To the uninitiated, to those who read this and live in Japan, Australia, India…America’s Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event we have every year.
And the biggest gambling day ever.
People here bet on everything. Who wins. Point spreads. Who scores first. Even who wins the coin toss to start the game.
Especially in Vegas, where betting on sports is legal (it ain’t legal anywhere else in the U.S., although millions of people still find ways to gamble).
Las Vegas sports books expect to handle around $90 million worth of wagers on Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, making it their largest one-day event of the year.
Much of that will be generated by tourists and fans, the “squares” whose action is balanced out by the professional “sharps.” Square bets are often based on hunches, or rudimentary analysis, or alcohol.
But Peabody and his “sharp” peers – whose ranks are estimated at anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred – don’t care about the names on the jerseys, or their gut feelings about which team will win. They’re looking for betting value based on odds they believe have been miscast, either by bookmakers or by the public’s hunches.
By using the sort of statistical and analytical techniques more often associated with Wall Street traders than sports gamblers, bookies on this day will earn more money than almost any of Yale graduate.
So who is gonna win?
It doesn’t really matter to books…they win all the time.
And by the way, I’ve put my money on the Packers.
Not that I care.