ad-fullscreen

Bettors arrive at books early and stay late for NCAA Tournament

Updated March 16, 2017 - 11:54 pm

The biggest upset on your bracket wasn’t an upset against the point spread, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of visitors and locals alike who packed Las Vegas sports books Thursday on the first day of the NCAA Tournament.

Bettors began staking out their seats at the Westgate sports book at 4 a.m., the place was packed by 6 a.m. and there was a steady stream of people waiting in line to bet when it opened at 7 a.m. who wished they had a mobile app.

“The first day is always the busiest day,” Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay said. “They all get here early and full of vinegar. I call them ‘Day Oners.’ I always say they’re cute at that age.

“Friday will be a different story, as we’ll see a lot more lattes instead of Bloody Marys and Coronas at 10 o’clock in the morning.”

At least bettors won’t have to recover from any bad beats, as there really weren’t any in the first 16 games. Other than the intentional foul that cost Vanderbilt a win over Northwestern. But we’ll get to that later.


 

The books lost on Middle Tennessee State, seemingly everybody’s pick to pull off this year’s 12-5 upset. The Blue Raiders delivered an 81-72 win over Minnesota, but it wasn’t a true upset as they closed as 1½-point favorites.

“There was big betting on Middle Tennessee State,” Kornegay said. “That was a game that everybody loved.”

The Westgate and William Hill sports books won big on the tournament opener between Notre Dame and Princeton, another 12-5 matchup. The Fighting Irish, who were favored from 5½ to 7 points, escaped with a 60-58 win over the Tigers when Devin Cannady missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with seven seconds left.

“It was a big game for us, but if Princeton had made that basket and won outright, it would’ve been a monster game for us,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “The sharps were on the ’dog, but the public was all over Notre Dame.”

William Hill, which operates 108 sports books in Nevada, won big when Iowa State covered the 6-point spread against UNR and the late game stayed under — by a point — in the Cyclones’ 84-73 win.

“We got bombarded by (UNR) money at every book in Northern Nevada,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “That was, by far, our biggest handle. And they bet the over, too. (UNR’s) been going over like crazy.”

The Wolf Pack, a No. 12 seed, cut a 13-point second-half deficit to five on Cameron Oliver’s dunk with 3:04 left, but Iowa State scored the next five points en route to the win. Marcus Marshall missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left for UNR that would have pushed the total over.

Favorites went 8-8 ATS, with North Dakota missing two 3-pointers in the final seconds to allow Arizona to cover for most bettors in a 100-82 win. The Wildcats opened as 17-point favorites, and the line also sat at 17½, 18 and 18½.

Other favorites that covered were Wisconsin, Florida, Saint Mary’s, Butler and Purdue, which was favored by 10½ points Wednesday but closed as an 8½-point favorite in a 10-point win over Vermont.

Butler barely covered the 11-point spread against Winthrop in a 76-64 win. In an only-in-Las Vegas moment, bettors screamed for Winthrop’s Roderick Perkins to pull up for a 3-pointer on a last-second breakaway for the push instead of driving for a dunk as he did.

Neither No. 1 seed covered. The wiseguys won on Mount Saint Mary’s, a 25-point ’dog that led Villanova for much of the first half in a 20-point loss. The books cashed in on South Dakota State, a ’dog of 22½ to 23½ points that lost by 20 to Gonzaga after the Bulldogs dribbled out the clock at the end of the game.

In classic Vegas fashion, Gonzaga bettors in the sports book were screaming “Shoot! Shoot!” as the Zags held the ball. Meanwhile, in the Westgate theater, Jackrabbits backers were on their feet cheering because the Bulldogs didn’t shoot.

Other ’dogs that covered included Florida Gulf Coast, UNC Wilmington, Xavier and Northwestern.

The matchup of Northwestern and Vanderbilt — two schools that are supposed to be smart — produced the dumbest play of the day. After the Commodores, 2-point favorites, went ahead by one with 17.8 seconds left, Vandy guard Matthew Fisher-Davis grabbed Bryant McIntosh, who made both free throws to give the Wildcats the lead en route to their 68-66 win.

“Unbelievable. That was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” Bogdanovich said. “That was a low-action game, nothing major. Unless you had a ticket in your pocket. Then it was brutal.”

Grab your beverage of choice and place your bets early. It’s time to do it all over again Friday.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci make their picks for NFL Week 6. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci maker their picks for Week 7 of college football. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week six of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week five of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week four of the NFL and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the second week of NFL football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the third week of college football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Denver Broncos 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Denver Broncos. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Miami Dolphins 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Miami Dolphins. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Jets 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New York Jets. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week One 2017 Season
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Matthew Holt discuss their top picks for the first week of the NFL in this Sports Betting Spotlight.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New England Patriots 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New England Patriots. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Kansas City Chiefs. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Buffalo Bills 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Buffalo Bills. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Oakland Raiders 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Raiders. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
College Sports Betting Spotlight: Alabama, Florida State and UCLA
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the first week of the college football season. They go over the biggest bets including Alabama, Florida State and UCLA. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Arizona Cardinals 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and Wynn sports book director Johnny Avello preview the Cardinals’ season in the 24th of a series of 32 NFL team videos in 32 days. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like