This may explain why action in the sports books have been so slow this week. From locals standpoint, many of the regulars that bet every week are being a little more frugal with their funds as they finalize their shopping. Lucky’s Race and Sports Book Director Jimmy Vaccaro see’s his business slow, but not as bad as it used to be in town.
“In the late 70’s and early 80’s, we used have reduced hours considerably during the holiday season because there was no one in town other than the small base of locals. The consumer traveler didn’t go to Vegas, but now we see people from all over visiting and also have a much younger crowd here which was never the case before.”
Vaccaro also feels this time of year generally doesn’t produce the type of meaningful games that get people through the doors to bet.
“The NFL games have been great with the new scheduling, but we’re likely to see most of that action on Sunday,” Vaccaro explained. “The early bowl games haven’t been attractive to bettors where they say they have to go bet it on their way home like they might have earlier in the season. Other than the Boise State game, just because it was played here, the other games haven’t inspired regular bettors to play and watch. Even some of the college basketball betting has been a little slow and I think that’s just because the bettors are wore out after a long season.”
|Busy malls are the worst part of Christmas|
On NFL Sunday, the action will surely come. The kids will all still be enamored with their gifts, the wife may dare to go shopping some more because of the deals, but for Dad, all he wants for Christmas is to relax and enjoy the games, and the games this week are pretty attractive.
It’s almost like the playoffs because the new scheduling format. Despite no serious action on the Thursday night game at Pittsburgh, everyone will be back in full force with things returning to normal Sunday, following Christmas, with most of their attention focused back into the sports world.
We have three divisional rematches this week with nearly every other game having playoff implications. 19 teams are still in the hunt and other than the Lions-Dolphins and Texans-Broncos, every game means something.
|"3" has been the magic number in the NFL this season|
Now, those figures are for all games with all spreads and don’t reflect the actual games that were on or around “3”, but it gives a little clarity on why the sports books may use money lines so much attached to 2 ½, 3 and 3 ½, not wanting to get middled on such a key number.
|Bucs -6 looks like the bet bet of the week|
Even though Tampa Bay has eight wins, they haven’t beat a team with a winning record. Not only does Seattle have a losing record, but they’ll be trying to win on the road for one of the longest road trips anyone in the NFL could make as they travel from the northeast corner of the country to the very bottom of the southeast. West coast teams traveling east is rarely a good bet, especially from a Seattle team that routinely gets whacked by double digits.
The main culprit for each team’s success and demise has been turnovers. Seattle gives the ball up frequently and is third worst in the league with at a -9 ratio while the Bucs saving grace this season has been being able to hold onto the ball at +8. In Matt Hasselbeck’s last four starts, he has combined to throw 10 interceptions. The Seahawks only win over that stretch was beating the lowly Panthers in Seattle.
I’ll take the Buccaneers to win 27-13.
With two weeks to go the in the Las Vegas Review-Journal NFL Challenge, I am 40-34-1, 2 ½ games behind the leader, Las Vegas Hilton Super Book Executive Director Jay Kornegay, who is 40-34-1. The contest is based on the Hilton’s Super Contest format and lines battled out between a small group of Las Vegas handicappers, writers and Sports Book Directors.
LVRJ NFL Challenge Standings through Week 15
Here are my week 16 Selections:
49ers +2 ½ @ St. Louis
Bears -1 vs. Jets
Buccaneers -6 vs. Seahawks
Patriots -7 ½ @ Buffalo
Texans -2 ½ @ Denver