Many bettors took one on the chin in the Evander Holyfield-John Ruiz WBA heavyweight championship fight.
Ruiz, who opened +170 at Mandalay and closed +200, won a unanimous 12-round decision at Mandalay Bay to gain the title.
GamingToday publisher Chuck DiRocco thought highly of Ruiz. And, according to reliable sources, put his money where his thoughts were.
Nevertheless, books cleaned up. The fight going 12 helped the house, too. At Mandalay, whether the fight "would not go 12" opened -130 and closed 150. "Would go 12" opened even money and closed at +130.
"There were plenty of tickets on (it would not go 12)," said Mandalay race and sports book manager Nick Bogdanovich.
As for whod win, Holyfield opened 180 and closed 240. On Friday, Holyfield was 230, Ruiz +190.
"It was good two-way action, but we needed it to go the distance," Bogdanovich said. Betting all together just on Saturday "was about what I expected."
Robert Walker, race and sports book manager at The Mirage, said betting wasnt as strong there.
"Thats probably because the first fight they had was lethargic," he said. "Handle was minimal on this fight."
Mandalay also offered odds on the undercard. Tim Austin, who opened 1300 and closed 1400, defeated Jesus Perez (opened +900 and closed +1000) in the sixth round to defend the IBF bantamweight championship. Rosendo Alvarez won a split 12-round decision over Beibis Mendoza (both were 115) to capture the WBA light flyweight title
"There was a lot of action on Austin," Bogdanovich said. "There was more action (on the undercard) than I expected. All together, I was happy with the handle (on the undercard)."
NASCAR (and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) made their marks on the Las Vegas sports books last week.
Jeff Gordon, who closed 7-1 at Coast Casinos sports books, won this past Sundays UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, even though Dale Earnhardt Jr. was played heavily.
At The Mirage, Earnhardt Jr. opened 25-1 and closed 12-1.
"Its not even close," Walker said of who was bet the most to win. "He was like a Tiger Woods the way they were betting on him. If I were booking a pari-mutuel, it would have closed at 3-1. There were a lot of $10 and $20 dollar tickets on him.
"I was shocked to see this compared with the other drivers in the race," he added. "He is up-and-coming. But I think a lot of it is because what happened at the Daytona 500" with the death of his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr.
At Mandalay, the Earnhardt Jr. story was similar. He opened 15-1 and closed 6-1.
"Its a combination of two things: hes capable of winning; and its sentimental," Bogdanovich said.
The books also offered match-ups, but they arent as popular as whod win the race.
"Theres been a little bit on match-ups," Walker said. "(Sterling) Marlin was played over Jerry Nadeau. Wiseguys get into match-ups."
The most intriguing match-up at The Mirage was Jeff Gordon 130 vs. Earnhardt Jr. +120.
At Mandalay, only four of the six match-ups were even played.
"They dont like match-ups, but theyll bet who will win it all," Bogdanovich said.
So is NASCAR becoming more and more popular with bettors?
Well, Walker decided Sunday the NASCAR race would have sound throughout The Mirage book and it was going against the Duke-North Carolina NCAA mens basketball showdown.
While Bogdanovich said hardly anybody bet XFL last weekend at Mandalay, Walker said betting is steady at The Mirage.
"Theres no interest. Our guests are just not interested," Bogdanovich said.
But at The Mirage, "Handle has been steady," Walker said. "(Bettors) are playing the under. They changed the rules with the bump-and-run. For bookies, you hate to see (the league) change the rules."
Before last weekend, an overwhelming majority of totals went under. But this weekend, two games went over, one went under. The other was on or around a push depending on casinos closing lines. Los Angeles 22-7 win over New York/New Jersey was right around the total of 29. San Franciscos 39-10 win over Birmingham went over the total of 31. Chicagos 15-13 victory over Las Vegas went under the 30Â½ total. Orlandos 21-19 win over Memphis went over the total of 36.
More baseball odds
Imperial Palace has released over/unders on regular season wins for major league baseball.
The Braves have the highest at 93. The defending champion Yankees are 90, followed by Oakland Athletics (89), Boston Red Sox (88Â½), St. Louis Cardinals (88Â½), New York Mets (88), and Cleveland Indians (88).
Other teams of note: the Los Angeles Dodgers are 84Â½, Texas Rangers 84, and Seattle Mariners 82. The lowest is the Minnesota Twins at 72. All teams must play 160 regular-season games. All sides are 115.
The IP has a contest to see wholl have the "most regular season home runs." Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire are the favorites at 7-2. Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Ramirez follow at 6-1. Jeff Bagwell and Barry Bonds are 7-1. Thirty players individually are eligible. The field, 10-1, is all other players not listed. All bets are action despite a shortened season, injuries or trades. Odds will change.
There also are baseball propositions match-ups. With home runs and RBI, Alex Rodriguez is 145 vs. Griffey at +115.
In a "most hits" match-ups, Edgardo Alfonzo is 115 vs. Bobby Abreu 115.
There are pitching props, as well.
For most wins, Pedro Martinez plus Woody Williams combined, are 160, against Tom Glavine plus Andy Ashby +130.
Another prop is most complete games. Randy Johnson is 130 against Martinez who is even.
Players must play one regular season game for action.