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Last week was a big week in Las Vegas, not that every week isn’t, but our favorite baseball son Greg Maddux was inducted into Cooperstown, and rightly so with 355 career wins. We love you and your entire family, Greg.

Just sticking a little with baseball, the future bets are on the board to win the Pennant and World Series. On the horizon, which will seriously affect the current lines, is who gets Masahiro Tanaka!

You say who is Tanaka? Well, he went 24-0 last year in Japan and is basically unhittable. Lots of teams want him and he must sign by Jan. 24. When someone does sign him he will be getting huge bucks. Believe me, he is the real deal. Keep an eagle eye open and get to the betting window fast, especially if the Dodgers get him. If so, they will be the out and out favorite to win the World Series.

Watching the NFL this past weekend was bizarre to say the least, especially watching the 49ers and Panthers duke it out, and I mean duke it out. At one point I thought I may be watching some kind of movie about gangs playing in the NFL as it seemed that the Panthers wanted to fight more than just play the game for which they are making millions of dollars.

Finally, I had to switch the channel. I could just as easily watch girls basketball and at least be entertained as this game was anything but entertaining. If I was a paying fan at the game I would have demanded my money back.

We have two more games this weekend before the Super Bowl. I can say the word but here in Vegas they must refer to it as The Big Game or the NFL will come after them.

Both games this week will have little fighting, just hard fought football between some good teams. The best game will be in Denver as we have two very smart QBs who will make very few mistakes. Tom Brady and his bunch trying to get a repeat win over Manning and his crew as the Pats beat Denver in New England, 34-31.

The send out in this game was the Broncos -4½, total 55. I have the utmost respect for both teams, quarterbacks and head coaches but the last few games the Broncos have played just don’t inspire me. Brady is Brady so we must take the points in what should be a very close game decided by a field goal.

This will be one to sit back, watch and enjoy. Maybe some of the Panthers players may want to watch what football is all about.

In the second game we get the road warrior 49ers playing their fourth straight game on the road. They ended the season at Arizona, then played in Green Bay and this past weekend in Carolina. The Seahawks have been home since mid-December. This will be their third straight game at Seattle and their crazy fans love it. The send out in this game was Seahawks -3½, total 39½. These two split their games in regular season with Seattle winning at home, 29-3, way back on Sept. 15 last year and the 49ers got them at Candlestick, 19-17, as a 2 ½ point favorite.

The first game in Seattle the Seahawks were -3, so this line is right on the money. Can Seattle lose at home? Arizona beat them and lowly Tampa Bay almost got them. The “tat man” is on his game and with no mistakes he can make it close but the noise will be brutal. I can’t lay the -3½ so may just sit back and enjoy unless the number gets out of hand.

If you are out and about, the city will be jumping so enjoy and have a great weekend as we head to Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. With these four teams, no matter who wins, it will be a good one.

One note on Santa Anita – this past Saturday in the seventh race, which was the second leg of the late pick four, there was a dead heat for second between the 9/5 chalk and a horse that was almost 9/1. The winner of the race was disqualified so the two that were in a dead heat for second were both moved up to first.

Now, if you are alive in the pick four with the longer price of the two, a horse by the name of Botch, and you hit the pick four, you would think you would get a bigger payoff than the payoff with the 9/5 chalk, wouldn’t you?

The answer is a resounding NO! The late pick four for 50 cents paid $120.85 no matter what horse you had.

Now, if you had the 8/1 shot would you be happy the guy next to you, who had the 6/5 shot, got the same payoff as you? And horse racing is dying…I just can’t understand why?

If you have any opinions on this please email me at [email protected]

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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