It was Monday morning, six weeks after the Super Bowl hangover set in, and Las Vegas sports books were buzzing about Peyton Manning. There was a lot of talk and an unusual amount of action.
Reports of the free-agent quarterback's decision to sign with the Denver Broncos stopped the guessing games and triggered an immediate adjustment in futures odds.
"I'm amazed. The NFL is unbelievable with the interest it constantly drives," said Jimmy Vaccaro, director of operations for Lucky's sports books. "Here's a kid creating interest and it's March 19."
LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay was doing a television interview and offering his viewpoint on Manning, at a time when the hot topic is normally college basketball.
"Just a few weeks ago, the Broncos were 60-1," Kornegay said of odds to win the Super Bowl. The LVH lowered the odds from 20-1 to 10-1 on Monday.
At Lucky's, the Broncos' odds were 40-1 in February, 20-1 last week and 10-1 after Manning's plans were revealed.
"My viewpoint is a little different than most," Vaccaro said. "I wanted it to go on a little longer. For two weeks, we had people throwing darts on teams they thought he would go to. With Manning, the Broncos are going to be a better team, but they should still be around 35-1. Other teams are getting better, too.
"This is probably the biggest overreaction to a situation I've seen in 40 years."
Super Bowl futures action has spiked significantly over this time last year, Vaccaro said, because bettors were taking shots on Denver, San Francisco, Tennessee, Arizona, Miami and any other team thought to be in the hunt for Manning.
In January, the Broncos, with Tim Tebow at quarterback, were 14½-point underdogs in a 45-10 playoff loss at New England. Replace Tebow with Manning, Vaccaro said, and the line would be 7 to 7½, based on "perception."
The reality is Manning is recovering from a serious neck injury that forced him to miss all of last season for the Indianapolis Colts, who won only one Super Bowl with Manning, in 2007. And most oddsmakers still don't consider the Broncos to be serious title contenders.
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907.