Public wins Super Bowl 52
February 5, 2018
By Micah Roberts
Super Bowl 52 Betting Notes
The good news for Nevada sports books is that 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 that the win is going to be minimal with most books getting buried with the Eagles 41-33 win over the favored Patriots.
An estimated 311,000 arrived in Las Vegas over the weekend and it was thought by many that 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 and the overwhelming popular parlay of the Eagles 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 and he didn't always get what he wanted, but he did get something down everywhere. This bettor is the same guy who cashed big on the World Series rolling his bets 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, he 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 it's offering of 55.5 total points at +210.
MGM books won small on Alshon Jeffrey scoring the first TD in what opened at 75-to-1 and closed at 40-to-1 odds. 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 Las Vegas 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 seasons 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!
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 13 years.
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