Sunday, April 24, 2011

Las Vegas Hilton Posts Week 1 Lines for 2011 Season

By Micah Roberts

Jay Kornegay the first to offer week 1 NFL lines 
Despite having no agreement with the NFL Players association for the 2011 season, the NFL released their schedule for the upcoming season giving hope to fans everywhere that it’s business as usual. Once the schedule was announced, the crew over at the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book wasted little time and began crunching the numbers.

By Friday night, after only a few hours, the Hilton staff all came up with their own lines and then finally a consensus number. The week one lines are now on the board and await some opinions with limits taken at half the amount they do during the regular season.

“We used last years ratings to come up with the lines,“ said Hilton’s assistant manager Jeff Sherman, “The only real adjustment we had to make was due to the rule changes regarding kickoffs which lowered the totals a little for each game.”

The change Sherman refers to was made by the NFL last month which has kickoffs starting five yards closer to the end zone, now booting from the 35 yard line. This change was put in place to alter the amount of kick returns in hopes of limiting some of the jarring collusions and possible concussions.

Last season there were 23 kicks returned for touchdowns. Unless returners start returning kicks from deep in their end zone, that figure should significantly drop in 2011.

The Hilton didn’t just put up the point-spread, either, they went all in as if the regular season was beginning next week with a full lineup of totals and money lines. The first game on the schedule is Thursday, September 8 pairing the last two Super Bowl champions with each other. The Saints travel to Green Bay with the Packers as a five-point favorite and have the highest total of week one at 47 points.

The early numbers offered by the Hilton likely will be adjusted a bit once more information is obtained for each team. Critical pieces to the point spread puzzle such as players arriving from this weeks draft, free-agent acquisitions and starting quarterback announcements will all play a role in tightening the number as news happens.

As for what will happen with the quarterback situations of some teams, Sherman doesn’t think that their number will be affected too much by team decisions.

Quarterback situations figure small into equations  
“It’s not like a team with a question mark at quarterback is going to get a Tom Brady. We’re only talking about a minor adjustment when looking at teams like Seattle with Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst, or even Denver with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.”

For many bettors, though, none of that matters right now. Just seeing the NFL lines on the board, despite the possibility that they may never take place, gives some semblance of hope that things will work out.

At the moment, there is no urgency from either side to make an agreement. It’s likely that one or two weeks of the pre-season will be missed, because that is the only leverage the players have right now. When the owners start to see the millions lost in revenue from one pre-season game that includes ticket sales, parking, concessions and gear sales, they’ll be more inclined to cave.

The NFL worked the schedule out to give itself all kinds of room for adjusting -- up to three weeks -- in case the lockout runs longer than hoped. The regular season could start in October and all the 16 weeks and playoffs could be made up with the Super Bowl still being played on it’s scheduled date of February 12.

By releasing the schedule this way, it’s kind of showing the players that they are holding ground and fully ready to accept the huge financial losses of a lengthy lockout.

The Hilton has also made a few additional notations that has prepared itself for the possibility of date changes. All bets have action as long as each game is played within 30 days of the scheduled date, but must be played at the listed site. The Hilton’s official house rules during the season states that a game must be played within eight days of the scheduled date, but the exception made in this case due to the circumstances that may occur.

The real loser while the two bicker over a few billion dollars is the fans, but that’s where the Hilton comes to the rescue. The NFL lines get us back to talking football with the only money talk being about how many units are going to be bet from our pocket book.

The NFL has done all they can to disassociate themselves from gambling and Las Vegas, but the league office should send the Hilton at least an anonymous ‘thank you’ note for getting their millions of fans off the subject of greedy players and owners and at least talking about what will actually happen on the field, not the negotiating table.

Week 1 NFL Lines Posted by The Las Vegas Hilton Super Book

Saints get to visit Lambeau in the season opener; Packers are -5. 
Thursday, September 8
Saints at Packers -5, total 47

Sunday, September 11
Steelers at Ravens -3 (EV), total 37
Lions at Bucs -3, total 41.5
Falcons at Bears -1, total 41.5
Bills at Chiefs -6.5, total 43
Colts -1 at Texas, total 47.5
Eagles -4.5 at Rams, total 45
Bengals at Browns -3 (EV), total 38
Titans at Jaguars -2.5, total 41.5
Giants -3 at Redskins, total 40.5
Panthers at Cardinals -3, total 37.5
Seahawks at 49ers -6.5, total 41.5
Vikings at Chargers -10.5, total 42.5
Cowboys at Jets -4, total 41

Monday, September 12
Patriots -3.5 at Dolphins, total 46.5
Raiders at Broncos -1.5, total 42

USA Today’s Daily Lines
USA Today prefers to use illegal books lines
With all the recent Federal blockades to major poker sites it makes you wonder how come the Feds haven’t tackled another issue which is allowing advertising for sports betting web sites. It is illegal to make wagers within the U.S. to any off-shore sports book, yet we still see advertisements everywhere. USA Today uses an off-shore book as the source of their daily line when the only place to legally bet individual games in the USA is Nevada. Even Danny Sheridan’s stolen daily lines from Las Vegas were ethically better than what the newspaper is doing now.

USA Today may say it’s okay because you can’t bet on the site because it’s a free site instead of the site where actually money can be played, but it’s still wrong. USA Today is simply making money off the line source which makes it no longer a news line service, but a paid advertising service. And because that paid service is enticing Americans to go to the web site and make illegal wagers, someone, or something should stop it.

I’m not into the government interfering with things more than they already do, but if they’re going to go after these poker sites with such a vengeance, they should also get into the root of all their marketing within the U.S.

NFL Draft Party
NFL Draft parties are a great time.  
We’ve got week one NFL lines out already, but one of the best football experiences between the time the Super Bowl ends and pre-season starts is watching the NFL Draft. This is no longer an event you watch sparingly at home, but rather a gala to throw your team colors on and gather with a bunch of other equally football-starved fans to cheer or boo each teams first round selection.

ESPN radio is sponsoring two parties this Thursday that fit the criteria perfectly at the Santa Fe Station and Bally’s race and sports books. Radio personalities Mitch Moss and Seat Williams will be at the Santa Fe while Dave Cokin and Steve Cofield will be at Bally’s. Food and drink specials will be offered to everyone with special deals given to those who show up with a team jersey on.

Clay Baker, the touchdown maker and producer of both local ESPN shows, who is responsible for all the comedic and timely sound bites we all hear daily, will be at Bally’s. Baker has a renewed vigor on football life as his Detroit Lions draft days now consist of experts talking about the player that will help them make the playoffs rather than the ridicule of drafting a first round wide receiver. He won’t be hard to find, either, as he’s likely to be the only one in attendance with Detroit Lions sneakers on.

If you can't be with the rowdies at Radio City Music Hall in New York, then Bally’s or Santa Fe Station is the place to be.

Betting the Draft?
Even with a more open than ever Nevada Gaming Control Board, the likelihood that we’ll ever see the day here in Nevada that we’ll be able to make wagers on who the number overall pick is would be the longest shot ever hitting in Las Vegas. This years draft would be the most exciting ever to wager on because we have at least five legitimate candidates who could be that number one pick, unlike other years when everyone knows who that pick will be.

Is Cam Newton really the best No. 1 choice?
We could get nice odds on the first overall pick with a six-way index proposition with Cam Newton (9/5), Marcell Dareus (4/1), Von Miller (11/2), Patrick Peterson (6/1), A.J. Green (8/1) and a field (25/1) wager. However, because only a small group within the Carolina Panthers organization know who the pick actually will be, GCB would never go for it because the outcome is somewhat predetermined.

The only idea regarding the taking wagers on the draft that could possibly be accepted by the GCB would be to offer over/under prices on positions taken in the first round. It would be inconceivable to think all 32 teams would collude to win a bet in Nevada. If a submission were put in to offer a bet like ‘number of quarterbacks drafted in the first round’ or ‘more offensive or defensive players drafted in the first round‘, the GCB might listen.

As for who I think will be the top pick, I can't see the Panthers taking Cam Newton like all the experts are saying. He's just too unpolished. Unless Carolina plans to run the same offense he ran in college, they might be better served waiting for a traditional quarterback -- like the one they drafted last year -- to run their offense. Who wants a project that early? A number one pick should be a player who can step in, start right away and make an impact. Carolina has needs everywhere, so I could see them taking anyone of the players listed above besides Newton. My pick would be Von Miller to get their pass rush going, but I could see them taking a game breaker like A.J. Green too.

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