7:22 PM CST, January 31, 2013
How many times have you returned from Las Vegas with more money than when you left?
I didn't think so. It seems so un-American to head home with "house money" in your pocket.
On the heels of the elusive prosperous season of NFL investing, I'm in a go-for-the-throat mood for Super Bowl Sunday.
•San Francisco -3 1/2.
Joe Flacco has made a fool of me for three straight playoff weekends. He guided the Ravens to a wild-card-round win (and cover) against the Colts, then went on the road to upset the Broncos and Patriots. Convincingly.
I've had flashbacks of Eli Manning, against whom I wagered for four straight weeks, only to watch Peyton's little brother win a Super Bowl MVP in the Giants' 17-14 victory over the Patriots five years ago.
Does Flacco similarly silence his critics for good and finish the job?
I'm taking the 49ers and laying the points. Guardedly, however. Especially with so many tasty propositional wagers from which to choose.
•First player to score a TD.
There never has been a punt returned for touchdown in a Super Bowl. That won't stand forever.
I'm making a small play on San Francisco's Ted Ginn Jr., who's going off at a tempting 35-1. On the safer side, running backs Frank Gore and Ray Rice, both of whom are 6-1, also get my endorsement.
The likely first call is holding or a false start. Both pay only 2-1, however. I'm going with a lunch-money play on pass interference, which is 7-1.
•Jack Harbaugh face time.
This seems too good to be true, but most sites have the over/under on Jim and John's pappy getting his mug on television (during the game) at 2 1/2.
How can you pass up the over? Perhaps because it's minus-140. For the uninitiated, that means a player would lose $140 on a $100 play.
•Will there be a safety?
I'm not playing it for first score of the game as I did last year — and won — but when referee Jerome Boger puts the praying hands above his head, I again will be doing a spirited "Safety Dance" in the man cave. It pays 6-1.
•Will Alicia Keys forget one or more words of the national anthem?
If you think she will, it pays 2-1. If you trust her precision but lose, you're out for three times the money you plunked down.
•Will Ed Reed intercept a pass?
The veteran safety always has flourished on the biggest stages, so I'm making a mini-move on "yes," which is a delightful plus-275.
•Over/under on Paul Kruger tackles/assists.
Lost in all of the Ray Lewis mini-dramas is how much of a monster the Ravens defensive end has been this postseason. The total is a mere 3. I'm going over, which is at minus-115.
•Most valuable player.
It's easy to move on Flacco or Colin Kaepernick, but they return so little on the dollar. The 49ers' much-maligned David Akers, on the other hand, is 66-1. I have a sawbuck to root for Captain Clank to bang home the game-winner. As well as a bit more on Gore, who's 7-1.
Space limitations preclude me from sharing more, but know this: a fool and his money always part. I'd rather be the fool than sit in the armchair with a few extra dollars, thinking about what might have been.
Special contributor Dan McNeil hosts "The McNeil and Spiegel Show" weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WSCR-AM 670.
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