Trinidad action heavy

May 15, 2001 9:49 AM

For a championship-boxing match not in Las Vegas, action was heavy on the Felix Trinidad-William Joppy, WBA middleweight championship fight Saturday night.

Trinidad won by a fifth-round knockout to capture the title in New York.

At Mandalay Bay, Trinidad opened -300 and closed -270. Joppy opened +250 and closed +230.

"(The public) bet Joppy," said Nick Bogdanovich, Mandalay Bay race and sports book director. "Usually fights outside of Las Vegas don’t draw action, but (Trinidad) is so popular. It was a good fight for the house."

There was a prop, round bet at about every book in town. The books had the prop of "Will go 12 rounds" or "Will not go 12 rounds."

Since the fight went five, "not go 12" was the winner. That opened +120 and closed +110 at Mandalay.

Las Vegas Club sports book director Jonathan Jester said, "I was happy with everything on the fight. Handle was good."

With the win, Trinidad will get a chance to win the IBF/WBC championship belts against champion Bernard Hopkins, for the undisputed middleweight championship Sept. 15 in New York.

"That will be a good fight," Jester said. "I wish these (middleweight) fighters would have a higher profile."

XFL X-its

While there was a trend of the Las Vegas market having the highest television ratings in the nation for Xtreme Football League games, there was another pattern to the league.

Betting at Strip books seem to be lower than at non-Strip books.

Non-Strip books tend to have a higher percentage of local bettors, thus the surrounding books had more betting on the league, which will not continue next year after the league announcement last week.

"That’s a pretty accurate description," Jester said of the Las Vegas betting pattern. "(The league) did very well in Las Vegas. It didn’t catch on too many places."

Jester said his book would miss the XFL.

"We had over $65,000 bet on it for the season and we were only taking $500 a game on it," he said. "We didn’t do to bad on it."

But, Bogdanovich, who oversees all of Mandalay properties books, which are on the Strip, said the XFL was a flop.

"We will not miss it all," he said.

They love L.A.

The Las Vegas public loves the Los Angeles Lakers - from the betting aspect - according to Bogdanovich.

"They just keeping pouring money on them. It should be a Spurs-L.A. series in the next round," Bogdanovich said of the NBA Western Conference finals. "Those are the teams to beat. That would be a good match-up."

In Game 3 of the Lakers’ Western semifinal game at Sacramento, the Kings were three-point favorites. But for Game 4, the Lakers were three-point favorites. In the other three series, the lines moved no more than two points. In two series, between Milwaukee-Charlotte and Philadelphia-Toronto for Games 3 and 4, the lines moved more than one point.

"There’s volume for these games," Bogdanovich said. "The playoffs have been good. The games are competitive."

According to Jester, the San Antonio Spurs loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the Western semis was not good for the house.

"They bet the Spurs," he said, and added "NBA handle has been good."

Mario helps

While Jester was happy to see Pittsburgh win its first two NHL playoff series, he’s afraid of what the Penguins would do to the house if they win the Stanley Cup.

The Las Vegas Club’s book was aided by Pittsburgh’s second-round upset of Buffalo last week. In Game 7 Thursday in Buffalo, Pittsburgh was +130 to +135 around town in their 3-2 overtime win.

Two weeks ago, Jester said the public was beating the house in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but said, "That is evening out now."

According to Bogdanovich, NHL betting is up this year.

"It’s better than I expected this year," he said. "It’s more than I expected. You have Mario Lemieux (and Pittsburgh) vs. the Stanley Cup champions New Jersey Devils (in the East finals) and you have Colorado vs. St. Louis. Those are some big-named teams."