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It's almost that time – when people dig under the couch cushions for every last bit of spare change to put money on a ticket for our favorite team to win the Super Bowl on short odds.

Well, maybe not, but it made us wonder: how do those odds get set?

Who decides the Raiders have a better chance at the beginning of the season than the Packers do?

One of the people who does it for Station Casinos is vice president of race and sports books Art Manteris.

He said that while the oddsmakers might start by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of a team, when the public gets involved the odds change.

"Clearly, if the team is a fan favorite, and if that team draws an inordinate amount of betting handle – week after week, year after year – then odds can be skewed just on public perception alone," Manteris said.

He said setting future odds for the Super Bowl is different from setting odds for individual games. The odds are all focused on minimizing the risk to sports books, which is why you'll see odds swing dramatically before a season starts.

"Usually it's because of the liability management aspect of booking futures," he said. "You never want to get into that type of position where there's an unreasonable liability incurred."

He gave the example of the fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Most people believed it was unlikely that McGregor would beat Mayweather, but "the risk was so great that it's very difficult to put all of your eggs in one basket."

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For right now, Manteris said the favorites to win the Super Bowl are the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Manteris is also seeing a lot more betting interest in the Oakland Raiders – they'll move to Las Vegas later this decade.


Art Manteris, vice president, race and sports book, Station Casinos

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