New Year’s Day was a landmark moment for in-game wagering
January 02, 2018 5:13 PM
by Mark Mayer
The de facto SEC championship will take place Monday night in Atlanta where Georgia and Alabama square off. The winner is guaranteed to be the fifth national champion to come from the Southeastern Conference in the last six years.
We could wax poetic about how Alabama used its great defense to re-establish its killer identity against top ranked Clemson or rehash an absolute classic double overtime victory by the Bulldogs over Heisman winner Baker Mayfield and a gallant Oklahoma.
We could also say “told you” to the BCS committee for thumbing its nose on Central Florida, which used Auburn to prove to the nation the Golden Knights could play with anyone and the only unbeaten team this season deserved a shot at the national championship.
But this is a newspaper about betting and here you’re going to read about something nobody else will discuss. Mark New Year’s Day as a landmark moment for in-game wagering – the future of our profession.
Thanks to second half and in-game wagering you had the opportunity at South Point to take Georgia at +400 on the money-line and Oklahoma at +3.5 at halftime with the Dawgs down 31-17. Imagine offering the Sooners as a dog and leading by 14.
And throughout the third quarter the VSiN network captured the excitement of constantly changing betting lines literally as each intense play was developing. To me personally it is chaos gone wild seeing prices change in seconds depending on which team benefitted. For the first time in NBA history there was a night where two teams owned 20-point leads and lost. Imagine how in-game wagering exploded with that scenario.
Yes, betting in Las Vegas is truly special. And soon the rest of the USA will know what we have had for years and everyone will be better for it.
Now let’s get to this week’s playoff thrills.
Alabama -4 vs. Georgia: Believe it or not, the exact number this scribe came up with. So what do you do? Go with the better defense and the more experienced quarterback. Roll Tide. ALABAMA
Last week: 6-4
Titans +7.5 at Chiefs: Kansas City hasn’t been the dominant force they were at the start of the season. Tennessee plays a lot of ugly games and if they can get enough stops defensively, this pointspread works for them. TITANS
Falcons +5.5 at LA Rams: I believe the difference is RB Todd Gurley who has become a beast for running and catching the ball. The Rams defense should cause Matty Ice all kinds of trouble in the pocket. Home field helps bigtime. LA RAMS
Bills +7.5 at Jaguars: A game similar to Titans-Chiefs. A lot depends on the status of Shady McCoy. He says good to go. If so, he will be the key weapon in controlling the ball. Blake Bortles is prone to the interception. Again, this could be an ugly game so the line favors the dog. BILLS
Panthers at Saints (O/U 48.5): New Orleans won both previous meetings this season. No secrets here, but Cam Newton can be great or awful. Drew Brees just puts up yardage and points. It may be safer to expect plenty of offense, hopefully from both sides. OVER 48.5
Last week: 1-4
Encore: A shout out to my alma mater South Carolina for its improbable comeback win over Michigan. The honeymoon is coming to an end for Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor.