Super Bowl betting: Vegas news, line movement and action report

Jan 30, 2012 |
The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year and it requires the most detailed action report for our action-thirsty readers. Come back throughout the day for the latest updates we’re hearing about the spread, total and prop bets right up until kickoff for Super Bowl XLVI.

Useful links: Track the Super Bowl line | Super Bowl trends | Gronkowski Twitter search | Past Super Bowl spreads & totals


6:30 p.m. ET -- Most lines hold up until kickoff

Most oddsmakers, both online and in Vegas, closed with New England set as a 3-point favorite with a 53-point total.

There were a handful of Pats -2.5 lines on the board and a number of books moved their totals down to 53 before pushing them back up to 53.5.

A few online shops were dealing 52.5-totals at the closing bell.

5 p.m. ET -- More books drop total to 53 points

It looks like tonight's total is on its way down both in Vegas and offshore.

On the strip, Caesars, LVH and Mirage have all moved their totals down to 53 points after opening as high as 55.5.

Meanwhile, most online shops have 53-point totals on the board. Pinnacle, Bet35 are all at 53 with a handful of other books still dishing 53.5.

The lowest total on the board was at Sportingbet, which currently has its number at 52.5. Bwin joined Sportingbet as the two online books at 52.5 about 20 minutes before kickoff.

-- Ryan Stetson

3 p.m. ET -- Blue drawing attention in Gatorade prop

“Clear/water” has emerged as the favorite to be dumped on the winning coach of the Super Bowl, but “Blue” is steaming. and reported a flurry of action on Blue, which is listed anywhere from +600 to +350.

“People are loving blue and orange,” SportsInteraction bookmaker Greg Sindall said. “We’ve had to cut both prices a couple times. Clear/water is seeing decent action as well. Lime Green and Yellow are not taking much action.”

“Blue (currently at +350) has been getting more attention the last hour than any others, much more attention,” book manager Chris Redmond told with a smile. “Not sure if they’ve been showing highlights of blue Gatorade showers from previous Super Bowls or if the bench manager just finished filling up the Gatorade buckets and knows something we all don't.”

--David Purdum

3 p.m. ET - Squares and squares differ on total offshore

Tony Williams, sportsbook manager at offshore book says the action on the total is split between the wiseguys and the betting public.

“Squares on over, sharps on under,” Williams said in an online interview.

He’s currently sitting at 53.5 points (over -107) heading into the three hours before kickoff. 5Dimes is dealing Patriots -2.5 with reduced juice while also offering -3 (+108/-118). Williams said he might increase the line on New England closer to kickoff.

“Each year it becomes more and more routine,” Williams said about dealing with the Super Sunday rush. “I wish I could give you a great quote, but there’s not much to say other than I'll be glad when it’s all done.”

“And fingers crossed that we don't have any crazy prop controversies.”

1 p.m. ET -- Frazzled Clarkson leaves wardrobe behind

All eyes, ears and stopwatches will be on Kelly Clarkson, as she performs the national anthem in over/under 94 seconds.

Clarkson could be a little frazzled upon arrival.

“Literally left my wardrobe at the hotel in Louisiana and my tour manager had to run back and get it. Now we're on the plane headed for the Super Bowl but that was a close one! I'm not sure if I could have pulled off spanx and heels while singing the anthem :),” the pop star tweeted at 1 p.m. ET.

Dave Mason, brand manager for

--David Purdum

12 p.m. ET - South Point cheering for slight Giants win

Bert Osborne, sportsbook manager at South Point, told he’s dealing -2.5 flat right now but says in a half hour everyone will be showing up at the book, so the spread could change during that five-hour window before kickoff.

Osborne said that they’re a little heavy on the Giants and the under due to parlays and teasers. He says the best-case scenario would be that New York wins, but by only one or two points.

11:30 a.m. - Big bets on Pats' spread and moneyline

Bob Scucci, race and sportsbook director for Coast Hotels, told big bets on the Patriots -2.5 and the under have them adjusting their odds on the morning of Super Bowl XLVI.

The Orleans is currently dealing New England -3 (+100) and has the total down from 54 to 53.5 as of 11:30 a.m. ET.

Scucci also said there have been significant bets being placed on the Patriots moneyline at -135.

Super Sunday impacts other sports' odds

With all the traffic in the sportsbook during Super Bowl Sunday, there is huge flood of action on the other sports happening in the hours before kickoff.

Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, says they receive about three times the action on the afternoon NBA, NHL and college basketball games than they normally would on a regular Sunday.

Stoneback says the tourists have itchy trigger fingers when it comes to betting, wanting to get some action down before the Super Bowl, and that the public darlings – like Duke, West Virginia, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat - will be heavily wagered on in their Sunday matinees.

“We take a lot of money on those public teams,” he says. “It gives (bettors) something to do before the (Super Bowl) starts.”

Public favorites like the Blue Devils and Heat are sitting as big double-digit home favorites for their games Sunday. Bettors could find added line value with the underdogs.

11:15 a.m. - Mirage juggles juice on Super Bowl spread

According to Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, action on the Pats has forced them to adjust their juice on the 2.5-point spread for Super Bowl XLVI.

The Mirage went from -2.5 (even) to -2.5 (-120) around 11 a.m. ET. Many sportsbooks that went down as low as -2 have since gone back to 2.5 with the public money on New England beginning to trickle in.

“I think if people are looking to bet on New England, now would be the time to jump in.” says Stoneback.

Stoneback also said the Mirage took a large, six-figure wager on New York Saturday, but with the amount of money coming in on the Patriots leading into kickoff, that wager did not impact their overall odds.

As for the total, the MGM Mirage is sitting at 54 with more action coming in on the under. However, they took some five-figure wagers on the over from some tourists earlier in the week, giving them good balance on the total.

10:45 a.m.: Vegas books filling up; total dropping

The line was 50 deep at 7:45 a.m. Vegas time at the sportsbook at Caesars Palace.

“People already in line to get their fill of gambling bright and early,” said Todd Fuhrman, senior sportsbook analyst at Caesars.

Most books open around 7 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday and will reach capacity within hours.

The pointspread remained at New England -3 with the juice being tinker with from book to book.

The Wynn apparently received the action it was looking for when it dropped the line to New England -2 Saturday. As of Sunday morning, the Patriots were back to -2.5.

The total has been the biggest mover, dropping from 55 down to 53.5 at several shops, including at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook.

--David Purdum


6:30 p.m. ET: Lucky's goes from 2.5 back to 3 in 12-hour span

Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker for Lucky's sportsbooks, is back to dealing the Super Bowl favorite New England Patriots at -3 after having them down to -2.5 Friday night.

"When you drop it to 2.5, you get all the Patriot action you need," Vaccaro said.

The longtime bookmaker also told his shops are close to split between the two teams on the overall Super Bowl handle heading into the night before the big game.

-Ashton Grewal

2 p.m. ET: Cantor Gaming sportsbooks not budging off -3

While the Wynn sportsbook became the first book to trim the Super Bowl line to New England -2 Saturday, Cantor Gaming isn't budging off the key number of -3.

"We will not leave -3," Cantor sportsbook director Mike Colbert told in email.

--David Purdum

12:43 p.m. ET: 'Biz decision' prompts Wynn to drop line to -2

The sportsbook at the Las Vegas Wynn dropped the Super Bowl line to New England -2 Saturday morning.

“It’s a business decision based on all aspects of where we stand on the game,” sportsbook director Johnny Avello told in an email Saturday morning.

The Wynn was the only sportsbook to the Super Bowl line to Patriots -4 and as of 10 a.m. Vegas time was the only book offering -2.

--David Purdum


Giants still receiving most of action

As we head into the weekend, the action is picking up, and it’s still slanted toward the Giants. Most books are reporting about a 60/40 split in favor of New York in terms of total bets placed.

But big bets have been showing on the Patriots moneyline (-135) at Cal-Neva sportsbooks, according to supervisor Chris Andrews.

The rush on the Under also showed up at Cal-Neva on Friday, with significant bets coming in on Under 55 and Under 54.5. Max wagers also were placed on Under 28 and 27.5 in the first half.

--David Purdum

The calm before the storm

Jimmy Vaccaro, veteran oddsmaker at Lucky’s sportsbook, says this has been one of the easier Super Bowls to book in recent memory.

“We’ve been serving Patriots -3 (even) for nine days now and I expect we’ll be sitting right there up until Sunday,” he told Friday afternoon. That said, he isn’t letting his guard down.

“Games like this have a funny way of getting at you as the kickoff nears," he added. "Once 12 p.m. on Sunday hits, you never know what you’re in for.”

Right now Vaccaro is writing three Giants tickets for every two Pats tickets, though the money is pretty much even. He also adds that he doesn’t think bettors will have any trouble finding Pats -2.5 lines around on Sunday.

"The Giants are just such a public bet right now," he says. "A lot of Pats bettors are just going to wait this out."

Like many books, Lucky’s currently has a 54-point total on the board after sharps came in heavy on the under to knock the total down from 54.5.

“I’d much rather take under money early in the week as opposed to late,” Vaccaro adds. “We all know we’re going to get a pile of tourists betting the over this weekend, so it gives us a better chance to have balanced action.”

Vaccaro doesn't expect to move his total any lower right now, but a few online shops continue to move this number down.

Pinnacle was sitting at 53 points early Friday evening, while Bet365, Bwin and Sportingbet were serving 53.5

- Ryan Stetson

Books adjust "First team to.." prop bet odds

Ashton Grewal is in Las Vegas this week, getting the scoop on all the Super Bowl betting action.

He talked to Bob Scucci, race and sportsbook director for Coast Hotels, Friday afternoon. Scucci says they’ve had to make major adjustments to the “First team to receive” prop and other connected prop wagers.

Due to the Patriots’ tendency to defer receiving to the second half, and the Giants’ historically wanting to receive first, oddsmakers have had to move the Giants to -200 for the “First team to receive” prop with sharp money flooding in on New York.

New England has deferred the last 29 times it has won the coin toss. New York, on the other hand, has opted to receive the last 30 coin flips it has won, dating back to Week 1 of the 2008 season.

Along with that prop, sharps have been pounding the “First team to..” wagers, like “First team to complete a pass”, “First team to pass the 50-yard line” and “First team to score”, with all the money coming in on New York.

Offshore books have followed suit. currently has the Giants at -180 to receive first, while the Patriots are priced at +150.

Gronkowski prop bets not affected by status update

LVH oddsmakers took into account Rob Gronkowski’s high ankle sprain before posting props on his performance. As of now, it seems like they came up with good numbers; Gronk’s props haven’t moved much.

The O/U on Gronk’s receiving yards fell from 77.5 to 76.5. The O/U on his catches went from 5.5 flat to 5.5 Under (-120). The O/U on his longest catch went from 21.5 flat to 21.5 Over (-120).

Of course, those props will be “No Action” if Gronk doesn’t play.

“I’ll be real curious to see how he looks in pregame warm-ups,” LVH SuperBook director Jay Kornegay said. “I don’t think they’re going to let him do much until then.”

If Gronk suffers a setback and is ruled out before kickoff, Kornegay said the line and total would each move half a point.

“The number has already been adjusted so much,” he said.

--Larry Hartstein


Some books bracing for public money on total

The MGM Mirage is one of the few Nevada books with the total for Super Bowl XLVI at 54.5 points. Many of the other shops have dropped the number to 54 after a rush of action on the under 55 forced books to trim the total earlier this week.

Jay Rood, sportsbook manager for the Mirage, says he’s keeping it high because of the impending migration of public bettors to Las Vegas in the coming days, who have historically bet the favorite and the over in hopes of an exciting high-scoring game.

“For us, we want to see how much we can stock pile on the under before that tidal wave of over money comes in from the public,” says Rood. “I’m keeping it high right now.”

The Mirage is expecting a huge turnout for the Super Bowl and will be at 100 percent occupancy. Rood also said some high rollers from the casino are stopping by the sportsbook for the Big Game, bringing some big bets to the counter on Super Sunday.

Big handle building on Super Bowl prop bets

Prop bets are getting more and more popular with football bettors every Super Bowl. Jay Rood, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, says that this year could be one of the biggest handles for props ever.

“We’ve taken a huge handle on our props alone. We’ve booked well over a half a million on them right now,” says Rood, who expects that number to continue rising as Sunday draws closer.

As far as some of the favorite prop picks with bettors, Rood says he’s had to adjust the prop odds on “Total number of Patriots with a reception”, dropping the number from its opening of 7.5 to 7 with sharp money flooding in on the under.

“The sharps generally bet these things under for the Super Bowl,” he says. “We put it up early last week and the professionals pounded it under. Funny enough, we put up the same prop for the Giants, 7.5, and they’ve been betting the over.”

Rood says other popular prop bets have been “Total number of punts (8.5)” and “First player to score a touchdown”.

-- Jason Logan


Cantor director surprised by big move on total

Mike Colbert, sportsbook director at Cantor Gaming, was surprised to see the over/under total on the Super Bowl drop 1.5 at the prominent offshore sportsbook

“That’s a pretty big move, and I don’t see that going back up,” Colbert said Wednesday afternoon from his office at the M Resort. “It surprised me, because I thought it would have happened later, not in the middle of the week. But some folks must think it has topped out. That’s not public money betting the under in the middle of the week.”

Colbert added that he was holding 75 percent Over bets and was basically asking for under bets at this point in the week.

Cantor Gaming, which operates the sportsbooks at the M, Hard Rock, Venetian, Palms and other Vegas casinos, was offering New England -3 (+105) with a total of 54.5, as of 2 p.m. PT, Wednesday.

--David Purdum

Total plunging

The total, which opened at 55 at Pinnacle, fell all the way to 53 late Wednesday morning.

You can still find it as high as 54.5 at offshore and Vegas books, but the trend is definitely downward.

Legends and BetOnline have dropped the total 1.5 points since opening at 55.5. A quick scan Wednesday afternoon did not show any books still offering 55.

The action on the under could stem from the latest news on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who admitted Wednesday he hasn't done much running on his sprained ankle. An ESPN report suggested Gronk (90 catches, 1,327 receiving yards, 18 TD) might be available Sunday only in a limited role.

--Larry Hartstein

Veteran handicapper: "Line will drop below -2.5"

Veteran professional sports bettor Lem Banker believes the Super Bowl line will be coming down, so he’s waiting before placing his wager on the Patriots.

“More New York money is going to come in,” Banker told in a phone interview from his Las Vegas residence. “So I’m going to wait and then I’m going to lay the money-price and also lay the points.”

Banker says Tom Brady is the best quarterback he's ever seen, “and I’ve seen them all.”

He is also basing his bet on the New England offensive line’s ability to protect Brady.

“I really think New England has an advantage up front,” Banker added.

--David Purdum

Patriots money still coming in

It’s not all Giants’ money out there.

The Cal-Neva sportsbook one of the first to drop the Super Bowl line from Patriots -3 to -2.5. According to sportsbook director Chris Andrews, they went to -2.5 last Wednesday in an attempt to generate action on the Patriots. It worked.

“We had to go right back up to -3 Thursday,” said Andrews. “And the move back up was because of wise-guy money.”

As of 9 a.m. ET Wednesday, there were still a handful  of shops in Nevada and offshore offering Patriots -2.5, but the most common line is New England -3 (even).

The total can be found at 55 with a few 54.5s available.

--David Purdum


Vegas books prepare for annoying Super Bowl tradition

It never fails. In the moments before kickoff of the biggest sporting event of the year, a guy will step to the window of a jam-packed Vegas sportsbook wanting to bet something other than the Super Bowl.

"He'll want to bet a bunch of Stanley Cup futures or something like that," MGM Mirage sportsbook manager Jay Rood said.

Caesars' Todd Fuhrman sees the same thing every year.

"It could be NASCAR, baseball futures, or a European soccer game. And he wants to bet $5 on the game," Fuhrman said. "Meanwhile, there's an angry mob behind him."

Please don't be that guy.

--Larry Hartstein

Bettors love under on Manning props

Vegas books are moving prop lines after bettors hammered the under on Eli Manning's passing yards and touchdowns.

At Caesars Palace, the over/under on Manning's passing yards fell from 310 to 304.5. At MGM Mirage, the O/U on Manning's TD passes is still 2.5, but the juice changed dramatically. The under went from even to -200.

"That's a pretty big move," said Rood, who takes $2,000 max bets on props.

The prop trend is a bit surprising considering 60 percent of the action is on the Giants, Rood said, "but maybe they're calculating in [Ahmad] Bradshaw and [Brandon] Jacobs."

Other props on the move: O/U on Hakeem Nicks catches, 6 to 5.5; O/U on Victor Cruz catches, 6 to 5.5; O/U on Tom Brady completions, 25.5 to 25; O/U on number of Patriots to catch a pass, 7.5 to 7.

--Larry Hartstein

Gronkowski's status impacting line

The biggest Super Bowl betting storyline remains New England tight end Rob Gronkowski’s ankle. He’s listed as day-to-day and isn’t expected to be at full strength, even if he plays.

His status has bookmakers on edge.

“If they announce Friday that he’s not going to play, we’re not going to be able to get anyone to bet on the Patriots,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, director of Lucky’s sportsbooks. “I’ve had action on every Super Bowl, starting with taking the Packers -13.5 in the first Super Bowl, and I don’t ever remember a tight end moving the line. But Gronkowski’s doing it.”

--David Purdum

Monday, January 30

Early money on Giants, but majority of bets yet to be placed

The majority of the early money, both sharp and square, has been on the Giants. CNBC's Darren Rovell tweeted that 80 percent of the max $25,000 bets at the offshore sportsbook were on the Giants.

But there’s still a ton of money not yet in play.

Veteran Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro, who has been booking Super Bowls since the mid-70s, estimates 90 percent of the total handle bet on the Super Bowl will be placed on Saturday and Sunday.

“Right now, the money looks about 60/40 in favor of the Giants,” said Vaccaro, sportsbooks director at Lucky’s, “but if you call me back in 20 minutes that could have changed. We really don’t know anything yet.”

As of Monday afternoon, Lucky’s was in the majority of Vegas books, offering the Patriots -3 (even).

--David Purdum

South Point moving from 3 to 2.5 and back to 3

Bert Osborne, the sportsbook manager at South Point, opened his Super Bowl spread at 3.5 but didn’t stay there long.

“I think we were there for about 15 minutes,” Osborne told “We got a couple – I wouldn’t even say big bets - probably medium bets on the Giants. I didn’t want to risk it so I dropped us down to 3.”

Osborne says those medium bets were five figures.

South Point is at Patriots -2.5 but Osborne says he’s gone back and forth between 2.5 and 3 over the last couple days. Osborne says his book doesn’t play with the juice, which explains the yo-yo effect with South Point’s Super Bowl spread.

Final note: Osborne says he likes the Patriots over the Giants 31-20 in Super Bowl XLIV. He also predicted South Point would close its Super Bowl spread at 2.5.

--Ashton Grewal

Cantor shops holding steady at 3

Cantor Gaming, which runs the sportsbooks at the Venetian, Hard Rock, Tropicana, Cosmopolitan and the M Resort, was one of the only books to open with a field goal spread. While everyone else spent some time at 3.5 and even 4 (Wynn), Cantor boss Mike Colbert opened at Pats -3 (-115).

“We got some early Patriot money, I think because we were the only ones that low,” Colbert told “We’re standing dead even now but we’re a little heavy on the Giants on the moneyline.”

Colbert said he’s not worried about the possibility of a push with the spread sitting on the most common separation in football final scores.

“This is a real easy number for public bettors to understand,” Colbert said. “My mother understands 3 even money but she doesn’t with 2.5 -125.”

-Ashton Grewal

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