Posts by RJ Bell

  • The Super Bowl Spread

    The Super Bowl is the only American sporting event in which the odds are set with the average bettor as the primary consideration.

  • Vegas Turns Its Attention to the Super Bowl

    This was the biggest-bet conference championship weekend ever — that’s the report from the majority of sportsbooks interviewed. Some of the robust handle can be attributed to the overall increases in sports betting action, and some to both of Sunday’s games being marquee matchups.

  • Vegas Is Unsurprised by the Final Four NFL Teams

    When a Tom Brady blowout is bad for bettors, you know it’s not the status quo. Playoff betting is different.

  • Jameis Winston

    How Did Sportsbooks Do on the BCS Title Game?

    In bookmakers’ responses to what result they needed in the BCS title game, the word “huge” was used more than once. “Huge potential loss,” said Kevin Bradley when describing the open Auburn-to-Win-BCS-Title tickets was desperate to dodge. “Huge liability,” said’s Mike Perry to describe his Auburn futures. At LVH Superbook, some of their […]

  • Romo

    How Do the Cowboys Make Gamblers Feel?

    What word best describes how Cowboys bettors are feeling? The strongest adjectives — “devastated,” “crushed” — still fall short. The typical sports bettor is adamant that he is on the wrong side of a disproportionate share of bad beats. Math guys will dryly explain the impossibility of that, but the emotion of a loss like […]

  • Wide receiver Kenny Shaw #81 celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Bobby Hart #51

    Vegas Weekend Recap: What Does Auburn vs. Florida State Mean for Bettors?

    The BCS title game odds are set, with Florida State an eight-point favorite over Auburn. As recently as a week ago, the projected spread for this potential matchup was in the double-digit range — but Auburn’s impressive win Saturday has stoked the passion of the SEC faithful, while also somewhat swaying discerning betting professionals. Auburn […]

  • Chris Davis

    Ohio State vs. Florida State Is Open for Betting Business, But Vegas Still Likes Bama

    On Saturday, after Ohio State’s nail-biter against Michigan and Auburn’s thrilling upset of Alabama, the BCS debate began in earnest. I asked six bookmakers: What would you make the spread between Auburn and Ohio State on a neutral field? Only one of the six would favor Auburn. Southpoint’s Jimmy Vaccaro felt the strongest about Ohio […]

  • Moreno

    Vegas Weekend Recap: Sharp vs. Square

    When the first sportsbook report hit my inbox Monday, the question “How did your book fare in the NFL?” was answered with “great.” The same question, in the next email, was answered with “horrible.” These extremes alternated throughout the day, and a pattern quickly emerged. The square books made a killing, while the sharp books […]

  • Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints

    Vegas Weekend Recap: Why Do So Many Sports Bettors Lose?

    “The house always wins” is an often-used phrased, and when it comes to sports betting — over the long run, in aggregate — it’s true. Bettors must risk $11 to win $10, and though that equates to a seemingly surmountable 52.4 percent win percentage to break even, the consensus estimate is that less than 1 […]

  • Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide

    Vegas Weekend Recap: Alabama Comes Through Again

    Perhaps the most impressive current Las Vegas stat is that Alabama has been favored in 51 straight games. Wow. The last time the Crimson Tide were underdogs in a college football game was in 2009. Not only has Bama been favored in every game since, but it has been favored by an average of more […]

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