No time to rest for Nevada sportsbooks

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The sportsbooks are supposed to be in cool-down mode as the calendar flips to May following the frenzied pace of March Madness while awaiting preseason football to begin in August. But business is booming in Nevada. There’s no time for rest.

It’s full-throttle action provided on all fronts with all sports. This week is a perfect example with the Kentucky Derby, a title boxing match in Las Vegas, Champions League soccer, NBA and NHL playoffs while baseball has established four weeks of trends to help bet the games daily.

Nevada state handle numbers for April won’t be known until later this month, but March numbers hit almost $600 million in wagers ($32.5 million in winnings) to set an all-time record for handle in any month, including fall months with football.

Forget about any notion that legal competition in other states would harm business in Nevada. In fact, It might be quite the opposite. It’s broadened the landscape and taken a once taboo thing into the mainstream of acceptance.

If PASPA wasn’t repealed, would we be seeing daily sports betting shows on ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS Sports HQ? Probably not. Would VSiN be able to expand its market into print with the New York Post or television on NESN in New England?

The coverage of sports betting and now the ease of it with mobile wagering and in-progress betting has completely changed the industry for the better. And it’s only beginning.  

Boxing at T-Mobile

The first Saturday in May always produces some of the biggest fights of the year in Las Vegas and this year is no different with a Middleweight unification title bout between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs.

So far, the action has been one-sided with Canelo being bumped up from an opener of -300 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook on February 2 all the way up to -500 (+375 on Jacobs). The SuperBook moved from -450 to -500 on Saturday.

The movement is odd because usually it’s the underdog in huge bouts that gets the rapid movement and then bettors who want the favorite come in late when it’s at the lowest price. That’s the case almost every big fight, but not this one.

“It’s been all general public action, no groups with us,” said SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. “Decent size bets have been driving it up and I think we’re only going to see more on Canelo heading to Saturday with all his fans in town.

“There’s not a lot of name recognition with Jacobs so I’m not sure we’ll see the same type of underdog action like we usually do in these big fights in May.”

The round total is 10.5 Over -220.

’20 Stanley Cup odds

The Vegas Golden Knights ended their season last week at San Jose, but CG Technology is already looking at next year and has posted odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.

Vegas comes in at 15-1 while another team eliminated in the first round, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is posted as the 6-1 favorite.

Most books post their futures after a season ends, but in Las Vegas, it feels like the 2019 season is over so why not post next year’s numbers now?

The Golden Knights should be better next season, so if you’re looking for value you might want to get some of that 15-1 at CG’s chain of books now because you’re likely to see most shops open at 10-to-1 when they do open their futures.

UEFA semifinals

The first leg of the semifinals between the top club teams in the world takes place Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week, they’ll play the second leg and the team with the most aggregate goals advances to the June 1 final. Ajax Amsterdam beat Tottenham Tuesday (no Harry Kane for Spurs), but the match of the year is Wednesday afternoon with Liverpool at Barcelona, featuring two of the top-four players in the world, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

“This is almost like a final with two marquee teams, kind of like the Rockets and Warriors meeting right now in the West semi-finals,” Sherman said. “This should be the final.”

From a house standpoint, Sherman won’t be rooting for Barcelona in these next three matches.

“We have the most liability on Barcelona at 5-to-4, but do well with the other three teams.”

Barcelona is -1/2 goal at -130 in 90-minutes while -145 to advance.

The SuperBook has one of the best audio-video presentations in the state if you’re looking to watch the matches with like-minded chaps. Pints in the afternoon watching soccer and singing songs with new friends; it doesn’t get much better than that.

Go Liverpool, “You’ll never walk alone.”

Women’s World Cup

The SuperBook has had the Women’s World Cup odds to win posted since Dec. 9, and we’re only five weeks away until the event kicks off June 7 in France. The USA is the 3-1 favorite followed by France at 7-2 and Germany at 11-2.

Draft doesn’t impact odds

The NFL Draft did not change any of the Super Bowl future book odds. But there were some alterations at the Westgate for season win totals and odds to make the playoffs.

“We didn’t adjust any of our Super Bowl futures due to the draft, but on Sunday we did open up our season win totals, odds to make the playoffs or not, and a few Games of the Year,” Sherman said.

Some of the key early Games of the Year to note are the Rams as 2.5-point home favorites against the Saints in Week 2, the Rams -1.5 at Cleveland in Week 3, the Cowboys -3 at home against the Packers in Week 5 and the Browns +6 at New England in Week 8.

The team with perhaps the most buzz heading into training camps is the Browns, who the SuperBook opened season win totals at 9 wins (over -130).

They also have the Browns -120 not to make the playoffs, even money to make the playoffs. The Browns last made the playoffs in 2002 and they last won at least nine games in a season in 2007. The Browns last won their division in 1989, but now they’re the 7-5 favorite to win the AFC Norther with the Steelers next at 3-2 odds.

The SuperBook crew has some of the sharpest minds, so when they collectively settled on the Browns’ opening numbers, it appears they have a lot of “Believe-land” imprinted in their odds, which should make Browns fans feel very optimistic about the upcoming season.    

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