Wednesday, July 3, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Guadalajara v. America by the Numbers
- 1906: The year Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Sports Club of Guadalajara) was founded
- 1916: The year Club de Futbol America (America Soccer Club) was founded
- 08-01-1943: Date of the first meeting between the two teams, a 1-0 victory for Guadalajara
- 174: The number of official meetings (not including exhibition matches) between the two teams. America holds the slightest advantage with a record of 63 wins, 62 losses and 54 ties
- 0: The number of times either team has been relegated to the Mexican second division, the only two teams in the Mexican soccer leagues to have never suffered the dishonor
- 11: The number of Mexican league championship titles held by each team; they are tied for the most championships by any Mexican soccer team
The new staff at the LVH Superbook was skeptical of the suggestion.
When the then-Las Vegas Hilton brought in Jay Kornegay and his team of oddsmakers to run the city’s largest sports book in 2004, the property’s general manager wanted them to offer betting on Mexican soccer.
“I had no experience with it,” said Jeff Sherman, assistant sports book director at the LVH Superbook. “At that time, it was basically England, Italy and Spain that were driving sources for soccer. But it did so good right away.”
Nearly a decade later without interruption, the Superbook is still posting odds on Liga MX, Mexico’s top soccer league.
Gambling is available on all the games throughout the season, which begins this month, and even on today’s exhibition game between rivals Club America and Chivas Guadalajara at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Sherman posted America as a plus-135 favorite (risking $1 to win $1.35) in the game with Guadalajara fetching plus-200 and a draw paying plus-210.
“The defending champion deserves to be favored,” Sherman said. “But you’ve got to relax a little bit with it being an exhibition match. I’m sure these two teams playing in this market will come out and give a good performance. The question is how long they’ll play their starters.”
Sherman looked at the odds and results from the teams’ recent meetings to formulate the number. America has beaten Guadalajara twice in three games over the past two years, including in March as part of the Clausura 2013 season.
America went on to win the championship, giving the team its 11th Liga MX title. That’s a significant mark because it ties the all-time record held by Guadalajara, which hasn’t prevailed in seven years and 14 tournaments.
The “El Super Clasico” rivalry has never been so bitter.
“These teams have tremendous followings, and we’ve done this for the local exhibition games in the past, so that’s why we put a line up,” Sherman said.
The LVH Superbook was the only place in town where betting was available Tuesday, but William Hill sports books planned to post its own numbers sometime before the start of the game. The Superbook will also post odds on the July 13 local exhibition between Mexico’s Monarcas and El Salvador’s L.A. Firpo before the game.
“All soccer has grown in popularity,” Sherman said. “Television availability is one of the biggest things behind that. There are so many more games for viewing now, and that really drives the betting aspect of it.”
Sherman said the Superbook saw an uptick in Mexican league handle when Spanish-speaking channels widely available locally began airing more games. William Hill has also carved a niche in the market, as fans congregate at some of their properties to catch the games.
The LVH posts odds on as many as 20 leagues worldwide, and Mexico generates the third most action. The European Champions League and the English Premier League are the only ones currently ahead.
“It’s a staple of where we’re at,” Sherman said. “We’ve had some discussions about leagues we could discontinue — like the Dutch for example, because the only time it’s used is for someone to throw them into a parlay — but we’ve never had a reason to consider it with Mexico.”