Super Bowl Betting – The unexpected game that can swing millions of dollars

What would become the most lucrative Super Bowl to date for Las Vegas sportsbooks, began with a massive loss in the game’s first game.

In NFL history, only 6.8% of regular season games — one in 15 — involved safety, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. However, year after year, the betting crowd uploads the safety that happens in the Super Bowl, even though the odds are no closer than 15-1. The current price of a safety in this year’s Super Bowl is 7-1.

Meanwhile, professional professional bettors annually fall short of Super Bowl security, sometimes waiting until just before kick-off to risk hundreds of thousands of dollars for a chance to win a few thousand dollars. Sportsbooks get along with the pros at the safety stanchion and they end up with many small bets on “yes” on a long odds, and a handful of giant bets on “no” that pay only a little.

“Putting an exorbitant price is not exciting,” said Rufus Peabody, a professional bookmaker known for his prowess with Super Bowl gear. “If you win, you don’t win much; if you lose, you lose a lot. I see why average recreational bettors don’t like to put a big price like this. If you made one bet a year, you probably wouldn’t want to risk $1,000 to win $100. “.

Indeed, the rarest game in football routinely leads to one of the biggest gambling decisions between pros versus players in the Super Bowl, and on February 2, 2014, yards outnumbered sharps — and bookmakers — depending on the perspective, safety is more lucrative or more expensive. In the history of the NFL.


Nevada sportsbooks won $19.7 million in Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. That’s nearly what state books have won in the previous four leagues combined. The bookmakers sided with Peyton Manning and the Broncos as the junior candidates, defeating the Seahawks 43-8. Bookmakers crushed it, but it didn’t start well for the home or professional bettors, like the wise man known to some as Marco Rubindel.

A plump and rough Las Vegas transplant from Boston, Robindale is a longtime professional sports gambler who travels across the country and beats casinos at table games. He is a seasoned warrior with the chops to take the heavy losses that inevitably come with his chosen profession. But the blow he got when the game’s first shot sailed past Manning and made it to the end zone for the Seahawks’ safety still haunted him. I changed him as a gambler.

For hours before kick-off, Robindale was racing around Las Vegas “like Andretti” in his silver 2008 Lexus. He parked where he shouldn’t be running and ran in and out of the casinos, betting as much as he could for what seemed to be the deal of a lifetime.

The previous two Super Bowls have featured safety, and the novelty bias has hit the betting audience. Books have been flooded with money on “yes” on a safety piling and desperate to mitigate their dangers. As Rubindale said, “The audience was betting a ‘yes’ on safety as if the score was in the box.”

Sportsbooks were surprised by the rising interest in safety and began dropping the price on “no” to unprecedented levels. Books usually charge around $900 or more to bet against the occurrence of the security, which means that you will have to pay $900 to win a net $100. But on Sunday in the Super Bowl, Robindale was offered -450 or better for a “No.” That’s how much books need money on the other side. Robindale’s bet on it anywhere, as fast as he can.

An hour before kick-off, someone called in Caesar’s Palace. If he could get there quickly, the sportsbook was willing to give him a bet as much as he wanted on the “no” on the safety at the unimaginable price of -350. Robbindale sprinted to Caesars Palace, walked straight to the window, cut in front of a group of bettors, pulled $70,000 from the pockets of his merchandise shorts and bet them all for a chance to win $20,000 for not being safe.

On the busiest Sunday of the year, Rubindale was in and out of Caesar’s Palace within minutes, before his phone rang again. The Palms sportsbook dropped to -400 with no safety, but the bout was off within 30 minutes. He will be there soon, Robindale said.

On the way to the palm, he began by calculating his total hazards represented in a dozen tickets or so on the safety strut in his car. He paused when he realized how much he was able to get down to: $220,000, far more than he would normally risk on a single score, for a chance to win somewhere around $50,000.

However, he couldn’t resist betting on the discounted price at Palms. It was a very good opportunity. He raced, put another $20,000 into his insecurities and immediately called a friend, offering to sell him a good chunk of his business as the game took off. At the prices he got, Robindale couldn’t imagine he’d have any trouble offloading some of his work.

Robindale’s boyfriend was interested, but he was on the other line and needed to call him back. Minutes later, Robindale got the call again, but it was already too late.

“Well, I don’t want that now,” his friend said of his offer to buy some Robindale safety measures.

“what [expletive] asked Robindale.

The friend replied, “Oh, you’re not watching the game…First play, it’s 2-0 in Seattle.”

Robindale’s price dropped by $220,000 just seconds after the match started. It was the second biggest loss on a single outcome of his betting career, and Robindale hasn’t made a Super Bowl safety bet since.

Looking at it eight years later, Robindale sighs, “Big numbers, great bets, but… I decided then, it was a bigger problem than it was worth. It’s not really in my mood to worry about wins and losses. I’m more interested in getting the chance. But I think That my balance could be in better places than betting a lot to win a little bit, with rare exceptions. Safety, overtime…any of those, my gambling pasts have written off.”

But the public betting did not.


The surge in popularity of prop bets in the Super Bowl can be traced back to William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a 300-plus-pound defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, who became popular with the public in the mid-1980s.

In 1986, Las Vegas bookmaker Art Mantris, and then with Caesars Palace, pitched Perry scoring a touchdown in Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots. The odds opened around 20-1. Enough action came on Perry to score the odds down to 2-1. Perry scored in a short break in the second half of the Bears blast for the Patriots, and Mantres lost heavily. But the propaganda bet was just the beginning.

Thousands of betting options will be on the board for this year’s Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. It’s a safe bet that the safety brace will be among the most popular.

“I think they like to bet on that because it keeps them in the game all the time,” Chris Andrews, a veteran bookmaker in Las Vegas who now works with South Point, said of the safety strut.

The odds about safety being scored in the Super Bowl started appearing in the sports books nearly 30 years ago. From 1988 to 2007, only one Super Bowl (1991) featured a safety. There was another safety in 2008 and then a streak of three in a row culminated in the failure of Manning.

“After the last two years, you’ve been getting a high price for your insecurities, because of modernity bias,” Peabody said. “We had more than we had in previous years, and I remember the ball passed [Manning’s] His head was, “Oh my God, not again.” I remember rating those and actually being under $100,000.

“I stopped betting no safety, for sure,” he said in a recent phone interview, “because there were three safety spots in the 13 Super Bowls that I bet on, and I’m placing -800, -900. ”

This sensitivity to price distinguishes the serious gambler from the betting crowd. Sharp bettors compare the odds of odds to the actual probability of an event happening and bet accordingly – even if it means betting a lot to win a little. They are willing to risk a lot even for a lower return, if the price is right.

On the other hand, recreational bettors usually like to bet a little to win a lot – even if the odds are not close to the actual probability.


Jay Cornegai, a cute middle-aged bookmaker in Las Vegas, was escorting the last of the few VIPs who arrived late to their ballroom seats as Super Bowl XLVIII kicked off between the Broncos and Seahawks.

Kornegay, a die-hard Broncos fan, was all the way through the Las Vegas hotel from the sports book he’s running, but heard a roar as the first game shot sailed past Manning and into the finish zone for the Seahawks’ safety.

“truly?” He mumbled incredibly, mostly worried about the unfortunate start of his favorite team.

Moments later, his bookmaker’s instincts kicked in: “Oh, that wasn’t good for us.”

Kornegay texted a sports writer: “Hey, how much did it cost us?”

The employee replied, “You don’t want to know.”

Cornegai did not respond.

After leveling all the big players, Cornegai returned from the ballroom to the SuperBook to assess the damage the safety had caused. In his head, he estimated a loss approaching six figures. However, only Kornegay considered safety action occurring at any point in the game, which pushed around 8-1. He did not consider the 60-1 odds they gave in the first score of the match being safe by the Seahawks.

“Well, how much did that cost us?” Cornegai asked his team.

They answered: “More than a quarter of a million.”

Sportsbooks all over Las Vegas took a safety chin. In addition to the SuperBook, MGM, William Hill, and Wynn were among the sportsbooks reporting multiple six-figure losses. The bookmaker at Wynn had taken the $1,000 in a Seahawks safe game with a first score at 60-1. MGM reported that it had 141 bets on the safety of Seattle being the number one score.

Kornegay says the Seahawks’ safety remains the worst Super Bowl loss he’s experienced in his career in the book industry, but he loves his chances of moving forward.

The safety odds in this year’s Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams opened with a “yes” +700, with a “no” – 1100.

“We know the odds, and they are in our best interest,” Cornegay said.

The betting public won’t care.

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