NFL Super Bowl Betting - An Interview With A Las Vegas Bookmakerby Jeremy Martin
Click Here for 2021 Super Bowl 55 information including Super Bowl Odds, Super Bowl Picks, Super Bowl Point Spread, and Super Bowl Squares.Super Bowl XXXIX takes place this Sunday and sports books from Las Vegas to Reno are bracing for their busiest weekend of the year. Last year Nevada books took in a record $81.2 million in betting handle (they won a record $12.4 million on the game) and this year could be even bigger. Doc's talks to Doug Beil, race and sportsbook manager for Terrible's Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, about NFL Super Bowl betting and what he expects for the upcoming weekend.
Doc's Sports: Last year Nevada set a record for betting handle for the Super Bowl. Do you think this year's game will be even bigger?
Doug Beil: It's probably hard to say right now because so much happens (on Saturday and Sunday). It could. The matchup is there. It is a quality matchup that is interesting to the people. If it doesn't top last year's record it wouldn't be because of the game or the teams that are (playing).
DS: Why do you think the books did so well last year when one of the teams involved were considered 'undesirable' by most bookies?
DB: That's something that myself or a lot of other people have never been able to explain. The matchup with Carolina making it was supposed to diminish interest in the game and then there was a controversy with the NFL and a lot of the planned Super Bowl parties (in Las Vegas) - they were either altered or changed or cancelled altogether. With all of that going on we still had a record. It defies explanation I guess.
DS: Maybe that's an indication that sports betting has become more popular and accepted?
DB: No doubt about it. It is just so much more publicized and well known. Perhaps a lot of people no longer consider it such an evil thing. It is on the computer now. Even if they do not have accounts and wager, they can (still) look at all that stuff.
DS: Is the Patriots and Eagles a dream matchup for the books?
DB: I think so. How many times did you hear people say 'there is only one team in the NFC that could possibly compete with the AFC in the Super Bowl?' It's the Eagles. Thank goodness they made it. In the AFC -- the Patriots, Steelers and the Colts - if any of those teams made it, it would be a popular or well-received thing. But certainly having the defending champions there makes it that much better.
DS: Have you had a lot of action at your book thus far?
DB: It has been normal. In my experience with the Super Bowl it is always Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We are not there yet. Most of the people that come in from out of town aren't here yet. Most of the locals wait to see all of the bets that come up and compare and shop (for numbers) and do their research before they bet. We are going to get slammed the last three days.
DS: What are your lines at this time?
DB: New England minus seven and 48 for the total.
DS: Some Internet books have already moved to 7 ½. Any chance you will move off seven?
DB: Based on what I have seen here so far, I have manipulated the (vig) around but I haven't had to go off seven. For the first week we had the number up we were getting much more Patriots money than Eagles money. I was able to go to seven minus $1.20 with the Patriots. Making the Eagles even money we were able to get money back on (them). As of right now, we are balanced (on the game). In fact, I don't know if this is a coincidence, but the last two days we have got some pretty good Eagles money. It also coincided with Terrell Owens (practicing). I don't know if it had anything to do with it or not, but my guess is that people saw him practicing and running and telling everyone he was fine and going to play. I think for people who liked the points but weren't sure, I think that was enough to get them out to take the points.
DS: Do you expect fairly balanced action for the game by Sunday?
DB: I expect not having to (move) off seven. Boy, I have been wrong before. Two years ago on game day the last three hours up until kickoff there was a big move and a (large) amount of money bet on Tampa Bay. I didn't expect that at all. I guess you just never know. >From what I have seen so far we should be able to stay on seven. Seven seems like a real solid number and it is something you can manipulate the money on unless everybody (in town) goes to 7 ½ then we will have to (make the move) or people will just keep laying the seven here.
DS: Any chance the number could go higher than 7 ½?
DB: Based on what I have seen so far we would definitely get money on the Eagles at 7 ½.
DS: Is it possible that Philadelphia bettors are waiting for 7 ½ and that there will be a huge influx of money if the line moves that way?
DB: It's a possibility. A lot of people who like the points know it is not going to move to 6 ½. The worst thing that can happen is that they take seven on game day. The best thing that can happen is that they find those 7 1/2s. If you like the points you can certainly wait and possibly help yourself.
DS: Do you foresee any movement on the total?
DB: That's hard to say. Myself, I think its kind of a high total for these two teams. Then you have the trend of Super Bowls going 'over.' Last year's game seemed like it would be a low scoring game but it wasn't. the public just loves to parlay the 'over.' It doesn't matter what team they parlay, they are going to parlay it to the 'over.' My guess would be that if it is going to move it is going to go higher.