The big money is on the Philadelphia Eagles so far.
William Hill -- which operates more than 100 sportsbooks in Nevada and hundreds more worldwide -- has taken three bets on the Eagles of $1 million or more since Monday, the latest coming Friday afternoon. That $1 million money-line wager was made by the same bettor who placed a $1 million bet on the Eagles on Monday.
William Hill sports director Nick Bogdanovich told USA TODAY Sports “there is no explanation” to the rash of major bets placed ahead of Super Bowl LII on Sunday. William Hill, which has operated in Nevada since 2012, had only taken one previous bet of $1 million or more before this week: a $1.2 million wager on Floyd Mayweather in his bout against Conor McGregor in August.
“This is highly unusual,” Bogdanovich asid. “This game is crazy. Sports betting is at an all-time high and the economy is good. There’s a lot of interest in this game.”
ESPN also reported that MGM's sportsbook accepted a “multimillion” bet on the Eagles as well.
It’s not odd that the Super Bowl attracts huge bets -- although it’s rare for so many to be above $1 million -- and lots of those bets are made on the money line (a straight-up bet) versus the spread. While a bettor is getting 4.5 points on Philly (meaning the Eagles could lose by four or fewer points and still win a point-spread bet), the payout is equal -- minus the sportsbook's cut -- to the money wagered.
With the money line for the Eagles set at +155 as it stood on Saturday, a $1 million bet would result in a $1.55 million profit.
Bogdanovich said he expects all the sports books in Nevada to take in a record $155 million in bets before the 6:30 pm kickoff. The previous high to date for a Super Bowl was $138.48 million, which was wagered on last year's Super Bowl.
And a huge chunk of that so far has been bet in favor of the Eagles.
William Hill reports about 85% of the money thus far has been wagered in points spread bets on Philly and about 79% of the money line bets have been placed on the Eagles.
That kind of exposure has Bogdanovich rightfully concerned.
“There’s no question we are going to be rooting for the Patriots,” Bogdanovich said. “About 90% of the time we root against the Patriots, but we need them to win this time for sure.”
Along with the two $1 million money line-wagers, William Hill also took a $1.6 million point-spread bet on Wednesday from a bettor who picked the Eagles to cover the 4.5-point spread. The bet was placed at a William Hill sportsbook in The Bahamas.
Bogdanovich said he expected more money to be wagered on the Patriots as game time approaches.
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