The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 11, 2013

The long odds

(Continued)

Somewhere out there —

Longtime oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro of the South Point hotel-casino said that bettor — and any others holding big tickets on Auburn — would be wise to hedge their bets by finding the best price on Florida State and betting that side. The payoff won’t be nearly as big, but at least there will be a ticket to cash no matter who wins the game.

“It makes no sense to have a nice little score sitting in front of you if you don’t collect anything,” Vaccaro said.

Betting on so-called “futures” has become increasingly popular in recent years in this gambling city, even though the long odds almost always favor the house. The chance to win big money off a small bet is attractive to fans who root for their teams anyway and don’t mind risking a few bucks on bets that seldom pay off.

Auburn could be the rare longshot that does, though the Tigers aren’t the biggest potential payday for bettors in recent years. That honor would belong to Virginia Commonwealth — a team that many felt didn’t even belong in the tournament — making it to the Final Four in 2011.

Vegas sports books had the Rams as high as 5,000-1 to win the national championship that year, and they came within two wins of doing just that for some lucky bettors.

Like then, though, there’s no reason to feel sorry for the bookmakers at LVH. They can tinker enough with the lines on the title game to draw money on Florida State and avoid taking too much of a bath.

“It’s not like we’re going to have to raise price of our grilled cheese sandwiches,” Kornegay said. “Certainly we’re rooting for the Seminoles at this point but we have a month to adjust our money lines to make it a softer blow.”

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