Time to give Padres some California love; Rose pays 25-1 at LVH

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Leave it to Palms Marketing Director Sheri Long to come up with the best – and only – baseball contest in town.

Sheri has offered free contests over the past year on the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, March Madness and now baseball. What is most striking about her innovations is that the Palms doesn’t even run their sports book.

Cantor Gaming takes care of that, but Long has stepped outside the box and tried to maximize every opportunity she can to get people into her casino.

It’s pretty impressive that Long has had the foresight to budget money along the year to include sports bettors as part of her marketing plan. It’s also impressive that she is doing something no other sports book director in town is doing with baseball.

If you look at her pedigree, it’s easy to understand since she used to be in charge of all the game planning for Station Casinos Great Giveway football contest prior to opening the Palms. This is why she understands that sports is a year round gateway to bring people through the doors.

The Palms is running the “Summer Slam” throughout the summer and offering a weekly $1,000 aggregate prize to those who can go 8-0 on Saturday’s baseball card. Those who are 7-1 will get $50 in slot play and if you go 6-2, you’ll get $25. It’s a free roll, doesn’t cost a thing and all you have to do is show up on Friday or Saturday to make selections.

Just to be nice and show appreciation to Sheri for offering the promotion, throw a $5 or $10 bill in the machine to show her bosses that promotions like these are worthwhile.

Way to go Sheri, and thanks for thinking of us sports guys!

From kiosk to phones: Reality is starting to set in that the kiosks at PT’s Pub operated by William Hill are going to be a thing of the past. On July 1, the routine that the state allowed thousands of Nevadans to get into for the past two years on a trial basis will be broken with new ways to wager having to be found.

Hopefully, those bettors keep the money within the state and bet their money legally. I was pleasantly surprised to see a note offered by William Hill on the kiosks that explained the easy process of transferring the PT’s Pub account right over into a Hill phone account.

Not everyone has a smart phone, but those who do can simply go to WilliamHill.US/mobile and download the application. It’s a quick and easy process – not easier than depositing or withdrawing for your neighborhood bar, but still one of the best options available for those on the go.

They also have the large wagering menu on the phones that book director Nick Bogdanovich offers on a daily basis, which many bettors fell in love with on the kiosks.

Another alternative for broken hearted bettors searching for an easy way to bet is at Station Casinos, which has a nice system in place that allows wagers to be done through a computer or phone. There are almost as many Station Casinos outlets around town as there are PT’s Pubs, so withdrawing and depositing cash shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.

Canada a step head: Within the next two weeks, the Canadian Senate could pass a bill that would allow for single game sports wagering throughout the country. Currently, Canadians can wager on parlays through a pool run like a lottery that is offered all over in places such as convenient stores.

I think it’s fantastic for Canada, but as we sit here in America – a place with the most sports bettors in the world, I can’t help but be a bit envious and embarrassed at the same time. How we as a country can be living in the Stone Age for so long by keeping sports betting underground in 49 states is one of the biggest mysteries of our times.

I do think the USA will jump on board soon, and seeing the rake Canada brings in will help, but the time has come. We can’t let Canada look smarter than us again.

Open odds at LVH: Super Book assistant manager Jeff Sherman would have rather seen Charl Schwartzel or Bill Horschel win the U.S. Open golf on Sunday for his books’ sake, but he was much happier with Justin Rose taking his first major than the thought of Phil Mickelson winning.

“Mickelson and (Jason) Day were both break even for us if they had won, being our worst liability among golfers with a shot at winning going into Sunday,” said Sherman. “Our worst liability overall, before the tournament started was Tiger Woods.”

Rose paid out at 25-to-1 odds and Sherman says when a golfer in that price range wins, his sports book usually does well simply because bettors either focus on the favorites or big names at 40-1 or higher.

As soon as the U.S. Open was complete, Sherman was running all the final data from the tournament into his spread sheets to compile his odds for the British Open, which tees off on July 18 at Muirfield in Scotland.

Of course, right at the top – despite his worst performance in a major over the weekend – is Tiger Woods at 7-1. Sherman had mulled over 6-1 on Woods, but boosted him one notch higher, even though he knows the public will be all over him once again.

Rory McIlroy, who didn’t fare much better than Woods, is 12-1, followed by Rose and Adam Scott (20-1 each, Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald (25-1) and Day (30-1).

Respect Padres: It’s time to give San Diego some California love. We’ve celebrated two San Francisco World Series in the past three seasons, and have marveled at Oakland across the bay as they go for a second straight AL West title.

We’ve also over-hyped the last place Dodgers and fourth-place Angels with continual talk about how they should be playing better. But way down south, we have kind of forgotten about the red headed stepchild of California, the Padres.

With Sunday’s win over Arizona, which finished off a sweep, the Pads have won a season-best six games in a row and went above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2010. Their 10-5 record in June is the best in the NL and second best in the majors to the Royals 11-4 mark.

The Padres’ main key to their success has been good pitching, but the hitting has come along. They’ve even shown great power at home in Petco Park and also blended in some speed.

Shortstop Evereth Cabrera, who has played himself into a sure All-Star invite, has hit .459 with 12 stolen bases for the month. Kyle Blanks is mashing the ball like everyone thought he could for the past three seasons that kept him from being dealt. He’s hit five home runs in June, including a big 3-run bomb in the eighth inning Sunday against Arizona to win 4-1.

It may be way too premature to start talking about playoffs, but it’s apparent by just looking at the LVH Super Book odds from the past week that they’re taking that red headed California stepchild seriously. Last Monday, the Padres were 100-1 to win the World Series. This week, 40-1.

There still is a lot of baseball to be played, but here’s to hoping the Padres stay in the thick of things to make the 2013 season that much more enjoyable. They are one of the more compelling storylines of the baseball season thus far.

Heat and Zig-Zag: The Miami Heat have gone 12 straight games of covering after a loss. In Game 6 on Tuesday, the trend says it’s time for the Heat to win and cover again. In six playoff losses, the Heat have won by at least 11 points in the following game.

If you like the Heat, you’ll have to pay the steepest price of the NBA Finals, as they’re 7-point favorites.

The way to go in this game if doubting the trend or thinking the Spurs will play them tough, is by taking a look at the total OVER 191. It’s the largest total the Heat have had on their playoff games since they played Milwaukee in the first round.

Miami has gone OVER in the last three games and you can see the flow getting faster and faster every game. There’s a two-point adjustment on the total from the last game played in Miami, but it might not be enough.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].

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