Line Shopping, Freebies Mark the Savvy Super Bowl Bettor


Every year the Super Bowl brings some of the year’s best deals for sports bettors and fans. Exactly how good this year will be isn’t something I can tell you right now, because most of the deals will be unveiled after this column has been written. But I’ve been through enough Super Sundays to give you a road map to follow.

If you’re looking to make a bet, one of the more entertaining things you can do over Super Bowl weekend is line shop. If you have a side you like, or want to bet over or under the total, it’s fun to run from casino to casino checking the lines at each. If you like the Seahawks, you’ll be looking for +2.5 or maybe a game-time 3. If you’re a Broncos backer, you want -2 or lower. Shopping a few books will ensure that you get on the right side of the line (and you can make fun of your friends who bet the Broncs -2.5).

Another determiner of where to bet is what you get for your action. Jerry’s Nugget is giving away a cooler bag for a $20 bet on a parlay card. Since these cards typically carry edges of around 25 percent, you’re paying about $5 for the cooler, but you also have action during the game. Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Boulder are giving commemorative T-shirts for a $20 bet on a parlay card or a $50 bet straight up. The better play here is the straight bet, where the casino edge of 4.5 percent extracts only $2.25 in vigorish (the house edge) from the wager. These types of offers will come out on Wednesday and be available till game time. Again, look around.

And then there are the props—bets on who will score first, how many sacks the Seahawks will have, etc. You pay a little more in juice for playing them, but the entertainment value is immense and you can bet them for $5 or $10 apiece. LVH has about 350 props on the board and is still considered the Las Vegas gold standard, but this year William Hill actually out-propped them, reportedly putting up more than 400.

For casino parties, South Point is a cinch to run its annual free bash with $1 dogs and cheap beers by the bucket. Gold Coast and Orleans have also declared and admission at all is free. If a casino isn’t throwing a formal party, just head over to the sports book and join the frenzy there.

Also, keep an eye out for strong deals at the non-casino bars. For example, Spectators at Flamingo Road and Durango Drive will have unlimited food and drinks during the game for $50. That may not sound amazing, but you also get a football square that last year was worth $35, dropping the tab, mathematically speaking, to a $15 bargain that tops any casino deal I’ve seen so far.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and