Top 7

The Golden 7 – GN Showdown Week 4

Last week our Lucky 7 was not so lucky, therefore we are going to adjust the name to hopefully adjust our results.  Plus, we wrote too much on each game.  The Golden 7 will be more condensed.  The GN Showdown and William Hill College contests have been so tough, but we love the challenge.  As mentioned many times, we don’t bet all of these game.  We do bet some and will look to highlight them.  Our mettle is being tested.

 

Every week, we learn more and more about various programs in college football.  All of this work has had a net positive effect on our bankroll and should pay dividends in bowl season.  Also, we need to be ready for the Wildcard Chase in Week 9 and 10.

 

On to the games (listed in our order of preference):

 

Toledo +4
This is our Lock of the Year.  Yes, we know.  Toledo covered a close game in Provo.  This is a solid team that played a phenomenal game against a tough BYU team.  This win will be chalked up as pure luck to get the cover (4th and 4… wink, wink). Next.

 

Jets +2.5 ($)

Call us crazy, but we really like the Jets in this spot.  This game appeals to us because of three factors: west coast team playing in New York at 10:00am PST, Jet’s D-Line verses Seattle’s O-Line and the line action in the point spread all week.  If we have time, we’ll write more about this game.

 

Ball State -4 ($)

This one goes to the seniors at Ball State that have had to suffer with so many losing seasons.  Revenge will best be served in front of a sold out stadium in Muncie, Indiana.  We’ll be betting the moneyline in this game.

 

Missouri +13 ($)

Change can be tough for anyone.  Mizzou is solid team that is catching LSU at the right time.  We’ll take the points.  By the way, we also have Missouri +400 on the moneyline.

 

Maryland -10.5 ($)
The first Big 10 game for the Terrapins.  We think the potential here is for a convincing win over the Boilermakers.

 

Wake Forest +10.5 ($)
Opening conference game for both teams.  NC State hosts Notre Dame next week.  How can the Wolfpack not be distracted from the shadow cast by the Fighting Irish.  Wake Forest was impressive in their upset win on the road in Bloomington.  The Demon Deacons will travel to Raleigh looking for the win and should fight.

 

Minnesota – 5 (No bet yet, but maybe)

The Vikings might be the best team in the NFC.  Bradford finally has a solid team around him.  Minnesota is 1-0 at home.  Constant pressure on Manning will be important to get the cover.

 

Good luck everyone.

Lucky 7: GN Showdown Selections Week 3

Our contest entry in The Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown is off to a solid start and right in the mix.  We need to be in the Final 8 to entry the true Showdown to have a chance at glory.  This is fun as long as we are competitive. As mentioned previously, there are experienced and seasoned professional sports gamblers that have entered the Showdown. Let’s hope that we can do better than last week.  Our selections hit 5-2 ATS, which is terrific in most settings.  The Golden Nugget or the Westgate’s SuperContest are all about getting off to a fast start, but also crushing the number.  Remember CH Ballers in 2014? They ran away with the SuperContest nailing an incredible winning percentage of 76% ATS.

 

Unfortunately, we left Central Michigan and Toledo off the Golden Nugget card last week.  We had them in the William Hill College Football contest (7-0 ATS by the way) and bet a nice amount on Toledo.  Our first priority is to make money through dynamic sports betting, but a close second is to win the Golden Nugget Showdown, then the William Hill CFB contest.  Plus, we can’t forget the new website and a much needed update to the mobile apps. The work never seems to stop and that is fine by us.

 

This tends to be a difficult week for us.  Some teams are starting to find a groove, some are healing from injury while others are the posers that will soon collapse.  Like we say, there is a lot of grinding in this business.  Our colleague Mike B. has a better grind at the WSOP and the plethora of poker tournaments her enters around the world.

 

It seems that somehow our selections fall into a theme.  Last week, we bet chalk.  This week it is picking against teams with injuries in key positions. After much consideration and research, our staff has isolated seven games that we believe offer value on this week’s card at the Nugget.

 

 

Washington -11

 

Our hope is that we are not late to the Huskies party.  This team has been dominant in its first few games.  We like so much about this team. We like the coach, the players, the university, the home stadium, the colors and especially the beautiful city of Seattle.

There are a few reasons why we like the Huskies in this role even though they are double-digit conference road favorite.  Normally we will avoid this spot, but Zona has key injuries with their quarterback and running back.  Even if they play, Solomon and Wilson will not be at full strength.

 

This Washington team is strong in many areas. Solid recruiting by Sarkisian and Petersen is starting to pay dividends for a program that dominated the Pac10 a decade or two ago.  The Pac 12 has been a different story for the Huskies football program, but the script is being rewritten right in front of our eyes.

 
We have never been comfortable lying 11 on the road and in the conference, but we will this Saturday night.  Browning is off to a strong start.  Add in the incredibly creative mind of Chris Petersen and the Huskies have become a dynamic offense.  Sark brought in the pieces, but left too early.  Petersen is the ideal candidate as the Huskies coach and will continue the positive direction of this program.

 

 

Minnesota -16.5

 

Minnesota is off a bye and at home. We might leave it at that. Colorado State gave them a fight last year in Hughes Stadium, but a lot of talent has left Ft. Collins since that game.  The Golden Gophers should be able to dominate both sides of the line. We especially like the potential of a dominating rushing attack that will grind away at the stamina of the Rams defensive line.  We are still not sure about this Minnesota program and look forward to see how they perform in today’s game.

 

Colorado State is a year or two away from being able to compete on this level. Give the program 2 years in their new, beautiful on campus stadium that will open in 2017.  It could take the Colorado State Rams right to the Big 12 (if that window is still open).  The Big 12 can squeeze it’s way right into Pac 12 Country. It has to be a tempting thought for the conference.

 

 

Akron +6

 

Here we are again selecting against our founder’s alma mater.  It worked last week, so we are going to try it this week. The schedule makers have not done any favors for the Mountaineers. Sure Akron has been a weak program in the past, but that is no longer the case.  Terry Bowden has this program on the rise.  We selected against the Zips in week 1 when they visited Madison.  They made some plays, but couldn’t take advantage of them.  Last week, the Zips were clicking on all cylinders.  They started slow, but unloaded on Marshall and walked away with a convincing win.

 

Now App State has to visit an Akron team with momentum.  This is right after hosting the biggest sporting event in the High Country.  The Mountaineers have to hit the road at a time where their bearings a still off.  Once again, the Mountaineers have another reason to displeased with the schedule maker.  Marcus Cox’s injury will hamper the ability for the Mountaineers to keep pace with the Zips.

 

App State has a good program and should be competitive this season, but not until they can stop focusing on the non-conference schedule.

 

 

Air Force -3.5

 

We love selecting the military academies whenever we can.  Army might have surprised a lot of people this year, but not us.  We cashed on the cadets of West Point in the first two weeks of the season and in week 1 of both contests.  This time our selection is the side of the Falcons. Utah State showed the other night, against Arkansas State, that the football program is competitive under the guidance of Coach Wells.  The recent edge that the Aggies have had over the Falcons has graduated.  The playmaker quarterbacks are gone, as are the fast and powerful linebackers that play on Sundays.

 
The only concern we have with this selection is the Navy game next week in the Springs.  The leadership in any branch would accept a 2-10 record, as long as the program wins the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy.  We know that the Navy game plan is in place.  The key to this selection is the focus of the Air Force team.  We think the program has the capability of achieving the goal of recapturing the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, along with a Mountain West title.  Since this is the opening game of the conference schedule, the focus should be in place.

 

 

Miami -9.5

 

Betting the largest spread on this Sunday’s NFL card with the Dolphins.  Again, we find ourselves selecting against a team dealing with injuries.  It would be asking a lot of Cody Kessler to start taking snaps with the 1’s for the first time this week and be competitive in Miami.  The Dolphins are sitting at 0-2.  They must have had the same schedule maker as App State with having to play the first two games on the road in Seattle and Foxborough, the toughest venues in the NFL to walk away the W.

 
Now they get to play a depleted Browns team on their 3rd quarterback in as many weeks.  Hello Ndamukong Suh.  The Miami defense has to be licking it chomps facing the Browns in this spot.

 
Wonder what the humidity will feel like?  Let’s see, we like to gamble.  Let’s just say it is going to be hot on the field at Hard Rock Stadium.  Another injury to content with form the Browns is that of Corey Coleman.  This dude is a playmaker.  He cashed some big tickets for us while in college.  His game in Norman comes to mind really fast.  Josh Gordon is still suspended.  Something tells us that the Browns organization is taking the Philadelphia 76ers path on building a team.

 
Adam Gase has proven to be a more than competent offensive coordinator.  We think that he will take this opportunity as a head coach to expand his playbook.  He has to teach and show his team how to be a dynamic offense (like in Chicago and Denver).  Jay Cutler has shown the immediate effect of not having Gase design his offense.  This is the man that invested Tebow Time.  He will be successful in South Beach and it starts this Sunday verses the Browns.

 

 

Cincinnati -3

 

If this line was -3.5,  we might have passed on this game and selected one of the three college football games waiting in the mix.  Cincinnati will be the toughest team that the Broncos have faced all year.  They are a complete team and solid in every phase of the game.  The Bengals biggest hurdle the past couple of years is that they create some of their own misery.  Bengals fans know what we are talking about.  If this team is focused and plays at their potential, very few could beat them at home or on the road.

 
This week they face the defending Super Bowl Champs lead by a quarterback that has two wins under his belt.  Siemian has played well and we rode with the Broncos to a fun pointspread cover last week when Miller and Ray combined for the sack-strip-score covering the 6… fun stuff.  Even for an experienced quarterback, it would be tough to win on the road in this situation.  The Broncos have a good rushing attack and one of the league’s best defenses.  That is a formula to win on the road, but not this week.  Cincinnati is too complete of a team and can’t let an early must-win game slip away.

 
We expect a focused Bengals team to start this game fast and maintain pressure on the Broncos deep into the 4th quarter.  The prima donna receivers in Denver are already bitching about not getting the ball, when they should be happy sitting at 2-0 in the AFC West.  D-Ware, Green and Stephenson injuries hurt, but our selection is more based on the task facing Trevor Siemian.  We have summoned the dynamic duo of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap in the past (verses Seattle last year).  We look for these two dogs putting pressure on the Denver signal caller and force an error or two or three or four.

 

 

Dallas -7

 

Dallas rounds out our Golden Nugget Showdown card. Once again, as with Minnesota, Akron, Washington and Miami, we select a team facing an opponent dealing with key injuries.  Chicago has taken some lumps early in the season.  Carson Wentz and Brockstar picked apart a Chicago secondary that isn’t getting much help from the front four.  This is a big edge for to the Cowboys.  Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have his first 100 yard game as a pro this Sunday night.  As of this writing, the news for Jeffery still shows him as questionable.  We hope a talent like his will wait to heal, but he will be limited if he plays.  This will put pressure on the Hoyer-to-White combination.  Our works says that Chicago is in trouble against the Cowboys.

 
The home crowd should be very enthusiastic after the ‘boys came back against the Redskins.  The team salvaged their season last week.  It was the first win without Romo under center in about 100 games. The practices must be phenomenal at Valley Ranch.  The Cowboys have an opportunity for a NFC Conference win and get back in the playoff hunt.  The Cowboys will send every in Jerry’s World home happy (except for those catching a flight back to O’Hare).

 
This has been a challenging contest and we hope that our work will pay off with another winning weekend.  Good luck – VS

Lucky 7: Golden Nugget Showdown Week 2

Last week was a great start to the contest. We nailed a 6-1 ATS entry, but as we mentioned there are some very solid professionals in this contest. Four of these top dogs went 7-0 ATS in Week 1, so we have our work cut out for us.

 

 

This weekend might as well be called ‘Our Back to School Special’ because we’ll be using all of chalk. This always makes us nervous, especially in a contest like the Golden Nugget Showdown. In the past, we have tended to lean toward favorites this time of year. Teams are spreading their wings and positioning for the post season glory. Strong teams will want to dominate and underperformers will need to bounce back fast.

 

The week we have selected four college and three professional teams. All seven teams have solid programs and only one has a losing record. Why a team with a losing record? It’s because the Carolina Panthers could have easily been 1-0 instead of 0-1. Plus, they need a win desperately.

 

 

This week we’re going to start adding the dollar symbol ($) next to any selection where we have money on the line. We usually don’t bet so many games in a given Summer/Fall weekend. Typically, we are more selective when betting football. The Golden Nugget Showdown requires us to select seven games verses the Vegas line.

 

 

Almost forgot to apologize for the delay in posting this article, but we pressed The U and OK State bets this morning and didn’t want to move the line.

 
On to the selections:

Oklahoma State -5 ($)

We like this set up a lot. Pitt is coming off a tough win verses Penn State. It was a renewed rivalry game that was the main focus of the Panthers’ offseason. They had complete control during the game and it almost slipped away. Pitt has to be a little drained from such a great performance. Now they have to travel to Stillwater.  We pressed this bet at OK State -3.5 this morning.

 

 

OK State lost on a play that should not have been allowed. They have been put in a precarious position by one bad referee call on the field (MAC) and in the booth (Big 12). Their promising season has been put in jeopardy. In an instant, the game against Pitt became a must win game.  This turned into our favorite game of the week once we found out that Dontez Ford was confirmed out of the game. He is a much needed vertical weapon of the Panthers that will not be available against the Cowboys.

 

 

Expect Pistol Pete and the ‘Boys to start fast and score early. They need to press Pitt into mistakes and out of their terrific run game. Points will do that. If Rudolph can connect early, he will connect often.

 

 

Texas Tech -10.5 ($)

 
Yes, we are still upset about La Tech and Arkansas. This is where we get our money back. Texas Tech will be able to take advantage of the Bulldog back 7 unlike Arkansas. We were a week early on the Hogs.

 
Texas Tech is the superior team in a must win situation, similar to OK State. This is a make it or break it game for bowl season. The Big 12 is full of solid programs, especially with the Longhorn resurgence. The home team cannot lose this game with a full slate of tough games ahead.
Mahomes will be channeling his best Aaron Rodgers this Saturday in Lubbock. Expect 400 yards and at least 4 touchdowns from the Red Raiders quarterback. La Tech will score, but they won’t be able to keep pace with the home team.

 

 

Miami (FL) -3.5 ($)

 
This one hurts. Our founder is an Appalachian State grad. App State is catching The U at the wrong time. Miami has had this one circled, which is a true compliment to the outstanding football program from Boone, NC. Enough said.

 

 

Georgia Southern -25.5

 
Laying a big number. Expect the Eagles to run left, run right, run up the middle and keep running. Time of possession will lean heavily to the home team. The GSU running attack will control this game. ULM has a new front 7 which doesn’t bode well for the Warhawks. Oklahoma led by 42 at half and cruised the rest of the game. They were focused on Ohio State before, during and after this game.

 
Georgia Southern is 1-0 in the Sun Belt and looking to extend their lead to 2-0 in conference play. The backdoor cover (BDC) worries us, so we didn’t bet it. The more we think about this one, the more we like it. A bet might sneak in here, follow us on Twitter to find out.

 

 

Carolina Panthers -13.5 ($)

 
Carolina catches San Francisco at home and off a Monday night game. The 49ers dominated a Rams team that was still star stuck off of their Hard Knocks series. Austin was horrible. The D-Line misses Long. Donald melted down and Keenum was pedestrian at best. The scenario was ideal for San Francisco as a MNF Home Team Division Dog. It is so easy to see that scenario now. Hindsight is extremely clear in sports gambling. Now the 49ers must travel east to the Old North State with an early kickoff. Half the team will be waking up when the First Quarter starts.

 

 
It will be a hornet’s nest in Charlotte. The Panthers are rested and coming off of two straight losses to a dominating Denver team that matches up extremely well with them. The 49ers don’t. Carolina will be able to run and pass on the visiting team. The most important factor will be the ability of the Carolina defense to dominate the line of scrimmage. Blaine Gabbert will be Blaine Gilberrt, watch. This is such a tough spot for the 49ers.

 
This is bet where a little creative thinking against the Vegas line caused us to bet here. The point spread was Carolina -14 on Monday. After the 49ers throttled the Rams 28-0, the line only moved ½ point. This minor movement caught our attention. We think the bookmakers are telegraphing that last week was an anomaly and will not impact this game. If anything, it will drain the 49ers’ emotions.

 

 

Denver Broncos -6 ($)

 

Denver is fully rested and Kubiak’s running attack will shred the Colts Defensive Line. Luck is a talent, but the Broncos defense will limit him. The running attack of Denver will dominate. They pull away late in the 2nd half. It’s the altitude dude.

 
Kubiak knows that he has to protect Trevor Siemian and the Denver running game is ideally suited for this need. CJ Anderson gain 125+ on Sunday. Booker will shine to make up for his last game.

 
Add in the complete collapse of the Colts last week against the Lions. It was a greater meltdown that Builder Bar we left in the car the other day. Denver needs to execute early, but we think the extra rests benefits the gameplan.

 

 

Oakland Raiders -5 ($)

 

Our final pick seems to be going into a buzz saw. Some capable people in town like Atlanta. We tend to look at gamed differently than most and really like how the Raiders set up in this game. We used them last week verses the Saints in a tease with the Bucs and are rolling with them -5 this week. The trend is your friend, until it ends.

 

 

People like the Falcons plus the points and why not? Atlanta catching points is tempting. Matty Ice, Julio Jones have Pro Bowl talent. It’s an early must win for a team expected to complete for the NFC South title.

 

Well, here we go. First of all, the Falcons are on a 6 game losing streak. Next, they travel all the way to the Bay area after getting whipped by Jaboo and the Bucs.  Mack and Irvin have speed and strength around the corners. Where is Atlanta vulnerable? Hint, on the edges. Where is Oakland strong? Hint, on the edges. What position did Del Rio play back in the day? Now you get it.

 

 

Now let’s talk about the Black & Silver offense. The deep ball, quick strike Raiders offense is back. This is when the Raiders are at their best, ie. Stabler, Plunkett, Gannon. Carr is an ideal Raider quarterback. Accurate and versatile. The Raiders have always been more fun to watch when they have an elite offense. Oh yeah… what about the ‘other’ super talented wide receiver that won a National Champion while at A-la-bama (please pronounce as Keith Jackson)? Cooper will be stepping up his game in front of his former mentor that will be on the other side of the field.

 
Key match-up: Jake Matthews verses Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin

 
Advantage Raiders

 
Nothing is a sure thing. We have learned that expensive lesson before. Our favorite game of the weekend takes place in oil country, but this one might get pressed if Saturday starts strong.  Good luck.  -VS

Golden Nugget Lucky 7, Week 1

Dare we call it the Lucky 7, but it seems to fit.  We are going to start writing about the 7 selections for the 2016 Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown.  This contest is scheduled to start this weekend and last until week 10 in the NFL.  After Week 10 is completed, the top 8 contestants will advance to the next stage.  Technically, the top 7 contestants and the Wild Card winner will advance to the next stage.  The Wild Card winner is the contestant with the best winning percentage during the final two weeks (Week 9 and 10) of the Showdown. The amount of games to select is increases during the Wild Card weeks up to 9 games.

 

Hopefully we can be competitive during the entire run of the Showdown.  It will be more fun to have worthwhile selections the entire ten weeks of the contest.  There are some top dogs that will be in the mix.  They are seasoned veterans of the sports handicapping contest world.  That is their strength.  Like golf, our main competition is ourselves.  We will be more than glad to land near 55%, but we’ll always aim higher.

 

At Vegas Sports, we prefer to adjust our selections throughout the season.  Bad streaks and some full moons have been known to cramp our style.  This results in times where we have had to walk away for a week or two.  That can’t happen in the Showdown.  On the positive, we like that the selections revolve around NFL and College sides and totals.  The selection of games and options intrigues us while creating an opportunity to identify value.

 

Let the games begin.

 

21. ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS -9

Our first pick and our largest bet of the week (bet placed last Sunday at Wynn at -7.5 and -8).  West Point was our 1st bet of the season too.  Call us biased, but we always favor the academies.  We look for reasons to bet on Army, Navy or Air Force (not against them).  The Black Knights have some great advantages in this game.  First of all, they beat Temple as 14 point underdogs last Friday.  That was a huge win for the program and now those cadets are knocking on the best start to an Army team in quite a while.  Everyone on campus and at plenty of bases across the world are talking Army football.  This game is huge, make no mistake about it.  The next home game at West Point isn’t scheduled until October 15th.  The formula was successful against a talented Temple team on the road.  We expect another terrific game plan from this coaching staff.  Go Army.

 

93. Auburn Tigers -19

Clemson literally escaped Jordan-Hare with a 6 point win.  Arkansas State won’t be as fortunate.

 

97. Air Force Falcons -20

Another team that we have cash on and picking in this contest.  We like this one a lot and have plenty of reasons.  More about this team later.  It’s time to fly.

 

145.  Iowa Hawkeyes -15

We bet this one a little too early at Wynn.  Our ticket has the Hawkeyes -17.  The perils of the early bet considering that we could get them for -15.  The only positive thing is that there is no hook on this bet.  Iowa should roll covering the 17 in this big Midwest recruiting battle between the Big 10 and Big 12.

 

165.  New Mexico Lobos -12.5

This one could be tough giving 12.5 on the road in a rivalry game.  It has the markings of a losing ticket.  There is no bet here, only GN Showdown.

 

190.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3

Our only dog on the ticket.  That is a scary thought, but the Bucs make a barking dog in match-up with The ATL.  The Carolina loss in Denver positions this as an early huge game for both teams.  We have a bet on the Bucs’ moneyline +140.  The defense will be more aggressive this season, while the offense has matured a full year under Jaboo.

 

217.  Houston Texans – 6

Part of a 2-team teaser with Arizona Cardinals.  We might bet this one straight up later.  Houston needs to win here to prove that Brock On was worth the big bucks.  Defense is the calling card to this team… expect a dominating performance from the Texan’s D.

 

As always, good luck this week.

Golden Nugget Football Showdown 2016 selections will be released every Friday

We will be releasing all of our selections for the Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown 2016 after the 2:00pm PST deadline to submit the picks.  The contest consist of seven (7) selections from a set list of college and NFL sides and totals.  The list of games will be provided by the Golden Nugget by  Wednesday afternoon.  Seven selection each week will be difficult, since there are times when we like to fly low with only one or two games in a given week.  It will be fun and we are looking forward to competing with some of the best sports handicapping talent in the world.

 

As with all our our information, there is no charge.   Don’t pay for mediocrity when you can reference our world class skill for free.  Our philosophy is that anyone can be a great sports handicapper, they just need the right tools and unbiased advise.

 

The 7 selections will be released every Friday at 7:11pm PST.