Post-football bet options abound

Feb 9, 2010 5:00 PM

Around Town by Eileen Di Rocco |

LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL. Is there such a thing? Many sports fans think not, but if you check out some of the books around town you will find a lot of options for your betting dollar.

A quick stop at the Mirage this week provided us with odds on college basketball games, the weekend’s UFC fights at Mandalay Bay and Saturday and Sunday English Premier League Soccer matches.

If you like futures betting, there’s almost no end to your choices. There are next year’s AFC and NFC football championships along with the 2011 Super Bowl. You can place a wager on the April 5 men’s college basketball championship or this year’s pro basketball championship. Baseball fans can get down on the AL or NL championship or the World Series.

If you want to try something less mainstream, you’ll find odds on the Daytona 500, Sprint Cup Championship, hockey’s Stanley Cup, the Masters golf tournament, Barclays Premier League Soccer or World Cup soccer.

So, relax, scope out the options and lay down a bob or two to while away the time. NFL pre-season will be here before you know it.

SUPER SAINTS: We headed over to Red Rock Station Sunday afternoon a couple of hours before game time to place our wager on New Orleans in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, our ability to predict betting line movements proved unreliable because the points on the Saints had dropped from +5½ to +4½, exactly opposite of what we thought would happen.

While pondering what to do we said a quick hello to Art Manteris, top gun for all of the Station Casinos race and sports operations. Art has a 30-year history in Nevada’s betting industry and counts Jimmy Vaccaro as one of his mentors. He started his career downtown at the Fremont while attending UNLV and made several stops along the way, including the Las Vegas Hilton, before landing his Station job nearly 10 years ago.

The book, as expected, was SRO and Art had a lot to do so we bid adieu. Luckily for us, in addition to being a top notch bookmaker, Art is also a classy guy and he asked one of the ticket writers to take our bet before we left the counter. That saved us the trouble of working our way to the end of the very long betting line snaking out into the casino and around the bar. (To the credit of the writers, it seemed to be moving along at a good pace.)

Now it was time to lay our money down so we had to quickly make up our mind. We decided since we couldn’t have the comfort of more than 5½ points, we would opt for the money line (it was +165) and hope the Saints could win outright, which they did handsomely.

NON-SUPER ADS: This year’s collection of Super Bowl ads didn’t seem to be very creative, inspiring or funny. But, we did get a good chuckle out of the first Doritos spot with the no bark dog collar. It must be a gender thing though because none of the guys in the office laughed. However, we cautioned them to beware if their better half comes home with a new collar, especially if they don’t own a dog.

SALE RUMORS: A couple of years ago Bill Wortman and Bill Paulos agreed to sell Cannery Casino Resorts to James Packer’s Crown Ltd. for $1.7 billion. The deal included the company’s three Las Vegas casinos – Cannery, Rampart and Eastside Cannery – and Meadows racino in Pittsburgh, but was never completed due to the privacy concerns of several investors who didn’t like Pennsylvania’s public disclosure laws. It was a costly breakup. Cannery benefited to the tune of $370 million and Crown retained an option to purchase in the future.

Now we hear twitters (from a birdie, not the website) that a new sale might be in the works. Although no names have been mentioned we wonder if Michael Gaughan has more than a casual interest in one or more of the properties. He’s been running the sports book for the three Vegas casinos since the beginning of the football season and may have taken the opportunity to kick some tires at the same time. No one was available at press time for comment.

See you around town.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Eileen Di Rocco