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Who To Bet On For Gambling Content This Football Season

“These are the names that will help give you a competitive advantage, keep your audience entertained and, in my opinion, could give Lefty Rosenthal a run for his money.”

Chrissy Paradis

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Sports Gambling, latest sports news

One of the greatest aspects of working in the Las Vegas market was the direct exposure to the sports gambling world. Prior to my time there, I had a limited sports gambling resume that consisted of watching Casino hundreds of times.

Following two years of working and living in the sports gaming capital of the world, I learned the industry firsthand and met the key players. When thinking of who to follow, who to book and who to invest in, my shortlist below includes highlights of my Q&A with each. 

So, as the NFL season kicks off with the NHL, NBA and MLB all in play, I present which sharps I’d bet on. These are the names that will help give you a competitive advantage, keep your audience entertained and, in my opinion, could give Lefty Rosenthal a run for his money.

1. Dave Cokin, professional sports handicapper

Vegas Legend Dave Cokin Joins 'The Hedge: Why I Gamble'

A fixture of the sports gambling community for decades, who radiates character, experience and a wealth knowledge. His ability to transcend to a national, regional or local audience in an effortless manner comes with decades of experience on the media and gambling scenes in Las Vegas. Looking for an authentic Old Vegas sharp with a phenomenal record? Look no further.

Follow Dave Cokin on Twitter @davecokin. 

2. Chad Millman, The Action Network

Former editorial director and editor-in-chief of ESPN: The Magazine and editorial director for ESPN digital, Chad Millman, left ESPN in September of 2017 to help launch The Action Network, where he is the Chief Content Officer.

“We’ve been really thoughtful about who we bring in, and what their reputation is and what people cover and your audiences. Information from Jason Sobel, who is probably the premiere golf writer of his generation, who also happens to be an incredibly knowledgeable bettor and daily fantasy player. That’s really valuable because it speaks to a sport that we believe a lot in as far as potential, and he brings an audience that otherwise might not have known who we were or thought about betting.”

“And we have guys like Chris Raybon, who established himself as a very smart analytics driven fantasy analyst, who also was a very big bettor and knew the betting space really well, but didn’t really have any place to express himself with that. And some of the ideas that he has are so contrarian to what everyone else is putting out there, and consistently proven to be successful.”

“Then, two of our college football experts Colin Wilson and Stuckey, who are honestly, to me, the best examples of old-school Vegas guys, who do a ton of research and know the numbers really well and also know personnel incredibly well. They watch so many games and they are long time betters, and they’re as easy to connect to as anybody you will ever meet when it comes to betting. They’re the guys you can talk to about betting in the bar, who are not going to make you feel silly if you don’t know anything about betting. You can ask them anything and they’re only going to want to share what they know, they’re not going to judge you.”

With a 4.8 rating in the App Store, The Action Network has won the best betting content award, a huge accomplishment in and of itself. 

Follow Chad Millman on Twitter at @chadmillman.

3. Marco D’Angelo, Wager Talk

Marco D'Angelo (@MarcoInVegas) | Twitter

Sports betting experience: over 40 years. 

Age at the time he placed his first bet: 10 years old 

One of the best in the business, known for his thoughtful analysis and authenticity, D’Angelo has had immense success and overwhelmingly positive reputation as a professional sports handicapper and bettor.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on sports, the sports betting world has been impacted and the long term effects and continual adaptations are far reaching in scope.

“There’s a difference of playing in a bubble, like the hockey and basketball, where everything is, you know, super controlled as to what’s going to happen with football where the teams are going to travel like baseball, you know, they’re keeping the teams, you know, under wraps when they’re on the road and so forth.

“Now, what’s going to happen with the football season is you’re going to have an injury report, like you always do. But as the week goes on, the players are going to call the test and all the time you’re going to there’s going to be cases. It’s going to happen. Somebody’s going to test and then it’s going to depend on how many tests and what players you’re losing for that particular game. And until it’s a big key player, you know, it’s not gonna make any news. That could throw so many things off.

“When you’re dealing with the statistics, if a quarterback goes down, a quarterback tests positive and he has to be a scratch for that game that week, that’s going to be big! Then, you know, do you play the game? At the beginning of the week, when you’re trying to get the best number possible, you know, that’s the cat and mouse game about sports wagering is you want to lock in the best price. You want to get the dog at the highest peak, and you want to get the favorite at the lowest value. As far as what the line is, you could take a team that you bet on Monday or Tuesday at minus seven, something happens to a team player you know, it is rolled out Friday or Saturday, and all of a sudden, that ticket that you’re holding is minus seven. The line went down to minus three and a half and you’re screwed. You’re stuck with minus seven.

“So, there’s going to be instances where there will be problems and it’s going to be just something that we’re going to have to adapt to on the fly. And as we see this go along, you know, there’s only one or two isolated cases where you know, a COVID case really affected a lot.”

“They’re the people setting the lines, everybody else is betting and handicapping has that same information. Stats are the stats. They don’t lie, they don’t change numbers or numbers, but for my element I add situational lines. Just like, you know with work, let’s face it, we’re all the same. We come to work every day and we put forth the good we bring, we try to bring our best every day. But there are certain days—you just don’t bring your A game. Professional athletes are the same way. They’re still human beings at the end of the day, and I try to find those peaks and valleys because if everybody else has all the same information as far as stats go, I need to find something that’s going to give me the value to be the numbers that are based on those stats.”

The expertise Wager Talk offers ranges in scope, specialty, age and has an incredibly diverse, deep bench of talent. 

“Our content is designed to educate people. The bottom line is we want to try to make people a better bettor, by education.”

Follow Marco D’Angelo on Twitter at @marcoinvegas. Follow Wager Talk at @WagerTalk and online at WagerTalk.com. 

4. John Murray, Kelly Stewart, Kelly & Murray Podcast

A unique vantage point and concept for a podcast, The Westgate Superbook USA bookmaker and sports betting expert come together to provide great content about sports gambling. 

“We were like minded in a lot of ways, on a lot of things, so we get along well,” John Murray says. “We know how to push each other’s buttons. She knows exactly what to say when she wants to get under my skin. We have a lot of fun.”

Murray, who started working out in Vegas as a ticket writer under Superbook Director Jay Kornegay in 2007, has an eye on what game you’re looking to get the best value on and consistently delivers winners.

“One game that I’ll be watching is Dallas and the Rams. The book is going to need the Rams really big, so all the parlays are going to go in Dallas. We’ll be keeping a really close eye on that game, for sure.”

Follow John Murray on Twitter at @vegasmurray. Follow Kelly Stewart on Twitter at @kellyinvegas. Follow the show at @kellymurrayshow. 

Bonus free picks: Mitch Moss & Pauly Howard, VSiN

These two guys are as entertaining as they are informative and know the world of sports betting inside and out. 

Follow @MitchMossRadio & @PaulyHoward on Twitter.

BSM Writers

Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing

…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.

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WRONG BAD

In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.

“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.

“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”

Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.

The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?

That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.

You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.

“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”

Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.

Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”

Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”

Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”

Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”

It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.

My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.

My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.

After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.

Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.

Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”

My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.

My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.

Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.

And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.

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BSM Writers

Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.

Jeff Caves

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Radio Sales

A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours. 

But is that why you sell sports radio?

In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.

A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family. 

Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.  

I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.

Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important. 

So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.  

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table

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Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.

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