Nov 18, 2020 3:07 AM
Rob Miech | Gaming Today
Sligo Rovers, at nifty +449 odds, rewarded their backers by defeating Dundalk, 2-0. Likewise, on Monday, Nov. 9, Bohemian FC (+334) returned sweet dividends by beating St. Patrick’s Athletic, 2-1.
During that 24-hour dearth of sports in the States, when an NFL game was one of the few live wagering events, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook came through again with its impressive global soccer menu. That particular Monday, the five matches of Ireland’s top-flight Airtricity League weren’t just SuperBook appetizers.
“We wrote a lot on it,” said Jeff Sherman, the SuperBook’s vice president of risk management. “The handle on those games was really high just because there wasn’t much else going on.”
Las Vegas aficionados of the beautiful game know where to shop for action and a fair price. From Argentina to Belgium to China to Denmark, the SuperBook delivers.
A new era begins ✊
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 17, 2020
Its menu is so extensive, it no longer provides sheets for every domestic league of the more than 30 countries it covers, saving some paper costs and administrative duties. SuperBook tellers will provide certain match odds upon request.
The usual suspects are on its magnificent wood-slotted wall of sheets, from the Big Five (England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France) to international friendlies, to World Cup, Euro and Copa America options, and many propositions.
There are more than 50 total club and country selections, all of which are accessible on the SuperBook app that requires a $100 minimum deposit.
“I think people would be shocked at just how high our hold percentage is on a lot of those leagues,” said SuperBook assistant manager John Murray. “We definitely take pride in trying to be the industry leader here, in terms of soccer, but we don’t just do it for the pride aspect. We write a lot of money and we hold very well on it.”
SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay attributes his company’s soccer smorgasbord to Sherman and Murray, and other staffers.
“That said, we have a soft spot for the sport and therefore we have a larger futbol menu than most,” Kornegay said. “It was a big part of our menu during the slow times.”
During the coronavirus doldrums, Mexico’s Liga MX, Serbia’s Super Liga, Iceland’s Urvalsdeild and the Irish Airtricity were some of the planet’s scant activities.
When Sherman, 49, was in Dublin, he saw St. Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park, whose audience was outnumbered by the average SuperBook crowd. He has attended a Zenit St. Petersburg match in Russia and seen his beloved Arsenal play Chelsea in London.
The 35-year-old Murray is less-traveled, but he reminds Sherman often about Liverpool, his favorite side, having claimed its first Premier League crown in July.
A savvy international punter informed me how certain U.S. books can “borrow” odds from offshore entities, like Betcris in Costa Rica and Pinnacle in Curaçao, and European operations.
He said the Westgate, South Point and Circa, due to their independence, are more apt to set their own lines. In June, Circa Sports manager Chris Bennett told me soccer odds “originate in Europe” and Circa often trusts that market.
At the SuperBook, Murray says he and Sherman form their own opinions about élite leagues and the Champions League.
“In some of the smaller leagues — I’m not going to pretend that we know a ton about the Danish or Dutch leagues — we’ll look at the market (overseas),” Murray said. “We’ll mostly try to stay to the market unless we take a sharp bet from a guy we respect, then we might shade it along with that guy.”
In August, they produced a projected points total, with over/under odds, on all 20 English Premier League sides for 2020-21.
“We took a few stances on those,” said Murray. “The interest in soccer grows every year, and the soccer handle grows all the time.”
Arsenal at Leeds, Total 2.5 Ov -148: In England, only Liverpool matches (34 combined goals) have involved more scoring that Leeds tilts (31). Arsenal’s past two at Leeds have involved nine total goals. OVER
Crystal Palace +175 at Burnley: Burnley hasn’t scored in its previous four matches, netting only one in its past seven. Its 0.57 goals-plus-assists rate per 90 minutes is worst in the Big Five. CRYSTAL PALACE
Real Betis at Athletic Bilbao +136, Total 2.5 Un -152: In three home matches, Bilbao ‘keeper Unai Simón has allowed only two goals. Bilbao’s imposing defense yields fewer than two shots on target per match, stingiest in the B5. BILBAO and UNDER
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