For three nights and three days the seedings have been out and the lines have been posted. Usually the wiseguys are patient with these numbers, taking a bite when they see something they really like, but generally laying low, until the public comes into town. When the squares hit the books for four days of hoops depravity, the spreads start moving, usually towards the favorites, giving the sharps a chance to get down big money on the dogs they love. Before too long, the only lines worth looking at are by the employee's entrance at the Spearmint Rhino. The ones on the board are purely for suckers.
But this year's been different. "The public has gotten sharper themselves the last few years and they don't blindly take the favorites like they used to," says Mirage bookmaker Jeff Stoneback. "The wiseguys are thinking, I better get it now while I can."
That means, by the time you land at McCarron, wait 40 minutes for a cab, fight midday traffic on The Strip and walk the half hour it takes to get from your hotel entrance to the sports book, deals will be hard to come by. Lucky for you, I've got an against the spread tip or three here. If you don't like 'em, well, there are plenty of other sites in Vegas.