The numbers are still being tabulated, and no, Las Vegas isn’t closing it’s doors to wagerers anytime soon, but Sunday’s thrilling high scoring Super Bowl win by the Eagles was a brutal day for the sportsbooks out in the desert.
It’s estimated that over $139 million was legally bet in Nevada on Sunday’s game. That’s actually a fraction of what the FBI (yes, that FBI) and American Gaming Association track and estimate is over $4 BILLION dollars that was illegally wagered somehow, somewhere on the big game this year.
The non-Vegas wagering is so massive and involves so many people nationally, it cannot be policed to any degree of success and largely, law enforcement doesn’t even try any more. That is unless it’s obvious, brazen and then, that illegal betting is easy to stop.
Now, back to the legal version in Nevada. As this item from Vegas Insider laid out, the Eagles wining 41-33, as a 4.5 point underdog meant that most of the sports books took a hit. To that end, the William Hill book had three separate bets of over $1 million each, apparently made by the same guy, on the Eagles to win the game outright and it made him several million in return.
Now, what we don’t know was there at least one or more at William Hill that bet the same on the Pats to even it out? Possibly, not likely, or we’d have heard about it. So, they had a bad night.
At the popular MGM sports book, most of the public money was apparently also backing the Eagles and the “over” point total of 49 points between the two teams. The “over” was over quickly in the third quarter, when Tom Brady threw his second of three TD passes in the half and trimmed the Philly lead to 29-26 (a total of 55).
No wonder their Vice President Jay Rood gave the two word “Not good” response to Vegas Insider for their article, as it likely cost them several million, too.
Interestingly, the Underdog has now covered the spread in 13 of the last 17 Super Bowls. And, the Eagles became the first team since the ’07 Giants to be an underdog in at least three games, including the Super Bowl and win them all outright.
And, of course, the Giants that year defeated….the New England Patriots, ending their 18-0 perfect season.
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