Colts big favorites over Bears by Vegas book makers

LAS VEGAS -- After rallying for a spectacular win and the
AFC Championship Game, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are big
favorites to win the Super Bowl over the Chicago Bears.

Manning's Colts are as much 7-point favorites with most Las
Vegas bookmakers after a 38-34 win over the New England Patriots on

The Bears' dominant 39-14 victory over the
New Orleans Saints
for the NFC title did nothing to ease concerns about the shaky arm
of Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, who completed 11 of 26 pass
attempts for 144 yards and a touchdown.

"If I was a Bears fan I would worry a little bit if Grossman
had to come from behind," said Jay Kornegay, the race and sports
book director of the Las Vegas Hilton. "But he was fortunate that
his defense caused a lot of turnovers so that he wasn't put in that

Chuck Esposito, assistant vice president of Harrah's
Entertainment Inc.'s Caesars Palace sports book, made the Colts
6.5-point favorites, giving a nod to the Bears' defense, which had
four takeaways from the Saints.

The over/under line for the Super Bowl, in Miami on Feb. 4, was
set at 49 or 49.5 points, meaning bookmakers expect a high-scoring
game and the public to root for lots of points.

"I see it as a wide open game," said John Avello, director of
race and sports operations at Wynn Las Vegas. "This is one of
those games where you've got to score, you've got to put points up
to win the big one."

Las Vegas bookmakers were preparing literally hundreds of
proposition bets, on everything from interceptions by the
quarterbacks to how many tackles Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher
will make in the biggest sports betting event of the year.