Hard to believe it’s been an entire month of World Cup action already. Man, am I worn out.
It’s almost like the anti-climactic feeling during the NCAA Basketball Tournament where I go full throttle right out of the gate and by the time it’s nearing the biggest games of the tournament, I find myself a little less enthused with less energy.
Of course I will still watch these last matches just as intently, but I’ll leave the face paint off.
For bettors who have been wagering on the World Cup daily, they’re not even remotely tired because they’ve had a nice gravy train riding with the favorites. Every favorite during the knockout stages has advanced.
“We’ve done well with the 90-minute wagers and props, said Westgate Resorts (formlerly LVH) Superbook assistant manager Jeff Sherman, “but the parlays on the outright winner have hurt us a little. We’re just fortunate we didn’t have parlays linking the round of 16 into the next round because then we’d be looking at some serious jeopardy.”
In Tuesday’s semifinal, Sherman has host country Brazil pick ‘em to advance over Germany and the public is down on Brazil. “Germany has been getting the most support so far just because of the Neymar injury.”
In Wednesday’s match, Argentina is a 140 favorite to advance over the Netherlands and sets up a possible epic final match between the two South American powers. This is where I think the home countries have a huge edge.
Between a month of different food (can’t get a good schnitzel in Rio) and being on foreign land with citizens yelling at them all day and night to and from the hotels and stadiums, it can wear on anyone, even the best football players in Europe. I look for Argentina to beat Brazil in the final because they’re better.
Props to Sherman! Within a few days after the 2010 World Cup was over, Sherman had posted the first odds in Vegas for the 2014 Brazil games. As I look at the four semifinal teams, I notice he had them all listed within his top-5 favorites. The only team that didn’t make the party was Spain, which was ousted in the Group Stage.
Missing feeling already: I’m sad the World Cup is ending and I have to wait another four years. What I’ll miss most is the feeling I had, along with so many fellow Americans, when the USA national team played. We were all in it together and rooting for the same cause – the Stars and Stripes – like I can’t ever remember before.
There was no politics or opposing sides, it was just millions of Americans all siding with the flag, and I loved that feeling. All over the globe, people get the World Cup and I think most of the passion all comes from waving the flag together. We finally got that here in the USA in 2014.
Thank you all for participating in the fun, it was a blast.
South Point barbers: Why should women have all the fun with day spas, facials and frilly treatments? Last week I found the ultimate match from what our opposite sex has with the most amazing shave I’ve ever heard of or experienced.
An old school barber named John Taddio at the South Point gave me the type of treatment so many men of yesteryear experienced regularly.
We’ve become so accustomed to shaving our own faces we never feel the need to get a real shave by someone else, but my eyes have been opened: you will never feel fresher or better until getting the type of treatment John offers.
John doesn’t just lather up the face and go to work with his straight razor. He first loosens the face up with a series of lotions and potions in between hot towel treatments before performing this lost art with his razor. It’s about a 35 minute process and when it was over I felt like I was 30 again. I didn’t have to shave for three days.
The haircuts that both barbers named John offer are the best I’ve ever had. Between the old school Las Vegas stories they tell and some of the high profile clientele they have worked on (like Lefty Rosenthal and Prince William) time flies in the ultimate man day spa.
So go out to the South Point and treat yourself to something special because you deserve it.
A’s get even better: Before the Oakland A’s made the blockbuster trade with the Chicago Cubs that brought them pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Superbook already had them listed as the 9-to-2 favorite to win the World Series, a number they say is low enough that it doesn’t need to be altered after the trade.
This was an A’s squad that already had the best record in baseball (55-33) and was leading the American League in ERA (3.18), runs scored (5.0 per game) and run differential (+1.5).
Things were already looking as though Oakland would have their best opportunity to win a World Series since their last title in 1989, especially without any dynasty in New York or Boston waiting for them in the playoffs. The Yanks and Red Sox have regularly ended GM Billy Beane’s moneyball teams’ seasons since 2000.
You have to give Beane credit for having the guts to give up 2012 first-round pick Addison Russell, a shortstop some, like ESPN’s Keith Law, have rated as the No. 3 prospect in baseball. (Can’t wait for the Wrigley/Addison street nicknames when he finally comes up.)
For a team that may soon be outpriced with their main power sources after the season (Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both eligible for arbitration in 2015), giving up top prospects is usually a big no-no for a small market team. This shows how hard Beane is swinging for the fences to make it all happen this season.
Meanwhile, over in New York, Yankees GM Brian Cashman sat idly even after getting news C.C. Sabathia is likely to be shelved for the season. Apparently, the Yankees hopes were that Sabathia would be good as new when he came back and it would be like acquiring a free-agent for the stretch run.
The Yankees don’t have a lot to offer, but you have to believe something could have been done to get one of those Cubs starters. Is it not a big deal that Derek Jeter is in his last season and the AL East is very winnable?
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].