Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Patriots get early SB Action

SB53 Notebook | Super Bowl History | Playoff Results

For the first time ever in the same season, the NFC and AFC Championships games ended in overtime and both three-point road underdogs won outright paying out at 5.4-to-1 if choosing the Rams and Patriots on a money-line parlay. The results for the Las Vegas sports books were mixed due to that combination, but the onslaught of early action on the Super Bowl has bettors siding with the Patriots for Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3.

"The day ended well, a good day," said Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Doug Castaneda of the Rams 26-23 win at New Orleans (-3) and the Patriots 37-31 win at Kansas City (-3). "The first half wagers of both games turned out to be almost as big as the game itself. We lost in the first game and got it back later in the second game. I can't stress how big the second game was. It wasn't as big a win as the loss was which included several lingering parlays tied into the NHL from a player Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and South Point both closed the Chiefs at -3.5 after being -3 for most of the week. The only book to bounce between -3 and -3.5 all week was the South Point because they use exclusively flat numbers. For the South Point, both championship games had book director Chris Andrews walking the tightrope of each game that favorites appeared to be headed for three-point wins opening up sided opportunities. Andrews said all the activity on -3, +3 of each game produced a great day because the number didn't land.

For some other books, it wasn't so good or just flat or a small win.

While Championship Sunday had its twists and turn for the house such as 7-point teasers going 4-0 in the Rams-Saints game and 3-1 in the Patriots-Chiefs game, the big betting flurry of the day happened after the Patriots win when the Super Bowl line was posted pick 'em at most bet shops.

"We're taking a stand," said Castaneda of their opening Super Bowl number with the Rams -1. "After the initial appearance of what just happened on Sunday, I think we're going to see more Rams money closer to kickoff so we're taking a stand early expecting an abundance of Rams action closer kickoff. I think the public will be true to who they loved at the beginning of the season with the Rams in futures plays and betting patterns and also Sean McVay's offensive scheme's should have them on the Rams to win it."

The Wynn reached their threshold fast and moved with the money to pick 'em fast and then eventually reached another threshold to force them to -1.5 by the end of Sunday night.

William Hill's top [...] Nick Bogdanovich, who say they won small on Sunday, speculates the Super Bowl will get to Patriots -3 at his books across the county after opening pick 'em and getting to Patriots -2.5 within 50 minutes. He also thinks Nevada handle will surpass the state record $158 million set last year.

"I thought that any of the four teams playing had the ability to set the handle record for the fourth straight year," said Bogdanovich.

MGM Resorts VP of race and sports Jay Rood would be more certain about setting a record had a different match-up occurred.

"I think the Rams and Chiefs would have easily set the (Nevada Super Bowl) record, but this should be close," said Rood.

Last year there was a bettor who laid down multiple $1 million wagers in cash out of gym bag at various books -- many at MGM books -- to help increase the record-setting handle, but Rood hasn't seen the mystery man since a UFC event in August. He's also looking good in their massive Super Bowl futures pool, which is the largest amount handled of any chain of books in the state.

"It's a good futures win with both teams winning the conference," said Rood who said they had loads of Saints future risk due to risk at their Mississippi book. "Our best Super Bowl future result is the Patriots and the Rams are close."

For bettors everywhere, the main concern this week will be when to pull the trigger on a wager. Only 0.5 percent of the overall action has been seen. The books are just hoping to get to the right number without pushing too far into treacherous areas of the most key number in the NFL, the dreaded -3 in the Super Bowl.

But this week also provides a huge opportunity for bettors to middle the props playing numbers books post against each other. Big middles-galore, usually, on prices and numbers.

"Adam (Pullen) and I are going to set the props template on Monday, then set the numbers on Tuesday and Wednesday and open for wagering on Thursday, " said Bogdanovich. "And I will say you can count on one hand the amount of (Nevada) books that will be using 20-cent splits on our Super Bowl props."

Pullen is the wizard of odds and can almost calculate any prop in his head without referring to any charts. Oxford boat race, South American soccer leagues, golf, or tennis; it doesn't matter. Pullen is dialed in, but it's still the market that forces plays on numbers. he may be right, but if some other book has Todd Gurley rushing yards 7-yards cheaper, he'll get played blindly on the Under while the sharp bettor plays Over at the other shop. Right and wrong isn't so simple.

William Hill books are expected to have over 300 different propositions by the time the game kicks off. The Superbook also posts over 300 props at 20-cent splits as well and they'll be out Thursday night as well.

Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 14 years.

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