If you’ve ever wanted to take a picture of a sports book packed to its maximum capacity, you might want to take a stroll over to the MGM Grand this Saturday.
Not only does I’ll Have Another make his run to become the first horse to win the triple crown since Affirmed in 1978, but they also host the Welterweight Title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
This will be nothing new for MGM Resorts race and sports director Jay Rood who has a couple weekends like this a year, but he says this one might be a little busier than the rest.
“Between the Belmont Stakes and the fight alone, it is going to be an unbelievably busy weekend, but to top it off we’ll have an additional spillover crowd from the thousands of people attending the Electric Daisy Carnival,” Rood said from his Mirage office Monday. “It’s almost like were cramming an entire month’s worth of action into one day.”
Rood picked I’ll Have Another to win the first two times and says, “I have to go with him again, I can’t stop now.”
As for the fight, Rood said he expects two way action despite the huge following Pacquiao brings to each of his fights. These followers don’t just follow either, they come well equipped with thousands in cash and bet Pacquiao regardless of the number.
“We opened Pacquiao at -450 and are currently at -480,” said Rood. “But from now until maybe Friday, I would expect most of the action to come on the underdog. Because of all the Pacquiao money expected I would seriously doubt the line will drop below what it opened.”
In most bouts that don’t involve Pacquiao, the price is usually driven below what the opener was because of all the small money adding up to large amounts on the underdog. The sharp money knows this and waits until the last possible moment to bet the favorite at the best possible price.
If nothing else, people watching at the MGM Grand Saturday night is a must. Between the diverse wardrobes of classy fight goers to the – how should we say, relaxed outfits of the Electric Daisy Carnival crowd, it will be one of the more entertaining experiences you see in Las Vegas.
GN working colleges
Next Monday at 10am (PT) Tony Miller and his crew will unveil the Golden Nugget’s College Football Games of the Year, an event that has become one of the more anticipated each year in Las Vegas for sports bettors.
To kick off the event, Miller will have Brian Blessing from Sports Book radio doing his show live from the sports book on Friday and then again on Monday while the bets are being made giving a live update on all the games that ran the most.
“We are offering 111 games this year with limits of $1,000,” Miller said. ”Bettors will be allowed to make three limit plays and then they will have to go to the back of the line if they want more.”
And more they will want. This process goes on for a couple hours with a few teams getting hammered in all their games with bettors already having their numbers crafted waiting to get a piece of the Nugget’s numbers that they perceive to be off the most.
I asked Miller if he would give us a couple sample lines just to whet the appetite of the betting public and he willingly obliged with a couple of the opening games.
“We’ve got a great game between Michigan and Alabama at Cowboys Stadium on the opening weekend that I think will attract a lot of interest,” said Miller. “Looks like we’re going to open that game up with Bama being favored by 12.
“Another interesting game has Navy playing Notre Dame in Ireland. Could be sort of a home game for the Fighting Irish despite being on foreign soil so we’ll make the Irish a 13 ½-point favorite.
Next week we’ll have all of the early moves from Monday’s action. Even if you don’t bet futures, this is another great place to people watch. The scene with bettors in line awaiting their chance to attack virgin numbers is a scene from a long lost Las Vegas.