Millions of people have already 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 the 3:25 p.m. 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.”
In the world of sports, there are many different ways to place a bet — for novice and veteran bettors alike.
For Super Bowl wagering, Matson suggests betting with or against the point spread, moneyline or on total points scored.
“The best bet for a novice bettor is to do the moneyline 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 Wednesday, Denver was favored by two points to win.
“If Denver wins by one point, you lost your money,” Matson said. “If Denver wins by two points or more, you get money back.”
A third type of bet is on total points scored in the game, which was at 47 on Wednesday.
“You can bet exactly the total, over that amount or under that amount,” Matson said. “If the score falls on 47, you get your money back. If it’s 48 and you bet over 47, you win, or if you bet under 47 and it’s 46, you win.”
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, where 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.”
As an added incentive to come by and watch the game, the CVI is offering a pro pick’em jackpot of $5,000 to be given away on Super Bowl Sunday.
Players choose results in 15 categories, and the person with the most correct answers wins the $5,000.
Choices include coin flip, total interceptions, team top score last or team to kick off first.
Matson said he was having a difficult time choosing which team he was rooting for in the Super Bowl.
“You have tremendous defense from Seattle, but on the flipside of the football, you have Peyton Manning,” he said. “I don’t know if Manning can figure out Seattle’s defense, but if he does, it’s lights out.”
He also 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,” Matson said. “Overwhelmingly in my career, people are responsible. They come down , bet their team, cheer for three hours and enjoy the Super Bowl.”
A sports book is also open at Sharkey’s Casino, and Topaz Lodge offers a kiosk. According to Forbes.com, a record $99 million was bet legally last year on the Super Bowl.