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The League Kicks Off Wednesday On FXX

The League TV Show

The League

The League kicks off its new season this Wednesday, September 4, at 10:30pm on a new station called FXX. If you’re not familiar with the show “The League” is semi-scripted show about a group of (mostly) guys in a fantasy football league. The show features on of my favorite comedians, Nick Kroll, and a handful of other funny guys. There are plenty of not-so-random appearances by NFL players throughout each season (You’ll see that in the preview below).

“The League” is easily one of my favorite shows on TV. The skill involved with being a comedian in a semi-scripted TV show allows for the actors to show real, off the cuff, talent. While fantasy football is the backdrop of the show the non-football scenes shouldn’t be discarded. One of my favorite characters from last season was Gina Gibiatti played by Brooklyn Decker. The character had nothing to do with football but was crudely brilliant.

To say I’m excited for the show is a bit of an undersell. I’ve been binge watching the first few seasons of “The League” for the third or fourth time on Netflix for the past week. You can find DVD’s and streams from all seasons of “The League” on Amazon.

FXX is a new all comedy channel from Fox. FXX will also be showing “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. It’s taking over the station that was formerly Fox Soccer so it’s probably not located anywhere that you’d find a random comedy channel. FXX has a website for you to locate the station. In Las Vegas you can find FXX on Cox channel 335 for the time being and there’s no HD available for FXX in Las Vegas (BOO!).

Here are some previews for the new season of “The League” and you can find a lot more previews and teasers on the FXX Facebook.

Rafi Domination League (Rafi is possibly the best TV character created in the past 10 years.)

Preview with everyone on the show and some NFL players

 

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LVH SuperContest Weekend

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel

LVH SuperBook

Just like that….LVH SuperContest Weekend has come and gone. The LVH SuperContest is the largest most known football contest in Las Vegas (there are many). Its $1,500 entry fee makes it worth paying attention to, in part because of the huge prize pool. This year LVH is estimating that there will be over $1 million in prizes given away with the winner taking home over $200,000. Not too shabby!

I don’t play in the SuperContest because I don’t feel like spend enough time handicapping football to I’m not confident that I can win the contest. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying a little bit of SuperContest Weekend. It’s nice to see some of the serious sports bettors that I already know and meet new sports bettors.

I only attend the seminars with the pro sports handicappers discussing their thoughts on the upcoming football seasons (college and pro). I figure that I’d learn a little bit in between beers and chit-chat. Here are my notes from the college football panel.

Because of the $1,500 buy-in and huge prizes there is a lot of interest to be a part of the SuperContest from people all over the country. You can still take part of the SuperContest even if you don’t live in Las Vegas with a proxy service. Vegas Matty, who operates FootballContestProxy.com and the recently launched FootballContest.com, explains: 

“The proxy was put in place by the LVH to allow out-of-state contestants – and those others who can’t physically make it to the SuperBook on a weekly basis – to participate in the greatest football contest in the world. The SuperContest requires picks to be submitted in person, so that requirement would obviously prevent most of an ever-growing field from entering if they could not use a proxy.

“In fact, most of my new clients tell me they would have entered previously but did not know they could use a proxy to submit picks for them.  I definitely believe the growth of the SuperContest is not just directly tied to the exposure created by guys like Chad Millman and Bill Simmons (from ESPN) and marketing genius of Jay Kornegay, who have all contributed greatly to its success.  In my opinion, the realization that contestants don’t need to live in Las Vegas and can use a proxy instead has also had a significant impact on the SuperContest’s spike up the last few years.”

For full disclosure Vegas Matty was one of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas because we have many shared interests. He’s a good follow on twitter if you like football or MMA.

The LVH SuperContest is growing every year which, in turn, makes it more difficult to win because of increased competition. If you like winning the time to sign up for the SuperContest is now. Likewise, if you like big jackpots hold out and prepare for next year. Since 100% of the money is returned to players prizes will only keep increasing.

Tweet @Vegas_Matty

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Fox Sports 1 Bringing Point Spreads To The Masses

Fox Sports 1 Point Spreads

Fox Sports 1 Showing Point Spreads

Fox Sports 1 launched as a 24 hour all sports network last week. While CBS and NBC have launched 24 hour sports networks in the past year it looks as if Fox Sports 1 will be the greatest challenger to ESPN. ESPN is the largest all sports network with the most history so each network has to carve their own niche with sports fans. NBC Sports Network has focused its programming around the NHL, NFL, Premier League and fringe sports like cycling while CBS Sports Network seems to be a minor league sports network filling much of its programming with lesser tier college football and college basketball.

Fox Sports 1 will be a home for NFL, UFC, college football and soccer spillover from regular Fox programming. I’m assuming that they’ll integrate MLB into next year’s shows. Fox Sports 1 seems to have the most upper tier programming to take some market share from big brother, ESPN. In addition to strong major league sports they have a strong roster of former professional athletes and professional broadcasters for their regular TV shows (hello Charissa and Erin).

Mainstream sports media has tiptoed around gambling in the past even though it plays a large role in popularity of certain sports – especially football. One way that Fox Sports 1 is differentiating itself from ESPN is not hiding from gambling – at least not hiding from the fact that gambling exists. Fox Sports 1 has point spreads displayed when they run upcoming matchups on their bottom line or side bar (above). This isn’t just for football as they had betting odds for the UFC fights last weekend.

Fox Sports 1 Bottom Line UFC Odds

I haven’t noticed any of the talking heads on Fox Sports 1 speaking about gambling directly but this is the first time that I can remember seeing a TV network using point spreads all day long, not just for pick segments.

I’m curious to see how they incorporate point spreads into football wrap ups. Discussing ATS (Against The Spread) records along side of straight up records would really open the door to sports betting discussion. As a sports bettor and fan I would love this.

Body Photo: 30 FPS 

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Best Las Vegas Sportsbooks

Lagasse's Stadium Sportsbook And Restaurant At Palazzo Las Vegas

Lagasse’s Stadium

I didn’t plan on going over the best Las Vegas sportbooks because there’s no such thing as a bad sportsbook. There are varying degrees of greatness but sportsbooks are the best place in the casino as far as I’m concerned. Since I’m at sportsbooks often people ask my opinion so I figured that I should have a current list as football season is upon us.

My main criteria for the best sportsbooks are TV’s, cleanliness and service. Watching the games is the reason I’m at the sportsbook so the quality of the TV screens usually matters more than anything else. That said, I don’t smoke and don’t want leave the sportsbook smelling like an ashtray.

Let’s look at the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

Lagasse's Stadium at Palazzo Las Vegas

1. Lagasse’s Stadium (The Palazzo)

Lagasse’s Stadium may be the greatest place on earth. Lagasse’s Stadium is the best sportsbook in Las Vegas because it’s more than a sportsbook. Lagasse’s Stadium, located inside The Palazzo, is also a bar, restaurant, casino and lounge. The main area has stadium couch seating and is surrounded by couches above and cocktail tables above and to the side. Waitresses are plentiful so there’s never a time you should be without food or drink. This is a benefit and a curse. You almost feel compelled to eat and/or drink when you watch the games at Lagasse’s Stadium. That can get pricey. For NFL Sunday’s and major sporting events you’ll have to pay a minimum per person for food and drink (usually $50 or $100). Reservations are always recommended for these days. The only other reservation about Lagasse’s Stadium is that the main seating area TV screens are showing their age and could use updating. Regardless, Lagasse’s Stadium is the best sportsbook in Las Vegas (and the world). Photo: Vegas.com

The Venetian Las Vegas Sportsbook

2. The Venetian

The Venetian sportsbook is the best free sportsbook in Las Vegas. The Venetian sportsbook renovation is going on two years now but it still looks brand new. The lighting and TV screens at The Venetian sportsbook are by far the best and brightest of any sportsbook in Las Vegas. The Venetian sportsbook is operated by Cantor Gaming and looks similar to all of their sportsbooks in Las Vegas with red desks and big office chairs. If it wasn’t for those beautiful TV screens this sportsbook would have zero vibe but those TV screens make up for any lack of atmosphere from the decor. The desks have outlets should you need to power your phone. Between the lack of cocktail waitresses and the condescending Cantor Gaming staff don’t expect good service. The saving grace for service at the The Venetian sportsbook are the quick and polite bartenders. The poor service is masked by those gorgeous TV’s.

 

The Mirage Las Vegas Sportsbook

3. The Mirage

The Mirage returned to being one of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas when they renovated in March 2013. The  Mirage sportsbook renovation removed about a third of the old desk seating and replaced it with big comfy chairs. As part of the renovation The Mirage also added a gigantic TV screen that spans almost the entire huge sportsbook. This screen is flexible and can fit just about every game with each game being sized to the amount of interest. The sportsbook manager decides which games shown and what size they are based on bets made so if you want to see a game make sure you place your bets here. The Vegas Parlay says you might even score a free drink ticket if you bet here. The Mirage sportsbook is one of the most legendary sportsbooks in Las Vegas and these renovations restore that luster. Photo: Vegas Chatter

Red Rock Resort Sportsbook

4. Red Rock Resort

The sportsbook at Red Rock Resort is without a doubt the best sportsbook off the Vegas Strip. The best quality of the Red Rock sportsbook is it’s size and flexibility. It’s huge and has 3 enormous projection screens which can fit anywhere from 1 to 4 games each. The seating is made up with 2/3rd’s desk, dinner chairs and individual TV’s and 1/3rd lounge chairs. Cocktail waitresses are always walking around so drinks flow quickly. Depending on your ticket writer drink tickets can be fairly easy to come by. If you don’t get one just ask. The Red Rock sportsbook is always packed for football and the energy is great. There is a bar in the back of the sportsbook that offers more chairs and great bartenders. I may be partial because it’s my local bar.

Wynn Las Vegas Sportsbook

5. Wynn

Wynn is still has one of the nicest casinos on the strip even though it’s beginning to show its age. That age is most noticeable in their sportsbook. Wynn opened in 2005 but when you’re sitting in the large sportsbook it may as well be 1995. The sportsbook is comfortable and has ample seating and TV’s for any football Sunday but everything from the TV’s to the seating could use a little updating. While there are many TV’s they aren’t the massive screens available at the other sportsbooks on this list. The Wynn sportsbook is one of the few remaining independently operated sportsbooks and you’ll always get fair lines here. You may also get a drink ticket or two. The Wynn/Encore combination is a great casino complex and the Wynn sportsbook is still a fine place to watch the games. Photo: Flickr

Cover Photo: CBS Local

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Five NFL Stadiums That Could Use Casinos

Earlier this year I was fascinated when I found out that the New York Mets wanted to have a casino as part of Citi Field. That’s two things I love in one place – baseball and casinos. That got me to thinking what other pro stadiums could use a casino.

In February I called on baseball expert “Betting DorkGill Alexander to come up with 5 Major League Baseball stadiums that could use a casino and now I’m calling on Joe Fortenbaugh from National Football Post for the NFL version of that list. Thankfully he had a few minutes before the NFL draft to contribute his thoughts.

Like me, Joe likes to eat steak, gamble and drink but he also knows way more about football then anyone else I know. Joe covers Las Vegas and gambling for NFP and is a great read and follow on twitter (@JoeFortenbaugh). On to 5 NFL stadiums that could use a casino…

1. Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL)

Raymond James Stadium Tampa, FL

In 2006, I attended four games at Ray Jay during the Bucs’ forgettable 4-12 campaign and can honestly say that I’ve never had a better time in the face of consistent defeat. Under the sun-drenched Florida sky amidst the laid-back party atmosphere, Buccaneers games are more like a cocktail party than a sporting event. And when you really think about it, is there a better place for a casino in all of a professional football than the $3 million, 20,000 square foot pirate ship located in Raymond James’ north end zone? The damn thing screams “Treasure Island” and would be so much fun to play at that I wouldn’t bat an eye at the 6/5 blackjack payouts.

Photo: Wikimedia 

2. Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)

Cowboys Stadium Arlington, TX

If NFL venues were Las Vegas Strip properties, then Jerry Jones’ $1.2 billion ode to extravagance would no doubt be the Lone Star State equivalent of the Wynn. From the $40 million jumbotron to the onsite Victoria’s Secret, Jones has made it perfectly clear that he wants Cowboys Stadium to be regarded as the gold standard for modern sports arenas. With 85,000 seats, Jones can afford to turn the six elevated platforms behind the end zones from standing room “Party Pass” sections into blackjack and dice games with an elevated view of the field. Just don’t expect to find any $5 tables. Tony Romo’s $108 million contract isn’t going to pay itself.

Photo: Wikimedia 

3. O.Co Coliseum (Oakland, CA)

O.Co Coliseum Oakland, CA

Calling the Coliseum a dump would be an insult to waste disposal facilities all across America. The Raiders haven’t posted a winning season since 2002 and have ranked dead last in attendance in three of the last four years. Between the fan bases’ lack of interest in showing up to witness yet another loss and the state of California’s never ending budget crisis, building an onsite casino makes too much sense for an inept state legislature more concerned with taxing their citizens into an early grave. Just go ahead and convert the entire upper deck into a pleasure pit of gambling decadence. It’s not like anybody is using those seats to watch the Raiders play football.

Photo: NFL.com 

4. Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, LA)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, LA

There was absolutely no shot in hell that we were going to do an article on stadium-casinos and leave the most morally compromising, utterly decedent and insanely delicious city in the league off the list. The Big Easy: Where willpower takes a backseat and the right foot never lets off the gas. Where alcoholic beverages are served by the gallon, Johnny Law turns a blind eye and the human spirit is free to push the limits of debauchery. It’s this type of atmosphere that has aided the Saints in their production of an impressive 29-11 (.725) home record since 2008. The only problem with a Superdome casino is that you’d probably be forced to cut-off drink service for close to 73% of the gambling population.

Photo: Blog.NewOrleansSaints 

5. Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, CA)

Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, CA

Try as you might, you’ll never be able to convince me that there’s a better tailgate in all of professional football than the one that takes place at Qualcomm on Sundays during the fall. The weather is so immaculate and the atmosphere so lively that as a Chargers season ticket holder in 2005, I was a lock to enter the stadium 30 minutes after kickoff because I didn’t want the party in the parking lot to end. The best way to rectify that problem would be to build a casino in the upper deck, where fans can gamble away the afternoon in 76-degree weather while watching the Powder Blues go about their business. The Chargers would have a natural gaming partner in Viejas Casino, which is located just 29 miles from Qualcomm.

Photo: Butterfunk 

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Jets Cover Photo: Flickr

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March Madness In Las Vegas Is Better Than The Super Bowl

Florida Gulf Coast International Dunk

Dunk City

I’ve loved March Madness for years but this year I’ve spent much less time watching college basketball. In fact, I didn’t watch a single NCAA basketball game this year. I was looking forward to the NCAA basketball tournament less then I have in years.

Times changes things everyone and everything. I thought my time with the March Madness had passed but it hasn’t…it’s changed. I don’t think I’ll ever care much about the regular season of college basketball but March Madness is something entirely different.

March Madness in Las Vegas is bigger and better than the Super Bowl.

I don’t care about sportsbook handles, revenue or facts on whether or not this, financially, is true. I know what I see. The vibe in the sportsbooks is great for the Super Bowl but it cannot match the intensity of March Madness. First of all college basketball fans are, generally, younger than NFL fans. Second, there is much more action to watch and to bet.

The first weekend of March Madness has 16 games on both Thursday and Friday with as many as four games on at once. When half the teams are eliminated there are still 8 games on Saturday and Sunday with 3 (maybe 4) happening at once. At the same time  there may be some NBA or NHL games on smaller TV’s in the sportsbook.

The Super Bowl is one game with no competition. The crowd in Vegas for the Super Bowl is a little older and more subdued. After this weekend I realize that Vegas is what keeps me interested in March Madness. The first weekend of March Madness is now the single best time for the sports fan to visit Las Vegas.

Florida Gulf Coast University is one of the many reasons so many people love sports. The story is great and dunks like this one would have broken twitter last year. Thankfully twitter doesn’t break down as much. This dunk made me jump out of my seat.

Photo: USA Today

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Super Bowl XLVII Breaks Casino Records

Super Bowl XLVII (or is that Big Game XLVII?) broke records in the Nevada sportsbooks this year for the most money wagered on a game.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board announced bettors wagered $98,936,798 on the 2013 Super Bowl, the most in the history of the state. This year’s game easily surpassed the $93,067,358 bet on the 2006 Super Bowl when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.

Sports books held 7.3 percent of the total handle, calculating to a win of $7,206,460. That’s the most since the 2007 Super Bowl, when Nevada made $12,930,175 on the Indianapolis Colts 29-17 victory against the Chicago Bears.

Sportsbooks also made more money than sports bettors. This should come as no surprise since they sportsbooks made money on 16 of the last 18 Super Bowls. Hey, it’s their job to make more money than gamblers.

The game itself was fun to watch and I had proposition bets alive until the end of the game. Alas my action was split (I was 2 and 2) and I contributed to the sportsbook fund. Since sports betting makes up less than 2% of all casino gaming revenues I’m happy to help keep the lights on…for a little while. With the new technology and increased popularity in proposition bets you can rest assure that casinos will continue to make more money on the Super Bowl in the future.

After enjoying with the fun and chaos of watching the Super Bowl on the Vegas strip last year I decided to stay home so I can actually watch the game. While the game was fun to watch and the Beyonce halftime show was awesome the commercials were lacking. My dudes at The Laugh Button take a look at the few funny Super Bowl ads.

I love football season but I’m happy it’s done. NFL Sunday’s stress me out. Now I have the sportsbooks back to myself. I wrote about upcoming major sporting events for Vegas Chatter today. Besides March Madness the sportsbooks should be relatively tame and that’s how I like it.

 

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Odds Are You’re Going To Lose If You Bet On The Super Bowl

I love stats but I try not to get too caught up in the minutia of a lot of the monthly and annual gaming data that’s available. However when someone does the heavy lifting for me and makes it easy to digest I can dig it.

Sports Memo put together annual gaming information on the Super Bowl from the Nevada Gaming Commission. Nevada have won more money than bettors 16 of the past 18 years. Yowza!

Super Bowl Data

The only games where the sportsbooks didn’t win were 2008 when the New York Giants defeated the unbeaten New England Patriots and in 1995 when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers.

This isn’t really surprising since most of the money bet on the Super Bowl is from people that don’t normally bet or pay too much attention to betting during the NFL season.

The Super Bowl is no different than any other time you gamble; it should be for fun and with money you can afford. With this kind of history you should expect to lose if you’re placing any money on the Super Bowl. Have fun and be safe with your money.

 

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Best Sportsbooks In Las Vegas

The new year means it’s time to update some of my favorite things in Vegas. With the Super Bowl and March Madness right around the corner I figured that I might as well start with a new edition of the Top 5 Sportsbooks In Las Vegas. These are MY favorites. Yours may differ but they’re wrong…at least for me. If you compare to last year’s Top 5 sportsbooks in Vegas you won’t see much change but you will notice some tweaks.

1. Lagasse’s Stadium (The Palazzo)- Last week I questioned whether or not Lagasse’s Stadium should even be considered a sportsbook. It’s really a restaurant with a bar and sportsbook but the more I think about it the more that I remember that Lagasse’s Stadium is the future of sportsbooks. Lagasse’s Stadium may be the greatest place in Vegas. It’s a great place to watch the games, snack, drink, play blackjack, play pool and more. Just don’t expect drink tickets. Those are only given with bets above $5,000 at the manager’s discretion. I can’t wait for all of the Cantor Gaming sportsbooks to turn all of their sportsbooks into restaurants. It will happen some day.

Venetian Sportsbook

2. The Venetian – This is by far the best traditional sportsbook. There is never a fee to sit and watch the games. The huge HD TV screens can be seen from far away in The Venetian casino and even though cocktail waitresses are sparse in this huge sportsbook, there’s a bar in the back of the sportsbook to get drinks. You can still watch the games (and play video poker). Not enough praise can go into the beauty of the TV’s at The Venetian sportsbook. As an added bonus this year a burger joint opened across the casino called Rattlecan. Rattlecan sends their waitresses to the sportsbook and will bring you pretty good burgers. (See review at Vegas Chatter)

Wynn Sportsbook

3. Wynn – I had a bad experience here a few years ago and held a grudge but after a recent stay at Encore I’ve come around to the sportsbook at Wynn. There is a lot of comfortable seating in between the race and sports sides of the book plus there’s a bar overlooking the sportsbook with about 50-75 more seats. The projection screens could use some updating while the TV’s for less important games could use more size and updating but they’re very easy to watch if you have a seat up close. If you’re just watching a major event like the Super Bowl this shouldn’t matter.

Bellagio Sportsbook

4. Bellagio – The Bellagio sportsbook isn’t very big but it’s nice and comfortable. This sportsbook had new TV’s installed this year and that helps. Bellagio is one of my favorite casinos in Las Vegas so I’m happy to see that things are improving on the sportsbook side. It’s another great excuse to visit. If you want a seat for the games here arrive early because the sportsbook is very small.

Red Rock Sportsbook

5. Red Rock Resort – The sportsbook at Red Rock Resort is huge. It’s definitely the sportsbook for locals since it’s about half hour away from the Vegas strip. During football season the Red Rock sportsbook is very busy almost to the point of where it’s not fun but it’s still great. If you like to drink while watching the games this is your place. Cocktail waitresses make rounds non-stop. I prefer the Red Rock sportsbook during NBA and MLB seasons because it’s a little slower and they show all of the games. Video poker players will be happy to find full pay Bonus Poker at the sportsbook bar.

Silverton Sportsbook

Honorable mention: Silverton. The Silverton sportsbook is small but it’s brand new will appropriately size TV screens. It’s not at a very busy casino but that usually means you can find a seat. If it’s busy, you can sit at a slot machine. A bar, Starbucks and Johnny Rockets are steps away if you need food or drink. Like all cantor gaming sportsbooks there’s free wifi and outlets for access to things not on TV.

 

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BCS Championship Game Will Be Most Bet College Football Game…Ever

According to Jimmy Vaccaro from William Hill US the BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame will be the most bet on college football game ever. While next year’s BCS Championship game will be the most bet on college football game ever, it will still only do about 20% as much business as the Super Bowl.

You can see this and get more information about the BCS Championship game from Jimmy Vaccaro in the video below from Las Vegas 8 News Now that refuses to embed. Stupid video.

If you follow me on twitter you know I use the William Hill app for sports betting (along with Sports Connection from Station Casinos). Both are only legal to use in Nevada.

Photo – NewsOK

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas