Weekend offers more than football

So far, the biggest Super Bowl bet someone has placed at an MGM Mirage casino is nearly a half-million bucks, says Jay Rood, MGM’s race and sports director.

They say the house always wins, but not last year: The victorious New York Giants were prohibitive underdogs, and big bets on the losing New England Patriots didn’t come in late, when they were expected to.

This year, it’s Steelers fans who are expected to bet late. Most bets will hit between Friday afternoon and Sunday’s kickoff.

The “value play” could be the under because the line for total points scored in the Super Bowl is traditionally inflated, he says.

Rood has no inside information on the game, such as, does anyone on either team have a secret broken leg?

“No, I wish I knew more of that! That would help us out a lot. But it seems like the bettors know that more readily,” Rood says and explains:

“I’ll be sitting here going, ‘Why are we getting bets on the Celtics so much?’ And then all of a sudden, (news will break that) the star point guard for the other team has mono or something. That happens quite a bit.”

His Vegas bottom line: “Being here is, I think, better than being at the Super Bowl. You don’t have to wait 25 minutes to take a leak,” he says. “You’re in your comfy little seat, and there you go.”


Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn fist bump in the big Ultimate Fighting Championship fight Saturday at MGM ($50-$750). St. Pierre denies he’s a sex symbol, he tells me in today’s Neon.

For this column you’re reading, I asked: In the movies, fighters abstain from sex for a long while before a bout. Is St. Pierre onboard with that program?

“I don’t really believe in that,” he says but qualifies: “I would not have sex a day before the fight, or the day of the fight.

“If you look at nature … the animals during their love season — they fight first, and then they make love,” he says. “I wouldn’t take the risk the night before the fight.”


• After Saturday’s fight, UFC stars play host at nightclubs: St. Pierre at Rok Vegas at New York-New York; Dana White at LAX at Luxor; Penn at Studio 54 at MGM.

• Lack testosterone? South Point has a free Women’s Fair on Saturday afternoon, co-starring “General Hospital” males Tyler Christopher and Jason Cook, noon-3 p.m.

• Mardi Gras Mambo plays Dixieland at 7 p.m. today at Reed Whipple Cultural Center near Cashman Field ($7).

• Big concerts: Bret Michaels does The Pearl at Palms Saturday ($29-$39). Michaels talks to Mike Weatherford in today’s Neon section. Disturbed rocks The Pearl at the Palms today ($41.50). And NOFX punks The Joint today ($21.50).

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