Super Bowl is all about the props!

Jan 31, 2006 6:37 AM

Times keep a changing and boy has it affected the Super Bowl and Las Vegas.

I can still remember my first Super Bowl in Vegas. It was 1979 and I was waiting for a friend to join me at the Stardust, at that time one of the few books in the city. The Dust was the best.

The game was set to go in about 10 minutes and I was saving a good seat for my friend as the book was packed wall to wall. I went out to the front of the Dust and looked up and down the street. It was like an atomic bomb hit, no people or cars. Everyone had taken refuge in the casinos to watch the Super Bowl. That was a sight to see!

Boy are things different — not only the way the game will be bet, but the Boulevard will be packed when the game is on. Back then and even into the ’80s and early ’90s, when I was behind the counter plying my trade, you saw very few prop bets. You bet the game and the total and that’s all, not even a parlay card.

Now it’s all about the props! The game seems to be secondary, unless you have a good future on one of the teams to win. At that, you will be looking for a way to hedge.

As I made the rounds this past week, I ran into several well known players shopping the props. Here are some bets they like very much, which I will send your way.

Donnie Bader: First, let me say I ran into the speedy one, who is driving a new cab after totaling his last one. He likes Seahawks hit with most penalty yards; neither team kicking a field goal longer than 33+ yards; (I may disagree with that one), Jerome Bettis rushing for more than 2½ yards on his first carry, (I like that one) and the first punt UNDER 42½ yards.

Sid Diamond: My good friend and ex boss. The affable and ever-knowing Sid had a handful of props like he was going to visit his tax man. He likes Steelers -2 for the first half. Sid says Pittsburgh has come out smoking in all three playoff games and this one will be no different. He had no selection on the outcome, but probably would have one after watching the first half, then will make a second half bet.

Cousin Lou: He loves to bet the props. His best: OVER 3½ field goals, OVER 4½ sacks, Big Ben completing OVER 16½ passes, and more points scored in the second half (including OT, if necessary). I like that last one a lot.

Props and more props.

The Super Bowl used to be about the game and inviting your top casino players to a high-end party. Most casinos held several parties — one for the high-end players and another for the little guys. They could pay $10 or $20 to eat, drink and watch the game on big screen TVs. Betting stations were available so people could wager up until game time.

No more.

The ever-watchful "NFL Gestapo" put an end to that. No one can use Super Bowl, a term now owned by the NFL.

It’s now an infringement if used and you can be sued. So it’s off to Lou and Liz’s house for SB 40, eating some salad and pasta along with drinking lots of wine.

Who’s my pick? Well you know I’m rooting for Big Ben and the Steelers. I do have a nice little bet on Pittsburgh to win and I bet the first half UNDER 24 along with UNDER 48 for the game. Maybe, like Sid, I’ll make a second half play.

Hope everyone enjoys the game no matter the bet or where you decide to watch. Two good teams that hopefully play a game with no controversy.

I see Pittsburgh winning by four. That seems to be their style in past Super Bowls when the Steelers played the Cowboys.

Don’t lay more than 4. Go Steelers money line or Seahawks +4½. Have fun. This game only comes around once a year.