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The football season is rapidly approaching. We hope it begins on time. You need information in order to plot your betting strategy.

Where do you turn to?

In 2020, you more than likely tune in to a podcast. Maybe you’re in your car. Perhaps you’re in your living room, den or man cave with the television on some game, the volume muted, so you can hear the gabfest.

Podcasts are nothing new. They’ve been around for a while now. I must confess, I’m not hooked on them. I’ve appeared on my share over the years and occasionally if it’s someone I know or like, I’ll listen for a bit. One of those is Gaming Today’s sponsored “Cash Considerations.” Another is SinBin Vegas’ podcast which is Golden Knights-centric and I have been a guest on.

But there’s one that I might have to start listening to on a regular basis. And if you bet football, you’d be wise to do so as well.

Jim Feist (Yes, that Jim Feist) and Mike Scalleat began their podcast earlier this year prior to the Super Bowl. It was fairly successful, garnering a good amount of listeners. The duo, who grew up in Pennsylvania and have known each other for most of their lives, are doing a weekly podcast at 1 p.m. Thursdays. The “Luzerne County Sports Guys” will air from Dom DeMarco’s restaurant in Las Vegas. It’s an offshoot of Di Fara Pizzeria, the well-known Brooklyn joint that draws foodies from all over the world. You can come in, listen to Jim and Mike, grab some pizza, ask them a question and perhaps hit an NFL parlay come Sunday.

“We’re doing it for fun,” said Feist, a public handicapper for over 50 years who was a longtime contributor to Gaming Today. 

“We’re not looking to sell you anything. It’s two guys talking football who know a little something about the game.”

Scalleat said: “We’ve been hanging around forever. But it won’t be just football. We’ll talk about whatever’s going on.”

With no preseason NFL games and information coming from the 32 training camps trickling out, bettors are going to have to work a little harder to get the information they need in order to make educated decisions with their money. Feist and Scalleat have had success handicapping the NFL over the decades and they put their money where their mouths are.

“We’re real bettors,” Feist said. “I think we’ll attract a lot of people and we’ll bring real gamblers on the podcast to talk about betting.”

The podcast will be available on all the social media platforms and by airing on Thursday, it gives bettors time to figure out their strategy, starting with that night’s game.

But be warned in advance. If you’re looking for analytics and esoteric stats, you won’t hear that with Feist and Scalleat.

“We’re both old-time handicappers,” Feist said. “Football is still a game of blocking, tackling, quarterback play and coaching. Mike and I approach those elements in how we handicap.”

There are always variables in betting football. And the coronavirus has added to the list. Some teams will have fans in their stadiums, some won’t. Travel will be closely monitored. Some teams are opting for a potential “bubble” environment once the season starts.

“Here’s the problem,” Feist said. “These guys are getting on airplanes, checking into hotels, playing the game, getting back on airplanes and going home. There’s so much more stress now to all of this.”

Scalleat said the premise of home-field advantage may not exist this season.

“People are going to have to figure out who is the favorite with no fans in the stands,” he said. “I’m looking at playing road ‘dogs early in the season and see what shakes out.

“And in addition to injuries, you’re going to have to watch to see who tests positive (for COVID-19). I like to bet into the line early on Monday. But with all the uncertainty, I think I’m going to have to wait until Saturday because things can change quickly during the week.”

Both handicappers agree this is not going to be a normal football season. And while the basic handicapping skills still apply, there may be a need to look at other factors before coming to a decision.

“There’s never been anything like this,” Feist said. “It’s crazy what‘s been going on. But we’ll be here every week talking about it and let’s see what happens.” 


About the Author

Steve Carp

Steve Carp is a six-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year. A 30-year veteran of the Las Vegas sports journalism scene, he covered the Vegas Golden Knights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2015-2018.

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