College football primer: Overrated Buckeyes, big bets on Fresno State, Georgia and more

football-field copy

By David Purdum / @DavidPurdum

The polls say Ohio State is No. 2. One of the most respected college football oddsmakers in Vegas strongly disagrees.

“I think I’d have 10 or 11 teams favored over Ohio State on a neutral field,” said Ed Salmons, head oddsmaker at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook. “But, because of their schedule, they’ll probably go undefeated, get into the championship game, be a 10-point dog to Alabama and get run out of the building.” Continue reading

Delaware sports betting exploding

By David Purdum / @DavidPurdum

Heading into its fifth football season, the Delaware sports lottery has blossomed into a viable opportunity for bettors of all levels, even noted wise guys.

More than $25 million was wagered on the NFL in Delaware in 2012, a 42 percent increase from 2011.

But bettors also won a much higher percentage last season. Approximately $20 million was cashed, a 60 percent increase from 2011. The sports lottery suffered net losses in November and January. Those were only the second and third losing months the lottery has suffered since its inception in 2009.

“Our bettors are getting a little more sophisticated,” said Vernon Kirk, Delaware Lottery Director. “We’re gambling at their mercy.” Continue reading

“Money” on Alabama vs. A&M preceded Manziel news

By David Purdum / @DavidPurdum

A week before ESPN reported Johnny Manziel’s eligibility could be in trouble, enough money was bet on Alabama in its game against Texas A&M to move the point spread 2 ½ points. The money was wagered at an online sportsbook known for catering to the biggest, sharpest sports bettors.

The Crimson Tide went from 6 ½-point to 9-point favorites roughly 10 days ago at Meanwhile, the line didn’t budge in Las Vegas, where the LVH SuperBook and Golden Nugget kept Alabama at -6 1/2

What was behind the adjustment to the point spread at Pinnacle?


Continue reading

College football: Teams with most NFL talent

By David Purdum / @DavidPurdum

Sometimes it’s as simple as which teams have the most talented players. And this year those teams are … Arizona State, Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Those three somewhat surprises each have 16 players ranked in’s 2014 NFL draft prospect rankings, one more than two-time defending national champion Alabama. The Crimson Tide does boast the most players ranked among the Top 10 in the nation at their position.  Continue reading