First things first, let me introduce myself. I am the Sportsbook Consigliere (@sportsbkconsig). I have been working in sportsbooks for over 20 years. Various roles, various places, making numbers, taking bets and everything else in between.
For the last 16 years, I’ve been in Las Vegas books “fighting the fight” on both sides of the counter. I’ve taken a $1 million dollar bet, a million $5 bets, and whatever other bets the books offered. The people that I’ve met on both sides of the counter over the years come right out of central casting. And the stories…oh man, the stories.
In the last year, with the market opening up in the United States and sportsbooks popping up all over the country, I was presented an opportunity to share some stories for the first time. So, that is what you will get from me here.
I’ve said it for a long time, but placing a wager at a book is still one of truest things there is… you see a line, you know the price, you put your money up, and you either win or lose. Mobile wagering has changed that aspect of the business, yes, but the stories are what makes it all so interesting to me. And, just when you’ve thought you’ve seen it all, that old saying comes into play “there is a first for everything.”
This year, here are a few of my “firsts” that I wanted to share in my first column:
Come earthquake or high water
Back in early July, we felt an earthquake in Las Vegas. I have felt earthquakes before in California, but never here in the desert. A customer approached the counter and said “Give me the Reds for two dimes.”
“Hold on, I think we are having an earthquake.”
“Well, print the ticket before the line changes.”
The guy never flinched. Never mind that it felt like a rolling wave underneath us. He had to get that -108 before it went to -112.
For those of you who’ve taken or made bets in places where there are earthquakes, you win. Now, I can cross that one off the list.
An MLB team was -500 or more
Just last week, the Houston Astros were at home, set to take on the lowly Detroit Tigers. Justin Verlander on the hill, and the line opens -500. It sparked the discussion “is this the biggest favorite you have ever seen?” It was for me. And the line went UP!!
Floyd Mayweather was a -500 favorite in his last fight vs Conor McGregor. In all honesty, he should have been -5000. A regular season baseball game in August??? C’mon man!
All day, in the books, on social media, people discussed. Bets rolled in, mostly on the favorite, even on the run line -1.5 -260. No fear. Putting it on the bottom of parlays was easy money. The week before, Verlander was -470 on the road. No way they were losing.
If you haven’t heard, you must have been under a rock. Despite a complete game from Verlander, the Astros lost 2-1 that night. And all I saw on social media was all the Tigers backers. Good for them, but I know I didn’t see many that day. Don’t count on seeing anymore -500 favorites in baseball anytime soon again either.
Sorry not sorry, Vegas.#TigersWIN pic.twitter.com/HlFegegwGn
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2019
Brinks trucks and the Browns
For the first time ever, I can say I’ve seen seven months straight of at least one bet on the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl — THIS YEAR.
Yes, Dawg pound, this is your year. From the day we put the odds up, and every day since, someone has willingly given us money in exchange for a piece of paper that says your Browns will lift the Lombardi trophy in Miami in February. Everybody starts with a dream.
I worked with a guy who used to joke with people when he wrote bets like this for them.
“You know this is for just this season and not your lifetime?”
Always got a laugh.
In the immortal words of Harry Doyle, “Let me hear ya, Cleveland!”
Hey, it happened for the Eagles. And the Phillies. Even the Cubs. Why not the Browns?
Hell, we had an earthquake in Vegas. There is a first for everything.
Come back soon for more tales from behind and around the counter with the Sportsbook Consigliere. Follow him on Twitter @SportsbkConsig and follow Sports Handle at @sports_handle.