Sid Diamond ready to pitch a few gems

Aug 1, 2006 4:41 AM

Are you ready for some sports action? You’ve come to the right place.

As a long-time sports director in Nevada race and sports books, I’ve been a fan of GamingToday for decades.

And, now, to be able to contribute on a regular basis is the coup de grace.

What I’ll be doing each week is offering a few gems (Diamond’s gems?) that should help the sports bettors among us.

They could be team sides or totals, or season predictions (championship winners, win totals, etc.), or just helpful handicapping hints.

Before getting into this week’s gems, I’d like to offer just a brief background review, for those who don’t know me.

I broke into the sports book business back in 1975 at the Del Mar sports book in North Las Vegas.Oddly enough, the structure (next to the Silver Nugget) still stands, but it’s now a Mexican restaurant.

When we had the building, we served up some hot tamales of our own! My mentor was Bill Dark, an innovative bookie who is credited with inventing the betting "total" on games.

Later I went to work for the fearless Joe Slyman at the Royal Inn sports book on Convention Center Drive, which at the time was the best sports book the city had ever seen.

Beginning in 1982 I began a fulfilling association with the Circus Circus corporation and its founder, Bill Bennett.

I started by opening the book at the Edgewater in Laughlin, then moved back to Las Vegas to open the Excalibur in 1990. It was about this time that Bill asked me to oversee all eight of the corporation’s sports books.

I did this until 1999, when I left to work for a company called SportsXaction, which manufactured a real-time bet system, similar to Rapid Bet, which is in use at the Palms.

After a short stint running Carl Icahn’s books at the Stratosphere and Arizona Charlie’s, I went to work for Bill Paulos at the Regent (now the Rampart) in Summerlin. I spent a couple years with Bill before retiring, for the fourth time, I think!

But I’m happy to back in circulation for GamingToday. There’s nothing this old bookie likes more than talking about sports and sports betting.

This week, I’m looking closely at making a future bet on the Minnesota Twins to win the World Series. You can get odds of about 15-1 at the Palms.

The Twins have a dynamic pitching duo in lefties Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano, who could account for four wins in any seven-game series — just the way Koufax and Drysdale did for the L.A. Dodgers. Plus, Brad Radke is no slouch, either.

I’m also looking at the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl at about 35-1. With the addition of Steve McNair at quarterback, I expect the offense to be more potent, will score more and keep the defense on the sidelines a little bit more.

The Ravens may even go "over" the total a few times this season. So carefully check the totals during the regular season. I’m sure I’ll have something to say when the games are underway.

That’s it for this week; good luck to all in the sports books.