While I’ve never been a big gambler, I’m not exactly a saint when it comes to sports betting. I learned some of the tricks of the trade from friends while growing up and learned the finer points while working for a sports wire service for a year that had deep ties to gaming and offshore books.
One of my favorite things to do in Vegas is take advantage of the fact that sports betting is legal. I’ve never been a big fan of gambling through illegal means and with new legislation that rendered betting through an Internet sportsbook illegal, I stopped placing bets altogether.
Some will dispute my claim that Internet gambling is illegal and that it’s open to interpretation. Yes, people in the U.S. place bets with sportsbooks on a daily basis but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to do it. My fear is that if I ignore the legislation that my name will end up published on some list and the government will end up going after me like those poor kids who got caught in the middle of the whole Napster debacle.
But here I am in Vegas, able to bet on MMA legally. I went down to the sports book on Friday morning to scope out the lines. I picked up a betting form with some very appealing lines for a select few UFC 79 fights.
Matt Hughes was +180 ($100 wins you $180 if Hughes wins, making him the underdog)) and Georges St. Pierre was -230 (in order to win $100, you have to put up $230, making him the favorite). Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva were both -115 (making them a pick ’em) while Ryoto Machida was -140 and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou was +110.