If you’re a Baltimore Ravens booster looking for some extra line value on the Super Bowl spread or a San Francisco 49ers fan wanting to be in the company of fellow Red and Gold fanatics, Reno may be the place for you.
With the California border just down the road and the Bay Area a mere 3.5 hours away, Reno Nevada sportsbooks have been a hot spot for 49ers bettors all season. And that trend has hit a frenzied peak in the postseason.
A quick glance at Reno’s Super Bowl spread is a good indication of where most of the money is coming from heading toward Feb. 3. The Niners opened as 5-point favorites and have only recently come down to -4.5, while Las Vegas sportsbooks are dealing the spread as low as San Francisco -3.5 with the majority of early money on the underdog.
“Because we anticipate more money on the 49ers, we look at the consensus line out there and keep it at a point or half a point higher,” Terry Cox, director of the race and sportsbook at the Peppermill Resort Spa and Casino in Reno, told Covers. “We’re still getting good San Francisco money, God bless them.”
Cox admits they have taken more money on Baltimore, forcing the slight line adjustment, but says 80 percent of their total Super Bowl handle will come in the final 48 hours before game time and most of that will be action on San Francisco. The Peppermill is also dealing the total a touch higher – 48.5 compared to 47.5 in Las Vegas – due to the popular combo of the 49ers and the over in recent weeks.
That geographic shift in the line was the difference for many San Fran backers who placed their bets in Reno for last week’s NFC title game against the Atlanta Falcons. While Las Vegas books and online markets were dealing the 49ers -3.5, the Peppermill had the Niners as high as -5.5 – bad news for San Francisco ticket holders with a final score of 28-24.
“You may not think they’d be so eager to come back and do that again,” says Cox. “But we’re betting they’ll be back.”
The 49ers’ recent postseason success has been a blessing to Reno sportsbooks. According to Cox, their handle on last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game was 26 percent bigger than last year’s NFC title game between San Francisco and the New York Giants. The casino was forced to open an extra viewing area for the game and is anticipating another huge crowd on Super Sunday. Cox says there are three big parties planned for Feb. 3 and all are at maximum capacity, including a 3,000-guest celebration.
“You can build all those casinos in California but if they want to bet the 49ers, they have to come here,” says Cox.