Saturday, November 30, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Thoughts on Vegas and Cold Hard NFL Locks

This was the first time I have ever placed my traditional Thanksgiving “galaxy of wagers” in person at a Vegas sports book.  Usually I'm hunched over this computer trying to figure out interlocking parlays and teasers.  It was time to place that action at the epicenter.  Truthfully, I haven’t been to Vegas in about 15 years. It is comforting to know that despite some changes in wrapping paper, Las Vegas is essentially the same city it has always been. It is a city that has been scientifically designed to separate Rubes from their money.  It's hard to be optimistic about people after spending a few days out there.  The humanity shuffling around in poor fashion choices is enough to make you question the very sustainability of human beings.  It was very familiar yet there had been some changes.

A major change in how casinos work is that they discovered that The People do not understand basic math. Full tables of rubes willingly play blackjack where the house modified the games to go from 3-2 pay on a blackjack to 6-5. Some tables have dealers pushing if they get a 22. Flashing slots games offer impossible odds and distracting video graphics. I would have loved to have been in the series of meetings where the hard core contingency within the casino corporation pushing for brutal rules guaranteeing massive profit increases had to win over the more cautious management group. “Bob I appreciate what you are saying... the customers want an honest game.... but have you considered that the customers don’t know what an honest game is? That maybe if we give them the same experience and just move the math in our direction, not enough of them will push back to eat into our profits?” Suddenly it hits the board what is being recommended. “Wait... are you saying that people are too stupid to know when we are ripping them off?” Yes. Yes, I am. Thus was born the new generation of table games on The Strip.

I made a long walk down to Caesars Palace to their sports book. I believe that the Caesars Sports Book was at one time the single greatest achievement man had ever built to serve man. It was a natural wonder. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to see the modifications to the room, making the viewing area smaller. On top of that, they wanted you to pay to sit in the chairs in the sports book, regardless if you had live action or not.  As stated by my friend Donna a good 20 years ago, “Caesars.... where they pound it up your ass with a stick.”

Las Vegas operated on the idea that to get people to irresponsibly gamble in the hotel casinos, it was necessary to offer affordable splendor in accommodations, great food on the cheap, and comp as many drinks as possible to keep you on the tables grinding away on losing math of the games. Once again, they must have realized that people were going to come no matter what, and with the vast sizes of the resorts, it is inconvenient to leave the property. Now it’s like spending a few days stuck in an airport. A Fuji water in my room cost $18. A two egg breakfast from room service was $32 before a “$8.95 convenience charge” and tip. You’re at $60 if you toss in a coffee or orange juice. The complimentary drinks of old are still possible but you will have to risk a few hands at an unfair blackjack game at $25 a hand. The other option is an $11 bottle of Stella at one of the bars. Thus, focusing on the right side of football games was paramount. Through a wild day of adjusting teasers and money line wagers on Thanksgiving, I found myself up about $75, or five bottles of water. That was a great deal of hard work for little return.  I had to get the hell out of there.  I was hemorrhaging cash.

It’s good to get back to the relative safety of my hometown system of reasonable cost wagering! So let’s look for some winners this Sunday. I am looking for a winner in an unlikely place, Cincinnati OH. The Bengals are 0-11 with a two game edge on securing the first pick in the draft. They want the #1 pick, but they also don’t want to go winless. Hence, they are starting Andy Dalton at QB this week, benching the horrible rookie Ryan Finley. They see the Jets coming to town, a team that can stop the run. Uh-oh. Better get Finley out of there. I think it boosts team morale to get Dalton back in the lineup. If they want a win, this is the week to give it a shot. Look, the Bengals are going to win one sooner or later. Why not at home versus the Jets? Cincinnati +3.

How can the Rams rebound this week after that asskicking they took from the Ravens on Monday night? That asskicking effectively ended their season. The dream is dead.  Now six days later go play the Cardinals.  This is an underrated Cardinals team coming off a bye remember while the Rams are on a short week of answering press questions like "What the hell happened out there?".   We also know that teams do poorly versus the spread the week after playing the Ravens.  The Cardinals have quietly turned into a dangerous NFL team. This is a good spot for them. Arizona +3.

I refuse to believe in the Browns. I think this is going to be a high emotion game, which as the Browns have repeatedly demonstrated, is not a good atmosphere for them. Steeler fans are going to be foaming at the mouth. This seems like a game where the Browns offense can self destruct, and they lose one they should win. Can't you see Baker getting too emotional and making some terrible choices out there?  It’s tough to beat someone twice in three weeks. The Steelers have no offense, but starting a dude named Duck has to be better than running Rudolph out there at QB again. This is the first time the Browns have been favored at Pittsburgh since 1990. Um, I’ll take history. Pittsburgh +2.5

Season record:  21-11-2


At December 6, 2019 at 12:27:00 AM EST , Blogger TBSOYL said...

This blog is getting dumber by the minute - political stupidity extends to both sides yet our author seems to forget that.

It's cute how he thinks all Trump voters are braindead for not embracing 57 genders, giving gov't gobs of money to politically connected friends to "fight" climate change, sanctuary cities and an immigration policy that is basically "we aren't going to lift a finger to enforce any laws because we don't want to be called racist". Oh yeah, white people and men suck and we hate them. Women and non English -speakers are the FUTURE!

Did I say cute? I meant moronic!

At December 6, 2019 at 11:00:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Yeah but I won two out of three games Mate.


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