Sunday Bloody Sunday


Staff member
February 6, 2007 -- As Robert Walker sat down to watch Super Bowl XLI, his first thought was: "As long as Devin Hester doesn't run back the kickoff we'll be all right."

Walker had barely hit his seat when he watched Hester dance his way 92 yards to the end zone.

"I was screaming for a flag," said Walker, the director of the racing and sports book at MGM Mirage in Las Vegas.

Hester cost the Mirage a good amount of money. At 25-1 odds, Hester paid a nice price to those who took him in the popular proposition bet of who would score the first touchdown.

"It seemed like everyone had Hester," Walker said.

Hester's return was just the beginning of a painful day for the Vegas sports books. The Colts' 29-17 victory cost Vegas a small fortune. Walker said the Mirage took in a lot of money on the Colts right before game time.

"The Colt money came in unbelievably late," Walker said. "At two o'clock our time we needed the Colts. By post time we were rooting for the Bears. We're at the mercy of the six-figure bettors, and they clocked us yesterday."

The final figures of how much money was bet in Vegas were not available yesterday. Walker said he thinks it will be around what they did last year, which was a record $94 million. The biggest bet at the Mirage was $400,000 on the Colts.

As Walker and his staff watched the game needing the Bears to lose by less than the point spread of 7, they began to curse quarterback Rex Grossman like every Bears fan.

The oddsmakers also cringed when Colts coach Tony Dungy opted not to kick a field goal late in the game. The kick would have put the Colts up by 15, enough to cover the teaser bets on the Bears. A teaser is when the bettor pays more money to get the line to move by six points. Sunday, those who bet a teaser had Bears plus-13.

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