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Super Sunday: Bettors and Bettis

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Pittsburg Steelers fan Gary Allen Ford counts out an $825 money line bet at the Lakeside Inn and Casino for the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.
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Psst … if you’re ready for some football, the Super Bowl is Sunday – a cross between a holiday and a bettor’s paradise.

Even before the American Football Conference’s No. 6 seeded Pittsburgh Steelers take the field against the NFC’s No. 1 seed Seattle Seahawks, the parties and parlaying at the casino sports books have already begun.

The Steelers are favored – but not by much in most betting lines like bettingexpress.com, vegas.com or Lakeside Inn and Casino. They’re favored by a 4-point spread by most betting standards, which is fine with Gary Allen Ford.



The Phoenix resident brought a gang of 15 people – including his 72-year-old father Jim Ford Sr. – to the Stateline casino to stay and watch the game. Both men grew up in Pittsburgh, living through the legacy of their team’s four Super Bowl wins during the 1970s.

“I should have the advantage,” Gary Ford said, figuring the benefit of being named after Ford Field in Detroit, the Super Bowl stadium.




He threw down $825 on the Steelers to win. The money line is -$1.65, paying $100 for every $165 spent. A dollar put down on the Seahawks will pay out +$1.35. Ford simply bet on his team to win, so he wouldn’t spend the day stressing over the score.

“I don’t want to get mad at them if they didn’t score that last touchdown,” he said.

The most common bet at Lakeside is $5. The parlay cards offer bets on the Steelers’ Jerome Bettis or the Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander scoring the first rushing touchdown. A bettor could also wager that Steelers’ safety Troy Polamalu will score the first touchdown of the game at 35-to-1 odds.

“This game is a flip of a coin,” Lakeside Sports Book Manager Ron Tipton said. Still, he expects a comparable level of action to other Super Bowls starting Friday night through 3:23 p.m. Sunday when the big game starts. A crowd of 200 is anticipated at the casino, and Tipton said he’s seeing more women getting in on the action.

“We’re sold out Friday and Saturday night. It’s like New Year’s Eve. They should have it on Saturday, so people can stay after,” Tipton said.

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Cal Neva also expect big crowds at their properties.

Cal Neva’s Tony DiTommaso, who manages the sports book in Caesars Tahoe, said initially bets were being put down on the Steelers. Now the West Coasters are drifting in and betting for the Seahawks.

Football, you bet

Pittsburgh vs. Seattle

$1 bet pays 75 cents on Pittsburgh

$1 bet pays $1.55 on Seattle

– bettingexpress.com

$1 bet pays 65 cents on Pittsburgh

$1 bet pays $1.35 on Seattle

– Lakeside Inn and Casino


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