Most important number in sports will be created on Sunday |

Most important number in sports will be created on Sunday

This Sunday, the NFL gives us it’s own version of the “Final Four.”

Looking at the teams that remain in contention, it is pretty clear that we are left with the best four teams in professional football at this time.

Save a ” We wuz robbed!” cry or two from the Steelers’ faithful, the system worked. Who is going to Disneyland as the victor in Super Bowl XXXVII?

Let’s talk about that a little later.

For bookmakers, the calendar and seasons can be broken down into the perennial cycle of sporting events. As college football wound down, basketball took its place. Of course, that sport reaches it’s peak in March and by April we will have Major League Baseball ready to step up to the plate.

Reminders are there throughout the year. Whether it is Australian Open tennis in January, or Masters golf in April, we seldom need to refer to a calendar to know the time of year. The sport that bookmakers crave the most, however, is the one with the longest off-season. When the NFL goes dormant after Super Bowl, it is a long wait for us until September. Lucky for us Tahoe-types, though, is that the summers here are out of this world!

At around 6 p.m. on Sunday, just as the AFC championship game is winding down, I, along with many bookmakers worldwide, will undertake a little mental exercise of my own.

Every year, at that time, the opening line for the upcoming Super Bowl is taking shape. The team of oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants will gather in its “War Room” and share their thoughts on how they see the line for that “game of games.” They are not trying to predict the outcome of the Super Bowl, but merely setting a line that they feel will allow for balanced action on the game.

The last thing that bookmakers want on a Super Bowl is lopsided action on a team. The house may, or may not, come out ahead in that situation, but lopsided action comes about only through a weak betting line. A solid number on a game of that magnitude is a bookmaker’s dream.

Soon after the outcome of the AFC championship is known, and even sometimes before that game is finished, the Super Bowl line is released and posted for betting purposes. Savvy bettors and bookmakers alike air their opinions on where the line will go from there.

It is a fun time of year to be involved in the sports betting industry!

Throughout the NFL season, my method for picking winners against the spread is based mainly on motivation for a team on any given week.

When the playoffs come around, you can throw that system out the window.

Every team puts their all into the playoff games, so motivation is not a factor.

As a rule, laying points on favorites will cost you money. Taking the points on the underdogs in the two playoff games this weekend, though, is a risky

proposition. Both favorites, I feel, should roll over inferior opposition.

The Eagles and Raiders are the best teams in football right now, and I would be shocked not to see them both in San Diego playing each other.

Upsets can occur, though, so do not get carried away. When pointspreads are involved, anything is possible. The Eagles -4, and the Raiders -7.5 get my vote to get the money this weekend. The Eagles should go on to take it all, and if you can lay seven points or less on them in the Super Bowl, send it in!

If you make a sports wager this weekend, good luck to you.

Both games will be shown in Nero’s, here at Caesars. Food and drinks will be available. Also, be sure to visit us for our Super Bowl party. Call Caesars for details.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, and remember that you are a true sports fan if the football on Super Bowl Sunday means more to you than spotting the best new TV commercial! Be sure to have fun.

— Paul Peterson has been a race and sports book supervisor at Caesars Tahoe for nine years.

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