When the accounting department at casinos all over Las Vegas close out the month of April this week, most sports books are going to show a sizeable jump in revenue and win percentage.
Not only will the win percentage come close to doubling what they did last April, but it may be the most successful April in nearly a decade.
That’s what happens when NBA underdogs go 21-8 through the first two weekends of play with 10 dogs winning outright. It also helps that the start to baseball has been exceptional for the books with no real pattern to follow nightly, lots of one-run games with a solid mix of favorites and dogs winning.
The public usually loves to play the favorites, especially in basketball. That passion for the favorite is taken up a few notches when the NBA playoffs start because the favorites generally take care of business. But this year has been quite different.
We may be witnessing the most amazing NBA playoffs ever where just about every team has a chance to win nightly. It’s a playoff of parity almost to the extreme of what we see yearly in the NHL.
When March Madness ends each year, so does the rabid cross-over sports betting crowd. The masses don’t come back to the sports books until football season starts, which is why most sports book directors are hoping to quickly skate through these next few months with minimal damage.
The clientele at sports books now are the hard core regulars who visit daily. They consider themselves pretty sharp in both knowledge of the games and betting strategy. These are the players who generally do well in these down months. Right now, these are players who are helping the books come close to setting a record month.
The sports book directors will all be quick to deflect congratulatory remarks for their success in the month because they know the ensuing month could be the one where these regular die-hard bettors get some of their money back. All it takes is one big day of favorites winning by two-runs in baseball and an NBA night where all the favorites cover the spread. It can ruin the month and make it an uphill climb getting back to black.
With the bar being raised so high for April 2011, the casino executives won’t consider the month an anomaly, now it becomes the standard. This is why the sports book director has to keep strong notes for each month of what happened, to prove it was just one of those freak months and why 2012’s numbers aren’t as good when that time comes next year.
These should be good times of happiness for the director, but it’s almost a burden of pressure where excuses have to be made to the suits upstairs so they understand the success of the month was somewhat of a fluke.
Most casino executives don’t understand how the sports book works, but they know numbers very well and like the consistency of daily slot win and holding 18% on table games. The up and down numbers of the book drive them crazy, so when a month like April spikes to new heights, their excitement has to be tempered by the director with an alert to the possible rough news that lies ahead just to get them prepared.
It came to me in one quick moment after Kevin Durant had just helped Oklahoma City win Game 3 at Denver, he is my favorite player in the NBA. There are several reasons to like Durant. He’s won two straight scoring titles, has the Thunder in championship contention, plays with heart and passion, yet isn’t overly demonstrative – almost the perfect blend of competitor you’d like to see kids emulate.
Nothing against tattoos, but it says something about Durant’s personality that he is one of a handful in the NBA who hasn’t painted his entire upper body.
All those are great points that could attract any fan to make Durant their favorite, but the one moment that made me like him the most was when he walked off the floor after his road win in Game 3.
While heading through the tunnel towards the locker room, dozens of kids in Nuggets gear lined each side with their hands out for high fives. Durant obliged them all with both his hands stretched out. It was cool moment, almost Mean Joe Green-ish, and it says a lot about his character.
With the way the Thunder are playing right now, and so many of the top seeds looking vulnerable, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him giving David Stern a high five after winning the NBA Title.
English bookmaker William Hill has posted dozens of propositions for Friday’s Royal Wedding ranging from what the main course will be at dinner, the Queen’s hat color, time the bride will arrive at the Abbey and song to be played on the first dance.
Unfortunately, we can’t bet on these types of things in Nevada, because I had a real strong system play on the Queen’s hat.
I may be in the minority, in fact I know I am, but I’m actually kind of excited to see the wedding. There’s something about all the reverence and status of royalty that appeals to me. I’m not fanatical about the royal gossip, but the spectacle of seeing the many factions of royal guards and horse drawn carriages going down the Pall Mall gives a glimpse of how things were in the past for the mighty British empire.
Even though I still can’t find anyone willing to go with, especially my Irish friends, I will be taking it all in early Friday morning at the Crown and Anchor Pub where they have a party assembled for those wishing to view the wedding.
Proper dress is requested.