By Cleve Bryan

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While the live action was betting on the ponies Friday afternoon at the Borgata’s Race & Sports Book, the wagers at the counter told a different story. Excitement is building up for the Eagle’s first-round playoff game on Sunday.

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Last June, New Jersey became the first state in our region to offer single-game sports betting and in less than six months there have been more than a billion dollars in wagering.

“Oh it’s great, you get to yell and scream at everybody and enjoy the game. It’s good,” said Michael Hradek, a Borgata patron.

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So far, sports betting enthusiasm has exceeded most industry expectations. And since gamblers can bet on the NFL playoffs for the first time this weekend, casinos with sportsbooks expect to be busy.

“Go back a couple weeks ago we didn’t think the Eagles would be here and so now that the Eagles are in it adds a little bit more excitement for all the folks who are loyal to the soil and want to bet on their Eagles,” said Marcus Glover, president of Borgata.

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The Borgata won’t share numbers but they can confirm about three times as many bets are being placed on the Eagles than the Bears – who are six-point favorites.