Super Bowl 52 is about to descend upon Minneapolis, and big bets are getting set for the underdog Philadelphia Eagles who will be going up against Tom Brady and his New England Patriots.
Big betters are hoping that the underdog status could win up paying off really big, but one stat that is standing in the way is that the two teams haven’t faced off since 2015 and their last Super Bowl matchup was Super Bowl XXXIX. As we know, statistics look and sound nice, but things change as we saw in that sad Vikings vs Eagles playoff which propelled Philly into the Super Bowl.
The same bettor who took this city’s legal sports books for millions of dollars on the World Series is looking to cash in again at the Super Bowl.
The bettor placed a $500,000 wager on the Philadelphia Eagles at the South Point sports book, oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro said. If the money line bet pays off, the gambler will walk away with $1.32 million, with a profit of $820,000.
“He’s one of the guys who was floating around betting all that money on the World Series,” Vaccaro said. “I don’t think he lost a bet then; we’ll see how he does now.”
The bettor, who Vaccaro did not publicly identify, also could be behind a bet of more than $2 million on the Eagles at the Mirage sports book made earlier in the week. Officials at MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mirage, declined to say whether it was the same bettor but confirmed the bet was for more than $2 million.
“He’s indicated if the conditions are right he might want to bet a little more,” said Jay Rood, who heads sports betting operations for MGM Resorts.
Another $700,000 bet was taken on the Eagles at one of the sports books run by CG Technologies, a company official said in a tweet. The bettor was also not identified.
The bets helped move the line at both the South Point and at MGM’s hotels, where the New England Patriots dropped from a 5.5 point favorite to 4.5. They were part of an unusual early flood of money on the Eagles at a time when historically most bettors wait until the days just before the game.
“We’ve had swift betting in first days here,” Rood said. “It’s not abnormal, but it has been really swift and strong.”
The bettor at the South Point should have the cash to spread around after scoring big during the World Series. Sports book operators said a big bettor went from sports book to sports book to place six figure wagers on at least five of the seven games.
The bettor increased the size of his bets after each win, pocketing millions at various books. The big wins helped Nevada sports books to lose a record $11.4 million on baseball bets in November.
“He’s an event player, who bets 4-5 times a year and picks certain spots where he can bet a lot of money,” Vaccaro said. “Nice kid, very easy to work with. It’s the first time he’s bet with us since the World Series.”
Vaccaro said the player made four different bets at $125,000, with the money line narrowing with each play. The Eagles must win the game outright for him to win.
Most of the early money on the Super Bowl has been on the Eagles, who opened as much as a 6.5 point underdog in Las Vegas sports books. Odds fluctuate as money is bet, with bookmakers moving them to try and draw equal money on each said.
While some big bets have already come in, the majority of the money bet on the Super Bowl comes in the last few days before the game. Wynn Resorts oddsmaker Johnny Avello said he has already been approached about some big wagers.
“I’ve had some inquiries on a couple of million dollar bets people want to make,” Avello said.
Bookies say they anticipate total legal betting on the Super Bowl to break the record of $138.5 million, set just last year. Billions more are believed to be bet on the game illegally around the country.
It took just over an hour for Roger Federer to fix one anomalous statistic in his extraordinary career.
Defending champion Federer, who was leading Hyeon Chung 6-1, 5-2 when the Korean retired in the second set of their Australian Open semifinal on Friday night, is within one win of a 20th Grand Slam singles title.
Going into the match against Chung, Federer had a below-par semifinals record at Melbourne Park, only six wins out of 13.
After 1 hour and 2 minutes under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena, he’s on par, 7-7 (but still well below his marks at the other majors: 11-1 at Wimbledon, 7-3 at the U.S. Open, and 5-2 at Roland Garros).
It wasn’t how Federer expected to advance.
“You do take the faster matches whenever you can because there’s enough wear and tear on the body,” he said. “The thought process is not like ‘What would have been better?’
“That’s why this one feels bittersweet. I’m incredibly happy to be in the finals, but not like this.”
Chung tried everything to disguise the pain of the raw patches on his left foot which, his agent explained, were “blisters under blisters under blisters.”
Federer knows the feeling. He also sensed something wrong with Chung’s movement.
“I’ve played with blisters in the past a lot, and it hurts a lot. And at one point, it’s just too much, and you can’t take it anymore — you can’t go on,” he said. “He’s played such a wonderful tournament, so credit to him for playing so hard again today.”
Federer’s conversion rate for finals in Australia is much better — the only time he lost a championship match was in 2009 against Rafael Nadal.
So he’s well poised for Sunday’s match against No. 6-seeded Marin Cilic. Cilic has had an extra day of rest, but Federer was hardly taxed on Friday night and occupied for only an hour.
The final will be Federer’s record seventh at the Australian Open and 30th at a Grand Slam.
Cilic was hampered by blisters when he lost to Federer in last year’s Wimbledon final, but he has made a relatively pain-free run through the other half of the draw, including a quarterfinal win over an injured Nadal.
Even if Chung had been fit, he was trying to reach his first ATP final against a player who has won 95 titles, 19 of them being Grand Slams.
Chung had an incredible run at Melbourne Park, becoming the first Korean to reach a semifinal at a tennis major and attracting plenty of attention for beating No. 4-seeded Alexander Zverev in the third round and six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth.
But it took a toll. He needed a pain-killing injection before the match, and a medical timeout to re-tape his left foot after going down a break in the second set. He played only two more games before he quit.
“I did the right thing. If I play badly on the court, it’s not good for the fans and audience as well,” he said. “I really hurt. I can’t walk no more.”
The 36-year-old Federer predicted a bright future for Chung, 15 years younger. Chung also believed the experience will prepare him better for the rigors of best-of-five-set tennis at Grand Slams.
“For sure. I play really good in (the) last two weeks. I make first round 16, quarters and semis — I play (Zverev), Novak, Roger,” he said. “I can play better and better in the future.”
With the victory, Federer ensured one of the so-called Big Four — with Nadal, Djokovic, Andy Murray — has featured in the final since 2005. Stan Wawrinka’s win over Nadal in 2014 was the only final since 2008 that didn’t feature two of the Big Four.
Top-ranked Nadal lost to Cilic in the quarterfinals, Djokovic fell to Chung, and Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner-up, withdrew to have surgery on his hip, leaving their collective reputation for dominance in Australia on Federer.
He didn’t let anyone down in a clinical dismantling of the No. 58-ranked Chung, who won the Next Gen ATP Finals in November.
Earlier, Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France became the first players from their respective countries to lift the Australian Open women’s doubles crown.
Babos and Mladenovic combined to beat the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3.