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The rosters have changed, but the memories fuel the intensity of the affair. Pittsburgh passion tells a tale of tough but correct and fair calls against an opponent that came up short in the clutch. Seattle skepticism speaks to the terrible officiating of Bill Leavy, whose timely and controversial (if not altogether wrong) decisions turned the game in the Steelers' favor.
I've always been curious as to how Vegas can be so close on games. In football I can get pretty close on spreads and over unders in nfl and college. When you look at football scores you are looking at scores that are usually multiples of seven and three. So I kinda can guess if a team is gonna win by 3,7,10 etc.
What blows my mind is how close Vegas can be on basketball. I've made plenty of bets on basketball where within seconds of the game being over I'm not sure if I'm going to win my bet.
Fixing games isn't endemic in sports; sure there's the Tim Donaghys and Chicago Black Sox and college athletes paid a couple thousand to miss a few three pointers here and there to make sure they don't cover but those instances (at least on a scale we're talking about) are the exception and not the rule.
Think about it, Vegas is using hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in some of the smartest minds coming out of MIT and the like. They use the best analytical and predictive software technology can buy and combine it with psychological predictors proven over a nearly anomaly proof timeline and years and years of experience handling a volume of action we can't even fathom, every minute of every day. They nail the spread because they have a system to produce them that is consistently proven. Its their job and they're damn good at it because they have the advantage of a detachment from emotion and see more bets in 24 hours than even professional gamblers will place in their lifetime.
Compare that to the average sports bettor who lacks the discipline (bankroll management) and ability to disengage emotionally (getting moosed and chasing) to consistently have success and is it any wonder the house usually wins? Come on, this is their job. Joe Public is spending his lunch break or crapper time looking over spreads and trying to find some superficial angle then places his bet and gets on with his life. Trust me, I've lost enough to know how it works
Vegas doesn't cheat because they don't have to. There are too many sports gamblers who don't know what the hell they're doing and too few that do; its like bringing a knife to a nuclear arms fight.