By Peter Gleason
You can file this one away under the category:
WHAT AN UPSET! NOT!
Early reports from the Las Vegas sportsbooks suggest that they’ll take home a small win from Sunday’s 13-3 Patriots win over the Rams, even if the majority of the money was on New England to cover the 2.5-point spread.
If that’s the case, the books will have come out ahead in 26 of the past 28 Super Bowls (the 2008 game between the Giants and Patriots and the 49ers’ blowout of the Chargers in 1995 being the exceptions).
At the 100-plus sportsbooks run by William Hill, 55 percent of the money wagered on the point spread was on the Patriots, but 55 percent of betting on the total was on the over, and the 16 points scored fell far below the 56-point total.
Plus, 58 percent of the moneyline cash was on the Rams to win as underdogs.
The point-spread percentages were similarly lopsided at other Las Vegas sportsbooks, with CG Technology reporting 65 percent of the money on the Patriots and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook coming in at just under 80 percent, according to Thomas Casale of RotoGrinders. Nevertheless, the books were buoyed by the low-scoring game.
“It’s been the sharp guys betting the under and the public on the over,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management at CG Technology, told Casale. “In fact, all the parlays, whether it’s the Patriots or Rams with the total, it’s all over. Seventy percent of the parlays we’ve taken have the over in it. We’ll certainly be on the sharp side in terms of who we’re rooting for here.”
Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “the under was the key and will probably keep the industry a moderate winner.”