Updated on 09/15/2011 12:26PM

There was a reason some fans cheered missed putts


Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open was painful for a lot of golf fans to watch, but there were some bettors here who were cheering every miss as all three contenders three-putted on the 72nd hole of the tournament.

The Regent, on the west side of town, had an over/under winning score of 4 1/2 under par. If Retief Goosen had been able to two-putt from 12 feet (or if Mark Brooks had two-putted a half hour earlier) the winner would have finished at 5 under par. Stewart Cink also missed a 12-footer that would have put him at 5 under (he then missed a two-foot putt to miss the playoff). When Goosen missed a two-foot gimme for par, he had to settle for a tie at 4 under with a surprised Brooks, who had already unpacked his locker in the clubhouse.

"That was our most exciting prop," said Jeff Sherman, the Regent's sports book supervisor in charge of golfing odds. "I guess we set a really good number since it came down to the wire, but that finish was unbelievable."

Sherman said most of the betting on that prop was on the under, so the house lost money to those lucky bettors (assuming they didn't tear up their tickets). However, Sherman said it didn't hurt the Regent's bottom line too much because the book did very well overall, winning a majority of the other props and head-to-head matchups.

The major reason for the book's positive bottom line was the fact that both Goosen and Brooks, who were forced to play an 18-hole playoff on Monday, were "field" players, meaning they weren't individual betting entries on the Regent's future sheets.

"When a field player wins, it's almost always a good result for the house," Sherman said. "Most people want to leave the book with a name on their ticket to cheer for. After the Masters, we opened the field at 15-1 for the U.S. Open. We got good action on it and dropped it to 10-1 at one point and it closed at 12-1, but we take a lot more money on all the other individual entries.

"Most of the money we see on the field is people who follow golf closely, and they're searching for someone we've overlooked. Or they come in hoping to bet a certain individual and see they're in the field and decide to take their golfer and everyone else."

It's doubtful any of those bettors were buying tickets with Goosen or Brooks in mind, but they lucked out and didn't even care who won Monday as their winning ticket was already assured. For everyone else, Sherman put up odds on the playoff with both golfers at -110 (bet $1.10 to win $1). The Stardust on the Strip opened Brooks at -115 and had Goosen at -105. The bettors at both properties sided with Brooks, and both closed with Brooks -125/Goosen +105.

That ended up being another victory for the house as Goosen defeated Brooks by two strokes.

Sherman posted British Open odds Monday morning and made Tiger Woods (you almost made it through a golf betting article without seeing his name) as the 3-2 favorite. In case you're wondering, Goosen is 75-1 and Brooks is 125-1.

Round one to American League

The National League nearly evened the score over the weekend in interleague play. The AL still finished with a 64-62 edge after this set of interleague games, but the junior circuit's lead was bigger before five weekend series were swept by NL teams. The Giants have the top interleague record at 7-2 after sweeping the A's. Surpris-ingly, the Indians have the worst mark at 2-7 after being swept by the Pirates (the team with the worst overall record in the NL).

Losing streak ends at short odds

Ricky Rudd won Sunday's Pocono 500 for his first win in 88 races, so he must have been a big longshot, right? Wrong! Micah Roberts, who sets the auto racing odds for Stations Casinos from his desk at Santa Fe Station, opened Rudd at 8-1 last week. And, despite Rudd's losing streak, players bet him down to 6-1.

"He's been a fan favorite for a long time," Roberts said. "He was due. He's shown signs of being competitive the last few weeks but just couldn't get over the hump."

Rudd was second to Jeff Gordon the week before, but was able to hold him off at Pocono International Speedway.

Road teams were perfect plays

Here's an interesting fact mentioned by John Kelly on Sunday night's "Stardust Line" radio show: In the NBA finals, the road team covered the spread in all five games. The 76ers covered the double-digit spread in both games at LA's Staples Center and then the Lakers won and covered as road favorites in all three games in Philadelphia.

After opening the series by picking the 76ers in Game 1, I split last week's games when I tabbed the Lakers to cover 4 points in Game 4 Wednesday (a 100-86 Laker victory) but sided with the 76ers +6 1/2 in Game 5 Friday (a 108-96 Laker victory).