I’ve been asked many times about the evolution of sports betting in Nevada. I must admit it’s an interesting history that has not repeated itself, as history usually does. When I began in the 1970s it was one of extreme caution, as certain players were always better informed than the books. With these players we would give them one limit bet, and request his information. That formula worked for many years.
As an example, I can recall being bet on baskets when Larry Bird or Magic were late scratches. I gladly gave a limit bet for the info and immediately changed the line to compensate for whoever was going not to be in the lineup.
In the late 1980s and 1990s many books hired Roxy’s sports service and could move their lines with his info without taking a limit bet. Thus entered the "air move" era. Many places moved their lines without a bet – air moves.
This usually meant something is wrong with this game, so I better move it before we get whacked. Nowadays everybody knows everything, either through the Internet, ESPN or Sports Consultants Information, so the emphasis is no longer on winning as much as playing safe and hoping you get a lot of volume so you can work off the juice.
The bigger corporations can achieve this philosophy, but the little guys are at a disadvantage, though they must keep up with the moves and try to service their customers. It must be said that the moves are not always right, and some are intentionally designed to let the followers bet and further move the lines while the wise guys play for middles at very little risk and often times are very profitable. Remember, the wise guys bet both sides. The bottom line is bet your games as you please and win or lose on your own gut feeling.
Probably the biggest move on the board this past Saturday was UNLV coming out as a 5-point favorite over New Mexico and the air moves and some money moved the game to at least a 1 to 2 point favorite for New Mexico. The final score was a UNLV victory of 34 to 17. I rest my case!
For those of you who laid 6 or 7 points on the Saints last week, you need to say at least three Hail Mary’s. There had to be a traffic jam at Boulder Dam of all the bookmakers after that final came in. They probably had to hold a lottery to see who would jump off first.
Let’s take a look at some college games. Don’t be surprised if some of the top eight BCS teams have at least two losses each.
Cincy is the least respected team in football, even with a backup QB they trounce teams like Syracuse. Lay the 15.
Oregon State -9 over UCLA. The Oregon team is coming off a tough game against USC, but they played well. They had a legit chance of winning straight up. UCLA should stick to hoops.
California visits ASU and should beat them by at least a TD.
San Diego State will host perhaps the worst team in football, as New Mexico visits. The Aztecs are the better team, so lay anything under 20.
Denver at Baltimore came out with the home team -4 and 40 total. Either side can win, but I believe the winner will only be in the teens to low 20s. The under should be a good play.
The Vikes at Packers should be interesting as Favre makes his return to his alma mater. Both teams will give 100% and 48½ for a total seems high, as there is usually a weather factor in Green Bay in November. Under.
The Tennessee club finally gets off the schneid, as a 3-point favorite. Lay the 3 on the Titans against the Jaguars.
Two similar teams will play in the World Series. Both have starting pitching and excellent hitting. The only difference I can see is late relief pitching for Philly is their weakness as opposed to the Yankees’ strength. I have to go with the Yanks.
Have a great week.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Sid Diamond