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Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Blog, Las Vegas, Sports Betting | 1 comment

The Worst Bad Beat in College Football History?

 

Sports Betting

 

The onslaught of a”bad beat” in sports betting has a unique sound and feel all its own.  Think of an approaching freight train.  Recall the suspense of a slasher movie.  Imagine the instant right before an explosion.

I’ve heard this sound of terror many times.

Last night, Marieta and I sat down to a cozy post-holiday dinner at The Orleans.  There’s a weeknight steak and lobster special for $7.11 going on at the cafe all this month.  For those unfamiliar the layout inside The Orleans, the cafe is located on the casino floor, right next to the race and sportsbook.  The place was packed.

I had the perfect plan.  Enjoy dinner.  Then, go cash my winning sports ticket.  A hearty meal always tastes better with a winner tucked inside your pocket.  Indeed, I had about as conceivable a “lock” as there was.  I was so confident, that I considered ordering two steak and lobster specials.  Why not?  $7.11 twice was $14.22 — good for two steaks and two lobsters.

Then, I heard the rumblings of that horrible sound.  It was the freight train, the horror scene, and the final ticks before an imminent explosion.

Truly one of those “Oh my God,” moments.

But wait.  How did this moment of paralysis come to be?  Why would hundreds of sports betters, as well as thousands of gamblers out on the massive casino floor suddenly be making such an odd collective sound?  They couldn’t possibly be watching the same game I had bet on, could they?  After all, my bet was a “lock.”  It couldn’t possible lose.

Right?

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Sports Betting | 1 comment

Can Someone Please Bitch-Slap This Man for Me?

 

 

Warning:  Excessive profanity follows

 

I’m having difficulty breathing right now.

I just got finished watching a giant ass fuck of a college football game, which was Miami playing against Virginia.  I have Virginia -1 as my biggest bet of the day (insert favorite punchline here).  The Cavaliers have been a money burner for me for a decade.  But all the stars lined up in this game for an easy cover.

Of course, things don’t always turn out as we hoped or planned.

Virginia is basically within a touchdown but behind the entire second half.  The Cavaliers drive down the field in the closing seconds and have the ball deep in Miami territory — second and goal with just enough time left to run two plays.

Fortunately, Virginia scores a touchdown and goes up 41-40.

Great for me, right?  Easy cover.  I’ve got the bastards at -1 and surely they will now tag on an easy extra point and go up by a score of 42-20, thus covering the spread by one point.

But no.

The ass clown head coach of Virginia decides to go for a TWO-POINT CONVERSION?

Why?

I mean, what the fuck!  There are THREE seconds left in the goddamned game.  All they need to do is kick the routine extra point, then squib kick the ball on the kickoff.  GAME OVER.  What’s the purpose of going for TWO POINTS when you basically have the game already won?

I was standing in front of the television inside the Harvey’s Lake Tahoe sportsbook along with several other Virginia backers.  There was almost a riot.

Of course, things could have been worse and much more ugly.  Had I actually been at that ballgame in person, I probably would have barged out of the stands and charged onto the field after the game.  They would have led me away in handcuffs.

Why in the fuck would this joker go for two points, when there’s NO WAY! Miami can come back and possibly kick a field goal with just seconds left?  Moreover, isn’t the chance of a turnover/runback greater on a full-fledged offensive play from scrimmage?  If anything, the jackass head coach of Virginia is RISKING the game by going for two.

KICK THE FUCKING EXTRA POINT!  MORON!

If someone in Virginia can go to the campus and give Mike London an open-hand bitch-slap across his left jaw, I will gladly pay $20.  In cold hard cash.  Please send video for verification.

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Throwing Sports Bettors Under the Bus

Las Vegas Sportsbook Photo

 

Yesterday, sports bettors got a rude awakening.  They weren’t just thrown under the proverbial bus.  They were mauled by a 16-wheeler of steel-belted radials encrusted with heavy snow chains.  Then, the bus cranked into reverse and the helpless collective known as the “American sports bettor” was flattened again.

In case you missed the news, sports gambling faced its own “vice squad-lite” version of so-called “Black Friday,” when authorities in New York went after several agents alleged to be involved in offshore sports gambling.  The net of dozens of arrests stretched all the way from the East Coast to Las Vegas, and even entangled Cantor’s head of sports wagering.

My reaction to yesterday’s news wasn’t so much one of surprise, but rather mild curiosity as to why it took law enforcement so long to clamp down on a blatantly conspicuous activity that’s unequivocally forbidden in most localities and states, as well as outlawed nationally by the infamous 1961 Wire Act.

A few years ago, I penned an editorial for Bluff magazine on the odd and uneasy connection between two gambling sectors — poker and sports wagering — when it comes to fighting for legalization.  Given the renewed timeliness of this issue, I thought it might be a good day to revisit this subject.

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Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Nolan Dalla — Updating My NFL Halftime Betting Angles

 

Nolan Dalla

After a Buffalo Bills game in 1998

 

AN UPDATE (ENTERING 2012 REGULAR SEASON):

In 2001, I spent the entire summer creating my halftime betting angles, which could be applied across the board to all NFL regular season and playoff games.

I released these betting angles at a major sports betting information website.  The angles were later re-printed numerous times in several other betting forums and publications.

These seven betting angles hit in the 53-60 percent rate over two decades.  They actually performed even better after their public release — hitting around 62 percent in both 2001 and 2002.  There were about 4 to 5 plays per week, so not only were these angles extremely profitable, they also produced a fair amount of volume.  Best of all, these was absolutely no handicapping involved.

The downside to releasing and popularizing these halftime betting angles is many football bettors gradually caught on to them.  They began to lose value as heavy money poured in every time there was a play.  Opening halftime lines began changing.  Totals moved by a point, or move.  For instance, we never used to see anything below a 17 as a second-half total.  Now, 16s are commonplace.

Over the course of the next few seasons (2003 and beyond), the sportsbooks/oddsmakers caught on to these angles and began adjusting their numbers so much that betting these angles blindly was no longer profitable.

Moreover, two trends in recent years have severely hurt the angles.  First, NFL rule changes tend to favor offenses which creates more scoring.  Second, NFL quarterback play is now at its all-time historic pinnacle, which kills opportunities to bet second-half UNDERS.

Unlike what I first released ten years ago, I do not have confidence that all of these angles will produce a profit.  However, I am posting them here for consideration if anyone wants to tinker with them, try and refine them, or run the W-L results since 2005.  Some bettors have told me that some of these angles (mostly the OVERS) are still profitable.  But I have not run the actual the data.  So, tread with caution.

You will please forgive one disclaimer.  I put in a massive number of hours doing research coming up with these angles.  Over the years, many writers and fellow football handicappers have purged them without proper attribution.  All I ask is to be credited with doing the research.  I think that’s fair.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — MAY BE REPRINTED ONLY IF AUTHOR IS CREDITED

 

PART 1: GENERAL THOUGHTS

Just as there are “key” numbers is side betting and game totals, there are also key numbers in second-half totals.  The key numbers are as follows: 17, 20, and 24.

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Hell on Earth: The MGM Grand (Las Vegas)

 

MGM Grand exterior hero shot

 

PREFACE:  This is a difficult blog to write.

Each and every week, I receive a text-message inviting me to play in a local poker tournament.  The weekly tourney is $120 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. — hosted at the MGM Grand.

My distaste for the MGM Grand and everything associated with the monstrosity is widely-known and well-documented.  It’s been the subject of columns in both newspapers — the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal.  I won’t reopen those wounds and get into details now (see a future blog for that).  I only say that I was fully prepared to move on emotionally and give this giant money-sucking leech another chance when I made my first entrance into the MGM Grand in four years.

And so, last Tuesday night — prompted by an invite from poker pro Karina Jett, the extraordinary hostess at the MGM Grand (probably the only wise executive decision they’ve ever made here was to hire Jett) — I decided to release those bitter bygones and set foot inside a casino that still owes me thousands of dollars.

At 6:30 pm, I pulled into the MGM Grand parking lot.  Not much as changed in this regard since my last visit.  One still must maneuver a giant maze of lanes and floors and then walk a mile to finally get to the building entrance.  Indeed, it takes me perhaps five minutes inside what used to be the world’s largest hotel to instantly realize that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has changed since I wrote the following review (which was posted at a gambling website back in 2002).

It should be noted that everything in the following review is a reflection of my experience there ten years ago.  But, it’s just as relevant now based on Tuesday night’s visit.  One update:  The MGM Grand now has a poker room, which has moved again.  For several years, it was located beneath a noisy nightclub.  The poker room has since been moved off to the side, which I will add is nothing to brag about.

Moreover, all of the events relating to my fallout at the MGM Grand in 2005 occurred well after this review was written.  So anyone who thinks I’m biased should be aware this review was originally written three years prior.

Here it goes.

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