The college football season got off to a big start last weekend as bettors poured into sports books to back their favorite teams and challenge the odds with a variety of props and parlay cards.
"We were surprised at the amount of business we wrote," said a sports supervisor at Station Casinos in Las Vegas. "The big match-ups with Texas, Ohio State, USC, Miami and Florida State helped stimulate betting, but there was also action across the board."
The supervisor, who asked that his name be withheld, said some of the popular games with bettors included Nevada-Fresno State, Nebraska-Louisiana Tech, Indiana-Western Michigan, Utah-UCLA, Notre Dame-Georgia Tech and USC-Arkansas.
"The bettors did very well in the Nebraska, Indiana and Georgia Tech games," he said. "The house had the upper hand in the UCLA, USC and Fresno State games."
The first weekend of college football saw changes for local bettors and handicappers. The long running Stardust Line radio show, which previewed the weekend’s action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, didn’t return this season. Nor will the Stardust’s popular Invitational handicapping contest.
But Leroy’s has stepped in to help fill the void. On Sunday nights, Vic Salerno’s line of Nevada sports books will host the Leroy’s Line Show featuring former Stardust Line host John Kelly and handicapper Dave Cokin.
The show airs from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Las Vegas time) on KBAD 920 AM. Like the Stardust show, Leroy’s Line releases betting lines for the next week’s games as well as previews of the match-ups with analysis and selections.
Last year, Cokin was matched with Ron Fraser, who this season was replaced by various guests in the sports betting industry.
Leroy’s has, in recent years, become a big player in the sports betting radio show scene. During the week, Leroy’s sponsors a show with Jimmy Vaccaro from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KENO 1460 AM.
Leroy’s also broadcasts a Friday night show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. On that show, Leroy’s this season will host its Money Talks Invitational handicapping tournament.
The tournament, like the Stardust Invitational, will feature 16 handicappers who will square off each week in head-to-head action, picking seven football games.
But unlike the Stardust tourney, each of the Leroy’s contestants will put up $5,000 to create an $80,000 prize pool for the winner. Leroy’s will kick in another $20,000 for the second place finisher.
Another radio show in town, Dave "The Meat Man" Scandaliato’s Sports Line radio show, is hosting an invitational tournament, also with 16 football handicappers.
Scandaliato’s tournament kicks off this Friday (his show airs from noon to 2 p.m., daily) in a format similar to the Stardust’s.
The "Meat Man" said he can only afford to offer a $5,000 prize pool, but plans to have a "stellar lineup" of handicappers including former Stardust Invitational champions, "Papa Joe" Chevalier and GT Managing Editor David Stratton.
Scandaliato’s Sports Line show airs on station KLAV 1230 AM.