The point spread for Super Bowl XLIX moved 3.5 points at MGM Resorts on Sunday night, as the Patriots pulled away from the Colts to secure the AFC title.
The Las Vegas sports book operator, along with many others in town, opened the Seahawks as 2.5-point favorites during the third quarter of New England’s 45-7 victory. By the late fourth quarter, the Pats were the 1-point favorite.
“We opened (Seattle) -2.5, but I knew it was the wrong side, and I just kept dropping it down little by little even though we didn’t get much action on it,” Jay Rood, MGM Resorts VP of race and sports, told The Linemakers’ Micah Roberts. “The more I was thinking about it, the more I thought New England should be favored, and the bulk of the action we took on it — about $10,000 — has been on the Patriots -1.”
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened Seattle -2.5, but the shop was dealing the game at a pick ‘em less than a half-hour later, according to assistant manager Jeff Sherman’s Twitter feed.
William Hill U.S. moved to a pick ‘em on Sunday night as well, director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told The Linemakers on Sporting News in a text message. The shop was offering an advanced line of Seattle -3 vs. New England last week.
Super Bowl XLIX is set for Sunday, Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz.
That the spread moved immediately in New England’s direction is not a surprise. Early line moves are typically prompted by money from professional bettors. But with Vegas books packed with public bettors for Championship Sunday, the cumulative smaller wagers have a greater impact. Public bettors, of course, tend to base their wagers on what they most-recently witnessed — and that was the Pats blowing out the Colts and the Seahawks coming away with a very fortunate win over the Packers.
“The books want to get to the right number as quickly as they can,” said The Linemakers’ Roberts. “This will be the biggest bet game of the year, where the public has more influence on the number than the wise guys. In most cases with the public, they go by what they saw last, and in this case, it was Seattle struggling at home and committing five turnovers and the Patriots rolling to a blowout win. I think the public will side with the Patriots early on.”
Early wagering on last year’s Super Bowl was similar, as Seattle opened as a short favorite but Denver was bet to a favorite within a few hours on Championship Sunday.
Said Tony Miller at the Golden Nugget, “We haven’t taken any big action on the game yet, just a bunch of guys putting some small parlays on it before they head out of town.”
Miller said he believes Seattle -3 is the proper number, but he adjusted to what he saw in the market.
“With -2s being out there and -1.5 at the Mirage, I opened -2.5 just to be at the highest number, but the (odds) screen is jumping right now,” Miller said. “I’m looking at a few books down to -1 right now, so I’m moving to -2 and I’ll still be high.”
Five minutes later, Miller took a bet large enough (not a limit wager) to drop even further, to -1, to put him in line with most of the other books around town. But the number would continue to drop, and pick ‘em was the consensus line by the time the AFC game ended.
The total opened between 48.5 and 49.5.
On sale: The Wynn is enticing bettors in Vegas with a special offer of -105 vigorish on side bets, exec VP for Race & Sports John Avello told The Linemakers on Sporting News in a text on Sunday night. Gamblers usually have to lay -110.
High bar: Nevada sports books handled a record $119.4 million in wagers on last year’s Super Bowl, which shattered the previous mark of $98.9 set the previous year. They also won $19.6 million, another record.