Football bites

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Really, Really High-End Contest

The M Resort is going to new heights in Las Vegas with the unveiling of the “Cantor High Stakes” football contest. Entry fee is $100,000 with a goal of getting at least 20 entrants which would make the prize money a cool $2 million.

“We wanted to do something different this year as opposed to what all the other places are doing around town,” said M Sports Book Director Mike Colbert. “We’ve already got six entries with commitments from others. With that type of entry fee, I think this appeals to several levels of players ranging from pro athletes, celebrities, professional poker players, high stakes casino gamblers and of course high end sports bettors.”

The entrants will have to make five selections a week versus the listed spread. By attracting the kind of personalities that will be able to afford that type of fee, this contest should be a weekly reality TV show on VH-1 or Versus. It’s got everything that a reality show needs: celebrities, people with lots of money – which always creates drama and a big prize at the end of the rainbow. Sounds like a ratings winner to me.

Sports Book Waiting on Favre

Since most of the Las Vegas sports books have week one NFL lines up already, they have already been put into a tough dilemma as we all wait for the Brett Favre soap opera to end. Many sports books opened the Saints at home as a 4-point favorite against the Vikings, but since the latest saga, they have either taken the game off the board or moved the game to -6 or 6½, adjusting as news from the drama leaks out through the press.

Favre is one of the few players in the NFL who is worth 3-points to his team. Should it be announced officially that Favre will not play, expect the line to shoot past the all important barrier of 7 and go right to 7½. So if you’re willing to bet on Favre’s drama – believing he won’t play, laying the Saints right now is the value play.

Preseason Teasers

Not a lot of Las Vegas sports books take NFL preseason teasers because of the uncertainty of who is playing and for how long. All the sides rarely go over a 3-point favorite and none of the totals is over 36 points, so there is a perception that there could be lots of value for the players with teasers in the preseason.

But because of all those uncertainties, it’s just as tough to gauge for the player as it is for the bookmaker, at least until all the good information comes in regarding playing time.

If we look back at the first full week of preseason last year, you’ll see that there was no advantage in playing the teasers, especially with totals. All 16 games were decided over or under the listed total and needed no help from a teaser meaning that there were no two-way wins on any game total. By just laying 11 to 10 odds on a straight bet worrying about one game, you fared much better than laying the juiced up teasers for two games. Overall, totals went 10-6 in favor of the under. Out of the 16 games, five of the games were two-way wins on the sides if using 6½ point teasers.

In the NFL regular season – if the price is right – the sharp players from all over love playing two team teasers because they know that the regular season line is the most proper of any major sport and getting an additional six points is huge value. The preseason a is crap shoot with rag lines and half the teams using the games as a means to learn more about unknown players with little emphasis on winning.

The only advice I could offer on teasers is to go with the biggest moves by game day – some of which can move up to six points – and tease the game the same way the major line moves go. The moves are all based on playing time information and a coach revealing his game plans to the press. The large moves happen because the preseason limits are so small, just because of those types of things. There is no line that a book will stay on because of those factors, which is why you shouldn’t see any book use money (-3 -120) attached to key numbers, like most do in the regular season.

Next week we’ll have a run down of all the football contests going on throughout Las Vegas where some of the best value in the city can be had.

 

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