I learned a lot living in Vegas. I discerned that there are certain people who should NEVER reside in that metro and others who, because they so hate to lose money, function quite well. Luckily I fell into the select few who are destined to remember every $20 loss and the exact whereabouts of the establishment that took it from me. Inveterate gamblers know they should give the Strip a wide birth but somehow can't resist making the world's largest sand trap their home. They're everywhere. You see them at the blackjack tables, in poker rooms, at the slot machines and--most often--at the race and sports books. There, where hope and common sense go to die, they stand in line at the window with grocery money in hand. Desperation drips off of them as they plunk down their cash. Just ONE lucky break is the ticket to solvency. The quay to put money on a horse or a game that is a "lock" has more anxiety and twitch than a pimp at an IRS audit.
Super Bowl weekend is to sports betting and sports books as New Year's Eve is to drinking. It's amature night. Even people who pay no attention to football during the season will gamble on the big game. In Las Vegas, more bets are placed on the Super Bowl than any other sporting event. Close to $100 million was wagered last year.
The important fact to note is this: If the public could pick winners, there would be no bookies.
That's why the bookies got to keep $7.2 million of the $100 million in 2013. It's a fairly simple proposition. You merely set a "line", or number of points, that will attract an equal amount of betting on the contending teams. (At present a bettor picking Seattle to win the bowl is spotted 2.5 points because more money is currently coming in from Denver fans.) Fans tend to bet from the heart instead of the head so it's difficult to predict how the initial betting will unfold. In this case points have been added to the Seahawks to bring in more Seattle fans. The more money bet, the more "juice" or "vig"for the sports book. Vigorish, or "vig", is the 10 percent fee for handling that all bookies charge.
Where it gets interesting (and where the books pad their Super take) is with the special propositions that scream Sucker Bet. Wagers on the number of times Peyton Manning yells "Omaha", the amount of time opera singer Renee Fleming takes to sing the national anthem (the over/under is 2 minutes 30 seconds) and the temperature ot MetLife Stadium at the time of kick-off are just a few of the exotic sucker bets. Many casino sports books will put these all together on a "parlay" card where you can gamble on a combination of these exotic "props".
Personally I believe you get more for your money betting on sports as opposed to card, dice, or slot games available in Las Vegas. A sports wager gives you the opportunity to bet with the house and, more important, gives you a rooting interest in an event that doesn't expire until the game has been played. Don't get me wrong. There are virtually NO people who get rich betting on sports. Sin City is loaded with the perpetually self delusional who at some point come to realize that those fancy hotels and casinos weren't built in the middle of a dessert by corporations expecting to lose money.
FYI, I'm taking Seattle and the points, but am picking the Denver fans to kick some serious ass in the parking lot fights afterward.
|Sports books, where you can smell the desperation in the air.|