The football season kicked off with a bang for Las Vegas sports books as the Giants won the Hall of Fame game Sunday over the Bills, 17-13.
The game opened at South Point with the Bills -1 and the total 32. By kickoff, the Bills were -3.5 and the total at 37.
The majority of the public was on the Bills and OVER. You can’t blame them with preseason totals since they went OVER 59 percent of the time last season.
There were even a few people who consider themselves sharp that came back the other way trying to get a middle on the large gap on the total as well the spread crossing over the most key number of 3, but in the end, the books scooped most of the chips and had a very good end result.
Because of the low limits offered at all the sports books for pre-season games (usually $1,000 on the side and $500 on the total), it’s not unusual to see these game move a bunch like we saw in the Giants-Bills game. From the books’ perspective, they just want to be at the right number wherever that may be.
There is more uncertainty on the numbers they post for these preseason games than just about anything else they book.
As soon as information flows in about playing time with the starters or a coach’s game plan intention, either the bettors take advantage first or the book moves a point on an adjustment. With limits being so low, the books don’t get hurt too badly because of all the rapid movement, even in the many cases where a game is middled.
The parlays are where the big risk is and if several of the public teams all cover on one night or over the course of the weekend, that’s where the damage is done.
A few season-long football contests have opened up this week such as William Hill’s Pro Pick ’Em contest that costs $25 and contestants pick all the weekly winners straight-up with no point spread.
The winner gets a guaranteed $250,000 and an added $100,000 bonus offered this season if the champion picks 200 or more winners among their 255 games selected.
On Wednesday, Station Casinos will be taking signups for their $1 million Great Giveaway contest where contestants pick all the weekly pro games with no spread. It costs only $25.
They’ll also be taking sign-ups for the popular Last Man Standing contest for both college and pro where $25 gives contestants a chance to pick one game a week against the spread. If you cover the number, you move on to the next week until there is one man, or woman, standing.
The South Point has a contest offered for Week 1 of the NFL season where $5 gets you a chance to win $25,000 guaranteed by just picking the most winners for the week straight-up with no spreads. They have used this format for March Madness and the Bowl season and they always get more money in the pool than the guaranteed price, which is also given back to the winner.
Last Thursday was an interesting day in baseball with the trade deadline because there were so many key acquisitions made by elite teams.
Just when the A’s looked like they made the winning move by trading for Jon Lester, the Tigers went out and added David Price to their rotation that now features the last three AL Cy Young Award winners.
As of Monday, the LVH Super Book has the Tigers alone at the top at 7-to-2 odds to win the World Series with the Dodgers and A’s at 4/1. The NL looks to be a little easier to get through for the Dodgers, but the AL is loaded with not only Oakland and Detroit, but also Anaheim (8/1) and Baltimore (14/1).
I still believe Pittsburgh at 30/1 is good value even though they did nothing at the trade deadline and only went 5-5 on their recent 10 game road trip. But the good news for them is they’ve got Francisco Liriano pitching great again, which is almost like making a trade for a quality pitcher.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].