Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Las Vegas Sports Books Fare Well in Super Bowl, But It Could Have Been Better

by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today Las Vegas

After all was said and done on Super Bowl Sunday, results turned out to be mixed, but nonetheless okay for the Las Vegas sports books.

Many in the books were a little worried about the handle, or lack of it, going into Super Bowl weekend. They weren’t seeing as many large bets as normal on either side and they were also missing visitors from back East due to cancelled flights.

"I don’t know exactly when those people who were delayed finally got into town, but when they landed here, it was apparent by the rise in our handle," said MGM MIRAGE (MGM) race and sports director Jay Rood.

"By 10 am Sunday, we were trending about 10% less than last year’s Super Bowl," Rood continued. "When we tallied everything up after kickoff, we were up 3% over last season."

When the sports books posted the score with the Saints winning 31-17, just about every book in the city did well, though some did better than others. The best scenario would have been the Colts winning, but not covering, and staying under the total of 57.

One of the few books that had their best scenario unfold was the M Resort’s race and sports book.

"We couldn’t be happier with the outcome," said M Sports Book Director Mike Colbert, "It was the best result we could have had. We never moved off the 4½."

The M was ahead of the curve a little bit by having the game at 4½ for almost the entire two week duration while most books in town were at 5 or 5½. By game time, just about everyone in town was sitting at 4½.

"We saw sharp money come in late with the Saints while we had early sharp money on the Colts money line, laying -200," said Colbert.

Overall, the M Resort might have done $10 million in handle, an amount fueled by hundreds of prop bets, as well as In-running wagering, which can turn over a ton of money because of the constant, real time bets taking place.

Of course, the Las Vegas Hilton is the unquestioned leader in Super Bowl props (about half of the casino’s Super Bowl handle comes from prop bets), though sports director Jay Kornegay said players probably did well enough to cut into the Hilton’s bottom line, and "there were a lot of bets on the Saints."

He estimated the Hilton would probably break even or come out slightly behind the players this year.

Lucky’s Sports Books, according to Jimmy Vaccaro, expected to have a winning ledger, even if it’s just a slight win, when everything is tallied, even though the "money line was bad" for the house.

Professional poker player Phil Ivey reportedly made wagers totaling well over $3 million at various sports books around town. Despite the large bets, many books by game day had the Colts at minus-190, much lower than the amount bet by Ivey.

Is it possible that Ivey was part of an overall scheme to sway the market one way? It’s not uncommon to see, but it’s uncommon to have a celebrity in the middle of it. That’s a lot of seed money to lay down, then again, if the Colts won with the Saints covering, the bettor wins both sides.

The sports books all reported great handle on the various props. The local sports books seemed to do poorer than the Strip with the special point spread props laying -3½, -7½ and -10½ with the Saints at big plus money.

Some of the other props that the public did well with was under 8 punts, yes on a defensive touchdown, the yes on the two-point conversion and player to score first.

"Pierre Garcon got a lot of respect from the public and they were playing him to be that guy to score first, and he did," said Rood.

The Strip properties also enjoyed posting the future odds to win the Super Bowl, which had been up since last February; those wagers added about 30% extra to the winning bottom line.

"It was a really good day," said Rood, "We did all right. We had great two-way action on the game and did well against some of the larger bets that we did take."

Overall handle results won’t be known for another two days as the Nevada Gaming Control Board compiles all the data from across the state, but it’s safe to speculate at this point that the Strip properties held a higher win percentage than the local places.

Regardless of who did what, most bookies expect the handle will top last year’s lackluster $81.5 million, even though it probably won’t come close to the record $94.5 million wagered in 2006.

Nevada’s Gaming Control Board will report the statewide Super Bowl handle, as well as the amount won (or lost!) by the sports books later this week.

View the report as soon as it’s available here on this website.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Orgin of the Las Vegas Sports Book Super Bowl Prop Bet

by Micah Roberts
Las Vegas Review-Journal

The end of a long NFL season is prime time for value shoppers at Las Vegas sports books. Some of the year's best betting opportunities can be found by sifting through the hundreds of Super Bowl propositions offered by the books.

The Indianapolis Colts are favored by 5 points over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and soon we'll find out if Colts quarterback Peyton Manning wins his second championship. But another game has already kicked off for many bettors who are just as serious about winning.

The props bets have been on the board for about 10 days, and the key is finding the edge, because the books are more vulnerable than ever at this time of the year.

There is no true comparison to any other sport in the value offered this week.

A normal Saturday college basketball menu is comparable only because there are so many games. With more than 100 games on one day, and only two days to update ratings for more than 200 teams, there are always bound to be five or six faulty lines. But usually it takes one of the sharp betting groups to ferret out the mistakes.

The telling sign that a sports book is aware of its exposure is the betting limits placed on the general public. The most solid lines are offered with the highest limits -- such as the standard NFL line, the most sound line in the world. The areas that are open to more severe liability -- meaning the books don't always win -- are always kept at minimal limits.

The lowest per-game limits offered by most books are totals, such as college football and basketball, which are generally offered at a range of $500 to $1,000. Totals are statistically the lowest hold percentage most books have in their category analysis breakdown.

The Super Bowl will generate thousands of dollars more on each side of a proposition bet than any college total, but the limit for each prop stays in the same range because the books are in a vulnerable situation by extending the betting menu to such extremes.

So why would a bookmaker, whose mandate is to limit risk and liability and protect company funds, offer so many options that could offer the house less than maximum protection?

Basically, it's all about image, respectability and publicity of a property brand name or theme.

The last thing a Las Vegas sports book wants is a reputation for having the poorest selection of Super Bowl props in the city. This is a book's time to shine and show there is no need to go anywhere else -- everything you want is right here.

Read More Here.....

Mike T's Super Bowl Picks: Winners all Season and Looking to Close a Winner

by Mike T.

It comes down to this. The two best teams all year are now finally going to face off in what should be an epic shoot out. With all the money coming on the Colts for the first 10 days or so the Saints money is now coming in. So, if you liked the Saints you probably should have taken them 2 or 3 days ago when you could have gotten them at 5.5 or even 6. If you like the Colts you may want to wait close to game time where you might see 4 again.

Stats. Stats. Stats. There is a statistic or a trend for just about everything you can think of in order to decide which side you want to take. Saints 6-1-1 in their last 8 on grass, Colts 9-1-1 in their last 11 on grass. Both teams started 13-0, both teams were 7-1 on the road. The list goes on and on and on. In the end there is something or a few things that seems to stick out the most and will probably be the deciding factor in which way you go. I have mine and here they are.

The first thing I thought just like most people did is that the Colts looked really impressive in their wins over the Ravens and Jets while The Saints had to go to overtime to beat the Vikes. It made me wonder what the line would be right after the NFC conference game was over. Not what it should be but what it would be. Considering public's perception and memory I figured the Colts would be 3 point favorites and it wouldn't move much. After a couple days seeing the money pouring in on the Colts at almost 3-1 I started (again) thinking what the line should be.

When looking at these two teams over the entire season and not just the last game or two there is no doubt in my mind that this game should be a pick'em. Nothing more, nothing less. Therefore, getting the Saints at anything above 3 points is huge value on a neutral field.

Now anyone who's followed my picks all year has noticed that I like to take dogs in good spots so it's only fitting that I end the year with a dog. I guess this is the point where I have to throw out some stat or trend to back up my selection. There are two that I like best. The first is the Saints defense was 2nd overall this year with 39 turnovers and a +11 ratio while the Colts were just +2. The second stat is the Colts were 30th in the league on 3rd down defense. Now some say they play a bend but don't break style and that's why they give up a lot of 1st downs. That may be true but the Saints will get in the endzone often if the Colts play that style of D this Sunday.

I like this one to be a classic shoot out with the Saints winning the turnover battle and ultimately the game.

Saints 42 Colts 38

I also took a few props...
I have Brees to score the 1st TD at 18-1
I have the Saints to score exactly 42 points at 40-1
and the Saints to score exactly 48 and 49 points ( two bets) both at 80-1

I loved under 8 punts for the game when it opened and it was +110 but when I got there it was -190.
I also missed out on over 76 total points at 16-1 it was 4-1 when I got to the window. Oh well.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Bowl Notes Through Friday: Props and Betting Notes From Las Vegas

by Micah Roberts

Trying to find a few props I feel most comfortable with was tough searching through the 350 props that the Las Vegas Hilton offered. However, I found a few I do like just based on what I have seen this season, not taking a shot at middles of some of the free money out on scalps.

The player I have been looking at is Joseph Addai and what I believe his role will be in the game. All season long, Addai has been just good enough and reliable enough to show that the Colts can run the ball a few times to try and keep the defenses honest by showing the run.

He didn’t have a 100 yard game all season. In fact, his high for the regular season was 79 yards in Week 13. His season-high including the postseason was 80 yards against the Jets in the AFC Title game.

In 12 of his 17 games played this season, Addai rushed for less than the posted total of 65 ½ at the Hilton. In seven of those instances, Addai rushed for less than 50 yards.

Another note to keep track of is that back-up Donald Brown is healthy and when Addai had his best rushing games of the season in Week 13 and 14, Brown was out.

Brown was an intricate part of the Colts offense before getting hurt in Week 7. Over the same span, Addai didn’t crack higher than 64 yards in any game.

I would expect to see Brown be more of impact for the Colts Sunday and give the Saints a look the Colts haven’t shown for a few months. If Brown does see more action as I expect, the Addai prop numbers on the 'under' will all come in easily.

Should Brown stay in the six carries range like he’s been the last few weeks, I still like the 'under' on most of Addai’s rushing props.

Another prop available is the longest rushing attempt by Addai, set at 12 ½ yards. This is a volatile prop that could go either way, such as the Colts being in a third and long situation with a draw gaining 14 yards, but still having to punt.

Addai’s longest run of the year was 21 yards. Five times Addai had a game with less than a 12-yard rushing attempt. I lean to the 'under' on this prop.

The one prop that I do like Addai to do well in is for him to score a touchdown. When the Colts get inside the 5-yard line, the ball usually goes to Addai and somehow he always comes through. He had 10 rushing touchdowns in 15 regular season games this season with an additional three receiving.

Read More Here....

Super Bowl Notes From Las Vegas: Action Slow Through Thursday

by Micah Roberts

This years Nevada Super Bowl betting handle will likely not pass $94.5 million and may be in danger of even equaling last seasons Steelers-Cardinals match-up which brought in $84.5 million through state sports book.

“We know it’s going to get pretty busy Saturday and Sunday,’ said South Point’s Sports Book Director Bert Osborne, “but right now (through 10 days up on the board) it’s been pretty quiet.”

Reports from many of the Sportsbooks have been similar, but most admit that they don’t keep a daily log of betting on the game throughout the two week period. They just know the bulk of their action will come on game day and the day prior.

“There could be something into the fact that there isn’t a big underdog like most years which really seems to stir up betting interest early with the people who feel they have to get it now or they’ll lose value,” says South Point’s Sports Book Director Bert Osborne.

The all-time record betting handle for the Nevada Super Bowl handle came in 2006 with the Steelers and Seahawks squared off with the Steelers a 4-point favorite. However, that year was right in the middle of the Las Vegas Boom where everyone was making tons of cash in all aspects of whatever business they were in.

If you worked in the casino, the tips were larger. If you were an executive, the bonus’ were larger. If in construction, there was tons of work because everyone was building. Real estate? The sales were through the roof. Regular folks were making hundreds of thousands of dollars by just flipping houses.

Read More Here....

Super Bowl-NASCAR Prop: What will be Higher, 1st Half Total or Winning Car Number

by Micah Roberts

The Las Vegas Hilton Super Book posted a Super Bowl proposition involving the winning car number in the race with the first half total of Super Bowl.

The posted number for the first half is 28 points. The Super Bowl eventual first half total between both teams is favored to have the higher number as a 3.5-point favorite over the NASCAR winner‘s car number.

This looks like a a good bet on the Super Bowl total even though there is a large variable number involved with the possibilities that car No. 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson or No. 88 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr have a good shot at winning in Saturday’s race.

However, there looks to be way more upside in looking at the candidates to win the shootout who have car numbers ranging from No. 1 to 24, beginning with the likely winners of either No. 14 Tony Stewart or No. 18 Kyle Busch.

Another bonus in this proposition is bettors taking the Super Bowl side with a higher number also get No. 9 Kasey Kahne who was fastest in the final practice session, No. 11 Denny Hamlin, No. 1 Jamie McMurray, No. 2 Kurt Busch, No. 5 Mark Martin, No. 16 Greg Biffle, No. 17 Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Joey Logano, and No. 24 Jeff Gordon.

There are only 24 drivers racing and all but three of the top restrictor plate racers are driving with cars under No. 24 or less which makes this highly advantageous based on the offered total of the first half.

It’s quite possible that the Super Bowl could score far less points than expected in the first half, but having trying to beat a likely range of 1 through 18 makes it look pretty juicy by taking the Super Bowl side.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Super Bowl Betting Hasn't Quite Heated Up Yet, Landslide expected Saturday and Sunday

by Micah Roberts

Super Bowl XLIV betting has been steady at the Las Vegas Sportsbooks with ticket counts showing up at a little higher than 5 to 2 in favor of the Colts. Just about every sportsbook in town has the Colts as 5.5-point favorites with a few variations on the total from 56 to 57.

We haven’t seen anything yet though. Over 95% of all wagers on the game will be made Saturday and Sunday of this week and that will be where the telling sign is to where this game will go. So far on a small sample ratio, the Colts appear to be that team.

And why not? They have been the most consistent team all season seemingly unfazed where they play, what surface the game is on, and don’t even blink if they find themselves in a deficit.

The Saints on the hand have many in the general public asking themselves if they are in the Super Bowl merely because of the home field advantage they had in the Superdome for the NFC title game where they looked to have been outplayed.

Had this game been in early November, the Saints would likely be the team with a 5 to 2 ticket count ratio. They were peaking at that juncture and looked to be unstoppable but then came the stretch run and they ran out of gas in the final furlong losing three straight as the playoffs began.

Fortunately for the Saints, they do have a little recent history on their side. Remember the dreadful 80’s and early 90’s Super Bowls that saw blowouts every year with NFC teams dominating?

Ever since Denver knocked off the Packers as an 11-point underdog, the Super Bowls have been pretty entertaining for the most part.

Read More Here............