- The Los Angeles Rams opened as 1-point favourites over the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LIII.
- When the game became available, bets immediately poured in on the New England, swinging the line 3.5 points to make the Patriots 2.5-point favourites.
- As things stand, more than 80% of the money bet on the game has been on the Patriots, but Las Vegas isn’t worried about the lopsided action – yet.
- Follow along with all of INSIDER’s Super Bowl coverage here.
It didn’t take long for bettors to make their pick for Super Bowl LIII known.
When the conference championship games were settled, bookmakers had listed the Los Angeles Rams as 1-point favourites over the New England Patriots.
“Out of the gate, it was furious,” said bookmaker Bob Scucci, in a recent episode of “The Favourites” podcast, hosted by Chad Millman of the Action Network. “Just bet after bet. Sharp guys pounding on the Patriots.”
The money pouring in on New England quickly shifted the spread to Patriots as 1-point favourites, then 2-point favourites, and eventually settled with New England as 2.5-point favourites.
Jay Kornegay, VP of Race and Sports Operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told INSIDER that books across the city were quick to move the line as the bets began, but that now that the initial rush is over, movements should be a bit less volatile.
“In the early going, the books will move fairly quickly with the market to get an established number,” Kornegay explained. “As we progress, the betting thresholds will increase, and it will take more to move the line.”
Still, books in Las Vegas might eventually need to move the spread further to attract some money on the Rams. According to the Action Network, 82% of the bets and 85% of the money on the game is backing New England, and the one-sided betting puts bookmakers in position for a dramatic result on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I would imagine that this Super Bowl will either be one of the biggest losses, or one of the biggest wins, because of how lopsided the betting is,” Scucci said.
Scucci went on to say that the betting trend is similar to what bookmakers in Las Vegas dealt with in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
“I remember a similar line movement when we hung that game as a pick, and we closed with the Broncos as a 2.5-point favourite.”
That year, early, eager bettors wound up taking a big loss, as the Seahawks went on to trounce the Broncos, 43-8. “I don’t know if we’ll get the same result [this year],” Scucci said. “But that was one of the biggest wins the state ever had in that Super Bowl.”
While the betting public has shown no signs of backing off its love for the Patriots, bookmakers still aren’t panicking about the one-sided action just yet as there is still a lot more money left to be bet. At the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Kornegay expects as much as 80-85% of the total money bet on the game will come in the final two days before kickoff.
“The books are very comfortable at this point,” Kornegay told Business Insider. “We do expect more money to come in on the Patriots, but we also understand there will be some Rams support.”
Still, for now, bookmakers will welcome any money coming in on Los Angeles to balance their sheets a bit – if these betting trends hold all the way up until kickoff, the bookmakers will be cheering for the Rams in a big way on Sunday.
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