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Las Vegas books preparing for deluge of Super Bowl prop bets

It’s highly unlikely, and the odds will reflect that, but a wager can be made this week on Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly to score the first touchdown of the Super Bowl.

The odds are yet to be determined, but someone will take a shot on it. If there are people willing to wait in line for hours to buy Powerball tickets, there are people willing to bet on anything.

The Panthers are favored by 4½ to 5 points over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 at Santa Clara, Calif. The total is 45½. The side and total dominated the debate for the first 24 hours after the matchup was set.

But now comes the real entertainment. The proposition bets are about to be unveiled, and hundreds of them will be offered. Some are bizarre and some are traditional.

“The props always draw good action,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. “We’re trying to come up with some new ones, and we’re even going to put some props up at halftime on the fly.”

Rood rolled out the first set of Super Bowl props Monday night. It was a mostly generic menu with several additions on the way later in the week.

The serious prop shopping begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, when the Westgate Las Vegas video boards light up with several hundred options for the biggest betting event of the year.

The well-known stars who pile up numbers create the best props, so Carolina quarterback Cam Newton will be the game’s most appealing player. Newton passed for 335 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 47 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Kuechly’s 22-yard interception return in the fourth quarter was the last score of the Panthers’ 49-15 victory over Arizona. Can he repeat the feat?

“We will probably put odds on Kuechly as the first player to score a touchdown, and people like to bet on stuff like that,” Rood said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of Cam.”

But maybe not as much Peyton Manning. Making prop numbers on the Broncos quarterback could be tricky, and oddsmakers will be far more conservative with Manning than with Newton. Manning passed for 176 yards in a 20-18 victory over New England in the AFC title game. The previous week, when Denver defeated Pittsburgh, Manning passed for 222 yards.

“On the Denver side, the numbers are going to be tighter,” Rood said. “Everyone says, ‘You know that defense is good, but Manning is not Manning anymore.'”

Rood said MGM Resorts fielded an inquiry Monday from a gambler interested in placing a seven-figure wager on one side.

“The game is stirring some interest,” he said.

A sample of Super Bowl props already posted at MGM books:

— Will the team that scores first win the game? (Yes minus-200; No plus-160)

— Will the team that punts first win the game? (Yes plus-125; No minus-155)

— First team to score at least 8 points (Panthers minus-175; Broncos plus-155)

— Team to score first (Panthers minus-170; Broncos plus-140)

— Team to score last (Panthers minus-130; Broncos plus-100)

— The longest touchdown scored: 49½ yards (Over plus-120; Under minus-150)

— Will the game go into overtime? (No minus-1,100; Yes plus-600)

— Will there be a successful 2-point conversion? (Yes plus-350; No minus-500)

— Will there be at least one scoreless quarter? (Yes plus-200; No minus-280)

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247

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