As the summer dragged on and the NFL owners and players could not agree on their labor dispute the recession battered city of Las Vegas waited nervously. The summer is already the slowest time of the year for sportsbooks. After the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Playoffs end the sportsbooks are left with only Major League Baseball, WNBA and Arena Football. Not exactly high action sports.
The NFL is easily the biggest draw for Las Vegas sportsbooks. Every weekend Las Vegas sportsbooks fill up with tourists, local recreational bettors and sharps, all there to enjoy the NFL. If the NFL lockout continued it could have been devastating for the casinos and the overall Las Vegas economy. Not only would the sportsbooks be empty but hotel rooms that would be occupied by NFL bettors could be empty. This would not only affect jobs in the sportsbook but would affect jobs all over the casinos.
When the NFL lockout ended in late July, sportsbooks would typically already have week 1 regular season and preseason NFL lines up. Team prop bets such as Super Bowl futures and win totals would also already be posted. While some sportsbooks had futures posted no sportsbooks had win totals or individual game point spreads posted until after the labor dispute was settled.
NFL fans, hungry for anything NFL related, were bombarded with free agent signings, draft signings, trades and retirement news. This overload of NFL news sent bettors running for the betting windows with their NFL picks. Luckily for the sportsbooks only one preseason game was lost.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that area sportsbook are well ahead of last year’s numbers at this point last year. That is very impressive considering sportsbooks have had to play catch up trying to get lines up on their boards.
I am thrilled to have the NFL season just a month away. In week one I am going for STL +5 and MN +9. I would not go betting your house on my picks though. The last couple of years I have fallen into the recreational sports bettor category during week 1.