Betting on everything involving the Super Bowl is part of the big game tradition

I have never been big on gambling on sports, which is to say that I’ve never been very good at it. This past weekend once again delivered one of the world’s largest annual sporting exhibitions, the Super Bowl. It also enabled a global viewing audience to tap into their inner degenerate. Whether it’s Joe in the nearby cubicle putting $20 on one of those scoring boxes in an office pool or Schlomo from the corner deli betting a salami’s share of money on the New York Giants with the points, many people had a stake in the Big Game, whether they were gambling or simply masquerading as Prince Amukamara’s relative in some ill-conceived e-mail scam.

Let this treatise be the intervention for a nation of sports bettors. Hi, my name is Danny and I have one too many problems to enumerate here, but if you have a couple of hours I’d be glad to give you the not-so-grand tour. Certainly, there are a variety of people who put money on events to drum up interest: those people who wouldn’t otherwise care about Tom Brady’s locks or the not-so-big Chadron State-Wayne State college basketball bonanza. Then, there are sectors of folks who put their hard-earned greenbacks on everything from cricket to a contentious game of hearts involving a few retirees packing visors. These are their stories.

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$50,000 Super Bowl safety winner Jona Rechnitz donating all money to charity

Jona Rechnitz made a stupid bet on the Super Bowl and came out a winner. His story is a fun one to tell because it is so rare, but betting $1,000 on the first score of the Super Bowl being a safety is just absurd. It was a wager that Rechnitz would probably lose if he made it 1,000 more times in his life, but we should all be glad he won. According to TMZ.com, Rechnitz is donating every penny of his winnings to charity.

But that’s not all. Rechnitz is a Giants fan, and he has vowed to give $5,000 to the charity of Tom Brady’s choice, hoping Tom and the Patriots will match his donation. He said he will donate another $5,000 to the charity of choice for the Giants’ linemen who were responsible for the safety and the rest will go to various charities for the less fortunate.

Rechnitz said he only makes one bet a year and it is on the Super Bowl. This year, his outrageous wager finally earned him some cash. Assuming he follows through with his word, you have to commend him for what he is doing. Most people would be so excited they won $50,00 on a 50-to-1 shot that they would go out that night and blow at least a few grand celebrating. Rechnitz is taking a silly bet and putting the money to great use. Two thumbs up for you, my friend.

Las Vegas made more than $5 million with Giants Super Bowl victory

Leading up to Super Bowl 46, the talk in the sports gambling world centered around the sports books being primed to take a big hit if the Giants could pull off another upset over the Patriots. With New York getting three points throughout most Las Vegas casinos and many analysts picking them to win the game outright, it was widely believed that the house would lose big if the Giants covered the spread. That did not happen.

According to Game On!, Nevada’s 184 legal sports books took in $93,889,840 worth of action on the game. When the game ended, the sports books had made $5,064,470. That was a significant difference from the 2008 Super Bowl between New York and New England when Las Vegas lost more than $2.5 million on the Giants’ victory.

As you would have seen in our predictions last weekend before the Super Bowl, my money would have been on the G-Men if I were a gambling man. As a fan of the Patriots, my flawed reasoning had the tiniest section of my mind believing the Pats could pull it off because the house always wins. My line of thinking was that it was Vegas’ turn to get even from the beating they took in 2008, since a lot of money was probably on the Giants. Obviously, that didn’t happen. New York won outright and the Vegas sports books won big anyway. It’s true that the house always wins — they just might do it when you least expect it.

Safety as first score in Super Bowl reportedly wins bettor $15,000

Tom Brady’s intentional grounding penalty from the end zone in the first quarter of the Super Bowl resulted in a safety for the Giants, giving them a 2-0 lead. The safety as the first score in the game was a big deal in sports books because it had a large payout.

According to RJ Bell of Pregame.com, a safety being the first score of the game paid 75:1. That means if you bet $10 on a safety being the first score, you were paid $750.

One person reportedly cashed in even bigger than that.

CNBC reporter Darren Rovell says a bettor at sportsbook.com wagered $200 that a safety would be the first score of the game. The lucky person ended up winning $15,000.

We didn’t encourage people to spend their money on Super Bowl prop bets, but there certainly was plenty of room to profit like this person.

Oh yeah, and that was a terrible play by Tom Brady. Even a rookie quarterback should know much better than to heave a ball downfield with no receivers around, let alone a veteran who’s won regular season and Super Bowl MVP.

UPDATE: It looks like another savvy bettor won $50,000 betting a grand that the first score would be a safety. Here’s that winning ticket:

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Super Bowl prop bets: making your experience fun

One of the best ways to spice up a Super Bowl party is to have everyone pick the Super Bowl prop bets. If you’re wagering on them, it’s also one of the easiest ways to lose money. But there are some people who just love to wager on anything from the length of the National Anthem to the color of Madonna’s hair.

With that in mind, I present some of the Super Bowl prop bets via RJ Bell at pregame.com. I don’t bet on these items, but my pick is the Pats over the Giants 20-17. I also said earlier in the week that if the Giants win, Eli Manning will be MVP, and if the Pats win, it will be Aaron Hernandez. I’m sticking by that.

Below are your Super Bowl prop bets.

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Professional Betting Money Coming in on Giants for Super Bowl

When the Super Bowl betting line was released Sunday, many sportsbooks had the Patriots favored over the Giants by 3.5 points. Covers.com says a lot of public money came in on the Patriots. They say the public money was countered by professional money, which was enough to move the line down to 3 at many books. One sportsbook manager called it a feast of sharks.

“I just think the Giants are the better team,” the sportsbook director who sets the line for M Resort and Venetian told Covers. “I think they’ll run right through New England and defensively they’ll pressure Brady. And they already won in New England this season.”

Heavy money was also expected to come in on the Giants moneyline, which gives bettors better payout odds if the Giants win the game. The line is currently at 3 most places, which would result in a push if the game were decided by a field goal.

So far I’m leaning towards the Giants, and certainly would have liked them at +3.5. I like to wait the entire two weeks before making my pick because I generally use an indicator to guide my selection. The key is determining which team feels more like they have work left to do, and which team feels like they’ve arrived.

Last week’s indicator was Alex Smith’s sit-down interview with ESPN; it reeked of “I’m already in the same class as Joe Montana and Steve Young.” At last year’s Super Bowl, it was Big Ben and the Steelers out late at night while Aaron Rodgers was in his hotel room studying. As soon as I see something like that, I know what my pick will be.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Won $333,333 Betting on Alabama

The oracle that is Floyd Mayweather Jr. added to his fortune by betting $400,000 on Alabama over LSU in the National Championship Game. Floyd’s wager appears to have been made halftime. We also learned that he’s not very good at math.

If you read his tweet, Floyd says he made $400,000 on the game, but that’s not true. He wagered $400,000 and won $333,333. Any experienced bettor knows you don’t wager in round numbers like Floyd because of the juice. Floyd is proving that he just wants to throw pretty numbers at the teller, regardless of what awkward looking figures it yields. But hey, if he’s winning, who can argue?

Picture Credit: Floyd Mayweather