Bookies gear up for Super Bowl 38

Jan 20, 2004 7:23 AM

With Carolina set to battle New England in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Las Vegas bookmakers are scrambling to create betting excitement in a game that many feel wasn’t the ideal match-up.

"Any team but Carolina," said the sports director at a popular Las Vegas locals casino. "The Panthers might be good enough to actually win the Super Bowl, but they don’t have the charisma with the public of the teams that lost out."

The teams that lost bids to appear in the Super Bowl include the Philadelphia Eagles, which Carolina completely outplayed, and the Indianapolis Colts, which were throttled by the Patriots.

Regardless of the match-up, most sports books expect a competitive game that should draw plenty of betting interest.

That interest probably won’t reach the $77 million wagered on last season’s Super Bowl (the most since 1978), but with the Patriots making a return trip, betting should be substantial.

Helping to pique players’ interest and loosen their purse strings will be a full menu of special proposition bets designed to fill the void between picking the winner and points total.

In the past, "prop" bets have ranged from picking the first team to score, to the team with the most interceptions, to the winner of the coin toss, and whether or not a team will score a safety, to name a few.

The Imperial Palace leads the charge every year with hundreds of prop bets. Many of the props are unusual in that they involve, for instance, guessing whether Panther quarterback Jake Delhomme will have more interceptions than a hockey team will have first period goals.

GamingToday will have complete coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII in its expanded issue next week. In addition to covering every aspect of the game between Carolina and New England, GT will provide predictions and analysis from its expert staff.

In addition, GT will offer hints on how to best enjoy Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas, which is traditionally one of the town’s busiest weekends of the year. Many casinos feature parties and promotions, as well as unique betting opportunities, contests and seminars.

If it has to do with the Super Bowl, GT will have complete coverage, as always, offering New You Can Bet On!