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The big news last week was the massive adjustment every sports book made on Denver to win the Super Bowl in light of Peyton Manning running the show.

It didn’t take long for Lucky’s sports books to use the popularity of a hot sports topic and transform it into a proposition to drum up business becoming the first to offer a season win total, posting the Broncos at 8½ wins OVER -140.

At first glance, the number looked low considering Denver won the AFC West last year at 8-8 with a quarterback who couldn’t throw the ball consistently. Imagine putting Manning into the mix? He’s got be worth at least two more wins, right?

Maybe, but let’s really look at the schedule and the talent surrounding Manning this year. The Broncos have seven teams on their schedule that made the playoffs last year. That’s what you get for being so good and winning a division; you get to play other division winners the next year.

The Denver defense is missing a few pickets in the fence, particularly, anyone in the secondary not named Champ. They’ll also have to completely change from a run orientated offense into a Manning-style passing scheme. That’s a tough chore for expected starting receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker who excelled on fly patterns, but dropped plenty of simple out patterns.

And then there’s Manning himself. Is he too old? Has he lost something being an entire year out of the game? Is he truly healthy and can we expect 16 starts out of him?

So in retrospect, maybe 8½ isn’t too low of a number, but the public disagrees.

“We’re up to 9½ wins now on the Broncos, but it’s all junk (small money) that has moved the number,” said the legendary Jimmy Vaccaro. “And of course we’re taking smaller limits right now than we will later when we post all the team win totals a few weeks after the actual schedule dates are announced.”

Lucky’s currently has the Broncos at 12-1 to win the Super Bowl. They originally opened Denver 60-1 and have been dropping them steadily ever since the Manning-to-Denver rumors started.

What about the Tim Tebow affect, if any, on the Jets?

“Tebow has about as much of an impact on our odds right now as the impact I would make if running for president,” Vaccaro said, selling himself way too short. “We haven’t made any adjustments on anything involving the Jets.”

Kentucky Reign

The one thorn in the side of the sports books throughout the tournament has been Kentucky. When UK covers the spread, the sports books either push or lose on the day, it’s that simple.

Just like the superpower NFL teams of the past like the 49ers, Cowboys and the Patriots’ 18-1 season, the public likes to ride the wave out to the end. And so far, the well looks far from empty.

Kentucky has this aura about them right now that the public doesn’t even want to consider the other side for fear that this juggernaut will make them pay. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a team in college basketball like this just destroy teams that we perceived to be good on the big stage of the tournament.

Even though the sports books start out with a high number on Kentucky just to offset the expected public play, it’s still played. What’s worse for the book is that they aren’t just played in basic 10-to-11 straight bet odds, but rather in parlays where the real damage is done.

With only two games on Sunday, the majority of the public had Kentucky laying 8-points but were split on the final leg of their two team parlay with North Carolina and Kansas. This gave most books a negative on either side once the Kentucky win had been posted.

It’s an awful feeling to lose before a game even starts.

“Obviously Kentucky has been a bad result for us their last two games,” said Vaccaro whose Lucky’s sports books fared better than most on Sunday. “But we got out ahead with Carolina money coming in on the late game Sunday making the Kansas win take a little sting out of Kentucky’s win earlier.”

Vaccaro also notes that handle for this year’s tournament has been amazing and he’s happy to see people out there with money to spend.

“Our worst decision for us in future wagers is Kentucky, but we still win with them,” said Vaccaro. “Kansas would be our best decision followed Ohio State and then Louisville.

“If Kentucky wins it all we still do well because of the two-way ‘YES-NO’ props we put on the teams about 10 days ago. We got a lot of money with people betting ‘NO’ on Kentucky to win the tournament.’’

Nothing against Cinderella’s, but it sure is nice to see a Final Four with four heavyweight program slugging it out. Reports from all over is that handle will exceed last years tournament and having four very well known schools advancing could help raise the bar even more.


Now that we all know he can win, Tiger Woods’ Masters odds went from 7-1 down to 4-1 at the LVH Super Book. Getting over that hurdle of finally winning a tournament at Bay Hill was a major dilemma not only in Woods’ mind, but also bettors who love to bet on him.

It gets hard losing every week no matter how much you want to have that winning ticket on him to share that eventual victory celebration. Last Sunday, Woods and the bettors finally got the monkey off their back.

The LVH doesn’t necessarily believe Woods will win the Masters, but they do have to respect the demand. With Woods showing us a glimpse of his past excellence last week, that public demand for a piece of Woods may be higher than ever which is why his odds have plummeted.

For the LVH to drop their odds so low when they’re the most liberal golf odds in the world, details more how much they anticipate public betting action to come on Woods.

This week’s Houston Open is the last chance for golfers to qualify for the Masters. There is no Tiger this week, but big names like Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood will be participating. A few of the golfers that haven’t qualified, like Anthony Kim, are now bumped way up to 500-1 to win the Masters which basically makes it a two-team parlay from Houston to Augusta.


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