There weren’t many entrants for the M’s Resorts NFL contest this year for a good reason – it’s hard these days laying out a $100,000 entry fee.
So you can imagine the ones who did were the sharpest of the sharp in the sports handicapping field. Bill Krackomberger and his consortium, “The Group of Five” if you will, won it on the final game of Week 17 with Pittsburgh Steelers smashing the Browns in Cleveland.
Krackomberger received the winner’s check for $490,000 at the M sports book last week and then went back to business. You see, he makes his living on sports betting and having Cantor Gaming take his action.
“I give credit to my partners,” Krackomberger said. “I couldn’t have done it without them both in strategy and finance. When you break it down, it is about $95,000 for each of us, but it’s really the opportunity to play at a place like M that makes this so satisfying.”
The consortium would meet each Friday for a 10-hour strategy session. That’s what wiseguys with $100,000 invested do.
“The lines come out like 3-4 days earlier,” he said. “This contest is more like a chess match or poker tournament. You are always thinking what your opponent’s next move is rather than just picking five teams.”
Their system was called “market cap,” which in layman’s terms meant following the money.
“Say New England opened 3½ point favorites and went to 6, we would go New England,” Krackomberger said. “As for the Pittsburgh game at the end, we waited to see if [Troy] Polamalu would play. He did and I knew the Steelers would play hard. The line was 5½, but we gambled and won.”
The final record was 49-36 against the spread, which isn’t bad considering Krackomberger is banned from most Vegas books for betting in excess of $100,000 a game.
“If you bet $100G here, you’re going to get looked at with a crooked eye,” he said. “It’s an amazing thing here at M. You can bet $250,000 in the NFL and a $100,000 in college football. I give Lee Amaitis and Cantor credit. They are great and everybody around town is rooting against them. They are taking over other books like Cosmo, Hard Rock and Trop. I say they are the future of sports betting.”
Krackomberger said he has played in other contests around Vegas like South Point and Stations where the entry fees are extremely less and would like to play in the famed Hilton SuperBook contest.
“This town is unbelievable,” he said. “For $3,600 a year, you can have action. I definitely recommend entering contests for everyone.”
For this past weekend’s games, Krackomberger liked the Jets and Packers.
“I don’t generally give picks out because you’re going to lose four of 10 games,” he said. “Nobody remembers you unless you win. Right now I’m focusing on college basketball totals. You won’t find anyone other than Cantor putting them up. Why? Cause they are beatable.”
Mike Colbert, the director of sports operations at M, said his contest would undergo changes next year.
“Last year the entry fee was $3,000 and going up to $100,000 caused some people to back out at the end,” Colbert said. “I think we will be in the range of $10,000 to $25,000 next year plus we will back more books involved.”
The now defending champs have already committed to entering.
“I will definitely be playing,” Krackomberger said. “These are good line setters here. LVSC [Las Vegas Sports Consultants] knows what they are doing. This place knows who the sharp bettors are. They put the customers on the other side of me and make money.”
OTM’s NFL plays
Ravens +3½ at Steelers: IMost books dropped it to 3. Was +3½ (even) at MGM Mirage. I’ll take it right now. RAVENS.
Packers +2½ at Falcons: The line opened -3 went down to 1 and now 2 most places. Was 2½ at Wynn. I’ll take it. PACKERS.
Seahawks +10 at Bears: 10 is what I expected. Was hoping for a 9½. Chicago will not take Seattle lightly as the Saints did when leading 17-7. BEARS.
Jets +9 at Patriots: This early line really surprised me. Figured 5 or 5½. I think Jets defense will keep this one close. You know Rex will milk the disrespect all week. JETS.
last week NCAA PCT
3-1 33-29-1 53.2