Today, we are rockin with the Big Boss as JB the Ticket joins the show to talk March Madness. JB is the host of the Vegas Scoreboard Express and is killin it out in Vegas.
Show notes from JB the Ticket Interview
Ryan Knuppel: Today, we’re Rocking with the Big Boss as JB the Ticket joins Rodney and myself and we talk March Madness and other Vegas style sports.
Speaker 2: This is crazy. This is crazy. This is crazy.
Ryan Knuppel: Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports talk, the same headlines, the same news, and the same boring information. This podcast is here to change all of that. We bring you hot sports takes, winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news, and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business. My name is Ryan Knuppel, and welcome to The Knup Sports Show.
Ryan Knuppel: All right, welcome back to another episode of The Knup Sports Show. I’m your host Ryan Knuppel here with you each and every time, and today I’m joined by two, not just one, two special guests. I’ve got my brother, my main man, Rodney Knuppel on the line. Rodney, you with me?
Rodney Knuppel: Yeah. What’s going on man? Looking forward to all the sports going on here, next couple weeks.
Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely, and we’ve got one of the best in the business, hosting his own show, JB the Ticket on the line. JB, you with us?
JB the Ticket: What’s going on? You’re rocking with the boss of the big board, the new brothers. I’m here live in Vegas at the VSX studios. How you guys doing?
Ryan Knuppel: We are doing wonderful, JB. I appreciate you joining us. Man, we love what you do. You’re out there in Vegas living the dream, following the sports betting industry and just tearing it up out there. So, what’s new with you out in Vegas?
JB the Ticket: Well, here in Las Vegas with Scoreboard Express, we’re doing a lot of big things. Again, I want to give a shout out to all of our friends over at FuboTV up in Manhattan. They really pushed in the show, really getting us where we want to be as far as sponsorships and a great product. I’m actually a user of FuboTV myself, so hopefully going to be getting out to New York City, over to the studio soon to cut a few recordings. I’ve been doing a lot on the sponsorship side to bring more value to our listeners. We’ve been linking up with a couple of online casinos. We’ve got Bovada. We’ve got Betkings. We’ve got 5Dimes, many, many more. We’ve also made an apparel contact and got that set up over at Fanatics, so now you can go to our website and get authentic league gear.
JB the Ticket: All the major leagues, NFL, NBA, Major League baseball, MLS, even some euro soccer and global teams as well, and of course NCAA started for the tournament. So, really just been trying to build more value for our listeners. And, when we come back this week for the All-Star Game, really start cooking for our NBA fans out there. They’ve been chiming in for it and begging us for some NBA and some NCAA basketball. So, it’s just been really busy here in Vegas, and looking forward to continuing to grow, and continuing to put out content that people like and consume. We’ve been doing it for a while before it was legal. We’re the first, and we’re trying to hold down Vegas and make sure they know who the boss, the big boy is. You know what I mean?
Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, rocking with you out at The Vegas Scoreboard Express, right? VegasScoreboardExpress.com is where you can find JB’s show. Rodney, I know you’ve joined JB several times over there on the show talking sports all the time. You guys pretty excited about college basketball, March madness on the way? You guys pretty excited about that?
Rodney Knuppel: Oh, yeah, definitely. And, I know that JB has a couple of teams that he really follows over there, including the undefeated Aztecs, San Diego State. JB, your thoughts on San Diego State?
JB the Ticket: Hey, shout out to the lovely city of San Diego, the [DeAngeles 00:03:21] Family, wanting to give a shout out to my guys down there, good friend Julian McMillan, esquire. His license plates say, “I sue for you.” So, again, if you get down to San Diego, and you get in some trouble, call my man Julian. He’ll definitely hook you up. But, yeah, San Diego State Aztecs, this is a team that’s coming in right now undefeated. They still don’t have the number one spot. They have been placed in a little bit tougher conference, but being that I’m here in the Mountain West country, I really didn’t see a team other than San Diego State coming out of that conference this year. The Mountain West here in Las Vegas, the great State of Nevada, a lot of parity, UNLB. Feast or famine this year is looking kind of famine under first year coach. So, when you look at what UNR is doing, also they lost Musselman down to Arkansas. Arkansas is having a great season in the SEC as well.
JB the Ticket: You can kind of see it down near here in Nevada. So, where better to put your basketball eggs than in Southern California? With the Pac-12 being as it is, San Diego State, the next best thing to lead in the major conferences in California. We’ve seen some great things out of the new season, so they’ve been very steady on this point spread. They’ve been bringing down wins, solid as a dog early on, and then after about game 12, they converted to a favorite. So, not much value, but they have been able to get it done if you’re rocking with them.
Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely. March Madness on its way. Man, Rodney, you have any team you have your eye on heading into the tournament?
Rodney Knuppel: Yeah, I mean, even out there, JB, Gonzaga a little bit close to you. Not really close, but out in your region. Gonzaga is obviously playing well. Around here in the Midwest, obviously Kansas is I guess the team to beat around here. But, when we’re looking at National Championship caliber teams, JB, I just don’t know if I see one over the other that sticks out to me. The big names, the Duke, the Kansas, the Michigan States, the Kentuckys all kind of have their flaws. So, I guess if you’re looking, JB, do you have a team you really, really like to maybe cut down the nets in April?
JB the Ticket: I like Butler. They’re one of those teams that right now, they have a great story in a down year for college basketball. I’m going to touch on that in a bit, but really what I’m seeing in the NCAA this year is a lot of parity. There’s not a lot of players coming in that are supremely dynamic offensively, defensively, or athletically. So, what that’s allowing our teams that have the upperclassmen, to get the upper hand. This is a year where the one and dones are very few and far between, if any. So, if I was looking at a team that really had a chance to go all the way, I like Butler. I do like San Diego State. They’re coached well, very well balanced team. They have a great NBA pedigree with their top player in the NBA right now, Kawhi Leonard. So, they’ve got a lot to live up to in a down year where there’s not a lot of stories in the NCAA.
JB the Ticket: So, if those were two teams that I had to pick today to get all the way there, those would be my two. I mean, if you look at any of the other conferences, the ACC is down, the complete disaster in the ACC. The SEC has talent, but when you talk about Baylor, LSU, these are football schools. So, what can you really see them do on the basketball side? We’ve seen it several times over the last couple of years with Texas, Texas A and M. When Texas A and M beat Carolina two seasons ago, everyone thought these guys were going to go to The Final Four, they got wiped out. So, if you’re talking about a team that’s coached well, it has the ability to go far, I like San Diego state, I like Butler, and maybe Seton Hall if they could get the turnover situation together. But, again, coming out of these weaker conferences, you want to see teams that have the upperclassmen and the consistency.
JB the Ticket: Now, I know you guys up in Illinois, Rodney, are liking Illini in the Big Ten. So, from my perspective and my question to you is, do you think the Big Ten is even strong enough to produce a team that can go all the way? We remember a couple of years ago in the ACC with Virginia, which was my big call, I said, whoever they play in the first round is going to beat them, because they were coming out of another weak season in the ACC, and they got the number one seat, and they got trounced out of the game by UMBC, or University of Maryland, Baltimore County. So, I don’t want to see what happen the Illini, but because of the weakness of schedule in the Big Ten and some of the All-Star teams that we thought were going to be powerhouses, a la the Michigan States, the Ohio States, really being middling or bottom feeders, do you think that the Illinois Fighting Illini have a chance to prove their mettle in the tournament coming up? Go ahead.
Rodney Knuppel: Yeah, I think the Illini have a second weekend potential in them, but they’re not a Final Four team. I think the team out of the Big Ten I think that I could move along my bracket the furthest would probably be Maryland. They’re battle tested. I think they’re well coached. They shoot the ball pretty well. They’ve got a little inside presence. They just came to Champaign on Friday and beat the Illini. I know they have a big game in East Lansing coming up soon against Michigan State. As far as Michigan State, I mean they’re a team every year that we’re kind of like, well, the Izzo factor. Are they going to be able to get there? I just don’t see the talent in that Michigan State team I’ve seen before, so-
JB the Ticket: And, I don’t see the record, 16 and eight overall. I mean, that’s not going to get you to the tournament. We know that in a down year, that the tournament this year, they’re going to be looking to give some of these smaller mid-major schools an opportunity. I know that a lot of people don’t understand this about college basketball this year, but this is a year where it’s promoting colleges and coaches, brand name colleges and brand name coaches. One of the reasons is that, because a lot of fans have forgotten about or it hasn’t been covered, that ruling last year, that the image rights of college athletes are now up for sale. We all know that basketball players, maybe not so much now, but back in the day, they were a lot of inner city kids and coming up, but now it’s more prep school kids. But, nevertheless you want to put that out there.
JB the Ticket: The reason that you’re not seeing marquee players is because, excuse me, the NCAA is not promoting marquee players at this time. Because, if they do, and they increase the value and the stock of these players’ images over the value of the schools, which is what they did prior, because there was no value added benefit for the student athlete and any benefit other than the scholarship, especially as far as earning money or taking money is concerned, you’re going to see more smaller schools get further through favorable seating, favorable arena. You’re not going to see Butler have to travel all the way out and play West. They’ll probably get a Midwest regional or an East regional. So, you have to factor all these things in, especially from a sports betting perspective. When you’re looking at teams like Duke and Carolina, and you just mentioned Maryland, former ACC, now in the Big Ten, but struggling basketball powerhouses a decade ago, now struggling to even crack top 25 consistent this season, that’s the reason why.
JB the Ticket: The point that I was making about college basketball and looking at some of the teams in the top 25 that you may not see a decade ago as perennial powerhouses, you’re looking at Baylor at number one. Gonzaga has always been knocking on the door, but can’t quite seem to get over the hump. Dayton at number six, Seton Hall, a team of the ’80s making a resurgence at number 10. But, powerhouse names, Duke, number seven, bottom of the top 10, Maryland at number nine, Kentucky at number 12. These are teams that are primarily your basketball blue bloods, and you’re seeing them struggle. Butler at even 19.
Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, North Carolina not even in it.
JB the Ticket: Yeah, I mean the ACC, the whole ACC is wiped out. I had mentioned that a couple of years ago when Virginia won the National Championship. I said the day that Virginia wins the National Championship with a bunch of guys that probably will not be longterm NBA players is the day that I give the death knell to Carolina first, because Dean Smith’s coaching and his nonacceptance of the one and done rule are the reason top recruits aren’t going to the Carolina program.
JB the Ticket: Okay, but we still had Nassir Little last year, a top recruit coming out in the class of 2020. Then, he ends up going second round almost or late round first round. But, nevertheless he didn’t have a star season. His only star turn in the tournament was when they beat Iona. These top players now, knowing that there are opportunities for them to earn and seeing the past, the former guys, the Ball family. Lonzo Ball was the last kid to go one and done from the West Coast, but he came in with a shoe deal his dad set up for him. He had his own brand. I mean, this is all entrepreneurial, but it also speaks to the younger generation’s understanding of their value now as athletes. They’re not just some kids that are running around to play the sport for the love of the game.
JB the Ticket: They’re trying to get paid, and they know that their time in the light may not be as long as some others. If their time in the light is basically that college career, they want to get paid for that. However, on the other side in the NCAA, the way they look at it as they’re like, look, we’re not paying these kids to be superstars on our dime, the way they were [inaudible 00:12:45]. All that time is your time in this time. I’m telling you right now [inaudible 00:12:54].
Ryan Knuppel: JB, you might be cutting out a little bit on us.
JB the Ticket: Can you hear me?
Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, there you go.
JB the Ticket: Can you hear me?
Ryan Knuppel: That’s a little better. Just the last minute there, we were cutting out a bit.
JB the Ticket: Oh, okay. Yeah, sorry about that. I was trying to get my headset in. I guess that’s not [inaudible 00:13:08]. I’m telling you, man. I wish I had sound effects when you record this. Put some sound effects on that, because [inaudible 00:13:13].
Ryan Knuppel: [inaudible 00:13:14].
JB the Ticket: [inaudible 00:13:13] sound problem. But, the point I was making was these kids are not going to get the air time that they got in the past. With the basketball blue bloods being at or in the middle of the rankings this year, and just performance and fan interest overall, we’re looking at a mid-majors National Championship. If there was any team that I thought can get there, it’s going to be Butler, and then maybe we can add, throw in Gonzaga, because they’ve always been knocking at the door. We’re just not going to see that superstar player. The days of Zion Williamson in my opinion I think are over. I can’t even name the top high school player, not because the fact that these kids aren’t available. It’s just that there seems to be a sea shift in the way that these young men are being covered, and young ladies by the way. Because of that sea shift in the way that they’re being covered, not getting …
JB the Ticket: I mean, this is the age of the internet. Zion Williamson was a superstar, since what, the 10th grade, that windmill he did? Where’s the new guy? The media must have gotten the memo. Hey, don’t promote these kids now. They’re worth money. You’re going to see more and more college programs, the program becoming front and center rather than the player. You’re going to see a ton of elite players skip college altogether. The path was already laid 10 seasons ago with Brandon Jennings many, many years ago. The godfather of the NBA, rest his soul right now, Kobe Bryant. I can’t even believe I’m saying that. That guy is my God hero. Anyone who ever played against me in high school in New York, they know that they heard the word Kobe and saw me shoot it, and it’d go in. The refs were looking at him like, what did this kid just say? So, I lived it. It’s still shocking to even talk about that or even mention that, even say that.
JB the Ticket: But, I make that point to say Kobe laid the groundwork. Look, you don’t need to go to college if you’ve got it. You might not have it like me, but if you’ve got a taste of it, you don’t need this. Now, we have a new guy coming in with a great story from the Ball family, the youngest, LaMelo, and LaMelo Ball going over to Australia, and now getting some work. So, the NCAA is really in a quandary here when you’re talking about the value of college basketball in that it’s a star driven sport. We’ve always known that. You can go back to Pearl Washington, New York. I’m giving you grease right now, and Syracuse. He was a New York City super star. Another young man, he passed away a couple years ago too, rest in peace, Pearl Washington. When he went to Syracuse, he put Syracuse ball on the map.
JB the Ticket: Now, all of a sudden, everybody out of New York City wanted to go Syracuse. You’ve got guys like Rony Seikaly going there, different individuals. John Salley spurned them and went to Georgia Tech, but still, look, New York City, Syracuse. It just makes sense to head up the 95 and then turn west. Kids don’t think that no more. They’re looking at the ability to go viral with a dunk, the ability to get fans, followers, likes. There’s no need for hoping the college mails you a letter anymore. I see it. I mean, I’m here in Vegas. I come to these high school tournaments. These kids are like, yeah, I’m the number one player in the country. I’m like, there’s so many websites ranking number one players. I don’t know. You know what I mean? But, the thing is from the NCAA standpoint and from a sports betting standpoint, especially sports betting, oh my God, they’re not going to let these kids get famous like that no more. It’s just not happening. Go ahead.
Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, I mean it’s certainly a change in culture, a change in thinking for these high school kids. And, I agree with you that the NCAA is kind of in a quandary, but one thing’s for sure. I mean, as much as that stuff’s changing, this tournament, this tournament that’s going to happen here in March gets a lot. I mean, it’s the time that we all want to sports bed.
JB the Ticket: [inaudible 00:00:17:14].
Ryan Knuppel: It is the time of year of sports. I mean, one thing I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve never done this, JB, maybe I’ll have to come down and visit you, but one thing I’ve always wanted to do is that first weekend of the tournament, hit those sports books in Vegas. How’s the atmosphere there during that first weekend of the March Madness tournament?
JB the Ticket: A lot of losers walking through the door.
Ryan Knuppel: Happy, and then they turn sad?
JB the Ticket: Oh, no, man, happy all the way through, man. They’re just happy to be there. But, no, I’m saying as far new bets, tons of losses that first week. It’s probably one of the biggest weeks of the casino making bank. The only year that the casinos took a hit, and I was on the air at KSAP that time, live, I told him, I said whoever Virginia plays, take the other team and bet the house, because Virginia is going to get smacked. God forbid they place a team with sort of a hood pedigree or and urban pedigree. They got UMBC. I was like, oh, it’s over. They got beat by 20. Books got wiped out that day. You couldn’t even bet. So, that’s one of the things about college basketball. That first day, it’s a huge rush. You’ve got a lot of kids, a lot of people going in there to put their bets out, but the reality is not a lot of winners. If you get one or two big upsets, guaranteed day two, you’ll see a lot of pickups and a lot of spread plays, no money lines. Believe it, go ahead.
Ryan Knuppel: For sure. For sure, definitely. Well, cool. Well, JB, I definitely could talk to you forever. I mean, we could talk sports all day long, and I think we may do this again and actually talk as the tournament gets closer. I’d love to get on here, have Rodney get on here and talk a little bit more. But, for today, I’m running out of time, so I’ve got to go. But, VegasScoreboardExpress.com, what’s coming? Give me a quick minute about what’s coming on your shows and what’s to come.
JB the Ticket: All right, my man. Thank you so much. That’s right, go to VegasScoreboardExpress.com. Support our sponsors. Get seven days free, FuboTV. I’ve got jerseys from Fanatics. You can get yourself hooked up with some excellent sports books, online sports books. If you are in a newly legal sports betting state in a big rural area, don’t know where to go, go to VegasScoreboardExpress.com. You can listen to the show, see the type of information we give you. Coming up, we’re all ball all day, man. We’re going to be doing basketball, NCAA, NBA, doing a little bit of FIBA. We’ve got some people connects now.
JB the Ticket: Again, shout out to FuboTV. We watch all basketball. If it’s global, and they’re playing, and it’s on the line. We also are bringing back Dreford “All Day” Smith. We’re going to be talking some XFL in the next couple of weeks. It’s interesting to see what that league is doing from a sports betting perspective. I’m all in. It’s another sport. It’s football. It keeps people interested. And, there seems to be some good money line, and it’s a great way to make money. If you are a true fantasy player, someone who knows players individually, that XFL line is a great way to make some money, because it’s all about knowing the players in that league. If you don’t know who the players are, you have no way of winning, seriously.
Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely. Well, I appreciate you joining us here. Rodney, any last words for the listeners?
Rodney Knuppel: No, just getting ready for that tournament coming up, and again, we’ll have a couple of talks as the tournament gets here about our teams, and again we’ll have JB on. Looking forward to it.
JB the Ticket: I appreciate you guys having me on today. I want to thank you guys for coming out to Vegas and spending some time with us during the convention season for sports betting. Can’t wait for you to come out again next year. Again, yeah, you guys go to the KnupSports.com. They’re on my website at VegasScoreboardExpress.com. Click their link. These guys are giving grease. They give sports information. They give sports betting business information, and most importantly, the picks are free, okay. These guys aren’t trying to gouge out the eyes, and that’s fun. Make your own decision.
JB the Ticket: But, if you do want to give yourself an edge, KnupSports.com is the key. These guys have been rocking with the Vegas Scoreboard Express since football season. They’re going to be with us all the way up to the big bank, and we’re going to continue to grow with them. So, I suggest for all you listeners to this podcast around the world and around the regions where you’re getting it, go to KnupSports.com at least once daily. That way, you can get an inside scoop of what’s going on in this business.
Ryan Knuppel: Well, certainly appreciate that plug, JB. Not needed, but yes, likewise. It was great meeting you out in Vegas, hanging. I hope we get to do it again, maybe over March Madness. But, anytime we get out there, we’ll definitely, definitely hook up with you again and the Scoreboard Express.
JB the Ticket: All right, I appreciate you guys calling in to the Thank you so much. Vegas Scoreboard Express out, appreciate it.
Ryan Knuppel: All right, JB. Thanks man. All right, have a good one, everybody. Bye-bye. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Knup Sports Show. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider subscribing to our iTunes channel today. Plus, visit us at KnupSports.com for more picks, previews, strategy, and news. That’s K-N-U-P Sports dot com.
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