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With the NBA Finals now gone the Las Vegas sports books find themselves in the dead zone.

Having only baseball to carry the department until football starts, June, July and August make the books the quietest they’ll be all year. Baseball has been good all season for most shops, but the tide will likely turn which has many directors uneasy about the inevitable.

The biggest concern coming at this time is when the NFL season will start. Everyone believes the season will eventually start, but at the same time, most agree that a few weeks of preseason games – and maybe a few regular season games – will be lost.

The impact of losing any weeks of the NFL will cost Nevada sports books millions.

Beyond revenue lost, Nevadans also find themselves in a multi-tiered ripple affect with several hundred jobs on hold. Football season creates jobs all over the casino with the sports book and food and beverage positions being the most enhanced.

Major sports books add up to 10 seasonal ticket writers to accommodate the rush while cocktail servers also get more work because of the additional events being held for Sunday and Monday parties.

The rest of the casinos will also find themselves scheduling differently should football not be around on Sunday’s. Table games and slots are always busier during fall Sundays just because of the spillover action from football. Fewer dealers will be in the pit on Sunday’s with less cashiers in the cage.

Most of the additional ticket writer jobs added are part-timers who do the work every football season as a way to make added income while still working their full-time jobs. I got my first job in the sports book business as a part-time writer during football season.

Many of the part-timers use the money gained from the few months at work use for a vacation, pay bills or help their pay for their kids college tuition. The loss of just a few weeks puts a major dent in some of these Nevadans financial plans.

Beyond Nevada, what about everyone else across the nation that will be affected while the players and owners bicker over $9 billion? Sports bars in every city will find themselves needing one of two less servers on Sunday and Monday.

In restaurants and bars near NFL stadiums, that figure grows to about 10 to 15 less people per place. Stadium workers will also have to find something else to supplement that part of their expected income while the NFL remains in a lockout state. One or two fewer clerks will be needed at hotels in football cities.

The NFL season has become such big part of the United States that it has become much more than a game. The ripple affect beyond what happens on the field is way of life for many whether they follow who wins and loses. Lets hope for everyone’s sake that the two sides can get together quick and end the anxiety that is going through the heads of many of the people who already know they will be affected should there be a loss of play.


2011-12 NBA Odds Posted


The Las Vegas Hilton Super Book posted odds to win next years NBA title with the Miami Heat 2-1 favorites followed by the Chicago Bulls at 6-1. This year’s champions, the Dallas Mavericks were offered at odds of 7-1 along with the Lakers and Thunder. The Celtics are 8-1 and then no one else is lower than 15-1.


Lucky’s Jeter Prop


Lucky’s sports books across Nevada have offered a cool prop asking what hit will be Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. Through Sunday, Jeter needed only seven hits hit the milestone becoming the first Yankee to do so, an amazing feat considering Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle all wore pinstripes. The favored hit is a single at 2-7. A double is 2-1, triple 4-1 and home run 10-1.

The triple and homer odds are interesting just because of what Jeter has done over his career. Getting 10-1 seems kind of nice considering that he has 236 career home runs compared to only 62 triples over his career. However, he only has two homers this season, one of his lowest totals during his great career.


Cantor NFL Lines


Cantor sports book director Mike Colbert posted lines on all 17 weeks of the NFL season last week. There is a $2,000 limit on each game with a stipulation that all games must be played on the schedule site within 45 days.


U.S. Open minus Tiger


With Tiger Woods dropping out of this week’s U.S. Open at Bethesda (MD), the co-favorites to win at the Hilton are now Luke Donald and Lee Westwood at 10-1 each. Phil Mickelson is 12-1 followed by Rory McIlroy at 15-1 and then everyone else is 25-1 or higher. It’s a wide open event where the winner should pay out large odds.


GN’s Best of CFB


After the first few hours of action at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Sports Book, director Tony Miller and his crew had already booked more action on their 105 college football Games of the Year than the 200 they did last season.

Action opened just after noon on Friday and the bettors lined up to get all they could, picking on several teams in the fashion a lion does to a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti.

Wagers were limited to $1,000 per bet and only three wagers could be made per window visit. Then it was back to the end of the line. The bulk of the bettors had the same ideas on quite a few teams. They seemed to think higher than the Golden Nugget on teams like Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee. They also thought less of Auburn, Michigan and TCU than the Nugget did.

The GN will have all these lines posted throughout the season until the week the games start. Check out the lines and moves.

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