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March Madness and Mayweather/Pacquiao Preview from Las Vegas with Wynn Sports book Supremo John Avello

For the last three to four years, the Wynn sportsbook in Las Vegas has been at max capacity for the NCAA Tournament’s first wave of games beginning on Thursday and ending Sunday, according to CYInterview regular, Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook Manager John Avello. Mr Avello is expecting the same turnout this year.

As a veteran sports gambling linesmaker, one of John Avello’s memories of the tournament is getting a chance to see smaller schools play well known schools from big conferences. Those games do not happen during the regular season.

For some of the major sports betting headlines for the 2015 NCAA Tournament, you can read the highlights and listen to our entire CYInterview with John Avello below:

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Every college basketball fan will be keeping an eye on the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. They come into the tournament with a 34-0 record. Many people have placed wagers that Kentucky will win the national title. About a month ago, Mr. Avello put up a betting proposition where people could take every other team in the NCAA Tournament against Kentucky. He shares how it is going:

“Along the way, Kentucky was 8 to 1 to open up and like I said, along the way which is over the past six to seven months. There’s been a lot of Kentucky money. That money’s coming in at all different numbers. You know, 8 to 1 to start, 5 to 1, 4 to 1, 5 to 2, 2 to 1, even 6 to 5. So I had so much Kentucky money, I decided to put up a proposition bet, was Kentucky against the field. Kentucky was even money and the field was -120.

And that proposition bet has just written a bunch of money over the last month or so. And right now, there’s been more money on the field than on Kentucky. The so called sharp guys are betting every other team and not Kentucky to win the tournament. So now, Kentucky is +115 and the field is -135 which means put up $135 to win $100. So there’s been a shift now in the action. Some of the sharper people think Kentucky can lose this tournament.”

The NCAA Tournament becomes a national stage for basketball programs from smaller universities. Teams like Albany, Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin, Eastern Washington and UC Irvine will be introduced to some sports fans for the first time. Some of them might even pull an upset against a major university. Talking about how he puts together the odds for the games involving teams from less known colleges, Mr. Avello said this:

“I focus on the quality of opponents that they’ve had during the course of the year and also how they’re playing towards the end of the year. And so if they’ve lost their conference tournament and got in as an at large bid, that’s a concern to me. But for the most part, that’s not what usually happens. These teams that you just mentioned have to win their conference tournament to make it this far. So obviously they’ve been on a little bit of a roll as of late, I look at the quality of the players on the team and you just mentioned a good one Buffalo. Buffalo is actually a good basketball team. And so they matchup against West Virginia in the first game and they’re about a five point underdog.

So I think there’s gonna be money on Buffalo from the overall crowd comes in. That’s one of those games that the crowd will be rooting for and trying to get an upset. As far as Albany, I think the best they can hope for is maybe a cover against Oklahoma getting 13 points. I’m not sure they can win that game. But you know, there’s Costal Carolina, team playing Wisconsin getting north of 20 points. So there’s, there’s some work goes into this trying to evaluate these teams and put them in a matchup.”

Outside of the four number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament which are Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova and Duke, the Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook head of operations tells us who else to keep an eye on:

“I think some teams you might take a look at is a Gonzaga. This team can really shoot the ball well. I can see them giving some teams problems and the team that I am kind of interested is this Northern Iowa team. Good basketball team, had a great season, didn’t win their conference tournament, got knocked out. But I think that they’re ready to come back and try to give it a full effort. So that’s a team I might watch, could be dangerous for two or three games.”

Finally, we are just under two months from arguably the most anticipated boxing match in years. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will get in the squared circle together at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2nd. Talking about the early betting action for the fight, Mr. Avello says he has already has had six figure bets placed on Mayweather. For an early analysis of the fight, please see our CYInterview with retired professional boxer/current boxing trainer Bobby Rooney [see here].

“Well, currently Mayweather is a 2 to 1 favorite, which means 1 to 2 actually. You put up $2 to win $1. So you put up $2, you get 1, you get back a total of $3. But they had opened up -250, 2.5 to 1. So the early money has been on Pacquiao, at least it was on Pacquiao. We’ve taken some pretty good size bets on Mayweather though as of late. And so I expect this to be one of the biggest betting boxing matches that I’ve seen in my 35 years in the business.”

You can find out more about Wynn Las Vegas at www.wynnlasvegas.com

You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com

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