ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd is a lot of things, and apparently he’s adding Las Vegas wiseguy to that list.
The opinionated host of The Herd stated on Tuesday’s show that his weekly football picks, the Blazing Five, are so well respected by the betting community that they force oddsmakers to move the lines.
While sounding off about the Wisconsin Badgers, Cowherd mentioned that he thinks the best bet on the Week 8 board is Michigan State at home to the Badgers this Saturday. The line opened at +9.5 MSU and had dropped to 8.5 (now +8 at some books), prompting Cowherd to proclaim his influence over the Las Vegas sports betting scene.
“I am the one guy on this network that talks gambling,” he told listeners. “And I have a huge audience, I have a couple million people. We have huge numbers in Vegas. Nobody wants to admit this, because it sounds like I have a huge ego, but when I go on the air and say, ‘bet something’ it does move the line.”
Cowherd got his start as a sports broadcaster in Las Vegas and was named Nevada’s Sportscaster of the Year five times before moving to Florida, Oregon and eventually landing a hosting gig with ESPN in 2003. According to his show's website, he’s 21-9-4 against the spread on the year, going 2-1-2 ATS last week.
“Every wiseguy is listening. Every book guy is listening,” Cowherd stated Tuesday.
While Cowherd’s record is impressive (61 percent), long-time Las Vegas oddsmaker with Lucky’s Sportsbook, Jimmy Vaccaro, believes Cowherd doesn't have as big an impact as he’d like to think.
“I don’t think Colin could move the lines in Bristol, let alone the rest of the country,” Vaccaro told Covers.com. “He has a microphone and millions of listeners, but he doesn’t have the power to move lines, especially if he’s just betting favorites. A blind squirrel could fall down on favorites and be up this year.”
Vaccaro admits that he listens to The Herd from time to time, when traveling in his car, and applauds Cowherd for being so open and honest about his sports betting, when a lot of media types tip-toe around pointspreads and totals.
“I love these things,” Vaccaro says. “Anything that sparks interest in betting - the more the better. As for Colin, tell him to keep picking and keep winning.”