NCAA brings big business to local sports books

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada's big win in Friday's NCAA tournament means even bigger business for local sports books.

Fans traveled all way to the Silver State from the east coast. Nevada was down 9 points at halftime, and by as many as 14 in the second half in Friday's game against Texas, but they never lost their composure.

They beat the Longhorns in overtime 87 to 83, and the thrilling game has guests coming back for more.

"I made money off Nevada yesterday," said Daryl Smith of Lodi. "That was a good game. It was crazy and everyone in here was going nuts. It was fun."

People are traveling from thousands of miles away just for tournament activities at local casinos and other venues.

"I am here with my husband, Dave," said Theresa Pasek. "We come every year to Reno from Charlotte, North Carolina. We fly out here before March Madness begins."

Marc Nelson of the Atlantis says right now 63% of bets are on the Wolf Pack, and heading into Sunday's showdown with the Bearcats, the Pack is the underdog.

"In this case the Wolf Pack will be an underdog in the game so you will get a few points. The Wolf Pack can lose by up to 8 and you will still win your bet."

With the UMBC Retrievers' historic upset against Virginia, Nelson says it gives the Pack a better chance.

"It's the first time a 16 seed has ever beat a 1 seed. Since they are in the same region as the Wolf Pack, the Pack can get through Cincinnati on Sunday. They actually have a pretty good shot at getting to the final four with Virginia being eliminated."

Tip-off between Nevada and Cincinnati is at 3:10 Sunday, March 18, 2018.