On a trip east last weekend, I had a 2 1/2-hour layover in Las Vegas. Which meant either spending a languid afternoon hanging around Cinnabon, or hustling off to the casinos.
I chose the latter, cabbing it over to the Hard Rock Casino to check out some numbers. They post season-victory over-unders on most major college football teams, which are inevitably interesting.
For the uninitiated, the number is where the casino thinks it will get equal action from bettors choosing a team to exceed that number of wins, or come up short. The raw number can also be a little deceiving, in that you can get a good price in some cases (or conversely, a lousy one), reflecting the strength or weakness of the line that’s set.
For instance, the line on Washington is 7 1/2 (only the 12 regular-season games count; no league-title games or bowl games). But in reality, it’s something less than 7 1/2, because if you bet the Huskies to exceed the 7 1/2, you get a solid return of plus-180. That means you win $1.80 for every dollar you bet. On the flip side, taking the “under” returns minus-220 — not a very enticing proposition in that you have to bet $22 simply to win $10.
(Before you condemn me as a degenerate gambler, consider all this for entertainment purposes only, as they always say.)
Herewith, the numbers they list for eight teams in the league (sorry, no Arizona, Colorado, Oregon State or Utah listed). I did find one website that lists Utah’s number at 8 games, but nothing on the other three. Meanwhile, I won’t confuse the issue by including the individual odds on each team other than to add that Washington State’s number is plus-175 on the over and minus-210 on the under.
On any of them, what do you think — too much, too little?
Arizona State — 5 1/2
California — 6 1/2
Oregon — 10 1/2
Stanford — 7 1/2
UCLA — 5 1/2
USC — 10 1/2
Washington — 7 1/2
Washington State — 5 1/2