SB XLIV: Line moves, the money line and props 

February, 5, 2010
Editor's note: Chad will be at the M Resort in Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday, doing in-game betting. On Monday, he'll write about the experience. Check it out.

This is it, compadres. The reason we're here. The biggest, baddest betting day of the year. The kind of day when every second of the Super Bowl can make you or break you. No joke.

What LeBron James does Saturday can impact a bet you have for Super Bowl Sunday. How long it takes Carrie Underwood to sing the national anthem is a potential moneymaker. The color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach and who does the dumping can be worth a couple of bucks.

Really, these bets only serve to the make game more interesting; they are not why we're watching. The heavy chaw of Super Bowl betting is on the plays, players and the game. It's when an entire season's worth of weekends spent on the couch, of late Thursday nights watching the Cleveland Browns, of tracking player stats online at work when you should be sending your spreadsheets to accounting comes together.

Basically, it's not just the players' final exam; it's yours.

Did you learn enough during the season to know if a prop on Drew Brees throwing for more than 289.5 yards should be bet over or under? Do you have enough of a feel for the Colts' offense to know if they'll try a field goal from further than 43 yards? (If you don't, read this article.)

Honestly, these are things you need to know right now. This second. As you read this. Quick. You need to know the answers without thinking, like who gave you your first kiss or where you were the first time you heard Bono belt out "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (Brian Spagat's house. We were watching MTV. It was the "Live at Red Rocks" video. We spent most of the night waiting for it to come back on and calling Sportsphone -- 976-1313 -- for updates on the Philadelphia 76ers-versus-Boston Celtics score from that night. He loved Bird. I loved Dr. J. And now I've lost the under-35 crowd.)

Anyway, since this Sunday is different than all other Sundays, the way this game is bet is different, too. Therefore, this won't be the usual NFL Line Moves column I've been doing all season.

This game is about more than how the spread changes and which side the wiseguys are playing. It's about the props. It's about the money line. It's about the public's expectations. That's why I'm breaking it down from three sides with a gaggle of experts.

For the props, I checked in with Fezzik, winner of the Hilton's handicapping contest two years running. He also happens to love playing proposition bets. I also asked Ed Salmons, bookmaker at the Hilton -- home to the most props on The Strip -- for some insight into what the sharps are betting. For the money line, I asked RJ Bell, who runs the sports info site, to help me out. And for the up and down moves this line has been making the past two weeks, I called handicapper Bryan Leonard.

Away we go.