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The bettor's edge

Propped up for the finish line

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / February 3, 2012
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Five dollars will get me a bottle of water in the lobby of the Mirage in Las Vegas. It will allow me to buy breakfast for the co-worker who is covering for me on Monday and it will also buy me a couple of pizza slices at Roggie’s in Cleveland Circle.

More importantly, five dollars will provide me with some redemption. I haven’t had the smoothest of seasons, but hitting on Sunday’s game would leave me up $5. This is a comical amount, but meaningful because I began the playoffs down $1,015.

My season-long struggle means the Mirage is not happening this weekend. I’ll kick off Super Sunday at the Celtics game, visit Roggie’s afterward, and watch the game from my living room. I’ve hit on the last three Super Bowls, and the upside of celebrating a winner in The Circle instead of Las Vegas is that you wake up with more money in your pocket.

This week’s pick:

NEW YORK GIANTS (+3) over NEW ENGLAND: This line opened at 4, immediately went to 3, and settled at 3. Sports books enjoy installing the Patriots as favorites, but you’ll know New England isn’t generating enough action if the line dips to 2. Despite their status as a favorite, the Patriots haven’t been given much of a chance nationally. This is understandable. The Giants are the more complete team and their playoff résumé - 39 points allowed in three games, including only 20 to Green Bay - is more impressive. Tom Brady and the Patriots didn’t play poorly against Baltimore; they gave a great effort against a talented club. Is that same effort good enough to cover 3 points against this Giants team, right now? No way. Risking $440 to win $400.

It’s the Super Bowl - you have to make some proposition bets. Here are five:

Eli Manning, over 310.5 passing yards. I’ve had good luck in past Super Bowls taking the over on the underdog’s quarterback. Risking $60 to win $50.

Jake Ballard (Giants) to score first touchdown. Risking $50 to win $1,000. Last year, I hit on Jordy Nelson of the Packers in this category for $700.

Will there be a scoreless quarter? Yes. Risking $50 to win $150.

Deion Branch, over 40.5 receiving yards. Risking $55 to win $50.

Grizzlies/Celtics first-quarter points (+9.5) over Giants/Patriots total points. Risking $55 to win $50. I’ll be at The Garden so I have to take one of these senseless props.

Two weeks ago: 2-0, plus $400. Season: 35-37-3, minus $395.

Ed Ryan can be reached at ed_ryan@globe.com.

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