Online or in the office, Super Bowl wagering is at a fever pitch

L.E. Campenella

Jonathan Myers has to stop himself from placing too many bets on the Super Bowl. ‘‘I want to bet everything,’’ Myers said as he looked at a list of 600 ways to wager on Sunday’s game between the undefeated New England Patriots and the surging New York Giants.

Myers, 25, of Sharon, is putting $200 on the line. He is considering putting down two $100 bets on what’s called proposition bets. They let gamblers wager on everything from which team will win the coin toss to which quarterback will throw the first touchdown to what songs musician Tom Petty will play during the half-time show.

‘‘I’m looking for the line that will give me the biggest bang for the buck,’’ Myers said. ‘‘There’s so many that it’s going to take me hours to decide.’’

He could bet the spread, which has been between 12 and 13 points for the Patriots to beat the Giants, but since about the middle of the season New England, which is going for an unprecedented 19-0 season, has not covered it, and he is loath to put any money on the Giants, Myers said.

Although gambling on sports is illegal in every state but Nevada, South Shore residents like Myers are getting into the action by placing bets on Internet sites such as, and

Others are dropping $5, $10 and $20 on office pools.

Some are doing it to make money, others for bragging rights.

The gambling frenzy surrounding the Super Bowl is a nationwide phenomenon. Millions of people are making wagers large and small and Sunday’s game is expected to break Las Vegas’ previous Super Bowl betting record.

Experts are predicting wagering will shatter the previous record of $94.5 million set two years ago when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks.

With gambling easier than ever because of sports book Web sites, problem gambling groups are warning the average bettor to be cautious and not get carried away.

‘‘Stay within your limits,’’ urged Margot Cahoon, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. ‘‘The odds are against you, and people need to determine how much they can afford to lose.’’

Susan Silva, 29, of Brockton knows her financial limits, but is willing to take on a different wager with her boyfriend.

‘‘I’m not betting a dime, but I need (Tom) Brady to throw at least one touchdown to (Randy) Moss,’’ Silva said.

If Brady doesn’t?

‘‘I have to clean the cat’s litter box until the start of next season,’’ Silva said.

L.E. Campenella may be reached at

The Patriot Ledger