Sure, Las Vegas is the destination for attractions, relaxing spas, world-class pools, golf outings with friends, abundant state and national parks and recreation areas and unparalleled shopping. And now, home to Allegiant Stadium, the Vegas Golden Knights, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Las Vegas ACES, it has staked its claim on the map as a bona fide major league sports town.
This magical place is also home to great sports betting experiences – one of the few places in the United States where you can wager without issue. Sports betting correctly can be overwhelming, so we’ve created an extensive guide explaining how to place your bet on sports while in town.
Know the Rules and the Lingo
Finding success in sports betting first and foremost comes down to understanding the rules. In Vegas, the betting options are endless. There are money lines, taking the over, settling for the under, total points scored, and so much more. It’s a mass of webs you must untangle before jumping into the fray. Learn about all the available options and go from there. It’s the only proper way to start your Las Vegas betting experience.
1. All lines aren’t made equal. Casinos have their own sportsbooks, which means numbers can shift depending on which Vegas establishment you visit. It’s important to follow these lines and bet on something you’re comfortable with. Don’t forget – points matter in Las Vegas. Even half a point can change the outcome of a bet.
2. Betting isn’t as cut and dry as you’d think. Money down doesn’t equal money earned. You not only have to come to an understanding of the lines, but there’s an actual science to generating a return on your money.
3. It may seem simple, but with so many bets being scattered across sportsbooks, you really have to weigh the prospects of risk versus reward. Take this into consideration: Betting the favorite means you’re going to have to supply more cash in order to take home anything significant. Those supporting the underdog will, of course, be rewarded for their risk.
4. The worst thing to do with any form of sports betting is to go after sports you either don’t follow or have zero understanding about or passion for. Unless you’re able to crunch numbers like an MIT computer system, the safest avenue for success is to go after sports you generally have a feel for. NFL guys should stick to the gridiron, while NBA supporters probably will do better in the hoops’ realm. Sure, you’re bound to muster up a little luck here and there, but any logical form of betting in Vegas should be done with a sport you actually pay attention to.
5. If something looks too good to be true, there’s a chance it might be. A way to avoid falling into traps is to keep an eye on the public.
6. A lot of Las Vegas sportsbooks will let you watch where the public money is trending. Tremendous dollars circulating to one side of the equation could be a sign to hedge your bet or avoid one altogether – by Las Vegas terms, it’s called “fading the public.” Public money tends to shift heavily toward a favorite or a perceived underdog who feels like they’re due for an upset. This doesn’t mean the public is always wrong. However, it is essential to stand guard and see how the money lines move as you place your Vegas bets.
7. Timing is everything in life. In sports betting, this especially rings true. You can take the general term “timing” any way you want. Timing works when you’re thinking about choosing a team on the rise. It could also affect a franchise in the middle of a rough patch. Or, timing could be used to simply place bets. Money lines, overs and unders, and spreads shift as the days – or hours – go on. These adjustments generally separate your amateur sports bettor from a true Vegas pro. Once you’re comfortable, figuring out when to bet becomes as important as picking a winner.
8. Beyond the confines of traditional betting is the complex, often wacky universe of prop bets. A prop bet is different than picking winners and losers. For example, you can bet on how long the national anthem will run during the Super Bowl. Is it a safe route to prop bet? Probably not. But it is fun. When you’re in Las Vegas, why not throw a little coin down on a prop bet? It’s all part of the fun when you’re shuffling through this celebratory paradise.
Once you’ve mastered the rules of sports betting, it’s time to pick your favorite sportsbook. Most casinos offer books, but there are a few that stand out.
Check out the Westgate SuperBook – the largest sportsbook in the world – with a massive 220-foot-by-18-foot 4K video wall. Not into the whole overwhelming thing? The Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa features a 96-foot video wall made up of a multitude of HD screens, as well as a sports bar with a VIP section that allows you to overlook the entire sportsbook.
Other incredible options include MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The LINQ Hotel + Experience or The D. There you’ll find different lines, unique betting setups, fan caves, VIP seating, and more – a world you might have never known existed.
Things may look a bit different at the sportsbooks these days with capacity restrictions in place, so your best bet (pun intended) is to check ahead at the book you want to visit and make reservations if possible.
Las Vegas is an electric town. It’s a special place to relax, and to experience a variety of new moments, including great dining and exciting attractions. Mix that with a little responsible sports betting and your trip is bound to be one you won’t soon forget.