South Point gets jump on Super Bowl 49 props

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Most sports book directors use the first week after the Super Bowl as their chance for freedom and holiday because it’s been a long and exhausting football season.

Since July, the bosses have been readying themselves for football with all the props, contests, promotions and staffing. It’s a grueling process, and time off is overdue.

However, over at the South Point sports book, Bert Osborne and Jimmy Vaccaro apparently don’t need the rest, instead opting to post a few Super Bowl 49 props well before anyone else.

I couldn’t believe it. I was standing at the South Point book and Vaccaro tells me to look at the board and I see this Super Bowl 49 “Will there be a safety” prop come up with “No” at -800 and “Yes” at +600.

Are you kidding me?

This is absolutely insane, a first, but then the brilliance of the offering came to light. And brilliant it is.

For the third straight year there was a safety in the Super Bowl and the fact that two of the last three happened on the very first play of the game, well, you can imagine people are excited about getting +600 or +550 odds back.

People are talking. Not many sharp money will be laying 800 anytime soon, but for all the $10 bettors who might not ever be in Las Vegas again, they’ve got action on the Super Bowl already. By getting that action in all season, those $10 wagers will soon amount to thousands in handle, and everyone with a ticket back home will be spreading the word about where they got it.

Most casinos have costly ad agencies helping them with jingles and are being sold on ways to get their brand into other markets, but Michael Gaughan has Osborne and Vaccaro posting up a great conversational investment/souvenir piece that will last all the way through next February. The back of the ticket even has the logo with the address.

Old school brilliance in the new school. Love it!

Lots of Vegas cheese: When the record Super Bowl numbers were released last week by the Nevada Gaming Board that showed state sports books handling and winning more money than any other day ever before, I think every book director asked “can this be right?”

Because it was shocking $119.4 million could be written on a game that broke a record last year with “only” $98.9 million or that the win could be as high as $19.6 million when the previous record was $15.4 million in 2005.

That’s a lot of cheese and it gets every casino in town off to a jumping 2014 start, far exceeding their budgets. It’s always nice when the sports book boss can puff their chest out in the board room, knowing they are the star of the company.

Really? Still shell shocked. Eight points? That’s it from the Broncos offense? I think I just woke up a week later from a bad dream that the supposed No. 1 offense of all-time had just scored only 8 in the Super Bowl. Could this be?

As a long time Denver supporter, I vividly remember the long days that ensued following Super Bowl losses when they scored only 10 points against Dallas, 20 against the ’86 Giants, and 10 each to Washington and San Francisco. But there is no way this vaunted offense might only score 8 points and be the worst loss in Super Bowl and Denver history, right?

Must still be in shock.

Miami Heat no longer favored: Last week at the LVH, the Heat and Pacers were both 2-to-1 co-favorites to win the NBA Championship. This week, the Heat stay at 2-to-1, but it’s the Pacers with their top rated defense that come in as the lone favorite at 9-to-5. Not since LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami has the Heat not been the team in the East.

“To the best of my knowledge, outside of a playoff situation where they were down, I think this might be the only time we haven’t seen the Heat as the favorite to win the NBA title since LeBron has been there,” said LVH assistant manager Jeff Sherman.

“The Pacers, Oklahoma City and Miami look like the class of the league, but the Heat take off a few nights,” Sherman added. “To them these games don’t mean anything, and they treat the regular season as if it’s their preseason. Can they turn the switch on when the playoffs start, as they appear to think they can? I don’t know; we’ll see.”

The Thunder are currently the class of the West and are 7-to-2 to win the NBA title with the Spurs and Clippers coming in next at 12-to-1.

Greene heads to Aria: Ryan Greene hadn’t been with William Hill too long, only about two years, but what he did in the process was share all the wonderful odds and promotions WH sports books around town offered people like me and others in the media to pass along to readers or listeners.

Greene, who used to cover our beloved UNLV basketball program for the Las Vegas Sun, has accepted a position within the marketing department at Aria where they’ll surely be pleased with all of his talents. But I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank him for all his tireless efforts to get everything asked of him by myself and fresh offerings from William Hill’s operation in such a quick manner.

It may seem like an easy process to just relay information offered by a book, but I’m writing this to acknowledge it is not something that is ordinary. Rather it was something Greene offered to those covering the sports book beat that was out of the ordinary.

Best of luck Ryan, and it’s my hope Aria can utilize those talents within to their fullest…hint, hint, Mr. Rood.

World Cup matches: It was great to see the South Point, Stratosphere and LVH all have their numbers posted on the World Cup beginning June 12 with host Brazil as a 1½-goal (-115) favorite over Croatia.

It’s not so much that I, or most bettors, really want to bet the games this early, but every time I walk by and see it being in this calendar year, it brings a smile to my face. How many things can we honestly say that about, especially in sports?

When I see that England is playing Italy (-135) on June 14, it’s not that I think I have value on England or Italy that I smile; it’s because I know I’m going to be visiting with some dear friends I haven’t seen in a while. Big soccer matches always seem to bring us together. I look forward to it and will probably bet it the day before the game like everyone else.

Baseball: I am more than excited to report the LVH Super Book will be offering the MLB season win totals this Sunday. The professional bettors are eagerly awaiting the numbers so they can make their future investments for the year.

Most bettors already have their numbers sorted out based on free-agent acquisitions and losses, as well as trades, and have identified who the hot shot rookies are who could make an immediate impact. The trend for most who wager limits is to bet OVER on the teams with low totals and UNDER with those that have big numbers.

The crew at LVH has a great take on what the numbers should be and they’re not afraid to put some real opinions in them. It’s the banter between manager Ed Salmons and the crew that helps churn out the proper number.

If you stand real close to the LVH counter over the next two weeks, I’ll almost guarantee you’ll overhear Salmons jokingly say something to the effect to one of the supervisors that “your number on the Mariners is the dumbest number I have ever seen.” That’s how great minds haggle and get things done.

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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