As a Las Vegas sports betting industry veteran, MGM Resorts Director of Trading Jeff Stoneback well knows the rhythm of the two weeks leading up to a Super Bowl.
“The quiet before the storm, I guess you would call it,” Stoneback told Gaming Today on Friday. “There’s no real heavy action yet. It all starts picking up by Thursday of next week. If this was a regular-season game, I’d say we’ve got a lot of action, but the Super Bowl is a totally different animal.”
MGM opened with the L.A. Rams as 3.5-point favorites, but sharp early money on Sunday night – coupled with a subsequent mid-six-figure bet on L.A. at -4 – has the sportsbook aligned with the overall market at -4.5.
“If the game was to kick off today, we would need the Bengals,” said Stoneback, who noted a 6-5 ticket count in favor of Cincy. “The public is betting the Bengals just a tad bit more. The money is weighted to the Rams, but that one (large) bet skewed that. Throw that out, and we’re at good two-way action.”
Mid-six-figures is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a significant wager, for sure, but nothing like the one BetMGM took last year at this time. One well-heeled bettor wagered $2.3 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5 over Kansas City.
Stoneback said MGM had an inquiry from someone wanting to bet $1.5 million on this year’s Super Bowl. MGM signed off on it, but as happens many times, according to Stoneback, the company never heard back from the prospective bettor.
While the Rams will be the second team in two years to play on home turf in the Super Bowl, Stoneback noted that MGM placed no value on that.
“Not at all,” he said. “Heck, even when it was a true home game last week, it looked like they had more 49ers fans there. That’s one thing about the Super Bowl, too, it’s a lot of corporate (types) and not the rabid fan base you’d have during a regular-season game.”
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