An array of color and sound assault your senses when traveling down Las Vegas Blvd, a street that interconnects some of the most extravagant hotels in the world. Names like Sinatra, Martin, and Davis helped turn this little desert town into the premiere destination for American debauchery.
Inside each of these modern-day palaces is a little place known as the sports book, a room filled with huge television screens showing games or horse races from all around the county. If there is a game on, chances are you can watch it in the book, and you can certainly bet on it. Nevada books allow for betting on the major sports, both college and professional, along with boxing, UFC, and horseracing.
According to UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, bettors have wagered $64.4 billion in Nevada casinos since 1984, with more than $3 billion in 2013 alone. Gamblers in Nevada wagered a record $119 million on the 2014 Super Bowl, allowing for a tidy $19 million profit when the favored Denver Broncos were upset by the Seattle Seahawks.
Futures betting allow wagers to be placed on events that take place in the coming weeks or months, but are not limited to special events such as the Super Bowl. One can bet on a particular team to win a league title, division title, conference championship, and even the number of wins a particular team will have in its regular season. This is where the St. Louis Rams enter the picture.
As of August 19th, the Rams were listed by MGM Resorts International with 40/1 odds of winning the 2014–2015 Super Bowl, which is up from their opening line of 75/1 from just after the Super Bowl. With their odds nearly doubling, it seems reasonable to believe that the Rams were trending up in the eyes of the betting public this summer.
The Rams had a very solid offseason, which helped spark this change. Gregg Williams became the defensive coordinator, the team added two first round draft picks, and starting quarterback Sam Bradford returned from the ACL tear he suffered in the middle of last season. After opening 27th out of the 32 NFL teams, the Rams sat tied for 20th (with four other teams), so not a drastic change, but still an improvement.
These are the other Rams related bets and odds in found in MGM’s Las Vegas properties on Aug 19th:
Regular Season Win Total Opened at 6.5 / Currently 7.5
Odds to win the NFC West 6/1
NFC Championship 20/1
Week 1 against the Vikings -6 / 45.5 Point Total
NFL betting lines in Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/2H4EANnzPi
— SeattleRams (@seattlerams_nfl) August 24, 2014
The game clock remained stopped at 8:19 left in the first quarter of the Rams third preseason game against the Cleveland Browns when team medical staff rushed onto the field to tend to their starting quarterback. When Armonty Bryant raced around Rams left tackle Jake Long to lay a rather pedestrian lick on Bradford, the Rams’ optimism for the season took a significant hit, and the Las Vegas sports books reacted swiftly.
As of Monday morning, less than 24 hours after hearing that the Rams lost Sam Bradford the season, the Rams’ odds in and around Las Vegas took a drastic downturn and are back to 75/1 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The same is said for their chances on every other betting line as well.
Regular Season Win Total 6.5
Odds to win the NFC West 15/1
NFC Championship 38/1
Week 1 against the Vikings -3.5 / 43.5 Point Total
Jeff Fisher and Les Snead played a high stakes game in April when they bet the mortgage on Sam Bradford’s ability to come back strong this year. Unfortunately for them, and Rams fans everywhere, fate held a slightly better hand.