Superbowl lines posted

The latest Sports Book Scene has the story on Superbowl wagering, and it looks like Jay Cohen isn’t the only fighting the feds…

For all the amateur oddsmakers out there, as well as the not-so-amateur ones, here’s an opportunity to test your skills against the experts.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Wednesday on its website (, will be posting sides on all possible permutations for the Super Bowl.

LVSC oddsmaker Pete Korner noted that the company services over 80 percent of the books in Nevada, as well as many others worldwide. He said the lines would be set as if the games were being played today.

However, these numbers are not for booking purposes for its clients, he added. “We’re doing this on the website with lots of disclaimers. It’s for informational purposes, and for people to have some fun.

“The lines are not to be booked because there are so many other factors that we have to deal with after the title games. We will make adjustments, no doubt,” Korner stated

Although the numbers will not be sent out to its clients, Korner believes the lines will get pretty close to the opening number.

The official line will be made after the first game is played and the second game has been decided. Some books in Vegas and off shore posted Super Bowl lines throughout the year, using simply AFC vs. NFC.

Recently, we saw a line that had the game at pick. With the NFC now a 4½- to 5-point favorite, prescient bettors could have taken the NFC at even, and now the AFC + the points, and have a nice little middle going.

Of course, the Super Bowl means more than just simple plays on sides and totals. It’s the time of year when oddsmakers gather together and create props designed to tease players into putting a few extra bucks into play.

Korner noted that LVSC would post 25 to 30 exotic plays at its site. One such prop might be getting a line on which will be greater: missed free throws by Shaquille O’Neal vs. Houston, or total points scored by one of the place kickers in the Super Bowl.

He expects about 90 percent of the props to be in place by Sunday night.

Working quarters might get a little cramped as ESPN will be at LVSC to memorialize the proceedings via videotape. That should make for a pretty interesting TV show – watching LVSC oddsmakers creating props and the numbers to go with them.

And Then There Was One
. Although it is not generally known due to lack of publicity, until very recently Jay Cohen was not the only off shore defendant fighting the feds.

Allen Ross of Curacao-based Island Casino had been fighting illegal bookmaking charges, since he was implicated in March of 1998.

However, Ross’s position, much like Jay Cohen’s, was that while the case is defensible, if you lose, you go to jail.

Sources close to Ross and his attorneys said the ex-bookmaker decided that plea-bargaining was a reasonable alternative. His case has now been resolved and we understand he is hoping for a probationary sentence.

In many ways, the legal position of Ross paralleled that of Cohen. Ross’s contention was that when a bet is made in a foreign country, that’s the physical location of the bet; it’s not placed here in the U.S.

However, that’s a technical argument that has not resonated in the New York court where the case would have been tried, our source told us.

The threat of jail is the government’s ultimate leverage over Jay Cohen. However, Jay has not wavered in his insistence that he has done nothing wrong.

While many would agree with him, it will come down to a test case in which the government’s position will be severely challenged.

Of necessity, Cohen has had to keep a low profile. But it’s puzzling that as the trial date nears, there isn’t more visible support for someone who is putting himself up as a martyr for the cause of off shore sports betting.

Sure, there’s a lot of self-interest involved. But we don’t believe that is the only reason – or even the major reason – this principled and stubborn American has endured two years of hell.

We realize that making the world safe for bookmakers is not an ideal that ranks up there with Saving the Whales. But it would be nice, if those whose toes are in danger of being smashed by a government-held two-by-four, would lend a hand, even if it is just moral support.

Food for Thought. Here’s a novel suggestion from wba712 designed to help off shore bettors and bookmakers.

He suggests that with so much commotion regarding the World Trade Organization’s plans to overturn U.S. laws regarding labor and the environment, why not have it overturn laws against off shore gaming?

“By making laws prohibiting off shore wagering, the U.S. government could be found to be unfairly restricting international commerce by not allowing people to enter into legal transactions with a foreign entity.” This would seem to be well within the scope of the WTO, he adds.

We’re not sure how practical that is, but it is encouraging to see bettors trying to come up with counterproposals to the plans of moral zealots, who seem to be running the show in this country.

Please send questions, comments, etc., | January 20th, 2000

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
A long time sports betting columnist, Buzz Daly

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