Last week was a bloodbath for ranked college football teams as 11 lost their matchups.
Teams like Texas (a game we warned about) and Florida saw their playoff dreams extinguished.
Georgia and Washington State saw their title odds improve, although both have tough tasks this week.
SEC title game spots are up for grabs on Saturday as there are some massive matchups.
Looking into the futures…
No game is bigger than Alabama (#1, -210 at FanDuel Sportsbook to win National Championship) vs. LSU (#4, +2900). Alabama opened as a two-touchdown favorite at LSU, making this the most points the Tigers have been an underdog at home since 1997. At stake is a spot as the SEC West representative in the real National Title SEC Championship game. A loss would set Alabama up in a similar position as last year, where they’d still likely make the playoffs despite not participating in the SEC title game. A win by LSU would certainly improve their +2000 and set up a rematch with most likely Georgia for the SEC crown.
If this sounds somewhat familiar, it is. That’s exactly what happened last year. Auburn beat both Georgia and Alabama in the regular season, but lost to Georgia in the SEC title game and Alabama slipped into the playoffs. LSU is simply this year’s Auburn. An LSU win would surely see their +2000 improve, potentially to a +1000.
Speaking of Georgia (#6, +1600), the Bulldogs face off against the surprising Kentucky Wildcats (#10, +10000) for the right to be the SEC East rep against the winner of ‘Bama vs. LSU. Georgia is a 9.5 favorite on the road against Kentucky, and FiveThirtyEight gives the Dawgs a 71% shot at winning. Some of Georgia’s futures improvement will hinge on if LSU can pull off the upset against ‘Bama. Vegas will surely like Georgia’s title chances more if it has to go through LSU for the SEC title as opposed to Alabama.
Michigan (#5, +1600) has two more big hurdles to clear to have a shot at the playoffs, the first being this weekend at home against Penn State (#14, +10000). While a win won’t improve Michigan’s futures much (their match-up against #8 Ohio State carries too much weight), a loss all but submarines Michigan’s title odds.
One last match-up worth paying attention to is Washington State (#10, +10000) vs. Cal. Washington St. is the PAC-12’s only hope for playoff consideration, and Cal is no joke even as a 10.5-point dog. Expect Washington St’s futures to tick upward with a win.
Since that time, everyone from state lawmakers and regulators to casino operators and vendors are taking a crash course as they try to get up to speed on sports betting.
One of the best places to get educated on gaming is to a gaming conference.
Not surprisingly, attendance has been through the roof at these events as the industry tries to wrap its head around the new products and opportunities.
G2E is the crème de la crème of gaming conferences
Every fall the gaming industry descends on Las Vegas for Global Gaming Expo, or as it’s commonly called, G2E.
This year’s attendance was even higher than usual, as more than 27,000 gaming professionals attended the four-day trade show and conference presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and organized by Reed Exhibitions.
According to a press release, overall attendance was up six percent year-over-year, with educational seminars seeing 30 percent growth.
According to the press release:
- G2E 2018 experienced a 16 percent growth in key buyer attendance on the show floor.
- Of the key buyers who attended G2E 2018, 27 percent of these key buyers were new to the show, demonstrating an expanding marketplace for the gaming industry.
- Overall attendance for G2E 2018 increased more than 6 percent.
- This year’s show saw a 30 percent increase in turnout at G2E 2018’s education programs.
As noted above, a lot of that growth can be traced back to the legalization of sports betting.
As G2E Event Director Korbi Carrison said, “The gaming industry is at an exciting moment where evolving technology and aspiring entrepreneurs are creating new ways to innovate. The excitement from the G2E show floor was palpable and will shape how casino-resorts operate for years to come.”
G2E isn’t the only conference that’s seeing an uptick in attendance
G2E isn’t the only beneficiary. Across the board, conferences and trade shows have seen an increase in attendance. And that increase is likely to persist for the foreseeable future.
Cleveland hosted the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Summer Meeting in July, and that conference produced a record turnout.
According to event organizer Spectrum Gaming Group, more than 210 attendees – including 37 legislators and 40 state gaming regulators — attended the NCLGS conference.
That may not seem like a lot, but NCLGS isn’t exactly G2E, and 210 attendees is a mammoth number for the conference.
Standing room only crowd. My guess is about 200, probably 3x a pre-post-PASPA NCLGS
— Steve Ruddock (@SteveRuddock) July 13, 2018
And then there’s the upcoming ICE Sports Betting Conference in New York. That conference sold out more than a month before it takes place.
*Please note that ICE Sports Betting USA 2018 is now sold out 😱 Who got tickets on time! On better join the waiting list.
— holacasinos (@holacasinos) October 23, 2018