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Prop Bets Offer Wild, Wacky Fun

It’s nearly as thick as the Old Testament, and just as fraught with peril for the imprudent.

It’s the booklet of wagering propositions — "props" — on the Super Bowl issued each year by Las Vegas casinos.

Casual gamblers love Super Bowl props because they tend toward the wacky and whimsical — Vince Carter’s points versus Tom Brady’s completions. Other misguided souls dismiss all props as "sucker bets."

Professional sports bettors, however, see props as an opportunity to get the upper hand on oddsmakers and pocket some cash.

And this year, for the first time, two prominent Las Vegas sports bettors are offering separate seminars on Super Bowl props, giving the gaming public a chance to learn from the experts how to navigate that thick, sometimes imposing, booklet.

The first, an online seminar conducted by the professional bettor who goes by the nom de gambling of Fezzik, took place Sunday. The second, hosted by veteran gambling ace Stanford Wong, is scheduled for Saturday at a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Las Vegas.

When these guys study props, whimsy gets wrinkled up and thrown away like a losing three-team parlay ticket. And cold, hard analysis is a prohibitive favorite over wackiness.

"Remember the movie ‘The Terminator?’ " Fezzik said. "The Terminator couldn’t be bargained with; he couldn’t be pleaded with. He was programmed to do one thing, and he wasn’t going to be stopped. That’s how I am (as a gambler). I’m going to grab any edge I can."

For last year’s Super Bowl, Fezzik and Wong teamed up to offer a single seminar. In that presentation, Fezzik isolated a prop he said had tremendous value: the number of punts by the Raiders, plus 2 1/2, versus the number of punts by the Buccaneers. (The plus 2 1/2 acts much like a point spread; in other words, you would add 2 1/2 to the number of Raiders’ punts to determine the winner.)

After Fezzik gave it out as a best bet, gamblers swarmed sports books all over town, hammering the prop. It won handily.

This year, Fezzik found a prop that he said offered similar value, at least against the opening line: The Patriots not to have a fourth-down conversion Sunday. The odds on the "no conversion" opened at plus 140 at several Las Vegas casinos, including the Imperial Palace and Harrah’s. (Plus 140 means a $100 bet would pay a total of $240 — the original wager plus $140 in winnings.)

Read the entire article at: Las Vegas Sun 

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