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Counting Super Bowl Winnings
Super Bowl 50 is upon us and I have been asked by a reputable magazine to explain in detail why I believe that the Denver Broncos will be the Champions.
As some of you know, I predicted Denver to win the Super Bowl before the season even started. I have proof of that with a betting ticket of 30k to win at 14-1 odds for a payout of $450k. This was placed in early August.
I even bet Denver at +1600 odds later in the season when nobody gave them a shot. I saw huge value in Denver at 16-1 odds when Manning was injured for 7 weeks. My total cash out now is $2,024,000.00. Yes, that’s right a little over 2 million dollars.
If you have been following my journey, you are aware that I predicted the Kansas City Royals this past year to win the World Series (WS). In week one of the season at 30-1 odds, I wagered over 100k on this opportunity and bet the odds down to 5-1. Because of this I cashed out a sports book record of $2.5 million on a future bet. I picked a team that was chosen to finish at the bottom of the AL Central division by the so called experts. However, I saw something that no one else saw, I saw value. I could see that the odds makers had made a big mistake. Keep in mind the Royals were just one out away the previous year from tying Game 7 of the World Series.
My point is that they made it to the big game the year before. Bottom line they had EXPERIENCE in the big game under pressure. Something Manning has, as do some of his teammates from a few years ago from playing in the SB. Experience is something Newton and his teammates do not have. It does not matter how great you play in the regular season, it matters how great you play under the lights in the final game of the season. Overall, the Broncos have eighteen players who have played in a SB, sixteen of whom were with the Broncos when they lost to Seattle in SB XLVIII. The Panthers have only six players who have ever played in a SB. Newton is not one of them, as the Broncos have Manning who will be playing in his fourth career one.
Everyone laughed at me and thought I was crazy for going all in with a $100k bet on a team that hadn’t won a World Series in 30 years. People said they are a fluke ( kind of similar to people saying Manning is a joke and can’t throw a pass more than 30 yards, or that he has a noodle arm and is too old) Bottom line, pitching and defense win the World Series! This is exactly what the Royals had.
The Royals having the best bullpen in the majors was the key reason they won it all. When they played against the Blue Jays in the ALCS everyone said the Jays offense was too good and would smash the Royals. But, home run derby does not win Championships, it may win you a lot of games during the regular season like it did for the Jays, but ultimately won’t win you a Championship. The Jays led the majors in pretty much every offensive category. The Royals led the league in pretty much every defensive and pitching category. This is similar to the Super Bowl matchup with the number one offense of Carolina against the number one defense in Denver. Defense wins championships!!!
I keep talking about the Royals in this Denver article because there is a lot of correlation between the two. As you continue reading you will understand. After Jays came the Mets. Again, all my doubters and haters began to chirp again. No one gave me credit for sticking to my guns and not hedging my Royals bet against the Jays. Everyone kept saying there is no way the Royals will beat the Mets.
The Mets have the best starting rotation in the majors and Familia, one of the best closers in the National League. People said there was no way the Royals were going to win. At this point I could have hedged with the Mets and taken a guaranteed $1.25 million payout and just sat back and enjoyed a stress free World Series with a guaranteed seven figure payout. I didn’t do that because I knew KC would win it all. I did not want to hedge because I did not want to lose the other $1.25 million in profit. Some say that’s greed I don’t look at it that way. I stuck to my guns and if I hadn’t I would not have had the extra cash that I collected on Nov 1 when the Royals won the World Series.
Keep in mind the Royals were an underdog pretty much throughout the entire World Series. Even at home they were an underdog. Sound familiar? Denver is a 5.5 point underdog to Carolina. I wrote a long article similar to this one before the World Series started explaining why I thought the Royals would win and defeat the Mets. I also stated that I would not hedge my bets.
The article can be read on my website www.itsvegasdave.com (Click on the KC Royals tab) and you will find it and the $2.5 million dollar payout. In the article I explained that even though the Mets have the best starting rotation, the problem is that they lack experience. Harvey, Degrom, Syndagaard, and Matz were all young pitchers. It’s a different element pitching in the regular season than in the World Series. The nerves are heightened and the atmosphere is unlike anything they had experienced before. A bad environment for a group of young pitchers to pitch in. I knew they would not pitch like they did in the regular season and I was spot on. As for Familia, who many claimed as the elite closer in the game, how did he fare? Well, he had not given up an extra base hit in months coming into the WS.
During the first inning he came in and he blew the game when Alex Gordon hit a home run off him in the bottom of the 9th. This was a game the Mets had sealed and eventually lost. Again, proof that lack of experience in the big game truly shows. The Mets pitching staff was lights out during the regular season but folded when it counted. Unlike the Royals bullpen with Wade Davis, who was nothing short of dominant. The experience from playing in the WS the previous year played a huge factor as I had predicted. Similarly, Carolina went 15-1 during the regular season and played lights out. However, I see the same results happening for Carolina that the Mets experienced in the WS due to their lack of experience in the big game.
One last thing I would like to correlate between the Royals and Denver, which I firmly believe in, is that both teams were a team of destiny. The Royals faced a lot of adversity all year. Moose’s mother and Chris Young’s father both passed from cancer during the season. Volquez’s dad passed right before he took the mound in the WS. God was looking over them, I really believe in this, you can laugh but I’m not. Denver started off with a great run, then the wheels fall off. Manning throws 17 picks and the team starts losing games. He is then sidelined for 7 weeks. Everyone gave up on them, but not me.
The odds for Denver to win the Super Bowl sky rocketed to +1600 and I jumped on them. I looked at their schedule for the next 2 months and figured that if Osweiler could go 3-3 in the next 6 games they could still make the playoffs. I had a vision that Manning would return to take over the team and lead this team to a Super Bowl berth. I shared my vision months ago with CBS radio, some magazines, and some of my close friends. Some laughed (like they did when I said the Royals would win the WS) others just shook it off and paid no attention to me. I had a gut feeling Manning would be back, win the SB and retire as one of the best QBs in the history of the NFL. Fast forward almost three months and my prediction is almost spot on.
I truly believe the Denver Broncos are a team of destiny like the Kansas City Royals. Keep in mind I have been accurate in predicting the underdog in big marquee match ups. After the Royals won it all at the 30-1 odds I then cashed out 2 weeks later on the UFC. I predicted Holly Holm to beat Ronda Rousey at 11-1 odds when no one else saw it coming. I wagered $20k and cashed out another record. Total payout of $240k the highest paid UFC ticket to date. This ticket is also documented on my website.www.itsvegasdave.com
The Denver Broncos sit as 5.5 point underdogs in the Super Bowl. This should be a great game! The number one offense against the number one defense. Just remember defense wins Championships. Firstly, I’m going to give you my insight then back it up with some numbers as this article progresses. Again, to remind you this article is pro Denver for a magazine.
Many of you know that I have been regarded as one of the top handicappers in this era of sports. I’m not a mathematician or anything like that, I’m a visual person. I have a sports book at my office where I have seven TVs and watch pretty much every single game played during the season. I know the strengths and weaknesses of every team. I’m telling you now Cam Newton is not winning the Super Bowl on Feb 7th. The NFC,to me, is a weaker conference than the AFC, in overall strength of schedule. The team defenses are much stronger in the AFC teams than the NFC teams. This is crucial when playing in the final game of the year. Cam has not faced a defense like this all year. This defense is not one dimensional. It’s very dominant in all its defensive stats.
Denver holds the #1 overall defense in the NFL. #1 against the rush (3.28) #3 in rushing yards per game (83.6) #1 in sacks in (52) I’m only focusing on these stats for the article, but please note that Denver has the best secondary in the NFL as well.
Why am I only focusing on the stats I mentioned which is rushing defense and sacks? Well, Cam has had his way all year on defenses running the option read. Carolina’s running game has been dominant. They always pick up 4-5 yards running the ball on first down. They always seem to be in 2nd and 5 or 3rd and short yardage situations. When in those situations it’s much easier to convert on first downs especially with a QB that can run and break the pocket.
I see Denver’s front four and strong line-backing crew winning the first down battle something Cam and his team are not used to seeing. Facing 2nd or 3rd down and 7-8 yards is a totally different ball game than Carolina is used to seeing. Carolina will be forced to throw the ball more on 3rd down than in previous games. Denver’s corners are elite. They can cover the Carolina’s receivers one on one which will allow safety help to cover the short underneath dig routs Carolina loves to run with Olson and Stewart. This will also allow Denver to blitz more and put pressure on Carolina. I do not believe Carolina has the WRs to beat Denver’s secondary.
To beat a #1 defense you need that #1 WR like a Dez Bryant type of guy. You need someone that you can go to at crucial times to keep the chains moving. Brown, Funchess, and Ginn are not those types of receivers. Carolina does not have the playmaker on offense to keep the chains moving against this defense. Oh, and what about Greg Olsen? Yes he’s a pro bowl TE but you saw what the Broncos did against Gronk right? Pretty much shut him down till the last drive of the game.
I have full confidence in Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall running with Olsen down the field. I believe one of them will get a turnover in the big game. To me, Trevathan is key. He is very underrated, as Miller and Ware get all the attention. Trevathan can also be used as a spy for Newton and can run with him no doubt. I cannot see Carolina putting up 30+ points like they have all season long on February 7th. I see Denver’s defense giving them fits and showing them speed they have not faced all year. Keep in mind I bet the Atlanta Falcons against the Carolina Panthers at the end of the season and predicted that Carolina would lose their first game. That being said, I know when to pick my spots when betting against Carolina. That ticket is posted on my website as well. Also note there is too much parity in the NFL it’s so hard to win 18 games in a season which is needed for Carolina to win it all.
Look at Denver a few years ago when they had the #1 offense and pretty much ran the table like Carolina did during the regular season. They faced the #1 defense in Seattle and got smashed. If Carolina would have lost 2-3 games during the season I would like them a lot more to win it all. But, to run the table and just lose one game all year is too hard in the NFL. Again, too much parity. Another example was when the Ravens won the Super Bowl 3 years ago. They were a huge underdog in the first round to Denver, who had the best record in football at the time. I believe they had won 10 or 11 in a row.
No one gave the Ravens a shot to win that game on the road or to win the Super Bowl. Guess what? I did! I knew once again there is too much parity in the NFL for a team to win 12-14 games in a row. I bet the Ravens to win the Super bowl at 25-1 odds (highest odds on the board when the playoffs started) I cashed out $208k off an $8k wager as the Ravens won the SB. This ticket is posted on my website as well.
Another bet no one else believed in but myself. Look at the Chiefs this year, they won eleven in a row before falling to the Pats. They were due for a loss. Again parity parity parity!!!! I cannot emphasize this enough in pro sports. What is an example of parity? Here you go; You can have the worst team in the NFL, the Tennessee Titans play the best team let’s say Carolina this year. Have them play 100 times on a neutral field just like the SB is played and I can promise you Tennessee will win 10-20 of the 100 games.
College Football is a different story. You can take a team like Alabama and have them play a team like Eastern Michigan 100 times on a neutral site and Alabama would win all 100 times. The NFL is different from college ball. It’s the best athletes from all over the world. The NFL (the Never Figure League) almost always produces outcomes that leave people shaking their heads and ripping up their losing betting slips. It’s any given Sunday in the NFL, meaning anyone can beat anyone on any given Sunday. This ultimately means the underdog has more than a fair chance of beating the favorite every single Sunday.
Keep in mind, there would not be a new casino built on the Vegas strip if the favorite won all the time. Just remember that. Panthers are due for a loss and I believe it will happen on Feb 7th. On the flip side, Denver’s offense vs the Carolina defense, I already know what you are thinking. Carolina has a good defense too! Not as good as Denver’s defense, but still good. However, Carolina has one weakness and that’s their secondary. It’s weak and can be exploited. Losing Tillman at the end of the year will hurt them in this game. You can throw on Carolina. But Peyton has a noodle arm and can’t throw over 30 yards right? Wrong!
Do you think Kubiak would have started Manning if this was true? Come on now. You don’t have to win the big game by throwing the 50 yard bomb and if you think otherwise you are wrong. If needed Manning can throw the ball deep. I personally watched him in warm-ups the last two playoff games that I went to. I went two hours ahead of game time just to watch him throw. All Manning has to do is manage the game. Read the defenses, call his audibles and check off to the run or pass based on what the defense is showing him. No doubt he’s the best in the league at that. I’m not saying he should play it safe and throw five yard dump passes, but what I am saying, is that he cannot make mistakes and turn the ball over.
Carolina is one of the elite teams in turnovers. I was wondering towards the end of the season how in the world does this team lead the league in points scored with no weapons or threats in the WR and RB positions. Turnovers!! They cause a lot and shorten the field. They give the offense great starting field position time in and time out. Working with a short field often results in a lot of points, hence why they lead the league in scoring offense. 7 turnovers in the NFC championship by the Arizona Cardinals is why they lost that game. Arizona did not beat Carolina, Arizona beat themselves. Carolina led the NFL with a +20 turnover differential, take aways with 39, and points off take aways with 148. They have also forced 9 turnovers with 32 points this post season, both which are tops in the NFL.
But before you say Carolina defense is going to force all kinds of turnovers on Denver, please keep in mind Manning had 17 picks playing injured before he went into rehab. Since he has come to the starting role he has produced zero turnovers. If Denver does not turn the ball over in this game and plays mistake free football, there is no doubt in my mind they will win this game.
Everyone including the media say Denver’s offense is weak. I disagree. These are the same analysts and experts that said Denver would lose to the Patriots in the AFC Championship. They were wrong and I was right again. Contrary to most people’s beliefs , Denver has weapons on offense and have the ability to hang 30 points on a team. They have two good running backs, Hillman and Anderson, who rotate throughout the game. They are always fresh which is very important in the 4th quarter. Denver has two great receivers, Sanders and Thomas. I’m expecting a big game from these two, especially Thomas, even with Josh Norman matched up against him. Thomas tends to step up in big games. He is due for a breakout game after a sub-par playoff. In SB XLVIII he set a SB record with 13 receptions.
Owen Daniels is the ex-factor. I believe both Keuchly and Davis will not be able to cover him when he runs routes. So Denver does have the weapons to score. They just have failed multiple times in the playoffs not converting 7s in the red zones and settling for 3s. 2 weeks ago they hung 23 on the Steelers. That game they had 7 dropped balls, 5 which would have been first downs to keep the drives going. 3 of the dropped passes were in Steelers territory which would have resulted in points most likely. They could have scored 31-38 points easily in that game. When they played against the Patriots, Manning missed 2 touchdown passes, which would have resulted in 14 points if connected rather than the 6 they settled with on two FGs. Another game where they could have hung 30 points on a team.
I see things most of you don’t see or remember. This is why I do this for a living and most of you do this for recreation or for fun. Here are some factors for you to consider as well:
- When Denver loses in the SB they usually get destroyed. They have been outscored 206-58 in their 5 SB losses. However, they never had the top rated defense in any of those five losses.
- Manning has stepped up in his past SBs but his teammates have not. He has completed 68% of his passes in the SBs. The only higher percentage all time is Troy Aikman with 70%. He throws for 68% with this this years defense, Denver doesn’t lose. Denver has averaged 22.2 points a game this season. Four of the past six teams to average that low amount of points have won the SB. Again, defense wins championships!
- A few years ago when Denver made the SB they ranked 1st in yards gained and 19th in yards allowed. This time around they are ranked 16th in yards gained and 1st in yards allowed. Very different from the team that was destroyed by the Seahawks.
- I mentioned parity earlier on and how Carolina is due for a loss. They are the 7th team in NFL history to win 15 regular season games. Only two of them ended up winning the SB. The 1984 49ers and the 1985 Bears. Also note there have been only been three teams in the NFL history to win 18 games in a season. The chances of that happening are slim.
- Carolina crushed the Cardinals in the AFC championship by 34 points. Out of the 5 teams that won their Division Championship by 30 + points only 2 teams have gone on to win the SB. The 1991 Redskins and the 2014 Patriots.
- Carolina led the NFL in scoring this season. The team that has led the league in scoring has lost four of the last 5 SBs. Again defense wins championships! This SB reminds me of a few past SBs. SB XLI when the old aging QB from the Buccaneers Brad Johnson backed by his elite defense beat the raiders and their great offense, 48-21. SB XXXV when the Ravens with the number one defense and with a below average QB, Trent Dilfer beat the offensive dominant team, the NY Giants.
- A few years ago in SB XLV111, where the number one offense with the Denver Broncos got smashed 43-8 to the number one defense in the Seattle Seahawks. Fast forward to Feb 7th 2016 Denver is on the flip side, as they bring the number one defense against the number one offense, which is Carolina.
When all is said and done, I truly believe in the vision that I had early in the season will come true. I saw that Manning would come back as the starting QB and win the SB to retire as one of the best that has ever played the game. This is from someone who predicted them to win it all in early August – before the first snap took place. Also from someone that has a 2 million dollar payout riding on it. Many will ask if I will hedge and take some guaranteed money, but only a few people in this world know what I’m doing.
Unlike the WS where you have to win the best of seven to be crowned champions, Football is different. It’s one and done. If you don’t show up on that day you don’t have another chance to play again, like in baseball. That’s why they call it gambling.
As it sits right now I can take a guaranteed million dollar payout and have a stress free SB, or let it all ride for the grand prize. Another $2 million dollar payout!
As for all of you asking who you should bet on this game? I think Denver +5.5 is a gift. 90% of the money right now is on Carolina. Remember, Vegas hardly loses the big games where the money is flooded on one side. I believe Vegas wins, Vegas Dave wins, and the public once again takes another nasty blood bath. Remember one last key stat. The Panthers have won eighteen straight home games. They play a lot better at home than on the road. The last three road games they played they have lost 20-13 to Atlanta, beat the Giants 38-35, and beat the Saints 41-38. All three could games could have been losses to very weak teams.
I have been wrong before but I have been right many more times in my career. I was hesitant to write this article for the magazine because if Carolina destroys Denver all my haters will come out of the woodwork. But, after thinking about it, none of them have a seven figure payout guaranteed like myself, if I so choose to.
Needless to say, this will be a great Super Bowl 50. Go Broncos!