SBXLVI Betting Update
February 2, 2012
Update – Thursday Feb. 2 (11:30 a.m. PT)
Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello tried to hang on with the Patriots minus-3 as long as he could, but finally had to give in on Thursday morning when the culmination of Giants money over the first 11 days of action became too much.
“It’s been non-stop Giants money,” said Avello who now has the Patriots -2 ½ (-115). ”I’d rather go now and test the waters to see if I can find some Patriots money out there.”
Avello joins Coast Resorts (-2 ½ -115), MGM Resorts (-2 ½ -125) and the South Point (-2 ½ -110) who have already made the move below -3.
“I figure we have only seen about 12% of the action thus far and I already have the lowest money-line in town (Patriots -130/+110) that hasn’t attracted Patriots money, so I’m going to test it out and see what I can get. I definitely don’t want to be the last to make the move.”
The fact that Avello hasn’t had any large money nibbles on the money line at -130 is pretty telling. It’s a sign sharp money that may like the Patriots are waiting until the sports books get desperate closer to game time when we could see a -125 or -120 with a book crying out for any Patriots money.
Sharp money matters very little in the overall equation for the Super Bowl, but it’s always nice to use their bets as a barometer to what is attractive.
With all the action that has occurred thus far, Avello thinks this year’s Super Bowl numbers will beat last year’s $87.4 million handle throughout Nevada last year.
“Action is already bigger early than last year,” said Avello. “I don’t know if we can get to the record ($94.5 million in 2006), but I think we’ll beat 2011. Between the massive following of the two teams and a low spread, I would be surprised if it didn’t surpass last year.”
Avello has also gotten a ton of action on his props. The biggest mover thus far has been the prop asking who will run the first offensive play.
“We opened the Giants at minus-120 and got a ton of action early and then I come to find out that the reason behind all the bets is that the Patriots have deferred 27 straight times,” Avello said with a chuckle. “So we’ve moved it pretty quick up the ladder to minus-240, and who knows, the Giants could win the toss and defer themselves just to begin the game by not letting Belichick get his way.“
Update – Monday Jan. 30 (1:00 p.m. PT)
We’ve been commenting a lot about the action at the South Point because they have essentially been the story on the Super Bowl betting season in Las Vegas. While every other book in town has been dealing either a -2 ½ (-120) or a -3 (EV), the South Point deals exclusively with flat numbers (-110) making their moves to -2 ½ and -3 the most attractive in the land.
In a matter of less than a half hour Monday afternoon, the South Point got a few large wagers that pushed the number back and forth again, which makes it four times bouncing on and off the key number. A massive wager on the Patriots at -2 ½ (-110) pushed them to their threshold at that number forcing them back to -3 (-110). Within 15 minutes, they immediately reached the threshold at +3 (-110) with a rapid succession of limit Giants money as though the bettors were waiting.
Anyone with sharp money betting limits knows that the best place to get the most value with the Super Bowl is with the South Point, so just about every group in town is on full alert to what is going on there. Why pay the added juice if you want to take the Giants +3 and why lay more than -110 on the Patriots if wanting to lay -2 ½?
The actual amounts of the wagers are not for public knowledge, but to give an idea based on past occurrences, just assume that the wagers are anywhere from $20,000 to $75,000 with a threshold at each move being around $100,000 to $150,000. That’s a lot of cheese to be churning with six days of action still remaining.
For now, the South Point has the Patriots -2 ½ (-110), again.
Update – Sunday Jan. 29 (12:30 p.m. PT)
Another Las Vegas sports book joined the small minus-2 ½ party Saturday when Coast Resort properties moved the Patriots to -2 ½ (-120). They join MGM Resorts (-2 ½ -125) and the South Point (-2 ½ -110) as the only books below -3.
Cantor Gaming sports books have been steady at Patriots -3 (-105) and the director of the books, Mike Colbert, says action has been great.
“We have almost the exact same amount of money of each side," said Colbert. “The only thing we are long on right now is the Giants money-line (+125).”
Colbert has a very fair money-line price posted compared to most of the other books which have the Patriots at -135 or -140.
After the initial rush of almost everyone having to get a piece of the Giants, it appears the action has leveled off a bit with smaller Patriots money showing up.
Update – Saturday Jan. 28 (12:30 p.m. PT)
Without any full limit wagers on the Giants at +3-flat, it still didn't take long for the South Point to find their threshold and move back to Patriots -2 ½ (-110). This was the South Point's second move to -2 ½. The first time they found out that there was large Patriots money to be had rather quickly and bounced back up to -3.
They've been at -2 ½ since Friday night, but haven't gotten the initial type of Patriots money they did when they first moved. Since moving to -2 ½, small money is still coming fast and furious on the Giants. The majority of Super Bowl bettors don't care what the line is. Rather, they just want a ticket that says Giants. This has been the case everywhere since the line first opened on Sunday.
The majority of Las Vegas Sports Books still have the Giants +3 (-120) with MGM Resorts still holding solid with the Patriots -2 ½ (-125).
The LVH Super Book opened their world famous Super Bowl propositions Thursday evening with the sheets flying off the rack almost as fast as they could print them. The initial action was good as well, but the majority of the betting will take place when all the other sports books open their props are reveal several middle opportunities.
Over the years, some of the best middles have occurred on yardage props where the bettor can get up a 10 to 15-yard free roll with running backs or wide receivers and a chance to win both bets by just shopping around.
Update – Thursday Jan. 26 (4:00 p.m. PT)
South Point found all the money they needed on Patriots -2 ½ (-110) and moved back to -3 (-110) until they regroup again Friday. What they have done is basically shown the entire city of Las Vegas that there is money to be had on the Patriots at -2 ½ which should go a long way to dictating where the solid spread sits next week.
Update – Thursday Jan. 26 (3:45 p.m. PT)
Minus-2 ½-flat could become a scarce number in Las Vegas soon. Cal-Neva sports books went from -2 ½ (-120) back to -3 (EV) Thursday while the only -2 ½-flat in the world remained at the South Point they've been finding Patriots money.
"We know that there is big money to be had with the Patriots -2 ½-flat (-110)," said South Point sports book director Bert Osborne, who runs the only book in Las Vegas that uses exclusively flat numbers.
"With the way we book (flat numbers), it's going to take a little more to get us off the number, but at least it's nice to know that there are people out there supporting the Patriots," said Osborne who has been getting an influx of Giants money throughout the week since opening the Patriots -3 ½ on Sunday.
"I'll talk with Michael (South Point owner Michael Gaughan) tomorrow and see where we want to be positioned based on all the betting action we've had. I think we have enough data through the first few days to figure out on each side of '3', what type of action we'll get the rest of the way."
Jay Rood at the MGM Resort properties remains comfortable with his -2 ½ (-125) line and says he's been getting good two-way action.
"We're treading water this week and haven't been pushed one way or another. Next week we'll re-evaluate everything and see where we want to be based on the money that has come in. It's very apparent the public likes the Giants."
Update – Wednesday Jan. 25 (4:00 p.m. PT)
The day after MGM Resorts moved the Patriots to -2.5 (-125) because of an onslaught of Giants money, South Point sports book director Bert Osborne followed suit, but gave a much meatier bone for sharp money -- if any -- to sink their teeth into by offering the Patriots at -2.5-flat.
"I had enough and I figured while it was still early enough, I'd test the waters a little and see if -2.5-flat actually had some value," said Osborne. "I think it does, but I've only had the move up for a half-hour and it’s still all Giants money."
The public doesn't seem to care what the line is on the Giants whether it's betting into a bad money-line or taking the almost meaningless +2.5. As of right now, all they know is they want the Giants on Super Bowl Sunday.
"We'll see where this takes us," said Osborne. "We're probably going to take about four times as much risk on this move, at this stage, than we would in a regular playoff game."
After over 24 hours of action, the MGM Resort properties are happy with their decision to jump out early Tuesday.
"We're pretty balanced at -2.5 (-125) right now since the move," said VP of race and sports Jay Rood.
More Las Vegas sports books may soon follow to the land below a field goal spread. No one wants to be left out without any Patriots money, if there is any to be had.
Update – Wednesday Jan. 25 (4:00 a.m. PT)
Just after I wrote about the sports books not wanting to go minus-2 ½, Jay Rood, VP of race and sports at MGM Resorts, had enough of all the early action on the Giants through Tuesday and tested the waters with Giants +2 ½ (-125).
"We we’re just getting too much money at a rapid pace on the Giants at all stages that we moved the line on from Sunday night until now," said Rood who opened the Giants +3 ½. "I’d rather make the move now and see what happens early on before the rush happens next week."
Most Las Vegas sports books still have the Patriots -3 (EVEN) with Lucky’s sports books showing a -3 (+105) on the Patriots. These next few days will be telling as to what we’ll see next weekend when the books will be more stubborn and set on their number.
Jay Kornegay and his staff are working feverishly to get all 350 Super Bowl props out by Thursday afternoon which will send a major rush to windows everywhere. The LVH Super Book sets the standard around town, and the world for the matter, on what the market price dictates.
Sharp players from everywhere will be in full force looking for an edge on the propositions with hopes of finding several middle opportunities with the varied prices around town.
Even though Kornegay won’t say so himself, the likely reason he is waiting longer than usual to open the props is because he and his staff seem to do all the work for everyone in town. There have been more than a few books in Las Vegas that have actually cut and pasted their logo on the Hilton sheet and used every one of their props and bet numbers to a tee, claiming it as their own.
When the props are released, we’ll have an update on some of the biggest movers as well as some of the biggest variances from what other sports books who work did their own have.