Las Vegas oddsmakers are close to releasing one of the most popular prop wagers among football bettors: NFL season win totals.
“The minute the lockout ends, we’re going to try and have our season win totals posted,” Cantor Gaming sportsbook boss Mike Colbert told Covers.com
Colbert guessed his shops would have numbers posted either Friday afternoon or Monday morning, assuming the NFL’s lockout ends this Thursday.
The popularity of betting professional football in the sport’s offseason had been pushing bookmakers to release season NFL season win totals sooner and sooner every year, but the lockout and the possibility of NFL games being cut from the schedule prevent sportsbooks from posted numbers.
"How can we put those up without knowing how many games there will be?" Bob Scucci, Coast Casinos sportsbook director, told ESPN.com
’s Chad Millman last week
. "You can't put up under 8.5 wins on a 10-game schedule."
Even though it seems apparent we won’t see a shortened regular season, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks involved posting season win totals immediately after the lockout ends.
A boatload of NFL players will soon be driving into free agency and many teams depth charts will look a lot different at the end of the shortened signing period.
“You just have to monitor it. Pay close attention to the signings,” says Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook director John Avello, who also hinted in a conversation with Covers.com
that his shop might be releasing win totals in the near future.
Colbert said his team will be monitoring player movement 24/7 but also admitted there are few players, outside of quarterbacks, whose relocation would drastically affect futures and win totals.
Still, being the first to open isn’t the motivation for most shops on the Strip. MGM/Mirage oddsmaker Jeff Stoneback said his book wouldn’t be opening its season win totals until after the free agency period ended but before the Hall of Fame game on August 7.
Stoneback is among those oddsmakers who plan on sitting tight for the first little bit and avoid being exposed by sharp bettors with a bad season win total posted.
“You know what they say,” Stoneback told Covers.com
. “The only thing the pioneers got was arrows in their necks.”