SB 52: The House always wins, almost

The Eagles win meant the books took a hit. NFL/Facebook

The build-up to NFL finale, mysteriously, featured vast amounts of gamblers backing the Eagles to pull off the upset. While the line opened in the 5.5 point range, It progressively dropped throughout the week showing just how much people believed Brady, would be denied his sixth ring.

"Let it ride."

The all in bettor struck again! How can a single individual impact the spread in the biggest gambling event of the year? Three million was his initial wager at MGM Resorts, and that was the maximum amount that individual book wanted to take in action from the serendipitous European. He would take the rest of his action elsewhere and spread the rest of his bets as follows:

Two separate $1 million bets with William Hill.

$700,000 wager  South Point.

$700,000 wager CGT Technology.

Unknown at the Wynn.

(add the original $3 million at MGM)

The exact numbers he was getting on the money line are unspecified but are said to be in the +150 to +170 range. The all in bettor was steadily given bad odds, but still took the numbers and hammered the books. After it was all said and done, he profited over $10 million, once again giving gamblers a tale to narrate for ages.

From the Cashier's Window

With the exception of 2015, the handle sportsbooks take in for the big game has grown every year.

2013 Bal/SF $98.9 Million

2014 Den/Sea $119.4 Million

2016 Den/Car $132.5 Million

2017 NE/Atl $138.5 Million  

2018 NE/Phi $158.6 Million

As you can see, the jump in handle from last year to this season was over $20 million. A massive spurt, similar to the one witnessed in the 2014 Superbowl. So $158.6 million is notably the record for cash taken in, but how much was profited in a contest in which the underdog and the over cashed? That's usually a recipe for a Sunday Bloody Sunday for the books

The guys behind the glass profited $1.17 Million in this year's big game. This is the lowest figure of gain for books in 10 years. Much has to do with large money line bets on Philadelphia tacked on to the over cashing easily. Where some books were able to get money back was on the prop bets and Patriot futures which served as some sort of redemption. Sportsbooks have now profited in 26 of the last 28 Superbowls. The two losses coming in 1995 and 2008.

With such a big handle this year the books were hoping to profit more than 0.7%. Even in the 2011 matchup between the Packers and Steelers, books only handled $87.4 million total but profited $724,176, good for a gain of 0.8%. The record for profits happened when the Seahawks routed the Broncos in 2014, the total win was $19.6 million, and a hold of 16.5%.

Overall, the books made the smallest of profits, but they will take it considering the number of bets that were on the Eagles. Futures, Props, and in-game Patriot backers saves would have been an unpropitious day.


New England Patriots    +500

Philadelphia Eagles    +700

Green Bay Packers    +800

Pittsburgh Steelers    +1000

Minnesota Vikings    +1200

Los Angeles Rams    +1750

San Francisco 49ers    +1800

Houston Texans    +1850

New Orleans Saints    +1850

Jacksonville Jaguars    +2000

Atlanta Falcons    +2000

Dallas Cowboys    +2000

Oakland Raiders    +2100

Carolina Panthers    +2500

Seattle Seahawks    +2500

Kansas City Chiefs    +3000

Los Angeles Chargers    +3000

Denver Broncos    +3500

Indianapolis Colts    +4000

Tampa Bay Buccaneers    +4000

Baltimore Ravens    +5000

Arizona Cardinals    +5000

Tennessee Titans    +5000

Detroit Lions    +5000

New York Giants    +5500

Miami Dolphins    +7000

Washington Redskins    +7000

New York Jets    +10000

Chicago Bears    +10000

Cincinnati Bengals    +10000

Buffalo Bills    +10000

Cleveland Browns +10000

Any questions or comments follow me on twitter @JerryBoknowz


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Should Watson be in the MVP conversation? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The 2020 NFL season has a lot going on. Even if we take the coronavirus out of it, there's still a lot to digest. There are so many great performances being put up, one can make an argument for several players to win league MVP. The quarterback position typically gets more credit than others. If I restrict the argument to quarterbacks only, we're looking at Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry are the leading contenders at running back. On defense, there really isn't a standout defender. The defense gets no love, but there are several guys in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Deshaun Watson has been putting up numbers that have matched or rivaled some of the top MVP candidates over his last seven games. That stretch has coincided with the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Coincidence? I think not. Taking the reigns off a wild horse can often lead to said horse running free and flourishing! So question: Should Watson be getting league MVP considerations? I think so.

For starters, he's been one of the best players in the league over the course of the last seven games. 18 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. The only quarterback with a better touchdown to interception ratio over that same span is Mahomes (19 and 2, as opposed to Watson's 18 & 2). Factoring in total season stats, of course Mahomes is doing much better. He's on a better team with a much better coach and general manager. The same could be said for Wilson and Rodgers. Put Watson on any of those teams and their records wouldn't be any worse than what they are now.

The Texans are 4-3 since firing O'Brien. While that isn't a great record, consider the fact they started the season 0-4 and looked like a total disaster. Watson looked like he was caged and couldn't wait to be freed. The team's record could be even better if the defense had a pulse. The proper supporting cast has a lot to do with a player's MVP candidate's chances. Now that one of his favorite weapons, Will Fuller, and the team's best corner, Bradley Roby, are both suspended for the rest of the season by the league for violating the substance abuse/PED policy, things will get much tougher for Watson.

If he continues to put up these cartoon like numbers, I don't see why he wouldn't be in the MVP conversation. He's currently fopurth in passing yards, sixth in completion percentage, tied for fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in QBR, and third in quarterback rating. Watson is emerging as the star he was projected to be coming into the 2017 draft. I'm not saying Watson deserves to be the league MVP, but he deserves to be in the conversation. His MVP candidacy should be treated like the family gathering hierarchy: once you reach a certain age and/or status, you're no longer resigned to the kiddie table. Now you get to sit with all the adults, engage in their conversations, and gain access to things you couldn't previously. Watson won't win the MVP award, but I strongly believe he could finish top five. Especially if he keeps making lemonade with the lemons he's been given.

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