I sat watching a college football game and watched as a team came back in the second half. Only two days had passed since Johnny Avello, Director of Operations at Wynn Las Vegas Race and Sportsbook explained to me the nuances of betting with and against that team. “They get themselves in trouble but their star player loves to play with fire so you know he is going to get them back in it.” It seemed like Johnny was saying that the star quarterback was saying that he was comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Wouldn’t you know it that in the second half the kid picked up his team put them on his shoulders and they pulled out the victory.
Such is the way the brain of a genius works. A genius or an artist or both.
Johnny sets the line in Vegas. He is the numbers guy and when you see a line in your local paper there is a very good chance that those odds originated from the Wynn Sportsbook and more directly from the mind of this guy. He is the type of guy who you know has a ton of great Vegas stories only he has no time to talk. His job is to set the line so that you can wager and so that the house falls somewhere on the positive side of the wagering. You can bet that he is checking his info, researching his intel and making his picks.
You see, while we make a friendly wager or get in the office pool he sets the numbers for keeps. His line dictates winners and losers and he has to be right.
I tell him that I think he has the greatest job in the world because he gets to watch sports all day. Johnny is quick with a response, “I don’t watch sports, too much to do. I listen. I listen to this room. I listen to people and I read a lot about everything. I can just listen to the room and I can tell you what is going on with the games on the televisions and the games that are on” In that moment I looked around and the big boards looked menacing. All of these lines moving one way or the other and so much riding on one guy’s ideas.
I sit back and I take a long look at the numbers. I stare at my hockey team's odds of winning the Stanley Cup. I see the numbers on horses running a race on some track on the other side of the country and I see the scores and the line on more games than I could ever be interested in.
I ask Johnny how many people help with this work of art that is a sportsbook and he looks at me with a very wise smile and says, “these are mine, we have some people here who help out upstairs and behind the desk but these are mine.”
I really wish there was an off season because I am sure I could learn something about math, sports, people and the essence of sports gambling from the Johnny Avello.
For now he has to get back to picks, predictions and the business of running a sportsbook that is the Gold Standard.
Meanwhile I wonder if I should put a few bucks on 16 wins ending in a cup for my hockey team.
Wynn Las Vegas Sportsbook
The Wynn Sportsbook is open daily for both wagering on sports and for just plain old watching a game. Reservations are taken for special tables for a day of male bonding over football, basketball, hockey or just about any other sport. The lounge area is that right spot for a big game or for a casual get together while dozens of televisions broadcast games all around you.
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