If only Carolina and Denver had Gittes!

Jan 24, 2006 6:15 AM

The Two Jakes was a sequel to Chinatown, the 1974 classic Jack Nicholson detective movie. Well, Plummer and Delhomme are no Jake Gittes.

Instead we ride that Magic Bus to Motown a week from this Sunday for Super Bowl 40. I’ll devote this bye-week to avoiding the mindless chatter that always comes with the 14 days between the league championship games and the ultimate prize.

With one caviat — Pittsburgh has opened a four-point favorite at most locales across Las Vegas and, as GT’s Denny The Dog correctly points out, likely to rise.

It’s the very first time I can ever remember a No. 6 seed in any sport being favored over a No. 1, but the number is most worthy. Pittsburgh is the people’s choice, having played in five previous Super Bowls and winning four. They have Big Ben, Bus Bettis, the Terrible Towels and that Steel Curtain.

Seattle has rain, Starbucks, Microsoft and Ichiro. Neither has a Jake, thus both are headed for Detroit in what looks on the surface to be a most interesting and entertaining clash. We’ll save our further comment on the game for next week.

As for the Las Vegas books, Jay Kornegay at the Hilton backed the feeling expressed earlier in the week by LV Sports Consultants head Ken White when stating that the house needed both the Seahawks and Broncos to win and cover.

The Seahawks bailed the house out to some degree, but it was an overall good day for the bettors, who latched on to the Steelers with both the +3½ and money line. Many parlayed Pittsburgh with Carolina on the money line and with the points, but both games going "over" the total did not help the house.

Still not a total loss except for the fans, who witnessed two early KOs. The Pacquiao-Morales fight at $49.95 on pay-per-view was a better watch, as was Kobe Bryant’s incredible 81-point night against Toronto. What I appreciated most about Kobe’s solo act was Lamar Odom’s first half triple-double — 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists in some 17 minutes. If not, it seemed that way. Nice of Lamar to dress up.

Here’s some advice for those who don’t trust futures bets. Don’t chicken out like I do. I had a feeling that Tommy Haas would somehow take the icon Roger Federer to five sets in the Australian Open, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. Sure enough, he did. Federer, of course, won and I tossed away a $50-plus winning investment.

It’s only the fourth week in January, too early to make a 2007 New Year’s resolution. Maybe I’ll do it on Yom Kippur.

In the meantime, avoid the SB 40 chatter except for what our quality writers served up this issue. Thanks for your support.