NFL: Props up for AFC, NFC title games

Jan 17, 2009 8:44 PM
by Mark Mayer | The Super Bowl in Las Vegas is famed for choosing among some 350 proposition bets that range from who wins the toss to whether one team will score as many points as LeBron James. Well, the art of the prop has overflowed into the NFL conference championship games.

Jay Kornegay, race and sports supervisor at the Las Vegas Hilton and pioneer of Super Bowl props during his days at the Imperial Palace, went into the "War Room" with his staff and came up with some 20 props apiece for the Philadelphia-Arizona NFC title game and the Baltimore-Pittsburgh AFC title contest.

For those "meat and potatoes" guys like two-time GamingToday Bookies Battle champion Johnny Spot who like to play the side and total, Philadelphia is currently a 3½ point favorite with the total at 47 in the NFC and Pittsburgh a 6-point favorite with the total of 34 in the AFC.

"Proposition betting definitely brings people into the casino and it is always a good asset for the books," said Spot, the race and sports director at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. "Of course you have to know what you’re doing with prop wagers. It used to be just the Super Bowl, but it has taken off to league championship games and more. Some places use a point spread prop for the entire NFL season where they can lay more points for a better payback."

Spot said the wagering was a bit slower than usual and blamed it on the economic crunch. "People have to be conservative with their money," he said. "Everyone wants to get the comps and casino rate. I don’t, however, see a problem for the Super Bowl. There are always a lot of people in town for the big game and things just take care of themselves. We’re in such a great area on the Strip that we will always be crowded."

The one prop Spot liked was "more completions by Kurt Warner compared to Donovan McNabb." Warner is -1 in the prop. "With Philadelphia favored, chances are Arizona will fall behind and force Warner to throw more passes."

Here are some of the more interesting props for Eagles-Cardinals:

• Will either team score three straight times? Yes -190, No +170

• Total rushing yards by Brian Westbrook: Over 65½ (-110), Under 65½ (-110)

• Total receptions by Kevin Curtis: Over 4 (-125), Under 4 (+105)

• Total pass attempts by Kurt Warner: Over 40½ (-110), Under 40½ (-110)

• Largest lead by either team: Over 14½ (-120), Under 14½ (even)

• Total QB sacks by both teams: Over 3½ (-150), Under 3½ (+130)

• Total rushing yards by Edgerrin James: Over 49½ (-110), Under 49½ (-110)

• Total receiving yards by Larry Fitzgerald: Over 96½ (-110), Under 96½ (-110)

And here’s some of the best for Ravens-Steelers:

• Total passing yards by Joe Flacco: Over 177½ (-110), Under 177½ (-110)

• Will Derrick Mason score a touchdown: Yes +200, No -240

• What will Ben Roethlisberger throw first, a TD or INT? -130 TD, +110 INT

• Total rushing yards by Willie Parker: Over 62½ (-110), Under 62½ (-110)

• Largest lead by either team: Over 13½ (-110), Under 13½ (-110)

• Will both teams make a field goal of 33 yards or longer? Yes +180, No -210 (if no field goal is made, No is the winner).

• Total QB sacks by both teams: Over 5 (-110), Under 5 (-110)

• Total receiving yards by Heath Miller: Over 30½ (-110), Under 30½ (-110)