Super Bowl LV bookmaker roundtable: Where the money is going

By Ben Fawkes  (VSiN.com) 

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The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sports betting days of the year, so with Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly here, we spoke with the bookmakers at several sportsbooks to find out where the action has been coming in as we prepare for the big game.

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1. What are a few of the prop bets that have gotten the most handle?

Jason Scott (VP of trading, BetMGM):

  • Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each to record 80+ receiving yards
  • Travis Kelce to score 1st touchdown of the game
  • Patrick Mahomes to win Super Bowl MVP

Andrew Mannino (Senior Sports Content Analyst, PointsBet):

  • Tom Brady OVER 0.5 Rushing Yards (opened at + 175 now into + 150, it has been getting hammered by public and sharps alike) 
  • Tyreek Hill OVER 93.5 Receiving Yards (opened at 91.5)
  • Highest Scoring Half (second half accounting for very lopsided 86% of the bet count)

Thomas Gable (sportsbook director at The Borgata, New Jersey):

The prop bets with the most handle outside of the player props, are:

  • First Half total touchdowns over/under 3.5
  • Who will have the most punts in the game: Chiefs or Buccaneers (-115)
  • Outcome of the first drive of the game: Punt (+ 130)

Johnny Avello (sportsbook director, DraftKings):

  • First Scoring Play a Safety at 120-1 is a big one. The players have cashed on this in the past.
  • Mahomes to win MVP:Opened + 110 now -106 (QB has won 10 of last 14).
  • Fournette to Have Most Rushing Yards: + 200 now + 175.
  • First Scoring Play: Chiefs FG + 430

Chuck Esposito (sportsbook director, Station Casinos):

So many on the offensive skill position players. Of course they have be the safety, OT and 2 PT conversion. T Hill over in his longest reception and both QB’s over in yardage.

2. What are a few of the prop bets that have moved the most? 

Manino (PointsBet):

  • Tom Brady Passing Yards opened up at 302.5 and now down to 295.5
  • Longest Punt OVER 56.5 Yards (Bet at + 100, now at -115) 
  • Longest Successful FG Distance UNDER 47.5 (Bet at -115, now at -130) 
  • Tampa Bay Total Field Goal Attempts OVER 0.5 (Bet at -130, now out to -150) 
  • Ryan Succop To Miss A Field Goal (Bet at + 500, now at + 400) 
  • Shortest Field Goal Distance UNDER 27.5 (Bet at -115, now at -130) 

 

Gable (Borgata): The player prop prices are what we have moved the most.  Professional money came in on the Under for both quarterback passing attempts (now both are heavily juiced to the under) and we moved Tyreek Hill’s receiving yards total from 87.5 to 94.5 after taking a lot of action on the over when we opened it.

Avello (DraftKings):

  • Patrick Mahomes MVP moved from + 100 to -106
  • Kick to hit upright moved from + 400 to + 375
  • Any quarter to end scoreless moved from + 700 to + 500
  • Successful onside kick recovery moved from + 2500 to + 1700                                                ​;                     
  • Opening kick returned for a TD moved from + 7000 to + 5000

 

3. Do you have more future bet liability on Bucs or Chiefs? What is the best outcome for you in the game?

Scott (BetMGM): We have twice as much future liability on the Buccaneers as the Chiefs. Best outcome for the sportsbook will really depend on the bets we take over the weekend leading up to kickoff. 

Mannino (PointsBet): Currently seeing 76% of the spread tickets and 90% of the spread handle come in on the Chiefs, and Super Bowl game handle is significantly outweighing our futures liability.  On the futures specifically, both the Bucs and Chiefs are a manageable loss for the book. A perfect result would be a Chiefs win by 1 or 2 points, and the UNDER to hit (77% of the total bet count and 76% of the total handle on the OVER).

 

Gable (Borgata): We have no liability on Kansas City in the future market.  Tampa Bay was the worst-case scenario for us to win the conference and to win the Super Bowl. Obviously unless we are really heavy on the Chiefs come kick off, we will want them to win the game.  As it stands now, a Chiefs win but not to cover would be ideal.

Avello (DraftKings): We’ve not in a particularly great spot on either team. They have been betting the Bucs in the future book ever since it was announced that Tom Brady was coming to Tampa Bay. The Chiefs have also had their share of money and bets, but at much lower odds.

Esposito (Stations): Regarding the futures, we’re in much better shape on the Chiefs. Bucs is more of a breakeven. It’s still a bit early for Super Bowl betting, although more Chiefs point spread and Bucs ML. If the game kicked right now, the Chiefs by 1 or 2 would be perfect!  Also, as of now we’re rooting for the under.

 

4. Most bet by ticket count for the first TD prop market

Scott (BetMGM): Travis Kelce, Mike Evans and Tyreek Hill

Mannino (PointsBet): We have the most tickets (14%) on Travis Kelce ( 55) and Mike Evans ( 1050) to score the first TD. Evans has the most money at 18% of the total handle, followed by Kelce at 16%.

Gable (Borgata): The most tickets written for the first TD scorer prop are on Rob Gronkowski (+ 1800) followed closely by Patrick Mahomes at + 1800.  This prop cost us six figures last year when Mahomes cashed at 28-1.  People were betting Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo (both starting quarterbacks) with both hands last year. We aren’t seeing quite the same level of enthusiasm for Tom Brady this year in this prop.

Avello (DraftKings): First TD Scorer is a very popular choice. Kelce 6.5-1 and still holding, Evans was 12-1 and now down to 9-1, Gronk 22-1 down to 14-1 and Mahomes 24-1 down to 18-1. All have all taken substantial action.  

5. Has anything surprised you about Super Bowl betting so far? 

Mannino (PointsBet): Most surprising thing we have seen has been the bet count on our MVP market. Given the fact that most of the money/tickets are on the Chiefs side, you would think that Mahomes would be the leader in the clubhouse for MVP bet count. Tom Brady, however, is accounting for 20% of the bet count while Mahomes is only accounting for 10%.  Mahomes being the favorite at -110 might be causing bettors to shy away. Brady at + 200 is a much more enticing price. Shaquil Barrett as MVP would be a very tough result for the book – the steady action on Barrett has also been a bit of a surprise.

Scott (BetMGM): To be honest, I’m most surprised about the amount of interest in whether the coin toss call will be heads or tails.

Gable (Borgata): I can’t say anything has surprised me too much thus far.  Everything right now is as expected.  People are betting the favorite on the spread, more money and tickets on the over and more money on the underdog on the money line. We will see how everything shapes up in the last 48 hours when most of the money arrives.

Avello (DraftKings): How about a guy flying his plane to Colorado to wager $3.4 million, making the wager on the mobile app and flying right back. That’s a dollop of amazement.

Esposito (Stations): Maybe the lack of movement overall on the game. I realize it sits on a key number. Interested to see what happens today and tomorrow.

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