My mother Mary would say to my father “Broadway” Bennie, “Why do you need to go to the race track every night?” My dad would always answer, “I just may be walking around lucky and not even know it!”
I have had a friend here in Vegas since the mid-80’s and we always called him Donnie the Waiter. He waited on tables back then in some fine restaurants here in town but always loved horse racing and sports. Donnie wanted to get out of the waiting tables business to work in a race and sports book, and he did.
His passion was doing the race boards, making all the changes and putting up the results. This was an art at one time in Vegas and we had professional boardmen who took pride in their work as Donnie did.
After many years in the business Donnie lost his job but that did not deter him from heading to the race book to make his usual $20 bet. On this certain day he put his double saw buck into a pick six and headed out to do some errands.
When he got home he turned on his computer to squeeze out the results and noticed he had actually won the first five races and now had a single in the last leg. No chance to hedge and, as he told me, it never entered his mind.
Now he is a nervous wreck rooting for his horse in the last race. The horse wins but there is an inquiry. It takes some time but he has the only winning ticket worth $121,670. Donnie the Waiter was, as Bennie would say, walking around lucky.
Donnie, the man that he is, left a nice tip for the writers and the bartender. He then paid his house off and purchased some much needed new wheels. Donnie is back betting his $20 bill.
Only in Vegas, and good things do happen to nice guys.
Is it better to follow or get against the money? If you can follow early it could be ok but when a game opens at -1 with a total of 32 and moves to -3 (36½), I believe you either pass or take the 3 and bet the UNDER.
Such was the case in Sunday’s Hall of Fame game. We will continue to monitor these moves and results.
Let’s get into action as we have lots of NFL preseason games this week.
Thursday, Aug. 7.
Colts +3½ at Jets (36½): The Jets have dropped five Game 1’s in a row. COLTS.
Patriots +1½ at Redskins (38½): The Pats have exceeded the total in six of their last seven preseason games. OVER.
49ers +1 at Ravens (36): Even with the Rice debacle we will side with the hardcore Baltimore fans to get them up for this game. Baltimore has won six of their last seven preseason openers. RAVENS.
Bengals +1½ at Chiefs (36½): Kansas City has been the worst in preseason going just 2-14 in their last 16 and 1-7 against AFC teams. BENGALS.
Seahawks -2½ at Broncos (38): Do you think anyone will be watching the Super Bowl rematch from last year? Not only did the Seahawks demolish the Broncos in the Super Bowl but they crushed them in Week 3 of preseason last year, 40-10. Will revenge prevail? The fans are ready, but is Denver good enough? The Broncos have gone 15-3 in their last 18 home openers against the NFC and 3-0 SU and ATS at home. Revenge will be sweet and set the stage for the rest of the season. BRONCOS.
Friday, Aug. 8
Dolphins +2½ at Falcons (37½): Both teams have been bad in preseason but the Falcons have exceeded the total in 8 of their last 9 openers. OVER.
Bills NL at Panthers: Early number was 2 for Carolina, but that will change. Buffalo is just not that good as seen on TV this past Sunday, They now have gone 1-11 in their last 12 road preseason games and must come back with only four days rest. Panthers 5-0 in their last 5 against the AFC in preseason. PANTHERS.
Bucs +1 at Jaguars (37½): The total is the way to play this game. Jags have exceeded the total in 8 of their last 10 preseason games. OVER.
Eagles +1½ at Bears (40): This should be a good one for the pocket. Philly 1-8 in their last 9 preseason plus a lousy 1-10 SU and 1-8-2 ATS on the road in preseason. Worse yet, the Eagles poured it on the Bears last year in Week 11, crushing them 54-11. The Bears remember that well. BEARS.
Saturday, Aug. 9
Browns +2 at Lions (39): The thinking in this corner is Cleveland will surprise a lot of people this year and want to start off strong. They have won their last four preseason openers. BROWNS.
Packers +1½ at Titans (38): The Packers want to stay injury free, and in the last four years they have dropped four straight preseason openers. TITANS.
For the second straight Saturday one person won the top two spots in the Jerry’s Nugget Del Mar handicapping contest. Eric Franklin took down the top spot with 69.8 and the second money also with 62. And for the first time in the contest his third entry was also third best. Good job, Eric.
And in Johnny Avello’s fine contest at Wynn, Ron Ripey won day 1 with $185, Michael Silber won day 2 with $110. Ripey won the overall with $198 for a grand total of $135,000.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].