Injuries to Tony Romo, Michael Vick Could be Worth Four Points on Betting Lines

Two big-time NFC East quarterbacks got hurt on Sunday, leaving their status for week three in question. Tony Romo got hit by Carlos Rogers early Sunday and played through a cracked rib and punctured lung. Michael Vick got his head smashed against one of his offensive linemen and left Sunday night’s game with a concussion. The status of the two men has a deep impact in the sportsbooks.

The lines for both the Cowboys-Redskins and Giants-Eagles games are pending based on the status of the quarterbacks. Prior to Sunday’s 49ers-Cowboys game, the Las Vegas Hilton had the Cowboys as a 6.5 favorite over the Redskins. That line is likely to remain the same if Romo plays Monday night. However, if backup Jon Kitna ends up starting, the spread would likely be the Cowboys favored by three, or perhaps slightly less, oddsmaker Andrew Patterson of Las Vegas Sports Consultants tells LBS.

The line for the Giants-Eagles game similarly was 7.5 prior to Sunday night’s Eagles-Falcons game when Vick got hurt. Patterson tells us that line could drop to 3 if Vick isn’t cleared to play and Mike Kafka ends up starting. Patterson says the Eagles would still likely be favored because Kafka looked pretty good against the Falcons, completing 7 of 9 passes, with his last pass dropped by Jeremy Maclin.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett thinks Romo will play Monday night against the Redskins. Vick needs to pass tests before he’s cleared to play Sunday against the Giants. Not only will the teams be in wait-and-see mode, but so will fantasy football owners, oddsmakers, and gamblers.

Sideline Violation Keeps USC from Covering Against Utah (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The play in question was reviewed after the game and USC was given the touchdown. The final score was changed to 23-14 as it should have been. The penalty applied to the bench for committing unsportsmanlike conduct, making it a dead ball foul, so the penalty is assessed after the play is over.

UPDATE II: Some sportsbooks will not adjust payouts to reflect the new 23-14 final. From Todd Fuhrman at Ceasars: We do not recognize defaults prior to the start of the event, suspended games, protests, or overturned decisions for wagering purposes.


USC was lucky to escape with a 17-14 win at home over Utah Saturday night. Folks who put some money on the Trojans weren’t as fortunate.

USC blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game to preserve the win. Torin Harris picked up the loose ball and ran it in for a score that would have made it 23-14. The only problem was half the team ran onto the field in celebration, resulting in a penalty flag.

The Trojans were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for committing a sideline violation. The referee’s call was “unsportsmanlike conduct on the USC bench. By rule, we’ll decline that penalty. The game is over.”

The game ended with the score 17-14. The Trojans opened as a 10-point favorite in the game and the line closed at 7.5 or 8 most places. For most people, had the blocked field goal returned for a score counted, they would have covered or at least pushed. Sorry sports bettors, no dice on that one.

But that wasn’t the only controversial aspect of the ending. Prior to the field goal attempt, Utah got a poor spot on a 4th and 10 pass. Their pass went to the 38 but was initially spotted around the 40. After a review, the referees spotted the ball at the 39 (still a bad spot), and gave them a first down. They threw one more pass before attempting the field goal. Here’s a look at the terrible spot:

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Rory McIlroy’s Dad Can Make Over $300,000 if Rory Wins British Open by 2014

Rory McIlroy gave his father, Gerry McIlroy, possibly the best Father’s Day gift: his first major win on Sunday. Now he has the chance to give his father possibly an even better present. Gerry McIlroy stands to pocket 200,000 pounds if Rory wins the British Open by 2014. Follow me on the this one.

When Rory was 15 years old, his father combined with three friends to bet 400 pounds (100 each) that Rory would win the Claret Jug by the age of 25. They received 500:1 odds, so the payoff is 200,000 pounds.

McIlroy is 22 years old and coming off a record-setting performance at the U.S. Open. Before that, he led the Master’s by four strokes entering the final round of play until he blew the tournament. He also was the leader after the first round of the British last year. McIlroy is proving he’s the top golfer in the world, so you have to like their chances of cashing.

We’ve seen someone hit on an even more improbable bet, but this would have to be infinitely more satisfying if it does come true. If you think about it, what’s 100 pounds when your son is that good? Cashing that ticket will be sweet.

Odds on Next Ohio State Football Coach: Urban Meyer, Mark Stoops the Favorites

Early Monday morning Ohio State announced that Jim Tressel was resigning after 10 years on the job, eight of which were double-digit win seasons. The news cycle and information cycle moves so quickly in sports that the discussion regarding Ohio State football has already progressed into one about their next head coach.

While Luke Fickell will take over the program for the upcoming season, the question is who will become the next head coach of one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. Bodog has already placed odds on the next head coach and they’ve installed former Florida coach Urban Meyer as their favorite. Here are their odds:

Urban Meyer (stepped down at Florida, analyst) – 3:2
Mark Stoops (Florida State defensive coordinator) – 5:2
Jon Gruden (fired from Buccaneers, analyst) – 3:1
Bo Pelini (Nebraska) – 10:1
Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) – 12:1

When Meyer was at Florida, it was said that Notre Dame was his dream job. Now people are saying that because he’s from Ohio and coached at Bowling Green that Ohio State is his dream job.

While we don’t know his feelings on the matter, what we do know is that he stepped down for a day citing health concerns, returned to coach last season, and then stepped down after the year. Who knows if he still feels burnt out from coaching, if he still wants to spend time with his family, or if he’ll be ready to resume coaching after another half-year of rest. We don’t know the answers to those questions, but we figure the job is his if he wants it. Meyer is the best coach available and any program would likely do anything to get him. But if the words of his daughters mean anything, then we know he’s not taking the job.

Meanwhile, Meyer issued a statement through ESPN (via Bryan D. Fischer) and it says:

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MMA More Popular than Boxing in Las Vegas Sports Betting

UFC 130 may have been a lackluster card Saturday evening, but there is little doubt MMA is surpassing boxing in many regards. This week we wrote that boxing lost the magic it once had and that it was surpassed by MMA. Not only does MMA put on compelling fights more frequently than boxing, not to mention cards featuring more fights of interest, but it’s also surpassed boxing when it comes to betting interest.

Mike Colber, the sports book director of Cantor Gaming, told the Las Vegas Sun this week “You’re talking to an absolute boxing guy here, and I will be the first to admit that UFC is more popular betting-wise. I never thought I’d see the day where it’s this popular.”

He’s not the only Vegas sports book rep who feels that way.

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Norm MacDonald Bets $25,000 on Manny Pacquiao to Win $3,125

Comedian Norm MacDonald has a relatively new show on Comedy Central. One of his first bits with Blake Griffin was fantastic, and this wasn’t bad either. McDonald decided to bet $25,000 on Manny Pacquiao to beat Shane Mosley Saturday evening. The only problem is he’ll only make slightly over $3,000 if he wins the bet. Last time we were looking at boxing odds like that, it was one of the biggest kicks to my LBS nuts ever (you can read that story here). As for MacDonald’s skit, check it out below:

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Osama bin Laden Death Boosts Barack Obama’s Second Term Gambling Odds

When an event occurs in United States history like the one that occurred roughly 24 hours ago, everyone has something to say about it.  Here on LBS alone, we have shown you the ripple effect the news of Osama bin Laden’s death has had on college campuses and at Citizens Bank Park, and even showed you a few pictures of a beat up bin Laden — even if they turned out to be top-notch Photoshop work.  Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the Crimson Tide faithful dropping a Roll Tide” as if Nick Saban himself were responsible for the heroic mission.

For all you gamblers out there who are already bored with the bin Laden story, this concerns you too.  SI Hot Clicks passed a story along to us from the sports gambling website Covers.com that highlights how the big news has effected the betting world.  For starters, the website Intrade.com, which is designed for investors to buy and sell shares in the outcome of real-world events, had the chances of Osama bin Laden being captured and killed at 4 percent before the news of his death surfaced.  As the news made its way around and Barack Obama addressed the nation, the market had spiked as high as 98% and then finally closed.

Conspiracy theorists are probably asking themselves why betting would close before there is any actual proof, but Intrade’s Exchange Operations Manager explained to Covers.com that “there wasn’t really anyone out there willing to take a position that bin Laden wasn’t dead” once the word was out.

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