Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Las Vegas Sports Books Buried with Cavs Game 7 Win

The Cavaliers stopped by Las Vegas to party Sunday night after Game 7.
The rally cry for Cleveland fans over the past 52 years of trying to win a championship of any kind has been “We Believe.” There may have been no better proof of fans believing in the Cavaliers than what happened in Las Vegas sportsbooks Sunday night for Game 7 of the NBA Finals when they emphatically put their money on the counter.

The Cavaliers’ 93-89 win over the Warriors made most Las Vegas sportsbooks big losers on the day with a combination of payouts taking the Cavs +5, +150 on the moneyline and a variation of series prices with a high of 10-to-1 odds after Game 4 when the Cavs were down 3-1.

Despite the media constantly questioning LeBron James’ legacy following a Game 4 loss, the fans and bettors believed enough in the Cavs to make the books losers in Games 5, 6 and 7.

“It wasn’t a good day for us at all,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook hub manager Jeff Stoneback. “We had a bunch of house players take the Cavs (+5) with six figure wagers and then we had that big loss on the series price after Game 4.”

Last week Stoneback said after Game 4 that his books had taken over $100,000 in risk on the Cavs to win the series at 10-to-1 odds. Before Games 5 and 6, he tried to offer the lowest series price on the Warriors in town, but no one wanted them and kept betting the bad price on the Cavs.

No team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals, but the Cavs fans believed and put their money where their hearts were and cashed big time Sunday night.

Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick said they escaped with a small win on Game 7 just because the game stayed UNDER (206) the total, but said they got “beat up pretty good on the series.”

CG Technology’s VP of risk management Jason Simbal said they lost on both the game and series. Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said, “We needed Golden State in Game 7 for almost everything. It wasn’t a knockout punch, but it was a solid jab.”

The scene at the Mirage sportsbook prior to Game 7 was something that kind of shocked Stoneback.

“I’ve never seen a crowd so big for an NBA game, ever,” said Stoneback who has worked in Vegas books for 28 years. “It was standing room only, a massive crowd. We had every seat taken in the room an hour-and-half before the game. Never seen that before – all the bleachers along the side and couches were occupied hours before the game.”

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