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Gambling is a sin, but betting isnt.
1Tim_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
This is JMHO, but first off, professional and collegiate sports are rigged. Obviously, if they weren't, then Vegas, the mafia, and the Vatican would be losing billions of dollars.
With that being said - you just can NOT win gambling, period. Every week there's always the "sure bets", and every week at least 90% of those "sure bets" either LOSE or just don't cover the spread(ie-like in the NFL the last couple of weeks). Again, I think they're rigged, but either way, these are 60 minute games we're talking about where ANYTHING can happen. Again, you ultimately can NOT win.
Vegas books: $300M+ changed hands with NFL call
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Las Vegas oddsmakers say $300 million or more changed hands worldwide on a controversial referee call that decided the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Sports book chief Jay Kornegay said Tuesday that bettors at The LVH casino registered shock, some celebration, then anger when the outcome swung the game in favor of Seahawks bettors.
''We've seen regular refs blow calls. That's always been part of the sport,'' Kornegay said. ''But this one was just a blatant bad call at the end of the game that decided the outcome of the game.''
The Seahawks won 14-12 after referees ruled that Seattle receiver Golden Tate came down with the ball in a pile of bodies in the end zone after a Hail Mary pass on the play's last game.
The Glantz-Culver line for the game opened favoring the Packers by 4 1/2. Had the final play been ruled an interception - as many players, analysts and fans believed was the right call - Green Bay would have won by 5 points.
The officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL upheld the call on Tuesday.
Gambling expert RJ Bell of Las Vegas-based Pregame.com said an estimated two-thirds of bets worldwide were on the Packers, with about $150 million more bet on Green Bay than Seattle.
''Due to one call by the replacement refs, the bettors lost $150 million, and the bookie won $150 million for a total swing of $300 million on one debatably bad call,'' Bell said.
Mike Colbert, head oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming, which runs seven sports books in Las Vegas and provides betting lines to 90 percent of Nevada's casinos, said Cantor's books took in about 20 percent more money in bets than usual for a Monday night game after a wild weekend.
Colbert said that as an NFL fan, he felt for bettors who lost because of the play even though his sports books won money.
''When everything when down, I gotta tell you, I was absolutely sick to my stomach,'' Colbert said.
Casinos had already begun to react to replacement officials before Week 3 began, predicting the most scoring ever across the league.
Now, adjustments for replacement referees that were only talked about previously are being factored into betting lines, Colbert said.
''We've seen it now,'' Colbert said. ''If we do see trends and we see bets, we'll move more aggressively than we did in the past.''
Just another comment here from me - having watched the games this year, this is NOT a "replacement" refs issue. I've seen WORSE, albeit blatant, when the regular crew would work, especially in recent years.
Of course, this article does its best to spin how "losses weren't as bad as it seems". Again, you just CAN'T win gambling, period. It's all rigged, and for obvious reasons.
Seattle-Green Bay controversy prompts massive change in payout, frustrates bettors
Chris Palmeri, a pizza shop owner in Las Vegas, held a betting ticket Monday on the Green Bay Packers, who were 3.5-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks. He was watching the game with a big crowd at the Naked City Pizzeria bar.
The Packers were leading the Seahawks 12-7 as the final seconds ticked off the clock. When Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings leaped high and appeared to intercept Russell Wilson's desperate, final-play heave into the end zone, Talmeri thought he had hit his bet.
Under normal circumstances, sports books would have paid the Green Bay bettors and the Packers would have improved to 2-1. These are not normal circumstances in the NFL. Replacement officials are working the games amid heavy criticism from coaches, players, media and fans.
Those replacement officials decided Seattle's Golden Tate had simultaneous possession of the ball with Jennings, and ruled it a touchdown for the Seahawks. The controversial call gave the game to the Seahawks, 14-12, and cost Talmeri and many others a payday.
Mike Perry, the lines manager at online betting site SportsBook.ag, says about 80 percent of the money on the game was on Green Bay (including straight bets, teasers, parlays and money line wagers).
World-wide, Perry estimated, the financial impact of the call was about $200 to $250 million.
"Vegas lost about $10-12 million, from what I'm hearing, and the online handle is about 20 to 25 times bigger than in Vegas," he said. "That puts this up there around $250 million. It's a huge amount of money."
[Related: Michael Silver: The worst call in NFL history? | Photos]
Betting analyst R.J. Bell of Pregame.com estimated 68 percent of all bets on the game were on the Packers, which makes for a healthy amount of unhappy gamblers.
"I would have thrown something through the TV had it not been my place," Talmeri said, trying to make light of a bad situation.
Mike Colbert, the sports book director for Cantor Gaming, which operates seven books in Nevada, came out on top with the heavily disputed call, but he didn't feel a thing like a winner. He said the handle on the game at the Cantor sports books "was in the millions." He said he took some "pretty significant bets on the game."
[Related: Dan Wetzel: Roger Goodell needs to immediately clean up officiating mess]
Given that most of the action was on Green Bay, it was good for the books' bottom lines when Seattle won the game and covered the spread. This, though, was no celebration for Colbert.
"When the game ended, I was literally sick to my stomach," Colbert said. "I would have much rather lost than taken that money."
The call has outraged the country, but it was far from the first time veteran sports book director Jimmy Vaccaro had seen something like it. He estimated the swing in Nevada was a difference of $15 million, but said it was a minuscule amount compared to what could have been.
He said that had a similar final-play turnaround occurred in Sunday's game between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, it would have had a far more devastating impact in Las Vegas.
Vaccaro said better than nine out of every 10 tickets written on that game were on the 49ers.
"If we're talking about a play at the end of that game where you go from winner-to-loser or loser-to-winner, that game would have been massive and could have devastated a lot of people," said Vaccaro, the vice president of public relations for William Hill North America, which operates sports books throughout Nevada.
[Related: Lingerie Football League commissioner mocks NFL for officiating standards]
There were plenty of devastated, and confused, bettors at the end of the USC-Utah game last year. The Trojans were favored by eight, and won 23-14. Leading 17-14, USC blocked a potential tying field goal on the final play of the game and Torin Harris returned it for a touchdown. That made the final score 23-14, and the Trojans would have covered.
Officials, though, called a penalty on USC for excessive celebration. A new rule allowed the officials to take the points off the board, which they did. The game ended with the score 17-14. But the Pac-12 ruled later officials misapplied the rule and put the points back on the board, making the final 23-14. But that ruling came hours after the game ended and most Las Vegas books had the score 17-14.
Vaccaro has booked sports in Nevada for more than three decades and has seen many similar gut-wrenching reversals. He said Monday's Green Bay-Seattle controversy became bigger because of the lockout of the referees.
"It's really not that big of a deal in the state of Nevada," Vaccaro said. "But because of what is going on [with the officials being locked out], it's a major story. Had that been the regular officials working the game, people would have been angry for a little while and then it would have been on to the next one. But with all the problems with the replacements and all the press this is getting, this isn't going to end until [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell does something."
[Related: T.J. Lang's Twitter explosion could be most re-tweeted Tweet of all time]
SportsBook.com, which caters mostly to European bettors, gave refunds to those who bet Green Bay. It did a similar thing for Manny Pacquiao bettors after he lost a fight to Timothy Bradley on June 9 that most people believed he won. But SportsBook.ag caters to the American audience and did not offer refunds.
Neither did Cantor, though Colbert said he would have liked to have been able to do so.
"We would love as a sports book to give Green Bay people their money back," he said. "But we took millions of dollars on that game and we can't give millions back. If the handle on that game was 50 grand, a 100 grand, I promise you, we would have given it back. But our seven books took a significant handle on that and we can't do it."