Doc’s Sports Service has always prided itself in offering selections from some of the top handicappers in the sports gaming industry. The Vegas Sports Informer became a part of that elite group a little over four years ago and has been able to put his 15 years experience working behind the counter of one of the biggest sportsbooks in Las Vegas to good use when it comes to picking winners. He understands this business from the inside out and has been able to successfully use this insider’s edge to win consistently over the years in a number of different sports.
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As part of an ongoing series, Doc’s Sports Services sits down with The Informer each and every week to get a first-hand update on what is really going on behind the scenes in the Las Vegas books as well as pick his brain about some of the biggest trending topics affecting the world of sports gambling.
Doc’s Sports: With two ‘BCS busting’ upsets on Saturday and a number of tight finishes in Sunday’s NFL games, how did the Las Vegas books fare this past weekend?
VSI: Saturday was not nearly as bad as it could have been, and the books were actually able to turn a small profit despite Kansas State and Oregon’s loss. The biggest setback occurred as a result of Missouri’s loss to Syracuse as a six-point home favorite. Sunday was a whole other story as the losses piled up higher and higher as the day wore on. The biggest losses came on Green Bay’s improbable comeback as a 3.5-point road favorite against Detroit. That field goal at the end of the game put a ton of money back into the bettors’ hands. They also suffered big losses on Dallas’ and Tampa Bay’s near misses in overtime.
Doc’s Sports: Notre Dame suddenly finds itself ranked No.1 as a result of this BCS shake-up, but do you think the Irish have a legitimate shot at ending the SEC’s six-year streak of winning the national title?
VSI: While I was very hesitant to predict that Notre Dame would run the table this season, I do not see USC getting in its way this Saturday. That being said, if Alabama gets by Auburn and wins the SEC Championship Game, which I believe it will, you are likely to see the Fighting Irish open as 10-point underdogs against the Tide based on the early buzz up and down the Strip. The Irish have the defense to hang around against any team they play, so if indeed they open as double-digit underdogs in the BCS title game, you would seriously have to lean towards taking the points. One way or the other an SEC team is going to once again be in the national title game, so it is also a fairly solid bet that the conference winning streak will continue.
Doc’s Sports: With the exception of Pittsburgh, most teams have remained fairly healthy this season up until the past two weeks. How does this rash of injuries, especially at the quarterback position, affect the betting public’s mindset when it comes to wagering on the games.
VSI: Honestly, I do not think injuries play a major role in a bettor’s mind when it comes to picking teams. The Packers came into last week’s game banged up on both sides of the ball, yet a great deal of money was still on them to cover the spread. Heavy bettors tend to keep riding the same horse week after week as long as that horse keeps winning. You can always expect a ton of money to be wagered on favorites that have a proven record of covering the spread no matter which players are in and out of the starting lineup in their next game.
Doc’s Sports: I noticed that in the NBA so far, the road favorites have covered 60 percent of the time. Are there any betting trends that have caught your eye in the early going of the new NBA season?
VSI: I was amazed how the New York Knicks kept blowing teams out by double-digits in their first five games. That is a perfect example of how a keen bettor will pick up on that trend and ride that team as long as it stays hot. They do not make betting decisions based on hot trends, rather they tend to always focus on hot teams. Another good example of this is with Mike D’Antoni going to the Lakers as the new head coach. Bettors have been driving up the total line on Los Angeles games ever since in anticipation of high-scoring games.
Doc’s Sports: Finally, any early impressions of the new men’s college basketball season?
VSI: Just as I mentioned before, it is always best to hang back during the first few weeks of the college basketball season to allow things to sort themselves out. Betting against large spreads in the first few weeks of college football is a common practice and for good reason; the disparity between certain teams is that great. When it comes to basketball, upsets are far more common, especially against the spread. Dominant teams do not always dominate as they continually try and tweak their lineup to get a feel for just how deep their bench actually is. Some of the early upsets we have already seen bears this outs.
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