Atlantis using a great hold percentage in Super Bowl futures
August 29, 2018 3:11 AM
by Micah Roberts
I just saw the most amazing theoretic hold percentage for a 30-plus option index and it was at a sportsbook in Northern Nevada.
After being in and around the sportsbook industry since the early 90s, I’ve seen several different philosophies of how to deal futures. The lower the hold percentage, the better for the public. The higher the theoretical hold, the worse for the bettor. It also gives a little insight into what a particular sportsbook brand is about.
Obviously, you want to bet the best number you can find no matter what the hold percentage is, but chances are you’ll be served with the best number at the shops that deal fair. The Westgate SuperBook has been the fairest in Las Vegas as long as VP Jay Kornegay and his crew has been there.
Before that, it was the same crew at the Imperial Palace. Their target goal for a hold percentage is about 26 percent on their future wagers such as odds to win the Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Championship. It’s incredibly fair and they’ve built an amazing reputation off it.
But I just saw something over the weekend that blew my mind. Marc Nelson’s Atlantis sportsbook up north in Reno is dealing Super Bowl odds with an unheard of 17.2 percent theo hold! I can’t imagine why anyone up north would bet to win the Super Bowl anywhere else.
“It’s a good way to separate ourselves from some of the competition and get people through the doors,” said Nelson who previously ran the Fiesta and Palms sportsbooks in Vegas.
I can remember some of his sweet parlay cards, which were the best in town, while he was at Fiesta competing with Texas and Santa Fe Station. I saw the volume figures, and they were incredible for a single property. He’s using the same bettor friendly ideas up north to gain an edge.
For bettors down here looking for a quality new out during football season, it might not be a bad idea to hop on a flight to Reno and get an Atlantis phone account, which works in Las Vegas. All deposits and withdrawals have to be made in Reno at the casino, however. While there, you can also sign up for a phone account at Vic Salerno’s Baldini’s sportsbook which is run by Robert Walker. If you plan on playing regularly, every cent saved or gaining a half-point is huge. Those two northern books have the best baseball splits in the state as well.
Be weary of Colts-Bengals wager: The Colts/Bengals game Thursday night may be one you want to avoid. Next week during Week 1 of the regular season the same two teams will be playing. The Colts are 3.5-point home favorites in that one. So naturally, neither coach is going to show his hand with anything. Total vanilla with simple schemes, but fans still pay full price for a ticket to attend.
Think of Thursday’s preseason game being similar to the old electric football game from the 70s. You know, the one with the vibrating metal field and a magnetic piece on the bottom of player figurines moved them around usually resulting in them all being bunched up in one corner. Total randomness, a coin flip. There’s probably not a single angle that will arise to make a sensible bet on either side. And yes, even the “Bengal Tiger could eat a Colt” theory applies.
Ohio State downgrade? Urban Meyer is 72-8 as the Buckeyes coach (42-37-1 ATS), but there’s a cloud surrounding the program, something that is no stranger to Meyer who left Florida with issues. But I’ll let all the talking heads debate morality and what is right or wrong. Society likes to pile on as a mob with their own takes as if they’re the proper judge of everyone’s character. “Shame, shame.” But all I care about is what it means to the Buckeyes’ 2018 rating, odds and playoff chances.
Beyond all that, Michigan is better than they’ve been since Jim Harbaugh arrived and I’m banking on him to finally get a win against Ohio State on Nov. 24. It’s his fourth year with most of the players being his recruits. Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson gives Harbaugh talent at the QB position he hasn’t had before.
Most of all, I think there’s a downgrade in Columbus at QB with Dwayne Haskins. Meyer has had the luxury of some dynamic QBs during his reign, but Haskins is no Joe Burrow, who they let go to LSU. They’ll regret that. I’m looking for Buckeye losses at Penn State, at Michigan State and at home to Michigan.
The cloud of Meyer and being suspended for the first three games just adds to the slide I was expecting this season as only 11 starters return. They could use the suspension and negative national press as a rallying cry, but I think it will work as an excuse while Haskins works himself into eventually being a good QB. The Superbook has Ohio State season wins set at 10.5-flat and 6-to-5 to win the Big Ten Championship Game.
Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White still has the Buckeyes as his third rated team, 3.5-points behind Alabama and two back of Clemson.
World Series line: The Westgate Superbook last Sunday offered the earliest Series prices they’ve ever posted. Because of the Red Sox (4/1 favorite), Astros (9/2), Indians (10/1) and Yankees (7/1) all being from the American League, not to mention the red-hot A’s (10/1), the SuperBook opened the AL as -180 favorites to win it all.
The NL is +150 featuring the likes of the Cubs (7/1), Dodgers (10/1), Braves (10/1), Cardinals (16/1) and Diamondbacks (16/1). I realize the Dodgers are struggling right now and outside looking in for a wild card berth, but I look for them to heat up in September, win the West and make the Series again.
More DraftKings of comedy: Last Saturday, DraftKings sent out the following tweet: “For the first time in DKSportsbook history, there are college football games that you can bet on today.” And then they showed a graphic of the four games with the pointspread and juice on each. It essentially showed how they’re trying to reinvent the wheel with a burglar mask on.
Here are a couple of the prices they were bragging about: Duquesne +21, -118; Massachusetts -21, -118 and Hawaii +14, +115; Colorado State -14, -141.
Those are egregious splits for any sport, but the Colorado State number is hilarious. It was as if they were trying show such willpower, conviction, and brilliance of avoiding possible middles by not moving off the key number of 14 (like it was an NFL game on 3 or 7) while all the other books moved CSU to -17, -110.
They’re also telling their players in New Jersey that if you’re smart enough to understand we’re scalping you, then we don’t want your business. They simply want the lazy bettor who uses the app for convenience. That’s fine, but most Americans that have bet football over the years via offshore, with a local bookie, or legally in Nevada and have been trained to know what the proper vig is on a football spread.
The English chap DraftKings brought in to run their sportsbook operation seems to believe he knows more about American football and its bettors than every U.S. bookmaker. Because college and pro football have the highest hold percentage among all the sports, Nevada books have never had to alter the juice higher than -110.
Anyway, good luck with that business model DraftKings.