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A look at NFL handicapping with the PFW editor lobbying to become Las Vegas bureau chief.

Reports of another Favre departure won't change Vikings' Super Bowl odds much -- yet

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By Mike Wilkening

With Vikings QB Brett Favre reportedly signaling he will not play in 2010, Minnesota's Super Bowl odds could be adjusted slightly at Nevada sportsbooks, but skepticism about whether he is gone for good reigns.

At the Tropicana Las Vegas, the Vikings' Super Bowl odds figure to rise from the 6- or 7-1 range to 10- or 12-1, said Chuck Esposito, the Tropicana's casino operations manager. But a rapid rise isn't going to happen, considering Favre could change his mind ... again. 

"You can't really raise them too high," Esposito, formerly the assistant vice president of race and sports at Caesars Palace, said of Minnesota's Super Bowl odds.

At Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, the Vikings' Super Bowl odds are likely to go up slightly, said oddsmaker John Avello, director of race and sports operations at both casinos, with the odds expected to change from 12-1 to 14- or 15-1.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants Inc., an oddsmaking and odds consulting service, has not adjusted its Super Bowl odds, senior oddsmaker Dan O'Brien told PFW, with Minnesota still 11-1 on the line to win its first Lombardi Trophy.

Given Favre's history of changing his mind, O'Brien said, oddsmakers shouldn't be making any major moves until it's clear he isn't coming back. 

"They're not going to pump those odds up until the very last minute," O'Brien said, suggesting Minnesota would be a 25-1 shot to win the Super Bowl without Favre.

With uncertainty about Favre's return, Wynn and Encore did not set an Over-Under for the Vikings' total wins earlier in the offseason. Now, with Favre apparently deciding not to play, the Vikings' win total will be set at 8½ or nine, Avello said.

Of course, Favre has made oddsmakers change course before, and another unretirement from the future Hall of Fame quarterback would likely send Avello and Co. back to the drawing board. And Avello wouldn't exactly be surprised to see Favre playing in 2010.

"I think a pick 'em he'd be back would be the right number," he said.

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