Fists fly and engines roar. It’s party time in Las Vegas, so let’s cash some tickets on boxing and NASCAR this weekend.
“Canelo” Alvarez (+120) vs. Gennady Golovkin (-140)
GGG remains the betting favorite for Saturday’s middleweight title rematch against Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena, but I’m looking at the underdog to dethrone the champion. And I’m in good company.
On VSiN, ESPN boxing expert Teddy Atlas told us Wednesday to buy a ticket on Alvarez. Fifteen minutes later, newly crowned welterweight champion Shawn Porter told us the same thing.
I’m all in on Alvarez at whatever odds.
South Point 400
On Sunday, the action moves to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the inaugural running of the South Point 400, the first race of the NASCAR fall playoffs.
South Point bookmaker Chris Andrews is offering this prop bet: Will one of the three favored drivers — Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch — win the race? Yes is minus 190 and no plus 170. Because Brad Keselowski won the last two races of the regular season and Kurt Busch brings the momentum of last month’s win at Bristol back to his hometown, I’m saying no and betting the field.
There also are man-to-man matchups to bet at the South Point as well as four-packs of drivers. Our NASCAR experts — Brendan Gaughan, Jeff Motley and Jeff Cogliandro — said on VSiN’s “Gone Racin’” show Thursday that the public might be overlooking Erik Jones, who brings value at plus 280 if you think he can beat the rest of a foursome that includes Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.
Just to round out your weekend, here are our three NFL games for Sunday:
Houston (-2½) at Tennessee
This game is a pick’em in the Westgate SuperContest. A bettor well-known to bookmakers rolled into the South Point on Thursday and made a $110,000 bet on the Texans when the line was minus 2. The number has moved, because the Titans have had to keep the ambulance service on speed dial. Tight end Delanie Walker is out for the season. Left tackle Taylor Lewan is in concussion protocol. And quarterback Marcus Mariota has an injured elbow but is expected to play. The Texans defense is healthy. Just look at J.J. Watt’s three hits on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady last week.
Philadelphia (-3½) at Tampa Bay
This line has been wobbling between the 3½ in the SuperContest and a juiced 3 at a few books. I don’t expect Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to duplicate his 417-yard passing performance at New Orleans. What’s more likely is a little regression. Led by a good offensive line protecting Nick Foles and a defense that didn’t break, the Eagles did what they had to do to beat Atlanta in their opener. They had three extra days of rest, and that’s one of the reasons I like them.
Carolina at Atlanta (-5½)
If Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and quarterback Matt Ryan can solve their red-zone problems, they are back in business. On the other side, it’s never a good thing when your quarterback is your leading rusher, as Cam Newton was against Dallas. I like the Falcons to bounce back, especially if they can find a way to throw to Julio Jones in the middle of the field instead of pinning him on the sideline. In fact, to get around their red-zone trouble, why don’t they just score from 25 or 30 yards?
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.