Betting on Football: America's "Real" National Past-time

Home baked apple pie during seventh inning stretches may be fun for some guys, but I’ll take a hoagie at half-time any day over baseball. Football is a sport like no other in the world, and the reason why I stop mowing the lawn in September.  The draft is done, the boys are about to head out to camp, and I am already getting my bets together for the 2014 NFL season in Vegas.

Much to my 3rd wife’s annoyance (and probably the reason why she is #3) I am set up at the Race & Sportsbook at the Orleans Hotel and Casino as much as possible from the first kick off in September to the big bowl in February.  And here’s why:  The guys at the Orleans appreciate football almost as much as I do.  The seats are cozy like my lazy boy, the screens are huge and everywhere and they have seven different windows to place your bets at.

Vegaster Tip: Sit next to the Cahiers to hear the "Tips" come rolling in.

Vegaster Tip: Sit next to the Cahiers to hear the "Tips" come rolling in.

The Orleans Sportsbook caters to pigskin lovers with Monday Night Football parties and a big Bowl blast.  There is also a weekly “Pick the Pros” contest where 30 G’s are handed out to the winner.  Another way to bet on football. Count me in.

Alright, so if you’re new to the whole NFL betting thing, let me tell you what you need to do.  First get an odds sheet and look for the team you think is going to win.  Next to their name will be a bet number, circle that. There is going to be another team listed with them, that’s who they are playing against, and the team on the bottom is the one that will be playing on their home field.

Vegaster Tip: Never bet against MegaTron.

Vegaster Tip: Never bet against MegaTron.

Now check out that point spread in the line column.  It should look something like -5 1/2. That minus sign indicates that you did a good job picking as your team is the favorite to win by at least 5 and 1/2 points.  If you bet the spread, your team has to win by at least 6 points for you to win the bet.  If the opposing team wins or loses by 5 points or less than you lose.

Don't get caught by the "hooker" (1/2 point in gamblers speak)

Don't get caught by the "hooker" (1/2 point in gamblers speak)

To place your bet is easy.  Walk up to the window and tell the ticket writer that you want to bet $55 on whatever the bet number was that you circled.  General Rule: You bet in 11’s to get back 10.  So for $55, you have 5 11’s at 10 bucks a pop, making your winnings 50 smackeroos plus your $55. 

You always want to play nice with the ticket writers.  Check your ticket before leaving the window to make sure it is right, and when you win, tip them when you cash out.  If not, they may not be so eager to hand over your free drink voucher next time.

Everyone celebrates a win! Just remember, someone bet the opposite of you so not too loud!

Everyone celebrates a win! Just remember, someone bet the opposite of you so not too loud!

It didn’t surprise me at all to find out that more money is bet in Vegas on NFL games than any other sport.  Not only is it easy, but it’s a hell of a sport to watch for a lot of reasons.  Next time you’re in Sin City during football season, look for me at the Orleans.  I’m that fat guy in the Lions jersey.

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