As we get closer to some cooler weather, we can soon look forward to Del Mar, Saratoga, and preseason pro football.
I will take a quick look at all three and try to convey a few helpful hints that may help you win. First, the NFL in August.
Most people say you have to be crazy to bet on the preseason. You don’t even know who is going to play or for how long. All I know is that in regular season you can bet up to $50,000 on an NFL game in some places, $10,000 to $20,000 in most places. In preseason, the majority of sports books take between $500 and $1,000.
In my many years in Vegas behind the counter, the one thing that I know is that the wise guys love the preseason and the books hate it. One reason is that because the limits are so small, the line can move three or four points. This puts the books in a bad situation where they can get sided or middled.
Also, some of the best plays of the year appear in preseason. The New York Jets for instance, have covered 11 straight against the NY Giants and are 7-1 ATS in preseason contests the last two years. The Green Bay Packers are a whopping 17-2 at home the last nine years.
Another angle is some teams come back with little or no rest. One good play this year is Green Bay playing Kansas City in the Hall Of Fame Game, then five days later going to Atlanta for a matchup with the Falcons. Atlanta coach Dan Reeves has his players ready, supported by the team’s 11-2 SU and ATS mark in preseason during his tenure.
The Ravens will also be a good bet this year. Coach Billick is 11-4 ATS and gets Buffalo at home in Baltimore’s first game Saturday, Aug. 9. The Bills were 0-4 SU and ATS in preseason play last year.
So look for a lot of plays coming up in our next issue when we will cover the entire first week of preseason.
Now, for a quick look at Del Mar and Saratoga. Let’s open with trainers.
First, my favorite at Del Mar is A.C. Avila. When Avila rides his favorite jock Omar Berrio on a speed type horse, watch for the early bet down and the odds creeping back up. This is a real money maker.
Bob Baffert, leading trainer the past six years, saves his best 2-year-old for Del Mar. Watch and you may get a good early future KD price here. Peter Eurton 5-16 in ”˜02, best with horse claimed at Hollywood and freshened, back at same or lower class. Mike Harrington can pop with some big prices on comebackers.
Jeff Mullins will continue his winning ways here and is a must use in all exotics.
John Sadler has a long-term positive history at Del Mar, especially with horses making some kind of change in distance or equipment. Bill Spawr will strike early and often. It use to be Spawr and Pincay, but now it’s Spawr and whomever.
Warren Stute may be getting up in years but is just one great horseman who brings in some longshots here and also pops with first-time starters. Warren has been a little quiet this year but look for him to light it up a little at the sea.
One more of my favorite plays is a maiden who has lost at least seven or more times. For some reason the horse is finally able to break through here and usually at a good price.
Saratoga, "The Graveyard Of Champions" has taken many to the cleaners including myself. I can honestly say that I have never had a winning meet at the Spa. I love it there and have had some great times but winners for me are just hard to come by.
This year I will follow the red-hot stable of Kiaran McLaughlin. Also Mr. Bobby Frankel is going to send out some top 2-year-olds that are a must to keep your eyes on especially for KD futures. Frankel is bound and determined to win a Kentucky Derby. BF was a 28 percent winner last year at the Spa.
Have fun, stay cool and most of all you’ll need lots of luck and photos to go your way.