Steelers the early Vegas favorite to win Super Bowl

Updated: January 22, 2006, 11:41 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Oddsmakers are betting the Bus will keep rolling through Motown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, their bruising 13-year veteran NFL running back, emerged as 3- to 4-point favorites Sunday as Las Vegas sportsbooks picked the Steelers to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

"Seattle's going to have their hands full," Bob Scucci, sportsbook director at the Stardust, said after Pittsburgh's 34-17 win over the Denver Broncos. Scucci made the AFC champion Steelers 4-point favorites even before the Seahawks finished off the Carolina Panthers, 34-14, in the NFC title game.

The teams will meet Feb. 5 in Detroit.

"Seattle was expected to win," Scucci said. "Pittsburgh went through the one, two, and three seeds, and a lot of people think the AFC from top-to-bottom was a lot better conference than the NFC."

Las Vegas Sports Consultants and Jay Kornegay, race and sportsbook director at the Las Vegas Hilton, also made the Steelers 4-point favorites, with the over-under line set between 47 and 49 points. The over-under lets bettors put money on whether the teams combine to score more or less than that amount. Initial odds often change as bookmakers weigh the money bettors put on one team or the other.

Robert Walker, sportsbook director for 13 MGM Mirage casinos in Nevada, cited Pittsburgh's victories over the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and the Broncos to get to the NFL championship.

He made the Steelers 3 point favorites in what he called "an intriguing matchup," and set the over-under line at 47.

"It's fun to have a couple of new teams in for a change," Walker said. "Seattle's fun to watch, and Pittsburgh was ultra-impressive."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press