Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Some in Vegas badly want Patriots to win

It is no surprise the Giants have fans in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut rooting against them. After all, the Patriots have a dedicated following.

But there also is a small group in Las Vegas pulling for the Patriots. The reason, of course, is money. Several sports books took significant bets on the Giants to win the Super Bowl at odds as high as 80-1 (a $1 bet wins $800).

"If the Giants win this game, it could do some damage out here," said Jimmy Vaccaro, head of Lucky's Race and Sports Book. "A lot of guys were rooting for San Francisco on Sunday."

Adding to the anxiety is what happened in October, when the Cardinals won the World Series. When they were 101/2 games out of the playoffs with 32 games left, their odds rose to as high as 250-1 to win the World Series.

Something similar happened when the Giants lost four in a row late in the regular season.

"They lost to Vince Young and the Eagles!" said Jay Kornegay, director of the Las Vegas Hilton's book. "We were lucky the bets didn't come our way, but there are some tickets out there."

It could have been worse. Denver was as high as 5,000-1 when it was 1-4 and before Tim Tebow became the starting quarterback.

"If the Broncos were in the Super Bowl, the lights would be dimmer around this place," Kornegay said. "I'm not even sure we'd be talking right now."

Injured Patriot: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was listed as unable to practice with the left ankle injury sustained in the AFC title game. Although New England didn't practice, it was required to file a report. Gronkowski missed about five minutes of the game. He wore a boot Monday.

Injured Giant: Ann Mara, 82, wife of late Giants owner Wellington Mara and mother of team president John Mara, became an Internet sensation Sunday after lecturing Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw for picking the 49ers in the NFC title game. But Monday she broke her shoulder in a fall at church. In an e-mail to ESPN.com, John Mara joked she is "probable" for the game.

No controversy: Ravens coach John Harbaugh said a scoreboard error during the AFC title game was not an attempt by the Patriots to cheat. Billy Cundiff said he rushed onto the field before attempting a tying field goal, which he missed, because the scoreboard at Gillette Field read third down when it was fourth. "Any suggestion the wrong down info was a deliberate effort to affect the outcome of the game is nonsense," Harbaugh said. "We knew what the down and distance were."

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