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COMMENTARY: Big game attracts bettors

The Super Bowl is considered to be the biggest sporting event for gambling. As of Thursday, the Panthers are favored by 5.5 points.

So who do you bet on and what type of bet do you make? It can be a conundrum but let's face it, most people who bet on the Super Bowl do it for fun. Many who bet money don't go to Vegas or their local casino to do it. They put a few bucks down at the office pool or buy a square.

But it still is a very serious business in Las Vegas and around the world where gambling is legal.

According to the Los Angeles Times, bettors will gamble $4.2 billion on the outcome of this game. One of the most popular bets is the proposition bet or prop bet.

A prop bet is betting on individual events connected to the game. For the Super Bowl they stretch the connection. For example, you can bet on things like how long the national anthem will last or the distance of the first field goal made. For the William Hill Sports Book, the strange bets are in the "which will be more?" category. For instance, which will be more, Lebron James' points, rebounds or assists or total first downs?

Which will be more, UNLV points or Emmanuel Sanders' receiving yards?

The odds of winning many of these bets are long shots but they are fun. I for one still seem to think they are not for the serious-minded and tend to be for those who just are betting for the heck of it.

Pahrump's Sheldon Finkelstein, who made his living on gambling once told me just before he passed away that prop bets were for suckers. He added that serious gamblers like the Super Bowl and can make money off of it if they know what they are doing. His point was there were so many people that didn't know what they were doing that this gave the serious gamblers better odds.

Roger Simon, of William Hill at the Pahrump Nugget, said the serious bettors are going for teasers now.

"It's a great time to do a teaser bet now because this year the NFL games have been so close," he said. "You can pick the Broncos with a teaser and if the Panthers win by a close margin you can still win."

Simon explained, teasers are multi-leg bets similar to a parlay. They differ in a parlay because in a teaser, bettors can modify or move the point spread. They are common in college and the NFL but also can be found in basketball. Like a parlay, you can have more than one team. Popular teasers have three teams. In the case of the Super Bowl, there are obviously only two teams. During the regular season one can have as many as 15.

I am not a gambler and I really am not going to explain the ins and outs of this betting method for I am just passing on a tip. For a thorough explanation, go see Simon.

So which team did you pick? I am going for the experience of Peyton Manning. I want him to get his second Super Bowl ring and I think he can survive the blitzing of the Panthers. I will admit the odds favor the Panthers, they have the best offense in the NFL by the stats, averaging 31.2 points per game. But in the defense department, Denver was the fourth-rated defense in the NFL. Manning also defeats Newton in the passing department.

The Panthers will have to get Manning off his groove. This means they have to sack him. Manning's offensive line has not let a sack happen in three games and the last two games were against the Patriots and the Steelers.

Of course, the Panthers have the better rushing game, at 142.6 yards per game ... I better quit now before I change my mind.

To me, defense sets the tones, so go Denver.

-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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