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This survey endeavors to rank the Las Vegas sportsbooks according to the competitiveness of their odds. I grouped casinos together according to the sports book family it belonged to. This study was done in 2004, so is admitedly dated.
Every sportsbook in Vegas I looked at offered 20-cent lines against the point spread and on totals. Although some have 10-cent line happy hours this study endeavors to compare the lines at normal times. So against the spread and on totals all sportsbooks are equal.
Where disparity can be found is on the money lines. The closer together two sets of lines are the lower the house advantage. A good example is what the line on the favorite is when the dog is at +200. The line on the favorites can range from -230 (Golden Nugget) to -260 (El Cortez). My methodology in ranking was to start at evenly matched games (-110/-110) and keep going down until I found a line where there was some disparity. All sportsbooks offered 20-cent money lines up until +160/-180. However when the dog was +165 the Rampart jumped to a 25-cent line, for a favorite line of -190, while all others remained at -185. Thus the Rampart was ranked last. The next disparity was found when the dog was at +170, in which case the Golden Nugget had the favorite at -190, while all others were at -200 or worse. Thus the Golden Nugget is ranked first. The process continued separating off groups as the line on the dog increased.
One problem encountered was an inconsistent policy within the same sportsbook. For example for October 3, 2004, the Hard Rock had the following lines.
- Atlanta Falcons +170 / Carolina Panthers -200.
- St. Louis Rams -220 / San Francisco 49ers +170.
Another problem is a lack of data. For example the Las Vegas Club, Aladdin, Park Place, Harrahs, Imperial Palace, and Circus Circus all tie based on the Las Vegas Club offering a set of lines of +200/-240. I do not have lines for a +200 dog yet for the other casinos but their lines seem otherwise the same as the same as the Las Vegas Club. As I gather more data the order may change.
Sometimes a sportbook will offer promotional 10-cent lines on certain big games. This is particularily true of the Golden Nugget. I attempt to ignore promotional lines and for ranking purposes stick to the normal lines.
With all the explanation out of the way I present the following ranking of the best NFL money line odds in Vegas, from best to worst. It was done in 2004, and based on a small sample size. Since then, there have been mergers and ownership changes, so some of these groups no longer exist.
- Golden Nugget
- Cal Neva
- Coast Casinos, MGM Mirage (tie)
- Stratosphere, Las Vegas Club, Aladdin, Park Place, Harrahs, Imperial Palace, Circus Circus, Stations, Venetian (tie)
- Palms, Terrible's, Poker Palace, Jerry's Nugget (tie)
- El Cortez
- New Frontier
- Hard Rock
Following the reason that each group is higher than those that follow.
- Golden Nugget: Lines of +170/-190. All known others had lines of -200 or worse for a +170 dog.
- Cal Neva: Lines of +180/-210. Lower ranked casinos are at +180/-220 or worse.
- Coast Casinos, MGM Mirage: Lines of +210/-250. All known others had linse of -260 or worse for a +210 dog. I need to verify this line for Coast Casinos but they are otherwise the same as MGM Mirage.
- Stratosphere, Las Vegas Club, Aladdin, Mandalay Bay, Park Place, Harrahs, Imperial Palace, Circus Circus, Stations, Venetian: Lines of +200/-240. The next group is at +200/-250. I need to verify the lines for a +200 dog at all groups except the Stratosphere and Las Vegas Club but otherwise the lines are the same among this list.
- Palms, Terrible's, Poker Palace, Jerry's Nugget: +350/-450 lines. The following group is at +350/-500
- Boyd: +200/-250 lines (assumed until proven otherwise). The next group is at +200/-260.
- El Cortez: +170/-200 lines (assumed until proven otherwise). The next group is at +170/-210
- Leroy's: Lines of +170/-210. The following group is at +170/-220.
- Frontier: Lines of +225/-265 (40 cents apart) while the Hard Rock is at +220/-270 (50 cents apart).
- Hard Rock: Lines of +165/-185. The following group is at +165/-190.
- Rampart: The +165/-190 lines are the reason the Rampart group is last.
A table of NFL money lines can be found in my sports betting appendix 7.
All sportsbooks I looked at have 20-cent lines against the spread and on totals. The money lines seems to follow the same degrees of separation as for the NFL. So the ranking for the NFL should also apply to college football.
The following table shows the lines available on money lines, run lines, and totals. It was last updated in May, 2009, except the Rampart and Hard Rock have not been checked since 2006.
Las Vegas Baseball Odds
|Sportsbook Group||Money Lines||Run Lines||Totals|
* The Wynn breaks from a 10-cent line very early. For example, on May 2, 2010, one game had lines of +113/-123, while another was at +121/-136.
Sports Book Families
To see which casinos belong with which sports book families, please see my sports betting appendix 3.