The reason that Sunday’s Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles could take some $5 billion in betting action in the United States alone? It has less to do with normal betting action on a football game, but the hundreds of exotic props available – which help draw casual bettors.
Why don’t the sportsbooks do these for regular-season games? For one, there’s not a market for exotics on some Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals Week 4 game. Second, the oddsmakers don’t have time.
The current spread on the game is Patriots -4.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. One exotic asks if NBC’s Al Michaels will refer to the spread at all during the broadcast. Michaels has subtly done so in the past, and if it comes into play late in the game there’s a solid chance he might. Yes is a +110 underdog, though, with no at -150.
Will anyone other than quarterbacks Tom Brady or Nick Foles take a snap in the game? No is -160 and yes +120. Obviously, this doesn’t count special teams where a field-goal holder or punter takes a snap. This is on an offensive possession. There could be a trick play where a running back or receiver takes a snap out of a “Wildcat” formation, but that would be somewhat out of character for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Eagles counterpart Doug Pederson.
Speaking of trick plays, will either team try a flea-flicker? That’s when the quarterback hands off to a running back, who appears set to run into the line of scrimmage before pitching it back to the quarterback, who then throws to a (hopefully) open receiver. The Patriots have tried a flea-flicker in the past two AFC title games and the Eagles tried one in the NFC championship. That one is attempted Sunday is +400 with no at -700 at online gambling sites.
At age 40, Brady is looking to become the oldest Super Bowl-winning quarterback ever. His age will be a big storyline in the game and is given an over/under of five times mentioned during the broadcast. The over is a -150 favorite.
Football fans may remember that Brady’s game-worn jersey was stolen out of the New England locker room following last year’s Super Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston. Security surely will be tighter going forward. That Brady’s jersey is stolen again is +150 with no at -200.
Super Bowl LII is rematch of XXXIX, where New England beat Philadelphia 24-21 in Jacksonville. The only player remaining from either team is Brady. There is an urban legend that Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb vomited from nerves in the fourth quarter of that game. A couple of ex-Eagles have said he did, but McNabb has denied it and there’s no video of the alleged incident. That the vomiting incident is mentioned during the NBC broadcast of the game is +170 with no at -250.
For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.