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It wasn’t even April yet on Sunday morning when CG Technology sports books in Las Vegas were the first operation in Nevada to offer 2019-2020 NFL season win totals.

Will the Super Bowl champion Patriots go over 11 wins or under? How about the Saints or Chiefs each at 10.5?

There’s no weekly NFL schedule set yet (home and away match-ups are known) and the NFL Draft doesn’t happen until April 25, but despite those two pieces missing in the equation, the CG crew is very comfortable with their numbers.

“We see it every year in the draft where there’s really not a player in the draft that is going to completely change the complexion of a team to affect what their season wins should be,” said Tony DiTommaso, director of bookmaking for CG Technology.

“Take the Cardinals for instance. Are they going to the Super Bowl? No, probably not because of their existing roster (3-13 in 2018). They might even draft a quarterback first, so they could really struggle.”

Despite the Cardinals drafting quarterback Josh Rosen in the first round last season, there have been lots of discussions that new head coach Kliff Kingsbury loves Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. Arizona has the first overall pick in the draft and Kingsbury is putting together a wide-open offensive game plan that the mobile Murray might be more suited to run than Rosen.

No one came running to the counter to bet the Cardinals, who with the Dolphins have the lowest total set among the 32 teams at five wins. But as soon as another property posts their season win totals, opinions will get more pronounced on a side.

DiTommaso has a trusted strategy in place for when other books open their numbers that he uses for all sports when posting the first numbers.

“We’re going to lean to our original number, but as soon as we see some of our well-known chasers come in and bet a couple of the totals for the limit, we’ll take the numbers down and readjust,” he said. “If another book posts Arizona at 5.5 under -130 and we’re at 5 under -130, I may go to Cardinals over 5 a quarter.”

There’s no need to give the bettors great middle opportunities around town if knowing what the competing numbers are. And the way DiTommaso does it, he adjusts without moving entirely off the numbers initially posted. He likes and trusts his numbers, but there’s no need for him to stay firm on his opener when stuff is changing around him.

If he refused to acknowledge his competition’s numbers, he’d be gambling. But he’s not. He’s a veteran bookmaker who has three decades of experience doing this stuff. 

CG Technology books are taking a $1,000 limit on the totals and using a 20 cents split. When they opened the total at 9 a.m. Sunday, bettors jumped right in with their opinions on several teams.

“The Bills got immediate support and we went from 6 over -120 to 6 over -135 and then someone else bet that number so we moved to 6.5 under -120,” DiTommaso said.

Ideally, the book never wants to move off a number — just the juice — for fear of getting sided or middled. But when sharps come in on a first-to-market number and bet whatever you’ll give them, bookmakers tend to respect their opinion that was shared. Booking to faces. It’s also better to get to the right number sooner than later.

Some of the other limit wagers Sunday between CG Tech’s seven books: Bears under 9.5 wins, Lions under 7 wins, Packers under 9, Rams under 10.5, Patriots under 11, Steelers under 9, and 49ers under 8. The Giants were bet under 6 wins, twice, and the Titans were bet under 8.5 twice.

These totals will be posted through early September when Week 1 games kick off.

By the way, the Patriots have won 11 games or more in the past nine seasons. Also, I’d bet that Arizona takes Ohio State DE Nick Bosa with the top pick in three weeks.

Tourney action up again

The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament aren’t as attractive for tourists in Las Vegas as the first four full days of action are, but business was booming with most bet shops reporting better numbers than 2018.

“It was great four days,” said Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay. “Very favorable results and the handle was up around 15 percent from the same weekend last season.”

Between the four days of action, favorites went 4-8 ATS and the Over was 6-6. When favorites go down in isolated games, that means usually the public didn’t do so hot.

Three of the four popular No. 1 seeds were sent packing between the two rounds, leaving Virginia alone as the lone top seed, and also leaving us all with the most exciting moment of the tournament when the Cavaliers tied an Elite 8 game with Purdue Saturday as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation and then went on to win in overtime.

“We had some fantastic, really exciting games,” said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick. “I don’t have any fingernails left.”

He said Station’s handle and win were both up as well. What a business.

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