NFL betting action steady on the Colts

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NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts |

But most wagers yet to be made

Super Bowl betting has been steady at the Las Vegas Sports Books with ticket counts showing a little higher than 5-to-2 in favor of the Colts. Just about every sports book in town has the Colts a 5½-point favorite with a few variations on the total from 56 to 57.

Of course, as they say – you ain’t seen nothing yet. Over 95% of all wagers on the game will be made Saturday and Sunday of this week and that will be where the telling sign is to where this game will go. So far on a small sampling, the Colts appear to be the team of choice.

While betting has been steady, few sports supervisors are ready to predict the total handle. But they all seem to agree it will outpace last year’s $81.5 million, the lowest Super Bowl volume since 2004.

For now, most of the action has been on the Colts. And why not? They have been the most consistent team all season seemingly unfazed where they play, what surface the game is on and don’t even blink if they find themselves in a deficit.

The Saints, on the hand, have many in the general public asking if they are in the Super Bowl merely because of the home field advantage they had in the Superdome for the NFC title game, where they appeared to be outplayed by the Vikings.

Had this game been in early November, the Saints would likely be the team with a 5 to 2 ticket count ratio. They were peaking at that juncture and appeared to be unstoppable, but then came the stretch run and they ran out of gas in the final furlong losing three straight as the playoffs began.

Fortunately for the Saints, they do have a little recent history on their side. Remember the dreadful 80’s and early 90’s Super Bowls that saw blowouts every year with NFC teams dominating?

Ever since Denver knocked off the Packers as an 11-point underdog, the Super Bowls have been pretty entertaining for the most part.

Just in the last two years alone we’ve seen the underdog side cover with the Cardinals almost winning and the Giants beating the undefeated Patriots. However, the underdog winning is still pretty scarce.

Since that Denver win, where many had the money line giving the sports books one of their lowest Super Bowl wins ever, the public has been chasing for that upset win. They hit big time with the Giants two years ago, and back-to-back with the Buccaneers in 2003 and Patriots in 2002, but that’s it.

There have been only four outright underdog winners since 1998, with three other dogs covering but not winning.

Props offer Great Value

Whenever a sports book extends itself with over 200 betting options that they have to monitor and baby sit while keeping the limits in the college basketball games, it’s a good sign that the books aren’t as confident as they would like to be. Because of so many different numbers and opinions regarding the same props around town, bettors can even find themselves a nice middle on some of the player stat based props. It’s worth putting on some comfortable shoes and taking a walk down the Strip visiting a few of the books like they did in the old days. To get maximum coverage in the city since it’s grown so much, you will eventually need a car so you can get the prop sheet at Palace Station, the Hilton, South Point, Orleans and M Resort.

History of the Prop

The one that got the most attention was William “Refrigerator” Perry for the 1986 Super Bowl between the Bears and Patriots. Caesars Palace gave odds on Perry to score a touchdown. They opened it at 20 to 1 and closed it at 2 to 1. It found lots of takers and late in the third quarter of the blowout, Perry and Mike Ditka made them all winners.

“There was a lot of buzz around town for that prop with many around the city offering it,” said Lucky’s Sports Book Director Jimmy Vaccaro, “but it wasn’t until the reports came in from everywhere how much the books lost on the prop with stories published nationally by the wire services that made it so big.”

Bears fans to this day still hold somewhat of a grudge against Ditka for having Perry score instead of future hall of Famer Walter Payton, and so do the bookies who lost on the prop.

Since then, everyone has taken it to another level mixing in all other types of sports stats to go against the anything that happens in the Super Bowl.

Hilton Kardashian Prop

The Las Vegas Hilton Super Book crew has done it again by creating one of the more interesting cross-over Super Bowl props of the season.

Much like the Super Bowl commercials everywhere else, we in Las Vegas sit anxiously awaiting who will have the most clever prop during the two week break until the big game is finally played, and generally it’s the Hilton who leads the way.

The Hilton’s Executive Director of Race and Sports, Jay Kornegay, was sitting in his office Wednesday taking calls from all over the world from various media outlets discussing his props when he got an interesting call. On the other line, TMZ.com, the entertainment gossip page and TV show.

They called to see if they’re were any juicy entertaining props they could discuss, and then offered a prop suggestion of their own for Kornegay to use, “Who will score more on Super Bowl Weekend, Lamar Odom or Reggie Bush.”

The angle has a nice Kardashian sister twist and makes for an interesting news story for the gossip page to utilize sports’ biggest game with the entertainment world and pop culture; absolutely perfect for their show putting the two Kardashian sister’s men against each other.

Kornegay and his staff quickly found a way to put statistics from Odom’s game on Saturday at Portland against Bush’s rushing yards in the Super Bowl so it’s a fairly even number. They finally came up with “Who will have more, Odom’s points, rebounds and assists combined against Bush’s rushing yards.”

“It’s not unusual for us to get requests like that,” says Kornegay. “We get several a year from guests that we try to accommodate with a fair number and then offer it to everyone.”

The Hilton crew has been the industry leader in Las Vegas for Super Bowl propositions for the last decade. The crew came over from the Imperial Palace where they were the industry leader there as well.

Who will have more:

Lakers/Blazers

Feb. 6, 2010)

Prop closes at 7 pm Pacific time

Lamar Odom (LAL)

Points+Rebounds

+Assists +0.5 -110

Reggie Bush

(no) rushing yards -0.5 -110

Copyright 2010 GamingToday
Nevada Super Bowl Handle
YEAR
HANDLE
RESULT
WIN/LOSS
HOLD
2009
$81,514,748
Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
$6,678,044
8.2
2008
$92,055,833
Giants 17, Patriots 14
($2,573,103)
-2.8
2007
$93,067,358
Colts 29, Bears 17
$12,930,175
13.9
2006
$94,534,372
Steelers 21, Seahawks 10
$8,828,431
9.3
2005
$90,759,236
Patriots 24, Eagles 21
$15,430,138
17.0
2004
$81,242,191
Patriots 32, Panthers 29
$12,440,698
15.3
2003
$71,693,032
Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21
$5,264,963
7.3
2002
$71,513,304
Patriots 20, Rams 17
$2,331,607
3.3
2001
$67,661,425
Ravens 34, Giants 7
$11,002,636
16.3
2000
$71,046,751
Rams 23, Titans 16
$4,237,978
6.0
1999
$75,986,520
Broncos 34, Falcons 19
$2,906,601
3.8
1998
$77,253,246
Broncos 31, Packers 24
$472,033
0.6
1997
$70,853,211
Packers 35, Patriots 21
$2,265,701
3.2
1996
$70,907,801
Cowboys 27, Steelers 17
$7,126,145
10.1
1995
$69,591,818
49ers 49, Chargers 26
($396,674)
-0.6
1994
$54,483,221
Cowboys 30, Bills 13
$7,481,541
13.7
1993
$56,811,405
Cowboys 52, Bills 17
$7,174,869
12.6
1992
$50,334,277
Redskins 37, Bills 24
$301,280
0.6
1991
$40,080,409
Giants 20, Bills 19
$3,512,241
8.8

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts

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