bettingroundup031017 Betting roundup

ESPN deconstructs books’ rough NFL season; Raiders clear hurdle on Vegas relocation bid

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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ESPN’s David Purdum takes a look at the struggles sportsbooks had this past NFL season.

Some books declared Sunday, Jan. 15, their worst day ever, the culmination of a rare hot streak by the betting public that produced massive parlay liability and had some bookmakers in no-win situations even before the Steelers and Chiefs kicked off.

By the time the playoffs were over, the betting majority had gone 9-1 against the spread, and Nevada sportsbooks had lost $8.25 million on football (college and pro combined) in January — the second-most costly football month during the season ever for the books. According to the state’s gaming control board, only Nov. 2005 (negative $11.2 million) was worse for the books than Jan. 2017.

“We weren’t sweating it,” Jay Kornegay, vice president of the Westgate SuperBook, said. “We were more just shaking our heads that things weren’t going our way. But we’re not looking for sympathy. We know things will turn around.”

After a couple hurdles, it appears the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas could be close to fruition.

According to multiple high-ranking National Football League sources, the NFL’s owner-comprised stadium and finance committees are poised to recommend the Raiders relocation request to Las Vegas be voted on at the league’s annual meeting in three weeks in Phoenix.

The inclination to make the recommendation is based on two-days of meetings in Florida in which the Raiders, according to sources with intimate knowledge of the meetings who spoke on the condition of anonymity, presented a strong case for their Las Vegas bid.

The most compelling part being, the Raiders securing Bank of America to fill the $650 million funding gap created when Las Vegas Sands Corp. head Sheldon Adelson walked away from the deal after he and the Raiders could not come to terms on a partnership deal.

The presence of Bank of America was viewed by the committee as a critical competent, and sources privy to the details of the bank’s participation described the deal as similar to ones that other NFL teams have struck with lenders over the years on stadium projects.

West Virginia’s sports betting bill could make the state a major player in the effort to repeal PASPA.

West Virginia’s bill to legalize sports betting could force a challenge in federal court, much like the one New Jersey has embarked upon. The legislation goes much further than the other “stand-by” measures. It might end up with the state challenging the federal sports betting prohibition in court, should it pass.

The betting handle in Las Vegas on conference tournaments hosted in Sin City have been minimal.

The action on the Mountain West and Pac-12 tournaments that tip off Wednesday in Las Vegas will pick up for Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s title games. But there has been no rush to the betting windows to get down on the future odds to win each tournament.

“Those two conferences have been the quietest,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “The Mountain West, we’ve written maybe $100 or $200. It’s the lowest, by far.”

Conflicting reported final scores for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament game led to confusion on which team covered.

Maryland-Eastern Shore beat North Carolina A&T 75-65 Monday in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic conference tournament. Officially. Maybe.

A pair of late statistician errors caused the score to be widely misreported as 74-67. To most, it was a small, mostly meaningless discrepancy that might have gone undetected — except that it impacted the point spread and led to gamblers contacting school and conference officials looking for clarity.

Maryland-Eastern Shore was around an 8-point favorite at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Ryan McGinty, assistant commissioner for MEAC media relations, said in an email to ESPN that “the correct final score was 75-65,” meaning Maryland-Eastern Shore covered the spread. But as of Wednesday morning, the official box score still shows 74-67. That final score, which is represented on several prominent media outlets, including and, would result in North Carolina A&T covering the spread. (Update: The MEAC has updated the official box score to reflect the correct score, 75-65.)

UNLV ended its 2016-2017 college basketball season with a bad beat.

In a fitting end to UNLV’s worst men’s basketball season, the Rebels not only blew an 18-point halftime lead over San Diego State — which opened as an 8½-point favorite — but also failed to cover the spread for most backers Wednesday after getting outscored 12-2 in overtime en route to a 62-52 loss in a Mountain West tournament first-round game at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Money on the Aztecs pushed the line to 10 at most Las Vegas sports books by game time, and it climbed to 10½ at several spots.

“If you had the Rebels plus 9½, it’s one of the worst beats in the history of gambling,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “If you had San Diego State at any price, or even got 10 points for a push, you’re one of the luckiest human beings on the face of the planet.

“If you had 10½, you deserve to lose.”

Brent Musburger will appear on ESPN from Las Vegas during the network’s NCAA tournament coverage to discuss sports betting.

Yes, Musburger will make his not-so-long-awaited ESPN comeback from Sin City alongside Dick Vitale (that should make for some amazing television) as the network says he will “offer his Vegas betting insight.” Adam Amin will host a full set in Vegas with Sean Farnham, Steve Coughlin, and Kenny Mayne. Talk about an eclectic bunch. Have Musburger, Vitale, and Mayne ever shared camera time together? Imagine all the possibilities!