COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Hundreds of thousands of people will be tuning in for the Iron Bowl. And, even though gambling is illegal in Georgia and Alabama, some of those people will win or lose money on this game. Others use the Las Vegas point spread to make friendly wagers.
Gambling experts in Las Vegas, Nevada predict Alabama will win by 4 points. This has a lot of Auburn fans upset because their team is undefeated. Alabama, a team that has lost two games and is not even in the top ten, is favored in Las Vegas over Auburn, a team undefeated and ranked top two in the nation.
Sports Advisor Josh Pate explained why the Las Vegas Sports Consultants make their decision, "Las Vegas could care less about rankings and they do not care about what your record is. What they care about is what they see on the field and a lot of times the media polls are not a true indication of who the best teams in the country are."
Although there will be lots of football this holiday weekend, the Iron Bowl is of top interest.
The Las Vegas Sports Consultants meet every Sunday to generate a point spread for every game under the sun. Pate said unlike the media polls, consultants in Nevada do not react to the week to week wins and losses. "It is not like Alabama is a different team than they were five hours ago before they were beaten. And, so Alabama next week stays at #1 in Las Vegas polls. The criteria we as fans use to judge teams, Las Vegas does not care about."
"If we played this game 1000 times, under the exact same circumstances, the average final score would be AL winning by 4 points," said Pate.
Gambling is illegal in both Georgia and Alabama. Despite that, Pate says over 8 billion dollars will be gambled on this game alone, 98% illegally.
Pate said the home field advantage for Alabama counts when choosing the line. He believes if the game were in Auburn, AL this year, Las Vegas Consultants would have gone the other way with their pick.