Super Bowl betting memory punctuated by bad beat

Here’s a Super Bowl betting memory from Bernie Fratto, veteran handicapper/Las Vegas radio host (

Super Bowl XIV, Los Angeles Rams vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Jan. 20, 1980:

“When I found out my beloved Los Angeles Rams — I lived in Southern California at the time — opened up as 11-point underdogs to Pittsburgh, I thought it was an outrage. My friend, Craig A., a professional bettor, told me the point spread was not a predictor but rather the ideology to create two-way action. I told him I still thought it was ridiculous. But I was clueless. I had never placed a sports wager.

“Craig, also a bookie, offered to take my action at Rams plus-11½. I took the bait.

“I was at the game, which was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Rams led 19-17 heading into the fourth quarter, and I was enjoying every minute of it. But when Franco Harris scored from the 1-yard line with 1:49 left to put the Steelers up 31-19, it completed my crash course in sports wagering.

“I was (mad). But I was hooked.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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