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Thread: Scouting Futures in Las Vegas

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    For those of you who are interested in betting things such as to-win-conference odds, total wins for a season, to-win-Super-Bowl odds, and so on, here is a brief summary of hints and suggestions.

    First, some historical notes. Compared to 30 years ago, there are far fewer different sets of numbers to check. So instead of checking 20 to 25 different sets of numbers, consolidation and the proliferation of casinos teaming with "franchise books" such as William Hill have reduced the really required checklist of books to under a dozen. Second, downloading and using the sports apps for those books who have them available can shorten your need to actually hoof it from place to place. I still recommend hoofing it as a first option, however, for various and sundry reasons. Third, 30 years ago, limits on these wagers were spelled out publicly for the most part. If you were known to the books, you could negotiate your way around these limits, but it's nothing compared to the obfuscation today, when how much you can bet on a future may be tied to your card standing at a place like CET, for example.

    The first rule of thumb to get straight is that books under the same corporate aegis, such as CET, Boyd, or MGM, should all have the same numbers. I say "should" because very occasionally, someone goes to lunch who shouldn't or a glitch takes place and one property has a brief anomaly, but as a rule, all CET properties have the same numbers, all Boyd have the same numbers, and so on, so it is necessary to check just one property in each corporate family. Thus, it's important to understand which casinos are owned by each corporation. Simple enough, but important to know.

    Second, one shouldn't just blow into a sports book, grab the futures sheets in the racks, and leave. Those sheets are often dated with old, incorrect numbers. You can look at the board to get proper numbers, but futures often go through rotating panels, so one needs an eidetic memory or a lot of jotting in a notebook to get them all right. The easiest thing to do is request printouts of particular futures from a ticket writer. Now, someone requesting printouts is work and time for the clerks, so try to do this during dead hours at the books, not Saturday or Sunday during football season or in the hour before a mid-week prime time game.

    Next, understand that some books try to really avoid having outlier numbers, and are interested primarily is keeping all numbers in the middle of the bell curve. They want their hotel guests to play, but they don't want to be a destination for people actually shopping for the best numbers. I usually refer to these places as having "vanilla" numbers. Station casinos is a prime example. They rarely have a bargain or long shot better than anywhere else. Very occasionally, one might find a particular good number, like odds to-win-the-MAC or something, but you're not going to find some great Super Bowl long shot at Stations.

    I'm going to list the must-check places. In years past, I've given specific parking recommendations and sequences of where to check in what order, but with the advent of parking fees at various casinos, it's up to the line shopper to figure out his/her individual status at the casinos and design a parking sequence that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Must checks with idiosyncratic or generous numbers include Wynn, WestGate, an MGM property, a CET property, Cantor, and William Hill. Cantor and William Hill are companies with books in myriad properties as franchises. The flagship Cantor would probably be considered at the Venetian, but I recommend checking the Palms Cantor due to ease of parking and quick access. The flagship William Hill is downtown at the Plaza, and I recommend checking there. Caesars is considered the flagship of CET, and MGM would be considered the flagship of MGM (my apologies to Bellagio and Mirage). Flagship properties can answer questions better than satellite properties, in general, and they would be who you would speak to regarding higher limits.

    If you want to give some business to independents who probably won't have the super outlier numbers but aren't bad and could use the action, if their numbers match the best, I would also check Treasure Island and the Golden Nugget. You can pair the Nugget check with the William Hill at the Plaza downtown. Don't be lazy. Although Stations and Boyd aren't on this must check list, if you're wandering by one, as you would be if you are downtown (El Cortez is Stations), grab the numbers. Or if you're at the Palms to check Cantor, you may as well walk across the street to grab the Boyd numbers at the Gold Coast. You're unlikely to find something, but why not be thorough?

    That's about it. I promised several months ago, I'd get this summary posted, so here it is. If anyone has any particular questions, feel free to PM me, and I'll get back to you.
    Last edited by redietz; 09-24-2017 at 12:01 AM.

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