NFL DRAFT: The VEGAS of sporting events

Everyone travels to the desert outpost Las Vegas with cash, courage and dreams. This week, the dreams and fortunes of franchises and players are rolling their dice on Las Vegas Boulevard. The NFL Draft is the perfect microcosm of a Vegas experience. The glitz and glamour of all the hotels and casino’s engulfed in nonstop, uninhibited entertainment. Everyone has their betting preference, whether it’s blackjack, poker, roulette, slots or craps. They know the odds, they have a plan and they place their bets.

Some franchises are Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr; cool, calm and bold. Then there are some that identify more with Clark W. Griswold (you know who you are). In Sin City, both personas have a chance to strike it rich. The Jaguars get to make the first bet on Thursday night. As it stands on Tuesday night, they are showing signs of a nervous guy placing his entire wealth on 16. It could hit big and lift them from the outhouse to the penthouse, or award them pick number 1 for a third straight year. A word to the wise when gambling, only bet what you’re willing to lose, not what will bankrupt you.

If you’ve ever been to a casino, check the table minimum. This rule applies to drafting a player or desperately trading assets. Is the bet worth the risk and what are the odds for a positive return? If you’re betting a substantial amount, do you go all in, do you hedge your bets or do you make multiple small safe bets with a minimal return? I tend to agree with The Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers, ”you gotta know when to hold em’ , know when to fold em’.

The media and fans clamor over ”team need” for months leading up to the draft, but the teams claim they draft the “best available”. This is just like someone telling you their poker strategy or to play the final third on the roulette table. In the end, follow your plan and stick to your strategy, the second you try to chase that phantom straight flush is the second you bust. If you get too cocky, you might get in over your head and can’t cover your losses. These missteps could result in being invited on a one way trip to the desert.

My Best Bets for the NFL Draft are:

WR Drake London (USC)

OT Evan Neal (Alabama)

LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)

WR Chris Olave (Ohio State)

OG Zion Johnson (Boston College)

ED Josh Paschal (Kentucky)

DL Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma)

RB Breece Hall (Iowa State)

OT Jamaree Salyer (Georgia)

S Jaquan Brisker (Penn State)

My Biggest Draft Busts:

QB Malik Willis (Liberty)

ED Kayvon Thibadeaux (Oregon)

OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa)

CB Trent McDuffie (Washington)

WR Christian Watson (NDSU)

OG Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)

CB Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)

These Teams Will Go On A Great Craps Run:

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

These Teams Will Crap Out:

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Dallas Cowboys

The key to avoiding the bust label and getting to McCarran International Airport with more wealth than when you arrived is blending risk and instinct. If you don’t believe me, call Danny Ocean. He and his 10 friends took on Terry Benedict and Willy Bank; winning big both times.

If you’re heading out to Vegas this weekend or any time soon, listen up. First off, stay on The Strip, it makes bouncing hotel to hotel very easy. There is an amazing cigar bar in Caesar’s Palace with the world’s best mojito’s. If you want to try a crazy drink, hit up the Chandelier Bar in the Cosmo for the flower drink. Even if you don’t bet there, visit the Bellagio, the Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, Circa and Resort World, you’ll thank me later. Last, but not least, the food scene in Vegas starts with Steak n Eggs at Ellis Island. Another gem is Pizza Rock down near Fremont Street.

I speak for my buddies when i say that Vegas is amazing. We all get that itch for casino oxygen, the roll of the dice and the sound of chips moving around the table. The NFL Draft is close to that same itch and excitement. Get out your lucky jersey, kiss your 4 leaf clover, rehearse your victory dance because Lady Luck is on your side. Yes, a Vegas trip, just like a NFL season can mirror The Hangover, so keep tabs on your crew from time to time. Oh and one more thing, always tip the taxi drivers, bartenders and waitresses, if you don’t, bad karma is all over you like Urban Meyer at an Ohio bar.


Host of The Irrational Confidence Podcast and Contributor to Spinnable Sports #CollegeFootball #NFL #MLB #NBA #NHL #EPL #UCL On Twitter @SS_2FRESH

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