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If LVH Super Book VP Jay Kornegay could have a say in who participates in this year’s Super Bowl, he’d vote Broncos-Packers all day long.

It’s not just because he hails from Denver and is a die-hard Broncos fan, it’s simply business. He’s looking for the best possible matchup in the biggest game of the year that will not only attract the most money through his bet windows, but also the most people from out of town where millions of dollars spill over into every other area of the casino.

“It’s definitely Broncos-Packers just based on what I’ve seen this season,” Kornegay said. “From the weekly handle of games during the regular season and from what I see weekly at football central (LVH viewing parties) that have been filled with a majority of Broncos fans, they are an easy choice to be the most attractive team coming out of the AFC.”

The LVH currently has the Broncos as the 5-to-2 favorite to win the Super Bowl, followed by the Patriots at 11-4, the 49ers at 5-1 and the Packers at 6-1. Although the Patriots have plenty of supporters weekly at the bet windows, Kornegay says they’re not a team that has a huge following.

“The Patriots get tons of action every week from bettors who just respect their play and results – they want to win their bet, but the difference between them and Denver is the fan base. Broncos fans are a little hungrier and crazier right now with their colors being much more visible than the Patriots.”

Along the same lines, Kornegay would choose the Packers as well with the 49ers being a close second.

“The Packers fans are just consistent. The 49ers are pretty excited too, having been away from the Super Bowl for such a long time. I think from a West Coast point of view, which is good for us, Broncos-49ers would be almost as attractive as Broncos-Packers.”

We’ve seen both those matchups in the Super Bowl before. One of the greatest Super Bowls ever was John Elway capturing his first Super Bowl win for Denver over the defending champion Packers. The other was a laugher with the 49ers winning 55-10 over the Broncos.

The Patriots were involved in two of the largest handled Super Bowls their last two appearances – $93 million last year, $92 million in 2008. The driving force behind those two games was the New York Giants as the underdog that everyone seemed to root and bet for.

The top handled Super Bowl of all-time in Nevada didn’t involve the ideal matchup, suggesting that handle is more relative to current economic times. In 2006 the Seahawks and Steelers matchup generated $94.5 million in handle at a time just before the stuff hit the fan in America.

But things appear to be on the upswing now and if the Broncos are able to make the Super Bowl, the Nevada books could be looking at a possible all-time record.

The thing with the Broncos is that it’s not just Denver fans rooting for them, it’s all the fringe crowd that love a great underlying story. Peyton Manning’s meteoric rise to greatness again, after missing a season with a possible career ending neck-injury and being tossed to the side by his former team, instantly made him an inspiration to many.

Football fans wanted to see him do well, and he has with an MVP performance. Winning the Super Bowl would be icing on the cake and people want to see if he can get it done, no matter what team they root for.

The Broncos have home field throughout the playoffs and begin their quest Saturday against the Ravens as 9-point favorites. 

Bettors win Wild Card Playoffs

You would think with all four favorites winning and covering that the sports books would have gotten buried over the weekend. They lost a little, but it wasn’t as bad as the projections would have been had you asked any book director in Las Vegas last Friday.

Despite paying out 11-to-1 on the popular four-team parlay over the weekend, the books were fortunate that all four games stayed UNDER the total.

The majority of bettors love to bet the favorites and parlays, but they also enjoy wagering games OVER the total. Over the course of the season favorites have hit only 48.6 percent of the time and game went OVER only 48.4. The majority never look at that kind of stuff and just shoot from the hip.

The average Joe betting wants to be thrilled. It’s like a price of admission for a day’s worth of excitement. The ultimate goal is to win, yes, but they seem to feel better about taking a team perceived to be better – the favorite – and they want to be wowed by points – the OVER.

The books also took it on the chin with their ridiculous “ties lose” parlay cards offered. The card generally holds up 60 percent of all handle compared to the regular season cards that at least give bettors a shot which holds only 28 percent.

These postseason parlay cards don’t have half-points either and offer spreads on games at 3, 4, 7, and 10 – the most hit upon margin of victories regardless of what the number on the board is. Over the weekend, the books got hammered on those cards because all four favorites won and didn’t land on the number, or tie.

There is at least some justice for the bettors who get suckered in to playing these type of cards. Now, with bettors showing a win on them, the books have proof that the cards can be beat, if there were to be any kind of inquisition.

If winning on one of these cards last week, consider yourself lucky, take the money, run, and play only off the board in the future. This has been a public service announcement.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].

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