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Varied betting interest in Vegas for AAF's debut

Tyler DePina

The NFL and college football seasons are over, but there were pigskin point spreads and over/unders on the board over the weekend at Las Vegas sportsbooks.

The Alliance of American Football debuted with a four-game slate split over Saturday and Sunday. The betting interest was mild, but there was enough to cause some erratic line movement and allow one sportsbook to double its wagering limits on the new professional football league.

Veteran Las Vegas bookmaker Chris Andrews said the betting action on the AAF at the South Point casino exceeded his expectations. "We did good," Andrews told ESPN in a direct message Sunday afternoon. "[We're] taking a dime ($1,000) now, was a nickel ($500)."

The betting on the AAF varied at different sportsbooks. At Caesars Palace, five times as much money was wagered on the Pro Bowl compared to the amount bet on either of Saturday's AAF games. Each of Saturday's nine NBA games attracted more money than both of the AAF games did combined.

Oddsmakers at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook said the betting on the AAF was in line what they expected and comparable to how much is wagered on the "average college basketball game" at their book.

MGM is the official gaming partner of the AAF and has exclusive in-game betting rights for three years, but other sportsbooks are allowed to offer odds on the games. The SuperBook opened the Arizona Hotshots as the -250 favorites to win the inaugural AAF Championship.

With limited knowledge of the talent levels for the eight franchises, bookmakers protected themselves with lower betting limits and moved their numbers quickly. The over/under on Sunday's game between the Salt Lake Stallions and Hotshots dropped eight points from 53.5 to 45.5. The Hotshots won 38-22.