Although the New England Patriots are the favorites to win Super Bowl 52, one gambler is all-in on the underdog Philadelphia Eagles.
The bettor reportedly walked into the MGM sports book in Las Vegas and plunked down more than a million bucks on the Eagles. MGM officials would not reveal the exact dollar amount of the bet, other than it was one of the largest wagers that Nevada has seen in the last couple of years. Officials also declined to specify whether it was a points-spread bet or a bet on the money line.
Oddsmakers at most Vegas betting establishments have set the Super Bowl point spread at five points, although MGM has dropped its spread to 4.5 points at this writing. The spread could continue to change as game time approaches; should the Patriots prevail on the field, a gambler who bets on the Eagles plus the points could still win as long as the Patriots’ margin of victory is less than the added points.
“As of Wednesday night, MGM had taken twice as many point-spread bets on the Eagles as it had the Patriots, and eight times more money-line bets on Philadelphia than New England,” ESPN noted about the action. MGM added that the Super Bowl usually prompts a couple of million-dollar bets, but typically the cash comes in a lot closer to game day.
A bettor at the South Point casino made four money-line bets on the Eagles today for a total of $500,000, ESPN separately reported.
The Las Vegas sports books expect to take in at least $100 million on next week’s Super Bowl, if past championship games are any indication.
Tom Brady, who many now call the greatest of all time, and coach Bill Belichick, seek their sixth Super Bowl win out of eight tries as they meet the Eagles and former backup quarterback Nick Foles in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, February 4, with a 6:30 p.m. Eastern time kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium, a domed structure, in Minneapolis. Eagles’ starting QB Carson Wentz is out after a season-ending injury.
In yet another comeback victory, the Pats defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game last Sunday by a score of 24-20. In the NFC championship game, the Eagles blew out the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, thereby denying the Vikings a chance to play in the Super Bowl on their home field.
While their professional football track record is unprecedented, Brady and company have had a lot help from their opponents in their last two Super Bowl wins. In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons jumped out to a 28-3 lead before Brady led a furious, amazing comeback on the way to a 34-28 overtime victory. All the Falcons needed was a field goal to ice the game, but it didn’t happen for them. In Super Bowl 49, the Seattle Seahawks reached the Patriots goal line late in the fourth quarter, and a Marshawn Lynch touchdown on a handoff would have made the team back-to-back champions. Instead, they inexplicably threw the ball, which was intercepted, and the Patriots won 28-24.
The Patriots also benefited from several questionable referee calls at key moments during the 2017-2018 campaign.
NFL ratings have trended downward throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. It remains to be seen if Super Bowl viewership, on what has become an unofficial U.S. holiday, underperforms past years. Outside of New England, most of America, regardless of any betting interest, will probably be watching to see if the Philadelphia Eagles can pull off an upset.