With college football and the NFL right around the corner, you would think the sportsbooks here in Las Vegas would be looking for business, but with the World Cup in action, the places are hopping with bettors and big-time energy.
It is totally nuts when these games start, and this bettor has actually, for the first time, started watching, betting and having some fun doing it.
NFL take note: when they play the National Anthem for these nations playing in the World Cup, just take a little glimpse at the players singing along, taking pride in their country. It really is a great sight and one the NFL needs to grasp, but we know that will never happen. A sad day, to say the least.
As time passes, the NFL may not be the only game in town with the surge for the World Cup. Are you listening, NFL?
Ah, Del Mar
Santa Anita closed their hugely successful meet this past Sunday, and now we have a three-week drought till Del Mar opens on Wednesday, July 18. If you are new to Las Vegas and have never been to Del Mar, let alone opening day, we suggest taking the five-hour drive. Get out of the heat and have a great time at Del Mar.
Until then, Los Alamitos opens their thoroughbred three-week meet this Thursday. The one big change to this year’s meet is you will no longer be able to bet the 50-cent pick fours. Wise people who run the meet have made the minimum pick four wagers a dollar. As for this better, who loves to play the 50-cent pick fours, he will be taking his hard-earned half a dollar elsewhere.
The Los Al higher-ups think the 50-cent bets dilute the pools. But as a bettor, wouldn’t it be better if more players won so they could reinvest their winnings back into the pools? This, as usual, is over my head, and the game may have passed me by, as with most things, but as a bettor, I will take a stand in this instance. I’ll wait for Del Mar or play some Belmont Park 50-cent pick-fours.
Home run binge
As my dear mom would tell me, the older you get, the faster time goes by. She was spot on. It seems like the baseball season just started and now we are only three weeks away from the All-Star break. Baseball season has been one wacky game after the other, with some very weak bullpens and lots of balls flying out of the parks.
Why so many home runs? My thinking is the players are just so strong and muscled up now. They get hold of the ball, and it’s gone. Just look at some of the easy swings that turn out to be homers. Plus, with all the teams, there simply are not a lot of quality hurlers, let alone quality stoppers and finishers.
A quick overview of the races shows that in the National League East, it has become a three-team race between the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals. Washington, for some reason, has not done well at home, going just 19-20 while standing 22-15 on the road. Philadelphia has been great at home, going 24-13 while just 17-21 on the road. Atlanta has a winning record home and away.
In the NL Central, it looks like a three-team race also with the surprising Brew Crew leading by two games over the slumping Cubs and four over the Cards, who will not go away.
In the NL West, the Dodgers have started to put things together as they chase the Diamondbacks. The Giants in third have been very good at home but horrible on the road.
In the American League East, the Yanks are in a virtual tie with the Red Sox, who we think are the best team. These two will go down to the wire fighting it out, and both have a shot at winning 100, with one getting stuck in a one-game wild card. Interesting.
In the AL Central, which is the league’s softest division, the Indians will have no problem winning the title and have been super at home, going 27-13 but only 16-20 on the road.
In the AL West, the Astros continue to roll with 52 wins but are so overpriced and unbeatable. Look for spots to bet against Houston, especially taking the +1.5 runs plus money. The Astros have been as good on the road as at home, going 29-11 and 23-16, respectively. The Mariners are four games back with 47 wins and could also reach 100. That would be a big record with two divisions, both having two 100-game winning teams.
Always remember to get out, have fun, and even bet on some soccer. We like those ties for the value. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.