Maybe, but money’s always talked. And when it comes to sports and gambling, it talks pretty loudly.
In his argument, Silver cited several key cultural trends: the proliferation of legal casinos and lotteries across the country, the ease of gambling on sports in other countries like Britain (where you can bet on games on your phone), and the huge amount of money (estimated to be somewhere between $80 and $380 billion annually) that’s illegally wagered with offshore bookmaking operations by American sports fans.
Nah, I wouldn’t expect the NBA to be found on the corner tomorrow, competing with your local bookie. But fantasy sports? It’s already there, bro.
But Silver left out a few trends, too. “It’s not just the offshore, illegal sort of gambling,” Dennis Coates says. “It’s things like FanDuel.com.” The “daily fantasy sports” site, not technically considered gambling, allows users to effectively bet on individual players’ statistics in each game, and took in some $57 million in profits in 2014 — the same year the NBA bought a stake in the company.
If the pros manage to suck it up and swallow their qualms about gambling – there so much money there! – can we really expect the NCAA to sit idle and let all that loot pass by the schools? Can you imagine what an officially sanctioned March Madness bracket game could bring in?
Best of all, unlike the NBA, the NCAA doesn’t have to add a presence in Vegas to make it happen. It’s already there.
Matt Melton looks at coaches who beat the spread and coaches who fail to cover over the last ten seasons and finds Mark Richt wanting.
Mark Richt is perhaps one of the best coaches to have never won a national title, but his last SEC championship was in 2005 and like Stoops and Beamer, his seat is becoming a little warmer.
At least with those betting on Georgia.
5Dimes has your early odds on conference champions here (h/t).
Here’s how the SEC breaks down:
2015 SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes
Mississippi State +1500
Texas A&M +1500
South Carolina +2500
Georgia sits tied at number two, and first in the East. Speaking of the East, Vegas doesn’t seem overly impressed with the division’s depth.
And, yes, no other school in the country matches that Vanderbilt number. Ouch.
Start your weekend off with a little something.
Vegas may not know from “deserving” teams, but some there have an opinion about the best:
The College Football Playoff selection committee set out to identify the best four teams. Las Vegas oddsmakers aren’t sure they were successful.
Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State advanced to the national semifinals, with Baylor and TCU the last two teams out.
However, Ed Salmons, head football oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook, said both Baylor and TCU would be favored over Ohio State.
“Ohio State numbers are hard to make because of the quarterback situation,” Salmons said of the Buckeyes, who are down to their third quarterback. “I would say TCU probably would have been 4½ and Baylor about 2½ or 3½ (over Ohio State). Somewhere in that range. But Ohio State definitely would be ‘dogs to both those teams.”
Oddsmakers from sportsbooks at CG Technology, the Wynn and the Aliante casinos also said they’d have both Baylor and TCU favored over Ohio State.
Not that Vegas is always right, though.
Six teams — Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Marshall, Oklahoma and Oregon — were favored in every game this season. [Emphasis added.]
Per Vegas Insider, the over/under for Saturday is somewhere around 67.5-68.5. With the spread, that translates into something like Georgia 35, Auburn 33. That would tie Georgia’s second lowest point total of the season and would be Auburn’s third lowest.
Needless to say, that seems low to me. But the people spending their hard-earned bucks disagree.
This is a little encouraging.
Georgia has covered the number in four of the last five meetings in this series when played at Sanford Stadium.
The Bulldogs received a major performance from senior quarterback Hutson Mason, as he threw for a career-high four touchdown passes versus the Wildcats, while freshman running back Nick Chubb has tallied four consecutive 100-yard games on the ground. It’s important to point out that Georgia has scored 62 points off 19 turnovers this year.
Sports bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to the favorite being 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings of this Southeastern Conference rivalry.
Depending on the sportsbook, Georgia is anywhere from a 1 to 2.5 point favorite right now.