Millions of people already have placed bets on Sunday’s big game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, and Carson Valley Inn sports book manager Walt Matson expects many more to come in up until kickoff.
“It’s been a good crowd so far. Since the playoff games until today, 400-500 people have made wagers,” Matson said Wednesday. “Most of the business of Super Bowl is the last two days. Saturday and Sunday, we will be extremely busy.”
Nevada is known for gambling, but events such as the Super Bowl often attract novice bettors.
There are many ways to place a bet. For Super Bowl wagering, Matson suggests betting with or against the point spread, money line or on total points scored.
“The best bet for a novice bettor is to do the money line bet. If you pick the team right, you have a winning ticket,” he said. “There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having your team win and you win no money because your team didn’t make the point spread.”
As far as the point spread goes, on Friday, Denver was favored by two points.
A third type of bet is on total points scored in the game, which was at 47 on Wednesday.
In his 27 years working in sports books, Matson has seen a lot of bets.
“I saw a guy in Las Vegas bet $1 million with me and won,” he said. “It takes a lot to win $1 million.”
Matson also talked about proposition wagering, in which people can bet on which team will score first, whether the coin flip will land heads or tails or if the game will go into overtime.
“These are just fun wagers for people,” Matson said. “It’s kind of like even-money bets.”
Matson said that in his experience, most people are responsible betters.
“It’s entertainment and recreation wagering. A person should only wager the amount of money they feel comfortable with,” he said. “Overwhelmingly in my career, people are responsible. They come down, bet their team, cheer for three hours and enjoy the Super Bowl.”
According to Forbes.com, a record $99 million was bet legally last year on the Super Bowl. That record is expected to be broken this year.