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The Intelligencer  – Betting with your heart or your head?

By some estimates, $1 billion will be wagered on today’s Eagles vs. Patriots Super Bowl, but just how much of it will be wagered here in the heart of Eagles country is hard to say.

The die-hard, bleed-green Birds fans I’ve talked to say they’re keeping their money in their pockets and the only payout they want when the game’s over is an Eagles Super Bowl championship.

“No way, not in a game like this,” said Brian, when asked if he had any cash riding on the big one. The house painter was wearing an Eagles cap as he enjoyed a beer at the Farm House in Doylestown. “The only thing that matters is that they get it done.”

That sentiment was echoed by Jimmy, a heavy-equipment operator relaxing after work at Doylestown’s Amber Inn.

“Not a penny on the game,” he said. “I just want ’em to win it.”

That was pretty much the way it was with fan after fan I talked to, and it was kind of hard to understand. But then again, maybe it’s not so hard.

If you’re talking about an Eagles fan making a casual bet with a Patriots fan, well, around here you’d first have to find a Patriots fan. Oh, there are probably a few of them around, but this is Eagles country.

So you’re not going to have a bunch of Eagles fans betting against Eagles fans. It just doesn’t work that way.

If you’re talking about a more serious kind of betting through a bookmaker, that poses another set of problems.

Well, for one thing, it’s illegal, but every respectable, hard-core sports bettor has his or her bookie. But for a true Eagles fan in terms of today’s game, there’s a dilemma.

The first rule of sports betting is to bet with your head and not with your heart.

The Ls Vegas odds-makers have the Eagles a 7-point underdog today.

That means that, in a bet involving the point spread, a bettor who picks the Eagles gets an automatic 7-point advantage tacked on to the actual score. So far as he’s concerned, the Eagles are already winning 7-0 before the opening kickoff.

Conversely, a bettor riding with the Pats has to have his team win by more than 7 points to collect the bet.

So, this presents a tempting scenario for an Eagles bettor: your favorite team PLUS 7 points.

But watch out. The point spread is treacherously evil. Those insidious little gnomes out in the Nevada desert are experts. They’re better than the best actuaries at the biggest insurance companies.

There’s a ton of money riding on their calculations, and at legal sportsbooks – as well as illegal ones – the house always has an edge. In last year’s Super Bowl, for example, $81.2 million was wagered at the sportsbooks of Nevada, the only place in the country where sports betting is legal.

Any prospective Super Bowl bettor should consider history, too. In the previous 38 Super Bowls, the favorites have 19 wins, 16 losses and 3 ties against the spread. That’s a success rate of just 50 percent.

So where should an Eagles fan place his money?

Don’t ask me. It’s your money.

One form of qiu qiu online betting, though, that doesn’t involve any head vs. heart anxiety is the traditional office pool. The patrons of some taverns organize these informal pools, too. Technically, they’re illegal, but the cops don’t seem to care so long as nobody complains.

It’s all dumb luck. There are 100 squares. You purchase a square for an agreed amount. Numbers are randomly assigned to the columns and rows, with the columns designated Team A’s score and the rows designated Team B’s score. The pool winner is the owner of the square at which the final digit of each team’s score intersects.

But the only sure bet for Super Bowl gambling is to keep your money in your wallet and just enjoy the action on the field.

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