Fantasy Football

Vegas Betting Stories Part One

Saturday, 28 July, 2018

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A journey in sports betting has to come via action in Las Vegas. The growth and decline happens in the betting capital of the world.

Throughout the years I’ve been apart of some unbelievable betting Vegas weekends.

I’ll try and chronicle as many as I can over the next couple of weeks. The weekend I’m going to touch on featured tight finishes galore ATS.

An improbable comeback cover, a skin of the teeth Sunny Belter win, a special teams disaster to blow a cover, a backdoor special, and two classic NFL blowouts.

All in all the weekend ended with a Sunday night blowout win. Tightness in the book amongst us went from on edge to us enjoying a few MGM specialty donuts.

The Only Way we Can Lose Announcement, and it Happened
Minnesota vs Ohio State

In the morning game we were on Ohio State. They were sizeable road favorites I believe in the range of 13.5 points. Right off the bat they looked sluggish offensively with the lone score coming on a broken play touchdown by JT Barrett.

The sloppiness was evident and they absolutely could not stop Minnesota’s running back in David Cobb. He ran for 145 yards and probably could have had more.

Yet late in the game Ohio State maintained a 31-14 lead. The chance of a backdoor was evident but we all felt comfortable with Minnesota’s poor passing offense and the need to score quickly.

In the fourth quarter Minnesota had to punt after being stopped near the midfield. I commented before the punt the only way we lose this is on a muffed punt here. Sure enough the Ohio State punt returner botched the catch.

All of us looked in unison hoping a Buckeye landed on the muff. Nope. Inside the Buckeyes red zone David Cobb did another spoon feed touchdown. The first play of our weekend was a loss but would end up being the only loss of the weekend.

Famous Jamous Buddies Bet
Florida State -3 vs Miami

This was a game I wanted no part of. It was a prime time game and the Seminoles were continuously winning in sloppy fashion. Famous Jameis was carrying the Seminoles weekly while the rest of the team looked subpar.

Yet a buddy of mine liked it enough to place a large wager on it. The Seminoles were small favorites and down quickly 13-0. Quickly he had decided he needed to go to the hotel gym.

We didn’t hear from him for a couple hours but kept track of the game. Miami had the game in hand but special teams gaffes came back to bite them. A missed extra point and a missed chip shot proved to be the window of opportunity the Seminoles needed.

They ended up coming back and winning by four points. Late in the game our friend had came back to the room and was on bended knee as Miami drove late but threw a pick to conclude the game.

Final score was 30-26 and truly a game that shouldn’t have covered.

Sunny Belter Skin of the Teeth

Another play on my board for everyone involved the Sun Belt. The Rajun Cajuns were 6.5 point favorites on the road against Louisiana Monroe.

Lafayette never could put away Monroe. This was the classic game were both teams kept scoring but Lafayette had the slight lead over the number throughout.

We were fortunate with Monroe’s miscues. They had two long drives ended by turnovers and five overall turnovers.

This was a clock watch game late and ended up being on our side. Lafayette won by seven points to cover by a half point.

Backdoor SEC Special on Buddies Bet

This was another added game by my other buddy. I forget the exact spread but Alabama was somewhere in the range of 7.5 to 8 point favorites against number one Mississippi State.

We were all on the move but tracking the game on one of our phones. Mississippi St was down 25-13 late with the backdoor special wide open.

The clock seemed perfectly set for a backdoor. We all had entered Bellagio and were nearing the sportsbook for the conclusion. Inside the five with mere seconds left the Bulldogs kept misfiring for a touchdown.

On fourth and goal they were of course going for it from the four-yard line with fifteen seconds left. Dak Prescott fired a quick throw and sure enough it was caught.

This featured the patented quick blow by of a poor result at the sportsbook by my buddy. It was that close to cashing. We all had an easy Oregon State night cap winner against ASU that made his night better.

You Give Aaron $$$ A Special Teamer
I had three games on our NFL board and bet the early winner on Houston Texans on the road against the Browns. The guys had slept in and missed out on the early games. Nevertheless they placed an added game on the Cardinals and won. Two other plays were on my board for us to all bet.

Green Bay was facing an Eagles team gaining momentum at home. Green Bay was sizeable favorites against a 7-2 team, which typically is not the norm. All week most people had liked Philadelphia.

Quickly we all knew that this was Green Bay’s day. They jumped out 17-0 in the first quarter with one touchdown produced on a punt return. We all had the mutual expressions of this is going to be a good one. The rant was , “if you spot Aaron $$ a special teamer”.

It was a fantastic win after each one prior had been grueling on college football Saturday.

Jonas Who?
The nightcap was a Sunday Night prime time battle between the Colts and Patriots. For some strange reason the Colts were three point favorites. This turned into a prime money bet for all of us. Heading into halftime it was still unknown as Tom Brady threw one of the worst ill-advised pre halftime interceptions I had ever seen.

It was not Tommy’s night but it was Jonas Gray’s. The non-featured back got the start and had one of the more memorable prime time games for a running back in the last decade.

By the third quarter one of us had ran to the MGM bakery and grab a half dozen donuts to enjoy. It turned into a relaxed setting and capped a 3-0 NFL day.

Sports Betting: When it Began

Friday, 27 July, 2018

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The momentum and areas of growth for sports betting is just beginning. I’ve recently seen some commentary on how people got into sports betting. For me it came via a Monster.com job posting back in 1999.

Just six months earlier two high school friends and myself responded to an Arizona Republic sports section opportunity for high school kids. They were looking for a few candidates that would get hands on experience as a Coyotes Jr. reporter.

Somehow the three of us filled the limited spots of eight Jr. reporters. Each month of the hockey season a Jr. reporter got the opportunity to go to a practice, game, and write two columns for the Arizona Republic. It was an awesome opportunity and the perfect timing to launch a beginning appetite for sports writing.

I latched on with two sites around the same time for free content. Within months the passion transferred over to paid gigs in the dot com boom. I was literally cranking out content before school and after school for four to five websites.

It was not even about the money at the time. Certain sites would pay $50 an article and one was even paying $150 an article. As a freshman in high school I had tunnel vision on the passion and kept taking on any type of freelance opportunity.

Some sites gave sports memorabilia as compensation, and a local site in Arizona gave tickets to the main sports teams. On request they were placed at will call.

Rotowire also paid solid money and gave feature opportunities in their annual fantasy football magazine.

When a friend forwarded me the Monster.com job posting for an eSports Entertainment writer, I did what I always had. Applied no matter what.

It took some time to get a response but eventually I had a phone interview. A few days later I received a phone call on if I could relocate from Arizona to Las Vegas. In the back of my head I thought here goes this opportunity but I stayed calm and the gentleman was fine with me working from Arizona.

Once I found out the site was winningedge.com I became glued to their business more than any other site I had done work for. Here was a team of guys such as Wayne Root, Chet Coppock, Phil McConkey, Dan Hampton, and Randy White that were offering picks and doing weekly shows on main networks.

At the time I was doing ghost columns to attract readership for the above names.

The pay was eye-popping for a high schooler. They would send $800 checks bi-weekly to my home address in Arizona. As with the other gigs I was unconscious with the thought of money and could care less if it was $800 or $100.

Throughout college I scaled back my online work to focus on getting my degree, which turned, into a salaried job offer from WalMart.

Retail was a passion that I still love all aspects of. The job was a true real world eye-awakener, which is how the business world works. I was set in the retail ways until Wal-Mart went through a management schedule change in 2009.

The grind of retail management was endless hours where days off were truly recuperating days. The new structure would allow day management a 3 on and 3 off schedule and overnight managers a 4 on and 4 off schedule.

I had just purchased a townhome the year prior and two buddies were renting out rooms. I went from no free time to getting back into watching sports on a regular basis.

This was also the second year of the economy recession. With the extra time off friends and I went on a trip to Las Vegas in June 2009. That trip spawned a five-year run of constant travel to Vegas. Flights could be had for $39 flying Southwest and we always paired it with dirt cheap hotels (usually Excalibur for $29 a night).

Betting sports at first did not go well. Unplanned bets would fare the same pattern. Landing on a Thursday and lose/bet the first game on the college football board followed by the same scenario on Friday. Needless to say the CVS ATM became a patented routine.

Yet by Saturday and Sunday we would be closer to even or slight profits.

That 2009 year of betting in Vegas turned into the launch point of my appetite for best practices when betting and a need to get back into the business. I emailed the folks at Winningedge.com and they gave me an opportunity to post picks for two of the guys on the site.

It was fun and I even got a nice note from Wayne Root as one of the guys I was posting for sales were up dramatically.

2010 was when the discipline practices of betting became a normal routine for myself. That took a quantum leap in 2012, which I still consider my best year betting.

Both myself and my buddy had thousands in our offshore account literally from $100.

In March of 2013 I had an NFL style inkling on a college basketball money line parlay. It was such a strong inkling that I put a quick blog post for readers to do.

When it hit I was about an hour into my overnight management shift of 730PM-830AM.

I felt the same jolt of passion of not for the money as I did back in 1999 working for all the dot com companies.

And that’s how sports betting should be. Money can’t be won without the ability to block out the dollars.

That’s what I can say is my number one ability in sports betting. The ability to recognize the number and on field talent. Correlating the two together is my number one advantage.

I moved to Vegas shortly thereafter with a transfer in hand at a Las Vegas Walmart. I backed out of it and enjoyed the year being in sportsbooks and building new skills for betting.

It’s been a true uphill climb that reflecting back on has been a journey of a journey, and timing has been the domino for every step of it.

2018 here we come.

Fantasy Football: Gurley Contract Solidifies Position

Tuesday, 24 July, 2018

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Following contract moves is a staple in any sports industry. Linking a prime contract unfortunately does not mean benefits for a franchise. Often times a player’s contract can detract instead of attract forward progress.

This can be a huge issue for fantasy football owners. Whether auction or draft-based decisions on prime candidates are the biggest issue to battle pre-draft. Miss in a standard draft at the top of the board and you’re almost certain of finishing with a subpar record. Shelling out high dollars in an auction league and missing can be even more detrimental.

The situation surrounding Todd Gurley is almost unique in all phases. Most young backs do not get inked for a big contract at Gurley’s age of 23. St. Louis is avoiding the inevitable contract issues and got out in front with a major deal.

They have a blossoming offense that should only grow under Coach McVay’s eyes. Their talent picked up on both sides of the football in the off-season that has put them in serious contention in Las Vegas’s mind.

Gurley’s ability out of the backfield and as a rushing tailback already had him solidified as a go to draftee atop everyone’s board.

The new question is does his contract propel him to top of the line?

After three to four years with running backs falling from a commodity position in fantasy football, it appears that reluctancy label has fell off.

All mock draft early indications are that running backs are back in style. This makes it impossible to feel the draft out and get a tiered system of running backs.

Now you must go in aggressively as in years past or your team could have gapping holes.

Gurley is the cream of the crop now with a full clearance green light for bids/drafts.

Arguing Rob Parker’s LeBron Comments

Sunday, 4 June, 2017

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Debating on debate shows has been as recycled from a content standpoint as old age movies receiving a remake.

We know what to expect unlike the early days of Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless.

Criticism is just the nature of the programming to stir the other host into discussion.

On FS1’s Skip Bayless show, guest Rob Parker lamented on the fact of how Michael Jordan transformed the game into a heightened level. That point is common knowledge, but his stirring the pot comments came towards Lebron.

Parker argues that Lebron has made the game virtually a players right league. If one doesn’t like their current situation they can partner with a power team and develop their successes overnight.

Obviously that can’t be true in the sense that we’ve seen power teams long before Lebron joined the Heat. We’ve seen Shaq leave Orlando to develop a dynasty with Kobe in Los Angeles. There was also the Rockets whom had Hakeem, Clyde, and Barkley.

Heck, even the Magic tried their own super team with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady.

The fact that a star joins others is going to happen. It’s the same foundation that has been going on at the high school and college levels for several decades. Players want to win and if they’re a top notch athlete they’re going to assure themselves of the right situation.

Who wouldn’t?

Are we in a current state of dominance? Yes. The same was the case of the 1990’s Dallas Cowboys and currently with the New England Patriots.

But the window of opportunity for winning doesn’t last forever. Shaq’s body broke down quickly to the level that he in 2006 he was playing behind a younger Dwayne Wade.

Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and several of the Warriors are approaching the age of 30. Lebron is already at the age of 32 and could not have won last year’s title without the young dominant Kyrie Irving.

Talent is always rising with age and injuries lurking.

Did the NBA have an anticipatory NBA Finals in 2017? Yes. But just two years ago not even Lebron thought his Cavaliers team would be ready, and no one expected the Warriors either.

Challengers will always lurk. As great as Gregg Poppovich has been as a Coach, his Spurs have not reigned as a dynasty. During LeBron’s Miami chases they did not go to the Finals without resistance in the East.

Just give it a bit of time and a new window of teams will present themselves in the NBA.

Gray A Candidate to Move

Saturday, 3 June, 2017

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Believe it or not we’re getting closer to the MLB All-Star game. It’s been a rapid first couple of months of MLB. Thus far atypical to the grind of everyday baseball are injuries.

Staffs have been decimated with injuries up and down their rotations.

Finding a prime target to snatch to boost a playoff run is a standard goal.

With young prospects struggling to stay in rotations, it’ll likely leave a couple of veterans as prime attractors.

Out in Oakland, Sonny Gray’s name is a constant amongst trade rumors.

Questions surrounding him have derailed his teams from seeking the high price of Gray.

Over the past two seasons he has had repeated DL stints. Returning from those stints has resulted in sporadic inconsistency from Gray.

Yet he has showcased a couple of adequate performances recently to increase his trade value.

In his prior start against the Marlins he threw ten strikeouts.

While he is not a top rotation pitcher anymore, Gray can sustain as a solid third rotation guy.

Barring his health I’d expect Gray to be on the move this go around here in July.

Cuse’ Made the Right Move

Saturday, 3 June, 2017

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Much has been said over the past three months on the decision to void Boeheim’s retirement agreement at Syracuse.

After a lengthy NCAA investigation Syracuse was deemed to have violated several NCAA rules.

Penalizing the school was handed down harshly via the NCAA. Syracuse was banned from NCAA tournament participation in 2015, and deducted scholarships for the next several seasons.

All in all many believe this was an over the top handling of levying penalties by the NCAA.

Deductions of scholarships one could expect but for as long as the allotted time just seemed outrageous.

Furthermore, Coach Boeheim was suspended nine conference games. Fortunately the Orangemen used that poor stretch to rally the rest of the season and to the NCAA Final.

The coach in waiting forever has always been Coach Hopkins. Hopkins passed up opportunities in the past including at Charlotte to remain the Coach in waiting.

While many expected the change over to happen seamlessly, I never fully believe that Boeheim wanted to go.

To see the domino happen of Hopkins taking a prime Pac-12 job cause a reactionary move many Syracuse fans wanted.

Boeheim in charge for as long as he deems proper not the higher ups.

It can never be denied how he has done for the city of Syracuse.

Losses or a return to the Final Four will not change my perception.

Go Cuse.