Super Bowls and Final Fours are the busiest weekends in Vegas, but nothing can fill the casinos and get the blood running like a good old fashioned boxing match. Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is being billed as the “THE ONE,” and it is truly the one event that brings people from around the globe to Vegas. Boxing translates into every language, fighting is imbued into every culture, and as long as people have been fighting, people have been wagering on fights. There are punchers, there are defenders, and then there are those who gamble. If Cain and Abel were to fight today, it’d be billed as BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER, with Abel listed as the favorite.
Mayweather vs. Alvarez
Photo Credit: Blacksportsonline.com
Ah Vegas, where people come to dream and dreamers come to escape. In droves they come- the hungry, the tired, the gamblers- all of them thinking they know the secret. No one comes to Vegas to bet thinking that they are going to lose. Everyone has a secret, a technique, a tuning fork inside them that makes them believe that unlike everyone else, they are going to win. Vegas is the one city where everyone arrives carrying the same luggage and same hope; ironically, everyone leaves with the same thought: what if?
Vegas this weekend is the gambling Mecca of the world. From college football action, which includes an Alabama versus Johnny football rematch, to Saturday night’s fight, Vegas is an orgy of gambling possibilities. Every room is booked, every table is filled and all that is left is the thrill of the action and the agony of defeat. Mayweather or Alvarez will end tonight without their perfect record, for only one thing stays undefeated forever in Vegas, the casinos.
I myself have bet on Canelo because the odds on Mayweather to win are so low that if and when he probably does win tonight, the payouts will be minuscule. That’s why most casinos will root for Mayweather tonight, not because they love him, but because when the favorite wins, the house wins too.
Saturday night boxing is the foreplay for week 2 of the NFL season. It’s the kissing, fondling, and fooling around that true gamblers do before the real action rolls around. Boxing might bring the people, but football is always where the action lies. Week 2 is where those who took a beating during week 1 try to mount a comeback, and where those who won come back to Earth. The hardest thing to bet is the first week of football because no one truly knows anything. Well, the second hardest thing to bet is the second week, because no one truly knows anything, except now people have a week of knowledge under their belt and actually think they do know something.
Casino owners will be smiling Sunday night, no matter who wins the fight, because even if they lose money on Alabama or Canelo Alvarez, they got 14 games full of NFL action to make it all back on.
Baltimore Ravens laying 6.5 to the Browns
The Ravens had a week and a half to get over their beat-down by the Broncos, which is a week and a half more than any team not named The Jaguars should need to beat the Browns by a touchdown. Once again, Al Gore calls the plays for the Browns, and until someone can prove that Al Gore is not really Norv Turner, I will continue to bet against them because Al might know the internet, but he doesn’t know offense anymore.
Houston Texans 9 over the Titans
The Houston Oilers were the first run and gun team in the NFL. Sadly, those Oilers became Titans and that offense became one, two, three, punt. Usually 9 points is a lot to lay when your team played a brutal game Monday Night, but gambling rule 205: always bet against Jake Locker.
Carolina Panthers minus 3 to Buffalo Bills
The Bills almost beat the Patriots last week with a rookie QB. Sounds quite impressive til you realize the Jets almost did the same thing, and save for the Browns or Jags, the Jets might be the most putrid team in the league. Ron Rivera is a bad coach, but he isn’t Al Gore, and Cam Newton might still be the most underrated QB in the league.
New Orleans Saints -3 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When your team votes and decides to strip your starting QB of his Captain duties, shit’s bad. When that same team has team photos and the QB skips, shit’s real bad. When your coach throws the QB under the bus after the first game, shit’s really bad. Josh Freeman is not long for Tampa, and the Saints are going to help speed his departure along. Gambling rule 544: never bet on a team where the players voted not to have the starting quarterback be their captain.
Cincinnati Bengals -7 to Pittsburg Steelers
Everything goes in cycles and the Steelers are now entering the “we freaking suck cycle” that all teams must go through once in a while. If you are a Steeler fan, you had to expect sooner or later your team would suck, Big Ben and all. Nobody gets to be good year in and year out; players get old, coaches get bored and players get hurt. Losing a center is devastating; losing the center in the first quarter of the first game is beyond devastating. Add to this drama the fact that the Steelers offensive coordinator might be the worst at his job, or second worst after Al Gore. Also James Harrison, the heart and soul of the Steelers defense for years, returns to play his old team, and let’s just say he doesn’t seem the type of guy to forget grudges. It is going to be a long day for Big Ben, and without his center to protect him, Harrison should feast all night.