The NFL draft begins Thursday at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. But some day the draft will be in Las Vegas.
An insider told me that the NFL already is considering locations in Las Vegas for its draft. The Raiders’ new stadium is the obvious choice, and T-Mobile Arena would be more intimate. But there is one location that screams Las Vegas — an upgraded Fremont Street.
D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens said he thinks Fremont would be spectacular. He asked me, “Can you picture a huge stage for the commissioner with bands marching and cheerleaders zip lining down the street? Vegas, baby. Vegas!”
Construction of the Raiders’ stadium is blossoming. I talked with team president Marc Badain at the team’s ticket office at Town Square Las Vegas, and he said the foundation is in place for construction to begin going vertical probably next week.
The Raiders have the 10th pick in the draft. Look for them to target one of these three defensive studs in the first round: Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick or Florida State safety Derwin James.
Sports books have posted a variety of props on the draft. The big change this year is that the Nevada Gaming Commission is allowing bets on individual prospects. We found out last year what a fun show it was, and it’s only going to get better.
Red Sox off to torrid start
Three weeks into the baseball season, the cream has risen to the top. Playing better than .800 ball, the Boston Red Sox are clearly off to the best start.
The Red Sox limited the Angels to one extra-base hit and outscored them 27-3 in their road sweep this week. They also took down early MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani, knocking him around when he was on the mound and striking him out three times in four at-bats Thursday.
The focus this weekend is on Dodger Stadium, where the Washington Nationals will visit. Despite their slow starts, this is the best series of the weekend.
These are two of the Magnificent Seven — teams that had their season-win totals set at 90 or more in Las Vegas. Among them, the Dodgers might face the biggest questions.
The Dodgers’ biggest concern has to be closer Kenley Jansen, who blew only one save last season. But he’s already blown two this season, including a three-run lead against San Diego before the Dodgers bailed him out in extra innings.
Golden Knights vs. Sharks
The Madhouse on the Strip vs. the Shark Tank. It’s not just the Golden Knights vs. the Sharks. Their Stanley Cup playoff showdown will be a battle of noisy arenas.
By comparison, Staples Center sounded like a morgue in two games against the Golden Knights. You could even hear fans in the background chanting “Beat L.A. Beat L.A.” It’s amazing how many Golden Knights fans were in attendance. But that won’t be the case in San Jose. That’s a loyal hockey following there.
For betting purposes, your best friends might be goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin Jones. Fleury clearly has the statistical edge with a 2.24 goals-against average and save percentage of .927 in the regular season. Jones had numbers of 2.55 and .915. Since they led series sweeps in the first round, you won’t be surprised to know that they have the best stats in the playoffs.
Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His show on the Vegas Stats &Information Network can be heard on SiriusXM 204 and livestreamed at reviewjournal.com/vegas-stats-information-network.