San Francisco 49ers fans have bet so much money on their team that they have tilted the odds in Sunday's NFC championship game against the Chicago Bears, Nevada bookmakers say.
The 49ers opened in Las Vegas Monday as 10-point favorites. Bookmakers said the spread was at least three points higher for the 49ers than it should be against a team such as the Bears.
By midafternoon Monday, the 49ers were 10 1/2-point favorites in Lake Tahoe, and experts were predicting 11- and 11 1/2-point spreads before the Sunday game at Candlestick Park . . .
Quarterback Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins has been named NFL player of the year by the Sporting News. Records set by Marino during his second pro season included 48 touchdown passes, 5,084 passing yards and 362 completions.
Louis Lipps of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who led the NFL in punt returns and paced first-year receivers with 11 touchdown catches, was selected rookie of the year by TSN.
Art Monk, a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, was among those on TSN's all-NFL team . . .
Chuck Knox, who led the Seahawks to the playoffs the past two seasons, says he is staying in Seattle. Referring to reports he might depart for the Detroit Lions, Knox said, "I'm just going to say I'll be back here" . . .