Bookies get ready to set lines on Nevada teams

Feb 6, 2001 6:08 AM

Starting Wednesday, bettors can start wagering on Nevada collegiate teams and collegiate games in the state.

However, some sports book managers don’t think the public will be jumping the gun to bet on UNLV or University of Nevada-Reno next week.

"I think it will be bet like a normal game," The Mirage sports book manager Robert Walker said. "We’ve been booking about 100 games on certain days. Not having it was insignificant. It’s going to be strange, because we’ve had this impression in our head (that we can’t book it)."

Bally’s/Paris sports book manager John Avello agrees.

"Betting on the local teams will be insignificant," he said. "There will be some betting there, but it won’t be a big factor."

The new rule, adopted Jan. 24 by the Nevada Gaming Commission, also lets bettors gamble on the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas in early March.

"That will drum up some business," Walker said. "The public wants to bet those games. People like to bet on something."

Those games could also include the Las Vegas Bowl, held at Sam Boyd Stadium in December.

So what about future bets?

Until Wednesday, sports book managers weren’t allowed to post college future betting because a Nevada school might a national championship.

"If we’re able to beat (the bill before Congress that bans college betting) this year, we’ll be able to get futures up quicker," said Avello.

He added he wasn’t sure when futures would be posted.

"We should be able to look at the tournament," Walker said. "Our legals are handling it. That’s the first thing we talked about."

In the past, casinos have offered a college hoops prop bet similar to futures. The prop might have the highest remaining team, without any Nevada teams listed. So if you bet Duke in the 1990 NCAA tournament, you’d have won because it lost to UNLV in the finals.

If UNLV weren’t around by the finals, the national champion would be the highest remaining team. However, by the mid 1990s, the Gaming Control Board banned this.

XFL betting

Bettors seem to know the Xtreme Football League better than the bookies. Imperial Palace sports Jay Kornegay said his book lost three games.

"We ended up on the short end of three of the four games," said Kornegay, referring to winning only the Los Angeles Extreme game at San Francisco. "It went very well because of the amount of action. It was a pleasant surprise. Television will always enhance it and make it a better game."

Kornegay said the IP had six to eight $1,000 bets on the games.

John Avello, sports book manager at Bally’s/Paris said, "There’s been a nickel ($500) and a couple dime ($1,000) bets "It (wasn’t) bad, better than expected in my eyes. If the games are good, betting will only get better."

Las Vegas opened a 4-point favorite, closed at 5½ or 6-point favorite. Orlando opened at –9 and closed at –7. L.A. opened –5 and closed–7. Birmingham opened –2 and closed –1.

"It was a little disappointing that we lost, but it was nothing that bad," Kornegay said.

The IP has updated odds on the XFL championship. Memphis is the favorite at 5-2, followed by Los Angles at 7-2. Orlando and Las Vegas are 4-1. San Francisco is 6-1, followed by New York/New Jersey and Birmingham both 8-1. Chicago is 12-1.

Saturday’s fight

Kostya Tszyu’s seventh-round TKO over Sharmba Mitchell drew little action, according to Kornegay.

"We had very minimal action," he said of his sports book. "We lost a little bit of money, but again very minimal."