The Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Rams will have many people’s votes for the most boring Super Bowl ever (and it was the lowest-scoring), but it was still exciting for U.S. sports bettors who were able to legally wager on the biggest annual sporting event for the first time besides just in Nevada.
And early reports from bookmakers are that bettors did well, especially with the majority of bets the past two weeks being on the Patriots to cover and also on prop wagers that had viewers/bettors on the edges of their seat for the whole game.
“Many will overestimate the success of books today due to the low-scoring game” Jay Kornegay, vice president of race & sports at the Westgate SuperBook, said on Twitter. “There were some solid hits by the public: No TD in 1st half 100-1, No TD by Rams player 50-1, Gronk’s yards, Edelman MVP 30-1 to name a few. A good day but not great.”
The Patriots covered as 2.5-point favorites. The line actually opened Rams -1 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas two Sundays ago after the conference championship games and then pick ‘em at a lot of other books. Early money flooded in on the Patriots, pushing it all the way to the closing line of -2.5 after going to -3 at a few books earlier this past week, but then wagering even out enough that the Patriots covering didn’t hurt the books too bad.
The most popular prop bet every year is “Player to Score First Touchdown” and everyone had to wait longer than ever before – 53 minutes into the game – until Sony Michel put the Patriots ahead 10-3 with 7 minutes left in the game. Michel was the 13-2 favorite at William Hill books (note: he also cashed at 7-1 to as the “Player to Score Last Touchdown” as he scored the only TD). William Hill also had a separate “First Player to Score” prop and that was Stephen Gostkowski as the co-favorite – with Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein – at 4-1 as his field goal was the only scoring of the first half (after missing an earlier attempt).
New England WR Julian Edelman won MVP at 20-1 at William Hill books. As Kornegay alluded to above, some books had his odds higher as the quarterbacks are usually the top two choices by a wide margin with position players starting in the 20-1 to 30-1 range.
Last year in the Eagles’ upset of the Patriots, Nevada sports books took a record $158.58 million in Super Bowl wagers but only made a combined $1.17 million in profits. One bettor, known as “Bettor X,” pretty much single-handedly took all the books’ profits as he reportedly won $11 million.
This year, Bettor X went against the Patriots again but this time lost $3.8 million ($2 million at MGM Resorts, $1.5 million at William Hill and $300,000 at South Point).
Nevada releases its Super Bowl betting report on Monday afternoon.
Sampling of Biggest Bets
$2M on Rams 120 ML (MGM) ***LOSS***
$1.5M on Rams 120 ML (William Hill) ***LOSS***
$580K on Patriots -2.5 (William Hill) ***WIN***
$500K on Patriots -2,5 (Caesars) ***WIN***
$300K on Rams 120 ML (South Point) ***LOSS***
$300K on Rams 2.5 (William Hill) ***LOSS***
$270K on Patriots -137 ML (DraftKings, NJ) ***WIN***