Plenty of facts to back your bet

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

LAS VEGAS -- If you wander into the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook -- which bills itself as the world leader in proposition wagering -- there is quite a buffet awaiting the bettor this week.

No less than 22 pages of wagering options fare on the books from the obvious -- point spread and over/under total -- to the obscure -- what will be higher, Randy Moss receptions in the Super Bowl or Tiger Woods birdies in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic?

It will be a similar story at all of the legal gambling dens of Vegas where wagering analysts expect this year's game to top $100 million US, a figure which would eclipse the record $94.5 million bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers-Seattle Seahawks game two years ago.

This past Sunday, the sports books were the quietest they have been since Labour Day, but that is about to change as the high rollers drift into town towards the weekend.

Some other Super Bowl wagering notes from the other side of the desert of Glendale, Ariz., home to this year's game:

- New England backers can be encouraged by this: Teams that have been favoured by 10 points or more since 1986 are a reasonable 4-3-1 vs. the spread.

- The most recent double-digit favourite to lose outright was the St. Louis Rams in 2002. Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and the so-called Greatest Show on Turf fell 20-17 to none other than the Patriots.

- Another reason to fancy the Patriots, especially if you feel the offence will regain its form with the return to a fast track: Teams that score more than 27 points in the Super Bowl are 23-1 overall and 22-2-1 vs the spread. Despite the offensive struggles down the stretch, the Patriots have averaged 35.6 points per game this season.

- Giants lovers like this: The previous three teams that had to win two in a row as an underdog to get to the Super Bowl are 3-0 vs the spread in the big game.

- The Giants are a nifty 5-0 vs. the spread in their past five including three playoff wins and the gritty 38-35 loss to the Patriots on the final week of the season.


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