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Books discuss big game

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Oddsmaker Ken White of Las Vegas Sports Consultants says football fans and especially New England supporters should be glad the "Big Game" is this Sunday rather than last Sunday.

White, chief operating officer of the firm that sets suggested lines for Nevada bet shops, returned to Sin City on Wednesday from the University of Phoenix in Glendale, Ariz., site of Super Bowl XLII between the Patriots and New York Giants. The oddsmaker spent several days doing interviews on "Radio Row."

He said he picked up enough inside information to know Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's foot was more injured in the AFC Championship versus San Diego than the club has been letting on.

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"If the game had been last weekend, he couldn't have played," White declared. "That was kind of shocking.

"Right now, the consensus seems to be that most people think he's OK, but nobody really knows."

LVSC shipped the Pats as a two-touchdown favorite, with most books posting at 13 1/2.

Giants’ money quickly drove the number down to 12 early last week and that's where the spread has remained since.

Nearly 90 percent of Super Bowl handle will pass through windows between tonight and Sunday's kickoff.

White thinks the number has settled, but would not be surprised if it slipped lower, especially with Brady's status.

He considers 54 a good over/under and easily can play devil's advocate for betting the total either way.

On behalf of the OVER, White argues this year's Patriots are the highest scoring team in history, covering their first eight straight before incurring choppy waters.

"That's eight straight scoring 34 or more," White said.

"That was to start the season, when it was warm weather.

"They hit 34 or more in three of the last eight, when the weather got colder.

"Now they're returning to warmer temperatures.

The field is domed and climate controlled, providing for ideal conditions for Brady and his New York counterpart Eli Manning.

White points out that when the two clubs closed out the regular season at Giants Stadium, the final score was 38-35 for a combined 73 points.

"Of course you can use those 73 points to argue for the UNDER also, because teams usually make adjustments when they meet another team for the second time," White continued.

White noted New England's defense held opponents to 17 points or less 10 of 16 games, while New York, winner of 10 in a row on the road, has allowed 22 or less points in five of its last seven outings.

The oddsmaker rates the clubs' kickers even, with perhaps a very slight lean to New England's Stephen Gostkowski.

Gostkowski has hit 87 percent of his field goals and has made 74 or 74 extra point attempts.

His longest field goal is 45 yards and he hasn't attempted any over 50.

The Giants' Lawrence Tynes, who gave Green Bay its winning score in the NFC championship versus Green Bay, has nailed 85 percent of his field goal tries and 40 of 42 extra-point attempts.

"This one's too close to call," White said of the Gostowski-Tynes matchup.

  
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