By Flint Wheeler
By current count, at least three wagers of $500,000 or more have already been placed in Las Vegas for next Sunday’s Super Bowl LII showdown between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
Those wagers will be discussed in more detail below, but for now, all you need to know is that each bet was placed on Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, which is one of the primary reasons as to why the opening pointspread of Patriots -5.5 has already been adjusted to as low as Patriots -4.
But perhaps more important than why the pointspread is moving is the why behind the decision to support the Eagles. Granted, the rationale supporting such a wager is multi-faceted, but at least one of those factors pertains to the following information:
Tom Brady + Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl =
 New England (+14/53) vs. St. Louis: Patriots 20, Rams 17
 New England (-7/38) vs. Carolina: Patriots 32, Panthers 29
 New England (-7/47) vs. Philadelphia: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
 New England (-12.5/54.5) vs. New York: Giants 17, Patriots 14
 New England (-3/53) vs. New York: Giants 21, Patriots 17
 New England (-1/47) vs. Seattle: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24
 New England (-3/57) vs. Atlanta: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT)
Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota will mark the eighth time in which a Super Bowl featured Bill Belichick as the head coach of the Patriots and Tom Brady as the quarterback of the Patriots. But here’s where things get interesting: in those previous seven Super Bowl appearances, the average margin of victory was just 3.7 points, with only one game being decided by more than four points.
That one game in question was last year’s 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Four games decided by three points, two matchups determined by four points and one overtime thriller that landed on six points.
Brady + Belichick may be the NFL’s ultimate dynasty, but the Hall of Fame tandem doesn’t annihilate the opposition when the Vince Lombardi Trophy is on the line. Further, the Brady + Belichick duo is a lifetime 5-2 straight up and 3-4 against the spread in the Super Bowl, with the Under cashing in four of those seven showdowns.
While it’s certainly not the primary reason as to why we’ve seen so much Eagles money show up in Vegas through the first week of Super Bowl wagering, Brady and Belichick’s Super Bowl history has no doubt played at least a small role in the movement from Patriots -5.5 to Patriots -4.
Now comes the fun part: will big-time Patriots money begin to show in Vegas between now and kickoff, or will the Philly cash continue to pour in during this season’s final week of professional football wagering?
Trend of the Week
In the National Football League’s previous 51 Super Bowls, the team that won the game just so happened to also cover the pointspread 43 times.
Yep, you read that right, the straight-up winner of the Super Bowl is 43-6-2 ATS.
So, who do you guys have winning on Sunday?
Super Bowl action report
Most outlets, both in Vegas and offshore, opened with the Patriots as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 47.5 points. After one week of wagering, we now see New England as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 48.
As of Sunday morning, approximately 58 percent of the tickets written were in support of Philadelphia, while 62 percent of the tickets written on the total were backing the Over.
In regards to the move from New England -5.5 to New England -4, here’s what we know:
- This past week, MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told Titled Sports’ in Las Vegas that his property took a “multi-million-dollar bet” on the Philadelphia Eagles. Rood declined to name the bettor or share whether it was a moneyline bet on the Eagles or a wager on the Eagles plus the points, but Rood did move his line from Patriots -5.5 to Patriots -4.5 immediately after booking said wager.
- South Point director of race and sports Chris Andrews said on The Sharp 600 podcast that he booked a $500,000 moneyline wager on the Philadelphia Eagles this past week.
- Matthew Holt, the COO at CG Analytics and vice president of business development for CG Technology, tweeted Friday, “We took a 700K bet on Eagles moneyline today and now have well into seven-figure liability on Eagles moneyline as of now.”
At the moment, it appears as if we’re all waiting to see whether or not a significant amount of New England money shows up at the books.