Category Archives: What’s Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

SEC win totals

Here are the latest Vegas SEC 2018 win totals, courtesy of South Point Casino:

  • Alabama: 11 (Over EVEN, Under -120)
  • Georgia: 10.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
  • Auburn: 9 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Mississippi State: 8.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Florida: 7.5 (Over -120, Under EVEN)
  • Missouri: 7.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • LSU: 7 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • South Carolina: 7 (Over -120, Under EVEN)
  • Texas A&M: 7 (Over EVEN, Under -120)
  • Arkansas: 6 (Over EVEN, Under -120)
  • Ole Miss: 6 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Kentucky: 5.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Tennessee: 5.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Vanderbilt: 4 (Over -110, Under -110)

And a one-sentence reaction to each…

  • Alabama:  Whom are they losing to?
  • Georgia:  Which team gives the Dawgs their second loss?
  • Auburn:  Looks about right.
  • Mississippi State:  I lean towards the under, just slightly.
  • Florida:  If Mullen has a functional quarterback, over, barely.
  • Missouri:  They won seven last year, so at first glance this doesn’t seem like a stretch, but Derek Dooley…
  • LSU:  The Tigers won nine in 2017, so you’d have to think a two-game fallback would be death for Coach O, and looking at the schedule, I don’t know that I’d feel so good if I were him.
  • South Carolina:  It’s really weird how much more pessimistic Vegas is about SC’s chances than the pundits and public are.
  • TAMU:  Eight wins is not a reach, but anything more than that is.
  • Arkansas:  I get that the schedule is soft, but there’s no team in the conference with a bigger mismatch between personnel and scheme than the Hogs, so take the under.
  • Ole Miss:  Hey, they won six last year, so I can see a repeat.
  • Kentucky:  Weird, but this is one of the toughest calls on the board, which means that’s not good for Stoops.
  • Tennessee:  If the Vols wind up bowl eligible, Pruitt will have done a good job this season.
  • Vanderbilt:  Sad, but true.

Your thoughts?

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Filed under SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

“It’s just another Keno or Bad Beat Poker.”

Money, as we know, talks.  When it comes to sports betting, though, it’s more like a shout.

The American Gambling Association estimates that about $150 billion is wagered each year on sports, with all but $5 billion of it done illegally, through local bookies or off-shore accounts. That’s why some believe widespread legalization of sports betting won’t greatly impact college athletics.

Wanna bet?  Maybe it won’t change the reality that people like to gamble on sports, but it sure as hell is going to change how schools and conferences approach sports betting.  You can’t monetize illegal betting, but bring that stuff inside the tent and it’s off to the races.

In states that pass new laws to introduce sports betting, Youmans expects 75% of sports bettors who have been gambling illegally to turn to legal avenues and 25% to continue betting in the shadows with bookies and online outfits.

You do the math.  That’s some sweet action and you can bet the schools are going to want their fair share of it.  Of course, there will be a price.

Meanwhile, league officials have at least briefly discussed the potential for standard, mandated injury reports across the conference, something that Andrews believes is needed. At many Las Vegas casinos like the one where he works, betting limits are lower for college games than for their NFL counterparts because of the lack of school-issued injury information during game week.

“Only thing we’re worried about right now is what will be the mandate for coaches and athletic departments to let us know what the injury situation is,” Andrews said. “We’ve been shooting in the dark all these years. We’re kind of used to that, but if it’s going to become something nationwide, they need to address that like the NFL.”

They need to.

Not to worry, as long as the checks keep coming.  The NCAA and its membership have shown no problem embracing the needs of their broadcast partners.  There’s no reason to expect this embrace to be any less warm.  Although I’m not sure “gambling partners” has the kind of ring schools prefer.  Ah well, it’s all for a good cause in the end.

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It’s May at a college football blog, part one

Here’s an early look at SEC win totals, courtesy of South Point Hotel and Casino (last year’s records in parentheses):

SEC East

  • Florida:  7.5  (4-7)
  • Georgia:  10.5  (13-2)
  • Kentucky: 5.5  (7-6)
  • Missouri:  7.5  (7-6)
  • South Carolina:  7  (9-4)
  • Tennessee:  5.5  (4-8)
  • Vanderbilt:  4  (5-7)

SEC West

  • Alabama:  11 (13-1)
  • Arkansas:  6  (4-8)
  • Auburn:  9  (10-4)
  • LSU:  7  (9-4)
  • Ole Miss:  6  (6-6)
  • Mississippi State:  8.5  (9-4)
  • Texas A&M:  7  (7-6)

My first thought on seeing that is a general perception that the conference is still mediocre outside of Alabama and Georgia.  There are only three teams listed with projected win totals better than the 2017 results — Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas (Missouri’s 7/7.5 is a wash to me) — and all three can be categorized as being in positions where there’s nowhere to go but up.  (And even with that, I still think it’s a stretch to predict Arkansas, which has significant personnel issues and a new coaching staff, will wind up bowl eligible.)

My second thought is a corollary to the first:  if the 2018 season does play out like this, it’s gonna be one boring year for the SEC.

Other random thoughts:

  • Vegas is definitely less sanguine about South Carolina’s prospects than most prognosticators I’ve read.  The ‘Cocks do have an advantage in coaching stability over several divisional rivals this season, but the talent base isn’t that great overall and they’re embarking on an offensive journey that goes against the grain of everything Boom’s done since he became a head coach.  In some ways, this will be the most interesting experiment of 2018, mainly because I wonder what happens if things go south with the hurry up.
  • Auburn at 9 wins seems a little questionable until you remember that the Tigers open with Washington and play Alabama and Georgia on the road.
  • For all the talk about Pruitt and Mullen, Joe Moorhead is flying under the radar for the most part.  Ironically, Mullen left him with a decent amount of talent to work with this season and it will be interesting to see how Moorhead puts it to use.  The Bulldogs have Auburn at home, by the way, and if that game breaks in MSU’s favor, they could finish as high as second in the division.
  • I don’t think TAMU signed Jimbo to that ridiculous contract to win seven games a year, but what do I know?
  • Tennessee’s conference schedule, particularly at mid-season, is brutal, but I can see a path to six wins if Pruitt can hold things together after October.  If the Vols can beat West Virginia in the opener, maybe more than six wins…

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Early lines for games of the year

From South Point Hotel and Casino:

  • Georgia (-11) at South Carolina
  • Florida vs. Georgia (-15)
  • Auburn at Georgia (-3)
  • Georgia Tech at Georgia (-21)

I’m a little surprised Georgia at LSU didn’t make the list.

As you can see, Georgia is favored in every game on the board.  Every other SEC East team on the list is an underdog in at least one game:  South Carolina 1, Florida 3, Tennessee 1 and Kentucky 1.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Tuesday morning buffet

A little of this, a little of that and pretty soon you’ve got a full buffet.

  • Kirby puts the brakes on the “Deangelo Gibbs is back” talk.
  • If you’re interested, there’s already a lot of movement on some of the early lines for the first week of college football.
  • Florida and TAMU are sponsoring what is sure to be called the Freeze Rule.
  • Here’s a look at the number of quarterback pressures generated by SEC defenses last season.  You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that Alabama led the conference.
  • It sounds like Todd McNair’s attorneys outsmarted themselves.  No doubt the NCAA will take a win any way it can get one, though.
  • Is it just me, or does it seem like those endless preseason watch lists come out earlier and earlier?
  • Wait a minute — it is a “possibility” that Stetson Bennett could earn a scholarship if he stays with the program?  Thought this kid was a dead lock, SEC-ready beast.  Kirby’s sales pitch: “I certainly respect what he has done this far for the University of Georgia and he’s a really good student as well. We’re selling him on the University of Georgia education.”  Not seeing a lot of playing time in there, but then I’m not as good at reading between the lines as some of you guys are.
  • Florida won the SEC All-Sports Award for a 12th consecutive year and for the 26th time in 27 years.  Georgia, by virtue of having the best showing in women’s sports, finished second.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football, See You In Court, Stats Geek!, The NCAA, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

House money

Vegas remains impressed with Georgia.

  • Georgia’s 10.5 wins is tops on the board, along with Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma.
  • Georgia is tied at third, with Ohio State, for national title odds.
  • Jake Fromm is third in Heisman odds, tied with Tagovailoa.  (Swift is also on the list, at 33/1.)

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Latest national title odds

Courtesy of Phil Steele.

Georgia’s odds have actually improved slightly from January — from 8/1 to 7/1.

And what does it say that Tennessee and Georgia Tech share the same 500/1 odds?

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