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Top Vegas bookie on Super Bowl odds

Taryn Stansbury, NBC Page
$4 billion bookmaking biz

The Super Bowl means big money – for the NFL, for advertising sales, and also for Las Vegas sports books.

This could be a record-breaking year, according to John Avello, executive director of the Wynn Sports Book in Las Vegas. Avello has spent more than 26 years as a Vegas bookmaker, and personally sets all the odds at the Wynn.

Last year, bettors set a new record in Nevada wagering $119 million on the Super Bowl. Revenue from football wagering in Las Vegas was nearly a billion dollars and made up 60 percent of all bookmaking action in town. Half of that is from the NFL, the other half is from college football.

The scope of the bets may be changing since last year's match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.

"It was all about Manning. Manning Mania," Avello said. "All the bets were pretty much relying on Manning to bring the team through. That didn't happen. So, this year gamblers are taking a more cautious approach to the Super Bowl because we do have the defending champs there."

The most common bet is on the point spread. For the last few days, Avello has had the Patriots favored to beat the Seahawks by one point. That means the Patriots would have to win by more than one point for someone who bet on New England to win.

"It's likely there will be a push on the Patriots and the line could go back to one and a half, if not higher," Avello said. He said only 10 to 20 percent of the money is in so far and most of the bets will come in when tourists come in for the weekend.

Keep in mind, the underdog has won in the last three Super Bowls, according to sports gaming analysis site VegasInsider.com.

Not interested in the actual game portion of the Super Bowl? You can also bet on Idina Menzel forgetting words in the National Anthem, how many times Gisele Bundchen will be shown on TV, and what will happen to the stock market the day after the Super Bowl - sports betting site Bovada has it favored to go up.

The Wynn does not take the gimmicky prop bets though, like the color of the Gatorade.

"There's a lot of sophisticated money on those prop bets. I believe there's some good value there, you just have to shop around," Avello said.

Super Bowl tickets hit $8,000