Scenes from Sin City: Early-bird prop bettors getting pumped for Super Bowl

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Each week during football season, Covers writer Colin Kelly will be
in the Las Vegas sportsbooks profiling bettors just like you, sharing
their Sin City stories, big wins, bad beats, and all the fun stuff
that’s supposed to “stay in Vegas.”

Last Sunday afternoon at the South Point sportsbook, a week out from the Super Bowl, Tim Mingmuang was thumbing through page after page of proposition offerings – prop bets, as they’re more commonly called.

The possibilities for wagers seemed almost endless for the clash between the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” Mingmuang said. “But I’m definitely looking forward to the game.”


Tim Mingmuang pores over the prop bet sheets last Sunday at the South Point sportsbook.

Prop bets are nothing new to Mingmuang, a 29 year old who has lived in Las Vegas for 14 years. As such, unlike most regular Joes and Janes betting the big game, he’s not afraid to step away from all the big plus-money bets and take a look at heavy favorites that seem like certain winners.

For example: Taking the Patriots at +10.5 points, at -460 – in other words, to win $100, you have to bet $460.

“I think that’s more guaranteed than anything on the board,” Mingmuang said. “It’s like betting a Floyd Mayweather fight. If the Patriots do lose, they’re not gonna lose by 11 points. It’s the Super Bowl.”

Joe Sakevitz has joined Mingmuang for the weekend, driving up from Lancaster, Calif. And he’s got his eyes on some props, too – including one in particular.

“I like total sacks,” Sakevitz said, noting the Over/Under was 4.5. “I would bet Over on that. I’ll put $20 on it. I think it’s gonna be a good, defensive game, and I think Tom Brady will feel some pressure this time. I think the pressure will come from both sides.”


Things were quiet in the South Point book last weekend. That won’t be the case this Sunday.

Both Sakevitz and Mingmuang liked another prop, but on different sides: Who will win the first half/who will win the game?

“I think the Seahawks come around in the first half, and the Patriots win the second half, because they throw more, and they’re gonna win the game,” Sakevitz said.

Countered Mingmuang, “The Patriots will be up at the half, and the Seahawks will win the game. I think Seattle will keep Brady off the field in the second half. The Seahawks will burn time by running the ball.”

Mingmuang said the prop bets bring an element to the Super Bowl that makes it far more entertaining for bettors of all stripes.

“It’s just more interesting than doing this,” he said, pointing to the first offering on Page 1, which is simply the straight bet on the pointspread. “In important games like this, you’ve got all these fun bets. It’s just different. Plus, none of my teams are in the Super Bowl. So it’s more fun if you have money on it.”

Mingmuang has no idea how his props will shape up, but he knows where he’ll be when they do – back at the South Point book, which on this day is only half full, but will be packed to the gills on Super Sunday.

“You’re in here with all the action going on, and you can always get halftime bets and in-game bets,” he said. “It’s better than sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings, where once you put in your bets, you’re done.

“But here, there’s all the energy, you make friends, talk about what they took with their bets. One side of the book is cheering for the Seahawks, the other for the Patriots. It’s a really good atmosphere.”

Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @ColinPKelly29.

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