Adam Silver doesn't want to lead the crusade toward legalized sports betting. He just wants to be involved in the conversation. And that, one expert, Rick Horrow, tells ThePostGame, is what makes his strategy so brilliant: Instead of branding himself as the face of sports gambling, he simply wants to usher it in the right direction. But thanks to Silver's open dialogue, it seems likely that legalized betting will soon become a part of the American sports landscape.

Don't worry, Seahawks fans, you weren't the only ones driven mad by Russell Wilson's fourth-quarter interception.

Las Vegas bookies were also irate to see Malcolm Butler become an instant hero in the Boston area.

While the Super Bowl was a pick 'em at many casinos, heavy money flowed in to the Patriots' side in the hours leading up to the game. And, as has become custom, many bettors were favoring the over on the 47.5 final score figure.

The teams were at 52 points following Julian Edelman's touchdown reception from Tom Brady with 2:02 left. So as Seattle got the ball back, the bookies' last hope to avoid paying out a parlay on the over and a Patriots win was for a Seahawks' touchdown.

As we all know, that didn't happen. New England won and the teams were already over 47.5.

"That was our one losing scenario," Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports books’ director of trading, told the Las Vegas Sun. "We had a big start with the futures, so it’s going to be close but the game couldn’t have been worse."

So while the house still won, a Seattle victory could have been extremely fruitful for casinos. Jay Rood, vice president of Race & Sports for MGM Resorts International, told Bloomberg that Seattle's failure to score created a "significant seven-figure swing."

"It’s the biggest missed opportunity I've ever had,” Rood said. "It was real tough, when it looks like you’ve got it locked up and then you have it snatched away from you because of a really weird decision."

As if Butler's interception wasn't bad enough for casinos, bookies still had another potential problem because the pick left the Patriots in a precarious position on their own 1. Deep in their own territory and with the game on the line, a safety was a possibility. Because the past three Super Bowls have featured safeties, casinos were taking prop bets at 50-to-1 that the game's final score would be a safety.

Alas, bookies' concerns were allayed when Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett was flagged for jumping early. That allowed the Patriots to start at their own 6-yard line rather than just outside the goal line.

"That was probably the best encroachment in the history of football," Jay Kornegay, executive director of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told Bloomberg. "That would have cost the books millions."

Also of note from Bloomberg's report: There was $116 million in wagers in Nevada's 191 sports books, according a release by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, with the casinos winning more than $3.2 million. Last year there was more wagered overall, a record $119.4 million, and the sports books won $19.7 million.

One of the most popular prop bets, on the length of the national anthem, was suspended after insider information was leaked regarding the length of Idina Menzel rehearsals. Menzel went over 122.5 seconds, rewarding those gamblers who placed bets before the suspension.

More than a week before we will even know who's playing in this year's Super Bowl, at least one Las Vegas sports book is taking action on the winner of the Super Bowl to be played in 2016.

The Westgate has installed the Seahawks as the favorite at 5-1 to win Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The 49ers, who are the hosts, were listed at 25-1. (But of course, that was before they hired Jim Tomsula to replace Jim Harbaugh as coach.)

So without accounting for coaching hires, the draft, free-agent shuffles and trades, here's how the odds stack up, with the Patriots (6-1), Packers (7-1) and Broncos (8-1) joining the Seahawks as frontrunners. The longest shots are the Titans, Jaguars and Raiders, all at 300-1.

It always seems like Vegas oddsmakers get spreads right a lot more often than they are wrong. But this NFL season proved to be unpredictable for the league and for Vegas, where 19 out of the 32 teams had more wins than the projected over/under lines.

The two biggest disappointments in terms of odds were the Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Both teams were projected to finish the season with 7.5 wins, and both had only 2. The biggest surprise team was the Dallas Cowboys, who also were projected with 7.5 wins, but managed 12.

Find out how your team fared vs. Vegas this season.

It's also interesting to note that the two Super Bowl teams from last season, Denver and Seattle, were given the highest over-under at 11.5, and both beat the line with 12 wins. Meanwhile the low bar was 4.5 wins for the Raiders, and they failed to reach it with just three.

In Adam Silver's opinion, the current gambling laws aren't stopping fans from betting on sports -- they're only restricting domestic opportunities.

As sports gambling in New Jersey inches closer to a reality, Silver believes now is the time to start accepting the "inevitable" future. The NBA commissioner told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck that he would like to help the government establish regulations that could ensure the industry is managed efficiently.

"Because the industry is not transparent, we can't do as good a job, I believe, as we could if it were all highly regulated," Silver said. "right now there’s a huge offshore online business in sports betting. If you go to Google ... you could spend your night looking at the various sites that ask people to enter their credit cards."

Silver also noted that the English Premier League has been very successful at embracing online gambling companies. Those companies now sponsor the league in many ways, including on team jerseys and on signage inside stadiums.

Silver envisions similar opportunities for the NBA and other sports leagues, and he hopes that future comes sooner rather than later. Right now, the lack of legalized sports betting presents a major missed revenue opportunity for those leagues.

If Silver's influence has any impact on the government, federal laws may soon open the doors to a whole new way of enjoying professional sports.

The full interview with Silver runs 35 minutes and covers a wide range of topics other than gambling. Check it out here:

It turns out Warren Buffett may be as good at predicting football outcomes as he is at reading the markets.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who is reportedly worth upwards of $65 billion, laid down his first-ever wager at a Las Vegas sports book over the weekend. Buffett bet $550 at the MGM Grand on his alma mater, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Because the Cornhuskers easily covered the 12.5-point spread in a 55-19 blowout of Fresno State, Buffett earned $500.



According to CNBC, a few other bettors saw Buffett lay down the cash on Nebraska and rushed over to make the same wager. Smart people.

Buffett was in Las Vegas for Floyd Mayweather's rematch with Marcos Maidana. The 84-year-old billionaire and the undefeated prizefighter have become buddies of late.

Buffett has boosted his sports profile considerably over the past year. Before the 2014 NCAA tournament, Buffett announced a $1 billion bracket challenge for anyone who could predict every single result of the men's basketball tournament. Not only did it earn Buffett tons of publicity, he got to keep his money. It only took 25 games for everyone who entered the challenge to be eliminated.

Last November, shortly after their Huskies topped Maryland, 78-77, in the teams' season opener, a group of current and former UConn students placed a bet that they'll be talking about for the rest of their lives.

The 12 men, all fraternity brothers, each put $100 on UConn to win the national championship at 50-to-1 odds. There was an unlucky 13th member of the group.

"Well, we had one friend who didn't do it," David Faenza, who persuaded his friends in November to go in on UConn, told the Las Vegas Sun. “He's probably off gutting fish somewhere right now or something."

Eleven of the friends returned to Las Vegas over Memorial Day Weekend to collect their winnings.


All season the friends watched as UConn, which started the year ranked 19th, careened its way toward the NCAA tournament. The Huskies had a solid tournament resume, but two demoralizing late-season losses to Louisville left many fans wondering how far UConn could advance.

The Huskies were favored in their first-round matchup, in which they topped St. Joe's in overtime, but were underdogs after that. As UConn kept rolling in March, the talk of hedging grew louder. The crew eventually decided not to bet against UConn, and it paid off.

"I was hyperventilating,” Harrison Fuchs, who planned the initial Las Vegas trip, said of his reaction to the Huskies topping Kentucky in the final game. "I walked out of the bar with my sister and her boyfriend and he said, 'Listen to me: I'm happy you won, but if you ever have $60,000 on the line ever again, you freaking hedge the bet.'"

The friends celebrated extravagantly in Las Vegas over the weekend, and before leaving they made sure to place another $100 bet on UConn for next year. This time, the odds at 60-to-1.

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When Roger Federer's wife, Mirka, gave birth to twin girls five years ago, oddsmakers set the odds of an all-Federer doubles team making the finals at Wimbledon at 100 to 1. It seems within the realm of possibility -- Serena and Venus Williams have won five Wimbledon doubles titles.

And now that Mirka has given birth to another pair of twins, this time boys, the bookies are at it again. And these odds are a little bit longer.

Darren Rovell of ESPN writes that the popular European betting outfit Ladbrokes is setting the odds at 10,000 to 1 for an all-Federer mixed doubles final at Wimbledon. That would require Leo and Lenny to each team up with an older sister for a magical run.

Due to the high odds, Ladbrokes is only accepting a maximum bet of 10 pounds ($17). Still, that hasn't enticed anyone to take the wager.

"Not too surprisingly we haven't seen a single bet yet, as you're going to need to wait about 20 years to collect any winnings," Labrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge told Darren Rovell.

More ambitious gamblers can bet on any one of the Federer children winning a Wimbledon singles title (100 to 1), any combination of the kids winning a doubles title (33 to 1) and even the odds of the Federers having another set of twins (1,000 to 1).

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This week millions of Americans will engage in an illegal activity. And they'll do it at their place of work, no less.

As the nation gears up for the NCAA tournament, Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel tweeted a friendly reminder that the governing body's official position is in opposition to brackets.


From the NCAA's website, here's the organization's official position:

Does the NCAA really oppose the harmless small-dollar bracket office pool for the Men’s Final Four?

Yes! Office pools of this nature are illegal in most states. The NCAA is aware of pools involving $100,000 or more in revenue. Worse yet, the NCAA has learned these types of pools are often the entry point for youth to begin gambling. Fans should enjoy following the tournament and filling out a bracket just for the fun of it, not on the amount of money they could possibly win.

So there you have it. While the NCAA rakes in $11 billion over 14 years from TV rights to the tournament, it is technically illegal for someone to profit from a $10 office pool. Of course, the NCAA is simply following gambling regulations with this policy, but there's something cheeky about the way it informs fans of its stance.

In case you forgot, this is the same organization that polices eight-second phone calls and extra servings of pasta.

Perhaps it is no coincidence in the timing that one day after the tournament brackets were released, there was a federal lawsuit was filed, calling the NCAA an unlawful cartel.

(H/T to Business Insider)

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For the second time in three years, the first score of the Super Bowl was a safety. And for the second time in three years, Jona Rechnitz cashed in big time.

According to TMZ, Rechnitz, a New York real estate mogul, bet $500 at 50-to-1 odds that the first score of this year's Super Bowl would be a Seattle safety. After center Manny Ramirez's first snap of the game flew by Peyton Manning and into the end zone, Rechnitz was $25,000 richer.


Two years ago Rechnitz bet that the first score of Super Bowl XLII would be a safety. He put down $1,000 that time and came out with $50,000 when Tom Brady was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone against the Giants.

He donated all that money to charity and told TMZ he plans to do the same this time. Rechnitz says he'll be giving his winnings to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation.

Here's Rechnitz's winning ticket:


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