What will become the most lucrative Super Bowl to date for the Las Vegas sportsbook begins with a massive loss in the first play of the game.
In NFL history, only 6.8% of the regular season’s games — about 1 in 15 — are safe, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. However, year after year, the betting public has to worry about the safety of happening during the Super Bowl, even though the odds are nowhere near 15-1. The price to go safely at this year’s Super Bowl is 7-1.
Meanwhile, savvy professional bettors each year often lack the safety of the Super Bowl, sometimes waiting until just before the game starts to risk hundreds of thousands of dollars for a chance to win. several thousand dollars. Sportsbooks suit the pros on the safe side and end up with tons of small “yes” bets with long odds, and a handful of huge “no” bets that pay just a little.
Rufus Peabody, a professional bettor known for his talent on Super Bowl props, said: “Put a big price is not a sexy thing. “If it wins, you don’t win much; if it loses, you lose a lot. I understand why the average recreational bettor doesn’t like to place such a big bid. If I bet once a year, I probably wouldn’t want to risk $1,000 to win $100.”
Indeed, football’s rarest goalscoring game regularly produces one of the biggest positive vs involved gambling decisions in the Super Bowl, and on February 2, 2014, the squares turned out to be profitable. the highest returns – and the bookies – with, depending on your opinion, the most lucrative or costly safety in NFL history.
Nevada sportsbooks won a record $19.7 million at Super Bowl XLVIII between Dancer broncos and Seattle Seahawks Football Team. That’s roughly the number of state books won in the previous four Super Bowl games combined. The betting public has sided with Peyton Manning and the Broncos as the minor favorites and is stymied with the Seahawks 43-8 route. The bookies crushed it, but it wasn’t off to a good start for the bookie or professional bettors, like the sage known to some as Marco Robindale.
Robindale, a fit, grumpy, Las Vegas graft from Boston, is a longtime professional gambler who places sports bets and travels the country beating casinos at table games. He’s a gray-haired veteran with efforts to handle the massive losses that inevitably come with his chosen profession. But his pulse as the game’s first hit glides past Manning and into the final zone to secure the Seahawks still haunts him. It changed him as a gambler.
In the hours before kick-off, Robindale raced around Las Vegas “like Andretti” in his 2008 silver Lexus. He parked his car where he shouldn’t and raced in and out of casinos, betting as much as he could on what seemed like a lifetime’s deal.
The previous two Super Bowls have covered safety and the trend has recently infected the betting public. Books are flooded with money when “yes” on a safe stand and are desperate to reduce their risk. As Robindale puts it, “The public has bet ‘yes’ on safety just as much as they’ve got the score.”
Sportsbooks caught off guard against the surge in safety concerns and started slashing prices at “No” to unprecedented levels. Usually, the books charge around -900 or so for the bet against safety to happen, which means you have to bet $900 to win a net $100. But on this Super Bowl Sunday, Robindale was offered -450 or higher for the “No” spot. That’s the bad thing that books need money on the other side. Robindale bets it wherever he can, as fast as he can.
An hour before the match started, a contact person at Caesars Palace called. If he can get there quickly, the sportsbook is willing to bet him as much money as he wants on “No” on safety with the unbelievable price of -350. Robindale sped to Caesars Palace, went straight to the window, cut through the line of bettors, pulled $70,000 from the pocket of his cargo shorts and bet it all for a chance to win $20,000 if no safety incidents.
On the busiest Sunday of the year, Robindale was in and out of Caesars Palace within minutes, before his phone rang again. The sportsbook at Palms has dropped to -400 due to unsafety, but the game will start in 30 minutes. Robindale says he’ll be there shortly.
On the way to the Palms, he began to calculate his total risk expressed in about a dozen tickets on the safety stand sitting in his car. He stopped when he realized how much he had managed: $220,000, significantly more than he would normally risk a single outcome, for a winning shot somewhere. about 50,000 dollars.
Still, he couldn’t resist betting more at the discounted price at Palms. It was just too good of a chance. He ran over, placed another $20,000 without safety and immediately called a friend, offering to sell him a piece of his action while the game was starting. For the price he was getting, Robindale couldn’t imagine he would have any problem unloading some of his actions.
Robindale’s friend is interested, but is on the other end of the line and needs to call him back right away. Minutes later, Robindale received a call back, but it was too late.
“Well, I don’t want it now,” his friend said of Robindale’s offer to buy some safety act.
“What [expletive] have just happened? ‘ Robindale asked.
“Oh, you didn’t watch the game… let’s play first, it’s 2-0 Seattle,” the friend replied.
Robindale dropped $220,000 just seconds after the game. It was the second-biggest loss on a single outcome of his betting career, and Robindale hasn’t made a safe bet for the Super Bowl since.
Looking back at it eight years later, Robindale sighs, “Great numbers, great bets, but… I decided then, it was more trouble than it was. It wasn’t really MO. mine to worry about winning and losing I’m much more concerned with taking chances But I think my bankroll might be in a better position than betting a lot to win a little, with rare exceptions. Safety, overtime… any of those things, I wrote them down to the gambling past.”
But not the betting public.
The explosion in popularity of Super Bowl prop betting can be traced back to William “The Refrigerator” Perry, £300 coin. Chicago Bears defensive midfielder who became a public darling in the mid-1980s.
In 1986, Las Vegas bookie Art Manteris, then with Caesars Palace, made a proposal for Perry to score a Super Bowl XX goal first. New England Patriots. The odds open at around 20-1. Perry had enough action to score that brought the odds down to 2-1. Perry scored on a short touchdown in the second half against the Patriots’ Bears, and Manteris lost big. But backing betting has only just begun.
“I think they like to bet it because it keeps them in the game all the time,” said Chris Andrews, a veteran Las Vegas bookmaker currently with South Point.
Super Bowl safety odds started appearing in sportsbooks about 30 years ago. From 1988 to 2007, only one Super Bowl (1991) featured a safety feature. There was another safety in 2008 and then three in a row capped by the Manning failure.
“After two years before that, you’ve paid a heavy price in insecurity, because of recent bias,” says Peabody. “We had a lot more stuff than in previous years, and I remember that the ball went over [Manning’s] head and was like, ‘Oh my god, not again.’ I remember sorting those and dropping over $100,000.
“Definitely I’ve been frustrated all my life with no-safety bets,” he noted in a recent phone interview, “because I’ve been safe three times in 13 Super Bowls that I made a bet, and I’m placing -800, -900 .”
That price sensitivity helps to distinguish serious gamblers from the betting public. Astute bettors compare odds-equivalents with the actual probability of an event occurring and bet accordingly – even if it means betting more to win less . They are willing to risk a lot even for a smaller profit, if the price is right.
On the other hand, recreational bettors often want to bet a little to win a lot – even if the odds are not close to the actual probability.
Jay Kornegay, a cheerful, middle-aged Las Vegas bookie, was escorting some of the last late VIPs to their ballroom seats when Super Bowl XLVIII between the Broncos and the Seahawks began.
Kornegay, a die-hard Broncos fan, had been circling the Las Vegas hotel from the sportsbook he ran, but heard a roar as the game’s first blast swept past Manning and into the final precinct to keep the Seahawks safe.
“Really?” he mutters incredulously, mostly worried about the unlucky start of his favorite team.
Moments later, his betting instincts flared: “Oh, that can’t be good for us.”
Kornegay sent a text message to a sportsbook salesman: “Hey, how much did we spend?”
“You don’t want to know,” the salesman replied.
Kornegay did not answer.
Once all the high rollers were dealt with, Kornegay headed back to the ballroom to the SuperBook to assess the damage the safety had done. In his head, he estimated a near six-figure loss. However, Kornegay only considers safe action happening at any point in the game, the payout is around 8-1. He doesn’t think of the 60-1 odds they put on the first score of the game as safe for the Seahawks.
“Okay, how much did we spend?” Kornegay asked his group.
“More than a quarter of a million,” they replied.
Sportsbooks all over Las Vegas take safety seriously. In addition to the SuperBook, MGM, William Hill and Wynn were among the sportsbooks that reported six-figure losses. A bettor at Wynn had $1,000 on the safety of the Seahawks as the first score was 60-1. MGM said the first score of 141 bets on Seattle’s safety.
Kornegay says the safety of the Seahawks remains the worst loss to the Super Bowl he’s suffered in his bookmaking career, but he likes his chances going forward.
The odds in this year’s Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams open with “Yes” +700, “No” -1,100.
“We know the odds and they’re in our favor,” Kornegay said.
The betting public won’t care.