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Posted by on Feb 1, 2020 in Blog, Essays | 4 comments

My Super Bowl Picks


Read my articles on various Super Bowl props and related topics at

Here are the links:







80 Wins — 69 Losses — 3 Pushes

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,398.

Current Bankroll:   $9,111.  (+ $713.)

Last Week’s Results (Week #21):   1 — 2 — 0  (- $355.)




I was wrong about the Super Bowl opening line.  Badly wrong.

Historically, my track record on this thing is pretty solid.  Ups and downs will happen in sports gambling, but a solid handicapper absolutely must be able to correctly forecast point spreads and totals.  If a capper lacks those basic skills, the rest is folly.

My opening line on Super Bowl LIV was San Francisco -2.5 with a betting total of 51.5.

My prediction on the total was within range, opening offshore at 52.  The total has now been bet up as high as 55 — but has since settled at 54.

However, my opening line was terrible — off by a whopping 4 points (although the zero gets crossed).  A few offshore sites had the opening line at PICK ‘EM, and others reacted and installed the Chiefs as -1 to -1.5 points favorites.  I had the wrong team favored.

One can have outlier opinions to some degree, which is sometimes a good thing, but my number was way, way off.  I didn’t predicate my point spread on a game prediction.  Rather, I really thought the market would reflect my perspective and mirror the way I saw both teams.  I was especially mindful of how (I thought) smart money tends to look at these matchups, anticipating there would be a clear divide on “sharps” (betting the 49ers) and “squares” (betting the Chiefs).

Well, I got all this wrong.  So, my analysis begins at ground zero.

I have two options here:

  1.  Admit my early forecast was wrong, and completely re-evaluate the matchup.
  2.  Stick with my minority opinion and fade what I believe to be a gross public misperception about these two teams.

I decided to do both, 1 and 2.  Re-evaluate, and then — if warranted — stick with my opinion the odds are wrong.  Yes, indeed.  I believe the wrong team is favored in this Super Bowl game.

Okay, here are my reasons why.

— I won’t spend much time overstating the obvious:  QB Mahomes is an astounding once-in-a-generation player.  A game-changer.  We could make a long list of the reasons why Mahomes and this Chiefs offense is special.  I’ll save the time and space and simply acknowledge that we are witnessing magic.

— Let’s also remember the Chiefs, at home, fell behind in both playoff games.  Badly so.  Kansas City trailed Houston 24-0 and Tennessee 10-0.  While props go to the Chiefs for the explosive comebacks in both games, that does portend some problem with team preparation.  Kansas City was clearly the better team in both of those matchups.  However, something went very wrong in the first quarter.  I’m counting on this quagmire with early game performance to be a factor once again, particularly against a superior team with a much better defense than the previous two opponents.

— I don’t get sentimental about teams, players, cities, or games (except for the Saints), but the football fan in me is rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs.  I love the fan loyalty.  Clearly, Andy Reid deserves a championship having paid his dues and suffered so many years of disappointment.  The Chiefs play real AFL-style football on natural grass.  There’s a proud tradition in Kansas City despite the 50-year Super Bowl drought.  The anniversary of the 1970 victory would be even more special.  And, the Chiefs are a fun and exciting team to watch.  I mention this because the 49ers in no way appeal to me from a fan perspective.  I believe this same sentiment is driving many of the wagers that came in on the Chiefs.  My heart is with Kansas City.  But my money is on San Francisco.

— The single biggest factor of this matchup is the San Francisco’s speed on defense.  Rarely do we see a team cover the field as well laterally (sideline to sideline) as 49ers do.  Not only is this an outstanding tackling defense (a stat that doesn’t get nearly enough attention), more often than not, ball carriers are swarmed with multiple defenders.  I’m counting on the 49ers defensive dominance to continue for one more week and play at the same level we’ve seen in other big games this season when this unit completely shut down Minnesota and Green Bay in the playoffs.  The Chiefs offense won’t be humiliated like the 49ers’ previous two playoff opponents, but I do foresee this unit being well suited to not let Kansas City light up the scoreboard, as they are so capable of doing.

— The second biggest factor in a 49er’s “upset” win would likely be a solid running game that grinds yardage and the game clock.  If San Francisco averages 6.0 yards-per-carry as they’ve done the first two playoff games, that’s going to be almost insurmountable to overcome.  Running the ball effectively ensures long 49ers drives and keeping Mahomes and Co. on the sidelines.  I like San Francisco’s chances here, especially with three viable backs capable of carrying the load.  A big stat:  Kansas City ranked 26th in the NFL against the run, averaging 4.9 yards-per-carry.  Credit KC for shutting down the Titans’ potent running attack a few weeks ago, which is the NFL’s best, but that also gives SFO coach Shanahan some game film to study and devise a counterstrategy.  I like the odds of the 49ers being successful running the ball.  If that happens, this likely results in a 49ers win/cover.

I have two wagers on the game:

San Francisco +1 — Risking $550 to win $500

San Francisco Moneyline +105 — Risking $150 to win $157.50


Note:  Check back later for my thoughts and bets on props


INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons Active]

Investor  —- Amount —- Pct. of Total Fund
Heldar $ 211 2.51%
Watanabe $ 100 1.19%
Peter Lucier $ 1,000 11.91%
Kramer $ 302 3.60%
Finbar O’Mahoney $ 200 2.38%
Howler $ 100 1.19%
Linda Keenan $ 500 5.95%
John Pickels $ 100 1.19%
Patrick Kirwan $ 100 1.19%
Sean McGinnis $ 300 3.57%
Jim Anderson $ 252 3.00%
Chad Holloway $ 200 2.38%
Eric Schneller $ 500 5.95%
Randy Collack $ 351 4.18%
Dave Lawful $ 100 1.19%
Paul Harris $ 1,000 11.91%
Dan Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Sharon Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Ken QB $ 102 1.21%
Chuck Weinstock $ 102 1.21%
Peter Taki Caldes $ 102 1.21%
Kenny Shei $ 51 0.61%
Jeff Deitch $ 51 0.61%
Kevin Un $ 128 1.52%
Becca Kerl $ 22 0.26%
Corey Imsdahl $ 102 1.21%
Don Bingo Rieck $ 102 1.21%
Jeff Siegel $ 1,000 11.91%
Stephen Cohen (payment pending) $ 100 1.19%
John Reed $ 114 1.36%
George Wattman $ 51 0.61%
Mickdog Patterson $ 51 0.61%
Larry Lubliner $ 100 1.19%
Grizz Berentsen $ 100 1.19%
Edmund Hack $ 100 1.19%
Bob Feduniak $ 500 5.95%
David “Quick” Horowitz $ 102 1.21%
TOTAL $ 8,398 100.00%



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Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 2 comments

Was “LA RAMS -1” the Worst Opening Line in Super Bowl History?



What were oddsmakers thinking when they installed the Los Angeles Rams as the favorite of over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII?

Oddsmakers don’t make many mistakes.  Otherwise, casinos and sportsbooks wouldn’t be in business.  They certainly don’t make mistakes on NFL games, which attract the vast majority of sports gambling activity in America.  And, it’s beyond inconceivable that a major attraction like the Super Bowl, which generates billions of dollars in betting action, would have a pointspread that’s quite possibly off by perhaps 4 or more points.

What were oddsmakers thinking?  Or smoking?

Installing the Rams as a -1 favorite was the worst opening line on a Super Bowl game in history.  Bar none.  It wasn’t just a terrible number.  The line was so bad that the wrong team was favored.

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Posted by on Jan 25, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Travel | 3 comments

Smart Money and the Super Bowl (Don’t be impressed by lots of 000’s)



I don’t give a damn who the millionaire bet on.  What I want to know is — what bets did my friend with the $9 knapsack make?


A few years ago, a highly-respected sports-gambler and associate of mine (who shall remain nameless unless he wishes to identify himself) used to fly into Las Vegas for just one reason — to bet on the Super Bowl game.  He’d show up at the Westgate Sportsbook on the big night when all the Super Bowl props were first released.

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