It takes only a little longer to read the 1,472 pages of the Leo Tolstoy novel “War and Peace” than it does to analyze the numerous Super Bowl proposition bets authored by Las Vegas sports book directors.
The New England Patriots are 7-point favorites over the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s game at Jacksonville, Fla.
Don’t care to place a wager on that? No problem.
“If you don’t have an opinion on the game, we’ll give you one,” Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an educated bettor or a novice. These props are another opportunity.”
The Hilton has posted more than 250 prop bets, some bland and some that suggest the exorbitance of it is getting out of hand. But this is the year’s biggest betting event in Las Vegas, and imagine if everyone was restricted to drinking light beer on New Year’s Eve.
“It’s something that people are definitely wanting,” said Kornegay, who remembers posting just 15 props on the Super Bowl when he was at the Imperial Palace 15 years ago.
Of the variety of props offered in town, there is one obvious omission: Will Patriots safety Rodney Harrison put the hammer down on Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell?
After making disrespectful comments about Harrison and the New England secondary, Mitchell is under the microscope. But the posted totals for his receptions (2 1/2) and receiving yards (43 1/2) indicate he likely will be a minor factor.
One of the simplest props is always one of the most popular. Will there be overtime? Betting “Yes” is plus-500 and betting “No” is minus-700.
“It has never happened, but the public is in love with betting ‘yes’ on that prop,” Kornegay said. “The money is just so lopsided, we don’t want it to happen.”
It almost happened last year. The Patriots’ Adam Vinatieri kicked a last-minute field goal for a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
New England has won two of the past three Judi Poker Super Bowls, and both wins were by three points. So here is another prop: Will the game be decided by exactly three points? A “Yes” bet is plus-320 and a “No” bet is minus-400.
Other props are more complex, comparing statistics from the Super Bowl with NBA players such as the Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson, golfer Ernie Els and even an Italy-Ireland rugby match Sunday.
If the Super Bowl turns into a blowout, props guarantee that every play counts and bettors stay entertained from start to finish.
“You can be in our sports book, and after something that looks like a meaningless play, you’ve got all these guys going crazy,” Kornegay said. “We know exactly why they are cheering.”