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The Finish Line for Football Approaches, by Jimmy Vaccaro
Tuesday, January 13 2009

Well, for the first time since August, we won't have meaningful football on a Saturday, and how does that affect your betting habits? If you are not an everyday player, will you come out on Saturday and look for something to play, or do something practical that you have put off for the last 17 Saturdays?

We understand the NFL’s rationale for having both playoff teams compete on Sunday, so as not to give anyone an advantage or disadvantage in playing an opponent with an extra day's rest.

I believe that the excitement is building with the four teams left in the hunt to face off in the Super Bowl. But I think splitting the conference championship games over the weekend would provide an incremental boost in action by having two events on two days rather than both games on one day.

From this side of the counter, Saturday/Sunday action would drive customers to come out both days, which would greatly benefit the books. During my 40 years in this business, I’ve learned that recreational football bettors are creatures of habit. They have a game plan for the weekend that includes betting on both days.

We know there are games during the week, but in general players' thought processes are all about digesting the games after the fact. Then having five days to talk, formulate and get ready for the next event. Guys have a biological clock which they draw to. They know what day it is by knowing how close to Saturday it is, which is easier than looking at a calendar.

We have three NFL games left, a college All-Star game, then a lull until the next mega events happen in seven weeks. That would be the NCAA basketball conference tournaments, leading into March Madness.

So we need all the “event days” we can muster for a while. We used to have the Hula Bowl, but I believe that game has shaken its booty for the last time. However on Saturday, the traditional East-West Shrine game will kick off and provide some much needed action. The following Saturday we have the Senior Bowl.

NFL game notes: Not bad matchups for the weekend card which will find all the cash on the Eagles until game time, when there will be some buy back. Same with the Steelers-Ravens, in which if Ravens money shows, it will be late.

Take care,
Jimmy Vaccaro

The Finish Line for Football Approaches, by Jimmy Vaccaro
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