mirage

The Mirage Las Vegas Sportsbook
The Mirage Sportsbook

The Mirage was the Mecca of sports betting in the 70’s and 80’s 90’s but had fallen into disrepair until a couple of years ago. The space remains as one of the largest sportsbooks in Vegas but there is now a huge TV screen that takes up the entire wall and plenty of lounge chairs. They even installed some interactive tables that will come in handy for drink service and more (see article on Vegas Chatter). The sportsbook is open to the casino so the lighting isn’t as good as The Venetian but it doesn’t hamper visibility. It’s great to see this classic sportsbook restored to its glory.

3. MGM Grand

MGM Grand Las Vegas Sportsbook
MGM Grand Sportsbook

I’ve come around on this sportsbook. I don’t really like MGM Grand because it’s huge and has way too many kids for Vegas. That said, the sportsbook here is large with many upgraded seats. It’s easy to watch games here since there are so many large screens. With its proximity to TAP sports bar (review on Vegas Chatter) and the Sigma Derby game make it a great location. Pro-Tip don’t use the restroom near the buffet. Instead head toward the Sigma Derby game to relieve yourself without the leftovers from someone’s buffet.

4. Red Rock Resort

Red Rock Resort Las Vegas Sportsbook
Red Rock Sportsbook

This is my local sportsbook so I may be partial. The space is huge with seating for hundreds. The three main screens are massive and change size depending on how many games are on. The downside is that they’re older and could use updating. I’ve been to many of the sportsbooks off the Vegas Strip and no other sportsbook matches the intensity of when there are football games being shown here. Additionally, drink service is quick and they do offer drink tickets.

Notable omissions:

1. Lagasse’s Stadium (The Palazzo)

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

2 years ago Lagasse’s Stadium was the benchmark for a great sportsbook. What’s happened? Poor service (which matters a lot since it’s a restaurant) and the same screens from when they opened. It’s still a good sportsbook when it’s not busy but there are now issues during large events and NFL games. 1) Seating is limited and reservations no longer secure space needed for large parties. 2) Mediocre restaurant service 3) Table minimums around $50 per person for most Sunday’s.

2. Westgate (LVH, Hilton, International) Superbook

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH – Westgate SuperBook

SuperBook has the best linemakers in Las Vegas. There’s no questioning that. Even though they don’t allow smoking in the sportsbook it feels like they do. Sitting at this sportsbook is not fun. The sportsbook smells bad and the air makes me itch. I’ll revisit after they complete the pending renovations. Maybe they’ll add a working air filter and new carpet.

Johhny Manziel Living The Dream In Vegas. And Rolling Bills In The Restroom

Johnny Football Being Johnny Football
Johnny Football Being Johnny Football

Johnny Football is living the dream. Fresh out of college the 1st round NFL draft pick by the Cleveland Browns is visiting anywhere that will offer him a good time. Johnny Football’s destination on July 4th weekend was Las Vegas. HOLLA.

You might remember that Johnny Manziel visited Las Vegas when he turned 21.

John Football stayed at a suite at the Hard Rock (where he may have played 6:5 blackjack again), dined at STK at the Cosmopolitan and partied at XS at Wynn according to Norm Clarke.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that. The only questionable thing he did was get caught on camera in a public men’s room somewhere rolling a dollar bill. There are a lot of things Johnny Football could have been doing with a rolled dollar bill and none of them should be for public consumption.

As a public figure and possible NFL starting quarterback you’d think Johnny Manziel would be smarter than be caught in public doing questionable activity. We all do (or did) questionable things in Las Vegas when we were 21. Johnny Football, you do you. Viva Las Vegas!

PS: Go Jets!

Photo: Busted Coverage and the whole internet

Surprise! ESPN Analysts Aren’t Actual Analysts

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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