LAS VEGAS - LVH SuperBook's list of possible wagers on the game totals 15 pages. If you've never placed a sports bet before, it can be overwhelming. LVH SuperBook executive Jay Kornegay says it's important to take baby steps.
First-time bettors should initially learn what a point spread is. The point spread is a forecast of the number of points the favored time is predicted to win by. For example, if a team is favored by six points, that means that team is predicted to beat its opponent (or underdog) by at least six points.
Kornegay says the point spread is based on which team handicappers think is better and/or favored.
The point spread is important, because it can determine whether your bet wins or loses. If you bet the favorite, that team must win by at least the point spread for you to win your bet. That is called "covering the spread". If you bet the underdog, you win your bet if the underdog either loses by less than the point spread or wins the game outright.
"We all know the 49ers are better than the Raiders. The 49ers would probably be a six and a half favorite over the Raiders. That's the point spread," he said. "So, if you bet the Raiders can either win the game or lose the game up to six points, you would win your wager. If you wanted to bet the 49ers, (they) would have to win the game by seven or more for you to win your wager."
Since the teams playing in the Super Bowl – the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks - are both really good teams, the point spread for the Super Bowl is lower. Denver is favored by two and a half points.
It is also important to understand odds. The basic one for a regular football game is 11 to 10. In other words, for every $11 a bettor wagers, he or she can win $10. This works for the casino, because the casino makes money from bettors whether they bet the winner or loser of a particular game.
Another type of bet is a money line. "Another popular wager for the Super Bowl is the money line. That's just the team that you wish to wager, just win the game, without a point spread involved," Kornegay said.
If a team is +120 in a money line wager, for example, that team is the underdog. If a team is -130 in a money line wager, that team is favored. In other words, for a bettor to win $100 by betting on the favorite, that bettor would have to wager at least $130. A bettor who takes the underdog would only need to risk $100 to win $120.
If you're feeling lucky, you'll want to get your bets in sooner rather than later. Kornegay says if you wait until minutes before the game, you can expect long lines.
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