Some sports books are taking a hit from red-hot Rams
With two weeks remaining in the National Football League playoffs, the Stateline sports book have joined the rest of Nevada’s legal gaming establishments in rooting against the St. Louis Rams.
After opening the season as a 200-1 longshot to win the Super Bowl, the Rams are two wins away from capturing their first NFL title. Naturally, some books are concerned about that huge payoff and the Rams’ uncanny ability to cover the point spread in 14 of their 17 games this season.
“We’ve been clobbered so far because people have been betting on the Rams and Jaguars and making money,” said Harrah’s Lake Tahoe supervisor Frank King. “The book usually loses when the favorites come in.”
King estimated his book lost in the six-figure range last weekend.
Caesars Tahoe and Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino feel fortunate that not too may gamblers took a chance on the Rams early in the season. Their books reported slight gains from the weekend’s four playoff games because of the wins by the Titans and Jaguars.
“The Rams weren’t healthy for us either on Sunday,” said Dave Probert, director of full-service games at Harveys. “They keep winning like they have all season long. We didn’t write too many tickets on the Rams at the beginning of the season. A lot of people thought the Jets were going to win the Super Bowl, as well as the Raiders.”
Miller has watched the Rams closely all season and started dropping their odds to win the Super Bowl earlier than most books.
“We were shaving the Rams for a couple of weeks midway through the season,” Miller said. “While some others had them listed at 30-1 and 40-1, we had them at 20-1.”
It’s too late to get the Rams as a longshot. They now are the favorite – at even money – among the four remaining teams in contention for the Super Bowl.
Probert believes that postseason betting is down this season because of uncooperative weather in the Tahoe Basin.
“The fans are still getting into it, but I thought last year was better because the skiing was better,” he said.
The books aren’t counting on making up the lost business during the Super Bowl, because the volume of betting figures to be lower since there is a week less to bet on the big game. In past seasons, there has been a two-week break between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.
“For us, two weeks would be better because more people could bet on it and it would gives us more time to massage and promote our props. So there might be a few good deals for the bettors,” King said.
King may be ahead of the other casinos this week in an effort to cool off Rams bettors.
“We’re gonna have to give them a pirate flag if they bet on the Bucs,” he said.
The early line on this week’s championship games are Jaguars minus 7 at home against the Titans, and the Rams are a prohibitive 13-point home favorite against the Buccaneers.
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