MintyBets is a Vegas born native and also a professional sports handicapper.  She is certainly one of the most famous female gamblers in Las Vegas. MintyBets is also a great friend to The Vegas Take show.  On December 31st, 2019 she joined hosts Sharp and Shapiro to talk about her exciting career.

 

Shapiro asks:

“Why is it that there aren’t more women like yourself who gamble on sports?”

 

Mintybets responds:

“Because they don’t like to watch sports.

 

Shapiro continued:

Because a lot of women who gamble.  There are a lot of women who play Poker now these days.  Blackjack. But maybe you’re right. The majority of women don’t enjoy watching sports. What makes you different?”

 

She replies:

“I don’t know.  I enjoy watching sports.  I think that football is the funnest to watch and hockey and baseball.  I don’t know why I like it. I grew up watching it with my dad so maybe that’s why.

 

According to a David Berri, a writer for Forbes, over 60 million women are sports fans in the United Sates so I wouldn’t place all of it on that.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that more women are going to college. In 2019, the Washington post reported that there are more women in college than men.  I believe women are currently pursuing more traditional paths of a career versus sports gambling. Overall, sports gambling isn’t a big profession and the definition of a professional handicapper can be blurred.  Perhaps the biggest difference is women who like sports and women who like watching it enough to gamble confidently on it for a living.

 

Shapiro asked:

“As I’m sure you had to deal with this.  Men can be very chauvinistic. They can be pigs.  They can be a-holes. They can be jerks. So when they see someone like you, obviously you are a very attractive woman, and they see someone like you giving sports picks.  Do you get a lot of those men who are chauvinistic?

 

She says:

Yes I actually get more support and men who are really nice to me about my picks even though it was a sucky pick they would be like, ‘good job, best of luck.’ Every so often I will get those men who are like, ‘I’m not going to listen to you. You probably have a sugar daddy who’s behind the scenes telling you these picks and you’re scripted.’  

 

Men can definitely be horrible people.  I would say in general when you’re in a high stakes profession you’re probably not going to be surrounded by the most sound minded people.  Gambling is a high pressure environment and it can bring the worst out in people. Then again, there are always going to a few people who you can’t stand no matter what profession you’re in.  It is nice to hear that she has a generally positive experience with it all though.

 

Sharp comments on the idea of having a “lock” for a sports bet:

“I’ve never used the term lock or whale.  There is so much variance that takes place.  Especially in a sport like football where an injury could happen.  A pick six. Now in baseball, which is my personal best sport. You have catchers.  You have pitchers. They’re relatively consistent.”

 

Through some extensive research, I can conclude there is not one sport that gives you the best chance of winning. Websites tell readers that anything from Formula 1 all the way Cricket is the best. It all comes down to preference and what that individual gambler feels the most comfortable with.  You have to enjoy watching that sport to be a successful handicapper.

 

Shapiro asked:

“Are you a miserable person like I am when I have action on a game? I am just awful, and I think JD can attest to this.”

 

She responds:

“At home I’m awful but not when I am at the sports book or at the bar.”

 

When I have money on a game I often sit in silent rage resenting a player for many years to come if they disappoint me or make me lose my ticket.  I am talking to you Devin Booker. You had no reason to make the shots that you did against the Utah Jazz on October 28th, 2019.  Ever since that game, the Suns have been on a steady decline back to the bottom of the Western Conference.  Devin Booker may never have a winning record in his history career.

 

Sharp asks,

“Do you think that Twitter has allowed people like Vegas Dave, we’ll call him scammer/ scammer handicapper.  Do you think that Vegas has actually enabled them to do what they do and make money.”

 

She responds,

“Yes absolutely. Gambling twitter is a very dirty place to be.  There is so many scams that happen. I get so messages that are like, ‘Hey can you log into my sports accounts here and place a bet for me?’ You know, everyone is always asking for money, donations, and tips. I just don’t really get it.”

 

Vegas Dave is the probably the famous sports better in the world.  He is also known as being one the biggest frauds. Before his famous pick of the Kansas City Royals who won the World Series 2015, he actually lost millions of dollars in bad bets.  He is known for manipulating his followers on Twitter and has flat out lied about his “whale” picks. Twitter is place where you can post an unfiltered and unlimited amount of content.  Facebook is restricted mostly to family activities and Instagram is limited in the fact that all posts must be tied to some sort of picture. Twitter can be a cesspool of content for everyone to see.  It is a much more community based app that encourages some degenerate activity. I can only imagine the entirety of successful handicapper’s direct messages. It’s a shame that it is probably the best platform for them to be on still.  It’s the quickest way to receive essential updates about games and connect with fans or customers.

Sharp brings up an interesting question:

“So we had a State Senator, Keith Pickard, he came on our show.  There was going to be a law that was proposed to come into effect in the State of Nevada that forces professional sports handicappers to register with the state like a stockbroker.  I think that’s a good idea. Do you think that’s a good idea?”

 

She said:

“Yeah I think that’s a great idea.”

 

The only problem is that professional handicappers like to keep their trade secrets on a certain level.  Many of them have created special algorithms to make their picks more accurate. This law would essentially mean that the public has access to the same technology because they would know every single bet that they make.  There are always going to be scammers in any industry. They can always find a way to manipulate their audience. For professional handicappers, it is up to the them to decide who they trust while also relying on their own expertise. 

 

Shapiro talks NFL playoffs:

“Bills Texans let’s go there. Texans were favored by 3 now it’s 2 and a half.  Now I said yesterday on the show the one upset this coming weekend (I like the Bills).  I actually think the Bills win this game outright and obviously the public is agreeing with me.  I think the Bills win what do you guys say?”

 

MintyBets adds:

“I like the Bills.

 

JD adds his opinion:

I actually lean Texans in this game for a couple reasons.  I don’t love the Bills offense. I think they’re fine. I actually like what the Texans have done at cornerback adding Greaves, adding Gareon Conley.  I think JJ Watt is going to try and play in this game. If I am correct that is very important. The Bills, they have Tre’Davious White. They have a very good secondary.  I like the Texans’ wide receivers and I prefer Deshaun Watson to Josh Allen so I would lean Texans in this game. If it’s only minus 2 then I would probably take the minus 132 or minus 140 money line. 

 

The Bills are a special franchise.  They find ways to lose. They were playing suffocating defense and were up 16-0 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.  Josh Allen was playing an appropriate game and he even made a few impressive throws. Their offense mixed in enough plays to keep the Texans on their toes.  It seemed to be getting the job done. If they didn’t have Gareon Conley this game would have been over. He played the best game of his career. That is when Deshaun Watson showed what he was all about.  He found his receiver Hopkins on important third downs before delivering an incredible 20-yard run himself that ended with him pushing a pile of Bills into the end zone. Despite Josh Allen’s impressive drive at the end of the game to tie it up at 19 I never had any doubt that the Texans would win.  Watson proved the value of having a top quarterback in the league. 13 of the last 15 winning Super Bowl teams have been led by a Hall of Fame quarterback and Watson proved why in this game. His ability to keep the ball safe despite being sacked all game and also making plays only when they presented themselves was the difference maker.

 

Shapiro continues the discussion:

Let’s move on to the two games on Sunday and we’ve got a couple of good ones.  I think the most entertaining game of weekend could be the Vikings and the Saints.  I do expect a lot of points in this game. I actually like the over. I liked it when it opened up at 47 and a half.  It’s now up to 49 so I’m not so sure about that. Boy the way the Saints have been playing. The way Drew Brees have been playing.  How could you not take the Saints? I don’t see how Minnesota has a chance to win this game outright. As far as the spread goes, 9 is a lot in the playoff game.

 

MintyBets responds:

It is a lot.  I don’t know if I’ll be betting it for the points, but I do like the Saints here.  They are a better team. They have a top 10 defense. A top 3 scoring offense and arguably the best quarterback wide receiver duo in the league right now.  I definitely like the Saints.

 

JD weighs in:

“Oh yeah I would say the best wide receiver quarterback duo with Michael Thomas breaking every single wide receiver record and then Drew Brees having that insane 29 of 30 game with I think 5 touchdowns two weeks ago.  Zimmer is a really good coach. Especially defensively. The fact that they rested Cousins and a lot of those players last week for a road game, when they knew it was a road game. That makes me think that they think they can win this game.  I think that the Vikings can cover the spread. I don’t think they can win this game.”

 

I think Father Time won this game.  Brees’ throw with 2:12 remaining in the half was all I needed to see to know that the Saints were in big trouble.  The seemingly dominant Saints team led by Drew Brees was not daunting offensively anymore. The competent and usually underwhelming Kirk Cousins looked to be the favorite of the matchup going into halftime.  The difference maker was Dalvin Cook who was not even certain to play in the game. His 94 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving, and 2 touchdowns was the reason the Vikings won that game. He was able to make big plays that the average NFL running back could not.  They do not win that game without him. The value of running backs has definitely increased significantly during this year’s playoffs. Going forward, how can anyone trust Kirk Cousins? He was never been this far into the playoffs but at the same time is having the best year of his career.  He doesn’t necessarily make any bad plays, but he is also the 3rd worst quarterback left in the playoffs besting only Ryan Tannehill and Jimmy Garoppolo which is honestly debatable on some level.  I don’t think anyone expected him to play as well as he did in New Orleans. 

 

Shapiro talks about final game of the weekend:

“Well let’s go to the last game of the weekend for the NFL.  That would be the Seahawks and the Eagles. I believe, if I’m not mistaken, the Seahawks opened up at minus 1 and now it’s up to minus 2.  I just don’t trust the Eagles. They have been very inconsistent all year. Not to say that the Seahawks have been consistent either, but I have to say that the Seahawks to me is the team that should win this game.  Even though it is in Philadelphia and I understand that it plays a role. I think that if this game was in Seattle they would be favored by a touchdown.

 

MintyBets responds:

You know, Seattle has been great on the road.  I think they are 7-1 on the road this season and like 5-2 against the spread.  I really like Seattle although both teams are really banged up. I don’t trust the Eagles like you said.  I don’t think the Eagles are anything special this season. I like Seattle here but I don’t think I’ll be betting it.  They are just so banged up on both sides.

 

JD adds:

“Yeah it’s the kind of game that I can’t bet either.  I look at the points and there is probably going to be a lot of points scored.  Wentz has found a way to score a lot. This Boston Scott kid who just started playing a lot for the Eagles he had 3 touchdowns against the Giants as well as 84 yards receiving.  Wentz is going to find a way to score points and so is Russel Wilson. The Eagles defense hasn’t been great especially in their secondary. I would lean over here.

 

This was an ugly game and the Seahawks really didn’t deserve to win.  Ugly penalties including a slew of false starts did not make for a good football game.  The Eagles led by Josh McCown were nothing more than the most average team you could ever watch on a football field.  His 18/24 passing for 174 yards that led them to 9 points really encapsulates his entire 700 year career. The real difference maker was Russel Wilson and rookie DK Metcalf.  Wilson led the team in rushing and Metcalf amassed 160 yards receiving including his big catch for 36 yards that ended this game. Just like in the Texans game, the Seahawks won the game because the ball was ball was in Wilson’s hands and he took care of business.  The matchup between Rogers and Wilson is the most important in each of their careers barring their Super Bowl victories. Their careers are so neck and neck in my mind and now they get to chance to play each other in the playoffs. It will probably be the best game of this year’s post season. 

 

 

Spencer Ostrovsky

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