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Johnny Avello | Director of DraftKings Sportsbook

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2024 6:04 am

Johnny Avello | Director of DraftKings Sportsbook

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 10, 2024 6:04 am

Director of DraftKings Sportsbook Johnny Avello joins the show to preview a Las Vegas Super Bowl!

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$10 minimum per order. Additional term supply. Our friend Johnny Avello is the director of DraftKings Sportsbook and Vegas is his home. So Johnny, thanks for joining us for a couple of minutes. Are you starting to feel the buzz in Vegas? We've been feeling a buzz for quite some time now.

The convention authority hasn't just sprayed all over TV. It's been on since it was announced about a, you know, a year ago or so and actually it's been announced a couple of years, but the town's really pumped up for, you know, and what I used to say, Amy, is that you can't make it to Vegas to watch the Super Bowl and this was just to come into the casinos, then you might consider going to the game. But now that the game is here, you get the best of both worlds. You get to watch it and at a party in the casino or live if you want to pay 10 or $20,000 for a ticket. So it's an exciting time here in town.

What does it mean to have the first ever Super Bowl land in Las Vegas at relatively new Allegiant Stadium? We hold a lot of events here anyway. You know, we're going to be holding NCAA. We do hold NCAA conference tournaments.

We have a hockey team, one to Stanley Cup, a football team in its second year, and a lot of different shows all the time. So we're used to holding big events. Now, this being the biggest of all, it's just going to magnify the amount of people that are in town, if that can be magnified. You know, I'm expecting standing room only everywhere you go and, you know, yeah, it's going to be a big event for the town and everybody's looking forward to it.

I think everybody will be looking forward for everybody to lead to once they get here. On a typical Super Bowl week, if the game is not in town, what is it like at the various casinos or sportsbooks? Well, in my tenure at, you know, at the Wind Hotel for the last, you know, 13 years before I came to DraftKings, we would hold just a over-the-top type of party. Actually, we would hold multiple parties. We'd have one for the VIP guests. We would pack that with, we'd probably have a couple thousand people at that party. And then we would have one for the general public where anybody could go. And we would hold those in the showroom and show the game on the big screen.

And, you know, between the showrooms we had there, we could probably fit in another 1,500, 2,000. So, and that doesn't even count what we would do in our, you know, our two books between win and encore. So other places in town do similar things, but if people wanted to come to town here for the Super Bowl now, they're still going to come, but now they have an option to actually go to the game if they prefer. We're always excited to have Johnny Avello with us. He's the director of sportsbook for DraftKings, our first time in 2024, and I think our first time this football season. And man, we're on the cusp of seeing the playoffs, the supersized wildcard weekend, but also just coming out of the college football playoff. How did bettors respond to what we saw with college football?

Yeah, let me take you back for the semifinal games. Well, in the Michigan-Alabama game, Alabama was bet pretty heavily against Michigan. You know, the general public just felt that Alabama getting a point and a half, there was value there, getting that type of a team. And that game could've went either way. The other game, Washington, Washington was bet as an underdog, a four-point underdog, and we lost pretty good on that game. And Washington's been bet in this underdog role and doing pretty well, you know, going back and beating Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game and then beating Texas. And then again, last night they were bet again heavily, not only before the game started, but in the in-game wager where you can bet there in the entire game. They were betting them at plus three to one, plus five to one, plus eight to one when they got down a couple of touchdowns. So we had some heavy liability on them. And fortunately for us, we came out on the positive end.

As for college football for the entire year, it was just a tremendous year for us in not only handle and we did real well on the games overall. It's interesting to think about the way that sports betting and wagering grow across the country. And now you've got another state in Vermont that has legalized sports betting. Which sports are people flocking to? I'm glad you brought up Vermont because we are going to open up there on Thursday morning.

And when I say Thursday morning, I'm talking 1201 AM Thursday morning. Yeah, that's right. And so what I've noticed with the states that we opened up, whether it's Vermont or Massachusetts who came on board just recently, or we were in the state of Illinois or Arizona or New York, a lot of the home teams are bet, especially on the future book. They love to bet the Giants and Jets in New York. They love to bet the Patriots all up through the New England area.

And I find that in each jurisdiction, the homers, as I like to call them, like to bet their teams. Now we have a lot to offer. We have so much content on player props and so many different sports besides the normal sports. You have your tennis, your NASCAR, but we also offer rugby and Aussie rules football. And we have MMA as big as well as boxing and cricket and cycling and darts and e-sports. I mean, it goes on and on.

So what we have is a menu that is for everyone out there. And what I find is that different states, although they bet on their, the teams, the home teams, the home state teams, they find their niche in the sports that they like to bet that they feel they do well in. Now, of course, football and basketball, baseball take precedent and everything else, but they do find their niche in some of those other sports I just mentioned. Johnny Vello is with us from Las Vegas where he's made his home for how long, 40 years? 45.

45 years. And we're always excited to talk to him, especially now with the grandest stage in sports on the horizon landing there in mere weeks. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Upcoming games, Super Size Wild Card Weekend.

I've heard some of the lines, which one stands out to you? Well, I like the way that the NFL positions the games. And it's really good for us betting wise. This past Sunday, we had something that was kind of unusual that we don't usually see. We had six, 10 o'clock, well, I'm talking West Coast. So on the East Coast, it'd be one o'clock. Six, one o'clock games on the East Coast and then seven, four, 25 games.

And I love that separation. First of all, I like having, we've never had that many afternoon games. And I like the separation from the time that first game starts to the time the second game starts, because that gives the betters opportunity to cash their ticket and then decide who they want to bet in the second game.

And sometimes we don't get that opportunity because some games are at 105 and the first 10 o'clock, sometimes the 10 o'clock games aren't over by then. That brings me to this weekend. So Saturday, we have two games, a 1.30 and a 5.15, ample time between both games to get your bets in and think about who you want to bet in that second game, which is the dolphins cheese. Then on Sunday, we have three games, a 10, a 1.30 and a 5.15 all spread out.

And then the Monday night playoff game between the Eagles and Bucks. So I like the way that the NFL has these games positioned. For us, it's just a great opportunity for our betters. Is there a particular line that stands out to you?

Well, they all stand out because we made them all. I think they're right where they need to be. I can tell you some where the betters disagreed with us a little bit.

On the Browns-Texans game, they did agree. We opened two and a half and that really has moved from that number. The Chiefs, we opened three and a half. You know, Chiefs aren't really playing that well. And either of the dolphins, to be honest with you, you know, they're struggling too and they have a lot of injuries. We opened the Chiefs three and a half at home.

We're up to four and a half. So they like the Chiefs in this one early. We'll see where the money, you know, settles when we get to game time on Saturday. In the Sunday games, we opened the Bills nine, which I thought was a pretty hefty number against a scrappy stealer team who kind of hangs around and digs in and likes to play in the mud and, you know, tough team to put away. Well, anyway, they bet that game up to 10.

So Bills are 10 at home. The Cowboys, we opened seven and a half over the Packers, which I thought it was a great number. It makes you think either way, do I want over the touchdown or do I want to lay the over touchdown with the Cowboys being at home where they very rarely lose? And then the Lions and the Rams, we opened that three and a half.

We are at three, just a slight move down to three. They took the Rams there. And then they bet the Eagles from two and a half up to three on the Monday night game. Eagles certainly in a little bit of a slump and Tampa surging, if you want to call it surging, at least when, you know, their division, we'll see where this game goes. But I thought the Lions, we did a good job. The team did a good job. And, you know, we're dealing with some injuries. We're dealing with some weather possibly this week, although three of the games are in domes.

But yeah, we'll see where the public takes the numbers now. Johnny, I'm so excited. We'll be bringing after hours to Las Vegas for Super Bowl week and spending three days on Radio Row and then doing three shows on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night.

But I want you to know that I'm not going to waste the opportunity. My first ever trip to Vegas is on my bucket list to see Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. And my husband and I do have tickets on Friday night.

So I can't wait for that. We're also making our little jaunt up to the Hoover Dam, another one of the items on my bucket list. Can you offer a restaurant recommendation or something else that I must see while I'm there?

I have a lot of restaurant recommendations and I'll give I'll be on Radio Row to Amy and I'll definitely hook up there. Yes, I think I think the one attraction in town that I can see from my house and live a little above the city, which I love to look at every night before I go to bed is this sphere. I I'm just I'm in love with the sphere.

It can do a lot of things exterior. I haven't been in it, but I just love what it what it does for the city lights it up and it does a lot of displays. And so that's an attraction.

I think you should at least get in there. They do have some shows daily in there and maybe that might be one of the attractions you may want to see. I'm really looking forward to it. Obviously, I've waited a long time to get there and I know the city is different than it was when you got there four plus decades ago and you've seen it changed and even improve now with the addition of pro sports and so many other attractions, not to mention families too. I hear it's a very popular destination for families to move, so look forward to meeting you there. Johnny Avello is the director of sportsbook for DraftKings. We've had him on the show for years. We'll finally have a chance to speak in person, so I will talk to you soon. Johnny, thank you.

Hey Amy, great speaking to you and I'll see you in a month. The NFL regular season is wrapping up, but there's still time to get in on the action with FanDuel, America's number one sportsbook. Right now, new customers get $150 in bonus bets guaranteed when you place a $5 bet.

That's $150 in bonus bets win or lose. The app is so easy to use and there are so many different ways to bet like live same game parlays, find bets in the new explore tab, make a parlay in the parlay hub, the best way to find popular parlays and more. So visit fanduel.com slash stream and make your first bet a layup. FanDuel, official partner of the NFL.

Must be 21 plus and present in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, permitted parishes only, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, or Wyoming. FanDuel is offering online sports wagering in Kansas under an agreement with Kansas Star Casino, LLC. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as now withdrawal bonus bets expire seven days after receipt.

Restrictions apply. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. Gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit fanduel.com slash RG in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXT-STEP to 53342 in Arizona, 1-888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org slash chat in Connecticut, 1-800-9-WITH-IT in Indiana, 1-800-522-4700 or visit ksgamblinghelp.com in Kansas, 1-877-770-STOP in Louisiana. Visit mdgamblinghelp.org in Maryland. Visit 1-800-GAMBLER.net in West Virginia or call 1-800-522-4700 in Wyoming.

Hope is here. Visit gamblinghelplinema.org or call 800-327-5050 for 24-7 support in Massachusetts or call 1-877-8HOPE-NY or text HOPE-NY in New York or visit oasas.ny.gov slash gambling. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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