Live Betting in Vegas: How and Where to Bet on Sports and Horses
Ah, yes, good old Las Vegas! Sin City. The gambling capital of the world. Las Vegas is the only major city in the United States that allows sports betting and Nevada is the only state with legalized sports betting. Therefore, sports fans and degenerate gamblers flock to Sin City not only to get drunk and take advantage of cute (in the dark after a dozen beers) $69 “Escorts”. They also come to bet on sporting events and horse races in some of the world’s most awesome sportsbooks.
If you’re planning a trip to Vegas and want to throw some cash down on some games or horse races, you have a few decisions to make…where to bet, what to bet on, how to place a bet, etc. This can be a bit confusing for someone new to Las Vegas or to sports betting. So we’re here to clear some things up for you…
You Don’t Have to Play Where You Stay
There are some miserable sportsbooks that are unpleasant to spend time at. For example, I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy an evening at the El Cortez sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas. Some of the most miserable people you’ll ever find hangout there. So should you be staying at El Cortez or any of the other hotels with mediocre sportsbooks, place your bets and watch games elsewhere. Why sit in a miserable sportsbook watching games when you can hangout at Aria, Bellagio, Venetian, etc.?
The point is you can bet on and watch sporting events at fancy casinos. The admission fee at Venetian is the same as it is at Riviera – NOTHING! The chairs at the top sportsbooks are more comfortable and the atmosphere is much better than at mediocre sportsbooks.
Here is a list of sportsbooks we love and recommend…
STRIP CASINOS: Wynn, Venetian, Mirage, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Tropicana, Aria
OFF-STRIP CASINOS: Rio, M Resort, Sunset Station, Boulder Station, The Orleans, Golden Nugget
Understanding the Betting Boards
Upon walking into a sportsbook in Las Vegas, you’ll immediately notice large black boards with the lines on games. To a new sports bettor, those betting boards can be a bit confusing. You’ll see lines on upcoming games and future outcomes. For example, you can bet on future odds to win the Super Bowl. Let’s say a team is 30/1 to win the Super Bowl, that means you’ll win 30 times your bet should that team win the Super Bowl.
Betting boards in sportsbooks are always separated by sport. And each individual team or athlete is given a number to the left of their name. That is the number you will use when placing a bet. For example, you might notice something along these lines…”964 Chicago –1.5”. When you go up to the betting window, all you have to do is tell the teller the amount you are wagering on “964 to cover”. It’s as simple as that!
Choosing Your Bets Wisely
Mathematically speaking, if you were to just be on random teams to cover, you are likely to win around 50% of the games. Unfortunately, with juice factored in, 50% isn’t good enough to win money. If you actually want to win money, you’re going to have to choose sporting events you have good knowledge of. Unless you’re just casually betting, we suggest refraining from betting on your favorite teams. Having an emotional connection to a team makes it difficult to wager logically.
When deciding on the team(s) to bet on, look at the match-ups. Often, a team is only favored because the public perceives them as the superior team, but the alleged inferior team matches up well with them. It’s games like this where smart bettors make their money. You have to find an edge. Let’s say the Cowboys are a 5 point favorite on the road against the Colts, but the Colts have a high-powered rush offense and the Cowboys weakness is their rush defense. That would be the type of match-up where a smart bettor could find an edge over the casino.
Our last piece of advice on this subject is to never waste money betting on teams or athletes that are HUGE favorites (i.e. –500 or higher). There’s no value in a bet like that. You should never wager $500 with the maximum payout of $100. It’s silly to waste a bet on anything that profits less than half of your bet. If you follow the tips above, you’ll have a pleasant experience on your next trip to a Las Vegas sportsbook. Good luck!