This Saturday is a mega day in sports: NBA and NHL playoff games, the Kentucky Derby, Mosley-Pacquaio and, of course, the final race of the 2011 AMA Supercross season.
It is also a mega day in Vegas, where fans of these sports will place a lot of money on the teams, horses and men they believe will come out on top. Yes, even Supercross, the only of these events actually taking place in Vegas. For the first time ever, action sports is on the menu at the sports book at the Wynn Las Vegas.
In sort of an experiment to see what kind of interest action sports can drum up at the windows, Wynn oddsmaker Johnny Avello set odds on the top eight riders, plus the field, in Saturday's race and opened betting Wednesday evening.
Fans can stop by the Wynn and place a bet on race favorite Ryan Villopoto, whose odds of winning are set at 7/5, James Stewart (9/5), Ryan Dungey (4/1), Chad Reed (5/1), Trey Canard (8/1 -- though he's out with a broken femur), Kevin Windham (22/1), Andrew Short (40/1), David Millsaps (50/1) and the field -- or any racer other than these eight -- at 30/1. These odds are simply on who wins this final race, not who wins the overall AMA title.
Like any racing sport, Avello looked at each rider's history this season -- how many races he won, how many he finished, his average finish -- to set the odds, which can change between now and race day if, say, one of the riders is injured in a practice session.
We will check back with Avello after the race to see what kind of interest Supercross drew at his sports book and talk to him about the future of action sports in Vegas. "If this works out, maybe we'll book the whole season next year," he says. We think you can bet on that.