Books take hit on Patriots but record Super Bowl handle likely

Books take hit on Patriots but record Super Bowl handle likely

February 06, 2018 3:12 AM

The good news for Nevada sportsbooks is they’ll probably set a Super Bowl handle record for the third straight game, passing the $138.5 million set last year. The bad news is the win is going to be minimal with most books getting buried in the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the favored Patriots.

An estimated 311,000 people came to Las Vegas over the weekend and it was thought by many the new arrivals would balance the Super Bowl risk with wagers on the Patriots (-4.5). And while they did come strong with their money on the Patriots late, it wasn’t enough to balance the risk most books were showing with money-line wagers on the Eagles at +160 and higher plus the overwhelming popular parlay of Philadelphia tied to the Over (49).

The parlays did some serious damage, but then there was also this bettor running around Las Vegas with duffle bags of cash betting the Eagles for all the money the books would accept. MGM Resorts took a multi-million dollar wager on the Eagles and William Hill books took three million dollar wagers on the Eagles.

This guy knocked on the door of just about every book seeing how much he could get down. He didn’t always get what he wanted, but did get something down everywhere. This is the same bettor who cashed big on the World Series rolling his wagers over game to game. He didn’t ever seem to care about what the number was, but to ensure he got a good number unscathed by the public, came out early. And then he also came late apparently not satisfied with his action. I love this guy!

MGM Resorts book VP Jay Rood said the day was “Not good” saying that the Eagles-Over combination was terrible and also that most props went Over.

The two teams combined for 1,151 yards of offense and most bettors blindly play the Over on everything. Bettors also loved the special point-spread props with the Eagles laying points at plus-money and the special total Over. William Hill’s prop of 737.5 combined yards flew Over and so did its offering of 55.5 total points at +210.

MGM books won small on Alshon Jeffery scoring the first TD in what opened at 75-to-1 and closed at 40-1. This prop is usually easy money for the house, but the tone was set right out of the gate with this foreshadowing.

The props are usually the equalizer for the house that minimize game risk because bettors spread their bankrolls too broad rather than simply throwing it on a team to cover the number. Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said 60 percent of his Super Bowl wagers come from props.

While Kornegay did say they got beat up a little on props, the SuperBook ended up being one of the few books in the state to show a profit on the game. They actually need the Eagles due to taking a large Patriots money-line wager.

The saving grace for the books is the millions of dollars bet on Super Bowl futures the books have been taking since last January. Those futures are the only way many books will show a small profit.

The underdog has now gone 13-4 against-the-spread in the last 17 Super Bowls and the underdog went 10-1 ATS in the playoffs, which is almost the complete opposite of last season when the books got destroyed in January but won the Super Bowl. Favorites were 9-2 ATS in last season’s playoffs.

And congratulations to the city of Philadelphia on winning their first Super Bowl and first NFL championship since 1960. Good, hard working, passionate fans and it was long overdue. Cleveland, you’re next. Let’s do this!

Encore: Westgate lowered Philadelphia odds for winning the 2019 Super Bowl from 10-1 to 6-1 following Sunday’s victory. New England remained the favorite at 5-1, while Pittsburgh is the only other team in single digits at 8-1. Longest odds at 100-1 each are the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.