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This Thursday night, the NASCAR café is having a massive party for the NFL Draft like the city has never seen before. Between contests, prizes, guest predictions, drink specials and lots of referee girls prancing around, this will be one can’t miss party while you watch who your favorite team selects in the first round.

This isn’t your ordinary party at a bar where they simply have a sign that says they have a party, with the only validation being a television with the ESPN coverage. No, the NASCAR Café is aggressively courting anyone in Las Vegas who wants to watch the draft with others of their ilk.

The NASCAR Café has gone all out, and has spent quite a bit to get the word out. They’ll have all the local ESPN radio personalities there including Brian Blessing doing his Sports Book radio show live from 2-3 p.m.

Following the radio show, that’s when all the fun starts, where Blessing, Clay Baker and myself will all be shucking and jiving with the guests, laying odds on who will be taken with each pick.

We’ll be asking everyone to participate throughout the draft with questions like, Will the Rams pass up another quarterback in the first round? Or will the Lions draft another first round wide-receiver? Who has the nerve to pass on Jimmy Clausen in the first 10 picks? Will Tim Tebow be drafted Thursday? Will Mel Kiper Jr. snap when the younger, friendlier and sometimes smarter Todd McShay has more correct predictions in the first round?

So come out and join us at the Sahara on Las Vegas Blvd for what is sure to be great fun. Be sure to wear your team gear, be ready to cheer, or boo, for each team’s pick, and if you’re feeling real pumped and hungry, try the Big-Ass Burrito Challenge as seen on “Man vs. Food.”

NFL Schedule

It’s never too early to get pumped for football, especially here in Las Vegas. When the NFL schedule is released Tuesday, a couple of sports books will be hard at work right away to put some betting lines out.

Within two weeks, Jay Kornegay and the Hilton crew will have their annual NFL Games of the Year point spreads, which features all the top games for the entire season. In less than a month. Mike Colbert and the guys at the M Resort will have lines available for every game of the 17 week season.

In-Game Wagering Taken Up a Notch

The M Resort’s aforementioned Mike Colbert informs us that its baseball in-game wagering begins daily on May 1 for what promises to be a much improved product from last baseball season, with various wagers available at every at-bat.

During the NBA playoffs, they will also have at least two playoff games a day available for in-game wagering along with as many as three games on the weekends.

No Televised West Coast Baseball for Las Vegas

How fortunate we are to be living in the Las Vegas market, especially if you’re a baseball fan looking to watch the late West Coast games. For some reason, Vegas has been tied to several baseball markets that extend from San Francisco, all the way down the California Coast, and then east into Arizona.

If the games for the six teams involved aren’t on any of the Fox sports channels, and they’re on only in their markets’ local channel, Las Vegas loses out on watching them, even if paying for MLB’s Extra Innings pay-per-view package on Cox Cable or DirecTV.

It doesn’t matter whether the package has been bought for residential or commercial use because what matters is the zip codes we have in the Vegas Valley.

The worst part is that there isn’t even an option to purchase the games for an extended fee that would allow us to buy the blacked-out games. It’s like they’re saying, “Sorry, if you want to watch the A’s or Giants’ game tonight, hop in your car and we’ll see you in 12 hours.”

There is nothing worse than betting a few of the late games with expectations of being able to watch your bet and enjoy one of the great experiences Las Vegas has to offer, and then the sports book can’t get the game on. The folks in the sports books are not incompetent, it’s more like the folks at MLB are; so help our cause and direct the frustration towards them.

Champions League Final Four Begins Tuesday

International club level Soccer starts its version of the Final Four as the first stage of the Champions League semi-finals kicks off Tuesday with Barcelona visiting Inter-Milan followed by Wednesday’s match with Lyon traveling to Bayern Munich.

It’s the perfect setting pitting a team from four of the major European Leagues. The English Premier League is noticeably absent from representation for the first time since 2003, something that could help fuel many of the English players’ hunger for their World Cup debut match June 12 against the USA in South Africa.

The matches start at 11:45 a.m. (PDT) and are an absolute blast to view among large crowds. Here in Las Vegas, with such an international crowd, the intensity of the fans match or exceed any of our American sporting events.

I’d recommend taking a visit to the ESPN Zone at the New York-New York hotel/casino or the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book for viewing around the Las Vegas Strip where the game is sure to be on with lots of volume on sound; so clear that you can hear the words of the crowd singing their club song. If looking for a real English Pub feel, try the Crown and Anchor near the University.

I’ll go with the favorites of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but wouldn’t be surprised to see a draw between Barcelona and Inter-Milan.


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