After breakfast this morning, I wandered around the casino area of The Venetian, where I’m staying for a few days. One of the places I visited was the Venetian Sports Book.
This is where sports lovers of all walks of life place their wagers on horse racing (broadcast live on screens), major league baseball games that you can also watch live on the big screens, and soon college football (ditto the live broadcasts).
My alma mater of the University of Southern California (the Trojans) will be meeting the University of Hawaii this Thursday evening so I waited for the odds to appear overhead. The Trojans opened as 18-point favorites, which actually I thought was very low.
However, the odds (the point spread) have risen. USC is now a 21.5-point favorite amongst the gamblers. What that means is that if you pick USC to win, you have to spot Hawaii 21.5 points. And if you pick Hawaii to win, you start off 21.5 points ahead. That’s more than three touchdowns.
The point spread rises when the gamblers bet heavily on the favorites. “Uh, oh,” those who set the spread mutter, “we want to break even on the betting so we can collect the vigorish.”
Anyway, I don’t think Hawaii’s going to win – they haven’t done that in previous five times they’ve met USC on the gridiron.
And that’s okay by me.