My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Greetings from Las Vegas where it's easy to gamble but difficult to win.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.

Sports betting is a challenging exercise in which a superior opinion (54% or better) combined with proper bankroll control (Kelly Criterion) and access to a deep network of reliable betting outlets (the more "outs," the better) will offset the small house advantage (4.54%).

Inclusion of the first "4" and last "4" in detailing the hold percentage on straight bets highlights the fine line and slim margins involved in the pursuit.

A sports bettor's biggest obstacle is variance, the unlucky or unforeseen bounces of the ball in a sporting contest.

The second biggest obstacle is a sports bettor's reaction to, and understanding of, said randomness.

The winning gambler must find the right side at the right price while maintaining the right demeanor regardless of the outcome.

Easier said than done.

This past weekend, I did not lose a bet Friday night.

Twenty-four hours later, my fortunate Friday devolved into a Saturday slaughter.

It happens.

Missouri football remain mired in its offensive funk, Minnesota missed a critical late-game extra-point and California surrendered a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter to blow up a first-half wager.

In college basketball, Chicago State, a 39-point underdog, led 28-25 before getting outscored 68-21 over the game's final 25 minutes in West Lafayette.

So much for my wager on the massive underdog.

Another 'dog stopped barking when Loyola-Marymount's early 20-6 lead disintegrated into a 74-64 loss to a resilient Colorado State squad.

The glow from a 6-0 Friday night dimmed quickly after going 2-8 from 10 pieces the following day.

I made only one play yesterday (Florida -4 over UConn in college hoops) which came from a bad place, a decision made after Saturday's subpar results.

With overflow NCAAF and NCAAB schedules every Saturday in November, an active gambler can have 15-20 wagers running concurrently.

Wise gamblers exercise caution with oversized betting menus to avoid colossal collapses.

Even the sharpest sports bettors are susceptible to losing streaks of 10, 11 or 12 games.

Here are a half-dozen notes scribbled across my Don Best sports schedule over the past three days:

1) The players on UNLV's basketball team are only as good as they shoot.

That's a fatal flaw.

New head coach T.J. Otzelberger is dealing with a thin roster not suited to his freelance style of offensive basketball.

Worse yet, the Rebels lack a defensive toughness necessary to win meaningful games.

Another lost season in the desert for a once-proud program capable of capturing national headlines and even national titles.

2) Another college hoop team lacking grit is the Boise State Broncos.

That's not my opinion.

Those are the words of head coach Leon Rice as he tries to encourage his offensive-minded squad to defend the rim.

A 106-75 blowout loss at Oregon was followed up by a disappointing 69-60 home loss to Cal-Irvine.

The possible silver lining: The Ducks and Anteaters will compete for their respective league titles this season.

Rice's problem in Boise is rampant in college basketball.

It's hard to find two-way players in this day and age of college basketball.

With offensive-minded NBA players like Steph Curry, Trey Young and James Harden attracting all the media attention, the three-point shot is all the rage in high school and AAU play.

The skill set that makes a slick offensive player -- qualities like grace, finesse and rhythm -- are detriments on the defensive end of the floor.

3) The New York Jets improved to 3-7 on the season after a 34-17 victory over the Redskins in Landover.

If you laid the small spot (-2 or thereabouts) with lowly Washington, you were guilty of supporting a limp home favorite.

Through decades of observation, I've discovered NFL home favorites of 2.5 points or less are a source for many dead sides.

Interesting note: The Jets are winless in six games against AFC opponents this season, but improved to 3-1 against the suspect NFC East.

4) I cannot support teams with leaky defenses.

Can't do it, won't do it.

Any team, any sport.

I value point prevention over point production.

5) For every game I don't bet, I root for a random result, thus confirming my opinion to pass the game.

Additionally, when pointspread hijinks turns a winner into a loser, it's a plus for the house, withholding money from rightful winners while rewarding undeserving gamblers.

6) Most horseplayers keep a list of "Horses To Watch" for future events.

The list is comprised of horses victimized by pilot error, poor racing luck or a hidden track bias.

TVG's Caleb Keller offered a twist on the typical "Horses To Watch" list.

Keller, according to his Twitter account, tries to pick "which horse will run in a circle the fastest."

He offered another humorous line last week after one of his documented selections failed to hit the board.

Keller said the losing horse will now be entered on a list entitled, "Horses That I'll Never Bet Again."

MONDAY'S BEST BET.....Let's go deer hunting tonight in Chicago.

Play 564 Chicago Bulls +7 (-110) over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Quick rematch here after the two teams met last Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee defeated Chicago, 124-115, as an 11.5-point favorite.

Let's take the Bulls to stay inside the number again tonight.

The Bucks lived at the free-throw stripe in the last meeting with 47 free-throw attempts against Chicago's 25.

The most free-throw attempts Milwaukee attempted in a game last season was 43.

The change in venue undoubtedly will alter last Thursday's free-throw numbers significantly.

The young Bulls have covered four of their last six games after starting the season 2-5 against the spread.

Milwaukee's Khris Middleton will miss his third straight game with a sore back.
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Years and years go by since the glory days of Rebel Basketball....doubt that changes anytime soon....tough to win when the administration is not on your side or the same page....a Jerry Tarkanion only comes by every 30 years or so....

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Years and years go by since the glory days of Rebel Basketball....doubt that changes anytime soon....tough to win when the administration is not on your side or the same page....a Jerry Tarkanion only comes by every 30 years or so....

UNLV's athletic programs have slipped dramatically in recent years at a time when the Mountain West is in the tank.

Not a good sign.

Suddenly tough to market Rebel sports in Las Vegas now with the Golden Knights in town and the Raiders on their way.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
A contradiction of sorts by you JK -

4) I cannot support teams with leaky defenses.

Can't do it, won't do it.

Any team, any sport.

I value point prevention over point production.

Play 564 Chicago Bulls +7 (-110) over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Guilty as charged.

No wonder I'm in a funk right now.


EOG Dedicated
I bet Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr YES for double/double tonight vs Detroit at +175. i get it Drummond is a rebound machine, but guys get double/doubles vs him all the time. and Carter just had a double/double vs Deroit week or so ago. seems like coin flip.

i don't watch much NBA though
going 2-8 from 10 pieces the following day.
You must mean "plays" or better yet "bets" instead of pieces.

Reminds me of the ubiquitous misuse of the word feels in 'sports talk' when seems (most of the time) or thinks (the rest of the time) is the proper word. We have perfectly descriptive and precise verbs. Let's use them.

Shame on the copycat and parroting sports talk community where non one seemingly pushes back. And if they did, they would mistakenly say feels like I should push back, instead of the correct seems like I should push back.

I call it the limp wristification of sports talk.

Also, let's call players players instead of pieces. Last time I checked they are not pie or azz (as in piece of) for the majority of us, except for maybe in the case of women.

They are people. Let's quit dehumanizing them.

Players is the correct noun and precise noun. Let's use it
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