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Other sports bettors schooled in the stock market prefer spread betting, a futures-type market that revolves around the shifting probabilities generated by seasons and games.

John Murray, a 38-year-old financial trader from Morris Plains, N.J., said he enters the game having already realized about $20,000 in profit thanks to his early assessment that the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots would again be a force to be reckoned with.

“I’ve been buying long-term contracts on New England all year long, so now I’ve been getting out and locking in my profit,” he said.

Murray, a regular on, said he bought $10 futures contracts on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season for between $1.40 and $2.50 and has been selling them for about $7.10 over the past week “because it’s getting to the point where the risk vs. reward isn’t as great.” At the end of the game, the contracts will either be worth $10 or nothing, depending on the outcome of the game, which the Patriots are favored to win by 7 points.

Instead, he said he will concentrate his firepower on various proposition bets and in-progress wagers that can change with each play.

“I’ll be watching the game with my laptop right there and I’ll be trading almost every play,” he said. “Let’s say the Eagles score the first touchdown, the market will reform and maybe say now they have a 50 percent chance of winning. … Then, if the Eagles are marching down the field, the market will keep moving after every play.”

An end run around laws?

While the legality of such market-type betting exchanges has never been tested in court, most Internet gambling experts say they are probably illegal under U.S. and various state laws. But a new player in the sports wagering space claims to have a technological solution that makes an end run around the laws.

“We just got a legal opinion from one of the top gaming lawyers … that unequivocally states we are not operating in violation of the U.S. Wire Act,” said John O’Malia, CEO of

BetBug, which is operated by the Toronto-based Ix Inc., has been taking bets for just over two months and bills itself as the “Kazaa of sports betting,” a reference to the similarity of its peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture to that of the file-sharing network.

The system allows Poker Qq Online bettors who want to take opposite sides in a game to make a wager, and ensures the winner will be paid. But O’Malia said that since BetBug only provides a platform for the wagering, and its payment processor charges a “transfer fee” to settle debts rather than taking a cut of the action, the company is not acting as a bookie.

“I’ve never been a gambling guy,” said O’Malia, an American who studied economics at Indiana University and worked as a stock trader before becoming involved in online betting. “I come from the markets and I’ve never wanted to act with the intention of violating U.S. law.”

O’Malia said that as of midweek most Super Bowl wagering on the site was focused on the outcome of the game rather than on proposition wagers, and that the action indicates many big bettors are siding with the Eagles, plus 7.