Nevada gaming regulators lifted the betting ban on instate schools Feb. 7. The amount of sports betting on their games since then hasnt been high, but NCAA mens basketball futures betting, which also began that day, is heavy.
"We should have more (betting) on NCAA futures than on NBA or NHL (futures)," said Rob Terry, sports and race book manager at Palace Station. "Theres a lot of interest in that. If it started in October or November, it probably would be just as much as the NFL. This is what people like."
At The Mirage, Duke opened 9-2 and is 5-2. Leroys books have Duke the favorite at 3-1, followed by Stanford 7-2, North Carolina 4-1, and defending champion Michigan State at 5-1. At the Rio, Duke is a 4-1 favorite, followed by Stanford and Michigan State at 6-1. All three books offer at least 40 teams. Some casinos offer up to 100.
As for wagering on Nevada schools games, bettors had the option of wagering on the Brigham Young at UNLV game last Saturday and the Hawaii at Nevada-Reno game last Thursday.
"(The UNLV game) didnt stand out," said Mirage sports book manager Robert Walker. "We got good two-way action. Thats all we could ask for. I watched it from a different perspective because Ive been such a big UNLV fan."
The line opened UNLV +1 and closed the Rebels 1Â½. They won, 68-56. Walker said the line went back and forth more than once.
As for the Nevada game, "Betting was very light. Its a regular game," Terry said. "I didnt expect a lot with UNR."
UNR closed a 3Â½ or 4 favorite. They topped Hawaii, 73-60.
XFL Week 2
Even though XFL ratings declined this week, the league got a consolation prize with heavier betting.
"It was very good," Walker said of Week 2 wagering. "It was a byproduct of what people saw the first week. It should be higher this week. The Las Vegas team is doing well, so that wont hurt."
On last Saturdays game, the Las Vegas Outlaws opened at +3 against the Memphis Maniax. The Outlaws closed +5 and won in Memphis, 25-3.
The Outlaws host the L.A. Extreme this Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium. GamingTodays open line for Saturdays game was set at Las Vegas 7.
Forget the book
In the last two months, New York-New York Hotel & Casino has installed televisions with available cable stations. There are 55 monitors with 13-inch screens above the gaming tables on an angle.
There are 32-inch screens on the opposite side of the pits.
Table players can select what games they want to watch, along as its OK with other players.
"Were trying to do some different things," said Steve Mann, assistant casino operations v.p. "Were trying to do some fun things. We also pride ourselves as having the friendliest dealers on the strip."
The sports book is under renovation, but a smaller book is open near the front escalators with eight TV sets. A new sports book and an ESPN Zone should open in early summer.
Stations offering NASCAR futures
Besides Winston Cup races and its championship, there also is the Craftsman Truck Series Championship and Busch Series Championship.
Odds are posted at Station Casinos.
For the Craftsman series, Jack Sprague is a 5-2 favorite; Joe Ruttman, 4-1; Bryan Reffner, 5-1; Randy Tolsma, 6-1; and Chuck Hossfield, 8-1.
For the Busch series, defending champion Jeff Green is the favorite at even.
Kevin Harvick is 5-2; Greg Biffle, 4-1; Jason Keller, 7-1; and Jamie McMurray, 8-1.
Free handicapping contest
The Orleans and Gold Coast continue their $1,000 free handicapping contests each Wednesday.
Contestants handicap the last five races at San Anita.
Each Wednesday, the contests alternate: this Wednesday at Gold Coast; next Wednesday at The Orleans; Feb. 21 at Gold Coast; Feb. 28 at The Orleans.