While sports betting is now national, how much liability sportsbook operators have still very much depends on what states they do business in.
BetMGM has nine retail books in Nevada, a less than five hour drive from Los Angeles. William Hill more than 110 retail books.
“Vegas is a Dodgers and Lakers town,” William Hill bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich said, in what is frankly not the greatest year to be that.
“The pennant was worse for us,” Bogdanovich said. “But game by game all year was not a pleasant experience.”
The Dodgers have gone 52-20 through the regular season and postseason so far. Blindly betting $100 on L.A. in all 72 games would have paid $775 (per our data at Bet Labs) despite the average line being north of -200.
Backing the Dodgers on the run line also proved profitable, netting a $100 bettor $1,124 over 72 games. The only team more profitable on the run line was the White Sox.
It’s even rougher at BetMGM, where Jason Scott, the firm’s vice president of trading, says that the Dodgers are “our biggest single liability” among playoff teams, and “considerably larger than the Lakers.”
While the Lakers won the title, BetMGM had more more money on their Staples Center co-tenant, the Clippers.
“The Rockies would have been worse for us than the Dodgers, believe it or not, because we are new to Colorado and those small bets at 200-1 add up quickly,” Scott said.
Scott said the aggregate money in Nevada, plus one bettor, who when the Dodgers were down to the Braves in the NLCS bet $100,000 at 4-1, makes Los Angeles a bad result.
Three or four parlays will also pay off big if the Dodgers, their last leg, prevail.
If the Rays win, Scott says BetMGM is a seven-figure winner.
“We didn’t take a ton of action on them,” Scott said. “The Astros would have been even better. No one wanted them early on.”