Saints go marching out

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We all should have known halfway
through the regular season that the Colts and Bears would meet in Super Bowl
XLI. They were the last unbeaten teams to lose.

“I had Indianapolis at 10/1
to win the Super Bowl and nobody was interested,” said John Avello,
director of race and sports operations at Wynn Las Vegas. “The prior two
years, the Colts were highly favored. That’s the way sports can be. The
unexpected happens.”

Avello has posted a 10/1 prop on
both the Colts and Bears joining the 1972 Dolphins as the only unbeaten NFL
teams.

“Chicago was the NFC
favorite at the start of the year,” Avello said. “They had some key
defensive injuries, the QB fell apart yet they still got there. Home field
played a large part.

“Indianapolis was written
off coming into the playoffs,” he continued. “Not because of offense,
but that defense couldn’t stop anyone. Remember when the Steelers were on a
nice winning streak last year and wound up winning the Super Bowl. That wasn’t
the case this season.”

The current line of Indianapolis
-7 is not far off from what the AFC vs. NFC spread was at both Wynn and Las
Vegas Hilton for close to a year.

“At Wynn, I had opened the
AFC at -1 and had the Super Bowl prop line as high as -7,” Avello said.
“We closed it at 6½. Two weeks ago on a neutral field, I would have had
the NFC -3½. In the Super Bowl, what’s looked at is what is done that day.
When Peyton Manning put up 38 against New England, we felt comfortable at
-7.”

The house did well at Wynn,
particularly on money line wagers.

“The Bears also helped us
quite a bit in the first game,” Avello said. “Emotionally a lot of
people got caught up in the Saints. They were an okay football team. You have to
remember they won just three games last year. They had to play in Chicago.
Expectations only go so far.”

During the idle week, Avello said
he’ll gather his staff together Thursday night to discuss Super Bowl plans.

“I would say 85 percent of
Super Bowl visitors are booked at Wynn already,” he said. “We will
definitely be sold out. There’s always dribs and dribs as far as first week
wagering, but 95 percent of the money will come in that last weekend.”

Avello joked about a prop bet
that would gather some interest.

“Will Peyton Manning get
into trouble in South Beach?” he laughed. “There’s absolutely no
way. I’d say 1000/1.”

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