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Best Las Vegas Sports Books

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Best Vegas Sports Books

 

Our recommendation for overall best Sports Book is Hilton because they often offer more moneylines and competitive odds. Viewing is very good and Sunday food and drink specials are competitive. The massive sports book is also close to the endangered good video poker machines (9/6 Jacks or Better).

Caesars’ is also recommended if you do not make large bets and tend not to win very often. Viewing and comfort are excellent.

For general viewing, our favorite is Bellagio because of its drinks, great waitresses, and excellent comfort. As with most Vegas Sports Books, arrive at least 2 hours early for seats for big events and hope for a miracle for the Superbowl.

Of the Locals casinos, South Point is recommended with Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch also very strong for watching games.

The Plaza is a bit better than some other Sports Books downtown and is an independent line. Downtown offers more opportunities to shop for lines or to middle a bet. For a purely sports bar feel, Hard Rock is a major change of pace from the Superbooks such as Hilton but you have to arrive very early for booth seating.

For Race Books, our top choice is Wynn because of its convenient at-your-seat terminal betting and futures on major thoroughbred races. Comfort and viewing is excellent. They have a good drink policy for race bettors—almost as good as the Venetian’s for Race and Sports betting.

Las Vegas Sports Books Overview

Although Las Vegas is still a great place to bet on sports, cash transaction reporting requirements may limit betting on a single bet to under $10,000 at some of the casinos. Station casinos and Coast casinos still accept sides up to $20,000 unless you win frequently enough to be suspected of being a wise guy.

If you are a minimum size bettor which is usually $5 for Sports Books you may also have trouble getting free drinks at casinos such as Mandalay Bay, Caesars, etc. unless you are also betting on the horses. $300 sports bet tickets should get free drinks at any casino.

Advantage Players can make money on Sports but probably not on Race betting. In Las Vegas Sports Books the vig (vigorish, juice, commission fee for placing bets) is 4.545% for a standard -110 bet (Bet $110 to win $100 or $11 to win $10, etc.)

The Race Books’ vig is about 17.2% or 3.8X higher than sports. Over the last 12 months starting July 2006 to August 2007, the State of Nevada’s Gaming Revenue Report shows the casino win for all Non-restricted locations for sports betting is lower than the ponies with baseball the lowest casino win % at 4.78%.

 

Casinos

Books

Win

Change

Win %

Pari-Mutuel

67

67

$88,027

-0.84%

17.20%

Football

98

98

$74,646

111.35%

7.44%

Basketball

91

91

$31,467

-25.62%

5.20%

Baseball

100

100

$22,031

1.28%

4.78%

Sports Parlays

46

46

$13,904

36.31%

27.16%

Sports Pari-Mutuel

 

 

$37

6460.17%

19.49%

Other

 

 

$9,349

-11.85%

7.76%

TOTAL

100

100

$239,461

13.12%

8.70%

 

Las Vegas Football Betting

The most popular sport to bet is Football which Vegas Made Easy.com estimates is about 36.4% all Race/Sports betting and probably right at or just over $1BN of over $2.7BN total Race/Sports betting for the last 12 months ended in August 2007. The table below has estimated amount bet and the Nevada Gaming Control Board categories.

 

Estimated Bets

Percentage

Pari-Mutuel

$511,785

18.6%

Football

$1,003,306

36.4%

Basketball

$605,135

22.0%

Baseball

$460,900

16.7%

Sports Parlays

$51,193

1.9%

Sports Pari-Mutuel

$190

0.0%

Other

$120,477

4.4%

TOTAL

$2,752,985

100.0%

 

First Time Bettors

It is very easy to make a bet. The only things you need to understand are:

  • Spread
  • Moneyline
  • Totals
  • Vig

 

The favored team must cover the Spread to win. If you bet $110 on New England (-16.5 over Cleveland -110) it means that New England must beat the Cleveland by 17 points for you to win.

Because of the casino commission on the bet, the Vig, you will get a total of $210 back. You get your bet back plus you have won $100. The -110 is the standard Vig.

If you bet $11 on Cleveland at +16.5 and they lose by 16 points, you win because they lost by less than the Spread. You collect a total of $21—your original $11 and your winnings of $10.

When you see a Spread with a 1/2 point at the end, it means that you will either win or lose. If a game has an integer such as -7 or +14, it means you can tie the casino (push) and get your bet back if the game ends exactly on the Spread.

Should the amount of money bet on both teams be about the same, the casinos will roughly make their 4.54% Vig. Often casinos set the odds so that they make more money when the favorites do not cover the Spread or even lose outright.

Casinos can lose money when favorites win because of unbalanced bets and also if customers have parlay cards that depend on an uninterrupted series of winning picks. However, Vegas Made Easy.com does not recommend parlays unless you are an advanced Sports bettor. The casinos make too much money—over 27%.

The Moneyline is a bet that a team either wins or loses—Spread does not matter. If Cleveland is +1300 and they win, you will get $1,400 for a $100 bet. The Sports Book returns your $100 plus you win $1,300.

For a New England Moneyline bet of -1650, you bet $1,650 to get a total of $1,750. This is $100 winnings plus $1,650 of your bet back.

There is no apparent Vig but notice that there is a difference between the Moneylines. One may be +1300 while another is -1650 so that if the casinos take in about the same money on both sides of the Moneyline, they make a profit.

Here is a list of Moneylines with implied winning or losing percentages. For example, if you bet a +300 line many, many times and win 25% of the time, you will break even. You lose most of the time but when you win you get paid enough to cover the losses.

At a Moneyline of 9900 (which, in reality, you will never see posted on a board) you only need to win 1% of the time to breakeven. We show very high numbers just to give a complete picture of how the Moneyline works.

 

Moneyline

Implied Chances

Implied Against

9900

1.000%

99.000%

9000

1.099%

98.901%

8000

1.235%

98.765%

7000

1.408%

98.592%

6000

1.639%

98.361%

5000

1.961%

98.039%

4000

2.439%

97.561%

3000

3.226%

96.774%

2000

4.762%

95.238%

1900

5.000%

95.000%

1800

5.263%

94.737%

1700

5.556%

94.444%

1600

5.882%

94.118%

1500

6.250%

93.750%

1400

6.667%

93.333%

1300

7.143%

92.857%

1200

7.692%

92.308%

1100

8.333%

91.667%

1000

9.091%

90.909%

900

10.000%

90.000%

800

11.111%

88.889%

700

12.500%

87.500%

650

13.333%

86.667%

600

14.286%

85.714%

550

15.385%

84.615%

500

16.667%

83.333%

450

18.182%

81.818%

400

20.000%

80.000%

380

20.833%

79.167%

360

21.739%

78.261%

340

22.727%

77.273%

320

23.810%

76.190%

300

25.000%

75.000%

290

25.641%

74.359%

280

26.316%

73.684%

270

27.027%

72.973%

260

27.778%

72.222%

250

28.571%

71.429%

240

29.412%

70.588%

230

30.303%

69.697%

220

31.250%

68.750%

210

32.258%

67.742%

200

33.333%

66.667%

190

34.483%

65.517%

185

35.088%

64.912%

180

35.714%

64.286%

175

36.364%

63.636%

170

37.037%

62.963%

165

37.736%

62.264%

160

38.462%

61.538%

155

39.216%

60.784%

150

40.000%

60.000%

145

40.816%

59.184%

140

41.667%

58.333%

135

42.553%

57.447%

130

43.478%

56.522%

125

44.444%

55.556%

120

45.455%

54.545%

115

46.512%

53.488%

110

47.619%

52.381%

109

47.847%

52.153%

108

48.077%

51.923%

107

48.309%

51.691%

106

48.544%

51.456%

105

48.780%

51.220%

100

50.000%

50.000%

 


 

You can also bet on the totals or the Over/Under or o/u or ou. If the total is 48.5 and you bet $1,100 on the Over at -110, a score of Cleveland 17 and New England 34 (17+34=51) means you will cash your ticket for $2,100. You get back your $1,100 plus you win $1,000.

If the total had been 51 points instead, the bet would have pushed. You would have received your $1,100 back but you neither won nor lost money.

On the boards where you see New England and Cleveland listed, there will be a number next to each team such as 419 for Cleveland and 420 for New England. When you make your bet, use the number to help the ticket writer identify the teams. If you are betting the first half of the game, the numbers will be 4 digits instead of the usual 3.

There are 18 total lines in Las Vegas although they often don't vary much from the opening LVSC (Las Vegas Sports Consultants) lines. Independent lines are good for bettors because you can shop for 1/2 point or rarely even better odds. If casinos use the same lines, the odds you see for a game at Mirage will be the same as for Circus Circus which are both owned by the MGM/Mirage family.

Downtown has 6 independent lines within brisk walking distance of each other. Below are the casinos with sports and race books and the betting lines. The first table is in alphabetical order with the new Aliante casino (which opened on 11/11/2008) included. The second table is arranged to show the casinos by the lines they use.

Note that seat count can vary with non-permanent seating added or taken away and betting windows are often not open all the time. Also, for Palazzo we do not include the 40/40 bar/nightclub (formerly owned by Jay-Z) in their numbers yet. All independent lines are shown in BOLD.

Las Vegas Sports Books

Vegas Sports Books
Seats
Bet Windows
Lines
Location
Aliante
170
16
Station Off Strip
Ariz. Charlies Boulder
45
5
Stratosphere Off Strip
Ariz. Charlies Decatur
100
12
Stratosphere Off Strip
Bally's
285
13
Caesars Strip
Barcelona Leroy's Off Strip
Bellagio
175
15
MGM Strip
Big Horn Leroy's Off Strip
Bill's
70
10
Caesars Strip
Binion's
4
3
Cal Neva Downtown
Boulder Station
300
19
Station Off Strip
Caesars
250
13
Caesars Strip
California
40
3
Boyd Downtown
Cannery
130
10
Leroy's Off Strip
Circus Circus
80
7
MGM North Strip
Club Fortune Leroy's Off Strip
El Cortez
60
6
El Cortez Downtown
Ellis Island
20
3
Leroy's Near Strip
Excalibur
130
8
MGM Strip
Fiesta Henderson
137
11
Station Off Strip
Fiesta Rancho
100
11
Station Off Strip
Fitzgerald's
14
2
Leroy's Downtown
Flamingo
75
15
Caesars Strip
Four Queens
15
2
Cal Neva Downtown
Fremont
49
6
Boyd Downtown
Gold Coast
160
15
Boyd Near Strip
Golden Gate
0
1
Leroy's Downtown
Golden Nugget
70
6
Golden Nugget Downtown
Green Valley
200
15
Station Off Strip
Hard Rock
60
5
Hard Rock Near Strip
Harrah's
45
8
Caesars Strip
Hilton
400
22
Hilton Near Strip
Hooter's
40
2
Leroy's Near Strip
Imperial Palace
200
18
Caesars Strip
Joker's Wild
20
3
Boyd Off Strip
Luxor
110
12
MGM Strip
Mandalay Bay
300
16
MGM Strip
MGM
100
17
MGM Strip
Mirage
250
16
MGM Strip
Monte Carlo
100
8
MGM Strip
Montelago Leroy's Off Strip
NY NY
40
10
MGM Strip
Orleans
150
18
Boyd Off Strip
Palace Station
230
17
Station Off Strip
Palazzo*
0
5
Venetian Strip
Palms
180
19
Palms Near Strip
Paris
200
15
Caesars Strip
Planet Hollywood
75
5
Planet Hollywood Strip
Plaza
100
15
Plaza Downtown
Railroad Pass Leroy's Boulder City
Rampart
79
6
Leroy's Off Strip
Red Rock
186
20
Station Off Strip
Rio
170
13
Caesars Near Strip
Riviera
50
6
Leroy's North Strip
Sahara
20
3
Leroy's North Strip
Sam's Town
200
17
Boyd Off Strip
Santa Fe Station
259
19
Station Off Strip
Silver Nugget Leroy's Off Strip
Silverton
4
3
Leroy's Off Strip
South Point
270
15
South Point Off Strip
Speedway (Lucky) Leroy's Off Strip
Stratosphere
120
6
Stratosphere North Strip
Suncoast
150
17
Boyd Off Strip
Sunset Station
300
20
Station Off Strip
Terrible's
40
5
Terrible's Near Strip
Texas Station
206
18
Station Off Strip
TI
120
12
MGM Strip
Tropicana
25
4
Leroy's Strip
Tuscany
30
2
Cal Neva Near Strip
Venetian
90
12
Venetian Strip
Wynn
195
13
Wynn Strip
*excludes 40/40 club
7,793
669
18

 

Las Vegas Sports Books by Lines

Vegas Sports Books
Seats
Bet Windows
Lines
Location
California 40 3 Boyd Downtown
Fremont 49 6 Boyd Downtown
Gold Coast 160 15 Boyd Near Strip
Joker's Wild 20 3 Boyd Off Strip
Orleans 150 18 Boyd Off Strip
Sam's Town 200 17 Boyd Off Strip
Suncoast 150 17 Boyd Off Strip
Bally's 285 13 Caesars Strip
Bill's 70 10 Caesars Strip
Caesars 250 13 Caesars Strip
Flamingo 75 15 Caesars Strip
Harrah's 45 8 Caesars Strip
Imperial Palace 200 18 Caesars Strip
Paris 200 15 Caesars Strip
Rio 170 13 Caesars Near Strip
Binion's 4 3 Cal Neva Downtown
Four Queens 15 2 Cal Neva Downtown
Tuscany 30 2 Cal Neva Near Strip
El Cortez 60 6 El Cortez Downtown
Golden Nugget 70 6 Golden Nugget Downtown
Hard Rock 60 5 Hard Rock Near Strip
Hilton 400 22 Hilton Near Strip
Barcelona Leroy's Off Strip
Big Horn Leroy's Off Strip
Cannery 130 10 Leroy's Off Strip
Club Fortune Leroy's Off Strip
Ellis Island 20 3 Leroy's Near Strip
Fitzgerald's 14 2 Leroy's Downtown
Golden Gate 0 1 Leroy's Downtown
Hooter's 40 2 Leroy's Near Strip
Montelago Leroy's Off Strip
Railroad Pass Leroy's Boulder City
Rampart 79 6 Leroy's Off Strip
Riviera 50 6 Leroy's North Strip
Sahara 20 3 Leroy's North Strip
Silver Nugget Leroy's Off Strip
Silverton 4 3 Leroy's Off Strip
Speedway (Lucky) Leroy's Off Strip
Tropicana 25 4 Leroy's Strip
Bellagio 175 15 MGM Strip
Circus Circus 80 7 MGM North Strip
Excalibur 130 8 MGM Strip
Luxor 110 12 MGM Strip
Mandalay Bay 300 16 MGM Strip
MGM 100 17 MGM Strip
Mirage 250 16 MGM Strip
Monte Carlo 100 8 MGM Strip
NY NY 40 10 MGM Strip
TI 120 12 MGM Strip
Palms 180 19 Palms Near Strip
Planet Hollywood 75 5 Planet Hollywood Strip
Plaza 100 15 Plaza Downtown
South Point 270 15 South Point Off Strip
Aliante
170
16
Station Off Strip
Boulder Station 300 19 Station Off Strip
Fiesta Henderson 137 11 Station Off Strip
Fiesta Rancho 100 11 Station Off Strip
Green Valley 200 15 Station Off Strip
Palace Station 230 17 Station Off Strip
Red Rock 186 20 Station Off Strip
Santa Fe Station 259 19 Station Off Strip
Sunset Station 300 20 Station Off Strip
Texas Station 206 18 Station Off Strip
Ariz. Charlies Boulder 45 5 Stratosphere Off Strip
Ariz. Charlies Decatur 100 12 Stratosphere Off Strip
Stratosphere 120 6 Stratosphere North Strip
Terrible's 40 5 Terrible's Near Strip
Palazzo* 0 5 Venetian Strip
Venetian 90 12 Venetian Strip
Wynn 195 13 Wynn Strip
*excludes 40/40 club
7,793
669
18

 

Baseball, Basketball Betting

Basketball bets are structured similarly to football bets. You have a Spread, Moneyline and Over/Under. A small nuance is that you cannot make NBA bets at the Palms because the Maloofs also own the Sacramento Kings as well as the Palms.

Baseball bets are different because they list starting pitchers who must pitch at least one pitch in order for the game to qualify. If they don’t, then your bet is cancelled and you get your money back.

The key to look for is dime lines which are the same as football’s -105. Your breakeven in picking games is 51.2%.


The sports betting book that VegasMadeEasy.com rates as the overall best source is Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting by King Yao because it is very matter of fact, educational and surprisingly easy to read.


Race Books

One of the advantages of Race versus Sports Books is that you are more likely to get attentive, free drink service. Casinos make more money from you is the reason although the minimum bet size is $2 instead of $5 for most Sports Books.

Las Vegas books have actually negotiated low fees from the different tracks around the country—about half in most cases. However, they have to pay miscellaneous fees for broadcast rights, etc. so the total amount ends up about the same as you pay in other parts of the country for OTB (Off-Track Betting)—a Vig of about 17%.

For this reason, we cannot recommend these bets unless you are an extremely good handicapper or wait for a major thoroughbred race such as one of the Triple Crowns or a Breeder’s Cup to out-handicap a much larger than usual pari-mutuel pool.

Your other very rare Advantage Play is to wait for an overwhelming favorite that you believe will win (or place or show). Race tracks must pay a minimum of $2.10 for a winning $2.00 ticket, even if there is not enough money in the pari-mutuel pool which means the vig is a negative number.

Often you are equal or better off to bet Place or Show (second or third) on an overwhelming favorite because $2.10 will show up across the board anyway. If the overwhelming favorite does not win, but comes in second or third, you can still cash your ticket.

An overwhelming favorite can also pay more for Place or Show such as $2.20 or so, especially if there is a clear but distant public choice for second or third. Usually when the results of such a race are shown, the public is very surprised since win bets usually pay more than place or show bets.

 

Advantage Play in Las Vegas Race Books

If you are trying to be an Advantage Player, you are at a disadvantage in Las Vegas. You cannot see the horses before the race to see if they are lathering or nervous versus your previous observations of the same horses.

Also, track conditions in the Daily Racing Form, for Monmouth Park as an example, may not perfectly detail track conditions with a tendency for them to list conditions as always being Fast when they may be slightly Sloppy.

Those handicappers (followers of the Andy Beyer school of speed handicapping) who visit the track every day have an advantage in making speed adjustments. All you have in Las Vegas is the Daily Racing Form.

However, if your goal is to enjoy races, Las Vegas is absolutely your best bet. The casinos and casino patrons are vastly superior to the OTB facilities where your fellow bettors usually resemble a maximum security prison break in progress. Even the average Race Books in Las Vegas are equal or superior to the club houses of race tracks.





 

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