Take It To the Bank — College Football Saturday!

It’s been a long couple weeks.

I didn’t do so good for most of ya a couple weeks ago.  I had to go into hiding.

You don’t believe me? Here’s an email our esteemed Mr. Banks got:

Dear Louie:
I cannot believe that a simp like you who lives in Vegas went only 1-4 or 2-4, depending how you look at your parlay win. What a joke.  And you get paid for this? And people follow your advice?? It’s terrible!  A blind, one-nut monkey could do better than you. A blind one-nut monkey probably HAS done better than you.

Sincerely,
A concerned citizen

Well, Mr. Concerned Citizen, let me tell you something: I’ve got both balls, but I had to have my prostate removed back in ’77 after a long weekend with Cybil Shepherd. Not that that has anything to do with anything, I’m just saying.

And this week, this is what you’ll all be saying: How are you so lucky, Louie?? [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, College Football Week 3


So I was sitting at the book at the Las Vegas Hilton over the weekend, and it was just like old times.

“Louie!!!”

“Hey, Louie, what’s cracking?”

“SECURITY!!!”

Now, maybe I groped that woman, maybe I didn’t. I’m an old man, and my mind ain’t what it used to be.

I do know, and I can say with absolute certainty…that those puppies were real. True story.

Now look, I don’t objectify women, but if they decide to come up to me, on a day where I am undefeated and making moneywell…I guess that money can be used as bail money too, huh?  Who’s with me?

I still got out with a slap on the wrist. Looks like fortune smiled down on ol’ Louie.

Maybe you can be just like me, Lucky. Heaven knows I was last week, now your chance to be Lucky like me. [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, NFL Edition


And here’s those long awaited NFL picks for Sunday’s games.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t pick last night’s game, and there’s a few reasons: 1) the whole getting out of jail thing. 2) I don’t bet on games where the quarterback is a grandfather, and almost my age. 3) I didn’t feel like it.

Yeah that’s right, I said it, whatcha gonna do about it?

Look, football was meant to be bet on on the weekends, not when people have to go to work the next day. Except for Monday night, because as my good ol’ pal, Scootch Malnoti used to tell me when he was making book, Monday’s the night everyone tries to win back what they lost over the weekend. So they don’t have to pay a guy like Scootch on Tuesday. Or get a visit from any of Scootch’s two sons. Did you know they both walked on to the UNLV football team? Offensive linemen…big kids.

Anyway, that won’t be a problem for you — like I always like to say, I’m Lucky, and you listen to me, you’ll be lucky too. [Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, College Football Edition


Hey, last year’s last year.

This is the year you want to tune in.

This Sports Bank, they got a pretty smart guy runnin’ this thing. They saw the terrible job that that Chicagoan guy did picking games last season and they turned to a grizzled veteran to make the picks. That Paul Banks guy, he knows.  He knows.

He went out to Vegas to find the best, and he’s got him.

Now, yeah, maybe I’ve been on hard times lately…and that public drunkenness charge was trumped up because one time I told a story about a client that our now-mayor Oscar Goodman was defending…you know, a “good ol’ boy,” and voila! Now he finds any reason he can to get me throw me in the slammer.

I sure am glad Mr. Banks came out here and bailed me out of the hoosegow though. Anyways, I’m Lucky.  You listen to me, you’ll be lucky too. [Read more…]

Friday’s NCAA Tournament Gambling Guide

By Paul Schmidt

After a mediocre Thursday saw me essentially break even, I vow that Friday will be better.  Or not. Either way this will be the quick pick edition of this spot, mainly because I have a young child teething and barely slept last night. I’m not sure if I’m even writing this right now or hallucinating it. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow…

As always, these lines are reflected by what is posted at the Harrah’s Casinos in Las Vegas. This is an exercise for fun only…. [Read more…]

NCAA Bowl Odds

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Water coolers and sports talk radio hosts can rejoice once again this year, as the BCS system has people bemoaning the lack of a true playoff system in college ball.

The Alabama Crimson Tide pulled off a tidy upset of the #1 Florida Gators last Saturday, moving into the Championship game. Listed anywhere from as 5.5-point underdogs up to +7, ‘Bama was getting only about 30% of all the betting action by kick-off, according to online sportsbook SPORTSBETTING.com. Bettors took a hit when the Tide defense did a number on Gator QB Tim Tebow enroute to a 32-13 win.

Now Nick Saban and his team will prepare to play the Texas Longhorns, who were much less convincing in their BCS title berth showcase.saban

Coming into last week ranked No. 3 by the BCS, Texas was set for one of the national championship spots, facing the No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big 12 title game. Texas was in a “win and you’re in” scenario, kicking off as 14-point favorites.

It was hardly a convincing win, as Texas struggled throughout, but they did manage to eke out a 13-12 win to claim the conference championship. Texas bettors were never really in a spot to cover the two touchdowns all game and moneyline bettors were fortunate to get even the straight up win.

[Read more…]

Take It To The Bank, Week 11 NFL Edition!

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By Paul Schmidt

Yes, yes, it’s the triumphant return of Take It To The Bank!  I know you all missed me.  But this is what happens when you get married and then have a baby. Time is no longer yours.  Just don’t have kids!  They scream and poop and you can’t watch football.  Or gamble.  Does that sound like fun???

Ahem.  No no…being a dad is great.  It really is.  I promise. 

But now, yes…I’m back. Picking all the games.  And I’m here for you. 

Detroit -3 over Cleveland – The worst game of the year. I’m not convinced either of these teams can win by three points…or even 1 point…but I said I was picking all the games, didn’t I?

Jacksonville -8.5 over Buffalo – Well, suddenly Jacksonville is knocking the door of the playoffs.  And Buffalo is knocking on the door of the top five.  This game gets both of them closer to their goals.

Pittsburgh -10 at Kansas City – I’m actually making these picks while the baby is screaming, and I’m still not distracted enough to pick Kansas City.  Even if they are at home.

Baltimore +1.5 over Indianapolis – Baltimore’s defense isn’t their strength anymore.  Won’t a diverse offense featuring Joe Flacco and Ray Rice be able to pick the Colts apart like the Patriots did last Sunday night?

New York Giants -7 over Atlanta – Suddenly the Falcons are reeling and the 50 times I’ve said Matt Ryan is an overrated QB finally pays dividends…

Green Bay -6.5 over San Francisco – After watching the Bears crap out against the Niners last week, it occurred to me that despite 4 picks, Jay Cutler STILL almost led the team to victory.

Minnesota -11 over Seattle – My drive to pick all the favorites as much as I can goes on. Seattle is pretty good at home with the advantage that Qwest Field provides…but they have been abysmal on the road.

Dallas -11 over Washington – Banged up Washington team, and it looks like Dallas has finally tured a corner.

Tampa Bay +10.5 over New Orleans – The Saints have struggled to cover the last couple of weeks, and Tampa looks frisky with Josh Freeman at QB. 

Arizona -9 at St. Louis –  I know that the Rams have been a little tough lately, and that Stephen Jackson has been running out of his mind. But the Cards seem like they really are back and, deep down, the Rams still really suck.

Patriots -10 over NY Jets – The Jets are floundering and the Pats are looking to kill someone this week after last week’s…umm…let’s go with debacle.

Cincinnati -9 over Oakland – This probably could have been twice as high and I would have gone for it.

San Diego -4 at Denver – With Orton most likely out, I like this line a bunch. Chris Simms is not, nor has he really ever been, ready for prime time.

Philadelphia -3 at Chicago – Mark down November 22nd, 2009 as the time when I turned violently against the Bears.

Tennessee +4.5 over Houston – This looks like a great football game now, but three or four weeks ago it looked terrible.  If Vince Young wants to prove he is back, this is the place to prove it.

Take It To The Bank, Express Week 8 Special Edition

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By Paul Schmidt

OK, I’m running late today…I am a victim of the daylight savings.  Sort of.  My alarm didn’t actually go off…I can blame it all on daylight savings still, right?

Yeah….I know, probably not.

Anyway, as an extra added bonus, here’s EVERY GAME for this week, with lines courtesy of Harrah’s Casinos in Las Vegas.

Denver +4 at Baltimore
Cleveland at Chicago -12
Houston -3.5
at Buffalo
Minnesota +3.5 at Green Bay
San Francisco +13 at Indy
Miami +3.5 at New York Jets
St. Louis at Detroit -3.5
Seattle at Dallas -10
Oakland at San Diego -16.5
Jacksonville +3
at Tennessee
Carolina at Arizona -10
New York Giants -2.5
at Philadelphia
Atlanta at New Orleans -11

Last Week: 2-2
Season Record: 15-13

Take It To The Bank! CFB Week 9

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By Paul Schmidt

“I love my Idaho Vandals.  This is a ridiculous line.”

Well…it certainly was.  Should have been about twice as big…that was, however, one of the year’s silliest football games, with Nevada racking up nearly 500 rushing yards, and scoring 70 points in winning a 70-45 score-fest last weekend.

Just an all-around wild game…and also the only game I lost last week.  Although, I have to admit, that one line about loving Idaho…well, it makes me look like an idiot without an explanation.  See, I love EA Sports’ College Football games…and I try to find a really awful team to play with in dynasty mode, to make things more difficult, and I usually can win a national title with them after three or four seasons. So I’ve got a little affinity for the Vandals.

OK…that doesn’t make me sound like any less of an idiot.

This week, there’s some really, really tough games. But you’ve got to stick to what you believe.

As always, these are the lines from the Harrah’s Casinos in Las Vegas.

Central Michigan (+5.5) at Boston College
I believe that Dan Lefevour should be a Heisman Candidate because he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. I believe that Boston College isn’t that good.  And, finally, I believe that I love my Chippewas. Pick: Central Michigan +5.5

Cincinnati (-15.5) at Syracuse
I believe the Bearcats are the best team in the country you don’t know about.  I believe Greg Paulus is a wang. Pick: Cincy -15.5

Michigan (-7) at Illinois
I believe Illinois is one of the worst teams in the country.  I believe Michigan is pretty good, and that laying only seven points is a terrible insult to them. Pick: Michigan -7

Michigan State (-3.5) at Minnesota
I believe that Minnesota doesn’t have much to play for after losing Eric Decker. I believe that Michigan State’s best football is still in front of them.  I believe that Adam Weber is an overrated QB. Pick: Michigan State -3.5

Last week: 3-1
Season Record: 18-12-2

Take It To The Bank! Week 7 NFL!

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By Paul Schmidt

So, let’s forget what happened last week.  That’s right, we’ll just forget it.  0-4?  Oh and Four????  What????  Three of my picks outright lost, and the fourth, Jacksonville, barely snuck out a win.  EPIC FAIL.

On the plus side, I’m still over .500, and that’s a good thing…

On to this week’s picks, with lines courtesy of Harrah’s casinos in Las Vegas…

Indianapolis (-14) at St. Louis
The Rams proved they could be frisky last week.  Don’t look for that to continue this week. Pick: Indy -14

Chicago (PICK) at Cincinnati
I don’t put a lot of stock in Ced Benson as a premier NFL running back, but I do believe that a lot of the Bears want to smack him in the mouth this week.  Also, this is a pretty good value pick here, as Cincy’s secondary isn’t all that good, and Cutler should be able to pick this team apart. Pick: Chicago (PK)

Green Bay (-9) at Cleveland
I don’t particularly like this Packers’ offensive line.  I don’t know that Cleveland can necessarily take advantage of that, but if they can contain Ryan Grant even a little today, I think that Derek Anderson can keep this team in the game. Pick: Cleveland +9

Philadelphia (-7) at Washington
Well, let’s sum up Washington: They’re starting Jason Campbell again this week after benching him last week, playcalling on offense has been taken away from Jim Zorn by the team’s owner, everyone on the team has the flu, and then there’s that awful chlamydia outbreak. 

And here’s the kicker: Only ONE of those things isn’t true…I’ll lay the points, please! Pick: Philly -7

Last week: 0-4
Season Record: 13-11

Take It To The Bank, Week 8 CFB!

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By Paul Schmidt

So we’re a little late getting picks up this week, but then, I didn’t like the early games this week anyway.  You have to manage your payroll and part of that is not wagering on games you don’t like.  I mean…who wants to bet on Illinois and Purdue?  No matter what the spread???

Couldn’t continue my undefeated roll, but I did go 2-1-1, and I still maintain I should have been 3-1.  I mean, how in the world does Texas not blow Oklahoma out…WITH BRADFORD ON THE SIDELINES HURT???  Arrrrrgh….

So here’s this week’s picks.  No frills, just go make money!

Texas A&M (+21.5) at Texas Tech
The Aggies got blown out of the water last week against a really very average Kansas State team (we’re talking 63-14).  So I would imagine that an offense that can be as prolific as Texas Tech’s can absolutely blow them away.  That’s the theory anyway…Pick: Texas Tech -21.5

Texas (-13) at Missouri
One of my biggest rules is when the general public flocks to a side, you go the other direction.  All week I’ve been hearing about how Mizzou can and will win this game. That would make me a little bit nervous if I was wagering on the Tigers this weekend…Pick: Texas -13

Idaho (+15.5) at Nevada
As you all know at this point…I love my Central Michigan Chippewas…and I love my Idaho Vandals.  This is a ridiculous line. Pick: Idaho +15.5

Iowa (+1) at Michigan State
Really?  What does Iowa have to do to prove themselves to you people??  Iowa wins this by more than a touchdown. Pick: Iowa +1

Last Week: 2-1-1
Season Record 15-11-2

Take It To The Bank, Week 6 NFL!

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By Paul Schmidt

The first five weeks of the NFL season…I won’t say they have been a gambler’s paradise, but I will say that Vegas has been taking a bath. The biggest reason is how bad some of these NFL teams are.

To wit: Jacksonville is one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. Last week, they got blown out on the road, 44-0.  This week, they come home, and they are favored by 9.5 points at home against the Rams. 

This is a Jaguars team that might win only 5 games this year, and they could be picking around 8th, 9th or 10th.  That many teams are worse than them, and might win less than 5 games.

That’s just the kind of season it is in the NFL this season: Just a ton of terrible, terrible teams means that there will be a ton of teams winning a lot of games.  Sort of a haves-and-have-nots situation.

That’s led to a situation where the Vegas just can’t make the lines high enough to keep people from betting on the favorites. That’s how you have a situation where awful Jacksonville is laying 9.5 points at home against the putrid Rams…

My point?  Let’s be careful out there this week.

St. Louis (+9.5) at Jacksonville
And yes, given all of that…the Rams still are really, really bad. Really bad.  Pick: Jacksonville -9.5

Baltimore (+3) at Minnesota
Thoroughly enjoying the Brett Favre experience (vomit). Being able to gamble on him and win is great (gag).  I can’t wait to do it again this week (barf). I hope Ray Lewis hits him so hard his legs fall off and he can’t play football again. Pick: Minnesota -3

Philadelphia (-14.5) at Oakland
One of these times these big underdogs is gonna finally get enough points that they can cover…I just don’t think it’s Oakland this week. Pick: Philadelphia -14.5

Buffalo (+9.5) at New York Jets
Buffalo is just as bad…except no one seems to know. I’m not sure why no one knows this, but they don’t.  Trent Edwards is horrible, T. O. doesn’t give a crap (BEARS, PLEASE DON’T TRADE FOR HIM) and the offensive line isn’t very good, so they can’t open up holes for two pretty talented running backs.

The Jets, meanwhile, are pretty good.  Not convinced about Sanchez’s diety yet, but I really do like their defense.  They’re going to make it too hard for the Bills to score any points and keep this one close. Pick New York Jets -9.5

Last week: 2-2
Season Record: 13-7