Looking at a closed Las Vegas Strip and not knowing exactly when the hotels and casinos will open is depressing. But hope is what can help us all get through the coronavirus pandemic, no matter how small any piece of news is.
Two pieces of encouraging news are the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and South Point will be opening up their phone betting apps after being closed since March 18. Nevada account-holders will begin to use their apps beginning Wednesday morning at the South Point and Thursday morning at the SuperBook.
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“It’s just the risk managers, about five or six of us, that will be there getting the mobile wagering ready for Thursday’s opening,” said Jeff Sherman, the SuperBook‘s VP of risk management. “We plan on operating a 9 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.) operation until we’re cleared to open the book (over-the-counter) or more sports come back.”
South Point will be offering signups and deposits for its sports betting app seven days a week at the property’s valet drive-thru from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“(South Point owner) Michael (Gaughan) was the driving force behind it,” South Point sportsbook manager Chris Andrews said. “He noted that others were opening up and that UFC and NASCAR were coming up so let’s open up.
“We’ll have five managers and supervisors along with me doing the odds, setup, and posting from inside and when a car arrives in valet for a transaction, we’ll run someone out there real quick to set people up with an account.”
Sherman’s and Andrews’ teams have been busy preparing to reopen.
“We have lots of stuff to do before opening the phones since we’ve been away from the office so long,” Sherman said. “We have to load up several new props and be sure to have flexible dates and rules posted on each prop that bypass house rules in regards to when an event must be played such as ‘event must be played by June 1, 2021’.”
One of the biggest areas the crew will have to clean up is the hundreds of MLB props that they posted in February with an option to bet on just about everything listed in a box score like most 2020 home runs, most RBIs, best average, most wins by a pitcher, and others like season win totals by a team.
“We’ll re-open what we had listed for World Series odds, but most of the other MLB props and odds Randy (Blum) posted for us will likely have to st0ay turned off until we know what MLB is going to do,” he said. “For instance, odds to win the Pennant will remain off just because of the possibility of three different divisions as we’ve been hearing about.”
The NFL is looking to start the season as planned and the SuperBook crew will be posting sides and totals on games immediately.
“The NFL schedule is supposed to be released Thursday so we’ll put Week 1 odds up right away,” Sherman said.
And of course, creating golf odds has been a regular staple in Sherman’s life for the last 25 years no matter what tour and even though the SuperBook has been closed for retail and phone he’s still been creating numbers for the smaller series to stay fresh.
“I’ve been keeping up with it all and posting the odds on my website (GolfOdds.com) for those playing fantasy or just using it for a reference tool,” Sherman said.
“It feels like there’s some momentum coming our way with the sports world resetting their schedules with UFC having events on the 9th, 13th, and 16th and then NASCAR have an iRacing event on Saturday and real racing starting on the 17th at Darlington, so we’ve got some things to work with,” Sherman said.
When the South Point reopens Wednesday it will have dozens of new unique props available for its clientele to take a stab at. There are likely to be NFL props, but Andrews was mum, saying he was unveiling everything Wednesday morning on VSiN.
The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series was scheduled to be finished with last week’s race at virtual Dover. But with the announcement last week of the NASCAR Cup Series restarting its season May 17 at Darlington to begin four races in 10 days — two races at Darlington, two at Charlotte — it left an open weekend.
TV ratings have been outstanding with eNASCAR that Fox and NASCAR decided to run a retro night race Saturday at the virtual North Wilkesboro Speedway which hasn’t held a Cup Series race since 1996.
The top driver in the Pro Series has been William Byron who wasn’t even born (1997) when the last race was held at North Wilkesboro, but he’s going to run well just because he’s dominated on every eNASCAR track that’s 1-mile or less (Bristol, Richmond, Dover). He has wins in half the i-races run.
Byron’s the driver to beat here again and getting +150 is very fair. The best chance with a driver at longer odds is Denny Hamlin at 14-1.