bettingroundup032417 Betting roundup

Vegas hopes to avoid UCLA winning it all; Writer says rest of U.S. loses out on tourney

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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Las Vegas sportsbook operators say they have some exposure on UCLA winning the NCAA tournament.

“UCLA is the only team that could hurt us at all,” William Hill Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich said. “There are some other teams that wouldn’t be great, but they’re the one we’re looking to avoid.”

The marathon first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, which was by all accounts a massive success for casinos otherwise, ended on somewhat of a foreboding note. UCLA cruised past Cincinnati 79-67 as 4-point favorites in the final round of 32 game, cashing for the scores of bettors who backed them in the game — 88 percent of the money at William Hill was on the Bruins — while keeping even more future bets alive.

William Hill has taken more bets on UCLA to win the national championship than any other team dating back to last year, when it was as high as 75-to-1.

At other shops, including Station Casinos, UCLA opened at 100-to-1.

A Legal Sports Reporter writer visited Las Vegas for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Pretty much every casino around the country would love to be able to take bets during March Madness. (Or any NFL Sunday, busy NBA night, or slow MLB day, for that matter.) Sports betting gets people in the doors. Not only does it generate direct revenue for casinos, it also gets people hanging out, drinking, eating, and gambling elsewhere on the property. What’s not to like?

There are plenty of good reasons to legalize sports betting in the US. It would actually improve game integrity — not degrade it — and take money away from illegal and offshore books that are unregulated and offer little protection for gamblers’ money.

The most practical part of the equation: The US economy captures the revenue. People undoubtedly travel to Las Vegas just because of the spectacle of March Madness at the books, and so they can easily place wagers on any game they want to. They can’t do it anywhere else in the country (at least legally), with the exception of parlay wagering in Delaware.

Las Vegas casino owner Derek Stevens placed a bet on Michigan to win the NCAA tournament at 80-to-1 that would have paid $1 million. Michigan lost  69-68 last night to Oregon.

“I made a similar bet on Michigan State a couple years ago, and we had a lot of fun with that,” he said Monday. “Obviously, I’m not a professional sports bettor. I wanted to do something that had more of a connection to me, and Michigan is where I got my undergrad (degree).

“They had a heck of a run in the Big Ten tournament, and the team was jelling nicely. I thought they had a decent shot, I liked the odds, and the fact I went to the school makes it more special.”

The Chicago Tribune interviewed Brent Musburger after the first week of March Madness.

I made one bet so far in the tournament, and it included Northwestern. I was at Station Casino and I was getting ready to … go to work and they said: ‘We’ve got a prop (bet) for you. We’ll offer plus 280 (bet $100 to win $280) and you get all the teams nicknamed Wildcats to win the national championship.’ Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona, Northwestern and Kansas State. I went back the next day and people had pounded the ‘no,’ so it was plus 300. So I took the bet. I figured it would be fun to have a rooting interest in Northwestern and my old buddy Bruce Weber at K-State. That is the only position I took, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m pulling for Gonzaga for a couple of reasons: They typify the little guy that has had great success but has never quite gotten to the top of mountain top and made the Final Four. And (coach) Mark Few comes to Montana every summer and he’s a great trout fisherman. I’m friends with him, so I had mixed emotions when they were battling the Wildcats. …

I am eyeballing a couple of games in the Sweet 16. Xavier (plus 7 1/2 versus Arizona) and Butler (plus 7 vs. North Carolina) intrigue me because they are getting a lot of points. They may be undervalued.

The Las Vegas Sun provides 16 sports-betting-related talking points heading into the Sweet 16.

What the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in Las Vegas lacks in excitement compared to the first, it makes up for in convenience.

Lines no longer stretch out of sports books with gamblers waiting to put in plays; betting apps no longer lag because of overwhelming demand. The crowds are cut substantially as the tourists head home and the tournament draws closer to the Final Four, leaving a more serious gambling feel to the regional semifinals and finals.

The three-day break between rounds calls for a deep dive into what’s transpired so far. Talking Points combed through the numbers and results to find some of the most pertinent information bettors can use to make informed decisions on the tournament going forward.

Australia is set to ban in-play sports betting.

The outline to the bill explains:

“These services currently involve a consumer inputting betting information using a website or a mobile device application, which activates a call to a computerised voice that repeats the consumer’s proposed bet and asks the consumer to confirm the bet by pressing a button on a website, application or keypad. The process can be completed in a very short period of time.”

The new law redefines the use of a telephone betting service. Itinsists that the call consists of “a spoken conversation (or an equivalent for a customer with a disability).”

A Kenyan woman won 31 million Kenyan shillings (about $300,000 USD) at a sports betting site by predicting 16 of 17 games and men across the country are reaching out to her.

As soon as the news hit social media channels, Kenyans, especially men, were quick to share their congratulatory messages to her.

Quinter, an avid Manchester United fan, becomes the second woman to win the Sportpesa bonus jackpot, after 27 year old Elima Khanaitsa, from neighboring Kakamega county, won KSh 22 million.

Ululation and songs of praise filled the air as her husband, parents and villagers streamed in from around her home to witness the grand moment when Sportpesa officials delivered the cheque.

Alabama lawmakers are debating how to handle daily fantasy sports.

In the Legislature, three bills are in play to legalize daily fantasy sports gaming by Alabama players. And the brains-vs.-luck debate is well under way.

“To me, I don’t see it as the same type of gambling that I’ve been opposed to in the past such as the casino-type of gambling,” said Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, who is sponsoring one of the bills. “It’s about the skills of picking teams that are playing once a day or a couple times a week.”

Countered Joe Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program – an organization funded by Alabama churches that opposes gaming of any kind: “It’s nothing more than online casinos. They say it’s all skill. It’s not.”