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Vegas Oddsmakers Like Oklahoma Over Bama, LSU For BCS Title

Judging by our travel plans, we must be pretty close to football season.

You see, each summer, a representative from MrSEC.com heads to Las Vegas to get the latest odds and the inside scoop from the biggest casino chains and bookmakers regarding the upcoming football and basketball seasons.

A quick tip from this year’s junket: If you’re ever in Las Vegas and a record amount of rain falls on the city… things could get sticky.  Literally.  One hundred degrees and no humidity is fantastic.  One hundred degrees and 45% humidity and you might as well be in Opelika.  Trust us.

Here are a couple of more serious tips we’ve picked up from the guys who actually set the odds before the season and during the football and basketball campaigns:


1.  Oddsmakers care only about who’s placing bets in their casinos.  What your bookie in Smyrna, Georgia’s doing has no impact.  They don’t get a piece of that action.  So when the experts are setting their boards each week, knowing who’ll be betting in Las Vegas is a key to making sure they get an even amount of money coming in on both squads in each game.

2.  For that reason, the folks in Vegas like three kinds of teams.  Name teams — the traditional powerhouses — will often pull in cash from the casual gambler.  The guy who bets once a year is more likely to put his money on Alabama, Notre Dame or Southern Cal than he is on Cincinnati (whether or not he knows a thing about those teams or not).   Teams with big alumni bases also get a little extra love from oddsmakers.  Ohio State, Texas, Arizona State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Florida have some of the largest enrollments in the country.  Therefore, it’s more likely that a Buckeye grad or a Gator fan will stroll into a casino and plunk down a few hundred bucks on his favorite team this fall.  Finally, West Coast teams often get a bump from the bookmakers, too.  Who bets in Vegas on most weekends?  A whole lot of folks from Arizona and Southern California.  Then toss in folks from across the rest of the Pac-12 region for good measure.  The oddsmakers know this and they factor it in to the lines they set.


With all that in mind, lets take a look at some of the future bets you could make on SEC teams as of late last week (we’ll include the teams with the 10 best odds overall, plus all listed SEC squads):


Odds of Winning BCS Championship — Caesar’s Entertainment

School
July 7th Odds
1.  Oklahoma
7/2
2.  Alabama
9/2
3.  LSU
6/1
4.  Oregon
7/1
5.  Florida State
10/1
6.  Nebraska
11/1
7.  Stanford
12/1
8.  Notre Dame
15/1
9.  Texas
18/1
10.  Florida
20/1
S. Carolina
25/1
Arkansas
28/1
Georgia
30/1
Miss. State
75/1
Auburn
90/1
Tennessee
200/1
The Field (inc: UK, UM, VU)
100/1



Now lets look at the odds as set by another family of casinos.  Again, we’ll list the 10 best odds on the board and the remaining SEC odds:


Odds of Winning BCS Championship — MGM Resorts

School
July 7th Odds
1.  Oklahoma
7/2
2.  LSU
9/2
3.  Alabama
11/2
4t.  Oregon
8/1
4t.  Notre Dame  
8/1
6t.  Florida State
10/1
6t.  Nebraska
10/1
8t.  Wisconsin
12/1
8t.  Stanford
12/1
8t.  S. Carolina
12/1
Florida
15/1
Georgia
18/1
Arkansas
20/1
Miss. State
50/1
Auburn
60/1
Tennessee
100/1
Ole Miss
200/1
The Field (inc: UK, VU)
40/1



The numbers from the MGM casinos also include that group’s opening lines.  Using those opening lines we can see which teams gamblers have been putting cash on:


MGM Resorts BCS Championship Opening And Current Odds

School
Opening February 8th Odds
July 7th Odds
Alabama
6/1
11/2
Florida
10/1
15/1
LSU
15/1
9/2
Georgia
40/1
18/1
S. Carolina
45/1
12/1
Arkansas
50/1
20/1
Auburn
75/1
60/1
Miss. State
75/1
50/1
Tennessee
100/1
100/1
Ole Miss
175/1
200/1



(And just to reiterate our earlier statements regarding who bets and why they bet… Big-name, big-alumni-base Notre Dame has jumped from 25/1 to 8/1… West Coast Washington has jumped from 175/1 to 60/1… and nearby, big-alumni-base Arizona State has leapt all the way from 175/1 to 40/1.  Remember those insider nuggets passed to us by an oddsmaker or two when you’re looking at the odds this fall.)

Finally — just for you Kentucky fans out there — here are the latest SEC odds for next March’s NCAA basketball championship.  Again, the odds come from Caesar’s and MGM:


Odds of Winning Basketball Championship

School
Caesar’s Entertainment Odds
MGM Resorts Odds
Kentucky
6/1
9/2
Florida
40/1
22/1
Vanderbilt
100/1
30/1
Alabama
100/1
45/1
Arkansas
125/1
85/1
Miss. State
Field Bet (35/1)
65/1
Tennessee
Field Bet (35/1)
100/1
Georgia
Field Bet (35/1)
150/1
S. Carolina
Field Bet (35/1)
200/1
Auburn
Field Bet (35/1)
250/1
Ole Miss
Field Bet (35/1)
250/1
LSU
Field Bet (35/1)
300/1


 


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