The Super Bowl odds opened with the Philadelphia Eagles the biggest underdog in nearly a decade. That might be for good reason, as the team enters the big game with its backup quarterback, and is facing the defending champion New England Patriots and Tom Brady, perhaps the best under-center to ever play the game.
With the opening spread as much as 6.5 points (Wynn), bettors have been taking the underdogs in Las Vegas. That’s slightly pushed the odds on the Eagles a bit shorter, though New England remains a heavy favorite.
MGM Resorts VP of Race and Sports Jay Rood said this week that one of its sportsbooks took a seven-figure bet on Philadelphia. Appearing on Sirius XM’s Vegas Stats & Information Network, Rood told listeners that Las Vegas is buzzing over Super Bowl LII, and he believes additional big bets are brewing.
Rood later added that the million-dollar wager did not exceed the largest Super Bowl bet he’s ever taken while at MGM Resorts, which was a $2 million gamble on the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 against the Chicago Bears.
As of today, the general consensus among Las Vegas oddsmakers is New England -5, Philadelphia +5. Those looking to place a wager on the Patriots will find the best spread at the Mirage, which has the Pats spotting only 4.5 points to the Eagles.
As for the over/under, most sportsbooks have it around 48 points.
Betting Against Brady
MGM Resorts’ largest-ever Super Bowl bet was a $7.6 million wager on the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. The Rams’ opponent was none other than the New England Patriots.
The Patriots and Tom Brady, who was in just his first year as a starter after replacing an injured Drew Bledsoe, entered as one of the biggest underdogs in Super Bowl history. Las Vegas was spotting the Patriots two touchdowns (14 points), and yet many bettors still took the 14-2 Rams over the 11-5 Patriots.
It was a costly decision for the backers of the $7.6 million bet, as New England upset St. Louis 20-17, and Brady cemented his position as New England’s next franchise quarterback.
But since then, betting against Brady hasn’t been the worst decision. In his subsequent six Super Bowl appearances, in which he’s won four, Brady’s team has covered the spread just twice.
Line Movement, AI Prediction
As Philly fans get their money on relatively long odds, Patriots bettors wait patiently for the line to move in their favor. However, oddsmakers presumably don’t want to be rooting for the Eagles come February 4, which is why the spread might not shrink much further, if at all.
While Super Bowl odds varied in the opening hours after the matchup was set, most books are now in agreement on five points to the Eagles. The Westgate SuperBook, for instance, opened with the Patriots spotting six points, but has since retracted to five.
Eliminating the human emotion component, ESPN’s Football Power Index, a computerized predictor that projects results based on 10,000 simulations, gives the Patriots a 52.8 percent chance of winning.