How to play USFantasy, as new NBA, NHL games hits sportsbooks

October 25, 2016 3:08 AM
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USFantasy debuted at several Las Vegas sportsbooks for Week 2 of the NFL season. Since then it has grown in popularity, added other sports such as basketball and hockey, and become available at 31 books here in town and 10 others throughout the state. It is a simple, fun, legal way to enjoy fantasy sports without all the hassle of drafting a team.

But, in chatting with fellow GamingToday columnist Alan Berg who is also a supervisor at The Linq sportsbook, it is clear there is a learning curve.

“The question I get most often,” Alan told us, “is how do I bet?”

Actually, it is quite simple. As soon as you walk into a sportsbook that offers USFantasy, look for the proposition sheets. At The Linq (and probably most books) they are in the same location as all the other proposition and futures sheets.

The propositions are classified by position – quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, each listing several players for that position. Some props have both running backs and receivers. Your task is to decide which player in any one proposition will get the most points.

Points are awarded for touchdowns (30 points each), passing, rushing or receiving yards (1 point per yard), and 2 point conversions (10 points).

If you are super confident in your chosen player you should bet to Win. But if you are a bit concerned about another player in the group even though you think your player has a great chance at the most points, you might want to bet to Place. That means if your player has the most points or the second most points you will win your bet, but the payoff probably won’t be as big.

You could also bet your player to Show, and cash your ticket if your man’s score is one of the top three.

Once you’ve decided, you simply walk up to the counter, tell the clerk which proposition, the player’s number (it’s on the sheet), the type of bet (Win, Place, Show) and for how much (it can be as little as $2 or $1 for other bet types). He will take your money, give you a ticket and you have just completed your fantasy bet.

By now you might be saying to yourself, that sounds a bit like horse racing. Yes, it is. Each proposition is like a different race and the players are like the horses in that race. The bets – Win, Place, Show – are the same as in horse racing. And, just like horse racing, you can also bet an Exacta, Trifecta or Daily Double. There is also a Million $ SEVEN (Pick 7), which could net you a cool million for just one buck.

There is one more thing USFantasy and horse racing have in common – pari-mutuel betting. And that leads to the second most asked question Alan gets – What are the odds and how much do I win?

First, let me explain pari-mutuel betting: All of the money for a particular type of bet (such as Win) goes into a pool. Then (after taxes and vig are deducted) the pool is distributed on a pro rata basis to those who had a winning bet. Pretty simple, right?

So, just like horse racing, the exact odds aren’t known until game time (post time in racing). But you will see an opening line on the proposition sheet that is an approximation of what the line maker thinks the odds will be. And, there is a screen in the sportsbook showing the current odds from the USFantasy website.

So now that you know all about it, stop at a sportsbook near you this week and make a bet on USFantasy. It’s fun, it’s easy and, as Richard Saber says, “You just might be walking around lucky and not even know it.”

BCUP SEMINAR: The 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade 1 races with purses and awards totaling $28 million, returns to Santa Anita Park this year, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5. As usual, there will be a number of seminars around town to help you handicap some winners in those races, and we will have a list of all of them on our website by the end of the week.

One of those seminars that is sure to be very insightful will be held at the Sunset Station race and sportsbook on Friday, Nov. 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Chuck Esposito, Sunset’s director of race and sports, and Brian Blessing, Sportsbook Radio, KSHP AM 1400, the lineup will also include GT’s very own Steve Davidowitz and Richard Eng, columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal.

In addition to serving up some expert handicapping advice, they will also be serving pizza and soft drinks.

See you around town.