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The Las Vegas sports books needed the 49ers to cover Sunday night to secure a winning week and they got a gift performance, even though they had to sweat a little at the end of the 49ers' eventual 41-34 win.

"Everything we won on the day, we would have been giving back had the Patriots covered the spread," said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne.

The books still lost their two biggest decisions of the day, but were able to recover thanks to six underdogs winning outright, including the 49ers. The favorites went 8-6 against the spread, but a few of those dogs were the key to bucking a seven-week losing streak.

"The Lions losing was huge for us," said Osborne. "You basically had two teams playing for nothing, both on long losing streaks, but the public all sided with the Lions and their offense. The Cowboys' overtime win against the Steelers was also good for us. It was the last posted event for us and all the major liability from the day made the Steelers a pretty big loss for us."

The Cardinals had lost nine games in a row after winning their first four games. Their offense had been awful, but they put up 38 points on the Lions, a team that made they playoffs last season, but have now lost six games in a row. The feeling with most bettors was that Detroit would be able to shake their losing ways against an inept Arizona offense.

The Cowboys have been on a roll lately, but bettors still thought the Steelers laying 1.5-points on the road were the play. The Cowboys won in overtime, 27-24. The sports books have only two Sundays remaining in 2012 to recover all their losses from the last seven weeks.

Nugget Hoping with BCS Props
Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller and his trusty assistant Aaron Kessler with be posting a massive 10 page prop sheet for the Alabama-Notre Dame championship game this week.

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"We figured this game warranted some special attention, " said Miller. "If we can offer 30 to 40 pages of props for the Super Bowl, this game deserved to have at least 10 to 15 pages."

The props should be available by Tuesday.

Bowl Contest
William Hill is offering a very cool football contest for the Bowl season that asks bettors to pick any 20 bowls they want against the spread. The price is $20 and as of Monday, the prize for picking the most winners is up to $12,000. Should a bettor get lucky enough to win all 20 games they choose, William Hill will throw in $50,000 for the achievement. The cut off date for entering is December 29, before the Pinstripe Bowl. In addition to offering the contest to all their full service sports books throughout the state, the contest is also available at all PT's Pub locations. So essentially, because of the ease of entering, there is no reason not to play. Anything can happen, and no matter how proficient you might be at handicapping college football, it's worth $20 to take a shot at winning some big cash.

Super Bowl Line
On the basis of the 49ers impressive win at New England Sunday night, the LVH Super Book has dropped the AFC Super Bowl line from -3 to -2. William Hill sports books currently have the AFC -2.5.

We just saw the NFL's No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense, on the the No. 1 offense's home field, and even though it was a high scoring affair, the top defense prevailed, giving us something to think about in a possible rematch among conference favorites in the big game.

The 49ers are currently 3-to-1 at the LVH to win the Super Bowl and the Patriots are 4-to-1. The Texans, who appear to have home field in the AFC, are 11-to-2, but also have that lingering game from two weeks ago when they were torched by the Pats.

While it seems logical that the 49ers and Patriots would meet again if their current runs continue, the line gets a little clouded if discussing other teams in the game. The Broncos would be favored against every team in the NFC other than the 49ers. But the Packers would be favored over every AFC team other than the Patriots or Broncos.

Denver, who is 4-to-1 to win the Super Bowl, looks like they'll have to get through Houston or New England on the road to advance. It's not improbable, especially after watching them destroy the Ravens in Baltimore last week, but they did lose to both the Patriots and Texans earlier in the season, before Peyton Manning got his groove going. The Giants find themselves in a similar position with two weeks to go tied with the Redskins and Cowboys in the NFC East.

"The Giants are in a bad spot," said Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller. "They close out against the Ravens and Eagles, but their loss to the Falcons now makes them not in control of their own destiny."

The LVH has the Giants 25-to-1 to win the Super Bowl and their situation is almost identical to what it was last season at this juncture, odds and standings, before they eventually won it all.

The Giants beat up on the Packers and Saints, but in between, have lost to the Steelers, Bengals, Redskins and Falcons over the last six weeks.

If the season were to end today, the Redskins would be in the playoffs, and they are sitting at 25-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Cowboys are 30-to-1.

The thing with the Giants is that we have seen them do this before. They seem to play well when their backs are up against a wall. They can beat any team in the league with their style of play and they know it, but for some reason, they don't like to showcase it weekly, a characheteristic more of the "awe shucks" Eli Manning than coach Tom Coughlin.

Miller says his Golden Nugget sports book will have some odds offered this week on who will win the NFC East. The LVH has been offering odds on the divisions all season and will have them reposted on Tuesday.

  
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