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Vegas oddsmakers predict a 'monster' Super Bowl

25 January 2016

Jimmy Vaccaro has spent the last 40 years setting sports betting odds and trying to forecast the future. So, while the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa oddsmaker doesn't know for sure who will win – or cover – on Super Bowl Sunday in a couple of weeks, he does anticipate that the Broncos-Panthers match-up could possibly lead to one of the biggest bet games of all time.

"Judging from what I saw at our book on Sunday and from what my other colleagues in the business told me what happened at their books, we're in for a monster, monster Super Bowl," said the legendary bookmaker, who added that the South Point wrote 30% more action on the Conference Championship games this year than last year. "I'm telling you, this place was crazy on Sunday. We had lines and lines of people all day. The interest on betting on football is at an absolute all-time high, so I can't wait to see what happens on Super Bowl Sunday. It could be historic."

With Denver already representing the AFC by virtue of its upset over New England in the early game on Sunday, the Panthers had a huge lead over Arizona in the late game, allowing Vaccaro and his fellow bookmakers to hang a Super Bowl line before the NFC Championship came to an official end.

Even though his own numbers had Carolina as a 3.5-favorite over Denver, Vaccaro posted the Panthers as a 4-point chalk, with the anticipation of receiving Carolina bets; his intuition was correct. The South Point got hit with a significant amount of money on the Panthers, so much so that it quickly went to 4.5.

"People tend to bet based on what they saw last and as we posted the line, the Panthers were just destroying Arizona," Vaccaro explained. "Like most places in town, we had to bump it up a bit. I see it as high as five in some places today. Now what will happen is this number will just kind of sit there for the next week or so. We won't write a ton of action for the time being; certainly not enough to move it either way."

Offshore at BetOnline Sports, Sportsbook Brand Manager Dave Mason also reported receiving considerable action on the Panthers, reporting on Twitter this morning:



At Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, it was just the opposite. The popular book, which recently completed a massive renovation, opened Carolina a 5.5 favorite and saw enough Broncos money to drop it to 4.5, as of Monday morning.

With the number settling in around town at 4.5 at the majority of shops with a total of 45 or 45.5, Vaccaro fully expects the Panthers to remain the popular bet, but he doesn't see the line rising much more.

"If we go too high, we're going to get some buy back on the Broncos, for sure," he said. "This is still Peyton Manning at QB and one heck of a defense. If I had to guess, the game will go off right around where it is right now. It will be in that 4.5-to-5-point range."

As for yesterday's Conference Championships, Mason reported the Broncos-Patriots AFC Championship was the heaviest bet football game of the entire season, surpassing the college football national championship game back on Jan. 11. The good news for the books was that the Patriots – who were anywhere from a 3 to 3.5-point favorite – were the overwhelmingly popular pick by the public. Many sportsbooks reported that more than 70% of the action was on Tom Brady and Co., and that meant it was a big decision for the books as the Broncos prevailed, 20-18.

In the late game, however, the public got back some of their losses as Carolina (-3.5) over Arizona was as popular a pick as New England, and the Panther tickets cashed easily in a 49-14 rout.

"The New England game was huge for us and it set the tone for the day," Vaccaro said. "But we gave some back with all the Carolina money we got, for sure. The good news for us was that a lot of the parlays got knocked out when the Patriots lost and when the Cardinals lost by a big margin it knocked out all of the Arizona teasers, and those things have been a pain in the butt for us recently. So, overall, it was a pretty good day for us, thanks mostly to the Broncos."

Vaccaro said the next step will be preparing the numerous proposition bets that will be made available on the Super Bowl. He expects the "prop" bets to make up about 35% of his action on the game, up about 5% from last year. He makes that projection with confidence, since the book has already taken $20,000 in bets on the coin toss and whether or not there will be a safety or overtime in the game, wagers he posted the day after last year's Super Bowl.

"Imagine that, 20k on those prop bets and these people didn't even know who would be playing in the game," he said. "It just goes to show just how popular this whole thing has become. People love it. It's entertainment. It's fun for them and there's no end in sight."

Two years ago, when Denver played the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the game smashed the record for the biggest Super Bowl handle in Nevada history with a staggering $119 million wagered. Vaccaro said having a true star like Manning will help this year's handle, which will also be aided by the presence of Carolina QB Cam Newton.

"I tell people this kid is like the Floyd Mayweather of football," he said with a laugh. "People either love him, or love to hate him. And that's good news for us because they're going to want to either bet on him and have fun rooting for him, or bet against him and have fun rooting against him. It's just going to add more fuel to the fire."
Vegas oddsmakers predict a 'monster' Super Bowl is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Gary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT