NCAA football sees wild opening weekend in Vegas

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What a wild first weekend of college football Las Vegas guests experienced in sports books throughout the valley. And the funny thing is, most of them lost and were still having the time of their life.

That fun place was also experienced by all branches of casino employees.

Casino executives were smiling because there was some excitement on the floor. The ticket writers in the book were happy because they wrote 10 times as many tickets from the previous week and the tip jar is full.

The bartenders are happy because they can make up to five-times more drinks, which means at least four-times the usual gratuities.

But the biggest grin of all is the boss of the book, after contributing a lot of cash to the bottom line of the casino. Even though the sharp money did well, books were still able to have good days because of so many top-ranked teams not covering.

When UCLA, Oklahoma, Florida State and Alabama all failed to cover Saturday, it pretty much sealed the fate of the weekend.

Then the icing on top was Washington failing to cover 17.5-points in a 17-16 win at Hawaii. The significance of that game is because it’s the final option of the day, the get-back game if you’re trying recoup losses on the day, or the double-up game to go for a big score.

Unfortunately, most of those bettors chose Washington and the books scooped all the chips.

Through Sunday’s regular board games, favorites went 19-18 ATS with 11 underdogs winning outright. The most amazing underdog to win was Temple’s 37-7 victory at Vanderbilt, their first against an SEC team since 1938.

Vanderbilt initially opened 16.5-point favorites and on Thursday, the number moved as much as 9 points.

Sharp money was directed to take at least +10 on Rutgers last Thursday, and they got about 4.5-points of the move. The rest of the movement down to as low as -7.5, was mostly followers.

And then there was some buy-back laying such a low number. That type of movement had many sports book executives scratching their heads about the numbers advised by their paid consultants.

The sharps sniffed out quite a few of those “off” numbers and were on most of the 11 underdog winners. There were 19 winning betting moves of 1-point or more from the original number and 15 of them were on the underdog.

So the sharps had their day and the books had theirs as well. What about Joe Public who was the only group to lose? Have to pay for entertainment, right?

Super signup: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest is setting record attendance this year. Through Monday morning, they already had 1,102 contestants buy in for $1,500, well ahead of last year’s pace.

The prize money is likely to be over $2 million with 30 contestants being able to place by picking the most pro football winners over the course of 17 weeks. It’s five selections a week against-the-spread and pretty intense. That’s why it is the most storied and prestigious sports betting contest in the world.

There’s still time to enter and get your piece of the pie. If you’re from out of town you can still enter and use a reputable proxy service like FootballContestProxy.com to turn your weekly selections in for you.

They will be turning in up to 35 percent of the entries for contestants out of town and are part of the reason the contest has become so huge.

Don’t forget baseball: It’s amazing the power football has, and some of it is at baseball’s expense. We’ve been watching the game non-stop since April.

At that time, we’re still kind of all footballed out after the Super Bowl, and baseball coupled with spring is such beautiful time of the year. But then the beast-mode kicks in where we need some more collisions by July to satisfy our human nature.

We saw floppers in the World Cup and baseball managers don’t even argue with umpires anymore because of instant replay. So of course we’re starving for football right now, and last college football weekend proved a point: football is, without a doubt, king.

We’re right in the middle of watching two classic meltdowns with the Brewers and A’s and yet I’m paying attention to a UTEP/New Mexico total. I’m watching everything all the time, and mostly baseball, but my attention definitely has new suitors.

However, just a reminder to not forget about following baseball daily because there are always a few hot teams you can ride with right now like the Giants, Indians, Pirates and Angels.

But what happens at this stage is the betting bankroll is split between football and baseball. All the hard work and daily investments on the year from baseball don’t get used as much in September. That’s when the games are sometimes easier just because you’ve got a read on almost every pitcher and tendencies of a team.

Also, the sports books would prefer you to play football using pay charts and a 20-cent line on the spreads and totals. Baseball holds the lowest percentage for the house among all the major sports categories. You can imagine how excited the books are to get football in full swing and have divided bankrolls betting less on baseball.

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].

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