Adan Sanchez grew up in Las Vegas. So the 28 year old is plenty familiar with sports betting and knows the importance of getting a good number. That was proven once again on a busy NFL Sunday at the Palms sportsbook.
Sanchez is a huge New York Jets fan who was decked out in a Mark Sanchez jersey – “He gets a bad reputation for that [butt] fumble. He took us to an AFC Championship Game,” he said – and he bet the Jets well before Sunday’s kickoff at rival New England. New York opened as a 10.5-point underdog, and as the line began to slide downward during the week, Sanchez knew he couldn’t wait.
“I bet it three days ago,” he said while seated at the bar adjacent to the sportsbook, a prime viewing spot for all the action. “I got +9, and I think this morning it went off at seven.”
Indeed, the line did close at a touchdown. Nine was too much to pass up for Sanchez, who plunked down $400.
“I said, ‘You know what? We’ve only lost one game this season, and it was some BS game,’” he said, noting New York’s 24-17 home loss to Philadelphia in Week 3. “Every year, when the Jets play the Patriots, it’s like they’re a different team. They don’t go down easy. So when I saw +9, I said, ‘Hell, why not?’
“They play up to their opponent. So +9, it’s a gift.”
Sanchez said that, as a general rule, he doesn’t bet his favorite team. But he makes one big exception.
“It really is hard,” Sanchez said shortly after the Jets scored a touchdown to take a 10-3 second-quarter lead. “But I do bet the Jets when it’s the Patriots, because I hate the Patriots so much. I have to do it. I never, ever bet my team, even if they’re playing the Texans.”
Point well taken, because at that moment, Houston was losing to Miami 41-0, and it wasn’t even halftime.
The view of the TV screens at the Palms sportsbook in Las Vegas.
And though the Pats have had the best of the rivalry in recent years, Sanchez noted there have been several close games – seven decided by a touchdown or less since the 2010 season, which made +9 look even better.
“In 2010, we played the Patriots to go to the AFC Championship Game, in New England, and we still kicked their ass,” Sanchez said of the Jets’ 28-21 victory as a 9.5-point underdog. “You give me +9, I’ll take it.”
The Jets had that number covered most of the game, but after giving up a touchdown to fall behind 23-20 midway through the fourth quarter, then failing to do anything on their next drive, it began to get dicey for Sanchez.
New England chewed up more than four minutes on a touchdown drive to go up 30-20 with 1:18 left in the game. Needing two scores, New York drove into field-goal range, Nick Folk hit a 55-yarder with 18 seconds left, and the backdoor cover was in.
Just ahead of halftime, a confident Sanchez said, “This year’s our year.”
Well, maybe not, as he didn’t get the outright win. But he got the cover to cash that $400 ticket, all because he got in early on a good number.
Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @ColinPKelly29.