by Jimmy Mason, Director of Sportsbook Operations - 07/11/2005
After a couple of ho-hum weekends and few where the players beat us bloody, we the sportsbook got one back. Saturday was especially kind to us with the underdogs going 11-3. With the underdogs winning like they did it's no surprise we won, but our day can really be broken down three major decisions marking a timeline.
Starting out with the early games, we had a monster decision on the Red Sox and the Orioles. Even though the Orioles have a great team and have been playing as well as or better than their two sexier AL East rivals the Red Sox and Yankees, many fans are still not sold as witnessed by the betting ratio of 4:1 Red Sox to O's. It was also witnessed by the line movement on the game with Boston (A favorite on the road!) opening as -115 and closing at -130. (Although I saw as high as -140 at other shops)
Next up chronologically were the 4:00 afternoon games and again we faced one monster decision. The St. Louis Cardinals (Again a road favorite) and the resurgent Matt Morris opened at -185 and closed -210 (As high as -225 at some competitors!) against the Barry Bonds-less Giants. The Giants pulled this one out as Brad Hennessey came out of nowhere to throw a seven inning shutout, three hitter.
On the backs of these two monster games we headed into the night game. The Angels were at home playing a punchless Mariner squad and since the dogs had been so live Saturday many figured the big favorite was due. We saw many players chasing on this game looking for a late night bailout. Players who normally bet $50 were betting $250 and so on. Why wouldn't a guy take a shot? The favorites have been very kind to the players recently. We took over 8-1 tickets on the Angels and the line moved a whopping 55 cents all the way from -170 in the morning up to -225 by game time. Well I certainly don't mean to rub it in, but the Mariners upset the Angels 6-3 and the bookies made out like bandits.
Until next week, may all your wagers be winners...